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Title: History of Greece, Volume 8 (of 12)
Author: Grote, George
Language: English
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Reprinted from the London Edition.

New York:
Harper & Brothers, Publishers,
329 and 331 Pearl Street.



I had hoped to be able, in this Volume, to carry the history of
Greece down as far as the battle of Knidus; but I find myself

A greater space than I anticipated has been necessary, not merely to
do justice to the closing events of the Peloponnesian war, especially
the memorable scenes at Athens after the battle of Arginusæ, but
also to explain my views both respecting the Sophists and respecting

It has been hitherto common to treat the sophists as corruptors
of the Greek mind, and to set forth the fact of such corruption,
increasing as we descend downwards from the great invasion of Xerxês,
as historically certified. Dissenting as I do from former authors,
and believing that Grecian history has been greatly misconceived,
on both these points, I have been forced to discuss the evidences,
and exhibit the reasons for my own way of thinking, at considerable

To Sokratês I have devoted one entire Chapter. No smaller space would
have sufficed to lay before the reader any tolerable picture of that
illustrious man, the rarest intellectual phenomenon of ancient times,
and originator of the most powerful scientific impulse which the
Greek mind ever underwent.

  G. G.

London, February, 1850.






  Rally of Athens, during the year after the defeat at
  Syracuse. B.C. 412.—Commencement of the conspiracy of the
  Four Hundred at Athens—Alkibiadês.—Order from Sparta to
  kill Alkibiadês.—He escapes, retires to Tissaphernês, and
  becomes adviser of the Persians.—He advises the satrap
  to assist neither of the Grecian parties heartily—but
  his advice leans towards Athens, with a view to his own
  restoration.—Alkibiadês acts as negotiator for Tissaphernês
  at Magnesia.—Diminution of the rate of pay furnished by
  Tissaphernês to the Peloponnesians.—Alkibiadês opens
  correspondence with the Athenian officers at Samos. He
  originates the scheme of an oligarchical revolution at
  Athens.—Conspiracy arranged between the Athenian officer
  and Alkibiadês.—Oligarchical Athenians—the hetæries,
  or political clubs. Peisander is sent to push forward
  the conspiracy at Athens.—Credulity of the oligarchical
  conspirators.—Opposition of Phrynichus at Samos to
  the conspirators, and to Alkibiadês.—Manœuvres and
  counter-manœuvres of Phrynichus and Alkibiadês.—Proceedings
  of Peisander at Athens—strong opposition among the
  people both to the conspiracy and to the restoration
  of Alkibiadês.—Unwilling vote of the assembly to
  relinquish their democracy, under the promise of Persian
  aid for the war. Peisander is sent back to negotiate
  with Alkibiadês.—Peisander brings the oligarchical
  clubs at Athens into organized action against the
  democracy.—Peisander leaves Athens for Samos—Antiphon takes
  the management of the oligarchical conspiracy—Theramenês
  and Phrynichus.—Military operations near the Asiatic
  coast.—Negotiations of Peisander with Alkibiadês.—Tricks
  of Alkibiadês—he exaggerates his demands, with a view of
  breaking off the negotiation—indignation of the oligarchs
  against him.—Reconciliation between Tissaphernês and
  the Peloponnesians.—Third convention concluded between
  them.—Third convention compared with the two preceding.—Loss
  of Orôpus by Athens.—Peisander and his colleagues persist
  in the oligarchical conspiracy, without Alkibiadês.—They
  attempt to subvert the democracy at Samos—assassination of
  Hyperbolus and others.—The democracy at Samos is sustained
  by the Athenian armament.—The Athenian Parali—defeat of the
  oligarchical conspiracy at Samos.—The Paralus is sent to
  Athens with the news.—Progress of the oligarchical conspiracy
  at Athens—dextrous management of Antiphon.—Language of the
  conspirators—juggle about naming Five Thousand citizens to
  exercise the political franchise exclusively.—Assassination
  of the popular speakers by Antiphon and the oligarchical
  party.—Return of Peisander to Athens—oligarchical government
  established in several of the allied cities.—Consummation
  of the revolution at Athens—last public assembly at
  Kolônus.—Abolition of the Graphê Paranomôn.—New government
  proposed by Peisander—oligarchy of Four Hundred.—Fictitious
  and nominal aggregate called the Five Thousand.—The
  Four Hundred install themselves in the senate-house,
  expelling the senators by armed force.—Remarks on this
  revolution.—Attachment to constitutional forms at Athens—use
  made of this sentiment by Antiphon, to destroy the
  constitution.—Demagogues the indispensable counterpoise
  and antithesis to the oligarchs.—Proceedings of the Four
  Hundred in the government.—They make overtures for peace to
  Agis, and to the Spartans.—They send envoys to the camp at
  Samos.—First news of the revolution is conveyed to the camp
  by Chæreas—strong sentiment in the camp against the Four
  Hundred.—Ardent democratical manifestation, and emphatic
  oath, taken both by the Athenian armament at Samos and
  by the Samians.—The Athenian democracy is reconstituted
  by the armament—public assembly of the soldiers—new
  generals chosen.—Alkibiadês opens correspondence with the
  democratical armament at Samos.—Alkibiadês comes to Samos,
  on the invitation of the armament.—Confidence placed by
  the armament in his language and promises—they choose him
  one of their generals.—New position of Alkibiadês—present
  turn of his ambition.—The envoys of the Four Hundred reach
  Samos—are indignantly sent back by the armament.—Eagerness
  of the armament to sail to Peiræus—is discountenanced
  by Alkibiadês—his answer to the envoys.—Dissuasive
  advice of Alkibiadês—how far it is to be commended as
  sagacious.—Envoys sent from Argos to the “Athenian Demos
  at Samos.”—Return of the envoys of the Four Hundred from
  Samos to Athens—bad prospects of the oligarchy.—Mistrust and
  discord among the Four Hundred themselves. An opposition
  party formed under Theramenês.—Theramenês demands that
  the Five Thousand shall be made a reality.—Measures
  of Antiphon and the Four Hundred—their solicitations
  to Sparta—construction of the fort of Ectioneia, for
  the admission of a Spartan garrison.—Unaccountable
  backwardness of the Lacedæmonians.—Assassination of
  Phrynichus—Lacedæmonian fleet hovering near Peiræus.—Rising
  at Athens against the Four Hundred—demolition of the new
  fort at Ectioneia.—Decline of the Four Hundred—concessions
  made by them—renewal of the public assembly.—Lacedæmonian
  fleet threatens Peiræus—passes by to Eubœa.—Naval battle
  near Eretria—Athenians defeated—Eubœa revolts.—Dismay at
  Athens—her ruin inevitable, if the Lacedæmonians had acted
  with energy.—The Four Hundred are put down—the democracy in
  substance restored.—Moderation of political antipathies,
  and patriotic spirit, now prevalent.—The Five Thousand—a
  number never exactly realized—were soon enlarged into
  universal citizenship.—Restoration of the complete democracy,
  all except pay.—Psephism of Demophantus—democratical oath
  prescribed.—Flight of most of the leaders of the Four
  Hundred to Dekeleia.—Theramenês stands forward to accuse
  the remaining leaders of the Four Hundred, especially in
  reference to the fort at Ectioneia, and the embassy to
  Sparta.—Antiphon tried, condemned, and executed.—Treatment of
  the Four Hundred generally.—Favorable judgment of Thucydidês
  on the conduct of the Athenians.—Oligarchy at Athens,
  democracy at Samos—contrast.                                  1-93



  Embarrassed state of Athens after the Four
  Hundred.—Peloponnesian fleet—revolt of Abydos
  from Athens.—Strombichidês goes from Chios to the
  Hellespont—improved condition of the Chians.—Discontent in
  the Peloponnesian fleet at Milêtus.—Strombichidês returns
  from Chios to Samos.—Peloponnesian squadron and force at
  the Hellespont—revolt of Byzantium from Athens.—Discontent
  and meeting against Astyochus at Milêtus.—The Spartan
  commissioner Lichas enjoins the Milesians to obey
  Tissaphernês—discontent of the Milesians.—Mindarus
  supersedes Astyochus as admiral.—Phenician fleet at
  Aspendus—duplicity of Tissaphernês.—Alkibiadês at
  Aspendus—his double game between Tissaphernês and the
  Athenians.—Phenicians sent back from Aspendus without
  action—motives of Tissaphernês.—Mindarus leaves Milêtus
  with his fleet—goes to Chios—Thrasyllus and the Athenian
  fleet at Lesbos.—Mindarus eludes Thrasyllus, and reaches
  the Hellespont.—Athenian Hellespontine squadron escapes
  from Sestos in the night.—Thrasyllus and the Athenian
  fleet at the Hellespont.—Battle of Kynossêma—victory
  of the Athenian fleet.—Rejoicing at Athens for the
  victory.—Bridge across the Euripus, joining Eubœa with
  Bœotia.—Revolt of Kyzikus.—Zeal of Pharnabazus against
  Athens—importance of Persian money.—Tissaphernês again
  courts the Peloponnesians.—Alkibiadês returns from Aspendus
  to Samos.—Farther combats at the Hellespont.—Theramenês
  sent out with reinforcements from Athens.—Renewed troubles
  at Korkyra.—Alkibiadês is seized by Tissaphernês and
  confined at Sardis.—Escape of Alkibiadês—concentration of
  the Athenian fleet—Mindarus besieges Kyzikus.—Battle of
  Kyzikus—victory of the Athenians—Mindarus is slain, and
  the whole Peloponnesian fleet taken.—Discouragement of the
  Spartans—proposition to Athens for peace.—The Lacedæmonian
  Endius at Athens—his propositions for peace.—Refused by
  Athens—opposition of Kleophon.—Grounds of the opposition
  of Kleophon.—Question of policy as it then stood, between
  war and peace.—Strenuous aid of Pharnabazus to the
  Peloponnesians—Alkibiadês and the Athenian fleet at the
  Bosphorus.—The Athenians occupy Chrysopolis, and levy toll on
  the ships passing through the Bosphorus.—The Lacedæmonians
  are expelled from Thasus.—Klearchus the Lacedæmonian
  is sent to Byzantium.—Thrasyllus sent from Athens to
  Ionia.—Thrasyllus and Alkibiadês at the Hellespont.—Pylos is
  retaken by the Lacedæmonians—disgrace of the Athenian Anytus
  for not relieving it.—Capture of Chalkêdon by Alkibiadês and
  the Athenians.—Convention concluded by the Athenians with
  Pharnabazus.—Byzantium captured by the Athenians.—Pharnabazus
  conveys some Athenian envoys towards Susa, to make terms with
  the Great King.                                             93-135



  Cyrus the younger—effects of his coming down to
  Asia Minor.—Pharnabazus detains the Athenian
  envoys.—Lysander—Lacedæmonian admiral in Asia.—Proceedings
  of the preceding admiral, Kratesippidas.—Lysander visits
  Cyrus at Sardis.—His dexterous policy—he acquires the
  peculiar esteem of Cyrus.—Abundant pay of the Peloponnesian
  armament, furnished by Cyrus.—Factions organized by Lysander
  among the Asiatic cities.—Proceedings of Alkibiadês in
  Thrace and Asia.—His arrival at Athens.—Feelings and details
  connected with his arrival.—Unanimous welcome with which
  he is received.—Effect produced upon Alkibiadês.—Sentiment
  of the Athenians towards him.—Disposition to refrain from
  dwelling on his previous wrongs, and to give him a new
  trial.—Mistaken confidence and intoxication of Alkibiadês.—He
  protects the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries by
  land, against the garrison of Dekeleia.—Fruitless attempt of
  Agis to surprise Athens.—Alkibiadês sails with an armament
  to Asia—ill-success at Andros—entire failure in respect to
  hopes from Persia.—Lysander at Ephesus—his cautious policy,
  refusing to fight—disappointment of Alkibiadês.—Alkibiadês
  goes to Phokæa, leaving his fleet under the command of
  Antiochus—oppression by Alkibiadês at Kymê.—Complaints
  of the Kymæans at Athens—defeat of Antiochus at Notium
  during the absence of Alkibiadês.—Dissatisfaction and
  complaint in the armament against Alkibiadês.—Murmur and
  accusation against him transmitted to Athens.—Alteration
  of sentiment at Athens—displeasure of the Athenians
  against him.—Reasonable grounds of such alteration and
  displeasure.—Different behavior towards Nikias and
  towards Alkibiadês.—Alkibiadês is dismissed from his
  command—ten generals named to succeed him—he retires to the
  Chersonese.—Konon and his colleagues—capture and liberation
  of the Rhodian Dorieus by the Athenians.—Kallikratidas
  supersedes Lysander—his noble character.—Murmurs and
  ill-will against Kallikratidas—energy and rectitude whereby
  he represses them.—His spirited behavior in regard to
  the Persians.—His appeal to the Milesians—Pan-Hellenic
  feelings.—He fits out a commanding fleet—his success at
  Lesbos—he liberates the captives and the Athenian garrison
  at Methymna.—Noble character of this proceeding—exalted
  Pan-Hellenic patriotism of Kallikratidas.—He blocks up Konon
  and the Athenian fleet at Mitylênê.—Triumphant position of
  Kallikratidas.—Hopeless condition of Konon—his stratagem
  to send news to Athens and entreat relief.—Kallikratidas
  defeats the squadron of Diomedon.—Prodigious effort of
  the Athenians to relieve Konon—large Athenian fleet
  equipped and sent to Arginusæ—Kallikratidas withdraws
  most of his fleet from Mitylênê, leaving Eteonikus to
  continue the blockade.—The two fleets marshalled for
  battle.—Comparative nautical skill, reversed since the
  beginning of the war.—Battle of Arginusæ—defeat of the
  Lacedæmonians—death of Kallikratidas.—It would have been
  better for Greece, and even for Athens, if Kallikratidas
  had been victor at Arginusæ.—Safe escape of Eteonikus
  and his fleet from Mitylênê to Chios.—Joy of Athens for
  the victory—indignation arising from the fact that the
  Athenian seamen on the disabled ships had not been picked
  up after the battle.—State of the facts about the disabled
  ships, and the men left in them.—Despatch of the generals
  to Athens, affirming that a storm had prevented them from
  saving the drowning men.—Justifiable wrath and wounded
  sympathy of the Athenians—extreme excitement among the
  relatives of the drowned men.—The generals are superseded,
  and directed to come home.—Examination of the generals
  before the senate and the people at Athens.—Debate in the
  public assembly—Theramenês accuses the generals as guilty of
  omitting to save the drowning men.—Effect of the accusation
  by Theramenês upon the assembly.—Defence of the generals—they
  affirm that they had commissioned Theramenês himself to
  undertake the duty.—Reason why the generals had not mentioned
  this commission in their despatch.—Different account given
  by Diodorus.—Probable version of the way in which the facts
  really occurred.—Justification of the generals—how far
  valid?—The alleged storm. Escape of Eteonikus.—Feelings of
  the Athenian public—how the case stood before them—decision
  adjourned to a future assembly.—Occurrence of the festival
  of Apaturia—the great family solemnity of the Ionic
  race.—Burst of feeling at the Apaturia—misrepresented
  by Xenophon.—Proposition of Kallixenus in the senate
  against the generals—adopted and submitted to the public
  assembly.—Injustice of the resolution—by depriving the
  generals of the customary securities for judicial trial.
  Psephism of Kannônus.—Opposition taken by Euryptolemus on the
  ground of constitutional form.—Graphê Paranomôn.—Excitement
  of the assembly—constitutional impediment overruled.—The
  prytanes refuse to put the question—their opposition
  overruled, all except that of Sokratês.—Altered temper
  of the assembly when the discussion had begun—amendment
  moved and developed by Euryptolemus.—Speech of
  Euryptolemus.—His amendment is rejected—the proposition
  of Kallixenus is carried.—The six generals are condemned
  and executed.—Injustice of the proceeding—violation of the
  democratical maxims and sentiments.—Earnest repentance of the
  people soon afterwards—disgrace and end of Kallixenus.—Causes
  of the popular excitement.—Generals—not innocent men.      135-210



  Alleged propositions of peace from Sparta to
  Athens—doubtful.—Eteonikus at Chios—distress of his
  seamen—conspiracy suppressed.—Solicitations from
  Chios and elsewhere that Lysander should be sent out
  again.—Arrival of Lysander at Ephesus—zeal of his
  partisans—Cyrus.—Violent revolution at Milêtus by the
  partisans of Lysander.—Cyrus goes to visit his dying
  father—confides his tributes to Lysander.—Inaction of the
  Athenian fleet after the battle of Arginusæ.—Operations of
  Lysander.—Both fleets at the Hellespont.—Athenian fleet
  at Ægospotami.—Battle of Ægospotami—surprise and capture
  of the entire Athenian fleet.—Capture of the Athenian
  commanders, all except Konon.—Slaughter of the captive
  generals and prisoners.—The Athenian fleet supposed to
  have been betrayed by its own commanders.—Distress and
  agony at Athens, when the defeat of Ægospotami was made
  known there.—Proceedings of Lysander.—Miserable condition
  of the Athenian kleruchs, and of the friends of Athens
  in the allied dependencies.—Suffering in Athens.—Amnesty
  proposed by Patrokleidês, and adopted.—Oath of mutual
  harmony sworn in the acropolis.—Arrival of Lysander.
  Athens is blocked up by sea and land.—Resolute holding-out
  of the Athenians—their propositions for capitulating are
  refused.—Pretences of Theramenês—he is sent as envoy—his
  studied delay.—Misery and famine in Athens—death of
  Kleophon.—The famine becomes intolerable—Theramenês is
  sent to obtain peace on any terms—debate about the terms
  at Sparta.—Peace is granted by Sparta, against the general
  sentiment of the allies.—Surrender of Athens—extreme
  wretchedness—number of deaths from famine.—Lysander
  enters Athens—return of the exiles—demolition of the Long
  Walls—dismantling of Peiræus—fleet given up.—The exiles
  and the oligarchical party in Athens—their triumphant
  behavior and devotion to Lysander.—Kritias and other
  exiles—past life of Kritias.—Kritias at the head of
  the oligarchs at Athens.—Oligarchical leaders named
  at Athens.—Seizure of Strombichidês and other eminent
  democrats.—Nomination of the Thirty, under the dictation
  of Lysander.—Conquest of Samos by Lysander—oligarchy
  restored there.—Triumphant return of Lysander to Sparta—his
  prodigious ascendency throughout Greece.—Proceedings of
  the Thirty at Athens—feelings of oligarchical men like
  Plato.—The Thirty begin their executions—Strombichidês
  and the imprisoned generals put to death—other democrats
  also.—Senate appointed by the Thirty—is only trusted to
  act under their intimidation. Numerous executions without
  trial.—The senate began by condemning willingly everyone
  brought before them.—Discord among the Thirty—dissentient
  views of Kritias and Theramenês.—Lacedæmonian garrison
  introduced—multiplied executions by Kritias and the
  Thirty.—Opposition of Theramenês to these measures—violence
  and rapacity still farther increased—rich and oligarchical
  men put to death.—Plan of Kritias to gain adherents
  by forcing men to become accomplices in deeds of
  blood—resistance of Sokratês.—Terror and discontent in
  the city—the Thirty nominate a body of Three Thousand as
  partisan hoplites.—They disarm the remaining hoplites
  of the city.—Murders and spoliations by the Thirty.
  Seizure of the Metics.—Seizure of Lysias the rhetor and
  his brother Polemarchus. The former escapes—the latter
  is executed.—Increased exasperation of Kritias and the
  majority of the Thirty against Theramenês.—Theramenês
  is denounced by Kritias in the Senate—speech of
  Kritias.—Reply of Theramenês.—Extreme violence of Kritias
  and the Thirty.—Condemnation of Theramenês.—Death of
  Theramenês—remarks on his character.—Increased tyranny of
  Kritias and the Thirty.—The Thirty forbid intellectual
  teaching.—Sokratês and the Thirty.—Growing insecurity
  of the Thirty.—Gradual alteration of feeling in Greece,
  since the capture of Athens.—Demand by the allies of
  Sparta to share in the spoils of the war—refused by
  Sparta.—Unparalleled ascendency of Lysander.—His overweening
  ambition—oppressive dominion of Sparta.—Disgust excited
  in Greece by the enormities of the Thirty.—Opposition to
  Lysander at Sparta—king Pausanias.—Kallikratidas compared
  with Lysander.—Sympathy at Thebes and elsewhere with the
  Athenian exiles.—Thrasybulus seizes Phylê—repulses the
  Thirty in their attack.—Farther success of Thrasybulus—the
  Thirty retreat to Athens.—Discord among the oligarchy
  at Athens—seizure of the Eleusinians.—Thrasybulus
  establishes himself in Peiræus.—The Thirty attack him
  and are defeated—Kritias is slain.—Colloquy during the
  burial-truce—language of Kleokritus.—Discouragement of
  the oligarchs at Athens—deposition of the Thirty and
  appointment of the Ten—the Thirty go to Eleusis.—The Ten
  carry on the war against the exiles.—Increasing strength
  of Thrasybulus.—Arrival of Lysander in Attica with a
  Spartan force.—Straightened condition of the exiles in
  Peiræus.—Spartan king Pausanias conducts an expedition into
  Attica; opposed to Lysander.—His dispositions unfavorable
  to the oligarchy; reaction against the Thirty.—Pausanias
  attacks Peiræus; his partial success.—Peace party in
  Athens—sustained by Pausanias.—Pacification granted by
  Pausanias and the Spartan authorities.—The Spartans evacuate
  Attica—Thrasybulus and the exiles are restored—harangue
  of Thrasybulus.—Restoration of the democracy.—Capture of
  Eleusis—entire reunion of Attica—flight of the survivors of
  the Thirty.                                                210-290



  Miserable condition of Athens during the two preceding
  years.—Immediate relief caused by the restoration.—Unanimous
  sentiment towards the renewed democracy.—Amnesty—treatment
  of the Thirty and the Ten.—Disfranchising proposition
  of Phormisius.—The proposition rejected—speech composed
  by Lysias against it.—Revision of the laws—the
  Nomothetæ.—Decree, that no criminal inquiries should
  be carried back beyond the archonship of Eukleidês,
  B.C. 403.—Oath taken by the senate and the dikasts
  modified.—Farther precautions to insure the observance of
  the amnesty.—Absence of harsh reactionary feeling, both
  after the Thirty and after the Four Hundred.—Generous
  and reasonable behavior of the demos—contrasted with
  that of the oligarchy.—Care of the people to preserve
  the rights of private property.—Repayment to the
  Lacedæmonians.—The horsemen, or knights.—Revision of
  the laws—Nikomachus.—Adoption of the fuller Ionic
  alphabet, in place of the old Attic, for writing up the
  laws.—Memorable epoch of the archonship of Eukleidês.
  The rhetor Lysias.—Other changes at Athens—abolition
  of the Board of Hellenotamiæ—restriction of the
  right of citizenship.—Honorary reward to Thrasybulus
  and the exiles.—Position and views of Alkibiadês in
  Asia.—Artaxerxes Mnêmon, the new king of Persia. Plans
  of Cyrus—Alkibiadês wishes to reveal them at Susa.—The
  Lacedæmonians conjointly with Cyrus require Pharnabazus to
  put him to death.—Assassination of Alkibiadês by order of
  Pharnabazus.—Character of Alkibiadês.                      290-316



  Athens immediately after Eukleidês—political history
  little known.—Extraordinary development of dramatic
  genius.—Gradual enlargement of tragedy.—Abundance of new
  tragedy at Athens.—Accessibility of the theatre to the
  poorest citizens.—Theôrikon, or festival-pay.—Effect of
  the tragedies on the public mind of Athens.—Æschylus,
  Sophoklês, and Euripidês—modifications of tragedy.—Popularity
  arising from expenditure of money on the festivals.—Growth
  and development of comedy at Athens.—Comic poets before
  Aristophanês—Kratinus, etc.—Exposure of citizens by name
  in comedy—forbidden for a time—then renewed—Kratês and the
  milder comedy.—Aristophanês.—Comedy in its effect on the
  Athenian mind.—Mistaken estimate of the comic writers,
  as good witnesses or just critics.—Aversion of Solon to
  the drama when nascent.—Dramatic poetry as compared with
  the former kinds of poetry.—Ethical sentiment, interest,
  and debate, infused into the drama.—The drama formed the
  stage of transition to rhetoric, dialectics, and ethical
  philosophy.—Practical value and necessity of rhetorical
  accomplishments.—Rhetoric and dialectics.—Empedoklês of
  Agrigentum—first name in the rhetorical movement.—Zeno
  of Elea—first name in the dialectical movement.—Eleatic
  school—Parmenidês.—Zeno and Melissus—their dialectic attacks
  upon the opponents of Parmenidês.—Zeno at Athens—his
  conversation both with Periklês and with Sokratês.—Early
  manifestation, and powerful efficacy, of the negative arm
  in Grecian philosophy.—Rhetoric and dialectics—men of
  active life and men of speculation—two separate lines of
  intellectual activity.—Standing antithesis between these
  two intellectual classes—vein of ignorance at Athens,
  hostile to both.—Gradual enlargement of the field of
  education at Athens—increased knowledge and capacity of the
  musical teachers.—The sophists—true Greek meaning of that
  word—invidious sentiment implied in it.—The name sophist
  applied by Plato in a peculiar sense, in his polemics against
  the eminent paid teachers.—Misconceptions arising from
  Plato’s peculiar use of the word sophist.—Paid teachers or
  sophists of the Sokratic age—Protagoras, Gorgias, etc.—Plato
  and the sophists—two different points of view—the reformer
  and theorist against the practical teacher.—The sophists
  were professional teachers for active life, like Isokratês
  and Quintilian.—Misinterpretations of the dialogues of
  Plato as carrying evidence against the sophists.—The
  sophists as paid teachers—no proof that they were greedy
  or exorbitant—proceeding of Protagoras.—The sophists as
  rhetorical teachers—groundless accusations against them in
  that capacity, made also against Sokratês, Isokratês, and
  others.—Thrasymachus—his rhetorical precepts.—Prodikus—his
  discrimination of words analogous in meaning.—Protagoras—his
  treatise on Truth—his opinions about the pagan gods.—His view
  of the cognitive process and its relative nature.—Gorgias—his
  treatise on physical subjects—misrepresentations of the scope
  of it.—Unfounded accusations against the sophists.—They
  were not a sect or school, with common doctrines or
  method; they were a profession, with strong individual
  peculiarities.—The Athenian character was not really
  corrupted, between 480 B.C. and 405 B.C.—Prodikus—The
  choice of Hercules.—Protagoras—real estimate exhibited of
  him by Plato.—Hippias of Elis—how he is represented by
  Plato.—Gorgias, Pôlus, and Kalliklês.—Doctrine advanced by
  Pôlus.—Doctrine advanced by Kalliklês—anti-social.—Kalliklês
  is not a sophist.—The doctrine put into his mouth could
  never have been laid down in any public lecture among the
  Athenians.—Doctrine of Thrasymachus in the “Republic” of
  Plato.—Such doctrine not common to all the sophists—what
  is offensive in it is, the manner in which it is put
  forward.—Opinion of Thrasymachus afterwards brought out
  by Glaukon—with less brutality, and much greater force of
  reason.—Plato against the sophists generally. His category
  of accusation comprehends all society, with all the poets
  and statesmen.—It is unjust to try either the sophists or
  the statesmen of Athens, by the standard of Plato.—Plato
  distinctly denies that Athenian corruption was to be
  imputed to the sophists.—The sophists were not teachers
  of mere words, apart from action.—General good effect of
  their teaching upon the youth.—Great reputation of the
  sophists—evidence of respect for intellect and of a good
  state of public sentiment.                                 317-399



  Different spirit shown towards Sokratês and towards the
  sophists.—Birth and family of Sokratês.—His physical and
  moral qualities.—Xenophon and Plato as witnesses.—Their
  pictures of Sokratês are in the main accordant.—Habits of
  Sokratês.—Leading peculiarities of Sokratês.—His constant
  publicity of life and indiscriminate conversation.—Reason
  why Sokratês was shown up by Aristophanês on the stage.—His
  persuasion of a special religious mission.—His dæmon, or
  genius—other inspirations.—Oracle from Delphi declaring that
  no man was wiser than he.—His mission to test the false
  conceit of wisdom in others.—Confluence of the religious
  motive with the inquisitive and intellectual impulse in his
  mind—numerous enemies whom he made.—Sokratês a religious
  missionary, doing the work of philosophy.—Intellectual
  peculiarities of Sokratês.—He opened ethics as a new subject
  of scientific discussion.—Circumstances which turned the
  mind of Sokratês towards ethical speculations.—Limits of
  scientific study as laid down by Sokratês.—He confines study
  to human affairs, as distinguished from divine—to man and
  society.—Importance of the innovation—multitude of new and
  accessible phenomena brought under discussion.—Innovations
  of Sokratês as to method—dialectic method—inductive
  discourses—definitions.—Commencement of analytical
  consciousness of the mental operations—genera and
  species.—Sokratês compared with previous philosophers.—Great
  step made by Sokratês in laying the foundation of formal
  logic, afterwards expanded by Plato, and systematized by
  Aristotle.—Dialectical process employed by Sokratês—essential
  connection between method and subject.—Essential
  connection also between the dialectic process and the
  logical distribution of subject-matter—one in many and
  many in one.—Persuasion of religious mission in Sokratês,
  prompting him to extend his colloquial cross-examination
  to noted men.—His cross-examining purpose was not confined
  to noted men, but of universal application.—Leading
  ideas which directed the scrutiny of Sokratês—contrast
  between the special professions and the general duties
  of social life.—Platonic dialogues—discussion whether
  virtue is teachable.—Conceit of knowledge without real
  knowledge—universal prevalence of it.—Such confident
  persuasion, without science, belonged at that time to
  astronomy and physics, as well as to the subjects of man
  and society—it is now confined to the latter.—Sokratês
  first lays down the idea of ethical science, comprising the
  appropriate ethical end with theory and precepts.—Earnestness
  with which Sokratês inculcated self-examination—effect of
  his conversation upon others.—Preceptorial and positive
  exhortation of Sokratês chiefly brought out by Xenophon.—This
  was not the peculiarity of Sokratês—his powerful method
  of stirring up the analytical faculties.—Negative and
  indirect scrutiny of Sokratês produced strong thirst,
  and active efforts, for the attainment of positive
  truth.—Inductive process of scrutiny, and Baconian spirit, of
  Sokratês.—Sokratic method tends to create minds capable of
  forming conclusions for themselves—not to plant conclusions
  ready-made.—Grecian dialectics—their many-sided handling of
  subjects—force of the negative arm.—The subjects to which
  they were applied—man and society—essentially required such
  handling—reason why.—Real distinction and variance between
  Sokratês and the sophists.—Prodigious efficacy of Sokratês in
  forming new philosophical minds.—General theory of Sokratês
  on ethics—he resolved virtue into knowledge, or wisdom.—This
  doctrine defective as stating a part for the whole.—He was
  led to this general doctrine by the analogy of special
  professions.—Constant reference of Sokratês to duties of
  practice and detail.—The derivative reasonings of Sokratês
  were of larger range than his general doctrine.—Political
  opinions of Sokratês.—Long period during which Sokratês
  exercised his vocation as a public converser.—Accusation
  against him by Melêtus, Anytus, and Lykon.—The real
  ground for surprise is, that that accusation had not
  been preferred before.—Inevitable unpopularity incurred
  by Sokratês in his mission.—It was only from the general
  toleration of the Athenian democracy and population, that
  he was allowed to go on so long.—Particular circumstances
  which brought on the trial of Sokratês.—Private offence of
  Anytus.—Unpopularity arising to Sokratês from his connection
  with Kritias and Alkibiadês.—Enmity of the poets and rhetors
  to Sokratês.—Indictment—grounds of the accusers—effects
  of the “Clouds” of Aristophanês, in creating prejudice
  against Sokratês.—Accusation of corruption in teaching was
  partly founded on political grounds.—Perversion of the
  poets alleged against him.—Remarks of Xenophon upon these
  accusations.—The charges touch upon the defective point of
  the Sokratic ethical theory.—His political strictures.—The
  verdict against Sokratês was brought upon him partly
  by his own concurrence.—Small majority by which he was
  condemned.—Sokratês defended himself like one who did not
  care to be acquitted.—The “Platonic Apology.”—Sentiment
  of Sokratês about death.—Effect of his defence upon the
  dikasts.—Assertion of Xenophon that Sokratês might have been
  acquitted if he had chosen it.—The sentence—how passed in
  Athenian procedure.—Sokratês is called upon to propose some
  counter-penalty against himself—his behavior.—Aggravation
  of feeling in the dikasts against him in consequence of
  his behavior.—Sentence of death—resolute adherence of
  Sokratês to his own convictions.—Satisfaction of Sokratês
  with the sentence, on deliberate conviction.—Sokratês in
  prison for thirty days—he refuses to accept the means of
  escape—his serene death.—Originality of Sokratês.—Views
  taken of Sokratês as a moral preacher and as a skeptic—the
  first inadequate, the second incorrect.—Sokratês, positive
  and practical in his end; negative only in his means.—Two
  points on which Sokratês is systematically negative.—Method
  of Sokratês of universal application.—Condemnation of
  Sokratês one of the misdeeds of intolerance.—Extenuating
  circumstances—principle of orthodox enforcement recognized
  generally in ancient times.—Number of personal enemies made
  by Sokratês.—His condemnation brought on by himself.—The
  Athenians did not repent it.                               399-496






About a year elapsed between the catastrophe of the Athenians near
Syracuse and the victory which they gained over the Milêsians, on
landing near Milêtus (from September 413 B.C., to September 412
B.C.). After the first of those two events, the complete ruin of
Athens had appeared both to her enemies and to herself, impending
and irreparable. But so astonishing, so rapid, and so energetic had
been her rally, that, at the time of the second, she was found again
carrying on a tolerable struggle, though with impaired resources
and on a purely defensive system, against enemies both bolder and
more numerous than ever. Nor is there any reason to doubt that her
foreign affairs might have gone on thus improving, had they not been
endangered at this critical moment by the treason of a fraction of
her own citizens, bringing her again to the brink of ruin, from which
she was only rescued by the incompetence of her enemies.

That treason took its first rise from the exile Alkibiadês. I have
already recounted how this man, alike unprincipled and energetic,
had thrown himself with his characteristic ardor into the service of
Sparta, and had indicated to her the best means of aiding Syracuse,
of inflicting positive injury upon Athens, and lastly, of provoking
revolt among the Ionic allies of the latter. It was by his boldness
and personal connections in Ionia that the revolt of Chios and
Milêtus had been determined.

In the course of a few months, however, he had greatly lost the
confidence of the Spartans. The revolt of the Asiatic dependencies
of Athens had not been accomplished so easily and rapidly as he had
predicted; Chalkideus, the Spartan commander with whom he had acted
was defeated and slain near Milêtus; the ephor Endius, by whom he
was chiefly protected, retained his office only for one year, and
was succeeded by other ephors,[1] just about the end of September,
or beginning of October, when the Athenians gained their second
victory near Milêtus, and were on the point of blocking up the town;
while his personal enemy king Agis still remained to persecute him.
Moreover, there was in the character of this remarkable man something
so essentially selfish, vain, and treacherous, that no one could
ever rely upon his faithful coöperation. And as soon as any reverse
occurred, that very energy and ability, which seldom failed him, made
those with whom he acted the more ready to explain the mischance, by
supposing that he had betrayed them.

  [1] See Thucyd. v, 36.

It was thus that, after the defeat of Milêtus, king Agis was enabled
to discredit Alkibiadês as a traitor to Sparta; upon which the new
ephors sent out at once an order to the general Astyochus, to put
him to death.[2] Alkibiadês had now an opportunity of tasting the
difference between Spartan and Athenian procedure. Though his enemies
at Athens were numerous and virulent, with all the advantage, so
unspeakable in political warfare, of being able to raise the cry
of irreligion against him, yet the utmost which they could obtain
was that he should be summoned home to take his trial before the
dikastery. At Sparta, without any positive ground of crimination, and
without any idea of judicial trial, his enemies procure an order that
he shall be put to death.

  [2] Thucyd. viii, 45. Καὶ ἀπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἀφικομένης ἐπιστολῆς πρὸς
  Ἀστύοχον ἐκ Λακεδαίμονος ὥστ᾽ ἀποκτεῖναι (ἦν γὰρ καὶ τῷ Ἄγιδι
  ἐχθρὸς ~καὶ ἄλλως ἄπιστος~ ἐφαίνετο), etc.

Alkibiadês, however, got intimation of the order in time to retire
to Tissaphernês. Probably he was forewarned by Astyochus himself, not
ignorant that so monstrous a deed would greatly alienate the Chians
and Milêsians, nor foreseeing the full mischief which his desertion
would bring upon Sparta. With that flexibility of character which
enabled him at once to master and take up a new position, Alkibiadês
soon found means to insinuate himself into the confidence of the
satrap. He began now to play a game neither Spartan nor Athenian, but
Persian and anti-Hellenic: a game of duplicity to which Tissaphernês
himself was spontaneously disposed, but to which the intervention
of a dexterous Grecian negotiator was indispensable. It was by no
means the interest of the Great King, Alkibiadês urged, to lend such
effective aid to either of the contending parties as would enable
it to crush the other: he ought neither to bring up the Phenician
fleet to the aid of the Lacedæmonians, nor to furnish that abundant
pay which would procure for them indefinite levies of new Grecian
force. He ought so to feed and prolong the war, as to make each party
an instrument of exhaustion and impoverishment against the other,
and thus himself to rise on the ruins of both: first to break down
the Athenian empire by means of the Peloponnesians, and afterwards
to expel the Peloponnesians themselves; which might be effected
with little trouble if they were weakened by a protracted previous

  [3] Thucyd. viii, 45, 46.

Thus far Alkibiadês gave advice, as a Persian counsellor, not
unsuitable to the policy of the court of Susa. But he seldom
gave advice without some view to his own profit, ambition, or
antipathies. Cast off unceremoniously by the Lacedæmonians, he was
now driven to seek restoration in his own country. To accomplish
this object, it was necessary not only that he should preserve her
from being altogether ruined, but that he should present himself
to the Athenians as one who could, if restored, divert the aid of
Tissaphernês from Lacedæmon to Athens. Accordingly, he farther
suggested to the satrap, that while it was essential to his interest
not to permit land power and maritime power to be united in the same
hands, whether Lacedæmonian or Athenian, it would nevertheless be
found easier to arrange matters with the empire and pretensions of
Athens than with those of Lacedæmon. The former, he argued, neither
sought nor professed any other object than the subjection of her own
maritime dependencies, in return for which she would willingly leave
all the Asiatic Greeks in the hands of the Great King; while the
latter, forswearing all idea of empire, and professing ostentatiously
to aim at the universal enfranchisement of every Grecian city, could
not with the smallest consistency conspire to deprive the Asiatic
Greeks of the same privilege. This view appeared to be countenanced
by the objection which Theramenês and many of the Peloponnesian
officers had taken to the first convention concluded by Chalkideus
and Alkibiadês with Tissaphernês: objections afterwards renewed by
Lichas even against the second modified convention of Theramenês,
and accompanied with an indignant protest against the idea of
surrendering to the Great King all the territory which had been ever
possessed by his predecessors.[4]

  [4] Thucyd. viii, 46-52.

All these latter arguments, whereby Alkibiadês professed to create in
the mind of the satrap a preference for Athens, were either futile or
founded on false assumptions. For on the one hand, even Lichas never
refused to concur in surrendering the Asiatic Greeks to Persia; while
on the other hand, the empire of Athens, so long as she retained any
empire, was pretty sure to be more formidable to Persia than any
efforts undertaken by Sparta under the disinterested pretence of
liberating generally the Grecian cities. Nor did Tissaphernês at all
lend himself to any such positive impression; though he felt strongly
the force of the negative recommendations of Alkibiadês, that he
should do no more for the Peloponnesians than was sufficient to feed
the war, without insuring to them either a speedy or a decisive
success: or rather, this duplicity was so congenial to his Oriental
mind, that there was no need of Alkibiadês to recommend it. The real
use of the Athenian exile, was to assist the satrap in carrying it
into execution; and to provide for him those plausible pretences and
justifications, which he was to issue as a substitute for effective
supplies of men and money. Established along with Tissaphernês at
Magnesia,—the same place which had been occupied about fifty years
before by another Athenian exile, equally unprincipled, and yet
abler, Themistoklês,—Alkibiadês served as interpreter of his views in
all his conversations with the Greeks, and appeared to be thoroughly
in his confidence: an appearance of which he took advantage to pass
himself off falsely upon the Athenians at Samos, as having the power
of turning Persian wealth to the aid of Athens.

The first payment made by Tissaphernês, immediately after the
capture of Iasus and of the revolted Amorgês, to the Peloponnesians
at Milêtus, was at the rate of one drachma per head. But notice was
given that for the future it would be reduced one half, and for this
reduction Alkibiadês undertook to furnish a reason. The Athenians,
he urged, gave no more than half a drachma; not because they could
not afford more, but because, from their long experience of nautical
affairs, they had found that higher pay spoiled the discipline of the
seamen by leading them into excesses and over-indulgence, as well as
by inducing too ready leave of absence to be granted, in confidence
that the high pay would induce them to return when called for.[5]
As he probably never expected that such subterfuges, employed at a
moment when Athens was so poor that she could not even pay the half
drachma per head, would carry conviction to any one, so he induced
Tissaphernês to strengthen their effect by individual bribes to the
generals and trierarchs: a mode of argument which was found effectual
in silencing the complaints of all, with the single exception of the
Syracusan Hermokratês. In regard to other Grecian cities who sent
to ask pecuniary aid, and especially Chios, Alkibiadês spoke out
with less reserve. They had been hitherto compelled to contribute to
Athens, he said, and now that they had shaken off this payment, they
must not shrink from imposing upon themselves equal or even greater
burdens in their own defence. Nor was it anything less, he added,
than sheer impudence in the Chians, the richest people in Greece,
if they required a foreign military force for their protection, to
require at the same time that others should furnish the means of
paying it.[6] At the same time, however, he intimated,—by way of
keeping up hopes for the future,—that Tissaphernês was at present
carrying on the war at his own cost; but if hereafter remittances
should arrive from Susa, the full rate of pay would be resumed, with
the addition of aid to the Grecian cities in any other way which
could be reasonably asked. To this promise was added an assurance
that the Phenician fleet was now under equipment, and would shortly
be brought up to their aid, so as to give them a superiority which
would render resistance hopeless: an assurance not merely deceitful
but mischievous, since it was employed to dissuade them from all
immediate action, and to paralyze their navy during its moments
of fullest vigor and efficiency. Even the reduced rate of pay was
furnished so irregularly, and the Peloponnesian force kept so
starved, that the duplicity of the satrap became obvious to every
one, and was only carried through by his bribery to the officers.[7]

  [5] Thucyd. viii, 45. Οἱ δὲ τὰς ναῦς ἀπολείπωσιν, οὐχ ὑπολιπόντες
  ἐς ὁμήρειαν τὸν προσοφειλόμενον μισθόν.

  This passage is both doubtful in the text and difficult in
  the translation. Among the many different explanations given
  by the commentators, I adopt that of Dr. Arnold as the least
  unsatisfactory, though without any confidence that it is right.

  [6] Thucyd. viii, 45. Τὰς τε πόλεις δεομένας χρημάτων ἀπήλασεν,
  αὐτὸς ἀντιλέγων ὑπὲρ τοῦ Τισσαφέρνους, ὡς οἱ μὲν Χῖοι ἀναίσχυντοι
  εἶεν, πλουσιώτατοι ὄντες τῶν Ἑλλήνων, ἐπικουρίᾳ δὲ ὅμως σωζόμενοι
  ἀξιοῦσι καὶ τοῖς σώμασι καὶ τοῖς χρήμασιν ἄλλους ὑπὲρ τῆς ἐκείνων
  ἐλευθερίας κινδυνεύειν.

  [7] Thucyd. viii, 46. Τήν τε τροφὴν κακῶς ἐπόριζε τοῖς
  Πελοποννησίοις καὶ ναυμαχεῖν οὐκ εἴα· ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰς Φοινίσσας ναῦς
  φάσκων ἥξειν καὶ ἐκ περιόντος ἀγωνιεῖσθαι ἔφθειρε τὰ πράγματα
  καὶ τὴν ἀκμὴν τοῦ ναυτικοῦ αὐτῶν ἀφείλετο, γενομένην καὶ πάνυ
  ἰσχυρὰν, τά τε ἄλλα, καταφανέστερον ἢ ὥστε λανθάνειν, οὐ προθύμως

While Alkibiadês, as the confidential agent and interpreter of
Tissaphernês, was carrying on this anti-Peloponnesian policy through
the autumn and winter of 412-411 B.C.,—partly during the stay of the
Peloponnesian fleet at Milêtus, partly after it had moved to Knidus
and Rhodes,—he was at the same time opening correspondence with the
Athenian officers at Samos. His breach with the Peloponnesians, as
well as his ostensible position in the service of Tissaphernês, were
facts well known among the Athenian armament; and his scheme was,
to procure both restoration and renewed power in his native city,
by representing himself as competent to bring over to her the aid
and alliance of Persia, through his ascendency over the mind of the
satrap. His hostility to the democracy, however, was so generally
known, that he despaired of accomplishing his return, unless he
could connect it with an oligarchical revolution; which, moreover,
was not less gratifying to his sentiment of vengeance for the past,
than to his ambition for the future. Accordingly, he sent over a
private message to the officers and trierarchs at Samos, several
of them doubtless his personal friends, desiring to be remembered
to the “best men” in the armament,[8] such was one of the standing
phrases by which oligarchical men knew and described each other; and
intimating his anxious wish to come again as a citizen among them,
bringing with him Tissaphernês as their ally. But he would do this
only on condition of the formation of an oligarchical government; nor
would he ever again set foot amidst the odious democracy to whom he
owed his banishment.[9]

  [8] Thucyd. viii, 47. Τὰ μὲν καὶ Ἀλκιβιάδου προσπέμψαντος λόγους
  ἐς τοὺς δυνατωτάτους αὐτῶν (Ἀθηναίων) ἄνδρας, ὥστε μνησθῆναι
  περὶ αὐτοῦ ἐς ~τοὺς βελτίστους~ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ὅτι ἐπ᾽ ὀλιγαρχίᾳ
  βούλεται, καὶ οὐ πονηρίᾳ οὐδὲ δημοκρατίᾳ τῇ ἑαυτὸν ἐκβαλούσῃ,
  κατελθὼν, etc.

  [9] Thucyd. viii, 47.

Such was the first originating germ of that temporary calamity, which
so nearly brought Athens to absolute ruin, called the Oligarchy of
Four Hundred: a suggestion from the same exile who had already so
deeply wounded his country by sending Gylippus to Syracuse, and
the Lacedæmonian garrison to Dekeleia. As yet, no man in Samos had
thought of a revolution; but the moment that the idea was thus
started, the trierarchs and wealthy men in the armament caught at
it with avidity. To subvert the democracy for their own profit, and
to be rewarded for doing so with the treasures of Persia as a means
of carrying on the war against the Peloponnesians, was an extent of
good fortune greater than they could possibly have hoped. Amidst
the exhaustion of the public treasure at Athens, and the loss of
tribute from her dependencies, it was now the private proprietors,
and most of all, the wealthy proprietors, upon whom the cost of
military operations fell: from which burden they here saw the
prospect of relief, coupled with increased chance of victory. Elate
with so tempting a promise, a deputation of them crossed over from
Samos to the mainland to converse personally with Alkibiadês, who
again renewed his assurances in person, that he would bring not only
Tissaphernês, but the Great King himself, into active alliance and
coöperation with Athens, provided they would put down the Athenian
democracy, which he affirmed that the king could not possibly
trust.[10] He doubtless did not omit to set forth the other side of
the alternative; that, if the proposition were refused, Persian aid
would be thrown heartily into the scale of the Peloponnesians, in
which case, there was no longer any hope of safety for Athens.

  [10] Thucyd. viii, 48.

On the return of the deputation with these fresh assurances, the
oligarchical men in Samos came together, both in greater number
and with redoubled ardor, to take their measures for subverting
the democracy. They even ventured to speak of the project openly
among the mass of the armament, who listened to it with nothing but
aversion, but who were silenced at least, though not satisfied, by
being told that the Persian treasury would be thrown open to them on
condition, and only on condition, that they would relinquish their
democracy. Such was at this time the indispensable need of foreign
money for the purposes of the war, such was the certainty of ruin,
if the Persian treasure went to the aid of the enemy, that the most
democratical Athenian might well hesitate when the alternative was
thus laid before him. The oligarchical conspirators, however, knew
well that they had the feeling of the armament altogether against
them, that the best which they could expect from it was a reluctant
acquiescence, and that they must accomplish the revolution by their
own hands and management. They formed themselves into a political
confederacy, or hetæria, for the purpose of discussing the best
measures towards their end. It was resolved to send a deputation
to Athens, with Peisander[11] at the head, to make known the new
prospects, and to put the standing oligarchical clubs, or hetæries,
into active coöperation for the purpose of violently breaking up
the democracy, and farther to establish oligarchical governments
in all the remaining dependencies of Athens. They imagined that
these dependencies would be thus induced to remain faithful to her,
perhaps even that some of those which had already revolted might come
back to their allegiance, when once she should be relieved from her
democracy, and placed under the rule of her “best and most virtuous

  [11] It is asserted in an Oration of Lysias (Orat. xxv, Δήμου
  Καταλύσεως Ἀπολογία, c. 3, p. 766, Reisk.) that Phrynichus and
  Peisander embarked in this oligarchical conspiracy for the
  purpose of getting clear of previous crimes committed under the
  democracy. But there is nothing to countenance this assertion,
  and the narrative of Thucydidês gives quite a different color to
  their behavior.

  Peisander was now serving with the armament at Samos; moreover,
  his forwardness and energy—presently to be described—in taking
  the formidable initiative of putting down the Athenian democracy,
  is to me quite sufficient evidence that the taunts of the
  comic writers against his cowardice are unfounded. Xenophon in
  the Symposion repeats this taunt (ii, 14) which also appears
  in Aristophanês, Eupolis, Plato Comicus, and others: see the
  passages collected in Meineke, Histor. Critic. Comicor. Græcorum,
  vol. i, p. 178, etc.

  Modern writers on Grecian history often repeat such bitter jests
  as if they were so much genuine and trustworthy evidence against
  the person libelled.

Hitherto, the bargain tendered for acceptance had been, subversion
of the Athenian democracy and restoration of Alkibiadês, on one
hand, against hearty coöperation, and a free supply of gold from
Persia, on the other. But what security was there that such bargain
would be realized, or that when the first part should have been
brought to pass, the second would follow? There was absolutely no
security except the word of Alkibiadês,—very little to be trusted,
even when promising what was in his own power to perform, as we may
recollect from his memorable dealing with the Lacedæmonian envoys at
Athens,—and on the present occasion, vouching for something in itself
extravagant and preposterous. For what reasonable motive could be
imagined to make the Great King shape his foreign policy according
to the interests of Alkibiadês, or to inspire him with such lively
interest in the substitution of oligarchy for democracy at Athens?
This was a question which the oligarchical conspirators at Samos not
only never troubled themselves to raise, but which they had every
motive to suppress. The suggestion of Alkibiadês coincided fully with
their political interest and ambition. Their object was to put down
the democracy, and get possession of the government for themselves;
and the promise of Persian gold, if they could get it accredited,
was inestimable as a stepping-stone towards this goal, whether it
afterwards turned out to be a delusion or not. The probability is,
that having a strong interest in believing it themselves, and a still
stronger interest in making others believe it, they talked each other
into a sincere persuasion. Without adverting to this fact, we should
be at a loss to understand how the word of such a man as Alkibiadês,
on such a matter, could be so implicitly accepted as to set in motion
a whole train of novel and momentous events.

There was one man, and one man alone, so far as we know, who
ventured openly to call it in question. This was Phrynichus, one of
the generals of the fleet, who had recently given valuable counsel
after the victory of Milêtus; a clear-sighted and sagacious man,
but personally hostile to Alkibiadês, and thoroughly seeing through
his character and projects. Though Phrynichus was afterwards one of
the chief organizers of the oligarchical movement, when it became
detached from, and hostile to Alkibiadês, yet under the actual
circumstances he discountenanced it altogether.[12] Alkibiadês, he
said, had no attachment to oligarchical government rather than to
democratical; nor could he be relied on for standing by it after it
should have been set up. His only purpose was, to make use of the
oligarchical conspiracy now forming, for his own restoration; which,
if brought to pass, could not fail to introduce political discord
into the camp, the greatest misfortune that could at present happen.
As to the Persian king, it was unreasonable to expect that he would
put himself out of his way to aid the Athenians, his old enemies,
in whom he had no confidence, while he had the Peloponnesians
present as allies, with a good naval force and powerful cities in
his own territory, from whom he had never experienced either insult
or annoyance. Moreover, the dependencies of Athens—upon whom it
was now proposed to confer simultaneously with Athens herself, the
blessing of oligarchical government—would receive that boon with
indifference. Those who had already revolted would not come back,
those who yet remained faithful, would not be the more inclined to
remain so longer. Their object would be to obtain autonomy, either
under oligarchy or democracy, as the case might be. Assuredly, they
would not expect better treatment from an oligarchical government
at Athens, than from a democratical; for they knew that those
self-styled “good and virtuous” men, who would form the oligarchy,
were, as ministers of democracy, the chief advisers and instigators
of the people to iniquitous deeds, most commonly for nothing but
their own individual profit. From an Athenian oligarchy, the citizens
of these dependencies had nothing to expect but violent executions
without any judicial trial; but under the democracy, they could
obtain shelter and the means of appeal, while their persecutors were
liable to restraint and chastisement, from the people and the popular
dikasteries. Such, Phrynichus affirmed on his own personal knowledge,
was the genuine feeling among the dependencies of Athens.[13] Having
thus shown the calculations of the conspirators—as to Alkibiadês,
as to Persia, and as to the allied dependencies—to be all illusory,
Phrynichus concluded by entering his decided protest against adopting
the propositions of Alkibiadês.

  [12] Phrynichus is affirmed, in an Oration of Lysias, to have
  been originally poor, keeping sheep in the country part of
  Attica; then, to have resided in the city, and practised what was
  called _sycophancy_, or false and vexatious accusation before
  the dikastery and the public assembly, (Lysias, Orat. xx. pro
  Polystrato, c. 3, p. 674, Reisk.)

  [13] Thucyd. viii, 48. Τάς τε ξυμμαχίδας πόλεις, αἷς ὑπεσχῆσθαι
  δὴ σφᾶς ὀλιγαρχίαν, ὅτι δὴ καὶ αὐτοὶ οὐ δημοκρατήσονται,
  εὖ εἰδέναι ἔφη ὅτι οὐδὲν μᾶλλον σφίσιν οὔθ᾽ αἱ ἀφεστηκυῖαι
  προσχωρήσονται, οὔθ᾽ αἱ ὑπάρχουσαι βεβαιότεραι ἔσονται· οὐ γὰρ
  βουλήσεσθαι αὐτοὺς μετ᾽ ὀλιγαρχίας ἢ δημοκρατίας δουλεύειν
  μᾶλλον, ἢ μεθ᾽ ὁποτέρου ἂν τύχωσι τούτων ἐλευθέρους εἶναι. Τούς
  ~τε καλοὺς κἀγαθοὺς ὀνομαζομένους~ οὐκ ἐλάσσω αὐτοὺς νομίζειν
  σφίσι πράγματα παρέξειν τοῦ ~δήμου, ποριστὰς ὄντας καὶ ἐσηγητὰς
  τῶν κακῶν τῷ δήμῳ, ἐξ ὧν τὰ πλείω αὐτοὺς ὠφελεῖσθαι~· καὶ τὸ μὲν
  ἐπ᾽ ἐκείνοις εἶναι, καὶ ἄκριτοι ἂν καὶ βιαιότερον ἀποθνήσκειν,
  τὸν τε ~δῆμον σφῶν τε καταφυγὴν εἶναι καὶ ἐκείνων σωφρονιστήν~.
  Καὶ ταῦτα ~παρ᾽ αὐτῶν τῶν ἔργων ἐπισταμένας~ τὰς πόλεις σαφῶς
  αὐτὸς εἰδέναι, ὅτι οὕτω νομίζουσι.

  In taking the comparison between oligarchy and democracy in
  Greece, there is hardly any evidence more important than this
  passage: a testimony to the comparative merit of democracy,
  pronounced by an oligarchical conspirator, and sanctioned by an
  historian himself unfriendly to the democracy.

But in this protest, borne out afterwards by the result, he
stood nearly alone. The tide of opinion, among the oligarchical
conspirators, ran so furiously the other way, that it was resolved
to despatch Peisander and others immediately to Athens to consummate
the oligarchical revolution as well as the recall of Alkibiadês; and
at the same time to propose to the people their new intended ally,

Phrynichus knew well what would be the consequence to himself—if
this consummation were brought about, as he foresaw that it probably
would be—from the vengeance of his enemy Alkibiadês against his
recent opposition. Satisfied that the latter would destroy him,
he took measures for destroying Alkibiadês beforehand, even by a
treasonable communication to the Lacedæmonian admiral Astyochus at
Milêtus, to whom he sent a secret account of the intrigues which
the Athenian exile was carrying on at Samos to the prejudice of the
Peloponnesians, prefaced with an awkward apology for this sacrifice
of the interests of his country to the necessity of protecting
himself against a personal enemy. But Phrynichus was imperfectly
informed of the real character of the Spartan commander, or of his
relations with Tissaphernês and Alkibiadês. Not merely was the latter
now at Magnesia, under the protection of the satrap, and out of the
power of the Lacedæmonians, but Astyochus, a traitor to his duty
through the gold of Tissaphernês, went up thither to show the letter
of Phrynichus to the very person whom it was intended to expose.
Alkibiadês forthwith sent intelligence to the generals and officers
at Samos, of the step taken by Phrynichus, and pressed them to put
him to death.

The life of Phrynichus now hung by a thread, and was probably
preserved only by that respect for judicial formalities so deeply
rooted in the Athenian character. In the extremity of danger,
he resorted to a still more subtle artifice to save himself.
He despatched a second letter to Astyochus, complaining of the
violation of confidence in regard to the former, but at the same time
intimating that he was now willing to betray to the Lacedæmonians the
camp and armament at Samos. He invited Astyochus to come and attack
the place, which was as yet unfortified, explaining minutely in what
manner the attack could be best conducted. And he concluded by saying
that this, as well as every other means of defence, must be pardoned
to one whose life was in danger from a personal enemy. Foreseeing
that Astyochus would betray this letter as he had betrayed the
former, Phrynichus waited a proper time, and then revealed to the
camp the intention of the enemy to make an attack, as if it had
reached him by private information. He insisted on the necessity of
immediate precautions, and himself, as general, superintended the
work of fortification, which was soon completed. Presently arrived
a letter from Alkibiadês, communicating to the army that Phrynichus
had betrayed them, and that the Peloponnesians were on the point of
making an attack. But this letter, arriving after the precautions
taken by order of Phrynichus himself had been already completed, was
construed as a mere trick on the part of Alkibiadês himself, through
his acquaintance with the intentions of the Peloponnesians, to raise
a charge of treasonable correspondence against his personal enemy.
The impression thus made by his second letter effaced the taint which
had been left upon Phrynichus by the first, insomuch that the latter
stood exculpated on both charges.[14]

  [14] Thucyd. viii, 50, 51.

But Phrynichus, though successful in extricating himself, failed
thoroughly in his manœuvre against the influence and life of
Alkibiadês; in whose favor the oligarchical movement not only
went on, but was transferred from Samos to Athens. On arriving
at the latter place, Peisander and his companions laid before
the public assembly the projects which had been conceived by the
oligarchs at Samos. The people were invited to restore Alkibiadês
and renounce their democratical constitution; in return for which,
they were assured of obtaining the Persian king as an ally, and
of overcoming the Peloponnesians.[15] Violent was the storm which
these propositions raised in the public assembly. Many speakers
rose in animated defence of the democracy; few, if any, distinctly
against it. The opponents of Alkibiadês indignantly denounced the
mischief of restoring him, in violation of the laws, and in reversal
of a judicial sentence, while the Eumolpidæ and Kerykes, the sacred
families connected with the Eleusinian mysteries which Alkibiadês had
violated, entered their solemn protest on religious grounds to the
same effect. Against all these vehement opponents, whose impassioned
invectives obtained the full sympathy of the assembly, Peisander had
but one simple reply. He called them forward successively by name,
and put to each the question: “What hope have you of salvation for
the city, when the Peloponnesians have a naval force against us fully
equal to ours, together with a greater number of allied cities, and
when the king as well as Tissaphernês are supplying them with money,
while we have no money left? What hope have you of salvation, unless
we can persuade the king to come over to our side?” The answer was a
melancholy negative, or perhaps not less melancholy silence. “Well,
then, rejoined Peisander, that object cannot possibly be attained,
unless we conduct our political affairs for the future in a more
moderate way, and put the powers of government more in the hands of a
few, and unless we recall Alkibiadês, the only man now living who is
competent to do the business. Under present circumstances, we surely
shall not lay greater stress upon our political constitution than
upon the salvation of the city; the rather as what we now enact may
be hereafter modified, if it be found not to answer.”

  [15] In the speech made by Theramenês (the Athenian) during the
  oligarchy of Thirty, seven years afterwards, it is affirmed that
  the Athenian people voted the adoption of the oligarchy of Four
  Hundred, from being told that the _Lacedæmonians_ would never
  trust a democracy (Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 45).

  This is thoroughly incorrect, a specimen of the loose assertion
  of speakers in regard to facts even not very long past. At
  the moment when Theramenês said this, the question, what
  political constitution at Athens the Lacedæmonians would please
  to tolerate, was all-important to the Athenians. Theramenês
  transfers the feelings of the present to the incidents of the

Against the proposed oligarchical change, the repugnance of the
assembly was alike angry and unanimous. But they were silenced by
the imperious necessity of the case, as the armament at Samos had
been before; and admitting the alternative laid down by Peisander,
as I have observed already, the most democratical citizen might be
embarrassed as to his vote. Whether any speaker, like Phrynichus at
Samos, arraigned the fallacy of the alternative, and called upon
Peisander for some guarantee, better than mere asseveration, of the
benefits to come, we are not informed. But the general vote of the
assembly, reluctant and only passed in the hope of future change,
sanctioned his recommendation.[16] He and ten other envoys, invested
with full powers of negotiating with Alkibiadês and Tissaphernês,
were despatched to Ionia immediately. Peisander at the same time
obtained from the assembly a vote deposing Phrynichus from his
command; under the accusation of having traitorously caused the loss
of Iasus and the capture of Amorgês, after the battle of Milêtus,
but from the real certainty that he would prove an insuperable bar
to all negotiations with Alkibiadês. Phrynichus, with his colleague
Skironidês, being thus displaced, Leon and Diomedon were sent to
Samos as commanders in their stead; an appointment of which, as
will be presently seen, Peisander was far from anticipating the

  [16] Thucyd. viii, 54. Ὁ δὲ δῆμος τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἀκούων χαλεπῶς
  ἔφερε τὸ περὶ τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας· σαφῶς δὲ διδασκόμενος ὑπὸ τοῦ
  Πεισάνδρου μὴ εἶναι ἄλλην σωτηρίαν, ~δείσας, καὶ ἅμα ἐλπίζων ὡς
  καὶ μεταβαλεῖται, ἐνέδωκε~.

  “Atheniensibus, imminente periculo belli, major salutis quam
  dignitatis cura fuit. Itaque, permittente populo, imperium ad
  Senatum transfertur,” (Justin, v, 3).

  Justin is correct, so far as this vote goes: but he takes
  no notice of the change of matters afterwards, when the
  establishment of the Four Hundred was consummated _without_ the
  promised benefit of Persian alliance, and by simple terrorism.

Before his departure for Asia, he took a step yet more important. He
was well aware that the recent vote—a result of fear inspired by the
war, representing a sentiment utterly at variance with that of the
assembly, and only procured as the price of Persian aid against a
foreign enemy—would never pass into a reality by the spontaneous act
of the people themselves. It was, indeed, indispensable as a first
step; partly as an authority to himself, partly also as a confession
of the temporary weakness of the democracy, and as a sanction and
encouragement for the oligarchical forces to show themselves. But
the second step yet remained to be performed; that of calling these
forces into energetic action, organizing an amount of violence
sufficient to extort from the people actual submission in addition
to verbal acquiescence, and thus, as it were, tying down the patient
while the process of emasculation was being consummated. Peisander
visited all the various political clubs, conspiracies, or hetæries,
which were habitual and notorious at Athens; associations, bound
together by oath, among the wealthy citizens, partly for purposes of
amusement, but chiefly pledging the members to stand by each other
in objects of political ambition, in judicial trials, in accusation
or defence of official men after the period of office had expired,
in carrying points through the public assembly, etc. Among these
clubs were distributed most of “the best citizens, the good and
honorable men, the elegant men, the well known, the temperate, the
honest and moderate men,”[17] etc., to employ that complimentary
phraseology by which wealthy and anti-popular politicians have chosen
to designate each other, in ancient as well as in modern times. And
though there were doubtless individuals among them who deserved
these appellations in their best sense, yet the general character
of the clubs was not the less exclusive and oligarchical. In the
details of political life, they had different partialities as well
as different antipathies, and were oftener in opposition than in
coöperation with each other. But they furnished, when taken together,
a formidable anti-popular force; generally either in abeyance or
disseminated in the accomplishment of smaller political measures
and separate personal successes; but capable, at a special crisis,
of being evoked, organized, and put in conjoint attack, for the
subversion of the democracy. Such was the important movement now
initiated by Peisander. He visited separately each of these clubs,
put them into communication with each other, and exhorted them all
to joint aggressive action against their common enemy the democracy,
at a moment when it was already intimidated and might be finally

  [17] Οἱ βέλτιστοι, οἱ καλοκἀγαθοὶ, οἱ χαριέντες, οἱ γνώριμοι, οἱ
  σώφρονες, etc.: le parti honnête et modéré, etc.

  [18] About these ξυνωμοσίαι ἐπὶ δίκαις καὶ ἀρχαῖς, political and
  judicial associations, see above, in this History, vol. iv, ch.
  xxxvii, pp. 399, 400; vol. vi, ch. li. pp. 290, 291: see also
  Hermann Büttner, Geschichte der politischen Hetærieen zu Athen.
  pp. 75, 79, Leipsic, 1840.

  There seem to have been similar political clubs or associations
  at Carthage, exercising much influence, and holding perpetual
  banquets as a means of largess to the poor, Aristotel. Polit. ii,
  8, 2; Livy, xxxiii, 46; xxxiv, 61; compare Kluge, ad Aristotel.
  De Polit. Carthag. pp. 46-127, Wratisl. 1824.

  The like political associations were both of long duration
  among the nobility of Rome, and of much influence for political
  objects as well as judicial success: “coitiones (compare Cicero
  pro Cluentio, c. 54, s. 148) honorum adipiscendorum causâ factæ,
  factiones, sodalitates.” The incident described in Livy (ix.
  26) is remarkable. The senate, suspecting the character and
  proceedings of these clubs, appointed the dictator Mænius (in
  312 B.C.) as commissioner with full power to investigate and
  deal with them. But such was the power of the clubs, in a case
  where they had a common interest and acted in coöperation (as was
  equally the fact under Peisander at Athens), that they completely
  frustrated the inquiry, and went on as before. “Nec diutius,
  _ut fit, quam dum recens erat, quæstio per clara nomina reorum
  viguit_: inde labi cœpit ad viliora capita, _donec coitionibus
  factionibusque, adversus quas comparata erat, oppressa est_.”
  (Livy. ix, 26.) Compare Dio. Cass. xxxvii, 57, about the ἑταιρικὰ
  of the Triumvirs at Rome. Quintus Cicero (de Petition. Consulat.
  c. 5) says to his brother, the orator: “Quod si satis grati
  homines essent, hæc omnia (_i.e._ all the _subsidia_ necessary
  for success in his coming election) tibi parata esse debebant,
  sicut parata esse confido. Nam hoc biennio quatuor _sodalitates_
  civium ad ambitionem gratiosissimorum tibi obligasti.... Horum in
  causis ad te deferundis _quidnam eorum sodales tibi receperint et
  confirmarint_, scio; nam interfui.”

  See Th. Mommsen, De Collegiis et Sodaliciis Romanorum, Kiel,
  1843, ch. iii, sects. 5, 6, 7; also the Dissertation of Wunder,
  inserted in the Onomasticon Tullianum of Orelli and Baiter, in
  the last volume of their edition of Cicero, pp. 200-210, ad Ind.
  Legum; _Lex Licinia de Sodalitiis_.

  As an example of these clubs or conspiracies for mutual support
  in ξυνωμοσίαι ἐπὶ δίκαις (not including ἀρχαῖς, so far as we can
  make out), we may cite the association called οἱ Εἰκαδεῖς, made
  known to us by an Inscription recently discovered in Attica, and
  published first in Dr. Wordsworth’s Athens and Attica, p. 223;
  next in Ross, Die Demen von Attica, Preface, p. v. These Εἰκαδεῖς
  are an association, the members of which are bound to each other
  by a common oath, as well as by a curse which the mythical hero
  of the association, Eikadeus, is supposed to have imprecated
  (ἐνάντιον τῇ ἄρᾳ ἣν Εἰκαδεὺς ἐπηράσατο); they possess common
  property, and it was held contrary to the oath for any of the
  members to enter into a pecuniary process against the κοινόν:
  compare analogous obligations among the Roman Sodales, Mommsen,
  p. 4. Some members had violated their obligation upon this point:
  Polyxenus had attacked them at law for false witness: and the
  general body of the Eikadeis pass a vote of thanks to him for so
  doing, and choose three of their members to assist him in the
  cause before the dikastery (οἳτινες συναγωνιοῦνται τῷ ἐπεσκημμένῳ
  τοῖς μάρτυσι): compare the ἑταιρίαι alluded to in Demosthenês
  (cont. Theokrin. c. 11, p. 1335) as assisting Theokrinês before
  the dikastery, and intimidating the witnesses.

  The Guilds in the European cities during the Middle Ages, usually
  sworn to by every member, and called _conjurationes Amicitiæ_,
  bear in many respects a resemblance to these ξυνωμοσίαι; though
  the judicial proceedings in the mediæval cities, being so much
  less popular than at Athens, narrowed their range of interference
  in this direction: their political importance, however, was quite
  equal. (See Wilda, Das Gilden Wesen des Mittelalters, Abschn. ii,
  p. 167, etc.)

  “Omnes autem ad Amicitiam pertinentes villæ per _fidem et
  sacramentum_ firmaverunt, quod unus subveniat alteri tanquam
  fratri suo in utili et honesto,” (ib. p. 148.)

Having taken other necessary measures towards the same purpose,
Peisander left Athens with his colleagues to enter upon his
negotiation with Tissaphernês. But the coöperation and aggressive
movement of the clubs which he had originated was prosecuted with
increased ardor during his absence, and even fell into hands more
organizing and effective than his own. The rhetorical teacher
Antiphon, of the deme Rhamnus, took it in hand especially, acquired
the confidence of the clubs, and drew the plan of campaign against
the democracy. He was a man estimable in private life, and not open
to pecuniary corruption: in other respects, of preëminent ability,—in
contrivance, judgment, speech, and action. The profession to which
he belonged, generally unpopular among the democracy, excluding him
from taking rank as a speaker either in the public assembly or the
dikastery: for a rhetorical teacher, contending in either of them
against a private speaker, to repeat a remark already once made, was
considered to stand at the same unfair advantage, as a fencing-master
fighting a duel with a gentleman would be held to stand in modern
times. Thus debarred himself from the showy celebrity of Athenian
political life, Antiphon became only the more consummate, as a master
of advice, calculation, scheming, and rhetorical composition,[19] to
assist the celebrity of others; insomuch that his silent assistance
in political and judicial debates, as a sort of chamber-counsel, was
highly appreciated and largely paid. Now such were precisely the
talents required for the present occasion; while Antiphon, who hated
the democracy for having hitherto kept him in the shade, gladly bent
his full talents towards its subversion.

  [19] The person described by Krito, in the Euthydêmus of Plato
  (c. 31, p. 305, C.), as having censured Sokratês for conversing
  with Euthydêmus and Dionysodorus, is presented exactly like
  Antiphon in Thucydidês: ἥκιστα νὴ τὸν Δία ῥήτωρ· οὐδὲ οἶμαι
  πώποτε αὐτὸν ἐπὶ δικαστήριον ἀναβεβηκέναι· ἀλλ᾽ ἐπαΐειν αὐτόν
  φασι περὶ τοῦ πράγματος, νὴ τὸν Δία, καὶ δεινὸν εἶναι καὶ δεινοὺς
  λόγους ξυντιθέναι.

  Heindorf thinks that Isokratês is here meant: Groen van
  Prinsterer talks of Lysias; Winkelmann, of Thrasymachus. The
  description would fit Antiphon as well as either of these three:
  though Stallbaum may perhaps be right in supposing no particular
  individual to have been in the mind of Plato.

  Οἱ συνδικεῖν ἐπιστάμενοι, whom Xenophon specifies as being so
  eminently useful to a person engaged in a lawsuit, are probably
  the persons who knew how to address the dikastery effectively in
  support of his case (Xenoph. Memorab. i, 2, 51).

Such was the man to whom Peisander, in departing, chiefly confided
the task of organizing the anti-popular clubs, for the consummation
of the revolution already in immediate prospect. His chief auxiliary
was Theramenês, another Athenian, now first named, of eminent ability
and cunning. His father (either natural or by adoption), Agnon, was
one of the probûli, and had formerly been founder of Amphipolis.
Even Phrynichus—whose sagacity we have already had occasion to
appreciate, and who, from hatred towards Alkibiadês, had pronounced
himself decidedly against the oligarchical movement at Samos—became
zealous in forwarding the movement at Athens, after his dismissal
from the command. He brought to the side of Antiphon and Theramenês
a contriving head not inferior to theirs, coupled with daring and
audacity even superior. Under such skilful leaders, the anti-popular
force of Athens was organized with a deep skill, and directed with a
dexterous wickedness, never before witnessed in Greece.

At the time when Peisander and the other envoys reached Ionia,
seemingly about the end of January or beginning of February 411
B.C., the Peloponnesian fleet had already quitted Milêtus and gone
to Knidus and Rhodes, on which latter island Leon and Diomedon made
some hasty descents, from the neighboring island of Chalkê. At the
same time the Athenian armament at Chios was making progress in the
siege of that place and the construction of the neighboring fort
at Delphinium. Pedaritus, the Lacedæmonian governor of the island,
had sent pressing messages to solicit aid from the Peloponnesians
at Rhodes, but no aid arrived; and he therefore resolved to attempt
a general sally and attack upon the Athenians with his whole
force, foreign as well as Chian. Though at first he obtained some
success, the battle ended in his complete defeat and death, with
great slaughter of the Chian troops, and with the loss of many whose
shields were captured in the pursuit.[20] The Chians, now reduced to
greater straits than before, and beginning to suffer severely from
famine, were only enabled to hold out by a partial reinforcement soon
afterwards obtained from the Peloponnesian guardships at Milêtus. A
Spartan named Leon, who had come out in the vessel of Antisthenês as
one of the epibatæ, or marines, conducted this reinforcing squadron
of twelve triremes, chiefly Thurian and Syracusan, succeeding
Pedaritus in the general command of the island.[21]

  [20] Thucyd. viii, 55, 56.

  [21] Thucyd. viii, 61. ἔτυχον δὲ ἔτι ἐν Ῥόδῳ ὄντος Ἀστυόχου ἐκ
  τῆς Μιλήτου Λέοντά τε ἄνδρα Σπαρτιάτην, ~ὃς Ἀντισθένει ἐπιβάτης~
  ξυνέπλει, τοῦτον κεκομισμένοι μετὰ τὸν Πεδαρίτου θάνατον ἄρχοντα,

  I do not see why the word ἐπιβάτης should not be construed here,
  as elsewhere, in its ordinary sense of _miles classiarius_. The
  commentators, see the notes of Dr. Arnold, Poppo, and Göller
  start difficulties which seem to me of little importance; and
  they imagine divers new meanings, for none of which any authority
  is produced. We ought not to wonder that a common _miles
  classiarius_, or marine, being a Spartan citizen, should be
  appointed commander at Chios, when, a few chapters afterwards, we
  find Thrasybulus at Samos promoted, from being a common hoplite
  in the ranks, to be one of the Athenian generals (viii. 73).

  The like remark may be made on the passage cited from Xenophon
  (Hellenic. i. 3, 17), about Hegesandridas—ἐπιβάτης ὢν Μινδάρου,
  where also the commentators reject the common meaning (see
  Schneider’s note in the Addenda to his edition of 1791, p. 97).
  The participle ὢν in that passage must be considered as an
  inaccurate substitute for γεγενημένος, since Mindarus was dead at
  the time. Hegesandridas _had been_ among the epibatæ of Mindarus,
  and was _now_ in command of a squadron on the coast of Thrace.

It was while Chios seemed thus likely to be recovered by Athens—and
while the superior Peloponnesian fleet was paralyzed at Rhodes by
Persian intrigues and bribes—that Peisander arrived in Ionia to open
his negotiations with Alkibiadês and Tissaphernês. He was enabled to
announce that the subversion of the democracy at Athens was already
begun, and would soon be consummated: and he now required the price
which had been promised in exchange, Persian alliance and aid to
Athens against the Peloponnesians. But Alkibiadês knew well that
he had promised what he had not the least chance of being able to
perform. The satrap had appeared to follow his advice,—or had rather
followed his own inclination, employing Alkibiadês as an instrument
and auxiliary,—in the endeavor to wear out both parties, and to keep
them nearly on an equality until each should ruin the other. But he
was no way disposed to identify himself with the cause of Athens, and
to break decidedly with the Peloponnesians, especially at a moment
when their fleet was both the greater of the two, and in occupation
of an island close to his own satrapy. Accordingly Alkibiadês, when
summoned by the Athenian envoys to perform his engagement, found
himself in a dilemma from which he could only escape by one of his
characteristic manœuvres.

Receiving the envoys himself in conjunction with Tissaphernês, and
speaking on behalf of the latter, he pushed his demands to an extent
which he knew that the Athenians would never concede, in order that
the rupture might seem to be on their side, and not on his. First,
he required the whole of Ionia to be conceded to the Great King;
next, all the neighboring islands, with some other items besides.[22]
Large as these requisitions were, comprehending the cession of Lesbos
and Samos as well as Chios, and replacing the Persian monarchy in
the condition in which it had stood in 496 B.C., before the Ionic
revolt, Peisander and his colleagues granted them all: so that
Alkibiadês was on the point of seeing his deception exposed and
frustrated. At last, he bethought himself of a fresh demand, which
touched Athenian pride, as well as Athenian safety, in the tenderest
place. He required that the Persian king should be held free to build
ships of war in unlimited number, and to keep them sailing along
the coast as he might think fit, through all these new portions of
territory. After the immense concessions already made, the envoys
not only rejected this fresh demand at once, but resented it as an
insult, which exposed the real drift and purpose of Alkibiadês.
Not merely did it cancel the boasted treaty, called the Peace of
Kallias, concluded about forty years before between Athens and
Persia, and limiting the Persian ships of war to the sea eastward
of Phasêlis, but it extinguished the maritime empire of Athens, and
compromised the security of all the coasts and islands of the Ægean.
To see Lesbos, Chios, and Samos, etc., in possession of Persia, was
sufficiently painful; but if there came to be powerful Persian fleets
on these islands it would be the certain precursor and means of
farther conquests to the westward, and would revive the aggressive
dispositions of the Great King, as they had stood at the beginning of
the reign of Xerxes. Peisander and his comrades, abruptly breaking
off the debate, returned to Samos; indignant at the discovery, which
they now made for the first time, that Alkibiadês had juggled them
from the outset, and was imposing conditions which he knew to be
inadmissible.[23] They still appear, however, to have thought that
Alkibiadês acted thus, not because he _could_ not, but because he
_would_ not, bring about the alliance under discussion.[24] They
suspected him of playing false with the oligarchical movement which
he had himself instigated, and of projecting the accomplishment of
his own restoration, coupled with the alliance of Tissaphernês,
into the bosom of the democracy which he had begun by denouncing.
Such was the light in which they presented his conduct, venting
their disappointment in invectives against his duplicity, and in
asseverations that he was after all unsuitable for a place in
oligarchical society. Such declarations, circulated at Samos, to
account for their unexpected failure in realizing the hopes which
they had raised, created among the armament an impression that
Alkibiadês was really favorable to the democracy, at the same time
leaving unabated the prestige of his unbounded ascendency over
Tissaphernês and the Great King. We shall presently see the effects
resulting from this belief.

  [22] Thucyd. viii, 56. Ἰωνίαν τε γὰρ πᾶσαν ἠξίουν δίδοσθαι, καὶ
  αὖθις νήσους τε ἐπικειμένας ~καὶ ἄλλα~, οἷς οὐκ ἐναντιουμένων τῶν
  Ἀθηναίων, etc.

  What this _et cetera_ comprehended, we cannot divine. The demand
  was certainly ample enough without it.

  [23] Thucyd. viii, 56. ναῦς ἠξίου ἐᾷν βασιλέα ποιεῖσθαι, καὶ
  παραπλεῖν τὴν ~ἑαυτοῦ~ γῆν, ὅπη ἂν καὶ ὅσαις ἂν βούληται.

  In my judgment ἑαυτοῦ is decidedly the proper reading here, not
  ἑαυτῶν. I agree in this respect with Dr. Arnold, Bekker, and

  In a former volume of this History, I have shown reasons for
  believing, in opposition to Mitford, Dahlmann, and others, that
  the treaty called by the name of Kallias, and sometimes miscalled
  by the name of Kimon, was a real fact and not a boastful fiction:
  see vol. v, ch. xlv, p. 340.

  The note of Dr. Arnold, though generally just, gives an
  inadequate representation of the strong reasons of Athens for
  rejecting and resenting this third demand.

  [24] Thucyd. viii, 63. Καὶ ἐν σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ἅμα οἱ ἐν τῇ Σάμῳ τῶν
  Ἀθηναίων κοινολογούμενοι ἐσκέψαντο, Ἀλκιβιάδην μέν, ~ἐπειδήπερ
  οὐ βούλεται~, ἐᾷν (καὶ γὰρ οὐκ ἐπιτήδειον αὐτὸν εἶναι ~ἐς
  ὀλιγαρχίαν~ ἐλθεῖν), etc.

Immediately after the rupture of the negotiations, however, the
satrap took a step well calculated to destroy the hopes of the
Athenians altogether, so far as Persian aid was concerned. Though
persisting in his policy of lending no decisive assistance to either
party and of merely prolonging the war so as to enfeeble both, he
yet began to fear that he was pushing matters too far against the
Peloponnesians, who had now been two months inactive at Rhodes, with
their large fleet hauled ashore. He had no treaty with them actually
in force, since Lichas had disallowed the two previous conventions;
nor had he furnished them with pay or maintenance. His bribes to
the officers had hitherto kept the armament quiet; yet we do not
distinctly see how so large a body of men found subsistence.[25]
He was now, however, apprized that they could find subsistence no
longer, and that they would probably desert, or commit depredations
on the coast of his satrapy, or perhaps be driven to hasten on a
general action with the Athenians, under desperate circumstances.
Under such apprehensions he felt compelled to put himself again in
communication with them, to furnish them with pay, and to conclude
with them a third convention, the proposition of which he had refused
to entertain at Knidus. He therefore went to Kaunus, invited the
Peloponnesian leaders to Milêtus, and concluded with them near that
town a treaty to the following effect:—

  [25] Thucyd. viii, 44-57. In two parallel cases, one in Chios,
  the other in Korkyra, the seamen of an unpaid armament found
  subsistence by hiring themselves out for agricultural labor. But
  this was only during the summer (see Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 1;
  vi, 2, 37), while the stay of the Peloponnesians at Rhodes was
  from January to March.

“In this thirteenth year of the reign of Darius, and in the ephorship
of Alexippidas at Lacedæmon, a convention is hereby concluded by the
Lacedæmonians and their allies, with Tissaphernês and Hieramenês and
the sons of Pharnakês, respecting the affairs of the king and of the
Lacedæmonians and their allies. The territory of the king, as much of
it as is in Asia, shall belong to the king. Let the king determine as
he chooses respecting his own territory. The Lacedæmonians and their
allies shall not approach the king’s territory with any mischievous
purpose, nor shall the king approach that of the Lacedæmonians
and their allies with any like purpose. If any one among the
Lacedæmonians or their allies shall approach the king’s territory
with mischievous purpose, the Lacedæmonians and their allies shall
hinder him: if any one from the king’s territory shall approach the
Lacedæmonians or their allies with mischievous purpose, the king
shall hinder him. Tissaphernês shall provide pay and maintenance,
for the fleet now present, at the rate already stipulated, until the
king’s fleet shall arrive; after that, it shall be at the option of
the Lacedæmonians to maintain their own fleet, if they think fit; or,
if they prefer, Tissaphernês shall furnish maintenance, and at the
close of the war the Lacedæmonians shall repay to him what they have
received. After the king’s fleet shall have arrived, the two fleets
shall carry on war conjointly, in such manner as shall seem good to
Tissaphernês and the Lacedæmonians and their allies. If they choose
to close the war with the Athenians, they shall close it only by
joint consent.”[26]

  [26] Thucyd. viii, 58.

In comparing this third convention with the two preceding, we
find that nothing is now stipulated as to any territory except
the continent of Asia; which is insured unreservedly to the king,
of course with all the Greek residents planted upon it. But by a
diplomatic finesse, the terms of the treaty imply that this is not
_all_ the territory which the king is entitled to claim, though
nothing is covenanted as to any remainder.[27] Next, this third
treaty includes Pharnabazus, the son of Pharnakês, with his satrapy
of Daskylium, and Hieramenês, with his district, the extent and
position of which we do not know; while in the former treaties
no other satrap except Tissaphernês had been concerned. We must
recollect that the Peloponnesian fleet included those twenty-seven
triremes, which had been brought across by Kalligeitus expressly for
the aid of Pharnabazus; and therefore that the latter now naturally
became a party to the general operations. Thirdly, we here find, for
the first time, formal announcement of a Persian fleet about to be
brought up as auxiliary to the Peloponnesians. This was a promise
which the satrap now set forth more plainly than before, to amuse
them, and to abate the mistrust which they had begun to conceive of
his sincerity. It served the temporary purpose of restraining them
from any immediate act of despair hostile to his interests, which was
all that he looked for. While he renewed his payments, therefore, for
the moment, he affected to busy himself in orders and preparations
for the fleet from Phenicia.[28]

  [27] Thucyd. viii, 58. χώραν τὴν βασιλέως, ~ὅση τῆς Ἀσίας ἐστὶ~,
  βασιλέως εἶναι· καὶ περὶ τῆς χώρας τῆς ἑαυτοῦ βουλευέτω βασιλεὺς
  ὅπως βούλεται.

  [28] Thucyd. viii, 59.

The Peloponnesian fleet was now ordered to move from Rhodes. Before
it quitted that island, however, envoys came thither from Eretria and
from Orôpus; which latter place, a dependency on the northeastern
frontier of Attica, though protected by an Athenian garrison, had
recently been surprised and captured by the Bœotians. The loss of
Orôpus much increased the facilities for the revolt of Eubœa; and
these envoys came to entreat aid from the Peloponnesian fleet, to
second that island in that design. The Peloponnesian commanders,
however, felt themselves under prior obligation to relieve the
sufferers at Chios, towards which island they first bent their
course. But they had scarcely passed the Triopian cape, when they
saw the Athenian squadron from Chalkê dogging their motions. Though
there was no wish on either side for a general battle, yet they saw
evidently that the Athenians would not permit them to pass by Samos,
and get to the relief of Chios, without one. Renouncing, therefore,
the project of relieving Chios, they again concentrated their force
at Milêtus, while the Athenian fleet was also again united at
Samos.[29] It was about the end of March, 411 B.C., that the two
fleets were thus replaced in the stations which they had occupied
four months previously.

  [29] Thucyd. viii, 60.

After the breach with Alkibiadês, and still more after this manifest
reconciliation of Tissaphernês with the Peloponnesians, Peisander
and the oligarchical conspirators at Samos had to reconsider their
plan of action. They would not have begun the movement at first,
had they not been instigated by Alkibiadês, and furnished by him
with the treacherous delusion of Persian alliance to cheat and
paralyze the people. They had, indeed, motives enough, from their
own personal ambition, to originate it of themselves, apart from
Alkibiadês; but without the hopes—equally useful for their purpose,
whether false or true—connected with his name, they would have had
no chance of achieving the first step. Now, however, that first step
had been achieved, before the delusive expectation of Persian gold
was dissipated. The Athenian people had been familiarized with the
idea of a subversion of their constitution, in consideration of a
certain price: it remained to extort from them at the point of the
sword, without paying the price, what they had thus consented to
sell.[30] Moreover, the leaders of the scheme felt themselves already
compromised, so that they could not recede with safety. They had set
in motion their partisans at Athens, where the system of murderous
intimidation, though the news had not as yet reached Samos, was
already in full swing: so that they felt constrained to persevere,
as the only chance of preservation to themselves. At the same time,
all that faint pretence of public benefit, in the shape of Persian
alliance, which had been originally attached to it, and which might
have been conceived to enlist in the scheme some timid patriots, was
now entirely withdrawn; and nothing remained except a naked, selfish,
and unscrupulous scheme of ambition, not only ruining the freedom of
Athens at home, but crippling and imperiling her before the foreign
enemy, at a moment when her entire strength was scarcely adequate to
the contest. The conspirators resolved to persevere, at all hazards,
both in breaking down the constitution and in carrying on the foreign
war. Most of them being rich men, they were content, Thucydidês
observes, to defray the cost out of their own purses, now that they
were contending, not for their country, but for their own power and

  [30] See Aristotel. Politic. v, 3, 8. He cites this revolution
  as an instance of one begun by deceit and afterwards consummated
  by force: οἷον ἐπὶ τῶν τετρακοσίων τὸν δῆμον ἐξηπάτησαν,
  φάσκοντες τὸν βασιλέα χρήματα παρέξειν πρὸς τὸν πόλεμον τὸν πρὸς
  Λακεδαιμονίους· ψευσάμενοι δὲ, κατέχειν ἐπειρῶντο τὴν πολιτείαν.

  [31] Thucyd. viii, 63. Αὐτοὺς δὲ ἐπὶ σφῶν αὐτῶν, ~ὡς ἤδη καὶ
  κινδυνεύοντας~, ὁρᾷν ὅτῳ τρόπῳ μὴ ἀνεθήσεται τὰ πράγματα, καὶ
  τὰ τοῦ πολέμου ἅμα ἀντέχειν, καὶ ἐσφέρειν αὐτοὺς προθύμως
  χρήματα καὶ ἤν τι ἄλλο δέῃ, ὡς οὐκέτι ~ἄλλοις ἢ σφίσιν αὐτοῖς~

They lost no time in proceeding to execution, immediately after
returning to Samos from the abortive conference with Alkibiadês.
While they despatched Peisander with five of the envoys back to
Athens, to consummate what was already in progress there, and the
remaining five to oligarchize the dependent allies, they organized
all their partisan force in the armament, and began to take measures
for putting down the democracy in Samos itself. That democracy had
been the product of a forcible revolution, effected about ten months
before, by the aid of three Athenian triremes. It had since preserved
Samos from revolting like Chios: it was now the means of preserving
the democracy at Athens itself. The partisans of Peisander, finding
it an invincible obstacle to their views, contrived to gain over
a party of the leading Samians now in authority under it. Three
hundred of these latter, a portion of those who ten months before
had risen in arms to put down the preëxisting oligarchy, now
enlisted as conspirators along with the Athenian oligarchs, to put
down the Samian democracy, and get possession of the government for
themselves. The new alliance was attested and cemented, according to
genuine oligarchical practice, by a murder without judicial trial,
or an assassination, for which a suitable victim was at hand. The
Athenian Hyperbolus, who had been ostracized some years before by the
coalition of Nikias and Alkibiadês, together with their respective
partisans,—ostracized as Thucydidês tells us, not from any fear of
his power and over-ascendent influence, but from his low character,
and from his being a disgrace to the city, and thus ostracized by an
abuse of the institution,—was now resident at Samos. As he was not a
Samian, and had, moreover, been in banishment during the last five
or six years, he could have had no power either in the island or the
armament, and therefore his death served no prospective purpose.
But he represented the demagogic and accusatory eloquence of the
democracy, the check upon official delinquency; so that he served as
a common object of antipathy to Athenian and Samian oligarchs. Some
of the Athenian partisans, headed by Charmînus, one of the generals,
in concert with the Samian conspirators, seized Hyperbolus and put
him to death, seemingly with some other victims at the same time.[32]

  [32] Thucyd. viii, 73. Καὶ Ὑπέρβολόν τέ τινα τῶν Ἀθηναίων,
  μοχθηρὸν ἄνθρωπον, ὠστρακισμένον οὐ διὰ δυνάμεως καὶ ἀξιώματος
  φόβον, ἀλλὰ διὰ πονηρίαν καὶ αἰσχύνην τῆς πόλεως, ἀποκτείνουσι
  μετὰ Χαρμίνου τε ἑνὸς τῶν στρατηγῶν καί τινων τῶν παρὰ σφίσιν
  Ἀθηναίων, πίστιν διδόντες αὐτοῖς, ~καὶ ἄλλα μετ᾽ αὐτῶν τοιαῦτα
  ξυνέπραξαν~, τοῖς τε πλείοσιν ὥρμηντο ἐπιτίθεσθαι.

  I presume that the words, ἄλλα τοιαῦτα ξυνέπραξαν, must mean that
  other persons were assassinated along with Hyperbolus.

  The incorrect manner in which Mr. Mitford recounts these
  proceedings at Samos has been properly commented on by Dr.
  Thirlwall (Hist. Gr. ch. xxviii, vol. iv, p. 30). It is the more
  surprising, since the phrase μετὰ Χαρμίνου, which Mr. Mitford has
  misunderstood, is explained in a special note of Duker.

But though these joint assassinations served as a pledge to each
section of the conspirators for the fidelity of the other, in
respect to farther operations, they at the same time gave warning
to opponents. Those leading men at Samos who remained attached to
the democracy, looking abroad for defence against the coming attack,
made earnest appeal to Leon and Diomedon, the two generals most
recently arrived from Athens in substitution for Phrynichus and
Skironidês,—men sincerely devoted to the democracy, and adverse to
all oligarchical change, as well as to the trierarch Thrasyllus, to
Thrasybulus, son of Lykus, then serving as an hoplite, and to many
others of the pronounced democrats and patriots in the Athenian
armament. They made appeal not simply in behalf of their own personal
safety and of their own democracy, now threatened by conspirators of
whom a portion were Athenians, but also on grounds of public interest
to Athens; since, if Samos became oligarchized, its sympathy with
the Athenian democracy and its fidelity to the alliance would be at
an end. At this moment the most recent events which had occurred at
Athens, presently to be told, were not known, and the democracy was
considered as still subsisting there.[33]

  [33] Thucyd. viii, 73, 74. οὐκ ἠξίουν περιϊδεῖν αὐτοὺς σφᾶς τε
  διαφθαρέντας, καὶ Σάμον Ἀθηναίοις ἀλλοτριωθεῖσαν, etc.

  ... οὐ γὰρ ᾔδεσάν πω τοὺς τετρακοσίους ἄρχοντας, etc.

To stand by the assailed democracy of Samos, and to preserve the
island itself, now the mainstay of the shattered Athenian empire,
were motives more than sufficient to awaken the Athenian leaders
thus solicited. Commencing a personal canvass among the soldiers
and seamen, and invoking their interference to avert the overthrow
of the Samian democracy, they found the general sentiment decidedly
in their favor, but most of all, among the parali, or crew of the
consecrated public trireme, called the paralus. These men were the
picked seamen of the state,—each of them not merely a freeman, but a
full Athenian citizen, receiving higher pay than the ordinary seamen,
and known as devoted to the democratical constitution, with an active
repugnance to oligarchy itself as well as to everything which scented
of it.[34] The vigilance of Leon and Diomedon on the defensive side,
counteracted the machinations of their colleague Charmînus, along
with the conspirators, and provided for the Samian democracy faithful
auxiliaries constantly ready for action. Presently, the conspirators
made a violent attack to overthrow the government; but though they
chose their own moment and opportunity, they still found themselves
thoroughly worsted in the struggle, especially through the energetic
aid of the parali. Thirty of their number were slain in the contest,
and three of the most guilty afterwards condemned to banishment. The
victorious party took no farther revenge, even upon the remainder of
the three hundred conspirators, granted a general amnesty, and did
their best to reëstablish constitutional and harmonious working of
the democracy.[35]

  [34] Thucyd. viii, 73. καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα τοὺς Παράλους, ἄνδρας
  Ἀθηναίους τε καὶ ἐλευθέρους πάντας ἐν τῇ νηῒ πλέοντας, καὶ ~ἀεὶ
  δήποτε ὀλιγαρχίᾳ καὶ μὴ παρούσῃ ἐπικειμένους~.

  Peitholaus called the paralus ῥόπαλον τοῦ δήμου, “the club,
  staff, or mace of the people.” (Aristotel. Rhetoric, iii, 3.)

  [35] Thucyd. viii, 73. Καὶ τριάκοντα μέν τινας ἀπέκτειναν τῶν
  τριακοσίων, τρεῖς δὲ τοὺς αἰτιωτάτους φυγῇ ἐζημίωσαν· τοῖς δ᾽
  ἄλλοις οὐ μνησικακοῦντες δημοκρατούμενοι τὸ λοιπὸν ξυνεπολίτευον.

Chæreas, an Athenian trierarch, who had been forward in the contest,
was sent in the paralus itself to Athens, to make communication of
what had occurred. But this democratical crew, on reaching their
native city, instead of being received with that welcome which they
doubtless expected, found a state of things not less odious than
surprising. The democracy of Athens had been subverted: instead of
the senate of Five Hundred, and the assembled people, an oligarchy
of Four Hundred self-installed persons were enthroned with sovereign
authority in the senate-house. The first order of the Four Hundred,
on hearing that the paralus had entered Peiræus, was to imprison
two or three of the crew, and to remove all the rest from their own
privileged trireme aboard a common trireme, with orders to depart
forthwith and to cruise near Eubœa. The commander, Chæreas, found
means to escape, and returned back to Samos to tell the unwelcome

  [36] Thucyd. viii. 74.

The steps, whereby this oligarchy of Four Hundred had been gradually
raised up to their new power, must be taken up from the time
when Peisander quitted Athens,—after having obtained the vote of
the public assembly authorizing him to treat with Alkibiadês and
Tissaphernês,—and after having set on foot a joint organization
and conspiracy of all the anti-popular clubs, which fell under the
management especially of Antiphon and Theramenês, afterwards aided by
Phrynichus. All the members of that Board of Elders called Probûli,
who had been named after the defeat in Sicily, with Agnon, father
of Theramenês, at their head,[37]—together with many other leading
citizens, some of whom had been counted among the firmest friends of
the democracy, joined the conspiracy; while the oligarchical and the
neutral rich came into it with ardor; so that a body of partisans was
formed both numerous and well provided with money. Antiphon did not
attempt to bring them together, or to make any public demonstration,
armed or unarmed, for the purpose of overawing the actual
authorities. He permitted the senate and the public assembly to go
on meeting and debating as usual; but his partisans, neither the
names nor the numbers of whom were publicly known, received from him
instructions both when to speak and what language to hold. The great
topic upon which they descanted, was the costliness of democratical
institutions in the present distressed state of the finances, the
heavy tax imposed upon the state by paying the senators, the dikasts,
the ekklesiasts, or citizens who attended the public assembly, etc.
The state could now afford to pay only those soldiers who fought in
its defence, nor ought any one else to touch the public money. It was
essential, they insisted, to exclude from the political franchise all
except a select body of Five Thousand, composed of those who were
best able to do service to the city by person and by purse.

  [37] Thucyd. viii, 1. About the countenance which _all_ these
  probûli lent to the conspiracy, see Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii, 18,

  Respecting the activity of Agnon, as one of the probûli, in the
  same cause, see Lysias, Orat. xii, cont. Eratosthen. c. 11, p.
  426, Reisk. sect. 66.

The extensive disfranchisement involved in this last proposition was
quite sufficiently shocking to the ears of an Athenian assembly.
But in reality the proposition was itself a juggle, never intended
to become reality, and representing something far short of what
Antiphon and his partisans intended. Their design was to appropriate
the powers of government to themselves simply, without control
or partnership, leaving this body of Five Thousand not merely
unconvened, but non-existent, as a mere empty name to impose upon
the citizens generally. Of this real intention, however, not a word
was as yet spoken. The projected body of Five Thousand was the theme
preached upon by all the party orators; yet without submitting any
substantive motion for the change, which could not be yet done
without illegality.

Even thus indirectly advocated, the project of cutting down the
franchise to Five Thousand, and of suppressing all the paid civil
functions, was a change sufficiently violent to call forth abundant
opponents. For such opponents Antiphon was fully prepared. Of the men
who thus stood forward in opposition, either all, or at least all the
most prominent, were successively taken off by private assassination.
The first of them who thus perished was Androklês, distinguished as
a demagogue, or popular speaker, and marked out to vengeance not
only by that circumstance, but by the farther fact that he had been
among the most vehement accusers of Alkibiadês before his exile.
For at this time, the breach of Peisander with Tissaphernês and
Alkibiadês had not yet become known at Athens, so that the latter
was still supposed to be on the point of returning home as a member
of the contemplated oligarchical government. After Androklês, many
other speakers of similar sentiments perished in the same way, by
unknown hands. A band of Grecian youths, strangers, and got together
from different cities,[38] was organized for the business: the
victims were all chosen on the same special ground, and the deed
was so skilfully perpetrated that neither director nor instrument
ever became known. After these assassinations—sure, special, secret,
and systematic, emanating from an unknown directory, like a Vehmic
tribunal—had continued for some time, the terror which they inspired
became intense and universal. No justice could be had, no inquiry
could be instituted, even for the death of the nearest and dearest
relative. At last, no man dared to demand or even to mention inquiry,
looking upon himself as fortunate that he had escaped the same fate
in his own person. So finished an organization, and such well-aimed
blows, raised a general belief that the conspirators were much
more numerous than they were in reality. And as it turned out that
there were persons among them who had before been accounted hearty
democrats,[39] so at last dismay and mistrust became universally
prevalent. Nor did any one dare even to express indignation at
the murders going on, much less to talk about redress or revenge,
for fear that he might be communicating with one of the unknown
conspirators. In the midst of this terrorism, all opposition ceased
in the senate and public assembly, so that the speakers of the
conspiring oligarchy appeared to carry an unanimous assent.[40]

  [38] Thucyd. viii, 69. Οἱ εἴκοσι καὶ ἑκατὸν μετ᾽ αὐτῶν (that is,
  along with the Four Hundred) Ἕλληνες νεανίσκοι, οἷς ἐχρῶντο εἴ τί
  που δέοι χειρουργεῖν.

  Dr. Arnold explains the words Ἕλληνες νεανίσκοι to mean some of
  the members of the aristocratical clubs, or unions, formerly
  spoken of. But I cannot think that Thucydidês would use such an
  expression to designate Athenian citizens: neither is it probable
  that Athenian citizens would be employed in repeated acts of such
  a character.

  [39] Even Peisander himself had professed the strongest
  attachment to the democracy, coupled with exaggerated violence
  against parties suspected of oligarchical plots, four years
  before, in the investigations which followed on the mutilation of
  the Hermæ at Athens (Andokidês de Myster. c. 9, 10, sects. 36-43).

  It is a fact that Peisander was one of the prominent movers on
  both these two occasions, four years apart. And if we could
  believe Isokratês (de Bigis, sects. 4-7, p. 347), the second of
  the two occasions was merely the continuance and consummation of
  a plot which had been projected and begun on the first, and in
  which the conspirators had endeavored to enlist Alkibiadês. The
  latter refused, so his son, the speaker in the above-mentioned
  oration, contends, in consequence of his attachment to the
  democracy; upon which the oligarchical conspirators, incensed
  at his refusal, got up the charge of irreligion against him and
  procured his banishment.

  Though Droysen and Wattenbach (De Quadringentorum Athenis
  Factione, pp. 7, 8, Berlin, 1842) place confidence, to a
  considerable extent, in this manner of putting the facts, I
  consider it to be nothing better than complete perversion;
  irreconcilable with Thucydidês, confounding together facts
  unconnected in themselves as well as separated by a long interval
  of time, and introducing unreal causes, for the purpose of making
  out, what was certainly not true, that Alkibiadês was a faithful
  friend of the democracy, and even a sufferer in its behalf.

  [40] Thucyd. viii, 66.

Such was the condition to which things had been brought in Athens,
by Antiphon and the oligarchical conspirators acting under his
direction, at the time when Peisander and the five envoys arrived
thither returning from Samos. It is probable that they had previously
transmitted home from Samos news of the rupture with Alkibiadês, and
of the necessity of prosecuting the conspiracy without farther view
either to him or to the Persian alliance. Such news would probably
be acceptable both to Antiphon and Phrynichus, both of them personal
enemies of Alkibiadês; especially Phrynichus, who had pronounced him
to be incapable of fraternizing with an oligarchical revolution.[41]
At any rate, the plans of Antiphon had been independent of all view
to Persian aid, and had been directed to carry the revolution by
means of naked, exorbitant, and well-directed fear, without any
intermixture of hope or any prospect of public benefit. Peisander
found the reign of terror fully matured. He had not come direct from
Samos to Athens, but had halted in his voyage at various allied
dependencies, while the other five envoys, as well as a partisan
named Diotrephês, had been sent to Thasos and elsewhere;[42] all
for the same purpose, of putting down democracies in those allied
cities where they existed, and establishing oligarchies in their
room. Peisander made this change at Tênos, Andros, Karystus, Ægina,
and elsewhere; collecting from these several places a regiment of
three hundred hoplites, which he brought with him to Athens as a
sort of body-guard to his new oligarchy.[43] He could not know until
he reached Peiræus the full success of the terrorism organized by
Antiphon and the rest; so that he probably came prepared to surmount
a greater resistance than he actually found. As the facts stood, so
completely had the public opinion and spirit been subdued, that he
was enabled to put the finishing stroke at once, and his arrival was
the signal for consummating the revolution, first, by an extorted
suspension of the tutelary constitutional sanction, next, by the more
direct employment of armed force.

  [41] Thucyd. viii. 68. νομίζων οὐκ ἄν ποτε αὐτὸν (Alkibiadês)
  κατὰ τὸ εἰκὸς ὑπ᾽ ὀλιγαρχίας κατελθεῖν, etc.

  [42] Thucyd. viii, 64.

  [43] Thucyd. viii, 65. Οἱ δὲ ἀμφὶ τὸν Πείσανδρον ~παραπλέοντές~
  τε, ὥσπερ ἐδέδοκτο, ~τοὺς δήμους ἐν ταῖς πόλεσι κατέλυον~, καὶ
  ἅμα ~ἔστιν ἀφ᾽ ὧν χωρίων~ καὶ ὁπλίτας ἔχοντες σφίσιν αὐτοῖς
  ξυμμάχους ἦλθον ἐς τὰς Ἀθήνας. Καὶ καταλαμβάνουσι τὰ πλεῖστα τοῖς
  ἑταίροις προειργασμένα.

  We may gather from c. 69 that the places which I have named in
  the text were among those visited by Peisander: all of them lay
  very much in his way from Samos to Athens.

First, he convoked a public assembly, in which he proposed a decree,
naming ten commissioners with full powers, to prepare propositions
for such political reform as they should think advisable, and to be
ready by a given day.[44] According to the usual practice, this
decree must previously have been approved in the senate of Five
Hundred, before it was submitted to the people. Such was doubtless
the case in the present instance, and the decree passed without any
opposition. On the day fixed, a fresh assembly met, which Peisander
and his partisans caused to be held, not in the usual place, called
the Pnyx, within the city walls, but at a place called Kolônus, ten
stadia, rather more than a mile, without the walls,[45] north of
the city. Kolônus was a temple of Poseidon, within the precinct of
which the assembly was inclosed for the occasion. Such an assembly
was not likely to be numerous, wherever held,[46] since there could
be little motive to attend, when freedom of debate was extinguished;
but the oligarchical conspirators now transferred it without the
walls; selecting a narrow area for the meeting, in order that they
might lessen still farther the chance of numerous attendance, an
assembly which they fully designed should be the last in the history
of Athens. They were thus also more out of the reach of an armed
movement in the city, as well as enabled to post their own armed
partisans around, under color of protecting the meeting against
disturbance by the Lacedæmonians from Dekeleia.

  [44] Thucyd. viii, 67. Καὶ πρῶτον μὲν τὸν δῆμον ξυλλέξαντες εἶπον
  γνώμην, δέκα ἄνδρας ἑλέσθαι ~ξυγγραφέας αὐτοκράτορας~, τούτους δὲ
  ξυγγράψαντας γνώμην ἐσενεγκεῖν ἐς τὸν δῆμον ἐς ἡμέραν ῥητὴν, καθ᾽
  ὅτι ἄριστα ἡ πόλις οἰκήσεται.

  In spite of certain passages found in Suidas and Harpokration
  (see K. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Griechischen Staats Alterthümer,
  sect. 167, note 12: compare also Wattenbach, De Quadringentor.
  Factione, p. 38), I cannot think that there was any connection
  between these ten ξυγγραφεῖς, and the Board of πρόβουλοι
  mentioned as having been before named (Thucyd. viii, 1). Nor
  has the passage in Lysias, to which Hermann makes allusion,
  anything to do with these ξυγγραφεῖς. The mention of Thirty
  persons by Androtion and Philochorus, seems to imply that they,
  or Harpokration, confounded the proceedings ushering in this
  oligarchy of Four Hundred, with those before the subsequent
  oligarchy of Thirty. The σύνεδροι, or ξυγγραφεῖς, mentioned by
  Isokratês (Areopagit. Or. vii, sect. 67) might refer either to
  the case of the Four Hundred or to that of the Thirty.

  [45] Thucyd. viii, 67. Ἔπειτα, ἐπειδὴ ἡ ἡμέρα ἐφῆκε, ~ξυνέκλῃσαν~
  τὴν ἐκκλησίαν ἐς τὸν Κόλωνον (ἔστι δ᾽ ἱερὸν Ποσειδῶνος ἔξω
  πόλεως, ἀπέχον σταδίους μάλιστα δέκα), etc.

  The very remarkable word ξυνέκλῃσαν, here used respecting the
  assembly, appears to me to refer (not, as Dr. Arnold supposes in
  his note, to any existing practice observed even in the usual
  assemblies which met in the Pnyx, but rather) to a departure
  from the usual practice, and the employment of a stratagem in
  reference to this particular meeting.

  Kolônus was one of the Attic demes: indeed, there seems reason to
  imagine that two distinct demes bore this same name (see Boeckh,
  in the Commentary appended to his translation of the Antigonê of
  Sophoklês, pp. 190, 191: and Ross, Die Demen von Attika, pp. 10,
  11). It is in the grove of the Eumenides, hard by this temple
  of Poseidon, that Sophoklês has laid the scene of his immortal
  drama, the Œdipus Koloneus.

  [46] Compare the statement in Lysias (Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth.
  s. 76, p. 127) respecting the small numbers who attended and
  voted at the assembly by which the subsequent oligarchy of Thirty
  was named.

The proposition of the newly-appointed commissioners—probably
Peisander, Antiphon, and other partisans themselves—was exceedingly
short and simple. They merely moved the abolition of the celebrated
Graphê Paranomôn; that is, they proposed that every Athenian
citizen should have full liberty of making any anti-constitutional
proposition that he chose, and that every other citizen should be
interdicted, under heavy penalties, from prosecuting him by graphê
paranomôn indictment on the score of informality, illegality, or
unconstitutionality, or from doing him any other mischief. This
proposition was adopted without a single dissentient. It was thought
more formal by the directing chiefs to sever this proposition
pointedly from the rest, and to put it, singly and apart, into the
mouth of the special commissioners; since it was the legalizing
condition of every other positive change which they were about to
move afterwards. Full liberty being thus granted to make any motion,
however anti-constitutional, and to dispense with all the established
formalities, such as preliminary authorization by the senate,
Peisander now came forward with his substantive propositions to the
following effect:—

1. All the existing democratical magistracies were suppressed at
once, and made to cease for the future. 2. No civil functions
whatever were hereafter to be salaried. 3. To constitute a new
government, a committee of five persons were named forthwith, who
were to choose a larger body of one hundred; that is, one hundred
including the five choosers themselves. Each individual out of this
body of one hundred, was to choose three persons. 4. A body of Four
Hundred was thus constituted, who were to take their seat in the
senate-house, and to carry on the government with unlimited powers,
according to their own discretion. 5. They were to convene the Five
Thousand, whenever they might think fit.[47] All was passed without a
dissentient voice.

  [47] Thucyd. viii, 68. Ἐλθόντας δὲ αὐτοὺς τετρακοσίους
  ὄντας ἐς τὸ βουλευτήριον, ἄρχειν ὅπῃ ἂν ἄριστα γιγνώσκωσιν,
  ~αὐτοκράτορας~, καὶ ~τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους~ δὲ ξυλλέγειν, ὁπόταν
  αὐτοῖς δοκῇ.

The invention and employment of this imaginary aggregate of Five
Thousand was not the least dexterous among the combinations of
Antiphon. No one knew who these Five Thousand were: yet the
resolution just adopted purported,—not that such a number of citizens
should be singled out and constituted, either by choice, or by lot,
or in some determinate manner which should exhibit them to the view
and knowledge of others,—but that the Four Hundred should convene
_The Five Thousand_, whenever they thought proper: thus assuming
the latter to be a list already made up and notorious, at least
to the Four Hundred themselves. The real fact was, that the Five
Thousand existed nowhere except in the talk and proclamations of
the conspirators, as a supplement of fictitious auxiliaries. They
did not even exist as individual names on paper, but simply as an
imposturous nominal aggregate. The Four Hundred, now installed,
formed the entire and exclusive rulers of the state.[48] But the mere
name of the Five Thousand, though it was nothing more than a name,
served two important purposes for Antiphon and his conspiracy. First,
it admitted of being falsely produced, especially to the armament at
Samos, as proof of a tolerably numerous and popular body of equal,
qualified, concurrent citizens, all intended to take their turn by
rotation in exercising the powers of government; thus lightening
the odium of extreme usurpation to the Four Hundred, and passing
them off merely as the earliest section of the Five Thousand, put
into office for a few months, and destined at the end of that period
to give place to another equal section.[49] Next, it immensely
augmented the means of intimidation possessed by the Four Hundred
at home, by exaggerating the impression of their supposed strength.
For the citizens generally were made to believe that there were five
thousand real and living partners in the conspiracy; while the fact
that these partners were not known and could not be individually
identified, rather aggravated the reigning terror and mistrust; since
every man, suspecting that his neighbor might possibly be among
them, was afraid to communicate his discontent or propose means for
joint resistance.[50] In both these two ways, the name and assumed
existence of the Five Thousand lent strength to the real Four Hundred
conspirators. It masked their usurpation, while it increased their
hold on the respect and fears of the citizens.

  [48] Thucyd. viii, 66. ἦν δὲ τοῦτο εὐπρεπὲς πρὸς τοὺς πλείους,
  ἐπεὶ ἕξειν γε τὴν πόλιν οἵπερ καὶ μεθιστάναι ἔμελλον.

  Plutarch, Alkibiad. c. 26.

  [49] Thucyd. viii, 72. Πέμπουσι δὲ ἐς τὴν Σάμον δέκα ἄνδρας ...
  διδάξοντας—~πεντακισχίλιοι δὲ ὅτι εἶεν~, καὶ οὐ τετρακόσιοι
  μόνον, οἱ πράσσοντες.

  viii, 86. Οἱ δ᾽ ἀπήγγελλον ὡς οὔτε ἐπὶ διαφθορᾷ ~τῆς πόλεως~ ἡ
  μετάστασις γένοιτο, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ ... ~τῶν δὲ πεντακισχιλίων
  ὅτε πάντες ἐν τῷ μέρει μεθέξουσιν~, etc.

  viii, 89. ἀλλὰ ~τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους~ ἔργῳ καὶ μὴ ὀνόματι χρῆναι
  ἀποδεικνύναι, καὶ τὴν πολιτείαν ἰσαιτέραν καθιστάναι.

  viii, 92. (After the Four Hundred had already been much opposed
  and humbled, and were on the point of being put down)—ἦν δὲ πρὸς
  τὸν ὄχλον ἡ παράκλησις ὡς χρὴ, ὅστις ~τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους~
  βούλεται ἄρχειν ἀντὶ τῶν τετρακοσίων, ἰέναι ἐπὶ τὸ ἔργον.
  Ἐπεκρύπτοντο γὰρ ὅμως ἔτι ~τῶν πεντακισχιλίων~ τῷ ὀνόματι, μὴ
  ἄντικρυς δῆμον ὅστις βούλεται ἄρχειν ὀνομάζειν—~φοβούμενοι μὴ
  τῷ ὄντι ὦσι, καὶ πρός τινα εἰπών τίς τι δι᾽ ἀγνοίαν σφαλῇ~. Καὶ
  οἱ τετρακόσιοι διὰ τοῦτο οὐκ ἤθελον ~τοὺς πεντακισχιλίους οὔτε
  εἶναι, οὔτε μὴ ὄντας δήλους εἶναι~· τὸ μὲν καταστῆσαι μετόχους
  τοσούτους, ἄντικρυς ἂν δῆμον ἡγούμενοι, ~τὸ δ᾽ αὖ ἀφανὲς φόβον ἐς
  ἀλλήλους παρέξειν~.

  viii, 93. λέγοντες ~τούς τε πεντακισχιλίους~ ἀποφανεῖν, καὶ
  ἐκ ~τούτων ἐν μέρει~, ᾗ ἂν τοῖς πεντακισχιλίοις δοκῇ, τοὺς
  τετρακοσίους ἔσεσθαι, τέως δὲ τὴν πόλιν μηδενὶ τρόπῳ διαφθείρειν,

  Compare also c. 97.

  [50] Compare the striking passage (Thucyd. viii, 92) cited in my
  previous note.

As soon as the public assembly at Kolônus had, with such seeming
unanimity, accepted all the propositions of Peisander, they were
dismissed; and the new regiment of Four Hundred were chosen and
constituted in the form prescribed. It now only remained to install
them in the senate-house. But this could not be done without force,
since the senators were already within it; having doubtless gone
thither immediately from the assembly, where their presence, at
least the presence of the prytanes, or senators of the presiding
tribe, was essential as legal presidents. They had to deliberate
what they would do under the decree just passed, which divested them
of all authority. Nor was it impossible that they might organize
armed resistance; for which there seemed more than usual facility
at the present moment, since the occupation of Dekeleia by the
Lacedæmonians kept Athens in a condition like that of a permanent
camp, with a large proportion of the citizens day and night under
arms.[51] Against this chance the Four Hundred made provision. They
selected that hour of the day when the greater number of citizens
habitually went home, probably to their morning meal, leaving the
military station, with the arms piled and ready, under comparatively
thin watch. While the general body of hoplites left the station at
this hour, according to the usual practice, the hoplites—Andrian,
Tenian, and others—in the immediate confidence of the Four Hundred,
were directed, by private order, to hold themselves prepared and in
arms, at a little distance off; so that if any symptoms should appear
of resistance being contemplated, they might at once interfere and
forestall it. Having taken this precaution, the Four Hundred marched
in a body to the senate-house, each man with a dagger concealed under
his garment, and followed by their special body-guard of one hundred
and twenty young men from various Grecian cities, the instruments of
the assassinations ordered by Antiphon and his colleagues. In this
array they marched into the senate-house, where the senators were
assembled, and commanded them to depart; at the same time tendering
to them their pay for all the remainder of the year,—seemingly
about three months or more down to the beginning of Hecatombæon,
the month of new nominations,—during which their functions ought
to have continued. The senators were no way prepared to resist the
decree just passed under the forms of legality with an armed body now
arrived to enforce its execution. They obeyed and departed, each man
as he passed the door receiving the salary tendered to him. That they
should yield obedience to superior force, under the circumstances,
can excite neither censure nor surprise; but that they should accept,
from the hands of the conspirators, this anticipation of an unearned
salary, was a meanness which almost branded them as accomplices, and
dishonored the expiring hour of the last democratical authority.
The Four Hundred now found themselves triumphantly installed in the
senate-house; without the least resistance, either within its walls,
or even without, by any portion of the citizens.[52]

  [51] See the jests of Aristophanês, about the citizens all in
  armor, buying their provisions in the market-place and carrying
  them home, in the Lysistrata, 560: a comedy represented about
  December 412 or January 411 B.C., three months earlier than the
  events here narrated.

  [52] Thucyd. viii, 69, 70.

Thus perished, or seemed to perish, the democracy of Athens, after
an uninterrupted existence of nearly one hundred years since the
revolution of Kleisthenês. So incredible did it appear that the
numerous, intelligent, and constitutional citizens of Athens should
suffer their liberties to be overthrown by a band of four hundred
conspirators, while the great mass of them not only loved their
democracy, but had arms in their hands to defend it, that even their
enemy and neighbor Agis, at Dekeleia, could hardly imagine the
revolution to be a fact accomplished. We shall see presently that it
did not stand,—nor would it probably have stood, had circumstances
even been more favorable,—but the accomplishment of it at all, is an
incident too extraordinary to be passed over without some words in

We must remark that the tremendous catastrophe and loss of blood in
Sicily had abated the energy of the Athenian character generally,
but especially had made them despair of their foreign relations; of
the possibility that they could make head against enemies, increased
in number by revolts among their own allies, and farther sustained
by Persian gold. Upon this sentiment of despair is brought to bear
the treacherous delusion of Alkibiadês, offering them the Persian
aid; that is, means of defence and success against foreign enemies,
at the price of their democracy. Reluctantly the people are brought,
but they _are_ brought, to entertain the proposition: and thus the
conspirators gain their first capital point, of familiarizing the
people with the idea of such a change of constitution. The ulterior
success of the conspiracy—when all prospect of Persian gold, or
improved foreign position, was at an end—is due to the combinations,
alike nefarious and skilful, of Antiphon, wielding and organizing
the united strength of the aristocratical classes at Athens;
strength always exceedingly great, but under ordinary circumstances
working in fractions disunited and even reciprocally hostile to each
other,—restrained by the ascendant democratical institutions,—and
reduced to corrupt what it could not overthrow. Antiphon, about to
employ this anti-popular force in one systematic scheme, and for the
accomplishment of a predetermined purpose, keeps still within the
same ostensible constitutional limits. He raises no open mutiny:
he maintains inviolate the cardinal point of Athenian political
morality, respect to the decision of the senate and political
assembly, as well as to constitutional maxims. But he knows well that
the value of these meetings, as political securities, depends upon
entire freedom of speech; and that, if that freedom be suppressed,
the assembly itself becomes a nullity, or rather an instrument of
positive imposture and mischief. Accordingly, he causes all the
popular orators to be successively assassinated, so that no man
dares to open his mouth on that side; while on the other hand, the
anti-popular speakers are all loud and confident, cheering one
another on, and seeming to represent all the feeling of the persons
present. By thus silencing each individual leader, and intimidating
every opponent from standing forward as spokesman, he extorts the
formal sanction of the assembly and the senate to measures which
the large majority of the citizens detest. That majority, however,
are bound by their own constitutional forms; and when the decision
of these, by whatever means obtained, is against them, they have
neither the inclination nor the courage to resist. In no part of the
world has this sentiment of constitutional duty, and submission to
the vote of a legal majority, been more keenly and universally felt,
than it was among the citizens of democratical Athens.[53] Antiphon
thus finds means to employ the constitutional sentiment of Athens as
a means of killing the constitution: the mere empty form, after its
vital and protective efficacy has been abstracted, remains simply as
a cheat to paralyze individual patriotism.

  [53] This striking and deep-seated regard of the Athenians for
  all the forms of an established constitution, makes itself felt
  even by Mr. Mitford (Hist. Gr. ch. xix. sect. v, vol. iv, p. 235).

It was this cheat which rendered the Athenians indisposed to stand
forward with arms in defence of that democracy to which they were
attached. Accustomed as they were to unlimited pacific contention
within the bounds of their constitution, they were in the highest
degree averse to anything like armed intestine contention. This
is the natural effect of an established free and equal polity, to
substitute the contests of the tongue for those of the sword, and
sometimes, even to create so extreme a disinclination to the latter,
that if liberty be energetically assailed, the counter-energy
necessary for its defence may probably be found wanting. So difficult
is it for the same people to have both the qualities requisite for
making a free constitution work well in ordinary times, together
with those very different qualities requisite for upholding it
against exceptional dangers and under trying emergencies. None
but an Athenian of extraordinary ability, like Antiphon, would
have understood the art of thus making the constitutional feeling
of his countrymen subservient to the success of his conspiracy,
and of maintaining the forms of legal dealing towards assembled
and constitutional bodies, while he violated them in secret
and successive stabs directed against individuals. Political
assassination had been unknown at Athens, as far as our information
reaches, since it was employed, about fifty years before, by the
oligarchical party against Ephialtês, the coadjutor of Periklês.[54]
But this had been an individual case, and it was reserved for
Antiphon and Phrynichus to organize a band of assassins working
systematically, and taking off a series of leading victims one after
the other. As the Macedonian kings in after-times required the
surrender of the popular orators in a body, so the authors of this
conspiracy found the same enemies to deal with, and adopted another
way of getting rid of them; thus reducing the assembly into a tame
and lifeless mass, capable of being intimidated into giving its
collective sanction to measures which its large majority detested.

  [54] See Plutarch, Periklês, c. 10; Diodor. xi, 77; and vol. v,
  of this History chap. xlvi, p. 370.

As Grecian history has been usually written, we are instructed to
believe that the misfortunes, and the corruption, and the degradation
of the democratical states are brought upon them by the class of
demagogues, of whom Kleon, Hyperbolus, Androklês, etc., stand forth
as specimens. These men are represented as mischief-makers and
revilers, accusing without just cause, and converting innocence into
treason. Now the history of this conspiracy of the Four Hundred
presents to us the other side of the picture. It shows that the
political enemies—against whom the Athenian people were protected
by their democratical institutions, and by the demagogues as living
organs of those institutions—were not fictitious but dangerously
real. It reveals the continued existence of powerful anti-popular
combinations, ready to come together for treasonable purposes when
the moment appeared safe and tempting. It manifests the character and
morality of the leaders, to whom the direction of the anti-popular
force naturally fell. It proves that these leaders, men of uncommon
ability, required nothing more than the extinction or silence of
the demagogues, to be enabled to subvert the popular securities
and get possession of the government. We need no better proof to
teach us what was the real function and intrinsic necessity of these
demagogues in the Athenian system, taking them as a class, and apart
from the manner in which individuals among them may have performed
their duty. They formed the vital movement of all that was tutelary
and public-spirited in democracy. Aggressive in respect to official
delinquents, they were defensive in respect to the public and the
constitution. If that anti-popular force, which Antiphon found
ready-made, had not been efficient, at a much earlier moment, in
stifling the democracy, it was because there were demagogues to cry
aloud, as well as assemblies to hear and sustain them. If Antiphon’s
conspiracy was successful, it was because he knew where to aim his
blows, so as to strike down the real enemies of the oligarchy and
the real defenders of the people. I here employ the term demagogues
because it is that commonly used by those who denounce the class of
men here under review: the proper neutral phrase, laying aside odious
associations, would be to call them popular speakers, or opposition
speakers. But, by whatever name they may be called, it is impossible
rightly to conceive their position in Athens, without looking at them
in contrast and antithesis with those anti-popular forces against
which they formed the indispensable barrier, and which come forth
into such manifest and melancholy working under the organizing hands
of Antiphon and Phrynichus.

As soon as the Four Hundred found themselves formally installed
in the senate-house, they divided themselves by lot into separate
prytanies,—probably ten in number, consisting of forty members
each, like the former senate of Five Hundred, in order that the
distribution of the year to which the people were accustomed might
not be disturbed,—and then solemnized their installation by prayer
and sacrifice. They put to death some political enemies, though not
many: they farther imprisoned and banished others, and made large
changes in the administration of affairs, carrying everything with a
strictness and rigor unknown under the old constitution.[55] It seems
to have been proposed among them to pass a vote of restoration to
all persons under sentence of exile. But this was rejected by the
majority in order that Alkibiadês might not be among the number;
nor did they think it expedient, notwithstanding, to pass the law,
reserving him as a special exception.

  [55] Thucyd. viii, 70. I imagine that this must be the meaning of
  the words τὰ τε ἄλλα ἔνεμον κατὰ κράτος τὴν πόλιν.

They farther despatched a messenger to Agis at Dekeleia, intimating
their wish to treat for peace; which, they affirmed, he ought to be
ready to grant to them, now that “the faithless Demos” was put down.
Agis, however, not believing that the Athenian people would thus
submit to be deprived of their liberty, anticipated that intestine
dissension would certainly break out, or at least that some portion
of the Long Walls would be found unguarded, should a foreign army
appear. While therefore he declined the overtures for peace, he
at the same time sent for reinforcements out of Peloponnesus,
and marched with a considerable army, in addition to his own
garrison, up to the very walls of Athens. But he found the ramparts
carefully manned: no commotion took place within: even a sally was
made, in which some advantage was gained over him. He therefore
speedily retired, sending back his newly-arrived reinforcements to
Peloponnesus; while the Four Hundred, on renewing their advances to
him for peace, now found themselves much better received, and were
even encouraged to despatch envoys to Sparta itself.[56]

  [56] Thucyd. viii, 71.

As soon as they had thus got over the first difficulties, and
placed matters on a footing which seemed to promise stability, they
despatched ten envoys to Samos. Aware beforehand of the danger
impending over them in that quarter from the known aversion of the
soldiers and seamen to anything in the nature of oligarchy, they had,
moreover, just heard, by the arrival of Chæreas and the paralus,
of the joint attack made by the Athenian and Samian oligarchs, and
of its complete failure. Had this event occurred a little earlier,
it might perhaps have deterred even some of their own number from
proceeding with the revolution at Athens, which was rendered thereby
almost sure of failure, from the first. Their ten envoys were
instructed to represent at Samos that the recent oligarchy had been
established with no views injurious to the city, but on the contrary
for the general benefit; that though the Council now installed
consisted of Four Hundred only, yet the total number of partisans
who had made the revolution, and were qualified citizens under it,
was Five Thousand; a number greater, they added, than had ever been
actually assembled in the Pnyx under the democracy, even for the most
important debates,[57] in consequence of the unavoidable absences of
numerous individuals on military service and foreign travel.

  [57] Thucyd. viii, 72. This allegation, respecting the number of
  citizens who attended in the Athenian democratical assemblies,
  has been sometimes cited as if it carried with it the authority
  of Thucydidês; which is a great mistake, duly pointed out by all
  the best recent critics. It is simply the allegation of the Four
  Hundred, whose testimony, as a guarantee for truth, is worth
  little enough.

  That _no_ assembly had ever been attended by so many as five
  thousand (οὐδεπώποτε) I certainly am far from believing. It is
  not improbable, however, that five thousand was an unusually
  large number of citizens to attend.

  Dr. Arnold, in his note, opposes the allegation in part, by
  remarking that “the law required not only the presence but the
  sanction of at least six thousand citizens to some particular
  decrees of the assembly.” It seems to me, however, quite possible
  that, in cases where this large number of votes was required,
  as in the ostracism, and where there was no discussion carried
  on immediately before the voting, the process of voting may
  have lasted some hours, like our keeping open of a poll. So
  that though more than six thousand citizens must have _voted_,
  altogether, it was not necessary that all should have been
  present in the same assembly.

What satisfaction might have been given, by this allusion to the
fictitious Five Thousand, or by the fallacious reference to the
numbers, real or pretended, of the past democratical assemblies,
had these envoys carried to Samos the first tidings of the Athenian
revolution, we cannot say. They were forestalled by Chæreas, the
officer of the paralus; who, though the Four Hundred tried to detain
him, made his escape and hastened to Samos to communicate the
fearful and unexpected change which had occurred at Athens. Instead
of hearing that change described under the treacherous extenuations
prescribed by Antiphon and Phrynichus, the armament first learned it
from the lips of Chæreas, who told them at once the extreme truth,
and even more than the truth. He recounted, with indignation, that
every Athenian who ventured to say a word against the Four Hundred
rulers of the city, was punished with the scourge; that even the
wives and children of persons hostile to them were outraged; that
there was a design of seizing and imprisoning the relatives of
the democrats at Samos, and putting them to death, if the latter
refused to obey orders from Athens. The simple narrative of what had
really occurred would have been quite sufficient to provoke in the
armament a sentiment of detestation against the Four Hundred. But
these additional details of Chæreas, partly untrue, filled them with
uncontrollable wrath, which they manifested by open menace against
the known partisans of the Four Hundred at Samos, as well as against
those who had taken part in the recent oligarchical conspiracy in the
island. It was not without difficulty that their hands were arrested
by the more reflecting citizens present, who remonstrated against the
madness of such disorderly proceedings when the enemy was close upon

But though violence and aggressive insult were thus seasonably
checked, the sentiment of the armament was too ardent and unanimous
to be satisfied without some solemn, emphatic, and decisive
declaration against the oligarchs at Athens. A great democratical
manifestation, of the most earnest and imposing character, was
proclaimed, chiefly at the instance of Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus.
The Athenian armament, brought together in one grand assembly, took
an oath by the most stringent sanctions: to maintain their democracy;
to keep up friendship and harmony with each other; to carry on the
war against the Peloponnesians with energy; to be at enmity with the
Four Hundred at Athens, and to enter into no amicable communication
with them whatever. The whole armament swore to this compact
with enthusiasm, and even those who had before taken part in the
oligarchical movements were forced to be forward in the ceremony.[58]
What lent double force to this touching scene was, that the entire
Samian population, every male of the military age, took the oath
along with the friendly armament. Both pledged themselves to mutual
fidelity and common suffering or triumph, whatever might be the issue
of the contest. Both felt that the Peloponnesians at Milêtus, and
the Four Hundred at Athens, were alike their enemies, and that the
success of either would be their common ruin.

  [58] Thucyd. viii, 75. Μετὰ δὲ τοῦτο, λαμπρῶς ἤδη ἐς δημοκρατίαν
  βουλόμενοι μεταστῆσαι τὰ ἐν τῇ Σάμῳ ὅ τε Θρασύβουλος καὶ
  Θράσυλλος, ὥρκωσαν πάντας τοὺς στρατιώτας τοὺς μεγίστους ὅρκους,
  καὶ αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἐκ τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας μάλιστα, ἦ μὴν δημοκρατήσεσθαι
  τε καὶ ὁμονοήσειν, καὶ τὸν πρὸς Πελοποννησίους πόλεμον προθύμως
  διοίσειν, καὶ τοῖς τετρακοσίοις πολέμιοί τε ἔσεσθαι καὶ οὐδὲν
  ἐπικηρυκεύεσθαι. Ξυνώμνυσαν δὲ καὶ Σαμίων πάντες τὸν αὐτὸν ὅρκον
  οἱ ἐν τῇ ἡλικίᾳ, καὶ τὰ πράγματα πάντα καὶ τὰ ἀποβησόμενα ἐκ τῶν
  κινδύνων ξυνεκοινώσαντο οἱ στρατιῶται τοῖς Σαμίοις, νομίζοντες
  οὔτε ἐκείνοις ἀποστροφὴν σωτηρίας οὔτε σφίσιν εἶναι, ἀλλ᾽ ἐάν
  τε οἱ τετρακόσιοι κρατήσωσιν ἐάν τε οἱ ἐκ Μιλήτου πολέμιοι,

Pursuant to this resolution,—of upholding their democracy and at
the same time sustaining the war against the Peloponnesians, at all
cost or peril to themselves,—the soldiers of the armament now took
a step unparalleled in Athenian history. Feeling that they could no
longer receive orders from Athens under her present oligarchical
rulers, with whom Charmînus and others among their own leaders were
implicated, they constituted themselves into a sort of community
apart, and held an assembly as citizens to choose anew their generals
and trierarchs. Of those already in command, several were deposed as
unworthy of trust; others being elected in their places, especially
Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus. Nor was the assembly held for election
alone; it was a scene of effusive sympathy, animating eloquence, and
patriotism generous as well as resolute. The united armament felt
that _they_ were the real Athens; the guardians of her constitution,
the upholders of her remaining empire and glory, the protectors of
her citizens at home against those conspirators who had intruded
themselves wrongfully into the senate-house; the sole barrier, even
for those conspirators themselves, against the hostile Peloponnesian
fleet. “_The city has revolted from us_,” exclaimed Thrasybulus
and others in pregnant words, which embodied a whole train of
feeling.[59] “But let not this abate our courage: for they are only
the lesser force, we are the greater and the self-sufficing. We have
here the whole navy of the state, whereby we can insure to ourselves
the contributions from our dependencies just as well as if we started
from Athens. We have the hearty attachment of Samos, second in power
only to Athens herself, and serving us as a military station against
the enemy, now as in the past. We are better able to obtain supplies
for ourselves, than those in the city for themselves; for it is only
through our presence at Samos that they have hitherto kept the mouth
of Peiræus open. If they refuse to restore to us our democratical
constitution, we shall be better able to exclude them from the sea
than they to exclude us. What, indeed, does the city do now for us
to second our efforts against the enemy? Little or nothing. We have
lost nothing by their separation. They send us no pay, they leave us
to provide maintenance for ourselves; they are now out of condition
for sending us even good counsel, which is the great superiority of a
city over a camp.[60] As counsellors, we here are better than they;
for they have just committed the wrong of subverting the constitution
of our common country, while we are striving to maintain it, and
will do our best to force them into the same track. Alkibiadês,
if we insure to him a safe restoration, will cheerfully bring the
alliance of Persia to sustain us; and, even if the worst comes to
the worst, if all other hopes fail us, our powerful naval force will
always enable us to find places of refuge in abundance, with city and
territory adequate to our wants.”

  [59] Thucyd. viii, 76. Καὶ παραινέσεις ἄλλας τε ἐποιοῦντο ἐν
  σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ἀνιστάμενοι, καὶ ὡς οὐ δεῖ ἀθυμεῖν ὅτι ~ἡ πόλις
  αὐτῶν ἀφέστηκε~· τοὺς γὰρ ἐλάσσους ~ἀπὸ σφῶν τῶν~ πλεόνων καὶ ἐς
  πάντα ποριμωτέρων ~μεθεστάναι~.

  [60] Thucyd. viii, 76. Βραχὺ δέ τι εἶναι καὶ οὐδενὸς ἄξιον, ᾧ
  πρὸς τὸ περιγίγνεσθαι τῶν πολεμίων ἡ πόλις χρήσιμος ἦν, καὶ
  οὐδὲν ἀπολωλεκέναι, οἵ γε μήτε ἀργύριον ἔτι εἶχον πέμπειν, ἀλλ᾽
  αὐτοὶ ἐπορίζοντο οἱ στρατιῶται, μήτε βούλευμα χρηστὸν, οὗπερ
  ἕνεκα πόλις στρατοπέδων κρατεῖ· ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐν τούτοις τοὺς μὲν
  ἡμαρτηκέναι, τοὺς πατρίους νόμους καταλύσαντας, αὐτοὶ δὲ σώζειν
  καὶ ἐκείνους πειράσεσθαι προσαναγκάζειν. Ὥστε οὐδὲ τούτους, οἵπερ
  ἂν βουλεύοιέν τι χρηστὸν, παρὰ σφίσι χείρους εἶναι.

Such was the encouraging language of Thrasyllus and Thrasybulus,
which found full sympathy in the armament, and raised among them
a spirit of energetic patriotism and resolution, not unworthy of
their forefathers when refugees at Salamis under the invasion of
Xerxês. To regain their democracy and to sustain the war against the
Peloponnesians, were impulses alike ardent and blended in the same
tide of generous enthusiasm; a tide so vehement as to sweep before it
the reluctance of that minority who had before been inclined to the
oligarchical movement. But besides these two impulses, there was also
a third, tending towards the recall of Alkibiadês; a coadjutor, if in
many ways useful, yet bringing with him a spirit of selfishness and
duplicity uncongenial to the exalted sentiment now all-powerful at

  [61] The application of the Athenians at Samos to Alkibiadês,
  reminds us of the emphatic language in which Tacitus
  characterizes an incident in some respects similar. The Roman
  army, fighting in the cause of Vitellius against Vespasian, had
  been betrayed by their general Cæcina, who endeavored to carry
  them over to the latter: his army, however, refused to follow
  him, adhered to their own cause, and put him under arrest. Being
  afterwards defeated by the troops of Vespasian, and obliged to
  capitulate in Cremona, they released Cæcina, and solicited his
  intercession to obtain favorable terms. “Primores castrorum nomen
  atque imagines Vitellii amoliuntur; catenas Cæcinæ (nam etiam
  tum vinctus erat) exsolvunt, orantque, ut causæ suæ deprecator
  adsistat: aspernantem tumentemque lacrymis fatigant. _Extremum
  malorum, tot fortissimi viri, proditoris opem invocantes._”
  (Tacitus, Histor. iii, 31.)

This exile had been the first to originate the oligarchical
conspiracy, whereby Athens, already scarcely adequate to the
exigencies of her foreign war, was now paralyzed in courage and
torn by civil discord, preserved from absolute ruin only by
that counter-enthusiasm which a fortunate turn of circumstances
had raised up at Samos. Having at first duped the conspirators
themselves, and enabled them to dupe the sincere democrats, by
promising Persian aid, and thus floating the plot over its first
and greatest difficulties,—Alkibiadês had found himself constrained
to break with them as soon as the time came for realizing his
promises. But he had broken off with so much address as still to
keep up the illusion that he _could_ realize them if he chose. His
return by means of the oligarchy being now impossible, he naturally
became its enemy, and this new antipathy superseded his feeling
of revenge against the democracy for having banished him. In fact
he was disposed, as Phrynichus had truly said about him,[62] to
avail himself indifferently of either, according as the one or the
other presented itself as a serviceable agency for his ambitious
views. Accordingly, as soon as the turn of affairs at Samos had
made itself manifest, he opened communication with Thrasybulus and
the democratical leaders,[63] renewing to them the same promises of
Persian alliance, on condition of his own restoration, as he had
before made to Peisander and the oligarchical party. Thrasybulus and
his colleagues either sincerely believed him, or at least thought
that his restoration afforded a possibility, not to be neglected, of
obtaining Persian aid, without which they despaired of the war. Such
possibility would at least infuse spirit into the soldiers; while the
restoration was now proposed without the terrible condition which had
before accompanied it, of renouncing the democratical constitution.

  [62] Thucyd. viii, 48.

  [63] Thucydidês does not expressly mention this communication,
  but it is implied in the words Ἀλκιβιάδην—~ἄσμενον παρέξειν~,
  etc. (viii, 76.)

It was not without difficulty, however, nor until after more than
one assembly and discussion,[64] that Thrasybulus prevailed on the
armament to pass a vote of security and restoration to Alkibiadês. As
Athenian citizens, the soldiers probably were unwilling to take upon
them the reversal of a sentence solemnly passed by the democratical
tribunal, on the ground of irreligion with suspicion of treason. They
were, however, induced to pass the vote, after which Thrasybulus
sailed over to the Asiatic coast, brought across Alkibiadês to the
island, and introduced him to the assembled armament. The supple
exile, who had denounced the democracy so bitterly, both at Sparta,
and in his correspondence with the oligarchical conspirators, knew
well how to adapt himself to the sympathies of the democratical
assembly now before him. He began by deploring the sentence of
banishment passed against him, and throwing the blame of it, not
upon the injustice of his countrymen, but upon his own unhappy
destiny.[65] He then entered upon the public prospects of the moment,
pledging himself with entire confidence to realize the hopes of
Persian alliance, and boasting, in terms not merely ostentatious but
even extravagant, of the ascendant influence which he possessed over
Tissaphernês. The satrap had promised him, so the speech went on,
never to let the Athenians want for pay, as soon as he once came to
trust them, not even if it were necessary to issue out his last daric
or to coin his own silver couch into money. Nor would he require any
farther condition to induce him to trust them, except that Alkibiadês
should be restored and should become their guarantee. Not only would
he furnish the Athenians with pay, but he would, besides, bring up to
their aid the Phenician fleet, which was already at Aspendus, instead
of placing it at the disposal of the Peloponnesians.

  [64] Thucyd. viii, 81. Θρασύβουλος, ~ἀεί τε τῆς αὐτῆς γνώμης
  ἐχόμενος~, ἐπειδὴ μετέστησε τὰ πράγματα, ὥστε κατάγειν
  Ἀλκιβιάδην, καὶ ~τέλος~ ἐπ᾽ ἐκκλησίας ἔπεισε τὸ πλῆθος τῶν
  στρατιωτῶν, etc.

  [65] Thucyd. viii, 81. γενομένης δὲ ἐκκλησίας τήν ~τε ἰδίαν
  ξυμφορὰν τῆς φυγῆς ἐπῃτιάσατο καὶ ἀνωλοφύρατο~ ὁ Ἀλκιβιάδης, etc.

  Contrast the different language of Alkibiadês, vi, 92: viii, 47.

  For the word ξυμφορὰν, compare i, 127.

  Nothing can be more false and perverted than the manner in which
  the proceedings of Alkibiadês, during this period, are presented
  in the Oration of Isokratês de Bigis, sects. 18-23.

In the communications of Alkibiadês with Peisander and his
coadjutors, Alkibiadês had pretended that the Great King could have
no confidence in the Athenians unless they not only restored him, but
abnegated their democracy. On this occasion, the latter condition was
withdrawn, and the confidence of the Great King was said to be more
easily accorded. But though Alkibiadês thus presented himself with
a new falsehood, as well as with a new vein of political sentiment,
his discourse was eminently successful. It answered all the various
purposes which he contemplated; partly of intimidating and disuniting
the oligarchical conspirators at home, partly of exalting his own
grandeur in the eyes of the armament, partly of sowing mistrust
between the Spartans and Tissaphernês. It was in such full harmony
with both the reigning feelings of the armament,—eagerness to
put down the Four Hundred, as well as to get the better of their
Peloponnesian enemies in Ionia,—that the hearers were not disposed to
scrutinize narrowly the grounds upon which his assurances rested. In
the fulness of confidence and enthusiasm, they elected him general
along with Thrasybulus and the rest, conceiving redoubled hopes
of victory over their enemies both at Athens and at Milêtus. So
completely, indeed, were their imaginations filled with the prospect
of Persian aid, against their enemies in Ionia, that alarm for the
danger of Athens under the government of the Four Hundred became
the predominant feeling; and many voices were even raised in favor
of sailing to Peiræus for the rescue of the city. But Alkibiadês,
knowing well—what the armament did not know—that his own promises of
Persian pay and fleet were a mere delusion, strenuously dissuaded
such a movement, which would have left the dependencies in Ionia
defenceless against the Peloponnesians. As soon as the assembly
broke up, he crossed over again to the mainland, under pretence
of concerting measures with Tissaphernês to realize his recent

Relieved substantially, though not in strict form, from the penalties
of exile, Alkibiadês was thus launched in a new career. After having
first played the game of Athens against Sparta, next, that of Sparta
against Athens, thirdly, that of Tissaphernês against both, he now
professed to take up again the promotion of Athenian interests.
In reality, however, he was and had always been playing his own
game, or obeying his own self-interest, ambition, or antipathy. He
was at this time eager to make a show of intimate and confidential
communication with Tissaphernês, in order that he might thereby
impose upon the Athenians at Samos, to communicate to the satrap his
recent election as general of the Athenian force, that his importance
with the Persians might be enhanced, and lastly, by passing backwards
and forwards from Tissaphernês to the Athenian camp, to exhibit an
appearance of friendly concert between the two, which might sow
mistrust and alarm in the minds of the Peloponnesians. In this
tripartite manœuvring, so suitable to his habitual character, he was
more or less successful, especially in regard to the latter purpose.
For though he never had any serious chance of inducing Tissaphernês
to assist the Athenians, he did, nevertheless, contribute to alienate
him from the enemy, as well as the enemy from him.[66]

  [66] Thucyd. viii, 82, 83, 87.

Without any longer delay in the camp of Tissaphernês than was
necessary to keep up the faith of the Athenians in his promise of
Persian aid, Alkibiadês returned to Samos, where he was found by
the ten envoys sent by the Four Hundred from Athens, on their first
arrival. These envoys had been long in their voyage; having made a
considerable stay at Delos, under alarm from intelligence of the
previous visit of Chæreas, and the furious indignation which his
narrative had provoked.[67] At length they reached Samos, and were
invited by the generals to make their communication to the assembled
armament. They had the utmost difficulty in procuring a hearing, so
strong was the antipathy against them, so loud were the cries that
the subverters of the democracy ought to be put to death. Silence
being at length obtained, they proceeded to state that the late
revolution had been brought to pass for the salvation of the city,
and especially for the economy of the public treasure, by suppressing
the salaried civil functions of the democracy, and thus leaving more
pay for the soldiers;[68] that there was no purpose of mischief in
the change, still less of betrayal to the enemy, which might already
have been effected, had such been the intention of the Four Hundred,
when Agis advanced from Dekeleia up to the walls; that the citizens
now possessing the political franchise, were not Four Hundred only,
but Five Thousand in number, all of whom would take their turn in
rotation for the places now occupied by the Four Hundred;[69] that
the recitals of Chæreas, affirming ill-usage to have been offered
to the relatives of the soldiers at Athens, were utterly false and

  [67] Thucyd. viii, 77-86.

  [68] Thucyd. viii, 86. Εἰ δὲ ἐς εὐτέλειάν τι ξυντέτμηται, ὥστε
  τοὺς στρατιώτας ἔχειν τροφὴν, πάνυ ἐπαινεῖν.

  This is a part of the answer of Alkibiadês to the envoys, and
  therefore indicates what they had urged.

  [69] Thucyd. viii, 86. τῶν τε πεντακισχιλίων ὅτι πάντες ἐν τῷ
  μέρει μεθέξουσιν, etc. I dissent from Dr. Arnold’s construction
  of this passage, which is followed both by Poppo and by Göller.
  He says, in his note: “The sense must clearly be, ‘that all the
  citizens should be of the five thousand in their turn,’ however
  strange the expression may seem, μεθέξουσι τῶν πεντακισχιλίων.
  But without referring to the absurdity of the meaning, that all
  the Five Thousand should partake of the government _in their
  turn_,—for they _all_ partook of it as being the sovereign
  assembly,—yet μετέχειν, in this sense, would require τῶν
  πραγμάτων after it, and would be at least as harsh, standing
  alone, as in the construction of μεθέξουσι τῶν πεντακισχιλίων.”

  Upon this remark, 1. Μετέχειν may be construed with a genitive
  case not actually expressed, but understood out of the words
  preceding; as we may see by Thucyd. ii, 16, where I agree with
  the interpretation suggested by Matthiæ (Gr. Gr. § 325), rather
  than with Dr. Arnold’s note.

  2. In the present instance, we are not reduced to the necessity
  of gathering a genitive case for μετέχειν by implication out of
  previous phraseology: for the express genitive case stands there
  a line or two before—~τῆς πόλεως~, the idea of which is carried
  down without being ever dropped: οἱ δ᾽ ἀπήγγελλον, ὡς οὔτε ἐπὶ
  διαφθορᾷ ~τῆς πόλεως~ ἡ μετάστασις γένοιτο, ἀλλ᾽ ἐπὶ σωτηρίᾳ,
  οὔθ᾽ ἵνα τοῖς πολεμίοις παραδοθῇ (i. e., ἡ πόλις) ... τῶν τε
  πεντακισχιλίων ὅτι πάντες ~ἐν τῷ μέρει μεθέξουσιν~ (i. e., τῆς

  There is therefore no harshness of expression; nor is there any
  absurdity of meaning, as we may see by the repetition of the very
  same in viii, 93, λέγοντες τούς τε πεντακισχιλίους ἀποφανεῖν,
  καὶ ~ἐκ τούτων ἐν μέρει~, ᾗ ἂν τοῖς πεντακισχιλίοις δοκῇ, ~τοὺς
  τετρακοσίους ἔσεσθαι~, etc.

  Dr. Arnold’s designation of these Five Thousand as “the sovereign
  assembly,” is not very accurate. They were not an assembly at
  all: they had never been called together, nor had anything
  been said about an intention of calling them together: in
  reality, they were but a fiction and a name; but even the Four
  Hundred themselves pretended only to talk of them as partners
  in the conspiracy and revolution, not as _an assembly_ to be
  convoked—πεντακισχίλιοι—~οἱ πράσσοντες~ (viii, 72).

  As to the idea of bringing all the remaining citizens to equal
  privileges, in rotation, with the Five Thousand, we shall see
  that it was never broached until considerably after the Four
  Hundred had been put down.

Such were the topics on which the envoys insisted, in an apologetic
strain, at considerable length, but without any effect in
conciliating the soldiers who heard them. The general resentment
against the Four Hundred was expressed by several persons present
in public speech, by others in private manifestation of feeling
against the envoys: and so passionately was this sentiment
aggravated,—consisting not only of wrath for what the oligarchy had
done, but of fear for what they might do,—that the proposition of
sailing immediately to the Peiræus was revived with greater ardor
than before. Alkibiadês, who had already once discountenanced this
design, now stood forward to repel it again. Nevertheless, all the
plenitude of his influence, then greater than that of any other
officer in the armament, and seconded by the esteemed character as
well as the loud voice of Thrasybulus,[70] was required to avert
it. But for him, it would have been executed. While he reproved and
silenced those who were most clamorous against the envoys, he took
upon himself to give to the latter a public answer in the name of the
collective armament. “We make no objection (he said) to the power of
the Five Thousand: but the Four Hundred must go about their business,
and reinstate the senate of Five Hundred as it was before. We are
much obliged for what you have done in the way of economy, so as to
increase the pay available for the soldiers. Above all, maintain the
war strenuously, without any flinching before the enemy. For if the
city be now safely held, there is good hope that we may make up the
mutual differences between us by amicable settlement; but if once
either of us perish, either we here or you at home, there will be
nothing left for the other to make up with.”[71]

  [70] Plutarch, Alkibiadês, c. 26.

  [71] Thucyd. viii. 86. Καὶ τἄλλα ἐκέλευεν ἀντέχειν, καὶ μηδὲν
  ἐνδιδόναι τοῖς πολεμίοις· πρὸς μὲν γὰρ σφᾶς αὐτοὺς σωζομένης τῆς
  πόλεως πολλὴν ἐλπίδα εἶναι καὶ ξυμβῆναι, εἰ δὲ ἅπαξ τὸ ἕτερον
  σφαλήσεται ἢ τὸ ἐν Σάμῳ ἢ ἐκεῖνοι, οὐδὲ ὅτῳ διαλλαγήσεταί τις ἔτι

With this reply he dismissed the envoys; the armament reluctantly
abandoning their wish of sailing to Athens. Thucydidês insists much
on the capital service which Alkibiadês then rendered to his country,
by arresting a project which would have had the effect of leaving
all Ionia and the Hellespont defenceless against the Peloponnesians.
His advice doubtless turned out well in the result; yet if we
contemplate the state of affairs at the moment when he gave it, we
shall be inclined to doubt whether prudential calculation was not
rather against him, and in favor of the impulse of the armament.
For what was to hinder the Four Hundred from patching up a peace
with Sparta, and getting a Lacedæmonian garrison into Athens to
help them in maintaining their dominion? Even apart from ambition,
this was their best chance, if not their only chance, of safety for
themselves; and we shall presently see that they tried to do it;
being prevented from succeeding, partly, indeed, by the mutiny which
arose against them at Athens, but still more by the stupidity of the
Lacedæmonians themselves. Alkibiadês could not really imagine that
the Four Hundred would obey his mandate delivered to the envoys,
and resign their power voluntarily. But if they remained masters of
Athens, who could calculate what they would do,—after having received
this declaration of hostility from Samos,—not merely in regard to
the foreign enemy, but even in regard to the relatives of the absent
soldiers? Whether we look to the legitimate apprehensions of the
soldiers, inevitable while their relatives were thus exposed, and
almost unnerving them as to the hearty prosecution of the war abroad,
in their utter uncertainty with regard to matters at home,—or to the
chance of irreparable public calamity, greater even than the loss of
Ionia, by the betrayal of Athens to the enemy,—we shall be disposed
to conclude that the impulse of the armament was not merely natural,
but even founded on a more prudent estimate of the actual chances,
and that Alkibiadês was nothing more than fortunate in a sanguine
venture. And if, instead of the actual chances, we look to the
chances as Alkibiadês represented, and as the armament conceived them
upon his authority,—namely, that the Phenician fleet was close at
hand to act against the Lacedæmonians in Ionia,—we shall sympathize
yet more with the defensive movement homeward. Alkibiadês had an
advantage over every one else, simply by knowing his own falsehoods.

At the same assembly were introduced envoys from Argos, bearing a
mission of recognition and an offer of aid to the Athenian Demos in
Samos. They came in an Athenian trireme, navigated by the parali
who had brought home Chæreas in the paralus from Samos to Athens,
and had been then transferred into a common ship of war and sent to
cruise about Eubœa. Since that time, however, they had been directed
to convey Læspodias, Aristophon, and Melêsias,[72] as ambassadors
from the Four Hundred to Sparta. But when crossing the Argolic gulf,
probably under orders to land at Prasiæ, they declared against the
oligarchy, sailed to Argos, and there deposited as prisoners the
three ambassadors, who had all been active in the conspiracy of
the Four Hundred. Being then about to depart for Samos, they were
requested by the Argeians to carry thither their envoys, who were
dismissed by Alkibiadês with an expression of gratitude, and with a
hope that their aid would be ready when called for.

  [72] Thucyd. viii. 86. It is very probable that the Melêsias here
  mentioned was the son of that Thucydidês who was the leading
  political opponent of Periklês. Melêsias appears as one of the
  _dramatis personæ_ in Plato’s dialogue called Lachês.

Meanwhile the envoys returned from Samos to Athens, carrying back
to the Four Hundred the unwelcome news of their total failure with
the armament. A little before, it appears, some of the trierarchs on
service at the Hellespont had returned to Athens also,—Eratosthenês,
Iatroklês, and others, who had tried to turn their squadron to the
purposes of the oligarchical conspirators, but had been baffled and
driven off by the inflexible democracy of their own seamen.[73] If at
Athens, the calculations of these conspirators had succeeded more
triumphantly than could have been expected beforehand, everywhere
else they had completely miscarried; not merely at Samos and in
the fleet, but also with the allied dependencies. At the time when
Peisander quitted Samos for Athens, to consummate the oligarchical
conspiracy even without Alkibiadês, he and others had gone round many
of the dependencies and had effected a similar revolution in their
internal government, in hopes that they would thus become attached to
the new oligarchy at Athens. But this anticipation, as Phrynichus had
predicted, was nowhere realized. The newly-created oligarchies only
became more anxious for complete autonomy than the democracies had
been before. At Thasos, especially, a body of exiles who had for some
time dwelt in Peloponnesus were recalled, and active preparations
were made for revolt, by new fortifications as well as by new
triremes.[74] Instead of strengthening their hold on the maritime
empire, the Four Hundred thus found that they had actually weakened
it; while the pronounced hostility of the armament at Samos, not only
put an end to all their hopes abroad, but rendered their situation at
home altogether precarious.

  [73] Lysias cont. Eratosthen. sect. 43, c. 9, p. 411, Reisk.
  οὐ γὰρ νῦν πρῶτον (Eratosthenês) τῷ ὑμετέρῳ πλήθει τὰ ἐναντία
  ἔπραξεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν Τετρακοσίων ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ ὀλιγαρχίαν
  καθιστὰς ἔφευγεν ἐξ Ἑλλησπόντου τριηράρχος καταλιπὼν τὴν ναῦν,
  μετὰ Ἰατροκλέους καὶ ἑτέρων ... ἀφικόμενος δὲ δεῦρο τἀναντία τοῖς
  βουλομένοις δημοκρατίαν εἶναι ἔπραττε.

  [74] Thucyd. viii, 64.

From the moment when the coadjutors of Antiphon first learned,
through the arrival of Chæreas at Athens, the proclamation of the
democracy at Samos, discord, mistrust, and alarm began to spread
even among their own members; together with a conviction that
the oligarchy could never stand except through the presence of a
Peloponnesian garrison in Athens. While Antiphon and Phrynichus,
the leading minds who directed the majority of the Four Hundred,
despatched envoys to Sparta for concluding peace,—these envoys never
reached Sparta, being seized by the parali and sent prisoners to
Argos, as above stated—, and commenced the erection of a special fort
at Ectioneia, the projecting mole which contracted and commanded, on
the northern side, the narrow entrance of Peiræus, there began to
arise even in the bosom of the Four Hundred an opposition minority
affecting popular sentiment, among whom the most conspicuous persons
were Theramenês and Aristokratês.[75]

  [75] Thucyd. viii, 89, 90. The representation of the character
  and motives of Theramenês, as given by Lysias in the Oration
  contra Eratosthenem (Orat. xii, sects. 66, 67, 79; Orat. xiii,
  cont. Agorat. sects. 12-17), is quite in harmony with that of
  Thucydidês (viii, 89): compare Aristophan. Ran. 541-966; Xenoph.
  Hellen. ii, 3, 27-30.

Though these men had stood forward prominently as contrivers and
actors throughout the whole progress of the conspiracy, they now
found themselves bitterly disappointed by the result. Individually,
their ascendency with their colleagues was inferior to that of
Peisander, Kallæschrus, Phrynichus, and others; while, collectively,
the ill-gotten power of the Four Hundred was diminished in value, as
much as it was aggravated in peril, by the loss of the foreign empire
and the alienation of their Samian armament. Now began the workings
of jealousy and strife among the successful conspirators, each of
whom had entered into the scheme with unbounded expectations of
personal ambition for himself, each had counted on stepping at once
into the first place among the new oligarchical body. In a democracy,
observes Thucydidês, contentions for power and preëminence provoke in
the unsuccessful competitors less of fierce antipathy and sense of
injustice, than in an oligarchy; for the losing candidates acquiesce
with comparatively little repugnance in the unfavorable vote of a
large miscellaneous body of unknown citizens; but they are angry at
being put aside by a few known comrades, their rivals as well as
their equals: moreover, at the moment when an oligarchy of ambitious
men has just raised itself on the ruins of a democracy, every man
of the conspirators is in exaggerated expectation; every one thinks
himself entitled to become at once the first man of the body, and is
dissatisfied if he be merely put upon a level with the rest.[76]

  [76] Thucyd. viii, 89. ἦν δὲ τοῦτο μὲν σχῆμα πολιτικὸν τοῦ λόγου
  αὐτοῖς, κατ᾽ ἰδίας δὲ φιλοτιμίας οἱ πολλοὶ αὐτῶν τῷ τοιούτῳ
  προσέκειντο, ἐν ᾧπερ καὶ μάλιστα ὀλιγαρχία ἐκ δημοκρατίας
  γενομένη ἀπόλλυται. Πάντες γὰρ αὐθημερὸν ἀξιοῦσιν οὐχ ὅπως ἴσοι,
  ἀλλὰ καὶ πολὺ πρῶτος αὐτὸς ἕκαστος εἶναι· ἐκ δὲ δημοκρατίας
  αἱρέσεως γιγνομένης, ῥᾷον τὰ ἀποβαίνοντα, ὡς οὐκ ἀπὸ τῶν ὁμοίων,
  ἐλασσούμενός τις φέρει.

  I give in the text what appears to me the proper sense of this
  passage, the last words of which are obscure: see the long notes
  of the commentators, especially Dr. Arnold and Poppo. Dr. Arnold
  considers τῶν ὁμοίων as a neuter, and gives the paraphrase of
  the last clause as follows: “Whereas under an old-established
  government, they (ambitious men of talent) are prepared to fail:
  they know that the weight of the government is against them, and
  are thus spared the peculiar pain of being beaten in a fair race,
  when they and their competitors start with equal advantages, and
  there is nothing to lessen the mortification of defeat. Ἀπὸ τῶν
  ὁμοίων ἐλασσούμενος, is, _being beaten when the game is equal,
  when the terms of the match are fair_.”

  I cannot concur in Dr. Arnold’s explanation of these words, or
  of the general sense of the passage. He thinks that Thucydidês
  means to affirm what applies generally “to an opposition minority
  when it succeeds in revolutionizing the established government,
  whether the government be a democracy or a monarchy; whether
  the minority be an aristocratical party or a popular one.” It
  seems to me, on the contrary, that the affirmation bears only
  on the special case of an oligarchical conspiracy subverting a
  democracy, and that the comparison taken is applicable only to
  the state of things as it stood under the preceding democracy.

  Next, the explanation given of the words by Dr. Arnold, assumes
  that “to be beaten in a fair race, or when the terms of the
  match are fair,” causes to the loser _the maximum_ of pain and
  offence. This is surely not the fact: or rather, the reverse is
  the fact. The man who loses his cause or his election through
  unjust favor, jealousy, or antipathy, is _more_ hurt than if he
  had lost it under circumstances where he could find no injustice
  to complain of. In both cases, he is doubtless mortified; but
  if there be injustice, he is offended and angry as well as
  mortified: he is disposed to take vengeance on men whom he looks
  upon as his personal enemies. It is important to distinguish
  the mortification of simple failure, from the discontent and
  anger arising out of belief that the failure has been unjustly
  brought about: it is this discontent, tending to break out in
  active opposition, which Thucydidês has present to his mind in
  the comparison which he takes between the state of feeling which
  precedes and follows the subversion of the democracy.

  It appears to me that the words τῶν ὁμοίων are masculine, and
  that they have reference, like πάντες and ἴσοι, in the preceding
  line, to the privileged minority of equal confederates who are
  supposed to have just got possession of the government. At
  Sparta, the word οἱ ὅμοιοι acquired a sort of technical sense,
  to designate the small ascendent minority of wealthy Spartan
  citizens, who monopolized in their own hands political power, to
  the practical exclusion of the remainder (see Xenoph. Hellen.
  iii. 3, 5; Xenoph. Resp. Lac. x, 7; xiii, 1; Demosth. cont. Lept.
  s. 88). Now these ὅμοιοι, or peers, here indicated by Thucydidês
  as the peers of a recently-formed oligarchy, are not merely equal
  among themselves, but rivals one with another, and personally
  known to each other. It is important to bear in mind all these
  attributes as tacitly implied, though not literally designated or
  _connoted_ by the word ὅμοιοι, or peers; because the comparison
  instituted by Thucydidês is founded on all the attributes taken
  together; just as Aristotle (Rhetoric, ii, 8; ii, 13, 4), in
  speaking of the envy and jealousy apt to arise towards τοὺς
  ὁμοίους, considers them as ἀντεράστας and ἀνταγωνίστας.

  The Four Hundred at Athens were all peers,—equals, rivals,
  and personally known among one another,—who had just raised
  themselves by joint conspiracy to supreme power. Theramenês,
  one of the number, conceives himself entitled to preëminence,
  but finds that he is shut out from it, the men who shut him
  out being this small body of known equals and rivals. He is
  inclined to impute the exclusion to personal motives on the part
  of this small knot; to selfish ambition on the part of each; to
  ill-will, to jealousy, to wrongful partiality; so that he thinks
  himself injured, and the sentiment of injury is embittered by
  the circumstance that those from whom it proceeds are a narrow,
  known, and definite body of colleagues. Whereas, if his exclusion
  had taken place under the democracy, by the suffrage of a large,
  miscellaneous, and personally unknown collection of citizens, he
  would have been far less likely to carry off with him a sense of
  injury. Doubtless he would have been mortified; but he would not
  have looked upon the electors in the light of jealous or selfish
  rivals, nor would they form a definite body before him for his
  indignation to concentrate itself upon. Thus Nikomachidês—whom
  Sokratês (see Xenophon, Memor. iii, 4) meets returning mortified
  because the people had chosen another person and not him as
  general—would have been not only mortified, but angry and
  vindictive besides, if he had been excluded by a few peers and

  Such, in my judgment, is the comparison which Thucydidês wishes
  to draw between the effect of disappointment inflicted by the
  suffrage of a numerous and miscellaneous body of citizens,
  compared with disappointment inflicted by a small knot of
  oligarchical peers upon a competitor among their own number,
  especially at a moment when the expectations of all these peers
  are exaggerated, in consequence of the recent acquisition of
  their power. I believe the remark of the historian to be quite
  just; and that the disappointment in the first case is less
  intense, less connected with the sentiment of injury, and less
  likely to lead to active manifestation of enmity. This is one
  among the advantages of a numerous suffrage.

  I cannot better illustrate the jealousies pretty sure to break
  out among a small number of ὅμοιοι, or rival peers, than by
  the description which Justin gives of the leading officers of
  Alexander the Great, immediately after that monarch’s death
  (Justin, xii, 2):—

  “Cæterum, occiso Alexandro, non, ut læti, ita et securi fuere,
  omnibus unum locum competentibus: nec minus milites invicem se
  timebant, quorum et libertas solutior et favor incertus erat.
  _Inter ipsos vero æqualitas discordiam augebat_, nemine tantum
  cæteros excedente, ut ei aliquis se submitteret.”

  Compare Plutarch, Lysander, c. 23.

  Haack and Poppo think that ὁμοίων cannot be masculine, because
  ~ἀπὸ~ τῶν ὁμοίων ἐλασσούμενος would not then be correct, but
  ought to be ~ὑπὸ~ τῶν ὁμοίων ἐλασσούμενος. I should dispute,
  under all circumstances, the correctness of this criticism: for
  there are quite enough parallel cases to defend the use of ἀπὸ
  here, (see Thucyd. i, 17; iii, 82; iv, 115; vi, 28, etc.) But
  we need not enter into the debate; for the genitive τῶν ὁμοίων
  depends rather upon τὰ ἀποβαίνοντα which precedes, than upon
  ἐλασσούμενος which follows; and the preposition ἀπὸ is what we
  should naturally expect. To mark this, I have put a comma after
  ἀποβαίνοντα as well as after ὁμοίων.

  To show that an opinion is not correct, indeed, does not afford
  _certain_ evidence that Thucydidês may not have advanced it: for
  he might be mistaken. But it ought to count as good presumptive
  evidence, unless the words peremptorily bind us to the contrary,
  which in this case they do not.

Such were the feelings of disappointed ambition, mingled with
despondency, which sprung up among a minority of the Four Hundred,
immediately after the news of the proclamation of the democracy at
Samos among the armament. Theramenês, the leader of this minority,—a
man of keen ambition, clever but unsteady and treacherous, not
less ready to desert his party than to betray his country, though
less prepared for extreme atrocities than many of his oligarchical
comrades, began to look out for a good pretence to disconnect himself
from a precarious enterprise. Taking advantage of the delusion
which the Four Hundred had themselves held out about the fictitious
Five Thousand, he insisted that, since the dangers that beset the
newly-formed authority were so much more formidable than had been
anticipated, it was necessary to popularize the party by enrolling
and producing these Five Thousand as a real instead of a fictitious
body.[77] Such an opposition, formidable from the very outset, became
still bolder and more developed when the envoys returned from Samos,
with an account of their reception by the armament, as well as of the
answer, delivered in the name of the armament, whereby Alkibiadês
directed the Four Hundred to dissolve themselves forthwith, but at
the same time approved of the constitution of the Five Thousand,
coupled with the restoration of the old senate. To enroll the Five
Thousand at once, would be meeting the army half way; and there were
hopes that, at that price, a compromise and reconciliation might be
effected, of which Alkibiadês had himself spoken as practicable.[78]
In addition to the formal answer, the envoys doubtless brought back
intimation of the enraged feelings manifested by the armament, and
of their eagerness, uncontrollable by every one except Alkibiadês,
to sail home forthwith and rescue Athens from the Four Hundred.
Hence arose an increased conviction that the dominion of the latter
could not last: and an ambition, on the part of others as well as
Theramenês, to stand forward as leaders of a popular opposition
against it, in the name of the Five Thousand.[79]

  [77] Thucyd. viii, 86, 2. Of this sentence, from φοβούμενοι down
  to καθιστάναι, I only profess to understand the last clause.
  It is useless to discuss the many conjectural amendments of a
  corrupt text, none of them satisfactory.

  [78] Thucyd. viii, 86-89. It is alleged by Andokidês (in an
  oration delivered many years afterwards before the people of
  Athens, De Reditu suo, sects. 10-15), that during this spring
  he furnished the armament at Samos with wood proper for the
  construction of oars, only obtained by the special favor of
  Archelaus king of Macedonia, and of which the armament then stood
  in great need. He farther alleges, that he afterwards visited
  Athens, while the Four Hundred were in full dominion; and that
  Peisander, at the head of this oligarchical body, threatened his
  life for having furnished such valuable aid to the armament, then
  at enmity with Athens. Though he saved his life by clinging to
  the altar, yet he had to endure bonds and manifold hard treatment.

  Of these claims, which Andokidês prefers to the favor of the
  subsequent democracy, I do not know how much is true.

  [79] Thucyd. viii, 89. σαφέστατα δὲ αὐτοὺς ἐπῆρε τὰ ἐν τῇ Σάμῳ
  τοῦ Ἀλκιβιάδου ἰσχυρὰ ὄντα, καὶ ὅτι αὐτοῖς οὐκ ἐδόκει μόνιμον τὸ
  τῆς ὀλιγαρχίας ἔσεσθαι. ἠγωνίζετο οὖν εἷς ἕκαστος ~προστάτης τοῦ
  δήμου ἔσεσθαι~.

  This is a remarkable passage, as indicating what is really meant
  by προστάτης τοῦ δήμου: “the leader of a popular opposition.”
  Theramenês, and the other persons here spoken of, did not even
  mention the name of the democracy,—they took up simply the name
  of the Five Thousand,—yet they are still called πρόσταται τοῦ
  δήμου, inasmuch as the Five Thousand were a sort of qualified
  democracy, compared to the Four Hundred.

  The words denote the leader of a popular party, as opposed to
  an oligarchical party (see Thucyd. iii, 70; iv, 66; vi, 35), in
  a form of government either entirely democratical, or at least,
  in which the public assembly is frequently convoked and decides
  on many matters of importance. Thucydidês does not apply the
  words to any Athenian except in the case now before us respecting
  Theramenês: he does not use the words even with respect to Kleon,
  though he employs expressions which seem equivalent to it (iii,
  36; iv, 21)—ἀνὴρ δημαγωγὸς κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον ὢν καὶ τῷ
  πλήθει πιθανώτατος, etc. This is very different from the words
  which he applies to Periklês—ὢν γὰρ ~δυνατώτατος~ τῶν καθ᾽ ἑαυτὸν
  καὶ ~ἄγων τὴν πολιτείαν~ (i, 127). Even in respect to Nikias, he
  puts him in conjunction with Pleistoanax at Sparta, and talks of
  both of them as σπεύδοντες τὰ μάλιστα ~τὴν ἡγεμονίαν~ (v, 16).

  Compare the note of Dr. Arnold on vi, 35.

Against this popular opposition, Antiphon and Phrynichus exerted
themselves, with demagogic assiduity, to caress and keep together
the majority of the Four Hundred, as well as to uphold their power
without abridgment. They were noway disposed to comply with this
requisition that the fiction of the Five Thousand should be converted
into a reality. They knew well that the enrollment of so many
partners[80] would be tantamount to a democracy, and would be, in
substance at least, if not in form, an annihilation of their own
power. They had now gone too far to recede with safety; while the
menacing attitude of Samos, as well as the opposition growing up
against them at home, both within and without their own body, served
only as instigation to them to accelerate their measures for peace
with Sparta, and to secure the introduction of a Spartan garrison.

  [80] Thucyd. viii, 92. τὸ μὲν καταστῆσαι μετόχους τοσούτους,
  ἄντικρυς ἂν δῆμον ἡγούμενοι, etc.

  Aristotle (Polit. v, 5, 4) calls Phrynichus the _demagogue_ of
  the Four Hundred; that is, the person who most strenuously served
  _their_ interests and struggled for _their_ favor.

With this view, immediately after the return of their envoys from
Samos, the two most eminent leaders, Antiphon and Phrynichus,
went themselves with ten other colleagues in all haste to Sparta,
prepared to purchase peace and the promise of Spartan aid almost
at any price. At the same time, the construction of the fortress
at Ectioneia was prosecuted with redoubled zeal; under pretence of
defending the entrance of Peiræus against the armament from Samos,
if the threat of their coming should be executed, but with the real
purpose of bringing into it a Lacedæmonian fleet and army. For this
latter object every facility was provided. The northwestern corner
of the fortification of Peiræus, to the north of the harbor and its
mouth, was cut off by a cross wall reaching southward so as to join
the harbor: from the southern end of this cross wall, and forming an
angle with it, a new wall was built, fronting the harbor and running
to the extremity of the mole which narrowed the mouth of the harbor
on the northern side, at which mole it met the termination of the
northern wall of Peiræus. A separate citadel was thus inclosed,
defensible against any attack either from Peiræus or from the harbor;
furnished, besides, with distinct broad gates and posterns of its
own, as well as with facilities for admitting an enemy within
it.[81] The new cross wall was carried so as to traverse a vast
portico, or open market-house, the largest in Peiræus: the larger
half of this portico thus became inclosed within the new citadel; and
orders were issued that all the corn, both actually warehoused and
hereafter to be imported into Peiræus, should be deposited therein
and sold out from thence for consumption. As Athens was sustained
almost exclusively on corn brought from Eubœa and elsewhere, since
the permanent occupation of Dekeleia, the Four Hundred rendered
themselves masters by this arrangement of all the subsistence of the
citizens, as well as of the entrance into the harbor; either to admit
the Spartans or exclude the armament from Samos.[82]

  [81] Thucyd. viii, 90-92. τὸ τεῖχος τοῦτο, καὶ πυλίδας ἔχον, καὶ
  ἐσόδους, καὶ ἐπεισαγωγὰς τῶν πολεμίων, etc.

  I presume that the last expression refers to facilities for
  admitting the enemy either from the sea-side, or from the
  land-side; that is to say, from the northwestern corner of the
  old wall of Peiræus, which formed one side of the new citadel.

  See Leake’s Topographie Athens, pp. 269, 270, Germ. transl.

  [82] Thucyd. viii, 90. διῳκοδόμησαν δὲ καὶ στοὰν, etc.

  I agree with the note in M. Didot’s translation, that this
  portico, or _halle_, open on three sides, must he considered as
  preëxisting; not as having been first built now; which seems
  to be the supposition of Colonel Leake, and the commentators

Though Theramenês, himself one of the generals named under the
Four Hundred, denounced, in conjunction with his supporters, the
treasonable purpose of this new citadel, yet the majority of the
Four Hundred stood to their resolution, and the building made rapid
progress under the superintendence of the general Alexiklês, one
of the most strenuous of the oligarchical faction.[83] Such was
the habit of obedience at Athens to an established authority, when
once constituted,—and so great the fear and mistrust arising out
of the general belief in the reality of the Five Thousand unknown
auxiliaries, supposed to be prepared to enforce the orders of the
Four Hundred,—that the people, and even armed citizen hoplites,
went on working at the building, in spite of their suspicions as
to its design. Though not completed, it was so far advanced as to
be defensible, when Antiphon and Phrynichus returned from Sparta.
They had gone thither prepared to surrender everything,—not merely
their naval force, but their city itself,—and to purchase their own
personal safety by making the Lacedæmonians masters of Peiræus.[84]
Yet we read with astonishment that the latter could not be prevailed
on to contract any treaty, and that they manifested nothing but
backwardness in seizing this golden opportunity. Had Alkibiadês
been now playing their game, as he had been doing a year earlier,
immediately before the revolt of Chios,—had they been under any
energetic leaders, to impel them into hearty coöperation with the
treason of the Four Hundred, who combined at this moment both the
will and the power to place Athens in their hands, if seconded by an
adequate force,—they might now have overpowered their great enemy at
home, before the armament at Samos could have been brought to the

  [83] Thucyd. viii, 91, 92. Ἀλεξικλέα, στρατηγὸν ὄντα ἐκ τῆς
  ὀλιγαρχίας καὶ μάλιστα πρὸς τοὺς ἑταίρους τετραμμένον, etc.

  [84] Thucyd. viii, 91. Ἀλλὰ καὶ τοὺς πολεμίους ἐσαγαγόμενοι ἄνευ
  τειχῶν καὶ νεῶν ξυμβῆναι, καὶ ὁπωσοῦν τὰ τῆς πόλεως ἔχειν, εἰ
  τοῖς γε σώμασι σφῶν ἄδεια ἔσται.

  _Ibid._ ἐπειδὴ οἱ ἐκ τῆς Λακεδαίμονος πρέσβεις οὐδὲν πράξαντες
  ἀνεχώρησαν τοῖς πᾶσι ξυμβατικὸν, etc.

Considering that Athens was saved from capture only by the slackness
and stupidity of the Spartans, we may see that the armament at Samos
had reasonable excuse for their eagerness previously manifested to
come home; and that Alkibiadês, in combating that intention, braved
an extreme danger which nothing but incredible good fortune averted.
Why the Lacedæmonians remained idle, both in Peloponnesus and at
Dekeleia, while Athens was thus betrayed, and in the very throes of
dissolution, we can render no account: possibly, the caution of the
ephors may have distrusted Antiphon and Phrynichus, from the mere
immensity of their concessions. All that they would promise was, that
a Lacedæmonian fleet of forty-two triremes, partly from Tarentum and
Lokri, now about to start from Las in the Laconian gulf, and to sail
to Eubœa on the invitation of a disaffected party in that island,
should so far depart from its straight course as to hover near Ægina
and Peiræus, ready to take advantage of any opportunity for attack
laid open by the Four Hundred.[85]

  [85] Thucyd. viii, 91. ἦν δέ τι καὶ τοιοῦτον ἀπὸ τῶν τὴν
  κατηγορίαν ἐχόντων, καὶ ~οὐ πάνυ διαβολὴ μόνον~ τοῦ λόγου.

  The reluctant language, in which Thucydidês admits the
  treasonable concert of Antiphon and his colleagues with the
  Lacedæmonians, deserves notice; also c. 94. ~τάχα μέν τι καὶ~ ἀπὸ
  ξυγκειμένου λόγου, etc.

Of this squadron, however, even before it rounded Cape Malea,
Theramenês obtained intelligence, and denounced it as intended
to operate in concert with the Four Hundred for the occupation
of Ectioneia. Meanwhile Athens became daily a scene of greater
discontent and disorder, after the abortive embassy and return from
Sparta of Antiphon and Phrynichus. The coercive ascendency of the
Four Hundred was silently disappearing, while the hatred which their
usurpation had inspired, together with the fear of their traitorous
concert with the public enemy, became more and more loudly manifested
in men’s private conversations as well as in gatherings secretly
got together within numerous houses; especially the house of the
peripolarch, the captain of the peripoli, or youthful hoplites,
who formed the chief police of the country. Such hatred was not
long in passing from vehement passion into act. Phrynichus, as he
left the senate-house, was assassinated by two confederates, one of
them a peripolus, or youthful hoplite, in the midst of the crowded
market-place and in full daylight. The man who struck the blow made
his escape, but his comrade was seized and put to the torture by
order of the Four Hundred:[86] he was however a stranger, from Argos,
and either could not or would not reveal the name of any directing
accomplice. Nothing was obtained from him except general indications
of meetings and wide-spread disaffection. Nor did the Four Hundred,
being thus left without special evidence, dare to lay hands upon
Theramenês, the pronounced leader of the opposition, as we shall find
Kritias doing six years afterwards, under the rule of the Thirty.
The assassins of Phrynichus remaining undiscovered and unpunished,
Theramenês and his associates became bolder in their opposition
than before. And the approach of the Lacedæmonian fleet under
Agesandridas,—which, having now taken station at Epidaurus, had made
a descent on Ægina, and was hovering not far off Peiræus, altogether
out of the straight course for Eubœa,—lent double force to all their
previous assertions about the imminent dangers connected with the
citadel at Ectioneia.

  [86] Thucyd. viii, 91. The statement of Plutarch is in many
  respects different (Alkibiadês, c. 25).

Amidst this exaggerated alarm and discord, the general body of
hoplites became penetrated with aversion,[87] every day increasing,
against the new citadel. At length the hoplites of the tribe in which
Aristokratês, the warmest partisan of Theramenês was taxiarch, being
on duty and engaged in the prosecution of the building, broke out
into absolute mutiny against it, seized the person of Alexiklês,
the general in command, and put him under arrest in a neighboring
house; while the peripoli, or youthful military police, stationed at
Munychia, under Hermon, abetted them in the proceeding.[88] News of
this violence was speedily conveyed to the Four Hundred, who were at
that moment holding session in the senate-house, Theramenês himself
being present. Their wrath and menace were at first vented against
him as the instigator of the revolt, a charge against which he could
only vindicate himself by volunteering to go among the foremost for
the liberation of the prisoner. He forthwith started in haste for
the Peiræus, accompanied by one of the generals, his colleague,
who was of the same political sentiment as himself. A third among
the generals, Aristarchus, one of the fiercest of the oligarchs,
followed him, probably from mistrust, together with some of the
younger knights, horsemen, or richest class in the state, identified
with the cause of the Four Hundred. The oligarchical partisans ran
to marshal themselves in arms, alarming exaggerations being rumored,
that Alexiklês had been put to death, and that Peiræus was under
armed occupation; while at Peiræus the insurgents imagined that the
hoplites from the city were in full march to attack them. For a time
all was confusion and angry sentiment, which the slightest untoward
accident might have inflamed into sanguinary civil carnage. Nor was
it appeased except by earnest intreaty and remonstrance from the
elder citizens, aided by Thucydidês of Pharsalus, proxenus or public
guest of Athens, in his native town, on the ruinous madness of such
discord when a foreign enemy was almost at their gates.

  [87] Thucyd. viii, 92. τὸ δὲ μέγιστον, τῶν ὁπλιτῶν τὸ στῖφος
  ταῦτα ἐβούλετο.

  [88] Plutarch, Alkibiad. c. 26, represents Hermon as one of the
  assassins of Phrynichus.

The perilous excitement of this temporary crisis, which brought
into full daylight every man’s real political sentiments, proved
the oligarchical faction, hitherto exaggerated in number, to be
far less powerful than had been imagined by their opponents. And
the Four Hundred had found themselves too much embarrassed how to
keep up the semblance of their authority even in Athens itself,
to be able to send down any considerable force for the protection
of their citadel at Ectioneia; though they were reinforced, only
eight days before their fall, by at least one supplementary member,
probably in substitution for some predecessor who had accidentally
died.[89] Theramenês, on reaching Peiræus, began to address the
mutinous hoplites in a tone of simulated displeasure, while
Aristarchus and his oligarchical companions spoke in the harshest
language, and threatened them with the force which they imagined to
be presently coming down from the city. But these menaces were met
by equal firmness on the part of the hoplites, who even appealed to
Theramenês himself, and called upon him to say whether he thought
the construction of this citadel was for the good of Athens, or
whether it would not be better demolished. His opinion had been fully
pronounced beforehand; and he replied, that if they thought proper to
demolish it, he cordially concurred. Without farther delay, hoplites
and unarmed people mounted pell-mell upon the walls, and commenced
the demolition with alacrity; under the general shout, “Whoever is
for the Five Thousand in place of the Four Hundred, let him lend a
hand in this work.” The idea of the old democracy was in every one’s
mind, but no man uttered the word; the fear of the imaginary Five
Thousand still continuing. The work of demolition seems to have been
prosecuted all that day, and not to have been completed until the
next day; after which the hoplites released Alexiklês from arrest,
without doing him any injury.[90]

  [89] See Lysias, Orat. xx, pro Polystrato. The fact that
  Polystratus was only eight days a member of the Four Hundred,
  before their fall, is repeated three distinct times in this
  Oration (c. 2, 4, 5, pp. 672, 674, 679, Reisk.), and has all the
  air of truth.

  [90] Thucyd. viii, 92, 93. In the Oration of Demosthenês, or
  Deinarchus, against Theokrinês (c. 17, p. 1343), the speaker,
  Epicharês, makes allusion to this destruction of the fort at
  Ectioneia by Aristokratês uncle of his grandfather. The allusion
  chiefly deserves notice from its erroneous mention of Kritias
  and the return of the Demos from exile, betraying a complete
  confusion between the events in the time of the Four Hundred and
  those in the time of the Thirty.

Two things deserve notice, among these details, as illustrating the
Athenian character. Though Alexiklês was vehemently oligarchical as
well as unpopular, these mutineers do no harm to his person, but
content themselves with putting him under arrest. Next, they do not
venture to commence the actual demolition of the citadel, until
they have the formal sanction of Theramenês, one of the constituted
generals. The strong habit of legality, implanted in all Athenian
citizens by their democracy,—and the care, even in departing from it,
to depart as little as possible,—stand plainly evidenced in these

The events of this day gave a fatal shock to the ascendency of the
Four Hundred; yet they assembled on the morrow as usual in the
senate-house; and they appear now, when it was too late, to have
directed one of their members to draw up a real list, giving body
to the fiction of the Five Thousand.[91] Meanwhile the hoplites in
Peiræus, having finished the levelling of the new fortifications,
took the still more important step of entering, armed as they were,
into the theatre of Dionysus hard by, in Peiræus, but on the verge
of Munychia, and there holding a formal assembly; probably under
the convocation of the general Theramenês, pursuant to the forms of
the anterior democracy. They here took the resolution of adjourning
their assembly to the Anakeion, or temple of Castor and Pollux, the
Dioskuri, in the city itself and close under the acropolis; whither
they immediately marched and established themselves, still retaining
their arms. So much was the position of the Four Hundred changed,
that they who had on the preceding day been on the aggressive against
a spontaneous outburst of mutineers in Peiræus, were now thrown upon
the defensive against a formal assembly, all armed, in the city,
and close by their own senate-house. Feeling themselves too weak to
attempt any force, they sent deputies to the Anakeion to negotiate
and offer concessions. They engaged to publish the list of _The_ Five
Thousand, and to convene them for the purpose of providing for the
periodical cessation and renewal of the Four Hundred, by rotation
from the Five Thousand, in such order as the latter themselves
should determine. But they entreated that time might be allowed for
effecting this, and that internal peace might be maintained, without
which there was no hope of defence against the enemy without. Many of
the hoplites in the city itself joined the assembly in the Anakeion,
and took part in the debates. The position of the Four Hundred being
no longer such as to inspire fear, the tongues of speakers were now
again loosed, and the ears of the multitude again opened, for the
first time since the arrival of Peisander from Samos, with the plan
of the oligarchical conspiracy. Such renewal of free and fearless
public speech, the peculiar life-principle of the democracy, was
not less wholesome in tranquillizing intestine discord than in
heightening the sentiment of common patriotism against the foreign
enemy.[92] The assembly at length dispersed, after naming an early
future time for a second assembly, to bring about the reëstablishment
of harmony in the theatre of Dionysus.[93]

  [91] Lysias, Orat. xx, pro Polystrato, c. 4, p. 675, Reisk.

  This task was confided to Polystratus, a very recent member of
  the Four Hundred, and therefore probably less unpopular than the
  rest. In his defence after the restoration of the democracy, he
  pretended to have undertaken the task much against his will, and
  to have drawn up a list containing nine thousand names instead of
  five thousand.

  It may probably have been in this meeting of the Four Hundred,
  that Antiphon delivered his oration strongly recommending
  concord, Περὶ ὁμονοίας. All his eloquence was required just now,
  to bring back the oligarchical party, if possible, into united
  action. Philostratus (Vit. Sophistar. c. xv, p. 500, ed. Olear.)
  expresses great admiration for this oration, which is several
  times alluded to both by Harpokration and Suidas. See Westermann,
  Gesch. der Griech. Beredsamkeit, Beilage ii, p. 276.

  [92] Thucyd. viii, 93. Τὸ δὲ πᾶν πλῆθος τῶν ὁπλιτῶν, ~ἀπὸ πολλῶν
  καὶ πρὸς πολλοὺς λόγων γιγνομένων, ἠπιώτερον ἦν ἢ πρότερον, καὶ
  ἐφοβεῖτο μάλιστα περὶ τοῦ παντὸς πολιτικοῦ~.

  [93] Thucyd. viii, 93. ξυνεχώρησαν δὲ ὥστ᾽ ~ἐς ἡμέραν ῥητὴν~
  ἐκκλησίαν ποιῆσαι ἐν τῷ Διονυσίῳ ~περὶ ὁμονοίας~.

  The definition of time must here allude to the morrow, or to the
  day following the morrow; at least it seems impossible that the
  city could be left longer than this interval without a government.

On the day, and at the hour, when this assembly in the theatre
of Dionysus was on the point of coming together, the news ran
through Peiræus and Athens, that the forty-two triremes under the
Lacedæmonian Agesandridas, having recently quitted the harbor of
Megara, were sailing along the coast of Salamis in the direction
towards Peiræus. Such an event, while causing universal consternation
throughout the city, confirmed all the previous warnings of
Theramenês as to the treasonable destination of the citadel recently
demolished, and every one rejoiced that the demolition had been
accomplished just in time. Foregoing their intended assembly, the
citizens rushed with one accord down to Peiræus, where some of them
took post to garrison the walls and the mouth of the harbor; others
got aboard the triremes lying in the harbor: others, again, launched
some fresh triremes from the boat-houses into the water. Agesandridas
rowed along the shore, near the mouth of Peiræus; but found nothing
to promise concert within, or tempt him to the intended attack.
Accordingly, he passed by and moved onward to Sunium, in a southerly
direction. Having doubled the Cape of Sunium, he then turned his
course along the coast of Attica northward, halted for a little while
between Thorikus and Prasiæ, and presently took station at Orôpus.[94]

  [94] Thucyd. viii, 94.

Though relieved, when they found that he passed by Peiræus without
making any attack, the Athenians knew that his destination must
now be against Eubœa; which to them was hardly less important than
Peiræus, since their main supplies were derived from that island.
Accordingly, they put to sea at once with all the triremes which
could be manned and got ready in the harbor. But from the hurry of
the occasion, coupled with the mistrust and dissension now reigning,
and the absence of their great naval force at Samos, the crews
mustered were raw and ill-selected, and the armament inefficient.
Polystratus, one of the members of the Four Hundred, perhaps others
of them also, were aboard; men who had an interest in defeat rather
than victory.[95] Thymocharês, the admiral, conducted them round
Cape Sunium to Eretria in Eubœa, where he found a few other triremes,
which made up his whole fleet to thirty-six sail.

  [95] Lysias, Orat. xx, pro Polystrato, c. 4, p. 676, Reisk.

  From another passage in this oration, it would seem that
  Polystratus was in command of the fleet, possibly enough, in
  conjunction with Thymocharês, according to a common Athenian
  practice (c. 5, p. 679). His son, who defends him, affirms that
  he was wounded in the battle.

  Diodorus (xiii, 34) mentions the discord among the crews on board
  these ships under Thymocharês, almost the only point which we
  learn from his meagre notice of this interesting period.

He had scarcely reached the harbor and disembarked, when, without
allowing time for his men to procure refreshment, he found himself
compelled to fight a battle with the forty-two ships of Agesandridas,
who had just sailed across from Orôpus, and was already approaching
the harbor. This surprise had been brought about by the anti-Athenian
party in Eretria, who took care, on the arrival of Thymocharês,
that no provisions should be found in the market-place, so that his
men were compelled to disperse and obtain them from houses at the
extremity of the town; while at the same time a signal was hoisted,
visible at Orôpus on the opposite side of the strait, less than
seven miles broad, indicating to Agesandridas the precise moment for
bringing his fleet across to the attack, with their crews fresh after
the morning meal. Thymocharês, on seeing the approach of the enemy,
ordered his men aboard; but, to his disappointment, many of them were
found to be so far off that they could not be brought back in time,
so that he was compelled to sail out and meet the Peloponnesians
with ships very inadequately manned. In a battle immediately outside
of the Eretrian harbor, he was, after a short contest, completely
defeated, and his fleet driven back upon the shore. Some of his
ships escaped to Chalkis, others to a fortified post garrisoned by
the Athenians themselves, not far from Eretria; yet not less than
twenty-two triremes, out of the whole thirty-six, fell into the hands
of Agesandridas, and a large proportion of the crews were slain or
made prisoners. Of those seamen who escaped, too, many found their
death from the hands of the Eretrians, into whose city they fled for
shelter. On the news of this battle, not merely Eretria, but also all
Eubœa,—except Oreus in the north of the island, which was settled by
Athenian kleruchs,—declared its revolt from Athens, which had been
intended more than a year before, and took measures for defending
itself in concert with Agesandridas and the Bœotians.[96]

  [96] Thucyd. viii, 5; viii, 95.

Ill could Athens endure a disaster, in itself so immense and
aggravated, under the present distressed condition of the city. Her
last fleet was destroyed, her nearest and most precious island torn
from her side; an island, which of late had yielded more to her wants
than Attica itself, but which was now about to become a hostile and
aggressive neighbor.[97] The previous revolt of Eubœa, occurring
thirty-four years before, during the maximum of Athenian power, had
been even then a terrible blow to Athens, and formed one of the main
circumstances which forced upon her the humiliation of the Thirty
years’ truce. But this second revolt took place when she had not only
no means of reconquering the island, but no means even of defending
Peiræus against the blockade by the enemy’s fleet. The dismay and
terror excited by the news at Athens was unbounded, even exceeding
what had been felt after the Sicilian catastrophe, or the revolt of
Chios. Nor was there any second reserve now in the treasury, such as
the thousand talents which had rendered such essential service on
the last-mentioned occasion. In addition to their foreign dangers,
the Athenians were farther weighed down by two intestine calamities
in themselves hardly supportable,—alienation of their own fleet at
Samos, and the discord, yet unappeased, within their own walls;
wherein the Four Hundred still held provisionally the reins of
government, with the ablest and most unscrupulous leaders at their
head. In the depth of their despair, the Athenians expected nothing
less than to see the victorious fleet of Agesandridas—more than sixty
triremes strong, including the recent captures—off the Peiræus,
forbidding all importation, and threatening them with approaching
famine, in combination with Agis and Dekeleia. The enterprise would
have been easy for there were neither ships nor seamen to repel him;
and his arrival at this critical moment would most probably have
enabled the Four Hundred to resume their ascendency, with the means
as well as the disposition to introduce a Lacedæmonian garrison into
the city.[98] And though the arrival of the Athenian fleet from Samos
would have prevented this extremity, yet it could not have arrived in
time, except on the supposition of a prolonged blockade: moreover,
its mere transfer from Samos to Athens would have left Ionia and the
Hellespont defenceless against the Lacedæmonians and Persians, and
would have caused the loss of all the Athenian empire. Nothing could
have saved Athens, if the Lacedæmonians at this juncture had acted
with reasonable vigor, instead of confining their efforts to Eubœa,
now an easy and certain conquest. As on the former occasion, when
Antiphon and Phrynichus went to Sparta prepared to make any sacrifice
for the purpose of obtaining Lacedæmonian aid and accommodation,
so now, in a still greater degree, Athens owed her salvation only
to the fact that the enemies actually before her were indolent and
dull Spartans, not enterprising Syracusans under the conduct of
Gylippus.[99] And this is the second occasion, we may add, on which
Athens was on the brink of ruin in consequence of the policy of
Alkibiadês in retaining the armament at Samos.

  [97] Thucyd. viii, 95. To show what Eubœa became at a later
  period, see Demosthenês, De Fals. Legat. c. 64, p. 409: τὰ
  ἐν Εὐβοίᾳ κατασκευασθησόμενα ὁρμητήρια ἐφ᾽ ὑμᾶς, etc.; and
  Demosthenês, De Coronâ, c. 71; ἄπλους δ᾽ ἡ θάλασσα ὑπὸ τῶν ἐκ τῆς
  Εὐβοίας ὁρμωμένων λῃστῶν γέγονε, etc.

  [98] Thucyd. viii, 96. Μάλιστα δ᾽ αὐτοὺς καὶ δι᾽ ἐγγυτάτου
  ἐθορύβει, εἰ οἱ πολέμιοι τολμήσουσι νενικηκότες εὐθὺς σφῶν ἐπὶ
  τὸν Πειραιᾶ ἔρημον ὄντα νεῶν πλεῖν· καὶ ὅσον οὐκ ἤδη ἐνόμιζον
  αὐτοὺς παρεῖναι. ~Ὅπερ ἄν, εἰ τολμηρότεροι ἦσαν, ῥᾳδίως ἂν
  ἐποίησαν~· καὶ ἢ διέστησαν ἂν ἔτι μᾶλλον τὴν πόλιν ἐφορμοῦντες,
  ἤ εἰ ἐπολιόρκουν μένοντες, καὶ τὰς ἀπ᾽ Ἰωνίας ναῦς ἠνάγκασαν ἂν
  βοηθῆσαι, etc.

  [99] Thucyd. viii, 96; vii, 21-55.

Fortunately for the Athenians, no Agesandridas appeared off Peiræus;
so that the twenty triremes, which they contrived to man as a
remnant for defence, had no enemy to repel.[100] Accordingly, the
Athenians were allowed to enjoy an interval of repose which enabled
them to recover partially both from consternation and from intestine
discord. It was their first proceeding, when the hostile fleet did
not appear, to convene a public assembly; and that too in the Pnyx
itself, the habitual scene of the democratical assemblies, well
calculated to reinspire that patriotism which had now been dumb and
smouldering for the four last months. In this assembly, the tide of
opinion ran vehemently against the Four Hundred:[101] even those,
who, like the Board of elders entitled probûli had originally
counselled their appointment, now denounced them along with the
rest, though severely taunted by the oligarchical leader Peisander
for their inconsistency. Votes were finally passed: 1. To depose the
Four Hundred; 2. To place the whole government in the hands of _The
Five Thousand_; 3. Every citizen, who furnished a panoply, either
for himself or for any one else, was to be of right a member of
this body of _The_ Five Thousand; 4. No citizen was to receive pay
for any political function, on pain of becoming solemnly accursed,
or excommunicated.[102] Such were the points determined by the
first assembly held in the Pnyx. The archons, the senate of Five
Hundred, etc., were renewed: after which many other assemblies
were also held, in which nomothetæ, dikasts, and other institutions
essential to the working of the democracy, were constituted. Various
other votes were also passed; especially one, on the proposition of
Kritias, seconded by Theramenês,[103] to restore Alkibiadês and some
of his friends from exile; while messages were farther despatched,
both to him and to the armament at Samos, doubtless confirming the
recent nomination of generals, apprizing them of what had recently
occurred at Athens, as well as bespeaking their full concurrence and
unabated efforts against the common enemy.

  [100] Thucyd. viii, 97.

  [101] It is to this assembly that I refer, with confidence,
  the remarkable dialogue of contention between Peisander and
  Sophoklês, one of the Athenian probûli, mentioned in Aristotel.
  Rhetoric. iii, 18, 2. There was no other occasion on which the
  Four Hundred were ever publicly thrown upon their defence at

  This was not Sophoklês the tragic poet, but another person of
  the same name, who appears afterwards as one of the oligarchy of

  [102] Thucyd. viii, 97. Καὶ ἐκκλησίαν ξυνέλεγον, μίαν μὲν
  εὐθὺς τότε πρῶτον ἐς τὴν Πνύκα καλουμένην, οὗπερ καὶ ἄλλοτε
  εἰώθεσαν, ἐν ᾗπερ καὶ τοὺς τετρακοσίους καταπαύσαντες ~τοῖς
  πεντακισχιλίοις~ ἐψηφίσαντο τὰ πράγματα παραδοῦναι· ~εἶναι δὲ
  αὐτῶν, ὁπόσοι καὶ ὅπλα παρέχονται~· καὶ μισθὸν μηδένα φέρειν,
  μηδεμιᾷ ἀρχῇ, εἰ δὲ μὴ, ἐπάρατον ἐποιήσαντο. Ἐγίγνοντο δὲ καὶ
  ἄλλαι ὕστερον πυκναὶ ἐκκλησίαι, ἀφ᾽ ὧν καὶ ~νομοθέτας καὶ τἄλλα
  ἐψηφίσαντο ἐς τὴν πολιτείαν~.

  In this passage I dissent from the commentators on two points.
  First, they understand this number Five Thousand as a real
  definite list of citizens, containing five thousand names,
  neither more nor less. Secondly, they construe νομοθέτας, not in
  the ordinary meaning which it bears in Athenian constitutional
  language, but in the sense of ξυγγραφεῖς (c. 67), “persons to
  model the constitution, corresponding to the ξυγγραφεῖς appointed
  by the aristocratical party a little before,” to use the words of
  Dr. Arnold.

  As to the first point, which is sustained also by Dr. Thirlwall
  (Hist. Gr. ch. xxviii, vol. iv, p. 51, 2d ed.), Dr. Arnold really
  admits what is the ground of my opinion, when he says: “Of course
  the number of citizens capable of providing themselves with heavy
  arms must _have much exceeded five thousand_: and it is said in
  the defence of Polystratus, one of the Four Hundred (Lysias, p.
  675, Reisk.), that he drew up a list of nine thousand. But we
  must suppose that all who could furnish heavy arms _were eligible
  into the number of the Five Thousand_, whether the members were
  fixed on by lot, by election, or by rotation; as it had been
  proposed to appoint the Four Hundred by rotation out of the Five
  Thousand (viii, 93).”

  Dr. Arnold here throws out a supposition which by no means
  conforms to the exact sense of the words of Thucydidês—εἶναι
  δὲ αὐτῶν, ὁπόσοι καὶ ὅπλα παρέχονται. These words distinctly
  signify, that all who furnished heavy arms _should be of the
  Five Thousand, should belong of right to that body_, which
  is something different from _being eligible_ into the number
  of the Five Thousand, either by lot, rotation, or otherwise.
  The language of Thucydidês, when he describes, in the passage
  referred to by Dr. Arnold, c. 93, the projected formation of
  the Four Hundred by rotation out of the Five Thousand, is very
  different: καὶ ἐκ τούτων ἐν μέρει τοὺς τετρακοσίους ἔσεσθαι, etc.
  M. Boeckh (Public Economy of Athens, bk. ii, ch. 21, p. 268, Eng.
  Tr.) is not satisfactory in his description of this event.

  The idea which I conceive of the Five Thousand, as a number
  existing from the commencement only in talk and imagination,
  neither realized nor intended to be realized, coincides with
  the full meaning of this passage of Thucydidês, as well as with
  everything which he had before said about them.

  I will here add that ὁπόσοι ὅπλα παρέχονται means persons
  furnishing arms, not for themselves alone, but for others also
  (Xenoph. Hellen. iii, 4, 15.)

  As to the second point, the signification of νομοθέτας, I
  stand upon the general use of that word in Athenian political
  language: see the explanation earlier in this History, vol. v,
  ch. xlvi, p. 373. It is for the commentators to produce some
  justification of the unusual meaning which they assign to it:
  “persons to model the constitution; commissioners who drew up the
  new constitution,” as Dr. Arnold, in concurrence with the rest,
  translates it. Until some justification is produced, I venture
  to believe that νομοθέται, is a word which would not be used in
  that sense with reference to nominees chosen by the democracy,
  and intended to act with the democracy; for it implies a final,
  decisive, authoritative determination; whereas the ξυγγραφεῖς,
  or “commissioners to draw up a constitution,” were only invested
  with the function of submitting something for approbation to the
  public assembly or competent authority; that is, assuming that
  the public assembly remained an efficient reality.

  Moreover, the words καὶ τἄλλα would hardly be used in immediate
  sequence to νομοθέτας, if the latter word meant that which the
  commentators suppose: “Commissioners for framing a constitution,
  _and the other things towards the constitution_.” Such
  commissioners are surely far too prominent and initiative in
  their function to be named in this way. Let us add, that the most
  material items in the new constitution, if we are so to call it,
  have already been distinctly specified as settled by public vote,
  before these νομοθέται are even named.

  It is important to notice, that even the Thirty, who were named
  six years afterwards to draw up a constitution, at the moment
  when Sparta was mistress of Athens, and when the people were
  thoroughly put down, are not called Νομοθέται, but are named
  by a circumlocution equivalent to Ἔδοξε τῷ δήμῳ, τριάκοντα
  ἄνδρας ἑλέσθαι, οἳ τοὺς πατρίους νόμους συγγράψουσι, καθ᾽ οὓς
  πολιτεύσουσι.—Αἱρεθέντες δὲ, ἐφ᾽ ᾧ τε συγγράψαι νόμους καθ᾽
  οὕστινας πολιτεύσοιντο, τούτους μὲν ἀεὶ ἔμελλον ξυγγράφειν τε
  καὶ ἀποδεικνύναι, etc. (Xenophon, Hellen. ii, 3, 2-11.) Xenophon
  calls Kritias and Chariklês the nomothetæ of the Thirty (Memor.
  i, 2, 30), but this is not democracy.

  For the signification of Νομοθέτης (applied most generally to
  Solon, sometimes to others, either by rhetorical looseness or by
  ironical taunt), or Νομοθέται, a numerous body of persons chosen
  and sworn, see Lysias cont. Nikomach. sects. 3, 33, 37; Andokidês
  de Mysteriis, sects. 81-85, c. 14, p. 38, where the nomothetæ are
  a sworn body of Five Hundred, exercising, conjointly with the
  senate, the function of accepting or rejecting laws proposed to

  [103] Plutarch, Alkibiadês, c. 33. Cornelius Nepos (Alkibiad.
  c. 5, and Diodorus, xiii, 38-42) mentions Theramenês as the
  principal author of the decree for restoring Alkibiadês from
  exile. But the precise words of the elegy composed by Kritias,
  wherein the latter vindicates this proceeding to himself, are
  cited by Plutarch, and are very good evidence. Doubtless many of
  the leading men supported, and none opposed, the proposition.

Thucydidês bestows marked eulogy upon the general spirit of
moderation and patriotic harmony which now reigned at Athens, and
which directed the political proceedings of the people.[104] But he
does not countenance the belief, as he has been sometimes understood,
nor is it true in point of fact, that they now introduced a new
constitution. Putting an end to the oligarchy, and to the rule of
the Four Hundred, they restored the old democracy seemingly with
only two modifications, first, the partial limitation of the right
of suffrage; next, the discontinuance of all payment for political
functions. The impeachment against Antiphon, tried immediately
afterwards, went before the senate and the dikastery exactly
according to the old democratical forms of procedure. But we must
presume that the senate, the dikasts, the nomothetæ, the ekklesiasts,
or citizens who attended the assembly, the public orators who
prosecuted state-criminals, or defended any law when it was impugned,
must have worked for the time without pay.

  [104] Thucyd. viii, 97. Καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα δὴ τὸν πρῶτον χρόνον ἐπί
  γε ἐμοῦ Ἀθηναῖοι φαίνονται εὖ πολιτεύσαντες· μετρία γὰρ ἥ τε ἐς
  τοὺς ὀλίγους καὶ τοὺς πολλοὺς ξύγκρασις ἐγένετο, καὶ ἐκ πονηρῶν
  τῶν πραγμάτων γενομένων τοῦτο πρῶτον ἀνήνεγκε τὴν πόλιν.

  I refer the reader to a note on this passage in one of my former
  volumes, and on the explanation given of it by Dr. Arnold (see
  vol. v, ch. xlv, p. 330.)

Moreover, the two modifications above mentioned were of little
practical effect. The exclusive body of Five Thousand citizens,
professedly constituted at this juncture, was neither exactly
realized, nor long retained. It was constituted, even now, more
as a nominal than as a real limit; a nominal total, yet no longer
a mere blank, as the Four Hundred had originally produced it, but
containing, indeed, a number of individual names greater than the
total, and without any assignable line of demarkation. The mere fact,
that every one who furnished a panoply was entitled to be of the Five
Thousand,—and not they alone, but others besides,[105]—shows that
no care was taken to adhere either to that or to any other precise
number. If we may credit a speech composed by Lysias,[106] the Four
Hundred had themselves, after the demolition of their intended
fortress at Ectioneia, and when power was passing out of their hands,
appointed a committee of their number to draw up for the first
time a real list of _The_ Five Thousand; and Polystratus, a member
of that committee, takes credit with the succeeding democracy for
having made the list comprise nine thousand names instead of five
thousand. As this list of Polystratus—if, indeed, it ever existed—was
never either published or adopted, I merely notice the description
given of it, to illustrate my position that the number Five Thousand
was now understood on all sides as an indefinite expression for a
suffrage extensive, but not universal. The number had been first
invented by Antiphon and the leaders of the Four Hundred, to cloak
their own usurpation and intimidate the democracy: next, it served
the purpose of Theramenês and the minority of the Four Hundred, as a
basis on which to raise a sort of dynastic opposition, to use modern
phraseology, within the limits of the oligarchy; that is, without
appearing to overstep principles acknowledged by the oligarchy
themselves: lastly, it was employed by the democratical party
generally as a convenient middle term to slide back into the old
system, with as little dispute as possible; for Alkibiadês and the
armament had sent word home that they adhered to the Five Thousand,
and to the abolition of salaried civil functions.[107]

  [105] The words of Thucydidês (viii, 97), εἶναι δὲ ~αὐτῶν~,
  ὁπόσοι καὶ ὅπλα παρέχονται, show that this body was not composed
  _exclusively_ of those who furnished panoplies. It could never
  have been intended, for example, to exclude the hippeis, or

  [106] Lysias, Orat. xx, pro Polystrato, c. 4, p. 675, Reisk.

  [107] Thucyd. viii, 86.

But exclusive suffrage of the so-called Five Thousand, especially
with the expansive numerical construction now adopted, was of little
value either to themselves or to the state;[108] while it was an
insulting shock to the feelings of the excluded multitude, especially
to brave and active seamen like the parali. Though prudent as a step
of momentary transition, it could not stand, nor was any attempt made
to preserve it in permanence, amidst a community so long accustomed
to universal citizenship, and where the necessities of defence
against the enemy called for energetic efforts from all the citizens.

  [108] Thucyd. viii, 92. τὸ μὲν καταστῆσαι μετόχους τοσούτους,
  ἄντικρυς ἂν δῆμον ἡγούμενοι, etc.

Even as to the gratuitous functions, the members of the Five Thousand
themselves would soon become tired, not less than the poorer freemen,
of serving without pay, as senators or in other ways; so that nothing
but absolute financial deficit would prevent the reëstablishment,
entire or partial, of the pay.[109] And that deficit was never so
complete as to stop the disbursement of the diobely, or distribution
of two oboli to each citizen on occasion of various religious
festivals. Such distribution continued without interruption; though
perhaps the number of occasions on which it was made may have been

  [109] See the valuable financial inscriptions in M. Boeckh’s
  Corpus Inscriptionum, part i, nos. 147, 148, which attest
  considerable disbursements for the diobely in 410-409 B.C.

  Nor does it seem that there was much diminution during these same
  years in the private expenditure and ostentation of the Chorêgi
  at the festivals and other exhibitions: see the Oration xxi, of
  Lysias—Ἀπολογία Δωροδοκίας, c. 1, 2, pp. 698-700, Reiske.

How far or under what restriction, any reëstablishment of civil pay
obtained footing during the seven years between the Four Hundred
and the Thirty, we cannot say. But leaving this point undecided,
we can show, that within a year after the deposition of the Four
Hundred, the suffrage of the so-called Five Thousand expanded into
the suffrage of all Athenians without exception, or into the full
antecedent democracy. A memorable decree, passed about eleven months
after that event,—at the commencement of the archonship of Glaukippus
(June 410 B.C.), when the senate of Five Hundred, the dikasts,
and other civil functionaries, were renewed for the coming year,
pursuant to the ancient democratical practice,—exhibits to us the
full democracy not merely in action, but in all the glow of feeling
called forth by a recent restoration. It seems to have been thought
that this first renewal of archons and other functionaries, under the
revived democracy, ought to be stamped by some emphatic proclamation
of sentiment, analogous to the solemn and heart-stirring oath taken
in the preceding year at Samos. Accordingly, Demophantus proposed
and carried a (psephism or) decree,[110] prescribing the form of
an oath to be taken by all Athenians to stand by the democratical

  [110] About the date of this psephism, or decree, see Boeckh,
  Staatshaushaltung der Athener, vol. ii, p. 168, in the comment
  upon sundry inscriptions appended to his work, not included
  in the English translation by Mr Lewis; also Meier, De Bonis
  Damnatorum, sect. ii, pp. 6-10. Wachsmuth erroneously places the
  date of it after the Thirty; see Hellen. Alterth. ii, ix, p. 267.

The terms of his psephism and oath are striking. “If any man subvert
the democracy at Athens, or hold any magistracy after the democracy
has been subverted, he shall be an enemy of the Athenians. Let him be
put to death with impunity, and let his property be confiscated to
the public, with the reservation of a tithe to Athênê. Let the man
who has killed him, and the accomplice privy to the act, be accounted
holy and of good religious odor. Let all Athenians swear an oath
under the sacrifice of full-grown victims, in their respective tribes
and demes, to kill him.[111] Let the oath be as follows: ‘I will
kill with my own hand, if I am able, any man who shall subvert the
democracy at Athens, or who shall hold any office in future after the
democracy has been subverted, or shall rise in arms for the purpose
of making himself a despot, or shall help the despot to establish
himself. And if any one else shall kill him, I will account the
slayer to be holy as respects both gods and demons, as having slain
an enemy of the Athenians. And I engage by word, by deed, and by
vote, to sell his property and make over one-half of the proceeds to
the slayer, without withholding anything. If any man shall perish
in slaying or in trying to slay the despot, I will be kind both to
him and to his children, as to Harmodius and Aristogeiton, and their
descendants. And I hereby break and renounce all oaths which have
been sworn hostile to the Athenian people, either at Athens or at the
camp (at Samos) or elsewhere.[112]’ Let all Athenians swear this as
the regular oath, immediately before the festival of the Dionysia,
with sacrifice and full-grown victims;[113] invoking upon him who
keeps it, good things in abundance; but upon him who breaks it,
destruction for himself as well as for his family.”

  [111] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects. 95-99. (c. 16, p. 48, R.)—Ὁ
  δ᾽ ἀποκτείνας τὸν ταῦτα ποιήσαντα, καὶ ὁ συμβουλεύσας, ὅσιος ἔστω
  καὶ εὐαγής. Ὀμόσαι δ᾽ ~Ἀθηναίους ἅπαντας~ καθ᾽ ἱερῶν τελείων,
  ~κατὰ φυλὰς καὶ κατὰ δήμους~, ἀποκτείνειν τὸν ταῦτα ποιήσαντα.

  The comment of Sievers (Commentationes De Xenophontis Hellenicis,
  Berlin, 1833, pp. 18, 19) on the events of this time, is not

  [112] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects. 95-99. (c. 16, p. 48, R.)
  Ὁπόσοι δ᾽ ὅρκοι ὀμώμονται Ἀθήνῃσιν ἢ ~ἐν τῷ στρατοπέδῳ~ ἢ ἄλλοθί
  που ἐναντίοι τῷ δήμῳ τῷ Ἀθηναίων, λύω καὶ ἀφίημι.

  To what particular anti-constitutional oaths allusion is here
  made, we cannot tell. All those of the oligarchical conspirators,
  both at Samos and at Athens, are doubtless intended to be
  abrogated: and this oath, like that of the armament at Samos
  (Thucyd. viii, 75), is intended to be sworn by every one,
  including those who had before been members of the oligarchical
  conspiracy. Perhaps it may also be intended to abrogate the
  covenant sworn by the members of the political clubs or
  ξυνωμοσίαι among themselves, in so far as it pledged them to
  anti-constitutional acts (Thucyd. viii, 54-81).

  [113] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects. 95-99, (c. 16, p. 48, R.)
  Ταῦτα δὲ ὀμοσάντων ~Ἀθηναῖοι πάντες~ καθ᾽ ἱερῶν τελείων, τὸν
  νόμιμον ὅρκον, πρὸ Διονυσίων, etc.

Such was the remarkable decree which the Athenians not only passed in
senate and public assembly, less than a year after the deposition of
the Four Hundred, but also caused to be engraved on a column close to
the door of the senate-house. It plainly indicates, not merely that
the democracy had returned, but an unusual intensity of democratical
feeling along with it. The constitution which _all_ the Athenians
thus swore to maintain by the most strenuous measures of defence,
must have been a constitution in which _all_ Athenians had political
rights, not one of Five Thousand privileged persons excluding the
rest.[114] This decree became invalid after the expulsion of the
Thirty, by the general resolution then passed not to act upon any
laws passed before the archonship of Eukleidês, unless specially
reënacted. But the column on which it stood engraved still remained,
and the words were read upon it, at least down to the time of the
orator Lykurgus, eighty years afterwards.[115]

  [114] Those who think that a new constitution was established,
  after the deposition of the Four Hundred, are perplexed to fix
  the period at which the old democracy was restored. K. F. Hermann
  and others suppose, without any special proof, that it was
  restored at the time when Alkibiadês returned to Athens in 407
  B.C. See K. F. Hermann, Griech. Staats Alterthümer, s. 167, note

  [115] Lykurgus adv. Leokrat. sect. 131, c. 31, p. 225: compare
  Demosthen. adv. Leptin. sect. 138, c. 34, p. 506.

  If we wanted any proof, how perfectly reckless and unmeaning is
  the mention of the name of _Solon_ by the orators, we should
  find it in this passage of Andokidês. He calls this psephism
  of Demophantus _a law of Solon_ (sect. 96): see above in this
  History, vol. iii, ch. xi, p. 122.

The mere deposition of the Four Hundred, however, and the transfer of
political power to the Five Thousand, which took place in the first
public assembly held after the defeat off Eretria, was sufficient to
induce most of the violent leaders of the Four Hundred forthwith to
leave Athens. Peisander, Alexiklês, and others, went off secretly
to Dekeleia:[116] Aristarchus alone made his flight the means of
inflicting a new wound upon his country. Being among the number of
the generals, he availed himself of this authority to march—with
some of the rudest among those Scythian archers, who did the police
duty of the city—to Œnoê, on the Bœotian frontier, which was at that
moment under siege by a body of Corinthians and Bœotians united.
Aristarchus, in concert with the besiegers, presented himself to
the garrison, and acquainted them that Athens and Sparta had just
concluded peace, one of the conditions of which was that Œnoê should
be surrendered to the Bœotians. He therefore, as general, ordered
them to evacuate the place, under the benefit of a truce to return
home. The garrison having been closely blocked up, and kept wholly
ignorant of the actual condition of politics, obeyed the order
without reserve; so that the Bœotians acquired possession of this
very important frontier position, a new thorn in the side of Athens,
besides Dekeleia.[117]

  [116] Thucyd. viii, 98. Most of these fugitives returned six
  years afterwards, after the battle of Ægospotami, when the
  Athenian people again became subject to an oligarchy in the
  persons of the Thirty. Several of them became members of the
  senate which worked under the Thirty (Lysias cont. Agorat. sect.
  80, c. 18, p. 495).

  Whether Aristotelês and Chariklês were among the number of the
  Four Hundred who now went into exile, as Wattenbach affirms (De
  Quadringent. Ath. Factione, p. 66), seems not clearly made out.

  [117] Thucyd. viii, 89, 90. Ἀρίσταρχος, ἀνὴρ ἐν τοῖς μάλιστα καὶ
  ἐκ πλείστου ἐναντίος τῷ δήμῳ, etc.

Thus was the Athenian democracy again restored, and the divorce
between the city and the armament at Samos terminated after an
interruption of about four months by the successful conspiracy of
the Four Hundred. It was only by a sort of miracle—or rather by the
incredible backwardness and stupidity of her foreign enemies—that
Athens escaped alive from this nefarious aggression of her own
ablest and wealthiest citizens. That the victorious democracy
should animadvert upon and punish the principal actors concerned in
it,—who had satiated their own selfish ambition at the cost of so
much suffering, anxiety, and peril to their country,—was nothing
more than rigorous justice. But the circumstances of the case were
peculiar: for the counter-revolution had been accomplished partly by
the aid of a minority among the Four Hundred themselves,—Theramenês,
Aristokratês, and others, together with the Board of Elders called
Probûli,—all of whom had been, at the outset, either principals or
accomplices in that system of terrorism and assassination, whereby
the democracy had been overthrown and the oligarchical rulers
established in the senate-house. The earlier operations of the
conspiracy, therefore, though among its worst features, could not be
exposed to inquiry and trial without compromising these parties as
fellow-criminals. Theramenês evaded this difficulty, by selecting
for animadversion a recent act of the majority of the Four Hundred,
which he and his partisans had opposed, and on which therefore
he had no interests adverse either to justice or to the popular
feeling. He stood foremost to impeach the last embassy sent by the
Four Hundred to Sparta, sent with instructions to purchase peace and
alliance at almost any price, and connected with the construction
of the fort at Ectioneia for the reception of an enemy’s garrison.
This act of manifest treason, in which Antiphon, Phrynichus, and
ten other known envoys were concerned, was chosen as the special
matter for public trial and punishment, not less on public grounds
than with a view to his own favor in the renewed democracy. But
the fact that it was Theramenês who thus denounced his old friends
and fellow-conspirators, after having lent hand and heart to
their earlier and not less guilty deeds, was long remembered as a
treacherous betrayal, and employed in after days as an excuse for
atrocious injustice against himself.[118]

  [118] Lysias cont. Eratosthen., c. 11, p. 427, sects. 66-68.
  Βουλόμενος δὲ (Theramenês) τῷ ὑμετέρῳ πλήθει πιστὸς δοκεῖν εἶναι,
  Ἀντιφῶντα καὶ Ἀρχεπτόλεμον, φιλτάτους ὄντας αὑτῷ, κατηγορῶν
  ἀπέκτεινεν· εἰς τοσοῦτον δὲ κακίας ἦλθεν, ὥστε ἅμα μὲν διὰ τὴν
  πρὸς ἐκείνους πίστιν ὑμᾶς κατεδουλώσατο, διὰ δὲ τὴν πρὸς ὑμᾶς
  τοὺς φίλους ἀπώλεσεν.

  Compare Xenophon, Hellen., ii, 3, 30-33.

Of the twelve envoys who went on this mission, all except Phrynichus,
Antiphon, Archeptolemus, and Onomaklês, seem to have already escaped
to Dekeleia or elsewhere. Phrynichus, as I have mentioned a few
pages above, had been assassinated several days before. Respecting
his memory, a condemnatory vote had already been just passed by the
restored senate of Five Hundred, decreeing that his property should
be confiscated and his house razed to the ground, and conferring the
gift of citizenship, together with a pecuniary recompense, on two
foreigners who claimed to have assassinated him.[119] The other
three, Antiphon, Archeptolemus, and Onomaklês,[120] were presented
in name to the senate by the generals, of whom probably Theramenês
was one, as having gone on a mission to Sparta for purposes of
mischief to Athens, partly on board an enemy’s ship, partly through
the Spartan garrison at Dekeleia. Upon this presentation, doubtless a
document of some length and going into particulars, a senator named
Andron moved: That the generals, aided by any ten senators whom they
may choose, do seize the three persons accused, and hold them in
custody for trial; that the thesmothetæ do send to each of the three
a formal summons, to prepare themselves for trial on a future day
before the dikastery, on the charge of high treason, and do bring
them to trial on the day named; assisted by the generals, the ten
senators chosen as auxiliaries, and any other citizen who may please
to take part, as their accusers. Each of the three was to be tried
separately, and, if condemned, was to be dealt with according to
the penal law of the city against traitors, or persons guilty of

  [119] That these votes, respecting the memory and the death of
  Phrynichus, preceded the trial of Antiphon, we may gather from
  the concluding words of the sentence passed upon Antiphon: see
  Plutarch, Vit. x, Oratt. p. 834, B: compare Schol. Aristoph.
  Lysistr. 313.

  Both Lysias and Lykurgus, the orators, contain statements about
  the death of Phrynichus which are not in harmony with Thucydidês.
  Both these orators agree in reporting the names of the two
  foreigners who claimed to have slain Phrynichus, and whose claim
  was allowed by the people afterwards, in a formal reward and vote
  of citizenship, Thrasybulus of Kalydon, Apollodorus of Megara
  (Lysias cont. Agorat. c. 18, 492; Lykurg. cont. Leokrat. c. 29,
  p. 217).

  Lykurgus says that Phrynichus was assassinated by night,
  “near the fountain, hard by the willow-trees:” which is quite
  contradictory to Thucydidês, who states that the deed was done
  in daylight, and in the market-place. Agoratus, against whom the
  speech of Lysias is directed, pretended to have been one of the
  assassins, and claimed reward on that score.

  The story of Lykurgus, that the Athenian people, on the
  proposition of Kritias, exhumed and brought to trial the dead
  body of Phrynichus, and that Aristarchus and Alexiklês were
  put to death for undertaking its defence, is certainly in part
  false, and probably wholly false. Aristarchus was then at Œnoê,
  Alexiklês at Dekeleia.

  [120] Onomaklês had been one of the colleagues of Phrynichus,
  as general of the armament in Ionia, in the preceding autumn
  (Thucyd. viii, 25).

  In one of the Biographies of Thucydidês (p. xxii, in Dr. Arnold’s
  edition), it is stated that Onomaklês was executed along with
  the other two; but the document cited in the Pseudo-Plutarch
  contradicts this.

  [121] Plutarch, Vit. x, Oratt. p. 834; compare Xenophon,
  Hellenic. i, 7, 22.

  Apolêxis was one of the accusers of Antiphon: see Harpokration,
  v. Στασιώτης.

Though all the three persons thus indicated were at Athens, or at
least were supposed to be there, on the day when this resolution was
passed by the senate, yet, before it was executed, Onomaklês had
fled; so that Antiphon and Archeptolemus only were imprisoned for
trial. They too must have had ample opportunity for leaving the city,
and we might have presumed that Antiphon would have thought it quite
as necessary to retire as Peisander and Alexiklês. So acute a man as
he, at no time very popular, must have known that now at least he had
drawn the sword against his fellow-citizens in a manner which could
never be forgiven. However, he chose voluntarily to stay: and this
man, who had given orders for taking off so many of the democratical
speakers by private assassination, received from the democracy, when
triumphant, full notice and fair trial on a distinct and specific
charge. The speech which he made in his defence, though it did not
procure acquittal, was listened to, not merely with patience, but
with admiration; as we may judge from the powerful and lasting effect
which it produced. Thucydidês describes it as the most magnificent
defence against a capital charge which had ever come before him;[122]
and the poet Agathon, doubtless a hearer, warmly complimented
Antiphon on his eloquence; to which the latter replied, that the
approval of one such discerning judge was in his eyes an ample
compensation for the unfriendly verdict of the multitude. Both he and
Archeptolemus were found guilty by the dikastery and condemned to the
penalties of treason. They were handed over to the magistrates called
the Eleven, the chiefs of executive justice at Athens, to be put to
death by the customary draught of hemlock. Their properties were
confiscated, their houses were directed to be razed, and the vacant
site to be marked by columns, with the inscription: “The residence
of Antiphon the traitor,—of Archeptolemus the traitor.” They were
not permitted to be buried either in Attica, or in any territory
subject to Athenian dominion.[123] Their children, both legitimate
and illegitimate, were deprived of the citizenship; and the citizen
who should adopt any descendant of either of them, was to be himself
in like manner disfranchised.

  [122] Thucyd. viii, 68; Aristotel. Ethic. Eudem. iii, 5.

  Rühnken seems quite right (Dissertat. De Antiphont. p. 818,
  Reisk.) in considering the oration περὶ μεταστάσεως to be
  Antiphon’s defence of himself; though Westermann (Geschichte der
  Griech. Beredsamkeit, p. 277) controverts this opinion. This
  oration is alluded to in several of the articles in Harpokration.

  [123] So, Themistoklês, as a traitor, was not allowed to be
  buried in Attica (Thucyd. i, 138; Cornel. Nepos, Vit. Themistocl.
  ii, 10). His friends are said to have brought his bones thither

Such was the sentence passed by the dikastery, pursuant to the
Athenian law of treason. It was directed to be engraved on the same
brazen column as the decree of honor to the slayers of Phrynichus.
From that column it was transcribed, and has thus passed into

  [124] It is given at length in Pseudo-Plutarch, Vit. x, Oratt.
  pp. 833, 834. It was preserved by Cæcilius, a Sicilian and
  rhetorical teacher, of the Augustan age; who possessed sixty
  orations ascribed to Antiphon, twenty-five of which he considered

  Antiphon left a daughter, whom Kallæschrus sued for in marriage,
  pursuant to the forms of law, being entitled to do so on the
  score of near relationship (ἐπεδικάσατο). Kallæschrus was himself
  one of the Four Hundred, perhaps a brother of Kritias. It seems
  singular that the legal power of suing at law for a female
  in marriage, by right of near kin (τοῦ ἐπιδικάζεσθαι), could
  extend to a female disfranchised and debarred from all rights of

  If we may believe Harpokration, Andron, who made the motion in
  the senate for sending Antiphon and Archeptolemus to trial, had
  been himself a member of the Four Hundred oligarchs, as well as
  Theramenês (Harp. v. Ἄνδρων).

  The note of Dr. Arnold upon that passage (viii, 68) wherein
  Thucydidês calls Antiphon ἀρετῇ οὐδενὸς ὕστερος, “inferior to
  no man in virtue,” well deserves to be consulted. This passage
  shows, in a remarkable manner, what were the political and
  private qualities which determined the esteem of Thucydidês.
  It shows that his sympathies went along with the oligarchical
  party; and that, while the exaggerations of opposition-speakers,
  or demagogues, such as those which he imputes to Kleon and
  Hyperbolus, provoked his bitter hatred, exaggerations of the
  oligarchical warfare, or multiplied assassinations, did not
  make him like a man the worse. But it shows, at the same time,
  his great candor in the narration of facts: for he gives an
  undisguised revelation both of the assassinations, and of the
  treason, of Antiphon.

How many of the Four Hundred oligarchs actually came to trial or
were punished, we have no means of knowing; but there is ground
for believing that none were put to death except Antiphon and
Archeptolemus, perhaps also Aristarchus, the betrayer of Œnoê to
the Bœotians. The latter is said to have been formally tried and
condemned:[125] though by what accident he afterwards came into the
power of the Athenians, after having once effected his escape, we are
not informed. The property of Peisander, he himself having escaped,
was confiscated, and granted either wholly or in part as a recompense
to Apollodorus, one of the assassins of Phrynichus:[126] probably the
property of the other conspicuous fugitive oligarchs was confiscated
also. Polystratus, another of the Four Hundred, who had only become
a member of that body a few days before its fall, was tried during
absence, which absence his defenders afterwards accounted for, by
saying that he had been wounded in the naval battle of Eretria, and
heavily fined. It seems that each of the Four Hundred was called on
to go through an audit and a trial of accountability, according to
the practice general at Athens with magistrates going out of office.
Such of them as did not appear to this trial were condemned to fine,
to exile, or to have their names recorded as traitors: but most of
those who did appear seem to have been acquitted; partly, we are
told, by bribes to the logistæ, or auditing officers, though some
were condemned either to fine or to partial political disability,
along with those hoplites who had been the most marked partisans of
the Four Hundred.[127]

  [125] Xenoph. Hellenic. i, 7, 28. This is the natural meaning
  of the passage; though it _may_ also mean that a day for trial
  was named, but that Aristarchus did not appear. Aristarchus may
  possibly have been made prisoner in one of the engagements which
  took place between the garrison of Dekeleia and the Athenians.
  The Athenian exiles in a body established themselves at Dekeleia,
  and carried on constant war with the citizens at Athens: see
  Lysias, De Bonis Niciæ Fratris, Or. xviii, ch. 4, p. 604: Pro
  Polystrato, Orat. xx, c. 7, p. 688; Andokidês de Mysteriis, c.
  17, p. 50.

  [126] Lysias, De Oleâ Sacrâ, Or. vii, ch. ii, p. 263, Reisk.

  [127] “Quadringentis ipsa dominatio fraudi non fuit; imo qui cum
  Theramene et Aristocrate steterant, in magno honore habiti sunt:
  omnibus autem rationes reddendæ fuerunt; qui solum vertissent,
  proditores judicati sunt, nomina in publico proposita.”
  (Wattenbach, De Quadringentorum Athenis Factione, p. 65.)

  From the psephism of Patrokleidês, passed six years subsequently,
  after the battle of Ægospotamos, we learn that the names of such
  among the Four Hundred as did not stay to take their trial,
  were engraved on pillars distinct from those who were tried and
  condemned either to fine or to various disabilities; Andokidês de
  Mysteriis, sects. 75-78: Καὶ ὅσα ὀνόματα τῶν τετρακοσίων τινὸς
  ἐγγέγραπται, ἢ ἄλλο τι περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ ὀλιγαρχίᾳ πραχθέντων ἔστι
  που γεγραμμένον, ~πλὴν ὁπόσα ἐν στήλαις γέγραπται τῶν μὴ ἐνθάδε
  μεινάντων~, etc. These last names, as the most criminal, were
  excepted from the amnesty of Patrokleidês.

  We here see that there were two categories among the condemned
  Four Hundred: 1. Those who remained to stand the trial of
  accountability, and were condemned either to a fine which they
  could not pay, or to some positive disability. 2. Those who
  did not remain to stand their trial, and were condemned _par

  Along with the first category we find other names besides those
  of the Four Hundred, found guilty as their partisans: ἄλλο
  τι (ὄνομα) περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ ὀλιγαρχίᾳ πραχθέντων. Among these
  partisans we may rank the soldiers mentioned a little before,
  sect. 75: οἱ στρατιῶται, οἷς ὅτι ~ἐπέμειναν ἐπὶ τῶν τυράννων~ ἐν
  τῇ πόλει, τὰ μὲν ἄλλα ἦν ἅπερ τοῖς ἄλλοις πολίταις, εἰπεῖν δ᾽ ἐν
  τῷ δήμῳ οὐκ ἐξῆν αὐτοῖς οὐδὲ βουλεῦσαι, where the preposition ἐπὶ
  seems to signify not simply contemporaneousness, but a sort of
  intimate connection, like the phrase ἐπὶ προστάτου οἰκεῖν (see
  Matthiæ, Gr. Gr. sect. 584; Kühner, Gr. Gr. sect. 611).

  The oration of Lysias pro Polystrato is on several points
  obscure: but we make out that Polystratus was one of the Four
  Hundred who did not come to stand his trial of accountability,
  and was therefore condemned in his absence. Severe accusations
  were made against him, and he was falsely asserted to be
  the cousin, whereas he was in reality only fellow-demot, of
  Phrynichus (sects. 20, 24, 11). The defence explains his
  non-appearance, by saying that he had been wounded at the battle
  of Eretria, and that the trial took place immediately after the
  deposition of the Four Hundred (sects. 14, 24). He was heavily
  fined, and deprived of his citizenship (sects. 15, 33, 38). It
  would appear that the fine was greater than his property could
  discharge; accordingly this fine, remaining unpaid, would become
  chargeable upon his sons after his death, and unless they could
  pay it, they would come into the situation of insolvent public
  debtors to the state, which would debar them from the exercise of
  the rights of citizenship, so long as the debt remained unpaid.
  But while Polystratus was alive, his sons were not liable to the
  state for the payment of his fine; and _they_ therefore still
  remained citizens, and in the full exercise of their rights,
  though _he_ was disfranchised. They were three sons, all of
  whom had served with credit as hoplites, and even as horsemen,
  in Sicily and elsewhere. In the speech before us, one of them
  prefers a petition to the dikastery, that the sentence passed
  against his father may be mitigated; partly on the ground that
  it was unmerited, being passed while his father was afraid to
  stand forward in his own defence, partly as recompense for
  distinguished military services of all the three sons. The speech
  was delivered at a time later than the battle of Kynossêma, in
  the autumn of this year (sect. 31), but not very long after the
  overthrow of the Four Hundred, and certainly, I think, long
  before the Thirty; so that the assertion of Taylor (Vit. Lysiæ,
  p. 55) that _all_ the extant orations of Lysias bear date after
  the Thirty, must be received with this exception.

Indistinctly as we make out the particular proceedings of the
Athenian people at this restoration of the democracy, we know from
Thucydidês that their prudence and moderation were exemplary. The
eulogy, which he bestows in such emphatic terms upon their behavior
at this juncture, is indeed doubly remarkable:[128] first, because
it comes from an exile, not friendly to the democracy, and a strong
admirer of Antiphon; next, because the juncture itself was one
eminently trying to the popular morality, and likely to degenerate,
by almost natural tendency, into excess of reactionary vengeance and
persecution. The democracy was now one hundred years old, dating
from Kleisthenês, and fifty years old, even dating from the final
reforms of Ephialtês and Periklês; so that self-government and
political equality were a part of the habitual sentiment of every
man’s bosom, heightened in this case by the fact that Athens was not
merely a democracy, but an imperial democracy, having dependencies
abroad.[129] At a moment when, from unparalleled previous disasters,
she is barely able to keep up the struggle against her foreign
enemies, a small knot of her own wealthiest citizens, taking
advantage of her weakness, contrive, by a tissue of fraud and force
not less flagitious than skilfully combined, to concentrate in
their own hands the powers of the state, and to tear from their
countrymen the security against bad government, the sentiment of
equal citizenship, and the long-established freedom of speech. Nor
is this all: these conspirators not only plant an oligarchical
sovereignty in the senate-house, but also sustain that sovereignty by
inviting a foreign garrison from without, and by betraying Athens to
her Peloponnesian enemies. Two more deadly injuries it is impossible
to imagine; and from neither of them would Athens have escaped, if
her foreign enemy had manifested reasonable alacrity. Considering
the immense peril, the narrow escape, and the impaired condition in
which Athens was left, notwithstanding her escape, we might well
have expected in the people a violence of reactionary hostility such
as every calm observer, while making allowance for the provocation,
must nevertheless have condemned; and perhaps somewhat analogous to
that exasperation which, under very similar circumstances, had caused
the bloody massacres at Korkyra.[130] And when we find that this is
exactly the occasion which Thucydidês, an observer rather less than
impartial, selects to eulogize their good conduct and moderation,
we are made deeply sensible of the good habits which their previous
democracy must have implanted in them, and which now served as a
corrective to the impulse of the actual moment. They had become
familiar with the cementing force of a common sentiment; they had
learned to hold sacred the inviolability of law and justice, even
in respect to their worst enemy; and what was of not less moment,
the frequency and freedom of political discussion had taught them
not only to substitute the contentions of the tongue for those of
the sword, but also to conceive their situation with its present
and prospective liabilities, instead of being hurried away by blind
retrospective vengeance against the past.

  [128] This testimony of Thucydidês is amply sufficient to
  refute the vague assertions in the Oration xxv, of Lysias
  (Δήμου Καταλυσ. Ἀπολ. sects. 34, 35), about great enormities
  now committed by the Athenians; though Mr. Mitford copies these
  assertions as if they were real history, referring them to a time
  four years afterwards (History of Greece, ch. xx, s. 1, vol. iv,
  p. 327).

  [129] Thucyd. viii, 68.

  [130] See about the events in Korkyra, vol. vi, ch. 1, p. 283.

There are few contrasts in Grecian history more memorable or more
instructive, than that between this oligarchical conspiracy,
conducted by some of the ablest hands at Athens, and the democratical
movement going on at the same time in Samos, among the Athenian
armament and the Samian citizens. In the former, we have nothing
but selfishness and personal ambition, from the beginning: first,
a partnership to seize for their own advantage the powers of
government; next, after this object has been accomplished, a breach
among the partners, arising out of disappointment alike selfish. We
find appeal made to nothing but the worst tendencies; either tricks
to practise upon the credulity of the people, or extra-judicial
murders to work upon their fear. In the latter, on the contrary,
the sentiment invoked is that of common patriotism, and equal,
public-minded sympathy. That which we read in Thucydidês,—when the
soldiers of the armament and the Samian citizens, pledged themselves
to each other by solemn oaths to uphold their democracy, to maintain
harmony and good feeling with each other, to prosecute energetically
the war against the Peloponnesians, and to remain at enmity with
the oligarchical conspirators at Athens,—is a scene among the most
dramatic and inspiriting which occurs in his history.[131] Moreover,
we recognize at Samos the same absence of reactionary vengeance as
at Athens, after the attack of the oligarchs, Athenian as well as
Samian, has been repelled; although those oligarchs had begun by
assassinating Hyperbolus and others. There is throughout this whole
democratical movement at Samos a generous exaltation of common
sentiment over personal, and at the same time an absence of ferocity
against opponents, such as nothing except democracy ever inspired in
the Grecian bosom.

  [131] Thucyd. viii, 75.

It is, indeed, true that this was a special movement of generous
enthusiasm, and that the details of a democratical government
correspond to it but imperfectly. Neither in the life of an
individual, nor in that of a people, does the ordinary and every-day
movement appear at all worthy of those particular seasons in which
a man is lifted above his own level and becomes capable of extreme
devotion and heroism. Yet such emotions, though their complete
predominance is never otherwise than transitory, have their
foundation in veins of sentiment which are not even at other times
wholly extinct, but count among the manifold forces tending to
modify and improve, if they cannot govern, human action. Even their
moments of transitory predominance leave a luminous track behind,
and render the men who have passed through them more apt to conceive
again the same generous impulse, though in fainter degree. It is
one of the merits of Grecian democracy that it _did_ raise this
feeling of equal and patriotic communion: sometimes, and on rare
occasions, like the scene at Samos, with overwhelming intensity, so
as to impassion an unanimous multitude; more frequently, in feebler
tide, yet such as gave some chance to an honest and eloquent orator,
of making successful appeal to public feeling against corruption
or selfishness. If we follow the movements of Antiphon and his
fellow-conspirators at Athens, contemporaneous with the democratical
manifestations at Samos, we shall see that not only was no such
generous impulse included in it, but the success of their scheme
depended upon their being able to strike all common and active
patriotism out of the Athenian bosom. Under the “cold shade” of their
oligarchy—even if we suppose the absence of cruelty and rapacity,
which would probably soon have become rife had their dominion lasted,
as we shall presently learn from the history of the second oligarchy
of Thirty—no sentiment would have been left to the Athenian multitude
except fear, servility, or at best a tame and dumb sequacity to
leaders whom they neither chose nor controlled. To those who regard
different forms of government as distinguished from each other mainly
by the feelings which each tends to inspire in magistrates as well
as citizens, the contemporaneous scenes of Athens and Samos will
suggest instructive comparisons between Grecian oligarchy and Grecian



The oligarchy of Four Hundred at Athens, installed in the
senate-house about February or March 411 B.C., and deposed about July
of the same year, after four or five months of danger and distraction
such as to bring her almost within the grasp of her enemies, has
now been terminated by the restoration of her democracy; with what
attendant circumstances, has been amply detailed. I now revert to
the military and naval operations on the Asiatic coast, partly
contemporaneous with the political dissensions at Athens, above

It has already been stated that the Peloponnesian fleet of
ninety-four triremes,[132] having remained not less than eighty days
idle at Rhodes, had come back to Milêtus towards the end of March;
with the intention of proceeding to the rescue of Chios, which a
portion of the Athenian armament under Strombichidês had been for
some time besieging, and which was now in the greatest distress.
The main Athenian fleet at Samos, however, prevented Astyochus from
effecting this object, since he did not think it advisable to hazard
a general battle. He was influenced partly by the bribes, partly
by the delusions, of Tissaphernês, who sought only to wear out
both parties by protracted war, and who now professed to be on the
point of bringing up the Phenician fleet to his aid. Astyochus had
in his fleet the ships which had been brought over for coöperation
with Pharnabazus at the Hellespont, and which were thus equally
unable to reach their destination. To meet this difficulty, the
Spartan Derkyllidas was sent with a body of troops by land to the
Hellespont, there to join Pharnabazus, in acting against Abydos
and the neighboring dependencies of Athens. Abydos, connected with
Milêtus by colonial ties, set the example of revolting from Athens
to Derkyllidas and Pharnabazus; an example followed, two days
afterwards, by the neighboring town of Lampsakus.

  [132] Thucyd. viii, 44, 45.

It does not appear that there was at this time any Athenian force
in the Hellespont; and the news of this danger to the empire in
a fresh quarter, when conveyed to Chios, alarmed Strombichidês,
the commander of the Athenian besieging armament. Though the
Chians—driven to despair by increasing famine as well as by want of
relief from Astyochus, and having recently increased their fleet to
thirty-six triremes against the Athenian thirty-two, by the arrival
of twelve ships under Leon, obtained from Milêtus during the absence
of Astyochus at Rhodes—had sallied out and fought an obstinate
naval battle against the Athenians, with some advantage,[133] yet
Strombichidês felt compelled immediately to carry away twenty-four
triremes and a body of hoplites for the relief of the Hellespont.
Hence the Chians became sufficiently masters of the sea to provision
themselves afresh, though the Athenian armament and fortified post
still remained on the island. Astyochus also was enabled to recall
Leon with the twelve triremes to Milêtus, and thus to strengthen his
main fleet.[134]

  [133] Thucyd. viii, 61, 62 οὐκ ἔλασσον ἔχοντες means a certain
  success, not very decisive.

  [134] Thucyd. viii, 63.

The present appears to have been the time, when the oligarchical
party both in the town and in the camp at Samos, were laying their
plan of conspiracy as already recounted, and when the Athenian
generals were divided in opinion, Charmînus siding with this party,
Leon and Diomedon against it. Apprized of the reigning dissension,
Astyochus thought it a favorable opportunity for sailing with
his whole fleet up to the harbor of Samos, and offering battle;
but the Athenians were in no condition to leave the harbor. He
accordingly returned to Milêtus, where he again remained inactive,
in expectation, real or pretended, of the arrival of the Phenician
ships. But the discontent of his own troops, especially the Syracusan
contingent, presently became uncontrollable. They not only murmured
at the inaction of the armament during this precious moment of
disunion in the Athenian camp, but also detected the insidious policy
of Tissaphernês in thus frittering away their strength without
result; a policy still more keenly brought home to their feelings
by his irregularity in supplying them with pay and provision, which
caused serious distress. To appease their clamors, Astyochus was
compelled to call together a general assembly, the resolution of
which was pronounced in favor of immediate battle. He accordingly
sailed from Milêtus with his whole fleet of one hundred and twelve
triremes round to the promontory of Mykalê immediately opposite
Samos, ordering the Milesian hoplites to cross the promontory by
land to the same point. The Athenian fleet, now consisting of only
eighty-two sail, in the absence of Strombichidês, was then moored
near Glaukê on the mainland of Mykalê; but the public decision just
taken by the Peloponnesians to fight becoming known to them, they
retired to Samos, not being willing to engage with such inferior

  [135] Thucyd. viii, 78, 79.

It seems to have been during this last interval of inaction on the
part of Astyochus, that the oligarchical party in Samos made their
attempt and miscarried; the reaction from which attempt brought
about, with little delay, the great democratical manifestation, and
solemn collective oath, of the Athenian armament, coupled with the
nomination of new, cordial, and unanimous generals. They were now in
high enthusiasm, anxious for battle with the enemy, and Strombichidês
had been sent for immediately, that the fleet might be united against
the main enemy at Milêtus. That officer had recovered Lampsakus,
but had failed in his attempt on Abydos.[136] Having established
a central fortified station at Sestos, he now rejoined the fleet
at Samos, which by his arrival was increased to one hundred and
eight sail. He arrived in the night, when the Peloponnesian fleet
was preparing to renew its attack from Mykalê the next morning. It
consisted of one hundred and twelve ships, and was therefore still
superior in number to the Athenians. But having now learned both the
arrival of Strombichidês, and the renewed spirit as well as unanimity
of the Athenians, the Peloponnesian commanders did not venture to
persist in their resolution of fighting. They returned back to
Milêtus, to the mouth of which harbor the Athenians sailed, and had
the satisfaction of offering battle to an unwilling enemy.[137]

  [136] Thucyd. viii, 62.

  [137] Thucyd. viii, 79.

Such confession of inferiority was well calculated to embitter still
farther the discontents of the Peloponnesian fleet at Milêtus.
Tissaphernês had become more and more parsimonious in furnishing
pay and supplies; while the recall of Alkibiadês to Samos, which
happened just now, combined with the uninterrupted apparent
intimacy between him and the satrap, confirmed their belief that
the latter was intentionally cheating and starving them in the
interest of Athens. At the same time, earnest invitations arrived
from Pharnabazus, soliciting the coöperation of the fleet at the
Hellespont, with liberal promises of pay and maintenance. Klearchus,
who had been sent out with the last squadron from Sparta, for the
express purpose of going to aid Pharnabazus, claimed to be allowed to
execute his orders; while Astyochus also, having renounced the idea
of any united action, thought it now expedient to divide the fleet,
which he was at a loss how to support. Accordingly, Klearchus was
sent with forty triremes from Milêtus to the Hellespont, yet with
instructions to evade the Athenians at Samos, by first stretching
out westward into the Ægean. Encountering severe storms, he was
forced with the greater part of his squadron to seek shelter at
Delos, and even suffered so much damage as to return to Milêtus,
from whence he himself marched to the Hellespont by land. Ten of his
triremes, however, under the Megarian Helixus, weathered the storm
and pursued their voyage to the Hellespont, which was at this moment
unguarded, since Strombichidês seems to have brought back all his
squadron. Helixus passed on unopposed to Byzantium, a Doric city and
Megarian colony, from whence secret invitations had already reached
him, and which he now induced to revolt from Athens. This untoward
news admonished the Athenian generals at Samos, whose vigilance
the circuitous route of Klearchus had eluded, of the necessity of
guarding the Hellespont, whither they sent a detachment, and even
attempted in vain to recapture Byzantium. Sixteen fresh triremes
afterwards proceeded from Milêtus to the Hellespont and Abydos,
thus enabling the Peloponnesians to watch that strait as well as
the Bosphorus and Byzantium,[138] and even to ravage the Thracian

  [138] Thucyd. viii, 80-99.

Meanwhile, the discontents of the fleet at Milêtus broke out into
open mutiny against Astyochus and Tissaphernês. Unpaid, and only
half-fed, the seamen came together in crowds to talk over their
grievances; denouncing Astyochus as having betrayed them for his own
profit to the satrap, who was treacherously ruining the armament
under the inspirations of Alkibiadês. Even some of the officers,
whose silence had been hitherto purchased, began to hold the same
language; perceiving that the mischief was becoming irreparable,
and that the men were actually on the point of desertion. Above
all, the incorruptible Hermokratês of Syracuse, and Dorieus the
Thurian commander, zealously espoused the claims of their seamen,
who being mostly freemen (in greater proportion than the crews of
the Peloponnesian ships), went in a body to Astyochus, with loud
complaints and demand of their arrears of pay. But the Peloponnesian
general received them with haughtiness and even with menace, lifting
up his stick to strike the commander Dorieus while advocating their
cause. Such was the resentment of the seamen that they rushed forward
to pelt Astyochus with missiles: he took refuge, however, on a
neighboring altar, so that no actual mischief was done.[139]

  [139] Thucyd. viii, 83, 84.

Nor was the discontent confined to the seamen of the fleet.
The Milesians, also, displeased and alarmed at the fort which
Tissaphernês had built in their town, watched an opportunity of
attacking it by surprise, and expelled his garrison. Though the
armament in general, now full of antipathy against the satrap,
sympathized in this proceeding, yet the Spartan commissioner Lichas
censured it severely, and intimated to the Milesians that they, as
well as the other Greeks in the king’s territory, were bound to
be subservient to Tissaphernês within all reasonable limits, and
even to court him by extreme subservience, until the war should
be prosperously terminated. It appears that in other matters
also, Lichas had enforced instead of mitigating the authority of
the satrap over them; so that the Milesians now came to hate him
vehemently,[140] and when he shortly afterwards died of sickness,
they refused permission to bury him in the spot—probably some place
of honor—which his surviving countrymen had fixed upon. Though Lichas
in these enforcements only carried out the stipulations of his
treaty with Persia, yet it is certain that the Milesians, instead of
acquiring autonomy, according to the general promises of Sparta, were
now farther from it than ever, and that imperial Athens had protected
them against Persia much better than Sparta.

  [140] Thucyd. viii, 84. Ὁ μέντοι Λίχας οὔτε ἠρέσκετο αὐτοῖς, ἔφη
  τε χρῆναι Τισσαφέρνει καὶ δουλεύειν Μιλησίους καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους ἐν
  τῇ βασιλέως τὰ μέτρια, καὶ ἐπιθεραπεύειν ἕως ἂν τὸν πόλεμον εὖ
  θῶνται. Οἱ δὲ Μιλήσιοι ὠργίζοντό τε αὐτῷ καὶ διὰ ταῦτα καὶ δι᾽
  ἄλλα τοιουτότροπα, etc.

The subordination of the armament, however, was now almost at an
end, when Mindarus arrived from Sparta as admiral to supersede
Astyochus, who was summoned home and took his departure. Both
Hermokratês and some Milesian deputies availed themselves of this
opportunity to go to Sparta for the purpose of preferring complaints
against Tissaphernês; while the latter on his part sent thither an
envoy named Gaulites, a Karian, brought up in equal familiarity
with the Greek and Karian languages, both to defend himself against
the often-repeated charges of Hermokratês, that he had been
treacherously withholding the pay under concert with Alkibiadês
and the Athenians, and to denounce the Milesians on his own side,
as having wrongfully demolished his fort.[141] At the same time he
thought it necessary to put forward a new pretence, for the purpose
of strengthening the negotiations of his envoy at Sparta, soothing
the impatience of the armament, and conciliating the new admiral
Mindarus. He announced that the Phenician fleet was on the point of
arriving at Aspendus in Pamphylia, and that he was going thither to
meet it, for the purpose of bringing it up to the seat of war to
coöperate with the Peloponnesians. He invited Lichas to accompany
him, and engaged to leave Tamos at Milêtus, as deputy during his
absence, with orders to furnish pay and maintenance to the fleet.[142]

  [141] Thucyd. viii, 85.

  [142] Thucyd. viii, 87.

Mindarus, a new commander, without any experience of the mendacity
of Tissaphernês, was imposed upon by this plausible assurance, and
even captivated by the near prospect of so powerful a reinforcement.
He despatched an officer named Philippus with two triremes round the
Triopian Cape to Aspendus, while the satrap went thither by land.

Here again was a fresh delay of no inconsiderable length, while
Tissaphernês was absent at Aspendus, on this ostensible purpose. Some
time elapsed before Mindarus was undeceived, for Philippus found
the Phenician fleet at Aspendus, and was therefore at first full of
hope that it was really coming onward. But the satrap soon showed
that his purpose now, as heretofore, was nothing better than delay
and delusion. The Phenician ships were one hundred and forty-seven
in number; a fleet more than sufficient for concluding the maritime
war, if brought up to act zealously. But Tissaphernês affected to
think that this was a small force, unworthy of the majesty of the
Great King; who had commanded a fleet of three hundred sail to be
fitted out for the service.[143] He waited for some time in pretended
expectation that more ships were on their way, disregarding all the
remonstrances of the Lacedæmonian officers.

  [143] Thucyd. viii, 87. This greater total, which Tissaphernês
  pretended that the Great King purposed to send, is specified by
  Diodorus at three hundred sail. Thucydidês does not assign any
  precise number (Diodor. xiii, 38, 42, 46).

  On a subsequent occasion, too, we hear of the Phenician fleet
  as intended to be augmented to a total of three hundred sail
  (Xenoph. Hellen. iii, 4, 1). It seems to have been the sort of
  standing number for a fleet worthy of the Persian king.

Presently arrived the Athenian Alkibiadês, with thirteen Athenian
triremes, exhibiting himself as on the best terms with the satrap.
He too had made use of this approaching Phenician fleet to delude
his countrymen at Samos, by promising to go and meet Tissaphernês at
Aspendus, and to determine him, if possible, to send the fleet to the
assistance of Athens, but at the very least, _not_ to send it to the
aid of Sparta. The latter alternative of the promise was sufficiently
safe, for he knew well that Tissaphernês had no intention of applying
the fleet to any really efficient purpose. But he was thereby enabled
to take credit with his countrymen for having been the means of
diverting this formidable reinforcement from the enemy.

Partly the apparent confidence between Tissaphernês and Alkibiadês,
partly the impudent shifts of the former, grounded on the incredible
pretence that the fleet was insufficient in number, at length
satisfied Philippus that the present was only a new manifestation of
deceit. After a long and vexatious interval, he apprized Mindarus—not
without indignant abuse of the satrap—that nothing was to be hoped
from the fleet at Aspendus. Yet the proceeding of Tissaphernês,
indeed, in bringing up the Phenicians to that place, and still
withholding the order for farther advance and action, was in every
one’s eyes mysterious and unaccountable. Some fancied that he did it
with a view of levying larger bribes from the Phenicians themselves,
as a premium for being sent home without fighting, as it appears that
they actually were. But Thucydidês supposes that he had no other
motive than that which had determined his behavior during the last
year, to protract the war and impoverish both Athens and Sparta, by
setting up a fresh deception, which would last for some weeks, and
thus procure so much delay.[144] The historian is doubtless right:
but without his assurance, it would have been difficult to believe,
that the maintenance of a fraudulent pretence, for so inconsiderable
a time, should have been held as an adequate motive for bringing
this large fleet from Phenicia to Aspendus, and then sending it away

  [144] Thucyd. viii, 87, 88, 99.

Having at length lost all hope of the Phenician ships, Mindarus
resolved to break off all dealing with the perfidious Tissaphernês;
the more so, as Tamos, the deputy of the latter, though left
ostensibly to pay and keep the fleet, performed that duty with
greater irregularity than ever, and to conduct his fleet to the
Hellespont into coöperation with Pharnabazus, who still continued his
promises and invitations. The Peloponnesian fleet[145]—seventy-three
triremes strong, after deducting thirteen which had been sent under
Dorieus to suppress some disturbances in Rhodes—having been carefully
prepared beforehand, was put in motion by sudden order, so that no
previous intimation might reach the Athenians at Samos. After having
been delayed some days at Ikarus by bad weather, Mindarus reached
Chios in safety. But here he was pursued by Thrasyllus, who passed,
with fifty-five triremes, to the northward of Chios, and was thus
between the Lacedæmonian admiral and the Hellespont. Believing that
Mindarus would remain some time at Chios, Thrasyllus placed scouts
both on the high lands of Lesbos and on the continent opposite Chios,
in order that he might receive instant notice of any movement on the
part of the enemy’s fleet.[146] Meanwhile he employed his Athenian
force in reducing the Lesbian town of Eresus, which had been lately
prevailed on to revolt by a body of three hundred assailants from
Kymê under the Theban Anaxander, partly Methymnæan exiles, with some
political sympathizers, partly mercenary foreigners, who succeeded in
carrying Eresus after failing in an attack on Methymna. Thrasyllus
found before Eresus a small Athenian squadron of five triremes under
Thrasybulus, who had been despatched from Samos to try and forestall
the revolt, but had arrived too late. He was farther joined by two
triremes from the Hellespont, and by others from Methymna, so that
his entire fleet reached the number of sixty-seven triremes, with
which he proceeded to lay siege to Eresus; trusting to his scouts for
timely warning, in case the enemy’s fleet should move northward.

  [145] Diodor. xiii, 38.

  [146] Thucyd. viii, 100. Αἰσθόμενος δὲ ὅτι ἐν ~τῇ Χίῳ~ εἴη, καὶ
  νομίσας αὐτὸν καθέξειν ~αὐτοῦ~, σκοποὺς μὲν κατεστήσατο καὶ ἐν τῇ
  Λέσβῳ, καὶ ~ἐν τῇ ἀντιπέρας ἠπείρῳ~, εἰ ἄρα ποι κινοῖντο αἱ νῆες,
  ὅπως μὴ λάθοιεν, etc.

  I construe τῇ ἀντιπέρας ἠπείρῳ, as meaning the mainland opposite
  _Chios_, not opposite _Lesbos_. The words may admit either
  sense, since Χίῳ and αὐτοῦ follow so immediately before: and the
  situation for the scouts was much more suitable, opposite the
  northern portion of _Chios_.

The course which Thrasyllus expected the Peloponnesian fleet to take,
was to sail from Chios northward through the strait which separates
the northeastern portion of that island from Mount Mimas on the
Asiatic mainland: after which it would probably sail past Eresus
on the western side of Lesbos, as being the shortest track to the
Hellespont, though it might also go round on the eastern side between
Lesbos and the continent, by a somewhat longer route. The Athenian
scouts were planted so as to descry the Peloponnesian fleet, if it
either passed through this strait or neared the island of Lesbos.
But Mindarus did neither; thus eluding their watch, and reaching the
Hellespont without the knowledge of the Athenians. Having passed two
days in provisioning his ships, receiving besides from the Chians
three tesserakosts, a Chian coin of unknown value, for each man among
his seamen, he departed on the third day from Chios, but took a
southerly route and rounded the island in all haste on its western or
sea-side. Having reached and passed the northern latitude of Chios,
he took an eastward course, with Lesbos at some distance to his left
hand, direct to the mainland; which he touched at a harbor called
Karterii, in the Phokæan territory. Here he stopped to give the crew
their morning meal: he then crossed the arc of the gulf of Kymê to
the little islets called Arginusæ, close on the Asiatic continent
opposite Mitylênê, where he again halted for supper. Continuing his
voyage onward during most part of the night, he was at Harmatûs, on
the continent, directly northward and opposite to Methymna, by the
next day’s morning meal: then still hastening forward after a short
halt, he doubled Cape Lektum, sailed along the Troad and passed
Tenedos, and reached the entrance of the Hellespont before midnight;
where his ships were distributed at Sigeium, Rhœteium, and other
neighboring places.[147]

  [147] Thucyd. viii, 101. The latter portion of this voyage is
  sufficiently distinct; the earlier portion less so. I describe it
  in the text differently from all the best and most recent editors
  of Thucydidês; from whom I dissent with the less reluctance, as
  they all here take the gravest liberty with his text, inserting
  the negative οὐ _on pure conjecture_, without the authority
  of a single MS. Niebuhr has laid it down as almost a canon of
  criticism that this is never to be done: yet here we have Krüger
  recommending it, and Haack, Göller, Dr. Arnold, Poppo, and M.
  Didot, all adopting it as a part of the text of Thucydidês;
  without even following the caution of Bekker in his small
  edition, who admonishes the reader, by inclosing the word in
  brackets. Nay, Dr. Arnold goes so far as to say in note, “_This
  correction is so certain and so necessary, that it only shows
  the inattention of the earlier editors that it was not made long

  The words of Thucydidês, _without_ this correction, and as they
  stood universally before Haack’s edition (even in Bekker’s
  edition of 1821), are:—

  Ὁ δὲ Μίνδαρος ἐν τούτῳ καὶ αἱ ἐκ τῆς Χίου τῶν Πελοποννησίων νῆες
  ἐπισιτισάμεναι δυσῖν ἡμέραις, καὶ λαβόντες παρὰ τῶν Χίων τρεῖς
  τεσσαρακοστὰς ἕκαστος Χίας τῇ τρίτῃ διὰ ταχέων ~ἀπαίρουσιν ἐκ
  τῆς Χίου πελάγιαι, ἵνα μὴ περιτύχωσι ταῖς ἐν τῇ Ἐρέσῳ ναυσίν,
  ἀλλὰ ἐν ἀριστερᾷ τὴν Λέσβον ἔχοντες ἔπλεον ἐπὶ τὴν ἤπειρον~.
  Καὶ προσβαλόντες τῆς Φωκαΐδος ἐς τὸν ἐν Καρτερίοις λιμένα, καὶ
  ἀριστοποιησάμενοι, παραπλεύσαντες τὴν Κυμαίαν δειπνοποιοῦνται ἐν
  Ἀργενούσαις τῆς ἠπείρου, ἐν τῷ ἀντιπέρας τῆς Μιτυλήνης, etc.

  Haack and the other eminent critics just mentioned, all insist
  that these words as they stand are absurd and contradictory, and
  that it is indispensable to insert οὐ before πελάγιαι; so that
  the sentence stands in their editions ~ἀπαίρουσιν ἐκ τῆς Χίου οὐ
  πελάγιαι~. They all picture to themselves the fleet of Mindarus
  as sailing from the town of Chios _northward_, and going out at
  the northern strait. Admitting this, they say, plausibly enough,
  that the words of the old text involve a contradiction, because
  Mindarus would be going in the direction towards Eresus, and not
  away from it; though even then, the propriety of their correction
  would be disputable. But the word πελάγιος, when applied to ships
  departing from Chios,—though it may perhaps mean that they round
  the northeastern corner of the island and then strike west round
  Lesbos,—yet means also as naturally, and more naturally, to
  announce them as _departing by the outer sea_, or sailing _on the
  sea-side_ (round the southern and western coast) _of the island_.
  Accept _this meaning_, and the old words construe perfectly well.
  Ἀπαίρειν ἐκ τῆς Χίου πελάγιος is the natural and proper phrase
  for describing the circuit of Mindarus round the south and west
  coast of Chios. This, too, was the only way by which he could
  have escaped the scouts and the ships of Thrasyllus: for which
  same purpose of avoiding Athenian ships, we find (viii, 80) the
  squadron of Klearchus, on another occasion, making a long circuit
  out to sea. If it be supposed, which those who read ~οὐ~ πελάγιαι
  must suppose, that Mindarus sailed first up the northern strait
  between Chios and the mainland, and then turned his course east
  towards Phokæa, this would have been the course which Thrasyllus
  expected that he would take; and it is hardly possible to explain
  why he was not seen both by the Athenian scouts as well as by the
  Athenian garrison at their station of Delphinium on Chios itself.
  Whereas, by taking the circuitous route round the southern and
  western coast, he never came in sight either of one or the other:
  and he was enabled, when he got round to the latitude north of
  the island, to turn to the right and take a straight easterly
  course, _with Lesbos on his left hand_, but at a sufficient
  distance from land to be out of sight of all scouts. Ἀνάγεσθαι ἐκ
  τῆς Χίου πελάγιος (Xen. Hellen. ii, 1, 17), means to strike into
  the open sea, quite clear of the coast of Asia: that passage does
  not decisively indicate whether the ships rounded the southeast
  or the northeast corner of the island.

  We are here told that the seamen of Mindarus received from the
  Chians per head _three Chian tessarakostæ_. Now this is a small
  Chian coin, nowhere else mentioned; and it is surprising to
  find so petty and local a denomination of money here specified
  by Thucydidês, contrasted with the different manner in which
  Xenophon describes Chian payments to the Peloponnesian seamen
  (Hellen. i, 6, 12; ii, 1, 5). But the voyage of Mindarus round
  the south and west of the island explains the circumstance. He
  must have landed twice on the island during this circumnavigation
  (perhaps starting in the evening), for dinner and supper: and
  this Chian coin, which probably had no circulation out of
  the island, served each man to buy provisions at the Chian
  landing-places. It was not convenient to Mindarus to take aboard
  _more_ provisions in kind, at the town of Chios; because he had
  already aboard a stock of provisions for two days, the subsequent
  portion of his voyage, along the coast of Asia to Sigeium, during
  which he could not afford time to halt and buy them, and where
  indeed the territory was not friendly.

  It is enough if I can show that the old text of Thucydidês
  will construe very well, without the violent intrusion of this
  conjectural ~οὐ~. But I can show more: for this negative actually
  renders even the construction of the sentence awkward at least,
  if not inadmissible. Surely, ἀπαίρουσιν οὐ πελάγιαι, ἀλλὰ, ought
  to be followed by a correlative adjective or participle belonging
  to the same verb ἀπαίρουσιν: yet if we take ἔχοντες as such
  correlative participle, how are we to construe ἔπλεον? In order
  to express the sense which Haack brings out, we ought surely to
  have different words, such as: οὐκ ἄπῃραν ἐκ τῆς Χίου πελάγιαι,
  ἀλλ᾽ ἐν ἀριστέρᾳ τὴν Λέσβον ἔχοντες ἔπλεον ἐπὶ τὴν ἤπειρον.
  Even the change of tense from present to past, when we follow
  the construction of Haack, is awkward; while if we understand
  the words in the sense which I propose, the change of tense is
  perfectly admissible, since the two verbs do not both refer to
  the same movement or to the same portion of the voyage. “_The
  fleet starts from Chios out by the sea-side of the island; but
  when it came to have Lesbos on the left hand, it sailed straight
  to the continent._”

  I hope that I am not too late to make good my γραφὴν ξενίας, or
  protest, against the unwarranted right of Thucydidean citizenship
  which the recent editors have conferred upon this word ~οὐ~, in
  c. 101. The old text ought certainly to be restored; or, if these
  editors maintain their views, they ought at least to inclose the
  word in brackets. In the edition of Thucydidês, published at
  Leipsic, 1845, by C. A. Koth, I observe that the text is still
  correctly printed, without the negative.

By this well-laid course and accelerated voyage, the Peloponnesian
fleet completely eluded the lookers-out of Thrasyllus, and reached
the opening of the Hellespont when that admiral was barely apprized
of its departure from Chios. When it arrived at Harmatûs, however,
opposite to and almost within sight of the Athenian station at
Methymna, its progress could no longer remain a secret. As it
advanced still farther along the Troad, the momentous news circulated
everywhere, and was promulgated through numerous fire-signals and
beacons on the hill, by friend as well as by foe.

These signals were perfectly visible, and perfectly intelligible,
to the two hostile squadrons now on guard on each side of the
Hellespont: eighteen Athenian triremes at Sestos in Europe, sixteen
Peloponnesian triremes at Abydos in Asia. To the former it was
destruction, to be caught by this powerful enemy in the narrow
channel of the Hellespont. They quitted Sestos in the middle of the
night, passing opposite to Abydos, and keeping a southerly course
close along the shore of the Chersonese, in the direction towards
Elæûs at the southern extremity of that peninsular, so as to have
the chance of escape in the open sea and of joining Thrasyllus. But
they would not have been allowed to pass even the hostile station at
Abydos, had not the Peloponnesian guardships received the strictest
orders from Mindarus, transmitted before he left Chios, or perhaps
even before he left Milêtus, that, if he should attempt the start,
they were to keep a vigilant and special look-out for his coming, and
reserve themselves to lend him such assistance as might be needed, in
case he were attacked by Thrasyllus. When the signals first announced
the arrival of Mindarus, the Peloponnesian guardships at Abydos could
not know in what position he was, nor whether the main Athenian fleet
might not be near upon him. Accordingly they acted on these previous
orders, holding themselves in reserve in their station at Abydos,
until daylight should arrive, and they should be better informed.
They thus neglected the Athenian Hellespontine squadron in its escape
from Sestos to Elæûs.[148]

  [148] Thucyd. viii, 102. Οἱ δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι ἐν τῇ Σηστῷ, ...
  ὡς αὐτοῖς οἵ τε φρυκτωροὶ ἐσήμαινον, καὶ ᾐσθάνοντο τὰ πυρὰ
  ἐξαίφνης πολλὰ ἐν τῇ πολεμίᾳ φανέντα, ἔγνωσαν ὅτι ἐσπλέουσιν οἱ
  Πελοποννήσιοι. Καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς ταύτης νυκτὸς, ὡς εἶχον τάχους,
  ὑπομίξαντες τῇ Χερσονήσῳ, παρέπλεον ἐπ᾽ Ἐλαιοῦντος, βουλόμενοι
  ἐκπλεῦσαι ἐς τὴν εὐρυχωρίαν τὰς τῶν πολεμίων ναῦς. ~Καὶ τὰς μὲν
  ἐν Ἀβύδῳ ἑκκαίδεκα ναῦς ἔλαθον, προειρημένης φυλακῆς τῷ φιλίῳ
  ἐπίπλῳ, ὅπως αὐτῶν ἀνακῶς ἕξουσιν, ἢν ἐκπλέωσι~· τὰς δὲ μετὰ τοῦ
  Μινδάρου ἅμα ἕῳ κατιδόντες, etc.

  Here, again, we have a difficult text, which has much perplexed
  the commentators, and which I venture to translate, as it stands
  in my text, differently from all of them. The words, προειρημένης
  φυλακῆς τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ, ὅπως αὐτῶν ἀνακῶς ἕξουσιν, ἢν ἐκπλέωσι,
  are explained by the Scholiast to mean: “Although watch had been
  enjoined to them (i.e. to the Peloponnesian guard-squadron at
  Abydos) by the friendly approaching fleet (of Mindarus), that
  they should keep strict guard on the Athenians at Sestos, in case
  the latter should sail out.”

  Dr. Arnold, Göller, Poppo, and M. Didot, all accept this
  construction, though all agree that it is most harsh and
  confused. The former says: “This again is most strangely intended
  to mean, προειρημένου αὐτοῖς ~ὑπὸ τῶν ἐπιπλεόντων φίλων~
  φυλάσσειν τοὺς πολεμίους.”

  To construe τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ as equivalent to ὑπὸ τῶν ἐπιπλεόντων
  φίλων, is certainly such a harshness as we ought to be very
  glad to escape. And the construction of the Scholiast involves
  another liberty which I cannot but consider as objectionable.
  He supplies, in his paraphrase, the word ~καίτοι~, _although_,
  from his own imagination. There is no indication of _although_,
  either express or implied, in the text of Thucydidês; and it
  appears to me hazardous to assume into the meaning so decisive
  a particle without any authority. The genitive absolute, when
  annexed to the main predication affirmed in the verb, usually
  denotes something naturally connected with it in the way of
  cause, concomitancy, explanation, or modification, not something
  opposed to it, requiring to be prefaced by an _although_; if
  this latter be intended, then the word _although_ is expressed,
  not left to be understood. After Thucydidês has told us that
  the Athenians at Sestos escaped their opposite enemies at
  Abydos, when he next goes on to add something under the genitive
  absolute, we expect that it should be a new fact which explains
  why or how they escaped: but if the new fact which he tells us,
  far from explaining the escape, renders it more extraordinary
  (such as, that the Peloponnesians had received strict orders to
  watch them), he would surely prepare the reader for this new fact
  by an express particle, such as _although_ or _notwithstanding_:
  “The Athenians escaped, _although_ the Peloponnesians had
  received the strictest orders to watch them and block them up.”
  As nothing equivalent to, or implying, the adversative particle
  _although_ is to be found in the Greek words, so I infer, as a
  high probability, that it is not to be sought in the meaning.

  Differing from the commentators, I think that these words,
  προειρημένης φυλακῆς τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ, ὅπως αὐτῶν ἀνακῶς ἕξουσιν,
  ἢν ἐκπλέωσι, _do_ assign the reason for the fact which had been
  immediately before announced, and which was really extraordinary;
  namely, that the Athenian squadron was allowed to pass by Abydos,
  and escape from Sestos to Elæûs. That reason was, that the
  Peloponnesian guard-squadron had before received special orders
  from Mindarus, _to concentrate its attention and watchfulness
  upon his approaching squadron_; hence it arose that they left the
  Athenians at Sestos unnoticed.

  The words τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ are equivalent to τῷ τῶν φίλων ἐπίπλῳ,
  and the pronoun ~αὐτῶν~, which immediately follows, refers
  to ~φίλων~ (_the approaching fleet of Mindarus_), not to the
  Athenians at Sestos, as the Scholiast and the commentators
  construe it. This mistake about the reference of αὐτῶν seems to
  me to have put them all wrong.

  That τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ must be construed as equivalent to τῷ τῶν
  φίλων ἐπίπλῳ is certain; but it is not equivalent to ὑπὸ τῶν
  ἐπιπλεόντων φίλων; nor is it possible to construe the words as
  the Scholiast would understand them: “_orders had been previously
  given by the approach (or arrival) of their friends_;” whereby we
  should turn ὁ ἐπίπλους into an acting and commanding personality.
  The “approach of their friends” is an event, which may properly
  be said “to have produced an effect,” but which cannot be said
  “to have given previous orders.” It appears to me that τῷ φιλίῳ
  ἐπίπλῳ is the dative case, governed by φυλακῆς; “_a look-out
  for the arrival of the Peloponnesians_,” having been enjoined
  upon these guardships at Abydos: “_They had been ordered to
  watch for the approaching voyage of their friends._” The English
  preposition _for_, expresses here exactly the sense of the Greek
  dative; that is, the _object, purpose, or persons whose benefit
  is referred to_.

  The words immediately succeeding, ὅπως αὐτῶν (τῶν φίλων) ἀνακῶς
  ἕξουσιν, ἢν ἐκπλέωσι, are an expansion of consequences intended
  to follow from φυλακῆς τῷ φιλίῳ ἐπίπλῳ. “They shall watch for the
  approach of the main fleet, in order that they may devote special
  and paramount regard to its safety, in case it makes a start.”
  For the phrase ἀνακῶς ἔχειν, compare Herodot. i, 24; viii, 109.
  Plutarch, Theseus, c. 33: ~ἀνακῶς~, φυλακτῶς, προνοητικῶς,
  ἐπιμελῶς, the notes of Arnold and Göller here; and Kühner, Gr.
  Gr. sect. 533, ἀνακῶς ἔχειν τινός, for ἐπιμελεῖσθαι. The words
  ἀνακῶς ἔχειν express the anxious and special vigilance which the
  Peloponnesian squadron at Abydos was directed to keep for the
  arrival of Mindarus and his fleet, which was a matter of doubt
  and danger: but they would not be properly applicable to the duty
  of that squadron as respects the opposite Athenian squadron at
  Sestos, which was hardly of superior force to themselves, and was
  besides an avowed enemy, in sight of their own port.

  Lastly, the words ἢν ἐκπλέωσι refer _to Mindarus and his fleet
  about to start from Chios, as their subject_, not to the
  Athenians at Sestos.

  The whole sentence would stand thus, if we dismiss the
  peculiarities of Thucydidês, and express the meaning in common
  Greek: Καὶ τὰς μὲν ἐν Ἀβύδῳ ἑκκαίδεκα ναῦς (Ἀθηναῖοι) ἔλαθον·
  προείρητο γὰρ (ἐκείναις ταῖς ναῦσιν) φυλάσσειν τὸν ἐπίπλουν τῶν
  φίλων, ὅπως ~αὐτῶν~ (τῶν φίλων) ἀνακῶς ἔξουσιν, ἢν ἐκπλέωσι.
  The verb φυλάσσειν here, and of course the abstract substantive
  φυλακὴ which represents it, signifies to _watch_ for, or _wait_
  for: like Thucyd. ii, 3. φυλάξαντες ἔτι νύκτα, καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ
  περίορθρον; also viii, 41, ἐφύλασσε.

  If we construe the words in this way, they will appear in perfect
  harmony with the general scheme and purpose of Mindarus. That
  admiral is bent upon carrying his fleet to the Hellespont,
  but to avoid an action with Thrasyllus in doing so. This is
  difficult to accomplish, and can only be done by great secrecy
  of proceeding, as well as by an unusual route. He sends orders
  beforehand from Chios, perhaps even from Milêtus, before he
  quitted that place, to the Peloponnesian squadron guarding the
  Hellespont at Abydos. He contemplates the possible case that
  Thrasyllus may detect his plan, intercept him on the passage, and
  perhaps block him up or compel him to fight in some roadstead or
  bay on the coast opposite Lesbos, or on the Troad, which would
  indeed have come to pass, had he been seen by a single hostile
  fishing-boat in rounding the island of Chios. Now the orders sent
  forward, direct the Peloponnesian squadron at Abydos what they
  are to do in this contingency; since without such orders, the
  captain of the squadron would not have known what to do, assuming
  Mindarus to be intercepted by Thrasyllus; whether to remain on
  guard at the Hellespont, which was his special duty; or to leave
  the Hellespont unguarded, keep his attention concentrated on
  Mindarus, and come forth to help him. “Let your first thought be
  to insure the safe arrival of the main fleet at the Hellespont,
  and to come out and render help to it, if it be attacked in its
  route; even though it be necessary for that purpose to leave
  the Hellespont for a time unguarded.” Mindarus could not tell
  beforehand the exact moment when he would start from Chios, nor
  was it, indeed, absolutely certain that he would start at all,
  if the enemy were watching him: his orders were therefore sent,
  _conditional_ upon his being able to get off (~ἢν ἐκπλέωσι~).
  But he was lucky enough, by the well-laid plan of his voyage,
  to get to the Hellespont without encountering an enemy. The
  Peloponnesian squadron at Abydos, however, having received his
  special orders, when the fire-signals acquainted them that he was
  approaching, thought only of keeping themselves in reserve to
  lend him assistance if he needed it, and neglected the Athenians
  opposite. As it was night, probably the best thing which they
  could do, was to wait in Abydos for daylight, until they could
  learn particulars of his position, and how or where they could
  render aid.

  We thus see both the general purpose of Mindarus, and in what
  manner the orders which he had transmitted to the Peloponnesian
  squadron at Abydos, brought about indirectly the escape of the
  Athenian squadron without interruption from Sestos.

On arriving about daylight near the southern point of the Chersonese,
these Athenians were descried by the fleet of Mindarus, which
had come the night before to the opposite stations of Sigeium and
Rhœteium. The latter immediately gave chase: but the Athenians, now
in the wide sea, contrived to escape most of them to Imbros, not
without the loss, however, of four triremes, one even captured with
all the crew on board, near the temple of Protesilaus at Elæûs: the
crews of the other three escaped ashore. Mindarus was now joined by
the squadron from Abydos, and their united force, eighty-six triremes
strong, was employed for one day in trying to storm Elæûs. Failing in
this enterprise, the fleet retired to Abydos. Before all could arrive
there, Thrasyllus with his fleet arrived in haste from Eresus, much
disappointed that his scouts had been eluded and all his calculations
baffled. Two Peloponnesian triremes, which had been more adventurous
than the rest in pursuing the Athenians, fell into his hands. He
waited at Elæûs the return of the fugitive Athenian squadron from
Imbros, and then began to prepare his triremes, seventy-six in
number, for a general action.

After five days of such preparation, his fleet was brought to
battle, sailing northward towards Sestos up the Hellespont, by
single ships ahead, along the coast of the Chersonese, or on the
European side. The left or most advanced squadron, under Thrasyllus,
stretched even beyond the headland called Kynossêma, or the Dog’s
Tomb, ennobled by the legend and the chapel of the Trojan queen
Hecuba: it was thus nearly opposite Abydos, while the right squadron
under Thrasybulus was not very far from the southern mouth of the
strait, nearly opposite Dardanus. Mindarus on his side brought
into action eighty-six triremes, ten more than Thrasyllus in total
number, extending from Abydos to Dardanus on the Asiatic shore;
the Syracusans under Hermokratês being on the right, opposed to
Thrasyllus, while Mindarus with the Peloponnesian ships was on the
left opposed to Thrasybulus. The epibatæ or maritime hoplites on
board the ships of Mindarus are said to have been superior to the
Athenians, but the latter had the advantage in skilful pilots and
nautical manœuvring: nevertheless, the description of the battle
tells us how much Athenian manœuvring had fallen off since the
glories of Phormion at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war; nor
would that eminent seaman have selected for the scene of a naval
battle the narrow waters of the Hellespont. Mindarus took the
aggressive, advancing to attack near the European shore, and trying
to outflank his opponents on both sides, as well as to drive them
up against the land. Thrasyllus on one wing, and Thrasybulus on the
other, by rapid movements, extended themselves so as to frustrate
this attempt to outflank them; but in so doing, they stripped and
weakened the centre, which was even deprived of the sight of the
left wing by means of the projecting headland of Kynossêma. Thus
unsupported, the centre was vigorously attacked and roughly handled
by the middle division of Mindarus. Its ships were driven up against
the land, and the assailants even disembarked to push their victory
against the men ashore. But this partial success threw the central
Peloponnesian division itself into disorder, while Thrasybulus and
Thrasyllus carried on a conflict at first equal, and presently
victorious, against the ships on the right and left of the enemy.
Having driven back both these two divisions, they easily chased away
the disordered ships of the centre, so that the whole Peloponnesian
fleet was put to flight, and found shelter first in the river
Meidius, next in Abydos. The narrow breadth of the Hellespont forbade
either long pursuit or numerous captures. Nevertheless, eight Chian
ships, five Corinthians, two Ambrakian, and as many Bœotian, and
from Sparta, Syracuse, Pellênê, and Leukas, one each, fell into the
hands of the Athenian admirals; who, however, on their own side lost
fifteen ships. They erected a trophy on the headland of Kynossêma,
near the tomb or chapel of Hecuba; not omitting the usual duties of
burying their own dead, and giving up those of the enemy under the
customary request for truce.[149]

  [149] Thucyd. viii, 105, 106; Diodor. xiii, 39, 40.

  The general account which Diodorus gives of this battle, is, even
  in its most essential features, not reconcilable with Thucydidês.
  It is vain to try to blend them. I have been able to borrow from
  Diodorus hardly anything except his statement of the superiority
  of the Athenian pilots and the Peloponnesian epibatæ. He states
  that twenty-five fresh ships arrived to join the Athenians in the
  middle of the battle, and determined the victory in their favor:
  this circumstance is evidently borrowed from the subsequent
  conflict a few months afterwards.

  We owe to him, however, the mention of the chapel or tomb of
  Hecuba on the headland of Kynossêma.

A victory so incomplete and indecisive would have been little valued
by the Athenians, in the times preceding the Sicilian expedition.
But since that overwhelming disaster, followed by so many other
misfortunes, and last of all, by the defeat of Thymocharis, with
the revolt of Eubœa, their spirit had been so sadly lowered, that
the trireme which brought the news of the battle of Kynossêma,
seemingly towards the end of August 411 B.C., was welcomed with the
utmost delight and triumph. They began to feel as if the ebb-tide
had reached its lowest point, and had begun to turn in their favor,
holding out some hopes of ultimate success in the war. Another piece
of good fortune soon happened, to strengthen this belief. Mindarus
was compelled to reinforce himself at the Hellespont by sending
Hippokratês and Epiklês to bring the fleet of fifty triremes now
acting at Eubœa.[150] This was in itself an important relief to
Athens, by withdrawing an annoying enemy near home. But it was still
further enhanced by the subsequent misfortunes of this fleet, which,
in passing round the headland of Mount Athos to get to Asia, was
overtaken by a terrific storm and nearly destroyed, with great loss
of life among the crews; so that a remnant only, under Hippokratês,
survived to join Mindarus.[151]

  [150] Thucyd. viii, 107; Diodor. xiii, 41.

  [151] Diodor. xiii, 41. It is probable that this fleet was in
  great part Bœotian; and twelve seamen who escaped from the wreck
  commemorated their rescue by an inscription in the temple of
  Athênê at Korôneia; which inscription was read and copied by
  Ephorus. By an exaggerated and over-literal confidence in the
  words of it, Diodorus is led to affirm that these twelve men were
  the only persons saved, and that every other person perished. But
  we know perfectly that Hippokratês himself survived, and that he
  was alive at the subsequent battle of Kyzikus (Xenoph. Hellen. i,
  1, 23).

But though Athens was thus exempted from all fear of aggression on
the side of Eubœa, the consequences of this departure of the fleet
were such as to demonstrate how irreparably the island itself had
passed out of her supremacy. The inhabitants of Chalkis and the
other cities, now left without foreign defence against her, employed
themselves jointly with the Bœotians, whose interest in the case
was even stronger than their own, in divesting Eubœa of its insular
character, by constructing a mole or bridge across the Euripus, the
narrowest portion of the Eubœan strait, where Chalkis was divided
from Bœotia. From each coast a mole was thrown out, each mole guarded
at the extremity by a tower, and leaving only an intermediate
opening, broad enough for a single vessel to pass through, covered
by a wooden bridge. It was in vain that the Athenian Theramenês,
with thirty triremes, presented himself to obstruct the progress of
this undertaking. The Eubœans and Bœotians both prosecuted it in
such numbers, and with so much zeal, that it was speedily brought to
completion. Eubœa, so lately the most important island attached to
Athens, is from henceforward a portion of the mainland, altogether
independent of her, even though it should please fortune to
reëstablish her maritime power.[152]

  [152] Diodor. xiii, 47. He places this event a year later, but
  I agree with Sievers in conceiving it as following with little
  delay on the withdrawal of the protecting fleet (Sievers,
  Comment. in Xenoph. Hellen. p. 9; note, p. 66).

  See Colonel Leake’s Travels in Northern Greece, for a description
  of the Euripus, and the adjoining ground, with a plan, vol. ii,
  ch. xiv, pp. 259-265.

  I cannot make out from Colonel Leake what is the exact breadth
  of the channel. Strabo talks in his time of a bridge reaching
  two hundred feet (x, p. 400). But there must have been material
  alterations made by the inhabitants of Chalkis during the time
  of Alexander the Great (Strabo, x, p. 447). The bridge here
  described by Diodorus, covering an open space broad enough for
  one ship, could scarcely have been more than twenty feet broad;
  for it was not at all designed to render the passage easy. The
  ancient ships could all lower their masts. I cannot but think
  that Colonel Leake (p. 259) must have read, in Diodorus, xiii,
  47, οὐ in place of ὁ.

The battle of Kynossêma produced no very important consequences
except that of encouragement to the Athenians. Even just after the
action, Kyzikus revolted from them, and on the fourth day after it,
the Athenian fleet, hastily refitted at Sestos, sailed to that place
to retake it. It was unfortified, so that they succeeded with little
difficulty, and imposed upon it a contribution: moreover, in the
voyage thither, they gained an additional advantage by capturing,
off the southern coast of the Propontis, those eight Peloponnesian
triremes which had accomplished, a little while before, the revolt
of Byzantium. But, on the other hand, as soon as the Athenian fleet
had left Sestos, Mindarus sailed from his station at Abydos to Elæûs,
and there recovered all the triremes captured from him at Kynossêma,
which the Athenians had there deposited, except some of them which
were so much damaged that the inhabitants of Elæûs set them on

  [153] Thucyd. viii, 107.

But that which now began to constitute a far more important element
of the war, was, the difference of character between Tissaphernês
and Pharnabazus, and the transfer of the Peloponnesian fleet from
the satrapy of the former to that of the latter. Tissaphernês, while
furnishing neither aid nor pay to the Peloponnesians, had by his
treacherous promises and bribes enervated all their proceedings
for the last year, with the deliberate view of wasting both the
belligerent parties. Pharnabazus was a brave and earnest man, who set
himself to strengthen them strenuously, by men as well as by money,
and who labored hard to put down the Athenian power; as we shall find
him laboring equally hard, eighteen years afterwards, to bring about
its partial renovation. From this time forward, Persian aid becomes
a reality in the Grecian war; and in the main—first, through the
hands of Pharnabazus, next, through those of the younger Cyrus—the
determining reality. For we shall find that while the Peloponnesians
are for the most part well paid, out of the Persian treasury, the
Athenians, destitute of any such resource, are compelled to rely
on the contributions which they can levy here and there, without
established or accepted right; and to interrupt for this purpose even
the most promising career of success. Twenty-six years after this,
at a time when Sparta had lost her Persian allies, the Lacedæmonian
Teleutias tried to appease the mutiny of his unpaid seamen, by
telling them how much nobler it was to extort pay from the enemy by
means of their own swords, than to obtain it by truckling to the
foreigner;[154] and probably the Athenian generals, during these
previous years of struggle, tried similar appeals to the generosity
of their soldiers. But it is not the less certain, that the new
constant paymaster now introduced, gave fearful odds to the Spartan

  [154] Xenoph. Hellen. v, 1, 17. Compare a like exclamation, under
  nobler circumstances, from the Spartan Kallikratidas, Xenoph.
  Hellen. i, 6, 7; Plutarch, Lysander, c. 6.

The good pay and hearty coöperation which the Peloponnesians now
enjoyed from Pharnabazus, only made them the more indignant at
the previous deceit of Tissaphernês. Under the influence of this
sentiment, they readily lent aid to the inhabitants of Antandrus in
expelling his general Arsakes with the Persian garrison. Arsakes had
recently committed an act of murderous perfidy, under the influence
of some unexplained pique, against the Delians established at
Adramyttium: he had summoned their principal citizens to take part as
allies in an expedition, and had caused them all to be surrounded,
shot down, and massacred during the morning meal. Such an act was
more than sufficient to excite hatred and alarm among the neighboring
Antandrians, who invited a body of Peloponnesian hoplites from
Abydos, across the mountain range of Ida, by whose aid Antandrus was
liberated from the Persians.[155]

  [155] Thucyd. viii, 108; Diodor. xiii, 42.

In Milêtus, as well as in Knidus, Tissaphernês had already
experienced the like humiliation:[156] Lichas was no longer alive
to back his pretensions: nor do we hear that he obtained any result
from the complaints of his envoy Gaulites at Sparta. Under these
circumstances, he began to fear that he had incurred a weight of
enmity which might prove seriously mischievous, nor was he without
jealousy of the popularity and possible success of Pharnabazus.
The delusion respecting the Phenician fleet, now that Mindarus had
openly broken with him and quitted Milêtus, was no longer available
to any useful purpose. Accordingly, he dismissed the Phenician fleet
to their own homes, pretending to have received tidings that the
Phenician towns were endangered by sudden attacks from Arabia and
Egypt;[157] while he himself quitted Aspendus to revisit Ionia, as
well as to go forward to the Hellespont, for the purpose of renewing
personal intercourse with the dissatisfied Peloponnesians. He wished,
while trying again to excuse his own treachery about the Phenician
fleet, at the same time to protest against their recent proceedings
at Antandrus; or, at the least, to obtain some assurance against any
repetition of such hostility. His visit to Ionia, however, seems to
have occupied some time, and he tried to conciliate the Ionic Greeks
by a splendid sacrifice to Artemis at Ephesus.[158] Having quitted
Aspendus, as far as we can make out, about the beginning of August
(411 B.C.), he did not reach the Hellespont until the month of

  [156] Thucyd. viii, 109.

  [157] Diodor. xiii, 46. This is the statement of Diodorus, and
  seems probable enough, though he makes a strange confusion
  in the Persian affairs of this year, leaving out the name of
  Tissaphernês, and jumbling the acts of Tissaphernês with the name
  of Pharnabazus.

  [158] Thucyd. viii, 109. It is at this point that we have to part
  company with the historian Thucydidês, whose work not only closes
  without reaching any definite epoch or limit, but even breaks
  off, as we possess it, in the middle of a sentence.

  The full extent of this irreparable loss can hardly be conceived,
  except by those who have been called upon to study his work with
  the profound and minute attention required from an historian of
  Greece. To pass from Thucydidês to the Hellenica of Xenophon,
  is a descent truly mournful; and yet, when we look at Grecian
  history as a whole, we have great reason to rejoice that even
  so inferior a work as the latter has reached us. The historical
  purposes and conceptions of Thucydidês, as set forth by himself
  in his preface, are exalted and philosophical to a degree
  altogether wonderful, when we consider that he had no preëxisting
  models before him from which to derive them; nor are the eight
  books of his work, in spite of the unfinished condition of the
  last, unworthy of these large promises, either in spirit or
  in execution. Even the peculiarity, the condensation, and the
  harshness, of his style, though it sometimes hides from us his
  full meaning, has the general effect of lending great additional
  force and of impressing his thoughts much more deeply upon every
  attentive reader.

  During the course of my two last volumes, I have had frequent
  occasion to notice the criticisms of Dr. Arnold in his edition
  of Thucydidês, most generally on points where I dissented from
  him. I have done this, partly because I believe that Dr. Arnold’s
  edition is in most frequent use among all English readers of
  Thucydidês, partly because of the high esteem which I entertain
  for the liberal spirit, the erudition, and the judgment, which
  pervade his criticisms generally throughout the book. Dr. Arnold
  deserves, especially, the high commendation, not often to be
  bestowed even upon learned and exact commentators, of conceiving
  and appreciating antiquity as a living whole, and not merely
  as an aggregate of words and abstractions. His criticisms are
  continually adopted by Göller in the second edition of his
  Thucydidês, and to a great degree also by Poppo. Desiring, as I
  do sincerely, that his edition may long maintain its preëminence
  among English students of Thucydidês, I have thought it my
  duty at the same time to indicate many of the points on which
  his remarks either advance or imply views of Grecian history
  different from my own.

  [159] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 9.

As soon as the Phenician fleet had disappeared, Alkibiadês returned
with his thirteen triremes from Phasêlis to Samos. He too, like
Tissaphernês, made the proceeding subservient to deceit of his
own: he took credit with his countrymen for having enlisted the
good-will of the satrap more strongly than ever in the cause of
Athens, and for having induced him to abandon his intention of
bringing up the Phenician fleet.[160] At this time Dorieus was at
Rhodes with thirteen triremes, having been despatched by Mindarus,
before his departure from Milêtus, in order to stifle the growth
of a philo-Athenian party in the island. Perhaps the presence of
this force may have threatened the Athenian interest in Kos and
Halikarnassus; for we now find Alkibiadês going to these places from
Samos, with nine fresh triremes in addition to his own thirteen.
He erected fortifications at the town of Kos, and planted in it an
Athenian officer and garrison: from Halikarnassus he levied large
contributions; upon what pretence, or whether from simple want of
money, we do not know. It was towards the middle of September that he
returned to Samos.[161]

  [160] Thucyd. viii, 108. Diodorus (xiii, 38) talks of this
  influence of Alkibiadês over the satrap as if it were real.
  Plutarch (Alkibiad. c. 26) speaks in more qualified language.

  [161] Thucyd. viii, 108. πρὸς τὸ μετόπωρον. Haack and Sievers
  (see Sievers, Comment. ad Xenoph. Hellen. p. 103) construe this
  as indicating the middle of August, which I think too early in
  the year.

At the Hellespont, Mindarus had been reinforced after the battle of
Kynossêma by the squadron from Eubœa, at least by that portion of
it which had escaped the storm off Mount Athos. The departure of
the Peloponnesian fleet from Eubœa enabled the Athenians also to
send a few more ships to their fleet at Sestos. Thus ranged on the
opposite sides of the strait, the two fleets came to a second action,
wherein the Peloponnesians, under Agesandridas, had the advantage;
yet with little fruit. It was about the month of October, seemingly,
that Dorieus with his fourteen triremes came from Rhodes to rejoin
Mindarus at the Hellespont. He had hoped probably to get up the
strait to Abydos during the night, but he was caught by daylight a
little way from the entrance, near Rhœteium; and the Athenian scouts
instantly gave signal of his approach. Twenty Athenian triremes were
despatched to attack him: upon which Dorieus fled, and sought safety
by hauling his vessel ashore in the receding bay near Dardanus. The
Athenian squadron here attacked him, but were repulsed and forced
to sail back to Madytus. Mindarus was himself a spectator of this
scene, from a distance; being engaged in sacrificing to Athênê, on
the venerated hill of Ilium. He immediately hastened to Abydos, where
he fitted out his whole fleet of eighty-four triremes, Pharnabazus
coöperating on the shore with his land-force. Having rescued the
ships of Dorieus, his next care was to resist the entire Athenian
fleet, which presently came to attack him under Thrasybulus and
Thrasyllus. An obstinate naval combat took place between the two
fleets, which lasted nearly the whole day with doubtful issue;
at length, towards the evening, twenty fresh triremes were seen
approaching. They proved to be the squadron of Alkibiadês sailing
from Samos: having probably heard of the rejunction of the squadron
of Dorieus with the main Peloponnesian fleet, he had come with his
own counter-balancing reinforcement.[162] As soon as his purple flag
or signal was ascertained, the Athenian fleet became animated with
redoubled spirit. The new-comers aided them in pressing the action
so vigorously, that the Peloponnesian fleet was driven back to
Abydos, and there run ashore. Here the Athenians still followed up
their success, and endeavored to tow them all off. But the Persian
land-force protected them, and Pharnabazus himself was seen foremost
in the combat; even pushing into the water in person, as far as his
horse could stand. The main Peloponnesian fleet was thus preserved;
yet the Athenians retired with an important victory, carrying
off thirty triremes as prizes, and retaking those which they had
themselves lost in the two preceding actions.[163]

  [162] Diodorus (xiii, 46) and Plutarch (Alkib. c. 27) speak of
  his coming to the Hellespont by accident, κατὰ τύχην, which is
  certainly very improbable.

  [163] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 6, 7.

Mindarus kept his defeated fleet unemployed at Abydos during the
winter, sending to Peloponnesus as well as among his allies to
solicit reinforcements: in the mean time, he engaged jointly with
Pharnabazus in operations by land against various Athenian allies
on the continent. The Athenian admirals, on their side, instead
of keeping their fleet united to prosecute the victory, were
compelled to disperse a large portion of it in flying squadrons,
for collecting money, retaining only forty sail at Sestos; while
Thrasyllus in person went to Athens to proclaim the victory and ask
for reinforcements. Pursuant to this request, thirty triremes were
sent out under Theramenês; who first endeavored without success to
impede the construction of the bridge between Eubœa and Bœotia,
and next sailed on a voyage among the islands for the purpose of
collecting money. He acquired considerable plunder by descents
upon hostile territory, and also extorted money from various
parties, either contemplating or supposed to contemplate revolt,
among the dependencies of Athens. At Paros, where the oligarchy
established by Peisander in the conspiracy of the Four Hundred still
subsisted, Theramenês deposed and fined the men who had exercised
it, establishing a democracy in their room. From hence he passed to
Macedonia, to the assistance and probably into the temporary pay of
Archelaus, king of Macedonia, whom he aided for some time in the
siege of Pydna; blocking up the town by sea while the Macedonians
besieged it by land. The blockade having lasted the whole winter,
Theramenês was summoned away before its capture, to join the main
Athenian fleet in Thrace: Archelaus, however, took Pydna not long
afterwards, and transported the town with its residents from the
seaboard to a distance more than two miles inland.[164] We trace
in all these proceedings the evidence of that terrible want of
money which now drove the Athenians to injustice, extortion, and
interference with their allies, such as they had never committed
during the earlier years of the war.

  [164] Diodor. xiii, 47-49.

It is at this period that we find mention made of a fresh intestine
commotion in Korkyra, less stained, however, with savage enormities
than that recounted in the seventh year of the war. It appears that
the oligarchical party in the island, which had been for the moment
nearly destroyed at that period, had since gained strength, and was
encouraged by the misfortunes of Athens to lay plans for putting the
island into the hands of the Lacedæmonians. The democratical leaders,
apprized of this conspiracy, sent to Naupaktus for the Athenian
admiral Konon. He came, with a detachment of six hundred Messenians,
by the aid of whom they seized the oligarchical conspirators in the
market-place, putting a few to death, and banishing more than a
thousand. The extent of their alarm is attested by the fact, that
they liberated the slaves and conferred the right of citizenship upon
the foreigners. The exiles, having retired to the opposite continent,
came back shortly afterwards, and were admitted, by the connivance
of a party within, into the market-place. A serious combat took
place within the walls, which was at last made up by a compromise
and by the restoration of the exiles.[165] We know nothing about the
particulars of this compromise, but it seems to have been wisely
drawn up and faithfully observed; for we hear nothing about Korkyra
until about thirty-five years after this period, and the island is
then presented to us as in the highest perfection of cultivation
and prosperity.[166] Doubtless the emancipation of slaves and the
admission of so many new foreigners to the citizenship, contributed
to this result.

  [165] Diodor. xiii, 48. Sievers (Commentat. ad Xenoph. Hellen.
  p. 12; and p. 65, note 58) controverts the reality of these
  tumults in Korkyra, here mentioned by Diodorus, but not mentioned
  in the Hellenika of Xenophon, and contradicted, as he thinks,
  by the negative inference derivable from Thucyd. iv, 48, ὅσα γε
  κατὰ τὸν πόλεμον τόνδε. But it appears to me that F. W. Ullrich
  (Beiträge zur Erklärung des Thukydides, pp. 95-99), has properly
  explained this phrase of Thucydidês as meaning, in the place here
  cited, the first ten years of the Peloponnesian war, between the
  surprise of Platæa and the Peace of Nikias.

  I see no reason to call in question the truth of these
  disturbances in Korkyra, here alluded to by Diodorus.

  [166] Xenoph. Hellen. vi, 2, 25.

Meanwhile Tissaphernês, having completed his measures in Ionia,
arrived at the Hellespont not long after the battle of Abydos,
seemingly about November, 411 B.C. He was anxious to regain some
credit with the Peloponnesians, for which an opportunity soon
presented itself. Alkibiadês, then in command of the Athenian fleet
at Sestos, came to visit him in all the pride of victory, bringing
the customary presents; but the satrap seized his person and sent
him away to Sardis as a prisoner in custody, affirming that he
had the Great King’s express orders for carrying on war with the
Athenians.[167] Here was an end of all the delusions of Alkibiadês,
respecting pretended power of influencing the Persian counsels. Yet
these delusions had already served his purpose by procuring for him a
renewed position in the Athenian camp, which his own military energy
enabled him to sustain and justify.

  [167] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 9; Plutarch, Alkibiadês, c. 27.

Towards the middle of this winter the superiority of the fleet of
Mindarus at Abydos, over the Athenian fleet at Sestos, had become so
great,—partly, as it would appear, through reinforcements obtained by
the former, partly through the dispersion of the latter into flying
squadrons from want of pay,—that the Athenians no longer dared to
maintain their position in the Hellespont. They sailed round the
southern point of the Chersonese, and took station at Kardia, on
the western side of the isthmus of that peninsula. Here, about the
commencement of spring, they were rejoined by Alkibiadês; who had
found means to escape from Sardis, along with Mantitheus, another
Athenian prisoner, first to Klazomenæ, and next to Lesbos, where he
collected a small squadron of five triremes. The dispersed squadrons
of the Athenian fleet being now all summoned to concentrate,
Theramenês came to Kardia from Macedonia, and Thrasybulus from
Thasos; whereby the Athenian fleet was rendered superior in number
to that of Mindarus. News was brought that the latter had moved with
his fleet from the Hellespont to Kyzikus, and was now engaged in
the siege of that place, jointly with Pharnabazus and the Persian

His vigorous attacks had in fact already carried the place, when the
Athenian admirals resolved to attack him there, and contrived to do
it by surprise. Having passed first from Kardia to Elæûs at the south
of the Chersonese, they sailed up the Hellespont to Prokonnesus by
night, so that their passage escaped the notice of the Peloponnesian
guardships at Abydos.[168]

  [168] Diodor. xiii, 49. Diodorus specially notices this fact,
  which must obviously be correct. Without it, the surprise of
  Mindarus could not have been accomplished.

Resting at Prokonnesus one night, and seizing every boat on the
island, in order that their movements might be kept secret,
Alkibiadês warned the assembled seamen that they must prepare for
a sea-fight, a land-fight, and a wall-fight, all at once. “We have
no money (said he), while our enemies have plenty from the Great
King.” Neither zeal in the men nor contrivance in the commanders
was wanting. A body of hoplites were landed on the mainland in the
territory of Kyzikus, for the purpose of operating a diversion;
after which the fleet was distributed into three divisions under
Alkibiadês, Theramenês, and Thrasybulus. The former, advancing
near to Kyzikus with his single division, challenged the fleet of
Mindarus, and contrived to inveigle him by pretended flight to
a distance from the harbor; while the other Athenian divisions,
assisted by hazy and rainy weather, came up unexpectedly, cut off his
retreat, and forced him to run his ships ashore on the neighboring
mainland. After a gallant and hard-fought battle, partly on
shipboard, partly ashore,—at one time unpromising to the Athenians,
in spite of their superiority of number, but not very intelligible in
its details, and differently conceived by our two authorities,—both
the Peloponnesian fleet by sea and the forces of Pharnabazus on land
were completely defeated. Mindarus himself was slain; and the entire
fleet, every single trireme, was captured, except the triremes of
Syracuse, which were burnt by their own crews; while Kyzikus itself
surrendered to the Athenians, and submitted to a large contribution,
being spared from all other harm. The booty taken by the victors was
abundant and valuable. The numbers of the triremes thus captured or
destroyed is differently given; the lowest estimate states it at
sixty, the highest at eighty.[169]

  [169] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 14-20; Diodor. xiii, 50, 51.

  The numerous discrepancies between Diodorus and Xenophon, in the
  events of these few years, are collected by Sievers, Commentat.
  in Xenoph. Hellen. note, 62, pp. 65, 66, _seq._

This capital action, ably planned and bravely executed by Alkibiadês
and his two colleagues, about April 410 B.C., changed sensibly the
relative position of the belligerents. The Peloponnesians had now
no fleet of importance in Asia, though they probably still retained
a small squadron at the station of Milêtus; while the Athenian
fleet was more powerful and menacing than ever. The dismay of the
defeated army is forcibly portrayed in the laconic despatch sent by
Hippokratês, secretary of the late admiral Mindarus, to the ephors
at Sparta: “All honor and advantage are gone from us: Mindarus is
slain: the men are starving: we are in straits what to do.[170]” The
ephors doubtless heard the same deplorable tale from more than one
witness; for this particular despatch never reached them, having
been intercepted and carried to Athens. So discouraging was the view
which they entertained of the future, that a Lacedæmonian embassy,
with Endius at their head, came to Athens to propose peace; or rather
perhaps Endius—ancient friend and guest of Alkibiadês, who had
already been at Athens as envoy before—was allowed to come thither
now again to sound the temper of the city, in a sort of informal
manner, which admitted of being easily disavowed if nothing came
of it. For it is remarkable that Xenophon makes no mention of this
embassy: and his silence, though not sufficient to warrant us in
questioning the reality of the event,—which is stated by Diodorus,
perhaps on the authority of Theopompus, and is noway improbable in
itself,—nevertheless, leads me to doubt whether the ephors themselves
admitted that they had made or sanctioned the proposition. It is
to be remembered that Sparta, not to mention her obligation to
her confederates generally, was at this moment bound by special
convention to Persia to conclude no separate peace with Athens.

  [170] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 23. Ἔῤῥει τὰ κᾶλα· Μίνδαρος ἀπεσσούα·
  πεινῶντι τὤνδρες· ἀπορέομες τί χρὴ δρᾷν.

  Plutarch, Alkib. c. 28.

According to Diodorus, Endius, having been admitted to speak in the
Athenian assembly, invited the Athenians to make peace with Sparta on
the following terms: That each party should stand just as they were;
that the garrisons on both sides should be withdrawn; that prisoners
should be exchanged, one Lacedæmonian against one Athenian. Endius
insisted in his speech on the mutual mischief which each was doing
to the other by prolonging the war; but he contended that Athens was
by far the greater sufferer of the two, and had the deepest interest
in accelerating peace. She had no money, while Sparta had the Great
King as a paymaster: she was robbed of the produce of Attica by the
garrison of Dekeleia, while Peloponnesus was undisturbed: all her
power and influence depended upon superiority at sea, which Sparta
could dispense with, and yet retain her pre-eminence.[171]

  [171] Diodor. xiii, 52.

If we may believe Diodorus, all the most intelligent citizens in
Athens recommended that this proposition should be accepted. Only
the demagogues, the disturbers, those who were accustomed to blow up
the flames of war in order to obtain profit for themselves, opposed
it. Especially the demagogue Kleophon, now enjoying great influence,
enlarged upon the splendor of the recent victory, and upon the new
chances of success now opening to them: insomuch that the assembly
ultimately rejected the proposition of Endius.[172]

  [172] Diodor. xiii, 53.

It was easy for those who wrote after the battle of Ægospotamos and
the capture of Athens, to be wise after the fact, and to repeat the
stock denunciations against an insane people, misled by a corrupt
demagogue. But if, abstracting from our knowledge of the final close
of the war, we look to the tenor of this proposition, even assuming
it to have been formal and authorized, as well as the time at which
it was made, we shall hesitate before we pronounce Kleophon to have
been foolish, much less corrupt, for recommending its rejection.
In reference to the charge of corrupt interest in the continuance
of war, I have already made some remarks about Kleon, tending to
show that no such interest can fairly be ascribed to demagogues of
that character[173]. They were essentially unwarlike men, and had
quite as much chance personally of losing, as of gaining, by a state
of war. Especially this is true respecting Kleophon, during the
last years of the war, since the financial posture of Athens was
then so unprosperous, that all her available means were exhausted
to provide for ships and men, leaving little or no surplus for
political peculators. The admirals, who paid the seamen by raising
contributions abroad, might possibly enrich themselves, if so
inclined; but the politicians at home had much less chance of such
gains than they would have had in time of peace. Besides even if
Kleophon were ever so much a gainer by the continuance of war,
yet, assuming Athens to be ultimately crushed in the war, he was
certain beforehand to be deprived, not only of all his gains and his
position, but of his life also.

  [173] See the preceding vol. vi, ch. liv, p. 455.

So much for the charge against him of corrupt interest. The question
whether his advice was judicious, is not so easy to dispose of.
Looking to the time when the proposition was made, we must recollect
that the Peloponnesian fleet in Asia had been just annihilated,
and that the brief epistle itself, from Hippokratês to the ephors,
divulging in so emphatic a manner the distress of his troops, was
at this moment before the Athenian assembly. On the other hand,
the despatches of the Athenian generals, announcing their victory,
had excited a sentiment of universal triumph, manifested by public
thanksgiving, at Athens:[174] nor can we doubt that Alkibiadês and
his colleagues promised a large career of coming success, perhaps the
recovery of most part of the lost maritime empire. In this temper of
the Athenian people and of their generals, justified as it was to a
great degree by the reality, what is the proposition which comes from
Endius? What he proposes, is, in reality, no concession at all. Both
parties to stand in their actual position; to withdraw garrisons;
to restore prisoners. There was only one way in which Athens would
have been a gainer by accepting these propositions. She would have
withdrawn her garrison from Pylos, she would have been relieved
from the garrison of Dekeleia; such an exchange would have been a
considerable advantage to her. To this we must add the relief arising
from simple cessation of war, doubtless real and important.

  [174] Diodor. xiii, 52.

Now the question is, whether a statesman like Periklês would have
advised his countrymen to be satisfied with such a measure of
concession, immediately after the great victory of Kyzikus, and
the two smaller victories preceding it? I incline to believe that
he would not. It would rather have appeared to him in the light of
a diplomatic artifice, calculated to paralyze Athens during the
interval while her enemies were defenceless, and to gain time for
them to build a new fleet.[175] Sparta could not pledge herself
either for Persia, or for her Peloponnesian confederates; indeed,
past experience had shown that she could not do so with effect. By
accepting the propositions, therefore, Athens would not really have
obtained relief from the entire burden of war; but would merely
have blunted the ardor and tied up the hands of her own troops, at
a moment when they felt themselves in the full current of success.
By the armament, most certainly,—and by the generals, Alkibiadês,
Theramenês, and Thrasybulus,—the acceptance of such terms at such a
moment would have been regarded as a disgrace. It would have balked
them of conquests ardently, and at that time not unreasonably,
anticipated; conquests tending to restore Athens to that eminence
from which she had been so recently deposed. And it would have
inflicted this mortification, not merely without compensating gain
to her in any other shape, but with a fair probability of imposing
upon all her citizens the necessity of redoubled efforts at no very
distant future, when the moment favorable to her enemies should have

  [175] Philochorus (ap. Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 371) appears
  to have said that the Athenians rejected the proposition as
  insincerely meant: Λακεδαιμονίων πρεσβευσαμένων περὶ εἰρήνης
  ~ἀπιστήσαντες~ οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι οὐ προσήκαντο; compare also Schol. ad
  Eurip. Orest. 772, Philochori Fragment.

If, therefore, passing from the vague accusation that it was the
demagogue Kleophon who stood between Athens and the conclusion of
peace, we examine what were the specific terms of peace which he
induced his countrymen to reject, we shall find that he had very
strong reasons, not to say preponderant reasons, for his advice.
Whether he made any use of this proposition, in itself inadmissible,
to try and invite the conclusion of peace on more suitable and
lasting terms, may well be doubted. Probably no such efforts would
have succeeded, even if they had been made; yet a statesman like
Periklês would have made the trial, in a conviction that Athens was
carrying on the war at a disadvantage which must in the long run sink
her. A mere opposition speaker, like Kleophon, even when taking what
was probably a right measure of the actual proposition before him,
did not look so far forward into the future.

Meanwhile the Athenian fleet reigned alone in the Propontis and its
two adjacent straits, the Bosphorus and the Hellespont; although the
ardor and generosity of Pharnabazus not only supplied maintenance
and clothing to the distressed seamen of the vanquished fleet, but
also encouraged the construction of fresh ships in the room of those
captured. While he armed the seamen, gave them pay for two months,
and distributed them as guards along the coast of the satrapy, he at
the same time granted an unlimited supply of ship-timber from the
abundant forests of Mount Ida, and assisted the officers in putting
new triremes on the stocks at Antandrus; near to which, at a place
called Aspaneus, the Idæan wood was chiefly exported.[176]

  [176] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 24-26; Strabo, xiii, p. 606.

Having made these arrangements, he proceeded to lend aid at
Chalkêdon, which the Athenians had already begun to attack. Their
first operation after the victory, had been to sail to Perinthus and
Selymbria, both of which had before revolted from Athens: the former,
intimidated by the recent events, admitted them and rejoined itself
to Athens; the latter resisted such a requisition, but ransomed
itself from attack for the present, by the payment of a pecuniary
fine. Alkibiadês then conducted them to Chalkêdon, opposite to
Byzantium on the southernmost Asiatic border of the Bosphorus. To be
masters of these two straits, the Bosphorus and the Hellespont, was
a point of first-rate moment to Athens; first, because it enabled
her to secure the arrival of the corn ships from the Euxine, for her
own consumption; next, because she had it in her power to impose a
tithe or due upon all the trading ships passing through, not unlike
the dues imposed by the Danes at the Sound, even down to the present
time. For the opposite reasons, of course, the importance of the
position was equally great to the enemies of Athens. Until the spring
of the preceding year, Athens had been undisputed mistress of both
the straits. But the revolt of Abydos in the Hellespont (about April,
411 B.C.) and that of Byzantium with Chalkêdon in the Bosphorus
(about June, 411 B.C.), had deprived her of this pre-eminence; and
her supplies drained during the last few months could only have come
through during those intervals when her fleets there stationed had
the preponderance, so as to give them convoy. Accordingly, it is
highly probable that her supplies of corn from the Euxine during the
autumn of 411 B.C., had been comparatively restricted.

Though Chalkêdon itself, assisted by Pharnabazus, still held out
against Athens, Alkibiadês now took possession of Chrysopolis, its
unfortified seaport, on the eastern coast of the Bosphorus opposite
Byzantium. This place he fortified, established in it a squadron with
a permanent garrison, and erected it into a regular tithing-port
for levying toll on all vessels coming out of the Euxine.[177] The
Athenians seem to have habitually levied this toll at Byzantium,
until the revolt of that place, among their constant sources of
revenue: it was now reëstablished under the auspices of Alkibiadês.
In so far as it was levied on ships which brought their produce for
sale and consumption at Athens, it was of course ultimately paid in
the shape of increased price by Athenian citizens and metics. Thirty
triremes under Theramenês, were left at Chrysopolis to enforce this
levy, to convoy friendly merchantmen, and in other respects to serve
as annoyance to the enemy.

  [177] See Demosthen. de Coronâ, c. 71; and Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1,
  22. καὶ δεκατευτήριον κατεσκεύασαν ἐν αὐτῇ (Χρυσοπόλει), καὶ ~τὴν
  δεκάτην~ ἐξέλεγοντο τῶν ἐκ τοῦ Πόντου πλοίων: compare iv, 8, 27;
  and v, 1, 28; also Diodor. xiii, 64.

  The expression, τὴν δεκάτην, implies that this tithe was
  something known and preëstablished.

  Polybius (iv, 44) gives credit to Alkibiadês for having been the
  first to suggest this method of gain to Athens. But there is
  evidence that it was practised long before, even anterior to the
  Athenian empire, during the times of Persian preponderance (see
  Herodot. vi, 5).

  See a striking passage, illustrating the importance to Athens
  of the possession of Byzantium, in Lysias, Orat. xxviii, cont.
  Ergokl. sect. 6.

The remaining fleet went partly to the Hellespont, partly to
Thrace, where the diminished maritime strength of the Lacedæmonians
already told in respect to the adherence of the cities. At Thasus,
especially,[178] the citizens, headed by Ekphantus, expelled the
Lacedæmonian harmost Eteonikus with his garrison, and admitted
Thrasybulus with an Athenian force. It will be recollected that
this was one of the cities in which Peisander and the Four Hundred
conspirators (early in 411 B.C.) had put down the democracy and
established an oligarchical government, under pretence that the
allied cities would be faithful to Athens as soon as she was relieved
from her democratical institutions. All the calculations of these
oligarchs had been disappointed, as Phrynichus had predicted from
the first: the Thasians, as soon as their own oligarchical party
had been placed in possession of the government, recalled their
disaffected exiles,[179] under whose auspices a Laconian garrison and
harmost had since been introduced. Eteonikus, now expelled, accused
the Lacedæmonian admiral Pasippidas of being himself a party to the
expulsion, under bribes from Tissaphernês; an accusation which seems
improbable, but which the Lacedæmonians believed, and accordingly
banished Pasippidas, sending Kratesippidas to replace him. The new
admiral found at Chios a small fleet which Pasippidas had already
begun to collect from the allies, to supply the recent losses.[180]

  [178] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 32; Demosthen. cont. Leptin. s. 48,
  c. 14, p. 474.

  [179] Thucyd. viii, 64.

  [180] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 32.

The tone at Athens since the late naval victories, had become more
hopeful and energetic. Agis, with his garrison at Dekeleia, though
the Athenians could not hinder him from ravaging Attica, yet on
approaching one day near to the city walls, was repelled with
spirit and success by Thrasyllus. But that which most mortified the
Lacedæmonian king, was to discern from his lofty station at Dekeleia,
the abundant influx into the Peiræus of corn-ships from the Euxine,
again renewed in the autumn of 410 B.C. since the occupation of the
Bosphorus and Hellespont by Alkibiadês. For the safe reception of
these vessels, Thorikus was soon after fortified. Agis exclaimed
that it was fruitless to shut out the Athenians from the produce of
Attica, so long as plenty of imported corn was allowed to reach them.
Accordingly, he provided, in conjunction with the Megarians, a small
squadron of fifteen triremes, with which he despatched Klearchus
to Byzantium and Chalkêdon. That Spartan was a public guest of the
Byzantines, and had already been singled out to command auxiliaries
intended for that city. He seems to have begun his voyage during
the ensuing winter (B.C. 410-409), and reached Byzantium in safety,
though with the destruction of three of his squadron by the nine
Athenian triremes who guarded the Hellespont.[181]

  [181] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 35-36. He says that the ships of
  Klearchus, on being attacked by the Athenians in the Hellespont,
  fled first to _Sestos_, and afterwards to Byzantium. But _Sestos_
  was the _Athenian_ station. The name must surely be put by
  inadvertence for _Abydos_, the Peloponnesian station.

In the ensuing spring, Thrasyllus was despatched from Athens at
the head of a large new force to act in Ionia. He commanded fifty
triremes, one thousand of the regular hoplites, one hundred horsemen,
and five thousand seamen, with the means of arming these latter as
peltasts; also transports for his troops besides the triremes.[182]
Having reposed his armament for three days at Samos, he made a
descent at Pygela, and next succeeded in making himself master of
Kolophon, with its port Notium. He next threatened Ephesus, but
that place was defended by a powerful force which Tissaphernês had
summoned, under proclamation “to go and succor the goddess Artemis;”
as well as by twenty-five fresh Syracusan and two Selinusian
triremes recently arrived.[183] From these enemies, Thrasyllus
sustained a severe defeat near Ephesus, lost three hundred men, and
was compelled to sail off to Notium; from whence, after burying
his dead, he proceeded northward towards the Hellespont. On their
way thither, while halting for a while at Methymna in the north of
Lesbos, Thrasyllus saw the twenty-five Syracusan triremes passing
by on their voyage from Ephesus to Abydos. He immediately attacked
them, captured four along with the entire crews, and chased the
remainder back to their station at Ephesus. All the prisoners taken
were sent to Athens, where they were deposited for custody in the
stone-quarries of Peiræus, doubtless in retaliation for the treatment
of the Athenian prisoners at Syracuse; they contrived, however,
during the ensuing winter, to break a way out and escape to Dekeleia.
Among the prisoners taken, was found Alkibiadês, the Athenian, cousin
and fellow-exile of the Athenian general of the same name, whom
Thrasyllus caused to be set at liberty, while the others were sent to

  [182] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 34; i, 2, 1. Diodorus (xiii, 64)
  confounds Thrasybulus with Thrasyllus.

  [183] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 2, 5-11. Xenophon distinguishes these
  twenty-five Syracusan triremes into τῶν προτέρων εἴκοσι νεῶν,
  and then αἱ ἕτεραι πέντε, αἱ νεωστὶ ἥκουσαι. But it appears to
  me that the twenty triremes, as well as the five, must have come
  to Asia since the battle of Kyzikus, though the five may have
  been somewhat later in their period of arrival. All the Syracusan
  ships in the fleet of Mindarus were destroyed; and it seems
  impossible to imagine that that admiral can have left twenty
  Syracusan ships at Ephesus or Milêtus in addition to those which
  he took with him to the Hellespont.

  [184] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 2, 8-15.

After the delay caused by this pursuit, he brought back his armament
to the Hellespont and joined the force of Alkibiadês at Sestos. Their
joint force was conveyed over, seemingly about the commencement
of autumn, to Lampsakus, on the Asiatic side of the strait; which
place they fortified and made their head-quarters for the autumn and
winter, maintaining themselves by predatory excursions, throughout
the neighboring satrapy of Pharnabazus. It is curious to learn,
however, that when Alkibiadês was proceeding to marshal them all
together,—the hoplites, according to Athenian custom, taking rank
according to their tribes,—his own soldiers, never yet beaten,
refused to fraternize with those of Thrasyllus, who had been so
recently worsted at Ephesus. Nor was this alienation removed until
after a joint expedition against Abydos; Pharnabazus presenting
himself with a considerable force, especially cavalry, to relieve
that place, was encountered and defeated in a battle wherein all the
Athenians present took part. The honor of the hoplites of Thrasyllus
was now held to be reëstablished, so that the fusion of ranks was
admitted without farther difficulty.[185] Even the entire army,
however, was not able to accomplish the conquest of Abydos; which the
Peloponnesians and Pharnabazus still maintained as their station on
the Hellespont.

  [185] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 2, 13-17; Plutarch, Alkibiad. c. 29.

Meanwhile Athens had so stripped herself of force, by the large
armament recently sent with Thrasyllus, that her enemies near home
were encouraged to active operations. The Spartans despatched an
expedition, both of triremes and of land-force, to attack Pylos,
which had remained as an Athenian post and a refuge for revolted
Helots ever since its first fortification by Demosthenês, in B.C.
425. The place was vigorously attacked, both by sea and by land,
and soon became much pressed. Not unmindful of its distress, the
Athenians sent to its relief thirty triremes under Anytus, who,
however, came back without even reaching the place, having been
prevented by stormy weather or unfavorable winds from doubling Cape
Malea. Pylos was soon afterwards obliged to surrender, the garrison
departing on terms of capitulation.[186] But Anytus, on his return,
encountered great displeasure from his countrymen, and was put on
his trial for having betrayed, or for not having done his utmost to
fulfil, the trust confided to him. It is said that he only saved
himself from condemnation by bribing the dikastery, and that he was
the first Athenian who ever obtained a verdict by corruption.[187]
Whether he could really have reached Pylos, and whether the obstacles
which baffled him were such as an energetic officer would have
overcome, we have no means of determining; still less, whether it be
true that he actually escaped by bribery. The story seems to prove,
however, that the general Athenian public thought him deserving of
condemnation, and were so much surprised by his acquittal, as to
account for it by supposing, truly or falsely, the use of means never
before attempted.

  [186] Diodor. xiii, 64. The slighting way in which Xenophon
  (Hellen. i, 2, 18) dismisses this capture of Pylos, as a mere
  retreat of some runaway Helots from Malea, as well as his
  employment of the name _Koryphasion_, and not of _Pylos_, prove
  how much he wrote after Lacedæmionian informants.

  [187] Diodor. xiii, 64; Plutarch, Coriolan. c. 14.

  Aristotle, Ἀθηναίων πολιτεία, ap. Harpokration, v. Δεκάζων, and
  in the Collection of Fragment. Aristotel. no. 72, ed. Didot
  (Fragment. Historic. Græc. vol. ii, p. 127).

It was about the same time, also, that the Megarians recovered by
surprise their port of Nisæa, which had been held by an Athenian
garrison since B.C. 424. The Athenians made an effort to recover it,
but failed; though they defeated the Megarians in an action.[188]

  [188] Diodor. xiii, 65.

Thrasyllus, during the summer of B.C. 409, and even the joint force
of Thrasyllus and Alkibiadês during the autumn of the same year, seem
to have effected less than might have been expected from so large
a force: indeed, it must have been at some period during this year
that the Lacedæmonian Klearchus, with his fifteen Megarian ships,
penetrated up the Hellespont to Byzantium, finding it guarded only
by nine Athenian triremes.[189] But the operations of 408 B.C. were
more important. The entire force under Alkibiadês and the other
commanders was mustered for the siege of Chalkêdon and Byzantium.
The Chalkêdonians, having notice of the project, deposited their
movable property for safety in the hand of their neighbors the
Bithynian Thracians; a remarkable evidence of the good feeling and
confidence between the two, contrasting strongly with the perpetual
hostility which subsisted on the other side of the Bosphorus between
Byzantium and the Thracian tribes adjoining.[190] But the precaution
was frustrated by Alkibiadês, who entered the territory of the
Bithynians and compelled them by threats to deliver up the effects
confided to them. He then proceeded to block up Chalkêdon by a wooden
wall carried across from the Bosphorus to the Propontis; though the
continuity of this wall was interrupted by a river, and seemingly by
some rough ground on the immediate brink of the river. The blockading
wall was already completed, when Pharnabazus appeared with an army
for the relief of the place, and advanced as far as the Herakleion,
or temple of Heraklês, belonging to the Chalkêdonians. Profiting by
his approach, Hippokratês, the Lacedæmonian harmost in the town,
made a vigorous sally: but the Athenians repelled all the efforts of
Pharnabazus to force a passage through their lines and join him; so
that, after an obstinate contest, the sallying force was driven back
within the walls of the town, and Hippokratês himself killed.[191]

  [189] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 1, 36.

  [190] Polyb. iv, 44-45.

  [191] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 3, 5-7; Diodor. xiii, 66.

The blockade of the town was now made so sure, that Alkibiadês
departed with a portion of the army to levy money and get together
forces for the siege of Byzantium afterwards. During his absence,
Theramenês and Thrasybulus came to terms with Pharnabazus for the
capitulation of Chalkêdon. It was agreed that the town should again
become a tributary dependency of Athens, on the same rate of tribute
as before the revolt, and that the arrears during the subsequent
period should be paid up. Moreover, Pharnabazus himself engaged
to pay to the Athenians twenty talents on behalf of the town, and
also to escort some Athenian envoys up to Susa, enabling them to
submit propositions for accommodation to the Great King. Until those
envoys should return, the Athenians covenanted to abstain from
hostilities against the satrapy of Pharnabazus.[192] Oaths to this
effect were mutually exchanged, after the return of Alkibiadês
from his expedition. For Pharnabazus positively refused to complete
the ratification with the other generals, until Alkibiadês should
be there to ratify in person also; a proof at once of the great
individual importance of the latter, and of his known facility in
finding excuses to evade an agreement. Two envoys were accordingly
sent by Pharnabazus to Chrysopolis, to receive the oaths of
Alkibiadês, while two relatives of Alkibiadês came to Chalkêdon as
witnesses to those of Pharnabazus. Over and above the common oath
shared with his colleagues, Alkibiadês took a special covenant of
personal friendship and hospitality with the satrap, and received
from him the like.

  [192] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 3, 9. Ὑποτελεῖν τὸν φόρον Καλχηδονίους
  Ἀθηναίοις ὅσονπερ εἰώθεσαν, καὶ τὰ ὀφειλόμενα χρήματα ἀποδοῦναι·
  Ἀθηναίους δὲ μὴ πολεμεῖν ~Καλχηδονίοις~, ἕως ἂν οἱ παρὰ βασιλέα
  πρέσβεις ἔλθωσιν.

  This passage strengthens the doubts which I threw out in a former
  chapter, whether the Athenians ever did or could realize their
  project of commuting the tribute, imposed upon the dependent
  allies, for an _ad valorem_ duty of five per cent. on imports
  and exports, which project is mentioned by Thucydidês (vii,
  28) as having been resolved upon at least, if not carried out,
  in the summer of 413 B.C. In the bargain here made with the
  Chalkêdonians, it seems implied that the payment of tribute was
  the last arrangement subsisting between Athens and Chalkêdon, at
  the time of the revolt of the latter.

  Next, I agree with the remark made by Schneider, in his note
  upon the passage, Ἀθηναίους δὲ μὴ πολεμεῖν ~Καλχηδονίοις~. He
  notices the tenor of the covenant as it stands in Plutarch, τὴν
  Φαρναβάζου δὲ χώραν μὴ ἀδικεῖν (Alkib. c. 31), which is certainly
  far more suitable to the circumstances. Instead of Καλχηδονίοις,
  he proposes to read Φαρναβάζῳ. At any rate, this is the meaning.

Alkibiadês had employed his period of absence in capturing Selymbria,
from whence he obtained a sum of money, and in getting together a
large body of Thracians, with whom he marched by land to Byzantium.
That place was now besieged, immediately after the capitulation
of Chalkêdon, by the united force of the Athenians. A wall of
circumvallation was drawn around it, and various attacks were made
by missiles and battering engines. These, however, the Lacedæmonian
garrison, under the harmost Klearchus, aided by some Megarians under
Helixus, and Bœotians under Kœratadas, was perfectly competent to
repel. But the ravages of famine were not so easily dealt with. After
the blockade had lasted some time, provisions began to fail; so
that Klearchus, strict and harsh, even under ordinary circumstances,
became inexorable and oppressive, from exclusive anxiety for the
subsistence of his soldiers; and even locked up the stock of food
while the population of the town were dying of hunger around him.
Seeing that his only hope was from external relief, he sallied forth
from the city to entreat aid from Pharnabazus; and to get together,
if possible, a fleet for some aggressive operation that might divert
the attention of the besiegers. He left the defence to Kœratadas
and Helixus, in full confidence that the Byzantines were too much
compromised by their revolt from Athens to venture to desert Sparta,
whatever might be their suffering. But the favorable terms recently
granted to Chalkêdon, coupled with the severe and increasing famine,
induced Kydon and a Byzantine party to open the gates by night, and
admit Alkibiadês with the Athenians into the wide interior square
called the Thrakion. Helixus and Kœratadas, apprized of this attack
only when the enemy had actually got possession of the town on all
sides, vainly attempted resistance, and were compelled to surrender
at discretion: they were sent as prisoners to Athens, where Kœratadas
contrived to escape during the confusion of the landing at Peiræus.
Favorable terms were granted to the town, which was replaced in its
position of a dependent ally of Athens, and probably had to pay up
its arrears of tribute in the same manner as Chalkêdon.[193]

  [193] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 3, 15-22; Diodor. xiii, 67; Plutarch,
  Alkib. c. 31.

  The account given by Xenophon of the surrender of Byzantium,
  which I have followed in the text, is perfectly plain and
  probable. It does not consist with the complicated stratagem
  described in Diodorus and Plutarch, as well as in Frontinus, iii,
  xi, 3; alluded to also in Polyænus, i, 48, 2.

So slow was the process of siege in ancient times, that the reduction
of Chalkêdon and Byzantium occupied nearly the whole year; the latter
place surrendering about the beginning of winter.[194] Both of them,
however, were acquisitions of capital importance to Athens, making
her again undisputed mistress of the Bosphorus, and insuring to her
two valuable tributary allies. Nor was this all the improvement
which the summer had operated in her position. The accommodation
just concluded with Pharnabazus was also a step of great value,
and still greater promise. It was plain that the satrap had grown
weary of bearing all the brunt of the war for the benefit of the
Peloponnesians, and that he was well disposed to assist the Athenians
in coming to terms with the Great King. The mere withdrawal of his
hearty support from Sparta, even if nothing else followed from it,
was of immense moment to Athens; and thus much was really achieved.
The envoys, five Athenians and two Argeians,—all, probably, sent for
from Athens, which accounts for some delay,—were directed, after the
siege of Chalkêdon, to meet Pharnabazus at Kyzikus. Some Lacedæmonian
envoys, and even the Syracusan Hermokratês, who had been condemned
and banished by sentence at home, took advantage of the same escort,
and all proceeded on their journey upward to Susa. Their progress
was arrested, during the extreme severity of the winter, at Gordium
in Phrygia; and it was while pursuing their track into the interior
at the opening of spring, that they met the young prince Cyrus, son
of king Darius, coming down in person to govern an important part
of Asia Minor. Some Lacedæmonian envoys, Bœotius and others, were
travelling down along with him, after having fulfilled their mission
at the Persian court.[195]

  [194] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 1.

  [195] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 2-3.



The advent of Cyrus, commonly known as Cyrus the younger, into Asia
Minor, was an event of the greatest importance, opening what may be
called the last phase in the Peloponnesian war.

He was the younger of the two sons of the Persian king Darius Nothus
by the cruel queen Parysatis, and was now sent down by his father
as satrap of Lydia, Phrygia the greater, and Kappadokia, as well
as general of all that military division of which the muster-place
was Kastôlus. His command did not at this time comprise the Greek
cities on the coast, which were still left to Tissaphernês and
Pharnabazus.[196] But he nevertheless brought down with him a
strong interest in the Grecian war, and an intense anti-Athenian
feeling, with full authority from his father to carry it out into
act. Whatever this young man willed, he willed strongly; his bodily
activity, rising superior to those temptations of sensual indulgence
which often enervated the Persian grandees, provoked the admiration
even of Spartans:[197] and his energetic character was combined with
a certain measure of ability. Though he had not as yet conceived that
deliberate plan for mounting the Persian throne which afterwards
absorbed his whole mind, and was so near succeeding by the help of
the Ten Thousand Greeks, yet he seems to have had from the beginning
the sentiment and ambition of a king in prospect, not those of a
satrap. He came down, well aware that Athens was the efficient
enemy by whom the pride of the Persian kings had been humbled, the
insular Greeks kept out of the sight of a Persian ship, and even the
continental Greeks on the coast practically emancipated, for the last
sixty years. He therefore brought down with him a strenuous desire
to put down the Athenian power, very different from the treacherous
balancing of Tissaphernês, and much more formidable even than the
straightforward enmity of Pharnabazus, who had less money, less favor
at court, and less of youthful ardor. Moreover, Pharnabazus, after
having heartily espoused the cause of the Peloponnesians for the
last three years, had now become weary of the allies whom he had so
long kept in pay. Instead of expelling Athenian influence from his
coasts with little difficulty, as he had expected to do, he found
his satrapy plundered, his revenues impaired or absorbed, and an
Athenian fleet all-powerful in the Propontis and Hellespont; while
the Lacedæmonian fleet, which he had taken so much pains to invite,
was destroyed. Decidedly sick of the Peloponnesian cause, he was even
leaning towards Athens; and the envoys whom he was escorting to Susa
might perhaps have laid the foundation of an altered Persian policy
in Asia Minor, when the journey of Cyrus down to the coast overthrew
all such calculations. The young prince brought with him a fresh,
hearty, and youthful antipathy against Athens, a power inferior only
to that of the Great King himself, and an energetic determination to
use it without reserve in insuring victory to the Peloponnesians.

  [196] The Anabasis of Xenophon (i, 1, 6-8; i, 9, 7-9) is better
  authority, and speaks more exactly, than the Hellenica, i, 4, 3.

  [197] See the anecdote of Cyrus and Lysander in Xenoph. Œconom.
  iv, 21-23.

From the moment that Pharnabazus and the Athenian envoys met Cyrus,
their farther progress towards Susa became impossible. Bœotius, and
the other Lacedæmonian envoys travelling along with the young prince,
made extravagant boasts of having obtained all that they asked for at
Susa; and Cyrus himself announced his powers as unlimited in extent
over the whole coast, all for the purpose of prosecuting vigorous
war in conjunction with the Lacedæmonians. Pharnabazus, on hearing
this intelligence, and seeing the Great King’s seal to the words,
“I send down Cyrus, as lord of all those who muster at Kastôlus,”
not only refused to let the Athenian envoys proceed onward, but was
even obliged to obey the orders of the young prince, who insisted
that they should either be surrendered to him, or at least detained
for some time in the interior, in order that no information might
be conveyed to Athens. The satrap resisted the first of these
requisitions, having pledged his word for their safety; but he obeyed
the second, detaining them in Kappadokia for no less than three
years, until Athens was prostrate and on the point of surrender,
after which he obtained permission from Cyrus to send them back to
the sea-coast.[198]

  [198] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 3-8. The words here employed
  respecting the envoys, when returning after their three years’
  detention, ὅθεν πρὸς τὸ ἄλλο στρατόπεδον ἀπέπλευσαν, appear to
  me an inadvertence. The return of the envoys must have been in
  the spring of 404 B.C., at a time when Athens had no camp: the
  surrender of the city took place in April 404 B.C. Xenophon
  incautiously speaks as if that state of things which existed when
  the envoys departed, still continued at their return.

This arrival of Cyrus, overruling the treachery of Tissaphernês as
well as the weariness of Pharnabazus, and supplying the enemies of
Athens with a double flow of Persian gold at a moment when the stream
would otherwise have dried up, was a paramount item in that sum of
causes which concurred to determine the result of the war.[199] But
important as the event was in itself, it was rendered still more
important by the character of the Lacedæmonian admiral Lysander, with
whom the young prince first came into contact on reaching Sardis.

  [199] The words of Thucydidês (ii, 65) imply this as his opinion,
  Κύρῳ τε ὕστερον βασιλέως παιδὶ προσγενομένῳ, etc.

Lysander had come out to supersede Kratesippidas, about December,
408 B.C., or January, 407 B.C.[200] He was the last, after Brasidas
and Gylippus, of that trio of eminent Spartans, from whom all the
capital wounds of Athens proceeded, during the course of this long
war. He was born of poor parents, and is even said to have been of
that class called mothakes, being only enabled by the aid of richer
men to keep up his contribution to the public mess, and his place
in the constant drill and discipline. He was not only an excellent
officer,[201] thoroughly competent to the duties of military
command, but possessed also great talents for intrigue, and for
organizing a political party as well as keeping up its disciplined
movements. Though indifferent to the temptations either of money or
of pleasure,[202] and willingly acquiescing in the poverty to which
he was born, he was altogether unscrupulous in the prosecution of
ambitious objects, either for his country or for himself. His family,
poor as it was, enjoyed a dignified position at Sparta, belonging to
the gens of the Herakleidæ, not connected by any near relationship
with the kings: moreover, his personal reputation as a Spartan was
excellent, since his observance of the rules of discipline had been
rigorous and exemplary. The habits of self-constraint thus acquired,
served him in good stead when it became necessary to his ambition to
court the favor of the great. His recklessness about falsehood and
perjury is illustrated by various current sayings ascribed to him;
such as, that children were to be taken in by means of dice; men, by
means of oaths.[203] A selfish ambition—for promoting the power of
his country not merely in connection with, but in subservience to,
his own—guided him from the beginning to the end of his career. In
this main quality, he agreed with Alkibiadês; in reckless immorality
of means, he went even beyond him. He seems to have been cruel; an
attribute which formed no part of the usual character of Alkibiadês.
On the other hand, the love of personal enjoyment, luxury, and
ostentation, which counted for so much in Alkibiadês, was quite
unknown to Lysander. The basis of his disposition was Spartan,
tending to merge appetite, ostentation, and expansion of mind, all in
the love of command and influence,—not Athenian, which tended to the
development of many and diversified impulses; ambition being one, but
only one, among the number.

  [200] The commencement of Lysander’s navarchy, or year of
  maritime command, appears to me established for this winter. He
  had been some time actually in his command before Cyrus arrived
  at Sardis: Οἱ δὲ Λακεδαιμόνιοι, ~πρότερον τούτων οὐ πολλῷ χρόνῳ~
  Κρατησιππίδᾳ τῆς ναυαρχίας παρεληλυθυίας, Λύσανδρον ἐξέπεμψαν
  ναύαρχον. Ὁ δὲ ἀφικόμενος εἰς Ῥόδον καὶ ναῦς ἐκεῖθεν λαβών, ἐς Κῶ
  καὶ Μίλητον ἔπλευσεν· ἐκεῖθεν δὲ ἐς Ἔφεσον· καὶ ~ἐκεῖ ἔμεινε~,
  ναῦς ἔχων ἑβδομήκοντα, ~μέχρις οὗ Κῦρος ἐς Σάρδεις ἀφίκετο~
  (Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 1).

  Mr. Fynes Clinton (Fast. H. ad ann. 407 B.C.) has, I presume,
  been misled by the first words of this passage, πρότερον τούτων
  οὐ πολλῷ χρόνῳ, when he says: “During the stay of Alcibiadês at
  Athens, Lysander is sent as ναύαρχος, Xen. Hell. i, 5, 1. Then
  followed the defeat of Antiochus, the deposition of Alcibiadês,
  and the substitution of ἄλλους δέκα, between September 407 _and
  September 406, when Callicratidas succeeded Lysander_.”

  Now Alkibiadês came to Athens in the month of Thargelion, or
  about the end of May, 407, and stayed there till the beginning
  of September, 407. Cyrus arrived at Sardis before Alkibiadês
  reached Athens, and Lysander had been some time at his post
  before Cyrus arrived; so that Lysander was not sent out “during
  the stay of Alcibiadês at Athens,” but some months before. Still
  less is it correct to say that Kallikratidas succeeded Lysander
  in September, 406. The battle of Arginusæ, wherein Kallikratidas
  perished, was fought about August, 406, after he had been
  admiral for several months. The words πρότερον τούτων, when
  construed along with the context which succeeds, must evidently
  be understood in a large sense; “_these events_,” mean the
  general series of events which begins i, 4, 8; the proceedings of
  Alkibiadês, from the beginning of the spring of 407.

  [201] Ælian, V. H. xii, 43; Athenæus, vi, p. 271. The assertion
  that Lysander belonged to the class of mothakes is given by
  Athenæus as coming from Phylarchus, and I see no reason for
  calling it in question. Ælian states the same thing respecting
  Gylippus and Kallikratidas, also; I do not know on what authority.

  [202] Theopompus, Fragm. 21, ed. Didot; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 30.

  [203] Plutarch, Lysander, c. 8.

Kratesippidas, the predecessor of Lysander, seems to have enjoyed
the maritime command for more than the usual yearly period, having
superseded Pasippidas during the middle of the year of the latter.
But the maritime power of Sparta was then so weak, having not yet
recovered from the ruinous defeat at Kyzikus, that he achieved little
or nothing. We hear of him only as furthering, for his own profit,
a political revolution at Chios. Bribed by a party of Chian exiles,
he took possession of the acropolis, reinstated them in the island,
and aided them in deposing and expelling the party then in office, to
the number of six hundred. It is plain that this is not a question
between democracy and oligarchy, but between two oligarchical
parties, the one of which succeeded in purchasing the factious agency
of the Spartan admiral. The exiles whom he expelled took possession
of Atarneus, a strong post belonging to the Chians on the mainland
opposite Lesbos. From hence they made war, as well as they could,
upon their rivals now in possession of the island, and also upon
other parts of Ionia; not without some success and profit, as will
appear by their condition about ten years afterwards.[204]

  [204] Diodor. xiii, 65; Xenoph. Hellen. iii, 2, 11. I presume
  that this conduct of Kratesippidas is the fact glanced at by
  Isokratês de Pace, sect. 128, p. 240, ed. Bekk.

The practice of reconstituting the governments of the Asiatic cities,
thus begun by Kratesippidas, was extended and brought to a system by
Lysander; not indeed for private emolument, which he always despised,
but in views of ambition. Having departed from Peloponnesus with
a squadron, he reinforced it at Rhodes, and then sailed onward to
Kos—an Athenian island, so that he could only have touched there—and
Milêtus. He took up his final station at Ephesus, the nearest point
to Sardis, where Cyrus was expected to arrive; and while awaiting his
coming, augmented his fleet to the number of seventy triremes. As
soon as Cyrus reached Sardis, about April or May 407 B.C., Lysander
went to pay his court to him, along with some Lacedæmonian envoys,
and found himself welcomed with every mark of favor. Preferring
bitter complaints against the double-dealing of Tissaphernês,—whom
they accused of having frustrated the king’s orders, and sacrificed
the interests of the empire, under the seductions of Alkibiadês,—they
intreated Cyrus to adopt a new policy, and execute the stipulations
of the treaty, by lending the most vigorous aid to put down the
common enemy. Cyrus replied, that these were the express orders which
he had received from his father, and that he was prepared to fulfil
them with all his might. He had brought with him, he said, five
hundred talents, which should be at once devoted to the cause: if
these were insufficient, he would resort to the private funds which
his father had given him; and if more still were needed, he would
coin into money the gold and silver throne on which he sat.[205]

  [205] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 3-4; Diodor. xiii, 70; Plutarch,
  Lysander, c. 4. This seems to have been a favorite metaphor,
  either used by, or at least ascribed to, the Persian grandees;
  we have already had it, a little before, from the mouth of

Lysander and the envoys returned the warmest thanks for these
magnificent promises, which were not likely to prove empty words from
the lips of a vehement youth like Cyrus. So sanguine were the hopes
which they conceived from his character and proclaimed sentiments,
that they ventured to ask him to restore the rate of pay to one
full Attic drachma per head for the seamen; which had been the rate
promised by Tissaphernês through his envoys at Sparta, when he first
invited the Lacedæmonians across the Ægean, and when it was doubtful
whether they would come, but actually paid only for the first month,
and then reduced to half a drachma, furnished in practice with
miserable irregularity. As a motive for granting this increase of
pay, Cyrus was assured that it would determine the Athenian seamen
to desert so largely, that the war would sooner come to an end, and
of course the expenditure also. But he refused compliance, saying
that the rate of pay had been fixed both by the king’s express
orders and by the terms of the treaty, so that he could not depart
from it.[206] In this reply Lysander was forced to acquiesce. The
envoys were treated with distinction, and feasted at a banquet;
after which Cyrus, drinking to the health of Lysander, desired him
to declare what favor he could do to gratify him most. “To grant an
additional obolus per head for each seaman’s pay,” replied Lysander.
Cyrus immediately complied, having personally bound himself by his
manner of putting the question. But the answer impressed him both
with astonishment and admiration; for he had expected that Lysander
would ask some favor or present for himself, judging him not only
according to the analogy of most Persians, but also of Astyochus
and the officers of the Peloponnesian armament at Milêtus, whose
corrupt subservience to Tissaphernês had probably been made known to
him. From such corruption, as well as from the mean carelessness of
Theramenês, the Spartan, respecting the condition of the seamen,[207]
Lysander’s conduct stood out in pointed and honorable contrast.

  [206] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 5. εἶναι δὲ καὶ τὰς συνθήκας οὕτως
  ἐχούσας, τριάκοντα μνᾶς ἑκάστῃ νηῒ τοῦ μηνὸς διδόναι, ὁπόσας ἂν
  βούλοιντο τρέφειν Λακεδαιμόνιοι.

  This is not strictly correct. The rate of pay is not specified
  in either of the three conventions, as they stand in Thucyd.
  viii, 18, 37, 58. It seems to have been, from the beginning,
  matter of verbal understanding and promise; first, a drachma per
  day was promised by the envoys of Tissaphernês at Sparta; next,
  the satrap himself, at Milêtus, cut down this drachma to half a
  drachma, and promised this lower rate for the future (viii, 29).

  Mr. Mitford says: “Lysander proposed that an Attic drachma,
  _which was eight oboli_, nearly tenpence sterling, should be
  allowed for daily pay to every seaman.”

  Mr. Mitford had in the previous sentence stated _three oboli_ as
  equal to not quite _fourpence_ sterling. Of course, therefore, it
  is plain that he did not consider three oboli as the half of a
  drachma (Hist. Greece, ch. xx, sect. i. vol. iv, p. 317, oct. ed.

  That a drachma was equivalent to _six_ oboli, that is, an Æginæan
  drachma to six Æginæan oboli, and an Attic drachma to six Attic
  oboli, is so familiarly known, that I should almost have imagined
  the word _eight_, in the first sentence here cited, to be a
  misprint for _six_, if the sentence cited next had not clearly
  demonstrated that Mr. Mitford really believed a drachma to he
  equal to _eight_ oboli. It is certainly a mistake surprising to

  [207] Thucyd. viii, 29.

The incident here described not only procured for the seamen of the
Peloponnesian fleet the daily pay of four oboli, instead of three,
per man, but also insured to Lysander himself a degree of esteem and
confidence from Cyrus which he knew well how to turn to account. I
have already remarked,[208] in reference to Periklês and Nikias,
that an established reputation for personal incorruptibility, rare
as that quality was among Grecian leading politicians, was among the
most precious items in the capital stock of an ambitious man, even if
looked at only in regard to the durability of his own influence. If
the proof of such disinterestedness was of so much value in the eyes
of the Athenian people, yet more powerfully did it work upon the mind
of Cyrus. With his Persian and princely ideas of winning adherents
by munificence,[209] a man who despised presents was a phenomenon
commanding the higher sentiment of wonder and respect. From this
time forward he not only trusted Lysander with implicit pecuniary
confidence, but consulted him as to the prosecution of the war, and
even condescended to second his personal ambition to the detriment of
this object.[210]

  [208] See the former volume vi, ch. li, p. 287.

  [209] See the remarkable character of Cyrus the younger, given in
  the Anabasis of Xenophon, i, 9, 22-28.

  [210] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 13; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 4-9.

Returning from Sardis to Ephesus, after such unexampled success in
his interview with Cyrus, Lysander was enabled not only to make good
to his fleet the full arrear actually due, but also to pay them for
a month in advance, at the increased rate of four oboli per man; and
to promise that high rate for the future. A spirit of the highest
satisfaction and confidence was diffused through the armament. But
the ships were in indifferent condition, having been hastily and
parsimoniously got up since the late defeat at Kyzikus. Accordingly,
Lysander employed his present affluence in putting them into
better order, procuring more complete tackle, and inviting picked
crews.[211] He took another step pregnant with important results.
Summoning to Ephesus a few of the most leading and active men from
each of the Asiatic cities, he organized them into disciplined clubs,
or factions, in correspondence with himself. He instigated these
clubs to the most vigorous prosecution of the war against Athens,
promising that, as soon as that war should be concluded, they should
be invested and maintained by Spartan influence in the government of
their respective cities.[212] His newly established influence with
Cyrus, and the abundant supplies of which he was now master, added
double force to an invitation in itself but too seducing. And thus,
while infusing increased ardor into the joint warlike efforts of
these cities, he at the same time procured for himself an ubiquitous
correspondence, such as no successor could manage, rendering the
continuance of his own command almost essential to success. The
fruits of his factious manœuvres will be seen in the subsequent
dekadarchies, or oligarchies of Ten, after the complete subjugation
of Athens.

  [211] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 10.

  [212] Diodor. xiii, 70; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 5.

While Lysander and Cyrus were thus restoring formidable efficacy
to their side of the contest, during the summer of 407 B.C., the
victorious exile Alkibiadês had accomplished the important and
delicate step of reëntering his native city for the first time.
According to the accommodation with Pharnabazus, concluded after
the reduction of Chalkêdon, the Athenian fleet was precluded from
assailing his satrapy, and was thus forced to seek subsistence
elsewhere. Byzantium and Selymbria, with contributions levied in
Thrace, maintained them for the winter: in the spring (407 B.C.),
Alkibiadês brought them again to Samos; from whence he undertook an
expedition against the coast of Karia, levying contributions to the
extent of one hundred talents. Thrasybulus, with thirty triremes,
went to attack Thrace, where he reduced Thasos, Abdêra, and all those
towns which had revolted from Athens; Thasos being now in especial
distress from famine as well as from past seditions. A valuable
contribution for the support of the fleet was doubtless among the
fruits of this success. Thrasyllus at the same time conducted another
division of the army home to Athens, intended by Alkibiadês as
precursors of his own return.[213]

  [213] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 8-10; Diodor. xiii, 72. The
  chronology of Xenophon, though not so clear as we could wish,
  deserves unquestionable preference over that of Diodorus.

Before Thrasyllus arrived, the people had already manifested their
favorable disposition towards Alkibiadês by choosing him anew general
of the armament, along with Thrasybulus and Konon. Alkibiadês was now
tending homeward from Samos with twenty triremes, bringing with him
all the contributions recently levied: he first stopped at Paros,
then visited the coast of Laconia, and lastly looked into the harbor
of Gytheion in Laconia, where he had learned that thirty triremes
were preparing. The news which he received of his reëlection as
general, strengthened by the pressing invitations and encouragements
of his friends, as well as by the recall of his banished kinsmen
at length determined him to sail to Athens. He reached Peiræus on
a marked day, the festival of the Plyntêria, on the 25th of the
month Thargêlion, about the end of May, 407 B.C. This was a day
of melancholy solemnity, accounted unpropitious for any action of
importance. The statue of the goddess Athênê was stripped of all its
ornaments, covered up from every one’s gaze, and washed or cleansed
under a mysterious ceremonial, by the holy gens, called Praxiergidæ.
The goddess thus seemed to turn away her face, and refuse to
behold the returning exile. Such at least was the construction
of his enemies; and as the subsequent turn of events tended to
bear them out, it has been preserved; while the more auspicious
counter-interpretation, doubtless suggested by his friends, has been

The most extravagant representations, of the pomp and splendor of
this return of Alkibiadês to Athens, were given by some authors
of antiquity, especially by Duris of Samos, an author about two
generations later. It was said that he brought with him two hundred
prow-ornaments belonging to captive enemies’ ships, or, according
to some, even the two hundred captured ships themselves; that his
trireme was ornamented with gilt and silvered shields, and sailed
by purple sails; that Kallippidês, one of the most distinguished
actors of the day, performed the functions of keleustês, pronouncing
the chant or word of command to the rowers; that Chrysogonus,
a flute-player, who had gained the first prize at the Pythian
games, was also on board playing the air of return.[214] All these
details, invented with melancholy facility, to illustrate an ideal
of ostentation and insolence, are refuted by the more simple and
credible narrative of Xenophon. The reëntry of Alkibiadês was not
merely unostentatious, but even mistrustful and apprehensive. He had
with him only twenty triremes; and though encouraged, not merely
by the assurances of his friends, but also by the news that he had
just been reëlected general, he was, nevertheless, half afraid to
disembark, even at the instant when he made fast his ship to the
quay in Peiræus. A vast crowd had assembled there from the city
and the port, animated by curiosity, interest, and other emotions
of every kind, to see him arrive. But so little did he trust their
sentiments that he hesitated at first to step on shore, and stood
upon the deck looking about for his friends and kinsmen. Presently,
he saw Euryptolemus his cousin, and others, by whom he was heartily
welcomed, and in the midst of whom he landed. But they too were so
apprehensive of his numerous enemies, that they formed themselves
into a sort of body-guard, to surround and protect him against any
possible assault during his march from Peiræus to Athens.[215]

  [214] Diodor. xiii, 68; Plutarch, Alkib. c. 31; Athenæ. xii, p.

  [215] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 18, 19. Ἀλκιβιάδης δὲ, πρὸς τὴν
  γῆν ὁρμισθεὶς, ἀπέβαινε μὲν οὐκ εὐθέως, φοβούμενος τοὺς
  ἐχθρούς· ἐπαναστὰς δὲ ἐπὶ τοῦ καταστρώματος, ἐσκόπει τοὺς
  αὑτοῦ ἐπιτηδείους, εἰ παρείησαν. Κατιδὼν δὲ Εὐρυπτόλεμον τὸν
  Πεισιάνακτος, ἑαυτοῦ δὲ ἀνεψιὸν, καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους οἰκείους καὶ
  φίλους μετ᾽ αὐτῶν, τότε ἀποβὰς ἀναβαίνει ἐς τὴν πόλιν, μετὰ τῶν
  παρεσκευασμένων, εἴ τις ἅπτοιτο, μὴ ἐπιτρέπειν.

No protection, however, was required. Not merely did his enemies
attempt no violence against him, but they said nothing in opposition
when he made his defence before the senate and the public assembly.
Protesting before the one as well as the other, his innocence of the
impiety laid to his charge, he denounced bitterly the injustice of
his enemies, and gently, but pathetically, deplored the unkindness
of the people. His friends all spoke warmly in the same strain. So
strenuous, and so pronounced, was the sentiment in his favor, both of
the senate and of the public assembly, that no one dared to address
them in the contrary sense.[216] The sentence of condemnation passed
against him was cancelled: the Eumolpidæ were directed to revoke
the curse which they had pronounced upon his head: the record of
the sentence was destroyed, and the plate of lead upon which the
curse was engraven, thrown into the sea: his confiscated property
was restored: lastly, he was proclaimed general with full powers,
and allowed to prepare an expedition of one hundred triremes,
fifteen hundred hoplites from the regular muster-roll, and one
hundred and fifty horsemen. All this passed, by unopposed vote,
amidst silence on the part of enemies and acclamations from friends,
amidst unmeasured promises of future achievement from himself, and
confident assurances, impressed by his friends on willing hearers,
that Alkibiadês was the only man competent to restore the empire and
grandeur of Athens. The general expectation, which he and his friends
took every possible pains to excite, was, that his victorious career
of the last three years was a preparation for yet greater triumphs
during the next.

  [216] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 20; Plutarch, Alkib. c. 33; Diodor.
  xiii, 69.

We may be satisfied, when we advert to the apprehensions of
Alkibiadês on entering the Peiræus, and to the body-guard organized
by his friends, that this overwhelming and uncontradicted triumph
greatly surpassed the anticipations of both. It intoxicated him, and
led him to make light of enemies whom only just before he had so much
dreaded. This mistake, together with the carelessness and insolence
arising out of what seemed to be an unbounded ascendency, proved
the cause of his future ruin. But the truth is, that these enemies,
however they might remain silent, had not ceased to be formidable.
Alkibiadês had now been eight years in exile, from about August 415
B.C. to May 407 B.C. Now absence was in many ways a good thing for
his reputation, since his overbearing private demeanor had been
kept out of sight, and his impieties partially forgotten. There was
even a disposition among the majority to accept his own explicit
denial of the fact laid to his charge, and to dwell chiefly upon the
unworthy manœuvres of his enemies in resisting his demand for instant
trial immediately after the accusation was broached, in order that
they might calumniate him during his absence. He was characterized
as a patriot animated by the noblest motives, who had brought both
first-rate endowments and large private wealth to the service of the
commonwealth, but had been ruined by a conspiracy of corrupt and
worthless speakers, every way inferior to him; men, whose only chance
of success with the people arose from expelling those who were better
than themselves, while he, Alkibiadês, far from having any interest
adverse to the democracy, was the natural and worthy favorite of a
democratical people.[217] So far as the old causes of unpopularity
were concerned, therefore, time and absence had done much to weaken
their effect, and to assist his friends in countervailing them by
pointing to the treacherous political manœuvres employed against him.

  [217] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 14-16.

But if the old causes of unpopularity had thus, comparatively
speaking, passed out of sight, others had since arisen, of a graver
and more ineffaceable character. His vindictive hostility to his
country had been not merely ostentatiously proclaimed, but actively
manifested, by stabs but too effectively aimed at her vitals. The
sending of Gylippus to Syracuse, the fortification of Dekeleia, the
revolts of Chios and Milêtus, the first origination of the conspiracy
of the Four Hundred, had all been emphatically the measures of
Alkibiadês. Even for these, the enthusiasm of the moment attempted
some excuse: it was affirmed that he had never ceased to love his
country, in spite of her wrongs towards him, and that he had been
compelled by the necessities of exile to serve men whom he detested,
at the daily risk of his life.[218] But such pretences could not
really impose upon any one. The treason of Alkibiadês during the
period of his exile remained indefensible as well as undeniable, and
would have been more than sufficient as a theme for his enemies,
had their tongues been free. But his position was one altogether
singular: having first inflicted on his country immense mischief,
he had since rendered her valuable service, and promised to render
still more. It is true, that the subsequent service was by no means
adequate to the previous mischief: nor had it indeed been rendered
exclusively by him, since the victories of Abydos and Kyzikus belong
not less to Theramenês and Thrasybulus than to Alkibiadês:[219]
moreover, the peculiar present or capital which he had promised
to bring with him,—Persian alliance and pay to Athens,—had proved
a complete delusion. Still, the Athenian arms had been eminently
successful since his junction, and we may see that not merely common
report, but even good judges, such as Thucydidês, ascribed this
result to his superior energy and management.

  [218] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 15.

  [219] This point is justly touched upon, more than once, by
  Cornelius Nepos, Vit. Alcibiad. c. 6: “Quanquam Theramenês et
  Thrasybulus eisdem rebus præfuerant.” And again, in the life
  of Thrasybulus (c. 1). “Primum Peloponnesiaco bello multa hic
  (Thrasybulus) sine Alcibiade gessit; ille nullam rem sine hoc.”

Without touching upon these particulars, it is impossible fully to
comprehend the very peculiar position of this returning exile before
the Athenian people in the summer of 407 B.C. The more distant past
exhibited him as among the worst of criminals; the recent past, as
a valuable servant and patriot: the future promised continuance in
this last character, so far as there were any positive indications to
judge by. Now this was a case in which discussion and recrimination
could not possibly answer any useful purpose. There was every
reason for reappointing Alkibiadês to his command; but this could
only be done under prohibition of censure on his past crimes, and
provisional acceptance of his subsequent good deeds, as justifying
the hope of yet better deeds to come. The popular instinct felt
this situation perfectly, and imposed absolute silence on his
enemies.[220] We are not to infer from hence that the people had
forgotten the past deeds of Alkibiadês, or that they entertained
for him nothing but unqualified confidence and admiration. In their
present very justifiable sentiment of hopefulness, they determined
that he should have full scope for prosecuting his new and better
career, if he chose; and that his enemies should be precluded from
reviving the mention of an irreparable past, so as to shut the
door against him. But what was thus interdicted to men’s lips as
unseasonable, was not effaced from their recollections; nor were the
enemies, though silenced for the moment, rendered powerless for the
future. All this train of combustible matter lay quiescent, ready
to be fired by any future misconduct or negligence, perhaps even by
blameless ill-success, on the part of Alkibiadês.

  [220] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 20. λεχθέντων δὲ καὶ ἄλλων τοιούτων,
  καὶ ~οὐδενὸς ἀντειπόντος, διὰ τὸ μὴ ἀνασχέσθαι ἂν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν~,

At a juncture when so much depended upon his future behavior, he
showed, as we shall see presently, that he completely misinterpreted
the temper of the people. Intoxicated by the unexpected triumph of
his reception, according to that fatal susceptibility so common among
distinguished Greeks, he forgot his own past history, and fancied
that the people had forgotten and forgiven it also; construing
their studied and well-advised silence into a proof of oblivion.
He conceived himself in assured possession of public confidence,
and looked upon his numerous enemies as if they no longer existed,
because they were not allowed to speak at a most unseasonable hour.
Without doubt, his exultation was shared by his friends, and this
sense of false security proved his future ruin.

Two colleagues, recommended by Alkibiadês himself, Adeimantus and
Aristokratês, were named by the people as generals of the hoplites
to go out with him, in case of operations ashore.[221] In less than
three months, his armament was ready; but he designedly deferred his
departure until that day of the month Boedromion, about the beginning
of September, when the Eleusinian mysteries were celebrated, and when
the solemn processional march of the crowd of communicants was wont
to take place, along the Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis. For seven
successive years, ever since the establishment of Agis at Dekeleia,
this march had been of necessity discontinued, and the procession had
been transported by sea, to the omission of many of the ceremonial
details. Alkibiadês, on this occasion, caused the land-march to be
renewed, in full pomp and solemnity; assembling all his troops in
arms to protect, in case any attack should be made from Dekeleia.
No such attack was hazarded; so that he had the satisfaction of
reviving the full regularity of this illustrious scene, and escorting
the numerous communicants out and home, without the smallest
interruption; an exploit gratifying to the religious feelings of the
people, and imparting an acceptable sense of undiminished Athenian
power; while in reference to his own reputation, it was especially
politic, as serving to make his peace with the Eumolpidæ and the Two
Goddesses, on whose account he had been condemned.[222]

  [221] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 21. Both Diodorus (xiii, 69) and
  Cornelius Nepos (Vit. Alcib. c. 7) state Thrasybulus and
  Adeimantus as his colleagues: both state also that his colleagues
  were chosen on his recommendation. I follow Xenophon as to the
  names, and also as to the fact, that they were named as κατὰ γῆν

  [222] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 20; Plutarch, Alkib. c. 34. Neither
  Diodorus nor Cornelius Nepos mentions this remarkable incident
  about the escort of the Eleusinian procession.

Immediately after the mysteries, he departed with his armament. It
appears that Agis at Dekeleia, though he had not chosen to come out
and attack Alkibiadês when posted to guard the Eleusinian procession,
had nevertheless felt humiliated by the defiance offered to him. He
shortly afterwards took advantage of the departure of this large
force, to summon reinforcements from Peloponnesus and Bœotia, and
attempt to surprise the walls of Athens on a dark night. If he
expected any connivance within, the plot miscarried: alarm was given
in time, and the eldest and youngest hoplites were found at their
posts to defend the walls. The assailants—said to have amounted to
twenty-eight thousand men, of whom half were hoplites, with twelve
hundred cavalry, nine hundred of them Bœotians—were seen on the
ensuing day close under the walls of the city, which were amply
manned with the full remaining strength of Athens. In an obstinate
cavalry battle which ensued, the Athenians gained the advantage
even over the Bœotians. Agis encamped the next night in the garden
of Akadêmus; again on the morrow he drew up his troops and offered
battle to the Athenians, who are affirmed to have gone forth in order
of battle, but to have kept under the protection of the missiles
from the walls, so that Agis did not dare to attack them.[223] We
may well doubt whether the Athenians went out at all, since they had
been for years accustomed to regard themselves as inferior to the
Peloponnesians in the field. Agis now withdrew, satisfied apparently
with having offered battle, so as to efface the affront which he had
received from the march of the Eleusinian communicants in defiance of
his neighborhood.

  [223] Diodor. xiii, 72, 73.

The first exploit of Alkibiadês was to proceed to Andros, now
under a Lacedæmonian harmost and garrison. Landing on the island,
he plundered the fields, defeated both the native troops and the
Lacedæmonians, and forced them to shut themselves up within the
town; which he besieged for some days without avail, and then
proceeded onward to Samos, leaving Konon in a fortified post, with
twenty ships, to prosecute the siege.[224] At Samos, he first
ascertained the state of the Peloponnesian fleet at Ephesus, the
influence acquired by Lysander over Cyrus, the strong anti-Athenian
dispositions of the young prince, and the ample rate of pay, put
down even in advance, of which the Peloponnesian seamen were now
in actual receipt. He now first became convinced of the failure
of those hopes which he had conceived, not without good reason,
in the preceding year,—and of which he had doubtless boasted at
Athens,—that the alliance of Persia might be neutralized at least,
if not won over, through the envoys escorted to Susa by Pharnabazus.
It was in vain that he prevailed upon Tissaphernês to mediate with
Cyrus, to introduce to him some Athenian envoys, and to inculcate
upon him his own views of the true interests of Persia; that is,
that the war should be fed and protracted so as to wear out both
the Grecian belligerent parties, each by means of the other. Such a
policy, uncongenial at all times to the vehement temper of Cyrus,
had become yet more repugnant to him since his intercourse with
Lysander. He would not consent even to see the envoys, nor was
he probably displeased to put a slight upon a neighbor and rival
satrap. Deep was the despondency among the Athenians at Samos, when
painfully convinced that all hopes from Persia must be abandoned for
themselves; and farther, that Persian pay was both more ample and
better assured, to their enemies, than ever it had been before.[225]

  [224] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 22; i, 5, 18; Plutarch, Alkib. c. 35;
  Diodor. xiii, 69. The latter says that Thrasybulus was left at
  Andros, which cannot be true.

  [225] Xenophon, Hellen. i, 5, 9; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 4. The
  latter tells us that the Athenian ships were presently emptied by
  the desertion of the seamen; a careless exaggeration.

Lysander had at Ephesus a fleet of ninety triremes, which he
employed himself in repairing and augmenting, being still inferior
in number to the Athenians. In vain did Alkibiadês attempt to
provoke him out to a general action. This was much to the interest
of the Athenians, apart from their superiority of number, since they
were badly provided with money, and obliged to levy contributions
wherever they could: but Lysander was resolved not to fight unless
he could do so with advantage, and Cyrus, not afraid of sustaining
the protracted expense of the war, had even enjoined upon him this
cautious policy, with additional hopes of a Phenician fleet to his
aid, which in his mouth was not intended to delude, as it had been
by Tissaphernês.[226] Unable to bring about a general battle, and
having no immediate or capital enterprise to constrain his attention,
Alkibiadês became careless, and abandoned himself partly to the love
of pleasure, partly to reckless predatory enterprises for the purpose
of getting money to pay his army. Thrasybulus had come from his post
on the Hellespont, and was now engaged in fortifying Phokæa, probably
for the purpose of establishing a post, to be enabled to pillage the
interior. Here he was joined by Alkibiadês, who sailed across with
a squadron, leaving his main fleet at Samos. He left it under the
command of his favorite pilot Antiochus, but with express orders on
no account to fight until his return.

  [226] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 9. I venture to antedate the
  statements which he there makes, as to the encouragements from
  Cyrus to Lysander.

While employed in this visit to Phokæa and Klazomenæ, Alkibiadês,
perhaps hard-pressed for money, conceived the unwarrantable project
of enriching his men by the plunder of the neighboring territory
of Kymê, an allied dependency of Athens. Landing on this territory
unexpectedly, after fabricating some frivolous calumnies against the
Kymæans, he at first seized much property and a considerable number
of prisoners. But the inhabitants assembled in arms, bravely defended
their possessions, and repelled his men to their ships; recovering
the plundered property, and lodging it in safety within their walls.
Stung with this miscarriage, Alkibiadês sent for a reinforcement of
hoplites from Mitylênê, and marched up to the walls of Kymê, where
he in vain challenged the citizens to come forth and fight. He then
ravaged the territory at pleasure: nor had the Kymæans any other
resource, except to send envoys to Athens, to complain of so gross
an outrage, inflicted by the Athenian general upon an unoffending
Athenian dependency.[227]

  [227] Diodor. xiii, 73. I follow Diodorus in respect to this
  story about Kymê which he probably copied from the Kymæan
  historian Ephorus. Cornelius Nepos (Alcib. c. 7) briefly glances
  at it.

  Xenophon (Hellen. i, 5, 11) as well as Plutarch (Lysand. c. 5)
  mention the visit of Alkibiadês to Thrasybulus at Phokæa. They do
  not name Kymê, however: according to them, the visit to Phokæa
  has no assignable purpose or consequences. But the plunder of
  Kymê is a circumstance both sufficiently probable in itself, and
  suitable to the occasion.

This was a grave charge, nor was it the only charge which Alkibiadês
had to meet at Athens. During his absence at Phokæa and Kymê,
Antiochus the pilot, whom he had left in command, disobeying the
express order pronounced against fighting a battle, first sailed
across from Samos to Notium, the harbor of Kolophon, and from thence
to the mouth of the harbor of Ephesus, where the Peloponnesian fleet
lay. Entering that harbor with his own ship and another, he passed
close in front of the prows of the Peloponnesian triremes, insulting
them scornfully and defying them to combat. Lysander detached some
ships to pursue him, and an action gradually ensued, which was
exactly that which Antiochus desired. But the Athenian ships were
all in disorder, and came into battle as each of them separately
could; while the Peloponnesian fleet was well marshalled and kept in
hand; so that the battle was all to the advantage of the latter. The
Athenians, compelled to take flight, were pursued to Notium, losing
fifteen triremes, several along with their full crews. Antiochus
himself was slain. Before retiring to Ephesus, Lysander had the
satisfaction of erecting his trophy on the shore of Notium; while the
Athenian fleet was carried back to its station at Samos.[228]

  [228] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 12-15: Diodor. xiii, 71: Plutarch,
  Alkib. c. 35; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 5.

It was in vain that Alkibiadês, hastening back to Samos, mustered the
entire Athenian fleet, sailed to the mouth of the harbor of Ephesus,
and there ranged his ships in battle order, challenging the enemy
to come forth. Lysander would give him no opportunity of wiping out
the late dishonor. And as an additional mortification to Athens, the
Lacedæmonians shortly afterwards captured both Teos and Delphinium;
the latter being a fortified post which the Athenians had held for
the last three years in the island of Chios.[229]

  [229] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 15; Diodor. xiii, 76.

  I copy Diodorus, in putting Teos, pursuant to Weiske’s note, in
  place of Eion, which appears in Xenophon. I copy the latter,
  however, in ascribing these captures to the year of Lysander,
  instead of to the year of Kallikratidas.

Even before the battle of Notium, it appears that complaints and
dissatisfactions had been growing up in the armament against
Alkibiadês. He had gone out with a splendid force, not inferior,
in number of triremes and hoplites, to that which he had conducted
against Sicily, and under large promises, both from himself and
his friends, of achievements to come. Yet in a space of time which
can hardly have been less than three months, not a single success
had been accomplished; while on the other side there was to be
reckoned the disappointment on the score of Persia, which had great
effect on the temper of the armament, and which, though not his
fault, was contrary to expectations which he had held out, the
disgraceful plunder of Kymê, and the defeat at Notium. It was true
that Alkibiadês had given peremptory orders to Antiochus not to
fight, and that the battle had been hazarded in flagrant disobedience
to his injunctions. But this circumstance only raised new matter
for dissatisfaction of a graver character. If Antiochus had been
disobedient,—if, besides disobedience, he had displayed a childish
vanity and an utter neglect of all military precautions,—who was it
that had chosen him for deputy; and that too against all Athenian
precedent, putting the pilot, a paid officer of the ship, over the
heads of the trierarchs who paid their pilots, and served at their
own cost? It was Alkibiadês who placed Antiochus in this grave and
responsible situation,—a personal favorite, an excellent convivial
companion, but destitute of all qualities befitting a commander.
And this turned attention on another point of the character of
Alkibiadês, his habits of excessive self-indulgence and dissipation.
The loud murmurs of the camp charged him with neglecting the
interests of the service for enjoyments with jovial parties and
Ionian women, and with admitting to his confidence those who best
contributed to the amusement of these chosen hours.[230]

  [230] Plutarch. Alkib. c. 36. He recounts, in the tenth chapter
  of the same biography, an anecdote, describing the manner in
  which Antiochus first won the favor of Alkibiadês, then a young
  man, by catching a tame quail, which had escaped from his bosom.

It was in the camp at Samos that this general indignation against
Alkibiadês first arose, and was from thence transmitted formally to
Athens, by the mouth of Thrasybulus son of Thrason,[231] not the
eminent Thrasybulus, son of Lykus, who has been already often spoken
of in this history, and will be so again. There came at the same time
to Athens the complaints from Kymê, against the unprovoked aggression
and plunder of that place by Alkibiadês; and seemingly complaints
from other places besides.[232] It was even urged as accusation
against him, that he was in guilty collusion to betray the fleet to
Pharnabazus and the Lacedæmonians, and that he had already provided
three strong forts in the Chersonese to retire to, as soon as this
scheme should be ripe for execution.

  [231] A person named _Thrason_ is mentioned in the Choiseul
  Inscription (No. 147, pp. 221, 222, of the Corp. Inscr. of
  Boeckh) as one of the Hellenotamiæ in the year 410 B.C. He is
  described by his Deme as _Butades_; he is probably enough the
  father of this Thrasybulus.

  [232] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 16-17. Ἀλκιβιάδης μὲν οὖν, πονηρῶς
  καὶ ἐν τῇ στρατιᾷ φερόμενος, etc. Diodor. xiii, 73. ἐγένοντο δὲ
  καὶ ἄλλαι πολλαὶ διαβολαὶ κατ᾽ αὐτοῦ, etc.

  Plutarch Alkib. c. 36.

  One of the remaining speeches of Lysias (Orat. xxi, Ἀπολογία
  Δωροδοκίας) is delivered by the trierarch in this fleet, on board
  of whose ship Alkibiadês himself chose to sail. This trierarch
  complains of Alkibiadês as having been a most uncomfortable and
  troublesome companion (sect. 7). His testimony on the point is
  valuable; for there seems no disposition here to make out any
  case against Alkibiadês. The trierarch notices the fact, that
  Alkibiadês preferred _his_ trireme, simply as a proof that it
  was the best equipped, or among the best equipped, of the whole
  fleet. Archestratus and Erasinidês preferred it afterwards, for
  the same reason.

Such grave and wide-spread accusations, coupled with the disaster
at Notium, and the complete disappointment of all the promises of
success, were more than sufficient to alter the sentiments of the
people of Athens towards Alkibiadês. He had no character to fall
back upon; or rather, he had a character worse than none, such as to
render the most criminal imputations of treason not intrinsically
improbable. The comments of his enemies, which had been forcibly
excluded from public discussion during his summer visit to Athens,
were now again set free; and all the adverse recollections of his
past life doubtless revived. The people had refused to listen to
these, in order that he might have a fair trial, and might verify
the title, claimed for him by his friends, to be judged only by his
subsequent exploits, achieved since the year 411 B.C. He had now had
his trial; he had been found wanting; and the popular confidence,
which had been provisionally granted to him, was accordingly

It is not just to represent the Athenian people, however Plutarch and
Cornelius Nepos may set before us this picture, as having indulged an
extravagant and unmeasured confidence in Alkibiadês in the month of
July, demanding of him more than man could perform, and as afterwards
in the month of December passing, with childish abruptness, from
confidence into wrathful displeasure, because their own impossible
expectations were not already realized. That the people entertained
large expectations, from so very considerable an armament, cannot
be doubted: the largest of all, probably, as in the instance of the
Sicilian expedition, were those entertained by Alkibiadês himself,
and promulgated by his friends. But we are not called upon to
determine what the people would have done, had Alkibiadês, after
performing all the duties of a faithful, skilful, and enterprising
commander, nevertheless failed, from obstacles beyond his own
control, in realizing their hopes and his own promises. No such case
occurred: that which did occur was materially different. Besides
the absence of grand successes, he had farther been negligent and
reckless in his primary duties; he had exposed the Athenian arms to
defeat, by his disgraceful selection of an unworthy lieutenant;[233]
he had violated the territory and property of an allied dependency,
at a moment when Athens had a paramount interest in cultivating by
every means the attachment of her remaining allies. The truth is,
as I have before remarked, that he had really been spoiled by the
intoxicating reception given to him so unexpectedly in the city. He
had mistaken a hopeful public, determined, even by forced silence as
to the past, to give him the full benefit of a meritorious future,
but requiring as condition from him, that that future should really
be meritorious, for a public of assured admirers, whose favor he had
already earned and might consider as his own. He became an altered
man after that visit, like Miltiadês after the battle of Marathon;
or, rather, the impulses of a character essentially dissolute and
insolent, broke loose from that restraint under which they had
before been partially controlled. At the time of the battle of
Kyzikus, when Alkibiadês was laboring to regain the favor of his
injured countrymen, and was yet uncertain whether he should succeed,
he would not have committed the fault of quitting his fleet and
leaving it under the command of a lieutenant like Antiochus. If,
therefore, Athenian sentiment towards Alkibiadês underwent an entire
change during the autumn of 407 B.C., this was in consequence of
an alteration in _his_ character and behavior; an alteration for
the worse, just at the crisis when everything turned upon his good
conduct, and upon his deserving at least, if he could not command

  [233] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 16. Οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι, ὡς ἠγγέλθη ἡ
  ναυμαχία, χαλεπῶς εἶχον τῷ Ἀλκιβιάδῃ, οἰόμενοι ~δι᾽ ἀμέλειάν τε
  καὶ ἀκράτειαν~ ἀπολωλεκέναι τὰς ναῦς.

  The expression which Thucydidês employs in reference to
  Alkibiadês requires a few words of comment: (vi, 15) ~καὶ
  δημοσίᾳ κράτιστα διαθέντα τὰ τοῦ πολέμου~, ἰδίᾳ ἕκαστοι τοῖς
  ἐπιτηδεύμασιν αὐτοῦ ἀχθεσθέντες, καὶ ἄλλοις ἐπιτρέψαντες (the
  Athenians), οὐ διὰ μακροῦ ἔσφηλαν τὴν πόλιν.

  The “strenuous and effective prosecution of warlike business”
  here ascribed to Alkibiadês, is true of all the period between
  his exile and his last visit to Athens (about September B.C. 415
  to September B.C. 407). During the first four years of that time,
  he was very effective against Athens; during the last four, very
  effective in her service.

  But the assertion is certainly not true of his last command,
  which ended with the battle of Notium; nor is it more than
  partially true, at least, it is an exaggeration of the truth, for
  the period before his exile.

We may, indeed, observe that the faults of Nikias before Syracuse,
and in reference to the coming of Gylippus, were far graver and more
mischievous than those of Alkibiadês during this turning season of
his career, and the disappointment of antecedent hopes at least
equal. Yet while these faults and disappointment brought about
the dismissal and disgrace of Alkibiadês, they did not induce the
Athenians to dismiss Nikias, though himself desiring it, nor even
prevent them from sending him a second armament to be ruined along
with the first. The contrast is most instructive, as demonstrating
upon what points durable esteem in Athens turned; how long the
most melancholy public incompetency could remain overlooked, when
covered by piety, decorum, good intentions, and high station;[234]
how short-lived was the ascendency of a man far superior in ability
and energy, besides an equal station, when his moral qualities
and antecedent life were such as to provoke fear and hatred in
many, esteem from none. Yet, on the whole, Nikias, looking at him
as a public servant, was far more destructive to his country than
Alkibiadês. The mischief done to Athens by the latter was done in the
avowed service of her enemies.

  [234] To meet the case of Nikias, it would be necessary to take
  the converse of the judgment of Thucydidês respecting Alkibiadês,
  cited in my last note, and to say: καὶ δημοσίᾳ ~κάκιστα~ διαθέντα
  τὰ τοῦ πολέμου, ἰδίᾳ ἕκαστοι ~τὰ ἐπιτηδεύματα αὐτοῦ ἀγασθέντες~,
  καὶ ~αυτῷ~ ἐπιτρέψαντες, οὐ διὰ μακροῦ ἔσφηλαν τὴν πόλιν.

  The reader will of course understand that these last Greek words
  are _not_ an actual citation, but a transformation of the actual
  words of Thucydidês, for the purpose of illustrating the contrast
  between Alkibiadês and Nikias.

On hearing the news of the defeat of Notium and the accumulated
complaints against Alkibiadês, the Athenians simply voted that he
should be dismissed from his command; naming ten new generals to
replace him. He was not brought to trial, nor do we know whether any
such step was proposed. Yet his proceedings at Kymê, if they happened
as we read them, richly deserved judicial animadversion; and the
people, had they so dealt with him, would only have acted up to the
estimable function ascribed to them by the oligarchical Phrynichus,
“of serving as refuge to their dependent allies, and chastising
the high-handed oppressions of the optimates against them.”[235]
In the perilous position of Athens, however, with reference to the
foreign war, such a political trial would have been productive of
much dissension and mischief. And Alkibiadês avoided the question
by not coming to Athens. As soon as he heard of his dismissal, he
retired immediately from the army to his own fortified posts on the

  [235] Thucyd. viii, 48. τὸν δὲ δῆμον, σφῶν τε, of the allied
  dependencies, καταφυγὴν, καὶ ἐκείνων, _i.e._ of the high persons
  called καλοκἀγαθοὶ, or optimates σωφρονιστήν.

The ten new generals named were Konon, Diomedon, Leon, Periklês,
Erasinidês, Aristokratês, Archestratus, Protomachus, Thrasyllus,
Aristogenês. Of these, Konon was directed to proceed forthwith from
Andros with the twenty ships which he had there, to receive the fleet
from Alkibiadês; while Phanosthenês proceeded with four triremes to
replace Konon at Andros.[236]

  [236] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 18; Diodor. xiii, 74.

In his way thither, Phanosthenês fell in with Dorieus the Rhodian
and two Thurian triremes, which he captured, with every man aboard.
The captives were sent to Athens, where all were placed in custody,
in case of future exchange, except Dorieus himself. The latter
had been condemned to death, and banished from his native city of
Rhodes, together with his kindred, probably on the score of political
disaffection, at the time when Rhodes was a member of the Athenian
alliance. Having since then become a citizen of Thurii, he had
served with distinction in the fleet of Mindarus, both at Milêtus
and the Hellespont. The Athenians now had so much compassion upon
him that they released him at once and unconditionally, without even
demanding a ransom or an equivalent. By what particular circumstance
their compassion was determined, forming a pleasing exception
to the melancholy habits which pervaded Grecian warfare in both
belligerents, we should never have learned from the meagre narrative
of Xenophon. But we ascertain from other sources, that Dorieus,
the son of Diagoras of Rhodes, was illustrious beyond all other
Greeks for his victories in the pankration at the Olympic, Isthmian,
and Nemean festivals; that he had gained the first prize at three
Olympic festivals in succession, of which Olympiad 88, or 428 B.C.
was the second, a distinction altogether without precedent, besides
eight Isthmian and seven Nemean prizes; that his father Diagoras,
his brothers, and his cousins, were all celebrated as successful
athletes; lastly, that the family were illustrious from old date
in their native island of Rhodes, and were even descended from the
Messenian hero Aristomenês. When the Athenians saw before them as
their prisoner a man doubtless of magnificent stature and presence,
as we may conclude from his athletic success, and surrounded by
such a halo of glory, impressive in the highest degree to Grecian
imagination, the feelings and usages of war were at once overruled.
Though Dorieus had been one of their most vehement enemies, they
could not bear either to touch his person, or to exact from him any
condition. Released by them on this occasion, he lived to be put to
death, about thirteen years afterwards, by the Lacedæmonians.[237]

  [237] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 19; Pausan. vi, 7, 2.

When Konon reached Samos to take the command, he found the armament
in a state of great despondency; not merely from the dishonorable
affair of Notium, but also from disappointed hopes connected with
Alkibiadês, and from difficulties in procuring regular pay. So
painfully was the last inconvenience felt, that the first measure
of Konon was to contract the numbers of the armament from above one
hundred triremes to seventy; and to reserve for the diminished fleet
all the ablest seamen of the larger. With this fleet, he and his
colleagues roved about the enemies’ coasts to collect plunder and

  [238] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 20; compare i, 6, 16; Diodor. xiii,

Apparently about the same time that Konon superseded Alkibiadês,
that is, about December 407 B.C. or January 406 B.C., the year
of Lysander’s command expired, and Kallikratidas arrived from
Sparta to replace him. His arrival was received with undisguised
dissatisfaction by the leading Lacedæmonians in the armament, by
the chiefs in the Asiatic cities, and by Cyrus. Now was felt the
full influence of those factious correspondences and intrigues which
Lysander had established with all of them, for indirectly working out
the perpetuity of his own command. While loud complaints were heard
of the impolicy of Sparta, in annually changing her admiral, both
Cyrus and the rest concurred with Lysander in throwing difficulties
in the way of the new successor.

Kallikratidas, unfortunately only shown by the Fates,[239] and
not suffered to continue in the Grecian world, was one of the
noblest characters of his age. Besides perfect courage, energy, and
incorruptibility, he was distinguished for two qualities, both of
them very rare among eminent Greeks; entire straightforwardness of
dealing, and a Pan-Hellenic patriotism alike comprehensive, exalted,
and merciful. Lysander handed over to him nothing but an empty purse;
having repaid to Cyrus all the money remaining in his possession,
under pretence that it had been confided to himself personally.[240]
Moreover, on delivering up the fleet to Kallikratidas at Ephesus,
he made boast of delivering to him at the same time the mastery of
the sea, through the victory recently gained at Notium. “Conduct the
fleet from Ephesus along the coast of Samos, passing by the Athenian
station (replied Kallikratidas), and give it up to me at Milêtus: I
shall then believe in your mastery of the sea.” Lysander had nothing
else to say, except that he should give himself no farther trouble,
now that his command had been transferred to another.

  [239] Virgil, Æneid, vi, 870.

      Ostendent terris hunc tantum fata, neque ultra
      Esse sinent.

  [240] How completely this repayment was a manœuvre for the
  purpose of crippling his successor,—and not an act of genuine
  and conscientious obligation to Cyrus, as Mr. Mitford represents
  it,—we may see by the conduct of Lysander at the close of the
  war. He then carried away with him to Sparta all the residue of
  the tributes from Cyrus which he had in his possession, instead
  of giving them back to Cyrus (Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 8). This
  obligation to give them back to Cyrus was greater at the end of
  the war than it was at the time when Kallikratidas came out, and
  when war was still going on; for the war was a joint business,
  which the Persians and the Spartans had sworn to prosecute by
  common efforts.

Kallikratidas soon found that the leading Lacedæmonians in the fleet,
gained over to the interests of his predecessor, openly murmured at
his arrival, and secretly obstructed all his measures; upon which he
summoned them together, and said: “I, for my part, am quite content
to remain at home; and if Lysander, or any one else, pretends to be
a better admiral than I am, I have nothing to say against it. But
sent here as I am by the authorities at Sparta to command the fleet,
I have no choice except to execute their orders in the best way
that I can. You now know how far my ambition reaches;[241] you know
also the murmurs which are abroad against our common city (for her
frequent change of admirals). Look to it, and give me your opinion.
Shall I stay where I am, or shall I go home, and communicate what has
happened here?”

  [241] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 5. ὑμεῖς δὲ, πρὸς ἃ ἐγώ τε
  φιλοτιμοῦμαι, καὶ ἡ πόλις ἡμῶν αἰτιάζεται (ἴστε γὰρ αὐτὰ, ὥσπερ
  καὶ ἐγὼ), ξυμβουλεύετε, etc.

This remonstrance, alike pointed and dignified, produced its
full effect. Every one replied, that it was his duty to stay and
undertake the command. The murmurs and cabals were from that moment

His next embarrassments arose from the manœuvre of Lysander in paying
back to Cyrus all the funds from whence the continuous pay of the
army was derived. Of course this step was admirably calculated to
make every one regret the alteration of command. Kallikratidas, who
had been sent out without funds, in full reliance on the unexhausted
supply from Sardis, now found himself compelled to go thither in
person and solicit a renewal of the bounty. But Cyrus, eager to
manifest in every way his partiality for the last admiral, deferred
receiving him, first for two days, then for a farther interval, until
the patience of Kallikratidas was wearied out, so that he left Sardis
in disgust without an interview. So intolerable to his feelings
was the humiliation of thus begging at the palace gates, that he
bitterly deplored those miserable dissensions among the Greeks which
constrained both parties to truckle to the foreigner for money;
swearing that, if he survived the year’s campaign, he would use
every possible effort to bring about an accommodation between Athens
and Sparta.[242]

  [242] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 7; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 6.

In the mean time, he put forth all his energy to obtain money in some
other way, and thus get the fleet to sea; knowing well, that the way
to overcome the reluctance of Cyrus was, to show that he could do
without him. Sailing first from Ephesus to Milêtus, he despatched
from thence a small squadron to Sparta, disclosing his unexpected
poverty, and asking for speedy pecuniary aid. In the mean time he
convoked an assembly of the Milesians, communicated to them the
mission just sent to Sparta, and asked from them a temporary supply
until this money should arrive. He reminded them that the necessity
of this demand sprang altogether from the manœuvre of Lysander, in
paying back the funds in his hands; that he had already in vain
applied to Cyrus for farther money, meeting only with such insulting
neglect as could no longer be endured: that they, the Milesians,
dwelling amidst the Persians, and having already experienced the
maximum of ill-usage at their hands, ought now to be foremost in
the war, and to set an example of zeal to the other allies,[243] in
order to get clear the sooner from dependence upon such imperious
taskmasters. He promised that, when the remittance from Sparta and
the hour of success should arrive, he would richly requite their
forwardness. “Let us, with the aid of the gods, show these foreigners
(he concluded) that we can punish our enemies without worshipping

  [243] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 9. ὑμᾶς δὲ ἐγὼ ἀξιῶ προθυμοτάτους
  εἶναι ἐς τὸν πόλεμον, διὰ τὸ οἰκοῦντας ἐν βαρβάροις πλεῖστα κακὰ
  ἤδη ὑπ᾽ αὐτῶν πεπονθέναι.

The spectacle of this generous patriot, struggling against a
degrading dependence on the foreigner, which was now becoming
unhappily familiar to the leading Greeks of both sides, excites
our warm sympathy and admiration. We may add, that his language to
the Milesians, reminding them of the misery which they had endured
from the Persians as a motive to exertion in the war, is full of
instruction as to the new situation opened for the Asiatic Greeks
since the breaking-up of the Athenian power. No such evils had they
suffered while Athens was competent to protect them, and while they
were willing to receive protection from her, during the interval
of more than fifty years between the complete organization of the
confederacy of Delos and the disaster of Nikias before Syracuse.

The single-hearted energy of Kallikratidas imposed upon all who heard
him, and even inspired so much alarm to those leading Milesians who
were playing underhand the game of Lysander, that they were the first
to propose a large grant of money towards the war, and to offer
considerable sums from their own purses; an example probably soon
followed by other allied cities. Some of the friends of Lysander
tried to couple their offers with conditions; demanding a warrant
for the destruction of their political enemies, and hoping thus to
compromise the new admiral. But he strenuously refused all such
guilty compliances.[244] He was soon able to collect at Milêtus
fifty fresh triremes in addition to those left by Lysander, making
a fleet of one hundred and forty sail in all. The Chians having
furnished him with an outfit of five drachmas for each seaman, equal
to ten days’ pay at the usual rate, he sailed with the whole fleet
northward towards Lesbos. Of this numerous fleet, the greatest which
had yet been assembled throughout the war, only ten triremes were
Lacedæmonian;[245] while a considerable proportion, and among the
best equipped, were Bœotian and Eubœan.[246] In his voyage towards
Lesbos, Kallikratidas seems to have made himself master of Phokæa
and Kymê,[247] perhaps with the greater facility in consequence
of the recent ill-treatment of the Kymæans by Alkibiadês. He then
sailed to attack Methymna, on the northern coast of Lesbos; a town
not only strongly attached to the Athenians, but also defended by an
Athenian garrison. Though at first repulsed, he renewed his attacks
until at length he took the town by storm. The property in it was
all plundered by the soldiers, and the slaves collected and sold for
their benefit. It was farther demanded by the allies, and expected
pursuant to ordinary custom, that the Methymnæan and Athenian
prisoners should be sold also. But Kallikratidas peremptorily refused
compliance, and set them all free the next day; declaring that, so
long as he was in command, not a single free Greek should be reduced
to slavery if he could prevent it.[248]

  [244] Plutarch, Apophthegm. Laconic. p. 222, C, Xenoph. Hellen.
  i, 6, 12.

  [245] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 34.

  [246] Diodor. xiii, 99.

  [247] I infer this from the fact, that at the period of the
  battle of Arginusæ, both these towns appear as adhering to the
  Peloponnesians; whereas during the command of Alkibiadês they had
  been both Athenian (Xenoph. Hellen. i, 5, 11; i, 6, 33; Diodor.
  xiii, 73-99).

  [248] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 14. Καὶ κελευόντων τῶν ξυμμάχων
  ἀποδόσθαι καὶ τοὺς Μηθυμναίους, οὐκ ἔφη ἑαυτοῦ γε ἄρχοντος οὐδένα
  Ἑλλήνων ἐς τοὐκείνου δυνατὸν ἀνδραποδισθῆναι.

  Compare a later declaration of Agesilaus, substantially to
  the same purpose, yet delivered under circumstances far less
  emphatic, in Xenophon, Agesilaus, vii, 6.

No one, who has not familiarized himself with the details of Grecian
warfare, can feel the full grandeur and sublimity of this proceeding,
which stands, so far as I know, unparalleled in Grecian history. It
is not merely that the prisoners were spared and set free; as to this
point, analogous cases may be found, though not very frequent. It is,
that this particular act of generosity was performed in the name and
for the recommendation of Pan-Hellenic brotherhood and Pan-Hellenic
independence of the foreigner: a comprehensive principle, announced
by Kallikratidas on previous occasions as well as on this, but now
carried into practice under emphatic circumstances, and coupled with
an explicit declaration of his resolution to abide by it in all
future cases. It is, lastly, that the step was taken in resistance
to formal requisition on the part of his allies, whom he had very
imperfect means either of paying or controlling, and whom therefore
it was so much the more hazardous for him to offend. There cannot be
any doubt that these allies felt personally wronged and indignant at
the loss, as well as confounded with the proposition of a rule of
duty so new, as respected the relations of belligerents in Greece;
against which too, let us add, their murmurs would not be without
some foundation: “If _we_ should come to be Konon’s prisoners, he
will not treat _us_ in this manner.” Reciprocity of dealing is
absolutely essential to constant moral observance, either public or
private; and doubtless Kallikratidas felt a well-grounded confidence,
that two or three conspicuous examples would sensibly modify the
future practice on both sides. But some one must begin by setting
such examples, and the man who does begin—having a position which
gives reasonable chance that others will follow—is the hero. An
admiral like Lysander would not only sympathize heartily with the
complaints of the allies, but also condemn the proceeding as a
dereliction of duty to Sparta; even men better than Lysander would
at first look coldly on it as a sort of Quixotism, in doubt whether
the example would be copied: while the Spartan ephors, though
probably tolerating it because they interfered very sparingly with
their admirals afloat, would certainly have little sympathy with the
feelings in which it originated. So much the rather is Kallikratidas
to be admired, as bringing out with him not only a Pan-Hellenic
patriotism,[249] rare either at Athens or Sparta, but also a force
of individual character and conscience yet rarer, enabling him to
brave unpopularity and break through routine, in the attempt to make
that patriotism fruitful and operative in practice. In his career, so
sadly and prematurely closed, there was at least this circumstance to
be envied; that the capture of Methymna afforded him the opportunity,
which he greedily seized, as if he had known that it would be the
last, of putting in act and evidence the full aspirations of his
magnanimous soul.

  [249] The sentiment of Kallikratidas deserved the designation of
  Ἑλληνικώτατον πολίτευμα, far more than that of Nikias, to which
  Plutarch applies those words (Compar. of Nikias and Crassus, c.

Kallikratidas sent word by the released prisoners to Konon, that
he would presently put an end to his adulterous intercourse with
the sea;[250] which he now considered as his wife, and lawfully
appertaining to him, having one hundred and forty triremes against
the seventy triremes of Konon. That admiral, in spite of his inferior
numbers, had advanced near to Methymna, to try and relieve it; but
finding the place already captured, had retired to the islands called
Hekatonnêsoi, off the continent bearing northeast from Lesbos.
Thither he was followed by Kallikratidas, who, leaving Methymna
at night, found him quitting his moorings at break of day, and
immediately made all sail to try and cut him off from the southerly
course towards Samos. But Konon, having diminished the number of
his triremes from one hundred to seventy, had been able to preserve
all the best rowers, so that in speed he outran Kallikratidas and
entered first the harbor of Mitylênê. His pursuers, however, were
close behind, and even got into the harbor along with him, before it
could be closed and put in a state of defence. Constrained to fight
a battle at its entrance, he was completely defeated; thirty of his
ships were taken, though the crews escaped to land; and he preserved
the remaining forty only by hauling them ashore under the wall.[251]

  [250] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 15. Κόνωνι δὲ εἶπεν, ὅτι παύσει αὐτὸν
  μοιχῶντα τὴν θάλασσαν, etc. He could hardly _say this_ to Konon,
  in any other way than through the Athenian prisoners.

  [251] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 17; Diodor. xiii, 78, 79.

  Here, as on so many other occasions, it is impossible to blend
  these two narratives together. Diodorus conceives the facts in
  a manner quite different from Xenophon, and much less probable.
  He tells us that Konon practised a stratagem during his flight
  (the same in Polyænus, i, 482), whereby he was enabled to fight
  with and defeat the foremost Peloponnesian ships before the rest
  came up: also, that he got into the harbor in time to put it into
  a state of defence before Kallikratidas came up. Diodorus then
  gives a prolix description of the battle by which Kallikratidas
  forced his way in.

  The narrative of Xenophon, which I have followed, plainly implies
  that Konon could have had no time to make preparations for
  defending the harbor.

The town of Mitylênê, originally founded on a small islet off Lesbos,
had afterwards extended across a narrow strait to Lesbos itself.
By this strait, whether bridged over or not we are not informed,
the town was divided into two portions, and had two harbors, one
opening northward towards the Hellespont, the other southward towards
the promontory of Kanê on the mainland.[252] Both these harbors
were undefended, and both now fell into the occupation of the
Peloponnesian fleet; at least all the outer portion of each, near
to the exit of the harbor, which Kallikratidas kept under strict
watch. He at the same time sent for the full forces of Methymna and
for hoplites across from Chios, so as to block up Mitylênê by land
as well as by sea. As soon as his success was announced, too, money
for the fleet, together with separate presents for himself, which he
declined receiving,[253] was immediately sent to him by Cyrus; so
that his future operations became easy.

  [252] Thucyd. viii, 6. τοὺς ἐφόρμους ἐπ᾽ ἀμφοτέροις τοῖς λιμέσιν
  ἐποιοῦντο (Strabo, xiii, p. 617). Xenophon talks only of _the_
  harbor, as if it were _one_; and possibly, in very inaccurate
  language, it might be described as one harbor with two entrances.
  It seems to me, however, that Xenophon had no clear idea of the

  Strabo speaks of the northern harbor as defended by a mole, the
  southern harbor, as defended by triremes chained together. Such
  defences did not exist in the year 406 B.C. Probably, after the
  revolt of Mitylênê in 427 B.C., the Athenians had removed what
  defences might have been before provided for the harbor.

  [253] Plutarch, Apophth. Laconic. p. 222, E.

No preparations had been made at Mitylênê for a siege: no stock of
provisions had been accumulated, and the crowd within the walls
was so considerable, that Konon foresaw but too plainly the speedy
exhaustion of his means. Nor could he expect succor from Athens,
unless he could send intelligence thither of his condition; of which,
as he had not been able to do so, the Athenians remained altogether
ignorant. All his ingenuity was required to get a trireme safe out
of the harbor, in the face of the enemy’s guard. Putting afloat two
triremes, the best sailers in his fleet, and picking out the best
rowers for them out of all the rest, he caused these rowers to go
aboard before daylight, concealing the epibatæ, or maritime soldiers,
in the interior of the vessel, instead of the deck, which was their
usual place, with a moderate stock of provisions, and keeping the
vessel still covered with hides or sails, as was customary with
vessels hauled ashore, to protect them against the sun.[254] These
two triremes were thus made ready to depart at a moment’s notice,
without giving any indication to the enemy that they were so. They
were fully manned before daybreak, the crews remained in their
position all day, and after dark were taken out to repose. This
went on for four days successively, no favorable opportunity having
occurred to give the signal for attempting a start. At length, on
the fifth day, about noon, when many of the Peloponnesian crews
were ashore for their morning meal, and others were reposing, the
moment seemed favorable, the signal was given, and both the triremes
started at the same moment with their utmost speed; one to go out
at the southern entrance towards the sea, between Lesbos and Chios,
the other to depart by the northern entrance towards the Hellespont.
Instantly, the alarm was given among the Peloponnesian fleet: the
cables were cut, the men hastened aboard, and many triremes were
put in motion to overtake the two runaways. That which departed
southward, in spite of the most strenuous efforts, was caught towards
evening and brought back with all her crew prisoners: that which went
towards the Hellespont escaped, rounded the northern coast of Lesbos,
and got safe with the news to Athens; sending intelligence also,
seemingly, in her way, to the Athenian admiral Diomedon at Samos.

  [254] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 19. Καθελκύσας (Konon) τῶν νεῶν τὰς
  ἄριστα πλεούσας δύο, ἐπλήρωσε πρὸ ἡμέρας, ἐξ ἁπασῶν τῶν νεῶν
  τοὺς ἀρίστους ἐρέτας ἐκλέξας, καὶ τοὺς ἐπιβάτας εἰς κοίλην ναῦν
  μεταβιβάσας, καὶ τὰ ~παραῤῥύματα παραβαλών~.

  The meaning of παραῤῥύματα is very uncertain. The commentators
  give little instruction; nor can we be sure that the same thing
  is meant as is expressed by παραβλήματα (_infra_, ii, 1, 22).
  We may be quite sure that the matters meant by παραῤῥύματα were
  something which, if visible at all to a spectator without, would
  at least afford no indication that the trireme was intended
  for a speedy start; otherwise, they would defeat the whole
  contrivance of Konon, whose aim was secrecy. It was essential
  that this trireme, though afloat, should be made to look as much
  as possible like to the other triremes which still remained
  hauled ashore; in order that the Peloponnesians might not suspect
  any purpose of departure. I have endeavored in the text to give
  a meaning which answers this purpose, without forsaking the
  explanations given by the commentators: see Boeckh, Ueber das
  Attische Seewesen, ch. x, p. 159.

The latter immediately made all haste to the aid of Konon, with the
small force which he had with him, no more than twelve triremes.
The two harbors being both guarded by a superior force, he tried to
get access to Mitylênê through the Euripus, a strait which opens
on the southern coast of the island into an interior lake, or bay,
approaching near to the town. But here he was attacked suddenly by
Kallikratidas, and his squadron all captured except two triremes, his
own and another; he himself had great difficulty in escaping.[255]

  [255] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 22. Διομέδων δὲ βοηθῶν Κόνωνι
  πολιορκουμένῳ δώδεκα ναυσὶν ὡρμίσατο ἐς τὸν εὔριπον τὸν τῶν

  The reader should look at a map of Lesbos, to see what is
  meant by the Euripus of Mitylênê, and the other Euripus of the
  neighboring town of Pyrrha.

  Diodorus (xiii, 79) confounds the Euripus of Mitylênê with the
  harbor of Mitylênê, with which it is quite unconnected. Schneider
  and Plehn seem to make the same confusion (see Plehn, Lesbiaca,
  p. 15).

Athens was all in consternation at the news of the defeat of Konon
and the blockade of Mitylênê. The whole strength and energy of the
city was put forth to relieve him, by an effort greater than any
which had been made throughout the whole war. We read with surprise
that within the short space of thirty days, a fleet of no less than
one hundred and ten triremes was fitted out and sent from Peiræus.
Every man of age and strength to serve, without distinction, was
taken to form a good crew; not only freemen, but slaves, to whom
manumission was promised as reward: many also of the horsemen, or
knights,[256] and citizens of highest rank, went aboard as epibatæ,
hanging up their bridles like Kimon before the battle of Salamis.
The levy was in fact as democratical and as equalizing as it had
been on that memorable occasion. The fleet proceeded straight to
Samos, whither orders had doubtless been sent to get together all the
triremes which the allies could furnish as reinforcements, as well as
all the scattered Athenian. By this means, forty additional triremes,
ten of them Samian, were assembled, and the whole fleet, one hundred
and fifty sail, went from Samos to the little islands called
Arginusæ, close on the mainland, opposite to Malea, the southeastern
cape of Lesbos.

  [256] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 24-25; Diodor. xiii, 97.

Kallikratidas, apprized of the approach of the new fleet while it
was yet at Samos, withdrew the greater portion of his force from
Mitylênê, leaving fifty triremes under Eteonikus to continue the
blockade. Less than fifty probably would not have been sufficient,
inasmuch as two harbors were to be watched; but he was thus reduced
to meet the Athenian fleet with inferior numbers, one hundred and
twenty triremes against one hundred and fifty. His fleet was off
Cape Malea, where the crews took their suppers, on the same evening
as the Athenians supped at the opposite islands of Arginusæ. It
was his project to sail across the intermediate channel in the
night, and attack them in the morning before they were prepared;
but violent wind and rain forced him to defer all movement till
daylight. On the ensuing morning, both parties prepared for the
greatest naval encounter which had taken place throughout the whole
war. Kallikratidas was advised by his pilot, the Megarian Hermon, to
retire for the present without fighting, inasmuch as the Athenian
fleet had the advantage of thirty triremes over him in number.
He replied that flight was disgraceful, and that Sparta would be
no worse off, even if he should perish.[257] The answer was one
congenial to his chivalrous nature; and we may well conceive, that,
having for the last two or three months been lord and master of the
sea, he recollected his own haughty message to Konon, and thought
it dishonor to incur or deserve, by retiring, the like taunt upon
himself. We may remark too that the disparity of numbers, though
serious, was by no means such as to render the contest hopeless,
or to serve as a legitimate ground for retreat, to one who prided
himself on a full measure of Spartan courage.

  [257] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 32; Diodor. xiii, 97, 98; the latter
  reports terrific omens beforehand for the generals.

  The answer has been a memorable one, more than once adverted to,
  Plutarch, Laconic. Apophthegm. p. 832; Cicero, De Offic. i, 24.

The Athenian fleet was so marshalled, that its great strength was
placed in the two wings; in each of which there were sixty Athenian
ships, divided into four equal divisions, each division commanded
by a general. Of the four squadrons of fifteen ships each, two were
placed in front, two to support them in the rear. Aristokratês and
Diomedon commanded the two front squadrons of the left division,
Periklês and Erasinidês the two squadrons in the rear: on the right
division, Protomachus and Thrasyllus commanded the two in front,
Lysias and Aristogenês the two in the rear. The centre, wherein were
the Samians and other allies, was left weak, and all in single line:
it appears to have been exactly in front of one of the isles of
Arginusæ, while the two other divisions were to the right and left
of that isle. We read with some surprise that the whole Lacedæmonian
fleet was arranged by single ships, because it sailed better and
manœuvred better than the Athenians; who formed their right and left
divisions in deep order, for the express purpose of hindering the
enemy from performing the nautical manœuvres of the diekplus and the
periplus.[258] It would seem that the Athenian centre, having the
land immediately in its rear, was supposed to be better protected
against an enemy “sailing through the line out to the rear, and
sailing round about,” than the other divisions, which were in the
open waters; for which reason it was left weak, with the ships in
single line. But the fact which strikes us the most is, that, if
we turn back to the beginning of the war, we shall find that this
diekplus and periplus were the special manœuvres of the Athenian
navy, and continued to be so even down to the siege of Syracuse;
the Lacedæmonians being at first absolutely unable to perform them
at all, and continuing for a long time to perform them far less
skilfully than the Athenians. Now, the comparative value of both
parties is reversed: the superiority of nautical skill has passed to
the Peloponnesians and their allies: the precautions whereby that
superiority is neutralized or evaded, are forced as a necessity on
the Athenians. How astonished would the Athenian admiral Phormion
have been, if he could have witnessed the fleets and the order of
battle at Arginusæ!

  [258] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 31. Οὕτω δ᾽ ἐτάχθησαν (οἱ Ἀθηναῖοι)
  ἵνα μὴ διέκπλουν διδοῖεν· χεῖρον γὰρ ἔπλεον. Αἱ δὲ τῶν
  Λακεδαιμονίων ἀντιτεταγμέναι ἦσαν ἅπασαι ἐπὶ μιᾶς, ὡς πρὸς
  διέκπλουν καὶ περίπλουν παρεσκευασμέναι, διὰ τὸ βέλτιον πλεῖν.

  Contrast this with Thucyd. ii, 84-89 (the speech of Phormion),
  iv, 12; vii, 36.

Kallikratidas himself, with the ten Lacedæmonian ships, was on the
right of his fleet: on the left were the Bœotians and Eubœans,
under the Bœotian admiral Thrasondas. The battle was long and
obstinately contested, first by the two fleets in their original
order; afterwards, when all order was broken, by scattered ships
mingled together and contending in individual combat. At length
the brave Kallikratidas perished. His ship was in the act of
driving against the ship of an enemy, and he himself probably, like
Brasidas[259] at Pylos, had planted himself on the forecastle, to
be the first in boarding the enemy, or in preventing the enemy from
boarding him, when the shock arising from impact threw him off his
footing, so that he fell overboard and was drowned.[260] In spite of
the discouragement springing from his death, the ten Lacedæmonian
triremes displayed a courage worthy of his, and nine of them were
destroyed or disabled. At length the Athenians were victorious
in all parts: the Peloponnesian fleet gave way, and their flight
became general, partly to Chios, partly to Phokæa. More than sixty
of their ships were destroyed over and above the nine Lacedæmonian,
seventy-seven in all; making a total loss of above the half of the
entire fleet. The loss of the Athenians was also severe, amounting to
twenty-five triremes. They returned to Arginusæ after the battle.[261]

  [259] See Thucyd. iv, 11.

  [260] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 33. ~ἐπεὶ~ δὲ Καλλικρατίδας τε
  ἐμβαλούσης τῆς νεὼς ἀποπεσὼν ἐς τὴν θάλασσαν ἠφανίσθη, etc.

  The details given by Diodorus about this battle and the exploits
  of Kallikratidas are at once prolix and unworthy of confidence.
  See an excellent note of Dr. Arnold on Thucyd. iv, 12, respecting
  the description given by Diodorus of the conduct of Brasidas at

  [261] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 34; Diodor. xiii, 99, 100.

The victory of Arginusæ afforded the most striking proof how much
the democratical energy of Athens could yet accomplish, in spite
of so many years of exhausting war. But far better would it have
been, if her energy on this occasion had been less efficacious and
successful. The defeat of the Peloponnesian fleet, and the death
of their admirable leader,—we must take the second as inseparable
from the first, since Kallikratidas was not the man to survive a
defeat,—were signal misfortunes to the whole Grecian world; and in
an especial manner, misfortunes to Athens herself. If Kallikratidas
had gained the victory and survived it, he would certainly have been
the man to close the Peloponnesian war; for Mitylênê must immediately
have surrendered, and Konon, with all the Athenian fleet there
blocked up, must have become his prisoners; which circumstance,
coming at the back of a defeat, would have rendered Athens disposed
to acquiesce in any tolerable terms of peace. Now to have the terms
dictated at a moment when her power was not wholly prostrate, by a
man like Kallikratidas, free from corrupt personal ambition and of
a generous Pan-Hellenic patriotism, would have been the best fate
which at this moment could befall her; while to the Grecian world
generally, it would have been an unspeakable benefit, that, in the
reorganization which it was sure to undergo at the close of the
war, the ascendant individual of the moment should be penetrated
with devotion to the great ideas of Hellenic brotherhood at home,
and Hellenic independence against the foreigner. The near prospect
of such a benefit was opened by that rare chance which threw
Kallikratidas into the command, enabled him not only to publish
his lofty profession of faith but to show that he was prepared
to act upon it, and for a time floated him on towards complete
success. Nor were the envious gods ever more envious, than when they
frustrated, by the disaster of Arginusæ, the consummation which they
had thus seemed to promise. The pertinence of these remarks will
be better understood in the next chapter, when I come to recount
the actual winding-up of the Peloponnesian war under the auspices
of the worthless, but able, Lysander. It was into his hands that
the command was retransferred, a transfer almost from the best of
Greeks to the worst. We shall then see how much the sufferings of
the Grecian world, and of Athens especially, were aggravated by his
individual temper and tendencies, and we shall then feel by contrast,
how much would have been gained if the commander armed with such
great power of dictation had been a Pan-Hellenic patriot. To have
the sentiment of that patriotism enforced, at a moment of break-up
and rearrangement throughout Greece, by the victorious leader of the
day, with single-hearted honesty and resolution, would have been a
stimulus to all the better feelings of the Grecian mind, such as no
other combination of circumstances could have furnished. The defeat
and death of Kallikratidas was thus even more deplorable as a loss to
Athens and Greece, than to Sparta herself. To his lofty character and
patriotism, even in so short a career, we vainly seek a parallel.

The news of the defeat was speedily conveyed to Eteonikus at Mitylênê
by the admiral’s signal-boat. As soon as he heard it, he desired
the crew of the signal-boat to say nothing to any one, but to go
again out of the harbor, and then return with wreaths and shouts of
triumph, crying out that Kallikratidas had gained the victory and had
destroyed or captured all the Athenian ships. All suspicion of the
reality was thus kept from Konon and the besieged, while Eteonikus
himself, affecting to believe the news, offered the sacrifice of
thanksgiving; but gave orders to all the triremes to take their meal
and depart afterwards without losing a moment, directing the masters
of the trading-ships also to put their property silently aboard, and
get off at the same time. And thus, with little or no delay, and
without the least obstruction from Konon, all these ships, triremes
and merchantmen, sailed out of the harbor and were carried off in
safety to Chios, the wind being fair. Eteonikus at the same time
withdrew his land-forces to Methymna, burning his camp. Konon, thus
finding himself unexpectedly at liberty, put to sea with his ships
when the wind had become calmer, and joined the main Athenian fleet,
which he found already on its way from Arginusæ to Mitylênê. The
latter presently came to Mitylênê, and from thence passed over to
make an attack on Chios; which attack proving unsuccessful, they went
forward to their ordinary station at Samos.[262]

  [262] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 38; Diodor. xiii, 100.

The news of the victory at Arginusæ diffused joy and triumph at
Athens. All the slaves who had served in the armament were manumitted
and promoted, according to promise, to the rights of Platæans at
Athens, a qualified species of citizenship. Yet the joy was poisoned
by another incident, which became known at the same time, raising
sentiments of a totally opposite character, and ending in one of the
most gloomy and disgraceful proceedings in all Athenian history.

Not only the bodies of the slain warriors floating about on the
water had not been picked up for burial, but the wrecks had not been
visited to preserve those who were yet living. The first of these two
points, even alone, would have sufficed to excite a painful sentiment
of wounded piety at Athens. But the second point, here an essential
part of the same omission, inflamed that sentiment into shame, grief,
and indignation of the sharpest character.

In the descriptions of this event, Diodorus and many other writers
take notice of the first point, either exclusively,[263] or at least
with slight reference to the second; which latter, nevertheless,
stands as far the gravest in the estimate of every impartial critic,
and was also the most violent in its effect upon Athenian feelings.
Twenty-five Athenian triremes had been ruined, along with most of
their crews; that is, lay heeled over or disabled, with their oars
destroyed, no masts, nor any means of moving; mere hulls, partially
broken by the impact of an enemy’s ship, and gradually filling and
sinking. The original crew of each was two hundred men. The field
of battle, if we may use that word for a space of sea, was strewed
with these wrecks; the men remaining on board being helpless and
unable to get away, for the ancient trireme carried no boat, nor any
aids for escape. And there were, moreover, floating about, men who
had fallen overboard, or were trying to save their lives by means
of accidental spars or empty casks. It was one of the privileges
of a naval victory, that the party who gained it could sail over
the field of battle, and thus assist their own helpless or wounded
comrades aboard the disabled ships,[264] taking captive, or sometimes
killing, the corresponding persons belonging to the enemy. According
even to the speech made in the Athenian public assembly afterwards,
by Euryptolemus, the defender of the accused generals, there were
twelve triremes with their crews on board lying in the condition just
described. This is an admission by the defence, and therefore the
minimum of the reality: there cannot possibly have been fewer, but
there were probably several more, out of the whole twenty-five stated
by Xenophon.[265] No step being taken to preserve them, the surviving
portion, wounded as well as unwounded, of these crews, were left
to be gradually drowned as each disabled ship went down. If any of
them escaped, it was by unusual goodness of swimming, by finding some
fortunate plank or spar, at any rate by the disgrace of throwing
away their arms, and by some method such as no wounded man would be
competent to employ.

  [263] See the narrative of Diodorus (xiii, 100, 101, 102),
  where nothing is mentioned except about picking up the floating
  _dead_ bodies; about the crime, and offence in the eyes of the
  people, of omitting to secure burial to so many _dead_ bodies.
  He does not seem to have fancied that there were any _living
  bodies_, or that it was a question between life and death to
  so many of the crews. Whereas, if we follow the narrative of
  Xenophon (Hellen. i, 7), we shall see that the question is put
  throughout about picking up the _living men_, the _shipwrecked
  men_, or the men belonging to, and still living aboard of, the
  broken ships, ἀνελέσθαι τοὺς ναυαγοὺς, τοὺς δυστυχοῦντας, τοὺς
  καταδύντας (Hellen. ii, 3, 32): compare, especially, ii, 3, 35,
  πλεῖν ἐπὶ τὰς καταδεδυκυίας ναῦς καὶ τοὺς ἐπ᾽ αὐτῶν ἀνθρώπους
  (i, 6, 36). The word ναυαγὸς does not mean a dead body, but a
  _living man_ who has suffered shipwreck: ~Ναυαγὸς~ ἥκω, ξένος,
  ἀσύλητον γένος (says Menelaus, Eurip. Helen. 457); also 407, Καὶ
  νῦν τάλας ~ναυαγὸς~, ἀπολέσας φίλους Ἐξέπεσον ἐς γῆν τήνδε etc.;
  again, 538. It corresponds with the Latin _naufragus_: “mersâ
  rate naufragus assem Dum rogat, et pictâ se tempestate tuetur,”
  (Juvenal, xiv, 301.) Thucydidês does not use the word ναυαγοὺς,
  but speaks of τοὺς νεκροὺς καὶ τὰ ναυαγία, meaning by the latter
  word the damaged ships, with every person and thing on board.

  It is remarkable that Schneider and most other commentators on
  Xenophon, Sturz in his Lexicon Xenophonteum (v. ἀναίρεσις),
  Stallbaum ad Platon. Apol. Socrat. c. 20, p. 32, Sievers,
  Comment. ad Xenoph. Hellen. p. 31, Forchhammer, Die Athener und
  Sokratês, pp. 30-31, Berlin, 1837, and others, all treat this
  event as if it were nothing but a question of picking up dead
  bodies for sepulture. This is a complete misinterpretation of
  Xenophon; not merely because the word ναυαγὸς, which he uses four
  several times, means _a living person_, but because there are two
  other passages, which leave absolutely no doubt about the matter:
  Παρῆλθε δὲ τις ἐς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, φάσκων ἐπὶ τεύχους ἀλφίτων
  σωθῆναι· ~ἐπιστέλλειν δ᾽ αὐτῷ τοὺς ἀπολλυμένους, ἐὰν σωθῂ,
  ἀπαγγεῖλαι τῷ δήμῳ, ὅτι οἱ στρατηγοὶ οὐκ ἀνείλοντο τοὺς ἀρίστους
  ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος γενομένους~. Again (ii, 3, 35), Theramenês,
  when vindicating himself before the oligarchy of Thirty, two
  years afterwards, for his conduct in accusing the generals, says
  that the generals brought their own destruction upon themselves
  by accusing him first, and by saying that the men on the disabled
  ships might have been saved with proper diligence: φάσκοντες
  γὰρ (the generals) ~οἷον τε εἶναι σῶσαι τοὺς ἄνδρας, προέμενοι
  αὐτοὺς ἀπολέσθαι~, ἀποπλέοντες ᾤχοντο. These passages place
  the point beyond dispute, that the generals were accused of
  having neglected to save the lives of men on the point of being
  drowned, and who by their neglect afterwards were drowned, not
  of having neglected to pick up dead bodies for sepulture. The
  misinterpretation of the commentators is here of the gravest
  import. It alters completely the criticisms on the proceedings at

  [264] See Thucyd. i, 50, 51.

  [265] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 34. Ἀπώλοντο δὲ τῶν μὲν Ἀθηναίων νῆες
  πέντε καὶ εἴκοσιν αὐτοῖς ἀνδράσιν, ἐκτὸς ὀλίγων τῶν πρὸς τὴν γῆν

  Schneider in his note, and Mr. Mitford in his History, express
  surprise at the discrepancy between the number _twelve_,
  which appears in the speech of Euryptolemus, and the number
  _twenty-five_, given by Xenophon.

  But, first, we are not to suppose Xenophon to guarantee those
  assertions, as to matters of fact which he gives, as coming from
  Euryptolemus; who as an advocate, speaking in the assembly, might
  take great liberties with the truth.

  Next, Xenophon speaks of the total number of ships ruined or
  disabled in the action: Euryptolemus speaks of the total number
  of wrecks afloat and capable of being visited so as to rescue the
  sufferers, _at the subsequent moment_, when the generals directed
  the squadron under Theramenês to go out for the rescue. It is to
  be remembered that the generals went back to Arginusæ from the
  battle, and there determined, according to their own statement,
  to send out from thence a squadron for visiting the wrecks. A
  certain interval of time must therefore have elapsed between the
  close of the action and the order given to Theramenês. During
  that interval, undoubtedly, _some_ of the disabled ships went
  down, or came to pieces: if we are to believe Euryptolemus,
  thirteen out of the twenty-five must have thus disappeared, so
  that their crews were already drowned, and no more than twelve
  remained floating for Theramenês to visit, even had he been ever
  so active and ever so much favored by weather.

  I distrust the statement of Euryptolemus, and believe that he
  most probably underrated the number. But assuming him to be
  correct, this will only show how much the generals were to
  blame, as we shall hereafter remark, for not having seen to
  the visitation of the wrecks _before_ they went back to their
  moorings at Arginusæ.

The first letter from the generals which communicated the victory,
made known at the same time the loss sustained in obtaining it.
It announced, doubtless, the fact which we read in Xenophon, that
twenty-five Athenian triremes had been lost, with nearly all their
crews; specifying, we may be sure, the name of each trireme which
had so perished; for each trireme in the Athenian navy, like modern
ships, had its own name.[266] It mentioned, at the same time, that
no step whatever had been taken by the victorious survivors to save
their wounded and drowning countrymen on board the sinking ships.
A storm had arisen, such was the reason assigned, so violent as to
render all such intervention totally impracticable.[267]

  [266] Boeckh, in his instructive volume, Urkunden über
  das Attische See-Wesen (vii, p. 84, _seq._), gives, from
  inscriptions, a long list of the names of Athenian triremes,
  between B.C. 356 and 322. All the names are feminine: some
  curious. We have a long list also of the Athenian ship-builders;
  since the name of the builder is commonly stated in the
  inscription along with that of the ship: ~Ἐυχáρις~, Ἀλεξιμάου
  ἔργον; ~Σειρὴν~, Ἀριστοκράτους ἔργον; ~Ἐλευθερία~, Ἀρχενέω ἔργον;
  ~Ἐπίδειξις~, Λυσιστράτου ἔργον; ~Δημοκρατία~, Χαιρεστράτου ἔργον,

  [267] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 4. Ὅτι μὲν γὰρ οὐδενὸς ἄλλου
  καθήπτοντο (οἱ στρατηγοὶ) ἐπιστολὴν ἐπεδείκνυε (Theramenês)
  μαρτύριον· ἣν ἔπεμψαν οἱ στρατηγοὶ εἰς τὴν βουλὴν καὶ εἰς τὸν
  δῆμον, ἄλλο οὐδὲν αἰτιώμενοι ἢ τὸν χειμῶνα.

It is so much the custom, in dealing with Grecian history, to presume
the Athenian people to be a set of children or madmen, whose feelings
it is not worth while to try and account for, that I have been
obliged to state these circumstances somewhat at length, in order to
show that the mixed sentiment excited at Athens by the news of the
battle of Arginusæ was perfectly natural and justifiable. Along with
joy for the victory, there was blended horror and remorse at the fact
that so many of the brave men who had helped to gain it had been left
to perish unheeded. The friends and relatives of the crews of these
lost triremes were of course foremost in the expression of such
indignant emotion. The narrative of Xenophon, meagre and confused
as well as unfair, presents this emotion as if it were something
causeless, factitious, pumped up out of the standing irascibility
of the multitude by the artifices of Theramenês, Kallixenus, and a
few others. But whatever may have been done by these individuals
to aggravate the public excitement, or pervert it to bad purposes,
assuredly the excitement itself was spontaneous, inevitable, and
amply justified. The very thought that so many of the brave partners
in the victory had been left to drown miserably on the sinking hulls,
without any effort on the part of their generals and comrades near
to rescue them, was enough to stir up all the sensibilities, public
as well as private, of the most passive nature, even in citizens who
were not related to the deceased, much more in those who were so. To
expect that the Athenians would be so absorbed in the delight of the
victory, and in gratitude to the generals who had commanded, as to
overlook such a desertion of perishing warriors, and such an omission
of sympathetic duty, is, in my judgment, altogether preposterous; and
would, if it were true, only establish one more vice in the Athenian
people, besides those which they really had, and the many more with
which they have been unjustly branded.

The generals, in their public letter, accounted for their omission by
saying that the violence of the storm was too great to allow them to
move. First, was this true as matter of fact? Next, had there been
time to discharge the duty, or at the least to try and discharge it,
before the storm came on to be so intolerable? These points required
examination. The generals, while honored with a vote of thanks for
the victory, were superseded, and directed to come home; all except
Konon, who having been blocked up at Mitylênê, was not concerned in
the question. Two new colleagues, Philoklês and Adeimantus, were
named to go out and join him.[268] The generals probably received
the notice of their recall at Samos, and came home in consequence;
reaching Athens seemingly about the end of September or beginning
of October, the battle of Arginusæ having been fought in August 406
B.C. Two of the generals, however, Protomachus and Aristogenês,
declined to come: warned of the displeasure of the people, and not
confiding in their own case to meet it, they preferred to pay the
price of voluntary exile. The other six, Periklês, Lysias, Diomedon,
Erasinidês, Aristokratês, and Thrasyllus,—Archestratus, one of the
original ten, having died at Mitylênê,[269]—came without their two
colleagues; an unpleasant augury for the result.

  [268] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 1; Diodor. xiii, 101: ἐπὶ μὲν τῇ νίκῃ
  τοὺς στρατηγοὺς ἐπῄνουν, ἐπὶ δὲ τῷ περιϊδεῖν ἀτάφους τοὺς ὑπὲρ
  τῆς ἡγεμονίας τετελευτηκότας χαλεπῶς διετέθησαν.

  I have before remarked that Diodorus makes the mistake of talking
  about nothing but _dead bodies_, in place of the living ναυαγοὶ
  spoken of by Xenophon.

  [269] Lysias, Orat. xxi (Ἀπολογία Δωροδοκίας), sect. vii.

On their first arrival, Archedêmus, at that time an acceptable
popular orator, and exercising some magistracy or high office which
we cannot distinctly make out,[270] imposed upon Erasinidês a fine to
that limited amount which was within the competence of magistrates
without the sanction of the dikastery, and accused him besides before
the dikastery; partly for general misconduct in his command, partly
on the specific charge of having purloined some public money on its
way from the Hellespont. Erasinidês was found guilty, and condemned
to be imprisoned, either until the money was made good, or perhaps
until farther examination could take place into the other alleged

  [270] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 2. Archedêmus is described as τῆς
  Δεκελείας ἐπιμελούμενος. What is meant by these words, none
  of the commentators can explain in a satisfactory manner. The
  text must be corrupt. Some conjecture like that of Dobree seems
  plausible; some word like τῆς δεκάτης or τῆς δεκατεύσεως, having
  reference to the levying of the tithe in the Hellespont; which
  would furnish reasonable ground for the proceeding of Archedêmus
  against Erasinidês.

  The office held by Archedêmus, whatever it was, must have been
  sufficiently exalted to confer upon him the power of imposing the
  fine of limited amount called ἐπιβολή.

  I hesitate to identify this Archedêmus with the person of that
  name mentioned in the Memorabilia of Xenophon, ii, 9. There seems
  no similarity at all in the points of character noticed.

  The popular orator Archedêmus was derided by Eupolis and
  Aristophanês as having sore eyes, and as having got his
  citizenship without a proper title to it (see Aristophan. Ran.
  419-588, with the Scholia). He is also charged, in a line of an
  oration of Lysias, with having embezzled the public money (Lysias
  cont. Alkibiad. sect. 25, Orat. xiv).

This trial of Erasinidês took place before the generals were
summoned before the senate to give their formal exposition respecting
the recent battle, and the subsequent neglect of the drowning men.
And it might almost seem as if Archedêmus wished to impute to
Erasinidês exclusively, apart from the other generals, the blame of
that neglect; a distinction, as will hereafter appear, not wholly
unfounded. If, however, any such design was entertained, it did not
succeed. When the generals went to explain their case before the
senate, the decision of that body was decidedly unfavorable to all
of them, though we have no particulars of the debate which passed.
On the proposition of the senator Timokratês,[271] a resolution was
passed that the other five generals present should be placed in
custody, as well as Erasinidês, and thus handed over to the public
assembly for consideration of the case.[272]

  [271] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 3. Τιμοκράτους δ᾽ εἰπόντος, ὅτι ~καὶ
  τοὺς ἄλλους χρὴ δεθέντας ἐς τὸν δῆμον παραδοθῆναι~, ἡ βουλὴ ἔδησε.

  [272] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 4.

The public assembly was accordingly held, and the generals were
brought before it. We are here told who it was that appeared as their
principal accuser, along with several others; though unfortunately
we are left to guess what were the topics on which they insisted.
Theramenês was the man who denounced them most vehemently, as guilty
of leaving the crews of the disabled triremes to be drowned, and
of neglecting all efforts to rescue them. He appealed to their own
public letter to the people, officially communicating the victory;
in which letter they made no mention of having appointed any one to
undertake the duty, nor of having any one to blame for not performing
it. The omission, therefore, was wholly their own: they might have
performed it, and ought to be punished for so cruel a breach of duty.

The generals could not have a more formidable enemy than Theramenês.
We have had occasion to follow him, during the revolution of the
Four Hundred, as a long-sighted as well as tortuous politician: he
had since been in high military command, a partaker in victory with
Alkibiadês at Kyzikus and elsewhere; and he had served as trierarch
in the victory of Arginusæ itself. His authority therefore was
naturally high, and told for much, when he denied the justification
which the generals had set up founded on the severity of the storm.
According to him, they might have picked up the drowning men,
and ought to have done so: either they might have done so before
the storm came on, or there never was any storm of sufficient
gravity to prevent them: upon their heads lay the responsibility
of omission.[273] Xenophon, in his very meagre narrative, does not
tell us, in express words, that Theramenês contradicted the generals
as to the storm. But that he did so contradict them, point blank,
is implied distinctly in that which Xenophon alleges him to have
said. It seems also that Thrasybulus—another trierarch at Arginusæ,
and a man not only of equal consequence, but of far more estimable
character—concurred with Theramenês in this same accusation of the
generals,[274] though not standing forward so prominently in the
case. He too therefore must have denied the reality of the storm; or
at least, the fact of its being so instant after the battle, or so
terrible as to forbid all effort for the relief of these drowning

  [273] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 4. Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα, ἐκκλησία ἐγένετο,
  ἐν ᾗ τῶν στρατηγῶν ~κατηγόρουν ἄλλοι τε καὶ Θηραμένης μάλιστα,
  δικαίους εἶναι λέγων λόγον ὑποσχεῖν, διότι οὐκ ἀνείλοντο τοὺς
  ναυαγούς~. Ὅτι μὲν γὰρ ~οὐδενὸς ἄλλου~ καθήπτοντο, ἐπιστολὴν
  ἐπεδείκνυε μαρτύριον· καὶ ἔπεμψαν οἱ στρατηγοὶ ἐς τὴν βουλὴν καὶ
  ἐς τὸν δῆμον, ἄλλο οὐδὲν αἰτιώμενοι ἢ τὸν χειμῶνα.

  [274] That Thrasybulus concurred with Theramenês in accusing the
  generals, is intimated in the reply which Xenophon represents the
  generals to have made (i, 7, 6): Καὶ οὐχ, ~ὅτι γε κατηγοροῦσιν
  ἡμῶν~, ἔφασαν, ψευσόμεθα φάσκοντες ~αὐτοὺς αἰτίους~ εἶναι, ἀλλὰ
  τὸ μέγεθος τοῦ χειμῶνος εἶναι τὸ κωλῦσαν τὴν ἀναίρεσιν.

  The plural κατηγοροῦσιν shows that Thrasybulus as well as
  Theramenês stood forward to accuse the generals, though the
  latter was the most prominent and violent.

The case of the generals, as it stood before the Athenian public, was
completely altered when men like Theramenês and Thrasybulus stood
forward as their accusers. Doubtless what was said by these two had
been said by others before, in the senate and elsewhere; but it was
now publicly advanced by men of influence, as well as perfectly
cognizant of the fact. And we are thus enabled to gather indirectly,
what the narrative of Xenophon, studiously keeping back the case
against the generals, does not directly bring forward, that though
the generals affirmed the storm, there were others present who denied
it, thus putting in controversy the matter of fact which formed
their solitary justification. Moreover, we come—in following the
answer made by the generals in the public assembly to Theramenês and
Thrasybulus—to a new point in the case, which Xenophon lets out as
it were indirectly, in that confused manner which pervades his whole
narrative of the transaction. It is, however, a new point of extreme
moment. The generals replied that if any one was to blame for not
having picked up the drowning men, it was Theramenês and Thrasybulus
themselves; for it was they two to whom, together with various other
trierarchs and with forty-eight triremes, the generals had expressly
confided the performance of this duty; it was they two who were
responsible for its omission, not the generals. Nevertheless they,
the generals, made no charge against Theramenês and Thrasybulus,
well knowing that the storm had rendered the performance of the
duty absolutely impossible, and that it was therefore a complete
justification for one as well as for the other. They, the generals,
at least could do no more than direct competent men like these two
trierarchs to perform the task, and assign to them an adequate
squadron for the purpose; while they themselves with the main fleet
went to attack Eteonikus, and relieve Mitylênê. Diomedon, one of
their number, had wished after the battle to employ all the ships in
the fleet for the preservation of the drowning men, without thinking
of anything else until that was done. Erasinidês, on the contrary,
wished that all the fleet should move across at once against
Mitylênê; Thrasyllus said that they had ships enough to do both at
once. Accordingly, it was agreed that each general should set apart
three ships from his division, to make a squadron of forty-eight
ships under Thrasybulus and Theramenês. In making these statements,
the generals produced pilots and others, men actually in the battle
as witnesses in general confirmation.

Here, then, in this debate before the assembly, were two new and
important points publicly raised. First, Theramenês and Thrasybulus
denounced the generals as guilty of the death of these neglected
men; next, the generals affirmed that they had delegated the duty to
Theramenês and Thrasybulus themselves. If this latter were really
true, how came the generals, in their official despatch first sent
home, to say nothing about it? Euryptolemus, an advocate of the
generals, speaking in a subsequent stage of the proceedings, though
we can hardly doubt that the same topics were also urged in this very
assembly, while blaming the generals for such omission, ascribed it
to an ill-placed good-nature on their part, and reluctance to bring
Theramenês and Thrasybulus under the displeasure of the people. Most
of the generals, he said, were disposed to mention the fact in their
official despatch, but were dissuaded from doing so by Periklês and
Diomedon; an unhappy dissuasion, in his judgment, which Theramenês
and Thrasybulus had ungratefully requited by turning round and
accusing them all.[275]

  [275] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 17. Euryptolemus says: Κατηγορῶ μὲν
  οὖν αὐτῶν ὅτι ~ἔπεισαν τοὺς ξυνάρχοντας~, βουλομένους πέμπειν
  γράμματα τῇ τε βουλῇ καὶ ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐπέταξαν τῷ Θηραμένει καὶ
  Θρασυβούλῳ τετταράκοντα καὶ ἑπτὰ τριήρεσιν ἀνελέσθαι τοὺς
  ναυαγοὺς, οἱ δὲ οὐκ ἀνείλοντο. Εἶτα νῦν τὴν αἰτίαν κοινὴν
  ἔχουσιν, ἐκείνων ἰδίᾳ ἁμαρτόντων· καὶ ἀντὶ τῆς τότε φιλανθρωπίας,
  νῦν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνων τε καὶ τινων ἄλλων ἐπιβουλευόμενοι κινδυνεύουσιν

  We must here construe ἔπεισαν as equivalent to ἀνέπεισαν or
  μετέπεισαν placing a comma after ξυνάρχοντας. This is unusual,
  but not inadmissible. To persuade a man to alter his opinion or
  his conduct, might be expressed by πείθειν, though it would more
  properly be expressed by ἀναπείθειν; see ἐπείσθη, Thucyd. iii, 32.

This remarkable statement of Euryptolemus, as to the intention of
the generals in wording the official despatch, brings us to a closer
consideration of what really passed between them on the one side, and
Theramenês and Thrasybulus on the other; which is difficult to make
out clearly, but which Diodorus represents in a manner completely
different from Xenophon. Diodorus states that the generals were
prevented partly by the storm, partly by the fatigue and reluctance
and alarm of their own seamen, from taking any steps to pick up, what
he calls, the dead bodies for burial; that they suspected Theramenês
and Thrasybulus, who went to Athens before them, of intending to
accuse them before the people, and that for this reason they sent
home intimation to the people that they had given special orders to
these two trierarchs to perform the duty. When these letters were
read in the public assembly, Diodorus says, the Athenians were
excessively indignant against Theramenês; who, however, defended
himself effectively and completely, throwing the blame back upon
the generals. He was thus forced, against his own will, and in
self-defence, to become the accuser of the generals, carrying with
him his numerous friends and partisans at Athens. And thus the
generals, by trying to ruin Theramenês, finally brought condemnation
upon themselves.[276]

  [276] Diodor. xiii, 100, 101.

Such is the narrative of Diodorus, in which it is implied that the
generals never really gave any special orders to Theramenês and
Thrasybulus, but falsely asserted afterwards that they had done
so, in order to discredit the accusation of Theramenês against
themselves. To a certain extent, this coincides with what was
asserted by Theramenês himself, two years afterwards, in his defence
before the Thirty, that he was not the first to accuse the generals;
they were the first to accuse him; affirming that they had ordered
him to undertake the duty, and that there was no sufficient reason to
hinder him from performing it; they were the persons who distinctly
pronounced the performance of the duty to be possible, while he had
said, from the beginning, that the violence of the storm was such
as even to forbid any movement in the water; much more, to prevent
rescue of the drowning men.[277]

  [277] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 35. If Theramenês really did say, in
  the actual discussions at Athens on the conduct of the generals,
  that which he here asserts himself to have said, namely, that
  the violence of the storm rendered it impossible for any one to
  put to sea, his accusation against the generals must have been
  grounded upon alleging that they might have performed the duty
  at an earlier moment; before they came back from the battle;
  before the storm arose; before they gave the order to him. But I
  think it most probable that he misrepresented at the later period
  what he had said at the earlier, and that he did not, during the
  actual discussions, admit the sufficiency of the storm as fact
  and justification.

Taking the accounts of Xenophon and Diodorus together, in combination
with the subsequent accusation and defence of Theramenês at the
time of the Thirty, and blending them so as to reject as little as
possible of either, I think it probable that the order for picking
up the exposed men was really given by the generals to Theramenês,
Thrasybulus, and other trierarchs; but that, first, a fatal interval
was allowed to elapse between the close of the battle and the giving
of such order; next, that the forty-eight triremes talked of for
the service, and proposed to be furnished by drafts of three out
of each general’s division, were probably never assembled; or, if
they assembled, were so little zealous in the business as to satisfy
themselves very easily that the storm was too dangerous to brave,
and that it was now too late. For when we read the version of the
transaction, even as given by Euryptolemus, we see plainly that none
of the generals, except Diomedon, was eager in the performance of the
task. It is a memorable fact, that of all the eight generals, not one
of them undertook the business in person, although its purpose was
to save more than a thousand drowning comrades from death.[278] In a
proceeding where every interval even of five minutes was precious,
they go to work in the most dilatory manner, by determining that each
general shall furnish three ships, and no more, from his division.
Now we know from the statement of Xenophon, that, towards the close
of the battle, the ships on both sides were much dispersed.[279] Such
collective direction therefore would not be quickly realized; nor,
until all the eight fractions were united, together with the Samians
and others, so as to make the force complete, would Theramenês
feel bound to go out upon his preserving visitation. He doubtless
disliked the service, as we see that most of the generals did; while
the crews also, who had just got to land after having gained a
victory, were thinking most about rest and refreshment, and mutual
congratulations.[280] All were glad to find some excuse for staying
in their moorings instead of going out again to buffet what was
doubtless unfavorable weather. Partly from this want of zeal, coming
in addition to the original delay, partly from the bad weather, the
duty remained unexecuted, and the seamen on board the damaged ships
were left to perish unassisted.

  [278] The total number of ships lost with all their crews was
  twenty-five, of which the aggregate crews, speaking in round
  numbers, would be five thousand men. Now we may fairly calculate
  that each one of the disabled ships would have on board half her
  crew, or one hundred men, after the action; not more than half
  would have been slain or drowned in the combat. Even ten disabled
  ships would thus contain one thousand living men, wounded and
  unwounded. It will be seen, therefore, that I have understated
  the number of lives in danger.

  [279] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 33.

  [280] We read in Thucydidês (vii, 73) how impossible it was to
  prevail on the Syracusans to make any military movement after
  their last maritime victory in the Great Harbor, when they were
  full of triumph, felicitation, and enjoyment.

  They had visited the wrecks and picked up both the living men on
  board and the floating bodies _before_ they went ashore. It is
  remarkable that the Athenians on that occasion were so completely
  overpowered by the immensity of their disaster, that they never
  even thought of asking permission, always granted by the victors
  when asked, to pick up their dead or visit their wrecks (viii,

But presently arose the delicate, yet unavoidable question, “How are
we to account for the omission of this sacred duty, in our official
despatch to the Athenian people?” Here the generals differed among
themselves, as Euryptolemus expressly states: Periklês and Diomedon
carried it, against the judgment of their colleagues, that in the
official despatch, which was necessarily such as could be agreed to
by all, nothing should be said about the delegation to Theramenês
and others; the whole omission being referred to the terrors of
the storm. But though such was the tenor of the official report,
there was nothing to hinder the generals from writing home and
communicating individually with their friends in Athens as each might
think fit; and in these unofficial communications, from them as well
as from others who went home from the armament,—communications not
less efficacious than the official despatch, in determining the tone
of public feeling at Athens,—they did not disguise their convictions
that the blame of not performing the duty belonged to Theramenês.
Having thus a man like Theramenês to throw the blame upon, they did
not take pains to keep up the story of the intolerable storm, but
intimated that there had been nothing to hinder _him_ from performing
the duty if he had chosen. It is this which he accuses them of having
advanced against him, so as to place him as the guilty man before
the Athenian public: it was this which made him, in retaliation and
self-defence, violent and unscrupulous in denouncing them as the
persons really blamable.[281] As they had made light of this alleged
storm, in casting the blame upon him, so he again made light of
it, and treated it as an insufficient excuse, in his denunciations
against them; taking care to make good use of their official
despatch, which virtually exonerated him, by its silence, from any
concern in the matter.

  [281] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 32. The light in which I here place
  the conduct of Theramenês is not only coincident with Diodorus,
  but with the representations of Kritias, the violent enemy of
  Theramenês under the government of the Thirty, just before he was
  going to put Theramenês to death: Οὗτος δέ τοι ἐστὶν, ὃς ταχθεὶς
  ἀνελέσθαι ὑπὸ τῶν στρατηγῶν τοὺς καταδύντας Ἀθηναίων ἐν τῇ περὶ
  Λέσβον ναυμαχίᾳ, ~αὐτὸς οὐκ ἀνελόμενος~ ὅμως τῶν στρατηγῶν
  κατηγορῶν ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτοὺς, ~ἵνα αὐτὸς περισωθείη~. (Xen. ut

  Here it stands admitted that the first impression at Athens was,
  as Diodorus states expressly, that Theramenês was ordered to pick
  up the men on the wrecks, might have done it if he had taken
  proper pains, and was to blame for not doing it. Now how did this
  impression arise? Of course, through communications received from
  the armament itself. And when Theramenês, in his reply, says
  that the generals themselves made communications in the same
  tenor, there is no reason why we should not believe him, in spite
  of their joint official despatch, wherein they made no mention
  of him, and in spite of their speech in the public assembly
  afterwards, where the previous official letter fettered them, and
  prevented them from accusing him, forcing them to adhere to the
  statement first made, of the all-sufficiency of the storm.

  The main facts which we here find established, even by the
  enemies of Theramenês, are: 1. That Theramenês accused the
  generals because he found himself in danger of being punished for
  the neglect. 2. That his enemies, who charged him with the breach
  of duty, did not admit the storm as an excuse for _him_.

Such is the way in which I conceive the relations to have stood
between the generals on one side and Theramenês on the other, having
regard to all that is said both in Xenophon and in Diodorus. But the
comparative account of blame and recrimination between these two
parties is not the most important feature of the case. The really
serious inquiry is, as to the intensity or instant occurrence of the
storm. Was it really so instant and so dangerous, that the duty of
visiting the wrecks could not be performed, either before the ships
went back to Arginusæ, or afterwards? If we take the circumstances of
the case, and apply them to the habits and feelings of the English
navy, if we suppose more than one thousand seamen, late comrades in
the victory, distributed among twenty damaged and helpless hulls,
awaiting the moment when these hulls would fill and consign them
all to a watery grave, it must have been a frightful storm indeed,
which would force an English admiral even to go back to his moorings
leaving these men so exposed, or which would deter him, if he were
at his moorings, from sending out the very first and nearest ships
at hand to save them. And granting the danger to be such that he
hesitated to give the order, there would probably be found officers
and men to volunteer, against the most desperate risks, in a cause
so profoundly moving all their best sympathies. Now, unfortunately
for the character of Athenian generals, officers, and men, at
Arginusæ,—for the blame belongs, though in unequal proportions,
to all of them,—there exists here strong presumptive proof that
the storm on this occasion was not such as would have deterred any
Grecian seamen animated by an earnest and courageous sense of duty.
We have only to advert to the conduct and escape of Eteonikus and
the Peloponnesian fleet from Mitylênê to Chios; recollecting that
Mitylênê was separated from the promontory of Kanê on the Asiatic
mainland, and from the isles of Arginusæ, by a channel only one
hundred and twenty stadia broad,[282] about fourteen English miles.
Eteonikus, apprized of the defeat by the Peloponnesian official
signal-boat, desired that boat to go out of the harbor, and then to
sail into it again with deceptive false news, to the effect that the
Peloponnesians had gained a complete victory: he then directed his
seamen, after taking their dinners, to depart immediately, and the
masters of the merchant vessels silently to put their cargoes aboard,
and get to sea also. The whole fleet, triremes and merchant vessels
both, thus went out of the harbor of Mitylênê and made straight for
Chios, whither they arrived in safety; the merchant vessels carrying
their sails, and having what Xenophon calls “a fair wind.”[283] Now
it is scarcely possible that all this could have taken place, had
there blown during this time an intolerable storm between Mitylênê
and Arginusæ. If the weather was such as to allow of the safe transit
of Eteonikus and all his fleet from Mitylênê to Chios, it was not
such as to form a legitimate obstacle capable of deterring any
generous Athenian seaman, still less a responsible officer, from
saving his comrades exposed on the wrecks near Arginusæ. Least of all
was it such as ought to have hindered the attempt to save them, even
if such attempt had proved unsuccessful. And here the gravity of the
sin consists, in having remained inactive while the brave men on the
wrecks were left to be drowned. All this reasoning, too, assumes the
fleet to have been already brought back to its moorings at Arginusæ,
discussing only how much was practicable to effect after that moment,
and leaving untouched the no less important question, why the
drowning men were not picked up before the fleet went back.

  [282] Strabo, xiii, p. 617.

  [283] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 6, 37. Ἐτεόνικος δὲ, ἐπειδὴ ἐκεῖνοι (the
  signal-boat, with news of the pretended victory) κατέπλεον, ἔθυε
  τὰ εὐαγγέλια, καὶ τοῖς στρατιώταις παρήγγειλε δειπνοποιεῖσθαι,
  καὶ τοῖς ἐμπόροις, τὰ χρήματα σιωπῇ ἐνθεμένους ἐς τὰ πλοῖα
  ἀποπλεῖν ἐς Χίον, ἦν δὲ τὸ ~πνεῦμα οὔριον~, καὶ τὰς τριήρεις
  τὴν ταχίστην. Αὐτὸς δὲ τὸ πεζὸν ἀπῆγεν ἐς τὴν Μήθυμνην, τὸ
  στρατόπεδον ἐμπρήσας. Κόνων δὲ καθελκύσας τὰς ναῦς, ἐπεὶ οἵ τε
  πολέμιοι ἀπεδεδράκεσαν, ~καὶ ὁ ἄνεμος εὐδιαίτερος ἦν~, ἀπαντήσας
  τοῖς Ἀθηναίοις ἤδη ἀνηγμένοις ἐκ τῶν Ἀργινουσῶν, ἔφρασε τὰ περὶ
  τοῦ Ἐτεονίκου.

  One sees, by the expression used by Xenophon respecting the
  proceedings of Konon, that he went out of the harbor “as soon as
  the wind became calmer;” that it blew a strong wind, though in
  a direction favorable to carry the fleet of Eteonikus to Chios.
  Konon was under no particular motive to go out immediately:
  he could afford to wait until the wind became quite calm.
  The important fact is, that wind and weather were perfectly
  compatible with, indeed even favorable to, the escape of the
  Peloponnesian fleet from Mitylênê to Chios.

I have thought it right to go over these considerations,
indispensable to the fair appreciation of this memorable event, in
order that the reader may understand the feelings of the assembly and
the public of Athens, when the generals stood before them, rebutting
the accusations of Theramenês and recriminating in their turn against
him. The assembly had before them the grave and deplorable fact, that
several hundreds of brave seamen had been suffered to drown on the
wrecks, without the least effort to rescue them. In explanation of
this fact, they had not only no justification, at once undisputed
and satisfactory, but not even any straightforward, consistent, and
uncontradicted statement of facts. There were discrepancies among the
generals themselves, comparing their official with their unofficial,
as well as with their present statements, and contradictions between
them and Theramenês, each having denied the sufficiency of the
storm as a vindication for the neglect imputed to the other. It
was impossible that the assembly could be satisfied to acquit the
generals on such a presentation of the case; nor could they well know
how to apportion the blame between them and Theramenês. The relatives
of the men left to perish would be doubtless in a state of violent
resentment against one or other of the two, perhaps against both.
Under these circumstances, it could hardly have been the sufficiency
of their defence,—it must have been rather the apparent generosity of
their conduct towards Theramenês, in formally disavowing all charge
of neglect against him, though he had advanced a violent charge
against them,—which produced the result that we read in Xenophon.
The defence of the generals was listened to with favor and seemed
likely to prevail with the majority.[284] Many individuals present
offered themselves as bail for the generals, in order that the latter
might be liberated from custody: but the debate had been so much
prolonged—we see from hence that there must have been a great deal
of speaking—that it was now dark, so that no vote could be taken,
because the show of hands was not distinguishable. It was therefore
resolved to adjourn the whole decision until another assembly;
but that in the mean time the senate should meet, should consider
what would be the proper mode of trying and judging the generals,
and should submit a proposition to that effect to the approaching

  [284] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 5-7. Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα οἱ στρατηγοὶ
  βραχέα ἕκαστος ἀπελογήσατο, οὐ γὰρ προὐτέθη σφίσι λόγος κατὰ τὸν

  Τοιαῦτα λέγοντες ~ἔπειθον~ τὸν δῆμον. The imperfect tense
  ~ἔπειθον~ must be noticed: “they _were persuading_,” or, _seemed
  in the way to persuade_, the people; not ἔπεισαν the aorist,
  which would mean that they actually did satisfy the people.

  The first words here cited from Xenophon, do not imply that the
  generals were checked or abridged in their liberty of speaking
  before the public assembly, but merely that no judicial trial and
  defence were granted to them. In judicial defence, the person
  accused had a measured time for defence—by the clepsydra, or
  water-clock—allotted to him, during which no one could interrupt
  him; a time doubtless much longer than any single speaker would
  be permitted to occupy in the public assembly.

It so chanced that immediately after this first assembly, during
the interval before the meeting of the senate or the holding of the
second assembly, the three days of the solemn annual festival called
Apaturia intervened; early days in the month of October. This was
the characteristic festival of the Ionic race; handed down from a
period anterior to the constitution of Kleisthenês, and to the ten
new tribes each containing so many demes, and bringing together the
citizens in their primitive unions of family, gens, phratry, etc.,
the aggregate of which had originally constituted the four Ionic
tribes, now superannuated. At the Apaturia, the family ceremonies
were gone through; marriages were enrolled, acts of adoption were
promulgated and certified, the names of youthful citizens first
entered on the gentile and phratric roll; sacrifices were jointly
celebrated by these family assemblages to Zeus Phratrius, Athênê,
and other deities, accompanied with much festivity and enjoyment. A
solemnity like this, celebrated every year, naturally provoked in
each of these little unions, questions of affectionate interest: “Who
are those that were with us last year, but are not here now? The
absent, where are they? The deceased, where or how did they die?” Now
the crews of the twenty-five Athenian triremes, lost at the battle
of Arginusæ, at least all those among them who were freemen, had
been members of some one of these family unions, and were missed on
this occasion. The answer to the above inquiry, in their case, would
be one alike melancholy and revolting: “They fought like brave men,
and had their full share in the victory: their trireme was broken,
disabled, and made a wreck, in the battle: aboard this wreck they
were left to perish, while their victorious generals and comrades
made not the smallest effort to preserve them.” To hear this about
fathers, brothers, and friends,—and to hear it in the midst of a
sympathizing family circle,—was well calculated to stir up an agony
of shame, sorrow, and anger, united; an intolerable sentiment, which
required as a satisfaction, and seemed even to impose as a duty, the
punishment of those who had left these brave comrades to perish. Many
of the gentile unions, in spite of the usually festive and cheerful
character of the Apaturia, were so absorbed by this sentiment, that
they clothed themselves in black garments and shaved their heads in
token of mourning, resolving to present themselves in this guise at
the coming assembly, and to appease the manes of their abandoned
kinsmen by every possible effort to procure retribution on the

  [285] Lysias puts into one of his orations a similar expression
  respecting the feeling at Athens towards these generals;
  ἡγούμενοι χρῆναι τῇ τῶν τεθνεώτων ἀρετῇ παρ᾽ ἐκείνων δίκην
  λαβεῖν; Lysias cont. Eratosth. s. 37.

Xenophon in his narrative describes this burst of feeling at the
Apaturia as false and factitious, and the men in mourning as a number
of hired impostors, got up by the artifices of Theramenês,[286] to
destroy the generals. But the case was one in which no artifice was
needed. The universal and self-acting stimulants of intense human
sympathy stand here so prominently marked, that it is not simply
superfluous but even misleading, to look behind for the gold and
machinations of a political instigator. Theramenês might do all that
he could to turn the public displeasure against the generals, and
to prevent it from turning against himself: it is also certain that
he did much to annihilate their defence. He may thus have had some
influence in directing the sentiment against them, but he could have
had little or none in creating it. Nay, it is not too much to say
that no factitious agency of this sort could ever have prevailed on
the Athenian public to desecrate such a festival as the Apaturia, by
all the insignia of mourning. If they did so, it could only have been
through some internal emotion alike spontaneous and violent, such as
the late event was well calculated to arouse.

  [286] Xenoph. Hellen. i. 7, 8. Οἱ οὖν περὶ τὸν Θηραμένην
  παρεσκεύασαν ἀνθρώπους ~μέλανα ἱμάτια ἔχοντας, καὶ ἐν χρῷ
  κεκαρμένους πολλοὺς ἐν ταύτῃ τῇ ἑορτῇ~, ἵνα πρὸς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν
  ἥκοιεν, ~ὡς δὴ ξυγγενεῖς ὄντες τῶν ἀπολωλότων~.

  Here I adopt substantially the statement of Diodorus, who
  gives a juster and more natural description of the proceeding;
  representing it as a spontaneous action of mournful and
  vindictive feeling on the part of the kinsmen of the deceased
  (xiii, 101).

  Other historians of Greece, Dr. Thirlwall not excepted (Hist.
  of Greece, ch. xxx, vol. iv, pp. 117-125), follow Xenophon
  on this point. They treat the intense sentiment against the
  generals at Athens as “popular prejudices;” “excitement produced
  by the artifices of Theramenês,” (Dr. Thirlwall, pp. 117-124.)
  “Theramenês (he says) hired a great number of persons to attend
  the festival, dressed in black, and with their heads shaven, as
  mourning for kinsmen whom they had lost in the sea-fight.”

  Yet Dr. Thirlwall speaks of the narrative of Xenophon in the
  most unfavorable terms; and certainly in terms no worse than it
  deserves (see p. 116, the note): “It looks as if Xenophon had
  _purposely involved the whole affair in obscurity_.” Compare also
  p. 123, where his criticism is equally severe.

  I have little scruple in deserting the narrative of Xenophon, of
  which I think as meanly as Dr. Thirlwall, so far as to supply,
  without contradicting any of his main allegations, an omission
  which I consider capital and preponderant. I accept his account
  of what actually passed at the festival of the Apaturia, but
  I deny his statement of the manœuvres of Theramenês as the
  producing cause.

  Most of the obscurity which surrounds these proceedings at
  Athens arises from the fact, that no notice has been taken of
  the intense and spontaneous emotion which the desertion of the
  men on the wrecks was naturally calculated to produce on the
  public mind. It would, in my judgment, have been unaccountable
  if such an effect had not been produced, quite apart from all
  instigations of Theramenês. The moment that we recognize this
  capital fact, the series of transactions becomes comparatively
  perspicuous and explicable.

  Dr. Thirlwall, as well as Sievers (Commentat. de Xenophontis
  Hellen. pp. 25-30), suppose Theramenês to have acted in concert
  with the oligarchical party, in making use of this incident to
  bring about the ruin of generals odious to them, several of whom
  were connected with Alkibiadês. I confess, that I see nothing to
  countenance this idea: but at all events, the cause here named is
  only secondary, not the grand and dominant fact of the period.

Moreover, what can be more improbable than the allegation that a
great number of men were hired to personate the fathers or brothers
of deceased Athenian citizens, all well known to their really
surviving kinsmen? What more improbable, than the story that numbers
of men would suffer themselves to be hired, not merely to put on
black clothes for the day, which might be taken off in the evening,
but also to shave their heads, thus stamping upon themselves an
ineffaceable evidence of the fraud, until the hair had grown again?
That a cunning man, like Theramenês, should thus distribute his
bribes to a number of persons, all presenting naked heads which
testified his guilt, when there were real kinsmen surviving to prove
the fact of personation? That having done this, he should never be
arraigned or accused for it afterwards,—neither during the prodigious
reaction of feeling which took place after the condemnation of the
generals, which Xenophon himself so strongly attests, and which
fell so heavily upon Kallixenus and others,—nor by his bitter enemy
Kritias, under the government of the Thirty? Not only Theramenês is
never mentioned as having been afterwards accused, but, for aught
that appears, he preserved his political influence and standing,
with little if any abatement. This is one forcible reason among
many others, for disbelieving the bribes and the all-pervading
machinations which Xenophon represents him as having put forth, in
order to procure the condemnation of the generals. His speaking in
the first public assembly, and his numerous partisans voting in the
second, doubtless contributed much to that result, and by his own
desire. But to ascribe to his bribes and intrigues the violent and
overruling emotion of the Athenian public, is, in my judgment, a
supposition alike unnatural and preposterous both with regard to them
and with regard to him.

When the senate met, after the Apaturia, to discharge the duty
confided to it by the last public assembly, of determining in
what manner the generals should be judged, and submitting their
opinion for the consideration of the next assembly, the senator
Kallixenus—at the instigation of Theramenês, if Xenophon is to be
believed—proposed, and the majority of the senate adopted, the
following resolution: “The Athenian people having already heard, in
the previous assembly, both the accusation and the defence of the
generals, shall at once come to a vote on the subject by tribes. For
each tribe two urns shall be placed, and the herald of each tribe
shall proclaim: All citizens who think the generals guilty, for not
having rescued the warriors who had conquered in the battle, shall
drop their pebbles into the foremost urn; all who think otherwise,
into the hindmost. Should the generals be pronounced guilty, by the
result of the voting, they shall be delivered to the Eleven, and
punished with death; their property shall be confiscated, the tenth
part being set apart for the goddess Athênê.”[287] One single vote
was to embrace the case of all the eight generals.[288]

  [287] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 8, 9.

  [288] Xenoph. Hellen. i. 7, 34.

The unparalleled burst of mournful and vindictive feeling at the
festival of the Apaturia, extending by contagion from the relatives
of the deceased to many other citizens,—and the probability thus
created that the coming assembly would sanction the most violent
measures against the generals,—probably emboldened Kallixenus
to propose, and prompted the senate to adopt, this deplorable
resolution. As soon as the assembly met, it was read and moved by
Kallixenus himself, as coming from the senate in discharge of the
commission imposed upon them by the people.

It was heard by a large portion of the assembly with well-merited
indignation. Its enormity consisted in breaking through the
established constitutional maxims and judicial practices of the
Athenian democracy. It deprived the accused generals of all fair
trial; alleging, with a mere faint pretence of truth which was little
better than utter falsehood, that their defence as well as their
accusation had been heard in the preceding assembly. Now there has
been no people, ancient or modern, in whose view the formalities
of judicial trial were habitually more sacred and indispensable
than in that of the Athenians; formalities including ample notice
beforehand to the accused party, with a measured and sufficient space
of time for him to make his defence before the dikasts; while those
dikasts were men who had been sworn beforehand as a body, yet were
selected by lot for each occasion as individuals. From all these
securities the generals were now to be debarred; and submitted,
for their lives, honors, and fortunes, to a simple vote of the
unsworn public assembly, without hearing or defence. Nor was this
all. One single vote was to be taken in condemnation or absolution
of the eight generals collectively. Now there was a rule in Attic
judicial procedure, called the psephism of Kannônus,—originally
adopted, we do not know when, on the proposition of a citizen of that
name, as a psephism or decree for some particular case, but since
generalized into common practice, and grown into great prescriptive
reverence,—which peremptorily forbade any such collective trial or
sentence, and directed that a separate judicial vote should, in all
cases, be taken for or against each accused party. The psephism of
Kannônus, together with all the other respected maxims of Athenian
criminal justice, was here audaciously trampled under foot.[289]

  [289] I cannot concur with the opinion expressed by Dr. Thirlwall
  in Appendix iii. vol. iv, p. 501, of his History, on the subject
  of the psephism of Kannônus. The view which I give in the text
  coincides with that of the expositors generally, from whom Dr.
  Thirlwall dissents.

  The psephism of Kannônus was the only enactment at Athens which
  made it illegal to vote upon the case of two accused persons
  at once. This had now grown into a practice in the judicial
  proceedings at Athens; so that two or more prisoners, who were
  ostensibly tried under some other law, and not under the psephism
  of Kannônus, with its various provisions, would yet have the
  benefit of this its particular provision, namely, severance of

  In the particular case before us, Euryptolemus was thrown back to
  appeal to the psephism itself; which the senate, by a proposition
  unheard of at Athens, proposed to contravene. The proposition of
  the senate offended against the law in several different ways.
  It deprived the generals of trial before a sworn dikastery;
  it also deprived them of the liberty of full defence during a
  measured time: but farther, it prescribed that they should all be
  condemned or absolved by one and the same vote; and, in this last
  respect, it sinned against the psephism of Kannônus. Euryptolemus
  in his speech, endeavoring to persuade an exasperated assembly
  to reject the proposition of the senate and adopt the psephism
  of Kannônus as the basis of the trial, very prudently dwells
  upon the severe provisions of the psephism, and artfully slurs
  over what he principally aims at, the severance of the trials,
  by offering his relative Periklês to be tried _first_. The words
  δίχα ἕκαστον (sect. 37) appear to me to be naturally construed
  with κατὰ τὸ Καννώνου ψήφισμα, as they are by most commentators,
  though Dr. Thirlwall dissents from it. It is certain that this
  was the capital feature of illegality, among many, which the
  proposition of the senate presented, I mean the judging and
  condemning all the generals by _one_ vote. It was upon this
  point that the amendment of Euryptolemus was taken, and that the
  obstinate resistance of Sokratês turned (Plato, Apol. 20; Xenoph.
  Memor. i, 1, 18).

  Farther, Dr. Thirlwall, in assigning what he believes to have
  been the real tenor of the psephism of Kannônus, appears to me to
  have been misled by the Scholiast in his interpretation of the
  much-discussed passage of Aristophanês, Ekklezias. 1089:—

      Τουτὶ τὸ πρᾶγμα κατὰ τὸ Καννώνου σαφῶς
      Ψήφισμα, βινεῖν δεῖ με διαλελημμένον,
      Πῶς οὖν δικωπεῖν ἀμφοτέρας δυνήσομαι;

  Upon which Dr. Thirlwall observes, “that the young man is
  comparing his plight to that of a culprit, who, under the decree
  of Cannônus, was placed at the bar held by a person on each
  side. In this sense the Greek Scholiast, though his words are
  corrupted, clearly understood the passage.”

  I cannot but think that the Scholiast understood the words
  completely wrong. The young man in Aristophanês does not compare
  his situation _with that of the culprit_, but _with that of
  the dikastery which tried culprits_. The psephism of Kannônus
  directed that each defendant should be tried separately:
  accordingly, if it happened that two defendants were presented
  for trial, and were both to be tried without a moment’s delay,
  the dikastery could only effect this object by dividing itself
  into two halves, or portions; which was perfectly practicable,
  whether often practised or not, as it was a numerous body.
  By doing this, κρίνειν διαλελημμένον, it could _try both the
  defendants at once_: but in no other way.

  Now the young man in Aristophanês compares himself to the
  dikastery thus circumstanced; which comparison is signified
  by the pun of βινεῖν διαλελημμένον in place of κρίνειν
  διαλελημμένον. He is assailed by two obtrusive and importunate
  customers, neither of whom will wait until the other has been
  served. Accordingly he says: “Clearly, I ought to be divided
  into two parts, like a dikastery acting under the psephism of
  Kannônus, to deal with this matter: yet how _shall_ I be _able_
  to serve both at once?”

  This I conceive to be the proper explanation of the passage in
  Aristophanês; and it affords a striking confirmation of the truth
  of that which is generally received as purport of the psephism of
  Kannônus. The Scholiast appears to me to have puzzled himself,
  and to have misled every one else.

As soon as the resolution was read in the public assembly,
Euryptolemus, an intimate friend of the generals, denounced it
as grossly illegal and unconstitutional, presenting a notice of
indictment against Kallixenus, under the Graphê Paranomôn, for having
proposed a resolution of that tenor. Several other citizens supported
the notice of indictment, which, according to the received practice
of Athens, would arrest the farther progress of the measure until
the trial of its proposer had been consummated. Nor was there ever
any proposition made at Athens, to which the Graphê Paranomôn more
closely and righteously applied.

But the numerous partisans of Kallixenus—especially the men who
stood by in habits of mourning, with shaven heads, agitated with
sad recollections and thirst of vengeance—were in no temper to
respect this constitutional impediment to the discussion of what
had already been passed by the senate. They loudly clamored, that
“it was intolerable to see a small knot of citizens thus hindering
the assembled people from doing what they chose:” and one of their
number, Lykiskus, even went so far as to threaten that those who
tendered the indictment against Kallixenus should be judged by the
same vote along with the generals, if they would not let the assembly
proceed to consider and determine on the motion just read.[290] The
excited disposition of the large party thus congregated, farther
inflamed by this menace of Lykiskus, was wound up to its highest
pitch by various other speakers; especially by one, who stood
forward and said: “Athenians! I was myself a wrecked man in the
battle; I escaped only by getting upon an empty meal-tub; but my
comrades, perishing on the wrecks near me, implored me, if I should
myself be saved, to make known to the Athenian people, that their
generals had abandoned to death warriors who had bravely conquered
in behalf of their country.” Even in the most tranquil state of
the public mind, such a communication of the last words of these
drowning men, reported by an ear-witness, would have been heard with
emotion; but under the actual predisposing excitement, it went to
the inmost depth of the hearers’ souls, and marked the generals as
doomed men.[291] Doubtless there were other similar statements,
not expressly mentioned to us, bringing to view the same fact in
other ways, and all contributing to aggravate the violence of the
public manifestations; which at length reached such a point, that
Euryptolemus was forced to withdraw his notice of indictment against

  [290] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7. Τὸν δὲ Καλλίξενον προσεκαλέσαντο
  παράνομα φάσκοντες ξυγγεγραφέναι Εὐρυπτόλεμός τε καὶ ἄλλοι
  τινες· τοῦ δὲ δήμου ἔνιοι ταῦτα ἐπῄνουν· τὸ δὲ πλῆθος ἐβόα
  ~δεινὸν εἶναι, εἰ μή τις ἐάσει τὸν δῆμον πράττειν, ὃ ἂν
  βούληται~. Καὶ ἐπὶ τούτοις εἰπόντος Λυκίσκου, καὶ τούτους τῇ
  αὐτῇ ψήφῳ κρίνεσθαι, ᾗπερ καὶ τοὺς στρατηγοὺς, ~ἐὰν μὴ ἀφῶσι τὴν
  ἐκκλησίαν~, ἐπεθορύβησε πάλιν ὁ δῆμος, καὶ ἠναγκάσθησαν ἀφιέναι
  τὰς κλήσεις.

  All this violence is directed to the special object of getting
  the proposition discussed and decided on by the assembly, in
  spite of constitutional obstacles.

  [291] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 11. Παρῆλθε δέ τις ἐς τὴν ἐκκλησίαν
  φάσκων, ἐπὶ τεύχους ἀλφίτων σωθῆναι· ἐπιστέλλειν δ᾽ αὐτῷ τοὺς
  ἀπολλυμένους, ἐὰν σωθῇ, ἀπαγγεῖλαι τῷ δήμῳ, ὅτι οἱ στρατηγοὶ οὐκ
  ἀνείλοντο τοὺς ἀρίστους ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος γενομένους.

  I venture to say that there is nothing in the whole compass
  of ancient oratory, more full of genuine pathos and more
  profoundly impressive, than this simple incident and speech;
  though recounted in the most bald manner, by an unfriendly and
  contemptuous advocate.

  Yet the whole effect of it is lost, because the habit is to
  dismiss everything which goes to inculpate the generals, and to
  justify the vehement emotion of the Athenian public, as if it was
  mere stage-trick and falsehood. Dr. Thirlwall goes even beyond
  Xenophon, when he says (p. 119, vol. iv): “A man was _brought
  forward_, who _pretended_ he had been preserved by clinging to a
  meal-barrel, and that his comrades,” etc. So Mr. Mitford: “A man
  was produced,” etc. (p. 347).

  Now παρῆλθε does not mean, “_he was brought forward_:” it is a
  common word employed to signify one who _comes forward_ to speak
  in the public assembly (see Thucyd. iii, 44, and the participle
  παρελθὼν, in numerous places).

  Next, φάσκων while it sometimes means _pretending_, sometimes
  also means simply _affirming_: Xenophon does not guarantee the
  matter affirmed, but neither does he pronounce it to be false.
  He uses φάσκων in various cases where he himself agrees with the
  fact affirmed (see Hellen. i, 7, 12; Memorab. i, 2, 29; Cyropæd.
  viii, 3, 41; Plato, Ap. Socr. c. 6, p. 21).

  The people of Athens heard and fully believed this deposition;
  nor do I see any reason why an historian of Greece should
  disbelieve it. There is nothing in the assertion of this man
  which is at all improbable; nay, more, it is plain that several
  such incidents must have happened. If we take the smallest
  pains to expand in our imaginations the details connected with
  this painfully interesting crisis at Athens, we shall see that
  numerous stories of the same affecting character must have been
  in circulation; doubtless many false, but many also perfectly

Now, however, a new form of resistance sprung up, still preventing
the proposition from being taken into consideration by the assembly.
Some of the prytanes,—or senators of the presiding tribe, on that
occasion the tribe Antiochis,—the legal presidents of the assembly,
refused to entertain or put the question; which, being illegal and
unconstitutional, not only inspired them with aversion, but also
rendered them personally open to penalties. Kallixenus employed
against them the same menaces which Lykiskus had uttered against
Euryptolemus: he threatened, amidst encouraging clamor from many
persons in the assembly, to include them in the same accusation
with the generals. So intimidated were the prytanes by the incensed
manifestations of the assembly, that all of them, except one,
relinquished their opposition, and agreed to put the question. The
single obstinate prytanis, whose refusal no menace could subdue,
was a man whose name we read with peculiar interest, and in whom an
impregnable adherence to law and duty was only one among many other
titles to reverence. It was the philosopher Sokratês; on this trying
occasion, once throughout a life of seventy years, discharging a
political office, among the fifty senators taken by lot from the
tribe Antiochis. Sokratês could not be induced to withdraw his
protest, so that the question was ultimately put by the remaining
prytanes without his concurrence.[292] It should be observed that his
resistance did not imply any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of
the generals, but applied simply to the illegal and unconstitutional
proposition now submitted for determining their fate; a proposition,
which he must already have opposed once before, in his capacity of
member of the senate.

  [292] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 14, 15; Plato, Apol. Socr. c. 20;
  Xenoph. Memor. i, 1, 18; iv, 4, 2.

  In the passage of the Memorabilia, Xenophon says that Sokratês
  was epistatês, or presiding prytanis, for that actual day. In the
  Hellenica, he only reckons him as one among the prytanes. It can
  hardly be accounted certain that he _was_ epistatês, the rather
  as this same passage of the Memorabilia is inaccurate on another
  point: it names _nine_ generals as having been condemned, instead
  of _eight_.

The constitutional impediments having been thus violently overthrown,
the question was regularly put by the prytanes to the assembly. At
once the clamorous outcry ceased, and those who had raised it resumed
their behavior of Athenian citizens, patient hearers of speeches and
opinions directly opposed to their own. Nothing is more deserving of
notice than this change of demeanor. The champions of the men drowned
on the wrecks had resolved to employ as much force as was required to
eliminate those preliminary constitutional objections, in themselves
indisputable, which precluded the discussion. But so soon as the
discussion was once begun, they were careful not to give to the
resolution the appearance of being carried by force. Euryptolemus,
the personal friend of the generals, was allowed not only to move
an amendment negativing the proposition of Kallixenus, but also to
develop it in a long speech, which Xenophon sets before us.[293]

  [293] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 16. ~Μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα~, that is, after
  the cries and threats above recounted, ἀναβὰς Εὐρυπτόλεμος ἔλεξεν
  ὑπὲρ τῶν στρατηγῶν τάδε, etc.

His speech is one of great skill and judgment in reference to the
case before him and to the temper of the assembly. Beginning with a
gentle censure on his friends, the generals Periklês and Diomedon,
for having prevailed on their colleagues to abstain from mentioning,
in their first official letter, the orders given to Theramenês, he
represented them as now in danger of becoming victims to the base
conspiracy of the latter, and threw himself upon the justice of the
people to grant them a fair trial. He besought the people to take
full time to instruct themselves before they pronounced so solemn
and irrevocable a sentence; to trust only to their own judgment, but
at the same time to take security that judgment should be pronounced
after full information and impartial hearing, and thus to escape that
bitter and unavailing remorse which would otherwise surely follow. He
proposed that the generals should be tried each separately, according
to the psephism of Kannônus, with proper notice, and ample time
allowed for the defence as well as for the accusation; but that, if
found guilty, they should suffer the heaviest and most disgraceful
penalties, his own relation Periklês the first. This was the only
way of striking the guilty, of saving the innocent, and of preserving
Athens from the ingratitude and impiety of condemning to death,
without trial as well as contrary to law, generals who had just
rendered to her so important a service. And what could the people
be afraid of? Did they fear lest the power of trial should slip out
of their hands, that they were so impatient to leap over all the
delays prescribed by the law?[294] To the worst of public traitors,
Aristarchus, they had granted a day with full notice for trial, with
all the legal means for making his defence: and would they now show
such flagrant contrariety of measure to victorious and faithful
officers? “Be not _ye_ (he said) the men to act thus, Athenians. The
laws are your own work; it is through them that ye chiefly hold your
greatness: cherish them, and attempt not any proceeding without their

  [294] It is this accusation of “reckless hurry,” προπέτεια, which
  Pausanias brings against the Athenians in reference to their
  behavior toward the six generals (vi, 7, 2).

  [295] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 30. Μὴ ὑμεῖς γε, ὦ Ἀθηναῖοι, ἀλλ᾽
  ἑαυτῶν ὄντας τοὺς νόμους, δι᾽ οὓς μάλιστα μέγιστοί ἐστε,
  φυλάττοντες, ἄνευ τούτων μηδὲν πράττειν πειρᾶσθε.

Euryptolemus then shortly recapitulated the proceedings after the
battle, with the violence of the storm which had prevented approach
to the wrecks; adding that one of the generals, now in peril, had
himself been on board a broken ship, and had only escaped by a
fortunate accident.[296] Gaining courage from his own harangue,
he concluded by reminding the Athenians of the brilliancy of the
victory, and by telling them that they ought in justice to wreath the
brows of the conquerors, instead of following those wicked advisers
who pressed for their execution.[297]

  [296] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 35. τούτων δὲ μάρτυρες οἱ σωθέντες
  ἀπὸ τοῦ αὐτομάτου, ὧν εἷς τῶν ὑμετέρων στρατηγῶν ἐπὶ καταδύσης
  νεὼς σωθεὶς, etc.

  [297] The speech is contained in Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 16-36.

It is no small proof of the force of established habits of public
discussion, that the men in mourning and with shaven heads, who had
been a few minutes before in a state of furious excitement, should
patiently hear out a speech so effective and so conflicting with
their strongest sentiments as this of Euryptolemus. Perhaps others
may have spoken also; but Xenophon does not mention them. It is
remarkable that he does not name Theramenês as taking any part in
this last debate.

The substantive amendment proposed by Euryptolemus was that the
generals should be tried each separately, according to the psephism
of Kannônus; implying notice to be given to each, of the day of
trial, and full time for each to defend himself. This proposition,
as well as that of the senate moved by Kallixenus, was submitted to
the vote of the assembly; hands being separately held up, first for
one, next for the other. The prytanes pronounced the amendment of
Euryptolemus to be carried. But a citizen named Meneklês impeached
their decision as wrong or invalid, alleging seemingly some
informality or trick in putting the question, or perhaps erroneous
report of the comparative show of hands. We must recollect that in
this case the prytanes were declared partisans. Feeling that they
were doing wrong in suffering so illegal a proposition as that of
Kallixenus to be put at all, and that the adoption of it would
be a great public mischief, they would hardly scruple to try and
defeat it even by some unfair manœuvre. But the exception taken by
Meneklês constrained them to put the question over again, and they
were then obliged to pronounce that the majority was in favor of the
proposition of Kallixenus.[298]

  [298] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 38. Τούτων δὲ διαχειροτονουμένων, τὸ
  μὲν πρῶτον ἔκριναν τὴν Εὐρυπτολέμου· ὑπομοσαμένου δὲ Μενεκλέους,
  καὶ πάλιν διαχειροτονίας γενομένης, ἔκριναν τὴν τῆς βουλῆς.

  I cannot think that the explanations of this passage given either
  by Schömann (De Comitiis Athen. part ii, 1, p. 160, _seq._) or
  by Meier and Schömann (Der Attische Prozess, b. iii, p. 295;
  b. iv, p. 696) are satisfactory. The idea of Schömann, that,
  in consequence of the unconquerable resistance of Sokratês,
  the voting upon this question was postponed until the next
  day, appears to me completely inconsistent with the account
  of Xenophon; and, though countenanced by a passage in the
  Pseudo-Platonic dialogue called Axiochus (c. 12), altogether
  loose and untrustworthy. It is plain to me that the question was
  put without Sokratês, and could be legally put by the remaining
  prytanes, in spite of his resistance. The word ὑπομοσία must
  doubtless bear a meaning somewhat different here to its technical
  sense before the dikastery; and different also, I think, to the
  other sense which Meier and Schömann ascribe to it, of _a formal
  engagement to prefer at some future time an indictment, or_
  ~γραφὴ παρανόμων~. It seems to me here to denote, an _objection
  taken on formal grounds, and sustained by oath either tendered or
  actually taken, to the decision of the prytanes_, or presidents.
  These latter had to declare on which side the show of hands in
  the assembly preponderated: but there surely must have been
  _some_ power of calling in question their decision, if they
  declared falsely, or if they put the question in a treacherous,
  perplexing, or obscure manner. The Athenian assembly did not
  admit of an appeal to a division, like the Spartan assembly or
  like the English House of Commons; though there were many cases
  in which the votes at Athens were taken by pebbles in an urn, and
  not by show of hands.

  Now it seems to me that Meneklês here exercised the privilege
  of calling in question the decision of the prytanes, and
  constraining them to take the vote over again. He may have
  alleged that they did not make it clearly understood which of the
  two propositions was to be put to the vote first; that they put
  the proposition of Kallixenus first, without giving due notice;
  or perhaps that they misreported the numbers. By what followed,
  we see that he had good grounds for his objection.

That proposition was shortly afterwards carried into effect by
disposing the two urns for each tribe, and collecting the votes of
the citizens individually. The condemnatory vote prevailed, and all
the eight generals were thus found guilty; whether by a large or a
small majority we should have been glad to learn, but are not told.
The majority was composed mostly of those who acted under a feeling
of genuine resentment against the generals, but in part also of the
friends and partisans of Theramenês,[299] not inconsiderable in
number. The six generals then at Athens,—Periklês (son of the great
statesman of that name by Aspasia), Diomedon, Erasinidês, Thrasyllus,
Lysias, and Aristokratês,—were then delivered to the Eleven, and
perished by the usual draught of hemlock; their property being
confiscated, as the decree of the senate prescribed.

  [299] Diodor. xiii, 101. In regard to these two component
  elements of the majority, I doubt not that the statement of
  Diodorus is correct. But he represents, quite erroneously, that
  the generals were condemned by the vote of the assembly, and led
  off from the assembly to execution. The assembly only decreed
  that the subsequent urn-voting should take place, the result of
  which was necessarily uncertain beforehand. Accordingly, the
  speech which Diodorus represents Diomedon to have made in the
  assembly, after the vote of the assembly had been declared,
  cannot be true history: “Athenians, I wish that the vote which
  you have just passed may prove beneficial to the city. Do you
  take care to fulfil those vows to Zeus Soter, Apollo, and the
  Venerable Goddesses, under which we gained our victory since
  fortune has prevented us from fulfilling them ourselves.” It is
  impossible that Diomedon can have made a speech of this nature,
  since he was not then a condemned man; and after the condemnatory
  vote, no assembly was held.

Respecting the condemnation of these unfortunate men, pronounced
without any of the recognized tutelary preliminaries for accused
persons, there can be only one opinion. It was an act of violent
injustice and illegality, deeply dishonoring the men who passed it,
and the Athenian character generally. In either case, whether the
generals were guilty or innocent, this censure is deserved, for
judicial precautions are not less essential in dealing with the
guilty than with the innocent. But it is deserved in an aggravated
form, when we consider that the men against whom such injustice was
perpetrated, had just come from achieving a glorious victory. Against
the democratical constitution of Athens, it furnishes no ground for
censure, nor against the habits and feelings which that constitution
tended to implant in the individual citizen. Both the one and the
other strenuously forbade the deed; nor could the Athenians ever
have so dishonored themselves, if they had not, under a momentary
ferocious excitement, risen in insurrection not less against the
forms of their own democracy, than against the most sacred restraints
of their habitual constitutional morality.

If we wanted proof of this, the facts of the immediate future would
abundantly supply it. After a short time had elapsed, every man in
Athens became heartily ashamed of the deed.[300] A vote of the public
assembly was passed,[301] decreeing that those who had misguided the
people on this occasion ought to be brought to judicial trial, that
Kallixenus with four others should be among the number, and that bail
should be taken for their appearance. This was accordingly done,
and the parties were kept under custody of the sureties themselves,
who were responsible for their appearance on the day of trial. But
presently both foreign misfortunes and internal sedition began to
press too heavily on Athens to leave any room for other thoughts, as
we shall see in the next chapter. Kallixenus and his accomplices
found means to escape before the day of trial arrived, and remained
in exile until after the dominion of the Thirty and the restoration
of the democracy. Kallixenus then returned under the general amnesty.
But the general amnesty protected him only against legal pursuit,
not against the hostile memory of the people. “Detested by all, he
died of hunger,” says Xenophon;[302] a memorable proof how much the
condemnation of these six generals shocked the standing democratical
sentiment at Athens.

  [300] I translate here literally the language of Sokratês in his
  Defence (Plato, Apol. c. 20), παρανόμως, ὡς ἐν τῷ ὑστέρῳ χρόνῳ
  ~πᾶσιν ὑμῖν~ ἔδοξε.

  [301] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 39. This vote of the public assembly
  was known at Athens by the name of Probolê. The assembled people
  discharged on this occasion an ante-judicial function, something
  like that of a Grand Jury.

  [302] Xenophon. Hellen. i, 7, 40. μισούμενος ὑπὸ πάντων, λίμῳ

From what cause did this temporary burst of wrong arise, so
foreign to the habitual character of the people? Even under the
strongest political provocation, and towards the most hated
traitors,—as Euryptolemus himself remarked, by citing the case of
Aristarchus,—after the Four Hundred as well as after the Thirty, the
Athenians never committed the like wrong, never deprived an accused
party of the customary judicial securities. How then came they to do
it here, where the generals condemned were not only not traitors, but
had just signalized themselves by a victorious combat? No Theramenês
could have brought about this phenomenon; no deep-laid oligarchical
plot is, in my judgment, to be called in as an explanation.[303]
The true explanation is different, and of serious moment to state.
Political hatred, intense as it might be, was never dissociated,
in the mind of a citizen of Athens, from the democratical forms of
procedure: but the men, who stood out here as actors, had broken
loose from the obligations of citizenship and commonwealth, and
surrendered themselves, heart and soul, to the family sympathies
and antipathies; feelings first kindled, and justly kindled, by the
thought that their friends and relatives had been left to perish
unheeded on the wrecks; next, inflamed into preternatural and
overwhelming violence by the festival of the Apaturia, where all the
religious traditions connected with the ancient family tie, all those
associations which imposed upon the relatives of a murdered man the
duty of pursuing the murderer, were expanded into detail and worked
up by their appropriate renovating solemnity. The garb of mourning
and the shaving of the head—phenomena unknown at Athens, either in
a political assembly or in a religious festival—were symbols of
temporary transformation in the internal man. He could think of
nothing but his drowning relatives, together with the generals as
having abandoned them to death, and his own duty as survivor to
insure to them vengeance and satisfaction for such abandonment. Under
this self-justifying impulse, the shortest and surest proceeding
appeared the best, whatever amount of political wrong it might
entail:[304] nay, in this case it appeared the only proceeding
really sure, since the interposition of the proper judicial delays,
coupled with severance of trial on successive days, according to the
psephism of Kannônus, would probably have saved the lives of five
out of the six generals, if not of all the six. When we reflect that
such absorbing sentiment was common, at one and the same time, to a
large proportion of the Athenians, we shall see the explanation of
that misguided vote, both of the senate and of the ekklesia, which
sent the six generals to an illegal ballot, and of the subsequent
ballot which condemned them. Such is the natural behavior of those
who, having for the moment forgotten their sense of political
commonwealth, become degraded into exclusive family men. The family
affections, productive as they are of so large an amount of gentle
sympathy and mutual happiness in the interior circle, are also liable
to generate disregard, malice, sometimes even ferocious vengeance,
towards others. Powerful towards good generally, they are not less
powerful occasionally towards evil; and require, not less than the
selfish propensities, constant subordinating control from that moral
reason which contemplates for its end the security and happiness of
all. And when a man, either from low civilization, has never known
this large moral reason,—or when from some accidental stimulus,
righteous in the origin, but wrought up into fanaticism by the
conspiring force of religious as well as family sympathies, he comes
to place his pride and virtue in discarding its supremacy,—there
is scarcely any amount of evil or injustice which he may not be
led to perpetrate, by a blind obedience to the narrow instincts of
relationship. “Ces pères de famille sont capables de tout,” was the
satirical remark of Talleyrand upon the gross public jobbing so
largely practised by those who sought place or promotion for their
sons. The same words understood in a far more awful sense, and
generalized for other cases of relationship, sum up the moral of this
melancholy proceeding at Athens.

  [303] This is the supposition of Sievers, Forchhammer, and some
  other learned men; but, in my opinion, it is neither proved nor

  [304] If Thucydidês had lived to continue his history so far down
  as to include this memorable event, he would have found occasion
  to notice τὸ ξυγγενὲς, kinship, as being not less capable of
  ἀπροφάσιστος τόλμα, unscrupulous daring, than τὸ ἑταιρικόν,
  faction. In his reflections on the Korkyræan disturbances (iii,
  82), he is led to dwell chiefly on the latter, the antipathies
  of faction, of narrow political brotherhood or conspiracy for
  the attainment and maintenance of power, as most powerful in
  generating evil deeds: had he described the proceedings after
  the battle of Arginusæ, he would have seen that the sentiment of
  kinship, looked at on its antipathetic or vindictive side, is
  pregnant with the like tendencies.

Lastly, it must never be forgotten that the generals themselves were
also largely responsible in the case. Through the unjustifiable
fury of the movement against them, they perished like innocent
men, without trial, “_inauditi et indefensi, tamquam innocentes,
perierunt_;” but it does not follow that they were really innocent.
I feel persuaded that neither with an English, nor French, nor
American fleet, could such events have taken place as those which
followed the victory of Arginusæ. Neither admiral nor seamen, after
gaining a victory and driving off the enemy, could have endured the
thoughts of going back to their anchorage, leaving their own disabled
wrecks unmanageable on the waters, with many living comrades aboard,
helpless, and depending upon extraneous succor for all their chance
of escape. That the generals at Arginusæ did this, stands confessed
by their own advocate Euryptolemus,[305] though they must have known
well the condition of disabled ships after a naval combat, and some
ships even of the victorious fleet were sure to be disabled. If
these generals, after their victory, instead of sailing back to
land, had employed themselves first of all in visiting the crippled
ships, there would have been ample time to perform this duty, and
to save all the living men aboard, before the storm came on. This
is the natural inference, even upon their own showing; this is what
any English, French, or American naval commander would have thought
it an imperative duty to do. What degree of blame is imputable to
Theramenês, and how far the generals were discharged by shifting the
responsibility to him, is a point which we cannot now determine.
But the storm, which is appealed to as a justification of both,
rests upon evidence too questionable to serve that purpose, where
the neglect of duty was so serious, and cost the lives probably of
more than one thousand brave men. At least, the Athenian people at
home, when they heard the criminations and recriminations between the
generals on one side and Theramenês on the other,—each of them in his
character of accuser implying that the storm was no valid obstacle,
though each, if pushed for a defence, fell back upon it as a resource
in case of need,—the Athenian people could not but look upon the
storm more as an afterthought to excuse previous omissions, than as
a terrible reality nullifying all the ardor and resolution of men
bent on doing their duty. It was in this way that the intervention of
Theramenês chiefly contributed to the destruction of the generals,
not by those manœuvres ascribed to him in Xenophon: he destroyed
all belief in the storm as a real and all-covering hindrance. The
general impression of the public at Athens—in my opinion, a natural
and unavoidable impression—was, that there had been most culpable
negligence in regard to the wrecks, through which negligence alone
the seamen on board perished. This negligence dishonors, more or
less, the armament at Arginusæ as well as the generals: but the
generals were the persons responsible to the public at home, who
felt for the fate of the deserted seamen more justly as well as more
generously than their comrades in the fleet.

  [305] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 7, 31. ~Ἐπειδὴ γὰρ κρατήσαντες τῇ
  ναυμαχίᾳ πρὸς τὴν γῆν κατέπλευσαν~, Διομέδων μὲν ἐκέλευεν,
  ἀναχθέντας ἐπὶ κέρως ἅπαντας ἀναιρεῖσθαι τὰ ναυάγια καὶ τοὺς
  ναυαγοὺς, Ἐρασινίδης δὲ, ἐπὶ τοὺς ἐς Μυτιλήνην πολεμίους τὴν
  ταχίστην πλεῖν ἅπαντας· Θράσυλλος δ᾽ ἀμφότερα ἔφη γενέσθαι, ἂν
  τὰς μὲν αὐτοῦ καταλίπωσι, ταῖς δὲ ἐπὶ τοὺς πολεμίους πλέωσι· καὶ
  δοξάντων τούτων, etc.

  I remarked, a few pages before, that the case of Erasinidês
  stood in some measure apart from that of the other generals. He
  proposed, according to this speech of Euryptolemus, that all the
  fleet should at once go again to Mitylênê; which would of course
  have left the men on the wrecks to their fate.

In spite, therefore, of the guilty proceeding to which a furious
exaggeration of this sentiment drove the Athenians,—in spite of
the sympathy which this has naturally and justly procured for the
condemned generals,—the verdict of impartial history will pronounce
that the sentiment itself was well founded, and that the generals
deserved censure and disgrace. The Athenian people might with justice
proclaim to them: “Whatever be the grandeur of your victory, we can
neither rejoice in it ourselves, nor allow you to reap honor from
it, if we find that you have left many hundreds of those who helped
in gaining it to be drowned on board the wrecks without making
any effort to save them, when such effort might well have proved



The victory of Arginusæ gave for the time decisive mastery of the
Asiatic seas to the Athenian fleet; and is even said to have so
discouraged the Lacedæmonians, as to induce them to send propositions
of peace to Athens. But this statement[306] is open to much doubt,
and I think it most probable that no such propositions were made.
Great as the victory was, we look in vain for any positive results
accruing to Athens. After an unsuccessful attempt on Chios, the
victorious fleet went to Samos, where it seems to have remained until
the following year, without any farther movements than were necessary
for the purpose of procuring money.

  [306] The statement rests on the authority of Aristotle, as
  referred to by the Scholiast on the last verse of the Ranæ of
  Aristophanês. And this, so far as I know, is the only authority:
  for when Mr. Fynes Clinton (Fast. Hellen. ad ann. 406) says that
  Æschinês (De Fals. Legat. p. 38, c. 24) mentions the overtures
  of peace, I think that no one who looks at that passage will be
  inclined to found any inference upon it.

  Against it, we may observe:—

  1. Xenophon does not mention it. This is something, though far
  from being conclusive when standing alone.

  2. Diodorus does not mention it.

  3. The terms alleged to have been proposed by the Lacedæmonians,
  are exactly the same as those said to have been proposed by them
  after the death of Mindarus at Kyzikus, namely:—

  To evacuate Dekeleia, and each party to stand as they were.
  Not only the terms are the same, but also the person who stood
  prominent in opposition is in both cases the same, _Kleophon_.
  The overtures after Arginusæ are in fact a second edition of
  those after the battle of Kyzikus.

  Now, the supposition that on two several occasions the
  Lacedæmonians made propositions of peace, and that both are
  left unnoticed by Xenophon, appears to me highly improbable. In
  reference to the propositions after the battle of Kyzikus, the
  testimony of Diodorus outweighed, in my judgment, the silence of
  Xenophon; but here Diodorus is silent also.

  In addition to this, the exact sameness of the two alleged events
  makes me think that the second is only a duplication of the
  first, and that the Scholiast, in citing from Aristotle, mistook
  the battle of Arginusæ for that of Kyzikus, which latter was by
  far the more decisive of the two.

Meanwhile Eteonikus, who collected the remains of the defeated
Peloponnesian fleet at Chios, being left unsupplied with money by
Cyrus, found himself much straitened, and was compelled to leave
the seamen unpaid. During the later summer and autumn, these men
maintained themselves by laboring for hire on the Chian lands; but
when winter came, this resource ceased, so that they found themselves
unable to procure even clothes or shoes. In such forlorn condition,
many of them entered into a conspiracy to assail and plunder the town
of Chios; a day was named for the enterprise, and it was agreed that
the conspirators should know each other by wearing a straw, or reed.
Informed of the design, Eteonikus was at the same time intimidated by
the number of these straw-bearers; he saw that if he dealt with the
conspirators openly and ostensibly, they might perhaps rush to arms
and succeed in plundering the town; at any rate, a conflict would
arise in which many of the allies would be slain, which would produce
the worst effect upon all future operations. Accordingly, resorting
to stratagem, he took with him a guard of fifteen men armed with
daggers, and marched through the town of Chios. Meeting presently one
of these straw-bearers,—a man with a complaint in his eyes, coming
out of a surgeon’s house,—he directed his guards to put the man to
death on the spot. A crowd gathered round, with astonishment as well
as sympathy, and inquired on what ground the man was put to death;
upon which Eteonikus ordered his guards to reply, that it was because
he wore a straw. The news became diffused, and immediately the
remaining persons who wore straws became so alarmed as to throw their
straws away.[307]

  [307] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 1-4.

Eteonikus availed himself of the alarm to demand money from the
Chians, as a condition of carrying away this starving and perilous
armament. Having obtained from them a month’s pay, he immediately put
the troops on shipboard, taking pains to encourage them, and make
them fancy that he was unacquainted with the recent conspiracy.

The Chians and the other allies of Sparta presently assembled at
Ephesus to consult, and resolved, in conjunction with Cyrus, to
despatch envoys to the ephors, requesting that Lysander might be
sent out a second time as admiral. It was not the habit of Sparta
ever to send out the same man as admiral a second time, after his
year of service. Nevertheless, the ephors complied with the request
substantially, sending out Arakus as admiral, but Lysander along with
him, under the title of secretary, invested with all the real powers
of command.

Lysander, having reached Ephesus about the beginning of B.C. 405,
immediately applied himself with vigor to renovate both Lacedæmonian
power and his own influence. The partisans in the various allied
cities, whose favor he had assiduously cultivated during his last
year’s command, the clubs and factious combinations, which he had
organized and stimulated into a partnership of mutual ambition,
all hailed his return with exultation. Discountenanced and kept
down by the generous patriotism of his predecessor Kallikratidas,
they now sprang into renewed activity, and became zealous in aiding
Lysander to refit and augment his fleet. Nor was Cyrus less hearty
in his preference than before. On arriving at Ephesus, Lysander went
speedily to visit him at Sardis, and solicited a renewal of the
pecuniary aid. The young prince said in reply that all the funds
which he had received from Susa had already been expended, with much
more besides; in testimony of which he exhibited a specification of
the sums furnished to each Peloponnesian officer. Nevertheless,
such was his partiality for Lysander, that he complied even with
the additional demand now made, so as to send him away satisfied.
The latter was thus enabled to return to Ephesus in a state for
restoring the effective condition of his fleet. He made good at once
all the arrears of pay due to the seamen, constituted new trierarchs,
summoned Eteonikus with the fleet from Chios, together with all the
other scattered squadrons, and directed that fresh triremes should be
immediately put on the stocks at Antandrus.[308]

  [308] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 10-12.

In none of the Asiatic towns was the effect of Lysander’s second
advent felt more violently than at Milêtus. He had there a powerful
faction or association of friends, who had done their best to
hamper and annoy Kallikratidas on his first arrival, but had been
put to silence, and even forced to make a show of zeal, by the
straightforward resolution of that noble-minded admiral. Eager
to reimburse themselves for this humiliation, they now formed a
conspiracy, with the privity and concurrence of Lysander, to seize
the government for themselves. They determined, if Plutarch and
Diodorus are to be credited, to put down the existing democracy,
and establish an oligarchy in its place. But we cannot believe that
there could have existed a democracy at Milêtus, which had now been
for five years in dependence upon Sparta and the Persians jointly.
We must rather understand the movement as a conflict between two
oligarchical parties; the friends of Lysander being more thoroughly
self-seeking and anti-popular than their opponents, and perhaps
even crying them down, by comparison, as a democracy. Lysander lent
himself to the scheme, fanned the ambition of the conspirators,
who were at one time disposed to a compromise, and even betrayed
the government into a false security, by promises of support which
he never intended to fulfil. At the festival of the Dionysia, the
conspirators, rising in arms, seized forty of their chief opponents
in their houses, and three hundred more in the market-place; while
the government—confiding in the promises of Lysander, who affected to
reprove, but secretly continued instigating the insurgents—made but
a faint resistance. The three hundred and forty leaders thus seized,
probably men who had gone heartily along with Kallikratidas, were
all put to death; and a still larger number of citizens, not less
than one thousand, fled into exile. Milêtus thus passed completely
into the hands of the friends and partisans of Lysander.[309]

  [309] Diodor. xiii, 104; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 8.

It would appear that factious movements in other towns, less
revolting in respect of bloodshed and perfidy, yet still of similar
character to that of Milêtus, marked the reappearance of Lysander
in Asia; placing the towns more and more in the hands of his
partisans. While thus acquiring greater ascendency among the allies,
Lysander received a summons from Cyrus to visit him at Sardis. The
young prince had just been sent for to come and visit his father
Darius, who was both old and dangerously ill, in Media. About to
depart for this purpose, he carried his confidence in Lysander so
far as to delegate to him the management of his satrapy and his
entire revenues. Besides his admiration for the superior energy and
capacity of the Greek character, with which he had only recently
contracted acquaintance; and besides his esteem for the personal
disinterestedness of Lysander, attested as it had been by the conduct
of the latter in the first visit and banquet at Sardis; Cyrus was
probably induced to this step by the fear of raising up to himself a
rival, if he trusted the like power to any Persian grandee. At the
same time that he handed over all his tributes and his reserved funds
to Lysander, he assured him of his steady friendship both towards
himself and towards the Lacedæmonians; and concluded by entreating
that he would by no means engage in any general action with the
Athenians, unless at great advantage in point of numbers. The defeat
of Arginusæ having strengthened his preference for this dilatory
policy, he promised that not only the Persian treasures, but also the
Phenician fleet, should be brought into active employment for the
purpose of crushing Athens.[310]

  [310] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 14; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 9.

Thus armed with an unprecedented command of Persian treasure, and
seconded by ascendent factions in all the allied cities, Lysander was
more powerful than any Lacedæmonian commander had ever been since the
commencement of the war. Having his fleet well paid, he could keep
it united, and direct it whither he chose, without the necessity of
dispersing it in roving squadrons for the purpose of levying money.
It is probably from a corresponding necessity that we are to explain
the inaction of the Athenian fleet at Samos; for we hear of no
serious operations undertaken by it, during the whole year following
the victory of Arginusæ, although under the command of an able and
energetic man, Konon, together with Philoklês and Adeimantus; to whom
were added, during the spring of 405 B.C., three other generals,
Tydeus, Menander, and Kephisodotus. It appears that Theramenês
also was put up and elected one of the generals, but rejected when
submitted to the confirmatory examination called the dokimasy.[311]
The fleet comprised one hundred and eighty triremes, rather a greater
number than that of Lysander; to whom they in vain offered battle
near his station at Ephesus. Finding him not disposed to a general
action, they seem to have dispersed to plunder Chios, and various
portions of the Asiatic coast; while Lysander, keeping his fleet
together, first sailed southward from Ephesus, stormed and plundered
a semi-Hellenic town in the Kerameikan gulf, named Kedreiæ, which was
in alliance with Athens, and thence proceeded to Rhodes.[312] He was
even bold enough to make an excursion across the Ægean to the coast
of Ægina and Attica, where he had an interview with Agis, who came
from Dekeleia to the sea-coast.[313] The Athenians were prepared to
follow him thither when they learned that he had recrossed the Ægean,
and he soon afterwards appeared with all his fleet at the Hellespont,
which important pass they had left unguarded. Lysander went straight
to Abydos, still the great Peloponnesian station in the strait,
occupied by Thorax as harmost with a land force; and immediately
proceeded to attack, both by sea and land, the neighboring town of
Lampsakus, which was taken by storm. It was wealthy in every way, and
abundantly stocked with bread and wine, so that the soldiers obtained
a large booty; but Lysander left the free inhabitants untouched.[314]

  [311] Lysias, Orat. xiii, cont. Agorat. sect. 13.

  [312] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 15, 16.

  [313] This flying visit of Lysander across the Ægean to the
  coasts of Attica and Ægina is not noticed by Xenophon, but it
  appears both in Diodorus and in Plutarch (Diodor. xiii, 104:
  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 9).

  [314] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 18, 19; Diodor. xiii, 104; Plutarch,
  Lysand. c. 9.

The Athenian fleet seems to have been employed in plundering Chios,
when it received news that the Lacedæmonian commander was at the
Hellespont engaged in the siege of Lampsakus. Either from the want
of money, or from other causes which we do not understand, Konon and
his colleagues were partly inactive, partly behindhand with Lysander,
throughout all this summer. They now followed him to the Hellespont,
sailing out on the sea-side of Chios and Lesbos, away from the
Asiatic coast, which was all unfriendly to them. They reached Elæus,
at the southern extremity of the Chersonese, with their powerful
fleet of one hundred and eighty triremes, just in time to hear, while
at their morning meal, that Lysander was already master of Lampsakus;
upon which they immediately proceeded up the strait to Sestos, and
from thence, after stopping only to collect a few provisions, still
farther up, to a place called Ægospotami.[315]

  [315] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 20, 21.

Ægospotami, or Goat’s River—a name of fatal sound to all subsequent
Athenians—was a place which had nothing to recommend it except
that it was directly opposite to Lampsakus, separated by a breadth
of strait about one mile and three-quarters. But it was an open
beach, without harbor, without good anchorage, without either
houses or inhabitants or supplies; so that everything necessary for
this large army had to be fetched from Sestos, about one mile and
three-quarters distant even by land, and yet more distant by sea,
since it was necessary to round a headland. Such a station was highly
inconvenient and dangerous to an ancient naval armament, without any
organized commissariat; since the seamen, being compelled to go to
a distance from their ships in order to get their meals, were not
easily reassembled. Yet this was the station chosen by the Athenian
generals, with the full design of compelling Lysander to fight a
battle. But the Lacedæmonian admiral, who was at Lampsakus, in a good
harbor, with a well-furnished town in his rear, and a land-force to
coöperate, had no intention of accepting the challenge of his enemies
at the moment which suited their convenience. When the Athenians
sailed across the strait the next morning, they found all his ships
fully manned,—the men having already taken their morning meal,—and
ranged in perfect order of battle, with the land-force disposed
ashore to lend assistance; but with strict orders to await attack and
not to move forward. Not daring to attack him in such a position, yet
unable to draw him out by manœuvring all the day, the Athenians were
at length obliged to go back to Ægospotami. But Lysander directed a
few swift-sailing vessels to follow them, nor would he suffer his
own men to disembark until he thus ascertained that their seamen had
actually dispersed ashore.[316]

  [316] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 22-24; Plutarch. Lysand. c. 10;
  Diodor. xiii, 105.

For four successive days this same scene was repeated; the Athenians
becoming each day more confident in their own superior strength,
and more full of contempt for the apparent cowardice of the enemy.
It was in vain that Alkibiadês—who from his own private forts in
the Chersonese witnessed what was passing—rode up to the station
and remonstrated with the generals on the exposed condition of the
fleet on this open shore; urgently advising them to move round to
Sestos, where they would be both close to their own supplies and
safe from attack, as Lysander was at Lampsakus, and from whence
they could go forth to fight whenever they chose. But the Athenian
generals, especially Tydeus and Menander, disregarded his advice, and
even dismissed him with the insulting taunt, that they were now in
command, not he.[317] Continuing thus in their exposed position, the
Athenian seamen on each successive day became more and more careless
of their enemy, and rash in dispersing the moment they returned back
to their own shore. At length, on the fifth day, Lysander ordered
the scout-ships, which he sent forth to watch the Athenians on their
return, to hoist a bright shield as a signal, as soon as they should
see the ships at their anchorage and the crews ashore in quest
of their meal. The moment he beheld this welcome signal, he gave
orders to his entire fleet to row across as swiftly as possible from
Lampsakus to Ægospotami, while Thorax marched along the strand with
the land-force in case of need. Nothing could be more complete or
decisive than the surprise of the Athenian fleet. All the triremes
were caught at their moorings ashore, some entirely deserted, others
with one or at most two of the three tiers of rowers which formed
their complement. Out of all the total of one hundred and eighty,
only twelve were found in tolerable order and preparation;[318] the
trireme of Konon himself, together with a squadron of seven under his
immediate orders, and the consecrated ship called paralus, always
manned by the _élite_ of the Athenian seamen, being among them. It
was in vain that Konon, on seeing the fleet of Lysander approaching,
employed his utmost efforts to get his fleet manned and in some
condition for resistance. The attempt was desperate, and the utmost
which he could do was to escape himself with the small squadron of
twelve, including the paralus. All the remaining triremes, nearly
one hundred and seventy in number, were captured by Lysander on
the shore, defenceless, and seemingly without the least attempt on
the part of any one to resist. He landed, and made prisoners most
of the crews ashore, though some of them fled and found shelter in
the neighboring forts. This prodigious and unparalleled victory was
obtained, not merely without the loss of a single ship, but almost
without that of a single man.[319]

  [317] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 25; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 10;
  Plutarch, Alkib. c. 36.

  Diodorus (xiii, 105) and Cornelius Nepos (Alkib. c. 8) represent
  Alkibiadês as wishing to be readmitted to a share in the command
  of the fleet, and as promising, if that were granted, that he
  would assemble a body of Thracians, attack Lysander by land, and
  compel him to fight a battle or retire. Plutarch (Alkib. c. 37)
  alludes also to promises of this sort held out by Alkibiadês.

  Yet it is not likely that Alkibiadês should have talked of
  anything so obviously impossible. How could he bring a Thracian
  land-force to attack Lysander, who was on the opposite side of
  the Hellespont? How could he carry a land-force across in the
  face of Lysander’s fleet?

  The representation of Xenophon (followed in my text) is clear and

  [318] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 29; Lysias, Orat. xxi, (Ἀπολ.
  Δωροδ.) s. 12.

  [319] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 28; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 11;
  Plutarch, Alkibiad. c. 36; Cornel. Nepos, Lysand. c. 8; Polyæn.
  i, 45, 2.

  Diodorus (xiii, 106) gives a different representation of this
  important military operation; far less clear and trustworthy than
  that of Xenophon.

Of the number of prisoners taken by Lysander,—which must have been
very great, since the total crews of one hundred and eighty triremes
were not less than thirty-six thousand men,[320]—we hear only of
three thousand or four thousand native Athenians, though this number
cannot represent all the native Athenians in the fleet. The Athenian
generals Philoklês and Adeimantus were certainly taken, and seemingly
all except Konon. Some of the defeated armament took refuge in
Sestos, which, however, surrendered with little resistance to the
victor. He admitted them to capitulation, on condition of their going
back immediately to Athens, and nowhere else: for he was desirous
to multiply as much as possible the numbers assembled in that city,
knowing well that the city would be the sooner starved out. Konon
too was well aware that, to go back to Athens, after the ruin of the
entire fleet, was to become one of the certain prisoners in a doomed
city, and to meet, besides, the indignation of his fellow-citizens,
so well deserved by the generals collectively. Accordingly, he
resolved to take shelter with Evagoras, prince of Salamis in the
island of Cyprus, sending the paralus, with some others of the twelve
fugitive triremes, to make known the fatal news at Athens. But before
he went thither, he crossed the strait—with singular daring, under
the circumstances—to Cape Abarnis in the territory of Lampsakus,
where the great sails of Lysander’s triremes, always taken out when a
trireme was made ready for fighting, lay seemingly unguarded. These
sails he took away, so as to lessen the enemy’s powers of pursuit,
and then made the best of his way to Cyprus.[321]

  [320] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 28. τὰς δ᾽ ἄλλας πάσας (ναῦς)
  Λύσανδρος ἔλαβε πρὸς τῇ γῇ· τοὺς δὲ πλείστους ἄνδρας ἐν τῇ γῇ
  ~ξυνέλεξεν~· οἱ δὲ καὶ ἔφυγον ἐς τὰ τειχύδρια.

  [321] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 29; Diodor. xiii, 106: the latter is
  discordant, however, on many points.

On the very day of the victory, Lysander sent off the Milesian
privateer Theopompus to proclaim it at Sparta, who, by a wonderful
speed of rowing, arrived there and made it known on the third
day after starting. The captured ships were towed off and the
prisoners carried across to Lampsakus, where a general assembly of
the victorious allies was convened, to determine in what manner
the prisoners should be treated. In this assembly, the most
bitter inculpations were put forth against the Athenians, as to
the manner in which they had recently dealt with their captives.
The Athenian general Philoklês, having captured a Corinthian and
Andrian trireme, had put the crews to death by hurling them headlong
from a precipice. It was not difficult, in Grecian warfare, for
each of the belligerents to cite precedents of cruelty against
the other; but in this debate, some speakers affirmed that the
Athenians had deliberated what they should do with their prisoners,
in case they had been victorious at Ægospotami; and that they had
determined—chiefly on the motion of Philoklês, but in spite of the
opposition of Adeimantus—that they would cut off the right hands of
all who were captured. Whatever opinion Philoklês may have expressed
personally, it is highly improbable that any such determination was
ever taken by the Athenians.[322] In this assembly of the allies,
however, besides all that could be said against Athens with truth,
doubtless the most extravagant falsehoods found ready credence. All
the Athenian prisoners captured at Ægospotami, three thousand or
four thousand in number, were massacred forthwith, Philoklês himself
at their head.[323] The latter, taunted by Lysander with his cruel
execution of the Corinthian and Andrian crews, disdained to return
any answer, but placed himself in conspicuous vestments at the head
of the prisoners led out to execution. If we may believe Pausanias,
even the bodies of the prisoners were left unburied.

  [322] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 31. This story is given with
  variations in Plutarch, Lysand. c. 9. and by Cicero de Offic.
  iii, 11. It is there the right thumb which is to be cut off, and
  the determination is alleged to have been taken in reference to
  the Æginetans.

  [323] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1, 32; Pausan. ix, 32, 6; Plutarch,
  Lysand. c. 13.

Never was a victory more complete in itself, more overwhelming in
its consequences, or more thoroughly disgraceful to the defeated
generals, taken collectively, than that of Ægospotami. Whether it
was in reality very glorious to Lysander, is doubtful; for it was
the general belief afterwards, not merely at Athens, but seemingly
in other parts of Greece also, that the Athenian fleet was sold to
perdition by the treason of some of its own commanders. Of this
suspicion both Konon and Philoklês stand clear. Adeimantus was named
as the chief traitor, and Tydeus along with him.[324] Konon even
preferred an accusation against Adeimantus to this effect,[325]
probably by letter written home from Cyprus, and perhaps by some
formal declaration made several years afterwards, when he returned
to Athens as victor from the battle of Knidus. The truth of the
charge cannot be positively demonstrated, but all the circumstances
of the battle tend to render it probable, as well as the fact that
Konon alone among all the generals was found in a decent state
of preparation. Indeed we may add, that the utter impotence and
inertness of the numerous Athenian fleet during the whole summer
of 405 B.C. conspire to suggest a similar explanation. Nor could
Lysander, master as he was of all the treasures of Cyrus, apply any
portion of them more efficaciously than in corrupting the majority
of the six Athenian generals, so as to nullify all the energy and
ability of Konon.

  [324] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 1. 32; Lysias cont. Alkib. A. s.
  38; Pausan. iv, 17, 2; x, 9, 5; Isokratês ad Philipp. Or. v,
  sect. 70. Lysias, in his Λόγος Ἐπιτάφιος (s. 58), speaks of the
  treason, yet not as a matter of certainty.

  Cornelius Nepos (Lysand. c. 1; Alcib. c. 8) notices only the
  disorder of the Athenian armament, not the corruption of the
  generals, as having caused the defeat. Nor does Diodorus notice
  the corruption (xiii, 105).

  Both these authors seem to have copied from Theopompus, in
  describing the battle of Ægospotami. His description differs on
  many points from that of Xenophon (Theopomp. Fragm. 8, ed. Didot).

  [325] Demosthen. de Fals. Legat. p. 401, c. 57.

The great defeat of Ægospotami took place about September 405 B.C.
It was made known at Peiræus by the paralus, which arrived there
during the night, coming straight from the Hellespont. Such a
moment of distress and agony had never been experienced at Athens.
The terrible disaster in Sicily had become known to the people by
degrees, without any authorized reporter; but here was the official
messenger, fresh from the scene, leaving no room to question the
magnitude of the disaster or the irreparable ruin impending over
the city. The wailing and cries of woe, first beginning in Peiræus,
were transmitted by the guards stationed on the Long Walls up to the
city. “On that night (says Xenophon) not a man slept; not merely from
sorrow for the past calamity, but from terror for the future fate
with which they themselves were now menaced, a retribution for what
they had themselves inflicted on the Æginetans, Melians, Skionæans,
and others.” After this night of misery, they met in public assembly
on the following day, resolving to make the best preparations they
could for a siege, to put the walls in full state of defence, and to
block up two out of the three ports.[326] For Athens thus to renounce
her maritime action, the pride and glory of the city ever since the
battle of Salamis, and to confine herself to a defensive attitude
within her own walls, was a humiliation which left nothing worse to
be endured except actual famine and surrender.

  [326] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 3; Diodor. xiii, 107.

Lysander was in no hurry to pass from the Hellespont to Athens. He
knew that no farther corn-ships from the Euxine, and few supplies
from other quarters, could now reach Athens; and that the power
of the city to hold out against blockade must necessarily be very
limited; the more limited, the greater the numbers accumulated
within it. Accordingly, he permitted the Athenian garrisons which
capitulated, to go only to Athens, and nowhere else.[327] His first
measure was to make himself master of Chalkêdon and Byzantium, where
he placed the Lacedæmonian Sthenelaus as harmost, with a garrison.
Next, he passed to Lesbos, where he made similar arrangements at
Mitylênê and other cities. In them, as well as in the other cities
which now came under his power, he constituted an oligarchy of ten
native citizens, chosen from among his most daring and unscrupulous
partisans, and called a dekarchy, or dekadarchy, to govern in
conjunction with the Lacedæmonian harmost. Eteonikus was sent to
the Thracian cities which had been in dependence on Athens, to
introduce similar changes. In Thasus, however, this change was
stained by much bloodshed: there was a numerous philo-Athenian
party whom Lysander caused to be allured out of their place of
concealment into the temple of Heraklês, under the false assurance
of an amnesty: when assembled under this pledge, they were all put
to death.[328] Sanguinary proceedings of the like character, many in
the presence of Lysander himself, together with large expulsions of
citizens obnoxious to his new dekarchies, signalized everywhere the
substitution of Spartan for Athenian ascendency.[329] But nowhere,
except at Samos, did the citizens or the philo-Athenian party in the
cities continue any open hostility, or resist by force Lysander’s
entrance and his revolutionary changes. At Samos, they still held
out: the people had too much dread of that oligarchy, whom they had
expelled in the insurrection of 412 B.C., to yield without a farther
struggle.[330] With this single reserve, every city in alliance or
dependence upon Athens submitted without resistance both to the
supremacy and the subversive measures of the Lacedæmonian admiral.

  [327] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 2; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 13.

  [328] Cornelius Nepos, Lysand. c. 2; Polyæn. i, 45, 4. It would
  appear that this is the same incident which Plutarch (Lysand.
  c. 19) recounts as if the Milesians, not the Thasians, were the
  parties suffering. It cannot well be the Milesians, however, it
  we compare chapter 8 of Plutarch’s Life of Lysander.

  [329] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 13. πολλαῖς δὲ παραγινόμενος αὐτὸς
  σφαγαῖς καὶ συνεκβάλλων τοὺς τῶν φίλων ἐχθροὺς, etc.

  [330] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 6. εὐθὺς δὲ καὶ ἡ ἄλλη Ἑλλὰς
  ἀφειστήκει Ἀθηναίων, πλὴν Σαμίων· οὗτοι δὲ, σφαγὰς τῶν γνωρίμων
  ποιήσαντες, κατεῖχον τὴν πόλιν.

  I interpret the words σφαγὰς τῶν γνωρίμων ποιήσαντες to refer
  to the violent revolution at Samos, described in Thucyd. viii,
  21, whereby the oligarchy were dispossessed and a democratical
  government established. The word σφαγὰς is used by Xenophon
  (Hellen. v, 4, 14), in a subsequent passage, to describe the
  conspiracy and revolution effected by Pelopidas and his friends
  at Thebes. It is true that we might rather have expected the
  preterite participle πεποιηκότες than the aorist ποιήσαντες. But
  this employment of the aorist participle in a preterite sense is
  not uncommon with Xenophon: see κατηγορήσας, δόξας, i, 1, 31;
  γενομένους, i, 7, 11; ii, 2, 20.

  It appears to me highly improbable that the Samians should
  have chosen this occasion to make a fresh massacre of their
  oligarchical citizens, as Mr. Mitford represents. The
  democratical Samians must have been now humbled and intimidated,
  seeing their subjugation approaching; and only determined to
  hold out by finding themselves already so deeply compromised
  though the former revolution. Nor would Lysander have spared them
  personally afterwards, as we shall find that he did, when he
  had them substantially in his power (ii, 3, 6), if they had now
  committed any fresh political massacre.

The Athenian empire was thus annihilated, and Athens left
altogether alone. What was hardly less painful, all her kleruchs,
or out-citizens, whom she had formerly planted in Ægina, Melos, and
elsewhere throughout the islands, as well as in the Chersonese,
were now deprived of their properties and driven home.[331] The
leading philo-Athenians, too, at Thasus, Byzantium, and other
dependent cities,[332] were forced to abandon their homes in
the like state of destitution, and to seek shelter at Athens.
Everything thus contributed to aggravate the impoverishment, and the
manifold suffering, physical as well as moral, within her walls.
Notwithstanding the pressure of present calamity, however, and yet
worse prospects for the future, the Athenians prepared, as best they
could, for an honorable resistance.

  [331] Xenoph. Memorab. ii, 8, 1; ii, 10, 4; Xenoph. Sympos. iv,
  31. Compare Demosthen. cont. Leptin. c. 24, p. 491.

  A great number of new proprietors acquired land in the Chersonese
  through the Lacedæmonian sway, doubtless in place of these
  dispossessed Athenians; perhaps by purchase at a low price, but
  most probably by appropriation without purchase (Xenoph. Hellen.
  iv, 8, 5).

  [332] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 2, 1; Demosthen. cont. Leptin. c. 14, p.
  474. Ekphantus and the other Thasian exiles received the grant
  of ἀτέλεια, or immunity from the peculiar charges imposed upon
  metics at Athens.

It was one of their first measures to provide for the restoration of
harmony, and to interest all in the defence of the city, by removing
every sort of disability under which individual citizens might
now be suffering. Accordingly, Patrokleidês—having first obtained
special permission from the people, without which it would have been
unconstitutional to make any proposition for abrogating sentences
judicially passed, or releasing debtors regularly inscribed in the
public registers—submitted a decree such as had never been mooted
since the period when Athens was in a condition equally desperate,
during the advancing march of Xerxes. All debtors to the state,
either recent or of long standing; all official persons now under
investigation by the Logistæ, or about to be brought before the
dikastery on the usual accountability after office; all persons who
were liquidating by instalment debts due to the public, or had given
bail for sums thus owing; all persons who had been condemned either
to total disfranchisement, or to some specific disqualification or
disability; nay, even all those who, having been either members or
auxiliaries of the Four Hundred, had stood trial afterwards, and had
been condemned to any one of the above-mentioned penalties, all these
persons were pardoned and released; every register of the penalty or
condemnation being directed to be destroyed. From this comprehensive
pardon were excepted: Those among the Four Hundred who had fled from
Athens without standing their trial; those who had been condemned
either to exile or to death by the Areopagus, or any of the other
constituted tribunals for homicide, or for subversion of the public
liberty. Not merely the public registers of all the condemnations
thus released were ordered to be destroyed, but it was forbidden,
under severe penalties, to any private citizen to keep a copy of
them, or to make any allusion to such misfortunes.[333]

  [333] This interesting decree or psephism of Patrokleidês is
  given at length in the Oration of Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects.
  76-80: Ἃ δ᾽ εἴρηται ἐξαλεῖψαι, μὴ κεκτῆσθαι ἰδίᾳ μηδενὶ ἐξεῖναι,
  μηδὲ μνησικακῆσαι μηδέποτε.

Pursuant to the comprehensive amnesty and forgiveness adopted by
the people in this decree of Patrokleidês, the general body of
citizens swore to each other a solemn pledge of mutual harmony in
the acropolis.[334] The reconciliation thus introduced enabled them
the better to bear up under their distress;[335] especially as the
persons relieved by the amnesty were, for the most part, not men
politically disaffected, like the exiles. To restore the latter, was
a measure which no one thought of: indeed, a large proportion of them
had been and were still at Dekeleia, assisting the Lacedæmonians in
their warfare against Athens.[336] But even the most prudent internal
measures could do little for Athens in reference to her capital
difficulty, that of procuring subsistence for the numerous population
within her walls, augmented every day by outlying garrisons and
citizens. She had long been shut out from the produce of Attica by
the garrison at Dekeleia; she obtained nothing from Eubœa, and since
the late defeat of Ægospotami, nothing from the Euxine, from Thrace,
or from the islands. Perhaps some corn may still have reached her
from Cyprus, and her small remaining navy did what was possible to
keep Peiræus supplied,[337] in spite of the menacing prohibitions of
Lysander, preceding his arrival to block it up effectually; but to
accumulate any stock for a siege, was utterly impossible.

  [334] Andokid. de Myst. s. 76. καὶ πίστιν ἀλλήλοις περὶ ὁμονοίας
  δοῦναι ἐν ἀκροπόλει.

  [335] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 11. τοὺς ἀτίμους ἐπιτίμους
  ποιήσαντες ἐκαρτέρουν.

  [336] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sects. 80-101; Lysias, Orat. xviii,
  De Bonis Niciæ Fratr. sect. 9.

  At what particular moment the severe condemnatory decree had been
  passed by the Athenian assembly against the exiles serving with
  the Lacedæmonian garrison at Dekeleia, we do not know. The decree
  is mentioned by Lykurgus, cont. Leokrat. sects. 122, 123, p. 164.

  [337] Isokratês adv. Kallimachum, sect. 71; compare Andokidês
  de Reditu suo, sect. 21, and Lysias cont. Diogeiton. Or. xxxii,
  sect. 22, about Cyprus and the Chersonese, as ordinary sources of
  supply of corn to Athens.

At length, about November, 405 B.C., Lysander reached the Saronic
gulf, having sent intimation beforehand, both to Agis and to the
Lacedæmonians, that he was approaching with a fleet of two hundred
triremes. The full Lacedæmonian and Peloponnesian force (all except
the Argeians), under king Pausanias, was marched into Attica to
meet him, and encamped in the precinct of Acadêmus, at the gates of
Athens; while Lysander, first coming to Ægina with his overwhelming
fleet of one hundred and fifty sail; next, ravaging Salamis, blocked
up completely the harbor of Peiræus. It was one of his first measures
to collect together the remnant which he could find of the Æginetan
and Melian populations, whom Athens had expelled and destroyed; and
to restore to them the possession of their ancient islands.[338]

  [338] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 9; Diodor. xiii, 107.

Though all hope had now fled, the pride, the resolution, and the
despair of Athens, still enabled her citizens to bear up; nor was
it until some men actually began to die of hunger, that they sent
propositions to entreat peace. Even then their propositions were not
without dignity. They proposed to Agis to become allies of Sparta,
retaining their walls entire and their fortified harbor of Peiræus.
Agis referred the envoys to the ephors at Sparta, to whom he at
the same time transmitted a statement of their propositions. But
the ephors did not even deign to admit the envoys to an interview,
but sent messengers to meet them at Sellasia on the frontier of
Laconia, desiring that they would go back and come again prepared
with something more admissible, and acquainting them at the same
time that no proposition could be received which did not include the
demolition of the Long Walls, for a continuous length of ten stadia.
With this gloomy reply the envoys returned. Notwithstanding all the
suffering in the city, the senate and people would not consent even
to take such humiliating terms into consideration. A senator named
Archestratus, who advised that they should be accepted, was placed
in custody, and a general vote was passed,[339] on the proposition
of Kleophon, forbidding any such motion in future.

  [339] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 12-15; Lysias cont. Agorat. sects.

Such a vote demonstrates the courageous patience both of the senate
and the people; but unhappily it supplied no improved prospects,
while the suffering within the walls continued to become more and
more aggravated. Under these circumstances, Theramenês offered
himself to the people to go as envoy to Lysander and Sparta,
affirming that he should be able to detect what the real intention
of the ephors was in regard to Athens, whether they really intended
to root out the population and sell them as slaves. He pretended,
farther, to possess personal influence, founded on circumstances
which he could not divulge, such as would very probably insure a
mitigation of the doom. He was accordingly sent, in spite of strong
protest from the senate of Areopagus and others,—but with no express
powers to conclude,—simply to inquire and report. We hear with
astonishment that he remained more than three months as companion
of Lysander, who, he alleged, had detained him thus long, and had
only acquainted him, after the fourth month had begun, that no
one but the ephors had any power to grant peace. It seems to have
been the object of Theramenês, by this long delay, to wear out the
patience of the Athenians, and to bring them into such a state of
intolerable suffering, that they would submit to any terms of peace
which would only bring provisions into the town. In this scheme he
completely succeeded; and considering how great were the privations
of the people even at the moment of his departure, it is not easy to
understand how they could have been able to sustain protracted and
increasing famine for three months longer.[340]

  [340] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 16; Lysias, Orat. xiii, cont.
  Agorat. sect. 12; Lysias, Orat. xii, cont. Eratosthen. sects.

  See an illustration of the great suffering during the siege, in
  Xenophon Apolog. Socrat. s. 18.

We make out little that is distinct respecting these last moments
of imperial Athens. We find only an heroic endurance displayed, to
such a point that numbers actually died of starvation, without any
offer to surrender on humiliating conditions.[341] Amidst the general
acrimony, and exasperated special antipathies, arising out of such
a state of misery, the leading men who stood out most earnestly for
prolonged resistance became successively victims to the prosecutions
of their enemies. The demagogue Kleophon was condemned and put to
death, on the accusation of having evaded his military duty; the
senate, whose temper and proceedings he had denounced, constituting
itself a portion of the dikastery which tried him, contrary both
to the forms and the spirit of Athenian judicatures.[342] Such
proceedings, however, though denounced by orators in subsequent years
as having contributed to betray the city into the hands of the enemy,
appear to have been without any serious influence on the result,
which was brought about purely by famine.

  [341] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 15-21; compare Isokratês, Areopagit.
  Or. vii, sect. 73.

  [342] Lysias, Orat. xiii, cont. Agorat. sects. 15, 16, 17; Orat.
  xxx, cont. Nikomach. sects. 13-17.

  This seems the most probable story as to the death of Kleophon,
  though the accounts are not all consistent, and the statement of
  Xenophon, especially (Hellen. i, 7, 35), is not to be reconciled
  with Lysias. Xenophon conceived Kleophon as having perished
  earlier than this period, in a sedition (στάσεως τινος γενομένης
  ἐν ᾗ Κλεοφῶν ἀπέθανε), before the flight of Kallixenus from his
  recognizances. It is scarcely possible that Kallixenus could have
  been still under recognizance, during this period of suffering
  between the battle of Ægospotami and the capture of Athens. He
  must have escaped before that battle. Neither long detention of
  an accused party in prison before trial, nor long postponement
  of trial when he was under recognizance were at all in Athenian

By the time that Theramenês returned after his long absence, so
terrible had the pressure become, that he was sent forth again with
instructions to conclude peace upon any terms. On reaching Sellasia,
and acquainting the ephors that he had come with unlimited powers for
peace, he was permitted to come to Sparta, where the assembly of the
Peloponnesian confederacy was convened, to settle on what terms peace
should be granted. The leading allies, especially Corinthians and
Thebans, recommended that no agreement should be entered into, nor
any farther measure kept, with this hated enemy now in their power;
but that the name of Athens should be rooted out, and the population
sold for slaves. Many of the other allies seconded the same views,
which would have probably commanded a majority, had it not been for
the resolute opposition of the Lacedæmonians themselves; who declared
unequivocally that they would never consent to annihilate or enslave
a city which had rendered such capital service to all Greece at the
time of the great common danger from the Persians.[343] Lysander
farther calculated on so dealing with Athens, as to make her into a
dependency, and an instrument of increased power to Sparta, apart
from her allies. Peace was accordingly granted on the following
conditions: that the Long Walls and the fortifications of the Peiræus
should be destroyed; that the Athenians should evacuate all their
foreign possessions, and confine themselves to their own territory;
that they should surrender all their ships of war; that they should
readmit all their exiles; that they should become allies of Sparta,
following her leadership both by sea and land, and recognizing the
same enemies and friends.[344]

  [343] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 19; vi, 5, 35-46; Plutarch, Lysand.
  c. 15.

  The Thebans, a few years afterwards, when they were soliciting
  aid from the Athenians against Sparta, disavowed this proposition
  of their delegate Erianthus, who had been the leader of the
  Bœotian contingent serving under Lysander at Ægospotami, honored
  in that character by having his statue erected at Delphi, along
  with the other allied leaders who took part in the battle, and
  along with Lysander and Eteonikus (Pausan. x, 9, 4).

  It is one of the exaggerations so habitual with Isokratês, to
  serve a present purpose, when he says that the Thebans were the
  _only_ parties, among all the Peloponnesian confederates, who
  gave this harsh anti-Athenian vote (Isokratês, Orat. Plataic. Or.
  xiv, sect. 34).

  Demosthenês says that the Phocians gave their vote, in the same
  synod, against the Theban proposition (Demosth. de Fals. Legat.
  c. 22, p. 361).

  It seems from Diodor. xv, 63, and Polyæn. i, 45, 5, as well as
  from some passages in Xenophon himself, that the motives of the
  Lacedæmonians, in thus resisting the proposition of the Thebans
  against Athens, were founded in policy more than in generosity.

  [344] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 20; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 14; Diodor.
  xiii, 107. Plutarch gives the express words of the Lacedæmonian
  decree, some of which words are very perplexing. The conjecture
  of G. Hermann, αἱ χρήδοιτε instead of ἃ χρὴ δόντες, has been
  adopted into the text of Plutarch by Sintenis, though it seems
  very uncertain.

With this document, written according to Lacedæmonian practice on
a skytalê,—or roll intended to go round a stick, of which the
Lacedæmonian commander had always one, and the ephors another,
corresponding,—Theramenês went back to Athens. As he entered the
city, a miserable crowd flocked round him, in distress and terror
lest he should have failed altogether in his mission. The dead
and the dying had now become so numerous, that peace at any price
was a boon; nevertheless, when he announced in the assembly the
terms of which he was bearer, strongly recommending submission to
the Lacedæmonians as the only course now open, there was still a
high-spirited minority who entered their protest, and preferred
death by famine to such insupportable disgrace. The large majority,
however, accepted them, and the acceptance was made known to

  [345] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 23. Lysias (Orat. xii, cont.
  Eratosth. s. 71) lays the blame of this wretched and humiliating
  peace upon Theramenês, who plainly ought not to be required to
  bear it; compare Lysias, Orat. xiii, cont. Agorat. sects. 12-20.

It was on the 16th day of the Attic month Munychion,[346]—about
the middle or end of March,—that this victorious commander sailed
into the Peiræus, twenty-seven years, almost exactly, after that
surprise of Platæa by the Thebans, which opened the Peloponnesian
war. Along with him came the Athenian exiles, several of whom appear
to have been serving with his army,[347] and assisting him with
their counsel. To the population of Athens generally, his entry was
an immediate relief, in spite of the cruel degradation, or indeed
political extinction, with which it was accompanied. At least it
averted the sufferings and horrors of famine, and permitted a decent
interment of the many unhappy victims who had already perished.
The Lacedæmonians, both naval and military force, under Lysander
and Agis, continued in occupation of Athens until the conditions
of the peace had been fulfilled. All the triremes in Peiræus were
carried away by Lysander, except twelve, which he permitted the
Athenians to retain: the ephors, in their skytalê, had left it to
his discretion what number he would thus allow.[348] The unfinished
ships in the dockyards were burnt, and the arsenals themselves
ruined.[349] To demolish the Long Walls and the fortifications of
Peiræus, was however, a work of some time; and a certain number of
days were granted to the Athenians, within which it was required to
be completed. In the beginning of the work, the Lacedæmonians and
their allies all lent a hand, with the full pride and exultation of
conquerors; amidst women playing the flute and dancers crowned with
wreaths; mingled with joyful exclamations from the Peloponnesian
allies, that this was the first day of Grecian freedom.[350] How many
days were allowed for this humiliating duty imposed upon Athenian
hands, of demolishing the elaborate, tutelary, and commanding works
of their forefathers, we are not told. But the business was not
completed within the interval named, so that the Athenians did not
come up to the letter of the conditions, and had therefore, by strict
construction, forfeited their title to the peace granted.[351] The
interval seems, however, to have been prolonged; probably considering
that for the real labor, as well as the melancholy character of the
work to be done, too short a time had been allowed at first.

  [346] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 15. He says, however, that this
  was also the day on which the Athenians gained the battle of
  Salamis. This is incorrect: that victory was gained in the month

  [347] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 18.

  [348] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 20; ii, 3, 8; Plutarch, Lysand. c.
  14. He gives the contents of the skytalê _verbatim_.

  [349] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 15; Lysias cont. Agorat. sect. 50. ἔτι
  δὲ τὰ τείχη ὡς κατεσκάφη, καὶ αἱ νῆες τοῖς πολεμίοις παρεδόθησαν,
  καὶ τὰ νεώρια καθῃρέθη, etc.

  [350] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 23. Καὶ τὰ τείχη κατέσκαπτον ὑπ᾽
  αὐλητρίδων πολλῇ προθυμίᾳ, νομίζοντες ἐκείνην τὴν ἡμέραν τῇ
  Ἑλλάδι ἄρχειν τῆς ἐλευθερίας.

  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 15.

  [351] Lysias cont. Eratosth. Or. xii, sect. 75, p. 431, R.;
  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 15; Diodor. xiv, 3.

It appears that Lysander, after assisting at the solemn ceremony of
beginning to demolish the walls, and making such a breach as left
Athens without any substantial means of resistance, did not remain
to complete the work, but withdrew with a portion of his fleet to
undertake the siege of Samos which still held out, leaving the
remainder to see that the conditions imposed were fulfilled.[352]
After so long an endurance of extreme misery, doubtless the general
population thought of little except relief from famine and its
accompaniments, without any disposition to contend against the fiat
of their conquerors. If some high-spirited men formed an exception
to the pervading depression, and still kept up their courage against
better days, there was at the same time a party of totally opposite
character, to whom the prostrate condition of Athens was a source
of revenge for the past, exultation for the present, and ambitious
projects for the future. These were partly the remnant of that
faction which had set up, seven years before, the oligarchy of Four
Hundred, and still more, the exiles, including several members of
the Four Hundred,[353] who now flocked in from all quarters. Many
of them had been long serving at Dekeleia, and had formed a part
of the force blockading Athens. These exiles now revisited the
acropolis as conquerors, and saw with delight the full accomplishment
of that foreign occupation at which many of them had aimed seven
years before, when they constructed the fortress of Ecteioneia, as
a means of insuring their own power. Though the conditions imposed
extinguished at once the imperial character, the maritime power, the
honor, and the independence of Athens, these men were as eager as
Lysander to carry them all into execution; because the continuance
of the Athenian democracy was now entirely at his mercy, and because
his establishment of oligarchies in the other subdued cities
plainly intimated what he would do in this great focus of Grecian
democratical impulse.

  [352] Lysander dedicated a golden crown to Athênê in the
  acropolis, which is recorded in the inscriptions among the
  articles belonging to the goddess.

  See Boeckh, Corp. Inscr. Attic. Nos. 150-152, p. 235.

  [353] Lysias. Or. xiii, cont. Agorat. s. 80.

Among these exiles were comprised Aristodemus and Aristotelês, both
seemingly persons of importance, the former having at one time been
one of the Hellenotamiæ, the first financial office of the imperial
democracy, and the latter an active member of the Four Hundred;[354]
also Chariklês, who had been so distinguished for his violence in
the investigation respecting the Hermæ, and another man, of whom
we now for the first time obtain historical knowledge in detail,
Kritias, son of Kallæschrus. He had been among the persons accused as
having been concerned in the mutilation of the Hermæ, and seems to
have been for a long time important in the political, the literary,
and the philosophical world of Athens. To all three, his abilities
qualified him to do honor. Both his poetry, in the Solonian or
moralizing vein, and his eloquence, published specimens of which
remained in the Augustan age, were of no ordinary merit. His wealth
was large, and his family among the most ancient and conspicuous in
Athens: one of his ancestors had been friend and companion of the
lawgiver Solon. He was himself maternal uncle of the philosopher
Plato,[355] and had frequented the society of Sokratês so much as
to have his name intimately associated in the public mind with that
remarkable man. We know neither the cause, nor even the date of his
exile, except so far, as that he was not in banishment immediately
after the revolution of the Four Hundred, and that he _was_ in
banishment at the time when the generals were condemned after the
battle of Arginusæ.[356] He had passed the time, or a part of the
time, of his exile in Thessaly, where he took an active part in the
sanguinary feuds carried on among the oligarchical parties of that
lawless country. He is said to have embraced, along with a leader
named, or surnamed, Prometheus, what passed for the democratical
side in Thessaly; arming the penestæ, or serfs, against their
masters.[357] What the conduct and dispositions of Kritias had been
before this period we are unable to say; but he brought with him now,
on returning from exile, not merely an unmeasured and unprincipled
lust of power, but also a rancorous impulse towards spoliation and
bloodshed[358] which outran even his ambition, and ultimately ruined
both his party and himself.

  [354] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 18; ii, 3, 46; Plutarch, Vit. x,
  Orator. Vit. Lycurg. init.

  M. E. Meier, in his Commentary on Lykurgus, construes this
  passage of Plutarch differently, so that the person therein
  specified as exile would be, not Aristodemus, but the grandfather
  of Lykurgus. But I do not think this construction justified: see
  Meier, Comm. de Lykurg. Vitâ, p. iv, (Halle, 1847).

  Respecting Chariklês, see Isokratês, Orat. xvi, De Bigis, s. 52.

  [355] See Stallbaum’s Preface to the Charmidês of Plato, his note
  on the Timæus of Plato, p. 20, E, and the Scholia on the same

  Kritias is introduced as taking a conspicuous part in four of the
  Platonic dialogues; Protagoras, Charmidês, Timæus and Kritias;
  the last only a fragment, not to mention the Eryxias.

  The small remains of the elegiac poetry of Kritias are to be
  found in Schneidewin, Delect. Poet. Græc. p. 136, _seq._ Both
  Cicero (De Orat. ii, 22, 93) and Dionys. Hal. (Judic. de Lysiâ,
  c. 2, p. 454; Jud. de Isæo, p. 627) notice his historical

  About the concern of Kritias in the mutilation of the Hermæ, as
  affirmed by Diognêtus, see Andokidês de Mysteriis, s. 47. He was
  first cousin of Andokidês, by the mother’s side.

  [356] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 35.

  [357] Xenoph. Hellen ii, 3, 35; Memorab. i, 2, 24.

  [358] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2. ἐπεὶ δὲ αὐτὸς μὲν (Kritias) προπετὴς
  ἦν ἐπὶ τὸ πολλοὺς ἀποκτεῖναι, ἅτε καὶ φυγὼν ὑπὸ τοῦ δήμου, etc.

Of all these returning exiles, animated with mingled vengeance and
ambition, Kritias was decidedly the leading man, like Antiphon among
the Four Hundred; partly from his abilities, partly from the superior
violence with which he carried out the common sentiment. At the
present juncture, he and his fellow-exiles became the most important
persons in the city, as enjoying most the friendship and confidence
of the conquerors. But the oligarchical party at home were noway
behind them, either in servility or in revolutionary fervor, and an
understanding was soon established between the two. Probably the old
faction of the Four Hundred, though put down, had never wholly died
out: at any rate, the political hetæries, or clubs, out of which it
was composed, still remained, prepared for fresh coöperation when a
favorable moment should arrive; and the catastrophe of Ægospotami
had made it plain to every one that such moment could not be far
distant. Accordingly, a large portion, if not the majority, of the
senators, became ready to lend themselves to the destruction of the
democracy, and only anxious to insure places among the oligarchy in
prospect;[359] while the supple Theramenês—resuming his place as
oligarchical leader, and abusing his mission as envoy to wear out
the patience of his half-famished countrymen—had, during his three
months’ absence in the tent of Lysander, concerted arrangements with
the exiles for future proceedings.[360]

  [359] Lysias cont. Agorat. Or. xiii, s. 23, p. 132.

  [360] Lysias cont. Eratosth. Or. xii, s. 78, p. 128. Theramenês
  is described, in his subsequent defence, ὀνειδίζων μὲν τοῖς
  φεύγουσιν ὅτι δι᾽ αὑτὸν κατέλθοιεν, etc.

  The general narrative of Xenophon, meagre as it is, harmonizes
  with this.

As soon as the city surrendered, and while the work of demolition
was yet going on, the oligarchical party began to organize itself.
The members of the political clubs again came together, and named
a managing committee of five, called ephors in compliment to the
Lacedæmonians, to direct the general proceedings of the party; to
convene meetings when needful, to appoint subordinate managers for
the various tribes, and to determine what propositions were to be
submitted to the public assembly.[361] Among these five ephors were
Kritias and Eratosthenês; probably Theramenês also.

  [361] Lysias cont. Eratosth. Or. xii, s. 44, p. 124. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ἡ
  ναυμαχία καὶ ἡ συμφορὰ τῇ πόλει ἐγένετο, δημοκρατίας ἔτι οὔσης,
  ὅθεν τῆς στάσεως ἦρξαν, πέντε ἄνδρες ~ἔφοροι κατέστησαν ὑπὸ τῶν
  καλουμένων ἑταίρων~, συναγωγεῖς μὲν τῶν πολιτῶν, ἄρχοντες δὲ τῶν
  συνωμοτῶν, ἐναντία δὲ τῷ ὑμετέρῳ πλήθει πράττοντες.

But the oligarchical party, though thus organized and ascendant,
with a compliant senate and a dispirited people, and with an
auxiliary enemy actually in possession, still thought themselves not
powerful enough to carry their intended changes without seizing the
most resolute of the democratical leaders. Accordingly, a citizen
named Theokritus tendered an accusation to the senate against
the general Strombichidês, together with several others of the
democratical generals and taxiarchs; supported by the deposition
of a slave, or lowborn man, named Agoratus. Although Nikias and
several other citizens tried to prevail upon Agoratus to leave
Athens, furnished him with the means of escape, and offered to go
away with him themselves from Munychia, until the political state
of Athens should come into a more assured condition,[362] yet he
refused to retire, appeared before the senate, and accused the
generals of being concerned in a conspiracy to break up the peace;
pretending to be himself their accomplice. Upon his information,
given both before the senate and before an assembly at Munychia,
the generals, the taxiarchs, and several other citizens, men of
high worth and courageous patriots, were put into prison, as well
as Agoratus himself, to stand their trial afterwards before a
dikastery consisting of two thousand members. One of the parties thus
accused, Menestratus, being admitted by the public assembly, on the
proposition of Hagnodôrus, the brother-in-law of Kritias, to become
accusing witness, named several additional accomplices, who were also
forthwith placed in custody.[363]

  [362] Lysias cont. Agorat. Or. xiii, s. 28 (p. 132); s. 35, p.
  133. Καὶ παρορμίσαντες δύο πλοῖα Μουνυχίασιν, ἐδέοντο αὐτοῦ
  (Ἀγοράτου) παντὶ τρόπῳ ἀπελθεῖν Ἀθήνηθεν, καὶ αὐτοὶ ἔφασαν
  συνεκπλευσεῖσθαι, ~ἕως τὰ πράγματα κατασταίη~, etc.

  Lysias represents this accusation of the generals, and this
  behavior of Agoratus, as having occurred _before_ the surrender
  of the city, but _after_ the return of Theramenês, bringing back
  the final terms imposed by the Lacedæmonians. He thus so colors
  it, that Agoratus, by getting the generals out of the way, was
  the real cause why the degrading peace brought by Theramenês
  was accepted. Had the generals remained at large, he affirms,
  they would have prevented the acceptance of this degrading
  peace, and would have been able to obtain better terms from the
  Lacedæmonians (see Lysias cont. Agor. sects. 16-20).

  Without questioning generally the matters of fact set forth by
  Lysias in this oration (delivered a long time afterwards, see
  s. 90), I believe that he _misdates_ them, and represents them
  as having occurred _before_ the surrender, whereas they really
  occurred _after_ it. We know from Xenophon, that when Theramenês
  came back the second time with the real peace, the people were in
  such a state of famine, that farther waiting was impossible: the
  peace was accepted immediately that it was proposed; cruel as it
  was, the people were glad to get it (Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 22).
  Besides, how could Agoratus be conveyed with two vessels out of
  Munychia, when the harbor was closely blocked up? and what is the
  meaning of ἕως τὰ πράγματα κατασταίη, referred to a moment just
  _before_ the surrender?

  [363] Lysias cont. Agorat. Or. xiii, sects. 38, 60, 68.

Though the most determined defenders of the democratical constitution
were thus eliminated, Kritias and Theramenês still farther insured
the success of their propositions by invoking the presence of
Lysander from Samos. The demolition of the walls had been completed,
the main blockading army had disbanded, and the immediate pressure
of famine had been removed, when an assembly was held to determine
on future modifications of the constitution. A citizen named
Drakontidês,[364] moved that a Board of Thirty should be named,
to draw up laws for the future government of the city, and to
manage provisionally the public affairs, until that task should
be completed. Among the thirty persons proposed, prearranged by
Theramenês and the oligarchical five ephors, the most prominent
names were those of Kritias and Theramenês: there were, besides,
Drakontidês himself,—Onomaklês, one of the Four Hundred who had
escaped,—Aristotelês and Chariklês, both exiles newly returned,
Eratosthenês, and others whom we do not know, but of whom probably
several had also been exiles or members of the Four Hundred.[365]
Though this was a complete abrogation of the constitution, yet so
conscious were the conspirators of their own strength, that they did
not deem it necessary to propose the formal suspension of the graphê
paranomôn, as had been done prior to the installation of the former
oligarchy. Still, notwithstanding the seizure of the leaders and
the general intimidation prevalent, a loud murmur of repugnance was
heard in the assembly at the motion of Drakontidês. But Theramenês
rose up to defy the murmur, telling the assembly that the proposition
numbered many partisans even among the citizens themselves, and that
it had, besides, the approbation of Lysander and the Lacedæmonians.
This was presently confirmed by Lysander himself, who addressed the
assembly in person. He told them, in a menacing and contemptuous
tone, that Athens was now at his mercy, since the walls had not
been demolished before the day specified, and consequently the
conditions of the promised peace had been violated. He added that,
if they did not adopt the recommendation of Theramenês, they would
be forced to take thought for their personal safety instead of for
their political constitution. After a notice at once so plain and so
crushing, farther resistance was vain. The dissentients all quitted
the assembly in sadness and indignation; while a remnant—according
to Lysias, inconsiderable in number as well as worthless in
character—stayed to vote acceptance of the motion.[366]

  [364] Lysias cont. Eratosth. Or. xii, s. 74: compare Aristotle
  ap. Schol. ad Aristophan. Vesp. 157.

  [365] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 2.

  [366] Lysias cont. Eratosth. Or. xii, sects. 74-77.

Seven years before, Theramenês had carried, in conjunction with
Antiphon and Phrynichus, a similar motion for the installation of
the Four Hundred; extorting acquiescence by domestic terrorism as
well as by multiplied assassinations. He now, in conjunction with
Kritias and the rest, a second time extinguished the constitution of
his country, by the still greater humiliation of a foreign conqueror
dictating terms to the Athenian people assembled in their own Pnyx.
Having seen the Thirty regularly constituted, Lysander retired from
Athens to finish the siege of Samos, which still held out. Though
blocked up both by land and sea, the Samians obstinately defended
themselves for some months longer, until the close of the summer.
Nor was it until the last extremity that they capitulated; obtaining
permission for every freeman to depart in safety, but with no other
property except a single garment. Lysander handed over the city and
the properties to the ancient citizens, that is, to the oligarchy and
their partisans, who had been partly expelled, partly disfranchised,
in the revolution eight years before. But he placed the government
of Samos, as he had dealt with the other cities, in the hands of one
of his dekadarchies, or oligarchy of Ten Samians, chosen by himself;
leaving Thorax as Lacedæmonian harmost, and doubtless a force under

  [367] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 6-8.

Having thus finished the war, and trodden out the last spark of
resistance, Lysander returned in triumph to Sparta. So imposing
a triumph never fell to the lot of any Greek, either before or
afterwards. He brought with him every trireme out of the harbor of
Peiræus, except twelve, left to the Athenians as a concession; he
brought the prow-ornaments of all the ships captured at Ægospotami
and elsewhere; he was loaded with golden crowns, voted to him by
the various cities; and he farther exhibited a sum of money not
less than four hundred and seventy talents, the remnant of those
treasures which Cyrus had handed over to him for the prosecution of
the war.[368] That sum had been greater, but is said to have been
diminished by the treachery of Gylippus, to whose custody it had
been committed, and who sullied by such mean peculation the laurels
which he had so gloriously earned at Syracuse.[369] Nor was it merely
the triumphant evidences of past exploits which now decorated this
returning admiral. He wielded besides an extent of real power greater
than any individual Greek either before or after. Imperial Sparta,
as she had now become, was as it were personified in Lysander, who
was master of almost all the insular, Asiatic, and Thracian cities,
by means of the harmost and the native dekadarchies named by himself
and selected from his creatures. To this state of things we shall
presently return, when we have followed the eventful history of the
Thirty at Athens.

  [368] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 8.

  [369] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 16; Diodor. xiii, 106.

These thirty men—the parallel of the dekarchies whom Lysander had
constituted in the other cities—were intended for the same purpose,
to maintain the city in a state of humiliation and dependence upon
Lacedæmon, and upon Lysander, as the representative of Lacedæmon.
Though appointed, in the pretended view of drawing up a scheme of
laws and constitution for Athens, they were in no hurry to commence
this duty. They appointed a new senate, composed of compliant,
assured, and oligarchical persons; including many of the returned
exiles who had been formerly in the Four Hundred, and many also of
the preceding senators who were willing to serve their designs.[370]
They farther named new magistrates and officers; a new Board of
Eleven, to manage the business of police and the public force, with
Satyrus, one of their most violent partisans, as chief; a Board of
Ten, to govern in Peiræus;[371] an archon, to give name to the year,
Pythodôrus, and a second, or king-archon, Patroklês,[372] to offer
the customary sacrifices on behalf of the city. While thus securing
their own ascendency, and placing all power in the hands of the most
violent oligarchical partisans, they began by professing reforming
principles of the strictest virtue; denouncing the abuses of the
past democracy, and announcing their determination to purge the city
of evil-doers.[373] The philosopher Plato—then a young man about
twenty-four years old, of anti-democratical politics, and nephew
of Kritias—was at first misled, together with various others, by
these splendid professions; he conceived hopes, and even received
encouragement from his relations, that he might play an active part
under the new oligarchy.[374] Though he soon came to discern how
little congenial his feelings were with theirs, yet in the beginning
doubtless such honest illusions contributed materially to strengthen
their hands.

  [370] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 2, 11: Lysias cont. Agorat. Orat. xiii,
  sects. 23-80.

  Tisias, the brother-in-law of Chariklês, was a member of this
  senate (Isokratês, Or. xvi, De Bigis, s. 53).

  [371] Plato, Epist. vii, p. 324, B.; Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 54.

  [372] Isokratês cont. Kallimach. Or. xviii, s. 6, p. 372.

  [373] Lysias, Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 5, p. 121. Ἐπειδὴ
  δ᾽ οἱ τριάκοντα πονηροὶ μὲν καὶ ~συκοφάνται~ ὄντες εἰς τὴν
  ἀρχὴν κατέστησαν, φάσκοντες χρῆναι τῶν ἀδίκων καθαρὰν ποιῆσαι
  τὴν πόλιν, καὶ τοὺς λοιποὺς πολίτας ἐπ᾽ ἀρετὴν καὶ δικαιοσύνην
  τραπέσθαι, etc.

  [374] Plato, Epist. vii, p. 324, B.C.

In execution of their design to root out evil-doers, the Thirty first
laid hands on some of the most obnoxious politicians under the former
democracy; “men (says Xenophon) whom every one knew to live by making
calumnious accusations, called sycophancy, and who were pronounced
in their enmity to the oligarchical citizens.” How far most of these
men had been honest or dishonest in their previous political conduct
under the democracy, we have no means of determining. But among them
were comprised Strombichidês and the other democratical officers who
had been imprisoned under the information of Agoratus, men whose
chief crime consisted in a strenuous and inflexible attachment to
the democracy. The persons thus seized were brought to trial before
the new senate appointed by the Thirty, contrary to the vote of the
people, which had decreed that Strombichidês and his companions
should be tried before a dikastery of two thousand citizens.[375] But
the dikastery, as well as all the other democratical institutions,
were now abrogated, and no judicial body was left except the newly
constituted senate. Even to that senate, though composed of their
own partisans, the Thirty did not choose to intrust the trial of the
prisoners, with that secrecy of voting which was well known at Athens
to be essential to the free and genuine expression of sentiment.
Whenever prisoners were tried, the Thirty were themselves present
in the senate-house, sitting on the benches previously occupied by
the prytanes: two tables were placed before them, one signifying
condemnation, the other, acquittal; and each senator was required
to deposit his pebble openly before them, either on one or on the
other.[376] It was not merely judgment by the senate, but judgment
by the senate under pressure and intimidation by the all-powerful
Thirty. It seems probable that neither any semblance of defence, nor
any exculpatory witnesses, were allowed; but even if such formalities
were not wholly dispensed with, it is certain that there was no real
trial, and that condemnation was assured beforehand. Among the great
numbers whom the Thirty brought before the senate, not a single
man was acquitted except the informer Agoratus, who was brought to
trial as an accomplice along with Strombichidês and his companions,
but was liberated in recompense for the information which he had
given against them.[377] The statement of Isokratês, Lysias, and
others—that the victims of the Thirty, even when brought before the
senate, were put to death untried—is authentic and trustworthy: many
were even put to death by simple order from the Thirty themselves,
without any cognizance of the senate.[378]

  [375] Lysias cont. Agorat. s. 38.

  [376] Lysias cont. Agorat. s. 40.

  [377] Lysias cont. Agorat. s. 41.

  [378] Lysias cont. Eratosth. s. 18; Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 51;
  Isokrat. Orat. xx, cont. Lochit. s. 15, p. 397.

In regard to the persons first brought to trial, however,—whether
we consider them, as Xenophon intimates, to have been notorious
evil-doers, or to have been innocent sufferers by the reactionary
vengeance of returning oligarchical exiles, as was the case certainly
with Strombichidês and the officers accused along with him,—there was
little necessity for any constraint on the part of the Thirty over
the senate. That body itself partook of the sentiment which dictated
the condemnation, and acted as a willing instrument; while the Thirty
themselves were unanimous, Theramenês being even more zealous than
Kritias in these executions, to demonstrate his sincere antipathy
towards the extinct democracy.[379] As yet too, since all the persons
condemned, justly or unjustly, had been marked politicians, so, all
other citizens who had taken no conspicuous part in politics, even if
they disapproved of the condemnations, had not been led to conceive
any apprehension of the like fate for themselves. Here, then,
Theramenês, and along with him a portion of the Thirty as well as of
the senate, were inclined to pause. While enough had been done to
satiate their antipathies, by the death of the most obnoxious leaders
of the democracy, they at the same time conceived the oligarchical
government to be securely established, and contended that farther
bloodshed would only endanger its stability, by spreading alarm,
multiplying enemies, and alienating friends as well as neutrals.

  [379] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 12, 28, 38. ~Αὐτὸς~ (Theramenês)
  ~μάλιστα ἐξορμήσας~ ἡμᾶς, τοῖς πρώτοις ὑπαγομένοις ἐς ἡμᾶς δίκην
  ἐπιτιθέναι, etc.

But these were not the views either of Kritias or of the Thirty
generally, who surveyed their position with eyes very different from
the unstable and cunning Theramenês, and who had brought with them
from exile a long arrear of vengeance yet to be appeased. Kritias
knew well that the numerous population of Athens were devotedly
attached, and had good reason to be attached, to their democracy;
that the existing government had been imposed upon them by force,
and could only be upheld by force; that its friends were a narrow
minority, incapable of sustaining it against the multitude around
them, all armed; that there were still many formidable enemies to
be got rid of, so that it was indispensable to invoke the aid of a
permanent Lacedæmonian garrison in Athens, as the only condition
not only of their stability as a government, but even of their
personal safety. In spite of the opposition of Theramenês, Æschinês
and Aristotelês, two among the Thirty, were despatched to Sparta
to solicit aid from Lysander; who procured for them a Lacedæmonian
garrison under Kallibius as harmost, which they engaged to maintain
without any cost to Sparta, until their government should be
confirmed by putting the evil-doers out of the way.[380] Kallibius
was not only installed as master of the acropolis,—full as it was of
the mementos of Athenian glory,—but was farther so caressed and won
over by the Thirty, that he lent himself to everything which they
asked. They had thus a Lacedæmonian military force constantly at
their command, besides an organized band of youthful satellites and
assassins, ready for any deeds of violence; and they proceeded to
seize and put to death many citizens, who were so distinguished for
their courage and patriotism, as to be likely to serve as leaders
to the public discontent. Several of the best men in Athens thus
successively perished, while Thrasybulus, Anytus, and many others,
fearing a similar fate, fled out of Attica, leaving their property
to be confiscated and appropriated by the oligarchs;[381] who passed
a decree of exile against them in their absence, as well as against

  [380] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 13. ἕως δὴ τοὺς πονηροὺς ἐκποδὼν
  ποιησάμενοι καταστήσαιντο τὴν πολιτείαν.

  [381] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 15, 23, 42; Isokrat. cont.
  Kallimach. Or. xviii, s. 30, p. 375.

  [382] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 42; ii, 4, 14. οἱ δὲ καὶ οὐχ ὅπως
  ἀδικοῦντες, ἀλλ᾽ οὐδ᾽ ἐπιδημοῦντες ἐφυγαδευόμεθα, etc.

  Isokratês, Orat. xvi, De Bigis, s. 46, p. 355.

These successive acts of vengeance and violence were warmly opposed
by Theramenês, both in the council of Thirty and in the senate.
The persons hitherto executed, he said, had deserved their death,
because they were not merely noted politicians under the democracy,
but also persons of marked hostility to oligarchical men. But
to inflict the same fate on others, who had manifested no such
hostility, simply because they had enjoyed influence under the
democracy, would be unjust: “Even you and I (he reminded Kritias)
have both said and done many things for the sake of popularity.” But
Kritias replied: “We cannot afford to be scrupulous; we are engaged
in a scheme of aggressive ambition, and must get rid of those who
are best able to hinder us. Though we are Thirty in number, and
not one, our government is not the less a despotism, and must be
guarded by the same jealous precautions. If you think otherwise,
you must be simple-minded indeed.” Such were the sentiments which
animated the majority of the Thirty, not less than Kritias, and
which prompted them to an endless string of seizures and executions.
It was not merely the less obnoxious democratical politicians who
became their victims, but men of courage, wealth, and station, in
every vein of political feeling: even oligarchical men, the best
and most high-principled of that party, shared the same fate. Among
the most distinguished sufferers were, Lykurgus,[383] belonging to
one of the most eminent sacred gentes in the state; a wealthy man
named Antiphon, who had devoted his fortune to the public service
with exemplary patriotism during the last years of the war, and
had furnished two well-equipped triremes at his own cost; Leon,
of Salamis; and even Nikêratus, son of Nikias, who had perished
at Syracuse; a man who inherited from his father not only a large
fortune, but a known repugnance to democratical politics, together
with his uncle Eukratês, brother of the same Nikias.[384] These were
only a few among the numerous victims, who were seized, pronounced
to be guilty by the senate or by the Thirty themselves, handed over
to Satyrus and the Eleven, and condemned to perish by the customary
draught of hemlock.

  [383] Plutarch, Vit. x, Orator. p. 838.

  [384] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 39-41; Lysias, Orat. xviii, De Bonis
  Niciæ Fratris, sects. 5-8.

The circumstances accompanying the seizure of Leon deserve particular
notice. In putting to death him and the other victims, the Thirty
had several objects in view, all tending to the stability of their
dominion. First, they thus got rid of citizens generally known and
esteemed, whose abhorrence they knew themselves to deserve, and
whom they feared as likely to head the public sentiment against
them. Secondly, the property of these victims, all of whom were
rich, was seized along with their persons, and was employed to pay
the satellites whose agency was indispensable for such violences,
especially Kallibius and the Lacedæmonian hoplites in the acropolis.
But, besides murder and spoliation, the Thirty had a farther
purpose, if possible, yet more nefarious. In the work of seizing
their victims, they not only employed the hands of these paid
satellites, but also sent along with them citizens of station and
respectability, whom they constrained by threats and intimidation
to lend their personal aid in a service so thoroughly odious. By
such participation, these citizens became compromised and imbrued in
crime, and as it were, consenting parties in the public eye to all
the projects of the Thirty;[385] exposed to the same general hatred
as the latter, and interested for their own safety in maintaining
the existing dominion. Pursuant to their general plan of implicating
unwilling citizens in their misdeeds, the Thirty sent for five
citizens to the tholus, or government-house, and ordered them, with
terrible menaces, to cross over to Salamis and bring back Leon as
prisoner. Four out of the five obeyed; the fifth was the philosopher
Sokratês, who refused all concurrence and returned to his own house,
while the other four went to Salamis and took part in the seizure of
Leon. Though he thus braved all the wrath of the Thirty, it appears
that they thought it expedient to leave him untouched. But the fact
that they singled him out for such an atrocity,—an old man of tried
virtue, both private and public, and intellectually commanding,
though at the same time intellectually unpopular,—shows to what an
extent they carried their system of forcing unwilling participants;
while the farther circumstance, that he was the only person who had
the courage to refuse, among four others who yielded to intimidation,
shows that the policy was for the most part successful.[386] The
inflexible resistance of Sokratês on this occasion, stands as a
worthy parallel to his conduct as prytanis in the public assembly
held on the conduct of the generals after the battle of Arginusæ,
described in the preceding chapter, wherein he obstinately refused to
concur in putting an illegal question.

  [385] Plato, Apol. Sokratês, c. 20, p. 32. Ἐπειδὴ δὲ ὀλιγαρχία
  ἐγένετο, οἱ τριάκοντα αὖ μεταπεμψάμενοί με πέμπτον αὐτὸν εἰς τὴν
  θόλον προσέταξαν ἀγαγεῖν ἐκ Σαλαμῖνος Λέοντα τὸν Σαλαμίνιον, ἵν᾽
  ἀποθάνοι· ~οἷα δὴ καὶ ἄλλοις ἐκεῖνοι πολλοῖς πολλὰ προσέταττον,
  βουλόμενοι ὡς πλείστους ἀναπλῆσαι αἰτιῶν~.

  Isokrat. cont. Kallimach. Or. xviii, sect. 23, p. 374. ἐνίοις καὶ
  προσέταττον ἐξαμαρτάνειν. Compare also Lysias, Or. xii, cont.
  Eratosth. sect. 32.

  We learn, from Andokidês de Myster. sect. 94, that Melêtus was
  one of the parties who actually arrested Leon, and brought him
  up for condemnation. It is not probable that this was the same
  person who afterwards accused Sokratês. It may possibly have
  been his father, who bore the same name; but there is nothing to
  determine the point.

  [386] Plato, Apol. Sokrat. _ut sup._; Xenoph. Hellen. ii. 4, 9-23.

Such multiplied cases of execution and spoliation naturally
filled the city with surprise, indignation, and terror. Groups of
malcontents got together, and exiles became more and more numerous.
All these circumstances furnished ample material for the vehement
opposition of Theramenês, and tended to increase his party: not
indeed among the Thirty themselves, but to a certain extent in the
senate, and still more among the body of the citizens. He warned his
colleagues that they were incurring daily an increased amount of
public odium, and that their government could not possibly stand,
unless they admitted into partnership an adequate number of citizens,
with a direct interest in its maintenance. He proposed that all those
competent, by their property, to serve the state either on horseback
or with heavy armor, should be constituted citizens; leaving all
the poorer freemen, a far larger number, still disfranchised.[387]
Kritias and the Thirty rejected this proposition; being doubtless
convinced—as the Four Hundred had felt seven years before, when
Theramenês demanded of them to convert their fictitious total of
Five Thousand into a real list of as many living persons—that “to
enroll so great a number of partners, was tantamount to a downright
democracy.”[388] But they were at the same time not insensible to the
soundness of his advice: moreover, they began to be afraid of him
personally, and to suspect that he was likely to take the lead in a
popular opposition against them, as he had previously done against
his colleagues of the Four Hundred. They therefore resolved to comply
in part with his recommendations, and accordingly prepared a list of
three thousand persons to be invested with the political franchise;
chosen, as much as possible, from their own known partisans and
from oligarchical citizens. Besides this body, they also counted
on the adherence of the horsemen, among the wealthiest citizens of
the state. These horsemen, or knights, taking them as a class,—the
thousand good men of Athens, whose virtues Aristophanês sets forth in
hostile antithesis to the alleged demagogic vices of Kleon,—remained
steady supporters of the Thirty, throughout all the enormities of
their career.[389] What privileges or functions were assigned to the
chosen three thousand, we do not hear, except that they could not be
condemned without the warrant of the senate, while any other Athenian
might be put to death by the simple fiat of the Thirty.[390]

  [387] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 17, 19, 48. From sect. 48, we see
  that Theramenês actually made this proposition: τὸ μέντοι σὺν
  τοῖς δυναμένοις καὶ μεθ᾽ ἵππων καὶ μετ᾽ ἀσπίδων ὠφελεῖν διὰ
  τούτων τὴν πολιτείαν, ~πρόσθεν ἄριστον ἡγούμην εἶναι~ καὶ νῦν οὐ

  This proposition, made by Theramenês and rejected by the Thirty,
  explains the comment which he afterwards made, when they drew up
  their special catalogue or roll of three thousand; which comment
  otherwise appears unsuitable.

  [388] Thucyd. viii, 89-92. τὸ μὲν καταστῆσαι μετόχους τοσούτους,
  ἀντικρὺς ἂν δῆμον ἡγούμενοι.

  [389] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 8, 19; ii, 4, 2, 8, 24.

  [390] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 51.

A body of partners thus chosen—not merely of fixed number, but of
picked oligarchical sentiments—was by no means the addition which
Theramenês desired. While he commented on the folly of supposing that
there was any charm in the number three thousand, as if it embodied
all the merit of the city, and nothing else but merit, he admonished
them that it was still insufficient for their defence; their rule was
one of pure force, and yet inferior in force to those over whom it
was exercised. Again the Thirty acted upon his admonition, but in a
way very different from that which he contemplated. They proclaimed
a general muster and examination of arms to all the hoplites in
Athens. The Three Thousand were drawn up in arms all together in the
market-place; but the remaining hoplites were disseminated in small
scattered companies and in different places. After the review was
over, these scattered companies went home to their meal, leaving
their arms piled at the various places of muster. But the adherents
of the Thirty, having been forewarned and kept together, were sent
at the proper moment, along with the Lacedæmonian mercenaries, to
seize the deserted arms, which were deposited under the custody
of Kallibius in the acropolis. All the hoplites in Athens, except
the Three Thousand and the remaining adherents of the Thirty,
were disarmed by this crafty manœuvre, in spite of the fruitless
remonstrance of Theramenês.[391]

  [391] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 20, 41: compare Lysias. Orat. xii,
  cont. Eratosth. sect. 41.

Kritias and his colleagues, now relieved from all fear either of
Theramenês, or of any other internal opposition, gave loose, more
unsparingly than ever, to their malevolence and rapacity, putting to
death both many of their private enemies, and many rich victims for
the purpose of spoliation. A list of suspected persons was drawn up,
in which each of their adherents was allowed to insert such names as
he chose, and from which the victims were generally taken.[392] Among
informers, who thus gave in names for destruction, Batrachus and
Æschylidês[393] stood conspicuous. The thirst of Kritias for plunder,
as well as for bloodshed, only increased by gratification;[394]
and it was not merely to pay their mercenaries, but also to enrich
themselves separately, that the Thirty stretched everywhere their
murderous agency, which now mowed down metics as well as citizens.
Theognis and Peison, two of the Thirty, affirmed that many of these
metics were hostile to the oligarchy, besides being opulent men; and
the resolution was adopted that each of the rulers should single out
any of these victims that he pleased, for execution and pillage; care
being taken to include a few poor persons in the seizure, so that the
real purpose of the spoilers might be faintly disguised.

  [392] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 21; Isokratês adv. Euthynum, sect.
  5, p. 401; Isokratês cont. Kallimach. sect. 23, p. 375; Lysias,
  Or. xxv, Δημ. Καταλ. Ἀπολ. sect. 21, p. 173.

  The two passages of Isokratês sufficiently designate what this
  list, or κατάλογος, must have been; but the name by which he
  calls it—ὁ μετὰ Λυσάνδρου (or Πεισάνδρου) κατάλογος—is not easy
  to explain.

  [393] Lysias, Orat. vi, cont. Andok. sect. 46; Or. xii, cont.
  Eratosth. sect 49.

  [394] Xenoph. Memor. i, 2, 12. Κριτίας μὲν γὰρ τῶν ἐν τῇ
  ὀλιγαρχίᾳ πάντων κλεπτίστατός τε καὶ βιαιότατος ἐγένετο, etc.

It was in execution of this scheme that the orator Lysias and his
brother Polemarchus were both taken into custody. Both were metics,
wealthy men, and engaged in a manufactory of shields, wherein they
employed a hundred and twenty slaves. Theognis and Peison, with
some others, seized Lysias in his house, while entertaining some
friends at dinner; and having driven away his guests, left him under
the guard of Peison, while the attendants went off to register and
appropriate his valuable slaves. Lysias tried to prevail on Peison
to accept a bribe and let him escape; which the latter at first
promised to do, and having thus obtained access to the money-chest
of the prisoner, laid hands upon all its contents, amounting to
between three and four talents. In vain did Lysias implore that a
trifle might be left for his necessary subsistence; the only answer
vouchsafed was, that he might think himself fortunate if he escaped
with life. He was then conveyed to the house of a person named
Damnippus, where Theognis already was, having other prisoners in
charge. At the earnest entreaty of Lysias, Damnippus tried to induce
Theognis to connive at his escape, on consideration of a handsome
bribe; but while this conversation was going on, the prisoner availed
himself of an unguarded moment to get off through the back door,
which fortunately was open, together with two other doors through
which it was necessary to pass. Having first obtained refuge in the
house of a friend in Peiræus, he took boat during the ensuing night
for Megara. Polemarchus, less fortunate, was seized in the street
by Eratosthenês, one of the Thirty, and immediately lodged in the
prison, where the fatal draught of hemlock was administered to him,
without delay, without trial, and without liberty of defence. While
his house was plundered of a large stock of gold, silver, furniture,
and rich ornaments; while the golden earrings were torn from the ears
of his wife; and while seven hundred shields, with a hundred and
twenty slaves, were confiscated, together with the workshop and the
two dwelling-houses; the Thirty would not allow even a decent funeral
to the deceased, but caused his body to be carried away on a hired
bier from the prison, with covering and a few scanty appurtenances
supplied by the sympathy of private friends.[395]

  [395] Lysias, Or. xii. cont. Eratosthen. sects. 8, 21. Lysias
  prosecuted Eratosthenês before the dikastery some years
  afterwards, as having caused the death of Polemarchus. The
  foregoing details are found in the oration, spoken as well as
  composed by himself.

Amidst such atrocities, increasing in number and turned more and
more to shameless robbery, the party of Theramenês daily gained
ground, even in the senate; many of whose members profited nothing
by satiating the private cupidity of the Thirty, and began to be
weary of so revolting a system, as well as alarmed at the host of
enemies which they were raising up. In proposing the late seizure
of the metics, the Thirty had desired Theramenês to make choice of
any victim among that class, to be destroyed and plundered for his
own personal benefit. But he rejected the suggestion emphatically,
denouncing the enormity of the measure in the indignant terms which
it deserved. So much was the antipathy of Kritias and the majority
of the Thirty against him, already acrimonious from the effects of a
long course of opposition, exasperated by this refusal; so much did
they fear the consequences of incurring the obloquy of such measures
for themselves, while Theramenês enjoyed all the credit of opposing
them; so satisfied were they that their government could not stand
with this dissension among its own members; that they resolved to
destroy him at all cost. Having canvassed as many of the senators as
they could, to persuade them that Theramenês was conspiring against
the oligarchy, they caused the most daring of their satellites to
attend one day in the senate-house, close to the railing which fenced
in the senators, with daggers concealed under their garments. So
soon as Theramenês appeared, Kritias rose and denounced him to the
senate as a public enemy, in an harangue which Xenophon gives at
considerable length, and which is so full of instructive evidence, as
to Greek political feeling, that I here extract the main points in

“If any of you imagine, senators, that more people are perishing
than the occasion requires, reflect, that this happens everywhere
in a time of revolution, and that it must especially happen in the
establishment of an oligarchy at Athens, the most populous city
in Greece, and where the population has been longest accustomed
to freedom. You know as well as we do, that democracy is to both
of us an intolerable government, as well as incompatible with all
steady adherence to our protectors, the Lacedæmonians. It is under
their auspices that we are establishing the present oligarchy, and
that we destroy, as far as we can, every man who stands in the way
of it; which becomes most of all indispensable, if such a man be
found among our own body. Here stands the man, Theramenês, whom we
now denounce to you as your foe not less than ours. That such is
the fact, is plain from his unmeasured censures on our proceedings,
from the difficulties which he throws in our way whenever we want
to despatch any of the demagogues. Had such been his policy from
the beginning, he would indeed have been our enemy, yet we could
not with justice have proclaimed him a villain. But it is he who
first originated the alliance which binds us to Sparta, who struck
the first blow at the democracy, who chiefly instigated us to put
to death the first batch of accused persons; and now, when you as
well as we have thus incurred the manifest hatred of the people, he
turns round and quarrels with our proceedings in order to insure his
own safety, and leave us to pay the penalty. He must be dealt with
not only as an enemy, but as a traitor, to you as well as to us; a
traitor in the grain, as his whole life proves. Though he enjoyed,
through his father Agnon, a station of honor under the democracy,
he was foremost in subverting it, and setting up the Four Hundred;
the moment he saw that oligarchy beset with difficulties, he was the
first to put himself at the head of the people against them; always
ready for change in both directions, and a willing accomplice in
those executions which changes of government bring with them. It is
he, too, who—having been ordered by the generals after the battle
of Arginusæ to pick up the men on the disabled ships, and having
neglected the task—accused and brought to execution his superiors, in
order to get himself out of danger. He has well earned his surname of
The Buskin, fitting both legs, but constant to neither; he has shown
himself reckless both of honor and friendship, looking to nothing but
his own selfish advancement; and it is for us now to guard against
his doublings, in order that he may not play us the same trick. We
cite him before you as a conspirator and a traitor, against you as
well as against us. Look to your own safety, and not to his. For
depend upon it, that if you let him off, you will hold out powerful
encouragement to your worst enemies; while if you condemn him, you
will crush their best hopes, both within and without the city.”

Theramenês was probably not wholly unprepared for some such attack as
this. At any rate, he rose up to reply to it at once:—

“First of all, senators, I shall touch upon the charge against me
which Kritias mentioned last, the charge of having accused and
brought to execution the generals. It was not I who began the
accusation against them, but they who began it against me. They said,
that they had ordered me upon the duty, and that I had neglected it;
my defence was, that the duty could not be executed, in consequence
of the storm; the people believed and exonerated me, but the generals
were rightfully condemned on their own accusation, because _they_
said that the duty might have been performed, while yet it had
remained unperformed. I do not wonder, indeed, that Kritias has
told these falsehoods against me; for at the time when this affair
happened, he was an exile in Thessaly, employed in raising up a
democracy, and arming the penestæ against their masters. Heaven grant
that nothing of what he perpetrated _there_ may occur at Athens! I
agree with Kritias, indeed, that, whoever wishes to cut short your
government, and strengthens those who conspire against you, deserves
justly the severest punishment. But to whom does this charge best
apply? To him, or to me? Look at the behavior of each of us, and
then judge for yourselves. At first, we were all agreed, so far as
the condemnation of the known and obnoxious demagogues. But when
Kritias and his friends began to seize men of station and dignity,
then it was that I began to oppose them. I knew that the seizure of
men like Leon, Nikias, and Antiphon, would make the best men in the
city your enemies. I opposed the execution of the metics, well aware
that all that body would be alienated. I opposed the disarming of
the citizens, and the hiring of foreign guards. And when I saw that
enemies at home and exiles abroad were multiplying against you, I
dissuaded you from banishing Thrasybulus and Anytus, whereby you
only furnished the exiles with competent leaders. The man who gives
you this advice, and gives it you openly, is he a traitor, or is he
not rather a genuine friend? It is you and your supporters, Kritias,
who, by your murders and robberies, strengthen the enemies of the
government and betray your friends. Depend upon it, that Thrasybulus
and Anytus are much better pleased with your policy than they would
be with mine. You accuse me of having betrayed the Four Hundred; but
I did not desert them until they were themselves on the point of
betraying Athens to her enemies. You call me The Buskin, as trying
to fit both parties. But what am I to call _you_, who fit neither of
them? who, under the democracy, were the most violent hater of the
people, and who, under the oligarchy, have become equally violent as
a hater of oligarchical merit? I am, and always have been, Kritias,
an enemy both to extreme democracy and to oligarchical tyranny. I
desire to constitute our political community out of those who can
serve it on horseback and with heavy armor; I have proposed this
once, and I still stand to it. I side not either with democrats or
despots, to the exclusion of the dignified citizens. Prove that I am
now, or ever have been, guilty of such crime, and I shall confess
myself deserving of ignominious death.”

This reply of Theramenês was received with such a shout of applause
by the majority of the senate, as showed that they were resolved
to acquit him. To the fierce antipathies of the mortified Kritias,
the idea of failure was intolerable; indeed, he had now carried his
hostility to such a point, that the acquittal of his enemy would have
been his own ruin. After exchanging a few words with the Thirty, he
retired for a few moments, and directed the Eleven with the body of
armed satellites to press close on the railing whereby the senators
were fenced round,—while the court before the senate-house was filled
with the mercenary hoplites. Having thus got his force in hand,
Kritias returned and again addressed the senate: “Senators (said he),
I think it the duty of a good president, when he sees his friends
around him duped, not to let them follow their own counsel. This is
what I am now going to do; indeed, these men, whom you see pressing
upon us from without, tell us plainly that they will not tolerate the
acquittal of one manifestly working to the ruin of the oligarchy.
It is an article of our new constitution, that no man of the select
Three Thousand shall be condemned without your vote; but that any
man not included in that list may be condemned by the Thirty. Now I
take upon me, with the concurrence of all my colleagues, to strike
this Theramenês out of that list; and we, by our authority, condemn
him to death.”

Though Theramenês had already been twice concerned in putting down
the democracy, yet such was the habit of all Athenians to look for
protection from constitutional forms, that he probably accounted
himself safe under the favorable verdict of the senate, and was not
prepared for the monstrous and despotic sentence which he now heard
from his enemy. He sprang at once to the senatorial hearth,—the altar
and sanctuary in the interior of the senate-house,—and exclaimed: “I
too, senators, stand as your suppliant, asking only for bare justice.
Let it be not in the power of Kritias to strike out me or any other
man whom he chooses; let my sentence as well as yours be passed
according to the law which these Thirty have themselves prepared. I
know but too well, that this altar will be of no avail to me as a
defence; but I shall at least make it plain, that these men are as
impious towards the gods as they are nefarious towards men. As for
you, worthy senators, I wonder that you will not stand forward for
your own personal safety; since you must be well aware, that your own
names may be struck out of the Three Thousand just as easily as mine.”

But the senate remained passive and stupefied by fear, in spite of
these moving words, which perhaps were not perfectly heard, since
it could not be the design of Kritias to permit his enemy to speak
a second time. It was probably while Theramenês was yet speaking,
that the loud voice of the herald was heard, calling the Eleven to
come forward and take him into custody. The Eleven advanced into the
senate, headed by their brutal chief Satyrus, and followed by their
usual attendants. They went straight up to the altar, from whence
Satyrus, aided by the attendants, dragged him by main force, while
Kritias said to them: “We hand over to you this man Theramenês,
condemned according to the law. Seize him, carry him off to prison,
and there do the needful.” Upon this, Theramenês was dragged out of
the senate-house and carried in custody through the market-place,
exclaiming with a loud voice against the atrocious treatment
which he was suffering. “Hold your tongue (said Satyrus to him),
or you will suffer for it.” “And if I _do_ hold my tongue (replied
Theramenês), shall not I suffer for it also?”

He was conveyed to prison, where the usual draught of hemlock was
speedily administered. After he had swallowed it, there remained
a drop at the bottom of the cup, which he jerked out on the floor
(according to the playful convivial practice called the Kottabus,
which was supposed to furnish an omen by its sound in falling, and
after which the person who had just drank handed the goblet to the
guest whose turn came next): “Let this (said he) be for the gentle

  [396] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 56.

The scene just described, which ended in the execution of Theramenês,
is one of the most striking and tragical in ancient history; in spite
of the bald and meagre way in which it is recounted by Xenophon, who
has thrown all the interest into the two speeches. The atrocious
injustice by which Theramenês perished, as well as the courage and
self-possession which he displayed at the moment of danger, and his
cheerfulness even in the prison, not inferior to that of Sokratês
three years afterwards, naturally enlist the warmest sympathies
of the reader in his favor, and have tended to exalt the positive
estimation of his character. During the years immediately succeeding
the restoration of the democracy,[397] he was extolled and pitied as
one of the first martyrs to oligarchical violence: later authors went
so far as to number him among the chosen pupils of Sokratês.[398]
But though Theramenês here became the victim of a much worse man
than himself, it will not for that reason be proper to accord to
him our admiration, which his own conduct will not at all be found
to deserve. The reproaches of Kritias against him, founded on his
conduct during the previous conspiracy of the Four Hundred, were
in the main well founded. After having been one of the foremost
originators of that conspiracy, he deserted his comrades as soon as
he saw that it was likely to fail; and Kritias had doubtless present
to his mind the fate of Antiphon, who had been condemned and executed
under the accusation of Theramenês, together with a reasonable
conviction that the latter would again turn against his colleagues
in the same manner, if circumstances should encourage him to do
so. Nor was Kritias wrong in denouncing the perfidy of Theramenês
with regard to the generals after the battle of Arginusæ, the
death of whom he was partly instrumental in bringing about, though
only as an auxiliary cause, and not with that extreme stretch of
nefarious stratagem, which Xenophon and others have imputed to him.
He was a selfish, cunning, and faithless man,—ready to enter into
conspiracies, yet never foreseeing their consequences,—and breaking
faith to the ruin of colleagues whom he had first encouraged, when
he found them more consistent and thoroughgoing in crime than

  [397] See Lysias, Or. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 66.

  [398] Diodor. xiv, 5. Diodorus tells us that Sokratês and two
  of his friends were the only persons who stood forward to
  protect Theramenês, when Satyrus was dragging him from the
  altar. Plutarch (Vit. x, Orat. p. 836) ascribes the same act of
  generous forwardness to _Isokratês_. There is no good ground for
  believing it, either of one or of the other. None but senators
  were present; and as this senate had been chosen by the Thirty,
  it is not likely that either Sokratês or Isokratês were among its
  members. If Sokratês had been a member of it, the fact would have
  been noticed and brought out in connection with his subsequent

  The manner in which Plutarch (Consolat. ad Apollon. c. 6, p. 105)
  states the death of Theramenês, that he was “tortured to death”
  by the Thirty is an instance of his loose speaking.

  Compare Cicero about the death of Theramenês (Tuscul. Disp. i,
  40, 96). His admiration for the manner of death of Theramenês
  doubtless contributed to make him rank that Athenian with
  Themistoklês and Periklês (De Orat. iii. 16, 59).

  [399] The epithets applied by Aristophanês to Theramenês (Ran.
  541-966) coincide pretty exactly with those in the speech just
  noticed, which Xenophon ascribes to Kritias against him.

Such high-handed violence, by Kritias and the majority of the
Thirty,—carried though, even against a member of their own Board, by
intimidation of the senate,—left a feeling of disgust and dissension
among their own partisans from which their power never recovered. Its
immediate effect, however, was to render them, apparently, and in
their own estimation, more powerful than ever. All open manifestation
of dissent being now silenced, they proceeded to the uttermost
limits of cruel and licentious tyranny. They made proclamation, that
every one not included in the list of Three Thousand, should depart
without the walls, in order that they might be undisturbed masters
within the city, a policy before resorted to by Periander of Corinth
and other Grecian despots.[400] The numerous fugitives expelled by
this order, distributed themselves partly in Peiræus, partly in
the various demes of Attica. Both in one and the other, however,
they were seized by order of the Thirty, and many of them put to
death, in order that their substance and lands might be appropriated
either by the Thirty themselves, or by some favored partisan.[401]
The denunciations of Batrachus, Æschylidês, and other delators,
became more numerous than ever, in order to obtain the seizure and
execution of their private enemies; and the oligarchy were willing
to purchase any new adherent by thus gratifying his antipathies or
his rapacity.[402] The subsequent orators affirmed that more than
fifteen hundred victims were put to death without trial by the
Thirty;[403] on this numerical estimate little stress is to be laid,
but the total was doubtless prodigious. It became more and more plain
that no man was safe in Attica; so that Athenian emigrants, many
in great poverty and destitution, were multiplied throughout the
neighboring territories,—in Megara, Thebes, Orôpus, Chalkis, Argos,
etc.[404] It was not everywhere that these distressed persons could
obtain reception; for the Lacedæmonian government, at the instance
of the Thirty, issued an edict prohibiting all the members of their
confederacy from harboring fugitive Athenians; an edict which these
cities generously disobeyed,[405] though probably the smaller
Peloponnesian cities complied. Without doubt, this decree was
procured by Lysander, while his influence still continued unimpaired.

  [400] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 1; Lysias, Orat. xii, cont.
  Eratosth. s. 97; Orat. xxxi, cont. Philon. s. 8, 9; Herakleid.
  Pontic. c. 5; Diogen. Laërt. i, 98.

  [401] Xenoph. Hellen. l. c. ἦγον δὲ ἐκ τῶν χωρίων, ἵν᾽ αὐτοὶ καὶ
  οἱ φίλοι τοὺς τούτων ἀγροὺς ἔχοιεν· φευγόντων δὲ ἐς τὸν Πειραιᾶ,
  καὶ ἐντεῦθεν πολλοὺς ἄγοντες, ἐνέπλησαν Μέγαρα καὶ Θήβας τῶν

  [402] Lysias, Or. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 49; Or. xxv, Democrat.
  Subvers. Apolog. s. 20; Or. xxvi, cont. Evandr. s. 23.

  [403] Æschinês, Fals. Legat. c. 24, p. 266, and cont. Ktesiph. c.
  86, p. 455; Isokratês, Or. iv, Panegyr. s. 131; Or. vii, Areopag.
  s. 76.

  [404] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 1; Diodor. xiv, 6; Lysias, Or. xxiv,
  s. 28; Or. xxxi, cont. Philon. s. 10.

  [405] Lysias, Or. xii, cont. Eratosth. sects. 98, 99: παντάχοθεν
  ἐκκηρυττόμενοι; Plutarch, Lysand. c. 99; Diodor xiv, 6; Demosth.
  de Rhod. Libert. c. 10.

But it was not only against the lives, properties, and liberties
of Athenian citizens that the Thirty made war. They were not less
solicitous to extinguish the intellectual force and education of
the city; a project so perfectly in harmony both with the sentiment
and practice of Sparta, that they counted on the support of their
foreign allies. Among the ordinances which they promulgated was one,
expressly forbidding every one[406] “to teach the art of words,”
if I may be allowed to translate literally the Greek expression,
which bore a most comprehensive signification, and denoted every
intentional communication of logical, rhetorical, or argumentative
improvement,—of literary criticism and composition,—and of command
over those political and moral topics which formed the ordinary theme
of discussion. Such was the species of instruction which Sokratês and
other sophists, each in his own way, communicated to the Athenian
youth. The great foreign sophists, not Athenian, such as Prodikus
and Protagoras had been,—though perhaps neither of these two was now
alive,—were doubtless no longer in the city, under the calamitous
circumstances which had been weighing upon every citizen since the
defeat of Ægospotami. But there were abundance of native teachers, or
sophists, inferior in merit to these distinguished names, yet still
habitually employed, with more or less success, in communicating a
species of instruction held indispensable to every liberal Athenian.
The edict of the Thirty was in fact a general suppression of the
higher class of teachers or professors, above the rank of the
elementary teacher of letters, or grammatist. If such an edict could
have been maintained in force for a generation, combined with the
other mandates of the Thirty, the city out of which Sophoklês and
Euripidês had just died, and in which Plato and Isokratês were in
vigorous age, the former twenty-five, the latter twenty-nine, would
have been degraded to the intellectual level of the meanest community
in Greece. It was not uncommon for a Grecian despot to suppress
all those assemblies wherein youths came together for the purpose
of common training, either intellectual or gymnastic; as well as
the public banquets and clubs, or associations, as being dangerous
to his authority, and tending to elevation of courage, and to a
consciousness of political rights among the citizens.[407]

  [406] Xenoph. Memor. i, 2, 31. Καὶ ἐν τοῖς νόμοις ἔγραψε, λόγων
  τέχνην μὴ διδάσκειν.—Isokratês, cont. Sophist. Or. xiii, s. 12.
  τὴν παίδευσιν τὴν τῶν λόγων.

  Plutarch (Themistoklês, c. 19) affirms that the Thirty oligarchs,
  during their rule, altered the position of the rostrum in the
  Pnyx, the place where the democratical public assemblies were
  held: the rostrum had before looked towards the sea, but they
  turned it so as to make it look towards the land, because the
  maritime service and the associations connected with it were the
  chief stimulants of democratical sentiment. This story has been
  often copied and reasserted, as if it were an undoubted fact; but
  M. Forchhammer (Topographie von Athen, p. 289, in Kieler Philol.
  Studien. 1841) has shown it to be untrue and even absurd.

  [407] Aristot. Polit. v, 9, 2.

The enormities of the Thirty had provoked severe comments from
the philosopher Sokratês, whose life was spent in conversation on
instructive subjects with those young men who sought his society,
though he never took money from any pupil. These comments had been
made known to Kritias and Chariklês, who sent for him, reminded him
of the prohibitive law, and peremptorily commanded him to abstain for
the future from all conversation with youths. Sokratês met this order
by putting some questions to those who gave it, in his usual style of
puzzling scrutiny, destined to expose the vagueness of the terms; and
to draw the line, or rather to show that no definite line could be
drawn, between that which was permitted and that which was forbidden.
But he soon perceived that his interrogations produced only a feeling
of disgust and wrath, menacing to his own safety. The tyrants ended
by repeating their interdict in yet more peremptory terms, and by
giving Sokratês to understand, that they were not ignorant of the
censures which he had cast upon them.[408]

  [408] Xenoph. Memorab. i, 2, 33-39.

Though our evidence does not enable us to make out the precise dates
of these various oppressions of the Thirty, yet it seems probable
that this prohibition of teaching must have been among their earlier
enactments; at any rate, considerably anterior to the death of
Theramenês, and the general expulsion out of the walls of all except
the privileged Three Thousand. Their dominion continued, without any
armed opposition made to it, for about eight months from the capture
of Athens by Lysander, that is, from about April to December 404 B.C.
The measure of their iniquity then became full. They had accumulated
against themselves, both in Attica and among the exiles in the
circumjacent territories, suffering and exasperated enemies, while
they had lost the sympathy of Thebes, Megara, and Corinth, and were
less heartily supported by Sparta.

During these important eight months, the general feeling throughout
Greece had become materially different both towards Athens and
towards Sparta. At the moment when the long war was first brought
to a close, fear, antipathy, and vengeance against Athens, had
been the reigning sentiment, both among the confederates of Sparta
and among the revolted members of the extinct Athenian empire; a
sentiment which prevailed among them indeed to a greater degree
than among the Spartans themselves, who resisted it, and granted to
Athens a capitulation at a time when many of their allies pressed
for the harshest measures. To this resolution they were determined
partly by the still remaining force of ancient sympathy; partly by
the odium which would have been sure to follow the act of expelling
the Athenian population, however it might be talked of beforehand
as a meet punishment; partly too by the policy of Lysander, who
contemplated the keeping of Athens in the same dependence on Sparta
and on himself, and by the same means, as the other outlying cities
in which he had planted his dekadarchies.

So soon as Athens was humbled, deprived of her fleet and walled
port, and rendered innocuous, the great bond of common fear which
had held the allies to Sparta disappeared; and while the paramount
antipathy on the part of those allies towards Athens gradually died
away, a sentiment of jealousy and apprehension of Sparta sprang up in
its place, on the part of the leading states among them. For such a
sentiment there was more than one reason. Lysander had brought home
not only a large sum of money, but valuable spoils of other kinds,
and many captive triremes, at the close of the war. As the success
had been achieved by the joint exertions of all the allies, so the
fruits of it belonged in equity to all of them jointly, not to Sparta
alone. The Thebans and Corinthians preferred a formal claim to be
allowed to share; and if the other allies abstained from openly
backing the demand, we may fairly presume that it was not from any
different construction of the equity of the case, but from fear of
offending Sparta. In the testimonial erected by Lysander at Delphi,
commemorative of the triumph, he had included not only his own brazen
statue, but that of each commander of the allied contingents; thus
formally admitting the allies to share in the honorary results,
and tacitly sanctioning their claim to the lucrative results also.
Nevertheless, the demand made by the Thebans and Corinthians was
not only repelled, but almost resented as an insult; especially by
Lysander, whose influence was at that moment almost omnipotent.[409]

  [409] Justin (vi, 10) mentions the demand thus made and refused.
  Plutarch (Lysand. c. 27) states the demand as having been made
  by the Thebans _alone_, which I disbelieve. Xenophon, according
  to the general disorderly arrangement of facts in his Hellenika,
  does not mention the circumstance in its proper place, but
  alludes to it on a subsequent occasion as having before occurred
  (Hellen. iii, 5, 5). He also specifies by name no one but the
  Thebans as having actually made the demand; but there is a
  subsequent passage, which shows that not only the Corinthians,
  but other allies also, sympathized in it (iii, 5, 12).

That the Lacedæmonians should have withheld from the allies a share
in this money, demonstrates still more the great ascendency of
Lysander; because there was a considerable party at Sparta itself,
who protested altogether against the reception of so much gold and
silver, as contrary to the ordinances of Lykurgus, and fatal to the
peculiar morality of Sparta. An ancient Spartan, Skiraphidas, or
Phlogidas, took the lead in calling for exclusive adherence to the
old Spartan money, heavy iron, difficult to carry; nor was it without
difficulty that Lysander and his friends obtained admission for the
treasure into Sparta; under special proviso, that it should be for
the exclusive purposes of the government, and that no private citizen
should ever circulate gold or silver.[410] The existence of such
traditionary repugnance among the Spartans would have seemed likely
to induce them to be just towards their allies, since an equitable
distribution of the treasure would have gone far to remove the
difficulty; yet they nevertheless kept it all.

  [410] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 17; Plutarch, Institut. Lacon. p. 239.

But besides this special offence given to the allies, the conduct of
Sparta in other ways showed that she intended to turn the victory to
her own account. Lysander was at this moment all-powerful, playing
his own game under the name of Sparta. His position was far greater
than that of the regent Pausanias had been after the victory of
Platæa; and his talents for making use of the position incomparably
superior. The magnitude of his successes, as well as the eminent
ability which he had displayed, justified abundant eulogy; but in his
case, the eulogy was carried to the length of something like worship.
Altars were erected to him; pæans or hymns were composed in his
honor; the Ephesians set up his statue in the temple of their goddess
Artemis; and the Samians not only erected a statue to him at Olympia,
but even altered the name of their great festival, the Heræa, to
_Lysandria_.[411] Several contemporary poets—Antilochus, Chœrilus,
Nikêratus, and Antimachus—devoted themselves to sing his glories and
profit by his rewards.

  [411] Pausan. vi, 3, 6. The Samian oligarchical party owed their
  recent restoration to Lysander.

Such excess of flattery was calculated to turn the head even
of the most virtuous Greek: with Lysander, it had the effect
of substituting, in place of that assumed smoothness of manner
with which he began his command, an insulting harshness and
arrogance corresponding to the really unmeasured ambition which
he cherished.[412] His ambition prompted him to aggrandize Sparta
separately, without any thought of her allies, in order to exercise
dominion in her name. He had already established dekadarchies, or
oligarchies of Ten, in many of the insular and Asiatic cities, and
an oligarchy of Thirty in Athens; all composed of vehement partisans
chosen by himself, dependent upon him for support, and devoted to
his objects. To the eye of an impartial observer in Greece, it
seemed as if all these cities had been converted into dependencies
of Sparta, and were intended to be held in that condition; under
Spartan authority, exercised by and through Lysander.[413] Instead
of that general freedom which had been promised as an incentive to
revolt against Athens, a Spartan empire had been constituted in place
of the extinct Athenian, with a tribute, amounting to a thousand
talents annually, intended to be assessed upon the component cities
and islands.[414] Such at least was the scheme of Lysander, though it
never reached complete execution.

  [412] Plutarch, Lysand. c. 18, 19.

  [413] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 30. Οὕτω δὲ προχωρούντων, Παυσανίας
  ὁ βασιλεὺς (of Sparta), φθονήσας Λυσάνδρῳ εἰ κατειργασμένος
  ταῦτα ἅμα μὲν εὐδοκιμήσοι, ἅμα ~δὲ ἰδίας ποιήσοιτο τὰς Ἀθήνας~,
  πείσας τῶν Ἐφόρων τρεῖς, ἐξάγει φρουράν. Ξυνείποντο δὲ καὶ οἱ
  ξύμμαχοι πάντες, πλὴν Βοιωτῶν καὶ Κορινθίων. Οὗτοι δ᾽ ἔλεγον
  μὲν ὅτι οὐ νομίζοιεν εὐορκεῖν ἂν στρατευόμενοι ἐπ᾽ Ἀθηναίους,
  μηδὲν παράσπονδον ποιοῦντας· ~ἔπραττον δὲ ταῦτα, ὅτι ἐγίγνωσκον
  Λακεδαιμονίους βουλομένους τὴν τῶν Ἀθηναίων χώραν οἰκείαν καὶ
  πιστὴν ποιήσασθαι~. Compare also iii, 5, 12, 13, respecting
  the sentiments entertained in Greece about the conduct of the

  [414] Diodor. xiv, 10-13.

It is easy to see that under such a state of feeling on the part
of the allies of Sparta, the enormities perpetrated by the Thirty
at Athens and by the Lysandrian dekadarchies in the other cities,
would be heard with sympathy for the sufferers, and without that
strong anti-Athenian sentiment which had reigned a few months before.
But what was of still greater importance, even at Sparta itself,
opposition began to spring up against the measures and the person
of Lysander. If the leading men at Sparta had felt jealous even of
Brasidas, who offended them only by unparalleled success and merit
as a commander,[415] much more would the same feeling be aroused
against Lysander, who displayed an overweening insolence, and was
worshipped with an ostentatious flattery, not inferior to that of
Pausanias after the battle of Platæa. Another Pausanias, son of
Pleistoanax, was now king of Sparta, in conjunction with Agis. Upon
him the feeling of jealousy against Lysander told with especial
force, as it did afterwards upon Agesilaus, the successor of Agis;
not unaccompanied probably with suspicion, which subsequent events
justified, that Lysander was aiming at some interference with the
regal privileges. Nor is it unfair to suppose that Pausanias was
animated by motives more patriotic than mere jealousy, and that the
rapacious cruelty, which everywhere dishonored the new oligarchies,
both shocked his better feelings and inspired him with fears for the
stability of the system. A farther circumstance which weakened the
influence of Lysander at Sparta was the annual change of ephors,
which took place about the end of September or beginning of October.
Those ephors under whom his grand success and the capture of Athens
had been consummated, and who had lent themselves entirely to his
views, passed out of office in September 404 B.C., and gave place to
others more disposed to second Pausanias.

  [415] Thucyd. iv.

I remarked, in the preceding chapter, how much more honorable for
Sparta, and how much less unfortunate for Athens and for the rest
of Greece, the close of the Peloponnesian war would have been,
if Kallikratidas had gained and survived the battle of Arginusæ,
so as to close it then, and to acquire for himself that personal
ascendency which the victorious general was sure to exercise
over the numerous rearrangements consequent on peace. We see how
important the personal character of the general so placed was, when
we follow the proceedings of Lysander during the year after the
battle of Ægospotami. His personal views were the grand determining
circumstance throughout Greece; regulating both the measures of
Sparta, and the fate of the conquered cities. Throughout the latter,
rapacious and cruel oligarchies were organized,—of Ten in most
cities, but of Thirty in Athens,—all acting under the power and
protection of Sparta, but in real subordination to his ambition.
Because he happened to be under the influence of a selfish thirst
for power, the measures of Sparta were divested not merely of all
Pan-Hellenic spirit, but even, to a great degree, of reference to
her own confederates, and concentrated upon the acquisition of
imperial preponderance for herself. Now if Kallikratidas had been
the ascendent person at this critical juncture, not only such narrow
and baneful impulses would have been comparatively inoperative,
but the leading state would have been made to set the example
of recommending, of organizing, and if necessary, of enforcing
arrangements favorable to Pan-Hellenic brotherhood. Kallikratidas
would not only have refused to lend himself to dekadarchies governing
by his force and for his purposes, in the subordinate cities, but he
would have discountenanced such conspiracies, wherever they tended
to arise spontaneously. No ruffian like Kritias, no crafty schemer
like Theramenês, would have reckoned upon his aid as they presumed
upon the friendship of Lysander. Probably he would have left the
government of each city to its own natural tendencies, oligarchical
or democratical; interfering only in special cases of actual and
pronounced necessity. Now the influence of an ascendent state,
employed for such purposes, and emphatically discarding all private
ends for the accomplishment of a stable Pan-Hellenic sentiment and
fraternity; employed too thus, at a moment when so many of the Greek
towns were in the throes of reorganization, having to take up a new
political course in reference to the altered circumstances, is an
element of which the force could hardly have failed to be prodigious
as well as beneficial. What degree of positive good might have been
wrought, by a noble-minded victor under such special circumstances,
we cannot presume to affirm in detail. But it would have been no mean
advantage, to have preserved Greece from beholding and feeling such
enormous powers in the hands of a man like Lysander; through whose
management the worst tendencies of an imperial city were studiously
magnified by the exorbitance of individual ambition. It was to
him exclusively that the Thirty in Athens, and the dekadarchies
elsewhere, owed both their existence and their means of oppression.

It has been necessary thus to explain the general changes which had
gone on in Greece and in Grecian feeling during the eight months
succeeding the capture of Athens in March 404 B.C., in order that we
may understand the position of the Thirty oligarchs, or Tyrants, at
Athens, and of the Athenian population both in Attica and in exile,
about the beginning of December in the same year, the period which we
have now reached. We see how it was that Thebes, Corinth, and Megara,
who in March had been the bitterest enemies of the Athenians, had now
become alienated both from Sparta and from the Lysandrian Thirty,
whom they viewed as viceroys of Athens for separate Spartan benefit.
We see how the basis was thus laid of sympathy for the suffering
exiles who fled from Attica; a feeling which the recital of the
endless enormities perpetrated by Kritias and his colleagues inflamed
every day more and more. We discern at the same time how the Thirty,
while thus incurring enmity both in and out of Attica, were at the
same time losing the hearty support of Sparta, from the decline of
Lysander’s influence, and the growing opposition of his rivals at

In spite of formal prohibition from Sparta, obtained doubtless
under the influence of Lysander, the Athenian emigrants had obtained
shelter in all the states bordering on Attica. It was from Bœotia
that they struck the first blow. Thrasybulus, Anytus, and Archinus,
starting from Thebes with the sympathy of the Theban public, and with
substantial aid from Ismenias and other wealthy citizens,—at the
head of a small band of exiles stated variously at thirty, sixty,
seventy, or somewhat above one hundred men,[416]—seized Phylê, a
frontier fortress in the mountains north of Attica, lying on the
direct road between Athens and Thebes. Probably it had no garrison;
for the Thirty, acting in the interest of Lacedæmonian predominance,
had dismantled all the outlying fortresses in Attica;[417] so that
Thrasybulus accomplished his purpose without resistance. The Thirty
marched out from Athens to attack him, at the head of a powerful
force, comprising the Lacedæmonian hoplites who formed their guard,
the Three Thousand privileged citizens, and all the knights, or
horsemen. Probably the small company of Thrasybulus was reinforced by
fresh accessions of exiles, as soon as he was known to have occupied
the fort. For by the time that the Thirty with their assailing force
arrived, he was in condition to repel a vigorous assault made by the
younger soldiers, with considerable loss to the aggressors.

  [416] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 2; Diodor. xiv, 32; Pausan. i,
  29, 3; Lysias, Or. xiii, cont. Agorat. sect. 84; Justin, v,
  9; Æschinês, cont. Ktesiphon, c. 62, p. 437; Demosth. cont.
  Timokrat. c. 34, p. 742. Æschinês allots more than one hundred
  followers to the captors of Phylê.

  The sympathy which the Athenian exiles found at Thebes is
  attested in a fragment of Lysias, ap. Dionys. Hal. Jud. de Lysiâ,
  p. 594 (Fragm. 47, ed. Bekker).

  [417] Lysias, Or. xii, cont. Eratosth. sect. 41, p. 124.

Disappointed in this direct attack, the Thirty laid plans for
blockading Phylê, where they knew that there was no stock of
provisions. But hardly had their operations commenced, when a
snow-storm fell, so abundant and violent, that they were forced to
abandon their position and retire to Athens, leaving much of their
baggage in the hands of the garrison at Phylê. In the language of
Thrasybulus, this storm was characterized as providential, since the
weather had been very fine until the moment preceding, and since it
gave time to receive reinforcements which made him seven hundred
strong.[418] Though the weather was such that the Thirty did not
choose to keep their main force in the neighborhood of Phylê, and
perhaps the Three Thousand themselves were not sufficiently hearty
in the cause to allow it, yet they sent their Lacedæmonians and
two tribes of Athenian horsemen to restrain the excursions of the
garrison. This body Thrasybulus contrived to attack by surprise.
Descending from Phylê by night, he halted within a quarter of a
mile of their position until a little before daybreak, when the
night-watch had just broken up,[419] and when the grooms were
making a noise in rubbing down the horses. Just at that moment, the
hoplites from Phylê rushed upon them at a running pace, found every
man unprepared, and some even in their beds, and dispersed them with
scarcely any resistance. One hundred and twenty hoplites and a few
horsemen were slain, while abundance of arms and stores were captured
and carried back to Phylê in triumph.[420] News of the defeat was
speedily conveyed to the city, from whence the remaining horsemen
immediately came forth to the rescue, but could do nothing more than
protect the carrying off of the dead.

  [418] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 2, 5, 14.

  [419] See an analogous case of a Lacedæmonian army surprised by
  the Thebans at this dangerous hour, Xenoph. Hellen. vii, i, 16;
  compare Xenoph. Magistr. Equit. vii, 12.

  [420] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 5, 7. Diodorus (xiv, 32, 33)
  represents the occasion of this battle somewhat differently. I
  follow the account of Xenophon.

This successful engagement sensibly changed the relative situation of
parties in Attica; encouraging the exiles as much as it depressed the
Thirty. Even among the partisans of the latter at Athens, dissension
began to arise; the minority which had sympathized with Theramenês,
as well as that portion of the Three Thousand who were least
compromised as accomplices in the recent enormities, began to waver
so manifestly in their allegiance, that Kritias and his colleagues
felt some doubt of being able to maintain themselves in the city.
They resolved to secure Eleusis and the island of Salamis, as places
of safety and resource in case of being compelled to evacuate Athens.
They accordingly went to Eleusis with a considerable number of the
Athenian horsemen, under pretence of examining into the strength of
the place and the number of its defenders, so as to determine what
amount of farther garrison would be necessary. All the Eleusinians
disposed and qualified for armed service, were ordered to come in
person and give in their names to the Thirty,[421] in a building
having its postern opening on to the sea-beach; along which were
posted the horsemen and the attendants from Athens. Each Eleusinian
hoplite, after having presented himself and returned his name to the
Thirty, was ordered to pass out through this exit, where each man
successively found himself in the power of the horsemen, and was
fettered by the attendants. Lysimachus, the hipparch, or commander of
the horsemen, was directed to convey all these prisoners to Athens,
and hand them over to the custody of the Eleven.[422] Having thus
seized and carried away from Eleusis every citizen whose sentiments
or whose energy they suspected, and having left a force of their own
adherents in the place, the Thirty returned to Athens. At the same
time, it appears, a similar visit and seizure of prisoners was made
by some of them in Salamis.[423] On the next day, they convoked at
Athens all their Three Thousand privileged hoplites—together with
all the remaining horsemen who had not been employed at Eleusis or
Salamis—in the Odeon, half of which was occupied by the Lacedæmonian
garrison all under arms. “Gentlemen (said Kritias, addressing his
countrymen), we keep up the government not less for your benefit
than for our own. You must therefore share with us in the danger,
as well as in the honor, of our position. Here are these Eleusinian
prisoners awaiting sentence; you must pass a vote condemning them
all to death, in order that your hopes and fears may be identified
with ours.” He then pointed to a spot immediately before him and
in his view, directing each man to deposit upon it his pebble of
condemnation visibly to every one.[424] I have before remarked that
at Athens, open voting was well known to be the same thing as voting
under constraint; there was no security for free and genuine suffrage
except by making it secret as well as numerous. Kritias was obeyed,
without reserve or exception; probably any dissentient would have
been put to death on the spot. All the prisoners, seemingly three
hundred in number,[425] were condemned by the same vote, and executed

  [421] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 8. I apprehend that ἀπογράφεσθαι
  here refers to prospective military service; as in vi, 5, 29,
  and in Cyropæd. ii, 1, 18, 19. The words in the context, πόσης
  ~φυλακῆς προσδεήσοιντο~, attest that such is the meaning;
  though the commentators, and Sturz in his Lexicon Xenophonteum,
  interpret differently.

  [422] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 8.

  [423] Both Lysias (Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 53; Orat. xiii,
  cont. Agorat. s. 47) and Diodorus (xiv, 32) connect together
  these two similar proceedings at Eleusis and at Salamis. Xenophon
  mentions only the affair at Eleusis.

  [424] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 9. Δείξας δέ τι χωρίον, ἐς τοῦτο
  ἐκέλευσε ~φανερὰν φέρειν τὴν ψῆφον~. Compare Lysias, Or. xiii,
  cont. Agorat. s. 40, and Thucyd. iv, 74, about the conduct of the
  Megarian oligarchical leaders: καὶ τούτων περὶ ἀναγκάσαντες τὸν
  δῆμον ψῆφον φανερὰν διενεγκεῖν, etc.

  [425] Lysias (Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 53) gives this number.

Though this atrocity gave additional satisfaction and confidence to
the most violent friends of Kritias, it probably alienated a greater
number of others, and weakened the Thirty instead of strengthening
them. It contributed in part, we can hardly doubt, to the bold and
decisive resolution now taken by Thrasybulus, five days after his
late success, of marching by night from Phylê to Peiræus.[426]
His force, though somewhat increased, was still no more than one
thousand men; altogether inadequate by itself to any considerable
enterprise, had he not counted on positive support and junction from
fresh comrades, together with a still greater amount of negative
support from disgust or indifference towards the Thirty. He was
indeed speedily joined by many sympathizing countrymen; but few of
them, since the general disarming manœuvre of the oligarchs, had
heavy armor. Some had light shields and darts, but others were wholly
unarmed, and could merely serve as throwers of stones.[427]

  [426] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 10, 13. ἡμέραν πέμπτην, etc.

  [427] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 12.

Peiræus was at this moment an open town, deprived of its
fortifications as well as of those Long Walls which had so long
connected it with Athens. It was however of large compass, and
required an ampler force to defend it than Thrasybulus could
muster. Accordingly, when the Thirty marched out of Athens the next
morning to attack him, with their full force of Athenian hoplites
and horsemen, and with the Lacedæmonian garrison besides, he in vain
attempted to maintain against them the great carriage-road which
led down to Peiræus. He was compelled to concentrate his forces in
Munychia, the easternmost portion of the aggregate called Peiræus,
nearest to the bay of Phalêrum, and comprising one of those three
ports which had once sustained the naval power of Athens. Thrasybulus
occupied the temple of Artemis Munychia, and the adjoining
Bendideion, situated in the midst of Munychia, and accessible only by
a street of steep ascent. In the rear of his hoplites, whose files
were ten deep, were posted the darters and slingers: the ascent being
so steep that these latter could cast their missiles over the heads
of the hoplites in their front. Presently Kritias and the Thirty,
having first mustered in the market-place of Peiræus, called the
Hippodamian agora, were seen approaching with their superior numbers;
mounting the hill in close array, with hoplites not less than fifty
in depth. Thrasybulus, after an animated exhortation to his soldiers,
in which he reminded them of the wrongs which they had to avenge,
and dwelt upon the advantages of their position, which exposed the
close ranks of the enemy to the destructive effect of missiles, and
would force them to crouch under their shields so as to be unable
to resist a charge with the spear in front, waited patiently until
they came within distance, standing in the foremost rank with the
prophet—habitually consulted before a battle—by his side. The latter,
a brave and devoted patriot, while promising victory, had exhorted
his comrades not to charge until some one on their own side should
be slain or wounded: he at the same time predicted his own death in
the conflict. When the troops of the Thirty advanced near enough in
ascending the hill, the light-armed in the rear of Thrasybulus poured
upon them a shower of darts over the heads of their own hoplites,
with considerable effect. As they seemed to waver, seeking to cover
themselves with their shields, and thus not seeing well before them,
the prophet, himself seemingly in arms, set the example of rushing
forward, was the first to close with the enemy, and perished in the
onset. Thrasybulus with the main body of hoplites followed him,
charged vigorously down the hill, and after a smart resistance,
drove them back in disorder, with the loss of seventy men. What was
of still greater moment, Kritias and Hippomachus, who headed their
troops on the left, were among the slain; together with Charmidês son
of Glaukon, one of the ten oligarchs who had been placed to manage

  [428] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 12, 20.

This great and important advantage left the troops of Thrasybulus
in possession of seventy of the enemy’s dead, whom they stripped
of their arms, but not of their clothing, in token of respect for
fellow-countrymen.[429] So disheartened, lukewarm, and disunited were
the hoplites of the Thirty, in spite of their great superiority of
number, that they sent to solicit the usual truce for burying the
dead. This was of course granted, and the two contending parties
became intermingled with each other in the performance of the funeral
duties. Amidst so impressive a scene, their common feelings as
Athenians and fellow-countrymen were forcibly brought back, and many
friendly observations were interchanged among them. Kleokritus—herald
of the mysts, or communicants in the Eleusinian mysteries, belonging
to one of the most respected gentes in the state—was among the
exiles. His voice was peculiarly loud, and the function which he held
enabled him to obtain silence while he addressed to the citizens
serving with the Thirty a touching and emphatic remonstrance: “Why
are you thus driving us into banishment, fellow-citizens? Why are
you seeking to kill us? We have never done you the least harm; we
have partaken with you in religious rites and festivals; we have been
your companions in chorus, in school, and in army; we have braved a
thousand dangers with you, by land and sea, in defence of our common
safety and freedom. I adjure you by our common gods, paternal and
maternal, by our common kindred and companionship, desist from thus
wronging your country in obedience to these nefarious Thirty, who
have slain as many citizens in eight months, for their own private
gains, as the Peloponnesians in ten years of war. These are the men
who have plunged us into wicked and odious war one against another,
when we might live together in peace. Be assured that your slain in
this battle have cost us as many tears as they have cost you.”[430]

  [429] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 19; Cornel. Nepos, Thrasybul. c. 2.

  [430] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 22.

Such affecting appeals, proceeding from a man of respected station
like Kleokritus, and doubtless from others also, began to work
so sensibly on the minds of the citizens from Athens, that the
Thirty were obliged to give orders for immediately returning, which
Thrasybulus did not attempt to prevent, though it might have been
in his power to do so.[431] But their ascendency had received a
shock from which it never fully recovered. On the next day they
appeared downcast and dispirited in the senate, which was itself
thinly attended; while the privileged Three Thousand, marshalled
in different companies on guard, were everywhere in discord and
partial mutiny. Those among them who had been most compromised in
the crimes of the Thirty, were strenuous in upholding the existing
authority; while such as had been less guilty protested against the
continuance of such unholy war, and declared that the Thirty should
not be permitted to bring Athens to utter ruin. And though the
horsemen still continued steadfast partisans, resolutely opposing
all accommodation with the exiles,[432] yet the Thirty were farther
weakened by the death of Kritias, the ascendent and decisive
head, and at the same time the most cruel and unprincipled among
them; while that party, both in the senate and out of it, which
had formerly adhered to Theramenês, now again raised its head. A
public meeting among them was held, in which what may be called the
opposition-party among the Thirty, that which had opposed the extreme
enormities of Kritias, became predominant. It was determined to
depose the Thirty, and to constitute a fresh oligarchy of Ten, one
from each tribe.[433] But the members of the Thirty were individually
reëligible; so that two of them, Eratosthenês and Pheidon, if
not more, adherents of Theramenês and unfriendly to Kritias and
Chariklês,[434] with others of the same vein of sentiment, were
chosen among the Ten. Chariklês and the more violent members, having
thus lost their ascendency, no longer deemed themselves safe at
Athens, but retired to Eleusis, which they had had the precaution to
occupy beforehand. Probably a number of their partisans, and the
Lacedæmonian garrison also, retired thither along with them.

  [431] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 22; Lysias, Orat. xii, cont.
  Eratosth. s. 55: οἱ μὲν γὰρ ἐκ Πειραιέως κρείττους ὄντες εἴασαν
  αὐτοὺς ἀπελθεῖν, etc.

  [432] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 24.

  [433] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 23.

  [434] Lysias, Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth. sects. 55, 56: οἱ
  δοκοῦντες εἶναι ἐναντιώτατοι Χαρικλεῖ καὶ Κριτίᾳ καὶ τῇ τούτων
  ἑταιρείᾳ, etc.

The nomination of this new oligarchy of Ten was plainly a compromise,
adopted by some from sincere disgust at the oligarchical system, and
desire to come to accommodation with the exiles; by others, from a
conviction that the only way of maintaining the oligarchical system,
and repelling the exiles, was to constitute a new oligarchical Board,
dismissing that which had become obnoxious. The latter was the
purpose of the horsemen, the main upholders of the first Board as
well as of the second; and such also was soon seen to be the policy
of Eratosthenês and his colleagues. Instead of attempting to agree
upon terms of accommodation with the exiles in Peiræus generally,
they merely tried to corrupt separately Thrasybulus and the leaders,
offering to admit ten of them to a share of the oligarchical power
at Athens, provided they would betray their party. This offer having
been indignantly refused, the war was again resumed between Athens
and Peiræus, to the bitter disappointment, not less of the exiles
than of that portion of the Athenians who had hoped better things
from the new Board of Ten.[435]

  [435] The facts which I have here set down, result from a
  comparison of Lysias, Orat. xii, cont. Eratosth. sects. 53, 59,
  94: Φείδων, αἱρεθεὶς ὑμᾶς διαλλάξαι καὶ καταγαγεῖν. Diodor. xiv,
  32; Justin, v, 9.

But the forces of oligarchy were seriously enfeebled at Athens,[436]
as well by the secession of all the more violent spirits to
Eleusis, as by the mistrust, discord, and disaffection which now
reigned within the city. Far from being able to abuse power like
their predecessors, the Ten did not even fully confide in their
three thousand hoplites, but were obliged to take measures for
the defence of the city in conjunction with the hipparch and the
horsemen, who did double duty,—on horseback in the day-time, and as
hoplites with their shields along the walls at night, for fear of
surprise,—employing the Odeon as their head-quarters. The Ten sent
envoys to Sparta to solicit farther aid; while the Thirty sent envoys
thither also, from Eleusis, for the same purpose; both representing
that the Athenian people had revolted from Sparta, and required
farther force to reconquer them.[437]

  [436] Isokratês, Or. xviii, cont. Kallimach. s. 25.

  [437] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 24, 28.

Such foreign aid became daily more necessary to them, since the
forces of Thrasybulus in Peiræus grew stronger, before their eyes,
in numbers, in arms, and in hope of success; exerting themselves,
with successful energy, to procure additional arms and shields,
though some of the shields, indeed, were no better than wood-work
or wicker-work whitened over.[438] Many exiles flocked in to their
aid, while others sent donations of money or arms: among the latter,
the orator Lysias stood conspicuous, transmitting to Peiræus a
present of two hundred shields as well as two thousand drachms in
money, and hiring besides three hundred fresh soldiers; while his
friend Thrasydæus, the leader of the democratical interest at Elis,
was induced to furnish a loan of two talents.[439] Others also lent
money; some Bœotians furnished two talents, and a person named
Gelarchus contributed the large sum of five talents, repaid in after
times by the people.[440] Proclamation was made by Thrasybulus,
that all metics who would lend aid should be put on the footing of
isotely, or equal payment of taxes with citizens, exempt from the
metic-tax and other special burdens. Within a short time he had got
together a considerable force both in heavy-armed and light-armed,
and even seventy horsemen; so that he was in condition to make
excursions out of Peiræus, and to collect wood and provisions. Nor
did the Ten venture to make any aggressive movement out of Athens,
except so far as to send out the horsemen, who slew or captured
stragglers from the force of Thrasybulus. Lysimachus the hipparch,
the same who had commanded under the Thirty at the seizure of the
Eleusinian citizens, having made prisoners some young Athenians,
bringing in provisions from the country for the consumption of the
troops in Peiræus, put them to death, in spite of remonstrances
from several even of his own men; for which cruelty Thrasybulus
retaliated, by putting to death a horseman named Kallistratus, made
prisoner in one of their marches to the neighboring villages.[441]

  [438] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 25.

  [439] Plutarch, Vit. x, Orator, p. 835; Lysias, Or. xxxi, cont.
  Philon. sects. 19-34.

  Lysias and his brother had carried on a manufactory of shields
  at Athens. The Thirty had plundered it; but some of the stock
  probably escaped.

  [440] Demosth. cont. Leptin. c. 32, p. 502; Lysias cont.
  Nikomach. Or. xxx, s. 29.

  [441] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 27.

In the established civil war which now raged in Attica, Thrasybulus
and the exiles in Peiræus had decidedly the advantage; maintaining
the offensive, while the Ten in Athens, and the remainder of the
Thirty at Eleusis, were each thrown upon their defence. The division
of the oligarchical force into these two sections doubtless weakened
both, while the democrats in Peiræus were hearty and united.
Presently, however, the arrival of a Spartan auxiliary force altered
the balance of parties. Lysander, whom the oligarchical envoys had
expressly requested to be sent to them as general, prevailed with the
ephors to grant their request. While he himself went to Eleusis and
got together a Peloponnesian land-force, his brother Libys conducted
a fleet of forty triremes to block up Peiræus, and one hundred
talents were lent to the Athenian oligarchs out of the large sum
recently brought from Asia into the Spartan treasury.[442]

  [442] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 28; Diodor. xiv, 33; Lysias, Orat.
  xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 60.

The arrival of Lysander brought the two sections of oligarchs
in Attica again into coöperation, restrained the progress of
Thrasybulus, and even reduced Peiræus to great straits by preventing
all entry of ships or stores. Nor could anything have prevented it
from being reduced to surrender, if Lysander had been allowed free
scope in his operations. But the general sentiment of Greece had
by this time become disgusted with his ambitious policy, and with
the oligarchies which he had everywhere set up as his instruments;
a sentiment not without influence on the feelings of the leading
Spartans, who, already jealous of his ascendency, were determined not
to increase it farther by allowing him to conquer Attica a second
time, in order to plant his own creatures as rulers at Athens.[443]

  [443] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 29. Οὕτω δὲ προχωρούντων, Παυσανίας
  ὁ βασιλεὺς, φθονήσας Λυσάνδρῳ, εἰ κατειργασμένος ταῦτα ἅμα μὲν
  εὐδοκιμήσοι, ἅμα δὲ ἰδίας ποιήσοιτο τὰς Ἀθήνας, πείσας τῶν Ἐφόρων
  τρεῖς, ἐξάγει φρουράν.

  Diodor. xiv, 33. Παυσανίας δὲ..., φθονῶν μὲν τῷ Λυσάνδρῳ, θεωρῶν
  δὲ τὴν Σπάρτην ἀδοξοῦσαν παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησι, etc.

  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 21.

Under the influence of these feelings, king Pausanias obtained
the consent of three out of the five ephors to undertake himself
an expedition into Attica, at the head of the forces of the
confederacy, for which he immediately issued proclamation. Opposed
to the political tendencies of Lysander, he was somewhat inclined to
sympathize with the democracy, not merely at Athens, but elsewhere
also, as at Mantineia.[444] It was probably understood that his
intentions towards Athens were lenient and anti-Lysandrian, so that
the Peloponnesian allies obeyed the summons generally: yet the
Bœotians and Corinthians still declined, on the ground that Athens
had done nothing to violate the late convention; a remarkable proof
of the altered feelings of Greece during the last year, since, down
to the period of that convention, these two states had been more
bitterly hostile to Athens than any others in the confederacy. They
suspected that even the expedition of Pausanias was projected with
selfish Lacedæmonian views, to secure Attica as a separate dependency
of Sparta, though detached from Lysander.[445]

  [444] Xenoph. Hellen. v, 2, 3.

  [445] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 30.

On approaching Athens, Pausanias, joined by Lysander and the forces
already in Attica, encamped in the garden of the Academy, near
the city gates. His sentiments were sufficiently known beforehand
to offer encouragement; so that the vehement reaction against
the atrocities of the Thirty, which the presence of Lysander
had doubtless stifled, burst forth without delay. The surviving
relatives of the victims slain beset him even at the Academy in his
camp, with prayers for protection and cries of vengeance against
the oligarchs. Among those victims, as I have already stated, were
Nikêratus the son, and Eukratês the brother, of Nikias who had
perished at Syracuse, the friend and proxenus of Sparta at Athens.
The orphan children, both of Nikêratus and Eukratês, were taken to
Pausanias by their relative Diognêtus, who implored his protection
for them, recounting at the same time the unmerited execution of
their respective fathers, and setting forth their family claims
upon the justice of Sparta. This affecting incident, which has been
specially made known to us,[446] doubtless did not stand alone,
among so many families suffering from the same cause. Pausanias was
furnished at once with ample grounds, not merely for repudiating the
Thirty altogether, and sending back the presents which they tendered
to him,[447] but even for refusing to identify himself unreservedly
with the new oligarchy of Ten which had risen upon their ruins.
The voice of complaint—now for the first time set free, with some
hopes of redress—must have been violent and unmeasured, after such
a career as that of Kritias and his colleagues; while the fact was
now fully manifested, which could not well have come forth into
evidence before, that the persons despoiled and murdered had been
chiefly opulent men, and very frequently even oligarchical men,
not politicians of the former democracy. Both Pausanias, and the
Lacedæmonians along with him, on reaching Athens, must have been
strongly affected by the facts which they learned, and by the loud
cry for sympathy and redress which poured upon them from the most
innocent and respected families. The predisposition both of the
king and the ephors against the policy of Lysander was materially
strengthened, as well as their inclination to bring about an
accommodation of parties, instead of upholding by foreign force an
anti-popular Few.

  [446] Lysias, Or. xviii, De Bonis Niciæ Frat. sects. 8-10.

  [447] Lysias, _ut sup._ sects. 11, 12. ὅθεν Παυσανίας ἤρξατο
  εὔνους εἶναι τῷ δήμῳ, παράδειγμα ποιούμενος πρὸς τοὺς ἄλλους
  Λακεδαιμονίους τὰς ἡμετέρας συμφορὰς τῆς τῶν τριάκοντα

  Οὕτω δ᾽ ἠλεούμεθα, καὶ πᾶσι δεινὰ ἐδοκοῦμεν πεπονθέναι, ὥστε
  Παυσανίας τὰ μὲν παρὰ τῶν τριάκοντα ξένια οὐκ ἠθέλησε λαβεῖν, τὰ
  δὲ παρ᾽ ἡμῶν ἐδέξατο.

Such convictions would become farther confirmed as Pausanias saw
and heard more of the real state of affairs. At first, he held a
language decidedly adverse to Thrasybulus and the exiles, sending
to them a herald, and requiring them to disband and go to their
respective homes.[448] The requisition not being obeyed, he made a
faint attack upon Peiræus, which had no effect. Next day he marched
down with two Lacedæmonian moræ, or large military divisions, and
three tribes of the Athenian horsemen, to reconnoitre the place,
and see where a line of blockade could be drawn. Some light troops
annoyed him, but his troops repulsed them, and pursued them even as
far as the theatre of Peiræus, where all the forces of Thrasybulus
were mustered, heavy-armed, as well as light-armed. The Lacedæmonians
were here in a disadvantageous position, probably in the midst of
houses and streets, so that all the light-armed of Thrasybulus were
enabled to set upon them furiously from different sides, and drive
them out again with loss, two of the Spartan polemarchs being here
slain. Pausanias was obliged to retreat to a little eminence about
half a mile off, where he mustered his whole force, and formed his
hoplites into a very deep phalanx. Thrasybulus on his side was so
encouraged by the recent success of his light-armed, that he ventured
to bring out his heavy-armed, only eight deep, to an equal conflict
on the open ground. But he was here completely worsted, and driven
back into Peiræus with the loss of one hundred and fifty men; so that
the Spartan king was able to retire to Athens after a victory, and a
trophy erected to commemorate it.[449]

  [448] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 31. This seems the meaning of the
  phrase ἀπιέναι ἐπὶ τὰ ἑαυτῶν; as we may see by s. 38.

  [449] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 31-34.

The issue of this battle was one extremely fortunate for Thrasybulus
and his comrades; since it left the honors of the day with Pausanias,
so as to avoid provoking enmity or vengeance on his part, while it
showed plainly that the conquest of Peiræus, defended by so much
courage and military efficiency, would be no easy matter. It disposed
Pausanias still farther towards an accommodation; strengthening also
the force of that party in Athens which was favorable to the same
object, and adverse to the Ten oligarchs. This opposition-party
found decided favor with the Spartan king, as well as with the ephor
Naukleidas, who was present along with him. Numbers of Athenians,
even among those Three Thousand by whom the city was now exclusively
occupied, came forward to deprecate farther war with Peiræus, and to
entreat that Pausanias would settle the quarrel so as to leave them
all at amity with Lacedæmon. Xenophon, indeed, according to that
narrow and partial spirit which pervades his Hellenica, notices no
sentiment in Pausanias except his jealousy of Lysander, and treats
the opposition against the Ten at Athens as having been got up by
his intrigues.[450] But it seems plain that this is not a correct
account. Pausanias did not create the discord, but found it already
existing, and had to choose which of the parties he would adopt.
The Ten took up the oligarchical game after it had been thoroughly
dishonored and ruined by the Thirty: they inspired no confidence, nor
had they any hold upon the citizens in Athens, except in so far as
these latter dreaded reactionary violence, in case Thrasybulus and
his companions should reënter by force; accordingly, when Pausanias
was there at the head of a force competent to prevent such dangerous
reaction, the citizens at once manifested their dispositions against
the Ten, and favorable to peace with Peiræus. To second this pacific
party was at once the easiest course for Pausanias to take, and the
most likely to popularize Sparta in Greece; whereas, he would surely
have entailed upon her still more bitter curses from without, not to
mention the loss of men to herself, if he had employed the amount of
force requisite to uphold the Ten, and subdue Peiræus. To all this we
have to add his jealousy of Lysander, as an important predisposing
motive, but only as auxiliary among many others.

  [450] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 35. Διΐστη δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν τῷ
  ἄστει (Pausanias) καὶ ἐκέλευε πρὸς σφᾶς προσιέναι ὡς πλείστους
  ξυλλεγομένους, λέγοντας, etc.

Under such a state of facts, it is not surprising to learn that
Pausanias encouraged solicitations for peace from Thrasybulus and
the exiles, and that he granted them a truce to enable them to send
envoys to Sparta. Along with these envoys went Kephisophon and
Melitus, sent for the same purpose of entreating peace, by the party
opposed to the Ten at Athens, under the sanction both of Pausanias
and of the accompanying ephors. On the other hand, the Ten, finding
themselves discountenanced by Pausanias, sent envoys of their own
to outbid the others. They tendered themselves, their walls, and
their city, to be dealt with as the Lacedæmonians chose; requiring
that Thrasybulus, if he pretended to be the friend of Sparta, should
make the same unqualified surrender of Peiræus and Munychia. All the
three sets of envoys were heard before the ephors remaining at Sparta
and the Lacedæmonian assembly; who took the best resolution which
the case admitted, to bring to pass an amicable settlement between
Athens and Peiræus, and to leave the terms to be fixed by fifteen
commissioners, who were sent thither forthwith to sit in conjunction
with Pausanias. This Board determined, that the exiles in Peiræus
should be readmitted to Athens, that an accommodation should take
place, and that no man should be molested for past acts, except the
Thirty, the Eleven (who had been the instruments of all executions),
and the Ten who had governed in Peiræus. But Eleusis was recognized
as a government separate from Athens, and left, as it already was, in
possession of the Thirty and their coadjutors, to serve as a refuge
for all those who might feel their future safety compromised at
Athens in consequence of their past conduct.[451]

  [451] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 39; Diodor. xiv, 33.

As soon as these terms were proclaimed, accepted, and sworn to by
all parties, Pausanias with all the Lacedæmonians evacuated Attica.
Thrasybulus and the exiles marched up in solemn procession from
Peiræus to Athens. Their first act was to go up to the acropolis, now
relieved from its Lacedæmonian garrison, and there to offer sacrifice
and thanksgiving. On descending from thence, a general assembly was
held, in which—unanimously and without opposition, as it should
seem—the democracy was restored. The government of the Ten, which
could have no basis except the sword of the foreigner, disappeared as
a matter of course; but Thrasybulus, while he strenuously enforced
upon his comrades from Peiræus a full respect for the oaths which
they had sworn, and an unreserved harmony with their newly acquired
fellow-citizens, admonished the assembly emphatically as to the past
events. “You city-men (he said), I advise you to take just measure
of yourselves for the future; and to calculate fairly, what ground
of superiority you have, so as to pretend to rule over us? Are you
juster than we? Why the demos, though poorer than you, never at any
time wronged you for purposes of plunder; while you, the wealthiest
of all, have done many base deeds for the sake of gain. Since then
you have no justice to boast of, are you superior to us on the score
of courage? There cannot be a better trial, than the war which has
just ended. Again, can you pretend to be superior in policy? you,
who, having a fortified city, an armed force, plenty of money, and
the Peloponnesians for your allies, have been overcome by men who
had nothing of the kind to aid them? Can you boast of your hold
over the Lacedæmonians? Why, they have just handed you over, like a
vicious dog with a clog tied to him, to the very demos whom you have
wronged, and are now gone out of the country. But you have no cause
to be uneasy for the future. I adjure you, my friends from Peiræus,
in no point to violate the oaths which we have just sworn. Show, in
addition to your other glorious exploits, that you are honest and
true to your engagements.”[452]

  [452] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 40-42.

The archons, the senate of Five Hundred, the public assembly, and
the dikasteries, appear to have been now revived, as they had stood
in the democracy prior to the capture of the city by Lysander. This
important restoration seems to have taken place some time in the
spring of 403 B.C., though we cannot exactly make out in what month.
The first archon now drawn was Eukleidês, who gave his name to this
memorable year; a year never afterwards forgotten by Athenians.

Eleusis was at this time, and pursuant to the late convention, a city
independent and separate from Athens, under the government of the
Thirty, and comprising their warmest partisans. It was not likely
that this separation would last; but the Thirty were themselves the
parties to give cause for its termination. They were getting together
a mercenary force at Eleusis, when the whole force of Athens was
marched to forestall their designs. The generals at Eleusis came
forth to demand a conference, but were seized and put to death; the
Thirty themselves, and a few of the most obnoxious individuals,
fled out of Attica; while the rest of the Eleusinian occupants were
persuaded by their friends from Athens to come to an equal and
honorable accommodation. Again Eleusis became incorporated in the
same community with Athens, oaths of mutual amnesty and harmony being
sworn by every one.[453]

  [453] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 43; Justin, v, 11. I do not
  comprehend the allusion in Lysias, Orat. xxv, Δημ. Καταλ.
  Ἀπολ. sect. 11: εἰσὶ δὲ οἵτινες τῶν Ἐλευσῖνάδε ἀπογραψαμένων,
  ἐξελθόντες μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν, ἐπολιορκοῦντο μετ᾽ αὐτῶν.

       *       *       *       *       *

We have now passed that short, but bitter and sanguinary interval,
occupied by the Thirty, which succeeded so immediately upon the
extinction of the empire and independence of Athens as to leave
no opportunity for pause or reflection. A few words respecting the
rise and fall of that empire are now required, summing up as it were
the political moral of the events recorded in my last two volumes,
between 477 and 405 B.C.

I related, in the forty-fifth chapter, the steps by which Athens
first acquired her empire, raised it to its maximum, including both
maritime and inland dominion, then lost the inland portion of it;
which loss was ratified by the Thirty Years Truce concluded with
Sparta and the Peloponnesian confederacy in 445 B.C. Her maritime
empire was based upon the confederacy of Delos, formed by the islands
in the Ægean and the towns on the seaboard immediately after the
battles of Platæa and Mykalê, for the purpose not merely of expelling
the Persians from the Ægean, but of keeping them away permanently. To
the accomplishment of this important object, Sparta was altogether
inadequate; nor would it ever have been accomplished, if Athens had
not displayed a combination of military energy, naval discipline,
power of organization, and honorable devotion to a great Pan-Hellenic
purpose, such as had never been witnessed in Grecian history.

The confederacy of Delos was formed by the free and spontaneous
association of many different towns, all alike independent; towns
which met in synod and deliberated by equal vote, took by their
majority resolutions binding upon all, and chose Athens as their
chief to enforce these resolutions, as well as to superintend
generally the war against the common enemy. But it was, from the
beginning, a compact which permanently bound each individual state to
the remainder. None had liberty either to recede, or to withhold the
contingent imposed by authority of the common synod, or to take any
separate step inconsistent with its obligations to the confederacy.
No union less stringent than this could have prevented the renewal of
Persian ascendency in the Ægean. Seceding or disobedient states were
thus treated as guilty of treason or revolt, which it was the duty of
Athens, as chief, to repress. Her first repressions, against Naxos
and other states, were undertaken in prosecution of this duty, in
which if she had been wanting, the confederacy would have fallen to
pieces, and the common enemy would have reappeared.

Now the only way by which the confederacy was saved from falling
to pieces, was by being transformed into an Athenian empire. Such
transformation, as Thucydidês plainly intimates,[454] did not arise
from the ambition or deep-laid projects of Athens, but from the
reluctance of the larger confederates to discharge the obligations
imposed by the common synod, and from the unwarlike character of the
confederates generally, which made them desirous to commute military
service for money-payment, while Athens on her part was not less
anxious to perform the service and obtain the money. By gradual and
unforeseen stages, Athens thus passed from consulate to empire: in
such manner that no one could point out the precise moment of time
when the confederacy of Delos ceased, and when the empire began.
Even the transfer of the common fund from Delos to Athens, which was
the palpable manifestation of a change already realized, was not
an act of high-handed injustice in the Athenians, but warranted by
prudential views of the existing state of affairs, and even proposed
by a leading member of the confederacy.[455]

  [454] Thucyd. i, 97.

  [455] See vol. v, of this History, ch. xlv, p 343.

But the Athenian empire came to include (between 460-446 B.C.) other
cities, not parties to the confederacy of Delos. Athens had conquered
her ancient enemy the island of Ægina, and had acquired supremacy
over Megara, Bœotia, Phocis, and Lokris, and Achaia in Peloponnesus.
The Megarians joined her to escape the oppression of their neighbor
Corinth: her influence over Bœotia was acquired by allying herself
with a democratical party in the Bœotian cities, against Sparta,
who had been actively interfering to sustain the opposite party and
to renovate the ascendency of Thebes. Athens was, for the time,
successful in all these enterprises; but if we follow the details, we
shall not find her more open to reproach on the score of aggressive
tendencies than Sparta or Corinth. Her empire was now at its maximum;
and had she been able to maintain it,—or even to keep possession of
the Megarid separately, which gave her the means of barring out all
invasions from Peloponnesus,—the future course of Grecian history
would have been materially altered. But her empire on land did not
rest upon the same footing as her empire at sea. The exiles in
Megara and Bœotia, etc., and the anti-Athenian party generally in
those places,—combined with the rashness of her general Tolmidês at
Korôneia,—deprived her of all her land-dependencies near home, and
even threatened her with the loss of Eubœa. The peace concluded in
445 B.C. left her with all her maritime and insular empire, including
Eubœa, but with nothing more; while by the loss of Megara she was now
open to invasion from Peloponnesus.

On this footing she remained at the beginning of the Peloponnesian
war fourteen years afterwards. I have shown that that war did not
arise, as has been so often asserted, from aggressive or ambitious
schemes on the part of Athens, but that, on the contrary, the
aggression was all on the side of her enemies; who were full of
hopes that they could put her down with little delay; while she
was not merely conservative and defensive, but even discouraged
by the certainty of destructive invasion, and only dissuaded from
concessions, alike imprudent and inglorious, by the extraordinary
influence and resolute wisdom of Periklês. That great man
comprehended well both the conditions and the limits of Athenian
empire. Athens was now understood, especially since the revolt and
reconquest of the powerful island of Samos in 440 B.C., by her
subjects and enemies as well as by her own citizens, to be mistress
of the sea. It was the care of Periklês to keep that belief within
definite boundaries, and to prevent all waste of the force of the
city in making new or distant acquisitions which could not be
permanently maintained. But it was also his care to enforce upon
his countrymen the lesson of maintaining their existing empire
unimpaired, and shrinking from no effort requisite for that end.
Though their whole empire was now staked upon the chances of a
perilous war, he did not hesitate to promise them success, provided
that they adhered to this conservative policy.

Following the events of the war, we shall find that Athens did adhere
to it for the first seven years; years of suffering and trial, from
the destructive annual invasion, the yet more destructive pestilence,
and the revolt of Mitylênê, but years which still left her empire
unimpaired, and the promises of Periklês in fair chance of being
realized. In the seventh year of the war occurred the unexpected
victory at Sphakteria and the capture of the Lacedæmonian prisoners.
This placed in the hands of the Athenians a capital advantage,
imparting to them prodigious confidence of future success, while
their enemies were in a proportional degree disheartened. It was in
this temper that they first departed from the conservative precept
of Periklês, and attempted to recover (in 424 B.C.) both Megara and
Bœotia. Had the great statesman been alive,[456] he might have turned
this moment of superiority to better account, and might perhaps have
contrived even to get possession of Megara—a point of unspeakable
importance to Athens, since it protected her against invasion—in
exchange for the Spartan captives. But the general feeling of
confidence which then animated all parties at Athens, determined them
in 424 B.C. to grasp at this and much more by force. They tried to
reconquer both Megara and Bœotia: in the former they failed, though
succeeding so far as to capture Nisæa; in the latter they not only
failed, but suffered the disastrous defeat of Delium.

  [456] See vol. vi, ch. lii, p. 353 of this History.

It was in the autumn of that same year 424 B.C., too, that Brasidas
broke into their empire in Thrace, and robbed them of Akanthus,
Stageira, and some other towns, including their most precious
possession, Amphipolis. Again, it seems that the Athenians, partly
from the discouragement caused by the disaster at Delium, partly
from the ascendency of Nikias and the peace party, departed from the
conservative policy of Periklês; not by ambitious over-action, but
by inaction, omitting to do all that might have been done to arrest
the progress of Brasidas. We must, however, never forget that their
capital loss, Amphipolis, was owing altogether to the improvidence of
their officers, and could not have been obviated even by Periklês.

But though that great man could not have prevented the loss, he would
assuredly have deemed no efforts too great to recover it; and in this
respect his policy was espoused by Kleon, in opposition to Nikias and
the peace party. The latter thought it wise to make the truce for a
year; which so utterly failed of its effect, that Nikias was obliged,
even in the midst of it, to conduct an armament to Pallênê in order
to preserve the empire against yet farther losses. Still, Nikias and
his friends would hear of nothing but peace; and after the expedition
of Kleon against Amphipolis in the ensuing year, which failed partly
through his military incapacity, partly through the want of hearty
concurrence in his political opponents, they concluded what is called
the Peace of Nikias in the ensuing spring. In this, too, their
calculations are not less signally falsified than in the previous
truce: they stipulate that Amphipolis shall be restored, but it is
as far from being restored as ever. To make the error still graver
and more irreparable, Nikias, with the concurrence of Alkibiadês
contracts the alliance with Sparta a few months after the peace, and
gives up the captives, the possession of whom being the only hold
which Athens as yet had upon the Spartans.

We thus have, during the four years succeeding the battle of Delium
(424-420 B.C.), a series of departures from the conservative
policy of Periklês; departures, not in the way of ambitious
over-acquisition, but of languor and unwillingness to make efforts
even for the recovery of capital losses. Those who see no defects in
the foreign policy of the democracy except those of over-ambition
and love of war, pursuant to the jest of Aristophanês, overlook
altogether these opposite but serious blunders of Nikias and the
peace party.

Next comes the ascendency of Alkibiadês, leading to the two years’
campaign in Peloponnesus in conjunction with Elis, Argos, and
Mantineia, and ending in the complete reëstablishment of Lacedæmonian
supremacy. Here was a diversion of Athenian force from its legitimate
purpose of preserving or reëstablishing the empire, for inland
projects which Periklês could never have approved. The island of
Melos undoubtedly fell within his general conceptions of tenable
empire for Athens. But we may regard it as certain that he would
have recommended no new projects, exposing Athens to the reproach
of injustice, so long as the lost legitimate possessions in Thrace
remained unconquered.

We now come to the expedition against Syracuse. Down to that period,
the empire of Athens, except the possessions in Thrace, remained
undiminished, and her general power nearly as great as it had ever
been since 445 B.C. That expedition was the one great and fatal
departure from the Periklean policy, bringing upon Athens an amount
of disaster from which she never recovered; and it was doubtless an
error of over-ambition. Acquisitions in Sicily, even if made, lay
out of the conditions of permanent empire for Athens; and however
imposing the first effect of success might have been, they would
only have disseminated her strength, multiplied her enemies, and
weakened her in all quarters. But though the expedition itself was
thus indisputably ill-advised, and therefore ought to count to the
discredit of the public judgment at Athens, we are not to impute
to that public an amount of blame in any way commensurate to the
magnitude of the disaster, except in so far as they were guilty of
unmeasured and unconquerable esteem for Nikias. Though Periklês would
have strenuously opposed the project, yet he could not possibly have
foreseen the enormous ruin in which it would end; nor could such
ruin have been brought about by any man existing, save Nikias. Even
when the people committed the aggravated imprudence of sending out
the second expedition, Demosthenês doubtless assured them that he
would speedily either take Syracuse or bring back both armaments,
with a fair allowance for the losses inseparable from failure; and
so he would have done, if the obstinacy of Nikias had permitted. In
measuring therefore the extent of misjudgment fairly imputable to the
Athenians for this ruinous undertaking, we must always recollect,
that first the failure of the siege, next the ruin of the armament,
did not arise from intrinsic difficulties in the case, but from the
personal defects of the commander.

After the Syracusan disaster, there is no longer any question about
adhering to, or departing from, the Periklean policy. Athens is like
Patroklus in the Iliad, after Apollo has stunned him by a blow on the
back and loosened his armor. Nothing but the slackness of her enemies
allowed her time for a partial recovery, so as to make increased
heroism a substitute for impaired force, even against doubled and
tripled difficulties. And the years of struggle which she now went
through are among the most glorious events in her history. These
years present many misfortunes, but no serious misjudgment, not to
mention one peculiarly honorable moment, after the overthrow of the
Four Hundred. I have in the two preceding chapters examined into
the blame imputed to the Athenians for not accepting the overtures
of peace after the battle of Kyzikus, and for dismissing Alkibiadês
after the battle of Notium. On both points their conduct has been
shown to be justifiable. And after all, they were on the point of
partially recovering themselves in 408 B.C., when the unexpected
advent of Cyrus set the seal to their destiny.

The bloodshed after the recapture of Mitylênê and Skionê, and still
more that which succeeded the capture of Melos, are disgraceful
to the humanity of Athens, and stand in pointed contrast with the
treatment of Samos when reconquered by Periklês. But they did
not contribute sensibly to break down her power; though, being
recollected with aversion after other incidents were forgotten, they
are alluded to in later times as if they had caused the fall of the

  [457] This I apprehend to have been in the mind of Xenophon, De
  Reditibus, v, 6. Ἔπειτ᾽, ἐπεὶ ~ὠμῶς ἄγαν δόξασα προστατεύειν~ ἡ
  πόλις ἐστερήθη τῆς ἀρχῆς, etc.

I have thought it important to recall, in this short summary, the
leading events of the seventy years preceding 405 B.C., in order
that it may be understood to what degree Athens was politically
or prudentially to blame for the great downfall which she then
underwent. That downfall had one great cause—we may almost say, one
single cause—the Sicilian expedition. The empire of Athens both
was, and appeared to be, in exuberant strength when that expedition
was sent forth; strength more than sufficient to bear up against
all moderate faults or moderate misfortunes, such as no government
ever long escapes. But the catastrophe of Syracuse was something
overpassing in terrific calamity all Grecian experience and all power
of foresight. It was like the Russian campaign of 1812 to the emperor
Napoleon; though by no means imputable, in an equal degree, to vice
in the original project. No Grecian power could bear up against such
a death-wound, and the prolonged struggle of Athens after it is not
the least wonderful part of the whole war.

Nothing in the political history of Greece is so remarkable as the
Athenian empire; taking it as it stood in its completeness, from
about 460-413 B.C., the date of the Syracusan catastrophe, or still
more, from 460-421 B.C., the date when Brasidas made his conquests
in Thrace. After the Syracusan catastrophe, the conditions of the
empire were altogether changed; it was irretrievably broken up,
though Athens still continued an energetic struggle to retain some
of the fragments. But if we view it as it had stood before that
event, during the period of its integrity, it is a sight marvellous
to contemplate, and its working must be pronounced, in my judgment,
to have been highly beneficial to the Grecian world. No Grecian state
except Athens could have sufficed to organize such a system, or to
hold in partial though regulated, continuous, and specific communion,
so many little states, each animated with that force of political
repulsion instinctive in the Grecian mind. This was a mighty task,
worthy of Athens, and to which no state except Athens was competent.
We have already seen in part, and we shall see still farther, how
little qualified Sparta was to perform it, and we shall have occasion
hereafter to notice a like fruitless essay on the part of Thebes.

As in regard to the democracy of Athens generally, so in regard to
her empire, it has been customary with historians to take notice
of little except the bad side. But my conviction is, and I have
shown grounds for it, in chap. xlvii, that the empire of Athens was
not harsh and oppressive, as it is commonly depicted. Under the
circumstances of her dominion, at a time when the whole transit and
commerce of the Ægean was under one maritime system, which excluded
all irregular force; when Persian ships of war were kept out of
the waters, and Persian tribute-officers away from the seaboard;
when the disputes inevitable among so many little communities could
be peaceably redressed by the mutual right of application to the
tribunals at Athens, and when these tribunals were also such as to
present to sufferers a refuge against wrongs done even by individual
citizens of Athens herself, to use the expression of the oligarchical
Phrynichus,[458] the condition of the maritime Greeks was materially
better than it had been before, or than it will be seen to become
afterwards. Her empire, if it did not inspire attachment, certainly
provoked no antipathy, among the bulk of the citizens of the
subject-communities, as is shown by the party-character of the
revolts against her. If in her imperial character she exacted
obedience, she also fulfilled duties and insured protection to a
degree incomparably greater than was ever realized by Sparta. And
even if she had been ever so much disposed to cramp the free play
of mind and purpose among her subjects,—a disposition which is no
way proved,—the very circumstances of her own democracy, with its
open antithesis of political parties, universal liberty of speech,
and manifold individual energy, would do much to prevent the
accomplishment of such an end, and would act as a stimulus to the
dependent communities, even without her own intention.

  [458] Thucyd. viii, 48.

Without being insensible either to the faults or to the misdeeds of
imperial Athens, I believe that her empire was a great comparative
benefit, and its extinction a great loss, to her own subjects. But
still more do I believe it to have been a good, looked at with
reference to Pan-Hellenic interests. Its maintenance furnished the
only possibility of keeping out foreign intervention, and leaving the
destinies of Greece to depend upon native, spontaneous, untrammelled
Grecian agencies. The downfall of the Athenian empire is the signal
for the arms and corruption of Persia again to make themselves
felt, and for the reënslavement of the Asiatic Greeks under her
tribute-officers. What is still worse, it leaves the Grecian world
in a state incapable of repelling any energetic foreign attack, and
open to the overruling march of “the man of Macedon,” half a century
afterwards. For such was the natural tendency of the Grecian world
to political non-integration or disintegration, that the rise of
the Athenian empire, incorporating so many states into one system,
is to be regarded as a most extraordinary accident. Nothing but the
genius, energy, discipline, and democracy of Athens, could have
brought it about; nor even she, unless favored and pushed on by a
very peculiar train of antecedent events. But having once got it, she
might perfectly well have kept it; and, had she done so, the Hellenic
world would have remained so organized as to be able to repel foreign
intervention, either from Susa or from Pella. When we reflect how
infinitely superior was the Hellenic mind to that of all surrounding
nations and races; how completely its creative agency was stifled,
as soon as it came under the Macedonian dictation; and how much more
it might perhaps have achieved, if it had enjoyed another century or
half-century of freedom, under the stimulating headship of the most
progressive and most intellectual of all its separate communities,
we shall look with double regret on the ruin of the Athenian empire,
as accelerating, without remedy, the universal ruin of Grecian
independence, political action, and mental grandeur.



The period intervening between the defeat of Ægospotami (October,
405 B.C.) and the reëstablishment of the democracy as sanctioned by
the convention concluded with Pausanias, some time in the summer of
403 B.C., presents two years of cruel and multifarious suffering to
Athens. For seven years before, indeed ever since the catastrophe
at Syracuse, she had been struggling with hardships; contending
against augmented hostile force, while her own means were cut down
in every way; crippled at home by the garrison of Dekeleia; stripped
to a great degree both of her tribute and her foreign trade, and
beset by the snares of her own oligarchs. In spite of circumstances
so adverse, she had maintained the fight with a resolution not less
surprising than admirable; yet not without sinking more and more
towards impoverishment and exhaustion. The defeat of Ægospotami
closed the war at once, and transferred her from her period of
struggle to one of concluding agony. Nor is the last word by any
means too strong for the reality. Of these two years, the first
portion was marked by severe physical privation, passing by degrees
into absolute famine, and accompanied by the intolerable sentiment of
despair and helplessness against her enemies, after two generations
of imperial grandeur, not without a strong chance of being finally
consigned to ruin and individual slavery; while the last portion
comprised all the tyranny, murders, robberies, and expulsions
perpetrated by the Thirty, overthrown only by heroic efforts of
patriotism on the part of the exiles; which a fortunate change of
sentiment, on the part of Pausanias, and the leading members of the
Peloponnesian confederacy, ultimately crowned with success.

After such years of misery, it was an unspeakable relief to the
Athenian population to regain possession of Athens and Attica,
to exchange their domestic tyrants for a renovated democratical
government, and to see their foreign enemies not merely evacuate
the country, but even bind themselves by treaty to future friendly
dealing. In respect of power, indeed, Athens was but the shadow
of her former self. She had no empire, no tribute, no fleet, no
fortifications at Peiræus, no long walls, not a single fortified
place in Attica except the city itself. Of all these losses, however,
the Athenians probably made little account, at least at the first
epoch of their reëstablishment; so intolerable was the pressure which
they had just escaped, and so welcome the restitution of comfort,
security, property, and independence, at home. The very excess of
tyranny committed by the Thirty gave a peculiar zest to the recovery
of the democracy. In their hands, the oligarchical principle, to
borrow an expression from Mr. Burke,[459] “had produced in fact, and
instantly, the grossest of those evils with which it was pregnant in
its nature;” realizing the promise of that plain-spoken oligarchical
oath, which Aristotle mentions as having been taken in various
oligarchical cities, to contrive as much evil as possible to the
people.[460] So much the more complete was the reaction of sentiment
towards the antecedent democracy, even in the minds of those who
had been before discontented with it. To all men, rich and poor,
citizens and metics, the comparative excellence of the democracy, in
respect of all the essentials of good government, was now manifest.
With the exception of those who had identified themselves with the
Thirty as partners, partisans, or instruments, there was scarcely any
one who did not feel that his life and property had been far more
secure under the former democracy, and would become so again if that
democracy were revived.[461]

  [459] “I confess, gentlemen, that this appears to me as bad
  in the principle, and far worse in the consequences, than an
  universal suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act.... Far from
  softening the features of such a principle, and thereby removing
  any part of the popular odium or natural terrors attending it,
  I should be sorry _that anything framed in contradiction to
  the spirit of our constitution did not instantly produce, in
  fact, the grossest of the evils with which it was pregnant in
  its nature_. It is by lying dormant a long time, or being at
  first very rarely exercised, that arbitrary power steals upon a
  people. On the next unconstitutional act, all the fashionable
  world will be ready to say: Your prophecies are ridiculous, your
  fears are vain; you see how little of the misfortunes which
  you formerly foreboded is come to pass. Thus, by degrees, that
  artful softening of all arbitrary power, the alleged infrequency
  or narrow extent of its operation, will be received as a sort
  of aphorism; and Mr. Hume will not be singular in telling us
  that the felicity of mankind is no more disturbed by it, than by
  earthquakes or thunder, or the other more unusual accidents of
  nature.” (Burke, Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol, 1777: Burke’s
  Works, vol. iii, pp. 146-150 oct. edit.)

  [460] Aristot. Polit. v, 7, 19. Καὶ τῷ δήμῳ κακόνους ἔσομαι, καὶ
  βουλεύσω ὅ,τι ἂν ἔχω κακόν.

  The complimentary epitaph upon the Thirty, cited in the Schol. on
  Æschinês,—praising them as having curbed, for a short time, the
  insolence of the accursed Demos of Athens,—is in the same spirit:
  see K. F. Hermann, Staats-Alterthümer der Griechen, s. 70, note 9.

  [461] Plato, Epistol. vii, p. 324. Καὶ ὁρῶν δή που τοὺς ἄνδρας ἐν
  χρόνῳ ὀλίγῳ χρυσὸν ἀποδείξαντας τὴν ἔμπροσθεν πολιτείαν, etc.

It was the first measure of Thrasybulus and his companions, after
concluding the treaty with Pausanias, and thus reëntering the city,
to exchange solemn oaths, of amnesty for the past, with those against
whom they had just been at war. Similar oaths of amnesty were also
exchanged with those in Eleusis, as soon as that town came into
their power. The only persons excepted from this amnesty were the
Thirty, the Eleven who had presided over the execution of all their
atrocities, and the Ten who had governed in Peiræus. Even these
persons were not peremptorily banished: opportunity was offered to
them to come in and take their trial of accountability (universal
at Athens in the case of every magistrate on quitting office); so
that, if acquitted, they would enjoy the benefit of the amnesty
as well as all others.[462] We know that Eratosthenês, one of the
Thirty, afterwards returned to Athens; since there remains a powerful
harangue of Lysias, invoking justice against him as having brought to
death Polemarchus, the brother of Lysias. Eratosthenês was one of
the minority of the Thirty who sided generally with Theramenês, and
opposed to a considerable degree the extreme violences of Kritias,
although personally concerned in that seizure and execution of the
rich metics which Theramenês had resisted, and which was one of
the grossest misdeeds even of that dark period. He and Pheidon,
being among the Ten named to succeed the Thirty after the death of
Kritias, when the remaining members of that deposed Board retired to
Eleusis, had endeavored to maintain themselves as a new oligarchy,
carrying on war at the same time against Eleusis and against the
democratical exiles in Peiræus. Failing in this, they had retired
from the country, at the time when these exiles returned, and when
the democracy was first reëstablished. But after a certain interval,
the intense sentiments of the moment having somewhat subsided, they
were encouraged by their friends to return, and came back to stand
their trial of accountability. It was on that occasion that Lysias
preferred his accusation against Eratosthenês, the result of which we
do not know, though we see plainly, even from the accusatory speech,
that the latter had powerful friends to stand by him, and that the
dikasts manifested considerable reluctance to condemn.[463] We learn,
moreover, from the same speech, that such was the detestation of
the Thirty among several of the states surrounding Attica, as to
cause formal decrees for their expulsion, or for prohibiting their
coming.[464] The sons, even of such among the Thirty as did not
return, were allowed to remain at Athens, and enjoy their rights of
citizens, unmolested;[465] a moderation rare in Grecian political

  [462] Andokidês de Mysteriis, s. 90.

  [463] All this may be collected from various passages of the
  Orat. xii, of Lysias. Eratosthenês did not stand alone on
  his trial, but in conjunction with other colleagues; though
  of course, pursuant to the psephism of Kannônus, the vote of
  the dikasts would be taken about each separately: ἀλλὰ παρὰ
  Ἐρατοσθένους καὶ τῶν τουτουῒ συναρχόντων δίκην λαμβάνειν....
  μηδ᾽ ἀποῦσι μὲν τοῖς τριάκοντα ἐπιβουλεύετε, παρόντας δ᾽ ἀφῆτε·
  μηδὲ τῆς τύχης, ἣ τούτους παρέδωκε τῇ πόλει, κάκιον ὑμῖν αὐτοῖς
  βοηθήσητε (sects. 80, 81): compare s. 36.

  The number of friends prepared to back the defence of
  Eratosthenês, and to obtain his acquittal, chiefly by
  representing that he had done the least mischief of all the
  Thirty; that all that he had done had been under fear of his own
  life; that he had been the partisan and supporter of Theramenês,
  whose memory was at that time popular, may be seen in sections
  51, 56, 65, 87, 88, 91.

  There are evidences also of other accusations brought against
  the Thirty before the senate of Areopagus (Lysias, Or. xi, cont.
  Theomnest. A. s. 31, B. s. 12).

  [464] Lysias, Or. xii, cont. Eratosth. s. 36.

  [465] Demosth. adv. Bœotum de Dote Matern. c. 6, p. 1018.

The first public vote of the Athenians, after the conclusion of peace
with Sparta and the return of the exiles, was to restore the former
democracy purely and simply, to choose by lot the nine archons and
the senate of Five Hundred, and to elect the generals, all as before.
It appears that this restoration of the preceding constitution was
partially opposed by a citizen named Phormisius, who, having served
with Thrasybulus in Peiræus, now moved that the political franchise
should for the future be restricted to the possessors of land in
Attica. His proposition was understood to be supported by the
Lacedæmonians, and was recommended as calculated to make Athens march
in better harmony with them. It was presented as a compromise between
oligarchy and democracy, excluding both the poorer freemen and those
whose property lay either in movables or in land out of Attica; so
that the aggregate number of the disfranchised would have been five
thousand persons. Since Athens now had lost her fleet and maritime
empire, and since the importance of Peiræus was much curtailed not
merely by these losses, but by demolition of its separate walls and
of the long walls, Phormisius and others conceived the opportunity
favorable for striking out the maritime and trading multitude from
the roll of citizens. Many of these men must have been in easy and
even opulent circumstances, but the bulk of them were poor; and
Phormisius had of course at his command the usual arguments, by
which it is attempted to prove that poor men have no business with
political judgment or action. But the proposition was rejected; the
orator Lysias being among its opponents, and composing a speech
against it which was either spoken, or intended to be spoken, by some
eminent citizen in the assembly.[466]

  [466] Dionys. Hal. Jud. de Lysiâ, c. 32, p. 526; Lysias, Orat.
  xxxiv, Bekk.

Unfortunately, we have only a fragment of the speech remaining,
wherein the proposition is justly criticized as mischievous and
unseasonable, depriving Athens of a large portion of her legitimate
strength, patriotism, and harmony, and even of substantial men
competent to serve as hoplites or horsemen, at a moment when she
was barely rising from absolute prostration. Never, certainly, was
the fallacy which connects political depravity or incapacity with
a poor station, and political virtue or judgment with wealth, more
conspicuously unmasked, than in reference to the recent experience of
Athens. The remark of Thrasybulus was most true,[467] that a greater
number of atrocities, both against person and against property, had
been committed in a few months by the Thirty, and abetted by the
class of horsemen, all rich men, than the poor majority of the Demos
had sanctioned during two generations of democracy. Moreover, we
know, on the authority of a witness unfriendly to the democracy, that
the poor Athenian citizens, who served on shipboard and elsewhere,
were exact in obedience to their commanders; while the richer
citizens who served as hoplites and horsemen, and who laid claim to
higher individual estimation, were far less orderly in the public

  [467] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 41.

  [468] Xenoph. Memor. iii, 5, 19.

The motion of Phormisius being rejected, the antecedent democracy
was restored without qualification, together with the ordinances of
Drako, and the laws, measures, and weights of Solon. But on closer
inspection, it was found that this latter part of the resolution was
incompatible with the amnesty which had been just sworn. According
to the laws of Solon and Drako, the perpetrators of enormities under
the Thirty had rendered themselves guilty, and were open to trial.
To escape this consequence, a second psephism or decree was passed,
on the proposition of Tisamenus, to review the laws of Solon and
Drako, and reënact them with such additions and amendments as might
be deemed expedient. Five hundred citizens had been just chosen by
the people as nomothetæ, or law-makers, at the same time when the
senate of Five hundred was taken by lot: out of these nomothetæ,
the senate now chose a select few, whose duty it was to consider
all propositions for amendment or addition to the laws of the old
democracy, and post them up for public inspection before the statues
of the eponymous heroes, within the month then running.[469] The
senate, and the entire body of five hundred nomothetæ, were then to
be convened, in order that each might pass in review, separately,
both the old laws and the new propositions; the nomothetæ being
previously sworn to decide righteously. While this discussion was
going on, every private citizen had liberty to enter the senate,
and to tender his opinion with reasons for or against any law. All
the laws which should thus be approved, first by the senate, and
afterwards by the nomothetæ, but no others, were to be handed to the
magistrates, and inscribed on the walls of the portico called Pœkilê,
for public notoriety, as the future regulators of the city. After
the laws were promulgated by such public inscription, the senate of
Areopagus was enjoined to take care that they should be duly observed
and enforced by the magistrates. A provisional committee of twenty
citizens was named, to be generally responsible for the city during
the time occupied in this revision.[470]

  [469] Andokidês de Mysteriis, s. 83. Ὁπόσων δ᾽ ἂν προσδέῃ
  (νόμων), ~οἵδε ᾑρημένοι νομοθέται ὑπὸ τῆς βουλῆς~ ἀναγράφοντες ἐν
  σάνισιν ἐκτιθέντων πρὸς τοὺς ἐπωνύμους, σκοπεῖν τῷ βουλομένῳ, καὶ
  παραδιδόντων ταῖς ἀρχαῖς ἐν τῷδε τῷ μηνί. Τοὺς δὲ παραδιδομένους
  νόμους δοκιμασάτω ~πρότερον ἡ βουλὴ καὶ οἱ νομοθέται οἱ
  πεντακόσιοι, οὓς οἱ δημόται εἵλοντο~, ἐπειδὴ ὀμωμόκασιν.

  Putting together the two sentences in which the nomothetæ are
  here mentioned, Reiske and F. A. Wolf (Prolegom. ad Demosthen.
  cont. Leptin. p. cxxix), think that there were two classes
  of nomothetæ; one class chosen by the senate, the other by
  the people. This appears to me very improbable. The persons
  chosen by the senate were invested with no final or decisive
  function whatever; they were simply chosen to consider what new
  propositions were fit to be submitted for discussion, and to
  provide that such propositions should be publicly made known. Now
  any persons simply invested with this character of a preliminary
  committee, would not, in my judgment, be called nomothetæ. The
  reason why the persons here mentioned were so called, was, that
  they were a portion of the five hundred nomothetæ, in whom the
  power of peremptory decision ultimately rested. A small committee
  would naturally be intrusted with this preliminary duty; and the
  members of that small committee were to be chosen _by_ one of the
  bodies with whom ultimate decision rested, but chosen _out of_
  the other.

  [470] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sections 81-85.

As soon as the laws had been revised and publicly inscribed in
the pœkilê, pursuant to the above decree, two concluding laws were
enacted, which completed the purpose of the citizens.

The first of these laws forbade the magistrates to act upon, or
permit to be acted upon, any law not among those inscribed; and
declared that no psephism, either of the senate or of the people,
should overrule any law.[471] It renewed also the old prohibition,
dating from the days of Kleisthenês, and the first origin of the
democracy, to enact a special law inflicting direct hardship upon any
individual Athenian apart from the rest, unless by the votes of six
thousand citizens voting secretly.

  [471] Andokidês de Myster. s. 87. ψήφισμα δὲ μηδὲν μήτε βουλῆς
  μήτε δήμου (νόμου), κυριώτερον εἶναι.

  It seems that the word νόμου ought properly to be inserted here:
  see Demosth. cont. Aristokrat. c. 23, p. 649.

  Compare a similar use of the phrase, μηδὲν κυριώτερον εἶναι, in
  Demosthen. cont. Lakrit. c. 9, p. 937.

The second of the two laws prescribed, that all the legal
adjudications and arbitrations which had been passed under the
antecedent democracy should be held valid and unimpeached, but
formally annulled all which had been passed under the Thirty. It
farther provided, that the laws now revised and inscribed should
only take effect from the archonship of Eukleidês; that is, from the
nomination of archons made after the recent return of Thrasybulus and
renovation of the democracy.[472]

  [472] Andokidês de Myster. s. 87. We see (from Demosthen. cont.
  Timokrat. c. 15, p. 718) that Andokidês has not cited the law
  fully. He has omitted the words, ὁπόσα δ᾽ ἐπὶ τῶν τριάκοντα
  ἐπράχθη, ἢ ἰδίᾳ ἢ δημοσίᾳ, ἄκυρα εἶναι, these words not having
  any material connection with the point at which he was aiming.
  Compare Æschinês cont. Timarch. c. 9, p. 25, καὶ ἔστω ταῦτα
  ἄκυρα, ὥσπερ τὰ ἐπὶ τῶν τριάκοντα, ἢ τὰ πρὸ Εὐκλείδου, ἢ εἴ τις
  ἄλλη πώποτε τοιαύτη ἐγένετο προθεσμία....

  Tisamenus is probably the same person of whom Lysias speaks
  contemptuously, Or. xxx, cont. Nikomach. s. 36.

  Meier (De Bonis Damnatorum, p. 71) thinks that there is a
  contradiction between the decree proposed by Tisamenus (Andok. de
  Myst. s. 83), and another decree proposed by Dioklês, cited in
  the Oration of Demosth. cont. Timokr. c. 11, p. 713. But there is
  no real contradiction between the two, and the only semblance of
  contradiction that is to be found, arises from the fact that the
  law of Dioklês is not correctly given as it now stands. It ought
  to be read thus:—

  Διοκλῆς εἶπε, Τοὺς νόμους τοὺς πρὸ Εὐκλείδου τεθέντας ἐν
  δημοκρατίᾳ, καὶ ὅσοι ~ἐπ᾽~ Εὐκλείδου ἐτέθησαν, καὶ εἰσὶν
  ἀναγεγραμμένοι, [~ἀπ᾽ Εὐκλείδου~] κυρίους εἶναι· τοὺς δὲ μετ᾽
  Εὐκλείδην τεθέντας καὶ τολοιπὸν τιθεμένους κυρίους εἶναι ἀπὸ τῆς
  ἡμέρας ἧς ἕκαστος ἐτέθη, πλὴν εἴ τῳ προσγέγραπται χρόνος ὅντινα
  δεῖ ἄρχειν. Ἐπιγράψαι δὲ, τοῖς μὲν νῦν κειμένοις, τὸν γραμματέα
  τῆς βουλῆς, τριάκοντα ἡμερῶν· τὸ δὲ λοιπὸν, ὃς ἂν τυγχάνῃ
  γραμματεύων, προσγραφέτω παραχρῆμα τὸν νόμον κύριον εἶναι ἀπὸ τῆς
  ἡμέρας ἧς ἐτέθη.

  The words ἀπ᾽ ~Εὐκλείδου~, which stand between brackets in the
  second line, are inserted on my own conjecture; and I venture
  to think that any one who will read the whole law through, and
  the comments of the orator upon it, will see that they are
  imperatively required to make the sense complete. The entire
  scope and purpose of the law is, to regulate clearly the time
  _from which_ each law shall begin to be valid.

  As the first part of the law reads now, without these words, it
  has no pertinence, no bearing on the main purpose contemplated by
  Dioklês in the second part, nor on the reasonings of Demosthenês
  afterwards. It is easy to understand how the words ἀπ᾽ Εὐκλείδου
  should have dropped out, seeing that ἐπ᾽ Εὐκλείδου immediately
  precedes: another error has been in fact introduced, by putting
  ~ἀπ᾽~ Εὐκλείδου in the former case instead of ~ἐπ᾽~ Εὐκλείδου,
  which error has been corrected by various recent editors, on the
  authority of some MSS.

  The law of Dioklês, when properly read, fully harmonizes with
  that of Tisamenus. Meier wonders that there is no mention made
  of the δοκιμασία νόμων by the nomothetæ, which is prescribed in
  the decree of Tisamenus. But it was not necessary to mention this
  expressly, since the words ὅσοι εἰσὶν ἀναγεγραμμένοι presuppose
  the foregone δοκιμασία.

By these ever-memorable enactments, all acts done prior to the
nomination of the archon Eukleidês and his colleagues, in the summer
of 403 B.C., were excluded from serving as grounds for criminal
process against any citizen. To insure more fully that this should
be carried into effect, a special clause was added to the oath taken
annually by the senators, as well as to that taken by the Heliastic
dikasts. The senators pledged themselves by oath not to receive any
impeachment, or give effect to any arrest, founded on any fact prior
to the archonship of Eukleidês, excepting only against the Thirty,
and the other individuals expressly shut out from the amnesty, and
now in exile.[473] To the oath annually taken by the Heliasts, also,
was added the clause: “I will not remember past wrongs, nor will I
abet any one else who shall remember them; on the contrary,[474]
I will give my vote pursuant to the existing laws;” which laws
proclaimed themselves as only taking effect from the archonship of

  [473] Andokidês de Mysteriis, s. 91. καὶ οὐ δέξομαι ἔνδειξιν οὐδὲ
  ἀπαγωγὴν ἕνεκα τῶν πρότερον γεγενημένων, πλὴν τῶν φευγόντων.

  [474] Andokid. de Mysteriis, s. 91. καὶ οὐ μνησικακήσω, οὐδὲ
  ἄλλῳ (sc. ἄλλῳ μνησικακοῦντι) πείσομαι, ψηφιοῦμαι δὲ κατὰ τοὺς
  κειμένους νόμους.

  This clause does not appear as part of the Heliastic oath given
  in Demosthen. cont. Timokrat. c. 36, p. 746. It was extremely
  significant and valuable for the few years immediately succeeding
  the renovation of the democracy. But its value was essentially
  temporary, and it was doubtless dropped within twenty or thirty
  years after the period to which it specially applied.

A still farther precaution was taken to bar all actions for redress
or damages founded on acts done prior to the archonship of Eukleidês.
On the motion of Archinus, the principal colleague of Thrasybulus
at Phylê, a law was passed, granting leave to any defendant against
whom such an action might be brought, to plead an exception in bar,
or paragraphê, upon the special ground of the amnesty and the legal
prescription connected with it. The legal effect of this paragraphê,
or exceptional plea, in Attic procedure, was to increase both
the chance of failure, and the pecuniary liabilities in case of
failure, on the part of the plaintiff; also, to better considerably
the chances of the defendant. This enactment is said to have been
moved by Archinus, on seeing that some persons were beginning to
institute actions at law, in spite of the amnesty; and for the better
prevention of all such claims.[475]

  [475] The Orat. xviii, of Isokratês, Paragraphê cont.
  Kallimachum, informs us on these points, especially sections 1-4.

  Kallimachus had entered an action against the client of Isokratês
  for ten thousand drachmæ (sects. 15-17), charging him as an
  accomplice of Patroklês,—the king-archon under the Ten, who
  immediately succeeded the Thirty, prior to the return of the
  exiles,—in seizing and confiscating a sum of money belonging
  to Kallimachus. The latter, in commencing this action, was
  under the necessity of paying the fees called _prytaneia_; a
  sum proportional to what was claimed, and amounting to thirty
  drachmæ, when the sum claimed was between one thousand and ten
  thousand drachmæ. Suppose that action had gone to trial directly,
  Kallimachus, if he lost his cause, would have to forfeit his
  prytaneia, but he would forfeit no more. Now according to the
  paragraphê permitted by the law of Archinus, the defendant is
  allowed to make oath that the action against him is founded
  upon a fact prior to the archonship of Eukleidês; and a cause
  is then tried first, upon that special issue, upon which the
  defendant is allowed to speak first, before the plaintiff. If
  the verdict, on this special issue, is given in favor of the
  defendant, the plaintiff is not only disabled from proceeding
  further with his action, but is condemned besides to pay to
  the defendant the forfeit called epobely: that is, one-sixth
  part of the sum claimed. But if, on the contrary, the verdict
  on the special issue be in favor of the plaintiff, he is held
  entitled to proceed farther with his original action, and to
  receive besides at once, from the defendant, the like forfeit or
  epobely. Information on these regulations of procedure in the
  Attic dikasteries may be found in Meier and Schömann, Attischer
  Prozess, p. 647; Platner, Prozess und Klagen, vol. i, pp.

By these additional enactments, security was taken that the
proceedings of the courts of justice should be in full conformity
with the amnesty recently sworn, and that, neither directly nor
indirectly, should any person be molested for wrongs done anterior
to Eukleidês. And, in fact, the amnesty was faithfully observed: the
reëntering exiles from Peiræus, and the horsemen with other partisans
of the Thirty in Athens, blended again together into one harmonious
and equal democracy.

Eight years prior to these incidents, we have seen the oligarchical
conspiracy of the Four Hundred for a moment successful, and
afterwards overthrown; and we have had occasion to notice, in
reference to that event, the wonderful absence of all reactionary
violence on the part of the victorious people, at a moment of severe
provocation for the past and extreme apprehension for the future.
We noticed that Thucydidês, no friend to the Athenian democracy,
selected precisely that occasion—on which some manifestation of
vindictive impulse might have been supposed likely and natural—to
bestow the most unqualified eulogies on their moderate and gentle
bearing. Had the historian lived to describe the reign of the
Thirty and the restoration which followed it, we cannot doubt that
his expressions would have been still warmer and more emphatic in
the same sense. Few events in history, either ancient or modern,
are more astonishing than the behavior of the Athenian people, on
recovering their democracy after the overthrow of the Thirty: and
when we view it in conjunction with the like phenomenon after the
deposition of the Four Hundred, we see that neither the one nor the
other arose from peculiar caprice or accident of the moment; both
depended upon permanent attributes of the popular character. If we
knew nothing else except the events of these two periods, we should
be warranted in dismissing, on that evidence alone, the string of
contemptuous predicates,—giddy, irascible, jealous, unjust, greedy,
etc., one or other of which Mr. Mitford so frequently pronounces,
and insinuates even when he does not pronounce them, respecting the
Athenian people.[476] A people, whose habitual temper and morality
merited these epithets, could not have acted as the Athenians acted
both after the Four Hundred and after the Thirty. Particular acts may
be found in their history which justify severe censure; but as to
the permanent elements of character, both moral and intellectual, no
population in history has ever afforded stronger evidence than the
Athenians on these two memorable occasions.

  [476] Wachsmuth—who admits into his work, with little or no
  criticism, everything which has ever been said against the
  Athenian people, and indeed against the Greeks generally—affirms,
  contrary to all evidence and probability, that the amnesty was
  not really observed at Athens. (Wachsm. Hellen. Alterth. ch. ix.
  sect. 71, vol. ii, p. 267.)

  The simple and distinct words of Xenophon, coming as they do from
  the mouth of so very hostile a witness, are sufficient to refute
  him: καὶ ὀμόσαντες ὅρκους ἦ μὴν μὴ μνησικακήσειν, ἔτι καὶ νῦν
  ὁμοῦ γε πολιτεύονται, καὶ ~τοῖς ὅρκοις ἐμμένει ὁ δῆμος~, (Hellen.
  ii, 4, 43).

  The passages to which Wachsmuth makes reference, do not in the
  least establish his point. Even if actions at law or accusations
  had been brought, in violation of the amnesty, this would not
  prove that the people violated it; unless we also knew that the
  dikastery had affirmed those actions. But he does not refer to
  any actions or accusations preferred on any such ground. He
  only notices some cases in which, accusation being preferred on
  grounds subsequent to Eukleidês, the accuser makes allusion in
  his speech to other matters anterior to Eukleidês. Now every
  speaker before the Athenian dikastery thinks himself entitled to
  call up before the dikasts the whole past life of his opponent,
  in the way of analogous evidence going to attest the general
  character of the latter, good or bad. For example, the accuser
  of Sokratês mentions, as a point going to impeach the general
  character of Sokratês, that he had been the teacher of Kritias;
  while the philosopher, in his defence, alludes to his own
  resolution and virtue as prytanis in the assembly by which the
  generals were condemned after the battle of Arginusæ. Both these
  allusions come out as evidences to general character.

If we follow the acts of the Thirty, we shall see that the horsemen
and the privileged three thousand hoplites in the city had made
themselves partisans in every species of flagitious crime which
could possibly be imagined to exasperate the feelings of the exiles.
The latter, on returning, saw before them men who had handed in
their relations to be put to death without trial, who had seized
upon and enjoyed their property, who had expelled them all from
the city, and a large portion of them even from Attica; and who
had held themselves in mastery not merely by the overthrow of the
constitution, but also by inviting and subsidizing foreign guards.
Such atrocities, conceived and ordered by the Thirty, had been
executed by the aid, and for the joint benefit, as Kritias justly
remarked,[477] of those occupants of the city whom the exiles
found on returning. Now Thrasybulus, Anytus, and the rest of these
exiles, saw their property all pillaged and appropriated by others
during the few months of their absence: we may presume that their
lands—which had probably not been sold, but granted to individual
members or partisans of the Thirty[478]—were restored to them; but
the movable property could not be reclaimed, and the losses to which
they remained subject were prodigious. The men who had caused and
profited by these losses[479]—often with great brutality towards
the wives and families of the exiles, as we know by the case of
the orator Lysias—were now at Athens, all individually well known
to the sufferers. In like manner, the sons and brothers of Leon and
the other victims of the Thirty, saw before them the very citizens
by whose hands their innocent relatives had been consigned without
trial to prison and execution.[480] The amount of wrong suffered had
been infinitely greater than in the time of the Four Hundred, and the
provocation, on every ground, public and private, violent to a degree
never exceeded in history. Yet with all this sting fresh in their
bosoms, we find the victorious multitude, on the latter occasion
as well as on the former, burying the past in an indiscriminate
amnesty, and anxious only for the future harmonious march of the
renovated and all-comprehensive democracy. We see the sentiment of
commonwealth in the Demos, twice contrasted with the sentiment of
faction in an ascendent oligarchy;[481] twice triumphant over the
strongest counter-motives, over the most bitter recollections of
wrongful murder and spoliation, over all that passionate rush of
reactionary appetite which characterizes the moment of political
restoration. “Bloody will be the reign of that king who comes back
to his kingdom from exile,” says the Latin poet: bloody, indeed, had
been the rule of Kritias and those oligarchs who had just come back
from exile: “Harsh is a Demos (observes Æschylus) which has just got
clear of misery.”[482] But the Athenian Demos, on coming back from
Peiræus, exhibited the rare phenomenon of a restoration, after cruel
wrong suffered, sacrificing all the strong impulse of retaliation
to a generous and deliberate regard for the future march of the
commonwealth. Thucydidês remarks that the moderation of political
antipathy which prevailed at Athens after the victory of the people
over the Four Hundred, was the main cause which revived Athens from
her great public depression and danger.[483] Much more forcibly
does this remark apply to the restoration after the Thirty, when the
public condition of Athens was at the lowest depth of abasement, from
which nothing could have rescued her except such exemplary wisdom and
patriotism on the part of her victorious Demos. Nothing short of this
could have enabled her to accomplish that partial resurrection—into
an independent and powerful single state, though shorn of her
imperial power—which will furnish material for the subsequent portion
of our History.

  [477] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 9.

  [478] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 4, 1. ἦγον δὲ ἐκ τῶν χωρίων (οἱ
  τριάκοντα) ἵν᾽ αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ φίλοι τοὺς τούτων ἀγροὺς ἔχοιεν.

  [479] Isokratês cont. Kallimach. Or. xviii, sect. 30.

  Θρασύβουλος μὲν καὶ Ἄνυτος, μέγιστον μὲν δυνάμενοι τῶν ἐν
  τῇ πόλει, πολλῶν δ᾽ ἀπεστερημένοι χρημάτων, εἰδότες δὲ τοὺς
  ἀπογράψαντας, ὅμως οὐ τολμῶσιν αὐτοῖς δίκας λαγχάνειν οὐδὲ
  μνησικακεῖν, ἀλλ᾽ εἰ καὶ περὶ τῶν ἄλλων μᾶλλον ἑτέρων δύνανται
  διαπράττεσθαι, ἀλλ᾽ οὖν περί γε τῶν ἐν ταῖς συνθήκαις ἶσον ἔχειν
  τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀξιοῦσιν.

  On the other hand, the young Alkibiadês (in the Orat. xvi, of
  Isokratês, De Bigis, sect. 56) is made to talk about others
  recovering their property: τῶν ἄλλων κομιζομένων τὰς οὐσίας.
  My statement in the text reconciles these two. The young
  Alkibiadês goes on to state that the people had passed a vote to
  grant compensation to him for the confiscation of his father’s
  property, but that the power of his enemies had disappointed him
  of it. We may well doubt whether such vote ever really passed.

  It appears, however, that Batrachus, one of the chief informers
  who brought in victims for the Thirty, thought it prudent to live
  afterwards out of Attica (Lysias cont. Andokid. Or. vi, sect.
  46), though he would have been legally protected by the amnesty.

  [480] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sect. 94. Μέλητος δ᾽ αὖ οὑτοσὶ
  ἀπήγαγεν ἐπὶ τῶν τριάκοντα Λέοντα, ὡς ὑμεῖς ἅπαντες ἴστε, καὶ
  ἀπέθανεν ἐκεῖνος ἄκριτος.... Μέλητον τοίνυν τοῖς παισὶ τοῖς τοῦ
  Λέοντος οὐκ ἔστι φόνου διώκειν, ὅτι τοῖς νόμοις δεῖ χρῆσθαι ἀπ᾽
  Εὐκλείδου ἄρχοντος· ἐπεὶ ὥς γε οὐκ ἀπήγαγεν, οὐδ᾽ αὐτὸς ἀντιλέγει.

  [481] Thucyd. vi, 39. δῆμον, ξύμπαν ὠνομάσθαι, ὀλιγαρχίαν δὲ,

  [482] Æschylus, Sept. ad Thebas, v, 1047.

      Τραχύς γε μέντοι δῆμος ἐκφυγὼν κακά.

  [483] Thucyd. viii, 97.

While we note the memorable resolution of the Athenian people to
forget that which could not be remembered without ruin to the future
march of the democracy, we must at the same time observe that which
they took special pains to preserve from being forgotten. They
formally recognized all the adjudged cases and all the rights of
property as existing under the democracy anterior to the Thirty.
“You pronounced, fellow-citizens (says Andokidês), that all the
judicial verdicts and all the decisions of arbitrators passed under
the democracy should remain valid, in order that there might be
no abolition of debts, no reversal of private rights, but that
every man might have the means of enforcing contracts due to him
by others.”[484] If the Athenian people had been animated by that
avidity to despoil the rich, and that subjection to the passion of
the moment, which Mr. Mitford imputes to them in so many chapters
of his history, neither motive nor opportunity was now wanting for
wholesale confiscation, of which the rich themselves, during the
dominion of the Thirty, had set abundant example. The amnesty as
to political wrong, and the indelible memory as to the rights of
property, stand alike conspicuous as evidences of the real character
of the Athenian Demos.

  [484] Andokidês de Mysteriis, sect. 88. Τὰς μὲν δίκας, ὦ ἄνδρες,
  καὶ τὰς διαίτας ἐποιήσατε κυρίας εἶναι, ὁπόσαι ἐν δημοκρατουμένῃ
  τῇ πόλει ἐγένοντο, ὅπως μήτε χρεῶν ἀποκοπαὶ εἶεν μήτε δίκαι
  ἀνάδικοι γένοιντο, ἀλλὰ τῶν ἰδίων συμβολαίων αἱ πράξεις εἶεν.

If we wanted any farther proof of their capacity of taking the
largest and soundest views on a difficult political situation,
we should find it in another of their measures at this critical
period. The Ten who had succeeded to the oligarchical presidency of
Athens after the death of Kritias and the expulsion of the Thirty,
had borrowed from Sparta the sum of one hundred talents, for the
express purpose of making war on the exiles in Peiræus. After the
peace, it was necessary that such sum should be repaid, and some
persons proposed that recourse should be had to the property of those
individuals and that party who had borrowed the money. The apparent
equity of the proposition was doubtless felt with peculiar force at
a time when the public treasury was in the extreme of poverty. But
nevertheless both the democratical leaders and the people decidedly
opposed it, resolving to recognize the debt as a public charge; in
which capacity it was afterwards liquidated, after some delay arising
from an unsupplied treasury.[485]

  [485] Isokratês, Areopagit. Or. vii, sect. 77; Demosth. cont.
  Leptin. c. 5, p. 460.

All that was required from the horsemen, or knights, who had been
active in the service of the Thirty, was that they should repay
the sums which had been advanced to them by the latter as outfit.
Such advance to the horsemen, subject to subsequent repayment, and
seemingly distinct from the regular military pay, appears to have
been a customary practice under the previous democracy;[486] but
we may easily believe that the Thirty had carried it to an abusive
excess, in their anxiety to enlist or stimulate partisans, when we
recollect that they resorted to means more nefarious for the same
end. There were of course great individual differences among these
knights, as to the degree in which each had lent himself to the
misdeeds of the oligarchy. Even the most guilty of them were not
molested, and they were sent, four years afterwards, to serve with
Agesilaus in Asia, at a time when the Lacedæmonians required from
Athens a contingent of cavalry;[487] the Demos being well pleased to
be able to provide for them an honorable foreign service. But the
general body of knights suffered so little disadvantage from the
recollection of the Thirty, that many of them in after days became
senators, generals, hipparchs, and occupants of other considerable
posts in the state.[488]

  [486] Lysias pro Mantitheo, Or. xvi, sects. 6-8. I accept
  substantially the explanation which Harpokration and Photius give
  of the word κατάστασις, in spite of the objections taken to it
  by M. Boeckh, which appear to me not founded upon any adequate
  ground. I cannot but think that Reiske is right in distinguishing
  κατάστασις from the pay, μισθὸς.

  See Boeckh, Public Economy of Athens, b. ii, sect. 19, p. 250. In
  the Appendix to this work, which is not translated into English
  along with the work itself, he farther gives the Fragment of an
  inscription, which he considers to bear upon this resumption of
  κατάστασις from the horsemen, or knights, after the Thirty. But
  the Fragment is so very imperfect, that nothing can be affirmed
  with any certainty concerning it: see the Staatshaush. der
  Athener, Appendix, vol. ii, pp. 207, 208.

  [487] Xenoph. Hellen. iii, 1, 4.

  [488] Lysias, Or. xvi, pro Mantitheo, sects. 9, 10; Lysias, cont.
  Evandr. Or. xxvi, sects. 21-25.

  We see from this latter oration (sect. 26) that Thrasybulus
  helped some of the chief persons, who had been in the city,
  and had resisted the return of the exiles, to get over the
  difficulties of the dokimasy, or examination into character,
  previously to being admitted to take possession of any office,
  to which a man had been either elected or drawn by lot, in after
  years. He spoke in favor of Evander, in order that the latter
  might be accepted as king-archon.

Although the decree of Tisamenus—prescribing a revision of the laws
without delay, and directing that the laws, when so revised, should
be posted up for public view, to form the sole and exclusive guide
of the dikasteries—had been passed immediately after the return from
Peiræus and the confirmation of the amnesty, yet it appears that
considerable delay took place before such enactment was carried into
full effect. A person named Nikomachus was charged with the duty, and
stands accused of having performed it tardily as well as corruptly.
He, as well as Tisamenus,[489] was a scribe, or secretary; under
which name were included a class of paid officers, highly important
in the detail of business at Athens, though seemingly men of low
birth, and looked upon as filling a subordinate station, open to
sneers from unfriendly orators. The boards, the magistrates, and
the public bodies were so frequently changed at Athens, that the
continuity of public business could only have been maintained by paid
secretaries of this character, who devoted themselves constantly to
the duty.[490]

  [489] I presume confidently that Tisamenus the scribe, mentioned
  in Lysias cont. Nikomach. sect. 37, is the same person as
  Tisamenus named in Andokidês de Mysteriis (sect. 83) as the
  proposer of the memorable psephism.

  [490] See M. Boeckh’s Public Economy of Athens, b. ii, c. 8, p.
  186, Eng. Tr., for a summary of all that is known respecting
  these γραμματεῖς, or secretaries.

  The expression in Lysias cont. Nikomach. sect. 38, ὅτι
  ὑπογραμματεῦσαι οὐκ ἔξεστι δὶς τὸν αὐτὸν τῇ ἀρχῇ τῇ αὐτῇ, is
  correctly explained by M. Boeckh as having a very restricted
  meaning, and as only applying to two successive years. And I
  think we may doubt whether, in practice, it was rigidly adhered
  to; though it is possible to suppose that these secretaries
  alternated, among themselves, from one board or office to
  another. Their great usefulness consisted in the fact that they
  were constantly in the service, and thus kept up the continuous
  march of the details.

Nikomachus had been named, during the democracy anterior to the
Thirty, for the purpose of preparing a fair transcript, and of
posting up afresh, probably in clearer characters, and in a place
more convenient for public view, the old laws of Solon. We can
well understand that the renovated democratical feeling, which
burst out after the expulsion of the Four Hundred, and dictated
the vehement psephism of Demophantus, might naturally also produce
such a commission as this, for which Nikomachus, both as one of the
public scribes, or secretaries, and as an able speaker,[491] was a
suitable person. His accuser, for whom Lysias composed his thirtieth
oration, now remaining, denounces him as having not only designedly
lingered in the business, for the purpose of prolonging the period
of remuneration, but even as having corruptly tampered with the
old laws, by new interpolations, as well as by omissions. How far
such charges may have been merited, we have no means of judging;
but even assuming Nikomachus to have been both honest and diligent,
he would find no small difficulty in properly discharging his duty
of anagrapheus,[492] or “writer-up” of all the old laws of Athens,
from Solon downward. Both the phraseology of these old laws, and the
alphabet in which they were written, were in many cases antiquated
and obsolete;[493] while there were doubtless also cases in which
one law was at variance, wholly or partially, with another. Now such
contradictions and archaisms would be likely to prove offensive,
if set up in a fresh place, and with clean, new characters; while
Nikomachus had no authority to make the smallest alteration, and
might naturally therefore be tardy in a commission which did not
promise much credit to him in its result.

  [491] Lysias, Or. xxx, cont. Nikomach. sect. 32.

  [492] Lysias, Or. xxx, cont. Nikomach. sect. 33. Wachsmuth calls
  him erroneously antigrapheus instead of anagrapheus (Hellen.
  Alterth. vol. ii, ix, p. 269).

  It seems by Orat. vii, of Lysias (sects. 20, 36, 39) that
  Nikomachus was at enmity with various persons who employed Lysias
  as their logograph, or speech-writer.

  [493] Lysias, Or. x, cont. Theomnest. A. sects. 16-20.

These remarks tend to show that the necessity of a fresh collection
and publication, if we may use that word, of the laws, had been felt
prior to the time of the Thirty. But such a project could hardly
be realized without at the same time revising the laws, as a body,
removing all flagrant contradictions, and rectifying what might
glaringly displease the age, either in substance or in style. Now
the psephism of Tisamenus, one of the first measures of the renewed
democracy after the Thirty, both prescribed such revision and set in
motion a revising body; but an additional decree was now proposed and
carried by Archinus, relative to the alphabet in which the revised
laws should be drawn up. The Ionic alphabet—that is, the full Greek
alphabet of twenty-four letters, as now written and printed—had been
in use at Athens universally, for a considerable time, apparently for
two generations; but from tenacious adherence to ancient custom, the
laws had still continued to be consigned to writing in the old Attic
alphabet of only sixteen or eighteen letters. It was now ordained
that this scanty alphabet should be discontinued, and that the
revised laws, as well as all future public acts, should be written up
in the full Ionic alphabet.[494]

  [494] See Taylor, Vit. Lysiæ, pp. 53, 54; Franz, Element
  Epigraphicê Græc. Introd. pp. 18-24.

Partly through this important reform, partly through the revising
body, partly through the agency of Nikomachus, who was still
continued as anagrapheus, the revision, inscription, and publication
of the laws in their new alphabet was at length completed.
But it seems to have taken two years to perform, or at least
two years elapsed before Nikomachus went through his trial of
accountability.[495] He appears to have made various new propositions
of his own, which were among those adopted by the nomothetæ: for
these his accuser attacks him, on the trial of accountability, as
well as on the still graver allegation, of having corruptly falsified
the decisions of that body; writing up what they had not sanctioned,
or suppressing that which they had sanctioned.[496]

  [495] Lysias cont. Nikom. sect. 3. His employment had lasted six
  years altogether: four years before the Thirty, two years after
  them, sect. 7. At least this seems the sense of the orator.

  [496] I presume this to be the sense of sect. 21 of the Oration
  of Lysias against him: εἰ μὲν νόμους ἐτίθην περὶ τῆς ἀναγραφῆς,
  etc.; also sects. 33-45: παρακαλοῦμεν ἐν τῇ κρίσει τιμωρεῖσθαι
  τοὺς τὴν ὑμετέραν νομοθεσίαν ἀφανίζοντας, etc.

  The tenor of the oration, however, is unfortunately obscure.

The archonship of Eukleidês, succeeding immediately to the
anarchy,—as the archonship of Pythodôrus, or the period of the
Thirty, was denominated,—became thus a cardinal point or epoch in
Athenian history. We cannot doubt that the laws came forth out of
this revision considerably modified, though unhappily we possess no
particulars on the subject. We learn that the political franchise
was, on the proposition of Aristophon, so far restricted for the
future, that no person could be a citizen by birth except the son
of citizen-parents, on both sides; whereas previously, it had been
sufficient if the father alone was a citizen.[497] The rhetor Lysias,
by station a metic, had not only suffered great loss, narrowly
escaping death from the Thirty, who actually put to death his brother
Polemarchus, but had contributed a large sum to assist the armed
efforts of the exiles under Thrasybulus in Peiræus. As a reward
and compensation for such antecedents, the latter proposed that
the franchise of citizen should be conferred upon him; but we are
told that this decree, though adopted by the people, was afterwards
indicted by Archinus as illegal or informal, and cancelled. Lysias,
thus disappointed of the citizenship, passed the remainder of his
life as an isoteles, or non-freeman on the best condition, exempt
from the peculiar burdens upon the class of metics.[498]

  [497] Isæus, Or. viii, De Kiron. Sort. sect. 61; Demosthen. cont.
  Eubulid. c. 10, p. 1307.

  [498] Plutarch, Vit. x, Orat. (Lysias) p. 836; Taylor, Vit.
  Lysiæ, p. 53.

Such refusal of citizenship to an eminent man like Lysias, who
had both acted and suffered in the cause of the democracy, when
combined with the decree of Aristophon above noticed, implies a
degree of augmented strictness which we can only partially explain.
It was not merely the renewal of her democracy for which Athens had
now to provide. She had also to accommodate her legislation and
administration to her future march as an isolated state, without
empire or foreign dependencies. For this purpose, material changes
must have been required: among others, we know that the Board of
Hellenotamiæ—originally named for the collection and management of
the tribute at Delos, but attracting to themselves gradually more
extended functions, until they became ultimately, immediately before
the Thirty, the general paymasters of the state—was discontinued,
and such among its duties as did not pass away along with the loss
of the foreign empire, were transferred to two new officers, the
treasurer at war, and the manager of the theôrikon, or religious
festival-fund.[499] Respecting these two new departments, the latter
of which especially became so much extended as to comprise most of
the disbursements of a peace-establishment, I shall speak more fully
hereafter; at present, I only notice them as manifestations of the
large change in Athenian administration consequent upon the loss of
the empire. There were doubtless many other changes arising from
the same cause, though we do not know them in detail; and I incline
to number among such the alteration above noticed respecting the
right of citizenship. While the Athenian empire lasted, the citizens
of Athens were spread over the Ægean in every sort of capacity, as
settlers, merchants, navigators, soldiers, etc.; which must have
tended materially to encourage intermarriages between them and the
women of other Grecian insular states. Indeed, we are even told that
an express permission of connubium with Athenians was granted to the
inhabitants of Eubœa,[500] a fact, noticed by Lysias, of some moment
in illustrating the tendency of the Athenian empire to multiply
family ties between Athens and the allied cities. Now, according
to the law which prevailed before Eukleidês, the son of every such
marriage was by birth an Athenian citizen, an arrangement at that
time useful to Athens, as strengthening the bonds of her empire,
and eminently useful in a larger point of view, among the causes
of Pan-Hellenic sympathy. But when Athens was deprived both of her
empire and her fleet, and confined within the limits of Attica,
there no longer remained any motive to continue such a regulation,
so that the exclusive city-feeling, instinctive in the Grecian mind,
again became predominant. Such is, perhaps, the explanation of the
new restrictive law proposed by Aristophon.

  [499] See respecting this change Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens,
  ii, 7, p. 180, _seq._, Eng. Tr.

  [500] Lysias, Fragm. Or. xxxiv, De non dissolvendâ Republicâ,
  sect. 3: ἀλλὰ καὶ Εὐβοεῦσιν ἐπιγαμίαν ἐποιούμεθα, etc.

Thrasybulus and the gallant handful of exiles who had first seized
Phylê, received no larger reward than one thousand drachmæ for a
common sacrifice and votive offering, together with wreaths of
olive as a token of gratitude from their countrymen.[501] The debt
which Athens owed to Thrasybulus was indeed such as could not be
liquidated by money. To his individual patriotism, in great degree,
we may ascribe not only the restoration of the democracy, but its
good behavior when restored. How different would have been the
consequences of the restoration and the conduct of the people, had
the event been brought about by a man like Alkibiadês, applying great
abilities principally to the furtherance of his own cupidity and

  [501] Æschinês, cont. Ktesiphon. c. 62, p. 437; Cornel. Nepos,
  Thrasybul. c. 4.

At the restoration of the democracy, however, Alkibiadês was already
no more. Shortly after the catastrophe at Ægospotami, he had sought
shelter in the satrapy of Pharnabazus, no longer thinking himself
safe from Lacedæmonian persecution in his forts on the Thracian
Chersonese. He carried with him a good deal of property, though he
left still more behind him, in these forts; how acquired, we do not
know. But having crossed apparently to Asia by the Bosphorus, he
was plundered by the Thracians in Bithynia, and incurred much loss
before he could reach Pharnabazus in Phrygia. Renewing the tie of
personal hospitality which he had contracted with Pharnabazus four
years before,[502] he now solicited from the satrap a safe-conduct
up to Susa. The Athenian envoys—whom Pharnabazus, after his former
pacification with Alkibiadês in 408 B.C., had engaged to escort to
Susa, but had been compelled by the mandate of Cyrus to detain as
prisoners—were just now released from their three years’ detention,
and enabled to come down to the Propontis;[503] and Alkibiadês, by
whom this mission had originally been projected, tried to prevail
on the satrap to perform the promise which he had originally given,
but had not been able to fulfil. The hopes of the sanguine exile,
reverting back to the history of Themistoklês, led him to anticipate
the same success at Susa as had fallen to the lot of the latter; nor
was the design impracticable, to one whose ability was universally
renowned, and who had already acted as minister to Tissaphernês.

  [502] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 3, 12. τόν τε κοινὸν ὅρκον καὶ ἰδίᾳ
  ἀλλήλοις πίστεις ἐποιοῦντο.

  [503] Xenoph. Hellen. i, 4, 7.

The court of Susa was at this time in a peculiar position. King
Darius Nothus, having recently died, had been succeeded by his
eldest son Artaxerxes Mnemon;[504] but the younger son Cyrus, whom
Darius had sent for during his last illness, tried after the death
of the latter to supplant Artaxerxes in the succession, or at least
was suspected of so trying. Being seized and about to be slain, the
queen-mother Parysatis prevailed upon Artaxerxes to pardon him, and
send him again down to his satrapy along the coast of Ionia, where
he labored strenuously, though secretly, to acquire the means of
dethroning his brother; a memorable attempt, of which I shall speak
more fully hereafter. But his schemes, though carefully masked,
did not escape the observation of Alkibiadês, who wished to make a
merit of revealing them at Susa, and to become the instrument of
defeating them. He communicated his suspicions as well as his purpose
to Pharnabazus; whom he tried to awaken by alarm of danger to the
empire, in order that he might thus get himself forwarded to Susa as
informant and auxiliary.

  [504] Xenoph. Anab. i, 1; Diodor. xiii, 108.

Pharnabazus was already jealous and unfriendly in spirit towards
Lysander and the Lacedæmonians, of which we shall soon see plain
evidence, and perhaps towards Cyrus also, since such were the
habitual relations of neighboring satraps in the Persian empire.
But the Lacedæmonians and Cyrus were now all-powerful on the
Asiatic coast, so that he probably did not dare to exasperate them,
by identifying himself with a mission so hostile and an enemy so
dangerous to both. Accordingly, he refused compliance with the
request of Alkibiadês; granting him, nevertheless, permission to
live in Phrygia, and even assigning to him a revenue. But the
objects at which the exile was aiming soon became more or less fully
divulged, to those against whom they were intended. His restless
character, enterprise, and capacity, were so well known as to raise
exaggerated fears as well as exaggerated hopes. Not merely Cyrus, but
the Lacedæmonians, closely allied with Cyrus, and the dekadarchies,
whom Lysander had set up in the Asiatic Grecian cities, and who
held their power only through Lacedæmonian support, all were uneasy
at the prospect of seeing Alkibiadês again in action and command,
amidst so many unsettled elements. Nor can we doubt that the exiles
whom these dekadarchies had banished, and the disaffected citizens
who remained at home under their government in fear of banishment
or death, kept up correspondence with him, and looked to him as a
probable liberator. Moreover, the Spartan king, Agis, still retained
the same personal antipathy against him, which had already some
years before procured the order to be despatched, from Sparta to
Asia, to assassinate him. Here are elements enough, of hostility,
vengeance, and apprehension, afloat against Alkibiadês, without
believing the story of Plutarch, that Kritias and the Thirty sent
to apprize Lysander that the oligarchy at Athens could not stand,
so long as Alkibiadês was alive. The truth is, that though the
Thirty had included him in the list of exiles,[505] they had much
less to dread from his assaults or plots, in Attica, than the
Lysandrian dekadarchies in the cities of Asia. Moreover, his name
was not popular even among the Athenian democrats, as will be shown
hereafter, when we come to recount the trial of Sokratês. Probably,
therefore, the alleged intervention of Kritias and the Thirty, to
procure the murder of Alkibiadês, is a fiction of the subsequent
encomiasts of the latter at Athens, in order to create for him claims
to esteem as a friend and fellow-sufferer with the democracy.

  [505] Xenoph. Hellen. ii, 3, 42; Isokratês, Or. xvi, De Bigis, s.

A special despatch, or skytalê, was sent out by the Spartan
authorities to Lysander in Asia, enjoining him to procure that
Alkibiadês should be put to death. Accordingly, Lysander communicated
this order to Pharnabazus, within whose satrapy Alkibiadês was
residing, and requested that it might be put in execution. The
whole character of Pharnabazus shows that he would not perpetrate
such a deed, towards a man with whom he had contracted ties of
hospitality, without sincere reluctance and great pressure from
without; especially as it would have been easy for him to connive
underhand at the escape of the intended victim. We may therefore be
sure that it was Cyrus, who, informed of the revelations contemplated
by Alkibiadês, enforced the requisition of Lysander; and that the
joint demand of the two was too formidable even to be evaded, much
less openly disobeyed. Accordingly, Pharnabazus despatched his
brother Magæus and his uncle Sisamithres with a band of armed men, to
assassinate Alkibiadês in the Phrygian village where he was residing.
These men, not daring to force their way into his house, surrounded
it and set it on fire; but Alkibiadês, having contrived to extinguish
the flames, rushed out upon his assailants with a dagger in his right
hand, and a cloak wrapped round his left to serve as a shield. None
of them dared to come near him; but they poured upon him showers of
darts and arrows until he perished, undefended as he was either by
shield or by armor. A female companion with whom he lived, Timandra,
wrapped up his body in garments of her own, and performed towards it
all the last affectionate solemnities.[506]

  [506] I put together what seems to me the most probable account
  of the death of Alkibiadês from Plutarch, Alkib. c. 38, 39;
  Diodorus, xiv, 11 (who cites Ephorus, compare Ephor. Fragm. 126,
  ed. Didot); Cornelius Nepos, Alkibiad. c. 10; Justin, v, 8;
  Isokratês, Or. xvi, De Bigis, s. 50.

  There were evidently different stories, about the antecedent
  causes and circumstances, among which a selection must be made.
  The extreme perfidy ascribed by Ephorus to Pharnabazus appears to
  me not at all in the character of that satrap.

Such was the deed which Cyrus and the Lacedæmonians did not
scruple to enjoin, nor the uncle and brother of a Persian satrap
to execute, and by which this celebrated Athenian perished, before
he had attained the age of fifty. Had he lived, we cannot doubt
that he would again have played some conspicuous part,—for neither
his temper nor his abilities would have allowed him to remain in
the shade,—but whether to the advantage of Athens or not, is more
questionable. Certain it is, that taking his life throughout, the
good which he did to her bore no proportion to the far greater evil.
Of the disastrous Sicilian expedition, he was more the cause than
any other individual, though that enterprise cannot properly be said
to have been caused by any individual, but rather to have emanated
from a national impulse. Having first, as a counsellor, contributed
more than any other man to plunge the Athenians into this imprudent
adventure, he next, as an exile, contributed more than any other man,
except Nikias, to turn that adventure into ruin, and the consequences
of it into still greater ruin. Without him, Gylippus would not have
been sent to Syracuse, Dekeleia would not have been fortified, Chios
and Milêtus would not have revolted, the oligarchical conspiracy of
the Four Hundred would not have been originated. Nor can it be said
that his first three years of political action as Athenian leader,
in a speculation peculiarly his own,—the alliance with Argos, and
the campaigns in Peloponnesus,—proved in any way advantageous to
his country. On the contrary, by playing an offensive game where
he had hardly sufficient force for a defensive, he enabled the
Lacedæmonians completely to recover their injured reputation and
ascendency through the important victory of Mantineia. The period of
his life really serviceable to his country, and really glorious to
himself, was that of three years ending with his return to Athens in
407 B.C. The results of these three years of success were frustrated
by the unexpected coming down of Cyrus as satrap: but, just at the
moment when it behooved Alkibiadês to put forth a higher measure
of excellence, in order to realize his own promises in the face of
this new obstacle, at that critical moment we find him spoiled by
the unexpected welcome which had recently greeted him at Athens, and
falling miserably short even of the former merit whereby that welcome
had been earned.

If from his achievements we turn to his dispositions, his ends, and
his means, there are few characters in Grecian history who present
so little to esteem, whether we look at him as a public or as a
private man. His ends are those of exorbitant ambition and vanity,
his means rapacious as well as reckless, from his first dealing with
Sparta and the Spartan envoys, down to the end of his career. The
manœuvres whereby his political enemies first procured his exile were
indeed base and guilty in a high degree; but we must recollect that
if his enemies were more numerous and violent than those of any
other politician in Athens, the generating seed was sown by his own
overweening insolence, and contempt of restraints, legal as well as

On the other hand, he was never once defeated either by land or sea.
In courage, in ability, in enterprise, in power of dealing with new
men and new situations, he was never wanting; qualities, which,
combined with his high birth, wealth, and personal accomplishments,
sufficed to render him for the time the first man in every successive
party which he espoused; Athenian, Spartan, or Persian; oligarchical
or democratical. But to none of them did he ever inspire any lasting
confidence; all successively threw him off. On the whole, we shall
find few men in whom eminent capacities for action and command are
so thoroughly marred by an assemblage of bad moral qualities, as

  [507] Cornelius Nepos says (Alcib. c. 11) of Alkibiadês:
  “Hunc infamatum a plerisque tres gravissimi historici summis
  laudibus extulerunt: Thucydides, qui ejusdem ætatis fuit;
  Theopompus, qui fuit post aliquando natus, et Timæus: qui quidem
  duo maledicentissimi, nescio quo modo, in illo uno laudando

  We have no means of appreciating what was said by Theopompus and
  Timæus. But as to Thucydidês, it is to be recollected that he
  extols only the capacity and warlike enterprise of Alkibiadês,
  nothing beyond; and he had good reason for doing so. His picture
  of the dispositions and conduct of Alkibiadês is the reverse of

  The Oration xvi, of Isokratês, De Bigis, spoken by the son
  of Alkibiadês, goes into a labored panegyric of his father’s
  character, but is prodigiously inaccurate, if we compare it with
  the facts stated in Thucydidês and Xenophon. But he is justified
  in saying: οὐδέποτε τοῦ πατρὸς ἡγουμένου τρόπαιον ὑμῶν ἔστησαν οἱ
  πολέμιοι (s. 23).



Respecting the political history of Athens during the few years
immediately succeeding the restoration of the democracy, we have
unfortunately little or no information. But in the spring of 399
B.C., between three and four years after the beginning of the
archonship of Eukleidês, an event happened of paramount interest to
the intellectual public of Greece as well as to philosophy generally,
the trial, condemnation, and execution of Sokratês. Before I recount
that memorable incident, it will be proper to say a few words on
the literary and philosophical character of the age in which it
happened. Though literature and philosophy are now becoming separate
departments in Greece, each exercises a marked influence on the
other, and the state of dramatic literature will be seen to be one of
the causes directly contributing to the fate of Sokratês.

During the century of the Athenian democracy between Kleisthenês and
Eukleidês, there had been produced a development of dramatic genius,
tragic and comic, never paralleled before or afterwards. Æschylus,
the creator of the tragic drama, or at least the first composer who
rendered it illustrious, had been a combatant both at Marathon and
Salamis; while Sophoklês and Euripidês, his two eminent followers,
the former one of the generals of the Athenian armament against
Samos in 440 B.C., expired both of them only a year before the
battle of Ægospotami, just in time to escape the bitter humiliation
and suffering of that mournful period. Out of the once numerous
compositions of these poets we possess only a few, yet sufficient
to enable us to appreciate in some degree the grandeur of Athenian
tragedy; and when we learn that they were frequently beaten, even
with the best of their dramas now remaining, in fair competition
for the prize against other poets whose names only have reached us,
we are warranted in presuming that the best productions of these
successful competitors, if not intrinsically finer, could hardly have
been inferior in merit to theirs.[508]

  [508] The Œdipus Tyrannus of Sophoklês was surpassed by the rival
  composition of Philoklês. The Medea of Euripidês stood only
  third for the prize; Euphorion, son of Æschylus, being first,
  Sophoklês second. Yet these two tragedies are the masterpieces
  now remaining of Sophoklês and Euripidês.

The tragic drama belonged essentially to the festivals in honor of
the god Dionysus; being originally a chorus sung in his honor, to
which were successively superadded, first, an Iambic monologue;
next, a dialogue with two actors; lastly, a regular plot with
three actors, and the chorus itself interwoven into the scene.
Its subjects were from the beginning, and always continued to be,
persons either divine or heroic, above the level of historical life,
and borrowed from what was called the mythical past: the Persæ of
Æschylus forms a splendid exception; but the two analogous dramas
of his contemporary, Phrynichus, the Phœnissæ and the capture of
Milêtus, were not successful enough to invite subsequent tragedians
to meddle with contemporary events. To three serious dramas, or a
trilogy, at first connected together by sequence of subject more or
less loose, but afterwards unconnected and on distinct subjects,
through an innovation introduced by Sophoklês, if not before, the
tragic poet added a fourth or satyrical drama; the characters of
which were satyrs, the companions of the god Dionysus, and other
heroic or mythical persons exhibited in farce. He thus made up a
total of four dramas, or a tetralogy, which he got up and brought
forward to contend for the prize at the festival. The expense of
training the chorus and actors was chiefly furnished by the chorêgi,
wealthy citizens, of whom one was named for each of the ten tribes,
and whose honor and vanity were greatly interested in obtaining the
prize. At first, these exhibitions took place on a temporary stage,
with nothing but wooden supports and scaffolding; but shortly after
the year 500 B.C., on an occasion when the poets Æschylus and
Pratinas were contending for the prize, this stage gave way during
the ceremony, and lamentable mischief was the result. After that
misfortune, a permanent theatre of stone was provided. To what extent
the project was realized before the invasion of Xerxes, we do not
accurately know; but after his destructive occupation of Athens,
the theatre, if any existed previously, would have to be rebuilt or
renovated along with other injured portions of the city.

It was under that great development of the power of Athens which
followed the expulsion of Xerxes, that the theatre with its
appurtenances attained full magnitude and elaboration, and Attic
tragedy its maximum of excellence. Sophoklês gained his first
victory over Æschylus in 468 B.C.: the first exhibition of Euripidês
was in 455 B.C. The names, though unhappily the names alone, of
many other competitors have reached us: Philoklês, who gained the
prize even over the Œdipus Tyrannus of Sophoklês; Euphorion son of
Æschylus, Xenoklês, and Nikomachus, all known to have triumphed
over Euripidês; Neophron, Achæus, Ion, Agathon, and many more. The
continuous stream of new tragedy, poured out year after year, was
something new in the history of the Greek mind. If we could suppose
all the ten tribes contending for the prize every year, there would
be ten tetralogies—or sets of four dramas each, three tragedies and
one satyrical farce—at the Dionysiac festival, and as many at the
Lenæan. So great a number as sixty new tragedies composed every
year,[509] is not to be thought of; yet we do not know what was the
usual number of competing tetralogies: it was at least three; since
the first, second, and third are specified in the didaskalies, or
theatrical records, and probably greater than three. It was rare
to repeat the same drama a second time unless after considerable
alterations; nor would it be creditable to the liberality of a
chorêgus to decline the full cost of getting up a new tetralogy.
Without pretending to determine with numerical accuracy how many
dramas were composed in each year, the general fact of unexampled
abundance in the productions of the tragic muse is both authentic and

  [509] The careful examination of Welcker (Griech. Tragödie. vol.
  i, p. 76) makes out the titles of eighty tragedies unquestionably
  belonging to Sophoklês, over and above the satyrical dramas in
  his tetralogies. Welcker has considerably cut down the number
  admitted by previous authors, carried by Fabricius as high as one
  hundred and seventy-eight, and even, by Boeckh, as high as one
  hundred and nine (Welcker, _ut sup._ p. 62).

  The number of dramas ascribed to Euripidês is sometimes
  ninety-two, sometimes seventy-five. Elmsley, in his remarks on
  the Argument to the Medea, p. 72, thinks that even the larger of
  these numbers is smaller than what Euripidês probably composed;
  since the poet continued composing for fifty years, from 455 to
  405 B.C., and was likely during each year to have composed one,
  if not two, tetralogies; if he could prevail upon the archon to
  grant him a chorus, that is, the opportunity of representing.
  The didaskalies took no account of any except such as gained the
  first, second, or third prize. Welcker gives the titles, and an
  approximative guess at the contents, of fifty-one lost tragedies
  of the poet, besides the seventeen remaining (p. 443).

  Aristarchus the tragedian is affirmed by Suidas to have composed
  seventy tragedies, of which only two gained the prize. As many
  as a hundred and twenty compositions are ascribed to Neophron,
  forty-four to Achæus, forty to Ion (Welcker, ib. p. 889).

Moreover, what is not less important to notice, all this abundance
found its way to the minds of the great body of the citizens,
not excepting even the poorest. For the theatre is said to have
accommodated thirty thousand persons:[510] here again it is unsafe
to rely upon numerical accuracy, but we cannot doubt that it was
sufficiently capacious to give to most of the citizens, poor as
well as rich, ample opportunity of profiting by these beautiful
compositions. At first, the admission to the theatre was gratuitous;
but as the crowd of strangers as well as freemen, was found both
excessive and disorderly, the system was adopted of asking a price,
seemingly at the time when the permanent theatre was put in complete
order after the destruction caused by Xerxes. The theatre was let
by contract to a manager, who engaged to defray, either in whole or
part, the habitual cost incurred by the state in the representation,
and who was allowed to sell tickets of admission. At first, it
appears that the price of tickets was not fixed, so that the poor
citizens were overbid, and could not get places. Accordingly,
Periklês introduced a new system, fixing the price of places at three
oboli, or half a drachma, for the better, and one obolus for the less
good. As there were two days of representation, tickets covering both
days were sold respectively for a drachma and two oboli. But in order
that the poor citizens might be enabled to attend, two oboli were
given out from the public treasure to each citizen—rich as well as
poor, if they chose to receive it—on the occasion of the festival.
A poor man was thus furnished with the means of purchasing his place
and going to the theatre without cost, on both days, if he chose; or,
if he preferred it, he might go on one day only; or might even stay
away altogether, and spend both the two oboli in any other manner.
The higher price obtained for the better seats purchased by the
richer citizens, is here to be set against the sum disbursed to the
poorer; but we have no data before us for striking the balance, nor
can we tell how the finances of the state were affected by it.[511]

  [510] Plato, Symposion, c. 3, p. 175.

  [511] For these particulars, see chiefly a learned and valuable
  compilation—G. C. Schneider, _Das Attische Theater-Wesen_,
  Weimar, 1835—furnished with copious notes; though I do not fully
  concur in all his details, and have differed from him on some
  points. I cannot think that more than two oboli were given to
  any one citizen at the same festival; at least, not until the
  distribution became extended, in times posterior to the Thirty;
  see M. Schneider’s book, p. 17; also Notes, 29-196.

Such was the original theôrikon, or festival-pay, introduced by
Periklês at Athens; a system of distributing the public money,
gradually extended to other festivals in which there was no
theatrical representation, and which in later times reached a
mischievous excess; having begun at a time when Athens was full of
money from foreign tribute, and continuing, with increased demand
at a subsequent time, when she was comparatively poor and without
extraneous resources. It is to be remembered that all these festivals
were portions of the ancient religion, and that, according to the
feelings of that time, cheerful and multitudinous assemblages were
essential to the satisfaction of the god in whose honor the festival
was celebrated. Such disbursements were a portion of the religious,
even more than of the civil establishment. Of the abusive excess
which they afterwards reached, however, I shall speak in a future
volume: at present, I deal with the theôrikon only in its primitive
function and effect, of enabling all Athenians indiscriminately to
witness the representation of the tragedies.

We cannot doubt that the effect of these compositions upon the public
sympathies, as well as upon the public judgment and intelligence,
must have been beneficial and moralizing in a high degree. Though
the subjects and persons are legendary, the relations between them
are all human and simple, exalted above the level of humanity only
in such measure as to present a stronger claim to the hearer’s
admiration or pity. So powerful a body of poetical influence has
probably never been brought to act upon the emotions of any other
population; and when we consider the extraordinary beauty of these
immortal compositions, which first stamped tragedy as a separate
department of poetry, and gave to it a dignity never since reached,
we shall be satisfied that the tastes, the sentiments, and the
intellectual standard, of the Athenian multitude, must have been
sensibly improved and exalted by such lessons. The reception of
such pleasures through the eye and the ear, as well as amidst a
sympathizing crowd, was a fact of no small importance in the mental
history of Athens. It contributed to exalt their imagination, like
the grand edifices and ornaments added during the same period to
their acropolis. Like them, too, and even more than they, tragedy was
the monopoly of Athens; for while tragic composers came thither from
other parts of Greece—Achæus from Eretria, and Ion from Chios, at a
time when the Athenian empire comprised both those places—to exhibit
their genius, nowhere else were original tragedies composed and
acted, though hardly any considerable city was without a theatre.[512]

  [512] See Plato, Lachês, c. 6, p. 183, B.; and Welcker, Griech.
  Tragöd. p. 930.

The three great tragedians—Æschylus, Sophoklês, and
Euripidês—distinguished above all their competitors, as well by
contemporaries as by subsequent critics, are interesting to us,
not merely from the positive beauties of each, but also from the
differences between them in handling, style, and sentiment, and from
the manner in which these differences illustrate the insensible
modification of the Athenian mind. Though the subjects, persons, and
events of tragedy always continued to be borrowed from the legendary
world, and were thus kept above the level of contemporaneous
life,[513] yet the dramatic manner of handling them is sensibly
modified, even in Sophoklês as compared with Æschylus; and still more
in Euripidês, by the atmosphere of democracy, political and judicial
contention, and philosophy, encompassing and acting upon the poet.

  [513] Upon the point, compare Welcker, Griech. Tragöd. vol. ii,
  p. 1102.

In Æschylus, the ideality belongs to the handling not less than
to the subjects: the passions appealed to are the masculine and
violent, to the exclusion of Aphroditê and her inspirations:[514]
the figures are vast and majestic, but exhibited only in half-light
and in shadowy outline: the speech is replete with bold metaphor and
abrupt transition, “grandiloquent even to a fault,” as Quintilian
remarks, and often approaching nearer to Oriental vagueness than
to Grecian perspicuity. In Sophoklês, there is evidently a closer
approach to reality and common life: the range of emotions is more
varied, the figures are more distinctly seen, and the action more
fully and conspicuously worked out. Not only we have a more elaborate
dramatic structure, but a more expanded dialogue, and a comparative
simplicity of speech like that of living Greeks: and we find too a
certain admixture of rhetorical declamation, amidst the greatest
poetical beauty which the Grecian drama ever attained. But when we
advance to Euripidês, this rhetorical element becomes still more
prominent and developed. The ultra-natural sublimity of the legendary
characters disappears: love and compassion are invoked to a degree
which Æschylus would have deemed inconsistent with the dignity of
the heroic person: moreover, there are appeals to the reason, and
argumentative controversies, which that grandiloquent poet would have
despised as petty and forensic cavils. And—what was worse still,
judging from the Æschylean point of view—there was a certain novelty
of speculation, an intimation of doubt on reigning opinions, and an
air of scientific refinement, often spoiling the poetical effect.

  [514] See Aristophan. Ran. 1046. The Antigonê (780, _seq._) and
  the Trachiniæ (498) are sufficient evidence that Sophoklês did
  not agree with Æschylus in this renunciation of Aphroditê.

Such differences between these three great poets are doubtless
referable to the working of Athenian politics and Athenian philosophy
on the minds of the two later. In Sophoklês, we may trace the
companion of Herodotus;[515] in Euripidês, the hearer of Anaxagoras,
Sokratês, and Prodikus;[516] in both, the familiarity with that
wide-spread popularity of speech, and real, serious debate of
politicians and competitors before the dikastery, which both had ever
before their eyes, but which the genius of Sophoklês knew how to keep
in due subordination to his grand poetical purpose.

  [515] The comparison of Herodot. iii, 119 with Soph. Antig. 905,
  proves a community of thought which seems to me hardly explicable
  in any other way. Which of the two obtained the thought from the
  other, we cannot determine.

  The reason given, by a woman whose father and mother were dead,
  for preferring a brother either to husband or child,—that she
  might find another husband and have another child, but could
  not possibly have another brother,—is certainly not a little

  [516] See Valckenaer, Diatribe in Eurip. Frag. c. 23. Quintilian,
  who had before him many more tragedies than those which we now
  possess, remarks how much more useful was the study of Euripidês,
  than that of Æschylus or Sophoklês, to a young man preparing
  himself for forensic oratory:—

  “Illud quidem nemo non fateatur, iis qui se ad agendum
  comparaverint, utiliorem longe Euripidem fore. Namque is et vi
  et sermone (quo ipsum reprehendunt quibus gravitas et cothurnus
  et sonus Sophoclis videtur esse sublimior) magis accedit
  oratorio generi: et sententiis densus, et rebus ipsis; et in iis
  quæ a sapientibus tradita sunt, pæne ipsis par; et in dicendo
  et respondendo cuilibet eorum, qui fuerunt in foro diserti,
  comparandus. In affectibus vero tum omnibus mirus, tum in iis qui
  miseratione constant, facile præcipuus.” (Quintil. Inst. Orat. x,

The transformation of the tragic muse from Æschylus to Euripidês
is the more deserving of notice, as it shows us how Attic tragedy
served as the natural prelude and encouragement to the rhetorical
and dialectical age which was approaching. But the democracy, which
thus insensibly modified the tragic drama, imparted a new life and
ampler proportions to the comic; both the one and the other being
stimulated by the increasing prosperity and power of Athens during
the half century following 480 B.C. Not only was the affluence of
strangers and visitors to Athens continually augmenting, but wealthy
men were easily found to incur the expense of training the chorus
and actors. There was no manner of employing wealth which seemed so
appropriate to procure influence and popularity to its possessors, as
that of contributing to enhance the magnificence of the national and
religious festivals.[517] This was the general sentiment both among
rich and among poor; nor is there any criticism more unfounded than
that which represents such an obligation as hard and oppressive upon
rich men. Most of them spent more than they were legally compelled
to spend in this way, from the desire of exalting their popularity.
The only real sufferers were the people, considered as interested in
a just administration of law; since it was a practice which enabled
many rich men to acquire importance who had no personal qualities to
deserve it, and which provided them with a stock of factitious merits
to be pleaded before the dikastery, as a set-off against substantive

  [517] Aristophan. Plutus, 1160:—

      Πλούτῳ γὰρ ἐστὶ τοῦτο συμφορώτατον,
      Ποιεῖν ἀγῶνας γυμνικοὺς καὶ μουσικούς.

  Compare the speech of Alkibiadês, Thuc. vi, 16, and Theophrastus
  ap. Cic. de Officiis, ii, 16.

The full splendor of the comic muse was considerably later than that
of the tragic. Even down to 460 B.C. (about the time when Periklês
and Ephialtês introduced their constitutional reforms), there was not
a single comic poet of eminence at Athens; nor was there apparently
a single undisputed Athenian comedy before that date, which survived
to the times of the Alexandrine critics. Magnês, Kratês, and
Kratinus—probably also Chionidês and Ekphantidês[518]—all belong to
the period beginning about (Olympiad 80 or) 460 B.C.; that is, the
generation preceding Aristophanês, whose first composition dates
in 427 B.C. The condition and growth of Attic comedy before this
period seems to have been unknown even to Aristotle, who intimates
that the archon did not begin to grant a chorus for comedy, or to
number it among the authoritative solemnities of the festival, until
long after the practice had been established for tragedy. Thus the
comic chorus in that early time consisted of volunteers, without
any chorêgus publicly assigned to bear the expense of teaching
them or getting up the piece; so that there was little motive for
authors to bestow care or genius in the preparation of their song,
dance, and scurrilous monody, or dialogue. The exuberant revelry of
the phallic festival and procession, with full license of scoffing
at any one present, which the god Dionysus was supposed to enjoy,
and with the most plain-spoken grossness as well in language as
in ideas, formed the primitive germ, which under Athenian genius
ripened into the old comedy.[519] It resembled in many respects the
satyric drama of the tragedians, but was distinguished from it by
dealing not merely with the ancient mythical stories and persons, but
chiefly with contemporary men and subjects of common life; dealing
with them often, too, under their real names, and with ridicule
the most direct, poignant, and scornful. We see clearly how fair a
field Athens would offer for this species of composition, at a time
when the bitterness of political contention ran high,—when the city
had become a centre for novelties from every part of Greece,—when
tragedians, rhetors, and philosophers, were acquiring celebrity and
incurring odium,—and when the democratical constitution laid open all
the details of political and judicial business, as well as all the
first men of the state, not merely to universal criticism, but also
to unmeasured libel.

  [518] See Meineke, Hist. Critic. Comicor. Græcor. vol. i, p. 26,

  Grysar and Mr. Clinton, following Suidas, place Chionidês
  before the Persian invasion; but the words of Aristotle rather
  countenance the later date (Poetic. c. 3).

  [519] See respecting these licentious processions, in connection
  with the iambus and Archilochus, vol. iv, of this History, ch.
  xxix, p. 81.

  Aristotle (Poetic, c. 4) tells us that these phallic processions,
  with liberty to the leaders (οἱ ἐξάρχοντες) of scoffing at every
  one, still continued in many cities of Greece in his time: see
  Herod. v, 83, and Sêmus apud Athenæum, xiv, p. 622; also the
  striking description of the rural Dionysia in the Acharneis of
  Aristophanês, 235, 255, 1115. The scoffing was a part of the
  festival, and supposed to be agreeable to Dionysus: ἐν τοῖς
  Διονυσίοις ἐφειμένον αὐτὸ δρᾷν· καὶ τὸ σκῶμμα μέρος τι ἐδόκει
  τῆς ἑορτῆς· καὶ ὁ θεὸς ἴσως χαίρει, φιλογέλως τις ὤν (Lucian,
  Piscator. c. 25). Compare Aristophanês, Ranæ, 367, where the
  poet seems to imply that no one has a right to complain of being
  ridiculed in the πατρίοις τελεταῖς Διονύσου.

  The Greek word for comedy—κωμῳδία, τὸ κωμῳδεῖν—at least in its
  early sense, had reference to a bitter, insulting, criminative
  ridicule: κωμῳδεῖν καὶ κακῶς λέγειν (Xenophon, Repub. Ath. ii,
  23)—κακηγοροῦντάς τε καὶ κωμῳδοῦντας ἀλλήλους καὶ αἰσχρολογοῦντας
  (Plato de Repub. iii, 8, p. 332). A remarkable definition of
  κωμῳδία appears in Bekker’s Anecdota Græca, ii, 747, 10: Κωμῳδία
  ἐστιν ἡ ἐν μέσῳ λάου κατηγορία, ἤγουν δημοσίευσις; “public
  exposure to scorn before the assembled people:” and this idea of
  it as a penal visitation of evil-doers is preserved in Platonius
  and the anonymous writers on comedy, prefixed to Aristophanês.
  The definition which Aristotle (Poetic. c. 11) gives of it,
  is too mild for the primitive comedy: for he tells us himself
  that Kratês, immediately preceding Aristophanês, was the first
  author who departed from the ἰαμβικὴ ἰδέα: this “iambic vein”
  was originally the common character. It doubtless included every
  variety of ridicule, from innocent mirth to scornful contempt
  and odium; but the predominant character tended decidedly to the

  Compare Will. Schneider, Attisches Theater-Wesen, Notes, pp.
  22-25; Bernhardy, Griechische Litteratur, sect. 67, p. 292.

Out of all the once abundant compositions of Attic comedy, nothing
has reached us except eleven plays of Aristophanês. That poet himself
singles out Magnês, Kratês, and Kratinus, among predecessors whom
he describes as numerous, for honorable mention; as having been
frequently, though not uniformly, successful. Kratinus appears to
have been not only the most copious, but also the most distinguished,
among all those who preceded Aristophanês, a list comprising
Hermippus, Telekleidês, and the other bitter assailants of Periklês.
It was Kratinus who first extended and systematized the license of
the phallic festival, and the “careless laughter of the festive
crowd,”[520] into a drama of regular structure, with actors three
in number, according to the analogy of tragedy. Standing forward,
against particular persons exhibited or denounced by their names,
with a malignity of personal slander not inferior to the iambist
Archilochus, and with an abrupt and dithyrambic style somewhat
resembling Æschylus, Kratinus made an epoch in comedy as the latter
had made in tragedy; but was surpassed by Aristophanês, as much
as Æschylus had been surpassed by Sophoklês. We are told that his
compositions were not only more rudely bitter and extensively
libellous than those of Aristophanês,[521] but also destitute of that
richness of illustration and felicity of expression which pervades
all the wit of the latter, whether good-natured or malignant. In
Kratinus, too, comedy first made herself felt as a substantive
agent and partisan in the political warfare of Athens. He espoused
the cause of Kimon against Periklês;[522] eulogizing the former,
while he bitterly derided and vituperated the latter Hermippus,
Telekleidês, and most of the contemporary comic writers followed
the same political line in assailing that great man, together with
those personally connected with him, Aspasia and Anaxagoras: indeed,
Hermippus was the person who indicted Aspasia for impiety before
the dikastery. But the testimony of Aristophanês[523] shows that no
comic writer, of the time of Periklês, equalled Kratinus, either in
vehemence of libel or in popularity.


      Χαῖρ᾽, ὦ μέγ᾽ ἀρχειογέλως ὅμιλε ταῖς ἐπίβδαις,
      Τῆς ἡμετέρας σοφίας κριτὴς ἄριστε πάντων, etc.

  Kratini Fragm. Incert. 51; Meineke, Fr. Com. Græcor. ii, p. 193.

  [521] Respecting Kratinus, see Platonius and the other writers on
  the Attic comedy, prefixed to Aristophanês in Bekker’s edition,
  pp. vi, ix, xi, xiii, etc.; also Meineke, Historia Comic. Græc.
  vol. i, p. 50, _seq._

  ... Οὐ γὰρ, ὥσπερ Ἀριστοφάνης, ἐπιτρέχειν τὴν χάριν τοῖς σκώμμασι
  ποιεῖ (Κρατῖνος), ἀλλ᾽ ~ἁπλῶς~, καὶ, κατὰ τὴν παροιμίαν, ~γυμνῇ
  τῇ κεφαλῇ τίθησι τᾶς βλασφημίας~ κατὰ τῶν ἀμαρτανόντων.

  [522] See Kratinus—Ἀρχίλοχοι—Frag. 1, and Plutarch, Kimon, 10, Ἡ
  κωμῳδία πολιτεύεται ἐν τοῖς δράμασι καὶ φιλοσοφεῖ, ἡ τῶν περὶ τὸν
  Κρατῖνον καὶ Ἀριστοφάνην καὶ Εὔπολιν, etc. (Dionys. Halikarn. Ars
  Rhetoric. c. 11.)

  [523] Aristophan. Equit. 525. _seq._

It is remarkable that, in 440 B.C., a law was passed forbidding comic
authors to ridicule any citizen by name in their compositions; which
prohibition, however, was rescinded after two years, an interval
marked by the rare phenomenon of a lenient comedy from Kratinus.[524]
Such enactment denotes a struggle in the Athenian mind, even at
that time, against the mischief of making the Dionysiac festival
an occasion for unmeasured libel against citizens publicly named
and probably themselves present. And there was another style of
comedy taken up by Kratês, distinct from the iambic or Archilochian
vein worked by Kratinus, in which comic incident was attached to
fictitious characters and woven into a story, without recourse to
real individual names or direct personality. This species of comedy,
analogous to that which Epicharmus had before exhibited at Syracuse,
was continued by Pherekratês as the successor of Kratês. Though for a
long time less popular and successful than the poignant food served
up by Kratinus and others, it became finally predominant after the
close of the Peloponnesian war, by the gradual transition of what is
called the Old Comedy into the Middle and New Comedy.

  [524] A comedy called Ὀδυσσεῖς (plur. numb. corresponding to the
  title of another of his comedies, Ἀρχίλοχοι). It had a chorus, as
  one of the Fragments shows, but few or no choric songs; nor any
  parabasis, or address by the chorus, assuming the person of the
  poet, to the spectators.

  See Bergk, De Reliquiis Comœd. Antiq. p. 142, _seq._; Meineke,
  Frag. Cratini, vol. ii, p. 93, Ὀδυσσεῖς: compare also the first
  volume of the same work, p. 43: also Runkel, Cratini Fragm. p. 38
  (Leips. 1827).

But it is in Aristophanês that the genius of the old libellous comedy
appears in its culminating perfection. At least we have before us
enough of his works to enable us to appreciate his merits; though
perhaps Eupolis, Ameipsias, Phrynichus, Plato (Comicus), and others,
who contended against him at the festivals with alternate victory and
defeat, would be found to deserve similar praise, if we possessed
their compositions. Never probably will the full and unshackled force
of comedy be so exhibited again. Without having Aristophanês actually
before us, it would have been impossible to imagine the unmeasured
and unsparing license of attack assumed by the old comedy upon
the gods, the institutions, the politicians, philosophers, poets,
private citizens specially named, and even the women, whose life was
entirely domestic, of Athens. With this universal liberty in respect
of subject, there is combined a poignancy of derision and satire,
a fecundity of imagination and variety of turns, and a richness of
poetical expression, such as cannot be surpassed, and such as fully
explains the admiration expressed for him by the philosopher Plato,
who in other respects must have regarded him with unquestionable
disapprobation. His comedies are popular in the largest sense of
the word, addressed to the entire body of male citizens on a day
consecrated to festivity, and providing for them amusement or
derision with a sort of drunken abundance, out of all persons or
things standing in any way prominent before the public eye. The
earliest comedy of Aristophanês was exhibited in 427 B.C., and his
muse continued for a long time prolific, since two of the dramas now
remaining belong to an epoch eleven years after the Thirty and the
renovation of the democracy, about 392 B.C. After that renovation,
however, as I have before remarked, the unmeasured sweep and
libellous personality of the old comedy was gradually discontinued:
the comic chorus was first cut down, and afterwards suppressed, so as
to usher in what is commonly termed the Middle Comedy, without any
chorus at all. The “Plutus” of Aristophanês indicates some approach
to this new phase; but his earlier and more numerous comedies, from
the “Acharneis,” in 425 B.C. to the “Frogs,” in 405 B.C., only a few
months before the fatal battle of Ægospotami, exhibit the continuous,
unexhausted, untempered flow of the stream first opened by Kratinus.

Such abundance both of tragic and comic poetry, each of first-rate
excellence, formed one of the marked features of Athenian life, and
became a powerful instrument in popularizing new combinations of
thought with variety and elegance of expression. While the tragic
muse presented the still higher advantage of inspiring elevated and
benevolent sympathies, more was probably lost than gained by the
lessons of the comic muse; not only bringing out keenly all that was
really ludicrous or contemptible in the phenomena of the day, but
manufacturing scornful laughter, quite as often, out of that which
was innocent or even meritorious, as well as out of boundless private
slander. The “Knights” and the “Wasps” of Aristophanês, however, not
to mention other plays, are a standing evidence of one good point in
the Athenian character; that they bore with good-natured indulgence
the full outpouring of ridicule and even of calumny interwoven with
it, upon those democratical institutions to which they were sincerely
attached. The democracy was strong enough to tolerate unfriendly
tongues either in earnest or in jest: the reputations of men who
stood conspicuously forward in politics, on whatever side, might
also be considered as a fair mark for attacks; inasmuch as that
measure of aggressive criticism which is tutelary and indispensable,
cannot be permitted without the accompanying evil, comparatively
much smaller, of excess and injustice;[525] though even here we
may remark that excess of bitter personality is among the most
conspicuous sins of Athenian literature generally. But the warfare of
comedy, in the persons of Aristophanês and other composers, against
philosophy, literature, and eloquence, in the name of those good
old times of ignorance, “when an Athenian seaman knew nothing more
than how to call for his barley-cake, and cry, Yo-ho;”[526] and
the retrograde spirit which induces them to exhibit moral turpitude
as the natural consequence of the intellectual progress of the age,
are circumstances going far to prove an unfavorable and degrading
influence of comedy on the Athenian mind.

  [525] Aristophanês boasts that _he_ was the first comic composer
  who selected great and powerful men for his objects of attack:
  his predecessors, he affirms, had meddled only with small
  vermin and rags: ἐς τὰ ῥάκια σκώπτοντας ἀεὶ, καὶ τοῖς φθειρσὶν
  πολεμοῦντας (Pac. 724-736; Vesp. 1030).

  But this cannot be true in point of fact, since we know that no
  man was more bitterly assailed by the comic authors of his day
  than Periklês. It ought to be added, that though Aristophanês
  doubtless attacked the powerful men, he did not leave the smaller
  persons unmolested.

  [526] Aristoph. Ran. 1067; also Vesp. 1095. Æschylus reproaches

      Εἶτ᾽ αὖ λαλίαν ἐπιτηδεῦσαι καὶ στωμυλίαν ἐδίδαξας,
      Ἣ ᾽ξεκένωσεν τάς τε παλαίστρας, καὶ τὰς πυγὰς ἐνέτριψε
      Τῶν μειρακίων στωμυλλομένων, καὶ τοὺς παράλους ἀνέπεισεν
      Ἀνταγορεύειν τοῖς ἄρχουσιν. Καίτοι τότε γ᾽, ἡνίκ᾽ ἐγὼ ᾽ζων,
      ~Οὐκ ἠπίσταντ᾽ ἀλλ᾽ ἢ μᾶζαν καλέσαι καὶ ῥυππαπαὶ εἰπεῖν~.

  Τὸ ~ῥυππαπαὶ~ seems to have been the peculiar cry or chorus of
  the seamen on shipboard, probably when some joint pull or effort
  of force was required: compare Vespæ, 909.

In reference to individual men, and to Sokratês[527] especially, the
Athenians seem to have been unfavorably biased by the misapplied
wit and genius of Aristophanês, in “The Clouds,” aided by other
comedies of Eupolis, and Ameipsias and Eupolis; but on the general
march of politics, philosophy, or letters, these composers had
little influence. Nor were they ever regarded at Athens in the
light in which they are presented to us by modern criticism; as
men of exalted morality, stern patriotism, and genuine discernment
of the true interests of their country; as animated by large and
steady views of improving their fellow-citizens, but compelled, in
consequence of prejudice or opposition, to disguise a far-sighted
political philosophy under the veil of satire; as good judges of
the most debatable questions, such as the prudence of making war or
peace, and excellent authority to guide us in appreciating the merits
or demerits of their contemporaries, insomuch that the victims of
their lampoons are habitually set down as worthless men.[528] There
cannot be a greater misconception of the old comedy than to regard
it in this point of view; yet it is astonishing how many subsequent
writers, from Diodorus and Plutarch down to the present day, have
thought themselves entitled to deduce their facts of Grecian history,
and their estimate of Grecian men, events, and institutions, from the
comedies of Aristophanês. Standing pre-eminent as the latter does in
comic genius, his point of view is only so much the more determined
by the ludicrous associations suggested to his fancy, so that he thus
departs the more widely from the conditions of a faithful witness or
candid critic. He presents himself to provoke the laugh, mirthful or
spiteful, of the festival crowd, assembled for the gratification of
these emotions, and not with any expectation of serious or reasonable
impressions.[529] Nor does he at all conceal how much he is mortified
by failure; like the professional jester, or “laughter-maker,” at the
banquets of rich Athenian citizens;[530] the parallel of Aristophanês
as to purpose, however unworthy of comparison in every other respect.

  [527] See about the effect on the estimation of Sokratês, Ranke,
  Commentat. de Vitâ Aristophanis, p. cdxli.

  Compare also the remarks of Cicero (De Repub. iv, 11; vol.
  iv, p. 476, ed. Orell.) upon the old Athenian comedy and its
  unrestrained license. The laws of the Twelve Tables at Rome
  condemned to death any one who composed and published libellous
  verses against the reputation of another citizen.

  Among the constant butts of Aristophanês and the other comic
  composers, was the dithyrambic poet Kinesias, upon whom they
  discharged their wit and bitterness, not simply as an indifferent
  poet, but also on the ground of his alleged impiety, his thin
  and feeble bodily frame, and his wretched health. We see the
  effect of such denunciations in a speech of the orator Lysias;
  composed on behalf of Phanias, against whom Kinesias had brought
  an indictment, or graphê paranomôn. Phanias treats these abundant
  lampoons as if they were good evidence against the character of
  Kinesias: Θαυμάζω δ᾽ εἰ μὴ βαρέως φέρετε ὅτι Κινησίας ἐστιν ὁ
  τοῖς νόμοις βοηθὸς, ὃν ὑμεῖς πάντες ἐπίστασθε ἀσεβέστατον ἁπάντων
  καὶ παρανομώτατον γεγονέναι. Οὐχ οὖτός ἐστὶν ὁ τοιαῦτα περὶ θεοὺς
  ἐξαμαρτάνων, ἃ τοῖς μὲν ἄλλοις αἰσχρόν ἐστι καὶ λέγειν, τῶν
  ~κωμῳδιδασκάλον δ᾽ ἀκούετε καθ᾽ ἕκαστον ἐνιαυτόν~; see Lysias,
  Fragm. 31, ed. Bekker; Athenæus, xii, p. 551.

  Dr. Thirlwall estimates more lightly than I do the effect of
  these abundant libels of the old comedy: see his review of the
  Attic tragedy and comedy, in a very excellent chapter of his
  History of Greece, ch. xviii, vol. iii, p. 42.

  [528] The view which I am here combating, is very general among
  the German writers; in proof of which, I may point to three of
  the ablest recent critics on the old comedy, Bergk, Meineke,
  and Ranke; all most useful writers for the understanding of

  Respecting Kratinus, Bergk observes: “Erat enim Cratinus,
  _pariter atque ceteri principes antiquæ comœdiæ, vir egregie
  moratus_, idemque antiqui moris tenax.... Cum Cratinus _quasi
  divinitus videret_ ex hac libertate mox tanquam ex stirpe aliquâ
  nimiam licentiam existere et nasci, statim his initiis graviter
  adversatus est, videturque Cimonem tanquam exemplum boni et
  honesti civis proposuisse,” etc.

  “Nam Cratinus cum esset magno ingenio et _eximiâ morum
  gravitate_, ægerrime tulit rem publicam præceps in perniciem
  ruere: omnem igitur operam atque omne studium eo contulit, ut
  _imagine ipsius vitæ ante oculos positâ omnes et res divinæ et
  humanæ emendarentur, hominumque animi ad honestatem colendam
  incenderentur_. Hoc sibi primus et proposuit Cratinus, et
  propositum strenue persecutus est. _Sed si ipsam Veritatem,
  cujus imago oculis obversabatur, oculis subjecisset, verendum
  erat ne tædio obrueret eos qui spectarent_, nihilque prorsus
  eorum, quæ summo studio persequebatur, obtineret. Quare eximiâ
  quâdam arte pulchram effigiem hilaremque formam finxit, ita
  tamen ut ad veritatem sublimemque ejus speciem referret omnia:
  sic cum ludicris miscet seria, ut et vulgus haberet quî
  delectaretur; et qui plus ingenio valerent, ipsam veritatem, quæ
  ex omnibus fabularum partibus perluceret, mente et cogitatione
  comprehenderent.” ... “Jam vero Cratinum in fabulis componendis
  id _unice spectavisse quod esset verum_, ne veteres quidem
  latuit.... Aristophanes autem _idem et secutus semper est_ et
  sæpe professus.” (Bergk, De Reliquiis Comœd. Antiq. pp. 1, 10,
  20, 233, etc.)

  The criticism of Ranke (Commentatio de Vitâ Aristophanis, pp.
  ccxli, cccxiv, cccxlii, ccclxix, ccclxxiii, cdxxxiv, etc.) adopts
  the same strain of eulogy as to the lofty and virtuous purposes
  of Aristophanês. Compare also the eulogy bestowed by Meineke on
  the monitorial value of the old comedy (Historia Comic. Græc. pp.
  39, 50, 165, etc.), and similar praises by Westermann; Geschichte
  der Beredsamkeit in Griechenland und Rom. sect. 36.

  In one of the arguments prefixed to the “Pax” of Aristophanês,
  the author is so full of the conception of these poets as public
  instructors or advisers, that he tells us, absurdly enough, they
  were for that reason called ~διδάσκαλοι~: οὐδὲν γὰρ συμβούλων
  διέφερον· ὅθεν αὐτοὺς καὶ ~διδασκάλους~ ὠνόμαζον· ὅτι πάντα τὰ
  ~πρόσφορα διὰ δραμάτων αὐτοὺς ἐδίδασκον~ (p. 244, ed. Bekk.).

      “Eupolis, atque Cratinus, Aristophanesque poetæ,
      Atque alii, quorum Comœdia prisca virorum est,
      Si quis erat dignus describi, quod malus, aut fur,
      Aut mœchus foret, aut sicarius, aut alioqui
      Famosus, multâ cum libertate notabant.”

  This is the early judgment of Horace (Serm. i, 4, 1): his
  later opinion on the _Fescennina licentia_, which was the same
  in spirit as the old Grecian comedy, is much more judicious
  (Epistol. ii, 1, 145): compare Art. Poetic. 224. To assume that
  the persons derided or vilified by these comic authors must
  always have deserved what was said of them, is indeed a striking
  evidence of the value of the maxim: “Fortiter calumniare;
  semper aliquid restat.” Without doubt, their indiscriminate
  libel sometimes wounded a suitable subject; in what proportion
  of cases, we have no means of determining: but the perusal of
  Aristophanês tends to justify the epithets which Lucian puts into
  the mouth of _Dialogus_ respecting Aristophanês and Eupolis—not
  to favor the opinions of the authors whom I have cited above
  (Lucian, Jov. Accus. vol. ii, p. 832). He calls Eupolis and
  Aristophanês δεινοὺς ἄνδρας ἐπικερτομῆσαι τὰ σεμνὰ καὶ χλευάσαι
  τὰ καλῶς ἔχοντα.

  When we notice what Aristophanês himself says respecting the
  other comic poets, his predecessors and contemporaries, we shall
  find it far from countenancing the exalted censorial function
  which Bergk and others ascribe to them (see the Parabasis in the
  Nubes, 530, _seq._, and in the Pax, 723). It seems especially
  preposterous to conceive Kratinus in that character; of whom what
  we chiefly know, is his habit of drunkenness, and the downright,
  unadorned vituperation in which he indulged: see the Fragments
  and story of his last play, Πυτίνη (in Meineke, vol. ii, p. 116;
  also Meineke, vol. i, p. 48, _seq._).

  Meineke copies (p. 46) from Suidas a statement (v. Ἐπείου
  δειλότερος) to the effect that Kratinus was ~ταξίαρχος τῆς
  Οἰνηΐδος φυλῆς~. He construes this as a real fact: but there can
  hardly be a doubt that it is only a joke made by his contemporary
  comedians upon his fondness for wine; and not one of the worst
  among the many such jests which seem to have been then current.
  Runkel also, another editor of the Fragments of Kratinus (Cratini
  Fragment., Leips. 1827, p. 2, M. M. Runkel), construes this
  ταξίαρχος τῆς Οἰνηΐδος φυλῆς, as if it were a serious function;
  though he tells us about the general character of Kratinus: “De
  vitâ ipsâ et moribus pæne nihil dicere possumus: _hoc solum
  constat, Cratinum poculis et puerorum amori valde deditum

  Great numbers of Aristophanic jests have been transcribed as
  serious matter-of-fact, and have found their way into Grecian
  history. Whoever follows chapter vii of K. F. Hermann’s
  Griechische Staats-Alterthümer, containing the _Innere
  Geschichte_ of the Athenian democracy, will see the most sweeping
  assertions made against the democratical institutions, on the
  authority of passages of Aristophanês: the same is the case with
  several of the other most learned German manuals of Grecian

  [529] Horat. de Art. Poetic. 212-224.

      “Indoctus quid enim saperet, liberque laborum,
      Rusticus urbano confusus, turpis honesto?...
      Illecebris erat et gratâ novitate morandus
      Spectator, functusque sacris, et potus, et exlex.”

  [530] See the Parabasis of Aristophanês in the Nubes (535,
  _seq._) and in the Vespæ (1015-1045).

  Compare also the description of Philippus the γελωτοποῖος, or
  Jester, in the Symposion of Xenophon; most of which is extremely
  Aristophanic, ii, 10, 14. The comic point of view is assumed
  throughout that piece; and Sokratês is introduced on one occasion
  as apologizing for the intrusion of a serious reflection (τὸ
  σπουδαιολογεῖν, viii, 41). The same is the case throughout much
  of the Symposion of Plato; though the scheme and purpose of this
  latter are very difficult to follow.

This rise and development of dramatic poetry in Greece—so abundant,
so varied, and so rich in genius—belongs to the fifth century B.C. It
had been in the preceding century nothing more than an unpretending
graft upon the primitive chorus, and was then even denounced by
Solon, or in the dictum ascribed to Solon, as a vicious novelty,
tending—by its simulation of a false character, and by its effusion
of sentiments not genuine or sincere—to corrupt the integrity of
human dealings;[531] a charge of corruption, not unlike that which
Aristophanês worked up, a century afterwards, in his “Clouds,”
against physics, rhetoric, and dialectics, in the person of Sokratês.
But the properties of the graft had overpowered and subordinated
those of the original stem; so that dramatic poetry was now a
distinct form, subject to laws of its own, and shining with splendor
equal, if not superior, to the elegiac, choric, lyric, and epic
poetry which constituted the previous stock of the Grecian world.

  [531] Plutarch, Solon, c. 29. See the previous volumes of this
  History, ch. xxi, vol. ii, p. 145; ch. xxix, vol. iv, pp. 83, 84.

Such transformations in the poetry, or, to speak more justly, in the
literature—for before the year 500 B.C. the two expressions were
equivalent—of Greece, were at once products, marks, and auxiliaries,
in the expansion of the national mind. Our minds have now become
familiar with dramatic combinations, which have ceased to be peculiar
to any special form or conditions of political society. But if we
compare the fifth century B.C. with that which preceded it, the
recently born drama will be seen to have been a most important and
impressive novelty: and so assuredly it would have been regarded by
Solon, the largest mind of his own age, if he could have risen again,
a century and a quarter after his death, to witness the Antigonê of
Sophoklês, the Medea of Euripidês, or the Acharneis of Aristophanês.

Its novelty does not consist merely in the high order of imagination
and judgment required for the construction of a drama at once regular
and effective. This, indeed, is no small addition to Grecian poetical
celebrity as it stood in the days of Solon, Alkæus, Sappho, and
Stesichorus: but we must remember that the epical structure of the
Odyssey, so ancient and long acquired to the Hellenic world, implies
a reach of architectonic talent quite equal to that exhibited in
the most symmetrical drama of Sophoklês. The great innovation of
the dramatists consisted in the rhetorical, the dialectical, and
the ethical spirit which they breathed into their poetry. Of all
this, the undeveloped germ doubtless existed in the previous epic,
lyric, and gnomic composition; but the drama stood distinguished
from all three by bringing it out into conspicuous amplitude, and
making it the substantive means of effect. Instead of recounting
exploits achieved, or sufferings undergone by the heroes,—instead
of pouring out his own single-minded impressions in reference to
some given event or juncture,—the tragic poet produces the mythical
persons themselves to talk, discuss, accuse, defend, confute, lament,
threaten, advise, persuade, or appease; among one another, but
before the audience. In the _drama_, a singular misnomer, nothing is
actually done: all is talk; assuming what is done, as passing, or as
having passed, elsewhere. The dramatic poet, speaking continually,
but at each moment through a different character, carries on the
purpose of each of his characters by words calculated to influence
the other characters, and appropriate to each successive juncture.
Here are rhetorical exigencies from beginning to end:[532] while,
since the whole interest of the piece turns upon some contention
or struggle carried on by speech; since debate, consultation, and
retort, never cease; since every character, good or evil, temperate
or violent, must be supplied with suitable language to defend his
proceedings, to attack or repel opponents, and generally to make good
the relative importance assigned to him, here again dialectical skill
in no small degree is indispensable.

  [532] Respecting the rhetorical cast of tragedy, see Plato,
  Gorgias, c. 57, p. 502, D.

  Plato disapproves of tragedy on the same grounds as of rhetoric.

Lastly, the strength and variety of ethical sentiment infused into
the Grecian tragedy, is among the most remarkable characteristics
which distinguish it from the anterior forms of poetry. “To do or
suffer terrible things,” is pronounced by Aristotle to be its proper
subject-matter; and the internal mind and motives of the doer or
sufferer, on which the ethical interest fastens, are laid open by
the Greek tragedians with an impressive minuteness which neither the
epic nor the lyric could possibly parallel. Moreover, the appropriate
subject-matter of tragedy is pregnant not only with ethical sympathy,
but also with ethical debate and speculation. Characters of mixed
good and evil; distinct rules of duty, one conflicting with the
other; wrong done, and justified to the conscience of the doer, if
not to that of the spectator, by previous wrong suffered, all these
are the favorite themes of Æschylus and his two great successors.
Klytæmnestra kills her husband Agamemnôn on his return from Troy:
her defence is, that he had deserved this treatment at her hands
for having sacrificed his own and her daughter, Iphigeneia. Her son
Orestês kills her, under a full conviction of the duty of avenging
his father, and even under the sanction of Apollo. The retributive
Eumenides pursue him for the deed, and Æschylus brings all the
parties before the court of Areopagus, with Athênê as president,
where the case is fairly argued, with the Eumenides as accusers,
and Apollo as counsel for the prisoner, and ends by an equality of
votes in the court: upon which Athênê gives her casting-vote to
absolve Orestês. Again; let any man note the conflicting obligations
which Sophoklês so forcibly brings out in his beautiful drama of the
Antigonê. Kreon directs that the body of Polyneikês, as a traitor
and recent invader of the country, shall remain unburied: Antigonê,
sister of Polyneikês, denounces such interdict as impious, and
violates it, under an overruling persuasion of fraternal duty. Kreon
having ordered her to be buried alive, his youthful son Hæmon, her
betrothed lover, is plunged into a heart-rending conflict between
abhorrence of such cruelty on the one side, and submission to his
father on the other. Sophoklês sets forth both these contending rules
of duty in an elaborate scene of dialogue between the father and the
son. Here are two rules both sacred and respectable, but the one of
which cannot be observed without violating the other. Since a choice
must be made, which of the two ought a good man to obey? This is a
point which the great poet is well pleased to leave undetermined.
But if there be any among the audience in whom the least impulse of
intellectual speculation is alive, he will by no means leave it so,
without some mental effort to solve the problem, and to discover
some grand and comprehensive principle from whence all the moral
rules emanate; a principle such as may instruct his conscience in
those cases generally, of not unfrequent occurrence, wherein two
obligations conflict with each other. The tragedian not only appeals
more powerfully to the ethical sentiment than poetry had ever done
before, but also, by raising these grave and touching questions,
addresses a stimulus and challenge to the intellect, spurring it on
to ethical speculation.

Putting all these points together, we see how much wider was the
intellectual range of tragedy, and how considerable is the mental
progress which it betokens, as compared with the lyric and gnomic
poetry, or with the Seven Wise Men and their authoritative aphorisms,
which formed the glory, and marked the limit, of the preceding
century. In place of unexpanded results, or the mere communication
of single-minded sentiment, we have even in Æschylus, the earliest
of the great tragedians, a large latitude of dissent and debate, a
shifting point of view, a case better or worse, made out for distinct
and contending parties, and a divination of the future advent of
sovereign and instructed reason. It was through the intermediate
stage of tragedy that Grecian literature passed into the rhetoric,
dialectics, and ethical speculation, which marked the fifth century

Other simultaneous causes, arising directly out of the business of
real life, contributed to the generation of these same capacities and
studies. The fifth century B.C. is the first century of democracy
at Athens, in Sicily, and elsewhere: moreover, at that period,
beginning from the Ionic revolt and the Persian invasions of Greece,
the political relations between one Grecian city and another became
more complicated, as well as more continuous; requiring a greater
measure of talent in the public men who managed them. Without some
power of persuading or confuting,—of defending himself against
accusation, or in case of need, accusing others,—no man could
possibly hold an ascendent position. He had probably not less need
of this talent for private, informal, conversations to satisfy his
own political partisans, than for addressing the public assembly
formally convoked. Even as commanding an army or a fleet, without
any laws of war or habits of professional discipline, his power of
keeping up the good-humor, confidence, and prompt obedience of his
men, depended not a little on his command of speech.[533] Nor was it
only to the leaders in political life that such an accomplishment
was indispensable. In all the democracies,—and probably in several
governments which were not democracies, but oligarchies of an
open character,—the courts of justice were more or less numerous,
and the procedure oral and public: in Athens, especially, the
dikasteries—whose constitution has been explained in a former
chapter—were both very numerous, and paid for attendance. Every
citizen had to go before them in person, without being able to send
a paid advocate in his place, if he either required redress for
wrong offered to himself, or was accused of wrong by another.[534]
There was no man, therefore, who might not be cast or condemned,
or fail in his own suit, even with right on his side, unless he
possessed some powers of speech to unfold his case to the dikasts,
as well as to confute the falsehoods, and disentangle the sophistry,
of an opponent. Moreover, to any man of known family and station,
it would be a humiliation hardly less painful than the loss of the
cause, to stand before the dikastery with friends and enemies around
him, and find himself unable to carry on the thread of a discourse
without halting or confusion. To meet such liabilities, from which
no citizen, rich or poor, was exempt, a certain training in speech
became not less essential than a certain training in arms. Without
the latter, he could not do his duty as an hoplite in the ranks for
the defence of his country; without the former, he could not escape
danger to his fortune or honor, and humiliation in the eyes of his
friends, if called before a dikastery, nor lend assistance to any of
those friends who might be placed under the like necessity.

  [533] See the discourse of Sokratês, insisting upon this point,
  as part of the duties of a commander (Xen. Mem. iii, 3, 11).

  [534] This necessity of some rhetorical accomplishments, is
  enforced not less emphatically by Aristotle (Rhetoric. i, 1, 3)
  than by Kalliklês in the Gorgias of Plato, c. 91, p. 486, B.

Here then were ample motives, arising out of practical prudence not
less than from the stimulus of ambition, to cultivate the power
both of continuous harangue, and of concise argumentation, or
interrogation and reply:[535] motives for all, to acquire a certain
moderate aptitude in the use of these weapons; for the ambitious few,
to devote much labor and to shine as accomplished orators.

  [535] See the description which Cicero gives, of his own
  laborious oratorical training:—

  “Ego hoc tempore omni, noctes et dies, in omnium doctrinarum
  meditatione versabar. Eram cum Stoico Diodoto, qui cum
  habitavisset apud me mecumque vixisset, nuper est domi meæ
  mortuus. A quo quum in aliis rebus, tum studiosissime in
  dialecticâ versabar; _quæ quasi contracta et astricta eloquentia
  putanda est_; sine quâ etiam tu, Brute, judicavisti, te illam
  justam eloquentiam, quam _dialecticam dilatatam_ esse putant,
  consequi non posse. Huic ego doctori, et ejus artibus variis et
  multis, ita eram tamen deditus, ut ab exercitationibus oratoriis
  nullus dies vacaret.” (Cicero, Brutus, 90, 309.)

Such political and social motives, it is to be remembered, though
acting very forcibly at Athens, were by no means peculiar to Athens,
but prevailed more or less throughout a large portion of the Grecian
cities, especially in Sicily, when all the governments became
popularized after the overthrow of the Gelonian dynasty. And it was
in Sicily and Italy, that the first individuals arose, who acquired
permanent name both in rhetoric and dialectics: Empedoklês of
Agrigentum in the former; Zeno of Elea, in Italy, in the latter.[536]

  [536] Aristotel. ap. Diog. Laërt. viii, 57.

Both these distinguished men bore a conspicuous part in politics,
and both on the popular side; Empedoklês against an oligarchy,
Zeno against a despot. But both also were yet more distinguished
as philosophers, and the dialectical impulse in Zeno, if not the
rhetorical impulse in Empedoklês, came more from his philosophy than
from his politics. Empedoklês (about 470-440 B.C.) appears to have
held intercourse at least, if not partial communion of doctrine,
with the dispersed philosophers of the Pythagorean league; the
violent subversion of which, at Kroton and elsewhere, I have related
in a previous chapter.[537] He constructed a system of physics and
cosmogony, distinguished for first broaching the doctrine of the
Four elements, and set forth in a poem composed by himself: besides
which he seems to have had much of the mystical tone and miraculous
pretensions of Pythagoras; professing not only to cure pestilence
and other distempers, but to teach how old age might be averted and
the dead raised from Hades; to prophesy, and to raise and calm the
winds at his pleasure. Gorgias, his pupil, deposed to having been
present at the magical ceremonies of Empedoklês.[538] The impressive
character of his poem is sufficiently attested by the admiration of
Lucretius,[539] and the rhetoric ascribed to him may have consisted
mainly in oral teaching or exposition of the same doctrines. Tisias
and Korax of Syracuse, who are also mentioned as the first teachers
of rhetoric, and the first who made known any precepts about the
rhetorical practice, were his contemporaries; and the celebrated
Gorgias was his pupil.

  [537] See my preceding vol. iv, ch. xxxvii.

  [538] Diogen. Laërt. viii, 58, 59, who gives a remarkable extract
  from the poem of Empedoklês, attesting these large pretensions.

  See Brandis, Handbuch der Gr. Röm. Philos. part i. sects. 47, 48,
  p. 192; Sturz. ad Empedoclis Frag. p. 36.

  [539] De Rerum Naturâ, i, 719.

The dialectical movement emanated at the same time from the Eleatic
school of philosophers,—Zeno, and his contemporary the Samian
Melissus, 460-440,—if not from their common teacher Parmenidês.
Melissus also, as well as Zeno and Empedoklês, was a distinguished
citizen as well as a philosopher; having been in command of the
Samian fleet at the time of the revolt from Athens, and having in
that capacity gained a victory over the Athenians.

All the philosophers of the fifth century B.C., prior to Sokratês,
inheriting from their earliest poetical predecessors the vast and
unmeasured problems which had once been solved by the supposition
of divine or superhuman agents, contemplated the world, physical
and moral, all in a mass, and applied their minds to find
some hypothesis which would give them an explanation of this
totality,[540] or at least appease curiosity by something which
looked like an explanation. What were the elements out of which
sensible things were made? What was the initial cause or principle
of those changes which appeared to our senses? What was change?—was
it generation of something integrally new and destruction of
something preëxistent,—or was it a decomposition and recombination
of elements still continuing. The theories of the various Ionic
philosophers, and of Empedoklês after them, admitting one, two, or
four elementary substances, with Friendship and Enmity to serve as
causes of motion or change; the Homœomeries of Anaxagoras, with
Nous, or Intelligence, as the stirring and regularizing agent; the
atoms and void of Leukippus and Demokritus, all these were different
hypotheses answering to a similar vein of thought. All of them,
though assuming that the sensible appearances of things were delusive
and perplexing, nevertheless, were borrowed more or less directly
from some of these appearances, which were employed to explain and
illustrate the whole theory, and served to render it plausible when
stated as well as to defend it against attack. But the philosophers
of the Eleatic school—first Xenophanês, and after him Parmenidês—took
a distinct path of their own. To find that which was real, and which
lay as it were concealed behind or under the delusive phenomena of
sense, they had recourse only to mental abstractions. They supposed a
Substance or Something not perceivable by sense, but only cogitable
or conceivable by reason; a One and All, continuous and finite,
which was not only real and self-existent, but was the only reality;
eternal, immovable, and unchangeable, and the only matter knowable.
The phenomena of sense, which began and ended one after the other,
they thought, were essentially delusive, uncertain, contradictory
among themselves, and open to endless diversity of opinion.[541]
Upon these, nevertheless, they announced an opinion; adopting two
elements, heat and cold, or light and darkness.

  [540] Some striking lines of Empedoklês are preserved by
  Sextus Empiricus, adv. Mathemat. vii, 115; to the effect that
  every individual man gets through his short life, with no more
  knowledge than is comprised in his own slender fraction of
  observation and experience: he struggles in vain to find out and
  explain the totality; but neither eye, nor ear, nor reason can
  assist him:—

      Παῦρον δὲ ζωῆς ἀβίον μέρος ἀθρήσαντες,
      Ὠκύμοροι, καπνοῖο δίκην ἀρθέντες, ἀπέπταν
      Αὐτὸ μόνον πεισθέντες, ὅτῳ προσέκυρσεν ἕκαστος
      Πάντοσ᾽ ἐλαυνόμενοι. Τὸ δὲ οὖλον ἐπεύχεται εὑρεῖν
      Αὔτως· οὔτ᾽ ἐπιδερκτὰ τάδ᾽ ἀνδράσιν, οὔτ᾽ ἐπακουστὰ,
      Οὔτε νόῳ περιληπτά.

  [541] See Parmenidis Fragmenta, ed. Karsten, v, 30, 55, 60: also
  the Dissertation annexed by Karsten, sects. 3, 4, p. 148, _seq._;
  sect. 19, p. 221, _seq._

  Compare also Mullach’s edition of the same Fragments, annexed to
  his edition of the Aristotelian treatise, De Melisso, Xenophane,
  et Gorgiâ, p. 144.

Parmenidês set forth this doctrine of the One and All in a poem,
of which but a few fragments now remain, so that we understand
very imperfectly the positive arguments employed to recommend it.
The matter of truth and knowledge, such as he alone admitted,
was altogether removed from the senses and divested of sensible
properties, so as to be conceived only as an Ens Rationis, and
described and discussed only in the most general words of the
language. The exposition given by Parmenidês in his poem,[542] though
complimented by Plato, was vehemently controverted by others, who
deduced from it many contradictions and absurdities. As a part of his
reply, and doubtless the strongest part, Parmenidês retorted upon his
adversaries; an example followed by his pupil Zeno with still greater
acuteness and success. Those who controverted his ontological theory,
that the real, ultra-phenomenal substance was One, affirmed it to be
not One, but Many; divisible, movable, changeable, etc. Zeno attacked
this latter theory, and proved that it led to contradictions and
absurdities still greater than those involved in the proposition of
Parmenidês.[543] He impugned the testimony of sense, affirming that
it furnished premises for conclusions which contradicted each other,
and that it was unworthy of trust.[544] Parmenidês[545] had denied
that there was any such thing as real change either of place or
color: Zeno maintained change of place, or motion, to be impossible
and self-contradictory; propounding many logical difficulties,
derived from the infinite divisibility of matter, against some of the
most obvious affirmations respecting sensible phenomena. Melissus
appears to have argued in a vein similar to that of Zeno, though
with much less acuteness; demonstrating indirectly the doctrine of
Parmenidês, by deducing impossible inferences from the contrary

  [542] Plato, Parmenidês, p. 128, B. σὺ μὲν (Parmenidês) γὰρ ἐν
  τοῖς ποιήμασιν ἓν φῂς εἶναι τὸ πᾶν, καὶ τούτων τεκμήρια παρέχεις
  καλῶς τε καὶ εὖ, etc.

  [543] See the remarkable passage in the Parmenidês of Plato, p.
  128, B, C, D.

  Ἐστὶ δὲ τό γε ἀληθὲς βοήθειά τις ταῦτα τὰ γράμματα τῷ Παρμενίδου
  λόγῳ πρὸς τοὺς ἐπιχειροῦντας αὐτὸν κωμῳδεῖν, ὡς εἰ ἕν ἐστι,
  πολλὰ καὶ γελοῖα συμβαίνει πάσχειν τῷ λόγῳ καὶ ἐναντία αὑτῷ.
  Ἀντιλέγει δὴ οὖν τοῦτο τὸ γράμμα πρὸς τοὺς τὰ πολλὰ λέγοντας,
  ~καὶ ἀνταποδίδωσι ταῦτα καὶ πλείω~, τοῦτο βουλόμενον δηλοῦν, ὡς
  ~ἔτι γελοιότερα πάσχοι ἂν αὐτῶν ἡ ὑπόθεσις—ἡ εἰ πολλὰ ἐστίν—ἢ ἡ
  τοῦ ἓν εἶναι, εἴ τις ἱκανῶς ἐπεξίοι~.

  [544] Plato, Phædrus, c. 44, p. 261, D. See the citations in
  Brandis, Gesch. der Gr. Röm. Philosophie, part i, p. 417, _seq._

  [545] Parmenid. Fragm. v, 101, ed. Mullach.

  [546] See the Fragments of Melissus collected by Mullach, in his
  publication cited in a previous note, p. 81. _seq._

Zeno published a treatise to maintain the thesis above described,
which he also upheld by personal conversations and discussions,
in a manner doubtless far more efficacious than his writing; the
oral teaching of these early philosophers being their really
impressive manifestation. His subtle dialectic arguments were not
only sufficient to occupy all the philosophers of antiquity, in
confuting them more or less successfully, but have even descended to
modern times as a fire not yet extinguished.[547] The great effect
produced among the speculative minds of Greece by his writing and
conversation, is attested both by Plato and Aristotle. He visited
Athens, gave instruction to some eminent Athenians, for high pay,
and is said to have conversed both with Periklês and with Sokratês,
at a time when the latter was very young; probably between 450-440

  [547] The reader will see this in Bayle’s Dictionary, article,
  Zeno of Elea.

  Simplicius (in his commentary on Aristot. Physic. p. 255) says
  that Zeno first composed written dialogues, which cannot be
  believed without more certain evidence. He also particularizes a
  puzzling question addressed by Zeno to Protagoras. See Brandis,
  Gesch. der Griech. Röm. Philos. i, p. 409. Zeno ἴδιον μὲν οὐδὲν
  ἐξέθετο (sc. περὶ τῶν πάντων·), διηπόρησε δὲ περὶ τούτων ἐπὶ
  πλεῖον. Plutarch. ap. Eusebium, Præpar. Evangel. i, 23, D.

  [548] Compare Plutarch, Periklês, c. 3; Plato, Parmenidês, pp.
  126, 127; Plato, Alkibiad. i. ch. 14, p. 119, A.

  That Sokratês had in his youth conversed with Parmenidês, when
  the latter was an old man, is stated by Plato more than once,
  over and above his dialogue called Parmenidês, which professes
  to give a conversation between the two, as well as with Zeno. I
  agree with Mr. Fynes Clinton, Brandis, and Karsten, in thinking
  that this is better evidence, about the date of Parmenidês than
  any of the vague indications which appear to contradict it, in
  Diogenes Laërtius and elsewhere. But it will be hardly proper to
  place the conversation between Parmenidês and Sokratês—as Mr.
  Clinton places it, Fast. H. vol. ii, App. c. 21, p. 364—at a time
  when Sokratês was only fifteen years of age. The ideas which the
  ancients had about youthful propriety, would not permit him to
  take part in conversation with an eminent philosopher at so early
  an age as fifteen, when he would not yet be entered on the roll
  of citizens, or be qualified for the smallest function, military
  or civil. I cannot but think that Sokratês must have been more
  than twenty years of age when he thus conversed with Parmenidês.

  Sokratês was born in 469 B.C. (perhaps 468 B.C.); he would
  therefore be twenty years of age in 449: assuming the visit of
  Parmenidês to Athens to have been in 448 B.C., since he was then
  sixty-five years of age, he would be born in 513 B.C. It is
  objected that, if this date be admitted, Parmenidês could not
  have been a pupil of Xenophanês: we should thus he compelled to
  admit, which perhaps is the truth, that he learned the doctrine
  of Xenophanês at second-hand.

His appearance constitutes a remarkable era in Grecian philosophy,
because he first brought out the extraordinary aggressive or negative
force of the dialectic method. In this discussion respecting the One
and the Many, positive grounds on either side were alike scanty: each
party had to set forth the contradictions deducible from the opposite
hypothesis, and Zeno professed to show that those of his opponents
were the more flagrant. We thus see that, along with the methodized
question and answer, or dialectic method, employed from henceforward
more and more in philosophical inquiries, comes out at the same time
the negative tendency, the probing, testing, and scrutinizing force,
of Grecian speculation. The negative side of Grecian speculation
stands quite as prominently marked, and occupies as large a measure
of the intellectual force of their philosophers, as the positive
side. It is not simply to arrive at a conclusion, sustained by a
certain measure of plausible premise,—and then to proclaim it as an
authoritative dogma, silencing or disparaging all objectors,—that
Grecian speculation aspires. To unmask not only positive falsehood,
but even affirmation without evidence, exaggerated confidence in what
was only doubtful, and show of knowledge without the reality; to
look at a problem on all sides, and set forth all the difficulties
attending its solution, to take account of deductions from the
affirmative evidence, even in the case of conclusions accepted as
true upon the balance, all this will be found pervading the march
of their greatest thinkers. As a condition of all progressive
philosophy, it is not less essential that the grounds of negation
should be freely exposed, than the grounds of affirmation. We shall
find the two going hand in hand, and the negative vein, indeed, the
more impressive and characteristic of the two, from Zeno downwards in
our history. In one of the earliest memoranda illustrative of Grecian
dialectics,—the sentences in which Plato represents Parmenidês and
Zeno as bequeathing their mantle to the youthful Sokratês, and giving
him precepts for successfully prosecuting those researches which his
marked inquisitive impulse promised,—this large and comprehensive
point of view is emphatically inculcated. He is admonished to set
before him both sides of every hypothesis, and to follow out both
the negative and the affirmative chains of argument with equal
perseverance and equal freedom of scrutiny; neither daunted by the
adverse opinions around him, nor deterred by sneers against wasting
time in fruitless talk; since the multitude are ignorant that
without thus travelling round all sides of a question, no assured
comprehension of the truth is attainable.[549]

  [549] Plato, Parmenid. pp. 135, 136.

  Parmenidês speaks to Sokratês: Καλὴ μὲν οὖν καὶ θεία, εὖ ἴσθι, ἡ
  ὁρμὴ, ἣν ὁρμᾷς ἐπὶ τοὺς λόγους· ἕλκυσον δὲ σαυτὸν καὶ γυμνάσαι
  μᾶλλον διὰ τῆς δοκούσης ἀχρήστου εἶναι καὶ καλουμένης ὑπὸ τῶν
  πολλῶν ἀδολεσχίας, ἕως ἔτι νέος εἶ· εἰ δὲ μὴ, σὲ διαφεύξεται ἡ
  ἀλήθεια. Τίς οὖν ὁ τρόπος, φάναι (τὸν Σωκράτη), ὦ Παρμενίδη,
  τῆς γυμνασίας; Οὗτος, εἰπεῖν (τὸν Παρμενίδην) ὅνπερ ἤκουσας
  Ζήνωνος.... Χρὴ δὲ καὶ τόδε ἔτι πρὸς τούτῳ σκοπεῖν, ~μὴ μόνον,
  εἰ ἔστιν ἕκαστον, ὑποτιθέμενον, σκοπεῖν τὰ ξυμβαίνοντα ἐκ τῆς
  ὑποθέσεως—ἀλλὰ καὶ, εἰ μή ἐστι τὸ αὐτὸ τοῦτο, ὑποτίθεσθαι~—εἰ
  βούλει μᾶλλον γυμνασθῆναι.... Ἀγνοοῦσι γὰρ οἱ πολλοὶ ὅτι ἄνευ
  ταύτης τῆς διὰ πάντων διεξόδου καὶ πλάνης, ἀδύνατον ἐντυχόντα
  τῷ ἀληθεῖ νοῦν σχεῖν. See also Plato’s Kratylus, p. 428, E,
  about the necessity of the investigator looking both before and
  behind—ἅμα πρόσσω καὶ ὀπίσσω.

  See also the Parmenidês, p. 130, E,—in which Sokratês is warned
  respecting the ἀνθρώπων δόξας, against enslaving himself to the
  opinions of men: compare Plato, Sophistes, p. 227, B, C.

We thus find ourselves, from the year 450 B.C., downwards, in
presence of two important classes of men in Greece, unknown to Solon
or even to Kleisthenês, the Rhetoricians, and the Dialecticians;
for whom, as has been shown, the ground had been gradually prepared
by the politics, the poetry, and the speculation, of the preceding

Both these two novelties—like the poetry and other accomplishments
of this memorable race—grew up from rude indigenous beginnings,
under native stimulus unborrowed and unassisted from without. The
rhetorical teaching was an attempt to assist and improve men in the
power of continuous speech as addressed to assembled numbers, such as
the public assembly or the dikastery; it was therefore a species of
training sought for by men of active pursuits and ambition, either
that they might succeed in public life, or that they might maintain
their rights and dignity if called before the court of justice. On
the other hand, the dialectic business had no direct reference to
public life, to the judicial pleading, or to any assembled large
number. It was a dialogue carried on by two disputants, usually
before a few hearers, to unravel some obscurity, to reduce the
respondent to silence and contradiction, to exercise both parties
in mastery of the subject, or to sift the consequences of some
problematical assumption. It was spontaneous conversation[550]
systematized and turned into some predetermined channel; furnishing
a stimulus to thought, and a means of improvement not attainable in
any other manner; furnishing to some, also, a source of profit or
display. It opened a line of serious intellectual pursuit to men of
a speculative or inquisitive turn, who were deficient in voice, in
boldness, in continuous memory, for public speaking; or who desired
to keep themselves apart from the political and judicial animosities
of the moment.

  [550] See Aristotel. De Sophist. Elenchis, c. 11, p. 172, ed.
  Bekker; and his Topica, ix, 5, p. 154; where the different
  purposes of dialogue are enumerated and distinguished.

Although there were numerous Athenians, who combined, in various
proportions, speculative with practical study, yet generally
speaking, the two veins of intellectual movement—one towards
active public business, the other towards enlarged opinions and
greater command of speculative truth, with its evidences—continued
simultaneous and separate. There subsisted between them a standing
polemical controversy and a spirit of mutual detraction. If Plato
despised the sophists and the rhetors, Isokratês thinks himself not
less entitled to disparage those who employed their time in debating
upon the unity or plurality of virtue.[551] Even among different
teachers, in the same intellectual walk, also, there prevailed but
too often an acrimonious feeling of personal rivalry, which laid
them all so much the more open to assault from the common enemy of
all mental progress; a feeling of jealous ignorance, stationary or
wistfully retrospective, of no mean force at Athens, as in every
other society, and of course blended at Athens with the indigenous
democratical sentiment. This latter sentiment[552] of antipathy to
new ideas, and new mental accomplishments, has been raised into
factitious importance by the comic genius of Aristophanês, whose
point of view modern authors have too often accepted; thus allowing
some of the worst feelings of Grecian antiquity to influence their
manner of conceiving the facts. Moreover, they have rarely made any
allowance for that force of literary and philosophical antipathy,
which was no less real and constant at Athens than the political; and
which made the different literary classes or individuals perpetually
unjust one towards another.[553] It was the blessing and the glory
of Athens, that every man could speak out his sentiments and his
criticisms with a freedom unparalleled in the ancient world, and
hardly paralleled even in the modern, in which a vast body of dissent
both is, and always has been, condemned to absolute silence. But this
known latitude of censure ought to have imposed on modern authors
a peremptory necessity of not accepting implicitly the censure of
any one, where the party inculpated has left no defence; at the
very least, of construing the censure strictly, and allowing for
the point of view from which it proceeds. From inattention to this
necessity, almost all the things and persons of Grecian history are
presented to us on their bad side; the libels of Aristophanês, the
sneers of Plato and Xenophon, even the interested generalities of a
plaintiff or defendant before the dikastery, are received with little
cross-examination as authentic materials for history.

  [551] See Isokratês, Orat. x; Helenæ Encomium, sects. 2-7;
  compare Orat. xv, De Permutatione, of the same author, s. 90.

  I hold it for certain, that the first of these passages is
  intended as a criticism upon the Platonic dialogues (as in Or. v,
  ad Philip. s. 84), probably the second passage also. Isokratês,
  evidently a cautious and timid man, avoids mentioning the names
  of contemporaries, that he may provoke the less animosity.

  [552] Isokratês alludes much to this sentiment, and to the men
  who looked upon gymnastic training with greater favor than upon
  philosophy, in the Orat. xv, De Permutatione, s. 267, _et seq._ A
  large portion of this oration is in fact a reply to accusations,
  the same as those preferred against mental cultivation by the
  Δίκαιος Λόγος in the Nubes of Aristophanês, 947, _seq._; favorite
  topics in the mouths of the pugilists “with smashed ears.”
  (Plato, Gorgias, c. 71, p. 515, E; τῶν τὰ ὦτα κατεαγότων.)

  [553] There is but too much evidence of the abundance of such
  jealousies and antipathies during the times of Plato, Aristotle,
  and Isokratês; see Stahr’s Aristotelia, ch. iii, vol. i, pp. 37,

  Aristotle was extremely jealous of the success of Isokratês, and
  was himself much assailed by pupils of the latter, Kephisodôrus
  and others, as well as by Dikæarchus, Eubulidês, and a numerous
  host of writers in the same tone: στρατὸν ὅλον τῶν ἐπιθεμένων
  Ἀριστοτέλει; see the Fragments of Dikæarchus, vol. ii, p. 225,
  ed. Didot. “De ingenio ejus (observes Cicero, in reference to
  Epicurus, de Finibus, ii, 25, 80) in his disputationibus, non de
  moribus, quæritur. Sit ista in Græcorum levitate perversitas, qui
  maledictis insectantur eos, a quibus de veritate dissentiunt.”
  This is a taint no way peculiar to _Grecian_ philosophical
  controversy; but it has nowhere been more infectious than among
  the Greeks, and modern historians cannot be too much on their
  guard against it.

If ever there was need to invoke this rare sentiment of candor, it is
when we come to discuss the history of the persons called sophists,
who now for the first time appear as of note; the practical teachers
of Athens and of Greece, misconceived as well as misesteemed.

The primitive education at Athens consisted of two branches;
gymnastics, for the body; music, for the mind. The word _music_
is not to be judged according to the limited signification which
it now bears. It comprehended, from the beginning, everything
appertaining to the province of the Nine Muses; not merely learning
the use of the lyre, or how to bear part in a chorus; but also the
hearing, learning, and repeating, of poetical compositions, as well
as the practice of exact and elegant pronunciation; which latter
accomplishment, in a language like the Greek, with long words,
measured syllables, and great diversity of accentuation between
one word and another, must have been far more difficult to acquire
than it is in any modern European language. As the range of ideas
enlarged, so the words _music_ and musical teachers acquired an
expanded meaning, so as to comprehend matter of instruction at once
ampler and more diversified. During the middle of the fifth century
B.C., at Athens, there came thus to be found, among the musical
teachers, men of the most distinguished abilities and eminence;
masters of all the learning and accomplishments of the age, teaching
what was known of astronomy, geography, and physics, and capable
of holding dialectical discussions with their pupils, upon all
the various problems then afloat among intellectual men. Of this
character were Lamprus, Agathoklês, Pythokleidês, Damon, etc. The
two latter were instructors of Periklês; and Damon was even rendered
so unpopular at Athens, partly by his large and free speculations,
partly through the political enemies of his great pupil, that he was
ostracized, or at least sentenced to banishment.[554] Such men were
competent companions for Anaxagoras and Zeno, and employed in part
on the same studies; the field of acquired knowledge being not then
large enough to be divided into separate, exclusive compartments.
While Euripidês frequented the company, and acquainted himself with
the opinions, of Anaxagoras, Ion of Chios, his rival as a tragic
poet, as well as the friend of Kimon, bestowed so much thought upon
physical subjects, as then conceived, that he set up a theory of his
own, propounding the doctrine of three elements in nature;[555] air,
fire, and earth.

  [554] See Plato (Protagoras, c. 8, p. 316, D.; Lachês, c. 3, p.
  180, D.; Menexenus, c. 3, p. 236, A; Alkibiad. i, c. 14, p. 118,
  C); Plutarch, Periklês, c. 4.

  Periklês had gone through dialectic practice in his youth
  (Xenoph. Memor. i, 2, 46).

  [555] Isokratês, Or. xv, De Permutat. sect. 287.

  Compare Brandis, Gesch. der Gr. Röm. Philosophie, part i, sect.
  48, p. 196.

Now such musical teachers as Damon and the others above mentioned,
were sophists, not merely in the natural and proper Greek sense
of that word, but, to a certain extent, even in the special and
restricted meaning which Plato afterwards thought proper to confer
upon it.[556] A sophist, in the genuine sense of the word, was a
wise man, a clever man; one who stood prominently before the public
as distinguished for intellect or talent of some kind. Thus Solon
and Pythagoras are both called sophists; Thamyras the skilful bard,
is called a sophist:[557] Sokratês is so denominated, not merely
by Aristophanês, but by Æschinês:[558] Aristotle himself calls
Aristippus, and Xenophon calls Antisthenês, both of them disciples
of Sokratês, by that name:[559] Xenophon,[560] in describing a
collection of instructive books, calls them “the writings of the
old poets and sophists,” meaning by the latter word prose-writers
generally: Plato is alluded to as a sophist, even by Isokratês:[561]
Isokratês himself was harshly criticized as a sophist, and defends
both himself and his profession: lastly, Timon, the friend and
admirer of Pyrrho, about 300-280 B.C., who bitterly satirized all the
philosophers, designated them all, including Plato and Aristotle, by
the general name of sophists.[562] In this large and comprehensive
sense the word was originally used, and always continued to be so
understood among the general public. But along with this idea, the
title sophist also carried with it or connoted a certain invidious
feeling. The natural temper of a people generally ignorant towards
superior intellect,—the same temper which led to those charges of
magic so frequent in the Middle Ages,—appears to be a union of
admiration with something of an unfavorable sentiment;[563] dislike,
or apprehension, as the case may be, unless where the latter element
has become neutralized by habitual respect for an established
profession or station: at any rate, the unfriendly sentiment is so
often intended, that a substantive word, in which it is implied
without the necessity of any annexed predicate, is soon found
convenient. Timon, who hated the philosophers, thus found the word
sophist exactly suitable, in sentiment as well as meaning, to his
purpose in addressing them.

  [556] Isokratês calls both Anaxagoras and Damon, sophists (Or.
  xv, De Perm. sect. 251), Plutarch, Periklês, c. 4. Ὁ δὲ Δάμων
  ἐοικεν, ἄκρος ὢν σοφιστὴς, καταδύεσθαι μὲν εἰς τὸ τῆς μουσικῆς
  ὄνομα, ἐπικρυπτόμενος πρὸς τοὺς πολλοὺς τὴν δεινότητα.

  So Protagoras too (in the speech put into his mouth by Plato,
  Protag. c. 8, p. 316) says, very truly, that there had been
  sophists from the earliest times of Greece. But he says also,
  what Plutarch says in the citation just above, that these earlier
  men refused, intentionally and deliberately, to call themselves
  sophists, for fear of the odium attached to the name; and that
  he, Protagoras, was the first person to call himself openly a

  The denomination by which a man is known, however, seldom depends
  upon himself, but upon the general public, and upon his critics,
  friendly or hostile. The unfriendly spirit of Plato did much more
  to attach the title of sophists specially to these teachers, than
  any assumption of their own.

  [557] Herodot. i, 29; ii, 49; iv, 95. Diogenês of Apollonia,
  contemporary of Herodotus, called the Ionic philosophers or
  physiologists by the name sophists: see Brandis, Geschich. der
  Griech. Röm. Philosoph. c. lvii, note _O_. About Thamyras, see
  Welcker, Griech. Tragöd., Sophoklês, p. 421:—

      Εἰτ᾽ οὖν σοφιστὴς καλὰ παραπαίων χέλυν, etc.

  The comic poet Kratinus called all the poets, including Homer and
  Hesiod, σοφισταί: see the Fragments of his drama Ἀρχίλοχοι in
  Meineke, Fragm. Comicor. Græcor. vol. ii, p. 16.

  [558] Æschinês cont. Timarch. c. 34. Æschinês calls Demosthenês
  also a sophist, c. 27.

  We see plainly from the terms in Plato’s Politicus, c. 38, p.
  299 B, μετεωρολόγον, ἀδολεσχήν τινα σοφιστὴν, that both Sokratês
  and Plato himself were designated as sophists by the Athenian

  [559] Aristotel. Metaphysic. iii, 2, p. 996; Xenophon, Sympos.
  iv, 1.

  Aristippus is said to have been the first of the disciples of
  Sokratês who took money for instruction (Diogen. Laërt. ii, 65).

  [560] Xenoph. Memor. iv, 2, 1. γράμματα πολλὰ συνειλεγμένον
  ποιητῶν τε καὶ σοφιστῶν τῶν εὐδοκιμωτάτων....

  The word σοφιστῶν is here used just in the same sense as τοὺς
  θησαυροὺς ~τῶν πάλαι σοφῶν ἀνδρῶν~, οὓς ἐκεῖνοι κατέλιπον ἐν
  βιβλίοις γράψαντες, etc. (Memor. i, 6, 14.) It is used in a
  different sense in another passage (i, 1, 11), to signify
  teachers who gave instruction on physical and astronomical
  subjects, which Sokratês and Xenophon both disapproved.

  [561] Isokratês, Orat. v, ad Philipp. sect. 14: see Heindorf’s
  note on the Euthydemus of Plato, p. 305, C. sect. 79.

  [562] Diogen. Laërt. ix, 65. Ἔσπετε νῦν μοι, ὅσοι πολυπράγμονές
  ἐστε σοφισταί (Diogen. Laërt. viii, 74).

  Demetrius of Trœzen numbered Empedoklês as a sophist. Isokratês
  speaks of Empedoklês, Ion, Alkmæon, Parmenidês, Melissus,
  Gorgias, all as οἱ παλαιοὶ σοφισταί; all as having taught
  different περιττολογίας about the elements of the physical world
  (Isok. de Permut. sect. 288).

  [563] Eurip. Med. 289:—

      Χρὴ δ᾽ οὔποθ᾽ ὅστις ἀρτίφρων πέφυκ᾽ ἀνὴρ,
      Παῖδας περισσῶς ἐκδιδάσκεσθαι σοφούς.
      Χωρὶς γὰρ ἄλλης, ἧς ἔχουσιν, ἀργίας,
      Φθόνον πρὸς ἀστῶν ἀλφάνουσι δυσμενῆ.

  The words ὁ περισσῶς σοφὸς seem to convey the same unfriendly
  sentiment as the word σοφιστής.

Now when (in the period succeeding 450 B.C.) the rhetorical and
musical teachers came to stand before the public at Athens in
such increased eminence, they of course, as well as other men
intellectually celebrated, became designated by the appropriate name
of sophists. But there was one characteristic peculiar to themselves,
whereby they drew upon themselves a double measure of that invidious
sentiment which lay wrapped up in the name. They taught for pay: of
course, therefore, the most eminent among them taught only the rich,
and earned large sums; a fact naturally provocative of envy, to some
extent, among the many who benefited nothing by them, but still
more among the inferior members of their own profession. But even
great minds, like Sokratês and Plato, though much superior to any
such envy, cherished in that age a genuine and vehement repugnance
against receiving pay for teaching. We read in Xenophon,[564] that
Sokratês considered such a bargain as nothing less than servitude,
robbing the teacher of all free choice as to persons or proceeding;
and that he assimilated the relation between teacher and pupil to
that between two lovers or two intimate friends; which was thoroughly
dishonored, robbed of its charm and reciprocity, and prevented from
bringing about its legitimate reward of attachment and devotion,
by the intervention of money payment. However little in harmony
with modern ideas, such was the conscientious sentiment of Sokratês
and Plato; who therefore considered the name sophists, denoting
intellectual celebrity combined with an odious association, as
preëminently suitable to the leading teachers for pay. The splendid
genius, the lasting influence, and the reiterated polemics, of Plato,
have stamped it upon the men against whom he wrote as if it were
their recognized, legitimate, and peculiar designation: though it
is certain, that if, in the middle of the Peloponnesian war, any
Athenian had been asked, “Who are the principal sophists in your
city?” he would have named Sokratês among the first; for Sokratês
was at once eminent as an intellectual teacher and personally
unpopular, not because he received pay, but on other grounds, which
will be hereafter noticed: and this was the precise combination
of qualities which the general public naturally expressed by a
sophist. Moreover, Plato not only stole the name out of general
circulation, in order to fasten it specially upon his opponents,
the paid teachers, but also connected with it express discreditable
attributes, which formed no part of its primitive and recognized
meaning, and were altogether distinct from, though grafted upon, the
vague sentiment of dislike associated with it. Aristotle, following
the example of his master, gave to the word sophist a definition
substantially the same as that which it bears in the modern
languages:[565] “an impostrous pretender to knowledge; a man who
employs what he knows to be fallacy, for the purpose of deceit and of
getting money.” And he did this at a time when he himself, with his
estimable contemporary Isokratês, were considered at Athens to come
under the designation of sophists, and were called so by every one
who disliked either their profession or their persons.[566]

  [564] Xenoph. Memor. i, 2, 6. In another passage, the sophist
  Antiphon—whether this is the celebrated Antiphon of the deme
  Rhamnus, is uncertain; the commentators lean to the negative—is
  described as conversing with Sokratês, and saying that Sokratês
  of course must imagine his own conversation to be worth nothing,
  since he asked no price from his scholars. To which Sokratês

  Ὦ Ἀντιφῶν, παρ᾽ ἡμῖν νομίζεται, τὴν ὥραν καὶ τὴν σοφίαν ὁμοίως
  μὲν καλὸν, ὁμοίως δὲ αἰσχρὸν, διατίθεσθαι εἶναι. Τήν τε γὰρ ὥραν,
  ἐὰν μέν τις ἀργυρίου πωλῇ τῷ βουλομένῳ, πόρνον αὐτὸν ἀποκαλοῦσιν·
  ἐὰν δέ τις, ὃν ἂν γνῷ καλόν τε κἀγαθὸν ἐραστὴν ὄντα, τοῦτον φίλον
  ἑαυτῷ ποιῆται, σώφρονα νομίζομεν. Καὶ ~τὴν σοφίαν~ ὡσαύτως τοὺς
  μὲν ~ἀργυρίου τῷ βουλομένῳ πωλοῦντας, σοφιστὰς ὥσπερ πόρνους~
  ἀποκαλοῦσιν· ὅστις δὲ, ὃν ἂν γνῷ εὐφυᾶ ὄντα, διδάσκων ὅ,τι ἂν ἔχῃ
  ἀγαθὸν, φίλον ποιεῖται, τοῦτον νομίζομεν, ἃ τῷ καλῷ κἀγαθῷ πολίτῃ
  προσήκει, ταῦτα ποιεῖν (Xenoph. Memor. i, 6, 13).

  As an evidence of the manners and sentiment of the age, this
  passage is extremely remarkable. Various parts of the oration of
  Æschinês against Timarchus, and the Symposion of Plato, pp. 217,
  218, both receive and give light to it.

  Among the numerous passages in which Plato expresses his dislike
  and contempt of teaching for money, see his Sophistes, c. 9, p.
  223. Plato, indeed, thought that it was unworthy of a virtuous
  man to accept salary for the discharge of any public duty: see
  the Republic, i, 19, p. 347.

  [565] Aristot. Rhetoric. i, 1, 4; where he explains the sophist
  to be a person who has the same powers as the dialectician,
  but abuses them for a bad purpose: ἡ γὰρ σοφιστικὴ, οὐκ ἐν τῇ
  δυνάμει, ἀλλ᾽ ἐν τῇ προαιρέσει.... Ἐκεῖ δὲ, σοφιστὴς μὲν, κατὰ
  τὴν προαίρεσιν, διαλεκτικὸς δὲ, οὐ κατὰ τὴν προαίρεσιν ἀλλὰ
  κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν. Again, in the first chapter of the treatise
  de Sophisticis Elenchis: ὁ σοφιστὴς, χρηματιστὴς ἀπὸ φαινομένης
  σοφίας, ἀλλ᾽ οὐκ οὔσης, etc.

  [566] Respecting Isokratês, see his Orat. xv, De Permutatione,
  wherein it is evident that he was not only ranked as a sophist
  by others, but also considered himself as such, though the
  appellation was one which he did not like. He considers himself
  as such, as well as Gorgias: οἱ καλούμενοι σοφισταί; sects. 166,
  169, 213, 231.

  Respecting Aristotle, we have only to read not merely the passage
  of Timon cited in a previous note, but also the bitter slander
  of Timæus (Frag. 70. ed. Didot, Polybius, xii, 8), who called
  him ~σοφιστὴν ὀψιμαθῆ καὶ μισητὸν ὑπάρχοντα~, καὶ τὸ πολυτίμητον
  ἰατρεῖον ἀρτίως ἀποκεκλεικότα, πρὸς δὲ τούτοις, εἰς πᾶσαν αὐλὴν
  καὶ σκήνην ἐμπεπηδηκότα· πρὸς δὲ, γαστρίμαργον, ὀψαρτύτην, ἐπὶ
  στόμα φερόμενον ἐν πᾶσι.

Great thinkers and writers, like Plato and Aristotle, have full right
to define and employ words in a sense of their own, provided they
give due notice. But it is essential that the reader should keep in
mind the consequences of such change, and not mistake a word used in
a new sense for a new fact or phenomenon. The age with which we are
now dealing, the last half of the fifth century B.C., is commonly
distinguished in the history of philosophy as the age of Sokratês and
the sophists. The sophists are spoken of as a new class of men, or
sometimes in language which implies a new doctrinal sect, or school,
as if they then sprang up in Greece for the first time; ostentatious
imposters, flattering and duping the rich youth for their own
personal gain; undermining the morality of Athens, public and
private, and encouraging their pupils to the unscrupulous prosecution
of ambition and cupidity. They are even affirmed to have succeeded in
corrupting the general morality, so that Athens had become miserably
degenerated and vicious in the latter years of the Peloponnesian
war, as compared with what she was in the time of Miltiadês and
Aristeidês. Sokratês, on the contrary, is usually described as a
holy man combating and exposing these false prophets, standing up as
the champion of morality against their insidious artifices.[567] Now
though the appearance of a man so very original as Sokratês was a new
fact of unspeakable importance, the appearance of the sophists was
no new fact; what was new was the peculiar use of an old word, which
Plato took out of its usual meaning, and fastened upon the eminent
paid teachers of the Sokratic age.

  [567] In the general point of view here described, the sophists
  are presented by _Ritter_, Geschichte der Griech. Philosophie,
  vol. i, book vi, chaps. 1-3, p. 577, _seq._, 629, _seq._; by
  _Brandis_, Gesch. der Gr. Röm. Philos. sects, lxxxiv-lxxxvii,
  vol. i, p. 516, _seq._; by _Zeller_, Geschichte der Philosoph.
  ii. pp. 65, 69, 165, etc.: and, indeed, by almost all who treat
  of the sophists.

The paid teachers, with whom, under the name of The Sophists, he
brings Sokratês into controversy, were Protagoras of Abdêra, Gorgias
of Leontini, Polus of Agrigentum, Hippias of Elis, Prodikus of Keos,
Thrasymachus of Chalkêdon, Euthydêmus and Dionysodorus of Chios; to
whom Xenophon adds Antiphon of Athens. These men—whom modern writers
set down as the sophists, and denounce as the moral pestilence of
their age—were not distinguished in any marked or generic way from
their predecessors. Their vocation was to train up youth for the
duties, the pursuits, and the successes, of active life, both private
and public. Others had done this before; but these teachers brought
to the task a larger range of knowledge with a greater multiplicity
of scientific and other topics; not only more impressive powers of
composition and speech, serving as a personal example to the pupil,
but also a comprehension of the elements of good speaking, so as to
be able to give him precepts conducive to that accomplishment;[568] a
considerable treasure of accumulated thought on moral and political
subjects, calculated to make their conversation very instructive,
and discourse ready prepared, on general heads or _common places_,
for their pupils to learn by heart.[569] But this, though a very
important extension, was nothing more than an extension, differing
merely in degree of that which Damon and others had done before
them. It arose from the increased demand which had grown up among
the Athenian youth, for a larger measure of education and other
accomplishments; from an elevation in the standard of what was
required from every man who aspired to occupy a place in the eyes
of his fellow-citizens. Protagoras, Gorgias, and the rest, supplied
this demand with an ability and success unknown before their time;
hence they gained a distinction such as none of their predecessors
had attained, were prized all over Greece, travelled from city to
city with general admiration, and obtained considerable pay. While
such success, among men personally strangers to them, attests
unequivocally their talent and personal dignity, of course it also
laid them open to increased jealousy, as well from inferior teachers
as from the lovers of ignorance generally: such jealousy manifesting
itself, as I have before explained, by a greater readiness to stamp
them with the obnoxious title of sophists.

  [568] Compare Isokratês, Orat. xiii. cont. Sophistas, sects.

  [569] Aristot. Sophist. Elench. c. 33; Cicero, Brut. c. 12.

The hostility of Plato against these teachers,—for it is he, and
not Sokratês, who was peculiarly hostile to them, as may be seen
by the absence of any such marked antithesis in the Memorabilia
of Xenophon,—may be explained without at all supposing in them
that corruption which modern writers have been so ready not only
to admit but to magnify. It arose from the radical difference
between his point of view and theirs. He was a great reformer and
theorist; they undertook to qualify young men for doing themselves
credit, and rendering service to others, in active Athenian life.
Not only is there room for the concurrent operation of both these
veins of thought and action, in every progressive society, but the
intellectual outfit of the society can never be complete without
the one as well as the other. It was the glory of Athens that both
were there adequately represented, at the period which we have now
reached. Whoever peruses Plato’s immortal work, “The Republic,”
will see that he dissented from society, both democratical and
oligarchical, on some of the most fundamental points of public and
private morality; and throughout most of his dialogues his quarrel
is not less with the statesmen, past as well as present, than with
the paid teachers of Athens. Besides this ardent desire for radical
reform of the state, on principles of his own, distinct from every
recognized political party or creed, Plato was also unrivalled as a
speculative genius and as a dialectician; both which capacities he
put forth, to amplify and illustrate the ethical theory and method
first struck out by Sokratês, as well as to establish comprehensive
generalities of his own.

Now his reforming, as well as his theorizing tendencies, brought
him into polemical controversy with all the leading agents by whom
the business of practical life at Athens was carried on. In so
far as Protagoras or Gorgias talked the language of theory, they
were doubtless much inferior to Plato, nor would their doctrines
be likely to hold against his acute dialectics. But it was neither
their duty, nor their engagement, to reform the state, or discover
and vindicate the best theory on ethics. They professed to qualify
young Athenians for an active and honorable life, private as well as
public, _in Athens_, or in any other given city; they taught them “to
think, speak, and act,” _in Athens_; they of course accepted, as the
basis of their teaching, that type of character which estimable men
exhibited and which the public approved, _in Athens_; not undertaking
to recast the type, but to arm it with new capacities and adorn it
with fresh accomplishments. Their direct business was with ethical
precept, not with ethical theory; all that was required of them, as
to the latter, was, that their theory should be sufficiently sound
to lead to such practical precepts as were accounted virtuous
by the most estimable society _in Athens_. It ought never to be
forgotten, that those who taught for active life were bound, by the
very conditions of their profession, to adapt themselves to the place
and the society as it stood. With the theorist Plato, not only there
was no such obligation, but the grandeur and instructiveness of his
speculations were realized only by his departing from it, and placing
himself on a loftier pinnacle of vision; and he himself[570] not only
admits, but even exaggerates, the unfitness and repugnance of men,
taught in his school, for practical life and duties.

  [570] See a striking passage in Plato, Theætet. c. 24, pp. 173,

To understand the essential difference between the practical and
the theoretical point of view, we need only look to Isokratês,
the pupil of Gorgias, and himself a sophist. Though not a man of
commanding abilities, Isokratês was one of the most estimable men
of Grecian antiquity. He taught for money; and taught young men to
“think, speak, and act,” all with a view to an honorable life of
active citizenship; not concealing his marked disparagement[571] of
speculative study and debate, such as the dialogues of Plato and the
dialectic exercises generally. He defends his profession much in the
same way as his master Gorgias, or Protagoras, would have defended
it, if we had before us vindications from their pens. Isokratês at
Athens, and Quintilian, a man equally estimable at Rome, are, in
their general type of character and professional duty, the fair
counterpart of those whom Plato arraigns as the sophists.

  [571] Isokratês, Orat. v (ad. Philip.), sect. 14; Orat. x (Enc.
  Hel.), sect. 2; Orat. xiii (adv. Sophist.), sect. 9 (compare
  Heindorf’s note ad Platon. Euthydem. sect. 79); Orat. xii
  (Panath.), sect. 126; Orat. xv (Perm.), sect. 90.

  Isokratês, in the beginning of his Orat. x, Encom. Helenæ,
  censures all the speculative teachers; first, Antisthenês and
  Plato (without naming them, but identifying them sufficiently
  by their doctrines); next, Protagoras, Gorgias, Melissus, Zeno,
  etc., by name, as having wasted their time and teaching on
  fruitless paradox and controversy. He insists upon the necessity
  of teaching with a view to political life and to the course of
  actual public events, abandoning these useless studies (sect. 6).

  It is remarkable that what Isokratês recommends is just what
  Protagoras and Gorgias are represented as actually doing—each
  doubtless in his own way—in the dialogues of Plato, who censures
  them for being too practical, while Isokratês, commenting on them
  from various publications which they left, treats them only as
  teachers of useless speculations.

  In the Oration De Permutatione, composed when he was eighty-two
  years of age (sect. 10, the orations above cited are earlier
  compositions, especially Orat. xiii, against the sophists, see
  sect. 206), Isokratês stands upon the defensive, and vindicates
  his profession against manifold aspersions. It is a most
  interesting oration, as a defence of the educators of Athens
  generally, and would serve perfectly well as a vindication of
  the teaching of Protagoras, Gorgias, Hippias, etc., against the
  reproaches of Plato.

  This oration should be read, if only to get at the genuine
  Athenian sense of the word sophists, as distinguished from the
  technical sense which Plato and Aristotle fasten upon it. The
  word is here used in its largest sense, as distinguished from
  ἰδιώταις (sect. 159): it meant, literary men or philosophers
  generally, but especially the professional teachers: it carried,
  however, an obnoxious sense, and was therefore used as little as
  possible by themselves; as much as possible by those who disliked

  Isokratês, though he does not willingly call himself by
  this unpleasant name, yet is obliged to acknowledge himself
  unreservedly as one of the profession, in the same category as
  Gorgias (sects. 165, 179, 211, 213, 231, 256), and defends the
  general body as well as himself; distinguishing himself of course
  from the bad members of the profession, those who pretended to
  be sophists, but devoted themselves to something different in
  reality (sect. 230).

  This professional teaching, and the teachers, are signified
  indiscriminately by these words: οἱ σοφισταί—οἱ περὶ τὴν
  φιλοσοφίαν διατρίβοντες—τὴν φιλοσοφίαν ἀδίκως διαβεβλημένην
  (sects. 44, 157, 159, 179, 211, 217, 219)—ἡ τῶν λόγων παιδεία—ἡ
  τῶν λόγων μελέτη—ἡ φιλοσοφία—ἡ τῆς φρονήσεως ἄσκησις—τῆς ἐμῆς,
  εἴτε βούλεσθε καλεῖν δυνάμεως, εἴτε φιλοσοφίας, εἴτε διατρίβης
  (sects. 53, 187, 189, 193, 196). All these expressions mean the
  same process of training; that is, general mental training as
  opposed to bodily (sects. 194, 199), and intended to cultivate
  the powers of thought, speech, and action: πρὸς τὸ λέγειν καὶ
  φρονεῖν—τοῦ φρονεῖν εὖ καὶ λέγειν—τὸ λέγειν καὶ πράττειν (sects.
  221, 261, 285, 296, 330).

  Isokratês does not admit any such distinction between the
  philosopher and dialectician on the one side, and the sophist on
  the other, as Plato and Aristotle contend for. He does not like
  dialectical exercises: yet he admits them to be useful for youth,
  as a part of intellectual training, on condition that all such
  speculations shall be dropped, when the youth come into active
  life (sects. 280, 287).

  This is the same language as that of Kalliklês in the Gorgias of
  Plato, c. 40, p. 484.

We know these latter chiefly from the evidence of Plato, their
pronounced enemy; yet even his evidence, when construed candidly and
taken as a whole, will not be found to justify the charges of corrupt
and immoral teaching, impostrous pretence of knowledge, etc., which
the modern historians pour forth in loud chorus against them. I know
few characters in history who have been so hardly dealt with as
these so-called sophists. They bear the penalty of their name, in
its modern sense; a misleading association, from which few modern
writers take pains to emancipate either themselves or their readers,
though the English or French word sophist is absolutely inapplicable
to Protagoras or Gorgias, who ought to be called rather “professors,
or public teachers.” It is really surprising to read the expositions
prefixed by learned men like Stallbaum and others, to the Platonic
dialogues entitled Protagoras, Gorgias, Euthydêmus, Theætêtus, etc.,
where Plato introduces Sokratês either in personal controversy with
one or other of these sophists, or as canvassing their opinions.
We continually read from the pen of the expositor, such remarks as
these: “Mark, how Plato puts down the shallow and worthless sophist;”
the obvious reflection, that it is Plato himself who plays both games
on the chess-board, being altogether overlooked. And again: “This or
that argument, placed in the mouth of Sokratês, is not to be regarded
as the real opinion of Plato: he only takes it up and enforces it
at this moment, in order to puzzle and humiliate an ostentatious
pretender;”[572] a remark which converts Plato into an insincere
disputant, and a sophist in the modern sense, at the very moment
when the commentator is extolling his pure and lofty morality as an
antidote against the alleged corruption of Gorgias and Protagoras.

  [572] Stallbaum, Proleg. ad Platon. Protagor. p. 23: “Hoc vero
  ejus judicio ita utitur Socrates, ut eum dehinc dialecticâ
  subtilitate in summam consilii inopiam conjiciat. Colligit enim
  inde _satis captiose_ rebus ita comparatis justitiam, quippe quæ
  a sanctitate diversa sit, plane nihil sanctitatis habituram, ac
  vicissim sanctitati nihil fore commune cum justitiâ. Respondet
  quidem ad hæc Protagoras, justitiam ac sanctitatem non per omnia
  sibi similes esse, nec tamen etiam prorsus dissimiles videri. Sed
  etsi _verissima est hæc ejus sententia_, tamen comparatione illâ
  a partibus faciei repetitâ, _in fraudem inductus_, et quid sit,
  in quo omnis virtutis natura contineatur, ignarus, sese ex his
  difficultatibus adeo non potest expedire,” etc.

  Again, p. 24: “Itaque Socrates, missâ hujus rei disputatione,
  _repente ad alia progreditur_, scilicet _similibus laqueis
  hominem deinceps denuo irretiturus_.” ... “Nemini facile obscurum
  erit, hoc quoque loco, Protagoram _argutis conclusiunculis deludi
  atque callide eo permoveri_,” etc. ... p. 25: “Quanquam nemo
  erit, quin videat _callide deludi Protagoram_,” etc. ... p. 34:
  “Quod si autem ea, quæ in Protagorâ _Sophistæ ridendi causâ_
  e vulgi atque sophistarum ratione disputantur, in Gorgiâ ex
  ipsius philosophi mente et sententiâ vel brevius proponuntur vel
  copiosius disputantur,” etc.

  Compare similar observations of Stallbaum, in his Prolegom. ad
  Theætet. pp. 12, 22; ad Menon. p. 16; ad Euthydemum, pp. 26, 30;
  ad Lachetem, p. 11; ad Lysidem, pp. 79, 80, 87; ad Hippiam Major.
  pp. 154-156.

  “Facile apparet Socratem _argutâ_, quæ verbo φαίνεσθαι inest,
  _diologiâ interlocutorem_ (Hippiam Sophistam) _in fraudem
  inducere_.” ... “Illud quidem pro certo et explorato habemus, non
  serio sed _ridendi verandique Sophistæ gratiâ gravissimam illam
  sententiam in dubitationem vocari_, ideoque iis conclusiunculis
  labefactari, quas quilibet paulo attentior facile intelligat non
  ad fidem faciendam, sed ad lusum jocumque, esse comparatas.”

Plato has devoted a long and interesting dialogue to the inquiry,
What is a sophist?[573] and it is curious to observe that the
definition which he at last brings out suits Sokratês himself,
intellectually speaking, better than any one else whom we know.
Cicero defines the sophist to be one who pursues philosophy for the
sake of ostentation or of gain;[574] which, if it is to be held as
a reproach, will certainly bear hard upon the great body of modern
teachers, who are determined to embrace their profession and to
discharge its important duties, like other professional men, by the
prospect either of deriving an income or of making a figure in it,
or both, whether they have any peculiar relish for the occupation
or not. But modern writers, in describing Protagoras or Gorgias,
while they adopt the sneering language of Plato against teaching
for pay, low purposes, tricks to get money from the rich, etc., use
terms which lead the reader to believe that there was something
in these sophists peculiarly greedy, exorbitant, and truckling;
something beyond the mere fact of asking and receiving remuneration.
Now not only there is no proof that any of them were thus dishonest
or exorbitant, but in the case of Protagoras, even his enemy Plato
furnishes a proof that he was not so. In the Platonic dialogue
termed Protagoras, that sophist is introduced as describing the
manner in which he proceeded respecting remuneration from his pupils.
“I make no stipulation beforehand: when a pupil parts from me, I
ask from him such a sum as I think the time and the circumstances
warrant; and I add, that if he deems the demand too great, he has
only to make up his own mind what is the amount of improvement
which my company has procured to him, and what sum he considers
an equivalent for it. I am content to accept the sum so named by
himself, only requiring him to go into a temple and make oath that
it is his sincere belief.”[575] It is not easy to imagine a more
dignified way of dealing than this, nor one which more thoroughly
attests an honorable reliance on the internal consciousness of the
scholar, on the grateful sense of improvement realized, which to
every teacher constitutes a reward hardly inferior to the payment
that proceeds from it, and which, in the opinion of Sokratês,
formed the only legitimate reward. Such is not the way in which the
corruptors of mankind go to work.

  [573] Plato, Sophistes, c. 52, p. 268.

  [574] Cicero, Academ. iv, 23. Xenophon, at the close of his
  treatise De Venatione (c. 13), introduces a sharp censure upon
  the sophists, with very little that is specific or distinct. He
  accuses them of teaching command and artifice of words, instead
  of communicating useful maxims; of speaking for purposes of
  deceit, or for their own profit, and addressing themselves to
  rich pupils for pay; while the _philosopher_ gives his lessons to
  every one gratuitously, without distinction of persons. This is
  the same distinction as that taken by Sokratês and Plato, between
  the sophist and the philosopher: compare Xenoph. De Vectigal. v,

  [575] Plato, Protagoras, c. 16, p. 328, B. Diogenes Laërtius (ix,
  58) says that Protagoras demanded one hundred minæ as pay: little
  stress is to be laid upon such a statement, nor is it possible
  that he could have had one fixed rate of pay. The story told by
  Aulus Gellius (v, 10) about the suit at law between Protagoras
  and his disciple Euathlus, is at least amusing and ingenious.
  Compare the story of the rhetor Skopelianus, in Philostratus,
  Vit. Sophist. i, 21, 4.

  Isokratês (Or. xv, de Perm. sect. 166) affirms that the gains
  made by Gorgias, or by any of the eminent sophists, had never
  been very high; that they had been greatly and maliciously
  exaggerated; that they were very inferior to those of the great
  dramatic actors (sect. 168).

That which stood most prominent in the teaching of Gorgias and the
other sophists, was, that they cultivated and improved the powers
of public speaking in their pupils; one of the most essential
accomplishments to every Athenian of consideration. For this, too,
they have been denounced by Ritter, Brandis, and other learned
writers on the history of philosophy, as corrupt and immoral.
“Teaching their pupils rhetoric (it has been said), they only enabled
them to second unjust designs, to make the worse appear the better
reason, and to delude their hearers, by trick and artifice, into
false persuasion and show of knowledge without reality. Rhetoric
(argues Plato, in the dialogue called Gorgias) is no art whatever,
but a mere unscientific knack, enslaved to the dominant prejudices,
and nothing better than an impostrous parody on the true political
art.” Now though Aristotle, following the Platonic vein, calls this
power of making the worse appear the better reason, “the promise
of Protagoras,”[576] the accusation ought never to be urged as if
it bore specially against the teachers of the Sokratic age. It is
an argument against rhetorical teaching generally; against all the
most distinguished teachers of pupils for active life, throughout
the ancient world, from Protagoras, Gorgias, Isokratês, etc., down
to Quintilian. Not only does the argument bear equally against all,
but it was actually urged against all. Isokratês[577] and Quintilian
both defend themselves against it: Aristotle replies to it in the
beginning of his treatise on rhetoric: nor was there ever any
man, indeed, against whom it was pressed with greater bitterness
of calumny than Sokratês, by Aristophanês, in his comedy of the
“Clouds,” as well as by other comic composers. Sokratês complains
of it in his defence before his judges;[578] characterizing such
accusations in their true point of view, as being “the stock
reproaches against all who pursue philosophy.” They are indeed only
one of the manifestations, ever varying in form though the same in
spirit, of the antipathy of ignorance against dissenting innovation
or superior mental accomplishments; which antipathy, intellectual men
themselves, when it happens to make on their side in a controversy,
are but too ready to invoke. Considering that we have here the
materials of defence, as well as of attack, supplied by Sokratês and
Plato, it might have been expected that modern writers would have
refrained from employing such an argument to discredit Gorgias or
Protagoras; the rather, as they have before their eyes, in all the
countries of modern Europe, the profession of lawyers and advocates,
who lend their powerful eloquence without distinction to the cause
of justice or injustice, and who, far from being regarded as the
corrupters of society, are usually looked upon, for that very reason
among others, as indispensable auxiliaries to a just administration
of law.

  [576] Aristot. Rhetoric. ii, 26. Ritter (p. 582) and Brandis
  (p. 521) quote very unfairly the evidence of the “Clouds”
  of Aristophanês, as establishing this charge, and that of
  corrupt teaching generally, against the sophists as a body.
  If Aristophanês is a witness against any one, he is a witness
  against Sokratês, who is the person singled out for attack in the
  “Clouds.” But these authors, not admitting Aristophanês as an
  evidence against Sokratês, whom he _does_ attack, nevertheless
  quote him as an evidence against men like Protagoras and Gorgias,
  whom he _does not_ attack.

  [577] Isokratês, Or. xv, (De Permut.) sect. 16, νῦν δὲ λέγει μὲν
  (the accuser) ὡς ἐγὼ τοὺς ἥττους λόγους κρείττους δύναμαι ποιεῖν,

  Ibid. sect. 32. πειρᾶταί με διαβάλλειν, ὡς διαφθείρω τοὺς
  νεωτέρους, λέγειν διδάσκων καὶ παρὰ τὸ δίκαιον ἐν τοῖς ἀγῶσι
  πλεονεκτεῖν, etc.

  Again, sects. 59, 65, 95, 98, 187 (where he represents himself,
  like Sokratês in his Defence, as vindicating philosophy generally
  against the accusation of corrupting youth), 233, 256.

  [578] Plato, Sok. Apolog. c. 10, p. 23, D. τὰ κατὰ πάντων τῶν
  φιλοσοφούντων πρόχειρα ταῦτα λέγουσιν, ὅτι τὰ μετέωρα καὶ τὰ ὑπὸ
  γῆς, καὶ θεοὺς μὴ νομίζειν, καὶ τὸν ἥττω λόγον κρείττω ποιεῖν
  (διδάσκω). Compare a similar expression in Xenophon, Memorab. i,
  2, 31. τὸ κοινῇ τοῖς φιλοσόφοις ὑπὸ τῶν πολλῶν ἐπιτιμώμενον, etc.

  The same unfairness, in making this point tell against the
  sophists exclusively, is to be found in Westermann, Geschichte
  der Griech. Beredsamkeit sects. 30, 64.

Though writing was less the business of these sophists than personal
teaching, several of them published treatises. Thrasymachus
and Theodôrus both set forth written precepts on the art of
rhetoric;[579] precepts which have not descended to us, but which
appear to have been narrow and special, bearing directly upon
practice, and relating chiefly to the proper component parts of an
oration. To Aristotle, who had attained that large and comprehensive
view of the theory of rhetoric which still remains to instruct
us in his splendid treatise, the views of Thrasymachus appeared
unimportant, serving to him only as hints and materials. But their
effect must have been very different when they first appeared,
and when young men were first enabled to analyze the parts of an
harangue, to understand the dependence of one upon the other, and
call them by their appropriate names; all illustrated, let us
recollect, by oral exposition on the part of the master, which was
the most impressive portion of the whole.

  [579] See the last chapter of Aristotle De Sophisticis Elenchis.
  He notices these early rhetorical teachers, also, in various
  parts of the treatise on rhetoric.

  Quintilian, however, still thought the precepts of Theodôrus and
  Thrasymachus worthy of his attention (Inst. Orat. iii, 3).

Prodikus, again, published one or more treatises intended to
elucidate the ambiguities of words, and to point out the different
significations of terms apparently, but not really, equivalent.
For this Plato often ridicules him, and the modern historians of
philosophy generally think it right to adopt the same tone. Whether
the execution of the work was at all adequate to its purpose, we have
no means of judging; but assuredly the purpose was one preëminently
calculated to aid Grecian thinkers and dialecticians; for no man
can study their philosophy without seeing how lamentably they were
hampered by enslavement to the popular phraseology, and by inferences
founded on mere verbal analogy. At a time when neither dictionary
nor grammar existed, a teacher who took care, even punctilious care,
in fixing the meaning of important words of his discourse, must
be considered as guiding the minds of his hearers in a salutary
direction; salutary, we may add, even to Plato himself, whose
speculations would most certainly have been improved by occasional
hints from such a monitor.

Protagoras, too, is said to have been the first who discriminated and
gave names to the various modes and forms of address, an analysis
well calculated to assist his lessons on right speaking:[580] he
appears also to have been the first who distinguished the three
genders of nouns. We hear further of a treatise which he wrote on
wrestling, or most probably on gymnastics generally, as well as a
collection of controversial dialogues.[581] But his most celebrated
treatise was one entitled “Truth,” seemingly on philosophy generally.
Of this treatise, we do not even know the general scope or purport.
In one of his treatises, he confessed his inability to satisfy
himself about the existence of the gods, in these words:[582]
“Respecting the gods, I neither know whether they exist, nor what
are their attributes: the uncertainty of the subject, the shortness
of human life, and many other causes, debar me from this knowledge.”
That the believing public of Athens were seriously indignant at
this passage, and that it caused the author to be threatened with
prosecution, and forced to quit Athens, we can perfectly understand;
though there seems no sufficient proof of the tale that he was
drowned in his outward voyage. But that modern historians of
philosophy, who consider the pagan gods to be fictions, and the
religion to be repugnant to any reasonable mind, should concur in
denouncing Protagoras on this ground as a corrupt man, is to me less
intelligible. Xenophanês,[583] and probably many other philosophers,
had said the same thing before him. Nor is it easy to see what a
superior man was to do, who could not adjust his standard of belief
to such fictions; or what he could say, if he said anything, less
than the words cited above from Protagoras; which appear, as far as
we can appreciate them, standing without the context, to be a brief
mention, in modest and circumspect phrases, of the reason why he
said nothing about the gods, in a treatise where the reader would
expect to find much upon the subject.[584] Certain it is that in the
Platonic dialogue, called “Protagoras,” that sophist is introduced
speaking about the gods exactly in the manner that any orthodox pagan
might naturally adopt.

  [580] Quintilian, Inst. Orat. iii. 4, 10; Aristot. Rhetor. iii,
  5. See the passages cited in Preller, Histor. Philos. ch. iv, p.
  132, note _d_, who affirms respecting Protagoras: “alia inani
  grammaticorum principiorum ostentatione novare conabatur,” which
  the passages cited do not prove.

  [581] Isokratês, Or. x, Encom. Helen. sect. 3; Diogen. Laërt. ix,

  [582] Diogen. Laërt. ix. 51; Sext. Empir. adv. Math. ix. 56. Περὶ
  μὲν θεῶν οὐκ ἔχω εἰπεῖν, οὔτε εἴ εἰσιν, οὐθ᾽ ὁποίοι τινές εἰσι·
  πολλὰ γὰρ τὰ κωλύοντα εἰδέναι, ἥ τε ἀδηλότης, καὶ βραχὺς ὢν ὁ
  βίος τοῦ ἀνθρώπου.

  I give the words partly from Diogenes, partly from Sextus, as I
  think they would be most likely to stand.

  [583] Xenophanês ap. Sext. Emp. adv. Mathem. vii, 49.

  [584] The satyrical writer Timon (ap. Sext. Emp. ix, 57),
  speaking in very respectful terms about Protagoras, notices
  particularly the guarded language which he used in this sentence
  about the gods; though this precaution did not enable him to
  avoid the necessity of flight. Protagoras spoke:—

      ~Πᾶσαν ἔχων φυλακὴν ἐπιεικείης~· τὰ μὲν οὐ οἱ
      Χραίσμησ᾽, ἀλλὰ φυγῆς ἐπεμαίετο ὄφρα μὴ οὕτως
      Σωκρατικὸν πίνων ψυχρὸν πότον Ἀΐδα δύῃ.

  It would seem, by the last line as if Protagoras had survived

The other fragment preserved of Protagoras, relates to his view of
the cognitive process, and of truth generally. He taught, that “Man
is the measure of all things; both of that which exists, and of that
which does not exist:” a doctrine canvassed and controverted by
Plato, who represents that Protagoras affirmed knowledge to consist
in sensation, and considered the sensations of each individual man
to be, to him, the canon and measure of truth. We know scarce
anything of the elucidations or limitations with which Protagoras may
have accompanied his general position: and if even Plato, who had
good means of knowing them, felt it ungenerous to insult an orphan
doctrine whose father was recently dead, and could no longer defend
it,[585] much more ought modern authors, who speak with mere scraps
of evidence before them, to be cautious how they heap upon the same
doctrine insults much beyond those which Plato recognizes. In so far
as we can pretend to understand the theory, it was certainly not
more incorrect than several others then afloat, from the Eleatic
school and other philosophers; while it had the merit of bringing
into forcible relief, though in an erroneous manner, the essentially
relative nature of cognition,[586] relative, not indeed to the
sensitive faculty alone, but to that reinforced and guided by the
other faculties of man, memorial and ratiocinative. And had it been
even more incorrect than it really is, there would be no warrant
for those imputations which modern authors build upon it, against
the morality of Protagoras. No such imputations are countenanced
in the discussion which Plato devotes to the doctrine: indeed, if
the vindication which he sets forth against himself on behalf of
Protagoras be really ascribable to that sophist, it would give an
exaggerated importance to the distinction between Good and Evil, into
which the distinction between Truth and Falsehood is considered by
the Platonic Protagoras as resolvable. The subsequent theories of
Plato and Aristotle respecting cognition, were much more systematic
and elaborate, the work of men greatly superior in speculative genius
to Protagoras: but they would not have been what they were, had not
Protagoras, as well as others gone before them, with suggestions more
partial and imperfect.

  [585] Plato, Theætet. 18, p. 164, E. Οὔτι ἄν, οἶμαι, ὦ φίλε,
  εἴπερ γε ὁ πατὴρ τοῦ ἑτέρου μύθου ἔζη—ἀλλὰ πολλὰ ἂν ἤμυνε· νῦν
  δὲ ὄρφανον αὐτὸν ὄντα ἡμεῖς προπηλακίζομεν ... ἀλλὰ δὴ ~αὐτοὶ
  κινδυνεύσομεν τοῦ δικαίου ἕνεκ᾽~ αὐτῷ βοηθεῖν.

  This theory of Protagoras is discussed in the dialogue called
  Theætetus, p. 152, _seq._, in a long but desultory way.

  See Sextus Empiric. Pyrrhonic. Hypol. i. 216-219, et contra
  Mathematicos, vii, 60-64. The explanation which Sextus gives
  of the Protagorean doctrine, in the former passage, cannot be
  derived from the treatise of Protagoras himself; since he makes
  use of the word ὕλη in the philosophical sense, which was not
  adopted until the days of Plato and Aristotle.

  It is difficult to make out what Diogenes Laërtius states about
  other tenets of Protagoras, and to reconcile them with the
  doctrine of “man being the measure of all things,” as explained
  by Plato (Diog. Laërt. ix, 51, 57).

  [586] Aristotle (in one of the passages of his Metaphysica,
  wherein he discusses the Protagorean doctrine, x, i, p. 1053, B.)
  says that this doctrine comes to nothing more than saying, that
  man, so far as cognizant, or so far as percipient, is the measure
  of all things; in other words, that knowledge, or perception,
  is the measure of all things. This, Aristotle says, is trivial,
  and of no value, though it sounds like something of importance:
  Πρωταγόρας δ᾽ ἄνθρωπόν φησι πάντων εἶναι μέτρον, ὥσπερ ἂν εἰ τὸν
  ἐπιστήμονα εἰπὼν ἢ τὸν αἰσθανόμενον· τούτους δ᾽ ὅτι ἔχουσιν ὁ μὲν
  αἴσθησιν ὁ δὲ ἐπιστήμην· ἅ φαμεν εἶναι μέτρα τῶν ὑποκειμένων.
  Οὐθὲν δὴ λέγων περιττὸν φαίνεταί τι λέγειν.

  It appears to me, that to insist upon the essentially relative
  nature of cognizable truth, was by no means a trivial or
  unimportant doctrine, as Aristotle pronounces it to be;
  especially when we compare it with the unmeasured conceptions
  of the objects and methods of scientific research which were so
  common in the days of Protagoras.

  Compare Metaphysic. iii, 5, pp. 1008, 1009, where it will be seen
  how many other thinkers of that day carried the same doctrine,
  seemingly, further than Protagoras.

  Protagoras remarked that the observed movements of the heavenly
  bodies did not coincide with that which the astronomers
  represented them to be, and to which they applied their
  mathematical reasonings. This remark was a criticism on the
  mathematical astronomers of his day—ἐλέγχων τοὺς γεωμέτρας
  (Aristot. Metaph. iii, 2, p. 998, A). We know too little how far
  his criticism may have been deserved, to assent to the general
  strictures of Ritter, Gesch. der Phil. vol. i, p. 633.

From Gorgias there remains one short essay, preserved in one of
the Aristotelian, or Pseudo-Aristotelian treatises,[587] on a
metaphysical thesis. He professes to demonstrate that nothing exists:
that if anything exist, it is unknowable; and granting it even to
exist and to be knowable by any one man, he could never communicate
it to others. The modern historians of philosophy here prefer the
easier task of denouncing the skepticism of the sophist, instead of
performing the duty incumbent on them of explaining his thesis in
immediate sequence with the speculations which preceded it. In our
sense of the words, it is a monstrous paradox: but construing them in
their legitimate filiation from the Eleatic philosophers immediately
before him, it is a plausible, not to say conclusive, deduction
from principles which they would have acknowledged.[588] The word
existence, as they understood it, did not mean phenomenal, but
ultra-phenomenal existence. They looked upon the phenomena of sense
as always coming and going, as something essentially transitory,
fluctuating, incapable of being surely known, and furnishing at best
grounds only for conjecture. They searched by cogitation for what
they presumed to be the really existent something or substance—the
noumenon, to use a Kantian phrase—lying behind or under the
phenomena, which noumenon they recognized as the only appropriate
subject of knowledge. They discussed much, as I have before
remarked, whether it was one or many; noumenon in the singular, or
noumena in the plural. Now the thesis of Gorgias related to this
ultra-phenomenal existence, and bore closely upon the arguments of
Zeno and Melissus, the Eleatic reasoners of his elder contemporaries.
He denied that any such ultra-phenomenal something, or noumenon,
existed, or could be known, or could be described. Of this tripartite
thesis, the first negation was neither more untenable, nor less
untenable, than that of those philosophers who before him had argued
for the affirmative: on the two last points, his conclusions were
neither paradoxical nor improperly skeptical, but perfectly just,
and have been ratified by the gradual abandonment, either avowed or
implied, of such ultra-phenomenal researches among the major part of
philosophers. It may fairly be presumed that these doctrines were
urged by Gorgias for the purpose of diverting his disciples from
studies which he considered as unpromising and fruitless: just as we
shall find his pupil Isokratês afterwards enforcing the same view,
discouraging speculations of this nature, and recommending rhetorical
exercise as preparation for the duties of an active citizen.[589]
Nor must we forget that Sokratês himself discouraged physical
speculations even more decidedly than either of them.

  [587] See the treatise entitled De Melisso, Xenophane et Gorgiâ
  in Bekker’s edition of Aristotle’s Works, vol. i, p. 979, _seq._;
  also the same treatise, with a good preface and comments, by
  Mullach, p. 62 _seq._: compare Sextus Emp. adv. Mathemat. vii,
  65, 87.

  [588] See the note of Mullach, on the treatise mentioned in the
  preceding note, p. 72. He shows that Gorgias followed in the
  steps of Zeno and Melissus.

  [589] Isokratês De Permutatione, Or. xv, s. 287; Xenoph. Memorab.
  i, 1, 14.

If the censures cast upon the alleged skepticism of Gorgias and
Protagoras are partly without sufficient warrant, partly without any
warrant at all, much more may the same remark be made respecting
the graver reproaches heaped upon their teaching on the score of
immorality or corruption. It has been common with recent German
historians of philosophy to translate from Plato and dress up a
fiend called “Die Sophistik,” (Sophistic,) whom they assert to
have poisoned and demoralized, by corrupt teaching, the Athenian
moral character, so that it became degenerate at the end of the
Peloponnesian war, compared with what it had been in the time of
Miltiadês and Aristeidês.

Now, in the first place, if the abstraction “Die Sophistik” is to
have any definite meaning, we ought to have proof that the persons
styled sophists had some doctrines, principles, or method, both
common to them all and distinguishing them from others. But such
a supposition is untrue: there were no such common doctrines, or
principles, or method, belonging to them; even the name by which
they are known did not belong to them, any more than to Sokratês
and others; they had nothing in common except their profession, as
paid teachers, qualifying young men “to think, speak, and act,”
these are the words of Isokratês, and better words it would not
be easy to find, with credit to themselves as citizens. Moreover,
such community of profession did not at that time imply near so
much analogy of character as it does now, when the path of teaching
has been beaten into a broad and visible high road, with measured
distances and stated intervals: Protagoras and Gorgias found
predecessors, indeed, but no binding precedents to copy; so that
each struck out more or less a road of his own. And accordingly, we
find Plato, in his dialogue called “Protagoras,” wherein Protagoras,
Prodikus, and Hippias, are all introduced, imparting a distinct
type of character and distinct method to each, not without a strong
admixture of reciprocal jealousy between them; while Thrasymachus,
in the Republic, and Euthydêmus, in the dialogue so called, are
again painted each with colors of his own, different from all the
three above named. We have not the least reason for presuming that
Gorgias agreed in the opinion of Protagoras: “Man is the measure
of all things;” and we may infer, even from Plato himself, that
Protagoras would have opposed the views expressed by Thrasymachus
in the first book of the Republic. It is impossible therefore to
predicate anything concerning doctrines, methods, or tendencies,
common and peculiar to all the sophists. There were none such; nor
has the abstract word, “Die Sophistik,” any real meaning, except
such qualities, whatever they may be, as are inseparable from the
profession or occupation of public teaching. And if, at present,
every candid critic would be ashamed to cast wholesale aspersions
on the entire body of professional teachers, much more is such
censure unbecoming in reference to the ancient sophists, who were
distinguished from each other by stronger individual peculiarities.

If, then, it were true that in the interval between 480 B.C. and the
end of the Peloponnesian war, a great moral deterioration had taken
place in Athens and in Greece generally, we should have to search for
some other cause than this imaginary abstraction called sophistic.
But—and this is the second point—the matter of fact here alleged is
as untrue, as the cause alleged is unreal. Athens, at the close of
the Peloponnesian war, was not more corrupt than Athens in the days
of Miltiadês and Aristeidês. If we revert to that earlier period,
we shall find that scarcely any acts of the Athenian people have
drawn upon them sharper censure—in my judgment, unmerited—than their
treatment of these very two statesmen; the condemnation of Miltiadês,
and the ostracism of Aristeidês. In writing my history of that time,
far from finding previous historians disposed to give the Athenians
credit for public virtue, I have been compelled to contend against
a body of adverse criticism, imputing to them gross ingratitude and
injustice. Thus the contemporaries of Miltiadês and Aristeidês, when
described as matter of present history, are presented in anything but
flattering colors; except their valor at Marathon and Salamis, which
finds one unanimous voice of encomium. But when these same men have
become numbered among the mingled recollections and fancies belonging
to the past,—when a future generation comes to be present, with its
appropriate stock of complaint and denunciation,—then it is that men
find pleasure in dressing up the virtues of the past, as a count in
the indictment against their own contemporaries. Aristophanês,[590]
writing during the Peloponnesian war, denounced the Demos of his day
as degenerated from the virtue of that Demos which had surrounded
Miltiadês and Aristeidês: while Isokratês,[591] writing as an old
man, between 350-340 B.C., complains in like manner of his own
time, boasting how much better the state of Athens had been in his
youth: which period of his youth fell exactly during the life of
Aristophanês, in the last half of the Peloponnesian war.

  [590] Aristophan. Equit. 1316-1321.

  [591] Isokratês, Or. xv, De Permutation. s. 170.

Such illusions ought to impose on no one without a careful comparison
of facts; and most assuredly that comparison will not bear out the
allegation of increased corruption and degeneracy, between the age
of Miltiadês and the end of the Peloponnesian war. Throughout the
whole of Athenian history, there are no acts which attest so large
a measure of virtue and judgment pervading the whole people, as
the proceedings after the Four Hundred and after the Thirty. Nor
do I believe that the contemporaries of Miltiadês would have been
capable of such heroism; for that appellation is by no means too
large for the case. I doubt whether they would have been competent
to the steady self-denial of retaining a large sum in reserve
during the time of peace, both prior to the Peloponnesian war and
after the Peace of Nikias; or of keeping back the reserve fund of
one thousand talents, while they were forced to pay taxes for the
support of the war; or of acting upon the prudent, yet painfully
trying, policy recommended by Periklês, so as to sustain an annual
invasion without either going out to fight or purchasing peace by
ignominious concessions. If bad acts such as Athens committed during
the later years of the war, for example, the massacre of the Melian
population, were not done equally by the contemporaries of Miltiadês,
this did not arise from any superior humanity or principle on their
part, but from the fact that they were not exposed to the like
temptation, brought upon them by the possession of imperial power.
The condemnation of the six generals after the battle of Arginusæ,
if we suppose the same conduct on their part to have occurred in 490
B.C., would have been decreed more rapidly and more unceremoniously
than it was actually decreed in 406 B.C. For at that earlier date
there existed no psephism of Kannônus, surrounded by prescriptive
respect; no graphê paranomôn; no such habits of established deference
to a dikastery solemnly sworn, with full notice to defendants and
full time of defence measured by the clock; none of those securities
which a long course of democracy had gradually worked into the public
morality of every Athenian, and which, as we saw in a former chapter,
interposed a serious barrier to the impulse of the moment, though
ultimately overthrown by its fierceness. A far less violent impulse
would have sufficed for the same mischief in 490 B.C., when no such
barriers existed. Lastly, if we want a measure of the appreciating
sentiment of the Athenian public, towards a strict and decorous
morality in the narrow sense, in the middle of the Peloponnesian war,
we have only to consider the manner in which they dealt with Nikias.
I have shown, in describing the Sicilian expedition, that the gravest
error which the Athenians ever committed, that which shipwrecked
both their armament at Syracuse and their power at home, arose from
their unmeasured esteem for the respectable and pious Nikias, which
blinded them to the grossest defects of generalship and public
conduct. Disastrous as such misjudgment was, it counts at least as
a proof that the moral corruption alleged to have been operated in
their characters, is a mere fiction. Nor let it be supposed that
the nerve and resolution which once animated the combatants of
Marathon and Salamis, had disappeared in the latter years of the
Peloponnesian war. On the contrary, the energetic and protracted
struggle of Athens, after the irreparable calamity at Syracuse,
forms a worthy parallel to her resistance in the time of Xerxes, and
maintained unabated that distinctive attribute which Periklês had set
forth as the main foundation of her glory, that of never giving way
before misfortune.[592] Without any disparagement to the armament at
Salamis, we may remark that the patriotism of the fleet at Samos,
which rescued Athens from the Four Hundred, was equally devoted
and more intelligent; and that the burst of effort, which sent a
subsequent fleet to victory at Arginusæ, was to the full as strenuous.

  [592] Thucyd. ii, 64. γνῶτε δ᾽ ὄνομα μέγιστον αὐτὴν (τὴν πόλιν)
  ἔχουσαν ἐν πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποις, διὰ τὸ ταῖς ξυμφοραῖς μὴ εἴκειν.

If, then, we survey the eighty-seven years of Athenian history,
between the battle of Marathon and the renovation of the democracy
after the Thirty, we shall see no ground for the assertion, so often
made, of increased and increasing moral and political corruption. It
is my belief that the people had become both morally and politically
better, and that their democracy had worked to their improvement.
The remark made by Thucydidês, on the occasion of the Korkyræan
bloodshed,—on the violent and reckless political antipathies,
arising out of the confluence of external warfare with internal
party-feud,[593]—wherever else it may find its application, has no
bearing upon Athens: the proceedings after the Four Hundred and
after the Thirty prove the contrary. And while Athens may thus be
vindicated on the moral side, it is indisputable that her population
had acquired a far larger range of ideas and capacities than they
possessed at the time of the battle of Marathon. This, indeed, is the
very matter of fact deplored by Aristophanês, and admitted by those
writers, who, while denouncing the sophists, connect such enlarged
range of ideas with the dissemination of the pretended sophistical
poison. In my judgment, not only the charge against the sophists as
poisoners, but even the existence of such poison in the Athenian
system, deserves nothing less than an emphatic denial.

  [593] Thucydidês (iii, 82) specifies very distinctly the cause to
  which he ascribes the bad consequences which he depicts. He makes
  no allusion to sophists or sophistical teaching; though Brandis
  (Gesch. der Gr. Röm. Philos. i, p. 518, not. f.) drags in “the
  sophistical spirit of the statesmen of that time,” as if it were
  the cause of the mischief, and as if it were to be found in the
  speeches of Thucydidês, i, 76, v, 105.

  There cannot be a more unwarranted assertion; nor can a learned
  man like Brandis be ignorant, that such words as “the sophistical
  spirit,” (Der sophistische Geist,) are understood by a modern
  reader in a sense totally different from its true Athenian sense.

Let us examine again the names of these professional teachers,
beginning with Prodikus, one of the most renowned. Who is there that
has not read the well-known fable called “The Choice of Hercules,”
which is to be found in every book professing to collect impressive
illustrations of elementary morality? Who does not know that its
express purpose is, to kindle the imaginations of youth in favor of
a life of labor for noble objects, and against a life of indulgence?
It was the favorite theme on which Prodikus lectured, and on which he
obtained the largest audience.[594] If it be of striking simplicity
and effect even to a modern reader, how much more powerfully must
it have worked upon the audience for whose belief it was specially
adapted, when set off by the oral expansions of its author! Xenophon
wondered that the Athenian dikasts dealt with Sokratês as a corruptor
of youth,—Isokratês wondered that a portion of the public made the
like mistake about him,—and I confess my wonder to be not less, that
not only Aristophanês,[595] but even the modern writers on Grecian
philosophy, should rank Prodikus in the same unenviable catalogue.
This is the only composition[596] remaining from him; indeed, the
only composition remaining from any one of the sophists, excepting
the thesis of Gorgias, above noticed. It served, not merely as a
vindication of Prodikus against such reproach, but also as a warning
against implicit confidence in the sarcastic remarks of Plato,—which
include Prodikus as well as the other sophists,—and in the doctrines
which he puts into the mouth of the sophists generally, in order
that Sokratês may confute them. The commonest candor would teach us,
that if a polemical writer of dialogue chooses to put indefensible
doctrine into the mouth of the opponent, we ought to be cautious of
condemning the latter upon such very dubious proof.

  [594] Xenoph. Memor. ii, 1, 21-34. Καὶ Πρόδικος δὲ ὁ σοφὸς
  ἐν τῷ συγγράμματι τῷ περὶ Ἡρακλέους, ~ὅπερ δὴ καὶ πλείστοις
  ἐπιδείκνυται~, ὡσαύτως περὶ τῆς ἀρετῆς ἀποφαίνεται, etc.

  Xenophon here introduces Sokratês himself as bestowing much
  praise on the moral teaching of Prodikus.

  [595] See Fragment iii, of the Ταγηνισταὶ of Aristophanês,
  Meineke, Fragment. Aristoph. p. 1140.

  [596] Xenophon gives only the substance of Prodikus’s lecture,
  not his exact words. But he gives what may be called the whole
  substance, so that we can appreciate the scope as well as the
  handling of the author. We cannot say the same of an extract
  given (in the Pseudo-Platonic Dialogue Axiochus, c. 7, 8) from a
  lecture said to have been delivered by Prodikus, respecting the
  miseries of human life, pervading all the various professions
  and occupations. It is impossible to make out distinctly, either
  how much really belongs to Prodikus, or what was his scope and
  purpose, if any such lecture was really delivered.

Welcker and other modern authors treat Prodikus as “the most
innocent” of the sophists, and except him from the sentence which
they pass upon the class generally. Let us see, therefore, what Plato
himself says about the rest of them, and first about Protagoras. If
it were not the established practice with readers of Plato to condemn
Protagoras beforehand, and to put upon every passage relating to
him not only a sense as bad as it will bear, but much worse than
it will fairly bear, they would probably carry away very different
inferences from the Platonic dialogue called by that sophist’s
name, and in which he is made to bear a chief part. That dialogue
is itself enough to prove that Plato did not conceive Protagoras
either as a corrupt, or unworthy, or incompetent teacher. The
course of the dialogue exhibits him as not master of the theory of
ethics, and unable to solve various difficulties with which that
theory is expected to grapple; moreover, as no match for Sokratês
in dialectics, which Plato considered as the only efficient method
of philosophical investigation. In so far, therefore, as imperfect
acquaintance with the science or theory upon which rules of art, or
the precepts bearing on practice, repose, disqualifies a teacher
from giving instruction in such art or practice, to that extent
Protagoras is exposed as wanting. And if an expert dialectician, like
Plato, had passed Isokratês or Quintilian, or the large majority
of teachers past or present, through a similar cross-examination
as to the theory of their teaching, an ignorance not less manifest
than that of Protagoras would be brought out. The antithesis which
Plato sets forth, in so many of his dialogues, between precept or
practice, accompanied by full knowledge of the scientific principles
from which it must be deduced, if its rectitude be disputed,—and
unscientific practice, without any such power of deduction or
defence, is one of the most valuable portions of his speculations: he
exhausts his genius to render it conspicuous in a thousand indirect
ways, and to shame his readers, if possible, into the loftier and
more rational walk of thought. But it is one thing to say of a
man, that he does not know the theory of what he teaches, or of
the way in which he teaches; it is another thing to say, that he
actually teaches that which scientific theory would not prescribe
as the best; it is a third thing, graver than both, to say that
his teaching is not only below the exigences of science, but even
corrupt and demoralizing. Now of these three points, it is the first
only which Plato in his dialogue makes out against Protagoras: even
the second, he neither affirms nor insinuates; and as to the third,
not only he never glances at it, even indirectly, but the whole
tendency of the discourse suggests a directly contrary conclusion.
As if sensible that when an eminent opponent was to be depicted as
puzzled and irritated by superior dialectics, it was but common
fairness to set forth his distinctive merits also, Plato gives a
fable, and expository harangue, from the mouth of Protagoras,[597]
upon the question whether virtue is teachable. This harangue is,
in my judgment, very striking and instructive; and so it would
have been probably accounted, if commentators had not read it with
a preëstablished persuasion that whatever came from the lips of a
sophist must be either ridiculous or immoral.[598] It is the only
part of Plato’s works wherein any account is rendered of the growth
of that floating, uncertified, self-propagating body of opinion, upon
which the cross-examining analysis of Sokratês is brought to bear, as
will be seen in the following chapter.

  [597] Plato, Protagoras, p. 320, D. c. 11, _et seq._, especially
  p. 322, D, where Protagoras lays it down that no man is fit to
  be a member of a social community, who has not in his bosom both
  δίκη and αἰδὼς,—that is, a sense of reciprocal obligation and
  right between himself and others,—and a sensibility to esteem or
  reproach from others. He lays these fundamental attributes down
  as what a good ethical theory must assume or exact in every man.

  [598] Of the unjust asperity and contempt with which the Platonic
  commentators treat the sophists, see a specimen in Ast, Ueber
  Platons Leben und Schriften, pp. 70, 71, where he comments on
  Protagoras and this fable.

Protagoras professes to teach his pupils “good counsel” in their
domestic and family relations, as well as how to speak and act in the
most effective manner for the weal of the city. Since this comes from
Protagoras, the commentators of Plato pronounce it to be miserable
morality; but it coincides, almost to the letter, with that which
Isokratês describes himself as teaching, a generation afterwards,
and substantially even with that which Xenophon represents Sokratês
as teaching; nor is it easy to set forth, in a few words, a larger
scheme of practical duty.[599] And if the measure of practical
duty, which Protagoras devoted himself to teach, was thus serious
and extensive, even the fraction of theory assigned to him in his
harangue, includes some points better than that of Plato himself. For
Plato seems to have conceived the ethical end, to each individual,
as comprising nothing more than his own permanent happiness and
moral health; and in this very dialogue, he introduces Sokratês
as maintaining virtue to consist only in a right calculation of a
man’s own personal happiness and misery. But here we find Protagoras
speaking in a way which implies a larger, and, in my opinion, a
juster, appreciation of the ethical end, as including not only
reference to a man’s own happiness, but also obligations towards
the happiness of others. Without at all agreeing in the harsh terms
of censure which various critics pronounce upon that theory which
Sokratês is made to set forth in the Platonic Protagoras, I consider
his conception of the ethical end essentially narrow and imperfect,
not capable of being made to serve as basis for deduction of the best
ethical precepts. Yet such is the prejudice with which the history
of the sophists has been written, that the commentators on Plato
accuse the sophists of having originated what they ignorantly term,
“the base theory of utility,” here propounded by Sokratês himself;
complimenting the latter on having set forth those larger views which
in this dialogue belong only to Protagoras.[600]

  [599] Protagoras says: Τὸ δὲ μάθημά ἐστιν, εὐβουλία περὶ τε τῶν
  οἰκείων ὅπως ἂν ἄριστα τὴν αὑτοῦ οἰκίαν διοικοῖ, καὶ περὶ τῶν
  τῆς πόλεως, ὅπως τὰ τῆς πόλεως δυνατώτατος εἴη καὶ πράττειν καὶ
  λέγειν. (Plato, Protagoras, c. 9, p. 318, E.)

  A similar description of the moral teaching of Protagoras and the
  other sophists, yet comprising a still larger range of duties,
  towards parents, friends, and fellow-citizens in their private
  capacities, is given in Plato, Meno. p. 91, B, E.

  Isokratês describes the education which he wished to convey,
  almost in the same words: Τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα μανθάνοντας καὶ
  μελετῶντας ἐξ ὧν καὶ τὸν ἴδιον οἶκον καὶ τὰ κοινὰ τὰ τῆς πόλεως
  καλῶς διοικήσουσιν, ὧνπερ ἕνεκα καὶ πονητέον καὶ φιλοσοφητέον καὶ
  πάντα πρακτέον ἐστί (Or. xv, De Permutat. s. 304; compare 289).

  Xenophon also describes, almost in the same words, the teaching
  of Sokratês. Kriton and others sought the society of Sokratês:
  οὐκ ἵνα δημηγορικοὶ ἢ δικανικοὶ γένοιντο, ἀλλ᾽ ἵνα καλοί τε
  κἀγαθοὶ γενόμενοι, καὶ οἴκῳ καὶ οἰκέταις καὶ οἰκείοις καὶ φίλοις
  καὶ πόλει καὶ πολίταις δύναιντο καλῶς χρῆσθαι (Memor. i, 2,
  48). Again, i, 2, 64: Φανερὸς ἦν Σωκράτης τῶν συνόντων τοὺς
  πονηρὰς ἐπιθυμίας ἔχοντας, τούτων μὲν παύων, ~τῆς δὲ καλλίστης
  καὶ μεγαλοπρεπεστάτης ἀρετῆς, ᾗ πόλεις τε καὶ οἴκοι εὖ οἰκοῦσι~,
  προτρέπων ἐπιθυμεῖν. Compare also i