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Title: A Manual of Ancient History
Author: Thalheimer, M. E.
Language: English
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                                A MANUAL
                            ANCIENT HISTORY.

                            M. E. THALHEIMER,


                        VAN ANTWERP, BRAGG & CO.,

                           137 WALNUT STREET,

                             28 BOND STREET,
                                NEW YORK.


    _Eclectic History of the United States._
    _History of England._
    _General History._
    _Ancient History._
    _Eastern Empires (separate)._
    _History of Greece (separate)._
    _History of Rome (separate)._
    _Mediæval and Modern History._

       Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1872, by
                          WILSON, HINKLE & CO.,
    In the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, D. C.

                             ECLECTIC PRESS:
                        VAN ANTWERP, BRAGG & CO.,


Several causes have lately augmented both the means and the motives for
a more thorough study of History. Modern criticism, no longer accepting
primitive traditions, venal eulogiums, partisan pamphlets, and highly
wrought romances as equal and trustworthy evidence, merely because of
their age, is teaching us to sift the testimony of ancient authors, to
ascertain the sources and relative value of their information, and to
discern those special aims which may determine the light in which their
works should be viewed. The geographical surveys of recent travelers have
thrown a flood of new light upon ancient events; and, above all, the
inscriptions discovered and deciphered within half a century, have set
before us the great actors of old times, speaking in their own persons
from the walls of palaces and tombs.

Nor is the new knowledge of little value. If we look familiarly into
the daily life of our fellow-men thousands of years ago, it is to find
them toiling at the same problems which perplex us; suffering the same
conflict of passion and principle; failing, it may be, for our warning,
or winning for our encouragement; in any case, reaching results which
ought to prevent our repeating their mistakes. The national questions
which fill our newspapers were discussed long ago in the Grove, the
Agora, and the Forum; the relative advantages of government by the many
and the few, were wrought out to a demonstration in the states and
colonies of Greece; and no man whose vote, no woman whose influence,
may sway in ever so small a degree the destinies of our Republic, can
afford to be ignorant of what has already been so wisely and fully
accomplished. Present tasks can only be clearly seen and worthily
performed in the light of long experience; and that liberal acquaintance
with History which, under a monarchical government, might safely be left
as an ornament and privilege to the few, is here the duty of the many.

The present work aims merely to afford a brief though accurate outline of
the results of the labors of NIEBUHR, BUNSEN, ARNOLD, MOMMSEN, RAWLINSON,
and others—results which have never, so far as we know, been embraced
in any American school-book, but which within a few years have greatly
increased the treasures of historical literature. While it may have
been impossible, within our limits, to reproduce the full and life-like
outlines in which they have portrayed the characters of ancient times, we
have sought, with their aid, at least to ascertain the limits of fact and
fable. With but few exceptions, and those clearly stated as such, we have
introduced no narrative which can reasonably be doubted.

The writer is more confident of justice of aim than of completeness of
attainment. No one can so acutely feel the imperfections of a work like
this, as the one who has labored at every point to avoid or to remove
them; to compress the greatest amount of truth into the fewest words, and
while reducing the scale, to preserve a just proportion in the details.
To hundreds of former pupils, who have never been forgotten in this
labor of love, and to the kind judgment of fellow-teachers—some of whom
well know that effort has not been spared, even where ability may have
failed—this Manual is respectfully submitted.

                                          BROOKLYN, N. Y., _April, 1872_.




  Sources of History.                                                 9.

  Dispersion of Races; Periods and Divisions of History.             10.

  Auxiliary Sciences: Chronology and Geography.                      11.

                                 BOOK I.

       _Asiatic and African Nations, from the Dispersion at Babel
                   to the Rise of the Persian Empire._

                      PART I.—THE ASIATIC NATIONS.

  View of the Geography of Asia.                                     13.

  History of the Chaldæan Monarchy.                                  17.
             The Assyrian Monarchy.                                  18.
             The Median Monarchy.                                    22.
             The Babylonian Monarchy.                                24.
             Kingdoms of Asia Minor.                                 29.
             Phœnicia.                                               30.
             Syria.                                                  33.
             Judæa.                                                  34.
                 (_a_) Theocracy.                                    35.
                 (_b_) United Monarchy.                              36.
                 (_c_) The Kingdom of Israel.                        39.
                 (_d_) The Kingdom of Judah.                         42.

                      PART II.—THE AFRICAN NATIONS.

  Geographical Outline of Africa.                                    48.

  History of Egypt.                                                  50.
      (_a_) The Old Empire.                                          51.
      (_b_) The Shepherd Kings.                                      53.
      (_c_) The New Empire.                                          55.

  Religion and Ranks in Egypt.                                       61.

  History of Carthage.                                               66.

                                BOOK II.

   _The Persian Empire, from the Rise of Cyrus to the Fall of Darius._

  Career of Cyrus.                                                   73.

  Reign of Cambyses.                                                 76.

  Organization of the Empire by Darius I.                            79.

  Invasions of Europe under Darius.                                  83.

  The Behistûn Inscription.                                          87.

  Invasion of Greece by Xerxes.                                      88.

  Reign of Artaxerxes I. (_Longimanus_)                              92.
           Xerxes II.                                                94.
           Sogdianus; Darius II.                                     95.
           Artaxerxes II. (_Mnemon_).                                96.
           Artaxerxes III.; Arses.                                   98.
           Darius III. (_Codomannus_).                               99.

                                BOOK III.

     _Grecian States and Colonies, from their Earliest Period to the
                   Accession of Alexander the Great._

  Geographical Outline of Greece.                                   105.

  History of Greece.                                                107.

                              FIRST PERIOD.

  Traditional and Fabulous History, from the Earliest Times to
      the Dorian Migrations.                                        107.

  Greek Religion.                                                   110.

                             SECOND PERIOD.

  Authentic History, from the Dorian Conquest of the Peloponnesus
      to the Persian Wars.                                          116.

  Sparta.                                                           118.

  Athens.                                                           124.

  Grecian Colonies.                                                 130.

                              THIRD PERIOD.

  From the Beginning of the Persian Wars to the Macedonian
      Supremacy.                                                    134.

  Invasions by Mardonius and Datis.                                 134.

  The Battle of Marathon.                                           135.

  Invasion by Xerxes; Battle of Thermopylæ.                    138, 139.

  Battle of Salamis, and Retreat of Xerxes.                         141.

  Battles of Platæa and Mycale.                                     144.

  Hellenic League, and Greatness of Athens.                         145.

  The Peloponnesian War.                                            161.

  The Sicilian Expedition.                                          169.

  Decline of Athens.                                                175.

  Battle of Ægos-Potami, and Fall of Athens.                        179.

  Spartan Supremacy. The Thirty Tyrants.                            181.

  The Corinthian War.                                               184.

  Peace of Antalcidas.                                              187.

  Theban Supremacy.                                                 188.

  Theban Invasions of the Peloponnesus.                         192-195.

  The Social War.                                                   195.

  The Sacred War.                                                   196.

  Battle of Chæronea. Supremacy of Philip of Macedon.               197.

                                BOOK IV.

     _History of the Macedonian Empire, and the Kingdoms formed from
                it, until their Conquest by the Romans._

                              FIRST PERIOD.

  From the Rise of the Monarchy to the Death of Alexander the
     Great.                                                         201.

                             SECOND PERIOD.

  From the Death of Alexander to the Battle of Ipsus.               206.

                              THIRD PERIOD.

  History of the Several Kingdoms into which Alexander’s Empire
      was Divided.                                                  209.

  Syrian Kingdom of the Seleucidæ.                                  209.

  Egypt under the Ptolemies.                                        216.

  Macedonia and Greece.                                             222.

  Thrace; Pergamus.                                                 230.

  Bithynia.                                                         231.

  Pontus.                                                           232.

  Cappadocia; Armenia.                                              234.

  Bactria; Parthia.                                                 235.

  Judæa, under Egypt and Syria.                                     237.
         Under the Maccabees.                                       238.
         Under the Herods.                                          240.

                                 BOOK V.

      _History of Rome, from the Earliest Times to the Fall of the
                            Western Empire._

  Geographical Sketch of Italy.                                     245.

        I. HISTORY OF THE ROMAN KINGDOM.                            248.

  Religion of Rome.                                                 255.

       II. HISTORY OF THE ROMAN REPUBLIC.                           260.

  FIRST PERIOD. Growth of the Constitution.                         260.

  Laws of the Twelve Tables.                                        265.

  Capture of Rome by the Gauls.                                     269.

  SECOND PERIOD. Wars for the Possession of Italy.                  274.

  First Samnite War.                                                274.

  Latin War, and Battle of Vesuvius.                                275.

  Second Samnite War.                                               276.

  Third War with Samnites and the Italian League.                   278.

  War with Pyrrhus, King of Epirus.                                 279.

  Colonies and Roads.                                               282.

  THIRD PERIOD. Foreign Wars.                                       283.

  First Punic War.                                                  284.

  War with the Gauls.                                               286.

  Second Punic War, and Invasion of Italy by Hannibal.              287.

  Battles of the Trebia, Lake Thrasymene, Cannæ.               288, 289.

  Wars with Antiochus the Great; with Spain, Liguria, Corsica,
      Sardinia, and Macedon.                                        293.

  Third Punic War.                                                  294.

  Subjugation of the Spanish Peninsula.                             295.

  FOURTH PERIOD. Internal Commotions and Civil Wars.                296.

  Reforms Proposed by the Gracchi.                                  297.

  Jugurthine Wars, and Rise of Marius.                              299.

  Defeat of the Teutones and Cimbri.                                302.

  Servile Wars in Sicily.                                           303.

  The Social War.                                                   304.

  Exile and Seventh Consulship of Marius.                           305.

  Dictatorship of Sulla.                                            306.

  Sertorius in Spain.                                               307.

  War of the Gladiators.                                            308.

  Extraordinary Power of Pompey.                                    311.

  Conspiracy of Catiline.                                           312.

  Triumvirate of Pompey, Cæsar, and Crassus.                        314.

  Conquests of Cæsar in Gaul, Britain, and Germany.                 315.

  Civil War; Pompey defeated at Pharsalia.                          319.

  Cæsar Victor at Thapsus, and Master of Rome.                      321.

  Murder of Cæsar in the Senate-house.                              323.

  Triumvirate of Antony, Cæsar Octavianus, and Lepidus.             324.

  Antony defeated at Actium; Octavianus becomes Augustus.           325.

      III. HISTORY OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE.                             326.

                              FIRST PERIOD.

  Reigns of Augustus, 326; Tiberius, 328; Caligula, Claudius,
      330; Nero, 331; Galba, Otho, Vitellius, 333; Vespasian, Titus,
      Domitian, 334; Nerva, Trajan, 335; Hadrian, T. Antoninus Pius,
      M. Aurelius Antoninus, 336; Commodus, 337.

                             SECOND PERIOD.

  Reigns of Pertinax, Didius Julianus, 338; Severus, Caracalla,
      Macrinus, Elagabalus, 339; Alexander Severus, 340; Maximin, the
      Gordians, Pupienus and Balbinus, Gordian the Younger, Philip,
      Decius, 341; Gallus, Æmilian, Valerian, Gallienus and the
      “Thirty Tyrants,” 342; Aurelian, Tacitus, Florian, 343; Probus,
      Carus, Numerian, Carinus, 344.

                              THIRD PERIOD.

  Reigns of Diocletian and Maximian with two Cæsars, 345; of
      Constantine, Maximian, and Maxentius in the West—Galerius,
      Maximin, and Licinius in the East, 348; of Constantine alone,
      and the Reörganization of the Empire, 349; of Constantine II.,
      Constans, and Constantius II., 350; of Julian, Jovian, and
      Valentinian I., 352; of Valens, 353; of Gratian, Valentinian
      II., and Theodosius I., 354.

                             FOURTH PERIOD.

  Final Separation of the Eastern and Western Empires.              356.

  Reigns, in the West, of Honorius, 356; of Valentinian III.,
      358; of Maximus, 359; of Avitus, Marjorian, Libius Severus,
      Anthemius, Olybrius, Glycerius, and Julius Nepos, 360; of
      Romulus Augustulus, 361.


  I. The World as known to the Assyrians.                   facing   17.

  II. Empire of the Persians.                                 ”      97.

  III. Ancient Greece and the Ægean Sea.                      ”     113.

  IV. Empire of the Macedonians.                              ”     209.

  V. Italy, with the Eleven Regions of Augustus.              ”     257.

  VI. The Roman Empire.                                       ”     305.



=1.= The former inhabitants of our world are known to us by three kinds
of evidence: (1) Written Records; (2) Architectural Monuments; (3)
Fragmentary Remains.

=2.= Of these the first alone can be considered as true sources of
History, though the latter afford its most interesting and valuable
illustrations. Several races of men have disappeared from the globe,
leaving no records inscribed either upon stone or parchment. Their
existence and character can only be inferred from fragments of their
weapons, ornaments, and household utensils found in their tombs or
among the ruins of their habitations. Such were the Lake-dwellers of
Switzerland, and the unknown authors of the shell-mounds of Denmark and
India, the tumuli of Britain, and the earthworks of the Mississippi

=3.= The magnificent temples and palaces of Egypt, Assyria, and India
have only afforded materials of history since the patient diligence of
oriental scholars has succeeded in deciphering the inscriptions which
they bear. Within a few years they have added immeasurably to our
knowledge of primeval times, and explained in a wonderful manner the
brief allusions of the Bible.

=4.= The oldest existing books are the Hebrew Scriptures, which alone[1]
of ancient writings describe the preparation of the earth for the abode
of man; his creation and primeval innocence; the entrance of Sin into
the world, and the promise of Redemption; the first probation, and the
almost total destruction of the human race by a flood; the vain attempt
of Noah’s descendants to avert similar punishment in future by building a
“city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven,” and their consequent
dispersion. The Bible lays the foundation of all subsequent history by
sketching the division of the human race into its three great families,
and describing their earliest migrations.

=5.= The family of SHEM, which was appointed to guard the true primeval
faith, remained near the original home in south-western Asia. Of the
descendants of HAM, a part settled in the valleys of the Tigris and
Euphrates, and built the great cities of Nineveh and Babylon; while the
rest spread along the eastern and southern shores of the Mediterranean,
and became the founders of the Egyptian Empire. The children of JAPHETH
constituted the Indo-Germanic, or Aryan race, which was divided into two
great branches. One, moving eastward, settled the table-lands of Iran
and the fertile valleys of northern India; the other, traveling westward
along the Euxine and Propontis, occupied the islands of the Ægean Sea,
and the peninsulas of Greece and Italy. By successive migrations they
overspread all Europe.

=6.= Our First Book treats of the Hamitic and Semitic empires. With
the rise of the Medo-Persian monarchy, the Aryan race came upon the
scene, and it has ever since occupied the largest place in History.
The _Hamitic_ nations were distinguished by their material grandeur,
as exemplified by the enormous masses of stone employed in their
architecture, and even in their sculpture; the _Semitic_, by their
religious enthusiasm; the _Indo-Germanic_, by their intellectual
activity, as exhibited in the highest forms of art, literature, and
political organization.

=7.= History is divided into three great portions or periods: Ancient,
Mediæval, and Modern.

Ancient History narrates the succession of empires which ruled Asia,
Africa, and Europe, until the Roman dominion in Italy was overthrown by
northern barbarians, A. D. 476.

Mediæval History begins with the establishment of a German kingdom in
Gaul, and ends with the close of the fifteenth century, when the revival
of ancient learning, the multiplication of printed books, and the
expansion of ideas by the discovery of a new continent, occasioned great
mental activity, and led to the Modern Era, in which we live.

=8.= Ancient History may be divided into five books:

    I. History of the Asiatic and African nations, from the
    earliest times to the foundation of the Persian Empire, B. C.

    II. History of the Persian Empire, from the accession of Cyrus
    the Great to the death of Darius Codomannus, B. C. 558-330.

    III. History of the States and Colonies of Greece, from their
    earliest period to the accession of Alexander of Macedon, B. C.

    IV. History of the Macedonian Empire, and the kingdoms formed
    from it, until their conquest by the Romans.

    V. History of Rome from its foundation to the fall of the
    Western Empire, A. D. 476.

=9.= In the study of events, the two circumstances of time and place
constantly demand our attention. Accordingly, CHRONOLOGY and GEOGRAPHY
have been called the two eyes of History. It is only by the use of both
that we can gain a complete and life-like impression of events.

=10.= For the want of the former, a large portion of the life of man upon
the globe can be but imperfectly known. There is no detailed record of
the ages that preceded the Deluge and Dispersion; and even after those
great crises, long periods are covered only by vague traditions. We have
no complete chronology for the Hebrews before the building of Solomon’s
Temple, B. C. 1004; for the Babylonians before Nabonassar, B. C. 748; or
for the Greeks before the first Olympiad, B. C. 776. When its system of
computation was settled, each nation selected its own era from which to
date events; but we reduce all to our common reckoning of time before and
after the Birth of Christ.

=11.= The study of GEOGRAPHY is more intimately connected with that of
History than may at first appear. The growth and character of nations are
greatly influenced, if not determined, by soil and climate, the position
of mountains, and the course of rivers.

    NOTE.—It is recommended to Teachers that the Geographical
    sections which precede Parts 1 and 2 of Book I, Book III, and
    Book V, be read aloud in the class, each pupil having his or
    her eye upon the map, and pronouncing the name of each locality
    mentioned, _only when it is found_. By this means the names
    will become familiar, and questions upon the peculiarities of
    each country can be afterward combined with the lessons. Many
    details necessarily omitted from maps I., II., IV., and VI.,
    will be found on maps III. and V.

    Pupils are strongly urged to study History with the map before
    them; if possible, even a larger and fuller map than can be
    given in this book. Any little effort which this may cost, will
    be more than repaid in the ease with which the lesson will be
    remembered, when the places where events have occurred are
    clearly in the mind.



B. C. (ABOUT) 2700-558.



=12.= ASIA, the largest division of the Eastern Hemisphere, possesses
the greatest variety of soil, climate, and products. Its central and
principal portion is a vast table-land, surrounded by the highest
mountain chains in the world, on whose northern, eastern, and southern
inclinations great rivers have their rise. Of these, the best known to
the ancients were the Tigris and Euphra´tes, the Indus, Etyman´der,
Arius, Oxus, Jaxar´tes, and Jordan.

=13.= NORTHERN ASIA, north of the great table-land and the Altai range,
is a low, grassy plain, destitute of trees, and unproductive, but
intersected by many rivers abounding in fish. It was known to the Greeks
under the general name of Scythia. From the most ancient times to the
present, it has been inhabited by wandering tribes, who subsisted mainly
upon the milk and flesh of their animals.

=14.= CENTRAL ASIA, lying between the Altai on the north, and the Elburz,
Hindu Kûsh, and Himala´ya Mountains on the south, has little connection
with ancient History. Three countries in its western part are of some
importance: _Choras´mia_, between the Caspian and the Sea of Aral;
_Sogdia´na_ to the east, and _Bac´tria_ to the south of that province.
The modern Sam´arcand is Maracan´da, the ancient capital of Sogdiana.
Bactra, now Balkh, was probably the first great city of the Aryan race.

=15.= SOUTHERN ASIA may be divided into eastern and western sections by
the Indus River. The eastern portion was scarcely known to the Persians,
Greeks, and Romans; and materials are yet lacking for its authentic
history: the western, on the contrary, was the scene of the earliest and
most important events.

=16.= SOUTH-WESTERN ASIA may be considered in three portions: (1) Asia
Minor, or the peninsula of Anato´lia; (2) The table-land eastward to the
Indus, including the mountains of Arme´nia; (3) The lowland south of this
plateau, extending from the base of the mountains to the Erythræ´an Sea.

=17.= ASIA MINOR, in the earliest period, contained the following
countries: Phry´gia and Cappado´cia, on its central table-land, divided
from each other by the river Ha´lys; Bithy´nia and Paphlago´nia on the
coast of the Euxine; Mysia, Lydia, and Caria, on that of the Æge´an;
Lycia, Pamphyl´ia, and Cilic´ia, on the borders of the Mediterranean.
It possessed many important islands: Proconne´sus, in the Propon´tis;
Ten´edos, Les´bos, Chi´os, Sa´mos, and Rhodes, in the Ægean; and Cy´prus,
in the Levant´.

=18.= _Phrygia_ was a grazing country, celebrated from the earliest times
for its breed of sheep, whose fleece was of wonderful fineness, and black
as the plumage of the raven. The Ango´ra goat and the rabbit of the same
region were likewise famed for the fineness of their hair. _Cappadocia_
was inhabited by the White Syrians, so called because they were of fairer
complexion than those of the south. The richest portion of Asia Minor lay
upon the coast of the Ægean; and of the three provinces, _Lydia_, the
central, was most distinguished for wealth, elegance, and luxury. The
Lydians were the first who coined money. The River Pacto´lus brought from
the recesses of Mt. Tmolus a rich supply of gold, which was washed from
its sands in the streets of Sardis, the capital.

=19.= The Grecian colonies, which, at a later period, covered the coasts
of Asia Minor, will be found described in Book III.[2] This peninsula
was the field of many wars between the nations of Europe and Asia. From
its intermediate position, it was always the prize of the conqueror;
and after the earliest period of history, it was never occupied by any
kingdom of great extent or of long duration.

=20.= The highlands of south-western Asia contained seventeen countries,
of which only the most important will here be named. _Arme´nia_ has been
called the Switzerland of Western Asia. Its highest mountain is Ar´arat,
17,000 feet above the sea-level. From this elevated region the Tigris
and Euphrates take their course to the Persian Gulf; the Halys to the
Euxine; the Arax´es and the Cyrus to the Caspian Sea. _Colchis_ lay east
of the Euxine, upon one of the great highways of ancient traffic. It was
celebrated, in very early times, for its trade in linen. _Media_ was
a mountainous region, extending from the Araxes to the Caspian Gates.
_Persia_ lay between Media and the Persian Gulf. Its southern portion is
a sandy plain, rendered almost desert in summer by a hot, pestilential
wind from the Steppes of Kerman. Farther from the sea, the country rises
into terraces, covered with rich and well-watered pastures, and abounding
in pleasant fruits. The climate of this region is delightful; but it soon
changes, toward the north, into that of a sterile mountain tract, chilled
by snows, which cover the peaks even in summer, and affording only a
scanty pasturage to flocks of sheep.

=21.= The lowland plain of south-western Asia comprised Syr´ia, Arabia,
Assyr´ia, Susia´na, and Babylo´nia. _Syria_ occupied the whole eastern
coast of the Mediterranean, and consisted of three distinct parts: (1)
Syria Proper had for its chief river the Oron´tes, which flowed between
the parallel mountain ranges of Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon. (2) Phœni´cia
comprised the narrow strip of coast between Lebanon and the sea. (3)
Palestine, south of Phœnicia, had for its river the Jordan, and for its
principal mountains Hermon and Carmel. Syria becomes less fertile as it
recedes from the mountains, and merges at last into a desert, with no
traces of cities or of settled habitations. Yet even this sandy waste
is varied by a few fertile spots. The site of Palmy´ra, “Queen of the
Desert,” may be discerned even now in her magnificent ruins. In more
prosperous days she afforded entertainment to caravans on their way from
India to the coast of the Mediterranean.

=22.= _Arabia_ is a vast extent of country south and east of Syria, lying
between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Though more than one-fourth
the size of Europe, it was of little importance in ancient times; for
its usually rocky or sandy soil sustained few inhabitants, and afforded
little material for commerce.

_Assyria Proper_ lay east of the Tigris and west of the Median Mountains.
The great empire which bore that name varied in extent under different
monarchs, and the name of Assyria is often applied to all the territory
between the Zagros Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea. The region
between the two great rivers and north of Babylonia was called by the
Greeks _Mesopota´mia_. It differed from the more southerly province
in being richly wooded: the forests near the Euphrates more than once
supplied materials for a fleet to Roman emperors in later times.

_Susiana_ lay along the Tigris, south-east of Assyria. It was crossed by
numerous rivers, and was very rich in grain. Its only important city was
Susa, its capital.

=23.= _Babylonia_ comprised the great alluvial plain between the lower
waters of the Tigris and Euphrates, and sometimes included the country
south of the latter river, on the borders of Arabia Deserta, which is
better known as _Chaldæ´a_. When the snows melt upon the mountains of
Armenia, both rivers, but especially the Euphrates, become suddenly
swollen, and tend to overflow their banks. In fighting against this
aggression of Nature, the Babylonians early developed that energy of mind
which made their country the first abode of Eastern civilization. The
net-work of canals which covered the country served the three purposes
of internal traffic, defense, and irrigation. Immense lakes were dug or
enlarged for the preservation of surplus waters; and the earth thrown
out of these excavations formed dykes along the banks of the rivers. The
fertile plain, so thoroughly watered, produced enormous quantities of
grain, the farmer being rewarded with never less than two hundred fold
the seed sown, and in favorable seasons, with three hundred fold. We
shall not be surprised, therefore, to learn that Babylonia was, from the
earliest times, the seat of populous cities, crowded with the products of
human industry, and that its people long constituted the leading state
of Western Asia. Though the plain of Babylonia afforded neither wood nor
stone for building, Nature had provided for human habitations a supply of
excellent clay for brick, and wells of bitumen which served for mortar.
(Gen. xi: 3.)

=24.= SOUTH-EASTERN ASIA. _India_ extends from the Indus eastward to the
boundaries of China, being bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean,
and on the north by the Himala´yas, from whose snowy heights many great
rivers descend to fertilize the plains. The richness of the soil fits it
for the abode of a swarming population; and roads, temples, and other
structures, dating from a very remote period, attest the skill and
industry of the people. Herod´otus[3] names them as the greatest and
wealthiest of nations, though he had not seen them. It was only in the
fifth century before Christ that the Indian peninsulas became distinctly
known to the Greeks; and it was two centuries later, in the invasion
by Alexander, that the remarkable features of the country were first
described to the Western world by eye-witnesses. “Wool-bearing trees”
were mentioned as a most peculiar production; for cotton, as well as
sugar, was first produced in India. The pearl fisheries, however, of
the eastern coast, the diamonds of Golcon´da, the rubies of Mysore´, as
well as the abundant gold of the river-beds, the aromatic woods of the
forests, and the fine fabrics of cotton, silk, and wool, for which India
was already famous,[4] drew the merchants of Phœnicia at a much earlier
period to the banks of the Indus.

=25.= _China_ was even less known than India to the inhabitants of the
ancient world. The province of Se´rica, which formed the north-western
corner of what is now the Chinese Empire, was visited, however, by
Babylonian and Phœnician merchants, for its most peculiar product, silk.
The extreme reserve of the Chinese in their dealings with foreigners, may
already be observed in the account given by Herodotus of their trade with
the neighboring Scythians. The Sericans deposited their bales of wool or
silk in a solitary building called the Stone Tower. The merchants then
approached, deposited beside the goods a sum which they were willing to
pay, and retired out of sight. The Sericans returned, and, if satisfied
with the bargain, took away the money, leaving the goods; but if they
considered the payment insufficient, they took away the goods and left
the money. The Chinese have always been remarkable for their patient and
thorough tillage of the soil. Chin-nong, their fourth emperor, invented
the plow; and for thousands of years custom required each monarch,
among the ceremonies of his coronation, to guide a plow around a field,
thus paying due honor to agriculture, as the art most essential to the
civilization, or, rather, to the very existence of a state.



=26.= After the dispersion of other descendants of Noah from Babel,[5]
Nimrod, grandson of Ham, remained near the scene of their discomfiture,
and established a kingdom south of the Euphrates, at the head of the
Persian Gulf. The unfinished tower was converted into a temple, other
buildings sprang from the clay of the plain, and thus Nimrod became
the founder of Babylon, though its grandeur and magnificent adornments
date from a later period. Nimrod owed his supremacy to the personal
strength and prowess which distinguished him as a “mighty hunter before
the Lord.” In the early years after the Flood, it is probable that wild
beasts multiplied so as to threaten the extinction of the human race,
and the chief of men in the gratitude and allegiance of his fellows
was he who reduced their numbers. Nimrod founded not only Babylon, but
E´rech, or O´rchoë, Ac´cad, and Cal´neh. The Chaldæans continued to be
notable builders; and vast structures of brick cemented with bitumen,
each brick bearing the monarch’s or the architect’s name, still attest,
though in ruins, their enterprise and skill. They manufactured, also,
delicate fabrics of wool, and possessed the arts of working in metals and
engraving on gems in very high perfection. Astronomy began to be studied
in very early times, and the observations were carefully recorded. The
name of Chaldæan became equivalent to that of seer or philosopher.

=27.= The names of fifteen or sixteen kings have been deciphered upon
the earliest monuments of the country, but we possess no records of their
reigns. It is sufficient to remember the dynasties, or royal families,
which, according to Bero´sus,[6] ruled in Chaldæa from about two thousand
years before Christ to the beginning of connected chronology.

1. A Chaldæan Dynasty, from about 2000 to 1543 B. C. The only known kings
are Nimrod and Chedorlao´mer.

2. An Arabian Dynasty, from about 1543 to 1298 B. C.

3. A Dynasty of forty-five kings, probably Assyrian, from 1298 to 772 B.

4. The Reign of Pul, from 772 to 747 B. C.

During the first and last of these periods, the country was flourishing
and free; during the second, it seems to have been subject to its
neighbors in the south-west; and, during the third, it was absorbed into
the great Assyrian Empire, as a tributary kingdom, if not merely as a


=28.= At a very early period a kingdom was established upon the Tigris,
which expanded later into a vast empire. Of its earliest records only the
names of three or four kings remain to us; but the quadrangular mounds
which cover the sites of cities and palaces, and the rude sculptures
found by excavation upon their walls, show the industry of a large and
luxurious population. The history of Assyria may be divided into three

    I. From unknown commencement of the monarchy to the Conquest of
    Babylon, about 1250 B. C.

    II. From Conquest of Babylon to Accession of Tiglath-pileser
    II, 745 B. C.

    III. From Accession of Tiglath-pileser to Fall of Nineveh, 625
    B. C.

[Sidenote: B. C. 1270.]

One king of the FIRST PERIOD, Shalmaneser I, is known to have made war
among the Armenian Mountains, and to have established cities in the
conquered territory.

[Sidenote: B. C. 1130.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 1100-909.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 886-858.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 858-823.]

=29.= SECOND PERIOD, B. C. 1250-745. About the middle of the thirteenth
century B. C., Tiglathi-nin conquered Babylon. A hundred and twenty years
later, a still greater monarch, Tiglath-pileser I, extended his conquests
eastward into the Persian mountains, and westward to the borders of
Syria. After the warlike reign of his son, Assyria was probably weakened
and depressed for two hundred years, since no records have been found.
From the year 909 B. C., the chronology becomes exact, and the materials
for history abundant. As´shur-nazir-pal I carried on wars in Persia,
Babylonia, Armenia, and Syria, and captured the principal Phœnician
towns. He built a great palace at Ca´lah, which he made his capital. His
son, Shalmane´ser II, continued his father’s conquests, and made war in
Lower Syria against Benha´dad, Haza´el, and A´hab.

=30.= B. C. 810-781. I´va-lush (Hu-likh-khus IV) extended his empire both
eastward and westward in twenty-six campaigns. He married Sam´mura´mit
(Semi´ramis), heiress of Babylonia, and exercised, either in her right
or by conquest, royal authority over that country. No name is more
celebrated in Oriental history than that of Semiramis; but it is probable
that most of the wonderful works ascribed to her are purely fabulous. The
importance of the real Sammuramit, who is the only princess mentioned in
Assyrian annals, perhaps gave rise to fanciful legends concerning a queen
who, ruling in her own right, conquered Egypt and part of Ethiopia, and
invaded India with an army of more than a million of men. This mythical
heroine ended her career by flying away in the form of a dove. It became
customary to ascribe all buildings and other public works whose origin
was unknown, to Semiramis; the date of her reign was fixed at about
2200 B. C.; and she was said to have been the wife of Ninus, an equally
mythical person, the reputed founder of Nineveh.

[Sidenote: B. C. 771-753.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 753-745.]

=31.= Asshur-danin-il II was less warlike than his ancestors. The time of
his reign is ascertained by an eclipse of the sun, which the inscriptions
place in his ninth year, and which astronomers know to have occurred June
15, 763 B. C. After Asshur-likh-khus, the following king, the dynasty was
ended with a revolution. Nabonas´sar, of Babylon, not only made himself
independent, but gained a brief supremacy over Assyria. The Assyrians,
during the Second Period, made great advances in literature and arts.
The annals of each reign were either cut in stone or impressed upon a
duplicate series of bricks, to guard against destruction either by fire
or water. If fire destroyed the burnt bricks, it would only harden the
dried; and if the latter were dissolved by water, the former would remain
uninjured. Engraved columns were erected in all the countries under
Assyrian rule.

[Sidenote: B. C. 745-727.]

=32.= THIRD PERIOD, B. C. 745-625. Tiglath-pileser II was the founder
of the New or Lower Assyrian Empire, which he established by active
and successful warfare. He conquered Damascus, Samaria, Tyre, the
Philistines, and the Arabians of the Sinaitic peninsula; carried away
captives from the eastern and northern tribes of Israel, and took tribute
from the king of Judah. (2 Kings xv: 29; xvi: 7-9.) Shalmaneser IV
conquered Phœnicia, but was defeated in a naval assault upon Tyre. His
successor, Sargon, took Samaria, which had revolted, and carried its
people captive to his newly conquered provinces of Media and Gauzanitis.
He filled their places with Babylonians, whose king, Merodach-baladan, he
had captured, B. C. 709. An interesting inscription of Sargon relates his
reception of tribute from seven kings of Cyprus, “who have fixed their
abode in the middle of the sea of the setting sun.” The city and palace
of Khor´sabad´ were entirely the work of Sargon. The palace was covered
with sculptures within and without; it was ornamented with enameled
bricks, arranged in elegant and tasteful patterns, and was approached
by noble flights of steps through splendid porticos. In this “palace of
incomparable splendor, which he had built for the abode of his royalty,”
are found Sargon’s own descriptions of the glories of his reign. “I
imposed tribute on Pharaoh, of Egypt; on Tsamsi, Queen of Arabia; on
Ithamar, the Sabæan, in gold, spices, horses, and camels.” Among the
spoils of the Babylonian king, he enumerates his golden tiara, scepter,
throne and parasol, and silver chariot. In the old age of Sargon,
Merodach-baladan recovered his throne, and the Assyrian king was murdered
in a conspiracy.

[Sidenote: B. C. 705-680.]

=33.= His son, Sennach´erib, reëstablished Assyrian power at the eastern
and western extremities of his empire. He defeated Merodach-baladen,
and placed first an Assyrian viceroy, and afterward his own son,
Assarana´dius, upon the Babylonian throne. He quelled a revolt of the
Phœnician cities, and extorted tribute from most of the kings in Syria.
He gained a great battle at El´tekeh, in Palestine, against the kings of
Egypt and Ethiopia, and captured all the “fenced cities of Judah.” (2
Kings xviii: 13.) In a second expedition against Palestine and Egypt,
185,000 of his soldiers were destroyed in a single night, near Pelusium,
as a judgment for his impious boasting. (2 Kings xix: 35, 36.) On his
return to Nineveh, two of his sons conspired against him and slew him,
and E´sarhad´don, another son, obtained the crown. His reign (B. C.
680-667) was signalized by many conquests. He defeated Tir´hakeh, king
of Egypt, and broke up his kingdom into petty states. He completed the
colonization of Samaria with people from Babylonia, Susiana, and Persia.
His royal residence was alternately at Nineveh and Babylon.

[Sidenote: B. C. 667-647.]

=34.= Under As´shur-ba´ni-pal, son of Esarhaddon, Assyria attained her
greatest power and glory. He reconquered Egypt, which had rallied under
Tirhakeh, overran Asia Minor, and imposed a tribute upon Gyges, king of
Lydia. He subdued most of Armenia, reduced Susiana to a mere province of
Babylonia, and exacted obedience from many Arabian tribes. He built the
grandest of all the Assyrian palaces, cultivated music and the arts, and
established a sort of royal library at Nineveh.


[Sidenote: B. C. 647-625.]

=35.= The reign of his son, Asshur-emid-ilin, called Saracus by the
Greeks, was overwhelmed with disasters. A horde of barbarians, from the
plains of Scythia, invaded the empire, and before it could recover from
the shock, it was rent by a double revolt of Media on the north, and
Babylonia on the south. Nabopolassar, the Babylonian, had been general
of the armies of Saracus; but finding himself stronger than his master,
he made an alliance with Cyax´ares, king of the Medes, in concert with
whom he besieged and captured Nineveh. The Assyrian monarch perished in
the flames of his palace, and the two conquerors divided his dominions
between them. Thus ended the Assyrian Empire, B. C. 625.

=36.= The THIRD PERIOD was the Golden Age of Assyrian Art. The sculptured
marbles which have been brought from the palaces of Sargon, Sennacherib,
and Asshur-bani-pal, show a skill and genius in the carving which remind
us of the Greeks. A few may be seen in collections of colleges and other
learned societies in this country. The most magnificent specimens are
in the British Museum, the Louvre at Paris, and the Oriental Museum at
Berlin. During the same period the sciences of geography and astronomy
were cultivated with great diligence; studies in language and history
occupied multitudes of learned men; and modern scholars, as they decipher
the long-buried memorials, are filled with admiration of the mental
activity which characterized the times of the Lower Empire of Assyria.


For the First and more than half the Second Period, the names are
discontinuous and dates unknown. We begin, therefore, with the era of
ascertained chronology.

_Kings of the Second Period._

    Asshur-danin-il I       died       B. C. 909.
    Hu-likh-khus III       reigned       ”   909-889.
    Tiglathi-nin II           ”          ”   889-886.
    Asshur-nasir-pal I        ”          ”   886-858.
    Shalmaneser II            ”          ”   858-823.
    Shamas-iva                ”          ”   823-810.
    Hu-likh-khus IV           ”          ”   810-781.
    Shalmaneser III           ”          ”   781-771.
    Asshur-danin-il II        ”          ”   771-753.
    Asshur-likh-khus          ”          ”   753-745.

_Kings of the Third Period._

    Tiglath-pileser II, usurper,[7]    B. C. 745-727.
    Shalmaneser IV,                      ”   727-721.
    Sargon, usurper,                     ”   721-705.
    Sennacherib,                         ”   705-680.
    Esarhaddon,                          ”   680-667.
    Asshur-bani-pal,             about   ”   667-647.
    Asshur-emid-ilin,                    ”   647-625.


    A kingdom of mighty hunters and great builders is founded by
    Nimrod, B. C. 2000. Chaldæa becomes subject, first to Arabian,
    then to Assyrian invaders, but is made independent by Pul,
    B. C. 772. The Assyrian monarchy absorbs the Chaldæan, and
    extends itself from Syria to the Persian mountains. After two
    hundred years’ depression, its records become authentic B.
    C. 909. Iva-lush and Sammuramit reign jointly over greatly
    increased territories. The Lower Empire is established by
    Tiglath-pileser II, whose dominion reaches the Mediterranean.
    Sargon records many conquests in his palace at Khorsabad.
    Sennacherib recaptures Babylon and gains victories over Egypt
    and Palestine. The Assyrian Empire is increased by Esarhaddon,
    and culminates under Asshur-bani-pal, only to be overthrown in
    the next reign by a Scythian invasion and a revolt of Media and


=37.= Little is known of the Medes before the invasion of their country
by Shalmaneser II, B. C. 830, and its partial conquest by Sargon,[8]
in 710. They had some importance, however, in the earliest times after
the Deluge, for Berosus tells us that a Median dynasty governed Babylon
during that period. The country was doubtless divided among petty
chieftains, whose rivalries prevented its becoming great or famous in the
view of foreign nations.

In Babylonian names, Nebo, Merodach, Bel, and Nergal correspond to
Asshur, Sin, and Shamas in Assyrian. Thus, Abed-nego (for Nebo) is the
“Servant of Nebo;” Nebuchadnezzar means “Nebo protect my race,” or “Nebo
is the protector of landmarks;” Nabopolassar = “Nebo protect my son”—the
exact equivalent of Asshur-nasir-pal in the Assyrian Dynasty of the
Second Period.

=38.= About 740 B. C., according to Herodotus, the Medes revolted from
Assyria, and chose for their king Dei´oces, whose integrity as a judge
had marked him as fittest for supreme command. He built the city of
Ecbat´ana, which he fortified with seven concentric circles of stone,
the innermost being gilded so that its battlements shone like gold. Here
Deioces established a severely ceremonious etiquette, making up for his
want of hereditary rank by all the external tokens of the divinity that
“doth hedge a king.” No courtier was permitted to laugh in his presence,
or to approach him without the profoundest expressions of reverence.
Either his real dignity of character or these stately ceremonials had
such effect, that he enjoyed a prosperous reign of fifty-three years.
Though Deioces is described by Herodotus as King of the Medes, it is
probable that he was ruler only of a single tribe, and that a great part
of his story is merely imaginary.

=39.= The true history of the Median kingdom dates from B. C. 650,
when Phraor´tes was on the throne. This king, who is called the son of
Deioces, extended his authority over the Persians, and formed that close
connection of the Medo-Persian tribes which was never to be dissolved.
The supremacy was soon gained by the latter nation. The double kingdom
was seen by Daniel in his vision, under the form of a ram, one of whose
horns was higher than the other, and “the higher came up last.” (Daniel
viii: 3, 20.) Phraor´tes, reinforced by the Persians, made many conquests
in Upper Asia. He was killed in a war against the last king of Assyria,
B. C. 633.

=40.= Determined to avenge his father’s death, Cyaxares renewed the war
with Assyria. He was called off to resist a most formidable incursion
of barbarians from the north of the Caucasus. These Scythians became
masters of Western Asia, and their insolent dominion is said to have
lasted twenty-eight years. A band of the nomads were received into the
service of Cyaxares as huntsmen. According to Herodotus, they returned
one day empty-handed from the chase; and upon the king’s expressing his
displeasure, their ferocious temper burst all bounds. They served up to
him, instead of game, the flesh of one of the Median boys who had been
placed with them to learn their language and the use of the bow, and then
fled to the court of the King of Lydia. This circumstance led to a war
between Alyat´tes and Cyaxares, which continued five years without any
decisive result. It was terminated by an eclipse of the sun occurring
in the midst of a battle. The two kings hastened to make peace; and the
treaty, which fixed the boundary of their two empires at the River Halys,
was confirmed by the marriage of the son of Cyaxares with the daughter of
Alyattes. The Scythian oppressions were ended by a general massacre of
the barbarians, who, by a secretly concerted plan, had been invited to
banquets and made drunken with wine.

=41.= Cyaxares now resumed his plans against Assyria. In alliance with
Nabopolassar, of Babylon, he was able to capture Nineveh, overthrow the
empire, and render Media a leading power in Asia. The successful wars
of Cyaxares secured for himself and his son nearly half a century of
peace, during which the Medes rapidly adopted the luxurious habits of the
nations they had conquered. The court of Ecbatana became as magnificent
as that of Nineveh had been when at the height of its grandeur. The
courtiers delighted in silken garments of scarlet and purple, with
collars and bracelets of gold, and the same precious metal adorned
the harness of their horses. Reminiscences of the old barbaric life
remained in an excessive fondness for hunting, which was indulged either
in the parks about the capital, or in the open country, where lions,
leopards, bears, wild boars, stags, and antelopes still abounded. The
great wooden palace, covered with plates of gold and silver, as well as
other buildings of the capital, showed a barbarous fondness for costly
materials, rather than grandeur of architectural ideas. The Magi, a
priestly caste, had great influence in the Median court. The education of
each young king was confided to them, and they continued throughout his
life to be his most confidential counselors.

=42.= B. C. 593. Cyaxares died after a reign of forty years. His son,
Asty´ages, reigned thirty-five years in friendly and peaceful alliance
with the kings of Lydia and Babylon. Little is known of him except the
events connected with his fall, and these will be found related in the
history of Cyrus, Book II.

Known Kings of Media.

    Phraortes      died      B. C. 633.
    Cyaxares      reigned      ”   633-593.
    Astyages         ”         ”   593-558.

    NOTE.—It is impossible to reconcile the chronology of the reign
    of Cyaxares with _all_ the ancient accounts. If the Scythian
    invasion occurred _after_ the beginning of his reign, continued
    twenty-eight years, and ended before the Fall of Nineveh, it
    is easy to see that the date of the latter event must have
    been later than is given in the text. The French school of
    Orientalists place it, in fact, B. C. 606, and the accession of
    Cyaxares in 634. The English school, with Sir H. Rawlinson at
    their head, give the dates which we have adopted.


=43.= For nearly five hundred years, Babylon had been governed by
Assyrian viceroys, when Nabonassar (747 B. C.) threw off the yoke, and
established an independent kingdom. He destroyed the humiliating records
of former servitude, and began a new era from which Babylonian time was
afterward reckoned.

[Sidenote: B. C. 721-709.]

=44.= Merodach-baladan, the fifth king of this line, sent an embassy
to Hezekiah, king of Judah, to congratulate him upon his recovery from
illness, and to inquire concerning an extraordinary phenomenon connected
with his restoration. (Isaiah xxxviii: 7, 8; xxxix: 1.) This shows that
the Babylonians were no less alert for astronomical observations than
their predecessors, the Chaldæans. In fact, the brilliant clearness of
their heavens early led the inhabitants of this region to a study of the
stars. The sky was mapped out in constellations, and the fixed stars
were catalogued; time was measured by sun-dials, and other astronomical
instruments were invented by the Babylonians.

[Sidenote: B. C. 680-667.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 667-647.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 647-625.]

=45.= The same Merodach-baladan was taken captive by Sargon, king of
Assyria, and held for six years, while an Assyrian viceroy occupied his
throne. He escaped and resumed his government, but was again dethroned
by Sennacherib, son of Sargon. The kingdom remained in a troubled
state, usually ruled by Assyrians, but seeking independence, until
Esarhaddon, son of Sennacherib, conquered Babylon, built himself a
palace, and reigned alternately at that city and at Nineveh. His son,
Sa´os-duchi´nus, governed Babylon as viceroy for twenty years, and was
succeeded by Cinnelada´nus, another Assyrian, who ruled twenty-two years.

[Sidenote: B. C. 625-604.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 608.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 605.]

=46.= B. C. 625. SECOND PERIOD. Nabopolas´sar, a Babylonian general,
took occasion, from the misfortunes of the Assyrian Empire, to end
the long subjection of his people. He allied himself with Cyaxares,
the Median king, to besiege Nineveh and overthrow the empire. In the
subsequent division of spoils, he received Susiana, the Euphrates
Valley, and the whole of Syria, and erected a new empire, whose history
is among the most brilliant of ancient times. The extension of his
dominions westward brought him in collision with a powerful neighbor,
Pha´raoh-ne´choh, of Egypt, who actually subdued the Syrian provinces,
and held them a few years. But Nabopolassar sent his still more powerful
son, Nebuchadnez´zar, who chastised the Egyptian king in the battle of
Car´chemish, and wrested from him the stolen provinces. He also besieged
Jerusalem, and returned to Babylon laden with the treasures of the temple
and palace of Solomon. He brought in his train Jehoi´akim, king of Judah,
and several young persons of the royal family, among whom was the prophet

[Sidenote: B. C. 604-561.]

=47.= During his son’s campaign, Nabopolassar had died at Babylon,
and the victorious prince was immediately acknowledged as king.
Nebuchadnezzar made subsequent wars in Phœnicia, Palestine, and Egypt,
and established an empire which extended westward to the Mediterranean
Sea. He deposed the king of Egypt, and placed Amasis upon the throne as
his deputy. Zedeki´ah, who had been elevated to the throne of Judah,
rebelled against Babylon, and Nebuchadnezzar set out in person to punish
his treachery. He besieged Jerusalem eighteen months, and captured
Zedekiah, who, with true Eastern cruelty, was compelled to see his
two sons murdered before his eyes were put out, and he was carried in
chains to Babylon. In a later war, Nebuzar-adan, general of the armies
of Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed Jerusalem, burned the temple and palaces,
and carried the remnant of the people to Babylon. The strong and wealthy
city of Tyre revolted, and resisted for thirteen years the power of the
great king, but at length submitted, and all Phœnicia remained under the
Babylonian yoke, B. C. 585.

=48.= The active mind of Nebuchadnezzar, absorbed in schemes of conquest,
began to be visited by dreams, in one of which the series of great
empires which were yet to arise in the east was distinctly foreshadowed.
Of all the wise men of the court, Daniel alone was enabled to interpret
the vision; and his spiritual insight, together with the singular
elevation and purity of his character, gained him the affectionate
confidence of the king. (Read Daniel ii.)

=49.= The reign of Nebuchadnezzar was illustrated by grand public works.
His wife, a Median princess, sighed for her native mountains, and was
disgusted with the flatness of the Babylonian plain, the greatest in the
ancient world. To gratify her, the elevated—rather than “hanging”—gardens
were created. Arches were raised on arches in continuous series until
they overtopped the walls of Babylon, and stairways led from terrace to
terrace. The whole structure of masonry was overlaid with soil sufficient
to nourish the largest trees, which, by means of hydraulic engines,
were supplied from the river with abundant moisture. In the midst of
these groves stood the royal winter residence; for a retreat, which in
other climates would be most suitable for a summer habitation, was here
reserved for those cooler months in which alone man can live in the
open air. This first great work of landscape gardening which history
describes, comprised a charming variety of hills and forests, rivers,
cascades, and fountains, and was adorned with the loveliest flowers the
East could afford.

=50.= The same king surrounded the city with walls of burnt brick, two
hundred cubits high and fifty in thickness, which, together with the
gardens, were reckoned among the Seven Wonders of the World. During his
reign and that of his son-in-law, Nabona´dius, the whole country was
enriched by works of public utility: canals, reservoirs, and sluices were
multiplied, and the shores of the Persian Gulf were improved by means of
piers and embankments.

=51.= Owing to these encouragements, as well as to her fortunate position
midway between the Indus and the Mediterranean, with the Gulf and the
two great rivers for natural highways, Babylon was thronged with the
merchants of all nations, and her commerce embraced the known world.
Manufactures, also, were numerous and famous. The cotton fabrics of
the towns on the Tigris and Euphrates were unsurpassed for fineness of
quality and brilliancy of color; and carpets, which were in great demand
among the luxurious Orientals, were nowhere produced in such magnificence
as in the looms of Babylon.

=52.= It is not strange that the pride of Nebuchadnezzar was kindled by
the magnificence of his capital. As he walked upon the summit of his
new palace, and looked down upon the swarming multitudes who owed their
prosperity to his protection and fostering care, he said, “Is not this
great Babylon, that _I_ have built for the house of the kingdom by the
might of my power, and for the honor of my majesty?” At that moment the
humiliation foretold in a previous dream, interpreted by Daniel, came
upon him. We can not better describe the manner of the judgment than in
the king’s own words (Daniel iv: 31-37):

“While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven,
saying, O King Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is
departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling
shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass
as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the
Most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever
he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar:
and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body
was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’
feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days, I,
Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding
returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honored
him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom is from generation to generation.… At the same time my
reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honor and
brightness returned unto me; and my counselors and my lords sought unto
me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added
unto me. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of
heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that
walk in pride he is able to abase.”

[Sidenote: B. C. 561-559.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 559-555.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 555-538.]

=53.= The immediate successors of Nebuchadnezzar were not his equals
in character or talent. Evil-merodach, his son, was murdered after a
reign of two years by Nereglis´sar, his sister’s husband. This prince
was advanced in years when he ascended the throne, having been already
a chief officer of the crown thirty years before at the siege of
Jerusalem. He reigned but four years, and was succeeded by his son,
La´borosoar´chod. The young king was murdered, after only nine months’
reign, by Nabona´dius, who became the last king of Babylon. The usurper
strengthened his title by marrying a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar—probably
the widow of Nereglissar—and afterward by associating their son
Belshaz´zar with him in the government. He also sought security in
foreign alliances. He fortified his capital by river walls, and
constructed water-works in connection with the river above the city, by
which the whole plain north and west could be flooded to prevent the
approach of an enemy.

=54.= A new power was indeed arising in the East, against which the
three older but feebler monarchies, Babylonia, Lydia, and Egypt, found
it necessary to combine their forces. After the conquest of Lydia, and
the extension of the Persian Empire to the Ægean Sea, Nabonadius had
still fifteen years for preparation. He improved the time by laying up
enormous quantities of food in Babylon; and felt confident that, though
the country might be overrun, the strong walls of Nebuchadnezzar would
enable him cheerfully to defy his foe. On the approach of Cyrus he
resolved to risk one battle; but in this he was defeated, and compelled
to take refuge in Bor´sippa. His son Belshazzar, being left in Babylon,
indulged in a false assurance of safety. Cyrus, by diverting the course
of the Euphrates, opened a way for his army into the heart of the city,
and the court was surprised in the midst of a drunken revel, unprepared
for resistance. The young prince, unrecognized in the confusion, was
slain at the gate of his palace. Nabonadius, broken by the loss of his
capital and his son, surrendered himself a prisoner; and the dominion of
the East passed to the Medo-Persian race. Babylon became the second city
of the empire, and the Persian court resided there the greater portion of
the year.


    Deioces, the first reputed king of Media, built and adorned
    Ecbatana. Phraortes united the Medes and Persians into one
    powerful kingdom. In the reign of Cyaxares, the Scythians
    ruled Western Asia twenty-eight years. After their expulsion,
    Cyaxares, in alliance with the Babylonian viceroy, overthrew
    the Assyrian Empire, divided its territories with his ally, and
    raised his own dominion to a high degree of wealth. His son
    Astyages reigned peacefully thirty-five years.

    Babylon, under Nabonassar, became independent of Assyria, B.
    C. 747. Merodach-baladan, the fifth native king, was twice
    deposed, by Sargon and Sennacherib, and the country again
    remained forty-two years under Assyrian rule. It was delivered
    by Nabopolassar, whose still more powerful son, Nebuchadnezzar,
    gained great victories over the kings of Judah and Egypt,
    replacing the latter with viceroys of his own, and transporting
    the former, with the princes, nobles, and sacred treasures of
    Jerusalem, to Babylon. By a thirteen years’ siege, Tyre was
    subdued and all Phœnicia conquered. From visions interpreted
    by Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar learned the future rise and fall of
    Asiatic empires. He constructed the Hanging Gardens, the walls
    of Babylon, and many other public works. His pride was punished
    by seven years’ degradation. Evil-merodach was murdered by
    Nereglissar, who after four years bequeathed his crown to
    Laborosoarchod. Nabonadius obtained the throne by violence,
    and in concert with his son Belshazzar, tried to protect his
    dominions against Cyrus; but Babylon was taken and the empire
    overthrown, B. C. 538.


=55.= The Anatolian peninsula, divided by its mountain chains into
several sections, was occupied from very ancient times by different
nations nearly equal in power. Of these, the PHRYGIANS were probably
the earliest settlers, and at one time occupied the whole peninsula.
Successive immigrations from the east and west pressed them inward from
the coast, but they still had the advantage of a large and fertile
territory. They were a brave but rather brutal race, chiefly occupied
with agriculture, and especially the raising of the vine.

=56.= The Phrygians came from the mountains of Armenia, whence they
brought a tradition of the Flood, and of the resting of the ark on
Mount Ararat. They were accustomed, in primitive times, to hollow their
habitations out of the rock of the Anatolian hills, and many of these
rock cities may be found in all parts of Asia Minor. Before the time of
Homer, however, they had well-built towns and a flourishing commerce.

=57.= Their religion consisted of many dark and mysterious rites, some of
which were afterward copied by the Greeks. The worship of Cyb´ele, and
of Saba´zius, god of the vine, was accompanied by the wildest music and
dances. The capital of Phrygia was Gor´dium, on the Sanga´rius. The kings
were alternately called Gor´dias and Mi´das, but we have no chronological
lists. Phrygia became a province of Lydia B. C. 560.

=58.= In later times LYDIA became the greatest kingdom in Asia Minor,
both in wealth and power, absorbing in its dominion the whole peninsula,
except Lycia, Cilicia, and Cappadocia. Three dynasties successively bore
rule: the _Atyadæ_, before 1200 B. C.; the _Heraclidæ_, for the next
505 years; and the _Mermnadæ_, from B. C. 694 until 546, when Crœsus,
the last and greatest monarch, was conquered by the Persians. The name
of this king has become proverbial from his enormous wealth. When
associated with his father as crown prince, he was visited by Solon of
Athens, who looked on all the splendor of the court with the coolness
of a philosopher. Annoyed by his indifference, the prince asked Solon
who, of all the men he had encountered in his travels, seemed to him
the happiest. To his astonishment, the wise man named two persons in
comparatively humble stations, but the one of whom was blessed with
dutiful children, and the other had died a triumphant and glorious death.
The vanity of Crœsus could no longer abstain from a direct effort to
extort a compliment. He asked if Solon did not consider him a happy man.
The philosopher gravely replied that, such were the vicissitudes of life,
no man, in his opinion, could safely be pronounced happy until his life
was ended.

=59.= Crœsus extended his power over not only the whole Anatolian
peninsula, but the Greek islands both of the Ægean and Ionian seas. He
made an alliance with Sparta, Egypt, and Babylon to resist the growing
empire of Cyrus; but his precautions were ineffectual; he was defeated
and made prisoner. He is said to have been bound upon a funeral pile, or
altar, near the gate of his capital, when he recalled with anguish of
heart the words of the Athenian sage, and three times uttered his name,
“Solon, Solon, Solon!” Cyrus, who was regarding the scene with curiosity,
ordered his interpreters to inquire what god or man he had thus invoked
in his distress. The captive king replied that it was the name of a man
with whom he wished that every monarch might be acquainted; and described
the visit and conversation of the serene philosopher who had remained
undazzled by his splendor. The conqueror was inspired with a more
generous emotion by the remembrance that he, too, was mortal; he caused
Crœsus to be released and to dwell with him as a friend.


Of the First and Second Dynasties, the names are only partially known,
and dates are wanting.

    _Atyadæ_    _Heraclidæ, last six:_    _Mermnadæ:_

    Manes,      Adyattes I,               Gyges,      B. C. 694-678.
    Atys,       Ardys,                    Ardys,       ”    678-629.
    Lydus,      Adyattes II,              Sadyattes,   ”    629-617.
    Meles,      Meles,                    Alyattes,    ”    617-560.
                Myrsus,                   Crœsus,      ”    560-546.


=60.= The small strip of land between Mount Lebanon and the sea was more
important to the ancient world than its size would indicate. Here arose
the first great commercial cities, and Phœnician vessels wove a web of
peaceful intercourse between the nations of Asia, Africa, and Europe.

=61.= Sidon was probably the most ancient, and until B. C. 1050, the
most flourishing, of all the Phœnician communities. About that year
the Philistines of Askalon gained a victory over Sidon, and the exiled
inhabitants took refuge in the rival city of Tyre. Henceforth the
daughter surpassed the mother in wealth and power. When Herodotus visited
Tyre, he found a temple of Hercules which claimed to be 2,300 years old.
This would give Tyre an antiquity of 2,750 years B. C.

=62.= Other chief cities of Phœnicia were Bery´tus (Beirût), Byb´lus,
Tri´polis, and Ara´dus. Each with its surrounding territory made an
independent state. Occasionally in times of danger they formed themselves
into a league, under the direction of the most powerful; but the name
Phœnicia applies merely to territory, not to a single well organized
state, nor even to a permanent confederacy. Each city was ruled by its
king, but a strong priestly influence and a powerful aristocracy, either
of birth or wealth, restrained the despotic inclinations of the monarch.

=63.= The commerce of the Phœnician cities had no rival in the earlier
centuries of their prosperity. Their trading stations sprang up rapidly
along the coasts and upon the islands of the Mediterranean; and even
beyond the Pillars of Hercules, their city of Gades (Kadesh), the modern
Cadiz, looked out upon the Atlantic. These remote colonies were only
starting points from which voyages were made into still more distant
regions. Merchantmen from Cadiz explored the western coasts of Africa and
Europe. From the stations on the Red Sea, trading vessels were fitted out
for India and Ceylon.

=64.= At a later period, the Greeks absorbed the commerce of the
Euxine and the Ægean, while Carthage claimed her share in the Western
Mediterranean and the Atlantic. By this time, however, Western Asia was
more tranquil under the later Assyrian and Babylonian monarchs; and the
wealth of Babylon attracted merchant trains from Tyre across the Syrian
Desert by way of Tadmor. Other caravans moved northward, and exchanged
the products of Phœnician industry for the horses, mules, slaves, and
copper utensils of Armenia and Cappadocia. A friendly intercourse was
always maintained with Jerusalem, and a land-traffic with the Red Sea,
which was frequented by Phœnician fleets. Gold from Ophir, pearls
and diamonds from Eastern India and Ceylon, silver from Spain, linen
embroidery from Egypt, apes from Western Africa, tin from the British
Isles, and amber from the Baltic, might be found in the cargoes of Tyrian

=65.= The Phœnicians in general were merchants, rather than
manufacturers; but their bronzes and vessels in gold and silver, as well
as other works in metal, had a high repute. They claimed the invention of
glass, which they manufactured into many articles of use and ornament.
But the most famous of their products was the “Tyrian purple,” which they
obtained in minute drops from the two shell-fish, the _buccinum_ and
_murex_, and by means of which they gave a high value to their fabrics of

=66.= About the time of Pygma´lion, the warlike expeditions of
Shalmaneser II overpowered the Phœnician towns, and for more than two
hundred years they remained tributary to the Assyrian Empire. Frequent
but usually vain attempts were made, during the latter half of this
period, to throw off the yoke. With the fall of Nineveh it is probable
that Phœnicia became independent.

=67.= B. C. 608. It was soon reduced, however, by Necho of Egypt, who
added all Syria to his dominions, and held Phœnicia dependent until he
himself was conquered by Nebuchadnezzar (B. C. 605) at Carchemish.
The captive cities were only transferred to a new master; but, in 598,
Tyre revolted against the Babylonian, and sustained a siege of thirteen
years. When at length she was compelled to submit, the conqueror found no
plunder to reward the extreme severity of his labors, for the inhabitants
had secretly removed their treasures to an island half a mile distant,
where New Tyre soon excelled the splendor of the Old.

=68.= Phœnicia remained subject to Babylon until that power was overcome
by the new empire of Cyrus the Great. The local government was carried on
by native kings or judges, who paid tribute to the Babylonian king.

=69.= The religion of the Phœnicians was degraded by many cruel and
uncleanly rites. Their chief divinities, Baal and Astar´te, or Ashtaroth,
represented the sun and moon. Baal was worshiped in groves on high
places, sometimes, like the Ammonian Moloch, with burnt-offerings
of human beings; always with wild, fanatical rites, his votaries
crying aloud and cutting themselves with knives. Melcarth, the Tyrian
Hercules, was worshiped only at Tyre and her colonies. His symbol was
an ever-burning fire, and he probably shared with Baal the character
of a sun-god. The marine deities were of especial importance to these
commercial cities. Chief of these were Posi´don, Ne´reus, and Pontus. Of
lower rank, but not less constantly remembered, were the little Cabi´ri,
whose images formed the figure-heads of Phœnician ships. The seat of
their worship was at Berytus.

=70.= The Phœnicians were less idolatrous than the Egyptians, Greeks,
or Romans; for their temples contained either no visible image of their
deities, or only a rude symbol like the conical stone which was held to
represent Astarte.


_First Period._

    Abibaal, partly contemporary with David in Israel.
    Hiram, his son, friend of David and Solomon,         B. C. 1025-991.
    Balea´zar,                                             ”    991-984.
    Abdastar´tus,                                          ”    984-975.
    One of his assassins, whose name is unknown,           ”    975-963.
    Astartus,                                              ”    963-951.
    Aser´ymus, his brother,                                ”    951-942.
    Phales, another brother, who murdered Aserymus,        ”    942-941.
    Ethba´al,[9] high priest of Astarte,                   ”    941-909.
    Bade´zor, his son,                                     ”    909-903.
    Matgen, son of Badezor and father of Dido,             ”    903-871.
    Pygmalion, brother of Dido,                            ”    871-824.

For 227 years Tyre remained tributary to the Eastern Monarchies, and we
have no list of her native rulers.

_Second Period._

    Ethbaal II, contemporary with Nebuchadnezzar,        B. C.  597-573.
    Baal,                                                  ”    573-563.
    Ec´niba´al, judge for three months,                    ”    563.
    Chel´bes, judge ten months,                            ”    563-562.
    Abba´rus, judge three months,                          ”    562.
    Mytgon and Gerastar´tus, judges five years,            ”    562-557.
    Bala´tor, king,                                        ”    557-556.
    Merbal, king,                                          ”    556-552.
    Hiram, king,                                           ”    552-532.


=71.= Syria Proper was divided between several states, of which the most
important in ancient times was Damascus, with its territory, a fertile
country between Anti-Lebanon and the Syrian Desert. Beside this were
the northern Hittites, whose chief city was Carchemish; the southern
Hittites, in the region of the Dead Sea; the Pate´na on the lower, and
Hamath on the upper Orontes.

=72.= Damascus, on the Abana, is among the oldest cities in the world.
It resisted the conquering arms of David and Solomon, who, with this
exception, reigned over all the land between the Jordan and the
Euphrates; and it continued to be a hostile and formidable neighbor to
the Hebrew monarchy, until Jews, Israelites, and Syrians were all alike
overwhelmed by the growth of the Assyrian Empire.


    Hadad,       contemporary with David,            about B. C. 1040.
    Rezon,               ”         Solomon,                  ”   1000.
    Tab-rimmon,          ”         Abijah,                   ”    960-950.
    Ben-hadad I,         ”         Baasha and Asa,           ”    950-920.
    Ben-hadad II,        ”         Ahab,                     ”    900.
    Hazael,              ”         Jehu and Shalmaneser II,  ”    850.
    Ben-hadad III,       ”         Jehoahaz,                 ”    840.
    Unknown until Rezin, ”         Ahaz of Judah,            ”    745-732.


=73.= The history of the Hebrew race is better known to us than that of
any other people equally ancient, because it has been carefully preserved
in the sacred writings. The separation of this race for its peculiar and
important part in the world’s history, began with the call of Abraham
from his home, near the Euphrates, to the more western country on the
Mediterranean, which was promised to himself and his descendants. The
story of his sons and grandsons, before and during their residence in
Egypt, belongs, however, to family rather than national history. Their
numbers increased until they became objects of apprehension to the
Egyptians, who tried to break their spirit by servitude. At length, Moses
grew up under the fostering care of Pharaoh himself; and after a forty
years’ retirement in the deserts of Midian, adding the dignity of age
and lonely meditation to the “learning of the Egyptians,” he became the
liberator and law-giver of his people.

=74.= The history of the Jewish nation begins with the night of their
exodus from Egypt. The people were mustered according to their tribes,
which bore the names of the twelve sons of Jacob, the grandson of
Abraham. The sons of Joseph, however, received each a portion and gave
their names to the two tribes of Ephraim and Manas´seh. The family
of Jacob went into Egypt numbering sixty-seven persons; it went out
numbering 603,550 warriors, not counting the Levites, who were exempted
from military duty that they might have charge of the tabernacle and the
vessels used in worship.

=75.= After long marches and countermarches through the Arabian
desert—needful to arouse the spirit of a free people from the cowed
and groveling habits of the slave, as well as to counteract the long
example of idolatry by direct Divine revelation of a pure and spiritual
worship—the Israelites were led into the land promised to Abraham, which
lay chiefly between the Jordan and the sea. Two and a half of the twelve
tribes—Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh—preferred the fertile
pastures east of the Jordan; and on condition of aiding their brethren in
the conquest of their more westerly territory, received their allotted
portion there.

=76.= Moses, their great leader through the desert, died outside the
Promised Land, and was buried in the land of Moab. His lieutenant,
Joshua, conquered Palestine and divided it among the tribes. The
inhabitants of Gibeon hastened to make peace with the invaders by a
stratagem. Though their falsehood was soon discovered, Joshua was
faithful to his oath already taken, and the Gibeonites escaped the usual
fate of extermination pronounced upon the inhabitants of Canaan, by
becoming servants and tributaries to the Hebrews.

=77.= The kings of Palestine now assembled their forces to besiege the
traitor city, in revenge for its alliance with the strangers. Joshua
hastened to its assistance, and in the great battle of Beth-horon
defeated, routed, and destroyed the armies of the five kings. This
conflict decided the possession of central and southern Palestine. Jabin,
“king of Canaan,” still made a stand in his fortress of Hazor, in the
north. The conquered kings had probably been in some degree dependent
on him as their superior, if not their sovereign. He now mustered all
the tribes which had not fallen under the sword of the Israelites, and
encountered Joshua at the waters of Merom. The Canaanites had horses and
chariots; the Hebrews were on foot, but their victory was as complete
and decisive as at Beth-horon. Hazor was taken and burnt, and its king

=78.= The nomads of the forty years in the desert now became a settled,
civilized, and agricultural people. Shiloh was the first permanent
sanctuary; there the tabernacle constructed in the desert was set up, and
became the shrine of the national worship.

=79.= Jewish History is properly divided into three periods:

    I. From the Exodus to the establishment of the Monarchy, B. C.
    1650-1095. (See Note, page 47.)

    II. From the accession of Saul to the separation into two
    kingdoms, B. C. 1095-975.

    III. From the separation of the kingdoms to the Captivity at
    Babylon, B. C. 975-586.

=80.= During the First Period the government of the Hebrews was a simple
theocracy, direction for all important movements being received through
the high priest from God himself. The rulers, from Moses down, claimed
no honors of royalty, but led the nation in war and judged it in peace
by general consent. They were designated to their office at once by
revelation from heaven, and by some special fitness in character or
person which was readily perceived. Thus the zeal and courage of Gideon,
the lofty spirit of Deb´orah, the strength of Samson, rendered them most
fit for command in the special emergencies at which they arose. The
“Judge” usually appeared at some time of danger or calamity, when the
people would gladly welcome any deliverer; and his power, once conferred,
lasted during his life.

After his death a long interval usually occurred, during which “every
man did that which was right in his own eyes,” until a new invasion
by Philis´tines, Ammonites, or Zidonians called for a new leader. The
chronology of this period is very uncertain, as the sacred writers only
incidentally mention the time of events, and their records are not always
continuous. The system of chronology was not settled until a later


_Under the Theocracy._

    Moses, liberator, law-giver, and judge,                       40 years
    Joshua, conqueror of Palestine, and judge,                    25   ”
      Anarchy, idolatry, submission to foreign rulers,    20 _or_ 30   ”
      Servitude under Chushan-rishathaim of Mesopotamia,           8   ”
    Othniel, deliverer and judge,                                 40   ”
      Servitude under Eglon, king of Moab,                        18   ”
     {Shamgar. In these two reigns the land has rest,             80   ”
      Servitude under Jabin, king of Canaan,                      20   ”
    Deborah,                                                      40   ”
      Servitude under Midian,                                      7   ”
    Gideon,                                                       40   ”
    Abimelech, king,                                               3   ”
    Interregnum of unknown duration,                               —
    Tola, judge,                                                  23   ”
    Jair, judge,                                                  22   ”
      Idolatry and anarchy,                                        5   ”
      Servitude under Philistines and Ammonites,                  18   ”
    Jephthah,                                                      6   ”
    Ibzan,                                                         7   ”
    Elon,                                                         10   ”
    Abdon,                                                         8   ”
      Servitude under Philistines,                                40   ”
    Samson, during last half of this period, rules south-western
        Palestine,                                                20   ”
    Eli, high priest, and judge in south-western Palestine,       40   ”
    Samuel, the last of the judges, arises after interregnum of,  20   ”

=81.= SECOND PERIOD. The Israelites at length became dissatisfied with
the irregular nature of their government, and demanded a king. In
compliance with their wishes, Saul, the son of Kish, a young Benjamite
distinguished by beauty and loftiness of stature, was chosen by Divine
command, and anointed by Samuel, their aged prophet and judge.

=82.= He found the country in nearly the same condition in which Joshua
had left it. The people were farmers and shepherds; none were wealthy;
even the king had “no court, no palace, no extraordinary retinue; he was
still little more than leader in war and judge in peace.” The country was
still ravaged by Ammonites on one side, and Philistines on the other; and
under the recent incursions of the latter, the Israelites had become so
weak that they had no weapons nor armor, nor even any workers in iron. (1
Samuel xiii: 19, 20.)

=83.= Saul first defeated the Ammonites, who had overrun Gilead from the
east; then turned upon the Philistines, and humbled them in the battle of
Michmash, so that they were driven to defend themselves at home, instead
of invading Israel, until near the close of his reign. He waged war also
against the Am´alekites, Mo´abites, E´domites, and the Syrians of Zobah,
and “delivered Israel out of the hand of them that spoiled them.”

=84.= He forfeited the favor of God by disobedience, and David, his
future son-in-law, was anointed king. Jonathan, the son of Saul, was
a firm friend and protector of David against the jealous rage of his
father. Even the king himself, in his better moods, was moved to
admiration and affection by the heroic character of David.

=85.= In Saul’s declining years, the Philistines, under A´chish, king of
Gath, again invaded the country, and defeated the Israelites at Mount
Gilboa. Saul and all but one of his sons fell in the battle. Ishbo´sheth,
the surviving son, was acknowledged king in Gilead, and ruled all the
tribes except Judah for seven years. But David was crowned in Hebron, and
reigned over his own tribe until the death of Ishbosheth, when he became
ruler of the whole nation.

[Illustration: JERUSALEM.]

=86.= He conquered Jerusalem from the Jeb´usites, made it his capital,
and established a kingly court such as Israel had never known. The ark
of the covenant was removed from its temporary abode at Kirjathje´arim,
and Jerusalem became henceforth the Holy City, the seat of the national
religion as well as of the government.

=87.= The wars of David were still more victorious than those of Saul,
and the empire of Israel was now extended from the borders of the Red Sea
to those of the Euphrates. Moab was rendered tributary, the Philistines
punished, and all the Syrian tribes east and north of Palestine subdued.
(2 Samuel viii.)

=88.= Great as was the military glory of David, his fame with later
times is derived from his psalms and songs. He was the first great poet
of Israel, and perhaps the earliest in the world. The freshness of
the pastures and mountain-sides among which his youth was passed, the
assurance of Divine protection amid the singular and romantic incidents
of his varied career, the enlargement of his horizon of thought with the
magnificent dominion which was added to him in later life, all gave a
richness and depth to his experience, which were reproduced in sacred
melody, and found their fitting place in the temple service; and every
form of Jewish and Christian worship since his time has been enriched by
the poetry of David.

=89.= This great hero and poet was not exempt from common human sins and
follies, and the only disasters of his reign sprang directly from his
errors. The consequences of his plurality of wives, in the jealousies
which arose between the different families of princes, distracted his
old age with a succession of crimes and sorrows. His sons Ab´salom and
Adoni´jah at different times plotted against him and assumed the crown.
Both were punished for their treason, the one by death in battle, the
other by the sentence of Solomon after his father’s death.

[Sidenote: B. C. 1015.]

=90.= Solomon, the favorite son of David, succeeded to a peaceful
kingdom. All the neighboring nations acknowledged his dignity, and the
king of Egypt gave him his daughter in marriage. The Israelites were
now the dominant race in Syria. Many monarchs were tributary to the
great king, and the court of Jerusalem rivaled in its splendors those of
Nineveh and Memphis.

=91.= Commerce received a great impulse both from the enterprise and the
luxury of the king. Hiram, king of Tyre, was a firm friend of Solomon, as
he had been of David his father. Cedars were brought from the forests of
Lebanon for the construction of a palace and temple. Through his alliance
with Hiram, Solomon was admitted to a share in Tyrian trade; and by the
influence of Pharaoh, his father-in-law, he gained from the Edomites the
port of Ezion-ge´ber, on the Red Sea, where he caused a great fleet of
merchant vessels to be constructed. Through these different channels of
commerce, the rarest products of Europe, Asia, and Africa were poured
into Jerusalem. Gold and precious stones, sandalwood and spices from
India, silver from Spain, ivory from Africa, added to the luxury of the
court. Horses from Egypt, now first introduced into Palestine, filled the
royal stables. By tribute as well as trade, a constant stream of gold and
silver flowed into Palestine.

=92.= The greatest work of Solomon was the Temple on Mount Moriah, which
became the permanent abode of the ark of the covenant, and the holy place
toward which the prayers of Israelites, though scattered throughout the
world, have ever turned. The temple precincts included apartments for
the priests, and towers for defense, so that it has been said that the
various purposes of forum, fortress, university, and sanctuary were here
combined in one great national building. The superior skill of the
Phœnicians in working in wood and metal, was enlisted by Solomon in the
service of the temple. Hiram, the chief architect and sculptor, was half
Tyrian, half Israelite, and his genius was held in equal reverence by the
two kings who claimed his allegiance. More than seven years were occupied
in the building of the temple. The Feast of the Dedication drew together
a vast concourse of people from both extremities of the land—“from Hamath
to the River of Egypt.” And so important is this event as a turning point
in the history of the Jews, that it constitutes the beginning of their
connected record of months and years.

=93.= The early days of Solomon were distinguished by all the virtues
which could adorn a prince. In humble consciousness of the greatness of
the duties assigned him, and the insufficiency of his powers, he chose
wisdom rather than long life or riches or great dominion, and he was
rewarded by the possession of even that which he had not asked. His
wisdom became greater than that of all the philosophers of the East; his
knowledge of natural history, improved by the collections of rare plants
and curious animals which he gathered from all parts of the world, was
considered miraculous. (1 Kings iii: 5-15; iv: 29-34.)

=94.= But prosperity corrupted his character. He introduced the
licentious luxury of an Oriental court into the Holy City of David, and
even encouraged the degrading rites of heathen worship. His commerce
enriched himself, not his people. His enormous and expensive court was
sustained by the most exhausting taxes. The great public works which he
carried on withdrew vast numbers of men from the tillage of the soil, and
thus lessened the national resources.

[Sidenote: B. C. 975.]

=95.= The glory of Solomon dazzled the people and silenced their
complaints, but on the accession of his son the smothered discontent
broke forth. Rehobo´am, instead of soothing his subjects by needed
reforms, incensed them by his haughty refusal to lighten their burdens.
(1 Kings xii: 13, 14.) The greater number of the people immediately
revolted, under the lead of Jerobo´am, who established a rival
sovereignty over the Ten Tribes, henceforth to be known as the Kingdom of
Israel. The two tribes of Judah and Benjamin remained loyal to the house
of David.


    Saul,                                           B. C. 1095-1055.
    David at Hebron, and Ishbosheth at Mahanaim,      ”   1055-1048.
    David, over all Israel,                           ”   1048-1015.
    Solomon,                                          ”   1015-975.

=96.= THIRD PERIOD. The Kingdom of Israel had the more extensive and
fertile territory, and its population was double that of Judah. It
extended from the borders of Damascus to within ten miles of Jerusalem;
included the whole territory east of the Jordan, and held Moab as a
tributary. But it had no capital equal in strength, beauty, or sacred
associations to Jerusalem. The government was fixed first at She´chem,
then at Tir´zah, then at Sama´ria.

=97.= Its first king, Jeroboam, in order to break the strongest tie which
bound the people to the house of David, made golden calves for idols, and
set up sanctuaries in Bethel and Dan, saying, “It is too much for you to
go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out
of the land of Egypt!” A new priesthood was appointed in opposition to
that of Aaron, and many Levites and other faithful adherents of the old
religion emigrated into the kingdom of Judah.

=98.= The people too readily fell into the snare. A succession of
prophets, gifted with wonderful powers, strove to keep alive the true
worship; but the poison of idolatry had entered so deeply into the
national life, that it was ready to fall upon the first assault from
without. In the time of Elijah, only seven thousand were left who had not
“bowed the knee unto Baal;” and even these were unknown to the prophet,
being compelled by persecution to conceal their religion.

=99.= The kings of Israel belonged to nine different families, of which
only two, those of Omri and Jehu, held the throne any considerable
time. Almost all the nineteen kings had short reigns, and eight died
by violence. The kingdom was frequently distracted by wars with Judah,
Damascus, and Assyria. Jeroboam was aided in his war with Judah by his
friend and patron in days of exile, Shishak, king of Egypt. Nadab, son
of Jeroboam, was murdered by Baasha, who made himself king. This monarch
began to build the fortress of Ramah, by which he intended to hold the
Jewish frontier, but was compelled to desist by Ben-hadad, of Syria, who
thus testified his friendship for Asa, king of Judah.

=100.= Ahab, of the house of Omri, allied himself with Ethbaal, king of
Tyre, by marrying his daughter Jez´ebel; and the arts of this wicked
and idolatrous princess brought the kingdom to its lowest pitch of
corruption. Her schemes were resisted by Elijah the Tishbite, one of the
greatest of the prophets, who, in a memorable encounter on Mount Carmel,
led the people to reaffirm their faith in Jehovah and exterminate the
priests of Baal. (1 Kings xviii: 17-40.) The evil influence of Jezebel
and the Tyrian idolatry were not removed from Israel until she herself
and her son Jehoram had been murdered by order of Jehu, a captain of the
guard, who became first of a new dynasty of kings. Jehu lost all his
territories east of the Jordan in war with Hazael, of Damascus, and paid
tribute, at least on one occasion, to Asshur-nazir-pal, of Assyria.[10]
His son Jehoahaz also lost cities to the Syrian king; but Joash,
the grandson of Jehu, revived the Israelite conquests. He defeated
Ben-hadad, son of Hazael, and won back part of the conquered territory.
His son, Jeroboam II, had the longest and most prosperous reign in the
annals of the Ten Tribes. He not only regained all the former possessions
of Israel, but captured Hamath and Damascus. But this was the end of
Israelite prosperity. Two short reigns followed, each ended by an
assassination, and then Men´ahem of Tirzah made a vain attempt to renew
the glories of Jeroboam II by an expedition to the Euphrates. He captured
Thapsacus, but drew upon himself the vengeance of Pul, king of Chaldæa,
who invaded his dominions and made Menahem his vassal.

=101.= In the later years of Israelite history, Tiglath-pileser, king
of Assyria, desolated the country east of the Jordan, and threatened
the extinction of the kingdom. Hosh´ea, the last king, acknowledged his
dependence upon the Assyrian Empire, and agreed to pay tribute; but he
afterward strengthened himself by an alliance with Egypt, and revolted
against his master. Shalmaneser came to chastise this defection, and
besieged Samaria two years. At length it fell, and the disgraceful annals
of the Israelite kingdom came to an end.

=102.= According to the despotic custom of Eastern monarchs, the people
were transported to Media and the provinces of Assyria; and for a time
the country was so desolate that wild beasts multiplied in the cities.
People were afterward brought from Babylon and the surrounding country to
take the places of the former inhabitants.


    Jeroboam,                                            B. C. 975-954.
    Nadab,                                                 ”   954-953.
    Baasha,                                                ”   953-930.
    Elah,                                                  ”   930-929.
    Zimri, slew Elah and reigned 7 days,                   ”   929.
    Omri, captain of the host under Elah,                  ”   929-918.
    Ahab,                                                  ”   918-897.
    Ahaziah,                                               ”   897-896.
    Jehoram,                                               ”   896-884.
    Jehu,                                                  ”   884-856.
    Jehoahaz,                                              ”   856-839.
    Joash,                                                 ”   839-823.
    Jeroboam II,                                           ”   823-772.
    Zechariah, reigned 6 months,                           ”   772.
    Shallum, murdered Zechariah and was himself murdered,  ”   772.
    Menahem,                                               ”   772-762.
    Pekahiah,                                              ”   762-760.
    Pekah,                                                 ”   760-730.
    Hoshea,                                                ”   730-721.

=103.= The Kingdom of Judah began its separate existence at the same time
with that of revolted Israel, but survived it 135 years. It consisted of
the two entire tribes of Judah and Benjamin, with numerous refugees from
the other ten, who were willing to sacrifice home and landed possessions
for their faith. The people were thus closely bound together by their
common interest in the marvelous traditions of the past and hopes for the

=104.= Notwithstanding danger from numerous enemies, situated as it was
on the direct road between the two great rival empires of Egypt and
Assyria, this little kingdom maintained its existence during nearly four
centuries; and, unlike Israel, was governed during all that time by kings
of one family, the house of David.

The first king, Rehoboam, saw his capital seized and plundered by
Shi´shak, king of Egypt, and had to maintain a constant warfare with the
revolted tribes. Abijam, his son, gained a great victory over Jeroboam,
by which he recovered the ancient sanctuary of Bethel and many other
towns. Asa was attacked both by the Israelites on the north and the
Egyptians on the south, but defended himself victoriously from both. With
all the remaining treasures of the temple and palace, he secured the
alliance of Ben-hadad, king of Damascus, who, by attacking the northern
cities of Israel, drew Baasha away from building the fortress of Ramah.
The stones and timbers which Baasha had collected were carried away, by
order of Asa, to his own cities of Geba in Benjamin, and Mizpeh in Judah.

=105.= Jehosh´aphat, son of Asa, allied himself with Ahab, king of
Israel, whom he assisted in his Syrian wars. This ill-fated alliance
brought the poison of Tyrian idolatry into the kingdom of Judah. In
the reign of Jehoram, who married the daughter of Ahab, Jerusalem was
captured by Philistines and Arabs. His son, Ahaziah, while visiting
his Israelitish kindred, was involved in the destruction of the house
of Ahab; and after his death his mother, Athali´ah, a true daughter of
Jezebel, murdered all her grandchildren but one, usurped the throne for
six years, and replaced the worship of Jehovah with that of Baal. But
Jehoi´ada, the high priest, revolted against her, placed her grandson,
Joash, on the throne, and kept the kingdom clear, so long as he lived,
from the taint of idolatry.

=106.= Amaziah, the son of Joash, captured Pe´tra from the Edomites, but
lost his own capital to the king of Israel, who carried away all its
treasures. Azariah, his son, conquered the Philistines and the Arabs,
and reëstablished on the Red Sea the port of Elath, which had fallen
into decay since the days of Solomon. During a long and prosperous reign
he strengthened the defenses of Jerusalem, reorganized his army, and
improved the tillage of the country. But he presumed upon his dignity and
the excellence of his former conduct to encroach upon the office of the
priests, and was punished by a sudden leprosy, which separated him from
human society the rest of his days. In the reign of Ahaz, his grandson,
Jerusalem was besieged by the kings of Israel and Syria, who carried
away from Judah two hundred thousand captives. Ahaz invoked the aid of
Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, and became his tributary. The Assyrian
conquered Damascus, and thus relieved Jerusalem. Ahaz filled the cities
of Judah with altars of false gods, and left his kingdom more deeply
stained than ever with idolatry.

=107.= Hezekiah, his son, delivered the land from foreign dominion
and from heathen superstitions. He became for a time tributary to
Sennacherib, but afterward revolted and made an alliance with Egypt.
During a second invasion, the army of Sennacherib was destroyed and his
designs abandoned; but the kingdom of Judah continued to be dependent
upon the empire.

=108.= Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah, brought back all the evil which
his father had expelled. Even the temple at Jerusalem was profaned by
idols and their altars, and the Law disappeared from the sight and memory
of the people, while those who tried to remain faithful to the God of
their fathers were violently persecuted. In the midst of this impiety,
Manasseh fell into disgrace with the Assyrian king, who suspected him of
an intention to revolt. He was carried captive to Babylon, where he had
leisure to reflect upon his sins and their punishment. On his return to
Jerusalem, he confessed and forsook his errors, and wrought a religious
reformation in his kingdom.

=109.= His son Amon restored idolatry; but his life and reign were
speedily ended by a conspiracy of his servants, who slew him in his own

The assassins were punished with death, and Josiah, the rightful heir,
ascended the throne at the age of eight years. He devoted himself with
pious zeal and energy to the cleansing of his kingdom from the traces
of heathen worship; carved and molten images and altars were ground to
powder and strewn over the graves of those who had officiated in the
sacrilegious rites. The king journeyed in person not only through the
cities of Judah, but through the whole desolate land of Israel, as far
as the borders of Naphtali and the upper waters of the Jordan, that he
might witness the extermination of idolatry. This part of his work being
completed, he returned to Jerusalem to repair the Temple of Solomon,
which had fallen into ruins, and restore, in all its original solemnity,
the worship of Jehovah.

=110.= In the progress of repairs an inestimable manuscript was found,
being no less than the “Book of the Law of the Lord, given by the hand of
Moses.” These sacred writings had been so long lost, that even the king
and the priests were ignorant of the curses that had been pronounced upon
idolatry. The tender conscience of the king was overwhelmed with distress
as he read the pure and perfect Law, which presented so stern a contrast
with the morals of the people; but he was comforted with the promise that
he should be gathered to his grave in peace before the calamities which
the Law foretold, and the sins of Judah had deserved, should come upon
the kingdom. In the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign a grand passover
was held, to which all the inhabitants of the northern kingdom who
remained from the captivity were invited. This great religious festival,
which signalized the birth of the nation and its first deliverance, had
not been kept with equal solemnity since the days of Samuel the prophet.
The entire manuscript lately discovered was read aloud by the king
himself in the hearing of all the people, and the whole assembly swore to
renew and maintain the covenant made of old with their fathers.

[Sidenote: B. C. 634-632.]

=111.= The end of Josiah’s reign was marked by two great calamities. A
wild horde of Scythians,[11] from the northern steppes, swept over the
land, carrying off flocks and herds. They advanced as far as As´calon, on
the south-western coast, where they plundered the temple of Astarte, and
were then induced to retire by the bribes of the king of Egypt. One trace
of their incursion remained a thousand years, in the new name of the old
city Bethshan, on the plain of Esdrae´lon. It was named by the Greeks
Scythopolis, or the city of the Scythians. This was the first eruption of
northern barbarians upon the old and civilized nations of southern Asia
and Europe. Later events in the same series will occupy a large portion
of our history.

[Sidenote: B. C. 609.]

=112.= The other and greater calamity of Josiah’s reign arose from a
different quarter. Necho, king of Egypt, had become alarmed by the growth
of Babylonian power, and was marching northward with a great army. Though
in no way the object of his hostility, Josiah imprudently went forth to
meet him, hoping to arrest his progress in the plain of Esdraelon. The
battle of Megid´do followed, and Josiah was slain. Never had so great a
sorrow befallen the Jewish people. The prophet Jeremiah, a friend and
companion of Josiah from his youth, bewailed the nation’s loss in his
most bitter “Lamentation”: “The breath of our nostrils, the anointed of
the Lord, was taken in their pits, of whom we said, Under his shadow
we shall live among the heathen.” For more than a hundred years the
anniversary of the fatal day was observed as a time of mourning in every

=113.= In the reign of Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, Nebuchadnezzar, prince
of Babylon, gained a great victory[12] over Necho, and extended his
father’s kingdom to the frontier of Egypt. Jehoiakim submitted to be
absorbed into the empire, but afterward revolted and was put to death.

Jehoiachin, his son, was made king; but, three months after his
accession, was carried captive to Babylon. Zedeki´ah, reigning at
Jerusalem, rebelled and allied himself with Apries, king of Egypt. Upon
this, the ever active Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to the revolted city.
In the second year it was taken and destroyed; the king and the whole
nation, with the treasures of the temple and palace, were conveyed to
Babylon, and the history of the Jews ceased for seventy years.


    Rehoboam,                                          B. C. 975-958.
    Abijam,                                              ”   958-956.
    Asa,                                                 ”   956-916.
    Jehoshaphat,                                         ”   916-892.
    Jehoram,                                             ”   892-885.
    Ahaziah, slain by Jehu after 1 year,                 ”   885-884.
    Athaliah, murders her grandchildren and reigns,      ”   884-878.
    Joash, son of Ahaziah,                               ”   878-838.
    Amaziah,                                             ”   838-809.
    Azariah, or Uzziah,                                  ”   809-757.
    Jotham,                                              ”   757-742.
    Ahaz,                                                ”   742-726.
    Hezekiah,                                            ”   726-697.
    Manasseh,                                            ”   697-642.
    Amon,                                                ”   642-640.
    Josiah,                                              ”   640-609.
    Jehoahaz, dethroned by Necho after 3 months,         ”   609.
    Jehoiakim, tributary to Necho 4 years,               ”   609-598.
    Jehoiachin,                                          ”   598-597.
    Zedekiah,                                            ”   597-586.


    The Phrygians, earliest settlers of Asia Minor, were active
    in tillage and trade, and zealous in their peculiar religion.
    Lydia afterward became the chief power in the peninsula. At the
    end of three dynasties, it had reached its greatest glory under
    Crœsus, when it was conquered by Cyrus, and became a province
    of Persia, B. C. 546.

    The first great commercial communities in the world were the
    Phœnician cities, of which Sidon and Tyre were the chief; their
    trade extending by sea from Britain to Ceylon, and by land to
    the interior of three continents. Tyrian dyes, and vessels of
    gold, silver, bronze, and glass were celebrated. Phœnicia was
    subject four hundred years to the Assyrian Empire, and became
    independent at its fall, only to pass under the power of Necho
    of Egypt, and, in turn, to be subdued by Nebuchadnezzar of
    Babylon. Baal, Astarte, Melcarth, and the marine deities were
    objects of Phœnician worship.

    Syria Proper was divided into five states, of which Damascus
    was the oldest and most important.

    The Hebrew nation began its existence under the rule of
    Moses, who led his people forth from Egypt, and through the
    Arabian Desert, in a journey of forty years. Joshua conquered
    Palestine by the two decisive battles of Beth-horon and the
    waters of Merom, and divided the land among the twelve tribes.
    Judges ruled Israel nearly six hundred years.

    Saul, being anointed as king, subdued the enemies of the Jews;
    but, becoming disobedient, he was slain in battle, and David
    became king, first of Judah, and afterward of all Israel. He
    made Jerusalem his capital, and extended his dominion over
    Syria and Moab, and eastward to the Euphrates. His sacred
    songs are the source of his enduring fame. Solomon inherited
    the kingdom, which he enriched by commerce and adorned with
    magnificent public works, both for sacred and secular uses. The
    Dedication of the Temple is the great era in Hebrew chronology.
    The wisdom of Solomon was widely famed, but the luxury of his
    court exhausted his kingdom, and on the accession of Rehoboam
    ten tribes revolted, only Judah and Benjamin remaining to the
    house of David.

    Jeroboam fixed his capital at Shechem, and the shrines of
    his false gods at Bethel and Dan. In spite of the faithful
    warnings of the prophets, the kingdom of Israel became
    idolatrous. The nineteen kings who ruled B. C. 975-721 belonged
    to nine different families. Ahab and Jezebel persecuted true
    believers and established Tyrian idolatry; but their race was
    exterminated and Jehu became king. The Ten Tribes reached their
    greatest power and wealth under Jeroboam II. In the reign of
    Menahem they became subject to Pul, of Chaldæa. A revolt of
    Hoshea against Assyria led to the capture of Samaria, and the
    captivity of both king and people.

    The kingdom of Judah, with a smaller territory, had a
    people more united in faith and loyalty, and was ruled four
    hundred years by descendants of David. Jehoshaphat made a
    close alliance with Ahab, which brought many calamities upon
    Judah. In the reign of Jehoram, Jerusalem was taken by Arabs
    and Philistines; and after the death of Ahaziah, Athaliah,
    daughter of Jezebel, usurped the throne. Joash, her grandson,
    was protected and crowned by Jehoiada, the high priest. The
    prosperity of Judah was restored by the conquests and efficient
    policy of Azariah. Ahaz became tributary to Tiglath-pileser,
    of Assyria, and degraded his kingdom with idolatry. Hezekiah
    resisted both the religion and the supremacy of the heathen.
    Manasseh was carried captive to Babylon, and on his return
    reformed his administration. Josiah cleansed the land from
    marks of idolatry, rebuilt the Temple, discovered the Book
    of the Law, and renewed the celebration of the Passover. The
    Scythians invaded Palestine. Josiah was slain in the battle of
    Megiddo, and his sons became vassals of Egypt. Nebuchadnezzar
    subdued both Egypt and Palestine, captured Jerusalem, and
    transported two successive kings and the mass of the people to



   1. What are the sources of historical information?              §§ 1-4.
   2. Describe the character and movements of the three families
        of the sons of Noah.                                         5, 6.
   3. Into what periods may history be divided?                      7, 8.
   4. Name six primeval monarchies in Western Asia.
   5. What were the distinguishing features of the Chaldæan
        Monarchy?                                                      26.
   6. Name the principal Assyrian kings of the Second Period.       29-31.
   7. Who was Semiramis?                                               30.
   8. Describe the founder of the Lower Assyrian Empire.               32.
   9. What memorials exist of Sargon?                                  32.
  10. Describe the career of Sennacherib.                              33.
  11. What was the condition of Assyria under Asshur-bani-pal?         34.
  12. What under his son?                                              35.
  13. What was the early history of Media?                         37, 38.
  14. What of Phraortes?                                               39.
  15. Describe the reign of Cyaxares.                              40, 41.
  16.          The character of the Babylonians.                   43, 44.
  17.          The career of Merodach-baladan.                         45.
  18.          The empire of Nabopolassar.                             46.
  19.          The conquests and reverses of the greatest
                 Babylonian monarch.                                47-52.
  20.          The decline and fall of Babylon.                    53, 54.
  21. Relate the whole history of Lydia.                           58, 59.
  22. Describe the Phœnician cities and their commerce.             61-64.
  23. To what four kingdoms were they successively subject?         66-68.
  24. Describe the religion of the Phœnicians.                     69, 70.
  25. What were the divisions of Syria Proper?                     71, 72.
  26. Describe the rise of the Jewish nation.                      73, 74.
  27.          Their conquest of Palestine.                        76, 77.
  28.          Their government during the First Period.               80.
  29.          The reign of Saul.                                   81-83.
  30.          The conquests and character of David.                84-89.
  31.          The acts and wisdom of Solomon.                      90-94.
  32. What changes occurred at his death?                              95.
  33. Compare the two kingdoms.                          96-100, 105, 106.
  34. What was the policy of Jeroboam?                             97, 98.
  35. Describe the reign of Ahab.                                     101.
  36. What kings of Israel had dealing with Assyria?             100, 101.
  37. Mention three kings of Judah who had wars with Israel.          104.
  38.         Three in alliance with Israel.                          105.
  39. Describe the reign of Azariah; of Ahaz, Hezekiah, Manasseh. 106-108.
  40.          The events of Josiah’s reign.                      109-112.
  41.          The relations of three kings with Babylon.             113.

    NOTE.—A discrepancy will be found between the Egyptian and
    the Hebrew chronology. The latter, before the accession of
    Saul, is mainly conjectural; as it is possible that two or
    more judges were reigning at the same time in different parts
    of the land. The periods of the several judges and of foreign
    servitude on p. 36, are copied literally from the Bible; the
    times of inter-regnum are conjectured, but probably fall below
    rather than exceed the truth. _If continuous_, these periods
    added together make 535 years,—a longer interval than can be
    found between the reign of Menephthah and that of Saul (§§ 79
    and 154.) It may here be said that many historians believe the
    “Pharaoh’s daughter” who rescued Moses to have been Mesphra or
    Amen-set (§ 146.) In this case, Thothmes IV was the Pharaoh of
    the Exodus, and we gain nearly 200 years for the transitional
    period of the Hebrews.

    It may be hoped that Egyptian MSS. now in the hands of diligent
    and accomplished scholars will soon throw light on this
    interesting question.



=114.= The continent of Africa differs in many important respects from
that of Asia. The latter, extending into three zones, has its greatest
extent in the most favored of all, the North Temperate. Africa is
almost wholly within the tropics, only a small portion of its northern
and southern extremities entering the two temperate zones, where their
climate is most nearly torrid. Asia has the loftiest mountains on the
globe, from which flow great rivers spreading fertility and affording
every means of navigation. Africa has but two great rivers, the Nile and
the Niger, and but few mountains of remarkable elevation.

=115.= Africa is thus the hottest, driest, and least accessible of the
continents. One-fifth of its surface is covered by the great sea of sand
which stretches from the Atlantic nearly to the Red Sea. Much of the
interior consists of marshes and impenetrable forests, haunted only by
wild beasts and unfit for human habitation. With the exception of a very
few favored portions, Africa is therefore unsuited to the growth of great
states; and it is only through two of these, Egypt and Carthage, that it
claims an important part in ancient history.

=116.= NORTHERN AFRICA alone was known to the ancients, and its features
were well marked and peculiar. Close along the Mediterranean lay a narrow
strip of fertile land, watered by short streams which descended from
the Atlas range. These mountains formed a rocky and scantily inhabited
region to the southward, though producing in certain portions abundance
of dates. Next came the Great Desert, varied only by a few small and
scattered oases, where springs of water nourished a rich vegetation.
South of the Sahara was a fertile inland country, near whose large rivers
and lakes were cities and a numerous population; but these central
African states were only visited by an occasional caravan which crossed
the desert from the north, and had no political connection with the rest
of the world.

=117.= In the western portion of Northern Africa, the mountains rise more
gradually by a series of natural terraces from the sea, and the fertile
country here attains a width of two hundred miles. This well watered,
fruitful, and comparatively healthful region, is one of the most favored
on the globe. In ancient times it was one vast corn-field from the Atlas
to the Mediterranean. Here the native kingdom of Maurita´nia flourished;
and after it was subdued by the Romans, the same fertile fields afforded
bread to the rest of the civilized world.

=118.= Eastward from Mauritania the plain becomes narrower, the rivers
fewer, and the soil less fertile, so that no great state, even if it had
originated there, could have long maintained itself. The north-eastern
corner of the continent, however, is the richest and most valuable of all
the lands it contains. This is owing to the great river which, rising in
the highlands of Abyssin´ia, and fed by the perpetual rains of Equatorial
Africa, rolls its vast body of waters from south to north, through a
valley three thousand miles in length. Every year in June it begins to
rise; from August to December it overflows the country, and deposits a
soil so rich that the farmer has only to cast his grain upon the retiring
waters, and abundant harvests spring up without further tillage.

=119.= The soil of Egypt was called by its inhabitants the “Gift of the
Nile.” In a climate almost without rain, this country without its river
would, indeed, have been only a ravine in the rocky and sandy desert;
as barren as Sahara itself. The prosperity of the year was, from the
earliest times, accurately measured by the Nilometers at Mem´phis and
Elephan´tine. If the water rose less than eighteen feet, famine ensued;
a rise of from eighteen to twenty-four feet betokened moderate harvests;
twenty-seven feet were considered “a good Nile;” a flood of thirty feet
was ruinous, for, in such a case, houses were undermined, cattle swept
away, the land rendered too spongy for the following seed-time, the labor
of the farmer was delayed, and often fevers were bred by the stagnant and
lingering waters. Usually, however, the Nile was the great benefactor
of the Egyptians, and was considered a fit emblem of the creating and
preserving Osi´ris. Its waters were carefully distributed by canals and
regulated by dykes. During the inundation, the country appeared like a
great inland lake girdled by mountains. Lower Egypt, or the Delta, was
compared by Herodotus to the Grecian Archipelago, dotted with villages
which appeared like white islands above the expanse of waters.

=120.= Lower Egypt is a vast plain; Upper Egypt a narrowing valley. The
fertile portion of the latter occupies only a part of the space between
the Lib´yan Desert and the sea. In its widest part it is less than
eleven, in its narrowest only five miles in width; and in some places
the granite or limestone cliff springs directly from the river. Being so
well fitted to support a numerous people, the whole valley of the Nile,
through Nubia and Abyssinia as well as Egypt, was very early colonized
from the opposite shores of Asia. The hair, features, and form of the
skull represented in the human figures on the monuments, prove the
dominant race in these countries to have been of the same great family
with the people on the neighboring peninsula of Arabia.

=121.= Before the conquests of the Persians, Northern Africa was divided
between five nations: the Egyptians, Ethiopians, Phœnicians, Libyans, and

=122.= The ETHIOPIANS occupied the Nile Valley above Egypt, including
what is now known as Abyssinia. The great plateau between the headwaters
of the Nile and the Red Sea is rendered fertile by frequent and abundant
rains; and the many streams which descend from it to the Nile cause in
part the yearly overflow which fertilizes Egypt. Mer´oë was the chief
city of the Ethiopians. Some learned men have supposed its monuments of
architecture and sculpture to be even older than those of Egypt.

=123.= Arabian traditions say that the inhabitants of the northern coasts
of Africa were descendants of the Canaanites whom the Children of Israel
drove out of Palestine. As late as the fourth century after Christ,
two pillars of white marble near Tangier still bore the inscription in
Phœnician characters: “We are they that fled from before the face of the
robber Joshua, the son of Nun.” Whether or not this legend expressed
a historical fact, it expressed the wide-spread belief of the people;
and it is well known by other evidence that the African coasts of the
Mediterranean were very early dotted with PHŒNICIAN settlements, such as
the two Hip´pos, U´tica, Tu´nes, Hadrume´tum, Lep´tis, and greatest of
all, though among the latest, Carthage.

=124.= The LIBYANS occupied a greater portion of Northern Africa than any
other nation, extending from the borders of Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean,
and from the Great Desert, with the exception of the foreign settlements
on the coast, to the Mediterranean Sea. They had, however, comparatively
little power, consisting chiefly as they did of wandering tribes,
destitute of settled government or fixed habitations. In the western
and more fertile portion, certain tribes of Libyans cultivated the soil
and became more nearly civilized; but these were soon subjected to the
growing power of the Phœnician colonies.

=125.= The GREEKS possessed a colony on that point of Northern Africa
which approached most nearly to their own peninsula. They founded Cyre´ne
about B. C. 630, and Barca about seventy years later. They had also a
colony at Naucra´tis in Egypt, and probably upon the greater oasis. The
history of these Grecian settlements will be found in Book III.



      I. The Old Empire, from earliest times to         B. C. 1900.
     II. Middle Empire, or that of the Shepherd Kings,    ”   1900-1525.
    III. The New Empire,                                  ”   1525-525.

=126.= From the island of Elephantine to the sea, a distance of 526
miles the Nile Valley was occupied by EGYPT, a monarchy the most
ancient, with a history among the most wonderful in the world. While
other nations may be watched in their progress from ignorance and
rudeness to whatever art they have possessed, Egypt appears in the
earliest morning light of history “already skillful, erudite, and
strong.” Some of her buildings are older than the Migration of Abraham,
but the oldest of them show a skill in the quarrying, transporting,
carving, and joining of stone which modern architects admire but can not

=127.= FIRST PERIOD. The early Egyptians believed that there had been a
time when their ancestors were savages and cannibals, dwelling in caves
in those ridges of sandstone which border the Nile Valley on the east;
and that their greatest benefactors were Osiris and Isis, who elevated
them into a devout and civilized nation, eating bread, drinking wine and
beer, and planting the olive. The worship of Osiris and Isis, therefore,
became prevalent throughout Egypt, while the several cities and provinces
had each its own local divinities. According to Manetho, a native
historian of later times,[13] gods, spirits, demigods, and _manes_, or
the souls of men, were the first rulers of Egypt. This is merely an
ancient way of saying that the earliest history of Egypt, as of most
other countries, is shrouded in ignorance and fabulous conjecture.

=128.= Instead of commencing its existence as a united kingdom, Egypt
consisted at first of a number of scattered _nomes_, or petty states,
each having for its nucleus a temple and a numerous establishment of
priests. Fifty-three of these nomes are mentioned by one historian,
thirty-six by another. As one became more powerful, it sometimes
swallowed up its neighbors, and grew into a kingdom which embraced a
large portion or even the whole of the country.

=129.= The first mortal king of Mis´raim, the “double land,” was Menes,
of This. His inheritance was in Upper Egypt, but by his talents and
exploits he made himself master of the Lower, and selected there a site
for his new capital. For this purpose he drained a marshy tract which at
certain seasons had been overflowed by the Nile, made a dyke to confine
the river within its regular channel, and on the reclaimed ground built
the city of Memphis. Menes may therefore be considered as the founder of
the empire.

=130.= Athothes (Thoth), his son and successor, was skilled in medicine
and wrote works on anatomy. Of the six following kings in regular descent
who form this dynasty little is known, and it is even possible that they
belong rather to tradition than to ascertained history. After the two
Thoths came Mnevis, or Uenephes, who bore the name of the Sacred Calf
of Heliopolis. He is said, nevertheless, to have been a high-minded,
intelligent man, and the most affable prince on record. He built the
pyramid of Koko´me, whose site can not now be identified. During his
reign there was famine in Egypt.

=131.= The Third Dynasty reigned at Memphis; its founder was Sesorcheres
the Giant. The third king, Sesonchosis, was a wise and peaceful monarch,
who advanced the three arts of writing, medicine, and architecture,
and was celebrated by a grateful people in hymns and ballads as among
their greatest benefactors. He introduced the fashion of building with
hewn stones, previous structures having been made either of rough,
irregular stones or of brick. He was known to the Greeks as the “peaceful
Sesostris,” while the two later monarchs who bore this name were great
warriors and conquerors.

=132.= His son, Sasychis (Mares-sesorcheres), was a celebrated law-giver.
He is said to have organized the worship of the gods, and to have
invented geometry and astronomy. He also made that singular law by which
a debtor might give his father’s mummy as security for a debt. If the
money was not paid, neither the debtor nor his father could ever rest
in the family sepulcher, and this was considered the greatest possible

[Sidenote: B. C. 2440.]

=133.= The monumental and more certain history begins with the Second,
Fourth, and Fifth Dynasties of Manetho, which reigned simultaneously in
Lower, Middle, and Upper Egypt. Of these the Fourth Dynasty, reigning at
Memphis, was most powerful, the others being in some degree dependent.
Proofs of its greatness are found in the vast structures of stone which
overspread Middle Egypt between the Libyan Mountains and the Nile; for
the Fourth Dynasty may be remembered as that of the pyramid-builders.

=134.= The name of Soris, the first of the family, has been found upon
the northern pyramid of Abousir. Suphis I, or Shufu, was the Cheops of
Herodotus, and is regarded as the builder of the Great Pyramid. His
brother, Suphis II, or Nou-shufu, had part in this work. He reigned
jointly with Suphis I, and alone, after his death, for three years. These
two kings were oppressors of the people and despisers of the gods. They
crushed the former by the severe toils involved in their public works,
and ordered the temples of the latter to be closed and their worship to

=135.= Mencheres the Holy, son of Suphis I, had, like his father, a
reign of sixty-three years, but differed from him in being a good and
humane sovereign. He re-opened the temples which his father had closed,
restored religious ceremonies of sacrifice and praise, and put an end to
the oppressive labors. He was therefore much venerated by the people, and
was the subject of many ballads and hymns. The four remaining kings of
the Fourth Dynasty are known to us only by names and dates. The family
included eight kings in all, and the probable aggregate of their reigns
is 220 years.

=136.= The kings of the Second Dynasty ruling Middle Egypt from This
or Abydus, and those of the Fifth ruling Upper Egypt from the Isle of
Elephantine, were probably related by blood to the powerful sovereigns
of Lower Egypt, and the tombs of all three families are found in the
neighborhood of Memphis. The structure of the Pyramids shows great
advancement in science and the mechanical arts. Each is placed so as
exactly to face the cardinal points, and the Great Pyramid is precisely
upon the 30th parallel of latitude. The wonderful accuracy of the latter
in its astronomical adjustments, has led a few profound scholars[14] of
the present day to believe that it could only have been built by Divine
revelation; not by the Egyptians, but by a people led from Asia for the
purpose, the object being to establish a perfectly trustworthy system of
weights and measures.

=137.= The Arabian copper-mines of the Sinaitic peninsula were worked
under the direction of the Pyramid kings. At this period the arts had
reached their highest perfection. Drawing,[15] sculpture, and writing, as
well as modes of living and general civilization, were much the same as
fifteen centuries later.

=138.= B. C. 2220. While a sixth royal family succeeded the
pyramid-builders at Memphis, the second and fifth continued to reign at
This and Elephantis, while two more arose at Heracleop´olis and Thebes;
so that Egypt was now divided into five separate kingdoms, the Theban
becoming gradually the most powerful. Thus weakened by division, and
perhaps exhausted by the great architectural works which had withdrawn
the people from the practice of arms, the country easily became the prey
of nomad tribes from the neighboring regions of Syria and Arabia. These
were called Hyk´sos, or Shepherd Kings. They entered Lower Egypt from the
north-east, and soon became masters of the country from Memphis to the

=139.= SECOND PERIOD. B. C. 1900-1525. Native dynasties continued for a
time to reign in Middle and Upper Egypt; and even in the heart of the
Delta a new kingdom sprang up at Xo´is, which maintained itself during
the whole time that the Shepherds were in the land. A large number of the
enslaved Egyptians continued to cultivate the soil, paying tribute to
the conquerors; and, in time, the example of their good order may have
mollified the fierce invaders. The latter built themselves a strongly
fortified camp, Ava´ris, in the eastern portion of the Delta, near the
later city of Pelusium.

=140.= At the same period with the invasion, a Twelfth Egyptian Dynasty,
the Osortasidæ, arose at Thebes, and became one of the most powerful
tribes of native rulers. They obtained paramount authority over the
kingdoms of Elephantine and Heracleopolis, held the Sinaitic Peninsula,
and extended their victorious arms into Arabia and Ethiopia. Sesortasen I
ruled all Upper Egypt. Under the second and third sovereigns of that name
the kingdom reached its highest prosperity. The third Sesortasen enriched
the country by many canals, and left monuments of his power at Senneh,
near the southern border of the empire, which still excite the wonder of
travelers. The largest edifice and the most useful work in Egypt were
executed by his successor, Ammenemes III. The first was the Labyrinth
in the Faioom, which Herodotus visited, and declared that it surpassed
all human works. It contained three thousand rooms; fifteen hundred of
these were under ground, and contained the mummies of kings and of the
sacred crocodiles. The walls of the fifteen hundred upper apartments
were of solid stone, entirely covered with sculpture. The other work of
Ammenemes was the Lake Moëris. This was a natural reservoir formed near a
bend of the Nile; but he so improved it by art as to retain and carefully
distribute the gifts of the river, and thus insure the fruitfulness of
the province.

=141.= A weaker race succeeded, and the calamities of Lower Egypt were
now extended throughout the land. The Hyksos advanced to the southward,
and the fugitive kings of Thebes sought refuge in Ethiopia. With the
exception of the Xoites, intrenched in the marshes of the Delta, all
Egypt became for a time subject to the Shepherds. They burned cities,
destroyed temples, and made slaves of all the people whom they did
not put to death. Two native dynasties reigned at Memphis, and one at
Heracleopolis, but they were tributary to the conquerors.

=142.= Some have supposed that the Pyramids were erected by these
Shepherd Kings. But the best authorities describe the race as rude,
ignorant, and destitute of arts, as compared with the Egyptians, either
before or after their invasion; and after the long deluge of barbarism
was swept back, we find religion, language, and art—kept, doubtless,
and cultivated in seclusion by the learned class—precisely as they were
before the interruption. The absence of records during this period
would alone prove the lack of learning in the ruling race. Baron Bunsen
supposes the Hyksos to have been identical with the Philistines of
Palestine. Some of them took refuge in Crete when they were driven out
of Egypt, and re-appeared in Palestine from the west about the same time
that the Israelites entered it from the east. In any case, a gap of
nearly four hundred years occurs in Egyptian history between the old and
the new empires, during which the Holy City of Thebes was in the hands of
barbarians, the annals ceased, and the names of the kings, either native
or foreign, are for the most part unknown.

=143.= THIRD PERIOD. B. C. 1525-525. After their long humiliation, the
people of Egypt rallied for a great national revolt, under the Theban
king Amo´sis, and drove the invaders, after a hard-fought contest, from
their soil. Now came the brightest period of Egyptian history. Amosis
was rewarded with the undivided sovereignty, and became the founder of
the Eighteenth Dynasty. Memphis was made the imperial capital. Many
temples were repaired, as we may learn from memoranda preserved in the
quarries of Syene and the Upper Nile. Aahmes, the wife of Amosis, bears
the surname Nefru-ari, “the good, glorious woman,” and seems to have been
held in the highest honor ever ascribed to a queen. She was a Theban
princess of Ethiopian blood, and probably had many provinces for her
dowry. Amosis died B. C. 1499.

=144.= For eight hundred years Egypt continued a single, consolidated
kingdom. During this time art obtained its highest perfection; the great
temple-palaces of Thebes were built; numerous obelisks, “fingers of the
sun,” pointed heavenward; and the people, who had long groaned under a
cruel servitude, enjoyed, under the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth
Dynasties, the protection of a mild and well-organized government.

=145.= It may be feared that the Egyptians wreaked upon a captive nation
within their own borders their resentment against their late oppressors.
The Hebrews grew and multiplied in Egypt, and their lives were made
bitter with hard bondage. Many of the vast brick constructions of the
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Dynasties may have been erected by the captive
Hebrews, who are expressly said to have built the two treasure cities,
Pithom and Raamses.

=146.= Royal women were treated with higher respect in Egypt than in any
other ancient monarchy. Thothmes I, the third king of the Eighteenth
Dynasty, was succeeded by his daughter, Mesphra or Amen-set, who reigned
as regent for her younger brother, Thothmes II. He died a minor, and she
held the same office, or, perhaps, reigned jointly with her next younger
brother, Thothmes III; but not with his cordial consent, for when she,
too, died, after a regency of twenty-two years, he caused her name and
image to be effaced from all the sculptures in which they had appeared

=147.= B. C. 1461-1414. This king, Thothmes III, is distinguished not
more for his foreign wars than for the magnificent palaces and temples
which he built at Karnac, Thebes, Memphis, Heliopolis, Coptos, and other
places. Hardly an ancient city in Egypt or Nubia is unmarked by remains
of his edifices. The history of his twelve successive campaigns is
recorded in sculpture upon the walls of his palace at Thebes. He drove
the Hyksos from their last stronghold, Ava´ris, where they had been
shut up since the days of his father. The two obelisks near Alexandria,
which some Roman wit called Cleopa´tra’s Needles, bear the name of this
king. His military expeditions extended both to the north and south;
inscriptions on his monuments declare that he took tribute from Nineveh,
Hit (or Is), and Babylon.

[Sidenote: B. C. 1400-1364.]

=148.= His grandson, Thothmes IV, caused the carving of the great Sphinx
near the Pyramids. Amunoph III, his successor, was a great and powerful
monarch. He adorned the country by magnificent buildings, and improved
its agriculture by the construction of tanks or reservoirs to regulate
irrigation. The two _Colossi_ near Thebes, one of which is known as the
vocal Memnon, date from his reign; but the Amenophe´um, of which they
were ornaments, is now in ruins. Amunoph maintained the warlike fame of
his ancestors by expeditions into all the countries invaded by Thothmes
III. He is styled upon his monuments, “Pacificator of Egypt and Tamer of
the Libyan Shepherds.” He built the gorgeous palace of Luxor, which he
connected with the temple at Karnac by an avenue of a thousand sphinxes.
He made a similar avenue also at Thebes, lined with colossal sitting
statues of the cat-headed goddess Pasht (Bubastis).

[Sidenote: B. C. 1327-1324.]

=149.= B. C. 1364-1327. In the reign of Horus, his son, the nation was
distracted by many claimants for the crown, most of whom were princes or
princesses of the blood royal. Horus outlived his rivals and destroyed
their monuments. He had successful foreign wars in Africa, and made
additions to the palaces at Karnac and Luxor. With the next king,
Rathotis (or Resitot), the Eighteenth Dynasty ended.

=150.= B. C. 1324-1322. Rameses I, founder of the Nineteenth Dynasty,
was descended from the first two kings of the eighteenth. His son,
Seti, inherited all the national hatred toward the Syrian invaders, and
“avenged the shame of Egypt on Asia.” He reconquered Syria, which had
revolted some forty years earlier, and carried his victorious arms as
far as the borders of Cilicia and the banks of the Euphrates. He built
the great Hall at Karnac—in which the whole Cathedral of Notre Dame, at
Paris, could stand without touching either walls or ceiling—and his tomb
is the most beautiful of all the sepulchers of the kings.

=151.= B. C. 1311-1245. Rameses II, the Great, reigned sixty-six years;
and his achievements in war and peace fill a large space in the records
of his time, in which fact and fiction are often intermingled by his
flatterers. During his father’s life-time, he began his military career
by subduing both Libya and Arabia. His ambition being thus inflamed, he
had no sooner succeeded to the throne than he resolved upon the conquest
of the world. He provided for the security of his kingdom during his
absence, by re-dividing the country into thirty-six nomes and appointing
a governor for each. He then equipped an immense army, which is said to
have included 600,000 foot, 24,000 horse, and 27,000 war chariots. Having
conquered Ethiopia, Rameses made a fleet of four hundred vessels, the
first which any Egyptian king had possessed, and sailing down the Red Sea
to the Arabian, continued his voyage as far as India. He returned only to
make fresh preparations, and lead another great army eastward beyond the
Ganges, and onward till he reached a new ocean. Columns were every-where
erected recording the victories of the monarch, and lauding the courage
or shaming the cowardice of those who had encountered him.


_Called by the Greeks the Vocal Memnon. It was 47 feet in height, or 53
feet including the pedestal._]

=152.= Returning from his Asiatic conquests, Rameses entered Europe and
subdued the Thracians; then, after nine years absence, during which he
had covered himself with the glory of innumerable easy victories, he
reëntered Egypt. He brought with him a long train of captives, whom he
intended to employ upon the architectural works which he had already
projected. Among the most celebrated are the Rock Temples of Ipsambul,
in Nubia, whose sides are covered with bas-reliefs representing the
victories of Sesostris; the Ramesse´um, or Memnonium, at Thebes; and
additions to the palace at Karnac. He built, also, a wall near the
eastern frontier of Egypt, from Pelusium to Heliopolis, and, perhaps,
even as far as Sye´ne, to prevent future invasions from Arabia. More
monuments exist of Rameses II than of any other Pharaoh; but the strength
of the New Empire was exhausted by these extraordinary efforts in war and
building. The king tormented both his subjects and his captives, using
them merely as instruments of his passion for military and architectural
display. It was this king who drove the Israelites to desperation by his
inhuman oppressions, especially by commanding every male child to be
drowned in the Nile. (Exodus i: 8-14, 22.)

=153.= In the great hall of Abydus, or This, Rameses is represented as
offering sacrifice to fifty-two kings of his own race, he himself, in
a glorified form, being of the number. The sculpture is explained by
an inscription: “A libation to the Lords of the West, by the offerings
of their son, the king Rameses, in his abode.” The reply of the royal
divinities is as follows: “The speech of the Lords of the West, to their
son the Creator and Avenger, the Lord of the World, the Sun who conquers
in truth. We ourselves elevate our arms to receive thy offerings, and all
other good and pure things in thy palace. We are renewed and perpetuated
in the paintings of thy house,” etc.

=154.= The son of Rameses II, Menephthah, or Amenephthes, was the
Pharaoh of the Exodus. The escaping Israelites passed along the bank
of the canal made by the Great King, and thus were supplied with water
for their multitude both of men and beasts. By the dates always found
upon Egyptian buildings, we learn that architectural labors ceased
for twenty years; and this contrast to the former activity affords an
interesting coincidence with the Scriptural narrative. Josephus,[16]
also, quotes from Manetho a tradition, that the son of the great Rameses
was overthrown by a revolt, under Osarsiph (Moses), of a race of lepers
who had been grievously oppressed by him; and that he fled into Ethiopia
with his son, then only five years old, who, thirteen years later,
recovered the kingdom as Sethos II. To express their contempt for their
former captives, the Egyptian historians always refer to the Israelites
as lepers. With Seti, or Sethos II, the house of the great Rameses became

=155.= B. C. 1219. Rameses III, the first of the Twentieth Dynasty,
maintained extensive wars, both by sea and land. His four sons all bore
his name and came successively to the throne, but there are no great
events to signalize their reigns. Six or seven kings of the same name
followed, and the family ended about B. C. 1085.

=156.= During this period Egypt rapidly declined, as well in intellectual
as military power. Her foreign enterprises ceased; no additions were made
to the magnificent buildings of former ages; and sculpture and painting,
instead of deriving new life from the study of Nature, were compelled
to copy the old set forms or confine themselves to dull and meaningless

=157.= The Twenty-first Dynasty was a priestly race, whose capital was
Ta´nis, or Zo´an, in Lower Egypt, but who were supreme throughout the
country. They wore sacerdotal robes, and called themselves High Priests
of Amun. One of them gave his daughter in marriage to Solomon. (1 Kings
iii: 1; ix: 16.) The seven kings of this dynasty had usually short
reigns, marked by few events. B. C. 1085-990.

[Sidenote: B. C. 972.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 956-933.]

=158.= B. C. 993-972. Sheshonk, or Shishak, the founder of the
Twenty-second Dynasty, revived the military power of the nation. He
married the daughter of Pisham II, the last king of the Tanite race, and
took upon himself, also, the title of High Priest of Amun, but beyond
this there are no signs of priesthood in this line. Bubastis, in the
Delta, was the seat of his government. It was to him that Jerobo´am fled
when plotting to make himself king of Israel; and Shishak afterward made
an expedition against Judæa for the purpose of confirming Jeroboam on his
throne. He plundered Jerusalem and received the submission of Rehoboam.
Osorkon II, the fourth king of this dynasty, and an Ethiopian prince, was
probably the Zerah of Scripture, who invaded Syria, and was defeated by
Asa, king of Judah, in the battle of Mareshah. (2 Chron. xiv: 9-14.)

=159.= At the expiration of this line in the person of Takelot II, about
B. C. 847, a rival family sprang up at Tanis, forming the Twenty-third
Dynasty. It comprised only four kings, none of whom were famous. B. C.

[Sidenote: B. C. 730.]

=160.= B. C. 758-714. The Twenty-fourth Dynasty consisted of one king,
Boccho´ris. He fixed the government at Sa´ïs, another city of the Delta,
and was widely famed for the wisdom and justice of his administration.
In the latter half of this period, Sabaco, the Ethiopian, overran the
country and reduced the Saïte monarch to a mere vassal. Bocchoris,
attempting to revolt, was captured and burned to death, after a reign of
forty-four years.

[Sidenote: B. C. 690-665.]

=161.= Sabaco I, having subdued Egypt, established the Twenty-fifth
Dynasty. He fought with the king of Assyria for the dominion of western
Asia, but was defeated by Sargon in the battle of Raphia, B. C. 718.
Assyrian influence became predominant in the Delta, while the power of
the Ethiopian was undisturbed only in Upper Egypt. The second king of
this family was also named Sabaco. The third and last, Tir´hakeh, was
the greatest of the line. He maintained war successively with three
Assyrian monarchs. The first, Sennacherib, was overthrown[17] B. C. 698.
His son, Esarhaddon, was successful for a time in breaking Lower Egypt
into a number of tributary provinces. Tirhakeh recovered his power and
reunited his kingdom; but after two years’ war with Asshur-bani-pal, the
next king of Assyria, he was obliged to abdicate in favor of his son.
The son was expelled, and Egypt was divided for thirty years into many
petty kingdoms, which remained subject to Assyria until the death of the

=162.= For the Egyptians this was merely a change of foreign rulers.
Their patriotism had long been declining, and their native army had lost
its fame and valor from the time when the kings of the Twenty-second
Dynasty intrusted the national defense to foreigners. The military caste
became degraded, and the crown even attempted to deprive the soldiers
of their lands. Egypt had become in some degree a naval power, and a
commercial class had arisen to rival the soldiers and farmers.

=163.= About 630 B. C., the Assyrians had to concentrate their forces
at home in resistance to the Scythians; and Psammet´ichus, one of the
native viceroys whom they had set up in Egypt, seized the opportunity to
throw off their yoke. The great Assyrian Empire was now falling under the
Median and Babylonian revolt, and its power ceased to be felt in distant
provinces. Psammetichus gained victories over his brother viceroys,
and established the Twenty-sixth Dynasty over all Egypt. He was an
enlightened monarch, and during his reign art and science received a new

=164.= Having overcome the dodecarchy by means of his Greek and Tyrian
auxiliaries, he settled these foreign troops in permanent camps, the
latter near Memphis, the former near the Pelusiac branch of the Nile.
His native soldiery were so incensed by being thus superseded by foreign
mercenaries, that many deserted and took up their residence in Ethiopia.
So many foreigners of all classes now flocked to the ports of Egypt, that
a new caste of dragomans, or interpreters, arose. Psammetichus caused his
own son to be instructed in Greek learning, a sure sign that the barriers
which had hitherto separated the intellectual life of Egypt from the rest
of the world were now broken down.

=165.= Those northern barbarians who had terrified the Assyrians had now
overrun Palestine and threatened an invasion of Egypt; but the messengers
of Psammetichus met them at Ascalon with bribes which induced them to

[Sidenote: B. C. 605.]

=166.= B. C. 610-594. In the reign of Necho, son of Psammetichus, the
navy and commerce of Egypt were greatly increased, and Africa was for the
first time circumnavigated by an Egyptian fleet. This expedition sailed
by way of the Red Sea. Twice the seamen landed, encamped, sowed grain,
and waited for a harvest. Having reaped their crop, they again set sail,
and in the third year arrived in Egypt by way of the Mediterranean. The
foreign conquests of Necho may even be compared with those of the great
Rameses, for he enlarged his dominions by all the country between Egypt
and the Euphrates. But he met a stronger foe in Nebuchadnezzar, and when
he fled from the field of Car´chemish all his Asiatic conquests fell into
the hands of the great Babylonian.

[Sidenote: B. C. 569-525.]

=167.= B. C. 588-569. His grandson, Apries, the Pharaoh-hophra of
Scripture, resumed the warlike schemes of Necho. He besieged Sidon,
fought a naval battle with Tyre, and made an unsuccessful alliance with
Zedekiah, king of Judah, against Nebuchadnezzar. He was deposed, and
his successor, Ama´sis, held his crown at first as a tributary to the
Babylonian. He afterward made himself independent; and many monuments
throughout Egypt bear witness to his liberal encouragement of the arts,
while his foreign policy enriched the country. He was on friendly terms
with Greece and her colonies, and many Greek merchants settled in Egypt.

=168.= Alarmed by the increasing power of Persia, he sought to strengthen
himself by alliances with Crœsus of Lydia, and Polycrates of Samos. The
precaution was ineffectual, but Amasis did not live to see the ruin
of his country. Cambyses, king of Persia, was already on his march at
the head of a great army, when Psammen´itus, son of Amasis, succeeded
to the throne of Egypt. The new king hastened to meet the invader at
Pelusium, but was defeated and compelled to shut himself up in Memphis,
his capital, where the Persians now advanced to besiege him. The city
was taken and its king made captive, after a reign of only six months.
A little later he was put to death; and the Kingdom of Egypt, after a
thousand years of independent existence, became a mere province of the
Persian Empire, B. C. 525.


    At a very early period Egypt was highly civilized, but not
    united, for it consisted of many independent nomes governed by
    priests. Menes built Memphis, and founded the Empire of Upper
    and Lower Egypt, which was ruled by twenty-six dynasties before
    the Persian Conquest. Sesorcheres founded the Third Dynasty;
    Sesonchosis patronized all the arts, and his son improved the
    laws and worship. The Fourth Dynasty built many pyramids,
    while the Second and Fifth reigned as dependents in This and
    Elephantine. Egypt was afterward divided into five kingdoms,
    and became subject to the Hyksos from Asia, who enslaved the
    people, and after a time subdued the whole country, except Xois
    in the Delta. During the early part of their invasion, the
    Twelfth Dynasty reigned at Thebes in great power and splendor.

    B. C. 1525, Amosis led a revolt which expelled the Hyksos, and
    founded the Eighteenth Dynasty at Memphis. Several queens were
    highly honored. The people were prosperous, but the captive
    Hebrews were oppressed. Thothmes III built many palaces;
    Seti re-conquered Syria; and his son, Rameses the Great,
    gained victories in Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the reign of
    Menephthah, the Israelites were led out of Egypt by Moses.
    Under the Twentieth Dynasty, the art, enterprise, and power
    of Egypt declined. The Twenty-first Dynasty was composed of
    priests; the Twenty-second, of soldiers. The Twenty-fourth
    was overthrown by Sabaco the Ethiopian; the Twenty-fifth,
    which he founded, was, in turn, reduced by the Assyrians.
    After thirty years’ subjection, Egypt was delivered and united
    by Psammetichus, with the aid of foreign troops. Necho, his
    son, was successful in many naval and military enterprises,
    but was defeated at last by Nebuchadnezzar, in the battle
    of Carchemish. Apries was deposed by the same king, and
    Amasis came to the throne as a viceroy of Babylon. His son,
    Psammenitus, was conquered by Cambyses, and Egypt became a
    Persian province.


=169.= The religion of the ancient Egyptians was a perplexing mixture
of grand conceptions and degrading superstitions. No other ancient
people had so firm an assurance of immortality, or felt its motives
so intimately affecting their daily life; yet no other carried its
idolatries to so debasing and ridiculous an extreme. The contradiction
is partly solved if we remember two distinctions: the first applying
chiefly to the ancient and heathen world, between the religion of priests
and people; the second every-where existing, even in the One True Faith,
between theory and practice—between ideal teaching and the personal
character of those who receive it.

=170.= The sacred books of the Egyptians contained the system adopted
by the priests. Their fundamental doctrine was that God is one,
unrepresented, invisible. But as God acts upon the world, his various
attributes or modes of manifestation were represented in various forms.
As the Creator, he was Phtha; as the Revealer, he was Am´un; as the
Benefactor and the Judge of men, he was Osiris; and so on through an
endless list of primary, secondary, and tertiary characters, which to
the uneducated became so many separate divinities. Some portion of his
divine life was even supposed to reside in plants and animals, which were
accordingly cherished and worshiped by the ignorant. For what to the wise
were merely symbols, to the people became distinct objects of adoration;
and the Egyptian priests, like all other heathen philosophers, disdained
to spread abroad the light which they possessed. They despised the common
people, whom they judged incapable of apprehending the sacred mysteries,
and taught them only those convenient doctrines which would render them
submissive to kingly and priestly authority.

=171.= The people, then, believed in eight gods of the first order,
twelve of the second, and seven of the third; but each of these was
worshiped under many titles, or as connected with different places. Isis
was, therefore, surnamed Myriônyma, or “with ten thousand names.” The sun
and the moon were admitted to their worship; the former as representing
the life-giving power of the deity, the latter as the regulator of time
and the messenger of heaven. The moon was figured as the Ibis-headed
Thoth, who corresponds to the Greek Hermes, the god of letters and
recorder of all human actions.

=172.= A principle of evil was worshiped, in very early times, under
the name of Seth, the Satan of Egyptian mythology. He was figured on a
monument as instructing a king in the use of a bow. Sin is elsewhere
represented as a great serpent, the enemy of gods and men, slain by the
spear of Horus, the child of Isis. It seems impossible to doubt that the
Egyptians had preserved some traditions of the promises made to Eve. At
a later period the worship of the evil principle was abolished, and the
square-eared images of Seth were chiseled off from the monuments.

=173.= The most interesting article of Egyptian mythology is the
appearance of Osiris on earth for the benefit of mankind, under the title
of Manifestor of Goodness and Truth; his death by the malice of the evil
one; his burial and resurrection, and his office as judge of the dead. In
every part of Egypt, and during all periods of its history, Osiris was
regarded as the great arbiter of the future state.

=174.= In the earliest times human sacrifices were practiced, as is
proved by the Sacrificial Seal which was accustomed to be affixed to
the victim, and copies of which are frequently found in the tombs. It
represents a kneeling human figure, bound, and awaiting the descent of
the knife which glitters in the hand of a priest. But the practice was
abolished by Amosis (B. C. 1525-1499), who ordered an equal number of
waxen effigies to be offered instead of the human victims.

=175.= The worship of animals was the most revolting feature of Egyptian
ceremonies. Throughout Egypt the ox, dog, cat, ibis, hawk, and the fishes
lepidotus and oxyrrynchus were held sacred. Beside these there were
innumerable local idolatries. Men´des worshiped the goat; Heracleop´olis,
the ichneumon; Cynop´olis, the dog; Lycop´olis, the wolf; A´thribis,
the shrew-mouse; Sa´ïs and Thebes, the sheep; Babylon near Memphis, the
ape, etc. Still more honored were the bull Apis, at Memphis; the calf
Mne´vis, at Heliopolis; and the crocodiles of Om´bos and Arsin´oë. These
were tended in their stalls by priests, and worshiped by the people
with profound reverence. Apis, the living symbol of Osiris, passed his
days in an Apeum attached to the Serapeum at Memphis. When he died he
was embalmed, and buried in so magnificent a manner that the persons in
charge of the ceremony were often ruined by the expense. He was supposed
to be the son of the moon, and was known by a white triangle or square on
his black forehead, the figure of a vulture on his back, and of a beetle
under his tongue. He was never allowed to live more than twenty-five
years. If he seemed likely to survive this period, he was drowned in
the sacred fountain, and another Apis was sought. The chemistry of the
priests had already produced the required white spots in the black hair
of some young calf, and the candidate was never sought in vain. At the
annual rising of the Nile, a seven-days’ feast was held in honor of

=176.= Difference of worship sometimes led to bitter enmities between
the several nomes. Thus, at Ombos the crocodile was worshiped, while at
Ten´tyra it was hunted and abhorred; the ram-headed Am´un was an object
of adoration at Thebes, and the sheep was a sacred animal, while the goat
was killed for food; in Men´des the goat was worshiped and the sheep was
eaten. The Lycopol´ites also ate mutton in compliment to the wolves,
which they venerated.

=177.= If we turn from the trivial rites to the moral effects of the
Egyptian faith, we find more to respect. The rewards and punishments of
a future life were powerful incitements to right dealing in the present.
At death all became equal: the king or the highest pontiff equally with
the lowest swine-herd must be acquitted by the judges before his body was
permitted to pass the sacred lake and be buried with his fathers. Every
nome had its sacred lake, across which all funeral processions passed on
their way to the city of the dead. On the side nearest the abodes of the
living, have been found the remains of multitudes who failed to pass the
ordeal, and whose bodies were ignominiously returned to their friends, to
be disposed of in the speediest manner.

=178.= Beside the earthly tribunal of forty-two judges, who decided the
fate of the body, it was believed that the soul must pass before the
divine judgment-seat before it could enter the abodes of the blessed. The
Book of the Dead—the only one yet discovered of the forty-two sacred
books of the Egyptians—contains a description of the trial of a departed
soul. It is represented on its long journey as occupied with prayers and
confessions. Forty-two gods occupy the judgment-seat. Osiris presides;
and before him are the scales, in one of which the statue of perfect
Justice is placed; in the other, the heart of the deceased. The soul of
the dead stands watching the balance, while Horus examines the plummet
indicating which way the beam preponderates; and Thoth, the Justifier,
records the sentence. If this is favorable, the soul receives a mark or
seal, “Justified.”

=179.= The temples of Egypt are the grandest architectural monuments
in the world. That of Am´un, in a rich oasis twenty days’ journey from
Thebes, was one of the most famous of ancient oracles. Near it, in
a grove of palms, rose a hot spring, the Fountain of the Sun, whose
bubbling and smoking were supposed to be tokens of the divine presence.
The oasis was a resting-place for caravans which passed between Egypt and
the interior regions of Nigritia or Soudan; and many rich offerings were
placed in the temple by merchants, thankful to have so nearly escaped
the perils of the desert, or anxious to gain the favor of Amun for their
journey just begun.

=180.= The Egyptians were divided into castes, or ranks, distinguished by
occupations. These have been variously numbered from three to seven. The
priests stood highest, the soldiers next; below these were husbandmen,
who may be divided into gardeners, boatmen, artisans of various kinds,
and shepherds, the latter including goat-herds and swine-herds, which
last were considered lowest of all.

=181.= The land, at least under the new empire, belonged exclusively to
the king, the priests, and the soldiers. In the time when Joseph the
Hebrew was prime minister, all other proprietors surrendered their lands
to the crown,[18] retaining possession of them only on condition of
paying a yearly rent of one-fifth of the produce.

=182.= The king was the representative of deity, and thus the head not
only of the government but of the religion of the state. His title, Phrah
(Pharaoh), signifying the Sun, pronounced him the emblem of the god of
light. It was his right and office to preside over the sacrifice and pour
out libations to the gods.

=183.= On account of his great responsibilities, the king of Egypt was
allowed less freedom in personal habits than the meanest of his subjects.
The sacred books contained minute regulations for his food, drink, and
dress, and the employment of his time. No indulgence of any kind was
permitted to be carried to excess. No slave or hireling was allowed
to hold office about his person, lest he should imbibe ideas unworthy
of a prince; but noblemen of the highest rank were alone privileged to
attend him. The ritual of every morning’s worship chanted the virtues
of former kings, and reminded him of his own duties. After death his
body was placed in an open court, where all his subjects might come with
accusations; and if his conduct in life was proved to have been unworthy
his high station, he was forever excluded from the sepulcher of his

=184.= The priestly order possessed great power in the state, and, so far
as the sovereign was concerned, we can not deny that they used it well.
They were remarkable for their simple and temperate habits of living.
So careful were they that the body should “sit lightly upon the soul,”
that they took food only of the plainest quality and limited amount,
abstaining from many articles, such as fish, mutton, swine’s flesh,
beans, peas, garlic, leeks, and onions, which were in use among the
common people. They bathed twice a day and twice during the night—some
of the more strict, in water that had been tasted by their sacred bird,
the ibis, that they might have undoubted evidence of its cleanliness.
By this example of abstinence, purity, and humility, as well as by
their reputation for learning, the Egyptian priests established almost
unlimited control over the people. Their knowledge of physical science
enabled them, by optical illusions and other tricks, to excite the terror
and superstitious awe of their ignorant spectators. Nor did their reputed
power end with this life, for they could refuse to any man the passport
to the “outer world,” which alone could secure his eternal happiness.

=185.= The science of medicine was cultivated by the priests in even
the remotest ages. The universal practice of embalming was exercised
by physicians, and this enabled them to study the effects of various
diseases, by examination of the body after death. Asiatic monarchs sent
to Egypt for their physicians, and the prolific soil of the Nile Valley
supplied drugs for all the world. To this day, the characters used by
apothecaries to denote drams and grains are Egyptian ciphers as adopted
by the Arabs.

=186.= The soldiers, when not engaged in service either in foreign
wars, in garrisons, or at court, were settled on their own lands. These
were situated chiefly east of the Nile or in the Delta, since it was in
these quarters that the country was most exposed to hostile invasions.
Each soldier was allotted about six acres of land, free from all tax or
tribute. From its proceeds he defrayed the expense of his own arms and

=187.= Upon the walls of their tombs are found vivid delineations of the
daily life of the Egyptians. Their industries, such as glass-blowing,
linen-weaving, rope-making, etc., as well as their common recreations
of hunting, fishing, ball-playing, wrestling, and domestic scenes, as
in the entertainment of company, are all represented in sculpture or
paintings upon the walls of Thebes or Beni-hassan. Dolls and other toys
of children are found in the tombs; and it is evident that the Egyptians
had so familiarized the idea of death as to have rid themselves of the
gloomy and painful associations with which it is often surrounded. The
body, after being prepared for the tomb, was returned to the house of
its abode, where it was kept never less than thirty days, and sometimes
even a year, feasts being given in its honor, and it being always present
in the company of guests. From the moment when the forty-two judges
had pronounced their favorable verdict on the border of the lake, the
lamentations of the funeral train were changed into songs of triumph, and
the deceased was congratulated on his admission to the glorified company
of the friends of Osiris.


=188.= About 850 B. C., Dido, sister of Pygmalion, king of Tyre, having
been cruelly wronged by her brother in the murder of her husband,
Acer´bas, resolved to escape from his dominions and establish a new
empire. Accompanied by some Tyrian nobles who were dissatisfied with the
rule of Pygmalion, she sailed in a fleet laden with the treasures of her
husband, and came to anchor at length in a bay on the northern coast of
Africa, about six miles north of the modern Tunis.

=189.= The Libyan natives, who knew the value of commerce and the wealth
of Phœnician colonies, were inclined to be friendly; but their first
transaction with the new settlers promised advantages only to one side.
Dido proposed to lease from them as much land as could be covered with a
bullock’s hide. The yearly ground-rent being settled, she then ordered
the hide to be cut into the thinnest possible strips, and thus surrounded
a large portion of land, on which she built the fortress of Byr´sa. The
colony prospered, however, and was strengthened by the alliance of Utica
and other Tyrian settlements on the same coast. By similar arrangements
with the Libyans, the queen obtained permission to build the town of
CARTHAGE, which became the seat of a great commercial empire.

=190.= As the New City[19] rose to a high degree of power and wealth,
Hiar´bas, a neighboring king, sent to demand a marriage with Dido,
threatening war in case of refusal. The queen seemed to consent for the
benefit of her state; but at the end of three months’ preparation, she
ascended a funeral pile upon which sacrifices had been offered to the
shades of Acer´bas, and declaring to her people, that she was going to
her husband, as they had desired, plunged a sword into her breast. Dido
continued to be worshiped as a divinity in Carthage as long as the city

[Sidenote: B. C. 585.]

=191.= So far our story is mixed with fable, though containing,
doubtless, a large proportion of truth. What we certainly know is, that
the latest colony of Tyre soon became the most powerful; that it grew by
the alliance and immigration of the neighboring Libyans, as well as of
its sister colonies; and that it gained in wealth by the destruction[20]
of its parent city in the Babylonian wars. While the Levantine commerce
of Tyre fell to the Greeks, that of the West was naturally inherited by
the Carthaginians.

=192.= The African tribes, to whom the colonists were at first compelled
to pay tribute for the slight foot-hold they possessed, became at
length totally subjugated. They cultivated their lands for the benefit
of Carthage, and might at any time be forced to contribute half their
movable wealth to her treasury, and all their young men to her armies.
The Phœnician settlements gradually formed themselves into a confederacy,
of which Carthage was the head, though she possessed no authority beyond
the natural leadership of the most powerful. Her dominions extended
westward to the Pillars of Hercules, and down the African coast to the
end of the Atlas range; on the east her boundaries were fixed, after a
long contest with the Greek city of Cyre´ne, at the bottom of the Great
Syrtis, or gulf, which indents the northern shore.

=193.= Not content with her continental domains, Carthage gained
possession of most of the islands of the western Mediterranean. The coast
of Sicily was already dotted with Phœnician trading stations. These came
under the control of Carthage; and though out-rivaled in prosperity by
the free cities of the Greeks, especially Agrigen´tum and Syr´acuse,
the western portion of the island long remained a valuable possession.
The Balearic Islands were occupied by Carthaginian troops. Sardinia was
conquered by a long and severe conflict, and became a most important
station for the trade with Western Europe. Settlements were established
in Corsica and Spain, while, in the Atlantic, the islands of Madeira and
the Canaries were early subdued.

=194.= These conquests were made chiefly by means of foreign mercenaries
drawn both from Europe and Africa. South and west of Carthage were the
barbarous but usually friendly tribes of Numid´ia and Mauritania; and her
merchants in their journeys had frequent dealings with the warlike races
of Spain, Gaul, and northern Italy. It is said that the Carthaginians
mingled these various nations in their armies in such a manner that
difference of language might prevent their plotting together.

=195.= The navy of Carthage was of great importance in protecting her
commerce from the swarms of pirates which infested the Mediterranean. The
galleys were propelled by oars in the hands of slaves, but the officers
and sailors were usually native Carthaginians. With these land and naval
forces, Carthage became for several centuries undisputed mistress of the
central and western Mediterranean.

[Sidenote: B. C. 509.]

=196.= Toward the middle of the sixth century B. C., a great commercial
rival appeared in the western waters. The Greeks had begun their system
of colonization; had opened a trade with Tartes´sus, multiplied their
settlements in Sicily and Corsica, and built Massil´ia near the mouth
of the Rhone. Near the close of our First Period, the two powers came
into fierce collision, and the Grecian fleet was destroyed by that of
Carthage, aided by her Etruscan allies. At the same time Rome, which
had grown powerful under her kings, became free by their expulsion; and
the Carthaginians, hitherto on friendly terms with the Italians, made a
treaty of alliance with the new Republic which was to prove their most
unrelenting foe.

=197.= The government of Carthage, under the forms of a republic,
was really an aristocracy of wealth. The two chief officers were the
Suffe´tes, who at first, like the Hebrew rulers from Joshua to Samuel,
led the people in war and judged them in peace. In later times their
office became exclusively civil, and generals were appointed for military
command. The Suffetes were elected only from certain families, and
probably for life.

=198.= Next came the Council of several hundreds of citizens, from which
committees of five were chosen to administer the various departments of
state. At a later period, when the house of Mago had risen to a degree of
military power which was thought to endanger the public safety, a Council
of One Hundred was added to these, before which all generals returning
from war were obliged to present themselves and render an account of
their actions. So severe were the judgments of this tribunal, that an
unsuccessful general often preferred suicide upon the field of battle to
meeting their awards. With the two judges and the two high priests, this
council constituted the Supreme Court of the Republic.

=199.= The larger Council, or Senate, received foreign embassadors,
deliberated upon all matters of state, and decided questions of war or
peace, with a certain deference to the authority of the Suffetes. If the
judges and the senate could not agree, appeal was made to the people.

=200.= The religion of Carthage was the same as that of Tyre, with
the addition of the worship of two or three Grecian divinities, whom
the Carthaginians thought it necessary to appease by sacrifices after
destroying their temples in Sicily. Every army was accompanied by a
prophet or diviner, without whose direction nothing could be done.
Generals frequently offered sacrifices, even during the progress of a
battle. There was no hereditary priesthood, as in Egypt, but the priestly
offices were filled by the highest persons in the state, sometimes even
by the sons of the kings or judges. In every new settlement a sanctuary
was erected, that the religion of the mother country might grow together
with her government and commerce. Every year a fleet left Carthage,
laden with rich offerings and bearing a solemn embassy to the shrine of
the Tyrian Hercules. The human sacrifices and other hideous rites of
Phœnician worship prevailed at Carthage; and though these features were
somewhat softened by advancing civilization, we shall find traces enough,
in future pages of her history, of that cruelty which makes so dark a
blemish in the character of the whole race.

=201.= The trade of Carthage was carried on both by land and sea.
Her caravans crossed the Great Desert by routes still traveled, and
exchanged the products of northern countries for those of Upper Egypt,
Ethiopia, Fezzan, and, perhaps, the far interior regions of Nigri´tia.
The manufactures of Carthage included fine cloths, hardware, pottery,
and harness of leather; but beside the exchange of her own products, she
possessed almost exclusively the carrying-trade between the nations of
Africa and western Europe.

=202.= The ships of Carthage penetrated all the then known seas; and
though confined to coast navigation, they explored the Atlantic from
Norway to the Cape of Good Hope. Hanno, the son of Hamil´car, conducted
sixty ships bearing 30,000 colonists to the western shores of Africa,
where he planted a chain of six colonies between the Straits and the
island of Cer´ne. He then went southward with some of his ships as
far as the River Gambia, and visited the Gold Coast, with which his
countrymen thenceforth carried on a regular traffic. On his return he
placed an inscription, commemorative of this voyage, on a brazen tablet
in the temple of Kro´nos, at Carthage. Himilco, his brother, led another
expedition the same year to the western coast of Europe, but of this the
history is lost.

=203.= These extensive voyages in the interest of trade brought the
products of the world into the Carthaginian markets. There might be seen
muslins from Malta; oil and wine from Italy; wax and honey from Corsica;
iron from Elba; gold, silver, and iron from Spain; tin from Cornwall and
the Scilly Isles; amber from the Baltic; gold, ivory, and slaves from

=204.= While commerce was so abundant a source of wealth, agriculture
was the favorite pursuit of nobles and people. The fertile soil of Libya
yielded a hundred-fold to the farmer. So fond were wealthy Carthaginians
of the healthful toils of the field, that one of their great men wrote a
work, in twenty-eight volumes, on methods of husbandry; and this alone,
of all the treasures of their literature, was thought by their Roman
conquerors worthy of preservation.

=205.= We have slightly anticipated the course of events, in order to
present a connected account of the government, religion, and trade of
Carthage. Of her wars with the Sicilian Greeks, from the disastrous
defeat of Hamilcar at Him´era, B. C. 480, to the peace of B. C. 304, we
have no space for the details. The final period of Carthaginian history,
comprising the Roman wars and the destruction of the city, will be found
in Book V.


    Carthage, a colony of Tyre, became sovereign of the shores
    and islands of the western Mediterranean, a rival of Greece,
    and an ally of Rome. Her army and navy were largely composed
    of European and African mercenaries. Her government was
    republican, with two judges at its head, foreign affairs being
    transacted by a council of citizens. Religious ceremonies
    claimed a large share of attention, both in war and peace.
    Commerce extended by land to the interior of Africa; by sea,
    from the Baltic to the Indian Ocean; and products of all the
    world filled the Carthaginian markets. Agriculture was a
    favorite employment with nobles and common people.


Book I.—Part II.

   1. What is remarkable in the early history of Egypt?        §§ 126-128.
   2. Describe the first monarch of the united empire.                129.
   3.          His successors in the same dynasty.                    130.
   4. How many dynasties before the Persian Conquest?                 163.
   5. Describe the kings of the Third Dynasty.                   131, 132.
   6.          The Pyramid-builders.                              133-135.
   7. What dynasties were subject to the fourth?                      136.
   8. Describe the divisions of Egypt and their consequences.    138, 139.
   9.          The monuments of the Twelfth Dynasty.                  140.
  10.          The dominion and character of the Hyksos.         141, 142.
  11.          The rise of the New Empire.                            143.
  12.          The family of Thothmes I.                         146, 147.
  13. Name the remaining kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty.        148, 149.
  14. Who founded the Nineteenth Dynasty?                             150.
  15. Describe its second and third kings.                        150-152.
  16.          The Exodus of the Hebrews.                             154.
  17.          Egypt under the Twentieth Dynasty.                155, 156.
  18. What connections of Egyptian and Hebrew history under the
        Twenty-first and Twenty-second Dynasties?                157, 158.
  19. Who constituted the Twenty-fourth Dynasty?                      160.
  20. Tell the history of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.                   161.
  21. What was the condition of Egypt after the fall of Tirhakeh?     162.
  22. What led to the rise of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty?               163.
  23. What was the foreign policy of Psammetichus?                    164.
  24. What naval enterprise in the reign of Necho?                    166.
  25. Describe the reigns of Apries and Amasis.                       167.
  26.          The theory and practice of Egyptian religion.     169, 170.
  27. What were the objects of worship?                     171, 172, 175.
  28. Describe the twofold judgment of the dead.                 177, 178.
  29. Into what ranks were Egyptians divided?                         180.
  30. Who owned the land?                                             181.
  31. Describe the dignities and duties of the king.             182, 183.
  32.          The life and power of the priests.                     184.
  33.          Their medical practice.                                185.
  34.          The tombs, and honors paid to the dead.                187.
  35. Give the traditional account of the founding of Carthage   188, 189.
  36. Describe the causes of its prosperity.                          191.
  37.          The extent of its dominion.                       192, 193.
  38.          Its army and navy.                                194, 195.
  39. What war and what alliance in the sixth century?                196.
  40. Describe the government of Carthage.                        197-199.
  41.          Its religion.                                          200.
  42.          Its trade by land and sea.                         201-203.
  43. What was the favorite pursuit of the Carthaginians?             204.



B. C. 558-330.

=1.= About 650 B. C., a warlike people, from the highlands east of the
Caspian, took possession of the hilly country north of the Persian Gulf.
They belonged, like the Medes, to the Aryan or Indo-Germanic family, and
were distinguished by a more hardy, simple, and virtuous character, and a
purer faith, from the luxurious inhabitants of the Babylonian plains. The
nation, as it soon became constituted, consisted of ten tribes, of whom
four continued nomadic, three settled to the cultivation of the soil, and
three bore arms for the general defense. Of these the Pasar´gadæ were
preëminent, and formed the nobility of Persia, holding all high offices
in the army and about the court.

=2.= The first king, Achæ´menes, was a Pasargadian, and from him all
subsequent Persian kings were descended. For the first hundred years
of its history, Persia was dependent upon the neighboring kingdom of
Media. But a little after the middle of the sixth century before Christ,
a revolution under Cy´rus reversed the relations of the Medo-Persian
monarchy, and prepared the foundations of a great empire which was to
reach beyond the Nile and the Hellespont on the west, and the Indus on
the east.

=3.= Cyrus spent many of his early years at the court of Asty´ages,
his maternal grandfather, in the seven-walled city of Ecbat´ana.[21]
The brave, athletic youth, accustomed to hardy sports and simple fare,
despised the wine and dainty food, the painted faces and silken garments
of the Median nobles. He saw that their strength was wasted by luxury,
and that in case of a collision they would be no match for his warlike
countrymen. At the same time, a party of the younger Medes gathered
around Cyrus, preferring his manly virtues to the effeminate pomp and
cruel tyranny of their king, and impatient for the time when he should be
their ruler.

[Sidenote: B. C. 558.]

=4.= When all was ready, the Persian prince rallied his countrymen and
persuaded them to become independent of the Medes. Astyages raised an
army to quell the revolt, but when the two forces met at Pasar´gadæ, the
greater part of the Medes went over to the Persian side. In a second
battle Astyages was made prisoner, and the sovereignty of Media remained
to the conqueror.

[Sidenote: B. C. 546.]

=5.= The reign of Cyrus was full of warlike enterprises. By the time he
had subdued the Median cities, Crœsus,[22] king of Lydia, had become
alarmed by his rapidly increasing power, and had stirred up Egypt,
Babylon, and the Greeks to oppose it. He crossed the Ha´lys, and
encountered the army of Cyrus near Sino´pe, in Cappado´cia. Neither party
gained a victory; but Crœsus, finding his numbers inferior, drew back
toward his capital, thinking to spend the winter in renewed preparations.
Cyrus pursued him to the gates of Sardis, and defeated him in a decisive
battle. The city was taken, and Crœsus owed his life to the mercy of his
conqueror. His kingdom, which comprised all Asia Minor west of the Halys,
was added to the Persian Empire.

=6.= The monarchs of Asia had three methods of maintaining their dominion
over the countries they had conquered: 1. A large standing army was kept
upon the soil, at the cost of the vanquished. 2. In case of revolt,
whole nations were sometimes transported over a distance of thousands of
miles, usually to the islands of the Persian Gulf or the Indian Ocean,
while their places were filled by emigrants whose loyalty was assured.
3. A more injurious, though apparently more indulgent policy, compelled
a warlike people to adopt luxurious and effeminate manners. Such was the
treatment of the Lydians, by the advice of their captive king. Crœsus
was now the trusted counselor of Cyrus. With a view to save his people
from the miseries of transportation, he suggested that they should be
deprived of their arms, compelled to clothe themselves in soft apparel,
and to train their youth in habits of gaming and drinking, thus rendering
them forever incapable of disturbing the dominion of their conquerors.
From a brave, warlike, and industrious race, the Lydians were transformed
into indolent pleasure-seekers, and their country remained a submissive
province of the empire of Cyrus.

=7.= CAPTURE OF BABYLON. Leaving Harpagus to complete the conquest of
the Asiatic Greeks, Cyrus turned to the east, where he aimed at the
greater glory of subduing Assyria. Nabonadius,[23] the Babylonian king,
believed that the walls of his capital were proof against assault; but
he was defeated, and the great city became the prey of the conqueror.
The writings of Daniel, who was resident at the court of Nabonadius, and
a witness of the overthrow of his kingdom, inform us that Dari´us the
Median took Babylon, being about sixty-two years old. It is probable that
Darius was another name of Astyages himself, who, being deprived of his
own kingdom, was compensated by the government of the most magnificent
city of the East. His arbitrary decrees concerning Daniel and his
accusers accord well with the character of Astyages.

=8.= RETURN OF THE JEWS. It will be remembered that the Jews were now
captives in Babylonia, where they had remained seventy years, since the
destruction of their Holy City by Nebuchadnez´zar. Cyrus, who, like
the Hebrews, was a believer in One God, found their pure religion an
agreeable contrast to the corrupt and degrading rites of the Babylonians.
He may have been moved by the prophecies of Isaiah, uttered nearly two
centuries before, and those of Jeremiah at the time of the Captivity.
(Isaiah xliv: 28, and xlv: 1-5; Jeremiah xxv: 12, and xxviii: 11.) He
may also have had more selfish motives for favoring the Jews, in his
designs upon Egypt, thinking it an advantage to have a friendly people
established in the fortresses of Judah. In any case, he fulfilled the
prophecies by giving orders for the return of the Israelites to their own
land, and for the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem. The 5,400 golden
and silver vessels of the House of the Lord were brought forth from the
Babylonian treasury and delivered to the prince of Judah, who received
the Persian title Sheshbaz´zar, corresponding to the modern Pasha´.
Few of the original captives had survived, like Daniel, to witness the
return; but a company of fifty thousand, men, women, and children, were
soon collected from their settlements on the Euphrates and the Persian
Gulf, and moving toward their own land. (Read Ezra i, and ii: 1, 64, 65,
68-70.) On their arrival, the altar was immediately set up, the great
festivals reëstablished, a grant of cedars from the forests of Lebanon
obtained, and preparations made for rebuilding the Temple.

=9.= Cyrus never accomplished in person his designs upon Egypt. He
extended his conquests westward to the borders of Macedonia, and eastward
to the Indus. Some of the conquered countries were left under the
control of their native kings; some received Persian rulers. All were
made tributary, but the proportion of their tribute was not fixed. The
organization of this vast dominion was left to the successors of Cyrus.

[Sidenote: B. C. 529.]

=10.= His last expedition was against the Massa´getæ, a tribe which dwelt
east of the Sea of Aral. The barbarians who roamed over these great
northern plains had become formidable foes to the civilized empires
of the south, but they were so thoroughly subdued by Cyrus that they
troubled Persia no more for two hundred years. The victor, however, lost
his life in a battle with Tom´yris, their queen, and the government and
extension of his empire were left to the care of his son Camby´ses.

=11.= In departing for his Scythian campaign, Cyrus had left his young
cousin Dari´us in Persia, the satrapy of his father, Hystas´pes. The
night after crossing the Arax´es, he dreamed that he saw Darius with
wings on his shoulders, the one overshadowing Asia, and the other
Europe. The time and the region were fruitful in dreams, and this had a
remarkable fulfillment.

=12.= REIGN OF CAMBYSES. B. C. 529-522. Without the ability of his
father, Cambyses inherited his warlike ambition, and soon proceeded to
execute the plans of African conquest long cherished by Cyrus. He was a
man of violent passions, which his unlimited power left without their
just restraint, and many of his acts are more like those of a willful and
ignorant child than of a reasonable man.

=13.= Egypt, now governed by Ama´sis, was the only part of the Babylonian
dominion which had not yielded to Cyrus. Amasis had begun his reign as
viceroy of Nebuchadnezzar, but during the decline of the empire he had
become independent. Cambyses prepared for his Egyptian campaign by the
conquest of Phœnicia and Cyprus, the two naval powers of western Asia. He
then marched into Egypt with a great force of Persians and Greeks. Amasis
had recently died, but his son Psammen´itus awaited the invader near the
Pelusiac mouth of the Nile. A single battle decided the fate of Egypt.
Psammenitus was defeated, and with his surviving followers shut himself
up in Memphis. The siege was short, and at its termination all Egypt
submitted to Cambyses, who assumed the full dignity of the Pharaohs as
“Lord of the Upper and Lower Countries.” The neighboring Libyans and the
two Greek cities, Cyre´ne and Barca, also sent in their submission and
offered gifts.

=14.= Cambyses now meditated three expeditions: one by sea against the
great commercial empire of Carthage; one against the Ammonians of the
desert; and a third against the long-lived Ethiopians,[24] whose country
was reputed to be rich in gold. The first was abandoned, because the
Phœnicians refused to serve against one of their own colonies. To the
last-named people Cambyses sent an embassy of the Ich´thyoph´agi, who
lived upon the borders of the Red Sea and understood their language.
These were charged to carry presents to the Macrobian king, and assure
him that the Persian monarch desired his friendship. The Ethiopian
replied in plain terms: “Neither has the king of Persia sent you because
he valued my alliance, nor do you speak the truth, for you are come
as spies of my kingdom. Nor is he a just man; for if he were just, he
would not desire any land but his own, nor would he reduce people to
servitude who have done him no harm. However, give him this bow, and say
these words to him: The king of the Ethiopians advises the king of the
Persians, when his Persians can thus easily draw a bow of this size, then
to make war upon the long-lived Ethiopians with a more numerous army; but
until that time let him thank the gods, who have not inspired the sons of
the Ethiopians with a desire of adding another land to their own.”

=15.= When Cambyses heard the reply of the Ethiopian he was enraged, and
without the usual military forethought to provide magazines of food,
he instantly put his army in motion. Arriving at Thebes, he sent off a
detachment of 50,000 men to destroy the temple and oracle of Amun[25]
in the Oasis. This army was buried in the sands of the desert, without
even beholding Ammo´nium. The main army of Cambyses was almost equally
unfortunate. Before a fifth part of its journey was completed its
provisions were spent. The beasts of burden were then eaten, and life was
supported a little longer by herbs gathered from the soil. But when they
reached the desert, both food and water failed, and the wretched men were
reduced to eating certain of their comrades chosen by lot. By this time
even the rage of the king was exhausted, and he consented to turn back;
but he arrived at Memphis with a small portion of the host which had gone
forth with him upon this ill-concerted enterprise.

=16.= He found the Memphians keeping a joyous festival in honor of the
god Apis, who had just reappeared.[26] The Persian was in ill humor
from his recent disasters, and chose to believe that the Egyptians were
rejoicing in his misfortunes. He ordered the new Apis to be brought into
his presence. When the animal appeared, he drew his dagger and pierced
it in the thigh; then, laughing loudly, exclaimed: “Ye blockheads, are
there such gods as this, consisting of blood and flesh, and sensible of
steel? This, truly, is a god worthy of the Egyptians!” He commanded his
officers to scourge the priests and kill all the people who were found
feasting. The Egyptians believed that Cambyses was instantly smitten with
insanity as a punishment for this sacrilege. A reason may be found for
his contemptuous treatment of Apis in that Persian hatred of idolatry
which led him to shatter even the colossal images of the kings before
many temples, and caused him to be regarded by ancient travelers as the
great iconoclast of Egypt.

=17.= The mad career of Cambyses was near its end. Before leaving Persia,
he had caused the secret assassination of his younger brother, Bar´des,
or, as the Greek historians called him, Smerdis, to whom their father had
left the government of several provinces. He was about to leave Egypt,
when a report arrived that Smerdis had revolted against him. The king now
suspected that he had been betrayed by the too faithful messenger whom
he had sent to kill his brother. The leader of the revolt, however, was
neither of royal nor Persian blood. Goma´tes, a Magian, had been left by
Cambyses steward of his palace at Susa. This man conspired with his order
throughout the empire for a rising of the Medes against the Persians, and
for the suppression of the reformed religion which the latter had brought
in. Happening to resemble the younger son of Cyrus, he boldly announced
to the people that Smerdis, brother of Cambyses, claimed their obedience.
The story appeared credible, for the death of the prince had purposely
been kept secret, so that nearly all the world, except Praxas´pes and his
master, supposed him to be still alive.

=18.= Cambyses was already in Syria when he received a herald who
demanded the obedience of the army to Smerdis, son of Cyrus. Caught in
his own toils, the king lamented in vain that for foolish jealousy he had
murdered the only man who could have exposed the fraud, and who might
have been the best support and defender of his throne. Overcome with
grief and shame, he sprang on horseback to begin his journey to Persia,
but in the act his sword was unsheathed and entered his side, inflicting
a mortal wound. He lingered three weeks, during which time he showed more
reason than in all his life before. He confessed and bewailed the murder
of his brother, and besought the Persian nobles to conquer the deceitful
Magus and bestow the kingdom on one more worthy. He had neither son nor
brother to succeed him. He had reigned seven years and five months.

=19.= REIGN OF THE PSEUDO-SMERDIS. B. C. 522-521. As it is the just
punishment of liars not to be believed even when they speak the truth,
Cambyses’ last confession was commonly supposed to be the most artful
transaction of his life. The nobles, who had no knowledge of the death
of Smerdis, believed that it was he indeed who was reigning at Susa,
and that his brother had invented the story of the Magus to make his
dethronement more certain. The pretended king lived in great seclusion,
never quitting his palace, and permitting the various members of his
household no intercourse with their relations. All orders were issued
by his prime minister. He closed the Zoroastrian temples, restored the
Magian priesthood, and ordered the discontinuance of the rebuilding
at Jerusalem. (Read Ezra iv: 17-24.) These religious changes, such as
no Achæmenian prince could have favored, began to awaken suspicions.
Seven great princes of the royal race, having learned by a spy within
the palace that the pretended monarch was only a Magian whom Cyrus had
deprived of his ears, formed a league to dethrone him. Their bold attack
was successful; the Magus was pursued into Media, and slain after a
reign of eight months; and Dar´ius Hystas´pes,[27] one of the seven
conspirators, was eventually chosen to be king.

=20.= REIGN OF DARIUS I. B. C. 521-486. The first years of Darius were
disturbed by rebellions which shook his throne to its foundation. No
fewer than eleven satrapies were successively in revolt. The most
important was that of Babylon, which for twenty months defied all the
efforts of the great king to reduce it. At length Zop´yrus, son of one
of the conspirators who had raised Darius to the throne, invented an
ingenious though revolting scheme. He cut off his own nose and ears,
applied the scourge to his shoulders until they were stained with blood,
and having agreed with the king upon his further conduct, deserted to
the Babylonians. To them he represented that the king had treated him
with such cruel indignity that he burned for revenge. His wounds added
plausibility to his story; he was received into the confidence of the
rebels, and on the tenth day he was intrusted with the command of a
sallying party which was to repulse an attack of the Persians.

Darius had been advised to send to the Semi´ramis Gate a body of those
troops whom he could best spare: a thousand of them were cut to pieces.
In a second sortie led by Zopyrus, two thousand Persians were slain;
in a third, four thousand. This slaughter of seven thousand of his
countrymen removed from the minds of the Babylonians all doubt of the
truth of Zopyrus. The keys of the city were committed to his care, and
the preparation for his treachery was now complete. During a concerted
assault by the Persians, he opened the gates to Darius, who proceeded to
take signal vengeance for the long defiance of his power. The reckless
sacrifice of human life in this transaction shows how the habit of
unlimited power had impaired the disposition of Darius, which was
naturally merciful.

=21.= To guard against future disturbances, Darius now endeavored to give
a more thorough and efficient organization to the great empire, which
Cyrus and Cambyses had built up. He divided the whole territory into
twenty satrapies, or provinces, and imposed upon each a tribute according
to its wealth. The native kings whom Cyrus had left upon their thrones
were all swept away, and a Persian governor, usually connected by blood
or marriage with the great king, was placed over each province. Order
within and safety from without were secured by standing armies of Medes
or Persians, posted at convenient stations throughout the empire. Royal
roads were constructed and a system of couriers arranged, by which the
court received constant and swift intelligence of all that occurred in
the provinces.

=22.= To prevent revolt, an elaborate system of checks was instituted,
which left the satrap little power of independent action. In this earlier
and stronger period of the consolidated empire, the satrap exercised
only the civil government, the military being wielded by generals and
commandants of garrisons, while, in Persia at least, the judicial
power resided in judges appointed directly by the king. Beside these
constitutional checks upon the satrap, there were in every province the
“king’s eyes” and the “king’s ears,” in the persons of royal secretaries
attached to his court, whose duty it was to communicate secretly and
constantly with the sovereign, and to keep him informed of every
occurrence within their respective districts.

The slightest suspicion of revolt communicated to the king by these
spies, was sufficient to bring an order for the death of the satrap.
This order was addressed to his guards, who instantly executed it by
hewing him down with their sabers. Each province, moreover, was liable
every moment to a sudden visit from the king or his commissioner, who
examined the satrap’s accounts, heard the grievances of his subjects, and
either deprived an unjust ruler of his place, or noted a wise, upright,
and beneficent one for promotion to greater honor. The satrap, on a
smaller scale, affected the same magnificence of living as the great
king himself. Each had his “paradises,” or pleasure-gardens, attached to
numerous palaces. The satrap of Babylon had a daily revenue of nearly
two bushels of coined silver; his stables contained nearly seventeen
thousand steeds, and the income from four towns barely sufficed for the
maintenance of his dogs.

=23.= The court of Susa surpassed all this display of wealth as much
as the sun surpasses the planets. Fifteen thousand persons fed daily
at the king’s tables. The royal journeys were of necessity confined to
the wealthier portion of the empire, for in the poorer provinces such
a visitation would have produced a famine. The king seldom appeared in
public, and the approach to his presence was guarded by long lines of
officers, each of whom had his appointed station, from the ministers of
highest rank who stood in the audience-chamber, to the humblest attendant
who waited at the gate.

=24.= The royal retinue included a numerous army, divided according to
its nationalities into corps of 10,000 each. Of these the most celebrated
were the Persian “Immortals,” so called because their number was always
exactly maintained. If an “Immortal” died, a well-trained member of a
reserve-corps was ready to take his place. They were chosen from all the
nation for their strength, stature, and fine personal appearance. Their
armor was resplendent with silver and gold, and on the march or in battle
they were always near the person of the king. The royal secretaries, or
scribes, formed another important part of the retinue of the court. They
wrote down every word that fell from the monarch’s lips, especially his
commands, which, once uttered, could never be recalled. (Esther viii: 8;
Daniel vi: 8, 12, 15.)



    Persia, having been for a century subject to the Medes,
    became independent under Cyrus, who also conquered Lydia and
    Babylonia, liberated the Jews, and founded a great empire
    reaching from Macedonia to India. He died in war with the
    Scythians, and the African expedition was left to Cambyses,
    his son. This king conquered Egypt, but his attempts against
    Ethiopia and the temple of Amun resulted only in disaster. His
    contempt for Egyptian idolatry was, according to the priests,
    punished with madness. A revolt in the name of Smerdis, whom
    he had murdered, placed a Magian upon the throne, and effected
    a reaction against the Persian reformation. The Magian was
    dethroned by Darius Hystaspes, who became the great organizer
    of the empire of Cyrus. Twenty satrapies took the place of the
    conquered kingdoms. A system of royal roads, couriers, and
    spies kept the whole dominion within the reach and beneath the
    eye of the king, who was surrounded by a multitude of officials
    and protected by a numerous army, the Persian Immortals having
    precedence in rank.


=25.= The Persians held the reformed religion taught by Zo´roas´ter, a
great law-giver and prophet, who appeared in the Medo-Bactrian kingdom
long before[28] the birth of Cyrus. In every part of the East, the
belief in One God, and the pure and simple worship which the human
family had learned in its original home, had become overlaid by false
mythologies and superstitious rites. The teachings of Zoroaster divided
the Aryan family into its two Asiatic branches, which have ever since
remained distinct. The Hindus retained their sensuous Nature-worship,
of which In´dra (storm and thunder), Mith´ra (sunlight), Va´yu (wind),
Agni (fire), Arama´ti (earth), and Soma (the intoxicating principle in
liquids), were the chief objects. Zoroaster was led, either by reason or
divine revelation, to a purer faith. He taught the supremacy of a Living
Creator, a person, and not merely a power, whom he called Ahu´rô-Mazdâo,
or Or´mazd. The name has been differently rendered, the Divine
Much-Giving, the Creator of Life, or the Living Creator of All. Ormazd
was believed to bestow not merely earthly good, but the most precious
spiritual gifts—truth, devotion, the “good mind,” and everlasting joy.

=26.= It has been seen that Cyrus regarded the God of the Hebrews as
the object of his own worship (Ezra i: 1-4); and the Jewish prophets
recognize the same identity in their description of Cyrus (Isaiah xlv:
1-5). Both nations had a profound hatred of idolatry. No image of any
kind was seen in the Persian temples. Both believed in the ministration
of angels. The throne of Ormazd was surrounded by six princes of light,
and beneath them were innumerable hosts of warriors and messengers, who
passed to and fro defending the right and exterminating wrong. Chief of
these was Serosh, or Srao´sha, “the serene, the strong,” general-in-chief
of the armies of Ormazd. He never slept, but continually guarded the
earth with his drawn sword, especially after sunset, when demons had
greatest power. At their death, he conducted the souls of the just to the
presence of Ormazd, assisting them to pass the narrow bridge, from which
the wicked fell into the abyss below.

=27.= A later development of the doctrines of Zoroaster was that dualism
which divided the universe into a Kingdom of Light and a Kingdom of
Darkness. The latter was ruled by Ahriman´, the source of all impurity
and pain, assisted by his seven superior _devas_, or princes of evil;
and the whole world was a battle-ground between the two armies of
spirits, good and bad. If Ormazd created a paradise, Ahriman sent into
it a venomous serpent. All poisonous plants, reptiles, and insects, all
sickness, poverty, plague, war, famine, and earthquakes, all unbelief,
witchcraft, and deadly sins were the work of Ahriman; and the world,
which should have been “very good,” was thus made the scene of suffering.
Every object, living or inanimate, belonged to one or the other kingdom;
and it was the duty of the servant of Ormazd to foster every thing holy
and destroy every thing evil and impure. Agriculture was especially
favored by Zoroaster, as promoting beautiful and healthful growths, and
conquering blight, mildew, famine, and all destructive influences. It was
the firm belief of all devout Zoroastrians that the Kingdom of Darkness
would at length be overthrown, and the Kingdom of Light fill the universe.

=28.= RELIGION OF THE MEDES. The Magianism of the Medes, at the time
of their conquest by Cyrus, was a third form of Aryan belief, modified
by contact with the barbarous Scythians. It was a peculiar form of
Nature-worship, of which the four physical elements (so regarded), fire,
air, earth, and water, were the objects. Fire, as the most energetic,
was the chief. This system was wholly dependent on priest-craft; the
Magi, or priestly caste, one of the seven Median tribes, were alone
permitted to offer prayers and sacrifices. The Zoroastrians abhorred this
doctrine as the work of devas, to supplant the pure principles which
the race had received, in the beginning, from Ormazd himself. Darius
in his inscriptions describes the usurpation of Goma´tes the Magian as
the period when “the lie” prevailed. During the Magophonia, or yearly
festival, which celebrated the suppression of this revolt, no Magian
dared stir abroad for fear of death.

But with increased power and luxury came a change in the national
religion. The showy ceremonies of Magianism were better suited to the
pomp of an Eastern court than the simple and spiritual worship of the
Zoroastrians. A reconciliation was probably begun in the reign of Darius,
and completed in that of Artaxerx´es Longim´anus. The Magians accepted
the essential doctrines of Zoroaster, and were permitted, in turn, to
introduce a part of their own symbolism and priestly rites into the
national worship. They kept the sacred fire in the temples, fed it with
costly woods, and never suffered it to be blown with human breath. At
the rising of the sun they chanted sacred hymns to the Lord and Giver of
Light. One of them waked the king each morning with the words, “Rise,
sire, and think upon the duties which Ormazd has commanded you to
perform.” The whole religious ceremonial of the court was committed to
their care. They alone possessed the sacred liturgies by which Ormazd
was to be addressed; and it was believed that through them God revealed
his will, either in the interpretation of dreams or by the motion of the

=29.= Except that of the Hebrews, the Persian faith was the purest
monotheism of the East. But its benefits were chiefly confined to the
princely and noble caste, while with them its influence was neutralized
in a great measure by the corruptions of the court. Polygamy was the
fatal weakness of the Persian as of all other Eastern monarchies. The
furious enmities of rival princesses filled the palace with discord, and
often stained it with the darkest crimes. The hardy Persian mountaineers
who had won the victories of Cyrus, whose simple but noble education
taught them only “to ride the horse, to draw the bow, and to speak the
truth,” adopted the slavish manners of the races they had conquered,
learned to dissemble and prostrate themselves before the face of a
mortal, and became the splendid but often useless ornaments of an
extravagant court.

=30.= INDIAN CONQUESTS. The first great expedition of Darius was against
the Punjab´, or Five Rivers of Western India. The imperial revenues were
increased one-third by the acquisition of this rich gold-tract, and a
lucrative commerce now sprang up between the banks of the Indus and the
shores of the Persian Gulf.

=31.= SCYTHIAN CAMPAIGN. The next enterprise of Darius was against
the Scythians of Central Europe, between the Don and the Danube. His
design was to avenge the Scythian devastations of Media and Upper Asia a
century before, and to terrify the barbarians into future good behavior
by a display of his power; perhaps also to open a way into Greece by
the conquest of the Thracian tribes. The whole army and navy of the
empire, consisting of not less than 700,000 land soldiers and 600 ships,
assembled at the Thracian Bosphorus, which they crossed by a bridge of
boats constructed by Ionian engineers. The naval force was furnished
wholly by the Greeks of the Ægean.

=32.= Sending his fleet through the Euxine Sea into the Danube, with
orders to make a bridge of boats two days’ journey from its mouth, Darius
marched through Thrace, receiving or compelling the submission of its
tribes, and adding their young men to his army. Arriving at the Danube,
he crossed the bridge and gave orders to the Greeks to remain and guard
it sixty days; if in that time he did not return, they might conclude
that he had gone to Media by another route. The details of the great
king’s operations north of the Danube are unknown to history. There were
no great cities to take; the wandering Scythians destroyed their scanty
harvests, stopped their wells, removed their families northward to places
of security, and drew the invader after them into the depths of their
forests or uninhabited deserts.

Unable to bring his enemy to battle, and seeing his army reduced to great
distress for want of food and water, Darius was compelled to retreat
by the way he had come. The sixty days were more than elapsed when a
Scythian force, which had been watching his movements, hastened to the
Danube by a shorter route, urging the Ionians, who were still on guard,
to destroy the bridge and leave Darius to perish, like Cyrus, in the
northern deserts. The Greeks of Asia might thus have gained their freedom
without a blow; but the tyrants who commanded the fleet had interests
of their own quite separate from those of their people. Histiæ´us of
Mile´tus urged upon his fellow-despots that their power must fall with
that of Darius, being sustained by him against the popular will. His
arguments prevailed, and the great king, arriving in the darkness of
midnight, closely pursued by the Scythians, was able to repass the river
in safety.

=33.= Histiæus was rewarded by a grant of land on the river Stry´mon,
including the town of Myrci´nus, for the site of a colony. With its
fertile soil, ample forests, convenience for commerce, and neighboring
mines of gold and silver, this new domain immediately attracted settlers
and became an important maritime station. Its rapid growth, indeed,
excited the fears of Darius, lest its owner might become too powerful for
a vassal, and interpose a barrier between himself and the Greeks. He sent
for Histiæus, whom he treated with every mark of respect, and pretending
that he could not do without his valuable counsels, kept him constantly
within reach at the court of Susa. Histiæus, resolved to break his golden
chains at any cost, sent a singular epistle to his cousin, Aristag´oras,
whom he had left as his lieutenant at Miletus, commanding him to stir up
a revolt among the Asiatic Greeks.

=34.= The Ionian cities, extending ninety miles along the coast in an
almost unbroken line of magnificent quays, warehouses, and dwellings,
were so important to the empire, on account of the fleets which they
could furnish, that they had been left in greater freedom than any other
conquered territory. Instead of satraps, they were governed by their own
magistrates—either a single tyrant in each city or a council of nobles,
called an oligarchy—but always in the Persian interest. The European
Greeks were stirred by a desire to liberate their brethren in Asia,
and this afforded a constant pretext for a Persian war. The forces of
Athens and Ere´tria were now added to those of Aristagoras, who had,
moreover, strengthened his cause by abdicating his tyranny, and aiding
the other cities to assume the same free and popular government which he
established at Miletus. The tyrants were every-where expelled, and the
people sprang to arms.

From Eph´esus the united forces marched up the valley of the Cay´ster,
and swiftly crossing the mountains, took Sardis by surprise. The city
was easily captured, but Ar´tapher´nes, the satrap, retired with a
strong garrison to the castle, which, from its inaccessible rock, defied
assault. A spark falling on the light reeds which formed the roofs of
Sardis set fire to the town, and the invaders were compelled to retire.
They were pursued and defeated with great loss by Artaphernes, in the
battle of Ephesus. The Athenians now withdrew, but the war went on with
undiminished spirit. The inhabitants of Cyprus, the Carians and Caunians
of the south-western corner of the peninsula made common cause with the
Ionian, Æo´lian, and Hellespontine Greeks; Byzantium was taken, and the
whole coast from the Thracian Bosphorus to the Gulf of Issus was for
the moment free from Persian dominion. The brave Carians, though twice
defeated with great loss, were victorious in a third battle, where a
son-in-law of Darius was slain. But the power of the great king was at
length triumphant. The fleet of the Ionians was defeated near Miletus,
and the vengeance of the Persians was concentrated on this devoted city,
the leader of the rebellion. After a long blockade, it was taken by storm
in the sixth year of the revolt.

=35.= The honor of the great king was now engaged to the punishment
of those European Greeks who had intermeddled between himself and his
subjects. It was the first time that the Athenians had come to the notice
of Darius. He inquired who and what sort of men they were, and being
told, he seized his bow and shot an arrow into the air, crying aloud, “O
Supreme God, grant that I may avenge myself on the Athenians!” From that
time a servant was instructed to say to him three times every day as he
sat at table, “Sire, remember the Athenians!”

=36.= In the spring of 492 B. C., a great force was intrusted for this
purpose to Mardo´nius, son-in-law of Darius. Its immediate design failed,
for the fleet was shattered at Mount Athos, and the army nearly destroyed
by the Brygians, a Thracian tribe. Thasos, however, was captured, and
Macedonia was subjected to Persia.

=37.= B. C. 490. A second great expedition, two years later, was
conducted by Datis, accompanied by Artaphernes, son of the former satrap
of that name, and nephew of the king. Having passed the sea, they fell
first upon Eretria, which was taken by treachery, its temples burnt, and
its inhabitants bound in chains for transportation to Asia. The first
decisive trial of strength between Persia and the western Greeks took
place at Mar´athon, in Attica. The Persians numbered 100,000 men, the
Greeks but little more than 10,000. The Medo-Persian troops had hitherto
been considered invincible; but that magnificent soldiery was now, to a
certain extent, replaced by unwilling conscripts from conquered tribes,
who marched, dug, or fought under the lash of overseers. Miltiades, who,
as prince of the Chersonesus, had served in the Persian armies, well
knew this element of weakness, and it was with just confidence in the
superiority of his free Athenians that he gave orders for the battle.

=38.= In the center, where the native Persians fought, they gained
the advantage, and pursued the Athenians up one or two of the valleys
which surround the base of Mount Kotro´ni; but, at the same time, both
the right and left of the Asiatics were defeated by the Greeks, who,
instead of pursuing, united their forces on the field to the relief of
their center, and thus gained a complete victory. The Persians fled
to their ships, now fiercely followed by the Greeks, and a still more
furious contest ensued at the water’s edge. The Athenians sought to fire
the fleet, but seven galleys only were destroyed; the rest, with the
shattered remains of the army, made good their escape.

=39.= The Persian commander did not lose his spirit in defeat. Encouraged
by a preconcerted signal of the partisans of Hip´pias, he sailed
immediately around Attica, hoping to surprise Athens in the absence of
its defenders. But Miltiades, too, had seen the glittering shield raised
upon a mountain-top, and guessed its meaning. Leaving Aristi´des with one
tribe to guard the spoils of the battle-field, he led his army by a rapid
night-march across the country to Athens. When Datis, the next morning,
having doubled the point of Su´nium, sailed up the Athenian harbor, he
saw upon the heights above the city the same victorious troops from whom
his men had fled the evening before. He made no attempt to land, but
sailed away with his Eretrian prisoners to the coasts of Asia.

[Illustration: Silver Daric of Darius I, enlarged one-half.]

=40.= Rather angered than dismayed by these failures, Darius prepared
to lead in person a still greater expedition against the Greeks. But
a revolt in Egypt first diverted his attention, and his death, in the
following year, gave the free states of Europe time to complete their
preparations for defense. B. C. 486.

=41.= Many works and trophies of Darius remain in various parts of his
empire. He was the first king who coined money in Persia. The golden and
silver _darics_ circulated not only throughout the empire but in Greece.
The most interesting memorials are the two records in his own words of
the events of his reign, engraven upon his tomb at Nakshi-rus´tam, and
upon the great rock-tablet of Behistûn´. The latter is of the greater
length; it consists of five columns, each containing from sixteen to
nineteen paragraphs, written in three languages, Persian, Babylonian, and
Scythic, or Tartar. These trilingual inscriptions, embracing the three
great families of human speech, Aryan, Semitic, and Turanian, almost
justify the claim made by Darius to universal empire.

    NOTE.—A specimen of the style of the great king may be of
    interest to the scholar. It should be stated that the Behistûn
    cliff forms part of the Zagros mountain range between Babylon
    and Ecbatana. This great natural table of stone, which seems to
    have been expressly fitted for enduring records, is 1,700 feet
    in perpendicular height, and bears four sets of sculptures, one
    of which is ascribed to Semiramis. The inscription of Darius
    is most important. It has been deciphered within a few years,
    with wonderful learning, industry, and patience, by Col. Sir
    Henry Rawlinson, of the British army. For many years after its
    existence was known, it was considered inaccessible, as it
    was 300 feet from the foot of the perpendicular wall, and it
    was necessary for the explorer to be drawn up with ropes by a
    windlass placed at the summit. Even when a copy was thus made,
    with great risk and inconvenience, the work was only begun, for
    the arrow-headed (cuneiform) characters in which the Persian
    language was written were as yet but partly understood. These
    difficulties have now been surmounted, and the common student
    can read the words of “Darius the King.” The whole inscription,
    in Persian and English, may be found in Rawlinson’s Herodotus,
    Vol. II, Appendix. A few of the shorter paragraphs are here

    I. 8. “Says Darius the King: Within these countries the man who
    was good, him have I right well cherished. Whoever was evil,
    him have I utterly rooted out. By the grace of Ormazd, these
    are the countries by which my laws have been observed.”…

    I. 11. “Says Darius the King: Afterward there was a man, a
    Magian, named Gomates.… He thus lied to the state: ‘I am
    Bardes, the son of Cyrus, the brother of Cambyses.’ Then the
    whole state became rebellious.… He seized the empire. Afterward
    Cambyses, unable to endure, died.”

    I. 13. “Says Darius the King: There was not a man, neither
    Persian nor Median, nor any one of our family, who would
    dispossess that Gomates the Magian of the crown. The state
    feared him exceedingly. He slew many people who had known the
    old Bardes; for that reason he slew them, ‘lest they should
    recognize me that I am not Bardes, the son of Cyrus.’ No one
    dared say any thing concerning Gomates the Magian until I
    arrived. Then I prayed to Ormazd; Ormazd brought help to me.
    On the 10th day of the month Bagayadish, then it was, with
    the help of my faithful men, that I slew that Gomates the
    Magian and those who were his chief followers. The fort named
    Sictachotes, in the district of Media called Nisæa, there I
    slew him. I dispossessed him of the empire; I became king.
    Ormazd granted me the scepter.”

    I. 14. “Says Darius the King: The empire which had been taken
    away from our family, that I recovered. I established it in
    its place. As it was before, so I made it. The temples which
    Gomates the Magian had destroyed I rebuilt. The sacred offices
    of the state, both the religious chants and the worship, I
    restored to the people, which Gomates the Magian had deprived
    them of.… By the grace of Ormazd I did this.”


    Persian monotheism differed essentially from the Nature-worship
    of the Hindus and the element-worship of the Medes; but under
    Darius and his successors the Magi gained exclusive control of
    religious rites, and luxury destroyed the manly virtues of the
    people. Darius conquered western India, and invaded European
    Scythia, but without result. His detention of Histiæus led to
    a six years’ revolt of all the Greeks of Asia Minor, aided by
    the Athenians and Eretrians. He failed in his first retaliatory
    enterprise against the European Greeks; and, in the second, the
    great decisive battle of Marathon ended in the overthrow of the
    Persians. The death of Darius postponed the Grecian wars.


[Sidenote: B. C. 486-465.]

=42.= Xer´xes, the Ahasue´rus of the Book of Esther, succeeded to his
father’s dominions, instead of Artabaza´nes, his elder brother, who had
been born before Darius’s accession to the throne. His first care was the
crushing of the Egyptian revolt. This was accomplished in the second year
of his reign; a severer servitude was imposed, and his brother Achæ´menes
remained as his viceroy in the Valley of the Nile. The Babylonians
attempted an insurrection, but dearly paid for their rashness with all
the treasure of their temples.

=43.= In the third year of his reign,[29] the king convened his satraps
and generals, “the nobles and princes of the provinces,” at Susa, to
deliberate concerning the invasion of Greece. In their presence he
detailed the motives of ambition and revenge which urged him against a
people which had dared to defy his power, and declared his intention
to march through Europe, from one end to the other, and make of all
its lands one country. He believed that, the Greeks once conquered, no
people in the world could stand against him, and thus the sun would no
longer shine upon any land beyond his own. He concluded by commanding
each general to make ready his forces, assuring them that he who appeared
upon the appointed day with the most effective troop should receive the
rewards most precious to every Persian.

=44.= During four years all Asia, from the docks of Sidon and Tyre to the
banks of the Indus, rang with notes of preparation. All races and tribes
of the vast empire sent men and material. The maritime nations furnished
the largest fleet which the Mediterranean had yet seen. The Phœnicians
and Egyptians were charged with the construction of a double bridge of
boats over the Hellespont, from Aby´dus, on the Asiatic, to a point
between Sestus and Mad´ytus, on the European side of the strait. After
this work was completed, a violent storm broke it to pieces and threw the
shattered fragments upon the shore. The king, unused to being thwarted
in any of his designs, caused the engineers to be beheaded, the sea
scourged, and a pair of fetters, as a hint of the required submission,
thrown into the offending waters. A new bridge, or, rather, pair of
bridges, was now formed with still greater care. Two lines of ships,
anchored at stem and stern, were united each by six great cables, which
reached from shore to shore. They supported a platform of wood, which was
covered with earth and protected by a balustrade.

=45.= Another body of men, working under the lash of Persian overseers,
were employed three years in cutting a canal from the Strymonic to the
Singitic Bay, to sever Mount Athos from the mainland, and thus enable
the fleet to avoid the strong and shifting currents and high seas which
prevailed around the peninsula. Immense stores of provisions, collected
from all parts of the empire, were deposited at suitable intervals along
the line of march.

=46.= The rendezvous of the troops was at Crital´la, in Cappadocia,
whence they were moved forward to Sardis. In the autumn of 481 B. C.,
Xerxes arrived at the latter capital, and early in the following spring
set his vast army in motion toward the Hellespont. Near the person of the
king were the ten thousand Immortals, whose entire armor glittered with
gold. He was preceded by the Chariot of the Sun, in which no mortal dared
seat himself, drawn by eight snow-white horses.

=47.= At Abydus the king surveyed, from his throne of white marble
elevated upon a hill, the countless multitudes which thronged the plain,
and the myriads of sails that studded the Hellespont. The momentary pride
that swelled his breast, with the consciousness that he was supreme lord
of all that host, gave way to a more worthy emotion as he reflected that
the whole life of those myriads upon earth was almost as transitory
as their passage of the bridge, which lay before him, connecting the
known with the unknown continent. Early the next morning perfumes were
burnt and myrtle boughs strewn upon the bridges, while the army awaited
in silence the rising of the sun. When it appeared, Xerxes, with head
uncovered—excelling, not only in rank, but in strength, stature, and
beauty, all his host—poured a libation into the sea, praying, meanwhile,
with his face toward the rising orb, that no disaster might befall his
arms until he had penetrated to the uttermost boundaries of Europe.
Haying prayed, he cast the golden cup and a Persian cimeter into the sea,
and gave a signal for the army to march.

=48.= So numerous was the host that, marching day and night without
intermission, and goaded by the whip, it occupied seven days in crossing
the straits by the two bridges. On the Thracian plain of Doris´cus,
near the sea, the army was drawn up for a final review. The land force
consisted of forty-six nations. According to Herodotus, who gathered his
information by most careful inquiry of persons who were present, the foot
soldiers numbered 1,700,000; the war-chariots and camels, 20,000; the
horse, 80,000. The fleet consisted of 1,207 triremes, and 3,000 smaller
vessels, carrying in all 517,610 men. Beside this actual fighting force,
we must suppose an equal number of slaves, attendants, and the crews
of provision ships, making a total of more than five millions of human

=49.= Several rivers were dried in giving drink to this multitude, while
their food, even the scanty allowance of Asiatic slaves, amounted to
662,000 bushels of flour each day; but the excellent commissariat of
Xerxes, which had been organizing for seven years, was not at fault. On
the march from Doriscus toward Greece, the king, still within his own
empire, received further accessions from Thracian, Macedonian, and other
European tribes, so that his fighting force at Thermop´ylæ amounted to
2,640,000 men. Various cities along the route had been commanded to
furnish each one meal for the army; and although they had spent years in
preparation, some were ruined by the expense.[30]

=50.= Meanwhile the Greeks had not been idle. The ten years since the
battle of Marathon had been employed in active drilling of forces, by
sea and land. Each state furnished its quota; and though but a handful
compared with the myriads of invaders, they had the strength, derived
from patriotism and high discipline, to oppose the mere material mass and
weight of the Persian host. It was mind against matter.

[Sidenote: B. C. 480.]

=51.= Abandoning the defense of Thessaly, which was open by too many
avenues to the Persians, the little army of Leon´idas, king of Sparta,
had made a resolute stand at Thermopylæ, a narrow pass between Mount
Œta and the sea. The whole force amounted to only 6,000 men, of whom
but 300 were Spartans. Xerxes waited several days upon the Trachinian
plain, expecting that this little band would melt away from mere terror
at the sight of his vast numbers. At length he sent the Median cavalry
to force a passage. They were repulsed with loss. The Immortals made the
same attempt with no better success. At this point, Ephial´tes, a Malian,
offered for a large reward to show the invaders a mountain-path by which
they could reach the rear of the Spartan camp. The Phocian guards of
this path were overpowered. Leonidas learned that he was betrayed, and
declaring that he and his Spartans must remain at their post, dismissed
all the rest of his army except the Thespians and Thebans. Then, before
the body of Persians who were crossing the mountain, under lead of the
traitor, could attack him from behind, he threw himself upon the enemy in
front, resolving to exact as dear a vengeance as possible. Many of the
Persian host fell beneath the Spartan swords, many were trodden to death
by their own multitudes, and many were forced into the sea. Leonidas soon
fell, and the contest for his body inspired his men with new fury. Having
recovered it, they placed their backs against a wall of stone and fought
until every man was slain.

=52.= During the same days several battles were fought at sea between
the Greek and Persian fleets. No decisive advantage was gained by either
side, but the result was most disheartening to the Persians, who had been
most confident of success. The elements, too, had neither been scourged
nor scolded into good behavior; a terrible hurricane raged three days and
nights upon the coast of Thessaly, tearing the ships from their moorings
and dashing them against the cliffs. At least four hundred ships of war
were thus destroyed, beside a countless number of transports with their
stores and treasures. Another squadron of two hundred vessels, which had
been sent around Eubœa to cut off the retreat of the Greeks, perished, in
a sudden tempest, upon the rocks. The Grecian commanders were unable to
profit by these advantages, for the defeat at Thermopylæ compelled them
to withdraw from Artemis´ium to provide for the safety of Attica and the

=53.= By the death of the Spartan three hundred, the gates of Greece were
thrown open, and the hosts of Asia poured through, wasting the country
with fire and sword. At Pano´peus a detachment was sent to plunder the
temple of Apollo at Delphi, while Xerxes led his main army through
Bœo´tia. On the march he received the submission of all the people
except the Platæans and Thespians, who, rather than yield to an invader,
abandoned their cities to be burnt. Before his arrival at Athens, the
chief object of his revenge, the king heard of the total defeat of his
Delphian expedition. According to Greek tradition, no mortal hand turned
back the invaders, but Apollo himself hurled down great rocks and crags
upon their heads, in the dark ravines of Parnassus, and thus defended his

[Sidenote: B. C. 480.]

=54.= Athens was a deserted city. All the fighting men were with the
fleet, while women, children, and infirm persons had been removed
to Salamis, Ægi´na, or Trœze´ne. The conqueror stormed the citadel,
plundered and burnt the temples, and sent word to Susa that Athens had
shared the fate of Sardis.

=55.= Xerxes now resolved upon a decisive naval battle in the Saronic
Gulf. The Grecian fleet had assembled off Salamis, to the number of 378
vessels, while the Persians numbered 1,200. A throne was erected on the
mainland, upon the slope of Mount Ægaleos, from which the great king
beheld the struggle which was to end his dreams of conquest. The Persian
fleet occupied the channel between Salamis and the coast of Attica. Their
vast numbers, crowded into so narrow a space, were a fatal disadvantage
to themselves, for they could only come near the Greeks by small
detachments; while the latter, more accustomed to those waters, drove
their brazen-pointed prows into the sides of the Persians, advancing and
retiring with wonderful dexterity and surety of aim. Feeling the eye of
their king upon them, the Persians fought with desperate bravery. The
battle lasted all day; when night fell, Xerxes saw his forces scattered
or destroyed, and instead of renewing the battle, resolved to seek his
own safety in retreat.

=56.= Mardonius engaged to complete the conquest of Greece with 300,000
men. The fleet was ordered to the Hellespont, and the king with the
remainder of his forces set out for home. His magazines had been
exhausted, and during this forced retreat many died of hunger. Forty-five
days after his departure from Attica he arrived at the Hellespont, and
finding his second bridge of boats destroyed, returned to Asia by ship.
He entered Sardis at the end of the year 480, humbled and depressed, only
eight months from the time when he left it full of vain hopes of subduing
the western world.

=57.= The operations of Mardonius will be more fully detailed in the
History of Greece;[31] a mere outline is here presented. Wintering in
Thessaly, he sought by magnificent promises to detach the Athenians from
the Greek interests. Diplomacy failing, his army was at once poured
into Attica, filling Athens, whose inhabitants had taken refuge again
at Salamis. He destroyed the beautiful city by fire, completing the
destruction which Xerxes had begun. Then finding that the Greeks were
concentrating their forces at the Isthmus, he retired into Bœotia, where,
in September, 479, the great battle of Platæ´a was fought. Mardonius was
slain and his forces routed with terrible carnage. The last remnant of
the Persian fleet was similarly routed at Myc´ale, on the opposite side
of the Ægean, and the deliverance of Europe was complete. No Persian army
henceforth trod the soil of European Greece, and for twelve years no
Persian sail appeared in the Ægean.

=58.= Having spent his own best strength and that of his empire in this
disastrous war, Xerxes made no further effort for military glory, but
gave himself up to luxurious indolence. The highest rewards were offered
to him who could invent a new pleasure. His subjects followed the example
of their king; the empire was weakened by licentiousness and distracted
by violence. It was only a fitting close to such a reign, when, at the
end of twenty years, Xerxes was murdered by Artaba´nus, the captain of
his guard, and Aspami´tres, his chamberlain.

=59.= REIGN OF ARTAXERXES I. B. C. 465-425. The assassins placed upon the
throne the youngest son of their victim, Artaxerxes Longimanus, or the
Long-Handed. The eldest son, Darius, was executed on a false charge of
having murdered his father. The second, Hystas´pes, claimed the crown,
but was defeated and slain in battle. The crimes of the real assassins
were proved against them, and they were punished with death. Artaxerxes
enjoyed an undisputed reign of forty years, during which the power of the
empire declined, notwithstanding his beneficent efforts to promote the
interests of his people.

[Sidenote: B. C. 460.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 455.]

=60.= EGYPTIAN REVOLT. In the early part of his reign Egypt revolted
under I´narus, son of Psammet´ichus, who was aided by the Athenians.
Achaemenes, brother of the king, was sent with a great army to punish
the rebellion; but he was defeated and slain by the hand of Inarus in
the battle of Papre´mis, and a vast number of Persians perished. The
remainder of the army were shut up in the White Castle at Memphis, and
suffered a siege of three years. A new force, led by Megaby´zus, was more
successful: Memphis was relieved, Inarus taken, and the Athenian fleet
destroyed. Amyrtæ´us, the ally of Inarus, held out six years longer in
the marshes of the Delta, until, by the intervention of Athens, peace
was made. The Persians were defeated with great loss off Salamis, in
Cyprus, and consented to very humiliating terms. They engaged not to
visit with fleet or army the western shores of Asia Minor, but to respect
the independence of the Asiatic Greeks. Even the leader of the revolt was
punished only by the loss of his principality.

=61.= Contrary to the solemn agreement of Megabyzus, Inarus, after five
years at the Persian court, was given up, with fifty Athenian companions,
to the vengeance of the queen-mother, and suffered a barbarous death
for having slain Achaemenes. Disgusted by this violation of his honor,
Megabyzus stirred up a revolt in his province of Syria. He was the
greatest general in the empire, and the success of his operations
against the forces sent to subdue him, so alarmed his master that he was
permitted to dictate his own terms of peace. The intercessions of his
wife, Am´ytis, sister of the king, aided much in his reconciliation; but
the example was ruinous to the strict organization of the provinces which
Darius had introduced. The tendencies to decay now acted with greater and
greater rapidity.

=62.= In the seventh year of Artaxerxes’ reign, a new migration of
Jews was led from Babylon by Ezra, a man of priestly lineage and high
in favor at the Persian court. Laden with contributions from the Jews
of Babylonia, he arrived in Jerusalem with great treasures for the
completion of the temple, and for the reëstablishment of civil government
throughout the country. He found that the people had allied themselves
with the neighboring tribes by marriage, and insisted on the immediate
dismissal of all heathen members from Jewish households.

=63.= The defeat of the Persians at Cyprus, 449 B. C., operated to a
certain degree in favor of the Jews; for all the maritime ports of the
empire having been ceded, the natural fortress of Zion, commanding the
roads between Egypt and the capital, became of great importance. Hitherto
the Persian monarchs had forbidden Jerusalem to be fortified, but in the
twentieth year of Artaxerxes’ reign, Nehemi´ah, the Jewish cup-bearer of
the great king, received a commission to rebuild its walls. He moved with
great celerity and secrecy, for the neighboring Samaritans, Ammonites,
and Arabians, no longer awed, as formerly, by a decree of the empire,
violently opposed the work. Laboring by night, with tools in one hand and
weapons in the other, the Jews of every rank gave themselves so zealously
to the task, that in fifty-two days Jerusalem was inclosed by walls and
towers strong enough to defy her foes. (Nehemiah i-v: 16.)

Meanwhile Ezra, relieved from the civil command, labored at his great
work, the collection and editing of the Sacred Books. During the
captivity many writings had been lost, among them the Book of Jasher,
that of “The Wars of the Lord,” the writings of Gad and Iddo, the
prophets, and the works of Solomon on Natural History. The sacred books
which remained were arranged in three great divisions: the Law, the
Prophets, and the Hagiographa; the latter including Job, the Psalms, and
Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Ruth, Daniel, and the Chronicles. The
Books of Malachi, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther were afterward added, and
the canon closed.

=64.= On the departure of Nehemiah the old disorders returned. Ezra
died; the high priest allied himself with the deadliest enemy of the
Jewish faith, Tobi´ah the Ammonite, to whom he gave lodgings in the
temple. The Sabbath was broken; Tyrian traders sold their merchandise
in the gates of Jerusalem on the Holy Day. Nehemiah returned with the
power of a satrap, and with his usual skill reformed these abuses. He
expelled Manasseh, who had now become high priest, because he had married
a daughter of Sanballat the Horonite. The pagan father-in-law hereupon
built a rival temple on the summit of Mount Gerizim, of which Manasseh
became high priest. The bitter hatred arising from this schism continued
for centuries, and did not cease even with the destruction of the temple
at Jerusalem, A. D. 70. “The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans.”
From the time of the division there was no more intermingling of pagan
elements in the religion and customs of Judæa. The Hebrews became
not only the most rigidly monotheistic, but, in spite of their later
wanderings, the most nearly isolated of all the nations.

=65.= XERXES II. Artaxerxes died B. C. 425, and was succeeded by his son,
Xerxes II. After a reign of only forty-five days, the young king was
assassinated by his half-brother, Sogdia´nus; and the funeral train of
his father was overtaken, on its way to the royal tombs at Persepolis, by
his own.

=66.= SOGDIANUS. B. C. 425, 424. The murderer enjoyed the fruits of his
crime but little more than half a year. Another half-brother, O´chus,
revolted with the satraps of Egypt and Armenia and the general of the
royal cavalry. Sogdianus was deposed and put to death.

=67.= DARIUS II. B. C. 424-405. Ochus, ascending the throne, took the
name of Darius, to which the Greeks added the contemptuous surname
No´thus. This prince spent the nineteen years of his reign under the
control of his wife, Parysa´tis, who surpassed her mother, Amas´tris, in
wickedness and cruelty. The empire, meanwhile, was shaken by continual
revolts, and the means that were taken to quell them compromised instead
of confirming the integrity of the nation. Promises were made which were
never intended to be kept, for the purpose of leading on the rebellious
satraps to their destruction; and the tools of these falsehoods,
instead of resenting, like Megabyzus, the loss of their honor, gladly
accepted the spoils of their victims. The precautions of Darius I were
disregarded; civil and military powers were combined in the same person,
and two or three countries were often united under the rule of one
satrap. These great governments, descending often from father to son,
became more like independent kingdoms than provinces of the empire.

=68.= The Medes, after more than a century of submission to Persian
rule, attempted to free themselves, B. C. 408, but were defeated. The
Egyptians, being more distant, were more successful. Always the most
discontented of the Persian provinces, their opposition was even more a
matter of religion than of patriotism, and was constantly fomented by the
priests. Under two successive dynasties of native kings, they were now
able to maintain their independence nearly sixty years. B. C. 405-346.

=69.= While the empire was undergoing these losses, it gained a great
advantage in the recovery of the Greek cities of Asia Minor. The
Athenians and Spartans had been wasting their forces against each other
in the Peloponnesian war (B. C. 431-404), which, more than any regard to
their engagements, had interrupted their hostile attempts against Persia.
The power of Athens was now broken by disasters in Sicily; and the Lydian
satrap, Tissapher´nes, seized the occasion to cultivate the alliance
of Sparta, and aid the Athenian colonies, Lesbos, Chios, and Erythræ,
in their intended revolt. Pharnaba´zus, satrap of the Hellespontine
provinces, pursued the same course; and through the rivalry of the two
Greek states, their ancient enemy gained undisputed possession of “all

Cyrus, the younger son of the king, becoming satrap of Phrygia, Lydia,
and Cappadocia, used his wealth and power without reserve to aid the
Lacedemonians and humble the Athenians. He declared to Lysan´der, the
Spartan admiral, that if it were needful he would sell his very throne,
or coin it into money, to meet the expenses of the war. This liberality
had another cause than friendship. The Spartans were esteemed the best
soldiers in the world, and Cyrus was preparing for a bold and difficult
movement in which he wanted their assistance.

=70.= This young prince had been “born in the purple,” while his elder
brother had been born before their father’s accession to the throne. With
this pretext, which had availed in the case of Xerxes I, his mother,
Parysatis, whose favorite he was, strove in vain to persuade Darius to
name him his successor in the empire. Cyrus assumed royal state in his
province; and though naturally haughty and cruel, he managed to gain
the affection of his courtiers by his amiable manners, while his more
brilliant qualities commanded their admiration. Darius, alarmed by his
son’s unbounded ambition, recalled him to the capital, which he reached
only in time to witness his father’s death and his brother’s accession to
the throne.

=71.= B. C. 405-359. ARTAXERXES II was called Mnemon, for his wonderful
memory. His first royal act was to cast his brother into prison, upon
a report, probably too well founded, that he was plotting against the
life of the king. Cyrus was condemned to die, but his mother, who had
instigated the plot, plead for him with such effect, that Artaxerxes not
only spared his life, but sent him back to his satrapy. If Cyrus was
ambitious and rebellious before, he had now the additional motive of
revenge urging him to dethrone his brother and reign in his stead. He
raised an army of Greek mercenaries, for a pretended expedition against
the robbers of Pisid´ia, and set out from Sardis in the spring of 401.

[Sidenote: B. C. 401.]

Artaxerxes was informed of his movements by Tissaphernes, and was well
prepared to meet him. The Greeks learned the real object of their march
too late to draw back. The army passed through Phrygia and Cilicia,
entered Syria by the mountain-passes near Issus, crossed the Euphrates
at Thap´sacus, and advanced to the plain of Cunax´a, about fifty-seven
miles from Babylon. Here he encountered a royal army at least four times
as numerous as his own. The Greeks sustained their ancient renown by
utterly routing the Asiatics who were opposed to them; but Cyrus, rashly
penetrating to the Persian center, where his brother commanded in person,
was stricken down by one of the royal guard. He had already wounded the
king. Artaxerxes commanded his head and traitorous right hand to be cut
off, and his fate ended the battle.

[Illustration: EMPIRE of the PERSIANS.]

=72.= The Grecian auxiliaries who had been entrapped into the war by
Cyrus now found themselves in a perilous position. Their Persian allies
were scattered; they were in the heart of an unknown and hostile country,
two thousand miles from home, and surrounded by the victorious army
of Artaxerxes. The wily Tissaphernes, who had been rewarded with the
dominions of Cyrus, detained them nearly a month by false pretenses of
negotiation; and having led them as far as the head-waters of the Tigris,
gained possession of all their officers, whom he caused to be put to
death. At this crisis, the Athenian Xen´ophon, who had accompanied the
army of Cyrus, though not as a soldier, called together the principal
Greeks at midnight, and urged the election of new officers who should
lead them back to their native land. The suggestion was adopted; five
generals were chosen, of whom Xenophon was one, and by break of day the
army had been mustered for its homeward march.

Here began the Retreat of the Ten Thousand, celebrated in the annals of
war as, perhaps, the most remarkable instance of an enterprise conducted
against prodigious obstacles, with perfect coolness, valor, and success.
Tissaphernes with his army hung upon their rear, hostile barbarians were
in front, and to the fatigues of the march were added the perils of
frequent battles. Their course lay over the table-lands of Armenia, where
many perished in the freezing north winds, or were blinded by the unusual
glare of snow. The survivors pressed on with indomitable spirit, until,
ascending a mountain south of Tra´pezus, they beheld, far away to the
north-west, the dark waters of the Euxine. Their greatest perils were now
over; a joyous cry, “The sea! the sea!” arose from the front rank and was
quickly caught up by those behind. Officers and soldiers embraced each
other with tears of joy; and all united to erect upon this happy lookout
a monument of the trophies collected during their wearisome journey.

[Sidenote: B. C. 387.]

=73.= By their part in the rebellion of Cyrus, however involuntary, the
Spartans had given unpardonable offense to Artaxerxes, and they resolved
to be the first movers in the war which must ensue. Securing the services
of the Ten Thousand, they attacked the Persians in Asia Minor with a
success which promised a speedy end to their dominion. But Persia had
grown wiser since the days of Xerxes, and fought the Greeks not so much
with her unwieldy masses of troops as with subtle intrigue. By means
of skillful emissaries well supplied with gold, she brought about a
league between the secondary states of Greece—Argos, Corinth, Athens,
and Thebes—which at once overbalanced the power of Sparta. Persian ships
had part in the battle of Cnidus, by which the confederates gained the
dominion of the sea. B. C. 394. Sparta was reduced to accepting the
humiliating peace of Antal´cidas, by which the Asiatic Greeks were left
under the control of Persia, and the great king gained an authoritative
voice in all quarrels between the Grecian states.

=74.= Artaxerxes was haunted by the desire to restore the empire to its
greatest extent under Darius Hystaspes. He reöccupied Samos, which he
intended as a stepping-stone to the rest of the Greek islands; and sent
a great expedition into Egypt under the joint command of Iphic´rates, an
Athenian, and Pharnabazus, a Persian general. This enterprise failed,
partly through the jealousies of the two commanders; and the failure
hastened a revolt in the western satrapies, which came near to overturn
the empire. Egypt now retaliated, and attempted to revive her ancient
glories by the conquest of Syria and Phœnicia. But these movements were
defeated by management and gold, and Artaxerxes left his dominion with
nearly the same boundaries which it had at the beginning of his reign.

=75.= REIGN OF ARTAXERXES III. B. C. 359-338. The death of Artaxerxes
II was followed by the usual crimes and atrocities which attended a
change upon the Persian throne. His youngest son, Ochus, seized the crown
after the murder of his eldest and the suicide of his second brother. He
assumed the name of Artaxerxes III, and by his energy and spirit did much
to retrieve the failing prosperity of the empire. He did not, however,
abate the inherent sources of its weakness in the corruptions of the
court. Family affection had been replaced by jealousy and hatred. The
first act of Ochus was the extermination of his own royal race, in order
that no rival might remain to dispute his throne. His more ambitious
enterprises were delayed by a revolt of Artabazus in Asia Minor, which
was abetted by Athens and Thebes. The defeated satrap fled to Philip of
Macedon, whose ready protection and Ochus’s retaliatory measures led to
the most important results. These will be detailed in Book IV.

=76.= About B. C. 351, Ochus was ready to attempt the subjugation of
Egypt. He was defeated in his first campaign, and retired into Persia to
recruit his forces. This retreat was the signal for innumerable revolts.
Phœnicia placed herself under the independent government of the king
of Sidon; Cyprus set up nine native sovereigns; in Asia Minor a dozen
separate kingdoms were asserted, if not established. But the spirit of
Artaxerxes III was equal to the occasion. He raised a second armament,
hired ten thousand Greek mercenaries, and proceeded in person to war
against Phœnicia and Egypt. Sidon was taken and Phœnicia subdued. Mentor
the Rhodian, who, in the service of the king of Egypt was aiding the
Sidonians, went over to the Persians with four thousand Greeks. Egypt was
then invaded with more success. Nectanebo was defeated and expelled, and
his country again reduced to a Persian satrapy.

=77.= Most of the later victories of Artaxerxes were due to the valor
of his Greek auxiliaries, or to the treachery or incapacity of his
opponents. After the reëstablishment of his government, he abandoned
himself to the pleasures of his palace, while the control of affairs
rested exclusively with Bago´as, his minister, and Mentor, his general.
The people were only reminded from time to time of his existence by some
unusually bloody mandate. Whatever hope might have been inspired by his
really great abilities, was disappointed at once by his unscrupulous
violence and indolent self-indulgence. He died of poison by the hand of
Bagoas, B. C. 338.

=78.= ARSES. B. C. 338-336. The perfidious minister destroyed not merely
the king himself, but all the royal princes except Ar´ses, the youngest,
whom he placed upon the throne, believing that, as a mere boy, he would
be subservient to his control. After two years he was alarmed by some
signs of independent character in his pupil, and added Arses to the
number of his victims. He now conferred the sovereignty upon Darius
Codoman´nus, a grandson of Darius II, whom he regarded as a friend, but
who commenced his reign by an act of summary justice, in the execution of
the wretch to whom he owed his crown. B. C. 336.

=79.= REIGN OF DARIUS III. B. C. 336-331. As has often happened in
the world’s history, one of the best of the Persian kings had to bear
the results of the tyrannies of his predecessors. Darius was not
more distinguished for his personal beauty than for the uprightness
and benevolence of his character; and as satrap of Armenia, before
his accession to the throne, he had won great applause both for his
bravery as a soldier and his skill as a general. But the Greeks, whose
reasons for hostility against the Persians had been two hundred years
accumulating, had now, at last, a leader more ambitious than Xerxes, and
more able than Cyrus. Already, before Darius had mounted the throne,
Alexander the Great had succeeded his father in Macedon, had been
appointed general-in-chief of all the Greek forces, and had commenced his
movement against Asia.

=80.= The Persian monarch despised the presumption of an inexperienced
boy, and made no effort, by aiding the European enemies of Alexander,
to crush the new foe in his cradle. The satraps and generals shared the
confidence of their master, and though a large force was collected in
Mysia, no serious opposition was made to his passage of the Hellespont.
In B. C. 334, Alexander with his 35,000 Greeks crossed the strait which
had been passed by Xerxes, with his five millions, less than 150 years
before. The Greek army was scarcely more inferior to the Persian in
number than superior in efficiency. It was composed of veteran troops in
the highest possible state of equipment and discipline, and every man was
filled with enthusiastic devotion to his leader and confidence of success.

Memnon, a brother of Mentor the Rhodian, with the satraps Spithrida´tes
and Arsi´tes, commanded the Persians in Asia Minor. Their first
collision with Alexander was in the attempt to prevent his passage of
the Grani´cus, a little Mysian river which flows into the Propon´tis.
They were totally defeated, and Alexander, advancing southward, subdued,
or rather liberated all the cities of the western coast without long
delay. Halicarnas´sus, under the command of Memnon, made an obstinate
resistance, and it was only at the end of autumn that it surrendered.
Memnon then resolved to carry the war into Greece. He gathered a large
fleet and captured many islands in the Ægean; but his death at Mytile´ne
relieved Alexander of the most able of his opponents.

=81.= The king of Macedon wintered at Gor´dium, where he cut or untied
the celebrated knot, which an ancient prophecy had declared could never
be loosened except by the conqueror of Asia. With fresh reinforcements
from Greece, he commenced his second campaign, in the spring of 333, by
marching through Cappadocia and Cilicia to the gates of Syria. Darius
met him, in the narrow plain of Issus, with an army of half a million
men. Hemmed in between the mountains, the river, and the sea, the
Persian horsemen could not act, and their immense numbers were rather
an incumbrance than an advantage. Darius was defeated and fled across
the Euphrates. His mother, wife, and children fell into the hands of the
conqueror, who treated them with the utmost delicacy and respect.

=82.= B. C. 333-331. The conquests of Syria, Phœnicia, and Egypt, which
Alexander now accomplished in less than two years, will be described in
the Macedonian history. In the spring of 331, he retraced his triumphant
march through Syria, crossed the Euphrates at Thapsacus, traversed
Mesopotamia, and met Darius again on the great Assyrian plain east of the
Tigris. The Persian king had spent the twenty months which had intervened
since the battle of Issus in mustering the entire force of his empire.
The ground was carefully selected as most favorable to the movements of
cavalry, and as giving him the full advantage of his superior numbers.
A large space was leveled and hardened with rollers for the evolutions
of the scythe-armed chariots. An important part of the infantry was
formed of the brave and hardy mountaineers of Afghanistan, Bokhara,
Khiva, and Thibet; and the cavalry, of the ancestors of the modern
Kurds and Turcomans, a race always distinguished for bold and skillful
horsemanship. A brigade of Greek auxiliaries was alone considered able
to withstand the charge of Alexander’s phalanx. Altogether the forces of
Darius numbered more than a million of men, and they surpassed all former
general levies of the Persians in the efficient discipline which enabled
them to act together as one body.

=83.= The Macedonian phalanx, which formed the center of Alexander’s
army, was the most effective body of heavy-armed troops known to ancient
tactics. The men were placed sixteen deep, armed with the _sarissa_,
or long pike, twenty-four feet in length. When set for action, the
spear-heads of the first six ranks projected from the front. In receiving
a charge, the shield of each man, held over the head with the left arm,
overlapped that of his neighbor; so that the entire body resembled
a monster clothed in the shell of a tortoise and the bristles of a
porcupine. So long as it held together, the phalanx was invincible.
Whether it advanced its vast weight upon an enemy like a solid wall of
steel bristling with spear-points, or, kneeling, with each pike planted
in the ground, awaited the attack, few dared to encounter it.

=84.= BATTLE OF ARBELA. On the morning of the 1st of October, B. C.
331, the two great forces met upon the plain of Gaugame´la. Alexander
fought at the head of his cavalry, on the right of his army. Darius,
in the Persian center, animated his men both by word and example.
Both sides fought with wonderful bravery, but the perfect discipline
of the Macedonians gained at length a complete victory. The Persian
war-chariots, which, with long scythes extending from their wheels, were
intended to make great havoc among the Greek horse, were rendered useless
by a detachment of light-armed troops trained for the purpose, who, first
wounding horses and drivers with their javelins, ran beside the horses
and cut the traces or seized the reins, while the few which reached the
Macedonian front were allowed to pass between files which opened to
receive them, and were easily captured in the rear. Five brigades of the
phalanx bore down the Greek mercenaries who were opposed to them, and
penetrated to the Persian center, where Darius commanded in person. The
king’s charioteer was killed by a javelin; he himself mounted a fleet
horse and galloped from the field.

Elsewhere the issue of the day was much more doubtful for Alexander;
but the news of Darius’s flight disheartened his officers, and spurred
the Macedonians, who were outnumbered and almost overpowered, to fresh
exertions. A party of Persian and Indian horsemen, who were plundering
the Macedonian camp, were put to flight by a reserve corps of the
phalanx. The fugitive king, followed at length by his whole army,
directed his course to the city of Arbe´la, twenty miles distant, where
his military treasures were deposited. The river Ly´cus lay in their
way, crossed only by a narrow bridge, and the number of Persians drowned
in this rapid stream exceeded even those who had perished upon the

=85.= The next day Alexander arrived at Arbela and took possession of
its treasures. The Persian king, unhappily for himself, had escaped a
generous conqueror only to fall into the hands of his treacherous satrap
Bes´sus. This man had led a division of the Persian army in the battle
of Arbela, but finding his master’s fortunes ruined, had plotted with
some fellow-officers to seize his person, and either put him to death or
deliver him to Alexander, hoping thus to gain for themselves important
commands. Loaded with chains, the unhappy king was carried away by his
servants in their flight toward Hyrca´nia; but Alexander’s troops pressed
them closely, and finding escape impossible, they mortally wounded their
captive and left him by the road-side to die.

The former lord of Asia was indebted to a Macedonian soldier, who brought
him a cup of cold water, for the last act of attendance. He assured
the man that his inability to reward this service added bitterness to
his dying moments; but commended him to Alexander, whose generosity
he himself had proved, and who would not fail to honor this his last
request. The conqueror came up while the lifeless remains of Darius
still lay by the road-side. Deeply moved, he threw his own royal mantle
over the body of his foe, and ordered that a magnificent procession
should convey the last of the Persian kings to the tomb of his fathers.
In the battle of Arbela the Persian empire fell. The reduction of the
provinces occupied the few remaining years of Alexander’s life; but their
submission was certain from the moment when the forces of Asia were put
to flight and their monarch was a captive.


    Xerxes, having re-conquered Egypt, and laid all his empire
    under contribution, led into Europe the largest army which the
    world has seen. He gained the pass of Thermopylæ by treachery,
    but his fleet was shattered by storms and utterly defeated at
    Salamis. The war ended, the following year, in the overthrow
    of Mardonius at Platæa, and the destruction of a Persian fleet
    and army at Mycale. The forty years’ reign of Artaxerxes
    Longimanus began the decline of the empire. A fresh immigration
    of liberated Jews re-fortified Jerusalem, and the books of the
    Old Testament were for the first time collected and arranged.
    The feud with the Samaritans was perpetuated by their building
    a rival temple on Mount Gerizim. In the reign of Darius II many
    provinces revolted, and Egypt remained independent sixty years.
    Upon the death of Darius, his younger son Cyrus, with the
    aid of 10,000 Spartan mercenaries, made war upon his brother
    Artaxerxes Mnemon, but he was defeated and slain at Cunaxa.
    A general war followed, in which Sparta was humbled by the
    combined forces of Persia and the minor states of Greece, and
    the treaty of Antalcidas made the great king arbiter in Grecian
    affairs. Artaxerxes III, having murdered all his kindred,
    re-conquered Syria, Phœnicia, and Egypt. He was destroyed, with
    all his children, by Bagoas, his minister, who conferred the
    sovereignty on Darius Codomannus. This last of the Achaemenidæ
    was defeated by Alexander the Great at Issus, and finally at
    Arbela; and all the dominions of Persia became parts of the
    Macedonian Empire.



   1. Who and what were the Persians?                                 § 1.
   2. What were their relations with the Medes?    Book I, 39; Book II, 2.
   3. What led to the revolution in the Medo-Persian dominion?       3, 4.
   4. Describe the wars of Cyrus.                                 5, 7, 9.
   5.          His treatment of the Lydians.                            6.
   6. What led to the return of the Jews?                               8.
   7. What was the character of Cambyses?                              12.
   8. Describe his Egyptian campaign.                                  13.
   9.          His operations beyond Egypt.                        14, 15.
  10.          His behavior at Memphis.                                17.
  12.          The last days of Cambyses.                              18.
  13.          The reign and dethronement of the false Smerdis.        19.
  14.          The revolts against Darius Hystaspes.                   20.
  15.          His system of government.                           21, 22.
  16.          His court and retinue.                              23, 24.
  17. Compare the religious systems of the Persians, Hindus,
        and Medes.                                                  25-28.
  18. What causes of corruption in the Persian court?                  29.
  19. Describe the wars of Darius I.                                30-32.
  20.          The causes and incidents of the Ionian revolt.      33, 34.
  21.          The Persian measures of revenge against the
                   Athenians.                                       35-40.
  22.          The memorials of Darius Hystaspes.             41 and Note.
  23. Describe the beginning of Xerxes’ reign.                     42, 43.
  24.          His preparations against Greece.                     44-46.
  25.          The passage of the Hellespont.                          47.
  26.          The magnitude of the army.                          48, 49.
  27.          The first battle with the Greeks.                       51.
  28.          The disasters by sea.                                   52.
  29. What occurred at Delphi? At Athens? At Salamis?               53-55.
  30. Describe the retreat of Xerxes, and his subsequent career.   56, 58.
  31.          The operations of Mardonius in Greece.                  57.
  32.          The accession of Artaxerxes Longimanus.                 59.
  33.          The revolts during his reign.                       60, 61.
  34.          The affairs of the Jews under Artaxerxes.            62-64.
  35. Who were the next three kings?                                65-67.
  36. What was the condition of the kingdom under Darius II?       67, 68.
  37. Describe the enterprise of Cyrus the younger.                 69-71.
  38.          Its results to the Greeks.                          72, 73.
  39.          The reign of Artaxerxes Mnemon.                         74.
  40.          The reign of Artaxerxes III.                         75-77.
  41. Who succeeded him?                                               78.
  42. What was the character of Darius III?                            79.
  43. Compare the armies of Alexander and Darius.              80, 82, 83.
  44. Describe the battles of Issus and Arbela.                    81, 84.
  45.          The fate of Darius.                                     85.
  46. How long had the Persian Empire continued?
  47. How many kings, commencing with Cyrus?
  48. What was its greatest extent, described by boundaries?
  49. What is meant by a _satrapy_?





=1.= Of the three peninsulas which extend southward into the
Mediterranean, the most easterly was first settled, and became the seat
of the highest civilization which the ancient world could boast. Its
southern portion only was occupied by Greece, which extended from the
40th parallel southward to the 36th. Continental Greece never equaled
in size the state of Ohio. Its greatest length, from Mount Olym´pus to
Cape Tæn´arum, was 250 miles; and its greatest breadth, from Actium to
Marathon, was but 180. Yet this little space was divided into twenty-four
separate countries, each of which was politically independent of all the

=2.= The most peculiar trait of the Grecian peninsula is the great extent
of its coast as compared with its area. It is almost cut into three
distinct portions by deep indentations of the sea, northern Greece being
separated from the central portion by the Ambra´cian and Ma´lian, and
central Greece from the Peloponnesus by the Corinth´ian and Saron´ic
gulfs. A country thus surrounded and penetrated by water, of necessity
became maritime. The islands of the Ægean afforded easy stepping-stones
from Europe to Asia. Opposite, on the south, was one of the most fertile
portions of Africa; and, on the west, the Italian peninsula was only
thirty miles distant at the narrowest portion of the channel.

=3.= The northern boundary of Greece is the Cambu´nian range, which
crosses the peninsula from east to west. About midway between the two
seas, this range is intersected by that of Pin´dus, which runs from north
to south, like the Ap´ennines of Italy. This lofty chain sends off a
branch toward the eastern coast, which, running parallel to the Cambunian
at a distance of sixty miles, incloses the beautiful plain of Thes´saly.
West of Mount Pindus is Epi´rus, a rough and mountainous country
inhabited by various tribes, some Greek, some barbarian. Its ridges,
running north and south, were alternated with well-watered valleys.
Through the most easterly of these flows the Achelo´us, the largest
river in Greece. Near its source were the sacred oaks of Dodo´na, in the
rustling of whose leaves the voice of the supreme divinity was believed
to be heard.

=4.= Central Greece was occupied by eleven states: At´tica, Meg´aris,
Bœo´tia, Malis, Ænia´nia, eastern and western Locris, Phocis, Doris,
Æto´lia, and Ac´arna´nia. Between Ætolia and Doris, Mount Pindus divides
into two branches. One of these runs south-easterly into Attica, and
comprises the noted summits of Parnas´sus, Hel´icon, Cithæ´ron, and
Hymet´tus; the other turns to the southward, and reaches the sea near the
entrance of the Corinthian Gulf.

Attica is a triangular peninsula, having two sides washed by the sea
and its base united to the land. Protected by its mountain barriers of
Cithæron and Par´nes, it suffered less from war in early times than other
parts of the country; and the olive, its chief production, became for all
ages a symbol of peace.

=5.= Southern Greece contained eleven countries: Cor´inth, Sicyo´nia,
Acha´ia, E´lis, Arca´dia, Messe´nia, Laco´nia, Ar´golis, Epidau´ria,
Trœze´nia, and Hermi´onis.

The territory of Corinth occupied the isthmus between the Corinthian and
Saronic gulfs; and by its two ports, Lechæ´um and Cen´chreae, carried
on an extensive commerce both with the eastern and western seas. Thus
admirably situated, Corinth, the chief city, was noted for its wealth
even in the time of Homer.

Sicyonia was considered the oldest state in Greece, and Argolis next.
The ruins of Tir´yns and Myce´næ, in the latter, existed long before the
beginning of authentic history.

Elis was the Holy Land of the Helle´nes. Every foot of its territory was
sacred to Zeus, and it was sacrilege to bear arms within its limits.
Thus it was at peace when all Greece beside was at war; and though its
wealth surpassed that of all the neighboring states, its capital remained

Arcadia, the Switzerland of the Peloponnesus, was the only Grecian state
without a sea-coast. Its wild, precipitous rocks were clothed in gloomy
forests, and buried during a great part of the year in fogs and snows.
Its people were rustic and illiterate; they worshiped Pan, the god of
shepherds and hunters, but if they returned empty-handed from the chase,
they expressed their disgust by pricking or scourging his image.

Messenia occupied the south-western corner of Greece, and encircled
a gulf to which it gave its name. Laconia embraced the other two
promontories in which the Peloponnesus terminates, together with a larger
tract to the northward. It consisted mainly of a long valley bounded by
two high ranges, whence it was sometimes called _Hollow_ La´cedæ´mon.
Down the center of the vale flowed the Euro´tas, whose sources were in
the steep recesses of Mount Tay´getus. Sparta, the capital, was the only
important town. It lay on the Eurotas about twenty miles from the sea,
inclosed by an amphitheater of mountains which shut out cooling winds and
concentrated the sun’s rays, so as to produce intense heat in summer.

=6.= Although the name of Greece is now strictly limited to the peninsula
which we have described, it was often more generally applied by the
ancients to all the homes and colonies of the Hellenic race. The south of
Italy was long known as _Mag´na Græ´cia_; the eastern shores of the Ægean
constituted Asiatic Greece, and the cities of Cyrene in Africa, Syracuse
in Sicily, and Massilia in southern France, were all, to the Greeks,
equally essential parts of Hellas. The description of the numerous and
important colonies belongs to a later period. A few of the islands more
immediately belonging to Greece will alone be mentioned here.

=7.= Chief of these was Eubϫa, the great breakwater of the eastern
coast, which extended a distance of 100 miles in length and 15 in width.
Nearly as important, though smaller, was Corcy´ra, on the western
coast; and south of it lay Paxos, Leuca´dia, Ith´aca, Cephalle´nia, and
Zacyn´thus. On the south were the Œnus´sæ and the important island of
Cythe´ra. On the east, among others were Hy´drea, Ægina, and Salamis.
Besides these littoral, or coast, islands there were, in the northern
Ægean, Lemnos, Imbros, Thasos, and Samothra´ce; in the central, the
Cyc´lades; and, in the southern, the large island of Crete.



    I. Traditional and Fabulous History, from the earliest times to
    the Dorian Migrations, about B. C. 1100.

    II. Authentic History, from the Dorian Migrations to the
    beginning of the Persian wars; B. C. 1100-500.

    III. From the beginning of the Persian wars to the victory of
    Philip of Macedon at Chæronea, B. C. 500-336.

=8.= FIRST PERIOD. The name of Greece was unknown to the Greeks, who
called their country _Hellas_ and themselves _Helle´nes_. But the Romans,
having probably made their first acquaintance with the people of that
peninsula through the _Grai´koi_, a tribe who inhabited the coast nearest
Italy, applied their name to the whole Hellenic race. A more ancient
name, _Pelas´gia_, was derived from the earliest known inhabitants of the
country—a widely extended people, who may be traced by the remains of
their massive architecture in various parts of Italy as well as Greece.
The _Pelasgi_ were among the first of the Indo-Germanic family to migrate
from Asia to Europe.

=9.= By conquest or influence, the Hellenes very early acquired the
control of their neighbors, and spread their name, language, and customs
over the whole peninsula. They were then regarded as consisting of four
tribes, the Dorians, Achæ´ans, Æo´lians, and Ionians; but the last two,
if not all four, were probably members of the earlier race.

=10.= Though of the same family with the Medes, Persians, Bactrians, and
the Brahmins of India, the Greeks had no tradition of a migration from
Asia, but believed that their ancestors had sprung from the ground. They,
however, acknowledged themselves indebted, for some important elements
of their civilization, to immigrants from foreign lands. _Ce´crops_, a
native of Sais in Egypt, was said to have founded Athens, and to have
established its religious rites. The citadel bore, from him, the name
Cecro´pia in later times. Better authorities make Cecrops a Pelasgian
hero. _Da´naus_, another reputed Egyptian, was believed to have founded
Argos, having fled to Greece with his fifty daughters. To him the tribe
of the Da´nai traced their name, which Homer sometimes applied to all the
Greeks; but the story is evidently a fable.

_Pe´lops_ was said to have come from Phrygia, and by means of his great
wealth to have gained the kingdom of Mycenæ. The whole peninsula south of
the Corinthian Gulf bore his name, being called Peloponnesus. A fourth
tradition which describes the settlement of the Phœnician _Cad´mus_
at Thebes, in Bœotia, rests upon better evidence. He is said to have
introduced the use of letters, the art of mining, and the culture of
the vine. It is certain that the Greek alphabet was derived from the
Phœnician; and Cadmus may be regarded, in this elementary sense, as the
founder of European literature. The fortress of Thebes was called, from
him, Cadme´a.

=11.= The earliest period of Grecian history is called the Heroic Age.
In later times, poets and sculptors loved to celebrate its leaders as a
nobler race than themselves, ranking between gods and men; differing from
the former by being subject to death, but surpassing the latter both in
strength of body and greatness of mind. The innumerable exploits of the
Heroes must be read rather in Mythology than History. The three who had
the strongest hold in the belief, and influence upon the character of the
people, were Hercules, the great national hero; The´seus, the hero of
Attica; and Minos, king of Crete.

The “Twelve Labors of Hercules” represent the struggle of Man with
Nature, both in the destruction of physical evil and the acquisition of
wealth and power. To understand his reputed history, we must bear in mind
that, in that early age, lions as well as other savage beasts were still
numerous in southern Europe; that large tracts were covered by undrained
marshes and impenetrable forests; and that a wild, aboriginal race of
men, more dangerous than the beasts, haunted land and sea as robbers and

=12.= Theseus was the civilizer of Attica. He established a
constitutional government, and instituted the two great festivals, the
Panathenæa[32] and Synoikia, in honor of the patron goddess of Athens.
The Isthmian Games, in honor of Neptune, were also traced to him.

=13.= Minos, king of Crete, was regarded by the Greeks as the first
great law-giver, and thus a principal founder of civilization and social
order. After his death he was believed to be one of the judges of souls
in Hades. It is worth noticing that the traditional law-givers of many
nations have borne similar names; and Menu in India, Menes in Egypt,
Manis in Lydia, Minos in Crete, and Mannus in Germany may all be mythical
names for _Man_ the Thinker, as distinguished from the savage.

[Sidenote: B. C. 1194.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 1184.]

=14.= Of the many remarkable enterprises of the Grecian heroes, the last
and greatest was the Siege of Troy. Zeus,[33] pitying the earth—so says
the fable—for the swarming multitudes she was compelled to sustain,
resolved to send discord among men that they might destroy each other.
The occasion of war was found in the wrong inflicted upon Menelaus, king
of Sparta, by Paris, son of Priam, king of Troy. All the Greek princes,
resenting the injury, assembled their forces from the extremities of
Hellas—from Mount Olympus to the islands of Ithaca, Crete, and Rhodes—and
crossing the Ægean under the command of Agamem´non, spent ten years
in the siege of Troy. The story of the tenth year must be read in the
Iliad of Homer.[34] It is impossible to separate the historical from the
poetical part in his spirited narration. Some historians have assigned a
definite period to the siege, while others have doubted whether Troy, as
described by Homer, ever existed.

=15.= Though much doubt may be felt as to the character of their heroes
and events, the poems of Homer give us a true picture of the government
and manners of the Greeks at this early age. From them we learn that each
of the petty states had its own king, who was the father, the judge, the
general, and the priest of his people. He was supposed to be of divine
descent and appointment. But unlike the blind believers in “divine right”
in modern times, the Greeks demanded that their kings should prove
themselves superior to common men in valor, wisdom, and greatness of
soul. If thus shown to be sons of the gods, they received unquestioning

=16.= A council of nobles surrounded the king and aided him by their
advice. The people were often assembled to witness the discussions in
the council and the administration of justice, as well as to hear the
intentions of the king; but in this early age they had no voice in the
proceedings. The nobles, like the king, were descended from the gods,
and were distinguished by their great estates, vast wealth, and numerous

=17.= The Greeks of the Heroic Age were distinguished by strong domestic
attachments, generous hospitality, and a high sense of moral obligation.
Every stranger was welcomed and supplied with the best cheer before he
was asked his name or errand. If he came to seek protection, the family
were under a still stronger obligation to receive him, even if he were an
enemy; for Zeus had no mercy on him who turned away from the prayer of a

=18.= The manners of the age were simple and homely. The sons of the gods
cooked their own dinners, and were proud of their skill in so doing.
Ulysses built his bed-chamber and constructed his raft, beside being
an excellent plowman and reaper. The high-born ladies, in like manner,
carded and spun the wool of their husbands’ sheep, and wove it into
clothing for themselves and their families; while their daughters brought
water from the wells, or assisted the slaves to wash garments in the

=19.= Though simple, these people were not uncivilized. They lived in
fortified towns, adorned by palaces and temples. The palaces of the
nobles were ornamented with vases of gold, silver, and bronze, and hung
with rich Tyrian draperies. The warriors were protected by highly wrought
and richly embellished armor. Agriculture was highly honored. Wheat,
flax, wine, and oil were the chief productions.

=20.= The arts of sculpture and design had already made some progress.
Poetry was cultivated by minstrels, who wandered from place to place
singing songs of their own composition, and were sure of an honorable
welcome in every palace. In this way, doubtless, the blind Homer[35]
related the brave deeds done before the walls of Troy, and praised the
heroes of that epoch in the houses of their descendants.

=21.= The religion of the Greeks had some of its first elements in common
with that of the Hindus. Zeus, the king of gods and men, who reigned
upon the snowy summit of Olympus, was doubtless the same conception with
Dyaus´, the Bright Ether or Serene Heaven of the Brahmin worship. But as
the forces of Nature were the objects of adoration, each system borrowed
its distinctive features from those of the country in which it was
developed, and that of the Greeks became incomparably the more delicate
and refined. The Asiatic origin of their faith was recognized by the
Greeks themselves, in the fable that Zeus had brought Euro´pa, daughter
of Age´nor (the same with Canaan), in her early youth, across the
Hellespont and through Thrace. An old tradition said that the people of
the ante-Hellenic age worshiped all the gods, but gave names to none; a
mystical expression of the truth that the Greeks, like most other ancient
people, had descended from the worship of One God to the belief in many.

Watching with keen eyes the various and apparently conflicting operations
of Nature, the Greeks, unaided by revelation, were led to believe
in many distinct and sometimes hostile gods; for their science, as
imperfect as their religion, had not yet arrived at a perception of unity
beneath the apparent variety, nor taught them that all forces may be
resolved into one. Hence we read of conflicts and jealousies among the
divine inhabitants of Olympus, of which the most ignorant child should
be ashamed. In more enlightened ages, philosophers severely censured
this ascription of unworthy passions to the gods, and taught that they
should only be conceived as serene, beneficent, and superior to human

=22.= Much of the mythology of the Greeks belonged merely to poetry, and
had no religious character whatever. Many stories of the gods may be
explained by the familiar appearances of nature. E´os, the dawn, was the
sister of He´lios, the sun, and Sele´ne, the moon. She dwelt upon the
banks of Ocean, in a golden-gated palace, whence she issued each morning
to announce to gods and men the approach of her greater brother. She was
the mother of the Winds and of the Morning Star. I´ris was the messenger
of the gods. The many-colored rainbow was the road over which she
traveled, and which vanished, when she no longer needed it, as suddenly
as it had appeared.

=23.= The twelve who constituted the Olympian Council were Zeus, the
supreme; Posi´don, the god of the sea; Apollo, the sun-god, and patron
of music, poetry, and eloquence; A´res, the god of war; Hephæs´tus, of
fire and the useful arts; Her´mes, the herald of the gods, and promoter
of commerce and wealth; Hera, the great goddess of Nature; Athe´na, the
favorite daughter of Zeus, and patroness of all wisdom, civilization,
and art; Ar´temis, the goddess of the moon or of hunting; Aphrodi´te, of
beauty and love; Hestia, of domestic life; and Deme´ter, the bountiful
mother of harvests,—six gods and six goddesses.

=24.= Beside these, and in some cases equal in rank, were Hades, the god
of the under-world; Helios and Hec´ate; Diony´sus, the patron of the
vine, whose rites bore some resemblance to the drunken So´ma worship of
the Hindus; the nine Muses, daughters of Zeus and Memory, who presided
over music, literature, and all the arts; the Oceanids and the Nereids,
daughters of Posidon; and multitudes more, whom to enumerate would
require a volume, instead of a few pages.

=25.= The religion of the Greeks, properly so called, consisted in
reverence toward a moral Ruler of the world, ever present and actively
concerned in human affairs; and in obedience to him by truthfulness in
thought, word, and deed. Zeus himself was believed to watch over the
sacred performance of all oaths. Athena was the divine Wisdom, especially
as exercised in civil affairs. Nem´esis was the divine Justice, as
heard either in warnings of conscience within or the reproaches of the
world without. The Erin´nyes, or as they were flatteringly called,
Eumen´ides,[36] were the avengers of crime, older than all the Olympian
divinities, and dreaded alike by gods and men. The cries of the injured
aroused them from their dark abode in Tartarus; and to the guilty man
they appeared as fierce, implacable furies, with flaming eyes and
extended talons, who never slept, but walked or waited constantly by
his side from the moment of his crime till its punishment; while to the
innocent victim, whom they avenged, they wore the form of serene and
stately goddesses, with faces beautiful though stern.

=26.= At a later period, new elements entered into the religious life
of the Greeks, through their intercourse with other nations, especially
with Egypt, Asia Minor, and Thrace. The most important of these was the
idea of purification for sins, which was unknown to Homer and Hesiod,
and was probably borrowed from the Lydians. The earliest sacrifices were
merely expressions of gratitude, or means of obtaining the favor of the
gods, and had nothing of the character of sin-offerings. In case of
crime, it was impossible to turn aside the wrath of the Eumenides, either
by prayers or sacrifices; the guilty person must suffer the extremest
consequences of his guilt. But under the new system it was believed that
the divine anger might be averted, and the stain of sin removed.

Persons guilty of homicide, whether intentional or accidental, were
excluded from the society of man and the worship of the gods until
certain rites had been performed. In earlier times, a chief or king might
officiate in the ceremony of purification, but later it was intrusted to
priests, or to persons supposed to be specially marked for the favor of
heaven by holiness of life. In case of public calamity, such as plague,
famine, or defeat in war, whole cities or states underwent the process of
purification, with a view to appease the supposed wrath of the gods for
some hidden or open crime.

=27.= Among other foreign observances were the ecstatic rites in honor
of various divinities. Such were the Bacchanalian dances, celebrated
at Thebes and Delphi, in honor of Dionysus, in which troops of women
spent whole nights upon the mountains in a state of the wildest frenzy,
shouting, leaping, clashing noisy instruments, tearing animals to pieces
and devouring the raw flesh, and even cutting themselves with knives
without feeling the wounds. Those who abandoned themselves freely to
this excitement were supposed to secure the favor of the god and escape
future visitations, while those who resisted were punished with madness.

[Illustration: MAP OF ANCIENT GREECE and the ÆGEAN SEA.]

=28.= Among the most solemn rites were the Mysteries celebrated at
Eleusis in honor of Demeter and Perseph´one. These could only be
approached by a long and secret course of preparation, and it was a crime
even to speak of them in the presence of the uninitiated. They commanded
the deepest reverence of the Greeks, and the participants were regarded
as more secure than others, both in temporal and spiritual perils. When
exposed to shipwreck, passengers commonly asked each other, “Have you
been initiated?”

The Eleusinian Mysteries, at least in their earlier form, are supposed to
have been a remnant of the old Pelasgic worship, and thus “grounded on a
view of nature less fanciful, more earnest, and better fitted to awaken
both philosophical thought and religious feeling” than the Hellenic

=29.= Another custom adopted from abroad was the formation of secret
societies, whose members bound themselves by ascetic vows, and the
obligation to perform, at fixed seasons, certain solemnities. Such were
the Orphic, and afterward the Pythagorean brotherhoods. Those who entered
upon the “Orphic Life,” as it was called, promised to abstain wholly
from animal food, except the mystic sacrificial feast of raw flesh, and
wore white linen garments like the Egyptian priests. Though worshipers
of Dionysus, the Orphic brotherhood abstained from all wild and unseemly
demonstrations, and aimed at the most severe simplicity and purity of
life and manners. Their reputation for wisdom and holiness was abused by
certain impostors, who used to visit the houses of the rich and offer to
release them from the consequences both of their own sins and those of
their forefathers, by sacrifices and expiatory songs prescribed in the
Orphic books.

=30.= We have anticipated the five or six centuries which followed the
Heroic Age, for the sake of giving a connected though brief account of
the religious beliefs and customs of the Greeks, without which their
history could not be understood. It only remains to mention those oracles
through which, from the earliest times to the latest, and even long after
the civil existence of Greece was ended, the gods were believed to make
known their will to man.

=31.= The oldest of the oracles was that of Zeus at Dodona, where the
message of the god was believed to be heard in the rustling of the
sacred oaks and beeches, and interpreted by his chosen priests or
prophetesses. At Olympia, in Elis, the will of Zeus was read in the
appearance of victims sacrificed for the purpose. The oracles of Zeus
were comparatively few. The office of revealing the divine will to man
devolved usually upon Apollo, who had twenty-two oracles in European and
Asiatic Greece.

=32.= Of these the most celebrated was at Delphi, in Phocis, where was a
temple of Apollo containing his golden statue and an ever-burning fire
of fir-wood. In the center of the temple was a crevice in the ground,
whence arose a peculiarly intoxicating vapor. When the oracle was to
be consulted, the Pythia, or priestess, took her seat upon the sacred
tripod over this opening; and when bewildered or inspired by the vapor,
which was supposed to be the breath of the god, she uttered a response
in hexameter verses. It was often so obscure,[37] that it required more
wit to discern the meaning of the oracle than to determine the best
course of conduct without its aid. But so great was the reputation of the
Delphic shrine, that not only Greeks, but Lydians, Phrygians, and Romans
sent solemn embassies to consult it concerning their most important

=33.= What Europe has been to the rest of the world, Greece was to
Europe. The same peculiarities of coast and climate which made Europe the
best adapted to civilization of all the continents, long made Greece its
most highly civilized portion. But as Europe had her northern barbarians,
always pressing upon the great mountain barrier of the Pyrenees, Alps,
and Carpathians, sometimes bursting their limits and overrunning the more
civilized but weaker nations to the southward, so Greece suffered, toward
the close of the Heroic Age, from the incursions of the Illyrians on her
north-western frontier. The time of this movement was fixed by Greek
historians at sixty years after the fall of Troy, or, in our reckoning,
B. C. 1124.

Though the Illyrians did not enter central or southern Greece, their
southward movement produced a general change among the tribes of the
peninsula. The Thessalians, who had previously been settled on the
western coast of Epirus, now crossed the Pindus mountains, and cleared
for themselves a place in the fertile basin of the Pene´us, hitherto
occupied by the Bœotians. The Bœotians, thus dispossessed of their
ancient seats, moved southward, across Mounts O´thrys and Œta, to the
vale of the Cephissus, whence they drove the Cadmians and Minyæ. These
tribes were scattered through Attica and the Peloponnesus. The Dorians,
moving from the northward, occupied the narrow valley between Œta and
Parnassus, which thus became _Doris_; while the Dryo´pians, earlier
inhabitants of this region, took refuge in Eubœa and the islands of the

=34.= B. C. 1104. Twenty year’s later, a still more important movement
took place. The Dorians, cramped by the narrow mountain limits of their
abode, united with their western neighbors, the Ætolians, to invade
the Peloponnesus. It is said that they were conducted by Tem´enus,
Cresphontes, and Ar´istode´mus, in pursuance of the claims of their great
ancestor, Hercules, who had been expelled from the southern peninsula a
hundred years before. The Dorian migration is therefore often called the
Return of the Heraclidæ. Aristodemus was killed by lightning when about
to cross the Corinthian Gulf. His brothers were completely victorious
over the king of the Achæans, then the most powerful monarch in the
Peloponnesus, and proceeded to divide the peninsula between themselves
and their allies. The Ætolians received Elis, on the western coast; the
rest of the peninsula, except its northern border on the Corinthian
Gulf, remained to the Dorians, who continued for five centuries to be
the dominant race in Greece. The Heraclid princes then divided the
various crowns by lot. That of Argos fell to Temenus; that of Messenia,
to Cresphontes; and that of Sparta, to Eurysthenes and Procles, the twin
sons of Aristodemus.

=35.= The conquered Achæans were forced either to emigrate to Asia
and Italy, or to content themselves with the northern coast of their
peninsula, from which they expelled its Ionian inhabitants, and gave it
their own name, Achaia. The Ionians, after resting a few years in Attica,
whose people were their kinsmen, sought more space in the Cyclades, in
Chios and Samos, or on the neighboring coasts of Asia Minor. In the
fertile region between the Hermus and Mæander, and on the islands, twelve
Ionian cities[38] sprang up, and became rich and flourishing states.
Though independent of each other in government, they were united in the
worship of Posidon at one common temple, the Panio´nium, which crowned
the headland of Mycale.

=36.= The Æolians had already been driven from their ancient home in
central Greece, and had found refuge in Lesbos and the north-western
coast of Asia Minor, between the Hermus and the Hellespont. They, also,
formed twelve independent cities, but Mytile´ne, on the isle of Lesbos,
was considered the metropolis.

=37.= The Dorians, extending their migrations beyond the conquered
peninsula, took possession of the south-western coast of Asia Minor,
with the islands of Cos and Rhodes. Their six cities—sometimes called
the Doric Hexapolis—were Cni´dus and Halicarnassus, on the mainland;
Ial´yssus, Cami´rus, and Lindus, on the isle of Rhodes; and Cos, on the
island of its own name. Like the Ionians, they worshiped at a common
sanctuary, the temple of the Triopian Apollo.


    Greece was first occupied by the Pelasgi, but its ancient name
    is derived from the Hellenes, who early became the predominant
    race. Many arts were introduced by foreigners, among whom
    Cecrops and Danans of Egypt, Pelops of Phrygia, and Cadmus of
    Phœnicia, are most famous in tradition. The Heroic Age was
    illustrated by the achievements of sons of the gods, the last
    and greatest of their works being a ten years’ siege of Troy.
    Greece was governed at this period by many absolute monarchs:
    kings and nobles, as well as people, led simple and industrious
    lives. Not only tillage, weaving, and the manufacture of
    metals, but architecture, sculpture, music, and poetry were
    cultivated to a high degree. Greek religion was the most
    refined and beautiful form of Nature-worship. Six gods and six
    goddesses constituted the Supreme Council of Olympus, and a
    multitude of inferior divinities peopled the mountains, woods,
    and waters. Conscience was personified in Nemesis and the
    Erinnyes. Rites of atonement for sin, ecstatic celebrations,
    and ascetic brotherhoods were adopted by the Greeks from
    foreign nations. Of many oracles, the most celebrated was that
    of Apollo, at Delphi. The Heroic Age ended with a general
    migration of the tribes of Greece, which resulted in the
    settlement of the Dorians in the Peloponnesus, and the planting
    of many Ionian and Æolian colonies on the shores of Asia Minor.

SECOND PERIOD. B. C. 1100-500.

=38.= The Heroic Age had ended with a general migration among the tribes
of Greece, which for a time interrupted their improvement of manners. But
Grecian liberty arose out of the ruins of the Heroic Age; and instead of
absolute monarchies, various forms of free government were established in
the several states. A state, indeed, was nothing more than a city with a
small portion of land surrounding it. Except in Attica, no city at this
time had control over any other town.

=39.= All the Greeks—though existing under a multitude of governments,
and divided by rivalries and jealousies—considered themselves as children
of one ancestor, Hellen, and gave the common name of _barbarians_, or
_babblers_, to all other nations. The poems of Homer, which were chanted
at the public festivals and repeated at every hearth-stone, described
all the Greeks as united against a common foe, and made the feeling of
brotherhood stronger than any occasional animosity. Beside the community
of blood, language, and national history, the Greeks were strongly bound
together by their equal interest in the oracles and the celebration of
religious rites, and their participation in the great national festivals.

[Sidenote: B. C. 884.]

=40.= THE GAMES. Of these the oldest and most celebrated were the Olympic
Games. The date of their foundation is lost among the fables of the
Heroic Age, but it is certain that these athletic contests were the
favorite diversion of heroes in those primitive times. They were revived
and invested with new importance in the time of Iph´itus, king of Elis,
and Lycur´gus, regent of Sparta. In the next century their celebration,
once in four years, began to afford the Greek measurement of time.

The first Olympiad was B. C. 776-772. The scene of the festival was
upon the banks of the Alpheus, in Elis, near the ancient temple of the
Olympian Zeus. During the month of the celebration wars were suspended
throughout Greece. Deputies appeared from all the Hellenic states, who
rivaled each other in the costliness of their offerings at the temple.
The games were in honor of Zeus and Hercules. They were open to all
Greeks, without distinction of wealth or birth; but barbarians, even of
royal blood, were strictly excluded. They included running, jumping,
wrestling, boxing, the throwing of quoits and javelins, and races of
horses and chariots. The only reward of the victor was a crown of wild
olive; but this was esteemed by every Greek as the highest honor he could
attain. Its happy wearer was welcomed home with processions and songs
of triumph; he entered the town through a breach made in the walls, to
signify that a city possessed of such sons needed no other defense;
he was thenceforth exempt from all taxes, as one who had conferred
the highest obligation upon the state; he occupied the chief place
in all public spectacles; if an Athenian, he ate at the table of the
magistrates; if a Spartan, he had the privilege in battle of fighting
near the person of the king.

=41.= Three other periodical festivals, which were at first confined to
the states where they occurred, were at length thrown open to the whole
Hellenic race. The Pythian Games, in honor of Apollo, were celebrated on
the Cirrhæ´an plain, in Phocis, the third year of every Olympiad. They
included competition in music and poetry as well as in athletic sports,
and were, next to the Olympic, the most celebrated festival in Greece.
The Ne´mean and Isthmian Games were celebrated once in two years; the
former in the valley of Nemea, in Argolis, in honor of Zeus, and the
latter on the Isthmus of Corinth, in honor of the sea-god, Posidon.

Thus every year was marked by at least one great national festival, and
every second year by two, reminding the throngs which attended them
of their common origin, and the distinction between themselves and
barbarians. Beside keeping alive that athletic training which increased
the strength of Grecian youth, these yearly assemblies served also the
purposes of the modern European fairs, of the lecture hall, and, to
a certain extent, of the printing-press; for booths were erected all
around the sacred grove, in which the industries of all the Hellenic
states and colonies found a ready market; while, in the intervals of
athletic display, poets chanted to the eager throng their hymns and
ballads; historians related the deeds of foreign and native heroes;
and philosophers unfolded to all who were wise enough to listen, their
theories of mind and matter, and the relation of gods to men.

=42.= Another bond of union among the Greeks was found in the
Amphic´tyones, or voluntary associations of neighboring or kindred
tribes, usually for the protection of some common temple or sanctuary.
Such a one had its center at Delos, the religious metropolis of the
Cyclades; and the three tribes of Dorians, Ionians, and Æolians in
western Asia Minor had each its federal union on the same principle. But
the most celebrated and lasting was the Amphictyonic league of twelve
tribes, which had its semi-annual meetings, in the spring at Delphi, and
in the autumn at Anthela, near Thermopylæ.

=43.= After the Dorian Conquest, Argos was for several centuries the
leading power in Greece. In the earliest part of its history, the
government was a monarchy, like those of the Heroic Age, the kings
claiming descent from Hercules. But the spirit of freedom having been
awakened in the people, they gradually took away power from their kings,
and established a republic, though retaining the name of monarchy. About
780 B. C., one Phi´don came to the throne, who, having more talent than
his predecessors, won back all the powers which they had lost, and made
himself absolute with the now first-used name of “tyrant.” He extended
the dominion of Argos over the whole Peloponnese, and sent forth colonies
which rendered the Argive name famous in Crete, Rhodes, Cos, Cnidus,
and Halicarnassus. His intercourse with Asia led to the first use of
coined money in Greece, and of a system of weights and measures which is
supposed to be the same with the Babylonian. After the death of Phidon,
Argive power rapidly declined. The subject and allied cities threw off
the oppressive rule which he had exercised, and a new state was now
gaining power in the Peloponnese which was destined to eclipse all the
glories of Argos.


=44.= When the Dorians invaded Peloponnesus, the former inhabitants still
retained their foothold in the country, and for three hundred years their
fortress of Amy´clæ stood at only two miles distance from the Doric
capital of Lacedæmon, defying assault. The Lacedæmonians consisted of
three classes: 1. The Doric conquerors; 2. The subject Achæans of the
country towns; and, 3. The enslaved Helots, who were bought and sold with
the soil.

=45.= The government of Sparta was a double monarchy, its two kings being
descended respectively from Procles and Eurysthenes, the twin sons of
Aristodemus. They possessed little power in peace, but as generals, in
these early times, they were absolute in war. They were held in great
honor as the descendants of Hercules, and thus as connecting links
between their people and the gods. The Spartan Senate consisted of
thirty members, each of whom had passed the age of sixty, and had been
a blameless servant of the state. The popular assembly was of little
importance, though, as a matter of form, questions of peace or war and
the election of certain officers were referred to it. At a later time,
however, this assembly by a free vote chose five Ephors, who had absolute
power even over the kings and senate, as well as over the people.

=46.= However subservient they might be to kings or senate, the people
held themselves proudly above the industrious but dependent inhabitants
of the towns. There was more difference of rank between Spartan and
Achæan than between the meanest Spartan and his king. The Helots were
marked for contempt by a garment of sheep-skin and a cap of dog-skin; and
every year stripes were inflicted upon them for no fault, but that they
might never forget that they were slaves.

=47.= About 850 B. C., arose Lycurgus, one of the most celebrated of
ancient law-givers. He was of the royal family of Sparta; and upon the
death of his brother, King Polydec´tes, he exercised supreme command in
the name of his infant nephew, Charila´us. His administration was the
most wise and just that the Spartans had known; but his enemies raised
a report that he was seeking the crown for himself, and he resolved to
withdraw from the country until his nephew should be of age.

The Spartans missed the firm and wise government of their regent. The
young king came to the throne, but disorders were not checked, and a
party of the better sort sent a message to Lycurgus urging his return.
He first consulted the oracle at Delphi, and was hailed with the title,
“Beloved of the gods, and rather a god than a man.” To his prayer that he
might be enabled to enact good laws, the priestess replied that Apollo
had heard his request, and promised that the constitution he was about to
establish should be the best in the world. Those who might envy the power
and deny the authority of Lycurgus as a man, could not refuse obedience
to his laws when thus enforced by the god. He effected a great revolution
in Sparta, with the consent and coöperation of the king himself.

=48.= The laws of Lycurgus lessened the powers of the kings and increased
those of the people, but their chief end was to secure the continuance of
the state by making every Spartan a soldier. Modern nations believe that
governments exist for the people; in Sparta, on the contrary, each person
existed only for the state. His right to exist was decided upon the
threshold of life by a council of old men, before whom each newly-born
infant was presented. If it seemed to promise a vigorous and active life,
it was accepted as a child of the state, and assigned a nine-thousandth
part of the Spartan lands; but if weakly and deformed, it was cast into a
ravine to perish.

At seven years of age every boy so allowed to live was taken from his
home and subjected to a course of public training. The discipline of his
body was considered of more importance than the improvement of his mind.
He endured heat and cold, hunger and fatigue; and beside the gymnastic
exercises, he was subjected to all the hardships of military service. His
garment was the same summer and winter; the food given him was too little
to sustain life, but he was expected to make up the deficiency by hunting
or stealing. If caught in the latter act, he was severely punished;
but it was not for the dishonesty, but for the awkwardness of allowing
himself to be detected. It must be remembered, however, that where there
was no property there could be no theft in any moral sense. Every thing
in Sparta was ultimately the property of the state, and every interest
was subordinate to the training of citizens to dexterity in war.

=49.= Another means of training the Spartan youth to fortitude, was a
cruel scourging for no offense at the shrine of Artemis, which they
endured without a sound, although the altar was sprinkled with their
blood, and some even died under the lash. Those who were educated by such
inhuman severities, were not likely to become either just or merciful
toward others. The wretched Helots afforded a never-failing exercise for
their skill in war. Under the institution called Crypti´a, they were
frequently attacked and murdered by the select bands of young Spartans,
who ranged the country by night in quest of military practice. When the
Helots became more numerous than their masters, so as to be regarded with
apprehension, these massacres became more frequent and general.

=50.= Spartan discipline did not end with youth. At thirty a man was
permitted to marry, but he still lived at the barracks and ate at the
common table. Public affairs were discussed at these tables with a
freedom which partly repaid the suppression of speech in the assembly.
The youth were permitted to attend in silence, and thus received their
political education. The remaining hours of the day were divided by the
men between gymnastic exercises and the instruction of youth. Not until
his sixtieth year was a man released from this martial life.

=51.= Spartan girls were subjected to nearly as rigorous a training as
their brothers. Their exercises consisted of running, wrestling, and
boxing, and their characters became as warlike as those of men. Like
other citizens, the Spartan women considered themselves and all that were
most dear to them as the absolute property of the state.

=52.= That the minds of the Spartans might never be diverted from
military pursuits, Lycurgus permitted no citizen to engage in
agriculture, trade, or manufactures, all occupations which could be
pursued for gain being left in the hands of the subject Achæans. To shut
out foreign luxuries, he adopted a still more stringent measure. The
possession of gold or silver was forbidden, and money was made of iron
rendered worthless by being heated and plunged into vinegar. This bore
so low a nominal value in proportion to its weight, that the amount of
one hundred dollars was a load for a pair of oxen. So cumbrous a medium
of exchange was despised by other nations; the ports of Sparta were
unvisited by trading ships, and her villages by traveling minstrels or
merchants; and as Spartans were forbidden to journey in other lands
without the leave of their magistrates, while, with very rare exceptions,
no foreigner was permitted to reside in their capital, the selfish
exclusiveness of the nation seemed complete.

Love of country was limited to Laconia, and never included Hellas. Except
when Sparta was threatened, they never united with the other Grecian
states; and, in time of peace, bore more hatred to Athens than to Persia.
The free, intellectual life of the Athenians was the object of their
especial disgust; and the philosophy and eloquence which made the glory
of Athens, were the scorn of the Spartans, who considered it a crime to
use three words where two could be made to suffice.

=53.= Unlike other cities of Greece, Sparta was never protected by
walls. The high mountains on the north and west were a safeguard against
assaults by land, while the rock-bound coasts to the eastward prevented
invasion by sea. The whole city was a camp, where each man knew his
hourly duty, and endured more privation in time of peace than in war.
The laws of Lycurgus were successful in making a race of soldiers,
narrow-minded, prejudiced, and avaricious; destitute of those finer and
sweeter traits which belonged to the higher order of Grecian character,
but brave, hardy, self-sacrificing, and invincible.

=54.= Having completed his legislative work, Lycurgus secured its
perpetuity by a sacrifice of himself. He declared that it was necessary
to consult the oracle, and exacted an oath from kings, senators, and
people that they would obey his laws until his return. He then went to
Delphi, made offerings to Apollo, and received an assurance that Sparta
should be the most glorious city in the world so long as she adhered to
his laws. Having transmitted this message to his countrymen, Lycurgus
resolved never to return. He is said to have starved himself to death.
The time and place of his death are unknown. Cirrha, Elis, and the island
of Crete claimed his tomb, while other accounts declare that his remains
were brought to Sparta, and that a stroke of lightning gave the seal of
divinity to his last resting-place.

=55.= Sparta kept her oath five hundred years, and during a great portion
of that time maintained the first rank among Grecian states. Amyclæ was
taken a few years after the departure of Lycurgus. From a mere garrison
in a hostile country, Sparta now became mistress of Laconia, and began
to make war with her northern neighbors, Argos and Arcadia. The chief
object of her enmity was Messenia, another Doric kingdom to the westward,
separated from Sparta by the ridge of Mount Taygetus.

=56.= FIRST MESSENIAN WAR. B. C. 743-724. The Messenians had adopted
a more liberal policy toward their Achæan subjects than prevailed at
Sparta, and the jealousy of the two nations had led to frequent mutual
insults, when, at length, a slight occasion plunged them into open war.
A distinguished Messenian, who had been crowned at the Olympic Games,
pastured his cattle by agreement upon the lands of a certain Spartan. But
the Spartan, seizing the opportunity for a fraud, sold both the cattle
and the Messenian herdsmen who tended them, and crowned his iniquity
by murdering the son of the owner, who came to demand the price. The
unhappy father went to Sparta to demand justice from the kings, but his
grief was disregarded and his claims unpaid. He then took revenge into
his own hands, and murdered every Lacedæmonian who came in his way. The
Spartans called upon the Messenians to surrender their countryman, but
they refused to give him up, and war broke out.

[Sidenote: B. C. 738.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 730.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 724.]

=57.= For the first four years the Messenians made effectual resistance,
and their invaders gained nothing; but in the fifth a partial reverse
compelled them to shut themselves up in the strong fortress of Itho´me.
The Spartans took a solemn oath never to return to their families until
they had subdued Messenia. In the thirteenth year, Theopompus, king
of Sparta, marched against Ithome, and a great battle was fought, in
which the king of Messenia was slain. Aristodemus was chosen in his
place, and the war went on. In the eighteenth year, Arcadia and Sicyon
sent forces to aid the Messenians, while Corinth joined the Spartans. A
third great battle was fought, in which the invaders were defeated and
driven in disgrace to their own country. But at this time the oracles
began to favor the Spartans, while dreams and visions dismayed the soul
of Aristodemus. He slew himself, and, with his life, success departed
from the Messenians. Ithome was abandoned, the Spartans razed it to the
ground, and the Messenians were reduced to slavery.

[Sidenote: B. C. 685-668.]

=58.= For thirty-nine years they endured a galling weight of oppression,
but at the end of that time a hero of the royal line arose for their
deliverance. The exploits of Aristom´enes form the chief history of the
Second Messenian War, though almost the entire Peloponnesus was engaged.
The Corinthians, as before, fought for Sparta, while the Argives,
Arcadians, Sicyonians, and Pisatans took part with the Messenians.
After losing one battle, the Spartans sent to Delphi for advice, and
received the unwelcome direction to apply to Athens for a leader. The
Athenians, too, feared to disobey the oracle; but desiring to render no
real assistance to their rivals, they sent a lame school-master, named
Tyrtæ´us, to be their general. They found, as usual, that the Pythia was
not to be outwitted. Tyrtæus reanimated the rude vigor of the Spartans by
his martial songs, and it is to these that their final success is mainly

[Sidenote: B. C. 683.]

=59.= The Spartans were slow in regaining their former ascendency. In the
battle of Stenycle´rus they were defeated with great loss, and pursued by
Aristomenes to the very summit of the mountains. In the third year the
Messenians suffered a signal defeat through the treachery of an ally,
and Aristomenes retired to the fortress of Ira. The Spartans encamped
around the foot of the hill, and for fourteen years the war was actively
prosecuted, the Messenian hero often issuing from his castle, and
ravaging with fire and sword the lands held by the enemy. Three times he
offered to Zeus Ithomates the sacrifice called Hecatomphonia, in token
that he had slain a hundred enemies with his own hand.

[Sidenote: B. C. 668.]

=60.= But neither the valor nor the good fortune of the leader availed
to save his country. Ira was taken by surprise. Aristomenes ended his
days at Rhodes. His sons led a large number of the exiled Messenians into
Italy, and settled near Rhegium. A few who remained were admitted to the
condition of the subject Achæans; but, as before, the mass of the people
were reduced to serfdom, and remained in that condition three hundred
years. The conquest of Messenia was followed by a war against Arcadia
which continued nearly a hundred years. The sole fruit to Sparta was the
capture of the little city of Tegea.

=61.= From the earliest times Sparta had been the rival of Argos, which
then ruled the whole eastern coast of the Peloponnesus. Soon after
Lycurgus, the boundaries of Laconia were extended eastward to the sea,
and northward beyond the city of Thyr´ea. About B. C. 547, the Argives
went to war to recover this portion of their former territory. They were
defeated and their power forever humbled.

[Sidenote: B. C. 547.]

=62.= Sparta was for a time the most powerful state in Greece. Her own
territories covered the south of the Peloponnesus, and the neighboring
states were so far subdued that they made no attempt to resist her
authority. That authority had hitherto been exerted within the narrow
limits of the Peloponnese, but about this time an embassy from Crœsus,
king of Lydia, acknowledged her leadership in Greece, and invited her
to join him in resisting the Persians. At this point began the foreign
policy of Sparta. Her influence among the Grecian states was always in
favor of either oligarchy or despotism—against such a government by the
people as existed in Athens; and the aristocratic party in every city
looked to Sparta as its natural champion and protector.


    After the Dorian migrations, republics replaced most of the
    monarchies in Greece. Though divided into many rival states,
    the Hellenes were one race in origin, language, religion, and
    customs. The Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian Games
    promoted civilization by the free interchange of ideas. The
    Amphictyonic Council, at Delphi and Thermopylæ, united twelve
    Hellenic tribes for mutual defense. Phidon, king of Argos,
    founded many colonies, and first introduced weights, measures,
    and the coinage of money from the East.

    The Spartan government consisted of a double line of Heraclid
    kings, a senate, and, in later times, five ephors. Lycurgus,
    as regent, reformed the laws by subjecting every person
    to military rule, forbidding lucrative employments, and
    discouraging all intercourse with foreign nations. By two long
    wars the Spartans enslaved their neighbors, the Messenians;
    and their power was always opposed to free institutions in the
    states of Greece, among which Lacedæmon held for some centuries
    the foremost rank.


=63.= The history of Athens presents an infinitely greater variety of
character and incident than that of Sparta. Unsurpassed by the Spartans
in patriotism or valor, the Athenians differed from them in their love
for rare sculpture, magnificent architecture, and the refined diversions
of music, poetry, and the drama. The consequence is, that while the
Spartans won the world’s admiration only by their sacrifice of personal
interests to those of the state, the Athenians were at once the models
and the leaders of all civilized nations in the arts which give grace
and loveliness to life. An Athenian visiting Sparta, and seeing the
appointments of the public tables, said that he no longer wondered at
Spartan bravery in battle, for life so nourished could not be worth

[Sidenote: B. C. 1050-752.]

=64.= In the Heroic Age Athens was governed by kings. Theseus subdued the
country towns of Attica, and made the city the capital of a centralized
monarchy. Codrus, the last of the kings, fell in resisting the Dorian
invaders, who had conquered the Peloponnesus and designed to subjugate
Attica. The invasion was repelled, but the kingdom was not reëstablished.
The eupatridæ, or nobles, secured the election of an archon for life, who
was in a certain degree responsible to them for his actions. Though of
the royal race of Codrus, he had neither the name nor the dignity of a
king. This succession of archons continued about 300 years.

[Sidenote: B. C. 684.]

=65.= An important change was then made by limiting the term of office to
ten years. At the expiration of his service, the archon could be tried
and punished if his conduct was proved to have been unjust. At first the
election was made, as before, from the descendants of Codrus; but one of
these being deposed for his cruelty, the office was thrown open to all
nobles. A third change appointed, instead of a single magistrate, a board
of nine, who were chosen yearly from among the eupatrids. Nobles alone
had the right to vote, and for sixty years the government of Athens was a
pure aristocracy.

[Sidenote: B. C. 621.]

=66.= But the people of Athens, afterward to fill so important a part
in history, now made themselves heard in a demand for _written laws_,
which should stand between them and the arbitrary will of their rulers.
The nobles acceded to the demand, but avenged their injured dignity by
appointing Draco to prepare the code. This first Athenian law-giver made
a collection of statutes so severe that they were said to be indeed the
work of a dragon, and to be written not with ink, but with blood. The
smallest theft, not less than murder and sacrilege, was punished by
death, and the life of every citizen was left absolutely at the mercy of
the ruling order.

[Sidenote: B. C. 620.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 596.]

=67.= Great dissatisfaction arose among the Athenians in consequence
of these laws, and Cylon, an aspiring young noble, aided by his
father-in-law, the tyrant of Megara, took advantage of the disturbance
to seize the Acropolis, with a view to making himself tyrant of Athens.
The archons quelled this rash rebellion, but in so doing they themselves
incurred the guilt of sacrilege, for the criminals were put to death at
the very altar of the Eumenides.[39] While the people were thrown into a
tumult of superstitious fear, a plague broke out, which was believed to
be a judgment of the gods. The Delphic oracle being invoked, commanded
that Athens should be purified by priestly rites. Epimen´ides, a sage and
seer, who was reputed to have great insight into the healing powers of
Nature, was brought from Crete, and by his sacrifices and intercessions
the plague was believed to be arrested. The archons, however, saw a cause
of their recent danger, deeper than the transient outbreak, and they
appointed Solon, the wisest of their number, to frame a new code of laws.

=68.= The condition of Attica demanded immediate remedies. The three
factions, consisting of the wealthy nobles of the Athenian _Plain_,
the merchants of the _Shore_, and the poor peasantry of the Attic
_Mountains_, were opposed to each other by the most bitter enmities.
Some of the latter in their need had been compelled to borrow money, at
exorbitant interest, from the nobles, and being unable to pay, had become
the slaves of their creditors.

[Sidenote: B. C. 594.]

=69.= Solon, though a noble, had been forced by the ruin of his fortune
to engage in commerce, choosing this means of support, however, with a
view to the improvement of his mind by observation of foreign lands.
While he was exchanging his Attic oil and honey for Egyptian millet, at
Naucratis, he had not failed to study the laws of the Pharaohs, or to
observe their effects upon the interests and character of the people.
His wisdom and integrity commanded the confidence of all classes of his
fellow-citizens, and he was made sole archon for life, with unlimited
power to alter the existing state of things.

=70.= His first object was to improve the condition of the poor debtors,
not merely by alleviating present distress, but by removing its causes.
To this end he enacted a bankrupt law, canceling all contracts in which
the land or person of a debtor had been given as security; and to avoid
such evils in the future, he abolished slavery for debt. The rate of
interest was abated, and the value of the currency lowered, so that the
debtor gained about one-fourth by paying in a depreciated medium. Above
all, provision was made against a recurrence of the same distress, by
requiring every father to teach his son some mechanical art. If this was
neglected, the son was freed from all responsibility for supporting his
father in old age. Foreigners were not allowed to settle in the country,
unless skilled in some form of industry which they engaged to carry on.

=71.= The chief design of the new constitution was to set up a free
and moderate government, instead of the oppressive tyranny of the
nobles. Solon divided the people into four classes, according to their
possessions. The poorest were permitted to vote, but not to hold office.
The upper three classes alone were subject to direct taxation, which fell
with greatest weight upon the wealthiest. The code of Draco was repealed.
Instead of severe punishments, Solon introduced the fear of shame and the
hope of honor as preventives of crime. Among the rewards for faithful
citizenship were crowns presented by senate or people; public banquets
in the hall of state; statues in the Agora or the streets; places of
honor in the theater or popular assembly. As persons distinguished by
these various honors were constantly seen by the youth of Athens, their
ambition was kindled to deserve similar rewards.

=72.= A new legislative Council of Four Hundred was formed, consisting
of one hundred members from each tribe, to be chosen yearly by a free
vote in the popular assembly. The source of power was in the assembly of
all the people, which elected the archons and councilors, accepted or
rejected the laws proposed by the latter, and judged the former at the
end of their term of office. Popular courts of law were also instituted,
to which a criminal might appeal when condemned by another tribunal. The
Council of the Areopagus continued to be the highest court in the state,
and was especially charged with the maintenance of religion and morals.
Originally it included all the nobles, but Solon restricted it to those
who had worthily discharged the duties of the archonship.

=73.= There were no professional lawyers in Athens, for the knowledge
and enforcement of the laws were held to be the duty of every citizen.
In case of popular sedition, every man was to be dishonored and
disfranchised who took no part on either side. This rule was designed
to stimulate public spirit, and to supply the want of a regular police
or military force by the active interference of the citizens. Already
a large body of wealthy and respectable men kept themselves aloof from
public affairs, which fell thus into the hands of unscrupulous and
ambitious plotters.

[Sidenote: B. C. 570.]

=74.= Solon is reckoned the greatest of the Seven Wise Men[40] of Greece,
and some of his sayings have been the maxims of the best legislators of
all ages. When asked how injustice could be banished from a republic,
he replied, “By making _all_ men feel the injustice done to _each_.”
His new constitution failed, however, to satisfy all classes of his
fellow-citizens. The nobles blamed him for having gone too far; the
common people, for having withheld too much. He himself admitted that
his laws were not the best possible, but the best that the people would
receive. He obtained, however, from the government and people, an oath
to maintain the constitution ten years; and then, to rid himself of
perpetual questions and complaints, he departed into foreign lands.

[Sidenote: B. C. 560.]

=75.= On returning to Athens, Solon found that the flames of faction
had broken out with more fury than ever. The _Plain_ had for its leader
Lycurgus; the _Shore_, Megacles; and the _Mountain_, Pisis´tratus, a
kinsman of Solon. The latter was idolized by the people for his personal
beauty, his military fame, his persuasive eloquence, and his unbounded
generosity. But beneath many real virtues he concealed an insatiable
ambition, which could not rest short of supremacy in the state. When his
plans were ready for execution, he appeared one day in the market-place
bleeding with self-inflicted wounds, which he assured the people he had
received in defense of their rights, from the hands of his and their
enemies, the factious nobles. The people, in their grief and indignation,
voted him a guard of fifty clubmen. Solon saw the danger that lurked in
this measure, but his earnest remonstrances were unheeded.

Pisistratus did not limit himself to the fifty men allotted him, but
raised a much larger force, with which he seized the Acropolis and
made himself master of the city. Notwithstanding his resistance to the
usurpation, Solon was treated with great deference by his cousin, who
constantly asked his counsel in the administration of affairs. But the
aged law-giver did not long survive the freedom of Athens. After his
death his ashes were scattered, as he had directed, around the island of
Salamis, which in his youth he had won for the Athenians.

[Sidenote: B. C. 560-554.]

=76.= THE FIRST TYRANNY OF PISISTRATUS was not of long duration. For six
years he had maintained the laws of Solon, when the two factions of the
Plain and the Shore combined against him, and he was driven from the
city. An incident which occurred during his first reign had an important
bearing on the later history of Greece. A noble named Milti´ades, of
the highest birth in Athens, was sitting one day before his door, when
he saw strangers passing whom he knew to be foreigners by their spears
and peculiar garments. With true Athenian hospitality, he invited them
to enjoy the comforts of his house, and was rewarded by a singular

They were natives of the Thracian Chersonesus—that narrow tongue of
land which lies along the north shore of the Hellespont—and had been
to consult the oracle at Delphi concerning the war in which their
countrymen were now engaged. The priestess had directed them to ask the
first man who should offer them hospitality after leaving the temple,
to found a colony in the Chersonesus. They had passed through Phocis
and Bœotia without receiving an invitation, and they now hailed their
host as the person described by the oracle, and entreated him to
come to their assistance. Miltiades and his family were regarded with
especial enmity by Pisistratus, and were discontented under his rule. He
accepted the invitation of his guests, collected a party of the similarly
affected among his fellow-citizens, and with them planted an independent
principality on the Hellespont. It was his nephew who commanded at

[Sidenote: B. C. 548, 547.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 537.]

=77.= SECOND TYRANNY. Within six years from the expulsion of Pisistratus,
his rivals quarreled between themselves, and Megacles, the leader of the
Shore, invited him to return and resume the sovereignty. But Athens could
not yet remain at peace. In a short time Pisistratus offended Megacles,
who had brought him back, and who again united with Lycurgus to expel
him. This time the tyrant was ten years in exile, but he was constantly
engaged in raising men and money in the different states of Greece. He
landed at length with a powerful army at Marathon, and, joined by many
friends, advanced toward the city. He had pitched his tent near the
temple of Athena before his enemies had mustered any force to oppose him,
and their hastily gathered troops were then signally defeated. The people
willingly changed masters, and Pisistratus became for the third time
supreme ruler of Athens.

[Sidenote: B. C. 537-527.]

=78.= THIRD TYRANNY. He now established his government upon firmer
foundations, and the people forgot its arbitrary character in the
liberality and justice which marked his administration. He maintained all
the laws of Solon, and in his own person set the example of strict and
constant obedience. He took care to fill the highest offices with his
own kinsmen, but the wealth which he accumulated was at the service of
all who needed assistance. His library, the earliest in Greece, and his
beautiful gardens on the Ilissus, were thrown freely open to the public.
He first caused the poems of Homer to be collected and arranged, that
they might be chanted by the rhapsodists at the greater Panathenæ´a,[42]
or twelve days’ festival in honor of Athena. He ministered at once to the
taste and the necessities of the people, by employing many poor men in
the construction of magnificent public buildings with which he adorned
the city. The opinion of Solon was justified, that he was the best of
tyrants, and possessed no vice save that of ambition.

[Sidenote: B. C. 527.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 527-514.]

=79.= After a reign of seventeen years in all, Pisistratus died at an
advanced age, and his eldest son, Hippias, succeeded to his power, his
brother Hippar´chus being so closely associated with him that they were
frequently mentioned as the Two Tyrants. Their united government was
carried on in the same mild and liberal spirit that had distinguished
their father, and their reign was considered a sort of Golden Age in
Athens. They reduced the tax on produce from a tenth to a twentieth,
and yet, by a prudent management of resources, continued to add
embellishments to the city.

Fourteen years had thus passed in peace and prosperity, when Hipparchus
gave serious offense to a citizen named Harmo´dius, who thereupon united
with his friend Aristogi´ton in a plot to murder the two tyrants.
Hipparchus was slain. Hippias saved himself by promptness and presence
of mind; but from that day his character was changed. His most intimate
friends had been accused by the conspirators as concerned in the plot,
and executed. Though the charge was false and made only for revenge, the
suspicions of Hippias never again slept. The property and lives of the
citizens were alike sacrificed to his cruel and miserly passions.

[Sidenote: B. C. 510.]

=80.= The faction of the Alemæon´ids, who had been exiled under their
leader, Megacles, now gained strength for an active demonstration. They
bribed the Delphic priestess to reiterate in the ears of the Spartans
that “Athens must be delivered.” These brave but superstitious people
had a friendship of long standing with the Pisistrat´idæ, but they
dared not disobey the oracle. An army was sent to invade Attica: it was
defeated and its leader slain. A second attempt was more successful:
the Thessalian cavalry which had aided the tyrant was now defeated, and
Hippias shut himself up in the citadel. His children fell into the hands
of the Spartans, who released them only on condition that he and all his
kin should withdraw from Attica within five days. A perpetual decree of
banishment was passed against the family, and a monument recording their
offenses was set up in the Acropolis.

=81.= Clisthenes, the head of the Alemæonidæ, now rose into power.
Though among the highest nobles, he attached himself to the popular
party, and his measures gave still greater power to the people than the
laws of Solon had done. Instead of the four tribes, he ordained ten,
and subdivided each into demes, or districts, each of which had its
own magistrate and popular assembly. The Senate, or Great Council, was
increased from 400 to 500 members, fifty from each tribe, and all the
free inhabitants of Attica were admitted to the privileges of citizens.

To guard against the assumption of power by one man, as in the case of
Pisistratus, Clisthenes introduced the singular custom of _ostracism_,
by which any citizen could be banished without accusation, trial, or
defense. If the Senate and Assembly decided that this extreme measure
was required for the safety of the state, each citizen wrote upon a tile
or oyster-shell the name of the person whom he wished to banish. If
the name of any one person was found upon six thousand ballots, he was
required to withdraw from the city within ten days. The term of his exile
was at first ten years, but it was afterward reduced to five.

=82.= Isag´oras, leader of the nobles, disgusted by the rise of his
rival, called again upon the Spartans to interfere in Athenian affairs.
Cleom´enes, king of Sparta, advanced upon Athens, and demanded the
expulsion of Clisthenes and all his family, as accursed for the sacrilege
committed, nearly a hundred years before, in the murder of Cylon.
Clisthenes retired, and Cleomenes proceeded with his friend Isagoras to
expel seven hundred families, dissolve the Senate, and revolutionize the
city. But the people rose against this usurpation, besieged Isagoras
and his Spartans in the citadel, and only accepted their surrender on
condition of their withdrawing from Attica. Clisthenes was recalled and
his institutions restored.

[Sidenote: B. C. 507.]

=83.= Cleomenes had been stirring up Greece to aid his vengeance against
Athens. He advanced with a considerable army and seized the city of
Eleusis, while the Bœotians ravaged the western, and the Chalcidians
from Eubœa the eastern borders of Attica. Undismayed by this threefold
invasion, the Athenians marched first against Cleomenes; but the
irrational conduct of the Spartan had disgusted his allies and defeated
his designs before a battle could take place. The Athenians turned upon
the Bœotians and defeated them with great slaughter; then pressed on
without delay, crossed the channel which divided them from Eubœa, and
gained an equally decisive victory over the Chalcidians.

Hippias now covered his old age with infamy, by going over to the king
of Persia and exerting all his eloquence in directing the power of the
empire against his native city. The Athenians sent to Artaphernes,
begging him not to place confidence in one who had been banished only for
his crimes. “If you wish for peace, recall Hippias,” was the peremptory


=84.= The history of the other continental states is more or less
involved in that of Sparta and Athens; but before entering upon the
Persian wars, we will take a rapid survey of those foreign settlements
which afforded an outlet for the enterprise and the crowded population
of the Hellenic peninsula. In very early times, colonies were led forth
from Greece by leaders who were afterward worshiped as heroes in the
states they founded. Fire, the emblem of civilization, was carried from
the _prytaneum_ of the mother city, and placed upon the new hearth-stone
of the colony. The Agora, the Acropolis, the temples, and the peculiar
worship of the older city were imitated in the new. The colonists bore
part in the religious festivals of the metropolis by delegates and
offerings, and it was considered sacrilege to bear arms against the
parent state.

=85.= There was, however, a great difference in the relations of the
several colonies with the states from which they sprang. The Æolian,
Ionian, and Dorian settlements in Asia, and the Achæan in Italy, were
independent states. Commerce, literature, and the arts flourished at
an earlier period on the eastern side of the Ægean than in the cities
of Greece. Homer, the father of Greek poetry, was an Ionian. Alcæ´us
and Sappho, the greatest of Greek poetesses, were natives of Lesbos.
Ana´creon was an Ionian of Teos; and four of the Seven Wise Men of Greece
lived in the Asiatic colonies.

[Illustration: Coin of Ephesus, enlarged one-half.]

=86.= _Miletus_ was for two centuries not only the chief of the Asiatic
colonies, but the first commercial city in all Hellas. Her sailors
penetrated to the most distant corners of the Mediterranean and its
inlets, and eighty colonies were founded to protect and enlarge her
commerce. _Ephesus_ succeeded Miletus as chief of the Ionian cities. Its
commerce was rather by land than sea; and instead of planting distant
colonies, it extended its territory on the land at the expense of its
Lydian neighbors. _Phocæa_, the most northerly of the Ionic cities,
possessed a powerful navy, and its ships were known on the distant coasts
of Gaul and Spain. The beautiful city of Massilia (now Marseilles) owed
to them its origin.

=87.= The first Greek colony in Italy was at _Cumæ_, near the modern
Naples, which sprang from it. It is said to have been founded about
1050 B. C., and continued five centuries the most flourishing city in
Campania. _Syb´aris_ and _Croto´na_ were Achæan colonies upon the Gulf
of Taren´tum. Several native tribes became their subjects, and their
dominions extended from sea to sea across the peninsula of Calabria. The
Crotonians were early celebrated for the skill of their physicians, and
for the number of their athletes who won prizes at the Olympic Games. The
Sybarites were noted for their wealth, luxury, and effeminacy. In public
festivals they mustered 5,000 horsemen fully equipped, while Athens could
only show 1,200 even for the grand Panathenæa.

The fall of Sybaris, B. C. 510, was occasioned by war with the sister but
now rival city Crotona. The popular party had supplanted an oligarchy
in Sybaris, and the exiled citizens had taken refuge in Crotona. The
Sybarites demanded their rendition. The Crotonians trembled, for they
had to choose between two great perils: they must incur either the wrath
of the gods by betraying suppliants, or the vengeance of the Sybarites,
whose army was supposed to number 300,000 men. Pythagoras urged them to
adopt the more generous alternative, and his disciple, Milo, the most
celebrated athlete of his time, became their general. In a battle on the
Trais the Crotonians were victorious. They became masters of Sybaris,
and determined to destroy it so thoroughly that it should never again be
inhabited. For this purpose they turned the course of the river Crathis,
so that it overflowed the city and buried its ruins in mud and sand. To
this day a wall can be seen in the bed of the river when the water is
low, the only monument of the ancient grandeur of Sybaris.

=88.= The people of _Locri_ were the first of the Greeks who possessed a
body of written laws. The ordinances of Zaleucus, a shepherd whom they
made their legislator by the command of the Delphic oracle, were forty
years earlier than those of Draco, which they resembled in the severity
of their penalties. The Locrians, however, held them in so high esteem,
that if any man wished to propose a new law or repeal an old one, he
appeared in the public assembly with a rope around his neck, which was
immediately tightened if he failed to convince his fellow-citizens of the
wisdom of his suggestions.

=89.= _Rhegium_, on the Sicilian Strait, was founded by the Chalcidians
of Eubœa, but greatly increased by fugitives from the Spartans during the
first and second Messenian wars. The straits and the opposite town in
Sicily, formerly called Zan´cle, received a new name from these exiled
people. _Taren´tum_ was a Spartan colony founded about 708 B. C. Its
harbor was the best and safest in the Tarentine Gulf, and after the fall
of Sybaris it became the most flourishing city in Magna Græcia. Though
its soil was less fertile than that of other colonies, its pastures
afforded the finest wool in all Italy. Tarentine horses were in great
favor among the Greeks; and its shores supplied such a profusion of the
shell-fish used for coloring, that “Tarentine purple” was second only to
the Tyrian. So extensive were the manufactories of this dye, that great
mounds may even yet be seen near the ancient harbor, composed wholly of
broken shells of the _murex_.

=90.= The prosperity of Magna Græcia declined after the close of the
sixth century B. C., when the warlike Samnites and Lucanians began to
press southward from their homes in central Italy. The Greek colonies
gradually lost their inland possessions, and became limited to mere
trading settlements on the coast.

=91.= _Massilia_, in Gaul, has already been mentioned as a colony of the
Ionic Phocæans. It exerted a controlling influence upon the Celtic tribes
by which it was surrounded, and who derived from it the benefits of Greek
letters and civilization. A Massiliot mariner, Pytheas, navigated the
Atlantic and explored the western coasts of Europe, as far, at least,
as Great Britain. Five colonies on the Spanish coast were founded by

=92.= The fertile island of Sicily early attracted the attention of
the Greeks. The Carthaginians already occupied the western side of the
island, but for two and a half centuries the commercial settlements
of either people flourished side by side without collision. Twelve
flourishing Greek cities sprang up within 150 years, among which
_Syracuse_, on the eastern, and _Agrigentum_, on the southern coast, were
the most important. Syracuse, the earliest, except Naxos, of the Sicilian
colonies, was founded by Corinthians, B. C. 734. Its position made it
the door to the whole island, and in Roman times it was the capital of
the province. In its greatest prosperity it contained half a million of
inhabitants, and its walls were twenty-two miles in extent. Agrigentum,
though of later origin (B. C. 582), grew so fast that it outstripped its
older neighbors. The poet Pindar called it the fairest of mortal cities,
and its public buildings were among the most magnificent in the ancient

=93.= AFRICAN COLONIES. Greek colonization was at first confined to the
northern shores of the Mediterranean, Egypt and Carthage dividing between
them the southern. But the policy of Psammetichus, and, after him, of
Amasis, favored the Greeks, who were thenceforth permitted to settle at
Naucratis, and enjoy there a monopoly of the Mediterranean commerce of
Egypt. Twenty years after the first establishment at Naucratis, _Cyrene_
was founded by the people of Thera, a Spartan colony on the Ægean. Unlike
most Greek colonies, Cyrene was governed by kings during the first two
centuries of its existence.

=94.= The peninsula of Chalcid´ice, in Macedonia, was covered with the
settlements of colonists from Chalcis and Eretria, from the former of
which it derived its name. _Potidæ´a_, on the same coast, was planted
by Corinthians. _Byzantium_ was founded by Megarians, on the strait
which connects the Propontis with the Euxine. Few cities could boast
so splendid a position; but the power of the Megarian colony bore
little proportion to what it was afterward to attain as the capital of
Constantine and the mistress of the world. The most northerly Grecian
settlement was _Istria_, founded by Milesians near the mouth of the


    Codrus, the last king of Athens, was succeeded during three
    centuries by archons for life, chosen from his family. Seven
    archons afterward reigned successively ten years each, and the
    government was then intrusted to a commission of nine, annually
    elected. The people demanding written laws, Draco prepared
    a code of inhuman severity. A more moderate constitution was
    framed by Solon, one of the Seven Wise Men of Greece; but the
    contention of the three rival factions of the _Plain_, the
    _Shore_, and the _Mountain_ soon resulted in the subjection
    of Athens to the tyranny of Pisistratus. Twice expelled,
    Pisistratus twice re-established his power, and by his justice
    and liberal encouragement of all the arts, consoled the people
    for his unwarranted seizure of the government. His son Hippias
    was expelled by the Alemæonidæ, with the aid of the Spartans.
    Clisthenes completed the liberal reforms of Solon, and
    introduced the singular custom of ostracism. In three attempts
    to overthrow the free constitution of Athens, the Spartans and
    their allies were signally defeated.

THIRD PERIOD. B. C. 500-338.

=95.= The details of the Ionian Revolt (B. C. 499-494) have been found
in the History of Persia.[43] Reserving his vengeance for the European
Greeks who had interfered in the quarrel, Darius sought to console
the conquered Ionians for the loss of their political independence by
greater personal freedom. Just laws, equal taxes, peace and good order
began to restore their prosperity; and when Mardonius, the son-in-law of
Darius, succeeded Artaphernes in the satrapy, he signalized his reign by
removing all tyrants and restoring to the cities a republican form of
government. All this was done to secure their friendship or neutrality in
his approaching expedition against Greece. That expedition (B. C. 492)
failed, as we have seen, in its principal object.

[Sidenote: B. C. 491.]

=96.= The next year messengers were sent by Darius to each of the states
of Greece, demanding earth and water, the customary symbols of obedience.
None of the island states and few on the continent dared refuse. The
people of Athens and Sparta returned an answer which could not be
mistaken. The latter threw the envoys into a well, and the former into a
pit where the vilest criminals were punished, telling them to get earth
and water for themselves.

=97.= The youth and ill success of Mardonius led Darius to recall him,
and place the command of his new expedition against the Greeks in the
hands of Datis, a Mede, and Artaphernes, his own nephew. In the spring
of 490 B. C., the great host was drawn up off the coast of Cilicia—a
fleet of 600 triremes, carrying not less than 100,000 men. They sailed
westward and ravaged the isle of Naxos, but spared Delos, the reputed
birth-place of Apollo and Artemis, because the Median Datis recognized
them as identical with his own national divinities, the sun and moon.
The fleet then advanced to Eubœa, Eretria being the first object of
vengeance. Carystus, refusing to join the armament against her neighbors,
was taken and destroyed. Eretria withstood a siege of six days; but the
unhappy city was a prey to the same dissensions which constituted the
fatal weakness of Greece.[44] Two traitors of the oligarchical party
opened the gates to the barbarians. The place was given up to plunder,
the temples burnt, and the people enslaved.

=98.= A swift-footed messenger was now dispatched from Athens to Sparta
imploring aid. The distance was ninety miles, and he reached his
destination the day after his departure. The Spartans did not refuse
their assistance, but they declared that religion forbade their marching
before the full moon, and it was now only the ninth day. The Persians
were already landed on the coast of Attica, and, guided by Hippias,
advanced to the plain of Marathon. The Athenian army, posted upon the
heights, had to consider whether to await their tardy allies or meet
these overwhelming numbers alone. At the last moment there arrived an
unexpected reinforcement, which, though small in numbers, raised the
spirits of the Athenians by the friendliness it expressed. It was the
entire fighting population of the little town of Platæa, a thousand men
in all, who came to testify their gratitude for a former service rendered
by the Athenians.

=99.= All the other generals, who were to have commanded in turn, gave
up their days to Miltiades, whose genius and experience alike won their
confidence; but he, fearful of arousing envy, waited until his own
turn came, and then gave orders for battle. The sacrifices and prayers
were offered, the trumpets sounded, and, chanting a battle-hymn, the
eleven thousand Greeks rushed down from the heights where they had been
encamped. Instead of the usual slow march of the phalanx, they traversed
the mile or more of level ground which separated them from the Persians
at a full run, bearing their level spears in a straight, unwavering

The front rank of Asiatics fell instantly before this unusual assault;
but the resistance was not less determined. Rushing upon the spears of
the Greeks, in the attempt to make an opening in the phalanx where their
short swords and daggers might serve them, the Persians freely sacrificed
their lives. It was the belief of many on the field that the gigantic
shade of Theseus, the great Attic hero, might be seen in the ranks. Night
approached before the desperate conflict was decided. But the Greeks,
though wearied with the long action, never wavered, and at length the
shattered remains of the Asiatic host turned and fled.[46]

=100.= The Persians had brought with them a mass of white marble, with
which they meant to erect upon the field of Marathon a monument of
their victory. It was carved by Phid´ias into a gigantic statue of
Nemesis, the impersonation of divine vengeance. From the brazen spoils
of the Persians was cast that colossal statue of Athena Promachos, whose
glittering spear and helmet, from the summit of the Athenian citadel,
could be seen far off at sea beyond the point of Sunium. The armed
goddess, “First in the Fight,” seemed to be keeping a perpetual guard
over her beloved city.

[Sidenote: B. C. 489.]

=101.= For a time after the victory at Marathon, Miltiades was the best
beloved of the Athenians. Even while prince in the Chersonesus, he had
won their gratitude by annexing Lemnos and Imbros to their dominions. To
this claim on their regard he now added that of having delivered them
from their greatest peril, and there was no limit to their confidence.
When, therefore, he promised them a still more lucrative though less
glorious enterprise than the recent one against the Persians, they were
not slow to consent, though the conditions were a fleet of seventy ships
and a large supply of men and money for his use, of which he was to
render no account until his return. They were granted, and Miltiades set
sail for the isle of Paros, which had furnished a trireme to the Persians
during the recent invasion. The chief city was besieged and on the point
of being taken, when suddenly, for no sufficient cause, Miltiades burnt
his fortifications, drew off his fleet, and returned to Athens, having
no treasures and only disgrace and loss to report as the result of his

[Illustration: Coin of Athens, enlarged three-fourths.]

=102.= The glory of Miltiades was now departed. He was accused by
Xanthip´pus, a leader of the aristocracy, of having accepted a bribe from
the Persians to withdraw from Paros. Severely wounded, Miltiades was
brought into the court upon a couch; and although his brother Tisag´oras
undertook his defense, the only plea he cared to make was in the two
words, “Lemnos” and “Marathon.” The offense, if proved, was capital; but
the people refused to sentence their deliverer to death. They commuted
his punishment to a fine of fifty talents; but before it was paid he
expired from his wound.

=103.= The greatest citizen of Athens, after the death of Miltiades, was
Aristides, called “the Just.” He was of noble birth and belonged to the
Alcmæonid party, but he was ardently devoted to the interests of the
people. Stern toward crime, whether in friends or foes, he was yet mild
toward all persons; and so proverbial were his truth and impartiality,
that when he held the office of archon the courts of law were deserted,
all suitors preferring to submit their causes to his arbitration.

=104.= His chief rival was Themis´tocles, a young man of great talents,
and, perhaps, still greater ambition. At length his opposition rose to
the pitch of proposing the ostracism, and Aristides was banished. It is
said that, during the voting, the great archon was requested by a man who
could not write, to inscribe the name of Aristides on an oyster-shell for
him. “Has he ever injured you?” Aristides asked. “No,” said the man, “nor
do I even know him by sight; but it vexes me to hear him always called
the Just.” Aristides wrote his name on the shell, which was cast into the
heap. As he left his native city he said, with his usual generosity, “May
the Athenian people never know a day which shall force them to remember

=105.= Themistocles was now without a rival in Athens. His acute mind
perceived what his countrymen too willingly ignored, that the Persian
invasions were only checked, not ended. Proud of the victory of Marathon,
the Athenians believed that the Persians would never again dare to attack
them. But Ægina was yet powerful, and a fierce enmity had long existed
between the two states. Their merchants regarded each other as rivals
in trade, while the free people of Athens hated the oligarchy of Ægina.
Themistocles resolved to turn this enmity to account, in arming Athens
against the greater though more distant danger. He persuaded the citizens
to construct a fleet which should surpass that of Ægina, and to apply
to that purpose the revenues from the silver mines of Laurium, near the
extremity of the Attic peninsula.

Two hundred triremes were built and equipped, and a decree was passed
which required twenty to be added every year. Hitherto Attica had been
more an agricultural than a maritime state; but Themistocles clearly
saw that, with so small and sterile a territory, her only lasting power
must be upon the sea. So strenuous were his exertions, that in the ten
years that intervened between the first and the second Persian wars, the
Athenians had trained a large number of seamen, organized their naval
power, and were ready to be as victorious at Salamis as they had been at

=106.= In 481 B. C., a Hellenic Congress was held at Corinth. The command
of the Greek forces, both by land and sea, was assigned to Sparta. An
appeal for coöperation was sent to the distant colonies in Sicily, as
well as to Corcyra and Crete. Emissaries were also sent into Asia to
watch the movements of the Persian army. They were seized at Sardis, and
would have been put to death, had not Xerxes believed that their reports
would do more to terrify and weaken than to assist their countrymen. He
caused them to be led through his innumerable hosts, and to mark their
splendid equipments, then to be dismissed in safety.

=107.= The most difficult duty of the Congress was to silence
the quarrels of the several states. Athens, by the entreaties of
Themistocles, consented to peace and friendship with Ægina, and all the
delegates formally bound their states to act together as one body. Still
many elements of disunion remained. Bœotia, with the honorable exceptions
of Thespiæ and Platæa, sent earth and water to the Persian king. Argos
was at once weakened and enraged against Sparta by the massacre of 6,000
of her citizens, who had been burned, by order of Cleomenes, in a temple
where they had taken refuge. Unwilling to refuse her aid in the common
danger, she consented to join the league only upon terms which Sparta
refused to accept.

=108.= Even the gods seemed to waver, and the timid answers of the Pythia
prevented some states from engaging in the war. The Athenian messengers
at Delphi received an oracle that would have appalled less steadfast
minds. “Unhappy men!” cried the Pythia, “leave your houses and the
ramparts of the city, and fly to the uttermost parts of the earth. Fire
and keen Ares, compelling the Syrian chariot, shall destroy; towers shall
be overthrown, and temples destroyed by fire. Lo, now, even now, they
stand dropping sweat, and their house-tops black with blood, and shaking
with prophetic awe. Depart, and prepare for ill!”

=109.= The Athenians put on the mourning garb of suppliants, and
entreated Apollo for a more favorable answer, declaring that they would
not depart without it, but remain at his altar until they died. The
second response was still more obscure, but possibly more hopeful.
“Athena is unable to appease the Olympian Zeus. Again, therefore, I
speak, and my words are as adamant. All else within the bounds of
Cecropia and the bosom of the divine Cithæron shall fall and fail you.
The wooden wall alone Zeus grants to Pallas, a refuge to your children
and yourselves. Wait not for horse and foot; tarry not the march of the
mighty army; retreat even though they close upon you. O divine Salamis!
thou shalt lose the sons of women, whether Demeter scatter or hoard her
harvest!” Themistocles, who had, perhaps, dictated the response, now
furnished an apt solution. The “walls of wood,” he said, meant the fleet,
in which the citizens and their children should take refuge. The last
sentence threatened woe not to the Athenians, but to their foes, else why
was Salamis called “divine”?

[Sidenote: B. C. 480.]

=110.= Arriving with his vast army at the head of the Malian Gulf,
Xerxes sent a spy to ascertain the force sent against him. The messenger
saw only the Spartan three hundred. They were engaged either in
gymnastic exercises or in dressing their long hair as if for a festival.
Demaratus, an exiled king of Sparta, was with the Persian army, and he
was questioned by the great king as to the meaning of this behavior in
the face of overwhelming danger. Demaratus replied, “It is manifestly
their intention, sire, to dispute the pass, for it is the custom of
the Spartans to adorn themselves on the eve of battle. You are about to
attack the flower of Grecian valor.” Xerxes could not yet believe that
such a handful of men meant serious resistance. He waited four days
to give them time to retreat, but sent a messenger in the interval to
Leonidas, demanding his arms. “Come and take them!” replied the Spartan.

=111.= BATTLE OF THERMOPYLÆ. On the fifth day the patience of the great
king was exhausted. He sent a detachment of Medes and Cissians into
the pass, with orders to bring its defenders alive into his presence.
The assailants were repulsed with loss. The Immortal Band were then
sent forward, but with no better success. The next day the contest was
renewed, with great loss to the Persians and no signs of yielding on the
part of the Greeks. But treachery now accomplished what force had failed
to do.[47] A council of war was held among the defenders of the pass,
and it was resolved to retreat, since defeat was certain. Leonidas did
not oppose, but rather favored the decision on the part of the other
generals; he only remarked that it was not permitted to Spartans to fly
from any foe. He knew, too, that the Delphic oracle had declared that
either Sparta must fall or a king of the blood of Hercules be sacrificed.
He believed that he should save at least his hereditary kingdom, if not
the whole of Greece, by the voluntary devotion of his life.

The Thespians insisted upon sharing the fate of the Spartan three
hundred. The four hundred Thebans, whose loyalty had been suspected from
the first, were held as hostages. The remainder of the Greeks hastily
withdrew before the arrival of the Persians. Thus left alone, the
Spartans and Thespians went forth to meet the immense army, which was
now in motion to attack them. The Orientals, when their courage failed,
were driven into battle by the lash, and thousands were doomed to perish
before the desperate valor of the Greeks. At length Hydar´nes, with his
Immortal Band, appeared from behind, and the Spartans drew back to the
narrowest part of the pass, where they fought to the last breath, and
were crushed at last by the numbers, rather than slain by the swords of
the Persians.

=112.= The memory of Leonidas was honored by games celebrated around
his tomb in Sparta, in which none but his countrymen were allowed to
have part. A lion of stone was placed, by order of the Amphictyonic
Council, on the spot where he fell; and other monuments at the same place
preserved the memory of his brave companions. That of the Three Hundred
bore these words: “Go, stranger, and tell the Spartans that we obeyed the
laws, and lie here!”

=113.= Learning the fate of Leonidas and his men, the fleet retired
southward for the protection of the coast. The Spartans acted with their
accustomed selfishness, by leaving Athens and the rest of Greece to their
fate, while they employed their land forces in fortifying the isthmus,
to bar the entrance of their own peninsula. It was with difficulty that
Themistocles even persuaded his maritime allies to remain at anchor off
Salamis, long enough to allow some measures to be taken for the safety of
the Athenian people.

=114.= ABANDONMENT OF ATHENS. Nor was it easy to persuade the
Athenians themselves to leave their beloved city to the revengeful
hands of barbarians. But as no other means remained for averting total
destruction, Themistocles had recourse, as usual, to a stratagem. The
serpent sacred to Athena suddenly disappeared from the Acropolis, the
cakes of honey were left untasted, and the priests announced that the
goddess herself had abandoned the city, and was ready to conduct her
chosen warriors to the sea. The people now consented to depart. Women,
children, and old men were hastily removed to places of greater security,
while all who could fight betook themselves to the fleet. Only a few
Athenians, either too poor to meet the expense of removal, or still
convinced that the “wooden walls” of the oracle meant the citadel,
remained and perished, after a brave but useless resistance, by the
swords of the Persians. Beautiful Athens was reduced to a heap of ashes,
in revenge for the destruction of Sardis, twenty years before.

=115.= The commanders of the fleet now resolved to withdraw from
Salamis, and station themselves near the isthmus to coöperate with the
Peloponnesian land forces. The Athenians strongly opposed this retreat,
which would leave the refuges of their wives and children at the mercy
of the barbarians. It was midnight, and the council had broken up, when
Themistocles again sought the ship of Eurybi´ades, and convincing him at
length of the greater wisdom of his own plan, persuaded him to reassemble
the council. The leaders were recalled from their ships and a violent
discussion ensued. The Corinthian, Adimantus, opposed Themistocles not
only with argument, but with insult. Alluding to the recent destruction
of Athens, he maintained that one who had no longer a city to represent
should have no voice in the deliberation.

Themistocles kept his temper and replied with dignity and firmness. He
showed that the naval advantages of the Greeks in the present war had
always been in the narrow seas, where the immense numbers of the Persians
gave them no superiority, while their better discipline and acquaintance
with the currents and soundings were all in favor of the Greeks. He
argued that by transferring the war to the Peloponnesus they would only
attract thither the armies and ships of the Persians; while, by defeating
them before they could arrive at the isthmus, they would preserve
southern Greece from invasion. He ended by declaring that, if Salamis
were abandoned, the Athenians would abandon Greece, and taking their
wives and children on board their fleet, sail to the coasts of Italy,
where the oracle had commanded them to found a new city.

=116.= Lest even this argument should not be sufficient, Themistocles had
recourse to another of his wiles. He retired a moment from the council
and dispatched a trusty messenger to the Persian fleet, assuring its
commander that the Greeks, struck with consternation, were preparing to
flee, and urging him to seize the opportunity, while they were divided
among themselves, to gain a decisive victory. The Persian admiral knew
too well the frequent dissensions of the Greeks to doubt the truth of
the message. He immediately moved his squadrons to cut them off from the
possibility of retreat.

In the meantime Themistocles was again called from the council by the
arrival of a messenger. It was his ancient rival, the brave and upright
Aristides, still in exile through the influence of Themistocles, but
watchful as ever for the interests of his country. He had crossed from
Ægina in an open boat to inform the Greeks that they were surrounded by
the Persians. “At any time,” said the just Athenian, “it would become
us to forget our private dissensions, and at this time especially, in
contending only who should most serve his country.” Themistocles led him
at once to the council. His intelligence was soon confirmed by a Tenian
deserter, and the leaders were now forced to unite in preparation for
immediate battle.

[Sidenote: B. C. 480.]

=117.= BATTLE OF SALAMIS. When the sun arose upon the straits of Salamis,
the Attic shores were seen lined with the glittering ranks of the Persian
army, drawn up by order of Xerxes to intercept fugitives from the Grecian
fleet. The king himself, on a throne of precious metals, sat to watch
the coming contest. His ships were fully three times the number of the
Greeks, and no serious disaster had yet stayed his progress. The Greeks
advanced, singing that battle-song which the great poet Æschylus, who
himself fought on this memorable day, has preserved for us: “On, sons
of the Greeks! Strike for the freedom of your country! strike for the
freedom of your children and your wives—for the shrines of your fathers’
gods, and for the sepulchers of your sires! All, all are now staked upon
your strife!”

Themistocles held them back until a wind began to blow, which usually
arose in the morning, causing a heavy swell in the channel. This
seriously incommoded the cumbrous vessels of the Persians, while the
light and compact Greek craft easily drove their brazen beaks into the
sides of the enemy. The Athenians, on the right, soon broke the Phœnician
line which was opposed to them; and the Spartans, on the left, gained
victories over the Ionian allies of the Persians. The sea was strewn with
dead bodies, entangled in the masts and cordage of the ships. Aristides,
who had been waiting with his command on the coast of Salamis, now
crossed to the little island of Psyt´tali´a, and put the Persian garrison
to the sword. Xerxes, from his throne on Mount Ægaleos, helplessly
watched the confusion and slaughter of his men. The contest lasted until
evening, when the straits of Salamis were abandoned by the barbarians.

=118.= When morning came, the Greeks were ready to renew the battle. The
Persians had still a large fleet and a numerous army; and, in the night,
the Phœnician transports had been joined so as to make a bridge between
Salamis and the mainland. But this was only a feint to cover the real
movement. The fleet was already under orders to sail to the Hellespont,
and the army retired in a few days to Bœotia. Leaving 300,000 men with
Mardonius to renew the war in the following year, Xerxes hastened into
Asia. His army was reduced on the way by famine and pestilence, and it
was but a fragment of the great host which had crossed the Hellespont in
the spring of 480, that returned in the autumn.

[Sidenote: B. C. 479.]

=119.= As spring opened, Mardonius prepared to renew the war; but first
he sought to accomplish by diplomacy what he had hitherto failed to do
by force. Deeply impressed with the valor of the Athenians, he was sure
that if he could withdraw them from the confederacy, the rest of Greece
would be an easy prey. To this end he sent Alexander I., king of Macedon,
his ally, but a former friend of the Athenians, to flatter them with
promises of favor and solicit their alliance. The Athenians refused him
an audience until they had time to summon delegates from Sparta. When
the Spartans had arrived, Alexander delivered his message. The great
king offered to the Athenians forgiveness of the injuries they had done
him, the restoration of their country and its extension over neighboring
territories, the free enjoyment of their own laws, and the means of
rebuilding all their temples. He urged the Athenians to embrace so
favorable an offer, for to them alone of all the Greeks was forgiveness

=120.= The Athenians replied: “We are not ignorant of the power of the
Mede, but for the sake of freedom we will resist that power as we can.
Bear back to Mardonius this our answer: So long as yonder sun continues
his course, so long we forswear all friendship with Xerxes; so long,
confiding in the aid of our gods and heroes, whose shrines and altars
he has burnt, we will struggle against him for revenge. As for you,
Spartans, knowing our spirit, you should be ashamed to fear our alliance
with the barbarian. Send your forces into the field without delay. The
enemy will be upon us when he knows our answer. Let us meet him in Bœotia
before he proceed to Attica.”

=121.= The Athenians had rightly judged the immediateness of the danger.
Scarcely was their answer received when the Persian general was in
motion, and advanced by rapid marches to the borders of Attica. He was
re-enforced at every halt by northern Greeks, moved either by terror
of his power or by long-standing jealousies against the members of the
League. The Attic territory was utterly desolate and Athens a second time
deserted. Taking possession of that city, Mardonius dispatched a Greek
messenger to Salamis, repeating his former propositions, which were as
instantly rejected as before.

The Athenians were a second time homeless, and, for the moment, standing
alone against the enemies of Greece. The Spartans were engaged in
some long-continued solemnities—perhaps the funeral of their regent,
Cleom´brotus—and allowed the Athenian messengers to wait ten days for an
answer. Not until the indignant envoys had threatened to make terms with
Mardonius and leave Sparta to her fate, did the ephors bestir themselves,
but then it was with true Spartan energy and dispatch. Five thousand
Spartans and 35,000 slaves were sent, under the command of Pausanias,
the new regent, to whom the ephors added a guard of 5,000 heavy-armed

=122.= Hearing of the advance of the Spartans, the Persian thought best
to retreat. He again set fire to Athens, leveled to the ground whatever
remained of its walls and temples, and retired into Bœotia. Here he
arranged his camp on a branch of the Asopus, not far from the city of
Platæa. The Spartans followed, having been joined at the isthmus by the
Peloponnesian allies, and, at Eleusis, by the Athenians. The Greek forces
occupied the lower slopes of Mount Cithæron, with the river before them,
separating them from the Persians.

=123.= BATTLE OF ERYTHRÆ. The battle was opened by the Persian cavalry,
commanded by Masis´tius, the most illustrious general in the army, except
Mardonius. His magnificent person, clad in complete scale-armor of gold
and burnished brass, was conspicuous upon the battle-field; and his
horsemen, then the most famous in the world for their skill and bravery,
severely harassed the Megarians, who were posted on the open plain.
Olym´piodo´rus with a select body of Athenians went to their assistance,
and Masistius spurred his Nisæan steed across the field to meet him. In
the sharp combat which followed, the Persian was unhorsed, and as he lay
along the ground was assailed by a swarm of enemies. The heavy armor,
which prevented his rising, protected him from their weapons, until, at
length, an opening in his visor allowed a lance to reach his brain. His
death decided the fate of the battle.

=124.= After this victory the Greek army moved nearer to Platæa, where
was a more abundant supply of water and a more convenient ground. It was
the strongest force which the Persians had yet encountered in Greece,
numbering, with allies and attendants, 110,000 men. For ten days they
lay facing each other with no important action. The Persians, however,
intercepted convoys of provisions, and succeeded in choking up the
spring which supplied the Greeks with water, while, by their arrows and
javelins, they prevented their approach to the river. Pausanias then
resolved to fall back to a level and well-watered meadow still nearer to

[Sidenote: B. C. 479.]

=125.= BATTLE OF PLATÆA. The Spartans were attacked while on the march,
and sent immediately to the Athenians for aid. The latter marched to
their assistance, but were intercepted by the Ionian allies of the
Persians, and cut off from the intended rescue. Pausanias, thus compelled
to engage with a small portion of his army, ordered a solemn sacrifice,
and his men stood awaiting the result, unflinching, though exposed to a
storm of Persian arrows. The omens were unfavorable, and the sacrifices
were again and again renewed. At length Pausanias, lifting his eyes
streaming with tears toward the temple of Hera, besought the goddess that
if fate forbade the Greeks to conquer, they might, at least, die like
men. At this moment the sacrifices assumed a more favorable aspect, and
the order for battle was given.

The Spartan phalanx in one dense mass moved slowly but steadily against
the Persians. The latter acted with wonderful resolution, seizing the
pikes of the Spartans or snatching away their shields, while they
wrestled with them hand to hand. Mardonius himself, at the head of his
chosen guards, fought in the foremost ranks, and animated the courage of
his men both by word and example. But he received a mortal wound, and his
followers, dismayed by his fall, fled in confusion to their camp. Here
they again made a stand against the Lacedæmonians, who were unskilled
in attacking fortified places, until the Athenians, who had meanwhile
conquered their Ionian opponents, came up and completed the victory. They
scaled the ramparts and effected a breach, through which the remainder of
the Greeks poured into the camp. The Persians now yielded to the general
rout. They fled in all directions, but were so fiercely pursued, that,
except the 40,000 of Artaba´zus, who had already secured their retreat,
scarcely 3,000 escaped. The victory was complete, and immense treasures
of gold and silver, besides horses, camels, and rich raiment, remained in
the hands of the Greeks.

=126.= Mounds were raised over the brave and illustrious dead. Only to
Aristodemus, the Spartan, who had incurred disgrace by returning alive
from Thermopylæ, no honors were decreed. The soil of Platæa became a
second “Holy Land.” Thither every year embassies from the states of
Greece came to offer sacrifices to Zeus, the deliverer, and every fifth
year games were celebrated in honor of liberty. The Platæans themselves,
exempt henceforth from military service, became the guardians of the
sacred ground, and to attack them was decreed to be sacrilege.

=127.= On the day of the victory of Platæa, a no less important
advantage was gained by the Greeks at Mycale, in Ionia. Here a large
land force, under Tigra´nes, had been stationed by Xerxes for the
protection of the coast, and hither the Persian fleet retired before
the advance of the Greeks. The Persians drew their ships to land, and
protected them by intrenchments and strong earth-works. The Greeks,
finding the sea deserted, approached near enough to make the voice of
a herald heard, who exhorted the Ionians in the army of Tigranes to
remember that they, too, had a share in the liberties of Greece. The
Persians, not understanding the language of the herald, began to distrust
their allies. They deprived the Samians of their arms, and placed the
Milesians at a distance from the front to guard the path to the heights
of Mycale. The Greeks, having landed, drove the Persians from the shore
to their intrenchments, and the Athenians first became engaged in
storming the barricades. The native Persians fought fiercely, even after
their general was slain, and fell at last within their camp. All the
islands which had given assistance to the Medes were now received into
the Hellenic League, with solemn pledges never again to desert it.


    Athens incurred the vengeance of the Persian king by aiding a
    revolt of the Asiatic Greeks. The first invasion of Greece, by
    Mardonius, failed; a second and larger force, under Datis and
    Artaphernes, ravaged Naxos and part of Eubœa, but was defeated
    by Miltiades and 11,000 Greeks, at Marathon. An unsuccessful
    attempt, upon Paros destroyed the fame of Miltiades, and
    he died under a charge of having received bribes from the
    Persians. Aristides succeeded him in popular favor, but was at
    length exiled through the influence of Themistocles. The latter
    urged the naval preparations of his countrymen, and Athens then
    first became a great maritime power. A congress at Corinth,
    B. C. 481, united the Greek forces under Spartan command. The
    Delphic oracle promising safety to the Athenians only within
    walls of wood, they abandoned their city and took refuge on
    the fleet. A few hundreds of Spartans and Thespians withstood
    the Persian host at Thermopylæ, until betrayed by a Malian
    guide. The invaders were totally defeated in a naval combat at
    Salamis, and Xerxes retired to Persia. Mardonius, failing to
    end the war by diplomacy, was finally overthrown in the battles
    of Erythræ and Platæa; and the land and naval forces of the
    Persians were at the same time destroyed at Mycale, in Asia


=128.= Though their immediate danger was past, the Greeks did not suffer
their enemies to rest. A fleet of fifty vessels was prepared, with the
intention to rescue every Greek city in Europe or Asia which still felt
the power of the Persian. Though Athens, as before, furnished more
ships than all the other states, Pausanias commanded. He first wrested
Cyprus from the Persians, and then proceeded to Byzantium, which he also
liberated and occupied as a residence for seven years.

[Sidenote: B. C. 478.]

=129.= SIEGE OF SESTUS. The Athenians resolved to win back the colony
founded by Miltiades in the Chersonesus. The whole remaining force of the
Persians made a last stand at Sestus, and endured a siege so obstinate
that they even consumed the leather of their harness and bedding for
want of food. They yielded at last, and the natives gladly welcomed back
the Greeks. Laden with treasures and secure of a well-earned peace,
the Athenians returned home in triumph. Among their relics, the broken
fragments and cables of the Hellespontine bridge of Xerxes were long to
be seen in the temples of Athens.

[Illustration: ATHENS.]

=130.= Notwithstanding her losses, Athens came forth from the Persian
wars stronger, and with a higher rank among the Grecian states, than she
had entered them. Her efforts and sacrifices had called forth a power
which she was scarcely conscious of possessing, and with the consent
of Sparta, whose constitution illy fitted her for distant enterprises,
Athens was now recognized as the leader of the Greeks in foreign affairs.
In the meantime important changes had occurred in her internal policy.
The power of the great families was broken, and the common people, who
had borne the brunt of hardship and peril in the war, were recognized as
an important element in the state. Aristides, though the leader of the
aristocratic party, proposed and carried an amendment by which all the
people, without distinction of rank or property, obtained a share in the
government, the only requisites being intelligence and moral character.
The archonship, which had hitherto been confined to the eupatrids, was
now thrown open to all classes.

Themistocles was the popular leader. His first care was the rebuilding
of the walls of Athens, and he provided means by levying contributions
upon those islands which had given aid to the Persians. The jealous
opposition of the Spartans was overcome by gold and management. To
accommodate the greatly increased navy, he improved the port of Piræus
and protected it by strong walls. He hoped, by building up the naval
power of Athens, to place her at the head of a great maritime empire,
comprising the islands and Asiatic coasts of the Ægean, thus eclipsing
the Spartan supremacy on the Grecian mainland.

=131.= Pausanias, now commanding at Byzantium, had lost all his Spartan
virtue in the pride of conquest and the luxury of wealth. After the
victory at Platæa, he had engraven on the golden tripod dedicated
to Apollo by all the Greeks, an inscription in which he claimed for
himself the exclusive glory. His government, justly offended, caused
this inscription to be replaced by another, naming only the confederate
cities, and omitting all mention of Pausanias. Both the pride and the
talents of the Spartan commander were too great for the private station
into which he must soon descend; for though so long generalissimo of
the Greeks, he was not a king in Sparta, but only regent for the son of
Leonidas. The conversation of his Persian captives, some of whom were
relatives of the great king, opened brilliant views to the ambition and
avarice of Pausanias. His own relative, Demara´tus, had exchanged the
austere life of a Spartan for all the luxury of an Oriental palace, with
the government of three Æolian cities. The greater talents of Pausanias
would entitle him to yet higher dignities and honors.

In view of these glittering bribes, the victor of Platæa was willing to
become the betrayer of his country. He released his noble prisoners with
messages to Xerxes, in which he offered to subject Sparta and the rest
of Greece to the Persian dominion, on condition of receiving the king’s
daughter in marriage, with wealth and power suitable to his rank. Xerxes
welcomed these overtures with delight, and immediately sent commissioners
to continue the negotiation. Exalted by his new hopes, the pride of
Pausanias became unbearable. He assumed the dress of a Persian satrap,
and journeyed into Thrace in true Oriental pomp, with a guard of Persians
and Egyptians. He insulted the Greek officers and subjected the common
soldiers to the lash. Even Aristides was rudely repulsed when he sought
to know the reason of this extraordinary conduct.

Reports reached the Spartan government, and Pausanias was recalled. He
was tried and convicted for various personal and minor offenses, but the
proof of his treason was thought insufficient to convict him. He returned
to Byzantium without the permission of his government, but was expelled
by the allies for his shameful conduct. Again recalled to Sparta, he was
tried and imprisoned, only to escape and renew his intrigues both with
the Persians and with the Helots at home, to whom he promised freedom
and the rights of citizenship if they would aid him to overthrow the
government and make himself tyrant.

[Sidenote: B. C. 471.]

He was caught, at length, in his own snares. A man named Argilius, whom
he had intrusted with a letter to Artabazus, remembered that none of
those whom he had seen dispatched on similar errands, had returned.
He broke the seal and found, together with much treasonable matter,
directions for his own death as soon as he should arrive at the satrap’s
court. The letter was laid before the ephors, and the treason being now
fully proved, preparations were made to arrest Pausanias. He was warned
and took refuge in the temple of Athena Chalciϫcus. Here he suffered the
penalty of his crimes. The roof was removed, and his own mother brought
the first stone to block up the entrance to the temple. When he was known
to be nearly exhausted by hunger and exposure, he was brought out to die
in the open air, lest his death should pollute the shrine of the goddess.

=132.= On the first recall of Pausanias, B. C. 477, the allies had
unanimously placed Aristides at their head. This was the turning-point of
a peaceful revolution which made Athens, instead of Sparta, the leading
state in Greece. Cautious still of awakening jealousy, Aristides named,
not Athens, but the sacred isle of Delos, as the seat of the Hellenic
League. Here the Congress met, and here was the common treasury, filled
by the contributions of all the Grecian states, for the defense of
the Ægean coasts and the furtherance of active operations against the
Persians. In the assessment of these taxes, Aristides acted with so much
wisdom and justice, that, though all the treasures of Greece were in
his power, no word of accusation or complaint was uttered by any of the

[Sidenote: B. C. 476.]

=133.= Having thus laid the foundation of Athenian supremacy by his
moderation, Aristides retired from command, and was succeeded by Cimon,
the son of Miltiades. This young noble was distinguished by his frank and
generous manners, as well as by his bravery in war, which had already
been proved against the Persians. The recovery of his father’s estates
in the Chersonesus gave him immense wealth, which he used in the most
liberal manner. He kept open table for men of all ranks, and was followed
in the streets by a train of servants laden with cloaks, which they gave
to any needy person whom they met. At the same time he administered to
the wants of the more sensitive by charities delicately and secretly
offered. Though doubtless injurious to the spirit of the Athenian people,
this liberality was gladly accepted, and resulted in unbounded popularity
to Cimon. His brave and sincere character commended him to the Spartans,
and of all the Athenians he was probably the most acceptable leader to
the allies.

=134.= His first expedition was against the Thracian town Ei´on, now
held by a Persian garrison. The town was reduced by famine, when its
governor, fearing the displeasure of Xerxes more than death, placed
himself, his family, and his treasures upon a funeral pile, and perished
by fire. The place surrendered, and its defenders were sold as slaves.
Cimon then proceeded to Scyrus, whose people had incurred the vengeance
of the League by their piratical practices. The pirates were expelled,
and the place occupied by an Attic colony. As the fear of Asiatic
invasion subsided, the bond between the allies and their chief relaxed.
Carystus refused to pay tribute, and Naxos, the most important of the
Cyclades, openly revolted. Cimon was on the alert. Carystus was subdued,
and a powerful fleet was led against Naxos. The siege was long and
obstinate, but it resulted in favor of Athens. The island was reduced
from an ally to a subject.

[Sidenote: B. C. 466.]

=135.= BATTLE OF THE EURYMEDON. The victorious fleet of Cimon now
advanced along the southern shores of Asia Minor, and all the Greek
cities, either encouraged by his presence or overawed by his power,
seized the opportunity to throw off the yoke of the Persians. His force
was increased by their accession when he came to the river Eurymedon,
in Pamphylia, and found a Persian fleet moored near its entrance, and
a powerful army drawn up upon the banks. Already more numerous than
the Greeks, they were expecting reinforcements from Cyprus; but Cimon,
preferring to attack them without delay, sailed up the river and engaged
their fleet. The Persians fought but feebly, and as they were driven to
the narrow and shallow portion of the river, they forsook their ships and
joined the army on the land. Cimon increased his own fleet by two hundred
of the deserted triremes, beside destroying many.

Thus victorious on the water, the men demanded to be led on shore, where
the Persian army stood in close array. Fatigued with the sea fight, it
was hazardous to land in the face of a superior enemy still fresh and
unworn, but the zeal of the Greeks surmounted all objections. The second
battle was more closely contested than the first; many noble Athenians
fell, but victory came at last; the field and the spoils remained to the
Greeks. To make his victory complete, Cimon proceeded to Cyprus, where
the Phœnician reinforcements were still detained. These were wholly
captured or destroyed, and the immense treasure which fell into the hands
of the victors increased the splendor of Athens. The tide of war had
now rolled back so powerfully upon Persia, that the coasts of Asiatic
Greece were free from all danger. No Persian troops came within a day’s
journey on horseback of the Grecian seas, whose waters were swept clear
of Persian sails.

=136.= Aristides was now dead, and Themistocles in exile, having been
ostracised in 471 B. C. Cimon was therefore both the greatest and
richest of the Athenians; and while his wealth was freely used for the
adornment of Athens and the pleasure of her citizens, it continually
added to his power. He planted the market-place with Oriental
plane-trees; laid out in walks and adorned with groves and fountains
the Acade´mia, afterward made celebrated by the teachings of Plato;
he erected beautiful colonnades of marble, where the Athenians long
loved to assemble for social intercourse; and he caused the dramatic
entertainments to be celebrated with greater elegance and brilliancy.
With this increase of wealth, the tastes of the citizens became
luxurious, and Athens rose from her poverty and secondary rank to be not
only the most powerful, but the most magnificent of Grecian cities.

=137.= Though of the opposite political party to Themistocles, Cimon
carried forward that statesman’s great design of exalting by all means
the naval power of Athens. To this end he yielded to the request of
the allies, who desired to commute their quotas of ships or men for
the general defense into a money payment. Other admirals had been less
accommodating, but Cimon masked a profound policy under his apparent
good-nature. The forces of the other states became enfeebled by want of
discipline, while the Athenians were not only enriched by their tribute,
but strengthened in the hardy drill of the soldier and sailor, which
Cimon never suffered them to relax.

=138.= The fall of Themistocles was indirectly brought about by that of
Pausanias. The great Athenian, living in exile, but watchful as ever
in all that concerned the interests of Greece, had entered so far into
the intrigues of Pausanias as to become possessed of all his plans. The
Spartan ephors, finding his letters among the papers of Pausanias, and
glad of such a pretext against their old enemy, sent them to Athens,
accusing him of a share in the conspiracy. The party led by Cimon and
friendly to Sparta was now predominant in Athens, and the people listened
too readily to these suspicions. A combined force of Spartan and Athenian
troops was sent forth, with orders to seize Themistocles wherever he
could be found.

[Sidenote: B. C. 466.]

The exile, after many adventures, took refuge at the court of Persia,
that power which, more than any man living, he had contributed to
destroy, but which was ever personally generous toward its foes. The
three cities, Myus, Lamp´sacus, and Magnesia, were assigned him for his
support. In the latter city he passed his remaining days in affluence and
honor. Two accounts have been given of his death. The more probable one
is, that when Egypt revolted and was aided by Athens (B. C. 449), the
Persian king called upon Themistocles to make good his promises and begin
operations against Greece. But the Athenian had only wished to escape
from his ungrateful countrymen, not to injure them, and he could not help
to destroy that supremacy of Athens which he had spent the best years
of his life in building up. Falsehood to the great king seemed to him a
less heinous crime than treason against his country. He made a solemn
sacrifice to the gods, took leave of his friends, and ended his days by

[Sidenote: B. C. 465.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 464.]

=139.= The Thasians, meanwhile, had a contest with Athens for some gold
mines in Thrace. Cimon conducted a fleet to Thasos, gained a naval
victory, and began a three years’ siege of the principal town. The
Thasians sent to Sparta for help, and that state was preparing to render
it with great alacrity, when her attention was suddenly absorbed at
home by unforeseen calamities. An earthquake of unprecedented violence
first destroyed the city. Great rocks from Mount Taygetus rolled into
the streets, and multitudes of persons were engulfed or buried beneath
the ruins of their houses. The shocks were long-continued, and terror
of the supposed wrath of Heaven was added to the anguish of poverty and
bereavement. The dreaded vengeance soon appeared in human form; for the
persecuted Helots, hearing the signal of their deliverance in the stroke
of doom to Sparta, flocked together from the fields and villages, and
mingled their revenge with the commotions of Nature.

It was a terrible moment for Sparta; but her king, Archidamus, was true
to the stern valor of his race. The shocks of the earthquake had hardly
ceased, when he ordered the trumpets to sound to arms. Even at that
fearful moment Spartan discipline prevailed. Every man who survived
hastened to the king, and when the disorderly, servile crowd approached,
they found a disciplined force ready to resist them. Sparta was saved
for the moment; the insurgents fled and scattered themselves over the
country, calling to their standard all who were oppressed. The Messenians
rose in a mass, seized Ithome, where their never-forgotten hero,
Aristomenes, had so long withstood the Lacedæmonian arms, fortified it
anew, and formally declared war against Sparta. The ten years’ conflict
which followed is known as the Third Messenian War (B. C. 464-455).

In her extremity, Sparta sent to Athens for aid, and the appeal produced
a violent controversy between the two parties into which that city was
divided. Cimon favored the Spartans; he had always held up their brave
and hardy character as a model to his countrymen, and had even sacrificed
much of his popularity by naming his son Lacedæmonius. When others urged
that it was well the pride of Sparta should be humbled, and her power for
mischief curtailed, Cimon exhorted his countrymen not to suffer Greece
to be maimed by the loss of one of her two great powers, thus depriving
Athens of her companion. His generous counsel prevailed, and Cimon led a
strong force against the insurgents, who were now driven from the open
country and compelled to shut themselves up in the castle of Ithome.

=140.= The influence of Cimon had greatly declined at Athens. The
democratic party had recovered from its loss in Themistocles, for a
new leader was arising whose popularity and services to the state were
destined to eclipse even the great men who had preceded him. This was
Per´icles, the son of that Xanthippus who had impeached Miltiades. His
mother was niece of Clisthenes, who is called the second founder of the
Athenian constitution. Born of an illustrious family, and educated in
all the opportunities of Athenian camps and schools, Pericles was said
to have nothing to contend against except his advantages. His beautiful
face, winning manners, and musical voice reminded the oldest citizens
of Pisistratus; and the vigilance with which the Athenians guarded
their liberties, turned the admiration of some into jealousy. Pericles,
however, made no haste to enter on his public career, but prepared
himself by long and diligent study for the influence he hoped to attain.
He sought the wisest teachers, and became skilled in the science of
government, while he cultivated his gifts in oratory by training in all
the arts of expression.

Anaxag´oras, the first Greek philosopher who believed in one supreme
Intelligence, creating and governing the universe, was the especial
friend and instructor of Pericles, and to his sublime doctrines men
attributed the elevation and purity of the young statesman’s eloquence.
Instead of relying solely upon the wisdom of his counsels, like
Themistocles, or upon his natural gifts, like Pisistratus, Pericles
chose every word with care, and was the first who committed his orations
to writing, that he might subject every sentence to the highest polish
of which it was capable. The Athenian people, the most sensitive,
perhaps, to beauty of style of any that ever existed, enjoyed with keen
delight the clear reasoning and brilliant language which characterized
the discourses of Pericles. Nor was his perfection of detail gained by
any sacrifice of energy. His public speaking was compared to thunder
and lightning, and he was said to carry the weapons of Zeus upon his
tongue. Above all, the sweetness of his temper, and the command which
philosophy had enabled him to gain over his passions, gave him advantage
over less disciplined orators. The fiercest debate or the most insulting
interruptions never disturbed for a moment the cheerful and dignified
composure of his manner.

=141.= Thasos surrendered B. C. 463; its walls were leveled, its shipping
transferred to the Athenians, and all its claims upon the Thracian gold
mines were given up. The people were compelled to pay all their arrears
of tribute to the Delian treasury, beside engaging to meet their dues
punctually in future.

[Sidenote: B. C. 461.]

=142.= A second time the Spartans asked the aid of Athens in their
servile war, and Cimon again led an army to their relief. But the
superiority of the Athenians in siege operations aroused the envy of the
Lacedæmonians, even when employed in their defense; and the long siege
of Ithome afforded time for the rivalries of the two nations to break out
into open feuds. The Spartans declared that they had no further need of
the Athenians, and dismissed their troops. Other allies were retained,
including Ægina, the ancient rival of Athens. The latter, considering
herself insulted, made an alliance with the Argives and the Aleuads of
Thessaly against Sparta. The Hellenic treasury was removed from Delos to
Athens, for safe keeping, it was said, against the needy and rapacious
hands of the Spartans.


_Pelasgian Walls._ _Erechtheum._ _Athena Promachos._ _Parthenon._ _Walls
of Cimon._

_Cave of Pan._ _Propylæa._ _Temple of Nike Apteros._]

The popular resentment naturally extended itself to Cimon. The favor with
which he was regarded in Sparta was now his greatest crime. The Athenians
had indeed some reason to fear, for the Spartan nobles always maintained
a party in their city who were supposed to be secretly plotting against
its free government. However honestly Cimon supported aristocratic
principles, the people, with equal honesty and greater wisdom, opposed
him. He was subjected to the ostracism and banished for ten years.


    The power of Athens was increased by the Persian war; and her
    home government, which had been confined to the nobles, was
    thrown open to the people. Themistocles rebuilt the walls and
    improved the harbor. Pausanias, becoming a traitor, died of
    starvation in the temple of Athena, at Sparta. Athens became
    the chief of the Hellenic League, whose seat and treasury were
    at Delos. Cimon, son of Miltiades, in command of the allied
    forces, captured Eion, cleared Scyros of pirates, subdued
    rebellions in Carystus and Naxos, and conquered the Persians,
    both on sea and land, in the battle of the Eurymedon. He
    beautified Athens by a liberal use of his enormous wealth,
    and improved the military and naval discipline of his
    fellow-citizens, at the expense of their allies. Themistocles,
    exiled through suspicion, took refuge in the Persian dominion,
    where he died. Sparta suffered a double calamity, in an
    earthquake and a servile rebellion, known as the Third
    Messenian War. Her insulting treatment of her Athenian aids
    destroyed the popularity of Cimon; and Pericles, the most
    accomplished of the Athenians, rose into power.


=143.= Athens, under the lead of Pericles, now entered upon the most
brilliant period of her history. A dispute between Megara and Corinth
involved Athens on the former and Sparta on the latter side, and thus led
to the First Peloponnesian War (B. C. 460-457). At the same time, a more
distant enterprise tempted the Athenians. Egypt had now cast off the last
semblance of obedience to Persia, and hailed a deliverer and sovereign in
the person of Inarus. In looking about him for allies, Inarus naturally
sought the aid of those who, at Marathon, had first broken the power of
the Persians. The Athenians engaged gladly in the war, and sent a fleet
of two hundred triremes to the Nile. The events of the campaign have been
recorded in the History of Persia.[48]

[Sidenote: B. C. 457.]

=144.= The war in Greece went on with great vigor. The Athenians were
defeated at Halæ, but soon after won a naval battle at Cec´ryphali´a,[49]
which more than retrieved their reputation. Ægina now joined in the
war, and the Athenians landed upon the island and besieged the city. A
Peloponnesian army came to the aid of Ægina, while the Corinthians seized
the opportunity to invade Megaris. With all her forces employed either
in Egypt or Ægina, they hoped that Athens would be overcome by this
new attack. But Myron´ides mustered an army of boys and old men exempt
from service, and marched at once to the assistance of Megara. In the
battle which ensued, neither party acknowledged itself defeated, but the
Corinthians withdrew to their capital, while the Athenians held the field
and erected a trophy. Unable to bear the reproaches of their government,
the Corinthian army returned after twelve days and raised a monument upon
the field, claiming that the victory had been theirs. But the Athenians
now attacked them anew, and inflicted a decisive and disgraceful defeat.

=145.= In the midst of these enterprises abroad, great public works were
going on in Athens. Cimon had already planned a line of fortifications
to unite the city with its ports, and the spoils of the Persians, taken
at the Eurymedon and at Cyprus, had been assigned for the expense. Under
the direction of Pericles, the building began in earnest. One wall
was extended to Phalerum, and another to Piræus; but as it was found
difficult to defend so large an inclosed space, a second wall to Piræus
was added, at a distance of 550 feet from the first. Between these Long
Walls a continuous line of dwellings bordered the carriage-road, nearly
five miles in length, which extended from Athens to its principal harbor.

=146.= The Spartans were still too much absorbed in the siege of Ithome
to interfere with the great and sudden advancement of Athenian power; but
a disaster which befell their little ancestral land of Doris, in war with
the Phocians, withdrew their attention even from their own troubles. An
army of 1,500 heavy-armed Spartans and 10,000 auxiliaries, sent to the
relief of the Dorians, drove the Phocians from the town they had taken,
and secured their future good behavior by a treaty. The retreat of the
Spartans was now cut off by the Athenian fleet in the Gulf of Corinth and
the garrison in the Megarid. Their commander, Nicome´des, had, however,
reasons beyond the necessity of the case for remaining a while in Bœotia.
He was plotting with the aristocratic party in Athens for the return of
Cimon, and he also desired to increase the power of Thebes, as a near and
dangerous rival to the former city.

[Sidenote: B. C. 457.]

The conspiracy becoming known, the Athenians were roused to revenge.
They raised an army of 14,000 men and marched against Nicomedes, at
Tan´agra. Both sides fought with equal bravery and skill, and the victory
was undecided until the Thessalian cavalry deserted to the Spartans.
The Athenians and their allies still held out for some hours, but when
the contest ended with the daylight, the victory remained with their
adversaries. Nicomedes reaped no other fruit from his victory than a safe
return home, but Thebes gained from it an increase of power over the
cities of Bœotia.

[Sidenote: B. C. 456.]

=147.= BATTLE OF ŒNO´PHYTA. The Athenians were only spurred to fresh
exertions. The brave Myronides entered Bœotia two months after the battle
of Tanagra, and gained at Œnophyta one of the most decisive victories
ever achieved by Greeks. The walls of Tanagra were leveled with the
ground. Phocis, Locris, and all Bœotia, except Thebes, were brought
into alliance with Athens. These alliances were rendered effective by
the establishment of free governments in all the towns, which, for
self-preservation, must always range themselves on the side of Athens;
so that Myronides could boast that he had not only subdued enemies, but
filled central Greece with garrisons of friends.

[Sidenote: B. C. 455.]

=148.= Soon after the completion of the Long Walls, in 456, the island
of Ægina submitted at last to Athens. Her shipping was surrendered, her
walls destroyed, and the life-long rival became a tributary and subject.
A fleet of fifty Athenian vessels, commanded by Tol´mides, cruised around
the Peloponnesus; burned Gyth´ium, a port of Sparta; captured Chalcis,
in Ætolia, which belonged to Corinth, and defeated the Sicyonians on
their own coast. Returning through the Corinthian Gulf, they captured
Naupac´tus, in western Locris, and all the cities of Cephallenia.

In the same year, the tenth of its siege, Ithome surrendered to the
Spartans. So long and brave a defense won the respect even of bitter
enemies. The Helots were reduced again to slavery, but the Messenians
were permitted to depart in safety to Naupactus, which Tolmides presented
them from the fruits of his victories.

=149.= In Egypt, the resistance of the Athenians to the Persians ended
the same year, but not until after long and desperate adventures. When
the citadel of Memphis was relieved by a Persian force, the Greeks
withdrew to Prosopi´tis, an island in the Nile around which their ships
lay anchored. The Persians following, drained the channel, and thus left
the ships on dry land. The Egyptian allies yielded, on this loss of their
most effective force; but the Athenians, after burning the stranded
vessels, retired into the town of Byblus, resolved to hold out to the
last. The siege continued eighteen months. At last the Persians marched
across the dry bed of the channel and took the place by assault. Most of
the Athenians fell; a few crossed the Libyan desert to Cyrene, and thus
returned home. A fleet of fifty vessels, which had been sent to their
relief, came too late, and was defeated by the Persians and Phœnicians.

[Sidenote: B. C. 449.]

=150.= Other enterprises of the Athenians at this time were scarcely more
successful, and Cimon, who had now been recalled from exile, used all his
influence in favor of peace. A five years’ truce was made with Sparta in
451 B. C. The Isle of Cyprus was the next object of Athenian ambition.
Divided into nine petty states, it seemed to offer an easy conquest;
and as the Persian king still claimed the sovereignty, the enterprise
was but a renewal of ancient hostilities. Cimon sailed from Athens with
a fleet of two hundred vessels; and in spite of the Persian force of
three hundred ships which guarded the coast of Cyprus, he landed and
gained possession of many of its towns. While besieging Citium the great
commander died. By his orders his death was concealed from his men, until
they had gained another signal victory, both by land and sea, in his
name. The naval battle occurred off the Cyprian Salamis—a name of good
omen to the Athenians.

[Sidenote: B. C. 448.]

=151.= A slight incident about this time brought on renewed hostilities
with Sparta. The city of Delphi, though on Phocian soil, claimed
independence in the management of the temple and its treasures. The
inhabitants were of Dorian descent, and were, therefore, closely united
with the Spartans. Where the interests of Greece were divided, the great
influence of the oracle was always on the side of the Doric as opposed to
the Ionic race. The Athenians did not therefore object when their allies,
the Phocians, seized the Delphian territory and assumed the care of the
temple. The Spartans instantly undertook what they called a holy war, by
which they expelled the Phocians and reinstated the Delphians in their
former privileges. Delphi now declared itself a sovereign state; and to
reward the Spartans for their intervention, conferred upon them the first
privilege in consulting the oracle. This decree was inscribed upon a
brazen wolf erected in the city. The Athenians could not willingly resign
their share in a power which, through the superstition of the people, was
often able to bestow victory in war and prosperity in peace. No sooner
had the Spartans left the sacred city, than Pericles marched in and
restored the temple to the Phocians. The brazen wolf was now made to tell
another tale, and award precedence to the Athenians.

=152.= At this signal of war, the exiles from various Bœotian cities,
who had been driven out by the establishment of democratic governments,
joined for a concerted movement. They seized Chærone´a, Orchom´enus, and
other towns, and restored the oligarchic governments which the Athenians
had overthrown. These changes caused great excitement in Athens. The
people clamored for immediate war; Pericles strongly opposed it: the
season was unfavorable, and he considered that the honor of Athens was
not immediately at stake. But the counsel of Tolmides prevailed, and
with a thousand young Athenian volunteers, assisted by an army of allies,
he marched into Bœotia. Chæronea was soon subdued and garrisoned with

[Sidenote: B. C. 447.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 445.]

Flushed with its speedy victory, the army was returning home, when, in
the vicinity of Coronæa, it fell into an ambush and suffered a most
signal and memorable defeat. Tolmides himself, with the flower and pride
of the Athenian soldiery, was left dead upon the field. A large number of
prisoners were taken, and to recover these the government had to enter
into a treaty with the new oligarchies, and withdraw its forces from
Bœotia. Locris and Phocis lost their free institutions and became allies
of Sparta. The island of Eubœa threw off the Athenian yoke, and other
subject islands showed signs of disaffection. At the same time, the five
years’ truce with Sparta expired, and that state prepared with new zeal
to avenge its humiliation at Delphi.

=153.= Pericles, whose remembered warnings against the Bœotian war
only heightened the respect and confidence of the people, now acted
with energy and promptness. He landed in Eubœa with a sufficient force
to reduce that island, but had scarcely crossed the channel when he
learned that the Megarians were in revolt. Aided by allies from Sicyon,
Epidaurus, and Corinth, they had put all the Athenian garrisons to the
sword, except a few in the fortress of Nisæa, and all the Peloponnesian
states had combined to send an army into Attica. To meet this greater
danger, Pericles returned home. The Peloponnesian army soon appeared,
under the young Spartan king, Plisto´anax; but instead of the decisive
operations that were expected, it only plundered the western borders
of Attica, and retired without striking a blow. Plistoanax and his
guardian were accused, on their return, of having accepted bribes from
the Athenians; and as both fled the country, rather than meet the
prosecution, we may presume that the charge was just. Returning to Eubœa,
Pericles reduced the island to complete subjection, and established a
colony at Histiæa.

[Sidenote: B. C. 445.]

=154.= All parties now desired peace. A thirty years’ truce was concluded
between Athens and Sparta, in which the former submitted to the loss
of her empire on land. The foothold in Trœzene, the right to levy
troops in Achaia, the possession of the Megarid, the protectorate of
free governments in central Greece, all were given up. But the losses
of the war had fallen most heavily on the party which began it, while
Pericles stood higher than ever in the esteem of his fellow-citizens.
Thucyd´ides,[50] a kinsman of Cimon, and his successor as leader of the
aristocracy, was summoned to the ostracism, and when he rose to make his
defense he had not a word to say. He was banished, and retired to Sparta,
B. C. 444.

=155.= Pericles now united all parties, and for the rest of his life held
supreme control of affairs. The nobles respected him as one of their own
order; the merchants and alien settlers were enriched by his protection
of trade; the shippers and sailors, by his attention to maritime affairs;
artisans and artists, by the public works he was incessantly carrying
on; while the ears of all classes were charmed by his eloquence, and
their eyes by the magnificent buildings with which he adorned the city.
At this time was erected the Parthenon, or temple of Athena the Virgin,
adorned by Phidias with the most beautiful sculptures, especially with
the colossal statue of the goddess in ivory and gold, forty-seven feet
in height. The Erechtheum, or ancient sanctuary of Athena Polias, was
rebuilt; the Propylæ´a, of Pentelic marble, erected; and the Acropolis
now began to be called the “city of the gods.”

[Sidenote: B. C. 440.]

=156.= Only three islands in the neighboring seas now maintained their
independence, and of these the most important was Samos. The Milesians,
who had some cause of complaint against the Samians, appealed to the
arbitration of Athens, and were joined by a party in Samos itself which
was opposed to the oligarchy. The Athenians readily assumed the judgment
of the case, and as Samos refused their arbitration, resolved to conquer
the island. Pericles with a fleet proceeded to Samos, revolutionized the
government, and brought away hostages from the most powerful families.
But no sooner was he departed than some of the deposed party returned by
night, overpowered the Athenian garrison, and restored the oligarchy.
They gained possession of their hostages, who had been deposited on the
Isle of Lemnos, and being joined by Byzantium, declared open war against

=157.= When the news of this event reached Athens, a fleet of sixty
vessels was immediately sent forth, Pericles being one of the ten
commanders. Several battles were fought by sea, and the Samians were at
length driven within the walls of their capital, where they endured a
nine months’ siege. When at last they were forced to yield, they were
compelled to destroy their fortifications, surrender their fleet, give
hostages for their future conduct, and pay the expenses of the war. The
Byzantines submitted at the same time. Athens was completely triumphant;
but the terror she had inspired was mixed with jealousy. During the
revolt, the rival states had seriously discussed the question of aiding
the rebels; and it was decided in the negative mainly by the influence
of Corinth, which, though no friend to Athens, feared that the precedent
might be remembered in case of a revolt of her own colonies.

[Sidenote: B. C. 435.]

=158.= Corcyra, a colony of Corinth, had itself founded, on the Illyrian
coast, the city of Epidamnus. This city, attacked by the Illyrians,
led by some of her own exiled nobles, sent to Corcyra for aid, but was
refused, as the exiles belonged to the party in power in the mother
city. The Epidamnians now resorted to Corinth, which undertook their
defense with great energy. Corcyra, alarmed in turn, applied to Athens
for assistance. Opinions were divided in the assembly, but that of
Pericles prevailed, who urged that war could not in any case be long
delayed, and that it was more prudent to make it in alliance with
Corcyra, whose fleet was, next to that of Athens, the most powerful in
Greece, than to be driven at last to fight at a disadvantage.

Considering, however, that Corinth, as an ally of Sparta, was included
in the thirty years’ truce, it was resolved to make only a defensive
alliance with Corcyra; _i.e._, to render assistance in case its
territories should be invaded, but not to take part in any aggressive
action. A naval battle soon occurred off the coast of Epirus, in which
the Corinthians were the victors, and prepared to effect a landing
in Corcyra. Ten Athenian vessels were present, under the command of
Lacedæmonius, son of Cimon, and they were now, by the letter of their
agreement, free to engage. But suddenly, after the signal of battle had
been given, the Corinthians drew back and stood away for the coast of
Epirus. Twenty Athenian ships had appeared in the distance, which they
imagined to be the vanguard of a large fleet. Though this was a mistake,
it had the effect of preventing further hostilities, and the Corinthians
returned home with their prisoners.

[Sidenote: B. C. 432.]

=159.= Incensed at the interference of Athens, the Corinthians sought
revenge by uniting with Prince Perdic´cas of Macedonia, to stir up
revolts among the Athenian tributaries in the Chalcidic peninsulas. A
battle ensued at Olynthus, in which the Athenians were victorious over
the Corinthian general, and blockaded him in Potidæa, where he had taken

A congress of the Peloponnesian states was held at Sparta, and complaints
from many quarters were uttered against Athens. The Æginetans deplored
the loss of their independence; the Megarians, the crippling of their
trade; the Corinthians, that they were overshadowed by the towering
ambition of their powerful neighbor. At the same time, the Corinthians
contrasted the restless activity of Athens with the selfish inertness of
Sparta, and threatened that if the latter still delayed to do her duty by
the League, they would seek a more efficient ally.

The envoys having departed, Sparta decided to undertake the war. Before
proceeding to actual hostilities, it was thought best to send messengers
to Athens, demanding, among other things, that she should “expel the
accursed” from her presence—referring to Pericles, whose race they chose
to consider as still tainted with sacrilege. But Pericles replied that
the Spartans themselves had heavy accounts to settle on the score of
sacrilege, not only for starving Pausanias in the sanctuary of Athena,
but for dragging away and murdering the Helots who had taken refuge,
during the late revolt, in the temple of Posidon. The other demands were
rejected, though with more hesitation. They concerned the independence
of Megara and Ægina, and, generally, the abdication by Athens of her
position as head of the League. The Athenians declared that they would
refrain from commencing hostilities, and would make just satisfaction for
any infringement on their part of the thirty years’ truce; but that they
were ready to meet force with force.

[Sidenote: B. C. 431.]

=160.= WAR IN BŒOTIA. While both parties hesitated to begin the war,
the Thebans precipitated matters by a treacherous attack upon the city
of Platæa. This city, instead of joining the Bœotian League, had been
in friendly alliance with Athens, and was hence regarded with great
jealousy by the Thebans. A small oligarchical party in Platæa favored the
Thebans, and it was Naucli´des, the head of this party, who, at dead of
night, admitted three hundred of them into the town. The Platæans were
roused from sleep to find their enemies encamped in their market-place;
but though scattered and betrayed, they did not yield. They secretly
communicated with each other by breaking through the walls of their
houses; and having thus formed a plan for defense, fell upon the enemy a
little before daybreak.

The Thebans were exhausted by marching all night in the rain; they were
entangled in the narrow, crooked streets of the town; and even women
and children fought against them by hurling tiles from the roofs. The
reinforcement which they expected was delayed, and before it arrived the
three hundred were either slain or captured. The Thebans without the
walls now seized whatever persons and property they could lay their hands
on, as security for the release of the prisoners. The Platæans sent a
herald to declare that the captives would be immediately put to death,
unless the ravages should cease; but that, if the Thebans would retire,
they should be given up. The marauders withdrew, but the Platæans,
instead of keeping their word, gathered their movable property into the
town, and then put all their prisoners to death. Fleet-footed messengers
had already been sent to Athens with the news. They returned with orders
to the Platæans to do nothing of importance without the advice of the
Athenians. It was too late, however, to save the lives of the prisoners
or the honor of their captors.


    In the First Peloponnesian War (B. C. 460-457), Athens was
    allied with Megara; Sparta and Ægina, with Corinth. At the
    same time, the Athenians aided a revolt of Egypt against
    Persia, and built long walls to connect their city with its
    ports. Sparta, interfering in a war between Phocis and Doris,
    defeated the Athenians at Tanagra; but the latter gained a more
    decisive victory at Œnophyta, which brought Phocis, Locris,
    and all Bœotia, except Thebes, into their alliance. Ægina was
    conquered and made tributary to Athens. Ithome surrendered to
    Sparta; the Helots were re-enslaved and the Messenians exiled.
    In a new war, occasioned by the interference of Sparta at
    Delphi, the Athenians, under Tolmides, gained some advantages,
    but were disastrously defeated at Coronæa, with great loss of
    influence in central Greece. Assailed at once by rebellions
    in Eubœa and Megaris, and by a Spartan invasion, Pericles
    defeated the latter by bribes and the former by arms. The
    peace which followed was concluded on terms unfavorable to
    Athens. Being called to aid a popular revolution in Samos, the
    Athenians captured its chief city and re-established their
    own influence. Epidamnus, in war with her mother city, was
    aided by Corinth; while Athens, taking the part of Corcyra,
    defeated the Corinthians at Olynthus, and besieged them two
    years in Potidæa. A more general war was hastened by the mutual
    treachery of the Thebans and Platæans.


[Sidenote: B. C. 431-404.]

=161.= All Greece now prepared for war—a war of twenty-seven years, which
was to be marked by more calamities and horrors than Hellas had ever yet
endured. On the side of Sparta fought all Peloponnesus, except Argos and
Achaia, together with Megara, Bœotia, Phocis, Opuntian Locris, Ambracia,
Leucadia, and Anactoria. Athens had for allies, on the mainland, Thessaly
and Anactoria, with the cities of Naupactus and Platæa. There were
also her tributaries on the coast of Thrace and Asia Minor, and on the
Cyclades, beside her island allies, Chios, Lesbos, Corcyra, Zacynthus,
and, later, Cephallenia.

[Sidenote: B. C. 431.]

=162.= Archidamus, king of Sparta, having collected his allies at the
isthmus, marched into the Attic territory about the middle of June. The
inhabitants quitted their fields, and with all the property they could
remove, took refuge within Athens and the Piræus. Every corner and
recess of the city walls became a dwelling. In the market-place, the
public squares, and the precincts of the temples, temporary habitations
arose, and the poorer sort found shelter in tents, huts, and even casks,
placed against the Long Walls. Among this crowded population, violent
debates arose concerning the conduct of the war. Great indignation was
felt against Pericles for the inaction of the army, while Archidamus was
ravaging the fields almost under their eyes.

But the leader had resolved to carry the war out of Attica. For this
purpose a combined fleet of Athenians and Corcyræans sailed around
the Peloponnesus, disembarking troops at various points to ravage the
country. Two Corinthian settlements in Acarnania were captured, and the
island of Cephallenia transferred its allegiance from Sparta to Athens.
The Æginetans were expelled, and their island occupied by Athenian
settlers. Archidamus, after five or six weeks, marched out of Attica and
disbanded his army. The Athenians then put their forces in motion to
punish the Megarians, whom they considered as revolted subjects. They
laid waste the whole territory to the gates of the capital, and the
devastations were renewed every year while the war continued.

[Sidenote: B. C. 430.]

=163.= The next spring, with a new Spartan invasion, brought a still
greater calamity to the Athenians. The plague, originating in Ethiopia,
had traveled along the Asiatic coasts of the Mediterranean until it
reached their city, where the crowded condition of the people made it
spread with frightful rapidity. A terror seized the populace, some of
whom believed that their enemies had poisoned the wells, while a greater
number ascribed the pestilence to the wrath of Apollo, who was the
especial protector of the Dorian race.

=164.= In their passion of despair the Athenians turned against Pericles,
whose cautious policy they considered as the cause of their misfortunes.
Though still refusing battle, which, with the reduced numbers and
exhausted spirit of the army, would have been almost certain defeat,
he actively pushed his operations against the Peloponnesus. To relieve
the crowded city of its mischievous elements, he fitted out a fleet and
led it in person to ravage the enemy’s coasts. On his return he found
the opposition stronger than ever, and an embassy had even been sent to
Sparta to sue for peace. The suit had been contemptuously rejected, and
the rage of the Athenians was only increased. Pericles persuaded them
to persevere in the war, but his eloquence was unavailing to silence
the fury of his personal enemies. By the influence of Cleon, his chief
opponent, he was even accused of embezzling the public funds, and was
fined to a large amount.

[Sidenote: B. C. 429.]

=165.= But the life and adversities of the great statesman were alike
near their end. The plague had robbed him in of his nearest relatives.
A lingering fever, following an attack of the pestilence, terminated
his life. As he lay, seemingly unconscious, the friends surrounding his
death-bed were rehearsing his great deeds, when the dying man interrupted
them, saying, “All that you are praising was either the result of good
fortune, or, in any case, common to me with many other leaders. What I
chiefly pride myself upon is, that no Athenian has ever mourned on my

[Sidenote: B. C. 430.]

=166.= The second Lacedæmonian foray was more destructive than the first,
for the ravages extended over all Attica, even to the silver mines of
Laurium. The fleet of the Peloponnesians destroyed the fisheries and
commerce of Athens, and devastated the island of Zacynthus. During the
following winter Potidæa surrendered, after a blockade of two years, and
was occupied by a thousand Athenian colonists.

[Sidenote: B. C. 429.]

The third campaign of the Spartans was directed against Platæa. On
the approach of Archidamus, the Platæans sent a solemn remonstrance,
reminding him of the oath which Pausanias had sworn on the evening of
their great battle, making Platæa forever sacred from invasion. The king
replied that the Platæans, too, were bound by oath to labor for the
independence of every Grecian state. He reminded them of their heinous
crime in the slaughter of the Theban prisoners, but promised that, if
they would abandon the cause of Athens and remain neutral during the war,
their privileges should be respected. The Platæans refused to forsake
their ancient ally, and the siege of their city began.

[Sidenote: B. C. 429-427.]

=167.= The garrison which thus defied the whole Peloponnesian army,
consisted of only 480 men, but they made up in energy what they lacked in
numbers. Archidamus began by shutting up every outlet of the town with a
palisade of wood, then erected against this a mound of earth and stone,
forming an inclined plane, up which his troops could march. The Platæans
undermined the mound, which fell in, and thus defeated seventy days’ work
of the whole besieging army. They also built a new wall within the old
one, so that, if this were taken, the Spartans would still be no nearer
the possession of the city.

Seeing that the will of the Platæans could only be subdued by famine, the
allies now turned the siege into a blockade. They surrounded the city
with a double wall, and roofed the intervening space, so as to afford
shelter to the soldiers on duty. The Platæans thus endured a complete
separation from the outer world for two years. Provisions began to fail;
and, in the second year, nearly half the garrison made their escape,
by climbing over the barracks and fortifications of their besiegers in
the rain and darkness of a December night. The Platæans, though thus
reduced in numbers, came at length to absolute starvation. A herald now
appeared from the Spartan commander, requiring their submission, but
promising that only the guilty should be punished. They yielded. When
brought before the five Spartan judges, every man was found guilty and
led to execution. The town and territory of Platæa were made over to the
Thebans, who destroyed all private dwellings, and with the materials
erected a huge barrack, to afford shelter to visitors, and dwellings to
the serfs who cultivated the land. The city of Platæa was blotted out
from the map of Greece.

[Sidenote: B. C. 429.]

=168.= The Athenians, with their ally Sital´ces, a Thracian chief, were
warring in the north with little success. Sitalces, with an irregular but
powerful host of 150,000 Thracians, invaded Macedonia with the intention
of dethroning Perdiccas. The Macedonians, unable to meet him in the open
field, withdrew into their fortresses, and Sitalces, who had no means
for conducting sieges, retired after thirty days. Phor´mio, an Athenian
captain, gained two victories, meanwhile, in the Corinthian Gulf, over
a vastly superior number of Spartans. In the first engagement he had
but twenty ships, to the Spartan forty-seven; in the second, without
reinforcements, he met a fresh Spartan fleet of seventy-seven sail.

[Sidenote: B. C. 428.]

The fourth year of the war was marked by the revolt of Mytilene,
capital of Lesbos. Envoys were sent to Sparta to implore assistance,
which was willingly granted, and the Mytilenians were received into the
Peloponnesian League.

=169.= In the spring of 427, the Spartan fleet advanced to Mytilene, but
it arrived only to find the town in the possession of the Athenians.
Nearly reduced by famine, the governor, by the advice of a Spartan envoy,
had armed all the men of the lower classes for a last desperate sortie.
The result was contrary to his expectations. The mass of the Mytilenian
people preferred the Athenian supremacy to that of their own oligarchic
government. Emboldened by their arms, they declared that they would treat
directly with the Athenians, unless all their demands were granted. The
governor had no choice but to open negotiations himself. The city was
surrendered, and the fate of its inhabitants was left to be decided by
the popular assembly in Athens, whither the ring-leaders of the revolt
were sent.

=170.= A thousand Athenians assembled in the Agora to decide the fate
of their prisoners. Salæ´thus, the Spartan envoy, was instantly put to
death. With regard to the rest, a spirited debate ensued. Cleon the
tanner, the former opponent of Pericles, took a prominent part; and
in spite of more humane and moderate counsels, actually succeeded in
carrying his brutal proposition, to put to the sword all the men of
Mytilene, and sell the women and children into slavery. Iniquitous as
such an order would be in any case, it was the more so in this, because
the greater number of the Mytilenians were friendly to Athens, while the
revolt had been the act of the oligarchy, who were enemies of the people.
So strong had been the opposition, that Cleon feared a reversal of the
sentence, and therefore had a galley instantly dispatched to Lesbos, with
orders for its immediate execution.

His apprehensions were well founded. A single night’s reflection filled
the better sort of Athenians with horror at the inhuman decision into
which they had been hurried. They demanded a new assembly to reconsider
the question; and though this was contrary to law, the _strategi_
consented and convened the citizens. In the second day’s debate the
atrocious decree was rescinded. Every nerve was now strained to enable
the mercy-bearing barque to overtake the messengers of death, who were
a whole day’s journey in advance. The strongest oarsmen were selected,
and urged to their greatest exertion by the promise of large rewards if
they should arrive in time. Their food was given them while they plied
the oar, and sleep was allowed them only in short intervals, and by
turns. The weather proved favorable, and they arrived just as Paches, who
had received the first dispatch, was preparing for its execution. The
Mytilenians were saved, but the walls of their city were leveled, and
its fleet surrendered to the Athenians. The island of Lesbos, with the
exception of Methym´na, which had refused all share in the revolt, was
divided into 3,000 parts, of which 300 were devoted to the gods, and the
rest assigned by lot to Athenian settlers. The prisoners at Athens were
tried for their share in the conspiracy, and put to death.

[Sidenote: B. C. 427.]

=171.= The Corcyrean prisoners who had been carried to Corinth in 432,
were now sent home, in the hope that their account of the generous
treatment they had received would induce their countrymen to withdraw
from the Athenian alliance. They joined with the oligarchical faction to
effect a revolution in Corcyra, killed the chiefs of the popular party,
gained possession of the harbor, the arsenal, and the market-place,
and thus, by overawing the people, obtained a vote in the assembly to
maintain in future a strict neutrality. The people, however, fortified
themselves in the higher parts of the town, and called to their aid the
serfs from the interior of the island, to whom they promised freedom.

The oligarchists set fire to the town, but while it was burning a small
Athenian squadron arrived from Naupactus, and its commander attempted,
with great wisdom, to make peace between the contending parties. He had
to all appearance effected this design, when a Peloponnesian fleet, more
than four times as numerous as his own, appeared, under the command of
Alci´das. The Athenians withdrew without loss, and Alcidas had Corcyra
for the moment in his power; but with his usual want of promptness, he
spent a day in ravaging the island, and, at night, beacon fires on Leucas
announced the approach of an Athenian fleet outnumbering his own. Alcidas
drew off before daybreak, leaving the oligarchists in the city to their
fate. The next seven days were a reign of terror in Corcyra. The popular
party, protected by the presence of the Athenians, abandoned itself to
revenge. Civil hatred was stronger than natural affection. A father
slew his own son; brothers had no pity for brothers. The aristocratic
party was nearly exterminated; but five hundred escaped, and fortified
themselves on Mount Isto´ne, near the capital.

[Sidenote: B. C. 426.]

=172.= The sixth year of the war opened with floods and earthquakes,
which seemed an echo in nature of the moral convulsions of Greece. The
plague was raging again at Athens. To appease the wrath of Apollo, a
solemn purification of the isle of Delos, his birth-place, was performed
in the autumn. All bodies that had been buried there were removed to a
neighboring island, and the Delian festival was revived with increased
magnificence. The usual Spartan invasion of Attica had been prevented
this year, either by awe of the supposed wrath of the gods, or by fear of
the plague; but in the seventh year of the war (B. C. 425), their king,
Agis, again crossed the borders and ravaged the country. He was recalled,
after fifteen days, by the news that the Athenians had established a
military station on the coast of Messenia.

=173.= A fleet bound for Sicily, under Eurymedon and Sophocles, had been
delayed for a time by a storm, near the harbor of Pylos. The commanders
selected this place for a settlement of Messenians from Naupactus, who
would thus be able to communicate with their Helot kinsmen, and harass
the Spartans. Demosthenes was left with five ships and two hundred
soldiers, who were increased, by a reinforcement of Messenians, to a
thousand men. The wrath of the Spartans was only equaled by their alarm
at this infringement of their territory. Their fleet was instantly
ordered from Corcyra, while Agis, with his army, marched from Attica.
The long and narrow island of Sphacte´ria, which covered the entrance to
the Bay of Pylos, was occupied by Thrasymel´idas, the Spartan, while his
ships were sheltered in the basin which it inclosed. Demosthenes, while
awaiting reinforcements, had to meet a vastly superior number with his
handful of men. The attack from the sea was led by Bras´idas, one of the
greatest captains whom Sparta ever produced. He fought on the prow of the
foremost vessel, urging his men forward by looks and words; but he was
severely wounded, and the battle ended with no advantage to the Spartans.
It was renewed the second day with no better success, and the Athenians
erected a trophy, which they ornamented with the shield of Brasidas.

[Sidenote: B. C. 425.]

The arrival of the Athenian fleet was followed by a severe and still
more decisive battle. The victorious Athenians proceeded to blockade
Sphacteria, which contained the choicest Peloponnesian troops. So serious
was the crisis, that the ephors saw no escape except to sue for peace.
An armistice was agreed upon, and the better spirits on both sides began
to hope for a termination of the war. But the foolish vanity of Cleon
and his party demanded the most extravagant terms, and the voice of
reason was drowned. Hostilities re-commenced, with equal vexation to both
parties. Demosthenes, fearing that the storms of winter would interrupt
his blockade, resolved to make an attack upon the island, and sent to
Athens explaining his position and demanding reinforcements. The report
was disheartening to the Assembly, which now began to accuse Cleon for
having persuaded it to let slip the occasion for an honorable peace.
Cleon retorted by accusing the officers of cowardice and incapacity, and
declared that, if _he_ were general, he would take Sphacteria at once!
At this boast of the tanner, the whole assembly broke out into laughter,
and cries, “Why don’t you go, then?” were heard on all sides. The lively
spirits of the Athenians recovered with a bound from their unusual
depression, and the mere joke soon grew into a purpose. Cleon tried to
draw back, but the Assembly insisted. At last he engaged, with a certain
number of auxiliaries added to the troops already at Pylos, to take the
island in twenty days, and either kill all the Spartans upon it, or bring
them in chains to Athens.

=174.= Singular as were the circumstances of Cleon’s commission, his
success was equally remarkable. Demosthenes had made all ready for the
attack; and to his prudence, aided by the accidental burning of the woods
on Sphacteria, rather than to the generalship of Cleon, the victory was
due. The Athenians, landing before daybreak, overpowered the guard at the
southern end of the island, and then drew up in order of battle, sending
out parties of skirmishers to provoke the enemy to a combat. The Spartan
general, blinded by the light ashes raised by the march of his men,
advanced, with some difficulty, over the half-burnt stumps of the trees.
He was greatly outnumbered by his assailants, who harassed him from a
distance with arrows, and forced him at length to retire to the extremity
of the island. Here the Spartans fought again with their accustomed
bravery; but a party of Messenians, who had clambered over some crags
usually deemed inaccessible, appeared upon the heights above, and decided
the fate of the battle. All the surviving Spartans surrendered, and Cleon
and Demosthenes, setting out immediately after the battle, arrived at
Athens with their prisoners within the twenty days. This victory was one
of the most important that the Athenians had gained. The harbor of Pylos
was strongly fortified and garrisoned with Messenian troops, for a base
of operations against Laconia.

[Sidenote: B. C. 424.]

=175.= At the beginning of the eighth year the Athenians were every-where
triumphant, and the Spartans, humbled and distressed, had repeatedly
asked for peace. Nicias, in the early part of the year, conquered the
island of Cythera, and placed garrisons in its two chief towns, which
were a continual defiance of the Lacedæmonians. He then ravaged the
coasts of Laconia, and captured, among other places, the town of Thyr´ea,
where the Æginetans, after their expulsion from their own island, had
been permitted to settle. Those of the original exiles who survived
were carried to Athens and put to death. The brutalizing influences of
war were more apparent every year, and these cold-blooded massacres had
become almost of common occurrence.

The Spartans, about the same time, alarmed by the nearness of the
Messenian garrisons of Pylos and Cythera, gave notice that those Helots
who had distinguished themselves by their faithful services during the
war, should be set at liberty. A large number of the bravest and ablest
appeared to claim the promise. Two thousand of these were selected as
worthy of emancipation, crowned with garlands, and dignified with high
religious honors. But in a few days they had all disappeared, by means
known only to the Spartan ephors—men unmoved, either by honor or pity,
from their narrow regard to the supposed interest of the state.

[Sidenote: B. C. 424.]

=176.= The success of the Athenians did not entirely desert them in
their Megarian expedition, but their attempt upon Bœotia resulted only
in disaster. The chief movement was executed by Hippoc´rates, who led an
army of more than 32,000 soldiers across the Bœotian frontier to Delium,
a place strongly situated near Tanagra, among the cliffs of the eastern
coast. Here he fortified the temple of Apollo, and placing a garrison in
the works, set out for home. The Bœotians had collected a large army at
Tanagra, which now moved to intercept the Athenians upon the heights of
Delium. The battle commenced late in the day. The Athenian right was at
first successful, but their left was borne down by the Theban phalanx. In
their ranks were Socrates, the philosopher, and his pupils, Alcibi´ades
and Xenophon, all destined to the highest fame in Grecian history. At
length the Bœotian cavalry appeared, and decided the fortunes of the
day. The Athenians fled in all directions, and only the fall of night
prevented their complete destruction. Delium was taken by siege after
seventeen days.

=177.= Soon after these disasters, the Athenians lost all their dominion
in Thrace. Brasidas had led a small but well chosen army to the aid of
Perdiccas and the Chalcidian towns. The bravery and integrity of this
great general led many of the allies of Athens to forsake her party, and
when he suddenly appeared before Amphipolis, that city surrendered with
scarcely an attempt at resistance. Thucydides,[51] the historian, was
general in that region. The Athenian party in Amphipolis sent to him for
aid, but he arrived too late. For this failure, whether proceeding from
necessity or carelessness, the general was sentenced to banishment, and
spent his next twenty years in exile, during which he contributed more
by his literary work to the glory of Greece, than he would probably have
done in military command. Brasidas proceeded to the easternmost of the
three Chalcidian peninsulas, and received the submission of nearly all
the towns.

The Athenians were now so disheartened by their losses, that they, in
turn, began to propose peace; and the Spartans, anxious for the return of
their noble youths who were prisoners in Athens, were equally desirous of
a treaty. To this end a year’s truce was agreed upon, in 423, to afford
time for permanent negotiations. Unhappily, two days after the beginning
of the truce, Scio´ne revolted from the Athenians, who demanded its
restitution. The Spartans refused, and the whole year was suffered to
pass away without any further efforts toward peace. At its expiration,
Cleon advanced into Thrace with a fleet and army. He took the towns of
Toro´ne and Galepsus, and was proceeding against Amphipolis, when a
battle ensued which ended at once his life and his assumption of power.
Brasidas, too, was mortally wounded, but he lived long enough to know
that he was victorious.

=178.= PEACE OF NICIAS. The two great obstacles to peace were now
removed, and, in the spring of 421, a treaty for fifty years, commonly
called the “Peace of Nicias,” was concluded between Athens and Sparta.
Some allies of the latter complained that Sparta had sacrificed their
interests to her own, and formed a new league, with Argos for their head.
Athens made a new alliance for a hundred years with Argos, Elis, and
Mantine´a, B. C. 420.


    In the greater Peloponnesian war (B. C. 431-404), nearly all
    central and southern Greece were allied with Sparta; most
    of the maritime states, with Athens. Within the latter city
    were crowded most of the people of Attica, in terror of the
    Spartan invasions. Great numbers died of the plague; its
    most illustrious victim was Pericles. A two years’ blockade
    of Platæa, by the Spartans, ended with the annihilation of
    the city. The revolt of Lesbos was subdued by Athens, and
    the Mytilenians were condemned to death, but the revengeful
    sentence was reversed. A revolution in Corcyra resulted in
    a seven days’ massacre of the aristocratic party. A solemn
    purification of Delos was performed, to mitigate the plague
    at Athens. The Athenians established a colony at Pylos, to
    harass Laconia, and were victors in several naval battles.
    Cleon, the tanner, with Demosthenes, the general, conquered the
    Spartans at Sphacteria. Nicias captured Cythera, and garrisoned
    its towns. The brutal character of the war was shown in the
    massacre of exiled Æginetans at Athens, and of two thousand
    Helots at Sparta. The disastrous battle or Delium ended the
    invasion of Bœotia by the Athenians, who lost, at the same
    time, all their possessions in Thrace. The Peace of Nicias was
    concluded B. C. 421, and Athens made a new league with some
    former allies of Sparta.


[Sidenote: B. C. 420.]

=179.= From two previous celebrations of the Olympic Games the Athenians
had been excluded, but, in the summer of this year, the Elean heralds
appeared again to invite their attendance. Those who looked to see
Athens poverty-stricken, from her many losses, were surprised at the
magnificence of her delegates, who made the most costly display in
all the processions. Alcibiades entered on the lists seven four-horse
chariots, and received two olive crowns in the races. This young man
was among the ablest citizens that Athens ever possessed. His genius,
bravery, and quickness in emergencies might have made him her greatest
benefactor; but, through his unregulated ambition and utter lack of
conscience, he became the cause of her greatest calamities.

=180.= War soon broke out between the Spartans and the Argives, in which
the Spartan king, Agis, won the important battle of Mantinea, B. C. 418.
The oligarchical party, gaining power at Argos, cast off the alliance
with Athens, and made a treaty with Sparta. But the nobles abused their
power in brutal outrages upon the people, who effected another revolution
and obtained possession of the city. By their request, Alcibiades came
to their aid with a fleet and army. Though the Spartans and Athenians
were nominally at peace, the garrison of Pylos was still committing
depredations in Laconia, and Spartan privateers were seriously injuring
Athenian commerce.

=181.= About this time, an embassy from Sicily besought the aid of the
Athenians for the city of Egesta. It was involved in a contest with its
neighbor, Selinus, which had obtained help from Syracuse. The “war of
races” had, indeed, broken out twelve years before in Sicily, and the
Athenians had more than once sent aid to the Ionian cities, Leonti´ni
and Camari´na, against their Dorian neighbors, who had joined the
Peloponnesian League. Alcibiades threw his whole influence into the cause
of Egesta, hoping at once to improve his wasted fortunes with Sicilian
spoils, and gratify his ambition with the glory of conquest. He even
hoped, beside making Athens supreme over all the Hellenic colonies, to
conquer the empire of Carthage, in the western Mediterranean.

Nicias and all the moderate party opposed the enterprise. They only
prevailed in having an embassy sent to Egesta, to ascertain if its people
were really able to fulfill their promise of furnishing funds for the
war. The envoys were completely outwitted. In the temple of Aphrodite
they saw a magnificent display of vessels which appeared to be solid
gold, but were really silver-gilt. They were feasted at the houses of
citizens, and were surprised by the profusion of gold and silver plate
which adorned their sideboards, not suspecting that the same articles
were passing from house to house, and doing repeated service in their
entertainment. Sixty talents of silver were paid as a first installment,
and the commissioners went home with glowing accounts of Egestan wealth.

[Sidenote: B. C. 415.]

=182.= All doubt disappeared from most minds in Athens, and Nicias,
Alcibiades, and Lamachus were appointed to lead an expedition to Sicily.
The zeal of the Athenians knew no bounds. Young and old, rich and
poor, alike demanded a share in the great expedition. The generals had
difficulty in selecting from the throng of volunteers. The fleet was on
the point of sailing, when a mysterious event threw the excited multitude
into consternation. The _Hermæ_, which stood before every door in Athens,
before every temple or gymnasium, and in every public square, were found
one morning reduced to shapeless masses of stone. Not one escaped. The
people, in an agony of superstitious horror, demanded the detection and
punishment of the criminal. Suspicion fell upon Alcibiades, because
he was known to have burlesqued the Eleusinian mysteries in a drunken
frolic, and was supposed to be capable of any sacrilege. He indignantly
denied his guilt, and demanded an immediate examination. But his enemies
contrived to have it postponed until his return, thus sending him out
under the burden of an unproved charge, which might be revived for his
condemnation in case of disaster.

=183.= On the day appointed for the sailing of the armament, nearly
the whole population of Athens accompanied the soldiers on their march
at day-break to Piræus. When all were on board, the trumpet commanded
silence, and the voice of the herald, in unison with that of the people,
was heard in prayer. The pæan was then sung, while the officer at the
prow of each vessel poured a libation from a golden goblet into the sea.
At a given signal, the entire fleet slipped its cables and started at the
utmost speed, each crew striving to be first at Ægina.

=184.= The whole armament of Athenians and allies mustered at Corcyra in
July, 415. It numbered 136 vessels of war and 500 transports, carrying
6,300 soldiers, beside artisans and a large provision of food and
arms. When the fleet approached the coast of Italy, three fast-sailing
triremes were sent to notify the Egestæans of its arrival, and to learn
their present condition. These rejoined the fleet at Rhegium, with the
unwelcome report that the wealth of Egesta was wholly fictitious, and
that thirty talents more were the extent of the aid to be expected.
The three admirals were now divided in opinion. Nicias was for sailing
at once to Selinus, making the best terms possible, and then returning
home. Alcibiades proposed to seek new allies among the Greek cities, and
with their aid to attack both Selinus and Syracuse. Lamachus urged an
immediate attack upon the latter city, the greatest and wealthiest on
the island. This counsel was at once the boldest and the safest, for the
Syracusans were unprepared for defense, and their surrender would have
decided the fate of the island; but, unhappily, Lamachus was neither rich
nor influential. His plan was disregarded, and that of Alcibiades adopted.

=185.= The fleet, sailing southward, reconnoitered the defenses of
Syracuse, and took possession of Catana, which became its headquarters.
At this point, Alcibiades received from Athens a decree of the Assembly,
requiring his return for trial. A judicial inquiry had acquitted him of
the mutilation of the Hermæ, but he was still charged with profaning
the Eleusinian Mysteries, by representing them at his own house for the
entertainment of his friends. This was an unpardonable crime, and those
noble families which had derived from their heroic or divine ancestors an
especial right to officiate in the ceremonies, felt themselves grossly
insulted. The public trireme which brought the summons to Alcibiades,
was under special orders not to arrest him, but to suffer him to return
in his own vessel. The wily general availed himself of this courtesy to
effect his escape. Landing at Thurii, he eluded his pursuers, and the
messengers returned to Athens without him. Here in his absence he was
condemned to death, his property confiscated, and the Eumolpidæ solemnly
pronounced him “accursed.”

=186.= The Athenians had spent three months in Sicily with so little
effect, that the Syracusans began to regard them with contempt. Nicias,
thus shamed into attempting something, spread a report that the Catanæans
were inclined to expel the Athenians from their city, and thus drew a
large army from Syracuse to their aid. During its absence from home, the
whole Athenian fleet sailed into the Great Harbor of Syracuse, and landed
a force which intrenched itself near the mouth of the Anapus. A battle
followed on the return of the Syracusans, and Nicias was successful.
Instead of following up this advantage, he retired into winter-quarters
at Catana, and afterward at Naxos, while he sent to Athens for a supply
of money, and to his Sicilian allies for a re-enforcement of men.

The Syracusans spent the winter in active preparation. They built a new
wall across the peninsula, between the Bay of Thapsus and the Great
Port, covering their city on the west and north-west. They sent, at the
same time, to Corinth and Sparta for help, and found in the latter city
an unexpected ally. Alcibiades had crossed from Italy to Greece, and
had received a special invitation to Sparta. Here he indulged his spite
against his countrymen by revealing all their plans, and urging the
Spartans to send an army into Sicily to disconcert their movements.

[Sidenote: B. C. 414.]

=187.= With the opening of spring, Nicias commenced the siege by
fortifying the heights of Epipolæ, which commanded the city. He
built, also, a fort at Sy´ke, and dislodged the Syracusans from the
counter-walls which they were constructing. The Athenian fleet was
stationed in the Great Harbor, and the Syracusans, despairing of
effectual resistance, sent messengers to arrange terms of surrender. But
the brave Lamachus had been slain, and Nicias, now sole commander, was
too inactive to seize the victory just within his grasp.

=188.= At this point, Gylip´pus, the Spartan, arrived with only four
ships on the Italian coast, and supposing that Syracuse and all Sicily
were irrecoverably lost, sought only to preserve the cities on the
peninsula. To his delight, he learned that the Athenians had not even
completed their northern line of works around Syracuse. He hastened
through the Straits of Messina, which he found unguarded, and, landing at
Him´era, began to raise an army from the Dorian cities of Sicily. With
these he marched to Syracuse directly over the heights of Epipolæ, which
Nicias had neglected to hold. Entering the city, he sent orders to the
Athenian general to leave the island within five days. Nicias disregarded
the message, but the acts which followed proved that the Spartan was
master of the situation. He captured the Athenian fort at Labalum, built
another upon the heights of Epipolæ, and connected it with the city by a
strong wall.

[Sidenote: B. C. 413.]

The Sicilian towns which had hesitated now joined the winning side.
Re-enforcements arrived from Corinth, Leucas, and Ambracia; and Nicias,
unable to continue the siege with his present force, withdrew to the
headland of Plemmyr´ium, south of the Great Port. His ships were out of
repair, his men disheartened and inclined to desert, and his own health
declining. He wrote to Athens, begging that the army might be instantly
re-enforced and he himself recalled. Athens was in a state of siege, for
the Spartan king, Agis, was encamped at Decele´a, fourteen miles north of
the city, in a position to command the whole Athenian plain. The public
funds were nearly exhausted, hunger began to be felt, and the diminished
number of citizens were worn out with the labor of defending the walls
day and night. It was resolved, however, to re-enforce Nicias, and, at
the same time, harass Sparta on her own territory. For this purpose,
Char´icles was sent to plant a military station on the south coast of
Laconia, similar to that of Pylos in Messenia; while Demosthenes and
Eurymedon conducted a fleet and army to Sicily. The first enterprise was
successful; the second was too late.

=189.= The Syracusans had been defeated in one naval battle, but in
a second, lasting two days, they were completely victorious, and
the Athenian ships were locked up in the extremity of the harbor.
Demosthenes’ arrival with his fresh forces had some effect in checking
the enemy and raising the spirits of his countrymen. Perceiving at
once that Epipolæ was the vital point, he directed all his efforts to
its re-capture, but without success. Seeing, now, that the siege was
hopeless, he urged Nicias to return home and drive the Spartans out of
Attica. But, remembering the lively hopes and the magnificent ceremonies
with which the armament had set forth, Nicias could not consent to return
to Athens covered with the disgrace of failure. Neither would he withdraw
to Thapsus or Catana, where Demosthenes urged the advantages of an open
sea and constant supplies of provisions. But, large re-enforcements
arriving for Syracuse, this retreat became necessary, and the plans
were so well laid that it might easily have been effected without the
knowledge of the enemy.

[Sidenote: Aug. 27, 413.]

Unhappily, an eclipse of the moon occurred on the very eve of the
intended movement. The imperfect astronomy of those days had not foretold
the event, and the soothsayers could only conclude that Artemis, the
especial guardian of Syracuse, was showing her anger against its
assailants. They declared that the army must remain three times nine days
in its present position. During this delay, the disconcerted plan became
known to the Syracusans, who resolved to strike a blow while the enemy
was within their reach. A battle by land and sea was the result. In the
former, the Athenians beat off their assailants; but, in the latter,
their fleet was utterly defeated and Eurymedon slain.

=190.= The Syracusans now resolved upon the total destruction of their
enemy. They blocked up the Great Harbor by a line of vessels moored
across its entrance. The only hope for the Athenians, perhaps for Athens
itself, was to break this line, and to this end Nicias again prepared for
battle. The amphitheater of hills which surround the harbor was crowded
with spectators of either party, watching with anxious eyes the conflict
upon which their fates depended. The water was covered with the yachts of
wealthy Syracusans, ready to offer their services whenever they might be
demanded. The first attack of the Athenians was upon the barrier of ships
at the entrance of the harbor. It failed, and the Syracusan fleet of 76
triremes then engaged the 110 of the Athenians. The crash of the iron
prows, the shouts of the combatants, and the answering groans or cheers
of their friends upon the shore, filled the air with a perpetual clamor.
For a long time the issue was doubtful, but, at last, the fleet of Nicias
began to retreat toward the shore. A cry of despair arose from the
Athenian army, answered by shouts of triumph from the pursuing vessels
and the citizens on the walls.

The Athenian fleet was now reduced to sixty vessels, and the Syracusan to
fifty. Nicias and Demosthenes besought their men to renew the effort to
force their way out of the harbor, but their spirits were so far broken
that they refused any further combat by sea. The army still numbered
40,000 men, and it was resolved to retreat by land to some friendly
city, where they could defend themselves until transports should arrive.
If this design had been instantly put in execution, it might have been
successful; for the Syracusans had given themselves up to drunken
revelries, occasioned equally by the rejoicings over their victory and by
the festival of Hercules, and had no thoughts to spare for their fugitive
foe. But Hermoc´rates, the most prudent of their number, resolved
to prevent what he foresaw would be the Athenian movement. He sent
messengers to the wall, who pretended to come from spies of Nicias within
the city, and warned the generals not to move that night, as all the
roads were strongly guarded. Nicias fell into the snare, and sacrificed
his last hope of escape.

=191.= On the second day after the battle, the army began its march
toward the interior, leaving the deserted fleet in the harbor, the dead
unburied, and the wounded to the vengeance of the foe. On the third day
of the march, the road lay over a steep cliff, which was guarded by a
Syracusan force. Two days’ assaults upon this position were unsuccessful,
and the generals took counsel during the night to turn toward the sea.
Nicias, with the van, succeeded in reaching the coast; but Demosthenes
lost his way, was overtaken by the enemy, and surrounded in a narrow
pass, where he surrendered the shattered remnants of his army, numbering
six thousand men. Nicias was now pursued, and overtaken at the river
Asina´rus. Multitudes perished in the attempt to cross. Pressed closely
by the army of Gylippus, the rear rushed forward upon the spears of their
comrades, or were hurled down the steep banks and carried away by the
current. All order was lost, and Nicias surrendered at discretion. The
generals were condemned to death. The common soldiers, imprisoned in the
stone-quarries, without food or shelter, suffered greater miseries than
all that had preceded. A few who survived were sold as slaves, and their
talents and accomplishments won, in some instances, the friendship of
their masters.


    Alcibiades sustained the credit of Athens in the Olympic Games,
    carried aid to the Argives against the Spartans, and zealously
    promoted the Sicilian expedition of his countrymen. On the eve
    of departure he was accused of sacrilege, and after his arrival
    in Sicily he was sentenced to death, and pronounced accursed.
    The siege of Syracuse, notwithstanding the great efforts of
    the Athenians, resulted in failure and disaster, while Athens
    itself was besieged by the king of Sparta. Reinforcements, led
    forth by Demosthenes, only completed the exhaustion of the
    city. The Syracusans gained a naval battle in their harbor, and
    captured the two Athenian armies in their retreat.


[Sidenote: B. C. 412.]

=192.= In the midst of private grief and national dismay, the Athenians
learned that their allies were deserting them. Alcibiades was stirring
up revolts in Chios, which, with Lesbos and Eubœa, implored the aid of
Sparta to free them from their dependence. The two satraps of Asia Minor
sent envoys to the same power, inviting her coöperation in overthrowing
the Athenian empire in Asia, and pledging Persian gold for the entire
expense. To the lasting shame of Sparta, she concluded a treaty at
Miletus, engaging to unite with Persia in a war against Athens, and to
restore to the Persian dominion all the cities and territories which
it had formerly embraced. This clause was explained, in a subsequent
treaty, to include not only all the islands of the Ægean, but Thessaly
and Bœotia, thus yielding to the Persians the field of Platæa, and
fixing, their frontier on the very border of Attica. Miletus itself was
immediately surrendered to Tissaphernes.

=193.= In this general defection Samos remained faithful, and afforded
a most important station for the Athenian fleet during the remaining
years of the war. The Samians, warned by the example of Chios, overthrew
their oligarchical government, and the democracy thus established
was acknowledged by Athens as an equal and independent ally. Great
preparations were now made in Athens. The reserve fund of a thousand
talents, which had lain untouched since the time of Pericles, was
applied to fitting out a fleet against Chios. Once more the Athenians
were successful, both by sea and land. Lesbos and Clazomenæ were
reconquered, the Chians defeated, and, in a battle near Miletus, the
Spartans themselves were overcome. That city remained in the hands of
the Persians and Lacedæmonians, but the relations between these widely
contrasted allies were no longer cordial. The Spartans were ashamed of
their dealings with the great enemy of Greece, and Tissaphernes was under
the influence of Alcibiades. This deeply plotting Athenian persuaded
the satrap that it was not the interest of Persia to allow any party
in Greece to become powerful, but, rather, to let them wear each other
out by mutual hostilities, and then appropriate the domains of both.
This advice tended most against the Spartans, who were now so strongly
reinforced that they might soon have put an end to the war. Tissaphernes,
accordingly, held the Spartan fleet inactive, waiting for the Phœnicians,
who were never to appear; and when this pretext would no longer avail, he
applied his golden arguments to its commanders with the same effect.

=194.= Alcibiades now sought to bring the satrap into alliance with
Athens; and failing in this, he tried at least to convince his countrymen
at Samos that he had power to effect such an alliance, for his sole
desire was to be recalled to his native city. Hating and fearing the
Athenian democracy, he made one condition, however, to his intercession
with the Persian, which was, that a revolution should be effected, and
an oligarchical government established. The generals at Samos acceded
to this plan, and Pisander was sent to Athens to organize the political
clubs in favor of the revolution.

When he presented the scheme of Alcibiades in the Assembly, a great
tumult arose. The people clamored against the surrender of their rights;
the Eumolpidæ protested against the return of a wretch who had profaned
the Mysteries. Pisander could only plead the exhaustion and the misery of
the Republic; but this argument, though distasteful, was unanswerable.
The people reluctantly consented to the change in the constitution, and
Pisander, with ten colleagues, was sent to treat with Alcibiades. The
exile well knew that he had promised more than he could perform. To
save his credit, he received the eleven ambassadors in the presence of
Tissaphernes, and made such extravagant demands in his name, that they
themselves angrily broke up the conference and withdrew.

[Sidenote: B. C. 411.]

=195.= Though convinced that they had been cheated by Alcibiades,
they had now gone too far to recede from the proposed revolution.
Pisander, with five of his colleagues, returned to Athens, while the
rest went about among the allies to establish oligarchies. At Athens
the old offices were abolished, and a Council of Four Hundred, chiefly
self-elected, held power for four months. By the aid of the army at
Samos, a counter-revolution was effected, and the leaders of the
oligarchy were accused of treason for their dealings with the Spartans.
Most of them fled; but two, Ar´cheptol´emus and Antiphon, were tried and

=196.= The remainder of the Peloponnesian war was wholly maritime, and
its scene of operations was on the coast of Asia Minor. The Spartans, by
long practice and close collision with their great rivals, had become
nearly equal to the Athenians in naval skill. Their attention to this arm
of the service was shown by the yearly appointment of the _navarchus_,
an officer whose power, while it lasted, was even greater than that of
the kings, for he was above the control of the ephors.

[Sidenote: B. C. 411.]

=197.= Min´darus, the Spartan commander at Miletus, becoming disgusted
with the fickle policy of Tissaphernes, set sail for the Hellespont,
hoping to find the other satrap more constant to the Spartan alliance.
He was followed by an Athenian fleet, under Thrasyl´lus, which, though
less numerous than his own, inflicted upon him a severe defeat in the
strait between Sestus and Abydus. Mindarus now sent for the allied fleet
at Eubœa, but in passing Mount Athos it was overtaken by a violent storm,
and wholly destroyed. The Athenians followed up their advantage by the
capture of Cyz´icus, which had revolted from them; and, a few weeks
later, gained another great battle near Abydus, by the timely aid of

=198.= In the spring of 410, Mindarus was besieging Cyzicus, and the
Athenians determined to relieve it. They passed up the Hellespont in the
night, and assembled at Proconnesus. Alcibiades moved toward Cyzicus
with his division of the fleet, and succeeded in enticing Mindarus to a
distance from the harbor, while the other two divisions stole between him
and the city, and thus cut off his retreat. A battle ensued, in which
Mindarus was slain, the Spartans and their Persian allies routed, and the
entire Peloponnesian fleet captured, except the Syracusan ships, which
Hermocrates caused to be burnt.

=199.= This victory restored to the Athenians the control of the
Propontis and the trade of the Euxine. Ships laden with corn now entered
Piræus, bearing relief to the hungry poor, and discouragement to King
Agis, who still held the heights of Decelea, in the vain hope of starving
the city into surrender.

Pharnabazus, meanwhile, was aiding the Spartans by every means in his
power. He fed and clothed, armed and paid their seamen, allowed them to
cut timber in the forests of Mount Ida, and build their ships at his
docks of Antandros. Through his assistance, Chalcedon, on the Bosphorus,
was enabled to hold out two years against Alcibiades. It surrendered at
last, in 408. Selym´bria and Byzantium were taken about the same time.

=200.= These repeated successes restored the credit of Alcibiades, and,
in the spring of 407, he was welcomed back to his native city. All the
people met him at Piræus, with as much joy and enthusiasm as they had
escorted him thither, eight years before, when sailing for the fatal
expedition to Sicily. He protested his innocence before the Senate
and Assembly. His sentence was reversed by acclamation, his property
restored, the curse revoked, and he was made general, with unlimited
powers. Before his departure, with the large fleet and army which were
now at his disposal, he resolved to atone to Demeter for whatever slight
had been thrown upon her by his alleged sacrilege. The sacred procession
from Athens to Eleusis had been intermitted these seven years, owing to
the nearness of the Spartan troops. Alcibiades now delayed his departure,
in order to escort and protect the participants.

[Sidenote: B. C. 407.]

=201.= The arrival of two new officers upon the Asiatic field of war
turned the scale against Athens. The one was Cyrus, a son of the Persian
king; the other was Lysander, the new Spartan _navarchus_, who took
command of the Peloponnesian fleet at Ephesus. These two made common
cause, and together took measures for severe and unrelenting war against
the Athenians. The gold which the Persian prince lavished without
stint, the Spartan applied to increasing the wages of his seamen. By
this well-timed liberality, he drew over great numbers of men from the
opposing fleet, and rendered even those who did not desert, discontented
and mutinous.

=202.= Alcibiades arrived with his fleet to find the situation less
favorable than he had hoped. The Spartan troops were better paid and
equipped than his own, and to raise funds he resorted to levying forced
contributions on friendly states. During his absence on one of these
forays, the fleet became engaged in battle with the Spartans, and was
defeated with considerable loss. The Athenians began to perceive that
eight years’ exile and two or three years’ good behavior, had not altered
the character of the man, but that he was as dissolute, fickle, and
unscrupulous as ever. They dismissed him from his command, and appointed
ten generals, with Conon at their head.

[Sidenote: B. C. 406.]

=203.= At the same time that Conon arrived to take command of the
Athenians, Cal´licrat´idas succeeded Lysander as _navarchus_. He found
an empty treasury and a cold reception, alike from his own countrymen
and the Persians, whom Lysander had purposely prejudiced against him.
Cyrus refused to see or aid him. Callicratidas now took bolder counsel.
He sailed to Miletus, and urged its citizens to throw off the Persian
alliance. Many rich men came forward with generous contributions of
money, with which he equipped fifty new triremes, and sailed to Lesbos
with a fleet twice as numerous as that of the Athenians.

=204.= He had a battle with Conon in the harbor of Mytilene, in which
the Athenians lost nearly half their ships, and only saved the rest by
drawing them ashore under the walls of the town. Callicratidas then
blockaded the city by sea and land; and Cyrus, perceiving his success,
assisted him with supplies of money. Great efforts were made at Athens,
as soon as the condition of Conon was known. A large fleet was sent out
in a few days, and being reinforced by the allies at Samos, arrived
at the south-eastern extremity of Lesbos, numbering 150 vessels.
Callicratidas left fifty ships to continue the blockade, and sailed to
meet his enemy.

BATTLE OF ARGINUSÆ. A long and obstinate combat followed; but
Callicratidas was at length thrown overboard and drowned, and victory
declared for the Athenians. The Spartans had lost seventy-seven vessels,
and their fleet at Mytilene hastily withdrew, leaving the harbor open for
the escape of Conon.

[Sidenote: B. C. 405.]

=205.= At the beginning of the next year, Lysander was again placed
in command of the Spartan fleet. His numbers being still inferior, he
avoided an engagement, but he crossed the Ægean to the coast of Attica,
for a personal Consultation with Agis, and thence proceeded to the
Hellespont, where he commenced the siege of Lampsacus. The Athenian fleet
followed, but arrived too late to save the town. Conon stationed himself,
however, at Ægos-Potami (Goat’s River), on the northern side of the
channel, with the intention of bringing the Spartan to an engagement. The
Athenians were upon a barren plain; while the Spartans, better situated
and abundantly supplied with provisions, were in no haste to begin the
battle. Alcibiades, who was living near in his own castle, saw the danger
of his countrymen, and advised their generals to remove to Sestus, but
his counsels were resented as impertinence; and attributing the Spartan
delay to cowardice, the Athenians became every day more neglectful of

[Sidenote: B. C. 405, Sept.]

=206.= BATTLE OF ÆGOS-POTAMI. At length Lysander, seizing a moment when
the Athenian seamen were scattered over the country, crossed the strait
with his entire force. Only a dozen vessels, in Conon’s personal command,
were in condition for battle; and the whole fleet, with the exception of
the flag-ship, the sacred Par´alus, and eight or ten others, fell into
the Spartan possession without a blow. Three or four thousand prisoners,
including officers and men, were massacred, in retaliation for recent
cruelties of the Athenians in the treatment of their captives. The defeat
at Ægos-Potami was the death-blow of the Athenian empire. Chalcedon,
Byzantium, and Mytilene soon surrendered; and all the Athenian towns,
except that of Samos, fell without resistance into the hands of the
Spartans. Popular governments were every-where overthrown, and a new form
of oligarchy was established, consisting of ten citizens, with a Spartan
officer, called a _harmost_, at their head.

=207.= The news of the great calamity arrived in the night at Piræus. A
cry of sorrow and despair spread instantly from the port to the city,
as each man passed the terrible tidings to his neighbor. “That night no
man slept;”[52] and in the morning the Assembly was called, to consider
how the existence of the city might be prolonged. The situation was
desperate. Even though no hostile force should approach Athens, Lysander,
by holding the Euxine, could effectually reduce it to starvation. The
number of citizens was so diminished, that even criminals could not be
spared from public service. All prisoners were released, except a few
murderers and desperate villains; private offenses were forgotten in
the common danger, and all Athenians united in a solemn oath of mutual

[Sidenote: B. C. 405, Nov.]

=208.= Two months after the defeat, Lysander appeared at Ægina with
an overwhelming naval force; and, at the same time, the Peloponnesian
army encamped in the groves of Academia, near the gates of Athens. Yet,
though some of the people were already dying of hunger, their spirit was
not broken; and when the Spartan ephors proposed peace on condition of
the destruction of the Long Walls, a senator was imprisoned for merely
discussing the acceptance of these terms. When, at last, the Athenians
sent offers of capitulation, three months were wasted in vain debate
before the terms could be settled. The Thebans and Corinthians insisted
that no conditions should be granted, but that the very name of Athens
should be blotted out, her site become a desert, and her people be sold
into slavery. The Spartans, with more generosity, refused to “put out one
of the eyes of Greece,” or to enslave a people which had rendered such
services to the whole Hellenic race in the great crisis of the Persian

It was finally agreed that the Long Walls and the fortifications of
Piræus should be destroyed, the ships of war surrendered, all exiles
restored to their rights of citizenship, and all the foreign possessions
of Athens relinquished. These hard conditions were executed with needless
insolence. Lysander himself presided at the demolition of the walls; and
the work, which was rendered very difficult by the solidity of their
construction, was turned into a sort of festal celebration. A chorus of
flute-players and dancers, wreathed with flowers, animated the workmen
at their toil; and as the massive walls of Pericles fell, stone by
stone, shouts of triumph arose from the army of destroyers that this day
witnessed the dawn of the liberties of Greece.

[Sidenote: B. C. 477-404.]

=209.= The Athenian supremacy had lasted seventy-three years from the
confederation at Delos. The power which had been intrusted to the
imperial city for the common defense, had, in some cases, been made to
bear heavily on the subject allies, and her later history is stained
by many acts of cruelty. But the true empire of Athens has never been
overthrown; for, through poetry, art, and philosophy, she still rules the
minds of men with a power which has never been surpassed.


    The rivals, subjects, and enemies of Athens united to hasten
    her fall; and to this end Sparta promised to the Persians
    Thessaly, Bœotia, the islands of the Ægean, and the coast of
    Asia Minor. Alcibiades partly neutralized the Spartan influence
    with the satraps, and secured an oligarchical revolution in
    Athens as the price of his efforts in her favor. Through his
    aid the Athenians gained several great naval victories in the
    northern Ægean, which restored to them the corn-trade of the
    Euxine, and relieved the famine in their besieged city. The
    gold of Cyrus the Younger, and the skill of Lysander, again
    turned the tide against the Athenians, who were twice defeated;
    and, though afterward triumphant near the Arginusæ, received
    a final and disastrous overthrow at Ægos-Potami, which ended
    their supremacy in Greece. The subject towns fell into the
    power of the Spartans; and, the following spring, Athens itself
    was surrendered to Lysander, and its Long Walls destroyed.


=210.= Sparta, in alliance with Persia, now became the leading state
in Greece; and all the cities yielded to her influence, by abolishing
their free governments and setting up oligarchies in their stead. Athens
herself received a thoroughly Spartan constitution. A provisional
committee of five, called ephors, invited Lysander from Samos to preside
over the reorganization of Athens. Under his direction, thirty officers
were appointed for the government of the city, who have always been known
in history as the “Thirty Tyrants.”

[Sidenote: B. C. 401.]

=211.= Critias was their chief. Having been banished formerly by a vote
of the people, he now wreaked his vengeance with unsparing cruelty on the
best and noblest citizens. Blood flowed daily and fines, imprisonments,
and confiscations were the events of every hour. By the advice of
Theram´enes, who was the head of the more moderate party, three thousand
citizens were chosen from the adherents of the Thirty, whose sanction was
required for important proceedings. But all, except this enfranchised
number, were placed beyond the protection of the law, and might be put
to death, at the word of the tyrants, without even a show of trial. A
list was made of those who were destined to death, and any of the ruling
party might add to it such names as either avarice or hatred suggested to
him. The wealthiest citizens were, of course, the first victims, for the
estate of the murdered man went to his accuser. Theramenes, in his turn,
was offered a wealthy alien to destroy and plunder, but he indignantly
rejected the proposal. This implied protest against the reign of terror
cost him his life. He was denounced as a public enemy, his name stricken
from the roll of the Thirty, and from that of the Three Thousand, and
he was ordered to instant execution. He sprang to the altar in the
senate-house; but fear of divine vengeance had disappeared, together with
humanity and justice, from the rulers of Athens. He was dragged away to
prison, and condemned to drink the hemlock.

=212.= The tide was already turning, both in the ill-fated city and
throughout Greece. Athens, in her humiliation, no longer excited the fear
or jealousy of her former allies; while Sparta, instead of making good
her assumed title of “Liberator of the Greeks,” was setting up a new
empire more oppressive than that of her rival. Even in Sparta itself, the
pride and harshness of Lysander excited disgust, and the Thirty Tyrants
at Athens were universally regarded as the tools of his scheming ambition.

The Athenian exiles, who had been biding their time, now issued from
Thebes, under the lead of Thrasybu´lus, and seized the fortress of
Phy´le, in the mountain barrier of Attica, on the road to the capital.
The tyrants, with the Spartan garrison of the Acropolis and the Three
Thousand, marched out to attack them, but were repulsed with spirit, and
a timely snow-storm broke up their attempt to besiege the fortress, and
drove them back to the city. Foreseeing their expulsion, the Thirty now
provided for themselves a place of refuge by another horrid outrage. They
caused all the inhabitants of Salamis and Eleusis, who were capable of
bearing arms, to be brought as prisoners to Athens, and the towns to be
occupied by garrisons in their own interest. Then filling the Odeon with
Spartan soldiers and their three thousand adherents, they extorted from
this assembly a vote for the immediate massacre of the prisoners.

[Sidenote: B. C. 403.]

=213.= Thrasybulus, supported by the indignation of the people,
now marched with a thousand men to Piræus, seized the port without
opposition, and fortified himself upon its castle-hill, Munych´ia. The
whole Lacedæmonian party in Athens marched against him, and was defeated
with considerable loss, in which must be reckoned the death of Critias.
The more moderate party now gained ascendancy; the Thirty were deposed
after a reign of eight months, and ten less atrocious rulers were
elected in their place. The more violent members of the Thirty retired
to Eleusis, and both parties sent envoys to Sparta asking aid. Lysander
again entered Athens with an army, while his brother blockaded Piræus
with a fleet.

At this point, however, Lysander was superseded, and the Spartan king,
Pausanias, after being first repulsed, but afterward victorious over
Thrasybulus, entered upon negotiations for peace. Amnesty was decreed
for all past offenses, except those of the Thirty, the Eleven,[53]
and the Ten. The exiles were restored, and Thrasybulus with his
comrades now marched in solemn procession from Piræus, to present their
thank-offerings to Athena on the Acropolis. In a subsequent assembly
of the people, all the acts of the Thirty Tyrants were annulled, the
archons, judges, and Senate of Five Hundred were restored, and a revised
code of the laws of Draco and Solon was ordered. Thrasybulus and his
party were rewarded with wreaths of olive for their rescue of the city.

[Sidenote: B. C. 399.]

=214.= DEATH OF SOCRATES. Though humbled and reduced from their former
greatness, the Athenians now rejoiced in the restoration of their
ancient laws. Their city, their temples, and all their old customs and
beliefs became doubly dear and sacred, from the perils through which
they had passed. The worst effect of this conservative reaction was the
condemnation and death of Socrates. This great philosopher belonged to no
political party, and had opposed the extreme measures of both; but he had
fought on many battle-fields, and had always used his power as a citizen
in favor of justice and mercy. Critias had been his pupil, but when in
power had hated and persecuted his former instructor. His impeachment
now came from the opposite party. He was accused of despising the gods
of Athens, of introducing a new worship, and of corrupting the Athenian
youth. The dissoluteness of Alcibiades may have given some color to this
charge, though it is certain that his youthful impieties and subsequent
misconduct were in spite of his master’s instructions, not on account of

Being called upon for his defense, Socrates replied that, so far from
violating the state religion, he had constantly admonished his disciples
not to depart from the established customs. He refused to be released
on terms which required him to desist from teaching. To develop wisdom
and virtue in the young had been the passion of his life. He claimed no
wisdom of his own, but sought to draw out the thoughts of others to just
conclusions. And if he could persuade any that the care of becoming every
day wiser and better must take precedence of all other cares, he was sure
that he had conferred the greatest possible benefit. The high tone of
his defense only irritated his judges, and he was condemned to death by

The Paralus had now gone on its sacred yearly mission to the isle of
Delos, and no execution could take place until its return. The thirty
days thus spent by Socrates in prison were filled with inspiring converse
with his friends. He spoke cheerfully of the past and the future, and
expressed his immovable conviction of the immortality of the soul.
His last request was that a cock should be sacrificed in his name to
Æscula´pius,[54] an offering which persons were accustomed to make on
their recovery from illness—by this common symbol testifying to all the
people that he considered death as a joyful release from a state of
imperfection and disease. When the appointed moment arrived, he drank the
hemlock and calmly expired.

[Sidenote: B. C. 402.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 401.]

=215.= INVASION OF ELIS. The Eleans were among the first to feel the
unchecked power of Sparta. As guardians of the sacred grove at Olympia,
they had excluded the Spartans from the games at the time when the
Athenians appeared, with such magnificence, under the direction of
Alcibiades, and they had borne arms against them, in alliance with the
Argives and Mantineans (B. C. 420-416). They had crowned their insults by
ejecting King Agis from their temple, when he had come with sacrifices
to consult the oracle. Agis now demanded satisfaction, which the Eleans
refused to give, and he crossed their borders with a considerable force.
An earthquake alarmed his superstition, and he retired without any
active hostility. But the next year renewed his courage. With a large
number of allies, among whom even the Athenians appeared, he overran and
plundered the sacred land, and performed by force the sacrifice which he
had been prevented from offering peaceably. Thus victorious in his first
expedition, the Spartan turned his vengeance upon the Messenians, who
had been settled in his territory or upon the neighboring islands, and
expelled or enslaved them all.

[Sidenote: B. C. 398.]

=216.= A year later King Agis died, and his brother Agesila´us
received his crown. Agesilaus was brave, honest, and energetic, and
the circumstances of his reign called for a constant exercise of these
Spartan virtues. The aid rendered by the Lacedæmonians, in the revolt of
Cyrus, had not escaped the notice of the Persian king; and Tissaphernes,
who now possessed the satrapy of the rebellious prince, was instructed to
drive them from all their cities on the Asiatic coasts. The first efforts
of the Spartans, under inferior commanders, had but indifferent success,
and Agesilaus himself prepared to assume the command in Asia.

=217.= The headquarters of the Grecian forces were at Ephesus, where the
army arrived B. C. 396. The winter was spent in busy preparations, which
gave this wealthy city the appearance of one immense arsenal. In the
spring of 395 he advanced upon Sardis, and put the Persian cavalry to
flight. The plunder of their camp enriched the Spartans, who now ravaged
the country almost under the eyes of Tissaphernes. But about this time
the satrap fell into the power of Parysatis, the queen mother, who caused
him to be beheaded for his former opposition to Cyrus. His successor,
Tithraus´tes, proposed terms of peace, the Greek cities to remain
independent, with the exception of a yearly tribute, the same that they
had paid to Darius Hystaspes.

[Sidenote: B. C. 395.]

=218.= Meanwhile war had broken out in Greece between Thebes and Sparta,
and the former had called in Athens, her ancient enemy and rival, with a
promise to aid in restoring her lost supremacy. Lysander, who commanded
the Spartan forces in Bœotia, was defeated and slain at Haliar´tus.
Pausanias, arriving too late for his assistance, dared not return to
Sparta with the army, but took refuge in the temple of Athena at Tegea;
and being sentenced to death by his countrymen, passed the remainder of
his days in the sanctuary. His son, Agesip´olis, succeeded to his throne.

[Sidenote: B. C. 394-387.]

=219.= THE CORINTHIAN WAR. Athens, Corinth, Argos, and Thebes now formed
a close alliance against Sparta, which was soon strengthened by the
addition of Eubœa, Acarnania, western Locris, Ambracia, Leucadia, and
Chalcidice in Thrace. The allies assembled a large army at Corinth in
the spring of 394, and it was proposed to march directly upon Sparta,
and “burn the wasps in their nests before they could come forth to
sting.” The Lacedæmonians, however, had advanced to Sicyon by the time
the allies reached Nemea, and the latter were obliged to fall back for
the protection of Corinth. The Spartans attacked them near the city and
gained a victory, July, 394.

[Sidenote: B. C. 394.]

=220.= Agesilaus had been unwillingly recalled from his war against
Persia, and now appeared in the north with a powerful army, in which
were numbered Xenophon[55] and many of the Ten Thousand. On hearing
of the victory of Corinth, the king exclaimed, “Alas for Greece! she
has killed enough of her sons to have conquered all the barbarians.”
Agesilaus advanced to Coronæa, where another battle was soon fought. The
Thebans were at first successful, and, having routed the Orchomenians,
pressed through to their camp in the rear. But while they were plundering
this, Agesilaus had been victorious along the rest of the line, and had
driven the allies to take refuge upon the slope of Mount Helicon. The
Thebans, thus surrounded, had to sustain the whole weight of the Spartan
attack, and no severer combat had ever been known in Grecian annals. They
succeeded at last in rejoining their comrades, but the victory remained
with Agesilaus.

=221.= BATTLE OF CNIDUS. Their two successful battles of Corinth and
Coronæa were far from compensating the Spartans for the disastrous defeat
which befell them the same season at Cnidus. Conon, who had spent the
seven years since his disgrace at Ægos-Potami, with Evagoras of Cyprus,
now reappeared, in alliance with the ancient foe of Greece, against the
bitter enemy and rival of Athens. Artaxerxes, perceiving the hatred which
began to be felt against the growing power of Sparta, had sent envoys to
the principal cities of Greece, to unite them in a league for resistance,
while he dispatched a large sum of money to Conon, to equip a fleet among
the Greeks and Phœnicians of the sea-board. In command of this fleet,
Conon was blockaded at Caunus by the Spartan, Pharax; but a reinforcement
arriving for the Persians, the blockading squadron withdrew to Rhodes.
The people of that island had unwillingly endured so long the rule of the
Spartans. They rose against Pharax, compelled him to depart, and placed
themselves under the protection of Conon. This admiral immediately sailed
to Rhodes and took possession of the island; then repaired to Babylon,
where he obtained a still more liberal grant of money from Artaxerxes,
for the active prosecution of the war.

With the aid of Pharnabazus, who was joined with him in command, he
equipped a powerful fleet and offered battle to Pisan´der, the Spartan
admiral, off Cnidus, in Caria. The Persian force, consisting of Greeks
and Phœnicians, was superior from the first, and especially when Pisander
was deserted, in the course of the battle, by his Asiatic allies. He
fought, however, with the bravery of a Spartan, until his death put an
end to the contest. More than half the Spartan fleet was either captured
or destroyed. As a result of this defeat, the Spartan empire fell even
more rapidly than it had risen eight years before. Conon and Pharnabazus
sailed from port to port, and were received as deliverers by all the
Asiatic Greeks. The Spartan _harmosts_ every-where fled before their
arrival. Abydus and the Thracian Chersonesus alone withstood the power of
Athens and Persia.

[Sidenote: B. C. 393.]

=222.= The following spring, the fleet of Conon and Pharnabazus crossed
the Ægean, laid waste the eastern borders of Laconia, and established
an Athenian garrison on the island of Cythera. The Persian, by gold and
promises, assured the allies, whom he met at Corinth, of his unfailing
support against Sparta; and he employed the seamen of the fleet in
rebuilding the Long Walls of Athens and the fortifications of the Piræus.
The recent services of Conon more than erased the memory of his former
disasters, and he was hailed by his countrymen as a second founder of
Athens and restorer of her greatness.

=223.= The war was henceforth carried on in the Corinthian territory,
and the main object of the allies was to guard the three passes in the
mountains which extend across the southern part of the isthmus. The most
westerly of these was defended by the long walls which ran from Corinth
to Lechæ´um; the other two, by strong garrisons of the allied troops.
The Spartans were at Sicyon, whence they could easily ravage the fertile
plain, and plunder the country-seats of the wealthy Corinthians. The
aristocratic party in Corinth began to complain, and to sigh for their
ancient alliance with Sparta. The ruling faction, on the other hand,
invited a company of Argives into the city, and massacred a large number
of their opponents. The aristocrats avenged themselves by admitting
Praxi´tas, the Spartan leader, within their long walls, and a battle
was fought within this confined space, in which the Corinthians were
defeated. The Spartans destroyed a large portion of the walls, and,
marching across the isthmus, captured two places on the Saronic Gulf.

[Sidenote: B. C. 392.]

The Athenians, alarmed by the door being thus thrown open for the
invasion of their own territory, marched with a force of carpenters and
masons to the isthmus, and aided the Corinthians to rebuild the walls.
They were building, however, for their enemies; for the next summer,
Agesilaus, with the Spartan fleet, gained possession not only of the
walls, but the port of Lechæum. Several other towns on the Corinthian
Gulf, with much booty and many captives, also fell into his possession.
The Lacedæmonians now surrounded Corinth on all sides, and the Thebans,
despairing of success for the allies, sent envoys demanding peace.

=224.= While they were still in the presence of Agesilaus, he received
news of an unprecedented and mortifying disaster. Iphicrates, the
Athenian, had been for two years drilling a troop of mercenaries in a new
system of tactics, which was intended to combine the advantages of both
heavy and light-armed troops. He had proved their efficiency in several
trials, and was now ready to test them upon the Spartan battalion, which
was considered almost invincible. The Spartans were returning to the camp
at Lechæum—having escorted their Amyclæan comrades some distance on their
way homeward to celebrate a religious festival—when they were attacked,
in flank and rear, with arrows and javelins. Burdened with their heavy
armor, they were unable to cope with their agile antagonists, while their
long pikes were of little use against the short swords of the _peltasts_.
They broke at length in confusion, and many were driven into the sea,
followed by their assailants, who wrestled with and slew them in the

[Sidenote: B. C. 390.]

=225.= The war in Asia went on with varying success. Thimbron, the
Spartan, was defeated and slain by the Persian, Struthas, with the total
loss of his army of 8,000 men. About the same time an Athenian squadron,
which was going to assist Evagoras against Persia, was captured by a
Spartan fleet. Thrasybulus was then sent with a larger naval force, with
which he re-established Athenian power in the Propontis, and re-imposed
the toll anciently collected by Athens on all vessels passing out of
the Euxine. In the midst of this expedition Thrasybulus was slain. The
Spartans, by renewed exertions, again became for a time masters of the
straits; but Iphicrates, with his peltasts, surprised their leader among
the passes of Mount Ida, and gained a decisive victory, which restored
the Athenian supremacy in that region.

[Sidenote: B. C. 387.]

=226.= PEACE OF ANTALCIDAS. The Spartans now made an effort toward
peace by sending Antalcidas to the Persian court. The king accepted
their propositions, and furnished means to enforce them. A large fleet,
commanded by Antalcidas and Tiribazus, visited the Hellespont, and by
cutting off the supplies of corn from the Euxine, threatened Athens
with famine. All the states were now ready to listen to terms, and in a
congress of deputies Tiri´bazus presented the following propositions:
“King Artaxerxes thinks it just that the cities in Asia, and the islands
of Clazomenæ and Cyprus should belong to him. He thinks it just to leave
all the other Grecian cities, both small and great, independent, except
Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, which are to belong to Athens, as of old.”
The Thebans at first objected, but being threatened with war by the
Spartans, at length took the oath. The terms which thus prostrated Greece
at the feet of Persia, were engraven on tablets of stone and set up in
every temple.


    The second period of Spartan supremacy was signalized by the
    abolition of free governments throughout Greece. Athens, under
    the Thirty Tyrants, suffered for eight months a reign of
    terror. Thrasybulus, with the Athenian exiles, effected the
    expulsion of the tyrants, the restoration of free government,
    and a conservative reaction which occasioned, among other
    results, the execution of Socrates. The Spartans plundered
    the sacred land of Elis, and expelled or enslaved all the
    Messenians who remained upon their soil. Agesilaus, succeeding
    his brother as king of Sparta, became involved in war with
    Persia. In the contest with Thebes, Lysander was killed,
    and the king Pausanias disgraced. During the Corinthian War
    which followed, Sparta was victorious at Corinth and Coronæa,
    but suffered a disastrous overthrow from the Persian fleet
    under Conon, in the battle of Cnidus, which resulted in the
    sudden downfall of her supremacy. The Long Walls of Athens
    and the fortifications of the Piræus were rebuilt, under the
    superintendence of Conon. The Peace of Antalcidas gave to the
    Persian king a controlling voice in Grecian affairs, with the
    sovereignty of Asiatic Greece, and of the islands of Cyprus and


[Sidenote: B. C. 386.]

=227.= The Spartan hatred of Thebes was not allayed by the return of
peace. To annoy the latter city, Platæa[56] was rebuilt, and as many
as possible of its former citizens brought back. An expedition against
Olynthus gave occasion for a more decided act of hostility. Phϫbidas, on
his march through Bœotia, happened to approach Thebes on a festal day,
when the citadel was occupied only by women. Aided by some citizens who
were in secret alliance with Sparta, he seized the Cadmea, had the chief
of the patriotic party put to death on a false charge, and effected a
revolution in the government which made Thebes only a subservient ally of
Sparta. The Lacedæmonians pretended to join in the general indignation of
Greece at this outrage; but though they dismissed Phœbidas, they kept the

[Sidenote: B. C. 382.]

=228.= OLYNTHIAN WAR. The war in Macedonia was now prosecuted with the
aid of Thebes. Olynthus, in the Chalcidian peninsula, had become the
head of a powerful confederacy of Grecian cities; but Acan´thus and
Apollo´nia refused to join it, and applied to Sparta for help. Amyn´tas,
king of Macedonia, took their part, and joined his troops with those of
Eudamidas. Olynthus, by means of its excellent cavalry, held out bravely
for four years; but at last it fell, and the league was dissolved. The
Macedonian ports returned into subjection to Amyntas, while the Greek
cities joined the Spartan alliance. Sparta was now leagued on all
sides with the enemies of Greece: with the Persians, with Dionysius of
Syracuse, and with Macedon. By the destruction of the Olynthian League,
she had removed the chief obstacle to the Macedonian power, which was
soon to overthrow the freedom of the Greeks.

[Sidenote: B. C. 379.]

=229.= Thebes remained three years in the control of the Lacedæmonian
party. But the citizens were discontented, and a company of exiles
at Athens were awaiting an opportunity of vengeance. Among them was
Pelop´idas, a noble and wealthy youth, who had already distinguished
himself by his patriotism. He was the ardent friend of Epam´inon´das, a
Theban of greater age and still more exalted virtue than himself. A plan
was now formed among the exiles for the deliverance of Thebes. Pelopidas
was its leader; but Epaminondas at first held back, because the execution
of the plot required deceit, and the possible shedding of innocent blood.
He was a strict Pythagorean; and so pure were his principles, that he was
never known to trifle with the truth even in jest, or to sacrifice it for
any interest.

=230.= Phyl´lidas, secretary of the Theban government, was in the plot,
and took a leading part in its execution. He invited to supper the two
polemarchs, Ar´chias and Philip´pus, with the principal Spartan leaders;
and when they were sufficiently stupefied with eating and drinking,
he proposed to introduce some Theban ladies. Before these entered, a
messenger brought a letter to Archias, and begged his attention, as it
contained a matter of serious importance. But the polemarch only thrust
the letter under the cushions of his couch, saying, “Serious matters

Pelopidas and his friends, who had arrived in the city disguised as
hunters, now entered the banquet-room in the long white veils and festive
garb of women. They were loudly welcomed by the half-drunken guests, and
dispersed themselves with apparent carelessness among the company; but
as one of the Spartan lords attempted to lift the veil of the person who
was addressing him, he received a mortal wound. It was the signal for a
general attack. Swords were drawn from beneath the silken garments, and
no Spartan left the room alive. The prisons were now opened, and five
hundred Thebans, who had been immured there for their love of freedom,
were added to the armed force of the revolutionists. As day dawned,
all citizens who valued liberty were summoned to the market-place.
A joyful assembly was held, the first since the Spartan usurpation.
The Lacedæmonians in the citadel were besieged, and their expected
reinforcements being cut off, they speedily surrendered.

=231.= It was now the depth of winter, but when the news arrived at
Sparta, instant preparations were made for war. Cleombrotus led an army
into Bœotia, and Athens was called to account for having sheltered the
exiles. Unable to enter upon war with Sparta, the Athenians consented to
sacrifice their two generals who had rendered the most efficient aid to
the Thebans. One was executed, and the other, having fled, was sentenced
to banishment. The Thebans feared that they should be left to fight
single-handed against Sparta. In order to compel Athens to take part
in the war, they bribed Spho´drias, the Spartan general, to invade her
territory. He entered Attica in the night and committed various ravages,
but retired the next day. The Spartan government disclaimed all knowledge
of the affair, and brought Sphodrias to trial for it; but, through the
influence of Agesilaus, he was acquitted. Athens immediately made an
active alliance with Thebes, and a declaration of war against her ancient

[Sidenote: B. C. 378.]

=232.= A new confederacy was now formed on the plan of that of Delos,
including, in its most prosperous period, seventy cities. Athens was
the head, but the independence of the members was carefully guarded. A
congress at Athens regulated the share of each in the general expenses.
The fortifications of Piræus were completed, new ships of war were built,
and all the allies hastened forward their contingents of troops. In
Thebes, the Sacred Band was formed—a heavy-armed battalion, consisting
of three hundred chosen citizens of the noblest families, bound to each
other by ties of the closest friendship. Though Pelopidas was bœotarch,
Epaminondas had the most prominent share in the drill and discipline of
the troops.

[Sidenote: B. C. 378-376.]

[Sidenote: B. C. 375.]

During two summers the army of Agesilaus invaded the country, and
carried its depredations to the very gates of Thebes. The third year the
Thebans held the passes of Mount Cithæron, and kept out the invaders.
The Spartans were no longer successful at sea. They were thoroughly
defeated off Naxos by the Athenians, who thus regained their maritime
empire in the East; while, in the western seas, Corcyra, Cephallenia, and
the neighboring tribes on the mainland joined the Athenian alliance. The
Thebans were no less victorious on land. During the two years that they
were free from Spartan invasion, most of the Bœotian cities submitted to
their control. In 374 B. C., all Spartans were expelled, free governments
were restored to every city, except Orchomenus and Chæronea, and the
Bœotian League was revived. The Phocians, who had, twenty years before,
invited the Spartans into central Greece, were now the objects of
vengeance, and not the less because the treasures of Delphi would be the
prize of the victor. But Cleombrotus came to the aid of the Phocians, and
the aggression was checked.

[Sidenote: B. C. 374.]

=233.= The Athenians had now various reasons for enmity against Thebes,
and messengers were sent to Sparta with proposals of peace. They were
eagerly accepted; but the inopportune restoration of the Zacynthian
exiles by Timo´theus, son of Conon, at this crisis, broke off the
negotiations, and war was renewed. It was carried on in the western
sea, with great expense and no gain to either party; the main object of
the Spartans being the conquest of Corcyra, and, of the Athenians, the
protection of its independence. At length all parties were weary of war,
and a general congress was appointed at Sparta in the spring of 371.

=234.= PEACE OF CAL´LIAS.[57] It was agreed that the Spartan garrisons
should be withdrawn from every city, and independence secured to all.
Athens and her allies signed the treaty separately, but Sparta took the
oaths for the whole Lacedæmonian Confederacy. When the Thebans were
called upon, Epaminondas refused to sign except for the whole Bœotian
League, claiming that Thebes was as rightfully the sovereign city of
Bœotia, as Sparta of Laconia. He defended his view in a speech of great
eloquence; but Agesilaus was violently incensed. Peace was concluded
between the other states, but Thebes and Sparta continued at war.

=235.= The courage of the Thebans seemed to the rest of the Greeks
like madness, and it was believed that a very few weeks would see them
crushed by the overwhelming power of Sparta. But Thebes now possessed
the greatest general whom Greece ever produced. Knowing his own power,
and the value of those new tactics which were destined to supersede the
Spartan system, he revived the drooping confidence of his countrymen,
reasoned down their evil omens or invented good ones, and by his own
greatness of soul sustained the spirit of a whole nation.

[Sidenote: B. C. 371.]

=236.= BATTLE OF LEUC´TRA. Cleombrotus, the Spartan, was already in
Phocis with a considerable army. He began with energy by seizing Creusis,
on the Crissæan Gulf, with twelve Theban vessels which lay in the harbor,
thus providing at once a base of supplies and a line of retreat. He then
marched along the Gulf of Corinth into Bœotia, and encamped upon the
plains of Leuctra. Three of the seven bœotarchs were so much alarmed as
to propose retreating upon Thebes, and sending their wives and children
for safety to Athens; but their plan was overruled. Epaminondas and
Pelopidas were alert and cheerful. Though outnumbered by the Spartans,
they so arranged their forces as to be always superior at the actual
point of contact, instead of engaging all at once, which had been the
uniform method in Grecian warfare. The Theban left was a dense column,
fifty deep, led by the Sacred Band. This was hurled upon the Lacedæmonian
right, which contained their choicest troops, led by Cleombrotus himself;
while the Theban center and right, facing the Spartan allies, were kept
out of action. The onset of the Thebans was irresistible. Never had more
furious fighting been seen on any Grecian battle-field. The Spartans
maintained their ancient virtue; but Cleombrotus was mortally wounded,
his whole division were driven to their camp, and the victory of the
Thebans was complete. The allies of the Spartans, many of whom were
present more through fear than choice, scarcely regretted the result of
the battle.

At Sparta the fatal news was not permitted to interrupt the festival
then in progress. All signs of mourning were forbidden, except on the
part of those whose relatives had survived the defeat. The disaster was,
nevertheless, the greatest that had ever befallen Sparta. Her influence
was destroyed, even over the Peloponnesian cities. Her dependencies north
of the Corinthian Gulf were divided between the Thebans and Jason, tyrant
of Pheræ, in Thessaly, a man of singular talent and unbounded ambition,
who aimed at the sovereignty of all Greece. The Thebans had courted his
alliance, but they began to be alarmed by the extent of his projects,
and all Greece was relieved when he was assassinated in 370. The Spartan
sovereignty, which had lasted thirty-four years since the battle of
Ægos-Potami, now gave way to the THEBAN SUPREMACY (B. C. 371-362).

=237.= The Mantineans seized the occasion to revenge their former wrongs,
and besought the aid of Epaminondas. He entered Arcadia with an army
near the end of the year 370, and was joined by Argives and Eleans, who
increased his number to 70,000 men. By the entreaties of his allies, he
marched into Laconia, and advanced upon Sparta itself. During all the
centuries that the fame of Spartan valor had held Greece and Asia in awe,
the Spartan women had never seen an enemy in arms, and the unwalled city
was now filled with terror. But the energy of old King Agesilaus was
equal to its defense. He repulsed the cavalry of Epaminondas, who retired
down the valley of the Eurotas, burning and plundering as he went, and
then returned to Arcadia.

=238.= The main objects of his expedition were yet to be fulfilled.
A union of Arcadian towns had already been formed, which Epaminondas
wished to organize and strengthen. Lest jealousy should be excited by the
choice of any existing place as capital of the league, a new city, called
Megalop´olis, was built, and peopled by colonists from forty towns. Here
a congress of deputies, called the “Ten Thousand,” was to be regularly
convened; and a standing army of deputies from the various cities was
also raised.

=239.= A still more cherished plan was the restoration of the Messenians.
For three hundred years this noble race had been fugitive and exiled,
while its lands were in the possession of the Lacedæmonians. The exiles
were now recalled, by the letters of Epaminondas, from the shores of
Italy, Sicily, Africa, and Asia, and eagerly sprang to arms for the
recovery of their ancient seats. The citadel of Ithome was fortified
anew, and the town of Messe´ne, which arose upon the western slope of
the mountain, was protected by strong walls. The Messenian territories
extended southward to the gulf which bore their name, and northward to
Elis and Arcadia.

[Sidenote: B. C. 369.]

=240.= Common jealousy of Thebes now led to a closer alliance
between Athens and Sparta. Their forces were united in guarding the
mountain-passes of the isthmus, in order to prevent another invasion of
the Peloponnesus. Epaminondas, however, broke their line by defeating
a Spartan division, and Sicyon deserted the Spartan for the Theban
alliance. The Thebans were, in their turn, defeated in an attack upon
Corinth, and their enemies were strengthened by a squadron which arrived
at Lechæum, from Dionysius of Syracuse, bearing two thousand auxiliaries
from Gaul and Spain.

[Sidenote: B. C. 368.]

=241.= THE TEARLESS BATTLE. The Arcadians, meanwhile, rejoicing in
their newly acquired power, became ambitious to share the sovereignty
with Thebes, as Athens did with Sparta. Under their leader, Lycome´des,
who had first proposed the league, they gained several advantages in
the west, and completed the overthrow of the Spartan power in the
Messenian part of the peninsula. In a later enterprise, they were routed,
however, with great slaughter by the Spartans, who lost not a man in the
engagement, and gave it, therefore, the name of the “Tearless Battle.”
The Thebans did not mourn this defeat of their allies, which had the
effect of curbing their pride, and showing their need of protection from
the sovereign state.

The same year the Thebans, under Pelopidas, organized a league among the
cities of Thessaly, and formed an alliance with Macedonia. Among the
hostages sent from the Macedonian court was the young prince, Philip,
son of Amyntas, now fifteen years of age, who was destined to act an
important part in the later history of Greece.

=242.= In the years 367 and 366, the Thebans obtained from the Persian
king that sanction of their power which the peace of Antalcidas had
rendered necessary, or, at least, customary in Greece. Artaxerxes
recognized the Hellenic supremacy of Thebes, and the independence
of Messene and Amphip´olis; decided a dispute between the Arcadians
and Eleans in favor of the latter, and commanded Athens to reduce
her navy to a peace footing. This royal rescript naturally provoked
a violent opposition among the states of Greece; and when Pelopidas
visited Thessaly to obtain compliance with its terms, he was seized and
imprisoned by Alexander of Pheræ. The Thebans instantly sent a force to
recover or avenge their ambassador. But, unhappily, Epaminondas was now
degraded from command; the army was defeated, and barely escaped total
destruction. The great general was serving as a private in the ranks; he
was called by his comrades to be their leader, and conducted them safely
home. He then received the command of a second expedition, which secured
the release of Pelopidas.

[Sidenote: B. C. 363.]

Two years later, Pelopidas himself conducted an army against Alexander,
and gained a great victory over him at Cyn´oceph´alæ. Rage at the sight
of his old enemy overcame his prudence, and he fell furiously fighting
in the midst of Alexander’s guards. The Thebans felt more grief at his
death than joy in the victory, but they did not fail to follow it up with
a fresh army, which stripped Alexander of all his possessions except
the city of Pheræ, and established Theban supremacy throughout northern

=243.= The war in the Peloponnesus was now varied by an act of sacrilege.
The Arcadians seized the Sacred Grove at Olympia during the year of the
festival, expelled the Eleans from their supervision of the games, and
installed the Pisatans in their place. A large army of the Arcadians
and their allies was present to enforce this irregular proceeding. The
Eleans came up in the midst of the games, supported by their allies, the
Achæans, and a battle was fought on the sacred ground. The very temple of
Olympic Zeus became a fortress, and the gold and ivory statue by Phidias
looked down upon a scene of unprecedented strife. The treasury of the
shrine was despoiled by the invaders. Arcadia itself was divided by this
impious act. The Mantineans refused all share in the spoils, and were
on that account proclaimed traitors to the league. Peace was at length
made with Elis, but two parties remained in Arcadia: the Mantineans, in
alliance with Sparta; and the Tegeans, with the other towns which favored
Thebes. Hostilities were frequent, and envoys were sent to Epaminondas
demanding his intervention.

=244.= In the summer of 362 B. C., the great general invaded Peloponnesus
for the fourth and last time. At Tegea he was joined by his allies,
while Agesilaus moved with a Spartan force toward Mantinea. Placed thus
between the king and his capital, Epaminondas seized the occasion to make
a sudden attack upon Sparta. Agesilaus heard of it in time to return,
and though a battle was fought in the very streets of the capital, the
invader was compelled to retire. With his usual swiftness, Epaminondas
moved back to surprise Mantinea while the Spartan army was withdrawn. The
citizens with their slaves were dispersed in the fields, for it was the
time of harvest; but a troop of Athenian cavalry had just arrived, and,
though tired and hungry, they succeeded in repulsing the Thebans.

=245.= BATTLE OF MANTINEA. It was now evident that a great battle
must take place, and the elevated plain between Tegea and Mantinea,
inclosed on every side by mountains, was the destined field. The
Thebans, on arriving, laid down their arms, as if preparing to encamp;
and the Spartans, inferring that they did not mean to fight, dispersed
themselves in some confusion. Some were tending their horses, some
unbuckling their breastplates, when they were surprised by the charge
of the deep and heavy column of Bœotian troops, which Epaminondas had
swiftly put in order for attack. The Spartans fought bravely, but under
the disadvantage which disorder always occasions, they were unable to
recover themselves at once. Epaminondas seized the moment to lead a band
of chosen troops directly upon the enemy’s center. The Mantineans and
Spartans turned and fled; but at this moment the Theban general fell,
pierced with a mortal wound. His followers stood paralyzed with dismay,
unable to pursue and reap the advantage he had prepared for them. The
Spartans acknowledged themselves defeated, by requesting permission to
bury their dead, but both armies erected trophies of victory.

=246.= Epaminondas, with the spear-head in his breast, was carried off
the field. He first assured himself that the battle was won, then tried
to make a disposition of his command; but the two generals whom he would
have chosen were already slain. “Then make peace,” was his last public
command. The spear-head was now removed, and with the rush of blood which
followed it, his life passed away. No Greek ever more truly merited,
by character and talent, the title “Great.” Many of the worthiest who
succeeded him took him for their model; and even the Christian ages
have seen none who better fulfilled the description of a brave knight,
“without fear and without reproach.” The greatness of Thebes began and
ended with his public career. After the fatal result of the battle of
Mantinea, she fell to her former position.

[Sidenote: B. C. 361.]

=247.= Peace was made, leaving all parties in the same position as before
the war. Agesilaus, untamed by his eighty years, sought a field of glory
beyond the sea. Tachos, king of Egypt, had asked the aid of Sparta in
his revolt against Persia. Agesilaus went to his assistance, at the head
of a thousand heavy-armed troops. The appearance of the little, lame old
man, utterly destitute of the retinue or splendor of a king, excited the
ridicule of the Egyptians; but when he transferred his aid from Tachos
to Nectan´abis, who had risen against him, the importance of the little
Spartan was felt, for Nectanabis obtained the throne. Agesilaus did not
live to bear back to Sparta his honors and rewards. He died on the road
to Cyrene, and his body, embalmed in wax, was conveyed with great pomp
to his native city. An ancient oracle had foretold that Sparta would
lose her power under a lame sovereign. It was now fulfilled, but through
no fault of the king. Agesilaus had all the virtues of his countrymen,
without their common faults of avarice and deceit; and he added a warmth
and tenderness in friendship which Spartans rarely possessed. He has been
called “Sparta’s most perfect citizen and most consummate general, in
many ways, perhaps, her greatest man.”

=248.= THE SOCIAL WAR. Athens still maintained her wars in the north;
by sea against Alexander of Pheræ, and by land against Macedonia and the
Thracian princes. The second period of Athenian greatness reached its
height in the year 358, when Eubœa, the Chersonesus, and Amphipolis were
again subdued. In that year a serious revolt, called the Social War, was
begun by Rhodes, Cos, Chios, and Byzantium. Sestus and other towns on
the Hellespont joined in the quarrel, and Mauso´lus, king of Caria, sent
aid to the insurgents. The war was inglorious and exhaustive to Athens.
To obtain means of paying their sailors, the commanders aided Artabazus
in his revolt against Persia, and thereby incurred the vengeance of the
great king. Athens had to consent to the independence of the four rebel
states, in order to avoid still greater losses and calamities. During the
four years that her attention had been thus absorbed, Philip of Macedon
had been able to grasp all her dependencies on the Thermaic Gulf, and
thus to extend his power as far as the Peneus.

[Sidenote: B. C. 357.]

=249.= THE SACRED WAR. During the progress of the Social War, another
fatal quarrel began in central Greece, through the enmity of Thebes
and Phocis. Driven to fight for their existence, the Phocians seized
the sacred treasures at Delphi, which enabled them to raise and
maintain a large army of mercenaries, and even to bribe some of the
neighboring states either to aid them or remain neutral. Their first
general, Philome´lus, was defeated and slain at Titho´rea. His brother,
Onomar´chus, who succeeded to his command, used the Delphian treasures
with still less scruple, beside confiscating the property of all who
opposed him. By these means he conquered Locris and Doris, invaded
Bœotia, and captured Orchomenus.

[Sidenote: B. C. 352.]

=250.= Lyc´ophron, tyrant of Pheræ, now sought his aid against Philip of
Macedon, whose increasing power pressed heavily upon Thessaly. Phaÿl´lus,
who first led a force to the aid of Lycophron, was defeated; but
Onomarchus himself marched into Thessaly, worsted the king in two pitched
battles, and drove him from the country. He then returned into Bœotia,
where he captured Coronæa, but was recalled into Thessaly by another
invasion of Philip. This time his fortune changed; he was defeated,
and, with many other fugitives, plunged into the sea, hoping to reach
the Athenian ships which were lying off shore to watch the battle. He
perished, and his body, falling into the hands of Philip, was crucified
as a punishment of his sacrilege.

=251.= This battle secured the ascendency of Philip in Thessaly. He
established a more popular government in Pheræ, took and garrisoned
Magnesia, and then advanced upon Thermopylæ. The Athenians anticipated
the danger, and guarded the pass with a strong force. But the liberty of
Greece was destined to be sacrificed to her internal dissensions. The
Sacred War had continued eleven years, when the Thebans called in the
aid of Philip to complete the destruction of Phocis. The Athenians now
remained neutral, and Philip passed Thermopylæ without opposition. In a
short campaign he crushed Phocis, and was admitted as a member of the
Amphictyonic Council, in the place of the conquered state.

[Sidenote: B. C. 349.]

=252.= Athens was now the only power in Greece capable of opposing the
Macedonian king, and Athens was no longer possessed of a Miltiades, a
Conon, or a Themistocles. A great orator, however, had arisen, and when
Olynthus sent envoys to implore aid against the invader, who was now
attacking the Chalcidian cities, the eloquence of Demosthenes aroused
some faint show of their former spirit. The attempted rescue was
defeated, however, by treachery within the walls; and, in 347, Olynthus
fell. The threefold peninsula was now in the power of Philip, and he was
able to push his interests throughout Greece rather by intrigue than
force. Even in Athens a powerful party, sustained by his bribes, labored
to undermine the efforts of the true patriots, of whom Demosthenes was
chief. Æs´chines was the mouth-piece of the Macedonian party, an orator
second only to Demosthenes himself, and won to Philip’s side, probably,
more by flatteries than gifts. He constantly urged peace with the king,
while Demosthenes, as soon as he perceived the extent of Philip’s
designs, opposed them with all the unsparing vehemence of his nature. His
_Philippics_ are the most forcible examples in any language of bold and
eloquent opposition to an unjust usurpation of power.

[Sidenote: B. C. 339.]

=253.= In 340, war was declared on account of the aggressions of Philip
on the Bosphorus; and the Second Sacred War, which broke out in the
following year, gave him a reason for again passing Thermopylæ. He was
now appointed general-in-chief of the Amphictyonic forces, and thus
gained a position in the very heart of Greece, which he did not fail to
use for his own advantage.

[Sidenote: Aug. 7, B. C. 338.]

=254.= The Thebans, in alarm, applied to Athens for aid, which was not
refused. The armies met in battle at Chæronea, and the victory of Philip
gave the death-blow to Grecian independence. All the states except
Sparta acknowledged his sovereignty, and he was made generalissimo of
the Hellenic forces in the war now projected against Persia. To overawe
the hostility of Sparta, he marched through the Peloponnesus to the
southern extremity, and returned by the western coast, meeting no serious

Philip’s death by assassination interrupted the movement against the
Persians, and for a moment revived the hopes of the patriots; but the
Macedonian party prevailed under the youthful Alexander, who surpassed
his father both as general and as king.


    Sparta destroyed the Olynthian confederacy, and seized upon
    Thebes, which was rescued after three years by Pelopidas and
    his fellow exiles. Athens regained her dominion both in the
    eastern and western seas, while Thebes became the head of
    the new Bœotian League. The treaty of Callias secured peace
    among all the states, except Thebes and Sparta. The victory of
    Epaminondas over the Spartans at Leuctra established the Theban
    supremacy, which was recognized and supported by the Persians
    during the remaining years of his life. He four times invaded
    Peloponnesus; organized an Arcadian confederacy, with the new
    city, Megalopolis, at its head; restored the exiled Messenians
    to the lands of their ancestors; twice attacked Sparta itself;
    and, finally, triumphed and fell at Mantinea. Agesilaus died on
    his return from Egypt, where his aid had secured the throne to
    Nectanabis. Athens declined from her second period of greatness
    in consequence of the Social War, B. C. 357-355. The Phocians,
    with the Delphic treasures which they confiscated, gained
    ascendency in central Greece, but lost it in war with Philip of
    Macedon. This king ended the Sacred War (B. C. 357-346) by the
    destruction of Phocis, assumed her place in the Amphictyonic
    Council, conquered the Chalcidian peninsulas, led the allied
    forces in the Second Sacred War, and by his victory at Chæronea
    established his supremacy over Greece. His son Alexander
    inherited his civil and military command.



    1. By what names has Greece been known?                           § 8.
    2. What tribes were included among the Hellenes?                    9.
    3. What foreigners aided to civilize Greece?                       10.
    4. Describe three of the Greek heroes.                          11-13.
    5. What can be said of the siege of Troy?                          14.
    6. What was the state of the country and people in the
         Heroic Age?                                            11, 17-20.
    7. Describe the kings.                                         15, 16.
    8. What connections between Greek and Asiatic religions?           21.
    9. Name the twelve Olympian deities.                               23.
   10. What bearing had Greek belief upon human conduct?               25.
   11. What foreign ceremonies were borrowed by the Greeks?    26, 27, 29.
   12. What is known of the Mysteries?                                 28.
   13. Describe the oracles.                                        30-32.
   14. What migrations in Greece, B. C. 1124-1100?                 33, 34.
   15. Describe the Asiatic settlements.                    35-37, 85, 86.
   16. What political changes at the close of the Heroic Age?          38.
   17. What were the bonds of union among the Greeks?              39, 42.
   18. Describe the games and the rewards of victors.              40, 41.
   19. Recount the history of Argos.                                   43.
   20. What were the condition and government of Sparta, B. C. 900? 44-46.
   21. Describe the discipline of Lycurgus.                         47-53.
   22.          The wars of Sparta during the Second Period.        55-61.
   23. What was the character of Spartan influence in Greece?          62.
   24. What difference of character between Athenians and Spartans?    63.
   25. What changes in Athenian government within 400 years?       64, 65.
   26. Describe the laws of Draco and their results.               66, 67.
   27. What political parties in Attica?                               68.
   28. What were the character and history of Solon?           69, 70, 74.
   29. What was the spirit of his laws?                             71-73.
   30. Describe the rise of Pisistratus.                               75.
   31. What occurred during his first tyranny?                         76.
   32. What occasioned his second expulsion?                           77.
   33. Describe his third reign.                                       78.
   34.           The reign and expulsion of Hippias.               79, 80.
   35. What changes were introduced by Clisthenes?                     81.
   36. Who opposed him?                                                82.
   37. What dangers threatened Athens at this time?                    83.
   38. What ceremonies attended the founding of Greek colonies?        84.
   39. Describe the colonies in Italy.                              87-89.
   40.                       In Gaul, Sicily, Africa, Thrace.       91-94.
   41. Describe the movements of Darius against Greece.             95-97.
   42.          The battle of Marathon.                            98, 99.
   43.          The fall of Miltiades.                           101, 102.
   44.          The character and history of Aristides.     103, 104, 116,
                                                            117, 130, 132.
   45.          The character and career of Themistocles.         104-109,
                                                   113-117, 130, 136, 138.
   46.          The battle of Thermopylæ.                        111, 112.
   47.          The battle of Salamis.                                117.
   48.          The retreat of Xerxes.                                118.
   49.          The embassy of Alexander.                        119, 120.
   50.          The condition of Athens.                              121.
   51. Describe the campaign in Bœotia.                           122-126.
   52.          The subsequent operations of the Greeks.         128, 129.
   53. What changes in the rank and politics of Athens?               130.
   54. Tell the story of Pausanias.                                   131.
   55. Describe the rise of the Delian Confederacy.                   132.
   56.          The career of Cimon.                133-137, 139-142, 150.
   57.          The causes and events of the Third
                    Messenian War.                          139, 142, 148.
   58.          The history of Pericles.           140, 143, 145, 152-157,
                                                             159, 161-165.
   59. Tell the story of the First Peloponnesian War.             143-147.
   60. What occurred at Delphi, B. C. 448?                            151.
   61. Describe the battle of Coronæa, and its consequences
        to Athens.                                                152-154.
   62.          The Samian revolt.                               156, 157.
   63.          The war between Corinth and Corcyra.                  158.
   64.          The Theban attack upon Platæa.                        160.
   65. How was Greece divided in the Peloponnesian War?               161.
   66. What was the condition of Athens during the first two
        years?                                               162-164, 166.
   67. Describe the siege of Platæa.                                  167.
   68.          The revolt of Mytilene.                           168-170.
   69.          The revolution in Corcyra.                            171.
   70.          The condition of Greece in the sixth year of the war. 172.
   71. Describe the campaign at Pylos and Sphacteria.            173, 174.
   72. What massacres occurred in the eighth year?                    175.
   73. Describe the invasion of Bœotia.                               176.
   74.          The campaign of Brasidas.                             177.
   75. How long did the Peace of Nicias continue?           178, 180, 188.
   76. Describe the career of Alcibiades.  179-186, 192-194, 198-200, 202.
   77.          The Sicilian expedition.                          179-191.
   78. What occasioned a revolution in Athens?                   194, 195.
   79. Describe the maritime movements of 411, 410 B. C.          197-199.
   80. What part was taken by Persia in the Peloponnesian War?    192-194,
                                                            198, 201, 204.
   81. What occurred at Ægos-Potami?                             205, 206.
   82. What were the results to Athens?                           207-209.
   83. Describe the reign of the Thirty Tyrants.                 210, 211.
   84.          The reaction under Thrasybulus.                  212, 213.
   85.          The trial and death of Socrates.                      214.
   86. Describe the war of Sparta against Elis.                       215.
   87.          Agesilaus, and his Asiatic campaign.             216, 217.
   88.          The death of Lysander, and retirement of Pausanias.   218.
   89.          The three great battles of 394 B. C.              219-221.
   90. Who restored the walls of Athens?                              222.
   91. Describe the last two years of the Corinthian War.             223.
   92. What were the terms of the Peace of Antalcidas?                226.
   93. What occurred at Thebes, from 382 to 379 B. C.?      227, 229, 230.
   94. Describe the war in Bœotia and the western seas.               232.
   95.          The treaty of Callias.                           233, 234.
   96.          The character and tactics of Epaminondas.    229, 235-240,
   97.          The consequences to Sparta of the battle of Leuctra.  236.
   98.          The restoration of the Messenians.                    239.
   99.          The ambition of the Arcadians.                        241.
  100.          The intervention of the Persians.                     242.
  101.          The plunder of Olympia.                               243.
  102.          The last campaign of Agesilaus.                       247.
  103.          The second period of Athenian greatness, and
                    Social War.                                       248.
  104.          The Sacred War.                                       249.
  105.          The advance of Philip of Macedon.                250, 251.
  106.          Demosthenes and his _Philippics_.                     252.
  107.          The results of the battle of Chæronea.                254.
  108. Who succeeded Philip as head of the Grecian armies?            254.
  109. How long was Athens the leading state of Greece?
  110. What two periods of Spartan supremacy?
  111. Length of the Theban supremacy?
  112. What was an Olympiad?                                           40.



FIRST PERIOD. _From the Rise of the Monarchy to the Death of Alexander
the Great, about B. C. 700-323._

=1.= The Kingdom of Macedon, lying north of Thessaly and east of
Illyr´icum, was of little importance before the reign of Philip II.,
whose aggressions ended the independent history of Greece. (See Book III,
§§ 248-254.) In 507 B. C., Amyntas I. submitted to Darius Hystaspes; and
fifteen years later, in the first expedition of Mardonius, the country
became a mere province of the Persian empire, the native kings governing
as tributaries. After Xerxes’ retreat, B. C. 480, Macedonia became free
again, and began to push eastward along the northern coast of the Ægean.
Here it met two rivals: the new Thracian kingdom of Sitalces upon its
eastern frontier, and the Athenian power in the Greek cities of the
Chalcidian peninsulas.

=2.= When Athens was prostrated by her Sicilian disasters, the short but
brilliant reign of Ar´chela´us I. (B. C. 413-399) laid the foundation of
Macedonian greatness. He improved his country by roads, strengthened it
by forts, and introduced a better discipline into the army. His death was
followed by forty years of great tumult, a continued scene of plots and
assassinations, to recount which would only confuse without profiting
the student. When Perdiccas III. died in battle, he left an infant son,
Amyntas, under the regency of his brother Philip. At least five other
princes claimed the crown; the victorious Illyrians occupied the western
provinces, and Thrace and Pæo´nia were ready to absorb the eastern.

=3.= Philip overcame all these perils with admirable spirit and ability.
He made himself king instead of his nephew, defeated the Illyrians, and
took advantage of the Social War to seize Amphipolis, Pydna, and Potidæa.
He pushed the Macedonian boundary eastward as far as the Nestus, and
built the town of Philip´pi for the protection of the gold mines. These
had fallen into neglect during the wars of Athens, but under his improved
management they soon yielded a yearly revenue of a thousand talents

=4.= Philip, in his youth, had spent three years in Thebes, where he had
studied the tactics of Epaminondas, as well as the language, character,
and politics of the Greeks. On coming to power, he devoted unwearied
attention to the drilling of his army, until it far surpassed that of any
Hellenic state. No less skilled in diplomacy than in military science,
he knew how to take advantage of the rivalries in Greece, and the
corruptibility of all parties, to play off one against the other, and so
render himself supreme. His rapid movements made him seem to be in many
places at the same moment, and no circumstance which either threatened or
favored his interests escaped his eye.

=5.= The Olynthian War ended with the capture of thirty-two cities in
Chalcidice; the Sacred War made Philip master of Phocis and head of the
Amphictyonic League. In eastern Thrace, the Athenians found aid in the
Persians, who were already alarmed by the rapid rise of the Macedonian
power, and Perin´thus and Byzantium were thus saved for a time. Philip
was victorious (B. C. 339) against a Scythian prince of what is now
Bulga´ria; and though he was defeated and wounded on his return, in a
battle with the Triballi, his plots went on with uninterrupted success.
The Second Sacred War gave him supremacy in central Greece, and the
victory at Chæronea prostrated all remaining opposition. The Congress at
Corinth (B. C. 337) acknowledged his headship, and appointed him to lead
the Greek forces against Persia. The advanced guard of the Macedonian
army was already in Asia, when Philip was assassinated, during the
festivities attending the marriage of his daughter, B. C. 336.

=6.= In the midst of Philip’s early victories, he had heard of the
birth of his son Alexander at Pella. He wrote immediately to his friend
Ar´istot´le,[58] expressing his joy that the young prince was born
during the life of the philosopher to whom he could most gladly commit
his education. On the same day that Alexander was born, the temple of
Artemis at Ephesus was burnt to the ground. The priests and soothsayers,
regarding the fire as an evil omen, ran about the city beating their
breasts and crying aloud, “This day has brought forth the scourge and
destroyer of Asia.” B. C. 356.

[Illustration: Coin of Alexander, enlarged one-half.]

=7.= At the age of sixteen, Alexander was left regent of the kingdom
during his father’s campaign against Byzantium. At Chæroaea, two years
later, he led a corps of Macedonian youth against the Sacred Band of
Thebes, and the victory was mainly due to his courage and impetuosity.
Upon the death of his father, Alexander, at twenty years of age, ascended
a throne beset with many dangers. He expelled or killed his nearest
rivals, marched into Greece and convened at Corinth a new congress, which
conferred upon him the same dignities and powers previously granted to
his father; then instantly returning to Macedon, he signally defeated
his enemies on the west and north, some of whom he pursued even beyond
the Danube. During these campaigns a false report of his death reached
Greece, and Thebes seized the occasion to revolt. But Alexander appeared
suddenly before her gates, stormed and took the city, which, by way of
warning to others, he completely destroyed—saving only the house of
Pindar, the poet—and either enslaved or massacred the inhabitants.

=8.= Greece was now awed into submission, and Alexander prepared to
execute his father’s and his own schemes of Asiatic conquest. In the
spring of 334 B. C., he crossed the Hellespont with 35,000 men. The
Persians awaiting him at the Granicus were defeated, and Alexander, with
his usual celerity, overran Asia Minor, which submitted with little
opposition. Memnon, a Rhodian Greek in the service of Darius, and his
greatest general, desired to carry the war into Macedonia, by means of
the overwhelming fleet of the Persians. His movements detained Alexander
some months near the Ægean coast; but his death, in the spring of 333 B.
C., left the invader free to march toward the heart of the empire. Darius
led a vast army to the plain of the Orontes, where he might have had the
advantage over his assailant; but Alexander lingered in the Cilician
mountain passes, until the Persian king was impatient and came to meet
him. The battle of Issus (B. C. 333, Nov.) resulted in the defeat of the
Persians with great slaughter.

=9.= Instead of following Darius, Alexander proceeded to conquer the
sea-coast of the Mediterranean as far as Egypt, thus providing for the
security of Macedon and Greece. Most of the Phœnician cities submitted
as he approached, but Tyre withstood him seven months. When it was taken
(B. C. 332, July), 8,000 of its people were massacred and 30,000 sold
into slavery. Ga´za was captured after a siege of two months. According
to Josephus, the conqueror then marched upon Jerusalem. The high priest,
Jad´dua, came forth to meet him, wearing the breastplate of precious
stones and the miter inscribed with the Holy Name. Alexander prostrated
himself with profound reverence before the priest, and explained to his
followers that in a vision, before leaving Europe, he had seen such a
figure, which had invited him to the conquest of Asia. The high priest
pointed out to him the prophecies of Daniel concerning his career; and
Alexander, in adding the Jews to his empire, exempted them from tribute
every seventh year, when, according to their law, they could neither sow
nor reap.

=10.= In Egypt the Macedonian king was gladly welcomed, for the people
hated the Persians for having insulted their gods and profaned their
temples. At the western mouth of the Nile he founded a new capital,
which he designed as the commercial exchange of the eastern and western
worlds. Alexandria, with its great advantages of position, soon became a
rich and magnificent city. A less judicious proceeding of the conqueror
was a toilsome march across the desert to the temple of Amun. He was
rewarded, however, in being saluted by the priests as the son of the god,
a distinction which Alexander greatly valued.

=11.= Turning to the north and east, Alexander now sought the grand
contest which was to transfer to him the dominions of Cyrus. He had
purposely given Darius time to collect the entire force of his empire, so
that one battle might decide its fate. The battle of Arbela (B. C. 331,
Oct.) has been described in Book II. As its result the three capitals,
Susa, Persep´olis, and Babylon, surrendered almost without resistance;
and Alexander might, without further effort, have assumed the pomp and
ease of an Oriental monarch. But his restless spirit carried him on to
the conquest of the eastern provinces and India. He first marched into
Media, where Darius had rallied the remnants of his forces to oppose him,
but on his approach the dethroned king fled through the Caspian Gates
to Bactria. Before Alexander could overtake him, he was murdered by his
rebellious satrap, Bessus, who assumed the title of king of Persia.

=12.= The Greek mercenaries of Darius, who had formed his most effective
force, were now added to the army of the conqueror. From province
to province Alexander marched, receiving submission and organizing
governments. Bessus fled into Sogdiana, but was taken, and suffered a
cruel death for his treason and usurpation. A new city of Alexandria
was founded on the Jaxartes; and having chastised the Scythians to the
northward, the conqueror returned to Bactria, where he spent the winter
of 329 B. C.

=13.= The genius of Alexander began to be disgraced by the pride and
unscrupulous cruelty of an Eastern king. He adopted the Persian dress and
ceremonial, and required his courtiers to prostrate themselves before
him, as to a divinity rather than a mortal. He had already put to death
his friend Philo´tas, on an unproved charge of plotting against his life;
and the aged Parme´nio, father of Philotas, was subjected without trial
to a similar fate. At Bactra, in a drunken revel, Alexander murdered his
friend Clitus with his own hand.

=14.= During his two years’ war against Sogdiana, Alexander captured a
mountain fortress, where Oxyar´tes, a Bactrian prince, had deposited his
family. Roxa´na, one of the princesses, became the wife of the conqueror.
In the spring of 327 B. C., the Macedonian army crossed the Indus and
invaded the Punjab. No resistance was encountered until it reached the
Hydas´pes, where Porus, an Indian king, was drawn up with his elephants
and a formidable body of men. An obstinate battle resulted in the defeat
and capture of Porus; but his brave spirit so commanded the respect of
his conqueror, that he was permitted to retain his kingdom.

Alexander founded two cities near the Hydaspes, one named Buceph´ala, in
honor of his favorite horse, which died there, and the other, Nicæ´a,
in commemoration of his victories. He gave orders for the building of
a fleet from the Indian forests, while he advanced with his army still
farther to the eastward. All the tribes as far as the Hypha´sis (Sutlej)
were conquered, one by one. On arriving at that river, the Macedonians
refused to go farther. They declared that they had more than fulfilled
the terms of their enlistment, and that they were worn out by the
hardships of eight unprecedented campaigns.

=15.= Alexander was compelled to turn back. His fleet was now ready, and
he descended the Hydaspes to the Indus, in the autumn and winter of 327
B. C. His army marched in two columns along the banks, the entire valley
submitting with little resistance. Two more cities were founded, and
left with Greek garrisons and governors. Arriving at the Indian Ocean,
Near´chus was sent with the fleet to the Persian Gulf, while Alexander
returned by land. His march through Gedro´sia was the most severe of all
his operations, the army suffering for the want of food and water. At
Pura he obtained supplies, and proceeded through Kerman to Pasargadæ, and
thence to Persepolis. Arriving at Susa in the spring of 325 B. C., he
allowed his army some months of needed rest, while he began to organize
the vast empire which he had so rapidly built up.

=16.= Desiring to unite his eastern and western dominions by every bond
of sympathy and common interest, he assigned to eighty of his officers
Asiatic wives with rich dowries. He had himself set the example by taking
for his second wife Barsi´ne, daughter of Darius III.; and when ten
thousand of the soldiery married Asiatic women, he gave presents to them
all. Twenty thousand Persians were received into the army, and drilled
in Macedonian tactics; while Persian satraps were placed over several
provinces, and the court was equally composed of Asiatics and Europeans.
Some of Alexander’s veterans, seeing the conquered nations placed on
a level with themselves, broke into open mutiny. He silenced their
complaints with great address, and then sent 10,000 of them home.

=17.= Unlike most conquerors, Alexander improved the countries which he
had won by arms. Rivers were cleared from obstructions, commerce revived,
and western enterprise took the place of Asiatic indolence and poverty.
The Greek language and literature were planted every-where: every new
exploration added to the treasures of science and the enlightenment of
the human race. On his march from Ecbatana to Babylon, Alexander was met
by embassadors from almost every part of the known world, who came to
offer either submission or friendship.

=18.= He designed to conquer first Arabia, then Italy, Carthage, and the
West, extending his empire from the Indus to the Pillars of Hercules.
Babylon was to be his capital; and Alexander descended the river, to
inspect in person the improvement of the canals which distributed water
over the plain. But his magnificent schemes were cut short from their
accomplishment by his early death. On his return from visiting the
canals, he found the Arabian expedition nearly ready to sail, and he
celebrated the occasion by a banquet to Nearchus and the chief officers.
In the midst of the subsequent preparations, the king was attacked by a
fever, occasioned by his exertions among the marshes, and aggravated,
perhaps, by the wine he had taken at the festival. After an illness of
eleven days he died, at the age of thirty-two, having reigned twelve
years and eight months.


    Macedonia rose to greatness under Archelaus (B. C. 418-399);
    was greatly increased by Philip II. (B. C. 350-336), who became
    master of Greece. Alexander, trained in his youth to war and
    diplomacy, began his reign at twenty; led a Greek army into
    Asia; defeated the Persians at the Granicus and at Issus;
    conquered Phœnicia, Syria, and Egypt; founded Alexandria on the
    Nile; gained a decisive victory over Darius at Arbela, B. C.
    331; subdued the eastern and northern provinces of the empire;
    founded cities in western India; explored its rivers and coasts
    in the interest of science; planned the amalgamation of Europe
    and Asia, and the extension of his empire westward to the
    Atlantic; died B. C. 323.

SECOND PERIOD. _From the Death of Alexander to the Battle of Ipsus_, B.
C. 323-301.

=19.= Alexander named no successor, but shortly before his death he gave
his ring to Perdiccas. This general, as prime minister, kept the empire
united for two years in the royal family. An infant prince, Alexander
IV., born after his father’s death, was associated on the throne with
Philip Arrhidæ´us, half-brother of the great Alexander. Four regents or
guardians of the empire were appointed—two in Europe and two in Asia. One
of these was murdered by Perdiccas, who thus acquired for himself the
sole administration of Asia, Antipater and Crat´erus ruling west of the

The provinces not already bestowed by the conqueror were divided among
ten of his generals, who were expected to govern in the name and for
the benefit of the two kings. Finding it impossible, however, either by
management or force, to keep these lieutenants in subjection to the mere
name of royalty, Perdiccas formed a plan to seize the sovereignty for
himself. Eu´menes was on his side, while his colleagues in the regency,
and the two great provincial governors, Ptol´emy and Antig´onus, were
his most powerful opponents. In a campaign against Ptolemy, in Egypt,
Perdiccas was slain by his own mutinous soldiers. Craterus fell in a
battle with Eumenes, in Cappadocia, and the sole regency devolved upon
Antip´ater. This general defeated the schemes of Euryd´ice—niece of
Alexander the Great, and wife of the imbecile king, Philip Arrhidæus—who
even harangued the army at Tripar´adi´sus, in Syria, demanding to be
admitted to a share in the government. A fresh division and assignment of
the provinces was now made. Antigonus was charged with the prosecution of
the war against Eumenes, in which he made himself master of the greater
part of Asia Minor.

=20.= Antipater died in Macedon, B. C. 319, leaving the regency, not
to his son Cassan´der, but to his friend Polysper´chon. Cassander, in
disgust, fled to Antigonus; and in the war which followed, these two,
with Ptolemy, sought the disruption of the empire, while Eumenes and
Polysperchon fought for its unity. Eumenes collected a force in Cilicia,
with which he meant to conquer Syria and Phœnicia, and thus gain command
of the sea. Antigonus first defeated a royal fleet near Byzantium, and
then marched across the country to the borders of Syria, and pursued
Eumenes inland beyond the Tigris. A number of the eastern satraps here
joined Eumenes, but after two indecisive battles he was seized by his own
troops and given up to Antigonus, who put him to death, B. C. 316.

=21.= In Macedonia, the mock king, Philip Arrhidæus, and his wife were
executed, by order of Olympias, the mother of Alexander the Great.
But this imperious princess was captured, in her turn, at Pydna;
and, in violation of the terms of her surrender, was murdered by her
enemies. Cassander became master of Macedonia and Greece. He married
Thes´saloni´ca, half-sister of the Conqueror, and founded in her honor
the city which bears her name, B. C. 316.

=22.= The ambition of Antigonus now began to alarm his colleagues,
for he was evidently not to be satisfied with less than the entire
dominion of Alexander. He gave away the eastern satrapies according to
his pleasure. From Babylonia he drove Seleu´cus, who took refuge with
Ptolemy in Egypt, and formed a league with Cassander, Lysim´achus, and
Asander. A war of four years followed (B. C. 315-311), which resulted
in the re-establishment of Seleucus in Babylon and the East, while
Antigonus gained power in Greece, Syria, and Asia Minor. The peace of B.
C. 311 provided for the independence of the Greek cities, but allowed
each general to keep what he had gained, and left Cassander regent
of Macedonia until Alexander IV. should be of age. It was probably
understood between the contracting parties that this last event was
never to occur. The young king and his mother were murdered, by order of

=23.= At the end of a year, Ptolemy broke the peace, on the pretense
that Antigonus had not liberated the Greek cities of Asia Minor. He
was opposed in Cilicia by Deme´trius, son of Antigonus, who gained in
this war the title of _Po´liorce´tes_, the Besieger. Ptolemy, entering
Greece, seized Sicyon and Corinth, and aimed to marry Cleopatra, the
last survivor of the royal house of Macedon; but the princess was
assassinated, by order of Cassander, B. C. 308. Demetrius now arriving
with a fleet to the relief of Athens, Ptolemy withdrew to Cyprus, and
gained possession of the island. A great battle followed off Salamis, one
of the most severe in the world’s history. Ptolemy was defeated, with the
loss of all but eight of his ships, leaving 17,000 prisoners in the hands
of the enemy.

=24.= The five principal generals now assumed the kingly title. Demetrius
spent a year in the siege of Rhodes, which, by its brave and memorable
defense, secured the privileges of a neutral in the remaining years of
the war. Returning to Greece, he assembled a congress at Corinth, which
conferred upon him the titles formerly bestowed on Philip and Alexander,
and then marched northward against the regent, or, rather, king of
Macedon. Alarmed at his endangered position, Cassander stirred up his
allies to invade Asia Minor.

=25.= The decisive battle took place, B. C. 301, at Ipsus, in Phrygia.
Demetrius had arrived from Europe to the assistance of his father; but
Seleucus, with the forces of the East, including 480 Indian elephants,
increased the army of Lysimachus. Antigonus, in his eighty-first year,
was slain; Demetrius, completely defeated, took refuge in Greece, but
was not permitted to enter Athens. The two conquerors, Seleucus and
Lysimachus, divided the dominions of Alexander, with due regard to their
own interests. Seleucus received the Euphrates Valley, Upper Syria,
Cappadocia, and part of Phrygia. Lysimachus added the rest of Asia Minor
to his Thracian dominion, which extended along the western shores of the
Euxine as far as the mouths of the Danube; Ptolemy retained Egypt, and
Cassander continued to reign in Macedonia until his death.

[Illustration: EMPIRE of the MACEDONIANS.]

=26.= The results of the twenty years’ war were disastrous to Greece
and Macedonia, not only by the exhausting expenditure of blood and
treasure, but by the introduction of Oriental habits of luxury and
unmanly servility, in place of the free and simple manners of former
times. Though the minds of the Greeks were enlarged by a knowledge of
the history and philosophy of the Eastern nations, and by observation of
the natural world and its productions in new climates and circumstances,
yet most of the influences which had kept alive the free spirit of the
people had ceased to work. Patriotism was dead; learning took the place
of genius; and imitation, the place of art.

=27.= At the same time, Asia had gained many splendid cities, her
commerce had vastly increased, and the Greek military discipline and
forms of civil government gave new strength to her armies and states.
From the Indus to the Adriatic, and from the Crimea to the southern
bounds of Egypt, the Greek language prevailed, at least among the
educated and ruling classes. In Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt, the
influence of Hellenic thought continued a thousand years in full force,
until Mahomet and his successors set up their new Semitic empire. The
wide diffusion of the Greek language in western Asia was among the most
important preparations for the spread of Christianity. If Alexander had
lived to complete his great scheme of interfusing the eastern and western
races, Asia would have gained and Europe lost in still greater measure.


    Perdiccas became vizier, Philip Arrhidæus and Alexander IV
    being nominally kings. Wars of the generals for the division of
    the empire, B. C. 321-316; 315-311; 310-301. Murder of the two
    kings, 316, 311. Battle of Salamis in Cyprus, 306. The decisive
    combat at Ipsus gave Syria and the East to Seleucus; Egypt, to
    Ptolemy; Thrace, to Lysimachus; Macedonia, to Cassander.

THIRD PERIOD. _History of the Several Kingdoms into which Alexander’s
Empire was divided._


=28.= After the restoration of Seleucus to the government of Babylonia
(see § 22), he extended his power over all the provinces between the
Euphrates and the Indus. He even made war against an Indian kingdom upon
the western headwaters of the Ganges, gaining thereby a great extension
of commerce, and the addition of five hundred elephants to his army. The
battle of Ipsus added to his dominions the country as far west as the
Mediterranean and the center of Phrygia, making his kingdom by far the
greatest that had been formed from the fragments of Alexander’s empire.

This vast dominion was organized by Seleucus with great skill and
energy. In each of the seventy-two provinces new cities sprang up, as
monuments of his power and centers of Greek civilization. Sixteen of
these were named Antioch, in honor of his father; five Laodice´a, for his
mother, Laod´ice; seven for himself, Sel´euci´a; and several for his two
wives, Apame´a and Stratoni´ce. To watch more effectually the movements
of his rivals, Ptolemy and Lysimachus, he removed the seat of government
from the Euphrates to his new capital, Antioch, on the Orontes, which
continued nearly a thousand years to be one of the richest and most
populous cities in the world.

[Illustration: Coin of Antioch, twice the size of the original.]

=29.= In 293 B. C., Seleucus divided his empire with his son Anti´ochus,
giving the younger prince all the provinces east of the Euphrates.
Demetrius Poliorcetes, after gaining and then losing Macedonia, sought
to make for himself a new kingdom in Asia, out of the possessions of
Lysimachus and Seleucus. He was defeated by the latter, and remained a
prisoner the rest of his life.

=30.= Lysimachus, king of Thrace, under the influence of his Egyptian
wife and her brother, Ptolemy Cerau´nus, had alienated the hearts of
his subjects by the murder of his son. The widow of the murdered prince
fled for protection to the court of Seleucus, who undertook her cause
and invaded the territories of Lysimachus. The two aged kings were now
the only survivors of the companions and generals of Alexander. In the
battle of Corupe´dion, B. C. 281, Lysimachus was slain, and all his
Asiatic dominions were transferred to Seleucus. The empire of Alexander
seemed about to be united in the hands of one man. Before crossing the
Hellespont to seize the European provinces, the Syrian king committed the
government of his present dominion to his son, Antiochus. Then passing
the strait, he advanced to Lys´imachi´a, the capital of his late enemy;
but here he was killed by the hand of Ptolemy Ceraunus, B. C. 280. Thrace
and Macedonia became the prize of the murderer.

=31.= Antiochus I. (Soter) inherited the Asiatic dominions of his father,
and made war in Asia Minor against the native kings of Bithynia. One of
these, Nicomedes, called to his assistance the Gauls, who were ravaging
eastern Europe, and rewarded their services with a large territory in
northern Phrygia, which was thence called Gala´tia. North-western Lydia
was also wrested from Antiochus, and formed the kingdom of Per´gamus.
From his only important victory over the Gauls, B. C. 275, the Syrian
king derived his title _Soter_ (the Deliverer); but his operations were
usually unsuccessful, and his kingdom was much reduced both in wealth
and power during his reign. He was defeated and slain near Ephesus, in a
battle with the Gauls, B. C. 261.

=32.= Antiochus II. bore the blasphemous title of _Theos_ (the God), but
he showed himself less than a man by the weakness and licentiousness
of his reign. He abandoned all affairs to worthless favorites, who
were neither feared nor respected in the distant provinces, and two
independent kingdoms sprang up unchecked in Parthia and Bactria, B.
C. 255. The influence of his wife, Laodice, involved him in a war
with Egypt. It was ended by the divorce of Laodice, and the marriage
of Antiochus with Ber´eni´ce, daughter of Ptolemy Philadelphus (B. C.
260-252). On the death of Philadelphus, Antiochus sent away Berenice
and took back Laodice; but she, doubting his constancy, murdered him to
secure the kingdom for her son, Seleucus. Berenice and her infant son
were also put to death.

=33.= Seleucus II. (Callini´cus) was first engaged in war with the king
of Egypt, Ptolemy Euer´getes, who came to avenge the deaths of his sister
and nephew. With the exception of part of Lydia and Phrygia, all Asia
west of the Tigris, and even Susiana, Media, and Persia, submitted to
the invader; but the severity of his exactions excited discontent, and
a revolt in Egypt called him home, whereupon Callinicus regained his
territories. Antiochus Hi´erax (the Hawk), a younger brother of the king,
revolted at fourteen years of age, with the assistance of his uncle and
a troop of Gauls. At the same time, Arsa´ces II., the Parthian king,
gained great advantages in Upper Asia, and signally defeated Callinicus
(B. C. 237), who led an expedition in person against him. The war between
the brothers ended, B. C. 229, in the defeat of the rebellious prince.
Seleucus died by a fall from his horse, B. C. 226.

Seleucus III. (Ceraunus) reigned only three years. In the midst of an
expedition against Attalus, king of Pergamus, he was killed in a mutiny
by some of his own officers.

=34.= Antiochus III., the Great, had an eventful reign of thirty-six
years. Molo, his general, first revolted, and made himself master, one by
one, of the countries east of the Euphrates, destroying all the armies
sent against him. Antiochus at length defeated him, B. C. 220, and then
made war upon Egypt for the recovery of Syria and Palestine, which had
hitherto been held by Ptolemy. He was successful at first, but his
defeat at Raph´ia robbed him of all his conquests, except Seleucia in
Syria. Achæ´us, his cousin, and hitherto a faithful servant of Antiochus
and his father, had meanwhile been driven into revolt by the false
accusations of Hermi´as, the prime minister. He subjected to his control
all the countries west of the Taurus. As soon as peace had been made
with Egypt, the king of Syria marched against him, deprived him of all
his possessions in one campaign, besieged him two years in Sardis, and
finally captured and put him to death.

=35.= The Parthian king, Arsaces III., had taken up arms against Media.
Antiochus led an army across the desert to Hecatom´pylos, the Parthian
capital, which he captured; but the battle which followed was indecisive,
and Arsaces remained independent, with the possession of Parthia and
Hyrcania. The war against the Bactrian monarch had a similar result,
Euthyde´mus retaining Bactria and Sogdiana. Antiochus penetrated India,
and renewed the old alliance of Seleucus Nicator with the king of the
upper Ganges. Wintering in Kerma´nia, the Syrian king made a naval
expedition, the next year, against the piratical Arabs of the western
shores of the Persian Gulf. On his return from his seven years’ absence
in the East, Antiochus received the title of “Great,” by which he is
known in history.

=36.= The same year, B. C. 205, Ptolemy Epiph´anes, a child of five
years, succeeded his father in Egypt. Tempted by the unprotected state of
the kingdom, Antiochus made a treaty with Philip of Macedon to divide the
dominions of Ptolemy between them. Philip’s designs were interrupted by a
war with Rome, the now powerful republic of the West. Antiochus carried
on the contest with great energy, but with varying success, in Cœle-Syria
and Palestine. By the decisive battle of Pa´neas, B. C. 198, he gained
complete possession of those provinces; but desiring to prosecute his
wars in another direction, he married his daughter Cleopatra to the young
king of Egypt, and promised the conquered country as her dower.

=37.= He then overran Asia Minor, and crossing the Hellespont, seized
the Thracian Chersonesus. The Romans, who had conquered Philip and
were guardians of Ptolemy, now sent an embassy to Antiochus, requiring
him to surrender all his conquests of territory belonging to either
prince, B. C. 196. Antiochus indignantly rejected their interference,
and prepared for war, with the aid of their great enemy, Hannibal, who
had taken refuge at his court. In 192 B. C., he crossed into Greece and
captured Chalcis; but he was signally defeated soon after by the Romans,
at Thermopylæ, and compelled to withdraw from Europe. They followed him
across the sea, and by two naval victories gained the western coast
of Asia Minor. The two Scip´ios crossed the Hellespont and defeated
Antiochus a fourth time, near Magnesia, in Lydia. He obtained peace only
by surrendering all Asia Minor except Cilicia, with his navy and all his
elephants, and by paying an enormous war indemnity. Twenty hostages were
given for the payment, among whom was Antiochus Epiphanes, the king’s
son. The king of Pergamus received the ceded provinces, and became a most
formidable rival to Syria. To meet his engagements with the Romans,
Antiochus plundered the temples of Asia, and in a commotion excited by
this means in Elyma´is, he lost his life.

=38.= Seleucus IV. (Philop´ator) had a reign of eleven years, unmarked by
important events. The kingdom was exhausted, and the Romans were ready to
seize any exposed province at the least hostile movement of the Syrians.
Heliodo´rus, the treasurer, at length murdered his master and assumed
the crown; but his usurpation was cut short by the arrival of Antiochus
Epiphanes, brother of the late king, who with the aid of Eumenes, king of
Pergamus, established himself upon the throne.

=39.= Antiochus IV. had been thirteen years a hostage at Rome, and
surprised his people by the Roman customs which he introduced. He made a
four years’ war against Egypt, and had nearly conquered the country when
the Romans interfered, and commanded him to give up all his conquests. He
was forced to obey, but he vented his rage upon the Jews, whose temple
he plundered and desecrated. They sprang to arms, under the leadership
of Mat´tathi´as, the priest, and his brave son, Judas Maccabæ´us, and
defeated the army sent to subdue them. Antiochus, who was now in the
East, set forth in person to avenge this insult to his authority. On his
way, he attempted to plunder the temple at Elymais, and was seized with
a furious insanity, in which he died. Both Jews and Greeks believed his
madness to be a judgment for his sacrilege.

=40.= Antiochus V. (Eu´pator), a boy of twelve years, came to the throne
under the control of Lys´ias, the regent. But his father, when dying, had
appointed him another guardian in the person of Philip, who returned to
Antioch bearing the royal signet, while the young king and his minister
were absent in Judæa. Lysias, on hearing this, hastened to make peace
with Judas Maccabæus, and turned back to fight with Philip, whom he
defeated and put to death. The Parthians, meanwhile, were overrunning the
kingdom on the east; and the Romans, on the west, were harshly enforcing
the terms of the treaty made by Antiochus the Great. Demetrius, the son
of Seleucus Philopator, now escaped from Rome, and gained possession
of the kingdom, after ordering the execution of both Eupator and his

=41.= Demetrius I. spent some years in vain attempts to put down the
Jewish rebellion. His armies were defeated by Judas Maccabæus, and
the Romans entered into alliance with Judæa, which they now declared
an independent kingdom. The Syrian king was no more successful in
Cappadocia; and in Babylon, the satrap whom he had deposed set up
an impostor, Alexander Balas, who claimed to be a son of Antiochus
Epiphanes. Aided by the forces of Rome, Pergamus, Cappadocia, Egypt, and
Judæa, this man conquered Demetrius and kept the kingdom five years.

=42.= Alexander Balas proved unworthy of a crown, by leaving public
affairs in the weak and incompetent hands of his favorite, Ammo´nius,
while he abandoned himself to indolence and luxury. Demetrius Nica´tor,
eldest son of the former king, encouraged by the contempt of the Syrians
for the licentiousness of Alexander, landed in Cilicia and made war for
the recovery of his kingdom. Ptolemy of Egypt, who had entered Syria with
an army for the aid of his son-in-law, Alexander, became disgusted by his
ingratitude and came over to the side of Demetrius. A battle near Antioch
was decided in favor of the allies. Alexander fled into Arabia, where he
was assassinated by some of his own officers.

=43.= Demetrius II. (Nicator) ruled with such wanton cruelty as to
alienate his subjects. One of them, Diod´otus Tryphon, set up a rival
king in the person of Antiochus VI., a child two years of age, the son of
Alexander Balas. After three or four years he removed this infant monarch
and made himself king, with the aid of Judas Maccabæus. Demetrius, after
fighting ineffectually seven years against his rivals in the west, left
the regency of Syria to his wife, Cleopatra, while he turned against
the Parthians, who had nearly conquered his eastern provinces. He was
defeated and made prisoner by Arsaces VI., and remained ten years a
captive, though he was treated with all the honors of royalty, and
received a Parthian princess for his second wife.

=44.= Cleopatra, unable to wage war alone against Tryphon, called in
Antiochus Side´tes, her husband’s brother, who conquered the usurper
and seated himself on the vacant throne. He made war against the Jews,
and captured Jerusalem by a siege of nearly a year. He afterward turned
against the Parthians and gained some advantages, but he was finally
defeated and lost his life after a reign of nine years. Demetrius Nicator
had been released by the Parthian king, and now re-established himself
in Syria. But Ptolemy Phys´con, of Egypt, raised up a new pretender,
Zabi´nas, who defeated Demetrius at Damascus. Attempting to enter Tyre,
the Syrian king was captured and put to death.

=45.= Seleucus V., his eldest son, assumed the crown without the
permission of his mother, who thereupon caused him to be executed,
and associated with herself her second son, Antiochus VIII. (Grypus).
Zabinas, the pretender, reigned at the same time in part of Syria, until
he was defeated by Antiochus, and put to death by poison, B. C. 122. The
same year Cleopatra was detected in a plot against the life of her son,
and was herself executed.

=46.= Exhausted by long wars, and greatly reduced both in power and
extent, Syria now enjoyed eight years of peace. Judæa and the provinces
east of the Euphrates were wholly independent. The few Syrians who
possessed wealth were enfeebled by luxury, while the mass of the people
were crushed by want. In 114 B. C., Antiochus Cyzice´nus, a half-brother
of the king, revolted against him, and involved the country in another
bloody war of three years. The territory was then divided between
them; but war broke out afresh in 105 B. C., and continued nine years,
resulting in no gain to either party, but great loss and misery to the
nation. Tyre, Sidon, Seleucia, and the whole province of Cilicia became
independent. The Arabs on one side, and the Egyptians on the other,
ravaged the country at pleasure. At length the reign of Antiochus VIII.
was ended with his life, by Hera´cleon, an officer of his court, B. C. 96.

=47.= The murderer did not receive the reward of his crime, for Seleucus
VI. (Epiphanes), the eldest son of Grypus, gained possession of the
kingdom. In two years he conquered Cyzicenus, who committed suicide to
avoid capture; but the claims of the rival house were still maintained
by Antiochus X. (Eu´sebes), his eldest son. Seleucus was now driven
into Cilicia. Here he came to a miserable end, for he was burnt alive
by the people of a town from which he had demanded a subsidy. Philip,
the brother of Seleucus, and second son of Antiochus Grypus, became
king, and with the aid of his younger brothers continued the war against
Eusebes. This prince was defeated and driven to take refuge in Parthia.
But no peace came to the country, for Philip and his brothers, Antiochus
XI., Demetrius, and Antiochus XII., made war with each other, until the
unhappy Syrians called upon Tigra´nes, king of Armenia, to end their

=48.= Tigranes governed, wisely and well, fourteen years (B. C. 83-69);
but having at length incurred the vengeance of the Romans, by rendering
aid to his father-in-law, Mithridates of Pontus, he was forced to give up
all except his hereditary kingdom. Four years longer (B. C. 69-65), Syria
continued its separate existence, under Antiochus XIII. (Asiaticus), the
son of Eusebes. At the end of that time the kingdom was subdued by Pompey
the Great, and became a Roman province.


    Seleucus I. (B. C. 312-281) extended his empire beyond the
    Indus, built many cities, gained all Asia Minor by the
    defeat of Lysimachus. Antiochus I. (B. C. 280-261) lost the
    territories of Pergamus and Galatia; Antiochus II. (261-246),
    those of Parthia and Bactria. Under Seleucus II. (246-226), the
    greater part of the empire was conquered by Ptolemy, but soon
    recovered. Seleucus III. reigned three years (B. C. 226-223).
    Antiochus III. (B C. 223-187) quelled the revolts of Molo
    and Achæus; had wars with the kings of Parthia and Bactria;
    penetrated India as far as the Ganges; punished the pirates of
    the Persian Gulf; wrested from Egypt the provinces of Syria
    and Palestine; overran Asia Minor, and invaded Greece. He
    was defeated by the Romans, twice by sea and twice by land.
    Seleucus IV. (B. C. 187-176) was murdered by his treasurer,
    Heliodorus. Antiochus IV. (B. C. 176-164) was prevented by the
    Romans from conquering Egypt; excited by his persecutions a
    revolt in Judæa, which became independent under the Maccabees.
    The short reign of Antiochus V. (B. C. 164-162) was filled
    with wars of the regents. His uncle, Demetrius I. (B. C.
    162-151), had unsuccessful wars with the Jews and Cappadocians;
    was conquered by Alexander Balas, who reigned B. C. 151-146.
    Demetrius II. had a disputed reign (B. C. 146-140); a ten
    years’ imprisonment in Parthia (B. C. 140-130), while his wife
    and his brother, Antiochus VII., ruled Syria; and a second
    contest with a pretender, B. C. 129-126. Antiochus VIII. (B.
    C. 126-96) reigned five years jointly with his mother, seven
    years alone, and eighteen years side by side with his brother,
    Antiochus IX. (Cyzicenus), who ruled Cœle-Syria and Phœnicia,
    B. C. 111-96. Seleucus V. (B. C. 96, 95) conquered Cyzicenus,
    but carried on the same war with his son, Eusebes, until his
    own violent death. His younger brothers fought first Eusebes,
    and then each other, until Tigranes, king of Armenia, conquered
    the country and ruled it fourteen years (B. C. 83-69).
    Antiochus XIII. the last of the Seleucidæ, reigned B. C. 69-65.


=49.= The Macedonian Kingdom in Egypt presented a marked and brilliant
contrast to the native empires and the Persian satrapy. By removing the
capital to Alexandria, the conqueror had provided for free intercourse
with foreign countries, and the old exclusiveness of the Egyptians was
forever broken down. While Palestine was attached to this kingdom,
especial favor was shown to the Jews; and in the Greek conquerors, the
native Egyptians, and the Jewish merchants, the three families of Shem,
Ham, and Japhet were reunited as they had never been since the dispersion
at Babel. The Egyptians, who had abhorred the Persian dominion, hailed
the Macedonians as deliverers; the common people engaged with zeal in the
new industries that promised wealth as the reward of enterprise, and the
learned class found their delight in the intellectual society, as well as
the rare treasures of literature and art, that filled the court of the

=50.= Ptolemy I. (Soter[59]) received the Egyptian province immediately
upon the death of Alexander, and proceeded to organize it with great
energy and wisdom. Desiring to make Egypt a maritime power, he sought at
once to conquer Palestine, Phœnicia, and Cyprus, whose forests were as
needful to him for ship-building as their sea-faring people for sailors.
The two countries on the mainland were occupied by Ptolemy in 320 B. C.,
and remained six years in his possession. They were lost in the war with
Antigonus, and only fully regained after the battle of Ipsus, B. C. 301.
Cyprus was the scene of many conflicts, of which the great naval battle
off Salamis, B. C. 306, was the most severe and decisive. It was then
lost to Egypt, but in B. C. 294 or 293 it was regained, and continued her
most valuable foreign possession as long as the kingdom existed. Cyrene
and all the Libyan tribes between it and Egypt were also annexed by

=51.= Few changes were made in the internal government of Egypt. The
country, as before, was divided into nomes, each having its own ruler,
who was usually a native Egyptian. The old laws and worship prevailed.
The Ptolemies rebuilt the temples, paid especial honors to the Apis, and
made the most of all points of resemblance between the Greek and Egyptian
religions. A magnificent temple to Sera´pis was erected at Alexandria.
The priests retained their privileges and honors, being exempt from
all taxation. The army was chiefly, and its officers wholly, Greek or
Macedonian, and all civil dignities of any importance were also filled
by the conquering people. The Greek inhabitants of the cities alone
possessed entire freedom in the management of their affairs.

=52.= Ptolemy followed the liberal policy of Alexander toward men of
genius and learning. He collected a vast and precious library, which
he placed in a building connected with the palace; and he founded the
“Museum,” which drew students and professors from all parts of the
world. No spot ever witnessed more literary and intellectual activity
than Alexandria, the University of the East. There Euclid first unfolded
the “Elements of Geometry”; Eratos´thenes discoursed of Geography;
Hipparchus, of Astronomy; Aristoph´anes and Aristar´chus, of Criticism;
Man´etho, of History; while Apel´les and Antiph´ilus added their
paintings, and Phile´tas, Callim´achus, and Apollonius their poems,
for the delight of a court whose monarch was himself an author, and in
which talent constituted rank. Alexandria during this reign was adorned
with many costly and magnificent works. The royal palace; the Museum;
the great light-house on the island of Pharos, which has given its name
to many similar constructions in modern times; the mole or causeway
which connected this island with the mainland; the Hip´podrome, and the
Mausole´um, containing the tomb of Alexander, were among the chief.
Ptolemy Soter was distinguished by his truth and magnanimity from most of
the princes and generals of his age. His unlimited power never led him to
cruelty or self-indulgence. He died at the age of eighty-four, B. C. 283.

=53.= Ptolemy II. (Philadelphus), through the influence of his mother,
had been raised to the throne two years before his father’s death,
instead of his elder brother, Ceraunus. He had been carefully educated
by several of the learned men whom the patronage of his father had drawn
to the court; and he continued, on a still more liberal scale, that
encouragement of science and literature which had already made Alexandria
a successful rival of Athens. He so greatly increased the Alexandrian
Library that he is often mentioned as its founder. Agents were appointed
to search Europe and Asia for every literary work of value, and to secure
it at any cost. An embassy was sent to the high priest at Jerusalem to
bring a copy of the Holy Scriptures, together with a company of learned
men who could translate them into Greek. The translators were entertained
by the king with the greatest honor. The first five books were completed
in the reign of Philadelphus, the rest were translated by order of the
later Ptolemies; and the entire version—still an invaluable treasure
to Biblical scholars—is known as the Sep´tuagint, either from the
seventy translators, or because it was authorized by the San´hedrim of
Alexandria, which consisted of the same number.

=54.= Ptolemy II. was engaged in various wars; first for the furtherance
of the Achæan League, and the protection of the Greeks against Macedonian
aggressions; afterward against his half-brother, Magas, king of Cyrene,
and the kings of Syria, with whom Magas was allied. He gained possession
of the whole coast of Asia Minor, with many of the Cyclades. By the
wisdom of his internal policy, Egypt was meanwhile raised to her highest
pitch of wealth and prosperity. He re-opened the canal made by Rameses
the Great (see Book I, §§ 153, 154), and built the port of Arsinoë, on
the site of the modern Suez. To avoid the dangers of Red Sea navigation,
he founded two cities, named Berenice, farther to the southward, and
connected one of them by a highway with Coptos on the Nile. Egypt thus
reaped the full commercial advantage of her position midway between the
East and the West. For centuries the rich productions of India, Arabia,
and Ethiopia were conveyed along these various highways to Alexandria,
whence they were distributed to Syria, Greece, and Rome. The revenues of
Egypt were equal to those which Darius had derived from the vast empire
of Persia.

=55.= The personal character of Philadelphus was less admirable than that
of his father. He killed two of his brothers, banished a most faithful
counselor, and by marrying his own sister, Arsinoë, introduced a custom
which caused untold misery and mischief in the kingdom. He died B. C.
247, having reigned thirty-eight years, or thirty-six from the death of
his father.

=56.= Ptolemy III. (Euergetes) was the most enterprising monarch of his
race, and pushed the boundaries of his kingdom to their greatest extent.
He gained the Cyr´ena´ica by marriage with the daughter of Magas, and
annexed portions of Ethiopia and Arabia. In his war against Syria to
avenge his sister Berenice (see §§ 32, 33), he even passed the Euphrates
and conquered all the country to the borders of Bactria; but he lost all
this by his sudden recall to Egypt. His conquests on the sea-board, which
could be defended by his fleet, remained permanently in his possession.
All the shores of the Mediterranean, from Cyrene to the Hellespont,
with many important islands, and even a portion of Europe, including
Lysimachia in Thrace, belonged to his dominion.

He continued the patronage of art and letters, and enriched the
Alexandrian libraries with many rare manuscripts. The Egyptians were
still more gratified by the recovery of some ancient images of their
gods, which had been carried away to Assyria by Sargon or Esarhaddon,
and were brought back by Ptolemy from his eastern campaign. Euergetes
died B. C. 222, after a prosperous reign of twenty-five years; and with
him ended the glory of the Macedonian monarchy in Egypt. “Historians
reckon nine Ptolemies after Euergetes. Except Philome´tor, who was mild
and humane; Lath´yrus, who was amiable but weak; and Ptolemy XII.,
who was merely young and incompetent, they were all, almost equally,

=57.= Ptolemy IV. was suspected of having murdered his father, and
therefore took the surname Philopator to allay suspicion. He began his
reign, however, by murdering his mother, his brother, and his uncle,
and marrying his sister Arsinoë. A few years later she, too, was put
to death, at the instigation of a worthless favorite of the king. The
control of affairs was left to Sosib´ius, a minister who was equally
wicked and incompetent. Through his neglect, the army became weakened by
lack of discipline, and the Syrians seized the opportunity to recover
their lost possessions. They were defeated, however, at Raph´ia, and
gained only their port of Seleucia. A revolt of the native Egyptians
occupied many years of this reign.

=58.= Ptolemy V. (Epiphanes) was only five years old at his father’s
death. The kings of Syria and Macedon plotted to divide his dominions
between them, and the only resource of the incompetent ministers was to
call the Romans to their aid. All the foreign dependencies, except Cyprus
and the Cyrenaica, were lost; but by the good management of M. Lep´idus,
Egypt was saved to the little Ptolemy. Aristom´enes, an Acarnanian,
succeeded Lepidus as regent, and his energy and justice restored for a
time the prosperity of the kingdom. At the age of fourteen, Epiphanes
was declared of age, and the government was thenceforth in his name. Few
events of his reign are known. He married Cleopatra of Syria, and soon
after poisoned his late guardian, Aristomenes. His plans for a war with
Syria were prevented by his own assassination, B. C. 181.

=59.= Ptolemy VI. (Philometor) became king at the age of seven, under
the vigorous regency of his mother, Cleopatra. She died B. C. 173, and
the power passed into the hands of two weak and corrupt ministers, who
involved the kingdom in war, and almost in ruin, by their rash invasion
of Syria. Antiochus IV. defeated them at Pelusium, and advancing to
Memphis, gained possession of the young king, whom he used as a tool for
the reduction of the whole country. The Alexandrians crowned Ptolemy
Physcon, a younger brother of the king, and successfully withstood the
besieging army of Antiochus. The Romans now interposing, he was obliged
to retreat.

The two brothers agreed to reign together, and prepared for war with
Antiochus. He captured Cyprus, invaded Egypt a second time, and would
doubtless have added the entire dominion of the Ptolemies to his own,
if the Romans, who claimed the protectorate of Egypt, had not again
interfered and commanded him to withdraw. The Syrian king reluctantly
obeyed, and the brothers reigned four years in peace. They then
quarreled, and Philometor went to plead his cause before the Roman
Senate. The Romans re-instated him in the possession of Egypt, giving
to his brother Physcon Libya and the Cyrenaica. Dissatisfied with his
portion, Physcon went to Rome and obtained a further grant of Cyprus; but
Philometor refused to give it up, and the brothers were preparing for
war, when a revolt in Cyrene engaged the attention of its king. After
nine years he renewed his claim, and obtained from Rome a small squadron
to aid in the capture of the island. He was defeated and made prisoner by
his brother; but his life was spared, and he was restored to his kingdom
of Cyrene. Philometor fell, B. C. 146, in a battle near Antioch, with
Alexander Balas, whom he had himself encouraged to assume the crown of
Syria. (See § 42.)

=60.= Ptolemy VII. (Eupator) had reigned but a few days when he was
murdered by his uncle, Ptolemy Physcon, who, aided by the Romans, united
in himself the two kingdoms, Egypt and Cyrene. This monster created such
terror by his inhuman cruelties, and such disgust by his excesses, that
his capital became half depopulated, and the citizens who remained were
almost constantly in revolt. At last he was forced to take refuge in
Cyprus, the crown remaining to his sister, Cleopatra. To wound the queen
most deeply, he murdered her son, and sent her the head and hands of the
victim. The Alexandrians were so enraged by this atrocity, that they
fought bravely for Cleopatra; but when she applied for aid to the king of
Syria, they became alarmed and recalled Physcon, after an exile of three
years. Warned by his punishment, Physcon now desisted from his cruelties,
and devoted himself to literary pursuits, even gaining some reputation as
an author.

=61.= Ptolemy VIII. (Lath´yrus) succeeded his father in Egypt, while his
brother Alexander reigned in Cyprus, and A´pion, another son of Physcon,
received the Cyrenaica. Cleopatra, the queen mother, had the real power.
After ten years, Lathyrus offended his mother by pursuing a policy of
his own, and was compelled to change places with Alexander, who reigned
eighteen years in Egypt, with the title of Ptolemy IX. Cleopatra was
then put to death, Alexander expelled, and Ptolemy Lathyrus recalled. He
reigned eight years as sole monarch, defeated Alexander, who attempted to
regain Cyprus, and punished a revolt in Thebes by a siege of three years,
ending with the destruction of the city, B. C. 89-86.

=62.= Berenice, the only legitimate child of Lathyrus, reigned six
months alone, and was then married and associated upon the throne with
her cousin, Ptolemy X., a son of Alexander, whose claims were supported
by the Romans. Within three weeks he put his wife to death, and the
Alexandrians, revolting, slew him in the gymnasium, B. C. 80. Fifteen
years of great confusion followed, during which the succession was
disputed by at least five claimants, and Cyprus became a separate kingdom.

=63.= Ptolemy XI. (Aule´tes, or the Flute-Player) then obtained the
crown, and dated his reign from the death of his half-sister, Berenice.
In 59 B. C., he was acknowledged by the Romans; but by that time his
oppressive and profligate government had so disgusted the people, that
they drove him from the kingdom. He took refuge four years in Rome, while
his two daughters nominally governed Egypt, first jointly, and then the
younger alone, after her sister’s death. In 55 B. C. Auletes returned,
supported by a Roman army, put to death his daughter, who had opposed his
restoration, and reigned under Roman protection three and a half years.
He died, B. C. 51, leaving four children: the famous Cleopatra, aged
seventeen; Ptolemy XII.; another Ptolemy, and a daughter Arsinoë, still

[Illustration: Coin of Antony and Cleopatra, twice the size.]

=64.= The princess Cleopatra received the crown under Roman patronage,
in conjunction with the elder Ptolemy. The brother and sister quarreled,
and Cleopatra was driven into Syria. Here she met Julius Cæsar, and by
her talents and accomplishments gained great ascendency over his mind. By
his aid Ptolemy was conquered and slain, and Cleopatra established in the
kingdom. She removed her younger brother by poison, and had thenceforth
no rival. With consummate ability, mixed with the unscrupulous cruelty
of her race, she reigned seventeen years in great prosperity. Cæsar
was her protector while he lived, and Antony then became her slave,
sacrificing all his interests, and his honor as a Roman and a general, to
her slightest caprices. In the civil wars of Rome, Antony was at length
defeated at Actium; Cleopatra committed suicide, and her kingdom became a
Roman province, B. C. 30.

=65.= The kingdom of the Ptolemies had continued 293 years, from the
death of Alexander to that of Cleopatra. During 101 years, under the
first three kings, it was the most flourishing, well organized, and
prosperous of the Macedonian monarchies; the nearly two centuries which
remained were among the most degraded periods in the history of the human


    Prosperity of Egypt under the Ptolemies. Concourse of races at
    Alexandria. Ptolemy I. (B. C. 323-283) conquered Palestine,
    Phœnicia, Cyprus, and the African coast as far as Cyrene. Old
    laws and worship retained. Alexandrian Library and Museum,
    professors and public works. Ptolemy Philadelphus (B. C.
    283-247) ordered a Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures;
    constructed cities, roads, and canals for purposes of
    commerce. Acquisitions of Ptolemy III. (B. C. 247-222). Rapid
    conquests in Asia, speedily lost. Collection of manuscripts
    and recovery of images. Decline of the Ptolemaic kingdom.
    Crimes of Ptolemy IV. (B. C. 222-205). Victory at Raphia, B.
    C. 217. Roman interference during the minority of Ptolemy V.
    (B. C. 205-181). Ptolemy VI. (B. C. 181-146) taken by Antiochus
    IV., of Syria. His brother Physcon crowned. Rome protected
    Egyptian dependencies against Syria, and divided them between
    the brothers. Ptolemy VII. was murdered by his uncle, Ptolemy
    Physcon, who reigned B. C. 146-117. He was exiled for his
    crimes, but recalled in three years. Ptolemy VIII. and his
    brother Alexander reigned alternately in Egypt and Cyprus
    while their mother lived (B. C. 117-89). After her death, the
    former was sole monarch until B. C. 81. Berenice reigned six
    months (B. C. 81, 80), and was then murdered by her husband,
    Ptolemy X. He was slain by the Alexandrians. Ptolemy XI. (B. C.
    80-51) made good his claim after fifteen years’ anarchy; was
    acknowledged by the Romans, but expelled (B. C. 59-55) by his
    subjects; returned to reign under Roman protection. Cleopatra
    poisoned her two brothers, and by favor of Cæsar and Antony
    kept her kingdom twenty-one years, B. C. 51-30.


=66.= Upon the death of Alexander, the greater part of Greece revolted
against Macedon, Athens, as of old, being the leader. Antipater, the
Macedonian regent, was defeated near Thermopylæ, and besieged in Lamia,
in Thessaly. The confederates were afterward worsted at Cranon, and the
good management of Antipater dissolved the league by treating with its
members separately, and offering the most lenient terms to all except the
leaders. Athens suffered the punishment she had often inflicted. Twelve
thousand of her citizens were forcibly removed to Thrace, Illyria, Italy,
and Africa, only nine thousand of the wealthier sort being left, who
willingly submitted to the Macedonian supremacy. Demosthenes, with the
principal members of his party, were executed, and the last remains of
Athenian independence destroyed.

=67.= The wars of the generals and the intrigues of the Macedonian
princesses belong to Period II. (See §§ 19-25.) Three years after the
battle of Ipsus, Cassander died, B. C. 298, leaving the crown to his
son, Philip IV. The young king reigned less than a year, and his mother,
Thessalonica, then divided Macedonia between her two remaining sons,
Antipater and Alexander. The former, being dissatisfied with his portion,
murdered his mother and called in his father-in-law, Lysimachus, to aid
him in gaining the whole. His brother, at the same time, asked aid of
Demetrius, who reigned in Greece, and of Pyrrhus, king of Epirus. With
their help he drove Antipater out of Macedonia; but he gained nothing by
the victory, for Demetrius had undertaken the war solely with the view of
placing himself upon the throne, which he accomplished by the murder of
Alexander. Antipater II. was put to death the same year by Lysimachus, B.
C. 294.

=68.= The kingdom now included Thessaly, Attica, and the greater part
of the Peloponnesus, Pyrrhus having received several countries on the
western coast of Greece. Demetrius, however, sacrificed all his dominions
to his unbounded ambition and conceit. He failed in an attack on Pyrrhus,
and being invaded both from the east and west, was compelled to abandon
Macedonia, B. C. 287. In a later expedition into Asia, he became the
prisoner of Seleucus, and died in the third year of his captivity. (See §

=69.= Pyrrhus remained king of the greater part of Macedonia nearly a
year, but was then driven back to his hereditary kingdom by Lysimachus,
who thus extended his own dominions from the Halys to Mount Pindus, B.
C. 286. The capital of this consolidated kingdom was Lysimachia, in the
Chersonese, and Macedonia for five years was merely a province. The
nobles, becoming discontented, called in Seleucus, who defeated and
killed Lysimachus, B. C. 281.

=70.= For a few weeks the aged Seleucus governed nearly all the dominions
of Alexander, except Egypt. He was then assassinated by Ptolemy
Ceraunus,[60] who became king in his stead. The Egyptian prince was soon
overwhelmed by a new peril in the invasion of the Gauls. This restless
people had been pouring for nearly a century into northern Italy, where
they had driven out the Etruscans from the plain of the Po, and given
their own name to Gallia Cisalpina. Now turning eastward, they occupied
the plain of the Danube, and pressed southward as far as Illyricum,
whence they proceeded in three divisions, one falling upon the Thracians,
another upon the Pæonians, and a third upon the Macedonians. The last
army encountered Ptolemy Ceraunus, who was defeated and slain in battle.
For two years they ravaged Macedonia, while Melea´ger, a brother of
Ceraunus, and Antipater, a nephew of Cassander, successively occupied the
throne, B. C. 279-277.

=71.= Brennus, a Gallic leader, with more than 200,000 men, marched
through Thessaly, laying all waste with fire and sword. A furious battle
took place at Thermopylæ, and the Gauls, at last, only gained the rear
of the Greek army by the same mountain path which had admitted the
troops of Xerxes two hundred years before. Brennus pushed on to plunder
Delphi, but an army of 4,000, well posted upon the heights of Parnassus,
withstood him with success; and a violent wintry storm, which confused
and benumbed the assailants, convinced devout Greeks that Apollo was once
more defending his sanctuary. The Gallic leader was severely wounded,
and unwilling to survive his disgrace, put an end to his own life. His
army broke up into a multitude of marauding bands, without order or
discipline, and the greater part perished from cold, hunger, or battle.
Their countrymen, however, established a kingdom in Thrace; and another
band, invited into Asia Minor by Nicomedes, became possessed of a large
tract of country, which received their name as Gala´tia.

=72.= During the disorders in Macedonia, Sosthenes, an officer of noble
birth, had been placed at the head of affairs, instead of Antipater, who
was deposed for his incapacity. After the Gauls had retired, Antipater
regained the throne. But Antigonus Gonatas, who had maintained himself
as an independent prince in central and southern Greece, ever since the
captivity of his father, Demetrius, now appeared with an army composed
mainly of Gallic mercenaries, defeated Antipater, and gained possession
of Macedonia. Antiochus Soter made war against him, but was opposed
with so much energy that he acknowledged Antigonus as king, and gave
him his sister Phila in marriage. But Antigonus was never acceptable to
either Greeks or Macedonians, and when Pyrrhus, the most popular prince
of his age, returned from Italy, the whole Macedonian army was ready to
desert to his side. Antigonus was defeated, and for a year or more was a
fugitive, B. C. 273-271.

=73.= Pyrrhus was the greatest warrior and one of the best princes of
his time—a time from which truth and fidelity seemed almost to have
disappeared. He might have become the most powerful monarch in the world,
if his perseverance had been equal to his talents and ambition. But
instead of organizing the territory he possessed, he was ever thirsting
for new conquests. In a war upon southern Greece he was repulsed from
Sparta, and in attempting to seize Argos by night, he was killed by a
tile thrown by a woman from a house-top.

=74.= Antigonus Gonatas now returned and reigned thirty-two years. He
extended his power over most of the Peloponnesus, and waged war five
years against the Athenians, who were aided by Sparta and Egypt. In the
meantime, Antigonus was recalled by the incursion of Alexander, son of
Pyrrhus, who was carrying all before him, and had been acknowledged king
of Macedon. Demetrius, son of Antigonus, chased him out of Macedonia,
and even out of Epirus; and though he was soon restored to his paternal
dominion, he remained thenceforth at peace with his neighbors. Athens
fell in 263 B. C. Nineteen years later, Antigonus gained possession of
Corinth; but this was the last of his successes.

=75.= The Achæan League, which had been suppressed by the immediate
successors of Alexander, had soon revived, and extended itself beyond the
limits of Achaia, receiving cities from all the Peloponnesus. In 243 B.
C., Ara´tus, its head, by a sudden and well-concerted movement captured
Corinth, which immediately joined the League. Several important cities
followed the example; and Antigonus, who had grown old and cautious,
was unable to oppose them, except by stirring up Ætolia to attack the
Achæans. He died B. C. 239, having lived eighty and reigned thirty-seven

=76.= Demetrius II. allied himself with Epirus, and broke friendship with
the Ætolians, who were enemies of that kingdom. The consequence was, that
the Ætolians made a junction with the Achæan League to oppose him. He
was able to defeat them in Thessaly and Bœotia, but south of the isthmus
the ascendency of Macedon was at an end. The Romans now for the first
time interfered in Grecian affairs, by requiring the Ætolian confederacy
to abstain from aggressions upon Acarnania. Corcyra, Apollonia, and
Epidamnus fell into their hands, B. C. 228, a year after the death of
Demetrius II.

=77.= Philip V. was but eight years old when he inherited his father’s
dominions, under the guardianship of his kinsman, Antigonus Doson.
During this regency great changes took place in Sparta, which led to
a brief return of her old energy. The laws of Lycurgus had continued
in force more than five centuries, but the time of their fitness and
usefulness had passed away. The rigid separation which they made between
the different classes, now limited the number of true Spartans to 700,
while the property tests were so severe, that only 100 enjoyed the full
rights of citizens. The wealth of the community was concentrated in the
hands of a few, who violated the old law by living in great luxury. In
this condition, Sparta was unable even to defend herself against Illyrian
pirates or Ætolian marauders, still less to exert any influence, as of
old, in the general affairs of Greece.

The reforms proposed B. C. 230, by Agis IV., and carried, four years
later, by Cleomenes, added 3,800 _periϫci_ to the number of citizens,
and re-divided the lands of the state between these and 15,000 selected
Laconians. Debts were abolished, and the old simple and frugal customs
of Lycurgus restored. Sparta was now able to defeat the forces of the
Achæan League, and to draw from it, into her own alliance, most of the
Peloponnesian towns out of Achaia. But Aratus, the head of the League,
violated all its principles by calling in Antigonus, the Macedonian
regent, and putting him in possession of Acro-Corinthus. In the battle of
Sella´sia, B. C. 221, Cleomenes was defeated, and forced to take refuge
at the court of Ptolemy Philopator. The League which had been created
to defend the liberties of Greece, had betrayed them; and there was no
longer any hope either of restoring the glories of Sparta, or of checking
the overwhelming power of Macedon and Rome.

=78.= Antigonus died B. C. 220, and Philip, now seventeen years of age,
assumed the government. The great advantages gained during the regency
were soon lost by his rashness. He hastily allied himself with Hannibal
against Rome, and then with Antiochus of Syria against Egypt. (See §§ 37,
59.) His first war, however, was against Ætolia, which had sprung to arms
immediately upon his accession, hoping at once to overbalance its rival,
Achaia, and to increase its own territories at the expense of Macedon. As
early as the time of Alexander the Great, the Ætolian tribes had formed
themselves into a federal republic, which occupied a similar position
in central Greece to that of the Achæan League in the Peloponnesus. By
the subjection or annexation of several states, it was now extended from
the Ionian to the Ægean Sea. Philip overran Ætolia with great energy,
captured its seat of government, and by his brilliant successes showed a
military talent worthy of the early days of Macedonian conquest. But the
news of a great victory gained by Hannibal at Lake Thrasyme´ne, recalled
his attention to the object of his chief ambition, a war with Rome.

=79.= The first movement in the new war was the siege of Apollonia, a
Roman colony in Illyricum. Philip hoped to drive the Romans from the
western coast of Greece, and thus prepare the way for an invasion of
Italy. His camp was surprised at night by Vale´rius, and he was forced
to burn his ships and retreat in all haste. The Ætolians and all their
allies—Sparta, Elis, and the kings of Illyricum and Pergamus—took sides
with Rome, and carried the war into Macedonia, forcing Philip to ask
the aid of Carthage. The Romans captured Zacynthus, Ne´sos and Œniadæ,
Antic´yra in Locris, and the island of Ægina, and presented all to the

At this crisis, Philopϫmen, the greatest Greek of his time, became
commander of the Achæan cavalry, and, two years later, the head of the
League. He improved the drill and tactics of the army, and infused new
spirit into the whole nation. His invasion of Elis, in concert with
Philip, was unsuccessful, and the king was defeated by Sulpic´ius Galba;
but, in 207 B. C., the great victory of Mantinea placed the Macedonians
and Achæans on a more equal footing with the Romans. Peace was made on
terms honorable to all parties.

=80.= Philip, spoiled by ambition, had become unscrupulous and reckless.
Instead of securing what he already possessed, he continually grasped
after new conquests; and disregarding the storm that was sure to burst
upon him sooner or later from the west, he now turned to the east and
south. He made a treaty with Antiochus the Great for a partition of the
Egyptian dependencies, by which he was to receive Thrace and the western
part of Asia Minor. This led at once to war with At´talus of Pergamus,
an ally of Rome, as well as with Rhodes, which took the part of Egypt.
His fleet was signally defeated off Chios, B. C. 201; and though he
afterward gained a victory at Lade, his losses were not retrieved. He
captured, however, the important islands of Samos, Thasos, and Chios,
with the province of Caria, and several places in Ionia.

=81.= The great disaster of the war was the rupture of the treaty with
Rome. That power interfered in behalf of her allies, Egypt, Rhodes, and
Pergamus; and when Philip rejected all reasonable demands, she declared
the peace at an end. In the second war with Rome, Greece was at first
divided into three parties, some states remaining neutral, some siding
with Rome, and some with Macedon. But when the consul, Fla´mini´nus,
proclaimed liberty to all the Greeks, and declared himself their champion
against the long detested power of Macedon, nearly every state went over
to the Roman side. On the land, Macedonia was attacked by Sulpicius
Galba, aided by the Illyrians and Dardanians; while by sea, a Roman
fleet, increased by Rhodian and Pergamene vessels, threatened the coast.
Several important towns in Eubœa were taken, but the great decisive
battle was fought (B. C. 197) at Cynocephalæ, where Philip was defeated
and his power utterly prostrated. He was compelled to abandon all the
Greek cities which he held, either in Europe or Asia, to surrender
his entire navy, and to pay a war indemnity of one thousand talents

=82.= In settling the affairs of Greece, the Romans subdivided the
states into still smaller sections than of old, and guaranteed perfect
independence to each. The two leagues of Achaia and Ætolia were, however,
left to balance each other. The states were generally satisfied with the
arrangement, but the Ætolians stirred up a new war in the very year of
Flamininus’s departure, and called in Antiochus from Asia to their aid.
He was defeated at Thermopylæ by the Romans, B. C. 191, and the great
battle of Magnesia, in the following year, ended all hope of resistance
to the power of Rome. The Achæan League, sustained by the wise and able
management of Philopœmen, gained in power by the weakening of its rival,
and now included the whole Peloponnesus, with Megaris and some other
territories beyond the peninsula.

=83.= Philip had aided the Romans in the recent war, and had been
permitted to extend his dominions over part of Thrace, and southward
into Thessaly. But when peace was secured, he was required to give
up all except his hereditary kingdom. Demetrius, the second son of
Philip, had long been a hostage at Rome, and acted now as his father’s
ambassador. The Roman Senate conceded many points, for the sake of the
warm friendship which it professed for this young prince; but its favor
only aroused the suspicions of his father and the jealousy of his elder
brother, Per´seus. The latter forged letters to convince his father
of the treason of Demetrius, and the innocent youth was put to death
by order of the king. But the grief and remorse of Philip exceeded
all bounds, when he learned the deception that had been practiced. He
believed that he was haunted by the spirit of Demetrius, and it was agony
of mind, rather than bodily illness, that soon occasioned his death.

An ancient historian remarked that there were few monarchs of whom more
good or more evil could justly be said, than of Philip V. If the promise
of his youth had been fulfilled, and the opportunities of his reign
improved, he would have done great things for Macedonia and Greece. But
his talents became obscured by drunkenness and profligacy, his natural
generosity was spoiled by the habit of supreme command, and he became in
later years a gloomy, unscrupulous, and suspicious tyrant.

=84.= Philip had designed to punish the crime of Perseus by leaving
the throne to a distant relative, Antigonus; but the sudden death of
the father, while Antigonus was absent from court, enabled the son to
make himself king without opposition. He pursued with much diligence
the policy of Philip, in preparing Macedonia for a second struggle with
Rome. The revenues were increased by a careful working of the mines;
the population, wasted by so many wars, was recruited by colonies of
Thracians and others; and close alliances were made with the kings of
Asia, and with the hardy barbarians of the north, Gauls, Illyrians, and
Germans, whose aid might be invaluable when the decisive moment should
arrive. But Perseus failed to unite the states of Greece, in which a
large party already preferred his supremacy to that of Rome; and instead
of using his treasures to satisfy and confirm his allies, he hoarded them
penuriously, only to enrich his enemies at the end of the war.

=85.= In the spring of 171 B. C., the Romans landed in Epirus, and spent
some months in winning the Greek states to their side by money and
influence. In the autumn they met Perseus in Thessaly, with nearly equal
forces, and were defeated. The Macedonian made no use, however, of his
victory, and nothing of importance was done for two years. In 168 B. C.,
L. Æmil´ius Paulus assumed the command, and forced Perseus to a battle
near Pydna. Here the fate of Macedon was finally decided. Perseus was
defeated and fled to Samothrace, where he was soon captured with all
his treasures. He was taken to Rome, and compelled to walk in chains in
the splendid triumph of Æmilius. After several years, the last of the
Macedonian kings died in imprisonment at Alba.

Macedonia was not immediately made a Roman province, but was divided into
four distinct states, which were forbidden all intercourse with each
other. The people were consoled by a great reduction in the taxes, the
Romans demanding only half the amount which they had been accustomed to
pay their native kings.

=86.= In Greece, all confederacies, except the Achæan League, were
dissolved. Achaia had been the constant friend of Rome during the war;
but to insure its submission, one thousand of the principal citizens
were accused of having secretly aided Perseus, and were carried to Italy
for trial. They were imprisoned seventeen years without a hearing; and
then, when all but three hundred had died, these were sent back, in the
certainty that their resentment against Rome would lead them to some rash
act of hostility.

All happened as the Romans had foreseen. The three of the exiles who
were most embittered by this unprovoked outrage came into power, and
their enmity gave to their foes what they most desired, a pretext for
an armed invasion of the territories of the League. In 146 B. C., war
was declared. One of the Achæan leaders was disastrously defeated and
slain near Thermopylæ; another, with the remnant of the army, made a last
stand at Corinth, but he was defeated and the city was taken, plundered,
and destroyed. Within a few years Greece was placed under proconsular
government, like other provinces of Rome. It remained nearly sixteen
centuries a part of that great empire, which, though driven from Italy,
maintained its existence in the East, until it was overthrown by the
Turks, A. D. 1453.


    Lamian War ended in the subjection of Greece to Macedonia.
    Cassander reigned B. C. 316-297. Death of all his sons within
    three years, left the crown to Demetrius, son of Antigonus,
    (B. C. 294-287,) who lost it by rash enterprises, and died
    a prisoner in Asia. Pyrrhus, the Epirote, reigned a year.
    Macedonia was then annexed to Thrace (B. C. 286-281). On the
    death of Lysimachus, it fell to Seleucus, who was murdered
    in turn by Ptolemy Ceraunus. In the reign of Ptolemy (B.
    C. 281-279), Meleager, Antipater II., and Sosthenes (B. C.
    279-277), the Gauls ravaged Macedonia and Greece, gained
    Thermopylæ, but were defeated at Delphi. Antigonus, son of
    Demetrius (B. C. 277-273), was expelled by Pyrrhus, whose
    second reign lasted B. C. 273-271, but who was killed at Argos,
    and Antigonus restored (B. C. 271-239). He captured Athens and
    Corinth; the latter was retaken by the Achæan League. Demetrius
    II. (B. C. 239-229) allied himself with Epirus against the
    Achæan and Ætolian Leagues. First interference of Rome in
    Grecian affairs, B. C. 238. Regency of Antigonus Doson, B. C.
    229-220. Reform and renewed energy in Sparta. Macedonians,
    in alliance with the Achæan League, defeated the Spartans at
    Sellasia, B. C. 221. Independent reign of Philip V., B. C.
    220-179. His wars against Ætolia, Rome, Egypt. Romans, in a
    second war, proclaimed liberty to the Greeks; overthrew Philip
    at Cynocephalæ, B. C. 197; subdivided and reorganized the
    Grecian states. The Ætolians provoked another war, their ally,
    Antiochus, was defeated at Thermopylæ and Magnesia. Death of
    Prince Demetrius and his father. Efforts of Perseus, the last
    king of Macedon (B. C. 179-168). His war with Rome; defeat at
    Pydna; capture and death. Division of Macedonia. Reduction of
    tribute. Treachery of the Romans toward the Achæan League. Last
    war with Rome. Battle of Leucopetra, near Corinth, B. C. 146.


=87.= The Thracian kingdom of Lysimachus has no history that need detain
us. Unlike Egypt or Syria under Macedonian rule, it contributed nothing
to literature, science, or general civilization. The several tribes were
powerful by reason of their numbers, their hardy contempt of danger and
exposure, and their untamable love of freedom; but their strength was too
often wasted in fighting against each other, and thus they were reduced
either to subjects or humble allies of the more civilized nations to the
southward. At the same time, their position on the Danube rendered them
the most exposed of all the ancient kingdoms, to the incursions of the
northern barbarians; and the history of Thrace under the Romans is only a
record of wars and devastations.


=88.= Beside the four great monarchies already described, a number of
smaller kingdoms arose from the ruins of Alexander’s empire. A few of
these will be briefly mentioned. Pergamus, on the Ca´icus in Mysia,
possessed a strong fortress, which was used by Lysimachus as a place
of safe keeping for his treasures, under the charge of Philetæ´rus,
of Tium, an officer in whom he reposed the greatest confidence. This
person, provoked by ill-treatment from the Thracian queen, made himself
independent, and by means of the ample treasures of Lysimachus,
maintained his principality undisturbed for twenty years, B. C. 283-263.
(See §§ 30, 31.)

His nephew, Eumenes, who succeeded him, increased his territories by
a victory over Antiochus I., near Sardis. After reigning twenty-two
years (B. C., 263-241), he was succeeded by his cousin, Attalus I., who
gained a great victory over the Gauls, and, first of his family, took
the title of king. Ten years later, he defeated Antiochus Hierax (see
§ 33), and included in his own dominions all the countries west of the
Halys and north of the Taurus. In wars with the kings of Syria, he lost
these conquests, and was limited for seven years to his own principality
of Pergamus; but by the aid of Gallic mercenaries and his own good
management, he won back most of the territories. He earned the favor of
Rome by joining that Republic against Philip V. of Macedon. The country
was ravaged by Philip in the interval of his Roman wars (see § 80); but
the great victory off Chios compensated Attalus for his losses, and the
treasures he amassed made his name proverbial for wealth. His exertions
in behalf of his allies, during the second war of Rome and Macedon, ended
his life at an advanced age, B. C. 197.

=89.= Eumenes II., his eldest son and successor, aided the Roman
operations against the kings of Syria and Macedonia, with so much
energy and talent, that he was rewarded with an increase of territory
on both sides of the Hellespont, and his kingdom was for a time one
of the greatest in Asia. He continued his father’s liberal policy in
the encouragement of art and literature, founded the great Library of
Pergamus, which was second only to that of Alexandria, and beautified
his capital with many magnificent buildings. At his death his crown was
assumed by his brother, Attalus II. (Philadelphus), as the son of Eumenes
was still a child. More than half the twenty-one years of Philadelphus’s
reign were occupied by wars, especially against Pru´sias II., king of
Bithynia. By aiding the revolt of Nicomedes, who gained that kingdom
instead of his father, Attalus secured some years of peace, which he
employed in building cities and increasing his library. Chief of the
cities were Eumeni´a, in Phrygia; Philadelphia, in Lydia; and Attali´a,
in Pamphylia.

=90.= Philadelphus died B. C. 138, leaving the kingdom to his nephew,
Attalus III. (Philometor), the son of Eumenes II. This king crowded into
the short period of five years more crimes and atrocities than can be
found in all the other reigns of his dynasty put together. He murdered
all the old friends of his father and uncle, with their families; all
who still held any office of trust in the kingdom; and, finally, his own
nearest relatives, including his mother, for whom he had professed the
warmest affection by the surname he adopted. At last he retired from
this atrocious career of misgovernment, to the more innocent pursuits
of painting, sculpture, and gardening. He died of a fever, leaving his
kingdom a legacy to the Roman people. Aristoni´cus, a half-brother of
Attalus III., successfully resisted the Roman claims for three years,
even defeating and capturing Licin´ius Crassus, who was sent to take
possession; but he was in turn made prisoner, and Pergamus was added to
the territories of Rome, B. C. 130.


=91.= This tributary province of Persia regained its independence
upon the overthrow of that empire, and resisted all the efforts of
Alexander’s generals to reduce it. Among its kings were Nicomedes I.,
who founded Nicomedia on the Propontis; Zeilas, who gained his crown by
the aid of the Gauls; and Prusias, his son, who extended his kingdom
by constant wars, and would have raised it to great importance but for
the offense he gave the Romans, by making war against Pergamus and by
sheltering Hannibal. He was forced to surrender to Eumenes some important

Prusias II. suffered still greater disasters, owing to his own
contemptible wickedness. He sent his son Nicomedes to Rome, with secret
orders for his assassination. But the plot failed; and Nicomedes II.,
whose popularity had excited his father’s jealousy, now returned with
the support of the Romans and the Pergamene king, and gained possession
of the throne. He reigned fifty-eight years with the title Epiphanes
(Illustrious). His son, Nicomedes III., in alliance with the Romans, made
war seven years with Mithridates, king of Pontus, their most able and
resolute opponent. He was twice expelled from his dominions; but after
the close of the first Mithridatic War, he reigned peacefully ten years,
and, having no children, left his kingdom to the Romans, B. C. 74.


=92.= Cappadocia under the Persians had been a satrapy, governed by
the descendants of that Ota´nes who conspired with Darius I. against
the false Smerdis. (See Book II.) In 363 B. C., a son of the satrap
Mithridates revolted, and made himself king of that portion of Cappadocia
which lay next the sea, and was thence called Pontus by the Greeks.
This kingdom was for a short time subject to the Macedonian power; but
Mithridates I., in 318 B. C., became again independent. The annals of
the next two reigns are of no great importance. Mithridates III. (B. C.
245-190) enlarged and strengthened his dominion by alliances with the
Asiatic monarchs, as well as by wars. His son Phar´naces conquered Sinope
from the Greeks, and made it his capital. The next king, Mithridates
IV. (B. C. 160-120), aided Rome against Carthage and Pergamus, and was
rewarded by the addition of the Greater Phrygia to his dominions.

=93.= Mithridates V., the Great, came to the throne at the age of eleven
years, his father having been murdered by some officers of the court.
The young prince, distrusting his guardians, began in his earliest years
to accustom himself to antidotes against poison, and to spend much of
his time in hunting, which enabled him to take refuge in the most rough
and inaccessible portions of his kingdom. He had, however, received a
Greek education at Sinope; and when, at the age of twenty, he assumed the
government, he possessed not only a soul and body inured to every sort of
peril and hardship, but a mind furnished with all the knowledge needful
to a king. He spoke twenty-five languages, and could transact business
with every tribe of his dominions, in its own peculiar dialect.

The Romans had already seized his province of Phrygia, and he clearly
saw the conflict which must soon take place with the all-absorbing
Republic. He determined, therefore, to extend his kingdom to the eastward
and northward, thus increasing its power and wealth, so as to make it
more nearly a match for its great western antagonist. In seven years
he added to his dominions half the shores of the Black Sea, including
the Cimme´rian peninsula—now the Crimea—and extending westward to the
Dniester. He made alliances with the wild and powerful tribes upon the
Danube, and with the kings of Armenia, Cappadocia, and Bithynia. From
the last two countries he afterward drove out their hereditary kings,
placing his own son on the throne of Cappadocia, and Socrates, a younger
brother of Nicomedes III., on that of Bithynia.

=94.= The Roman Senate now interfered, and with their favor Nicomedes
invaded Pontus. Mithridates marched into Cappadocia and drove out its
newly reinstated king; then into Bithynia, where he routed the army of
Nicomedes and defeated the Romans. He speedily made himself master of all
Asia Minor, except a few towns in the extreme south and west; and from
his headquarters at Pergamus, gave orders for a general massacre of all
Romans and Italians in Asia. Eighty thousand persons fell in consequence
of this atrocious act, but from that moment the tide turned against
Mithridates. Two large armies which he sent into Greece, were defeated
by Sulla at Chæronea. A great battle in Bithynia was lost by the Pontic
generals. Pontus itself was invaded, and its king became a fugitive.

Peace was at length made, on terms most humiliating to Mithridates. He
surrendered all his conquests, and a fleet of seventy vessels; agreed to
pay 2,000 talents; and recognized the kings of Cappadocia and Bithynia,
whom he had formerly expelled. The reverses of Mithridates naturally led
the subject nations on the Euxine to throw off his yoke. He was preparing
to march against them, when a second Roman war was kindled by a sudden
and unprovoked aggression of Murena, the general of the Republic in the
East. The Romans were defeated on the Halys, and peace was restored, B.
C. 82.

=95.= In the seven years’ breathing-space which followed, Mithridates
subdued all his revolted subjects, and recruited his forces with the
utmost energy. His army, drawn largely from the barbarous nations on
the Danube and Euxine, was drilled and equipped according to the Roman
system, and his navy was increased to four hundred vessels. Both the
Pontic king and the Romans would willingly have remained some years
longer at peace, but, in 74 B. C., the legacy of Bithynia to the latter
power, by Nicomedes III., brought them into unavoidable collision.
Mithridates first seized the country, and gained a double victory over
Cotta, by sea and land. But he failed in the sieges of Chalcedon and
Cyzicus, and in the second year he was repeatedly worsted by Lucul´lus.
His fleet was first defeated off Tenedos, and then wrecked by a storm. In
the third year Mithridates was driven out of his own dominions, and those
of his son-in-law, Tigranes. For three years the war was carried on in
Armenia, where the two kings were twice defeated by Lucullus.

In 68 B. C., Mithridates returned to his kingdom, and defeated the Romans
twice within a few months. But in 66 B. C., Pompey assumed the command,
and Mithridates, after the loss of nearly his whole army, abandoned
Pontus, and retired into the barbarous regions north of the Euxine, where
the Romans did not care to pursue him. With a spirit untamed either by
years or misfortunes, he plotted the bold design of gathering to his
standard the wild tribes along the Danube, and marching upon Italy from
the north. But his officers did not share his enthusiasm. A conspiracy
against him was headed by his own son; and the old king, deserted by all
whom he would have trusted, attempted to end his life by poison. His
constitution had been for many years so guarded by antidotes, that the
drugs had no effect, and he was finally dispatched by one of his Gallic
soldiers. Pontus became a Roman province, only a small portion of its
territory continuing, a century or more, under princes of the ancient


[Illustration: Coin of Ariarathes V., twice the size of original.]

=96.= The southern part of Cappadocia remained loyal to the Persian
kings until their downfall at Arbela. It was conquered by Perdiccas
after the death of Alexander, but within six years became independent,
and continued under native kings until it was absorbed into the Roman
dominions, A. D. 17. The history of these monarchs is of little
importance, except so far as it is included in that of the neighboring
nations. The fifth king, Ariara´thes IV., made, in his later years, a
close and friendly alliance with the Romans, which continued unbroken
under his successors.

Ariarathes V. (B. C. 131-96) presents the sole example of a “blameless
prince” in the three centuries following Alexander. No act of deceit or
cruelty is recorded against him. Cappadocia, under his reign, became a
celebrated abode of philosophy, under the patronage and example of the
king. With Ariarathes VIII., the royal Persian line became extinct, and
the Cappadocians chose a new sovereign in Ariobarza´nes I. (B. C. 93-64).
This king was three times driven out of his dominions by the sovereigns
of Armenia and Pontus, and three times reinstated by the Romans. The last
king, Archelaus (B. C. 36-A. D. 17), was summoned by Tibe´rius to Rome,
where he died, and his kingdom became a Roman province.


=97.= Armenia was included in the kingdom of the Seleucidæ, from
the battle of Ipsus to that of Magnesia, B. C. 190. Two generals of
Antiochus III. then revolted against him, and set up the kingdoms
of Armenia Major on the east, and Armenia Minor on the west of the
Euphrates. The greatest king of Armenia Major was Tigranes I. (B. C.
96-55), who not only gained important victories from the Parthian
monarch, but conquered all Syria, and held it fourteen years. He incurred
the vengeance of Rome in various ways, but chiefly by sustaining his
father-in-law, Mithridates, in his wars against the Republic. He suffered
several calamitous defeats, with the loss of his capital, Tigran´ocer´ta.

In 67 B. C., the disaffection of the Roman troops gave the two kings the
opportunity to recover much of what they had lost. The appearance of the
great Pompey upon the scene again turned the tide. The young Tigranes
rebelled against his father, with the aid of Parthia and Rome. The king
surrendered all his conquests, retaining only his hereditary kingdom
of the Greater Armenia. His son, Artavas´des I. (B. C. 55-34), aided
the expedition of Crassus against the Parthians; but having afterward
offended Antony, he was taken prisoner and put to death by order of
Cleopatra. Artaxias, his son, ordered a massacre of all the Romans in
Armenia. In 19 B. C., he was himself murdered by his own relations. The
remaining kings were sovereigns only in name, being set up or displaced
alternately by the Romans and Parthians, until Armenia was absorbed by
the former, A. D. 114. Armenia Minor was usually a dependency of some
neighboring kingdom, from the time of Mithridates to that of Vespa´sian
(A. D. 69-79), when it, too, became a Roman province.


=98.= Bactria was a part of the Syrian empire from 305 to 255 B. C.
Diodotus, the satrap, then made himself independent, and established
a new Greek kingdom, the most easterly of all the scattered fragments
of Alexander’s conquests. Euthydemus, the third king, was a native of
Magnesia, and a usurper (B. C. 222-200). His son Demetrius made many
victorious campaigns, extending over Afghanistan and into India (B. C.
200-180). He lost a part of his native dominions to a rebel, Eucrat´ides,
who reigned north of the Pa´ropam´isus range during the life of
Demetrius, and after his death, over the whole country. He, too, carried
on Indian wars with great energy and success. Under his son, Heli´ocles
(B. C. 160-150), the Bactrian kingdom rapidly declined, being invaded by
the Parthian kings on the west, and the Tartar tribes from the north.


=99.= The Parthians established their independence about B. C. 250, under
the lead of the Scythian Arsaces. The people were of the same race with
the modern Turks—treacherous in war, indolent and unaspiring in peace,
rude in arts and barbarous in manners. Their warlike hardihood, however,
gave the Romans a more troublesome resistance than they encountered in
any other portion of Alexander’s former empire; and the dominion of the
Arsacidæ lasted nearly 500 years, until it was overthrown by the new
Persian kingdom, A. D. 226. The greatness of the Parthian empire dates
from Mithridates, who is also called Arsaces VI., B. C. 174-136. The
neighboring kingdom of Bactria, with its Greek monarchs and its higher
civilization, had hitherto maintained the ascendency; but while these
kings were absorbed in their Indian conquests, Mithridates seized upon
several of their provinces, and eventually absorbed their whole dominion.

[Illustration: Coin of Arsaces III., twice the size of original.]

The Parthian empire, at its greatest extent, comprised all the countries
between the Euphrates and the Indus; from the Araxes and the Caspian
on the north, to the Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean on the south. Its
numerous parts were not consolidated into one government, as were the
satrapies of Persia or the provinces of Rome; but each nation, with its
own laws and usages, retained its native king, who was tributary to the
lord-paramount in the Arsacid family. Hence the Parthian coins, like the
Assyrian monuments, commonly bear the title “King of Kings.” The wars of
Mithridates made the Euphrates the boundary-line between the Parthian and
Roman empires. The wealth and power of the Oriental monarchy provoked
at once the avarice and the jealousy of the western Republic, and a
collision could not long be delayed. The details of the Parthian wars of
Rome will be found in Book V.


    Bravery and barbarism of the Thracians. Rise of Pergamus, B.
    C. 283. Reigns of Philotærus, Eumenes, Attalus I. Success and
    enlightened policy of Eumenes II. Wars of Attalus Philadelphus.
    His new cities. Crimes of Attalus III. Bequest of his kingdom
    to Rome. Short reign of Aristonicus. Bithynia ruled by
    Nicomedes I., Zeilas, Prusias I. and II., Nicomedes II. and
    III., B. C. 278-74. Rise of the kingdom of Pontus, B. C. 363.
    Independent of Macedon, B. C. 318; enlarged by Mithridates
    III. and Pharnaces, B. C. 245-160. Education of Mithridates
    V., his conquests and alliances; first collision with the
    Romans, B. C. 88; massacre of 80,000 Italians; disasters and
    humiliating peace. Second Roman War, B. C. 83, 82. Seven
    years’ drill of Pontic forces in Roman tactics. Third Roman
    War, B. C. 74-65; Mithridates driven into Armenia, B. C. 71;
    recovered his kingdom, B. C. 68; defeated by Pompey, B. C.
    66; took refuge in the northern wilds, and ended his life by
    violence, B. C. 63. Pontus became a Roman province. Cappadocia
    in alliance with Rome, B. C. 188. Just and peaceful reign of
    Ariarathes V. End of the dynasty in Ariarathes VIII. Exiles
    and returns of Ariobarzanes I. The country absorbed into the
    Roman dominion, A. D. 17. Armenia a part of the Syrian empire,
    B. C. 301-190. “Greater” and “Lesser” kingdoms then formed
    on the east and west of the Euphrates. Conquest of Syria
    by Tigranes I., B. C. 83. His wars with Rome, B. C. 69-66.
    Losses. Fate of Artavasdes. Massacre of the Romans by Artaxias.
    Alternate dependence upon Rome and Parthia, B. C. 19-A. D.
    114. Bactria dependent upon Syria, B. C. 305-255. Diodotus
    reigned, B. C. 255-237. The third king a Lydian, B. C. 222-200.
    Indian campaigns of Demetrius and Eucratidas, B. C. 200-160.
    Decline and fall of the kingdom under attacks of surrounding
    barbarians, B. C. 160-80. Parthian empire powerful, but
    uncivilized. Absorption of Bactrian provinces, B. C. 174-136. A
    group of kingdoms, rather than a nation, side by side with Rome.


=100.= Judæa, with the rest of Syria, had been assigned to Laom´edon
upon the partition of Alexander’s conquests; but it was soon annexed by
Ptolemy Soter, and continued 117 years a part of the Egyptian empire. Its
history in this Book will be considered in three periods:

    I. From the Fall of the Persian Empire to the Rise of an
    Independent Jewish Kingdom, B. C. 323-168.

    II. The Time of the Maccabees, B. C. 168-37.

    III. The Time of the Herods, B. C. 37-A. D. 44.

FIRST PERIOD. Under the first three Ptolemies, the Jews were peaceful and
prosperous. The high priest was at the head of the state, and in local
matters ruled with little interference from Egypt. Ptolemy Philopator,
however, a wicked and foolish prince, attempted to profane the temple,
and the Jews, in alarm, sought protection from Antiochus the Great. That
monarch, with their aid, gained possession of all the coast between
Upper Syria and the Desert of Sinai; and though often disputed, and once
recovered by the Egyptians, this district remained a part of the Syrian

=101.= For thirty years the privileges of the Jews were respected by
their new sovereigns; but toward the close of his reign, Seleucus IV.
resolved to appropriate the sacred treasures of the temple to his own
pressing needs, and sent Heliodorus, his treasurer, for this purpose to
Jerusalem. According to the Jewish tradition,[61] three angels appeared
for the defense of the holy place. One of them was seated on a terrible
horse, which trampled Heliodorus under its feet, while the others
scourged him until he fell lifeless to the ground. He was only restored
by the prayers of the high priest, and the treasury remained unmolested.

Antiochus Epiphanes, the brother and successor of Seleucus, was guilty
of still more impious outrages. He put up the high priesthood at
auction, and twice awarded it to the highest bidder, on condition of
his introducing Greek rites and customs into Jerusalem. One of these
mercenary pontiffs stole the sacred vessels of the temple and sold
them at Tyre. An insurrection arose at Jerusalem, but it was punished
by Antiochus in person, who seized the city, set up an altar to Zeus
Olympius, with daily sacrifices of swine’s flesh in the sacred inclosure
of the temple, and put to death a great number of the people. Two years
later, B. C. 168, he ordered a general massacre of the Jews, and by a
frightful persecution sought to exterminate the last remnant of the
ancient religion. The Asmonæ´an family now arose, and by their brave
fidelity made themselves at last sovereigns of Judæa.

=102.= SECOND PERIOD. Mattathias, a priest, living between Jerusalem
and Joppa, killed with his own hand the king’s officer who was sent to
enforce the heathen sacrifices, together with the first renegade Jew
who consented to offer. He then took refuge in the mountains with his
five sons, and was reinforced daily by fugitives from various parts of
Judæa. As their numbers increased, this band issued frequently from their
fastnesses, cut off detachments of the Syrian army, destroyed heathen
altars, and in many places restored the Jewish worship in the synagogues.
The aged Mattathias died in the first year of the war, and was succeeded
in command of the forces by his third son, Judas, who obtained the name
of _Maccabæus_ from his many victories.

During the disputes for the Syrian regency, which followed the death of
Antiochus Epiphanes (see §§ 40, 41), Judas Maccabæus gained possession of
all Jerusalem, except the citadel on Mount Zion, and held it three years.
He purified the temple, restored the incense, lights, and sacrifices,
and drove out Syrians and Hellenizing Jews from every part of Judæa.
The Syrian general, Nicanor, was twice defeated with great loss. In the
second battle, near Beth-horon, Nicanor fell, and his whole army was
cut to pieces. The Romans made alliance with the Maccabees; but before
their aid could arrive, Judas had fallen in battle, B. C. 160. Jerusalem
was lost, and for fourteen years Jonathan Maccabæus could only carry
on a guerrilla warfare from his fastness in the Desert of Teko´ah. The
disputes for the Syrian throne, between Demetrius and Alexander Balas,
which were continued under their sons (see §§ 42-46), gave a respite
to the Jews, and even made their alliance an object of desire to both
parties. Jonathan was thenceforth recognized as prince and high priest,
with full possession of the Holy City.

=103.= His brother Simon succeeded him in both dignities, and under his
prosperous administration Judæa recovered, in great measure, from the
long-continued ravages of war. The life of Simon was ended by treachery.
His son-in-law, Ptolemy, the governor of Jericho, desiring to seize the
government for himself, murdered the high priest and two of his sons
at a banquet. But the other son, John Hyrcanus, escaped and succeeded
his father. At the beginning of his reign, Jerusalem endured a long and
painful siege by Antiochus Sidetes, B. C. 135-133. Its walls, which had
been restored, were leveled with the ground; and a tribute was again
demanded, which lasted, however, no longer than the life of Sidetes.
Hyrcanus captured Samaria, and destroyed the temple on Mount Gerizim (see
Book II, § 64). He conquered Id´ume´a, rendering Judæa fully equal in
power to Syria, which was now reduced from a great empire to a petty and
exhausted kingdom.

=104.= Aristobu´lus, son of Hyrcanus, was the first of the family who
assumed the title of king. He reigned but a year, and was succeeded
by his brother, Alexander Jannæ´us (B. C. 105-78). This prince was a
Sadducee, and the opposite sect of the Pharisees stirred up a mob to
attack him, while officiating as high priest in the Feast of Tabernacles.
The riot was put down with a slaughter of 6,000 insurgents. Alexander
gained victories over the Moabites and the Arabs of Gilead; but in a
subsequent war with the latter he suffered a great defeat, and the
malcontents at home seized the occasion for a new outbreak. The civil war
now raged six years. For a time Alexander was driven to the mountains,
but at length he regained the ascendency, and revenged himself upon the
rebels with frightful cruelty. He left the crown to his widow, Alexandra,
who joined the Pharisees, and was maintained in power by their influence.

=105.= After her death, her two sons, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, quarreled
seven years for the sovereignty. Pompey the Great, who was then at
Damascus, interfered and captured Jerusalem, carried off Aristobulus to
Rome, and established the elder brother in the government. He reigned six
years in peace, B. C. 63-57. In the latter year Aristobulus escaped, and
being joined by many of his partisans, renewed the war. He was besieged
and taken in Machæ´rus by the Roman proconsul, who also deposed Hyrcanus,
and set up a sort of oligarchy in Jerusalem. Pompey, in taking the city,
had left its sacred treasures untouched, but during this period, Crassus,
on his way to Parthia, seized and plundered the temple. After ten years
(B. C. 57-47), Hyrcanus was restored to the high priesthood, while
his friend Antipater, the Idumæan, was appointed procurator, or civil
governor, of Judæa.

In B. C. 40, Antigonus, son of Aristobulus, with the aid of a Parthian
force, captured Jerusalem and reigned three years, the last of the
Asmonæan princes. Antipater had been poisoned; his son Herod repaired to
Rome, and received from the Senate the title of King of Judæa. Returning
speedily, he conquered Galilee and advanced to the siege of Jerusalem.
This was protracted several years, for the Jews were firmly attached to
Antigonus, and resented equally the interference of Rome and the reign of
an Edomite. After hard fighting the walls were taken, and the king was
executed like a common criminal.

=106.= THIRD PERIOD, B. C. 37-A. D. 44. Herod was justly surnamed “the
Great,” for his talents and the grandeur of his enterprises, though
his character was stained by the worst faults of a tyrant, cruelty and
reckless caprice. At the age of fifteen he had been made governor of
Galilee by Julius Cæsar, and had ruled with great energy and success,
suppressing the banditti who infested the country, and putting their
leaders to death. He began his reign in Judæa by a massacre of all who
had been opposed to him, especially those whose wealth would best enable
him to reward his Roman benefactors. The Temple, which, being used as a
fortress, had been nearly destroyed in the repeated sieges, was rebuilt,
by his orders, with a magnificence which rivaled the glories of Solomon.
His liberality was equally shown during a famine which visited Judæa and
the surrounding countries. He bought immense quantities of corn in Egypt,
and fed the entire people at his own expense, beside supplying several
provinces with seed for the next harvest.

Herod affected Roman tastes: he built a circus and amphitheater in
a suburb of Jerusalem, where games and combats of wild beasts were
celebrated in honor of the emperor Augustus. To show his impartiality,
he restored the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim, while he adorned his
new and magnificent city of Cæsare´a with imposing shrines of the Roman
gods. This universal tolerance was most unpleasing to the Jews, and their
disposition to revolt was only kept down by the vigilance of innumerable
spies, and the construction of a chain of fortresses around Jerusalem.

=107.= The last two members of the Asmonæan family were Mariam´ne and
Aristobulus, grandchildren of Hyrcanus II. Herod married the former,
and bestowed upon the latter the office of high priest; but the great
popularity of the young prince alarmed his jealousy, and he caused him
to be secretly assassinated. Though devotedly attached to Mariamne,
Herod twice ordered her put to death in case of his own decease,
during perilous expeditions for which he was leaving the capital.
These atrocious orders coming to the knowledge of the queen, naturally
increased the aversion for Herod which had been inspired by the murder of
her grandfather and her brother.

Her high spirit scorned concealment; she was brought to trial, and her
bitter enemies persuaded Herod to consent to her execution. But the
violence of his grief and remorse kept him a long time on the verge of
insanity, and a raging fever nearly ended his life. His temper, which had
been generous though hasty, now became so ferocious that his best friends
were often ordered to death on the slightest suspicion. Three of his sons
were executed on charges of conspiracy. From his death-bed he ordered a
massacre of the infants in Bethlehem, because wise men from the East had
informed him that in that little village the Messiah was born. About the
same time, he had set up a golden eagle over the gate of the Temple. A
sedition immediately arose, and its leaders were punished with atrocious
cruelty, by the command of the dying king. Herod died in the same year
with the birth of our Lord, which the common chronology places, by an
error, B. C. 4.


_Herod’s Porch._ _Solomon’s Porch._ _Castle of Antonia._]

=108.= His dominions, except Abilene in Syria, were divided among
his three sons, Archelaus, Antipas, and Philip, the eldest receiving
Judæa and Samaria. He reigned so oppressively that he was removed by
the Romans, A. D. 8; and until A. D. 36, the province was managed by
procurators, or governors, subject to the præfects of Syria. Under the
fifth of these, Pontius Pilate, Christ was crucified by Roman authority,
through the accusations of the chief officers of the Jews. Herod Antipas
was meanwhile ruling in Galilee (B. C. 4-A. D. 39; see Luke xxiii: 6-12),
and Philip in Trachoni´tis (B. C. 4-A. D. 37; see Mark vi: 17, 18).
When these provinces became vacant, they were bestowed by the Emperor
Calig´ula upon his favorite, Herod Agrip´pa I., grandson of Herod the
Great and Mariamne. A. D. 41, Samaria and Judæa were also added to his
dominions, which for three years covered the entire territory of Herod
the Great.

=109.= Agrippa began to persecute the Christians in the year 44, and the
Romans again placed Judæa under the government of procurators. Gessius
Florus, the sixth of the new series, was a cruel and crafty tyrant, who
plundered his province without pity or shame. He shared the spoils of
highway robbers, whom he permitted and even encouraged. Twice he stirred
up riots in Jerusalem, sacrificing the lives of thousands of people, only
that he might avail himself of the confusion to pillage the Temple.

His atrocities at length drove the Jews to open revolt. A Roman army
of 100,000 men, commanded by Titus, the son of the emperor Vespasian,
besieged the Holy City five months. The three walls, the fortress of
Mount Zion, and the Temple had each to be taken by separate assault; and
never was a siege more memorable for the obstinacy of the resistance. The
Temple was surrendered Sept. 8, 70. All the people who had not perished
by the hardships of the siege, were made slaves and divided among the
victors as prizes. Large colonies were transported into the heart of
Germany or to Italy, where the golden vessels of the Temple adorned the
triumphal procession of Titus at Rome. No ancient city of any fame was
ever so completely ruined as Jerusalem. Mount Zion was plowed as a field
and sown with salt, and the buildings of the Temple were leveled to the


    Judæa subject to Egypt, B. C. 320-203; to Syria, B. C. 203-168.
    Persecution by Antiochus Epiphanes, and revolt of Mattathias,
    B. C. 168. Victories of Judas Maccabæus, B. C. 166-160.
    Jonathan prince and high priest, B. C. 160-143. Prosperous
    reign of Simon, B. C. 143-133. Siege and capture of Jerusalem
    by Antiochus Sidetes, B. C. 135-133. Conquests of John
    Hyrcanus, B. C. 135-106. Aristobulus I. takes the royal title.
    Civil wars of Pharisees and Sadducees, under Alexander Jannæus,
    B. C. 105-78. Reign of Alexandra, B. C. 78-69. Hyrcanus II.,
    B. C. 69, 68. Aristobulus II., B. C. 68-63. Jerusalem taken
    by Pompey, who awards the sovereignty to Hyrcanus. After
    six years, Hyrcanus deposed and an oligarchy set up, B. C.
    57-47. Jerusalem plundered by Crassus, B. C. 54. Antipater,
    the Idumæan, governor, B. C. 47-40, while Hyrcanus is again
    high priest. Antigonus prince and priest, B. C. 40-37. Herod,
    son of Antipater, invested at Rome with the royalty of Judæa,
    conquers Galilee, and by a long siege takes Jerusalem, B. C.
    37. His greatness and tyranny. His public works. Execution of
    Queen Mariamne, B. C. 29. “Murder of the Innocents,” and death
    of Herod, B. C. 4. Division of his kingdom into tetrarchies.
    Archelaus succeeded in his government by Roman governors, A. D.
    8-36. The Crucifixion, A. D. 29 or 30. Four provinces united
    under Herod Agrippa, A. D. 41. Procurators restored, A. D. 44.
    Gessius Florus, A. D. 65, 66. Siege and capture of Jerusalem by
    Titus, A. D. 70.



   1. Describe the rise of Macedonia.                             §§ 1, 2.
   2.          The successive steps of the ascendency of Philip.      2-5.
   3.          The youth, education, and character of Alexander.     6, 7.
   4.          His conquests and Asiatic policy.              8-12, 14-17.
   5.          His projects and death.                                 18.
   6.          The war of the regents.                                 19.
   7. What was done by Antipater?                          19, 20, 66, 67.
   8.               By Antigonus and his son?           20, 22-25, 29, 68.
   9. What became of the near relatives of Alexander?               21-23.
  10. What were the results of the battle of Ipsus?                    25.
  11. Effects upon Europe and Asia of Alexander’s conquests?       26, 27.
  12. Describe the extent and organization of the kingdom of
        Seleucus.                                                   28-30.
  13. Name the Seleucidæ, and relate one incident of each.          28-48.
  14. Describe in detail the reign of Antiochus the Great.     34-37, 100.
  15.          The last but one of the kings of Syria.             48, 97.
  16.          The incursions of the Gauls.                    31, 70, 71.
  17.          The condition of Egypt under the Ptolemies.     49, 51, 54.
  18.          Alexandria and its schools.                         52, 53.
  19.          The conquests of the first three Ptolemies.     50, 54, 56.
  20.          The character of their successors.       56, 57, 60, 62-65.
  21. What was the result to Athens of the Lamian War?                 68.
  22. What became of the sons of Cassander?                            67.
  23. How many kings of Thrace and Macedonia B. C. 281?            69, 70.
  24. Describe the two reigns of Antigonus Gonatas.                72, 74.
  25.          The character of Pyrrhus.                           72, 73.
  26. Tell the history of the Achæan League.                75-79, 82, 86.
  27. What occurred in Sparta during the Macedonian regency
        of Antigonus Doson?                                            77.
  28. Describe the character and reign of Philip V.             78-81, 83.
  29.          The successive interventions of the Romans in
                   affairs of Macedonia and Greece. 76, 79, 81-83, 85, 86.
  30.          The last of the Antigonidæ.                             84.
  31. How many kings of other families or nations reigned in
        Macedonia during the Third Period?
  32. Describe the Thracians.                                          87.
  33.          The origin and history of Pergamus.                  88-90.
  34.          Of Bithynia.                                            91.
  35.          The early history of Pontus.                            92.
  36. Tell the story of Mithridates V.                              93-95.
  37. Describe Cappadocia.                                             96.
  38. Tell in brief the history of Armenia, B. C. 301-A. D. 114.       97.
  39. Describe the most easterly of the Greek kingdoms in Asia.        98.
  40.          The character and history of the Parthians.             99.
  41. How was Judæa governed, B. C. 323-168?                     100, 101.
  42. Describe its condition under the Syrian kings.                  101.
  43.          The rise and reign of the Maccabees.               102-105.
  44.          The character of Herod, and the great events of
                   his reign.                                    106, 107.
  45. How were his dominions distributed B. C. 4-A. D. 44?            108.
  46. Describe the last twenty-six years of Jewish history.           109.
  47. How many battles have been described at Beth-horon?
  48. How many at Thermopylæ?
  49. How many at Mantinea?
  50. How many at Salamis in Cyprus?
  51. How many at Chæronea?


EMPIRE, A. D. 476.


=1.= ITALY, bounded by the Alps, and the Adriatic, Ionian, and
Tyrrhe´nian seas, is the smallest of the three peninsulas of southern
Europe. It is inferior to Greece in the number of its harbors and
littoral islands, but excels it in the richness and extent of its plains
and fertile mountain-sides, being thus better fitted for agriculture and
the rearing of cattle than for maritime interests. Still, from its long
and narrow shape, Italy has an extended coast-line; the slopes of the
Apennines abounded, in ancient times, with forests of oak suitable for
ship-timber; and the people, especially of Etru´ria, were early attracted
to the sea.

=2.= The Alps, which separate Italy from the rest of Europe, have had an
important effect upon her history. At present they are traversed securely
by less than a dozen roads, which are among the wonders of modern
engineering. In early times they formed a usually effectual barrier
against the barbarous nations on the north and west. The Apennines leave
the Alpine range near the present boundary between Italy and France, and
extend in a south-easterly and southerly direction to the end of the
peninsula, throwing off lateral ridges on both sides to the sea, and
forming that great variety of surface and climate which is the peculiar
charm of the country. A multitude of rivers contribute vastly to the
fertility of the soil, though, from their short and rapid course, they
are of little value for navigation. Varro preferred the climate of Italy
to that of Greece, as producing in perfection every thing good for the
use of man. No barley could be compared with the Campa´nian, no wheat
with the Apu´lian, no rye with the Faler´nian, no oil with the Vena´fran.

=3.= NORTHERN ITALY lies between the Swiss Alps and the Upper Apennines,
and is almost covered by the great plain of the Po, which is one of the
most fertile regions of Europe. It comprised, in the most ancient times,
the three countries of Ligu´ria, Upper Etruria, and Vene´tia. The second
of these divisions, together with some portions of the Ligurian and
Venetian territories, was conquered, in the sixth century before Christ,
by a Celtic population from the north and west, and was thenceforth known
as Cisalpine Gaul. The region north of the Apennines does not belong to
Roman or even Italian history until about the time of the Christian Era,
when it became incorporated in the territories of Rome.

=4.= The peninsula proper is divided into the two regions of central and
southern Italy, by a line drawn from the mouth of the Tifer´nus, on the
Adriatic, to that of the Sil´arus, on the western coast. CENTRAL ITALY
comprised six countries, of which three, Etruria, La´tium, and Campania,
were on the Tyrrhenian Sea, and three others, Um´bria, Pice´num, and the
Sabine country, on the Adriatic. _Etruria_ was, in the earliest times,
the most important division of Italy proper. It was separated from
Liguria by the river Macra; from Cisalpine Gaul, by the Apennines; and
from Umbria, the Sabine territory, and Latium, by the Tiber.

_Latium_, lying south of Etruria, was chiefly a low plain; but its
surface was varied by spurs of the Apennines on the north, and by the
Vol´scian and Alban ranges of volcanic origin in the center and south. It
included the Roman Campagna, now a solitary and almost treeless expanse,
considered uninhabitable from the noxious exhalations of the soil, but
during and before the flourishing period of Rome, the site of many
populous cities. Several foreign tribes occupied portions of the Latin
territory, among whom the Volsci, on the mountains which bear their name,
and the Æqui, north of Prænes´te, were best worthy of mention. In the
view of history, a cluster of low hills—seven east and three west of the
Tiber—which constitute in later ages the site of Rome, is not only the
most important part of Latium, but that which gives its significance to
all the rest.

=5.= _Campania_ was a fertile and delightful region, extending from the
Liris to the Silarus, and from the Apennines to the sea. Greek and Roman
writers never wearied of celebrating the excellence of its harbors, the
beauty of its landscape, the exuberant richness of its soil, and the
enchanting softness of its air. The coast is varied by the isolated cone
of Vesu´vius and a range of volcanic hills, including the now extinct
crater of Solfata´ra. _Umbria_ was a mountainous country east of Etruria.
Before the coming of the Gauls, it extended northward to the Ru´bicon
and eastward to the Adriatic; but its coast was wholly conquered by that
people, who drove the Umbrians beyond the mountains.

_Picenum_ consisted of a flat, fertile plain along the Adriatic, and
a hilly region, consisting of twisted spurs of the Apennines, in the
interior. Poets praised the apples of Picenum, and its olives were among
the choicest in Italy. The _Sabine_ territory, at its greatest extension,
was 200 miles in length, and reached nearly from sea to sea. It was
inhabited by many tribes, probably of common origin. Beside the Sabines
proper, were the Sam´nites, the Frenta´ni, and the Marsi, Mar´ruci´ni,
Pelig´ni, and Vesti´ni, who formed the League of the Four Cantons. The
Sabine country, though rough, was fertile, and its wine and oil chiefly
supplied the common people of Rome.

=6.= SOUTHERN ITALY included four countries: Luca´nia and Brut´tium on
the west, Apulia and Cala´bria on the east. _Lucania_ is a picturesque
and fertile country, watered by many rivers. _Bruttium_ is of similar
character, and was especially valued in old times for its pine forests,
which, from their timber and pitch, yielded an important revenue to the
Roman government. Both countries attracted multitudes of Greek colonists,
whose cities early rose to a high degree of wealth and civilization. (See
Book III, §§ 87, 90.) _Apulia_, unlike any other division of central or
southern Italy, consists chiefly of a rich, unbroken plain, from twenty
to forty miles in width, gently sloping from the mountains to the sea.
In ancient times it maintained great numbers of horses and sheep, the
latter of which were famed for the fineness of their wool. When the plain
became parched by summer heats, the flocks were driven to the neighboring
mountains of Samnium; while, in winter, the Samnite flocks forsook their
bleak and snowy heights to find pasturage in the rich meadows of Apulia.
The northern portion of Apulia is mountainous, being traversed by two
strong spurs of the Apennines, one of which projects into the sea and
forms the rocky headland of Mount Garga´nus.

_Calabria_,[62] called by the Greeks Iapyg´ia or Messa´pia, occupied
the long peninsula which is commonly called the heel of Italy. Its soft
limestone soil quickly absorbs moisture, rendering the country arid, and
the heats of summer intense. The products of the soil were, however, in
ancient times, abundant and of great value. Its oil, wine, and honey were
widely celebrated, the wool afforded by its flocks was of the finest
quality, and the horses which recruited the Tarentine cavalry were among
the most excellent in the world.

=7.= Italy possessed three islands of great importance: Sicily, noted for
its excellent harbors and inexhaustible soil; Sardin´ia, for its silver
mines and harvests of grain; and Cor´sica, for its dense forests of
pine and fir. The position as well as the valuable productions of these
islands, early tempted the enterprise of both Greeks and Carthaginians;
and rivalry in their possession first drew these nations into hostility
with each other, and with the ultimately victorious power of Rome.


=8.= Our history in this Book falls naturally into three divisions:

      I. THE ROMAN KINGDOM,    B. C. 753-510.
     II. THE ROMAN REPUBLIC,     ”   510-30.
    III. THE ROMAN EMPIRE,       ”    30-A. D. 476.

The records of the First Period, so far as they relate to persons, are
largely mixed with fable, and it is impossible to separate the fanciful
from the real. The student is recommended to read the stories of the
kings, in their earliest and most attractive form, in Dr. Arnold’s
History of Rome. Under their beautiful mythical guise, these legends
present, doubtless, a considerable amount of truth. Our limits only admit
a statement of the popular ancient belief concerning the rise of Rome,
among the other and older nations which inhabited Italy.

=9.= Central and southern Italy were occupied, from the earliest
known times, by three races, the Etrus´cans, Italians, and Iapygians.
The latter were nearly related to the Greeks, as has been proved by
their language and the identity of their objects of worship. They
therefore mingled readily with the Hellenic settlers (see § 6), and
Greek civilization quickly took root and flourished throughout southern
Italy. The Italians proper—so called because, when united, they became
the ruling race in Italy—arrived later in the peninsula than the
Iapygians. They came from the north, and crowded into closer quarters the
half-Hellenic inhabitants of the south. They consisted of four principal
races: the Umbrians, Sabines, Oscans, and Latins. Of these the first
three were closely connected, while the Latins were distinct. The latter
formed a confederacy of thirty cities, or cantons, and met every year
on the Alban Mount to offer a united sacrifice to Jupiter Latia´ris,
the protecting deity of the Latin race. During this festival wars were
suspended, as in Elis during the Olympic Games.

=10.= The Etruscans, or Tuscans, were wholly different in language,
appearance, and character from the other nations of Italy. Their origin
is wrapped in mystery. Some suppose them to have been Turanian, and thus
allied to the Lapps, Finns, and Estho´nians of northern Europe, and the
Basques of Spain; others, and the greater number, believe the mass of the
people to have been Pelasgi—that race which overspread Greece and Italy
at a remoter period than history can reach—but to have been absorbed and
enslaved by a more powerful people from the north, who called themselves
_Ras´ena_, while they were named by others Etruscans. History first
finds these invaders in Rhæ´tia, the country about the head-waters of
the Ad´ige, the Danube, and the Rhine; then traces them to the plain of
the Po, where, at a very early period, they formed a league of twelve
cities; and thence south of the Apennines into Tus´cany, which, reduced
in limits, still bears their name.

Here they formed a similar but quite distinct confederacy of the
same number of cities. For a time their dominion extended across
the peninsula, and their fleets commanded both the “Upper” and the
“Lower Sea,” the latter of which derived from them its ancient name,
Tyrrhenian. They conquered Campania, and built there a third cluster
of twelve cities, of which Cap´ua was the chief; but they lost this
portion of their territory in wars with the Samnites. Many relics of
Etruscan art exist, in the massive walls of their cities, their castings
in bronze, figures in terra-cotta, and golden chains, bracelets, and
other ornaments, which prove them to have been a luxurious and wealthy
people. Their religion was of a gloomy and superstitious character. They
sought to know the will of their gods by auguries drawn from thunder
and lightning, from the flight of birds, or from the entrails of slain
beasts; and to avert their wrath by sacrifices prescribed and regulated
by an elaborate ritual. To learn these rites formed a large part of the
education of a young Tuscan noble.

=11.= The Romans, who were destined to be for nearly twelve centuries the
dominant race of Italy and the world, belonged to the Latin branch of
the Italian family. A Greek tradition celebrated by Virgil, and believed
by most Romans in the days of the empire, traced their origin to a
company of Trojan emigrants, led to the shores of Italy by Æne´as, son
of Anchises, after the fall of Troy. (See Book III, § 14.) But the Latin
coast was at that time densely populated, and the new comers, if any
such there were, must soon have been absorbed and lost among the older

=12.= The common legends assigned the building of Rome to Rom´ulus,
grandson of Nu´mitor, an Alban prince. Numitor had been deprived of his
crown by his brother Amu´lius, who also killed the son of the deposed
king, and compelled his daughter Silvia to become a vestal. Beloved of
Mars, she became, however, the mother of Romulus and Remus, whereupon
her uncle caused her to be thrown, with her twin sons, into the Anio, a
tributary of the Tiber. The rivers had overflowed their banks; when they
subsided, the cradle containing the infant princes was overturned at the
foot of the Palatine Mount. Nourished by a wolf, and fed by a woodpecker
sacred to Mars, they grew to be hardy young shepherds, and distinguished
themselves in combats with wild beasts and robbers.

At the age of twenty they became aware of their royal birth, and having
conquered Amulius, restored their grandfather to his throne. But they
still loved the home of their youth, and resolved to build a new city on
the banks of the Tiber. The brothers, differing in their choice of a
site, consulted the auspices. After watching all night, Remus, at dawn,
saw six vultures; but Romulus, at sunrise, saw twelve. The majority
of the shepherds voted the decision to Romulus, and it was ever after
believed that the twelve vultures denoted twelve centuries, during which
the dominion of the city should endure.

=13.= His shepherd comrades being too few to satisfy his ambition,
Romulus offered asylum on the Cap´itoline to homicides and runaway
slaves, thus enrolling among his subjects the refuse of the neighboring
tribes. To obtain wives for these adventurers, he invited the Latins and
Sabines to witness games in honor of Neptune; and when not only men,
but women and children were assembled, the runners and wrestlers rushed
into the crowd and carried away whom they would. War followed, in which
the Latins were thrice defeated. The Sabine king, Titus Tatius, marched
with a powerful army upon Rome, obtained possession of the Capitoline
fortress through the treachery of the maiden Tarpe´ia, the daughter of
its commander, and nearly defeated the forces of Romulus in a long and
obstinate battle.

The Sabine women, however, now reconciled to their fate, came between
their fathers and husbands, beseeching them with tears to be reconciled,
since, whoever should be conquered, the grief and loss must be their own.
A lasting peace was made, and the two kings agreed to reign jointly over
the united nations, Romulus holding his court on the Palatine, and Titus
Tatius on the Capitoline and Quirinal hills. After the death of Tatius,
Romulus ruled alone. At the end of a prosperous reign of thirty-seven
years, he was reviewing his troops one day in the Field of Mars, when
the sun became suddenly darkened, a tempest agitated earth and air,
and Romulus disappeared. The people mourned him as dead, but they were
comforted by his appearing in a glorified form to one of their number,
assuring him that the Romans should become lords of the world, and that
he himself, under the name of Quiri´nus, would be their guardian.

=14.= After a year’s interregnum, Numa, a Sabine of wise and peaceful
character, was chosen king. He was revered in after ages as the religious
founder of Rome, no less than Romulus as the author of its civil and
military institutions. The wisdom and piety of his laws were attributed
to the nymph Ege´ria, who met him by a fountain in a grove, and dictated
to him the principles of good government. The few records of this king
and his predecessor belong rather to mythology than to history.

=15.= Tullus Hostil´ius, the third king of Rome, is the first of whose
deeds we have any trustworthy account. He conquered Alba Longa, and
transferred its citizens to the Cæ´lian Hill in Rome. This new city then
became the protectress of the Latin League, with the right of presiding
at the annual festival, though it was never, like Alba, a member of the
League, but a distinct power in alliance with it. The federal army was
commanded alternately by a Roman and a Latin general; and the lands
acquired in the wars of the League were equally divided between the two
contracting parties, thus giving to Rome, it is evident, a far greater
share than to any other city.

=16.= The citizens of consolidated Rome now constituted three tribes:
the _Ram´nes_, or original Romans, on the Palatine; the _Tit´ies_, or
Sabines, on the Capitoline and Quirinal; and the _Lu´ceres_, on the
Cælian. Each tribe consisted of ten _cu´riæ_, or wards, and each _curia_
of ten _houses_, or clans (_gentes_). The patrician, or noble, houses,
which alone enjoyed the rights of citizenship, thus numbered three
hundred. The heads of all the houses constituted the Senate, while the
_Comit´ia Curia´ta_, or public assembly, included all citizens of full

Rome, at this period, contained only two classes beside the Patricians.
These were the _clients_ and _slaves_. The former were the poorer people
who belonged to no _gens_, and therefore, though free, had no civil
rights. They were permitted to choose a patron in the person of some
noble, who was bound to protect their interests, if need were, in courts
of law. The client, on the other hand, followed his patron to war as a
vassal; contributed to his ransom, or that of his children, if taken
prisoners; and paid part of the costs of any lawsuit in which the patron
might be engaged, or of his expenses in discharging honorable offices in
the state. The relation on either side descended from father to son. It
was esteemed a glory to a noble family to have a numerous clientage, and
to increase that which it had inherited from its ancestors. The clients
bore the clan-name[63] of their patron. Slaves were not numerous in the
days of the kings. During the Republic, multitudes of captives were
brought into the market by foreign wars; and at the close of that period,
at least half the inhabitants of Roman territory were bondsmen.

=17.= Ancus Mar´tius conquered many Latin towns, and transported
their citizens to Rome, where he assigned them the Aventine Hill as a
residence. Of these new settlers some became clients of the nobility,
but the wealthier class scorned this dependent condition, and relied
upon the protection of the king. Hence arose a new order in the state,
the _Plebs_, or commonalty, which was destined to become, in later
times, equally important with the nobility. It included, beside the
conquered people, foreign settlers who came for trade, for refuge, or
for employment in the army; clients whose protecting families had become
extinct; and sons of patricians who had married wives of inferior rank.
Ancus extended the Roman territory to the sea; built the port-town
of Os´tia, and established salt-works in its vicinity; fortified the
Janiculan Hill, opposite Rome, for a defense against the Etruscans; and
constructed the Mamertine, the first Roman prison.

[Illustration: CITY OF ROME.]

=18.= Lucius Tarquin´ius Priscus was of Greek origin, though he took
his name from the Etruscan town Tarquinii, where he was born. The
characteristics of his race were shown in the magnificent works with
which he embellished Rome. He drained the lower parts of the city by a
great system of sewers, and restrained the overflow of the Tiber by a
wall of massive masonry, at the place where the Cloa´ca Maxima entered
the river. In the valley thus redeemed from inundation he built the
Forum, with its surrounding rows of porticos and shops; and constructed
the Circus Maximus for the celebration of the Great Games, which had been
founded by Romulus, and resembled in most of their features the athletic
contests of the Greeks.

As a native of Etruria, Tarquin vowed the erection, upon the Capitoline,
of a temple to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva, the three deities who were
worshiped together in every Etruscan city, and for this purpose he
cleared away from that mountain all the holy places of the Sabine gods.
The temple was built by his son. The wars of Tarquin against the Sabines,
Latins, and Etruscans were usually victorious, and added largely to the
population of Rome. From the noblest of the conquered peoples he formed
three new half-tribes of fifty “houses” each, which he joined to the
three old tribes of Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, while he increased
the number of Vestal Virgins from four to six, that each race might be
equally represented. Tarquin was murdered by hired agents of the sons
of Ancus Martius, who hoped thus to secure for themselves the throne
of their father. But the Roman monarchy was strictly elective, not
hereditary; their crime failed of its purpose, and Servius Tul´lius, an
Etruscan general, and son-in-law of the murdered king, obtained the crown.

=19.= He made radical changes in the constitution, by giving to every
free Roman the right of suffrage, though all offices in the government
were still held by the nobles. The Greek cities of southern Italy
were, at the same time, changing from aristocratic to popular forms of
government, and there are many signs of Greek influence in Latium and
Rome. The new popular assembly, _Comitia Centuria´ta_, was so called from
the “centuries” in which the entire citizen-soldiery was enrolled. Wealth
now acquired in Rome something of the power which had hitherto been
reserved for rank. Every man who held property was bound to serve in the
armies, and his military position was accurately graded by the amount of
his possessions. Highest of all were the _Eq´uites_, or horsemen. These
were divided into eighteen centuries, of which the first six—two for each
original tribe—were wholly patrician, while the remaining twelve were
wealthy and powerful plebeians.

The mass of the people enrolled for service on foot was divided into five
classes. Those who were able to equip themselves in complete brazen armor
fought in the front rank of the phalanx. Of this class there were eighty
centuries: forty of younger men, from seventeen to forty-five years of
age, who were the choicest of Roman infantry in the field; and forty of
their elders, from forty-six to sixty, who were usually retained for the
defense of the city. The second class were placed behind the first; they
wore no coat of mail, and their shields were of wood instead of brass.
The third class wore no greaves, and the fourth carried no shields.
These three classes consisted of only twenty centuries each. The fifth
and lowest military class did not serve in the phalanx, but formed the
light-armed infantry, and provided themselves only with darts and slings.
Below all the classes were a few centuries of the poorest people, who
were not required to equip themselves for war. They were sometimes armed,
at the public expense, on occasions of great loss or danger to the state;
or they followed the army as supernumeraries, and were ready to take the
weapons and places of those who fell.

=20.= Beside the patrician tribes of Ramnes, Tities, and Luceres, Servius
made four tribes in the city and twenty-six in the country, consisting
of land-owners without respect to rank. The meeting-place for the whole
thirty was the Forum at Rome, while the centuries met without the city on
the Field of Mars. The people assembled in the Forum had all the powers
of self-government. They elected magistrates and levied taxes for the
support of the state, duties which hitherto had belonged to the Comitia
Curiata. Of the public lands on the Etruscan side of the Tiber, gained in
his early wars, Servius assigned a certain portion to the plebeians, in
full ownership. The patricians had leased these lands from the state for
the pasturage of their flocks, and they were much exasperated by the new

=21.= Servius extended the bounds of the city far beyond the Roma
Quadra´ta of the Palatine. The Esquiline, Cælian, and Aventine hills had
already been occupied by surburban settlements, while the Capitoline,
Quirinal, and Vim´inal were held by the Sabine tribes. These Seven
Hills,[64] with a large space between and around them, were inclosed by
Servius in a new wall, which lasted more than eight hundred years, until
the time of the emperor Aurelian. Servius reigned forty-four years, B. C.
578-534. Desirous above all things for the continuance of his reformed
institutions, he had determined to abdicate the throne, after causing the
people, by a free and universal vote, to elect two magistrates who should
rule but one year. Before the end of their term they were to provide, in
like manner, for the peaceful choice of their successors; and thus Rome
would have passed, by a bloodless revolution, to a popular government.
The nobles, however, revolted against this infringement of their
exclusive rights. Led by Tarquin, son of the first monarch of that name,
and husband of the wicked Tullia, daughter of Servius, they murdered the
beneficent king and placed their leader on the throne.

=22.= Tarquin, called “the Proud,” set aside all the popular laws of
Servius, and restored the privileges of the “houses”; but as soon as
he felt secure in his power, he oppressed nobles and people alike. He
compelled the poorer classes to toil upon the public works which his
father had begun, and upon others which he himself originated. Such
were the permanent stone seats of the Circus Maximus, a new system of
sewers, and the great Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline Hill. By wars
or intrigues, Tarquin made himself supreme throughout Latium. But his
insolence disgusted the patricians; he took away the property or lives of
citizens without consulting the Senate, while he imposed upon them civil
and military burdens beyond what the law permitted. The vile misconduct
of his son Sextus led at last to a revolt, in which kingly government was
overthrown. The Tarquins and all their clan were banished. The very name
of king was thenceforth held in especial abhorrence at Rome. Only in one
case was it tolerated. A “king for offering sacrifices” was appointed,
that the gods might not miss their usual mediator with men; but this
sacerdotal king was forbidden to hold any civil office.


    Early history of Rome is largely fabulous. Three races in
    Italy, of whom the Etruscans, before the rise of Rome,
    were most powerful. Their cities, art, and religion. Rome
    was founded by Latins, but embraced a mixed population of
    Sabines, Etruscans, and others, which gave rise to the three
    tribes. Three hundred noble “houses” constituted the Senate
    and _Comitia Curiata_. Clientage. Formation of a commonalty
    under Ancus Martius. Buildings of Tarquinius Priscus. Free
    constitution of Servius Tullius. Division of the people into
    centuries, both as soldiers and citizens. Thirty tribes
    assemble in the Forum. Inclosure of the Seven Hills by the
    Tullian Wall. Tyranny of Tarquin the Proud. Royalty abolished
    at Rome. Supposed Chronology of the Kings: Romulus, B. C.
    753-716; Numa, 716-673; Tullius Hostilius, 673-641; Ancus
    Martius, 641-616; L. Tarquinius Priscus, 616-578; Servius
    Tullius, 578-534; Tarquinius Superbus, 534-510.


=23.= Before passing to the history of the Republic, we glance at the
religion of Rome. For the first 170 years from the foundation of the
city, the Romans had no images of their gods. Idolatry has probably
been, in every nation, a later corruption of an earlier and more
spiritual worship. Roman religion was far less beautiful and varied in
its conceptions than that of the Greeks.[65] It afforded but little
inspiration to poetry or art, but it kept alive the homely household
virtues, and regulated the transactions of the farm, the forum, and the
shop, by principles drawn from a higher range of being.

The chief gods of the Romans were Jupiter and Mars. The former was
supreme; but the latter was, throughout the early history of this warlike
people, the central object of worship. March, the first month of their
year, was consecrated to him, and, in almost all European languages,
still bears his name. The great war festival occupied a large portion
of the month. During its first few days the twelve _Salii_, or leapers,
priests of Mars, who were chosen from the noblest families, passed
through the streets singing, dancing, and beating their rods upon their
brazen shields. Quirinus, under whose name Romulus was worshiped, was
only a duplicate Mars, arising from the union of the two mythologies
of the Romans and Sabines. He had, also, his twelve leapers, and was
honored, in February, with similar ceremonies.

=24.= The celebrations of the several periods of the farmer’s year
were next in order to the war festival. The month of April was marked
by days of sacrifice to the nourishing earth; to Ceres, the goddess
of growth; to the patroness of flocks; and to Jupiter, the protector
of vines; while a deprecatory offering was made to Rust, the enemy of
crops. In May the Arval Brothers, a company of twelve priests, held
their three days’ festival in honor of Dea Dia, invoking her blessing in
maintaining the fertility of the earth, and granting prosperity to the
whole territory of Rome. August had its harvest festivals; October, its
wine celebration in honor of Jupiter; December, its two thanksgivings
for the treasures of the granary, its Saturnalia or seed-sowing on the
17th, and its celebration of the shortest day, which brought back the new
sun. Sailors had their festivals in honor, respectively, of the gods of
the river, the harbor, and the sea. The ceremonial year was closed with
the singular Lu´perca´lia, or wolf festival, in which a certain order
of priests, girdled with goat-skins, leaped about like wolves, or ran
through the city scourging the spectators with knotted thongs; and by the
Ter´mina´lia, or boundary-stone festival in honor of Ter´minus, the god
of landmarks.

Janus, the double-faced god of beginnings, was a peculiarly Roman
divinity. To him all gates and doors were sacred, as well as the morning,
the opening of all solemnities, and the month (January) in which the
labors of the husbandman began anew in southern Italy. Sacrifices were
offered to him on twelve altars, and prayers at the beginning of every
day. New-year’s day was especially sacred to him, and was supposed to
impart its character to the whole year. People were careful, therefore,
to have their thoughts, words, and acts, on that day pure, beneficent,
and just. They greeted each other with gifts and good wishes, and
performed some part of whatever work they had planned for the year; while
they were much dispirited if any trifling accident occurred. A covered
passage between the Palatine and Quirinal hills, _i. e._, between the
original Roman and Sabine cities, was known by the name of Janus. Armies
going out or returning passed through it, and hence it was always open
in time of war and closed in peace. The same ceremony was continued
after the passage had ceased to be used, the triumphal gate having been
constructed in the walls of Servius.


=25.= Vulcan, the god of fire and the forge, was honored by two
festivals, the consecration of trumpets in May, and the Vol´cana´lia in
August. Though of inferior rank to the divinities already mentioned,
yet dearest of all to the Romans, were the gods of the hearth, the
household, and store-room, and of the forest and field. Every house
was a temple, and every meal a sacrifice to Vesta, the goddess of the
hearth. Her temple was the hearth-stone of the city. There six chosen
maidens, daughters of the most illustrious families, guarded the sacred
fire, which was the symbol of the goddess, by night and day. Every house
had over its main entrance a little chapel of the _La´res_, where the
father of the family performed his devotions immediately on returning
from any journey. The Lares were supposed to be the spirits of good
men, especially the deceased ancestors of the family. Public Lares were
the protecting spirits of the city; they were worshiped in a temple and
numerous chapels, the latter being placed at the crossings of streets.
There were also rural Lares, and _Lares Via´les_, who were worshiped by

=26.= Like all people in any degree affected by Greek culture, the Romans
consulted the Delphic oracle. After the capture of Ve´ii (see § 57), they
presented that shrine with a tenth of the spoils. Rome itself possessed
only one oracle, that of Faunus (the favoring god), on the Aventine Hill.
Several oracles of Fortune, Faunus, and Mars existed in Latium, but in
none of them were audible responses given, by the mouth of inspired
persons, as at Delphi. At Albu´nea, near Tibur, Faunus was consulted by
the sacrifice of a sheep. The skin of the animal was spread upon the
ground; the person seeking direction slept upon it, and believed that he
learned the will of the god by visions and dreams. The Romans frequently
resorted to the Greek oracles in southern Italy; and the most acceptable
gift which the inhabitants of Magna Græcia could offer to their friends
in Rome, was a palm-leaf inscribed with some utterance of the Cumæan
sibyl, a priestess of Apollo at Cumæ, near Naples.

=27.= The Sibylline Books were believed to have been purchased by one
of the Tarquins from a mysterious woman, who appeared at Rome offering
nine volumes at an exorbitant price. The king refusing to purchase, the
sibyl went away and destroyed three of the books; then brought back
the remaining six, for which she asked the same amount of money. The
king again sent her away; she destroyed three more books, and demanded
the whole price for the remaining three. The curiosity of Tarquin was
aroused, and he bought the books, which were found to contain important
revelations concerning the fate of Rome. They were kept in a stone
chest under the temple of Jupiter Cap´itoli´nus. One of the four sacred
colleges was charged with the care of them, and they were only consulted,
by order of the Senate, on occasions of great public calamity.

=28.= The Romans probably learned from the Etruscans their various
methods of divination—the interpretation of signs in the heavens, of
thunder and lightning, of the flight or voice of birds, of the appearance
of sacrifices, and of dreams. The legends ascribed to Tarquinius Priscus
the introduction of Etruscan divinities and modes of worship into
Rome. At a later time, the Senate provided by special decree for the
cultivation of “Etruscan discipline” by young men of the highest birth,
lest a science so important to the commonwealth should be corrupted by
falling into the hands of low and mercenary persons.

The _Augurs_ constituted the second of the sacred colleges; their number
was gradually increased from three to sixteen; they were distinguished
by a sacred dress and a curved staff, and were held in the highest
honor. No public act of any kind could be performed without “taking
the auguries”—no election held, no law passed, no war declared; for,
by theory, the gods were the rulers of the state, and the magistrates
merely their deputies. If, in the midst of the comitia, an augur, however
falsely, declared that it thundered, the Assembly broke up at once. It
must be admitted that the augurs often used their great power unfairly
in the political strife between patricians and plebeians. The latter, as
originally foreigners (see § 17), were held to have no share in the gods
of Rome, who thus became the exclusive patrons of the privileged class.
When, by a change in the constitution, plebeians were at length elected
to high offices, the augurs in several cases declared the election null,
on the pretext that the auspices had been irregular; and as no one could
appeal from their decision, their veto was absolute.

=29.= The College of Pontiffs was the most illustrious of the religious
institutions attributed to the good king Numa. The pontiffs superintended
all public worship according to their sacred books, and were required
to give instruction to all who asked it, concerning the ceremonies with
which the gods might be approached. Whenever sacred officers were to be
appointed, or wills read, they convoked the Assembly. Certain cases of
sacrilegious crime could only be judged by them; and in very early times,
like the Hebrew scribes, they were the sole possessors of both civil and
religious law. The highest magistrate, equally with private persons,
submitted to their decrees, provided three members of the college agreed
in the decision. They alone knew what days and hours might be used for
the transaction of public business. The calendar was in their keeping,
and—since these august and reverend dignitaries were only men—it is well
known that they sometimes used their power to lengthen the year’s office
of a favorite consul, or to shorten that of one whom they disapproved.
The title of Pon´tifex Maximus, or Supreme Pontiff, was adopted by the
Roman emperors, and passed from them to the popes or bishops of modern

=30.= The fourth of the sacred colleges consisted of the _Fetia´les_, or
heralds, who were the guardians of the public faith in all dealings with
foreign nations. If war was to be declared, it was the duty of a herald
to enter the enemy’s country, and four times—once on either side of the
Roman boundary, then to the first citizen whom he chanced to meet, and,
finally, to the magistrates at the seat of government—to set forth the
causes of complaint, and with great solemnity to call on Jupiter to give
victory to those whose cause was just.

The priests of particular gods were called _Flamens_, or kindlers,
because one of their principal duties was the offering of sacrifices by
fire. Chief of them all was the Flamen Dialis, or priest of Jupiter; and
next to him were the priests of Mars and Quirinus. Though the purity
and dignity of the priestly life were guarded by many curious laws, the
priest was not forbidden to hold civil offices. He was not allowed,
however, to mount a horse, to look upon an army outside the walls, or, in
early times, to leave the city for even a single night.

=31.= After the good king Servius Tullius had completed his census,
he performed a solemn purification of the city and people. During
the Republic, the same ceremony was repeated after every general
registration, which took place once in five years. Sacrifices of a pig, a
sheep, and an ox were offered; water was sprinkled from olive-branches,
and certain substances were burned, whose smoke was supposed to have a
cleansing effect. In like manner, farmers purified their fields, and
shepherds their flocks. An army or a fleet always underwent lustration
before setting out on any enterprise. In the case of the latter,
altars were erected on the shore near which the ships were moored. The
sacrifices were carried three times around the fleet, in a small boat,
by the generals and priests, while prayers were offered aloud for the
success of the expedition.


    Roman religion less imaginative and more practical than the
    Greek. Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus its chief divinities. Yearly
    festivals had reference chiefly to war and husbandry. Worship
    of Janus. Household gods. The Romans shared their belief in
    oracles with the Greeks; their arts of divination, with the
    Etruscans. Four Sacred Colleges: Pontiffs, Augurs, Heralds,
    and Keepers of the Sibylline Books. Priests might hold civil
    offices. Ceremonial cleansing of the city after every census;
    of armies and fleets before every expedition.


=32.= The 480 years’ history of the Roman Republic will be best
understood if divided into four periods:

    I. The Growth of the Constitution, B. C. 510-343.

    II. Wars for the possession of Italy, B. C. 343-264.

    III. Foreign Wars, by which Rome became the ruling power in the
    world, B. C. 264-133.

    IV. Internal Commotions and Civil Wars, B. C. 133-31.

The leaders of the revolution which expelled the Tarquins, restored the
laws of Servius and carried forward his plans, by causing the election
of two chief magistrates, of whom one was probably a plebeian. The
_consuls_, during their year of office, had all the power and dignity of
kings. They were preceded in public by their guard of twelve lictors,
bearing the _fasces_, or bundles of rods. Out of the city, when the
consul was engaged in military command, an ax was bound up with the rods,
in token of his absolute power over life and death.

=33.= For 150 years the Republic was involved in a struggle for
existence, during which its power was much less than that of regal Rome.
The Latins threw off their supremacy, and Lars Por´sena, the Etruscan
king of Clu´sium, actually conquered the city, and received from the
Senate an ivory throne, a golden crown, a scepter, and triumphal robe,
in token of homage. In their further attempts upon Latium, the Etruscans
were defeated, and Rome became independent, but with the loss of all
her territories west of the Tiber. The Latins were defeated at the Lake
Regillus, by the aid—so Roman minstrels related—of the twin deities,
Castor and Pollux, who appeared at the head of the legions, in the form
of two beautiful youths of more than mortal stature, mounted on white
horses, and who were the first to break through into the enemy’s camp.
A temple was consequently built to them in the Forum, and they were
regarded as the especial patrons of the Roman knights.

=34.= External dangers over, the patricians again made their power felt
in the oppression of the common people. The first period of the Republic
was absorbed in conflicts between the two great orders in the state—less
attractive, certainly, than the romantic stories of the kingly age, or
the stirring incidents of the later period of conquest. But the steps by
which a great people has gained and established its freedom can never be
without importance, especially to the only republic which has rivaled
Rome in grandeur, in variety of interests, or in the multitude of races
and languages included eventually within its limits.

=35.= The wealth of Rome hitherto had been chiefly derived from the
products of the soil. The lands west of the Tiber were now lost, and
all the rural district was open to invasion. Crops were ruined, farm
buildings destroyed, cattle driven away. At the same time, through the
losses and necessities of the government, taxes were greatly increased;
and these were levied, not upon the reduced value of the property, but
upon the scale of former assessments. To meet their dues, the poor were
obliged to borrow money, at enormous rates of interest, from the rich.
The nobles seized the opportunity to enforce to their full extent the
cruel laws concerning debt, and the sufferings of the insolvent grew too
grievous to be borne. Many sold themselves as slaves to discharge their
obligations. Those who refused thus to sign away their own and their
children’s liberty were often imprisoned, loaded with chains, and starved
or tortured by the cruelty of their creditors. The patrician castles,
which commanded the hills of Rome, contained gloomy dungeons, which were
the scenes of untold atrocities toward such as had the misfortune to
incur the wrath of their owners.

=36.= Fifteen years after the expulsion of the kings, the plebeians,
wearied out with a government which existed only for the rich, and
imposed all its burdens on the poor, withdrew in a body to a hill beyond
the Anio, and declared their intention of founding a new city, where
they might govern themselves by more just and equal laws, B. C. 494.
The patricians now perceived that they had gone too far. However much
they hated the people, they had no idea of losing their services. They
yielded, therefore, and received back the seceded plebeians on their own
conditions. These were: (1.) Cancellation of claims against insolvent
debtors; (2.) Liberation of all such who had been imprisoned or enslaved;
(3.) Annual election of two _Tribunes_, whose duty it should be to defend
the interests of the commons. The number of these officers was soon
raised to five, and eventually to ten. Two plebeian _Æ´diles_ were at the
same time appointed, and charged with the superintendence of streets,
buildings, markets, and public lands; of the public games and festivals,
and of the general order of the city. They were judges in cases of small
importance, like those of modern police courts; and they were eventually
intrusted with the keeping of the decrees of the Senate, which had
sometimes been tampered with by the patrician magistrates.

=37.= The scene of this first decisive battle of the people for their
rights, was consecrated to Jupiter, and known in later years as the
Sacred Mount (_Mons Sacer_). The Roman commons had thenceforth an
important part in public affairs. To prevent suffering in future,
Spurius Cassius, consul in the year following the secession, proposed
a division among the plebeians of a certain part of the public lands,
while the tithe of produce levied by the state upon the lands leased by
the patricians, should be strictly collected and applied to the payment
of the common people when they served as soldiers. Hitherto the troops
had received no pay, while their burden of war expenses was great. The
other consul opposed the law, and charged Cassius with seeking popularity
that he might make himself a king. The law—the first of a long series of
“Agrarian” enactments—was passed; but when the year of his consulship had
expired, Cassius was brought to trial by his enemies, and condemned as
a traitor. He was scourged and beheaded, and his house was razed to the
ground, B. C. 485.

=38.= Having destroyed the leader, the patricians went on to rob the
people of all the advantage of the law. They insisted on electing both
consuls themselves, only requiring their confirmation by the popular
assemblies; and with or without this confirmation, their candidates held
supreme power, and refused to divide the public lands. The only resource
of the commons was to withhold themselves from military service, and the
tribunes now made their power felt by protecting them in refusing to
enlist. The consuls defeated this measure by holding their recruiting
stations outside of the city, while the jurisdiction of the tribunes was
wholly within the walls. Though a man might keep himself safe within the
protection of the tribunes, yet his lands were laid waste, his buildings
burnt, and his cattle confiscated by order of the government. One last
expedient remained. Though compelled to enlist, the soldiers could not be
made to gain a battle; and considering the consul who led them, and the
class to which he belonged, worse enemies than those whom they met in the
field, they allowed themselves to be defeated by the Veientians.

=39.= The noble house of the Fa´bii, as champions of the nobility, had
been for six successive years in possession of the consulship. They
now saw the danger to Rome of longer opposition to the will of the
people; and when Kæso Fabius, in the year 479 B. C., came into power, he
insisted upon the execution of the Cassian law. The patricians refused
with scorn, and the Fabii resolved to quit Rome. With their hundreds
of clients, their families, and a few burghers who were attached to
them by friendship and sympathy, they established a colony in Etruria,
on the little river Crem´era, a few miles from the city. They promised
to be no less loyal and valiant defenders of Roman interests, and to
maintain with their own resources this advanced post, in the war then in
progress against Veii. Two years from their migration, the settlement was
surprised by the Veientians, and every man was put to death, B. C. 477.

=40.= The consuls still refused to comply with the Agrarian law, and
at the expiration of their term were impeached by Genu´cius, one of
the tribunes of the people. On the morning of the day appointed for
the trial, Genucius was found murdered in his bed, B. C. 473. This
treacherous act paralyzed the people for the moment, and the consuls
proceeded with the enlistment of soldiers. Vo´lero Publi´lius, a strong
and active commoner, refused to be enrolled; and in the tumult which
ensued, the consuls with all their retinue were driven from the Forum.

The next year Volero was chosen tribune, and brought forward a law that
the tribunes should thenceforth be elected by the commons alone in
their tribes, instead of by the entire people in the centuries. This
was designed to avoid the overwhelming vote of the clients of the great
houses, who were obliged to obey the decrees of their patrons, and who
often controlled the action of the general assembly. For a whole year
the patricians contrived, by various delays, to prevent the passage
of the bill. Ap´pius Clau´dius, one of the consuls, stationed himself
with an armed force in the Forum to oppose it; and it was not until the
plebeians, resorting in their turn to force, had seized the Capitol,
and held it for some time under military guard, that the Publilian law
was passed. This “second Great Charter of Roman liberties” gave the
tribes not only the power of electing tribunes and ædiles, but of first
discussing all questions which concerned the entire nation. It was a long
step toward the gaining of equal rights by the commons, B. C. 471.

=41.= In the meanwhile, the Romans were carrying on wars with the Æqui
and Volsci, two Oscan nations which had taken advantage of the changes
in the Latin League, to extend their power to the cities on the Alban
Mount and over the southern plain of Latium. Their forays extended to the
very gates of Rome, driving the country people to take refuge, with their
cattle, within the walls, where a plague then raging added the horrors of
pestilence to those of war. It is probable that the civil conflicts in
Rome had caused the exile of many citizens; and these, in most instances,
joined the hostile nations. Rome was the champion of oligarchy among
the cities of Italy, as Sparta was among those of Greece. The spirit of
party was often stronger than patriotism; the sympathy between Roman and
foreign aristocrats was greater than between patrician and plebeian at
home; and thus an exiled noble was willing to become the destroyer of his

=42.= The story of Coriola´nus may be partly fictitious, but it truly
illustrates the condition of the Republic at that period. Caius Marcius,
a descendant of the fourth king of Rome, was the pride of the patricians
for his warlike virtues, and had won his surname Coriolanus by capturing
the Volscian town of Cori´oli by his individual gallantry. But he was
bitterly opposed to the common people, and when he was about to be tried
before the comitia for having opposed a distribution of corn, he fled and
took refuge among the Volscians, whom he had formerly conquered. The king
warmly welcomed him, and seized the first opportunity to stir up a new
war with the Romans, that he might turn against them the arms of their
best leader. When the Volscian army approached Rome, the Senate sent
deputies to demand peace, but Caius refused all terms except such as were
impossible for the Republic to grant. The priests and augurs next went to
plead with him, but without effect.

At last the noble ladies of Rome, headed by Volum´nia, the mother of
Caius, and his wife, Vergil´ia, with her young children, went out in a
sad and solemn procession to plead for their sacred city. Coriolanus
honored, above all, the mother to whose wise and faithful care he owed
his greatness. He sprang to meet her with fitting reverence, but before
she would receive his greeting, Volumnia exclaimed: “Let me know whether
I stand, in thy camp, thy prisoner or thy mother; whether I am speaking
to an enemy or to my son!” Her reproaches silenced Caius; the entreaties
of his wife and children, and the tears of the noble ladies, moved him
from his purpose. He exclaimed, “Mother, thine is the victory; thou hast
saved Rome, but thou hast lost thy son!” He led away the Volscian army.
Some say he fell a victim to their revenge; but others, that he lived on
among them to extreme old age, and lamented, in the desolateness of his
years of infirmity, the factious pride that had exiled him from wife,
children, and native land.

=43.= In the meantime, Rome suffered another visitation of pestilence,
in which thousands of people died daily in the streets. The Æquians
and Volscians ravaged the country up to the walls of Rome; and in
addition to their other miseries, the crowded multitude were threatened
with starvation. Their civil grievances were not to be redressed by
anything less than a thorough and radical reform. In the year 462 B.
C., the tribune Terenti´lius Harsa proposed the appointment of a board
of ten commissioners, half patrician and half plebeian, to revise the
constitution, define the duties of consuls and tribunes, and frame a code
of laws from the mass of decisions and precedents. This movement was
the occasion for ten years of violent contention, during which Rome was
several times near falling into the hands of the Volscians, and was once
actually occupied by a band of exiles and slaves under a Sabine leader,
Herdo´nius, who seized the Capitol and demanded the restoration of all
banished citizens to their rights in Rome.

=44.= Chief of the exiles was Kæso Quinc´tius, son of the great
Cincinna´tus, who had been expelled for raising riots in the Forum, to
prevent any action of the people upon the Terentilian law. The invading
party was defeated, and every man slain. The father of Kæso was then
consul. In revenge for the fate of his son, he declared that the law
should never pass while he was in office; and that he would immediately
lead the entire citizen-soldiery out to war, thus preventing a meeting of
the tribes. Nay more, the augurs were to accompany him, and so consecrate
the ground of the encampment, that a lawful assembly could be held under
the absolute power of the consuls, and repeal all the laws which had
ever been enacted at Rome under the authority of the tribunes. At the
close of his term, Cincinnatus declared that he would appoint a dictator,
whose authority would supersede that of all other officers, patrician or
plebeian. All these things could be done under the strict forms of the
Roman constitution; but the Senate and the wiser patricians saw that the
patience of the commons might be taxed too far, and persuaded Cincinnatus
to forego so extreme an exercise of his power.

=45.= War with the Æquians went on, and treaties were only made to be
broken. In the year 458 B. C., the entire Roman army was entrapped in a
pass of the Alban Hills, surrounded by the enemy, and in imminent danger
of destruction. In this crisis, Cincinnatus, who had retired from the
consulship to resume his favorite toil of farming, was called to be
dictator, with absolute power. The messengers of the Senate found him at
his plow, in his little garden-plot across the Tiber. He left the plow in
the furrow, hastened to Rome, levied a new army in a single day, went out
and defeated the Æquians, and returned the next evening in triumph.


    Consuls are appointed with kingly power, but for a limited
    time. Rome subject to Porsena. The Latins are defeated at the
    Lake Regillus. Roman nobles oppress their debtors, and the poor
    secede. Tribunes of the people and ædiles are appointed. The
    first Agrarian Law is proposed by Cassius, B. C. 486. To avenge
    the tyranny of their consuls, the common soldiers refuse to
    fight. The Fabii take sides with the people, and are destroyed
    in their colony on the Cremera. The Publilian Laws give the
    election of officers to the people in their tribes, B. C. 471.
    War and pestilence. Ten years’ debate upon the Terentilian
    Laws, which propose a revision of the constitution, B. C.
    462-452. The Capitol seized by exiles and Sabines. Cincinnatus,
    as a noble, opposes the commons, but, as a general, saves Rome.


=46.= The passage of the Terentilian law was delayed six years, but
at length the nobles yielded the main point, and the _decemviri_ were
chosen. Though wholly patrician, they were men who enjoyed the confidence
of both orders for their proved integrity. Both consuls and tribunes
were superseded for the time, and full powers, constituent, legislative,
and executive, were intrusted to the Ten. The laws of the Twelve Tables,
which were the result of their labors, became the “source of all public
and private right” at Rome for many centuries. During the debate upon the
bill, commissioners had already been sent to Greece, to study the laws
and constitution of the Hellenic states. They returned with an Ionian
sophist, Hermodo´rus of Ephesus, who aided in explaining to the lawmakers
whatever was obscure in the notes of the commissioners; and so valuable
were his services, that he was honored with a statue in the Roman

=47.= Only a few points in this celebrated work of legislation can here
be noticed. The laws of Rome gave to a father absolute right of property
in his family. He might sell his son, his daughter, or even his wife.
The latter act, indeed, was denounced as impious by the religious law,
but no penalty was attached to it; the curse of the chief pontiff merely
marked the guilty person for the wrathful judgments of Heaven. If a
father desired to make his son free, the process was more difficult than
the emancipation of a slave. The latter, if sold to another master, could
be liberated at once, but a son thus sold and liberated returned to the
possession of his father. This subjection could only end with the death
of the parent, though the son himself might then be an old man. The
Twelve Tables enacted that, if a father had three times sold his son,
he lost all further control over him; but a son thus emancipated was
considered as severed from all relationship with his father, and could
no longer inherit his property. Women were all their lives considered as
minors and wards. If their father died, they passed under the control of
their brothers; or, if they married, they became the absolute property of
their husbands. A widow might become the ward of her own son. Marriages
between patricians and plebeians were declared unlawful, and children
born in such had no claim upon their fathers’ possessions.

=48.= The ten Law-givers visited with their heaviest penalties the
defamation of character; and so stringent was their definition of libel,
that neither poets nor historians dared even name the living except
in terms of praise. It is much more difficult, therefore, to gain a
true idea of public men in the history of Rome than of Greece, whose
historians spoke with grand impartiality of men and measures, and the
license of whose comic poets, though often used with insolent injustice,
yet shows us all the weak points of character, and reveals the man as his
contemporaries really saw him. The Roman historians, even when writing of
the past, could often draw their materials only from funeral orations, or
from the flattering verses of dependent poets, laid up among the records
of great families.

=49.= The decemvirs, during their appointed year of office, completed
ten tables of laws; and these, according to Roman ideas, were so just
and so acceptable, that the assemblies willingly consented to renew
the same form of government for another term, especially as the work
of legislation was not quite complete. In the new decemvirate, Appius
Claudius was re-elected, and his unscrupulous character now made itself
felt in the tyrannical nature of the government. The people found that
they had ten consuls instead of two, and the power of the Ten was
unchecked by any popular tribune.

=50.= The domestic rights of the plebeians were rudely invaded. A fair
maiden, Virginia, caught the eye of Appius as she went daily to school
in the Forum, attended by her nurse. He declared that she was the slave
of one of his clients, having been born of a slave-woman in his house,
and sold to the wife of Virginius, who had no children of her own. The
friends of Virginia and of the people resented this insolent falsehood
with such indignation, that the consul’s officers were compelled to
release the maiden under bonds to appear the next day before his
judgment-seat, where her lineage might be proved.

Virginius, her father, was with the army before Tus´culum. He was hastily
summoned, and, riding all night, reached the city early in the morning.
In the garb of a suppliant, he appeared in the Forum with his daughter
and a great company of matrons and friends. But his plea was not heard.
Appius judged the maiden to be, at least, considered a slave until her
freedom could be proved, in direct violation of the law which he had
himself enacted the year before, that every one should be regarded as
free until proved a slave. Virginius perceived that no justice could be
expected before such a tribunal. He only demanded one last word with
his daughter; and having drawn her aside with her nurse into one of the
stalls of the Forum, he seized a butcher’s knife and plunged it into her
heart, crying aloud, “Thus only, my child, can I keep thee free!” Then
turning to the decemvir, he exclaimed, “On thy head be the curse of this
innocent blood!” No one obeyed the consul’s order to seize him. With the
bloody knife in his hand, he rushed through the crowd, mounted his horse
at the gate of the city, and rode to the camp.

=51.= The army of plebeians arose at his call and marched upon Rome. They
entered and passed through the streets to the Aventine, calling upon the
people, as they went, to elect ten tribunes and defend their rights. The
other army, near Fide´næ, was aroused in the same manner by Icil´ius, the
betrothed lover of Virginia. The common soldiers put aside those of the
decemvirs who were with them, chose, likewise, ten tribunes, and marched
to the city. The twenty tribunes appointed two of their number to act
for the rest, and then leaving the Aventine guarded by a garrison, they
passed out of the walls followed by the army, and as many of the people
as could remove, and established themselves again on the Sacred Mount
beyond the Anio.

=52.= The Senate, which had wavered, was now compelled to act. The
seceders had declared that they would treat with no one but Valerius
and Hora´tius, men whom they could trust. These were sent to hear their
demands. The people required that the power of the tribunes should be
restored, a right of appeal from the decision of the magistrates to the
popular assembly established, and the decemvirs given up to be burnt,
as nine friends of the commons had been, within the memory of men still
living. This latter demand, caused only by the exasperation of the
moment, was withdrawn upon maturer council; the others were granted, the
decemvirs resigned, and the people returned to Rome, B. C. 449. A popular
assembly was held, in which ten tribunes were elected, Virginius and
Icilius being of the number. Two supreme magistrates were chosen by a
free vote of the people; in the place of the decemvirate, and they were
now first called consuls. Their powers were the same with those of the
prætors, or generals, who had ruled from the expulsion of the kings to
the appointment of the first decemvirate, except that an appeal might be
made from their sentence to that of the comitia.

The first consuls under this new act were Valerius and Horatius. They
went forth and gained so signal a victory over the Sabines, that Rome
suffered no more incursions from that people for 150 years. Ancient
custom and even law among the Romans honored victorious generals with
a triumphal entry into the city on their return; but the Senate, whose
duty it was to decree the triumph, regarding the consuls as false to
the interests of their order, forbade any such honor to be paid them.
Hereupon the people exerted their supreme authority, and commanded the
consuls to “triumph” in spite of the Senate. (See §§ 109-111.) Appius
Claudius and one of his colleagues were impeached and died in prison; the
rest fled from Rome, and their property was confiscated.

=53.= A strong reaction now set in, in favor of the patricians; and
so determined was their opposition to the new laws, that the people
seceded again, but this time only to the Janiculum, west of the Tiber
and opposite Rome. At last a law was passed legalizing marriage between
the two orders. Instead of throwing open the consulship freely to the
plebeians, it was agreed (B. C. 444) to divide its duties and dignities
among five officers, of whom two, the censors, should be chosen only from
the nobles, though by a free vote of the tribes, while the three military
tribunes might be either patricians or plebeians. The censors were to
hold office five years, the tribunes only one.

For some alleged defect in the auspices (see § 28), the first three
tribunes were set aside, and for six years consuls were regularly
appointed as before. In 438 B. C., tribunes were elected, and for three
following years consuls again, showing the extreme difficulty with which
the people gained their rights, even when conceded by law. In 433 B. C.,
an important law of Æmilius, the dictator, limited the duration of the
censor’s office to eighteen months, though he was still appointed only
once in five years, thus leaving the place vacant a much greater time
than it was filled.

=54.= The censors were invested with truly kingly splendor and
extraordinary powers. They registered the citizens and their property,
administered the revenues of the state, kept the rolls of the Senate,
from which they erased all unworthy names, and added such as they
considered fit. In this judgment of character they were guided solely
by their own sense of duty. If a man was tyrannical to his wife and
children, or cruel to his slaves, if he neglected his land, or wasted his
fortune, or followed any dishonorable calling, he was degraded from his
rank, whatever that might be. If a senator or a knight, he was deprived
of his gold ring and purple-striped tunic; if a private citizen, he
was expelled from the tribes and lost his vote. The censors were thus
the guardians of morals, and their power extended to many matters which
could hardly be reached by the general action of the law. The taking of
every census was followed by a lustration, or ceremonial purifying of the
people (see § 31). Hence, the five years which intervened between two
elections of censors were called a _lustrum_, or greater year.

=55.= The Romans must have watched with interest, during the years 415
and 414 B. C., the movements of the great Athenian expedition against
Syracuse. Had the brilliant schemes of Alcibiades been carried into
effect, the Greeks would doubtless have become the leading power in
western Europe; “Greece, and not Rome, might have conquered Carthage;
Greek, instead of Latin, might have been at this day the principal
element of the languages of Spain, of France, and of Italy; and the laws
of Athens, rather than of Rome, might be the foundation of the law of the
civilized world.”


    Decemviri chosen to make new laws for Rome. Absolute power of
    the _paterfamilias_. Laws against libel make Roman history mere
    eulogium. Tyranny of the second decemvirate. Appius Claudius
    unjustly claims Virginia for a slave. The people secede,
    overthrow the decemvirate, and restore consuls and tribunes.
    The new consuls defeat the Sabines, and triumph in spite of the
    Senate. By another change of constitution, censors and military
    tribunes are chosen, instead of consuls. The censors have
    absolute power to correct public morals. The Athenians fail in
    their Sicilian expedition, B. C. 415, 414, and leave room for
    the supremacy of Rome.


=56.= The Gauls were now beginning their terrible incursions from the
north into the valley of the Po, thus absorbing the attention of the
Etruscans; and the time favored a fresh attack of the Romans upon Veii,
the nearest state across the Tiber. The war began B. C. 405, and lasted
ten years. The necessity of keeping an armed force continually in the
field, gave rise to the standing army, which ultimately made so essential
a part of Roman power; and, at the same time, obliged the patricians to
study the interests of the people. It was now agreed that the soldiers
should be regularly paid, and money secured for this purpose by a careful
collection of the rents for public lands. The number of military tribunes
was doubled. Their chief, the præfect of the city, was a patrician, and
chosen by that order, but the remaining five were elected from either or
both classes, by a free vote of the popular assembly.

=57.= After ten years’ warfare with varying success, Veii was taken (B.
C. 396) by the dictator Camillus. It is said that on the very day of its
surrender, Melpum, the Etruscan stronghold in the north, fell before
the Gauls. The loss of these two frontier fortresses began the rapid
decline of Etrurian power. The joy of the Romans was commemorated by
the whimsical custom, long continued, of concluding every festal game
with a mock auction called the “Sale of Veientes.” Cape´na, Fale´rii,
Nep´ete, and Sunium were likewise conquered, and with their lands became
possessions of Rome. Within half a century, the Etruscans lost to the
Gauls all their possessions in Campania and north of the Apennines, and
to the Romans, all between the Cimin´ian forests and the Tiber. The
nation had already lost its force through unbounded excess in luxury. The
nobles were enormously rich, while the people were poor and enslaved.

=58.= The war of the Romans against Volsin´ii was equally successful;
but, by a sudden and terrible reverse, Rome was now doomed to suffer the
fate which she too often inflicted. The Gauls, after conquering northern
Etruria, overflowed the barrier of the Apennines and spread over central
Italy. They met the entire Roman force near the little river Al´lia,
and defeated it with great slaughter; then pushing on with irresistible
power, they captured and burned the city. So overwhelming was the
disaster, that the 16th of July, the date of the battle of the Allia,
was pronounced a “black day” of ill-omen, on which no business could be
safely transacted and no sacrifices acceptably offered.

=59.= The vestal virgins withdrew with the sacred fire to Cære, in
Etruria; the mass of the people, with the fugitives from the conquered
army, had taken refuge in Veii and other Etruscan towns; but the noblest
of the patricians resolved to hold the Capitol. Those who were too old to
fight, hoped to serve their country equally well by an heroic death. They
repeated, after the pontifex maximus, a solemn imprecation,[66] devoting
themselves and the army of the Gauls to death for the deliverance of
Rome. Then, arrayed in their most magnificent apparel, holding their
ivory scepters, and seated each upon his ivory throne at the door of
his own house, they sat motionless while the tumult of plunder and
pillage was going on around. The barbarians were struck with admiration
of these venerable figures, and one of them began reverently to stroke
the long white beard of Papir´ius. Enraged by this profaning touch, the
old senator struck him with his ivory scepter. It was the signal for
slaughter. The Gauls, recovering from their momentary awe, massacred the
noble old men without delay.

=60.= The siege of the Capitol continued six or eight months. At one time
it was nearly taken, by the enemy scaling the steep cliff by night. The
garrison were asleep, but some geese sacred to Juno gave a timely alarm,
and the citadel was saved. Marcus Manlius, who was the first to awaken,
succeeded in throwing several of the first assailants down the cliff,
and thus maintained the fortress until his comrades could come to his
aid. At length, though the garrison were nearly exhausted by hunger,
the Gauls were equally ready to make terms, for they had heard that the
Venetians were invading their northern possessions. A thousand pounds of
gold were paid for the ransom of the city, and the barbarians retired.
They were followed by Camillus, the conqueror of Veii and Falerii, who
was now again dictator, and who, by cutting off straggling parties of the
enemy, regained some portion of the rich booty which they were carrying
away; but it is probably not true that he gained any important success
over them, as was formerly believed.

=61.= A period of great distress followed the retreat of the Gauls. The
farms, upon which the livelihood of so many people depended, had been
laid waste; their fruit-trees, buildings, implements, stock and stores,
even to the seed-corn needed for next year’s sowing, had been burnt.
Rome was a mass of rubbish, in which even the direction of the former
streets could no longer be discerned. The government furnished roofing
materials, and allowed wood and stone to be taken from the public forests
and quarries, on condition that every person so aided would give security
to complete his building within the year. But these pledges were often
forfeited; and to meet the expense of rebuilding, as well as to pay the
extraordinary taxes for restoring the fortress and the temples, money
had to be borrowed, and the poor were again at the mercy of the rich.
Innocent debtors were dragged from their homes, to toil as slaves in the
shops or fields of their creditors.

Many chose to remain in the Etruscan towns where they had taken refuge,
and even to make of Veii a new Rome for the plebeians, where they might
live free from the overbearing rule of the patricians, and be themselves
a privileged class. Though this wholesale secession was prevented, yet
the numbers in Rome were so greatly diminished, that a mass of the
conquered Etruscans were brought in to fill the vacant places. These
were provided with Roman lands, were organized into four new tribes, and
admitted to full civil rights. The “new people” formed more than a sixth
part of the whole population of the reconstructed city.

=62.= No one could see without pity the distress of the people; but
Marcus Manlius, the same whose alertness and presence of mind had saved
the Capitol, had also reasons of his own for trying to relieve them.
He was jealous of Camillus, and thought that his own services had not
been duly rewarded. He sold at auction the best portion of his lands,
and applied the proceeds to paying the debts of needy persons, thus
delivering them from imprisonment and torture. He was rewarded by the
unbounded gratitude of the poor; his house was continually thronged
with partisans, to whom he spoke of the selfish cruelty of the nobles,
in throwing the whole burden of the public calamity on others, and
even accused them of embezzling the immense sums raised to replace the
treasures of the temples, which had been borrowed to purchase the retreat
of the Gauls.

=63.= For this charge Manlius was thrown into prison, and the people
began to regard him as a martyr to their cause. On his release, he
renewed his attacks upon the government. He fortified his house on the
Capitoline, and with his party held the whole height in defiance of the
authorities. His treason was so evident, that even the tribunes of the
people took part with the patricians against him, and he was brought to
trial before the popular assembly.

He appeared, followed by several comrades whose lives he had saved in
battle, and by four hundred debtors whom he had rescued from the dungeon.
He exhibited the spoils of thirty enemies slain with his own hand, and
forty crowns or other honorary rewards received from his generals. He
appealed to the gods, whose temples he had saved from pollution, and he
bade the people look at the Capitol before they pronounced judgment. It
was impossible to convict such a criminal in such a presence, for the
very spot on the Capitol where Manlius had stood alone against the Gauls,
was visible from the Forum. He was afterward condemned for treason and
thrown from the Tarpeian Rock, the precipitous side of the Capitoline
Hill, looking toward the Tiber.

=64.= The power of the patricians was only confirmed by this rash and
selfish attempt to overthrow it. For seven years the distress of the
people went on increasing; the commons lost heart, and their eldest men
refused any longer to accept public office. Two younger men now came
forward, who were destined, by their firm and wise procedure, to relieve
in great measure the miseries of their class.

C. Licinius Stolo was of one of the oldest and wealthiest plebeian
families, connected by many marriages with the nobles. Becoming tribune
(B. C. 376), together with his friend, L. Sextius, he proposed a new
set of laws, designed to remove both the poverty and the political
wrongs under which the commons were suffering. (1.) To relieve immediate
distress, it was proposed that the enormous interest already paid upon
debts should be reckoned as so much defrayed of the principal, and
should, therefore, be deducted from the sum still due. (2.) To prevent
future poverty, the public lands, hitherto absorbed in great measure by
the patricians, were to be thrown open equally to the plebeians, and no
man was to be allowed to hold more than 500 _jugera_,[67] or to pasture
more than 100 oxen and 500 sheep on the undivided portion. Further,
to secure employment to the poor, a certain amount of free labor was
required upon every farm. (3.) Two consuls were to be elected, of whom
one every year should be a plebeian.

=65.= The strongest objection to a plebeian consulship was on religious
grounds; for high patricians held it an impiety to place in the supreme
magistracy one who had no right to take the auspices, and whom they
regarded as no true Roman. To attack this prejudice in the boldest
manner, Licinius proposed to increase the number of keepers of the
Sibylline Books from two to ten, and to appoint five of these from
the plebeians. These laws were not passed without many years’ violent
opposition. At length they were ratified by the Senate and the Comitia
Curiata (B. C. 367); and to celebrate this happy agreement between the
two orders, a Temple of Concord was built upon the Capitoline Hill. At
the same time, a new office, the prætorship, was instituted and confined
to the patricians, comprising most of the civil and judicial duties
which had hitherto belonged to the consuls, while the latter kept their
absolute military power. The first plebeian consul under this arrangement
was L. Sextius.

=66.= The restless and turbulent Gauls re-appeared in Latium, during
the same year with the passing of the Licinian laws. They were defeated
by the aged general Camillus, who had been six times military tribune
and five times dictator. On their second invasion they encamped within
five miles of the city, and struck terror, we may well believe, into
the hearts of those who remembered the desolations of thirty years
before; but, at length, they broke up their camp without fighting, and
passed into Campania. On their return through Latium they were signally
defeated. In 350 B. C., they spent the winter upon the Alban Mount, and
joined the Greek pirates on the coast in ravaging the country, until they
were dislodged by L. Furius Camillus, a son of the general.

They made a treaty B. C. 346, after which they never again appeared in
Latium. They continued to be the ruling race between the Alps and the
northern Apennines, and along the Adriatic as far south as the Abruz´zi.
Many towns, like Milan, were held, however, by the Etruscans in a sort
of independence, while the Gauls lived in unwalled villages. From their
Tuscan subjects, the Gauls learned letters and the arts of civilized
life, which spread from them, in a greater or less degree, to all the
Alpine populations.


    Veii taken B. C. 396, after a ten years’ siege. Defeat of the
    Romans on the Allia, and capture of their city by the Gauls, B.
    C. 390. Massacre of the senators. Manlius saves the Capitol,
    during a seven months’ siege. Rome in ruins. Distress of the
    poor. Treason of Manlius. The Licinian laws, passed after nine
    years’ contest, relieve debtors and divide the public lands
    among the common people. The Gauls overrun central Italy, B. C.
    361-346, but at length retire north of the Apennines.

SECOND PERIOD, B. C. 343-264.

=67.= From the political struggles which developed the Roman
constitution, we turn to the series of foreign wars between Rome and her
most powerful rival for the supremacy of southern Italy. The Samnites
were a Sabine race, settled as conquerors in the Oscan country. Their
possessions were mostly inland, comprising the snow-covered mountain
range which separates the Apulian from the Campanian plains, but they
extended to the coast between Naples and Pæstum, where they included the
once famous cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii.

The Samnites ranked with the Latins, as the most warlike races of Italy;
but the conquests of the former, at the period to which we have now come,
had been by far the more brilliant and extensive. In the decline both of
Greek and Etruscan power in southern Italy (see Book III, § 90), they
had gained control of the whole lower portion of the peninsula, except
a few Greek colonies like Tarentum and Neapolis. But Latium, under the
leadership of Rome, had advanced surely though slowly, securing each
advantage by the formation of Roman colonies, bound by the strongest ties
of obedience to the mother city, while the Samnite nation had no settled
policy and no regularly constituted head. Each new settlement, therefore,
divided and diminished their strength.

=68.= The conquerors of Cumæ and Capua adopted the luxurious habits of
the Greeks and Etruscans, whom they had supplanted, but with whom they
continued to live on friendly terms. The Greek-loving inhabitants of the
coast dreaded their rude countrymen of the hills, almost as much as did
the refined Hellenes themselves, and thus a great division took place in
the Samnite stock. The civilized and Hellenized Samnites besought the
aid of the Romans against the predatory hordes of their own race, who
were constantly swooping down from the Samnian hills to ravage their
fields. The Romans consented, on condition of their own supremacy being
acknowledged throughout Campania, and their former treaty with Samnium
was broken.

=69.= The First Samnite War began with the march of two Roman armies
into Campania, while the Latin allies invaded the Pelignian country on
the north. The Roman armies were victorious, and both consuls obtained
a triumph. A large force was left, at the request of the Campanians, to
guard their cities during the winter. The common soldiers were still
burdened with poverty, and the prolonged absence from their farms
occasioned serious suffering to their families.

In the second year of the war, mutinous plots were discovered, and a
large body of the troops were sent home. On their way they released all
the bondmen for debt whom they found working in the fields of their
creditors, fortified a regular camp on the slope of the Alban Hills, and
were joined by a large body of oppressed common people from the city.
But when they met the army hastily raised by the patricians, and sent
forth under Valerius the dictator—whose family had always been faithful
friends to the people, and who was himself greatly beloved by all classes
for his generous character, no less than his military glory—these men,
whose revolt had been occasioned by real distress, and not by defect of
loyalty, could not bring themselves to fight their fellow-citizens and
the defenders of their common country. The two armies stood facing each
other, until remorse on one side and pity on the other had overcome all
mutual resentment; then, both pressing forward, they grasped hands or
rushed into each others’ arms with tears and demands for pardon. The just
requirements of the soldiers were granted by the Senate, together with
amnesty for their irregular proceedings, and this singular rebellion
ended in a lasting peace.

=70.= The Latins, meanwhile, had been left to carry on the Samnite war by
themselves, and their repeated successes encouraged them to assert their
independence of Rome. The Romans now (B. C. 341) made peace with the
Samnites, and, two years later, turned their arms against the Latins, who
were strengthened by alliance with their late opponents, the Campanians
and Volscians. The two consuls with their forces moved into Campania, and
encamped in the plain of Capua, opposite the army of the three allies.
Strict orders were issued against skirmishing or personal encounters, and
disobedience was to be punished with death. Ignorant or heedless of the
command, Titus Manlius, the consul’s son, accepted a challenge from a
Latin warrior, killed his opponent, and brought the spoils in triumph to
lay at his father’s feet. The consul turned away his face, and summoning
his guards, ordered them to behead the young man before his tent, in the
presence of all the soldiers. Roman discipline knew no ties of affection.
Manlius, the father, was forever regarded with horror, but Manlius, the
consul and general, was strictly obeyed as long as he commanded the
armies of Rome.

=71.= The decisive battle in the Latin war took place at the foot of
Vesuvius. The augurs, having taken the auspices as usual, declared that
fate demanded the sacrifice of a general on one side and an army on the
other. It was therefore made known to the Roman officers that, whichever
portion of the army should begin to yield, the consul commanding in that
quarter would devote himself to the gods of death and the grave, in order
that the army which must perish might be that of the Latins.

Manlius led the Roman right; Publius Decius, the people’s consul, the
left. The battle was severe, and bravely fought on both sides; but, at
length, the Latin right wing prevailed, and the Roman left began to
give way. Decius instantly called the chief pontiff—for, as a plebeian,
he himself was ignorant of the ceremonies by which the gods must be
addressed—and bade him dictate the form of words in which he was to
devote himself to death. By the direction of the pontiff, he wrapped
his toga around his face, set his feet upon a javelin, and repeated the
imprecation.[68] Then sending his guard of lictors to the other consul
to announce his fate, he mounted his horse, plunged into the host of the
enemy, and was quickly slain. The Latins saw and understood the act,
but they still fought fiercely, like men who struggled against fate. So
equally matched were the main forces, that Manlius gained the day at last
only by bringing on the poorer supernumeraries, whom he had armed to
constitute a double reserve.

=72.= A second battle was much more easily won, and the Latins had no
strength to rally for a third. The Latin League was wholly broken up,
Roman law every-where took the place of local constitutions, and some
cities even became Roman colonies. The Latins were one in race and
language with Rome, and their transient hostility was exchanged for
a close and permanent alliance. The battle under Mount Vesuvius was
one of the most important in the history of Rome, for by securing the
sovereignty of Latium, it opened the way to the conquest of the world.

=73.= For the next twelve years the Romans were unable to undertake any
great foreign war. Italy was invaded by Alexander of Epirus, uncle of the
great Macedonian conqueror, B. C. 332. His quarrel was with the Samnites,
but if his success had been equal to his ambition, no engagements with
the Romans would have prevented his overrunning the whole peninsula. He
was defeated and slain, however, in 326 B. C., and the Romans immediately
prepared for a renewed contest with the Samnites, which was to last
twenty-two years, B. C. 326-304. The two chief states of Italy fought for
sovereignty, and their allies included almost all the other nations in
the peninsula.

The events of the first five years were too indecisive to be worth
recording. The advantage was generally with the Romans, but the Samnite
power was still unbroken, and was able, in 321 B. C., to inflict one
of the most severe and disgraceful defeats that Roman arms had ever
sustained. The combined forces of Rome, led by the two consuls, were
entrapped in a mountain-pass between Naples and Ben´even´tum, known as
the “Caudine Forks.” Half the soldiers fell in the fight which ensued;
the rest surrendered, but were generously spared by Pontius, the Samnite
general, on condition of an honorable peace being signed by the two
consuls and by two tribunes of the people, who were present with the
troops. The soldiers were then made to “pass under the yoke,”[69] in
token of surrender, and were permitted to march away, without their
arms, toward Rome. But the Senate, having got back its forces, refused
to be bound by the agreement of the consuls. The signers of the treaty,
stripped and bound, were given up to the vengeance of the Samnites, but
Pontius refused to receive them. He did not choose to punish the innocent
for the guilty, nor to justify the Roman government in taking all the
advantage of the agreement, and refusing all the sacrifices.

=74.= The war went on six years without any very important event,
until, in 315 B. C., the Samnites gained another great success at
Lau´tulæ. Almost all the allies of Rome now deserted what seemed the
losing cause. Campania revolted; the Ausonians and Volscians joined the
Samnite alliance. But, in the following year, a still more severe and
decisive battle gave victory to the Romans. The Samnites were crushed
beyond all power of recovery. The war was continued, however, ten years
longer, chiefly by the efforts of the Etruscans, Oscans, and Umbrians,
to preserve the balance of power in Italy. But these efforts were never
united, and the Romans were able to defeat them, one by one, until, in
304 B. C., the Samnites became subject to Rome, and all the other parties
concluded a peace. Rome was now, without question, the first nation
in Italy; and, considering the disputes which weakened the fragments
of Alexander’s empire, might almost be considered the greatest in the
world. In intellectual culture, the Romans were still inferior to the
conquered Samnites. Pontius, the Samnite general, was well versed in
Greek philosophy, and in the elevation of his character far surpassed the
proudest Romans of his time.

=75.= Near the close of the Second Samnite War, the Æqui, who had been
for eighty years in a state of neutrality, took up arms against Rome; and
immediately after the treaty of B. C. 304, the consuls marched 40,000 men
into their territory. A sharp and severe struggle of fifty days resulted
in the capture and destruction of forty-one towns. A large portion of
the people were sold into slavery, and the rest became subjects of Rome.
A few years later, however, they received the rights of citizens, were
enrolled in the tribes, and served in the wars against the Samnites.

=76.= The latter people busily employed the six years’ interval
between their second and third great struggle with Rome, in forming
and strengthening the “Italian League.” Etruscans, Umbrians, and
Gauls, on the north, were allied with Lucanians, Apulians, most of the
Greek cities, and the Samnites, on the south. Rome had the advantage
in compactness, numbers, and wealth; her own or her allies’ territory
extended across Italy from the Mediterranean to the Adriatic, and divided
the states of her enemies.

The war broke out in 298 B. C., but no important movement was made until,
in 295 B. C., the combined armies of the four northern nations advanced
toward Rome. The plan of the consuls was at once bold and sagacious. One
army awaited the invaders, while another marched directly into Etruria.
This movement exposed the weakness of the league, for the Etruscans
and Umbrians, deserting their allies, drew off to defend their own
territories. The Samnites and Gauls crossed the Apennines to Senti´num,
where they were overtaken by the first Roman army. In the battle which
followed, the Gallic war-chariots had nearly driven from the field the
legions of Decius, the consul, when, remembering the example of his
father at Vesuvius, he, likewise, devoted himself to the powers of death
for the deliverance of Rome. The legions were at length triumphant;
25,000 of the enemy lay dead upon the field.

=77.= The Gauls now withdrew from the league, but the Samnites continued
the war with unabated resolution. Twenty-eight years after his great
victory at the Caudine Forks, Pontius again defeated a Roman army under
Fabius Gur´ges. The Romans were so exasperated by this defeat where they
were confident of victory, that they would have deprived the consul of
his command, had not his old father, Fabius Maximus, offered to serve as
his lieutenant.

A great victory was now gained, in which Pontius was captured, and
made to walk, loaded with chains, in the triumph of the consul. When
the procession reached the ascent to the Capitol, he was led aside and
beheaded in the Mamertine prison—he who, thirty years before, had spared
the lives and liberty of two Roman armies, and even generously released
the officers when given over to his vengeance! This base treatment of a
brave foe has been called the greatest stain in the Roman annals. The
war was ended with the complete submission of Samnium, and the Romans
established a colony of 20,000 people at Venu´sia, to hold the conquered
territory in awe, B. C. 290.

=78.= In the same year, the consul, Curius Denta´tus, began and ended
another war against the Sabines, who had come to the aid of their Samnite
kinsmen. They were subdued, and their extensive country, rich in oil,
wine, and forests of oak, fell into the possession of the Romans. The
commons at Rome suffered greatly, nevertheless, from the burdens of the
war. Their farms had been neglected during their absence with the army,
and those who had the misfortune to have been taken prisoners, had to be
ransomed at a cost ruinous to small fortunes.

Curius, the conqueror of the Sabines, proposed a new Agrarian law for the
division of their lands among the poor of Rome. A political contest of
several years ensued, during which the mass of the people seceded again
to the Janiculum. A rumor of foreign invasion induced the Senate to yield
and appoint Hortensius, a plebeian of ancient family, to be dictator. By
his wise and conciliatory counsels, peace was restored. He convened all
the people in a grove of oaks without the walls, and by the solemn oaths
of the whole assembly passed the Hortensian laws, which ended the civil
strife of Rome for 150 years. Every citizen received an allotment of
land, and certain invidious marks of distinction between patricians and
plebeians were effaced, B. C. 286.


    The Hellenized Samnites ask the aid of Rome against their
    highland countrymen. The First Samnite War, B. C. 343-341,
    opens with success to the Romans. Sedition of troops in
    Campania. The Latins revolt against Rome and join the
    Campanians and Volscians. The Romans make peace and alliance
    with the Samnites for the Latin War, B. C. 340-338. In the
    battle of Vesuvius, Decius, the consul, devotes himself
    to death, and the Romans are victorious. The Latin League
    suppressed, and the supremacy of Rome established. An invasion
    of Italy by Alexander of Epirus, is followed by the Second
    Samnite War, B. C. 326-304. The Romans defeated at the
    Caudine Forks, B. C. 321, but at last completely victorious.
    They conquer the Æqui, B. C. 304. Third Samnite War, and
    Italian League against Rome, B. C. 298-290. Great victory
    at Sentinum over Gauls, Samnites, Etruscans, and Umbrians.
    Capture of Pontius, B. C. 292, and end of the Samnite wars.
    Sabine territories conquered and divided among the people, by
    Hortensian laws.


=79.= Within three years (B. C. 283), the Romans were menaced by a new
danger, in a powerful coalition formed by the Tarentines, and including
nearly all the nations of Italy. The storm gathered swiftly and burst
from all quarters at once. In the south, the Samnites, Lucanians, and
Bruttians were in arms; in the north, the Etruscans and Umbrians, with
hordes of Gallic mercenaries, were pouring into the field. Arre´tium
alone stood firmly by the Roman alliance, and was besieged by an army
of Etruscans and Gauls. The consul, Metel´lus, marching to its relief,
was defeated with the total loss of his army. Embassadors, sent to
remonstrate with the Seno´nian Gauls for the infringement of their treaty
with Rome, were murdered, and their bodies hewed to pieces and cast
out without burial. This outrage, which the laws of the rudest savages
pronounced sacrilege, provoked a speedy vengeance. Dolabel´la, the
consul, marched into the Gallic territory with his army, killed every man
who was found, carried off the women and children as slaves, and reduced
every village to a heap of ashes and rubbish.

=80.= The Boian Gauls took up arms to avenge their brethren, and, joining
the Etruscans, met the Roman forces in the valley of the Tiber, near
the little lake Vad´imon. They were defeated so thoroughly that very
few escaped from the field. The consul Fabric´ius, the following year,
defeated the Samnites, Lucanians, and Bruttians in several great battles,
broke up the coalition in the south, and collected an amount of spoils
which enabled him to pay all the war expenses of the year, and, beside
allowing a liberal share to every soldier, to leave half a million of
dollars in the treasury. Tarentum, the prime mover of the war, had never
drawn a sword, but had left all its burdens and losses to her allies. To
punish this passive but mischievous policy, a Roman fleet was now sent to
cruise around the eastern and southern coasts of Italy. It was defeated
and sunk by the Tarentines in their own harbor. They then seized Thurii,
expelled the Roman garrison, and, in the name of all the Italian Greeks,
sent to Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, for aid.

=81.= This accomplished and ambitious prince was glad of a new field of
enterprise. He hastened into Italy with a well-appointed army of 25,500
men, drilled and equipped in the Macedonian fashion, and supplied with
twenty elephants. The gay and self-indulgent Tarentines, quite willing
that another should fight their battles for them, forgot their promises
of service and subsidies; but Pyrrhus showed them that he was master
by stopping the sports of the circus and theaters, and the banquets of
the clubs, and keeping the citizens under arms from morning to night.
Even with inferior forces he was able to defeat the Roman legions at
Heracle´a, on the Siris. Seven times the Epirotes and Greeks were driven
from the field, and seven times regained it; but when the last Italian
reserve was engaged, Pyrrhus brought on his elephants, till then unknown
in Italy, and they put to flight the Roman horse. The rout was complete;
the Romans did not stay to defend their camp, but fled to Venu´sia,
leaving Pyrrhus master of the field.

=82.= He was now joined by many allies, some of whom had even been
subjects or friends of Rome; but the advantage of his victory was not
sufficient to balance his loss in officers and men—losses the more
serious as Greece was now overrun by the Gauls, and there was little hope
of recruits. In these circumstances, Pyrrhus sent to Rome his embassador,
Cin´eas, an orator of such brilliant talent, that he was said to have won
more cities by his tongue than Pyrrhus by his sword. A large party was
inclined to listen to his proposals of “peace, friendship, and alliance.”
But Appius Claudius—thirty years ago censor, now a blind old man—heard in
his house that Rome was making peace, with a victorious enemy still upon
Italian soil. He caused himself to be carried in a litter through the
Forum to the Senate-house. When he arrived, all his sons and sons-in-law
went out to meet him and lead him to his ancient place. All the Senate
listened in breathless silence as the old man rose to speak, protesting
against the dishonor of his country. When he ceased, it was voted that
no peace should be made while any foreign foe was in Italy, and that the
orator who had so nearly persuaded them should leave the city that very

=83.= The war went on between the consummate genius of Pyrrhus and the
unconquerable will of the Roman people. They were fighting for existence,
while Pyrrhus fought for glory; and though in every pitched battle he was
victorious, fresh armies were always ready to oppose him. Still hoping
to make peace with Rome, he refused to ransom or exchange the multitude
of prisoners whom he had taken, but he allowed them all to return to
Rome for the winter holidays—the Saturna´lia—on their simple promise to
return if the Senate refused a treaty. The Senate refused, and every
man returned. In his second campaign, Pyrrhus gained another brilliant
victory, at As´culum, over the Romans and their allies. But his restless
ambition now turned to a new field, and he departed into Sicily, where
the Greek cities had implored his aid against the Carthaginians. Once
master of that fertile island, he believed that he could attempt the
conquest of Italy with better resources, and he left troops to hold
Tarentum and Locri for his base of future operations in the peninsula.

=84.= In Sicily his genius and valor for a time drove all before him. The
strong town of Eryx was taken, Pyrrhus himself being the first to mount
the scaling-ladders. The Carthaginians implored peace, offering ships and
money as the conditions of an alliance. Pyrrhus haughtily refused; but a
reverse which he afterward suffered at Lilybæ´um, encouraged his enemies
and alienated his allies. After two years he returned into Italy, pursued
by a Carthaginian fleet, which defeated him with a loss of seventy ships.
On landing, he was met by a body of Mamertines,[70] who had crossed the
straits from Sicily, and whom he defeated only by a sharp and costly
battle. He arrived at Tarentum with an army equal in numbers, but far
inferior in character, to that with which he had come from Epirus four
years earlier. His faithful Epirotes were slain, and in their places were
ill-trained Italian mercenaries, who would serve only as long as pay and
plunder abounded.

=85.= Being in great want of money to satisfy these unruly followers,
Pyrrhus yielded to the advice of his Epicure´an courtiers, and
appropriated the treasures of the temple of Proser´pina, at Locri.
The money was embarked by sea for Tarentum, but a storm drove the
sacrilegious vessel back upon the coasts of Locri; and Pyrrhus was so
affected by remorse, that he restored the gold and put to death the
counselors. He believed that he was ever after haunted by the wrath of
Proserpina, which dragged him down to ruin. The following year he was
totally defeated near Beneventum, by Curius Dentatus, the consul. Toward
the end of the year he passed over into Greece, still leaving a garrison
at Tarentum, in token of his unconquered resolution to return.

During the first invasion by Pyrrhus, the Eighth Legion, stationed at
Rhegium, and composed chiefly of Campanian mercenaries, had, like the
Mamertines in Sicily, thrown off their allegiance, slaughtered the Greek
inhabitants, and held the town as an independent military post. They
were now reduced, and most of the garrison put to the sword; the rest,
consisting of the original soldiers of the legion, were tried at Rome,
scourged, and beheaded.

=86.= Roman supremacy was now speedily established both in northern and
southern Italy. Picenum was conquered, and half her inhabitants were
forcibly removed to the shores of the Gulf of Salerno. Umbria submitted
B. C. 266, the chief cities of Etruria followed, and the entire peninsula
south of the Macra and Rubicon became subject to Rome. Hitherto the
Romans, like the Spartans, had prided themselves upon the homeliness of
their manners. When the Samnites sent envoys to M. Curius to bespeak his
kind offices with the Senate, and offer him a present of gold, they found
the ex-consul seated by his fire and roasting turnips in the ashes, with
a wooden platter before him. To their proffered gift he replied, “I count
it my glory not to possess gold myself, but to have power over those who

The eleven years following the departure of Pyrrhus were a period of the
greatest prosperity ever enjoyed by the common people of Rome, and the
wealth arising from the conquest of Italy materially changed their manner
of living. Every freeman received a fresh grant of seven _jugera_ of land
or a portion of money. The property of the displaced governments went,
of course, to the Roman state, and thus valuable possessions of mines,
quarries, forests, fisheries, and public lands were added to its domains.
The administration of the public revenues demanded a greatly increased
number of officials, and the rich, as well as the poor, profited by the
results of war.

=87.= The new territories were secured by that system of colonies which,
in later times, served to establish the Roman power from the Atlantic to
the Euphrates. The colonies were of two kinds. Most favored were those
composed of “Roman citizens,” who retained all their rights as such,
voting in the assembly, and being eligible to any office which they could
have filled if remaining at Rome. Those who joined a “Latin colony,” on
the other hand, lost their civil rights in Rome, but they had privileges
which attached them both by interest and affection to the mother city.
Ostia, and the maritime colonies generally, were of the former and higher
class. The great system of Roman roads, which ultimately intersected all
western Europe, and may be seen to-day in their massive remains, owed
its origin to Appius Claudius “the Blind,” who when censor, in 312 B.
C., constructed the Appian Way to connect Rome with her new dependency,
Campania. He also built the first of the Roman aqueducts, to supply the
poorer portion of the city with water.

=88.= The free-born plebeians of Rome now possessed half the high offices
in the state, and even in the sacred colleges of pontiffs and augurs.
They were admitted to the Senate when they had served as consuls, or had
been appointed to be either prætors or ædiles. Appius Claudius, in his
censorship, went still further, and placed upon the rolls of the Senate
the names of some who had been born slaves, or who possessed no lands.
He enrolled these two very numerous classes in the tribes as voters;
and instead of assigning them to those of the city, where they almost
exclusively belonged, he distributed them over all the districts, so that
they might control all elections. To rescue Rome from the inevitable rule
of the mob, his successors in the censorship confined these new votes
to the city, thus giving them the control only of four tribes out of
thirty-one, and so the danger was averted.


    Coalitions in the north and south against the Romans. Siege of
    Arretium, and defeat of Metellus. War with the Senonian and
    Boian Gauls. Victories of Fabricius in the south. Pyrrhus comes
    to the aid of the Tarentines; defeats the Romans at Heraclea,
    Asculum, etc.; sends Cineas to Rome, whose persuasions are
    thwarted by Appius Claudius the Blind; passes into Sicily, and
    after two years returns to Epirus. All Italy subject to Rome.
    Increased wealth and luxury of the people. Many new colonies
    upon the conquered lands. Roads and aqueducts are constructed.
    Freedmen and non-possessors of land admitted to the suffrage by
    Appius Claudius.

THIRD PERIOD, B. C. 264-133.

=89.= The great commercial Republic of Carthage, though allied with Rome
during the wars with Pyrrhus, had regarded with jealousy the steadily
increasing power of the Italian state. The Roman people, on the other
hand, had been so enriched by their recent wars, that they were eager
for fresh plunder and a new allotment of conquered lands. A slight and
doubtful pretext was, therefore, sufficient to plunge the two nations
into war. The Carthaginians had seized the citadel of Messana, under
pretense of aiding the Mamertines against Hi´ero of Syracuse. The Romans
had recently punished the buccaneers of Rhegium for precisely the same
crime which the “Sons of Mara” had committed at Messana, but when the
latter sought their aid against both Syracusans and Carthaginians, the
temptation was too great; they accepted the disreputable alliance, and
invaded Sicily with 20,000 men.

=90.= Having gained possession of Messana, they kept it for their own.
The combined forces of Syracuse and Carthage, besieging the place, were
defeated by Claudius, the consul; and Hiero, being distrustful of his
African allies, returned home. The next year he made peace with the
Romans, and continued until his death, nearly half a century later, their
faithful friend and ally. Most of the Greek cities in Sicily followed his
example. Hannibal,[71] son of Gisco, the Carthaginian general, could no
longer meet the Romans in the field, but shut himself up in Agrigentum
and was besieged. Hanno, attempting to relieve him, was decisively
defeated; the city was taken, and its people were sold as slaves.

Hannibal, who escaped to Panor´mus (Palermo) with most of his troops,
now carried the war upon the sea, and ravaged the defenseless coasts
of Italy with a fleet of sixty vessels. The next year his lieutenant,
Boö´des, with a naval detachment, met the consul, Scipio, at Lip´ara,
and captured his whole squadron. Hannibal then set out with fifty ships
to ravage the coasts of Italy again. But the Romans, wisely learning
from their enemies, were now prepared to meet them on their own element.
A Carthaginian quin´quereme (a vessel with five rows of oars) had been
cast ashore on the coast of Bruttium. It was used as a model, and the
Romans, who previously had had nothing greater than triremes, possessed,
within two months, one hundred first-class war vessels. While the
ships were building, the crews were trained on shore to their peculiar
and complicated motions. In the very first encounter, Hannibal was
defeated; in the second, off Mylæ, he lost fifty vessels, among them his
magnificent flag-ship, which had formerly belonged to Pyrrhus.

=91.= In 259 B. C., Sardinia and Corsica were attacked, and the town of
Ale´ria taken by the Romans. The following year, another great naval
victory was gained off Ec´nomus, in Sicily; and the consuls, Manlius and
Regulus, invaded Africa. They captured and fortified the town of Cly´pea,
which they made their headquarters, and then proceeded to lay waste
the lands of Carthage with fire and sword. The beautiful villas of the
nobles and merchants afforded inestimable spoils; and 20,000 persons,
many of whom were of exalted rank, and accustomed to all the refinements
of wealth, were dragged away as slaves.

In the winter, Manlius returned to Rome with half the army and all the
plunder, while Regulus remained to prosecute the war. He defeated the
Carthaginian generals, captured their camp, and overran the country at
pleasure. More than three hundred walled villages or towns were taken.
In vain the judges and nobles of Carthage cast their children into the
brazen arms of Moloch, whence they rolled into the fiery furnace burning
always before him. The hideous idol was not appeased, and the Roman
general was equally implacable. To all embassies he refused peace, except
on such intolerable terms that even disastrous war seemed better.

=92.= At the darkest moment, relief arrived in the person of a Spartan
general, Xanthippus, who came with a body of Greek mercenaries. His
military fame and the evident wisdom of his counsels inspired such
confidence, that he was put in the place of the incompetent Punic
commanders. With his 4,000 Greeks, added to the Carthaginian infantry and
100 elephants, he defeated and captured Regulus, and wholly destroyed the
Roman army. A still more terrible disaster befell the fleet which had
been sent to bring away the shattered remnants of the forces from Africa.
A violent storm came on, and the southern coast of Sicily was strewn with
the remains of 260 vessels and 100,000 men, B. C. 255.

The Romans, though nearly driven to despair of the republic, never
relaxed their exertions, but equipped a new fleet, with which, the
following year, they captured the important town of Panormus. This
fleet was wrecked, B. C. 253, and the next two years were full of
discouragements; but, in 250 B. C., a brilliant victory, won at Panormus
by the proconsul Metellus, tended to restore the balance of the opposing
forces. A hundred elephants, taken alive, were exhibited in the triumph
of Metellus.

=93.= For the next eight years, the advantage was usually with the
Carthaginians. Hamilcar Barca, the father of the great Hannibal, ravaged
the coasts of Italy, and the Romans had no leader of equal genius to
oppose to him. At last they rallied all their forces to put an end to the
war. The wealthier citizens at their own expense fitted out a fleet of
200 ships, and the consul Luta´tius gained a decisive victory among the
islands west of Sicily. This reverse, following twenty-three years of
exhausting war, so disheartened the Carthaginians, that they agreed to
abandon Sicily and all the neighboring islands, to pay 2,000 talents, and
release all the Roman prisoners without ransom.

=94.= The First Punic War had lasted nearly twenty-four years, B. C.
264-241 inclusive. Rome emerged from it a great naval power, able
to meet on equal terms the well-trained mariners who had hitherto
ruled the western Mediterranean. Foreseeing that the struggle must be
renewed, both parties spent the twenty-three years which followed in
strenuous preparations. Rome seized upon Sardinia and Corsica; and
Carthage, absorbed and weakened by a revolt of her mercenary troops, was
compelled to submit, and even to pay a heavy fine for having presumed to

These islands, with Sicily, were placed under proconsular government,
the system by which Rome afterward managed all her vast foreign
possessions. The two consuls, on completing their year of office, divided
the “provinces” between them by lot or agreement, and each held in his
own, both military and civil control, while the finances were managed
by quæstors responsible only to the Senate. When the provinces became
numerous, the greater number were governed by pro-prætors. One-tenth
of the whole produce of these conquered countries was claimed by Rome,
beside a duty of five per cent on all imports and exports.

=95.= By the request of the western Greeks, Rome exerted her new naval
power in clearing the Adriatic of the Illyrian pirates, who were ravaging
its coasts and destroying its commerce. Their queen, Teuta, seized the
Roman embassadors who were first sent into her country, killed two and
imprisoned the third. In the war which immediately followed, she lost the
greater part of her dominions, and was compelled to keep her corsairs
within stricter limits for the future, beside paying a yearly tribute to
her conquerors. In gratitude for this important service, the Romans were
admitted to equal rights with the Hellenic race in the Isthmian Games and
the Eleusinian Mysteries, B. C. 228.

=96.= While thus asserting her power in the Greek peninsula, Rome desired
to extend her Italian dominion to its natural limit in the Alpine range.
The Gauls were not slow in taking the alarm. Obtaining fresh forces
from their kinsmen beyond the mountains, they advanced into central
Italy, and, overrunning Etruria, threatened Rome again as in the days
of Brennus. Three armies were quickly in the field to oppose them;
and though one was routed, another, under the consul Æmil´ius, aided
by Regulus,[72] who had unexpectedly arrived from Sardinia, gained a
decisive victory which nearly destroyed the Gallic host. Within three
years all Cisalpine Gaul submitted to Rome, B. C. 222. Mediola´num and
Comum (Milan and Como), as well as Placen´tia, Parma, Mode´na, Man´tua,
Vero´na, and Brix´ia, were occupied by Roman colonies, connected with
the capital by the great military road called the Flaminian Way, and its

=97.= Carthage, meanwhile, had yielded only from necessity, and for a
time, to the superior power of Rome. A large majority of her citizens
were for renewing the war at the earliest possible moment; and to recruit
her power and wealth, Hamilcar had devoted all his energies to the
conquest of the Spanish peninsula, B. C. 236-228. After his death, his
son-in-law, Has´drubal, organized and developed the resources of the
country by building towns, encouraging trade and tillage, training the
native tribes into efficient soldiers, and working the newly discovered
silver mines, which, beside paying all the expenses of the province, were
rapidly filling up the home treasury. Rome, with her command of the sea,
secured from fear of invasion, saw without uneasiness the prosperity of
her rival. But an item which no one could have foreseen, the genius of
Hannibal, was now to be added to the resources of Carthage.

=98.= At nine years of age he had accompanied his father into Spain, and
before the altar of his country’s gods had taken a solemn oath of eternal
and unrelenting enmity to Rome. The oath of the child had not been
forgotten by the youth. At the age of eighteen he fought by his father’s
side in the battle where Hamilcar was slain; and during the following
eight years of Hasdrubal’s administration, that general intrusted
his young brother-in-law with the command of most of his military
enterprises. Upon the death of Hasdrubal, the army by acclamation placed
Hannibal at its head, and the government at home neither could nor would
annul the appointment.

Having confirmed his power in Spain by two years’ war against the native
tribes, Hannibal deliberately sought the quarrel with Rome to which he
had devoted his life. The Greek city of Saguntum had placed itself under
the protection of Rome. It was attacked by Hannibal, and taken after an
obstinate defense of eight months. The Romans sent to Carthage to demand
the surrender of the young general for this breach of the treaty. The
reply was a declaration of war.

=99.= Leaving his brother Hasdrubal in charge of Spain, Hannibal prepared
for a bolder movement than the Romans had foreseen. He knew that the
great mountain-barrier of the Alps had already often been traversed by
the Gauls, and he relied upon finding able guides among this people, who
were mostly friendly to Carthage. He resolved, therefore, on the hitherto
unprecedented feat of leading an army from Spain into Italy by land.
Having offered, during the winter, solemn sacrifices and prayers for
success, at the distant shrine of the Tyrian Hercules at Gades, he set
forth from Carthagena, in the spring of 218 B. C., with an army of 90,000
foot, 12,000 horse, and a considerable number of elephants. The Spanish
tribes between the Ebro and the Pyrenees were yet to be overcome. They
resisted bravely, but were subdued, and a force of 11,000 men was left to
hold them in subjection.

=100.= Having passed the Pyrenees, Hannibal advanced through friendly
tribes of Gauls to the Rhone, which he crossed near the modern town of
Orange, gaining an advance of three days upon the army of Scipio, the
consul, who had intended to stop him. The passage of the Alps, with
such a force, was one of the greatest military achievements of ancient
times. The higher mountains were already obstructed by the snows of early
autumn; hostile tribes contested his passage in narrow and dangerous
defiles; and in two fierce battles, the army of Hannibal narrowly escaped
total destruction. When, after fifteen days of toilsome and dangerous
marching, he emerged into the plain of the Po, it was with scarcely
more than one-fourth of the great army which had accompanied him from

=101.= The Insubrian Gauls welcomed Hannibal as their deliverer from the
hated power of Rome. After a short period of rest in their hospitable
country, he sought Scipio, and totally routed his forces in a battle on
the Tici´nus. By a still greater victory on the Tre´bia, over the forces
of the two consuls (Dec., 218 B. C.), Hannibal became master of northern
Italy. All the Gauls who had wavered now hastened to join his standard;
but the gain from this quarter was balanced by the irreparable loss of
his elephants, and the severe suffering of his African and Spanish troops
from the unwonted coldness of the winter.

In the spring of 217 B. C., he crossed the Apennines, and traversed the
marshes of the Arno, a passage of tremendous difficulty, in which many
of his beasts of burden perished. Again seeking battle, Hannibal passed
the army of Flaminius at Arretium, and laid waste the country toward
Peru´sia, thus provoking the consul to follow. When he had drawn the
Roman army into a most perilous position, between precipitous cliffs and
the Lake Thrasymene, he let loose his Gauls and Numidians to the attack.
The defeat of the Romans was overwhelming: thousands were forced into the
lake; thousands fell by the sword, among whom was Flaminius himself; and
15,000 prisoners remained in the hands of the enemy.

=102.= A panic seized Rome; the conqueror was instantly expected at
her gates, and Fabius was elected dictator with unlimited powers. But
Hannibal had sought to detach the Italian allies from Rome, by releasing
without ransom all their prisoners whom he had taken. Wishing to give
time for the disunion to take effect, he turned aside into Apulia, where
he rested and recruited his troops worn by so many hardships.

It was already proved in three battles that the Carthaginian was
irresistible in the field. The policy of Fabius, therefore, was to avoid
a general engagement, while he annoyed and weakened his enemy by cutting
off his foraging parties, and otherwise harassing his march. In vain
Hannibal crossed the Apennines into the rich Campanian fields, plundering
and destroying the crops; he could neither capture a town nor entice
Fabius into a battle. The latter fortified the Samnian mountain-passes,
thinking to catch his enemy in a trap; but Hannibal eluded the snare and
retired safe into Apulia, laden with abundant provision for the comfort
of his winter-quarters.

=103.= Great discontent was felt at Rome with the cautious policy of
the dictator, and, in the spring of 216 B. C., an army of nearly 90,000
men was led into Apulia by the two consuls Æmilius Paulus and Terentius
Varro. They were met by Hannibal on the plain of the Aufidus, near the
little town of Cannæ. The Carthaginians were inferior in numbers but
superior in discipline, especially in the Numidian horsemen, who had
always been victorious in an open field. Never had the Romans suffered so
overwhelming a defeat. Their army was annihilated. From 40,000 to 50,000
men lay dead upon the plain, among whom were Æmilius the consul, eighty
senators, and the flower of Roman knighthood. Varro, the other consul,
with a small but resolute band, made his way in good order from the
battle-field; the rest of the survivors were either dispersed or taken

=104.= Southern Italy was now lost to Rome. Except the Roman colonies
and the Greek cities held by Roman garrisons, all submitted to Hannibal.
Capua opened her gates and became the winter-quarters of the African
army. Philip of Macedon and Hieron´ymus of Syracuse made alliance with
Carthage, and wars with these two powers divided the attention of the
Romans. Still, beside keeping two armies in the foreign fields, they
occupied every province of Italy with a separate force; and though too
wise to meet Hannibal again in a general engagement, hemmed him in
closely and cut off his supplies. The great general was now but faintly
supported at home, and the ungenerous policy of Carthage probably
deprived her of the conquest of Italy.

=105.= Three years, therefore, passed with no decisive events. In 212
B. C., Syracuse was taken by Marcellus after two years’ siege. The
attacks of the Romans had been long foiled by the skill of Archimedes,
the philosopher, who is said to have burnt their ships at the distance
of a bow-shot from the walls, by means of a combination of mirrors which
concentrated the sun’s rays. He constructed powerful engines, which, when
attached to the walls, grappled the Roman ships and lifted them out of
the water; and, in short, the brain of Archimedes was a better defense to
Syracuse than the arms of all her soldiers. In the taking of the city,
the philosopher was slain by some ignorant troopers; but Marcellus deeply
regretted the event. He ordered him to be buried with high honors, and
distinguished his family by many marks of friendship.

=106.= Hannibal had been long anxiously awaiting the arrival of his
brother from Spain; but the generalship of the two Scipios, Cneius and
Publius, who conducted the war in that country, and more especially the
brilliant genius of the son of the latter, afterward known as Africanus,
had detained Hasdrubal and involved him in many disasters, even the loss
of his capital, Carthagena. At last, in 208 B. C., Hasdrubal left Spain
to the care of two other generals, and striking out a new path, as his
brother’s route of eleven years before was now guarded by the Romans,
he crossed the Pyrenees at their western extremity and plunged into the
heart of Gaul. Many of the restless people flocked to his standard, and
he “descended from the Alps like a rolling snow-ball, far greater than he
came over the Pyrenees.”

He found some of Hannibal’s roads uninjured; the mountaineers made no
effort to dispute his passage, and he arrived in Italy before he was
expected, so that no Roman army was ready to receive him. He might,
perhaps, have settled once for all the supremacy of Carthage by marching
directly on Rome, for the resources of the Republic, both in men and
money, had been drained to the utmost, and another Thrasymene or Cannæ
would have ended her existence.

=107.= Hasdrubal lost time in the siege of Placentia, and his letter,
describing to Hannibal his plan of operations, fell into the hands of
Nero, the consul, who, by a rapid and secret march, joined his colleague
at Sena with 7,000 men, leaving the main part of his army still facing
Hannibal in the south. Hasdrubal was uninformed of the reinforcement of
his enemy, but his quick ear caught one more trumpet-note than usual,
at sunrise, in the Roman camp; and as he rode forth to reconnoiter, he
discovered that the horses appeared over-driven, and the armor of the men
stained. He therefore delayed until night-fall, and then moved to cross
the river Metau´rus in search of a stronger position. But his guides
betrayed him, and when morning dawned his worn and weary troops were
still on the nearer side of the river, where they were soon overtaken
by the foe. He made the best arrangement of his men which the crisis
would admit, placing the ten elephants in front “like a line of moving
fortresses,” his veteran Spanish infantry on the right, the Ligurians in
the center, and the Gauls on the left.

The battle was fiercely contested, for both armies felt that the decision
of the day would be final, and that there was no hope for the vanquished.
At last Nero, by a circuitous movement, fell upon the Spanish infantry,
which had already borne the brunt of the fighting. Hasdrubal saw that
the day was lost, and scorning to survive his men or to adorn a Roman
triumph, he spurred his horse into the midst of a cohort, and died, sword
in hand, B. C. 207.

=108.= The consul Nero returned to his camp before Hannibal had even
discovered his absence. Hasdrubal’s arrival in Italy, the battle and
its result were first made known to the great general by seeing the
ghastly head of his brother, which Nero had brutally ordered to be thrown
within his lines. Hannibal read the tale of disaster in the terrible
message, and groaned aloud that he recognized the fate of Carthage.
Though he remained four years strongly posted in the mountain fastnesses
of Bruttium, the issue of the war was already decided. In 204 B. C., the
younger Scipio crossed into Africa, and the Carthaginians were compelled
to recall Hannibal.

The final battle was fought at Zama, B. C. 202. The great Carthaginian
displayed again his perfect generalship, but he had no longer his
invincible cavalry, and his elephants were rendered useless by the
skillful tactics of Scipio. He was defeated with the loss of 20,000
men slain, and an equal number of prisoners. The peace, concluded in
the following year, took from Carthage all her possessions beyond the
limits of Africa, and all the lands conquered from Numidia, whose king,
Mas´sinis´sa, had rendered important aid to Scipio in the recent war. She
surrendered, also, her fleet and elephants, promised a yearly tribute of
200 talents, and engaged to make no war without permission from Rome.


    The First Punic War (B. C. 264-241) begins with the invasion
    of Sicily by the Romans, who are joined by many Greek
    cities, capture Messana and Agrigentum, equip a fleet upon
    a Carthaginian model, and gain many naval victories. They
    invade Africa, and ravage the lands of Carthage almost without
    opposition; but Xanthippus arrives with auxiliaries, defeats
    and captures Regulus. Five years of disaster to the Romans
    are followed by the great victory of Metellus at Palermo; and
    after eight years of again unsuccessful warfare, the victory of
    Lutatius among the Ægates ends the contest. During the peace
    which follows, Sardinia and Corsica are seized by the Romans,
    and placed under proconsular government; the Illyrian pirates
    are subdued, B. C. 229, 228; Cisalpine Gaul conquered, B. C.
    225-222. The Second Punic War is begun, B. C. 218, by Hannibal.
    He crosses the Pyrenees and Alps, defeats the Romans on the
    Ticinus and the Trebia, and still more disastrously near the
    Lake Thrasymene and at Cannæ. Syracuse, though defended by the
    science of Archimedes, is captured by Marcellus. The three
    Scipios make successful war in Spain. Hasdrubal comes at last
    to the relief of his brother, but is defeated and slain on
    the Metaurus, B. C. 207. Hannibal is recalled to Africa, and
    finally defeated at Zama by Scipio Africanus, B. C. 202.


=109.= A triumph was awarded to Scipio, who was received at Rome with
unbounded enthusiasm. The _Triumph_, which was the highest reward a
Roman general could attain, may here be described once for all. The
victorious chief waited without the walls until the Senate had decided
upon his claim to the honor. Several conditions were to be observed: the
victory must have been over foreign and not domestic foes; it must have
been, not the recovery of something lost, but an actual extension of
Roman territory; the war must be completed and the army withdrawn from
the field, for the soldiers were entitled to a share in the triumph of
their general. The honor was limited to persons of consular or, at least,
prætorian rank; an officer of lower grade might receive an _ovation_, in
which he entered the city on foot, but the chariot was a mark of kingly
state which could only be permitted to the highest.

=110.= If a triumph was decreed, a special vote of the people continued
to the general his military command for the day within the walls, for
without a suspension of the law, he must have laid it down on entering
the gates. On the appointed day, he was met at the Triumphal Gate by the
Senate and all the magistrates, in splendid apparel. Taking the lead of
the procession, they were followed by a band of trumpeters, and a train
of wagons laden with the spoils of the conquered countries, which were
indicated by tablets inscribed in large letters with their names. Models
in wood or ivory of the captured cities; pictures of mountains, rivers,
or other natural features of the regions subdued; loads of gold, silver,
precious stones, vases, statues, and whatever was most rich, curious, or
admirable in the spoils of temples and palaces, made an important part
of the display. Then came a band of flute players, preceding the white
oxen destined for sacrifice, their horns gilded and adorned with wreaths
of flowers and fillets of wool. Elephants and other strange animals from
the conquered countries, were followed by a train of captive princes or
leaders with their families, and a crowd of captives of inferior rank,
loaded with fetters.

Then came the twelve lictors of the imperator in single file, their
fasces wreathed in laurel; and, lastly, the triumphant general himself,
in his circular chariot drawn by four horses. His robes glistened with
golden embroidery; he bore a scepter, and upon his head was a wreath of
Delphic laurel. A slave standing behind him held a crown of Etruscan
gold; he was instructed to whisper from time to time in his master’s ear,
“Remember that thou art but a man.” Behind the general rode his sons and
lieutenants, and then came the entire army, their spears adorned with
laurels—who either sang hymns of praise, or amused themselves and the
by-standers with coarse jokes and doggerel verses at their general’s
expense. This rude license of speech was thought to neutralize the effect
of overmuch flattery, which the Romans, like the modern Italians, were
taught especially to dread. All the people, in gala dress, thronged the
streets, and every temple and shrine were adorned with flowers.

=111.= As a terrible contrast to the joy of the day, just as the
procession had nearly finished its course to the Capitol, some of the
captured chiefs were led aside and put to death. When their execution was
announced, the sacrifices were offered in the temple of the Capitoline
Jupiter; the laurel crown of the general was placed in the lap of the
image; a magnificent banquet was served, and the “triumphator” was
escorted home, late in the evening, by a crowd of citizens bearing
torches and pipes. The state presented him a site for a house, and at
the entrance to this triumphal mansion, a laurel-wreathed statue of its
founder perpetuated the memory of his glory to his latest descendants.

=112.= Carthage being stripped of her power and possessions, Rome became
supreme in the western Mediterranean and the greater part of Spain. The
confiscated lands of the Italian nations which had taken sides with
Hannibal, afforded settlements for large bodies of veteran soldiers. The
Cisalpine Gauls were still in revolt, under the lead of a Carthaginian
general; but they were reduced by a ten years’ war (B. C. 201-191),
and afterward became Latinized with that wonderful facility which
distinguishes their race.

=113.= The Alexandrine kingdoms in the East were all prematurely old
and falling into decay. The campaigns of Flamininus against Philip of
Macedon, B. C. 198, 197, have been already described. (See Book IV, §§
81-83.) A new war for the protectorate of Greece was occasioned by the
movements of Antiochus the Great. This ambitious and restless monarch not
only welcomed to his court the now exiled Hannibal, but allied himself
with the Ætolians and led an army to their aid. He had miscalculated
the power of Rome, which met him promptly with much more than twice
his numbers, defeated him once by land and twice by sea, and finally,
in the great battle of Magnesia, in Lydia, shattered his forces, while
beginning her own long career of Asiatic conquest. The lands conquered
from Antiochus were divided between the friendly powers of Pergamus and
Rhodes, and the example of their good fortune led many other nations to
seek the Roman alliance.

=114.= For more than twenty years, Rome was occupied with continual wars
in the west, against the brave and freedom-loving tribes of Spain and
the Ligurian Alps, as well as with the natives of Corsica and Sardinia.
The latter island was conquered, B. C. 176, by Sempronius Gracchus, who
brought away so great a multitude of captives, that “Sardinians for sale”
became a proverbial phrase in Rome for anything cheap and worthless.

Meanwhile, Philip V. had died in Macedon, and Perseus had succeeded to
the throne. The final struggle of this prince with Rome, and its result
in the battle of Pydna (B. C. 168), have been described in Book IV. Rome
became for six centuries what Macedon had been only during one man’s
short career, the undisputed ruler of the civilized world. None except
barbarians any longer hoped to resist her ascendency; and but for a few
revolts, like those of the Achæans, the Carthaginians, and the Jews, her
progress in absorbing the old states of Asia, Africa, and Europe was both
peaceful and rapid.

=115.= After eighteen years of comparative tranquillity, it was resolved
that the time had come for the complete extinction of Carthage. Cato,
the censor, now eighty-four years of age, and the sternest of Roman
legislators, declared that Rome could never be safe while her former
rival was so near, so hostile, and so strong; and whenever he was
called upon for his vote in the Senate, whatever might be the subject of
debate, his unvarying reply was, “I vote that Carthage no longer be.” The
doomed city had more than fulfilled every condition of the treaty which
closed the First Punic War, and still made many sacrifices for the sake
of peace. But the last command of Rome was not intended to be obeyed.
The Carthaginians were ordered to destroy their city, and remove to a
situation farther from the sea. They refused, and a war began, in which,
for four years, the brave spirit of the people sustained them without the
faintest hope of victory.

=116.= Their fleet, their weapons, and their mines in Spain, Sardinia,
and Elba had all been surrendered to the enemy. In two months 120 ships
were built in the blockaded port, and a passage cut through the land
to enable them to reach the sea. Public buildings were torn down to
furnish timber and metal. Every living being toiled night and day at the
defenses. An arsenal was established which daily produced 2,000 shields
or weapons, and even the women contributed their long hair to make
strings for the engines which hurled stones or arrows from the walls.

At length the Romans, under the consul Scipio Æmilia´nus, forced their
way into the city. The people defended it house by house, and street by
street, and days of carnage were still required to quench the pride of
Carthage in ashes and blood. The city was fired in all directions, and
when, after seventeen days, the flames were at last extinguished, nothing
remained but shapeless heaps of rubbish. The territories of the Punic
state became the “Province of Africa,” whose capital was fixed at Utica.
Roman traders flocked to the latter city, and took into their own hands
the flourishing commerce of the coast.

=117.= In the same year, B. C. 146, L. Mum´mius, the consul, plundered
and destroyed Corinth. Its walls and houses were leveled with the ground,
and a curse was pronounced on whomsoever should build on its desolate
site. Its commerce passed to Argos and Delos, while the care of the
Isthmian Games was intrusted to Sicyon. The policy of Rome toward the
Greeks was far more liberal than toward any other conquered people. Her
firm and settled government was, indeed, preferable to the dissension
and misrule which disfigured the later ages of Greece; and the Greeks
themselves declared, in the words of Themistocles, that “ruin had averted

=118.= The natives of western Spain, intrenched among their mountains,
still maintained a brave resistance to the power of Rome. The
Lusitanians, who had never yet been conquered, were basely deceived by
Serto´rius Galba, who enticed 7,000 of them from their strongholds by
promising grants of fertile lands; and when, trusting the word of a
Roman general, they had descended into the plain, he caused them to be
treacherously surrounded, disarmed, and either massacred or enslaved.

Among the few who escaped was a youth named Viria´thus, who lived to
become the leader and avenger of his people. The career of this guerrilla
chief is full of stirring events. Issuing suddenly from a cleft in
the mountains, he seven times defeated a Roman army with tremendous
slaughter. In the last of these victories, the forces of Servilia´nus
were entrapped in a narrow pass and completely surrounded. Absolute
surrender was their only choice. Viriathus, however, preferring peace
to vengeance, used his advantage with great moderation. He allowed his
enemy to depart unhurt, on his solemn engagement to leave the Lusitanians
henceforth unmolested in their own territories, and to recognize him,
their chief, as a friend and ally of the Roman people.

=119.= The terms were ratified by the Senate, but only to be violated.
On the renewal of the war, Viriathus sent three of his most trusted
friends to remonstrate, and offer renewed terms of peace. The consul
bribed these messengers, by promises of large rewards, to murder their
chief. The crime was committed, and within a year Lusita´nia (Portugal)
was added to the Roman dominions. Numantia, in the north, still held out
against the besieging army of Qu. Pompe´ius. A severe winter caused great
sickness and suffering in the legions, and Pompey offered peace on terms
favorable to the Spaniards, but, according to Roman ideas, disgraceful to
the besiegers. These were accepted, and the last payment but one had been
made by the Numantines, when Pompey’s successor in the consulship arrived
at the camp. Being thus relieved from command, he denied that he had ever
made the treaty, and persisted in his falsehood before the Senate.

The war went on six years, with no credit and frequent disgrace to the
Romans, until Scipio Æmilianus, the greatest general of his own time,
starved the city at last into surrender. Many of the Numantines, rather
than fall into the hands of an enemy whose perfidy they had too often
proved, set fire to their houses and perished among the burning ruins.
The whole peninsula, except its northern coast, was now subject to
Rome. It was divided into three provinces—Hither and Farther Spain, and
Lusitania—and became eventually the most prosperous and best governed
part of the Roman foreign possessions. The Lusitanian mountains were
still haunted by brigands, and isolated country houses in that region had
to be built like fortresses; yet the country was rich in corn and cattle,
and occupied by a thriving and industrious people.


    Rome, supreme in the western Mediterranean, makes war upon
    Philip V., of Macedon, and Antiochus the Great, of Syria. The
    battle of Magnesia, B. C. 190, lays the foundation of her power
    in Asia, and the battle of Pydna makes her the head of the
    civilized world. In the meanwhile, Sardinia is conquered, and
    wars carried on in Spain and Liguria. The third and last Punic
    War ends, B. C. 146, with the destruction of Carthage. The
    same year, Corinth is destroyed by Mummius. Viriathus holds
    out nine years in western Spain; he is assassinated B. C. 140;
    Numantia is captured B. C. 133; and Spain divided into three
    Roman provinces.

FOURTH PERIOD, B. C. 133-30.

=120.= The possessions of Rome now extended from the Atlantic to the
Ægean, and from the Atlas Mountains to the Pyrenees and Alps. But changes
in the relations of rich and poor, governing and governed classes, in
her own capital, now withdrew her attention for a while from foreign
conquests, and led to important civil controversies. The old strife
between patricians and plebeians was long ago at an end. Many plebeian
houses had become noble through their members having held high offices in
the state; and they had their clientage, their share in the public lands,
their seat in the Senate, and their right of displaying waxen images of
their ancestors in their houses or in funeral processions, equally with
the oldest burghers of all. Freedmen were constantly admitted to the

=121.= The real cause of trouble was in the sufferings of the poor,
who, since the formation of the last colony, in 177 B. C., had had no
new allotment of lands. Rome was a “commonwealth of millionaires and
beggars.” The Licinian laws (see § 64) were practically set aside. Many
rich proprietors held four times the amount of public land to which they
were entitled; and instead of employing the required proportion of free
labor, preferred to cultivate by means of gangs of slaves. The foreign
wars, which formerly so frightfully reduced[73] the numbers of the common
people, had now ceased; the labor market became over-stocked, and a mass
of paupers, hungry, helpless, and hopeless, began to threaten serious
danger to the state. The multitude of slaves, chiefly taken in war, more
or less trained for fighting, and conscious of their strength, were a not
less dangerous class. The best and wisest of the Romans saw the danger,
and sought means to avert it. But among those who most deeply deplored
the miseries of the people, a large party believed that nothing could be

=122.= In 133 B. C., the tribune Tiberius Gracchus, a son of the
conqueror of Sardinia, and grandson of Scipio Africanus, brought forward
a bill for reviving the provisions of the Licinian laws. The great amount
of state lands which would thus become vacant, he proposed to divide
among the poor; and to compensate the former occupants for their losses,
by making them absolute owners of the 500 jugera of land which they
could legally retain. This movement, apparently so just, was violently
opposed. The leased lands had been, in some instances, three hundred
years in the same family. Buildings had been erected at great expense,
and the property had been held or transferred as if in real ownership.
The strong influence of the wealthy class was therefore made to bear
against the bill; and when it was brought before the popular assembly,
Octa´vius, a colleague of Gracchus in the tribuneship, interposed his
veto and prevented the vote from being taken. But Gracchus moved the
people to depose Octavius, and so carried the bill. Three commissioners,
Tiberius Gracchus himself, his brother Caius, and his father-in-law,
Appius Claudius, were appointed to examine into the extent of the abuse,
and enforce the Agrarian laws.

=123.= Their task was difficult, and Tiberius had to content the people
by continually bringing forward more and more popular measures. The
kingdom of Pergamus, with its treasury, had just become the inheritance
of the Romans. Gracchus proposed that the money should be distributed
among the new land-holders, to provide implements and stock for their
farms. Other proposals were for shortening the term of military
service, for extending the privilege of jury to the common people,
and for admitting the Italian allies to the rights of Roman citizens.
The aristocratic party had declared from the beginning that this bold
innovator should not escape their vengeance. His candidacy for a second
tribuneship brought the opposition to a crisis. Tiberius was slain upon
the steps of the Capitol, and his body thrown into the Tiber.

=124.= Though the reformer was dead, his reform went on. The party in
power earnestly desired to relieve the public danger and distress, and,
by order of the Senate, the commission continued the distribution of
lands. A law proposed by Scipio Æmilianus, B. C. 129, withdrew the work
from the hands of the commissioners, and placed it permanently in those
of the consuls. The lands which were really public property were by
this time distributed, and questions had arisen concerning territories
which had been granted to Italian allies. “The greatest general and the
greatest statesman of his age,” Scipio saw as clearly and lamented as
deeply as the Gracchi the needs of his country, and, with unselfishness
equal to theirs, he sought to check the reform, when convinced that it
had gone as far as justice would permit. But he, too, became a martyr
to his efforts. Soon after the passage of his bill, and on the morning
of the day appointed for his oration upon popular rights, he was found
murdered in his bed.

=125.= Caius Gracchus returned from his quæstorship in Sardinia, B. C.
124, and became tribune of the people. His plans for relieving the poorer
classes were more revolutionary than those of his brother, but many of
them were most beneficent and widely reaching in their results. Colonies
were formed, both in Italy and beyond the sea, to afford an outlet to the
crowded and distressed population of Rome. Six thousand colonists were
sent to the deserted site of Carthage; another company to Aquæ Sextiæ
(Aix), in southern Gaul; and a third, with the full “Roman right,” to
Narbo Martius (Narbonne´). The latter colony, though not founded until
after the death of Caius, was equally a fruit of his policy. It was
fostered by the commercial class, for the sake of its lucrative trade
with Gaul and Britain.

A less beneficent though doubtless needed law, provided for the
distribution of grain from the public stores, at less than half price,
to all residents in the city who chose to apply for it. An extensive
range of buildings, the Sempronian granaries, were erected to supply
this demand. The result was the crowding within the walls of Rome of the
whole mass of poor and inefficient people from the surrounding country,
thus giving to the popular leaders a majority in the assembly, and the
absolute control of the elections; creating, at the same time, that lazy,
hungry, and disorderly mob which for five hundred years constituted the
chief danger of the imperial city.

=126.= The lowest age for military service was fixed at seventeen years,
and the cost of the soldier’s equipment, which formerly had been deducted
from his wages, was now defrayed by the government. Having thus won
the poorer people, Caius drew to his side the plebeian aristocracy, by
placing in their hands the collection of revenues in the provinces, thus
creating the class of great merchants and bankers, hitherto scarcely
known in Rome. The new “province of Asia” had been formed from the
kingdom of Pergamus, and its name, like that of “Africa” given to the
Carthaginian territory, doubtless implied that its limits were not
considered as fixed. In accordance with the despotic principle that
conquered or inherited lands were the private property of the state, the
province was now loaded with taxes, and the privilege of collection was
publicly sold at Rome to the highest bidder. The “publicans” amassed
great fortunes, but the unhappy provincials were reduced to extreme

=127.= Gracchus would have gone a step farther, and extended the full
rights of Roman citizenship to all free Italians. But this liberal policy
was equally hateful to the Senate and the commons. The former gained over
his colleague, Liv´ius Drusus, who outbade Gracchus by proposing still
more popular measures, which, however, were never meant to be fulfilled.
Instead of two Italian colonies, composed only of citizens of good
character, which had been planned by Gracchus, Drusus proposed twelve, to
contain 3,000 settlers each. Caius had left the domain lands subject, as
of old, to a yearly rent. Drusus abolished this, and left the lessees in
absolute possession of their farms.

At the end of the second year, Caius lost his tribuneship, and the new
consuls were opposed to him. His policy was now violently attacked, and
especially the formation of the transmarine colonies. It was reported
that African hyenas had dug up the newly placed boundary stones of
Juno´nia, the successor of Carthage; and the priests declared that the
gods in this way signified their displeasure at the attempt to rebuild an
accursed city. The auguries were taken anew; a popular tumult arose, in
which an attendant of the priests was killed. The next day the Forum was
occupied by an armed force, and all the aristocratic party appeared with
swords and shields. Caius and his former colleague, Ful´vius Flaccus,
retired with their followers to the Aventine, the old stronghold of the
commons. The nobility, with their Cretan mercenaries, stormed the mount;
250 persons of humble rank were slain, and the two leaders were pursued
and put to death. Three thousand of their adherents were strangled in
prison, by order of the Senate. Cornelia,[74] the mother of the Gracchi,
was not permitted to wear mourning for the last and noblest of her sons;
but the people honored their memory with statues, and on the sacred
ground where they had fallen, sacrifices were offered as in temples of
the gods.

=128.= Next to Egypt, the most important client-state of Rome was
Numidia, which occupied nearly the same space with the modern province
of Algeria. Massinissa, the Numidian king, had been rewarded for his
faithful service in the Second Punic War, by a grant of the greater part
of the Carthaginian territories. Micip´sa, his son, was now a feeble old
man, who cared more for Greek philosophy than for affairs of state, and
had dropped the control of his kingdom into the hands of his nephew,
Jugur´tha, whom he raised by adoption to a level with his own sons. In
his will he divided the civil, military, and judicial offices of the
kingdom between the three princes.

After the old king’s death, his sons, Adher´bal and Hiemp´sal, disputed
the will, while Jugurtha boldly claimed the supreme and sole authority.
Hiempsal was murdered by hired ruffians. Adherbal appealed in person
to the Roman Senate, which had undertaken to guarantee his father’s
bequests. But Jugurtha had learned in the camps that every senator had
his price; and his emissaries worked so skillfully, that the whole blame
of the dispute and the murder was thrown upon the suppliant prince. A new
division of the kingdom was ordered to be made, by Roman commissioners
sent over for the purpose. Jugurtha received the fertile and populous
region which was afterward known as Mauritania; Adherbal, with Cirta,
the capital, had only a tract of sandy desert toward the east.

=129.= Jugurtha, however, was not satisfied; and failing by many insults
to provoke his cousin to war, he at last besieged him in his capital,
and in spite of lame remonstrances from Rome, captured and put him to
death with cruel tortures, and ordered an indiscriminate massacre of all
the inhabitants of the town. Of these, many were Italians. Even the base
venality of the Roman government could no longer withstand the righteous
indignation of the people. War was declared and an army promptly sent
forward, which received the submission of many Numidian towns. But again
the wily usurper was able to buy peace with African gold. He pretended
to submit at discretion, but was re-instated in his kingdom upon paying
a moderate fine and surrendering his war elephants, which he was soon
permitted to redeem. Public indignation again broke out at Rome. Jugurtha
was summoned to the city, to answer concerning the means by which he had
obtained the peace. His cousin, Massi´va, took this opportunity to prefer
his own claim to the kingdom of Massinissa; but he was assassinated by
a confidant of Jugurtha, who immediately, with the aid of his master,
escaped from Rome.

=130.= This new insult enraged the people beyond endurance. The Senate
canceled the peace and dismissed Jugurtha from the city. His sarcastic
remark in leaving expressed a melancholy truth: “If I had gold enough, I
would buy the city itself.” The war was renewed, but the army, equally
demoralized with its chiefs, was wholly unfit for service. In attempting
to besiege the treasure-town of Suthul, the incompetent commander
suffered himself to be drawn off into the desert, where his whole army
was routed and made to pass under the yoke. By the terms of surrender,
Numidia was evacuated and the canceled peace renewed. The generals whose
misconduct had led to this disgrace were tried at Rome and exiled, and
with them Opim´ius, the head of the Numidian commission, and the real
executioner of Caius Gracchus.

In token of the earnestness with which the war was now to be carried
on, Qu. Metellus, a stern and upright patrician of the old school, was
elected consul for the African campaign. Among his lieutenants was Caius
Marius, the son of a Latin farmer, who had risen from the ranks by his
sterling ability. He won the hearts of the soldiers by voluntarily
sharing all their toils and privations; and through their reports to
friends at home, his praise was in every mouth.

=131.= The wild tribes of the desert flocked to the standard of Jugurtha,
whom they hailed as their deliverer from Roman domination; and with his
swarms of fleet horsemen, he was able either to dictate the battle-field,
or to vanish out of sight at any moment, when the combat seemed to be
going against him. The Romans gained one or two victories, but no real
advantage. An impression, doubtless false and unjust, sprang up at Rome,
that the inaction of Metellus, like the reverses of his predecessors, was
owing to a secret understanding with Jugurtha—or, at least, that he was
prolonging the war to gratify his own love of power.

Availing himself of this prejudice, Marius returned to Rome, and was
elected consul for the year 107 B. C. Instead of having his province
allotted by the Senate, he was appointed by the people to the command
in Africa. His election was really a revolution which gave power in the
state to military talent, rather than to great wealth or noble birth.
His quæstor in this expedition was L. Cornelius Sulla, a young nobleman
distinguished chiefly hitherto by his unbounded licentiousness, but who,
by energetic application to his duties, soon won the entire confidence
and approbation of his commander. These two men stood, a few years later,
in very different relations to each other, as alternate masters of the
Roman world.

=132.= In spite of some daring adventures and the capture of several
towns, the administration of Marius was not much more successful than
that of Metellus. He continued in command as proconsul for the year
106 B. C.; and during the second winter, the real victory was gained
by Sulla, who passed through the enemy’s camp at great personal risk,
and with consummate skill conducted a negotiation with King Bocchus,
of Mauritania, for the surrender of Jugurtha. This notorious criminal
was brought in chains to Rome, where, with his two sons, he adorned the
triumph of Marius, Jan. 1, B. C. 104. A few days later, he perished with
hunger in the lower dungeon of the Mamertine prison. A new peril now
threatened Rome, and demanded unusual measures. In spite of a law to the
contrary, Marius was reëlected to the consulship, and continued to hold
that office five successive years, B. C. 104-100.

=133.= The Cimbri, a mingled horde of Celtic and Germanic tribes, had
been dislodged in some unknown manner from their seats beyond the Danube,
and were pressing upon the Roman frontier. Before the close of the
Jugurthine War, they had four times defeated consular armies in Gaul
and the Alpine regions. In the last of these defeats, at Orange, on the
Rhone (B. C. 105), an army of 80,000 men had been destroyed, and all
Italy was filled with terror. A new army was now on foot, and Marius,
with his legate, Sulla, and many other able officers, hastened into
Gaul. The Cimbri had turned aside into Spain, where, however, they met
a brave resistance, and were soon driven back across the Pyrenees. In
western Gaul nothing was able to resist their rapid course of conquest,
until they arrived at the Belgian territory beyond the Seine. They were
joined by a kindred tribe of Teuto´nes from the shores of the Baltic, and
by three cantons of Helve´tii from the mountains of Switzerland. They
now arranged a combined invasion of Italy, the Teutones to enter that
country from Roman Gaul by the western passes of the Alps, while the
Cimbri were to traverse the eastern passes from Switzerland.

=134.= It was the object of the consuls to prevent their junction, and
for this purpose Marius awaited the Teutones on the Rhone, near its
confluence with the Is´ara, while Catulus marched into northern Italy to
meet the Cimbri. One of the greatest victories ever won by Roman arms
was gained by the former, near Aix, B. C. 102. Three successive days the
barbarians had assaulted the Roman camp, when, despairing of success,
they resolved to leave it behind and continue their march into Italy.

Distrusting his new recruits, Marius would not suffer his men to be drawn
from their intrenchments until the entire host had departed; and so
great were the numbers, and so cumbrous the baggage of the barbarians,
that they were six days in passing the Roman works. When they were gone,
Marius broke up his camp and started in pursuit, still maintaining
perfect order, and intrenching himself carefully every night. In the
neighborhood of Aix he overtook the Teutones, and the pitched battle
which was then fought ended in the complete destruction of the nation.
The warriors who survived the combat put an end to their own lives; and
their wives, preferring death to slavery, followed their example.

=135.= Meanwhile, the other division, less ably resisted, had advanced
through the Brenner Pass and routed the army of Catulus near Trent. But
the comfort and plenty of the Lombard plain were, for the moment, a
better protection to Rome than the wisdom of her generals. The Cimbri
went into winter-quarters, and Marius had time to recruit his army and
hasten to join his colleague in the spring of 101 B. C. When the Cimbri
ascended the valley of the Po, hoping to effect the proposed junction
with their Teutonic comrades, they met, instead, the combined armies of
Marius and Lutatius. The battle was fought at Vercel´læ, westward of
Milan, July 30, 101 B. C. The barbarians were wholly defeated, and either
slaughtered or enslaved; 14,000 were left dead upon the battle-field, and
60,000 were transferred to the slave-markets of Rome.

=136.= Marius was received at Rome with a brilliant triumph, in which
he was hailed as a third Romulus and a second Camillus, and his name in
libations was coupled with those of the gods. The common people rejoiced
scarcely more for the victory over the barbarians than for that over
the government. The triumph of their chosen general, the farmer’s boy
of Arpi´num, seemed to them a triumph of the untitled and unprivileged
masses over the rich and favored few. Marius was elected to his sixth
consulate, and if he had been as great a statesman as general, the
Republic might even then have been exchanged for a monarchy. But he had
no matured policy, and no skill in adapting means to ends. He allied
himself with two unprincipled demagogues, Saturni´nus and Glau´cia, to
secure his election, and then abandoned them to the vengeance of the
Senate, when their crimes had become too bold for endurance.

The government candidate for the consulship was assailed and beaten to
death; and the party which procured the murder, proclaiming Saturninus
its chief, broke open the prison doors and gave freedom and arms to both
prisoners and slaves. This armed rabble fought the guards of Marius in
the very market-place of the city; but it was driven at length to the
Capitol, cut off from water, and forced to surrender. Without waiting the
forms of trial, some young nobles climbed to the roof of the building
where the rioters were imprisoned, tore off the tiles, and stoned them
to death. In this disgraceful manner perished four high officers of the
Roman people: a prætor, a quæstor, and two tribunes.

=137.= The beautiful island of Sicily was a second time the scene of a
servile war, B. C. 102-99. Its fertility and importance as a grain market
to Rome had attracted speculators, who farmed their vast estates by
means of multitudes of slaves. In the First Servile War (B. C. 134-132),
200,000 rebels were in arms; the second taxed the best exertions of
three successive consuls, and though it was ended, B. C. 99, in victory
to Rome, the terror it had excited did not soon die away. The slaves
not only outnumbered the ruling class, but surpassed it in strength,
and even, in some rare instances, in military talent. They were treated
with such inhuman cruelty, that they never lacked a motive for revolt,
and thus the rural districts were always liable to outbreaks when the
governing force was removed.

The Roman slave-code, it may be hoped, has never been equaled in
barbarity by that of any civilized state. The slave was “nothing” in
law; his master might torture or kill him with no other punishment
than the loss of his property; and when, after such a victory as that
of Vercellæ, captives could be bought, as we are told, for less than a
dollar a head, that motive could have had no weight against the passion
of revenge. Happily, society is sometimes better than its laws. Household
servants commonly enjoyed the confidence and affection of their masters;
physicians and teachers were usually Greek slaves, and their learning and
talents caused them to be respected in spite of the misfortune of their


    Though plebeians enjoy political equality, the poor suffer
    for want of land and employment. Tiberius Gracchus passes the
    Agrarian laws, but becomes a martyr to his zeal for reform.
    Scipio Æmilianus, trying to moderate the Agrarian movement,
    is also murdered. Caius Gracchus founds colonies in Italy
    and abroad; provides for the poor by a public distribution
    of grain; gives to the rich plebeians the collection of
    provincial revenues, and thus creates a class of great bankers
    and publicans. He is opposed with armed violence and slain,
    B. C. 121. The crimes of Jugurtha occasion the Numidian war,
    B. C. 111-106. Metellus is succeeded in command by Marius,
    who becomes consul, B. C. 107. Jugurtha is captured by the
    address of Sulla; Marius defeats the Teutones in a great
    battle near Aix, B. C. 102; and the Cimbri, the next year,
    at Vercellæ. A sedition at Rome is followed by the death of
    several magistrates. Sicily is twice devastated by servile
    insurrections, B. C. 134-132, and B. C. 102-99.


=138.= Meanwhile, Rome was shaken by the efforts and death of another
reformer, M. Livius Drusus, son of the opponent of Gracchus. As a noble,
he was filled with shame for the corruptions of his order, and sought
to revive the safest and best of the laws of the Gracchi, by giving the
franchise to all Italians, and by taking the judicial power from the
knights, who had greatly abused it. He was murdered at his own door by
an unknown assassin, B. C. 91, and both of his laws repealed. The allies
in the south and center of Italy, disappointed in all their hopes by the
death of their champion, now flew to arms. Eight nations, the Marsi,
Marrucini, Peligni, Vestini, Picenti´ni, Samnites, Apu´li, and Lucani,
formed a federal republic under the name of _Italia_, chose two consuls,
and fixed their capital at Corfin´ium, in the Apennines.

The first movements in the “Social War” were disastrous to Rome. L.
Cæsar, the consul, Perper´na, his legate, and Postu´mius, a prætor,
were defeated. A consular army under Cæpio was destroyed; Campania was
overrun, and the northern Italians were almost ready to join the league.
But a late concession saved Rome. The coveted rights of citizenship were
conferred on all who had taken no part in the war, and on all who would
now withdraw from it. The confederate ranks were thus divided; and, at
length, even the Samnites and Lucanians, who were the last to submit,
were won by a promise of all that they had asked.

=139.= The slow and cautious conduct of Marius in this war had been
eclipsed by the brilliant activity of Sulla, who was now consul; and the
Senate, choosing to consider the old general unequal to the hardships
of a campaign, conferred the command against Mithridates upon the young
patrician officer. The jealousy which had long ago supplanted the
ancient confidence between Marius and Sulla, now broke out into violent
opposition. To defeat his rival, Marius persuaded Rufus, the tribune, to
propose a law for distributing the newly enfranchised Italians among all
the tribes. The old citizens would thus be greatly outnumbered, and the
appointment of Sulla reversed, for all the new voters regarded Marius
as their friend and benefactor. The consuls interfered, but Marius and
his ally occupied the Forum with an armed force, compelled the consuls
to withdraw their interdict, passed the law by intimidation, and easily
obtained a vote of the tribes appointing Marius to the command of the
Pontic War.

[Illustration: MAP of the ROMAN EMPIRE.]

=140.= This brutal interference with the forms of law was naturally
met by an opposing force. The military tribunes sent by Marius to take
command, in his name, of the army at Nola, were stoned to death by the
soldiers of Sulla, who instantly marched upon Rome at the head of six
legions. The city was unprepared for resistance; Sulla became its master,
and Marius, with his son and partisans, fled. He wandered, a fugitive and
outlaw, along the coast of southern Italy; now half starved in a wood,
now buried all night to his chin in a swamp; again indebted for a few
hours’ sleep to the charity of a ship-master or to a peasant, who refused
the reward offered by Sulla for the head of the outlaw, and enabled him
to elude his pursuers.

At Mintur´næ he was sheltered by a woman to whom he had formerly rendered
some kindness; but the officers of the town resolved to comply with the
orders of the government at Rome, and with difficulty prevailed upon a
Gallic or Cimbrian soldier to undertake the work of despatching him.
But no sooner had the barbarian entered the room where the old general,
unarmed and defenseless, lay upon a bed, than his courage failed, his
drawn sword fell from his hand, and he rushed from the house, exclaiming,
“I can not kill Caius Marius!”

=141.= The people of Minturnæ now took more generous counsel, and
resolved not to destroy the deliverer of Italy. They provided him with a
ship, and conducted him with good wishes to the sea, where he embarked
for Africa. Here, too, he was warned by the governor to leave the
country, or be treated as an enemy of Rome. But a revolution had by this
time taken place in Rome itself, which favored the return of Marius.
Cinna, one of the new consuls, was of the Marian party, and wished to
enforce the laws of Rufus. The aristocrats armed, under the command of
the other consul, Octavius, and a battle was fought in the Forum, in
which Cinna was defeated and expelled from the city. Like Sulla, he
appealed to the army; and as the army was now composed of Italians, who
could not but favor that party which promised them supreme power in the
Roman elections, the tide was turned against the aristocrats.

Marius returned, seized upon Ostia and other ports on the Latin coast,
captured the corn ships, and thus starved Rome into surrender. This
time the captured city was given up to a reign of terror. As Marius
walked through the streets, his guards stabbed all persons whom he
did not salute. Fresh lists were made out every day of those whom he
either feared or hated, as victims for the dagger. Marius and Cinna
declared themselves consuls for B. C. 86, in contempt of the usual form
of election. But the unrelenting master of Rome did not long enjoy his
seventh consulship, which he had all his life superstitiously expected,
and now so unscrupulously obtained. He died on the eighteenth day of his
magistracy, and in the seventy-first year of his age.

=142.= Sulla had brought the Mithridatic War to a victorious conclusion,
having conducted five difficult and costly campaigns at his own expense,
and recovered for Rome the revolted territories of Greece, Macedonia, and
Asia Minor. But he never forgot that the Republic which he was serving
had declared him a public enemy, confiscated his wealth, and murdered his
best friends for their adherence to him. If his vengeance was delayed, it
was only the more bitter and effectual. He now returned with a powerful
army devotedly attached to his person, and laden with treasure collected
from the conquered cities of Asia.

To disarm the enmity of the Italians, who formed the most valuable part
of his opponents’ forces, he proclaimed that he would not interfere with
the rights of any citizen, old or new. He suffered no injury to be done
to either the towns or fields of the Italians, and he made separate
treaties with many of their cities, by which he guaranteed their full
enjoyment of Roman privileges so long as they should favor his interests.
The Samnites alone held out against Sulla, and in concert with the Marian
party renewed their old hostilities. Cinna was murdered by his own
troops, on his way to meet Sulla in Dalma´tia.

=143.= Landing at Brundis´ium, Sulla marched without opposition through
Calabria, Apulia, and Campania; defeated one consul near Capua, and won
over the entire army of the other by means of emissaries well supplied
with gold. He was reinforced by three legions, under Cneius Pompey, and
by the adherence of many distinguished citizens, among whom were Metellus
Pius, Crassus, and Lucullus. He was still outnumbered by the Marians,
who, in 82 B. C., brought into the field an army of 200,000 men, under
the two consuls Papir´ius Carbo and the younger Marius. The latter was
defeated, however, with great loss at Sacripor´tus, and took refuge in
Præneste, where he had deposited his military chest, enriched by the
treasures of the Capitoline temples. This town was blockaded, while Sulla
marched upon Rome. Marius had secretly ordered his partisans in the city
to put to death the most illustrious of the Cornelian faction; and thus
perished the pontifex maximus, and many others whose sacred office or
exalted character would, in more virtuous times, have made them secure
from violence.

=144.= The army of Samnites and Lucanians, by the request of Marius,
moved toward Rome, Telesi´nus, their leader, declaring that he would raze
the city to the ground. A furious battle was fought near the Colline
Gate, in which Sulla was victorious; and, with a cold-blooded ferocity
too common in those fearful times, ordered 6,000 prisoners to be cut to
pieces in the Campus Martius. Sulla was now master of Rome and of Italy,
and his vengeance had begun. A “proscription list” of his enemies was
exhibited in the Forum, and a reward of two talents was offered to all
who would kill these outlawed persons, or even show the place of their
concealment. As usual, private hatred and even the meanest avarice found
indulgence under the name of political enmity. Any friend of Sulla was
permitted to add names to the list; and as the property of the proscribed
usually went to his accuser, the possession of a house, a field, or even
a piece of silver plate was often enough to mark a man as a public enemy.

Sulla was appointed dictator, with unlimited power to “restore order to
the Republic.” The constitutional changes which he made, were designed
to re-instate the Senate and nobles in the preëminence which they had
enjoyed in the earliest years after the expulsion of the kings. He
limited the sway of the tribunes of the people, and lowered the dignity
of their office by prohibiting those who had held it from becoming
consuls. Though himself a man of dissolute morals, Sulla clearly saw
that the worst miseries of the Roman people proceeded from their own
corruption, and he tried to check luxury and crime by the most stringent
enactments. But the attempt was hopeless; the character of the nation was
so far degraded that no rank or class was fit to rule, and its subjection
to the will of a tyrant had become a necessity.

=145.= Sulla increased the number of the Senate by 300 new members chosen
from the knights, all, of course, adherents of his own. He gained, also,
a sort of body-guard, by giving the rights of citizenship to 10,000
slaves of those whom he had proscribed. These freedmen all received
his own clan-name, Cornelius, and became his clients. He rewarded his
veterans with the confiscated lands of the Marian party, thus replacing
honest and industrious farmers with too often lawless and thriftless
military communities. When Sulla had held the dictatorship three years,
he surprised the world by suddenly resigning it, and retiring to his
country-seat at Pute´oli. Here he devoted his days to the amusements of
literature, mingled, unhappily, with less ennobling pleasures. He died B.
C. 78, the year following his abdication. Two days before his death he
completed the history of his own life and times, in twenty-two volumes,
in which he recorded the prediction of a Chaldæan soothsayer, that he
should die, after a happy life, at the very height of his prosperity.

=146.= A remnant of the Marian faction still held out in the west of
Spain. Sertorius had been sent to command that province, chiefly because,
as the most honest and keen-sighted of the Marians, he was troublesome to
his brother officers. During the proscription by Sulla, he was joined
by many exiles, who aided him in drilling the native troops. Though
driven for a time into Africa by the proconsul An´nius, he returned,
upon the invitation of the Lusitanians, with a Libyan and Moorish army,
which defeated the fleet of Sulla in the Straits of Gibraltar, and his
land forces near the Guadalquivir. All Roman Spain became subject to
Sertorius. With the aid of Cilician pirates, he captured the islands of
Ivi´ca and Formente´ra. He formed a government, in which the senate was
composed only of Romans; but he distinguished the native Spaniards by
many marks of favor, and won their confidence not only by his brilliant
genius, but by his perfect justice in the administration of their affairs.

=147.= Metellus, Sulla’s colleague in the consulship, who commanded his
armies in Spain, was completely baffled by the unwearied activity and
superior knowledge of the country displayed by Sertorius. At length
Cneius Pompey, who had already, in his thirtieth year, gained the title
of Great, and the honor of a triumph for his victories over the allies of
the Marians in Africa, was sent into Spain with the title of proconsul,
to share the command with Metellus. His military skill far surpassed that
of his predecessors, but for five years the war was still dragged out
with more loss and vexation than success.

At last, Sertorius was murdered by one of his own officers, a man of
high birth, who envied the ascendency of genius and integrity, and hoped
by removing his general to open the way to his own advancement. He was
totally defeated and captured by Pompey in the first battle which he
fought as commander-in-chief; and though he tried to save his life by
giving up the papers of Sertorius, and thus betraying the secrets of his
party in Rome, he was ordered to instant execution, B. C. 72.

=148.= The Spanish war was now ended, but a nearer and greater danger
threatened Rome. The pride and luxury fed by foreign conquest had brought
no increase of refinement to the common people; and their favorite
amusement for festal days was to see the bravest captives, taken in war
and trained for the purpose, slaughter each other in the amphitheater.
The ædiles, who provided the public shows, vied with each other in the
numbers and training of the gladiators, whom they either bought or hired
from their owners for exhibition. Among the unhappy men who were under
training in the school at Capua, was a Thracian peasant named Spar´tacus.
His soul revolted against the beastly fate to which he was doomed, and
he communicated his spirit to seventy of his comrades. Forcibly breaking
bounds, they passed out at the gates of Capua, seized upon the road some
wagon-loads of gladiators’ weapons, and took refuge in an extinct crater
of Vesuvius. They defeated 3,000 soldiers who besieged them, and armed
themselves more effectively with the spoils of the slain.

Spartacus proclaimed freedom to all slaves who would join him. The
half-savage herdsmen of the Bruttian and Lucanian mountains sprang to
arms at his call, and the number of insurgents quickly rose to 40,000.
They defeated two legions under the prætor Varinius, stormed and
plundered Thurii and Metapon´tum, Nola and Nuce´ria, and many other towns
of southern Italy. In the second year their forces were increased to
100,000 men, and they defeated successively two consuls, two prætors, and
the governor of Cisalpine Gaul. All Italy, from the Alps to the Straits
of Messana, quaked at the name of Spartacus, as it had done, more than a
hundred years before, at that of Hannibal; but it only proved the decay
of Roman character, that a mere bandit chief could accomplish what had
once taxed the genius of the greatest general whom the world had yet

=149.= Spartacus, however, saw clearly that in the end the organized
power and resources of Rome must be superior to his own, and he only
proposed to his followers to fight their way to and beyond the Alps,
and then disperse to their homes; but the insurgents, spoiled with
success, refused to leave Italy, and turned again to the south. Their
winter-quarters, near Thurii, were like an immense fair crowded with
the plunder of the whole peninsula, which merchants from far and near
assembled to buy. Spartacus refused gold or silver, and took in exchange
only iron or brass, which he converted into weapons of war by means of
foundries established in his camp. In the panic which pervaded Rome, no
one was willing to offer himself for the office of prætor. At length,
Licinius Crassus accepted the appointment, and led eight legions into the

=150.= Spartacus was twice defeated, and driven to the southern point of
Bruttium. Thence he tried to escape into Sicily, where the servile war
was still smoldering and ready to be rekindled, and where, by holding the
grain fields, he could soon have raised a bread-riot among the hungry
mob of Rome. But the Cilician pirates, who had engaged to transport him,
proved treacherous; and his attempt to convey his army across the straits
on rafts and wicker boats was ineffectual. He then, in despair, broke the
lines of Crassus, and once more threw Rome into great consternation.

But the same jealousies which had scattered the forces of Greeks and
Romans, doomed the barbarians, also, to destruction. Thirty thousand
Gauls separated themselves from Spartacus and his Thracians, and were
totally destroyed near Crotona. The final encounter took place on the
head-waters of the Silarus. Spartacus fell desperately fighting, and his
army was destroyed. Only 5,000 of his men made their way to the north of
Italy, where they were met by Pompey on his return from Spain, and all
put to the sword. The 6,000 prisoners taken by Crassus were crucified
along the Appian Way.

=151.= The two triumphant generals, Pompey and Crassus, demanded the
consulship as their reward. To attain this, it was needful to set aside
some of the Sullæan laws, for Pompey had neither reached the required
age nor passed through the preliminary offices. But the deliverers of
Rome could not ask in vain. On Dec. 31, B. C. 71, Pompey triumphed a
second time for his victories in Spain; the next day, Jan. 1, B. C.
70, he entered on the duties of his consulship with Licinius Crassus.
Though formerly a chief instrument of the oligarchy under Sulla, Pompey
now attached himself to the democratic party, more especially to the
wealthy middle class. He restored to the tribunes of the people the power
which Sulla had taken away, and caused judges to be chosen no longer
exclusively from the Senate, but in equal proportions from the Senate,
the knights, and the tribunes of the treasury—a class of moneyed men who
collected and paid the revenues due to the soldiers.

Reform in the government of the provinces was a rallying cry of the new
party, and the year of Pompey’s consulate was marked by the prosecution
of Verres, ex-prætor of Syracuse, for his shameless robbery of the
province of Sicily. The impeachment was conducted by Marcus Tullius
Cicero, the great lawyer and orator, whose wonderful learning and
eloquence had already made him illustrious. Cicero was allowed one
hundred and ten days to collect evidence of Verres’s guilt. In less
than half the time he returned from Sicily, followed by a long train of
witnesses, whose fortunes had been ruined by the fraud and inhumanity of
the prætor. Verres himself had been heard to boast that he had amassed
wealth enough to support a life-time of luxury, even if he should spend
two-thirds of his ill-gotten gains in hushing inquiry or in buying a
pardon; and the unhappy provincials plainly declared that, if he were
acquitted, they would petition the Senate to repeal all the laws against
official injustice, that in future their governors might, at least, only
plunder to enrich themselves, and not to bribe their judges. But Verres
was condemned, and not even awaiting his sentence, escaped with his
treasures to Massilia.

=152.= At the end of his consulship, Pompey did not accept a province,
but remained quietly in Rome, taking no part in public affairs. An
increasing danger soon demanded the exercise of his talents. Since the
destruction of the naval power of Carthage, Syria, and Egypt, the pirates
of the Cilician coast had cruised unchecked throughout the Mediterranean,
and had even been encouraged by Mithridates and Sertorius in their enmity
against Rome. They captured the corn-ships, plundered the wealthiest
cities, and even attacked Roman dignity in its most imposing form, by
carrying off great magistrates, with their trains of attendants, from the
Appian Way.

The crisis demanded extraordinary measures, and, in B. C. 67, Pompey was
intrusted with absolute and irresponsible control of the Mediterranean,
with a district extending fifty miles inland from its coasts, and with
unlimited command of ships, money, and men. The price of provisions fell
instantly upon his appointment, showing the confidence which his great
ability had inspired. In forty days he had swept the western sea, and
restored the broken communication between Italy, Africa, and Spain. Then
sailing from Brundisium, he cleared the sea to the eastward, hunting the
corsairs from all their inlets by means of the several squadrons under
his fifteen lieutenants, and winning many to voluntary submission by his
merciful treatment of the prisoners who fell into his hands.

The final battle took place near the Cilician coast, above which, on
the heights of Mount Taurus, the pirates had placed their families and
their plunder. They were defeated; 10,000 men were slain, their arsenals,
magazines, and 1,300 vessels destroyed, while 400 ships and 20,000
prisoners were taken. Pompey showed no less wisdom in disposing of his
captives than energy in defeating them. They were settled in isolated
towns, and provided with honest employment; and as a result of the short
and decisive conflict of three months, the Mediterranean remained safe
and open to peaceful traffic for many years.

=153.= The Mithridatic War, though conducted with great ability by
Lucullus, had become disastrous to the Romans; and a new law, proposed
by Manil´ius, now extended Pompey’s jurisdiction over all the forces
in Asia, with power to make war, peace, or alliance with the several
kings at his own discretion. Within a year, B. C. 66, he received the
submission of the king of Armenia, and drove Mithridates beyond the
Cau´casus. He deposed the last of the Seleucidæ, and placed Syria, as
well as Pontus and Bithynia, under provincial management.

As centers of Roman or Greek civilization, he founded thirty-nine new
cities, beside rebuilding or reviving many old ones. Among the former
was Nicop´olis—“the city of victory”—which he caused to be built as a
home for his veteran soldiers, on the site of the decisive overthrow of
Mithridates. He subdued Phœnicia and Palestine, B. C. 63, captured the
temple-fortress of Jerusalem by a siege of three months, and established
Hyrcanus as “high priest and ruler of the people.” The next year he
returned to Italy in a long triumphal procession.


    Death of Drusus is followed by the Social War, in the
    victorious ending of which Sulla gains great glory. Marius
    interferes by violence with his appointment to command in the
    war against Pontus. Sulla overpowers the city by his legions,
    and Marius becomes an exile. After Sulla’s departure he
    returns, captures Rome, and massacres his opponents, but dies
    soon after the beginning of his seventh consulship. Sulla,
    returning triumphant from the East, defeats the new consuls and
    their allies, and by his proscriptions makes havoc with life
    and property at Rome. As dictator, he restores the aristocratic
    government of the early Republic. He dies in retirement, B.
    C. 78. Sertorius, ten years sovereign in Spain, is opposed by
    Pompey, and murdered, B. C. 72. War of the gladiators, under
    Spartacus, fills all Italy with terror, B. C. 73-71. It is
    ended by Crassus, who, with Pompey the Great, becomes consul
    for B. C. 70. Cicero impeaches Verres for extortion in Sicily.
    Pompey, intrusted with extraordinary powers by the Gabinian
    law, destroys the Cilician pirates; then completes the Pontic
    War, and establishes Roman dominion in western Asia.


=154.= Rome, meanwhile, had narrowly escaped ruin from the iniquitous
schemes of one of her own nobles. L. Ser´gius Catili´na, a man of ancient
family, but worthless character and ruined fortunes, seized the time
when all the troops were absent from Italy, to plot with other nobles,
as wicked and turbulent as himself, for the overthrow of the government.
The new consuls were to be murdered on the day of their inauguration.
Catiline and Autro´nius were to take the supreme command in Italy, and
Piso was to lead an army into Spain. The first plot failed through
the imprudence of its leader; but a second, of still bolder and more
comprehensive character, was formed. Eleven senators were drawn into the
conspiracy; magazines of arms were formed, and troops levied in various
parts of the peninsula. The wide-spread discontent of the people with the
existing government aided the success of the movement; and, in the end,
slaves, gladiators, and even criminals from the common prisons, were to
be liberated and armed.

The secret was kept by a vast number of persons for eighteen months, but
the main features of the plot were at length made known to Cicero, then
consul, and by his vigilance and prudence it was completely foiled. He
confronted Catiline in the Senate—where the arch conspirator had the
boldness to take his usual place—with an oration, in which he laid open
with unsparing vehemence the minutest circumstances of the plot. The
convicted ringleader fled from Rome in the night, and placed himself
at the head of his two legions, hoping yet to strike an effective blow
before the levies ordered by the Senate could be fit for service. His
chief accomplices were seized and strangled in prison, by order of the
Senate, while he himself was followed and defeated in Etruria by the
proconsul Antonius. The battle was decisive. Catiline fell fighting far
in advance of his troops, and 3,000 of his followers perished with him.
No free Roman was taken alive. B. C. 62.

=155.= Though this daring conspiracy was thus happily crushed, the
weakness and disorder of society alarmed the best and wisest citizens.
It was feared that some man of commanding talent might yet succeed where
Catiline had failed, and overthrow the liberties of Rome. Pompey, now
returning with his victorious legions from the East, was the immediate
object of dread to the Senate and aristocratic party. But he quieted
apprehension by disbanding his army as soon as he touched the soil of
Italy, and proceeded slowly to Rome accompanied by only a few friends.
They could not refuse his claim to a triumph, and from the number and
extent of his victories, this pageant was the most imposing that Rome
had ever seen. Although there was no army to lengthen the procession,
it occupied two days in passing through the city. The inscriptions
enumerated 22 kings and 12,000,000 of people as conquered; 800 ships,
nearly 900 towns, and 1,000 fortresses taken; and the Roman revenues
nearly doubled.

By an unusual act of clemency, Pompey spared the lives of all his
captives, and dismissed to their homes all except Aristobulus, of Judæa,
and the young Tigranes, of Armenia, who were detained lest they should
stir up revolts in their respective countries. But though the aristocrats
of the Senate had taken part in the public honors paid to Pompey, they
could not forget that his appointment in the East had been in defiance
of their opposition. His demands of allotments of land to his veterans,
and for himself a second consulship and the ratification of his official
acts, were refused; and Pompey, to redeem his pledges to his soldiers,
now made an alliance with an abler man, and one far more dangerous to
the old order of things—if the Senate could but have foreseen it—than
himself. B. C. 60.

=156.= Caius Julius Cæsar had been proscribed in his eighteenth year,
because he had refused to put away his young wife, Cornelia, the daughter
of Cinna, at the command of Sulla. He was for a time a fugitive in danger
of death, but his friends at length, with great difficulty, procured his
pardon from the dictator, on the plea of his youth and insignificance.
Sulla was more discerning; he remarked, “That boy will some day be the
ruin of the aristocracy, for there are many Marii in him.”

Upon the death of his aunt Julia, the widow of Marius, Cæsar defied
the law which had pronounced her husband an enemy of the state, by
causing his waxen image to be carried in the funeral procession. It was
welcomed by the people with loud acclamations. In his ædileship, three
years later—which, in the magnificence of the games celebrated, and the
buildings erected at his own expense, surpassed all that had preceded
it—Cæsar ventured upon a bolder step. He replaced in the Capitol,
during one night, the statues of Marius, and the representations of his
victories in Africa and Gaul, which had been removed by Sulla. When
morning dawned, the common people and the veterans of Marius wept and
shouted for joy at the re-appearance of the well-known features, and
greeted Cæsar with rapturous applause. Though formally accused in the
Senate of violating a law, he could not be condemned against the voice of
the people.

=157.= Dignities and honors followed in rapid succession. He became
pontifex maximus in 63 B. C.; prætor, in 62; and at the end of his
prætorship he obtained the government of Farther Spain. In this first
military command he acquired not only wealth for himself and his
soldiers, but great reputation by subduing the Lusitanian mountaineers.
On his return, he desired both a triumph and the consulship; but he could
not obtain the one if he entered the city before it was decreed, nor the
other without being personally present at the approaching election; so he
abandoned the showy for the solid advantage, and was duly chosen consul,
with Bib´ulus, a tool of the Senate, for his colleague.

=158.= He now managed to detach Pompey from the senatorial party, and
form with him and Crassus a _triumvirate_, which, though only a secret
agreement, not a public magistracy, ruled the Roman world for several
years. The power of Crassus was due to his enormous wealth; that of
Pompey, to his great military services; and that of Cæsar, to his
unequaled genius and unbounded popularity. Their combined influence was
soon felt in the official acts of Cæsar. He brought forward an Agrarian
law for dividing the rich public lands of Campania among the poorest
citizens. It was passed against the violent opposition of Bibulus and all
the aristocratic party; a commission of twenty, with Pompey and Crassus
at its head, was appointed to divide the lands, and the veterans thus
obtained most of their claims.

The defeated consul, who had declared that he would rather die than
yield, now shut himself up in his house, and never re-appeared in public
until his year of office had expired. Cæsar obtained a ratification of
all Pompey’s acts in Asia, and, at the same time, attached the equites to
his party, by giving them more favorable terms in farming the provincial
revenues. At the close of his consulship he obtained the government of
Illyricum and Gaul, on both sides of the Alps, for a term of five years,
with a general commission to “protect the friends and allies of the Roman

=159.= The religious and national bond between the many Celtic tribes
which inhabited the ancient territories of Britain, Belgium, France,
Switzerland, and a part of Spain, was strong enough to unite them, now
and then, in resistance to their common enemies, the Germans on the north
and the Romans on the south, but not strong enough to prevent rivalries
among themselves, which often gave the foreign power room to interfere
in their affairs. The Roman province, founded B. C. 121, now extended
northward along the Rhone as far as Geneva; and a great emigration of
Germans had occupied territories west of the Rhine, from the neighborhood
of the modern Strasbourg to the German Ocean.

=160.= During his first summer in Gaul, Cæsar, by the extraordinary
swiftness and decision of his movements, subdued two nations and
established Roman supremacy in the center of the country. The Helvetii,
who lived between Lake Geneva and the Jura, finding themselves in too
narrow quarters, had resolved to emigrate and conquer new habitations to
the westward. They burned their twelve towns and four hundred villages,
and assembled at Geneva to the number of 368,000 persons, men, women,
and children, intending to pass through the Roman province into western
Gaul. Cæsar prevented this move by a wall nineteen miles in length,
which he extended along the left bank of the Rhone; and bringing up
three legions from Italy, he followed the Helvetians along their second
route, and defeated them near Bibrac´te. The remnant of the nation—less
than one-third of the number on their muster-rolls when the migration
began—were ordered back to their native hills.

The Seq´uani, a Celtic tribe north of the Helvetii, had called in
Ariovis´tus, the most powerful of the German chiefs, against their rivals
the Ædui, who were styled allies and kinsmen of the Romans. Having
subdued the Ædui, Ariovistus turned upon his late allies, and demanded
two-thirds of their lands in payment for his services. All the Gauls
begged aid of Cæsar, who met the German prince near the Rhine, in what
is now Alsace. So great was the fame of Ariovistus and his gigantic
barbarians, who for fourteen years had not slept under a roof, that the
Roman soldiers were afraid to fight; and though shamed out of their
cowardice by the stirring appeal of their general, every man made his
will before going into battle. The result of the combat was the complete
destruction of the German host, only Ariovistus and a few followers
escaping across the Rhine.

=161.= The second year, Cæsar conquered the Belgians north of the Seine,
and the Senate decreed a public thanksgiving of fifteen days for the
subjugation of Gaul. His lieutenant, Decimus Brutus, fought the first
naval battle on the Atlantic, with the high-built sailing vessels of the
Celts. The maritime tribes revolting the following winter, were subdued;
and but for a few brief rebellions, the territories of France and Belgium
remained under Roman dominion. Cæsar repaired each winter to his province
of Cisalpine Gaul, to watch affairs in Italy. In 56 B. C., he had to
reconcile Pompey with Crassus, and re-arrange, in his camp at Luca, the
affairs of the triumvirate.

It was agreed that Pompey and Crassus should be consuls the next year,
and that, after their term had expired, the former should govern Spain,
and the latter Asia, while the proconsular government of Cæsar in Gaul
should be prolonged to a second term of five years. In choosing the most
arduous and least lucrative province for himself, Cæsar wished to begin
the execution of his great scheme for civilizing the West, and organizing
the whole Roman dominion into one compact state. The revolution begun by
the Gracchi was not yet completed, and it was easy to see that the strife
of parties must come again to the sword, as it had in the time of Marius
and Sulla. In such a case, Cæsar desired to be near Italy, and to have an
army trained to perfect discipline and devotion to himself.

=162.= In the fourth year, B. C. 55, he threw a bridge across the Rhine
and invaded Germany. Late in the autumn, he made a reconnoitering
expedition to Britain, and received hostages from the tribes. This
time the Senate decreed twenty days’ thanksgiving, though Cato stoutly
insisted that Cæsar ought, rather, to be given up to the vengeance of
the barbarians, to avert the anger of the gods for his having seized the
German embassadors. The next year, B. C. 54, Cæsar again invaded Britain
with five legions. Notwithstanding the brave resistance of a native
chief, Cas´sivelau´nus, he penetrated north of the Thames, took hostages,
and imposed tribute; but he left no military posts to hold the island in

A formidable revolt of the Gauls, the following winter, destroyed one of
the six divisions of the Roman army, and imperiled another, commanded by
Quintus Cicero, brother of the orator. Cæsar came to its relief, defeated
60,000 of the enemy, and restored quietness to the north. The Germans
having aided in this revolt, he again crossed the Rhine near Coblentz, in
the summer of 53 B. C. He fought no battles, for the people took refuge
among their wooded hills; but the invasion served, as before, to make an
imposing display of Roman power.

=163.= The following year, Gaul was every-where in a blaze of revolt,
and the campaign was the most difficult and brilliant of all Cæsar’s
operations. Ver´cinget´orix, king of the Arver´ni, and the ablest of the
Gallic chieftains, stirred up all the tribes, and nearly wrested the
country from Roman control. While Cæsar was besieging him in Ale´sia, a
Gallic army of more than a quarter of a million of men encamped around
the Romans and besieged them in turn. But the genius of the proconsul
surmounted even this crisis. He kept down all attempts at sortie, while
he defeated the outer army; then forced the town to surrender, and
captured Vercingetorix himself. Six years later, the Gallic chief adorned
the triumph of Cæsar, and was then executed in the Mamertine prison at
the foot of the Capitol. The Gauls now saw that resistance was hopeless.
The firm and skillful management of Cæsar in pacifying the country
and organizing the Roman rule, completed the work that his brilliant
victories had prepared; and by the year 50 B. C., Gaul was at peace.

=164.= Meanwhile, Crassus, fearing that his colleagues would reap all
the warlike glory of the league, undertook, after plundering the temples
of the East, to make war against Parthia—a war unprovoked by the enemy,
unauthorized by the Senate, and unwarranted by his own abilities.
Contrary to advice, he plunged into the hot and sandy desert east of the
Euphrates, lost the greater part of his army in a battle near Carrhæ (the
Haran of Abraham), and was himself slain, soon after, by the treachery of
the Parthian general, B. C. 53.

Pompey, now sole consul, no longer pretended any friendship for Cæsar.
The conqueror of Mithridates and the Cilician pirates did not fancy that
he could be eclipsed by any man; and the relationship between them was
lately dissolved by the death of Julia, the daughter of Cæsar, who had
been the wife of Pompey. The enemies of the former obtained a decree of
the Senate requiring him to surrender his proconsular power, and return
to Rome before becoming candidate for a second consulship. Cato had
declared that he would prosecute Cæsar for capital offenses as soon as he
should resign his command.

It could hardly have been expected that the governor of Gaul would quit
his devoted legions, and all the treasures of the conquered province, to
place himself unarmed at the mercy of his enemies. Such virtue had been
known in the days of Curtius, but self-surrender for the public good had
ceased to be fashionable at Rome. Moreover, Cæsar may well have doubted
whether the sacrifice of his life would promote the public interests.
The Romans required a master; and his own plans for building up a great
empire from the scattered fragments of provinces, by extending equal
rights to all the conquered peoples, were doubtless the most enlarged and
beneficent that had yet been formed. He believed that the great interests
of Rome were consistent with his own.

=165.= His enemies lost no opportunity to deprive him of resources. Under
pretext of a war with Parthia, the two former colleagues of Crassus
were required to furnish each one legion to be sent to Asia. Pompey had
formerly lent a legion to Cæsar, and now demanded its return. Cæsar
dismissed the two legions, giving to each man his share of the treasure
which was to be distributed at his approaching triumph. He wrote at the
same time to the Senate, offering to resign his command if Pompey would
do the same, but not otherwise. The two legions were kept in Italy. After
a violent debate, it was enacted that Cæsar should, without conditions,
disband his army on a certain day, under penalty of being declared an
enemy of the state. The tribunes, Antonius and Cassius, vetoed the
motion, but their veto was set aside; and believing their lives in
danger, they fled to Cæsar’s camp at Raven´na.


    Catiline’s deep-laid conspiracy is defeated by Cicero, and its
    lender slain in battle. Pompey disbands his army and triumphs
    for his conquests in Asia. He forms with Cæsar, now consul, and
    Crassus, the first triumvirate. The next year, B. C. 58, Cæsar,
    as proconsul, assumes the command in Gaul; subdues the Helvetii
    and the Germans, under Ariovistus, in one campaign; afterward
    conquers the Belgæ; twice bridges the Rhine and ravages
    Germany; twice invades Britain; suppresses revolts in Gaul,
    and organizes the whole country into a peaceful and permanent
    part of the Roman dominion. Crassus, in Asia, is overwhelmingly
    defeated, with the loss of his army and his life, B. C. 53.
    Pompey breaks with Cæsar, and becomes the champion of the


=166.= It was time for decisive action. Cæsar crossed the Rubicon, a
little river which separated his province from Roman Italy, and advanced
with one legion, the troops in Gaul having received orders to follow
without delay. To enter the country without resigning his command was
itself a declaration of war. Panic seized Rome, and the Senate fled,
leaving the public treasures behind. Fifteen thousand recruits, destined
for Pompey’s army, seized their officers and handed them over, with
themselves and the town Corfin´ium, where they were quartered, to Cæsar.
Other bodies of recruits followed their example. Pompey, having lost more
than half his ten legions, retired to Brundisium; and though besieged by
Cæsar, succeeded in escaping with 25,000 men to Greece.

The Roman world was now really divided between the two generals. Pompey
controlled Spain, Africa, and the East, and hoped, by commanding the sea
and the corn islands, to starve Italy into surrender. Cæsar had only
Italy, Illyricum, and Gaul. If Pompey had acted with energy, he might
speedily have created an army in the East and regained Rome, but by
delay he allowed Cæsar to attack his provinces in detail, and wrest the
entire empire from his grasp. The emigrated nobles assembled themselves
at Thessalonica and re-organized a senate, in which they made a vain show
of keeping up the constitutional forms, while, by their petty jealousies,
they hampered every movement of their general-in-chief.

=167.= Cu´rio, the ablest of Cæsar’s lieutenants, captured Sicily, and
thus averted famine from Rome. In Africa he was less fortunate. Drawn
into an unexpected combat with the whole army of King Juba, he was
defeated, and chose to be slain rather than meet his general in disgrace.
Instead of the anarchy and general proscription which his enemies had
predicted, Cæsar soon restored order in Italy, and universal confidence,
by the moderation and forbearance of his conduct. Friends and foes were
equally protected. The moneyed class, which had most to gain from a
settled government, came over to the side of Cæsar, and the “rich lords
resumed their daily task of writing their rent-rolls.”

His first foreign enterprise was against Spain, where Pompey had seven
legions. It was conquered by a severe and toilsome campaign of forty
days. Returning through Gaul, Cæsar received the surrender of Massilia,
and learned of his appointment to the dictatorship at Rome. He held this
high office only eleven days, but long enough to preside at the election
of consuls, in which he himself, of course, received the greatest number
of votes; to pass laws relieving debtors, and restoring to the enjoyment
of their estates the descendants of those whom Sulla had proscribed; and
to begin his scheme of consolidating the provinces, by granting the full
rights of Roman citizenship to the Gauls.

=168.= As consul, he then led his army to Brundisium and crossed into
Greece. Pompey had assembled from the eastern countries a great army and
fleet, the latter of which commanded the sea, and seemed to forbid the
passage of Cæsar. But Bibulus, the admiral, confiding in his superior
numbers and the wintry season, was off his guard until seven legions were
landed in Epirus. The attempt to capture Pompey’s camp and treasures, at
Dyrra´chium, failed; but the vain confidence inspired by their partial
success, in the proud and frivolous young nobles of the refugee party,
eventually proved their ruin.

Cæsar was, indeed, in a perilous position; his fleet was destroyed,
and he was cut off in a hostile country where food must soon fail.
Nevertheless, with his usual good fortune or consummate skill, he
contrived to draw his victorious enemy after him to the interior of the
country, where Pompey’s fleet gave him no advantage, and then to choose
his own battle-field at Pharsa´lia, in Thessaly. The army of Pompey, in
horse and foot, numbered 54,000 men; that of Cæsar, scarcely more than
22,000. The former was abundantly supplied both with provisions and
military materials, while the latter was near the point of starvation,
and compelled to stake its existence on one desperate venture. So certain
did the result appear, that the patricians in Pompey’s camp were already
disputing among themselves the succession to Cæsar’s pontificate.

=169.= On the 9th of August, B. C. 48, the Pompeians crossed the river
which separated the two camps, and with their cavalry commenced the
attack. Cæsar’s horsemen were driven in, but a picked troop of his
legionaries, tried on a hundred Gallic fields, unexpectedly charged the
assailants. Their orders were to aim their javelins at the enemies’
faces. Confused by this novel attack, the cavalry turned and fled; and
Pompey, who had been urged by the reproaches of his self-appointed
counselors to give battle, contrary to his better judgment, and who had
never shared their confidence, did not wait to see the general attack,
but galloped away to his camp.

His army was completely routed; 15,000 lay dead upon the field, and
20,000 surrendered on the morning after the battle. Many of the
aristocracy hastened to make their peace with the conqueror; the
“irreconcilables” either betook themselves to the mountains or the sea,
to carry on for years a predatory warfare; or to Africa, where King Juba,
of Numidia, perceiving that Cæsar’s consolidating policy would deprive
him of his kingdom, still stood firmly on the Pompeian side. The other
client-states withdrew their quotas of ships and men as soon as they saw
that Pompey’s cause was lost.

=170.= Pompey fled to Egypt. The young queen, Cleopatra, was now in
Syria, having been driven from her kingdom by her brother’s guardian,
Pothi´nus, who was with an army holding the eastern frontier against
her. The perfidious statesmen who surrounded the king, sent out a boat
inviting the illustrious fugitive to land; but just as he had reached
the shore, he was stabbed by a former centurion of his own, who was now
in the service of Ptolemy. Pompey perceived his fate; without a word,
he covered his face with his toga, and submitted to the swords of his
executioners. His head was cut off, and his body cast out upon the sand,
where it was buried by one of his own attendants.

Cæsar soon arrived in pursuit; but when the ghastly head was presented
to him, he turned away weeping, and ordered the murderers to be put to
death. He remained five mouths at Alexandria, regulating the affairs of
the kingdom, which he secured to Cleopatra jointly with her brother. He
thus became involved in war with the people, and in a naval battle was
once compelled to save his life by swimming from ship to ship, holding
his sword in his teeth, and the manuscript of his Commentaries upon the
Gallic Wars in one hand over his head. He was victorious at last, and
Ptolemy was drowned in the Nile.

=171.= Cæsar then turned rapidly toward Asia Minor, where Pharnaces of
Pontus was trying to regain his father’s lost dominions. The Roman army
had been defeated at Nicopolis with great loss, but Cæsar won a decisive
victory at Zie´la, and finished the campaign in five days. It was on this
occasion that he sent to the Senate his memorable dispatch, “Veni, vidi,
vici.”[75] The presence of the chief made a similar transformation of the
war in Africa. The Pompeian party had re-established its senate at Utica,
and during Cæsar’s long delay in Egypt had raised an army fully equal to
that which had been conquered at Pharsalia.

In attempting to carry the war into Africa, Cæsar met an unexpected
obstacle in a mutiny of his veterans in southern Italy. Wearied out with
the unusual hardships of their last campaigns, and imagining that their
general could do nothing without them, they refused to embark for Sicily,
and commenced their march toward Rome. Having provided for the security
of the city, Cæsar suddenly appeared among the legions, and demanded
to know what they wanted. Cries of “discharge!” were heard on every
hand. He took them instantly at their word; and then addressing them as
“citizens,” not as “soldiers,” promised them, at his approaching triumph,
their full share in the treasure and lands which he had destined for his
faithful followers, though in the triumph itself they could, of course,
have no part.

His presence and his voice revived their old affection; they stood mute
and ashamed at the sudden severing of the bond which had been their
only glory in the past. At length they began to beg, even with tears,
that they might be restored to favor, and honored again with the name
of “Cæsar’s soldiers.” After some delay their prayer was granted; the
ring-leaders were only punished by a reduction of one-third in their
triumphal presents, and the revolt was at an end.

=172.= The campaign in Africa was not less difficult than the one in
Greece. The Pompeians were well supplied with cavalry and elephants, and
were able to fight on fields of their own choosing. They gained a battle
near Rus´pina, but in the more decisive conflict at Thapsus, they were
completely overthrown. The soldiers of Cæsar disregarded his orders to
spare their fellow-citizens; they were determined to obtain rest from
war at any cost of Roman blood, and 50,000 Pompeians were left dead upon
the battle-field. Cæsar was now master of all Africa. Cato, commanding
at Utica, provided for the safety of his friends either by flight or
surrender; then shutting himself in his room, read all night the treatise
of Plato on the Immortality of the Soul, and toward morning killed
himself with his own sword.

[Illustration: Coin of Cæsar, enlarged twice the size.]

=173.= Cæsar returned to Rome in possession of absolute power. Instead
of the proscriptions, which, in similar circumstances, had marked the
return of Marius and Sulla, he proclaimed amnesty to all, and sought
to avail himself of the wisdom of all parties in reorganizing civil
affairs. As he had never triumphed, he now celebrated four days for his
victories in Gaul, Egypt, Pontus, and Numidia; but the rejoicings were
only for the conquest of foreign foes, for it was regarded as unseemly to
triumph over Roman citizens. Twenty thousand tables were spread in the
streets and public squares, gifts of grain and money were distributed
among soldiers and people, and the games were celebrated with a splendor
never before approached. Cæsar now applied himself with diligence to
regulate the disorders of the state; and the benefit of one, at least, of
his provisions is felt even to the present day. The reckoning of time,
through the carelessness or corruption of the pontiffs (see § 29), had
fallen into hopeless confusion: harvest festivals took place in spring,
and those of the late vintage at midsummer. Cæsar, as chief pontiff,
reformed the calendar, by adding ninety days to the current year, and
then, with the aid of an Alexandrian astronomer, adapted the reckoning
to the sun’s course. He made the Roman year consist of 365 days, and
added a day every fourth year. The Julian Calendar, with only one
emendation,[76] is that which we now follow. In acknowledgment of his
service in this matter, the Senate ordered the month of Cæsar’s birth to
be called henceforth from his clan-name, July. His successor, Augustus,
on occasion of some trifling improvement in the calendar, gave his own
surname to the following month.

=174.= The Pompeians made one more rally in Spain, but they were defeated
and overthrown by Cæsar, in the severe and decisive battle of Munda,
March 17, B. C. 45. Cneius Pompey, the younger, was slain; his brother
Sextus soon submitted, and received the family estates. He was proscribed
during the disorders which followed the death of Cæsar, and for eight
years kept up a piratical warfare upon the sea. Having settled the
affairs of Spain, Cæsar celebrated a fifth triumph, and was loaded by the
servile Senate with unlimited powers and dignities. He became dictator
and censor for life, the latter office now receiving its new title,
præfecture of morals. He was permitted to make peace or war without
consulting either Senate or people. In his highest and most distinctive
power, that of perpetual imperator, he was to name his successor. His
person was declared sacred, and all the senators bound themselves by oath
to watch over his safety. His statues were ordered to be placed in all
the temples, and his name in civil oaths was associated with those of the

=175.= Cæsar availed himself of his unprecedented power to plan many
great works of general utility. He projected a much-needed digest of
Roman laws, and the founding of a Latin and Greek library on the model
of that of Alexandria, which had been almost destroyed by fire during
the recent siege. He proposed to turn the course of the Tiber, so as at
once to drain the Pontine marshes, to add to the city an extensive tract
of land available for building, and to connect with Rome the large and
convenient port of Terraci´na, instead of the inferior one of Ostia.

Above all, he desired to substitute a great Mediterranean empire for the
mere city government which, for more than a hundred years, had ruled
Italy and the world. To atone for the narrow policy of municipal Rome,
he rebuilt the two great commercial cities, Carthage and Corinth, which
Roman jealousy had demolished; and he effaced, as far as possible, the
distinctions between Italy and the provinces. In the many colonies which
he founded in Europe, Asia, and Africa, he provided homes for 80,000
emigrants, mostly from the crowded tenement houses of Rome itself.
His plans embraced the varied interests of every class and nation
within the empire, and aimed to reach, by the union of all, a higher
civilization than either had attained alone. In the wildest regions of
Germany, Dalmatia, or Spain, the Roman soldier was followed by the Greek
school-master and the Jewish trader.

=176.= Though occupying the highest rank as a general, Cæsar was more a
statesman than a warrior, and desired to base his government, not upon
military power, but upon the confidence of the people. He was already in
his fortieth year when he first assumed the command of an army. Still,
his great works as a ruler had all to be executed in the brief intervals
of military affairs. The five and a half years which followed his
accession to supreme power were occupied by seven important campaigns;
and he was about undertaking an expedition against Parthia, to avenge the
overthrow of Crassus, when a violent death ended his career. It is said
that he desired, before his departure, to receive the title of king.

A conspiracy had already been formed among his personal enemies. It was
now strengthened by the accession of several honest republicans, who
dreamed that the death of the dictator would restore freedom to the
state. At the festival of the Lupercalia, Feb. 15, B. C. 44, the crown
was offered to Cæsar, by Antony, his colleague in the consulship; but,
perceiving the consternation of the people, he declined it. On the 15th
of the following month, in spite of many warnings, Cæsar repaired to the
Senate-house. He had just taken his seat, when one of the conspirators
stooped and touched his robe. At this signal, Casca stabbed him in the
shoulder; the others thronged around with their drawn swords or daggers.

Instead of the flattering crowd, nothing but murderous faces and the
gleam of steel met his eye on every side. Still he stood at bay, wounding
one assailant with his stylus, throwing back another, and disarming a
third, until he received a wound from the hand of Brutus, whom, though
an adherent of Pompey, he had honored with his confidence and loaded
with benefits. Then drawing his mantle about him, with the reproachful
exclamation, “And _thou_, Brutus!” he fell at the base of Pompey’s statue
and expired.

=177.= Brutus, raising aloft his bloody dagger, cried aloud to Cicero,
“Rejoice, father of our country, for Rome is free!” Never was rejoicing
more unfounded. If Brutus and his accomplices could have restored to the
Roman people the simple and self-denying virtues of the olden time, Rome
would indeed have been free. But Cæsar understood the times better than
his assassins. In cutting off the only man who was capable of ruling with
clear insight, firmness, and beneficence, they had plunged the state
again into the horrors of civil war, and made it the easy prey of a less
able and less liberal despot. Senate and people were at first paralyzed
by the suddenness of the change, and by fear of a return to the old
scenes of proscription. Antony, now sole consul, had time to possess
himself of Cæsar’s papers and treasures; and by his funeral oration over
the body of the dictator—especially by reading his will, in which all
the Roman people were remembered with great liberality—he roused the
indignant passions of the crowd against the murderers.

Antony was for a time the most popular man in Rome, but a rival soon
appeared in the person of Octavia´nus, the grand-nephew and adopted son
of Julius Cæsar. This young man, who had been educated with great care
under the eye of his adoptive father, arrived from the camp at Apollonia
and claimed his inheritance, out of which he carefully distributed the
legacies to soldiers and people. Cicero was led to look upon him as the
hope of the state, and in his third great series of orations, called the
Philip´pics, he destroyed the popularity of Antony and his influence with
the Senate. Two of Antony’s legions deserted to Octavian, and Antony
himself, in two battles, was routed and driven across the Alps.

=178.= The two consuls for the year 43 B. C. were slain in the battle
before Mu´tina. Octavian, returning to Rome, compelled the popular
assembly to elect him to that office, though he was only nineteen years
of age. He was appointed to carry on the war against Antony, who had now
been joined by Lepidus—formerly master of the horse to Julius Cæsar—and
was now descending from the Alps with a formidable army of seventeen
legions. But the Senate, almost equally afraid of Antony and Octavian,
revoked the outlawry of the former; and the latter, disgusted with its
vacillations, resolved upon a league with the two commanders, whose
forces alone could give him victory over the assassins.

On a small island in the Reno, near Bono´nia (Bologna), the three met,
and the Second Triumvirate, of Antony, Cæsar Octavianus, and Lepidus, was
then formed, B. C. 43, proposing to share between them for five years the
government of the Roman world. A proscription followed, in which Cicero,
though the friend of Cæsar, was sacrificed to the hatred of Antony. The
illustrious orator was murdered near his own villa at For´miæ, and his
head and right hand were nailed to the rostrum at Rome, from which he
had so often discoursed of the sacred rights of citizens. Two thousand
knights and three hundred senators perished in this proscription. Those
who could escape took refuge with Sextus Pompey in Sicily, or with Brutus
and Cassius in Greece.

=179.= Antony and Octavian crossed the Adriatic, and defeated the last
of the conspirators in two battles at Philippi, in the autumn of 42 B.
C. Both Brutus and Cassius ended their lives by suicide. Cæsar returned
to Italy, where a new civil war was stirred up by Fulvia, the wife of
Antony, and Lucius, his brother. Lucius Antonius threw himself into
Perusia, where he was besieged and taken by Octavian. The common citizens
were spared, but 300 or 400 nobles were slain at the altar of Julius
Cæsar, on the anniversary of his death, March 15, B. C. 40. Fulvia died
in Greece, and a new agreement between the triumvirs, called the Peace of
Brundisium, was sealed by the marriage of Antony with Octavia, the sister
of the younger Cæsar.

In the new division of the civilized world, Antony received the East;
Octavian, Italy and Spain; and Lepidus, Africa. Sextus Pompey, whose
fleets, commanding the sea, threatened the capital with famine, was
admitted, next year, to a sort of partnership with the triumvirate, in
which he received the islands of the western Mediterranean, on condition
of his supplying Rome with grain. The conditions of this treaty were
never fulfilled, and a two years’ war between Pompey and Octavian was
the result. It was ended B. C. 36, by a great sea-fight off Nau´lochus.
Agrippa, the intimate friend of Cæsar, routed the forces of Pompey, who
fled in despair to Asia, and the following year was captured and put to
death. His land forces, deserted by their leader, prevailed upon Lepidus
to become their general, and declare war against Octavian. But the young
Cæsar acted with an intrepidity worthy of his name. He went unarmed and
almost alone into the camp of Lepidus, and by his eloquence persuaded
them to desert their unworthy commander and be faithful to himself.

=180.= Lepidus being degraded, the two remaining members of the
triumvirate continued three years at the head of affairs. But an alliance
so purely selfish could not be permanent. Antony neglected his noble
wife for the enchantments of the Egyptian queen, on whom he bestowed
Phœnicia, Cœle-Syria, and other dominions of Rome. He wasted the forces
committed to him in expeditions which resulted only in loss and disgrace;
and he laid aside the simple dignity of a Roman citizen for the arrogant
ceremony of an Eastern monarch.

In 32 B. C., war was declared against Cleopatra, and in September of
the following year the forces of the two triumvirs met off Actium, in
Acarnania. Antony had collected a vast fleet and army; but his officers,
disgusted by his weak self-indulgence, were ready to be drawn over to the
side of Octavian. Disheartened by many desertions, Antony took no active
part in the battle, but while those of his forces who still faithfully
adhered to him were fighting bravely in his defense, he drew off with a
portion of his fleet, and followed Cleopatra to Egypt. His land army,
after waiting a week for its fugitive commander, surrendered to Octavian.

From this moment Cæsar was master of the Roman world. The final blow
was given the next year in Egypt, where Antony was defeated before
Alexandria, and deserted by his fleet and army. Cleopatra negotiated to
betray him, but when she found that Octavian wanted to capture her, that
she might adorn his triumph, she ended her life by the poison of an asp.
Antony, in despair, had already killed himself, and Egypt became a Roman
province. Octavian, returning to Rome the following year, celebrated a
three-fold triumph, and the gates of Janus were closed the third time, in
token of universal peace, B. C. 29.


    Cæsar crosses the Rubicon, and in three months becomes master
    of Italy. He subdues the Pompeians in Spain, becomes dictator,
    and afterward consul; pursues Pompey into Greece; is defeated
    at Dyrrhachium, but victorious at Pharsalia, B. C. 48. Pompey
    is slain in Egypt. Cæsar re-establishes Cleopatra under the
    Roman protectorate; re-conquers Pontus; quells a mutiny in
    his Gallic legions, and overthrows the Pompeians at Thapsus,
    in Africa. He celebrates four triumphs at Rome; reforms
    the calendar; finally crushes the Pompeians in Spain; is
    invested with sovereign powers, and organizes a cosmopolitan
    empire. On the eve of departure for Asia, he is murdered
    in the Senate-house by sixty conspirators. Antony aims to
    succeed him, but Octavian receives his inheritance. Antony,
    Octavian, and Lepidus form the Second Triumvirate, B. C. 43.
    In the proscription which follows, Cicero is killed. Brutus
    and Cassius are defeated at Philippi, B. C. 42. A dispute in
    the triumvirate is ended by the Peace of Brundisium, and the
    marriage of Antony and Octavia. Lepidus is degraded from the
    triumvirate, B. C. 35; the two remaining colleagues quarrel,
    and the battle of Actium makes Octavian supreme ruler of the
    empire, B. C. 31.


=181.= FIRST PERIOD, B. C. 31-A. D. 192. The empire founded by Cæsar
Octavianus was an absolute monarchy under the form of a republic. Many
of the high offices, which had been borne by different persons, were
now concentrated in one; but he declined the name dictator, which had
been abused by Marius and Sulla, and was careful to be elected only for
limited periods, and in the regular manner. The title Imperator, which he
bore for life, had always belonged to generals of consular rank during
the time of their command. The name Augustus, by which he is henceforth
to be known, was a title of honor bestowed by the Senate, and made
hereditary in his family. As chief, or “Prince of the Senate,” he had the
right to introduce subjects for discussion; and as pontifex maximus, or
high priest of the state, he had a controlling influence in all sacred

He lived in the style of a wealthy senator in his house on the Palatine,
walked abroad without retinue, and carefully avoided kingly pomp. The
popular assemblies still appointed consuls, prætors, quæstors, ædiles,
and tribunes, but the successful candidate was always recommended
by the emperor, if he did not himself accept the appointment. These
old-fashioned dignities were now little more than empty names, the real
power having passed, under Augustus himself, to new officers, especially
to the præfect of the city and the commander of the Prætorian Guard.[77]
The people, meanwhile, were satisfied with liberal distributions of corn,
wine, and oil, and amused by a constant succession of games.

=182.= In seven centuries the Roman dominion had grown from the few
acres on the Palatine Hill, to embrace the Mediterranean with all its
coasts, from the Atlantic to the Euphrates, and from the African Desert
to the Rhine, the Danube, and the Euxine. The twenty-seven provinces,
reorganized by Augustus, were divided between himself and the Senate
according to their condition. Those which were securely at peace were
called Senatorial Provinces, and governed by proconsuls appointed by
the legislative body; those which demanded the presence of an army were
Imperial Provinces, and were managed either by the emperor in person or
by his legates.

The standing army, which maintained order in the entire empire,
consisted, in the time of Augustus, of twenty-five legions, each legion
numbering, in horse, foot, and artillery, a little less than 7,000 men.
This force of 175,000 was distributed along the Rhine, the Danube,
and the Euphrates, or in Britain, Spain, and Africa, according to the
danger from the outer barbarians. While internal peace was maintained by
the wise management of Augustus, the natural boundaries of the empire
above mentioned were only gained and kept by active war. Northern and
north-western Spain, the Alpine provinces of Rhætia and Vindelic´ia, and
the Danubian countries Nor´icum, Panno´nia, and Mœ´sia, required almost
unremitted warfare of more than twenty years, B. C. 12-A. D. 9.

=183.= The Germans, east of the Rhine and north of the Danube, though
often defeated, were never subdued. Drusus, a step-son of Augustus, was
the first Roman general who descended the Rhine to the German Ocean. He
built two bridges and more than fifty fortresses along the river, and
imposed a tribute upon the Frisians north of its mouth. Drusus died in
his third campaign, B. C. 9, and was succeeded by his brother Tiberius,
who after many years, A. D. 4, seemed to have subdued the tribes between
the Rhine and the Elbe.

[Illustration: Coin of Drusus, twice the size of the original.]

But his successor, Qu. Varus, attempted to establish the same arrogant
and arbitrary rule which he had exercised over the slavish Syrians—a
people crushed by nearly two thousand years of despotism, Assyrian,
Egyptian, Persian, and Macedonian. The free-spirited Germans rose in
revolt, under their princely leader, Armin´ius (Herman). Arminius had
been educated at Rome, and had thoroughly learned the tactics of the
legions; but Roman refinement never weakened his German fidelity to
fatherland. Private wrong was now added to national oppression, and he
deeply laid and firmly executed his plan for the destruction of the Roman
army and the deliverance of Germany.

=184.= Varus was enticed into the broken and difficult country of the
Teutoberg´er Wald, at a season when heavy rains had increased the
marshiness of the ground. Barricades of fallen trees blocked his way,
and, in a narrow valley, a hail-storm of javelins burst upon his legions
from the hosts of Arminius. On the next day the battle was renewed, and
the Romans were literally destroyed, for all the captives were sacrificed
upon the altars of the old German divinities. The garrisons throughout
the country were put to the sword, and within a few weeks not a Roman
foot remained on German soil.

The news of the disaster struck Rome with terror. The superstitious
believed that supernatural portents had accompanied the event. The temple
of Mars was struck by a thunderbolt, comets blazed in the sky, and spears
of fire darted from the northward into the prætorian camp. A statue of
Victory, which had stood on the Italian frontier looking toward Germany,
turned of its own accord and faced toward Rome. Augustus, in his grief,
heightened by the weakness of old age, used for months to beat his head
against the wall, exclaiming, “Quintilius Varus, give me back my legions!”

By the revolt of Arminius, Germany was once and forever freed. Roman
armies were led thither by Germanicus and the younger Drusus, but they
gained no permanent advantages; and by the will of Augustus and the
policy of his successors, the Rhine continued to be regarded as the
frontier until, five centuries later, the tide of conquest turned in the
other direction, and the Teutonic races divided the Roman Empire into the
kingdoms of modern Europe.

=185.= The reign of Augustus was a refreshing contrast to the century
of revolution which had preceded it, for the security and prosperity
that were felt throughout the empire. Commerce revived, agriculture
was greatly improved, and the imperial city was adorned with temples,
porticos, and other new and magnificent buildings. Augustus could truly
boast that he “found Rome of brick and left it of marble.” A more lasting
glory surrounds his name from the literary brilliancy of his court. Livy,
the historian, and Virgil, Horace, Ovid, Tibul´lus, with other poets,
enjoyed his patronage and celebrated his achievements; and in allusion
to this, the brightest period of every nation’s literature is commonly
called its “Augustan Age.” Augustus had no son, and his choice of an heir
fell upon Tiberius, the son of his wife, Livia, by a former marriage.
By the same arrangement, Germanicus, the son of Drusus, was adopted by
Tiberius, and married to Agrippi´na, granddaughter of Augustus.

=186.= In the 77th year of his age, Augustus closed his long and
wonderfully prosperous reign of forty-five years, A. D. 14. The Senate
and people submitted to his appointed successor. The army would more
willingly have proclaimed its idolized general Germanicus, but the
younger prince absolutely refused to sanction the act. Tiberius, so far
from prizing his fidelity, never forgave his popularity; and the court
soon understood that the surest way to gain the favor of the emperor was
to ill-treat his adopted son.


_Temple of Juno Moneta._ _Tabularium, or Hall of Records._ _Temple of
Concord._ _Temple of Jupiter Tonans._ _Temple of Saturn._ _Temple of
Vespasian._ _Arch of Septimius Severus._ _Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus._
_Julian Basilica._ _Arch of Tiberius._ _Milliarium and Rostra._ _Statue
of Domitian._ _Mamertine Prison._]

The policy of Tiberius was that of many another cowardly and suspicious
tyrant. Conscious of his own unworthiness, either by birth or genius,
of the high place he filled, he saw a rival in every possessor of great
talent or even exalted virtue. He was afraid to call to his assistance
the great patricians or the princes of the Julian house, and he regarded
his own relations with unmingled jealousy. As he found it impossible,
however, to administer alone all the world-embracing affairs of such an
empire, he raised to the post of prætorian præfect a Volsinian knight,
Seja´nus, whom he fancied too mean to be dangerous, but who became, in
fact, the master of the whole dominion.

=187.= Germanicus, meanwhile, conducted three campaigns, A. D. 14-17;
and, after several disasters, gained some important victories over
Arminius, between the Rhine and the Elbe. He was recalled A. D. 17, to
receive the honor of a triumph, and was met, twenty miles from Rome, by
an enthusiastic multitude which had poured forth to welcome him. He was,
indeed, dangerously dear both to his legions and to the common people;
and though he believed that in one year more he could complete the
conquest of Germany, he was now transferred to another army and to the
eastern wars. In his new command he settled the affairs of Armenia, and
organized Cappadocia as a province; but he died A. D. 19, near Antioch in
Syria, believing himself poisoned by Piso, a subordinate, who had been
sent by the emperor with express orders to thwart and injure his chief.

=188.= Drusus, the son of Tiberius, was poisoned by order of Sejanus,
who had the boldness to request permission of the emperor to marry the
widow of his victim. This was refused; but Tiberius, still blinded to the
marvelous ambition of the wretch who ruled him, consented to retire to
Capreæ, and leave Rome in the hands of Sejanus. His time was now given up
to swinish excesses, while his worthless lieutenant maintained for five
years a riot of misrule. His wicked schemes did not spare the best or
noblest of the imperial family; but, at length, he perceived his master’s
suspicion directed toward him, and prepared to anticipate the blow by
assassinating Tiberius himself. His plot was discovered, and he was
suddenly seized and executed, A. D. 31.

The fall of this unworthy favorite took from Tiberius the only man whom
he had ever trusted, and henceforth all were equally the objects of his
fierce and cruel jealousy. Agrippina, the noble wife, as well as Nero,
Drusus, and Livil´la, the unworthy sons and daughter of Germanicus, were
put to death by his orders. Unlike Augustus, who scrupulously kept
within the forms of law, he usurped the right to condemn without trial
all who were obnoxious to him; and he extended the definition of treason
to words and even thoughts. From his island retreat in the beautiful
Bay of Naples, he issued destruction to men, women, and even innocent
children who had the misfortune to be of sufficiently noble birth to
attract his attention. It was a relief to the world when he died from
illness, A. D. 37, at the age of seventy-eight.

=189.= Tiberius had appointed no successor, but Senate, soldiers, and
people united in the choice of Caius Cæsar, the only surviving son
of Germanicus and Agrippina. In his childhood he had been the pet of
the legions in Germany, and from the little military boots (_caligæ_)
which he wore to please them, he acquired the nickname _Caligula_.
This childish appellation is the name by which he is commonly known in
history. Caligula was now twenty-six years of age, and was considered
to be of a mild and generous disposition. The first months of his reign
justified the impression. He released the prisoners and recalled the
exiles of Tiberius, and he restored power to the regular magistrates and
the popular assemblies. But his weak head was turned by the possession
of absolute power, and of the enormous wealth hoarded by Tiberius. In
unbounded self-indulgence, he extinguished the last spark of reason, and
exerted his tremendous power only for mischief, and in the most wild and
reckless manner. Choosing to be considered as a god, he built a temple to
himself, under the name of Jupiter Latiaris; and so servile was Rome now
become, that her noblest citizens purchased the honor of officiating as
priests to this worthless divinity.

The worst abuse of absolute power was shown in contempt for human life.
When the supply of criminals for the public games was exhausted, the
emperor ordered spectators, taken at random from the crowd, to be thrown
to the beasts; and lest they should curse him in their last agonies,
their tongues were first cut out. But this mad career of despotism worked
its own destruction; for, in the fourth year of his reign, and the
thirtieth of his age, Caius Cæsar was murdered by two of his guards.

=190.= The Roman world being thus suddenly without a master, the
prætorians took upon themselves to decide its fate. Finding Claudius,
the uncle of Caligula, a weak and timid old man, hiding himself in the
palace, they saluted him as emperor, and hurried him away to their camp,
where he received the oaths of allegiance. Considered from childhood
as lacking in intellect, Claudius had been treated by his relatives
with a contempt, and by his servants with a harshness and cruelty,
which only increased the natural irresoluteness of his character. Yet,
though feeble, he was a good and honest man, and the evil wrought
in his reign was the work of others. His infamous wife, Messali´na,
gratified her jealousy and revenge at the expense of the noblest in the
state, especially the imperial princesses, without even a show of legal
formality. At last she was executed for her crimes, and the emperor
procured a law from the Senate which enabled him to marry his niece,

This princess appears to advantage only when compared with her
predecessor. She recalled Seneca, the philosopher, from exile, and made
him the tutor of her son, Nero. She protected many who were unjustly
accused, and she advanced to power the faithful Burrhus, who proved a
better servant, both to herself and her son, than either deserved. At
the same time, Agrippina persuaded her husband to set aside his own
son, Britan´nicus, in favor of her son by a former marriage. This youth
bore his father’s name, L. Domitius Ahenobar´bus, but by the emperor’s
adoption he became Nero Claudius Cæsar Drusus Germanicus. By the first of
these names he is known in history as one of the most wicked of tyrants.
Having gained all that she hoped from the weak compliance of Claudius,
Agrippina poisoned him, and presented her son to the prætorian guards as
their imperator. Some, it is said, cried out, “Where is Britannicus?” but
there was no serious resistance, and the new emperor was accepted by the
Senate, the people, and the provinces.

=191.= For the first five years, under the wise and honest administration
of Seneca and Burrhus, the Romans believed that the golden age had
returned. Taxes were remitted; lands were allotted to the needy and
deserving. The _delators_, that infamous class of people who made their
living by accusing others of crime, were suppressed or banished. The
Roman arms prospered in Armenia, under the able command of Cor´bulo, who
captured the two capitals, Artax´ata and Tigranocerta, and completely
subdued the kingdom. In Germany all was quiet, and the legions on the
lower Rhine had leisure to complete the embankments which protected the
land from inundation.

None of this prosperity was due, however, to the character of Nero, who
was a sensual and cruel tyrant even from his youth. In the second year
of his reign he poisoned his foster-brother, Britannicus. A few years
later, he murdered his mother, his wife, and the too faithful Burrhus,
cast off the influence of Seneca, and thenceforth gave free course to his
tyrannical caprices. He encouraged the informants again, and filled his
treasury with the confiscated property of their victims.

=192.= He persecuted both Jews and Christians, charging upon the latter
the great fire at Rome, which he was more than suspected of having
himself caused to be kindled. By this terrible conflagration, ten of the
fourteen wards, or “regions,” of the city were made uninhabitable. Nero
watched the burning from a tower on the Esquiline, while, in the dress of
an actor, he chanted the “Sack of Troy.” Whether or not he had ordered
the destruction of Rome in consequence of his disgust with its narrow and
winding streets, he wisely availed himself of the opportunity to rebuild
it in more regular and spacious proportions. The houses were constructed
of stone, and rendered fire-proof; each was surrounded with balconies,
and separated from other houses by lanes of considerable width, while a
plentiful supply of water was introduced into every tenement.

The palace of Nero having been destroyed, he built his Golden House on a
scale of magnitude and splendor which Rome had never seen. The porticos
which surrounded it were three miles in length; within their bounds were
parks, gardens, and a lake which filled the valley afterward occupied
by the Flavian Amphitheater. The chambers of this imperial mansion were
gilded and inlaid with gems. The least of its ornaments, though probably
the greatest of its objects, was a colossal statue of Nero himself, 120
feet in height.

=193.= Nero desired to be praised as a musician and a charioteer, and so
far forgot his imperial dignity as to appear as an actor in the theaters.
He gained prizes at the Olympic Games, A. D. 67, which had been delayed
two years that he might be present. He took part, also, in the vocal
performances at the Isthmian Games, on which occasion he ordered the
death of a singer whose voice drowned his own. On his return, he entered
Rome through a breach in the walls, after the ancient Hellenic custom;
but the 1,800 garlands with which he had been laden by the servile
Greeks, showed the decline of the old heroic spirit, rather than the
glory of the victor.

=194.= The impositions of Nero caused revolts in the provinces, and,
among others, Vespasian, the future emperor, was sent to pacify Judæa.
But Nero was jealous of his most able and faithful officers. Cor´bulo,
the conqueror of Armenia, Rufus and Scribo´nius, the commanders in
Germany, were recalled, and avoided public execution only by putting
themselves to death. All the generals on the frontier perceived that they
could escape a similar fate only by timely revolt, and insurrections
broke out at once in Germany, Gaul, Africa, and Spain. The conspirators
agreed, at length, in the choice of Galba, the governor of Hither Spain,
as their leader and emperor.

Nero perceived that resistance was hopeless. Deserted by the prætorians
and all his courtiers, he fled from his Golden House and hid himself in
the cottage of Phaon, his former slave, a few miles from the city. After
spending a night and part of a day in an agony of terror, he summoned
courage to end his own life, just as he heard the tramp of the horsemen
who were coming to take him. He was but thirty years of age, and had
reigned nearly fourteen years. With him expired the line of Augustus. The
imperial power never again remained so long in any one family as it had
among the members, by adoption or otherwise, of the Julian house.


    Augustus (B. C. 30-A. D. 14) combines in himself all the
    dignities of the Republic, but carefully avoids the appearance
    of royalty. He leaves the peaceful provinces to the Senate,
    but assumes the command of those which are at war. The
    Germans, under Arminius, revolt and destroy the legions of
    Varus. The “Augustan Age” is distinguished for prosperity
    and enlightenment. Tiberius (A. D. 14-37) succeeds Augustus,
    but Sejanus rules the empire. Germanicus and many others are
    persecuted and put to death. Caius Cæsar (Caligula, A. D.
    37-41) begins well, but, soon spoiled by power, exhibits “the
    awful spectacle of a madman, master of the civilized world.”
    He is succeeded by his uncle Claudius (A. D. 41-54), a weak
    but honest man. Agrippina, having poisoned him, makes her son
    Nero emperor (A. D. 54-68). Upon the death of his instructors,
    he proves a reckless and cruel tyrant. He rebuilds Rome with
    unprecedented magnificence after the great fire. Having caused
    the death of his best generals, he kills himself only in time
    to escape the vengeance of his people.


=195.= Galba, the most distinguished general of his time, had gained the
favor of the emperor Claudius by refusing to assume the crown upon the
death of Caligula. He had proved his ability and worth by his wise and
just administration of the province of Africa, and had been honored at
Rome with the highest dignities to which his patrician birth and eminent
services entitled him. He was now more than seventy years of age, but
learning that Nero had sent orders for his death, he resolved to rid the
world of a tyrant by accepting the crown. He was a Roman of the ancient
style, and the luxurious prætorians were equally disgusted with his
strict discipline and his sparing distribution of money. By adopting
Piso as his successor, he disappointed Otho, who easily raised a revolt
against him, and the aged emperor and his adopted son were slain in the
Forum, Jan. 15, A. D. 69.

=196.= Otho, the early favorite of Nero, had for ten years been governor
of Lusitania. He was acknowledged, on the death of Galba, by the Senate
and most of the provinces, but the legions in Germany had already (Jan.
3, 69) proclaimed their own general, Vitel´lius. The armies of the
two generals met near the confluence of the Adda and the Po. Otho was
defeated, and died by his own hand. Vitellius, having gained a crown by
the skill and energy of his officers, lost it by his own unworthiness.
Without the courage or ability of his predecessors, he surpassed them in
contemptible self-indulgence. Vespasian, commander in Judæa, in revolting
against this monster, was hailed by the acclamations of all good people,
and supported by all the legions of the East. He took possession of
Egypt, the grain-market of Rome, and sent his lieutenants into Italy.
This time the generals of Vitellius were defeated on the Po, the capital
was taken by assault, and the disgraced emperor put to death.

=197.= During the reign of Vespasian, order and prosperity succeeded
to the storms which had convulsed the empire. The old discipline was
revived, the revenues were re-organized, the capital was beautified,
and the people employed by the construction of such great works as the
Coliseum and the Temple of Peace. The space inclosed by Nero for his own
enjoyment, was thrown open by Vespasian to the use of the people; and the
materials of the Golden House served to enrich many public buildings.
The revolt of the Batavians and other tribes on the lower Rhine was
suppressed, A. D. 70; the Jewish War of Independence was finally subdued,
the Holy City taken, and the people dispersed. Agric´ola completed the
subjugation of Britain as far as the Tyne and the Solway, which he
connected by earthworks and a chain of forts.

=198.= Titus, the son of Vespasian, having proved his military talent
during the reign of his father, by the capture of Jerusalem, had been
rewarded by a triumph, and by the title of Cæsar, which implied his
association in the government. At the death of Vespasian, he became sole
emperor without opposition. Whatever may have been his personal faults,
Titus distinguished himself as a ruler by sincere and constant efforts to
promote the happiness of his people. Recollecting, one evening, that he
had performed no act of kindness, he exclaimed that he had lost a day.

The circumstances of his reign made peculiar demands upon the emperor’s
benevolence. The beautiful Campanian towns, Hercula´neum and Pompe´ii,
were destroyed by a sudden eruption of Vesuvius. A fire raged again three
days and nights at Rome, followed by a general and fatal pestilence.
Titus assumed the pecuniary loss as his own, and even sold the ornaments
of his palace to defray the expense of rebuilding the ruined houses. He
established public baths on the site of Nero’s gardens on the Esquiline,
and completed the Coliseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, which he dedicated
by a festival of a hundred days, including combats of 5,000 wild beasts.
After a reign of but little more than two years, Titus died of a fever,
having named his brother as his successor, A. D. 81.

=199.= Domitian was regarded by the people with more favor than he
deserved, on account of the virtues of his father and brother. His nature
was morose and jealous; and when his ill-success in military matters
began to be contrasted with the victories of his predecessors, he became
cruel and tyrannical, reviving the false accusations, forfeitures, and
death-penalties of the reign of Nero. He was partially successful in his
wars in Germany, but he was defeated on the Danube with great disaster,
and even consented to pay an annual tribute to the Dacians, to keep them
from invading Mœsia. When the cruelties of Domitian began to excite the
fears of his servants, he was murdered, Sept. 18, A. D. 96.

=200.= The Senate now asserted a power which it had failed to exercise
since the days of Augustus, by naming Nerva as sovereign. He was a
childless old man, but he chose for his successor M. Ul´pius Traja´nus, a
general whose vigor and ability, already shown in war, promised well for
the interests of the state. It was henceforth considered the duty of the
emperor to select from all his subjects the man most fit to rule, without
reference to his own family, and the heir thus adopted bore the name of
Cæsar. The mild, beneficent, and economical government of Nerva afforded
a pleasing contrast to the severe and sanguinary rule of Domitian. Upon
his death, which occurred A. D. 98, his adopted heir was immediately
recognized as emperor.

=201.= Trajan was born in Spain, and his youth had been passed in
military service. The Romans regarded him as the best of all their
emperors. In personal character he was brave and generous, diligent
and modest; in his policy as a ruler he was both wise and liberal. He
scrupulously regarded the rights and dignities of the Senate, and treated
its members as his equals. He was most diligent in hearing causes that
were presented for his judgment, and in corresponding with the governors
of provinces, who consulted him on all important affairs in their

He managed the finances so well, that, without oppressive taxes or
unjust confiscations, he always had means for the construction of roads,
bridges, and aqueducts; for loans to persons whose estates had been
injured by earthquakes or tempests; and for public buildings in Rome and
all the provinces. The Ulpian Library and the great “Forum of Trajan,”
for the better transaction of public business, among many other useful
and elegant works, bore witness to his liberality. The reign of Trajan
was a literary epoch only second to that of Augustus. The great historian
Tacitus, the younger Pliny, Plutarch, Sueto´nius, and Epicte´tus, the
slave-philosopher, were all living at this time.

=202.= Augustus had enjoined his heirs to regard the Rhine, the Danube,
and the Euphrates as the limits of their dominion. Trajan, however,
desiring to throw off the disgraceful tribute which Domitian had promised
to the Dacians, made war twice against their king, Deceb´alus. He was
completely victorious; the king was slain, and his country became a Roman
province guarded by colonies and forts. On his return, A. D. 105, Trajan
celebrated a triumph, and exhibited games during 123 days. It is said
that 11,000 wild beasts were slaughtered in these spectacles, and that
10,000 gladiators, mostly Dacian prisoners, killed each other “to make a
Roman holiday.”

In the later years of this reign, the Roman and the Parthian empires
came into conflict for the control of Armenia. Trajan quickly reduced
the latter country to a Roman province, and, in subsequent campaigns,
he wrested from the Parthians the ancient countries of Mesopotamia and
Assyria. Trajan died in Cilicia, A. D. 117. His ashes were conveyed to
Rome in a golden urn, and placed under the column which bears his name.

=203.= Ha´drian began his reign by surrendering the Asiatic conquests of
Trajan. During the twenty years of almost unbroken peace which marked
his administration, Hadrian visited the remotest corners of his empire,
studied the wants and interests of his people, and tried impartially
to secure the best good of all. York in England, Athens, Antioch, and
Alexandria shared with Rome the honors of an imperial capital; and each
had its part of those great architectural works which, in some cases,
still exist to commemorate the glory of Hadrian. A revolt of the Jews,
A. D. 131-135, was ended with the banishment from Palestine of the last
remnants of their race. A Roman colony, Æ´lia Capitolina, was founded
upon the site of Jerusalem, to which the Christians, expelled by Titus,
were freely admitted with the first of their Gentile bishops. Of all the
benefits which Hadrian conferred upon the empire, the greatest, perhaps,
was his choice of a successor.

=204.= T. Aurelius Antoni´nus came to the throne A. D. 138. His
uneventful reign presents the rare example in Roman annals of
twenty-three years’ undisturbed tranquillity, and is a striking example
of the truth of the saying, “Happy is the people that has no history.”
The happiness of his great family, for so he regarded his subjects, was
the ruling purpose of his life. In Britain, the Roman boundary was pushed
to its farthest northern limit during this reign, and guarded by the
“Wall of Antoninus,” extending from the Frith of Forth to the Clyde.

Marcus Aurelius, the nephew of Hadrian, who, together with L. Verus, had
been adopted by Antoninus, assumed the latter’s name[78] with his crown.
He resembled his adoptive father in his love of religion, justice, and
peace; but his reign was far less happy, owing to calamities which were
beyond his power to avert. The barbarians north of the Danube began to
be crowded by a new and great immigration from the steppes of Asia.
The Scythic hordes, broken up from their ancient seats, we know not by
what impulse or necessity, had thrown themselves upon the Germans, and
these were driven across the Roman frontier, even into Italy, which they
ravaged as far as Aquilei´a, on the Adriatic. The two emperors proceeded
against them. Verus died in the Venetian country A. D. 169, but Aurelius
remained at his post on the Danube, summer and winter, for three years.
He gained a great victory over the Quadi, A. D. 174. A sudden storm,
occurring during the battle, decided the result. The pagans attributed it
to an intervention of Jupiter Pluvius; but the Christians, to the prayers
of Christian soldiers in the “Thundering Legion.”

During the first years of the reign of Aurelius, the Parthians made a
formidable attack upon the eastern provinces, destroyed an entire legion,
and ravaged all Syria. The general Avidius Cassius, being sent against
them as the lieutenant of Verus, more than made good the Roman losses,
for he extended the boundary of the empire again to the Tigris. But after
the death of Verus, Cassius was led to proclaim himself emperor, and
gained possession of most of the Asiatic provinces. Before Aurelius could
arrive in the East, the rebel chief was slain by his own officers, after
a reign of three months. Aurelius caused his papers to be burnt without
reading them, and suffered no man to be punished for his part in the

The elevation and self-control which distinguished the emperor were
owing, in great measure, to the Stoic philosophy which he studied from
his twelfth year. The only blot on his character is the persecution of
the Christians, which was doubtless instigated by the harsh and arrogant
Stoics who surrounded him. Justin Martyr at Rome, the venerable Polycarp
at Smyrna, and multitudes of less illustrious disciples at Vienna and
Lyons, suffered death for their fidelity to their religion, A. D.
167-177. Marcus Aurelius died in Pannonia, A. D. 180.

=205.= Deceived by the youthful promise of his only son, Aurelius had
associated Com´modus with him in the government at the age of fifteen.
If the young prince could have enjoyed many years of training under the
wise and virtuous care of his father, he might indeed have become all
that was hoped of him. But the untimely death of the good Aurelius left
his son at seventeen a weak, self-indulgent youth, easily controled by
worthless associates. For three years the government continued in the
course which Aurelius had marked out for it. But, A. D. 183, a plot for
the murder of Commodus was detected, and many senators were believed to
be involved. His revengeful nature, stimulated by fear, now made him a
monster of tyranny. His only use of imperial power was to issue warrants
for the death of all whom he suspected. Vain of his strength and skill,
he assumed the name of the Roman Hercules, and exhibited himself in the
amphitheater as a marksman and gladiator. At last, some of the intended
victims of his proscriptions avoided their own destruction by strangling
him in his bed-chamber, after he had reigned twelve years and nine
months, A. D. 192.

=206.= The decline of the empire, which had been delayed by the Five Good
Emperors—Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, and the two Antonines—proceeded with
frightful rapidity under Commodus. The armies in the provinces, tired
of discipline, broke up into petty bands which robbed and murdered on
their own account. One historian tells us that Peren´nis, the prætorian
præfect, was deposed and slain, with his wife and children, upon the
demand of 1,500 insurgent soldiers who had marched unresisted from
Britain to Rome. Society was as thoroughly demoralized as the army.
Except among the despised and persecuted Christians, purity of life was
scarcely to be found. Poverty was creeping upon the nations through the
decline of industry, but luxury and self-indulgence were more wildly
excessive than ever.


    Galba (A. D. 68, 69) offends his guards by his strict economy,
    and is murdered after seven months. Otho, three months emperor,
    is defeated by Vitellius, who reigns from April to December,
    A. D. 69. Vespasian (A. D. 69-79) restores peace, order, and
    prosperity. In his reign Jerusalem is destroyed. The short but
    beneficent reign of Titus (A. D. 79-81) is disturbed by great
    calamities—earthquake, fire, and pestilence. Domitian (A. D.
    81-96) is a gloomy tyrant, disgraced abroad and detested at
    home. Nerva (A. D. 96-98) restores confidence, and chooses for
    his successor Trajan (A. D. 98-117), who is called the best and
    ablest of all the emperors. He gains victories north of the
    Danube and east of the Euphrates, thus extending the empire
    to the utmost limits which it ever attains. Hadrian (A. D.
    117-138) visits every portion of his dominions, and diffuses
    every-where the blessings of peace and good government.
    Antoninus Pius (A. D. 138-161) enjoys a reign of unexampled
    tranquillity. Marcus Aurelius (A. D. 161-180), though a
    peaceful philosopher by choice, is involved by necessity in
    many wars. He generously forgives the rebellion led by Cassius,
    but permits a persecution of the Christians, at the instance
    of the Stoics. Commodus (A. D. 180-193), exasperated by a plot
    against his life, becomes a revengeful tyrant, and under his
    reckless misrule all order, industry, and safety vanish from
    the empire.

SECOND PERIOD, A. D. 193-284.

=207.= By their unchecked disorders, the soldiers had learned their
power, and now assumed to set up and put down emperors at their will. The
murderers of Commodus proceeded to the house of Per´tinax, præfect of the
city, and offered him the crown. He was a good old man, one of the few
surviving friends of Marcus Antoninus, and one to whose care the young
prince Commodus had been committed. He reluctantly accepted the dangerous
honor, and the result justified his fears. The economy and order which he
attempted to introduce, disgusted equally the amusement-loving citizens
and the turbulent and grasping soldiers. Pertinax was murdered in his own
palace by the prætorians, March 28, A. D. 193, after a reign of less than
three months. The guards now put up the imperial crown at public auction,
and sold it to Did´ius Julia´nus, a wealthy senator, for $15,000,000. The
Senate acknowledged him, and he reigned more than two months at Rome. But
the armies in Britain, Pannonia, and Syria, not so much offended by the
scandalous insolence as encouraged by the example of their comrades at
the capital, set up their own leaders, Albi´nus, Seve´rus, and Niger, as

=208.= Severus arrived first at Rome, gained over the prætorians by
promises of donatives, and was acknowledged by the Senate. Julianus was
deserted and slain in his palace. The first imperial act of Severus was
to disarm the prætorians, and to banish them to a distance of 100 miles
from the capital. He defeated his two rivals, the one at Cyzicus and
Issus, and the other near Lyons (Lugdu´num), in Gaul; and by their death
became undisputed master of the empire. Instead of the old prætorians,
he garrisoned Rome with 40,000 troops chosen from the legions, and their
chief, the prætorian præfect, became, next the sovereign, the most
powerful person in the world; for, beside his military command, he had
control of the public treasury, and great influence in the making and
enforcing of the laws. Severus was an able and successful general. He
extended the empire eastward by the capture of the Parthian capital,
and the conquest of Adiabe´ne; and northward, by his wars against the
Caledonians. He died at York, the Roman capital of Britain, A. D. 211,
having reigned eighteen years.

=209.= The two sons of Severus, Caracal´la and Geta, had been associated
by their father in his imperial dignity, and reigned together a year
after his death. Then their mutual hatred broke out afresh, and after a
vain attempt to divide the empire between them, Caracalla murdered Geta
in the arms of their mother. In the five years of his sole reign, he
proved one of the worst tyrants that Rome had known. Under the pretext of
exterminating the “friends of Geta,” he massacred 20,000 persons, some of
whom were the most virtuous and illustrious in the empire. Goaded by his
restless conscience, Caracalla then quitted Rome, and wandered through
all the eastern and northern provinces, followed every-where by a track
of poverty, desolation, and death. At last he plunged into a war with
Parthia, in which he had some success; but before his second campaign
he was murdered by Macri´nus, his prætorian præfect, whom the guards
proclaimed emperor.

=210.= Macrinus bestowed the title of Cæsar upon his son, and then
hastened to follow up Caracalla’s victories over the Parthians. He
encountered the Eastern monarch near Nis´ibis, and suffered a shameful
defeat, which forced him to retire into Syria. The soldiers were now
tired of their chosen imperator, whose severity of discipline was an
unwelcome change from the reckless liberality of Caracalla. Julia Mæsa,
sister-in-law of Severus, persuaded one division of the army to accept
as their prince her grandson, Bassia´nus, whom she declared to be a son
of Caracalla. He is more commonly called Elagab´alus, from the Syrian
sun-god to whose priesthood he had been dedicated as a child. The wealth
which Mæsa had hoarded during her residence at her sister’s court
materially aided to convince the soldiers. A body of troops, sent to
quell the insurrection, were also, in great measure, gained over to her
wishes. A battle was fought near Antioch, in which Macrinus was defeated,
and eventually slain, after a reign of fourteen months.

=211.= Elagabalus, or his ministers, hastened to send a letter to the
Senate, in which he loaded himself with all the high-sounding titles of
Cæsar, Imperator, son of Antoninus, grandson of Severus, Pius, Felix,
Augustus, etc. The Romans passively admitted his claims, and the Arval
Brothers offered their annual vows for his health and safety under all
these names. The Syrian boy, who, at the age of fourteen, found himself
thus clothed with imperial honors, was the most contemptible of all the
tyrants that ever afflicted the Roman world. His days and nights were
given up to gluttonous feasting and loathsome excesses.

The decorous and solemn rites of Roman religion were replaced by
degrading sorceries, which were believed to be accompanied in secret by
human sacrifices. The Syrian sun-god was placed above Jupiter Capitolinus
himself, and all that was sacred or honorable in the eyes of the people
became the object of insult and profanation. The emperor had been
persuaded to confer the title of Cæsar on his cousin, Alexander Severus;
but perceiving that this good prince soon surpassed him in the respect of
the army, he sought to procure his death. A second attempt was fatal to
Elagabalus. The prætorians murdered him and cast him into the Tiber.

=212.= Alexander Severus, now in his seventeenth year, was acknowledged
with joy by the soldiers and the Senate. His blameless life and lofty and
beneficent aims present a bright, refreshing contrast to the long annals
of Roman degradation. Purity and economy returned to public affairs; wise
and virtuous men received the highest offices; the Senate was treated
with a deference which belonged to its ancient dignity, rather than to
its recent base compliance with the whims of the army. If the power of
Alexander had been as great as his designs were pure, the world might
have been benefited.

A great revolution, about this time, changed the condition of Asia.
The new Persian monarchy, under Artaxerxes, the grandson of Sassan,
had overthrown the Parthian empire, and now aimed at the recovery of
all the dominions of Darius Hystaspes. Artaxerxes actually sent an
embassy to Alexander Severus, demanding the restitution to Persia of her
ancient provinces between the Ægean and the Euphrates. The reply was a
declaration of war. Alexander in person met the forces of Artaxerxes in
the plain east of the Euphrates, and defeated them in a great battle, A.
D. 232.

Hearing that the Germans were plundering Gaul, he hastened to make peace
and returned to Rome. The next year he set out for Germany; but before
he could begin his military operations there, he was murdered by a
small band of mutinous soldiers. The virtues of Alexander were largely
owing to the watchful care of his mother, in guarding his childhood
from the wickedness with which he was surrounded. The prince repaid her
vigilance by the most dutiful and tender regard; and it is said that her
over-cautious and economical policy, which led him to withhold gifts of
money demanded by the army, occasioned his death.

=213.= The ringleader of the mutiny was Max´imin, a Thracian peasant—a
brutal and illiterate ruffian, yet with enough natural ability to cause
him to be chosen emperor by his comrades. Three years this savage
ruled the world, his only policy being hatred toward the noble and
covetousness toward the rich; until the people of Africa, roused to fury
by the extortions of his agents, revolted and crowned their proconsul,
Gor´dian, and his son. The two Gordians were slain within a month; but
the Senate supplied their place by two of its own number, and with
unwonted spirit prepared for the defense of Italy. Maximin marched from
his winter-quarters on the Danube, but he had advanced no farther than
Aquileia when he was murdered in his tent by his own soldiers.

=214.= Though the legions had destroyed the emperor of their choice,
they had no intention of yielding to that of the Senate. They murdered
Pupie´nus and Balbi´nus within six weeks of their triumph over Maximin,
and bestowed the imperial robes upon a younger Gordian, the grandson of
the former proconsul of Africa. This boy of twelve years was intended, of
course, to be a mere tool of his ministers. Timesith´eus, the prætorian
præfect, was an able officer, and, so long as he lived, vigorously upheld
the imperial power against Persian assaults and African insurrections.
He was succeeded in command by Philip the Arabian, who artfully procured
the death of the young emperor, and assumed the purple himself. He wrote
to the Senate that Gordian had died of disease, and requested that divine
honors should be paid to his memory.

=215.= Among the few events recorded of the five years (A. D. 244-249) of
Philip’s reign, is the celebration of the “Secular Games” at Rome, upon
the completion of a thousand years from the building of the city, April
21, A. D. 248. Rival emperors were set up by the Syrians, and by the army
in Mœsia and Pannonia. Decius, a senator, was sent by Philip to appease
the latter. Their mock-emperor was already dead, but the soldiers,
believing their guilt too great to be forgiven by Philip, thronged
around Decius with tumultuous cries of “Death or the purple!” The loyal
officer, with a hundred swords at his throat, was compelled to be
crowned, and to consent to lead his rebellious army into Italy. He wrote
to assure his master that he was only acting a part, and would resign his
mock-sovereignty as soon as he could escape his troublesome subjects. But
Philip did not believe these professions of loyalty. He marched to meet
the insurgents at Verona, was defeated and slain, Sept., A. D. 249.

=216.= The two years’ reign of Decius (A. D. 249-251) was marked by two
widely different attempts to restore the ancient religion and morality of
Rome—the revival of the censorship and the persecution of the Christians.
It was deeply felt that the calamities of the empire were due to the
corruption of its people. But the first measure produced no effect, while
the second only aroused the evil passions of men, and occasioned untold
misery. The bishops of Antioch, Jerusalem, and Rome became martyrs, and
Alexandria was the scene of a frightful massacre. Another calamity,
for which Decius was not responsible, was the first great incursion of
the Goths, who ravaged the provinces of Mœsia and Thrace south of the
Danube. Decius was defeated by them in A. D. 250; and the next year, in
attempting to cut off their retreat, he lost his life in a great battle.

=217.= Gallus, an able general, was crowned by the Senate, Hostilia´nus,
the son of Decius, being associated with him in the imperial dignity.
Calamities thickened; pestilence raged in Rome, and fresh swarms of
barbarians, only encouraged by the successes of the Goths, and the sums
of money which had been paid them as the price of peace, ravaged the
Danubian provinces. Hostilianus died of the plague, and the distress
of the people led them to unjust accusations of the emperor. Æmilianus
having defeated an army of the invaders, was proclaimed as sovereign by
his troops, and, marching into Italy, defeated Gallus and his son at
Interam´na. Æmilian was acknowledged by the Senate, but his reign was
short. Valerian, a noble and virtuous officer, had been sent by Gallus
to bring the Gallic and German legions to his aid. He arrived too late
to save his master, but he defeated Æmilian near the scene of his former
victory, and himself received the allegiance of Senate and people.

It was no enviable distinction, for the causes that were tending to
the destruction of the empire were more numerous and fiercely active
than ever. The Franks from the lower Rhine, the Aleman´ni from southern
Germany, ravaged Italy, Gaul, and Spain, and even crossed the straits
into Africa. The Goths had made themselves fleets from the forests of
the Euxine, with which they devastated the coasts of Asia Minor and
Greece, capturing and burning innumerable cities, among which were
Cyzicus, Chalcedon, Ephesus, and even Corinth and Athens. The new Persian
kingdom of the Sassanidæ had increased in power. Its second monarch,
Sapor, conquered Armenia, and overran the Roman provinces in the East.
He defeated and captured Valerian in a battle near the Euphrates, and
gratified his pride by a spectacle which no monarch before had ever
been able to exhibit—a Roman emperor, loaded with chains but clothed in
purple, a perpetual captive at his court.

The government being thus overwhelmed with calamities, various pretenders
claimed the sovereignty of the several fragments of the empire. These
adventurers were known in general as the “Thirty Tyrants.” Their reigns
were usually too short or too insignificant to be worthy of mention.
Palmyra continued to be the royal seat of Odena´tus, and after his
death, of his widow, Zenob´ia, for ten years, A. D. 264-273, inclusive.
Pos´thumus established a kingdom in Gaul, which lasted seventeen years.
Valerian, before his disasters in the East, had associated with him, in
the cares of empire, his son Gallie´nus; but that prince could attempt
little more than the defense of Italy. Aure´olus, commanding on the upper
Danube, assumed the imperial title and crossed the Alps. He was defeated
by Gallienus, and besieged in Milan. Through his arts, Gallienus was
slain by his own soldiers; but they conferred the purple on a more honest
man and better general, whom the murdered prince had named in his dying
moments. Milan was taken and Aureolus put to death.

=218.= Though the Roman Empire seemed to be doomed to destruction,
equally by disunion within and the attacks of barbarians from without,
its final disruption was delayed by a succession of able emperors.
Claudius, who succeeded Gallienus, A. D. 268, vanquished the Alemanni in
Italy, and the Goths in Mœsia. Aurelian (A. D. 270-275) again routed the
Goths in Pannonia; and then recalling the advice of Augustus, he ceded
to the barbarians the provinces north of the Danube, removing the Roman
inhabitants to Mœsia. He made a war against Zenobia, which ended in the
capture of the “Queen of the East,” and the overthrow of her kingdom.
A still more difficult enterprise awaited Aurelian in the west, where
Tet´ricus, the last successor of Posthumus, had united Gaul, Spain, and
Britain into one powerful monarchy. But he was conquered, and the empire
was again established on the borders of the Atlantic, A. D. 274.

Aurelian was about to turn his victorious arms against the Persians, when
he was assassinated by several of his officers, owing to a plot formed
by his secretary, Mnes´theus. The army, indignant at the crime, applied
to the Senate for a new emperor, instead of permitting any general
to seize the crown. The Senate, after six months’ hesitation, during
which the soldiers respectfully waited, named M. Claudius Tac´itus, a
senator of vast wealth and blameless character. He would gladly have
declined the laborious and perilous position, on account of his age and
infirmities; but the Senate insisted, and Tacitus was crowned. All the
acts of his short reign were directed to the improvement of morals, and
the establishment of law and order throughout the empire. He was called
away to Asia Minor, where a troop of Goths, engaged by Aurelian to serve
in his Eastern expedition, were committing disorders for want of pay.
They were expelled; but Tacitus, enfeebled by old age, sank under the
exertion, and he died two hundred days from his accession to the throne,
A. D. 276.

=219.= Florian, brother of Tacitus, assumed the purple at Rome, while
the army in the East proclaimed Probus, their general. The soldiers of
Florian, however, refused to fight their comrades, and, after three
months, put their leader to death. Probus, thus undisputed master of the
Roman world, was an able general and a wise and beneficent sovereign.
He not only drove the Germans out of Gaul, subdued the Sarmatians, and
terrified the Goths into peaceable behavior, but he provided for the
security of his extended frontier by settling the border provinces with
numerous colonies of barbarians, who, becoming civilized, made a barrier
against further incursions of their countrymen. He wished, also, to
improve waste lands by the draining of marshes and the planting of vines,
and to employ in these works the dangerous leisure of his soldiers. But
the legionaries did not share the thrifty policy of their emperor. They
mutinied at Sir´mium, and by another murder ended the beneficent reign of
Probus, A. D. 282.

=220.= Carus, the prætorian præfect, was hailed as emperor by the army,
and conferred the title of Cæsar on his two sons, Cari´nus and Nume´rian.
Leaving the former to govern the West, Carus, with Numerian, turned
toward the East; first gained a great victory over the Sarmatians in
Illyricum, and then proceeded to overrun Mesopotamia, and capture the
two great cities of Seleucia and Ctes´iphon. He had advanced beyond
the Tigris, and seemed about to overthrow the Persian kingdom, when
he suddenly died, whether by lightning, by disease, or by the dagger,
historians are not agreed.

His son Numerian yielded to the superstitious fears of his soldiers, and
withdrew within the Roman boundaries. On the retreat he was murdered
by his father-in-law, who was also prætorian præfect, and who hoped to
conceal the crime until he could reap the fruits of it. But the army
discovered the death of their beloved emperor, and set up Diocle´tian,
the captain of the bodyguards, to avenge and succeed him.

[Illustration: Coin of Diocletian, enlarged twice the size.]

Carinus, meanwhile, reigning in the West, was dazzling the Roman world
by expensive games, and insulting it by his profligacy. Hearing of the
murder and usurpation, he marched with a large and well-disciplined army
to meet Diocletian, and joined battle near Margus, in upper Mœsia. The
Western troops were victorious, but Carinus, while leading the pursuit,
was slain by one of his own officers. His followers came to an agreement
with those of Diocletian, who was universally hailed as emperor.

=221.= His accession began a new period in the empire, when the power of
the sovereigns became more absolute, ceasing to be checked either by the
lawful authority of the Senate or the insolence of the soldiers. During
the ninety-two years which had elapsed since the death of Commodus, the
legions had claimed the privilege, not only of raising to the imperial
power whomsoever they might choose, but of removing the object of their
choice whenever he ceased to content them. No general who desired to be
emperor dared stint his donatives, or enforce the needful severity of
discipline. But for the almost constant danger from barbarians without,
the army, which was the real tyrant of the Roman world, might have
already put an end to all order, peace, and civil government.


    Pertinax (A. D. 193) is crowned and murdered by the prætorians,
    who then sell the throne to Julianus. Severus (A. D. 193-211)
    buys the adhesion of the guards, and having gained the imperial
    power, disarms and expels them. He enlarges his dominions
    by conquests both in the east and west. Caracalla murders
    his brother, and misgoverns the empire six years, A. D.
    211-217. Macrinus (A. D. 217, 218) gains and loses his crown
    by violence. Elagabalus (A. D. 218-222) introduces Syrian
    manners and worship into Rome. He is succeeded by his cousin,
    Alexander Severus (A. D. 222-235), who gains a great victory
    over the new Persian empire of the Sassanidæ, but is afterward
    slain in Germany during a mutiny of his troops. Maximin (A. D.
    235-238), a Thracian, is set up, and in three years put down,
    by his comrades in the army. The two Gordians reign less than
    a month, Pupienus and Balbinus about six weeks, when a younger
    Gordian (A. D. 238-244) is invested with the purple at the
    age of twelve. He loses his life through the arts of Philip
    the Arab, who becomes emperor, and celebrates, A. D. 248, the
    thousandth year of the existence of Rome. Decius, being sent to
    quell a revolt in Pannonia, is crowned by the soldiers, A. D.
    249, and Philip is slain. Two great calamities mark the reign
    of Decius: a persecution of Christians and an incursion of
    Goths. Gallus (A. D. 251-253) is deposed by Æmilianus, who is
    soon superseded by Valerian (A. D. 254-260). The whole empire
    is overrun by Gothic and German invaders. Valerian, in his
    wars in the East, is captured, and spends the last seven years
    of his life at Sapor’s court. “Thirty Tyrants” spring up in
    various parts of the empire. Gallienus reigns in Italy, first
    with his father, Valerian, and afterward alone, A. D. 254-268.
    He is slain through the management of a pretender, Aureolus,
    but is succeeded by Claudius (A. D. 268-270), who defeats the
    barbarians. Aurelian (A. D. 270-275) makes the Danube again the
    northern boundary of the empire; subdues Zenobia in the east
    and Tetricus in the west; is murdered on his way to Persia.
    Tacitus (A. D. 275, 276), being appointed by the Senate, reigns
    two hundred days. Florian, his brother, is deposed by his own
    troops. Probus (A. D. 276-282) restores security by a wise
    and energetic reign. Carus gains great victories in the East;
    but after his sudden death, his son Numerian abandons his
    conquests. Numerian is slain in the East, Carinus in the West,
    and Diocletian becomes emperor.

THIRD PERIOD, A. D. 284-395.

=222.= Under the firm and wise policy of Diocletian, the Roman world
entered upon a century of greater vigor and security. The empire being
too large to be administered by a single head, Diocletian conferred
equal power upon his friend and comrade Maxim´ian, with the title of
Augustus. A few years later, two Cæsars, Gale´rius and Constan´tius, were
added to the imperial college, each being associated, as adopted son and
successor, with one of the emperors. To the Cæsars were assigned the more
exposed provinces, which needed an active and vigilant administration,
while the Augusti kept to themselves the old and settled portions of the
empire. Constantius had Gaul, Spain, Britain, and the whole frontier of
the Rhine; Galerius had Noricum, Pannonia, and Mœsia, with the defenses
of the Danube; while Maximian governed Italy and Africa, and Diocletian
retained for himself Thrace, Macedonia, Egypt, and the East. Though
allotted thus to its several rulers, the empire was not divided. The four
princes governed in consultation, and were equally honored in all parts
of the realm.

=223.= In A. D. 286, a naval chief, Carau´sius, being intrusted with a
powerful fleet for the defense of the British and Gallic coasts against
the Franks, gained over the troops in Britain, seized the island, and
set up an independent government. He built new ships, and soon became
master of the Western seas. Diocletian and Maximian, after vain attempts
to break his power, were compelled to acknowledge him as their colleague
in the empire, A. D. 287. Constantius, upon becoming Cæsar, made war, A.
D. 292, upon this new Augustus; captured Boulogne after a long and severe
siege, and was preparing to invade Britain, when Carausius was killed by
his chief officer, Allec´tus.

Constantius landed, three years later, in Britain, and by a battle near
London recovered the island. He afterward drove the Alemanni out of Gaul,
and settled his captives in colonies upon the lands depopulated by their
ravages. At the same time, Maximian quelled a formidable revolt of the
Moors in Africa; and Diocletian, by a siege of eight months, captured
Alexandria, where a rival emperor had usurped the throne, and punished
the rebellious city by a massacre in which many thousands perished. The
Cæsar Galerius made war against the Persians for the recovery of Armenia,
which they had taken from Tirida´tes, the vassal of Rome. He was defeated
near Carrhæ, on the very scene of the overthrow of Crassus, more than
three centuries before; but he retrieved this misfortune by a great
victory over King Narses, followed by an advantageous peace.

=224.= The system of Diocletian was thus effective and prosperous, as far
as it concerned the foreign enemies of the state; but the expenses of
four imperial courts, with the immense number of soldiers and officials,
imposed heavy burdens upon the people. The wretched tax-payers were often
tortured to enforce payments which they were unable to make. The civil
wars of the preceding centuries had deprived extensive districts of
inhabitants; and the productions of the earth and of human industry had

=225.= The greatest blot upon the memory of Diocletian is the persecution
of Christians in the last year of his reign. Every province and every
great city of the empire had now heard the doctrines of Christ, and
the church in Rome numbered 50,000 members. In an age of turbulence
and corruption, Christians were every-where distinguished as the most
orderly, industrious, loyal, and honest members of the community. Their
refusal to worship the image of the emperor, which was an essential part
of the Roman religion, had brought upon them several local persecutions,
but none so widely extended and severe as that of Diocletian. The edict
requiring uniformity of worship was issued A. D. 303. Instantly the cruel
passions of the pagans were let loose from restraint. Innocent blood
flowed in every province. Whoever had either malice or covetousness
to indulge, had only to accuse his enemy of being a Christian, and
to be rewarded with half the confiscated goods. In the extreme west,
Constantius protected those of the “new religion,” but elsewhere there
was no appeal from the atrocious cruelties sanctioned by courts of law.

=226.= Of the many acts by which Diocletian abased the authority of the
Senate, the most effective was the removal of the center of government
from the ancient city on the Tiber. His own official residence was
at Nicomedia; that of Maximian, at Milan; while Constantius held a
provincial court at York, and Galerius at Sirmium, on the Savus. The
Senate thus became the mere council of a provincial town. Imperial edicts
took the place of the laws which had formerly received its sanction. The
insolent prætorians were, at the same time, replaced by the “Jovian”
and “Herculean Guards”; and their præfect, who had been a rival of the
emperor, became merely an officer of the palace. Diocletian, however,
celebrated the twentieth year of his reign, and his numerous victories,
by a triumphal entry into Rome; and this was the last “triumph” which the
ancient capital ever beheld.

=227.= The next year, A. D. 305, Diocletian, worn out with the cares
of empire, formally abdicated his power, and compelled Maximian to do
the same. The two Cæsars now became Augusti, and two new candidates,
Maximin and Severus, were appointed by Galerius to the former title. The
legions in Britain were dissatisfied, however, by seeing the choice of
a successor taken away from their own imperator; and upon the death of
Constantius, A. D. 306, they immediately proclaimed Con´stantine, his
son. He was acknowledged as Cæsar by Galerius, who conferred the rank of
Augustus on Severus.

But, the next year, Maxen´tius, son of Maximian, was declared emperor by
the Senate and people of Rome, and his father resumed the purple, which
he had unwillingly laid aside at the command of Diocletian. Severus,
attempting to crush this insurrection, was taken captive at Ravenna, and
privately put to death. Galerius now conferred the imperial dignity on
Licinius, and for two years the Roman world was peaceably governed by
six masters: Constantine, Maximian, and Maxentius in the West; Galerius,
Maximin, and Licinius in the East.

=228.= The peace was first broken by the dissensions of Maximian and
his son. The elder emperor fled from Rome, and was well received by
Constantine, who had married his daughter. Before long, however, Maximian
entered again into plots with Maxentius for the ruin of Constantine;
which becoming known to their intended victim, he returned promptly from
his campaign on the Rhine, besieged his father-in-law in Massilia, and
put him to death, A. D. 310. Galerius died the next year at Nicomedia,
and the empire was again divided into four parts, of which Constantine
ruled the extreme west; Maxentius, Italy and Africa; Licinius, Illyricum
and Thrace; Maximin, Egypt and Asia.

The cruel and rapacious character of Maxentius wearied out his subjects,
who sent deputies from Rome, beseeching Constantine to come and be their
sovereign. This great general had won the love of his followers, not
less by his firm and successful dealings with the barbarians, than by
his liberal protection of the Christians, whose virtues he esteemed, and
whose rights of conscience he respected. On his march toward Italy, it is
said that he beheld a vision. A flaming cross appeared in the heavens,
bearing in Greek the inscription, “By this, conquer!” Thenceforth, the
cross replaced the pagan symbols which had been carried at the head of
the legions; and the omen, if such it was, was amply fulfilled.

=229.= Constantine passed the Alps, A. D. 312, defeated the troops of
Maxentius near Turin, captured Verona after an obstinate siege and
battle, and encountered his rival in a final combat before the gates
of Rome. In the battle of the Mil´vian Bridge, Maxentius was defeated
and drowned. The following year, Maximin was defeated by Licinius, in
a great battle at Heraclea, on the Propontis, and put an end to his
life at Tarsus, in Cilicia. Constantine and Licinius, in a series of
battles, divided the world between them. The river Strymon and the Ægean
became the boundaries between the Eastern and Western empires. Two
sons of Constantine and one of Licinius received the title of Cæsar.
Crispus, on the Rhine, gained a victory over the Franks and Alemanni; and
Constantine, on the Danube, executed a terrible vengeance upon the Goths,
who had invaded the Roman territory.

=230.= After seven years’ peace, war broke out between the emperors,
in A. D. 322. Licinius was defeated near Hadriano´ple, besieged in
Byzantium, and finally overthrown upon the Heights of Scuta´ri,
overlooking the latter city. His death made Constantine the sole ruler
of the civilized world. His great dominion received a new constitution
suitable to its magnitude. The seat of government was fixed upon the
confines of Europe and Asia, in the new and magnificent city bearing the
emperor’s name, which he built upon the ruins of the Greek Byzantium.
The whole empire was divided into four _præfectures_, which nearly
corresponded to the dominions of the four emperors, A. D. 311. (§ 228.)
Each præfecture was divided into _dioceses_, and each diocese into
proconsular governments, or _presidencies_.

This subdivision of the empire gave rise to three ranks of officials,
somewhat resembling the nobility of modern Europe. The republican
form of government, so ostentatiously cherished by Augustus, had now
disappeared, and in its place was the elaborate ceremony of an Oriental
court. Even the 10,000 spies, known as the “King’s Eyes,” were maintained
as of old by Xerxes and Darius. A standing army of 645,000 men was kept
upon the frontier; but as Roman citizens were now averse to military
service, the legions were largely composed of barbarian mercenaries. The
Franks, especially, had great importance, both in the court and camp of

=231.= The great event of this reign was the admission of Christianity
as, in a certain sense, the religion of the state. The Edict of Milan, A.
D. 313, guaranteed to the hitherto persecuted people perfect security and
respect; that of A. D. 324 exhorted all subjects of the empire to follow
the example of their sovereign, and become Christians. Heathenism was not
yet proscribed. Constantine was pontifex maximus, and must, on certain
occasions, have offered sacrifices to the fabulous gods of Rome. It was
only in his last days that he received Christian baptism; but he presided
in the first General Council of the Church at Nice, in Bithynia, A. D.
325, to which he had convened bishops from all parts of the empire, to
decide certain disputed matters of faith. Though he treated the assembled
fathers with every mark of reverence, he refused to persecute Arius and
his followers, the Alexandrian heretics, whom the Council condemned.

=232.= Crispus, the eldest son of Constantine, who had been named Cæsar
at the age of seventeen, was the idol of the people, but an object of
jealousy to his father, who suspected him of treasonable designs. Whether
the charges against him were true, we have no means of knowing. He was
seized during the festivities in Rome, in honor of the twentieth year of
his father’s reign, tried secretly, and put to death. The last years of
Constantine were disturbed by fresh movements of the barbarians north of
the Danube. The Sarmatians, being attacked by the Goths, implored the aid
of the Romans. Constantine was defeated in one battle with the invaders,
but in the next he was victorious, and 100,000 Goths, driven into the
mountains, perished with cold and hunger. In the division of spoils, the
Sarmatians were dissatisfied, and revenged themselves by making inroads
upon the Roman dominions. In succeeding wars they were defeated and
scattered; 300,000 were received as vassals of the empire, and settled in
military colonies in Pannonia, Thrace, Macedonia, and Italy.

=233.= Hoping to secure peace to the empire after his death, Constantine
assigned its different parts to his three sons and two nephews, whom he
had carefully educated for their great responsibilities. But his care was
unavailing. Immediately upon his decease, A. D. 337, Constantius, his
second son, being nearest, seized the capital, and ordered a massacre
of all whose birth or power could give them any hopes of obtaining the
sovereignty. Of his own relatives, only two cousins, Gallus and Julian,
escaped. The three sons of Constantine then divided the empire between
them. Constantine II., the eldest, received the capital, together with
Gaul, Spain, and Britain; Constantius had Thrace and the East; Constans,
Italy, Africa, and western Illyricum.

The reign of Constantius was occupied by a disastrous war with Persia.
The pagan Armenians revolted upon the death of their king, Tiridates—a
“friend of the Romans,” who had established Christian worship in his
dominions—and opened their gates to the Persians. The son of Tiridates
sought the aid of Constantius, who succeeded in restoring the prince
Chos´roes to his dominions. The fortress of Nisibis, which was esteemed
the bulwark of the East, withstood three memorable sieges by the
Persians; but the Roman armies were defeated in nine pitched battles,
and the raids of the Persian cavalry extended even to the Mediterranean,
where they captured and plundered Antioch.

=234.= In the meanwhile, discord had broken out between the emperors in
the West, and Constantine II., invading the dominions of his brother
Constans, was defeated and slain near Aquileia. Constans seized his
provinces, and reigned ten years (A. D. 340-350) over two-thirds of his
father’s empire. Magnentius, an officer in Gaul, then assumed the purple,
and Constans was slain. Constantius, recalled from his Persian wars,
defeated Magnentius in a toilsome campaign on the Danube; received the
submission of Rome and the Italian cities; and finally, by a great battle
among the Cottian Alps, ended the rebellion with the life of the usurper,
A. D. 353. Sixteen years after the death of the great Constantine, the
empire was thus reunited under one sovereign. Gallus, the cousin of
Constantius, had been taken from prison to receive the title of Cæsar
and the government of the East. But he proved wholly unfit to rule; he
treated with insult the embassador of his cousin, and even caused him to
be murdered by the mob of Antioch. Gallus was thereupon recalled, and put
to death at Pola, in Is´tria.


    Diocletian (A. D. 284-305) associates Maximian as “Augustus,”
    and Galerius and Constantius as “Cæsars,” with himself in
    the management of the empire. Constantius overthrows the
    sovereignty of Carausius in Britain and northern Gaul. Galerius
    gains victories in Asia; Diocletian, in Egypt; and Maximian, in
    Africa. The new system is efficient abroad, but oppressive at
    home. Christians are severely persecuted. Seat of government
    removed from Rome. Diocletian and Maximian resign, A. D. 305.
    Galerius (A. D. 305-311) and Constantius (A. D. 305, 306)
    become emperors; Severus and Maximin, Cæsars. Constantine the
    Great (A. D. 306-337), succeeding his father, Constantius,
    eventually conquers Maximian, who has resumed the purple, and
    Maxentius (A. D. 312), who has been proclaimed at Rome, and
    reigns over the Western empire. Licinius (A. D. 307-323), after
    the death of Galerius, conquers Maximin, and reigns east of the
    Ægean. Constantine conquers Licinius, A. D. 323, and becomes
    sole emperor. Fixes his court at Constantinople; reorganizes
    the government; makes Christianity the religion of the state;
    has wars with the Goths; and establishes military colonies of
    Sarmatians within the bounds of the empire. After his death,
    his three sons destroy their kinsmen, and divide the dominion
    between them. While Constantius II. is at war with Persia, his
    brother, Constantine II., is slain by Constans, who is himself
    deposed, after ten years, by Magnentius. Constantius, returning
    from the East, A. D. 350, defeats Magnentius, and reigns over
    his father’s entire dominion, A. D. 353-361.


=235.= Julian, the younger brother of Gallus, was permitted to pursue
his favorite studies at Athens, until, A. D. 355, he was called to the
court of Milan, dignified with the title of Cæsar, and intrusted with
the government of Gaul. His conduct displayed great energy and talent.
He severely defeated the Alemanni, in the battle of Strasbourg; drove
the Franks from their castles on the Meuse; and in three invasions of
Germany, liberated 20,000 Roman captives. He rebuilt the cities of Gaul
which the barbarians had destroyed; adorned Paris, his winter residence,
with a palace, theater, and baths; imported grain from Britain for the
sustenance of the people; and protected agriculture, manufactures, and

Constantius became jealous of his cousin’s fame, and sought to disarm
and disgrace him, by ordering the greater part of the Gallic army to the
East. Julian was preparing to send away his devoted followers, but the
soldiers mutinied, proclaimed him emperor, and forced him to assume the
purple robe. An embassy to Constantius was contemptuously dismissed; and
Julian, after again chastising the Franks, and improving the defenses
of the German frontier, set forth to decide the question by actual war.
Penetrating the Black Forest as far as the Danube, he descended that
river with a captured fleet, surprised Sirmium, and was received with
acclamations by the people. He sent letters justifying his conduct to the
principal cities of the empire, especially to the senates of Athens and
Rome; and he was invested by the latter with the imperial titles which it
alone could legally bestow. The sudden death of Constantius, at Tarsus,
Nov., A. D. 361, ended the uncertainty. All Constantinople poured forth
to welcome Julian, at a distance of sixty miles from the capital, and
soldiers and people throughout the empire accepted him as their head.

=236.= His first acts were to retrench the Oriental luxury of the palace,
to punish the officers of Constantius who had oppressed the people, and
to dismiss the 10,000 spies. A philosopher by choice, and an emperor
only by compulsion, Julian prided himself upon the frugal simplicity of
his habits, and professed himself merely the “servant of the Republic.”
He is known in history by the unhappy name of “Julian the Apostate.”
Incensed against the _Christian_ cousins who had murdered his entire
family, he extended his hatred to the faith which they so unworthily
professed. He publicly renounced Christianity, and placed himself and his
empire under the protection of the “Immortal Gods.”

To spite the Christians, he patronized the Jews, and attempted to rebuild
their Temple at Jerusalem; but he was thwarted by balls of fire breaking
out near the foundation, which made it impossible for the workmen to
approach.[79] He excluded all Christians from the schools of grammar
and rhetoric, hoping thus to degrade them in intellectual rank, and
weaken them in controversy. He, however, disappointed the pagan zealots
by proclaiming toleration to all parties. In the spring of A. D. 363,
Julian departed with a great army for the East, where the ravages of the
Persian king had for four years met with little resistance. He gained an
important victory over the Persians at Ctesiphon, but in a subsequent
skirmish he was mortally wounded, and died, June, A. D. 363, after a
reign of only sixteen months.

=237.= Jovian, the captain of the life-guards, was saluted as Augustus
by the generals of Julian. He obtained peace with the Persian king by
ceding the five provinces east of the Tigris, and then conducted a
difficult retreat to the capital. The principal act of his reign was
the re-establishment of Christian worship and of universal tolerance.
He died, Feb., A. D. 364, after a reign of eight months. The civil
and military officers of the empire met at Nicæa, and chose for their
sovereign Valentin´ian, a Christian and a brave soldier, who had
distinguished himself by service both on the Tigris and the Rhine. His
brother Valens was made his colleague, with the command of the East,
extending from the lower Danube to the boundaries of Persia.

=238.= Valentinian fixed his capital at Milan, which alternated with
Rheims and Treves as his headquarters. He signally defeated the Alemanni,
and guarded the Rhine by a new series of forts. The coasts of western
Europe now began to be overrun by piratical Saxons, while the Picts and
Scots swept over all the cultivated fields of southern Britain, from the
Wall of Antoninus to the coast of Kent. Theodo´sius, father of the future
emperor of that name, led a veteran army to the relief of the Britons,
and afterward gained among the Orkneys a great naval victory over the

Having defeated the Alemanni on the upper Danube, Theodosius was next
sent into Africa to quell a revolt of the Moors and provincials, provoked
by the extortions of Count Roma´nus. Firmus, the chief of the Moors, was
as wily as Jugurtha, but Theodosius showed all the skill of Metellus or
of Scipio. He imprisoned Romanus and restored order to the province; but
he was rewarded only by unjust suspicions and a military execution, A. D.
376. Valentinian was already dead (Nov., A. D. 375), and the ministers
who surrounded his son disguised the truth to suit their own purposes.

=239.= Valens, meanwhile reigning in the East, was far inferior to his
brother in firmness and beneficence of character. At the beginning
of his reign, Proco´pius, a kinsman of Julian, gained possession of
Constantinople, and kept it several months as nominal emperor. He was
captured at last, and suffered a cruel death in the camp of Valens. The
great event of this period was the irruption of a new and terrible race
of savages from northern Asia. The Huns were more hideous, cruel, and
implacable than even the fiercest of the barbarians hitherto known to the
Romans. The Great Wall, which still divides China from Mongolia, had been
erected as a barrier against their inroads; but their attention was now
turned to the westward, where the Goths, north of the Black Sea, were the
first to feel their power.

The great Gothic kingdom of Her´manric extended from the Danube and
Euxine to the Baltic, and embraced many kindred tribes, of which
the eastern or Ostro-Goths, and the western or Visi-Goths were most
important. The former were conquered by the Huns; the latter besought
permission from Valens to settle on the waste lands south of the Danube,
and become subjects of the empire. Their request was granted, and a
million of men, women, and children crossed the river. But the Roman
commissioners who were charged with receiving and feeding this starving
multitude, seized the opportunity to make their own fortunes, at the
expense of their honor and of the safety of the empire.

The Goths had been required to give up their arms, but they purchased of
these officers permission to retain them. The food which was served to
them was of the vilest quality and most extravagant price. Discontent
broke out among the turbulent and armed host. The Gothic warriors marched
upon Marcianop´olis, defeated the army which was sent to defend it, and
laid waste all Thrace with fire and sword. Instead of pacifying the Goths
by a just punishment of the offenders, and by pledges of justice for the
future, Valens sent for aid to his nephew Gratian, and advanced with his
army to fight with the barbarians. In a battle near Hadrianople he was
slain, and two-thirds of his army perished, A. D. 378.

=240.= Gratian, the son of Valentinian, had been three years emperor of
the West, and now became sole sovereign of the dominions of Augustus.
He chose, however, for a colleague, the general Theodosius, to whom he
committed the empire of Valens, with the addition of the province of
Illyricum. The youth of Gratian was adorned by a fair promise of all the
virtues; but as soon as his excellent instructors left him, he proved
himself weak and wholly unfit for command. Bad men gained and abused his

Maximus, in Britain, revolted, and passed over into Gaul with an army.
Instead of fighting, Gratian fled from Paris; his armies deserted to the
enemy, and the fugitive emperor was overtaken and slain at Lyons, A. D.
383. He had already, on his accession, shared the imperial dignity with
his brother, Valentinian II., then only five years of age. Maximus, being
in actual possession of the countries west of the Alps, was acknowledged
by Theodosius, on condition of the young Valentinian being left in secure
possession of Italy and Africa. The sovereign of Gaul, Spain, and Britain
soon became strong enough to break his word. He invaded Italy, and the
young emperor, with Justi´na his mother, fled to the court of Theodosius
for protection. The emperor of the East marched to attack Maximus, whom
he defeated and caused to be executed as a traitor, and established
Valentinian II. in the sovereignty of the whole Western empire.

=241.= The young sovereign of the West proved as weak as his brother.
He fell under the control of an officer of his own, a Frank named
Arbogas´tes; and when he attempted to shake off the yoke, the too
powerful servant murdered his master and set up an emperor of his own
choosing. Euge´nius reigned two years (A. D. 392-394), as the tool of
Arbogastes; but Theodosius at length defeated his army near Aquileia, and
put him to death.

For four months the Roman world was united, for the last time, under
one sovereign. Theodosius the Great well deserved the title by which he
is known in history. His vigorous and prudent management changed the
Goths from dangerous enemies into powerful friends. Great colonies of
Visi-Goths were formed in Thrace, and of Ostro-Goths in Asia Minor; and
40,000 of their warriors were employed in the armies of the emperor. If
later monarchs had acted with the wisdom and firmness of Theodosius,
these recruits might have added great strength to the then declining
empire. They were, in fact, a chief occasion of its fall.

=242.= This reign is marked by the extinction of the old pagan worship.
The temples were destroyed, and all sacrifices or divinations forbidden.
The Egyptians believed that Serapis would avenge any profanation of his
temple at Alexandria; but when a soldier, climbing to the head of the
colossal idol, smote its cheek with his battle-ax, the popular faith was
shaken, and it was admitted that a god who could not defend himself
was no longer to be worshiped. Arians and other Christian heretics were
persecuted with scarcely less rigor than the pagans; for they were
forbidden to preach, ordain ministers, or hold meetings for public
worship. The penalties inflicted by Theodosius were nothing more than
fines and civil disabilities; but his contemporary, Maximus, is said to
have been the “first Christian prince who shed the blood of his Christian
subjects for their religious opinions.”

The power and dignity of the Church at this time is shown by the conduct
of Ambro´sius, Archbishop of Milan. Theodosius had ordered a general
massacre of the people of Thessalonica, as a punishment for a wanton
tumult which had arisen in their circus, during which a Gothic general
and several of his officers had been killed. Several thousands of
persons, the innocent with the guilty, were slaughtered by barbarian
troops sent thither for the purpose. When the emperor, who was then
at Milan, went as usual to church, Ambrosius met him at the door, and
refused to admit him to any of the offices of religion until he should
publicly confess his guilt. The interdict continued eight months; but, at
length, the master of the civilized world, in the garb of the humblest
suppliant, implored pardon in the presence of all the congregation, and
was restored, at Christmas, A. D. 390, to the communion of the Church.

Before his death, Theodosius divided his great dominions between his two
sons, giving the East to Arcadius, and the West to Hono´rius. The latter,
who was only eleven years of age, was placed under the guardianship
of the Vandal general Stil´icho, who had married a niece of the great
emperor. Theodosius died at Milan, Jan. 17, A. D. 395.


    Julian administers Gaul and invades Germany with great energy
    and success. He incurs the jealousy of his cousin, and is
    declared emperor by his troops. Constantius dies, and Julian
    (A. D. 361-363), now universally acknowledged, restores
    paganism. He is killed in an Eastern campaign, and is succeeded
    by Jovian, who withdraws west of the Tigris. On the death of
    Jovian, A. D. 364, Valentinian (A. D. 364-375) is chosen by the
    court and army, and assigns the Eastern empire to his brother
    Valens. The general Theodosius gains important victories over
    Saxons, Picts, Scots, and Moors. Procopius usurps for a time
    the Eastern capital, and the empire is threatened by both Huns
    and Goths. In war with the latter, Valens is slain. Gratian (A.
    D. 375-383), son of Valentinian, confers the Eastern empire
    upon the younger Theodosius (A. D. 379-395). He is himself
    dethroned by Maximus, who becomes sovereign of Gaul, Spain,
    and Britain, and even expels the brother of Gratian (A. D.
    387) from Italy. Theodosius destroys Maximus, and restores
    Valentinian II. as emperor of the West; but this young monarch
    is soon murdered by Arbogastes. Eugenius reigns two years, A.
    D. 392-394. Theodosius defeats him, and rules the united empire
    four months. He conciliates the Goths; abolishes pagan rites;
    persecutes heretics; does penance at Milan; divides the empire
    between Arcadius and Honorius.

FOURTH PERIOD, A. D. 395-476.

=243.= The empire east of the Adriatic continued more than a thousand
years from the accession of Arcadius, and its records belong to Mediæval
History. From the death of the great Theodosius, the division of the
two empires was complete. Rufi´nus, the minister of Arcadius, bore a
mortal enmity to Stilicho, the guardian of Honorius; and for the sake of
revenge, he let loose the Goths upon the Western empire. Al´aric, the
Visi-Goth, was made master-general of the Eastern armies in Illyricum. At
the same time, he was elected to be king of his own countrymen, and it is
uncertain in which character he invaded Italy, A. D. 400-403. Honorius
was driven from Milan, but Stilicho defeated the invader at Pollen´tia,
and afterward at Verona, and persuaded him, by promises of lands for his
followers, to withdraw from Italy.

During the rejoicings at Rome on account of his retreat, an incident
occurred which marks the progress of Christianity in the declining
empire. Telem´achus, a monk, entered the arena of the Coliseum and
attempted to separate the gladiators, protesting, in the name of Christ,
against their inhuman combat. He was stoned to death by the crowd; but
their remorse bestowed upon him the honors of a martyr; and the emperor,
who was present, made a law abolishing forever the shedding of human
blood for public sport.

=244.= Honorius transferred his capital from Milan to the impregnable
fortress among the marshes of Ravenna, which continued three centuries
to be the seat of government for Italy. A fresh invasion from Germany,
led by the pagan Radagai´sus, devastated western Italy. Gaul was, at
the same time, overrun by a mingled horde of Vandals, Suevi, Alani, and
Burgundians; and from that moment the Roman Empire may be said to have
fallen in the countries beyond the Alps. The army in Britain revolted;
and after electing and murdering two emperors, set up Constantine, who
led them into Gaul, defeated the German invaders, passed into Spain, and
established a kind of sovereignty over the three western countries of

Meanwhile, Stilicho was disgraced and slain, through the intrigues of
his enemy, Olympius. While the barbarian auxiliaries in his army were
lamenting his death, they were enraged by a massacre of their wives and
children, who had been kept as hostages in the various cities of Italy.
This insane act of cruelty sealed the fate of Rome. The barbarians,
freed from either the duty or necessity of obeying Honorius, flocked to
the camp of Alaric, in Illyricum, and urged him to invade Italy. The
Visi-Goth had injuries of his own to avenge. He passed the Alps and the
Po, and, after a rapid march, pitched his camp upon the Tiber. Rome was
reduced to starvation. Thousands died of famine, and thousands more
from the pestilence which it occasioned. At length, Alaric accepted the
terms offered by the Senate, and retired, upon the payment of an enormous
ransom, A. D. 408.

=245.= His brother-in-law, Adolphus, now joined him with a troop of Huns
and Goths. Alaric offered peace to the court of Ravenna, on condition of
receiving lands for his followers, between the Danube and the Adriatic.
His demands being refused, he again marched upon Rome, and set up an
emperor of his own choosing, in At´talus, præfect of the city. Ravenna
was only saved from his attack by a reinforcement from Theodosius II.,
now emperor of the East. Africa was likewise delivered by the vigilance
of Count Herac´lian. But Alaric was soon tired of his puppet-king. He
deposed him, and again sought peace with Honorius. The treaty failed
through the ill-will of Sarus, a Goth in the imperial service, who was a
bitter enemy and rival of Alaric.

The king of the Visi-Goths now turned a third time, and with relentless
rage, upon Rome. The Eternal City was taken, Aug. 10, A. D. 410, and
for six days was given up to the horrible scenes of murder and pillage.
Though greatly reduced in power, Rome had never lost her dignity, or
the wealth of her old patrician houses. These were now ransacked; gold,
jewels, and silken garments, Grecian sculptures and paintings, and
the choicest spoils of conquered countries, brought home in triumph
by ancestors of the present families, went to enrich the Gothic and
Scythic hordes, who were so ignorant of the value of their plunder, that
exquisite vases were often divided by a stroke of a battle-ax, and their
fragments distributed among the common soldiers. Only the churches and
their property were respected, for Alaric declared that he waged war with
the Romans, and not with the apostles.

=246.= At length the king of the Goths withdrew, laden with spoils, along
the Appian Way, meditating the conquest of Sicily and Africa. Storms,
however, destroyed his hastily constructed fleet, and a sudden death
terminated his career of conquest. He was buried in the channel of the
little river Busenti´nus, and his sepulcher was adorned by his followers
with the treasures of Rome. Adolphus, his successor, made peace with
Honorius, and received the hand of the imperial princess Placid´ia, who
had been taken prisoner during the siege. Her bridal gifts consisted of
the spoils of her country. Adolphus retired into Gaul, and then into
Spain, where he founded the kingdom of the Visi-Goths, as a dependency
upon the Western empire.

Constantine was driven out of Spain, and captured at Arles, by
Constantius, who was rewarded for his distinguished services by a
marriage with Placidia, after the death of her Gothic husband, and by
the imperial titles which he bore as the colleague of her brother. He
reigned but seven months, and after his death Placidia quarreled with
Honorius, and took refuge with her nephew at Constantinople. In a few
months the emperor of the West ended a disgraceful reign of twenty-eight
years, A. D. 423. John, his secretary, usurped the throne; but Theodosius
II. sent a fleet and army to enforce the claims of his cousin, the son of
Placidia, and the troops in Ravenna were easily persuaded to surrender
their upstart emperor. John was beheaded at Aquileia, A. D. 425.

=247.= Valentinian III. was a child of six years. The Western empire was
therefore placed under the regency of his mother, Placidia, who continued
to rule it for a quarter of a century, while the military command was
held by Aë´tius and Boniface. Unhappily, these two generals were enemies.
The malicious falsehoods of Aëtius led Boniface into rebellion, and lost
Africa to the empire. Gen´seric, king of the Vandals in Spain, willingly
accepted the invitation of Boniface, and crossed the straits with 50,000
men. The Moors immediately joined his army; the Donatists[80] hailed him
as their deliverer from persecution.

Too late, Boniface discovered his mistake, and returned to his
allegiance. All Roman Africa, except Carthage, Cirta, and Hippo Regius,
had passed over to the Vandals. Forces were sent from Constantinople
to aid those of Italy; but the combined armies were defeated, and
Boniface was compelled to abandon Africa, taking with him all the Roman
inhabitants who were able to leave. The countries on the Danube had been
ceded to the Eastern empire, in return for the aid of Theodosius II., in
placing Valentinian III. upon his throne. Britain, unprotected by the
Roman armies, had thrown off her allegiance, and had for forty years no
government except that of the clergy, the nobles, and the magistrates
of the towns. The Goths were settled permanently in south-western Gaul;
the Burgundians in the east, and the Franks in the north of the same
country; and except a small tract in southern Gaul, the Western empire
now included only Italy and the region of the western Alps.

=248.= Aëtius defended the Gallic province against the Visi-Goths on one
side, and the Franks on the other, until the latter called in a new and
more terrible ally than all previous invaders, in At´tila, king of the
Huns. This savage chief was known to the terror-stricken world of his
time, as the Scourge of God. He had subdued to his authority all the
barbarians between the Baltic and the Euxine, the Rhine and the Volga,
and his army of 700,000 men was officered by a host of subject kings. He
had been for nine years ravaging the Eastern empire to the very walls
of Constantinople, and had only retired upon the promise of an enormous
annual tribute, and the immediate payment of 6,000 pounds of gold. He now
invaded Gaul, in behalf of a Frankish king who had been driven beyond the
Rhine, and had sought his aid.

Theod´oric, the son of Alaric, now king of the Visi-Goths, had allied
himself with the Romans, and their united armies came up with Attila,
just as he had effected the capture of Orleans by battering down its
walls. The Hun instantly drew off his hordes from the plunder of the
city, and retreated across the Seine to the plains about Chalons´, where
his Scythian cavalry could operate to better advantage. Then followed
one of the most memorable battles in the history of the world. The aged
king Theodoric was slain, but the victory was gained by the valor of
his subjects. Attila was driven to his circle of wagons, and only the
darkness of night prevented the total destruction of his hosts.

This was the last victory ever achieved in the name of the Western
empire. It settled the great question, whether modern Europe should be
Teuton or Tartar. The Goths were already Christian; their rude energy was
well adapted to the laws and institutions of civilized life. The Huns
were savage, heathen, destructive; mighty to ravage and desolate, but
never, in their greatest power and wealth, known to build and organize
a state. Most of what is admirable in European history would have been
reversed by a different result of the battle of Chalons.

=249.= Attila retreated beyond the Rhine. Two years later, he descended
into north-eastern Italy, reduced Aquileia, Alti´num, Concordia, and
Padua to heaps of ashes, and plundered Pavia and Milan. The fugitives
from the old territory of the Veneti took refuge upon the hundred low
islets at the head of the Adriatic, and laid, in poverty and industry,
the foundations of the Republic of Venice. While he was diverted from
his threatened march upon Rome, by the intercessions of Pope Leo,
Attila suddenly died, and his kingdom fell to pieces even more rapidly
than it had been built up. Two of his sons perished in battle. Irnac,
the youngest, retired into Scythia. Valentinian showed his relief from
apprehension by murdering Aëtius with his own hand. Having in many ways
disgusted and offended his subjects, he was himself assassinated in
March, A. D. 455.

Maximus, his murderer, assumed the purple, but he continued in power less
than three months. Eudox´ia, the widow of Valentinian, called in the aid
of Genseric, the Vandal king of Africa, who, commanding the Mediterranean
with his fleets, was only too eager for the spoils of Italy. The Romans,
as soon as he had landed in Ostia, put to death their unworthy emperor;
but this execution failed to appease the barbarian. Fourteen days the
Eternal City was again given up to a pillage more unscrupulous than that
of Alaric. The Vandal fleet, waiting at Ostia, was laden with all the
wealth which the Goths had spared, and receiving on board the empress
Eudoxia and her daughter, made a safe return to Carthage.

=250.= The Romans were too much paralyzed to appoint a new sovereign.
When the news reached Gaul, Avi´tus, the general of the armies there, was
proclaimed, through the influence of Theodoric II., and was acknowledged
for more than a year throughout the Western empire. But, A. D. 456, Count
Ric´imer, a Goth commanding the foreign auxiliaries in Italy, rebelled,
and captured Avitus in a battle near Placentia. He set up Marjo´rian,
whose talents and virtues revived some appearance of justice and energy
in the government. A fleet was now prepared for the invasion of Africa,
in the hope not only of retaliating upon Genseric for his plunder of
Rome, but of stopping the ravages of the Vandal pirates upon the coasts
of Italy. It was betrayed to the emissaries of Genseric, in the Spanish
port of Carthagena.

Ricimer, by this time, was jealous of his _protégé_, and, forcing him
to resign, set up a new puppet in the person of Lib´ius Severus, in
whose name he hoped to exercise the real power. But the nominal rule
of Severus was confined to Italy, while, beyond the Alps, two Roman
generals—Marcellinus in Dalmatia, and Ægid´ius in Gaul—possessed the real
sovereignty, though without the imperial titles. The coasts of Italy,
Spain, and Greece were continually harassed by the Vandals, and Ricimer,
two years after the death of Severus (A. D. 467), appealed to the court
of Constantinople for aid against the common enemy, promising to accept
any sovereign whom the emperor would appoint.

=251.= Anthe´mius, a Byzantine nobleman, was designated as emperor
of the West, and received the allegiance of the Senate, the people,
and the barbarian troops. The fidelity of Count Ricimer was thought
to be secured by his marriage with the daughter of the new emperor. A
formidable attack upon the Vandals was made by the combined forces of the
East and the West; but it failed through the weakness or treachery of
Bas´ilis´cus, the Greek commander, who lost his immense fleet through the
secret management of Genseric. The Vandals recovered Sardinia and became
possessed of Sicily, whence they could ravage Italy more constantly than

The Goths, meanwhile, became dissatisfied with the foreign rule. Ricimer
retired to Milan, where, in concert with his people, he openly revolted,
marched with a Burgundian army to Rome, and forced the Senate to accept
a new emperor in the person of Olyb´rius, A. D. 472. Anthemius was
slain in the attack upon the city. Ricimer died forty days after his
victory, bequeathing his power to his nephew, Gund´obald, a Burgundian.
Olybrius died a month or two later, and Gundobald raised a soldier named
Glyce´rius to the vacant throne. The emperor of the East interfered
again, and appointed Julius Nepos—a nephew of Marcellinus of Dalmatia—who
was accepted by the Romans and Gauls, Glycerius being consoled for the
loss of his imperial titles by the safer and more peaceful dignity of
Bishop of Salo´na.

=252.= Scarcely was Julius invested with the insignia of his rank,
when he was driven from the country by a new sedition led by Ores´tes,
master-general of the armies, who placed upon the throne his own son,
Romulus Augustus. This last of the Western emperors, who bore, by a
curious coincidence, the names of the two founders of Rome and the
empire, was more commonly called Augus´tulus, in burlesque of the
imperial grandeur which mocked his youth and insignificance.

The mercenaries demanded one-third of the lands of Italy as the reward
of their services; and being refused, they sprang to arms again, slew
Orestes, deposed Augustulus, and made their own chief, Odo´acer, king
of Italy. The Roman Senate, in a letter to Zeno, emperor of the East,
surrendered the claim of their country to imperial rank, consented to
acknowledge Constantinople as the seat of government for the world,
but requested that Odoacer, with the title of “Patrician,” should be
intrusted with the diocese of Italy.

With the fall of the Western empire, Ancient History ends. But the
establishment of kingdoms by the northern nations marks the rise of a new
era, which, through centuries of turbulence, will open into the varied
and brilliant scenes of Modern History.


    Alaric, invading Italy, is defeated by Stilicho. Gladiatorial
    combats are forever abolished at Rome. Honorius fixes his
    capital at Ravenna. Italy and Gaul are overrun by a pagan
    host. Constantine becomes emperor in the extreme West, A. D.
    407-411. Death of Stilicho and massacre of Gothic women and
    children lead Alaric to a second invasion of Italy, A. D.
    408-410. Rome is three times besieged, and finally given up to
    plunder for six days. Alaric dies, A. D. 410, and is succeeded
    by Adolphus, who marries the sister of Honorius, and founds a
    Gothic kingdom in Spain and southern Gaul. Constantius, second
    husband of Placidia, reigns as colleague of Honorius, A. D.
    421; and his son, Valentinian III., succeeds to the whole
    Western empire, A. D. 425-455. During the regency of Placidia,
    the general Boniface, deceived by Aëtius, betrays Africa to
    the Vandals. Gaul is invaded by Attila, king of the Huns, who
    is defeated by Goths and Romans near Chalons, A. D. 451. He
    ravages northern Italy; and fugitives from cities which he
    destroys, found Venice on the Adriatic, A. D. 452. Valentinian
    III. is assassinated; and his widow, to avenge his death, calls
    in the Vandals, who plunder Rome fourteen days. Avitus (A. D.
    455, 456) is proclaimed emperor in Gaul. Count Ricimer rebels,
    and sets up first Marjorian (A. D. 457-461), then Severus (A.
    D. 461-465), and finally applies for an emperor to the Eastern
    court, which appoints Anthemius (A. D. 467-472). Ricimer
    revolts again, and crowns Olybrius, who dies in a few months.
    Glycerius (A. D. 473, 474) soon exchanges the crown for a
    miter, and Julius Nepos is installed as sovereign. Orestes sets
    up his own son, Romulus Augustus (A. D. 475, 476), the last
    Roman emperor of the West. Odoacer becomes king of Italy, and
    the Western empire is overthrown.



    1. What three successive forms of government in ancient Rome?     § 8.
    2. What races inhabited Italy?                                   9-11.
    3. Describe, severally, their origin, character, and institutions.
    4. Relate the traditions concerning the origin of Rome.        12, 13.
    5. Describe the acts and characters of the first three kings.   13-16.
    6. What tribes and classes made up the Roman population under
        Tullus Hostilius?                                              16.
    7. What changes were made by Ancus Martius and Tarquinius
        Priscus?                                                   17, 18.
    8. Describe the constitution under Servius Tullius.             19-21.
    9.          The reign of Tarquin the Proud.                        22.
   10.          The chief divinities and religious festivals of
                    the Romans.                                     23-25.
   11.          The oracles and modes of divination.                26-28.
   12.          The four sacred colleges.                           28-30.
   13.          The ceremony of lustration.                            31.
   14.          The government and condition of Rome after the
                    expulsion of the kings.                         32-34.
   15.          The causes and effects of the first secession.     35, 36.
   16.          The Cassian, Publilian, Terentilian, and
                    Hortensian laws.                   37, 40, 43, 46, 78.
   17. Tell the story of Coriolanus.                                   42.
   18.                Of Cincinnatus and his son.                  44, 45.
   19. Describe the Laws of the Twelve Tables.                      46-48.
   20. What occasioned the second secession?                        49-51.
   21. What changes in government resulted from it?                 51-54.
   22. Describe the Veientine War and its consequences.            56, 57.
   23.          The invasion of Italy by the Gauls.                57, 58.
   24.          The sack and siege of Rome.                        59, 60.
   25.          The condition of the Romans after the departure
                    of the Gauls.                                      61.
   26.          The treason of Marcus Manlius.                     62, 63.
   27.          The Licinian laws.                                 64, 65.
   28.          The final expulsion of the Gauls.                      66.
   29.          The character of the Samnites.                     67, 68.
   30.          The First Samnite War.                                 69.
   31. Relate the incidents of the Latin War.                       70-72.
   32. Describe the Second Samnite War, and the reduction of
        the Æqui.                                                   73-75.
   33.          The Third Samnite War, and the conquest of
                    the Sabines.                                    76-78.
   34. What nations were allied against Rome, B. C. 283?           79, 80.
   35. Describe the campaigns of Pyrrhus In Italy and Sicily.       81-85.
   36. What changes among the Romans followed their conquest
        of Italy?                                                  86, 87.
   37. Describe the origin and events of the First Punic War.       89-94.
   38. What part was taken by Rome in the affairs of Greece?           95.
   39. Describe the conquest of the Gauls in northern Italy.      96, 112.
   40.          The preparations by Carthage for the Second
                    Punic War.                                      97-99.
   41.          The invasion of Italy by Hannibal.                100-108.
   42.          The fate of Hasdrubal.                           108, 107.
   43.          A Roman triumph.                                  109-111.
   44.          The wars of Rome in the East and West.      113, 114, 117.
   45.          The last Punic War.                              115, 116.
   46. Describe the conquest of Spain.                           118, 119.
   47.          The condition of Rome after the foreign wars.    120, 121.
   48.          The policy and death of Tiberius Gracchus.       122, 123.
   49.                               Of Scipio Æmilianus. Of
                                         Caius Gracchus.          124-127.
   50.          The Jugurthine Wars.                              128-132.
   51. Tell the history of Marius.                       130-136, 139-141.
   52. Describe the Roman slave-code, and its effects in Sicily.      137.
   53.          The dictatorship of Sulla.                        142-145.
   54.          The rebellion of Sertorius.                      146, 147.
   55.          The War of the Gladiators.                        148-150.
   56. Relate the