By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: History of Greece, Volume 02 (of 12)
Author: Grote, George
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "History of Greece, Volume 02 (of 12)" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



  * Italics are denoted by underscores as in _italics_.
  * Small caps are represented in upper case as in SMALL CAPS.
  * Letter spaced Greek text is enclosed in tildes as in ~καὶ τὰ
  * Footnotes have been renumbered. Each footnote is placed at the
    end of the paragraph that includes its anchor.
  * Obvious printer errors have been silently corrected, after
    comparison with a later edition of this work. Greek text has
    also been corrected after checking with this later edition and
    with Perseus, when the reference was found.
  * Original spelling, hyphenation and punctuation have been kept,
    but variant spellings were made consistent when a predominant
    usage was found.
  * Nevetherless, no attempt has been made at normalizing proper
    names (i.e. Xenophon and Xenophôn, Ægæan and Ægean, Laërtês and
    Laërtes, Corœbus and Korœbus etc.). The author established at the
    beginning of the first volume of this work some rules of
    transcription for proper names, but neither he nor his publisher
    follow them consistently.


  I. Legendary Greece.

  II. Grecian History to the Reign of
  Peisistratus at Athens.


  VOL. II.









  SECTION I.—_Return of the Herakleids into Peloponnêsus._

  Exile and low condition of the Herakleids.—Their reappearance as
  a powerful force along with the Dorians.—Mythical account of this
  alliance, as well as of the three tribes of Dorians.—Têmenus,
  Kresphontês, and Aristodêmus, invade Peloponnêsus across the
  gulf of Corinth.—The prophet Karnus slain by Hippotês.—Oxylus
  chosen as guide.—Division of the lands of Peloponnêsus among the
  invaders.—Explanatory value of these legendary events.—Mythical
  title of the Dorians to Peloponnêsus.—Plato makes out a different
  title for the same purpose.—Other legends respecting the Achæans
  and Tisamenus.—Occupation of Argos, Sparta, and Messênia, by
  the Dorians.—Dorians at Corinth—Alêtês.—Oxylus and the Ætolians
  at Elis.—Rights of the Eleians to superintend the Olympic
  games.—Family of Têmenus and Kresphontês lowest in the series
  of subjects for the heroic drama.—Pretence of the historical
  Spartan kings to Achæan origin.—Emigrations from Peloponnêsus
  consequent on the Dorian occupation.—Epeians, Pylians, Achæans,
  Ionians.—Ionians in the north of Peloponnêsus—not recognized
  by Homer.—Date assigned by Thucydidês to the return of the
  Herakleids.                                               _pages_ 1-14

  SECTION II.—_Migration of Thessalians and Bœotians._

  Thessalians move from Thesprôtis into Thessaly.—Non-Hellenic
  character of the Thessalians.—Bœotians—their migration
  from Thessaly into Bœotia.—Discrepant legends about the
  Bœotians.—Affinities between Bœotia and Thessaly.—Transition from
  mythical to historical Bœotia.                                   14-19

  SECTION III—_Emigrations from Greece to Asia and the Islands of
  the Ægæan._

  1. Æolic Emigration.

  Secession of the mythical races of Greece.—Æolic migration under
  the Pelopids.                                                    19-21

  2. Ionic Emigration.

  Ionic emigration—branches off from the legendary history of
  Athens.—Thêseus and Menestheus.—Restoration of the sons of
  Thêseus to their father’s kingdom.—They are displaced by the
  Neleids.—Melanthus and Kodrus.—Devotion and death of Kodrus.—No
  more kings at Athens.—Quarrel of the sons of Kodrus, and
  emigration of Neileus.—Different races who furnished the
  emigrants to Iônia.                                              21-25

  3. Doric Emigrations.

  Dorian colonies in Asia.—Thêra.—Legend of the Minyæ from
  Lemnos.—Minyæ in Triphylia.—Migrations of Dorians to Krete.—Story
  of Andrôn.—Althæmenês, founder of Rhodes.—Kôs, Knidus, and
  Karpathus.                                                       25-31

  Intervening blank between legend and history.—Difficulty
  of explaining that blank, on the hypothesis of continuous
  tradition.—Such an interval essentially connected with the
  genesis of legend.                                               31-34



  Different schemes of chronology proposed for the mythical
  events.—The data essential to chronological determination
  are here wanting.—Modern chronologists take up the same
  problem as ancient, but with a different canon of belief.—Mr.
  Clinton’s opinion on the computations of the date of the Trojan
  war.—Value of the chronological computations depends on the
  trustworthiness of the genealogies.—Mr. Clinton’s vindication
  of the genealogies—his proofs.—1. Inscriptions—none of proved
  antiquity.—Genealogies—numerous, and of unascertainable date.—2.
  Early poets.—Mr. Clinton’s separation of the genealogical
  persons into real and fabulous: principles on which it is
  founded.—Remarks on his opinion.—His concessions are partial
  and inconsistent, yet sufficient to render the genealogies
  inapplicable for chronology.—Mr. Clinton’s positions respecting
  historical evidence.—To what extent presumption may stand in
  favor of the early poets.—Plausible fiction satisfies the
  conditions laid down by Mr. Clinton—not distinguishable from
  truth without the aid of evidence.—Kadmus, Danaus, Hyllus, etc.,
  all eponyms, and falling under Mr. Clinton’s definition of
  fictitious persons.—What is real in the genealogies cannot be
  distinguished from what is fictitious.—At what time did the poets
  begin to produce continuous genealogies, from the mythical to the
  real world?—Evidence of mental progress when men methodize the
  past, even on fictitious principles.                             34-57



  Legendary poems of Greece valuable pictures of real manners,
  though giving no historical facts.—They are memorials of
  the first state of Grecian society—the starting-point of
  Grecian history.—Comparison of legendary with historical
  Greece—government of the latter—of the former.—The king—in
  legendary Greece.—His overruling personal ascendency.—Difficulty
  which Aristotle found in explaining to himself the voluntary
  obedience paid to the early kings.—The boulê—the agora: their
  limited intervention and subordination to the king.—The agora—a
  medium for promulgation of the intentions of the king.—Agora
  summoned by Telemachus in Ithaka.—Agora in the second book of
  the Iliad—picture of submission which it presents.—Conduct of
  Odysseus to the people and the chiefs.—Justice administered in
  the agora by the king or chiefs.—Complaints made by Hesiod of
  unjust judgment in his own case.—The king among men is analogous
  to Zeus among gods.—The Council and Assembly, originally media
  through which the king acted, become, in historical Greece, the
  paramount depositaries of power.—Spartan kings an exception to
  the general rule—their limited powers.—Employment of public
  speaking as an engine of government—coeval with the earliest
  times.—Its effects in stimulating intellectual development.—Moral
  and social feeling in legendary Greece.—Omnipotence of personal
  feeling towards the gods, the king, or individuals.—Effect of
  special ceremonies.—Contrast with the feelings in historical
  Athens.—Force of the family tie.—Marriage—respect paid to
  the wife.—Brothers, and kinsmen.—Hospitality.—Reception of
  the stranger and the suppliant.—Personal sympathies the
  earliest form of sociality.—Ferocious and aggressive passions
  unrestrained.—Picture given by Hesiod still darker.—Contrast
  between heroic and historical Greece.—Orphans.—Mutilation
  of dead bodies.—Mode of dealing with homicide.—Appeased by
  valuable compensation (ποινὴ) to the kinsman of the murdered
  man.—Punished in historical Greece as a crime against
  society.—Condition, occupations, and professions of the Homeric
  Greeks.—Slaves.—Thêtes.—Limited commerce and navigation of
  the Homeric Greeks.—Kretans, Taphians, Phœnicians.—Nature of
  Phœnician trade as indicated by Homer.—Weapons and mode of
  fighting of the Homeric Greeks.—Contrast with the military array
  of historical Greece.—Analogous change—in military array and in
  civil society.—Fortification of towns.—Earliest residences of
  the Greeks—hill-villages lofty and difficult of access.—Homeric
  society recognizes walled towns, individual property, and
  strong local attachments.—Means of defence superior to those
  of attack.—Habitual piracy.—Extended geographical knowledge
  in the Hesiodic poems, as compared with Homer.—Astronomy and
  physics.—Coined money, writing, arts.—Epic poetry.—Its great and
  permanent influence on the Greek mind.                          57-118



  Two classes of epic poetry—Homeric—Hesiodic.—Didactic and mystic
  Hexameter poetry—later as a genus than the epic.—Lost epic
  poems.—Epic poets and their probable dates.—Epic cycle.—What
  the epic cycle was—an arrangement of the poems according
  to continuity of narrative.—Relation of the epic cycle to
  Homer.—What poems were included in the cycle.—The Iliad and
  Odyssey are the only poems of the cycle preserved.—Curiosity
  which these two poems provoke—no data to satisfy it.—Different
  poems ascribed to Homer.—Nothing known, and endless diversity of
  opinion, respecting the person and date of Homer.—Poetical gens
  of the Homêrids.—Homer, the superhuman eponymus and father of
  this gens.—What may be the dates of the Iliad and Odyssey.—Date
  assigned by Herodotus the most probable.—Probable date of the
  Iliad and Odyssey between 850 and 776 B. C.—Epic poems recited
  to assembled companies, not read by individuals apart.—Lyric and
  choric poetry, intended for the ear.—Importance of the class
  of rhapsodes, singers, and reciters.—Rhapsodes condemned by
  the Socratic philosophers—undeservedly.—Variations in the mode
  of reciting the ancient epic.—At what time the Homeric poems
  began to be written.—Prolegomena of Wolf—raised new questions
  respecting the Homeric text—connected unity of authorship
  with poems written from the beginning.—The two questions not
  necessarily connected, though commonly discussed together.—Few
  traces of writing, long after the Homeric age.—Bards or rhapsodes
  of adequate memory, less inconsistent with the conditions of
  the age than long MSS.—Blind bards.—Possibility of preserving
  the poems by memory, as accurately as in fact they were
  preserved.—Argument from the lost letter Digamma.—When did
  the Homeric poems begin to be written?—Reasons for presuming
  that they were first written about the middle of the seventh
  century B. C.—Condition of the Iliad and Odyssey down to the
  reign of Peisistratus.—Theory of Wolf.—Authorities quoted in its
  favor.—Objections against it.—Other long epic poems besides the
  Iliad and Odyssey.—Catalogue in the Iliad—essentially a part of
  a long poem—its early authority.—Iliad and Odyssey were entire
  poems long anterior to Peisistratus, whether they were originally
  composed as entire or not.—No traces in the Homeric poems, of
  ideas or customs belonging to the age of Peisistratus.—Homeric
  poems. 1. Whether by one author or several. 2. Whether of one
  date and scheme.—Question raised by Wolf—Sagen-poesie.—New
  standard applied to the Homeric poems.—Homeric unity—generally
  rejected by German critics in the last generation—now again
  partially revived.—Scanty evidence—difficulty of forming any
  conclusive opinion.—Method of studying the question of Homeric
  unity.—Odyssey to be studied first, as of more simple and
  intelligible structure than the Iliad—Odyssey—evidences of
  one design throughout its structure.—Exhibits very few marks
  of incoherence or contradiction.—Chronological reckoning in
  the Odyssey, inaccurate in one case.—Inference erroneously
  drawn from hence, that the parts of the poem were originally
  separate.—Double start and double stream of events, ultimately
  brought into confluence in the Odyssey.—Skill displayed in
  this point by the poet.—Difficulty of imagining the Odyssey
  broken up into many existing poems or songs.—Structure of
  the Odyssey—essentially one—cannot have been pieced together
  out of preëxisting epics.—Analogy of the Odyssey shows that
  long and premeditated epical composition consists with the
  capacities of the early Greek mind.—Iliad—much less coherent and
  uniform than the Odyssey.—Incoherence prevails only in parts
  of the poem—manifest coherence in other parts.—Wolfian theory
  explains the former, but not the latter.—Theory of Welcker,
  Lange, and Nitzsch.—Age of the Epos preparatory to that of the
  Epopee.—Iliad essentially an organized poem—but the original
  scheme does not comprehend the whole poem.—Iliad—originally
  an Achillêis built upon a narrower plan, then enlarged.—Parts
  which constitute the primitive Achillêis exhibit a coherent
  sequence of events.—Disablement of Agamemnôn, Odysseus, and
  Diomêdês, all in the battle of the eleventh book.—The first book
  concentrates attention upon Achilles, and upon the distress
  which the Greeks are to incur in consequence of the injury done
  to him.—Nothing done to realize this expectation until the
  eighth book.—Primitive Achillêis includes books i, viii, xi
  to xxii.—Ninth book an unsuitable addition.—Transition from
  the Achillêis into the Iliad, in the beginning of the second
  book.—Transition from the Iliad back into the Achillêis at the
  end of the seventh book.—Fortification of the Grecian camp.—Zeus
  in the fourth book, or Iliad, different from Zeus in the first
  and eighth, or Achillêis.—Continuous Achillêis—from the eleventh
  book onward.—Supposition of an enlarged Achillêis is the most
  consonant to all the parts of the poem as it stands.—Question
  of one or many authors—difficult to decide.—Odyssey all by one
  author, Iliad probably not.—Difference of style in the last
  six books—may be explained without supposing difference of
  authorship.—Last two books—probably not parts of the original
  Achillêis.—Books ii. to vii. inclusive.—Book x.—Odyssey—probably
  by a different author from the Iliad—but perhaps of the
  same age.—Real character of the Homeric poems—essentially
  popular.—Addressed to unlettered minds, but touching those
  feelings which all men have in common.—No didactic purpose in
  Homer.                                                         118-209





  Northern boundary of Greece—Olympus.—Scardus and Pindus—their
  extension and dissemination through southern Greece and
  Peloponnesus.—Ossa and Pelion—to the Cyclades.—Geological
  features.—Irregularity of the Grecian waters—rivers dry in
  summer.—Frequent marshes and lakes.—Subterranean course
  of rivers, out of land-locked basins.—Difficulty of land
  communication and transport in Greece.—Indentations in
  the line of coast—universal accessibility by sea.—Sea
  communication essential for the islands and colonies.—Views of
  the ancient philosophers on the influence of maritime habits
  and commerce.—Difference between the land-states and the
  sea-states in Greece.—Effects of the configuration of Greece
  upon the political relations of the inhabitants.—Effects upon
  their intellectual development.—Limits of Greece.—Its chief
  productions.—Climate—better and more healthy in ancient times
  than it is now.—Great difference between one part of Greece and
  another.—Epirots, Macedonians, etc.—Islands in the Ægean.—Greeks
  on the coast of Asia Minor.                                    211-236



  The Hellens generally.—Barbarians—the word used as antithesis to
  Hellens.—Hellenic aggregate—how held together. 1. Fellowship of
  blood. 2. Common language.—Greek language essentially one with a
  variety of dialects. 3. Common religious sentiments, localities,
  and sacrifices.—Olympic and other sacred games.—Habit of common
  sacrifice an early feature of the Hellenic mind—began on a small
  scale.—Amphiktyonies—exclusive religious partnerships.—Their
  beneficial influence in creating sympathies.—What was called the
  Amphiktyonic Council.—Its twelve constituent members and their
  mutual position.—Antiquity of the Council—simplicity of the old
  oath.—Amphiktyonic meeting originally at Thermopylæ.—Valuable
  influence of these Amphiktyonies and festivals in promoting
  Hellenic union.—Amphiktyons had the superintendence of the
  temple of Delphi.—But their interference in Grecian affairs
  is only rare and occasional.—Many Hellenic states had no
  participation in it.—Temple of Delphi.—Oracles generally—habit
  of the Greek mind to consult them.—General analogy of manners
  among the Greeks.—Political sovereignty attached to each
  separate city—essential to the Hellenic mind.—Each city stood to
  the rest in an international relation.—But city government is
  essential—village residence is looked upon as an inferior scale
  of living.—Village residents—numerous in early Greece—many of
  them coalesced into cities.—Sparta retained its old village trim
  even at the height of its power.—Hellenic aggregate accepted as
  a primary fact—its preëxisting elements untraceable.—Ancient
  Pelasgians not knowable.—Historical Pelasgians—spoke a
  barbarous language.—Historical Leleges—barbarians in language
  also.—Statements of good witnesses regarding the historical
  Pelasgians and Leleges are to be admitted,—whether they fit the
  legendary Pelasgians and Leleges or not.—Alleged ante-Hellenic
  colonies from Phœnicia and Egypt—neither verifiable nor
  probable.—Most ancient Hellas—Græci.                           236-269



  Amphiktyonic races.—Non-Amphiktyonic races.—First period
  of Grecian history—from 776-560 B. C.—Second period—from
  560-300 B. C.—Important differences between the two—the first
  period preparatory and very little known.—Extra-Peloponnesian
  Greeks (north of Attica) not known at all during the
  first period.—General sketch of them.—Greeks north of
  Thermopylæ.—Thessalians and their dependents.—Thessalian
  character.—Condition of the population of Thessaly—a villein
  race—the Penestæ.—Who the Penestæ were—doubtful.—Quadruple
  division of Thessaly.—Disorderly confederacy of the
  Thessalian cities.—Great power of Thessaly, when in a
  state of unanimity.—Achæans, Perrhæbi, Magnêtes, Malians,
  Dolopes, etc., all tributaries of the Thessalians, but all
  Amphiktyonic races.—Asiatic Magnêtes.—The Malians.—The
  Œtæi.—The Ænianes.—Lokrians, Phocians, Dorians.—The
  Phocians.—Doris—Dryopis.—Historical Dryopes.—The Ætolians.—The
  Akarnanians.—Ozolian Lokrians, Ætolians, and Akarnanians, were
  the rudest of all Greeks.—The Bœotians.—Orchomenus.—Cities
  of Bœotia.—Confederation of Bœotia.—Early legislation of
  Thebes.—Philolaus and Dioklês.                                 269-298



  Distribution of Peloponnesus about 450 B. C.—Continuous
  Dorian states.—Western Peloponnesus.—Northern
  Peloponnesus—Achaia.—Central region—Arcadia.—Difference
  between this distribution and that of 776 B. C.—Portions
  of the population which were believed to be indigenous
  Arcadians, Kynurians. Achæans.—Emigrant portions—Dorians,
  Ætolo-Eleians, Dryopes, Triphylians.—Legendary account of the
  Dorian emigration.—Alexandrine chronology from the return of
  the Herakleids to the first Olympiad.—Spartan kings.—Herakleid
  kings of Corinth.—Argos and the neighboring Dorians greater
  than Sparta in 770 B. C.—Early settlements of the Dorians at
  Argos and Corinth—Temenion—Hill of Solygeius.—Dorian settlers
  arrived by sea.—Early Dorians in Krete.—The Dryopians—their
  settlements formed by sea.—Dorian settlements in Argos quite
  distinct from those in Sparta and in Messenia.—Early position of
  Argos—metropolis of the neighboring Dorian cities.—Pheidôn the
  Temenid—king of Argos.—His claims and projects as representative
  of Hêraklês.—He claims the right of presiding at the Olympic
  games.—Relations of Pisa with Pheidôn, and of Sparta with
  Elis.—Conflict between Pheidôn and the Spartans, at or about
  the 8th Olympiad, 747 B. C.—Pheidôn the earliest Greek who
  coined money and determined a scale of weight.—Coincidence
  of the Æginæan scale with the Babylonian.—Argos at this time
  the first state in Peloponnesus.—Her subsequent decline, from
  the relaxation of her confederacy of cities.—Dorians in the
  Argolic peninsula—their early commerce with the Dorian islands
  in the Ægean.—From hence arose the coinage of money, etc., by
  Pheidôn.—Pheidonian coinage and statical scale—belong originally
  to Argos, not to Ægina.                                        298-325



  Ætolian emigration into Peloponnesus.—Dorians of Sparta
  and Stenyklêrus—accompanying or following them across the
  Corinthian gulf.—Settlement at Sparta made by marching along
  the valleys of the Alpheus and Eurotas.—Causes which favored
  the settlement—Settlements confined at first to Sparta and
  Stenyklêrus.—First view of historical Sparta.—Messenian
  kings.—Analogous representations in regard to the early
  proceedings both of Spartans and Messenians.—The kings
  of Stenyklêrus did not possess all Messenia.—Olympic
  festival—the early point of union of Spartans, Messenians, and
  Eleians.—Previous inhabitants of southern Peloponnesus—how far
  different from the Dorians.—Doric and Æolic dialect.           325-337



  Lykurgus—authorities of Plutarch respecting him.—Uncertainties
  about his genealogy.—Probable date of Lykurgus.—Opinion of O.
  Müller (that Sparta is the perfect type of Dorian character
  and tendencies) is incorrect.—Peculiarity of Sparta.—Early
  date of Lykurgus.—View taken of Lykurgus by Herodotus.—Little
  said about Lykurgus in the earlier authors.—Copious details of
  Plutarch.—Regency of Lykurgus—his long absence from Sparta.—He is
  sent by the Delphian oracle to reform the state.—His institutions
  ascribed to him—senate and popular assembly—ephors.—Constitution
  ascribed to Lykurgus agrees with that which we find in
  Homer.—Pair of kings at Sparta—their constant dissensions—a
  security to the state against despotism.—Idea of Kleomenês the
  Third respecting the first appointment of the ephors.—Popular
  origin of the board of ephors—oath interchanged between them and
  the kings.—Subordination of the kings, and supremacy of the
  ephors, during the historical times.—Position and privileges
  of the kings.—Power of the ephors.—Public assembly.—The
  Senate.—Spartan constitution—a close oligarchy.—Long duration
  of the constitution without formal change—one cause of the
  respect in Greece and pride in the Spartans themselves.—Dorians
  divided into three tribes,—Hylleis, Pamphyli, and Dymanes.—Local
  distinctions known among the Spartans.—Population of Laconia—1.
  Spartans.—2. Periœki.—Special meaning of the word Periœki
  in Laconia.—Statement of Isokratês as to the origin of the
  Periœki.—Statement of Ephorus—different from Isokratês,
  yet not wholly irreconcilable.—Spartans and Periœki—no
  distinction of race known between them in historical times.—3.
  Helots—essentially villagers.—They were serfs—adscripti
  glebæ—their condition and treatment.—Bravery and energy of
  the Helots—fear and cruelty of the Spartans.—Evidence of the
  character of the Spartan government.—The Krypteia.—Manumitted
  Helots.—Economical and social regulations ascribed to
  Lykurgus.—Partition of lands.—Syssitia, or public mess.—Public
  training or discipline.—Manners and training of the Spartan
  women—opinion of Aristotle.—Statement of Xenophon and
  Plutarch.—Number of rich women in the time of Aristotle—they had
  probably procured exemption from the general training.—Earnest
  and lofty patriotism of the Spartan women.—Lykurgus is the
  trainer of a military brotherhood, more than the framer of a
  political constitution.—His end exclusively warlike—his means
  exclusively severe.—Statements of Plutarch about Lykurgus—much
  romance in them.—New partition of lands—no such measure ascribed
  to Lykurgus by earlier authors down to Aristotle.—The idea of
  Lykurgus as an equal partitioner of lands belongs to the century
  of Agis and Kleomenês.—Circumstances of Sparta down to the reign
  of Agis.—Diminished number of citizens and degradation of Sparta
  in the reign of Agis.—His ardent wish to restore the dignity of
  the state.—Historic fancy of Lykurgus as an equal partitioner
  of lands grew out of this feeling.—Partition proposed by
  Agis.—Opinion that Lykurgus proposed some agrarian interference,
  but not an entire repartition, gratuitous and improbable.—The
  statement of Plutarch is best explained by supposing it a fiction
  of the time of Agis.—Acknowledged difficulty of understanding
  by what means the fixed number and integrity of the lots was
  maintained.—Plutarch’s story about the ephor Epitadeus.—Landed
  property was always unequally divided at Sparta.—Nor were
  there any laws which tended to equalize it.—Opinions of
  Aristotle.—Erroneous suppositions with regard to the Spartan
  law and practice of succession.—Lykurgean system—originally
  applied only to Sparta—introduced equal severity of discipline,
  not equality of property.—Original Dorian allotment of land
  in Sparta unknown—probably not equal.—Gradual conquest of
  Laconia, the result of the new force imparted by the Lykurgean
  discipline.—Conquest of Amyklæ, Pharis, and Geronthræ, by king
  Têleklus.—Helus conquered by Alkamenês.—Progressive increase of
  Sparta.                                                        337-421



  Authorities for the history of the Messenian wars.—Chiefly
  belong to the time after the foundation of Messênê by
  Epameinondas.—Absence of real or ancient traditions concerning
  these wars: contradictions about the Messenian hero
  Aristomenês.—Dates of the first wars—B. C. 743-724.—Causes
  alleged by the Spartans.—Spartan king Têleklus slain by the
  Messenians at the temple of Artemis Limnatis.—First Messenian
  war.—Messenian kings, Euphaês and Aristodêmus.—Messenians
  concentrate themselves on Mount Ithôme—after a long siege they
  are completely conquered.—Harsh treatment and Helotism of the
  conquered Messenians under Sparta.—Revolt of the Messenians
  against Sparta—second Messenian war—Aristomenês.—His chivalrous
  exploits and narrow escapes—end of the second war.—The Messenians
  again conquered.—Narrative of Pausanias, borrowed from the
  poet Rhianus, is undeserving of credit.—The poet Tyrtæus, the
  ally of Sparta—his great efficiency and influence over the
  Spartan mind.—Musical susceptibilities of the Spartans.—Powerful
  ethical effect of the old Grecian music.—Sufferings of the
  Spartans in the second Messenian war.—Date of the second war,
  B. C. 648-631.—Punishment of the traitor Aristokratês, king of
  the Arcadian Orchomenus.—Spartans acquire the country west of
  Taygetus.—The Messenian Dorians had no considerable fortified
  places—lived in small townships and villages.—Relations of
  Pisa and Elis.—Struggles of the Pisatæ and Triphylians for
  autonomy—the latter in after times sustained by the political
  interests of Sparta.                                           421-440



  State of Arcadia.—Tegea and Mantineia the most powerful Arcadian
  towns, before the building of Megalopolis.—Encroachments of
  Sparta upon the southern boundary of Arcadia.—Unsuccessful
  attempts of the Spartans against Tegea.—They are directed by the
  oracle to bring to Sparta the bones of the hero Orestês.—Their
  operations against Tegea become more successful; nevertheless,
  Tegea maintains her independence.—Boundaries of Sparta towards
  Argos—conquest of Thyreatis by Sparta.—Battle of the three
  hundred select champions, between Sparta and Argos, to decide the
  possession of the Thyreatis—valor of Othryades.—Thyreatis comes
  into possession of Sparta—efforts of the Argeians to recover
  it.—Alteration of Grecian opinion, as to the practice of deciding
  disputes by select champions.—Kynurians in Argolis, said to be of
  Ionic race, but Dorized.—Full acquisition of the southern portion
  of Peloponnesus, from sea to sea, by the Spartans before 540 B.
  C.—Great comparative power of Sparta at that early time.—Careful
  personal training of the Spartans at a time when other states had
  no training at all.—Military institutions of Sparta.—Peculiar and
  minute military subdivisions, distinct from the civil Enômoties,
  etc.—Careful drilling of the Enômoties.—In other Grecian cities
  there were no peculiar military divisions distinct from the
  civil.—Recognized superiority of Sparta—a part of early Grecian
  sentiment—coincident with the growing tendency to increased
  communion.—Homeric mode of fighting—probably belonged to Asia,
  not to Greece.—Argos—her struggles to recover the headship of
  Greece.—Her conquest of Mykenæ, Tiryns, and Kleônæ.—Nemean
  games.—Achaia—twelve autonomous towns, perhaps more—little known.







In one of the preceding chapters, we have traced the descending
series of the two most distinguished mythical families in
Peloponnêsus,—the Perseids and the Pelopids: we have followed the
former down to Hêraklês and his son Hyllus, and the latter down
to Orestês son of Agamemnôn, who is left in possession of that
ascendancy in the peninsula which had procured for his father the
chief command in the Trojan war. The Herakleids, or sons of Hêraklês,
on the other hand, are expelled fugitives, dependent upon foreign
aid or protection: Hyllus had perished in single combat with Echemus
of Tegea, (connected with the Pelopids by marriage with Timandra
sister of Klytæmnêstra,[1]) and a solemn compact had been made, as
the preliminary condition of this duel, that no similar attempt at
an invasion of the peninsula should be undertaken by his family for
the space of one hundred years. At the end of the stipulated period
the attempt was renewed, and with complete success; but its success
was owing, not so much to the valor of the invaders as to a powerful
body of new allies. The Herakleids reappear as leaders and companions
of the Dorians,—a northerly section of the Greek name, who now first
come into importance,—poor, indeed, in mythical renown, since they
are never noticed in the Iliad, and only once casually mentioned in
the Odyssey, as a fraction among the many-tongued inhabitants of
Krête,—but destined to form one of the grand and predominant elements
throughout all the career of historical Hellas.

  [1] Hesiod, Eoiai, Fragm. 58, p. 43, ed. Düntzer.

The son of Hyllus—Kleodæus—as well as his grandson Aristomachus, were
now dead, and the lineage of Hêraklês was represented by the three
sons of the latter,—Têmenus, Kresphontês, and Aristodêmus, and under
their conduct the Dorians penetrated into the peninsula. The mythical
account traced back this intimate union between the Herakleids and
the Dorians to a prior war, in which Hêraklês himself had rendered
inestimable aid to the Dorian king Ægimius, when the latter was
hard pressed in a contest with the Lapithæ. Hêraklês defeated the
Lapithæ, and slew their king Korônus; in return for which Ægimius
assigned to his deliverer one third part of his whole territory, and
adopted Hyllus as his son. Hêraklês desired that the territory thus
made over might be held in reserve until a time should come when his
descendants might stand in need of it; and that time did come, after
the death of Hyllus, (see Chap. V.) Some of the Herakleids then found
shelter at Trikorythus in Attica, but the remainder, turning their
steps towards Ægimius, solicited from him the allotment of land which
had been promised to their valiant progenitor. Ægimius received them
according to his engagement, and assigned to them the stipulated
third portion of his territory:[2] and from this moment the
Herakleids and Dorians became intimately united together into one
social communion. Pamphylus and Dymas, sons of Ægimius, accompanied
Têmenus and his two brothers in their invasion of Peloponnêsus.

  [2] Diodôr. iv. 37-60; Apollodôr. ii. 7, 7; Ephorus ap. Steph.
  Byz. Δυμᾶν, Fragm. 10, ed. Marx.

  The Doric institutions are called by Pindar τεθμοὶ Αἰγιμίου
  Δωρικοί (Pyth. i. 124).

  There existed an ancient epic poem, now lost, but cited on
  some few occasions by authors still preserved, under the title
  Αἰγίμιος; the authorship being sometimes ascribed to Hesiod,
  sometimes to Kerkops (Athenæ. xi. p. 503). The few fragments
  which remain do not enable us to make out the scheme of it,
  inasmuch as they embrace different mythical incidents lying
  very wide of each other,—Iô, the Argonauts, Pêleus, and Thetis,
  etc. But the name which it bears seems to imply that the war
  of Ægimius against the Lapithæ, and the aid given to him by
  Hêraklês, was one of its chief topics. Both O. Müller (History of
  the Dorians, vol. i. b. 1, c. 8) and Welcker (Der Epische Kyklus,
  p. 263) appear to me to go beyond the very scanty evidence which
  we possess, in their determination of this last poem; compare
  Marktscheffel, Præfat. Hesiod. Fragm. cap. 5, p. 159.

Such is the mythical incident which professes to explain the origin
of those three tribes into which all the Dorian communities were
usually divided,—the Hyllêis, the Pamphyli, and the Dymanes,—the
first of the three including certain particular families, such as
that of the kings of Sparta, who bore the special name of Herakleids.
Hyllus, Pamphylus, and Dymas are the eponymous heroes of the three
Dorian tribes.

Têmenus and his two brothers resolved to attack Peloponnêsus, not by
a land-march along the Isthmus, such as that in which Hyllus had been
previously slain, but by sea, across the narrow inlet between the
promontories of Rhium and Antirrhium, with which the Gulf of Corinth
commences. According to one story, indeed,—which, however, does not
seem to have been known to Herodotus,—they are said to have selected
this line of march by the express direction of the Delphian god, who
vouchsafed to expound to them an oracle which had been delivered
to Hyllus in the ordinary equivocal phraseology. Both the Ozolian
Lokrians, and the Ætolians, inhabitants of the northern coast of the
Gulf of Corinth, were favorable to the enterprise, and the former
granted to them a port for building their ships, from which memorable
circumstance the port ever afterwards bore the name of Naupaktus.
Aristodêmus was here struck with lightning and died, leaving twin
sons, Eurysthenês and Proklês; but his remaining brothers continued
to press the expedition with alacrity.

At this juncture, an Akarnanian prophet named Karnus presented
himself in the camp[3] under the inspiration of Apollo, and
uttered various predictions: he was, however, so much suspected
of treacherous collusion with the Peloponnesians, that Hippotês,
great-grandson of Hêraklês through Phylas and Antiochus, slew him.
His death drew upon the army the wrath of Apollo, who destroyed their
vessels and punished them with famine. Têmenus, in his distress,
again applying to the Delphian god for succor and counsel, was made
acquainted with the cause of so much suffering, and was directed
to banish Hippotês for ten years, to offer expiatory sacrifice for
the death of Karnus, and to seek as the guide of the army a man
with three eyes.[4] On coming back to Naupaktus, he met the Ætolian
Oxylus, son of Andræmôn, returning to his country, after a temporary
exile in Elis, incurred for homicide: Oxylus had lost one eye, but
as he was seated on a horse, the man and the horse together made up
the three eyes required, and he was adopted as the guide prescribed
by the oracle.[5] Conducted by him, they refitted their ships, landed
on the opposite coast of Achaia, and marched to attack Tisamenus son
of Orestês, then the great potentate of the peninsula. A decisive
battle was fought, in which the latter was vanquished and slain,
and in which Pamphylus and Dymas also perished. This battle made
the Dorians so completely masters of the Peloponnêsus, that they
proceeded to distribute the territory among themselves. The fertile
land of Elis had been by previous stipulation reserved for Oxylus, as
a recompense for his services as conductor: and it was agreed that
the three Herakleids,—Têmenus, Kresphontês, and the infant sons of
Aristodêmus,—should draw lots for Argos, Sparta, and Messênê. Argos
fell to Têmenus, Sparta to the sons of Aristodêmus, and Messênê to
Kresphontês; the latter having secured for himself this prize, the
most fertile territory of the three, by the fraud of putting into
the vessel out of which the lots were drawn, a lump of clay instead
of a stone, whereby the lots of his brothers were drawn out while his
own remained inside. Solemn sacrifices were offered by each upon this
partition: but as they proceeded to the ceremony, a miraculous sign
was seen upon the altar of each of the brothers,—a toad corresponding
to Argos, a serpent to Sparta, and a fox to Messênê. The prophets,
on being consulted, delivered the import of these mysterious
indications: the toad, as an animal slow and stationary, was an
evidence that the possessor of Argos would not succeed in enterprises
beyond the limits of his own city; the serpent denoted the aggressive
and formidable future reserved to Sparta; the fox prognosticated a
career of wile and deceit to the Messenian.

  [3] Respecting this prophet, compare Œnomaus ap. Eusebium,
  Præparat. Evangel. v. p. 211. According to that statement, both
  Kleodæus (here called _Aridæus_) son of Hyllus, and Aristomachus
  son of Kleodæus, had made separate and successive attempts at the
  head of the Herakleids to penetrate into Peloponnêsus through
  the Isthmus: both had failed and perished, having misunderstood
  the admonition of the Delphian oracle. Œnomaus could have
  known nothing of the pledge given by Hyllus, as the condition
  of the single combat between Hyllus and Echemus (according to
  Herodotus), that the Herakleids should make no fresh trial for
  one hundred years; if it had been understood that they had given
  and then violated such a pledge, such violation would probably
  have been adduced to account for their failure.

  [4] Apollodôr. ii. 8, 3; Pausan. iii. 13. 3.

  [5] Apollodôr. ii. 8, 3. According to the account of Pausanias,
  the beast upon which Oxylus rode was a mule, and had lost one eye
  (Paus. v. 3, 5).

Such is the brief account given by Apollodôrus of the Return of the
Herakleids, at which point we pass, as if touched by the wand of a
magician, from mythical to historical Greece. The story bears on
the face of it the stamp, not of history, but of legend,—abridged
from one or more of the genealogical poets,[6] and presenting such
an account as they thought satisfactory, of the first formation of
the great Dorian establishments in Peloponnêsus, as well as of the
semi-Ætolian Elis. Its incidents are so conceived as to have an
explanatory bearing on Dorian institutions,—upon the triple division
of tribes, characteristic of the Dorians,—upon the origin of the
great festival of the Karneia at Sparta, alleged to be celebrated
in expiation of the murder of Karnus,—upon the different temper
and character of the Dorian states among themselves,—upon the
early alliance of the Dorians with Elis, which contributed to give
ascendency and vogue to the Olympic games,—upon the reverential
dependence of Dorians towards the Delphian oracle,—and, lastly, upon
the etymology of the name Naupaktus. If we possessed the narrative
more in detail, we should probably find many more examples of
coloring of the legendary past suitable to the circumstances of the
historical present.

  [6] Herodotus observes, in reference to the Lacedæmonian
  account of their first two kings in Peloponnêsus, (Eurysthenês
  and Proklês, the twin sons of Aristodêmus,) that the
  Lacedæmonians gave a _story not in harmony with any of the
  poets_,—Λακεδαιμόνιοι γὰρ, ~ὁμολογέοντες οὐδενὶ ποιητῇ~, λέγουσιν
  αὐτὸν Ἀριστόδημον ... βασιλεύοντα ἀγαγεῖν σφεας ἐς ταύτην τὴν
  χώρην τὴν νῦν ἐκτέαται, ἀλλ᾽ οὐ τοὺς Ἀριστοδήμου παῖδας (Herodot.
  vi. 52).

Above all, this legend makes out in favor of the Dorians and their
kings a mythical title to their Peloponnesian establishments; Argos,
Sparta, and Messênê are presented as rightfully belonging, and
restored by just retribution, to the children of Hêraklês. It was
to them that Zeus had specially given the territory of Sparta; the
Dorians came in as their subjects and auxiliaries.[7] Plato gives a
very different version of the legend, but we find that he, too, turns
the story in such a manner as to embody a claim of right on the part
of the conquerors. According to him, the Achæans, who returned from
the capture of Troy, found among their fellow-citizens at home—the
race which had grown up during their absence—an aversion to readmit
them: after a fruitless endeavor to make good their rights, they
were at last expelled, but not without much contest and bloodshed. A
leader named Dorieus, collected all these exiles into one body, and
from him they received the name of Dorians instead of Achæans; then
marching back, under the conduct of the Herakleids into Peloponnêsus,
they recovered by force the possessions from which they had been
shut out, and constituted the three Dorian establishments under the
separate Herakleid brothers, at Argos, Sparta, and Messênê. These
three fraternal dynasties were founded upon a scheme of intimate
union and sworn alliance one with the other, for the purpose of
resisting any attack which might be made upon them from Asia,[8]
either by the remaining Trojans or by their allies. Such is the
story as Plato believed it; materially different in the incidents
related, yet analogous in mythical feeling, and embodying alike the
idea of a rightful reconquest. Moreover, the two accounts agree
in representing both the entire conquest and the triple division
of Dorian Peloponnêsus as begun and completed in one and the same
enterprise,—so as to constitute one single event, which Plato would
probably have called the Return of the Achæans, but which was
commonly known as the Return of the Herakleids. Though this is both
inadmissible and inconsistent with other statements which approach
close to the historical times, yet it bears every mark of being the
primitive view originally presented by the genealogical poets: the
broad way in which the incidents are grouped together, was at once
easy for the imagination to follow, and impressive to the feelings.

  [7] Tyrtæus, Fragm.—

    Αὐτος γαρ Κρονίων, καλλιστεφάνου πόσις Ἥρας,
      Ζεὺς Ἡρακλείδαις τήνδε δέδωκε πόλιν·
    Οἰσιν ἅμα, προλιπόντες Ἐρίνεον ἠνεμόεντα,
      Εὐρεῖαν Πέλοπος νῆσον ἀφικόμεθα.

  In a similar manner Pindar says that Apollo had planted the sons
  of Hêraklês, jointly with those of Ægimius, at Sparta, Argos, and
  Pylus (Pyth. v. 93).

  Isokratês (Or. vi. _Archidamus_, p. 120) makes out a good title
  by a different line of mythical reasoning. There seem to have
  been also stories containing mythical reasons why the Herakleids
  did _not_ acquire possession of Arcadia (Polyæn. i. 7).

  [8] Plato, Legg. iii. 6-7, pp. 682-686.

The existence of one legendary account must never be understood as
excluding the probability of other accounts, current at the same
time, but inconsistent with it: and many such there were as to the
first establishment of the Peloponnesian Dorians. In the narrative
which I have given from Apollodôrus, conceived apparently under the
influence of Dorian feelings, Tisamenus is stated to have been slain
in the invasion. But according to another narrative, which seems to
have found favor with the historical Achæans on the north coast of
Peloponnêsus, Tisamenus, though expelled by the invaders from his
kingdom of Sparta or Argos, was not slain: he was allowed to retire
under agreement, together with a certain portion of his subjects,
and he directed his steps towards the coast of Peloponnêsus south
of the Corinthian Gulf, then occupied by the Ionians. As there were
relations, not only of friendship, but of kindred origin, between
Ionians and Achæans, (the eponymous heroes Iôn and Achæus pass for
brothers, both sons of Xuthus), Tisamenus solicited from the Ionians
admission for himself and his fellow-fugitives into their territory.
The leading Ionians declining this request, under the apprehension
that Tisamenus might be chosen as sovereign over the whole, the
latter accomplished his object by force. After a vehement struggle,
the Ionians were vanquished and put to flight, and Tisamenus thus
acquired possession of Helikê, as well as of the northern coast of
the peninsula, westward from Sikyôn; which coast continued to be
occupied by the Achæans, and received its name from them, throughout
all the historical times. The Ionians retired to Attica, many of
them taking part in what is called the Ionic emigration to the coast
of Asia Minor, which followed shortly after. Pausanias, indeed, tells
us that Tisamenus, having gained a decisive victory over the Ionians,
fell in the engagement,[9] and did not himself live to occupy the
country of which his troops remained masters. But this story of
the death of Tisamenus seems to arise from a desire, on the part
of Pausanias, to blend together into one narrative two discrepant
legends; at least the historical Achæans in later times continued
to regard Tisamenus himself as having lived and reigned in their
territory, and as having left a regal dynasty which lasted down to
Ogygês,[10] after whom it was exchanged for a popular government.[11]

  [9] Pausan. vii. 1-3.

  [10] Polyb. ii. 45; iv. 1; Strabo, viii. pp. 383-384. This
  Tisamenus derives his name from the memorable act of revenge
  ascribed to his father Orestês. So, in the legend of the Siege
  of Thêbes, Thersander, as one of the Epigoni, avenged his father
  Polynikês: the son of Thersander was also called _Tisamenus_
  (Herodot. iv. 149). Compare O. Müller, Dorians, i. p. 69, note 9,
  Eng. Trans.

  [11] Diodôr. iv. 1. The historian Ephorus embodied in his work a
  narrative in considerable detail of this grand event of Grecian
  legend, the Return of the Herakleids,—with which he professed to
  commence his consecutive history: from what sources he borrowed
  we do not know.

The conquest of Têmenus, the eldest of the three Herakleids,
originally comprehended only Argos and its neighborhood; it was
from thence that Trœzen, Epidaurus, Ægina, Sikyôn, and Phlius
were successfully occupied by Dorians, the sons and son-in-law of
Têmenus—Deiphontês, Phalkês, and Keisus—being the leaders under whom
this was accomplished.[12] At Sparta, the success of the Dorians was
furthered by the treason of a man named Philonomus, who received as
recompense the neighboring town and territory of Amyklæ.[13] Messênia
is said to have submitted without resistance to the dominion of the
Herakleid Kresphontês, who established his residence at Stenyklêrus:
the Pylian Melanthus, then ruler of the country, and representative
of the great mythical lineage of Nêleus and Nestôr, withdrew with
his household gods and with a portion of his subjects to Attica.[14]

  [12] Strabo, viii. p. 389. Pausan. ii. 6, 2; 12, 1.

  [13] Conôn, Nar. 36; Strabo, viii. p. 365.

  [14] Strabo, viii. p. 359; Conôn, Narr. 39.

The only Dorian establishment in the peninsula not directly connected
with the triple partition is Corinth, which is said to have been
Dorized somewhat later and under another leader, though still a
Herakleid. Hippotês—descendant of Hêraklês in the fourth generation,
but not through Hyllus,—had been guilty (as already mentioned) of
the murder of Karnus the prophet at the camp of Naupaktus, for which
he had been banished and remained in exile for ten years; his son
deriving the name of Alêtês from the long wanderings endured by the
father. At the head of a body of Dorians, Alêtês attacked Corinth:
he pitched his camp on the Solygeian eminence near the city, and
harassed the inhabitants with constant warfare until he compelled
them to surrender. Even in the time of the Peloponnesian war, the
Corinthians professed to identify the hill on which the camp of
these assailants had been placed. The great mythical dynasty of
the Sisyphids was expelled, and Alêtês became ruler and Œkist of
the Dorian city; many of the inhabitants, however, Æolic or Ionic,

  [15] Thucydid. iv. 42. Schol. Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 17; and Nem.
  vii. 155. Conôn, Narrat. 26. Ephor. ap. Strab. viii. p. 389.

  Thucydidês calls the ante-Dorian inhabitants of Corinth Æolians;
  Conôn calls them Ionians.

The settlement of Oxylus and his Ætolians in Elis is said by some
to have been accomplished with very little opposition; the leader
professing himself to be descended from Ætolus, who had been in a
previous age banished from Elis into Ætôlia, and the two people,
Epeians and Ætolians, acknowledging a kindred origin one with the
other.[16] At first, indeed, according to Ephorus, the Epeians
appeared in arms, determined to repel the intruders, but at length
it was agreed on both sides to abide the issue of a single combat.
Degmenus, the champion of the Epeians, confided in the long shot
of his bow and arrow; but the Ætolian Pyræchmês came provided with
his sling,—a weapon then unknown and recently invented by the
Ætolians,—the range of which was yet longer than that of the bow
of his enemy: he thus killed Degmenus, and secured the victory to
Oxylus and his followers. According to one statement, the Epeians
were expelled; according to another, they fraternized amicably with
the new-comers: whatever may be the truth as to this matter, it is
certain that their name is from this moment lost, and that they never
reappear among the historical elements of Greece:[17] we hear from
this time forward only of Eleians, said to be of Ætolian descent.[18]

  [16] Ephorus ap. Strabo, x. p. 463.

  [17] Strabo, viii. p. 358; Pausan. v. 4, 1. One of the six towns
  in Triphylia mentioned by Herodotus is called Ἔπειον (Herodot.
  iv. 149).

  [18] Herodot. viii. 73; Pausan. v. 1, 2. Hekatæus affirmed that
  the Epeians were completely alien to the Eleians; Strabo does
  not seem to have been able to satisfy himself either of the
  affirmative or negative (Hekatæus, Fr. 348, ed. Didot; Strabo,
  viii. p. 341).

One most important privilege was connected with the possession of the
Eleian territory by Oxylus, coupled with his claim on the gratitude
of the Dorian kings. The Eleians acquired the administration of the
temple at Olympia, which the Achæans are said to have possessed
before them; and in consideration of this sacred function, which
subsequently ripened into the celebration of the great Olympic games,
their territory was solemnly pronounced to be inviolable. Such
was the statement of Ephorus:[19] we find, in this case as in so
many others, that the Return of the Herakleids is made to supply a
legendary basis for the historical state of things in Peloponnêsus.

  [19] Ephorus ap. Strabo. viii. p. 358. The tale of the
  inhabitants of Pisa, the territory more immediately bordering
  upon Olympia, was very different from this.

It was the practice of the great Attic tragedians, with rare
exceptions, to select the subjects of their composition from the
heroic or legendary world, and Euripidês had composed three dramas,
now lost, on the adventures of Têmenus with his daughter Hyrnethô and
his son-in-law Dêiphontês,—on the family misfortunes of Kresphontês
and Meropê,—and on the successful valor of Archelaus the son of
Têmenus in Macedonia, where he was alleged to have first begun the
dynasty of the Temenid kings. Of these subjects the first and second
were eminently tragical, and the third, relating to Archelaus,
appears to have been undertaken by Euripidês in compliment to his
contemporary sovereign and patron, Archelaus king of Macedonia: we
are even told that those exploits which the usual version of the
legend ascribed to Têmenus, were reported in the drama of Euripidês
to have been performed by Archelaus his son.[20] Of all the heroes,
touched upon by the three Attic tragedians, these Dorian Herakleids
stand lowest in the descending genealogical series,—one mark amongst
others that we are approaching the ground of genuine history.

  [20] Agatharchides ap. Photium, Sect. 250, p. 1332. Ὀυδ᾽
  Εὐριπίδου κατηγορῶ, τῷ Ἀρχελάῳ περιτεθεικότος τὰς Τημένου πράξεις.

  Compare the Fragments of the Τημένιδαι, Ἀρχέλαος, and Κρεσφόντης,
  in Dindorf’s edition of Euripidês, with the illustrative remarks
  of Welcker, Griechische Tragödien, pp. 697, 708, 828.

  The Prologue of the Archelaus seems to have gone through the
  whole series of the Herakleidan lineage, from Ægyptus and Danaus

Though the name Achæans, as denoting a people, is henceforward
confined to the North-Peloponnesian territory specially called
Achaia, and to the inhabitants of Achæa, Phthiôtis, north of Mount
Œta,—and though the great Peloponnesian states always seem to have
prided themselves on the title of Dorians,—yet we find the kings
of Sparta, even in the historical age, taking pains to appropriate
to themselves the mythical glories of the Achæans, and to set
themselves forth as the representatives of Agamemnôn and Orestês.
The Spartan king Kleomenês even went so far as to disavow formally
any Dorian parentage; for when the priestess at Athens refused to
permit him to sacrifice in the temple of Athênê, on the plea that it
was peremptorily closed to all Dorians, he replied: “I am no Dorian,
but an Achæan.”[21] Not only did the Spartan envoy, before Gelôn
of Syracuse, connect the indefeasible title of his country to the
supreme command of the Grecian military force, with the ancient name
and lofty prerogatives of Agamemnôn,[22]—but, in farther pursuance
of the same feeling, the Spartans are said to have carried to Sparta
both the bones of Orestês from Tegea, and those of Tisamenus from
Helikê,[23] at the injunction of the Delphian oracle. There is also a
story that Oxylus in Elis was directed by the same oracle to invite
into his country an Achæan, as Œkist conjointly with himself;
and that he called in Agorius, the great-grandson of Orestês,
from Helikê, with a small number of Achæans who joined him.[24]
The Dorians themselves, being singularly poor in native legends,
endeavored, not unnaturally, to decorate themselves with those
legendary ornaments which the Achæans possessed in abundance.

  [21] Herodot. v. 72.

  [22] Herodot. vii. 159.

  [23] Herodot. i. 68; Pausan. vii. 1, 3.

  [24] Pausan. v. 4, 2.

As a consequence of the Dorian establishments in Peloponnêsus,
several migrations of the preëxisting inhabitants are represented as
taking place. 1. The Epeians of Elis are either expelled, or merged
in the new-comers under Oxylus, and lose their separate name. 2.
The Pylians, together with the great heroic family of Nêleus and
his son Nestôr, who preside over them, give place to the Dorian
establishment of Messênia, and retire to Athens, where their leader,
Melanthus, becomes king: a large portion of them take part in the
subsequent Ionic emigration. 3. A portion of the Achæans, under
Penthilus and other descendants of Orestês, leave Peloponnêsus, and
form what is called the Æolic emigration, to Lesbos, the Trôad,
and the Gulf of Adramyttium: the name _Æolians_, unknown to Homer,
and seemingly never applied to any separate tribe at all, being
introduced to designate a large section of the Hellenic name, partly
in Greece Proper, and partly in Asia. 4. Another portion of Achæans
expel the Ionians from Achaia, properly so called, in the north of
Peloponnêsus; the Ionians retiring to Attica.

The Homeric poems describe Achæans, Pylians, and Epeians, in
Peloponnêsus, but take no notice of Ionians in the northern district
of Achaia: on the contrary, the Catalogue in the Iliad distinctly
includes this territory under the dominions of Agamemnôn. Though the
Catalogue of Homer is not to be regarded as an historical document,
fit to be called as evidence for the actual state of Peloponnêsus
at any prior time, it certainly seems a better authority than the
statements advanced by Herodotus and others respecting the occupation
of northern Peloponnêsus by the Ionians, and their expulsion from
it by Tisamenus. In so far as the Catalogue is to be trusted, it
negatives the idea of Ionians at Helikê, and countenances what seems
in itself a more natural supposition,—that the historical Achæans in
the north part of Peloponnêsus are a small undisturbed remnant of the
powerful Achæan population once distributed throughout the peninsula,
until it was broken up and partially expelled by the Dorians.

The Homeric legends, unquestionably the oldest which we possess, are
adapted to a population of Achæans, Danaans, and Argeians, seemingly
without any special and recognized names, either aggregate or
divisional, other than the name of each separate tribe or kingdom.
The post-Homeric legends are adapted to a population classified
quite differently,—Hellens, distributed into Dorians, Ionians, and
Æolians. If we knew more of the time and circumstances in which these
different legends grew up, we should probably be able to explain
their discrepancy; but in our present ignorance we can only note the

Whatever difficulty modern criticism may find in regard to the event
called “The Return of the Herakleids,” no doubt is expressed about it
even by the best historians of antiquity. Thucydidês accepts it as a
single and literal event, having its assignable date, and carrying at
one blow the acquisition of Peloponnêsus. The date of it he fixes as
eighty years after the capture of Troy. Whether he was the original
determiner of this epoch, or copied it from some previous author, we
do not know. It must have been fixed according to some computation
of generations, for there were no other means accessible,—probably
by means of the lineage of the Herakleids, which, as belonging to
the kings of Sparta, constituted the most public and conspicuous
thread of connection between the Grecian real and mythical world,
and measured the interval between the Siege of Troy itself and the
first recorded Olympiad. Hêraklês himself represents the generation
before the siege, and his son Tlepolemus fights in the besieging
army. If we suppose the first generation after Hêraklês to commence
with the beginning of the siege, the fourth generation after him will
coincide with the ninetieth year after the same epoch; and therefore,
deducting ten years for the duration of the struggle, it will
coincide with the eightieth year after the capture of the city;[25]
thirty years being reckoned for a generation. The date assigned
by Thucydidês will thus agree with the distance in which Têmenus,
Kresphontês, and Aristodêmus, stand removed from Hêraklês. The
interval of eighty years, between the capture of Troy and the Return
of the Herakleids, appears to have been admitted by Apollodôrus and
Eratosthenês, and some other professed chronologists of antiquity:
but there were different reckonings which also found more or less of

  [25] The date of Thucydidês is calculated, μετὰ Ἰλίου ἅλωσιν (i.


In the same passage in which Thucydidês speaks of the Return of
the Herakleids, he also marks out the date of another event a
little antecedent, which is alleged to have powerfully affected the
condition of Northern Greece. “Sixty years after the capture of Troy
(he tells us) the Bœotians were driven by the Thessalians from Arnê,
and migrated into the land then called Kadmêïs, but now Bœotia,
wherein there had previously dwelt a section of their race, who had
contributed the contingent to the Trojan war.”

The expulsion here mentioned, of the Bœotians from Arnê “by the
Thessalians,” has been construed, with probability, to allude
to the immigration of the Thessalians, properly so called, from
the Thesprôtid in Epirus into Thessaly. That the Thessalians had
migrated into Thessaly from the Thesprôtid territory, is stated by
Herodotus,[26] though he says nothing about time or circumstances.
Antiphus and Pheidippus appear in the Homeric Catalogue as commanders
of the Grecian contingent from the islands of Kôs and Karpathus, on
the south-east coast of Asia Minor: they are sons of Thessalus, who
is himself the son of Hêraklês. A legend ran that these two chiefs,
in the dispersion which ensued after the victory, had been driven
by storms into the Ionian Gulf, and cast upon the coast of Epirus,
where they landed and settled at Ephyrê in the Thesprôtid.[27] It
was Thessalus, grandson of Pheidippus, who was reported to have
conducted the Thesprotians across the passes of Pindus into Thessaly,
to have conquered the fertile central plain of that country, and
to have imposed upon it his own name instead of its previous
denomination Æolis.[28]

  [26] Herod. vii. 176.

  [27] See the Epigram ascribed to Aristotle (Antholog. Græc. t. i.
  p. 181, ed. Reisk; Velleius Patercul. i. 1).

  The Scholia on Lycophrôn (912) give a story somewhat different.
  Ephyrê is given as the old legendary name of the city of Krannon
  in Thessaly (Kineas, ap. Schol. Pindar. Pyth. x. 85), which
  creates the confusion with the Thesprotian Ephyrê.

  [28] Herodot. vii. 176; Velleius Patercul. i. 2-3; Charax. ap.
  Stephan. Byz. v. Δώριον: Polyæn. viii. 44.

  There were several different statements, however, about the
  parentage of Thessalus, as well as about the name of the country
  (Strabo, ix. p. 443 Stephan. Byz. v. Αἱμονία).

Whatever we may think of this legend as it stands, the state of
Thessaly during the historical ages renders it highly probable
that the Thessalians, properly so called, were a body of immigrant
conquerors. They appear always as a rude, warlike, violent, and
uncivilized race, distinct from their neighbors the Achæans, the
Magnetes, and the Perrhæbians, and holding all the three in tributary
dependence: these three tribes stand to them in a relation analogous
to that of the Lacedæmonian Periœki towards Sparta, while the
Penestæ, who cultivated their lands, are almost an exact parallel
of the Helots. Moreover, the low level of taste and intelligence
among the Thessalians, as well as certain points of their costume,
assimilates them more to Macedonians or Epirots than to Hellens.[29]
Their position in Thessaly is in many respects analogous to that of
the Spartan Dorians in Peloponnêsus, and there seems good reason for
concluding that the former, as well as the latter, were originally
victorious invaders, though we cannot pretend to determine the
time at which the invasion took place. The great family of the
Aleuads,[30] and probably other Thessalian families besides, were
descendants of Hêraklês, like the kings of Sparta.

  [29] See K. O. Müller, History of the Dorians, Introduction,
  sect. 4.

  [30] Pindar, Pyth. x. 2.

There are no similar historical grounds, in the case of the alleged
migration of the Bœotians from Thessaly to Bœotia, to justify a
belief in the main fact of the legend, nor were the different
legendary stories in harmony one with the other. While the Homeric
Epic recognizes the Bœotians in Bœotia, but not in Thessaly,
Thucydidês records a statement which he had found of their migration
from the latter into the former; but in order to escape the necessity
of flatly contradicting Homer, he inserts the parenthesis that there
had been previously an outlying fraction of Bœotians in Bœotia at
the time of the Trojan war,[31] from whom the troops who served
with Agamemnôn were drawn. Nevertheless, the discrepancy with the
Iliad, though less strikingly obvious, is not removed, inasmuch as
the Catalogue is unusually copious in enumerating the contingents
from Thessaly, without once mentioning Bœotians. Homer distinguishes
Orchomenus from Bœotia, and he does not specially notice Thêbes
in the Catalogue: in other respects his enumeration of the towns
coincides pretty well with the ground historically known afterwards
under the name of Bœotia.

  [31] Thucyd. i. 12. ἦν δὲ αὐτῶν καὶ ἀποδασμὸς πρότερον ἐν τῇ γῇ
  ταύτῃ ἀφ᾽ ὧν καὶ ἐς Ἴλιον ἐστράτευσαν.

Pausanias gives us a short sketch of the events which he supposes
to have intervened in this section of Greece between the Siege of
Troy and the Return of the Herakleids. Peneleôs, the leader of the
Bœotians at the siege, having been slain by Eurypylus the son of
Telephus, Tisamenus, son of Thersander and grandson of Polynikês,
acted as their commander, both during the remainder of the siege and
after their return. Autesiôn, his son and successor, became subject
to the wrath of the avenging Erinnyes of Laius and Œdipus: the oracle
directed him to expatriate, and he joined the Dorians. In his place,
Damasichthôn, son of Opheltas and grandson of Peneleôs, became king
of the Bœotians: he was succeeded by Ptolemæus, who was himself
followed by Xanthus. A war having broken out at that time between
the Athenians and Bœotians, Xanthus engaged in single combat with
Melanthus son of Andropompus, the champion of Attica, and perished by
the cunning of his opponent. After the death of Xanthus, the Bœotians
passed from kingship to popular government.[32] As Melanthus was of
the lineage of the Neleids, and had migrated from Pylus to Athens
in consequence of the successful establishment of the Dorians in
Messênia, the duel with Xanthus must have been of course subsequent
to the Return of the Herakleids.

  [32] Pausan. ix. 5, 8.

Here, then, we have a summary of alleged Bœotian history between the
Siege of Troy and the Return of the Herakleids, in which no mention
is made of the immigration of the mass of Bœotians from Thessaly,
and seemingly no possibility left of fitting in so great and capital
an incident. The legends followed by Pausanias are at variance with
those adopted by Thucydidês, but they harmonize much better with

So deservedly high is the authority of Thucydidês, that the
migration here distinctly announced by him is commonly set down as
an ascertained datum, historically as well as chronologically. But
on this occasion it can be shown that he only followed one amongst a
variety of discrepant legends, none of which there were any means of

Pausanias recognized a migration of the Bœotians from Thessaly,
in early times anterior to the Trojan war;[33] and the account
of Ephorus, as given by Strabo, professed to record a series of
changes in the occupants of the country: First, the non-Hellenic
Aones and Temmikes, Leleges and Hyantes; next, the Kadmeians, who,
after the second siege of Thêbes by the Epigoni, were expelled by
the Thracians and Pelasgians, and retired into Thessaly, where they
joined in communion with the inhabitants of Arnê,—the whole aggregate
being called Bœotians. After the Trojan war, and about the time of
the Æolic emigration, these Bœotians returned from Thessaly and
reconquered Bœotia, driving out the Thracians and Pelasgians,—the
former retiring to Parnassus, the latter to Attica. It was on this
occasion (he says) that the Minyæ of Orchomenus were subdued, and
forcibly incorporated with the Bœotians. Ephorus seems to have
followed, in the main, the same narrative as Thucydidês, about the
movement of the Bœotians out of Thessaly; coupling it, however, with
several details current as explanatory of proverbs and customs.[34]

  [33] Pausan. x. 8, 3.

  [34] Ephor. Fragm. 30, ed. Marx.; Strabo, ix. pp. 401-402. The
  story of the Bœotians at Arnê, in Polyænus (i. 12), probably
  comes from Ephorus.

  Diodôrus (xix. 53) gives a summary of the legendary history of
  Thêbes from Deukalion downwards: he tells us that the Bœotians
  were expelled from their country, and obliged to return into
  Thessaly during the Trojan war, in consequence of the absence of
  so many of their brave warriors at Troy; they did not find their
  way back into Bœotia until the fourth generation.

The only fact which we make out, independent of these legends, is,
that there existed certain homonymies and certain affinities of
religious worship, between parts of Bœotia and parts of Thessaly,
which appear to indicate a kindred race. A town named Arne,[35]
similar in name to the Thessalian, was enumerated in the Bœotian
Catalogue of Homer, and antiquaries identified it sometimes with the
historical town Chæroneia,[36] sometimes with Akræphium. Moreover,
there was near the Bœotian Korôneia a river named Kuarius, or
Koralius, and a venerable temple dedicated to the Itonian Athênê,
in the sacred ground of which the Pambœotia, or public council of
the Bœotian name, was held; there was also a temple and a river
of similar denomination in Thessaly, near to a town called Iton,
or Itônus.[37] We may from these circumstances presume a certain
ancient kindred between the population of these regions, and such
a circumstance is sufficient to explain the generation of legends
describing migrations backward and forward, whether true or not in
point of fact.

  [35] Stephen. Byz. v. Ἄρνη, makes the Thessalian Arnê an ἄποικος
  of the Bœotian.

  [36] Homer, Iliad, ii.; Strabo, ix. p. 413; Pausan. ix. 40, 3.
  Some of the families at Chæroneia, even during the time of the
  Roman dominion in Greece, traced their origin to Peripoltas
  the prophet, who was said to have accompanied Opheltas in his
  invading march out of Thessaly (Plutarch, Cimôn, c. 1).

  [37] Strabo, ix. 411-435; Homer, Iliad, ii. 696; Hekatæus, Fr.
  338, Didot.

  The fragment from Alkæus (cited by Strabo, but briefly, and with
  a mutilated text,) serves only to identify the river and the town.

  Itônus was said to be son of Amphiktyôn, and Bœôtus son of Itônus
  (Pausan. ix. 1, 1. 34, 1: compare Steph. Byz. v. Βοιωτία) by
  Melanippê. By another legendary genealogy (probably arising after
  the name _Æolic_ had obtained footing as the class-name for a
  large section of Greeks, but as old as the poet Asius, Olympiad
  30), the eponymous hero Bϙtus was fastened on to the great
  lineage of Æolus, through the paternity of the god Poseidôn,
  either with Melanippê or with Arnê, daughter of Æolus (Asius, Fr.
  8, ed. Düntzer; Strabo, vi. p. 265; Diodôr. v. 67; Hellanikus
  ap. Schol. Iliad. ii 494). Two lost plays of Euripidês were
  founded on the misfortunes of Melanippê, and her twin children by
  Poseidôn,—Bœôtus and Æolus (Hygin. Fab. 186; see the Fragments of
  Μελανίππη Σοφὴ and Μελανίππη Δεσμῶτις in Dindorf’s edition, and
  the instructive comments of Welcker; Griech. Tragöd. vol. ii. pp.

What is most important to remark is, that the stories of Thucydidês
and Ephorus bring us out of the mythical into the historical Bœotia.
Orchomenus is Bœotized, and we hear no more of the once-powerful
Minyæ: there are no more Kadmeians at Thêbes, nor Bœotians in
Thessaly. The Minyæ and the Kadmeians disappear in the Ionic
emigration, which will be presently adverted to. Historical Bœotia
is now constituted, apparently in its federative league, under the
presidency of Thêbes, just as we find it in the time of the Persian
and Peloponnesian wars.



To complete the transition of Greece from its mythical to its
historical condition, the secession of the races belonging to the
former must follow upon the introduction of those belonging to
the latter. This is accomplished by means of the Æolic and Ionic

The presiding chiefs of the Æolic emigration are the representatives
of the heroic lineage of the Pelopids: those of the Ionic emigration
belong to the Neleids: and even in what is called the Doric
emigration to Thêra, the Œkist Thêras is not a Dorian but a Kadmeian,
the legitimate descendant of Œdipus and Kadmus.

The Æolic, Ionic, and Doric colonies were planted along the western
coast of Asia Minor, from the coasts of the Propontis southward down
to Lykia (I shall in a future chapter speak more exactly of their
boundaries); the Æolic occupying the northern portion, together
with the islands of Lesbos and Tenedos; the Doric occupying the
southernmost, together with the neighboring islands of Rhodes and
Kôs; and the Ionic being planted between them, comprehending Chios,
Samos, and the Cycladês islands.


The Æolic emigration was conducted by the Pelopids: the original
story seems to have been, that Orestês himself was at the head of the
first batch of colonists, and this version of the event is still
preserved by Pindar and by Hellanikus.[38] But the more current
narratives represented the descendants of Orestês as chiefs of the
expeditions to Æolis,—his illegitimate son Penthilus, by Erigonê
daughter of Ægisthus,[39] together with Echelatus and Gras, the
son and grandson of Penthilus, together with Kleuês and Malaus,
descendants of Agamemnôn through another lineage. According to the
account given by Strabo, Orestês began the emigration, but died
on his route in Arcadia; his son Penthilus, taking the guidance
of the emigrants, conducted them by the long land-journey through
Bœotia and Thessaly to Thrace;[40] from whence Archelaus, son of
Penthilus, led them across the Hellespont, and settled at Daskylium
on the Propontis. Gras, son of Archelaus, crossed over to Lesbos
and possessed himself of the island. Kleuês and Malaus, conducting
another body of Achæans, were longer on their journey, and lingered
a considerable time near Mount Phrikium, in the territory of
Lokris; ultimately, however, they passed over by sea to Asia and
took possession of Kymê, south of the Gulf of Adramyttium, the most
considerable of all the Æolic cities on the continent.[41] From
Lesbos and Kymê, the other less considerable Æolic towns, spreading
over the region of Ida as well as the Trôad, and comprehending the
island of Tenedos, are said to have derived their origin.

  [38] Pindar, Nem. xi. 43; Hellanic. Fragm. 114, ed. Didot.
  Compare Stephan. Byz. v. Πέρινθος.

  [39] Kinæthon ap. Pausan. ii. 18, 5. Penthilids existed in Lesbos
  during the historical times (Aristot. Polit. v. 10, 2).

  [40] It has sometimes been supposed that the country called
  Thrace here means the residence of the Thracians near Parnassus;
  but the length of the journey, and the number of years which it
  took up, are so specially marked, that I think Thrace in its
  usual and obvious sense must be intended.

  [41] Strabo, xiii. p. 582. Hellanikus seems to have treated of
  this delay near Mount Phrikium (see Steph. Byz. v. Φρίκιον). In
  another account (xiii. p. 621), probably copied from the Kymæan
  Ephorus, Strabo connects the establishments of this colony with
  the sequel of the Trojan war: the Pelasgians, the occupants of
  the territory, who had been the allies of Priam, were weakened
  by the defeat which they had sustained and unable to resist the

Though there are many differences in the details, the accounts agree
in representing these Æolic settlements as formed by the Achæans
expatriated from Lacônia under the guidance of the dispossessed
Pelopids.[42] We are told that in their journey through Bœotia
they received considerable reinforcements, and Strabo adds that
the emigrants started from Aulis, the port from whence Agamemnôn
departed in the expedition against Troy.[43] He also informs us that
they missed their course and experienced many losses from nautical
ignorance, but we do not know to what particular incidents he

  [42] Velleius Patercul. i. 4: compare Antikleidês ap. Athenæ. xi.
  c. 3; Pausanias, iii. 2, 1.

  [43] Strabo, ix. p. 401.

  [44] Strabo, i. p. 10.


The Ionic emigration is described as emanating from and directed
by the Athenians, and connects itself with the previous legendary
history of Athens, which must therefore be here briefly recapitulated.

The great mythical hero Thêseus, of whose military prowess and
errant exploits we have spoken in a previous chapter, was still more
memorable in the eyes of the Athenians as an internal political
reformer. He was supposed to have performed for them the inestimable
service of transforming Attica out of many states into one. Each
dême, or at least a great many out of the whole number, had before
his time enjoyed political independence under its own magistrates and
assemblies, acknowledging only a federal union with the rest under
the presidency of Athens: by a mixture of conciliation and force,
Thêseus succeeded in putting down all these separate governments,
and bringing them to unite in one political system, centralized at
Athens. He is said to have established a constitutional government,
retaining for himself a defined power as king, or president, and
distributing the people into three classes: Eupatridæ, a sort
of sacerdotal noblesse; Geômori and Demiurgi, husbandmen and
artisans.[45] Having brought these important changes into efficient
working, he commemorated them for his posterity by introducing solemn
and appropriate festivals. In confirmation of the dominion of Athens
over the Megarid territory, he is said farther to have erected a
pillar at the extremity of the latter towards the Isthmus, marking
the boundary between Peloponnêsus and Iônia.

  [45] Plutarch, Thêseus, c. 24, 25, 26.

But a revolution so extensive was not consummated without creating
much discontent; and Menestheus, the rival of Thêseus,—the first
specimen, as we are told, of an artful demagogue,—took advantage of
this feeling to assail and undermine him. Thêseus had quitted Attica,
to accompany and assist his friend Peirithöus, in his journey down
to the under-world, in order to carry off the goddess Persephonê,—or
(as those who were critical in legendary story preferred recounting)
in a journey to the residence of Aidôneus, king of the Molossians in
Epirus, to carry off his daughter. In this enterprise, Peirithöus
perished, while Thêseus was cast into prison, from whence he was
only liberated by the intercession of Hêraklês. It was during his
temporary absence, that the Tyndarids Castôr and Pollux invaded
Attica for the purpose of recovering their sister Helen, whom Thêseus
had at a former period taken away from Sparta and deposited at
Aphidnæ; and the partisans of Menestheus took advantage both of the
absence of Thêseus and of the calamity which his licentiousness had
brought upon the country, to ruin his popularity with the people.
When he returned, he found them no longer disposed to endure his
dominion, or to continue to him the honors which their previous
feelings of gratitude had conferred. Having, therefore, placed his
sons under the protection of Elephenôr, in Eubœa, he sought an asylum
with Lykomêdês, prince of Scyros, from whom, however, he received
nothing but an insidious welcome and a traitorous death.[46]

  [46] Plutarch, Thêseus, c. 34-35.

Menestheus, succeeding to the honors of the expatriated hero,
commanded the Athenian troops at the Siege of Troy. But though he
survived the capture, he never returned to Athens,—different stories
being related of the place where he and his companions settled.
During this interval, the feelings of the Athenians having changed,
they restored the sons of Thêseus, who had served at Troy under
Elephenôr, and had returned unhurt, to the station and functions of
their father. The Theseids Demophoôn, Oxyntas, Apheidas, and Thymœtês
had successively filled this post for the space of about sixty
years,[47] when the Dorian invaders of Peloponnêsus (as has been
before related) compelled Melanthus and the Neleid family to abandon
their kingdom of Pylus. The refugees found shelter at Athens, where
a fortunate adventure soon raised Melanthus to the throne. A war
breaking out between the Athenians and Bœotians, respecting the
boundary tract of Œnoê, the Bœotian king Xanthus challenged Thymœtês
to single combat: the latter declining to accept it, Melanthus not
only stood forward in his place, but practised a cunning stratagem
with such success as to kill his adversary. He was forthwith chosen
king, Thymœtês being constrained to resign.[48]

  [47] Eusebius, Chronic. Can. pp. 228-229, ed. Scaliger; Pausan.
  ii. 18, 7.

  [48] Ephorus ap. Harpocration. v. Ἀπατούρια: Ἔφορος ἐν δευτέρῳ,
  ὡς διὰ τὴν ὑπὲρ τῶν ὁρίων ἀπάτην γενομένην, ὅτι πολεμούντων
  Ἀθηναίων πρὸς Βοιωτοὺς ὑπὲρ τῆς τῶν Μελαινῶν χώρας, Μέλανθος ὁ
  τῶν Ἀθηναίων βασιλεὺς Ξάνθον τὸν Θηβαῖων μονομαχῶν ἀπέκτεινεν.
  Compare Strabo, ix. p. 393.

  Ephorus derives the term Ἀπατούρια from the words signifying a
  trick with reference to the boundaries, and assumes the name of
  this great Ionic festival to have been derived from the stratagem
  of Melanthus, described in Conôn (Narrat. 39) and Polyænus (i.
  19). The whole derivation is fanciful and erroneous, and the
  story is a curious specimen of legend growing out of etymology.

Melanthus and his son Kodrus reigned for nearly sixty years, during
which time large bodies of fugitives, escaping from the recent
invaders throughout Greece, were harbored by the Athenians: so that
Attica became populous enough to excite the alarm and jealousy of the
Peloponnesian Dorians. A powerful Dorian force, under the command
of Alêtês from Corinth and Althæmenês from Argos, were accordingly
despatched to invade the Athenian territory, in which the Delphian
oracle promised them success, provided they abstained from injuring
the person of Kodrus. Strict orders were given to the Dorian army
that Kodrus should be preserved unhurt; but the oracle had become
known among the Athenians,[49] and the generous prince determined
to bring death upon himself as a means of salvation to his country.
Assuming the disguise of a peasant, he intentionally provoked
a quarrel with some of the Dorian troops, who slew him without
suspecting his real character. No sooner was this event known,
than the Dorian leaders, despairing of success, abandoned their
enterprise and evacuated the country.[50] In retiring, however, they
retained possession of Megara, where they established permanent
settlers, and which became from this moment Dorian,—seemingly at
first a dependency of Corinth, though it afterwards acquired its
freedom and became an autonomous community.[51] This memorable act of
devoted patriotism, analogous to that of the daughters of Erechtheus
at Athens, and of Menœkeus at Thêbes, entitled Kodrus to be ranked
among the most splendid characters in Grecian legend.

  [49] The orator Lykurgus, in his eulogium on Kodrus, mentions a
  Delphian citizen named Kleomantis, who secretly communicated the
  oracle to the Athenians, and was rewarded by them for doing so
  with σίτησις ἐν Πρυτανείῳ (Lycurg. cont. Leocrat. c. 20).

  [50] Pherekydês, Fragm. 110, ed. Didot; Vell. Paterc. i. 2;
  Conôn, Narr. 26; Polyæn. i. c. 18.

  Hellanikus traced the genealogy of Kodrus, through ten
  generations, up to Deukaliôn (Fragment 10, ed. Didot.)

  [51] Strabo, xiv. p. 653.

Kodrus is numbered as the last king of Athens: his descendants were
styled Archons, but they held that dignity for life,—a practice
which prevailed during a long course of years afterwards. Medon
and Neileus, his two sons, having quarrelled about the succession,
the Delphian oracle decided in favor of the former; upon which the
latter, affronted at the preference, resolved upon seeking a new
home.[52] There were at this moment many dispossessed sections of
Greeks, and an adventitious population accumulated in Attica, who
were anxious for settlements beyond sea. The expeditions which
now set forth to cross the Ægean, chiefly under the conduct of
members of the Kodrid family, composed collectively the memorable
Ionic Emigration, of which the Ionians, recently expelled from
Peloponnêsus, formed a part, but, as it would seem, only a small
part; for we hear of many quite distinct races, some renowned in
legend, who withdraw from Greece amidst this assemblage of colonists.
The Kadmeians, the Minyæ of Orchomenus, the Abantês of Eubœa, the
Dryopes; the Molossi, the Phokians, the Bœotians, the Arcadian
Pelasgians, and even the Dorians of Epidaurus,—are represented
as furnishing each a proportion of the crews of these emigrant
vessels.[53] Nor were the results unworthy of so mighty a confluence
of different races. Not only the Cyclades islands in the Ægean,
but the great islands of Samos and Chios, near the Asiatic coast,
and ten different cities on the coast of Asia Minor, from Milêtus
in the south to Phokæa in the north, were founded, and all adopted
the Ionic name. Athens was the metropolis or mother city of all of
them: Androklus and Neileus, the Œkists of Ephesus and Milêtus,
and probably other Œkists also, started from the Prytaneium at
Athens,[54] with those solemnities, religious and political, which
usually marked the departure of a swarm of Grecian colonists.

  [52] Pausan. vii. 2, 1.

  [53] Herodot. i. 146; Pausan. vii. 2, 3, 4. Isokratês extols
  his Athenian ancestors for having provided, by means of this
  emigration, settlements for so large a number of distressed and
  poor Greeks at the expense of Barbarians (Or. xii. Panathenaic.
  p. 241).

  [54] Herodot. i. 146; vii. 95; viii 46. Vellei. Paterc. i. 4.
  Pherekydês Frag. 111, ed. Didot.

Other mythical families, besides the heroic lineage of Nêleus and
Nestôr, as represented by the sons of Kodrus, took a leading part
in the expedition. Herodotus mentions Lykian chiefs, descendants
from Glaukus son of Hippolochus, and Pausanias tells us of Philôtas
descendant of Peneleôs, who went at the head of a body of Thebans:
both Glaukus and Peneleôs are commemorated in the Iliad.[55] And
it is a remarkable fact mentioned by Pausanias (though we do not
know on what authority), that the inhabitants of Phokæa,—which was
the northernmost city of Iônia on the borders of Æolis, and one of
the last founded,—consisting mostly of Phokian colonists under the
conduct of the Athenians Philogenês and Dæmôn, were not admitted
into the Pan-Ionic Amphiktyony until they consented to choose for
themselves chiefs of the Kodrid family.[56] Proklês, the chief who
conducted the Ionic emigrants from Epidaurus to Samos, was said to be
of the lineage of Iôn, son of Xuthus.[57]

  [55] Herodot. i. 147; Pausan. vi. 2, 7.

  [56] Pausan. vii. 2, 2; vii. 3, 4.

  [57] Pausan. vii. 4, 3.

Of the twelve Ionic states constituting the Pan-Ionic
Amphiktyony—some of them among the greatest cities in Hellas—I shall
say no more at present, as I have to treat of them again when I come
upon historical ground.


The Æolic and Ionic emigrations are thus both presented to us
as direct consequences of the event called the Return of the
Herakleids: and in like manner the formation of the Dorian
Hexapolis in the south-western corner of Asia Minor: Kôs, Knidus,
Halikarnassus, and Rhodes, with its three separate cities, as well as
the Dorian establishments in Krête, Melos, and Thêra, are all traced
more or less directly to the same great revolution.

Thêra, more especially, has its root in the legendary world. Its
Œkist was Thêras, a descendant of the heroic lineage of Œdipus and
Kadmus, and maternal uncle of the young kings of Sparta, Eurysthenês
and Proklês, during whose minority he had exercised the regency. On
their coming of age, his functions were at an end: but being unable
to endure a private station, he determined to put himself at the
head of a body of emigrants: many came forward to join him, and the
expedition was farther reinforced by a body of interlopers, belonging
to the Minyæ, of whom the Lacedæmonians were anxious to get rid.
These Minyæ had arrived in Laconia, not long before, from the island
of Lemnos, out of which they had been expelled by the Pelasgian
fugitives from Attica. They landed without asking permission, took up
their abode and began to “light their fires” on Mount Taygetus. When
the Lacedæmonians sent to ask who they were, and wherefore they had
come, the Minyæ replied that they were sons of the Argonauts who had
landed at Lemnos, and that, being expelled from their own homes, they
thought themselves entitled to solicit an asylum in the territory
of their fathers: they asked, withal, to be admitted to share both
the lands and the honors of the state. The Lacedæmonians granted
the request, chiefly on the ground of a common ancestry,—their own
great heroes, the Tyndarids, having been enrolled in the crew of the
Argô: the Minyæ were then introduced as citizens into the tribes,
received lots of land, and began to intermarry with the preëxisting
families. It was not long, however, before they became insolent: they
demanded a share in the kingdom (which was the venerated privilege
of the Herakleids), and so grossly misconducted themselves in other
ways, that the Lacedæmonians resolved to put them to death, and began
by casting them into prison. While the Minyæ were thus confined,
their wives, Spartans by birth, and many of them daughters of the
principal men, solicited permission to go in and see them: leave
being granted, they made use of the interview to change clothes with
their husbands, who thus escaped and fled again to Mount Taygetus.
The greater number of them quitted Laconia, and marched to Triphylia,
in the western regions of Peloponnêsus, from whence they expelled
the Paroreatæ and the Kaukones, and founded six towns of their own,
of which Lepreum was the chief. A certain proportion, however, by
permission of the Lacedæmonians, joined Thêras, and departed with him
to the island of Kallistê, then possessed by Phœnician inhabitants,
who were descended from the kinsmen and companions of Kadmus, and
who had been left there by that prince, when he came forth in
search of Eurôpa, eight generations preceding. Arriving thus among
men of kindred lineage with himself, Thêras met with a fraternal
reception, and the island derived from him the name, under which it
is historically known, of Thêra.[58]

  [58] Herodot. iv. 145-149; Valer. Maxim. iv. c. 6; Polyæn.
  vii. 49, who, however, gives the narrative differently by
  mentioning “Tyrrhenians from Lemnos aiding Sparta during the
  Helotic war:” another narrative in his collection (viii. 71),
  though imperfectly preserved, seems to approach more closely to

Such is the foundation-legend of Thêra, believed both by the
Lacedæmonians and by the Theræans, and interesting as it brings
before us, characteristically as well as vividly, the persons and
feelings of the mythical world,—the Argonauts, with the Tyndarids
as their companions and Minyæ as their children. In Lepreum, as in
the other towns of Triphylia, the descent from the Minyæ of old
seems to have been believed in the historical times, and the mention
of the river Minyëius in those regions by Homer tended to confirm
it.[59] But people were not unanimous as to the legend by which that
descent should be made out; while some adopted the story just cited
from Herodotus, others imagined that Chlôris, who had come from the
Minyeian town of Orchomenus as the wife of Nêleus to Pylus, had
brought with her a body of her countrymen.[60]

  [59] Homer, Iliad, xi. 721.

  [60] Strabo, viii. p. 347. M. Raoul Rochette, who treats the
  legends for the most part as if they were so much authentic
  history, is much displeased with Strabo for admitting this
  diversity of stories (Histoire des Colonies Grecques, t. iii. ch.
  7, p. 54): “Après des détails si clairs et si positifs, comment
  est-il possible que ce même Strabon, bouleversant toute la
  chronologie, fasse arriver les Minyens dans la Triphylie sous la
  conduite de Chloris, mère de Nestor?”

  The story which M. Raoul Rochette thus puts aside, is quite equal
  in point of credibility to that which he accepts: in fact, no
  measure of credibility can be applied.

These Minyæ from Lemnos and Imbros appear again as portions of
another narrative respecting the settlement of the colony of Mêlos.
It has already been mentioned, that when the Herakleids and the
Dorians invaded Lacônia, Philonomus, an Achæan, treacherously
betrayed to them the country, for which he received as his recompense
the territory of Amyklæ. He is said to have peopled this territory
by introducing detachments of Minyæ from Lemnos and Imbros, who, in
the third generation after the return of the Herakleids, became so
discontented and mutinous, that the Lacedæmonians resolved to send
them out of the country as emigrants, under their chiefs Polis and
Delphus. Taking the direction of Krête, they stopped in their way
to land a portion of their colonists on the island of Mêlos, which
remained throughout the historical times a faithful and attached
colony of Lacedæmôn.[61] On arriving in Krête, they are said to have
settled at the town of Gortyn. We find, moreover, that other Dorian
establishments, either from Lacedæmôn or Argos, were formed in Krête;
and Lyktos in particular, is noticed, not only as a colony of Sparta,
but as distinguished for the analogy of its laws and customs.[62]
It is even said that Krête, immediately after the Trojan war, had
been visited by the wrath of the gods, and depopulated by famine and
pestilence; and that, in the third generation afterwards, so great
was the influx of emigrants, the entire population of the island
was renewed, with the exception of the Eteokrêtes at Polichnæ and

  [61] Conôn, Narrat. 36. Compare Plutarch, Quæstion. Græc. c. 21,
  where Tyrrhenians from Lemnos are mentioned, as in the passage of
  Polyænus, referred to in a preceding note.

  [62] Strabo, x. p. 481; Aristot. Polit. ii. 10.

  [63] Herodot. vii. 171 (see above, Ch. xii. vol. i. p. 226).
  Diodôrus (v. 80), as well as Herodotus, mentions generally large
  emigrations into Krête from Lacedæmôn and Argos; but even the
  laborious research of M. Raoul Rochette (Histoire des Colonies
  Grecques, t. iii. c. 9, pp. 60-68) fails in collecting any
  distinct particulars of them.

There were Dorians in Krête in the time of the Odyssey: Homer
mentions different languages and different races of men, Eteokrêtes,
Kydônes, Dorians, Achæans, and Pelasgians, as all coexisting in the
island, which he describes to be populous, and to contain ninety
cities. A legend given by Andrôn, based seemingly upon the statement
of Herodotus, that Dôrus the son of Hellen had settled in Histiæôtis,
ascribed the first introduction of the three last races to Tektaphus
son of Dôrus,—who had led forth from that country a colony of
Dorians, Achæans, and Pelasgians, and had landed in Krête during
the reign of the indigenous king Krês.[64] This story of Andrôn so
exactly fits on to the Homeric Catalogue of Kretan inhabitants, that
we may reasonably presume it to have been designedly arranged with
reference to that Catalogue, so as to afford some plausible account,
consistently with the received legendary chronology, how there came
to be Dorians in Krête before the Trojan war,—the Dorian colonies
after the return of the Herakleids being of course long posterior
in supposed order of time. To find a leader sufficiently early for
his hypothesis, Andrôn ascends to the primitive Eponymus Dôrus, to
whose son Tektaphus he ascribes the introduction of a mixed colony
of Dorians, Achæans, and Pelasgians into Krête: these are the exact
three races enumerated in the Odyssey, and the king Krês, whom Andrôn
affirms to have been then reigning in the island, represents the
Eteokrêtes and Kydônes in the list of Homer. The story seems to have
found favor among native Kretan historians, as it doubtless serves
to obviate what would otherwise be a contradiction in the legendary

  [64] Steph. Byz. v. Δώριον.—Περὶ ὧν ἱστορεῖ Ἄνδρων, Κρητὸς ἐν τῇ
  νήσῳ βασιλεύοντος, Τέκταφον τὸν Δώρου τοῦ Ἕλληνος, ὁρμήσαντα ἐκ
  τῆς ἐν Θετταλίᾳ τότε μὲν Δωρίδος, νῦν δὲ Ἱστιαιώτιδος καλουμένης,
  ἀφικέσθαι εἰς Κρήτην μετὰ Δωρίεων τε καὶ Ἀχαιῶν καὶ Πελασγῶν, τῶν
  οὐκ ἀπαράντων εἰς Τυῤῥηνίαν. Compare Strabo, x. pp. 475-476, from
  which it is plain that the story was adduced by Andrôn with a
  special explanatory reference to the passage in the Odyssey (xv.

  The age of Andrôn, one of the authors of Atthidês, is not
  precisely ascertainable, but he can hardly be put earlier than
  300 B. C.; see the preliminary Dissertation of C. Müller to the
  Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum, ed. Didot, p. lxxxii; and the
  Prolusio de Atthidum Scriptoribus, prefixed to Lenz’s edition of
  the Fragments of Phanodêmus and Dêmôn, p. xxviii. Lips. 1812.

  [65] See Diodôr, iv. 60; v. 80. From Strabo, (_l. c._) however,
  we see that others rejected the story of Andrôn.

  O. Müller (History of the Dorians, b. i. c. 1, § 9) accepts the
  story as substantially true, putting aside the name Dôrus, and
  even regards it as certain that Minos of Knôssus was a Dorian;
  but the evidence with which he supports this conclusion appears
  to me loose and fanciful.

Another Dorian emigration from Peloponnêsus to Krête, which extended
also to Rhodes and Kôs, is farther said to have been conducted
by Althæmenês, who had been one of the chiefs in the expedition
against Attica, in which Krodus perished. This prince, a Herakleid,
and third in descent from Têmenus, was induced to expatriate by a
family quarrel, and conducted a body of Dorian colonists from Argos
first to Krête, where some of them remained; but the greater number
accompanied him to Rhodes, in which island, after expelling the
Karian possessors, he founded the three cities of Lindus, Ialysus,
and Kameirus.[66]

  [66] Conôn, Narrat. 47; Ephorus, Fragm. 62, ed. Marx.

It is proper here to add, that the legend of the Rhodian
archæologists respecting their œkist Althæmenês, who was worshipped
in the island with heroic honors, was something totally different
from the preceding. Althæmenês was a Kretan, son of the king Katreus,
and grandson of Minos. An oracle predicted to him that he would
one day kill his father: eager to escape so terrible a destiny, he
quitted Krête, and conducted a colony to Rhodes, where the famous
temple of the Atabyrian Zeus, on the lofty summit of Mount Atabyrum,
was ascribed to his foundation, built so as to command a view of
Krête. He had been settled on the island for some time, when his
father Katreus, anxious again to embrace his only son, followed him
from Krête: he landed in Rhodes during the night without being known,
and a casual collision took place between his attendants and the
islanders. Althæmenês hastened to the shore to assist in repelling
the supposed enemies, and in the fray had the misfortune to kill his
aged father.[67]

  [67] Diodôr. v. 59; Apollodôr. iii. 2, 2. In the Chapter next but
  one preceding this, Diodôrus had made express reference to native
  Rhodian mythologists,—to one in particular, named Zeno (c. 57).

  Wesseling supposes two different settlers in Rhodes, both named
  Althæmenês: this is certainly necessary, if we are to treat the
  two narratives as historical.

Either the emigrants who accompanied Althæmenês, or some other
Dorian colonists afterwards, are reported to have settled at Kôs,
Knidus, Karpathus, and Halikarnassus. To the last mentioned city,
however, Anthês of Trœzên is assigned as the œkist: the emigrants who
accompanied him were said to have belonged to the Dymanian tribe, one
of the three tribes always found in a Doric state: and the city seems
to have been characterized as a colony sometimes of Trœzên, sometimes
of Argos.[68]

  [68] Strabo, xiv. p. 653; Pausan. ii. 39, 3; Kallimachus apud
  Stephan. Byz. v. Ἁλικάρνασσος.

  Herodotus (vii. 99) calls Halikarnassus a colony of Trœzên;
  Pomponius Mela (i. 16,) of Argos. Vitruvius names both Argos and
  Trœzên (ii. 8, 12); but the two œkists whom he mentions, Melas
  and Arevanius, were not so well known as Anthês; the inhabitants
  of Halikarnassus being called _Antheadæ_ (see Stephan. Byz.
  v. Ἀθῆναι; and a curious inscription in Boeckh’s Corpus
  Inscriptionum, No. 2655).

       *       *       *       *       *

We thus have the Æolic, the Ionic, and the Doric colonial
establishments in Asia, all springing out of the legendary age, and
all set forth as consequences, direct or indirect, of what is called
the Return of the Herakleids, or the Dorian conquest of Peloponnêsus.
According to the received chronology, they are succeeded by a period,
supposed to comprise nearly three centuries, which is almost an
entire blank, before we reach authentic chronology and the first
recorded Olympiad,—and they thus form the concluding events of the
mythical world, out of which we now pass into historical Greece, such
as it stands at the last-mentioned epoch. It is by these migrations
that the parts of the Hellenic aggregate are distributed into the
places which they occupy at the dawn of historical daylight,—Dorians,
Arcadians, Ætolo-Eleians, and Achæans, sharing Peloponnêsus unequally
among them,—Æolians, Ionians, and Dorians, settled both in the
islands of the Ægean and the coast of Asia Minor. The Return of the
Herakleids, as well as the three emigrations, Æolic, Ionic, and
Doric, present the legendary explanation, suitable to the feelings
and belief of the people, showing how Greece passed from the heroic
races who besieged Troy and Thêbes, piloted the adventurous Argô,
and slew the monstrous boar of Kalydôn, to the historical races,
differently named and classified, who furnished victors to the
Olympic and Pythian games.

A patient and learned French writer, M. Raoul Rochette,—who construes
all the events of the heroic age, generally speaking, as so much real
history, only making allowance for the mistakes and exaggerations
of poets,—is greatly perplexed by the blank and interruption which
this supposed continuous series of history presents, from the Return
of the Herakleids down to the beginning of the Olympiads. He cannot
explain to himself so long a period of absolute quiescence, after the
important incidents and striking adventures of the heroic age; and if
there happened nothing worthy of record during this long period,—as
he presumes, from the fact that nothing has been transmitted,—he
concludes that this must have arisen from the state of suffering and
exhaustion in which previous wars and revolution had left the Greeks:
a long interval of complete inaction being required to heal such

  [69] “La période qui me semble la plus obscure et la plus remplie
  de difficultés n’est pas celle que je viens de parcourir: c’est
  celle qui sépare l’époque des Héraclides de l’institution des
  Olympiades. La perte des ouvrages d’Ephore et de Théopompe est
  sans doute la cause en grande partie du vide immense que nous
  offre dans cet intervalle l’histoire de la Grèce. Mais si l’on
  en excepte l’établissement des colonies Eoliennes, Doriennes,
  et Ioniennes, de l’Asie Mineure, et quelques évènemens, très
  rapprochés de la première de ces époques, l’espace de plus de
  quatre siècles qui les sépare est couvert d’une obscurité presque
  impénétrable, et l’on aura toujours lieu de s’étonner que les
  ouvrages des anciens n’offrent aucun secours pour remplir une
  lacune aussi considérable. Une pareille absence doit aussi nous
  faire soupçonner qu’il se passa dans la Grèce peu de ces grands
  évènemens qui se gravent fortement dans la mémoire des hommes:
  puisque, si les traces ne s’en étaient point conservées dans
  les écrits des contemporains, au moins le souvenir s’en seroit
  il perpétué par des monumens: or les monumens et l’histoire se
  taisent également. Il faut donc croire que la Grèce, agitée
  depuis si long temps par des révolutions de toute espèce, épuisée
  par ses dernières émigrations, se tourna toute entière vers des
  occupations paisibles, et ne chercha, pendant ce long intervalle,
  qu’à guérir, au sein du repos et de l’abondance qui en est la
  suite, les plaies profondes que sa population avait souffertes.
  (Raoul Rochette, Histoire des Colonies Grecques, t. ii. c. 16. p.

  To the same purpose, Gillies (History of Greece, ch. iii. p.
  67. quarto): “The obscure transactions of Greece, during the
  four following centuries ill correspond with the splendor of the
  Trojan, or even of the Argonautic expedition,” etc.

Assuming M. Rochette’s view of the heroic ages to be correct, and
reasoning upon the supposition that the adventures ascribed to the
Grecian heroes are matters of historical reality, transmitted by
tradition from a period of time four centuries before the recorded
Olympiads, and only embellished by describing poets,—the blank which
he here dwells upon is, to say the least of it, embarrassing and
unaccountable. It is strange that the stream of tradition, if it had
once begun to flow, should (like several of the rivers in Greece) be
submerged for two or three centuries and then reappear. But when we
make what appears to me the proper distinction between legend and
history, it will be seen that a period of blank time between the two
is perfectly conformable to the conditions under which the former
is generated. It is not the immediate past, but a supposed remote
past, which forms the suitable atmosphere of mythical narrative,—a
past originally quite undetermined in respect to distance from the
present, as we see in the Iliad and Odyssey. And even when we come
down to the genealogical poets, who affect to give a certain measure
of bygone time, and a succession of persons as well as of events,
still, the names whom they most delight to honor and upon whose
exploits they chiefly expatiate, are those of the ancestral gods and
heroes of the tribe and their supposed contemporaries; ancestors
separated by a long lineage from the present hearer. The gods and
heroes were conceived as removed from him by several generations,
and the legendary matter which was grouped around them appeared only
the more imposing when exhibited at a respectful distance, beyond
the days of father and grandfather, and of all known predecessors.
The Odes of Pindar strikingly illustrate this tendency. We thus see
how it happened that, between the times assigned to heroic adventure
and those of historical record, there existed an intermediate blank,
filled with inglorious names; and how, amongst the same society which
cared not to remember proceedings of fathers and grandfathers, there
circulated much popular and accredited narrative respecting real
or supposed ancestors long past and gone The obscure and barren
centuries which immediately precede the first recorded Olympiad,
form the natural separation between the legendary return of the
Herakleids and the historical wars of Sparta against Messênê,—between
the province of legend, wherein matter of fact (if any there be) is
so intimately combined with its accompaniments of fiction, as to be
undistinguishable without the aid of extrinsic evidence,—and that
of history where some matters of fact can be ascertained, and where
a sagacious criticism may be usefully employed in trying to add to
their number.



I need not repeat, what has already been sufficiently set forth in
the preceding pages, that the mass of Grecian incident anterior
to 776 B. C. appears to me not reducible either to history or to
chronology, and that any chronological system which may be applied
to it must be essentially uncertified and illusory. It was, however,
chronologized in ancient times, and has continued to be so in modern;
and the various schemes employed for this purpose may be found stated
and compared in the first volume (the last published) of Mr. Fynes
Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici. There were among the Greeks, and there
still are among modern scholars, important differences as to the
dates of the principal events:[70] Eratosthenês dissented both from
Herodotus and from Phanias and Kallimachus, while Larcher and Raoul
Rochette (who follow Herodotus) stand opposed to O. Müller and to
Mr. Clinton. That the reader may have a general conception of the
order in which these legendary events were disposed, I transcribe
from the Fasti Hellenica a double chronological table, contained in
p. 139, in which the dates are placed in series, from Phorôneus to
the Olympiad of Corœbus in B. C. 776,—in the first column according
to the system of Eratosthenês, in the second according to that of

  [70] Larcher and Raoul Rochette, adopting the chronological date
  of Herodotus, fix the taking of Troy at 1270 B. C., and the
  Return of the Herakleids at 1190 B. C. According to the scheme of
  Eratosthenês, these two events stand at 1184 and 1104 B. C.

  O. Müller, in his Chronological Tables (Appendix vi. to History
  of Dorians, vol ii. p. 441, Engl. transl.), gives no dates or
  computation of years anterior to the Capture of Troy and the
  Return of the Herakleids, which he places with Eratosthenês in
  1184 and 1104 B. C.

  C. Müller thinks (in his Annotatio ad Marmor Parium, appended to
  the Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum, ed. Didot, pp. 556, 568,
  572; compare his Prefatory notice of the Fragments of Hellanikus,
  p. xxviii. of the same volume) that the ancient chronologists,
  in their arrangement of the mythical events as antecedent and
  consequent, were guided by certain numerical attachments,
  especially by a reverence for the cycle of 63 years, product
  of the sacred numbers 7 × 9 = 63. I cannot think that he makes
  out his hypothesis satisfactorily, as to the particular cycle
  followed, though it is not improbable that some preconceived
  numerical theories _did_ guide these early calculators. He calls
  attention to the fact that the Alexandrine computation of dates
  was only one among a number of others discrepant, and that modern
  inquirers are too apt to treat it as if it stood alone, or
  carried some superior authority, (pp. 568-572; compare Clemen.
  Alex. Stromat. i. p. 145, Sylb.) For example, O. Müller observes,
  (Appendix to Hist. of Dorians, p. 442,) that “Larcher’s criticism
  and rejection of the Alexandrine chronologists may perhaps be
  found as groundless as they are presumptuous,”—an observation,
  which, to say the least of it, ascribes to Eratosthenês a far
  higher authority than he is entitled to.

“The following Table (says Mr. Clinton) offers a summary view of
the leading periods from Phorôneus to the Olympiad of Corœbus, and
exhibits a double series of dates; the one proceeding from the
date of Eratosthenês, the other from a date founded on the reduced
calculations of Phanias and Kallimachus, which strike out fifty-six
years from the amount of Eratosthenês. Phanias, as we have seen,
omitted fifty-five years between the Return and the registered
Olympiads; for so we may understand the account: Kallimachus,
fifty-six years between the Olympiad of Iphitus and the Olympiad in
which Corœbus won.[71]

  [71] The date of Kallimachus for _Iphitus_ is approved by Clavier
  (Prem. Temps, tom. ii. p. 203), who considers it as not far from
  the truth.

“The first column of this Table exhibits the _current_ years before
and after the fall of Troy: in the second column of dates the
_complete_ intervals are expressed.”

   Years                                            intervening
  before                                                between
the Fall                                          the different      B. C.       B. C.
of Troy.                                                events.  Eratosth.  Kallimach.

(570)[72] _Phoroneus_, p. 19                               287     (1753)      (1697)
(283) {   _Daneus_, p. 73                               }
      {   _Pelasgus V._ p. 13, 88                       }   33     (1466)      (1410)
(250)     _Deukalion_, p. 42                                50     (1433)      (1377)
(200) {   _Erechtheus_                                  }
      {   _Dardanus_, p. 88                             }   50     (1383)      (1327)
(150)     _Azan_, _Aphida_, _Elatus_                        20     (1333)      (1277)
 130      _Kadmus_, p. 85                                   30      1313        1257
(100)     _Pelops_                                          22     (1283)      (1227)
  78      Birth of _Hercules_                               36      1261        1205
 (42)     Argonauts                                         12     (1225)      (1169)
  30      First Theban war, p. 51, h.                        4      1213        1157
  26      Death of _Hercules_                                2      1209        1153
  24      Death of _Eurystheus_, p. 106, x.                  4      1207        1151
  20      Death of _Hyllus_                               2y 9m     1203        1147
  18      Accession of _Agamemnon_                           2      1200        1144
  16      Second Theban war, p. 87, 1                        6      1198        1142
  10      Trojan expedition (9y 1m)                          9      1192        1136

the Fall
of Troy.
          Troy taken                                         7      1183        1127
   8      _Orestes_ reigns at Argos in the 8th year         52      1176        1120
  60  {   The _Thessali_ occupy Thessaly                }
      {   The _Bœoti_ return to Bœotia in the 60th yr.  }
      {   Æolic migration under _Penthilus_             }   20      1124        1068
  80      Return of the _Heraclidæ_ in the 80th year        29      1104        1048
 109      _Aletes_ reigns at Corinth, p. 130, m.             1      1075        1019
 110      Migration of _Theras_                             21      1074        1018
 131      Lesbos occupied 130 years after the æra            8      1053         997
 139      Death of _Codrus_                                  1      1045         989
 140      Ionic migration 60 years after the Return         11      1044         988
 151      Cymê founded 150 years after the æra              18      1033         977
 169      Smyrna, 168 years after the æra, p. 105, t.      131      1015         959
 300      Olympiad of _Iphitus_                         {  108  }
                                                        {   52  }    884         828
 408   }
 352   }  Olympiad of _Corœbus_                             ..       776         776

  [72] These dates, distinguished from the rest by braces, are
  proposed as mere conjectures, founded upon the probable length of

Wherever chronology is possible, researches such as those of Mr.
Clinton, which have conduced so much to the better understanding of
the later times of Greece, deserve respectful attention. But the
ablest chronologist can accomplish nothing, unless he is supplied
with a certain basis of matters of fact, pure and distinguishable
from fiction, and authenticated by witnesses both knowing the truth
and willing to declare it. Possessing this preliminary stock, he
may reason from it to refute distinct falsehoods and to correct
partial mistakes: but if all the original statements submitted to
him contain truth (at least wherever there is truth) in a sort
of chemical combination with fiction, which he has no means of
decomposing,—he is in the condition of one who tries to solve a
problem without data: he is first obliged to construct his own data,
and from them to extract his conclusions. The statements of the epic
poets, our only original witnesses in this case, correspond to the
description here given. Whether the proportion of truth contained in
them be smaller or greater, it is at all events unassignable,—and
the constant and intimate admixture of fiction is both indisputable
in itself, and, indeed, essential to the purpose and profession of
those from whom the tales proceed. Of such a character are all the
deposing witnesses, even where their tales agree; and it is out of a
heap of such tales, not agreeing, but discrepant in a thousand ways,
and without a morsel of pure authenticated truth,—that the critic
is called upon to draw out a methodical series of historical events
adorned with chronological dates.

If we could imagine a modern critical scholar transported into Greece
at the time of the Persian war,—endued with his present habits of
appreciating historical evidence, without sharing in the religious
or patriotic feelings of the country,—and invited to prepare, out
of the great body of Grecian epic which then existed, a History and
Chronology of Greece anterior to 776 B. C., assigning reasons as
well for what he admitted as for what he rejected,—I feel persuaded
that he would have judged the undertaking to be little better than
a process of guesswork. But the modern critic finds that not only
Pherekydês and Hellanikus, but also Herodotus and Thucydidês, have
either attempted the task or sanctioned the belief that it was
practicable,—a matter not at all surprising, when we consider both
their narrow experience of historical evidence and the powerful
ascendency of religion and patriotism in predisposing them to
antiquarian belief,—and he therefore accepts the problem as they have
bequeathed it, adding his own efforts to bring it to a satisfactory
solution. Nevertheless, he not only follows them with some degree of
reserve and uneasiness, but even admits important distinctions quite
foreign to their habits of thought. Thucydidês talks of the deeds
of Hellên and his sons with as much confidence as we now speak of
William the Conqueror: Mr. Clinton recognizes Hellên, with his sons
Dôrus, Æolus, and Xuthus, as fictitious persons. Herodotus recites
the great heroic genealogies down from Kadmus and Danaus, with a
belief not less complete in the higher members of the series than
in the lower: but Mr. Clinton admits a radical distinction in the
evidence of events before and after the first recorded Olympiad, or
776 B. C.,—“the first date in Grecian chronology (he remarks, p. 123)
which can be fixed upon _authentic evidence_,”—the highest point to
which Grecian chronology, _reckoning upward_, can be carried. Of this
important epoch in Grecian development,—the commencement of authentic
chronological life,—Herodotus and Thucydidês had no knowledge or took
no account: the later chronologists, from Timæus downwards, noted it,
and made it serve as the basis of their chronological comparisons,
so far as it went: but neither Eratosthenês nor Apollodôrus seem to
have recognized (though Varro and Africanus did recognize) a marked
difference in respect of certainty or authenticity between the period
before and the period after.

In farther illustration of Mr. Clinton’s opinion that the first
recorded Olympiad is the earliest date which can be fixed upon
authentic evidence, we have, in p. 138, the following just remarks
in reference to the dissentient views of Eratosthenês, Phanias,
and Kallimachus, about the date of the Trojan war: “The chronology
of Eratosthenês (he says), founded on a careful comparison of
circumstances, and approved by those to whom the same stores of
information were open, is entitled to our respect. But we must
remember that a conjectural date can never rise to the authority of
evidence; that what is accepted as a substitute for testimony is not
an equivalent: witnesses only can prove a date, and in the want of
these, the knowledge of it is plainly beyond our reach. If in the
absence of a better light we seek for what is probable, we are not to
forget the distinction between conjecture and proof; between what is
probable and what is certain. The computation, then, of Eratosthenês
for the war of Troy is open to inquiry; and if we find it adverse
to the opinions of many preceding writers, who fixed a lower date,
and adverse to the acknowledged length of generation in the most
authentic dynasties, we are allowed to follow other guides, who give
us a lower epoch.”

Here Mr. Clinton again plainly acknowledges the want of evidence,
and the irremediable uncertainty of Grecian chronology before the
Olympiads; and the reasonable conclusion from his argument is, not
simply, that “the computation of Eratosthenês was open to inquiry,”
(which few would be found to deny,) but that both Eratosthenês and
Phanias had delivered positive opinions upon a point on which no
sufficient evidence was accessible, and therefore that neither the
one nor the other was a guide to be followed.[73] Mr. Clinton does,
indeed, speak of authentic dynasties prior to the first recorded
Olympiad, but if there be any such, reaching up from that period to
a supposed point coeval with or anterior to the war of Troy,—I see
no good reason for the marked distinction which he draws between
chronology before and chronology after the Olympiad of Korœbus, or
for the necessity which he feels of suspending his upward reckoning
at the last-mentioned epoch, and beginning a different process,
called “a downward reckoning,” from the higher epoch (supposed to
be somehow ascertained without any upward reckoning) of the first
patriarch from whom such authentic dynasty emanates.[74] Herodotus
and Thucydidês might well, upon this supposition, ask of Mr.
Clinton, why he called upon them to alter their method of proceeding
at the year 776 B. C., and why they might not be allowed to pursue
their “upward chronological reckoning,” without interruption,
from Leonidas up to Danaus, or from Peisistratus up to Hellên and
Deukalion, without any alteration in the point of view. Authentic
dynasties from the Olympiads, up to an epoch above the Trojan war,
would enable us to obtain chronological proof for the latter date,
instead of being reduced (as Mr. Clinton affirms that we are) to
“conjecture” instead of proof.

  [73] Karl Müller observes (in the Dissertation above referred to,
  appended to the Fragmenta Historicum Græcorum, p. 568): “Quod
  attinet æram Trojanam, tot obruimur et tam diversis veterum
  scriptorum computationibus, ut singulas enumerare negotium sit
  tædii plenum, eas vel probare vel improbare res vana nec vacua ab
  arrogantiâ. Nam nemo hodie nescit quænam fides his habenda sit

  [74] The distinction which Mr. Clinton draws between an upward
  and a downward chronology is one that I am unable to comprehend.
  His doctrine is, that upward chronology is trustworthy and
  practicable up to the first recorded Olympiad; downward
  chronology is trustworthy and practicable from Phorôneus down
  to the Ionic migration: what is uncertain is, the length of the
  intermediate line which joins the Ionic migration to the first
  recorded Olympiad,—the downward and the upward terminus. (See
  Fasti Hellenici, vol. i. Introduct. p. ix. second edit. and p.
  123, ch. vi.)

  All chronology must begin by reckoning upwards: when by this
  process we have arrived at a certain determined era in earlier
  time, we may from that date reckon downwards, if we please. We
  must be able to reckon upwards from the present time to the
  Christian era, before we can employ that event as a fixed point
  for chronological determinations generally. But if Eratosthenês
  could perform correctly the upward reckoning from his own
  time to the fall of Troy, so he could also perform the upward
  reckoning up to the nearer point of the Ionic migration. It is
  true that Eratosthenês gives all his statements of time from an
  older point to a newer (so far at least as we can judge from
  Clemens Alex. Strom. 1, p. 336); he says “From the capture of
  Troy to the return of the Herakleids is 80 years; from thence
  to the Ionic migration, 60 years; then, farther on, to the
  guardianship of Lykurgus, 159 years; then to the first year
  of the first Olympiad, 108 years; from which Olympiad to the
  invasion of Xerxês, 297 years; from whence to the beginning of
  the Peloponnesian war, 48 years,” etc. But here is no difference
  between upward reckoning as high as the first Olympiad, and
  then downward reckoning for the intervals of time above it.
  Eratosthenês first found or made some upward reckoning to the
  Trojan capture, either from his own time or from some time at
  a known distance from his own: he then assumes the capture
  of Troy as an era, and gives statements of intervals going
  downwards to the Peloponnesian war: amongst other statements,
  he assigns clearly that interval which Mr. Clinton pronounces
  to be undiscoverable, viz. the space of time between the Ionic
  emigration and the first Olympiad, interposing one epoch between
  them. I reject the computation of Eratosthenês, or any other
  computation, to determine the supposed date of the Trojan war;
  but, if I admitted it, I could have no hesitation in admitting
  also the space which he defines between the Ionic migration and
  the first Olympiad. Eusebius (Præp. Ev. x. 9, p. 485) reckons
  upwards from the birth of Christ, making various halts, but never
  breaking off, to the initial phenomena of Grecian antiquity,—the
  deluge of Deukalion and the conflagration of Phaëtôn.

The whole question, as to the value of the reckoning from the
Olympiads up to Phorôneus, does in truth turn upon this point: Are
those genealogies, which profess to cover the space between the two,
authentic and trustworthy, or not? Mr. Clinton appears to feel that
they are not so, when he admits the essential difference in the
character of the evidence and the necessity of altering the method
of computation, before and after the first recorded Olympiad; yet,
in his Preface, he labors to prove that they possess historical
worth and are in the main correctly set forth: moreover, that the
fictitious persons, wherever any such are intermingled, may be
detected and eliminated. The evidences upon which he relies, are: 1.
Inscriptions; 2. The early poets.

1. An inscription, being nothing but a piece of writing on marble,
carries evidentiary value under the same conditions as a published
writing on paper. If the inscriber reports a contemporary fact which
he had the means of knowing, and if there be no reason to suspect
misrepresentation, we believe his assertion: if, on the other hand,
he records facts belonging to a long period before his own time, his
authority counts for little, except in so far as we can verify and
appreciate his means of knowledge.

In estimating, therefore, the probative force of any inscription,
the first and most indispensable point is to assure ourselves of its
date. Amongst all the public registers and inscriptions alluded to
by Mr. Clinton, there is not one which can be positively referred
to a date anterior to 776 B. C. The quoit of Iphitus,—the public
registers at Sparta, Corinth, and Elis,—the list of the priestesses
of Juno at Argos,—are all of a date completely uncertified. O. Müller
does, indeed, agree with Mr. Clinton (though in my opinion without
any sufficient proof) in assigning the quoit of Iphitus to the age
ascribed to that prince: and if we even grant thus much, we shall
have an inscription as old (adopting Mr. Clinton’s determination
of the age of Iphitus) as 828 B. C. But when Mr. Clinton quotes O.
Müller as admitting the registers of Sparta, Corinth, and Elis, it
is right to add that the latter does not profess to guarantee the
authenticity of these documents, or the age at which such registers
began to be kept. It is not to be doubted that there were registers
of the kings of Sparta carrying them up to Hêraklês, and of the
kings of Elis from Oxylus to Iphitus; but the question is, at what
time did these lists begin to be kept continuously? This is a point
which we have no means of deciding, nor can we accept Mr. Clinton’s
unsupported conjecture, when he tells us: “_Perhaps_ these were begun
to be written as early as B. C. 1048, the probable time of the Dorian
conquest.” Again, he tells us: “At Argos, a register was preserved
of the priestesses of Juno, which _might_ be more ancient than the
catalogues of the kings of Sparta or Corinth. That register, from
which Hellanikus composed his work, contained the priestesses from
the earliest times down to the age of Hellanikus himself.... But
this catalogue _might have_ been commenced as early as the Trojan
war itself, and even at a still earlier date.” (pp. x. xi.) Again,
respecting the inscriptions quoted by Herodotus from the temple of
the Ismenian Apollo at Thêbes, in which Amphitryo and Laodamas are
named, Mr. Clinton says, “They were ancient in the time of Herodotus,
which _may_ perhaps carry them back 400 years before his time: and
in that case they _might_ approach within 300 years of Laodamas
and within 400 years of the probable time of Kadmus himself.”—“It
is granted (he adds, in a note,) that these inscriptions were _not
genuine_, that is, not of the date to which they were assigned by
Herodotus himself. But that they were ancient, cannot be doubted,” &c.

The time when Herodotus saw the temple of the Ismenian Apollo
at Thêbes can hardly have been earlier than 450 B. C. reckoning
upwards from hence to 776 B. C., we have an interval of 326 years:
the inscriptions which Herodotus saw may well therefore have been
_ancient_, without being earlier than the first recorded Olympiad.
Mr. Clinton does, indeed, tell us that _ancient_ “may perhaps” be
construed as 400 years earlier than Herodotus. But no careful reader
can permit himself to convert such bare possibility into a ground
of inference, and to make it available, in conjunction with other
similar possibilities before enumerated, for the purpose of showing
that there really existed inscriptions in Greece of a date anterior
to 776 B. C. Unless Mr. Clinton can make out this, he can derive no
benefit from inscriptions, in his attempt to substantiate the reality
of the mythical persons or of the mythical events.

The truth is, that the Herakleid pedigree of the Spartan kings
(as has been observed in a former chapter) is only one out of the
numerous divine and heroic genealogies with which the Hellenic world
abounded,[75]—a class of documents which become historical evidence
only so high in the ascending series as the names composing them are
authenticated by contemporary, or nearly contemporary, enrolment. At
what period this practice of enrolment began, we have no information.
Two remarks, however, may be made, in reference to any approximative
guess as to the time when actual registration commenced: First, that
the number of names in the pedigree, or the length of past time which
it professes to embrace, affords no presumption of any superior
antiquity in the time of registration: Secondly, that, looking to
the acknowledged paucity and rudeness of Grecian writing, even down
to the 60th Olympiad (540 B. C.), and to the absence of the habit
of writing, as well as the low estimate of its value, which such a
state of things argues, the presumption is, that written enrolment
of family genealogies, did not commence until a long time after 776
B. C., and the obligation of proof falls upon him who maintains
that it commenced earlier. And this second remark is farther borne
out, when we observe that there is no registered list, except that
of the Olympic victors, which goes up even so high as 776 B. C. The
next list which O. Müller and Mr. Clinton produce, is that of the
Karneonicæ, or victors at the Karneian festival, which reaches only
up to 676 B. C.

  [75] See the string of fabulous names placed at the head of the
  Halikarnassian Inscription, professing to enumerate the series of
  priests of Poseidôn from the foundation of the city (Inscript.
  No. 2655, Boeckh), with the commentary of the learned editor:
  compare, also, what he pronounces to be an inscription of a
  genealogy partially fabulous at Hierapytna in Krête (No. 2563).

  The memorable Parian marble is itself an inscription, in which
  legend and history—gods, heroes, and men—are blended together
  in the various successive epochs without any consciousness of
  transition in the mind of the inscriber.

  That the Catalogue of Priestesses of Hêrê at Argos went back to
  the extreme of fabulous times, we may discern by the Fragments of
  Hellanikus (Frag. 45-53). So also did the registers at Sikyôn:
  they professed to record Amphion, son of Zeus and Antiopê, as the
  inventor of harp-music (Plutarch, De Musicâ, c. 3, p. 1132).

  I remarked in the preceding page, that Mr. Clinton erroneously
  cites K. O. Müller as a believer in the chronological
  _authenticity_ of the lists of the early Spartan kings: he says
  (vol. iii. App. vi. p. 330), “Mr. Müller is of opinion that an
  _authentic_ account of the years of each Lacedæmonian reign from
  the return of the Heraclidæ to the Olympiad of Korœbus had been
  preserved to the time of Eratosthenês and Apollodôrus.” But this
  is a mistake; for Müller expressly disavows any belief in the
  _authenticity_ of the lists (Dorians, i. p. 146): he says: “I do
  not contend that the chronological accounts in the Spartan lists
  form _an authentic document_, more than those in the catalogue
  of the priestesses of Hêrê and in the list of Halikarnassian
  priests. The chronological statements in the Spartan lists may
  have been formed from imperfect memorials: but the Alexandrine
  chronologists must have found such tables in existence,” &c.

  The discrepancies noticed in Herodotus (vi. 52) are alone
  sufficient to prove that continuous registers of the names of the
  Lacedæmonian kings did not begin to be kept until very long after
  the date here assigned by Mr. Clinton.

  Xenophôn (Agesilaus, viii. 7) agrees with what Herodotus mentions
  to have been the native Lacedæmonian story,—that Aristodêmus (and
  not his sons) was the king who conducted the Dorian invaders
  to Sparta. What is farther remarkable is, that Xenophôn calls
  him—Ἀριστόδημος ὁ Ἡρακλέους. The reasonable inference here is,
  that Xenophôn believed Aristodêmus to be the _son_ of Hêraklês,
  and that this was one of the various genealogical stories
  current. But here the critics interpose; “ὁ Ἡρακλἑους (observes
  Schneider,) non παῖς, sed ἀπόγονος, ut ex Herodoto, viii. 131,
  admonuit Weiske.” Surely, if Xenophôn had meant this, he would
  have said ὁ ἀφ᾽ Ἡρακλέους.

  Perhaps particular exceptional cases might be quoted, wherein
  the very common phrase of ὁ, followed by a genitive, means
  _descendant_, and not _son_. But if any doubt be allowed upon
  this point, chronological computations, founded on genealogies,
  will be exposed to a serious additional suspicion. Why are we to
  assume that Xenophôn _must_ give the same story as Herodotus,
  unless his words naturally tell us so?

If Mr. Clinton then makes little out of inscriptions to sustain his
view of Grecian history and chronology anterior to the recorded
Olympiads, let us examine the inferences which he draws from his
ether source of evidence,—the early poets. And here it will be
found, First, that in order to maintain the credibility of these
witnesses, he lays down positions respecting historical evidence
both indefensible in themselves, and especially inapplicable to the
early times of Greece: Secondly, that his reasoning is at the same
time inconsistent,—inasmuch as it includes admissions, which, if
properly understood and followed out, exhibit these very witnesses as
habitually, indiscriminately, and unconsciously mingling truth and
fiction; and therefore little fit to be believed upon their solitary
and unsupported testimony.

To take the second point first, he says, Introduction, p. ii-iii:
“The authority even of the genealogies has been called in question
by many able and learned persons, who reject Danaus, Kadmus,
Hercules, Thêseus, and many others, as fictitious persons. It
is evident that any fact would come from the hands of the poets
embellished with many fabulous additions: and fictitious genealogies
were undoubtedly composed. Because, however, some genealogies
were fictitious, we are not justified in concluding that all were
fabulous.... In estimating, then, the historical value of the
genealogies transmitted by the early poets, we may take a middle
course; not rejecting them as wholly false, nor yet implicitly
receiving all as true. The genealogies _contain many real persons_,
but these are _incorporated with many fictitious names_. The
fictions, however, will have a basis of truth: the genealogical
expression may be false, but the connection which it describes is
real. Even to those who reject the whole as fabulous, the exhibition
of the early times which is presented in this volume may still be not
unacceptable: because it is necessary to the right understanding of
antiquity that the opinions of the Greeks concerning their own origin
should be set before us, even if these are erroneous opinions, and
that their story should be told as they have told it themselves. The
names preserved by the ancient genealogies may be considered of three
kinds; either they were the name of a race or clan converted into
the name of an individual, or they were altogether fictitious, or
lastly, they were real historical names. An attempt is made, in the
four genealogical tables inserted below, to distinguish these three
classes of names.... Of those who are left in the third class (_i.
e._ the real) all are not entitled to remain there. But I have only
placed in the third class those names concerning which there seemed
to be little doubt. The rest are left to the judgment of the reader.”

Pursuant to this principle of division, Mr. Clinton furnishes four
genealogical tables,[76] in which the names of persons representing
races are printed in capital letters, and those of purely fictitious
persons in italics. And these tables exhibit a curious sample of the
intimate commixture of fiction with that which he calls truth: real
son and mythical father, real husband and mythical wife, or _vice

  [76] See Mr. Clinton’s work, pp. 32, 40, 100.

Upon Mr. Clinton’s tables we may remark:—

1. The names singled out as fictitious are distinguished by no common
character, nor any mark either assignable or defensible, from those
which are left as real. To take an example (p. 40), why is Itônus the
first pointed out as a fiction, while Itônus the second, together
with Physcus, Cynus, Salmôneus, Ormenus, etc., in the same page, are
preserved as real, all of them being eponyms of towns just as much as

2. If we are to discard Hellên, Dôrus, Æolus, Iôn, etc., as not being
real individual persons, but expressions for personified races, why
are we to retain Kadmus, Danaus, Hyllus, and several others, who are
just as much eponyms of races and tribes as the four above mentioned?
Hyllus, Pamphylus, and Dymas are the eponyms of the three Dorian
tribes,[77] just as Hoplês and the other three sons of Iôn were of
the four Attic tribes: Kadmus and Danaus stand in the same relation
to the Kadmeians and Danaans, as Argus and Achæus to the Argeians and
Achæans. Besides, there are many other names really eponymous, which
we cannot now recognize to be so, in consequence of our imperfect
acquaintance with the subdivisions of the Hellenic population, each
of which, speaking generally, had its god or hero, to whom the
original of the name was referred. If, then, eponymous names are to
be excluded from the category of reality, we shall find that the
ranks of the real men will be thinned to a far greater extent than is
indicated by Mr. Clinton’s tables.

  [77] “From these three” (Hyllus, Pamphylus, and Dymas,) says Mr.
  Clinton, vol. i. ch. 5, p. 109, “the three Dorian tribes derived
  their names.”

3. Though Mr. Clinton does not carry out consistently either of
his disfranchising qualifications among the names and persons of
the old mythes, he nevertheless presses them far enough to strike
out a sensible proportion of the whole. By conceding thus much
to modern scepticism, he has departed from the point of view of
Hellanikus and Herodotus, and the ancient historians generally;
and it is singular that the names, which he has been the most
forward to sacrifice, are exactly those to which they were most
attached, and which it would have been most painful to their faith
to part with,—I mean the eponymous heroes. Neither Herodotus, nor
Hellanikus, nor Eratosthenês, nor any one of the chronological
reckoners of antiquity, would have admitted the distinction which
Mr. Clinton draws between persons real and persons fictitious in
the old mythical world, though they might perhaps occasionally, on
special grounds, call in question the existence of some individual
characters amongst the mythical ancestry of Greece; but they never
dreamed of that general severance into real and fictitious persons,
which forms the principle of Mr. Clinton’s “middle course.” Their
chronological computations for Grecian antiquity assumed that the
mythical characters, in their full and entire sequence, were all real
persons. Setting up the entire list as real, they calculated so many
generations to a century, and thus determined the number of centuries
which separated themselves from the gods, the heroes, or the
autochthonous men who formed in their view the historical starting
point. But as soon as it is admitted that the personages in the
mythical world are divisible into two classes, partly real and partly
fictitious, the integrity of the series is broken up, and it can be
no longer employed as a basis for chronological calculation. In the
estimate of the ancient chronologers, three succeeding persons of the
same lineage—grandfather, father, and son,—counted for a century;
and this may pass in a rough way, so long as you are thoroughly
satisfied that they are all real persons: but if, in the succession
of persons A, B, C, you strike out B as a fiction, the continuity
of data necessary for chronological computation disappears. Now Mr.
Clinton is inconsistent with himself in this,—that, while he abandons
the unsuspecting historical faith of the Grecian chronologers, he
nevertheless continues his chronological computations upon the data
of that ancient faith,—upon the assumed reality of all the persons
constituting his ante-historical generations. What becomes, for
example, of the Herakleid genealogy of the Spartan kings, when it
is admitted that eponymous persons are to be cancelled as fictions;
seeing that Hyllus, through whom those kings traced their origin to
Hêraklês comes in the most distinct manner under that category, as
much so as Hoplês the son of Iôn? It will be found that, when we
once cease to believe in the mythical world as an uninterrupted and
unalloyed succession of real individuals, it becomes unfit to serve
as a basis for chronological computations, and that Mr. Clinton, when
he mutilated the data of the ancient chronologists, ought at the
same time to have abandoned their problems as insoluble. Genealogies
of real persons, such as Herodotus and Eratosthenês believed in,
afford a tolerable basis for calculations of time, within certain
limits of error: “genealogies containing many real persons, but
incorporated with many fictitious names,” (to use the language just
cited from Mr. Clinton,) are essentially unavailable for such a

It is right here to add, that I agree in Mr. Clinton’s view of
these eponymous persons: I admit, with him, that “the genealogical
expression may often be false, when the connection which it describes
is real.” Thus, for example, the adoption of Hyllus by Ægimius, the
father of Pamphylus and Dymas, to the privileges of a son and to a
third fraction of his territories, may reasonably be construed as
a mythical expression of the fraternal union of the three Dorian
tribes, Hyllêis, Pamphyli, and Dymanes: so about the relationship of
Iôn and Achæus, of Dôrus and Æolus. But if we put this construction
on the name of Hyllus, or Iôn, or Achæus, we cannot at the same time
employ either of these persons as units in chronological reckoning:
nor is it consistent to recognize them in the lump as members of
a distinct class, and yet to enlist them as real individuals in
measuring the duration of past time.

4. Mr. Clinton, while professing a wish to tell the story of the
Greeks as they have told it themselves, seems unconscious how
capitally his point of view differs from theirs. The distinction
which he draws between real and fictitious persons would have
appeared unreasonable, not to say offensive, to Herodotus or
Eratosthenês. It is undoubtedly right that the early history (if so
it is to be called) of the Greeks should be told as they have told
it themselves, and with that view I have endeavored in the previous
narrative, as far as I could, to present the primitive legends in
their original color and character,—pointing out at the same time the
manner in which they were transformed and distilled into history by
passing through the retort of later annalists. It is the legend, as
thus transformed, which Mr. Clinton seems to understand as the story
told by the Greeks themselves,—which cannot be admitted to be true,
unless the meaning of the expression be specially explained. In his
general distinction, however, between the real and fictitious persons
of the mythical world, he departs essentially from the point of
view even of the later Greeks. And if he had consistently followed
out that distinction in his particular criticisms, he would have
found the ground slipping under his feet in his upward march even
to Troy,—not to mention the series of eighteen generations farther
up, to Phorôneus; but he does _not_ consistently follow it out, and
therefore, in practice, he deviates little from the footsteps of the

Enough has been said to show that the witnesses upon whom Mr. Clinton
relies, blend truth and fiction habitually, indiscriminately, and
unconsciously, even upon his own admission. Let us now consider the
positions which he lays down respecting historical evidence. He says
(Introduct. pp. vi-vii):—

“We may acknowledge as real persons all those whom there is no reason
for rejecting. The presumption is in favor of the early tradition,
if no argument can be brought to overthrow it. The persons may be
considered real, when the description of them is consonant with
the state of the country at that time: when no national prejudice
or vanity could be concerned in inventing them: when the tradition
is consistent and general: when rival or hostile tribes concur in
the leading facts: when the acts ascribed to the person (divested
of their poetical ornament) enter into the political system of the
age, or form the basis of other transactions which fall within known
historical times. Kadmus and Danaus appear to be real persons: for
it is conformable to the state of mankind, and perfectly credible,
that Phœnician and Egyptian adventurers, in the ages to which these
persons are ascribed, should have found their way to the coasts of
Greece: and the Greeks (as already observed) had no motive from any
national vanity to feign these settlements. Hercules was a real
person. His acts were recorded by those who were not friendly to
the Dorians; by Achæans and Æolians, and Ionians, who had no vanity
to gratify in celebrating the hero of a hostile and rival people.
His descendants in many branches remained in many states down to
the historical times. His son Tlepolemus, and his grandson and
great-grandson Cleodæus and Aristomachus, are acknowledged (_i. e._
by O. Müller) to be real persons: and there is no reason that can be
assigned for receiving these, which will not be equally valid for
establishing the reality both of Hercules and Hyllus. Above all,
Hercules is authenticated by the testimonies both of the Iliad and

These positions appear to me inconsistent with any sound views of the
conditions of historical testimony. According to what is here laid
down, we are bound to accept as real all the persons mentioned by
Homer, Arktinus, Leschês, the Hesiodic poets, Eumêlus, Asius, etc.,
unless we can adduce some positive ground in each particular case
to prove the contrary. If this position be a true one, the greater
part of the history of England, from Brute the Trojan down to Julius
Cæsar, ought at once to be admitted as valid and worthy of credence.
What Mr. Clinton here calls the _early tradition_, is in point of
fact, the narrative of these early poets. The word _tradition_ is
an equivocal word, and begs the whole question; for while in its
obvious and literal meaning it implies only something handed down,
whether truth or fiction,—it is tacitly understood to imply a tale
descriptive of some real matter of fact, taking its rise at the time
when that fact happened, and originally accurate, but corrupted
by subsequent oral transmission. Understanding, therefore, by Mr.
Clinton’s words _early tradition_, the tales of the old poets, we
shall find his position totally inadmissible,—that we are bound to
admit the persons or statements of Homer and Hesiod as real unless
where we can produce reasons to the contrary. To allow this, would
be to put them upon a par with good contemporary witnesses; for no
greater privilege can be claimed in favor even of Thucydidês, than
the title of his testimony to be believed unless where it can be
contradicted on special grounds. The presumption in favor of an
asserting witness is either strong or weak, or positively nothing,
according to the compound ratio of his means of knowledge, his moral
and intellectual habits, and his motive to speak the truth. Thus,
for instance, when Hesiod tells us that his father quitted the Æolic
Kymê, and came to Askra in Bœôtia, we may fully believe him; but
when he describes to us the battles between the Olympic gods and the
Titans, or between Hêraklês and Cycnus,—or when Homer depicts the
efforts of Hectôr, aided by Apollo, for the defence of Troy, and
the struggles of Achilles and Odysseus, with the assistance of Hêrê
and Poseidôn, for the destruction of that city, events professedly
long past and gone,—we cannot presume either of them to be in any
way worthy of belief. It cannot be shown that they possessed any
means of knowledge, while it is certain that they could have no
motive to consider historical truth: their object was to satisfy an
uncritical appetite for narrative, and to interest the emotions of
their hearers. Mr. Clinton says, that “the persons may be considered
real when the description of them is consistent with the state of
the country at that time.” But he has forgotten, first, that we know
nothing of the state of the country except what these very poets tell
us; next, that fictitious persons may be just as consonant to the
state of the country as real persons. While, therefore, on the one
hand, we have no independent evidence either to affirm or to deny
that Achilles or Agamemnôn are consistent with the state of Greece or
Asia Minor, at a certain supposed date 1183 B. C., so, on the other
hand, even assuming such consistency to be made out, this of itself
would not prove them to be real persons.

Mr. Clinton’s reasoning altogether overlooks the existence of
_plausible fiction_,—fictitious stories which harmonize perfectly
well with the general course of facts, and which are distinguished
from matters of fact not by any internal character, but by the
circumstance that matter of fact has some competent and well-informed
witness to authenticate it, either directly or through legitimate
inference. Fiction may be, and often is, extravagant and incredible;
but it may also be plausible and specious, and in that case there
is nothing but the want of an attesting certificate to distinguish
it from truth. Now all the tests, which Mr. Clinton proposes as
guarantees of the reality of the Homeric persons, will be just as
well satisfied by plausible fiction as by actual matter of fact:
the plausibility of the fiction consists in its satisfying those
and other similar conditions. In most cases, the tales of the
poets _did_ fall in with the existing current of feelings in their
audience: “prejudice and vanity” are not the only feelings, but
doubtless prejudice and vanity were often appealed to, and it was
from such harmony of sentiment that they acquired their hold on men’s
belief. Without any doubt, the Iliad appealed most powerfully to the
reverence for ancestral gods and heroes among the Asiatic colonists
who first heard it: the temptation of putting forth an interesting
tale is quite a sufficient stimulus to the invention of the poet, and
the plausibility of the tale a sufficient passport to the belief of
the hearers. Mr. Clinton talks of “consistent and general tradition.”
But that the tale of a poet, when once told with effect and beauty,
acquired general belief,—is no proof that it was founded on fact:
otherwise, what are we to say to the divine legends, and to the large
portion of the Homeric narrative which Mr. Clinton himself sets
aside as untrue, under the designation of “poetical ornament?” When
a mythical incident is recorded as “forming the basis” of some known
historical fact or institution,—as, for instance, the successful
stratagem by which Melanthus killed Xanthus, in the battle on the
boundary, as recounted in my last chapter,—we may adopt one of two
views; we may either treat the incident as real, and as having
actually given occasion to what is described as its effect,—or we
may treat the incident as a legend imagined in order to assign some
plausible origin of the reality,—“Aut ex re nomen, aut ex vocabulo
fabula.”[78] In cases where the legendary incident is referred to
a time long anterior to any records,—as it commonly is,—the second
mode of proceeding appears to me far more consonant to reason and
probability than the first. It is to be recollected that all the
persons and facts, here defended as matter of real history, by Mr.
Clinton, are referred to an age long preceding the first beginning of

  [78] Pomponius Mela, iii. 7.

I have already remarked that Mr. Clinton shrinks from his own rule
in treating Kadmus and Danaus as real persons, since they are as
much eponyms of tribes or races as Dôrus and Hellên. And if he can
admit Hêraklês to be a real man, I cannot see upon what reason he
can consistently disallow any one of the mythical personages, for
there is not one whose exploits are more strikingly at variance with
the standard of historical probability. Mr. Clinton reasons upon the
supposition that “Herculês was a _Dorian_ hero:” but he was Achæan
and Kadmeian as well as Dorian, though the legends respecting him are
different in all the three characters. Whether his son Tlepolemus and
his grandson Cleodæus belong to the category of historical men, I
will not take upon me to say, though O. Müller (in my opinion without
any warranty) appears to admit it; but Hyllus certainly is not a real
man, if the canon of Mr. Clinton himself respecting the eponyms is
to be trusted. “The descendants of Herculês (observes Mr. Clinton)
remained in many states down to the historical times.” So did those
of Zeus and Apollo, and of that god whom the historian Hekatæus
recognized as his progenitor in the sixteenth generation; the titular
kings of Ephesus, in the historical times, as well as Peisistratus,
the despot of Athens, traced their origin up to Æolus and Hellên,
yet Mr. Clinton does not hesitate to reject Æolus and Hellên as
fictitious persons. I dispute the propriety of quoting the Iliad and
Odyssey (as Mr. Clinton does) in evidence of the historic personality
of Herculês. For, even with regard to the ordinary men who figure
in those poems, we have no means of discriminating the real from
the fictitious; while the Homeric Hêraklês is unquestionably more
than an ordinary man,—he is the favorite son of Zeus, from his birth
predestined to a life of labor and servitude, as preparation for a
glorious immortality. Without doubt, the poet himself believed in the
reality of Herculês, but it was a reality clothed with superhuman

Mr. Clinton observes (Introd. p. ii.), that “because some genealogies
were fictitious, we are not justified in concluding that all were
fabulous.” It is no way necessary that we should maintain so
extensive a position: it is sufficient that all are fabulous so
far as concerns gods and heroes,—_some_ fabulous throughout,—and
none ascertainably true, for the period anterior to the recorded
Olympiads. How much, or what particular portions, may be true, no
one can pronounce. The gods and heroes are, from our point of view,
essentially fictitious; but from the Grecian point of view they were
the most real (if the expression may be permitted, _i. e._ clung to
with the strongest faith) of all the members of the series. They
not only formed parts of the genealogy as originally conceived,
but were in themselves the grand reason why it was conceived,—as a
golden chain to connect the living man with a divine ancestor. The
genealogy, therefore, taken as a whole, (and its value consists in
its being taken as a whole,) was from the beginning a fiction; but
the names of the father and grandfather of the living man, in whose
day it first came forth, were doubtless those of real men. Wherever,
therefore, we can verify the date of a genealogy, as applied to some
living person, we may reasonably presume the two lowest members of
it to be also those of real persons: but this has no application
to the time anterior to the Olympiads,—still less to the pretended
times of the Trojan war, the Kalydônian boar-hunt, or the deluge of
Deukalion. To reason (as Mr. Clinton does, Introd. p. vi.),—“Because
Aristomachus was a real man, therefore his father Cleodæus, his
grandfather Hyllus, and so farther upwards, etc., must have been
real men,”—is an inadmissible conclusion. The historian Hekatæus was
a real man, and doubtless his father Hegesander, also,—but it would
be unsafe to march up his genealogical ladder fifteen steps, to the
presence of the ancestorial god of whom he boasted: the upper steps
of the ladder will be found broken and unreal. Not to mention that
the inference, from real son to real father, is inconsistent with the
admissions in Mr. Clinton’s own genealogical tables; for he there
inserts the names of several mythical fathers as having begotten real
historical sons.

The general authority of Mr. Clinton’s book, and the sincere respect
which I entertain for his elucidations of the later chronology,
have imposed upon me the duty of assigning those grounds on which I
dissent from his conclusions prior to the first recorded Olympiad.
The reader who desires to see the numerous and contradictory guesses
(they deserve no better name) of the Greeks themselves in the attempt
to chronologize their mythical narratives, will find them in the
copious notes annexed to the first half of his first volume. As I
consider all such researches not merely as fruitless, in regard to
any trustworthy result, but as serving to divert attention from the
genuine form and really illustrative character of Grecian legend, I
have not thought it right to go over the same ground in the present
work. Differing as I do, however, from Mr. Clinton’s views on
this subject, I concur with him in deprecating the application of
etymology (Intr. pp. xi-xii.) as a general scheme of explanation to
the characters and events of Greek legend. Amongst the many causes
which operated as suggestives and stimulants to Greek fancy in the
creation of these interesting tales, doubtless etymology has had its
share; but it cannot be applied (as Hermann, above all others, has
sought to apply it) for the purpose of imparting supposed sense and
system to the general body of mythical narrative. I have already
remarked on this topic in a former chapter.

It would be curious to ascertain at what time, or by whom, the
earliest continuous genealogies, connecting existing persons with
the supposed antecedent age of legend, were formed and preserved.
Neither Homer nor Hesiod mentioned any verifiable _present_ persons
or circumstances: had they done so, the age of one or other of them
could have been determined upon good evidence, which we may fairly
presume to have been impossible, from the endless controversies upon
this topic among ancient writers. In the Hesiodic Works and Days, the
heroes of Troy and Thêbes are even presented as an extinct race,[79]
radically different from the poet’s own contemporaries, who are a new
race, far too depraved to be conceived as sprung from the loins of
the heroes; so that we can hardly suppose Hesiod (though his father
was a native of the Æolic Kymê) to have admitted the pedigree of the
Æolic chiefs, as reputed descendants of Agamemnôn. Certain it is,
that the earliest poets did not attempt to measure or bridge over
the supposed interval, between their own age and the war of Troy, by
any definite series of fathers and sons: whether Eumêlus or Asius
made any such attempt, we cannot tell, but the earliest continuous
backward genealogies which we find mentioned are those of Pherekydês,
Hellanikus, and Herodotus. It is well known that Herodotus, in his
manner of computing the upward genealogy of the Spartan kings,
assigns the date of the Trojan war to a period 800 years earlier than
himself, equivalent about to B. C. 1270-1250; while the subsequent
Alexandrine chronologists, Eratosthenês and Apollodôrus, place that
event in 1184 and 1183 B. C.; and the Parian marble refers it to
an intermediate date, different from either,—1209 B. C. Ephorus,
Phanias, Timæus, Kleitarchus, and Duris, had each his own conjectural
date; but the computations of the Alexandrine chronologists was
the most generally followed by those who succeeded them, and seems
to have passed to modern times as the received date of this great
legendary event,—though some distinguished inquirers have adopted
the epoch of Herodotus, which Larcher has attempted to vindicate
in an elaborate but feeble dissertation.[80] It is unnecessary to
state that, in my view, the inquiry has no other value except to
illustrate the ideas which guided the Greek mind, and to exhibit
its progress from the days of Homer to those of Herodotus. For it
argues a considerable mental progress when men begin to methodize
the past, even though they do so on fictitious principles, being as
yet unprovided with those records which alone could put them on a
better course. The Homeric man was satisfied with feeling, imagining,
and believing particular incidents of a supposed past, without any
attempt to graduate the line of connection between them and himself:
to introduce fictitious hypotheses and media of connection is the
business of a succeeding age, when the stimulus of rational curiosity
is first felt, without any authentic materials to supply it. We have,
then, the form of history operating upon the matter of legend,—the
transition-state between legend and history; less interesting,
indeed, than either separately, yet necessary as a step between the

  [79] See the preceding volume of this History, Chap. ii. p. 66.

  [80] Larcher, Chronologie d’Hérodote, chap. xiv. pp. 352-401.

  From the capture of Troy down to the passage of Alexander with
  his invading army into Asia, the latter a known date of 334 B.
  C., the following different reckonings were made:—

    Phanias        gave  715 years.
    Ephorus          ”   735   ”
    Eratosthenês     ”   774   ”
    Timæus       }   ”   820   ”
    Kleitarchus  }
    Duris            ”  1000   ”

    (Clemens Alexand. Strom. i. p. 337.)

  Democritus estimated a space of seven hundred and thirty
  years between his composition of the Μικρὸς Διάκοσμος and the
  capture of Troy (Diogen. Laërt. ix. 41). Isokratês believed the
  Lacedæmonians to have been established in Peloponnêsus seven
  hundred years, and he repeats this in three different passages
  (Archidam. p. 118; Panathen. p. 275; De Pace, p. 178). The dates
  of these three orations themselves differ by twenty-four years,
  the Archidamus being older than the Panathenaïc by that interval;
  yet he employs the same number of years for each in calculating
  backwards to the Trojan war, (see Clinton, vol. i. Introd. p.
  v.) In round numbers, his calculation coincides pretty nearly
  with the eight hundred years given by Herodotus in the preceding

  The remarks of Boeckh on the Parian marble generally, in his
  Corpus Inscriptionum Græc. t. ii. pp. 322-336, are extremely
  valuable, but especially his criticism on the epoch of the Trojan
  war, which stands the twenty-fourth in the Marble. The ancient
  chronologists, from Damastês and Hellanikus downwards, professed
  to fix not only the exact year, but the exact month, day, and
  hour in which this celebrated capture took place. [Mr. Clinton
  pretends to no more than the possibility of determining the event
  within fifty years, Introduct. p. vi.] Boeckh illustrates the
  manner of their argumentation.

  O. Müller observes (History of the Dorians, t. ii. p. 442, Eng.
  Tr.), “In reckoning from the migration of the Heraklidæ downward,
  we follow the Alexandrine chronology, of which it should be
  observed, that our materials only enable us to restore it to its
  original state, _not to examine its correctness_.”

  But I do not see upon what evidence even so much as this can be
  done. Mr. Clinton, admitting that Eratosthenês fixed his date by
  conjecture, supposes him to have chosen “a middle point between
  the longer and shorter computations of his predecessors.” Boeckh
  thinks this explanation unsatisfactory (_l. c._ p. 328).



Though the particular persons and events, chronicled in the legendary
poems of Greece, are not to be regarded as belonging to the province
of real history, those poems are, nevertheless, full of instruction
as pictures of life and manners; and the very same circumstances,
which divest their composers of all credibility as historians,
render them so much the more valuable as unconscious expositors of
their own contemporary society. While professedly describing an
uncertified past, their combinations are involuntarily borrowed
from the surrounding present: for among communities, such as those
of the primitive Greeks, without books, without means of extended
travel, without acquaintance with foreign languages and habits, the
imagination, even of highly gifted men, was naturally enslaved by
the circumstances around them to a far greater degree than in the
later days of Solôn or Herodotus; insomuch that the characters which
they conceived and the scenes which they described would for that
reason bear a stronger generic resemblance to the realities of their
own time and locality. Nor was the poetry of that age addressed
to lettered and critical authors, watchful to detect plagiarism,
sated with simple imagery, and requiring something of novelty or
peculiarity in every fresh production. To captivate their emotions,
it was sufficient to depict, with genius and fervor, the more obvious
manifestations of human adventure or suffering, and to idealize that
type of society, both private and public, with which the hearers
around were familiar. Even in describing the gods, where a great
degree of latitude and deviation might have been expected,[81] we see
that Homer introduces into Olympus the passions, the caprices, the
love of power and patronage, the alternation of dignity and weakness,
which animated the bosom of an ordinary Grecian chief; and this
tendency, to reproduce in substance the social relations to which he
had been accustomed, would operate still more powerfully when he had
to describe simply human characters,—the chief and his people, the
warrior and his comrades, the husband, wife, father, and son,—or the
imperfect rudiments of judicial and administrative proceeding. That
his narrative on all these points, even with fictitious characters
and events, presents a close approximation to general reality,
there can be no reason to doubt.[82] The necessity under which he
lay of drawing from a store, then happily unexhausted, of personal
experience and observation, is one of the causes of that freshness
and vivacity of description for which he stands unrivalled, and which
constituted the imperishable charm of the Iliad and Odyssey from the
beginning to the end of Grecian literature.

  [81] Καὶ τοὺς θεοὺς δὲ διὰ τοῦτο πάντες φασὶ βασιλεύεσθαι, ὅτι
  καὶ αὐτοὶ, οἱ μὲν ἔτι καὶ νῦν, οἱ δὲ τὸ ἀρχαῖον, ἐβασιλεύοντο.
  Ὥσπερ δὲ καὶ τὰ εἴδη ἑαυτοῖς ἀφομοιοῦσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι, οὕτω καὶ
  τοὺς βίους τῶν θεῶν (Aristot. Politic. i. 1. 7).

  [82] In the pictures of the Homeric Heroes, there is no material
  difference of character recognized between one race of Greeks
  and another,—or even between Greeks and Trojans. See Helbig, Die
  Sittlichen Zustände des Griechischen Heldenalters, part ii. p. 53.

While, therefore, we renounce the idea of chronologizing or
historicizing the events of Grecian legend, we may turn them to
profit as valuable memorials of that state of society, feeling, and
intelligence, which must be to us the starting-point of the history
of the people. Of course, the legendary age, like all those which
succeeded it, had its antecedent causes and determining conditions;
but of these we know nothing, and we are compelled to assume it
as a primary fact, for the purpose of following out its subsequent
changes. To conceive absolute beginning or origin (as Niebuhr has
justly remarked) is beyond the reach of our faculties: we can neither
apprehend nor verify anything beyond progress, or development, or
decay,[83]—change from one set of circumstances to another, operated
by some definite combination of physical or moral laws. In the case
of the Greeks, the legendary age, as the earliest in any way known
to us, must be taken as the initial state from which this series of
changes commences. We must depict its prominent characteristics as
well as we can, and show,—partly how it serves to prepare, partly
how it forms a contrast to set off,—the subsequent ages of Solôn, of
Periklês, and of Demosthenês.

  [83] Niebuhr, Römische Geschichte, vol. i. p. 55, 2d edit.
  “Erkennt man aber, dass aller Ursprung jenseits unserer nur
  Entwickelung und Fortgang fassenden Begriffe liegt; und
  beschränkt sich von Stufe auf Stufe im Umfang der Geschichte
  zurückzugehen, so wird man Völker eines Stammes (das heisst,
  durch eigenthümliche Art und Sprache identisch) vielfach eben
  an sich entgegenliegenden Küstenländern antreffen ... ohne dass
  irgend etwas die Voraussetzung erheischte, eine von diesen
  getrennten Landschaften sei die ursprüngliche Heimath gewesen
  von wo ein Theil nach der andern gewandert wäre.... Dies ist der
  Geographie der Thiergeschlechter und der Vegetation analog: deren
  grosse Bezirke durch Gebürge geschieden werden, and beschränkte
  Meere einschliessen.”

  “When we once recognize, however, that _all absolute beginning
  lies out of the reach of our mental conceptions, which comprehend
  nothing beyond development and progress_, and when we attempt
  nothing more than to go back from the later to the earlier stages
  in the compass of history, we shall often find, on opposite
  coasts of the same sea, people of one stock (that is, of the
  same peculiar customs and language,) without being warranted in
  supposing that either of these separate coasts was the primitive
  home from whence emigrants crossed over to the other. This is
  analogous to the geography of animals and plants, whose wide
  districts are severed by mountains and inclose internal seas.”

1. The political condition, which Grecian legend everywhere presents
to us, is in its principal features strikingly different from
that which had become universally prevalent among the Greeks in
the time of the Peloponnêsian war. Historical oligarchy, as well
as democracy, agreed in requiring a certain established system of
government, comprising the three elements of specialized functions,
temporary functionaries, and ultimate responsibility (under some
forms or other) to the mass of qualified citizens—either a Senate
or an Ecclesia, or both. There were, of course, many and capital
distinctions between one government and another, in respect to the
qualification of the citizen, the attributes and efficiency of the
general assembly, the admissibility to power, etc.; and men might
often be dissatisfied with the way in which these questions were
determined in their own city. But in the mind of every man, some
determining rule or system—something like what in modern times is
called a _constitution_—was indispensable to any government entitled
to be called legitimate, or capable of creating in the mind of a
Greek a feeling of moral obligation to obey it. The functionaries
who exercised authority under it might be more or less competent
or popular; but his personal feelings towards them were commonly
lost in his attachment or aversion to the general system. If any
energetic man could by audacity or craft break down the constitution,
and render himself permanent ruler according to his own will and
pleasure,—even though he might govern well, he could never inspire
the people with any sentiment of duty towards him. His sceptre was
illegitimate from the beginning, and even the taking of his life,
far from being interdicted by that moral feeling which condemned the
shedding of blood in other cases, was considered meritorious. Nor
could he be mentioned in the language except by a name[84] (τύραννος,
_despot_,) which branded him as an object of mingled fear and dislike.

  [84] The Greek name τύραννος cannot be properly rendered
  _tyrant_; for many of the τύραννοι by no means deserved to be so
  called, nor is it consistent with the use of language to speak
  of a mild and well-intentioned tyrant. The word _despot_ is the
  nearest approach which we can make to it, since it is understood
  to imply that a man has got more power than he ought to have,
  while it does not exclude a beneficent use of such power by some
  individuals. It is, however, very inadequate to express the full
  strength of Grecian feeling which the original word called forth.

If we carry our eyes back from historical to legendary Greece, we
find a picture the reverse of what has been here sketched. We discern
a government in which there is little or no scheme or system,—still
less any idea of responsibility to the governed,—but in which the
mainspring of obedience on the part of the people consists in their
personal feeling and reverence towards the chief. We remark, first
and foremost, the king: next, a limited number of subordinate kings
or chiefs; afterwards, the mass of armed freemen, husbandmen,
artisans, freebooters, etc.; lowest of all, the free laborers for
hire, and the bought slaves. The king is not distinguished by any
broad or impassable boundary from the other chiefs, to each of
whom the title _basileus_ is applicable as well as to himself: his
supremacy has been inherited from his ancestors, and passes by
descent, as a general rule, to his eldest son, having been conferred
upon the family as a privilege by the favor of Zeus.[85] In war,
he is the leader, foremost in personal prowess, and directing all
military movements; in peace, he is the general protector of the
injured and oppressed; he farther offers up those public prayers
and sacrifices which are intended to obtain for the whole people
the favor of the gods. An ample domain is assigned to him as an
appurtenance of his lofty position, while the produce of his fields
and his cattle is consecrated in part to an abundant, though rude
hospitality. Moreover, he receives frequent presents, to avert his
enmity, to conciliate his favor,[86] or to buy off his exactions;
and when plunder is taken from the enemy, a large previous share,
comprising probably the most alluring female captive, is reserved for
him, apart from the general distribution.[87]

  [85] The Phæakian king Alkinous (Odyss. vii. 55-65): there are
  twelve other Phæakian Βασιλῆες, he is himself the thirteenth
  (viii. 391).

  The chief men in the Iliad, and the suitors of Penelopê in the
  Odyssey, are called usually and indiscriminately both Βασιλῆες
  and Ἄνακτες; the latter word, however, designates them as men of
  property and masters of slaves, (analogous to the subsequent word
  δεσπότης, which word does not occur in Homer, though δέσποινα
  is found in the Odyssey,) while the former word marks them as
  persons of conspicuous station in the tribe (see Odyss. i.
  393-401; xiv. 63). A chief could only be Βασιλεὺς of freemen; but
  he might be Ἄναξ either of freemen or of slaves.

  Agamemnôn and Menelaus belong to the _most kingly_ race (γένος
  βασιλεύτερον: compare Tyrtæus, Fragm. ix. v. 8, p. 9, ed.
  Schneidewin) of the Pelopids, to whom the sceptre originally
  made for Zeus has been given by Hermês (Iliad, ii. 101; ix.
  160; x. 239); compare Odyss. xv. 539. The race of Dardanus are
  the favorite offspring of Zeus, βασιλεύτατον among the Trojans
  (Iliad, xx. 304). These races are the parallels of the kingly
  _prosapiæ_ called Amali, Asdingi, Gungingi, and Lithingi, among
  the Goths, Vandals, and Lombards (Jornandes, De Rebus Geticis, c.
  14-22; Paul Warnefrid, Gest. Langob. c. 14-21); and the ἀρχικὸν
  γένος among the Chaonian Epirots (Thucyd. ii. 80).

  [86] Odyss. i. 392; xi. 184; xiii. 14; xix. 109.—

    Οὐ μὲν γάρ τι κακὸν βασιλεύεμεν· αἶψά τέ οἱ δῶ
    Ἄφνειον πέλεται, καὶ τιμηέστερος αὐτός.

  Iliad, ix. 154-297 (when Agamemnôn is promising seven townships
  to Achilles, as a means of appeasing his wrath):—

    Ἐν δ᾽ ἄνδρες ναίουσι πολυῤῥῆνες, πολυβοῦται,
    Οἵ κέ σε δωτίνῃσι θεὸν ὣς, τιμήσουσι,
    Καί σοι ὑπὸ σκήπτρῳ λιπαρὰς τελέουσι θέμιστας.

  See Iliad, xii. 312; and the reproaches of Thersitês (ii.
  226)—βασιλῆας δωροφάγους (Hesiod, Opp. Di. 38-264).

  The Roman kings had a large τέμενος assigned to them,—“agri,
  arva, et arbusta et pascui læti atque uberes” (Cicero, De Republ.
  v. 2): the German kings received presents: “Mos est civitatibus
  (observes Tacitus, respecting the Germans whom he describes, M.
  G. 15) ultro ac viritim conferre principibus, vel armentorum vel
  frugum, quod pro honore acceptum etiam necessitatibus subvenit.”

  The revenue of the Persian kings before Darius consisted only
  of what were called δῶρα, or presents (Herod. iii. 89): Darius
  first introduced both the name of tribute and the determinate
  assessment. King Polydektês, in Seriphos, invites his friends
  to a festival, the condition of which is that each guest shall
  contribute to an ἔρανος for his benefit (Pherekydês, Fragm. 26,
  ed. Didot); a case to which the Thracian banquet prepared by
  Seuthês affords an exact parallel (Xenophôn, Anab. vii. 3, 16-32:
  compare Thucyd. ii. 97, and Welcker, Æschyl. Trilogie, p. 381).
  Such Aids, or Benevolences, even if originally voluntary, became
  in the end compulsory. In the European monarchies of the Middle
  Ages, what were called free gifts were more ancient than public
  taxes: “The feudal Aids (observes Mr. Hallam) are the beginning
  of taxation, of which they for a long time answered the purpose.”
  (Middle Ages, ch. ii. part i. p. 189.) So about the Aides in the
  old French Monarchy, “La Cour des Aides avoit été instituée,
  et sa jurisdiction s’étoit formée, lorsque le domaine des Rois
  suffisoit à toutes les dépenses de l’Etat, les droits d’Aides
  étoient alors des supplémens peu considérables et toujours
  temporaires. Depuis, le domaine des Rois avoit été anéanti: les
  Aides, au contraire, étoient devenues permanentes et formoient
  presque la totalité des ressources du trésor.” (Histoire de la
  Fronde, par M. de St. Aulaire, ch. iii. p. 124.)

  [87] Ἐπὶ ῥητοῖς γέρασι πατρικαὶ βασιλεῖαι, is the description
  which Thucydidês gives of these heroic governments (i. 13).

  The language of Aristotle (Polit. iii. 10, 1) is much the same: Ἡ
  βασιλεία—ἡ περὶ τοὺς ἡρωικοὺς χρόνους—αὐτὴ δ᾽ ἦν ἑκόντων μὲν, ἐπί
  τισι δ᾽ ὡρισμένοις· στρατηγὸς δ᾽ ἦν καὶ δικαστὴς ὁ βασιλεὺς, καὶ
  τῶν πρὸς τοὺς θεοὺς κύριος.

  It can hardly be said correctly, however, that the king’s
  authority was _defined_: nothing can well be more indefinite.

  Agamemnôn enjoyed or assumed the power of putting to death a
  disobedient soldier (Aristot. Polit. iii. 9, 2). The words which
  Aristotle read in the speech of Agamemnôn in the Iliad—Πὰρ γὰρ
  ἐμοὶ θάνατος—are not in our present copies: the Alexandrine
  critics effaced many traces of the old manners.

Such is the position of the king, in the heroic times of Greece,—the
only person (if we except the heralds and priests, each both
special and subordinate,) who is then presented to us as clothed
with any individual authority,—the person by whom all the executive
functions, then few in number, which the society requires, are either
performed or directed. His personal ascendency—derived from divine
countenance, bestowed both upon himself individually and upon his
race, and probably from accredited divine descent—is the salient
feature in the picture. The people hearken to his voice, embrace
his propositions, and obey his orders: not merely resistance, but
even criticism upon his acts, is generally exhibited in an odious
point of view, and is, indeed, never heard of except from some
one or more of the subordinate princes. To keep alive and justify
such feelings in the public mind, however, the king must himself
possess various accomplishments, bodily and mental, and that too in
a superior degree.[88] He must be brave in the field, wise in the
council, and eloquent in the agora; he must be endued with bodily
strength and activity above other men, and must be an adept, not
only in the use of his arms, but also in those athletic exercises
which the crowd delight to witness. Even the more homely varieties
of manual acquirements are an addition to his character,—such as the
craft of the carpenter or shipwright, the straight furrowing of the
ploughman, or the indefatigable persistence of the mower without
repose or refreshment throughout the longest day.[89] The conditions
of voluntary obedience, during the Grecian heroic times, are family
descent with personal force and superiority mental as well as bodily,
in the chief, coupled with the favor of the gods: an old chief, such
as Pêleus and Laërtes, cannot retain his position.[90] But, on the
other hand, where these elements of force are present, a good deal of
violence, caprice, and rapacity is tolerated: the ethical judgment is
not exact in scrutinizing the conduct of individuals so preëminently
endowed. As in the case of the gods, the general epithets of
_good_, _just_, etc., are applied to them as euphemisms arising
from submission and fear, being not only not suggested, but often
pointedly belied, by their particular acts. These words signify[91]
the man of birth, wealth, influence, and daring, whose arm is strong
to destroy or to protect, whatever may be the turn of his moral
sentiments; while the opposite epithet, _bad_, designates the poor,
lowly, and weak; from whose dispositions, be they ever so virtuous,
society has little either to hope or to fear.

  [88] Striking phrases on this head are put into the mouth of
  Sarpêdôn (Iliad, xii. 310-322).

  Kings are named and commissioned by Zeus,—Ἐκ δὲ Διὸς βασιλῆες
  (Hesiod, Theogon. 96; Callimach. Hymn. ad Jov. 79): κρατέρω
  θεράποντε Διὸς is a sort of paraphrase for the kingly dignity in
  the case of Pelias and Nêleus (Odyss. xi. 255; compare Iliad, ii.

  [89] Odysseus builds his own bed and bedchamber, and his own raft
  (Odyss. xxiii. 188; v. 246-255): he boasts of being an excellent
  mower and ploughman (xviii. 365-375): for his astonishing
  proficiency in the athletic contests, see viii. 180-230. Paris
  took a share in building his own house (Iliad, vi. 314).

  [90] Odyss. xi. 496; xxiv. 136-248.

  [91] See this prominent meaning of the words ἀγαθὸς, ἐσθλὸς,
  κακὸς, etc. copiously illustrated in Welcker’s excellent
  Prolegomena to Theognis, sect. 9-16. Camerarius, in his notes on
  that poet (v. 19,), had already conceived clearly the sense in
  which these words are used. Iliad, xv. 323. Οἶα τε τοῖς ἀγαθοῖσι
  παραδρώωσι χέρηες. Compare Hesiod, Opp. Di. 216, and the line in
  Athenæus, v. p. 178, Αὐτόματοι δ᾽ ἀγαθοὶ δειλῶν ἐπὶ δαῖτας ἴασιν.

  “_Moralis_ illarum vocum vis, et _civilis_—quarum hæc a
  lexicographis et commentatoribus plurimis fere neglecta est—probe
  discernendæ erunt. Quod quo facilius fieret, nescio an ubi
  posterior intellectus valet, majusculâ scribendum fuisset Ἀγαθοὶ
  et Κακοὶ.”

  If this advice of Welcker could have been followed, much
  misconception would have been obviated. The reference of these
  words to power and not to worth, is their primitive import in
  the Greek language, descending from the Iliad downward, and
  determining the habitual designation of parties during the
  period of active political dispute. The ethical meaning of the
  word hardly appears until the discussions raised by Socrates,
  and prosecuted by his disciples; but the primitive import still
  continued to maintain concurrent footing.

  I shall have occasion to touch more largely on this subject, when
  I come to expound the Grecian political parties. At present, it
  is enough to remark that the epithets of _good men_, _best men_,
  habitually applied afterwards to the aristocratical parties,
  descend from the rudest period of Grecian society.

Aristotle, in his general theory of government,[92] lays down the
position, that the earliest sources of obedience and authority
among mankind are personal, exhibiting themselves most perfectly
in the type of paternal supremacy; and that therefore the kingly
government, as most conformable to this stage of social sentiment,
became probably the first established everywhere. And in fact it
still continued in his time to be generally prevalent among the
non-Hellenic nations, immediately around; though the Phœnician
cities and Carthage, the most civilized of all non-Hellenic states,
were republics. Nevertheless, so completely were the feelings about
kingship reversed among his contemporary Greeks, that he finds
it difficult to enter into the voluntary obedience paid by his
ancestors to their early heroic chiefs. He cannot explain to his
own satisfaction how any one man should have been so much superior
to the companions around him as to maintain such immense personal
ascendency: he suspects that in such small communities great merit
was very rare, so that the chief had few competitors.[93] Such
remarks illustrate strongly the revolution which the Greek mind had
undergone during the preceding centuries, in regard to the internal
grounds of political submission. But the connecting link, between
the Homeric and the republican schemes of government, is to be
found in two adjuncts of the Homeric royalty, which are now to be
mentioned,—the boulê, or council of chiefs, and the agora, or general
assembly of freemen.

  [92] Aristot. Polit. i. 1, 7.

  [93] Καὶ διὰ τοῦτ᾽ ἴσως ἐβασιλεύοντο πρότερον, ὅτι σπάνιον ἦν
  εὑρεῖν ἄνδρας διαφέροντας κατ᾽ ἀρετὴν, ἄλλως τε καὶ τότε μικρὰς
  οἰκοῦντας πόλεις (Polit. iii. 10, 7); also the same treatise, v.
  8, 5, and v. 8, 22. Οὐ γίνονται δ᾽ ἔτι βασιλεῖαι νῦν, etc.

  Aristotle handles monarchy far less copiously than either
  oligarchy or democracy: the tenth and eleventh chapters of his
  third book, in which he discusses it, are nevertheless very
  interesting to peruse.

  In the conception of Plato, also, the kingly government, if it is
  to work well, implies a breed superior to humanity to hold the
  sceptre (Legg. iv. 6. p. 713).

  The Athenian dramatic poets (especially Euripidês) often put into
  the mouths of their heroic characters popular sentiments adapted
  to the democratical atmosphere of Athens—very different from what
  we find in Homer.

These two meetings, more or less frequently convoked, and interwoven
with the earliest habits of the primitive Grecian communities, are
exhibited in the monuments of the legendary age as opportunities for
advising the king, and media for promulgating his intentions to the
people, rather than as restraints upon his authority. Unquestionably,
they must have conduced in practice to the latter result as well as
to the former; but this is not the light in which the Homeric poems
describe them. The chiefs, kings, princes, or gerontes—for the same
word in Greek designates both an old man and a man of conspicuous
rank and position—compose the council,[94] in which, according to the
representations in the Iliad, the resolutions of Agamemnôn on the
one side, and of Hectôr on the other, appear uniformly to prevail.
The harshness and even contempt with which Hectôr treats respectful
opposition from his ancient companion Polydamas,—the desponding tone
and conscious inferiority of the latter, and the unanimous assent
which the former obtains, even when quite in the wrong—all this is
clearly set forth in the poem:[95] while in the Grecian camp we see
Nestôr tendering his advice in the most submissive and delicate
manner to Agamemnôn, to be adopted or rejected, as “the king of men”
might determine.[96] The council is a purely consultative body,
assembled, not with any power of peremptorily arresting mischievous
resolves of the king, but solely for his information and guidance. He
himself is the presiding (boulephŏrus, or) member[97] of council; the
rest, collectively as well as individually, are his subordinates.

  [94] Βουλὴν δὲ πρῶτον μεγαθύμων ἷζε γερόντων (Iliad, ii. 53):
  compare x. 195-415. Ἴλου, παλαιοῦ ~δημογέροντος~ (xi. 371).

  [95] Iliad, xviii. 313.—

    Ἕκτορι μὲν γὰρ ἐπῄνησαν κακὰ μητιόωντι,
    Πουλυδάμαντι δ᾽ ἄρ᾽ οὔτις, ὃς ἐσθλὴν φράζετο βουλήν.

  Also, xii. 213, where Polydamas says to Hectôr,—

        ... ἐπεὶ οὐδὲ μὲν οὐδὲ ἔοικε
    Δῆμον ἐόντα παρὲξ ἀγορεύεμεν, οὔτ᾽ ἐνὶ βουλῇ,
    Οὔτε ποτ᾽ ἐν πολέμῳ, σὸν δὲ κράτος αἰὲν ἀέξειν.

  [96] Iliad, ix. 95-101.

  [97] Iliad, vii. 126, Πηλεὺς—Ἐσθλὸς Μυρμιδόνων βουληφόρος ἠδ᾽

We proceed from the council to the agora: according to what seems the
received custom, the king, after having talked over his intentions
with the former, proceeds to announce them to the people. The heralds
make the crowd sit down in order,[98] and enforce silence: any one
of the chiefs or councillors—but as it seems, no one else[99]—is
allowed to address them: the king first promulgates his intentions,
which are then open to be commented upon by others. But in the
Homeric agora, no division of affirmative or negative voices ever
takes place, nor is any formal resolution ever adopted. The nullity
of positive function strikes us even more in the agora than in the
council. It is an assembly for talk, communication, and discussion,
to a certain extent, by the chiefs, in presence of the people as
listeners and sympathizers,—often for eloquence, and sometimes for
quarrel,—but here its ostensible purposes end.

  [98] Considerable stress seems to be laid on the necessity that
  the people in the agora should _sit_ down (Iliad, ii. 96): a
  _standing_ agora is a symptom of tumult or terror (Iliad, xviii,
  246); an evening agora, to which men come elevated by wine, is
  also the forerunner of mischief (Odyss. iii. 138).

  Such evidences of regular formalities observed in the agora are
  not without interest.

  [99] Iliad, ii. 100.—

    ... εἴποτ᾽ ἀϋτῆς
    Σχοίατ᾽, ἀκούσειαν δὲ διοτρεφέων βασιλήων.

  Nitzsch (ad Odyss. ii. 14) controverts this restriction of
  individual manifestation to the chiefs: the view of O. Müller
  (Hist. Dorians, b. iii. c. 3) appears to me more correct: such
  was also the opinion of Aristotle—φησὶ τοίνυν Ἀριστοτέλης ὅτι ὁ
  μὲν δῆμος μόνου τοῦ ἀκοῦσαι κύριος ἦν, οἱ δὲ ἡγεμόνες καὶ τοῦ
  πρᾶξαι (Schol. Iliad, ix. 17): compare the same statement in his
  Nikomachean Ethics, iii. 5.

The agora in Ithaka, in the second book of the Odyssey, is convened
by the youthful Telemachus, at the instigation of Athênê, not for the
purpose of submitting any proposition, but in order to give formal
and public notice to the suitors to desist from their iniquitous
intrusion and pillage of his substance, and to absolve himself
farther, before gods and men, from all obligations towards them, if
they refuse to comply. For the slaughter of the suitors, in all the
security of the festive hall and banquet (which forms the catastrophe
of the Odyssey), was a proceeding involving much that was shocking to
Grecian feeling,[100] and therefore required to be preceded by such
ample formalities, as would leave both the delinquents themselves
without the shadow of excuse, and their surviving relatives without
any claim to the customary satisfaction. For this special purpose,
Telemachus directs the heralds to summon an agora: but what seems
most of all surprising is, that none had ever been summoned or
held since the departure of Odysseus himself,—an interval of twenty
years. “No agora or session has taken place amongst us (says the
gray-headed Ægyptius, who opens the proceedings) since Odysseus
went on shipboard: and now, who is he that has called us together?
what man, young or old, has felt such a strong necessity? Has he
received intelligence from our absent warriors, or has he other
public news to communicate? He is our good friend for doing this:
whatever his projects may be, I pray Zeus to grant him success.”[101]
Telemachus, answering the appeal forthwith, proceeds to tell the
assembled Ithakans that he has no public news to communicate, but
that he has convoked them upon his own private necessities. Next, he
sets forth, pathetically, the wickedness of the suitors, calls upon
them personally to desist, and upon the people to restrain them, and
concludes by solemnly warning them, that, being henceforward free
from all obligation towards them, he will invoke the avenging aid of
Zeus, so “that they may be slain in the interior of his own house,
without bringing upon him any subsequent penalty.”[102]

  [100] See Iliad, ix. 635; Odyss. xi. 419.

  [101] Odyss. ii. 25-40.

  [102] Odyss. ii. 43, 77, 145.—

    Νήποινοί κεν ἔπειτα ~δόμων ἔντοσθεν~ ὄλοισθε.

We are not of course to construe the Homeric description as anything
more than an _idéal_, approximating to actual reality. But, allowing
all that can be required for such a limitation, it exhibits the agora
more as a special medium of publicity and intercommunication,[103]
from the king to the body of the people, than as including any idea
of responsibility on the part of the former or restraining force
on the part of the latter, however such consequences may indirectly
grow out of it. The primitive Grecian government is essentially
monarchical, reposing on personal feeling and divine right: the
memorable dictum in the Iliad is borne out by all that we hear of the
actual practice; “The ruler of many is not a good thing: let us have
one ruler only,—one king,—him to whom Zeus has given the sceptre and
the tutelary sanctions.”[104]

  [103] A similar character is given of the public assemblies of
  the early Franks and Lombards (Pfeffel, Histoire du Droit Public
  en Allemagne, t. i. p. 18; Sismondi, Histoire des Républiques
  Italiennes, t. i. c. 2, p. 71).

  Dionysius of Halikarnassus (ii. 12) pays rather too high a
  compliment to the moderation of the Grecian heroic kings.

  The kings at Rome, like the Grecian heroic kings, began with an
  ἀρχὴ ἀνυπεύθυνος: the words of Pomponius (De Origine Juris, i.
  2,) would be perhaps more exactly applicable to the latter than
  to the former: “Initio civitatis nostræ Populus sine certâ lege,
  sine jure certo, primum agere instituit: omniaque manu a Regibus
  gubernabantur.” Tacitus says (Ann. iii. 26), “Nobis Romulus,
  ut libitum, imperitaverat: dein Numa religionibus et divino
  jure populum devinxit, repertaque quædam a Tullo et Anco: sed
  præcipuus Servius Tullius sanctor legum fuit, quis etiam Reges
  obtemperarent.” The appointment of a Dictator under the Republic
  was a reproduction, for a short and definite interval, of this
  old unbounded authority (Cicero, De Repub. ii. 32; Zonaras, Ann.
  vii. 13; Dionys. Hal. v. 75).

  See Rubino, Untersuchungen über Römische Verfassung und
  Geschichte, Cassel, 1839, buch i. abschnitt 2, pp. 112-132; and
  Wachsmuth, Hellenische Alterthumskunde, i. sect. 18, pp. 81-91.

  [104] Iliad, ii. 204. Agamemnôn promises to make over to Achilles
  seven well-peopled cities, with a body of wealthy inhabitants
  (Iliad, ix. 153); and Menelaus, if he could have induced Odysseus
  to quit Ithaka, and settle near him in Argos, would have
  depopulated one of his neighboring towns in order to make room
  for him (Odyss. iv. 176).

  Manso (Sparta, i. 1, p. 34) and Nitzsch (ad Odyss. iv. 171) are
  inclined to exclude these passages as spurious,—a proceeding, in
  my opinion, inadmissible, without more direct grounds than they
  are able to produce.

The second book of the Iliad, full as it is of beauty and vivacity,
not only confirms our idea of the passive, recipient, and listening
character of the agora, but even presents a repulsive picture
of the degradation of the mass of the people before the chiefs.
Agamemnôn convokes the agora for the purpose of immediately arming
the Grecian host, under a full impression that the gods have at
last determined forthwith to crown his arms with complete victory.
Such impression has been created by a special visit of Oneirus
(the Dream-god), sent by Zeus during his sleep,—being, indeed, an
intentional fraud on the part of Zeus, though Agamemnôn does not
suspect its deceitful character. At this precise moment, when he
may be conceived to be more than usually anxious to get his army
into the field and snatch the prize, an unaccountable fancy seizes
him, that, instead of inviting the troops to do what he really
wishes, and encouraging their spirits for this one last effort, he
will adopt a course directly contrary: he will try their courage by
professing to believe that the siege had become desperate, and that
there was no choice except to go on shipboard and flee. Announcing
to Nestôr and Odysseus, in preliminary council, his intention to
hold this strange language, he at the same time tells them that he
relies upon them to oppose it and counterwork its effect upon the
multitude.[105] The agora is presently assembled, and the king of
men pours forth a speech full of dismay and despair, concluding by
a distinct exhortation to all present to go aboard and return home
at once. Immediately the whole army, chiefs as well as people, break
up and proceed to execute his orders: every one rushes off to get
his ship afloat, except Odysseus, who looks on in mournful silence
and astonishment. The army would have been quickly on its voyage
home, had not the goddesses Hêrê and Athênê stimulated Odysseus
to an instantaneous interference. He hastens among the dispersing
crowd and diverts them from their purpose of retreat: to the chiefs
he addresses flattering words, trying to shame them by gentle
expostulation: but the people he visits with harsh reprimand and
blows from his sceptre,[106] thus driving them back to their seats in
the agora.

  [105] Iliad, ii. 74. Πρῶτα δ᾽ ἐγὼν ἔπεσιν πειρήσομαι, etc.

  [106] Iliad, ii. 188-196.—

    Ὅντινα μὲν βασιλῆα καὶ ἔξοχον ἄνδρα κιχείη,
    Τόνδ᾽ ἀγανοῖς ἐπέεσσιν ἐρητύσασκε παραστάς....
    Ὅν δ᾽ αὖ δήμου τ᾽ ἄνδρα ἴδοι, βοόωντά τ᾽ ἐφεύροι,
    Τὸν σκήπτρῳ ἐλάσασκεν, ὁμοκλήσασκέ τε μύθῳ, etc.

Amidst the dissatisfied crowd thus unwillingly brought back, the
voice of Thersitês is heard the longest and the loudest,—a man ugly,
deformed, and unwarlike, but fluent in speech, and especially severe
and unsparing in his censure of the chiefs, Agamemnôn, Achilles, and
Odysseus. Upon this occasion, he addresses to the people a speech
denouncing Agamemnôn for selfish and greedy exaction generally,
but particularly for his recent ill-treatment of Achilles,—and he
endeavors, moreover, to induce them to persist in their scheme of
departure. In reply, Odysseus not only rebukes Thersitês sharply
for his impudence in abusing the commander-in-chief, but threatens
that, if ever such behavior is repeated, he will strip him naked, and
thrash him out of the assembly with disgraceful blows; as an earnest
of which, he administers to him at once a smart stroke with the
studded sceptre, imprinting its painful mark in a bloody weal across
his back. Thersitês, terrified and subdued, sits down weeping; while
the surrounding crowd deride him, and express the warmest approbation
of Odysseus for having thus by force put the reviler to silence.[107]

  [107] Iliad, ii. 213-277.

Both Odysseus and Nestôr then address the agora, sympathizing with
Agamemnôn for the shame which the retreat of the Greeks is about to
inflict upon him, and urging emphatically upon every one present
the obligation of persevering until the siege shall be successfully
consummated. Neither of them animadverts at all upon Agamemnôn,
either for his conduct towards Achilles, or for his childish freak of
trying the temper of the army.[108]

  [108] Iliad, ii. 284-340. Nor does Thersitês, in his criminatory
  speech against Agamemnôn, touch in any way upon this anomalous
  point, though, in the circumstances under which his speech is
  made, it would seem to be of all others the most natural,—and the
  sharpest thrust against the commander-in-chief.

There cannot be a clearer indication than this description—so graphic
in the original poem—of the true character of the Homeric agora. The
multitude who compose it are listening and acquiescent, not often
hesitating, and never refractory[109] to the chief. The fate which
awaits a presumptuous critic, even where his virulent reproaches are
substantially well-founded, is plainly set forth in the treatment of
Thersitês; while the unpopularity of such a character is attested
even more by the excessive pains which Homer takes to heap upon
him repulsive personal deformities, than by the chastisement of
Odysseus;—he is lame, bald, crook-backed, of misshapen head, and
squinting vision.

  [109] See this illustrated in the language of Theseus, Eurip.
  Supplic. 349-352.

    Δόξαι δὲ χρήζω καὶ πόλει πάσῃ τάδε·
    Δόξει δ᾽, ἐμοῦ θέλοντος· ἀλλὰ τοῦ λόγου
    Προσδοὺς, ἔχοιμ᾽ ἂν δῆμον εὐμενέστερον.

But we cease to wonder at the submissive character of the agora,
when we read the proceedings of Odysseus towards the people
themselves;—his fine words and flattery addressed to the chiefs, and
his contemptuous reproof and manual violence towards the common men,
at a moment when both were doing exactly the same thing,—fulfilling
the express bidding of Agamemnôn, upon whom Odysseus does not
offer a single comment. This scene, which excited a sentiment of
strong displeasure among the democrats of historical Athens,[110]
affords a proof that the feeling of personal dignity, of which
philosophic observers in Greece—Herodotus, Xenophôn, Hippocratês,
and Aristotle—boasted, as distinguishing the free Greek citizen from
the slavish Asiatic, was yet undeveloped in the time of Homer.[111]
The ancient epic is commonly so filled with the personal adventures
of the chiefs, and the people are so constantly depicted as simple
appendages attached to them, that we rarely obtain a glimpse of the
treatment of the one apart from the other, such as this memorable
Homeric agora affords.

  [110] Xenophôn, Memorab. i. 2, 9.

  [111] Aristot. Polit. vii. 6, 1; Hippocrat. De Aëre, Loc. et Aq.
  v. 85-86; Herodot. vii. 135.

There remains one other point of view in which we are to regard
the agora of primitive Greece,—as the scene in which justice was
administered. The king is spoken of as constituted by Zeus the great
judge of society: he has received from Zeus the sceptre, and along
with it the powers of command and sanction: the people obey these
commands and enforce these sanctions, under him, enriching him at
the same time with lucrative presents and payments.[112] Sometimes
the king separately, sometimes the kings or chiefs or gerontes in
the plural number, are named as deciding disputes and awarding
satisfaction to complainants; always, however, in public, in the
midst of the assembled agora.[113] In one of the compartments of the
shield of Achilles, the details of a judicial scene are described.
While the agora is full of an eager and excited crowd, two men are
disputing about the fine of satisfaction for the death of a murdered
man,—one averring, the other denying, that the fine had already been
paid, and both demanding an inquest. The gerontes are ranged on
stone seats,[114] in the holy circle, with two talents of gold lying
before them, to be awarded to such of the litigants as shall make
out his case to their satisfaction. The heralds with their sceptres,
repressing the warm sympathies of the crowd in favor of one or other
of the parties, secure an alternate hearing to both.[115] This
interesting picture completely harmonizes with the brief allusion
of Hesiod to the judicial trial—doubtless a real trial—between
himself and his brother Persês. The two brothers disputed about
their paternal inheritance, and the cause was carried to be tried
by the chiefs in agora; but Persês bribed them, and obtained an
unjust verdict for the whole.[116] So at least Hesiod affirms, in the
bitterness of his heart; earnestly exhorting his brother not to waste
a precious time, required for necessary labors, in the unprofitable
occupation of witnessing and abetting litigants in the agora,—for
which (he adds) no man has proper leisure, unless his subsistence for
the year beforehand be safely treasured up in his garners.[117] He
repeats, more than once, his complaints of the crooked and corrupt
judgments of which the kings were habitually guilty; dwelling upon
abuse of justice as the crying evil of his day, and predicting as
well as invoking the vengeance of Zeus to repress it. And Homer
ascribes the tremendous violence of the autumnal storms to the wrath
of Zeus against those judges who disgrace the agora with their wicked

  [112] The σκῆπτρον, θέμιστες, or θέμις, and ἀγορὴ, go together,
  under the presiding superintendence of the gods. The goddess
  Themis both convokes and dismisses the agora (see Iliad, xi. 806;
  Odyss. ii. 67; Iliad, xx. 4).

  The θέμιστες, commandments and sanctions, belong properly to Zeus
  (Odyss. xvi. 403); from him they are given in charge to earthly
  kings along with the sceptre (Iliad, i. 238; ii. 206).

  The commentators on Homer recognized θέμις, rather too strictly,
  as ἀγορᾶς καὶ βουλῆς λέξιν (see Eustath. ad Odyss. xvi. 403).

  The presents and the λιπαραὶ θέμιστες (Iliad, ix. 156).

  [113] Hesiod, Theogon. 85; the single person judging seems to be
  mentioned (Odyss. xii. 439).

  It deserves to be noticed that, in Sparta, the senate decided
  accusations of homicide (Aristot. Polit. iii. 1, 7): in
  historical Athens, the senate of Areiopagus originally did the
  same, and retained, even when its powers were much abridged, the
  trial of accusations of intentional homicide and wounding.

  Respecting the judicial functions of the early Roman kings,
  Dionys. Hal. A. R. x. 1. Τὸ μὲν ἀρχαῖον οἱ βασιλεῖς ἐφ᾽ αὐτῶν
  ἔταττον τοῖς δεομένοις τὰς δίκας, καὶ τὸ δικαιωθὲν ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνων,
  τοῦτο νόμος ἦν (compare iv. 25; and Cicero, Republic. v. 2;
  Rubino, Untersuchungen, i. 2, p. 122).

  [114] Iliad, xviii. 504.—

                        Οἱ δὲ γέροντες
    Εἵατ᾽ ἐπὶ ξεστοῖσι λίθοις, ἱερῷ ἐνὶ κύκλῳ.

  Several of the old northern Sagas represent the old men,
  assembled for the purpose of judging, as sitting on great stones
  in a circle, called the Urtheilsring, or Gerichtsring (Leitfaden
  der Nördischen Alterthümer, p. 31, Copenhag. 1837).

  [115] Homer, Iliad, xviii. 497-510.

  [116] Hesiod, Opp. Di. 37.

  [117] Hesiod, Opp. Di. 27-33.

  [118] Hesiod, Opp. Di. 250-263; Homer, Iliad, xvi. 387.

Though it is certain that, in every state of society, the feelings
of men when assembled in multitude will command a certain measure of
attention, yet we thus find the agora, in judicial matters still more
than in political, serving merely the purpose of publicity. It is the
king who is the grand personal mover of Grecian heroic society.[119]
He is on earth, the equivalent of Zeus in the agora of the gods: the
supreme god of Olympus is in the habit of carrying on his government
with frequent publicity, of hearing some dissentient opinions, and
of allowing himself occasionally to be wheedled by Aphroditê, or
worried into compliance by Hêrê: but his determination is at last
conclusive, subject only to the overruling interference of the Mœræ,
or Fates.[120] Both the society of gods, and the various societies of
men, are, according to the conceptions of Grecian legend, carried on
by the personal rule of a legitimate sovereign, who does not derive
his title from the special appointment of his subjects, though he
governs with their full consent. In fact, Grecian legend presents to
us hardly anything else, except these great individual personalities.
The race, or nation, is as it were absorbed into the prince:
eponymous persons, especially, are not merely princes, but fathers
and representative unities, each the equivalent of that greater or
less aggregate to which he gives name.

  [119] Tittmann (Darstellung der Griechischen Staatsverfassungen,
  book ii. p. 63) gives too lofty an idea, in my judgment, of the
  condition and functions of the Homeric agora.

  [120] Iliad, i. 520-527; iv. 14-56; especially the agora of the
  gods (xx. 16).

But though, in the primitive Grecian government, the king is the
legitimate as well as the real sovereign, he is always conceived as
acting through the council and agora. Both the one and the other
are established and essential media through which his ascendency is
brought to bear upon the society: the absence of such assemblies
is the test and mark of savage men, as in the case of the
Cyclôpes.[121] Accordingly, he must possess qualities fit to act
with effect upon these two assemblies: wise reason for the council,
unctuous eloquence for the agora.[122] Such is the _idéal_ of the
heroic government: a king, not merely full of valor and resource
as a soldier, but also sufficiently superior to those around him
to insure both the deliberate concurrence of the chiefs, and the
hearty adhesion of the masses.[123] That this picture is not, in all
individual cases, realized, is unquestionable; but the endowments so
often predicated of good kings show it to have been the type present
to the mind of the describer.[124] Xenophôn, in his Cyropædia,
depicts Cyrus as an improved edition of the Homeric Agamemnôn,—“a
good king and a powerful soldier,” thus idealizing the perfection of
personal government.

  [121] Odyss. ix. 114.—

    Τοῖσιν δ᾽ (the Cyclôpes) οὔτ᾽ ἀγοραὶ βουληφόροι, οὔτε θέμιστες.
    Ἀλλ᾽ οἵγ᾽ ὑψηλῶν ὀρέων ναίουσι κάρηνα
    Ἐν σπέσσι γλαφυροῖσι· θεμιστεύει δὲ ἕκαστος
    Παιδῶν ἠδ᾽ ἀλόχων· οὐδ᾽ ἀλλήλων ἀλέγουσι.

  These lines illustrate the meaning of θέμις.

  [122] See this point set forth in the prolix discourse of
  Aristeides, Περὶ Ῥητορικῆς (Or. xlv. vol. ii. p. 99): Ἡσίοδος ...
  ταὐτὰ ἀντικρὺς Ὁμήρῳ λέγων ... ὅτι τε ἡ ῥητορικὴ σύνεδρος τῆς
  βασιλικῆς, etc.

  [123] _Pêleus_, king of the Myrmidons, is called (Iliad, vii.
  126) Ἐσθλὸς Μυρμιδόνων βουληφόρος ἠδ᾽ ἀγορητὴς—_Diomedes_,
  ἀγορῇ δέ τ᾽ ἀμείνω (iv. 400)—_Nestôr_, λιγὺς Πυλίων
  ἀγορητὴς—_Sarpêdôn_, Λυκίων βουληφόρε (v. 633); and _Idomeneus_,
  Κρητῶν βουληφόρε (xiii. 219).

  Hesiod (Theogon. 80-96) illustrates still more amply the _idéal_
  of the king governing by persuasion and inspired by the Muses.

  [124] See the striking picture in Thucydidês (ii. 65). Xenophôn,
  in the Cyropædia, puts into the mouth of his hero the Homeric
  comparison between the good king and the good shepherd, implying
  as it does immense superiority of organization, morality, and
  intelligence (Cyropæd. viii. p. 450, Hutchinson).

  Volney observes, respecting the emirs of the Druses in Syria:
  “Everything depends on circumstances: if the governor be a man of
  ability, he is absolute;—if weak, he is a cipher. This proceeds
  from the want of fixed laws; a want common to all Asia.” (Travels
  in Egypt and Syria, vol. ii. p. 66.) Such was pretty much the
  condition of the king in primitive Greece.

It is important to point out these fundamental conceptions of
government, discernible even before the dawn of Grecian history,
and identified with the social life of the people. It shows us that
the Greeks, in their subsequent revolutions, and in the political
experiments which their countless autonomous communities presented,
worked upon preëxisting materials,—developing and exalting elements
which had been at first subordinate, and suppressing, or remodelling
on a totally new principle, that which had been originally
predominant. When we approach historical Greece, we find that (with
the exception of Sparta) the primitive hereditary, unresponsible
monarch, uniting in himself all the functions of government, has
ceased to reign,—while the feeling of legitimacy, which originally
induced his people to obey him willingly, has been exchanged for
one of aversion towards the character and title generally. The
multifarious functions which he once exercised, have been parcelled
out among temporary nominees. On the other hand, the council, or
senate, and the agora, originally simple media through which the
king acted, are elevated into standing and independent sources of
authority, controlling and holding in responsibility the various
special officers to whom executive duties of one kind or another
are confided. The general principle here indicated is common both
to the oligarchies and the democracies which grew up in historical
Greece: much as these two governments differed from each other, and
many as were the varieties even between one oligarchy or democracy
and another, they all stood in equal contrast with the principle of
the heroic government. Even in Sparta, where the hereditary kingship
lasted, it was preserved with lustre and influence exceedingly
diminished,[125] and such timely diminution of its power seems to
have been one of the essential conditions of its preservation.[126]
Though the Spartan kings had the hereditary command of the military
forces, yet, even in all foreign expeditions, they habitually acted
in obedience to orders from home; while in affairs of the interior,
the superior power of the ephors sensibly overshadowed them. So that,
unless possessed of more than ordinary force of character, they seem
to have exercised their chief influence as presiding members of the

  [125] Nevertheless, the question put by Leotychides to the
  deposed Spartan king Demaratus,—ὅκοιόν τι εἴη τὸ ἄρχειν μετὰ τὸ
  βασιλεύειν (Herodot. vi. 65), and the poignant insult which those
  words conveyed, afford one among many other evidences of the
  lofty estimate current in Sparta respecting the regal dignity, of
  which Aristotle, in the Politica, seems hardly to take sufficient

  [126] O. Müller (Hist. Dorians, book iii. i. 3) affirms that the
  fundamental features of the royalty were maintained in the Dorian
  states, and obliterated only in the Ionian and democratical. In
  this point, he has been followed by various other authors (see
  Helbig, Die Sittlich. Zustände des Heldenalters, p. 73), but his
  position appears to me substantially incorrect, even as regards
  Sparta; and strikingly incorrect, in regard to the other Dorian

There is yet another point of view in which it behoves us to take
notice of the council and the agora as integral portions of the
legendary government of the Grecian communities. We are thus enabled
to trace the employment of public speaking, as the standing engine
of government and the proximate cause of obedience, to the social
infancy of the nation. The power of speech in the direction of public
affairs becomes more and more obvious, developed, and irresistible,
as we advance towards the culminating period of Grecian history, the
century preceding the battle of Chæroneia. That its development was
greatest among the most enlightened sections of the Grecian name, and
smallest among the more obtuse and stationary, is matter of notorious
fact; nor is it less true, that the prevalence of this habit was
one of the chief causes of the intellectual eminence of the nation
generally. At a time when all the countries around were plunged
comparatively in mental torpor, there was no motive sufficiently
present and powerful to multiply so wonderfully the productive minds
of Greece, except such as arose from the rewards of public speaking.
The susceptibility of the multitude to this sort of guidance, their
habit of requiring and enjoying the stimulus which it supplied, and
the open discussion, combining regular forms with free opposition,
of practical matters, political as well as judicial,—are the
creative causes which formed such conspicuous adepts in the art of
persuasion. Nor was it only professed orators who were thus produced;
didactic aptitude was formed in the background, and the speculative
tendencies were supplied with interesting phenomena for observation
and combination, at a time when the truths of physical science were
almost inaccessible. If the primary effect was to quicken the powers
of expression, the secondary, but not less certain result, was to
develop the habits of scientific thought. Not only the oratory of
Demosthenês and Periklês, and the colloquial magic of Socratês, but
also the philosophical speculations of Plato, and the systematic
politics, rhetoric, and logic of Aristotle, are traceable to the
same general tendencies in the minds of the Grecian people: and we
find the germ of these expansive forces in the senate and agora of
their legendary government. The poets, first epic and then lyric,
were the precursors of the orators, in their power of moving the
feelings of an assembled crowd; whilst the Homeric poems—the general
training-book of educated Greeks—constituted a treasury of direct and
animated expression, full of concrete forms, and rare in the use of
abstractions, and thence better suited to the workings of oratory.
The subsequent critics had no difficulty in selecting from the Iliad
and Odyssey, samples of eloquence in all its phases and varieties.

On the whole, then, the society depicted in the old Greek poems is
loose and unsettled, presenting very little of legal restraint, and
still less of legal protection,—but concentrating such political
power as does exist in the hands of a legitimate hereditary king,
whose ascendency over the other chiefs is more or less complete
according to his personal force and character. Whether that
ascendency be greater or less, however, the mass of the people is
in either case politically passive and of little account. Though
the Grecian freeman of the heroic age is above the degraded level
of the Gallic _plebs_, as described by Cæsar,[127] he is far from
rivalling the fierce independence and sense of dignity, combined with
individual force, which characterize the Germanic tribes before their
establishment in the Roman empire. Still less does his condition, or
the society in which he moves, correspond to those pleasing dreams
of spontaneous rectitude and innocence, in which Tacitus and Seneca
indulge with regard to primitive man.[128]

  [127] Cæsar, Bell. Gallic. vi. 12.

  [128] Seneca, Epist. xc.; Tacitus. Annal. iii. 26. “Vetustissimi
  mortalium (says the latter), nullâ adhuc malâ libidine, sine
  probro, scelere, eoque sine pœnâ aut coërcitione, agebant: neque
  præmiis opus erat, cum honesta suopte ingenio peterentur; et
  ubi nihil contra morem cuperent, nihil per metum vetabantur. At
  postquam exui æqualitas, et pro modestiâ et pudore ambitio et vis
  incedebat, provenêre dominationes, multosque apud populos æternum
  mansere,” etc. Compare Strabo, vii. p. 301.

  These are the same fancies so eloquently set forth by Rousseau,
  in the last century. A far more sagacious criticism pervades the
  preface of Thucydidês.

2. The state of moral and social feeling, prevalent in legendary
Greece, exhibits a scene in harmony with the rudimentary political
fabrics just described. Throughout the long stream of legendary
narrative on which the Greeks looked back as their past history, the
larger social motives hardly ever come into play: either individual
valor and cruelty, or the personal attachments and quarrels of
relatives and war-companions, or the feuds of private enemies, are
ever before us. There is no sense of obligation then existing,
between man and man as such,—and very little between each man and
the entire community of which he is a member; such sentiments are
neither operative in the real world, nor present to the imaginations
of the poets. Personal feelings, either towards the gods, the
king, or some near and known individual, fill the whole of a man’s
bosom: out of them arise all the motives to beneficence, and all
the internal restraints upon violence, antipathy, or rapacity: and
special communion, as well as special solemnities, are essential to
their existence. The ceremony of an oath, so imposing, so paramount,
and so indispensable in those days, illustrates strikingly this
principle. And even in the case of the stranger suppliant,—in which
an apparently spontaneous sympathy manifests itself,—the succor and
kindness shown to him arise mainly from his having gone through the
consecrated formalities of supplication, such as that of sitting down
in the ashes by the sacred hearth, thus obtaining a sort of privilege
of sanctuary.[129] That ceremony exalts him into something more than
a mere suffering man,—it places him in express fellowship with the
master of the house, under the tutelary sanctions of Zeus Hiketêsios.
There is great difference between one form of supplication and
another; the suppliant, however, in any form, becomes more or less
the object of a particular sympathy.

  [129] Seuthês, in the Anabasis of Xenophôn (vii. 2, 33),
  describes how, when an orphan youth, he formerly supplicated
  Mêdokos, the Thracian king, to grant him a troop of followers,
  in order that he might recover his lost dominions, ἐκαθεζόμην
  ἐνδίφριος αὐτῷ ἱκέτης δοῦναί μοι ἄνδρας.

  Thucydidês gives an interesting description of the arrival of
  the exile Themistoklês, then warmly pursued by the Greeks on
  suspicion of treason, at the house of Admêtus, king of the
  Epirotic Molossians. The wife of Admêtus herself instructed
  the fugitive how to supplicate her husband in form: the child
  of Admêtus was placed in his arms, and he was directed to sit
  down in this guise close by the consecrated hearth, which was
  of the nature of an altar. While so seated, he addressed his
  urgent entreaties to Admêtus for protection: the latter raised
  him up from the ground and promised what was asked. “That (says
  the historian) was the most powerful form of supplication.”
  Admêtus,—ἀκούσας ἀνίστησί τε αὐτὸν μετὰ τοῦ ἑαυτοῦ υἱέος, ὥσπερ
  καὶ ἔχων αὐτὸν ἐκαθέζετο, καὶ ~μέγιστον ἱκέτευμα~ ἦν τοῦτο (Thuc.
  i. 136). So Têlephus, in the lost drama of Æschylus called
  Μυσοὶ, takes up the child Orestês. See Bothe’s Fragm. 44; Schol.
  Aristoph. Ach. 305.

  In the Odyssey, both Nausikaa and the goddess Athênê instruct
  Odysseus in the proper form of supplicating Alkinous: he first
  throws himself down at the feet of queen Arêtê, embracing her
  knees and addressing to her his prayer, and then, without waiting
  for a reply, sits down among the ashes on the hearth,—ὣς εἰπὼν,
  κατ᾽ ἄρ᾽ ἕζετ᾽ ἐπ᾽ ἐσχάρῃ ἐν κονίῃσι,—Alkinous is dining with a
  large company: for some time both he and the guests are silent:
  at length the ancient Echenêus remonstrates with him on his
  tardiness in raising the stranger up from the ashes. At his
  exhortation, the Phæakian king takes Odysseus by the hand, and,
  raising him up, places him on a chair beside him: he then directs
  the heralds to mix a bowl of wine, and to serve it to every one
  round, in order that all may make libations to Zeus Hiketêsios.
  This ceremony clothes the stranger with the full rights and
  character of a suppliant (Odyss. vi. 310; vii. 75, 141, 166):
  κατὰ νόμους ἀφικτόρων, Æschyl. Supplic. 242.

  That the form counted for a great deal, we see evidently marked:
  but of course supplication is often addressed, and successfully
  addressed, in circumstances where this form cannot be gone

  It is difficult to accept the doctrine of Eustathius (ad Odyss.
  xvi. 424), that ἱκέτης is a _vox media_ (like ξεῖνος), applied
  as well to the ἱκετάδοχος as to the ἱκέτης, properly so called:
  but the word ἀλλήλοισιν, in the passage just cited, does seem to
  justify his observation: yet there is no direct authority for
  such use of the word in Homer.

  The address of Theoclymenos, on first preferring his supplication
  to Telemachus, is characteristic of the practice (Odyss. xv.
  260); compare also Iliad, xvi. 574, and Hesiod. Scut. Hercul.

  The idea of the ξεῖνος and the ἱκέτης run very much together. I
  can hardly persuade myself that the reading ἱκέτευσε (Odyss. xi.
  520) is truly Homeric: implying as it does the idea of a pitiable
  sufferer, it is altogether out of place when predicated of the
  proud and impetuous Neoptolemus: we should rather have expected
  ἐκέλευσε. (See Odyss. x. 15.)

  The constraining efficacy of special formalities of supplication,
  among the Scythians, is powerfully set forth in the Toxaris
  of Lucian: the suppliant sits upon an ox-hide, with his hands
  confined behind him (Lucian, Toxaris c. 48, vol. iii. p. 69,
  Tauchn.)—the μεγίστη ἱκετηρία among that people.

The sense of obligation towards the gods manifests itself separately
in habitual acts of worship, sacrifice, and libations, or by votive
presents, such as that of the hair of Achilles, which he has pledged
to the river-god Spercheius,[130] and such as the constant dedicated
offerings which men who stand in urgent need of the divine aid first
promise and afterwards fulfil. But the feeling towards the gods
also appears, and that not less frequently, as mingling itself with
and enforcing obligations towards some particular human person. The
tie which binds a man to his father, his kinsman, his guest, or any
special promisee towards whom he has taken the engagement of an
oath, is conceived in conjunction with the idea of Zeus, as witness
and guarantee; and the intimacy of the association is attested by
some surname or special appellation of the god.[131] Such personal
feelings composed all the moral influences of which a Greek of that
day was susceptible,—a state of mind which we can best appreciate
by contrasting it with that of the subsequent citizen of historical
Athens. In the view of the latter, the great impersonal authority,
called “The Laws,” stood out separately, both as guide and sanction,
distinct from religious duty or private sympathies: but of this
discriminated conception of positive law and positive morality,[132]
the germ only can be detected in the Homeric poems. The appropriate
Greek word for human laws never occurs. Amidst a very wavering
phraseology,[133] we can detect a gradual transition from the
primitive idea of a personal goddess Themis, attached to Zeus, first
to his sentences or orders called Themistes, and next by a still
farther remove to various established customs, which those sentences
were believed to sanctify,—the authority of religion and that of
custom coalescing into one indivisible obligation.

  [130] Iliad, xxiii. 142.

  [131] Odyss. xiv. 389.—

    Οὐ γὰρ τοὔνεκ᾽ ἐγώ σ᾽ αἰδέσσομαι, οὐδὲ φιλήσω,
    Ἀλλὰ Δία ξένιον δείσας, αὐτὸν δ᾽ ἐλεαίρων.

  [132] Nägelsbach (Homerische Theologie, Abschn. v. s. 23) gives
  a just and well-sustained view of the Homeric ethics: “Es ist
  der charakteristische Standpunkt der Homerischen Ethik, dass die
  Sphären des Rechts, der Sittlichkeit, und Religiosität, bey dem
  Dichter, durchaus noch nicht auseinander fallen, so dass der
  Mensch z. B. δίκαιος seyn konnte ohne θεουδὴς zu seyn—sondern in
  unentwickelter Einheit beysammen sind.”

  [133] Νόμοι, _laws_, is not an Homeric word; νόμος, _law_, in the
  singular, occurs twice in the Hesiodic Works and Days (276, 388).

  The employment of the words δίκη, δίκαι, θέμις, θέμιστες, in
  Homer, is curious as illustrating the early moral associations,
  but would require far more space than can be given to it in
  a note; we see that the sense of each of these words was
  essentially fluctuating. _Themis_, in Homer, is sometimes
  decidedly a _person_, who exercises the important function of
  opening and closing the agora, both of gods and men (Iliad, xx.
  4: Odyss. ii. 68), and who, besides that, acts and speaks (Iliad,
  xiv. 87-93): always the associate and companion of Zeus, the
  highest god. In Hesiod, (Theog. 901,) she is the wife of Zeus:
  in Æschylus, (Prometh. 209,) she is the same as Γαῖα: even in
  Plato, (Legg. xi. p. 936,) witnesses swear (to want of knowledge
  of matters under inquest) by Zeus, Apollo, and Themis. Themis _as
  a person_ is probably the oldest sense of the word: then we have
  the plural θέμιστες (connected with the verb τίθεμι, like θεσμὸς
  and τεθμὸς), which are (not persons, but) special appurtenances
  or emanations of the supreme god, or of a king acting under him,
  analogous to and joined with the sceptre. The sceptre, and the
  θέμιστες or the δίκαι constantly go together (Iliad, ii. 209;
  ix. 99): Zeus or the king is a judge, not a lawmaker; he issues
  decrees or special orders to settle particular disputes, or to
  restrain particular men; and, agreeable to the concrete forms
  of ancient language, the decrees are treated as if they were a
  collection of ready-made substantive things, actually in his
  possession, like the sceptre, and prepared for being delivered
  out when the proper occasion arose: δικασπόλοι, οἵτε θέμιστας
  Πρὸς Διὸς εἰρύαται (Il. i. 238), compared with the two passages
  last cited: Ἄφρονα τοῦτον ἀνέντας, ὃς οὔτινα οἶδε θέμιστα (Il.
  v. 761), Ἄγριον, οὔτε δίκας εὖ εἰδότα οὔτε θέμιστας (Odyss. ix.
  215). The plural number δίκαι is more commonly used in Homer
  than the singular: δίκη is rarely used to denote Justice, an
  an abstract conception; it more often denotes a special claim
  of right on the part of some given man (Il. xviii. 508). It
  sometimes also denotes, simply, established custom, or the known
  lot,—δμώων δίκη, γερόντων, θείων βασιλήων, θεῶν (see Damm’s
  Lexicon, _ad voc._) θέμις is used in the same manner.

  See, upon this matter, Platner, De Notione Juris ap. Homerum, p.
  81, and O. Müller, Prolegg. Mythol. p. 121.

The family relations, as we might expect, are set forth in our
pictures of the legendary world as the grand sources of lasting union
and devoted attachment. The paternal authority is highly reverenced:
the son who lives to years of maturity, repays by affection to his
parents the charge of his maintenance in infancy, which the language
notes by a special word; whilst on the other hand, the Erinnys, whose
avenging hand is put in motion by the curse of a father or mother, is
an object of deep dread.[134]

  [134] Οὐδὲ τοκεῦσι Θρέπτρα φίλοις ἀπέδωκε (Il. iv. 477): θρέπτρα
  or θρεπτήρια (compare Il. ix. 454; Odyss. ii. 134; Hesiod, Opp.
  Di. 186).

In regard to marriage, we find the wife occupying a station of
great dignity and influence, though it was the practice for the
husband to purchase her by valuable presents to her parents,—a
practice extensively prevalent among early communities, and treated
by Aristotle as an evidence of barbarism. She even seems to live
less secluded and to enjoy a wider sphere of action than was
allotted to her in historical Greece.[135] Concubines are frequent
with the chiefs, and occasionally the jealousy of the wife breaks
out in reckless excess against her husband, as may be seen in the
tragical history of Phœnix. The continence of Laërtês, from fear of
displeasing his wife Antikleia, is especially noticed.[136] A large
portion of the romantic interest which Grecian legend inspires is
derived from the women: Penelopê, Andromachê, Helen, Klytæmnêstra,
Eriphylê, Iokasta, Hekabê, etc., all stand in the foreground of the
picture, either from their virtues, their beauty, their crimes, or
their sufferings.

  [135] Aristot. Polit. ii. 5, 11. The ἔδνα, or present given by
  the suitor to the father, as an inducement to grant his daughter
  in marriage, are spoken of as very valuable,—ἀπερείσια ἔδνα (Il.
  xi. 244; xvi. 178; xxii. 472): to grant a daughter without ἔδνα
  was a high compliment to the intended son-in-law (Il. ix. 141:
  compare xiii. 366). Among the ancient Germans of Tacitus, the
  husband gave presents, not to his wife’s father, but to herself
  (Tacit. Germ. c. 18): the customs of the early Jews were in this
  respect completely Homeric; see the case of Shechem and Dinah
  (Genesis, xxxiv. 12) and others, etc.; also Mr. Catlin’s Letters
  on the North American Indians, vol. i. Lett. 26, p. 213.

  The Greek ἔδνα correspond exactly to the _mundium_ of the Lombard
  and Alemannic laws, which is thus explained by Mr. Price (Notes
  on the Laws of King Ethelbert, in the Ancient Laws and Institutes
  of England, translated and published by Mr. Thorpe, vol. i. p.
  20): “The Longobardic law is the most copious of all the barbaric
  codes in its provisions respecting marriage, and particularly
  so on the subject of the Mund. From that law it appears that
  the Mundium was a sum paid over to the family of the bride, for
  transferring the tutelage which they possessed over her to the
  family of the husband: ‘Si quis pro muliere liberâ aut puellâ
  mundium dederit et ei tradita fuerit ad uxorem,’ etc. (ed.
  Rotharis, c. 183.) In the same sense in which the term occurs in
  these dooms, it is also to be met with in the Alemannic law: it
  was also common in Denmark and in Sweden, where the bride was
  called a mund-bought or a mund-given woman.”

  According to the 77th Law of King Ethelbert (p. 23), this _mund_
  was often paid in cattle: the Saxon daughters were πάρθενοι
  ἀλφεσίβοιαι (Iliad, xviii. 593).

  [136] Odyss. i. 430: Iliad, ix. 450: see also Terpstra,
  Antiquitas Homerica, capp. 17 and 18.

  Polygamy appears to be ascribed to Priam, but to no one else
  (Iliad, xxi. 88).

Not only brothers, but also cousins, and the more distant
blood-relations and clansmen, appear connected together by a strong
feeling of attachment, sharing among them universally the obligation
of mutual self-defence and revenge, in the event of injury to any
individual of the race. The legitimate brothers divide between them
by lot the paternal inheritance,—a bastard brother receiving only a
small share; he is, however, commonly very well treated,[137] though
the murder of Phokus, by Telamon and Pêleus, constitutes a flagrant
exception. The furtive pregnancy of young women, often by a god,
is one of the most frequently recurring incidents in the legendary
narratives; and the severity with which such a fact, when discovered,
is visited by the father, is generally extreme. As an extension
of the family connection, we read of larger unions, called the
phratry and the tribe, which are respectfully, but not frequently,

  [137] Odyss. xiv. 202-215: compare Iliad, xi. 102. The primitive
  German law of succession divided the paternal inheritance among
  the sons of a deceased father, under the implied obligation to
  maintain and portion out their sisters (Eichhorn, _Deutsches
  Privat-Recht_. sect. 330).

  [138] Iliad, ii. 362.—

    Ἀφρήτωρ, ἀθέμιστος, ἀνέστιός ἐστιν ἐκεῖνος,
    Ὃς πολέμου ἔραται, etc. (Il. ix. 63.)

  These three epithets include the three different classes of
  personal sympathy and obligation: 1. The Phratry, in which
  a man is connected with father, mother, brothers, cousins,
  brothers-in-law, clansmen, etc.; 2. The θέμιστες, whereby he is
  connected with his fellow-men who visit the same agora; 3. His
  Hestia, or Hearth, whereby he becomes accessible to the ξεῖνος
  and the ἱκέτης:—

    Τῷ δ᾽ Ὀδυσεὺς ξίφος ὀξὺ καὶ ἄλκιμον ἔγχος ἔδωκεν,
    ~Ἀρχὴν~ ξεινοσύνης προσκηδέος· οὐδὲ τραπέζῃ
    Γνώτην ἀλλήλοιν. (Odyss. xxi. 34.)

The generous readiness with which hospitality is afforded to the
stranger who asks for it,[139] the facility with which he is allowed
to contract the peculiar connection of guest with his host, and the
permanence with which that connection, when created by partaking of
the same food and exchanging presents, is maintained even through
a long period of separation, and even transmitted from father to
son—these are among the most captivating features of the heroic
society. The Homeric chief welcomes the stranger who comes to ask
shelter in his house, first gives him refreshment, and then inquires
his name and the purpose of his voyage.[140] Though not inclined
to invite strangers to his house, he cannot repel them when they
spontaneously enter it craving a lodging.[141] The suppliant is also
commonly a stranger, but a stranger under peculiar circumstances;
who proclaims his own calamitous and abject condition, and seeks to
place himself in a relation to the chief whom he solicits, something
like that in which men stand to the gods. Onerous as such special
tie may become to him, the chief cannot decline it, if solicited in
the proper form: the ceremony of supplication has a binding effect,
and the Erinnys punish the hardhearted person who disallows it.
A conquered enemy may sometimes throw himself at the feet of his
conqueror, and solicit mercy, but he cannot by doing so acquire the
character and claims of a suppliant properly so called: the conqueror
has free discretion either to kill him, or to spare him and accept a

  [139] It must be mentioned, however, that when a chief received a
  stranger and made presents to him, he reimbursed to himself the
  value of the presents by collections among the people (Odyss.
  xiii. 14; xix. 197): ἀργαλέον γὰρ ἕνα προικὸς χαρίσασθαι, says

  [140] Odyss. i. 123; iii. 70, etc.

  [141] Odyss. xvii. 383.—

    Τίς γὰρ δὴ ξεῖνον καλεῖ ἄλλοθεν αὐτὸς ἐπελθὼν
    Ἄλλον γ᾽ εἰ μὴ τῶνδ᾽, οἳ δημιόεργοι ἔασιν, etc.;

  which breathes the plain-spoken shrewdness of the Hesiodic Works
  and Days, v. 355.

  [142] See the illustrative case of Lykaon, in vain craving mercy
  from Achilles. (Iliad, xxi. 64-97. Ἀντί τοι εἶμ᾽ ἱκέταο, etc.)

  Menelaus is about to spare the life of the Trojan Adrastus, who
  clasps his knees and craves mercy, offering a large ransom,—when
  Agamemnôn repels the idea of quarter, and kills Adrastus with his
  own hand: his speech to Menelaus displays the extreme of violent
  enmity, yet the poet says,—

    Ὣς εἰπὼν, παρέπεισεν ἀδελφείου φρένας ἥρως,
    ~Αἴσιμα παρειπὼν~, etc.

  Adrastus is not called an ἱκέτης, nor is the expression used in
  respect to Dolon (Il. x. 456), nor in the equally striking case
  of Odysseus (Odyss. xiv. 279), when begging for his life.

There are in the legendary narratives abundant examples of
individuals who transgress in particular acts even the holiest of
these personal ties, but the savage Cyclops is the only person
described as professedly indifferent to them, and careless of that
sanction of the gods which in Grecian belief accompanied them
all.[143] In fact, the tragical horror which pervades the lineage
of Athamas or Kadmus, and which attaches to many of the acts of
Hêraklês, of Pêleus and Telamon, of Jasôn and Mêdea, of Atreus and
Thyestês, etc., is founded upon a deep feeling and sympathy with
those special obligations, which conspicuous individuals, under the
temporary stimulus of the maddening Atê, are driven to violate.
In such conflict of sentiments, between the obligation generally
reverenced and the exceptional deviation in an individual otherwise
admired, consists the pathos of the story.

  [143] Odyss. ix. 112-275.

These feelings—of mutual devotion between kinsmen and companions
in arms—of generous hospitality to the stranger, and of helping
protection to the suppliant,—constitute the bright spots in a dark
age. We find them very generally prevalent amongst communities
essentially rude and barbarous,—amongst the ancient Germans as
described by Tacitus, the Druses in Lebanon,[144] the Arabian tribes
in the desert, and even the North American Indians.

  [144] Tacit. German. c. 21. “Quemeunque mortalium arcere tecto,
  nefas habetur: pro fortunâ quisque apparatis epulis excipit: cum
  defecêre qui modo hospes fuerat, monstratur hospitii et comes,
  proximam domum non invitati adeunt: nec interest—pari humanitate
  accipiuntur. Notum ignotumque, quantum ad jus hospitii, nemo
  discernit.” Compare Cæsar, B. G. vi. 22.

  See about the Druses and Arabians, Volney, Travels in Egypt and
  Syria, vol. ii. p. 76, Engl. Transl.; Niebuhr, Beschreibung von
  Arabien, Copenh. 1772, pp. 46-49.

  Pomponius Mela describes the ancient Germans in language not
  inapplicable to the Homeric Greeks: “Jus in viribus habent,
  adeo ut ne latrocinii quidem pudeat: _tantum_ hospitibus boni,
  mitesque supplicibus.” (iii. 3.)

  “The hospitality of the Indians is well known. It extends even
  to strangers who take refuge among them. They count it a most
  sacred duty, from which no one is exempted. Whoever refuses
  relief to any one, commits a grievous offence, and not only makes
  himself detested and abhorred by all, but liable to revenge from
  the offended person. In their conduct towards their enemies
  they are cruel and inexorable, and, when enraged, bent upon
  nothing but murder and bloodshed. They are, however, remarkable
  for concealing their passions, and waiting for a convenient
  opportunity of gratifying them. But then their fury knows no
  bounds. If they cannot satisfy their resentment, they will even
  call upon their friends and posterity to do it. The longest space
  of time cannot cool their wrath, nor the most distant place of
  refuge afford security to their enemy.” (Loskiel, History of the
  Mission of the United Brethren among the North American Indians,
  Part I. ch. 2, p. 15.)

  “Charlevoix observes, (says Dr. Ferguson, Essay on Civil
  Society, Part II. § 2, p. 145,) that the nations among whom he
  travelled in North America never mentioned acts of generosity or
  kindness under the notion of duty. They acted from affection, as
  they acted from appetite, without regard to its consequences.
  When they had done a kindness, they had gratified a desire:
  the business was finished, and it passed from the memory. The
  spirit with which they give or receive presents is the same as
  that which Tacitus remarks among the ancient Germans: ‘Gaudent
  muneribus, sed nec data imputant, nec acceptis obligantur.’ Such
  gifts are of little consequence, except when employed as the seal
  of a bargain or a treaty.”

  Respecting the Morlacchi (Illyrian Sclavonians), the Abbé Fortis
  says (Travels in Dalmatia, pp. 55-58):—

  “The hospitality of the Morlachs is equally conspicuous among
  the poor as among the opulent. The rich prepares a roasted lamb
  or sheep, and the poor, with equal cordiality, gives his turkey,
  milk, honey,—whatever he has. Nor is their generosity confined
  to strangers, but generally extends to all who are in want....
  Friendship is lasting among the Morlacchi. They have even made
  it a kind of religious point, and tie the sacred bond at the
  foot of the altar. The Sclavonian ritual contains a particular
  benediction, for the solemn union of two male or two female
  friends, in presence of the whole congregation. The male friends
  thus united are called Pobratimi, and the females Posestreme,
  which means half-brothers and half-sisters. The duties of the
  Pobratimi are, to assist each other in every case of need and
  danger, to revenge mutual wrongs, etc.: their enthusiasm is often
  carried so far as to risk, and even lose their life.... But as
  the friendships of the Morlacchi are strong and sacred, so their
  quarrels are commonly unextinguishable. They pass from father to
  son, and the mothers fail not to put their children in mind of
  their duty to revenge their father, if he has had the misfortune
  to be killed, and to show them often the bloody shirt of the
  deceased.... A Morlach is implacable, if injured or insulted.
  With him, revenge and justice have exactly the same meaning,
  and truly it is the primitive idea, and I have been told that
  in Albania the effects of revenge are still more atrocious and
  more lasting. There, a man of the mildest character is capable
  of the most barbarous revenge, believing it to be his positive
  duty.... A Morlach who has killed another of a powerful family is
  commonly obliged to save himself by flight, and keep out of the
  way for several years. If during that time he has been fortunate
  enough to escape the search of his pursuers, and has got a small
  sum of money, he endeavors to obtain pardon and peace.... It is
  the custom in some places for the offended party to threaten the
  criminal, holding all sorts of arms to his throat, and at last to
  consent to accept his ransom.”

  Concerning the influence of these two distinct tendencies—devoted
  personal friendship and implacable animosities—among the
  Illyrico-Sclavonian population, see Cyprien Robert, Les Slaves de
  la Turquie, ch. vii. pp. 42-46, and Dr. Joseph Müller, Albanien,
  Rumelien, und die Œsterreichisch-Montenegrenische Gränze, Prag.
  1844, pp. 24-25.

  “It is for the virtue of hospitality (observes Goguet, Origin of
  Laws, etc. vol. i. book vi. ch. iv.), that the primitive times
  are chiefly famed. But, in my opinion, hospitality was then
  exercised, not so much from generosity and greatness of soul,
  as from necessity. Common interest probably gave rise to that
  custom. In remote antiquity, there were few or no public inns:
  they entertained strangers, in order that they might render
  them the same service, if they happened to travel into their
  country. Hospitality was reciprocal. When they received strangers
  into their houses, they acquired a right of being received into
  theirs again. This right was regarded by the ancients as sacred
  and inviolable, and extended not only to those who had acquired
  it, but to their children and posterity. Besides, hospitality
  in these times could not be attended with much expense: men
  travelled but little. In a word, the modern Arabians prove that
  hospitality may consist with the greatest vices, and that this
  species of generosity is no decisive evidence of goodness of
  heart, or rectitude of manners.”

  The book of Genesis, amidst many other features of resemblance
  to the Homeric manners, presents that of ready and exuberant
  hospitality to the stranger.

They are the instinctive manifestations of human sociality, standing
at first alone, and for that reason appearing to possess a greater
tutelary force than really belongs to them,—beneficent, indeed,
in a high degree, with reference to their own appropriate period,
but serving as a very imperfect compensation for the impotence of
the magistrate, and for the absence of any all-pervading sympathy
or sense of obligation between man and man. We best appreciate
their importance when we compare the Homeric society with that
of barbarians like the Thracians, who tattooed their bodies, as
the mark of a generous lineage,—sold their children for export as
slaves,—considered robbery, not merely as one admissible occupation
among others, but as the only honorable mode of life; agriculture
being held contemptible,—and above all, delighted in the shedding of
blood as a luxury. Such were the Thracians in the days of Herodotus
and Thucydidês: and the Homeric society forms a mean term between
that which these two historians yet saw in Thrace, and that which
they witnessed among their own civilized countrymen.[145]

  [145] Respecting the Thracians, compare Herodot. v. 11;
  Thucydid. vii. 29-30. The expression of the latter historian
  is remarkable,—τὸ δὲ γένος τῶν Θρᾳκῶν, ὁμοῖα τοῖς μάλιστα τοῦ
  βαρβαρικοῦ, ~ἐν ᾧ ἂν θαρσήσῃ, φονικώτατόν ἐστι~.

  Compare Herodot. viii. 116; the cruelty of the Thracian king of
  the Bisaltæ towards his own sons.

  The story of Odysseus to Eumæus in the Odyssey (xiv. 210-226)
  furnishes a valuable comparison for this predatory disposition
  among the Thracians. Odysseus there treats the love of living by
  war and plunder as his own peculiar taste: he did not happen to
  like regular labor, but the latter is not treated in any way mean
  or unbecoming a freeman:—

                        ἔργον δέ μοι οὐ φίλον ἦεν
    Οὐδ᾽ οἰκωφελίη, ἥ τε τρέφει ἀγλαὰ τέκνα, etc.

When, however, among the Homeric men we pass beyond the influence
of the private ties above enumerated, we find scarcely any other
moralizing forces in operation. The acts and adventures commemorated
imply a community wherein neither the protection nor the restraints
of law are practically felt, and wherein ferocity, rapine, and the
aggressive propensities generally, seem restrained by no internal
counterbalancing scruples. Homicide, especially, is of frequent
occurrence, sometimes by open violence, sometimes by fraud:
expatriation for homicide is among the most constantly recurring acts
of the Homeric poems: and savage brutalities are often ascribed, even
to admired heroes, with apparent indifference. Achilles sacrifices
twelve Trojan prisoners on the tomb of Patroklus, while his son
Neoptolemus not only slaughters the aged Priam, but also seizes by
the leg the child Astyanax (son of the slain Hector) and hurls him
from one of the lofty towers of Troy.[146] Moreover, the celebrity
of Autolykus, the maternal grandfather of Odysseus, in the career of
wholesale robbery and perjury, and the wealth which it enabled him
to acquire, are described with the same unaffected admiration as the
wisdom of Nestôr or the strength of Ajax.[147] Achilles, Menelaus,
Odysseus, pillage in person, wherever they can find an opportunity,
employing both force and stratagem to surmount resistance.[148]
The vocation of a pirate is recognized and honorable, so that a
host, when he asks his guest what is the purpose of his voyage,
enumerates enrichment by indiscriminate maritime plunder as among
those projects which may naturally enter into his contemplation.[149]
Abduction of cattle, and expeditions for unprovoked ravage as well
as for retaliation, between neighboring tribes, appear ordinary
phenomena;[150] and the established inviolability of heralds seems
the only evidence of any settled feeling of obligation between one
community and another. While the house and property of Odysseus,
during his long absence, enjoys no public protection,[151] those
unprincipled chiefs, who consume his substance, find sympathy rather
than disapprobation among the people of Ithaka. As a general rule,
he who cannot protect himself finds no protection from society: his
own kinsmen and immediate companions are the only parties to whom
he can look with confidence for support. And in this respect, the
representation given by Hesiod makes the picture even worse. In his
emphatic denunciation of the fifth age, that poet deplores not only
the absence of all social justice and sense of obligation among his
contemporaries, but also the relaxation of the ties of family and
hospitality.[152] There are marks of querulous exaggeration in the
poem of the Works and Days; yet the author professes to describe the
real state of things around him, and the features of his picture,
soften them as we may, will still appear dark and calamitous. It is,
however, to be remarked, that he contemplates a state of peace,—thus
forming a contrast with the Homeric poems. His copious catalogue of
social evils scarcely mentions liability to plunder by a foreign
enemy, nor does he compute the chances of predatory aggression as a
source of profit.

  [146] Ilias Minor, Fragm. 7, p. 18, ed. Düntzer; Iliad, xxiii.
  175. Odysseus is mentioned once as obtaining poison for his
  arrows (Odyss. i. 160), but no poisoned arrows are ever employed
  in either of the two poems.

  The anecdotes recounted by the Scythian Toxaris in Lucian’s
  work so entitled (vol. ii. c. 36, p. 544, _seqq._ ed. Hemst.)
  afford a vivid picture of this combination of intense and devoted
  friendship between individuals, with the most revolting cruelty
  of manners. “You Greeks live in peace and tranquillity,” observes
  the Scythian,—παρ᾽ ἡμῖν δὲ συνεχεῖς οἱ πόλεμοι, καὶ ἢ ἐπελαύνομεν
  ἄλλοις, ἢ ὑποχωροῦμεν ἐπιόντας, ἢ συμπεσόντες ὑπὲρ νομῆς ἢ λείας
  μαχόμεθα· ~ἔνθα μάλιστα δεῖ φίλων ἀγαθῶν~, etc.

  [147] Odyss. xxi. 397; Pherekydês, Fragm. 63, ed. Didot;
  Autolykus, πλεῖστα κλέπτων ἐθησαύριζεν. The Homeric Hymn to
  Hermês (the great patron-god of Autolykus) is a farther specimen
  of the admiration which might be made to attach to clever

  The ἡμερόκοιτος ἀνὴρ, likely to rob the farm, is one great
  enemy against whom Hesiod advises precaution to be taken,—a
  sharp-toothed dog, well-fed, to serve as guard (Opp. Di. 604).

  [148] Iliad, xi. 624; xx. 189. Odyss. iv. 81-90; ix. 40; xiv.
  230; and the indirect revelation (Odyss. xix. 284), coupled with
  a compliment to the dexterity of Odysseus.

  [149] Even in the century prior to Thucydidês, undistinguishing
  plunder at sea, committed by Greek ships against ships not Greek,
  seems not to have been held discreditable. The Phokæan Dionysius,
  after the ill-success of the Ionic revolt, goes with his three
  ships of war to Sicily, and from thence plunders Tyrrhenians and
  Carthaginians (Herod. vi. 17).—ληϊστὴς κατεστήκεε, Ἑλλήνων μὲν
  οὐδενὸς, Καρχηδονίων δὲ καὶ Τυρσηνῶν. Compare the conduct of the
  Phokæan settlers at Alalia in Corsica, after the conquest of
  Ionia by Harpagus (Herodot. i. 166).

  In the treaty between the Romans and Carthaginians, made at
  some period subsequent to 509 B. C., it is stipulated,—Τοῦ
  Καλοῦ Ἀκρωτηρίου, Μαστίας, Ταρσηΐου, μὴ ληΐζεσθαι ἐπέκεινα
  Ῥωμαίους μηδ᾽ ἐμπορεύεσθαι, μηδὲ πόλιν κτίζειν (Polyb. iii. 24,
  4). Plunder, commerce, and colonization, are here assumed as
  the three objects which the Roman ships would pursue, unless
  they were under special obligation to abstain, in reference
  to foreigners. This morality approaches nearer to that of the
  Homeric age, than to the state of sentiment which Thucydides
  indicates as current in his day among the Greeks.

  [150] See the interesting boastfulness of Nestôr, Iliad, xi.
  670-700; also Odyss. xxi. 18; Odyss. iii. 71; Thucyd. i. 5.

  [151] Odyss. iv. 165, among many other passages. Telemachus
  laments the misfortune of his race, in respect that himself,
  Odysseus, and Laërtês were all only sons of their fathers: there
  were no brothers to serve as mutual auxiliaries (Odyss. xvi. 118).

  [152] Opp. Di. 182-199:—

    Οὐδὲ πατὴρ παίδεσσιν ὁμοιΐος, οὐδέ τι παῖδες,
    Οὐδὲ ξεῖνος ξεινοδόκῳ, καὶ ἑταῖρος ἑταίρῳ,
    Οὐδὲ κασίγνητος φίλος ἔσσεται, ὡς τὸ πάρος περ,
    Αἶψα δὲ γηράσκοντας ἀτιμήσουσι τοκῆας, etc.

There are two special veins of estimable sentiment, on which it may
be interesting to contrast heroic and historical Greece, and which
exhibit the latter as an improvement on the former, not less in the
affections than in the intellect.

The law of Athens was peculiarly watchful and provident with
respect both to the persons and the property of orphan minors;
but the description given in the Iliad of the utter and hopeless
destitution of the orphan boy, despoiled of his paternal inheritance,
and abandoned by all the friends of his father, whom he urgently
supplicates, and who all harshly cast him off, is one of the most
pathetic morsels in the whole poem.[153] In reference again to the
treatment of the dead body of an enemy we find all the Greek chiefs
who come near (not to mention the conduct of Achilles himself)
piercing with their spears the corpse of the slain Hectôr, while
some of them even pass disgusting taunts upon it. We may add, from
the lost epics, the mutilation of the dead bodies of Paris and
Deiphobus by the hand of Menelaus.[154] But at the time of the
Persian invasion, it was regarded as unworthy of a right-minded
Greek to maltreat in any way the dead body of an enemy, even where
such a deed might seem to be justified on the plea of retaliation.
After the battle of Platæa, a proposition was made to the Spartan
king Pausanias, to retaliate upon the dead body of Mardonius the
indignities which Xerxês had heaped upon that of Leonidas at
Thermopylæ. He indignantly spurned the suggestion, not without a
severe rebuke, or rather a half-suppressed menace, towards the
proposer: and the feeling of Herodotus himself goes heartily along
with him.[155]

  [153] Iliad, xxii. 487-500. Hesiod dwells upon injury to orphan
  children, however, as a heinous offence (Opp. Di. 330).

  [154] Iliad, xxii. 371. οὐδ᾽ ἄρα οἵ τις ἀνούτητί γε παρέστη.
  Argument of Iliad. Minor. ap. Düntzer, Epp. Fragm. p. 17; Virgil,
  Æneid, vi. 520.

  Both Agamemnôn and the Oiliad Ajax cut off the heads of slain
  warriors, and send them rolling like a ball or like a mortar
  among the crowd of warriors (Iliad, xi. 147; xiii. 102).

  The ethical maxim preached by Odysseus in the Odyssey, not to
  utter boastful shouts over a slain enemy (Οὐκ ὁσίη, κταμένοισιν
  ἐπ᾽ ἀνδράσιν εὐχετάασθαι, xxii. 412), is abundantly violated in
  the Iliad.

  [155] Herodot. ix. 78-79. Contrast this strong expression from
  Pausanias, with the conduct of the Carthaginians towards the
  end of the Peloponnesian war, after their capture of Selinus in
  Sicily, where, after having put to death 16,000 persons, they
  mutilated the dead bodies,—κατὰ τὸ πάτριον ἔθος (Diodôr. xiii.

The different manner of dealing with homicide presents a third test,
perhaps more striking yet, of the change in Grecian feelings and
manners during the three centuries preceding the Persian invasion.
That which the murderer in the Homeric times had to dread, was, not
public prosecution and punishment, but the personal vengeance of
the kinsmen and friends of the deceased, who were stimulated by the
keenest impulses of honor and obligation to avenge the deed, and were
considered by the public as specially privileged to do so.[156] To
escape from this danger, he is obliged to flee the country, unless
he can prevail upon the incensed kinsmen to accept of a valuable
payment (we must not speak of coined money, in the days of Homer)
as satisfaction for their slain comrade. They may, if they please,
decline the offer, and persist in their right of revenge; but if
they accept, they are bound to leave the offender unmolested, and he
accordingly remains at home without farther consequences. The chiefs
in agora do not seem to interfere, except to insure payment of the
stipulated sum.

  [156] The Mosaic law recognizes this habit and duty on the part
  of the relatives of the murdered man, and provides cities of
  refuge for the purpose of sheltering the offender in certain
  cases (Deuteron. xxxv. 13-14; Bauer, Handbuch der Hebraïschen
  Alterthümer, sect. 51-52).

  The relative who inherited the property of a murdered man was
  specially obliged to avenge his death (H. Leo, Vorlesungen über
  die Geschichte des Jüdischen Staats.—Vorl. iii. p. 35).

Here we recognize once more the characteristic attribute of the
Grecian heroic age,—the omnipotence of private force, tempered and
guided by family sympathies, and the practical nullity of that
collective sovereign afterwards called _The City_,—who in historical
Greece becomes the central and paramount source of obligation, but
who appears yet only in the background, as a germ of promise for the
future. And the manner in which, in the case of homicide, that germ
was developed into a powerful reality, presents an interesting field
of comparison with other nations.

For the practice, here designated, of leaving the party guilty of
homicide to compromise by valuable payment with the relatives of
the deceased, and also of allowing to the latter a free choice
whether they would accept such compromise or enforce their right of
personal revenge,—has been remarked in many rude communities, but
is particularly memorable among the early German tribes.[157] Among
the many separate Teutonic establishments which rose upon the ruins
of the Western Empire of Rome, the right as well as duty of private
revenge, for personal injury or insult offered to any member of a
family,—and the endeavor to avert its effects by means of a pecuniary
composition levied upon the offender, chiefly as satisfaction to the
party injured, but partly also as perquisite to the king,—was adopted
as the basis of their legislation. This fundamental idea was worked
out in elaborate detail as to the valuation of the injury inflicted,
wherein one main circumstance was the rank, condition, and power
of the sufferer. The object of the legislator was to preserve the
society from standing feuds, but at the same time to accord such
full satisfaction as would induce the injured person to waive his
acknowledged right of personal revenge,—the full luxury of which, as
it presented itself to the mind of an Homeric Greek, may be read in
more than one passage of the Iliad.[158] The German codes begin by
trying to bring about the acceptance of a fixed pecuniary composition
as a constant voluntary custom, and proceed ultimately to enforce it
as a peremptory necessity: the idea of society is at first altogether
subordinate, and its influence passes only by slow degrees from
amicable arbitration into imperative control.

  [157] “Suscipere tam inimicitias, seu patris, seu propinqui, quam
  amicitias, necesse est. Nec implacabiles durant: luitur enim
  etiam homicidium certo pecorum armentorumque numero, recipitque
  satisfactionem universa domus.” (Tacit. German. 21.) Niebuhr,
  Beschreibung von Arabien, p. 32.

  “An Indian feast (says Loskiel, Mission of the United Brethren
  in North America,) is seldom concluded without bloodshed. For
  the murder of a man one hundred yards of wampum, and for that of
  a woman two hundred yards, must be paid by the murderer. If he
  is too poor, which is commonly the case, and his friends cannot
  or will not assist him, he must fly from the resentment of the

  Rogge (Gerichtswesen der Germanen, capp. 1, 2, 3), Grimm
  (Deutsche Rechtsalterthümer, book v. cap. 1-2), and Eichhorn
  (Deutsches Privat-Recht. sect. 48) have expounded this idea, and
  the consequences deduced from it among the ancient Germans.

  Aristotle alludes, as an illustration of the extreme silliness
  of ancient Greek practices (εὐήθη πάμπαν), to a custom which
  he states to have still continued at the Æolic Kymê, in cases
  of murder. If the accuser produced in support of his charge a
  certain number of witnesses from his own kindred, the person
  was held peremptorily guilty,—οἷον ἐν Κύμῃ περὶ τὰ φονικὰ νόμος
  ἔστιν, ἂν πλῆθός τι παράσχηται μαρτύρων ὁ διώκων τὸν φόνον τῶν
  αὑτοῦ συγγενῶν, ἔνοχον εἶναι τῷ φόνῳ τὸν φεύγοντα (Polit. ii.
  5, 12). This presents a curious parallel with the old German
  institution of the Eideshelfern, or conjurators, who, though most
  frequently required and produced in support of the party accused,
  were yet also brought by the party accusing. See Rogge, sect. 36,
  p. 186; Grimm, p. 862.

  [158] The word ποινὴ indicates this _satisfaction by valuable
  payment_ for wrong done, especially for homicide: that the Latin
  word _pœna_ originally meant the same thing, may be inferred
  from the old phrases _dare pœnas, pendere pœnas_. The most
  illustrative passage in the Iliad is that in which Ajax, in the
  embassy undertaken to conciliate Achilles, censures by comparison
  the inexorable obstinacy of the latter in setting at naught the
  proffered presents of Agamemnôn (Il. ix. 627):—

    Νηλής· καὶ μὲν τίς τε κασιγνήτοιο φόνοι
    Ποινὴν, ἢ οὗ παιδὸς ἐδέξατο τεθνειῶτος·
    Καί ῥ᾽ ὁ μὲν ἐν δήμῳ μένει αὐτοῦ, πολλ᾽ ἀποτίσας·
    Τοῦ δέ τ᾽ ἐρητύεται κραδίη καὶ θύμος ἀγήνωρ,
    Ποινὴν δεξαμένου....

  The ποινὴ is, in its primitive sense, a genuine payment in
  valuable commodities serving as compensation (Iliad, iii. 290; v.
  266; xiii. 659): but it comes by a natural metaphor to signify
  the death of one or more Trojans, as a satisfaction for that of
  a Greek warrior who had just fallen (or _vice versâ_, Iliad,
  xiv. 483; xvi. 398); sometimes even the notion of compensation
  generally (xvii. 207). In the representation on the shield of
  Achilles, the genuine proceeding about ποινὴ clearly appears:
  the question there tried is, whether the payment stipulated as
  satisfaction for a person slain, has really been made or not,—δύο
  δ᾽ ἄνδρες ἐνείκεον εἵνεκα ποινῆς Ἀνδρὸς ἀποφθιμένου, etc. (xviii.

  The danger of an act of homicide is proportioned to the number
  and power of the surviving relatives of the slain; but even a
  small number is sufficient to necessitate flight (Odyss. xxiii.
  120): on the other hand, a large body of relatives was the grand
  source of encouragement to an insolent criminal (Odyss. xviii.

  An old law of Tralles in Lydia, enjoining a nominal ποινὴ of a
  medimnus of beans to the relatives of a murdered person belonging
  to a contemptible class of citizens, is noticed by Plutarch,
  Quæst. Græc. c. 46, p. 302. Even in the century preceding
  Herodotus, too, the Delphians gave a ποινὴ as satisfaction for
  the murder of the fabulist Æsop; which ποινὴ was claimed and
  received by the grandson of Æsop’s master (Herodot. ii. 134.
  Plutarch. Ser. Num. Vind. p. 556).

The Homeric society, in regard to this capital point in human
progression, is on a level with that of the German tribes as
described by Tacitus. But the subsequent course of Grecian
legislation takes a direction completely different from that of
the German codes: the primitive and acknowledged right of private
revenge (unless where bought off by pecuniary payment), instead
of being developed into practical working, is superseded by more
comprehensive views of a public wrong requiring public intervention,
or by religious fears respecting the posthumous wrath of the murdered
person. In historical Athens, this right of private revenge was
discountenanced and put out of sight, even so early as the Drakonian
legislation,[159] and at last restricted to a few extreme and
special cases; while the murderer came to be considered, first as
having sinned against the gods, next as having deeply injured the
society, and thus at once as requiring absolution and deserving
punishment. On the first of these two grounds, he is interdicted
from the agora and from all holy places, as well as from public
functions, even while yet untried and simply a suspected person;
for if this were not done, the wrath of the gods would manifest
itself in bad crops and other national calamities. On the second
ground, he is tried before the council of Areiopagus, and if found
guilty, is condemned to death, or perhaps to disfranchisement and
banishment.[160] The idea of a propitiatory payment to the relatives
of the deceased has ceased altogether to be admitted: it is the
protection of society which dictates, and the force of society which
inflicts, a measure of punishment calculated to deter for the future.

  [159] See Lysias, De Cæde Eratosthen. Orat. i. p. 94; Plutarch.
  Solon, c. 23; Demosthen. cont. Aristokrat. pp. 632-637.

  Plato (De Legg. ix. pp. 871-874), in his copious penal
  suggestions to deal with homicide, both intentional and
  accidental, concurs in general with the old Attic law (see
  Matthiæ, Miscellanea Philologica, vol. i. p. 151): and as
  he states with sufficient distinctness the grounds of his
  propositions, we see how completely the idea of a right to
  private or family revenge is absent from his mind. In one
  particular case, he confers upon kinsmen the privilege of
  avenging their murdered relative (p. 871); but generally, he
  rather seeks to enforce upon them strictly the duty of bringing
  the suspected murderer to trial before the court. By the Attic
  law, it was only the kinsmen of the deceased who had the right
  of prosecuting for murder,—or the master, if the deceased was
  an οἰκέτης (Demosthen. cont. Euerg. et Mnesibul. c. 18); they
  might by forgiveness shorten the term of banishment for the
  unintentional murderer (Demosth. cont. Makart. p. 1069). They
  seem to have been regarded, generally speaking, as religiously
  obliged, but not legally compellable, to undertake this duty;
  compare Plato, Euthyphro, capp. 4 and 5.

  [160] Lysias, cont. Agorat. Or. xiii. p. 137. Antiphon. Tetralog.
  i. 1, p. 629. Ἀσύμφορον δ᾽ ὑμῖν ἐστὶ τόνδε, μιαρὸν καὶ ἄναγνον
  ὄντα, εἰς τὰ τεμένη τῶν θεῶν εἰσιόντα μιαίνειν τὴν ἅγνειαν αὐτῶν,
  ἐπὶ δὲ τὰς αὐτὰς τραπέζας ἰόντα συγκαταπιμπλάναι τοὺς ἀναιτίους·
  ἐκ γὰρ τούτωον αἵ τε ἀφορίαι γίνονται, δυστυχεῖς θ᾽ αἱ πράξεις

  The three Tetralogies of Antipho are all very instructive
  respecting the legal procedure in cases of alleged homicide: as
  also the Oration De Cæde Herodis (see capp. 1 and 2)—τοῦ νόμου
  κειμένου, τὸν ἀποκτείναντα ἀνταποθανεῖν, etc.

  The case of the Spartan Drakontius, one of the Ten Thousand
  Greeks who served with Cyrus the younger, and permanently
  exiled from his country in consequence of an involuntary murder
  committed during his boyhood, presents a pretty exact parallel
  to the fatal quarrel of Patroklus at dice, when a boy, with the
  son of Amphidamas, in consequence of which he was forced to seek
  shelter under the roof of Pêleus (compare Iliad, xxiii. 85, with
  Xenoph. Anabas. iv. 8, 25).

3. The society of legendary Greece includes, besides the chiefs,
the general mass of freemen (λαοί), among whom stand out by special
names certain professional men, such as the carpenter, the smith,
the leather-dresser, the leech, the prophet, the bard, and the
fisherman.[161] We have no means of appreciating their condition.
Though lots of arable land were assigned in special property to
individuals, with boundaries both carefully marked and jealously
watched,[162] yet the larger proportion of surface was devoted to
pasture. Cattle formed both the chief item in the substance of a
wealthy man, the chief means of making payments, and the common
ground of quarrels,—bread and meat, in large quantities, being the
constant food of every one.[163] The estates of the owners were
tilled, and their cattle tended, mostly by bought slaves, but to a
certain degree also by poor freemen called Thêtes, working for hire
and for stated periods. The principal slaves, who were intrusted with
the care of large herds of oxen, swine, or goats, were of necessity
men worthy of confidence, their duties placing them away from their
master’s immediate eye.[164] They had other slaves subordinate to
them, and appear to have been well-treated: the deep and unshaken
attachment of Eumæus the swineherd and Philœtius the neatherd to
the family and affairs of the absent Odysseus, is among the most
interesting points in the ancient epic. Slavery was a calamity,
which in that period of insecurity might befall any one: the chief
who conducted a freebooting expedition, if he succeeded, brought
back with him a numerous troop of slaves, as many as he could
seize,[165]—if he failed, became very likely a slave himself: so that
the slave was often by birth of equal dignity with his master: Eumæus
was himself the son of a chief, conveyed away when a child by his
nurse, and sold by Phœnician kidnappers to Laërtês. A slave of this
character, if he conducted himself well, might often expect to be
enfranchised by his master and placed in an independent holding.[166]

  [161] Odyss. xvii. 384; xix. 135. Iliad, iv. 187; vii. 221. I
  know nothing which better illustrates the idea of the Homeric
  δημιοεργοί,—the herald, the prophet, the carpenter, the leech,
  the bard, etc.,—than the following description of the structure
  of an East Indian village (Mill’s History of British India, b.
  ii. c. 5, p. 266): “A village, politically considered, resembles
  a corporation or township. Its proper establishment of _officers
  and servants_ consists of the following descriptions: the potail,
  or head inhabitant, who settles disputes and collects the
  revenue, etc.; the curnum, who keeps the accounts of cultivation,
  etc.; the tallier; the boundary-man; the superintendent of
  tanks and water-courses; the Brahman, who performs the village
  worship; the schoolmaster; the calendar Brahman, or astrologer,
  who proclaims the lucky or unpropitious periods for sowing or
  thrashing; the smith and carpenter; the potter; the washerman;
  the barber; the cowkeeper; the doctor; the dancing-girl, who
  attends at rejoicings; the musician, and the poet.”

  Each of these officers and servants (δημιοεργοί) is remunerated
  by a definite perquisite—so much landed produce—out of the
  general crop of the village (p. 264).

  [162] Iliad, xii. 421; xxi. 405.

  [163] Iliad, i. 155; ix. 154; xiv. 122.

  [164] Odysseus and other chiefs of Ithaka had oxen, sheep, mules,
  etc., on the continent and in Peloponnêsus, under the care of
  herdsmen (Odyss. iv. 636; xiv. 100).

  Leukanor, king of Bosporus, asks the Scythian Arsakomas—Πόσα
  δὲ βοσκήματα, ἢ πόσας ἁμάξας ἔχεις, ταῦτα γὰρ ὑμεῖς πλουτεῖτε;
  (Lucian, Toxaris, c. 45.) The enumeration of the property of
  Odysseus would have placed the βοσκήματα in the front line.

  [165] Δμωαὶ δ᾽ ἃς Ἀχιλεὺς ~ληΐσσατο~ (Iliad, xviii. 28: compare
  also Odyss. i. 397; xxiii. 357; particularly xvii. 441).

  [166] Odyss. xiv. 64; xv. 412; see also xix. 78: Eurykleia was
  also of dignified birth (i. 429). The questions put by Odysseus
  to Eumæus, to which the speech above referred to is an answer,
  indicate the proximate causes of slavery: “Was the city of your
  father sacked? or were you seized by pirates when alone with your
  sheep and oxen?” (Odyss. xv. 385.)

  Eumæus had purchased a slave for himself (Odyss. xiv. 448).

On the whole, the slavery of legendary Greece does not present itself
as existing under a peculiarly harsh form, especially if we consider
that all the classes of society were then very much upon a level in
point of taste, sentiment, and instruction.[167] In the absence of
legal security or an effective social sanction, it is probable that
the condition of a slave under an average master, may have been as
good as that of the free Thête. The class of slaves whose lot appears
to have been the most pitiable were the females,—more numerous than
the males, and performing the principal work in the interior of the
house. Not only do they seem to have been more harshly treated than
the males, but they were charged with the hardest and most exhausting
labor which the establishment of a Greek chief required: they brought
in water from the spring, and turned by hand the house-mills, which
ground the large quantity of flour consumed in his family.[168]
This oppressive task was performed generally by female slaves, in
historical as well as legendary Greece.[169] Spinning and weaving
was the constant occupation of women, whether free or slave, of
every rank and station: all the garments worn both by men and women
were fashioned at home, and Helen as well as Penelopê is expert and
assiduous at the occupation.[170] The daughters of Keleos at Eleusis
go to the well with their basins for water, and Nausikaa, daughter of
Alkinous,[171] joins her female slaves in the business of washing her
garments in the river. If we are obliged to point out the fierceness
and insecurity of an early society, we may at the same time note with
pleasure its characteristic simplicity of manners: Rebecca, Rachel,
and the daughters of Jethro, in the early Mosaic narrative, as well
as the wife of the native Macedonian chief (with whom the Temenid
Perdiccas, ancestor of Philip and Alexander, first took service
on retiring from Argos), baking her own cakes on the hearth,[172]
exhibit a parallel in this respect to the Homeric pictures.

  [167] Tacitus, Mor. Germ. 21. “Dominum ac servum nullis
  educationis deliciis dignoscas: inter eadem pecora, in eâdem
  humo, degunt,” etc. (Juvenal, Sat. xiv. 167.)

  [168] Odyss. vii. 104; xx. 116; Iliad vi. 457; compare the Book
  of Genesis, ch. xi. 5. The expression of Telemachus, when he is
  proceeding to hang up the female slaves who had misbehaved, is
  bitterly contemptuous:—

    Μὴ μὲν δὴ ~καθαρῷ θανάτῳ~ ἀπὸ θυμὸν ἑλοίμην
    Τάων, etc. (Odyss. xxii. 464.)

  The humble establishment of Hesiod’s farmer does not possess a
  mill; he has nothing better than a wooden pestle and mortar for
  grinding or bruising the corn; both are constructed, and the wood
  cut from the trees, by his own hand (Opp. Di. 423), though it
  seems that a professional carpenter (“the servant of Athênê,”)
  is required to put together the plough (v. 430). The Virgilian
  poem _Moretum_, (v. 24,) assigns a hand-mill even to the humblest
  rural establishment. The instructive article “Corn Mills,” in
  Beckmann’s Hist. of Inventions (vol. i. p. 227, Eng. transl.),
  collects all the information available about this subject.

  [169] See Lysias, Or. 1, p. 93 (De Cæde Eratosthenis).
  Plutarch (Non posse suaviter vivi secundum Epicurum, c. 21,
  p. 1101),—~Παχυσκελὴς~ ἀλετρὶς πρὸς μύλην κινουμένη,—and
  Kallimachus, (Hymn. ad Delum, 242,)—μηδ᾽ ὅθι δειλαὶ Δυστοκέες
  μογέουσιν ἀλετρίδες,—notice the overworked condition of these

  The “grinding slaves” (ἀλετρίδες) are expressly named in one of
  the Laws of Ethelbert, king of Kent, and constitute the second
  class in point of value among the female slaves (Law xi. Thorpe’s
  Ancient Laws and Institutes of England, vol. i. p. 7).

  [170] Odyss. iv. 131; xix. 235.

  [171] Odyss. vi. 96; Hymn, ad Dêmêtr. 105.

  [172] Herodot. viii. 137.

We obtain no particulars respecting either the common freemen
generally, or the particular class of them called Thêtes. These
latter, engaged for special jobs, or at the harvest and other busy
seasons of field labor, seem to have given their labor in exchange
for board and clothing: they are mentioned in the same line with
the slaves,[173] and were (as has been just observed) probably on
the whole little better off. The condition of a poor freeman in
those days, without a lot of land of his own, going about from one
temporary job to another, and having no powerful family and no social
authority to look up to for protection, must have been sufficiently
miserable. When Eumæus indulged his expectation of being manumitted
by his masters, he thought at the same time that they would give him
a wife, a house, and a lot of land near to themselves;[174] without
which collateral advantages, simple manumission might perhaps have
been no improvement in his condition. To be Thête in the service of
a very poor farmer is selected by Achilles as the maximum of human
hardship: such a person could not give to his Thête the same ample
food, and good shoes and clothing, as the wealthy chief Eurymachus,
while he would exact more severe labor.[175] It was probably among
such smaller occupants, who could not advance the price necessary to
purchase slaves, and were glad to save the cost of keep when they
did not need service, that the Thêtes found employment: though we
may conclude that the brave and strong amongst these poor freemen
found it preferable to accompany some freebooting chief and to live
by the plunder acquired.[176] The exact Hesiod advises his farmer,
whose work is chiefly performed by slaves, to employ and maintain the
Thête during summer-time, but to dismiss him as soon as the harvest
is completely got in, and then to take into his house for the winter
a woman “without any child;” who would of course be more useful than
the Thête for the indoor occupations of that season.[177]

  [173] Odyss. iv. 643.

  [174] Odyss. xiv. 64.

  [175] Compare Odyss. xi. 490, with xviii. 358. Klytæmnêstra,
  in the _Agamemnôn_ of Æschylus, preaches a something similar
  doctrine to Kassandra,—how much kinder the ἀρχαιόπλουτοι δεσποταὶ
  were towards their slaves, than masters who had risen by
  unexpected prosperity (Agamemn. 1042).

  [176] Thucydid. i. 5, ἐτράποντο πρὸς λῄστειαν, ἡγουμένων ἀνδρῶν
  οὐ τῶν ἀδυνατωτάτων, κέρδους τοῦ σφετέρου αὐτῶν ἕνεκα, καὶ τοῖς
  ἀσθενέσι τροφῆς.

  [177] Hesiod, Opp. Di. 459—ἐφορμηθῆναι, ὁμῶς δμῶές τε καὶ
  αὐτὸς—and 603:—

                         ... Αὐτὰρ ἐπὴν δὴ
    Πάντα βίον κατάθηαι ἐπήρμενον ἔνδοθι οἴκου,
    Θῆτά τ᾽ ἄοικον ποιεῖσθαι, καὶ ἄτεκνον ἔριθον
    Δίζεσθαι κέλομαι· χαλεπὴ δ᾽ ὑπόπορτις ἔριθος.

  The two words ~ἄοικον ποιεῖσθαι~ seem here to be taken together
  in the sense of “dismiss the Thête,” or “make him houseless;”
  for when put out of his employer’s house, he had no residence of
  his own. Göttling (_ad loc._), Nitzsch (ad Odyss. iv. 643), and
  Lehrs (Quæst. Epic. p. 205) all construe ἄοικον with θῆτα, and
  represent Hesiod as advising that the houseless Thête should be
  at that moment _taken on_, just at the time when the summer’s
  work was finished. Lehrs (and seemingly Göttling also), sensible
  that this can never have been the real meaning of the poet,
  would throw out the two lines as spurious. I may remark farther
  that the translation of θὴς given by Göttling—_villicus_—is
  inappropriate: it includes the idea of superintendence over other
  laborers, which does not seem to have belonged to the Thête in
  any case.

  There were a class of poor free women who made their living by
  taking in wool to spin and perhaps to weave: the exactness of
  their dealing, as well as the poor profit which they made, are
  attested by a touching Homeric simile (Iliad, xiii. 434). See
  Iliad, vi. 289; xxiii. 742. Odyss. xv. 414.

In a state of society such as that which we have been describing,
Grecian commerce was necessarily trifling and restricted. The Homeric
poems mark either total ignorance or great vagueness of apprehension
respecting all that lies beyond the coasts of Greece and Asia Minor,
and the islands between or adjoining them. Libya and Egypt are
supposed so distant as to be known only by name and hearsay: indeed,
when the city of Kyrene was founded, a century and a half after the
first Olympiad, it was difficult to find anywhere a Greek navigator
who had ever visited the coast of Libya, or was fit to serve as guide
to the colonists.[178] The mention of the Sikels in the Odyssey,[179]
leads us to conclude that Korkyra, Italy, and Sicily were not
wholly unknown to the poet: among seafaring Greeks, the knowledge
of the latter implied the knowledge of the two former,—since the
habitual track, even of a well-equipped Athenian trireme during the
Peloponnesian war, from Peloponnêsus to Sicily, was by Korkyra and
the Gulf of Tarentum. The Phokæans, long afterwards, were the first
Greeks who explored either the Adriatic or Tyrrhenian sea.[180]
Of the Euxine sea no knowledge is manifested in Homer, who, as a
general rule, presents to us the names of distant regions only in
connection with romantic or monstrous accompaniments. The Kretans,
and still more the Taphians (who are supposed to have occupied the
western islands off the coast of Acarnania), are mentioned as skilful
mariners, and the Taphian Mentês professes to be conveying iron to
Temesa to be there exchanged for copper;[181] but both Taphians and
Kretans are more corsairs than traders.[182] The strong sense of the
dangers of the sea, expressed by the poet Hesiod, and the imperfect
structure of the early Grecian ship, attested by Thucydidês (who
points out the more recent date of that improved ship-building which
prevailed in his time), concur to demonstrate the then narrow range
of nautical enterprise.[183]

  [178] Herodot. iv. 151. Compare Ukert, Geographie der Griechen
  und Römer, part i. pp. 16-19.

  [179] Odyss. xx. 383; xxiv. 210. The identity of the Homeric
  Scheria with Korkyra, and that of the Homeric Thrinakia with
  Sicily, appear to me not at all made out. Both Welcker and
  Klausen treat the Phæakians as purely mythical persons (see W. C.
  Müller, De Corcyræorum Republicâ, Götting. 1835, p. 9).

  [180] Herodot. i. 163.

  [181] Nitzsch. ad Odyss. i. 181; Strabo, i. p. 6. The situation
  of Temesa, whether it is to be placed in Italy or in Cyprus, has
  been a disputed point among critics, both ancient and modern.

  [182] Odyss. xv. 426. Τάφιοι, ληΐστορες ἄνδρες; and xvi. 426.
  Hymn to Dêmêtêr, v. 123.

  [183] Hesiod. Opp. Di. 615-684; Thucyd. i. 13.

Such was the state of the Greeks, as traders, at a time when Babylon
combined a crowded and industrious population with extensive
commerce, and when the Phœnician merchant-ships visited in one
direction the southern coast of Arabia, perhaps even the island of
Ceylon,—in another direction, the British islands.

The Phœnician, the kinsman of the ancient Jew, exhibits the type
of character belonging to the latter,—with greater enterprise and
ingenuity, and less of religious exclusiveness, yet still different
from, and even antipathetic to, the character of the Greeks. In
the Homeric poems, he appears somewhat like the Jew of the Middle
Ages, a crafty trader, turning to profit the violence and rapacity
of others,—bringing them ornaments, decorations, the finest and
brightest products of the loom, gold, silver, electrum, ivory, tin,
etc., in exchange for which he received landed produce, skins,
wool, and slaves, the only commodities which even a wealthy Greek
chief of those early times had to offer,—prepared at the same
time for dishonest gain, in any manner which chance might throw
in his way.[184] He is, however, really a trader, not undertaking
expeditions with the deliberate purpose of surprise and plunder,
and standing distinguished in this respect from the Tyrrhenian,
Kretan, or Taphian pirate. Tin, ivory, and electrum, all of which are
acknowledged in the Homeric poems, were the fruit of Phœnician trade
with the West as well as with the East.[185]

  [184] Odyss. xiv. 290; xv. 416.—

    Φοίνιξ ἦλθεν ἀνὴρ, ἀπατήλια εἰδώς,
    Τρώκτης, ὃς δὴ πολλὰ κάκ᾽ ἀνθρώποισιν ἐώργει.

  The interesting narrative given by Eumæus, of the manner in
  which he fell into slavery, is a vivid picture of Phœnician
  dealing (compare Herodot. i. 2-4. Iliad, vi. 290; xxiii. 743).
  Paris is reported to have visited Sidon, and brought from thence
  women eminent for skill at the loom. The Cyprian Verses (see the
  Argument. ap. Düntzer, p. 17) affirmed that Paris had landed
  at Sidon, and attacked and captured the city. Taphian corsairs
  kidnapped slaves at Sidon (Odyss. xv. 424).

  The ornaments or trinkets (ἀθύρματα) which the Phœnician merchant
  carries with him, seem to be the same as the δαίδαλα πολλὰ,
  Πόρπας τε γναμπτάς θ᾽ ἕλικας, etc. which Hêphæstus was employed
  in fabricating (Iliad, xviii. 400) under the protection of Thetis.

  “Fallacissimum esse genus Phœnicum omnia monumenta vetustatis
  atque omnes historiæ nobis prodiderunt.” (Cicero, Orat. Trium.
  partes ineditæ, ed. Maii, 1815, p. 13.)

  [185] Ivory is frequently mentioned in Homer, who uses the word
  ἐλέφας exclusively to mean that substance, not to signify the

  The art of dyeing, especially with the various shades of
  purple, was in after-ages one of the special excellences of the
  Phœnicians: yet Homer, where he alludes in a simile to dyeing or
  staining, introduces a Mæonian or Karian woman as the performer
  of the process, not a Phœnician (Iliad, iv. 141).

  What the _electrum_ named in the Homeric poems really is cannot
  be positively determined. The word in antiquity meant two
  different things: 1, amber; 2, an impure gold, containing as
  much as one-fifth or more of silver (Pliny, H. N. xxxiii. 4).
  The passages in which we read the word in the Odyssey do not
  positively exclude either of these meanings; but they present to
  us electrum so much in juxtaposition with gold and silver each
  separately, that perhaps the second meaning is more probable than
  the first. Herodotus understands it to mean _amber_ (iii. 115):
  Sophoklês, on the contrary, employs it to designate a metal akin
  to gold (Antigone, 1033).

  See the dissertation of Buttmann, appended to his collection of
  essays called _Mythologus_, vol. ii. p. 337; also, Beckmann,
  History of Inventions, vol. iv. p. 12, Engl. Transl. “The
  ancients (observes the latter) used as a peculiar metal a mixture
  of gold and silver, because they were not acquainted with the
  art of separating them, and gave it the name of _electrum_.”
  Dr. Thirlwall (Hist. of Greece, vol. i. p. 241) thinks that the
  Homeric _electrum_ is amber; on the contrary, Hüllmann thinks
  that it was a metallic substance (Handels, Geschichte der
  Griechen, pp. 63-81).

  Beckmann doubts whether the oldest κασσίτερος of the Greeks was
  really _tin_: he rather thinks that it was “the _stannum_ of the
  Romans, the _werk_ of our smelting-houses,—that is, a mixture of
  lead, silver, and other accidental metals.” (_Ibid._ p. 20). The
  Greeks of Massalia procured tin from Britain, through Gaul, by
  the Seine, the Saone, and the Rhone (Diodôr. v. 22).

Thucydidês tells us that the Phœnicians and Karians, in very early
periods, occupied many of the islands of the Ægean, and we know, from
the striking remnant of their mining works which Herodotus himself
saw in Thasus, off the coast of Thrace, that they had once extracted
gold from the mountains of that island,—at a period indeed very far
back, since their occupation must have been abandoned prior to the
settlement of the poet Archilochus.[186] Yet few of the islands in
the Ægean were rich in such valuable products, nor was it in the
usual course of Phœnician proceeding to occupy islands, except where
there was an adjoining mainland with which trade could be carried
on. The traffic of these active mariners required no permanent
settlement, but as occasional visitors they were convenient, in
enabling a Greek chief to turn his captives to account,—to get rid
of slaves or friendless Thêtes who were troublesome,—and to supply
himself with the metals, precious as well as useful.[187] The halls
of Alkinous and Menelaus glitter with gold, copper, and electrum;
while large stocks of yet unemployed metal—gold, copper, and iron—are
stored up in the treasure-chamber of Odysseus and other chiefs.[188]
Coined money is unknown to the Homeric age,—the trade carried on
being one of barter. In reference also to the metals, it deserves to
be remarked that the Homeric descriptions universally suppose copper,
and not iron, to be employed for arms, both offensive and defensive.
By what process the copper was tempered and hardened, so as to serve
the purposes of the warrior, we do not know;[189] but the use of iron
for these objects belongs to a later age, though the Works and Days
of Hesiod suppose this change to have been already introduced.[190]

  [186] Herodot. ii. 44; vi. 47. Archiloch. Fragm. 21-22, ed.
  Gaisf. Œnomaus ap. Euseb. Præp. Ev. vi. 7. Thucyd. i. 12.

  The Greeks connected this Phœnician settlement in Thasus with the
  legend of Kadmus and his sister Eurôpa: Thasus, the eponymus of
  the island, was brother of Kadmus. (Herod. _ib._)

  [187] The angry Laomedôn threatens when Poseidôn and Apollo ask
  from him (at the expiration of their term of servitude) the
  stipulated wages of their labor, to cut off their ears and send
  them off to some distant islands (Iliad, xxi. 454). Compare xxiv.
  752. Odyss. xx. 383: xviii. 83.

  [188] Odyss. iv. 73; vii. 85; xxi. 61. Iliad, ii. 226; vi. 47.

  [189] See Millin, Minéralogie Homerique, p. 74. That there are,
  however, modes of tempering copper, so as to impart to it the
  hardness of steel, has been proved by the experiments of the
  Comte de Caylus.

  The Massagetæ employed only copper—no iron—for their weapons
  (Herodot. i. 215).

  [190] Hesiod, Opp. Di. 150-420. The examination of the various
  matters of antiquity discoverable throughout the north of Europe,
  as published by the Antiquarian Society of Copenhagen, recognizes
  a distinction of three successive ages: 1. Implements and arms
  of stone, bone, wood, etc.: little or no use of metals at all;
  clothing made of skins. 2. Implements and arms of copper and
  gold, or rather bronze and gold; little or no silver or iron.
  Articles of gold and electrum are found belonging to this age,
  but none of silver, nor any evidences of writing. 3. The age
  which follows this has belonging to it arms of iron, articles
  of silver, and some Runic inscriptions: it is the last age of
  northern paganism, immediately preceding the introduction of
  Christianity (Leitfaden zur Nördischen Alterthumskunde, pp. 31,
  57, 63, Copenhagen, 1837).

  The Homeric age coincides with the second of these two periods.
  Silver is comparatively little mentioned in Homer, while both
  bronze and gold are familiar metals. Iron also is rare, and seems
  employed only for agricultural purposes—Χρυσόν τε, χαλκόν τε
  ἅλις, ἐσθῆτα θ᾽ ὑφαντήν (Iliad, vi. 48; Odyss. ii. 338; xiii.
  136). The χρυσοχόος and the χαλκεὺς are both mentioned in Homer,
  but workers in silver and iron are not known by any special name
  (Odyss. iii. 425-436).

  “The hatchet, wimble, plane, and level, are the tools mentioned
  by Homer, who appears to have been unacquainted with the saw, the
  square, and the compass.” (Gillies, Hist. of Greece, chap. ii. p.

  The Gauls, known to Polybius, seemingly the Cisalpine Gauls only,
  possessed all their property in cattle and gold,—θρέμματα καὶ
  χρυσὸς,—on account of the easy transportability of both (Polyb.
  ii. 17).

The mode of fighting among the Homeric heroes is not less different
from the historical times, than the material of which their arms
were composed. The Hoplites, or heavy-armed infantry of historical
Greece, maintained a close order and well-dressed line, charging the
enemy with their spears protended at even distance, and coming thus
to close conflict without breaking their rank: there were special
troops, bowmen, slingers, etc. armed with missiles, but the hoplite
had no weapon to employ in this manner. The heroes of the Iliad and
Odyssey, on the contrary, habitually employ the spear as a missile,
which they launch with tremendous force: each of them is mounted in
his war-chariot, drawn by two horses, and calculated to contain the
warrior and his charioteer; in which latter capacity a friend or
comrade will sometimes consent to serve. Advancing in his chariot at
full speed, in front of his own soldiers, he hurls his spear against
the enemy: sometimes, indeed, he will fight on foot, and hand to
hand, but the chariot is usually near to receive him if he chooses,
or to insure his retreat. The mass of the Greeks and Trojans, coming
forward to the charge, without any regular step or evenly-maintained
line, make their attack in the same way by hurling their spears.
Each chief wears habitually a long sword and a short dagger, besides
his two spears to be launched forward,—the spear being also used, if
occasion serves, as a weapon for thrust. Every man is protected by
shield, helmet, breastplate, and greaves: but the armor of the chiefs
is greatly superior to that of the common men, while they themselves
are both stronger and more expert in the use of their weapons. There
are a few bowmen, as rare exceptions, but the general equipment and
proceeding is as here described.

Such loose array, immortalized as it is in the Iliad, is familiar to
every one; and the contrast which it presents, with those inflexible
ranks, and that irresistible simultaneous charge which bore down the
Persian throng at Platæa and Kunaxa,[191] is such as to illustrate
forcibly the general difference between heroic and historical
Greece. While in the former, a few splendid figures stand forward,
in prominent relief, the remainder being a mere unorganized and
ineffective mass,—in the latter, these units have been combined into
a system, in which every man, officer and soldier, has his assigned
place and duty, and the victory, when gained, is the joint work of
all. Preëminent individual prowess is indeed materially abridged, if
not wholly excluded,—no man can do more than maintain his station in
the line:[192] but on the other hand, the grand purposes, aggressive
or defensive, for which alone arms are taken up, become more assured
and easy, and long-sighted combinations of the general are rendered
for the first time practicable, when he has a disciplined body of
men to obey him. In tracing the picture of civil society, we have to
remark a similar transition—we pass from Hêraklês, Thêseus, Jasôn,
Achilles, to Solon, Pythagoras, and Periklês—from “the shepherd of
his people,” (to use the phrase in which Homer depicts the good
side of the heroic king,) to the legislator who introduces, and the
statesman who maintains, a preconcerted system by which willing
citizens consent to bind themselves. If commanding individual talent
is not always to be found, the whole community is so trained as to
be able to maintain its course under inferior leaders; the rights as
well as the duties of each citizen being predetermined in the social
order, according to principles more or less wisely laid down. The
contrast is similar, and the transition equally remarkable, in the
civil as in the military picture. In fact, the military organization
of the Grecian republics is an element of the greatest importance
in respect to the conspicuous part which they have played in human
affairs,—their superiority over other contemporary nations in this
respect being hardly less striking than it is in many others, as we
shall have occasion to see in a subsequent stage of this history.

  [191] Tyrtæus, in his military expressions, seems to conceive
  the Homeric mode of hurling the spear as still prevalent,—δόρυ
  δ᾽ εὐτόλμως ~βάλλοντες~ (Fragm. ix. Gaisford). Either he had his
  mind prepossessed with the Homeric array, or else the close order
  and conjunct spears of the hoplites had not yet been introduced
  during the second Messenian war.

  Thiersch and Schneidewin would substitute πάλλοντες in place of
  βάλλοντες. Euripidês (Androm. 695) has a similar expression, yet
  it does not apply well to hoplites; for one of the virtues of the
  hoplite consisted in carrying his spear steadily: δοράτων κίνησις
  betokens a disorderly march, and the want of steady courage and
  self-possession. See the remarks of Brasidas upon the ranks of
  the Athenians under Kleon at Amphipolis (Thucyd. v. 6).

  [192] Euripid. Andromach. 696.

Even at the most advanced point of their tactics, the Greeks could
effect little against a walled city, whilst the heroic weapons and
array were still less available for such an undertaking as a siege.
Fortifications are a feature of the age deserving considerable
notice. There was a time, we are told, in which the primitive Greek
towns or villages derived a precarious security, not from their
walls, but merely from sites lofty and difficult of access. They were
not built immediately upon the shore, or close upon any convenient
landing-place, but at some distance inland, on a rock or elevation
which could not be approached without notice or scaled without
difficulty. It was thought sufficient at that time to guard against
piratical or marauding surprise: but as the state of society became
assured,—as the chance of sudden assault comparatively diminished
and industry increased,—these uninviting abodes were exchanged for
more convenient sites on the plain or declivity beneath; or a portion
of the latter was inclosed within larger boundaries and joined on
to the original foundation, which thus became the Acropolis of the
new town. Thêbes, Athens, Argos, etc., belonged to the latter class
of cities; but there were in many parts of Greece deserted sites on
hilltops, still retaining, even in historical times, the traces of
former habitation, and some of them still bearing the name of the old
towns. Among the mountainous parts of Krête, in Ægina and Rhodes,
in portions of Mount Ida and Parnassus, similar remnants might be

  [193] Ἡ παλαιὰ πόλις in Ægina (Herodot. vi. 88); Ἀστυπάλαια in
  Samus (Polyæn. i. 23. 2; Etymol. Magn. v. Ἀστυπάλαια): it became
  seemingly the acropolis of the subsequent city.

  About the deserted sites in the lofty regions of Krête, see
  Theophrastus, De Ventis, v. 13, ed. Schneider, p. 762.

  The site of Παλαίσκηψις in Mount Ida,—ἐπάνω Κέβρηνος κατὰ τὸ
  μετεωρότατον τῆς Ἴδης (Strabo, xiii. p. 607); ὕστερον δὲ κατωτέρω
  σταδίοις ἑξήκοντα εἰς τὴν νῦν Σκῆψιν μετῳκίσθησαν. Paphos in
  Cyprus was the same distance below the ancient Palæ-Paphos
  (Strabo, xiv. p. 683).

  Near Mantineia in Arcadia was situated ὄρος ἐν τῷ πεδίῳ, τὰ
  ἐρείπια ἔτι Μαντινείας ἔχον τῆς ἀρχαίας· καλεῖται δὲ τὸ χωρίον
  ἐφ᾽ ἡμῶν Πτόλις (Pausan. viii. 12, 4). See a similar statement
  about the lofty sites of the ancient town of Orchomenus (in
  Arcadia) (Paus. viii. 13, 2), of Nonakris (viii. 17, 5,) of Lusi
  (viii. 18, 3), Lykoreia on Parnassus (Paus. x. 6, 2; Strabo, ix.
  p. 418).

  Compare also Plato, Legg. iii. 2, pp. 678-679, who traces
  these lofty and craggy dwellings, general among the earliest
  Grecian townships, to the commencement of human society after an
  extensive deluge, which had covered all the lower grounds and
  left only a few survivors.

Probably, in such primitive hill villages, a continuous circle of
wall would hardly be required as an additional means of defence, and
would often be rendered very difficult by the rugged nature of the
ground. But Thucydidês represents the earliest Greeks—those whom he
conceives anterior to the Trojan war—as living thus universally in
unfortified villages, chiefly on account of their poverty, rudeness,
and thorough carelessness for the morrow. Oppressed, and held apart
from each other by perpetual fear, they had not yet contracted
the sentiment of fixed abodes: they were unwilling even to plant
fruit-trees because of the uncertainty of gathering the produce,—and
were always ready to dislodge, because there was nothing to gain by
staying, and a bare subsistence might be had any where. He compares
them to the mountaineers of Ætolia and of the Ozolian Lokris in his
own time, who dwelt in their unfortified hill villages with little
or no intercommunication, always armed and fighting, and subsisting
on the produce of their cattle and their woods,[194]—clothed in
undressed hides, and eating raw meat.

  [194] Thucyd. i. 2. Φαίνεται γὰρ ἡ νῦν Ἑλλὰς καλουμένη, οὐ πάλαι
  βεβαίως οἰκουμένη, ἀλλὰ μεταναστάσεις τε οὖσαι τὰ πρότερα, καὶ
  ῥᾳδίως ἕκαστοι τὴν ἑαυτῶν ἀπολείποντες, βιαζόμενοι ὑπὸ τινῶν ἀεὶ
  πλειόνων· τῆς γὰρ ἐμπορίας οὐκ οὔσης, οὐδ᾽ ἐπιμιγνύντες ἀδεῶς
  ἀλλήλοις, οὔτε κατὰ γῆν οὔτε διὰ θαλάσσης, νεμόμενοι δὲ τὰ αὑτῶν
  ἕκαστοι ὅσον ἀποζῇν, καὶ περιουσίαν χρημάτων οὐκ ἔχοντες οὐδὲ
  γῆν φυτεύοντες, ἄδηλον ὂν ὅποτέ τις ἐπελθὼν, καὶ ἀτειχίστων ἅμα
  ὄντων, ἄλλος ἀφαιρήσεται, τῆς τε καθ᾽ ἡμέραν ἀναγκαίου τροφῆς
  πανταχοῦ ἂν ἡγούμενοι ἐπικρατεῖν, οὐ χαλεπῶς ἀπανίσταντο, καὶ δι᾽
  αὐτὸ οὔτε μεγέθει πόλεων ἴσχυον, οὔτε τῇ ἄλλῃ παρασκευῇ.

  About the distant and unfortified villages and rude habits of the
  Ætolians and Lokrians, see Thucyd. iii. 94; Pausan. x. 38, 3:
  also of the Cisalpine Gauls, Polyb. ii. 17.

  Both Thucydidês and Aristotle seem to have conceived the Homeric
  period as mainly analogous to the βάρβαροι of their own day—Λύει
  δ᾽ Ἀριστοτέλης λέγων, ὅτι τοιαῦτα ἀεὶ ποιεῖ Ὅμηρος οἷα ἦν τότε·
  ἦν δὲ τοιαῦτα τὰ παλαιὰ οἷάπερ καὶ νῦν ἐν τοῖς βαρβάροις (Schol.
  Iliad. x. 151).

The picture given by Thucydidês, of these very early and unrecorded
times, can only be taken as conjectural,—the conjectures, indeed, of
a statesman and a philosopher,—generalized too, in part, from the
many particular instances of contention and expulsion of chiefs which
he found in the old legendary poems. The Homeric poems, however,
present to us a different picture. They recognize walled towns, fixed
abodes, strong local attachments, hereditary individual property in
land, vineyards planted and carefully cultivated, established temples
of the gods, and splendid palaces of the chiefs.[195] The description
of Thucydidês belongs to a lower form of society, and bears more
analogy to that which the poet himself conceives as antiquated
and barbarous,—to the savage Cyclopes, who dwell on the tops of
mountains, in hollow caves, without the plough, without vine or fruit
culture, without arts or instruments,—or to the primitive settlement
of Dardanus son of Zeus, on the higher ground of Ida, while it was
reserved for his descendants and successors to found the holy Ilium
on the plain.[196] Ilium or Troy represents the perfection of Homeric
society. It is a consecrated spot, containing temples of the gods as
well as the palace of Priam, and surrounded by walls which are the
fabric of the gods; while the antecedent form of ruder society, which
the poet briefly glances at, is the parallel of that which the theory
of Thucydidês ascribes to his own early semi-barbarous ancestors.

  [195] Odyss. vi. 10; respecting Nausithous, past king of the

    Ἀμφὶ δὲ τεῖχος ἔλασσε πόλει, καὶ ἐδείματο οἴκους,
    Καὶ νηοὺς ποίησε θεῶν, καὶ ἐδάσσατ᾽ ἀρούρας.

  The vineyard, olive-ground, and garden of Laërtes, is a model of
  careful cultivation (Odyss. xxiv. 245); see also the shield of
  Achilles (Iliad, xvii. 541-580), and the Kalydônian plain (Iliad,
  ix. 575).

  [196] Odyss. x. 106-115; Iliad, xx. 216.

Walled towns serve thus as one of the evidences, that a large part
of the population of Greece had, even in the Homeric times, reached
a level higher than that of the Ætolians and Lokrians of the days of
Thucydidês. The remains of Mykênæ and Tiryns demonstrate the massy
and Cyclopian style of architecture employed in those early days:
but we may remark that, while modern observers seem inclined to
treat the remains of the former as very imposing, and significant
of a great princely family, Thucydidês, on the contrary, speaks
of it as a small place, and labors to elude the inference, which
might be deduced from its insignificant size, in disproof of the
grandeur of Agamemnôn.[197] Such fortifications supplied a means of
defence incomparably superior to those of attack. Indeed, even in
historical Greece, and after the invention of battering engines, no
city could be taken except by surprise or blockade, or by ruining the
country around, and thus depriving the inhabitants of their means of
subsistence. And in the two great sieges of the legendary time, Troy
and Thêbes, the former is captured by the stratagem of the wooden
horse, while the latter is evacuated by its citizens, under the
warning of the gods, after their defeat in the field.

  [197] Thucyd. i. 10. Καὶ ὅτι μὲν Μυκῆναι μικρὸν ἦν, ἢ εἴ τι τῶν
  τότε πόλισμα νῦν μὴ ἀξιόχρεων δοκεῖ εἶναι, etc.

This decided superiority of the means of defence over those of
attack, in rude ages, has been one of the grand promotive causes
both of the growth of civic life and of the general march of human
improvement. It has enabled the progressive portions of mankind not
only to maintain their acquisitions against the predatory instincts
of the ruder and poorer, and to surmount the difficulties of
incipient organization,—but ultimately, when their organization has
been matured, both to acquire predominance, and to uphold it until
their own disciplined habits have in part passed to their enemies.
The important truth here stated is illustrated not less by the
history of ancient Greece, than by that of modern Europe during the
Middle Ages. The Homeric chief, combining superior rank with superior
force, and ready to rob at every convenient opportunity, greatly
resembles the feudal baron of the Middle Ages, but circumstances
absorb him more easily into a city life, and convert the independent
potentate into the member of a governing aristocracy.[198] Traffic
by sea continued to be beset with danger from pirates, long after
it had become tolerably assured by land: the “wet ways” have always
been the last resort of lawlessness and violence, and the Ægean, in
particular, has in all times suffered more than other waters under
this calamity.

  [198] Nägelsbach, Homerische Theologie, Abschn. v. sect. 54.
  Hesiod strongly condemns robbery,—Δὼς ἀγαθὴ, ἅρπαξ δὲ κακὴ,
  θανάτοιο δότειρα (Opp. Di. 356, comp. 320); but the sentiment
  of the Grecian heroic poetry seems not to go against it,—it is
  looked upon as a natural employment of superior force,—Αὐτόματοι
  δ᾽ ἀγαθοὶ δειλῶν ἐπὶ δαῖτας ἴασιν (Athenæ. v. p. 178; comp.
  Pindar, Fragm. 48, ed. Dissen.): the long spear, sword, and
  breastplate, of the Kretan Hybreas, constitute his wealth
  (Skolion 27, p. 877; Poet. Lyric. ed. Bergk), wherewith he
  ploughs and reaps,—while the unwarlike, who dare not or cannot
  wield these weapons, fall at his feet, and call him The Great
  King. The feeling is different in the later age of Demêtrius
  Poliorkêtês (about 310 B. C.): in the Ithyphallic Ode, addressed
  to him at his entrance into Athens, robbery is treated as worthy
  only of Ætolians:—

    Αἰτωλικὸν γὰγ ἁρπάσαι τὰ τῶν πέλας,
        Νυνὶ δὲ, καὶ τὰ πόῤῥω.—

    (Poet. Lyr. xxv. p. 453, ed. Schneid.)

  The robberies of powerful men, and even highway robbery generally
  found considerable approving sentiment in the Middle Ages. “All
  Europe (observes Mr. Hallam, Hist. Mid. Ag. ch. viii. part 3, p.
  247) was a scene of intestine anarchy during the Middle Ages: and
  though England was far less exposed to the scourge of private
  war than most nations on the continent, we should find, could we
  recover the local annals of every country, such an accumulation
  of petty rapine and tumult, as would almost alienate us from the
  liberty which served to engender it.... Highway robbery was from
  the earliest times a sort of national crime.... We know how long
  the outlaws of Sherwood lived in tradition; men who, like some of
  their betters, have been permitted to redeem, by a few acts of
  generosity, the just ignominy of extensive crimes. These, indeed,
  were the heroes of vulgar applause; but when such a judge as Sir
  John Fortescue could exult, that more Englishmen were hanged
  for robbery in one year than French in seven,—and that, _if an
  Englishman be poor, and see another having riches, which may be
  taken from him by might, he will not spare to do so_,—it may be
  perceived how thoroughly these sentiments had pervaded the public

  The robberies habitually committed by the noblesse of France
  and Germany during the Middle Ages, so much worse than anything
  in England,—and those of the highland chiefs even in later
  times,—are too well known to need any references: as to France,
  an ample catalogue is set forth in Dulaure’s Histoire de la
  Noblesse (Paris, 1792). The confederations of the German cities
  chiefly originated in the necessity of keeping the roads and
  rivers open for the transit of men and goods against the nobles
  who infested the high roads. Scaliger might have found a parallel
  to the λῃσταὶ of the heroic ages in the noblesse of la Rouergue,
  as it stood even in the 16th century, which he thus describes:
  “In Comitatu Rodez pessimi sunt; nobilitas ibi latrocinatur: nec
  possunt reprimi.” (ap. Dulaure, c. 9.)

Aggressions of the sort here described were of course most numerous
in those earliest times when the Ægean was not yet an Hellenic sea,
and when many of the Cyclades were occupied, not by Greeks, but by
Karians,—perhaps by Phœnicians: the number of Karian sepulchres
discovered in the sacred island of Delus seems to attest such
occupation as an historical fact.[199] According to the legendary
account, espoused both by Herodotus and by Thucydidês, it was the
Kretan Minôs who subdued these islands and established his sons
as rulers in them; either expelling the Karians, or reducing them
to servitude and tribute.[200] Thucydidês presumes that he must
of course have put down piracy, in order to enable his tribute
to be remitted in safety, like the Athenians during the time of
their hegemony.[201] Upon the legendary thalassocraty of Minôs,
I have already remarked in another place:[202] it is sufficient
here to repeat, that, in the Homeric poems (long subsequent to
Minôs in the current chronology), we find piracy both frequent and
held in honorable estimation, as Thucydidês himself emphatically
tells us,—remarking, moreover, that the vessels of those early
days were only half-decked, built and equipped after the piratical
fashion,[203] in a manner upon which the nautical men of his time
looked back with disdain. Improved and enlarged ship-building, and
the trireme, or ship with three banks of oars, common for warlike
purposes during the Persian invasion, began only with the growing
skill, activity, and importance of the Corinthians, three quarters
of a century after the first Olympiad.[204] Corinth, even in the
Homeric poems, is distinguished by the epithet of wealthy, which it
acquired principally from its remarkable situation on the Isthmus,
and from its two harbors of Lechæum and Kenchreæ, the one on the
Corinthian, the other on the Sarônic gulf. It thus supplied a
convenient connection between Epirus and Italy on the one side, and
the Ægean sea on the other, without imposing upon the unskilful and
timid navigator of those days the necessity of circumnavigating

  [199] Thucyd. i. 4-8. τῆς νῦν Ἑλληνικῆς θαλάσσης.

  [200] Herodot. i. 171; Thucyd. i. 4-8. Isokratês (Panathenaic.
  p. 241) takes credit to Athens for having finally expelled the
  Karians out of these islands at the time of the Ionic emigration.

  [201] Thucyd. i. 4. τό τε λῃστικὸν, ~ὡς εἰκὸς~, καθῄρει ἐκ τῆς
  θαλάσσης ἐφ᾽ ὅσον ἠδύνατο, τοῦ τὰς προσόδους μᾶλλον ἰέναι αὐτῷ.

  [202] See the preceding volume of this History, Chap. xii. p. 227.

  [203] Thucyd. i. 10. τῷ παλαιῷ τρόπῳ λῃστικώτερον παρεσκευασμένα.

  [204] Thucyd. i. 13.

The extension of Grecian traffic and shipping is manifested by
a comparison of the Homeric with the Hesiodic poems; in respect
to knowledge of places and countries,—the latter being probably
referable to dates between B. C. 740 and B. C. 640. In Homer,
acquaintance is shown (the accuracy of such acquaintance, however,
being exaggerated by Strabo and other friendly critics) with
continental Greece and its neighboring islands, with Krête and the
principal islands of the Ægean, and with Thrace, the Troad, the
Hellespont, and Asia Minor between Paphlagonia northward and Lykia
southward. The Sikels are mentioned in the Odyssey, and Sikania in
the last book of that poem, but nothing is said to evince a knowledge
of Italy or the realities of the western world. Libya, Egypt, and
Phœnike, are known by name and by vague hearsay, but the Nile is
only mentioned as “the river Egypt:” while the Euxine sea is not
mentioned at all.[205] In the Hesiodic poems, on the other hand, the
Nile, the Ister, the Phasis, and the Eridanus, are all specified by
name;[206] Mount Ætna, and the island of Ortygia near to Syracuse,
the Tyrrhenians and Ligurians in the west, and the Scythians in the
north, were also noticed.[207] Indeed, within forty years after the
first Olympiad, the cities of Korkyra and Syracuse were founded from
Corinth,—the first of a numerous and powerful series of colonies,
destined to impart a new character both to the south of Italy and to

  [205] See Voelcker, Homerische Geographie, ch. iii. sect. 55-63.
  He has brought to bear much learning and ingenuity to identify
  the places visited by Odysseus with real lands, but the attempt
  is not successful. Compare also Ukert, Hom. Geog. vol. i. p.
  14, and the valuable treatises of J. H. Voss, _Alte Weltkunde_,
  annexed to the second volume of his Kritische Blätter (Stuttgart,
  1828), pp. 245-413. Voss is the father of just views respecting
  Homeric geography.

  [206] Hesiod. Theog. 338-340.

  [207] Hesiod. Theogon. 1016; Hesiod. Fragm. 190-194, ed.
  Göttling; Strabo, i. p. 16; vii. p. 300. Compare Ukert,
  Geographie der Griechen und Römer, i. p. 37.

In reference to the astronomy and physics of the Homeric Greek, it
has already been remarked that he connected together the sensible
phenomena which form the subject matter of these sciences by threads
of religious and personifying fancy, to which the real analogies
among them were made subordinate; and that these analogies did
not begin to be studied by themselves, apart from the religious
element by which they had been at first overlaid, until the age
of Thales,—coinciding as that period did with the increased
opportunities for visiting Egypt and the interior of Asia. The
Greeks obtained access in both of these countries to an enlarged
stock of astronomical observations, to the use of the gnomon, or
sundial,[208] and to a more exact determination of the length of
the solar year,[209] than that which served as the basis of their
various lunar periods. It is pretended that Thales was the first who
predicted an eclipse of the sun,—not, indeed, accurately, but with
large limits of error as to the time of its occurrence,—and that
he also possessed so profound an acquaintance with meteorological
phenomena and probabilities, as to be able to foretell an abundant
crop of olives for the coming year, and to realize a large sum of
money by an olive speculation.[210]

  [208] The Greeks learned from the Babylonians, πόλον μὲν γὰρ καὶ
  γνώμονα καὶ τὰ δυωκαίδεκα μέρεα τῆς ἡμέρης (Herodot. ii. 109). In
  my first edition, I had interpreted the word πόλον in Herodotus
  erroneously. I now believe it to mean the same as _horologium_,
  the circular plate upon which the vertical gnomon projected its
  shadow, marked so as to indicate the hour of the day,—twelve
  hours between sunrise and sunset: see Ideler, Handbuch der
  Chronologie, vol. i. p. 233. Respecting the opinions of Thales,
  see the same work, part ii. pp. 18-57; Plutarch. de Placit.
  Philosophor. ii. c. 12; Aristot. de Cœlo, ii. 13. Costard, Rise
  and Progress of Astronomy among the Ancients, p. 99.

  [209] We have very little information respecting the early
  Grecian mode of computing time, and we know that though all the
  different states computed by lunar periods, yet most, if not
  all, of them had different names of months as well as different
  days of beginning and ending their months. All their immediate
  computations, however, were made by months: the lunar period
  was their immediate standard of reference for determining their
  festivals, and for other purposes, the solar period being
  resorted to only as a corrective, to bring the same months
  constantly into the same seasons of the year. Their original
  month had thirty days, and was divided into three decades,
  as it continued to be during the times of historical Athens
  (Hesiod. Opp. Di. 766). In order to bring this lunar period more
  nearly into harmony with the sun, they intercalated every year
  an additional month: so that their years included alternately
  twelve months and thirteen months, each month of thirty days.
  This period was called a Dieteris,—sometimes a Trieteris. Solon
  is said to have first introduced the fashion of months differing
  in length, varying alternately from thirty to twenty-nine days.
  It appears, however, that Herodotus had present to his mind the
  Dieteric cycle, or years alternating between thirteen months and
  twelve months (each month of thirty days), and no other (Herodot.
  i. 32; compare ii. 104). As astronomical knowledge improved,
  longer and more elaborate periods were calculated, exhibiting a
  nearer correspondence between an integral number of lunations and
  an integral number of solar years. First, we find a period of
  four years; next, the Octaëteris, or period of eight years, or
  seventy-nine lunar months; lastly, the Metonic period of nineteen
  years, or 235 lunar months. How far any of these larger periods
  were ever legally authorized, or brought into civil usage,
  even at Athens, is matter of much doubt. See Ideler, Uber die
  Astronomischen Beobachtungen der Alten, pp. 175-195; Macrobius,
  Saturnal. i. 13.

  [210] Herodot. i. 74; Aristot. Polit. i. 4, 5.

From Thales downward we trace a succession of astronomical and
physical theories, more or less successful, into which I do not
intend here to enter: it is sufficient at present to contrast the
father of the Ionic philosophy with the times preceding him, and
to mark the first commencement of scientific prediction among the
Greeks, however imperfect at the outset, as distinguished from the
inspired dicta of prophets or oracles, and from those special signs
of the purposes of the gods, which formed the habitual reliance of
the Homeric man.[211] We shall see these two modes of anticipating
the future,—one based upon the philosophical, the other upon
the religious appreciation of nature,—running simultaneously on
throughout Grecian history, and sharing between them in unequal
portions the empire of the Greek mind; the former acquiring both
greater predominance and wider application among the intellectual
men, and partially restricting, but never abolishing, the spontaneous
employment of the latter among the vulgar.

  [211] Odyss. iii. 173.—

    Ἠτέομεν δὲ θεὸν φαίνειν τέρας· αὐτὰρ ὅγ᾽ ἡμῖν
    Δεῖξε, καὶ ἠνώγει πέλαγος μέσον εἰς Εὔβοιαν
    Τέμνειν, etc.

  Compare Odyss. xx. 100; Iliad, i. 62; Eurip. Suppl. 216-230.

Neither coined money, nor the art of writing,[212] nor painting,
nor sculpture, nor imaginative architecture, belong to the Homeric
and Hesiodic times. Such rudiments of arts, destined ultimately to
acquire so great a development in Greece, as may have existed in
these early days, served only as a sort of nucleus to the fancy of
the poet, to shape out for himself the fabulous creations ascribed
to Hephæstus or Dædalus. No statues of the gods, not even of wood,
are mentioned in the Homeric poems. All the many varieties, in
Grecian music, poetry, and dancing,—the former chiefly borrowed
from Lydia and Phrygia,—date from a period considerably later than
the first Olympiad: Terpander, the earliest musician whose date is
assigned, and the inventor of the harp with seven strings instead of
that with four strings, does not come until the 26th Olympiad, or 676
B. C.: the poet Archilochus is nearly of the same date. The iambic
and elegiac metres—the first deviations from the primitive epic
strain and subject—do not reach up to the year 700 B. C.

  [212] The σήματα λυγρὰ mentioned in the Iliad, vi. 168, if they
  prove anything, are rather an evidence against, than for, the
  existence of alphabetical writing at the times when the Iliad was

It is this epic poetry which forms at once both the undoubted
prerogative and the solitary jewel of the earliest era of Greece. Of
the many epic poems which existed in Greece during the eight century
before the Christian era, none have been preserved except the Iliad
and Odyssey: the Æthiopis of Arktinus, the Ilias Minor of Lesches,
the Cyprian Verses, the Capture of Œchalia, the Returns of the Heroes
from Troy, the Thêbaïs and the Epigoni,—several of them passing in
antiquity under the name of Homer,—have all been lost. But the two
which remain are quite sufficient to demonstrate in the primitive
Greeks, a mental organization unparalleled in any other people,
and powers of invention and expression which prepared, as well as
foreboded, the future eminence of the nation in all the various
departments to which thought and language can be applied. Great as
the power of thought afterwards became among the Greeks, their power
of expression was still greater: in the former, other nations have
built upon their foundations and surpassed them,—in the latter,
they still remained unrivalled. It is not too much to say that this
flexible, emphatic, and transparent character of the language as an
instrument of communication,—its perfect aptitude for narrative and
discussion, as well as for stirring all the veins of human emotion
without ever forfeiting that character of simplicity which adapts
it to all men and all times,—may be traced mainly to the existence
and the wide-spread influence of the Iliad and Odyssey. To us, these
compositions are interesting as beautiful poems, depicting life and
manners, and unfolding certain types of character with the utmost
vivacity and artlessness: to their original hearer, they possessed
all these sources of attraction, together with others more powerful
still, to which we are now strangers. Upon him, they bore with the
full weight and solemnity of history and religion combined, while the
charm of the poetry was only secondary and instrumental. The poet was
then the teacher and preacher of the community, not simply the amuser
of their leisure hours: they looked to him for revelations of the
unknown past and for expositions of the attributes and dispensations
of the gods, just as they consulted the prophet for his privileged
insight into the future. The ancient epic comprised many different
poets and poetical compositions, which fulfilled this purpose with
more or less completeness: but it is the exclusive prerogative of
the Iliad and Odyssey, that, after the minds of men had ceased to
be in full harmony with their original design, they yet retained
their empire by the mere force of secondary excellences: while the
remaining epics—though serving as food for the curious, and as
storehouses for logographers, tragedians, and artists—never seem to
have acquired very wide popularity even among intellectual Greeks.

I shall, in the succeeding chapter, give some account of the epic
cycle, of its relation to the Homeric poems, and of the general
evidences respecting the latter, both as to antiquity and authorship.



At the head of the once abundant epical compositions of Greece,
most of them unfortunately lost, stand the Iliad and Odyssey, with
the immortal name of Homer attached to each of them, embracing
separate portions of the comprehensive legend of Troy. They form
the type of what may be called the heroic epic of the Greeks, as
distinguished from the genealogical, in which latter species some
of the Hesiodic poems—the Catalogue of Women, the Eoiai, and the
Naupaktia—stood conspicuous. Poems of the Homeric character (if so
it may be called, though the expression is very indefinite,)—being
confined to one of the great events, or great personages of Grecian
legendary antiquity, and comprising a limited number of characters,
all contemporaneous, made some approach, more or less successful, to
a certain poetical unity; while the Hesiodic poems, tamer in their
spirit, and unconfined both as to time and as to persons, strung
together distinct events without any obvious view to concentration
of interest,—without legitimate beginning or end.[213] Between these
two extremes there were many gradations: biographical poems, such
as the Herakleia, or Theseïs, recounting all the principal exploits
performed by one single hero, present a character intermediate
between the two, but bordering more closely on the Hesiodic. Even the
hymns to the gods, which pass under the name of Homer, are epical
fragments, narrating particular exploits or adventures of the god

  [213] Aristot. Poet. c. 17-37. He points out and explains the
  superior structure of the Iliad and Odyssey, as compared with the
  semi Homeric and biographical poems: but he takes no notice of
  the Hesiodic, or genealogical.

Both the didactic and the mystico-religious poetry of Greece began in
Hexameter verse,—the characteristic and consecrated measure of the
epic:[214] but they belong to a different species, and burst out from
a different vein in the Grecian mind. It seems to have been the more
common belief among the historical Greeks, that such mystic effusions
were more ancient than their narrative poems, and that Orpheus,
Musæus, Linus, Olên, Pamphus, and even Hesiod, etc., etc., the
reputed composers of the former, were of earlier date than Homer. But
there is no evidence to sustain this opinion, and the presumptions
are all against it. Those compositions, which in the sixth century
before the Christian era passed under the name of Orpheus and Musæus,
seem to have been unquestionably post-Homeric, nor can we even admit
the modified conclusion of Hermann, Ulrici, and others, that the
mystic poetry as a genus (putting aside the particular compositions
falsely ascribed to Orpheus and others) preceded in order of time the

  [214] Aristot. Poetic. c. 41. He considers the Hexameter to be
  the _natural_ measure of narrative poetry: any other would be

  [215] Ulrici, Geschichte des Griechischen Epos, 5te Vorlesung,
  pp. 96-108; G. Hermann, Ueber Homer und Sappho, in his Opuscula,
  tom. vi. p. 89.

  The superior antiquity of Orpheus as compared with Homer passed
  as a received position to the classical Romans (Horat. Art. Poet.

Besides the Iliad and Odyssey, we make out the titles of about thirty
lost epic poems, sometimes with a brief hint of their contents.

Concerning the legend of Troy there were five: the Cyprian Verses,
the Æthiopis, and the Capture of Troy, both ascribed to Arktinus; the
lesser Iliad, ascribed to Leschês; the Returns (of the Heroes from
Troy), to which the name of Hagias of Trœzên is attached; and the
Telegonia, by Eugammôn, a continuation of the Odyssey. Two poems,—the
Thebaïs and the Epigoni (perhaps two parts of one and the same poem)
were devoted to the legend of Thebês,—the two sieges of that city by
the Argeians. Another poem, called Œdipodia, had for its subject the
tragical destiny of Œdipus and his family; and perhaps that which is
cited as Eurôpia, or verses on Eurôpa, may have comprehended the tale
of her brother Kadmus, the mythical founder of Thebês.[216]

  [216] Respecting these lost epics, see Düntzer, Collection of the
  Fragmenta Epicor. Græcorum; Wüllner, De Cyclo Epico, pp. 43-66;
  and Mr. Fynes Clinton’s Chronology, vol. iii. pp. 349-359.

The exploits of Hêraklês were celebrated in two compositions, each
called Hêrakleia, by Kinæthôn and Pisander,—probably also in many
others, of which the memory has not been preserved. The capture
of Œchalia, by Hêraklês, formed the subject of a separate epic.
Two other poems, the Ægimius and the Minyas, are supposed to have
been founded on other achievements of this hero,—the effective aid
which he lent to the Dorian king Ægimius against the Lapithæ, his
descent to the under-world for the purpose of rescuing the imprisoned
Thêseus, and his conquest of the city of the Minyæ, the powerful

  [217] Welcker, Der Epische Kyklus, pp. 256-266; Apollodôr. ii. 7,
  7; Diodôr. iv. 37; O. Müller, Dorians, i. 28.

Other epic poems—the Phorônis, the Danaïs, the Alkmæônis, the Atthis,
the Amazonia—we know only by name, and can just guess obscurely at
their contents so far as the name indicates.[218] The Titanomachia,
the Gigantomachia, and the Corinthiaca, three compositions all
ascribed to Eumêlus, afford by means of their titles an idea somewhat
clearer of the matter which they comprised. The Theogony ascribed
to Hesiod still exists, though partially corrupt and mutilated: but
there seem to have been other poems, now lost, of the like import and

  [218] Welcker (Der Epische Kyklus, p. 209) considers the
  Alkmæônis as the same with the Epigoni, and the Atthis of
  Hegesinous the same with the Amazonia: in Suidas (v. Ὅμηρος) the
  latter is among the poems ascribed to Homer.

  Leutsch (Thebaidos Cyclicæ Reliquiæ, pp. 12-14) views the Thebaïs
  and the Epigoni as different parts of the same poem.

Of the poems composed in the Hesiodic style, diffusive and full of
genealogical detail, the principal were, the Catalogue of Women and
the Great Eoiai; the latter of which, indeed, seems to have been a
continuation of the former. A large number of the celebrated women of
heroic Greece were commemorated in these poems, one after the other,
without any other than an arbitrary bond of connection. The Marriage
of Kêyx,—the Melampodia,—and a string of fables called Astronomia,
are farther ascribed to Hesiod: and the poem above mentioned, called
Ægimius, is also sometimes connected with his name, sometimes with
that of Kerkops. The Naupaktian Verses (so called, probably, from
the birthplace of their author), and the genealogies of Kinæthôn and
Asius, were compositions of the same rambling character, as far as we
can judge from the scanty fragments remaining.[219] The Orchomenian
epic poet Chersias, of whom two lines only are preserved to us by
Pausanias, may reasonably be referred to the same category.[220]

  [219] See the Fragments of Hesiod, Eumêlus, Kinæthôn, and Asius,
  in the collections of Marktscheffel, Düntzer, Göttling, and

  I have already, in going over the ground of Grecian legend,
  referred to all these lost poems, in their proper places.

  [220] Pausan. ix. 38, 6; Plutarch, Sept. Sap. Conv. p. 156.

The oldest of the epic poets, to whom any date, carrying with it the
semblance of authority, is assigned, is Arktinus of Milêtus, who
is placed by Eusebius in the first Olympiad, and by Suidas in the
ninth. Eugammôn, the author of the Telegonia, and the latest of the
catalogue, is placed in the fifty-third Olympiad, B. C. 566. Between
these two we find Asius and Leschês, about the thirtieth Olympiad,—a
time when the vein of the ancient epic was drying up, and when other
forms of poetry—elegiac, iambic, lyric, and choric—had either already
arisen, or were on the point of arising, to compete with it.[221]

  [221] See Mr. Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici, about the date of
  Arktinus, vol i. p. 350.

It has already been stated in a former chapter, that in the early
commencements of prose-writing, Hekatæus, Pherekydês, and other
logographers, made it their business to extract from the ancient fables
something like a continuous narrative, chronologically arranged. It
was upon a principle somewhat analogous that the Alexandrine literati,
about the second century before the Christian era,[222] arranged the
multitude of old epic poets into a series founded on the supposed order
of time in the events narrated,—beginning with the intermarriage of
Uranus and Gæa, and the Theogony,—and concluding with the death of
Odysseus by the hands of his son Telegonus. This collection passed
by the name of the Epic Cycle, and the poets, whose compositions
were embodied in it, were termed Cyclic poets. Doubtless, the epical
treasures of the Alexandrine library were larger than had ever before
been brought together and submitted to men both of learning and
leisure: so that multiplication of such compositions in the same museum
rendered it advisable to establish some fixed order of perusal, and
to copy them in one corrected and uniform edition.[223] It pleased
the critics to determine precedence, neither by antiquity nor by
excellence of the compositions themselves, but by the supposed sequence
of narrative, so that the whole taken together constituted a readable
aggregate of epical antiquity.

  [222] Perhaps Zenodotus, the superintendent of the Alexandrine
  library under Ptolemy Philadelphus, in the third century B.
  C.: there is a Scholion on Plautus, published not many years
  ago by Osann, and since more fully by Ritschl,—“Cæcius in
  commento Comœdiarum Aristophanis in Pluto,—Alexander Ætolus, et
  Lycophron Chalcidensis, et Zenodotus Ephesius, impulsu regis
  Ptolemæi, Philadelphi cognomento, artis poetices libros in unum
  collegerunt et in ordinem redegerunt. Alexander tragœdias,
  Lycophron comœdias, Zenodotus vero Homeri poemata et reliquorum
  illustrium poetarum.” See Lange, Ueber die Kyklischen Dichter, p.
  56 (Mainz. 1837); Welcker, Der Epische Kyklus, p. 8; Ritschl, Die
  Alexandrinischen Bibliotheken, p. 3 (Breslau, 1838).

  Lange disputes the sufficiency of this passage as proof that
  Zenodotus was the framer of the Epic Cycle: his grounds are,
  however, unsatisfactory to me.

  [223] That there existed a cyclic copy or edition of the Odyssey
  (ἡ κυκλικὴ) is proved by two passages in the Scholia (xvi. 195;
  xvii. 25), with Boeckh’s remark in Buttmann’s edition: this was
  the Odyssey copied or edited along with the other poems of the

  Our word to _edit_—or _edition_—suggests ideas not exactly suited
  to the proceedings of the Alexandrine library, in which we cannot
  expect to find anything like what is now called _publication_.
  That magnificent establishment, possessing a large collection of
  epical manuscripts, and ample means of every kind at command,
  would naturally desire to have these compositions put in order
  and corrected by skilful hands, and then carefully copied for the
  use of the library. Such copy constitutes the cyclic _edition_:
  they might perhaps cause or permit duplicates to be made, but the
  ἔκδοσις or edition was complete without them.

Much obscurity[224] exists, and many different opinions have been
expressed, respecting this Epic Cycle: I view it, not as an exclusive
canon, but simply as an all-comprehensive classification, with a new
edition founded thereupon. It would include all the epic poems in the
library older than the Telegonia, and apt for continuous narrative;
it would exclude only two classes,—first, the recent epic poets, such
as Panyasis and Antimachus; next, the genealogical and desultory
poems, such as the Catalogue of Women, the Eoiai, and others,
which could not be made to fit in to any chronological sequence of
events.[225] Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were comprised in the
Cycle, so that the denomination of cyclic poet did not originally
or designedly carry with it any association of contempt. But as the
great and capital poems were chiefly spoken of by themselves, or
by the title of their own separate authors, so the general name of
_poets of the Cycle_ came gradually to be applied only to the worst,
and thus to imply vulgarity or common-place; the more so, as many of
the inferior compositions included in the collection seem to have
been anonymous, and their authors in consequence describable only
under some such common designation as that of the cyclic poets. It
is in this manner that we are to explain the disparaging sentiment
connected by Horace and others with the idea of a cyclic writer,
though no such sentiment was implied in the original meaning of the
Epic Cycle.

  [224] Respecting the great confusion in which the Epic Cycle
  is involved, see the striking declaration of Buttmann, Addenda
  ad Scholia in Odysseum, p. 575: compare the opinions of the
  different critics, as enumerated at the end of Welcker’s
  treatise, Episch. Kyk. pp. 420-453.

  [225] Our information respecting the Epic Cycle is derived from
  Eutychius Proclus, a literary man of Sicca during the second
  century of the Christian era, and tutor of Marcus Antoninus (Jul.
  Capitolin. Vit. Marc. c. 2),—not from Proclus, called Diadochus,
  the new-Platonic philosopher of the fifth century, as Heyne,
  Mr. Clinton, and others have imagined. The fragments from his
  work called Chrestomathia, give arguments of several of the lost
  cyclic poems connected with the Siege of Troy, communicating the
  important fact that the Iliad and Odyssey were included in the
  cycle, and giving the following description of the principle upon
  which it was arranged: Διαλαμβάνει δὲ περὶ τοῦ λεγομένου ἐπικοῦ
  κύκλου, ὃς ἄρχεται μὲν ἐκ τῆς Οὐράνου καὶ Γῆς ὁμολογουμένης
  μίξεως ... καὶ περατοῦται ὁ ἐπικὸς κύκλος, ἐκ διαφόρων ποιητῶν
  συμπληρούμενος, μέχρι τῆς ἀποβάσεως Ὀδυσσέως.... Λέγει δὲ ὡς
  τοῦ ἐπικοῦ κύκλου τὰ ποιήματα διασώζεται καὶ σπουδάζεται τοῖς
  πολλοῖς, οὐχ οὕτω διὰ τὴν ἀρετὴν, ὡς διὰ τὴν ~ἀκολουθίαν τῶν ἐν
  αὐτῇ πραγμάτων~ (ap. Photium, cod. 239).

  This much-commented passage, while it clearly marks out the
  cardinal principle of the Epic Cycle (ἀκολουθία πραγμάτων),
  neither affirms nor denies anything respecting the excellence of
  the constituent poems. Proclus speaks of the taste common in his
  own time (σπουδάζεται τοῖς πολλοῖς): there was not much relish in
  his time for these poems as such, but people were much interested
  in the sequence of epical events. The abstracts which he himself
  drew up in the form of arguments of several poems, show that he
  adapted himself to this taste. We cannot collect from his words
  that he intended to express any opinion of his own respecting the
  goodness or badness of the cyclic poems.

The poems of the Cycle were thus mentioned in contrast and antithesis
with Homer,[226] though originally the Iliad and Odyssey had both
been included among them: and this alteration of the meaning of the
word has given birth to a mistake as to the primary purpose of the
classification, as if it had been designed especially to part off
the inferior epic productions from Homer. But while some critics
are disposed to distinguish the cyclic poets too pointedly from
Homer, I conceive that Welcker goes too much into the other extreme,
and identifies the Cycle too closely with that poet. He construes
it as a classification deliberately framed to comprise all the
various productions of the Homeric epic, with its unity of action
and comparative paucity, both of persons and adventures,—as opposed
to the Hesiodic epic, crowded with separate persons and pedigrees,
and destitute of central action as well as of closing catastrophe.
This opinion does, indeed, coincide to a great degree with the fact,
inasmuch as few of the Hesiodic epics appear to have been included in
the Cycle: to say that _none_ were included, would be too much, for
we cannot venture to set aside either the Theogony or the Ægimius;
but we may account for their absence perfectly well without supposing
any design to exclude them, for it is obvious that their rambling
character (like that of the Metamorphoses of Ovid) forbade the
possibility of interweaving them in any continuous series. Continuity
in the series of narrated events, coupled with a certain degree of
antiquity in the poems, being the principle on which the arrangement
called the Epic Cycle was based, the Hesiodic poems generally were
excluded, not from any preconceived intention, but because they could
not be brought into harmony with such orderly reading.

  [226] The gradual growth of a contemptuous feeling towards the
  _scriptor cyclicus_ (Horat. Ars. Poetic. 136), which was not
  originally implied in the name, is well set forth by Lange (Ueber
  die Kyklisch. Dicht. pp. 53-56).

  Both Lange (pp. 36-41), however, and Ulrici (Geschichte des
  Griech. Epos, 9te Vorles. p. 418) adopt another opinion
  with respect to the cycle, which I think unsupported and
  inadmissible,—that the several constituent poems were not
  received into it entire (_i. e._ with only such changes as were
  requisite for a corrected text), but cut down and abridged in
  such manner as to produce an _exact_ continuity of narrative.
  Lange even imagines that the cyclic Odyssey was thus dealt
  with. But there seems no evidence to countenance this theory,
  which would convert the Alexandrine literati from critics into
  logographers. That the cyclic Iliad and Odyssey were the same in
  the main (allowing for corrections of text) as the common Iliad
  and Odyssey, is shown by the fact, that Proclus merely names them
  in the series without giving any abstract of their contents: they
  were too well known to render such a process necessary. Nor does
  either the language of Proclus, or that of Cæcius as applied to
  Zenodotus, indicate any transformation applied to the poets whose
  works are described to have been brought together and put into a
  certain order.

  The hypothesis of Lange is founded upon the idea that the
  (ἀκολουθία πραγμάτων) continuity of narrated events must
  necessarily have been exact and without break, as if the
  whole constituted one work. But this would not be possible,
  let the framers do what they might: moreover, in the attempt,
  the individuality of all the constituent poets must have been
  sacrificed, in such manner that it would be absurd to discuss
  their separate merits.

  The continuity of narrative in the Epic Cycle could not have been
  more than approximate,—as complete as the poems composing it
  would admit: nevertheless, it would be correct to say that the
  poems were arranged in series upon this principle and upon no
  other. The librarians might have arranged in like manner the vast
  mass of tragedies in their possession (if they had chosen to do
  so) upon the principle of sequence in the subjects: had they done
  so, the series would have formed a _Tragic Cycle_.

What were the particular poems which it comprised, we cannot now
determine with exactness. Welcker arranges them as follows:
Titanomachia, Danaïs, Amazonia (or Atthis), Œdipodia, Thebaïs (or
Expedition of Amphiaräus), Epigoni (or Alkmæônis), Minyas (or
Phokaïs), Capture of Œchalia, Cyprian Verses, Iliad, Æthiopis,
Lesser Iliad, Iliupersis or the Taking of Troy, Returns of the
Heroes, Odyssey, and Telegonia. Wuellner, Lange, and Mr. Fynes
Clinton enlarge the list of cyclic poems still farther.[227] But
all such reconstructions of the Cycle are conjectural and destitute
of authority: the only poems which we can affirm on positive
grounds to have been comprehended in it, are, first, the series
respecting the heroes of Troy, from the Cypria to the Telegonia,
of which Proclus has preserved the arguments, and which includes
the Iliad and Odyssey,—next, the old Thebaïs, which is expressly
termed cyclic,[228] in order to distinguish it from the poem of the
same name composed by Antimachus. In regard to other particular
compositions, we have no evidence to guide us, either for admission
or exclusion, except our general views as to the scheme upon
which the Cycle was framed. If my idea of that scheme be correct,
the Alexandrine critics arranged therein _all_ their old epical
treasures, down to the Telegonia,—the good as well as the bad; gold,
silver, and iron,—provided only they could be pieced in with the
narrative series. But I cannot venture to include, as Mr. Clinton
does, the Eurôpia, the Phorônis, and other poems of which we know
only the names, because it is uncertain whether their contents were
such as to fulfil their primary condition: nor can I concur with him
in thinking that, where there were two or more poems of the same
title and subject, one of them must necessarily have been adopted
into the Cycle to the exclusion of the others. There may have been
two Theogonies, or two Herakleias, both comprehended in the Cycle;
the purpose being (as I before remarked), not to sift the better from
the worse, but to determine some fixed order, convenient for reading
and reference, amidst a multiplicity of scattered compositions, as
the basis of a new, entire, and corrected edition.

  [227] Welcker, Der Epische Kyklus, pp. 37-41; Wuellner, De Cyclo
  Epico, p. 43, _seq._; Lange, Ueber die Kyklischen Dichter, p. 47;
  Clinton, Fasti Hellenici, vol. i. p. 349.

  [228] Schol. Pindar. Olymp. vi. 26; Athenæ. xi. p. 465.

Whatever may have been the principle on which the cyclic poems were
originally strung together, they are all now lost, except those two
unrivalled diamonds, whose brightness, dimming all the rest, has
alone sufficed to confer imperishable glory even upon the earliest
phase of Grecian life. It has been the natural privilege of the Iliad
and Odyssey, from the rise of Grecian philology down to the present
day, to provoke an intense curiosity, which, even in the historical
and literary days of Greece, there were no assured facts to satisfy.
These compositions are the monuments of an age essentially religious
and poetical, but essentially also unphilosophical, unreflecting, and
unrecording: the nature of the case forbids our having any authentic
transmitted knowledge respecting such a period; and the lesson must
be learned, hard and painful though it be, that no imaginable reach
of critical acumen will of itself enable us to discriminate fancy
from reality, in the absence of a tolerable stock of evidence. After
the numberless comments and acrimonious controversies[229] to which
the Homeric poems have given rise, it can hardly be said that any of
the points originally doubtful have obtained a solution such as to
command universal acquiescence. To glance at all these controversies,
however briefly, would far transcend the limits of the present work;
but the most abridged Grecian history would be incomplete without
some inquiry respecting _the Poet_ (so the Greek critics in their
veneration denominated Homer), and the productions which pass now, or
have heretofore passed, under his name.

  [229] It is a memorable illustration of that bitterness which has
  so much disgraced the controversies of literary men in _all_ ages
  (I fear, we can make no exception), when we find Pausanias saying
  that he had examined into the ages of Hesiod and Homer with the
  most laborious scrutiny, but that he knew too well the calumnious
  dispositions of contemporary critics and poets, to declare what
  conclusion he had come to (Paus. ix. 30, 2): Περὶ δὲ Ἡσιόδου τε
  ἡλικίας καὶ Ὁμήρου, πολυπραγμονήσαντι ἐς τὸ ἀκριβέστατον οὔ μοι
  γράφειν ἡδὺ ἦν, ἐπισταμένῳ τὸ φιλαίτιον ἄλλων τε καὶ οὐχ ἥκιστα
  ὅσοι κατ᾽ ἐμὲ ἐπὶ ποιήσει τῶν ἐπῶν καθεστήκεσαν.

Who or what was Homer? What date is to be assigned to him? What were
his compositions?

A person, putting these questions to Greeks of different towns
and ages, would have obtained answers widely discrepant and
contradictory. Since the invaluable labors of Aristarchus and the
other Alexandrine critics on the text of the Iliad and Odyssey,
it has, indeed, been customary to regard those two (putting aside
the Hymns, and a few other minor poems) as being the only genuine
Homeric compositions: and the literary men called Chorizontes, or the
Separators, at the head of whom were Xenôn and Hellanikus, endeavored
still farther to reduce the number by disconnecting the Iliad and
Odyssey, and pointing out that both could not be the work of the
same author. Throughout the whole course of Grecian antiquity, the
Iliad and the Odyssey, and the Hymns, have been received as Homeric:
but if we go back to the time of Herodotus, or still earlier, we
find that several other epics also were ascribed to Homer,—and there
were not wanting[230] critics, earlier than the Alexandrine age,
who regarded the whole Epic Cycle, together with the satirical poem
called Margitês, the Batrachomyomachia, and other smaller pieces, as
Homeric works. The cyclic Thebaïs and the Epigoni (whether they be
two separate poems, or the latter a second part of the former) were
in early days currently ascribed to Homer: the same was the case
with the Cyprian Verses: some even attributed to him several other
poems,[231] the Capture of Œchalia, the Lesser Iliad, the Phokaïs,
and the Amazonia. The title of the poem called Thebaïs to be styled
Homeric, depends upon evidence more ancient than any which can be
produced to authenticate the Iliad and Odyssey: for Kallinus, the
ancient elegiac poet (B. C. 640), mentioned Homer as the author of
it,—and his opinion was shared by many other competent judges.[232]
From the remarkable description given by Herodotus, of the expulsion
of the rhapsodes from Sikyôn, by the despot Kleisthenês, in the time
of Solôn (about B. C. 580), we may form a probable judgment that the
Thebaïs and the Epigoni were then rhapsodized at Sikyôn as Homeric
productions.[233] And it is clear from the language of Herodotus,
that in his time the general opinion ascribed to Homer both the
Cyprian Verses and the Epigoni, though he himself dissents.[234] In
spite of such dissent, however, that historian must have conceived
the names of Homer and Hesiod to be nearly coextensive with the
whole of the ancient epic; otherwise, he would hardly have delivered
his memorable judgment, that they two were the framers of Grecian

  [230] See the extract of Proclus, in Photius Cod. 239.

  [231] Suidas, v. Ὅμηρος; Eustath. ad Iliad. ii. p. 330.

  [232] Pausan. ix. 9, 3. The name of Kallinus in that passage
  seems certainly correct: Τὰ δὲ ἔπη ταῦτα (the Thebaïs) Καλλῖνος,
  ἀφικόμενος αὐτῶν ἐς μνήμην, ἔφησεν Ὅμηρον τὸν ποιήσαντα εἶναι·
  Καλλίνῳ δὲ πολλοί τε καὶ ἄξιοι λόγου κατὰ ταὐτὰ ἔγνωσαν. Ἐγὼ δὲ
  τὴν ποίησιν ταύτην μετά γε Ἰλιάδα καὶ Ὀδύσσειαν ἐπαινῶ μάλιστα.

  To the same purpose the author of the Certamen of Hesiod and
  Homer, and the pseudo-Herodotus (Vit. Homer, c. 9). The Ἀμφιαρέω
  ἐξελασία, alluded to in Suidas as the production of Homer, may be
  reasonably identified with the Thebaïs (Suidas, v. Ὅμηρος).

  The cyclographer Dionysius, who affirmed that Homer had lived
  both in the Theban and the Trojan wars, must have recognized that
  poet as author of the Thebaïs as well as of the Iliad (ap. Procl.
  ad Hesiod. p. 3).

  [233] Herodot. v. 67. Κλεισθένης γὰρ Ἀργείοισι πολεμήσας—τοῦτο
  μὲν, ῥαψῳδοὺς ἔπαυσε ἐν Σικυῶνι ἀγωνίζεσθαι, τῶν Ὁμηρείων ἐπέων
  εἵνεκα, ὅτι Ἀργεῖοί τε καὶ Ἄργος τὰ πολλὰ πάντα ὑμνέαται—τοῦτο
  δὲ, ἡρῴον γὰρ ἦν καὶ ἔστι ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἀγορᾷ τῶν Σικυωνίων
  Ἀδρήστου τοῦ Ταλαοῦ, τοῦτον ἐπεθύμησε ὁ Κλεισθένης, ἐόντα
  Ἀργεῖον, ἐκβαλεῖν ἐκ τῆς χώρης. Herodotus then goes on to relate
  how Kleisthenês carried into effect his purpose of banishing
  the hero Adrastus: first, he applied to the Delphian Apollo,
  for permission to do so directly, and avowedly; next, on that
  permission being refused, he made application to the Thebans,
  to allow him to introduce into Sikyôn their hero Melanippus,
  the bitter enemy of Adrastus in the old Theban legend; by their
  consent, he consecrated a chapel to Melanippus in the most
  commanding part of the Sikyonian agora, and then transferred to
  the newly-imported hero the rites and festivals which had before
  been given to Adrastus.

  Taking in conjunction all the points of this very curious tale, I
  venture to think that the rhapsodes incurred the displeasure of
  Kleisthenês by reciting, not the Homeric Iliad, but the _Homeric
  Thebaïs and Epigoni_. The former does not answer the conditions
  of the narrative: the latter fulfils them accurately.

  1. It cannot be said, even by the utmost latitude of speech,
  that, in the Iliad, “Little else is sung except Argos and the
  Argeians,”—(“in illis ubique fere nonnisi Argos et Argivi
  celebrantur,”)—is the translation of Schweighäuser: Argos is
  rarely mentioned in it, and never exalted into any primary
  importance: the Argeians, as inhabitants of Argos separately,
  are never noticed at all: that name is applied in the Iliad, in
  common with the _Achæans_ and _Danaans_, only to the general body
  of Greeks,—and even applied to them much less frequently than the
  name of _Achæans_.

  2. Adrastus is twice, and only twice, mentioned in the Iliad,
  as master of the wonderful horse Areion, and as father-in-law
  of Tydeus; but he makes no figure in the poem, and attracts no

  Wherefore, though Kleisthenês might have been ever so much
  incensed against Argos and Adrastus, there seems no reason why he
  should have interdicted the rhapsodes from reciting the Iliad. On
  the other hand, the Thebaïs and Epigoni could not fail to provoke
  him especially. For,

  1. Argos and its inhabitants were the grand subject of the poem,
  and the proclaimed assailants in the expedition against Thêbes.
  Though the poem itself is lost, the first line of it has been
  preserved (Leutsch, Theb. Cycl. Reliq. p. 5; compare Sophoclês,
  Œd. Col. 380 with Scholia),—

    Ἄργος ἄειδε, θεὰ, πολυδίψιον, ἔνθεν ἄνακτες, etc.

  2. Adrastus was king of Argos, and the chief of the expedition.
  It is therefore literally true, that Argos and the Argeians were
  “the burden of the song” in these two poems.

  To this we may add—

  1. The rhapsodes would have the strongest motive to recite the
  Thebaïs and Epigoni at Sikyôn, where Adrastus was worshipped and
  enjoyed so vast a popularity, and where he even attracted to
  himself the choric solemnities which in other towns were given to

  2. The means which Kleisthenês took to get rid of Adrastus
  indicates a special reference to the Thebaïs: he invited from
  Thêbes the hero Melanippus, the _Hector_ of Thêbes, in that very

  For these reasons, I think we may conclude that the Ὁμήρεια ἔπη,
  alluded to in this very illustrative story of Herodotus, are the
  Thebaïs and the Epigoni, not the Iliad.

  [234] Herodot. ii. 117; iv. 32. The words in which Herodotus
  intimates his own dissent from the reigning opinion, are treated
  as spurious by F. A. Wolf, and vindicated by Schweighäuser:
  whether they be admitted or not, the general currency of the
  opinion adverted to is equally evident.

The many different cities which laid claim to the birth of Homer
(seven is rather below the truth, and Smyrna and Chios are the most
prominent among them,) is well known, and most of them had legends
to tell respecting his romantic parentage, his alleged blindness,
and his life of an itinerant bard, acquainted with poverty and
sorrow.[235] The discrepancies of statement respecting the date of
his reputed existence are no less worthy of remark; for out of the
eight different epochs assigned to him, the oldest differs from the
most recent by a period of four hundred and sixty years.

  [235] The Life of Homer, which passes falsely under the name of
  Herodotus, contains a collection of these different stories: it
  is supposed to have been written about the second century after
  the Christian era, but the statements which it furnishes are
  probably several of them as old as Ephorus (compare also Proclus
  ap. Photium, c. 239).

  The belief in the blindness of Homer is doubtless of far more
  ancient date, since the circumstance appears mentioned in the
  Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo where the bard of Chios, in
  some very touching lines, recommends himself and his strains
  to the favor of the Delian maidens employed in the worship of
  Apollo. This hymn is cited by Thucydidês as unquestionably
  authentic, and he doubtless accepted the lines as a description
  of the personal condition and relations of the author of the
  Iliad and Odyssey (Thucyd. iii. 104): Simonidês of Keôs also
  calls Homer a Chian (Frag. 69, Schneidewin).

  There were also tales which represented Homer as the
  contemporary, the cousin, and the rival in recited composition,
  of Hesiod, who (it was pretended) had vanquished him. See the
  Certamen Homeri et Hesiodi, annexed to the works of the latter
  (p. 314, ed. Göttling; and Plutarch, Conviv. Sept. Sapient. c.
  10), in which also various stories respecting the Life of Homer
  are scattered. The emperor Hadrian consulted the Delphian oracle
  to know who Homer was: the answer of the priestess reported him
  to be a native of Ithaca, the son of Telemachus and Epikastê,
  daughter of Nestôr (Certamen Hom. et Hes. p. 314). The author of
  this Certamen tells us that the authority of the Delphian oracle
  deserves implicit confidence.

  Hellanikus, Damastes, and Pherekydês traced both Homer and
  Hesiod up to Orpheus, through a pedigree of ten generations
  (see Sturz, Fragment. Hellanic. fr. 75-144; compare also
  Lobeck’s remarks—_Aglaophamus_, p. 322—on the subject of these
  genealogies). The computations of these authors earlier than
  Herodotus are of value, because they illustrate the habits of
  mind in which Grecian chronology began: the genealogy might be
  easily continued backward to any length in the past. To trace
  Homer up to Orpheus, however, would not have been consonant to
  the belief of the Homêrids.

  The contentions of the different cities which disputed for
  the birth of Homer, and, indeed, all the legendary anecdotes
  circulated in antiquity respecting the poet, are copiously
  discussed in Welcker, Der Epische Kyklos (pp. 194-199).

Thus conflicting would have been the answers returned in different
portions of the Grecian world to any questions respecting the person
of Homer. But there were a poetical gens (fraternity or guild) in
the Ionic island of Chios, who, if the question had been put to
them, would have answered in another manner. To them, Homer was not
a mere antecedent man, of kindred nature with themselves, but a
divine or semi-divine eponymus and progenitor, whom they worshipped
in their gentile sacrifices, and in whose ascendent name and glory
the individuality of every member of the gens was merged. The
compositions of each separate Homêrid, or the combined efforts of
many of them in conjunction, were the works of Homer: the name of the
individual bard perishes and his authorship is forgotten, but the
common gentile father lives and grows in renown, from generation to
generation, by the genius of his self-renewing sons.

Such was the conception entertained of Homer by the poetical gens
called Homêridæ, or Homêrids; and in the general obscurity of the
whole case, I lean towards it as the most plausible conception.
Homer is not only the reputed author of the various compositions
emanating from the gentile members, but also the recipient of the
many different legends and of the divine genealogy, which it pleases
their imagination to confer upon him. Such manufacture of fictitious
personality, and such perfect incorporation of the entities of
religion and fancy with the real world, is a process familiar, and
even habitual, in the retrospective vision of the Greeks.[236]

  [236] Even Aristotle ascribed to Homer a divine parentage: a
  damsel of the isle of Ios, pregnant by some god, was carried
  off by pirates to Smyrna, at the time of the Ionic emigration,
  and there gave birth to the poet (Aristotel. ap. Plutarch. Vit.
  Homer. p. 1059).

  Plato seems to have considered Homer as having been an itinerant
  rhapsode, poor and almost friendless (Republ. p. 600).

It is to be remarked, that the poetical gens here brought to view,
the Homêrids, are of indisputable authenticity. Their existence and
their considerations were maintained down to the historical times in
the island of Chios.[237] If the Homêrids were still conspicuous,
even in the days of Akusilaus, Pindar, Hellanikus, and Plato, when
their productive invention had ceased, and when they had become
only guardians and distributors, in common with others, of the
treasures bequeathed by their predecessors,—far more exalted must
their position have been three centuries before, while they were
still the inspired creators of epic novelty, and when the absence
of writing assured to them the undisputed monopoly of their own

  [237] Pindar, Nem. ii. 1, and Scholia; Akusilaus, Fragm. 31,
  Didot; Harpokration, v. Ὁμήριδαι; Hellanic. Fr. 55, Didot;
  Strabo, xiv. p. 645.

  It seems by a passage of Plato (Phædrus, p. 252), that the
  Homêridæ professed to possess unpublished verses of their
  ancestral poet—ἔπη ἀποθέτα. Compare Plato, Republic, p. 599, and
  Isocrat. Helen, p. 218.

  [238] Nitzsch (De Historiâ Homeri, Fascic. 1, p. 128, Fascic.
  2, p. 71), and Ulrici (Geschichte der Episch. Poesie, vol. i.
  pp. 240-381) question the antiquity of the Homêrid gens, and
  limit their functions to simple reciters, denying that they ever
  composed songs or poems of their own. Yet these _gentes_, such
  as the Euneidæ, the Lykomidæ, the Butadæ, the Talthybiadæ, the
  descendants of Cheirôn at Peliôn, etc., the Hesychidæ (Schol.
  Sophocl. Œdip. Col. 489), (the acknowledged parallels of the
  Homêridæ), may be surely all considered as belonging to the
  earliest known elements of Grecian history: rarely, at least,
  if ever, can such gens, with its tripartite character of civil,
  religious, and professional, be shown to have commenced at any
  recent period. And in the early times, composer and singer were
  one person: often at least, though probably not always, the
  bard combined both functions. The Homeric ἀοιδὸς sings his own
  compositions; and it is reasonable to imagine that many of the
  early Homêrids did the same.

  See Niebuhr, Römisch. Gesch. vol. i. p. 324; and the treatise,
  Ueber die Sikeler in der Odyssee,—in the Rheinisches Museum,
  1828, p. 257; and Boeckh, in the Index of Contents to his
  Lectures of 1834.

  “The sage Vyasa (observes Professor Wilson, System of Hindu
  Mythology, Int. p. lxii.) is represented, not as the author, but
  as the arranger and compiler of the Vedas and the Puránás. His
  name denotes his character, meaning _the arranger or distributor_
  (Welcker gives the same meaning to the name _Homer_); and the
  recurrence of many Vyasas,—many individuals who new-modelled the
  Hindu scriptures,—has nothing in it that is improbable, except
  the fabulous intervals by which their labors are separated.”
  Individual authorship and the thirst of personal distinction, are
  in this case also buried under one great and common name, as in
  the case of Homer.

Homer, then, is no individual man, but the divine or heroic father
(the ideas of worship and ancestry coalescing, as they constantly did
in the Grecian mind) of the gentile Homêrids, and he is the author of
the Thebaïs, the Epigoni, the Cyprian Verses, the Proœms, or Hymns,
and other poems, in the same sense in which he is the author of the
Iliad and Odyssey,—assuming that these various compositions emanate,
as perhaps they may, from different individuals numbered among the
Homêrids. But this disallowance of the historical personality of
Homer is quite distinct from the question, with which it has been
often confounded, whether the Iliad and Odyssey are originally
entire poems, and whether by one author or otherwise. To us, the
name of Homer means these two poems, and little else: we desire to
know as much as can be learned respecting their date, their original
composition, their preservation, and their mode of communication to
the public. All these questions are more or less complicated one with
the other.

Concerning the date of the poems, we have no other information except
the various affirmations respecting the age of Homer, which differ
among themselves (as I have before observed) by an interval of four
hundred and sixty years, and which for the most part determine the
date of Homer by reference to some other event, itself fabulous
and unauthenticated,—such as the Trojan war, the Return of the
Hêrakleids, or the Ionic migration. Kratês placed Homer earlier than
the Return of the Hêrakleids, and less than eighty years after the
Trojan war: Eratosthenês put him one hundred years after the Trojan
war: Aristotle, Aristarchus, and Castor made his birth contemporary
with the Ionic migration, while Apollodôrus brings him down to one
hundred years after that event, or two hundred and forty years after
the taking of Troy. Thucydidês assigns to him a date much subsequent
to the Trojan war.[239] On the other hand, Theopompus and Euphoriôn
refer his age to the far more recent period of the Lydian king,
Gyges, (Ol. 18-23, B. C. 708-688,) and put him five hundred years
after the Trojan epoch.[240] What were the grounds of these various
conjectures, we do not know; though in the statements of Kratês
and Eratosthenês, we may pretty well divine. But the oldest dictum
preserved to us respecting the date of Homer,—meaning thereby the
date of the Iliad and Odyssey,—appears to me at the same time the
most credible, and the most consistent with the general history of
the ancient epic. Herodotus places Homer four hundred years before
himself; taking his departure, not from any fabulous event, but from
a point of real and authentic time.[241] Four centuries anterior to
Herodotus would be a period commencing with 880 B. C. so that the
composition of the Homeric poems would thus fall in a space between
850 and 800 B. C. We may gather from the language of Herodotus that
this was his own judgment, opposed to a current opinion, which
assigned the poet to an earlier epoch.

  [239] Thucyd. i. 3.

  [240] See the statements and citations respecting the age of
  Homer, collected in Mr. Clinton’s Chronology, vol. i. p. 146. He
  prefers the view of Aristotle, and places the Iliad and Odyssey a
  century earlier than I am inclined to do,—940-927 B. C.

  Kratês, probably placed the poet anterior to the Return of the
  Hêrakleids, because the Iliad makes no mention of Dorians in
  Peloponnêsus: Eratosthenês may be supposed to have grounded
  his date on the passage of the Iliad, which mentions the three
  generations descended from Æneas. We should have been glad to
  know the grounds of the very low date assigned by Theopompus and

  The pseudo-Herodotus, in his life of Homer, puts the birth of the
  poet one hundred and sixty-eight years after the Trojan war.

  [241] Herodot. ii. 53. Hêrakleides Ponticus affirmed that
  Lykurgus had brought into Peloponnêsus the Homeric poems, which
  had before been unknown out of Ionia. The supposed epoch of
  Lykurgus has sometimes been employed to sustain the date here
  assigned to the Homeric poems; but everything respecting Lykurgus
  is too doubtful to serve as evidence in other inquiries.

To place the Iliad and Odyssey at some periods between 850 B. C. and
776 B. C., appears to me more probable than any other date, anterior
or posterior,—more probable than the latter, because we are justified
in believing these two poems to be older than Arktinus, who comes
shortly after the first Olympiad;—more probable than the former,
because, the farther we push the poems back, the more do we enhance
the wonder of their preservation, already sufficiently great, down
from such an age and society to the historical times.

The mode in which these poems, and indeed all poems, epic as well as
lyric, down to the age (probably) of Peisistratus, were circulated
and brought to bear upon the public, deserves particular attention.
They were not read by individuals alone and apart, but sung or
recited at festivals or to assembled companies. This seems to be one
of the few undisputed facts with regard to the great poet: for even
those who maintain that the Iliad and Odyssey were preserved by means
of writing, seldom contend that they were read.

In appreciating the effect of the poems, we must always take
account of this great difference between early Greece and our own
times,—between the congregation mustered at a solemn festival,
stimulated by community of sympathy, listening to a measured and
musical recital from the lips of trained bards or rhapsodes, whose
matter was supposed to have been inspired by the Muse,—and the
solitary reader, with a manuscript before him; such manuscript
being, down to a very late period in Greek literature, indifferently
written, without division into parts, and without marks of
punctuation. As in the case of dramatic performances, in all ages,
so in that of the early Grecian epic,—a very large proportion of its
impressive effect was derived from the talent of the reciter and
the force of the general accompaniments, and would have disappeared
altogether in solitary reading. Originally, the bard sung his own
epical narrative, commencing with a proœmium or hymn to one of the
gods:[242] his profession was separate and special, like that of the
carpenter, the leech, or the prophet: his manner and enunciation
must have required particular training no less than his imaginative
faculty. His character presents itself in the Odyssey as one highly
esteemed; and in the Iliad, even Achilles does not disdain to
touch the lyre with his own hands, and to sing heroic deeds.[243]
Not only did the Iliad and Odyssey, and the poems embodied in the
Epic Cycle, produce all their impression and gain all their renown
by this process of oral delivery, but even the lyric and choric
poets who succeeded them were known and felt in the same way by
the general public, even after the full establishment of habits
of reading among lettered men. While in the case of the epic, the
recitation or singing had been extremely simple, and the measure
comparatively little diversified, with no other accompaniment than
that of the four-stringed harp,—all the variations superinduced upon
the original hexameter, beginning with the pentameter and iambus,
and proceeding step by step to the complicated strophês of Pindar
and the tragic writers, still left the general effect of the poetry
greatly dependent upon voice and accompaniments, and pointedly
distinguished from mere solitary reading of the words. And in the
dramatic poetry, the last in order of time, the declamation and
gesture of the speaking actor alternated with the song and dance of
the chorus, and with the instruments of musicians, the whole being
set off by imposing visible decorations. Now both dramatic effect
and song are familiar in modern times, so that every man knows the
difference between reading the words and hearing them under the
appropriate circumstances: but poetry, as such, is, and has now
long been, so exclusively enjoyed by reading, that it requires an
especial memento to bring us back to the time when the Iliad and
Odyssey were addressed only to the ear and feelings of a promiscuous
and sympathizing multitude. Readers there were none, at least
until the century preceding Solôn and Peisistratus: from that time
forward, they gradually increased both in number and influence;
though doubtless small, even in the most literary period of Greece,
as compared with modern European society. So far as the production
of beautiful epic poetry was concerned, however, the select body
of instructed readers, furnished a less potent stimulus than the
unlettered and listening crowd of the earlier periods. The poems of
Chœrilus and Antimachus, towards the close of the Peloponnesian war,
though admired by erudite men, never acquired popularity; and the
emperor Hadrian failed in his attempt to bring the latter poet into
fashion at the expense of Homer.[244]

  [242] The Homeric hymns are proœms of this sort, some very short,
  consisting only of a few lines,—others of considerable length.
  The Hymn (or, rather, one of the two hymns) to Apollo is cited by
  Thucydidês as the Proœm of Apollo.

  The Hymns to Aphroditê, Apollo, Hermês, Dêmêtêr, and Dionysus,
  are genuine epical narratives. Hermann (Præf. ad Hymn. p.
  lxxxix.) pronounces the Hymn to Aphroditê to be the oldest and
  most genuine: portions of the Hymn to Apollo (Herm. p. xx.) are
  also very old, but both that hymn and the others are largely
  interpolated. His opinion respecting these interpolations,
  however, is disputed by Franke (Præfat. ad Hymn. Homeric. p.
  ix-xix.); and the distinction between what is genuine and what is
  spurious, depends upon criteria not very distinctly assignable.
  Compare Ulrici, Gesch. der Ep. Poes. pp. 385-391.

  [243] Phemius, Demodokus, and the nameless bard who guarded the
  fidelity of Klytæmnêstra, bear out this position (Odyss. i. 155;
  iii. 267; viii. 490; xxi. 330; Achilles in Iliad, ix. 190).

  A degree of inviolability seems attached to the person of the
  bard as well as to that of the herald (Odyss. xxii. 355-357).

  [244] Spartian. Vit. Hadrian. p. 8; Dio Cass. lxix. 4: Plut. Tim.
  c. 36.

  There are some good observations on this point in Näke’s comments
  on Chœrilus, ch. viii. p. 59:—

  “Habet hoc epica poesis, vera illa, cujus perfectissimam normam
  agnoscimus Homericam—habet hoc proprium, ut non in possessione
  virorum eruditorum, sed quasi viva sit et coram populo recitanda:
  ut cum populo crescat, et si populus Deorum et antiquorum heroum
  facinora, quod præcipium est epicæ poeseos argumentum, audire
  et secum repetere dedidicerit, obmutescat. Id vero tum factum
  est in Græciâ, quum populus eâ ætate, quam pueritiam dicere
  possis, peractâ, partim ad res serias tristesque, politicas
  maxime—easque multo, quam antea, impeditiores—abstrahebatur:
  partim epicæ poeseos pertæsus, ex aliis poeseos generibus, quæ
  tum nascebantur, novum et diversum oblectamenti genus primo
  præsagire, sibi, deinde haurire, cœpit.”

  Näke remarks, too, that the “splendidissima et propria Homericæ
  poeseos ætas, ea quæ sponte quasi suâ inter populum et quasi cum
  populo viveret,” did not reach below Peisistratus. It did not, I
  think, reach even so low as that period.

It will be seen by what has been here stated, that that class of men,
who formed the medium of communication between the verse and the ear,
were of the highest importance in the ancient world, and especially
in the earlier periods of its career,—the bards and rhapsodes for the
epic, the singers for the lyric, the actors and singers jointly with
the dancers for the chorus and drama. The lyric and dramatic poets
taught with their own lips the delivery of their compositions, and
so prominently did this business of teaching present itself to the
view of the public, that the name Didaskalia, by which the dramatic
exhibition was commonly designated, derived from thence its origin.

Among the number of rhapsodes who frequented the festivals at a
time when Grecian cities were multiplied and easy of access, for
the recitation of the ancient epic, there must have been of course
great differences of excellence; but that the more considerable
individuals of the class were elaborately trained and highly
accomplished in the exercise of their profession, we may assume as
certain. But it happens that Socrates, with his two pupils Plato and
Xenophon, speak contemptuously of their merits; and many persons
have been disposed, somewhat too readily, to admit this sentence
of condemnation as conclusive, without taking account of the point
of view from which it was delivered.[245] These philosophers
considered Homer and other poets with a view to instruction, ethical
doctrine, and virtuous practice: they analyzed the characters whom
the poet described, sifted the value of the lessons conveyed, and
often struggled to discover a hidden meaning, where they disapproved
that which was apparent. When they found a man like the rhapsode,
who professed to impress the Homeric narrative upon an audience,
and yet either never meddled at all, or meddled unsuccessfully,
with the business of exposition, they treated him with contempt;
indeed, Socrates depreciates the poets themselves, much upon the same
principle, as dealing with matters of which they could render no
rational account.[246] It was also the habit of Plato and Xenophôn to
disparage generally professional exertion of talent for the purpose
of gaining a livelihood, contrasting it often in an indelicate manner
with the gratuitous teaching and ostentatious poverty of their
master. But we are not warranted in judging the rhapsodes by such
a standard. Though they were not philosophers or moralists, it was
their province—and it had been so, long before the philosophical
point of view was opened—to bring their poet home to the bosoms and
emotions of an assembled crowd, and to penetrate themselves with his
meaning so far as was suitable for that purpose, adapting to it the
appropriate graces of action and intonation. In this their genuine
task they were valuable members of the Grecian community, and seem to
have possessed all the qualities necessary for success.

  [245] Xenoph. Memorab. iv. 2, 10; and Sympos. iii. 6. Οἶσθά τι
  οὖν ἔθνος ἠλιθιώτερον ῥαψῴδων; ... Δῆλον γὰρ ὅτι τὰς ὑπονοίας
  οὐκ ἐπίστανται. Σὺ δὲ Στησιμβρότῳ τε καὶ Ἀναξιμάνδρῳ καὶ ἄλλοις
  πολλοῖς πολὺ δέδωκας ἀργύριον, ὥστε οὐδέν σε τῶν πολλοῦ ἀξίων

  These ὑπονοῖαι are the hidden meanings, or allegories, which a
  certain set of philosophers undertook to discover in Homer, and
  which the rhapsodes were no way called upon to study.

  The Platonic dialogue, called Iôn, ascribes to Iôn the double
  function of a rhapsode, or impressive reciter, and a critical
  expositor of the poet (Isokratês also indicates the same double
  character, in the rhapsodes of his time,—Panathenaic, p. 240);
  but it conveys no solid grounds for a mean estimate of the class
  of rhapsodes, while it attests remarkably the striking effect
  produced by their recitation (c. 6, p. 535). That this class of
  men came to combine the habit of expository comment on the poet
  with their original profession of reciting, proves the tendencies
  of the age; probably, it also brought them into rivalry with the

  The grounds taken by Aristotle (Problem. xxx. 10; compare Aul.
  Gellius, xx. 14) against the actors, singers, musicians, etc. of
  his time, are more serious, and have more the air of truth.

  If it be correct in Lehrs (de Studiis Aristarchi, Diss. ii.
  p. 46) to identify those early glossographers of Homer, whose
  explanations the Alexandrine critics so severely condemned, with
  the rhapsodes, this only proves that the rhapsodes had come to
  undertake a double duty, of which their predecessors before Solôn
  would never have dreamed.

  [246] Plato, Apolog. Socrat. p. 22, c. 7.

These rhapsodes, the successors of the primitive aœdi, or bards,
seem to have been distinguished from them by the discontinuance of
all musical accompaniment. Originally, the bard sung, enlivening the
song with occasional touches of the simple four-stringed harp: his
successor, the rhapsode, recited, holding in his hand nothing but a
branch of laurel and depending for effect upon voice and manner,—a
species of musical and rhythmical declamation,[247] which gradually
increased in vehement emphasis and gesticulation until it approached
to that of the dramatic actor. At what time this change took place,
or whether the two different modes of enunciating the ancient epic
may for a certain period have gone on simultaneously, we have no
means of determining. Hesiod receives from the Muse a branch of
laurel, as a token of his ordination into their service, which marks
him for a rhapsode; while the ancient bard with his harp is still
recognized in the Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo, as efficient
and popular at the Panionic festivals in the island of Delos.[248]
Perhaps the improvements made in the harp, to which three strings,
in addition to the original four, were attached by Terpander (B. C.
660), and the growing complication of instrumental music generally,
may have contributed to discredit the primitive accompaniment, and
thus to promote the practice of recital: the story, that Terpander
himself composed music, not only for hexameter poems of his own,
but also for those of Homer, seems to indicate that the music which
preceded him was ceasing to find favor.[249] By whatever steps the
change from the bard to the rhapsode took place, certain it is that
before the time of Solôn, the latter was the recognized and exclusive
organ of the old Epic; sometimes in short fragments before private
companies, by single rhapsodes,—sometimes several rhapsodes in
continuous succession at a public festival.

  [247] Aristotel. Poetic. c. 47; Welcker, Der Episch. Kyklos;
  Ueber den Vortrag der Homerischen Gedichte, pp. 340-406, which
  collects all the facts respecting the aœdi and the rhapsodes.
  Unfortunately, the ascertained points are very few.

  The laurel branch in the hand of the singer or reciter (for the
  two expressions are often confounded) seems to have been peculiar
  to the recitation of Homer and Hesiod (Hesiod, Theog. 30: Schol.
  ad Aristophan. Nub. 1367. Pausan. x. 7, 2). “Poemata omne genus
  (says Apuleius, Florid. p. 122, Bipont.) apta _virgæ_, lyræ,
  socco, cothurno.”

  Not only Homer and Hesiod, but also Archilochus, were recited
  by rhapsodes (Athenæ, xii. 620; also Plato, Legg. ii. p. 658).
  Consult, besides, Nitzsch, De Historiâ Homeri, Fascic. 2, p. 114,
  _seq._, respecting the rhapsodes; and O. Müller, History of the
  Literature of Ancient Greece, ch. iv. s. 3.

  The ideas of singing and speech are, however, often confounded,
  in reference to any verse solemnly and emphatically delivered
  (Thucydid. ii. 53)—φάσκοντες οἱ πρεσβύτεροι πάλαι ~ᾄδεσθαι~,
  Ἥξει Δωριακὸς πόλεμος καὶ λοιμὸς ἅμ᾽ αὐτῷ. And the rhapsodes
  are said to _sing_ Homer (Plato, Eryxias, c. 13; Hesych. v.
  Βραυρωνίοις); Strabo (i. p. 18) has a good passage upon song and

  William Grimm (Deutsche Heldensage, p. 373) supposes the ancient
  German heroic romances to have been recited or declaimed in a
  similar manner with a simple accompaniment of the harp, as the
  Servian heroic lays are even at this time delivered.

  Fauriel also tells us, respecting the French Carlovingian Epic
  (Romans de Chevalerie, Revue des Deux Mondes, xiii. p. 559):
  “The romances of the 12th and 13th centuries were really sung:
  the _jongleur_ invited his audience to hear a _belle chanson
  d’histoire_,—‘le mot chanter ne manque jamais dans la formule
  initiale,’—and it is to be understood literally: the music was
  simple and intermittent, more like a recitative; the jongleur
  carried a rebek, or violin with three strings, an Arabic
  instrument; when he wished to rest his voice, he played an air or
  ritournelle upon this; he went thus about from place to place,
  and the romances had no existence among the people, except
  through the aid and recitation of these jongleurs.”

  It appears that there had once been rhapsodic exhibitions at the
  festivals of Dionysus, but they were discontinued (Klearchus ap.
  Athenæ. vii. p. 275)—probably superseded by the dithyramb and the

  The etymology of ῥαψῳδὸς is a disputed point: Welcker traces it
  to ῥάβδος, most critics derive it from ῥάπτειν ἀοιδὴν, which
  O. Müller explains “to denote the coupling together of verses
  without any considerable divisions or pauses,—the even, unbroken,
  continuous flow of the epic poem,” as contrasted with the
  strophic or choric periods (_l. c._).

  [248] Homer, Hymn to Apoll. 170. The κίθαρις, ἀοιδὴ, ὀρχηθμὸς,
  are constantly put together in that hymn: evidently, the
  instrumental accompaniment was essential to the hymns at the
  Ionic festival. Compare also the Hymn to Hermês (430), where
  the function ascribed to the Muses can hardly be understood to
  include non-musical recitation. The Hymn to Hermês is more recent
  than Terpander, inasmuch as it mentions the seven strings of the
  lyre, v. 50.

  [249] Terpander,—see Plutarch, de Musicâ, c. 3-4; the facts
  respecting him are collected in Plehn’s Lesbiaca, pp. 140-160;
  but very little can be authenticated.

  Stesander at the Pythian festivals sang the Homeric battles, with
  a harp accompaniment of his own composition (Athenæ. xiv. p. 638).

  The principal testimonies respecting the rhapsodizing of the
  Homeric poems at Athens, chiefly at the Panathenaic festival, are
  Isokratês, Panegyric. p. 74; Lycurgus contra Leocrat. p. 161;
  Plato, Hipparch. p. 228; Diogen. Laërt. Vit. Solon. i. 57.

  Inscriptions attest that rhapsodizing continued in great esteem,
  down to a late period of the historical age, both at Chios and
  Teôs, especially the former: it was the subject of competition
  by trained youth, and of prizes for the victor, at periodical
  religious solemnities: see Corp. Inscript. Boeckh, No. 2214-3088.

Respecting the mode in which the Homeric poems were preserved,
during the two centuries (or as some think, longer interval)
between their original composition and the period shortly preceding
Solôn,—and respecting their original composition and subsequent
changes,—there are wide differences of opinion among able critics.
Were they preserved with or without being written? Was the Iliad
originally composed as one poem, and the Odyssey in like manner, or
is each of them an aggregation of parts originally self-existent
and unconnected? Was the authorship of each poem single-headed or

Either tacitly or explicitly, these questions have been generally
coupled together and discussed with reference to each other,
by inquiries into the Homeric poems; though Mr. Payne Knight’s
Prolegomena have the merit of keeping them distinct. Half a century
ago, the acute and valuable Prolegomena of F. A. Wolf, turning to
account the Venetian Scholia which had then been recently published,
first opened philosophical discussion as to the history of the
Homeric text. A considerable part of that dissertation (though by no
means the whole) is employed in vindicating the position, previously
announced by Bentley, among others, that the separate constituent
portions of the Iliad and Odyssey had not been cemented together
into any compact body and unchangeable order until the days of
Peisistratus, in the sixth century before Christ. As a step towards
that conclusion, Wolf maintained that no written copies of either
poem could be shown to have existed during the earlier times to which
their composition is referred,—and that without writing, neither the
perfect symmetry of so complicated a work could have been originally
conceived by any poet, nor, if realized by him, transmitted with
assurance to posterity. The absence of easy and convenient writing,
such as must be indispensably supposed for long manuscripts, among
the early Greeks, was thus one of the points in Wolf’s case against
the primitive integrity of the Iliad and Odyssey. By Nitzsch and
other leading opponents of Wolf, the connection of the one with the
other seems to have been accepted as he originally put it; and it
has been considered incumbent on those, who defended the ancient
aggregate character of the Iliad and Odyssey, to maintain that they
were written poems from the beginning.

To me it appears that the architectonic functions ascribed by Wolf to
Peisistratus and his associates, in reference to the Homeric poems,
are nowise admissible. But much would undoubtedly be gained towards
that view of the question, if it could be shown that, in order to
controvert it, we were driven to the necessity of admitting long
written poems in the ninth century before the Christian era. Few
things, in my opinion, can be more improbable: and Mr. Payne Knight,
opposed as he is to the Wolfian hypothesis, admits this no less than
Wolf himself.[250] The traces of writing in Greece, even in the
seventh century before the Christian era, are exceedingly trifling.
We have no remaining inscription earlier than the 40th Olympiad,
and the early inscriptions are rude and unskilfully executed: nor
can we even assure ourselves whether Archilochus, Simonidês of
Amorgus, Kallinus, Tyrtæus, Xanthus, and the other early elegiac and
lyric poets, committed their compositions to writing, or at what
time the practice of doing so became familiar. The first positive
ground, which authorizes us to presume the existence of a manuscript
of Homer, is in the famous ordinance of Solôn with regard to the
rhapsodes at the Panathenæa; but for what length of time, previously,
manuscripts had existed, we are unable to say.

  [250] Knight, Prolegom. Hom. c. xxxviii-xl. “Haud tamen ullum
  Homericorum carminum exemplar Pisistrati seculo antiquius
  extitisse, aut sexcentesimo prius anno ante C. N. scriptum
  fuisse, facile credam: rara enim et perdifficilis erat iis
  temporibus scriptura ob penuriam materiæ scribendo idoneæ, quum
  literas aut lapidibus exarare, aut tabulis ligneis aut laminis
  metalli alicujus insculpere oporteret.... Atque ideo memoriter
  retenta sunt, et hæc et alia veterum poetarum carmina, et per
  urbes et vicos et in principum virorum ædibus, decantata a
  rhapsodis. Neque mirandum est, ea per tot sæcula sic integra
  conservata esse, quoniam—per eos tradita erant, qui ab omnibus
  Græciæ et coloniarum regibus et civitatibus mercede satis amplâ
  conducti, omnia sua studia in iis ediscendis, retinendis, et rite
  recitandis, conferebant.” Compare Wolf, Prolegom. xxiv-xxv.

  The evidences of early writing among the Greeks, and of written
  poems even anterior to Homer, may be seen collected in Kreuser
  (Vorfragen ueber Homeros, pp. 127-159, Frankfort, 1828). His
  proofs appear to me altogether inconclusive. Nitzsch maintains
  the same opinion (Histor. Homeri, Fasc. i. sect. xi. xvii.
  xviii.),—in my opinion, not more successfully: nor does Franz
  (Epigraphicê Græc. Introd. s. iv.) produce any new arguments.

  I do not quite subscribe to Mr. Knight’s language, when he says
  that _there is nothing wonderful_ in the long preservation of
  the Homeric poems _unwritten_. It is enough to maintain that the
  existence, and practical use of long manuscripts, by all the
  rhapsodes, under the condition and circumstances of the 8th and
  9th centuries among the Greeks, would be a greater wonder.

Those who maintain the Homeric poems to have been written from
the beginning, rest their case, not upon positive proofs,—nor yet
upon the existing habits of society with regard to poetry, for
they admit generally that the Iliad and Odyssey were not read,
but recited and heard,—but upon the supposed necessity that there
must have been manuscripts,[251] to insure the preservation of the
poems,—the unassisted memory of reciters being neither sufficient
nor trustworthy. But here we only escape a smaller difficulty by
running into a greater; for the existence of trained bards, gifted
with extraordinary memory, is far less astonishing than that of long
manuscripts in an age essentially non-reading and non-writing, and
when even suitable instruments and materials for the process are not
obvious. Moreover, there is a strong positive reason for believing
that the bard was under no necessity for refreshing his memory by
consulting a manuscript. For if such had been the fact, blindness
would have been a disqualification for the profession, which we
know that it was not; as well from the example of Demodokus in the
Odyssey, as from that of the blind bard of Chios, in the hymn to
the Delian Apollo, whom Thucydidês, as well as the general tenor of
Grecian legend, identifies with Homer himself.[252] The author of
that Hymn, be he who he may, could never have described a blind
man as attaining the utmost perfection in his art, if he had been
conscious that the memory of the bard was only maintained by constant
reference to the manuscript in his chest.

  [251] See this argument strongly put by Nitzsch, in the prefatory
  remarks at the beginning of his second volume of Commentaries on
  the Odyssey (pp. x-xxix). He takes great pains to discard all
  idea that the poems were written in order to be read. To the same
  purpose, Franz (Epigraphicê Græc. Introd. p. 32), who adopts
  Nitzsch’s positions,—“Audituris enim, non lecturis, carmina

  [252] Odyss. viii. 65; Hymn. ad Apoll. 172: Pseudo-Herodot. Vit.
  Homer. c. 3; Thucyd. iii. 104.

  Various commentators on Homer imagined that, under the misfortune
  of Demodokus, the poet in reality described his own (Schol. ad
  Odyss. 1. 1; Maxim. Tyr. xxxviii. 1).

Nor will it be found, after all, that the effort of memory required,
either from bards or rhapsodes, even for the longest of these old
Epic poems,—though doubtless great, was at all superhuman. Taking the
case with reference to the entire Iliad and Odyssey, we know that
there were educated gentlemen at Athens who could repeat both poems
by heart:[253] but in the professional recitations, we are not to
imagine that the same person did go through the whole: the recitation
was essentially a joint undertaking, and the rhapsodes who visited a
festival would naturally understand among themselves which part of
the poem should devolve upon each particular individual. Under such
circumstances, and with such means of preparation beforehand, the
quantity of verse which a rhapsode could deliver would be measured,
not so much by the exhaustion of his memory, as by the physical
sufficiency of his voice, having reference to the sonorous, emphatic,
and rhythmical pronunciation required from him.[254]

  [253] Xenoph. Sympos. iii. 5. Compare, respecting the laborious
  discipline of the Gallic Druids, and the number of unwritten
  verses which they retained in their memories, Cæsar, B. G. vi.
  14; Mela. iii. 2; also Wolf, Prolegg. s. xxiv. and Herod. ii. 77,
  about the prodigious memory of the Egyptian priests at Heliopolis.

  I transcribe, from the interesting Discours of M. Fauriel
  (prefixed to his Chants Populaires de la Grèce Moderne, Paris
  1824), a few particulars respecting the number, the mnemonic
  power, and the popularity of those itinerant singers or rhapsodes
  who frequent the festivals or _paneghyris_ of modern Greece: it
  is curious to learn that this profession is habitually exercised
  by _blind_ men (p. xc. _seq._).

  “Les aveugles exercent en Grèce une profession qui les rend
  non seulement agréables, mais nécessaires; le caractère,
  l’imagination, et la condition du peuple, étant ce qu’ils sont:
  c’est la profession de chanteurs ambulans.... Ils sont dans
  l’usage, tant sur le continent que dans les îles, de la Grèce,
  d’apprendre par cœur le plus grand nombre qu’ils peuvent de
  chansons populaires de tout genre et de toute époque. Quelques
  uns finissent par en savoir une quantité prodigieuse, et tous
  en savent beaucoup. Avec ce trésor dans leur mémoire, ils sont
  toujours en marche, traversent la Grèce en tout sens; ils s’en
  vont de ville en ville, de village en village, chantant à
  l’auditoire qui se forme aussitôt autour d’eux, partout où ils
  se montrent, celles de leurs chansons qu’ils jugent convenir le
  mieux, soit à la localité, soit à la circonstance, et reçoivent
  une petite rétribution qui fait tout leur revenu. Ils ont l’air
  de chercher de préférence, en tout lieu, la partie la plus
  inculte de la population, qui en est toujours la plus curieuse,
  la plus avide d’impressions, et la moins difficile dans le
  choix de ceux qui leur sont offertes. Les Turcs seuls ne les
  écoutent pas. C’est aux réunions nombreuses, aux fêtes de village
  connues sous le nom de _Paneghyris_, que ces chanteurs ambulans
  accourent le plus volontiers. Ils chantent en s’accompagnant d’un
  instrument à cordes que l’on touche avec un archet, et qui est
  exactement l’ancienne lyre des Grecs, dont il a conservé le nom
  comme la forme.

  “Cette lyre, pour être entière, doit avoir cinq cordes: mais
  souvent elle n’en a que deux ou trois, dont les sons, comme
  il est aisé de présumer, n’ont rien de bien harmonieux. Les
  chanteurs aveugles vont ordinairement isolés, et chacun d’eux
  chante à part des autres: mais quelquefois aussi ils se
  réunissent par groupes de deux ou de trois, pour dire ensemble
  les mêmes chansons.... Ces modernes rhapsodes doivent être
  divisés en deux classes. Les uns (et ce sont, selon toute
  apparence, les plus nombreux) se bornent à la function de
  recueillir, d’apprendre par cœur, et de mettre en circulation,
  des pièces qu’ils n’ont point composées. Les autres (et ce sont
  ceux qui forment l’ordre le plus distingué de leur corps), à
  cette fonction de répétiteurs et de colporteurs des poésies
  d’autrui, joignent celle de poëtes, et ajoutent à la masse des
  chansons apprises d’autres chants de leur façon.... Ces rhapsodes
  aveugles sont les nouvellistes et les historiens, en même temps
  que les poëtes du peuple, en cela parfaitement semblables aux
  rhapsodes anciens de la Grèce.”

  To pass to another country—Persia, once the great rival of
  Greece: “The Kurroglian rhapsodes are called _Kurroglou-Khans_,
  from _khaunden_, to sing. Their duty is, to know by heart all the
  _mejjlisses_ (meetings) of Kurroglou, narrate them, or sing them
  with the accompaniment of the favorite instrument of Kurroglou,
  the chungur, or sitar, a three-stringed guitar. Ferdausi has
  also his _Shah-nama-Khans_, and the prophet Mohammed his _Koran
  Khans_. The memory of those singers is truly astonishing. At
  every request, they recite in one breath for some hours, without
  stammering, beginning the tale at the passage or verse pointed
  out by the hearers.” (Specimens of the Popular Poetry of Persia,
  as found in the Adventures and Improvisations of Kurroglou, the
  Bandit Minstrel of Northern Persia, by Alexander Chodzko: London
  1842, Introd. p. 13)

  “One of the songs of the Calmuck national bards sometimes lasts a
  whole day.” (_Ibid._ p. 372.)

  [254] There are just remarks of Mr. Mitford on the possibility
  that the Homeric poems might have been preserved without writing
  (History of Greece, vol. i. pp. 135-137).

But what guarantee have we for the exact transmission of the text for
a space of two centuries by simply oral means? It may be replied,
that oral transmission would hand down the text as exactly as in
point of fact it was handed down. The great lines of each poem,—the
order of parts,—the vein of Homeric feeling, and the general style
of locution, and, for the most part, the true words,—would be
maintained: for the professional training of the rhapsode, over and
above the precision of his actual memory, would tend to Homerize his
mind (if the expression may be permitted), and to restrain him within
this magic circle. On the other hand, in respect to the details of
the text, we should expect that there would be wide differences and
numerous inaccuracies: and so there really were, as the records
contained in the Scholia, together with the passages cited in ancient
authors, but not found in our Homeric text, abundantly testify.[255]

  [255] Villoison, Prolegomen. pp. xxxiv-lvi; Wolf, Prolegomen.
  p. 37. Düntzer, in the Epicor. Græc. Fragm. pp. 27-29, gives
  a considerable list of the Homeric passages cited by ancient
  authors, but not found either in the Iliad or Odyssey. It is
  hardly to be doubted, however, that many of these passages
  belonged to other epic poems which passed under the name of
  Homer. Welcker (Der Episch. Kyklus, pp. 20-133) enforces this
  opinion very justly, and it harmonizes with his view of the name
  of Homer as coextensive with the whole Epic cycle.

Moreover, the state of the Iliad and Odyssey, in respect to the
letter called the Digamma, affords a proof that they were recited for
a considerable period before they were committed to writing, insomuch
that the oral pronunciation underwent during the interval a sensible
change.[256] At the time when these poems were composed, the Digamma
was an effective consonant, and figured as such in the structure of
the verse: at the time when they were committed to writing, it had
ceased to be pronounced, and therefore never found a place in any
of the manuscripts,—insomuch that the Alexandrine critics, though
they knew of its existence in the much later poems of Alkæus and
Sapphô, never recognized it in Homer. The hiatus, and the various
perplexities of metre, occasioned by the loss of the Digamma, were
corrected by different grammatical stratagems. But the whole history
of this lost letter is very curious, and is rendered intelligible
only by the supposition that the Iliad and Odyssey belonged for a
wide space of time to the memory, the voice, and the ear, exclusively.

  [256] See this argument strongly maintained in Giese (Ueber
  den Æolischen Dialekt, sect. 14. p. 160, _seqq._). He notices
  several other particulars in the Homeric language,—the
  plenitude and variety of interchangeable grammatical forms,—the
  numerous metrical licenses, set right by appropriate oral
  intonations,—which indicate a language as yet not constrained by
  the fixity of written authority.

  The same line of argument is taken by O. Müller (History of the
  Literature of Ancient Greece, ch. iv. s. 5).

  Giese has shown also, in the same chapter, that all the
  manuscripts of Homer mentioned in the Scholia, were written in
  the Ionic alphabet (with Η and Ω as marks for the long vowels,
  and no special mark for the rough breathing), in so far as the
  special citations out of them enable us to verify.

At what period these poems, or, indeed, any other Greek poems, first
began to be written, must be matter of conjecture, though there
is ground for assurance that it was before the time of Solôn. If,
in the absence of evidence, we may venture upon naming any more
determinate period, the question at once suggests itself, what were
the purposes which, in that stage of society, a manuscript at its
first commencement must have been intended to answer? For whom was
a written Iliad necessary? Not for the rhapsodes; for with them it
was not only planted in the memory, but also interwoven with the
feelings, and conceived in conjunction with all those flexions and
intonations of voice, pauses, and other oral artifices, which were
required for emphatic delivery, and which the naked manuscript
could never reproduce. Not for the general public,—_they_ were
accustomed to receive it with its rhapsodic delivery, and with its
accompaniments of a solemn and crowded festival. The only persons
for whom the written Iliad would be suitable, would be a select few;
studious and curious men,—a class of readers, capable of analyzing
the complicated emotions which they had experienced as hearers in the
crowd, and who would, on perusing the written words, realize in their
imaginations a sensible portion of the impression communicated by the

  [257] Nitzsch and Welcker argue, that because the Homeric poems
  were _heard_ with great delight and interest, therefore the
  first rudiments of the art of writing, even while beset by a
  thousand mechanical difficulties, would be employed to record
  them. I cannot adopt this opinion, which appears to me to derive
  all its plausibility from our present familiarity with reading
  and writing. The first step from the recited to the written
  poem is really one of great violence, as well as useless for
  any want then actually felt. I much more agree with Wolf when
  he says: “Diu enim illorum hominum vita et simplicitas nihil
  admodum habuit, quod scripturâ dignum videretur: in aliis omnibus
  occupati agunt illi, quæ posteri scribunt, vel (ut de quibusdam
  populis accepimus) etiam monstratam operam hanc spernunt tanquam
  indecori otii: carmina autem quæ pangunt, longo usu sic ore
  fundere et excipere consueverunt, ut cantu et recitatione cum
  maxime vigentia deducere ad mutas notas, ex illius ætatis sensu
  nihil aliud esset, quam perimere ea et vitali vi ac spiritu
  privare.” (Prolegom. s. xv. p. 59.)

  Some good remarks on this subject are to be found in William
  Humboldt’s Introduction to his elaborate treatise _Ueber die
  Kawi-Sprache_, in reference to the oral tales current among the
  Basques. He, too, observes how great and repulsive a proceeding
  it is, to pass at first from verse sung, or recited, to verse
  written; implying that the words are conceived detached from
  the _Vortrag_, the accompanying music, and the surrounding
  and sympathizing assembly. The Basque tales have no charm for
  the people themselves, when put in Spanish words and read
  (Introduction, sect. xx. p. 258-259).

  Unwritten prose tales, preserved in the memory, and said to be
  repeated nearly in the same words from age to age, are mentioned
  by Mariner, in the Tonga Islands (Mariner’s Account, vol. ii. p.

  The Druidical poems were kept unwritten by design, after writing
  was in established use for other purposes (Cæsar, B. G. vi. 13).

Incredible as the statement may seem in an age like the present,
there is in all early societies, and there was in early Greece, a
time when no such reading class existed. If we could discover at
what time such a class first began to be formed, we should be able
to make a guess at the time when the old Epic poems were first
committed to writing. Now the period which may with the greatest
probability be fixed upon as having first witnessed the formation
even of the narrowest reading class in Greece, is the middle of
the seventh century before the Christian era (B. C. 660 to B. C.
630),—the age of Terpander, Kallinus, Archilochus, Simonidês of
Amorgus, etc. I ground this supposition on the change then operated
in the character and tendencies of Grecian poetry and music,—the
elegiac and iambic measures having been introduced as rivals to
the primitive hexameter, and poetical compositions having been
transferred from the epical past to the affairs of present and real
life. Such a change was important at a time when poetry was the only
known mode of publication (to use a modern phrase not altogether
suitable, yet the nearest approaching to the sense). It argued a new
way of looking at the old epical treasures of the people, as well
as a thirst for new poetical effect; and the men who stood forward
in it may well be considered as desirous to study, and competent to
criticize, from their own individual point of view, the written words
of the Homeric rhapsodes, just as we are told that Kallinus both
noticed and eulogized the Thebaïs as the production of Homer. There
seems, therefore, ground for conjecturing, that (for the use of this
newly-formed and important, but very narrow class) manuscripts of
the Homeric poems and other old epics—the Thebaïs and the Cypria as
well as the Iliad and the Odyssey—began to be compiled towards the
middle of the seventh century B. C.:[258] and the opening of Egypt
to Grecian commerce, which took place about the same period, would
furnish increased facilities for obtaining the requisite papyrus
to write upon. A reading class, when once formed, would doubtless
slowly increase, and the number of manuscripts along with it; so that
before the time of Solôn, fifty years afterwards, both readers and
manuscripts, though still comparatively few, might have attained a
certain recognized authority, and formed a tribunal of reference,
against the carelessness of individual rhapsodes.

  [258] Mr. Fynes Clinton (Fasti Hellenici, vol. i. pp. 368-373)
  treats it as a matter of _certainty_ that Archilochus and
  Alkman _wrote_ their poems. I am not aware of any evidence for
  announcing this as positively known,—except, indeed, an admission
  of Wolf, which is, doubtless, good as an _argumentum ad hominem_,
  but is not to be received as proof (Wolf, Proleg. p. 50). The
  evidences mentioned by Mr. Clinton (p. 368) certainly cannot be
  regarded as proving anything to the point.

  Giese (Ueber den Æolischen Dialekt, p. 172) places the first
  writing of the separate rhapsodies composing the Iliad in the
  seventh century B. C.

We may, I think, consider the Iliad and Odyssey to have been
preserved without the aid of writing, for a period near upon two
centuries.[259] But is it true, as Wolf imagined, and as other
able critics have imagined, also, that the separate portions of
which these two poems are composed were originally distinct epical
ballads, each constituting a separate whole and intended for separate
recitation? Is it true, that they had not only no common author, but
originally, neither common purpose nor fixed order, and that their
first permanent arrangement and integration was delayed for three
centuries, and accomplished at last only by the taste of Peisistratus
conjoined with various lettered friends?[260]

  [259] The songs of the Icelandic Skalds were preserved orally for
  a period longer than two centuries,—P. A. Müller thinks very much
  longer,—before they were collected, or embodied in written story
  by Snorro and Sæmund (Lange, Untersuchungen über die Gesch. der
  Nördischen Heldensage. p. 98; also, Introduct. pp. xx-xxviii).
  He confounds, however, often, the preservation of the songs from
  old time,—with the question, whether they have or have not an
  historical basis.

  And there were, doubtless, many old bards and rhapsodes in
  ancient Greece, of whom the same might be said which Saxo
  Grammaticus affirms of an Englishman named Lucas, that he was
  “literis quidem tenuiter instructus, sed historiarum scientiâ
  apprime eruditus.” (Dahlmann, Historische Forschungen, vol. ii.
  p. 176.)

  [260] “Homer wrote a sequel of songs and rhapsodies, to be sung
  by himself for small earnings and good cheer, at festivals and
  other days of merriment; the Iliad he made for the men, the
  Odysseus for the other sex. These loose songs were not collected
  together into the form of an epic poem until 500 years after.”

  Such is the naked language in which Wolf’s main hypothesis had
  been previously set forth by Bentley, in his “Remarks on a
  late Discourse of Freethinking, by Phileleutherus Lipsiensis,”
  published in 1713: the passage remained unaltered in the seventh
  edition of that treatise published in 1737. See Wolf’s Proleg.
  xxvii. p. 115.

  The same hypothesis may be seen more amply developed, partly in
  the work of Wolfs pupil and admirer, William Müller, _Homerische
  Vorschule_ (the second edition of which was published at
  Leipsic, 1836, with an excellent introduction and notes by
  Baumgarten-Crusius, adding greatly to the value of the original
  work by its dispassionate review of the whole controversy),
  partly in two valuable Dissertations of Lachmann, published in
  the Philological Transactions of the Berlin Academy for 1837 and

This hypothesis—to which the genius of Wolf first gave celebrity, but
which has been since enforced more in detail by others, especially
by William Müller and Lachmann—appears to me not only unsupported by
any sufficient testimony, but also opposed to other testimony as well
as to a strong force of internal probability. The authorities quoted
by Wolf are Josephus, Cicero, and Pausanias:[261] Josephus mentions
nothing about Peisistratus, but merely states (what we may accept as
the probable fact) that the Homeric poems were originally unwritten,
and preserved only in songs or recitations, from which they were at a
subsequent period put into writing: hence many of the discrepancies
in the text. On the other hand, Cicero and Pausanias go farther, and
affirm that Peisistratus both collected, and arranged in the existing
order, the rhapsodies of the Iliad and Odyssey, (implied as poems
originally entire, and subsequently broken into pieces,) which he
found partly confused and partly isolated from each other,—each part
being then remembered only in its own portion of the Grecian world.
Respecting Hipparchus the son of Peisistratus, too, we are told in
the Pseudo-Platonic dialogue which bears his name, that he was the
first to introduce into Attica, the poetry of Homer, and that he
prescribed to the rhapsodes to recite the parts of the Panathenaic
festival in regular sequence.[262]

  [261] Joseph, cont. Apion. i. 2; Cicero de Orator, iii. 34;
  Pausan. vii. 26, 6: compare the Scholion on Plautus in Ritschl,
  Die Alexandrin. Bibliothek, p. 4. Ælian (V. II. xiii. 14),
  who mentions both the introduction of the Homeric poems into
  Peloponnesus by Lykurgus, and the compilation by Peisistratus,
  can hardly be considered as adding to the value of the testimony:
  still less, Libanius and Suidas. What we learn is, that some
  literary and critical men of the Alexandrine age (more or fewer,
  as the case may be; but Wolf exaggerates when he talks of an
  _unanimous_ conviction) spoke of Peisistratus as having first
  put together the fractional parts of the Iliad and Odyssey into
  entire poems.

  [262] Plato, Hipparch. p. 228.

Wolf and William Müller occasionally speak as if they admitted
something like an Iliad and Odyssey as established aggregates prior
to Peisistratus; but for the most part they represent him or his
associates as having been the first to put together Homeric poems
which were before distinct and self-existent compositions. And
Lachmann, the recent expositor of the same theory, ascribes to
Peisistratus still more unequivocally this original integration of
parts in reference to the Iliad,—distributing the first twenty-two
books of the poem into sixteen separate songs, and treating it
as ridiculous to imagine that the fusion of these songs, into
an order such as we now read, belongs to any date earlier than

  [263] “Doch ich komme mir bald lächerlich vor, wenn ich noch
  immer die Möglichkeit gelten lasse, dass unsere Ilias in dem
  gegenwärtigen Zusammenhange der bedeutenden Theile, und nicht
  blos der wenigen bedeutendsten, jemals vor der Arbeit des
  Pisistratus gedacht worden sey.” (Lachmann, Fernere Betrachtungen
  über die Ilias, sect. xxviii. p. 32; Abhandlungen Berlin. Academ.
  1841.) How far this admission—that for the _few most important_
  portions of the Iliad, there _did_ exist an established order
  of succession prior to Peisistratus—is intended to reach, I do
  not know; but the language of Lachmann goes farther than either
  Wolf or William Müller. (See Wolf, Prolegomen. pp. cxli-cxlii,
  and W. Müller, Homerische Vorschule, Abschnitt vii. pp. 96, 98,
  100, 102.) The latter admits that neither Peisistratus nor the
  Diaskeuasts could have made any considerable changes in the Iliad
  and Odyssey, either in the way of addition or of transposition;
  the poems as aggregates being too well known, and the Homeric
  vein of invention too completely extinct, to admit of such

  I confess, I do not see how these last-mentioned admissions
  can be reconciled with the main doctrine of Wolf, in so far as
  regards Peisistratus.

Upon this theory we may remark, first, that it stands opposed to the
testimony existing respecting the regulations of Solôn; who, before
the time of Peisistratus, had enforced a fixed order of recitation
on the rhapsodes of the Iliad at the Panathenaic festival; not only
directing that they should go through the rhapsodies _seriatim_, and
without omission or corruption, but also establishing a prompter
or censorial authority to insure obedience,[264]—which implies
the existence (at the same time that it proclaims the occasional
infringement) of an orderly aggregate, as well as of manuscripts
professedly complete. Next, the theory ascribes to Peisistratus a
character not only materially different from what is indicated by
Cicero and Pausanias,—who represent him, not as having put together
atoms originally distinct, but as the renovator of an ancient
order subsequently lost,—but also in itself unintelligible, and
inconsistent with Grecian habit and feeling. That Peisistratus should
take pains to repress the license, or make up for the unfaithful
memory, of individual rhapsodes, and to ennoble the Panathenaic
festival by the most correct recital of a great and venerable
poem, according to the standard received among the best judges in
Greece,—this is a task both suitable to his position, and requiring
nothing more than an improved recension, together with exact
adherence to it on the part of the rhapsodes. But what motive had he
to string together several poems, previously known only as separate,
into one new whole? What feeling could he gratify by introducing
the extensive changes and transpositions surmised by Lachmann, for
the purpose of binding together sixteen songs, which the rhapsodes
are assumed to have been accustomed to recite, and the people to
hear, each by itself apart? Peisistratus was not a poet, seeking to
interest the public mind by new creations and combinations, but a
ruler, desirous to impart solemnity to a great religious festival in
his native city. Now such a purpose would be answered by selecting,
amidst the divergences of rhapsodes in different parts of Greece,
that order of text which intelligent men could approve as a return to
the pure and pristine Iliad; but it would be defeated if he attempted
large innovations of his own, and brought out for the first time
a new Iliad by blending together, altering, and transposing, many
old and well-known songs. A novelty so bold would have been more
likely to offend than to please both the critics and the multitude.
And if it were even enforced, by authority, at Athens, no probable
reason can be given why all the other towns, and all the rhapsodes
throughout Greece, should abnegate their previous habits in favor of
it, since Athens at that time enjoyed no political ascendency such
as she acquired during the following century. On the whole, it will
appear that the character and position of Peisistratus himself go far
to negative the function which Wolf and Lachmann put upon him. His
interference presupposes a certain foreknown and ancient aggregate,
the main lineaments of which were familiar to the Grecian public,
although many of the rhapsodes in their practice may have deviated
from it both by omission and interpolation. In correcting the
Athenian recitations conformably with such understood general type,
he might hope both to procure respect for Athens, and to constitute
a fashion for the rest of Greece. But this step of “collecting the
torn body of sacred Homer,” is something generically different from
the composition of a new Iliad out of preëxisting songs the former
is as easy, suitable, and promising, as the latter is violent and

  [264] Diogen. Laërt. i. 57.—Τὰ τε Ὁμήρου ~ἐξ ὑποβολῆς~ γέγραφε
  (Σόλων) ῥαψῳδεῖσθαι, οἷον ὅπου ὁ πρῶτος ἔληξεν, ἔκειθεν ἄρχεσθαι
  τὸν ἀρχόμενον, ὥς φησι Διευχίδας ἐν τοῖς Μεγαρικοῖς.

  Respecting Hipparchus, son of Peisistratus, the Pseudo-Plato
  tells us (in the dialogue so called, p. 228),—καὶ τὰ Ὁμήρου ἔπη
  πρῶτος ἐκόμισεν εἰς τὴν γῆν ταυτηνὶ, καὶ ἠνάγκασε τοὺς ῥαψῳδοὺς
  Παναθηναίοις ~ἐξ ὑπολήψεως~ ἐφεξῆς αὐτὰ διϊέναι, ~ὥσπερ νῦν ἔτι~
  οἵδε ποιοῦσι.

  These words have provoked multiplied criticisms from all the
  learned men who have touched upon the theory of the Homeric
  poems,—to determine what was the practice which Solon found
  existing, and what was the change which he introduced. Our
  information is too scanty to pretend to certainty, but I think
  the explanation of Hermann the most satisfactory (“Quid sit
  ~ὑποβολὴ~ et ~ὑποβλήδεν~.”—_Opuscula_, tom. v. p. 300, tom. vii.
  p. 162).

  Ὑποβολεὺς is the technical term for the prompter at a theatrical
  representation (Plutarch, Præcept. gerend. Reip. p. 813);
  ὑποβολὴ and ὑποβάλλειν have corresponding meanings, of aiding
  the memory of a speaker and keeping him in accordance with a
  certain standard, in possession of the prompter: see the words
  ἐξ ὑποβολῆς, Xenophon. Cyropæd. iii. 3, 37. Ὑποβολὴ, therefore,
  has no necessary connection with a series of rhapsodes, but would
  apply just as much to one alone; although it happens in this
  case to be brought to bear upon several in succession. Ὑπόληψις,
  again, means “the taking up in succession of one rhapsode by
  another:” though the two words, therefore, have not the same
  meaning, yet the proceeding described in the two passages,
  in reference both to Solôn and Hipparchus, appears to be in
  substance the same,—_i. e._ to insure, by compulsory supervision,
  a correct and orderly recitation by the successive rhapsodes who
  went through the different parts of the poem.

  There is good reason to conclude from this passage that the
  rhapsodes before Solôn were guilty both of negligence and of
  omission in their recital of Homer, but no reason to imagine
  either that they transposed the books, or that the legitimate
  order was not previously recognized.

  The appointment of a systematic ὑποβολεὺς, or prompter, plainly
  indicates the existence of complete manuscripts.

  The direction of Solôn, that Homer should be rhapsodized under
  the security of a prompter with his manuscript, appears just the
  same as that of the orator Lykurgus in reference to Æschylus,
  Sophoklês, and Euripidês (Pseudo-Plutarch. Vit. x. Rhetor.
  Lycurgi Vit.)—εἰσήνεγκε δὲ καὶ νόμους—ὡς χαλκᾶς εἰκόνας ἀναθεῖναι
  τῶν ποιητῶν Αἰσχύλου, Σοφοκλέους, Εὐριπίδου, καὶ τὰς τραγῳδίας
  αὐτῶν ἐν κοινῷ γραψαμένους φυλάττειν, καὶ τὸν τῆς πόλεως
  γραμματέα παραναγιγνώσκειν τοῖς ὑποκρινομένοις· οὐ γὰρ ἐξῆν αὐτὰς
  (ἄλλως) ὑποκρίνεσθαι. The word ἄλλως, which occurs last but one,
  is introduced by the conjecture of Grysar, who has cited and
  explained the above passage of the Pseudo-Plutarch in a valuable
  dissertation—_De Græcorum Tragœdiâ, qualis fuit circa tempora
  Demosthenis_ (Cologne, 1830). All the critics admit the text
  as it now stands to be unintelligible, and various corrections
  have been proposed, among which that of Grysar seems the best.
  From his Dissertation, I transcribe the following passage, which
  illustrates the rhapsodizing of Homer ἐξ ὑποβολῆς:—

  “Quum histriones fabulis interpolandis ægre abstinerent, Lycurgus
  legem supra indicatam eo tulit consilio, ut recitationes
  histrionum cum publico illo exemplo omnino congruas redderet.
  Quod ut assequeretur, constituit, ut dum fabulæ in scenâ
  recitarentur, scriba publicus simul exemplum civitatis
  inspiceret, juxta sive in theatro sive in postscenio sedens. Hæc
  enim verbi παραναγιγνώσκειν est significatio, posita præcipue
  in præpositione παρὰ, ut idem sit, quod _contra_ sive _juxta_
  legere; id quod faciunt ii, _qui lecta ab altero vel recitata cum
  suis conferre cupiunt_.” (Grysar, p. 7.)

  [265] That the Iliad or Odyssey were ever recited with all the
  parts entire, at any time anterior to Solôn, is a point which
  Ritschl denies (Die Alexandrin. Bibliothek, pp. 67-70). He thinks
  that before Solôn, they were always recited in parts, and without
  any fixed order among the parts. Nor did Solôn determine (as he
  thinks) the order of the parts: he only checked the license of
  the rhapsodes as to the recitation of the separate books: it
  was Pesistratus, who, with the help of Onomakritus and others,
  first settled the order of the parts and bound each poem into a
  whole, with some corrections and interpolations. Nevertheless,
  he admits that the parts were originally composed by the same
  poet, and adapted to form a whole amongst each other: but this
  primitive entireness (he asserts) was only maintained as a sort
  of traditional belief, never realized in recitation, and never
  reduced to an obvious, unequivocal, and permanent fact,—until the
  time of Peisistratus.

  There is no sufficient ground, I think, for denying all entire
  recitation previous to Solôn, and we only interpose a new
  difficulty, both grave and gratuitous, by doing so.

To sustain the inference, that Peisistratus was the first architect
of the Iliad and Odyssey, it ought at least to be shown that no other
long and continuous poems existed during the earlier centuries.
But the contrary of this is known to be the fact. The Æthiopis of
Arktinus, which contained nine thousand one hundred verses, dates
from a period more than two centuries earlier than Peisistratus:
several other of the lost cyclic epics, some among them of
considerable length, appear during the century succeeding Arktinus;
and it is important to notice that three or four at least of these
poems passed currently under the name of Homer.[266] There is no
greater intrinsic difficulty in supposing long epics to have begun
with the Iliad and Odyssey than with the Æthiopis: the ascendency
of the name of Homer and the subordinate position of Arktinus, in
the history of early Grecian poetry, tend to prove the former in
preference to the latter.

  [266] The Æthiopis of Arktinus contained nine thousand one
  hundred verses, as we learn from the Tabula Iliaca: yet Proklus
  assigns to it only four books. The Ilias Minor had _four_ books,
  the Cyprian Verses _eleven_, though we do not know the number of
  lines in either.

  Nitzsch states it as a certain matter of fact, that Arktinus
  recited his own poem _alone_, though it was too long to admit of
  his doing so without interruption. (See his Vorrede to the second
  vol. of the Odyssey, p. xxiv.) There is no evidence for this
  assertion, and it appears to me highly improbable.

  In reference to the Romances of the Middle Ages, belonging to the
  Cycle of the Round Table, M. Fauriel tells us that the German
  _Perceval_ has nearly twenty-five thousand verses (more than
  half as long again as the Iliad); the _Perceval_ of Christian
  of Troyes, probably more; the German _Tristan_, of Godfrey of
  Strasburg, has more than twenty-three thousand; sometimes, the
  poem is begun by one author, and continued by another. (Fauriel,
  Romans de Chevalerie, Revue des Deux Mondes, t. xiii. pp.

  The ancient unwritten poems of the Icelandic Skalds are as
  much lyric as epic: the longest of them does not exceed eight
  hundred lines, and they are for the most part much shorter
  (Untersuchungen über die Geschichte der Nördischen Heldensage,
  aus P. A. Müller’s Sagabibliothek von G. Lange, Frankf. 1832,
  Introduct. p. xlii.).

Moreover, we find particular portions of the Iliad, which expressly
pronounce themselves, by their own internal evidence, as belonging to
a large whole, and not as separate integers. We can hardly conceive
the Catalogue in the second book, except as a fractional composition,
and with reference to a series of approaching exploits; for, taken
apart by itself, such a barren enumeration of names could have
stimulated neither the fancy of the poet, nor the attention of the
listeners. But the Homeric Catalogue had acquired a sort of canonical
authority even in the time of Solôn, insomuch that he interpolated a
line into it, or was accused of doing so, for the purpose of gaining
a disputed point against the Megarians, who, on their side, set forth
another version.[267] No such established reverence could have been
felt for this document, unless there had existed for a long time
prior to Peisistratus, the habit of regarding and listening to the
Iliad as a continuous poem. And when the philosopher Xenophanês,
contemporary with Peisistratus, noticed Homer as the universal
teacher, and denounced him as an unworthy describer of the gods, he
must have connected this great mental sway, not with a number of
unconnected rhapsodies, but with an aggregate Iliad and Odyssey;
probably with other poems, also, ascribed to the same author, such as
the Cypria, Epigoni, and Thebaïs.

  [267] Plutarch, Solôn, 10.

We find, it is true, references in various authors to portions of
the Iliad, each by its own separate name, such as the Teichomachy,
the Aristeia (preëminent exploits) of Diomedês, or Agamemnôn, the
Doloneia, or Night-expedition (of Dolon as well as of Odysseus
and Diomedês), etc., and hence, it has been concluded, that these
portions originally existed as separate poems, before they were
cemented together into an Iliad. But such references prove nothing
to the point; for until the Iliad was divided by Aristarchus and his
colleagues into a given number of books, or rhapsodies, designated
by the series of letters in the alphabet, there was no method of
calling attention to any particular portion of the poem except by
special indication of its subject-matter.[268] Authors subsequent
to Peisistratus, such as Herodotus and Plato, who unquestionably
conceived the Iliad as a whole, cite the separate fractions of it by
designations of this sort.

  [268] The Homeric Scholiast refers to Quintus Calaber ἐν τῇ
  Ἀμαζονομαχίᾳ, which was only one portion of his long poem (Schol.
  ad Iliad. ii. 220).

The foregoing remarks on the Wolfian hypothesis respecting the text
of the Iliad, tend to separate two points which are by no means
necessarily connected, though that hypothesis, as set forth by
Wolf himself, by W. Müller, and by Lachmann, presents the two in
conjunction. First, was the Iliad originally projected and composed
by one author, and as one poem, or were the different parts composed
separately and by unconnected authors, and subsequently strung
together into an aggregate? Secondly, assuming that the internal
evidences of the poem negative the former supposition, and drive us
upon the latter, was the construction of the whole poem deferred,
and did the parts exist only in their separate state, until a period
so late as the reign of Peisistratus? It is obvious that these two
questions are essentially separate, and that a man may believe the
Iliad to have been put together out of preëxisting songs, without
recognizing the age of Peisistratus as the period of its first
compilation. Now, whatever may be the steps through which the poem
passed to its ultimate integrity, there is sufficient reason for
believing that they had been accomplished long before that period:
the friends of Peisistratus found an Iliad already existing and
already ancient in their time, even granting that the poem had not
been originally born in a state of unity. Moreover, the Alexandrine
critics, whose remarks are preserved in the Scholia, do not even
notice the Peisistratic recension among the many manuscripts which
they had before them: and Mr. Payne Knight justly infers from their
silence that either they did not possess it, or it was in their eyes
of no great authority;[269] which could never have been the case if
it had been the prime originator of Homeric unity.

  [269] Knight, Prolegg. Homer, xxxii. xxxvi. xxxvii. That
  Peisistratus caused a corrected MS. of the Iliad to be prepared,
  there seems good reason to believe, and the Scholion on Plautus
  edited by Ritschl (see Die Alexandrinische Bibliothek, p. 4)
  specifies the four persons (Onomakritus was one) employed on the
  task. Ritschl fancies that it served as a sort of Vulgate for the
  text of the Alexandrine critics, who named specially other MSS.
  (of Chios, Sinôpê, Massalia, etc.) only when they diverged from
  this Vulgate: he thinks, also, that it formed the original from
  whence those other MSS. were first drawn, which are called in the
  Homeric Scholia αἱ κοιναὶ, κοινότεραι (pp. 59-60).

  Welcker supposes the Peisistratic MS. to have been either lost
  or carried away when Xerxês took Athens (Der Epische Kyklus, pp.

  Compare Nitzsch, Histor. Homer. Fasc. i. pp. 165-167; also his
  commentary on Odyss. xi. 604, the alleged interpolation of
  Onomakritus; and Ulrici, Geschichte der Hellen. Poes. Part i. s.
  vii. pp. 252-255.

  The main facts respecting the Peisistratic recension are
  collected and discussed by Gräfenhan, Geschichte der Philologie,
  sect. 54-64, vol. i. pp. 266-311. Unfortunately, we cannot get
  beyond mere conjecture and possibility.

The line of argument, by which the advocates of Wolf’s hypothesis
negative the primitive unity of the poem, consists in exposing gaps,
incongruities, contradictions, etc., between the separate parts.
Now, if in spite of all these incoherences, standing mementos of
an antecedent state of separation, the component poems were made
to coalesce so intimately as to appear as if they had been one
from the beginning, we can better understand the complete success
of the proceeding and the universal prevalence of the illusion,
by supposing such coalescence to have taken place at a very early
period, during the productive days of epical genius, and before the
growth of reading and criticism. The longer the aggregation of the
separate poems was deferred, the harder it would be to obliterate
in men’s minds the previous state of separation, and to make them
accept the new aggregate as an original unity. The bards or rhapsodes
might have found comparatively little difficulty in thus piecing
together distinct songs, during the ninth or eighth century before
Christ; but it we suppose the process to be deferred until the
latter half of the sixth century,—if we imagine that Solôn, with
all his contemporaries and predecessors, knew nothing about any
aggregate Iliad, but was accustomed to read and hear only those
sixteen distinct epical pieces into which Lachmann would dissect
the Iliad, each of the sixteen bearing a separate name of its
own,—no compilation then for the first time made by the friends of
Peisistratus could have effaced the established habit, and planted
itself in the general convictions of Greece as the primitive
Homeric production. Had the sixteen pieces remained disunited and
individualized down to the time of Peisistratus, they would in
all probability have continued so ever afterwards; nor could the
extensive changes and transpositions which (according to Lachmann’s
theory) were required to melt them down into our present Iliad, have
obtained at that late period universal acceptance. Assuming it to
be true that such changes and transpositions did really take place,
they must at least be referred to a period greatly earlier than
Peisistratus or Solôn.

The whole tenor of the poems themselves confirms what is here
remarked. There is nothing either in the Iliad or Odyssey which
savors of _modernism_, applying that term to the age of Peisistratus;
nothing which brings to our view the alterations, brought about by
two centuries, in the Greek language, the coined money, the habits
of writing and reading, the despotisms and republican governments,
the close military array, the improved construction of ships, the
Amphiktyonic convocations, the mutual frequentation of religious
festivals, the Oriental and Egyptian veins of religion, etc.,
familiar to the latter epoch. These alterations Onomakritus and the
other literary friends of Peisistratus, could hardly have failed
to notice even without design, had they then for the first time
undertaken the task of piecing together many self-existent epics into
one large aggregate.[270] Everything in the two great Homeric poems,
both in substance and in language, belongs to an age two or three
centuries earlier than Peisistratus. Indeed, even the interpolations
(or those passages which on the best grounds are pronounced to be
such) betray no trace of the sixth century before Christ, and may
well have been heard by Archilochus and Kallinus,—in some cases
even by Arktinus and Hesiod,—as genuine Homeric matter. As far as
the evidences on the case, as well internal as external, enable us
to judge, we seem warranted in believing that the Iliad and Odyssey
were recited substantially as they now stand, (always allowing for
partial divergences of text, and interpolations,) in 776 B. C., our
first trustworthy mark of Grecian time. And this ancient date,—let
it be added,—as it is the best-authenticated fact, so it is also
the most important attribute of the Homeric poems, considered in
reference to Grecian history. For they thus afford us an insight into
the ante-historical character of the Greeks,—enabling us to trace
the subsequent forward march of the nation, and to seize instructive
contrasts between their former and their later condition.

  [270] Wolf allows both the uniformity of coloring, and the
  antiquity of coloring, which pervade the Homeric poems; also,
  the strong line by which they stand distinguished from the other
  Greek poets: “Immo congruunt in iis omnia ferme in idem ingenium,
  in eosdem mores, in eandem formam sentiendi et loquendi.”
  (Prolegom. p. cclxv; compare p. cxxxviii.)

  He thinks, indeed, that this harmony was _restored_ by the
  ability and care of Aristarchus, (“mirificum illum concentum
  revocatum Aristarcho imprimis debemus.”) This is a very
  exaggerated estimate of the interference of Aristarchus: but
  at any rate the _concentus_ itself was ancient and original,
  and Aristarchus only _restored_ it, when it had been spoiled
  by intervening accidents; at least, if we are to construe
  _revocatum_ strictly, which, perhaps, is hardly consistent with
  Wolf’s main theory.

Rejecting, therefore, the idea of compilation by Peisistratus, and
referring the present state of the Iliad and Odyssey to a period
more than two centuries earlier, the question still remains, by what
process, or through whose agency, they reached that state? Is each
poem the work of one author, or of several? If the latter, do all the
parts belong to the same age? What ground is there for believing,
that any or all of these parts existed before, as separate poems, and
have been accommodated to the place in which they now appear, by more
or less systematic alteration?

The acute and valuable Prolegomena of Wolf, half a century ago,
powerfully turned the attention of scholars to the necessity of
considering the Iliad and Odyssey with reference to the age and
society in which they arose, and to the material differences in
this respect between Homer and more recent epic poets.[271] Since
that time, an elaborate study has been bestowed upon the early
manifestations of poetry (Sagen-poesie) among other nations; and the
German critics especially, among whom this description of literatures
has been most cultivated, have selected it as the only appropriate
analogy for the Homeric poems. Such poetry, consisting for the
most part of short, artless effusions, with little of deliberate
or far-sighted combination, has been assumed by many critics as a
fit standard to apply for measuring the capacities of the Homeric
age; an age exclusively of speakers, singers, and hearers, not of
readers or writers. In place of the unbounded admiration which was
felt for Homer, not merely as a poet of detail, but as constructor
of a long epic, at the time when Wolf wrote his Prolegomena, the
tone of criticism passed to the opposite extreme, and attention was
fixed entirely upon the defects in the arrangement of the Iliad and
Odyssey. Whatever was to be found in them of symmetry or pervading
system, was pronounced to be decidedly post-Homeric. Under such
preconceived anticipations, Homer seems to have been generally
studied in Germany, during the generation succeeding Wolf, the
negative portion of whose theory was usually admitted, though as to
the positive substitute,—what explanation was to be given of the
history and present constitution of the Homeric poems,—there was by
no means the like agreement. During the last ten years, however, a
contrary tendency has manifested itself; the Wolfian theory has been
reëxamined and shaken by Nitzsch, who, as well as O. Müller, Welcker,
and other scholars, have revived the idea of original Homeric
unity, under certain modifications. The change in Goethe’s opinion,
coincident with this new direction, is recorded in one of his latest
works.[272] On the other hand, the original opinion of Wolf has
also been reproduced within the last five years, and fortified with
several new observations on the text of the Iliad, by Lachmann.

  [271] See Wolf, Prolegg. c. xii. p. xliii. “Nondum enim prorsus
  ejecta et explosa est eorum ratio, qui Homerum et Callimachum
  et Virgilium et Nonnum et Miltonum eodem animo legunt, nec
  quid uniuscujusque ætas ferat, expendere legendo et computare
  laborant,” etc.

  A similar and earlier attempt to construe the Homeric poems with
  reference to their age, is to be seen in the treatise called _Il
  Vero Omero_ of Vico,—marked with a good deal of original thought,
  but not strong in erudition (Opere di Vico, ed. Milan, vol. v.
  pp. 437-497).

  [272] In the forty-sixth volume of his collected works, in the
  little treatise “_Homer, noch einmal_:” compare G. Lange, Ueber
  die Kyklischen Dichter (Mainz, 1837), Preface, p. vi.

The point is thus still under controversy among able scholars, and is
probably destined to remain so. For, in truth, our means of knowledge
are so limited, that no man can produce arguments sufficiently cogent
to contend against opposing preconceptions; and it creates a painful
sentiment of diffidence when we read the expressions of equal and
absolute persuasion with which the two opposite conclusions have
both been advanced.[273] We have nothing to teach us the history of
these poems except the poems themselves. Not only do we possess no
collateral information respecting them or their authors, but we
have no one to describe to us the people or the age in which they
originated; our knowledge respecting contemporary Homeric society, is
collected exclusively from the Homeric compositions themselves. We
are ignorant whether any other, or what other, poems preceded them,
or divided with them the public favor; nor have we anything better
than conjecture to determine either the circumstances under which
they were brought before the hearers, or the conditions which a bard
of that day was required to satisfy. On all these points, moreover,
the age of Thucydidês[274] and Plato seems to have been no better
informed than we are, except in so far as they could profit by the
analogies of the cyclic and other epic poems, which would doubtless
in many cases have afforded valuable aid.

  [273] “Non esse totam Iliadem aut Odysseam unius poetæ opus,
  ita extra dubitationem positam puto, ut qui secus sentiat, eum
  non satis lectitasse illa carmina contendam.” (Godf. Hermann,
  Præfat. ad Odysseam, Lips. 1825, p. iv.) See the language of the
  same eminent critic in his treatise “Ueber Homer und Sappho,”
  Opuscula, vol. v. p. 74.

  Lachmann, after having dissected the two thousand two hundred
  lines in the Iliad, between the beginning of the eleventh book,
  and line five hundred and ninety of the fifteenth, into four
  songs, “in the highest degree different in their spirit,” (“ihrem
  Geiste nach höchst verschiedene Lieder,”) tells us that whosoever
  thinks this difference of spirit inconsiderable,—whosoever does
  not feel it at once when pointed out,—whosoever can believe
  that the parts as they stand now belong to one artistically
  constructed Epos,—“will do well not to trouble himself any more
  either with my criticisms or with epic poetry, because he is
  too weak to understand anything about it,” (“weil er zu schwach
  ist etwas darin zu verstehen:”) Fernere Betrachtungen Ueber die
  Ilias: Abhandl. Berlin. Acad. 1841, p. 18, § xxiii.

  On the contrary, Ulrici, after having shown (or tried to show)
  that the composition of Homer satisfies perfectly, in the main,
  all the exigencies of an artistic epic,—adds, that this will
  make itself at once evident to all those who have any sense of
  artistical symmetry; but that, for those to whom that sense is
  wanting, no conclusive demonstration can be given. He warns the
  latter, however, that they are not to deny the existence of
  that which their shortsighted vision cannot distinguish, for
  everything cannot be made clear to children, which the mature man
  sees through at a glance (Ulrici, Geschichte des Griechischen
  Epos, Part i. ch. vii. pp. 260-261). Read also Payne Knight,
  Proleg. c. xxvii, about the insanity of the Wolfian school,
  obvious even to the “homunculus e trivio.”

  I have the misfortune to dissent from both Lachmann and Ulrici;
  for it appears to me a mistake to put the Iliad and Odyssey on
  the same footing, as Ulrici does, and as is too frequently done
  by others.

  [274] Plato, Aristotle, and their contemporaries generally, read
  the most suspicious portions of the Homeric poems as genuine
  (Nitzsch, Plan und Gang der Odyssee, in the Preface to his second
  vol. of Comments on the Odyssey, pp. lx-lxiv).

  Thucydidês accepts the Hymn to Apollo as a composition by the
  author of the Iliad.

Nevertheless, no classical scholar can be easy without _some_ opinion
respecting the authorship of these immortal poems. And the more
defective the evidence we possess, the more essential is it that
all that evidence should be marshalled in the clearest order, and
its bearing upon the points in controversy distinctly understood
beforehand. Both these conditions seem to have been often neglected,
throughout the long-continued Homeric discussion.

To illustrate the first point: Since two poems are comprehended in
the problem to be solved, the natural process would be, first, to
study the easier of the two, and then to apply the conclusions thence
deduced as a means of explaining the other. Now, the Odyssey, looking
at its aggregate character, is incomparably more easy to comprehend
than the Iliad. Yet most Homeric critics apply the microscope at
once, and in the first instance, to the Iliad.

To illustrate the second point: What evidence is sufficient to
negative the supposition that the Iliad or the Odyssey is a poem
originally and intentionally one? Not simply particular gaps and
contradictions, though they be even gross and numerous; but the
preponderance of these proofs of mere unprepared coalescence over the
other proofs of designed adaptation scattered throughout the whole
poem. For the poet (or the coöperating poets, if more than one) may
have intended to compose an harmonious whole, but may have realized
their intention incompletely, and left partial faults; or, perhaps,
the contradictory lines may have crept in through a corrupt text. A
survey of the whole poem is necessary to determine the question; and
this necessity, too, has not always been attended to.

If it had happened that the Odyssey had been preserved to us alone,
without the Iliad, I think the dispute respecting Homeric unity would
never have been raised. For the former is, in my judgment, pervaded
almost from beginning to end by marks of designed adaptation; and
the special faults which Wolf, W. Müller, and B. Thiersch,[275] have
singled out for the purpose of disproving such unity of intention,
are so few, and of so little importance, that they would have been
universally regarded as mere instances of haste or unskilfulness on
the part of the poet, had they not been seconded by the far more
powerful battery opened against the Iliad. These critics, having
laid down their general presumptions against the antiquity of the
long epopee, illustrate their principles by exposing the many flaws
and fissures in the Iliad, and then think it sufficient if they can
show a few similar defects in the Odyssey,—as if the breaking up of
Homeric unity in the former naturally entailed a similar necessity
with regard to the latter; and their method of proceeding, contrary
to the rule above laid down, puts the more difficult problem in the
foreground, as a means of solution for the easier. We can hardly
wonder, however, that they have applied their observations in the
first instance to the Iliad, because it is in every man’s esteem
the more marked, striking, and impressive poem of the two,—and the
character of Homer is more intimately identified with it than with
the Odyssey. This may serve as an explanation of the course pursued;
but be the case as it may in respect to comparative poetical merit,
it is not the less true, that, as an aggregate, the Odyssey is more
simple and easily understood, and, therefore, ought to come first in
the order of analysis.

  [275] Bernhard Thiersch, Ueber das Zeitalter und Vaterland des
  Homer (Halberstadt, 1832), Einleitung, pp. 4-18.

Now, looking at the Odyssey by itself, the proofs of an unity of
design seem unequivocal and everywhere to be found. A premeditated
structure, and a concentration of interest upon one prime hero, under
well-defined circumstances, may be traced from the first book to the
twenty-third. Odysseus is always either directly or indirectly kept
before the reader, as a warrior returning from the fulness of glory
at Troy, exposed to manifold and protracted calamities during his
return home, on which his whole soul is so bent that he refuses even
the immortality offered by Calypsô;—a victim, moreover, even after
his return, to mingled injury and insult from the suitors, who have
long been plundering his property, and dishonoring his house; but
at length obtaining, by valor and cunning united, a signal revenge,
which restores him to all that he had lost. All the persons and all
the events in the poem are subsidiary to this main plot: and the
divine agency, necessary to satisfy the feeling of the Homeric man,
is put forth by Poseidôn and Athênê, in both cases from dispositions
directly bearing upon Odysseus. To appreciate the unity of the
Odyssey, we have only to read the objections taken against that of
the Iliad,—especially in regard to the long withdrawal of Achilles,
not only from the scene, but from the memory,—together with the
independent prominence of Ajax, Diomêdês, and other heroes. How
far we are entitled from hence to infer the want of premeditated
unity in the Iliad, will be presently considered; but it is certain
that the constitution of the Odyssey, in this respect, everywhere
demonstrates the presence of such unity. Whatever may be the interest
attached to Penelopê, Telemachus, or Eumæus, we never disconnect
them from their association with Odysseus. The present is not the
place for collecting the many marks of artistical structure dispersed
throughout this poem; but it may be worth while to remark, that the
final catastrophe realized in the twenty-second book,—the slaughter
of the suitors in the very house which they were profaning,—is
distinctly and prominently marked out in the first and second books,
promised by Teiresias in the eleventh, by Athênê in the thirteenth,
and by Helen in the fifteenth, and gradually matured by a series of
suitable preliminaries, throughout the eight books preceding its
occurrence.[276] Indeed, what is principally evident, and what has
been often noticed, in the Odyssey, is, the equable flow both of
the narrative and the events; the absence of that rise and fall of
interest which is sufficiently conspicuous in the Iliad.

  [276] Compare i, 295; ii. 145 (νήποινοί κεν ἔπειτα δόμων ἔντοσθεν
  ὄλοισθε); xi. 118; xiii. 395; xv. 178; also xiv. 162.

To set against these evidences of unity, there ought, at least,
to be some strong cases produced of occasional incoherence
or contradiction. But it is remarkable how little of such
counter-evidence is to be found, although the arguments of Wolf,
W. Müller, and B. Thiersch stand so much in need of it. They have
discovered only one instance of undeniable inconsistency in the
parts,—the number of days occupied by the absence of Telemachus at
Pylus and Sparta. That young prince, though represented as in great
haste to depart, and refusing pressing invitations to prolong his
stay, must, nevertheless, be supposed to have continued for thirty
days the guest of Menelaus, in order to bring his proceedings into
chronological harmony with those of Odysseus, and to explain the
first meeting of father and son in the swine-fold of Eumæus. Here is
undoubtedly an inaccuracy, (so Nitzsch[277] treats it, and I think
justly) on the part of the poet, who did not anticipate, and did not
experience in ancient times, so strict a scrutiny; an inaccuracy
certainly not at all wonderful; the matter of real wonder is, that it
stands almost alone, and that there are no others in the poem.

  [277] Nitzsch, Plan und Gang der Odyssee, p. xliii, prefixed to
  the second vol. of his Commentary on the Odysseis.

  “At carminum primi auditores non adeo curiosi erant (observes
  Mr. Payne Knight, Proleg. c. xxiii.), ut ejusmodi rerum
  rationes aut exquirerent aut expenderent; neque eorum fides e
  subtilioribus congruentiis omnino pendebat. Monendi enim sunt
  etiam atque etiam Homericorum studiosi, veteres illos ἀοιδοὺς
  non linguâ professoriâ inter viros criticos et grammaticos, aut
  alios quoscunque argutiarum captatores, carmina cantitasse,
  sed inter eos qui sensibus animorum libere, incaute, et effuse
  indulgerent,” etc. Chap. xxii-xxvii. of Mr. Knight’s Prolegomena,
  are valuable to the same purpose, showing the “homines rudes et
  agrestes,” of that day, as excellent judges of what fell under
  their senses and observation, but careless, credulous, and
  unobservant of contradiction, in matters which came only under
  the mind’s eye.

Now, this is one of the main points on which W. Müller and
B. Thiersch rest their theory,—explaining the chronological
confusion by supposing that the journey of Telemachus to Pylus and
Sparta, constituted the subject of an epic originally separate
(comprising the first four books and a portion of the fifteenth),
and incorporated at second-hand with the remaining poem. And they
conceive this view to be farther confirmed by the double assembly
of the gods, (at the beginning of the first book as well as of the
fifth,) which they treat as an awkward repetition, such as could not
have formed part of the primary scheme of any epic poet. But here
they only escape a small difficulty by running into another and a
greater. For it is impossible to comprehend how the first four books
and part of the fifteenth can ever have constituted a distinct epic;
since the adventures of Telemachus have no satisfactory termination,
except at the point of confluence with those of his father, when the
unexpected meeting and recognition takes place under the roof of
Eumæus,—nor can any epic poem ever have described that meeting and
recognition without giving some account how Odysseus came thither.
Moreover, the first two books of the Odyssey distinctly lay the
ground, and carry expectation forward, to the final catastrophe
of the poem,—treating Telemachus as a subordinate person, and his
expedition as merely provisional towards an ulterior result. Nor can
I agree with W. Müller, that the real Odyssey might well be supposed
to begin with the fifth book. On the contrary, the exhibition of
the suitors and the Ithakesian agora, presented to us in the second
book, is absolutely essential to the full comprehension of the books
subsequent to the thirteenth. The suitors are far too important
personages in the poem to allow of their being first introduced in
so informal a manner as we read in the sixteenth book: indeed, the
passing allusions of Athênê (xiii. 310, 375) and Eumæus (xiv. 41,
81) to the suitors, presuppose cognizance of them on the part of the

Lastly, the twofold discussion of the gods, at the beginning of the
first and fifth books, and the double interference of Athênê, far
from being a needless repetition, may be shown to suit perfectly
both the genuine epical conditions and the unity of the poem.[278]
For although the final consummation, and the organization of
measures against the suitors, was to be accomplished by Odysseus
and Telemachus jointly, yet the march and adventures of the two,
until the moment of their meeting in the dwelling of Eumæus, were
essentially distinct. But, according to the religious ideas of the
old epic, the presiding direction of Athênê was necessary for the
safety and success of both of them. Her first interference arouses
and inspires the son, her second produces the liberation of the
father,—constituting a point of union and common origination for two
lines of adventures, in both of which she takes earnest interest, but
which are necessarily for a time kept apart in order to coincide at
the proper moment.

  [278] W. Müller is not correct in saying that, in the first
  assembly of the gods, Zeus promises something which he does not
  perform: Zeus does not _promise_ to send Hermes as messenger to
  Kalypsô, in the first book, though Athênê urges him to do so.
  Zeus, indeed, requires to be urged twice before he dictates to
  Kalypsô the release of Odysseus, but he had already intimated, in
  the first book, that he felt great difficulty in protecting the
  hero, because of the wrath manifested against him by Poseidôn.

It will thus appear that the twice-repeated agora of the gods in the
Odyssey, bringing home, as it does to one and the same divine agent,
that double start which is essential to the scheme of the poem,
consists better with the supposition of premeditated unity than with
that of distinct self-existent parts. And, assuredly, the manner in
which Telemachus and Odysseus, both by different roads, are brought
into meeting and conjunction at the dwelling of Eumæus, is something
not only contrived, but very skilfully contrived. It is needless
to advert to the highly interesting character of Eumæus, rendered
available as a rallying-point, though in different ways, both to the
father and the son, over and above the sympathy which he himself

If the Odyssey be not an original unity, of what self-existent
parts can we imagine it to have consisted? To this question it is
difficult to imagine a satisfactory reply: for the supposition that
Telemachus and his adventures may once have formed the subject of a
separate epos, apart from Odysseus, appears inconsistent with the
whole character of that youth as it stands in the poem, and with the
events in which he is made to take part. We could better imagine
the distribution of the adventures of Odysseus himself into two
parts,—one containing his wanderings and return, the other handling
his ill-treatment by the suitors, and his final triumph. But though
either of these two subjects might have been adequate to furnish
out a separate poem, it is nevertheless certain that, as they are
presented in the Odyssey, the former cannot be divorced from the
latter. The simple return of Odysseus, as it now stands in the
poem, could satisfy no one as a final close, so long as the suitors
remain in possession of his house, and forbid his reunion with his
wife. Any poem which treated his wanderings and return separately,
must have represented his reunion with Penelopê and restoration to
his house, as following naturally upon his arrival in Ithaka,—thus
taking little or no notice of the suitors. But this would be a
capital mutilation of the actual epical narrative, which considers
the suitors at home as an essential portion of the destiny of the
much-suffering hero, not less than his shipwrecks and trials at sea.
His return (separately taken) is foredoomed, according to the curse
of Polyphemus, executed by Poseidôn, to be long deferred, miserable,
solitary, and ending with destruction in his house to greet him;[279]
and the ground is thus laid, in the very recital of his wanderings,
for a new series of events which are to happen to him after his
arrival in Ithaka. There is no tenable halting-place between the
departure of Odysseus from Troy, and the final restoration to his
house and his wife. The distance between these two events may,
indeed, be widened, by accumulating new distresses and impediments,
but any separate portion of it cannot be otherwise treated than as a
fraction of the whole. The beginning and the end are here the data
in respect to epical genesis, though the intermediate events admit
of being conceived as variables, more or less numerous: so that the
conception of the whole may be said without impropriety both to
precede and to govern that of the constituent parts.

  [279] Odyss. ix. 534.—

    Ὀψὲ κακῶς ἔλθοι, ὀλέσας ἀπὸ πάντας ἑταίρους,
    Νηὸς ἐπ᾽ ἀλλοτρίης, εὕροι δ᾽ ἐν πήματα οἴκῳ—
    Ὣς ἔφατ᾽ εὐχόμενος· (the Cyclops to Poseidôn) τοῦ δ᾽ ἔκλυε Κυανοχαίτης.

The general result of a study of the Odyssey may be set down as
follows: 1. The poem, as it now stands, exhibits unequivocally
adaptation of parts and continuity of structure, whether by one
or by several consentient hands: it may, perhaps, be a secondary
formation, out of a preëxisting Odyssey of smaller dimensions;
but, if so, the parts of the smaller whole must have been so far
recast as to make them suitable members of the larger, and are noway
recognizable by us. 2. The subject-matter of the poem not only does
not favor, but goes far to exclude, the possibility of the Wolfian
hypothesis. Its events cannot be so arranged as to have composed
several antecedent substantive epics, afterwards put together into
the present aggregate. Its authors cannot have been mere compilers
of preëxisting materials, such as Peisistratus and his friends: they
must have been poets, competent to work such matter as they found,
into a new and enlarged design of their own. Nor can the age in
which this long poem, of so many thousand lines, was turned out as
a continuous aggregate, be separated from the ancient, productive,
inspired age of Grecian epic.

Arriving at such conclusions from the internal evidence of the
Odyssey,[280] we can apply them by analogy to the Iliad. We learn
something respecting the character and capacities of that early
age which has left no other mementos except these two poems. Long
continuous epics (it is observed by those who support the views
of Wolf), with an artistical structure, are inconsistent with the
capacities of a rude and non-writing age. Such epics (we may reply)
are _not inconsistent_ with the early age of the Greeks, and the
Odyssey is a proof of it; for in that poem the integration of the
whole, and the composition of the parts, must have been simultaneous.
The analogy of the Odyssey enables us to rebut that preconception
under which many ingenious critics sit down to the study of the
Iliad, and which induces them to explain all the incoherences of the
latter by breaking it up into smaller unities, as if short epics were
the only manifestation of poetical power which the age admitted.
There ought to be no reluctance in admitting a presiding scheme and
premeditated unity of parts, in so far as the parts themselves point
to such a conclusion.

  [280] Wolf admits, in most unequivocal language, the compact
  and artful structure of the Odyssey. Against this positive
  internal evidence, he sets the general presumption, that no such
  constructive art can possibly have belonged to a poet of the age
  of Homer: “De Odysseâ maxime, cujus admirabilis summa et compages
  pro præclarissimo monumento Græci ingenii habenda est.... Unde
  fit ut Odysseam nemo, cui omnino priscus vates placeat, nisi
  perlectam e manu deponere queat. At illa ars id ipsum est, quod
  _vix ac ne vix quidem cadere_ videtur in vatem, singulas tantum
  rhapsodias decantantem,” etc. (Prolegomen. pp. cxviii-cxx;
  compare cxii.)

That the Iliad is not so essentially one piece as the Odyssey, every
man agrees. It includes a much greater multiplicity of events, and
what is yet more important, a greater multiplicity of prominent
personages: the very indefinite title which it bears, as contrasted
with the speciality of the name, _Odyssey_, marks the difference
at once. The parts stand out more conspicuously from the whole,
and admit more readily of being felt and appreciated in detached
recitation. We may also add, that it is of more unequal execution
than the Odyssey,—often rising to a far higher pitch of grandeur, but
also, occasionally, tamer: the story does not move on continuously;
incidents occur without plausible motive, nor can we shut our eyes to
evidences of incoherence and contradiction.

To a certain extent, the Iliad is open to all these remarks, though
Wolf and William Müller, and above all Lachmann, exaggerate the case
in degree. And from hence has been deduced the hypothesis which
treats the parts in their original state as separate integers,
independent of, and unconnected with, each other, and forced into
unity only by the afterthought of a subsequent age; or sometimes, not
even themselves as integers, but as aggregates grouped together out
of fragments still smaller,—short epics formed by the coalescence
of still shorter songs. Now there is some plausibility in these
reasonings, so long as the discrepancies are looked upon as the
whole of the case. But in point of fact they are not the whole of
the case: for it is not less true, that there are large portions
of the Iliad which present positive and undeniable evidences of
coherence as antecedent and consequent, though we are occasionally
perplexed by inconsistencies of detail. To deal with these latter,
is a portion of the duties of the critic. But he is not to treat the
Iliad as if inconsistency prevailed everywhere throughout its parts;
for coherence of parts—symmetrical antecedence and consequence—is
discernible throughout the larger half of the poem.

Now the Wolfian theory explains the gaps and contradictions
throughout the narrative, but it explains nothing else. If (as
Lachmann thinks) the Iliad originally consisted of sixteen songs,
or little substantive epics, (Lachmann’s sixteen songs cover the
space only as far as the 22d book, or the death of Hector, and two
more songs would have to be admitted for the 23d and 24th books),—not
only composed by different authors, but by each[281] without any view
to conjunction with the rest,—we have then no right to expect any
intrinsic continuity between them; and all that continuity which we
now find must be of extraneous origin. Where are we to look for the
origin? Lachmann follows Wolf, in ascribing the whole constructive
process to Peisistratus and his associates, at a period when the
creative epical faculty is admitted to have died out. But upon this
supposition, Peisistratus (or his associates) must have done much
more than omit, transpose, and interpolate, here and there; he must
have gone far to rewrite the whole poem. A great poet might have
recast preëxisting separate songs into one comprehensive whole, but
no mere arrangers or compilers would be competent to do so: and we
are thus left without any means of accounting for that degree of
continuity and consistence which runs through so large a portion of
the Iliad, though not through the whole. The idea that the poem,
as we read it, grew out of atoms not originally designed for the
places which they now occupy, involves us in new and inextricable
difficulties, when we seek to elucidate either the mode of
coalescence or the degree of existing unity.[282]

  [281] Lachmann seems to admit one case in which the composer of
  one song manifests cognizance of another song, and a disposition
  to give what will form a sequel to it. His fifteenth song (the
  Patrokleia) lasts from xv. 592 down to the end of the 17th book:
  the sixteenth song (including the four next books, from eighteen
  to twenty-two inclusive) is a continuation of the fifteenth,
  but by a different poet. (Fernere Betrachtungen über die Ilias,
  Abhandl. Berlin. Acad. 1841, sect. xxvi. xxviii. xxix. pp. 24,
  34, 42.)

  This admission of premeditated adaptation to a certain extent
  breaks up the integrity of the Wolfian hypothesis.

  [282] The advocates of the Wolfian theory, appear to feel the
  difficulties which beset it; for their language is wavering in
  respect to these supposed primary constituent atoms. Sometimes
  Lachmann tells us, that the original pieces were much finer
  poetry than the Iliad as we now read it; at another time, that
  it cannot be now discovered what they originally were: nay, he
  farther admits, (as remarked in the preceding note,) that the
  poet of the sixteenth song had cognizance of the fifteenth.

  But if it be granted that the original constituent songs were
  so composed, though by different poets, as that the more recent
  were adapted to the earlier with more or less dexterity and
  success, this brings us into totally different conditions of the
  problem. It is a virtual surrender of the Wolfian hypothesis,
  which, however, Lachmann both means to defend, and does defend
  with ability; though his vindication of it has, to my mind, only
  the effect of exposing its inherent weakness by carrying it out
  into something detailed and positive. I will add, in respect to
  his Dissertations, so instructive as a microscopic examination
  of the poem,—1. That I find myself constantly dissenting from
  that critical feeling, on the strength of which he cuts out
  parts as interpolations, and discovers traces of the hand of
  distinct poets; 2. That his objections against the continuity
  of the narrative are often founded upon lines which the ancient
  scholiasts and Mr. Payne Knight had already pronounced to be
  interpolations; 3. That such of his objections as are founded
  upon lines undisputed, admit in many cases of a complete and
  satisfactory reply.

Admitting then premeditated adaptation of parts to a certain extent
as essential to the Iliad, we may yet inquire, whether it was
produced all at once, or gradually enlarged,—whether by one author,
or by several; and, if the parts be of different age, which is the
primitive kernel, and which are the additions.

Welcker, Lange, and Nitzsch[283] treat the Homeric poems as
representing a second step in advance, in the progress of popular
poetry. First, comes the age of short narrative songs; next, when
these have become numerous, there arise constructive minds, who
recast and blend together many of them into a larger aggregate,
conceived upon some scheme of their own. The age of the epos is
followed by that of the epopee,—short, spontaneous effusions
preparing the way, and furnishing materials, for the architectonic
genius of the poet. It is farther presumed by the above-mentioned
authors, that the pre-Homeric epic included a great abundance of
such smaller songs,—a fact which admits of no proof, but which seems
countenanced by some passages in Homer, and is in itself no way
improbable. But the transition from such songs, assuming them to be
ever so numerous, to a combined and continuous poem, forms an epoch
in the intellectual history of the nation, implying mental qualities
of a higher order than those upon which the songs themselves depend.
Nor is it to be imagined that the materials pass unaltered from their
first state of isolation into their second state of combination.
They must of necessity be recast, and undergo an adapting process,
in which the genius of the organizing poet consists; nor can we
hope, by simply knowing them as they exist in the second stage, ever
to divine how they stood in the first. Such, in my judgment, is
the right conception of the Homeric epoch,—an organizing poetical
mind, still preserving that freshness of observation and vivacity of
details which constitutes the charm of the ballad.

  [283] Lange, in his Letter to Goethe, Ueber die Einheit der
  Iliade, p. 33 (1826); Nitzsch, Historia Homeri, Fasciculus 2,
  Præfat. p. x.

Nothing is gained by studying the Iliad as a congeries of fragments
once independent of each other: no portion of the poem can be shown
to have ever been so, and the supposition introduces difficulties
greater than those which it removes. But it is not necessary to
affirm that the whole poem as we now read it, belonged to the
original and preconceived plan.[284] In this respect, the Iliad
produces, upon my mind, an impression totally different from the
Odyssey. In the latter poem, the characters and incidents are
fewer, and the whole plot appears of one projection, from the
beginning down to the death of the suitors: none of the parts look
as if they had been composed separately, and inserted by way of
addition into a preëxisting smaller poem. But the Iliad, on the
contrary, presents the appearance of a house built upon a plan
comparatively narrow, and subsequently enlarged by successive
additions. The first book, together with the eighth, and the books
from the eleventh to the twenty-second, inclusive, seem to form the
primary organization of the poem, then properly an Achillêis: the
twenty-third and twenty-fourth books are, perhaps, additions at
the tail of this primitive poem, which still leave it nothing more
than an enlarged Achillêis. But the books from the second to the
seventh, inclusive, together with the tenth, are of a wider and more
comprehensive character, and convert the poem from an Achillêis into
an Iliad.[285] The primitive frontispiece, inscribed with the anger
of Achilles, and its direct consequences, yet remains, after it has
ceased to be coextensive with the poem. The parts added, however, are
not necessarily inferior in merit to the original poem: so far is
this from being the case, that amongst them are comprehended some of
the noblest efforts of the Grecian epic. Nor are they more recent in
date than the original; strictly speaking, they must be a little more
recent, but they belong to the same generation and state of society
as the primitive Achillêis. These qualifications are necessary to
keep apart different questions, which, in discussions of Homeric
criticism, are but too often confounded.

  [284] Even Aristotle, the great builder-up of the celebrity of
  Homer as to epical aggregation, found some occasions (it appears)
  on which he was obliged to be content with simply excusing,
  without admiring, the poet (Poet. 44 τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀγαθοῖς ὁ
  ποιητὴς ἡδύνων ἀφανίζει τὸ ἄτοπον.)

  And Hermann observes justly, in his acute treatise De
  Interpolationibus Homeri (Opuscula, tom. v. p. 53),—“Nisi
  admirabilis illa Homericorum carminum suavitas lectorum animos
  quasi incantationibus quibusdam captos teneret, non tam facile
  delitescerent, quæ accuratius considerata, et multo minus apte
  quam quis jure postulet composita esse apparere necesse est.”

  This treatise contains many criticisms on the structure of the
  Iliad, some of them very well founded, though there are many from
  which I dissent.

  [285] In reference to the books from the second to the seventh,
  inclusive, I agree with the observations of William Müller,
  Homerische Vorschule, Abschnitt viii. pp. 116-118.

If we take those portions of the poem which I imagine to have
constituted the original Achillêis, it will be found that the
sequence of events contained in them is more rapid, more unbroken,
and more intimately knit together in the way of cause and effect,
than in the other books. Heyne and Lachmann, indeed, with other
objecting critics, complains of the action in them as being too much
crowded and hurried, since one day lasts from the beginning of the
eleventh book to the middle of the eighteenth, without any sensible
halt in the march throughout so large a portion of the journey.
Lachmann, likewise, admits that those separate songs, into which he
imagines that the whole Iliad may be dissected, cannot be severed
with the same sharpness, in the books subsequent to the eleventh,
as in those before it.[286] There is only one real halting-place
from the eleventh book to the twenty-second,—the death of Patroclus;
and this can never be conceived as the end of a separate poem,[287]
though it is a capital step in the development of the Achillêis, and
brings about that entire revolution in the temper of Achilles which
was essential for the purpose of the poet. It would be a mistake to
imagine that there ever could have existed a separate poem called
Patrocleia, though a part of the Iliad was designated by that name.
For Patroclus has no substantive position: he is the attached friend
and second of Achilles, but nothing else,—standing to the latter in
a relation of dependence resembling that of Telemachus to Odysseus.
And the way in which Patroclus is dealt with in the Iliad, is, (in
my judgment,) the most dexterous and artistical contrivance in
the poem,—that which approaches nearest to the neat tissue of the

  [286] Lachmann, Fernere Betrachtungen über die Ilias,
  Abhandlungen Berlin. Acad. 1841, p. 4.

  After having pointed out certain discrepancies which he maintains
  to prove different composing hands, he adds: “Nevertheless, we
  must be careful not to regard the single constituent songs in
  this part of the poem as being distinct and separable in a degree
  equal to those in the first half; for they all with one accord
  harmonize in one particular circumstance, which, with reference
  to the story of the Iliad, is not less important even than the
  anger of Achilles, viz. that the three most distinguished heroes,
  Agamemnôn, Odysseus, and Diomêdês, all become disabled throughout
  the whole duration of the battles.”

  Important for the story of the _Achillêis_, I should say, not
  for that of the _Iliad_. This remark of Lachmann is highly
  illustrative for the distinction between the original and the
  enlarged poem.

  [287] I confess my astonishment that a man of so much genius and
  power of thought as M. Benjamin Constant, should have imagined
  the original Iliad to have concluded with the death of Patroclus,
  on the ground that Achilles then becomes reconciled with
  Agamemnôn. See the review of B. Constant’s work, De la Religion,
  etc., by O. Müller, in the Kleine Schriften of the latter, vol.
  ii. p. 74.

  [288] He appears as the mediator between the insulted Achilles
  and the Greeks, manifesting kindly sympathies for the latter
  without renouncing his fidelity to the former. The wounded
  Machaon, an object of interest to the whole camp, being carried
  off the field by Nestor,—Achilles, looking on from his distant
  ship, sends Patroclus to inquire whether it be really Machaon;
  which enables Nestor to lay before Patroclus the deplorable state
  of the Grecian host, as a motive to induce him and Achilles again
  to take arms. The compassionate feelings of Patroclus being
  powerfully touched, he is hastening to enforce upon Achilles the
  urgent necessity of giving help, when he meets Eurypylus crawling
  out of the field, helpless with a severe wound, and imploring
  his succor. He supports the wounded warrior to his tent, and
  ministers to his suffering; but before this operation is fully
  completed, the Grecian host has been totally driven back, and the
  Trojans are on the point of setting fire to the ships: Patroclus
  then hurries to Achilles to proclaim the desperate peril which
  hangs over them all, and succeeds in obtaining his permission
  to take the field at the head of the Myrmidons. The way in
  which Patroclus is kept present to the hearer, as a prelude to
  his brilliant but short-lived display, when he comes forth in
  arms,—the contrast between his characteristic gentleness and the
  ferocity of Achilles,—and the natural train of circumstances
  whereby he is made the vehicle of reconciliation on the part of
  his offended friend, and rescue to his imperiled countrymen,—all
  these exhibit a degree of epical skill, in the author of the
  primitive Achillêis, to which nothing is found parallel in the
  added books of the Iliad.

The great and capital misfortune which prostrates the strength of the
Greeks, and renders them incapable of defending themselves without
Achilles, is the disablement, by wounds, of Agamemnôn, Diomêdês, and
Odysseus; so that the defence of the wall and of the ships is left
only to heroes of the second magnitude (Ajax alone excepted), such as
Idomeneus, Leonteus, Polypœtês, Merionês, Menelaus, etc. Now, it is
remarkable that all these three first-rate chiefs are in full force
at the beginning of the eleventh book: all three are wounded in the
battle which that book describes, and at the commencement of which
Agamemnôn is full of spirits and courage.

Nothing can be more striking than the manner in which Homer
concentrates our attention in the first book upon Achilles as
the hero, his quarrel with Agamemnôn, and the calamities to the
Greeks which are held out as about to ensue from it, through the
intercession of Thetis with Zeus. But the incidents dwelt upon from
the beginning of the second book down to the combat between Hector
and Ajax in the seventh, animated and interesting as they are, do
nothing to realize this promise. They are a splendid picture of the
Trojan war generally, and eminently suitable to that larger title
under which the poem has been immortalized,—but the consequences of
the anger of Achilles do not appear until the eighth book. The tenth
book, or Doloneia, is also a portion of the Iliad, but not of the
Achillêis: while the ninth book appears to me a subsequent addition,
nowise harmonizing with that main stream of the Achillêis which flows
from the eleventh book to the twenty-second. The eighth book ought
to be read in immediate connection with the eleventh, in order to
see the structure of what seems the primitive Achillêis; for there
are several passages in the eleventh and the following books, which
prove that the poet who composed them could not have had present to
his mind the main event of the ninth book,—the outpouring of profound
humiliation by the Greeks, and from Agamemnôn, especially, before
Achilles, coupled with formal offers to restore Brisêis, and pay the
amplest compensation for past wrong.[289] The words of Achilles (not
less than those of Patroclus and Nestor) in the eleventh and in the
following books, plainly imply that the humiliation of the Greeks
before him, for which he thirsts, is as yet future and contingent;
that no plenary apology has yet been tendered, nor any offer made of
restoring Brisêis; while both Nestor and Patroclus, with all their
wish to induce him to take arms, never take notice of the offered
atonement and restitution, but view him as one whose ground for
quarrel stands still the same as it did at the beginning. Moreover,
if we look at the first book,—the opening of the Achillêis,—we shall
see that this prostration of Agamemnôn and the chief Grecian heroes
before Achilles, would really be the termination of the whole poem;
for Achilles asks nothing more from Thetis, nor Thetis anything more
from Zeus, than that Agamemnôn and the Greeks may be brought to know
the wrong they have done to their capital warrior, and humbled in the
dust in expiation of it. We may add, that the abject terror in which
Agamemnôn appears in the ninth book, when he sends the supplicatory
message to Achilles, as it is not adequately accounted for by the
degree of calamity which the Greeks have experienced in the preceding
(eighth) book, so it is inconsistent with the gallantry and high
spirit with which he shines at the beginning of the eleventh.[290]
The situation of the Greeks only becomes desperate when the three
great chiefs, Agamemnôn, Odysseus, and Diomêdês, are disabled by
wounds;[291] this is the irreparable calamity which works upon
Patroclus, and through him upon Achilles. The ninth book, as it
now stands, seems to me an addition, by a different hand, to the
original Achillêis, framed so as both to forestall and to spoil the
nineteenth book, which is the real reconciliation of the two inimical
heroes: I will venture to add, that it carries the pride and egotism
of Achilles beyond even the largest exigences of insulted honor,
and is shocking to that sentiment of Nemesis which was so deeply
seated in the Grecian mind. We forgive any excess of fury against the
Trojans and Hector, after the death of Patroclus; but that he should
remain unmoved by restitution, by abject supplications, and by the
richest atoning presents, tendered from the Greeks, indicates an
implacability such as neither the first book, nor the books between
the eleventh and seventeenth, convey.

  [289] Observe, for example, the following passages:—

  1. Achilles, standing on the prow of his ship, sees the general
  army of Greeks undergoing defeat by the Trojans, and also sees
  Nestor conveying in his chariot a wounded warrior from the field.
  He sends Patroclus to find out who the wounded man is: in calling
  forth Patroclus, he says (xi. 607),—

    Δῖε Μενοιτιάδη τῷ ᾽μῷ κεχαρισμένε θυμῷ,
    Νῦν οἴω περὶ γούνατ᾽ ἐμὰ στήσεσθαι Ἀχαιοὺς
    Λισσομένους· χρείω γὰρ ἱκάνεται οὔκετ᾽ ἀνεκτός.

  Heyne, in his comment, asks the question, not unnaturally,
  “Pœnituerat igitur asperitatis erga priorem legationem, an homo
  arrogans expectaverat alteram ad se missam iri?” I answer,
  neither one nor the other: the words imply that he had received
  _no embassy_ at all. He is still the same Achilles who in the
  first book paced alone by the seashore, devouring his own soul
  under a sense of bitter affront, and praying to Thetis to aid
  his revenge: this revenge is now about to be realized, and he
  hails its approach with delight. But if we admit the embassy
  of the ninth book to intervene, the passage becomes a glaring
  inconsistency for that which Achilles anticipates as future,
  and even yet as contingent, _had actually occurred_ on the
  previous evening; the Greeks _had_ supplicated at his feet,—they
  _had proclaimed_ their intolerable need,—and he had spurned
  them. The Scholiast, in his explanation of these lines, after
  giving the plain meaning, that “Achilles shows what he has long
  been desiring, to see the Greeks in a state of supplication
  to him,”—seems to recollect that this is in contradiction to
  the ninth book, and tries to remove the contradiction, by
  saying “that he had been previously mollified by conversation
  with Phœnix,”—ἤδη δὲ προμαλαχθεὶς ἦν ἐκ τῶν Φοίνικος λόγων,—a
  supposition neither countenanced by anything in the poet, nor
  sufficient to remove the difficulty.

  2. The speech of Poseidôn (xiii. 115) to encourage the dispirited
  Grecian heroes, in which, after having admitted the injury done
  to Achilles by Agamemnôn, he recommends an effort to heal the
  sore, and intimates “that the minds of good men admit of this
  healing process,” (Ἀλλ᾽ ἀκεώμεθα θᾶσσον· ἀκεσταί τε φρένες
  ἐσθλῶν,) is certainly not very consistent with the supposition
  that this attempt to heal _had been made_ in the best possible
  way, and that Achilles had manifested a mind implacable in the
  extreme on the evening before,—while the mind of Agamemnôn was
  already brought to proclaimed humiliation, and needed no farther

  3. And what shall we say to the language of Achilles and
  Patroclus, at the beginning of the sixteenth book, just at the
  moment when the danger has reached its maximum, and when Achilles
  is about to send forth his friend?

  Neither Nestor, when he invokes and instructs Patroclus as
  intercessor with Achilles (xi. 654-790), nor Patroclus himself,
  though in the extreme of anxiety to work upon the mind of
  Achilles, and reproaching him with hardness of heart,—ever bring
  to remembrance the ample atonement which had been tendered
  to him; while Achilles himself repeats the original ground
  of quarrel, the wrong offered to him in taking away Brisêis,
  continuing the language of the first book; then, without the
  least allusion to the atonement and restitution since tendered,
  he yields to his friend’s proposition, just like a man whose
  wrong remained unredressed, but who was, nevertheless, forced to
  take arms by necessity (xvi. 60-63):—

    Ἀλλὰ τὰ μὲν προτετύχθαι ἐάσομεν, οὔδ᾽ ἄρα πως ἦν
    Ἀσπερχὲς κεχολῶσθαι ἐνὶ φρεσίν· ἤτοι ἔφην γε
    Οὐ πρὶν μηνιθμὸν καταπαύσεμεν, ἀλλ᾽ ὁπόταν δὴ
    Νῆας ἐμὰς ἀφίκηται ἀϋτή τε πτόλεμός τε.

  I agree with the Scholiast and Heyne in interpreting ἔφην γε
  as equivalent to διενοήθην,—not as referring to any express
  antecedent declaration.

  Again, farther on in the same speech, “The Trojans (Achilles
  says) now press boldly forward upon the ships, for they no longer
  see the blaze of my helmet: but if Agamemnôn _were favorably
  disposed towards me_, they would presently run away and fill the
  ditches with their dead bodies” (71):—

    ... τάχα κεν φεύγοντες ἐναύλους
    Πλήσειαν νεκύων, εἴ μοι κρείων Ἀγαμέμνων
    Ἤπια εἰδείη· νῦν δὲ στράτον ἀμφιμάχονται.

  Now here again, if we take our start from the first book,
  omitting the ninth, the sentiment is perfectly just. But assume
  the ninth book, and it becomes false and misplaced; for Agamemnôn
  is then a prostrate and repentant man, not merely “favorably
  disposed” towards Achilles, but offering to pay any price for the
  purpose of appeasing him.

  4. Again, a few lines farther, in the same speech, Achilles
  permits Patroclus to go forth, in consideration of the extreme
  peril of the fleet, but restricts him simply to avert this peril
  and do nothing more: “Obey my words, so that you may procure _for
  me honor_ and glory from _the body of Greeks_, and that they may
  send back to me the damsel, giving me ample presents besides:
  when you have driven the Trojans from the ships, come back

    Ὡς ἄν μοι τιμὴν μεγάλην καὶ κῦδος ἄροιο
    Πρὸς πάντων Δαναῶν· ἀτὰρ οἳ περικαλλέα κούρην
    Ἄψ ἀπονάσσωσι, προτὶ δ᾽ ἀγλαὰ δῶρα πόρωσιν·
    Ἐκ νηῶν ἐλάσας, ἰέναι πάλιν (84-87).

  How are we to reconcile this with the ninth book, where Achilles
  declares that he does not care for being honored by the Greeks,
  ix. 604? In the mouth of the affronted Achilles, of the first
  book, such words are apt enough: he will grant succor, but only
  to the extent necessary for the emergency, and in such a way as
  to insure redress for his own wrong,—which redress he has no
  reason as yet to conclude that Agamemnôn is willing to grant.
  But the ninth book _has actually_ tendered to him everything
  which he here demands, and even more (the daughter of Agamemnôn
  in marriage, without the price usually paid for a bride, etc.):
  Brisêis, whom now he is so anxious to repossess, was then offered
  in restitution, and he disdained the offer. Mr. Knight, in
  fact, strikes out these lines as spurious; partly, because they
  contradict the ninth book, where Achilles has actually rejected
  what he here thirsts for (“Dona cum puellâ jam antea oblata
  aspernatus erat,”)—partly because he thinks that they express a
  sentiment unworthy of Achilles; in which latter criticism I do
  not concur.

  5. We proceed a little farther to the address of Patroclus to the
  Myrmidons, as he is conducting them forth to the battle: “Fight
  bravely, Myrmidons, that we may bring honor to Achilles; and
  that the wide-ruling Agamemnôn may know the mad folly which he
  committed, when he dishonored the bravest of the Greeks.”

  To impress this knowledge upon Agamemnôn was no longer necessary.
  The ninth book records his humiliating confession of it,
  accompanied by atonement and reparation. To teach him the lesson
  a second time, is to break the bruised reed,—to slay the slain.
  But leave out the ninth book, and the motive is the natural
  one,—both for Patroclus to offer, and for the Myrmidons to obey:
  Achilles still remains a dishonored man, and to humble the rival
  who has dishonored him is the first of all objects, as well with
  his friends as with himself.

  6. Lastly, the time comes when Achilles, in deep anguish for
  the death of Patroclus, looks back with aversion and repentance
  to the past. To what point should we expect that his repentance
  would naturally turn? Not to his primary quarrel with Agamemnôn,
  in which he had been undeniably wronged,—but to the scene in
  the ninth book, where the maximum of atonement for the previous
  wrong is tendered to him and scornfully rejected. Yet when we
  turn to xviii. 108, and xix. 55, 68, 270, we find him reverting
  to the primitive quarrel in the first book, just as if it had
  been the last incident in his relations with Agamemnôn: moreover,
  Agamemnôn (xix. 86), in _his_ speech of reconciliation, treats
  the past just in the same way,—deplores his original insanity in
  wronging Achilles.

  7. When we look to the prayers of Achilles and Thetis, addressed
  to Zeus in the first book, we find that the consummation prayed
  for is,—honor to Achilles,—redress for the wrong offered to
  him,—victory to the Trojans until Agamemnôn and the Greeks shall
  be made bitterly sensible of the wrong which they have done to
  their bravest warrior (i. 409-509). Now this consummation is
  brought about in the ninth book. Achilles can get no more, nor
  does he ultimately get more, either in the way of redress to
  himself or remorseful humiliation of Agamemnôn, than what is here
  tendered. The defeat which the Greeks suffer in the battle of
  the eighth book (Κόλος Μάχη) has brought about the consummation.
  The subsequent and much more destructive defeats which they
  undergo are thus causeless: yet Zeus is represented as inflicting
  them reluctantly, and only because they are necessary to honor
  Achilles (xiii. 350; xv. 75, 235, 598; compare also viii. 372 and

  If we reflect upon the constitution of the poem, we shall see
  that the fundamental sequence of ideas in it is, a series of
  misfortunes to the Greeks, brought on by Zeus for the special
  purpose of procuring atonement to Achilles and bringing
  humiliation on Agamemnôn: the introduction of Patroclus superadds
  new motives of the utmost interest, but it is most harmoniously
  worked into the fundamental sequence. Now the intrusion of the
  ninth book breaks up the scheme of the poem by disuniting the
  sequence: Agamemnôn is on his knees before Achilles, entreating
  pardon and proffering reparation, yet the calamities of the
  Greeks become more and more dreadful. The atonement of the ninth
  book comes at the wrong time and in the wrong manner.

  There are four passages (and only four, so far as I am aware)
  in which the embassy of the ninth book is alluded to in the
  subsequent books: one in xviii. 444-456, which was expunged as
  spurious by Aristarchus (see the Scholia and Knight’s commentary,
  _ad loc._); and three others in the following book, wherein the
  gifts previously tendered by Odysseus as the envoy of Agamemnôn
  are noticed as identical with the gifts actually given in the
  nineteenth book. I feel persuaded that these passages (vv.
  140-141, 192-195, and 243) are specially inserted for the purpose
  of establishing a connection between the ninth book and the
  nineteenth. The four lines (192-195) are decidedly better away:
  the first two lines (140-141) are noway necessary; while the
  word χθιζὸς (which occurs in both passages) is only rendered
  admissible by being stretched to mean _nudius tertius_ (Heyne,
  _ad loc._).

  I will only farther remark with respect to the ninth book,
  that the speech of Agamemnôn (17-28), the theme for the rebuke
  of Diomêdês and the obscure commonplace of Nestor, is taken
  verbatim from his speech in the second book, in which place
  the proposition, of leaving the place and flying, is made, not
  seriously, but as a stratagem (ii. 110, 118, 140).

  The length of this note can only be excused by its direct bearing
  upon the structure of the Iliad. To show that the books from the
  eleventh downwards are composed by a poet who has no knowledge
  of the ninth book, is, in my judgment, a very important point of
  evidence in aiding us to understand what the original Achillêis
  was. The books from the second to the seventh inclusive are
  insertions into the Achillêis, and lie apart from its plot, but
  do not violently contradict it, except in regard to the agora
  of the gods at the beginning of the fourth book, and the almost
  mortal wound of Sarpêdon in his battle with Tlepolemus. But the
  ninth book overthrows the fundamental scheme of the poem.

  [290] Helbig (Sittl. Zustände des Heldenalters, p. 30) says,
  “The consciousness in the bosom of Agamemnôn that he has offered
  atonement to Achilles strengthens his confidence and valor,” &c.
  This is the idea of the critic, not of the poet. It does not
  occur in the Iliad, though the critic not unnaturally imagines
  that it _must_ occur. Agamemnôn never says, “I was wrong in
  provoking Achilles, but you see I have done everything which man
  could do to beg his pardon.” Assuming the ninth book to be a part
  of the original conception, this feeling is so natural, that we
  could hardly fail to find it, at the beginning of the eleventh
  book, numbered among the motives of Agamemnôn.

  [291] Iliad, xi. 659; xiv. 128; xvi. 25.

It is with the Grecian agora, in the beginning of the second
book, that the Iliad (as distinguished from the Achillêis)
commences,—continued through the Catalogue, the muster of the two
armies, the single combat between Menelaus and Paris, the renewed
promiscuous battle caused by the arrow of Pandarus, the (Epipôlêsis,
or) personal circuit of Agamemnôn round the army, the Aristeia, or
brilliant exploits of Diomêdês, the visit of Hector to Troy for
the purposes of sacrifice, his interview with Andromachê, and his
combat with Ajax,—down to the seventh book. All these are beautiful
poetry, presenting to us the general Trojan war, and its conspicuous
individuals under different points of view, but leaving no room in
the reader’s mind for the thought of Achilles. Now, the difficulty
for an enlarging poet, was, to pass from the Achillêis in the
first book, to the Iliad in the second, and it will accordingly be
found that here is an awkwardness in the structure of the poem,
which counsel on the poet’s behalf (ancient or modern) do not
satisfactorily explain.

In the first book, Zeus has promised Thetis, that he will punish
the Greeks for the wrong done to Achilles: in the beginning of the
second book, he deliberates how he shall fulfil the promise, and
sends down for that purpose “mischievous Oneirus” (the Dream-god) to
visit Agamemnôn in his sleep, to assure him that the gods have now
with one accord consented to put Troy into his hands, and to exhort
him forthwith to the assembling of his army for the attack. The
ancient commentators were here perplexed by the circumstance that
Zeus puts a falsehood into the mouth of Oneirus. But there seems no
more difficulty in explaining this, than in the narrative of the book
of 1 Kings (chap. xxii. 20), where Jehovah is mentioned to have put a
lying spirit into the mouth of Ahab’s prophets,—the real awkwardness
is, that Oneirus and his falsehood produce no effect. For in the
first place, Agamemnôn takes a step very different from that which
his dream recommends,—and in the next place, when the Grecian army
is at length armed and goes forth to battle, it does not experience
defeat, (which would be the case if the exhortation of Oneirus really
proved mischievous,) but carries on a successful day’s battle,
chiefly through the heroism of Diomêdês. Instead of arming the Greeks
forthwith, Agamemnôn convokes first a council of chiefs, and next
an agora of the host. And though himself in a temper of mind highly
elate with the deceitful assurances of Oneirus, he deliberately
assumes the language of despair in addressing the troops, having
previously prepared Nestor and Odysseus for his doing so,—merely in
order to try the courage of the men, and with formal instructions,
given to these two other chiefs, that they are to speak in opposition
to him. Now this intervention of Zeus and Oneirus, eminently
unsatisfactory when coupled with the incidents which now follow it,
and making Zeus appear, but only appear, to realize his promise of
honoring Achilles as well as of hurting the Greeks,—forms exactly the
point of junction between the Achillêis and the Iliad.[292]

  [292] The intervention of Oneirus ought rather to come as an
  immediate preliminary to book viii. than to book ii. The first
  forty-seven lines of book ii would fit on and read consistently
  at the beginning of book viii, the events of which book form a
  proper sequel to the mission of Oneirus.

The freak which Agamemnôn plays off upon the temper of his army,
though in itself childish, serves a sufficient purpose, not only
because it provides a special matter of interest to be submitted to
the Greeks, but also because it calls forth the splendid description,
so teeming with vivacious detail, of the sudden breaking up of the
assembly after Agamemnôn’s harangue, and of the decisive interference
of Odysseus to bring the men back, as well as to put down Thersitês.
This picture of the Greeks in agora, bringing out the two chief
speaking and counselling heroes, was so important a part of the
general Trojan war, that the poet has permitted himself to introduce
it by assuming an inexplicable folly on the part of Agamemnôn; just
as he has ushered in another fine scene in the third book,—the
Teichoskopy, or conversation, between Priam and Helen on the walls of
Troy,—by admitting the supposition that the old king, in the tenth
year of the war, did not know the persons of Agamemnôn and the other
Grecian chiefs. This may serve as an explanation of the delusion
practised by Agamemnôn towards his assembled host; but it does not at
all explain the tame and empty intervention of Oneirus.[293]

  [293] O. Müller, (History of Greek Literature, ch. v. § 8,)
  doubts whether the beginning of the second book was written “by
  the ancient Homer, or by one of the later Homerids:” he thinks
  the speech of Agamemnôn, wherein he plays off the deceit upon
  his army, is “a copious parody (of the same words used in the
  ninth book) composed by a later Homerid, and inserted in the room
  of an originally shorter account of the arming of the Greeks.”
  He treats the scene in the Grecian agora as “an entire mythical
  comedy, full of fine irony and with an amusing plot, in which the
  deceiving and deceived Agamemnôn is the chief character.”

  The comic or ironical character which is here ascribed to the
  second book appears to me fanciful and incorrect; but Müller
  evidently felt the awkwardness of the opening incident, though
  his way of accounting for it is not successful. The second book
  seems to my judgment just as serious as any part of the poem.

  I think also that the words alluded to by O. Müller in the ninth
  book are a transcript of those in the second, instead of the
  reverse, as he believes,—because it seems probable that the ninth
  book is an addition made to the poem after the books between the
  first and the eighth had been already inserted,—it is certainly
  introduced after the account of the fortification, contained in
  the seventh book, had become a part of the poem: see ix. 349. The
  author of the Embassy to Achilles fancied that that hero had been
  too long out of sight, and out of mind,—a supposition for which
  there was no room in the original Achillêis, when the eighth and
  eleventh books followed in immediate succession to the first, but
  which offers itself naturally to any one on reading our present

If the initial incident of the second book, whereby we pass out
of the Achillêis into the Iliad, is awkward, so also the final
incident of the seventh book, immediately before we come back into
the Achillêis, is not less unsatisfactory,—I mean, the construction
of the wall and ditch round the Greek camp. As the poem now stands,
no plausible reason is assigned why this should be done. Nestor
proposes it without any constraining necessity: for the Greeks are in
a career of victory, and the Trojans are making offers of compromise
which imply conscious weakness,—while Diomêdês is so confident of
the approaching ruin of Troy, that he dissuades his comrades from
receiving even Helen herself, if the surrender should be tendered.
“Many Greeks have been slain,” it is true,[294] as Nestor observes;
but an equal or greater number of Trojans have been slain, and all
the Grecian heroes are yet in full force: the absence of Achilles is
not even adverted to.

  [294] Iliad, vii. 327.

Now this account of the building of the fortification seems to be
an after-thought, arising out of the enlargement of the poem beyond
its original scheme. The original Achillêis, passing at once from the
first to the eighth,[295] and from thence to the eleventh book, might
well assume the fortification,—and talk of it as a thing existing,
without adducing any special reason why it was erected. The hearer
would naturally comprehend and follow the existence of a ditch and
wall round the ships, as a matter of course, provided there was
nothing in the previous narrative to make him believe that the Greeks
had originally been without these bulwarks. And since the Achillêis,
immediately after the promise of Zeus to Thetis, at the close of the
first book, went on to describe the fulfilment of that promise and
the ensuing disasters of the Greeks, there was nothing to surprise
any one in hearing that their camp was fortified. But the case was
altered when the first and the eighth books were parted asunder, in
order to make room for descriptions of temporary success and glory
on the part of the besieging army. The brilliant scenes sketched in
the books, from the second to the seventh, mention no fortification,
and even imply its nonexistence; yet, since notice of it occurs
amidst the first description of Grecian disasters in the eighth
book, the hearer, who had the earlier books present to his memory,
might be surprised to find a fortification mentioned immediately
afterwards, unless the construction of it were specially announced
to have intervened. But it will at once appear, that there was some
difficulty in finding a good reason why the Greeks should begin to
fortify at this juncture, and that the poet who discovered the gap
might not be enabled to fill it up with success. As the Greeks have
got on, up to this moment, without the wall, and as we have heard
nothing but tales of their success, why should they now think farther
laborious precautions for security necessary? We will not ask, why
the Trojans should stand quietly by and permit a wall to be built,
since the truce was concluded expressly for burying the dead.[296]

  [295] Heyne treats the eighth book as decidedly a separate song,
  or epic; a supposition which the language of Zeus and the agora
  of the gods at the beginning are alone sufficient to refute,
  in my judgment (Excursus 1, ad lib. xi. vol. vi. p. 269). This
  Excursus, in describing the sequence of events in the Iliad,
  passes at once and naturally from book eighth to book eleventh.

  And Mr. Payne Knight, when he defends book eleventh against
  Heyne, says, “Quæ in undecimâ rhapsodiâ Iliadis narrata sunt,
  haud minus ex ante narratis pendent: neque rationem pugnæ
  commissæ, neque rerum in eâ gestarum nexum atque ordinem,
  quisquam intelligere posset, nisi _iram et secessum_ Achillis, et
  _victoriam_ quam Trojani inde consecuti erant, antea cognosset.”
  (Prolegom. c. xxix.)

  Perfectly true: to understand the eleventh book, we must have
  before us the first and the eighth (which are those that describe
  the anger and withdrawal of Achilles, and the defeat which the
  Greeks experience in consequence of it); we may dispense with the

  [296] O. Müller (Hist. Greek Literat. ch. v. § 6) says, about
  this wall: “Nor is it until the Greeks are _taught by the
  experience of the first day’s fighting_, that the Trojans can
  resist them in open battle, that the Greeks build the wall round
  their ships.... This appeared to Thucydidês so little conformable
  to historical probability, that, without regard to the authority
  of Homer, he placed the building of these walls immediately after
  the landing.”

  It is to be lamented, I think, that Thucydidês took upon him to
  determine the point at all as a matter of history; but when he
  once undertook this, the account in the Iliad was not of a nature
  to give him much satisfaction, nor does the reason assigned by
  Müller make it better. It is implied in Müller’s reason that,
  before the first day’s battle, the Greeks did not believe that
  the Trojans _could_ resist them in open battle: the Trojans
  (according to him) never had maintained the field, so long as
  Achilles was up and fighting on the Grecian side, and therefore
  the Greeks were quite astonished to find now, for the first time,
  that they _could_ do so.

  Now nothing can be more at variance with the tenor of the second
  and following books than this supposition. The Trojans come forth
  readily and fight gallantly; neither Agamemnôn, nor Nestor, nor
  Odysseus consider them as enemies who cannot hold front; and the
  circuit of exhortation by Agamemnôn (Epipôlêsis), so strikingly
  described in the fourth book, proves that _he_ does not
  anticipate a very easy victory. Nor does Nestor, in proposing the
  construction of the wall, give the smallest hint that the power
  of the Trojans to resist in the open field was to the Greeks an
  unexpected discovery.

  The reason assigned by Müller, then, is a fancy of his own,
  proceeding from the same source of mistake as others among his
  remarks; because he tries to find, in the books between the
  first and eighth, a governing reference to Achilles (the point
  of view of the Achillêis), which those books distinctly refuse.
  The Achillêis was a poem of Grecian disasters up to the time when
  Achilles sent forth Patroclus; and during those disasters, it
  might suit the poet to refer by contrast to the past time when
  Achilles was active, and to say that _then_ the Trojans did not
  dare even to present themselves in battle-array in the field,
  whereas _now_ they were assailing the ships. But the author of
  books ii. to vii. has no wish to glorify Achilles: he gives us a
  picture of the Trojan war generally, and describes the Trojans,
  not only as brave and equal enemies, but well known by the Greeks
  themselves to be so.

  The building of the Grecian wall, as it now stands described,
  is an unexplained proceeding, which Müller’s ingenuity does not
  render consistent.

The tenth book, or Doloneia, was considered by some of the ancient
scholiasts,[297] and has been confidently set forth by the modern
Wolfian critics, as originally a separate poem, inserted by
Peisistratus into the Iliad. How it can ever have been a separate
poem, I do not understand. It is framed with great specialty for the
antecedent circumstances under which it occurs, and would suit for
no other place; though capable of being separately recited, inasmuch
as it has a definite beginning and end, like the story of Nisus and
Euryalus in the Æneid. But while distinctly presupposing and resting
upon the incidents in the eighth book, and in line 88 of the ninth,
(probably, the appointment of sentinels on the part of the Greeks,
as well of the Trojans, formed the close of the battle described in
the eighth book,) it has not the slightest bearing upon the events of
the eleventh or the following books: it goes to make up the general
picture of the Trojan war, but lies quite apart from the Achillêis.
And this is one mark of a portion subsequently inserted,—that, though
fitted on to the parts which precede, it has no influence on those
which follow.

  [297] Schol. ad Iliad. x. 1.

If the proceedings of the combatants on the plain of Troy, between
the first and the eighth book, have no reference either to Achilles,
or to an Achillêis, we find Zeus in Olympus still more completely
putting that hero out of the question, at the beginning of the fourth
book. He is in this last-mentioned passage the Zeus of the Iliad,
not of the Achillêis. Forgetful of his promise to Thetis, in the
first book, he discusses nothing but the question of continuance or
termination of the war, and manifests anxiety only for the salvation
of Troy, in opposition to the miso-Trojan goddesses, who prevent him
from giving effect to the victory of Menelaus over Paris, and the
stipulated restitution of Helen,—in which case, of course, the wrong
offered to Achilles would remain unexpiated. An attentive comparison
will render it evident that the poet who composed the discussion
among the gods, at the beginning of the fourth book, has not been
careful to put himself in harmony either with the Zeus of the first
book, or with the Zeus of the eighth.

So soon as we enter upon the eleventh book, the march of the poem
becomes quite different. We are then in a series of events, each
paving the way for that which follows, and all conducing to the
result promised in the first book,—the reappearance of Achilles,
as the only means of saving the Greeks from ruin,—preceded by
ample atonement,[298] and followed by the maximum both of glory
and revenge. The intermediate career of Patroclus introduces new
elements, which, however, are admirably woven into the scheme of the
poem, as disclosed in the first book. I shall not deny that there are
perplexities in the detail of events, as described in the battles
at the Grecian wall, and before the ships, from the eleventh to the
sixteenth books, but they appear only cases of partial confusion,
such as may be reasonably ascribed to imperfections of text: the main
sequence remains coherent and intelligible. We find no considerable
events which could be left out without breaking the thread, nor any
incongruity between one considerable event and another. There is
nothing between the eleventh and twenty-second books, which is at all
comparable to the incongruity between the Zeus of the fourth book and
the Zeus of the first and eighth. It may, perhaps, be true, that the
shield of Achilles is a superadded amplification of that which was
originally announced in general terms,—because the poet, from the
eleventh to the twenty-second books, has observed such good economy
of his materials, that he is hardly likely to have introduced one
particular description of such disproportionate length, and having so
little connection with the series of events. But I see no reason for
believing that it is an addition materially later than the rest of
the poem.

  [298] Agamemnôn, after deploring the misguiding influence of Atê,
  which induced him to do the original wrong to Achilles, says
  (xix. 88-137),—

    Ἀλλ᾽ ἐπεὶ ἀασάμην καί μευ φρένας ἐξέλετο Ζεὺς,
    Ἄψ ἐθέλω ἀρέσαι, δόμεναί τ᾽ ἀπερείσι᾽ ἄποινα, etc.

It must be confessed, that the supposition here advanced, in
reference to the structure of the Iliad, is not altogether free
from difficulties, because the parts constituting the original
Achillêis[299] have been more or less altered or interpolated, to
suit the additions made to it, particularly in the eighth book. But
it presents fewer difficulties than any other supposition, and it
is the only means, so far as I know, of explaining the difference
between one part of the Iliad and another; both the continuity of
structure, and the conformity to the opening promise, which are
manifest when we read the books in the order i. viii. xi. to xxii,
as contrasted with the absence of these two qualities in books ii.
to vii. ix. and x. An entire organization, preconceived from the
beginning, would not be likely to produce any such disparity, nor is
any such visible in the Odyssey;[300] still less would the result
be explained by supposing integers originally separate, and brought
together without any designed organization. And it is between these
three suppositions that our choice has to be made. A scheme, and a
large scheme too, must unquestionably be admitted as the basis of
any sufficient hypothesis. But the Achillêis would have been a long
poem, half the length of the present Iliad, and probably not less
compact in its structure than the Odyssey. Moreover, being parted off
only by an imaginary line from the boundless range of the Trojan war,
it would admit of enlargement more easily, and with greater relish to
hearers, than the adventures of one single hero; while the expansion
would naturally take place by adding new Grecian victory,—since the
original poem arrived at the exaltation of Achilles only through
a painful series of Grecian disasters. That the poem under these
circumstances should have received additions, is no very violent
hypothesis: in fact, when we recollect that the integrity both of
the Achillêis and of the Odyssey was neither guarded by printing nor
writing, we shall perhaps think it less wonderful that the former
was enlarged,[301] than that the latter was not. Any relaxation of
the laws of epical unity is a small price to pay for that splendid
poetry, of which we find so much between the first and the eighth
books of our Iliad.

  [299] The supposition of a smaller original Iliad, enlarged
  by successive additions to the present dimensions, and more
  or less interpolated (we must distinguish _enlargement_ from
  _interpolation_,—the insertion of a new rhapsody from that of a
  new line), seems to be a sort of intermediate compromise, towards
  which the opposing views of Wolf, J. H. Voss, Nitzsch, Hermann,
  and Boeckh, all converge. Baumgarten-Crusius calls this smaller
  poem an Achillêis.

  Wolf, Preface to the Göschen edit. of the Iliad, pp. xii-xxiii;
  Voss, Anti-Symbolik, part ii. p. 234; Nitzsch, Histor. Homeri,
  Fasciculus i. p. 112; and Vorrede to the second volume of his
  Comments on the Odyssey, p. xxvi: “In the Iliad (he there says)
  many single portions may very easily be imagined as parts of
  another whole, or as having been once separately sung.” (See
  Baumgarten-Crusius, Preface to his edition of W. Müller’s
  Homerische Vorschule, pp. xlv-xlix.)

  Nitzsch distinguishes the Odyssey from the Iliad, and I think
  justly, in respect to this supposed enlargement. The reasons
  which warrant us in applying this theory to the Iliad have no
  bearing upon the Odyssey. If there ever was an Ur-Odyssee, we
  have no means of determining what it contained.

  [300] The remarks of O. Müller on the Iliad (in his History of
  Greek Literature) are highly deserving of perusal: with much of
  them I agree, but there is also much which seems to me unfounded.
  The range of combination, and the far-fetched narrative stratagem
  which he ascribes to the primitive author, are in my view
  inadmissible (chap. v. § 5-11):—

  “The internal connection of the Iliad (he observes, § 6) rests
  upon the union of certain parts; and neither the interesting
  introduction, describing the defeat of the Greeks up to the
  burning of the ship of Protesilaus, nor the turn of affairs
  brought about by the death of Patroclus, nor the final
  pacification of the anger of Achilles, could be spared from the
  Iliad, when the fruitful seed of such a poem had once been sown
  in the soul of Homer, and had begun to develop its growth. But
  the plan of the Iliad is certainly very much extended beyond
  what was actually necessary; and in particular, the preparatory
  part, consisting of the _attempts_ on the part of _the other
  heroes to compensate for the absence of Achilles_, has, it must
  be owned, been drawn out to a disproportionate length, so that
  the suspicion that there were later insertions of importance
  applies with greater probability to the first than to the last
  books.... A design manifested itself at an early period to
  make this poem complete in itself, so that all the subjects,
  descriptions, and actions, which could alone give interest to a
  poem _on the entire war_, might find a place within the limits
  of its composition. For this purpose, it is not improbable that
  many lays of earlier bards, who had sung single adventures of the
  Trojan war, were laid under contribution, and the finest parts of
  them incorporated in the new poem.”

  These remarks of O. Müller intimate what is (in my judgment)
  the right view, inasmuch as they recognize an extension of
  the plan of the poem beyond its original limit, manifested by
  insertions in the first half; and it is to be observed that, in
  his enumeration of those parts, the union of which is necessary
  to the internal connection of the Iliad, nothing is mentioned
  except what is comprised in books i. viii. xi. to xxii. or
  xxiv. But his description of “_the preparatory part_,” as “_the
  attempts of the other heroes to compensate for the absence of
  Achilles_,” is noway borne out by the poet himself. From the
  second to the seventh book, Achilles is scarcely alluded to;
  moreover, the Greeks do perfectly well without him. This portion
  of the poem displays, not “the _insufficiency_ of all the
  other heroes without Achilles,” as Müller had observed in the
  preceding section, but the perfect _sufficiency_ of the Greeks
  under Diomêdês, Agamemnôn, etc. to make head against Troy; it is
  only in the eighth book that their _insufficiency_ begins to be
  manifested, and only in the eleventh book that it is consummated
  by the wounds of the three great heroes. Diomêdês is, in fact,
  exalted to a pitch of glory in regard to contests with the
  gods, which even Achilles himself never obtains afterwards, and
  Helenus the Trojan puts him above Achilles (vi. 99) in terrific
  prowess. Achilles is mentioned two or three times as absent,
  and Agamemnôn, in his speech to the Grecian agora, regrets the
  quarrel (ii. 377), but we never hear any such exhortation as,
  “Let us do our best to make up for the absence of Achilles,”—not
  even in the Epipôlêsis of Agamemnôn, where it would most
  naturally be found. “Attempts to compensate for the absence of
  Achilles” must, therefore, be treated as the idea of the critic,
  not of the poet.

  Though O. Müller has glanced at the distinction between the two
  parts of the poem (an original part, having chief reference
  to _Achilles and the Greeks_; and a superinduced part, having
  reference to _the entire war_), he has not conceived it clearly,
  nor carried it out consistently. If we are to distinguish
  these two points of view at all, we ought to draw the lines at
  the end of the first book and at the beginning of the eighth,
  thus regarding the intermediate six books as belonging to the
  picture of _the entire war_ (or the Iliad as distinguished from
  the Achillêis): the point of view of the Achillêis, dropped
  at the end of the first book, is resumed at the beginning of
  the eighth. The natural fitting together of these two parts is
  noticed in the comment of Heyne, ad viii. 1: “Cæterum _nunc_
  Jupiter aperte solvit Thetidi promissa, dum reddit causam
  Trojanorum bello superiorem, ut Achillis desiderium Achivos, et
  pœnitentia injuriæ ei illatæ Agamemnonem incessat (cf. i. 5).
  Nam quæ _adhuc_ narrata sunt, partim continebantur in fortunâ
  belli utrinque tentatâ ... partim valebant ad narrationem
  variandam,” etc. The first and the eighth books belong to one
  and the same point of view, while _all_ the intermediate books
  belong to the other. But O. Müller seeks to prove that a portion
  of these intermediate books belongs to one common point of view
  with the first and eighth, though he admits that they have been
  enlarged by insertions. Here I think he is mistaken. Strike out
  anything which can be reasonably allowed for enlargement in the
  books between the first and eighth, and the same difficulty
  will still remain in respect to the remainder; for _all_ the
  incidents between those two points are brought out in a spirit
  altogether indifferent to Achilles or his anger. The Zeus of the
  fourth book, as contrasted with Zeus in the first or eighth,
  marks the difference; and this description of Zeus is absolutely
  indispensable as the connecting link between book iii. on the one
  side and books iv. and v. on the other. Moreover, the attempt of
  O. Müller, to force upon the larger portion of what is between
  the first and eighth books the point of view of the Achillêis,
  is never successful: the poet does not exhibit in those books
  “insufficient efforts of other heroes to compensate for the
  absence of Achilles,” but a general and highly interesting
  picture of the Trojan war, with prominent reference to the
  original ground of quarrel. In this picture, the duel between
  Paris and Menelaus forms naturally the foremost item,—but how
  far-fetched is the reasoning whereby O. Müller brings that
  striking recital within the scheme of the Achillêis! “The Greeks
  and Trojans are for the first time struck by an idea, which
  might have occurred in the previous nine years, if the Greeks,
  _when assisted by Achilles_, had not, from _confidence in their
  superior strength_, considered every compromise as unworthy of
  them,—namely, to decide the war by a single combat between the
  authors of it.” Here the causality of Achilles is dragged in by
  main force, and unsupported either by any actual statement in the
  poem or by any reasonable presumption; for it is _the Trojans_
  who propose the single combat, and we are not told that they had
  ever proposed it before, though they would have had stronger
  reasons for proposing it during the presence of Achilles than
  during his absence.

  O. Müller himself remarks (§ 7), “that from the second to the
  seventh book Zeus appears as it were to have forgotten his
  resolution and his promise to Thetis.” In other words, the poet,
  during this part of the poem, drops the point of view of the
  Achillêis to take up that of the more comprehensive Iliad: the
  Achillêis reappears in book viii,—again disappears in book x,—and
  is resumed from book xi. to the end of the poem.

  [301] This tendency to insert new homogeneous matter by new
  poets into poems already existing, is noticed by M. Fauriel, in
  reference to the _Romans_ of the Middle Ages:—

  “C’est un phénomène remarquable dans l’histoire de la poésie
  épique, que cette disposition, cette tendance constante du goût
  populaire à amalgamer, à lier en une seule et même composition
  le plus possible des compositions diverses,—cette disposition
  persiste chez un peuple, tant que la poésie conserve un reste
  de vie; tant qu’elle s’y transmet par la tradition et qu’elle
  y circule à l’aide du chant ou des récitations publiques. Elle
  cesse partout où la poésie est une fois fixée dans les livres, et
  n’agit plus que par la lecture,—cette dernière époque est pour
  ainsi dire, celle de la propriété poétique—celle où chaque poëte
  prétend à une existence, à une gloire, personnelles; et où la
  poésie cesse d’être une espèce de trésor commun dont le peuple
  jouit et dispose à sa manière, sans s’inquiéter des individus qui
  le lui ont fait.” (Fauriel, Sur les Romans Chevaleresques, leçon
  5me, Revue des Deux Mondes, vol. xiii. p. 707.)

  M. Fauriel thinks that the Shah Nameh of Ferdusi was an
  amalgamation of epic poems originally separate, and that probably
  the Mahabharat was so also (_ib._ 708).

The question respecting unity of authorship is different, and more
difficult to determine, than that respecting consistency of parts,
and sequence in the narrative. A poem conceived on a comparatively
narrow scale may be enlarged afterwards by its original author,
with greater or less coherence and success: the Faust of Goethe
affords an example even in our own generation. On the other hand,
a systematic poem may well have been conceived and executed by
prearranged concert between several poets; among whom probably
one will be the governing mind, though the rest may be effective,
and perhaps equally effective, in respect to execution of the
parts. And the age of the early Grecian epic was favorable to such
fraternization of poets, of which the Gens called Homerids probably
exhibited many specimens. In the recital or singing of a long
unwritten poem, many bards must have conspired together, and in the
earliest times the composer and the singer were one and the same
person.[302] Now the individuals comprised in the Homerid Gens,
though doubtless very different among themselves in respect of mental
capacity, were yet homogeneous in respect of training, means of
observation and instruction, social experience, religious feelings
and theories, etc., to a degree much greater than individuals in
modern times. Fallible as our inferences are on this point, where we
have only internal evidence to guide us, without any contemporary
points of comparison, or any species of collateral information
respecting the age, the society, the poets, the hearers, or the
language,—we must nevertheless, in the present case, take coherence
of structure, together with consistency in the tone of thought,
feeling, language, customs, etc., as presumptions of one author; and
the contrary as presumptions of severalty; allowing, as well as we
can, for that inequality of excellence which the same author may at
different times present.

  [302] The remarks of Boeckh, upon the possibility of such
  coöperation of poets towards one and the same scheme are
  perfectly just:—

  “Atqui quomodo componi a variis auctoribus successu temporum
  rhapsodiæ potuerint, quæ post prima initia directæ jam ad idem
  consilium et quam vocant unitatem carminis sint ... missis
  istorum declamationibus qui populi universi opus Homerum esse
  jactant ... tum potissimum intelligetur, ubi gentis civilis
  Homeridarum propriam et peculiarem Homericam poesin fuisse,
  veteribus ipsis si non testibus, at certe ducibus, concedetur....
  Quæ quum ita sint, non erit adeo difficile ad intelligendum,
  quomodo, post prima initia ab egregio vate facta, in gente
  sacrorum et artis communione sociatâ, multæ rhapsodiæ ad unum
  potuerint consilium dirigi.” (Index Lection. 1834, p. 12.)

  I transcribe this passage from Giese (Ueber den Æolischen
  Dialekt, p. 157), not having been able to see the essay of which
  it forms a part.

Now, the case made out against single-headed authorship of the
Odyssey, appears to me very weak; and those who dispute it, are
guided more by their _à priori_ rejection of ancient epical unity,
than by any positive evidence which the poem itself affords. It
is otherwise with regard to the Iliad. Whatever presumptions a
disjointed structure, several apparent inconsistencies of parts,
and large excrescence of actual matter beyond the opening promise,
can sanction,—may reasonably be indulged against the supposition
that this poem all proceeds from a single author. There is a
difference of opinion on the subject among the best critics, which
is, probably, not destined to be adjusted, since so much depends
partly upon critical feeling, partly upon the general reasonings,
in respect to ancient epical unity, with which a man sits down to
the study. For the champions of unity, such as Mr. Payne Knight, are
very ready to strike out numerous and often considerable passages
as interpolations, thus meeting the objections raised against unity
of authorship, on the ground of special inconsistencies. Hermann
and Boeckh, though not going the length of Lachmann in maintaining
the original theory of Wolf, agree with the latter in recognizing
diversity of authors in the poem, to an extent overpassing the limit
of what can fairly be called interpolation. Payne Knight and Nitzsch
are equally persuaded of the contrary. Here, then, is a decided
contradiction among critics, all of whom have minutely studied the
poems since the Wolfian question was raised. And it is such critics
alone who can be said to constitute authority; for the cursory
reader, who dwells upon the parts simply long enough to relish their
poetical beauty, is struck only by that general sameness of coloring
which Wolf himself admits to pervade the poem.[303]

  [303] Wolf, Prolegom. p. cxxxviii. “Quippe _in universum_ idem
  sonus est omnibus libris; idem habitus sententiarum, orationis,
  numerorum,” etc.

Having already intimated that, in my judgment, no theory of the
structure of the poem is admissible which does not admit an original
and preconcerted Achillêis,—a stream which begins at the first book
and ends with the death of Hector, in the twenty-second, although
the higher parts of it now remain only in the condition of two
detached lakes, the first book and the eighth,—I reason upon the
same basis with respect to the authorship. Assuming continuity of
structure as a presumptive proof, the whole of this Achillêis must
be treated as composed by one author. Wolf, indeed, affirmed, that
he never read the poem continuously through without being painfully
impressed with the inferiority[304] and altered style of the last
six books,—and Lachmann carries this feeling farther back, so as to
commence with the seventeenth book. If I could enter fully into this
sentiment, I should then be compelled, not to deny the existence
of a preconceived scheme, but to imagine that the books from the
eighteenth to the twenty-second, though forming part of that scheme,
or Achillêis, had yet been executed by another and an inferior
poet. But it is to be remarked, first, that inferiority of poetical
merit, to a certain extent, is quite reconcilable with unity of
authorship; and, secondly, that the very circumstances upon which
Wolf’s unfavorable judgment is built, seem to arise out of increased
difficulty in the poet’s task, when he came to the crowning cantos of
his designed Achillêis. For that which chiefly distinguishes these
books, is, the direct, incessant, and manual intervention of the
gods and goddesses, formerly permitted by Zeus,—and the repetition
of vast and fantastic conceptions to which such superhuman agency
gives occasion; not omitting the battle of Achilles against Skamander
and Simois, and the burning up of these rivers by Hêphæstus. Now,
looking at this vein of ideas with the eyes of a modern reader, or
even with those of a Grecian critic of the literary ages, it is
certain that the effect is unpleasing: the gods, sublime elements of
poetry when kept in due proportion, are here somewhat vulgarized.
But though the poet here has not succeeded, and probably success was
impossible, in the task which he has prescribed to himself,—yet the
mere fact of his undertaking it, and the manifest distinction between
his employment of divine agency in these latter cantos as compared
with the preceding, seems explicable only on the supposition that
they _are_ the latter cantos, and come in designed sequence, as the
continuance of a previous plan. The poet wishes to surround the
coming forth of Achilles with the maximum of glorious and terrific
circumstance; no Trojan enemy can for a moment hold out against
him:[305] the gods must descend to the plain of Troy and fight in
person, while Zeus, who at the beginning of the eighth book, had
forbidden them to take part, expressly encourages them to do so at
the beginning of the twentieth. If, then, the nineteenth book (which
contains the reconciliation between Achilles and Agamemnôn, a subject
naturally somewhat tame) and the three following books (where we
have before us only the gods, Achilles, and the Trojans, without
hope or courage) are inferior in execution and interest to the seven
preceding books (which describe the long-disputed and often doubtful
death-struggle between the Greeks and Trojans without Achilles), as
Wolf and other critics affirm,—we may explain the difference without
supposing a new poet as composer; for the conditions of the poem had
become essentially more difficult, and the subject more unpromising.
The necessity of keeping Achilles above the level, even of heroic
prowess, restricted the poet’s means of acting upon the sympathy of
his hearers.[306]

  [304] Wolf, Prolegomen. p. cxxxvii. “Equidem certe quoties in
  continenti lectione ad istas partes (_i. e._ the last six books)
  deveni, nunquam non in iis talia quædam sensi, quæ nisi illæ
  tam mature cum ceteris coaluissent, quovis pignore contendam,
  dudum ab eruditis detecta et animadversa fuisse, immo multa ejus
  generis, ut cum nunc Ὁμηρικώτατα habeantur, si tantummodo in
  Hymnis legerentur, ipsa sola eos suspicionibus νοθείας adspersura
  essent.” Compare the sequel, p. cxxxviii, “ubi nervi deficiant et
  spiritus Homericus,—jejunum et frigidum in locis multis,” etc.

  [305] Iliad, xx. 25. Zeus addresses the agora of the gods,—

    Ἀμφοτέροισι δ᾽ ἀρήγετ᾽, ὅπη νόος ἐστὶν ἑκάστου·
    Εἰ γὰρ Ἀχιλλεὺς οἶος ἐπὶ Τρώεσσι μαχεῖται,
    Οὐδὲ μίνυνθ᾽ ἕξουσι ποδώκεα Πηλείωνα.
    Καὶ δέ τέ μιν καὶ πρόσθεν ὑποτρομέεσκον ὁρῶντες·
    Νῦν δ᾽ ὅτε δὴ καὶ θυμὸν ἑταίρου χώεται αἰνῶς,
    Δείδω μὴ καὶ τεῖχος ὑπὲρ μόρον ἐξαλαπάξῃ.

  The formal restriction put upon the gods by Zeus at the beginning
  of the eighth book, and the removal of that restriction at
  the beginning of the twentieth, are evidently parts of one
  preconceived scheme.

  It is difficult to determine whether the battle of the gods and
  goddesses in book xxi. (385-520) is to be expunged as spurious,
  or only to be blamed as of inferior merit (“improbanda tantum,
  non resecanda—hoc enim est illud, quo plerumque summa criseôs
  Homericæ redit,” as Heyne observes in another place, Obss. Iliad.
  xviii. 444). The objections on the score of non-Homeric locution
  are not forcible (see P. Knight, _ad loc._), and the scene
  belongs to that vein of conception which animates the poet in the
  closing act of his Achillêis.

  [306] While admitting that these last books of the Iliad are not
  equal in interest with those between the eleventh and eighteenth,
  we may add that they exhibit many striking beauties, both of
  plan and execution, and one in particular may be noticed as an
  example of happy epical adaptation. The Trojans are on the point
  of ravishing from the Greeks the dead body of Patroclus, when
  Achilles (by the inspiration of Hêrê and Iris) shows himself
  unarmed on the Grecian mound, and by his mere figure and voice
  strikes such terror into the Trojans that they relinquish the
  dead body. As soon as night arrives, Polydamas proposes, in the
  Trojan agora, that the Trojans shall retire without farther
  delay from the ships to the town, and shelter themselves within
  the walls, without awaiting the assault of Achilles armed on
  the next morning. Hector repels this counsel of Polydamas with
  expressions,—not merely of overweening confidence in his own
  force, even against Achilles,—but also of extreme contempt and
  harshness towards the giver; whose wisdom, however, is proved
  by the utter discomfiture of the Trojans the next day. Now this
  angry deportment and mistake on the part of Hector is made to
  tell strikingly in the twenty-second book, just before his
  death. There yet remains a moment for him to retire within the
  walls, and thus obtain shelter against the near approach of his
  irresistible enemy, but he is struck with the recollection of
  that fatal moment when he repelled the counsel which would have
  saved his countrymen: “If I enter the town, Polydamas will be the
  first to reproach me, as having brought destruction upon Troy on
  that fatal night when Achilles came forth, and when I resisted
  his better counsel.” (Compare xviii. 250-315; xxii. 100-110; and
  Aristot. Ethic. iii. 8.)

  In a discussion respecting the structure of the Iliad, and in
  reference to arguments which deny all designed concatenation of
  parts, it is not out of place to notice this affecting touch of
  poetry, belonging to those books which are reproached as the

The last two books of the Iliad may have formed part of the original
Achillêis. But the probability rather is, that they are additions;
for the death of Hector satisfies the exigencies of a coherent
scheme, and we are not entitled to extend the oldest poem beyond the
limit which such necessity prescribes. It has been argued on one side
by Nitzsch and O. Müller, that the mind could not leave off with
satisfaction at the moment in which Achilles sates his revenge, and
while the bodies of Patroclus and Hector are lying unburied,—also,
that the more merciful temper which he exhibits in the twenty-fourth
book, must always have been an indispensable sequel, in order to
create proper sympathy with his triumph. Other critics, on the
contrary, have taken special grounds of exception against the last
book, and have endeavored to set it aside as different from the
other books, both in tone and language. To a certain extent, the
peculiarities of the last book appear to me undeniable, though it
is plainly a designed continuance, and not a substantive poem. Some
weight also is due to the remark about the twenty-third book, that
Odysseus and Diomêdês, who have been wounded and disabled during
the fight, now reappear in perfect force, and contend in the games:
here is no case of miraculous healing, and the inconsistency is more
likely to have been admitted by a separate enlarging poet, than by
the schemer of the Achillêis.

The splendid books from the second to v. 322 of the seventh,[307]
are equal, in most parts, to any portion of the Achillêis, and are
pointedly distinguished from the latter by the broad view which
they exhibit of the general Trojan war, with all its principal
personages, localities, and causes,—yet without advancing the result
promised in the first book, or, indeed, any final purpose whatever.
Even the desperate wound inflicted by Tlepolemus on Sarpêdon, is
forgotten, when the latter hero is called forth in the subsequent
Achillêis.[308] The arguments of Lachmann, who dissects these six
books into three or four separate songs,[309] carry no conviction to
my mind; and I see no reason why we should not consider all of them
to be by the same author, bound together by the common purpose of
giving a great collective picture which may properly be termed an
Iliad. The tenth book, or Doloneia, though adapted specially to the
place in which it stands, agrees with the books between the first and
eighth in belonging only to the general picture of the war, without
helping forward the march of the Achillêis; yet it seems conceived in
a lower vein, in so far as we can trust our modern ethical sentiment.
One is unwilling to believe that the author of the fifth book, or
Aristeia of Diomêdês, would condescend to employ the hero whom he
there so brightly glorifies,—the victor even over Arês himself,—in
slaughtering newly-arrived Thracian sleepers, without any large
purpose or necessity.[310] The ninth book, of which I have already
spoken at length, belongs to a different vein of conception, and
seems to me more likely to have emanated from a separate composer.

  [307] The latter portion of the seventh book is spoiled by
  the very unsatisfactory addition introduced to explain the
  construction of the wall and ditch: all the other incidents (the
  agora and embassy of the Trojans, the truce for burial, the
  arrival of wine-ships from Lemnos, etc.) suit perfectly with
  the scheme of the poet of these books, to depict the Trojan war

  [308] Unless, indeed, we are to imagine the combat between
  Tlepolemus and Sarpêdon, and that between Glaukus and Diomêdês,
  to be separate songs; and they are among the very few passages
  in the Iliad which are completely separable, implying no special

  [309] Compare also Heyne, Excursus ii. sect. ii. ad Iliad. xxiv.
  vol. viii. p. 783.

  [310] Subsequent poets, seemingly thinking that the naked story,
  (of Diomêdês slaughtering Rhêsus and his companions in their
  sleep,) as it now stands in the Iliad, was too displeasing,
  adopted different ways of dressing it up. Thus, according to
  Pindar (ap. Schol. Iliad. x. 435), Rhêsus fought one day as the
  ally of Troy, and did such terrific damage, that the Greeks
  had no other means of averting total destruction from his hand
  on the next day, except by killing him during the night. And
  the Euripidean drama, called _Rhêsus_, though representing the
  latter as a new-comer, yet puts into the mouth of Athênê the like
  overwhelming predictions of what he would do on the coming day,
  if suffered to live; so that to kill him in the night is the only
  way of saving the Greeks (Eurip. Rhês. 602): moreover, Rhêsus
  himself is there brought forward as talking with such overweening
  insolence, that the sympathies of man, and the envy of the gods,
  are turned against him (_ib._ 458).

  But the story is best known in the form and with the addition
  (equally unknown to the Iliad) which Virgil has adopted. It was
  decreed by fate that, if the splendid horses of Rhêsus were
  permitted once either to taste the Trojan provender, or to drink
  of the river Xanthus, nothing could preserve the Greeks from ruin
  (Æneid, i. 468, with Servius, _ad loc._):—

    “Nec procul hinc Rhesi niveis tentoria velis
    Agnoscit lacrymans: primo quæ prodita somno
    Tydides multâ vastabat cæde cruentus:
    Ardentesque avertit equos in castra, priusquam
    Pabula gustassent Trojæ, Xanthumque bibissent.”

  All these versions are certainly improvements upon the story as
  it stands in the Iliad.

While intimating these views respecting the authorship of the Iliad,
as being in my judgment the most probable, I must repeat that, though
the study of the poem carries to my mind a sufficient conviction
respecting its structure, the question between unity and plurality
of authors is essentially less determinable. The poem consists of a
part original, and other parts superadded; yet it is certainly not
impossible that the author of the former may himself have composed
the latter; and such would be my belief if I regarded plurality of
composers as an inadmissible idea. On this supposition, we must
conclude that the poet, while anxious for the addition of new, and
for the most part, highly interesting matter, has not thought fit to
recast the parts and events in such manner as to impart to the whole
a pervading thread of _consensus_ and organization, such as we see in
the Odyssey.

That the Odyssey is of later date than the Iliad, and by a different
author, seems to be now the opinion of most critics, especially of
Payne Knight[311] and Nitzsch; though O. Müller leans to a contrary
conclusion, at the same time adding that he thinks the arguments
either way not very decisive. There are considerable differences of
statement in the two poems in regard to some of the gods: Iris is
messenger of the gods in the Iliad, and Hermês in the Odyssey: Æolus,
the dispenser of the winds in the Odyssey, is not noticed in the
twenty-third book of the Iliad, but, on the contrary, Iris invites
the winds, as independent gods, to come and kindle the funeral pile
of Patroclus; and, unless we are to expunge the song of Demodokus
in the eighth book of the Odyssey as spurious, Aphroditê there
appears as the wife of Hêphæstus,—a relationship not known to the
Iliad. There are also some other points of difference enumerated by
Mr. Knight and others, which tend to justify the presumption that
the author of the Odyssey is not identical either with the author of
the Achillêis or his enlargers, which G. Hermann considers to be a
point unquestionable.[312] Indeed, the difficulty of supposing a long
coherent poem to have been conceived, composed, and retained, without
any aid of writing, appears to many critics even now, insurmountable,
though the evidences on the other side, are, in my view, sufficient
to outweigh any negative presumption thus suggested. But it is
improbable that the same person should have powers of memorial
combination sufficient for composing two such poems, nor is there any
proof to force upon us such a supposition.

  [311] Mr. Knight places the Iliad about two centuries, and the
  Odyssey one century, anterior to Hesiod: a century between the
  two poems (Prolegg. c. lxi.)

  [312] Hermann, Præfat. ad Odyss. p. vii.

Presuming a difference of authorship between the two poems, I feel
less convinced about the supposed juniority of the Odyssey. The
discrepancies in manners and language in the one and the other, are
so little important, that two different persons, in the same age
and society, might well be imagined to exhibit as great or even
greater. It is to be recollected that the subjects of the two are
heterogeneous, so as to conduct the poet, even were he the same
man, into totally different veins of imagination and illustration.
The pictures of the Odyssey seem to delineate the same heroic life
as the Iliad, though looked at from a distinct point of view: and
the circumstances surrounding the residence of Odysseus, in Ithaka,
are just such as we may suppose him to have left in order to attack
Troy. If the scenes presented to us are for the most part pacific,
as contrasted with the incessant fighting of the Iliad, this is not
to be ascribed to any greater sociality or civilization in the real
hearers of the Odyssey, but to the circumstances of the hero whom the
poet undertakes to adorn: nor can we doubt that the poems of Arktinus
and Leschês, of a later date than the Odyssey, would have given us
as much combat and bloodshed as the Iliad. I am not struck by those
proofs of improved civilization which some critics affirm the Odyssey
to present: Mr. Knight, who is of this opinion, nevertheless admits
that the mutilation of Melanthius, and the hanging up of the female
slaves by Odysseus, in that poem, indicate greater barbarity than
any incidents in the fights before Troy.[313] The more skilful and
compact structure of the Odyssey, has been often considered as a
proof of its juniority in age: and in the case of two poems by the
same author, we might plausibly contend that practice would bring
with it improvement in the combining faculty. But in reference to the
poems before us, we must recollect, first, that in all probability
the Iliad (with which the comparison is taken) is not a primitive
but an enlarged poem, and that the primitive Achillêis might well
have been quite as coherent as the Odyssey; secondly, that between
different authors, superiority in structure is not a proof of
subsequent composition, inasmuch as, on that hypothesis, we should
be compelled to admit that the later poem of Arktinus would be an
improvement upon the Odyssey; thirdly, that, even if it were so,
we could only infer that the author of the Odyssey had _heard_ the
Achillêis or the Iliad; we could not infer that he lived one or two
generations afterwards.[314]

  [313] Knight, Prolegg. 1, c. Odyss. xxii. 465-478.

  [314] The arguments, upon the faith of which Payne Knight and
  other critics have maintained the Odyssey to be younger than the
  Iliad, are well stated and examined in Bernard Thiersch,—Quæstio
  de Diversâ Iliadis et Odysseæ Ætate,—in the Anhang (p. 306) to
  his work Ueber das Zeitalter und Vaterland des Homer.

  He shows all such arguments to be very inconclusive; though the
  grounds upon which he himself maintains identity of age between
  the two appear to me not at all more satisfactory (p. 327): we
  can infer nothing to the point from the mention of Telemachus in
  the Iliad.

  Welcker thinks that there is a great difference of age, and an
  evident difference of authorship, between the two poems (Der
  Episch. Cyclus, p. 295).

  O. Müller admits the more recent date of the Odyssey, but
  considers it “difficult and hazardous to raise upon this
  foundation any definite conclusions as to the person and age of
  the poet.” (History of the Literature of Ancient Greece, ch. v.
  s. 13.)

On the whole, the balance of probabilities seems in favor of distinct
authorship for the two poems, but the same age,—and that age a very
early one, anterior to the first Olympiad. And they may thus be
used as evidences, and contemporary evidences, for the phenomena of
primitive Greek civilization; while they also show that the power of
constructing long premeditated epics, without the aid of writing, is
to be taken as a characteristic of the earliest known Greek mind.
This was the point controverted by Wolf, which a full review of
the case (in my judgment) decides against him: it is, moreover, a
valuable result for the historian of the Greeks, inasmuch as it marks
out to him the ground from which he is to start in appreciating their
ulterior progress.[315]

  [315] Dr. Thirlwall has added to the second edition of his
  History of Greece a valuable Appendix, on the early history
  of the Homeric poems (vol. i. pp. 500-516); which contains
  copious information respecting the discrepant opinions of German
  critics, with a brief comparative examination of their reasons.
  I could have wished that so excellent a judge had superadded,
  to his enumeration of the views of others, an ampler exposition
  of his own. Dr. Thirlwall seems decidedly convinced upon that
  which appears to me the most important point in the Homeric
  controversy: “That before the appearance of the earliest of the
  poems of the Epic Cycle, the Iliad and Odyssey, even if they did
  not exist precisely in their present form, had at least reached
  their present compass, and were regarded each as a complete and
  well-defined whole, not as a fluctuating aggregate of fugitive
  pieces.” (p. 509.)

  This marks out the Homeric poems as ancient both in the items
  and in the total, and includes negation of the theory of Wolf
  and Lachmann, who contend that, as a total, they only date from
  the age of Peisistratus. It is then safe to treat the poems as
  unquestionable evidences of Grecian antiquity (meaning thereby
  776 B. C.), which we could not do if we regarded all congruity
  of parts in the poems as brought about through alterations of
  Peisistratus and his friends.

  There is also a very just admonition of Dr. Thirlwall (p. 516)
  as to the difficulty of measuring what degree of discrepancy or
  inaccuracy might or might not have escaped the poet’s attention,
  in an age so imperfectly known to us.

Whatever there may be of truth in the different conjectures of
critics respecting the authorship and structure of these unrivalled
poems, we are not to imagine that it is the perfection of their
epical symmetry which has given them their indissoluble hold upon
the human mind, as well modern as ancient. There is some tendency
in critics, from Aristotle downwards,[316] to invert the order of
attributes in respect to the Homeric poems, so as to dwell most on
recondite excellences which escape the unaided reader, and which are
even to a great degree disputable. But it is given to few minds (as
Goethe has remarked[317]) to appreciate fully the mechanism of a long
poem; and many feel the beauty of the separate parts, who have no
sentiment for the aggregate perfection of the whole.

  [316] There are just remarks on this point in Heyne’s Excursus,
  ii. sect. 2 and 4, ad Il. xxiv. vol. viii. pp. 771-800.

  [317] “Wenig Deutsche, und vielleicht nur wenige Menschen aller
  _neuern_ Nationen, haben Gefühl für ein æsthetisches Ganzes:
  sie loben und tadeln nur stellenweise, sie entzücken sich nur
  stellenweise.” (Goethe, Wilhelm Meister: I transcribe this from
  Welcker’s Æschyl. Trilogie, p. 306.)

  What ground there is for restricting this proposition to _modern_
  as contrasted with _ancient_ nations, I am unable to conceive.

Nor were the Homeric poems originally addressed to minds of the
rarer stamp. They are intended for those feelings which the critic
has in common with the unlettered mass, not for that enlarged range
of vision and peculiar standard which he has acquired to himself.
They are of all poems the most absolutely and unreservedly popular:
had they been otherwise, they could not have lived so long in the
mouth of the rhapsodes, and the ear and memory of the people: and it
was _then_ that their influence was first acquired, never afterwards
to be shaken. Their beauties belong to the parts taken separately,
which revealed themselves spontaneously to the listening crowd at
the festival,—far more than to the whole poem taken together, which
could hardly be appreciated unless the parts were dwelt upon and
suffered to expand in the mind. The most unlettered hearer of those
times could readily seize, while the most instructed reader can still
recognize, the characteristic excellence of Homeric narrative,—its
straightforward, unconscious, unstudied simplicity,—its concrete
forms of speech [318] and happy alternation of action with
dialogue,—its vivid pictures of living agents, always clearly and
sharply individualized, whether in the commanding proportions
of Achilles and Odysseus, in the graceful presence of Helen and
Penelope, or in the more humble contrast of Eumæus and Melanthius;
and always, moreover, animated by the frankness with which his heroes
give utterance to all their transient emotions and even all their
infirmities,—its constant reference to those coarser veins of feeling
and palpable motives which belong to all men in common,—its fulness
of graphic details, freshly drawn from the visible and audible world,
and though often homely, never tame, nor trenching upon that limit
of satiety to which the Greek mind was so keenly alive,—lastly,
its perpetual junction of gods and men in the same picture, and
familiar appeal to ever-present divine agency, in harmony with the
interpretation of nature at that time universal.

  [318] The κινούμενα ὀνόματα of Homer were extolled by Aristotle;
  see Schol. ad Iliad. i. 481; compare Dionys. Halicarn. De Compos.
  Verbor. c. 20. ὥστε μηδὲν ἡμῖν διαφέρειν γινόμενα τὰ πράγματα ἢ
  λεγόμενα ὁρᾶν. Respecting the undisguised bursts of feeling by
  the heroes, the Scholiast ad Iliad, i. 349 tells us,—ἕτοιμον τὸ
  ἡπωϊκον πρὸς δάκρυα,—compare Euripid. Helen. 959, and the severe
  censures of Plato, Republ. ii. p. 388.

  The Homeric poems were the best understood, and the most widely
  popular of all Grecian composition, even among the least
  instructed persons, such (for example) as the semibarbarians who
  had acquired the Greek language in addition to their own mother
  tongue. (Dio Chrysost. Or. xviii. vol. i. p. 478; Or. liii. vol.
  ii. p. 277, Reisk.) Respecting the simplicity and perspicuity
  of the narrative style, implied in this extensive popularity,
  Porphyry made a singular remark: he said, that the sentences
  of Homer _really_ presented much difficulty and obscurity, but
  that ordinary readers fancied they understood him, “because
  of the general clearness _which appeared_ to run through the
  poems.” (See the Prolegomena of Villoison’s edition of the
  Iliad, p. xli.) This remark affords the key to a good deal of
  the Homeric criticism. There doubtless were real obscurities in
  the poems, arising from altered associations, customs, religion,
  language, etc., as well as from corrupt text; but while the
  critics did good service in elucidating these difficulties,
  they also introduced artificially many others, altogether of
  their own creating. Refusing to be satisfied with the plain and
  obvious meaning, they sought in Homer hidden purposes, elaborate
  innuendo, recondite motives even with regard to petty details,
  deep-laid rhetorical artifices (see a specimen in Dionys. Hal.
  Ars Rhetor. c. 15, p. 316, Reiske; nor is even Aristotle exempt
  from similar tendencies, Schol. ad Iliad. iii. 441, x. 198), or
  a substratum of philosophy allegorized. No wonder that passages,
  quite perspicuous to the vulgar reader, seemed difficult to them.

  There could not be so sure a way of missing the real Homer as by
  searching for him in these devious recesses. He is essentially
  the poet of the broad highway and the market-place, touching
  the common sympathies and satisfying the mental appetencies of
  his countrymen with unrivalled effect; but exempt from ulterior
  views, either selfish or didactic, and immersed in the same
  medium of practical life and experience, religiously construed,
  as his auditors. No nation has ever yet had so perfect and
  touching an exposition of its early social mind as the Iliad and
  Odyssey exhibit.

  In the verbal criticism of Homer, the Alexandrine literati
  seem to have made a very great advance, as compared with the
  glossographers who preceded them. (See Lehrs, De Studiis
  Aristarchi, Dissert. ii. p. 42.)

It is undoubtedly easier to feel than to describe the impressive
influence of Homeric narrative: but the time and circumstances under
which that influence was first, and most powerfully felt, preclude
the possibility of explaining it by comprehensive and elaborate
comparisons, such as are implied in Aristotle’s remarks upon the
structure of the poems. The critic who seeks the explanation in the
right place will not depart widely from the point of view of those
rude auditors to whom the poems were originally addressed, or from
the susceptibilities and capacities common to the human bosom in
every stage of progressive culture. And though the refinements and
delicacies of the poems, as well as their general structure, are a
subject of highly interesting criticism,—yet it is not to these that
Homer owes his wide-spread and imperishable popularity. Still less is
it true, as the well-known observations of Horace would lead us to
believe, that Homer is a teacher of ethical wisdom akin and superior
to Chrysippus or Crantor.[319] No didactic purpose is to be found
in the Iliad and Odyssey; a philosopher may doubtless extract, from
the incidents and strongly marked characters which it contains, much
illustrative matter for his exhortations,—but the ethical doctrine
which he applies must emanate from his own reflection. The Homeric
hero manifests virtues or infirmities, fierceness or compassion, with
the same straightforward and simple-minded vivacity, unconscious of
any ideal standard by which his conduct is to be tried;[320] nor
can we trace in the poet any ulterior function beyond that of the
inspired organ of the Muse, and the nameless, but eloquent, herald of
lost adventures out of the darkness of the past.

  [319] Horat. Epist. i. 2, v. 1-26:—

    “Sirenum voces, et Circes pocula nosti:
    Quæ si cum sociis stultus cupidusque bibisset,
    Vixisset canis immundus, vel amica luto sus.”

  Horace contrasts the folly and greediness of the companions of
  Ulysses, in accepting the refreshments tendered to them by Circe,
  with the self-command of Ulysses himself in refusing them. But
  in the incident as described in the original poem, neither the
  praise nor the blame, here implied, finds any countenance. The
  companions of Ulysses follow the universal practice in accepting
  hospitality tendered to strangers, the fatal consequences of
  which, in their particular case, they could have no ground for
  suspecting; while Ulysses is preserved from a similar fate, not
  by any self-command of his own, but by a previous divine warning
  and a special antidote, which had not been vouchsafed to the rest
  (see Odyss. x. 285). And the incident of the Sirens, if it is to
  be taken as evidence of anything, indicates rather the absence,
  than the presence, of self-command on the part of Ulysses.

  Of the violent mutations of text, whereby the _Grammatici_ or
  critics tried to efface from Homer bad ethical tendencies (we
  must remember that many of these men were lecturers to youth),
  a remarkable specimen is afforded by Venet. Schol. ad Iliad.
  ix. 453; compare Plutarch, de Audiendis Poetis, p. 95. Phœnix
  describes the calamitous family tragedy in which he himself had
  been partly the agent, partly the victim. Now that an Homeric
  hero should confess guilty proceedings, and still more guilty
  designs, without any expression of shame or contrition, was
  insupportable to the feelings of the critics. One of them,
  Aristodemus, thrust two negative particles into one of the
  lines; and though he thereby ruined not only the sense but the
  metre, his emendation procured for him universal applause,
  because he had maintained the innocence of the hero (καὶ οὐ μόνον
  ηὐδοκίμησεν, ἀλλὰ καὶ ἐτιμήθη, ὡς εὐσεβῆ τηρήσας τὸν ἥρωα). And
  Aristarchus thought the case so alarming, that he struck out
  from the text four lines, which have only been preserved to us
  by Plutarch (Ὁ μὲν Ἀρίσταρχος ἔξειλε τὰ ἔπη ταῦτα, ~φοβηθείς~).
  See the Fragment of Dioscorides (περὶ τῶν παρ᾽ Ὁμήρῳ Νόμων) in
  Didot’s Fragmenta Historicor. Græcor. vol. ii. p. 193.

  [320] “C’est un tableau idéal, à coup sûr, que celui de la
  société Grecque dans les chants qui portent le nom d’Homère: et
  pourtant cette société y est toute entière reproduite, avec la
  rusticité, la férocité de ses mœurs, ses bonnes et ses mauvaises
  passions, sans dessein de faire particulièrement ressortir, de
  célébrer tel ou tel de ses mérites, de ses avantages, ou de
  laisser dans l’ombre ses vices et ses maux. Ce mélange du bien
  et du mal, du fort et du faible,—cette simultanéité d’idées
  et de sentimens en apparence contraires,—cette variété, cette
  incohérence, ce développement inégal de la nature et de la
  destinée humaine,—c’est précisément là ce qu’il y a de plus
  poétique, car c’est le fond même des choses, c’est la vérité sur
  l’homme et le monde: et dans les peintures idéales qu’en veulent
  faire la poésie, le roman et même l’histoire, cet ensemble, si
  divers et pourtant si harmonieux, doit se retrouver: sans quoi
  l’idéal véritable y manque aussi bien que la réalité.” (Guizot,
  Cours d’Histoire Moderne; Leçon 7me, vol. i. p. 285.)






Greece Proper lies between the 36th and 40th parallels of north
latitude, and between the 21st and 26th degrees of east longitude.
Its greatest length, from Mount Olympus to Cape Tænarus, may be
stated at 250 English miles; its greatest breadth, from the western
coast of Akarnania to Marathon in Attica, at 180 miles; and the
distance eastward from Ambrakia across Pindus to the Magnesian
mountain Homolê and the mouth of the Peneius is about 120 miles.
Altogether, its area is somewhat less than that of Portugal.[321] In
regard, however, to all attempts at determining the exact limits of
Greece proper, we may remark, first, that these limits seem not to
have been very precisely defined even among the Greeks themselves;
and next, that so large a proportion of the Hellens were distributed
among islands and colonies, and so much of their influence upon the
world in general produced through their colonies, as to render the
extent of their original domicile a matter of comparatively little
moment to verify.

  [321] Compare Strong, Statistics of the Kingdom of Greece, p. 2;
  and Kruse, Hellas, vol. i. ch. 3, p. 196.

The chain called Olympus and the Cambunian mountains, ranging
from east and west, and commencing with the Ægean sea or the gulf
of Therma, near the 40th degree of north latitude, is prolonged
under the name of Mount Lingon, until it touches the Adriatic at
the Akrokeraunian promontory. The country south of this chain
comprehended all that in ancient times was regarded as Greece, or
Hellas proper, but it also comprehended something more. Hellas
proper,[322] (or continuous Hellas, to use the language of Skylax
and Dikæarchus) was understood to begin with the town and gulf of
Ambrakia: from thence, northward to the Akrokeraunian promontory,
lay the land called by the Greeks Epirus,—occupied by the Chaonians,
Molossians, and Thesprotians, who were termed Epirots, and were not
esteemed to belong to the Hellenic aggregate. This at least was the
general understanding, though Ætolians and Akarnanians, in their more
distant sections, seem to have been not less widely removed from the
full type of Hellenism than the Epirots were; while Herodotus is
inclined to treat even Molossians and Thesprotians as Hellens.[323]

  [322] Dikæarch, 31, p. 460, ed. Fuhr:—

    Ἡ δ᾽ Ἑλλὰς ἀπὸ τῆς Ἀμβρακίας εἶναι δοκεῖ
    Μάλιστα συνεχὴς τὸ πέρας· αὐτὴ δ᾽ ἔρχεται
    Ἐπὶ τὸν πόταμον Πηνειὸν, ὡς Φιλέας γράφει,
    Ὄρος τε Μαγνήτων Ὁμόλην κεκλημένον.

  Skylax, c. 35.—Ἀμβρακία—ἐντεῦθεν ἄρχεται ἡ Ἑλλὰς συνεχὴς εἶναι
  μέχρι Πηνείου ποτάμου, καὶ Ὁμολίου Μαγνητικῆς πόλεως, ἥ ἔστι παρὰ
  τὸν πόταμον.

  [323] Herod. i. 146: ii. 56. The Molossian Alkôn passes for a
  Hellen (Herod. vi. 127).

At a point about midway between the Ægean and Ionian seas, Olympus
and Lingon are traversed nearly at right angles by the still longer
and vaster chain called Pindus, which stretches in a line rather
west of north from the northern side of the range of Olympus: the
system to which these mountains belong seems to begin with the lofty
masses of greenstone comprised under the name of Mount Scardus, or
Scordus, (Schardagh,)[324] which is divided only by the narrow
cleft, containing the river Drin, from the limestone of the Albanian
Alps. From the southern face of Olympus, Pindus strikes off nearly
southward, forming the boundary between Thessaly and Epirus, and
sending forth about the 39th degree of latitude the lateral chain of
Othrys,—which latter takes an easterly course, forming the southern
boundary of Thessaly, and reaching the sea between Thessaly and the
northern coast of Eubœa. Southward of Othrys, the chain of Pindus,
under the name of Tymphrêstus, still continues, until another lateral
chain, called Œta, projects from it again towards the east,—forming
the lofty coast immediately south of the Maliac gulf, with the narrow
road of Thermopylæ between the two,—and terminating at the Eubœan
strait. At the point of junction with Œta, the chain of Pindus
forks into two branches; one striking to the westward of south,
and reaching across Ætolia, under the names of Arakynthus, Kurius,
Korax, and Taphiassus, to the promontory called Antirrhion, situated
on the northern side of the narrow entrance of the Corinthian gulf,
over against the corresponding promontory of Rhion in Peloponnesus;
the other tending south-east, and forming Parnassus, Helicon,
and Kithærôn; indeed, Ægaleus and Hymettus, even down to the
southernmost cape of Attica, Sunium, may be treated as a continuance
of this chain. From the eastern extremity of Œta, also, a range of
hills, inferior in height to the preceding, takes its departure
in a south-easterly direction, under the various names of Knêmis,
Ptôon, and Teumêssus. It is joined with Kithærôn by the lateral
communication, ranging from west to east, called Parnês; while the
celebrated Pentelikus, abundant in marble quarries, constitutes its
connecting link, to the south of Parnês with the chain from Kithærôn
to Sunium.

  [324] The mountain systems in the ancient Macedonia and
  Illyricum, north of Olympus, have been yet but imperfectly
  examined: see Dr. Griesebach, Reise durch Rumelien und nach
  Brussa im Jahre 1839, vol. ii. ch. 13, p. 112, _seqq._ (Götting.
  1841), which contains much instruction respecting the real
  relations of these mountains as compared with the different ideas
  and representations of them. The words of Strabo (lib. vii.
  Excerpt. 3, ed. Tzschucke), that Scardus, Orbêlus, Rhodopê, and
  Hæmus extend in a straight line from the Adriatic to the Euxine,
  are incorrect.

  See Leake’s Travels in Northern Greece, vol. i. p. 335: the pass
  of Tschangon, near Castoria (through which the river Devol passes
  from the eastward to fall into the Adriatic on the westward),
  is the only cleft in this long chain from the river Drin in the
  north down to the centre of Greece.

From the promontory of Antirrhion, the line of mountains crosses
into Peloponnesus, and stretches in a southerly direction down to
the extremity of the peninsula called Tænarus, now Cape Matapan.
Forming the boundary between Elis with Messenia on one side, and
Arcadia with Laconia on the other, it bears the successive names of
Olenus, Panachaikus, Pholoê, Erymanthus, Lykæus, Parrhasius, and
Taygetus. Another series of mountains strikes off from Kithærôn
towards the south-west, constituting, under the names of Geraneia and
Oneia, the rugged and lofty Isthmus of Corinth, and then spreading
itself into Peloponnesus. On entering that peninsula, one of its
branches tends westward along the north of Arkadia, comprising the
Akrokorinthus, or citadel of Corinth, the high peak of Kyllênê, the
mountains of Aroanii and Lampeia, and ultimately joining Erymanthus
and Pholoê,—while the other branch strikes southward towards the
south-eastern cape of Peloponnesus, the formidable Cape Malea, or St.
Angelo,—and exhibits itself under the successive names of Apesas,
Artemisium, Parthenium, Parnôn, Thornax, and Zarêx.

From the eastern extremity of Olympus, in a direction rather to the
eastward of south, stretches the range of mountains first called
Ossa, and afterwards Pelion, down to the south-eastern corner of
Thessaly. The long, lofty, and naked back-bone of the island of
Eubœa, may be viewed as a continuance both of this chain and of
the chain of Othrys: the line is farther prolonged by a series of
islands in the Archipelago, Andros, Tênos, Mykonos, and Naxos,
belonging to the group called the Cyclades, or islands encircling
the sacred centre of Delos. Of these Cyclades, others are in like
manner a continuance of the chain which reaches to Cape Sunium,—Keôs,
Kythnos, Seriphos, and Siphnos join on to Attica, as Andros does to
Eubœa. And we might even consider the great island of Krete as a
prolongation of the system of mountains which breasts the winds and
waves at Cape Malea, the island of Kythêra forming the intermediate
link between them. Skiathus, Skopelus, and Skyrus, to the north-east
of Eubœa, also mark themselves out as outlying peaks of the range
comprehending Pelion and Eubœa.[325]

  [325] For the general sketch of the mountain system of Hellas,
  see Kruse, Hellas, vol. i. ch. 4, pp. 280-290; Dr. Cramer, Geog.
  of An. Greece, vol. i. pp. 3-8.

  Respecting the northern regions, Epirus, Illyria, and Macedonia,
  O. Müller, in his short but valuable treatise Ueber die
  Makedoner, p. 7 (Berlin, 1825), may be consulted with advantage.
  This treatise is annexed to the English translation of his
  History of the Dorians by Mr. G. C. Lewis.

By this brief sketch, which the reader will naturally compare
with one of the recent maps of the country, it will be seen that
Greece proper is among the most mountainous territories in Europe.
For although it is convenient, in giving a systematic view of the
face of the country, to group the multiplicity of mountains into
certain chains, or ranges, founded upon approximative uniformity of
direction; yet, in point of fact, there are so many ramifications and
dispersed peaks,—so vast a number of hills and crags of different
magnitude and elevation,—that a comparatively small proportion of the
surface is left for level ground. Not only few continuous plains,
but even few continuous valleys, exist throughout all Greece proper.
The largest spaces of level ground are seen in Thessaly, in Ætolia,
in the western portion of Peloponnesus, and in Bœotia; but irregular
mountains, valleys frequent but isolated, land-locked basins and
declivities, which often occur, but seldom last long, form the
character of the country.[326]

  [326] Out of the 47,600,000 stremas (= 12,000,000 English acres)
  included in the present kingdom of Greece, 26,500,000 go to
  mountains, rocks, rivers, lakes, and forests,—and 21,000,000 to
  arable land, vineyards, olive and currant grounds, etc. By arable
  land is meant, land fit for cultivation; for a comparatively
  small portion of it is actually cultivated at present (Strong,
  Statistics of Greece, p. 2, London, 1842).

  The modern kingdom of Greece does not include Thessaly. The
  epithet κοιλὸς (hollow) is applied to several of the chief
  Grecian states,—κοιλὴ Ἦλις, κοιλὴ Λακεδαίμων, κοιλὸν Ἄργος, etc.

  Κόρινθος ὀφρύᾳ τε καὶ κοιλαίνεται, Strabo, viii. p. 381.

  The fertility of Bœotia is noticed in Strabo, ix. p. 400, and in
  the valuable fragment of Dikæarchus, Βίος Ἑλλάδος, p. 140, ed.

The islands of the Cyclades, Eubœa, Attica, and Laconia, consist
for the most part of micaceous schist, combined with and often
covered by crystalline granular limestone.[327] The centre and west
of Peloponnesus, as well as the country north of the Corinthian
gulf from the gulf of Ambrakia to the strait of Eubœa, present a
calcareous formation, varying in different localities as to color,
consistency, and hardness, but, generally, belonging or approximating
to the chalk: it is often very compact, but is distinguished in a
marked manner from the crystalline limestone above mentioned. The
two loftiest summits in Greece[328] (both, however, lower than
Olympus, estimated at nine thousand seven hundred feet) exhibit this
formation,—Parnassus, which attains eight thousand feet, and the
point of St. Elias in Taygetus, which is not less than seven thousand
eight hundred feet. Clay-slate, and conglomerates of sand, lime,
and clay, are found in many parts: a close and firm conglomerate of
lime composes the Isthmus of Corinth: loose deposits of pebbles,
and calcareous breccia, occupy also some portions of the territory.
But the most important and essential elements of the Grecian soil,
consist of the diluvial and alluvial formations, with which the
troughs and basins are filled up, resulting from the decomposition
of the older adjoining rocks. In these reside the productive powers
of the country, and upon these the grain and vegetables for the
subsistence of the people depend. The mountain regions are to a
great degree barren, destitute at present of wood or any useful
vegetation, though there is reason to believe that they were better
wooded in antiquity: in many parts, however, and especially in Ætolia
and Akarnania, they afford plenty of timber, and in all parts,
pasture for the cattle during summer, at a time when the plains are
thoroughly burnt up.[329] For other articles of food, dependence
must be had on the valleys, which are occasionally of singular
fertility. The low ground of Thessaly, the valley of the Kephisus,
and the borders of the lake Kopaïs, in Bœotia, the western portion of
Elis, the plains of Stratus on the confines of Akarnania and Ætolia,
and those near the river Pamisus in Messenia, both are now, and were
in ancient times, remarkable for their abundant produce.

  [327] For the geological and mineralogical character of Greece,
  see the survey undertaken by Dr. Fiedler, by orders of the
  present government of Greece, in 1834 and the following years
  (Reise durch alle Theile des Königreichs Griechenland in Auftrag
  der K. G. Regierung in den Jahren 1834 bis 1837, especially vol.
  ii. pp. 512-530).

  Professor Ross remarks upon the character of the Greek
  limestone,—hard and intractable to the mason,—jagged and
  irregular in its fracture,—as having first determined in early
  times the polygonal style of architecture, which has been
  denominated (he observes) Cyclopian and Pelasgic, without the
  least reason for either denomination (Reise auf den Griech.
  Inseln, vol. i. p. 15).

  [328] Griesebach, Reisen durch Rumelien, vol. ii. ch. 13, p. 124.

  [329] In passing through the valley between Œta and Parnassus,
  going towards Elateia, Fiedler observes the striking change
  in the character of the country. “Romelia (_i. e._ Akarnania,
  Ætolia, Ozolian Lokris, etc.), woody, well-watered, and covered
  with a good soil, ceases at once and precipitously: while craggy
  limestone mountains, of a white-grey color, exhibit the cold
  character of Attica and the Morea.” (Fiedler, Reise, i. p. 213.)

  The Homeric Hymn to Apollo conceives even the πεδίον πυρήφορον of
  Thebes as having in its primitive state been covered with wood
  (v. 227).

  The best timber used by the ancient Greeks came from Macedonia,
  the Euxine, and the Propontis: the timber of Mount Parnassus
  and of Eubœa was reckoned very bad; that of Arcadia better
  (Theophrast. v. 2, 1; iii. 9).

Besides the scarcity of wood for fuel, there is another serious
inconvenience to which the low grounds of Greece are exposed,—the
want of a supply of water at once adequate and regular.[330]
Abundance of rain falls during the autumnal and winter months, little
or none during the summer; while the naked limestone of the numerous
hills, neither absorbs nor retains moisture, so that the rain runs
off as rapidly as it falls, and springs are rare.[331] Most of the
rivers of Greece are torrents in early spring, and dry before the
end of the summer: the copious combinations of the ancient language,
designated the winter torrent by a special and separate word.[332]
The most considerable rivers in the country are, the Peneius, which
carries off all the waters of Thessaly, finding an exit into the
Ægean through the narrow defile which parts Ossa from Olympus,—and
the Achelôus, which flows from Pindus in a south-westerly direction,
separating Ætolia from Akarnania, and emptying itself into the Ionian
sea: the Euênus also takes its rise at a more southerly part of
the same mountain chain, and falls into the same sea more to the
eastward. The rivers more to the southward are unequal and inferior.
Kephisus and Asôpus, in Bœotia, Alpheius, in Elis and Arcadia,
Pamisus in Messenia, maintain each a languid stream throughout the
summer; while the Inachus near Argos, and the Kephisus and Ilissus
near Athens, present a scanty reality which falls short still more of
their great poetical celebrity. Of all those rivers which have been
noticed, the Achelôus is by far the most important. The quantity of
mud which its turbid stream brought down and deposited, occasioned
a sensible increase of the land at its embouchure, within the
observation of Thucydidês.[333]

  [330] See Fiedler, Reise, etc. vol. i. pp. 84, 219, 362, etc.

  Both Fiedler and Strong (Statistics of Greece, p. 169) dwell with
  great reason upon the inestimable value of Artesian wells for the

  [331] Ross, Reise auf den Griechischen Inseln, vol. i. letter 2,
  p. 12.

  [332] The Greek language seems to stand singular in the
  expression χειμαῤῥοῦς,—the _Wadys_ of Arabia manifest the like
  alternation, of extreme temporary fulness and violence, with
  absolute dryness (Kriegk, Schriften zur allgemeinen Erdkunde, p.
  201, Leipzig, 1840).

  [333] Thucydid. ii. 102.

But the disposition and properties of the Grecian territory, though
not maintaining permanent rivers, are favorable to the multiplication
of lakes and marshes. There are numerous hollows and inclosed basins,
out of which the water can find no superficial escape, and where,
unless it makes for itself a subterranean passage through rifts in
the mountains, it remains either as a marsh or a lake according to
the time of year. In Thessaly, we find the lakes Nessônis and Bœbêis;
in Ætolia, between the Achelous and Eunêus, Strabo mentions the lake
of Trichônis, besides several other lakes, which it is difficult
to identify individually, though the quantity of ground covered by
lake and marsh is, as a whole, very considerable. In Bœotia, are
situated the lakes Kopaïs, Hylikê, and Harma; the first of the three
formed chiefly by the river Kephisus, flowing from Parnassus on the
north-west, and shaping for itself a sinuous course through the
mountains of Phokis. On the north-east and east, the lake Kopaïs
is bounded by the high land of Mount Ptôon, which intercepts its
communication with the strait of Eubœa. Through the limestone of this
mountain, the water has either found or forced several subterraneous
cavities, by which it obtains a partial egress on the other side of
the rocky hill, and then flows into the strait. The Katabothra, as
they were termed in antiquity, yet exist, but in an imperfect and
half-obstructed condition. Even in antiquity, however, they never
fully sufficed to carry off the surplus waters of the Kephisus; for
the remains are still found of an artificial tunnel, pierced through
the whole breadth of the rock, and with perpendicular apertures
at proper intervals to let in the air from above. This tunnel—one
of the most interesting remnants of antiquity, since it must date
from the prosperous days of the old Orchomenus, anterior to its
absorption into the Bœotian league, as well as to the preponderance
of Thebes,—is now choked up and rendered useless. It may, perhaps,
have been designedly obstructed by the hand of an enemy, and the
scheme of Alexander the Great, who commissioned an engineer from
Chalkis to reopen it, was defeated, first, by discontents in Bœotia,
and ultimately by his early death.[334]

  [334] Strabo, ix. p. 407.

The Katabothra of the lake Kopaïs, are a specimen of the phenomenon
so frequent in Greece,—lakes and rivers finding for themselves
subterranean passages through the cavities in the limestone rocks,
and even pursuing their unseen course for a considerable distance
before they emerge to the light of day. In Arcadia, especially,
several remarkable examples of subterranean water communication
occur; this central region of Peloponnesus presents a cluster of such
completely inclosed valleys, or basins.[335]

  [335] Colonel Leake observes (Travels in Morea, vol. iii. pp. 45,
  153-155), “The plain of Tripolitza (anciently that of Tegea and
  Mantineia) is by far the greatest of that cluster of valleys in
  the centre of Peloponnesus, each of which is so closely shut in
  by the intersecting mountains, that no outlet is afforded to the
  waters except through the mountains themselves,” etc. Respecting
  the Arcadian Orchomenus, and its inclosed lake with Katabothra,
  see the same work, p. 103; and the mountain plains near Corinth,
  p. 263.

  This temporary disappearance of the rivers was familiar to
  the ancient observers—οἱ καταπινόμενοι τῶν ποταμῶν. (Aristot.
  Meteorolog. i. 13. Diodor. xv. 49. Strabo, vi. p. 271; viii. p.
  389, etc.)

  Their familiarity with this phenomenon was in part the source
  of some geographical suppositions, which now appear to us
  extravagant, respecting the long subterranean and submarine
  course of certain rivers, and their reappearance at very distant
  points. Sophokles said that the Inachus of Akarnania joined the
  Inachus of Argolis: Ibykus the poet affirmed that the Asôpus,
  near Sikyon, had its source in Phrygia; the river Inôpus of the
  little island of Delos was alleged by others to be an effluent
  from the mighty Nile; and the rhetor Zôilus, in a panegyrical
  oration to the inhabitants of Tenedos, went the length of
  assuring them that the Alpheius in Elis had its source in their
  island (Strabo, vi. p. 271). Not only Pindar and other poets
  (Antigon. Caryst. c. 155), but also the historian Timæus (Timæi
  Frag. 127, ed. Göller), and Pausanias, also, with the greatest
  confidence (v. 7, 2), believed that the fountain Arethusa, at
  Syracuse, was nothing else but the reappearance of the river
  Alpheius from Peloponnesus: this was attested by the actual fact
  that a goblet or cup (φιάλη), thrown into the Alpheius, had
  come up at the Syracusan fountain, which Timæus professed to
  have verified,—but even the arguments by which Strabo justifies
  his disbelief of this tale, show how powerfully the phenomena
  of the Grecian rivers acted upon his mind. “If (says he, _l.
  c._) the Alpheius, instead of flowing into the sea, fell into
  some chasm in the earth, there would be some plausibility in
  supposing that it continued its subterranean course as far as
  Sicily without mixing with the sea: but since its junction with
  the sea is matter of observation, and since there is no aperture
  visible near the shore to absorb the water of the river (στόμα τὸ
  καταπῖνον τὸ ῥεῦμα τοῦ ποταμοῦ), so it is plain that the water
  cannot maintain its separation and its sweetness, whereas the
  spring Arethusa is perfectly good to drink.” I have translated
  here the sense rather than the words of Strabo; but the phenomena
  of “rivers falling into chasms and being drunk up,” for a time,
  is exactly what happens in Greece. It did not appear to Strabo
  impossible that the Alpheius might traverse this great distance
  underground; nor do we wonder at this, when we learn that a more
  able geographer than he (Eratosthenês) supposed that the marshes
  of Rhinokolura, between the Mediterranean and the Red sea, were
  formed by the Euphrates and Tigris, which flowed underground
  for the length of 6000 stadia or furlongs (Strabo, xvi. p.
  741: Seidel; Fragm. Eratosth. p. 194): compare the story about
  the Euphrates passing underground, and reappearing in Ethiopia
  as the river Nile (Pausan. ii. 5, 3). This disappearance and
  reappearance of rivers connected itself, in the minds of ancient
  physical philosophers, with the supposition of vast reservoirs of
  water in the interior of the earth, which were protruded upwards
  to the surface by some gaseous force (see Seneca, Nat. Quæst.
  vi. 8). Pomponius Mela mentions an idea of some writers, that
  the source of the Nile was to be found, not in our (οἰκουμένη)
  habitable section of the globe, but in the Antichthon, or
  southern continent, and that it flowed under the ocean to rise up
  in Ethiopia (Mela, i. 9, 55).

  These views of the ancients, evidently based upon the analogy of
  Grecian rivers, are well set forth by M. Letronne, in a paper on
  the situation of the Terrestrial Paradise, as represented by the
  Fathers of the Church; cited in A. von Humboldt, Examen Critique
  de l’Histoire de la Géographie, etc., vol. iii. pp. 118-130.

It will be seen from these circumstances, that Greece, considering
its limited total extent, offers but little motive, and still less
of convenient means, for internal communication among its various
inhabitants.[336] Each village, or township, occupying its plain
with the inclosing mountains,[337] supplied its own main wants whilst
the transport of commodities by land was sufficiently difficult to
discourage greatly any regular commerce with neighbors. In so far
as the face of the interior country was concerned, it seemed as if
nature had been disposed, from the beginning, to keep the population
of Greece socially and politically disunited,—by providing so many
hedges of separation, and so many boundaries, generally hard,
sometimes impossible, to overleap. One special motive to intercourse,
however, arose out of this very geographical constitution of the
country, and its endless alternation of mountain and valley. The
difference of climate and temperature between the high and low
grounds is very great; the harvest is secured in one place before it
is ripe in another, and the cattle find during the heat of summer
shelter and pasture on the hills, at a time when the plains are burnt
up.[338] The practice of transferring them from the mountains to the
plain according to the change of season, which subsists still as it
did in ancient times, is intimately connected with the structure of
the country, and must from the earliest period have brought about
communication among the otherwise disunited villages.[339]

  [336] “Upon the arrival of the king and regency in 1833 (observes
  Mr. Strong), no carriage-roads existed in Greece; nor were they,
  indeed, much wanted previously, as down to that period not a
  carriage, waggon, or cart, or any other description of vehicles,
  was to be found in the whole country. The traffic in general was
  carried on by means of boats, to which the long indented line
  of the Grecian coast and its numerous islands afforded every
  facility. Between the seaports and the interior of the kingdom,
  the communication was effected by means of beasts of burden, such
  as mules, horses, and camels.” (Statistics of Greece, p. 33.)

  This exhibits a retrograde march to a point lower than the
  description of the Odyssey, where Telemachus and Peisistratus
  drive their chariot from Pylus to Sparta. The remains of the
  ancient roads are still seen in many parts of Greece (Strong, p.

  [337] Dr. Clarke’s description deserves to be noticed, though
  his warm eulogies on the fertility of the soil, taken generally,
  are not borne out by later observers: “The physical phenomena
  of Greece, differing from those of any other country, present a
  series of beautiful plains, successively surrounded by mountains
  of limestone; resembling, although upon a larger scale, and
  rarely accompanied by volcanic products, the craters of the
  Phlegræan fields. Everywhere, their level surfaces seems to have
  been deposited by water, gradually retired or evaporated; they
  consist for the most part of the richest soil, and their produce
  is yet proverbially abundant. In this manner, stood the cities
  of Argos, Sikyon, Corinth, Megara, Eleusis, Athens, Thebes,
  Amphissa, Orchomenus, Chæronea, Lebadea, Larissa, Pella, and many
  others.” (Dr. Clarke’s Travels, vol. ii. ch. 4, p. 74.)

  [338] Sir W. Gell found, in the month of March, summer in the low
  plains of Messenia, spring in Laconia, winter in Arcadia (Journey
  in Greece, pp. 355-359).

  [339] The cold central region (or mountain plain,—ὀροπέδιον)
  of Tripolitza, differs in climate from the maritime regions of
  Peloponnesus, as much as the south of England from the south
  of France.... No appearance of spring on the trees near Tegea,
  though not more than twenty-four miles from Argos.... Cattle are
  sent from thence every winter to the maritime plains of Elos in
  Laconia (Leake, Trav. in Morea, vol. i. pp. 88, 98, 197). The
  pasture on Mount Olono (boundary of Elis, Arcadia, and Achaia) is
  not healthy until June (Leake, vol. ii. p. 119); compare p. 348,
  and Fiedler, Reise, i. p. 314.

  See also the Instructive Inscription of Orchomenus, in Boeckh,
  Staatshaushaltung der Athener, t. ii. p. 380.

  The transference of cattle, belonging to proprietors in one
  state, for temporary pasturage in another, is as old as the
  Odyssey, and is marked by various illustrative incidents: see the
  cause of the first Messenian war (Diodor. Fragm. viii. vol. iv.
  p. 23, ed. Wess; Pausan. iv. 4, 2).

Such difficulties, however, in the internal transit by land, were
to a great extent counteracted by the large proportion of coast,
and the accessibility of the country by sea. The prominences and
indentations in the line of Grecian coast, are hardly less remarkable
than the multiplicity of elevations and depressions which everywhere
mark the surface.[340] The shape of Peloponnesus, with its three
southern gulfs, (the Argolic, Laconian, and Messenian,) was compared
by the ancient geographers to the leaf of a plane-tree: the Pagasæan
gulf on the eastern side of Greece, and the Ambrakian gulf on the
western, with their narrow entrances and considerable area, are
equivalent to internal lakes: Xenophon boasts of the double sea
which embraces so large a proportion of Attica, Ephorus of the triple
sea, by which Bœotia was accessible from west, north, and south,—the
Eubœan strait, opening a long line of country on both sides to
coasting navigation.[341] But the most important of all Grecian
gulfs are the Corinthian and the Saronic, washing the northern and
north-eastern shores of Peloponnesus, and separated by the narrow
barrier of the Isthmus of Corinth. The former, especially, lays open
Ætolia, Phokis, and Bœotia, as well as the whole northern coast of
Peloponnesus, to water approach. Corinth, in ancient times, served as
an entrepôt for the trade between Italy and Asia Minor,—goods being
unshipped at Lechæum, the port on the Corinthian gulf, and carried by
land across to Cenchreæ, the port on the Saronic: indeed, even the
merchant-vessels themselves, when not very large,[342] were conveyed
across by the same route. It was accounted a prodigious advantage to
escape the necessity of sailing round Cape Malea: and the violent
winds and currents which modern experience attests to prevail around
that formidable promontory, are quite sufficient to justify the
apprehensions of the ancient Greek merchant, with his imperfect
apparatus for navigation.[343]

  [340] “Universa autem (Peloponnesus), velut pensante æquorum
  incursus naturâ, in montes 76 extollitur.” (Plin. H. N. iv. 6.)

  Strabo touches, in a striking passage (ii. pp. 121-122), on the
  influence of the sea in determining the shape and boundaries
  of the land: his observations upon the great superiority of
  Europe over Asia and Africa, in respect of intersection and
  interpenetration of land by the sea-water are remarkable: ἡ
  μὲν οὖν Εὐρώπη πολυσχημονεστάτη πασῶν ἐστι, etc. He does not
  especially name the coast of Greece, though his remarks have a
  more exact bearing upon Greece than upon any other country. And
  we may copy a passage out of Tacitus (Agricol. c. 10), written in
  reference to Britain, which applies far more precisely to Greece:
  “nusquam latius dominari mare ... nec litore tenus accrescere aut
  resorberi, sed influere penitus et ambire, _et jugis etiam atque
  montibus inseri velut in suo_.”

  [341] Xenophon, De Vectigal. c. 1; Ephor. Frag. 67, ed. Marx;
  Stephan. Byz. Βοιωτία.

  [342] Pliny, H. N. iv. 5, about the Isthmus of Corinth: “Lechææ
  hinc, Cenchreæ illinc, angustiarum termini, longo et ancipiti
  navium ambitu (_i. e._ round Cape Malea), quas _magnitudo
  plaustris transvehi prohibet_: quam ob causam perfodere
  navigabili alveo angustias eas tentavere Demetrius rex, dictator
  Cæsar, Caius princeps, Domitius Nero,—infausto (ut omnium exitu
  patuit) incepto.”

  The διολκὸς, less than four miles across, where ships were drawn
  across, if their size permitted, stretched from Lechæum on the
  Corinthian gulf, to Schœnus, a little eastward of Cenchreæ, on
  the Saronic gulf (Strabo, viii. p. 330). Strabo (viii. p. 335)
  reckons the breadth of the διολκὸς at forty stadia (about 4¾
  English miles); the reality, according to Leake, is 3½ English
  miles (Travels in Morea, vol. iii. ch. xxix. p. 297).

  [343] The north wind, the Etesian wind of the ancients, blows
  strong in the Ægean nearly the whole summer, and with especially
  dangerous violence at three points,—under Karystos, the southern
  cape of Eubœa, near Cape Malea, and in the narrow strait between
  the islands of Tenos, Mykonos, and Dêlos (Ross, Reisen auf den
  Griechischen Inseln, vol. i. p. 20). See also Colonel Leake’s
  account of the terror of the Greek boatman, from the gales and
  currents round Mount Athos: the canal cut by Xerxes through the
  isthmus was justified by sound reasons (Travels in Northern
  Greece, vol. iii. c. 24, p. 145).

It will thus appear that there was no part of Greece proper which
could be considered as out of reach of the sea, while most parts of
it were convenient and easy of access: in fact, the Arcadians were
the only large section of the Hellenic name, (we may add the Doric,
Tetrapolis, and the mountaineers along the chain of Pindus and
Tymphrêstus,) who were altogether without a seaport.[344] But Greece
proper constituted only a fraction of the entire Hellenic world,
during the historical age: there were the numerous islands, and
still more numerous continental colonies, all located as independent
intruders on distinct points of the coast,[345] in the Euxine, the
Ægean, the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic; and distant from each
other by the space which separates Trebizond from Marseilles. All
these various cities were comprised in the name Hellas, which implied
no geographical continuity: all prided themselves on Hellenic blood,
name, religion, and mythical ancestry. As the only communication
between them was maritime, so the sea, important, even if we look
to Greece proper exclusively, was the sole channel for transmitting
ideas and improvements, as well as for maintaining sympathies—social,
political, religious, and literary—throughout these outlying members
of the Hellenic aggregate.

  [344] The Periplus of Skylax enumerates every section of the
  Greek name, with the insignificant exceptions noticed in the
  text, as partaking of the line of coast; it even mentions
  Arcadia (c. 45), because at that time Lepreum had shaken off the
  supremacy of Elis, and was confederated with the Arcadians (about
  360 B. C.): Lepreum possessed about twelve miles of coast, which
  therefore count as Arcadian.

  [345] Cicero (De Republicâ, ii. 2-4, in the Fragments of that
  lost treatise, ed. Maii) notices emphatically both the general
  maritime accessibility of Grecian towns, and the effects of that
  circumstance on Grecian character: “Quod de Corintho dixi, id
  haud scio an liceat de cunctâ Græciâ verissime dicere. Nam et
  ipsa Peloponnesus fere tota in mari est: nec prætor Phliuntios
  ulli sunt, quorum agri non contingant mare: et extra Peloponnesum
  Ænianes et Dores et Dolopes soli absunt a mari. Quid dicam
  insulas Græciæ, quæ fluctibus cinctæ natant pæne ipsæ simul cum
  civitatium institutis et moribus? Atque hæc quidem, ut supra
  dixi, veteris sunt Græciæ. Coloniarum vero quæ est deducta a
  Graiis in Asiam, Thraciam, Italiam, Siciliam, Africam, præter
  unam Magnesiam, quam unda non alluat? Ita barbarorum agris quasi
  adtexta quædam videtur ora esse Græciæ.”

  Compare Cicero, Epistol. ad Attic. vi. 2, with the reference to
  Dikæarchus, who agreed to a great extent in Plato’s objections
  against a maritime site (De Legg. iv. p. 705; also, Aristot.
  Politic. vii. 5-6). The sea (says Plato) is indeed a salt and
  bitter neighbor (μάλα γε μὴν ὄντως ἁλμυρὸν καὶ πικρὸν γειτόνημα),
  though convenient for purposes of daily use.

The ancient philosophers and legislators were deeply impressed
with the contrast between an inland and a maritime city: in the
former, simplicity and uniformity of life, tenacity of ancient
habits, and dislike of what is new or foreign, great force of
exclusive sympathy, and narrow range both of objects and ideas;
in the latter, variety and novelty of sensations, expansive
imagination, toleration, and occasional preference for extraneous
customs, greater activity of the individual, and corresponding
mutability of the state. This distinction stands prominent in the
many comparisons instituted between the Athens of Periklês and the
Athens of the earlier times down to Solôn. Both Plato and Aristotle
dwell upon it emphatically,—and the former especially, whose genius
conceived the comprehensive scheme of prescribing beforehand and
insuring in practice the whole course of individual thought and
feeling in his imaginary community, treats maritime communication,
if pushed beyond the narrowest limits, as fatal to the success
and permanence of any wise scheme of education. Certain it is,
that a great difference of character existed between those Greeks
who mingled much in maritime affairs, and those who did not. The
Arcadian may stand as a type of the pure Grecian landsman, with his
rustic and illiterate habits,[346]—his diet of sweet chestnuts,
barley-cakes, and pork (as contrasted with the fish which formed
the chief seasoning for the bread of an Athenian,)—his superior
courage and endurance,—his reverence for Lacedaemonian headship
as an old and customary influence,—his sterility of intellect and
imagination, as well as his slackness in enterprise,—his unchangeable
rudeness of relations with the gods, which led him to scourge and
prick Pan, if he came back empty-handed from the chase; while the
inhabitant of Phôkæa or Miletus exemplifies the Grecian mariner,
eager in search of gain,—active, skilful, and daring at sea, but
inferior in stedfast bravery on land,—more excitable in imagination
as well as more mutable in character,—full of pomp and expense in
religious manifestations towards the Ephesian Artemis or the Apollo
of Branchidæ; with a mind more open to the varieties of Grecian
energy and to the refining influences of Grecian civilization. The
Peloponnesians generally, and the Lacedæmonians in particular,
approached to the Arcadian type,—while the Athenians of the fifth
century B. C. stood foremost in the other; superadding to it,
however, a delicacy of taste, and a predominance of intellectual
sympathy and enjoyments, which seem to have been peculiar to

  [346] Hekatæus, Fragm. Ἀρκαδικὸν δεῖπνον ... μάζας καὶ ὕεια κρέα.
  Herodot. i. 66. Βαλανηφάγοι ἄνδρες. Theocrit. Id. vii. 106.—

    Κἢν μὲν ταῦθ᾽ ἑρδῇς, ὦ Πᾶν φίλε, μή τί τυ παῖδες
    Ἀρκαδικοὶ σκίλλαισιν ὑπὸ πλευράς τε καὶ ὤμους
    Τανίκα μαστίσδοιεν ὅτε κρέα τυτθὰ παρείη·
    Εἰ δ᾽ ἄλλως νεύσαις κατὰ μὲν χρόα πάντ᾽ ὀνύχεσσι
    Δακνόμενος κνάσαιο, etc.

  The alteration of Χῖοι, which is obviously out of place, in the
  scholia on this passage, to ἔνιοι, appears unquestionable.

The configuration of the Grecian territory, so like in many respects
to that of Switzerland, produced two effects of great moment upon
the character and history of the people. In the first place, it
materially strengthened their powers of defence: it shut up the
country against those invasions from the interior, which successively
subjugated all their continental colonies; and it at the same time
rendered each fraction more difficult to be attacked by the rest,
so as to exercise a certain conservative influence in assuring the
tenure of actual possessors: for the pass of Thermopylæ, between
Thessaly and Phokis, that of Kythærôn, between Bœotia and Attica, or
the mountainous range of Oneion and Geraneia along the Isthmus of
Corinth, were positions which an inferior number of brave men could
hold against a much greater force of assailants. But, in the next
place, while it tended to protect each section of Greeks from being
conquered, it also kept them politically disunited, and perpetuated
their separate autonomy. It fostered that powerful principle of
repulsion, which disposed even the smallest township to constitute
itself a political unit apart from the rest, and to resist all
idea of coalescence with others, either amicable or compulsory. To
a modern leader, accustomed to large political aggregations, and
securities for good government through the representative system,
it requires a certain mental effort to transport himself back to a
time when even the smallest town clung so tenaciously to its right
of self-legislation. Nevertheless, such was the general habit and
feeling of the ancient world, throughout Italy, Sicily, Spain,
and Gaul. Among the Hellenes, it stands out more conspicuously,
for several reasons,—first, because they seem to have pushed the
multiplication of autonomous units to an extreme point, seeing that
even islands not larger than Peparêthos and Amorgos had two or three
separate city communities;[347] secondly, because they produced, for
the first time in the history of mankind, acute systematic thinkers
on matters of government, amongst all of whom the idea of the
autonomous city was accepted as the indispensable basis of political
speculation; thirdly, because this incurable subdivision proved
finally the cause of their ruin, in spite of pronounced intellectual
superiority over their conquerors: and lastly, because incapacity
of political coalescence did not preclude a powerful and extensive
sympathy between the inhabitants of all the separate cities, with
a constant tendency to fraternize for numerous purposes, social,
religious, recreative, intellectual, and æsthetical. For these
reasons, the indefinite multiplication of self-governing towns,
though in truth a phenomenon common to ancient Europe, as contrasted
with the large monarchies of Asia, appears more marked among the
ancient Greeks than elsewhere: and there cannot be any doubt that
they owe it, in a considerable degree, to the multitude of insulating
boundaries which the configuration of their country presented.

  [347] Skylax, Peripl. 59.

Nor is it rash to suppose that the same causes may have tended to
promote that unborrowed intellectual development for which they
stand so conspicuous. General propositions respecting the working
of climate and physical agencies upon character are, indeed,
treacherous; for our knowledge of the globe is now sufficient to
teach us that heat and cold, mountain and plain, sea and land, moist
and dry atmosphere, are all consistent with the greatest diversities
of resident men: moreover, the contrast between the population of
Greece itself, for the seven centuries preceding the Christian era,
and the Greeks of more modern times, is alone enough to inculcate
reserve in such speculations. Nevertheless, we may venture to note
certain improving influences, connected with their geographical
position, at a time when they had no books to study, and no more
advanced predecessors to imitate. We may remark, first, that their
position made them at once mountaineers and mariners, thus supplying
them with great variety of objects, sensations, and adventures; next,
that each petty community, nestled apart amidst its own rocks,[348]
was sufficiently severed from the rest to possess an individual
life and attributes of its own, yet not so far as to subtract it
from the sympathies of the remainder; so that an observant Greek,
commercing with a great diversity of half countrymen, whose language
he understood, and whose idiosyncrasies he could appreciate, had
access to a larger mass of social and political experience than
any other man in so unadvanced an age could personally obtain. The
Phœnician, superior to the Greek on shipboard, traversed wider
distances, and saw a greater number of strangers, but had not the
same means of intimate communion with a multiplicity of fellows in
blood and language. His relations, confined to purchase and sale, did
not comprise that mutuality of action and reaction which pervaded
the crowd at a Grecian festival. The scene which here presented
itself, was a mixture of uniformity and variety highly stimulating
to the observant faculties of a man of genius,—who at the same time,
if he sought to communicate his own impressions, or to act upon
this mingled and diverse audience, was forced to shake off what was
peculiar to his own town or community, and to put forth matter in
harmony with the feelings of all. It is thus that we may explain, in
part, that penetrating apprehension of human life and character, and
that power of touching sympathies common to all ages and nations,
which surprises us so much in the unlettered authors of the old epic.
Such periodical intercommunion of brethren habitually isolated from
each other, was the only means then open of procuring for the bard
a diversified range of experience and a many-colored audience; and
it was to a great degree the result of geographical causes. Perhaps
among other nations such facilitating causes might have been found,
yet without producing any result comparable to the Iliad and Odyssey.
But Homer was, nevertheless, dependent upon the conditions of his
age, and we can at least point out those peculiarities in early
Grecian society, without which Homeric excellence would never have
existed,—the geographical position is one, the language another.

  [348] Cicero, de Orator. i. 44. “Ithacam illam in asperrimis
  saxulis, sicut nidulum, affixam.”

In mineral and metallic wealth, Greece was not distinguished. Gold
was obtained in considerable abundance in the island of Siphnos,
which, throughout the sixth century B. C., was among the richest
communities of Greece, and possessed a treasure-chamber at Delphi,
distinguished for the richness of its votive offerings. At that time,
gold was so rare in Greece, that the Lacedæmonians were obliged to
send to the Lydian Crœsus, in order to provide enough of it for the
gilding of a statue.[349] It appears to have been more abundant in
Asia Minor, and the quantity of it in Greece was much multiplied by
the opening of mines in Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus, and even some
parts of Thessaly. In the island of Thasos, too, some mines were
reopened with profitable result, which had been originally begun, and
subsequently abandoned, by Phœnician settlers of an earlier century.
From these same districts, also, was procured a considerable amount
of silver; while, about the beginning of the fifth century B. C., the
first effective commencement seems to have been made of turning to
account the rich southern district of Attica, called Laureion. Copper
was obtained in various parts of Greece, especially in Cyprus and
Eubœa,—in which latter island was also found the earth called Cadmia,
employed for the purification of the ore. Bronze was used among the
Greeks for many purposes in which iron is now employed: and even the
arms of the Homeric heroes (different in this respect from the later
historical Greeks) are composed of copper, tempered in such a way as
to impart to it an astonishing hardness. Iron was found in Eubœa,
Bœôtia, and Melos,—but still more abundantly in the mountainous
region of the Laconian Taygetus. There is, however no part of Greece
where the remains of ancient metallurgy appear now so conspicuous,
as the island of Seriphos. The excellence and varieties of marble,
from Pentelikus, Hymettus, Paros, Karystus, etc., and other parts
of the country,—so essential for the purposes of sculpture and
architecture,—is well known.[350]

  [349] Herodot. i. 52; iii. 57; vi. 46-125. Boeckh, Public Economy
  of Athens, b. i. ch. 3.

  The gold and silver offerings sent to the Delphian temple, even
  from the Homeric times (Il. ix. 405) downwards, were numerous and
  valuable; especially those dedicated by Crœsus, who (Herodot. i.
  17-52) seems to have surpassed all predecessors.

  [350] Strabo, x. p. 447; xiv. pp. 680-684. Stephan. Byz. v.
  Αἴδηψος, Λακεδαίμων. Kruse, Hellas, ch. iv. vol. i. p. 328.
  Fiedler, Reisen in Griechenland, vol. ii. pp. 118-559.

Situated under the same parallels of latitude as the coast of Asia
Minor, and the southernmost regions of Italy and Spain, Greece
produced wheat, barley, flax, wine, and oil, in the earliest times
of which we have any knowledge;[351] though the currants, Indian
corn, silk, and tobacco, which the country now exhibits, are an
addition of more recent times. Theophrastus and other authors amply
attest the observant and industrious agriculture prevalent among
the ancient Greeks, as well as the care with which its various
natural productions, comprehending a great diversity of plants,
herbs, and trees, were turned to account. The cultivation of the
vine and the olive,—the latter indispensable to ancient life, not
merely for the purposes which it serves at present, but also from
the constant habit then prevalent of anointing the body,—appears to
have been particularly elaborate; and the many different accidents
of soil, level, and exposure, which were to be found, not only in
Hellas proper, but also among the scattered Greek settlements,
afforded to observant planters materials for study and comparison.
The barley-cake seems to have been more generally eaten than
the wheaten loaf;[352] but one or other of them, together with
vegetables and fish, (sometimes fresh, but more frequently salt,)
was the common food of the population; the Arcadians fed much upon
pork, and the Spartans also consumed animal food; but by the Greeks,
generally, fresh meat seems to have been little eaten, except at
festivals and sacrifices. The Athenians, the most commercial people
in Greece proper, though their light, dry, and comparatively poor
soil produced excellent barley, nevertheless, did not grow enough
corn for their own consumption: they imported considerable supplies
of corn from Sicily, from the coast of the Euxine, and the Tauric
Chersonese, and salt-fish both from the Propontis and even from
Gades:[353] the distance from whence these supplies came, when we
take into consideration the extent of fine corn-land in Bœotia and
Thessaly, proves how little internal trade existed between the
various regions of Greece proper. The exports of Athens consisted
in her figs and other fruit, olives, oil,—for all of which she was
distinguished,—together with pottery, ornamental manufactures, and
the silver from her mines at Laureion. Salt-fish, doubtless, found
its way more or less throughout all Greece;[354] but the population
of other states in Greece lived more exclusively upon their own
produce than the Athenians, with less of purchase and sale,[355]—a
mode of life assisted by the simple domestic economy universally
prevalent, in which the women not only carded and spun all the
wool, but also wove out of it the clothing and bedding employed in
the family. Weaving was then considered as much a woman’s business
as spinning, and the same feeling and habits still prevail to the
present day in modern Greece, where the loom is constantly seen in
the peasants’ cottages, and always worked by women.[356]

  [351] _Note to second edition._—In my first edition, I
  had asserted that cotton grew in Greece in the time of
  Pausanias,—following, though with some doubt, the judgment of
  some critics, that βυσσὸς meant cotton. I now believe that this
  was a mistake, and have expunged the passage.

  [352] At the repast provided at the public cost for those who
  dined in the Prytaneium of Athens, Solôn directed barley-cakes
  for ordinary days, wheaten bread for festivals (Athenæus, iv. p.

  The milk of ewes and goats was in ancient Greece preferred to
  that of cows (Aristot. Hist. Animal. iii. 15, 5-7); at present,
  also, cow’s-milk and butter is considered unwholesome in Greece,
  and is seldom or never eaten (Kruse, Hellas, vol. i. ch. 4, p.

  [353] Theophrast. Caus. Pl. ix. 2; Demosthen. adv. Leptin. c. 9.
  That salt-fish from the Propontis and from Gades was sold in the
  markets of Athens during the Peloponnesian war, appears from a
  fragment of the Marikas of Eupolis (Fr. 23, ed. Meineke; Stephan.
  Byz. v. Γάδειρα):—

    Πότερ᾽ ἦν τὸ τάριχος, Φρύγιον ἢ Γαδειρικόν;

  The Phœnician merchants who brought the salt-fish from Gades took
  back with them Attic pottery for sale among the African tribes of
  the coast of Morocco (Skylax, Peripl. c. 109).

  [354] Simonidês, Fragm. 109, Gaisford.—

    Πρόσθε μὲν ἀμφ᾽ ὤμοισιν ἔχων τρηχεῖαν ἄσιλλαν
      Ἰχθῦς ἐξ Ἄργους εἰς Τεγέαν ἔφερον, etc.

  The Odyssey mentions certain inland people, who knew nothing
  either of the sea, or of ships, or the taste of salt: Pausanias
  looks for them in Epirus (Odyss. xi. 121; Pausan. i. 12, 3).

  [355] Αὐτουργοί τε γάρ εἰσι Πελοποννήσιοι (says Perikles, in his
  speech to the Athenians, at the commencement of the Peloponnesian
  war, Thucyd. i. 141) καὶ οὔτε ἰδίᾳ οὔτε ἐν κοινῷ χρήματά ἐστιν
  αὐτοῖς, etc.,—ἄνδρες γεωργοὶ καὶ οὐ θαλάσσιοι, etc. (ib. c. 142.)

  [356] In Egypt, the men sat at home and wove, while the women did
  out-door business: both the one and the other excite the surprise
  of Herodotus and Sophoklês (Herod. ii. 35; Soph. Œd. Col. 340).

  For the spinning and weaving of the modern Greek peasant women,
  see Leake, Trav. Morea, vol. i. pp. 13, 18, 223, etc.; Strong,
  Stat. p. 185.

The climate of Greece appears to be generally described by modern
travellers in more favorable terms than it was by the ancients,
which is easily explicable from the classical interest, picturesque
beauties, and transparent atmosphere, so vividly appreciate by an
English or a German eye. Herodotus,[357] Hippocrates, and Aristotle,
treat the climate of Asia as far more genial and favorable both to
animal and vegetable life, but at the same time more enervating
than that of Greece: the latter, they speak of chiefly in reference
to its changeful character and diversities of local temperature,
which they consider as highly stimulant to the energies of the
inhabitants. There is reason to conclude that ancient Greece was
much more healthy than the same territory is at present, inasmuch
as it was more industriously cultivated, and the towns both more
carefully administered and better supplied with water. But the
differences in respect of healthiness, between one portion of Greece
and another, appear always to have been considerable, and this, as
well as the diversities of climate, affected the local habits and
the character of the particular sections. Not merely were there
great differences between the mountaineers and the inhabitants of
the plains,[358]—between Lokrains, Ætolians, Phokians, Dorians,
Œtæans, and Arcadians, on one hand, and the inhabitants of Attica,
Bœotia, and Elis, on the other,—but each of the various tribes which
went to compose these categories, had its peculiarities; and the
marked contrast between Athenians and Bœotians was supposed to be
represented by the light and heavy atmosphere which they respectively
breathed. Nor was this all: for, even among the Bœotian aggregate,
every town had its own separate attributes, physical as well as moral
and political:[359] Orôpus, Tanagra, Thespiæ, Thebes, Anthêdôn,
Haliartus, Korôneia, Onchêstus, and Platæa, were known to Bœotians
each by its own characteristic epithet: and Dikæarchus even notices a
marked distinction between the inhabitants of the city of Athens and
those in the country of Attica. Sparta, Argos, Corinth, and Sikyôn,
though all called Doric, had each its own dialect and peculiarities.
All these differences, depending in part upon climate, site, and
other physical considerations, contributed to nourish antipathies,
and to perpetuate that imperfect cohesion, which has already been
noticed as an indelible feature in Hellas.

  [357] Herodot. i. 142; Hippocrat. De Aëre, Loc. et Aq. c. 12-13;
  Aristot. Polit. vii. 6, 1.

  [358] The mountaineers of Ætolia are, at this time, unable to
  come down into the marshy plain of Wrachōri, without being taken
  ill after a few days (Fiedler, Reise in Griech. i. p. 184).

  [359] Dikæarch. Fragm. p. 145, ed. Fuhr—Βίος Ἑλλάδος. Ἱστοροῦσι
  δ᾽ οἱ Βοιωτοὶ τὰ κατ᾽ αὐτοὺς ὑπάρχοντα ἴδια ἀκληρήματα λέγοντες
  ταῦτα—Τὴν μὲν αἰσχροκέρδειαν κατοικεῖν ἐν Ὠρώπῳ, τὸν δὲ φθόνον
  ἐν Τανάγᾳ, τὴν φιλονεικίαν ἐν Θεσπίαις, τὴν ὕβριν ἐν Θήβαις, τὴν
  πλεονεξίαν ἐν Ἀνθήδονι, τὴν περιεργίαν ἐν Κορωνείᾳ, ἐν Πλαταίαις
  τὴν ἄλαζόνειαν, τὸν πυρετὸν ἐν Ὀγχήστῳ, τὴν ἀναισθησίαν ἐν

  About the distinction between Ἀθηναῖοι and Ἀττικοὶ, see the same
  work, p. 141.

The Epirotic tribes, neighbors of the Ætolians and Akarnanians,
filled the space between Pindus and the Ionian sea until they
joined to the northward the territory inhabited by the powerful
and barbarous Illyrians. Of these Illyrians, the native Macedonian
tribes appear to have been an outlying section, dwelling northward
of Thessaly and Mount Olympus, eastward of the chain by which
Pindus is continued, and westward of the river Axius. The Epirots
were comprehended under the various denominations of Chaonians,
Molossians, Thesprotians, Kassopæans, Amphilochians, Athamānes, the
Æthīkes, Tymphæi, Orestæ, Paroræi, and Atintānes,[360]—most of the
latter being small communities dispersed about the mountainous region
of Pindus. There was, however, much confusion in the application of
the comprehensive name _Epirot_, which was a title given altogether
by the Greeks, and given purely upon geographical, not upon ethnical
considerations. Epirus seems at first to have stood opposed to
Peloponnesus, and to have signified the general region northward of
the gulf of Corinth; and in this primitive sense it comprehended the
Ætolians and Akarnanians, portions of whom spoke a dialect difficult
to understand, and were not less widely removed than the Epirots from
Hellenic habits.[361] The oracle of Dodona forms the point of ancient
union between Greeks and Epirots, which was superseded by Delphi, as
the civilization of Hellas developed itself. Nor is it less difficult
to distinguish Epirots from Macedonians on the one hand, than from
Hellenes on the other; the language, the dress, and the fashion
of wearing the hair being often analogous, while the boundaries,
amidst rude men and untravelled tracts, were very inaccurately

  [360] Strabo, vii. pp. 322, 324, 326; Thucydid. ii. 68.
  Theopompus (ap. Strab. _l. c._) reckoned 14 Epirotic ἔθνη.

  [361] Herodot. i. 140, ii. 56, vi. 127.

  [362] Strabo, vii. p. 327.

  Several of the Epirotic tribes were δίγλωσσοι,—spoke Greek in
  addition to their native tongue.

  See, on all the inhabitants of these regions, the excellent
  dissertation of O. Müller above quoted, Ueber die Makedoner;
  appended to the first volume of the English translation of his
  History of the Dorians.

In describing the limits occupied by the Hellens in 776 B. C., we
cannot yet take account of the important colonies of Leukas and
Ambrakia, established by the Corinthians subsequently on the western
coast of Epirus. The Greeks of that early time seem to comprise the
islands of Kephallenia, Zakynthus, Ithaka, and Dulichium, but no
settlement, either inland or insular, farther northward.

They include farther, confining ourselves to 776 B. C., the great
mass of islands between the coast of Greece and that of Asia Minor,
from Tenedos on the north, to Rhodes, Krete, and Kythêra southward;
and the great islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and Eubœa, as well
as the groups called the Sporades and the Cyclades. Respecting the
four considerable islands nearer to the coasts of Macedonia and
Thrace,—Lemnos, Imbros, Samothrace, and Thasos,—it may be doubted
whether they were at that time Hellenized. The Catalogue of the
Iliad includes, under Agamemnôn, contingents from Ægina, Eubœa,
Krete, Karpathus, Kasus, Kôs, and Rhodes: in the oldest epical
testimony which we possess, these islands thus appear inhabited by
Greeks; but the others do not occur in the Catalogue, and are never
mentioned in such manner as to enable us to draw any inference. Eubœa
ought, perhaps, rather to be looked upon as a portion of Grecian
mainland (from which it was only separated by a strait narrow enough
to be bridged over) than as an island. But the last five islands
named in the Catalogue are all either wholly or partially Doric: no
Ionic or Æolic island appears in it: these latter, though it was
among them that the poet sung, appear to be represented by their
ancestral heroes, who came from Greece proper.

The last element to be included, as going to make up the Greece of
776 B. C., is the long string of Doric, Ionic, and Æolic settlements
on the coast of Asia Minor,—occupying a space bounded on the north
by the Troad and the region of Ida, and extending southward as far
as the peninsula of Knidus. Twelve continental cities, over and
above the islands of Lesbos and Tenedos, are reckoned by Herodotus
as ancient Æolic foundations,—Smyrna, Kymê, Larissa, Neon-Teichos,
Têmnos, Killa, Notium, Ægirœssa, Pitana, Ægæ, Myrina, and Gryneia.
Smyrna, having been at first Æolic, was afterwards acquired through
a stratagem by Ionic inhabitants, and remained permanently Ionic.
Phokæa, the northernmost of the Ionic settlements, bordered upon
Æolis: Klazomenæ, Erythræ, Teôs, Lebedos, Kolophôn, Priênê, Myus,
and Milêtus, continued the Ionic name to the southward. These,
together with Samos and Chios, formed the Panionic federation.[363]
To the south of Milêtus, after a considerable interval, lay the
Doric establishments of Myndus, Halikarnassus, and Knidus: the two
latter, together with the island of Kôs and the three townships in
Rhodes, constituted the Doric Hexapolis, or communion of six cities,
concerted primarily with a view to religious purposes, but producing
a secondary effect analogous to political federation.

  [363] Herodot. i. 143-150.

Such, then, is the extent of Hellas, as it stood at the commencement
of the recorded Olympiads. To draw a picture even for this date,
we possess no authentic materials, and are obliged to ante-date
statements which belong to a later age: and this consideration might
alone suffice to show how uncertified are all delineations of the
Greece of 1183 B. C., the supposed epoch of the Trojan war, four
centuries earlier.



The territory indicated in the last chapter—south of Mount Olympus,
and south of the line which connects the city of Ambrakia with Mount
Pindus,—was occupied during the historical period by the central
stock of the Hellens, or Greeks, from which their numerous outlying
colonies were planted out.

Both metropolitans and colonists styled themselves Hellens, and were
recognized as such by each other; all glorying in the name as the
prominent symbol of fraternity;—all describing non-Hellenic men, or
cities, by a word which involved associations of repugnance. Our
term _barbarian_, borrowed from this latter word, does not express
the same idea; for the Greeks spoke thus indiscriminately of the
extra-Hellenic world, with all its inhabitants;[364] whatever might
be the gentleness of their character, and whatever might be their
degree of civilization. The rulers and people of Egyptian Thebes,
with their ancient and gigantic monuments, the wealthy Tyrians and
Carthaginians, the phil-Hellene Arganthonius of Tartêssus, and
the well-disciplined patricians of Rome (to the indignation of
old Cato,[365]) were all comprised in it. At first, it seemed to
have expressed more of repugnance than of contempt, and repugnance
especially towards the sound of a foreign language.[366] Afterwards,
a feeling of their own superior intelligence (in part well justified)
arose among the Greeks, and their term _barbarian_ was used so as to
imply a low state of the temper and intelligence; in which sense it
was retained by the semi-Hellenized Romans, as the proper antithesis
to their state of civilization. The want of a suitable word,
corresponding to _barbarian_, as the Greeks originally used it, is so
inconvenient in the description of Grecian phenomena and sentiments,
that I may be obliged occasionally to use the word in its primitive

  [364] See the protest of Eratosthenês against the continuance of
  the classification into Greek and Barbarian, after the latter
  word had come to imply rudeness (ap. Strabo. ii. p. 66; Eratosth.
  Fragm. Seidel. p. 85).

  [365] Cato, Fragment. ed. Lion. p. 46; ap. Plin. H. N. xxii. 1.
  A remarkable extract from Cato’s letter to his son, intimating
  his strong antipathy to the Greeks; he proscribes their medicine
  altogether, and admits only a slight taste of their literature:
  “Quod bonum sit eorum literas inspicere, non per discere....
  Jurarunt inter se, Barbaros necare omnes medicinâ, sed hoc ipsum
  mercede faciunt, ut fides iis sit et facile disperdant. Nos
  quoque dictitant Barbaros et spurios, nosque magis quam alios,
  Opicos appellatione fœdant.”

  [366] Καρῶν ἠγήσατο βαρβαροφώνων, Homer, Iliad, ii. 867. Homer
  does not use the word βάρβαροι, or any words signifying either
  a Hellen generally or a non-Hellen generally (Thucyd. i. 3).
  Compare Strabo, viii. p. 370; and xiv. p. 662.

  Ovid reproduces the primitive sense of the word βάρβαρος, when he
  speaks of himself as an exile at Tomi (Trist. v. 10-37):—

    “Barbarus hic ego sum, quia non intelligor ulli.”

  The Egyptians had a word in their language, the exact equivalent
  of βάρβαρος in this sense (Herod. ii. 158).

The Hellens were all of common blood and parentage,—were all
descendants of the common patriarch Hellen. In treating of the
historical Greeks, we have to accept this as a datum: it represents
the sentiment under the influence of which they moved and acted. It
is placed by Herodotus in the front rank, as the chief of those four
ties which bound together the Hellenic aggregate: 1. Fellowship of
blood; 2. Fellowship of language; 3. Fixed domiciles of gods, and
sacrifices, common to all; 4. Like manners and dispositions.

_These_ (say the Athenians, in their reply to the Spartan envoys, in
the very crisis of the Persian invasion) “Athens will never disgrace
herself by betraying.” And Zeus Hellenius was recognized as the god
watching over and enforcing the fraternity thus constituted.[367]

  [367] Herod. viii. 144. ...τὸ Ἑλληνικὸν ἐὸν ὅμαιμόν τε καὶ
  ὁμόγλωσσον, καὶ θεῶν ἱδρύματά τε κοινὰ καὶ θυσίαι, ἤθεα τε
  ὁμότροπα· τῶν προδότας γενέσθαι Ἀθηναίους οὐκ ἂν εὖ ἔχοι. (_Ib._
  x. 7.) Ἡμεῖς δὲ, Δία τε Ἑλλήνιον αἰδεσθέντες, καὶ τὴν Ἑλλάδα
  δεινὸν ποιεύμενοι προδοῦναι, etc.

  Compare Dikæarch. Fragm. p. 147, ed. Fuhr; and Thucyd. iii.
  59,—τὰ κοινὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων νόμιμα... θεοὺς τοὺς ὁμοβωμίους καὶ
  κοινοὺς τῶν Ἑλλήνων: also, the provision about the κοινὰ ἱερὰ in
  the treaty between Sparta and Athens (Thuc. v. 18; Strabo, ix. p.

  It was a part of the proclamation solemnly made by the Eumolpidæ,
  prior to the celebration of the Eleusinian mysteries, “All
  non-Hellens to keep away,”—εἴργεσθαι τῶν ἱερῶν (Isocrates, Orat.
  iv. Panegyr. p. 74).

Hekatæus, Herodotus, and Thucydidês,[368] all believed that there
had been an ante-Hellenic period, when different languages, mutually
unintelligible, were spoken between Mount Olympus and Cape Malea.
However this may be, during the historical times the Greek language
was universal throughout these limits,—branching out, however,
into a great variety of dialects, which were roughly classified by
later literary men into Ionic, Doric, Æolic, and Attic. But the
classification presents a semblance of regularity, which in point of
fact does not seem to have been realized; each town, each smaller
subdivision of the Hellenic name, having peculiarities of dialect
belonging to itself. Now the lettered men who framed the quadruple
division took notice chiefly, if not exclusively, of the written
dialects,—those which had been ennobled by poets or other authors;
the mere spoken idioms were for the most part neglected.[369] That
there was no such thing as one Ionic dialect in the speech of the
people called Ionic Greek, we know from the indisputable testimony of
Herodotus,[370] who tells us that there were four capital varieties
of speech among the twelve Asiatic towns especially known as Ionic.
Of course, the varieties would have been much more numerous if he
had given us the impressions of his ear in Eubœa, the Cyclades,
Massalia, Rhegium, and Olbia,—all numbered as Greeks and as Ionians.
The Ionic dialect of the grammarians was an extract from Homer,
Hekatæus, Herodotus, Hippocrates, etc.; to what living speech it made
the nearest approach, amidst those divergences which the historian
has made known to us, we cannot tell. Sapphô and Alkæus in Lesbos,
Myrtis and Korinna in Bœotia, were the great sources of reference
for the Lesbian and Bœotian varieties of the Æolic dialect,—of which
there was a third variety, untouched by the poets, in Thessaly.[371]
The analogy between the different manifestations of Doric and
Æolic, as well as that between the Doric generally and the Æolic
generally, contrasted with the Attic, is only to be taken as rough
and approximative.

  [368] Hekatæ. Fragm. 356, ed. Klausen: compare Strabo, vii. p.
  321; Herod. i. 57; Thucyd. i. 3,—κατὰ πόλεις τε, ~ὅσοι ἀλλήλων
  συνίεσαν~, etc.

  [369] “Antiqui grammatici eas tantum dialectos spectabant, quibus
  scriptores usi essent: ceteras, quæ non vigebant nisi in ore
  populi, non notabant.” (Ahrens, De Dialecto Æolicâ, p. 2.) The
  same has been the case, to a great degree, even in the linguistic
  researches of modern times, though printing now affords such
  increased facility for the registration of popular dialects.

  [370] Herod. i. 142.

  [371] Respecting the three varieties of the Æolic dialect,
  differing considerably from each other, see the valuable work of
  Ahrens, De Dial. Æol. sect. 2, 32, 50.

But all these different dialects are nothing more than dialects,
distinguished as modifications of one and the same language, and
exhibiting evidence of certain laws and principles pervading them
all. They seem capable of being traced back to a certain ideal
mother-language, peculiar in itself and distinguishable from, though
cognate with, the Latin; a substantive member of what has been called
the Indo-European family of languages. This truth has been brought
out, in recent times, by the comparative examination applied to the
Sanscrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, German, and Lithuanian languages, as
well as by the more accurate analysis of the Greek language itself
to which such studies have given rise, in a manner much more clear
than could have been imagined by the ancients themselves.[372] It is
needless to dwell upon the importance of this uniformity of language
in holding together the race, and in rendering the genius of its
most favored members available to the civilization of all. Except
in the rarest cases, the divergences of dialect were not such as
to prevent every Greek from understanding, and being understood
by, every other Greek,—a fact remarkable, when we consider how many
of their outlying colonists, not having taken out women in their
emigration, intermarried with non-Hellenic wives. And the perfection
and popularity of their early epic poems, was here of inestimable
value for the diffusion of a common type of language, and for thus
keeping together the sympathies of the Hellenic world.[373] The
Homeric dialect became the standard followed by all Greek poets
for the hexameter, as may be seen particularly from the example of
Hesiod,—who adheres to it in the main, though his father was a native
of the Æolic Kymê, and he himself resident at Askra, in the Æolic
Bœotia,—and the early iambic and elegiac compositions are framed on
the same model. Intellectual Greeks in all cities, even the most
distant outcasts from the central hearth, became early accustomed
to one type of literary speech, and possessors of a common stock of
legends, maxims, and metaphors.

  [372] The work of Albert Giese, Ueber den Æolischen Dialekt
  (unhappily not finished, on account of the early death of the
  author,) presents an ingenious specimen of such analysis.

  [373] See the interesting remarks of Dio Chrysostom on the
  attachment of the inhabitants of Olbia (or Borysthenes) to the
  Homeric poems: most of them, he says, could repeat the Iliad by
  heart, though their dialect was partially barbarized, and the
  city in a sad state of ruin (Dio Chrysost. Orat. xxxvi. p. 78,

That community of religious sentiments, localities, and sacrifices,
which Herodotus names as the third bond of union among the Greeks,
was a phenomenon, not (like the race and the language) interwoven
with their primitive constitution, but of gradual growth. In the
time of Herodotus, and even a century earlier, it was at its full
maturity: but there had been a period when no religious meetings
common to the whole Hellenic body existed. What are called the
Olympic, Pythian, Nemean, and Isthmian games, (the four most
conspicuous amidst many others analogous,) were, in reality, great
religious festivals,—for the gods then gave their special sanction,
name, and presence, to recreative meetings,—the closest association
then prevailed between the feelings of common worship and the
sympathy in common amusement.[374] Though this association is now
no longer recognized, it is, nevertheless, essential that we should
keep it fully before us, if we desire to understand the life and
proceedings of the Greeks. To Herodotus and his contemporaries, these
great festivals, then frequented by crowds from every part of Greece,
were of overwhelming importance and interest; yet they had once
been purely local, attracting no visitors except from a very narrow
neighborhood. In the Homeric poems, much is said about the common
gods, and about special places consecrated to and occupied by several
of them: the chiefs celebrate funeral games in honor of a deceased
father, which are visited by competitors from different parts of
Greece, but nothing appears to manifest public or town festivals open
to Grecian visitors generally.[375] And, though the rocky Pytho,
with its temple, stands out in the Iliad as a place both venerated
and rich,—the Pythian games, under the superintendence of the
Amphiktyons, with continuous enrolment of victors, and a Pan-Hellenic
reputation, do not begin until after the Sacred War, in the 48th
Olympiad, or 586 B. C.[376]

  [374] Plato, Legg. ii. 1, p. 653; Kratylus, p. 406; and Dionys.
  Hal. Ars Rhetoric. c. 1-2, p. 226,—Θεὸς μὲν γέ που πάντως πάσης
  ἡστινοσοῦν πανηγύρεως ἡγεμὼν καὶ ἐπώνυμος· οἷον ὀλυμπίων μὲν,
  Ὀλύμπιος Ζεὺς· τοῦ δ᾽ ἐν Πυθοῖ, Ἀπολλών.

  Apollo, the Muses, and Dionysus are ξυνεορτασταὶ καὶ ξυγχορευταί
  (Homer, Hymn to Apoll. 146). The same view of the sacred games
  is given by Livy, in reference to the Romans and the Volsci (ii.
  36-37): “Se, ut consceleratos contaminatosque, ab _ludis, festis
  diebus, cœtu quodammodo hominum Deorumque_, abactos esse ...
  ideo nos ab sede piorum, cœtu, concilioque abigi.” It is curious
  to contrast this with the dislike and repugnance of Tertullian:
  “Idololatria omnium ludorum mater est,—quod enim spectaculum sine
  idolo, quis ludus sine sacrificio?” (De Spectaculis, p. 369.)

  [375] Iliad, xxiii. 630-679. The games celebrated by Akastus, in
  honor of Pelias, were famed in the old epic (Pausan. v. 17, 4;
  Apollodôr. i. 9, 28).

  [376] Strabo, ix. p. 421; Pausan. x. 7, 3. The first Pythian
  games celebrated by the Amphiktyons, after the Sacred War,
  carried with them a substantial reward to the victor (an ἀγὼν
  χρηματίτης); but in the next, or second Pythian games, nothing
  was given but an honorary reward, or wreath of laurel leaves
  (ἀγὼν στεφανίτης): the first coincide with Olympiad 48, 3; the
  second with Olympiad 49, 3.

  Compare Schol. ad Pindar. Pyth. Argument.: Pausan. x. 37, 4-5;
  Krause, Die Pythien, Nemeen, und Isthmien, sect. 3, 4, 5.

  The Homeric Hymn to Apollo is composed at a time earlier than the
  Sacred War, when Krissa is flourishing; earlier than the Pythian
  games, as celebrated by the Amphiktyons.

The Olympic games, more conspicuous than the Pythian, as well as
considerably older, are also remarkable on another ground, inasmuch
as they supplied historical computers with the oldest backward
record of continuous time. It was in the year 776 B. C., that the
Eleians inscribed the name of their countryman, Korœbus, as victor
in the competition of runners, and that they began the practice
of inscribing in like manner, in each Olympic, or fifth recurring
year, the name of the runner who won the prize. Even for a long
time after this, however, the Olympic games seem to have remained a
local festival; the prize being uniformly carried off, at the first
twelve Olympiads, by some competitor either of Elis or its immediate
neighborhood. The Nemean and Isthmian games did not become notorious
or frequented until later even than the Pythian. Solôn,[377] in his
legislation, proclaimed the large reward of five hundred drachms for
every Athenian who gained an Olympic prize, and the lower sum of
one hundred drachms for an Isthmiac prize. He counts the former, as
Pan-Hellenic rank and renown, an ornament even to the city of which
the victor was a member,—the latter, as partial, and confined to the

  [377] Plutarch, Solôn, 23. The Isthmian Agon was to a certain
  extent a festival of old Athenian origin; for among the many
  legends respecting its first institution, one of the most
  notorious represented it as having been founded by Theseus after
  his victory over Sinis at the Isthmus (see Schol. ad Pindar.
  Isth. Argument.; Pausan. ii. 1, 4), or over Skeirôn (Plutarch,
  Theseus, c. 25). Plutarch says that they were first established
  by Theseus as funeral games for Skeirôn, and Pliny gives the same
  story (H. N. vii. 57). According to Hellanikus, the Athenian
  Theôrs at the Isthmian games had a privileged place, (Plutarch,
  _l. c._).

  There is, therefore, good reason why Solôn should single out the
  Isthmionikæ as persons to be specially rewarded, not mentioning
  the Pythionikæ and Nemeonikæ,—the Nemean and Pythian games not
  having then acquired Hellenic importance. Diogenes Laërt. (i.
  55) says that Solôn provided rewards, not only for victories at
  the Olympic and Isthmian, but also ἀνάλογον ἐπὶ τῶν ἄλλων, which
  Krause (Pythien, Nemeen und Isthmien, sect. 3, p. 13) supposes
  to be the truth: I think, very improbably. The sharp invective
  of Timokreon against Themistocles, charging him among other
  things with providing nothing but cold meat at the Isthmian games
  (Ἰσθμοῖ δ᾽ ἐπανδόκευε γελοίως ψυχρὰ κρέα παρέχων, Plutarch.
  Themistoc. c. 21), seems to imply that the Athenian visitors,
  whom the Theôrs were called upon to take care of at those games,
  were numerous.

Of the beginnings of these great solemnities, we cannot presume to
speak, except in mythical language: we know them only in their
comparative maturity. But the habit of common sacrifice, on a
small scale, and between near neighbors, is a part of the earliest
habits of Greece. The sentiment of fraternity, between two tribes
or villages, first manifested itself by sending a sacred legation,
or Theôria,[378] to offer sacrifice at each other’s festivals, and
to partake in the recreations which followed; thus establishing a
truce with solemn guarantee, and bringing themselves into direct
connection each with the god of the other under his appropriate
local surname. The pacific communion so fostered, and the increased
assurance of intercourse, as Greece gradually emerged from the
turbulence and pugnacity of the heroic age, operated especially in
extending the range of this ancient habit: the village festivals
became town festivals, largely frequented by the citizens of other
towns, and sometimes with special invitations sent round to attract
Theôrs from every Hellenic community,—and thus these once humble
assemblages gradually swelled into the pomp and immense confluence
of the Olympic and Pythian games. The city administering such holy
ceremonies enjoyed inviolability of territory during the month of
their occurrence, being itself under obligation at that time to
refrain from all aggression, as well as to notify by heralds[379]
the commencement of the truce to all other cities not in avowed
hostility with it. Elis imposed heavy fines upon other towns—even on
the powerful Lacedæmon—for violation of the Olympic truce, on pain of
exclusion from the festival in case of non-payment.

  [378] In many Grecian states (as at Ægina, Mantineia, Trœzen,
  Thasos, etc.) these Theôrs formed a permanent college, and seem
  to have been invested with extensive functions in reference to
  religious ceremonies: at Athens, they were chosen for the special
  occasion (see Thucyd. v. 47; Aristotel. Polit. v. 8, 3; O.
  Müller, Æginetica, p. 135; Demosthen. de Fals. Leg. p. 380).

  [379] About the sacred truce, Olympian, Isthmian, etc., formally
  announced by two heralds crowned with garlands sent from the
  administering city, and with respect to which many tricks
  were played, see Thucyd. v. 49; Xenophon, Hellen. iv. 7, 1-7;
  Plutarch, Lycurg. 23; Pindar, Isthm. ii. 35,—σπονδοφόροι—κάρυκες
  ὡρᾶν—Thucyd. viii. 9-10, is also peculiarly instructive in regard
  to the practice and the feeling.

Sometimes this tendency to religious fraternity took a form called
an Amphiktyony, different from the common festival. A certain
number of towns entered into an exclusive religious partnership,
for the celebration of sacrifices periodically to the god of a
particular temple, which was supposed to be the common property,
and under the common protection of all, though one of the number
was often named as permanent administrator; while all other Greeks
were excluded. That there were many religious partnerships of this
sort, which have never acquired a place in history, among the early
Grecian villages, we may, perhaps, gather from the etymology of the
word, (Amphiktyons[380] designates residents around, or neighbors,
considered in the point of view of fellow-religionists,) as well as
from the indications preserved to us in reference to various parts of
the country. Thus there was an Amphiktyony[381] of seven cities at
the holy island of Kalauria, close to the harbor of Trœzên. Hermionê,
Epidaurus, Ægina, Athens, Prasiæ, Nauplia, and Orchomenus, jointly
maintained the temple and sanctuary of Poseidôn in that island, (with
which it would seem that the city of Trœzên, though close at hand,
had no connection,) meeting there at stated periods, to offer formal
sacrifices. These seven cities, indeed, were not immediate neighbors,
but the speciality and exclusiveness of their interest in the temple
is seen from the fact, that when the Argeians took Nauplia, they
adopted and fulfilled these religious obligations on behalf of the
prior inhabitants: so, also, did the Lacedæmonians, when they had
captured Prasiæ. Again, in Triphylia,[382] situated between the
Pisatid and Messenia, in the western part of Peloponnesus, there
was a similar religious meeting and partnership of the Triphylians
on Cape Samikon, at the temple of the Samian Poseidôn. Here,
the inhabitants of Makiston were intrusted with the details of
superintendence, as well as with the duty of notifying beforehand the
exact time of meeting, (a precaution essential amidst the diversities
and irregularities of the Greek calendar,) and also of proclaiming
what was called the Samian truce,—a temporary abstinence from
hostilities, which bound all Triphylians during the holy period. This
latter custom discloses the salutary influence of such institutions
in presenting to men’s minds a common object of reverence, common
duties, and common enjoyments; thus generating sympathies and
feelings of mutual obligation amidst petty communities not less
fierce than suspicious.[383] So, too, the twelve chief Ionic cities
in and near Asia Minor, had their Pan-Ionic Amphiktyony peculiar to
themselves: the six Doric cities, in and near the southern corner
of that peninsula, combined for the like purpose at the temple of
the Triopian Apollo; and the feeling of special partnership is here
particularly illustrated by the fact, that Halikarnassus, one of the
six, was formally extruded by the remaining five, in consequence
of a violation of the rules.[384] There was also an Amphiktyonic
union at Onchêstus in Bœotia, in the venerated grove and temple of
Poseidôn:[385] of whom it consisted, we are not informed. These are
some specimens of the sort of special religious conventions and
assemblies which seem to have been frequent throughout Greece. Nor
ought we to omit those religious meetings and sacrifices which were
common to all the members of one Hellenic subdivision, such as the
Pam-Bœotia to all the Bœotians, celebrated at the temple of the
Itonian Athênê near Korôneia,[386]—the common observances, rendered
to the temple of Apollo Pythaëus at Argos, by all those neighboring
towns which had once been attached by this religious thread to the
Argeians,—the similar periodical ceremonies, frequented by all who
bore the Achæan or Ætolian name,—and the splendid and exhilarating
festivals, so favorable to the diffusion of the early Grecian
poetry, which brought all Ionians at stated intervals to the sacred
island of Delos.[387] This latter class of festivals agreed with the
Amphiktyony, in being of a special and exclusive character, not open
to all Greeks.

  [380] Pindar, Isthm. iii. 26 (iv. 14); Nem. vi. 40.

  [381] Strabo, viii. p. 374.

  [382] Strabo, viii. p. 343; Pausan v. 6, 1.

  [383] At Iolkos, on the north coast of the Gulf of Pagasæ, and
  at the borders of the Magnêtes, Thessalians, and Achæans of
  Phthiôtis, was celebrated a periodical religious festival, or
  panegyris, the title of which we are prevented from making out by
  the imperfection of Strabo’s text (Strabo, ix. 436). It stands in
  the text as printed in Tzschucke’s edition, Ἐνταῦθα δὲ καὶ τὴν
  Πυλαϊκὴν πανήγυριν, συνετέλουν. The mention of Πυλαϊκὴ πανήγυρις,
  which conducts us only to the Amphiktyonic convocations of
  Thermopylæ and Delphi is here unsuitable; and the best or
  Parisian MS. of Strabo presents a gap (one among the many which
  embarrass the ninth book) in the place of the word Πυλαϊκὴν.
  Dutneil conjectures τὴν Πελϊακὴν πανήγυριν, deriving the name
  from the celebrated funeral games of the old epic celebrated by
  Akastus in honor of his father Pelias. Grosskurd (in his note
  on the passage) approves the conjecture, but it seems to me not
  probable that a Grecian panegyris would be named after Pelias.
  Πηλϊακήν, in reference to the neighboring mountain and town of
  Pelion, might perhaps be less objectionable (see Dikæarch. Fragm.
  pp. 407-409, ed. Fuhr.), but we cannot determine with certainty.

  [384] Herod, i.; Dionys. Hal. iv. 25.

  [385] Strabo, ix. p. 412; Homer. Hymn. Apoll. 232.

  [386] Strabo, ix. p. 411.

  [387] Thucyd. iii. 104; v. 55. Pausan. vii. 7, 1; 24, 3. Polyb.
  v. 8; ii. 54. Homer. Hymn. Apoll. 146.

  According to what seems to have been the ancient and sacred
  tradition, the whole of the month Karneius was a time of peace
  among the Dorians; though this was often neglected in practice
  at the time of the Peloponnesian war (Thuc. v. 54). But it may
  be doubted whether there was any festival of Karneia common to
  all the Dorians: the Karneia at Sparta seems to have been a
  Lacedæmonian festival.

But there was one amongst these many Amphiktyonies, which, though
starting from the smallest beginnings, gradually expanded into so
comprehensive a character, and acquired so marked a predominance
over the rest, as to be called The Amphiktyonic Assembly, and
even to have been mistaken by some authors for a sort of federal
Hellenic Diet. Twelve sub-races, out of the number which made up
entire Hellas, belonged to this ancient Amphiktyony, the meetings
of which were held twice in every year: in spring, at the temple of
Apollo at Delphi; in autumn, at Thermopylæ, in the sacred precinct
of Dêmêtêr Amphiktyonis. Sacred deputies, including a chief called
the Hieromnêmôn, and subordinates called the Pylagoræ, attended at
these meetings from each of the twelve races: a crowd of volunteers
seem to have accompanied them, for purposes of sacrifice, trade, or
enjoyment. Their special, and most important function, consisted in
watching over the Delphian temple, in which all the twelve sub-races
had a joint interest; and it was the immense wealth and national
ascendency of this temple, which enhanced to so great a pitch the
dignity of its acknowledged administrators.

The twelve constituent members were as follows: Thessalians,
Bœotians, Dorians, Ionians, Perrhæbians, Magnêtes, Lokrians, Œtæans,
Achæans, Phokians, Dolopes, and Malians.[388] All are counted as
_races_, (if we treat the Hellenes as a race, we must call these
_sub-races_,) no mention being made of cities:[389] all count equally
in respect to voting, two votes being given by the deputies from
each of the twelve: moreover, we are told that, in determining the
deputies to be sent, or the manner in which the votes of each race
should be given, the powerful Athens, Sparta, and Thebes, had no more
influence than the humblest Ionian, Dorian, or Bœotian city. This
latter fact is distinctly stated by Æschines, himself a pylagore sent
to Delphi by Athens. And so, doubtless, the theory of the case stood:
the votes of the Ionic races counted for neither more nor less than
two, whether given by deputies from Athens, or from the small towns
of Erythræ and Priênê; and, in like manner, the Dorian votes were as
good in the division, when given by deputies from Bœon and Kytinion
in the little territory of Doris, as if the men delivering them had
been Spartans. But there can be as little question that, in practice,
the little Ionic cities, and the little Doric cities, pretended to no
share in the Amphyktionic deliberations. As the Ionic vote came to be
substantially the vote of Athens, so, if Sparta was ever obstructed
in the management of the Doric vote, it must have been by powerful
Doric cities like Argos or Corinth, not by the insignificant towns
of Doris. But the theory of Amphiktyonic suffrage, as laid down by
Æschines, however little realized in practice during his day, is
important, inasmuch as it shows in full evidence the primitive and
original constitution. The first establishment of the Amphyktionic
convocation dates from a time when all twelve members were on a
footing of equal independence, and when there were no overwhelming
cities (such as Sparta and Athens) to cast in the shade the humbler
members,—when Sparta was only one Doric city, and Athens only one
Ionic city, among various others of consideration, not much inferior.

  [388] The list of the Amphiktyonic constituency is differently
  given by Æschines, by Harpokration, and by Pausanias. Tittmann
  (Ueber den Amphiktyonischen Bund, sect. 3, 4, 5) analyzes and
  compares their various statements, and elicits the catalogue
  given in the text.

  [389] Æschines, De Fals. Legat. p. 280, c. 36.—Κατηριθμησάμην δὲ
  ἔθνη δώδεκα, τὰ μετέχοντα τοῦ ἱεροῦ ... καὶ τούτων ἔδειξα ἕκαστον
  ἔθνος, ἰσόψηφον γενόμενον, τὸ μέγιστον τῷ ἐλάττονι, etc.

There are also other proofs which show the high antiquity of this
Amphiktyonic convocation. Æschines gives us an extract from the oath
which had been taken by the sacred deputies, who attended on behalf
of their respective races, ever since its first establishment, and
which still apparently continued to be taken in his day. The antique
simplicity of this oath, and of the conditions to which the members
bind themselves, betrays the early age in which it originated,
as well as the humble resources of those towns to which it was
applied.[390] “We will not destroy any Amphiktyonic town,—we will
not cut off any Amphiktyonic town from running water,”—such are the
two prominent obligations which Æschines specifies out of the old
oath. The second of the two carries us back to the simplest state
of society, and to towns of the smallest size, when the maidens
went out with their basins to fetch water from the spring, like the
daughters of Keleos at Eleusis, or those of Athens from the fountain
of Kallirrhoê.[391] We may even conceive that the special mention of
this detail, in the covenant between the twelve races, is borrowed
literally from agreements still earlier, among the villages or little
towns in which the members of each race were distributed. At any
rate, it proves satisfactorily the very ancient date to which the
commencement of the Amphiktyonic convocation must be referred. The
belief of Æschines (perhaps, also, the belief general in his time)
was, that it commenced simultaneously with the first foundation
of the Delphian temple,—an event of which we have no historical
knowledge; but there seems reason to suppose that its original
establishment is connected with Thermopylæ and Dêmêtêr Amphiktyonis,
rather than with Delphi and Apollo. The special surname by which
Dêmêtêr and her temple at Thermopylæ was known,[392]—the temple of
the hero Amphiktyon which stood at its side,—the word Pylæ, which
obtained footing in the language to designate the half-yearly meeting
of the deputies both at Thermopylæ and at Delphi,—these indications
point to Thermopylæ (the real central point for all the twelve)
as the primary place of meeting, and to the Delphian half-year as
something secondary and superadded. On such a matter, however, we
cannot go beyond a conjecture.

  [390] Æschin. Fals. Legat. p. 279, c. 35: Ἅμα δ᾽ ἐξ ἀρχῆς
  διεξῆλθον τὴν κτίσιν τοῦ ἱεροῦ, καὶ τὴν πρώτην σύνοδον γενομένην
  τῶν Ἀμφικτυόνων, καὶ τοὺς ὅρκους αὐτῶν ἀνέγνων, ἐν οἷς ἔνορκον ἦν
  τοῖς ἀρχαίοις μηδεμίαν πόλιν τῶν Ἀμφικτυονίδων ἀνάστατον ποιήσειν
  μηδ᾽ ὑδάτων ναματιαίων εἴρξειν, etc.

  [391] Homer, Iliad, vi. 457. Homer, Hymn to Dêmêtêr, 100, 107,
  170. Herodot. vi. 137. Thucyd. ii. 15.

  [392] Herodot. vii. 200; Livy, xxxi. 32.

The hero Amphiktyon, whose temple stood at Thermopylæ, passed in
mythical genealogy for the brother of Hellên. And it may be affirmed,
with truth, that the habit of forming Amphiktyonic unions, and of
frequenting each other’s religious festivals was the great means of
creating and fostering the primitive feeling of brotherhood among the
children of Hellên, in those early times when rudeness, insecurity,
and pugnacity did so much to isolate them. A certain number of
salutary habits and sentiments, such as that which the Amphiktyonic
oath embodies, in regard to abstinence from injury, as well as to
mutual protection,[393] gradually found their way into men’s minds:
the obligations thus brought into play, acquired a substantive
efficacy of their own, and the religious feeling which always
remained connected with them, came afterwards to be only one out of
many complex agencies by which the later historical Greek was moved.
Athens and Sparta in the days of their might, and the inferior cities
in relation to them, played each their own political game, in which
religious considerations will be found to bear only a subordinate

  [393] The festival of the Amarynthia in Eubœa, held at the temple
  of Artemis of Amarynthus, was frequented by the Ionic Chalcis
  and Eretria as well as by the Dryopic Karystus. In a combat
  proclaimed between Chalcis and Eretria, to settle the question
  about the possession of the plain of Lelantum, it was stipulated
  that no missile weapons should be used by either party; this
  agreement was inscribed and recorded in the temple of Artemis
  (Strabo x. p. 448; Livy, xxxv. 38).

The special function of the Amphiktyonic council, so far as we
know it, consisted in watching over the safety, the interests, and
the treasures of the Delphian temple. “If any one shall plunder
the property of the god, or shall be cognizant thereof, or shall
take treacherous counsel against the things in the temple, we will
punish him with foot, and hand, and voice, and by every means in
our power.” So ran the old Amphiktyonic oath, with an energetic
imprecation attached to it.[394] And there are some examples in
which the council[395] construes its functions so largely as to
receive and adjudicate upon complaints against entire cities, for
offences against the religious and patriotic sentiment of the Greeks
generally. But for the most part its interference relates directly
to the Delphian temple. The earliest case in which it is brought to
our view, is the Sacred War against Kirrha, in the 46th Olympiad, or
595 B. C., conducted by Eurylochus, the Thessalian, and Kleisthenes
of Sikyôn, and proposed by Solôn of Athens:[396] we find the
Amphiktyons also, about half a century afterwards, undertaking the
duty of collecting subscriptions throughout the Hellenic world, and
making the contract with the Alkmæonids for rebuilding the temple
after a conflagration.[397] But the influence of this council is
essentially of a fluctuating and intermittent character. Sometimes
it appears forward to decide, and its decisions command respect;
but such occasions are rare, taking the general course of known
Grecian history; while there are other occasions, and those too
especially affecting the Delphian temple, on which we are surprised
to find nothing said about it. In the long and perturbed period
which Thucydidês describes, he never once mentioned the Amphiktyons,
though the temple and the safety of its treasures form the repeated
subject[398] as well of dispute as of express stipulation between
Athens and Sparta: moreover, among the twelve constituent members
of the council, we find three—the Perrhæbians, the Magnêtes, and
the Achæans of Phthia—who were not even independent, but subject to
the Thessalians, so that its meetings, when they were not matters
of mere form, probably expressed only the feelings of the three or
four leading members. When one or more of these great powers had a
party purpose to accomplish against others,—when Philip of Macedon
wished to extrude one of the members in order to procure admission
for himself,—it became convenient to turn this ancient form into a
serious reality, and we shall see the Athenian Æschines providing a
pretext for Philip to meddle in favor of the minor Bœotian cities
against Thebes, by alleging that these cities were under the
protection of the old Amphiktyonic oath.[399]

  [394] Æschin. De Fals. Legat. c. 35, p. 279: compare adv.
  Ktesiphont. c. 36, p. 406.

  [395] See the charge which Æschines alleges to have been brought
  by the Lokrians of Amphissa against Athens in the Amphiktyonic
  Council (adv. Ktesiphont. c. 38, p. 409). Demosthenes contradicts
  his rival as to the fact of the charge having been brought,
  saying that the Amphisseans had not given the notice, customary
  and required, of their intention to bring it: a reply which
  admits that the charge _might_ be brought (Demosth. de Coronâ, c.
  43, p. 277).

  The Amphiktyons offer a reward for the life of Ephialtes, the
  betrayer of the Greeks at Thermopylæ; they also erect columns to
  the memory of the fallen Greeks in that memorable strait, the
  place of their half-yearly meeting (Herod. vii. 213-228).

  [396] Æschin. adv. Ktesiph. 1, c. Plutarch, Solôn, c. xi, who
  refers to Aristotle ἐν τῇ τῶν Πυθιονικῶν ἀναγραφῇ—Pausan. x. 37,
  4; Schol. ad Pindar, Nem. ix. 2. Τὰς Ἀμφικτυονικὰς δίκας, ὅσαι
  πόλεσι πρὸς πόλεις εἰσίν (Strabo, ix. p. 420). These Amphiktyonic
  arbitrations, however are of rare occurrence in history, and very
  commonly abused.

  [397] Herodot. ii. 180, v. 62.

  [398] Thucyd. i. 112, iv. 118, v. 18. The Phokians in the
  Sacred War (B. C. 354) pretended that they had an ancient and
  prescriptive right to the administration of the Delphian temple,
  under accountability to the general body of Greeks for the proper
  employment of its possessions,—thus setting aside the Amphiktyons
  altogether (Diodor. xvi. 27).

  [399] Æschin. de Fals. Legat. p. 280, c. 36. The party intrigues
  which moved the council in regard to the Sacred War against the
  Phokians (B. C. 355) may be seen in Diodorus, xvi. 23-28, _seq._

It is thus that we have to consider the council as an element in
Grecian affairs,—an ancient institution, one amongst many instances
of the primitive habit of religious fraternization, but wider and
more comprehensive than the rest,—at first, purely religious, then
religious and political at once; lastly, more the latter than the
former,—highly valuable in the infancy, but unsuited to the maturity
of Greece, and called into real working only on rare occasions, when
its efficiency happened to fall in with the views of Athens, Thebes,
or the king of Macedon. In such special moments it shines with a
transient light which affords a partial pretence for the imposing
title bestowed on it by Cicero,—“commune Græciæ concilium:”[400] but
we should completely misinterpret Grecian history if we regarded it
as a federal council, habitually directing or habitually obeyed. Had
there existed any such “commune concilium” of tolerable wisdom and
patriotism, and had the tendencies of the Hellenic mind been capable
of adapting themselves to it, the whole course of later Grecian
history would probably have been altered; the Macedonian kings would
have remained only as respectable neighbors, borrowing civilization
from Greece, and expending their military energies upon Thracians and
Illyrians; while united Hellas might even have maintained her own
territory against the conquering legions of Rome.

  [400] Cicero, De Invention. ii. 23. The representation of
  Dionysius of Halikarnassus (Ant. Rom. iv. 25) overshoots the
  reality still more.

  About the common festivals and Amphiktyones of the Hellenic world
  generally, see Wachsmuth, Hellenische Alterthumskunde, vol. i.
  sect. 22, 24, 25; also, C. F. Hermann, Lehrbuch der Griech.
  Staatsalterthümer, sect. 11-13.

The twelve constituent Amphiktyonic races remained unchanged until
the Sacred War against the Phokians (B. C. 355), after which, though
the number twelve was continued, the Phokians were disfranchised, and
their votes transferred to Philip of Macedon. It has been already
mentioned that these twelve did not exhaust the whole of Hellas.
Arcadians, Eleans, Pisans, Minyæ, Dryopes, Ætolians, all genuine
Hellens, are not comprehended in it; but all of them had a right
to make use of the temple of Delphi, and to contend in the Pythian
and Olympic games. The Pythian games, celebrated near Delphi, were
under the superintendence of the Amphiktyons,[401] or of some
acting magistrate chosen by and presumed to represent them: like
the Olympic games, they came round every four years (the interval
between one celebration and another being four complete years, which
the Greeks called a Pentaetêris): the Isthmian and Nemean games
recurred every two years. In its first humble form, of a competition
among bards to sing a hymn in praise of Apollo, this festival was
doubtless of immemorial antiquity;[402] but the first extension of
it into Pan-Hellenic notoriety (as I have already remarked), the
first multiplication of the subjects of competition, and the first
introduction of a continuous record of the conquerors, date only from
the time when it came under the presidency of the Amphiktyons, at
the close of the Sacred War against Kirrha. What is called the first
Pythian contest coincides with the third year of the 48th Olympiad,
or 585 B. C. From that period forward, the games become crowded and
celebrated: but the date just named, nearly two centuries after the
first Olympiad, is a proof that the habit of periodical frequentation
of festivals, by numbers and from distant parts, grew up but slowly
in the Grecian world.

  [401] Plutarch, Sympos. vii. 5, 1.

  [402] In this early phase of the Pythian festival, it is said
  to have been celebrated every eight years, marking what we
  should call an Octaetêris, and what the early Greeks called an
  Ennaetêris (Censorinus, De Die Natali, c. 18). This period is
  one of considerable importance in reference to the principle of
  the Grecian calendar, for ninety-nine lunar months coincide very
  nearly with eight solar years. The discovery of this coincidence
  is ascribed by Censorinus to Kleostratus of Tenedos, whose
  age is not directly known: he must be anterior to Meton, who
  discovered the cycle of nineteen solar years, but (I imagine)
  not much anterior. In spite of the authority of Ideler, it seems
  to me not proved, nor can I believe, that this octennial period
  with its solar and lunar coincidence was known to the Greeks in
  the earliest times of their mythical antiquity, or before the
  year 600 B. C. See Ideler, Handbuch der Chronologie, vol. i. p.
  366; vol. ii. p. 607. The practice of the Eleians to celebrate
  the Olympic games alternately after forty-nine and fifty lunar
  months, though attested for a later time by the Scholiast on
  Pindar, is not proved to be old. The fact that there were ancient
  octennial recurring festivals, does not establish a knowledge
  of the properties of the octaeteric or ennaeteric period: nor
  does it seem to me that the details of the Bœotian δαφνηφορíα,
  described in Proclus ap. Photium, sect. 239, are very ancient.
  See, on the old mythical Octaetêris, O. Müller, Orchomenos 218,
  _seqq._, and Krause, Die Pythien, Nemeen, und Isthmien, sect. 4,
  p. 22.

The foundation of the temple of Delphi itself reaches far beyond all
historical knowledge, forming one of the aboriginal institutions of
Hellas. It is a sanctified and wealthy place, even in the Iliad: the
legislation of Lykurgus at Sparta is introduced under its auspices,
and the earliest Grecian colonies, those of Sicily and Italy in
the eighth century B. C., are established in consonance with its
mandate. Delphi and Dodona appear, in the most ancient circumstances
of Greece, as universally venerated oracles and sanctuaries: and
Delphi not only receives honors and donations, but also answers
questions, from Lydians, Phrygians, Etruscans, Romans, etc.: it is
not exclusively Hellenic. One of the valuable services which a Greek
looked for from this and other great religious establishments was,
that it should resolve his doubts in cases of perplexity,—that it
should advise him whether to begin a new, or to persist in an old
project,—that it should foretell what would be his fate under given
circumstances, and inform him, if suffering under distress, on what
conditions the gods would grant him relief. The three priestesses of
Dodona with their venerable oak, and the priestess of Delphi sitting
on her tripod under the influence of a certain gas or vapor exhaling
from the rock, were alike competent to determine these difficult
points: and we shall have constant occasion to notice in this
history, with what complete faith both the question was put and the
answer treasured up,—what serious influence it often exercised both
upon public and private proceeding.[403] The hexameter verses, in
which the Pythian priestess delivered herself, were, indeed, often so
equivocal or unintelligible, that the most serious believer, with all
anxiety to interpret and obey them, often found himself ruined by the
result; yet the general faith in the oracle was noway shaken by such
painful experience. For as the unfortunate issue always admitted of
being explained upon two hypotheses,—either that the god had spoken
falsely, or that his meaning had not been correctly understood,—no
man of genuine piety ever hesitated to adopt the latter. There were
many other oracles throughout Greece besides Delphi and Dodona:
Apollo was open to the inquiries of the faithful at Ptôon in Bœotia,
at Abæ in Phokis, at Branchidæ near Miletus, at Patara in Lykia, and
other places: in like manner, Zeus gave answers at Olympia, Poseidôn
at Tænarus, Amphiaraus at Thebes, Amphilochus at Mallas, etc. And
this habit of consulting the oracle formed part of the still more
general tendency of the Greek mind to undertake no enterprise without
having first ascertained how the gods viewed it, and what measures
they were likely to take. Sacrifices were offered, and the interior
of the victim carefully examined, with the same intent: omens,
prodigies, unlooked-for coincidences, casual expressions, etc.,
were all construed as significant of the divine will. To sacrifice
with a view to this or that undertaking, or to consult the oracle
with the same view, are familiar expressions[404] embodied in the
language. Nor could any man set about a scheme with comfort, until
he had satisfied himself in some manner or other that the gods were
favorable to it.

  [403] See the argument of Cicero in favor of divination, in the
  first book of his valuable treatise De Divinatione. Chrysippus,
  and the ablest of the stoic philosophers, both set forth a
  plausible theory demonstrating, _a priori_, the probability of
  prophetic warnings deduced from the existence and attributes of
  the gods: if you deny altogether the occurrence of such warnings,
  so essential to the welfare of man, you must deny either the
  existence, or the foreknowledge, or the beneficence, of the
  gods (c. 38). Then the veracity of the Delphian oracle had been
  demonstrated in innumerable instances, of which Chrysippus had
  made a large collection: and upon what other supposition could
  the immense credit of the oracle be explained (c. 19)? “Collegit
  innumerabilia oracula Chrysippus, et nullum sine locuplete teste
  et auctore: quæ quia nota tibi sunt, relinquo. Defendo unum hoc:
  nunquam illud oraculum Delphis tam celebre clarumque fuisset,
  neque tantis donis refertum omnium populorum et regum, nisi
  omnis ætas oraculorum illorum veritatem esset experta.... Maneat
  id, quod negari non potest, nisi omnem historiam perverterimus,
  multis sæculis verax fuisse id oraculum.” Cicero admits that it
  had become less trustworthy in his time, and tries to explain
  this decline of prophetic power: compare Plutarch, De Defect.

  [404] Xenophon, Anabas. vii. 8, 20: Ὁ δὲ Ἀσιδάτης ἀκούσας, ὅτι
  πάλιν ~ἐπ᾽ αὐτὸν~ τεθυμένος εἴη ὁ Ξενοφὼν, ἐξαυλίζεται, etc.
  Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 2, 22: μὴ χρηστηριάζεσθαι τοὺς Ἕλληνας ἐφ᾽
  Ἑλλήνων πολέμῳ,—compare Iliad, vii. 450.

The disposition here adverted to is one of those mental analogies
pervading the whole Hellenic nation, which Herodotus indicates.
And the common habit among all Greeks, of respectfully listening
to the oracle of Delphi, will be found on many occasions useful in
maintaining unanimity among men not accustomed to obey the same
political superior. In the numerous colonies especially, founded
by mixed multitudes from distant parts of Greece, the minds of the
emigrants were greatly determined towards cordial coöperation by
their knowledge that the expedition had been directed, the œkist
indicated, and the spot either chosen or approved, by Apollo of
Delphi. Such in most cases was the fact: that god, according to the
conception of the Greeks, “takes delight always in the foundation of
new cities, and himself in person lays the first stone.”[405]

  [405] Callimach. Hymn. Apoll. 55, with Spanheim’s note; Cicero,
  De Divinat. i. 1.

These are the elements of union—over and above the common territory,
described in the last chapter—with which the historical Hellens
take their start: community of blood, language, religious point of
view, legends, sacrifices, festivals,[406] and also (with certain
allowances) of manners and character. The analogy of manners and
character between the rude inhabitants of the Arcadian Kynætha[407]
and the polite Athens, was indeed accompanied with wide differences:
yet if we compare the two with foreign contemporaries, we shall
find certain negative characteristics, of much importance, common
to both. In no city of historical Greece did there prevail either
human sacrifices,[408]—or deliberate mutilation, such as cutting
off the nose, ears, hands, feet, etc.,—or castration,—or selling
of children into slavery,—or polygamy,—or the feeling of unlimited
obedience towards one man: all customs which might be pointed out as
existing among the contemporary Carthaginians, Egyptians, Persians,
Thracians,[409] etc. The habit of running, wrestling, boxing, etc.,
in gymnastic contests, with the body perfectly naked,—was common to
all Greeks, having been first adopted as a Lacedæmonian fashion in
the fourteenth Olympiad: Thucydidês and Herodotus remark, that it
was not only not practised, but even regarded as unseemly, among
non-Hellens.[410] Of such customs, indeed, at once common to all the
Greeks, and peculiar to them as distinguished from others, we cannot
specify a great number; but we may see enough to convince ourselves
that there did really exist, in spite of local differences, a general
Hellenic sentiment and character, which counted among the cementing
causes of an union apparently so little assured.

  [406] See this point strikingly illustrated by Plato, Repub. v.
  pp. 470-471 (c. 16), and Isocrates, Panegyr. p. 102.

  [407] Respecting the Arcadian Kynætha, see the remarkable
  observations of Polybius iv. 17-23.

  [408] See above, vol. i. ch. vi. p. 126 of this History.

  [409] For examples and evidences of these practices, see Herodot.
  ii. 162; the amputation of the nose and cars of Patarbêmis, by
  Apries, king of Egypt (Xenophon, Anab. i. 9-13). There were a
  large number of men deprived of hands, feet, or eyesight, in
  the satrapy of Cyrus the younger, who had inflicted all these
  severe punishments for the prevention of crime,—he did not (says
  Xenophon) suffer criminals to scoff at him (εἴα καταγελᾷν).
  The ἐκτομὴ was carried on at Sardis (Herodot. iii. 49),—500
  παῖδες ἐκτόμιαι formed a portion of the yearly tribute paid by
  the Babylonians to the court of Susa (Herod. iii. 92). Selling
  of children for exportation by the Thracians (Herod. v. 6);
  there is some trace of this at Athens, prior to the Solonian
  legislation (Plutarch, Solôn, 23), arising probably out of the
  cruel state of the law between debtor and creditor. For the
  sacrifice of children to Kronus by the Carthaginians, in troubled
  times, (according to the language of Ennius, “Pœni soliti suos
  sacrificare puellos,”) Diodor. xx. 14; xiii. 86. Porphyr. de
  Abstinent. ii. 56: the practice is abundantly illustrated in
  Möver’s Die Religion der Phönizier, pp. 298-304.

  Arrian blames Alexander for cutting off the nose and ears of the
  Satrap Bêssus, saying that it was an act altogether barbaric,
  (_i. e._ non-Hellenic,) (Exp. Al. iv. 7, 6.) About the σεβασμὸς
  θεοπρεπὴς περὶ τὸν βασιλέα in Asia, see Strabo, xi. p. 526.

  [410] Thucyd. i. 6: Herodot. i. 10.

For we must recollect that, in respect to political sovereignty,
complete disunion was among their most cherished principles. The
only source of supreme authority to which a Greek felt respect and
attachment, was to be sought within the walls of his own city.
Authority seated in another city might operate upon his fears,—might
procure for him increased security and advantages, as we shall have
occasion hereafter to show with regard to Athens and her subject
allies,—might even be mildly exercised, and inspire no special
aversion: but, still, the principle of it was repugnant to the
rooted sentiment of his mind, and he is always found gravitating
towards the distinct sovereignty of his own boulê, or ekklêsia.
This is a disposition common both to democracies and oligarchies,
and operative even among the different towns belonging to the same
subdivision of the Hellenic name,—Achæans, Phokians, Bœotians, etc.
The twelve Achæan cities are harmonious allies, with a periodical
festival which partakes of the character of a congress,—but equal
and independent political communities: the Bœotian towns, under the
presidency of Thebes, their reputed metropolis, recognize certain
common obligations, and obey, on various particular matters, chosen
officers named bœotarchs,—but we shall see, in this, as in other
cases, the centrifugal tendencies constantly manifesting themselves,
and resisted chiefly by the interests and power of Thebes. That
great, successful, and fortunate revolution, which merged the several
independent political communities of Attica into the single unity
of Athens, took place before the time of authentic history: it is
connected with the name of the hero Theseus, but we know not how it
was effected, while its comparatively large size and extent, render
it a signal exception to Hellenic tendencies generally.

Political disunion—sovereign authority within the city walls—thus
formed a settled maxim in the Greek mind. The relation between one
city and another was an international relation, not a relation
subsisting between members of a common political aggregate. Within
a few miles from his own city-walls, an Athenian found himself in
the territory of another city, wherein he was nothing more than an
alien,—where he could not acquire property in house or land, nor
contract a legal marriage with any native woman, nor sue for legal
protection against injury, except through the mediation of some
friendly citizen. The right of intermarriage, and of acquiring landed
property, was occasionally granted by a city to some individual
non-freeman, as matter of special favor, and sometimes (though very
rarely) reciprocated generally between two separate cities.[411]
But the obligations between one city and another, or between the
citizen of the one and the citizen of the other, are all matters of
special covenant, agreed to by the sovereign authority in each. Such
coexistence of entire political severance with so much fellowship
in other ways, is perplexing in modern ideas, and modern language
is not well furnished with expressions to describe Greek political
phenomena. We may say that an Athenian citizen was an _alien_ when he
arrived as a visitor in Corinth, but we can hardly say that he was
a _foreigner_; and though the relations between Corinth and Athens
were in principle _international_, yet that word would be obviously
unsuitable to the numerous petty autonomies of Hellas, besides that
we require it for describing the relations of Hellenes generally with
Persians or Carthaginians. We are compelled to use a word such as
_interpolitical_, to describe the transactions between separate Greek
cities, so numerous in the course of this history.

  [411] Aristot. Polit. iii. 6, 12. It is unnecessary to refer
  to the many inscriptions which confer upon some individual
  non-freeman the right of ἐπιγαμία and ἔγκτησις.

As, on the one hand, a Greek will not consent to look for sovereign
authority beyond the limits of his own city, so, on the other hand,
he must have a city to look to: scattered villages will not satisfy
in his mind the exigencies of social order, security, and dignity.
Though the coalescence of smaller towns into a larger is repugnant
to his feelings, that of villages into a town appears to him a
manifest advance in the scale of civilization. Such, at least, is the
governing sentiment of Greece throughout the historical period; for
there was always a certain portion of the Hellenic aggregate—the
rudest and least advanced among them—who dwelt in unfortified
villages, and upon whom the citizen of Athens, Corinth, or Thebes,
looked down as inferiors. Such village residence was the character
of the Epirots[412] universally, and prevailed throughout Hellas
itself, in those very early and even ante-Homeric times upon which
Thucydidês looked back as deplorably barbarous;—times of universal
poverty and insecurity,—absence of pacific intercourse,—petty warfare
and plunder, compelling every man to pass his life armed,—endless
migration without any local attachments. Many of the considerable
cities of Greece are mentioned as aggregations of preëxisting
villages, some of them in times comparatively recent. Tegea and
Mantineia in Arcadia, represent, in this way, the confluence of eight
villages, and five villages respectively; Dymê in Achaia was brought
together out of eight villages, and Elis in the same manner, at a
period even later than the Persian invasion;[413] the like seems to
have happened with Megara and Tanagra. A large proportion of the
Arcadians continued their village life down to the time of the battle
of Leuktra, and it suited the purposes of Sparta to keep them thus
disunited; a policy which we shall see hereafter illustrated by the
dismemberment of Mantineia (into its primitive component villages),
which Agesilaus carried into effect, but which was reversed as soon
as the power of Sparta was no longer paramount,—as well as by the
foundation of Megalopolis out of a large number of petty Arcadian
towns and villages, one of the capital measures of Epameinondas.[414]
As this measure was an elevation of Arcadian importance, so the
reverse proceeding—the breaking up of a city into its elementary
villages—was not only a sentence of privation and suffering, but also
a complete extinction of Grecian rank and dignity.

  [412] Skylax, Peripl. c. 28-33; Thucyd. ii. 80. See Dio
  Chrysostom, Or. xlvii. p. 225, vol. ii. ed. Reisk,—μᾶλλον ἠροῦντο
  διοικεσῖσθαι κατὰ κώμας, τοῖς βαρβάροις ὁμοίους, ἢ σχῆμα πόλεως
  καὶ ὄνομα ἔχειν.

  [413] Strabo, viii. pp. 337, 342, 386; Pausan. viii. 45, 1;
  Plutarch, Quæst. Græc. c. 17-37.

  [414] Pausan. viii. 27, 2-5; Diod. xv. 72: compare Arist. Polit.
  ii. 1, 5.

  The description of the διοίκισις of Mantineia is in Xenophon,
  Hellen. v. 2, 6-8: it is a flagrant example of his philo-Laconian
  bias. We see by the case of the Phokians after the Sacred War,
  (Diodor. xvi. 60; Pausan. x. 3, 2,) how heavy a punishment
  this διοίκισις was. Compare, also, the instructive speech of
  the Akanthian envoy Kleigenês, at Sparta, when he invoked
  the Lacedæmonian interference for the purpose of crushing
  the incipient federation, or junction of towns into a common
  political aggregate, which was growing up round Olynthus (Xen.
  Hellen. v. 2, 11-2). The wise and admirable conduct of Olynthus,
  and the reluctance of the neighboring cities to merge themselves
  in this union, are forcibly set forth; also, the interest of
  Sparta in keeping all the Greek towns disunited. Compare the
  description of the treatment of Capua by the Romans (Livy, xxvi.

The Ozolian Lokrians, the Ætolians, and the Akarnanians maintained
their separate village residence down to a still later period,
preserving along with it their primitive rudeness and disorderly
pugnacity.[415] Their villages were unfortified, and defended only
by comparative inaccessibility; in case of need, they fled for
safety with their cattle into the woods and mountains. Amidst such
inauspicious circumstances, there was no room for that expansion
of the social and political feelings to which protected intramural
residence and increased numbers gave birth; there was no consecrated
acropolis or agora,—no ornamented temples and porticos, exhibiting
the continued offerings of successive generations,[416]—no theatre
for music or recitation, no gymnasium for athletic exercises,—none
of those fixed arrangements, for transacting public business with
regularity and decorum, which the Greek citizen, with his powerful
sentiment of locality, deemed essential to a dignified existence.
The village was nothing more than a fraction and a subordinate,
appertaining as a limb to the organized body called the city. But
the city and the state are in his mind, and in his language, one
and the same. While no organization less than the city can satisfy
the exigencies[417] of an intelligent freeman, the city is itself a
perfect and self-sufficient whole, admitting no incorporation into
any higher political unity. It deserves notice that Sparta, even
in the days of her greatest power, was not (properly speaking) a
city, but a mere agglutination of five adjacent villages, retaining
unchanged its old-fashioned trim: for the extreme defensibility of
its frontier and the military prowess of its inhabitants, supplied
the absence of walls, while the discipline imposed upon the Spartan,
exceeded in rigor and minuteness anything known in Greece. And thus
Sparta, though less than a city in respect to external appearance,
was more than a city in respect to perfection of drilling and fixity
of political routine. The contrast between the humble appearance
and the mighty reality, is pointed out by Thucydides.[418] The
inhabitants of the small territory of Pisa, wherein Olympia is
situated, had once enjoyed the honorable privilege of administering
the Olympic festival. Having been robbed of it, and subjected by the
more powerful Eleians, they took advantage of various movements and
tendencies among the larger Grecian powers to try and regain it; and
on one of these occasions, we find their claim repudiated because
they were villagers, and unworthy of so great a distinction.[419]
There was nothing to be called a city in the Pisatid territory.

  [415] Thucyd. i. 5; iii. 94. Xenoph. Hellen. iv. 6, 5.

  [416] Pausanias, x. 4, 1: his remarks on the Phokian πόλις
  Panopeus indicate what he included in the idea of a πόλις: εἴγε
  ὀνομάσαι τις πόλιν καὶ τούτους, οἷς γε οὐκ ἀρχεῖα, οὐ γυμνάσιόν
  ἐστιν· οὐ θέατρον, οὐκ ἀγορὰν ἔχουσιν, οὐχ ὕδωρ κατερχόμενον ἐς
  κρήνην· ἀλλὰ ἐν στέγαις κοίλαις κατὰ τὰς καλύβας μάλιστα τὰς ἐν
  τοῖς ὄρεσιν, ἐνταῦθα οἰκοῦσιν ἐπὶ χαράδρᾳ. ὅμως δὲ ὅροι γε τῆς
  χώρας εἰσὶν αὐτοῖς ἐς τοὺς ὁμόρους, καὶ ἐς τὸν σύλλογον συνέδρους
  καὶ οὗτοι πέμπουσι τὸν Φωκικόν.

  The μικρὰ πολίσματα of the Pelasgians on the peninsula of Mount
  Athôs (Thucyd. iv. 109) seem to have been something between
  villages and cities. When the Phokians, after the Sacred War,
  were deprived of their cities and forced into villages by the
  Amphiktyons, the order was that no village should contain more
  than fifty houses, and that no village should be within the
  distance of a furlong of any other (Diodor. xvi. 60).

  [417] Aristot. Polit. i. 1, 8. ἡ δ᾽ ἐκ πλείονων κωμῶν κοινωνία
  τέλειος πόλις ἡ δὴ πάσης ἔχουσα πέρας τῆς αὐταρκείας. Compare
  also iii. 6, 14; and Plato, Legg. viii. p. 848.

  [418] Thucyd. i. 10. οὔτε ξυνοικισθείσης πόλεως, οὔτε ἱεροῖς καὶ
  κατασκευαῖς πολυτελέσι χρησαμένης, κατὰ κώμας δὲ τῷ παλαιῷ τῆς
  Ἑλλάδος τρόπῳ οἰκισθείσης, φαίνοιτ᾽ ἂν ὑποδεεστέρα.

  [419] Xenophon, Hellen. iii. 2, 31.

In going through historical Greece, we are compelled to accept
the Hellenic aggregate with its constituent elements as a primary
fact to start from, because the state of our information does not
enable us to ascend any higher. By what circumstances, or out of
what preëxisting elements, this aggregate was brought together
and modified, we find no evidence entitled to credit. There are,
indeed, various names which are affirmed to designate ante-Hellenic
inhabitants of many parts of Greece,—the Pelasgi, the Leleges,
the Kurêtes, the Kaukônes, the Aones, the Temmikes, the Hyantes,
the Telchines, the Bœotian Thracians, the Teleboæ, the Ephyri,
the Phlegyæ, etc. These are names belonging to legendary, not
to historical Greece,—extracted out of a variety of conflicting
legends, by the logographers and subsequent historians, who strung
together out of them a supposed history of the past, at a time when
the conditions of historical evidence were very little understood.
That these names designated real nations, may be true, but here our
knowledge ends. We have no well-informed witness to tell us their
times, their limits of residence, their acts, or their character;
nor do we know how far they are identical with or diverse from
the historical Hellens,—whom we are warranted in calling, not,
indeed, the first inhabitants of the country, but the first known
to us upon any tolerable evidence. If any man is inclined to
call the unknown ante-Hellenic period of Greece by the name of
Pelasgic, it is open to him to do so; but this is a name carrying
with it no assured predicates, noway enlarging our insight into
real history, nor enabling us to explain—what would be the real
historical problem—how or from whom the Hellens acquired that stock
of dispositions, aptitudes, arts, etc., with which they begin their
career. Whoever has examined the many conflicting systems respecting
the Pelasgi,—from the literal belief of Clavier, Larcher, and Raoul
Rochette, (which appears to me, at least, the most consistent
way of proceeding,) to the interpretative and half-incredulous
processes applied by abler men, such as Niebuhr, or O. Müller, or Dr.
Thirlwall,[420]—will not be displeased with my resolution to decline
so insoluble a problem. No attested facts are now present to us—none
were present to Herodotus and Thucydidês, even in their age—on which
to build trustworthy affirmations respecting the ante-Hellenic
Pelasgians. And where such is the case, we may without impropriety
apply the remark of Herodotus, respecting one of the theories which
he had heard for explaining the inundation of the Nile by a supposed
connection with the circumfluous Ocean,—that “the man who carries
up his story into the invisible world, passes out of the range of

  [420] Larcher, Chronologie d’Hérodote, ch. viii. pp. 215, 274;
  Raoul Rochette, Histoire des Colonies Grecques, book i. ch.
  5; Niebuhr, Römische Geschichte, vol. i. pp. 26-64, 2d ed.
  (the section entitled Die Oenotrer und Pelasger); O. Müller,
  Die Etrusker, vol. i. (Einleitung, ch. ii. pp. 75-100); Dr.
  Thirlwall, History of Greece, vol. i. ch. ii. pp. 36-64. The
  dissentient opinions of Kruse and Mannert may be found in Kruse,
  Hellas, vol. i. pp. 398-425; Mannert, Geographie der Griechen und
  Römer, part viii. Introduct. p. 4, _seqq._

  Niebuhr puts together all the mythical and genealogical traces,
  many of them in the highest degree vague and equivocal, of the
  existence of Pelasgi in various localities; and then, summing
  up their cumulative effect, asserts (“not as an hypothesis, but
  with full historical conviction,” p. 54) “that there was a time
  when the Pelasgians, perhaps the most extended people in all
  Europe, were spread from the Po and the Arno to the Rhyndakus,”
  (near Kyzikus,) with only an interruption in Thrace. What is
  perhaps the most remarkable of all, is the contrast between his
  feeling of disgust, despair, and aversion to the subject, when he
  begins the inquiry (“_the name Pelasgi_,” he says, “_is odious
  to the historian, who hates the spurious philology out of which
  the pretences to knowledge on the subject of such extinct people
  arise_,” p. 28), and the full confidence and satisfaction with
  which he concludes it.

  [421] Herodot. ii. 23: Ὁ δὲ περὶ τοῦ Ὠκεάνου εἴπας, ἐς ἀφανὲς τὸν
  μῦθον ἀνενείκας, οὐκ ἔχει ἔλεγχον.

As far as our knowledge extends, there were no towns or villages
called Pelasgian, in Greece proper, since 776 B. C. But there still
existed in two different places, even in the age of Herodotus, people
whom he believed to be Pelasgians. One portion of these occupied the
towns of Plakia and Skylakê near Kyzikus, on the Propontis; another
dwelt in a town called Krêstôn, near the Thermaic gulf.[422] There
were, moreover, certain other Pelasgian townships which he does not
specify,—it seems, indeed, from Thucydides, that there were some
little Pelasgian townships on the peninsula of Athos.[423] Now,
Herodotus acquaints us with the remarkable fact, that the people
of Krêstôn, those of Plakia and Skylakê, and those of the other
unnamed Pelasgian townships, all spoke the same language, and each of
them respectively a different language from their neighbors around
them. He informs us, moreover, that their language was a barbarous
(_i. e._ a non-Hellenic) language; and this fact he quotes as an
evidence to prove that the ancient Pelasgian language was a barbarous
language, or distinct from the Hellenic. He at the same time states
expressly that he has no positive knowledge what language the ancient
Pelasgians spoke,—one proof, among others, that no memorials nor
means of distinct information concerning that people, could have been
open to him.

  [422] That Krêstôn is the proper reading in Herodotus, there
  seems every reason to believe—not Krotôn, as Dionys. Hal.
  represents it (Ant. Rom. i. 26)—in spite of the authority of
  Niebuhr in favor of the latter.

  [423] Thucyd. iv. 109. Compare the new Fragmenta of Strabo, lib.
  vii. edited from the Vatican MS. by Kramer, and since by Tafel
  (Tübingen, 1844), sect. 34, p. 26,—ᾤκησαν δὲ τὴν Χεῤῥόνησον
  ταύτην τῶν ἐκ Λήμνου Πελασγῶν τινες, εἰς πέντε διῃρήμενοι
  πολίσματα· Κλεωνὰς, Ὀλόφυχον, Ἀκροθώους, Δῖον, Θύσσον.

This is the one single fact, amidst so many conjectures concerning
the Pelasgians, which we can be said to know upon the testimony of
a competent and contemporary witness: the few townships—scattered
and inconsiderable, but all that Herodotus in his day knew as
Pelasgian—spoke a barbarous language. And upon such a point, he must
be regarded as an excellent judge. If, then, (infers the historian,)
all the early Pelasgians spoke the same language as those of Krêstôn
and Plakia, they must have changed their language at the time when
they passed into the Hellenic aggregate, or became Hellens. Now,
Herodotus conceives that aggregate to have been gradually enlarged
to its great actual size by incorporating with itself not only the
Pelasgians, but several other nations once barbarians;[424] the
Hellens having been originally an inconsiderable people. Among those
other nations once barbarian, whom Herodotus supposes to have become
Hellenized, we may probably number the Leleges; and with respect to
them, as well as to the Pelasgians, we have contemporary testimony
proving the existence of barbarian Leleges in later times. Philippus,
the Karian historian, attested the present existence, and believed in
the past existence, of Leleges in his country, as serfs or dependent
cultivators under the Karians, analogous to the Helots in Laconia,
or the Penestæ in Thessaly.[425] We may be very sure that there were
no Hellens—no men speaking the Hellenic tongue—standing in such a
relation to the Karians. Among those many barbaric-speaking nations
whom Herodotus believed to have changed their language and passed
into Hellens, we may, therefore, fairly consider the Leleges to have
been included. For next to the Pelasgians and Pelasgus, the Leleges
and Lelex figure most conspicuously in the legendary genealogies; and
both together cover the larger portion of the Hellenic soil.

  [424] Herod. i. 57. προσκεχωρηκότων αὐτῷ καὶ ἄλλων ἐθνέων
  βαρβάρων συχνῶν.

  [425] Athenæ. vi. p. 271. Φίλιππος ἐν τῷ περὶ Καρῶν καὶ Λελέγων
  συγγράμματι, καταλέξας τοὺς Λακεδαιμονίων Εἵλωτας καὶ τοὺς
  Θετταλικοὺς πενέστας, καὶ Κᾶράς φησι τοῖς Λέλεξιν ὡς οἰκέταις
  χρήσασθαι ~πάλαι τε καὶ νῦν~.

Confining myself to historical evidence, and believing that no
assured results can be derived from the attempt to transform legend
into history, I accept the statement of Herodotus with confidence, as
to the barbaric language spoken by the Pelasgians of his day; and I
believe the same with regard to the historical Leleges,—but without
presuming to determine anything in regard to the legendary Pelasgians
and Leleges, the supposed ante-Hellenic inhabitants of Greece. And I
think this course more consonant to the laws of historical inquiry
than that which comes recommended by the high authority of Dr.
Thirlwall, who softens and explains away the statement of Herodotus,
until it is made to mean only that the Pelasgians of Plakia and
Krêstôn spoke a very bad Greek. The affirmation of Herodotus is
distinct, and twice repeated, that the Pelasgians of these towns,
and of his own time, spoke a barbaric language; and that word
appears to me to admit of but one interpretation.[426] To suppose
that a man, who, like Herodotus, had heard almost every variety of
Greek, in the course of his long travels, as well as Egyptian,
Phœnician, Assyrian, Lydian, and other languages, did not know how
to distinguish bad Hellenic from non-Hellenic, is, in my judgment,
inadmissible; at any rate, the supposition is not to be adopted
without more cogent evidence than any which is here found.

  [426] Herod, i. 57. Ἥντινα δὲ γλῶσσαν ἴεσαν οἱ Πελασγοὶ, οὐκ ἔχω
  ἀτρεκέως εἶπαι. εἰ δὲ χρεών ἐστι τεκμαιρόμενοις λέγειν τοῖσι νῦν
  ἔτι ἐοῦσι Πελασγῶν, τῶν ὑπὲρ Τυρσηνῶν Κρηστῶνα πόλιν οἰκεόντων
  ... καὶ τὴν Πλακιήν τε καὶ Σκυλάκην Πελασγῶν οἰκισάντων ἐν
  Ἑλλησπόντῳ ... καὶ ὅσα ἄλλα Πελασγικὰ ἐόντα πολίσματα τὸ οὔνομα
  μετέβαλε· εἰ τουτοῖσι δεῖ λέγειν, ἦσαν οἱ Πελασγοὶ βάρβαρον
  γλῶσσαν ἱέντες. Εἰ τοίνυν ἦν καὶ πᾶν τοιοῦτο τὸ Πελασγικὸν, τὸ
  Ἀττικὸν ἔθνος, ἐὸν Πελασγικὸν ἅμα τῇ μεταβολῇ τῇ ἐς Ἕλληνας καὶ
  τὴν γλῶσσαν μετέμαθε· καὶ γὰρ δὴ οὔτε οἱ Κρηστωνιῆται οὐδάμοισι
  τῶν νῦν σφέας περιοικεόντων εἰσὶ ὁμόγλωσσοι, οὔτε οἱ Πλακιηνοί·
  σφίσι δὲ, ὁμόγλωσσοι. δηλοῦσι δὲ, ὅτι τὸν ἠνείκαντο ~γλώσσης
  χαρακτῆρα~ μεταβαίνοντες ἐς ταῦτα τὰ χωρία, τοῦτον ἔχουσι ἐν

  In the next chapter, Herodotus again calls the Pelasgian nation

  Respecting this language, heard by Herodotus at Krêstôn and
  Plakia, Dr. Thirlwall observes (chap. ii. p. 60), “This language
  Herodotus describes as barbarous, and it is on this fact he
  grounds his general conclusion as to the ancient Pelasgian
  tongue. But he has not entered into any details that might
  have served to ascertain the manner or degree in which it
  differed from the Greek. Still, the expressions he uses would
  have appeared to imply that it was essentially foreign, had he
  not spoken quite as strongly in another passage, where it is
  impossible to ascribe a similar meaning to his words. When he
  is enumerating the dialects that prevailed among the Ionian
  Greeks, he observes that the Ionian cities in Lydia agree not
  at all in their tongue with those of Karia; and he applies the
  very same term to these dialects, which he had before used in
  speaking of the remains of the Pelasgian language. This passage
  affords a measure by which we may estimate the force of the word
  _barbarian_ in the former. Nothing more can be safely inferred
  from it, than that the Pelasgian language which Herodotus heard
  on the Hellespont, and elsewhere, sounded to him a strange
  jargon: as did the dialect of Ephesus to a Milesian, and as
  the Bolognese does to a Florentine. This fact leaves its real
  nature and relation to the Greek quite uncertain; and we are the
  less justified in building on it, as the history of Pelasgian
  settlements is extremely obscure, and the traditions which
  Herodotus reports on that subject have by no means equal weight
  with statements made from his personal observation.” (Thirlwall,
  History of Greece, ch. ii. p. 60, 2d edit.)

  In the statement delivered by Herodotus (to which Dr. Thirlwall
  here refers) about the language spoken in the Ionic Greek cities,
  the historian had said (i. 142),—Γλῶσσαν δὲ οὐ τὴν αὐτὴν οὗτοι
  νενομίκασι, ἀλλὰ τρόπους τέσσερας παραγωγέων. Miletus, Myus, and
  Priêne,—ἐν τῇ Καρίῃ κατοίκηνται κατὰ ταὐτὰ διαλεγόμεναί σφι.
  Ephesus, Kolophon, etc.,—αὐται αἱ πόλιες τῇσι πρότερον λεχθείσῃσι
  ὁμολογέουσι κατὰ γλῶσσαν οὐδὲν, σφὶ δὲ ὁμοφωνέουσι. The Chians
  and Erythræans,—κατὰ τὠϋτὸ διαλέγονται, Σάμιοι δὲ ἐπ᾽ ἑωϋτῶν
  μοῦνοι. Οὗτοι χαρακτῆρες γλώσσης τέσσερες γίγνονται.

  The words γλώσσης χαρακτὴρ (“distinctive mode of speech”) are
  common to both these passages, but their meaning in the one and
  in the other is to be measured by reference to the subject-matter
  of which the author is speaking, as well as to the words which
  accompany them,—especially the word βάρβαρος in the first
  passage. Nor can I think (with Dr. Thirlwall) that the meaning of
  βάρβαρος is to be determined by reference to the other two words:
  the reverse is, in my judgment, correct. Βάρβαρος is a term
  definite and unequivocal, but γλώσσης χαρακτὴρ varies according
  to the comparison which you happen at the moment to be making,
  and its meaning is here determined by its conjunction with

  When Herodotus was speaking of the twelve Ionic cities in Asia,
  he might properly point out the differences of speech among them
  as so many different χαρακτῆρες γλώσσης: the limits of difference
  were fixed by the knowledge which his hearers possessed of
  the persons about whom he was speaking; the Ionians being all
  notoriously Hellens. So an author, describing Italy, might say
  that Bolognese, Romans, Neapolitans, Genoese, etc. had different
  χαρακτῆρες γλώσσης; it being understood that the difference was
  such as might subsist among persons all Italians.

  But there is also a χαρακτῆρ γλώσσης of Greek generally
  (abstraction made of its various dialects and diversities), as
  contrasted with Persian, Phœnician, or Latin,—and of Italian
  generally, as contrasted with German or English. It is this
  comparison which Herodotus is taking, when he describes the
  language spoken by the people of Krêstôn and Plakia, and which
  he notes by the word βάρβαρον as opposed to Ἑλληνικόν: it is
  with reference to this comparison that χαρακτῆρ γλώσσης, in the
  fifty-seventh chapter, is to be construed. The word βάρβαρος is
  the usual and recognized antithesis of Ἕλλην, or Ἑλληνικός.

  It is not the least remarkable part of the statement of
  Herodotus, that the language spoken at Krêstôn and at Plakia
  was the same, though the places were so far apart from each
  other. This identity of itself shows that he meant to speak of a
  substantive language, not of a “strange jargon.”

  I think it, therefore, certain that Herodotus pronounces the
  Pelasgians of his day to speak a substantive language different
  from Greek; but whether differing from it in a greater or less
  degree (_e. g._ in the degree of Latin or of Phœnician), we have
  no means of deciding.

As I do not presume to determine what were the antecedent internal
elements out of which the Hellenic aggregate was formed, so I
confess myself equally uninformed with regard to its external
constituents. Kadmus, Danaus, Kekrops,—the eponyms of the Kadmeians,
of the Danaans, and of the Attic Kekropia,—present themselves to my
vision as creatures of legend, and in that character I have already
adverted to them. That there may have been very early settlements in
continental Greece, from Phœnicia and Egypt, is nowise impossible;
but I see neither positive proof, nor ground for probable inference,
that there were any such, though traces of Phœnician settlements
in some of the islands may doubtless be pointed out. And if we
examine the character and aptitudes of Greeks, as compared either
with Egyptians or Phœnicians, it will appear that there is not only
no analogy, but an obvious and fundamental contrast: the Greek
may occasionally be found as a borrower from these ultramarine
contemporaries, but he cannot be looked upon as their offspring or
derivative. Nor can I bring myself to accept an hypothesis which
implies (unless we are to regard the supposed foreign emigrants
as very few in number, in which case the question loses most of
its importance) that the Hellenic language—the noblest among the
many varieties of human speech, and possessing within itself a
pervading symmetry and organization—is a mere confluence of two
foreign barbaric languages (Phœnician and Egyptian) with two or more
internal barbaric languages,—Pelasgian, Lelegian, etc. In the mode
of investigation pursued by different historians into this question
of early foreign colonies, there is great difference (as in the case
of the Pelasgi) between the different authors,—from the acquiescent
Euemerism of Raoul Rochette to the refined distillation of Dr.
Thirlwall, in the third chapter of his History. It will be found that
the amount of positive knowledge which Dr. Thirlwall guarantees to
his readers in that chapter is extremely inconsiderable; for though
he proceeds upon the general theory (different from that which I
hold) that historical matter may be distinguished and elicited from
the legends, yet when the question arises respecting any definite
historical result, his canon of credibility is too just to permit him
to overlook the absence of positive evidence, even when all intrinsic
incredibility is removed. That which I note as Terra Incognita, is in
his view a land which may be known up to a certain point; but the map
which he draws of it contains so few ascertained places as to differ
very little from absolute vacuity.

The most ancient district called Hellas is affirmed by Aristotle to
have been near Dôdôna and the river Achelôus,—a description which
would have been unintelligible (since the river does not flow near
Dôdôna), if it had not been qualified by the remark, that the river
had often in former times changed its course. He states, moreover,
that the deluge of Deukaliôn took place chiefly in this district,
which was in those early days inhabited by the Selli, and by the
people then called Græci, but now Hellenes.[427] The Selli (called
by Pindar, Helli) are mentioned in the Iliad as the ministers of the
Dodonæan Zeus,—“men who slept on the ground, and never washed their
feet;” and Hesiod, in one of the lost poems (the Eoiai), speaks of
the fat land and rich pastures of the land called Hellopia, wherein
Dôdôna was situated.[428] On what authority Aristotle made his
statement, we do not know; but the general feeling of the Greeks was
different,—connecting Deukaliôn, Hellen, and the Hellenes, primarily
and specially with the territory called Achaia Phthiôtis, between
Mount Othrys and Œta. Nor can we either affirm or deny his assertion
that the people in the neighborhood of Dôdôna were called Græci
before they were called Hellenes. There is no ascertained instance
of the mention of a people called Græci, in any author earlier than
this Aristotelian treatise; for the allusions to Alkman and Sophoklês
prove nothing to the point.[429] Nor can we explain how it came
to pass that the Hellenes were known to the Romans only under the
name of Græci, or Graii. But the name by which a people is known to
foreigners is often completely different from its own domestic name,
and we are not less at a loss to assign the reason, how the Rasena
of Etruria came to be known to the Romans by the name of Tuscans, or

  [427] Aristotel. Meteorol. i. 14.

  [428] Homer, Iliad, xvi. 234; Hesiod, Fragm. 149, ed.
  Marktscheffel; Sophokl. Trachin. 1174; Strabo, vii. p. 328.

  [429] Stephan. Byz. v. Γραικὸς.—Γραῖκες δὲ παρὰ τῷ Ἀλκμᾶνι αἱ
  τῶν Ἑλλήνων μητέρες, καὶ παρὰ Σοφοκλεῖ ἐν Ποίμεσιν. ἐστὶ δὲ
  μεταπλασμὸς, ἢ τῆς Γραὶξ εὐθείας κλίσις ἐστίν.

  The word Γραῖκες, in Alkman, meaning “the mothers of the
  Hellenes,” may well be only a dialectic variety of γρᾶες,
  analogous to κλᾲξ and ὄρνιξ, for κλεὶς, ὄρνις, etc. (Ahrens, De
  Dialecto Doricâ, sect. 11, p. 91; and sect. 31, p. 242), perhaps
  declined like γυναῖκες.

  The term used by Sophoklês, if we may believe Photius, was not
  Γραικὸς, but Ῥαικός (Photius, p. 480, 15; Dindorf, Fragment.
  Soph. 933: compare 455). Eustathius (p. 890) seems undecided
  between the two.



Having in the preceding chapter touched upon the Greeks in their
aggregate capacity, I now come to describe separately the portions
of which this aggregate consisted, as they present themselves at the
first discernible period of history.

It has already been mentioned that the twelve races or subdivisions,
members of what is called the Amphiktyonic convocation, were as

North of the pass of Thermopylæ,—Thessalians, Perrhæbians, Magnêtes,
Achæans, Melians, Ænianes, Dolopes.

South of the pass of Thermopylæ,—Dorians, Ionians, Bœotians,
Lokrians, Phokians.

Other Hellenic races, not comprised among the Amphiktyons, were—

The Ætolians and Akarnanians, north of the gulf of Corinth.

The Arcadians, Eleians, Pisatans, and Triphylians, in the central and
western portion of Peloponnêsus: I do not here name the Achæans, who
occupied the southern or Peloponnesian coast of the Corinthian gulf,
because they may be presumed to have been originally of the same race
as the Phthiot Achæans, and therefore participant in the Amphiktyonic
constituency, though their actual connection with it may have been

The Dryopes, an inconsiderable, but seemingly peculiar subdivision,
who occupied some scattered points on the sea-coast,—Hermionê on
the Argolic peninsula; Styrus and Karystus in Eubœa; the island of
Kythnus, etc.

Though it may be said, in a general way, that our historical
discernment of the Hellenic aggregate, apart from the illusions of
legend, commences with 776 B. C., yet, with regard to the larger
number of its subdivisions just enumerated, we can hardly be said to
possess any specific facts anterior to the invasion of Xerxes in 480
B. C. Until the year 560 B. C., (the epoch of Crœsus in Asia Minor,
and of Peisistratus at Athens,) the history of the Greeks presents
hardly anything of a collective character: the movements of each
portion of the Hellenic world begin and end apart from the rest. The
destruction of Kirrha by the Amphiktyons is the first historical
incident which brings into play, in defence of the Delphian temple, a
common Hellenic feeling of active obligation.

But about 560 B. C., two important changes are seen to come into
operation, which alter the character of Grecian history,—extricating
it out of its former chaos of detail, and centralizing its isolated
phenomena: 1. The subjugation of the Asiatic Greeks by Lydia and
by Persia, followed by their struggles for emancipation,—wherein
the European Greeks became implicated, first as accessories, and
afterwards as principals. 2. The combined action of the large mass of
Greeks under Sparta, as their most powerful state and acknowledged
chief, succeeded by the rapid and extraordinary growth of Athens,
the complete development of Grecian maritime power, and the struggle
between Athens and Sparta for the headship. These two causes, though
distinct in themselves, must, nevertheless, be regarded as working
together to a certain degree,—or rather, the second grew out of the
first. For it was the Persian invasions of Greece which first gave
birth to a wide-spread alarm and antipathy among the leading Greeks
(we must not call it Pan-Hellenic, since more than half of the
Amphiktyonic constituency gave earth and water to Xerxes) against
the barbarians of the East, and impressed them with the necessity
of joint active operations under a leader. The idea of a leadership
or hegemony of collective Hellas, as a privilege necessarily vested
in some one state for common security against the barbarians, thus
became current,—an idea foreign to the mind of Solôn, or any one
of the same age. Next, came the miraculous development of Athens,
and the violent contest between her and Sparta, which should be
the leader; the larger portion of Hellas taking side with one or
the other, and the common quarrel against the Persian being for
the time put out of sight. Athens is put down, Sparta acquires the
undisputed hegemony, and again the anti-barbaric feeling manifests
itself, though faintly, in the Asiatic expeditions of Agesilaus.
But the Spartans, too incompetent either to deserve or maintain
this exalted position, are overthrown by the Thebans,—themselves
not less incompetent, with the single exception of Epameinondas.
The death of that single man extinguishes the pretensions of Thebes
to the hegemony, and Hellas is left, like the deserted Penelopê in
the Odyssey, worried by the competition of several suitors, none
of whom is strong enough to stretch the bow on which the prize
depends.[430] Such a manifestation of force, as well as the trampling
down of the competing suitors, is reserved, not for any legitimate
Hellenic arm, but for a semi-Hellenized[431] Macedonian, “brought
up at Pella,” and making good his encroachments gradually from the
north of Olympus. The hegemony of Greece thus passes forever out of
Grecian hands; but the conqueror finds his interest in rekindling
the old sentiment under the influence of which it had first sprung
up. He binds to him the discordant Greeks, by the force of their
ancient and common antipathy against the Great King, until the
desolation and sacrilege once committed by Xerxes at Athens is
avenged by annihilation of the Persian empire. And this victorious
consummation of Pan-Hellenic antipathy,—the dream of Xenophon[432]
and the Ten Thousand Greeks after the battle of Kunaxa,—the hope of
Jason of Pheræ,—the exhortation of Isokratês,[433]—the project of
Philip, and the achievement of Alexander,—while it manifests the
irresistible might of Hellenic ideas and organization in the then
existing state of the world, is at the same time the closing scene
of substantive Grecian life. The citizen-feelings of Greece become
afterwards merely secondary forces, subordinate to the preponderance
of Greek mercenaries under Macedonian order, and to the rudest of all
native Hellens,—the Ætolian mountaineers. Some few individuals are
indeed found, even in the third century B. C., worthy of the best
times of Hellas, and the Achæan confederation of that century is an
honorable attempt to contend against irresistible difficulties: but
on the whole, that free, social, and political march, which gives so
much interest to the earlier centuries, is irrevocably banished from
Greece after the generation of Alexander the Great.

  [430] Xenophon, Hellen. vii. 5, 27; Demosthenes, De Coron. c. 7,
  p. 231—ἀλλά τις ἦν ἄκριτος καὶ παρὰ τούτοις καὶ παρὰ τοῖς ἄλλοις
  Ἕλλησιν ἔρις καὶ ταπαχή.

  [431] Demosthen. de Coron. c. 21, p. 247.

  [432] Xenophon, Anabas. iii. 2, 25-26.

  [433] Xenophon, Hellen. vi. 1, 12; Isocrates, Orat. ad Philipp.,
  Orat. v. p. 107. This discourse of Isokratês is composed
  expressly for the purpose of calling on Philip to put himself at
  the head of united Greece against the Persians: the Oratio iv,
  called Panegyrica, recommends a combination of all Greeks for the
  same purpose, but under the hegemony of Athens, putting aside all
  intestine differences: see Orat. iv. pp. 45-68.

The foregoing brief sketch will show that, taking the period from
Crœsus and Peisistratus down to the generation of Alexander (560-300
B. C.), the phenomena of Hellas generally, and her relations
both foreign and interpolitical, admit of being grouped together
in masses, with continued dependence on one or a few predominant
circumstances. They may be said to constitute a sort of historical
epopee, analogous to that which Herodotus has constructed out of
the wars between Greeks and barbarians, from the legends of Iô and
Eurôpa down to the repulse of Xerxes. But when we are called back to
the period between 776 and 560 B. C., the phenomena brought to our
knowledge are scanty in number,—exhibiting few common feelings or
interests, and no tendency towards any one assignable purpose. To
impart attraction to this first period, so obscure and unpromising,
we shall be compelled to consider it in its relation with the second;
partly as a preparation, partly as a contrast.

Of the extra-Peloponnesian Greeks north of Attica, during these two
centuries, we know absolutely nothing; but it will be possible to
furnish some information respecting the early condition and struggles
of the great Dorian states in Peloponnesus, and respecting the rise
of Sparta from the second to the first place in the comparative
scale of Grecian powers. Athens becomes first known to us at the
legislation of Drako and the attempt of Kylôn (620 B. C.) to make
himself despot; and we gather some facts concerning the Ionic
cities in Eubœa and Asia Minor, during the century of their chief
prosperity, prior to the reign and conquests of Crœsus. In this
way, we shall form to ourselves some idea of the growth of Sparta
and Athens,—of the short-lived and energetic development of the
Ionic Greeks,—and of the slow working of those causes which tended
to bring about increased Hellenic intercommunication,—as contrasted
with the enlarged range of ambition, the grand Pan-Hellenic ideas,
the systematized party-antipathies, and the intensified action, both
abroad and at home, which grew out of the contest with Persia.

There are also two or three remarkable manifestations which will
require special notice during this first period of Grecian history:
1. The great multiplicity of colonies sent forth by individual
cities, and the rise and progress of these several colonies; 2. The
number of despots who arose in the various Grecian cities; 3. The
lyric poetry; 4. The rudiments of that which afterwards ripened into
moral philosophy, as manifested in gnomes, or aphorisms,—or the age
of the Seven Wise Men.

But before I proceed to relate those earliest proceedings
(unfortunately too few) of the Dorians and Ionians during the
historical period, together with the other matters just alluded to,
it will be convenient to go over the names and positions of those
other Grecian states respecting which we have no information during
these first two centuries. Some idea will thus be formed of the less
important members of the Hellenic aggregate, previous to the time
when they will be called into action. We begin by the territory north
of the pass of Thermopylæ.

Of the different races who dwelt between this celebrated pass and the
mouth of the river Peneius, by far the most powerful and important
were the Thessalians. Sometimes, indeed, the whole of this area
passes under the name of Thessaly,—since nominally, though not always
really, the power of the Thessalians extended over the whole. We
know that the Trachinian Herakleia, founded by the Lacedæmonians
in the early years of the Peloponnesian war, close at the pass of
Thermopylæ, was planted upon the territory of the Thessalians.[434]
But there were also within these limits other races, inferior and
dependent on the Thessalians, yet said to be of more ancient date,
and certainly not less genuine subdivisions of the Hellenic name.
The Perrhæbi[435] occupied the northern portion of the territory
between the lower course of the river Peneius and Mount Olympus.
The Magnêtes[436] dwelt along the eastern coast, between Mount Ossa
and Pelion on one side and the Ægean on the other, comprising the
south-eastern cape and the eastern coast of the gulf of Pagasæ as
far as Iôlkos. The Achæans occupied the territory called Phthiôtis,
extending from near Mount Pindus on the west to the gulf of Pagasæ on
the east,[437]—along the mountain chain of Othrys with its lateral
projections northerly into the Thessalian plain, and southerly even
to its junction with Œta. The three tribes of the Malians dwelt
between Achæa Phthiôtis and Thermopylæ, including both Trachin and
Herakleia. Westward of Achæa Phthiôtis, the lofty region of Pindus
or Tymphrêstus, with its declivities both westward and eastward, was
occupied by the Dolopes.

  [434] Thucyd. iii. 93. Οἱ Θεσσαλοὶ ἐν δυνάμει ὄντες τῶν ταύτῃ
  χωρίων, καὶ ὧν ἐπὶ τῇ γῇ ἐκτίζετο (Herakleia), etc.

  [435] Herodot. vii. 173; Strabo, ix. pp. 440-441. Herodotus
  notices the pass over the chain of Olympus or the Cambunian
  mountains by which Xerxes and his army passed out of Macedonia
  into Perrhæbia; see the description of the pass and the
  neighboring country in Leake, Travels in Northern Greece, ch.
  xxviii. vol. iii. pp. 338-348; compare Livy, xlii. 53.

  [436] Skylax, Periplus, c. 66; Herodot. vii. 183-188.

  [437] Skylax, Peripl. c. 64; Strabo, ix. pp. 433-434. Sophoklês
  included the territory of Trachin in the limits of Phthiôtis
  (Strabo, _l. c._). Herodotus considers Phthiôtis as terminating a
  little north of the river Spercheius (vii. 198).

All these five tribes, or subdivisions,—Perrhæbians, Magnetes,
Achæans of Phthiôtis, Malians, and Dolopes, together with certain
Epirotic and Macedonian tribes besides, beyond the boundaries of
Pindus and Olympus,—were in a state of irregular dependence upon
the Thessalians, who occupied the central plain or basin drained
by the Peneius. That river receives the streams from Olympus, from
Pindus, and from Othrys,—flowing through a region which was supposed
by its inhabitants to have been once a lake, until Poseidôn cut
open the defile of Tempê, through which the waters found an efflux.
In travelling northward from Thermopylæ, the commencement of this
fertile region—the amplest space of land continuously productive
which Hellas presents—is strikingly marked by the steep rock and
ancient fortress of Thaumaki;[438] from whence the traveller, passing
over the mountains of Achæa Phthiôtis and Othrys, sees before him
the plains and low declivities which reach northward across Thessaly
to Olympus. A narrow strip of coast—in the interior of the gulf of
Pagasæ, between the Magnêtes and the Achæans, and containing the
towns of Amphanæum and Pagasæ[439]—belonged to this proper territory
of Thessaly, but its great expansion was inland: within it were
situated the cities of Pheræ, Pharsalus, Skotussa, Larissa, Krannôn,
Atrax, Pharkadôn, Trikka, Metropolis, Pelinna, etc.

  [438] See the description of Thaumaki in Livy, xxxii. 4, and in
  Dr. Holland’s Travels, ch. xvii. vol. ii. p. 112,—now Thomoko.

  [439] Skylax, Peripl. c. 65. Hesychius (v. Παγασίτης Ἀπόλλων)
  seems to reckon Pagasæ as Achæan.

  About the towns in Thessaly, and their various positions, see
  Mannert, Geograph. der Gr. und Römer, part vii. book iii. ch. 8
  and 9.

  There was an ancient religious ceremony, celebrated by the
  Delphians every ninth year (Ennaëtêris): a procession was sent
  from Delphi to the pass of Tempê, consisting of well-born youths
  under an archi-theôr, who represented the proceeding ascribed
  by an old legend to Apollo; that god was believed to have gone
  thither to receive expiation after the slaughter of the serpent
  Pytho: at least, this was one among several discrepant legends.
  The chief youth plucked and brought back a branch from the sacred
  laurel at Tempê, as a token that he had fulfilled his mission:
  he returned by “the sacred road,” and broke his fast at a place
  called Δειπνιὰς, near Larissa. A solemn festival, frequented
  by a large concourse of people from the surrounding regions,
  was celebrated on this occasion at Tempê, in honor of Apollo
  Tempeitês (Ἀπλοῦνι Τεμπείτᾳ, in the Æolic dialect of Thessaly:
  see Inscript. in Boeckh, Corp. Ins. No. 1767). The procession was
  accompanied by a flute-player.

  See Plutarch, Quæst. Græc. ch. xi. p. 292; De Musicâ, ch. xiv. p.
  1136, Ælian, V. II. iii. 1: Stephan. Byz. v. Δειπνιάς.

  It is important to notice these religious processions as
  establishing intercourse and sympathies between the distant
  members of Hellas: but the inferences which O. Müller (Dorians,
  b. ii. 1, p. 222) would build upon them, as to the original seat
  of the Dorians and the worship of Apollo, are not to be trusted.

The abundance of corn and cattle from the neighboring plains
sustained in these cities a numerous population, and above all a
proud and disorderly noblesse, whose manners bore much resemblance
to those of the heroic times. They were violent in their behavior,
eager in armed feud, but unaccustomed to political discussion or
compromise; faithless as to obligations, yet at the same time
generous in their hospitalities, and much given to the enjoyments
of the table.[440] Breeding the finest horses in Greece, they were
distinguished for their excellence as cavalry; but their infantry
is little noticed, nor do the Thessalian cities seem to have
possessed that congregation of free and tolerably equal citizens,
each master of his own arms, out of whom the ranks of hoplites were
constituted,—the warlike nobles, such as the Aleuadæ at Larissa, or
the Skopadæ at Krannon, despising everything but equestrian service
for themselves, furnished, from their extensive herds on the plain,
horses for the poorer soldiers. These Thessalian cities exhibit
the extreme of turbulent oligarchy, occasionally trampled down by
some one man of great vigor, but little tempered by that sense of
political communion and reverence for established law, which was
found among the better cities of Hellas. Both in Athens and Sparta,
so different in many respects from each other, this feeling will be
found, if not indeed constantly predominant, yet constantly present
and operative. Both of them exhibit a contrast with Larissa or Pheræ
not unlike that between Rome and Capua,—the former, with her endless
civil disputes constitutionally conducted, admitting the joint action
of parties against a common foe; the latter, with her abundant soil
enriching a luxurious oligarchy, and impelled according to the feuds
of her great proprietors, the Magii, Blossii, and Jubellii.[441]

  [440] Plato, Krito, c. 15, p. 53. ἐκεῖ γὰρ δὴ πλείστη ἀταξία καὶ
  ἀκολασία (compare the beginning of the Menôn)—a remark the more
  striking, since he had just before described the Bœotian Thebes
  as a well-regulated city, though both Dikæarchus and Polybius
  represent it in their times as so much the contrary.

  See also Demosthen. Olynth. i. c. 9, p. 16, cont. Aristokrat.
  c. 29, p. 657; Schol. Eurip. Phœniss. 1466; Theopomp. Fragment.
  34-178, ed. Didot; Aristophanês, Plut. 521.

  The march of political affairs in Thessaly is understood from
  Xenoph. Hellen. vi. 1: compare Anabas. i. 1, 10, and Thucyd. iv.

  [441] See Cicero, Orat. in Pison. c. 11; De Leg. Agrar. cont.
  Rullum, c. 34-35.

The Thessalians are, indeed, in their character and capacity as much
Epirotic or Macedonian as Hellenic, forming a sort of link between
the two. For the Macedonians, though trained in aftertimes upon
Grecian principles by the genius of Philip and Alexander, so as to
constitute the celebrated heavy-armed phalanx, were originally (even
in the Peloponnesian war) distinguished chiefly for the excellence
of their cavalry, like the Thessalians;[442] while the broad-brimmed
hat, or kausia, and the short spreading-mantle, or chlamys, were
common to both.

  [442] Compare the Thessalian cavalry as described by Polybius.
  iv. 8, with the Macedonian as described by Thucydidês, ii. 100.

We are told that the Thessalians were originally emigrants from
Thesprotia in Epirus, and conquerors of the plain of the Peneius,
which (according to Herodotus) was then called Æolis, and which
they found occupied by the Pelasgi.[443] It may be doubted whether
the great Thessalian families,—such as the Aleuadæ of Larissa,
descendants from Hêraklês, and placed by Pindar on the same level
as the Lacedæmonian kings[444]—would have admitted this Thesprotian
origin; nor does it coincide with the tenor of those legends which
make the eponym, Thessalus, son of Hêraklês. Moreover, it is to
be remarked that the language of the Thessalians was Hellenic, a
variety of the Æolic dialect;[445] the same (so far as we can make
out) as that of the people whom they must have found settled in the
country at their first conquest. If then it be true that, at some
period anterior to the commencement of authentic history, a body of
Thesprotian warriors crossed the passes of Pindus, and established
themselves as conquerors in Thessaly, we must suppose them to have
been more warlike than numerous, and to have gradually dropped their
primitive language.

  [443] Herodot. vii. 176; Thucyd. i. 12.

  [444] Pindar, Pyth. x. init. with the Scholia, and the valuable
  comment of Boeckh, in reference to the Aleuadæ; Schneider ad
  Aristot. Polit. v. 5, 9; and the Essay of Buttmann, Von dem
  Geschlecht der Aleuaden, art. xxii. vol. ii. p. 254, of the
  collection called “Mythologus.”

  [445] Ahrens, De Dialect. Æolicâ, c. 1, 2.

In other respects, the condition of the population of Thessaly, such
as we find it during the historical period, favors the supposition
of an original mixture of conquerors and conquered: for it seems
that there was among the Thessalians and their dependents a triple
gradation, somewhat analogous to that of Laconia. First, a class
of rich proprietors distributed throughout the principal cities,
possessing most of the soil, and constituting separate oligarchies,
loosely hanging together.[446] Next, the subject Achæans, Magnêtes,
Perrhæbi, differing from the Laconian Periœki in this point, that
they retained their ancient tribe-name and separate Amphiktyonic
franchise. Thirdly, a class of serfs, or dependent cultivators,
corresponding to the Laconian Helots, who, tilling the lands of the
wealthy oligarchs, paid over a proportion of its produce, furnished
the retainers by which these great families were surrounded, served
as their followers in the cavalry, and were in a condition of
villanage,—yet with the important reserve, that they could not be
sold out of the country,[447] that they had a permanent tenure in
the soil, and that they maintained among one another the relations
of family and village. This last mentioned order of men, in
Thessaly called the Penestæ, is assimilated by all ancient authors
to the Helots of Laconia, and in both cases the danger attending
such a social arrangement is noticed by Plato and Aristotle. For
the Helots as well as the Penestæ had their own common language
and mutual sympathies, a separate residence, arms, and courage;
to a certain extent, also, they possessed the means of acquiring
property, since we are told that some of the Penestæ were richer
than their masters.[448] So many means of action, combined with a
degraded social position, gave rise to frequent revolt and incessant
apprehensions. As a general rule, indeed, the cultivation of the
soil by slaves, or dependents, for the benefit of proprietors in
the cities, prevailed throughout most parts of Greece. The rich
men of Thebes, Argos, Athens, or Elis, must have derived their
incomes in the same manner; but it seems that there was often, in
other places, a larger intermixture of bought foreign slaves, and
also that the number, fellow-feeling, and courage of the degraded
village population was nowhere so great as in Thessaly and Laconia.
Now the origin of the Penestæ, in Thessaly, is ascribed to the
conquest of the territory by the Thesprotians, as that of the
Helots in Laconia is traced to the Dorian conquest. The victors in
both countries are said to have entered into a convention with the
vanquished population, whereby the latter became serfs and tillers
of the land for the benefit of the former, but were at the same time
protected in their holdings, constituted subjects of the state, and
secured against being sold away as slaves. Even in the Thessalian
cities, though inhabited in common by Thessalian proprietors and
their Penestæ, the quarters assigned to each were to a great degree
separated: what was called the Free Agora could not be trodden by any
Penest, except when specially summoned.[449]

  [446] See Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 3; Thucyd. ii. 99-100.

  [447] The words ascribed by Xenophon (Hellen. vi. 1, 11) to Jason
  of Pheræ, as well as to Theocritus (xvi. 34), attest the numbers
  and vigor of the Thessalian Penestæ, and the great wealth of the
  Aleuadæ and Skopadæ. Both these families acquired celebrity from
  the verses of Simonides: he was patronized and his muse invoked
  by both of them; see Ælian, V. H. xii. 1; Ovid, Ibis, 512;
  Quintilian, xi. 2, 15. Pindar also boasts of his friendship with
  Thorax the Aleuad (Pyth. x. 99).

  The Thessalian ἀνδραποδισταὶ, alluded to in Aristophanes (Plutus,
  521), must have sold men out of the country for slaves,—either
  refractory Penestæ, or Perrhæbian, Magnetic, and Achæan freemen,
  seized by violence: the Athenian comic poet Mnêsimachus, in
  jesting on the voracity of the Pharsalians, exclaims, ap. Athenæ.
  x. p. 418—

                           ἆρά που
    ὀπτὴν κατεσθίουσι πόλιν Ἀχαϊκήν.

  Pagasæ was celebrated as a place of export for slaves (Hermippus
  ap. Athenæ, i. 49).

  Menôn of Pharsalus assisted the Athenians against Amphipolis
  with 200, or 300 “Penestæ, on horseback, of his own”—(Πενέσταις
  ἰδίοις) Demosthen. περὶ Συνταξ. c. 9, p. 173, cont. Aristokrat. c.
  51, p. 687.

  [448] Archemachus ap. Athenæ. vi. p. 264; Plato, Legg. vi. p.
  777; Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 3; vii. 9, 9; Dionys. Halic. A. R.
  ii. 84.

  Both Plato and Aristotle insist on the extreme danger of having
  numerous slaves, fellow-countrymen and of one language—(ὁμόφυλοι,
  ὁμόφωνοι, πατρίωται ἀλλήλων).

  [449] Aristot. Polit. vii. 11, 2.

Who the people were, whom the conquest of Thessaly by the
Thesprotians reduced to this predial villanage, we find differently
stated. According to Theopompus, they were Perrhæbians and Magnêtes;
according to others, Pelasgians; while Archemachus alleged them to
have been Bœotians of the territory of Arnê,[450]—some emigrating, to
escape the conquerors, others remaining and accepting the condition
of serfs. But the conquest, assuming it as a fact, occurred at far
too early a day to allow of our making out either the manner in
which it came to pass, or the state of things which preceded it. The
Pelasgians whom Herodotus saw at Krêstôn are affirmed by him to have
been the descendants of those who quitted Thessaly to escape[451] the
invading Thesprotians; though others held that the Bœotians, driven
on this occasion from their habitations on the gulf of Pagasæ near
the Achæans of Phthiôtis, precipitated themselves on Orchomenus and
Bœotia, and settled in it, expelling the Minyæ and the Pelasgians.

  [450] Theopompus and Archemachus ap. Athenæ. vi. pp. 264-266:
  compare Thucyd. ii. 12; Steph. Byz. v. Ἄρνη—the converse of this
  story in Strabo, ix. pp. 401-411, of the Thessalian Arnê being
  settled from Bœotia. That the villains or Penestæ were completely
  distinct from the circumjacent dependents,—Achæans, Magnêtes,
  Perrhæbians, we see by Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 3. They had their
  eponymous hero Penestês, whose descent was traced to Thessalus
  son of Hêraklês; they were thus connected with the mythical
  father of the nation (Schol. Aristoph. Vesp. 1271).

  [451] Herodot. i. 57: compare vii. 176.

Passing over the legends on this subject, and confining ourselves
to historical time, we find an established quadruple division of
Thessaly, said to have been introduced in the time of Aleuas, the
ancestor (real or mythical) of the powerful Aleuadæ,—Thessaliôtis,
Pelasgiôtis, Histiæôtis, Phthiôtis.[452] In Phthiôtis were
comprehended the Achæans, whose chief towns were Melitæa, Itônus,
Thebæ, Phthiôtides, Alos, Larissa, Kremastê, and Pteleon, on or near
the western coast of the gulf of Pagasæ. Histiæôtis, to the north of
the Peneius, comprised the Perrhæbians, with numerous towns strong
in situation, but of no great size or importance; they occupied the
passes of Olympus[453] and are sometimes considered as extending
westward across Pindus. Pelasgiôtis included the Magnêtes, together
with that which was called the Pelasgic plain, bordering on the
western side of Pelion and Ossa.[454] Thessaliôtis comprised the
central plain of Thessaly and the upper course of the river Peneius.
This was the political classification of the Thessalian power,
framed to suit a time when the separate cities were maintained in
harmonious action by favorable circumstances, or by some energetic
individual ascendency; for their union was in general interrupted
and disorderly, and we find certain cities standing aloof while the
rest went to war.[455] Though a certain political junction, and
obligations of some kind towards a common authority, were recognized
in theory by all, and a chief, or Tagus,[456] was nominated to
enforce obedience,—yet it frequently happened that the disputes
of the cities among themselves prevented the choice of a Tagus, or
drove him out of the country; and left the alliance little more
than nominal. Larissa, Pharsalus,[457] and Pheræ,—each with its
cluster of dependent towns as adjuncts,—seem to have been nearly
on a par in strength, and each torn by intestine faction, so that
not only was the supremacy over common dependents relaxed, but even
the means of repelling invaders greatly enfeebled. The dependence
of the Perrhæbians, Magnetes, Achæans, and Malians, might, under
these circumstances, be often loose and easy. But the condition
of the Penestæ—who occupied the villages belonging to these great
cities, in the central plain of Pelasgiôtis and Thessaliôtis, and
from whom the Aleuadæ and Skopadæ derived their exuberance of landed
produce—was noway mitigated, if it was not even aggravated, by
such constant factions. Nor were there wanting cases in which the
discontent of this subject-class was employed by members of the
native oligarchy,[458] or even by foreign states, for the purpose of
bringing about political revolutions.

  [452] Hellanikus, Fragm. 28, ed. Didot; Harpocration, v.
  Τετραρχία: the quadruple division was older than Hekatæus (Steph.
  Byz. v. Κράννων).

  Hekatæus connected the Perrhæbians with the genealogy of Æolus
  through Tyrô, the daughter of Salmôneus: they passed as Αἰολεῖς
  (Hekatæus, Frag. 334, ed. Didot; Stephan. Byz. v. Φάλαννα and

  The territory of the city of Histiæa (in the north part of
  the island of Eubœa) was also called Histiæôtis. The double
  occurrence of this name (no uncommon thing in ancient Greece)
  seems to have given rise to the statement, that the Perrhæbi
  had subdued the northern parts of Eubœa, and carried over the
  inhabitants of the Eubœan Histiæa captive into the north-west of
  Thessaly (Strabo, ix. p. 437, x. p. 446).

  [453] Pliny, H. N. iv. 1; Strabo, ix. p. 440.

  [454] Strabo, ix. p. 443.

  [455] Diodor. xviii. 11; Thucyd. ii. 22.

  [456] The Inscription No. 1770 in Boeckh’s Corpus Inscript.
  contains a letter of the Roman consul, Titus Quinctius
  Flamininus, addressed to the city of Kyretiæ (north of Atrax in
  Perrhæbia). The letter is addressed, Κυρετιέων τοῖς ταγοῖς καὶ
  τῇ πόλει,—the title of Tagi seems thus to have been given to the
  magistrates of separate Thessalian cities. The Inscriptions of
  Thaumaki (No. 1773-1774) have the title ἄρχοντες, not ταγοί. The
  title ταγὸς was peculiar to Thessaly (Pollux, i. 128).

  [457] Xenophon, Hellen. vi. 1, 9; Diodor. xiv. 82; Thucyd. i. 3.
  Herod. vii. 6, calls the Aleuadæ Θεσσαλίης βασιλῆες.

  [458] Xenophon, Memorab. i. 2, 24; Hellenic. ii. 3, 37. The loss
  of the comedy called Πόλεις of Eupolis (see Meineke, Fragm.
  Comicor. Græc. p. 513) probably prevents us from understanding
  the sarcasm of Aristophanes (Vesp. 1263) about the παραπρέσβεια
  of Amynias among the Penestæ of Pharsalus; but the incident
  there alluded to can have nothing to do with the proceedings of
  Kritias, touched upon by Xenophon.

“When Thessaly is under her Tagus, all the neighboring people pay
tribute to her; she can send into the field six thousand cavalry
and ten thousand hoplites, or heavy-armed infantry,”[459] observed
Jason, despot of Pheræ, to Polydamas of Pharsalus, in endeavoring to
prevail on the latter to second his pretensions to that dignity. The
impost due from the tributaries, seemingly considerable, was then
realized with arrears, and the duties upon imports at the harbors
of the Pagasæan gulf, imposed for the benefit of the confederacy,
were then enforced with strictness; but the observation shows
that, while unanimous Thessaly was very powerful, her periods of
unanimity were only occasional.[460] Among the nations which thus
paid tribute to the fulness of Thessalian power, we may number not
merely the Perrhæbi, Magnêtes, and Achæans of Phthiôtis, but also
the Malians and Dolopes, and various tribes of Epirots extending
to the westward of Pindus.[461] We may remark that they were all
(except the Malians) javelin-men, or light-armed troops, not serving
in rank with the full panoply; a fact which, in Greece, counts as
presumptive evidence of a lower civilization: the Magnêtes, too,
had a peculiar close-fitting mode of dress, probably suited to
movements in a mountainous country.[462] There was even a time when
the Thessalian power threatened to extend southward of Thermopylæ,
subjugating the Phokians, Dorians, and Lokrians. So much were the
Phokians alarmed at this danger, that they had built a wall across
the pass of Thermopylæ, for the purpose of more easily defending it
against Thessalian invaders, who are reported to have penetrated
more than once into the Phokian valleys, and to have sustained some
severe defeats.[463] At what precise time these events happened,
we find no information; but it must have been considerably earlier
than the invasion of Xerxes, since the defensive wall which had
been built at Thermopylæ, by the Phokians, was found by Leonidas in
a state of ruin. But the Phokians, though they no longer felt the
necessity of keeping up this wall, had not ceased to fear and hate
the Thessalians,—an antipathy which will be found to manifest itself
palpably in connection with the Persian invasion. On the whole,
the resistance of the Phokians was successful, for the power of the
Thessalians never reached southward of the pass.[464]

  [459] Xenophon, Hellen. vi. 1, 9-12.

  [460] Demosthen. Olynth. i. c. 3, p. 15; ii. c. 5. p. 21. The
  orator had occasion to denounce Philip, as having got possession
  of the public authority of the Thessalian confederation, partly
  by intrigue, partly by force; and we thus hear of the λιμένες and
  the ἀγοραὶ, which formed the revenue of the confederacy.

  [461] Xenophon (Hellen. vi. 1, 7) numbers the Μαρακοὶ among these
  tributaries along with the Dolopes: the Maraces are named by
  Pliny (H. N. iv. 3), also, along with the Dolopes, but we do not
  know where they dwelt.

  [462] Xenophon, Hellen. vi. 1, 9; Pindar, Pyth. iv. 80.

  [463] Herodot. vii. 176; viii. 27-28.

  [464] The story of invading Thessalians at Kerêssus, near Leuktra
  in Bœotia, (Pausan. ix. 13, 1,) is not at all probable.

It will be recollected that these different ancient races, Perrhæbi,
Magnêtes, Achæans, Malians, Dolopes,—though tributaries of the
Thessalians, still retained their Amphiktyonic franchise, and were
considered as legitimate Hellenes: all except the Malians are,
indeed, mentioned in the Iliad. We shall rarely have occasion to
speak much of them in the course of this history: they are found
siding with Xerxes (chiefly by constraint) in his attack of Greece,
and almost indifferent in the struggle between Sparta and Athens.
That the Achæans of Phthiôtis are a portion of the same race as the
Achæans of Peloponnesus it seems reasonable to believe, though we
trace no historical evidence to authenticate it. Achæa Phthiôtis
is the seat of Hellên, the patriarch of the entire race,—of the
primitive Hellas, by some treated as a town, by others as a district
of some breadth,—and of the great national hero, Achilles. Its
connection with the Peloponnesian Achæans is not unlike that of
Doris with the Peloponnesian Dorians.[465] We have, also, to notice
another ethnical kindred, the date and circumstances of which are
given to us only in a mythical form, but which seems, nevertheless,
to be in itself a reality,—that of the Magnêtes on Pelion and Ossa,
with the two divisions of Asiatic Magnêtes, or Magnesia, on Mount
Sipylus and Magnesia on the river Mæander. It is said that these two
Asiatic homonymous towns were founded by migrations of the Thessalian
Magnêtes, a body of whom became consecrated to the Delphian god, and
chose a new abode under his directions. According to one story, these
emigrants were warriors, returning from the Siege of Troy; according
to another, they sought fresh seats, to escape from the Thesprotian
conquerors of Thessaly. There was a third story, according to which
the Thessalian Magnêtes themselves were represented as colonists[466]
from Delphi. Though we can elicit no distinct matter of fact
from these legends, we may, nevertheless, admit the connection of
race between the Thessalian and the Asiatic Magnêtes, as well as
the reverential dependence of both, manifested in this supposed
filiation, on the temple of Delphi. Of the Magnêtes in Krete, noticed
by Plato as long extinct in his time, we cannot absolutely verify
even the existence.

  [465] One story was, that these Achæans of Phthia went into
  Peloponnesus with Pelops, and settled in Laconia (Strabo, viii.
  p. 365).

  [466] Aristoteles ap. Athenæ iv. p. 173 Conon, Narrat. 29;
  Strabo. xiv. p. 647.

  Hoeck (Kreta, b. iii. vol. ii. p. 409) attempts (unsuccessfully,
  in my judgment) to reduce these stories into the form of
  substantial history.

Of the Malians, Thucydidês notices three tribes (γένη) as existing in
his time,—the Paralii, the Hierês (priests), and the Trachinii, or
men of Trachin:[467] it is possible that the second of the two may
have been possessors of the sacred spot on which the Amphiktyonic
meetings were held. The prevalence of the hoplites or heavy-armed
infantry among the Malians, indicates that we are stepping from
Thessalian to more southerly Hellenic habits: the Malians recognized
every man as a qualified citizen, who either had served, or was
serving, in the ranks with his full panoply.[468] Yet the panoply was
probably not perfectly suitable to the mountainous regions by which
they were surrounded; for, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war,
the aggressive mountaineers of the neighboring region of Œta, had
so harassed and overwhelmed them in war, that they were forced to
throw themselves on the protection of Sparta; and the establishment
of the Spartan colony of Herakleia, near Trachin, was the result of
their urgent application. Of these mountaineers, described under
the general name of Œtæans, the principal were the Ænianes, (or
Eniênes, as they are termed in the Homeric Catalogue, as well as by
Herodotus),—an ancient Hellenic[469] Amphiktyonic race, who are said
to have passed through several successive migrations in Thessaly and
Epirus, but who, in the historical times, had their settlement and
their chief town, Hypata, in the upper valley of the Spercheius,
on the northern declivity of Mount Œta. But other tribes were
probably also included in the name, such as those Ætolian tribes,
the Bomians and Kallians, whose high and cold abodes approached near
to the Maliac gulf. It is in this sense that we are to understand
the name, as comprehending all the predatory tribes along this
extensive mountain range, when we are told of the damage done by the
Œtæans, both to the Malians on the east, and to the Dorians on the
south: but there are some cases in which the name Œtæans seems to
designate expressly the Ænianes, especially when they are mentioned
as exercising the Amphiktyonic franchise.[470]

  [467] Thucyd. iii. 92. The distinction made by Skylax (c. 61)
  and Diodorus (xviii. 11) between Μηλιεῖς and Μαλιεῖς—the latter
  adjoining the former on the north—appears inadmissible, though
  Letronne still defends it (Périple de Marcien d’Héraclée, etc.,
  Paris, 1839, p. 212).

  Instead of Μαλιεῖς, we ought to read Λαμιεῖς, as O. Müller
  observes (Dorians, i. 6, p. 48).

  It is remarkable that the important town of Lamia (the modern
  Zeitun) is not noticed either by Herodotus, Thucydidês, or
  Xenophon; Skylax is the first who mentions it. The route of
  Xerxes towards Thermopylæ lay along the coast from Alos.

  The Lamieis (assuming that to be the correct reading) occupied
  the northern coast of the Maliac gulf, from the north bank of the
  Spercheius to the town of Echinus: in which position Dr. Cramer
  places the Μηλιεῖς Παράλιοι—an error, I think (Geography of
  Greece, vol. i. p. 436).

  It is not improbable that Lamia first acquired importance during
  the course of those events towards the close of the Peloponnesian
  war, when the Lacedæmonians, in defence of Herakleia, attacked
  the Achæans of Phthiôtis, and even expelled the Œtæans for a time
  from their seats (see Thucyd. viii. 3; Diodor. xiv. 38).

  [468] Aristot. Polit. iv. 10, 10.

  [469] Plutarch, Quæstion. Græc. p. 294.

  [470] Thucyd. iii. 92-97; viii. 3. Xenoph. Hellen. i. 2, 18; in
  another passage Xenophon expressly distinguishes the Œtæi and the
  Ænianes (Hellen. iii. 5. 6). Diodor. xiv. 38. Æschines, De Fals.
  Leg. c. 44, p. 290.

The fine soil, abundant moisture, and genial exposure of the southern
declivities of Othrys,[471]—especially the valley of the Spercheius,
through which river all these waters pass away, and which annually
gives forth a fertilizing inundation,—present a marked contrast with
the barren, craggy, and naked masses of Mount Œta, which forms one
side of the pass of Thermopylæ. Southward of the pass, the Lokrians,
Phokians, and Dorians, occupied the mountains and passes between
Thessaly and Bœotia. The coast opposite to the western side of
Eubœa, from the neighborhood of Thermopylæ, as far as the Bœotian
frontier at Anthêdôn, was possessed by the Lokrians, whose northern
frontier town, Alpêni, was conterminous with the Malians. There was,
however, one narrow strip of Phokis—the town of Daphnus, where the
Phokians also touched the Eubœan sea—which broke this continuity,
and divided the Lokrians into two sections,—Lokrians of Mount
Knêmis, or Epiknemidian Lokrians, and Lokrians of Opus, or Opuntian
Lokrians. The mountain called Knêmis, running southward parallel
to the coast from the end of Œta, divided the former section from
the inland Phokians and the upper valley of the Kephisus: farther
southward, joining continuously with Mount Ptôon by means of an
intervening mountain which is now called Chlomo, it separated the
Lokrians of Opus from the territories of Orchomenus, Thebes, and
Anthêdôn, the north-eastern portions of Bœotia. Besides these two
sections of the Lokrian name, there was also a third, completely
separate, and said to have been colonized out from Opus,—the Lokrians
surnamed Ozolæ,—who dwelt apart on the western side of Phokis,
along the northern coast of the Corinthian gulf. They reached from
Amphissa—which overhung the plain of Krissa, and stood within seven
miles of Delphi—to Naupaktus. near the narrow entrance of the gulf;
which latter town was taken from these Lokrians by the Athenians, a
little before the Peloponnesian war. Opus prided itself on being the
mother-city of the Lokrian name, and the legends of Deukaliôn and
Pyrrha found a home there as well as in Phthiôtis. Alpeni, Nikæa,
Thronium, and Skarpheia, were towns, ancient but unimportant, of the
Epiknemidian Lokrians; but the whole length of this Lokrian coast is
celebrated for its beauty and fertility, both by Ancient and modern

  [471] About the fertility as well as the beauty of this valley,
  see Dr. Holland’s Travels, ch. xvii. vol. ii. p. 108, and
  Forchhammer (Hellenika, Griechenland, im Neuen das Alte, Berlin,
  1837). I do not concur with the latter in his attempts to resolve
  the mythes of Hêraklês, Achilles, and others, into physical
  phenomena: but his descriptions of local scenery and attributes
  are most vivid and masterly.

  [472] Strabo, ix. p. 425; Forchhammer, Hellenika, pp. 11-12.
  Kynus is sometimes spoken of as the harbor of Opus, but it was
  a city of itself as old as the Homeric Catalogue, and of some
  moment in the later wars of Greece, when military position came
  to be more valued than legendary celebrity (Livy, xxviii. 6;
  Pausan. x. 1, 1; Skylax. c. 61-62); the latter counts Thronium
  and Knêmis or Knêmides as being Phokian, not Lokrian; which they
  were for a short time, during the prosperity of the Phokians, at
  the beginning of the Sacred War, though not permanently (Æschin.
  Fals. Legat. c. 42, p. 46). This serves as one presumption about
  the age of the Periplus of Skylax (see the notes of Klausen ad
  Skyl. p. 269). These Lokrian towns lay along the important road
  from Thermopylæ to Elateia and Bœotia (Pausan. vii. 15, 2; Livy,
  xxxiii. 3).

The Phokians were bounded on the north by the little territories
called Doris and Dryopis, which separated them from the Malians,—on
the north-east, east, and south-west, by the different branches of
Lokrians,—and on the south-east, by the Bœotians. They touched the
Eubœan sea, (as has been mentioned) at Daphnus, the point where it
approaches nearest to their chief town, Elateia; their territory
also comprised most part of the lofty and bleak range of Parnassus,
as far as its southerly termination, where a lower portion of it,
called Kirphis, projects into the Corinthian gulf, between the two
bays of Antikyra and Krissa; the latter, with its once fertile plain,
lay immediately under the sacred rock of the Delphian Apollo. Both
Delphi and Krissa originally belonged to the Phokian race, but the
sanctity of the temple, together with Lacedæmonian aid, enabled the
Delphians to set up for themselves, disavowing their connection with
the Phokian brotherhood. Territorially speaking, the most valuable
part of Phokis[473] consisted in the valley of the river Kephisus,
which takes its rise from Parnassus, not far from the Phokian town
of Lilæa, passes between Œta and Knêmis on one side, and Parnassus
on the other, and enters Bœotia near Chæroneia, discharging itself
into the lake Kôpaïs. It was on the projecting mountain ledges and
rocks on each side of this river, that the numerous little Phokian
towns were situated. Twenty-two of them were destroyed and broken
up into villages by the Amphiktyonic order, after the second Sacred
War; Abæ (one of the few, if not the only one, that was spared) being
protected by the sanctity of its temple and oracle. Of these cities,
the most important was Elateia, situated on the left bank of the
Kephisus, and on the road from Lokris into Phokis, in the natural
march of an army from Thermopylæ into Bœotia. The Phokian towns[474]
were embodied in an ancient confederacy, which held its periodical
meetings at a temple between Daulis and Delphi.

  [473] Pausan. x. 33, 4.

  [474] Pausan. x. 5, 1; Demosth. Fals. Leg. c. 22-28; Diodor. xvi.
  60, with the note of Wesseling.

  The tenth book of Pausanias, though the larger half of it is
  devoted to Delphi, tells us all that we know respecting the less
  important towns of Phokis. Compare also Dr. Cramer’s Geography
  of Greece, vol. ii. sect. 10; and Leake’s Travels in Northern
  Greece, vol. ii. ch. 13.

  Two funeral monuments of the Phokian hero Schedius (who commands
  the Phokian troops before Troy, and is slain in the Iliad) marked
  the two extremities of Phokis,—one at Daphnus on the Eubœan sea,
  the other at Antikyra on the Corinthian gulf (Strabo, ix. p. 425;
  Pausan. x. 36, 4).

The little territory called Doris and Dryopis, occupied the southern
declivity of Mount Œta, dividing Phokis on the north and north-west,
from the Ætolians, Ænianes, and Malians. That which was called Doris
in the historical times, and which reached, in the time of Herodotus,
nearly as far eastward as the Maliac gulf, is said to have formed
a part of what had been once called Dryopis; a territory which had
comprised the summit of Œta as far as the Spercheius, northward, and
which had been inhabited by an old Hellenic tribe called Dryopes. The
Dorians acquired their settlement in Dryopis by gift from Hêraklês,
who, along with the Malians (so ran the legend), had expelled the
Dryopes, and compelled them to find for themselves new seats at
Hermionê, and Asinê, in the Argolic peninsula of Peloponnesus,—at
Styra and Karystus in Eubœa,—and in the island of Kythnus;[475] it
is only in these five last-mentioned places, that history recognizes
them. The territory of Doris was distributed into four little
townships,—Pindus, or Akyphas, Bœon, Kytinion, and Erineon,—each
of which seems to have occupied a separate valley belonging to one
of the feeders of the river Kephisus,—the only narrow spaces of
cultivated ground which this “small and sad” region presented.[476]
In itself, this tetrapolis is so insignificant, that we shall rarely
find occasion to mention it; but it acquired a factitious consequence
by being regarded as the metropolis of the great Dorian cities in
Peloponnesus, and receiving on that ground special protection from
Sparta. I do not here touch upon that string of ante-historical
migrations—stated by Herodotus, and illustrated by the ingenuity as
well as decorated by the fancy of O. Müller—through which the Dorians
are affiliated with the patriarch of the Hellenic race,—moving
originally out of Phthiôtis to Histiæôtis, then to Pindus, and lastly
to Doris. The residence of Dorians in Doris, is a fact which meets
us at the commencement of history, like that of the Phokians and
Lokrians in their respective territories.

  [475] Herodot. viii. 31, 43, 46; Diodor. iv. 57; Aristot. ap.
  Strabo, viii. p. 373.

  O. Müller (History of the Dorians, book i. ch. ii.) has given all
  that can be known about Doris and Dryopis, together with some
  matters which appear to me very inadequately authenticated.

  [476] Πόλεις μικραὶ καὶ λυπρόχωροι, Strabo, ix. p. 427.

We next pass to the Ætolians, whose extreme tribes covered the
bleak heights of Œta and Korax, reaching almost within sight of the
Maliac gulf, where they bordered on the Dorians and Malians,—while
their central and western tribes stretched along the frontier of
the Ozolian Lokrians to the flat plain, abundant in marsh and
lake, near the mouth of the Euênus. In the time of Herodotus and
Thucydidês, they do not seem to have extended so far westward as
the Achelôus; but in later times, this latter river, throughout
the greater part of its lower course, divided them from the
Akarnanians:[477] on the north, they touched upon the Dolopians,
and upon a parallel of latitude nearly as far north as Ambrakia.
There were three great divisions of the Ætolian name,—the Apodôti,
Ophioneis, and Eurytanes,—each of which was subdivided into several
different village tribes. The northern and eastern portion of the
territory[478] consisted of very high mountain ranges, and even in
the southern portion, the mountains Arakynthus, Kurion, Chalkis,
Taphiassus, are found at no great distance from the sea; while the
chief towns in Ætolia, Kalydôn, Pleurôn, Chalkis,—seem to have
been situated eastward of the Euênus, between the last-mentioned
mountains and the sea.[479] The first two towns have been greatly
ennobled in legend, but are little named in history; while, on the
contrary, Thermus, the chief town of the historical Ætolians, and
the place where the aggregate meeting and festival of the Ætolian
name, for the choice of a Pan-Ætolic general, was convoked, is
not noticed by any one earlier than Ephorus.[480] It was partly
legendary renown, partly ethnical kindred (publicly acknowledged on
both sides) with the Eleians in Peloponnesus, which authenticated
the title of the Ætolians to rank as Hellens. But the great mass
of the Apodôti, Eurytanes, and Ophioneis in the inland mountains,
were so rude in their manners, and so unintelligible[481] in their
speech, (which, however, was not barbaric, but very bad Hellenic,)
that this title might well seem disputable,—in point of fact it was
disputed, in later times, when the Ætolian power and depredations
had become obnoxious nearly to all Greece. And it is, probably, to
this difference of manners between the Ætolians on the sea-coast and
those in the interior, that we are to trace a geographical division
mentioned by Strabo, into ancient Ætolia, and Ætolia Epiktêtus, or
acquired. When or by whom this division was introduced, we do not
know. It cannot be founded upon any conquest, for the inland Ætolians
were the most unconquerable of mankind: and the affirmation which
Ephorus applied to the whole Ætolian race,—that it had never been
reduced to subjection by any one,—is, most of all, beyond dispute
concerning the inland portion of it.[482]

  [477] Herod, vii. 126; Thucyd. ii. 102.

  [478] See the difficult journey of Fiedler from Wrachori
  northward by Karpenitz, and then across the north-western
  portion of the mountains of the ancient Eurytanes (the southern
  continuation of Mount Tymphrêstus and Œta), into the upper valley
  of the Spercheius (Fiedler’s Reise in Griechenland, vol. i. pp.
  177-191), a part of the longer journey from Missolonghi to Zeitun.

  Skylax (c. 35) reckons Ætolia as extending inland as far as
  the boundaries of the Ænianes on the Spercheius—which is quite
  correct—Ætolia Epiktêtus—μέχρι τῆς Οἰταίας, Strabo, x. p. 450.

  [479] Strabo, x. pp. 459-460. There is, however, great
  uncertainty about the position of these ancient towns: compare
  Kruse, Hellas, vol. iii. ch. xi. pp. 233-255, and Brandstäter,
  Geschichte des Ætolischen Landes, pp. 121-134.

  [480] Ephorus, Fragm. 29, Marx. ap. Strabo, p. 463. The situation
  of Thermus, “the acropolis as it were of all Ætolia,” and placed
  on a spot almost unapproachable by an army, is to a certain
  extent, though not wholly, capable of being determined by the
  description which Polybius gives of the rapid march of Philip and
  the Macedonian army to surprise it. The maps, both of Kruse and
  Kiepert, place it too much on the north of the lake Trichônis:
  the map of Fiedler notes it, more correctly, to the east of that
  lake (Polyb. v. 7-8; compare Brandstäter, Geschichte des Ætol.
  Landes, p. 133).

  [481] Thucyd. iii. 102.—ἀγνωστότατοι δὲ γλῶσσάν εἰσι, καὶ
  ὠμόφαγοι ~ὡς λέγονται~. It seems that Thucydidês had not himself
  seen or conversed with them, but he does not call them βάρβαροι.

  [482] Ephorus, Fragment. 29, ed. Marx.; Skymn. Chius, v. 471;
  Strabo, x. p. 450.

Adjoining the Ætolians were the Akarnanians, the westernmost of
extra-Peloponnesian Greeks. They extended to the Ionian sea, and
seem, in the time of Thucydidês, to have occupied both banks of the
river Achelôus, in the lower part of its course,—though the left bank
appears afterwards as belonging to the Ætolians, so that the river
came to constitute the boundary, often disputed and decided by arms,
between them. The principal Akarnanian towns, Stratus and Œniadæ,
were both on the right bank; the latter on the marshy and overflowed
land near its mouth. Near the Akarnanians, towards the gulf of
Ambrakia, were found barbarian, or non-Hellenic nations,—the Agræans
and the Amphilochians: in the midst of the latter, on the shores of
the Ambrakian gulf, the Greek colony, called Argos Amphilochicum, was

Of the five Hellenic subdivisions now enumerated,—Lokrians, Phokians,
Dorians (of Doris), Ætolians, and Akarnanians (of whom Lokrians,
Phokians, and Ætolians are comprised in the Homeric catalogue),—we
have to say the same as of those north of Thermopylæ: there is no
information respecting them from the commencement of the historical
period down to the Persian war. Even that important event brings
into action only the Lokrians of the Eubœan sea, the Phokians, and
the Dorians: we have to wait until near the Peloponnesian war,
before we require information respecting the Ozolian Lokrians, the
Ætolians, and the Akarnanians. These last three were unquestionably
the most backward members of the Hellenic aggregate. Though not
absolutely without a central town, they lived dispersed in villages,
retiring, when attacked, to inaccessible heights, perpetually armed
and in readiness for aggression and plunder wherever they found an
opportunity.[483] Very different was the condition of the Lokrians
opposite Eubœa, the Phokians, and the Dorians. These were all
orderly town communities, small, indeed, and poor, but not less well
administered than the average of Grecian townships, and perhaps
exempt from those individual violences which so frequently troubled
the Bœotian Thebes or the great cities of Thessaly. Timæus affirmed
(contrary, as it seems, to the supposition of Aristotle) that, in
early times, there were no slaves either among the Lokrians or
Phokians, and that the work required to be done for proprietors was
performed by poor freemen;[484] a habit which is alleged to have
been continued until the temporary prosperity of the second Sacred
War, when the plunder of the Delphian temple so greatly enriched the
Phokian leaders. But this statement is too briefly given, and too
imperfectly authenticated, to justify any inferences.

  [483] Thucyd. i. 6; iii. 94. Aristotle, however, included, in his
  large collection of Πολιτείαι, an Ἀκαρνάνων Πολιτεία as well as
  an Αἰτωλῶν Πολιτεία (Aristotelis Rerum Publicarum Reliquiæ, ed.
  Neumann, p. 102; Strabo, vii. p. 321).

  [484] Timæus, Fragm. xvii. ed. Göller; Polyb. xii. 6-7; Athenæus,
  vi. p. 264.

We find in the poet Alkman (about 610 B. C.), the Erysichæan,
or Kalydonian shepherd, named as a type of rude rusticity,—the
antithesis of Sardis, where the poet was born.[485] And among the
suitors who are represented as coming forward to claim the daughter
of the Sikyonian Kleisthenes in marriage, there appears both
the Thessalian Diaktoridês from Krannôn, a member of the Skopad
family,—and the Ætolian Malês, brother of that Titormus who in
muscular strength surpassed all his contemporary Greeks, and who
had seceded from mankind into the inmost recesses of Ætolia: this
Ætolian seems to be set forth as a sort of antithesis to the delicate
Smindyridês of Sybaris, the most luxurious of mankind. Herodotus
introduces these characters into his dramatic picture of this
memorable wedding.[486]

  [485] This brief fragment of the Παρθενεῖα of Alkman is preserved
  by Stephan. Byz. (Ἐρυσίχη), and alluded to by Strabo, x. p. 460:
  see Welcker Alkm. Fragm. xi. and Bergk, Alk. Fr. xii.

  [486] Herodot. vi. 127.

Between Phokis and Lokris on one side, and Attica (from which it
is divided by the mountains Kithærôn and Parnês) on the other, we
find the important territory called Bœotia, with its ten or twelve
autonomous cities, forming a sort of confederacy under the presidency
of Thebes, the most powerful among them. Even of this territory,
destined during the second period of this history, to play a part
so conspicuous and effective, we know nothing during the first two
centuries after 776 B. C. We first acquire some insight into it, on
occasion of the disputes between Thebes and Platæa, about the year
520 B. C. Orchomenus, on the north-west of the lake Kôpaïs, forms
throughout the historical times one of the cities of the Bœotian
league, seemingly the second after Thebes. But I have already stated
that the Orchomenian legends, the Catalogue, and other allusions in
Homer, and the traces of past power and importance yet visible in the
historical age, attest the early political existence of Orchomenus
and its neighborhood apart from Bœotia.[487] The Amphiktyony in which
Orchomenus participated, at the holy island of Kalauria near the
Argolic peninsula, seems to show that it must once have possessed a
naval force and commerce, and that its territory must have touched
the sea at Halæ and the lower town of Larymna, near the southern
frontier of Lokris; this sea is separated by a very narrow space
from the range of mountains which join Knêmis and Ptôon, and which
inclose on the east both the basin of Orchomenus, Asplêdôn, and Kôpæ,
and the lake Kôpaïs. The migration of the Bœotians out of Thessaly
into Bœotia (which is represented as a consequence of the conquest
of the former country by the Thesprotians) is commonly assigned
as the compulsory force which Bœotized Orchomenus. By whatever
cause, or at whatever time (whether before or after 776 B. C.) the
transition may have been effected, we find Orchomenus completely
Bœotian throughout the known historical age,—yet still retaining its
local Minyeian legends, and subject to the jealous rivalry[488] of
Thebes, as being the second city in the Bœotian league. The direct
road from the passes of Phokis southward into Bœotia went through
Chæroneia, leaving Lebadeia on the right, and Orchomenus on the left
hand, and passed the south-western edge of the lake Kôpaïs near the
towns of Koroneia, Alalkomenæ, and Haliartus,—all situated on the
mountain Tilphôssion, an outlying ridge connected with Helicon by the
intervention of Mount Leïbethrius. The Tilphossæon was an important
military post, commanding that narrow pass between the mountain and
the lake which lay in the great road from Phokis to Thebes.[489]
The territory of this latter city occupied the greater part of
central Bœotia, south of the lake Kôpaïs; it comprehended Akræphia
and Mount Ptôon, and probably touched the Eubœan sea at the village
of Salganeus south of Anthêdôn. South-west of Thebes, occupying the
southern descent of lofty Helicon towards the inmost corner of the
Corinthian gulf, and bordering on the south-eastern extremity of
Phokis with the Phokian town of Bulis, stood the city of Thespiæ.
Southward of the Asôpus, between that river and Mount Kithæron, were
Platæa and Tanagra; in the south-eastern corner of Bœotia stood
Orôpus, the frequent subject of contention between Thebes and Athens;
and in the road between the Eubœan Chalkis and Thebes, the town of

  [487] See an admirable topographical description of the
  north part of Bœotia,—the lake Kôpaïs and its environs, in
  Forchhammer’s Hellenika, pp. 159-186, with an explanatory map.
  The two long and laborious tunnels constructed by the old
  Orchomenians for the drainage of the lake, as an aid to the
  insufficiency of the natural Katabothra, are there very clearly
  laid down: one goes to the sea, the other into the neighboring
  lake Hylika, which is surrounded by high rocky banks and can take
  more water without overflowing. The lake Kôpaïs is an inclosed
  basin, receiving all the water from Doris and Phokis through the
  Kêphisus. A copy of Forchhammer’s map will be found at the end of
  the present volume.

  Forchhammer thinks that it was nothing but the similarity of the
  name Itônea (derived from ἰτέα, _a willow-tree_) which gave rise
  to the tale of an emigration of people from the Thessalian to the
  Bœotian Itônê (p. 148).

  The Homeric Catalogue presents Kôpæ, on the north of the lake, as
  Bœotian, but not Orchomenus nor Asplêdôn (Iliad, ii. 502).

  [488] See O. Müller, Orchomenos, cap. xx. p. 418, _seq._

  [489] See Demosthen. De Fals. Legat. c. 43-45. Another portion
  of this narrow road is probably meant by the pass of Korôneia—τὰ
  περὶ Κορώνειαν στενὰ (Diodor. xv. 52; Xenoph. Hellen. iv. 3,
  15)—which Epameinondas occupied to prevent the invasion of
  Kleombrotus from Phokis.

From our first view of historical Bœotia downward, there appears a
confederation which embraces the whole territory: and during the
Peloponnesian war, the Thebans invoke “the ancient constitutional
maxims of the Bœotians” as a justification of extreme rigor, as
well as of treacherous breach of the peace, against the recusant
Platæans.[490] Of this confederation, the greater cities were primary
members, while the lesser were attached to one or other of them
in a kind of dependent union. Neither the names nor the number of
these primary members can be certainly known: there seem grounds for
including Thebes, Orchomenus, Lebadeia, Korôneia, Haliartus, Kôpæ,
Anthêdôn, Tanagra, Thespiæ, and Platæa before its secession.[491]
Akræphia, with the neighboring Mount Ptôon and its oracle, Skôlus,
Glisas, and other places, were dependencies of Thebes: Chæroneia,
Asplêdôn, Holmônes, and Hyêttus, of Orchomenus: Siphæ, Leuktra,
Kerêssus, and Thisbê, of Thespiæ.[492] Certain generals or
magistrates, called Bœotarchs, were chosen annually to manage the
common affairs of the confederation. At the time of the battle of
Delium in the Peloponnesian war, they were eleven in number, two of
them from Thebes; but whether this number was always maintained, or
in what proportions the choice was made by the different cities,
we find no distinct information. There were likewise, during the
Peloponnesian war, four different senates, with whom the Bœotarchs
consulted on matters of importance; a curious arrangement, of which
we have no explanation. Lastly, there was the general concilium and
religious festival,—the Pambœotia,—held periodically at Korôneia.
Such were the forms, as far as we can make them out, of the Bœotian
confederacy; each of the separate cities possessing its own senate
and constitution, and having its political consciousness as an
autonomous unit, yet with a certain habitual deference to the federal
obligations. Substantially, the affairs of the confederation will
be found in the hands of Thebes, managed in the interests of Theban
ascendency, which appears to have been sustained by no other feeling
except respect for superior force and bravery. The discontents of
the minor Bœotian towns, harshly repressed and punished, form an
uninviting chapter in Grecian history.

  [490] Thucyd. ii. 2—κατὰ τὰ πάτρια τῶν πάντων Βοιωτῶν: compare
  the speech of the Thebans to the Lacedæmonians after the capture
  of Platæa, iii. 61, 65, 66.

  [491] Thucyd. iv. 91; C. F. Hermann, Griechische Staats
  Alterthümer, sect. 179; Herodot. v. 79; Boeckh, Commentat. ad.
  Inscript. Bœotic. ap. Corp. Ins. Gr. part v. p. 726.

  [492] Herodot. viii. 135; ix. 15-43. Pausan ix. 13, 1; ix. 23, 3;
  ix. 24, 3; ix. 32, 1-4. Xenophon, Hellen. vi. 4, 3-4: compare O.
  Müller, Orchomenos, cap. xx. p. 403.

One piece of information we find, respecting Thebes singly and apart
from the other Bœotian towns anterior to the year 700 B. C. Though
brief, and incompletely recorded, it is yet highly valuable, as
one of the first incidents of solid and positive Grecian history.
Dioklês, the Corinthian, stands enrolled as Olympic victor in the
13th Olympiad, or 728 B. C., at a time when the oligarchy called
Bacchiadæ possessed the government of Corinth. The beauty of his
person attracted towards him the attachment of Philolaus, one of
the members of this oligarchical body,—a sentiment which Grecian
manners did not proscribe; but it also provoked an incestuous passion
on the part of his own mother, Halcyonê, from which Dioklês shrunk
with hatred and horror. He abandoned forever his native city and
retired to Thebes, whither he was followed by Philolaus, and where
both of them lived and died. Their tombs were yet shown in the time
of Aristotle, close adjoining to each other, yet with an opposite
frontage; that of Philolaus being so placed that the inmate could
command a view of the lofty peak of his native city, while that of
Dioklês was so disposed as to block out all prospect of the hateful
spot. That which preserves to us the memory of so remarkable an
incident, is, the esteem entertained for Philolaus by the Thebans,—a
feeling so profound, that they invited him to make laws for them. We
shall have occasion to point out one or two similar cases, in which
Grecian cities invoked the aid of an intelligent stranger; and the
practice became common, among the Italian republics in the Middle
Ages, to nominate a person not belonging to their city either as
podesta or as arbitrator in civil dissensions. It would have been
highly interesting to know, at length, what laws Philolaus made
for the Thebans; but Aristotle, with his usual conciseness, merely
alludes to his regulations respecting the adoption of children and
respecting the multiplication of offspring in each separate family.
His laws were framed with the view to maintain the original number
of lots of land, without either subdivision or consolidation; but by
what means the purpose was to be fulfilled we are not informed.[493]
There existed a law at Thebes, which perhaps may have been part
of the scheme of Philolaus, prohibiting exposure of children, and
empowering a father, under the pressure of extreme poverty, to bring
his new-born infant to the magistrates, who sold it for a price to
any citizen-purchaser,—taking from him the obligation to bring it up,
but allowing him in return, to consider the adult as his slave.[494]
From these brief allusions, coming to us without accompanying
illustration, we can draw no other inference, except that the great
problem of population—the relation between the well-being of the
citizens and their more or less rapid increase in numbers—had engaged
the serious attention even of the earliest Grecian legislators. We
may, however, observe that the old Corinthian legislator, Pheidôn,
(whose precise date cannot be fixed) is stated by Aristotle,[495] to
have contemplated much the same object as that which is ascribed to
Philolaus at Thebes; an unchangeable number both of citizens and of
lots of land, without any attempt to alter the unequal ratio of the
lots, one to the other.

  [493] Aristot. Polit. ii. 9, 6-7. Νομοθέτης δ᾽ αὐτοῖς (to the
  Thebans) ἐγένετο Φιλόλαος περί τ᾽ ἄλλων τινῶν καὶ περὶ τῆς
  παιδοποιΐας, οὓς καλοῦσιν ἐκεῖνοι νόμους θετικούς· καὶ τοῦτ᾽
  ἐστὶν ἰδίως ὑπ᾽ ἐκείνου νενομοθετημένον, ὅπως ὁ ἀριθμὸς σῴζηται
  τῶν κλήρων. A perplexing passage follows within three lines of
  this,—Φιλολάου δὲ ἴδιον ἐστιν ἡ τῶν οὐσιῶν ἀνομάλωσις,—which
  raises two questions: first, whether Philolaus can really be
  meant in the second passage, which talks of what is ἴδιον
  to Philolaus, while the first passage had already spoken of
  something ἰδίως νενομοθετημένον by the same person. Accordingly,
  Göttling and M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire follow one of the MSS. by
  writing Φαλέου in place of Φιλολάου. Next, what is the meaning of
  ἀνομάλωσις? O. Müller (Dorians, ch. x. 5, p. 209) considers it
  to mean a “fresh equalization, just as ἀναδασμὸς means a fresh
  division,” adopting the translation of Victorius and Schlösser.

  The point can hardly be decisively settled; but if this
  translation of ἀνομάλωσις be correct, there is good ground for
  preferring the word Φαλέου to Φιλολάου; since the proceeding
  described would harmonize better with the ideas of Phaleas
  (Aristot. Pol. ii. 4, 3).

  [494] Ælian, V. H. ii. 7.

  [495] Aristot. Polit. ii. 3, 7. This Pheidôn seems different from
  Pheidôn of Argos, as far as we are enabled to judge.



We now pass from the northern members to the heart and head of
Greece,—Peloponnesus and Attica, taking the former first in order,
and giving as much as can be ascertained respecting its early
historical phenomena.

The traveller who entered Peloponnesus from Bœotia during the
youthful days of Herodotus and Thucydidês, found an array of
powerful Doric cities conterminous to each other, and beginning
at the isthmus of Corinth. First came Megara, stretching across
the isthmus from sea to sea, and occupying the high and rugged
mountain-ridge called Geraneia; next Corinth, with its strong and
conspicuous acropolis, and its territory including Mount Oneion as
well as the portion of the isthmus at once most level and narrowest,
which divided its two harbors called Lechæum and Kenchreæ. Westward
of Corinth, along the Corinthian gulf, stood Sikyôn, with a plain
of uncommon fertility, between the two towns: southward of Sikyôn
and Corinth were Phlius and Kleonæ, both conterminous, as well as
Corinth, with Argos and the Argolic peninsula. The inmost bend of
the Argolic gulf, including a considerable space of flat and marshy
ground adjoining to the sea, was possessed by Argos; the Argolic
peninsula was divided by Argos with the Doric cities of Epidaurus and
Trœzen, and the Dryopian city of Hermionê, the latter possessing the
south-western corner. Proceeding southward along the western coast
of the gulf, and passing over the little river called Tanos, the
traveller found himself in the dominion of Sparta, which comprised
the entire southern region of the peninsula from its eastern to
its western sea, where the river Neda flows into the latter. He
first passed from Argos across the difficult mountain range called
Parnôn (which bounds to the west the southern portion of Argolis),
until he found himself in the valley of the river Œnus, which he
followed until it joined the Eurotas. In the larger valley of the
Eurotas, far removed from the sea, and accessible only through the
most impracticable mountain roads, lay the five unwalled, unadorned,
adjoining villages, which bore collectively the formidable name
of Sparta. The whole valley of the Eurotas, from Skiritis and
Beleminatis at the border of Arcadia, to the Laconian gulf,—expanding
in several parts into fertile plain, especially near to its mouth,
where the towns of Gythium and Helos were found,—belonged to Sparta;
together with the cold and high mountain range to the eastward,
which projects into the promontory of Malea,—and the still loftier
chain of Taygetus to the westward, which ends in the promontory of
Tænarus. On the other side of Taygetus, on the banks of the river
Pamisus, which there flows into the Messenian gulf, lay the plain
of Messênê, the richest land in the peninsula. This plain had once
yielded its ample produce to the free Messenian Dorians, resident in
the towns of Stenyklêrus and Andania. But in the time of which we
speak, the name of Messenians was borne only by a body of brave but
homeless exiles, whose restoration to the land of their forefathers
overpassed even the exile’s proverbially sanguine hope. Their land
was confounded with the western portion of Laconia, which reached in
a south-westerly direction down to the extreme point of Cape Akritas,
and northward as far as the river Neda.

Throughout his whole journey to the point last mentioned, from the
borders of Bœotia and Megaris, the traveller would only step from
one Dorian state into another. But on crossing from the south to the
north bank of the river Neda, at a point near to its mouth, he would
find himself out of Doric land altogether: first, in the territory
called Triphylia,—next, in that of Pisa, or the Pisatid,—thirdly,
in the more spacious and powerful state called Elis; these three
comprising the coast-land of Peloponnesus from the mouth of the
Neda to that of the Larissus. The Triphylians, distributed into a
number of small townships, the largest of which was Lepreon,—and the
Pisatans, equally destitute of any centralizing city,—had both, at
the period of which we are now speaking, been conquered by their more
powerful northern neighbors of Elis, who enjoyed the advantage of a
spacious territory united under one government; the middle portion,
called the Hollow Elis, being for the most part fertile, though the
tracts near the sea were more sandy and barren. The Eleians were a
section of Ætolian emigrants into Peloponnesus, but the Pisatans and
Triphylians had both been originally independent inhabitants of the
peninsula,—the latter being affirmed to belong to the same race as
the Minyæ who had occupied the ante-Bœotian Orchomenos: both, too,
bore the ascendency of Elis with perpetual murmur and occasional

Crossing the river Larissus, and pursuing the northern coast of
Peloponnesus south of the Corinthian gulf, the traveller would pass
into Achaia,—a name which designated the narrow strip of level land,
and the projecting spurs and declivities, between that gulf and
the northernmost mountains of the peninsula,—Skollis, Erymanthus,
Aroania, Krathis, and the towering eminence called Kyllênê. Achæan
cities,—twelve in number at least, if not more,—divided this long
strip of land amongst them, from the mouth of the Larissus and the
north-western Cape Araxus on one side, to the western boundary of the
Sikyonian territory on the other. According to the accounts of the
ancient legends and the belief of Herodotus, this territory had once
been occupied by Ionian inhabitants whom the Achæans had expelled.

In making this journey, the traveller would have finished the
circuit of Peloponnesus; but he would still have left untrodden
the great central region, inclosed between the territories just
enumerated,—approaching nearest to the sea on the borders of
Triphylia, but never touching it anywhere. This region was Arcadia,
possessed by inhabitants who are uniformly represented as all of
one race, and all aboriginal. It was high and bleak, full of wild
mountain, rock, and forest, and abounding, to a degree unusual even
in Greece, with those land-locked basins from whence the water finds
only a subterraneous issue. It was distributed among a large number
of distinct villages and cities. Many of the village tribes,—the
Mænalii, Parrhasii, Azanes, etc., occupying the central and the
western regions, were numbered among the rudest of the Greeks: but
along its eastern frontier there were several Arcadian cities which
ranked deservedly among the more civilized Peloponnesians. Tegea,
Mantineia, Orchomenus, Stymphalus, Pheneus, possessed the whole
eastern frontier of Arcadia from the borders of Laconia to those of
Sikyôn and Pellênê in Achaia: Phigaleia at the south-western corner,
near the borders of Triphylia, and Heræa, on the north bank of the
Alpheius, near the place where that river quits Arcadia to enter the
Pisatis, were also towns deserving of notice. Towards the north of
this cold and thinly-peopled region, near Pheneos, was situated the
small town of Nonakris, adjoining to which rose the hardly accessible
crags where the rivulet of Styx[496] flowed down: a point of common
feeling for all Arcadians, from the terrific sanction which this
water was understood to impart to their oaths.

  [496] Herodot. vi. 74; Pausan. viii. 18, 2. See the description
  and print of the river Styx, and the neighboring rocks, in
  Fiedler’s Reise durch Griechenland, vol. i. p. 400.

  He describes a scene amidst these rocks, in 1826, when the
  troops of Ibrahim Pasha were in the Morea, which realizes the
  fearful pictures of war after the manner of the ancient Gauls,
  or Thracians. A crowd of five thousand Greeks, of every age and
  sex, had found shelter in a grassy and bushy spot embosomed
  amidst these crags,—few of them armed. They were pursued by
  five thousand Egyptians and Arabians: a very small resistance,
  in such ground, would have kept the troops at bay, but the poor
  men either could not or would not offer it. They were forced
  to surrender: the youngest and most energetic cast themselves
  headlong from the rocks and perished: three thousand prisoners
  were carried away captive, and sold for slaves at Corinth,
  Patras, and Modon: all those who were unfit for sale were
  massacred on the spot by the Egyptian troops.

The distribution of Peloponnesus here sketched, suitable to the
Persian invasion and the succeeding half century, may also be said
(with some allowances) to be adapted to the whole interval between
about B. C. 550-370; from the time of the conquest of Thyreatis
by Sparta to the battle of Leuktra. But it is not the earliest
distribution which history presents to us. Not presuming to criticize
the Homeric map of Peloponnesus, and going back only to 776 B. C., we
find this material difference,—that Sparta occupies only a very small
fraction of the large territory above described as belonging to her.
Westward of the summit of Mount Taygetus are found another section
of Dorians, independent of Sparta: the Messenian Dorians, whose city
is on the hill of Stenyklêrus, near the south-western boundary of
Arcadia, and whose possessions cover the fertile plain of Messêne
along the river Pamisus to its mouth in the Messenian gulf: it is to
be noted that Messênê was then the name of the plain generally, and
that no town so called existed until after the battle of Leuktra.
Again, eastward of the valley of the Eurotas, the mountainous region
and the western shores of the Argolic gulf down to Cape Malea are
also independent of Sparta; belonging to Argos, or rather to Dorian
towns in unison with Argos. All the great Dorian towns, from the
borders of the Megarid to the eastern frontier of Arcadia, as above
enumerated, appear to have existed in 776 B. C.: Achaia was in the
same condition, so far as we are able to judge, as well as Arcadia,
except in regard to its southern frontier, conterminous with Sparta,
of which more will hereafter be said. In respect to the western
portion of Peloponnesus, Elis (properly so called) appears to have
embraced the same territory in 776 B. C. as in 550 B. C.: but
the Pisatid had been recently conquered, and was yet imperfectly
subjected by the Eleians; while Triphylia seems to have been quite
independent of them. Respecting the south-western promontory of
Peloponnesus down to Cape Akritas, we are altogether without
information: reasons will hereafter be given for believing that it
did not at that time form part of the territory of the Messenian

Of the different races or people whom Herodotus knew in Peloponnesus,
he believed three to be aboriginal,—the Arcadians, the Achæans, and
the Kynurians. The Achæans, though belonging indigenously to the
peninsula, had yet removed from the southern portion of it to the
northern, expelling the previous Ionian tenants: this is a part
of the legend respecting the Dorian conquest, or Return of the
Herakleids, and we can neither verify nor contradict it. But neither
the Arcadians nor the Kynurians had ever changed their abodes. Of the
latter, I have not before spoken, because they were never (so far
as history knows them) an independent population. They occupied the
larger portion[497] of the territory of Argolis, from Orneæ, near the
northern[498] or Phliasian border, to Thyrea and the Thyreatis, on
the Laconian border: and though belonging originally (as Herodotus
imagines rather than asserts) to the Ionic race—they had been so long
subjects of Argos in his time, that almost all evidence of their
ante-Dorian condition had vanished.

  [497] This is the only way of reconciling Herodotus (viii. 73)
  with Thucydidês (iv. 56, and v. 41). The original extent of the
  Kynurian territory is a point on which neither of them had any
  means of very correct information, but there is no occasion to
  reject the one in favor of the other.

  [498] Herod. viii. 73. Οἱ δὲ Κυνούριοι, αὐτόχθονες ἐόντες,
  δοκέουσι μοῦνοι εἶναι Ἴωνες· ἐκδεδωρίευνται δὲ, ὑπό τε Ἀργείων
  ἀρχόμενοι καὶ τοῦ χρόνου, ἐόντες Ὀρνεῆται καὶ περίοικοι.

But the great Dorian states in Peloponnesus—the capital powers in
the peninsula—were all originally emigrants, according to the belief
not only of Herodotus, but of all the Grecian world: so also were
the Ætolians of Elis, the Triphylians, and the Dryopes at Hermionê
and Asinê. All these emigrations are so described as to give them
a root in the Grecian legendary world: the Triphylians are traced
back to Lemnos, as the offspring of the Argonautic heroes,[499] and
we are too uninformed about them to venture upon any historical
guesses. But respecting the Dorians, it may perhaps be possible, by
examining the first historical situation in which they are presented
to us, to offer some conjectures as to the probable circumstances
under which they arrived. The legendary narrative of it has
already been given in the first chapter of this volume,—that great
mythical event called the Return of the Children of Hêraklês, by
which the first establishment of the Dorians in the promised land
of Peloponnesus was explained to the full satisfaction of Grecian
faith. One single armament and expedition, acting by the special
direction of the Delphian god, and conducted by three brothers,
lineal descendants of the principal Achæo-Dorian heroes through
Hyllus, (the eponymus of the principal tribe,)—the national heroes of
the preëxisting population vanquished and expelled, and the greater
part of the peninsula both acquired and partitioned at a stroke,—the
circumstances of the partition adjusted to the historical relations
of Laconia and Messenia,—the friendly power of Ætolian Elis, with its
Olympic games as the bond of union in Peloponnesus, attached to this
event as an appendage, in the person of Oxylus,—all these particulars
compose a narrative well calculated to impress the retrospective
imagination of a Greek. They exhibit an epical fitness and
sufficiency which it would be unseasonable to impair by historical

  [499] Herodot. iv. 145-146.

The Alexandrine chronology sets down a period of 328 years from the
Return of the Herakleids to the first Olympiad (1104 B. C.-776 B.
C.,),—a period measured by the lists of the kings of Sparta, on the
trustworthiness of which some remarks have already been offered.
Of these 328 years, the first 250, at the least, are altogether
barren of facts; and even if we admitted them to be historical, we
should have nothing to recount except a succession of royal names.
Being unable either to guarantee the entire list, or to discover any
valid test for discriminating the historical and the non-historical
items, I here enumerate the Lacedæmonian kings as they appear in Mr.
Clinton’s Fasti Hellenici. There were two joint kings at Sparta,
throughout nearly all the historical time of independent Greece,
deducing their descent from Hêraklês through Eurysthenês and Proklês,
the twin sons of Aristodêmus; the latter being one of those three
Herakleid brothers to whom the conquest of the peninsula is ascribed:—

        _Line of Eurysthenês._            _Line of Proklês._
    Eurysthenês   reigned 42 years.   Proklês       reigned 51 years.
    Agis             ”    31   ”      Söus             ”    --   ”
    Echestratus      ”    35   ”      Eurypôn          ”    --   ”
    Labôtas          ”    37   ”      Prytanis         ”    49   ”
    Doryssus         ”    29   ”      Eunomus          ”    45   ”
    Agesilaus        ”    44   ”      Charilaus        ”    60   ”
    Archelaus        ”    60   ”      Nikander         ”    38   ”
    Teleklus         ”    40   ”      Theopompus       ”    10   ”
    Alkamenês        ”    10   ”

Both Theopompus and Alkamenês reigned considerably longer, but the
chronologists affirm that the year 776 B. C. (or the first Olympiad)
occurred in the tenth year of each of their reigns. It is necessary
to add, with regard to this list, that there are some material
discrepancies between different authors even as to the names of
individual kings, and still more as to the duration of their reigns,
as may be seen both in Mr. Clinton’s chronology and in Müller’s
Appendix to the History of the Dorians.[500] The alleged sum total
cannot be made to agree with the items without great license of
conjecture. O. Müller observes,[501] in reference to this Alexandrine
chronology, “that our materials only enable us to restore it to its
original state, not to verify its correctness.” In point of fact
they are insufficient even for the former purpose, as the dissensions
among learned critics attest.

  [500] Herodotus omits Söus between Proklês and Eurypôn, and
  inserts Polydektês between Prytanis and Eunomus: moreover, the
  accounts of the Lacedæmonians, as he states them, represented
  Lykurgus, the lawgiver, as uncle and guardian of Labôtas, of _the
  Eurysthenid house_,—while Simonidês made him son of Prytanis, and
  others made him son of Eunomus, of _the Proklid line_: compare
  Herod. i. 65; viii. 131. Plutarch, Lycurg. c. 2.

  Some excellent remarks on this early series of Spartan kings will
  be found in Mr. G. C. Lewis’s article in the Philological Museum,
  vol. ii. pp. 42-48, in a review of Dr. Arnold on the Spartan

  Compare also Larcher, Chronologie d’Hérodote, ch. 13, pp.
  484-514. He lengthens many of the reigns considerably, in order
  to suit the earlier epoch which he assigns to the capture of Troy
  and the Return of the Herakleids.

  [501] History of the Dorians, vol. ii. Append. p. 442.

We have a succession of names, still more barren of facts, in the
case of the Dorian sovereigns of Corinth. This city had its own line
of Herakleids, descended from Hêraklês, but not through Hyllus.
Hippotês, the progenitor of the Corinthian Herakleids, was reported
in the legend to have originally joined the Dorian invaders of the
Peloponnesus, but to have quitted them in consequence of having slain
the prophet Karnus.[502] The three brothers, when they became masters
of the peninsula, sent for Alêtês, the son of Hippotês, and placed
him in possession of Corinth, over which the chronologists make
him begin to reign thirty years after the Herakleid conquest. His
successors are thus given:—

  [502] This story—that the heroic ancestor of the great Corinthian
  Bacchiadæ had slain the holy man Karnus, and had been punished
  for it by long banishment and privation—leads to the conjecture,
  that the Corinthians did not celebrate the festival of the
  Karneia, common to the Dorians generally.

  Herodotus tells us, with regard to the Ionic cities, that all
  of them celebrated the festival of Apaturia, except Ephesus
  and Kolophon; and that these two cities did not celebrate it,
  “because of a certain reason of murder committed,”—οὗτοι γὰρ
  μοῦνοι Ἰώνων οὐκ ἄγουσιν Ἀπατούρια· καὶ οὗτοι κατὰ φόνου τινὰ
  σκῆψιν (Herod. i. 147).

  The murder of Karnus by Hippotês was probably the φόνου σκῆψις
  which forbade the Corinthians from celebrating the Karneia; at
  least, this supposition gives to the legend a special pertinence
  which is otherwise wanting to it. Respecting the Karneia and
  Hyacinthia, see Schoell De Origine Græci Dramatis, pp. 70-78.
  Tübingen, 1828.

  There were various singular customs connected with the Grecian
  festivals, which it was usual to account for by some legendary
  tale. Thus, no native of Elis ever entered himself as a
  competitor, or contended for the prize, at the Isthmian games.
  The legendary reason given for this was, that Hêraklês had
  waylaid and slain (at Kleônæ) the two Molionid brothers, when
  they were proceeding to the Isthmian games as Theôrs or sacred
  envoys from the Eleian king Augeas. Redress was in vain demanded
  for this outrage, and Molionê, mother of the slain envoys,
  imprecated a curse upon the Eleians generally if they should ever
  visit the Isthmian festival. This legend is the φόνου σκῆψις,
  explaining why no Eleian runner or wrestler was ever known to
  contend there (Pausan. ii. 15, 1; v. 2, 1-4. Ister, Fragment. 46,
  ed. Didot).

    Aletes      reigned 38 years,
    Ixion          ”    38   ”
    Agelas         ”    37   ”
    Prymnis        ”    35   ”
    Bacchis        ”    35   ”
    Agelas         ”    30   ”
    Eudêmus        ”    25   ”
    Aristomêdês    ”    35   ”
    Agêmôn         ”    16   ”
    Alexander      ”    25   ”
    Telestês       ”    12   ”
    Automenês      ”     1   ”

Such was the celebrity of Bacchis, we are told, that those who
succeeded him took the name of Bacchiads in place of Aletiads or
Herakleids. One year after the accession of Automenês, the family
of the Bacchiads generally, amounting to 200 persons, determined to
abolish royalty, to constitute themselves a standing oligarchy, and
to elect out of their own number an annual Prytanis. Thus commenced
the oligarchy of the Bacchiads, which lasted for ninety years,
until it was subverted by Kypselus in 657 B. C.[503] Reckoning the
thirty years previous to the beginning of the reign of Alêtês, the
chronologists thus provide an interval of 447 years between the
Return of the Herakleids and the accession of Kypselus, and 357
years between the same period and the commencement of the Bacchiad
oligarchy. The Bacchiad oligarchy is unquestionably historical; the
conquest of the Herakleids belongs to the legendary world; while the
interval between the two is filled up, as in so many other cases, by
a mere barren genealogy.

  [503] Diodor. Fragm. lib. vii. p. 14, with the note of Wesseling.
  Strabo (viii. p. 378) states the Bacchiad oligarchy to have
  lasted nearly two hundred years.

When we jump this vacant space, and place ourselves at the first
opening of history, we find that, although ultimately Sparta came to
hold the first place, not only in Peloponnesus, but in all Hellas,
this was not the case at the earliest moment of which we have
historical cognizance. Argos, and the neighboring towns connected
with her by a bond of semi-religious, semi-political union,—Sikyôn,
Phlius, Epidaurus, and Trœzên,—were at first of greater power and
consideration than Sparta; a fact which the legend of the Herakleids
seems to recognize by making Têmenus the eldest brother of the
three. And Herodotus assures us that at one time all the eastern
coast of Peloponnesus down to Cape Melea, including the island
of Cythêra, all which came afterwards to constitute a material
part of Laconia, had belonged to Argos.[504] Down to the time of
the first Messenian war, the comparative importance of the Dorian
establishments in Peloponnesus appears to have been in the order
in which the legend placed them,—Argos first,[505] Sparta second,
Messênê third. It will be seen hereafter that the Argeians never lost
the recollection of this early preëminence, from which the growth of
Sparta had extruded them; and the liberties of entire Hellas were
more than once in danger from their disastrous jealousy of a more
fortunate competitor.

  [504] Herodot. i. 82. The historian adds, besides Cythêra, καὶ
  αἱ λοιπαὶ τῶν νήσων. What other islands are meant, I do not
  distinctly understand.

  [505] So Plato (Legg. iii. p. 692), whose mind is full of the old
  mythe and the tripartite distribution of Peloponnesus among the
  Herakleids,—ἡ δ᾽ αὖ, πρωτεύουσα ἐν τοῖς τότε χρόνοις τοῖς περὶ
  τὴν διανομὴν, ἡ περὶ τὸ Ἄργος, etc.

At a short distance of about three miles from Argos, and at the
exact point where that city approaches nearest to the sea,[506] was
situated the isolated hillock called Temenion, noticed both by Strabo
and Pausanias. It was a small village, deriving both its name and
its celebrity from the chapel and tomb of the hero Têmenus, who was
there worshipped by the Dorians; and the statement which Pausanias
heard was, that Têmenus, with his invading Dorians, had seized and
fortified the spot, and employed it as an armed post to make war upon
Tisamenus and the Achæans. What renders this report deserving of the
greater attention, is, that the same thing is affirmed with regard to
the eminence called Solygeius, near Corinth: this too was believed to
be the place which the Dorian assailants had occupied and fortified
against the preëxisting Corinthians in the city. Situated close upon
the Sarônic gulf, it was the spot which invaders landing from that
gulf would naturally seize upon, and which Nikias with his powerful
Athenian fleet did actually seize and occupy against Corinth in the
Peloponnesian war.[507] In early days, the only way of overpowering
the inhabitants of a fortified town, generally also planted in a
position itself very defensible, was,—that the invaders, entrenching
themselves in the neighborhood, harassed the inhabitants and ruined
their produce until they brought them to terms. Even during the
Peloponnesian war, when the art of besieging had made some progress,
we read of several instances in which this mode of aggressive warfare
was adopted with efficient results.[508] We may readily believe that
the Dorians obtained admittance both into Argos and Corinth in this
manner. And it is remarkable that, except Sikyôn (which is affirmed
to have been surprised by night), these were the only towns in the
Argolic region which are said to have resisted them; the story being,
that Phlius, Epidaurus, and Trœzên had admitted the Dorian intruders
without opposition, although a certain portion of the previous
inhabitants seceded. We shall hereafter see that the non-Dorian
population of Sikyôn and Corinth still remained considerable.

  [506] Pausan. ii. 38, 1; Strabo, viii. p. 368. Professor Ross
  observes, respecting the line of coast near Argos, “The sea-side
  is thoroughly flat, and for the most part marshy; only at the
  single point where Argos comes nearest to the coast,—between the
  mouth, now choked by sand, of the united Inachus and Charadrus,
  and the efflux of the Erasinus, overgrown with weeds and
  bulrushes,—stands an eminence of some elevation and composed
  of firmer earth, upon which the ancient Temenion was placed.”
  (Reisen im Peloponnes, vol. i. sect. 5, p. 149, Berlin, 1841.)

  [507] Thucyd. iv. 42.

  [508] Thucyd. i. 122; iii. 85, vii. 18-27; viii. 38-40.

The separate statements which we thus find, and the position of the
Temenion and the Solygeius, lead to two conjectures,—first, that
the acquisitions of the Dorians in Peloponnesus were also isolated
and gradual, not at all conformable to the rapid strides of the old
Herakleid legend; next, that the Dorian invaders of Argos and Corinth
made their attack from the Argolic and the Saronic gulfs,—by sea
and not by land. It is, indeed, difficult to see how they can have
got to the Temenion in any other way than by sea; and a glance at
the map will show that the eminence Solygeius presents itself,[509]
with reference to Corinth, as the nearest and most convenient
holding-ground for a maritime invader, conformably to the scheme
of operations laid by Nikias. To illustrate the supposition of a
Dorian attack by sea on Corinth, we may refer to a story quoted
from Aristotle (which we find embodied in the explanation of an
old adage), representing Hippotês the father of Alêtês as having
crossed the Maliac gulf[510] (the sea immediately bordering on the
ancient Maleans, Dryopians, and Dorians) in ships, for the purpose of
colonizing. And if it be safe to trust the mention of Dorians in the
Odyssey, as a part of the population of the island of Crete, we there
have an example of Dorian settlements which must have been effected
by sea, and that too at a very early period. “We must suppose
(observes O. Müller,[511] in reference to these Kretan Dorians) that
the Dorians, pressed by want or restless from inactivity, constructed
piratical canoes, manned these frail and narrow barks with soldiers
who themselves worked at the oar, and thus being changed from
mountaineers into seamen,—the Normans of Greece,—set sail for the
distant island of Krête.” In the same manner, we may conceive the
expeditions of the Dorians against Argos and Corinth to have been
effected; and whatever difficulties may attach to this hypothesis,
certain it is that the difficulties of a long land-march, along such
a territory as Greece, are still more serious.

  [509] Thucyd. iv. 42.

  [510] Aristot. ap. Prov. Vatican, iv. 4, Μηλιακὸν πλοῖον,—also
  Prov. Suidas, x. 2.

  [511] Hist. of Dorians, ch. i. 9. Andrôn positively affirms that
  the Dorians came from Histiæôtis to Krête; but his affirmation
  does not seem to me to constitute any additional evidence of the
  fact: it is a conjecture adapted to the passage in the Odyssey
  (xix. 174), as the mention of Achæans and Pelasgians evidently

  Aristotle (ap. Strab. viii. p. 374) appears to have believed that
  the Herakleids returned to Argos out of the Attic Tetrapolis
  (where, according to the Athenian legend, they had obtained
  shelter when persecuted by Eurystheus), accompanying a body of
  Ionians who then settled at Epidaurus. He cannot, therefore, have
  connected the Dorian occupation of Argos with the expedition from

The supposition of Dorian emigrations by sea, from the Maliac gulf to
the north-eastern promontory of Peloponnesus, is farther borne out
by the analogy of the Dryopes, or Dryopians. During the historical
times, this people occupied several detached settlements in various
parts of Greece, all maritime, and some insular;—they were found
at Hermionê, Asinê, and Eiôn, in the Argolic peninsula (very near
to the important Dorian towns constituting the Amphiktyony of
Argos,[512])—at Styra and Karystus in the island of Eubœa,—in the
island of Kythnus, and even at Cyprus. These dispersed colonies
can only have been planted by expeditions over the sea. Now we are
told that the original Dryopis, the native country of this people,
comprehended both the territory near the river Spercheius, and
north of Œta, afterwards occupied by the Malians, as well as the
neighboring district south of Œta, which was afterwards called
Doris. From hence the Dryopians were expelled,—according to one
story, by the Dorians,—according to another, by Hêraklês and the
Malians: however this may be, it was from the Maliac gulf that they
started on shipboard in quest of new homes, which some of them found
on the headlands of the Argolic peninsula.[513] And it was from
this very country, according to Herodotus,[514] that the Dorians
also set forth, in order to reach Peloponnesus. Nor does it seem
unreasonable to imagine, that the same means of conveyance, which
bore the Dryopians from the Maliac gulf to Hermionê and Asinê, also
carried the Dorians from the same place to the Temenion, and the hill

  [512] Herod. viii. 43-46; Diodor. iv. 37; Pausan. iv. 34, 6.

  [513] Strabo, viii. p. 373; ix. p. 434. Herodot. viii. 43.
  Pherekydês, Fr. 23 and 38, ed. Didot. Steph. Byz. v. Δρυόπη.
  Apollodor. ii. 7, 7. Schol. Apollon. Rhod. i. 1213.

  [514] Herodot. i. 56.—ἐνθεῦτεν δὲ αὖτις ἐς τὴν Δρυοπίδα μετέβη,
  καὶ ἐκ τῆς Δρυοπίδος οὕτω ἐς Πελοπόννησον ἐλθὸν, Δωρικὸν
  ἐκλήθη,—to the same purpose, viii. 31-43.

The legend represents Sikyôn, Epidaurus, Trœzên, Phlius, and Kleônæ,
as all occupied by Dorian colonists from Argos, under the different
sons of Têmenus: the first three are on the sea, and fit places for
the occupation of maritime invaders. Argos and the Dorian towns
in and near the Argolic peninsula are to be regarded as a cluster
of settlements by themselves, completely distinct from Sparta and
the Messenian Stenyklêrus, which appear to have been formed under
totally different conditions. First, both of them are very far
inland,—Stenyklêrus not easy, Sparta very difficult of access from
the sea; next, we know that the conquests of Sparta were gradually
made down the valley of the Eurotas seaward. Both these acquisitions
present the appearance of having been made from the land-side, and
perhaps in the direction which the Herakleid legend describes,—by
warriors entering Peloponnesus across the narrow mouth of the
Corinthian gulf, through the aid or invitation of those Ætolian
settlers who at the same time colonized Elis. The early and intimate
connection (on which I shall touch presently) between Sparta and the
Olympic games as administered by the Eleians, as well as the leading
part ascribed to Lykurgus in the constitution of the solemn Olympic
truce, tend to strengthen such a persuasion.

In considering the early affairs of the Dorians in Peloponnesus, we
are apt to have our minds biased, first, by the Herakleid legend,
which imparts to them an impressive, but deceitful, epical unity;
next, by the aspect of the later and better-known history, which
presents the Spartan power as unquestionably preponderant, and
Argos only as second by a long interval. But the first view (as I
have already remarked) which opens to us, of real Grecian history,
a little before 776 B. C., exhibits Argos with its alliance or
confederacy of neighboring cities colonized from itself, as the great
seat of Dorian power in the peninsula, and Sparta as an outlying
state of inferior consequence. The recollection of this state of
things lasted after it had ceased to be a reality, and kept alive
pretensions on the part of Argos to the headship of the Greeks as
a matter of right, which she became quite incapable of sustaining
either by adequate power or by statesmanlike sagacity. The growth of
Spartan power was a succession of encroachments upon Argos.[515]

  [515] See Herodot. vii. 148. The Argeians say to the
  Lacedæmonians, in reference to the chief command of the
  Greeks—καίτοι κατά γε τὸ δίκαιον γίνεσθαι τὴν ἡγεμονίην ἑωύτων,
  etc. Schweighäuser and others explain the point by reference to
  the command of Agamemnôn; but this is at best only a part of the
  foundation of their claim: they had a more recent historical
  reality to plead also: compare Strabo, viii. p. 376.

How Sparta came constantly to gain upon Argos will be matter for
future explanation: at present, it is sufficient to remark, that
the ascendency of Argos was derived not exclusively from her own
territory, but came in part from her position as metropolis of
an alliance of autonomous neighboring cities, all Dorian and all
colonized from herself,—and this was an element of power essentially
fluctuating. What Thêbes was to the cities of Bœotia, of which she
either was, or professed to have been, the founder,[516] the same
was Argos in reference to Kleônæ, Phlius, Sikyôn, Epidaurus, Trœzên,
and Ægina. These towns formed, in mythical language, “the lot of
Têmenus,”[517]—in real matter of fact, the confederated allies or
subordinates of Argos: the first four of them were said to have
been _Dorized_ by the sons or immediate relatives of Têmenus; and
the kings of Argos, as acknowledged descendants of the latter,
claimed and exercised a sort of _suzeraineté_ over them. Hermionê,
Asinê, and Nauplia seem also to have been under the supremacy of
Argos, though not colonies.[518] But this supremacy was not claimed
directly and nakedly: agreeably to the ideas of the time, the
ostensible purposes of the Argeian confederacy or Amphiktyony were
religious, though its secondary and not less real effects, were
political. The great patron-god of the league was Apollo Pythaëus,
in whose name the obligations incumbent on the members of the league
were imposed. While in each of the confederated cities there was a
temple to this god, his most holy and central sanctuary was on the
Larissa or acropolis of Argos. At this central Argeian sanctuary,
solemn sacrifices were offered by Epidaurus as well as by other
members of the confederacy, and, as it should seem, accompanied by
money-payments,[519]—which the Argeians, as chief administrators
on behalf of the common god, took upon them to enforce against
defaulters, and actually tried to enforce during the Peloponnesian
war against Epidaurus. On another occasion, during the 66th Olympiad
(B. C. 514), they imposed the large fine of 500 talents upon each of
the two states Sikyôn and Ægina, for having lent ships to the Spartan
king Kleomenes, wherewith he invaded the Argeian territory. The
Æginetans set the claim at defiance, but the Sikyonians acknowledged
its justice, and only demurred to its amount, professing themselves
ready to pay 100 talents.[520] There can be no doubt that, at this
later period, the ascendency of Argos over the members of her
primitive confederacy had become practically inoperative; but the
tenor of the cases mentioned shows that her claims were revivals of
bygone privileges, which had once been effective and valuable.

  [516] Ἡμῶν κτισάντων (so runs the accusation of the Theban
  orators against the captive Platæans, before their Lacedæmonian
  judges, Thucyd. iii. 61.) Πλάταιαν ὕστερον τῆς ἄλλης Βοιωτίας—οὐκ
  ἠξίουν αὐτοὶ, ὥσπερ ἐτάχθη τὸ πρῶτον, ἡγεμονεύεσθαι ὑφ᾽ ἡμῶν,
  ἔξω δὲ τῶν ἄλλων Βοιωτῶν παραβαίνοντες τὰ πάτρια, ἐπειδὴ
  προσηναγκάζοντο, προσεχώρησαν πρὸς Ἀθηναίους καὶ μετ᾽ αὐτῶν πολλὰ
  ἡμᾶς ἔβλαπτον.

  [517] Respecting Pheidôn, king of Argos, Ephorus said,—τὴν λῆξιν
  ὅλην ἀνέλαβε τὴν Τημένου διεσπασμένην εἰς πλείω μέρη (ap. Strabo.
  viii. p. 358).

  [518] The worship of Apollo Pythaëus, adopted from Argos both
  at Hermionê and Asinê, shows the connection between them and
  Argos (Pausan. ii. 35, 2; ii. 36, 5): but Pausanias can hardly
  be justified in saying that the Argeians actually _Dorized_
  Hermionê: it was Dryopian in the time of Herodotus, and seemingly
  for a long time afterwards (Herodot. viii. 43). The Hermionian
  Inscription, No. 1193, in Boeckh’s Collection, recognizes their
  old Dryopian connection with Asinê in Laconia: that town had once
  been neighbor of Hermionê, but was destroyed by the Argeians,
  and the inhabitants received a new home from the Spartans. The
  dialect of the Hermionians (probably that of the Dryopians
  generally) was Doric. See Ahrens, De Dialecto Doricâ, pp. 2-12.

  [519] Thucyd. v. 53. ~Κυριώτατοι~ τοῦ ἱεροῦ ἦσαν οἱ Ἀργεῖοι.
  The word εἴσπραξις, which the historian uses in regard to the
  claim of Argos against Epidaurus, seems to imply a money-payment
  withheld: compare the offerings exacted by Athens from Epidaurus
  (Herod. v. 82).

  The peculiar and intimate connection between the Argeians, and
  Apollo, with his surname of Pythaëus, was dwelt upon by the
  Argeian poetess Telesilla (Pausan. ii. 36, 2).

  [520] Herodot. vi. 92. See O. Müller, History of the Dorians, ch.
  7, 13.

How valuable the privileges of Argos were, before the great rise of
the Spartan power,—how important an ascendency they conferred, in
the hands of an energetic man, and how easily they admitted of being
used in furtherance of ambitious views, is shown by the remarkable
case of Pheidôn, the Temenid. The few facts which we learn respecting
this prince exhibit to us, for the first time, something like a
real position of parties in the Peloponnesus, wherein the actual
conflict of living historical men and cities, comes out in tolerable

Pheidôn was designated by Ephorus as the tenth, and by Theopompus
as the sixth, in lineal descent from Têmenus. Respecting the date
of his existence, opinions the most discrepant and irreconcilable
have been delivered; but there seems good reason for referring
him to the period a little before and a little after the 8th
Olympiad,—between 770 B. C. and 730 B. C.[521] Of the preceding
kings of Argos we hear little: one of them, Eratus, is said to have
expelled the Dryopian inhabitants of Asinê from their town on the
Argolic peninsula, in consequence of their having coöperated with
the Spartan king, Nikander, when he invaded the Argeian territory,
seemingly during the generation preceding Pheidôn; there is another,
Damokratidas, whose date cannot be positively determined, but he
appears rather as subsequent than as anterior to Pheidôn.[522] We
are informed, however, that these anterior kings, even beginning
with Medôn, the grandson of Têmenus, had been forced to submit to
great abridgment of their power and privileges, and that a form of
government substantially popular, though nominally regal, had been
established.[523] Pheidôn, breaking through the limits imposed,
made himself despot of Argos. He then re-established the power of
Argos over all the cities of her confederacy, which had before
been so nearly dissolved as to leave all the members practically
independent.[524] Next, he is said to have acquired dominion over
Corinth, and to have endeavored to assure it, by treacherously
entrapping a thousand of her warlike citizens; but his artifice
was divulged and frustrated by Abrôn, one of his confidential
friends.[525] He is farther reported to have aimed at extending his
sway over the greater part of Peloponnesus,—laying claim, as the
descendant of Hêraklês, through the eldest son of Hyllus, to all the
cities which that restless and irresistible hero had ever taken.[526]
According to Grecian ideas, this legendary title was always seriously
construed, and often admitted as conclusive; though of course, where
there were strong opposing interests, reasons would be found to elude
it. Pheidôn would have the same ground of right as that which, two
hundred and fifty years afterwards, determined the Herakleid Dôrieus,
brother of Kleomenês king of Sparta, to acquire for himself the
territory near Mount Eryx in Sicily, because his progenitor,[527]
Hêraklês, had conquered it before him. So numerous, however, were
the legends respecting the conquests of Hêraklês, that the claim of
Pheidôn must have covered the greater part of Peloponnesus, except
Sparta and the plain of Messêne, which were already in the hands of

  [521] Ephor. Fragm. 15, ed. Marx; ap. Strabo, viii. p. 358;
  Theopompus, Fragm. 30, ed. Didot; ap. Diodor. Fragm. lib. iv.

  The Parian Marble makes Pheidôn the eleventh from Hêraklês, and
  places him B. C. 895; Herodotus, on the contrary (in a passage
  which affords considerable grounds for discussion), places him at
  a period which cannot be much higher than 600 B. C. (vi. 127.)
  Some authors suspect the text of Herodotus to be incorrect: at
  any rate, the real epoch of Pheidôn is determined by the 8th
  Olympiad. Several critics suppose _two_ Pheidôns, each king
  of Argos,—among others, O. Müller (Dorians, iii. 6, 10); but
  there is nothing to countenance this, except the impossibility
  of reconciling Herodotus with the other authorities. And
  Weissenborn, in a dissertation of some length, vindicates the
  emendation of Pausanias proposed by some former critics,—altering
  the 8th Olympiad, which now stands in the text of Pausanias,
  into the _twenty-eighth_, as the date of Pheidôn’s usurpation at
  the Olympic games. Weissenborn endeavors to show that Pheidôn
  cannot have flourished earlier than 660 B. C.; but his arguments
  do not appear to me very forcible, and certainly not sufficient
  to justify so grave an alteration in the number of Pausanias
  (Beiträge zur Griechischen Alterthumskunde, p. 18, Jena, 1844).
  Mr. Clinton (Fasti Hellenici, vol. i. App. 1, p. 249) places
  Pheidôn between 783 and 744 B. C.; also, Boeckh. ad Corp.
  Inscript. No. 2374, p. 335, and Müller, Æginetica, p. 63.

  [522] Pausan. ii. 36, 5; iv. 35, 2.

  [523] Pausan. ii. 19, 1. Ἀργεῖοι δὲ, ἅτε ἰσηγορίαν καὶ τὸ
  αὐτόνομον ἀγαπῶντες ἐκ παλαιοτάτου, τὰ τῆς ἐξουσίας τῶν βασιλέων
  ἐς ἐλάχιστον προήγαγον, ὡς Μήδωνι τῷ Κείσου καὶ τοῖς ἀπογόνοις τὸ
  ὄνομα λειφθῆναι τοῦ βασιλέως μόνον. This passage has all the air
  of transferring back to the early government of Argos, feelings
  which were only true of the _later_. It is curious that, in this
  chapter, though devoted to the Argeian regal line and government,
  Pausanias takes no notice of Pheidôn: he mentions him only with
  reference to the disputed Olympic ceremony.

  [524] Ephorus, _ut suprà_. Φείδωνα τὸν Ἀργεῖον, δέκατον ὄντα ἀπὸ
  Τημένου, δυνάμει δὲ ὑπερβεβλημένον τοὺς κατ᾽ αὐτὸν, ἀφ᾽ ἧς τήν τε
  λῆξιν ὅλην ἀνέλαβε τὴν Τημένου διεσπασμένην εἰς πλείω μέρη, etc.
  What is meant by _the lot of Têmenus_ has been already explained.

  [525] Plutarch, Narrat. Amator. p. 772; Schol. Apollon. Rhod. iv.
  1212; compare Didymus, ap. Schol. Pindar. Olymp. xiii. 27.

  I cannot, however, believe that Pheidôn, the ancient Corinthian
  law giver mentioned by Aristotle, is the same person as Pheidôn
  the king of Argos (Polit. ii. 6, 4).

  [526] Ephor. _ut suprà_.Πρὸς τούτοις, ἐπιθέσθαι καὶ ταῖς ὑφ᾽
  Ἡρακλέους αἰρεθείσαις πόλεσι, καὶ τοὺς ἀγῶνας ἀξιοῦν τιθέναι
  αὐτὸν, οὓς ἐκεῖνος ἔθηκε· τούτων δὲ εἶναι καὶ τὸν Ὀλυμπιακὸν, etc.

  [527] Herodot. v. 43.

Nor was the ambition of Pheidôn satisfied even with these large
pretensions. He farther claimed the right of presiding at the
celebration of those religious games, or Agônes, which had been
instituted by Hêraklês,—and among these was numbered the Olympic
Agôn, then, however, enjoying but a slender fraction of the lustre
which afterwards came to attach to it. The presidency of any of the
more celebrated festivals current throughout Greece, was a privilege
immensely prized. It was at once dignified and lucrative, and the
course of our history will present more than one example in which
blood was shed to determine what state should enjoy it. Pheidôn
marched to Olympia, at the epoch of the 8th recorded Olympiad, or 747
B. C.; on the occasion of which event we are made acquainted with the
real state of parties in the peninsula.

The plain of Olympia,—now ennobled only by immortal recollections,
but once crowded with all the decorations of religion and art, and
forming for many centuries the brightest centre of attraction known
in the ancient world,—was situated on the river Alpheius, in the
territory called the Pisatid, hard by the borders of Arcadia. At what
time its agonistic festival, recurring every fifth year, at the first
full moon after the summer solstice, first began or first acquired
its character of special sanctity, we have no means of determining.
As with so many of the native waters of Greece,—we follow the stream
upward to a certain point, but the fountain-head, and the earlier
flow of history, is buried under mountains of unsearchable legend.
The first celebration of the Olympic contests was ascribed by Grecian
legendary faith to Hêraklês,—and the site of the place, in the middle
of the Pisatid, with its eight small townships, is quite sufficient
to prove that the inhabitants of that little territory were warranted
in describing themselves as the original administrators of the
ceremony.[528] But this state of things seems to have been altered by
the Ætolian settlement in Elis, which is represented as having been
conducted by Oxylus and identified with the Return of the Herakleids.
The Ætolo-Eleians, bordering upon the Pisatid to the north, employed
their superior power in subduing their weaker neighbors,[529] who
thus lost their autonomy and became annexed to the territory of Elis.
It was the general rule throughout Greece, that a victorious state
undertook to perform[530] the current services of the conquered
people towards the gods,—such services being conceived as attaching
to the soil: hence, the celebration of the Olympic games became
numbered among the incumbences of Elis, just in the same way as the
worship of the Eleusinian Dêmêtêr, when Eleusis lost its autonomy,
was included among the religious obligations of Athens. The Pisatans,
however, never willingly acquiesced in this absorption of what had
once been their separate privilege; they long maintained their
conviction, that the celebration of the games was their right, and
strove on several occasions to regain it. On those occasions, the
earliest, so far as we hear, was connected with the intervention of
Pheidôn. It was at their invitation that the king of Argos went to
Olympia, and celebrated the games himself, in conjunction with the
Pisatans, as the lineal successor of Hêraklês; while the Eleians,
being thus forcibly dispossessed, refused to include the 8th Olympiad
in their register of the victorious runners. But their humiliation
did not last long, for the Spartans took their part, and the contest
ended in the defeat of Pheidôn. In the next Olympiad, the Eleian
management and the regular enrolment appear as before, and the
Spartans are even said to have confirmed Elis in her possession both
of Pisatis and Triphylia.[531]

  [528] Xenoph. Hellen. vii. 4, 28; Diodor. xv. 78.

  [529] Strabo, viii. p. 354.

  [530] Thucyd. iv. 98.

  [531] Pausan. v. 22, 2; Strabo, viii. pp. 354-358; Herodot. vi.
  127. The name of the victor (Antiklês the Messenian), however,
  belonging to the 8th Olympiad, appears duly in the lists; it must
  have been supplied afterwards.

Unfortunately, these scanty particulars are all which we learn
respecting the armed conflict at the 8th Olympiad, in which the
religious and the political grounds of quarrel are so intimately
blended,—as we shall find to be often the case in Grecian history.
But there is one act of Pheidôn yet more memorable, of which also
nothing beyond a meagre notice has come down to us. He first coined
both copper and silver money in Ægina, and first established a scale
of weights and measures,[532] which, through his influence, became
adopted throughout Peloponnesus, and acquired, ultimately, footing
both in all the Dorian states, and in Bœotia, Thessaly, northern
Hellas generally, and Macedonia,—under the name of the Æginæan Scale.
There arose subsequently another rival scale in Greece, called the
Euboic, differing considerably from the Æginæan. We do not know at
what time it was introduced, but it was employed both at Athens and
in the Ionic cities generally, as well as in Eubœa,—being modified at
Athens, so far as money was concerned, by Solon’s debasement of the

  [532] Herodot. vi. 127; Ephor. ap. Strab. viii. pp. 358-376.

The copious and valuable information contained in M. Boeckh’s recent
publication on Metrology, has thrown new light upon these monetary
and statical scales.[533] He has shown that both the Æginæan and the
Euboic scales—the former standing to the latter in the proportion
of 6 : 5—had contemporaneous currency in different parts of the
Persian empire; the divisions and denominations of the scale being
the same in both, 100 drachmæ to a mina, and 60 minæ to a talent. The
Babylonian talent, mina, and drachma are identical with the Æginæan:
the word mina is of Asiatic origin; and it has now been rendered
highly probable, that the scale circulated by Pheidôn was borrowed
immediately from the Phœnicians, and by them originally from the
Babylonians. The Babylonian, Hebraic, Phœnician, Egyptian,[534] and
Grecian scales of weight (which were subsequently followed wherever
coined money was introduced) are found to be so nearly conformable,
as to warrant a belief that they are all deduced from one common
origin; and that origin the Chaldæan priesthood of Babylon. It is to
Pheidôn, and to his position as chief of the Argeian confederacy,
that the Greeks owe the first introduction of the Babylonian scale of
weight, and the first employment of coined and stamped money.

  [533] Metrologische Untersuchungen über Gewichte, Münzfusse, und
  Mässe des Alterthums in ihrem Zusammenhange dargestellt, von Aug.
  Boeckh; Berlin, 1838.

  See chap. 7, 1-3. But I cannot agree with M. Boeckh, in thinking
  that Pheidôn, in celebrating the Olympic games, deduced from the
  Olympic stadium, and formally adopted, the measure of the _foot_,
  or that he at all settled measures of _length_. In general, I
  do not think that M. Boeckh’s conclusions are well made out, in
  respect to the Grecian measures of _length_ and _capacity_. In an
  examination of this eminently learned treatise (inserted in the
  Classical Museum, 1844, vol. i.), I endeavored to set forth both
  the new and interesting points established by the author, and the
  various others in which he appeared to me to have failed.

  [534] I have modified this sentence as it stood in my first
  edition. It is not correct to speak of the Egyptian _money_
  scale: the Egyptians had no _coined money_. See a valuable
  article, in review of my History, in the Christian Reformer, by
  Mr. Kenrick, who pointed out this inaccuracy.

If we maturely weigh the few, but striking acts of Pheidôn which have
been preserved to us, and which there is no reason to discredit,
we shall find ourselves introduced to an early historical state
of Peloponnesus very different from that to which another century
will bring us. That Argos, with the federative cities attached to
her, was at this early time decidedly the commanding power in that
peninsula, is sufficiently shown by the establishment and reception
of the Pheidonian weights, measures, and monetary system,—while the
other incidents mentioned completely harmonize with the same idea.
Against the oppressions of Elis, the Pisatans invoked Pheidon,—partly
as exercising a primacy in Peloponnesus, just as the inhabitants
of Lepreum in Triphylia,[535] three centuries afterwards, called
in the aid of Sparta for the same object, at a time when Sparta
possessed the headship,—and partly as the lineal representative
of Hêraklês, who had founded those games from the management of
which they had been unjustly extruded. On the other hand, Sparta
appears as a second-rate power. The Æginæan scale of weight and
measure was adopted there as elsewhere,[536]—the Messenian Dorians
were still equal and independent,—and we find Sparta interfering
to assist Elis by virtue of an obligation growing (so the legend
represents it) out of the common Ætolo-Dorian emigration; not at all
from any acknowledged primacy, such as we shall see her enjoying
hereafter. The first coinage of copper and silver money is a capital
event in Grecian history, and must be held to imply considerable
commerce as well as those extensive views which belong only to a
conspicuous and leading position. The ambition of Pheidôn to resume
all the acquisitions made by his ancestor Hêraklês, suggests the
same large estimate of his actual power. He is characterized as a
despot, and even as the most insolent of all despots:[537] how far
he deserved such a reputation, we have no means of judging. We may
remark, however, that he lived before the age of despots or tyrants,
properly so called, and before the Herakleid lineage had yet lost
its primary, half-political, half-religious character. Moreover, the
later historians have invested his actions with a color of exorbitant
aggression, by applying them to a state of things which belonged to
their time and not to his. Thus Ephorus represents him as having
deprived the Lacedæmonians of the headship of Peloponnesus, which
they never possessed until long after him,—and also as setting at
naught the sworn inviolability of the territory of the Eleians,
enjoyed by the latter as celebrators of the Olympic games; whereas
the Agonothesia, or right of superintendence claimed by Elis, had
not at that time acquired the sanction of prescription,—while the
conquest of Pisa by the Eleians themselves had proved that this
sacred function did not protect the territory of a weaker people.

  [535] Thucyd. v. 31.

  [536] Plutarch, Apophthegm. Laconic. p. 226; Dikæarchus ap.
  Athenæ. iv. p. 141.

  The Æginæan mina, drachma, and obolus were the denominations
  employed in stipulations among the Peloponnesian states (Thucyd.
  v. 47).

  [537] Herodot. vi. 127. Φείδωνος τοῦ Ἀργείων τυράννου—τοῦ
  ὑβρίσαντος μέγιστα δὴ Ἑλλήνων ἁπάντων. Pausanias (vi. 22, 2)
  copies the expression.

  Aristotle cites Pheidôn as a person who, being a βασιλεὺς, made
  himself a τύραννος (Politic. viii. 8, 5).

How Pheidôn fell, and how the Argeians lost that supremacy which
they once evidently possessed, we have no positive details to inform
us: with respect to the latter point, however, we can discern a
sufficient explanation. The Argeians stood predominant as an entire
and unanimous confederacy, which required a vigorous and able hand
to render its internal organization effective or its ascendency
respected without. No such leader afterwards appeared at Argos, the
whole history of which city is destitute of eminent individuals:
her line of kings continued at least down to the Persian war,[538]
but seemingly with only titular functions, for the government had
long been decidedly popular. The statements, which represent the
government as popular anterior to the time of Pheidôn, appear
unworthy of trust. That prince is rather to be taken as wielding
the old, undiminished prerogatives of the Herakleid kings, but
wielding them with unusual effect,—enforcing relaxed privileges, and
appealing to the old heroic sentiment in reference to Hêraklês,
rather than revolutionizing the existing relations either of Argos
or of Peloponnesus. It was in fact the great and steady growth of
Sparta, for three centuries after the Lykurgean institutions, which
operated as a cause of subversion to the previous order of command
and obedience in Greece.

  [538] Herodot. vii. 149.

The assertion made by Herodotus,—that, in earlier times, the whole
eastern coast of Laconia as far as Cape Malea, including the island
of Kythêra and several other islands, had belonged to Argos,—is
referred by O. Müller to about the 50th Olympiad, or 580 B. C.
Perhaps it had ceased to be true at that period; but that it was true
in the age of Pheidôn, there seem good grounds for believing. What
is probably meant is, that the Dorian towns on this coast, Prasiæ,
Zarêx, Epidaurus Limêra, and Bœæ, were once autonomous, and members
of the Argeian confederacy,—a fact highly probable, on independent
evidence, with respect to Epidaurus Limêra, inasmuch as that town
was a settlement from Epidaurus in the Argolic peninsula: and BϾ
too had its own œkist and eponymus, the Herakleid Bœus,[539] noway
connected with Sparta,—perhaps derived from the same source as the
name of the town Bœon in Doris. The Argeian confederated towns
would thus comprehend the whole coast of the Argolic and Saronic
gulfs, from Kythêra as far as Ægina, besides other islands which we
do not know: Ægina had received a colony of Dorians from Argos and
Epidaurus, upon which latter town it continued for some time in a
state of dependence.[540] It will at once be seen that this extent
of coast implies a considerable degree of commerce and maritime
activity. We have besides to consider the range of Doric colonies
in the southern islands of the Ægean and in the south-western
corner of Asia Minor,—Krête, Kôs, Rhodes (with its three distinct
cities), Halikarnassus, Knidus, Myndus, Nisyrus, Symê, Karpathus,
Kalydna, etc. Of the Doric establishments here named, several are
connected (as has been before stated) with the great emigration of
the Têmenid Althæmenês from Argos: but what we particularly observe
is, that they are often referred as colonies promiscuously to Argos,
Trœzên, Epidaurus[541]—more frequently however, as it seems, to
Argos. All these settlements are doubtless older than Pheidôn, and
we may conceive them as proceeding conjointly from the allied Dorian
towns in the Argolic peninsula, at a time when they were more in
the habit of united action than they afterwards became: a captain
of emigrants selected from the line of Hêraklês and Têmenus was
suitable to the feelings of all of them. We may thus look back to a
period, at the very beginning of the Olympiads, when the maritime
Dorians on the east of Peloponnesus maintained a considerable
intercourse and commerce, not only among themselves, but also
with their settlements on the Asiatic coast and islands. That the
Argolic peninsula formed an early centre for maritime rendezvous,
we may farther infer from the very ancient Amphiktyony of the seven
cities (Hermionê, Epidaurus, Ægina, Athens, Prasiæ, Nauplia, and the
Minyeian Orchomenus), on the holy island of Kalauria, off the harbor
of Trœzên.[542]

  [539] Pausan. iii. 22, 9; iii. 23, 4.

  [540] Herodot. v. 83; Strabo, viii. p. 375.

  [541] Rhodes, Kôs, Knidus, and Halikarnassus are all treated by
  Strabo (xiv. p. 653) as colonies of Argos: Rhodes is so described
  by Thucydidês (vii. 57), and Kôs by Tacitus (xii. 61). Kôs,
  Kalydna, and Nisyrus are described by Herodotus as colonies of
  Epidaurus (vii. 99): Halikarnassus passes sometimes for a colony
  of Trœzên, sometimes of Trœzên and Argos conjointly: “Cum Melas
  et Areuanius ab Argis et Trœzene coloniam communem eo loco
  induxerunt, barbaros Caras et Leleges ejecerunt (Vitruv. ii. 8,
  12: Steph. Byz. v. Ἁλικάρνασσος).” Compare Strabo, x. p. 479;
  Conon, Narr. 47; Diodor. v. 80.

  Raoul Rochette (Histoire des Colonies Grecques, t. iii. ch. 9)
  and O. Müller (History of the Dorians, ch. 6) have collected the
  facts about these Asiatic Dorians.

  The little town of BϾ had its counterpart of the same name in
  Krête (Steph. Byz. v. Βοῖον).

  [542] Strabo, p. 374.

The view here given of the early ascendency of Argos, as the head of
the Peloponnesian Dorians and the metropolis of the Asiatic Dorians,
enables us to understand the capital innovation of Pheidôn,—the first
coinage, and the first determinate scale of weight and measure,
known in Greece. Of the value of such improvements, in the history
of Grecian civilization, it is superfluous to speak, especially
when we recollect that the Hellenic states, having no political
unity, were only held together by the aggregate of spontaneous
uniformities, in language, religion, sympathies, recreations, and
general habits. We see both how Pheidôn came to contract the wish,
and how he acquired the power, to introduce throughout so much of the
Grecian world an uniform scale; we also see that the Asiatic Dorians
form the link between him and Phœnicia, from whence the scale was
derived, just as the Euboic scale came, in all probability, through
the Ionic cities in Asia, from Lydia. It is asserted by Ephorus,
and admitted even by the ablest modern critics, that Pheidôn first
coined money “in Ægina:”[543] other authors (erroneously believing
that his scale was the Euboic scale) alleged that his coinage had
been carried on “in a place of Argos called Eubœa.”[544] Now both
these statements appear highly improbable, and both are traceable to
the same mistake,—of supposing that the title, by which the scale
had come to be commonly known, must necessarily be derived from the
place in which the coinage had been struck. There is every reason to
conclude, that what Pheidôn did was done in Argos, and nowhere else:
his coinage and scale were the earliest known in Greece, and seem to
have been known by his own name, “the Pheidonian measures,” under
which designation they were described by Aristotle, in his account of
the constitution of Argos.[545] They probably did not come to bear
the specific epithet of _Æginæan_ until there was another scale in
vogue, the _Euboic_, from which to distinguish them; and both the
epithets were probably derived, not from the place where the scale
first originated, but from the people whose commercial activity
tended to make them most generally known,—in the one case, the
Æginetans; in the other case, the inhabitants of Chalkis and Eretria.
I think, therefore, that we are to look upon the Pheidonian measures
as emanating from Argos, and as having no greater connection,
originally, with Ægina, than with any other city dependent upon Argos.

  [543] Ephorus ap. Strabo, viii. p. 376; Boeckh, Metrologie,
  Abschn. 7, 1: see also the Marmor Parium, Epoch 30.

  [544] Etymologicon Magn. Εὐβοϊκὸν νόμισμα.

  [545] Pollux, Onomastic. x. 179. Εἴη δ᾽ ἂν καὶ Φείδων τι ἀγγείον
  ἐλαιηρὸν, ἀπὸ τῶν Φειδωνίων μέτρων ὠνομασμένον, ὑπὲρ ὦν ἐν
  Ἀργείων πολιτείᾳ Ἀριστοτέλης λέγει.

  Also Ephorus ap. Strab. viii. p. 358. καὶ μέτρα ἐξεῦρε τὰ
  Φειδώνεια καλούμενα καὶ σταθμοὺς, καὶ νόμισμα κεχαράγμενον, etc.

There is, moreover, another point which deserves notice. What was
known by the name of the Æginæan scale, as contrasted with and
standing in a definite ratio (6 : 5) with the Euboic scale, related
only to weight and money, so far as our knowledge extends:[546] we
have no evidence to show that the same ratio extended either to
measures of length or measures of capacity. But there seems ground
for believing that the Pheidonian regulations, taken in their full
comprehension, embraced measures of capacity as well as weights:
Pheidôn, at the same time when he determined the talent, mina, and
drachm, seems also to have fixed the dry and liquid measures,—the
medimnus and metrêtês, with their parts and multiples: and there
existed[547] Pheidonian measures of capacity, though not of length,
so far as we know. The Æginæan scale may thus have comprised only
a portion of what was established by Pheidôn, namely, that which
related to weight and money.

  [546] This differs from Boeckh’s opinion: see the note in page

  [547] Theophrast. Character. c. 13; Pollux, x. 179.



It has already been stated that the territory properly called Elis,
apart from the enlargement which it acquired by conquest, included
the westernmost land in Peloponnesus, south of Achaia, and west
of Mount Pholoê and Olenus in Arcadia,—but not extending so far
southward as the river Alpheius, the course of which lay along the
southern portion of Pisatis and on the borders of Triphylia. This
territory, which appears in the Odyssey as “the divine Elis, where
the Epeians hold sway,”[548] is in the historical times occupied by
a population of Ætolian origin. The connection of race between the
historical Eleians and the historical Ætolians was recognized by both
parties, nor is there any ground for disputing it.[549]

  [548] Odyss. xv. 297.

  [549] Strabo, x. p. 479.

That Ætolian invaders, or emigrants, into Elis, would cross from
Naupaktus, or some neighboring point in the Corinthian gulf, is in
the natural course of things,—and such is the course which Oxylus,
the conductor of the invasion, is represented by the Herakleid legend
as taking. That legend (as has been already recounted) introduces
Oxylus as the guide of the three Herakleid brothers,—Têmenus,
Kresphontês, and Aristodêmus,—and as stipulating with them that, in
the new distribution about to take place of Peloponnesus, he shall
be allowed to possess the Eleian territory, coupled with many holy
privileges as to the celebration of the Olympic games.

In the preceding chapter, I have endeavored to show that the
settlements of the Dorians in and near the Argolic peninsula, so
far as the probabilities of the case enable us to judge, were not
accomplished by any inroad in this direction. But the localities
occupied by the Dorians of Sparta, and by the Dorians of Stenyklêrus,
in the territory called Messênê, lead us to a different conclusion.
The easiest and most natural road through which emigrants could
reach either of these two spots, is through the Eleian and the
Pisatid country. Colonel Leake observes,[550] that the direct road
from the Eleian territory to Sparta, ascending the valley of the
Alpheius, near Olympia, to the sources of its branch, the Theius,
and from thence descending the Eurotas, affords the only easy march
towards that very inaccessible city: and both ancients and moderns
have remarked the vicinity of the source of the Alpheius to that
of the Eurotas. The situation of Stenyklêrus and Andania, the
original settlements of the Messenian Dorians, adjoining closely
the Arcadian Parrhasii, is only at a short distance from the course
of the Alpheius; being thus reached most easily by the same route.
Dismissing the idea of a great collective Dorian armament, powerful
enough to grasp at once the entire peninsula,—we may conceive two
moderate detachments of hardy mountaineers, from the cold regions
in and near Doris, attaching themselves to the Ætolians, their
neighbors, who were proceeding to the invasion of Elis. After having
aided the Ætolians, both to occupy Elis and to subdue the Pisatid,
these Dorians advanced up the valley of the Alpheius in quest of
settlements for themselves. One of these bodies ripens into the
stately, stubborn, and victorious Spartans; the other, into the
short-lived, trampled, and struggling Messenians.

  [550] Leake, Travels in Morea, vol. iii. ch. 23, p. 29; compare
  Diodor. xv. 66.

  The distance from Olympia to Sparta, as marked on a pillar which
  Pausanias saw at Olympia, was 660 stadia,—about 77 English miles
  (Pausan. vi. 16, 6).

Amidst the darkness which overclouds these original settlements, we
seem to discern something like special causes to determine both of
them. With respect to the Spartan Dorians, we are told that a person
named Philonomus betrayed Sparta to them, persuading the sovereign
in possession to retire with his people into the habitations of the
Ionians, in the north of the peninsula,—and that he received as a
recompense for this acceptable service Amyklæ, with the district
around it. It is farther stated,—and this important fact there
seems no reason to doubt,—that Amyklæ,—though only twenty stadia
or two miles and a half distant from Sparta, retained both its
independence and its Achæan inhabitants, long after the Dorian
emigrants had acquired possession of the latter place, and was only
taken by them under the reign of Têleklus, one generation before
the first Olympiad.[551] Without presuming to fill up by conjecture
incurable gaps in the statements of our authorities, we may from
hence reasonably presume that the Dorians were induced to invade,
and enabled to acquire, Sparta, by the invitation and assistance of
a party in the interior of the country. Again, with respect to the
Messenian Dorians, a different, but not less effectual temptation
was presented by the alliance of the Arcadians, in the south-western
portion of that central region of Peloponnesus. Kresphontês, the
Herakleid leader, it is said, espoused the daughter[552] of the
Arcadian king, Kypselus, which procured for him the support of a
powerful section of Arcadia. His settlement at Stenyklêrus was a
considerable distance from the sea, at the north-east corner of
Messenia,[553] close to the Arcadian frontier; and it will be seen
hereafter that this Arcadian alliance is a constant and material
element in the disputes of the Messenian Dorians with Sparta.

  [551] Strabo, viii. pp. 364, 365; Pausan. iii. 2, 5: compare the
  story of Krius, Pausan. iii. 13, 3.

  [552] Pausan. iv. 3, 3; viii. 29, 4.

  [553] Strabo (viii. p. 366) blames Euripidês for calling Messênê
  an inland country; but the poet seems to have been quite correct
  in doing so.

We may thus trace a reasonable sequence of events, showing how
two bodies of Dorians, having first assisted the Ætolo-Eleians to
conquer the Pisatid, and thus finding themselves on the banks of
the Alpheius, followed the upward course of that river, the one to
settle at Sparta, the other at Stenyklêrus. The historian Ephorus,
from whom our scanty fragments of information respecting these early
settlements are derived,—it is important to note that he lived in the
age immediately succeeding the first foundation of Messênê as a city,
the restitution of the long-exiled Messenians, and the amputation
of the fertile western half of Laconia, for their benefit, by
Epameinondas,—imparts to these proceedings an immediate decisiveness
of effect which does not properly belong to them: as if the Spartans
had become at once possessed of all Laconia, and the Messenians of
all Messenia: Pausanias, too, speaks as if the Arcadians collectively
had assisted and allied themselves with Kresphontês. This is the
general spirit which pervades his account, though the particular
facts in so far as we find any such, do not always harmonize with
it. Now we are ignorant of the preëxisting divisions of the country,
either east or west of Mount Taygetus, at the time when the Dorians
invaded it. But to treat the one and the other as integral kingdoms,
handed over at once to two Dorian leaders, is an illusion borrowed
from the old legend, from the historicizing fancies of Ephorus, and
from the fact that, in the well-known times, this whole territory
came to be really united under the Spartan power.

At what date the Dorian settlements at Sparta and Stenyklêrus
were effected, we have no means of determining. Yet, that there
existed between them in the earliest times a degree of fraternity
which did not prevail between Lacedæmon and Argos, we may fairly
presume from the common temple, with joint religious sacrifices, of
Artemis Limnatis, or Artemis on the Marsh, erected on the confines
of Messenia and Laconia.[554] Our first view of the two, at all
approaching to distinctness, seems to date from a period about half
a century earlier than the first Olympiad (776 B. C.),—about the
reign of king Têleklus of the Eurystheneid or Agid line, and the
introduction of the Lykurgean discipline. Têleklus stands in the
list as the eighth king dating from Eurysthenes. But how many of the
seven kings before him are to be considered as real persons,—or how
much, out of the brief warlike expeditions ascribed to them, is to be
treated as authentic history,—I pretend not to define.

  [554] Pausan. iv. 2, 2. μετεῖχον δὲ αὐτοῦ μόνοι Δωρίεων οἵ τε
  Μεσσήνιοι καὶ Λακεδαιμόνιοι.

The earliest determinable event in the _internal_ history of
Sparta is the introduction of the Lykurgean discipline; the
earliest _external_ events are the conquest of Amyklæ, Pharis, and
Geronthræ, effected by king Têleklus, and the first quarrel with
the Messenians, in which that prince was slain. When we come to see
how deplorably great was the confusion and ignorance which reigned
with reference to a matter so preëminently important as Lykurgus
and his legislation, we shall not be inclined to think that facts
much less important, and belonging to an earlier epoch, can have
been handed down upon any good authority. And in like manner, when
we learn that Amyklæ, Pharis, and Geronthræ (all south of Sparta,
and the first only two and a half miles distant from that city)
were independent of the Spartans until the reign of Têleklus, we
shall require some decisive testimony before we can believe that a
community so small, and so hemmed in as Sparta must then have been,
had in earlier times undertaken expeditions against Helos on the
sea-coast, against Kleitor on the extreme northern side of Arcadia,
against the Kynurians, or against the Argeians. If Helos and Kynuria
were conquered by these early kings, it appears that they had to be
conquered a second time by kings succeeding Têleklus. It would be
more natural that we should hear when and how they conquered the
places nearer to them,—Sellasia, or Belemina, the valley of the Œnus,
or the upper valley of the Eurotas. But these seem to be assumed
as matters of course; the proceedings ascribed to the early Spartan
kings are such only as might beseem the palmy days when Sparta was
undisputed mistress of all Laconia.

The succession of Messenian kings, beginning with Kresphontês,
the Herakleid brother, and continuing from father to son,—Æpytus,
Glaukus, Isthnius, Dotadas, Subotas, Phintas, the last being
contemporary with Têleklus,—is still less marked by incident than
that of the early Spartan kings. It is said that the reign of
Kresphontês was troubled, and himself ultimately slain by mutinies
among his subjects: Æpytus, then a youth, having escaped into
Arcadia, was afterwards restored to the throne by the Arcadians,
Spartans, and Argeians.[555] From Æpytus, the Messenian line of
kings are stated to have been denominated Æpytids in preference to
Herakleids,—which affords another proof of their intimate connection
with the Arcadians, since Æpytus was a very ancient name in Arcadian
heroic antiquity.[556]

  [555] Pausan. iv. 3, 5-6.

  [556] Homer, Iliad, ii. 604.—

    Οἳ δ᾽ ἔχον Ἀρκαδίην, ὑπὸ Κυλλήνης ὄρος αἰπὺ,
    Αἰπύτιον παρὰ τύμβον.

  Schol. _ad loc._ ὁ δ᾽ Αἴπυτος ἀρχαιότατος ἥρως, Ἀρκὰς τὸ γένος.

There is considerable resemblance between the alleged behavior of
Kresphontês on first settling at Stenyklêrus, and that of Eurysthenês
and Proklês at Sparta,—so far as we gather from statements alike
meagre and uncertified, resting on the authority of Ephorus. Both
are said to have tried to place the preëxisting inhabitants of
the country on a level with their own Dorian bands; both provoked
discontents and incurred obloquy, with their contemporaries as
well as with posterity, by the attempt; nor did either permanently
succeed. Kresphontês was forced to concentrate all his Dorians in
Stenyklêrus, while after all, the discontents ended in his violent
death. And Agis, the son of Eurysthenês, is said to have reversed
all the liberal tentatives of his father, so as to bring the whole
of Laconia into subjection and dependence on the Dorians at Sparta,
with the single exception of Amyklæ. So odious to the Spartan Dorians
was the conduct of Eurysthenês, that they refused to acknowledge him
as their œkist, and conferred that honor upon Agis; the two lines of
kings being called Agiads and Eurypontids, instead of Eurystheneids
and Prokleids.[557] We see in these statements the same tone of mind
as that which pervades the Panathenaic oration of Isokratês, the
master of Ephorus,—the facts of an unknown period, so colored as to
suit an _idéal_ of haughty Dorian exclusiveness.

  [557] Compare the two citations from Ephorus, Strabo, viii.
  pp. 361-365. Unfortunately, a portion of the latter citation
  is incurably mutilated in the text: O. Müller (History of the
  Dorians, book i. ch. v. 13) has proposed an ingenious conjecture,
  which, however, cannot be considered as trustworthy. Grosskurd,
  the German translator, usually skilful in these restorations,
  leaves the passage untouched.

  For a new coloring of the death of Kresphontês, adjusted by
  Isokratês so as to suit the purpose of the address which he puts
  into the mouth of Archidamus king of Sparta, see the discourse
  in his works which passes under that name (Or. iv. pp. 120-122).
  Isokratês says that the Messenian Dorians slew Kresphontês,
  whose children fled as suppliants to Sparta, imploring revenge
  for the death of their father, and surrendering the territory to
  the Spartans. The Delphian god advised the latter to accept the
  tender, and they accordingly attacked the Messenians, avenged
  Kresphontês, and appropriated the territory.

  Isokratês always starts from the basis of the old legend,—the
  triple Dorian conquest made all at once: compare Panathenaic. Or.
  xii. pp. 270-287.

Again, as Eurysthenês and Proklês appear, in the picture of Ephorus,
to carry their authority at once over the whole of Laconia, so
too does Kresphontês over the whole of Messenia,—over the entire
south-western region of Peloponnesus, westward of Mount Taygetus
and Cape Tænarus, and southward of the river Neda. He sends an
envoy to Pylus and Rhium, the western and southern portions
of the south-western promontory of Peloponnesus, treating the
entire territory as if it were one sovereignty, and inviting the
inhabitants to submit under equal laws.[558] But it has already been
observed, that this supposed oneness and indivisibility is not less
uncertified in regard to Messenia than in regard to Laconia. How
large a proportion of the former territory these kings of Stenyklêrus
may have ruled, we have no means of determining, but there were
certainly portions of it which they did not rule,—not merely during
the reign of Têleklus at Sparta, but still later, during the first
Messenian war. For not only are we informed that Têleklus established
three townships, Poiêessa, Echeiæ,[559] and Tragium, near the
Messenian gulf, and on the course of the river Nedon, but we read
also a farther matter of evidence in the roll of Olympic victors.
Every competitor for the prize at one of these great festivals was
always entered as member of some autonomous Hellenic community,
which constituted his title to approach the lists; if successful, he
was proclaimed with the name of the community to which he belonged.
Now during the first ten Olympiads, seven winners are proclaimed
as Messenians; in the 11th Olympiad, we find the name of Oxythemis
Korônæus,—Oxythemis, not of Korôneia in Bœotia, but of Korônê in the
western bend of the Messenian gulf,[560] some miles on the right
bank of the Pamisus, and a considerable distance to the north of the
modern Coron. Now if Korônê had then been comprehended in Messenia,
Oxythemis would have been proclaimed as a Messenian, like the seven
winners who preceded him; and the fact of his being proclaimed as a
Korônæan, proves that Korônê was then an independent community, not
under the dominion of the Dorians of Stenyklêrus. It seems clear,
therefore, that the latter did not reign over the whole territory
commonly known as Messenia, though we are unable to assign the
proportion of it which they actually possessed.

  [558] Ephorus ap. Strabo, viii. p. 361. Dr. Thirlwall observes
  (History of Greece, ch. vii. p. 300, 2d edit.), “The Messenian
  Pylus seems long to have retained its independence, and to have
  been occupied for several centuries by one branch of the family
  of Neleus; for descendants of Nestor are mentioned as allies of
  the Messenians in their struggle with Sparta in the latter half
  of the seventh century B. C.”

  For this assertion, Dr. Thirlwall cites Strabo (viii. p. 355).
  I agree with him as to the matter of fact: I see no proof that
  the Dorians of Stenyklêrus ever ruled over what is called the
  Messenian Pylus; for, of course, if they did not rule over it
  before the second Messenian war, they never acquired it at all.
  But on reference to the passage in Strabo, it will not be found
  to prove anything to the point; for Strabo is speaking, not of
  the Messenian Pylus, but of the _Triphylian Pylus_: he takes
  pains to show that Nestor had nothing to do with the _Messenian
  Pylus_,—Νέστορος ἀπόγονοι means the inhabitants of Triphylia,
  near Lepreum: compare p. 350.

  [559] Strabo, viii. p. 360. Concerning the situation of Korônê,
  in the Messenian gulf, see Pausanias, iv. 34, 2; Strabo, viii. p.
  361; and the observations of Colonel Leake, Travels in Morea, ch.
  x. vol. i. pp. 439-448. He places it near the modern Petalidhi,
  seemingly on good grounds.

  [560] See Mr. Clinton’s Chronological Tables for the year 732
  B. C.; O. Müller (in the Chronological Table subjoined to
  his History of the Dorians) calls this victor, _Oxythemis of
  Korôneia_, in Bœotia. But this is inadmissible, on two grounds:
  1. The occurrence of a Bœotian competitor in that early day
  at the Olympic games. The first eleven victors (I put aside
  Oxythemis, because he is the subject of the argument) are all
  from western and southern Peloponnesus; then come victors from
  Corinth, Megara, and Epidaurus; then from Athens; there is one
  from Thebes in the 41st Olympiad. I infer from hence that the
  celebrity and frequentation of the Olympic games increased only
  by degrees, and had not got beyond Peloponnesus in the eighth
  century B. C. 2. The name Coronæus, Κορωναῖος, is the proper
  and formal title for a citizen of Korônê, not for a citizen of
  Korôneia: the latter styles himself Κορωνεύς. The ethnical name
  Κορωνεὺς, as belonging to Korôneia in Bœotia, is placed beyond
  doubt by several inscriptions in Boeckh’s collection; especially
  No. 1583, in which a citizen of that town is proclaimed as
  victorious at the festival of the Charitesia at Orchomenus:
  compare Nos. 1587-1593, in which the same ethnical name occurs.
  The Bœotian Inscriptions attest in like manner the prevalence
  of the same etymological law in forming ethnical names, for
  the towns near Korôneia: thus, _Chærôneia_ makes Χαιρωνεὺς;
  _Lebadeia_, Λεβαδεὺς; _Elateia_, Ἐλατεὺς, or Ἐλατειεύς.

  The Inscriptions afford evidence perfectly decisive as to the
  ethnical title under which a citizen of Korôneia in Bœotia would
  have caused himself to be entered and proclaimed at the Olympic
  games; better than the evidence of Herodotus and Thucydidês,
  who both call them Κορωναῖοι (Herodot. v. 79; Thucyd. iv. 93):
  Polybius agrees with the Inscription, and speaks of the Κορωνεῖς,
  Λεβαδεῖς, Χαιρωνεῖς (xxvii. 1). O. Müller himself admits, in
  another place (Orchomenos, p. 480), that the proper ethnical
  name is Κορωνεύς. The reading of Strabo (ix. p. 411) is not
  trustworthy: see Grosskurd, _ad loc._; compare Steph. Byz.
  Κορώνεια and Κορώνη.

  In regard to the formation of ethnical names, it seems the
  general rule, that a town ending in η or αι, preceded by a
  consonant, had its ethnical derivative in αιος; such as Σκιώνη,
  Τορώνη, Κύμη, Θῆβαι, Ἀθῆναι; while names ending in εια had their
  ethnicon in ευς, as Ἀλεξάνδρεια, Ἀμάσεια, Σελεύκεια, Λυσιμάχεια
  (the recent cities thus founded by the successors of Alexander
  are perhaps the best evidences that can be taken of the analogies
  of the language), Μελάμπεια, Μελίτεια, in addition to the
  Bœotian names of towns above quoted. There is, however, great
  irregularity in particular cases, and the number of towns called
  by the same name created an anxiety to vary the ethnicon for
  each: see Stephan. Byz. v. Ἡράκλεια.

The Olympic festival, in its origin doubtless a privilege of
the neighboring Pisatans, seems to have derived its great and
gradually expanding importance from the Ætolo-Eleian settlement in
Peloponnesus, combined with the Dorians of Laconia and Messenia.
Lykurgus of Sparta, and Iphitus of Elis, are alleged to have joined
their efforts for the purpose of establishing both the sanctity of
the Olympic truce and the inviolability of the Eleian territory.
Hence, though this tale is not to be construed as matter of fact,
we may see that the Lacedæmonians regarded the Olympic games as a
portion of their own antiquities. Moreover, it is certain, both that
the dignity of the festival increased simultaneously with their
ascendency,[561] and that their peculiar fashions were very early
introduced into the practice of the Olympic competitors. Probably,
the three bands of coöperating invaders, Ætolians and Spartan and
Messenian Dorians, may have adopted this festival as a periodical
renovation of mutual union and fraternity; from which cause the games
became an attractive centre for the western portion of Peloponnesus,
before they were much frequented by people from the eastern, or still
more from extra-Peloponnesian Hellas. For it cannot be altogether
accidental, when we read the names of the first twelve proclaimed
Olympic victors (occupying nearly half a century from 776 B. C.
downwards), to find that seven of them are Messenians, three Eleians,
one from Dymê, in Achaia, and one from Korônê; while after the 12th
Olympiad, Corinthians and Megarians and Epidaurians begin to occur;
later still, extra-Peloponnesian victors. We may reasonably infer
from hence that the Olympic ceremonies were at this early period
chiefly frequented by visitors and competitors from the western
regions of Peloponnesus, and that the affluence to them, from the
more distant parts of the Hellenic world, did not become considerable
until the first Messenian war had closed.

  [561] The entire nakedness of the competitors at Olympia was
  adopted from the Spartan practice, seemingly in the 14th
  Olympiad, as is testified by the epigram on Orsippus the
  Megarian. Previous to that period, the Olympic competitors had
  διαζώματα περὶ τὰ αἰδοῖα (Thucyd. i. 6).

Having thus set forth the conjectures, to which our very scanty
knowledge points, respecting the first establishment of the Ætolian
and Dorian settlements in Elis, Laconia, and Messenia, connected
as they are with the steadily increasing dignity and frequentation
of the Olympic festival, I proceed, in the next chapter, to that
memorable circumstance which both determined the character, and
brought about the political ascendency, of the Spartans separately: I
mean, the laws and discipline of Lykurgus.

Of the preëxisting inhabitants of Laconia and Messenia, whom we are
accustomed to call Achæans and Pylians, so little is known, that we
cannot at all measure the difference between them and their Dorian
invaders, either in dialect, in habits, or in intelligence. There
appear no traces of any difference of dialect among the various
parts of the population of Laconia: the Messenian allies of Athens,
in the Peloponnesian war, speak the same dialect as the Helots,
and the same also as the Ambrakiotic colonists from Corinth: all
Doric.[562] Nor are we to suppose that the Doric dialect was at all
peculiar to the people called Dorians. As far as can be made out
by the evidence of Inscriptions, it seems to have been the dialect
of the Phokians, Delphians, Lokrians, Ætolians, and Achæans of
Phthiôtis: with respect to the latter, the Inscriptions of Thaumaki,
in Achæa Phthiôtis, afford a proof the more curious and the more
cogent of native dialect, because the Phthiôts were both immediate
neighbors and subjects of the Thessalians, who spoke a variety
of the Æolic. So, too, within Peloponnesus, we find evidences of
Doric dialect among the Achæans in the north of Peloponnesus,—the
Dryopic inhabitants of Hermionê,[563]—and the Eleuthero-Lacones, or
Laconian townships (compounded of Periœki and Helots), emancipated
by the Romans in the second century B. C. Concerning the speech
of that population whom the invading Dorians found in Laconia, we
have no means of judging: the presumption would rather be that it
did not differ materially from the Doric. Thucydidês designates
the Corinthians, whom the invading Dorians attacked from the hill
Solygeius, as being Æolians, and Strabo speaks both of the Achæans as
an Æolic nation, and of the Æolic dialect as having been originally
preponderant in Peloponnesus.[564] But we do not readily see what
means of information either of these authors possessed respecting the
speech of a time which must have been four centuries anterior even to

  [562] Thucyd. iii. 112: iv. 41: compare vii. 44, about the
  sameness of sound of the war-shout, or pæan, as delivered by all
  the different Dorians.

  [563] Corpus Inscript. Boeckh, Nos. 1771, 1772, 1773; Ahrens, De
  Dialecto Doricâ, sect. i-ii. 48.

  [564] Thucyd. iv. 42: Strabo, viii. p. 333.

Of that which is called the Æolic dialect there are three marked
and distinguishable varieties,—the Lesbian, the Thessalian, and the
Bœotian; the Thessalian forming a mean term between the other two.
Ahrens has shown that the ancient grammatical critics are accustomed
to affirm peculiarities, as belonging to the Æolic dialect generally,
which in truth belong only to the Lesbian variety of it, or to
the poems of Alkæus and Sappho, which these critics attentively
studied. Lesbian Æolic, Thessalian Æolic, and Bœotian Æolic, are
all different: and if, abstracting from these differences, we
confine our attention to that which is common to all three, we shall
find little to distinguish this abstract Æolic from the abstract
Doric, or that which is common to the many varieties of the Doric
dialect.[565] These two are sisters, presenting, both of them, more
or less the Latin side of the Greek language, while the relationship
of either of them to the Attic and Ionic is more distant. Now it
seems that, putting aside Attica, the speech of all Greece,[566]
from Perrhæbia and Mount Olympus to Cape Malea and Cape Akritas,
consisted of different varieties, either of the Doric or of the
Æolic dialect; this being true (as far as we are able to judge) not
less of the aboriginal Arcadians than of the rest. The Laconian
dialect contained more specialties of its own, and approached
nearer to the Æolic and to the Eleian, than any other variety of
the Dorian: it stands at the extreme of what has been classified
as the strict Dorian,—that is, the farthest removed from Ionic and
Attic. The Kretan towns manifest also a strict Dorism; as well as
the Lacedæmonian colony of Tarentum, and, seemingly, most of the
Italiotic Greeks, though some of them are called Achæan colonies.
Most of the other varieties of the Doric dialect (Phokian, Lokrian,
Delphian, Achæan of Phthiôtis) exhibit a form departing less widely
from the Ionic and Attic: Argos, and the towns in the Argolic
peninsula, seem to form a stepping-stone between the two.

  [565] See the valuable work of Ahrens, De Dialecto Æolicâ. sect.
  51. He observes, in reference to the Lesbian, Thessalian, and
  Bœotian dialects: “Tres illas dialectos, quæ optimo jure Æolicæ
  vocari videntur—quia, qui illis usi sunt, Æoles erant—comparantem
  mirum habere oportet, quod Asianorum Æolum et Bœotorum dialecti
  tantum inter se distant, quantum vix ab aliâ quâvis Græcæ linguæ
  dialecto.” He then enumerates many points of difference: “Contra
  tot tantasque differentias pauca reperiuntur eaque fere levia,
  quæ utrique dialecto, neque simul Doricæ, communia sint.... Vides
  his comparatis tantum interesse inter utramque dialectum, ut
  dubitare liceat, an Æoles Bœoti non magis cum Æolibus Asianis
  conjuncti fuerint, quam qui hodie miro quodam casu Saxones
  vocantur cum antiquis Saxonibus. Nihilominus Thessalicâ dialecto
  in comparationem vocata, diversissima quæ videntur aliquo vinculo
  conjungere licet. Quamvis enim pauca de eâ comperta habeamus,
  hoc tamen certum est, alia Thessalis cum Lesbiis, alia cum solis
  Bœotis communia esse.” (P. 222-223.)

  [566] About the Æolic dialect of the Perrhæbians, see Stephanus
  Byz. v. Γόννος, and ap. Eustath. ad Iliad, p. 335.

  The Attic judgment, in comparing these different varieties
  of Greek speech, is expressed in the story of a man being
  asked—Whether the Bœotians or the Thessalians were most of
  barbarians? He answered—The Eleians (Eustath. ad Iliad. p. 304).

These positions represent the little which can be known respecting
those varieties of Grecian speech which are not known to us by
written works. The little presumption which can be raised upon them
favors the belief that the Dorian invaders of Laconia and Messenia
found there a dialect little different from that which they brought
with them,—a conclusion which it is the more necessary to state
distinctly, since the work of O. Müller has caused an exaggerated
estimate to be formed of the distinctive peculiarities whereby Dorism
was parted off from the rest of Hellas.



Plutarch begins his biography of Lykurgus with the following ominous

“Concerning the lawgiver Lykurgus, we can assert absolutely nothing
which is not controverted: there are different stories in respect to
his birth, his travels, his death, and also his mode of proceeding,
political as well as legislative: least of all is the time in which
he lived agreed upon.”

And this exordium is but too well borne out by the unsatisfactory
nature of the accounts which we read, not only in Plutarch himself,
but in those other authors out of whom we are obliged to make up our
idea of the memorable Lykurgean system. If we examine the sources
from which Plutarch’s life of Lykurgus is deduced, it will appear
that—excepting the poets Alkman, Tyrtæus, and Simonidês, from whom
he has borrowed less than we could have wished—he has no authorities
older than Xenophon and Plato: Aristotle is cited several times, and
is unquestionably the best of his witnesses, but the greater number
of them belong to the century subsequent to that philosopher. Neither
Herodotus nor Ephorus are named, though the former furnishes some
brief, but interesting particulars,—and the latter also (as far as
we can judge from the fragments remaining) entered at large into the
proceedings of the Spartan lawgiver.[567]

  [567] See Heeren, Dissertatio de Fontibus Plutarchi, pp. 19-25.

Lykurgus is described by Herodotus as uncle and guardian to king
Labôtas, of the Eurystheneid or Agid line of Spartan kings; and this
would place him, according to the received chronology, about 220
years before the first recorded Olympiad (about B. C. 996).[568]
All the other accounts, on the contrary, seem to represent him as a
younger brother, belonging to the other or Prokleid line of Spartan
kings, though they do not perfectly agree respecting his parentage.
While Simonidês stated him to be the son of Prytanis, Dieutychidas
described him as grandson of Prytanis, son of Eunomus, brother
of Polydektês, and uncle as well as guardian to Charilaus,—thus
making him eleventh in descent from Hêraklês.[569] This latter
account was adopted by Aristotle, coinciding, according to the
received chronology, with the date of Iphitus the Eleian, and the
first celebration of the Olympic games by Lykurgus and Iphitus
conjointly,[570] which Aristotle accepted as a fact. Lykurgus, on
the hypothesis here mentioned, would stand about B. C. 880, a century
before the recorded Olympiads. Eratosthenês and Apollodorus placed
him “not a few years earlier than the first Olympiad.” If they meant
hereby the epoch commonly assigned as the Olympiad of Iphitus, their
date would coincide pretty nearly with that of Herodotus: if, on
the other hand, they meant the first recorded Olympiad (B. C. 776),
they would be found not much removed from the opinion of Aristotle.
An unequivocal proof of the inextricable confusion in ancient times
respecting the epoch of the great Spartan lawgiver is indirectly
afforded by Timæus, who supposed that there had existed two persons
named Lykurgus, and that the acts of both had been ascribed to one.
It is plain from hence that there was no certainty attainable, even
in the third century before the Christian era, respecting the date or
parentage of Lykurgus.

  [568] Herodot. i. 65. Moreover, Herodotus gives this as the
  statement of the Lacedæmonians themselves.

  [569] Plutarch, Lykurg. c. 1. According to Dionys. Halik. (Ant.
  Rom. ii. 49) Lykurgus was uncle, not son, of Eunomus.

  Aristotle considers Lykurgus as guardian of Charilaus (Politic.
  ii. 7, 1): compare v. 10, 3. See O. Müller (Hist. of Dorians, i.
  7, 3).

  [570] Phlegôn also adds Kleosthenês of Pisa (De Olympiis ap.
  Meursii Opp. vii. p. 128). It appears that there existed a quoit
  at Olympia, upon which the formula of the Olympic truce was
  inscribed, together with the names of Iphitus and Lykurgus as the
  joint authors and proclaimers of it. Aristotle believed this to
  be genuine, and accepted it as an evidence of the fact which it
  professed to certify: and O. Müller is also disposed to admit it
  as genuine,—that is, as _contemporary_ with the times to which
  it professes to relate. I come to a different conclusion: that
  the quoit existed, I do not doubt; but that the inscription upon
  it was actually set down in writing, in or near B. C. 880, would
  be at variance with the reasonable probabilities resulting from
  Grecian palæography. Had this ancient and memorable instrument
  existed at Olympia in the days of Herodotus, he could hardly have
  assigned to Lykurgus the epoch which we now read in his writings.

  The assertions in Müller’s History of the Dorians (i. 7, 7),
  about Lykurgus, Iphitus, and Kleosthenês “drawing up the
  fundamental law of the Olympic armistice,” are unsupported by any
  sufficient evidence. In the later times of established majesty of
  the Olympic festival, the Eleians did undoubtedly exercise the
  power which he describes; but to connect this with any deliberate
  regulation of Iphitus and Lykurgus, is in my judgment incorrect.
  See the mention of a similar truce proclaimed throughout
  Triphylia by the Makistians as presidents of the common festival
  at the temple of the Samian Poseidon (Strabo, viii. p. 343).

Thucydidês, without mentioning the name of Lykurgus, informs us
that it was “400 years and somewhat more” anterior to the close of
the Peloponnesian war,[571] when the Spartans emerged from their
previous state of desperate internal disorder, and entered upon
“their present polity.” We may fairly presume that this alludes to
the Lykurgean discipline and constitution, which Thucydides must
thus have conceived as introduced about B. C. 830-820,—coinciding
with something near the commencement of the reign of king Têleklus.
In so far as it is possible to form an opinion, amidst evidence at
once so scanty and so discordant, I incline to adopt the opinion
of Thucydidês as to the time at which the Lykurgean constitution
was introduced at Sparta. The state of “eunomy” and good order
which that constitution brought about,—combined with the healing of
great previous internal sedition, which had tended much to enfeeble
them,—is represented (and with great plausibility) as the grand
cause of the victorious career beginning with king Têleklus, the
conqueror of Amyklæ, Pharis, and Geronthræ. Therefore it would seem,
in the absence of better evidence, that a date, connecting the fresh
stimulus of the new discipline with the reign of Têleklus, is more
probable than any epoch either later or earlier.[572]

  [571] Thucyd. i. 18.

  [572] Mr. Clinton fixes the legislation of Lykurgus, “in
  conformity with Thucydidês,” at about 817 B. C., and his regency
  at 852 B. C., about thirty-five years previous (Fasti Hellen. v.
  i. c. 7, p. 141): he also places the Olympiad of Iphitus B. C.
  828 (F. H. vol. ii. p. 410; App. c. 22).

  In that chapter, Mr. Clinton collects and discusses the various
  statements respecting the date of Lykurgus: compare, also,
  Larcher ad Herodot. i. 67, and Chronologie, pp. 486-492.

  The differences in these statements must, after all, be taken
  as they stand, for they cannot be reconciled except by the help
  of arbitrary suppositions, which only mislead us by producing a
  show of agreement where there is none in reality. I agree with
  Mr. Clinton, in thinking that the assertion of Thucydidês is
  here to be taken as the best authority. But I altogether dissent
  from the proceeding which he (in common with Larcher, Wesseling,
  Sir John Marsham, and others) employs with regard to the passage
  of Herodotus, where that author calls Lykurgus the guardian and
  uncle of Labôtas (of the Eurystheneid line). Mr. Clinton says:
  “From the notoriety of the fact that Lycurgus was ascribed to the
  other house (the Prokleids), it is manifest that _the passage
  must be corrupted_” (p. 144); and he then goes on to correct the
  text of Herodotus, agreeably to the proposition of Sir J. Marsham.

  This proceeding seems to me inadmissible. The text of Herodotus
  reads perfectly well, and is not contradicted by anything to
  be found elsewhere _in Herodotus himself_: moreover, we have
  here a positive guarantee of its accuracy, for Mr. Clinton
  himself admits that it stood in the days of Pausanias just as
  we now read it (Pausan. iii. 2, 3). By what right, then, do we
  alter it? or what do we gain by doing so? Our only right to do
  so, is, the assumption that there must have been uniformity of
  belief and means of satisfactory ascertainment, (respecting
  facts and persons of the ninth and tenth centuries before the
  Christian era,) existing among Greeks of the fifth and succeeding
  centuries; an assumption which I hold to be incorrect. And all we
  gain is, an illusory unanimity produced by gratuitously putting
  words into the mouth of one of our witnesses.

  If we can prove Herodotus to have been erroneously informed,
  it is right to do so; but we have no ground for altering his
  deposition. It affords a clear proof that there were very
  different stories as to the mere question, to which of the two
  lines of Herakleids the Spartan lawgiver belonged,—and that there
  was an enormous difference as to the time in which he lived.

O. Müller,[573] after glancing at the strange and improbable
circumstances handed down to us respecting Lykurgus, observes, “that
we have absolutely no account of him as an individual person.” This
remark is perfectly just: but another remark, made by the same
distinguished author, respecting the Lykurgean system of laws,
appears to me erroneous,—and requires more especially to be noticed,
inasmuch as the corollaries deduced from it pervade a large portion
of his valuable History of the Dorians. He affirms that the laws of
Sparta were considered the true Doric institutions, and that their
origin was identical with that of the people: Sparta is, in his view,
the full type of Dorian principles, tendencies, and sentiments,—and
is so treated throughout his entire work.[574] But such an opinion
is at once gratuitous (for the passage of Pindar cited in support
of it is scarcely of any value) and contrary to the whole tenor of
ancient evidence. The institutions of Sparta were not Dorian, but
peculiar to herself;[575] distinguishing her not less from Argos,
Corinth, Megara, Epidaurus, Sikyôn, Korkyra, or Knidus, than from
Athens or Thebes. Krête was the only other portion of Greece in
which there prevailed institutions in many respects analogous, yet
still dissimilar in those two attributes which form the real mark
and pinch of Spartan legislation, namely, the military discipline
and the rigorous private training. There were doubtless Dorians in
Krête, but we have no proof that these peculiar institutions belonged
to them more than to the other inhabitants of the island. That the
Spartans had an original organization, and tendencies common to them
with the other Dorians, we may readily concede; but the Lykurgean
constitution impressed upon them a peculiar tendency, which took them
out of the general march, and rendered them the least fit of all
states to be cited as an example of the class-attributes of Dorism.
One of the essential causes, which made the Spartan institutions work
so impressively upon the Grecian mind, was their perfect singularity,
combined with the conspicuous ascendency of the state in which they
were manifested; while the Kretan communities, even admitting their
partial resemblance (which was chiefly in the institution of the
Syssitia, and was altogether more in form than in spirit) to Sparta,
were too insignificant to attract notice except from speculative
observers. It is therefore a mistake on the part of O. Müller, to
treat Sparta as the type and representative of Dorians generally, and
very many of the positions advanced in his History of the Dorians
require to be modified when this mistake is pointed out.

  [573] History of the Dorians, i. 7, 6.

  [574] History of the Dorians, iii. 1, 8. Alf. Kopstadt recognizes
  this as an error in Müller’s work: see his recent valuable
  Dissertation “De Rerum Laconicarum Constitutionis Lycurgeæ
  Origine et Indole,” Gryphiæ, 1849, sect. 3, p. 18.

  [575] Among the many other evidences to this point, see
  Aristotle, Ethic. x. 9; Xenophon, Republ. Laced. 10, 8.

The first capital fact to notice respecting the institutions
ascribed to Lykurgus, is the very early period at which they had
their commencement: it seems impossible to place this period later
than 825 B. C. We do not find, nor have we a right to expect,
trustworthy history in reference to events so early. If we have one
foot on historical ground, inasmuch as the institutions themselves
are real,—the other foot still floats in the unfaithful region of
mythe, when we strive to comprehend the generating causes: the mist
yet prevails which hinders us from distinguishing between the god
and the man. The light in which Lykurgus appeared, to an intelligent
Greek of the fifth century before the Christian era, is so clearly,
yet briefly depicted, in the following passage of Herodotus, that I
cannot do better than translate it:—

“In the very early times (Herodotus observes) the Spartans were
among themselves the most lawless of all Greeks, and unapproachable
by foreigners. Their transition to good legal order took place in
the following manner. When Lycurgus, a Spartan of consideration,
visited Delphi to consult the oracle, the instant that he entered the
sanctuary, the Pythian priestess exclaimed,—

“Thou art come, Lycurgus, to my fat shrine, beloved by Zeus, and by
all the Olympic gods. Is it as god or as man that I am to address
thee in the spirit? I hesitate,—and yet, Lycurgus, I incline more to
call thee a god.”

So spake the Pythian priestess. “Moreover, in addition to these
words, some affirm that the Pythia revealed to him the order of
things now established among the Spartans. _But the Lacedæmonians
themselves_ say, that Lycurgus, when guardian of his nephew Labôtas,
king of the Spartans, introduced these institutions out of Krete. No
sooner had he obtained this guardianship, than he changed all the
institutions into their present form, and took security against any
transgression of it. Next, he constituted the military divisions, the
Enômoties and the Triakads, as well as the Syssitia, or public mess:
he also, farther, appointed the ephors and the senate. By this means
the Spartans passed from bad to good order: to Lycurgus, after his
death, they built a temple, and they still worship him reverentially.
And as might naturally be expected in a productive soil, and with no
inconsiderable numbers of men, they immediately took a start forward,
and flourished so much that they could not be content to remain
tranquil within their own limits,” etc.

Such is our oldest statement (coming from Herodotus) respecting
Lykurgus, ascribing to him that entire order of things which the
writer witnessed at Sparta. Thucydidês also, though not mentioning
Lykurgus, agrees in stating that the system among the Lacedæmonians,
as he saw it, had been adopted by them four centuries previously,—had
rescued them from the most intolerable disorders, and had immediately
conducted them to prosperity and success.[576] Hellanikus, whose
writings a little preceded those of Herodotus, not only did not
(any more than Thucydidês) make mention of Lykurgus, but can hardly
be thought to have attached any importance to the name; since he
attributed the constitution of Sparta to the first kings, Eurysthenes
and Prokles.[577]

  [576] Herodot. i. 65-66; Thucyd. i. 18.

  [577] Strabo, viii. p. 363.

But those later writers, from whom Plutarch chiefly compiled his
biography, profess to be far better informed on the subject of
Lykurgus, and enter more into detail. His father, we are told, was
assassinated during the preceding state of lawlessness; his elder
brother Polydektês died early, leaving a pregnant widow, who made to
Lykurgus propositions that he should marry her and become king. But
Lykurgus, repudiating the offer with indignation, awaited the birth
of his young nephew Charilaus, held up the child publicly in the
agora, as the future king of Sparta, and immediately relinquished the
authority which he had provisionally exercised. However, the widow
and her brother Leonidas raised slanderous accusations against him,
of designs menacing to the life of the infant king,—accusations which
he deemed it proper to obviate, by a temporary absence. Accordingly,
he left Sparta and went to Krête, where he studied the polity and
customs of the different cities; next, he visited Ionia and Egypt,
and (as some authors affirmed) Libya, Iberia, and even India. While
in Ionia, he is reported to have obtained from the descendants of
Kreophylus a copy of the Homeric poems, which had not up to that time
become known in Peloponnesus: there were not wanting authors, indeed,
who said that he had conversed with Homer himself.[578]

  [578] Plutarch, Lykurg. 3, 4, 5.

Meanwhile, the young king Charilaus grew up and assumed the sceptre,
as representing the Prokleid or Eurypontid family. But the reins of
government had become more relaxed, and the disorders worse than
ever, when Lykurgus returned. Finding that the two kings as well as
the people were weary of so disastrous a condition, he set himself
to the task of applying a corrective, and with this view consulted
the Delphian oracle; from which he received strong assurances of the
divine encouragement, together with one or more special injunctions
(the primitive Rhetræ of the constitution), which he brought with
him to Sparta.[579] He then suddenly presented himself in the agora,
with thirty of the most distinguished Spartans, all in arms, as his
guards and partisans. King Charilaus, though at first terrified, when
informed of the designs of his uncle, stood forward willingly to
second them; while the bulk of the Spartans respectfully submitted
to the venerable Herakleid, who came as reformer and missionary
from Delphi.[580] Such were the steps by which Lykurgus acquired his
ascendency: we have now to see how he employed it.

  [579] For an instructive review of the text as well as the
  meaning of this ancient Rhetra, see Urlichs, Ueber die
  Lycurgischen Rhetren, published since the first edition of this
  History. His refutation of the rash charges of Göttling seems
  to me complete: but his own conjectures are not all equally
  plausible; nor can I subscribe to his explanation of ἀφιστάσθαι.

  [580] Plutarch, Lykurg. c. 5-6. Hermippus, the scholar of
  Aristotle, professed to give the names of twenty out of these
  thirty devoted partisans.

  There was, however, a different story, which represented that
  Lykurgus, on his return from his travels, found Charilaus
  governing like a despot (Heraclid. Pontic. c. 2).

His first proceeding, pursuant to the Rhetra or Compact brought
from Delphi, was to constitute the Spartan senate, consisting
of twenty-eight ancient men; making an aggregate of thirty in
conjunction with the two kings, who sat and voted in it. With this
were combined periodical assemblies of the Spartan people, in the
open air, between the river Knakiôn and the bridge Babyka. Yet
no discussion was permitted in these assemblies,—their functions
were limited to the simple acceptance or rejection of that which
had previously been determined in the senate.[581] Such was the
Spartan political constitution as fixed by Lykurgus; but a century
afterwards (so Plutarch’s account runs), under the kings Polydôrus
and Theopompus, two important alterations were made. A rider was then
attached to the old Lykurgean Rhetra, by which it was provided that,
“in case the people decided crookedly, the senate, with the kings,
should reverse their decisions:”[582] while another change, perhaps
intended as a sort of compensation for this bridle on the popular
assembly, introduced into the constitution a new executive Directory
of five men, called Ephors. This Board—annually chosen, by some
capricious method, the result of which could not well be foreseen,
and open to be filled by every Spartan citizen—either originally
received, or gradually drew to itself, functions so extensive and
commanding, in regard to internal administration and police, as to
limit the authority of the kings to little more than the exclusive
command of the military force. Herodotus was informed, at Sparta,
that the ephors as well as the senate had been constituted by
Lykurgus; but the authority of Aristotle, as well as the internal
probability of the case, sanctions the belief that they were
subsequently added.[583]

  [581] The words of the old Rhetra—Διὸς Ἑλλανίου καὶ Ἀθηνᾶς
  Ἑλλανίας ἱερὸν ἱδρυσάμενον, φυλὰς φυλάξαντα, καὶ ὠβὰς ὠβάξαντα,
  τριάκοντα, γερουσίαν σὺν ἀρχαγέταις, καταστήσαντα, ὥρας ἐξ ὥρας
  ἀπελλάζειν μεταξὺ Βαβύκας καὶ Κνακίωνος, οὕτως εἰσφέρειν τε καὶ
  ἀφίστασθαι· δάμῳ δ᾽ ἀγορὰν εἶμεν καὶ κράτος. (Plutarch, _ib._)

  The reading ἀγορὰν (last word but three) is that of Coray’s
  edition: other readings proposed are κυρίαν, ἀνωγὰν, ἀγορίαν,
  etc. The MSS., however, are incurably corrupt, and none of the
  conjectures can be pronounced certain.

  The Rhetra contains various remarkable
  archaisms,—ἀπελλάζειν—ἀφίστασθαι,—the latter word in the sense of
  putting the question for decision, corresponding to the function
  of the Ἀφεστὴρ at Knidus, (Plutarch, Quæst. Græc. c. 4; see
  Schneider, Lexicon, _ad voc._)

  O. Müller connects τριάκοντα with ὠβὰς, and lays it down that
  there were thirty Obes at Sparta: I rather agree with those
  critics who place the comma after ὠβάξαντα, and refer the number
  thirty to the senate. Urlichs, in his Dissertation Ueber Die
  Lykurgisch. Rhetren (published in the Rheinisches Museum for
  1847, p. 204), introduces the word πρεσβυγενέας after τριάκοντα;
  which seems a just conjecture, when we look to the addition
  afterwards made by Theopompus. The statements of Müller about the
  Obes seem to me to rest on no authority.

  The word Rhetra means a solemn compact, either originally
  emanating from, or subsequently sanctioned by, the gods, who are
  always parties to such agreements: see the old Treaty between the
  Eleians and Heræans,—Ἁ ϝράτρα, between the two,—commemorated in
  the valuable inscription still preserved,—as ancient, according
  to Boeckh, as Olymp. 40-60, (Boeckh, Corp. Inscript. No. 2, p.
  26, part i.) The words of Tyrtæus imply such a compact between
  contracting parties: first the kings, then the senate, lastly the
  people—εὐθείαις ῥήτραις ~ἀνταπαμειβομένους~—where the participle
  last occurring applies not to the people alone, but to all the
  three. The Rhetra of Lykurgus emanated from the Delphian god;
  but the kings, senate, and people all bound themselves, both to
  each other and to the gods, to obey it. The explanations given of
  the phrase by Nitzsch and Schömann (in Dr. Thirlwall’s note, ch.
  viii. p. 334) seem to me less satisfactory than what appears in
  C. F. Hermann (Lehrbuch der Griech. Staatsalterthümer, s. 23).

  Nitzsch (Histor. Homer. sect. xiv. pp. 50-55) does not take
  sufficient account of the distinction between the meaning of
  ῥήτρα in the early and in the later times. In the time of the
  Ephor Epitadeus, or of Agis the Third, he is right in saying that
  ῥήτρα is equivalent to _scitum_,—still, however, with an idea
  of greater solemnity and unchangeability than is implied in the
  word νόμος, analogous to what is understood by a fundamental or
  organic enactment in modern ideas. The old ideas, of a mandate
  from the Delphian god, and a compact between the kings and the
  citizens, which had once been connected with the word, gradually
  dropped away from it. There is no contradiction in Plutarch,
  therefore, such as that to which Nitzsch alludes (p. 54).

  Kopstadt’s Dissertation (pp. 22, 30) touches on the same subject.
  I agree with Kopstadt (Dissert. pp. 28-30), in thinking it
  probable that Plutarch copied the words of the old Lykurgean
  constitutional Rhetra, from the account given by Aristotle of the
  Spartan polity.

  King Theopompus probably brought from the Delphian oracle the
  important rider which he tacked to the mandate as originally
  brought by Lykurgus—οἱ βασιλεῖς Θεόπομπος καὶ Πολύδωρος τάδε
  τῇ ῥήτρᾳ παρενέγραψαν. The authority of the oracle, together
  with their own influence, would enable them to get these words
  accepted by the people.

  [582] Αἲ δὲ σκολιὰν ὁ δᾶμος ἕλοιτο, τοὺς πρεσβυγενέας καὶ
  ἀρχαγέτας ἀποστατῆρας εἶμεν. (Plutarch, _ib._)

  Plutarch tells us that the primitive Rhetra, anterior to this
  addition, specially enjoined the assembled citizens either to
  adopt or reject, without change, the Rhetra proposed by the
  kings and senate, and that the rider was introduced because the
  assembly had disobeyed this injunction, and adopted amendments
  of its own. It is this latter sense which he puts on the word
  σκολιὰν. Urlichs (Ueber Lyc. Rhetr. p. 232) and Nitzsch (Hist.
  Homer. p. 54) follow him, and the latter even construes the
  epithet Εὐθείαις ῥήτραις ἀνταπαμειβομένους of Tyrtæus in a
  corresponding sense: he says, “Populus iis (rhetris) εὐθείαις, i.
  e. _nihil inflexis_, suffragari jubetur: nam lex cujus Tyrtæus
  admonet, ita sanxerat—si populus rogationem _inflexam_ (_i.
  e._ non nisi ad suum arbitrium immutatam) accipere voluerit,
  senatores et auctores abolento totam.”

  Now, in the first place, it seems highly improbable that the
  primitive Rhetra, with its antique simplicity, would contain
  any such preconceived speciality of restriction upon the
  competence of the assembly. That restriction received its formal
  commencement only from the rider annexed by king Theopompus,
  which evidently betokens a previous dispute and refractory
  behavior on the part of the assembly.

  In the second place, the explanation which these authors give
  of the words σκολιὰν and εὐθείαις, is not conformable to the
  ancient Greek, as we find it in Homer and Hesiod: and these
  early analogies are the proper test, seeing that we are dealing
  with a very ancient document. In Hesiod, ἰθὺς and σκολιὸς are
  used in a sense which almost exactly corresponds to _right_ and
  _wrong_ (which words, indeed, in their primitive etymology, maybe
  traced back to the meaning of _straight_ and _crooked_). See
  Hesiod. Opp. Di. 36, 192, 218, 221, 226, 230, 250, 262, 264; also
  Theogon. 97, and Fragm. 217, ed. Göttling; where the phrases are
  constantly repeated, ἰθεῖαι δίκαι, σκολιαὶ δίκαι, σκολιοὶ μῦθοι.
  There is also the remarkable expression, Opp. Di. 9. ῥεῖα δέ
  τ᾽ ἰθύνει σκολιὸν: compare v. 263. ἰθύνετε μύθους: also Homer,
  Iliad, xvi. 387. Οἳ βίῃ εἰν ἀγορῇ σκολιὰς κρίνωσι θέμιστας; and
  xxiii. 580. ἰθεῖα; xviii. 508. ὃς μετὰ τοῖσι δίκην ἰθύντατα εἴπῃ,

  If we judge by these analogies, we shall see that the words of
  Tyrtæus, εὐθείαις ῥήτραις, mean “_straightforward_, _honest_,
  statutes or conventions”—not _propositions adopted without
  change_, as Nitzsch supposes. And so the words σκολιὰν ἕλοιτο,
  mean, “adopt a _wrong or dishonest determination_,”—not a
  determination different from what was proposed to them.

  These words gave to the kings and senate power to cancel any
  decision of the public assembly which they disapproved. It
  retained only the power of refusing assent to some substantive
  propositions of the authorities, first of the kings and senate,
  afterwards of the ephors. And this limited power it seems always
  to have preserved.

  Kopstadt explains well the expression σκολιὰν, as the antithesis
  to the epithet of Tyrtæus, εὐθείαις ῥήτραις (Dissertat. sect. 15,
  p. 124).

  [583] Herod. i. 65: compare Plutarch, Lycurg. c. 7; Aristot.
  Polit. v. 9, 1 (where he gives the answer of king Theopompus).

  Aristotle tells us that the ephors were chosen, but not _how_
  they were chosen; only, that it was in some manner excessively
  puerile,—παιδαριώδης γάρ ἐστι λίαν (ii. 6, 16).

  M. Barthélemy St. Hilaire, in his note to the passage of
  Aristotle, presumes that they were of course chosen in the same
  manner as the senators; but there seems no sufficient ground in
  Aristotle to countenance this. Nor is it easy to reconcile the
  words of Aristotle respecting the election of the senators, where
  he assimilates it to an αἵρεσις δυναστευτικὴ (Polit. v. 5, 8; ii.
  6, 18), with the description which Plutarch (Lycurg. 26) gives of
  that election.

Taking the political constitution of Sparta ascribed to Lykurgus, it
appears not to have differed materially from the rude organization
exhibited in the Homeric poems, where we always find a council of
chiefs or old men, and occasional meetings of a listening agora. It
is hard to suppose that the Spartan kings can ever have governed
without some formalities of this sort; so that the innovation
(if innovation there really was) ascribed to Lykurgus, must have
consisted in some new details respecting the senate and the agora,—in
fixing the number[584] thirty, and the life-tenure of the former,—and
the special place of meeting of the latter, as well as the extent of
privilege which it was to exercise; consecrating the whole by the
erection of the temples of Zeus Hellanius and Athênê Hellania. The
view of the subject presented by Plutarch as well as by Plato,[585]
as if the senate were an entire novelty, does not consist with the
pictures of the old epic. Hence we may more naturally imagine that
the Lykurgean political constitution, apart from the ephors who
were afterwards tacked to it, presents only the old features of the
heroic government of Greece, defined and regularized in a particular
manner. The presence of two coexistent and coordinate kings, indeed,
succeeding in hereditary descent, and both belonging to the gens of
Herakleids, is something peculiar to Sparta,—the origin of which
receives no other explanation than a reference to the twin sons of
Aristodêmus, Eurysthenês and Proklês. These two primitive ancestors
are a type of the two lines of Spartan kings; for they are said to
have passed their lives in perpetual dissensions, which was the
habitual state of the two contemporaneous kings at Sparta. While
the coexistence of the pair of kings, equal in power and constantly
thwarting each other, had often a baneful effect upon the course
of public measures, it was, nevertheless, a security to the state
against successful violence,[586] ending in the establishment of a
despotism, on the part of any ambitious individual among the regal

  [584] Kopstadt agrees in this supposition, that the number of the
  senate was probably not peremptorily fixed before the Lykurgean
  reform (Dissertat. ut sup. sect. 13, p. 109).

  [585] Plato, Legg. iii. p. 691; Plato Epist. viii. p. 354, B.

  [586] Plato, Legg. iii. p. 691; Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 20.

During five successive centuries of Spartan history, from Polydôrus
and Theopompus downward, no such violence was attempted by any of
the kings,[587] until the times of Agis the Third and Kleomenês the
Third,—240 B. C. to 220 B. C. The importance of Greece had at this
last-mentioned period irretrievably declined, and the independent
political action which she once possessed had become subordinate
to the more powerful force either of the Ætolian mountaineers (the
rudest among her own sons) or to Epirotic, Macedonian, and Asiatic
foreigners, preparatory to the final absorption by the Romans.
But amongst all the Grecian states, Sparta had declined the most;
her ascendency was totally gone, and her peculiar training and
discipline (to which she had chiefly owed it) had degenerated in
every way. Under these untoward circumstances, two young kings,
Agis and Kleomenês,—the former a generous enthusiast, the latter
more violent and ambitious,—conceived the design of restoring the
Lykurgean constitution in its supposed pristine purity, with the
hope of reviving both the spirit of the people and the ascendency
of the state. But the Lykurgean constitution had been, even in the
time of Xenophon,[588] in part, an _idéal_ not fully realized in
practice—much less was it a reality in the days of Kleomenês and
Agis moreover, it was an _idéal_ which admitted of being colored
according to the fancy or feelings of those reformers who professed,
and probably believed, that they were aiming at its genuine
restoration. What the reforming kings found most in their way, was
the uncontrolled authority, and the conservative dispositions, of the
ephors,—which they naturally contrasted with the original fulness
of the kingly power, when kings and senate stood alone. Among the
various ways in which men’s ideas of what the primitive constitution
_had_ been, were modified by the feelings of their own time (we
shall presently see some other instances of this), is probably to be
reckoned the assertion of Kleomenês respecting the first appointment
of the ephors. Kleomenês affirmed that the ephors had originally been
nothing more than subordinates and deputies of the kings, chosen
by the latter to perform for a time their duties during the long
absence of the Messenian war. Starting from this humble position,
and profiting by the dissensions of the two kings,[589] they had in
process of time, especially by the ambition of the ephor Asterôpus,
found means first to constitute themselves an independent board, then
to usurp to themselves more and more of the kingly authority, until
they at last reduced the kings to a state of intolerable humiliation
and impotence. As a proof of the primitive relation between the kings
and the ephors, he alluded to that which was the custom at Sparta
in his own time. When the ephors sent for either of the kings, the
latter had a right to refuse obedience to two successive summonses,
but the third summons he was bound to obey.[590]

  [587] The conspiracy of Pausanias, after the repulse of Xerxes,
  was against the liberty of combined Hellas, to constitute himself
  satrap of Hellas under the Persian monarch, rather than against
  the established Lacedæmonian government; though undoubtedly one
  portion of his project was to excite the Helots to revolt, and
  Aristotle treats him as specially aiming to put down the power of
  the ephors (Polit. v. 5, 6: compare Thucyd. i. 128-134; Herodot.
  v. 32).

  [588] Xenophon, Republic. Laced, c. 14.

  [589] Plutarch, Agis, c. 12. Τοῦτο γὰρ τὸ ἀρχεῖον (the ephors)
  ἰσχύειν ἐκ διαφορᾶς τῶν βασιλέων, etc.

  [590] Plutarch, Kleomenês, c. 10. σημεῖον δὲ τούτου, ~τὸ μέχρι
  νῦν~, μεταπεμπομένων τὸν βασιλέα τῶν Ἐφόρων, etc.

It is obvious that the fact here adduced by Kleomenês (a curious
point in Spartan manners) contributes little to prove the conclusion
which he deduced from it, of the original nomination of the ephors
as mere deputies by the kings. That they were first appointed at the
time of the Messenian war is probable, and coincides with the tale
that king Theopompus was a consenting party to the measure,—that
their functions were at first comparatively circumscribed, and
extended by successive encroachments, is also probable; but they
seem to have been from the beginning a board of specially popular
origin, in contraposition to the kings and the senate. One proof
of this is to be found in the ancient oath, which was every month
interchanged between the kings and the ephors; the king swearing for
himself, that he would exercise his regal functions according to the
established laws,—the ephors swearing on behalf of the city, that
his authority should on that condition remain unshaken.[591] This
mutual compact, which probably formed a part of the ceremony during
the monthly sacrifices offered by the king,[592] continued down to
a time when it must have become a pure form, and when the kings had
long been subordinate in power to the ephors. But it evidently began
first as a reality,—when the king was predominant and effective chief
of the state, and when the ephors, clothed with functions chiefly
defensive, served as guarantees to the people against abuse of the
regal authority. Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero,[593] all interpret the
original institution of the ephors as designed to protect the people
and restrain the kings: the latter assimilates them to the tribunes
at Rome.

  [591] Xenophon, Republic. Lacedæmon. c. 15. Καὶ ὅρκους μὲν
  ἀλλήλοις κατὰ μῆνα ποιοῦνται· Ἔφοροι μὲν ὑπὲρ τῆς πόλεως,
  βασιλεὺς δ᾽ ὑπὲρ ἑαυτοῦ. Ὁ δὲ ὅρκος ἐστὶ, τῷ μὲν βασιλεῖ, κατὰ
  τοὺς τῆς πόλεως κειμένους νόμους βασιλεύσειν· τῇ δὲ πόλει,
  ἐμπεδορκοῦντος ἐκείνου, ἀστυφέλικτον τὴν βασιλείαν παρέξειν.

  [592] Herodot. vi. 57.

  [593] Plato, Legg. iii. p. 692; Aristot. Polit. v. 11, 1; Cicero
  de Republic. Fragm. ii. 33, ed. Maii—“Ut contra consulare
  imperium tribuni plebis, sic illi (ephori) contra vim regiam
  constituti;”—also, De Legg. iii. 7. and Valer. Max. iv. 1.

  Compare Plutarch, Lycurg. c. 7: Tittmann, Griechisch.
  Staatsverfassung, p. 108, _seqq._

Such were the relations which had once subsisted between the kings
and the ephors: though in later times these relations had been
so completely reversed, that Polybius considers the former as
essentially subordinate to the latter,—reckoning it as a point of
duty in the kings to respect the ephors “as their fathers.”[594]
And such is decidedly the state of things throughout all the
better-known period of history which we shall hereafter traverse.
The ephors are the general directors of public affairs[595] and the
supreme controlling board, holding in check every other authority
in the state, without any assignable limit to their powers. The
extraordinary ascendency of these magistrates is particularly
manifested in the fact stated by Aristotle, that they exempted
themselves from the public discipline, so that their self-indulgent
year of office stood in marked contrast with the toilsome exercises
and sober mess common to rich and poor alike. The kings are reduced
to a certain number of special functions, combined with privileges
partly religious, partly honorary: their most important political
attribute is, that they are _ex officio_ generals of the military
force on foreign expeditions. But even here, we trace the sensible
decline of their power. For whereas Herodotus was informed, and it
probably had been the old privilege, that the king could levy war
against whomsoever he chose, and that no Spartan could impede him
on pain of committing sacrilege,[596]—we shall see, throughout the
best-known periods of this history, that it is usually the ephors
(with or without the senate and public assembly) who determine
upon war,—the king only takes the command when the army is put on
the march. Aristotle seems to treat the Spartan king as a sort of
hereditary general; but even in this privilege, shackles were put
upon him,—for two, out of the five ephors, accompanied the army, and
their power seems to have been not seldom invoked to insure obedience
to his orders.[597]

  [594] Polyb. xxiv. 8.

  [595] Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 14-16; Ἐστὶ δὲ καὶ ἡ δίαιτα τῶν
  Ἐφόρων οὐχ ὁμολογουμένη τῷ βουλήματι τῆς πόλεως· αὐτὴ μὲν γὰρ
  ἀνειμένη λίαν ἐστί· ἐν δὲ τοῖς ἄλλοις μᾶλλον ὑπερβάλλει ἐπὶ τὸ
  σκληρὸν, etc.

  [596] Herodot. vi. 56.

  [597] Aristot. ii. 7, 4; Xenoph. Republ. Laced. c. 13. Παυσανíας,
  πείσας τῶν Ἐφόρων τρεῖς, ἐξάγει φρουρὰν, Xenoph. Hellen. ii. 4,
  29; φρουρὰν ἔφῃναν οἱ Ἔφοροι, iii. 2, 23.

  A special restriction was put on the functions of the king,
  as military commander-in-chief, in 417 B. C., after the
  ill-conducted expedition of Agis, son of Archidamus, against
  Argos. It was then provided that ten Spartan counsellors should
  always accompany the king in every expedition (Thucyd. v. 63).

The direct political powers of the kings were thus greatly curtailed;
yet importance, in many ways, was still left to them. They possessed
large royal domains, in many of the townships of the Periœki:
they received frequent occasional presents, and when victims were
offered to the gods, the skins and other portions belonged to them
as perquisites:[598] they had their votes in the senate, which,
if they were absent, were given on their behalf, by such of the
other senators as were most nearly related to them: the adoption of
children received its formal accomplishment in their presence,—and
conflicting claims at law, for the hand of an unbequeathed orphan
heiress, were adjudicated by them. But above all, their root was deep
in the religious feelings of the people. Their preëminent lineage
connected the entire state with a divine paternity. They, the chiefs
of the Herakleids, were the special grantees of the soil of Sparta
from the gods,—the occupation of the Dorians being only sanctified
and blest by Zeus for the purpose of establishing the children of
Hêraklês in the valley of the Eurotas.[599] They represented the
state in its relations with the gods, being by right priests of
Zeus Lacedæmon, (the ideas of the god and the country coalescing
into one), and of Zeus Uranius, and offering the monthly sacrifices
necessary to insure divine protection to the people. Though
individual persons might sometimes be put aside, nothing short of a
new divine revelation could induce the Spartans to step out of the
genuine lineage of Eurysthenês and Proklês. Moreover, the remarkable
mourning ceremony, which took place at the death of every king, seems
to indicate that the two kingly families—which counted themselves
Achæan,[600] not Dorian—were considered as the great common bond
of union between the three component parts of the population of
Laconia,—Spartans, Periœki, and Helots. Not merely was it required,
on this occasion, that two members of every house in Sparta should
appear in sackcloth and ashes,—but the death of the king was formally
made known throughout every part of Laconia, and deputies from the
townships of the Periœki, and the villages of the Helots, to the
number of several thousand, were summoned to Sparta to take their
share in the profuse and public demonstrations of sorrow,[601] which
lasted for ten days, and which imparted to the funeral obsequies a
superhuman solemnity. Nor ought we to forget, in enumerating the
privileges of the Spartan king, that he (conjointly with two officers
called Pythii, nominated by him,) carried on the communications
between the state and the temple of Delphi, and had the custody of
oracles and prophecies generally. In most of the Grecian states, such
inspired declarations were treasured up, and consulted in cases of
public emergency: but the intercourse of Sparta with the Delphian
oracle was peculiarly frequent and intimate, and the responses of
the Pythian priestess met with more reverential attention from the
Spartans than from any other Greeks.[602] So much the more important
were the king’s functions, as the medium of this intercourse: the
oracle always upheld his dignity, and often even seconded his
underhand personal schemes.[603]

  [598] The hide-money (δερματικὸν) arising from the numerous
  victims offered at public sacrifices at Athens, is accounted for
  as a special item of the public revenue in the careful economy of
  that city: see Boeckh, Public Econ. of Athens, iii. 7, p. 333;
  Eng. Trans. Corpus Inscription. No. 157.

  [599] Tyrtæus, Fragm. 1, ed. Bergk; Strabo, xviii. p. 362:—

    Αὐτὸς γὰρ Κρονίων καλλιστεφάνου πόσις Ἥρης
      Ζεὺς Ἡρακλείδαις τήνδε δέδωκε πόλιν·
    Οἶσιν ἅμα προλιπόντες Ἐρίνεον ἠνεμόεντα
      Εὐρεῖαν Πέλοπος νῆσον ἀφικόμεθα.

  Compare Thucyd. v. 16; Herodot. v. 39; Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 3, 3;
  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 22.

  [600] Herod, v. 72. See the account in Plutarch, of the abortive
  stratagem of Lysander, to make the kingly dignity elective,
  by putting forward a youth who passed for the son of Apollo
  (Plutarch, Lysand. c. 25-26).

  [601] Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 3, 1. Ἄγις—ἔτυχε σεμνοτέρας ἢ κατ᾽
  ἄνθρωπον ταφῆς.

  [602] For the privileges of the Spartan kings, see Herodot. vi.
  56-57; Xenophon, Republ. Laced. c. 15; Plato, Alcib. i. p. 123.

  [603] Herodot. vi. 66, and Thucyd. v. 16, furnish examples of

Sustained by so great a force of traditional reverence, a Spartan
king, of military talent and individual energy, like Agesilaus,
exercised great ascendency; but such cases were very rare, and we
shall find the king throughout the historical period only a secondary
force, available on special occasions. For real political orders,
in the greatest cases as well as the least, the Spartan looks to
the council of ephors, to whom obedience is paid with a degree of
precision which nothing short of the Spartan discipline could have
brought about,—by the most powerful citizens not less than by the
meanest.[604] Both the internal police and the foreign affairs of
the state are in the hands of the ephors, who exercise an authority
approaching to despotism, and altogether without accountability.
They appoint and direct the body of three hundred young and active
citizens, who performed the immediate police service of Laconia: they
cashier at pleasure any subordinate functionary, and inflict fine or
arrest at their own discretion: they assemble the military force, on
occasion of foreign war, and determine its destination, though the
king has the actual command of it: they imprison on suspicion even
the regent or the king himself:[605] they sit as judges, sometimes
individually and sometimes as a board, upon causes and complaints
of great moment, and they judge without the restraint of written
laws, the use of which was peremptorily forbidden by a special
Rhetra,[606] erroneously connected with Lykurgus himself, but at any
rate ancient. On certain occasions of peculiar moment, they take the
sense of the senate and the public assembly,[607]—such seems to have
been the habit on questions of war and peace. It appears, however,
that persons charged with homicide, treason, or capital offences
generally, were tried before the senate. We read of several instances
in which the kings were tried and severely fined, and in which their
houses were condemned to be razed to the ground, probably by the
senate, on the proposition of the ephors: in one instance, it seems
that the ephors inflicted by their own authority a fine even upon

  [604] Xenophon, Republ. Laced. c. 8, 2, and Agesilaus, cap. 7, 2.

  [605] Xenoph. Rep. Laced. 8, 4; Thucydid. i. 131; Aristot. Polit.
  ii. 6,14—ἀρχὴν λίαν μεγάλην καὶ ἰσοτύραννον. Plutarch, Lycurg. c.
  13.—μὴ χρῆσθαι νόμοις ἐγγράφοις.

  Plato, in his Republic, in like manner disapproves of any general
  enactments, tying up beforehand the discretion of perfectly
  educated men, like his guardians, who will always do what is best
  on each special occasion (Republic, iv. p. 425).

  [606] Besides the primitive constitutional Rhetra mentioned
  above, page 345, various other Rhetræ are also attributed to
  Lykurgus: and Plutarch singles out three under the title of “The
  Three Rhetræ,” as if they were either the only genuine Lykurgean
  Rhetræ, or at least stood distinguished by some peculiar sanctity
  from all others (Plutarch, Quæst. Roman. c. 87. Agesilaus, c. 26).

  These three were (Plutarch, Lycurg. c. 13; comp. Apophth. Lacon.
  p. 227): 1. Not to resort to written laws. 2. Not to employ in
  house-building any other tools than the axe and the saw. 3. Not
  to undertake military expeditions often against the same enemies.

  I agree with Nitzsch (Histor. Homer. pp. 61-65) that these
  Rhetræ, though doubtless not actually Lykurgean, are,
  nevertheless, ancient (that is, probably dating somewhere between
  650-550 B. C.) and not the mere fictions of recent writers,
  as Schömann (Ant. Jur. Pub. iv. 1; xiv. p. 132) and Urlichs
  (p. 241) seem to believe. And though Plutarch specifies the
  number _three_, yet there seems to have been still more, as the
  language of Tyrtæus must be held to indicate: out of which, from
  causes which we do not now understand, the three which Plutarch
  distinguishes excited particular notice.

  These maxims or precepts of state were probably preserved along
  with the dicta of the Delphian oracle, from which authority,
  doubtless, many of them may have emanated,—such as the famous
  ancient prophecy Ἁ φιλοχρηματία Σπάρταν ὁλεῖ, ἄλλο δὲ οὐδὲν
  (Krebs, Lectiones Diodoreæ, p. 140. Aristotel. Περὶ Πολιτειῶν,
  ap. Schol. ad Eurip. Andromach. 446. Schömann, Comm. ad Plutarch.
  Ag. et Cleomen. p. 123).

  Nitzsch has good remarks in explanation of the prohibition
  against “using written laws.” This prohibition was probably
  called forth by the circumstance that other Grecian states were
  employing lawgivers like Zaleukus, Drako, Charondas, or Solon,—to
  present them, at once, with a series of written enactments, or
  provisions. Some Spartans may have proposed that an analogous
  lawgiver should be nominated for Sparta: upon which proposition a
  negative was put in the most solemn manner possible, by a formal
  Rhetra, perhaps passed after advice from Delphi. There is no such
  contradiction, therefore, (when we thus conceive the event,) as
  some authors represent, in forbidding the use of written laws by
  a Rhetra itself, put into writing. To employ a phrase in greater
  analogy with modern controversies—“The Spartans, on the direction
  of the oracle, resolve to retain their unwritten common law, and
  not to codify.”

  [607] Ἔδοξε τοῖς Ἐφόροις καὶ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ (Xen. Hellen. iii. 2,

  [608] The case of _Leotychides_, Herod. vi. 72; of _Pleistoanax_,
  Thucyd. ii. 21-v. 16; _Agis the Second_, Thucyd. v. 63; _Agis the
  Third_, Plutarch, Agis, c. 19: see Plutarch, Agesilaus, c. 5.

  Respecting the ephors generally, see Wachsmuth, Hellen.
  Alterthumskunde, v. 4, 42, vol. i. p. 223; Cragius, Rep. Lac. ii.
  4, p. 121.

  Aristotle distinctly marks the ephors as ἀνυπεύθυνοι: so that the
  story alluded to briefly in the Rhetoric (iii. 18) is not easy to
  be understood.

War and peace appear to have been submitted, on most, if not on all
occasions, to the senate and the public assembly; no matter could
reach the latter until it had passed through the former. And we find
some few occasions on which the decision of the public assembly was a
real expression of opinion, and operative as to the result,—as, for
example, the assembly which immediately preceded and resolved upon
the Peloponnesian war. Here, in addition to the serious hazard of the
case, and the general caution of a Spartan temperament, there was
the great personal weight and experience of king Archidamus opposed
to the war, though the ephors were favorable to it.[609] The public
assembly, under such peculiar circumstances, really manifested an
opinion and came to a division. But, for the most part, it seems to
have been little better than an inoperative formality. The general
rule permitted no open discussion, nor could any private citizen
speak except by special leave from the magistrates. Perhaps even
the general liberty to discuss, if given, might have been of no
avail, for not only was there no power of public speaking, but no
habit of canvassing public measures, at Sparta; nothing was more
characteristic of the government than the extreme secrecy of its
proceedings.[610] The propositions brought forward by the magistrates
were either accepted or rejected, without any license of amending.
There could be no attraction to invite the citizen to be present at
such an assembly: and we may gather from the language of Xenophon
that, in his time, it consisted only of a certain number of notables
specially summoned in addition to the senate, which latter body is
itself called “the lesser Ekklesia.[611]” Indeed, the constant and
formidable diminution in the number of qualified citizens was alone
sufficient to thin the attendance of the assembly, as well as to
break down any imposing force which it might once have possessed.

  [609] Thucyd. i. 67, 80, 87. ξύλλογον σφῶν αὐτῶν τὸν εἰωθότα.

  [610] Thucyd. iv. 68. τῆς πολιτείας τὸ κρυπτόν: compare iv. 74;
  also, his remarkable expression about so distinguished a man as
  Brasidas, ἦν δὲ οὐκ αδύνατος, ὡς Λακεδαιμόνιος, εἰπεῖν, and iv.
  24, about the Lacedæmonian envoys to Athens. Compare Schömann,
  Antiq. Jur. Pub. Græc. iv. 1, 10, p. 122. Aristotel. Polit. ii.
  8, 3.

  [611] Τὴν μικρὰν καλουμένην ἐκκλησίαν (Xenoph. Hellen. iii. 3,
  8), which means the γέροντες, or senate, and none besides, except
  the ephors, who convoked it. (See Lachmann, Spart. Verfass. sect.
  12, p. 216.) What is still more to be noted, is the expression
  οἱ ἔκκλητοι as the equivalent of ἡ ἐκκλησία (compare Hellen. v.
  2, 11; vi. 3, 3), evidently showing a special and limited number
  of persons convened: see, also, ii. 4, 38; iv. 6, 3; v. 2, 33;
  Thucyd. v. 77.

  The expression οἱ ἔκκλητοι could never have got into use as an
  equivalent for the Athenian ecclesia.

An assembly thus circumstanced,—though always retained as a
formality, and though its consent on considerable matters and for the
passing of laws (which, however, seems to have been a rare occurrence
at Sparta) was indispensable,—could be very little of a practical
check upon the administration of the ephors. The senate, a permanent
body, with the kings included in it, was the only real check upon
them, and must have been to a certain extent a concurrent body in
the government,—though the large and imposing language in which
its political supremacy is spoken of by Demosthenês and Isokratês
exceeds greatly the reality of the case. Its most important function
was that of a court of criminal justice, before whom every man put
on trial for his life was arraigned.[612] But both in this and in
their other duties, we find the senators as well as the kings and
the ephors charged with corruption and venality.[613] As they were
not appointed until sixty years of age, and then held their offices
for life, we may readily believe that some of them continued to act
after the period of extreme and disqualifying senility,—which, though
the extraordinary respect of the Lacedæmonians for old age would
doubtless tolerate it, could not fail to impair the influence of the
body as a concurrent element of government.

  [612] Xenoph. Republ. Laced. 10; Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 17; iii.
  1, 7; Demosthen. cont. Leptin. c. 23, p. 489; Isokratês, Or.
  xii. (Panathenaic.) p. 266. The language of Demosthenês seems
  particularly inaccurate.

  Plutarch (Agesilaus, c. 32), on occasion of some suspected
  conspirators, who were put to death by Agesilaus and the
  ephors, when Sparta was in imminent danger from the attack of
  Epameinondas, asserts, that this was the first time that any
  Spartan had ever been put to death without trial.

  [613] Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 18. Compare, also, Thucydid.
  i. 131, about the guilty Pausanias,—πιστεύων χρήμασι
  διαλύσειν τὴν διαβολήν; Herodot. v. 72; Thucyd. v. 16,—about
  the kings Leotychides and Pleistoanax; the brave and able
  Gylippus,—Plutarch, Lysand. c. 16.

The brief sketch here given of the Spartan government will show
that, though Greek theorists found a difficulty in determining
under what class they should arrange it,[614] it was in substance
a close, unscrupulous, and well-obeyed oligarchy,—including within
it, as subordinate, those portions which had once been dominant,
the kings and the senate, and softening the odium, without abating
the mischief, of the system, by its annual change of the ruling
ephors. We must at the same time distinguish the government from
the Lykurgean discipline and education, which doubtless tended much
to equalize rich and poor, in respect to practical life, habits,
and enjoyments. Herodotus (and seemingly, also, Xenophon) thought
that the form just described was that which the government had
originally received from the hand of Lykurgus. Now, though there is
good reason for supposing otherwise, and for believing the ephors
to be a subsequent addition,—yet, the mere fact that Herodotus
was so informed at Sparta, points our attention to one important
attribute of the Spartan polity, which it is proper to bring into
view. This attribute is, its unparalleled steadiness, for four or
five successive centuries, in the midst of governments like the
Grecian, all of which had undergone more or less of fluctuation.
No considerable revolution—not even any palpable or formal
change—occurred in it, from the days of the Messenian war, down to
those of Agis the Third: in spite of the irreparable blow which
the power and territory of the state sustained from Epameinondas
and the Thebans, the form of government, nevertheless, remained
unchanged. It was the only government in Greece which could trace
an unbroken, peaceable descent from a high antiquity, and from its
real or supposed founder. Now this was one of the main circumstances
(among others which will hereafter be mentioned) of the astonishing
ascendency which the Spartans acquired over the Hellenic mind, and
which they will not be found at all to deserve by any superior
ability in the conduct of affairs. The steadiness of their political
sympathies,—exhibited at one time, by putting down the tyrants,
or despots, at another, by overthrowing the democracies,—stood in
the place of ability; and even the recognized failings of their
government were often covered by the sentiment of respect for
its early commencement and uninterrupted continuance. If such a
feeling acted on the Greeks generally,[615] much more powerful
was its action upon the Spartans themselves, in inflaming that
haughty exclusiveness for which they stood distinguished. And it is
to be observed that the Spartan mind continued to be cast on the
old-fashioned scale, and unsusceptible of modernizing influences,
longer than that of most other people of Greece. The ancient
legendary faith, and devoted submission to the Delphian oracle,
remained among them unabated, at a time when various influences had
considerably undermined it among their fellow-Hellens and neighbors.
But though the unchanged title and forms of the government thus
contributed to its imposing effect, both at home and abroad, the
causes of internal degeneracy were not the less really at work, in
undermining its efficiency. It has been already stated, that the
number of qualified citizens went on continually diminishing, and
even of this diminished number a larger proportion than before were
needy, since the landed property tended constantly to concentrate
itself in fewer hands. There grew up in this way a body of
discontent, which had not originally existed, both among the poorer
citizens, and among those who had lost their franchise as citizens;
thus aggravating the danger arising from Periœki and Helots, who will
be presently noticed.

  [614] The ephors are sometimes considered as a democratical
  element, because every Spartan citizen had a chance of becoming
  ephor; sometimes as a despotical element, because in the exercise
  of their power they were subject to little restraint and no
  responsibility: see Plato, Legg. iv. p. 712; Aristot. Polit. ii.
  3, 10; iv. 7, 4, 5.

  [615] A specimen of the way in which this antiquity was lauded,
  may be seen in Isokratês, Or. xii. (Panathenaic.) p. 288.

We pass from the political constitution of Sparta to the civil
ranks and distribution, economical relations, and lastly, the
peculiar system of habits, education, and discipline, said to have
been established among the Lacedæmonians by Lykurgus. Here, again,
we shall find ourselves imperfectly informed as to the existing
institutions, and surrounded by confusion when we try to explain how
those institutions arose.

It seems, however, ascertained that the Dorians, in all their
settlements, were divided into three tribes,—the Hylleis, the
Pamphyli, and the Dymanes: in all Dorian cities, moreover, there
were distinguished Herakleid families, from whom œkists were chosen
when new colonies were formed. These three tribes can be traced at
Argos, Sikyôn, Epidaurus, Trœzên, Megara, Korkyra, and seemingly,
also, at Sparta.[616] The Hylleis recognized, as their eponym and
progenitor, Hyllus, the son of Hêraklês, and were therefore, in
their own belief, descended from Hêraklês himself: we may suppose the
Herakleids, specially so called, comprising the two regal families,
to have been the elder brethren of the tribe of Hylleis, the whole
of whom are sometimes spoken of as Herakleids, or descendants of
Hêraklês.[617] But there seem to have been also at Sparta, as
in other Dorian towns, non-Dorian inhabitants, apart from these
three tribes, and embodied in tribes of their own. One of these,
the Ægeids, said to have come from Thebes as allies of the Dorian
invaders, is named by Aristotle, Pindar, and Herodotus,[618]—while
the Ægialeis at Sikyôn, the tribe Hyrnêthia at Argos and Epidaurus,
and others, whose titles we do not know, at Corinth, represent,
in like manner, the non-Dorian portions of their respective
communities.[619] At Corinth, the total number of tribes is said
to have been eight.[620] But at Sparta, though we seem to make out
the existence of the three Dorian tribes, we do not know how many
tribes there were in all: still less do we know what relation the
Obæ, or Obes, another subordinate distribution of the people, bore
to the tribes. In the ancient Rhetra of Lykurgus, the Tribes and
Obês are directed to be maintained unaltered: but the statement
of O. Müller and Boeckh[621]—that there were thirty Obês in all,
ten to each tribe—rests upon no other evidence than a peculiar
punctuation of this Rhetra, which various other critics reject; and
seemingly, with good reason. We are thus left without any information
respecting the Obê, though we know that it was an old, peculiar,
and lasting division among the Spartan people, since it occurs in
the oldest Rhetra of Lykurgus, as well as in late inscriptions of
the date of the Roman empire. In similar inscriptions, and in the
account of Pausanias, there is, however, recognized a classification
of Spartans distinct from and independent of the three old Dorian
tribes, and founded upon the different quarters of the city,—Limnæ,
Mesoa, Pitanê, and Kynosura;[622] from one of these four was derived
the usual description of a Spartan in the days of Herodotus. There
is reason to suppose that the old Dorian tribes became antiquated
at Sparta, (as the four old Ionian tribes did at Athens,) and that
the topical classification derived from the quarters of the city
superseded it,—these quarters having been originally the separate
villages, of the aggregate of which Sparta was composed.[623] That
the number of the old senators, thirty, was connected with the three
Dorian tribes, deriving ten members from each, is probable enough,
though there is no proof of it.

  [616] Herodot. v. 68; Stephan. Byz. Ὑλλέες and Δυμᾶν; O. Müller,
  Dorians, iii. 5, 2; Boeckh ad Corp. Inscrip. No. 1123.

  Thucyd. i. 24, about Phalius, the Herakleid, at Corinth.

  [617] See Tyrtæus, Fragm. 8, 1, ed. Schneidewin, and Pindar,
  Pyth. i. 61. v. 71, where the expressions “descendants of
  Hêraklês” plainly comprehend more than the two kingly families.
  Plutarch, Lysand. c. 22; Diodor. xi. 58.

  [618] Herodot. iv. 149; Pindar, Pyth. v. 67; Aristot. Λακων.
  Πολιτ. p. 127, Fragm. ed. Neuman. The Talthybiadæ, or heralds, at
  Sparta, formed a family or caste apart (Herod. vii. 134).

  O. Müller supposes, without any proof, that the Ægeids _must_
  have been adopted into one of the three Dorian tribes; this is
  one of the corollaries from his fundamental supposition, that
  Sparta is the type of pure Dorism (vol. ii. p. 78). Kopstadt
  thinks (Dissertat. p. 67) that I have done injustice to O.
  Müller, in not assenting to his proof: but, on studying the point
  over again, I can see no reason for modifying what is here stated
  in the text. The Section of Schömann’s work (Antiq. Jur. Publ.
  Græc. iv. 1, 6, p. 115) on this subject asserts a great deal more
  than can be proved.

  [619] Herod. v. 68-92; Boeckh, Corp. Inscrip. Nos. 1130, 1131;
  Stephan. Byz. v. Ὑρνίθιον; Pausan. ii. 28, 3.

  [620] Photius Πάντα ὀκτώ; also. Proverb. Vatic. Suidas, xi. 64;
  compare Hesychius, v. Κυνόφαλοι.

  [621] Müller, Dorians, iii. 5, 3-7; Boeckh ad Corp. Inscription.
  part iv. sect. 3, p. 609.

  [622] Pausan. iii. 16, 6; Herodot. iii. 55; Boeckh, Corp.
  Inscript. Nos. 1241, 1338, 1347, 1425; Steph. Byz. v. Μεσόα;
  Strabo, viii. p. 364; Hesych. v. Πιτάνη.

  There is much confusion and discrepancy of opinion about the
  Spartan tribes. Cragius admits six (De Republ. Lacon. i. 6);
  Meursius, eight (Rep. Lacon. i. 7): Barthélemy (Voyage du Jeune
  Anacharsis, iv. p. 185) makes them five. Manso has discussed the
  subject at large, but I think not very satisfactorily, in the
  eighth Beilage to the first book of his History of Sparta (vol.
  ii. p. 125); and Dr. Thirwall’s second Appendix (vol. i. p. 517)
  both notices all the different modern opinions on this obscure
  topic, and adds several useful criticisms. Our scanty stock of
  original evidence leaves much room for divergent hypotheses, and
  little chance of any certain conclusion.

  [623] Thucyd. i. 10.

Of the population of Laconia, three main divisions are
recognized,—Spartans, Periœki, and Helots. The first of the three
were the full qualified citizens, who lived in Sparta itself,
fulfilled all the exigences of the Lykurgean discipline, paid their
quota to the Syssitia, or public mess, and were alone eligible to
honors[624] or public offices. These men had neither time, nor
taste even, for cultivation of the land, still less for trade or
handicraft: such occupations were inconsistent with the prescribed
training, even if they had not been positively interdicted. They
were maintained from the lands round the city, and from the large
proportion of Laconia which belonged to them; the land being
tilled for them by Helots, who seem to have paid over to them a
fixed proportion of the produce; in some cases, at least, as much
as one-half.[625] Each Spartan retained his qualification, and
transmitted it to his children, on two conditions,—first, that of
submitting to the prescribed discipline; next, that of paying, each,
his stipulated quota to the public mess, which was only maintained
by these individual contributions. The multiplication of children
in the poorer families, after acquisitions of new territory ceased,
continually augmented both the number and the proportion of citizens
who were unable to fulfil the second of these conditions, and who
therefore lost their franchise: so that there arose towards the
close of the Peloponnesian war, a distinction, among the Spartans
themselves, unknown to the earlier times,—the reduced number of
fully qualified citizens being called The Equals, or Peers,—the
disfranchised poor, The Inferiors. The latter, disfranchised as they
were, nevertheless, did not become Periœki: it was probably still
competent to them to resume their qualification, should any favorable
accident enable them to make their contributions to the public mess.

  [624] One or two Periœkic officers appear in military command
  towards the end of the Peloponnesian war (Thucyd. viii. 6, 22),
  but these seem rare exceptions, even as to foreign service by sea
  or land, while a Periœkus, as magistrate at Sparta, was unheard

  [625] One half was paid by the enslaved Messenians (Tyrtæus,
  Frag. 4, Bergk): ἥμισυ πᾶν, ὅσσον κάρπον ἄρουσα φέρει.

The Periœkus was also a freeman and a citizen, not of Sparta, but
of some one of the hundred townships of Laconia.[626] Both he and
the community to which he belonged received their orders only from
Sparta, having no political sphere of their own, and no share in
determining the movements of the Spartan authorities. In the island
of Kythêra,[627] which formed one of the Periœkic townships, a
Spartan bailiff resided as administrator. But whether the same was
the case with others, we cannot affirm: nor is it safe to reason
from one of these townships to all,—there may have been considerable
differences in the mode of dealing with one and another. For they
were spread through the whole of Laconia, some near and some distant
from Sparta: the free inhabitants of Amyklæ must have been Periœki,
as well as those of Kythêra, Thuria, Ætheia, or Aulôn: nor can we
presume that the feeling on the part of the Spartan authorities
towards all of them was the same. Between the Spartans and their
neighbors, the numerous Periœki of Amyklæ, there must have subsisted
a degree of intercourse and mutual relation in which the more distant
Periœki did not partake,—besides, that both the religious edifices
and the festivals of Amyklæ were most reverentially adopted by
the Spartans and exalted into a national dignity: and we seem to
perceive, on some occasions, a degree of consideration manifested
for the Amyklæan hoplites,[628] such as perhaps other Periœki might
not have obtained. The class-name, Periœki,[629]—circumresidents,
or dwellers around the city,—usually denoted native inhabitants of
inferior political condition as contrasted with the full-privileged
burghers who lived in the city, but it did not mark any precise or
uniform degree of inferiority. It is sometimes so used by Aristotle
as to imply a condition no better than that of the Helots, so that,
in a large sense, all the inhabitants of Laconia (Helots as well as
the rest) might have been included in it. But when used in reference
to Laconia, it bears a technical sense, whereby it is placed in
contraposition with the Spartan on one side, and with the Helot
on the other: it means, native freemen and proprietors, grouped
in subordinate communities[630] with more or less power of local
management, but (like the subject towns belonging to Bern, Zurich,
and most of the old thirteen cantons of Switzerland) embodied in the
Lacedæmonian aggregate, which was governed exclusively by the kings,
senate, and citizens of Sparta.

  [626] Strabo, viii. p. 362. Stephanus Byz. alludes to this total
  of one hundred townships in his notice of several different
  items among them,—Ἀνθάνα—πόλις Λακωνικὴ μία τῶν ἑκατον; also, v.
  Ἀφροδισιὰς, Βοῖαι, Δυῤῥάχιον, etc: but he probably copied Strabo,
  and, therefore, cannot pass for a distinct authority. The total
  of one hundred townships belongs to the maximum of Spartan power,
  after the conquest and before the severance of Messenia; for
  Aulôn, Boiæ, and Methônê (the extreme places) are included among

  Mr. Clinton (Fast. Hellen. ii. p. 401) has collected the names of
  above sixty out of the one hundred.

  [627] Thucyd. iv. 53.

  [628] Xenophon, Hellen. iv. 5, 11; Herod. ix. 7; Thucyd. v.
  18-23. The Amyklæan festival of the Hyacinthia, and the Amyklæan
  temple of Apollo, seem to stand foremost in the mind of the
  Spartan authorities. Αὐτοὶ καὶ οἱ ἐγγύτατα τῶν περιοίκων (Thucyd.
  iv. 8), who are ready before the rest, and march against the
  Athenians at Pylus, probably include the Amyklæans.

  Laconia generally is called by Thucydidês (iii. 16) as the
  περιοικὶς of Sparta.

  [629] The word περίοικοι is sometimes used to signify simply
  “surrounding neighbor states,” in its natural geographical sense:
  see Thucyd. i. 17, and Aristot. Polit. ii. 7, 1.

  But the more usual employment of it is, to mean, the unprivileged
  or less privileged members of the same political aggregate living
  without the city, in contrast with the full-privileged burghers
  who lived within it. Aristotle uses it to signify, in Krête,
  the class corresponding to the Lacedæmonian Helots (Pol. ii. 7,
  3): there did not exist in Krête any class corresponding to the
  Lacedæmonian Periœki. In Krête, there were not two stages of
  inferiority,—there was only one, and that one is marked by the
  word περίοικοι; while the Lacedæmonian Periœkus had the Helot
  below him. To an Athenian the word conveyed the idea of undefined

  To understand better the _status_ of the Periœkus, we may
  contrast him with the Metœkus, or Metic. The latter resides
  in the city, but he is an alien resident on sufferance, not a
  native: he pays a special tax, stands excluded from all political
  functions, and cannot even approach the magistrate except through
  a friendly citizen, or Prostatês (επὶ προστάτον οἰκεῖν—Lycurgus
  cont. Leocrat. c. 21-53): he bears arms for the defence of the
  state. The situation of a Metic was, however, very different
  in different cities of Greece. At Athens, that class were
  well-protected in person and property, numerous and domiciliated:
  at Sparta, there were at first none,—the Xenêlasy excluded them;
  but this must have been relaxed long before the days of Agis the

  The Periœkus differs from the Metic, in being a native of the
  soil, subject by birth to the city law.

  M. Kopstadt (in his Dissertation above cited, on Lacedæmonian
  affairs, sect. 7, p. 60) expresses much surprise at that which
  I advance in this note respecting Krête and Lacedæmon,—that in
  Krête there was no class of men analogous to the Lacedæmonian
  Periœki, but only two classes,—_i. e._ free citizens and Helots.
  He thinks that this position is “prorsus falsum.”

  But I advance nothing more here than what is distinctly stated
  by Aristotle, as Kopstadt himself admits (pp. 60, 71). Aristotle
  calls the subject class in Krête by the name of Περίοικοι. And
  in this case, the general presumptions go far to sustain the
  authority of Aristotle. For Sparta was a dominant or capital
  city, including in its dependence not only a considerable
  territory, but a considerable number of inferior, distinct,
  organized townships. In Krête, on the contrary, each autonomous
  state included only a town with its circumjacent territory, but
  without any annexed townships. There was, therefore, no basis
  for the intermediate class called, in Laconia, Periœki: just as
  Kopstadt himself remarks (p. 78) about the Dorian city of Megara.
  There were only the two classes of free Krêtan citizens, and
  serf-cultivators in various modifications and subdivisions.

  Kopstadt (following Hoeck, Krêta, b. iii. vol. iii. p. 23) says
  that the authority of Aristotle on this point is overborne by
  that of Dosiadas and Sosikratês,—authors who wrote specially on
  Krêtan affairs. Now if we were driven to make a choice, I confess
  that I should prefer the testimony of Aristotle,—considering
  that we know little or nothing respecting the other two. But in
  this case I do not think that we are driven to make a choice:
  Dosiadas (ap. Athenæ. xiv. p. 143) is not cited in terms, so that
  we cannot affirm him to contradict Aristotle: and Sosikratês
  (upon whom Hoeck and Kopstadt rely) says something which does not
  necessarily contradict him, but admits of being explained so as
  to place the two witnesses in harmony with each other.

  Sosikratês says (ap. Athenæ. vi. p. 263), Τὴν μὲν κοινὴν δουλείαν
  οἱ Κρῆτες καλοῦσι μνοίαν, τὴν δὲ ἰδίαν ἀφαμίωτας, τοὺς δὲ
  περιοίκους ὑπηκόους. Now the word περιοίκους seems to be here
  used just as Aristotle would have used it, to comprehend the
  Krêtan serfs universally: it is not distinguished from μνώιται
  and ἀφαμιῶται, but comprehends both of them as different species
  under a generic term. The authority of Aristotle affords a reason
  for preferring to construe the passage in this manner, and the
  words appear to me to admit of it fairly.

  [630] The πόλεις of the Lacedæmonian Periœki are often noticed:
  see Xenophon (Agesilaus, ii. 24; Laced. Repub. xv. 3; Hellenic.
  vi. 5, 21).

When we come to describe the democracy of Athens after the revolution
of Kleisthenes, we shall find the demes, or local townships and
villages of Attica, incorporated as equal and constituent fractions
of the integer called The Deme (or The City) of Athens, so that a
demot of Acharnæ or Sphêttus is at the same time a full Athenian
citizen. But the relation of the Periœkic townships to Sparta is
one of inequality and obedience, though both belong to the same
political aggregate, and make up together the free Lacedæmonian
community. In like manner, Orneæ and other places were townships of
men personally free, but politically dependent on Argos,—Akræphiæ
on Thebes,—Chæroneia on Orchomenus,—and various Thessalian towns
on Pharsalus and Larissa.[631] Such, moreover, was, in the main,
the state into which Athens would have brought her allies, and
Thebes the free Bœotian communities,[632] if the policy of either
of these cities had permanently prospered. This condition carried
with it a sentiment of degradation, and a painful negation of that
autonomy for which every Grecian community thirsted; while being
maintained through superior force, it had a natural tendency, perhaps
without the deliberate wish of the reigning city, to degenerate into
practical oppression. But in addition to this general tendency, the
peculiar education of a Spartan, while it imparted force, fortitude,
and regimental precision, was at the same time so rigorously
peculiar, that it rendered him harsh, unaccommodating, and incapable
of sympathizing with the ordinary march of Grecian feeling,—not to
mention the rapacity and love of money, which is attested, by good
evidence, as belonging to the Spartan character,[633] and which
we should hardly have expected to find in the pupils of Lykurgus.
As Harmosts out of their native city,[634] and in relations with
inferiors, the Spartans seem to have been more unpopular than other
Greeks, and we may presume that a similar haughty roughness pervaded
their dealings with their own Periœki; who were bound to them
certainly by no tie of affection, and who for the most part revolted
after the battle of Leuktra, as soon as the invasion of Laconia by
Epameinondas enabled them to do so with safety.

  [631] Herod. viii. 73-135; Xenoph. Hellen. vi. 1, 8; Thucyd. iv.

  [632] Xenoph. Hellen. vi. 3, 5, 9, 19. Isokratês, writing in the
  days of Theban power, after the battle of Leuktra, characterizes
  the Bœotian towns as περίοικοι of Thebes (Or. viii. De Pace, p.
  182); compare Orat. xiv. Plataic. pp. 299-303. Xenophon holds the
  same language, Hellen. v. 4, 46: compare Plutarch, Agesilaus, 28.

  [633] Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 23.

  [634] Thucyd. i. 77-95; vi. 105. Isokratês (Panathenaic. Or.
  xii. p. 283), Σπαρτιάτας δὲ ὑπεροπτικοὺς καὶ πολεμικοὺς καὶ
  πλεονέκτας, οἵους περ αὐτοὺς εἶναι πάντες ὑπειλήφασι. Compare his
  Oratio de Pace (Or. viii. pp. 180-181); Oratio Panegyr. (Or. iv.
  pp. 64-67).

Isokratês, taking his point of departure from the old Herakleid
legend, with its instantaneous conquest and triple partition of all
Dorian Peloponnesus, among the three Herakleid brethren, deduces the
first origin of the Periœkic townships from internal seditions among
the conquerors of Sparta. According to him, the period immediately
succeeding the conquest was one of fierce intestine warfare in
newly-conquered Sparta, between the Few and the Many,—the oligarchy
and the demus. The former being victorious, two important measures
were the consequences of their victory. They banished the defeated
Many from Sparta into Laconia, retaining the residence in Sparta
exclusively for themselves; they assigned to them the smallest and
least fertile half of Laconia, monopolizing the larger and better
for themselves; and they disseminated them into many very small
townships, or subordinate little communities, while they concentrated
themselves entirely at Sparta. To these precautions for insuring
dominion, they added another not less important. They established
among their own Spartan citizens equality of legal privilege and
democratical government, so as to take the greatest securities
for internal harmony; which harmony, according to the judgment of
Isokratês, had been but too effectually perpetuated, enabling the
Spartans to achieve their dominion over oppressed Greece,—like the
accord of pirates[635] for the spoliation of the peaceful. The
Periœkic townships, he tells us, while deprived of all the privileges
of freemen, were exposed to all the toils, as well as to an unfair
share of the dangers, of war. The Spartan authorities put them in
situations and upon enterprises which they deemed too dangerous for
their own citizens; and, what was still worse, the ephors possessed
the power of putting to death, without any form of preliminary trial,
as many Periœki as they pleased.[636]

  [635] Isokratês, Panathenaic. Or. xii. p. 280. ὥστε οὐδεὶς ἂν
  αὐτοὺς διά γε τὴν ὁμόνοιαν δικαίως ἐπαινέσειεν, οὐδεν μᾶλλον ἢ
  τοὺς καταποντιστὰς καὶ λῄστας καὶ τοὺς περὶ τὰς ἄλλας ἀδικίας
  ὄντας· καὶ γὰρ ἐκεῖνοι σφίσιν αὐτοῖς ὁμονοοῦντες τοὺς ἄλλους

  [636] Isokratês, Orat. xii. (Panathenaic.) pp. 270-271. The
  statement in the same oration (p. 246), that the Lacedæmonians
  “had put to death without trial more Greeks (πλείους τῶν Ἑλλήνων)
  than had ever been tried at Athens since Athens was a city,”
  refers to their allies or dependents out of Laconia.

The statement here delivered by Isokratês, respecting the first
origin of the distinction of Spartans and Periœki, is nothing better
than a conjecture, nor is it even a probable conjecture, since it
is based on the historical truth of the old Herakleid legend, and
transports the disputes of his own time, between the oligarchy and
the demus, into an early period, to which such disputes do not
belong. Nor is there anything, so far as our knowledge of Grecian
history extends, to bear out his assertion, that the Spartans took
to themselves the least dangerous post in the field, and threw undue
peril upon their Periœki. Such dastardly temper was not among the
sins of Sparta; but it is undoubtedly true that, as the number of
citizens continually diminished, so the Periœki came to constitute,
in the later times, a larger and larger proportion of the Spartan
force. Yet the power which Isokratês represents to have been vested
in the ephors, of putting to death Periœki without preliminary
trial, we may fully believe to be real, and to have been exercised
as often as the occasion seemed to call for it. We shall notice,
presently, the way in which these magistrates dealt with the Helots,
and shall see ample reason from thence to draw the conclusion that,
whenever the ephors believed any man to be dangerous to the public
peace,—whether an inferior Spartan, a Periœkus, or a Helot,—the most
summary mode of getting rid of him would be considered as the best.
Towards Spartans of rank and consideration, they were doubtless
careful and measured in their application of punishment, but the
same necessity for circumspection did not exist with regard to the
inferior classes: moreover, the feeling that the exigences of justice
required a fair trial before punishment was inflicted, belongs to
Athenian associations much more than to Spartan. How often any such
summary executions may have taken place, we have no information.

We may remark that the account which Isokratês has here given of the
origin of the Laconian Periœki is not essentially irreconcilable
with that of Ephorus,[637] who recounted that Eurysthenês and
Proklês, on first conquering Laconia, had granted to the preëxisting
population equal rights with the Dorians,—but that Agis, son
of Eurysthenês, had deprived them of this equal position, and
degraded them into dependent subjects of the latter. At least, the
two narratives both agree in presuming that the Periœki had once
enjoyed a better position, from which they had been extruded by
violence. And the policy which Isokratês ascribes to the victorious
Spartan oligarchs,—of driving out the demus from concentrated
residence in the city to disseminated residence in many separate
and insignificant townships,—seems to be the expression of that
proceeding which in his time was numbered among the most efficient
precautions against refractory subjects,—the Diœkisis, or breaking up
of a town-aggregate into villages. We cannot assign to the statement
any historical authority.[638] Moreover, the division of Laconia
into six districts, together with its distribution into townships
(or the distribution of settlers into preëxisting townships), which
Ephorus ascribed to the first Dorian kings, are all deductions from
the primitive legendary account, which described the Dorian conquest
as achieved by one stroke, and must all be dismissed, if we suppose
it to have been achieved gradually. This gradual conquest is admitted
by O. Müller, and by many of the ablest subsequent inquirers,—who,
nevertheless, seem to have the contrary supposition involuntarily
present to their minds when they criticize the early Spartan history,
and always unconsciously imagine the Spartans as masters of all
Laconia. We cannot even assert that Laconia was ever under one
government before the consummation of the successive conquests of

  [637] Ephorus, Fragm. 18, ed. Marx; ap. Strabo, viii. p. 365.

  [638] Dr. Arnold (in his Dissertation on the Spartan
  Constitution, appended to the first volume of his Thucydidês, p.
  643) places greater confidence in the historical value of this
  narrative of Isokratês than I am inclined to do. On the other
  hand, Mr. G. C. Lewis, in his Review of Dr. Arnold’s Dissertation
  (Philological Museum, vol. ii. p. 45), considers the “account
  of Isokratês as completely inconsistent with that of Ephorus;”
  which is saying rather more, perhaps, than the tenor of the two
  strictly warrants. In Mr. Lewis’s excellent article, most of the
  difficult points respecting the Spartan constitution will be
  found raised and discussed in a manner highly instructive.

  Another point in the statement of Isokratês is, that the Dorians,
  at the time of the original conquest of Laconia, were only
  two thousand in number (Or. xii. Panath. p. 286). Mr. Clinton
  rejects this estimate as too small, and observes, “I suspect
  that Isokratês, in describing the numbers of the Dorians at the
  original conquest, has adapted to the description the actual
  numbers of the Spartans in his own time.” (Fast. Hellen. ii. p.

  This seems to me a probable conjecture, and it illustrates as
  well the absence of data under which Isokratês or his informants
  labored, as the method which they took to supply the deficiency.

Of the assertion of O. Müller—repeated by Schömann[639]—“that the
difference of races was strictly preserved, and that the Periœki
were always considered as Achæans,”—I find no proof, and I believe
it to be erroneous. Respecting Pharis, Geronthræ, and Amyklæ, three
Periœkic towns, Pausanias gives us to understand that the preëxisting
inhabitants either retired or were expelled on the Dorian conquest,
and that a Dorian population replaced them.[640] Without placing
great faith in this statement, for which Pausanias could hardly
have any good authority, we may yet accept it as representing the
probabilities of the case, and as counterbalancing the unsupported
hypothesis of Müller. The Periœkic townships were probably composed
either of Dorians entirely, or of Dorians incorporated in greater
or less proportion with the preëxisting inhabitants. But whatever
difference of race there may once have been, it was effaced before
the historical times,[641] during which we find no proof of
Achæans, known as such, in Laconia. The Herakleids, the Ægeids, and
the Talthybiads, all of whom belong to Sparta, seem to be the only
examples of separate races, partially distinguishable from Dorians,
known after the beginning of authentic history. The Spartans and
the Periœki constitute one political aggregate, and that too so
completely melted together in the general opinion (speaking of the
times before the battle of Leuktra), that the peace of Antalkidas,
which guaranteed autonomy to every separate Grecian city, was never
so construed as to divorce the Periœkic towns from Sparta. Both are
known as Laconians, or Lacedæmonians, and Sparta is regarded by
Herodotus only as the first and bravest among the many and brave
Lacedæmonian cities.[642] The victors at Olympia are proclaimed, not
as Spartans, but as Laconians,—a title alike borne by the Periœki.
And many of the numerous winners, whose names we read in the Olympic
lists as Laconians, may probably have belonged to Amyklæ or other
Periœkic towns.

  [639] Schömann, Antiq. Jurisp. Græcorum, iv. 1, 5, p. 112.

  [640] Pausan. iii. 2, 6; iii. 22, 5. The statement of Müller is
  to be found (History of the Dorians, iii. 2, 1): he quotes a
  passage of Pausanias, which is noway to the point.

  Mr. G. C. Lewis (Philolog. Mus. _ut. sup._ p. 41) is of the same
  opinion as Müller.

  [641] M. Kopstadt (in the learned Dissertation which I have
  before alluded to, De Rerum Laconicarum Constitutionis Lycurgeæ
  Origine et Indole, cap. ii. p. 31) controverts this position
  respecting the Periœki. He appears to understand it in a sense
  which my words hardly present,—at least, a sense which I did
  not intend them to present: as if the majority of inhabitants
  in _each_ of the hundred Periœkic towns were Dorians,—“ut per
  centum Laconiæ oppida distributi _ubique majorem_ incolarum
  numerum efficerent,” (p. 32.) I meant only to affirm that some
  of the Periœkic towns, such as Amyklæ, were wholly, or almost
  wholly, Dorian; many others of them partially Dorian. But what
  may have been the comparative numbers (probably different in
  each town) of Dorian and non-Dorian inhabitants,—there are no
  means of determining. M. Kopstadt (p. 35) admits that Amyklæ,
  Pharis, and Geronthræ, were Periœkic towns peopled by Dorians;
  and if this be true, it negatives the general maxim on the faith
  of which he contradicts what I affirm: his maxim is—“nunquam
  Dorienses à Doriensibus nisi bello victi erant, civitate æquoque
  jure privati sunt,” (p. 31.) It is very unsafe to lay down such
  large positions respecting a supposed uniformity of Dorian rules
  and practice. The high authority of O. Müller has been extremely
  misleading in this respect.

  It is plain that Herodotus (compare his expression, viii. 73 and
  i. 145) conceived all the free inhabitants of Laconia not as
  Achæans, but as Dorians. He believes in the story of the legend,
  that the Achæans, driven out of Laconia by the invading Dorians
  and Herakleidæ, occupied the territory in the north-west of
  Peloponnesus which was afterwards called Achæa,—expelling from
  it the Ionians. Whatever may be the truth about this legendary
  statement,—and whatever may have been the original proportions
  of Dorians and Achæans in Laconia,—these two races had (in the
  fifth century B. C.) become confounded in one undistinguishable
  ethnical and political aggregate called Laconian, or
  Lacedæmonian,—comprising both Spartans and Periœki, though with
  very unequal political franchises, and very material differences
  in individual training and habits. The case was different in
  Thessaly, where the Thessalians held in dependence Magnêtes,
  Perrhæbi, and Achæans: the separate nationality of these latter
  was never lost.

  [642] Herod. vii. 234.

The Periœkic hoplites constituted always a large—in later times a
preponderant—numerical proportion of the Lacedæmonian army, and
must undoubtedly have been trained, more or less perfectly, in the
peculiar military tactics of Sparta; since they were called upon
to obey the same orders as the Spartans in the field,[643] and to
perform the same evolutions. Some cases appear, though rare, in which
a Periœkus has high command in a foreign expedition. In the time of
Aristotle, the larger proportion of Laconia (then meaning only the
country eastward of Taygetus, since the foundation of Messênê by
Epameinondas had been consummated) belonged to Spartan citizens,[644]
but the remaining smaller half must have been the property of the
Periœki, who must besides have carried on most of the commerce of
export and import,—the metallurgic enterprise, and the distribution
of internal produce,—which the territory exhibited; since no Spartan
ever meddled in such occupations. And thus the peculiar training
of Lykurgus, by throwing all these employments into the hands of
the Periœki, opened to them a new source of importance, which the
dependent townships of Argos, of Thebes, or of Orchomenus, would not

  [643] Thucyd. viii. 6-22. They did not, however, partake in the
  Lykurgean discipline; but they seem to be named οἱ ἐκ τῆς χώρας
  παῖδες, as contrasted with οἱ ἐκ τῆς ἀγωγῆς (Sosibius ap. Athenæ.
  xv. p. 674).

  [644] Aristot. Polit. ii. 6, 23. διὰ γὰρ τὸ τῶν Σπαρτιατῶν εἶναι
  τὴν πλείστην γῆν, οὐκ ἐξετάζουσιν ἀλλήλων τὰς εἰσφοράς.

  Mr. G. C. Lewis, in the article above alluded to (Philolog. Mus.
  ii. p. 54), says, about the Periœki: “They lived in the country
  or in small towns of the Laconian territory, and cultivated the
  land, which they did not hold of any individual citizen, but
  paid for it a tribute or rent to the state; being exactly in the
  same condition as the _possessores_ of the Roman domain, or the
  Ryots, in Hindostan, before the introduction of the Permanent
  Settlement.” It may be doubted, I think, whether the Periœki paid
  any such rent or tribute as that which Mr. Lewis here supposes.
  The passage just cited from Aristotle seems to show that they
  paid direct taxation individually, and just upon the same
  principle as the Spartan citizens, who are distinguished only
  by being larger landed-proprietors. But though the principle of
  taxation be the same, there was practical injustice (according to
  Aristotle) in the mode of assessing it. “The Spartan citizens (he
  observes) being the largest landed-proprietors, take care not to
  canvass strictly _each other’s payment of property-tax_”—_i. e._
  they wink mutually at each other’s evasions. If the Spartans had
  been the _only_ persons who paid εἰσφορὰ, or property-tax, this
  observation of Aristotle would have had no meaning. In principle,
  the tax was assessed, both on their larger properties and on the
  smaller properties of the Periœki: in practice, the Spartans
  helped each other to evade the due proportion.

The Helots of Laconia were Coloni, or serfs, bound to the
soil, who tilled it for the benefit of the Spartan proprietors
certainly,—probably, of Periœkic proprietors also. They were the
rustic population of the country, who dwelt, not in towns, but either
in small villages[645] or in detached farms, both in the district
immediately surrounding Sparta, and round the Periœkic Laconian
towns also. Of course, there were also Helots who lived in Sparta
and other towns, and did the work of domestic slaves,—but such was
not the general character of the class. We cannot doubt that the
Dorian conquest from Sparta found this class in the condition of
villagers and detached rustics; but whether they were dependent
upon preëxisting Achæan proprietors, or independent, like much of
the Arcadian village population, is a question which we cannot
answer. In either case, however, it is easy to conceive that the
village lands (with the cultivators upon them) were the most easy
to appropriate for the benefit of masters resident at Sparta; while
the towns, with the district immediately around them, furnished both
dwelling and maintenance to the outgoing detachments of Dorians.
If the Spartans had succeeded in their attempt to enlarge their
territory by the conquest of Arcadia,[646] they might very probably
have converted Tegea and Mantineia into Periœkic towns, with a
diminished territory inhabited (either wholly or in part) by Dorian
settlers,—while they would have made over to proprietors in Sparta
much of the village lands of the Mænalii, Azanes, and Parrhasii,
helotizing the inhabitants. The distinction between a town and a
village population seems the main ground of the different treatment
of Helots and Periœki in Laconia. A considerable proportion of the
Helots were of genuine Dorian race, being the Dorian Messenians
west of Mount Taygetus, subsequently conquered and aggregated to
this class of dependent cultivators, who, as a class, must have
begun to exist from the very first establishment of the invading
Dorians in the district round Sparta. From whence the name of
Helots arose, we do not clearly make out: Ephorus deduced it from
the town of Helus, on the southern coast, which the Spartans are
said to have taken after a resistance so obstinate as to provoke
them to deal very rigorously with the captives. There are many
reasons for rejecting this story, and another etymology has been
proposed, according to which Helot is synonymous with _captive_:
this is more plausible, yet still not convincing.[647] The Helots
lived in the rural villages, as _adscripti glebæ_, cultivating
their lands and paying over their rent to the master at Sparta,
but enjoying their homes, wives, families, and mutual neighborly
feelings, apart from the master’s view. They were never sold out
of the country, and probably never sold at all; belonging, not so
much to the master as to the state, which constantly called upon
them for military service, and recompensed their bravery or activity
with a grant of freedom. Meno, the Thessalian of Pharsalus, took
out three hundred Penestæ of his own, to aid the Athenians against
Amphipolis: these Thessalian Penestæ were in many points analogous
to the Helots, but no individual Spartan possessed the like power
over the latter. The Helots were thus a part of the state, having
their domestic and social sympathies developed, a certain power of
acquiring property,[648] and the consciousness of Grecian lineage and
dialect,—points of marked superiority over the foreigners who formed
the slave population of Athens or Chios. They seem to have been noway
inferior to any village population of Greece; while the Grecian
observer sympathized with them more strongly than with the bought
slaves of other states,—not to mention that their homogeneous aspect,
their numbers, and their employment in military service, rendered
them more conspicuous to the eye.

  [645] The village-character of the Helots is distinctly marked
  by Livy, xxxiv. 27, in describing the inflictions of the
  despot Nabis: “Ilotarum quidam (hi sunt jam inde antiquitus
  _castellani_, agreste genus) transfugere voluisse insimulati, per
  omnes _vicos_ sub verberibus acti necantur.”

  [646] Herodot. i. 66. ἐχρηστηριάζοντο ἐν Δέλφοισι ἐπὶ πάσῃ τῇ
  Ἀρκάδων χώρῃ.

  [647] See O. Müller, Dorians, iii. 3, 1; Ephorus ap. Strabo,
  viii. p. 365: Harpocration, v. Εἵλωτες.

  [648] Kleomenes the Third, offered manumission to every Helot,
  who could pay down five Attic minæ: he was in great immediate
  want of money, and he raised, by this means, five hundred
  talents. Six thousand Helots must thus have been in a condition
  to find five minæ each, which was a very considerable sum
  (Plutarch, Kleomenes, c. 23).

The service in the Spartan house was all performed by members of the
Helot class; for there seem to have been few, if any, other slaves in
the country. The various anecdotes which are told respecting their
treatment at Sparta, betoken less of cruelty than of ostentatious
scorn,[649]—a sentiment which we are noway surprised to discover
among the citizens at the mess-table. But the great mass of the
Helots, who dwelt in the country, were objects of a very different
sentiment on the part of the Spartan ephors, who knew their bravery,
energy, and standing discontent, and yet were forced to employ
them as an essential portion of the state army. The Helots commonly
served as light-armed, in which capacity the Spartan hoplites could
not dispense with their attendance. At the battle of Platæa, every
Spartan hoplite had seven Helots,[650] and every Periœkic hoplite
one Helot, to attend him:[651] but, even in camp, the Spartan
arrangements were framed to guard against any sudden mutiny of these
light-armed companions, while, at home, the citizen habitually
kept his shield disjoined from its holding-ring, to prevent the
possibility of its being snatched for the like purpose. Sometimes,
select Helots were clothed in heavy armor, and thus served in
the ranks, receiving manumission from the state as the reward of
distinguished bravery.[652]

  [649] Such is the statement, that Helots were compelled to appear
  in a state of drunkenness, in order to excite in the youths a
  sentiment of repugnance against intoxication (Plutarch, Lycurg.
  c. 28; also, Adversus Stoicos de Commun. Notit. c. 19, p. 1067).

  [650] Herod. ix. 29. The Spartans, at Thermopylæ, seem to have
  been attended each by only one Helot (vii. 229).

  O. Müller seems to consider that the light-armed, who attended
  the Periœkic hoplites at Platæa, were _not_ Helots (Dor. iii. 3,
  6). Herodotus does not distinctly say that they were so, but I
  see no reason for admitting two different classes of light-armed
  in the Spartan military force.

  The calculation which Müller gives of the number of Periœki and
  Helots altogether, proceeds upon very untrustworthy data. Among
  them is to be noticed his supposition that πολιτικὴ χώρα means
  the district of Sparta as distinguished from Laconia, which is
  contrary to the passage in Polybius (vi. 45): πολιτικὴ χώρα, in
  Polybius, means the territory of the state generally.

  [651] Xenophon, Rep. Lac. c. 12, 4; Kritias, De Lacedæm. Repub.
  ap. Libanium, Orat. de Servitute, t. ii. p. 85, Reisk. ὡς
  ἀπιστίας εἵνεκα τῆς πρὸς τοὺς Εἵλωτας ἐξαιρεῖ μὲν Σπαρτιατὴς
  οἴκοι τῆς ἄσπιδος τὴν πόρπακα, etc.

  [652] Thucyd. i. 101; iv. 80; v. 14-23.

But Sparta, even at the maximum of her power, was more than once
endangered by the reality, and always beset with the apprehension,
of Helotic revolt. To prevent or suppress it, the ephors submitted
to insert express stipulations for aid in their treaties with
Athens,—to invite Athenian troops into the heart of Laconia,—and to
practice combinations of cunning and atrocity which even yet stand
without parallel in the long list of precautions for fortifying
unjust dominion. It was in the eighth year of the Peloponnesian war,
after the Helots had been called upon for signal military efforts
in various ways, and when the Athenians and Messenians were in
possession of Pylus, that the ephors felt especially apprehensive
of an outbreak. Anxious to single out the most forward and daring
Helots, as the men from whom they had most to dread, they issued
proclamation that every member of that class who had rendered
distinguished services should make his claims known at Sparta,
promising liberty to the most deserving. A large number of