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Full Online Book HomeNonfictionsAthens: Its Rise And Fall - Vol 2 - Vol 2 - Footnotes
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Athens: Its Rise And Fall - Vol 2 - Vol 2 - Footnotes Post by :dwooding Category :Nonfictions Author :Edward Bulwer-lytton Date :May 2012 Read :2350

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Athens: Its Rise And Fall - Vol 2 - Vol 2 - Footnotes

VOL II VOL II FOOTNOTES

(1) "Cum consuetudine ad imperii cupiditatem trahi videretur."--Nepos in Vit. Milt., cap. 8.

(2) Corn. Nepos in Vit. Milt., cap. 7.

(3) Nepos. in Vit. Milt., cap. 7.

(4) Herod., lib. vi., cap. cxxxvi.

(5) Nepos says the fine was estimated at the cost of the navy he had conducted to Paros; but Boeckh rightly observes, that it is an ignorant assertion of that author that the fine was intended for a compensation, being the usual mode of assessing the offence.

The case is simply this--Miltiades was accused--whether justly or unjustly no matter--it was clearly as impossible not to receive the accusation and to try the cause, as it would be for an English court of justice to refuse to admit a criminal action against Lord Grey or the Duke of Wellington. Was Miltiades guilty or not? This we cannot tell. We know that he was tried according to the law, and that the Athenians thought him guilty, for they condemned him. So far this is not ingratitude--it is the course of law. A man is tried and found guilty--if past services and renown were to save the great from punishment when convicted of a state offence, society would perhaps be disorganized, and certainly a free state would cease to exist. The question therefore shrinks to this--was it or was it not ungrateful in the people to relax the penalty of death, legally incurred, and commute it to a heavy fine? I fear we shall find few instances of greater clemency in monarchies, however mild. Miltiades unhappily died. But nature slew him, not the Athenian people. And it cannot be said with greater justice of the Athenians, than of a people no less illustrious, and who are now their judges, that it was their custom "de tuer en amiral pour encourager les autres."

(6) The taste of a people, which is to art what public opinion is to legislation, is formed, like public opinion, by habitual social intercourse and collision. The more men are brought together to converse and discuss, the more the principles of a general national taste will become both diffused and refined. Less to their climate, to their scenery, to their own beauty of form, than to their social habits and preference of the public to the domestic life, did the Athenians, and the Grecian republics generally, owe that wonderful susceptibility to the beautiful and harmonious, which distinguishes them above all nations ancient or modern. Solitude may exalt the genius of a man, but communion alone can refine the taste of a people.

(7) It seems probable that the principal Bacchic festival was originally held at the time of the vintage--condita post frumenta. But from the earliest known period in Attica, all the triple Dionysia were celebrated during the winter and the spring.

(8) Egyptian, according to Herodotus, who asserts, that Melampus first introduced the Phallic symbol among the Greeks, though he never sufficiently explained its mysterious significations, which various sages since his time had, however, satisfactorily interpreted. It is just to the Greeks to add, that this importation, with the other rites of Bacchus, was considered at utter variance with their usual habits and manners.

(9) Herodotus asserts that Arion first named, invented, and taught the dithyramb at Corinth; but, as Bentley triumphantly observes, Athenaeus has preserved to us the very verses of Archilochus, his predecessor by a century, in which the song of the dithyramb is named.

(10) In these remarks upon the origin of the drama, it would belong less to history than to scholastic dissertation, to enter into all the disputed and disputable points. I do not, therefore, pause with every step to discuss the questions contested by antiquarians--such as, whether the word "tragedy," in its primitive and homely sense, together with the prize of the goat, was or was not known in Attica prior to Thespis (it seems to me that the least successful part of Bentley's immortal work is that which attempts to enforce the latter proposition); still less do I think a grave answer due to those who, in direct opposition to authorities headed by the grave and searching Aristotle, contend that the exhibitions of Thespis were of a serious and elevated character. The historian must himself weigh the evidences on which he builds his conclusions; and come to those conclusions, especially in disputes which bring to unimportant and detached inquiries the most costly expenditure of learning, without fatiguing the reader with a repetition of all the arguments which he accepts or rejects. For those who incline to go more deeply into subjects connected with the early Athenian drama, works by English and German authors, too celebrated to enumerate, will be found in abundance. But even the most careless general reader will do well to delight himself with that dissertation of Bentley on Phalaris, so familiar to students, and which, despite some few intemperate and bold assumptions, will always remain one of the most colossal monuments of argument and erudition.

(11) Aeschylus was a Pythagorean. "Veniat Aeschylus, sed etiam Pythagoreus."--Cic. Tusc. Dis., b. ii., 9.

(12) Out of fifty plays, thirty-two were satyrical.--Suidas in Prat.

(13) The Tetralogy was the name given to the fourfold exhibition of the three tragedies, or trilogy, and the Satyric Drama.

(14) Yet in Aeschylus there are sometimes more than two speaking actors on the stage,--as at one time in the Choephori, Clytemnestra, Orestes, Electra (to say nothing of Pylades, who is silent), and again in the same play, Orestes, Pylades, and Clytemnestra, also in the Eumenides, Apollo, Minerva, Orestes. It is truly observed, however, that these plays were written after Sophocles had introduced the third actor. (The Orestean tetralogy was exhibited B. C. 455, only two years before the death of Aeschylus, and ten years after Sophocles had gained his first prize.) Any number of mutes might be admitted, not only as guards, etc., but even as more important personages. Thus, in the Prometheus, the very opening of the play exhibits to us the demons of Strength and Force, the god Vulcan, and Prometheus himself; but the dialogue is confined to Strength and Vulcan.

(15) The celebrated temple of Bacchus; built after the wooden theatre had given way beneath the multitude assembled to witness a contest between Pratinas and Aeschylus.

(16) 1st. The rural Dionysia, held in the country districts throughout Attica about the beginning of January. 2d. The Lenaean, or Anthesterial, Dionysia, in the end of February and beginning of March, in which principally occurred the comic contests; and the grand Dionysis of the city, referred to in the text. Afterward dramatic performances were exhibited also, in August, during the Panathenaea.

(17) That is, when three actors became admitted on the stage.

(18) For it is sufficiently clear that women were admitted to the tragic performances, though the arguments against their presence in comic plays preponderate. This admitted, the manners of the Greeks may be sufficient to prove that, as in the arena of the Roman games, they were divided from the men; as, indeed, is indirectly intimated in a passage of the Gorgias of Plato.

(19) Schlegel says truly and eloquently of the chorus--"that it was the idealized spectator"--"reverberating to the actual spectator a musical and lyrical expression of his own emotions."

(20) In this speech he enumerates, among other benefits, that of Numbers, "the prince of wise inventions"--one of the passages in which Aeschylus is supposed to betray his Pythagorean doctrines.

(21) It is greatly disputed whether Io was represented on the stage as transformed into the actual shape of a heifer, or merely accursed with a visionary phrensy, in which she believes in the transformation. It is with great reluctance that I own it seems to me not possible to explain away certain expressions without supposing that Io appeared on the stage at least partially transformed.

(22) Vit. Aesch.

(23) It is the orthodox custom of translators to render the dialogue of the Greek plays in blank verse; but in this instance the whole animation and rapidity of the original would be utterly lost in the stiff construction and protracted rhythm of that metre.

(24) Viz., the meadows around Asopus.

(25) To make the sense of this detached passage more complete, and conclude the intelligence which the queen means to convey, the concluding line in the text is borrowed from the next speech of Clytemnestra--following immediately after a brief and exclamatory interruption of the chorus.

(26) i. e. Menelaus, made by grief like the ghost of his former self.

(27) The words in italics attempt to convey paraphrastically a new construction of a sentence which has puzzled the commentators, and met with many and contradictory interpretations. The original literally is--"I pity the last the most." Now, at first it is difficult to conjecture why those whose adversity is over, "blotted out with the moistened sponge," should be the most deserving of compassion. But it seems to me that Cassandra applies the sentiments to herself--she pities those whose career of grief is over, because it is her own lot which she commiserates, and by reference to which she individualizes a general reflection.

(28) Perhaps his mere diction would find a less feeble resemblance in passages of Shelley, especially in the Prometheus of that poet, than in any other poetry existent. But his diction alone. His power is in concentration--the quality of Shelley is diffuseness. The interest excited by Aeschylus, even to those who can no longer sympathize with the ancient associations, is startling, terrible, and intense--that excited by Shelley is lukewarm and tedious. The intellectuality of Shelley destroyed, that of Aeschylus only increased, his command over the passions.

(29) In the comedy of "The Frogs," Aristophanes makes it the boast of Aeschylus, that he never drew a single woman influenced by love. Spanheim is surprised that Aristophanes should ascribe such a boast to the author of the "Agamemnon." But the love of Clytemnestra for Aegisthus is never drawn--never delineated. It is merely suggested and hinted at--a sentiment lying dark and concealed behind the motives to the murder of Agamemnon ostensibly brought forward, viz., revenge for the sacrifice of Iphigenia, and jealousy of Cassandra.

(30) In plays lost to us.

(31) I reject the traditions which make Aristides and Themistocles rivals as boys, because chronology itself refutes them. Aristides must have been of mature age at the battle of Marathon, if he was the friend and follower of Clisthenes, one of the ten generals in the action, and archon in the following year. But both Plutarch and Justin assure us that Themistocles was very young at the battle of Marathon, and this assurance is corroborated by other facts connected with his biography. He died at the age of sixty-five, but he lived to see the siege of Cyprus by Cimon. This happened B. C. 449. If, then, we refer his death to that year, he was born 514 B. C., and therefore was about twenty-four at the battle of Marathon.

(32) Plut. in Vit. Them. Heraclides et Idomeneus ap. Athen., lib. 12.

(33) See Dodwell's "Tour through Greece," Gell's "Itinerary."

(34) "Called by some Laurion Oros, or Mount Laurion." Gell's Itinerary.

(35) Boeckh's Dissert. on the Silver Mines of Laurium.

(36) Boeckh's Dissert. on the Silver Mines of Laurium.

(37) On this point, see Boeckh. Dissert. on the Silver Mines of Laurion, in reference to the account of Diodorus.

(38) If we except the death of his brother, in the Cambyses of Ctesias, we find none of the crimes of the Cambyses of Herodotus--and even that fratricide loses its harsher aspect in the account of Ctesias, and Cambyses is represented as betrayed into the crime by a sincere belief in his brother's treason.

(39) The account of this conspiracy in Ctesias seems more improbable than that afforded to us by Herodotus. But in both the most extraordinary features of the plot are the same, viz., the striking likeness between the impostor and the dead prince, and the complete success which, for a time, attended the fraud. In both narrations, too, we can perceive, behind the main personages ostensibly brought forward, the outline of a profound device of the magi to win back from the Persian conquerors, and to secure to a Mede, the empire of the East.

(40) Herodotus says it was resolved that the king could only marry into the family of one of the conspirators; but Darius married two daughters and one grand-daughter of Cyrus. It is more consonant with eastern manners to suppose that it was arranged that the king should give his own daughters in marriage to members of these six houses. It would have been scarcely possible to claim the monopoly of the royal seraglio, whether its tenants were wives or concubines, and in all probability the king's choice was only limited (nor that very rigidly) to the family of Cyrus, and the numerous and privileged race of the Achaemenids.

(41) Besides the regular subsidies, we gather from Herodotus, I. c. 92, that the general population was obliged to find subsistence for the king and his armies. Babylon raised a supply for four months, the resources of that satrapy being adequate to a third part of Asia.

(42) That comparatively small and frontier part of India known to Darius.

(43) Forming a revenue of more than 100,000l. sterling.--Heeren's Persians, chap. ii.

(44) Such are the expressions of Herodotus. His testimony is corroborated by the anecdotes in his own history, and, indeed, by all other ancient authorities.

(45) Dinon. (Apud Athen., lib. xiii.) observes, that the Persian queen tolerated the multitude of concubines common to the royal seraglio, because they worshipped her, like a divinity.

(46) See, in addition to more familiar authorities, the curious remarks and anecdotes relative to the luxury of the Persian kings, in the citations from Dinon, Heraclides, Agathocles, and Chares of Mitylene, scattered throughout Athenaeus, lib. xii., xiii., xiv.; but especially lib. xii.

(47) Strabo, lib. xv, Herod., lib. i., c. cxxxi., etc.

(48) Among innumerable instances of the disdain of human life contracted after their conquest by those very Persians who, in their mountain obscurity, would neither permit their sovereign to put any one to death for a single offence, nor the master of a household to exercise undue severity to a member of his family (Herod., lib. i., c. cxxxvii.), is one recorded by Herodotus, and in the main corroborated by Justin. Darius is at the siege of Babylon; Zopyrus, one of the seven conspirators against the magian, maims himself and enters Babylon as a deserter, having previously concerted with Darius that a thousand men, whose loss he could best spare, should be sent one day to the gate of Semiramis, and two thousand, another day, to the gates of Ninus, and four thousand, a third day, to the Chaldaean gates. All these detachments Zopyrus, at the head of the Babylonians, deliberately butchered. The confidence of the Babylonians thus obtained, Zopyrus was enabled to betray the city to the king. This cold-blooded and treacherous immolation of seven thousand subjects was considered by the humane Darius and the Persians generally a proof of the most illustrious virtue in Zopyrus, who received for it the reward of the satrapy of Babylon. The narrative is so circumstantial as to bear internal evidence of its general truth. In fact, a Persian would care no more for the lives of seven thousand Medes than a Spartan would care for the lives of suspected Helots.

(49) Herodot., lib. i., c. cxxxiv. The Pasargadae, whom the ancient writers evidently and often confound with the whole Persian population, retained the old education and severe discipline for their youth, long after the old virtues had died away. (See Strabo, xv., Herod., lib. i., and the rhetorical romance of Xenophon.) But laws and customs, from which the animating spirit of national opinion and sentiment has passed, are but the cenotaphs of dead forms embalmed in vain.

(50) Ctesias, 20.

(51) Herod., lib vii., c. xi.

(52) Juvenal, Richardson, etc. The preparations at Mount Athos commenced three years before Xerxes arrived at Sardis. (Compare Herod., l. vii. 21, with 33, 37.)

(53) Differently computed; according to Montfaucon, the sum total may be estimated at thirty-two millions of Louis d'ors.

(54) It must be confessed that the tears of Xerxes were a little misplaced. He wept that men could not live a hundred years, at the very moment when he meditated destroying a tolerable portion of them as soon as he possibly could.--Senec. de Brev. Vit., c. 17.

(55) Common also to the ancient Germans.

(56) For this reason--whoever died, whether by disease or battle, had his place immediately supplied. Thus their number was invariably the same.

(57) Diod. Sic.

(58) See note (48).

(59) Her., lib. vii., c. 138.

(60) Mueller on the Greek Congress.

(61) Mueller on the Greek Congress.

(62) Anaxandrides, king of Sparta, and father of Cleomenes and Leonidas, had married his niece: she was barren. The Ephors persuaded him to take another wife; he did so, and by the second wife. Cleomenes was born. Almost at the same time, the first wife, hitherto barren, proved with child. And as she continued the conjugal connexion, in process of time three sons were born; of these Leonidas was the second. But Cleomenes, though the offspring of the second wife, came into the world before the children by the first wife and therefore had the prior right to the throne.

(63) It is impossible by any calculations to render this amount more credible to modern skepticism. It is extremely likely that Herodotus is mistaken in his calculation; but who shall correct him?

(64) The Cissii, or Cissians, inhabited the then fertile province of Susiana, in which was situated the capital of Susa. They resembled the Persians in dress and manners.

(65) So Herodotus (lib. vii., c. 218); but, as it was summer, the noise was probably made rather by the boughs that obstructed the path of the barbarians, than by leaves on the ground.

(66) Diod. Sic., xi., viii.

(67) Justin, ii., ix.

(68) Another Spartan, who had been sent into Thessaly, and was therefore absent from the slaughter of Thermopylae, destroyed himself.

(69) The cross was the usual punishment in Persia for offences against the king's majesty or rights. Perhaps, therefore, Xerxes, by the outrage, only desired to signify that he considered the Spartan as a rebel.

(70) "Thus fought the Greeks at Thermopylae," are the simple expressions of Herodotus, lib. vii., c. 234.

(71) Thus the command of the Athenian forces was at one time likely to fall upon Epicydes, a man whose superior eloquence had gained an ascendency with the people, which was neither due to his integrity nor to his military skill. Themistocles is said to have bribed him to forego his pretensions. Themistocles could be as severe as crafty when occasion demanded: he put to death an interpreter who accompanied the Persian envoys, probably to the congress at the Isthmus (Plutarch implies that these envoys came to Athens, but Xerxes sent none to that city.), for debasing the language of free Greeks to express the demands of the barbarian enemy.

(72) Plutarch rejects this story, very circumstantially told by Herodotus, without adducing a single satisfactory argument for the rejection. The skepticism of Plutarch is more frivolous even than his credulity.

(73) Demost., Philip. 3. See also Aeschines contra Ctesiphon.

(74) I have said that it might be doubted whether the death of Leonidas was as serviceable to Greece as his life might have been; its immediate consequences were certainly discouraging. If his valour was an example, his defeat was a warning.

(75) There were (three hundred, for the sake of round numbers--but one of the three hundred--perhaps two--survived the general massacre.) three hundred Spartans and four hundred Thespians; supposing that (as it has been asserted) the eighty warriors of Mycenae also remained with Leonidas, and that one hundred, or a fourth of the Thebans fell ere their submission was received, this makes a total of eight hundred and eighty. If we take now what at Plataea was the actual ratio of the helots as compared with the Spartans, i. e, seven to one, we shall add two thousand one hundred helots, which make two thousand nine hundred and ninety; to which must be added such of the Greeks as fell in the attacks prior to the slaughter of Thermopylae; so that, in order to make out the total of the slain given by Herodotus, more than eleven hundred must have perished before the last action, in which Leonidas fell.

(76) Plut. in vit. Them.

(77) Ibid.

(78) It is differently stated; by Aeschylus and Nepos at three hundred, by Thucydides at four hundred.

(79) Plut. in vit. Them.

(80) Here we see additional reason for admiring the sagacity of Themistocles.

(81) Her., lib. viii., c. 74.

(82) The tutor of his children, Sicinnus, who had experience of the Eastern manners, and spoke the Persian language.

(83) The number of the Persian galleys, at the lowest computation, was a thousand (Nepos, Herodotus, and Isocrates compute the total at about twelve hundred; the estimate of one thousand is taken from a dubious and disputed passage in Aeschylus, which may be so construed as to signify one thousand, including two hundred and seven vessels, or besides two hundred and seven vessels; viz., twelve hundred and seven in all, which is the precise number given by Herodotus. Ctesias says there were more than one thousand.); that of the Greeks, as we have seen, three hundred and eighty. But the Persians were infinitely more numerously manned, having on board of each vessel thirty men-at-arms, in addition to the usual number of two hundred. Plutarch seems to state the whole number in each Athenian vessel to be fourteen heavy armed and four bowmen. But this would make the whole Athenian force only three thousand two hundred and forty men, including the bowmen, who were probably not Athenian citizens. It must therefore be supposed, with Mr. Thirlwall, that the eighteen men thus specified were an addition to the ordinary company.

(84) Aeschylus. Persae. 397.

(85) The Persian admiral at Salamis is asserted by Ctesias to have been Onaphas, father-in-law to Xerxes. According to Herodotus, it was Ariabignes, the king's brother, who seems the same as Artabazanes, with whom he had disputed the throne.--Comp. Herod., lib. vii., c. 2, and lib. viii., c. 89.

(86) Plut in vit. Them.

(87) Plut. in vit. Them. The Ariamenes of Plutarch is the Ariabignes of Herodotus.

(88) Mr. Mitford, neglecting to observe this error of Xerxes, especially noted by Herodotus, merely observes--"According to Herodotus, though in this instance we may have difficulty to give him entire credit, Xerxes, from the shore where he sat, saw, admired, and applauded the exploit." From this passage one would suppose that Xerxes knew it was a friend who had been attacked, and then, indeed, we could not have credited the account; but if he and those about him supposed it, as Herodotus states, a foe, what is there incredible? This is one instance in ten thousand more important ones, of Mr. Mitford's habit of arguing upon one sentence by omitting those that follow and precede it.

(89) Diod., lib xi., c. 5. Herod., lib. viii., c. 110. Nepos, et Plut, in vit. Them.

(90) Plut. in vit. Them.

(91) Ibid. These anecdotes have the stamp of authenticity.

(92) Herod., lib. viii., c. 125. See Wesseling's Comment on Timodemus. Plutarch tells the same anecdote, but makes the baffled rebuker of Themistocles a citizen of Seriphus, an island in which, according to Aelian, the frogs never croaked; the men seem to have made up for the silence of the frogs!

(93) See Fast. Hell., vol. ii., page 26.

(94) Plut. in vit. Arist.

(95) Ibid.

(96) The custom of lapidation was common to the earlier ages; it had a kind of sanction, too, in particular offences; and no crime could be considered by a brave and inflamed people equal to that of advice against their honour and their liberties.

(97) See Herod., lib. ix., c. 10. Also Mr. Clinton on the Kings of Sparta. Fast. Hell., vol. ii., p. 187.

(98) See Herod., lib, vi., c. 58. After the burial of a Spartan king, ten days were devoted to mourning; nor was any public business transacted in that interval.

(99) "According to Aristides' decree," says Plutarch, "the Athenian envoys were Aristides, Xanthippus, Myronides, and Cimon."

(100) Herodotus speaks of the devastation and ruin as complete. But how many ages did the monuments of Pisistratus survive the ravage of the Persian sword!

(101) Plut. in vit. Arist.

(102) This, among a thousand anecdotes, proves how salutary and inevitable was the popular distrust of the aristocracy. When we read of the process of bribing the principal men, and of the conspiracy entered into by others, we must treat with contempt those accusations of the jealousy of the Grecian people towards their superiors which form the staple declamations of commonplace historians.

(103) Gargaphia is one mile and a half from the town of Plataea. Gell's Itin. 112.

(104) Plut. in vit. Arist.

(105) A strange fall from the ancient splendour of Mycenae, to furnish only four hundred men, conjointly with Tiryns, to the cause of Greece!

(106) Her., lib. ix., c. 45.

(107) Plutarch in vit. Arist.

(108) This account, by Herodotus, of the contrast between the Spartan and the Athenian leaders, which is amply supported elsewhere, is, as I have before hinted, a proof of the little effect upon Spartan emulation produced by the martyrdom of Leonidas. Undoubtedly the Spartans were more terrified by the slaughter of Thermopylae than fired by the desire of revenge.

(109) "Here seem to be several islands, formed by a sluggish stream in a flat meadow. (Oeroe?) must have been of that description.-- "Gell's Itin, 109.

(110) Herod., lib. ix., c. 54.

(111) Plut. in vit. Arist.

(112) Sir W. Gell's Itin. of Greece.

(113) Herod. lib. ix., c. 62.

(114) The Tegeans had already seized the tent of Mardonius, possessing themselves especially of a curious brazen manger, from which the Persian's horse was fed, and afterward dedicated to the Alean Minerva.

(115) I adopt the reading of Valcknaer, "tous hippeas." The Spartan knights, in number three hundred, had nothing to do with the cavalry, but fought on foot or on horseback, as required. (Dionys. Hal., xi., 13.) They formed the royal bodyguard.

(116) Mr. Mitford attributes his absence from the scene to some jealousy of the honours he received at Sparta, and the vain glory with which he bore them. But the vague observations in the authors he refers to by no means bear out this conjecture, nor does it seem probable that the jealousy was either general or keen enough to effect so severe a loss to the public cause. Menaced with grave and imminent peril, it was not while the Athenians were still in the camp that they would have conceived all the petty envies of the forum. The jealousies Themistocles excited were of much later date. It is probable that at this period he was intrusted with the very important charge of watching over and keeping together that considerable but scattered part of the Athenian population which was not engaged either at Mycale or Plataea.

(117) Thucyd., lib. i., c. 89.

(118) Ibid., lib. i., c. 90.

(119) Diod. Sic., lib. xi.; Thucyd., lib. i., c. 90.

(120) Ap. Plut. in vit. Them.

(121) Diodorus (lib. xi.) tells us that the Spartan ambassadors, indulging in threatening and violent language at perceiving the walls so far advanced, were arrested by the Athenians, who declared they would only release them on receiving hack safe and uninjured their own ambassadors.

(122) Thucyd., lib. i., c. 91.

(123) Ibid., lib. i., c. 92.

(124) Schol. ad Thucyd., lib. i., c. 93. See Clinton, Fasti Hell., vol. i., Introduction, p. 13 and 14. Mr. Thirlwall, vol. ii., p. 401, disputes the date for the archonship of Themistocles given by Mr. Clinton and confirmed by the scholiast on Thucydides. He adopts (page 366) the date which M. Boeckh founds upon Philochorus, viz., B. C. 493. But the Themistocles who was archon in that year is evidently another person from the Themistocles of Salamis; for in 493 that hero was about twenty-one, an age at which the bastard of Neocles might be driving courtesans in a chariot (as is recorded in Athenaeus), but was certainly not archon of Athens. As for M. Boeckh's proposed emendation, quoted so respectfully by Mr. Thirlwall, by which we are to read Hybrilidon for Kebridos, it is an assumption so purely fanciful as to require no argument for refusing it belief. Mr. Clinton's date for the archonship of the great Themistocles is the one most supported by internal evidence--1st, by the blanks of the years 481-482 in the list of archons; 2dly, by the age, the position, and repute of Themistocles in B. C. 481, two years after the ostracism of his rival Aristides. If it were reduced to a mere contest of probabilities between Mr. Clinton on one side and Mr. Boeckh and Mr. Thirlwall on the other, which is the more likely, that Themistocles should have been chief archon of Athens at twenty-one or at thirty-three--before the battle of Marathon or after his triumph over Aristides? In fact, a schoolboy knows that at twenty-one (and Themistocles was certainly not older in 493) no Athenian could have been archon. In all probability Kebridos is the right reading in Philochorus, and furnishes us with the name of the archon in B. C. 487 or 486, which years have hitherto been chronological blanks, so far as the Athenian archons are concerned.

(125) Pausan., lib. i., c. 1.

(126) Diod., lib. xi.

(127) Diod., lib. xi.

(128) Diod., lib. xi. The reader will perceive that I do not agree with Mr. Thirlwall and some other scholars, for whose general opinion I have the highest respect, in rejecting altogether, and with contempt, the account of Diodorus as to the precautions of Themistocles. It seems to me highly probable that the main features of the story are presented to us faithfully; 1st, that it was not deemed expedient to detail to the popular assembly all the objects and motives of the proposed construction of the new port; and, 2dly, that Themistocles did not neglect to send ambassadors to Sparta, though certainly not with the intention of dealing more frankly with the Spartans than he had done with the Athenians.

(129) Thucyd., lib. i.

(130) Aristot. Pol., lib. ii. Aristotle deems the speculations of the philosophical architect worthy of a severe and searching criticism.

(131) Of all the temples, those of Minerva and Jupiter were the most remarkable in the time of Pausanias. There were then two market-places. See Pausanias, lib. i., c. i.

(132) Yet at this time the Amphictyonic Council was so feeble that, had the Spartans succeeded, they would have made but a hollow acquisition of authority; unless, indeed, with the project of gaining a majority of votes, they united another for reforming or reinvigorating the institution.

(133) Thucyd., lib. i., c. 96.

(134) Heeren, Pol. Hist. of Greece.

(135) Corn. Nep. in vit. Paus.

(136) Thucyd., lib. i., c. 129.

(137) Plut. in vit. Arist.

(138) Ibid.

(139) Thucyd., lib. i.

(140) Plut. in vit. Cimon. Before this period, Cimon, though rising into celebrity, could scarcely have been an adequate rival to Themistocles.

(141) Corn. Nep. in vit. Cim.

(142) According to Diodorus, Cimon early in life made a very wealthy marriage; Themistocles recommended him to a rich father-in-law, in a witticism, which, with a slight variation, Plutarch has also recorded, though he does not give its application to Cimon.

(143) Corn. Nep. in vit. Cim.

(144) Thucyd., lib. i.

(145) Ibid., lib. i. Plut. in vit. Cim. Diod. Sic., lib. xi.

(146) See Clinton, Fast. Hell., vol. ii., p. 34, in comment upon Bentley.

(147) Athenaeus, lib. xii.

(148) Plut. in vit. Them.

(149) Plut. in vit. Aristid.

(150) About twenty-three English acres. This was by no means a despicable estate in the confined soil of Attica.

(151) Aristot. apud Plat. vit. Cim.

(152) Produced equally by the anti-popular party on popular pretexts. It was under the sanction of Mr. Pitt that the prostitution of charity to the able-bodied was effected in England.

(153) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(154) His father's brother, Cleomenes, died raving mad, as we have already seen. There was therefore insanity in the family.

(155) Plut. in vit. Cim. Pausanias, lib. iii., c. 17.

(156) Pausarias, lib. iii., c. 17.

(157) Phigalea, according to Pausanias.

(158) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(159) Thucyd., lib. i.

(160) Plato, leg. vi.

(161) Nep. in vit. Paus.

(162) Pausanias observes that his renowned namesake was the only suppliant taking refuge at the sanctuary of Minerva Chalcioecus who did not obtain the divine protection, and this because he could never purify himself of the murder of Cleonice.

(163) Thucyd., lib. i., 136.

(164) Plut. in vit. Them.

(165) Thucyd., lib. i., 137.

(166) Mr. Mitford, while doubting the fact, attempts, with his usual disingenuousness, to raise upon the very fact that he doubts, reproaches against the horrors of democratical despotism. A strange practice for an historian to allow the premises to be false, and then to argue upon them as true!

(167) The brief letter to Artaxerxes, given by Thucydides (lib i., 137), is as evidently the composition of Thucydides himself as is the celebrated oration which he puts into the mouth of Pericles. Each has the hard, rigid, and grasping style so peculiar to the historian, and to which no other Greek writer bears the slightest resemblance. But the matter may be more genuine than the diction.

(168) At the time of his arrival in Asia, Xerxes seems to have been still living. But he appeared at Susa during the short interval between the death of Xerxes and the formal accession of his son, when, by a sanguinary revolution, yet to be narrated, Artabanus was raised to the head of the Persian empire: ere the year expired Artaxerxes was on the throne.

(169) I relate this latter account of the death of Themistocles, not only because Thucydides (though preferring the former) does not disdain to cite it, but also because it is evident, from the speech of Nicias, in the Knights of Aristophanes, i. 83, 84, that in the time of Pericles it was popularly believed by the Athenians that Themistocles died by poison; and from motives that rendered allusion to his death a popular claptrap. It is also clear that the death of Themistocles appears to have reconciled him at once to the Athenians. The previous suspicions of his fidelity to Greece do not seem to have been kept alive even by the virulence of party; and it is natural to suppose that it must have been some act of his own, real or imagined, which tended to disprove the plausible accusations against him, and revive the general enthusiasm in his favour. What could that act have been but the last of his life, which, in the lines of Aristophanes referred to above, is cited as the ideal of a glorious death! But if he died by poison, the draught was not bullock's blood--the deadly nature of which was one of the vulgar fables of the ancients. In some parts of the continent it is, in this day, even used as medicine.

(170) Plut. in vit. Them.

(171) Plut. in vit. Them.

(172) Thucyd., lib. i.

(173) Diod., lib. xi.

(174) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(175) Diod. (lib. xi.) reckons the number of prisoners at twenty thousand! These exaggerations sink glory into burlesque.

(176) The Cyaneae. Plin. vi., c. 12. Herod. iv., c. 85, etc. etc.

(177) Thucyd., lib.., 99.

(178) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(179) For the siege of Thasos lasted three years; in the second year we find Cimon marching to the relief of the Spartans; in fact, the siege of Thasos was not of sufficient importance to justify Cimon in a very prolonged absence from Athens.

(180) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(181) Plut. in vit. Cim.

(182) Those historians who presume upon the slovenly sentences of Plutarch, that Pericles made "an instrument" of Ephialtes in assaults on the Areopagus, seem strangely to mistake both the character of Pericles, which was dictatorial, not crafty, and the position of Ephialtes, who at that time was the leader of his party, and far more influential than Pericles himself. Plato (ap. Plut. in vit. Peric.) rightly considers Ephialtes the true overthrower of the Areopagus; and although Pericles assisted him (Aristot., l. ii., c. 9), it was against Ephialtes as the chief, not "the instrument," that the wrath of the aristocracy was directed.

(183) See Demosth. adv. Aristocr., p. 642. ed. Reisk. Herman ap. Heidelb. Jahrb., 1830, No. 44. Forckhammer de Areopago, etc. against Boeckh. I cannot agree with those who attach so much importance to Aeschylus, in the tragedy of "The Furies," as an authority in favour of the opinion that the innovations of Ephialtes deprived the Areopagus of jurisdiction in cases of homicide. It is true that the play turns upon the origin of the tribunal--it is true that it celebrates its immemorial right of adjudication of murder, and that Minerva declares this court of judges shall remain for ever. But would this prophecy be risked at the very time when this court was about to be abolished? In the same speech of Minerva, far more direct allusion is made to the police of the court in the fear and reverence due to it; and strong exhortations follow, not to venerate anarchy or tyranny, or banish "all fear from the city," which apply much more forcibly to the council than to the court of the Areopagus.

(184) That the Areopagus did, prior to the decree of Ephialtes, possess a power over the finances, appears from a passage in Aristotle (ap. Plut. in vit. Them.), in which it is said that, in the expedition to Salamis, the Areopagus awarded to each man eight drachmae.

(185) Plutarch attributes his ostracism to the resentment of the Athenians on his return from Ithome; but this is erroneous. He was not ostracised till two years after his return.

(186) Mikaeas epilabomenoi prophaseos.--Plut. in vit. Cim. 17.

(187) Neither Aristotle (Polit., lib. v., c. 10), nor Justin, nor Ctesias nor Moderns speak of the assassin as kinsman to Xerxes. In Plutarch (Vit. Them.) he is Artabanus the Chiliarch.

(188) Ctesias, 30; Diod, 11; Justin, lib. iii., c. 1. According to Aristotle, Artabanus, as captain of the king's guard, received an order to make away with Darius, neglected the command, and murdered Xerxes from fears for his own safety.

(189) Thucyd., lib. i., 107. The three towns of Doris were, according to Thucydides, Baeum, Cytenium, and Erineus. The scholiast on Pindar (Pyth. i., 121) speaks of six towns.

(190) Thucyd., lib. i.

(191) Thucydides, in mentioning these operations of the Athenians, and the consequent fears of the Spartans, proves to what a length hostilities had gone, though war was not openly declared.

(192) Diod. Sic.. lib. xi.

(193) Thucyd., lib, i.

(194) Diod., lib. xi.

(195) Certain German historians, Mueller among others, have built enormous conclusions upon the smallest data, when they suppose Cimon was implicated in this conspiracy. Meirs (Historia Juris de bonis Damnatis, p. 4, note 11) is singularly unsuccessful in connecting the supposed fine of fifty talents incurred by Cimon with the civil commotions of this period. In fact, that Cimon was ever fined at all is very improbable; the supposition rests upon most equivocal ground: if adopted, it is more likely, perhaps, that the fine was inflicted after his return from Thasos, when he was accused of neglecting the honour of the Athenian arms, and being seduced by Macedonian gold (a charge precisely of a nature for which a fine would have been incurred). But the whole tale of this imaginary fine, founded upon a sentence in Demosthenes, who, like many orators, was by no means minutely accurate in historical facts, is possibly nothing more than a confused repetition of the old story of the fine of fifty talents (the same amount) imposed upon Miltiades, and really paid by Cimon. This is doubly, and, indeed, indisputably clear, if we accept Becker's reading of Parion for patrion in the sentence of Demosthenes referred to.

(196) If we can attach any credit to the Oration on Peace ascribed to Andocides, Cimon was residing on his patrimonial estates in the Chersonese at the time of his recall. As Athens retained its right to the sovereignty of this colony, and as it was a most important position as respected the recent Athenian conquests under Cimon himself, the assertion, if true, will show that Cimon's ostracism was attended with no undue persecution. Had the government seriously suspected him of any guilty connivance with the oligarchic conspirators, it could scarcely have permitted him to remain in a colony, the localities of which were peculiarly favourable to any treasonable designs he might have formed.

(197) In the recall of Cimon, Plutarch tells us, some historians asserted that it was arranged between the two parties that the administration of the state should be divided; that Cimon should be invested with the foreign command of Cyprus, and Pericles remain the head of the domestic government. But it was not until the sixth year after his recall (viz., in the archonship of Euthydemus, see Diodorus xii.) that Cimon went to Cyprus; and before that event Pericles himself was absent on foreign expeditions.

(198) Plutarch, by a confusion of dates, blends this short armistice with the five years' truce some time afterward concluded. Mitford and others have followed him in his error. That the recall of Cimon was followed by no peace, not only with the Spartans, but the Peloponnesians generally, is evident from the incursions of Tolmides presently to be related.

(199) Diod lib. xi.

(200) See Mueller's Dorians, and the authorities he quotes. Vol. i., b. I.

(201) For so I interpret Diodorus.

(202) Diod. Sic., lib. xi.

(203) There was a democratic party in Thessaly always favourable to Athens. See Thucyd., iv., c. 88.

(204) Now Lepanto.

(205) Paus., lib. ii., c. 25.

(206) Plut. in vit. Peric.

(207) Thucyd., lib. i., 112.

(208) Diod., lib. xi. Plut. in vit. Cim. Heeren, Manual of Ancient History; but Mr. Mitford and Mr. Thirlwall properly reject this spurious treaty.

(209) Plut. in Cim.

(210) The Clouds.

(211) Isoc. Areop., 38.

(212) Idomen. ap. Athen., lib. xii.

(213) Thucyd., lib. ii., 16; Isoc. Areopag., e. xx., p. 234.

(214) If we believe with Plutarch that wives accompanied their husbands to the house of Aspasia (and it was certainly a popular charge against Pericles that Aspasia served to corrupt the Athenian matrons), they could not have been so jealously confined as writers, judging from passages in the Greek writers that describe not what women were, but what women ought to be, desire us to imagine. And it may be also observed, that the popular anecdotes represent Elpinice as a female intriguante, busying herself in politics, and mediating between Cimon and Pericles; anecdotes, whether or not they be strictly faithful, that at least tend to illustrate the state of society.

(215) As I propose, in a subsequent part of this work, to enter at considerable length into the social life and habits of the Athenians, I shall have full opportunity for a more detailed account of these singular heroines of Alciphron and the later comedians.

(216) It was about five years after the death of Cimon that Pericles obtained that supreme power which resembled a tyranny, but was only the expression and concentration of the democratic will.

(217) Theophrast. ap. Plut. in vit. Per.

(218) Justin, lib. iii., c. 6.

(219) For the transfer itself there were excuses yet more plausible than that assigned by Justin. First, in the year following the breach between the Spartans and Athenians (B. C. 460), probably the same year in which the transfer was effected, the Athenians were again at war with the great king in Egypt; and there was therefore a show of justice in the argument noticed by Boeckh (though in the source whence he derives it the argument applies to the earlier time of Aristides), that the transfer provided a place of greater security against the barbarians. Secondly, Delos itself was already and had long been under Athenian influence. Pisistratus had made a purification of the island (Herod., lib. i., c. 64), Delian soothsayers had predicted to Athens the sovereignty of the seas (Semius Delius, ap. Athen., viii.), and the Athenians seem to have arrogated a right of interference with the temple. The transfer was probably, therefore, in appearance, little more than a transfer from a place under the power of Athens to Athens itself. Thirdly, it seems that when the question was first agitated, during the life of Aristides, it was at the desire of one of the allies themselves (the Samians). (Plut. in vit. Aristid. Boeckh (vol. i., 135, translation) has no warrant for supposing that Pericles influenced the Samians in the expression of this wish, because Plutarch refers the story to the time of Aristides, during whose life Pericles possessed no influence in public affairs.)

(220) The assertion of Diodorus (lib. xii., 38), that to Pericles was confided the superintendence and management of the treasure, is corroborated by the anecdotes in Plutarch and elsewhere, which represent Pericles as the principal administrator of the funds.

(221) The political nature and bias of the Heliaea is apparent in the very oath, preserved in Demost. con. Tim., p. 746, ed. Reiske. In this the heliast is sworn never to vote for the establishment of tyranny or oligarchy in Athens, and never to listen to any proposition tending to destroy the democratic constitution. That is, a man entered upon a judicial tribunal by taking a political oath!

(222) These courts have been likened to modern juries; but they were very little bound by the forms and precedents which shackled the latter. What a jury, even nowadays, a jury of only twelve persons, would be if left entirely to impulse and party feeling, any lawyer will readily conceive. How much more capricious, uncertain, and prejudiced a jury of five hundred, and, in some instances, of one thousand or fifteen hundred! (By the junction of two or more divisions, as in cases of Eisangelia. Poll. viii., 53 and 123; also Tittman.)

(223) "Designed by our ancestors," says Aristotle (Pol., lib. viii, c. 3) not, as many now consider it, merely for delight, but for discipline that so the mind might be taught not only how honourably to pursue business, but how creditably to enjoy leisure; for such enjoyment is, after all, the end of business and the boundary of active life.

(224) See Aristot. (Pol., lib. viii., c. 6.)

(225) An anecdote in Gellius, lib. xv., c. 17, refers the date of the disuse of this instrument to the age of Pericles and during the boyhood of Alcibiades.

(226) Drawing was subsequently studied as a branch of education essential to many of the common occupations of life.

(227) Suid.

(228) Hecataeus was also of Miletus.

(229) Pausan., ii., c. 3: Cic. de Orat., ii., c. 53; Aulus Gellius, xv., c. 23.

(230) Fast. Hell., vol. i.

(231) A brilliant writer in the Edinburgh Review (Mr. Macauley) would account for the use of dialogue in Herodotus by the childish simplicity common to an early and artless age--as the boor always unconsciously resorts to the dramatic form of narration, and relates his story by a series of "says he's" and "says I's." But does not Mr. Macauley, in common with many others, insist far too much on the artlessness of the age and the unstudied simplicity of the writer? Though history itself was young, art was already at its zenith. It was the age of Sophocles, Phidias, and Pericles. It was from the Athenians, in their most polished period, that Herodotus received the most rapturous applause. Do not all accounts of Herodotus, as a writer, assure us that he spent the greater part of a long life in composing, polishing, and perfecting his history; and is it not more in conformity with the characteristic spirit of the times, and the masterly effects which Herodotus produces, to conclude, that what we suppose to be artlessness was, in reality, the premeditated elaboration of art?

(232) Esther iii., 12; viii., 9: Ezra vi., 1.

(233) Herod., vii., 100.

(234) About twenty-nine years younger.--Fast. Hell., vol. ii., p. 7.

(235) Cic. Acad. Quaest., 4, Abbe de Canaye, Mem. de l'Acad. d'l* *crip., tom. x. etc. (*illegible letters)

(236) Diog. Laert., cap. 6., Cic. Acad. Quaest. 4, etc.

(237) Arist. Metap. Diog. Laert. Cic. Quaest. 4. etc.

(238) It must ever remain a disputable matter how far the Ionian Pythagoras was influenced by affection for Dorian policy and customs, and how far he designed to create a state upon the old Dorian model. On the one hand, it is certain that he paid especial attention to the rites and institutions most connected with the Dorian deity, Apollo-- that, according to his followers, it was from that god that he derived his birth, a fiction that might be interpreted into a Dorian origin; he selected Croton as his residence, because it was under the protection of "his household god;" his doctrines are said to have been delivered in the Dorian dialect; and much of his educational discipline, much of his political system, bear an evident affinity to the old Cretan and Spartan institutions. But, on the other hand, it is probable, that Pythagoras favoured the god of Delphi, partly from the close connexion which many of his symbols bore to the metaphysical speculations the philosopher had learned to cultivate in the schools of oriental mysticism, and partly from the fact that Apollo was the patron of the medical art, in which Pythagoras was an eminent professor. And in studying the institutions of Crete and Sparta, he might rather have designed to strengthen by examples the system he had already adopted, than have taken from those Dorian cities the primitive and guiding notions of the constitution he afterward established. And in this Pythagoras might have resembled most reformers, not only of his own, but of all ages, who desire to go back to the earliest principles of the past as the sources of experience to the future. In the Dorian institutions was preserved the original character of the Hellenic nation; and Pythagoras, perhaps, valued or consulted them less because they were Dorian than because they were ancient. It seems, however, pretty clear, that in the character of his laws he sought to conform to the spirit and mode of legislation already familiar in Italy, since Charondas and Zaleucus, who flourished before him, are ranked by Diodorus and others among his disciples.

(239) Livy dates it in the reign of Servius Tullus.

(240) Strabo.

(241) Iamblichus, c. viii., ix. See also Plato de Repub., lib. x.

(242) That the Achaean governments were democracies appears sufficiently evident; nor is this at variance with the remark of Xenophon, that timocracies were "according to the laws of the Achaeans;" since timocracies were but modified democracies.

(243) The Pythagoreans assembled at the house of Milo, the wrestler, who was an eminent general, and the most illustrious of the disciples were stoned to death, the house being fired. Lapidation was essentially the capital punishment of mobs--the mode of inflicting death that invariably stamps the offender as an enemy to the populace.

(244) Arist. Metaph., i., 3.

(245) Diog. Laert., viii., 28.

(246) Plut. in vit. Them. The Sophists were not, therefore, as is commonly asserted, the first who brought philosophy to bear upon politics.

(247) See, for evidence of the great gifts and real philosophy of Anaxagoras, Brucker de Sect. Ion., xix.

(248) Arist. Eth. Eu., i., 5.

(249) Archelaus began to teach during the interval between the first and second visit of Anaxagoras. See Fast. Hell., vol. ii., B. C. 450.

(250) See the evidence of this in the Clouds of Aristophanes.

(251) Plut. in vit. Per.

(252) See Thucyd., lib. v., c. 18, in which the articles of peace state that the temple and fane of Delphi should be independent, and that the citizens should settle their own taxes, receive their own revenues, and manage their own affairs as a sovereign nation (autoteleis kai autodikois (consult on these words Arnold's Thucydides, vol. ii., p. 256, note 4)), according to the ancient laws of their country.

(253) Mueller's Dorians, vol. ii., p. 422. Athen., iv.

(254) A short change of administration, perhaps, accompanied the defeat of Pericles in the debate on the Boeotian expedition. He was evidently in power, since he had managed the public funds during the opposition of Thucydides; but when beaten, as we should say, "on the Boeotian question," the victorious party probably came into office.

(255) An ambush, according to Diodorus, lib. xii.

(256) Twenty talents, according to the scholiast of Aristophanes. Suidas states the amount variously at fifteen and fifty.

(257) Who fled into Macedonia.--Theopomp. ap. Strab. The number of Athenian colonists was one thousand, according to Diodorus--two thousand, according to Theopompus.

(258) Aristoph. Nub., 213.

(259) Thucyd., i., 111.

(260) ibid., i., 115.

(261) As is evident, among other proofs, from the story before narrated, of his passing his accounts to the Athenians with the item of ten talents employed as secret service money.

(262) The Propylaea alone (not then built) cost two thousand and twelve talents (Harpocrat. in propylaia tauta), and some temples cost a thousand talents each. (Plut. in vit. Per.) If the speech of Pericles referred to such works as these, the offer to transfer the account to his own charge was indeed but a figure of eloquence. But, possibly, the accusation to which this offer was intended as a reply was applicable only to some individual edifice or some of the minor works, the cost of which his fortune might have defrayed. We can scarcely indeed suppose, that if the affected generosity were but a bombastic flourish, it could have excited any feeling but laughter among an audience so acute.

(263) The testimony of Thucydides (lib. ii., c. 5) alone suffices to destroy all the ridiculous imputations against the honesty of Pericles which arose from the malice of contemporaries, and are yet perpetuated only by such writers as cannot weigh authorities. Thucydides does not only call him incorrupt, but "clearly or notoriously honest." (Chraematon te diaphanos adorotatos.) Plutarch and Isocrates serve to corroborate this testimony.

(264) Plut. in vit. Per.

(265) Thucyd., lib. ii., c. 65.

(266) "The model of this regulation, by which Athens obtained the most extensive influence, and an almost absolute dominion over the allies, was possibly found in other Grecian states which had subject confederates, such as Thebes, Elis, and Argos. But on account of the remoteness of many countries, it is impossible that every trifle could have been brought before the court at Athens; we must therefore suppose that each subject state had an inferior jurisdiction of its own, and that the supreme jurisdiction alone belonged to Athens. Can it, indeed, be supposed that persons would have travelled from Rhodes or Byzantium, for the sake of a lawsuit of fifty or a hundred drachmas? In private suits a sum of money was probably fixed, above which the inferior court of the allies had no jurisdiction, while cases relating to higher sums were referred to Athens. There can be no doubt that public and penal causes were to a great extent decided in Athens, and the few definite statements which are extant refer to lawsuits of this nature."--Boeckh, Pol. Econ. of Athens, vol. ii., p. 142, 143, translation.

(267) In calculating the amount of the treasure when transferred to Athens, Boeckh (Pol. Econ. of Athens, vol. i., p. 193, translation) is greatly misled by an error of dates. He assumes that the fund had only existed ten years when brought to Athens: whereas it had existed about seventeen, viz., from B. C. 477 to B. C. 461, or rather B. C. 460. And this would give about the amount affirmed by Diodorus, xii., p. 38 (viz., nearly 8000 talents), though he afterward raises it to 10,000. But a large portion of it must have been consumed in war before the transfer. Still Boeckh rates the total of the sum transferred far too low, when he says it cannot have exceeded 1800 talents. It more probably doubled that sum.

(268) Such as Euboea, see p. 212.

(269) Vesp. Aristoph. 795.

(270) Knight's Prolegomena to Homer; see also Boeckh (translation), vol. i., p. 25.

(271) Viz., B. C. 424; Ol. 89.

(272) Thucyd., iv., 57.

(273) See Chandler's Inscript.

(274) In the time of Alcibiades the tribute was raised to one thousand three hundred talents, and even this must have been most unequally assessed, if it were really the pecuniary hardship the allies insisted upon and complained of. But the resistance made to imposts upon matters of feeling or principle in our own country, as, at this day, in the case of church-rates, may show the real nature of the grievance. It was not the amount paid, but partly the degradation of paying it, and partly, perhaps, resentment in many places at some unfair assessment. Discontent exaggerates every burden, and a feather is as heavy as a mountain when laid on unwilling shoulders. When the new arrangement was made by Alcibiades or the later demagogues, Andocides asserts that some of the allies left their native countries and emigrated to Thurii. But how many Englishmen have emigrated to America from objections to a peculiar law or a peculiar impost, which state policy still vindicates, or state necessity still maintains! The Irish Catholic peasant, in reality, would not, perhaps, be much better off, in a pecuniary point of view, if the tithes were transferred to the rental of the landlord, yet Irish Catholics have emigrated in hundreds from the oppression, real or imaginary, of Protestant tithe-owners. Whether in ancient times or modern, it is not the amount of taxation that makes the grievance. People will pay a pound for what they like, and grudge a farthing for what they hate. I have myself known men quit England because of the stamp duty on newspapers!

(275) Thucyd., lib. i., c. 75; Bloomfield's translation.

(276) A sentiment thus implied by the Athenian ambassadors: "We are not the first who began the custom which has ever been an established one, that the weaker should be kept under by the stronger." The Athenians had, however, an excuse more powerful than that of the ancient Rob Roys. It was the general opinion of the time that the revolt of dependant allies might be fairly punished by one that could punish them--(so the Corinthians take care to observe). And it does not appear that the Athenian empire at this period was more harsh than that of other states to their dependants. The Athenian ambassadors (Thucyd., i., 78) not only quote the far more galling oppressions the Ionians and the isles had undergone from the Mede, but hint that the Spartans had been found much harder masters than the Athenians.

(277) Only twelve drachma each yearly: the total, therefore, is calculated by the inestimable learning of Boeckh not to have exceeded twenty-one talents.

(278) Total estimated at thirty-three talents.

(279) The state itself contributed largely to the plays, and the lessee of the theatre was also bound to provide for several expenses, in consideration of which he received the entrance money.

(280) On the authority of Pseud. Arist. Oecon., 2-4.

(281) In the expedition against Sicily the state supplied the vessel and paid the crew. The trierarchs equipped the ship and gave voluntary contributions besides.--Thucyd., vi., 31.

(282) Liturgies, with most of the Athenian laws that seemed to harass the rich personally, enhanced their station and authority politically. It is clear that wherever wealth is made most obviously available to the state, there it will be most universally respected. Thus is it ever in commercial countries. In Carthage of old, where, according to Aristotle, wealth was considered virtue, and in England at this day, where wealth, if not virtue, is certainly respectability.

(283) And so well aware of the uncertain and artificial tenure of the Athenian power were the Greek statesmen, that we find it among the arguments with which the Corinthian some time after supported the Peloponnesian war, "that the Athenians, if they lost one sea-fight, would be utterly subdued;"--nor, even without such a mischance, could the flames of a war be kindled, but what the obvious expedient (Thucyd., lib. i., c. 121. As the Corinthians indeed suggested, Thucyd., lib. i., c. 122) of the enemy would be to excite the Athenian allies to revolt, and the stoppage or diminution of the tribute would be the necessary consequence.

(284) If the courts of law among the allies were not removed to Athens till after the truce with Peloponnesus, and indeed till after the ostracism of Thucydides, the rival of Pericles, the value of the judicial fees did not, of course, make one of the considerations for peace; but there would then have been the mightier consideration of the design of that transfer which peace only could effect.

(285) Plut. in vit. Per.

(286) "As a vain woman decked out with jewels," was the sarcastic reproach of the allies.--Plut. in vit. Per.

(287) The Propylaea was built under the direction of Mnesicles. It was begun 437 B. C., in the archonship of Euthymenes, three years after the Samian war, and completed in five years. Harpocrat. in propylaia tauta.

(288) Plut. in vit. Per.

(289) See Arnold's Thucydides, ii., 13, note 12.

(290) "Their bodies, too, they employ for the state as if they were any one's else but their own; but with minds completely their own, they are ever ready to render it service."--Thucyd., i., 70, Bloomfield's translation.

(291) With us, Juries as well as judges are paid, and, in ordinary cases, at as low a rate as the Athenian dicasts (the different value of money being considered), viz., common jurymen one shilling for each trial, and, in the sheriffs' court, fourpence. What was so pernicious in Athens is perfectly harmless in England; it was the large member of the dicasts which made the mischief, and not the system of payment itself, as unreflecting writers have so often asserted.

(292) See Book IV., Chapter V. VII. of this volume.

(293) At first the payment of the dicasts was one obolus.--(Aristoph. Nubes, 861.) Afterward, under Cleon, it seems to have been increased to three; it is doubtful whether it was in the interval ever two obols. Constant mistakes are made between the pay, and even the constitution, of the ecclesiasts and the dicasts. But the reader must carefully remember that the former were the popular legislators, the latter, the popular judges or jurors--their functions were a mixture of both.

(294) Misthos ekklaesiastikos--the pay of the ecclesiasts, or popular assembly.

(295) We know not how far the paying of the ecclesiasts was the work of Pericles: if it were, it must have been at, or after, the time we now enter upon, as, according to Aristophanes (Eccles., 302), the people were not paid during the power of Myronides, who flourished, and must have fallen with Thucydides, the defeated rival of Pericles.

(296) The Athenians could extend their munificence even to foreigners, as their splendid gift, said to have been conferred on Herodotus, and the sum of ten thousand drachmas, which Isocrates declares them to have bestowed on Pindar. (Isoc. de Antidosi.)

(297) The pay of the dicast and the ecclesiast was, as we have just seen, first one, then three obols; and the money paid to the infirm was never less than one, nor more than two obols a day. The common sailors, in time of peace, received four obols a day. Neither an ecclesiast nor a dicast was, therefore, paid so much as a common sailor.

(298) Such as the Panathenaea and Hieromeniae.

(299) From klaeroi, lots. The estates and settlements of a cleruchia were divided among a certain number of citizens by lot.

(300) The state only provided the settlers with arms, and defrayed the expenses of their journey. See Boeckh, Pol. Econ. of Athens, vol. ii., p. 170 (translation).

(301) Andoc. Orat. de Pace.

(302) These institutions differed, therefore, from colonies principally in this: the mother country retained a firm hold over the cleruchi--could recall them or reclaim their possessions, as a penalty of revolt: the cleruchi retained all the rights, and were subject to most of the conditions, of citizens. (Except, for instance, the liturgies.) Lands were given without the necessity of quitting Athens--departure thence was voluntary, although it was the ordinary choice. But whether the cleruchi remained at home or repaired to their settlement, they were equally attached to Athenian interests. From their small number, and the enforced and unpopular nature of their tenure, their property, unlike that of ordinary colonists, depended on the power and safety of the parent state: they were not so much transplanted shoots as extended branches of one tree, taking their very life from the same stem. In modern times, Ireland suggests a parallel to the old cleruchiae--in the gift of lands to English adventurers--in the long and intimate connexion which subsisted between the manners, habits, and political feeling of the English settlers and the parent state--in the separation between the settlers and the natives; and in the temporary power and subsequent feebleness which resulted to the home government from the adoption of a system which garrisoned the land, but exasperated the inhabitants.

(303) Nor were even these composed solely of Athenians, but of mixed and various races. The colony to Amphipolis (B. C. 465) is the first recorded colony of the Athenians after the great Ionic migrations.

(304) In the year in which the colony of Thurium or Thurii was founded, the age of Lysias was fifteen, that of Herodotus forty-one.

(305) Plut. in vit. Per. Schol. Aristoph. Av., 521.

(306) Viz., Callias, Lysippus, and Cratinus. See Athenaeus, lib. viii., p. 344. The worthy man seems to have had the amiable infirmities of a bon vivant.

(307) Plut. in vit. Them.

(308) Historians, following the received text in Plutarch, have retailed the incredible story that the rejected claimants were sold for slaves; but when we consider the extraordinary agitation it must have caused to carry such a sentence against so many persons, amounting to a fourth part of the free population--when we remember the numerous connexions, extending throughout at least four times their own number, which five thousand persons living long undisturbed and unsuspected as free citizens must have formed, it is impossible to conceive that such rigour could even have been attempted without creating revolution, sedition, or formidable resistance. Yet this measure, most important if attended with such results--most miraculous if not--is passed over in total silence by Thucydides and by every other competent authority. A luminous emendation by Mr. Clinton (Fast. Hell., vol. ii., second edition, p. 52 and 390, note p) restores the proper meaning. Instead of heprataesan, he proposes apaelathaesan--the authorities from Lysias quoted by Mr. Clinton (p. 390) seem to decide the matter. "These five thousand disfranchised citizens, in B. C. 544, partly supplied the colony to Thurium in the following year, and partly contributed to augment the number of the Metoeci."

(309) Fourteen thousand two hundred and forty, according to Philochorus. By the term "free citizens" is to be understood those male Athenians above twenty--that is, those entitled to vote in the public assembly. According to Mr. Clinton's computation, the women and children being added, the fourteen thousand two hundred and forty will amount to about fifty-eight thousand six hundred and forty, as the total of the free population.

(310) Thucyd., i., c. 40.

(311) See the speech of the Corinthians.--Thucyd., lib. i., 70.

(312) Who was this Thucydides? The rival of Pericles had been exiled less than ten years before (in fact, about four years ago; viz., B. C. 444); and it is difficult to suppose that he could have been recalled before the expiration of he sentence, and appointed to command, at the very period when the power and influence of Pericles were at their height. Thucydides, the historian, was about thirty-one, an age at which so high a command would scarcely, at that period, have been bestowed upon any citizen, even in Athens, where men mixed in public affairs earlier than in other Hellenic states (Thucydides himself (lib. v., 43) speaks of Alcibiades as a mere youth (at least one who would have been so considered in any other state), at a time when he could not have been much less, and was probably rather more than thirty); besides, had Thucydides been present, would he have given us no more ample details of an event so important? There were several who bore this name. The scholiast on Aristophanes (Acharn., v., 703) says there were four, whom he distinguishes thus--1st, the historian; 2d, the Gargettian; 3d, the Thessalian; 4th, the son of Melesias. The scholiast on the Vespae (v., 991) enumerates the same, and calls them all Athenians. The son of Melesias is usually supposed the opponent of Pericles--he is so called by Androtion. Theopompus, however, says that it was the son of Pantanus. Marcellinus (in vit. Thucyd., p. xi.) speaks of many of the name, and also selects four for special notice. 1st, the historian; 2d, the son of Melesias; 3d, a Pharsalian; 4th, a poet of the ward of Acherdus, mentioned by Androtion, and called the son of Ariston. Two of this name, the historian and the son of Melesias, are well known to us; but, for the reasons I have mentioned, it is more probable that one of the others was general in the Samian war. A third Thucydides (the Thessalian or Pharsalian) is mentioned by the historian himself (viii., 92). I take the Gargettian (perhaps the son of Pantanus named by Theopompus) to have been the commander in the expedition.

(313) Plut. in vit. Per.

(314) Alexis ap. Ath., lib. xiii.

(315) At this period the Athenians made war with a forbearance not common in later ages. When Timotheus besieged Samos, he maintained his armament solely on the hostile country, while a siege of nine months cost Athens so considerable a sum.

(316) Plut. in vit. Per.

The contribution levied on the Samians was two hundred talents, proportioned, according to Diodorus, to the full cost of the expedition. But as Boeckh (Pol. Econ. of Athens, vol. i., p. 386, trans.) well observes, "This was a very lenient reckoning; a nine months' siege by land and sea, in which one hundred and ninety-nine triremes (Boeckh states the number of triremes at one hundred and ninety-nine, but, in fact, there were two hundred and fifteen vessels employed, since we ought not to omit the sixteen stationed on the Carian coast, or despatched to Lesbos and Chios for supplies) were employed, or, at any rate, a large part of this number, for a considerable time, must evidently have caused a greater expense, and the statement, therefore, of Isocrates and Nepos, that twelve hundred talents were expended on it, appears to be by no means exaggerated."

(317) It was on Byzantium that they depended for the corn they imported from the shores of the Euxine.

(318) The practice of funeral orations was probably of very ancient origin among the Greeks: but the law which ordained them at Athens is referred by the scholiast on Thucydides (lib. ii., 35) to Solon; while Diodorus, on the other hand, informs us it was not passed till after the battle of Plataea. It appears most probable that it was a usage of the heroic times, which became obsolete while the little feuds among the Greek states remained trivial and unimportant; but, after the Persian invasion, it was solemnly revived, from the magnitude of the wars which Greece had undergone, and the dignity and holiness of the cause in which the defenders of their country had fallen.

(319) Ouk an muraisi graus eous aegeitheo.

This seems the only natural interpretation of the line, in which, from not having the context, we lose whatever wit the sentence may have possessed--and witty we must suppose it was, since Plutarch evidently thinks it a capital joke. In corroboration of this interpretation of an allusion which has a little perplexed the commentators, we may observe, that ten years before, Pericles had judged a sarcasm upon the age of Elpinice the best way to silence her importunities. The anecdote is twice told by Plutarch, in vit. Cim., c. 14, and in vit. Per., c. 10.

(320) Aristot., Poet. iv.

(321) "As he was removed from Cos in infancy, the name of his adopted country prevailed over that of the country of his birth, and Epicharmus is called of Syracuse, though born at Cos, as Apollonius is called the Rhodian, though born at Alexandria."--Fast. Hell., vol. ii., introduction.

(322) Moliere.

(323) Laertius, viii. For it is evident that Epicharmus the philosopher was no other than Epicharmus the philosophical poet--the delight of Plato, who was himself half a Pythagorean.--See Bentley, Diss. Phal., p. 201; Laertius, viii., 78; Fynes Clinton, Fast. Hell., vol. ii., introduction, p. 36 (note g).

(324) A few of his plays were apparently not mythological, but they were only exceptions from the general rule, and might have been written after the less refining comedies of Magnes at Athens.

(325) A love of false antithesis.

(326) In Syracuse, however, the republic existed when Epicharmus first exhibited his comedies. His genius was therefore formed by a republic, though afterward fostered by a tyranny.

(327) For Crates acted in the plays of Cratinus before he turned author. (See above.) Now the first play of Crates dates two years before the first recorded play (the Archilochi) of Cratinus; consequently Cratinus must have been celebrated long previous to the exhibition of the Archilochi--indeed, his earlier plays appear, according to Aristophanes, to have been the most successful, until the old gentleman, by a last vigorous effort, beat the favourite play of Aristophanes himself.

(328) That the magistrature did not at first authorize comedy seems a proof that it was not at the commencement considered, like tragedy, of a religious character. And, indeed, though modern critics constantly urge upon us its connexion with religion, I doubt whether at any time the populace thought more of its holier attributes and associations than the Neapolitans of to-day are impressed with the sanctity of the carnival when they are throwing sugarplums at each other.

(329) In the interval, however, the poets seem to have sought to elude the law, since the names of two plays (the Satyroi and the Koleophoroi) are recorded during this period--plays which probably approached comedy without answering to its legal definition. It might be that the difficulty rigidly to enforce the law against the spirit of the times and the inclination of the people was one of the causes that led to the repeal of the prohibition.

(330) Since that siege lasted nine months of the year in which the decree was made.

(331) Aristophanes thus vigorously describes the applauses that attended the earlier productions of Cratinus. I quote from the masterly translation of Mr. Mitchell.


"Who Cratinus may forget, or the storm of whim and wit,
Which shook theatres under his guiding;
When Panegyric's song poured her flood of praise along,
Who but he on the top wave was riding?"

* * * * * * *

"His step was as the tread of a flood that leaves its bed,
And his march it was rude desolation," etc.
Mitchell's Aristoph., The Knights, p. 204.


The man who wrote thus must have felt betimes--when, as a boy, he first heard the roar of the audience--what it is to rule the humours of eighteen thousand spectators!

(332) De l'esprit, passim.

(333) De Poet., c. 26.

(334) The oracle that awarded to Socrates the superlative degree of wisdom, gave to Sophocles the positive, and to Euripides the comparative degree,


Sophos Sophoclaes; sophoteros d'Euripoeaes;
'Andron de panton Sokrataes sophotatos.


Sophocles is wise--Euripides wiser--but wisest of all men is Socrates.

(335) The Oresteia.

(336) For out of seventy plays by Aeschylus only thirteen were successful; he had exhibited fifteen years before he obtained his first prize; and the very law passed in honour of his memory, that a chorus should be permitted to any poet who chose to re-exhibit his dramas, seems to indicate that a little encouragement of such exhibition was requisite. This is still more evident if we believe, with Quintilian, that the poets who exhibited were permitted to correct and polish up the dramas, to meet the modern taste, and play the Cibber to the Athenian Shakspeare.

(337) Athenaeus, lib. xiii., p. 603, 604.

(338) He is reported, indeed, to have said that he rejoiced in the old age which delivered him from a severe and importunate taskmaster. --Athen., lib. 12, p. 510. But the poet, nevertheless, appears to have retained his amorous propensities, at least, to the last.--See Athenaeus, lib. 13, p. 523.

(339) He does indeed charge Sophocles with avarice, but he atones for it very handsomely in the "Frogs."

(340) M. Schlegel is pleased to indulge in one of his most declamatory rhapsodies upon the life, "so dear to the gods," of this "pious and holy poet." But Sophocles, in private life, was a profligate, and in public life a shuffler and a trimmer, if not absolutely a renegade. It was, perhaps, the very laxity of his principles which made him thought so agreeable a fellow. At least, such is no uncommon cause of personal popularity nowadays. People lose much of their anger and envy of genius when it throws them down a bundle or two of human foibles by which they can climb up to its level.

(341) It is said, indeed, that the appointment was the reward of a successful tragedy; it was more likely due to his birth, fortune, and personal popularity.

(342) It seems, however, that Pericles thought very meanly of his warlike capacities.--See Athenaeus, lib. 13, p. 604.

(343) Oedip. Tyr., 1429, etc.

(344) When Sophocles (Athenaeus, i., p. 22) said that Aeschylus composed befittingly, but without knowing it, his saying evinced the study his compositions had cost himself.

(345) "The chorus should be considered as one of the persons in the drama, should be a part of the whole, and a sharer in the action, not as in Euripides, but as in Sophocles."--Aristot. de Poet., Twining's translation. But even in Sophocles, at least in such of his plays as are left to us, the chorus rarely, if ever, is a sharer in the outward and positive action of the piece; it rather carries on and expresses the progress of the emotions that spring out of the action.

(346) --akno toi pros s' aposkopois' anax.--Oedip. Tyr., 711.

This line shows how much of emotion the actor could express in spite of the mask.

(347) "Of all discoveries, the best is that which arises from the action itself, and in which a striking effect is produced by probable incidents. Such is that in the Oedipus of Sophocles."--Aristot. de Poet., Twining's translation.

(348) But the spot consecrated to those deities which men "tremble to name," presents all the features of outward loveliness that contrast and refine, as it were, the metaphysical terror of the associations. And the beautiful description of Coloneus itself, which is the passage that Sophocles is said to have read to his judges, before whom he was accused of dotage, seems to paint a home more fit for the graces than the furies. The chorus inform the stranger that he has come to "the white Coloneus;"


"Where ever and aye, through the greenest vale
Gush the wailing notes of the nightingale
From her home where the dark-hued ivy weaves
With the grove of the god a night of leaves;
And the vines blossom out from the lonely glade,
And the suns of the summer are dim in the shade,
And the storms of the winter have never a breeze,
That can shiver a leaf from the charmed trees;
For there, oh ever there,
With that fair mountain throng,
Who his sweet nurses were, (the nymphs of Nisa)
Wild Bacchus holds his court, the conscious woods among!
Daintily, ever there,
Crown of the mighty goddesses of old,
Clustering Narcissus with his glorious hues
Springs from his bath of heaven's delicious dews,
And the gay crocus sheds his rays of gold.
And wandering there for ever
The fountains are at play,
And Cephisus feeds his river
From their sweet urns, day by day.
The river knows no dearth;
Adown the vale the lapsing waters glide,
And the pure rain of that pellucid tide
Calls the rife beauty from the heart of earth.
While by the banks the muses' choral train
Are duly heard--and there, Love checks her golden rein."

(349) Geronta dorthoun, phlauron, os neos pesae.
Oedip. Col., 396.


Thus, though his daughter had only grown up from childhood to early womanhood, Oedipus has passed from youth to age since the date of the Oedipus Tyrannus.

(350) See his self-justification, 960-1000.

(351) As each poet had but three actors allowed him, the song of the chorus probably gave time for the representative of Theseus to change his dress, and reappear as Polynices.

(352) The imagery in the last two lines has been amplified from the original in order to bring before the reader what the representation would have brought before the spectator.

(353) Mercury.

(354) Proserpine.

(355) Autonamos.--Antig., 821.


(356) Ou toi synechthein, alla symphilein ephun.
Antig., 523.

(357) Ceres.

(358) Hyper dilophon petras--viz., Parnassus. The Bacchanalian light on the double crest of Parnassus, which announced the god, is a favourite allusion with the Greek poets.

(359) His mother, Semele.

(360) Aristotle finds fault with the incident of the son attempting to strike his father, as being shocking, yet not tragic--that is, the violent action is episodical, since it is not carried into effect; yet, if we might connect the plot of the "Antigone" with the former plays of either "Oedipus," there is something of retribution in the attempted parricide when we remember the hypocritical and cruel severity of Creon to the involuntary parricide of Oedipus. The whole description of the son in that living tomb, glaring on his father with his drawn sword, the dead form of his betrothed, with the subsequent picture of the lovers joined in death, constitutes one of the most masterly combinations of pathos and terror in ancient or modern poetry.

(361) This is not the only passage in which Sophocles expresses feminine wo by silence. In the Trachiniae, Deianira vanishes in the same dumb abruptness when she hears from her son the effect of the centaur's gift upon her husband.

(362) According to that most profound maxim of Aristotle, that in tragedy a very bad man should never be selected as the object of chastisement, since his fate is not calculated to excite our sympathies.

(363) Electra, I. 250-300.

(364) When (line 614) Clytemnestra reproaches Electra for using insulting epithets to a mother--and "Electra, too, at such a time of life"--I am surprised that some of the critics should deem it doubtful whether Clytemnestra meant to allude to her being too young or too mature for such unfilial vehemence. Not only does the age of Orestes, so much the junior to Electra, prove the latter signification to be the indisputable one, but the very words of Electra herself to her younger sister, Chrysothemis, when she tells her that she is "growing old, unwedded."


Estos'onde tou chronou
alektra gaearskousan anumegaia te.


Brunck has a judicious note on Electra's age, line 614.

(365) Macbeth, act i., scene 5.

(366) See Note (376).

(367) Sophocles skilfully avoids treading the ground consecrated to Aeschylus. He does not bring the murder before us with the struggles and resolve of Orestes.

(368) This is very characteristic of Sophocles; he is especially fond of employing what may be called "a crisis in life" as a source of immediate interest to the audience. So in the "Oedipus at Coloneus," Oedipus no sooner finds he is in the grove of the Furies than he knows his hour is approaching; so, also, in the "Ajax," the Nuncius announces from the soothsayer, that if Ajax can survive the one day which makes the crisis of his life, the anger of the goddess will cease. This characteristic of the peculiar style of Sophocles might be considered as one of the proofs (were any wanting) of the authenticity of the "Trachiniae."

(369) M. Schlegel rather wantonly accuses Deianira of "levity"--all her motives, on the contrary, are pure and high, though tender and affectionate.

(370) Observe the violation of the unity which Sophocles, the most artistical of all the Greek tragedians, does not hesitate to commit whenever he thinks it necessary. Hyllus, at the beginning of the play, went to Cenaeum; he has been already there and back--viz., a distance from Mount Oeta to a promontory in Euboea, during the time about seven hundred and thirty lines have taken up in recital! Nor is this all: just before the last chorus--only about one hundred lines back--Lichas set out to Cenaeum; and yet sufficient time is supposed to have elapsed for him to have arrived there--been present at a sacrifice--been killed by Hercules--and after all this, for Hyllus, who tells the tale, to have performed the journey back to Trachin.

(371) Even Ulysses, the successful rival of Ajax, exhibits a reluctance to face the madman which is not without humour.

(372) Potter says, in common with some other authorities, that "we may be assured that the political enmity of the Athenians to the Spartans and Argives was the cause of this odious representation of Menelaus and Agamemnon." But the Athenians had, at that time, no political enmity with the Argives, who were notoriously jealous of the Spartans; and as for the Spartans, Agamemnon and Menelaus were not their heroes and countrymen. On the contrary, it was the thrones of Menelaus and Agamemnon which the Spartans overthrew. The royal brothers were probably sacrificed by the poet, not the patriot. The dramatic effects required that they should be made the foils to the manly fervour of Teucer and the calm magnanimity of Ulysses.


(373) That the catastrophe should be unhappy!
Aristot., Poet., xiii.


In the same chapter Aristotle properly places in the second rank of fable those tragedies which attempt the trite and puerile moral of punishing the bad and rewarding the good.

(374) When Aristophanes (in the character of Aeschylus) ridicules Euripides for the vulgarity of deriving pathos from the rags, etc., of his heroes, he ought not to have omitted all censure of the rags and sores of the favourite hero of Sophocles. And if the Telephus of the first is represented as a beggar, so also is the Oedipus at Coloneus of the latter. Euripides has great faults, but he has been unfairly treated both by ancient and modern hypercriticism.

(375) The single effects, not the plots.

(376) "Polus, celebrated," says Gellius, "throughout all Greece, a scientific actor of the noblest tragedies." Gellius relates of him an anecdote, that when acting the Electra of Sophocles, in that scene where she is represented with the urn supposed to contain her brother's remains, he brought on the stage the urn and the relics of his own son, so that his lamentations were those of real emotion. Poles acted the hero in the plays of Oedipus Tyrannus and Oedipus at Coloneus.--Arrian. ap. Stob., xcvii., 28. The actors were no less important personages on the ancient than they are on the modern stage. Aristotle laments that good poets were betrayed into episodes, or unnecessarily prolonging and adorning parts not wanted in the plot, so as to suit the rival performers.--Arist. de Poet., ix. Precisely what is complained of in the present day. The Attic performers were the best in Greece--all the other states were anxious to engage them, but they were liable to severe penalties if they were absent at the time of the Athenian festivals. (Plut. in Alex.) They were very highly remunerated. Polus could earn no less than a talent in two days (Plut. in Rhet. vit.), a much larger sum (considering the relative values of money) than any English actor could now obtain for a proportionate period of service. Though in the time of Aristotle actors as a body were not highly respectable, there was nothing highly derogatory in the profession itself. The high birth of Sophocles and Aeschylus did not prevent their performing in their own plays. Actors often took a prominent part in public affairs; and Aristodemus, the player, was sent ambassador to King Philip. So great, indeed, was the importance attached to this actor, that the state took on itself to send ambassadors in his behalf to all the cities in which he had engagements.--Aeschin. de Fals. Legat., p. 30-203, ed. Reiske.

(377) The Minerva Promachus. Hae megalae Athaena.

(378) Zosimus, v., p. 294.

(379) Oedip. Colon., 671, etc.

(380) Oedip. Colon., 691.


(THE END)
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton's Book: Athens: Its Rise and Fall

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