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- Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Book V. - 20/25 -


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.


Athens: Its Rise and Fall, Book V. - 20/25

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