« ÎnapoiContinuați »
the night, was burnt to the ground; not a vestige of its ruins existing at the present day. In these times, military tactics were unkuown. The soldier had no pay but his sbare of the booty, divided by the chiefs. The weapons of war, were the sword, the bow, the javelin, the club, the hatchet, and the sling. A helmet of brass, an enormous shield, a cuirass, and buskins, were the defensive weapons.
II. Establishment of the Greek colonies. 1. Hercules, the son of Amphitryon, sovereign of Mycenæ, was banished from his country with all his family, while his throne was possessed by an usurper. His de scendants, after the period of a century, returned to Peloponnesus, and after subduing their enemies,' took posses. sion of the states of Mycenæ, Argos, and Lacedæmon. This happened about eighty years after the taking of Troy. A long period of civil war and bloodshed succeeded.
2. Though Codrus, king of Athens, devoted himself to death for his country ;-yet, his subjects weary of monarchy, elected his son Medon, chief magistrate, with the title of Archon. Thus commenced the Athenian republic about 1068 A. C. At this time the Greeks began to colonize
. A large body of Ætolians, from Peloponnesus, founded twelve cities in the lesser Asia, of which Smyrna was the most considerable. A troop of Ionian exiles built Ephesus, Colophon, Clazomene, and other towns, giving to their new settlements the name of Ionia. The Dorians sent off colonies to Italy and Sicily, founding in the former Tarentuni and Locri, and in the latter, Syracuse and Agrigentum.
III. The Republic of Sparta, 1. After the return of the Heraclidæ, Sparta was divided between the two sous of Aristodemus, Eurystbenes and Procles, who reigned jointly; and this double monarcby, transmitted to the descendants of each, continued in the separate branches for pearly 900 years. A radical principle of disupiou and consequent anarchy, made the want of constitutional laws to be severely felt. Lycurgus, brother to Polydectes, oue of the kings of Sparta, a nian distigguished alike by his abilities and virtues, was invested by
the concurring voice of the sovereigns and people, with the important duty of refurming and new-modelling the constitution of his country, 884 A. C.
2. Lycurgus instituted a sevate, elective, of twentyeight members, whose office was to preserve a just balance between the power of the kings and that of the people. Nothing could be proposed to the assembly of the people, which had not received the previous consent of the senate; and, on the other hand, no judgment of the senate was effectual, without the consent of the people.
3. Lycurgus paid the most particular attention to the regulation of manners :-one great principle pervaded his whole system" Lucury is the bane of society." He divided the territory into 39,000 equal portious, among the whole of its free citizens. He substituted iron money for gold and silver, prohibited the practice of cominerce, abotished all useless arts, and allowed even those necessary to life, to be practised only by slaves. The whole body of citizens made their principal repasts at public tables, af which, the meals were coarse and parsimonious, but the conversation tended to improve the youth in virtue, and cultivate a patriotic spirit.
4. The Spartan education, while it rejected all embele lishments of the understanding, nourished the severer virtues ;—it tanght the duties of religion,-obedience to the laws, respect for parents, reverence for old age,-inflexible honour,-undaunted courage,-contempt of dauger,--but above all, the love of glory, and of their country,
IV. The Republic of Athens. 1. On the abolition of the regal office, the change of the constitution was more nominal, than real. The Arebonship was, during tbree centuries, a perpetual and hereditaTy magistracy. In 754 A. C. tbis office became decennial 14 648, the Archons were annually elected, and were nine in number, with equal authority.
2. Draco, elevated to the Archonship in 624 A. C. projected a reform in the constitution of bis country, and thought to repress disorders by the extreme severity of his penal laws; which, for this reason, are said to have been written in blood.
3. Solon, an illustrious Athenian, of the race of Codrus, attained the dignity of Archon, 594 A. C. and was entrusted with the care of forming, for his country, a new form of government, and a new system of laws. He divided the citizens into four classes, according to the measure of their : wealth. To the three first, the richer citizens, belonged all the offices of the commonwealth. The fourth, the si poorer class, more numerous than all the other three, bad an equal right of suffrage with them in the public assem: bly. To balance the weight of the popular interest, Solon instituted a senate of 400 members (afterwards enlarged to 500 or 600,) with whom it was necessary that every measure should originate before it was discussed in the assembly of the people.
4. To the court of Areopagus, he committed the guardianship of the laws, and the power of enforcing then, with the supreme administration of justice :--the treasures of the state, the care of religion, and a tutorial power over all the youth of the republic. The particular laws of the Athepian state, deserve higher praise than its form of go. vernment. The laws relating to debtors were mild and equitable, as were those which regulated the treatment of slaves :--but the absolute subjection of females to the control of their nearest relations, approached too nearly to : state of servitude. The practice of Ostracism, was imio quitous and absurd. It was a ballot of all the citizens, in which each wrote down the name of the person, in his opinion, most obnoxiuus to censure; and he who was thus marked out by the greatest number of voices, though unimpeached of any crime, was banished for ten years
from his country:-a practice, which has stained the character of Athens with many flagrant instances of public ingratitude.
5. The manners of the Athenians and the Lacedæmonians formed a perfect contrast, The arts were, with the former in the highest esteem; the latter despised the arts, and all who cultivated them. Peace was the natural state of Athens; Sparta was entirely a military establishment:-luxury was the character of ile one ; frugality, of the other :-both nations were equally jealous of their liberty, and equally brave in war: the courage of the Spar
tan, sprang from constitutional ferocity; the courage of the Athenian, from the principle of honour,
6. Athens, a prey to faction and civil disorder, surrendered her liberties to Pisistratus, 550 A. C.; who established himself firmly in the sovereignty, and transmitted a peaceable crown to his sons Hippias and Hipparchus.
7. Hermodias and Aristogiton, succeeded in restoring the democracy. Hipparchus was put to death; and, Hippias, dethroned, solicited a foreign aid, to place him in the sovereignty. Darius, sou of Hystaspes, meditated at this time the conquest of Greece. Hippias took advantage of this circunıstance, and Greece was now involved in a war with Persia.
V. The War between Greece and Persia. 1. The Athenians had assisted the people of lonia, in an attempt to throw off the yoke of Persia, and burnt, and ravaged Sardis, the capital of Lydia. Darius speedily reduced the lonians to submission, and then turned bis arms against the Greeks, their allies; the exile Hippias prompt ing the expedition.
2. Darius began the attack both by'sea and land. The first Persian fleet was wrecked in doubling the promontory of Athos ; a second, of 600 sail, ravaged the Grecian islands; while an immense army landing in Euboea, poured down with impetuosity on Aitica. The Athenians met them on the plain of Marathon, and, headed by Miltiades, defeated them with great slaughter, 490 A. C. The Persians lost 6300, the Athenians 190, in this battle. The most shocking ingratitude was displayed towards Miltiades. Accused of treason for an unsuccessful attack on the isle of Paros, his sentence of death was commuted into a fine of fifty talents, which, being unable to pay, he was thrown into prison, and there died of his wounds.
3. Themistocles and Aristides, yet sustained nobly, the glory of ungrateful Athens. Darius dying, was succeeded by his son Xerxes, the heir of his father's ambition, but pot of his abilities. He armed, it is said, five millions of men, for the conquest of Greece; 1200 ships of war, and 3000 ships of burden. Landing in Thessaly, he proceeded by rapid marches to Thermopylæ, a narrow defile on the Sinus Maliacus. The Athenians and Spartans, aided only by the Thespians, Platæans, and Æginetes, determined to withstand the invader. Leonidas, king of Sparta, was chosen to defend this important pass with 6000 men. Xerxes, after a weak attempt to corrupt him, imperiously sumnjened him to lay down his arms. Let him come, said Leonidas, and take them. For two days, the Persians were repeatedly repulsed with great slaughter ; but, an unguarded track being at length discovered, the defence of the pass became a fruitless attempt on the part of the Greeks. Leonidas, foreseeing certain destruction, yet, determined to give the Persians a just idea of the resolute spirit of their enemies, commanded all to retire but 300 of his countrymen. He with his brave Spartans were all cut off to a man, 480 A. C. A monument was erected on the spot, for which Simonides, the poet, wrote the following noble inscription : O stranger, tell it at Lacedæmon, that we died here in obedience to her laws.
4. The Persians poured down upon Attica. The inhabitants of Athens, after conveying their women and children to the islands for security, betook themselves to their fleet, abandoning the city, which the Persians pillaged and burnt. The fleet of the Greeks, consisting of 380' sail, was attacked in the straits of Salamis, by that of the Persians amounting to 1200 ships. Xerxes himself beheld, from an eminence, the total discomfiture of his squadron; and, then fed with precipitation across the Hellespont. A second overthrow awaited his forces by land : for, Mardonius, at the head of 300,000 Persians, was totally defeated at Platæa by the combined army of the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, 479 A. C. On the same day, the Greeks engaged and destroyed the remains of the Persian fleet at Mycale : at this time, the national character of the Greeks was at its highest elevation,
5. Cinon, the son of Miltiades, after expelling the Persians from Thrace, attacked and destroyed their fleet on the coast of Pamphylia ; and, on the same day, landing his troops, gained a signal victory over their army Supplanted in the public favour, by the art of his rival Pericles, he suffered a temporary exile; to return only, to signalize himself still further in the service of his ungrateful country. He attacked and totally destroyed the Persian fleet of 300