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The DeipWc most important duties of the council, and the re-
sponses of this oracle in early times was a sacred
law, the deliberations of the league had considerable influ-
ence, and were often directed to political purposes. But the
immediate management of the oracle was in the hands of
the citizens of Delphi. In process of time the responses of
the oracle, by the mouth of a woman, which were thus con-
trolled by the Delphians, lost much of their prestige, in con-
sequence of the presents or bribery by which favorable
responses were gained.

More powerful than this council, as an institution, were
The oiym- tne Olympic games, solemnized every four years,
pie games. in which a ll the States of Greece took part. These
games lasted four days, and were of engrossing interest.
They were supposed to be founded by Hercules, and were of
very ancient date. During these celebrations there was a
universal truce, and also during the time it was necessary
for the people to assemble and retire to their homes. Elis,
in whose territory Olympia was situated, had the whole
regulation of the festival, the immediate object of which
were various trials of strength and skill. They included
chariot races, foot races, horse races, wrestling, boxing, and
leaping. They were open to all, even to the poorest Greeks ;
no accidents of birth or condition affected these honorable
contests. The palm of honor was given to the men who
had real merit. A simple garland of leaves was the prize,
but this was sufficient to call out all the energies and am-
bition of the whole nation. There were, however, incidental
advantages to successful combatants. At Athens, the citi-
zen who gained a prize was rewarded by five hundred
drachmas, and was entitled to a seat at the table of the
magistrates, and had a conspicuous part on the field of
battle. The victors had statues erected to them, and called
forth the praises of the poets, and thus these primitive sports

Chap, xvi.] Grecian Games. 199

incidentally gave an impulse to art and poetry. In later
times, poets and historians recited their compositions, and
were rewarded with the garland of leaves. The victors of
these games thus acquired a social pre-eminence, and were held
in especial honor, like those heroes in the Middle Ages who
obtained.the honor of tournaments and tilts, and, in modern
times, those who receive decoration at the hands of kings.

The celebrity of the Olympic games, which drew specta-
tors from Asia as well as all the States of Greece, The Pythian
led to similar institutions or festivals in other places. s iluies -
The Pythian games, in honor of Apollo, were celebrated near
Delphi every third Olympic year ; and various musical con-
tests, exercises in poetry, exhibitions of works of art were
added to gymnastic exercises and chariot and horse races.
The sacrifices, processions, and other solemnities, resemble
those at Olympia in honor of Zeus. They lasted as long as
the Olympic games, down to a. d. 394. Wherever the wor-
ship of Apollo was introduced, there were imitations of these
Pythian games in all the States of Greece.

The Nernasan and Ithmian games were celebrated each
twice in everv Olympiad, the former on the plain TheNemasan

. . . . . and Ithmian

of Nemsea, in Argolis ; the latter in the Corinthian games.
Isthmus, under the presidency of Corinth. These also
claimed a high antiquity, and at these were celebrated the
same feats of strength as at Olympia. But the Olympic
festival was the representation of all the rest, and trans-
cended all the rest in national importance. It was viewed
with so much interest, that the Greeks measured time itself
by them. It was Olympiads, and not years, by which the
date of all events was determined. The Romans reckoned
their years from the foundation of their city ; modern Chris-
tian nations, by the birth of Christ; Mohammedans, by the
flight of the prophet to Medina ; and the Greeks, from the
first recorded Olympiad, b. c. 776.

It was in these festivals, at which no foreigner, however,
eminent, was allowed to contend for prizes, that Effect of
the Greeks buried their quarrels, and incited each yais.

200 Grecian Civilization. [Chap. XVI.

other to heroism. The places in which they were celebrated
became marts of commerce like the mediaeval fairs of Ger-
many ; and the vast assemblage of spectators favored that
communication of news, and inventions, and improvements
which has been produced by our modern exhibitions. These
games answei-ed all the purposes of our races, our industrial
exhibitions, and our anniversaries, religious, political, educa-
tional, and literary, and thus had a most decided influence
on the development of Grecian thought and enterprise.
The exhibition of sculpture and painting alone made them
attractive and intellectual, while the athletic exercises
amused ordinary minds. They were not demoralizing, like
the sports of the amphitheatre, or a modern bull-fight, or
even fashionable races. They were more like tourna-
ments in the martial ages of Europe, but superior to them
vastly, since no woman was allowed to be present at the
Olympic games under pain of death.

It has already been shown that the form of government in
chants in tne States °f Ancient Greece, in the Homeric
government, ages, was monarchical. In two or three hundred
years after the Trojan war, the authority of kings had greatly
diminished. The great immigration and convulsions destroyed
the line of the ancient royal houses. The abolition of royalty
was in substance rather than name. First, it was divided
among several persons, then it was made elective, first for
life, afterward for a definite period. The nobles or chief-
tains gained increasing power with the decline of royalty, and
the government became, in many States, aristocratic. But
the nobles abused their power by making an oligarchy,
which is a perverted aristocracy. This aroused hatred and
opposition on the part of the people, especially in the maritime
cities, where the increase of wealth by commerce and the
arts raised up a body of powerful citizens. Then followed
popular revolutions under leaders or demagogues. These
leaders in turn became tyrants, and their exactions gave rise
to more hatred than that produced by the government of
^powerful families. They gained power by stratagem, and per-

Chap. XYL] Political Changes. 201

verted it by violence. But to amuse the people whom they
oppressed, or to please them, they built temples, Erection of
theatres, and other public buildings, in which a tem P les -
liberal patronage was extended to the arts. Thus Athens and
Corinth, before the Persian wars, were beautiful cities, from
the lavish expenditure of the public treasury by the tyrants
or despots who had gained ascendency. In the mean time,
those who were most eminent for wealth, or power, or virtue,
were persecuted, for fear they would effect a revolution. But
the parties which the tyrants had trampled upon were rather
exasperated than ruined, and they seized every opportunity
to rally the people under their standard, and effect an over-
throw of the tyrants. Sparta, whose constitution remained
aristocratic, generally was ready to assist any State in throw-
ing off the yoke of the usurpers. In some States, like
Athens, every change favored the rise of the people, who
gradually obtained the ascendency. They instituted the prin-
ciple of legal equalitv, bv which everv freeman was Learai equaii-

1 ° u . J ' J •> . tv and politi-

supposed to exercise the attributes of sovereignty, cai rights.
But democracy invariably led to the ascendency of factions,
and became itself a tyranny. It became jealous of all who
were distinguished for birth, or wealth, or talents. It en-
couraged flatterers and sycophants. It was insatiable in its
demands on the property of the rich, and listened to charges
which exposed them to exile and their estates to confisca-
tion. It increased the public burdens by unwise expendi-
tures to please the men of the lower classes who possessed
political franchise.

But different forms of government existed in different
States. In Sparta there was an oligarchy of nobles which
made royalty a shadow, and which kept the people in slavery
and degradation. In Athens the democratic principle pre-
vailed. In Argos kings reigned down to the Persian wars.
In Corinth the government went through mutations Different

o ■ o Iorms ot

as at Athens. In all the States and cities experi- government,
ments in the various forms of government were perpetually
made and perpetually failed. They existed for a time, and

202 Grecian Civilization. [Ciiap. xvi.

were in turn supplanted. The most permanent government
was that of Sparta ; the most unstable was that of Athens.
The former promoted a lofty patriotism and public morality
and the national virtues ; the latter inequalities of wealth,
the rise of obscure individuals, and the progress of arts.

The fall of the ancient monarchies and aristocracies was
Commercial closely connected with commercial enterprise and
enterpnse. the increase of a wealthy class of citizens. In the
beginning of the seventh century before Christ, a great
improvement in the art of ship-building was made, especial-
ly at Corinth. Colonial settlements kept pace with mari-
time enterprise ; and both of these fostei-ed commerce and
wealth. The Euxine lost its terrors to navigators, and the
iEgean Sea was filled with ships and colonists. The
Adriatic Sea was penetrated, and all the seas connected
with the Mediterranean. From the mouth of the Po was
brought amber, which was highly valued by the ancients. A
great number of people were drawn to Egypt, by the liberal
offers of its kings, who went there for the pursuit of knowl-
edge and of wealth, and from which they brought back the
papyrus as a cheap material for writing. The productions of
Greece were exchanged for the rich fabrics which only Asia
furnished, and the cities to which these were brought, like
Athens and Corinth, rapidly grew rich, like Venice and Genoa
in the Middle Ages.

Wealth of course introduced art. The origin of art may have
increase of been in religious ideas — in temples and the statues
of the gods — in tombs and monuments of great
men. But wealth immeasurably increased the facilities both
for architecture and sculpture. Artists in old times, as in
these, sought a pecuniary reward — patrons who could afford
to buy their productions, and stimulate their genius. Art
introduction was cultivated more rapidly in the Asiatic colonies

rfc than in the mother country, both on account of

their wealth, and the objects of interest around them. The
Ionian cities, especially, were distinguished for luxury and
refinement. Corinth took the lead in the early patronage

Chap. XVI.] The Fine Arts. 203

of art, as tlie most wealthy and luxurious of the Grecian

The first great impulse was given to architecture. The
Pelasgi had erected Cyclopean structures fifteen Arcintec-
hundred years before Christ. The Dorians built ture<
temples on the severest principles of beauty, and the Doric
column arose, massive and elegant. Long before the Persian
wars the temples were numerous and grand, yet simple and
harmonious. The temple of Here, at Samos, was begun in
the eighth century, b. c, and built in the Doric style, and,
soon after, beautiful structures ornamented Athens.

Sculpture rapidly followed architecture, and passed from
the stiffness of ancient times to that beauty which
afterward distinguished Phidias and Polynotus.
Schools of art, in the sixth century, flourished in all the
Grecian cities. We can not enter upon the details, from the
use of wood to brass and marble. The temples were filled
with groups from celebrated masters, and their deep recesses
were peopled with colossal forms. Gold, silver, and ivory
were used as well as marble and brass. The statues of heroes
adorned every public place. Art, before the Persian wars,
did not indeed reach the refinement which it subsequently
boasted, but a great progress was made in it, in all its
forms. Engraving was also known, and imperfect pictures
were painted. But this art, and indeed any of the arts, did
not culminate until after the Persian wars.

Literature made equal if not greater progress in the early
ao-es of Grecian historv. Hesiod lived b. c. 735 ;

i n-T-i- -i -i Literature.

and lyric poetry flourished in the sixth and
seventh centuries before Christ, esjjecially the elegiac form,
or songs for the dead. Epic poetry was of still earlier
date, as seen in the Homeric poems. The iEolian and Ionic
Greeks of Asia were early noted for celebrated poets. Al-
caeus and Sappho lived on the Isle of Lesbos, and were sur-
rounded with admirers. Anacreon of Teos was courted by
the rulers of Athens.

Even philosophy was cultivated at this early age. Thales

204 Grecian Civilization. [Cuap. XYI.

of Miletus flourished in the middle of the seventh century,
and Anaximander, born b. c. 610 — one of the great
original mathematicians of the world, speculated
like Thales, on the origin of things. Pythagoras, born in
Samos, b. c. 580 — a still greater name, grave and majestic,
taught the harmony of the spheres long before the Ionian

But neither art, nor literature, nor philosophy reached
their full development till a later era. It is enough for our
purpose to say that, before the Persian wars, civilization was
by no means contemptible, in all those departments which
subsequently made Greece the teacher and the glory of the



We come now to the most important and interesting of
Grecian history — the great contest with Persia — the age of
heroes and of battle-fields, when military glory was the mas-
ter passion of a noble race. What inspiration have all ages
gained from that noble contest in behalf of liberty !

We have seen how Asiatic cities were colonized by Greeks,
among whom the Ionians were pre-eminent. The cities were
governed by tyrants, who were sustained in their usurpation
by the power of Persia, then the great power of the world.
Darius, then king, had absurdly invaded Scythia, with an
immense army of six hundred thousand men, to Condition of

J \ the Ionian

punish the people for their inroad upon Western cities.
Asia, subject to his sway, about a century before. He was
followed by his allies, the tyrants of the Ionian cities, to
whom he intrusted the guardianship of the bridge of boats
by which he had crossed the Danube, b. c. 510. As he did
not return within the time specified — sixty days — the Greeks
were left at liberty to return. A body of Scythians then
appeared, who urged the Greeks to destroy the bridge, as
Darius was in full retreat, and thus secure the de- invasion of

t-» 1 ^ f Scythia by

struction ol the Persian army and the recovery 01 Darius,
their own liberty. Miltiades, who ruled the Chersonese — the
future hero of Marathon, seconded the wise proposal of the
Scythians, but Histiseus, tyrant of Miletus, feared that such
an act would recoil upon themselves, and favor another
inroad of Scythians — a fierce nation of barbarians. The
result was that the bridge was not destroyed, but the further
end of it was severed from the shore. Night arrived, and the

206 The Persian War. [Chap. xvit.

Persian hosts appeared upon the banks of the river, hut find-
ing no trace of it, Darius ordered an Egyptian who had a
trumpet-voice to summon to his aid Histkeus, the Milesian.
He came forward with a fleet and restored the bridge, and
Darius and his army were saved, and the opportunity was
lost to the Ionians for emancipating themselves from the
Persians. The bridge was preserved, not from honorable
fidelity to fulfill a trust, but selfish regard in the despot of
Miletus to maintain his power. For this service he was
rewarded with a principality on the Strymon. Exciting, how-
ever, the suspicion of Darius, by his intrigues, he was carried
captive to the Persian court, but with every mark of honor.
Darius left his brother Artaphernes as governor of all the
cities in Western Asia Minor.

A few years after this unsuccessful invasion of Scythia by
Darius, a political conflict broke out in Naxos, an island of
the Cyclades, b. c. 502, which had not submitted to the Per-
sian yoke, and the oligarchy, which ruled the island, were
expelled. They applied for aid to Aristagoras, the tyrant
of Miletus, the largest of the Ionian cities, who jDersuaded
the Persian satrap to send an expedition against the island.
The expedition failed, which ruined the credit of Aristagor-
as, son-in-law to Histkeus, who was himself incensed at his
detention in Susa, and who sent a trusty slave with a mes-
Eevoitofthe sage urging the Ionians to revolt. Aristagoras,

Ionian cities n .,. ^

from Persia, as a means oi success, conciliated popular favor
throughout Asiatic Greece, by putting down the various
tyrants — the instruments of Persian ascendency. The flames
of revolt were kindled, the despots were expelled, the re-
volted towns were put in a state of defense, and Aristagoras
visited Sparta to invoke its aid, inflaming the mind of the
king with the untold wealth of Asia, which would become
his spoil. Sparta was then at war with her neighbors, and
unwilling to become involved in so uncertain a contest.
Kejected at Sparta, Aristagoras proceeded to Athens, then
the second power in Greece, and was favorably received, for
the Athenians had a powerful sympathy with the revolted

Chap. XVII.] Meconquest of the Ionian Cities. 207

Ionians ; they agreed to send a fleet of twenty ships. When
Aristagoras returned, the Persians had commenced the siege
of Miletus. The twenty ships soon crossed the JEgean,
and were joined by five Eretrian ships coming to the succor
of Miletus. An unsuccessful attempt of Aristagoras on Sar-
dis disgusted the Athenians, who abandoned the alliance.
But the accidental burning of the city, including the temple
of the goddess Cybele, encouraged the revolters, and incensed
the Persians. Other Greek cities on the coast took part in
the revolt, including the island of Cyprus. The revolt now
assumed a serious character. The Persians rallied their
allies, among whom were the Phoenicians. An armament of
Persians and Phoenicians sailed against Cyprus, and a victory
on the land gave the Persians the control of the island. A
large army of Persians and their allies collected at Sardis,
and, under different divisions reconquered all their Defeatof the
principal Ionian cities, except Miletus; but the Ionian cities.
Ionian fleet kept its ascendency at sea. Aristagoras as the
Persians advanced, lost courage and fled to Myrkinus, where
he shortly afterward perished.

Meanwhile Histiseus presented himself at the gates of Mile-
tus, bavins: procured the consent of Darius to pro-

tt 1 Histiaeus.

ceed thither to quell the revolt. He was, how-
ever, suspected by the satrap, Artaphernes, and fled to Chios,
whose people he gained over, and who carried him back to
Miletus. On his arrival, he found the citizens averse to his
reception, and was obliged to return to Chios, and then to
Lesbos, where he abandoned himself to piracy.

A vast Persian host, however, had been concentrated near
Miletus, and with the assistance of the Phoenicians, invested
the city by sea and land. The entire force of the confeder-
ated cities abandoned the Milesians to their fate, and took
to their ships, three hundred and fifty-three in number,
with a view of fighting the Phoenicians, who had six hundred
ships. But there was a want of union among Wantofnni-

. onamon^the

the Ionian commanders, and the sailors aban- Ionian cities.
doned themselves to disorder and carelessness ; upon which

208 The Persian War. [Cuap. xyii.

Dionysius, of Phocaea, which furnished bat three ships,
rebuked the Ionians for their neglect of discipline. His
rebuke was not thrown away, and the Ionians having their
comfortable tents on shore, submitted themselves to the
nautical labors imposed by Dionysius. At last, after seven
days of work, the Ionian sailors broke out in open mutiny,
and refused longer to be under the discipline of a man whose
State furnished the smallest number of ships. They left
their ships, and resumed their pleasures on the shore, un-
willing to endure the discipline so necessary in so great a
crisis. Their camp became a scene of disunion and mistrust.
The Samians, in particular, were discontented, and on the
day of battle, which was to decide the fortunes of Ionia,
they deserted with sixty ships, and other Ionians followed
their example. The ships of Chios, one hundred in number,
fought with great fidelity and resolution, and Dionysius cap-
tured, with his three ships, three of the Phoenicians'. But
these exceptional examples of bravery did not compensate the
Their signal treachery and cowardice of the rest, and the con-
defeat. sequence was a complete defeat of the Ionians at

Lade. Dionysius, seeing the ruin of the Ionian camp, did
not return to his own city, and set sail for the Phoenician
coast, doing all he could as a pirate.

This victory of Lade enabled the Persians to attack Miletus
Attack of by sea as well as land ; the siege was prosecuted
Miletus. with yjgQ^ an( j t } ie c i t y shortly fell. The adult

male population was slain, while the women and children
were sent as slaves to Susa. The Milesian territory was
devastated and stripped of its inhabitants. The other States
hastened to make their submission, and the revolt was
crushed, b. c. 496, five years after its commencement. The
Complete Persian forces reconquered all the Asiatic Greeks,
tSeloniaa' 1 insular and continental, and the Athenian Miltiades
Greeks. escaped with difficulty from his command in the

Chersonese, to his native city. All the threats which were
made by the Persians were realized. The most beautiful
virgins were distributed among the Persian nobles; the

Chap. XVII.] Preparations of Darius. 209

cities "were destroyed ; and Samos alone remained, a3 a
reward for desertion at the battle of Lade.

The reconquest of Ionia being completed, the satrap Arta-
phernes proceeded to organize the future govern- Artaphernes

1 ° ° organizes the

ment, the inhabitants now being composed of a government,
great number of Persians. Meanwhile, Darius made prepa-
rations for the complete conquest of Greece. The wisdom of
the advice of Miltiades, to destroy the bridge over the Dan-
ube, when Darius and his army would have been annihil-
ated by the Scythians, was now apparent. Mardonius was
sent with a large army into Ionia, who deposed the despots
in the various cities, whom Artaphernes had reinstated, and
left the people to govern themselves, subject to the Persian
dominion and tribute. He did not remain long in Ionia, but
passed with his fleet to the Hellespont, and joined Darills pre .
his land forces. He transported his army to Eu- fnl^ioadt*
rope, and began his march through Thrace. Thence Greece -
he marched into Macedonia, and subdued a part of its inhab-
itants. He then sent his fleet around Mount Athos, with a
view of joining it with his army at the Gulf of Therma. But
a storm overtook his fleet near Athos, and destroyed three
hundred ships, and drowned twenty thousand men. This
disaster compelled a retreat, and he recrossed the Hellespont
with the shame of failure. He was employed no more by
the Persian king.

Darius, incited by the traitor Hippias, made new prepara-
tion for the invasion of Greece. He sent his her- His i m -
alds in every direction, demanding the customary ^rations™*
token of submission — earth and water. Many of the conti-
nental cities sent in their submission, including the Thebans,
Thessalians, and the island of iEgina, which was on bad
terms with Athens. The heralds of Darius were put to death
at Athens and Sparta, which can only be explained from the
fiercest resentment and rage. These two powers made com-
mon cause, and armed all the other States over which they had
influence, to resist the Persian domination. Hellas, headed
by Sparta, now resolved to put forth all its energies, and

210 The Persian War. [Chap. xvii.

embarked, in desperate hostility. A war which Sparta had
been waging for several years against Argos crippled that
ancient State, and she was no longer the leading power. The
only rival which Sparta feared was weakened, and full scope
was given for the prosecution of the Persian Avar. JEgiha,
which had submitted to Darius, was visited by Cleomenes,
king of Sparta, and hostages were sent to Athens for the

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