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neutrality of that island. Athens and Sparta suspended
their political jealousies, and acted in concert to resist the
common danger.

By the spring of 490 b. c, the preparations of Darius were
His vast completed, and a vast army collected on a plain
army. upon the Cilician shore. A fleet of six hundred

ships convoyed it to the rendezvous at Samos. The exiled
tyrant Hippias was present to guide the forces to the attack
of Attica. The Mede Datis, and Artaphernes, son of the
satrap of Sardis, nephew to Darius, were the Persian gen-
erals. They had orders from Darius to bring the inhabitants
of Athens as slaves to his presence.

The Persian fleet, fearing a similar disaster as happened
THe Persian noar M° unt Athos, struck directly across the
fleet. ^Egean, from Samos to Euboea, attacking on the

way the intermediate islands. Naxos thus was invaded and
easily subdued. From Naxos, Datis sent his fleet round the
other Cyclades Islands, demanding reinforcements and hos-
tages from all he visited, and reached the southern extremity
of Eubcea in safety. Etruria was first subdued, unable to
resist. After halting a few days at this city, he crossed
to Attica, and landed in the bay of Marathon, on the eastern
coast. The despot Hippias, son of Pisistratus, twenty years
after his expulsion from Athens, pointed out the way.

But a great change had taken place at Athens since his
Political expulsion. The city was now under democratic

change at .... m -i

Athens. rule, in its best estate. The ten tribes had become
identified with the government and institutions of the city.
The senate of the areopagus, renovated by the annual
archons, was in sympathy with the people. Great men had

Chap. XYIL] The Athenian Generals. 211

arisen under the amazing stimulus of liberty, among whom
Miltiades, Themistocles, and Aristides were the most dis-
tinguished. Miltiades, after an absence of six years in the
Chersonesus of Thrace, returned to the city full of patriotic
ardor. He was brought to trial before the popu- Miltiades,

i -, i , i (, i . an( i other

lar assembly on the charge or having misgov- generals.
erned the Chersonese ; but he was honorably acquitted, and
was chosen one of the ten generals of the republic annu-
ally elected. He was not, however, a politician of the
democratic stamp, like Themistocles and Aristides, being a
descendant of an illustrious race, which traced their lineage
to the gods ; but he was patriotic, brave, and decided. His
advice to burn the bridge over the Danube illustrates his
character — bold and far-seeing. Moreover, he was peculi-
arly hostile to Darius, whom he had so grievously offended.

Themistocles was a man of great native genius and sagacity.
He comprehended all the embarrassments and dan- Th g mls _
gers of the political crisis in which his city was tocleS -
placed, and saw at a glance the true course to be pursued.
H was also bold and daring. He was not favored by the
at,jidents of birth, and owed very little to education. He
had an unbounded passion for glory and for display. He had
great tact in the management of party, and was intent on
the aggrandizement of his country. His morality was reck-
less, but his intelligence was great — a sort of Mirabeau :
with his passion, his eloquence, and his talents. His unfor-
tunate end — a traitor and an exile — shows how little intel-
lectual pre-eminence will avail, in the long run, without
virtue, although such talents as he exhibited will be found
useful in a crisis.

Aristides was inferior to both Alcibiades and Themisto-
cles in sjenius, in resource, in boldness, and in

? . . . . ■,,.■/.•■,-■•*. Aristides.

energy ; but superior in virtue, in public fidelity,
and moral elevation. He pursued a consistent course, was no
demagogue, unflinching in the discharge of trusts, just,
upright, unspotted. Such a man, of course, in a corrupt
society, would be exposed to many enmities and jealousies.

212 The Persian Yiar. [Chap. xvi'l.

But he was, on the whole, appreciated, and died, in a period
of war and revolution, a poor man, with unbounded means
of becoming rich — one of the few examples which our world
affords of a man who believed in virtue, in God, and a judg-
ment to come, and who preferred the future and spiritual to
the present and material — a fool in the eyes of the sordid
and bad — a wise man according to the eternal standards.

Aristides, Miltiades, and perhaps Themistocles, were
elected among the ten generals, by the ten tribes, in the year
that Datis led his expedition to Marathon. Each of the ten
generals had the supreme command of the army for a day.
Great alarm was felt at Athens as tidings reached the city
of the advancing and conquering Persians. Couriers were
Athens ai- sent in hot haste to the other cities, especially

lies herself

with Sparta. Sparta, and one was found to make the journey to
Sparta on foot — one hundred and fifty miles — in forty-eight
hours. The Spartans agreed to march, without delay, after
the last quarter of the moon, which custom and superstition
dictated. This delay was fraught with danger, but was in-
sisted upon by the Spartans.

Meanwhile the dangers multiplied and thickened. The
Persians were at Marathon. It was urged by Miltiades
Prominence that not a moment should be lost in bringing
dangers. the Persians into action. Five of the generals
counseled delay. The polemarch, Calimachus, who then had
the casting vote, decided for immediate action. Themistocles
and Aristides had seconded the advice of Miltiades, to whom
the other generals surrendered their days of command — a rare
example of patriotic disinterestedness. The Athenians
marched at once to Marathon to meet their foes, and were
joined by the Plataeans, one thousand warriors, from a little
city — the whole armed population, which had a great moral

The Athenians had only ten thousand hoplites, including
Marshaling tne one thousand from Platsea. The Persian army
deforces * s variously estimated at from one hundred and ten
at Marathon, thousand to six hundred thousand. The Greeks

Chap, xyil] The Battle of Marathon. 213

were encamped upon the higher ground overlooking
the plain which their enemies occupied. The fleet was
ranged along the beach. The Greeks advanced to the com-
bat in rapid movement, urged on by the war-cry, which ever
animated their charges. The wings of the Persian army
were put to flight by the audacity of the charge, but the
centre, where the best troops were posted, resisted the
attack until Miltiades returned from the pursuit The battle of
of the retreating soldiers on the wings. The defeat Marathon -
of the Persians was the result. They fled to their
ships, and became involved in the marshes. Six thousand
four hundred men fell on the Persian side, and only one hun-
dred and ninety-two on the Athenian. The Persians, though
defeated, still retained their ships, and sailed toward Cape
Sunium, with a view of another descent upon Attica. Mil-
tiades, the victor in the most glorious battle ever till then
fought in Greece, penetrated the designs of the Persians, and
rapidly retreated to Athens on the very day of battle.
Datis arrived at the port of Phalerum to discover that his
plans were baffled, and that the Athenians were still ready to
oppose him. The energy and promptness of Miltiades had
saved the city. Datis, discouraged, set sail, without land-
ing, to the Cyclades.

The battle of Marathon, b. c. 490, must be regarded as
one of the great decisive battles of the world, and the
first which raised the political importance of the Re8ults of
Greeks in the eyes of foreign powers. It was the battIe -
fought by Athens twenty years after the expulsion of the
tyrants, and as a democratic State. On the Athenians rest
the glory forever. It was not important for the number
of men who fell on either side, but for giving the first great
check to the Persian domination, and preventing their con-
quest of Europe. And its moral effect was greater than its
political. It freed the Greeks from that fear of the Persians
which was so fatal and universal, for the tide of Persian
conquest had been hitherto uninterrupted. It animated the
Greeks with fresh courage, for the bravery of the Athenians

214 The Persian War. [Chap. xvil.

had been unexampled, as had been the generalship of Mil-
tiades. Athens was delivered by the almost supernatural
bravery of its warriors, and was then prepared to make
those sacrifices which were necessary in the more desperate
struggles which were to come. And it inspired the people
with patriotic ardor, and upheld the new civil constitution.
It gave force and dignity to the democracy, and prepared it
for future and exalted triumphs. It also gave foi-ce to the
religious sentiments of the people, for such a victory was
regarded as owing to the special favor of the gods.

The Spartans did not arrive until after the battle had been
fought, and Datis had returned with his Etrurian prisoners
to Asia.

The victory of Marathon raised the military fame of Mil-
Fame of tiades to the most exalted height, and there were
Miitiades. no ]} OUn( } s i the enthusiasm of the Athenians.
But the victory turned his head, and he lost both prudence
and patriotism. He persuaded his countrymen, in the full
tide of his popularity, to intrust him with seventy ships,
with an adequate force, with powers to direct an expedition
according to his pleasure. The armament was cheerfully
granted. But he disgracefully failed in an attack on the
island of Paros, to gratify a private vindictive animosity.
His subse- He lost all his eclat, and was impeached. He

quent re- .

verses. appealed, wounded and disabled from a fall he had

received, to his previous services. He was found guilty, but

escaped the penalty of death, but not of a fine of fifty talents.

He did not live to pay it, or redeem his fame, but

His death. . . ••,,-, . , r™ , •

died of the injury he had received, lhus this
great man fell from a pinnacle of glory to the deepest dis-
grace and ruin — a fate deserved, for he was not true to him-
self or country. The Athenians were not to blame, but
judged him rightly. It was not fickleness, but a change in
their opinions, founded on sufficient grounds, from the deep
disappointment in finding that their hero was unworthy of
their regards. No man who had rendered a favor has a
claim to pursue a course of selfishness and unlawful ambi-

Chap. XVII.] Rivalries of Party Leaders. 215

tion. No services can offset crimes. The Athenians, in
their unbounded admiration, had given unbounded trust,
and that trust was abused. And as the greatest despots
who had mounted to power had earned their success by
early services, so had they abused their power by imposing
fetters, and the Athenians, just escaped from the tyranny of
these despots, felt a natural jealousy and a deep repugnance,
in spite of their previous admiration. The Athenians, in their
treatment of Miltiades, were neither ungrateful nor fickle,
but acted from a high sense of public morality, and in a
stern regard to justice, without which the new constitution
would soon have been subverted. On the death of Miltiades
Themistocles and Aristides became the two lead- Jealousies

... , between

\\m men of Athens, and their rivalries composed the Aristides and
, . , . ' , . ., , r Themis-

domestic history or the city, until the renewed and tocies.

vast preparations of the Persians caused all dissensions to be

suspended for the public good.

But the jealousies and rivalries of these great men were
not altogether personal. They were both patriotic, but each
had different views respecting the course which Athens should
adopt in the greatness of the dangers which impended. The
policy of Aristides was to strengthen the army — that of
Themistocles, the navy. Both foresaw the national dangers,
but Themistocles felt that the hopes of Greece rested on
ships rather than armies to resist the Persians. Nota it -
And his policy was adopted. As the world can |ersonai n
not have two suns, so Athens could not be pros- s rounds -
pered by the presence of two such great men, each advocat-
ing different views. One or the other must succumb to the
general good, and Aristides was banished by the power of

The wrath of Darius — a man of great force of character,
but haughty and self-sufficient, was tremendous when he
learned the defeat of Datis, and his retreat into Asia. He
resolved to bring the whole force of the Persian Benewed


empire together to subdue the Athenians, from of Darius,
whom he had suffered so great a disgrace. Three years were

216 The Persian War. [Chap. XVIL

spent in active preparations for a new expedition which
should be overwhelming. All the allies of Persia were called
upon for men and supplies. Nor was he deterred by a revolt
of Egypt, which broke out about this time, and he was on

the point of carrying two gigantic enterprises — one

for the reconquest of Egypt, and the other for the
conquest of Greece — when he died, after a reign of thirty-six
years, b. c. 485.

He was succeeded by his son Xerxes, who was animated

by the animosities, but not the genius of his father.

Though beautiful and tall, he was faint-hearted,
vain, blinded by a sense of power, and enslaved by women.
Yet he continued the preparations which Darius projected.
Egypt was first subdued by his generals, and he then turned
his undivided attention to Greece. He convoked the digni-
taries of his empire — the princes and governors of provinces,
and announced his resolution to bridge over the Hellespont
and march to the conquest of Europe. Artabanus, his
uncle, dissuaded him from the enterprise, setting forth espe-
cially the probability that the Greeks, if victorious at sea,
would destroy the bridge, and thus prevent his safe return.
Mardonius advised differently, urging ambition and revenge,
motives not lost on the Persian monarch. For four years
the preparations went forward from all parts of the empire,
including even the islands in the JEgean. In the autumn of
481 b. c, the largest army this world has ever seen assem-
His enor- bled at Sardis. Besides this, a powerful fleet of
™tions. repa * one thousand two hundred and seven ships of war,
besides transports, was collected at the Hellespont. Large
magazines of provisions were formed along the coast of Asia
Minor. A double bridge of boats, extending from Abydos to
Sestos — a mile in length across the Hellespont, was construct-
ed by Phoenicians and Egyptians ; but this was destroyed by a
storm. Xerxes, in a transport of fury, caused the heads of
the engineers to be cut off, and the sea itself scourged with
three hundred lashes. This insane wrath being expended,
the monarch caused the work to be at once reconstructed,

Chap. XVII.] Passage of the Hellespont. 217

this time by the aid of Greek engineers. Two bridges were
built side by side upon more than six hundred His bridges

. ..,. over the

large ships, moored with strong anchors, with their Hellespont.
heads toward the iEgean. Over each bridge were stretched six
vast cables, which held the ships together, and over these
were laid planks of wood, upon which a causeway was formed
of wood and earth, with a high palisade on each side. To
facilitate his march, Xerxes also constructed a canal across
the isthmus which connects Mount Athos with the main
land, on which were employed Phoenician engineers. The
men employed in digging the canal worked under the whip.
Bridges were also thrown across the river Strymon.

These works were completed while Xerxes wintered at
Sardis. From that city he dispatched heralds to all the
cities of Greece, except Sparta and Athens, to demand the
usual tokens of submission — earth and water. He also sent
orders to the maritime cities of Thrace and Macedonia to pre-
pare dinner for himself and hosts, as they passed through.
Greece was struck with consternation as the news reached
the various cities of the vast forces which were on the march
to subdue them. The armv proceeded from Sardis, „ ,

J J- ' His advance.

in the spring, in two grand columns, between
which was the king and guards and select troops — all native
Persians, ten thousand foot and ten thousand horse. From
Sardis the hosts of Xerxes proceeded to Abydos, through
Ilium, where his two bridges across the Hellespont awaited
him. From a marble throne the proud and vainglorious
monarch saw his vast army defile over the bridges, perfumed
with frankincense and strewed with myrtle boughs. One
bridge was devoted to the troops, the other to the beasts and
baggage. The first to cross were the ten thou- He crosses
sand household troops, called Immortals, wearing pont.
garlands on their heads ; then followed Xerxes himself in
his gilded chariot, and then the rest of the army. It occu-
pied seven days for the vast hosts to cross the bridge.
Xerxes then directed his march to Doriscus, in Thrace, near
the mouth of the Hebrus, where he joined his fleet. There he

218 The Persian War. [Cuap. xvii.

took a general review, and never, probably, was so great an
army marshaled before or since, and comj>osed of so many
His review various nations. There were assembled nations
of his army. from the fr^us, from the Persian Gulf, the Red
Sea, the Levant, the ^Egean and the Euxine — Egyptian,
Ethiopian, and Lybian. Forty-six nations Avere represented
— all that were tributary to Persia. From the estimates
made by Herodotus, there were one million seven hundred
thousand foot, eighty thousand horse, besides a large
number of chariots. With the men who manned the fleet
and those he pressed into his service on the march, the
aggregate of his forces was two million six hundred and foi-ty
thousand. Scarcely an inferior number attended the soldiers
as slaves, sutlers, and other persons, swelling the amount of
the males to five million two hundred and eighty-three thou-
sand two hundred and twenty — the whole available force of
the Eastern world — Asia against Europe : as in mediaeval
times it was Europe against Asia. It is, however, impossi-
ble for us to believe in so large a force, since it could not
have been supplied with provisions. But with every de-
duction, it was still the largest army the world ever saw.

After the grand enumeration of forces, Xerxes passed in
The magni- his chariot to survey separately each body of
forces. contingents, to which he put questions. Pie then

embarked in a gilded galley, and sailed past the prows of
the twelve hundred ships moored four hundred feet from the
shore. That such a vast force could be resisted was not even
supposed to be conceivable by the blinded monarch. But
Demaratus, the exiled king of Sparta, told him he would be
resisted unto death, a statement which was received with de-

After the review, the grand army pursued its course west-
ward in three divisions and roads along Thrace, levying enor-
mous contributions on all the Grecian towns, which sub-
Process of mitted as the Persian monarch marched alone:, foi

the Per- -i -i i • m , . .

sians. how could they resist ? The mere provisioning

this great host for a single day impoverished the country.

Chap. XVII.J Desperate Grecian ^'reparations. 219

But there was no help, for to mortal eyes the success of
Xerxes was certain. At Acanthus, Xerxes separated from
his fleet, which was directed to sail round Mount Athos,
while he pursued his march through Pseonia and Crestonia,
and rejoin him at Therma, on the Thermaic Gulf, in Macedo-
nia, within sight of Mount Olympus.

Meanwhile, the Athenians, fully alive to their danger,
strained every nerve to make preparations to resist Preparations

, , -,-, , , , of the Athe-

tne enemy, h ortunately, there was in the treasury mans.
a large sum derived from the Lamian mines, and this they
applied, on the urgent representations of Themistocles, to
building ships and refitting their navy. A Panhellenic
congress, under the presidency of Athens and Sparta,
assembled at the Isthmus of Corinth — the first great league
since the Trojan war. The representatives of the various
States buried their dissensions, the most prominent of which
were between Athens and JEg-'ma,. In reconciling- these
feuds, Themistocles took a pre-eminent part. Indeed, there
was need, for the political existence of Hellas was threatened,
and despair was seen in most every city. Even the Delphic
oracle gave out replies discouraging and terrible', intimating,
however, that the safety of Athens lay in the wooden wall,
which, with extraordinary tact, Avas interpreted by Themis-
tocles to mean that the true defense lay in the navy.
Salamis was the place designated by the oracle for the re-
treat, which was now imperative, and thither the Athenians
fled, with their Avives and children, guarded by their fleet.
It was decided by the congress that Sparta should Sparta com-
command the land foi*ces, and Athens the united land forces
navy of the Greeks ; but many States, in deadly the naval.
fear of the Persians, persisted in neutrality, among which
were Argos, Cretes, Corcyra. The chief glory of the de-
fense lay with Sparta and Athens. The united army was
sent into Thessaly to defend the defile of Tempe, but dis-
covering that they were unable to do this, since another pass
over Mount Olympus was open in the summer, they retreat-
ed to the isthmus of Corinth, and left all Greece north of

220 TJie Persian War. [Chap. XVII.

Mount Citheron and the Megarid territory without defense.
Had the Greeks been able to maintain the passes of Olympus
and Ossa, all the northern States would probably have joined
in the confederation against Persia ; but, as they were left
defenseless, we can not wonder that they submitted, including
even the Achaeans, Boeotians, and Dorians.

The Pass of Thermopylae was now fixed upon as the
The pass of most convenient place of resistance, next to the
iic. eim>Py vale of Tempe. Here the main land was separ-
ated from the island of Eubcea by a narrow strait two miles
wide. On the northern part of the island, near the town of
Histiaea, the coast was called Artemisium, and here the fleet
was mustered, to co-oj)erate with the land forces, and oppose,
in a narrow strait, the progress of the Persian fleet. The
defile of Thermopylae itself, at the south of Thessaly, was
between Mount CEta and an impassable morass on the Maliac
Gulf. Nature had thus provided a double position of defense
— a narrow defile on the land, and a narrow strait on the
water, through which the army and the fleet must need pass
if they would co-operate.

While the congress resolved to avail themselves of the
interruption double position, bv sea and land, the Olvmpic

of military *, -^ .. pi/-. .

preparations games, and the great Dorian, of the Carneia, were

bytheOlym- , t mi it it -i • i

pic games, at hand. Ihese could not be dispensed with, even
in the most extraordinary crisis to which the nation could be
exposed. While, therefore, the Greeks assembled to keep the
national festivals, probably from religious and superstitious
motives, auguring no good if they were disregarded,
Leonidas, king of Sparta, with three hundred Spartans, two
thousand one hundred and twenty Arcadians, four hundred
Corinthians, two hundred men from Philius, and eighty from
Mycenae — in all three thousand one hundred hoplites, besides
Helots and light troops, was sent to defend the pass against
the Persian hosts. On the march through Bceotia one thou-
sand men from Thebes and Thespiae joined them, though on
the point of submission to Xerxes. The Athenians sent their
whole force on board their ships, joined by the Plataeans.

Chap. XVII.] The Pass of TItermopylcB. 221

It was in the summer of 480 b. c. when Xerxes reached
Therma, ahout which time the Greeks arrived at their allotted
posts. Leonidas took his position in the middle of the Pass
— a mile in length, with two narrow openings. Leonidas
He then repaired the old wall built across the Pass pass" of
by the Phocians, and awaited the coming of the i iB . amopy "
enemy, for it was supposed his force was sufficient to hold it
till the games were over. It was also thought that this nar-
row pass was the only means of access possible to the invad-
ing army ; but it was soon discovered that there was also a
narrow mountain path from the Phocian territory to Ther-
mopylae. The Phocians agreed to guard this path, and leave
the defense of the main pass to the Peloponnesian troops.
But Leonidas painfully felt that his men were insufficient in

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