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great reverse sent dismay into the hearts of the Athenians,
greater than had before been felt. The bloody victory at
Delium, and the conquests of Brasidas, more than balanced
the capture of Sphacteria. Sparta, under the victorious
banner of Brasidas, a general of great probity, good faith,
and moderation, now proclaimed herself liberator of Greece.
Athens, discouraged and baffled, lost all the prestige she had

Chap. XIX.] Truce for one Year. 267

But Amphipolis was lost by the negligence of the Athe-
nian commanders. Eucles and Thucydicles, the historian, to
whom the defense of the place was intrusted, had Loss of Am _
means ample to prevent the capture had they em- P hl P° hs -
ployed ordinary precaution. The Athenians, indignant, ban-
ished Thucydides for twenty years, and probably Eucles
also — a just sentence, since they did not keep the bridge over
the Strymon properly guarded, nor retained the Athenian
squadron at Eion. The banishment of Thucydides gave him
leisure to write the history on which his great fame rests —
the most able and philosophical of all the historical works
of antiquity.

Brasidas, after the fall of Amphipolis, extended his military
operations with success. He took Torone, Lecythus, and
other places, and then went into winter quarters. The cam-
paign had been disastrous to the Athenians, and Truce of one
a truce of one year was agreed upon by the bellig- >ear '
erent parties — Athens of the one party, and Sparta, Corinth,
Sicyon, Epidaurus, and Megara, of the other.

The conditions of this truce stipulated that Delphi might
be visited by all Greeks, without distinction ; that all viola-
tions of the property of the Delphian god should be prompt-
ly punished ; that the Athenian garrisons at Py- i ts condi-
lus, Cythera, Nissea, and Methana, should remain tlons "
unmolested ; that the Lacedaemonians should be free to use
the sea for trading purposes ; and that neither side should
receive deserters from the other — important to both parties,
since Athens feared the revolt of subject allies, and Sparta
the desertion of Helots.

But two clays had elapsed after the treaty was made be-
fore Scione in Thrace revolted to Brasidas — a great cause of
exasperation to the Athenians, although the revolt took
place before the treaty was known. Mendes, a neighboring-
town, also revolted. Brasidas sent the inhabitants a garrison
to protect themselves, and departed with his forces for an
expedition into the interior of Macedonia, but was soon
compelled to retreat before the Xllyrians.

268 The Pdoponnesian War. [Chap. xix.

An Athenian force, under Nicias and Nicostratus, however,
proceeded to Thrace to recover the revolted cities. Every-
Both cieon where else the truce was observed. It was in-
opptweTto* 8 tended to give terms for more complete negotia-
te truce, tions. This was the policy of Nicias. But Cleon
and his party, the democracy, was opposed to peace, and
wished to prosecute the war vigorously in Thrace. Brasi-
das, on his part, was equally in favor of continued hostili-
ties. And this was the great question of the day in Greece.

The war party triumphed, and Cleon, by no means an able
general, was sent with an expedition to recover Amphipolis,
B. c. 422. He succeeded in taking Torone, but Amphipolis,
built on a hill in the peninsula formed by the river Strymon,
as it passes from the Strymonic Gulf to Lake Kerkernilis,
was a strongly fortified place in which Brasidas intrenched.
He was obliged to remain inactive at Eion, at the mouth of
the river, three miles distant from Amphipolis, which ex-
cited £reat discontent in his armv, but which was the wiser
course, until his auxiliaries arrived. But the murmur of the
hoplites compelled him to some sort of action, and while he
Death of was reconnoitering, he was attacked by Brasidas.
Brasidas. Cleon was killed, and his army totally defeated.
Brasidas, the ablest general of the day, however, was also
mortally wounded, and carried from the field. This unsuc-
cessful battle compelled the Athenians to return home,
deeply disgusted with their generals. But they embarked
in the enterprise reluctantly, and with no faith in their
leader, and this was one cause of their defeat. The death
of Brasidas, however, converted the defeat into a substantial
victory, since there remained no Spartan with sufficient
ability to secure the confidence of the allies. Brasidas, when
he died, was the first man in Greece, and universally admired
for his valor, intelligence, probity, and magnanimity.

The battle of Amphipolis was decisive; it led to a peace
conse- between the contending parties. It is called the

theTattie of peace of Nicias, made in March, b. c. 421. By the
Amphipolis. p rov i s ions of this treaty of peace, which was made

Chap. XIX.] Alcibiades. 209

for fifty years, Amphipolis was restored to the Athenians,
all persons had full liberty to visit the public temples of
Greece, the Athenians restored the captive Spartans, and the
various towns taken during the war were restored on both
sides. This peace was concluded after a ten years' Thft peaee
war, when the resources of both parties were ex- of Nlcias -
hausted. It was a war of ambition and jealousy, without
sufficient reasons, and its consequences were disastrous to
the general welfare of Greece. In some respects it must be
considered, not merely as a war between Sparta and Athens
to gain supremacy, but a war between the partisans of aris-
tocratic and democratic institutions throughout the various

The peace made by Nicias between Athens and Sparta for
fifty years was not of lono; continuance. It was a Causes of

, , . .. the war still

truce rather than a treaty, since neither party was continued.
overthrown — but merely crippled — like Rome and Carthage
after the first Punic war. The same causes which pro-
voked the contest still remained — an unextinguishable
jealousy between States nearly equal in power, and the
desire of ascendency at any cost, But we do not perceive
in either party that persistent and self-sacrificing spirit which
marked the Romans in their conquest of Italy. The Romans
abandoned every thing which interfered with their aggress-
ive policy : the Grecian States were diverted from political
aggrandizement by other objects of pursuit — pleasure, art,

There was needed only a commanding demagogue, popu-
lar, brilliant, and unprincipled, to embroil Greece once more
in war, and such a man was Alcibiades, who appeared upon
the stage at the death of Cleon. And hostilities were easily
kindled, since the allies on both sides were averse to the
treaty which had been made, and the conditions of the peace
were not fulfilled. Athens returned the captive
Spartans she had held since the battle of Sphacteria,
but Amphipolis was not restored, from the continued enmity
of the Thracian cities. Both parties were full of intrigues,

270 The Peloponnesian War. [Chap. xix.

and new combinations were constantly being formed. Argos
became the centre of a new Peloponnesian alliance. A
change of ephors at Sparta favored hostile measures, and an
alliance was made between the Boeotians and Lacedaemonians.
The Athenians, on their side, captured Scione, and put to
death the prisoners.

It was in this unsettled state of things, when all the late
contending States were insincere and vacillating, that Alci-
Cbaracter of biades stood forth as a party leader. He was
Aicibiades. thirty-one years of age, belonged to an ancient and
powerful family, possessed vast wealth, had great personal
beauty and attractive manners, but above all, was unbound-
edly ambitious, and grossly immoral — the most insolent, un-
principled, licentious, and selfish man that had thus far scan-
dalized and adorned Athenian society. The only redeeming
feature in his character was his friendship for Socrates, who,
it seems, fascinated him by his talk, and sought to improve
his morals. He had those brilliant qualities, and luxurious
habits, and ostentatious prodigality, which so often dazzle
superficial peojiile, especially young men of fashion and Avealth,
but more even than they, the idolatrous rabble. So great
was his popularity and social prestige, that no injured person
ever dared to bring him to trial, and he even l'escued his own
wife from the hands of the law when she sought to procure a
divorce — a proof that even in democratic Athens all bowed
down to the insolence of wealth and high social position.

Aicibiades, though luxurious and profligate, saw that a
severe intellectual training was necessary to him if he would
His inteiiec- take ran ^ as a politician, for a politician who can
under 's'ocra? not ma ^ e a speech stands a poor chance of popular
tes - favor. So he sought the instructions of Socrates,

Prodicus, Protagoras, and others — not for love of learning,
but as means of success, although it may be supposed that
the intellectual excitement, which the discourse, cross-ex-
amination, and ironical sallies of Socrates produced, was not
without its force on so bright a mind.

Aicibiades commenced his public life with a sullied repu-

Chap, xix.] Alcibiades. 271

tation, and with numerous enemies created by Ids unbearable
insolence, but with a flexibility of character which His abandon-
enabled him to adapt himself to whatever habits ed hablts -
circumstances required. He inspired no confidence, and
his extravagant mode of life was sure to end in ruin, unless
he reimbursed himself out of the public funds; and yet he
fascinated the people who mistrusted and hated him. The
great comic poet, Aristophanes, said of him to theAthenians :
" You ought not to keep a lion's whelp in your city at all,
but if you choose to keep him, you must submit to his

Alcibiades, in commencing his political life, departed from
his family traditions ; for he was a relative of Pericles, and
became a partisan of the oligarchal party. But he His
soon changed his politics, on receiving a repulse intrigues.
from the Spartans, who despised him, and he became a vio-
lent democrat. His first memorable effort was to bring
Argos, then in league with Sparta, into alliance with Athens,
in which he was successful. He then cheated the Lacedae-
monian envoys Avho were sent to protest against the alliance
and make other terms, and put them in a false position, and
made them appear deceitful, and thus arrayed against them
the Avrath of the Athenians. As Alcibiades had prevailed
upon these envoys, by false promises and advice, to act a part
different from what they were sent to perform, Nicias was
sent to Sparta to clear up embarrassments, but failed in his
object, upon which Athens concluded an alliance with Argos,
Elis, and Mantinea, which only tended to complicate existing

Shortly after this alliance was concluded, the Olympic
games were celebrated with unusual interest, from His extrava .
which the Athenians had been excluded during the ^ nce ** the

& Olympic

war. Here Alcibiades appeared with seven chariots, games.
each with four horses, when the richest Greeks had hitherto
possessed but one, and gained two prizes. He celebrated his
success by a magnificent banquet more stately and expensive
than those given by kings. But while the Athenians thus

272 The Pelojponnesian War. [Chap. XIX.

appeared at the ninetieth Olympiad, the Lacedaemonians were
excluded hy the Eleians, who controlled the festival, from an
alleged violation of the Olympic truce, hut really from the
intrigues of Alcibiades.

The subsequent attack of Argos and Athens on Epidaurus
Renewal of P rovec "l tnat t1ae peace between Athens and Sparta
hostilities. existed only in name. It was distinctly violated
by the attack of Argos by the Lacedaemonians, Boeotians, and
Corinthians, and the battle of Mantinea opened again the
war. This was decided in favor of the Lacedaemonians, with
a great loss to the Athenians and their allies, including both
their generals, Laches and Nicostratus.

The moral effect of the battle of Mantinea, b. c. 418, was
Effect of the overwhel ming throughout Greece, and re-established
Mantinea. the military prestige of Sparta. It was lost by the
withdrawal of three thousand Eleians before the battle, illus-
trating the remark of Pericles that numerous and equal allies
could never be kept in harmonious co-operation. One effect
of the battle was a renewed alliance between. Sparta and
Argos, and the -re-establishment of an oligarchal govern-
ment in the latter city. Mantinea submitted to Sparta, and
the Achaian towns were obliged to submit to a remodeling
of their political institutions, according to the views of
Sparta. The people of Argos, however, took the first occa-
sion which was presented for regaining their power, assisted
by an Athenian force under Alcibiades, and Argos once again
became an ally of Athens.

The next important operation of the war was the siege
Sice of an< ^ con q ues t of Melos, a Dorian island, by the
MeTos. Athenians, b. c. 416. The inhabitants were killed,

and the women and children were sold as slaves, and an
Athenian colony was settled on the island. But this massacre,
exceeding even the customary cruelty of war in those times,
raised a general indignation among the allies of Sparta.

But an expedition of far greater importance was now un-
Theinva- dertakcn by the Athenians — the most gigantic
Skiiy. effort which they ever made, but wdiich terminated

Chap. XIX.] Sicilian Colonies. 273

disastrously, and led to the ruin and subjugation of their
proud and warlike city, as a political power. This was the
invasion of Sicily and siege of Syracuse.

Before we present this unfortunate expedition, some brief
notice is necessary of the Grecian colonies in Sicily.

In the eighth century before Christ Sicily was inhabited
by two distinct races of barbarians — the Sikels The Grecian
and Sikans — besides Phoenician colonies, for pur- Sicily,
jDoses of trade. The Sikans were an Iberian tribe, and were
immigrants of an earlier date than the Sikels, by whom
they were invaded. The earliest Grecian colony was
(b. c. 735) at ISTaxos, on the eastern coast of the island, be-
tween the Straits of Messina and Mount iEtna, founded by
Theocles, a Chalcidian mariner, who was cast by storms upon
the coast, and built a fort on a hill called Taurus, to defend
himself against the Sikels, who were in possession of the
larger half of the island. Other colonists followed, chiefly
from the Peloponnesus. In the year following that ISTaxos
was founded, a body of settlers from Corinth landed on the
islet Ortygia, expelled the Sikel inhabitants, and laid the
foundation of Syracuse. Successive settlements

t o r* r- .n Syracuse.

were made forty-live years alter at Gela, in the

southwestern part of the island. Other settlements continued

to be made, not only from Greece, but from the colonies

themselves; so that the old inhabitants were gradually

Hellenized and merged with Greek colonists, while the Greeks,

in their turn, adopted many of the habits and customs of

the Sikels and Sikans. The various races lived on terms of

amity, for the native population was not numerous enough

to become formidable to the Grecian colonists.

Five hundred years before Christ the most powerful

Grecian cities in Sicily were Agrigeritum and Gela, Amentum

on the south side of the island. The former, nnd £eia.

within a few years of its foundation, b. c. 5*70, fell under the

dominion of one of its rich citizens, Phalasaris, who proved

a cruel despot, but after a reign of sixteen years he was

killed in an insurrection, and an oligarchal government was

274 The Pelojyonnesian War. [Chap. XIX.

established, such as then existed in most of the Grecian
cities. Syracuse was governed in this way by the descend-
_,. . ants of the original settlers. Gela was, on the

The reign ° '

of Geio. other hand, ruled by a despot called Gelo, the
most powerful man on the island. He got possession of
Syracuse, b. c. 485, and transferred the seat of his power to
this city, by bringing thither the leading people and making
slaves of the rest. Under Gelo Syracuse became the first
city on the island, to which other towns were tributary.
When the Greeks confederated against Xerxes, they sent to
solicit his aid as the imperial leader of Sicily, and he could
command, according to Herodotus, twenty thousand hoplites,
two hundred triremes, two thousand cavalry, two thousand
archers, and two thousand light-armed horse. So great was
His power then the power of this despot, who now sought to
in Sicily. expel the Carthaginians and unite all the Hellenic
colonies in Sicily under his sway. But the aid was not given,
probably on account of a Carthaginian invasion simultane-
ous with the expedition of the Persian king. The Cartha-
ginians, according to the historian, arrived at Panormus b. c.
4S0, with a fleet of three thousand ships and a land force of
three hundred thousand men, besides chariots and horses,
under Hamilcar — a mercenary army, composed of various
African nations. Gelo marched against him with fifty thou-
sand foot and five thousand horse, and gained a complete
victory, so that one hundred and fifty thousand, on the side
of the Carthaginians, were slain, together with their general.
The number of the combatants is doubtless exaggerated,
but we may believe that the force was very great. Gelo was
now supreme in Sicily, and the victory of Himera, which be
had gained, enabled him to distribute a large body of
prisoners, as slaves, in all the Grecian colonies. It appears
that he was much respected, but he died shortly after his
victory, leaving an infant son to the guardianship of two of
Hissucces- ^ ns brothers, Polyzelus and Hiero, who became the
sorHiero. supreme governors of the island. A victory gained
by Hiero over the tyrant of Agrigentum gave him the same

Chap. XIX.] Sicilian Cities. 275

supremacy which Gelo had enjoyed. On his death, b. c. 467,
the succession was disputed between his brother, Thrasy-
bulus, and his nephew, the son of Gelo ; but Thrasybulus
contrived to make away with his nephew, and reigned alone,
crnelly and despotically, until a revolution took place, which
resulted in his expulsion and the fall of the Gelonian dynasty.
Popular governments were now established in all the Sicilian
cities, but these were distracted by disputes and confusions.
Syracuse became isolated from the other cities, and a gov-
ernment whose powers were limited by the city. The ex-
pulsion of the Gelonian dynasty left the Grecian cities to re-
organize free and constitutional governments ; but Syracuse
maintained a proud pre-eminence, and her power Grandeur of
was increased from time to time by conquests in Syracuse.
the interior over the old population. Agrigentum was next
in power, and scarcely inferior in wealth. The temple of
Zeus, in this city, was one of the most magnificent in the
world. The population was large, and many were the rich
men who kept chariots and competed at the Olympic games.
In these Sicilian cities the intellectual improvement kept
pace with the material, and the little town of Elea supported
the two greatest speculative philosophers of Greece — Par-
menides and Zeno. Empedocles, of Agrigentum, was
scarcely less famous.

Such was the state of the Sicilian cities on the outbreak of
the Peloponnesian war. Being generally of Dorian The Dorian
origin, they sympathized with Sparta, and great siciiy make
expectations were formed by the Lacecbemonians 7onia°n!
of assistance from their Sicilian allies. The cities of Sicily
could not behold the contest between Athens and Sparta
without being drawn into the quarrel, and the result was
that the Dorian cities made war on the Ionian cities, which,
of course, sympathized with Athens. As these cities were
weaker than the Dorian, they solicited aid from Athens, and
an expedition was sent to Sicily under Laches, b. c. 426.
Another one, under Polydorus, followed, but without deci-
sive results. The next year still another and larger expedi-

276 The Pelojponnesian War. [Chap. XIX.

tion, under Eurymedon and Sophocles, arrived in Sicily, while
Athens was jubilant by the possession of the Spartan pris-
oners, and the possession of Pylus and Cythera. The Sici-
lian cities now fearing that their domestic strife would en-
danger their independence and make them subject to Athens,
the most ambitious and powerful State in Greece, made a
common league with each other. Eurymeclon acceded to
the peace and returned to Athens, much to the displeasure
of the war party, which embraced most of the people, and he
and his colleague were banished.

But wars between the Sicilian cities again led to the inter-
intervention veiition of Athens. Egesta especially sent envoys
ot Athens. f or | ie ip j n ] ier struggle against Selinus, which was
assisted by Syracuse. Alcibiades warmly seconded these
envoys, and inflamed the people with his ambitious pro-
jects. He, more than any other man, was the cause of the
great Sicilian expedition which proved the ruin of his
country. He was opposed by Nicias, who foretold all the
Opposed by miserable consequences of so distant an expedition,
fevored b by when so little could be. gained and so much would
Alcibiades. be jeopardized, and when, on the first reverse, the
enemies of Athens would rally against her. He particu-
larly cautioned his countrymen not only against the ex-
pedition, but against intrusting the command of it to an
unprincipled and selfish man who squandered his own
patrimony in chariot races and other extravagances, and
would be wasteful of the public property — a man with-
out the experience which became a leader in so great an
enterprise. Alcibiades, in reply, justified his extravagance
at the Olympic games, where he contested with seven
chariots, as a means to impress Sparta with the wealth
and power of Athens, after a ten years' war. He inflamed
the. ambition of the assembly, held out specious hopes of
a glorious conquest which would add to Athenian power,
and make her not merely pre-eminent, but dominant in
Greece. The assembly, eager for war and glory, sided
with the youthful and magnificent demagogue, and disre-

Chap, xix.] Expedition against Syracuse. 277

garded the counsels of the old patriot, whose wisdom and
experience were second to none in the city.

Consequently the expedition was fitted out for the attack
of Syracuse — the largest and most powerful At t, ei , iai ,
which Athens ever sent against an enemy; for a3}n^, tlon
all classes, maddened by military glory, or s y racuse -
tempted by love of gain, eagerly embarked in the enter-
prise. Nicias, finding he could not prevent the expedi-
tion, demanded more than he thought the people would
be willing to grant. He proposed a gigantic force. But
in proposing this force, he hoped he might thus discourage
the Athenians altogether by the very greatness of the arma-
ment which he deemed necessary. But so popular was the
enterprise, that the large force he suggested was voted.
Alcibiades had flattered the people that their city was
mistress of the sea, and entitled to dominion over all the
islands, and could easily prevail over any naval enemy.

Three years had now elapsed since the peace of Nicias,
and Athens had ample means. The treasury was Seif-confi-

. „ .. t n . denceofthe

full, and triremes had accumulated in the nar- Athenians.
bor. The confidence of the Athenians was as unbounded
as was that of Xerxes when he crossed the Hellespont, and
hence there had been great zeal and forwardness in prepa-

When the expedition was at last ready, an event occurred
which filled the city with gloom and anxious fore- Tj nfllvora .
bodino-s. The half statues of the sod Hermes We auguries,
were distributed in great numbers in Athens in the most
conspicuous situations, beside the doors of private houses
and temples, and in the agora, so that the people were
accustomed to regard the god as domiciled among them for
their protection. In one night, at the end of May, b. c. 415,
these statues were nearly all mutilated. The heads, necks,
and busts were all destroyed, leaving the lower part of
them — mere quadrangular pillars, without arms, or legs, or
body — alone standing. The sacrilege sent universal dismay
into the city, and Avas regarded as a most depressing omen,

278 The Peloponnesian War. Chap. XIX.

and was done, doubtless, with a view of ruining Alcibiades
and frustrating the expedition. But all efforts were vain to
discover the guilty parties.

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