George Grote.

A history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great online

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posterous. For what reasonable motive could be imagined to
make the Great King shape his foreign policy according to the
interests of Alkibiad^ or to inspire him with such lively
interest in the substitution of oligarchy for democracy at Athens?
This was a question which the oligaichical con8piratx>r8 at Samos
not only never troubled themselves to raise, but which they had
every motive to suppress. The suggestion of Alkibiades coin-
cided fully with their political interest and ambition. Their
object was to put down the democracy, and get possession of the
government for themselves — a purpose, towards which the
promise of Persian gold, if they could get it accredited, was
inestimable as a stepping-stone, whether it afterwards turned out
to be a delusion or not The probability is, that having a strong
interest in believing it themselves, and a still stronger interest in
making others believe it, they talked each other into a sincere
persuasion. Without adverting to this fact, we should be at a
loss to understand how the word of such a man as Alkibiad^ on
such a matter, could be so implicitly accepted as to set in motion
a whole train of novel and momentous events.

There was one man, and one man alone, so far as we know, who
ventured openly to call it in question. This was Phrjrnichus,
one of the generals of the fleet, who had recently given valuable

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connsel after the victory of Miletus ; a clear-sighted and saga-
cioiis man, but personally hostile to Alkibiadis, and opposition
thoroughly seeing through his character and projects. JhSar**
Though Phrynichus was afterwards one of the chief Samos to
organizers of the oligarchical movement, when ratonuKito
it became detached from and hostile to Alki- Alkibiadte.
biad^ yet under the actual circumstances he discountenanced
it altogether.^ Alkibiadds (he said) had no attachment to
oligarchical government rather than to democratical ; nor could
he be relied on for standing by it after it should have been set up.
His only purpose was, to make use of the oligarchical conspiracy
now forming for his own restoration ; which, if brought to pass,
could not fail to introduce political discord into the camp — the
greatest misfortune that could at present happen. As to the
Persian king, it waa unreasonable to expect that he would put
himself out of his way to aid the Athenians, his old enemies, in
whom he had no confidence — while he had the Peloponnesians
present as allies, with a good naval force and powerful cities m
his own territory, from whom he had never (experienced either
insult or annoyance. Moreover the dependencies of Athens —
upon whom it was now proposed to confer, simultaneously with
Athens herself, the blessing of oligarchical government— would
receive that boon with indifference. Those who had already
revolted would not come back ; those who yet remained faithful
would not be the more inclined to remain 00 longer. Their
object would be to obtain autonomy, either under oligai-chy or
democracy, as the case might be. Assuredly they would not
expect better treatment from an oligarchical government at
Athens than from a democratical; for they knew that those
self-styled "good and virtuous" men, who would form the oli-
garchy, were, as ministers of democracy, the chief advisers and
instigators of the people to iniquitous deeds ; most commonly for
nothing but their own individual profit From an Athenian
oligarchy, the citizens of these dependencies had nothing to
expect but violent executions without any judicial trial ; but

1 Phnmichiis is affinned in an Ora- tjfcophanqf, or false and vezatloas
tion of Ljsias to have been orlginaUy accusation before the Dikastery
poor, keeping sheep in the conntrv part and the public assembly (Lysias,
of Attica ; then to have resided in the Oiut xz. pro Polystrato, c. 8, p. 074
elty, and practised what was called Beisk.).

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under the democracy, they could obtain shelter and the mcfana of
appeal, while their persecutors were liable to restraint and
chastisement, from the people and the popular Dikasterieii.
Such (Phrynichus affirmed on his own personal knowledge) wa?
the genuine feeling among the dependencies of Athens.^ Having
thus shovm the calculations of the conspirators — as to Alkibiad^
as to Persia, and as to the allied dependencies— to be all illusory,
Phrynichus concluded by entering his decided protest against
adopting the propositions of Alkibiadte.

But in this protest (borne out afterwards by the result) he stood
ManoeiiTrafi nearly alone. The tide of opinion among the oligar-
oowiter- cWcal conspirators ran so furiously the other way,
manteurres that it was resolved to despatch Peisander and others
chns imd ' immediately to Athens to consummate the oligarchical
Alkibiadte. revolution as well as the recal of Alkibiadls ; and at
the same time to propose to the people their new intended ally

Phiynichus knew well what would be the consequence to him-
self—if this consummation were brought about, as he foresaw
that it probably would be — from the vengeance of his enemy
Alkibiadds against his recent opposition. Satisfied that the latter
would destroy him, he took measures for destroying Alkibiadds
beforehand, even by a treasonable communication to the Lace-
daemonian admiral Astyochus at MilStus ; to whom he sent a
secret account of the intrigues which the Athenian exile was
carrying on at Samos to the prejudice of the Peloponnesians,
prefaced with an awkward apology for this sacrifice of the in-
terests of his country to the necessity of protecting himself against

9^ivX¥ t - _- _^ , „^„^_r., __._. _^^ , _ ^

^omrot, oW at vwaft\ov9ax 0«/3at6rcpai t4« ir<JA«»« avu^Stt cvrbf ««3^rat, or* •vn*

lur* hkiyapx^^ Y ImutKpariaut 8ovAcv<tF In taking the compariflon betwaen

itoAAov, ji iLtV 6woT4pw or rvxw<ri tov- oligarchv and democracy in Greece,

rwr iXeve4fimft tlvai, rovf re icaAovf there bt hardly any evidence more im-

Kaya$ov9 ^fofia^ofifyovc ovk portant than this passage : a testimony

iXavvu aino^ rofu'^nv o^tifft. wpayfiara to the oomparative merit of democracy,

wapi^tp Tov iiiiiLmv, wopitrrii pronoanoed by an oligarchical con-

lirra« K«l ia^^y^Tkt r«r xaxmv spiratof, and sanctioned by an his-

T^ I4ii.^, i^ &¥ r^ wktCm ckvToiK torian himself unfriendly to the

«^«A«to'tfa(* KmX Tb fiiv iw* ixtiyott democracy.

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a personal enemy. But Phryuichns was imperfectly informed
of the real character of the Spartan commander, or of hia
relations with Tissaphemte and Alkibiadda. Not merely was
the latter now at Magnesia, under the protection of the satrap,
and oQt of the power of the Lacedaemonians, bnt Astyochus, a
traitor to his duty through the gold of Tissaphemis, went up
thither to show the letter of Phrynichus to the very person whom
it was intended to expose. Alkibiad^ forthwith sent intellifi^nce
to the generals and oflScers at Samoe of the step taken by Phry-
nichus, and pressed them to put him to death.

The life of Phrynichus now hung by a thread, and was probably
preserved only by that respect for judicial formalities so deeply
rooted in the Athenian character. In the extremity of danger,
he resorted to a still more subtle artifice to save himself. He
'despatched a second letter to Astyochus, complaining of the
violation of confidence in regard to the former, but at the same
time intimating that he was now willing to betray to the Lace-
•dsmonians the camp and armament at Samoe. He invited
Astyochus to come and attack the place, which was as yet un-
fortified—explaining minutely in what manner the attack could
be beet conducted ; and he concluded by saying that this, as well
as every other means of defence, must be pardoned to one whose
life was in danger from a personal enemy. Foreseeing that
Astyochus would betray this letter as he had betrayed the
former, Phrynichus waited a proper time, and then revealed to
the camp the intention of the enemy to make an attack, as if it
liad reached him by private information. He insisted on the
necessity of immediate precautions, and himself as general
superintended the work of fortification, which was soon com-
pleted. Presently arrived a letter from Alkibiadds, communi-
cating to the army that Phrynichus had betrayed them, and
that tiie Peloponnesians were on the point of making an attack.
But this letter, arriving after the precautions taken by order
of Phrynichus himself had been already completed, was con-
strued into a mere trick on the part of Alkibiadds himself
through his acquaintance with the intentions of the Pelopon-
nesians, to raise a charge of treasonable correspondence against
his personal enemy. The impreasion thus made by his second
letter effaced the taint which had been left upon Phrynichus

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by the first, insomuch that the latter stood exculpated on both

But Phrynichus, though thus successful in extricating himself,
Pj^^^j^^j failed thoroughly in his manoeuvre against the in-
of Peisander fluence and life of AlkibiadSs ; in whose favour the
rtroit*"*" oligarchical movement not only went on, but was
woritlwi transferred from Samoe to Athens. On arriving at
people both the latter place, Peisander and his companions laid
ooDspiTacy before the public assembly the projects which had
J2J^^^« been conceived by the oligarchs at Samoe. The
tionof people were invited to restore AlkibiadSs and re-

Alkibiadde. uqu^^ ^^ democratical constitution; in return
for which, they were assured of obtaining the Persian king as an
ally, and of overcoming the Peloponnesians.^ Violent was the
storm which these propositions raised in the public assembly.
Many speakers rose in animated defence of the democracy ; few,
if any, distinctly against it The opponents of Alkibiad^
indignantly denounced the mischief of restoring him, in violation
of the laws, and in reversal of a judicial sentence ; while the
Eumolpidse and Eerykes, the sacred ^miliee connected with the
Eleusinian mysteries which Alkibiad^ had profjemed, entered
their solemn protest on religious grounds to the same effect
Against all these vehement opponents, whose impassioned in-
vectives obtained the full sympathy of the assembly, Peisander
had but one simple reply. He called them forward successively
by name, and put to each the question — " What hope have you
of salvation for the city^ when the Peloponnesians have a naval
force against us fully equal to ours, together with a greater
number of allied cities, and when the king as well as TissaphemSs
are supplying them with money, while we have no money left I—
what hope have you of salvation, unless we can persuade the
king to come over to our side ? " The answer was a melancholy

1 Thnoyd. viii. 60, 61. Hpedmen of the looee aeaertioii of

2In thespeechmadebyTheramente speakers in regard to facts even not

Ohe Athenian) during the oligarchy of very long past At the moment wben

Thirty, seven years afterwards, it is Theramenes said this, the question,

affirmed that the Athenian people what political oonstitudon at Athens

voted the adoption of the oligarchy of the Lacediemonians would please to

Four Hundred, from being told that tolerate, was all-important to the

the Laoedanontani would never trust a Athenians. Theramenes transfers tl;e

democracy (Xenoph. HeUen. ii. 3, 45). feelings of the present to the incidents

This IS thoroughly incorrect — a of the past.

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negative, or perhaps not less melancholy silence. '^Well^ then
(rejoined PeisanderX that object cannot possibly be attained,
unless we conduct our political affairs for the future in a more
moderate way, and put the powers of government more into the
hands of a few ; and unless we recall Alkibiadds, the only man
now living who is competent to do the business. Under present
circumstances, we surely shall not lay greater stress upon our
political constitution than upon the salvation of the city ; the
rather as what we now enact may be hereafter modified, if it be
found not to answer."

Against the proposed oligarchical change the repugnance of the
assembly was alike angry and unanimous. But they unwOJing
were silenced by the imperious necessity of the case, ▼ oto^ f the
as the armament at Samos had been before; and ileUnqaiilh
admitting the alternative laid down by Pcisander (as £jJj>cracT
I have observed already), the most democratical under the'
citizen might be embarrassed as to his vote. Whether I^^Saii tid
any speaker, like Phrynichus at Samos, arraigned the ^J^^'JJ'*
fallacy of the alternative, and called upon Peisander is sent back
for some guarantee, better than mere asseveration, of wf^^
the benefits to come, we are not informed. But the ^JkiWad^e.
general vote of the assembly, reluctant and only passed in the
hope of future change, sanctioned his recommendation.^ He and
ten other envoys, invested with full powers of negotiating with
Alkibiad^ and Tissaphem^ were despatched to Ionia imme-
diately. Peisander at the same time obtained from the assembly
a vote deposing Phrynichus from his command ; under the
accusation of having traitorously caused the loss of lasus and the
capture of Amorg^ after the battle of MilStns— but from the
real certainty that he would prove an insuperable bar to all
negotiations with Alkibiades. Phrynichus, with his colleague
Skironid^ being thus displaced, LcM)n and Diomedon were sent
to Samos as commanders in their stead ; an appointment, of

1 Thocyd. tUL 54. 6Si6iiiiotrhtiiv imperiom ad Senatom transfertur"

wfrnrov AxovMr xa^*^*^ <^«p« t6 wtpX (Justin. ▼. 3).

nit &Ac<y«u>xutv * atu^ut << iiSaa^KofitvoK Joattn is oomet, 80 for M this Tote

«nrb rov U9i<ravi(tov /i^ <tvcu oAAt/k a-wn)> goes ; bnt he takes no notice of the

pUw, <cio'««, Kai iiLa 4Avi^«i' wc change of matters afterwards, when

«cal pLtroifiaiitlTai, iwi^mmt. the establishment of the Foar Hundred

" AUienfenslbas. immlnente perlcnlo was consummated wWiout the promised

belli, major salntis qnam dignitatis benefit of Persian alliance, and by

carafoit. Itaqae, pennittente populo, simple terrorism.

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wHicb, 88 will be presently seen, Peisander was far from
anticipating the consequences

Before his departure from Asia, he took a step jet more
Peisander important He was well aware that the recent vote
^ijjjjjjjl^ —a result of fear inspired by the war, representing a
A^ **into •^"^"^^^^ utterly at variance with that of the assembly,
oncanised and only procured as the price of Persian aid against
a^nsfe the * foreign enemy — ^would never pass into a reality by
democracy, the spontaneous act of the people themselves. It was
indeed indispensable as a first step ; partly as an authority to
himself partly also as a confession of the temporary weakness of
the democracy, and as a sanction and encouragement for the
oligarchical forces to show themselves. But the second step yet
remained to be performed: that of calling these forces into
energetic action—organizing an amount of violence sufficient to
eztoi't from the people actual submission in addition to verbal
acquiescence— and thus as it were tying down the patient while
the process of emasculation was being consummated. Peisander
visited all the various political clubs, conspiracies, or Hetseriesi
which were habitual and notorious at Athens; associations,
bound together by oath, among the wealthy citizens, partly for
purposes of amusement, but chiefly pledging the members to
stand by each other in objects of political ambition, in judicial
trials, in accusation or defence of official men after the period of
office had expired, in carrying points through the public assembly,
&c Among these clubs were distributed most of ^the best
citizens, the good and honourable men, the elegant men, the men
of note, the temperate, the honest and moderate men," ^ &a, to
employ that complimentary phraseology by which wealthy and
anti-popular politicians have chosen to designate each other, in
ancient as well as in modem times. And though there were
doubtless individuals among them who deserved these appellations
in their best sense, yet the general character of the clubs was
not the less exclusive and oligarchical In the details of political
life, they had different partialities as well as different antipathies,
and were oftener in opposition than in co-operation with each
other. But they furnished, when taken together, a formidable

parti honnftte et mod^r^, Ac.

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anti-popalar force ; generally either in abeyance, or diaoeminAted
in the accomplishment of smaller political measures and separate
personal successes — ^bnt capable, at a special crisiB, of being
eroked, organized, and put in conjoint attack, for the subversion
of the democracy. Such was the important movement now
initiated by Peisander. He visited separately each of these
clubs, put them into communication with each other, and
exhorted them all to joint aggressive action against their common
enemy the democracy, at a moment when it was already in-
timidated and might be finally overthrown.^

1 About these ^vywfio^Ua, hn iUmit mXbt gnti homines eeseni, h»c omnia
«•» «pxaif— political and Jadiclal as- (i«. all the tuMdta neoeasanr for
soeiations— eee aboTe in this History, snccess in his oominff election) tiU
ch. xxxviL, ch. U. ; see also Hermann parata esse debebant, ucut paiataesse
Bottner, Oeechichte der politiscben oonfldo. Nam hoc biennio qoataor
Hetmrieen ra Athen, pp. 76, 79, Leipsic, aod€UUaU9 dviuro ad ambitionem gra-
1840. tioeisidmonim tibi obligaitti ....

There seem to have been similar Horum in causis ad te defemndis
political dabs or associations at quidnam torum todaUt tibi reeeperitU §1
Outhage, exercising much inflnence, eorvfrmariiu, scio ; nam ioterfui.**
and holding perpetual banquets as a See Th. Mommsen, De CoUegiis et
means of largess to the poor— AristoteU Sodalicils Bomanorum. Kiel« IMS, ch.
Pollt. iL 8, 2; Livy, zxxiii. 46 ; xxxi?. iii. sect. 5, 6. 7 ; also the Dissertation
01 : compare Kluge, ad Aristotel. de of WunHer, inserted in the Onoroasti-
PoUt Oarthag. pp. 4^-127, Wratisl., con Tulliannm of Orelli and Baiter, in
18M. the last Tolume of their edition of

The like pdltieal associations were Cicero, pp. isoo— 210, ad Ind. Legum ;
both of long duration among the nobil- Lex Lieinui de SodalUOt,
ity of Borne, and of much influence for As an example of these dubs or
political objects as well as Judicial oonspirades for mutual support in
soooess— ** cuitiones (compare Cicero ^vrwfuxrioi iwl 6Uaif (not mduding
pro Clnentio, c. 54, s. 148) honorum Apx^f* so far as we can make out), we
adipif<cenUonim causa factse—factiones may dte the association called oi
— eodalitates". The incident described BucoSctf made known to us by an
in Livy (ix. 26) is remarkable. The Inscription recentlv discoTored iu
Senate, suspecting the character and Attica, and published first in Dr.
proceedings of these clubs, appointed Wordsworth's Athens and Attica, p.
the Dictator Ma>nius (in 812 ac) as 228 ; next in Boss, Die Demen ?on
eoramissioner with full power to in- Attica, Preface, p. t. These EUaJ^U
▼estigate and deal with them. But are an assodation, the members of
such was the power of the clubs, in a which are bound to each other by a
case where they had a common inte- common oath, as well as by a curse
rest and acted in cooperation (as was which the mythical hero of the as-
equally the fact under Peisander at sedation, Kikadeus, is supposed to
AthensX that they completdy frus- have imprecated (erorrior rn a f ^r
trated the inquiry, and went on as Buca8«vfcin}p«uraro)— they possess com-
before. **Necaiutius,tt(./l<, 9«eaiii<fttm mon property, and it was held contrary
reeene erat, quaMtw per clara nomina to the oath for any of the meiubers to
raorum wiguU : inde laoi ocepi t ad viliora enter into a pecuniary process a^iainst
capita, donee eoUtonibu* faetutnibHMfue, the itoiv6v : compare analogous obli-
admreue quae etnmparaUi erat, oppreeea ffutions among the Boman Sodales.
ett * (Ury, ix. 2H). Compare Dio Mommsen, p. 4. Some memlters bad
Cms. xxxni. 67, about the irMuei of ?iolated thdr obligation upon this
tlie Triumvirs at Bome. Quintus point : Folyxenns had attacked them
Oieero (de Petition. Consulat c 6) says at law for false witness : and the
to his brother the orator— ** Quofl si ceneral body of the Kikadeis pass a

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Part IL

Athens for
takes the
ment of the
— 'rherame-


Having taken other necessary measures towards the

purpose, Peisander left Athens with his colleagues to
enter upon his negotiation with Tissaphem^. But
the co-operation and aggressive movement of the clubs
which he had originated were prosecuted with in-
creased ardour during his absence, and even fell into
hands more organizing and effective than his own.
The rhetorical teacher Anti phon, of the deme Rhamnus,
took it in hand especially, acquired the confidence of
the clubs, and drew the plan of campaign against the
He was a man estimable in private life and not open
to pecuniary corruption : in other respects, of pre-eminent ability,
in contrivance, judgment, speech, and action. The profession to
which he belonged, generally unpopular among the democracy,
excluded him from taking rank as a speaker eiUier in the public
assembly or the dikastery : for a rhetorical teacher, contending
in either of them against a private speaker (to repeat a remark
already once made), was considered to stand at the same unbir
advantage as a fencing-master fighting a duel with a gentleman
would be held to stand in modem times. Himself thus debarred
from the showy celebrity of Athenian political life, Antiphon
became only the more consummate, as a master of advice, calcula-
tion, scheming, and rhetorical' composition,^ to assist the celebiity

vote of thanks to him for so doing,
choosing three of their members to
assist him in the cause before the
Dikastery (otrtvtc avvaytaviovyrai t^
iirt<riaitiiidytf rot? udprvai) : compart
the craiptai alladed to in Demosthends
<cont. Theokrin. c. 11, p. 1»36) as assist-
ing Theokrinds before the Dikastery
and intimidating the witnesses.

The Onilds in the European cities
during the middle ages, usually sworn
to by every member and called C\>n-
juTxUiones AmicUia^ bear in many
respects a resemblance to these ^vt^fn-
oo-iai ; though the judicial proc^ings
in the mediaeval cities, being so much
less popular than at Athens, narrowed
their range of interference in this
direction : their political importance
however was quite equaL (See Wilila,
Das Qilden-Wesen des Mittelalters,
Abschn. ii. p. 167, Ac)

**Omnes autem ad Amidtiam per-
tlnentes villas per ttdem et mterainenlum
flimaverontt Quod unos subveuiat

alteri tanquam fratri soo in ntUi et
honesto"(i«m(. p. 148).

1 The person described by Krito in
the Euthyd6mus of Plato (c 81, p.
805 C.) as having censured Sokratds
for conversing with Euthvddmus and
DionysodArus, is presented exactly
like Antiphon in Thucydidds— ^lara

iKui^¥iwiiucairr^pi.O¥a¥afit^Ki»a»,* aXA'
iirai*i¥ ayrtfy ^(rt ir«pt row rpdyiAarof ,
inb TO" ^ia, Kai dcirbv c7yat ical &etv»w
koyovt (vvTiOt¥ai.

Ueindorf tliinks that Isokiat^ is
here meant: Oroen van Prinstsier
talks of Lysias : Winkelmann, of
Thras^nnachus. The description would
fit Antiphon as well as either of these
three : though Stallbaum may perhaps
be rijght in supposing no particular
individual to have been in the mind of

ot ffwSiKfri' iwiordfifpci, whom
Xenoph6n specifies as being so emi-
nently useful to a person engaged in

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of others ; insomnch that his silent assistance in political and
judicial debates, as a sort of chamber-counsel, was highly appre-
ciated and largely paid. Now such were precisely the talents
required for the present occasion ; while ibitiphon, who hated

Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 29 of 62)