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

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one forcible reason, among many others, for disbelieving the
bribes and the all-perrading machinations which Xeuophon
represents him as having put forth, in order. to procure the con-
demnation of the generals. His speaking in the first public
assembly, and his numerous partisans voting in the second, duubt-
lesB contributed much to that result — and by his own desire:
But to asciibe to his bribes and intrigues the violent and over-
ruling emotion of the Athenian public, is, in my judgment, a
supposition alike unnatural and preposterous both with rt^ard
to them and with r^ard to him.

When the senate met, after the Apaturia, to discharge tlie duty
PropofHtion confided to it by the last public assembly, of deter-
of K^ixe- mining in what manner the generals should be judged,
senate and submitting their opinion for the considerutiun of

gStenas^ the next assembly, the senator Kallixenus (at the in-
adoptediuid stigation of Theramen^ if Xenoph6n is to be believed)
to the public proposed, and the majority of the senate adopted, the

following resolution : ** The Athenian people, having
already heard in the previous assembly both the accusation and
the defence of the generals, shall at once come to a vote on the
subject by tribes. For each tribe two urns shall be placed, and
the herald of each tribe shall proclaim — ^All citizens who thiuk
the generals guilty for not having rescued the warriors who had
conquered in the battle shall drop their pebbles into the foremost
urn ; all who think otherwise into the hindmost should the
generals be pronounced guilty (by the result of the voting), they
shall be delivered to the Eleven, and punished with death ; their
property shall be confiscated, the tenth part being set apart for
the goddess Ath^nl" ^ One single vote was to embrace the case
of all the eight generals.^

The unparalleled burst of mournful and vindictive feeling at
^»«tio6 the festival of the Apaturia, exteuding by contagion
rew>lution. from the relatives of the deceased to many other
Sje'^IJ^^ citizens, and the probability thus createti that the
of the coming assembly would sanction the most violent

aecuriS?^ measures against the generals, probably emboldened
1 Xenoph. Uellen. L 7, 8, 0. * Xenoph. Hellen. L 7, Si.

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£allixenu8 to propose, and prompted the senate to fortudkiftl
adopts this deplorable resolution. As soon as the ^^hismof
aaeemblj met» it was read and moved by Eallixenus KMrndmu.
himself^ as coming &om the senate in discharge of the commiHtdon
imposed upon them by the people.

It was heard by a large portion of the assembly with well-
merited indignation. Its enormity consisted in breaking through
the established constitutional maxims and judicial practices of
the Athenian democracy. It deprived the accused generals of
all fair trial, alleging, with a mere faint pretence of truth which
was little better than utter falsehood, that their defence as well
as their accusation had been heard In the preceding assembly.
Now there has been no people, ancient or modem, in whose view
the formalities of judicial trial were habitually more sacred and
indispensable than in that of the Athenians — formalities including
ample notice beforehand to the accused party, with a measured
and sufficient space of time for him to make his defence before
the Dikasts ; while those Dikasts were men who had been sworn
beforehand as a body, yet were selected by lot for each occasion
as individuals. From all these securities the generals were now
to be debarred, and submitted, lor their lives, honours, and
fortunes, to a simple vote of the unsworn public assembly,
without hearing or defence. Nor was this alL One single vote
was to be taken in condemnation or absolution of the eight
generals collectively. Now, there was a rule in Attic judicial
procedure called the psephism of Kann6nu8 (originally adopted,
we do not know when, on the proposition of a citizen of that
name, as a psephism or decree for some particular case, but since
generalized into common practice, and grown into great pre-
scriptive reverence), which peremptorily forbade any such col-
lective trial or sentence, and directed that a separate judicial
vote should in all cases be taken for or against each accused
party. The psephism of Kann6nas, together with all the other
respected maxims of Athenian criminal justice, was here auda-
ciously trampled under foot^

1 1 cannot concur with the opinion in the text ooinddeB with that of the

expressed byDr.Thirlwall in Appendix expositors genenlly, from whom Dr.

III. Tol. iv. p. 501 of his History— Thirlwall <UasentB.
on the subject of the psephism of The psephism of KamiAnns was the

Kanndnos. The view wnich I give only enactment at Athens wliich made


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taken bf
— Gnph«

Am 800D as the reeolution was read in the public aBsembly,
Euryptolemns, an intimate friend of the genenli^
denounced it as grossly illegal and unconstitutiQiial,'
presenting a notice of indictment against Kallixenns,
nnder the Graphd Paranomdn, for having proposed s
resolution of that tenor. Several other citizen
supported the notice of indictment^ which, according

Further, Dr. niMmai in urigsiat
what be bcOleree to have been the nd
tenor of the peephism of Kanndaaa
appeari to me to ba?e been rnkkd
hj the Scholiast hi his htterpretaUoe
of the innch*diBcassed paaaage of
Aristophante, Ekklenaz. 1069 :—

Tovri rh wpayfta. Kara rb Ki »m »o w

It Olefal to vote upon the case of two
aocQsed perBoni at onoe. This had
now grown into a practioe in the
Judicial proceeding! at Athens; so
that two or more prisoners, who were
ostensibly tried nnder some other
law, and not nnder the peephism of
Kanndnns with its taxioos provisions,
wonld vet hate the benefit of tUs its

ggtt«j«,««««^ -,«»=. ««

In the partloolar ease before us,
Bniyptolemns wss thrown back to
appeal to the psephism itself : which
the senate, by a proposition unheard of
at Athens, proposed to contravene.
The propontlon of the senate offended
against the general law in several
different ways. It deprifed the generals
of trial before a sworn dikastery ; it
also deprived them of the libeity of
fnU defence during a measured time ;
but further, it prescribed that they
should aU be condemned or absolved
by one and the same vote, and in
this last respect it sinned against the
psephism of KannAnua Euiyptolemus
in ms speech, endeavouring to persuade
an exasperated assembly to reject the

Sroposition of the senate and adopt
lie peephism of Kann6nus as the bajns
of the trial, very prudently dwells
upon the severe nrovisions of the
psephism, and artfully slurs over what
be princmally aims at, the severance
of the trials, by offering his relative
Periklte to be tried JlrsL The words
3(xa iKaoro¥ (sect 87) appear to me to
be naturally construed with icara rb
Kaanmpov ^^lo^rta, as they are by most
commentators, though Dr. ThiriwaU
dissen ts from it It is certain that this
was the capital feature of illegality,
among many, which the proposition
of the senate presented— I mean the
Judginc and condemning all the
sneoenys by on* vote. It was upon
uds point thai the amendment of
Bnryplolemns was taken, and that the
obsonate resistance of Sokratds turned
(Plato, ApoL 10; Xenoph. Memor. i
1, 18X


Upon whidi Dr. Thirlwall
that the young man is comparing Ui
ight to tbat^ a culprit, wbo, under
. je decree of CannOnus, was placed at
the bar held by a person on each aide.
In this sense the Greek ScboUask.
thouffh his words are comptsd,
clearly understood the paasaga^

I cannot but think that the Scho-
liast understood the words ocmiplBl«l7
wronff. The young man in Ariito>
phanM does not compare his sttoatka
vfUh that qf tk$ adprU, bnt with that ^
the dikoMUr^ wMdk trvti cWpriK. The
psephism of Kanndnns dixectad tiist
each defendant should be teied wpsr
rately; accordingly, if it bappwwj
that two defendants were preMSted
for trial, and were both to be tried
without a moment's delay, the dikss-
tery could only effect this object bj
dividing itself into two halves or por
tions, which was perfectly practicable
(whether often practised or notXssit
was a numerous body. By doii^ tfait
(fcpimuf 6mXtkmi4iivop) it COUld try htA
the d^^endanie at once, but in no otber

Now the young man in Aristophaate
compares himself to the dikastery tbss
circumstanced; which comparison is
signified by the pun of fiu^lp juJuA^m
u4ifOP in place of KfUrtty <4aAtAMi^UM9.
He is assailed by two obtrusive pad
importunate customers, neitber of
whom will wait untQ the other htf
been served. Accordingly, he says:—
*^CIeariy I ought to be divided ia«o
two parts, like a dikastery aotiag
nnder the psephism of Kanndnns, to

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to the received practice of Athens, would arrest the further
progress of the measure until the trial of its proposer had been
consnmmated. Nor was there ever any proposition made at
Athens to which the Qraphd Paranomdn more closely and
righteously applied.

But the numerous partizans of Eallixenus— especially the men
who stood by in habits of mourning, with shaven Excitemoit
heads, agitated with sad recollections and thirst of ^liJ^Ki.

. « « ■■■ouIDlj—'

▼engeance^were in no temper to respect this con- oonstltii-
stitational impediment to the diBcussion of what had fa^pedimcol
already been passed by the senate. They londly oremiied.
clamoured that " it was intolerable to see a snudl knot of citizens
thus hindering the assembled people from doing what they chose" :
and one of their number, Lykiskos, even went so far as to
threaten that those who tendered the indictment against Kal-
lizenus should be judged by the same vote along with the
generals, if they would not let the assembly proceed to consider
and determine on the motion just read.^ The excited disposition
of the large party thus congregated, further inflamed by this
menace of Lykiskus, was wound up to its highest pitch by
various other speakers; especially by one, who stood forward
and said : ^ AUienians, I was myself a wrecked man in the
battle : I escaped only by getting upon an empty meal-tub ; but
my comrades, perishing on the wrecks near me, implored me, if
I should myself be saved, to make known to the Athenian people
that their generals had abandoned to death warriors who had
bravely conquered in behalf of their country". Even in the
most tranquil state of the public mind, such a communication of
the last words of these drowning men, reported by an ear- witness,
would have been heard with emotion ; but under the actual

deal with this matter ; yet how iftoli I iw^i^ww ih M vkMot ifi6a. fctK^r

be aM< to serve both at once 7** elyai, cl |tif rtf idLo-tt tok 3it|iov

This I conceiTe to be the proper vp«rr«ty, h 3l¥ povK^rm.u <c«l

explanation of the passage in Arlsto- ivi rovroic ctv6rro« AvxiVicov, c«l ro¥-

pbante ; and it affords a striking con- rovf rf avrg ^n^ Kpiv«vtf«i, ifv«^

nrmation of the trath of that which it ical ro«« vrparnyo^v, ^oir ^^ «^««-«

generally receired as purport of the rifv xXna-ir, ivtOopiifiiiin wiXu> 4

peephism of Kann6mi8. The Scholiast 6x^o«» ««* i^raryxtfo^iya-ar Ai^Upmi W^

im>pear8 to me to have poxzled himself, KA4<r<t«.

and to have misled every one else. All thli violence is directed to the

1 Xenoph. Hell. L 7, IS. rhv ii KaXXl- special object of gettfaig the propo8^

^croF vpovucoAioroyro irapavo|ui ^^«or- tion discussed ana deciaed on bv the

rtf iwyyrfoa^vatt Bvpvirr6A«/t6« n icak assembly, In spite of OODStitnaonal

<AAo4 nvH • rov ii <i|Mev Irtet ravra obstacles.

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Pakt IL

predisposing excitement^ it went to the inmost depth of the
heareis* souls, and marked the generals as doomed men.' Doubt-
less there were other similar statements, not expressly mentioned
to OS, bringing to view the same hct in other waya^ and aU
contributing to aggravate the violence of the public manifests-
tions, which at length reached such a point that Euryptolemns wm
forced to withdraw his notice of indictment against Kallixenn&
Now, however, a new form of resistance sprung up, still pre-
venting the proposition from being taken into con-
sideration by the assembly. Some of the Prytanesi
or senators of the presiding tribes — on that occadoa
the tribe Antiochis — the legal presidents of the
ezoept that assembly, refused to entertain or put the question ;
ofSotoaWs. which, being illegal and unconstitutional, not only
inspired them with aversion, but also rendered them personallj
open to penalties. Eallixenus employed agamst them the same
menaces which Lykiskus had uttered against Euryptolemus : he
threatened, amidst encouraging clamour from many persons in
the assembly, to include them in the same accusation with the
generals. So intimidated were the Prytanee by the inoenaed

The Pry.
to put the
question —
their oppo-
litiou over-

1 Xenoph. Hellen. i 7, 11. irapi)X9e

oitTi^ roi/t anoWviiivovif ^ iduf 9-m^,
i.nayytik<u t^ 2^/uup,^ on et trrpaTtiyol
ovK avecAovro rov9 opiorovv vvip riii
warpiSot ytvofUvovi.

I Tentnre to say that there is no-
thing in the whole compass of ancient
oratory more full of genuine pathos
and more profonndly unpresslTe than
this simple incident and speech, though
recounted in the most bald manner by
an unfriendly and contemptuous advo-

Tet the whole effect of it is lost,
because the habit is to dismiss
everything which goes to inculpate the
generals, and to justify the vehement
emotion of the Athenian public, as if
it was mere stage trick and falsehood.
Dr. Thirlwall goes even beyond Xeno-
ph6n when he says (p. lift, voL iv.)— "A
man was brought forward^ who pretendtd
he had been preserved by clinging to a
meal-barreL and that his comrades,"
Ac. So Mr. Mitford~**A man waa
produced," &c (p. 847X

Now irapi9Ai9e does not mean "htwu
brought forward " : it is a common

word onployed to algiiify one whs
eomet forward to speak in the pebos
assembly (see Thncyd. iiL 44, and th*
participle wa^tXBuv in nomeroas placed

Next, ^(nc»r, wliile it sometioei
meanspretm<Kn^, sometimes also meaDS
simply nJBirming: XenophAn does w*
guarantee the matter affirmed, bat
neither does he pronounce it to be
false. He uses Aoo-xMr in varioos
cases where he himself agrees with
the fact afiOrmed (see Hellen. L 7, U;
Memorab. i. 2, 29 ; Gyropsd. via S, 41;
Plato, Ap. Soar. e. 0, p. 21X

The people of Athens heard sad
fully believed tUs deposition ; nor do
I see any reason why an historisa of
Greece should disbelieve it. There »
nothing in the asMrtion of this nsa
whichls at all improbable ; nay> oan,
it is plain that several audi Inoideats
must have happened. If we take
the smallest pains to expand la ov
imaginationfl the details oonDS^
with this painfuUv interesting cnat
at Athens, we shall see that namerou
stories of the same affecting chaxacMr
must have been in cucolatioa-'
doubtless many false, but many tJ»
perfectly tme.

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manifestations of the aBsembly, that all of them, except one,
relinquished their opposition, and agreed to put the question.
The single obstinate Prytanis, whose refusal no menace could
subdue, was a man whose name we read with peculiar interest,
and in whom an impregnable adherence to law and duty was
only one among many other titles to reverence. It was the
philosopher Sokrat^ ; on this trying occasion, once throughout a
life of seventy years, discharging a political office, among the
fifty senators taken by lot from the tribe Antiochis. Sokrat^
could not be induced to withdraw his protest, so that the question
was ultimately put by the remaining Prytanes without his con-
currence.' It should be observed that his resistance did not imply
any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of the generals, but applied
fldniply to the illegal and unconstitional proposition now submitted
for determining their Date — a proposition which he must already
have opposed once before, in his capacity of member of the senate.
The constitutional impediments having been thus violently
overthrown, the question was regularly put by the Prytanes to
the assembly. At once the clamorous outcry ceased, and those
who had raised it resumed their behaviour of Athenian citizens —
patient hearers of speeches and opinions directly opposed to their
own. Nothing is more deserving of notice than this change of
demeanour. The champions of the men drowned on the wrecks
had resolved to employ as much force as was required Altered

to eliminate those preliminary constitutional objec- temper of
_ *, * ..^ 111 wie ftaeein*

tions, in themselves indisputable, which precluded blywhen

the discussion. But so soon as the discussion was ^^^h|^

once begun, they were careful not to give to the begui-

reeolution the appearance ot being carried by force. moTedand

Euryptolemus, the personal friend of the generals, ^V^^

was allowed not only to move an amendment negativ- ptolemus.

ing the proposition of Kallixenus, but also to develop it in a

long speech, which Xenophon sets before us.'

1 Xenoph. Hellen. I 7, 14, 16 ; Plato, Prytanee. It can hardly be accounted

ApoL Socr. c. 20 ; Xenoph. Memor. L certain that he vf<u BpifltaUs— the

1, 18 ; IT. 4, 2. rather as this same passage of the

In the passage of the MemorahiUa, Memorabilia is inaccurate on another

Xenoph6n says that Sokratte is point: it names mfi« generals as having

Bpistatte, or presiding Prytanis for been condemned, instead of eight,

that actual day. In the Hellenica, he s Xen.Hel.L7, 16. ^crd <i ravra

only reckons him as one among the (that is, after the cries and threats

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42S BA!rrLB of ASLQISUBM, Past il

His speech is one of great skill and judgment in reference to
^^^ the case hefore him and to the temper of the assembly.
SuT^le- Beginning with a gentle censure on his friends, tJhe
^^'*- generals Periklds and Diomedon, for having pre?ailed

on their colleagues to abstain from mentioning^ in their fint
official letter, the orders giveh to Theramends, he represented
them as now in danger of becoming victims to the base oonspiia^
of the latter, and threw himself upon the justice of the people to
grant them a fair triaL He besought the people to take full
time to instruct themselves before they pronounced so solemn
and irrevocable a sentence — to trust only to their own jadgment,
but at the same time to take security that judgment should be
pronounced after fuU information and impartial hearing— and
thus to escape that bitter and unavailing remorse which would
otherwise surely follow. He proposed that the generals should
be tried each separately, according to the psephism of Eanndnus
— with proper notice, and ample time allowed for the defence ai
well as for the accusation , but that» if found guilty, they should
suffer the heaviest and most disgraceful penalties— his own relation
Perikl^ the first This was the only way of striking the guilty,
of saving the innocent, and of preserving Athens from the ingrati-
tude and impiety of condemning to death, without trial as well
as contrary to law, generals who had just rendered to her so im*
portant a service. And what could the people be afraid off Did
they fear lest the power of trial should slip out of their hands,
that they were so impatient to leap over all the delays prescribed
by the law ?^ To the worst of public traitors, Aristarchas, the?
had granted a day with full notice for trial, with all the legal
means for making his defence : and would they now show such
flagrant contrariety of measure to victorious and faithful officerst
** Be not ye (he said) the men to act thus, Athenians. The laws
are your o¥ni work ; it is through them that ye chiefly hold your
greatness : cherish them, and attempt not any proceeding wiUiool
their sanction." ■

aboTe reoonnted) Apofi^^ Bvovirr6k9tio9 the six generals (▼! 7, SX

IWcv itwio rStv trrparnyitp ro^e, Ac. > Xenoph. Helleil. 1. 7, ». 1^ ^P^

IK is this accusatfon of "reckless yc, 6 'A^iiKOAoi, oAX* cautwv erroc TtK

hniry** (wpovdnt.a) which Pansanias v6fiovt, St o^ iiiKtirra fui^arol ^tftct

brings aiainst we Athenians in ^vAarrorrcv, <u«v roih-Mr t"i^ irpirnn'

reference to their behavioar towards ntipav^.

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Euryptolemus then shortly recapitulated the proceedings after
the battle, with the violence of the storm which had prevented
approach to the wrecks ; adding, that one of the generals, now in
peril, had himself been on board a broken ship, and had only
escaped by a fortunate accident^ Gaining courage from his own
harangue, he concluded by reminding the Athenians of the
brilliancy of the victory, and by telling them that they ought in
justice to wreath the brows of the conquerors^ instead of follow-
ing Aoee wicked advisers who pressed for their execution.*

It is no small proof of the force of established habits of public
discussion, that the men in mourning and with shaven heads,
who had been a few minutes before in a state of furious excite-
ment, should patiently hear out a speeeh so effective and so
ocmflicting with their strongest sentiments as this of Euryptole-
mus. Perhaps others may have spoken also ; but Xenophdn does
not mention them. It is remarkable that he does not name
Theramen^ as taking any part in this last debate.

The substantive amendment proposed by Euryptolemus was,
that the generals should be tried each separately, Hisuiieiid-
aceording to the peephism of Kann6nus ; implying JJSjSid—
notice to be given to each of the day of trial, and full ^g*^ .
time for each to defend himselfl This proposition, as ^Sliniras
well as that of the senate moved by Eallixenus, was *■ carried,
submitted to the vote of the assembly ; hands being separately
held up, first for one, next for the other. The Prytanes pro-
nounced the amendment of Euryptolemus to be carried. But a
citizen named MeneklSs impeached their decision as wrong or
invalid, alleging seemingly some informality or trick in putting
the question, or perhaps erroneous report of the comparative
show of hands. We must recollect that in this case the Piytanea
were declared partisans. Feeling that they were doing wrong in
suffering so illegal a proposition as that of Eallixenus to be put
at all, and that the adoption of it would be a great public
mischief, they would hardly scruple to try and defeat it even by
some unfair manceuvre. But the exception taken by Menekl^
constrained them to put the question over again, and they were

1 Xanoph. HelloL L 7, 88. rojhuw 4vl jcaroAifo^ ¥tmt «^«if , Ac.
M fiopTvpcf oi am$4mt av6 rov avro- > This 8M6oh If contained in Xenoph.
Itmrwt ^^ <^ ^^^ v/MT^pMr arfKtniyptv Hellen. L 7, 10 — 8S.

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Past H.

then obliged to pronounce that the majority was in favour of the
proposition of Elallixenus.^

That proposition was shortly afterwards carried into effect hy
The six disposing the two urns for each tribe^ and oollectiiig
generals are the Yotes of the dtizens individually. The condem-
and natory vote preyailed, and all the eight generals were

ezecnted. ^^ found guilty ; whether by a large or a small
majority, we should have been glad to learn, but are not txM.
The majority was composed mostly of those who acted under &
feeling of genuine resentment against the generals, but in part
also of the Mends and partisans of Theramen^' not inconsider-

1 Xenoph. HeUen. L 7, 84. rwirmy
ii iiax^t-poTOVovijJimVt rb §tir vpArov
ixpipay ri^v Evpvirrokitiov vnofioau-

Toy Cat ycyof&^viK, litpiycv 7^y r^f fiovk/jt,

I oannot thmk that the explanation

of this passage giyen either by Soho-

1 (De Ck>mitfl8 Athen. part iL 1, p.

M^.X or by Meier and Schdmann
(Der AtUsche Prozess, b. ilLp. 296 ; b.

160 9«q,\ or by Meier

(Der Atusche Prozess, b. flLp. ,

IT. p. 696), is satisfactory. The idea of

Schdmann that, in consequence of the
anoonaaerable lesistance of Sokrat^,
the Toung upon this qaestion was post-
poned until the next day, appears to
me completely inconsistent with the

Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 48 of 62)