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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as well as neutrals.

But these were not the views either of Eritias or of the Thirfy
generally, who surveyed their position with eyes very d^qj^
different from the unstable and cunning Theramends, *j°Jf"K the
and who had brought with them from exile a long dissentient
arrear of vengeance yet to be appeased. Eritias knew kJJSiS and
well that the numerous population of Athens were '^^^
devotedly attached, and had good reason to be at-
tached, to their democracy ; that the existing government had
been imposed upon them by force, and could only be upheld by
force ; that its friends were a narrow minority, incapable of sus-
taining it against the multitude around them all armed ; that
there were still many formidable enemies to be got rid of, so that
it was indispensable to invoke the aid of a permanent Lacedss-
monian garrison in Athens, as the only condition not only of their
stability as a government, but even of their personal sidety. In
spite of the opposition of Theramen^ .£schin68 and Aristotel^
two among the Thirty, were despatched to Sparta to solicit aid
from Lysander, who procured for them a Lacedsmonian garrison
under EaUibius as harmost^ which they engaged to maintain
without any cost to Sparta, until their government should be
confirmed by putting the evil-doers out of the way.* iaoed»-
EaQibiuB was not only installed as master of the aero- ^^!^
polls — ^foU as it was of the mementos of Athenian Si^o^oed
glory— but was further so caressed and won over by ^2d«e.
the Thirty, that he lent himself to everything which g?^**^
they asked. They had thus a Lacedaemonian military and the
force constantly at their command, besides an orga^ Thirtj.
nised band of youthful satellites and assassiuR, ready for any
deeds of violence ; and they proceeded to seize and put to death
many citizens, who were so distinguished for their courage and

1 Xenoph. HeUen. tt. 8, 18. Sm Sii rove vonipo^ iKmo6m¥ wv^ditMro*. mn-

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patriotisiii as to be likely to serve as leaders to the public discon-
tent Several of the best men in Athens thus SQcceeBiTely
perished, while Thrasybulns, Anytus, and many others, fearing a
similar fate, fled out of Attica^ leaving their property to be
confiscated and appropriated by the oligarchs,^ who passed a
decree of exile agabist them in their absence, as well as against

These successive acts of vengeance and violence were warmly
Oppodtton ^PPo«®d ^y Theramenes, both in the Council of Thirty
cTrhera- and in the senate. The persons hitherto executed (he
S!flM maa- s^id) had deserved their death because they were noi
JJJJJ-j^ merely noted politicians under the democracy, but
madty also persons of marked hostility to oligarchical men.
i^JJ^^sed^ But to inflict the same fate on others, who had mani-
^^Jjj^j^d fested no such hostility, simply because they had
men put to enjoyed influence under the democracy, would be un-
^***'*' just : " Even you and I (he reminded Entias) have

both said and done many things for the sake of popularity".
But Kritias replied — ^ We cannot afford to be scrupuloos ; we
are engaged in a scheme of aggressive ambition, and must get nd
of those who are best able to hinder us. Though we are Thirty
in number, and not one, our government is not the less a des-
potLsm, and must be guarded by the same jealous precautiona
If you think otherwise, you must be simple-minded indeed.*
Such were the sentiments which animated the minority of Uie
Thirty not less than Kritias, and which prompted them to an
endless string of seizures and executions. It was not merely the
less obnoxious democratical politicians who became their victon,
but men of courage, wealth, and station, in every vein of pditieal
feeling : even oligarchical men, the best and most high-prindplsd
of that party, shared the same fate. Among the most distin-
guished sufferers were Lykurgus,* belonging to one of the most
eminent sacred Qentes in the state ; a wealthy man named Anti-
phon, who had devoted his fortune to the public service with
exemplary patriotism during the last years of the war, and hod

1 Xenoph. HeUen. tt. S, IS, 88. 4S ; iMiiSmimvmt <4»y8w^<#a, Ae.

Isokrat oont KalHmanh. Or. zviii. s. Isokratte, Omt xri. De Bigis, 8. 46;

80, p. 876. !». 866.

, sXenoph. HeUen. ft 8, 42— U. 4, 14. •PlatMtsh, Vtte X. Omlonai. f.

•i a Mu ovx Svwc •6iJCovirre«, 4AX* ovd* 888.

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Chap. lxv. inoreasbd violence and rapaoitt. 463

famished two well-equipped triremes at his own cost ; Leon, of
Salamis ; and even Nikeratos (son of Nikias, who had perished
at SyracuaeX a man who inherited from his father not only a
laige fortune, but a known repugnance to democratical politics,
together with his unde Eukratds, brother of the same Nikias.^
These were cmlj a few among the numerous victimB who were
aeized — ^pronounced to be guilty by the senate or by the Thirty
themselyee— handed over to Satyrus and the Eleven— and con-
demned to perish by the customary draught of hemlock.

The circumstances accompanying the seizure of Leon deserve
XNurticular notice. In putting to death him and the p^m^Krl-
other victims, the Thirty had several objects in view, tiMtog&in
all tending to the stability of their dominion. First, by^^!|[^
they thxiB got rid of citizens generally known and JJJJ^^jJ?^
esteemed, whose abhorrence they knew themselves oomplice*
to deserve, and whom they feared as likely to blood— r^
head the public sentiment against them. Secondly, gjj^^j^**'
the property of these victims, all of whom were rich,
was seized along with their persons, and was employed to pay
the satellites whose agency was indispensable for such violences
— especially Eallibius and the Lacedsemonian hoplites in the
acropolis. But besides murder and spoliation, the Thirty had a
farther purpose, if possible, yet more nefarious. In the work of
seizing Uieir victims, they not only employed the hands of these
paid satellites, but also sent along with them citizens of station and
respectability, whom they constrained by threats and intimidation
to lend their personal aid in a service so thoroughly odious. By
such participation, these citizens became compromised and im-
brued in crime, and, as it were, consenting parties in the public
eye to all the projects of the Thirty;* exposed to the same

1 Xenoph. Hellen. fi 8, 8a-41 ; s. iS, p. 874 ivlott koX vpoo^arror

LysiaA, Orat zriiL De Bonis NidaB i^atLaorivnv. Oompore alto Lydat,

Fratris, a, 6—8. Or. xii. oont. Bratosth. a 82.

> Plato, ApoL Socr. o. 20, p. 82. We learn, from AndoUdtedeMyiter.

<v«tai) 8^ &Atyapxia.Jytfv«re, oi rptoxevra a. 94, that MalStOS was one ol tbe

cS turmM*tufiatLtvoi fit Wavrov mirhw tlf parties who actually arrested Leon,

T^v »6Kov wpotHraiait Ayoycir itt SoAa- and brought him np f or oondemnaUon.

iuP9f AdovTAthvlM^atiiwiovtW kwo$aroi- It is not probable that this was the

ota iri fcal aAAotf jxtcroi voA- same person who afterwards accused

kolt wpovirarrov, fiov\6ti.9Pot Sokratte. It may possibly have been

4« irAti«rrevf iravXqaac ai- his father, who bore the same name ;

r i M r. but there is nothing to determine the

Isokrat oont. Ksllimsch. Or. xviii. point.

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general hatred as the latter, and interested for their own saiistj
in TnAiTifajiTii-ng the existing dominion. Pmsuant to their gmenl
plan of implicating unwilling citizens in their nusdeeds, the
Thirty sent for five citizens to the Tholns or Qovemment-hoon,
and ordered them, with terrible menacesi to cross over to Salamis
and bring back Leon as prisoner. Four out of the five obeyed :
the fifth was the philosopher Sokrat^ who refused all concIl^
rence and returned to* his own house, while the other four went
to Salamis and took part in the seizure of Leon. Thon^ he
thus brayed all the wrath of the Thirty, it appears that thef
thought it expedient to leave him untouched. But the &ct that
they singled him out for such an atrocity — an old man of tried
virtue, both private and public, and intellectually commanding^
though at the same time intellectually unpopular— shows to what
an extent they carried their system of forcing unwilling parti-
cipants ; while the further circumstance that he was the only
person who had the courage to refuse, among four others who
yielded to intimidation, shows that the policy was for the nuxA
part successful^ The inflexible resistance of Sokrat^ on this
occasion stands as a worthy parallel to his conduct as Prytams in
the public assembly held on the conduct of the generals after the
battle of Arginusae (described in the preceding chapter)^ wherein
he obstinately refused to concur in putting an illegal question.

Such multiplied cases of execution and spoliation naturally
Terror and ^^ the city with surprise, indignation, and terror.

dlflcpntent Groups of malcontents got together, and volantarr
inthecity— ., , , .,, ,

the Thirty exiles became more and more numerous. All these

body^** * circumstances furnished ample material for the vehe-

^ree ment opposition of Theramen^ and tended to increase

as partisan his party — not, indeed, among the Thirty themselvee,

hopiitee. j^^^. ^ ^ certain extent in the senate, and still more

among the body of the citizens. He warned his colleagues that

they were incurring daily an increased amount of public odium,

and that their government could not possibly stand, unless they

admitted into partnership an adequate number of citizens, having

direct interests in its maintenance. He proposed that dl those

competent by their property to serve the state either on horseback

or with heavy armour should be constituted citizens, leaving all

1 Plato, ApoL Sokrat. iU 9up. ; Xenoph. HeUen. ii. 4, •— 2S.

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the poorer freemen, a far larger number, still disfranehiaed.'
Kritiaa and the Thirty rejected this proposition, being doubtless
conyinced-— as the Four Hundred had felt seven jears before,
when Theramente demanded of them to conyert their fictitious
total of Five Thousand into a real list of as many living persons
— ^that "to enrol so great a number of partners was tantamount
to a downright democracy "." But they were at ihe same time
not insensible to the soundness of his advice : moreover they
began to be afraid of him personally, and to suspect that he was
likelj to take the lead in a popular opposition against them, as
he had previously done against his colleagues of the Four Hun-
dred. They therefore resolved to comply in part with his recom-
mendations, and accordingly prepared a list of 3000 persons to be
invested with the political franchise — chosen, as much as possible,
from their own known partisans and from oligarchical citizens.
Besides this body they also counted on the adherence of the
Horsemen, among the wealthiest citizens of the state. These
Horsemen or Knights, taking them as a class — ^the thousand good
men of Athens, whose virtues Aristophands sets forth in hostile
antithesis to the alleged demagogic vices of Kledn — ^remained
steady supporters of the Thirty throughout all the enormities of
their career.* What privileges or functions were assigned to the
chosen 3000 we do not hear, except that they could not be con-
demned without the warrant of the senate, while any other
Athenian might be put to death by the simple fiat of the

A body of partners thus chosen — not merely of fixed number,
but of picked oligarchical sentiments — was by no means ^^^^
the addition which Theramen§s desired. While he diaami the
commented on the folly of supposing that there was hopiites of
any charm in the number 3000— as if it embodied all ^^ ^*^*
the merit of the city, and nothing else but merit — he admonished

1 Xenoph. Hellen. ii 8, 17, 19, 48. wards made when ther drew up their

From 8. 48, we see that Theramen^s special catalogue or rou of 8000, which

actually made this proposition — rb comment otherwise appears unsuit-

uttrroi aifp rot« Svvaft.4vott xal iu9 able.

cimv mmx lu^ atrwi^v «N^Acty i^v * Thuojd. Tiii 8(^—08. th iihr Kara*

woXiTtlay, wp6ir$tp apivrov i^yov- irniirai /iitr6xoivt rooovrovf, ayrucft^t &p

§M.riv cTvci, fcal rvv ov fitrafiiXXoiMOi. liffioy ^fyoi/itcvot.

This proposition, made by The- > Xenoph. Hellen. IL 8, 18, 19 ; iL 4^

ramente and reelected by the lUrty, 2, 8, 24.
explains the comment which he after- « Xenoph. HeUen. iL 8, 91.


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them that it was still inaofficient for their defence : their rule
was one of pore force, and yet inferior in force to thoee over
whom it was exercised. Again the Thirty acted upon his ad-
monition, hut in a way very different from that which he con-
templated. They proclaimed a general muster and examination
of arms to all the hoplites in Athens. The 3000 were drawn up
in arms altogether in the market-place ; hut the remaining
hoplites were disseminated in small scattered companies and in
different places. After the review was over, these scattered com-
panies went home to their meal, leaving their arms piled at the
various places of muster. But adherents of the Thirty, having
heen forewarned and kept together, were sent at the proper
moment, along with the Lacedsemonian mercenaries, to seise Uie
deserted arms, which were deposited under the custody of Kal-
libius in the acropolis. All the hoplites in Athens, except the
Three Thousand and the remaining adherents of the Thirty,
were disarmed by this crafty manoeuvre, in spite of the firuitleas
remonstrance of Theramen^^

Kritias and his colleagues, now relieved from all fear either of
Mnrd snd '^®^'*"^^^ ^^ ®^ ^^7 Other internal opposition, gave
■poiiations loose, more unsparingly than ever, to their malevolence
T^y^ and rapacity, putting to death hoth many of their

^izure of private enemies, and many rich victims for the purpose
of spoliation. A list of suspected persons was drawn
up, in which each of their adherents was allowed to insert such
names as he chose, and from which the victims were generally
taken.* Among informers who thus gave in names for destmc-
tion, Batrachus and iBschylidda' stood conspicuous. The thirst
of Eritias for plunder as well as for bloodshed only increased by
gratification ;* and it was not merely to pay their mercenaries,
but also to enrich themselves separately, that the Thirty stretched
everywhere their murderous agency, which now mowed down

1 Xenoph. Helkn. iL 8, 20, 41 : oom- xor^oyoc most hare been : bol the

pare Lyiiks, Orat. xiL cont Bntosth. tuune hj which he caDi it— • iuf«

S. 41. Avvm^pov (or Unvittlpov) xmrnktyt^

> Xenoph. HeUen. iL 8, SI; Iso- is not easy to explain,

kiatte adv. Buthynnm, ■. 6, p. 401 ; > Lysias, Oiat vi ooni. Andofcid. a

Isokiatte cont Kallimach. ■. 88, p. 48 : Or. zii. cont Biakosth. a 49.

876 ; loreiae. Or. zx?. Ami, Kataa. * Xenoph. Memor. L 8, U. %p*rtm

'AiroA. a 21, p. 178. /uhf ykp ruv iv r^ ^iyapx*f ««>''**■'

The two paeeages of Isokratds lofB- KXc«T(«T«rtfc rt luu /kai^rWoc Mmt*.

«iently dedgnate what this list or fte.

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inetics as well as citizens. Theognis and Peison, two of the
Thirty, affirmed that many among the metics were hostile to the
oligarchy, besides being opulent men. Accordingly, the resolu-
tion was adopted that each of the rulers should single out any of
these victims that he pleased, for execution and pillage ; care
being taken to include a few poor persons in the seizure, so that
the real purpose of the spoilers might be faintly disguised.

It was in execution of such scheme that the orator Lysias and
his brother Polemarchus were both taken into custody, seiznre of
Both were metics, wealthy men, and engaged in a ^^j^^''^
manufactory of shields, wherein they employed 120 his brother
slaves. Theognis and Peison, with some oUiers, seized ^j^hus.
Lysias in his house, while entertaining some friends Th« fonner
at dinner ; and having driven away his guests, left the la^er is
him under the guard of Peison, sending their attend- «*«"»^®^
ants to r^:iBter and appropriate his valuable slaves. Lysias tried
to prevail on Peison to accept a bribe and let him escape, which
the latter at first promised to do ; and having thus obtained
access to the money-chest of the prisoner, laid hands upon all its
contents, amounting to between three and four talents. In vain
did Lysias implore that a trifle might be left for his necessary
subsistence: the only answer vouchsafed was, that he might
think himself fortunate if he escaped with life. He was then
conveyed to the house of a person named Damnippus, where
Theognis already was, having other prisoners in charge. At the
earnest entreaty of Lysias, Damnippus tried to induce Theognis
to connive at his escape, on consideration of a handsome bribe ;
but while this conversation was going on, the prisoner availed
himself of an unguarded moment to get off through the back
door, which fortunately was open, together with two other doors
through which it was necessary to pass. Having first obtained
refuge in the house of a friend in Peirseus, he took boat during
the ensuing night for Megara. Polemarchus, less fortunate, was
seized in the street by Eratosthen^ one of the Thirty, and im-
mediately lodged in the prison, where the fatal draught of hem-
lock was administered to him, without delay, without trial, and
without liberty of defence. While his house was plundered of a
lai^e stock of gold, silver, furniture, and rich ornaments — while
the golden earrings were torn from the ears of his wife — and

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while 700 shields, with 120 slaves, were confiscated, together
with the workshop and the two dwelling-houses — the Thirty
would not allow even a decent funeral to the deceased, hut caused
his hody to he carried awaj on a hired bier from the prison, with
covering and a few scanty appurtenances supplied by the sym-
pathy of private friends.*

Amidst such atrocities, increasing in number and turned more
Increased *^^ °^®^® ^ shameless robbery, the party of Thera-
ezAspem- menSs daily gained ground, even in the senate ; many
Kritias and of whose members profited nothing by satiating the
tiheMjority private cupidity of the Thirty, and be^ to be weary
^^[^ of 80 revolting a system, as well as alarmed at the hoit
^Smlr of enemies which they were raising up. In proposing

™*"*^ the late seizure of the metics, the Thirty had desired

Theramen^ to make choice of any victim among that class, to be
destroyed and plundered for his own personal benefit But he
rejected the suggestion emphatically, denouncing the enormity of
the measure in the indignant terms which it deserved. So much
was the antipathy of Kritias and the majority of the Thirty
against him, already acrimonious from the eflfects of a long coarse
of opposition, exasperated by this refusal— so much did they fear
the consequences of incurring the obloquy of such measureB
themselves, while Theramenis enjoyed all the credit of opposiiig
them — so satisfied were they that their government could not
stand with this dissension among its own members — ^that they
resolved to destroy him at all cost Having canvassed as many
of the senators as they could, to persuade them that Theramente
was conspiring against the oligarchy, they caused the most daring
of their satellites to attend one day in the senate-house, close to
the railing which fenced in the senators, with daggers conceslc^
under their garments. So soon as Theramen^ appeared,
Kritias rose and denounced him to the senate as a public
enemy, in a harangue which Xenophdn gives at considerable
length, and which is so full of instructive evidence, as to
Greek political feeling, that I here extract the main points
in abridgment: —

1 Lysias, Or. xii. cont. Eratosthen. 8. of Polemarcbiu. Theforegoiiisd«toai

8» 21. Lysias prosecuted Erastoathe- are found in the oration ipokaBaavw

nte before tha dikastery some vetan as oompoaed by himself,
afterwards, as having caused the death

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** If any of you imagine, senators, that more people are perish-
ing than the occasion requires, reflect that this ^j,^^
happens everywhere in a time of revolution, and that meD&» is
it must especially happen in the establishment of an by°K^S«
oligarchy at Athens, the most populous city in Greece, *» **>«

and where the population has been longest accns- meethoi
tomed to freedom. You know as well as we do that ^**'*^
democracy is to both of us an intolerable government, as well as
incompatible with all steady adherence to our protectors the
Lacedemonians. It is under their auspices that we are estab-
lishing the present oligarchy, and that we destroy, as far as we
can, every man who stands in the way of it, which becomes
most of all indispensable if such a man be found among our own
body. Here stands the man — TheramenSs — ^whom we now de-
nounce to you as your foe not less than ours. That such is the
£Eu;t is plain from his unmeasured censures on our proceedings ;
from the difficulties which he throws in our way whenever we
want to despatch any of the demagogues. Had such been his
policy from the beginning, he would indeed have been our enemy,
yet we could not with justice have proclaimed him a villain.
But it is he who first originated the alliance which binds us to
Sparta — who struck the first blow at the democracy — who chiefly
instigated us to put to death the first batch of accused persons ;
and now, when you as well as we have thus incurred the manifest
hatred of the people, he turns round and quarrels with our pro-
ceedings, in order to ensure his own safety and leave us to pay
the penalty. He must be dealt with not only as an enemy, but
as a traitor to you as well as to us ; a traitor in the grain, as his
whole life proves. Though he enjoyed through his father Agnon
a station of honour under the democracy, he was foremost in sub-
verting it, and getting up the Four Hundred : the moment he
saw that oligarchy beset with difficulties, he was the first to put
himself at the head of the people against them ; always ready for
change in both directions, aud a willing accomplice in those exe-
cutions which changes of government bring with them. It is he,
too, who — having been ordered by the generals after the battle of
ArgiuussB to pick up the men on the disabled ships, and having
neglected the task— accused and brought to execution his su-
periors, in order to get himself out of danger. He has well

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earned his sttrnaine of The Buskin, fitting hoth legs, but constant
to neither : he has shown himself reckless both of honour and
friendship, looking to nothing but his own selfish adyancement ;
and it is for us now to guard against his doublingb, in o/tder that
he may not play us the same tricky We cite him before you as
a conspirator and a traitor, against you as well as against ua.
Look to your own safety, and not to his. For depend upon it^
that if you let him off, you will hold out powerful encourage-
ment to your worst enemies ; while, if you condemn him, yoa
will crush their best hopes, both within and without the city."

Theramente was probably not wholly unprepared for some
such attack as this. At any rate he rose up to reply to it at
once: —

^ First of all, senators, X shall touch upon the charge against
me which Kritias mentioned last — ^the charge of
Them- having accused and brought to execution the generak

™^^ It was not I who began the accusation against them,

but they who began it against me. They said that they had
ordered me upon the duty, and that I had neglected it: mj
defence was, that the duty could not be executed in consequence
of the storm ; the people believed and exonerated me, but the
generals were rightfully condemned on their own aocnsation,
because they said that the duty might have been performed—
while yet it had remained unperformed. I do not wonder in-
deed that Eritias has told such falsehoods against me ; for at the
time when this affair happened he was an exile in Thessalr,
employed in raising up a democracy, and arming the Peneste
against their masters. Heaven grant that nothing of what he
perpetrated there may occur at Athens I I agree with Kritias^

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