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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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the loss of the empire. There were doubtless many other changes
arising from the same cause, though we do not know them in
detail ; and I incline to number among such the alteration above
noticed respecting the right of citizenship. While the Athenian
empire lasted, the citizens of Athens were spread over the
iBgean in every sort of capacity — as settlers, merchants, navi-
gators, soldiers, &c., which must have tended materially to
encourage intermarriages between them and the women of other
Grecian insular states. Indeed, we are even told that an express
permission of eonnvbivm with Athenians was granted to the
inhabitants of Enbopa' — a fetct (noticed by Lysias) of some
moment in illustrating the tendency of the Athenian empire to

1 See TCspecMiig this change Boeckh, * ^T^Ibm, Fnigm. Or. xxxIt., De noa
Public Boon, of Athens, if. 7, p. 180 d]MolTend4 BepablicA, ■. S—uX\i nl
M9., Biig. Tr. Bv^OMvo-ir ^iyo/Uar hr9i9¥iu$a, Jto.

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multiply £Bkinily ties between Athens and the allied cities. Now,
according to the law which prevailed before EnkleidSs, the son
of every such marriage was by birth an Athenian citizen — an
arrangement at that time useful to Athens, as strengthening the
bonds of her empii-e, and eminently useful, in a larger point c^
view, among the causes of Pan-hellenic sympathy. But when
Athens was deprived both of her empire and her fleet, and eon-
fined within the limits of Attica, there no longer remained any-
motive to continue such a regulation, so Uiat the exclusive city-
feeling, instinctive in the Grecian mind, again became pre-
dominant Such is perhaps the explanation of the new restrictive
law proposed by Aristophon.

Thrasybulus and the gallant handful of exiles who had first
Hononiry Seized Phyld received no larger reward than 1000
reward to drachmae for a common sacrifice and votive offering,
buiuB and together with wreaths of olive as a token of gratitude
the exiles, fj^^ ^yj^j^ countrymen.* The debt which Athens
owed to Thrasybulus was indeed such as could not be liquidated
by money. To his individual patriotism, in great degree, we
may ascribe not only the restoration of the democracy, but its
good behaviour when restored. How different would have been
the consequences of the restoration and the conduct of the people
had the event been brought about by a man like Alkibiad^
applying great abilities principally to the furtherance of his own
cupidity and power I

At the restoration of the democracy, however, Alkibiadfo was

Pogltfon abready no more. Shortly after the catastrophe at

5f im-^ -^ospotami, he had sought shelter in the satrapy of

biadtein Phamabazus. no longer thinking himself safe &om

^"^ Lacedaemonian persecution in his forts on the Thracian

Chersonese. He carried with him a good deal of property,

though he left still more behind him in these forts ; how acquired

we do not know. But having crossed apparently to Asia by the

Bosphorus, he was plundered by the Thradans in Bithynia, and

incurred much loss before he could reach Phamabazus in Phrygia.

Renewing the tie of personal hospitality which he had contracted

with Phamabazus four years before,' he now solicited from the

1 .flachinte. cont. Ktesiphon. o. 08, s Xm. HelL L 8. 12. rtfr w kou^
p.487;ComeLNepoa,Thra8ybiil.a4. ipKovmaliSCfiXkJiKoitwUnut

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satrap a safe conduct up to Susa. The Athenian envoys, whom
Phamabazus, after his former pacification with Alkibiadds, 408
B.O., had engaged to escort to Sosa, but had been compelled by
the mandate of Cyrus to detain as prisoners, were just now
released from their three years' detention, and enabled to come
down to the Propontis ;^ and Alkibiad^ by whom this mission
had originally been projected, tried to prevail on the satrap to
perform the promise which he had originally given, but had not
been able to fulfil. The hopes of the sanguine exile, reverting
back to the history of Themistoklds, led him to anticipate the
same success at Susa as had fallen to the lot of the latter ; nor
was the design impracticable to one whose ability was univer-
sally renowned, and who had already acted as minister to

The court of Susa was at this time in a peculiar position. King
Darius Nothus, having recently died, had been sue- a j;^_^__^
oeeded by his eldest son Artaxerx^ Mnemon ;' but the Mnemon
younger son Cyrus, whom Darius had sent for during wngoT
his last illness, tried, after the death of the latter, to S?^fi|
supplant Artaxerx^ in the succession — or at least was Crnw—
suspected of so trying. Being seized and about to be wishMto
slain, the queen-mother Parysatis prevailed upon 'ToJ^*'"
Artaxerxds to pardon him, and send him again down
to his satrapy along the coast of Ionia, where he laboured strenu-
ously, though secretly, to acquire the means of dethroning his
brother : a memorable attempt, of which I shall speak more folly
hereafter. But his schemes, though carefully masked, did not
escape the observation of Alkibiad^s, who wished to make a merit
of revealing them at Susa, and to become the instrument of
defeating them. He communicated his suspicions as well as his
purpose to Pharnabazus, whom he tried to awaken by alarm of
danger to the empire, in order that he might thai get himself
forwarded to Susa as informant and auxiliary.

Pharnabazus was already jealous and unfriendly in spirit
towards Lysander and the Lacedaemonians (of which we shall
soon see plain evidence), and perhaps towards Cyrus also, since
such were the habitual relations of neighbouring satraps in
the Persian empire. But the LacedsBmonians and Cyrus were

1 XMioph. HeUen. i. 4, 7. > Xenoph. Anab. i. 1 : Dioddr. xttL 106.

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now all-powerful on the Asiatic coast, so that he probably
did not dare to ezaspeiate them, by identifying him-
draon!^ 8^ ^^^ & mission so hostile, and an enemy so
oojiointly dangerous, to both. Accordingly he refused com-
require pliance with the request of Alkibiadds ; granting

bS^Jto ^^ nevertheless permission to live in Phrygia, and
jafcWm to eren assigning to him a revenue. But the objects at
which the exile was «niing soon became more or lees
fully divulged to those against whom they were intended. His
restless character, enterprise, and capacity were so well known
as to raise exaggerated fears as well as exaggerated hopes. Not
merely Cyrus, but the Lacedsemonians, closely allied with Cyrus,
and the Dekarchies, whom Lysander had set up in the Asiatic
Grecian cities, and who held their power only through Lace-
daemonian support — all were uneasy at the prospect of seeing
Alkibiad^ again in action and command, amidst so many un-
settled elements. Nor can we doubt that the exiles whom
these Dekarchies had banished, and the disaffected citizens who
remained at home under their government in fear of banishment
or death, kept up correspondence with him, and looked to him
as a probable liberator. Moreover, the Spartan king Agis still
retained the same personal antipathy against him, which had
already (some years before) procured the order to be despatcheii,
from Sparta to Asia, to assassinate him. Here are elements
enough, of hostility, vengeance, and apprehension, afloat against
Alkibiad^ without believing the story of Plutarch that Kritias
and the Thirty sent to apprise Lysander that the oligarchy at
Athens could not stand, so long as AlkibiadSs was alive. The
truth is thati though the Thirty had included him in the list of
exiles,! they had much less to dread from his assaults or plots, in
Attica, than the Lysandrian Dekarchies in the cities of Asia.
Moreover, his name was not popular even among the Athenian
democrats, as will be shown hereafter when we come to recount
the trial of Sokrates. Probably, therefore, the alleged inter-
vention of Kritias and the Thirty, to procure the murder of
Alkibiad^ is a fiction of the subsequent encomiasts of the latter
at Athens, in order to create for him claims to esteem as a friend
and fellow-sufferer with the democracy.

1 Xenoph. HeUen. U. 8, 42; Uokratte, Or. xtL De Bigis, ■. 4S.

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A special despatch (or Skytalfi) was sent out by the Spartan
authorities to Lysander in Asia, enjoining him to ^^^^^^^1,^^
procure that AlkibiadSs should be put to death, tlonof
Accordingly Lysander communicated this order to by order
Phamabazus, within whose satrapy AJkibiadfis was ^l^^^™*"
residing, and requested that it might be put in execu-
tion. The whole character of Phamabazus shows that he would
not perpetrate such a deed, towards a man with whom he had
contracted ties of hospitality, without sincere reluctance and
great pressure from without ; especially as it would have been
easy for him to connive underhand at ^e escape of the intended
victim. We may, therefore, be sure that it was Cyrus, who,
informed of the revelations contemplated by Alkibiadde, enforced
the requisition of Lysander ; and that the joint demand of the
two was too formidable even to be evaded, much less openly dis-
obeyed. Accordingly Phamabazus despatched his brother Mag»us
and his uncle Sisamithres, with a band of armed men, to assas-
sinate Alkibiad^ in the Phrygian village where he was residing.
These men, not daring to force their way into his house, sur-
rounded it and set it on fire. Yet AlkibiadSs, having contrived
to extinguish the flames, rushed out upon his assailants with a
dagger in his right hand, and a cloak wrapped round his left to
serve as a shield. None of them dared to come near him ; but
they poured upon him showers of darts and arrows until he
perished, undefended as he was either by shield or by armour.
A female companion with whom he lived, Timandra, wrapped
up his body in garments of her own, and performed towards it
all the last affectionate solemnities.^

Such was the deed which Cyrus and the Lacedsmonians did
not scruple to enjoin, nor the unde and brother of a ci^^j^^^
Persian satrap to execute, and by which this cele- of Aiki-
brated Athenian perished before he had attained the ^'^*^'^
age of fifty. Had he lived, we cannot doubt that he would again
have played some conspicuous part — for neither his temper nor

1 1 pat together what seem* to me There were evidently different itoriet

themoBtproDstbleacooimtof the death about the antecedent cauees and cir-

of Alkibiadte from Plntarch, Alkib. c. comstanoes, among which a eelection

88, 89; Diod. xiT. 11 (who cites Bphoms, must be made. The extreme perfidy

op. Bphor. Fra^Bi. 126, ed. IHdot); Ck>r- ascribed by Bphorus to Phamabasos

nelins Nepo^ Alkibiad. c 10 ; Justin, appears to me not atall in the character

▼. 8; Isokratte, Or. zvL De Bigis. s. 60. of that satrap.

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hie abilities would have allowed him to remain in the shade — but
whether to the advantage of Athens or not is more qnestionable.
Certain it is that, taking his life throughout, the good which he
did to her bore no proportion to the far greater eviL Of tha
disastrous Sicilian eiqpedition, he was more the cause than any
other individual ; though that enterprise cannot properly be eaid
to have been caused hj any individual : it emanated rather from
a national impulse. Having first, as a counsellor, contributed
more than any other man to plunge the Athenians into this im-
prudent adventure, he next, as an exile, contributed more than
any other man (except Nikias) to turn that adventure into min,
and the consequences of it into still greater ruin. Without him,
Qylippus would not have been sent to Syracuse— Dekeleia would
not have been fortified — Chios and Mildtus would not have
revolted — ^the oligarchical conspiracy of the Four Hundred would
not have been originated. Nor can it be said that his first three
years of political action as Athenian leader, in a speculatioii
peculiarly his own — ^the alliance with Argos and the campaigns
in Peloponndsus — ^proved in any way advantageous to his eoimtry.
On the contrary, by playing an offensive game where he had
hardly sufficient force for a defensive, he enabled the Lace-
daemonians completely to recover their iigured reputaticm and
ascendency through the important victory of Mantineia. The
period of his life reallyserviceable to his oountry,and really ^orioui
to himself^ was that of three years ending with his return to
Athens, in 407 B.a The results of these three years of sucoess
were frustrated by the unexpected coming down of Cyrus as
satrap ; but just at the moment when it behoved Alkibiadds to
put forth a higher measure of excellence, in order to realize lus
own promises in the &ce of this new obstacle — at that critical
moment we find him spoiled by the unexpected welcome which
had recently greeted him at Athens, and falling miserably short
even of the former merit whereby that welcome had been earned.
If from his achievements we turn to his dispositions, his ends,
and his means, there are few characters in Qrecian histoiy who
present so little to esteem, whether we look at him as a pu'blio
or as a private man. His ends are those of exorbitant ambition
and vanity ; his means rapacious as well as reckless, from his
first dealing with Sparta and the Spartan envoys down to the

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end of his career. The manoBuyres whereby his political enemieB
first procured his exile were indeed base and guilty in a high
degree. But we must recollect that if his enemies were more
numerous and violent than those of any other politician in
Athens, the generating seed was sown by his own overweening
insolence, and contempt of restraints, legal as well as sodaL

On the other hand, he was never once defeated either by land
or sea. In courage, in ability, in enterprise, in power of dealing
with new men and new situations, he was never wanting :
qualities which, combined with his high birth, wealth, and
personal accomplishments, sufficed to render him for the time the
first man in every successive party which he espoused— Athenian,
Spartan, or Persian — oligarchical or democraticaL But to none
of them did he ever inspire any lasting confidence : all succes-
sively threw him off. On the whole, we shall find few men
in whom eminent capacities for action and command are so
thoroughly marred by an assemblage of bad morsd qualities as

1 Comeliiu Nepos says (AlUb. o. U) AUdbiadAv-nothinf berond ; and h«

of ▲Ikibiadte— "Hono infamatom a had good leason for doing to. His

pleriaqne tret graTiasimi historic! sum- picture of the dispositions and condnot

nds laudibns extolemnt : Thncydidte of AJkibiadds is the reverse of eDlo|7.
qui cdnsdem etatis fait ; Theopompns. The Oration xtL of Isokratte, De

go! rait post aliqoando natos : ei Bigis, spoken by the son of Alkibiadte,

Tlmiens : qui qnidem dno niaiedi- soes into a laboored panegyric of his

oentissiini, needo quo modo, in illo other's character, but is prodigionslT

nno laudando oonscferunt". inaccorate, if we compare it with

We have no means of appreciating the facts stated in Thacydidte and

what was said by Theopompns and Xenophdn. Bat he Is Jostifled in

Tim»afl. Bat as to Thncydidto, it is saying— ovScvorc roO warp/bt iryov|fUi>«v

to be recollected tliat he extols only rpSwaiop viimv iernvav oi voXtmoi (p.

the capacity and warlike enterprise of 2a>

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In the description given of this memorable event by ThncydiddSy then
is a good deal which is only briefly and imperfectly explained. He
certainly has left us various difficulties, in the solution of which we
cannot advance beyond oopjecture more or less plausible; but there
are some which appear to me to admit of a more satisfactory solution
than has yet been offered.

Dr. Arnold, in an Ap]>endix annexed to the third volume of his
ThucydidSs (p. 265 seq,), together with two Plans, has bestowed much
pains on the elucidation of these difficulties : also Colonel Leake, in
his valuable remarks on the Topography of Syracuse (the perusal of
which, prior to their appearance in the Transactions of the Boyal
Society of literature, I owe to his politeness) ; Serra di Faloo, in the
fourth volume of his Antichitk di Sicilia ; and Saverio Cavallari ^the
architect employed, in 1889, in the examination and excavation of the
ground which furnished materials for the work of Serra di Fali^) in a
separate pamphlet— Zur Topographic von Syrakus — printed in the
Gottinger Studien for 1845, and afterwards reprinted at G^ttingeiu
With aU. the aid derived from these comments, I arrive at oondusiona
on some points different from all of them, which I shall now proceed
shortly to state — keeping closely and exclusively to Thncydidfis and
the Athenian siege, and not professing to meddle with Syracuse as it
stood afterwards.

The excavations of M. Cavallari (in 1889) determined one point of
some importance which was not before known: the situation and
direction of the western wall of the outer city or Achradina. This
wall is not marked on the Plan of Dr. Arnold nor alluded to in his
Remarks ; but it appears in that of Colonel Leake and in Serra di
Faloo as well as in Cavallari, and will be found noted in the Plan
annexed to this volume.

Respecting Achradina, ('olonel Leake remarks (p. 7) — "That it was

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distincdy diyided by nature into an apper portion to the north-
east, adjacent to the outer sea — and a lower in the opposite direction,
adjacent to the two harbours of Syracuse ". Now M. Cavallari, in his
Dissertation (p. 15 »eq,), offers strong renson for believing that the
wall just indicated enclosed only the former of these two portions ;
that it did not reach from the outer sea across to the Great Harbour,
but turned east^ai-d by the great stone-quarries of the Oapucines and
Novanteris, leaving the " lower portion adjacent to the two harbours "
open and unfortified. The inner and the onter city (Ortygia and
Achradina) were thus at this time detached from each other, each
having its own separate fortification, and not included within any com-
mon wall. They were separated from each other by this intermediate
low ground, which is even now full of tombs, and exhibits an extensive
Nekropolis. We know that it was the habit, almost universal, among
the Greeks to bury their dead dose to the town, but without the walls :
Ck>lo^el Leake's remarks (p. 6) tend much to confirm the idea that the
burial-place of the inner and outer city of Syracuse must originally
have been without the walls of both ; though he seems not to have
been acquHinted with M. Cavallari's Dissertation, and conceives the
original western wall of Achradina as reaching across all tho way to
the Great Harbour. As far as we can trust the language of Dioddrus,
which is certainly loose, he describes the fortifications of Ortygia and
Achradina as completely distinct, during the troubles consequent upon
the expulsion of the Gelonian dynasty — ttjs irSKtms KortXafiovTo rffw
re ^AxpadlvTjv koi ttju N^o'oi' • dfKJxjripnv t&w rivrcip tovtwv ix6vr9iv
Ihiov rc(;(Of, jcaX^r Kar€(rK€vao'fX€Vou (xi. 78). Here Dioddrua seems
to conceive Achradina and Ortygia as constituting only a part of
Syracuse ; which was certainly true from and after the time of the
despot Dionysius, but was not true either at the time which imme-
diately followed the Gelonian dynasty, or at the period of the Athenian

That Ortygia and Achradina must originally have joined, and must
have been from the first included in one common fortification, has been
assumed without any positive proof, because it seemed natural. But
this presumption is outweighed by the fact that the ground between
the two constitutes the Nekropolis, which thus raises a stronger
counter-presumption that that ground could not originally have been
included within the fortificutions.

If the inner and the outer city were originally separate towns
and separate fortifications, did they ever become united, and at what
time f On a former occasion (ch. xliiL) I expressed myself inaccurately
on this sulject, being then unacquainted with the Remarks either of

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Colonel Leake or M. CavallarL I said that in the pacification which
succeeded after the settlement of the troublee consequent on the
expulsion of the Gelonian dynasty, ''we may assame as certain that
the separate fortifications of Ortygia and Achradina were abolished,
and that from henceforward there was only one fortified city, until the
time of the despot Dionysins, more than fifty years afterinuxia '*. I
now believe that they remained separate at the time idien Nildas first
arriyed in Sicily. But I cannot go along with M. OavaUariin thinking
that they continued so permanently, even throughout and after the
Athenian siege. It seems dear to me that during that siege they must
have been covered by a common fortification — the new wall built by
the Syracusans after the arrival of Nikias in Sicily. The feelings of
the Greeks about the propriety of burial without the walls of the town
could not but give way to the necessity of protecting themselves against
a besieging enemy ; and this necessity was first presented to them by
the prospect of a si^ JEh>m Athens. Having once become ^miliar
with the protection of one common wall, reaching from sea to harbour
all across, and covering both inner and outer city, they were not likdy
to foregc it afterwards.

We may thus lay it down that when Nikias first threatened Syracuse,
and when the first battle was fought near the Olympieion (October,
415 B.a), the two towns of which Syracuse was composed were still
distinct and separately fortified. Assuming Nikias to land in the
Great Harbour, and to gain a victory rendering him master of the
field, he would be able to occupy the open space between them, to out
them off from each other, and to blockade both with oomparatiYely
little trouble, either separately by distinct walk, or jointly by one
blockading wall running across from sea to sea westward of the wall of
Achradina, but eastward of the Temenitds.

As soon as Nikias returned to his winter quarters at Eatana, the
Syracusans busied themselves in guarding against this danger. " They
built during the winter an outer protecting wall along the whole space
fronting Epipolse, comprehending the Temenit^ within it, in order
that the enemy might be hindered from carrying their wall of oironm-
vallation across any space smaller than that which was thus enclosed.**
'ETctxiib" ^' *<** °^ 2vpaK6<rtoi hf ry ;(f £^vi vp6is re rj irc^ci, rbif
T€fi€PirTjv €VTOs iroirjadficvoi, rtl^os irapa ira» t6 vp6s riis *EirnroX^
6p&Vi ^a)£ fifj di ikaa-froifos wcaroTtix^oToi &riy (vL 76). It appears
to me that the wall thus described began probably at the innermost
deft of Santa Bonagia, was carried in a direction rather west of south,
to the outside of Apollo Temenitds, and from thence down to the
Great Harbour— so as to form an outer covering wall, and materially

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to increase the difficnltieB with which the bedegen would haye to
contend. I have marked on the Plan annexed to this yolmne what I
imagine to have been its direction by the letters Q, H, L The com-
mentators, in marking ont where they supposed this new wall to have
ranged, seem to me to attend only to a part of the sentence of Thucy-
didds, and not to the whole : they conceiye an outlying wall carried
ont from the fortifications of the city just for the purpose of enclosing
the Temenit^s, but they do not advert to the other words of the
historian, that the new wall was " carried along the enHre frarUage
towards EpipokSy for the special purpose of rendering an extended and
difficult blockade indispensable to the besiegers *\ The wall, as I have
ventured to delineate it, does little more than render the full meaning
of all these wonls taken together, in the way in which the Syracusan
purpose could be most easily accomplished. The new wall, starting
from the cleft of Santa Bona^a, would not actaally join the old wall,
but it would nevertheless serve as a new, advanced, and defensible

Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 60 of 62)