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short paper, with original translations, in the Warner Library.
The entrance song of the "Clouds" is universally admired. A
special translation of the passage by Oscar Wilde will be found in
Appleton's "Greek Poets," and another by Andrew Lang in
Professor Capp's well-packed volume, entitled "From Homer to



The Battle of Salamis.

The first great prose writer of Greece has Uttle like-
ness to any modern historian. His volume shows the
influence of both epic and tragic poetry. He is no student
of original documents, but the prince of story-tellers.
He sets forth the popular traditions, as to glorious exploits
in the nation's past, and adds freely his own imaginative
embroidery. Though well aware of the merits in the cul-
ture of Oriental peoples, he has a large and enthusiastic
pride in his own Greek race.

The repulse of Xerxes' great invasion was a splendid
and successful struggle for Greek freedom. Indirectly
that contest was ours no less, since our Hfe is so largely
Greek in form and spirit. No historical author ever had
a nobler and fitter theme.

The story culminates in the account of the battle at
Salamis (480 B.C.). The Spartan king Leonidas had
perished, with all his men, in the pass at Thermopylae.
Athens was captured and sacked. The Persian host, the
largest army that ever assembled, was pouring on toward
the Peloponnese. The Greek fleet, after one or two suc-
cessful skirmishes, had retreated along the coast, to the
little bay between the island of Salamis and the Attic
mainland. The commanders from the various cities were
panic-stricken, and preparing to flee each to his home,


204 Ideals In Greek Literature

That meant prompt and easy enslavement of all Greeks
by Xerxes.

Then the Athenian Themistocles, who alone had fore-
seen the war, and insisted on the equipment of the fleet,
by a desperate trick forced the unwilling Greeks to turn and
fight. Thus in a single day Athens became the leader of
maritime Hellas. Of the four hundred Greek ships that
here defeated thrice their number, the Athenians had
manned more than half.

A series of extracts will give at least a vivid glimpse
of the scene.

In the council of sea-captains Themistocles addresses
the Spartan admiral: the Spartans having insisted on
their traditional leadership even on the sea.


**With thee it rests, O Eurybiades, to save Greece, if
thou wilt only hearken unto me, and give the enemy
battle here, rather than yield to the advice of those among
us who would have the fleet withdrawn to the Isthmus.
Hear now, I beseech thee, and judge between the two
courses. At the Isthmus thou wilt fight in an open sea,
which is greatly to our disadvantage, since our ships are
heavier and fewer in number than the enemy's; and
further, thou wilt in any case lose Salamis, Megara, and
Egina,^ even if all the rest goes well with us. The land
and sea force of the Persians will advance together; and
thy retreat will but draw them toward the Peloponnese,
and so bring all Greece into peril. If, on the other hand,
thou dost as I advise, these are the advantages which thou
wilt secure : in the first place, as we shall fight in a narrow
sea with few ships against many, if the war follows the
common course we shall gain a great victory; for to fight
in a narrow space is favorable to us — in an open sea to

» Lying between Attica and the Peloponnesus.

Herodotus 205

them. Again, Salamis will in this case be preserved,
where we have placed our wives and children. Nay, that
very point by which ye set most store, is secured as much
by this course as by the other; for whether we fight here
or at the Isthmus we shall equally give battle in defence
of the Peloponnese. Assuredly, ye will not do well to
draw the Persians upon that region. For if things turn
out as I anticipate, and we beat them by sea, then we
shall have kept your Isthmus free from th^ barbarians,
and they will have advanced no further than Attica, but
from thence have fled back in disorder. ' '

When Themistocles had thus spoken, Adeimantus the
Corinthian again attacked him, and bade him be silent,
since he was a man without a city; at the same time he
called upon Eurybiades not to put the question at the
instance of one who had no country, and urged that
Themistocles should show of what state he was an envoy,
before he gave voice with the rest. This reproach he
made, because the city of Athens had been taken, and
was in the hands of the barbarians. Hereupon Themis-
tocles spoke many bitter things against Adeimantus and
the Corinthians generally; and for proof that he had a
country, reminded the captains, that with two hundred
ships at his command, all fully manned for battle, he had
both city and territory as good as theirs ; since there was
no Grecian state which could resist his men if they made
a descent.

(This appeal was at first successful, but next day the
panic was renewed.)

Then Themistocles, when he saw that the Pelopon-
nesians would carry the vote against him, went out secretly
from the council, and, instructing a certain man what he
should say, sent him on board a merchant ship to the fleet
of the Medes. This man's name was Sicinnus, and he
acted as tutor to Themistocles' sons.

The ship brought Sicinnus to the Persian fleet, and

2o6 Ideals in Greek Literature

there he delivered his message to the leaders in these
words : —

**The Athenian commander has sent me to you privily,
without the knowledge of the other Greeks. He is a
well-wisher to the King's cause, and would rather success
should attend on you than on his countrymen, wherefore
he bids me tell you fear has seized the Greeks and they
are meditating a hasty flight. Now then, it is open to
you to achieve the best work that ever ye wrought, if only
ye will hinder their escaping. They no longer agree
among themselves, so that they will not now make any
resistance — nay, 'tis likely ye may see a fight already
begun between such as favor and such as oppose your
cause." The messenger, when he had thus expressed
himself, departed and was seen no more.

Then the captain, believing all that the messenger had
said, proceeded to land a large body of Persian troops on
the islet of Psyttaleia, which lies between Salamis and the
mainland; after which, about the hour of midnight, they
advanced their western wing toward Salamis, so as to
inclose the Greeks.

Meanwhile, among the captains at Salamis, the strife
of words grew fierce. As yet they did not know that they
were encompassed, but imagined that the barbarians
remained in the same places where they had seen them
the day before.

In the midst of their contention, Aristides, the son of
Lysimachus, who had crossed from Egina, arrived in
Salamis. He was an Athenian, and had been ostracized
by the commonalty; yet I believe, from what I have heard
concerning his character, that there was not in all Athens
a man so worthy or so just as he. He now came to the
council, and, standing outside, called for Themistocles.
Now Themistocles was not his friend, but his most deter-
mined enemy. However, under the pressure of the great
dangers impending, Aristides forgot their feud, and called
Themistocles out of the council, since he wished to confer
with him. He had heard before his arrival of the impa-

Herodotus 207

tience of the Peloponnesians to withdraw the fleet to the
Isthmus. As soon therefore as Themistocles came forth,
Aristides addressed him in these words: —

*'Our rivalry at all times, and especially at the present
season, ought to be a struggle which of us shall most
advantage our country. Let me then say to thee, that so
far as regards the departure of the Peloponnesians from
this place, much talk and little will be found precisely
alike. I have seen with my own eyes that which I now
report : That however much the Corinthians or Eurybiades
himself may wish it, they cannot now retreat; for we are
enclosed on every side by the enemy. Go in to them,
and make this known. ' '

— At the dawn of day all the men-at-arms were assem-
bled together, and speeches were made to them, of which
the best was that of Themistocles, who throughout contrast-
ed what was noble with what was base, and bade them, in
all that came within the range of man's nature and con-
stitution, always to make choice of the nobler part.
Having thus wound up the discourse he told them to go
at once on board their ships.

The fleet had scarce left the land when they were
attacked by the barbarians. At once most of the Greeks
began to back water, and were about touching the shore,
when Ameinias of Pallene, one of the Athenian captains,
darted forth in front of the line and charged a ship of the
enemy. The two vessels became entangled, and could
not separate, whereupon the rest of the fleet came up to
help Ameinias, and engaged with the Persians. It is also
reported that a phantom in the form of a woman appeared
to the Greeks, and, in a voice that was heard from end to
end of the fleet cheered them on to the fight; first, how-
ever rebuking them, and saying — ** Strange men, how long
are ye going to back water."

Far the greater number of the Persians' ships engaged
in this battle were disabled. For as the Greeks fought in
order and kept their line, while the barbarians were in
confusion, and had no plan in anything that they did, the

2o8 Ideals in Greek Literature

issue of the battle could scarce be other than it was. Yet
the Persians fought far more bravely here than before,
and indeed surpassed themselves; each did his utmost
through fear of Xerxes, for each thought that the King's
eye was upon himself.

What part the several nations, whether Greek or bar-
barian, took in the combat, I am not able to say for cer-
tain. Artemisia,^ however, I know, distinguished herself
in such a way as raised her even higher than she stood
before in the esteem of the King. For after confusion
had spread throughout the whole of the King's fleet, and
her ship was closely pursued by an Athenian trireme, she,
having no way to fly, since in front of her were a number
of friendly vessels, and she was nearest of all the Persians
to the enemy, resolved on a measure which in fact proved
her safety. Pressed by the Athenian pursuer, she bore
straight against one of the ships of her own party, a
Calyndian, which had Damasithymus, the Calyndian king
himself, on board. I cannot say whether she had any
quarrel with the man while the fleet was at the Hellespont,
or no — neither can I decide whether she of set purpose
attacked his vessel, or whether it merely chanced that the
Calyndian ship came in her way — but certain it is, that
she bore down upon his vessel and sank it, and that
thereby she had the good fortune to procure herself a
double advantage. For the commander of the Athenian
trireme, when he saw her bear down on one of the enemy's
fleet, thought immediately that her vessel was a Greek,
or else had deserted from the Persians, and was now
fighting on the Greek side; he therefore gave up the chase,
and turned away to attack others.

Thus in the first place she saved her life by the action,
and was enabled to get clear off from the battle; while
further, it fell out that in the very act of doing the King
an injury, she raised herself to a greater height than ever
in his esteem. For as Xerxes beheld the fight he remarked,
it is said, the destruction of the vessel, whereupon the

» Queen of Halicarnassus, Herodotus' native city. Though a Persian, a
tyrant, and an unscrupulous trickster, she is clearly a favorite of the chronicler.

Herodotus 209

bystanders observed to him — *'Seest thou, master, how
well Artemisia fights, and how she has just sunk a ship
of the enemy?" Then Xerxes asked if it were really
Artemisia's doing; and they all answered, '* Certainly, for
they knew her ensign:" while all made certain that the
sunken vessel belonged to the opposite side. Everything,
it is said, conspired to prosper the queen — it was espe-
cially fortunate for her that none of those on board the
Calyndian ship survived to be her accuser. Xerxes, they
say, in reply to the remarks made to him, observed — '*My
men have behaved like women, my women like men!"

Of the Greeks there died only a few; for as they were
able to swim, all those that were not killed outright by
the enemy escaped from the sinking vessels and swam
across to Salamis. But on the side of the barbarians
more perished by drowning than in any other way, since
they did not know how to swim. The great destruction
took place when the ships that had been first engaged
began to fly, for they who were stationed in the rear,
anxious to display their valor before the eyes of the King,
made every effort to force their way to the front, and
thus became entangled with such of their own vessels as
were retreating.

In this confusion the following event occurred: Cer-
tain Phoenicians belonging to the ships which had thus
perished appeared before the king, and laid the blame of
their loss on the lonians, ^ declaring that they were traitors,
and had wilfully destroyed the vessels. But the upshot
of this complaint was, that the Ionian captains escaped
the death that threatened them, while their Phoenician
accusers received death as their reward. For it happened
that, exactly as they spoke, a Samothracian^ vessel bore
down on an Athenian and sank it, but was attacked and
crippled immediately by one of the Eginetan squadron.
Now the Samothracians were expert with the javelin, and
aimed their weapons so well that they cleared the deck of

1 Asiatic Greeks, then subject to Xerxes and serving under him. At the
close of this war most of them were liberated, and joined the Athenian alliance.
2Samothrace, a Greek island, was then subject to Xerxes.

2IO Ideals in Greek Literature

the vessel which had disabled their own, after which they
sprang on board, and took it. This saved the lonians.
Xerxes, when he saw the exploit, turned fiercely on the
Phoenicians, — (he was ready, in his extreme vexation, to
find fault with any one) — and ordered their heads to be
cut off, in order to prevent them, as he said, from casting
the blame of their own misconduct upon braver men.
During the whole time of the battle Xerxes sat at the base
of the hill called ^galeos,^ over against Salamis; and
whenever he saw any of his own captains perform any
worthy exploit he inquired concerning him; and the man*s
name was taken down by his scribes, together with the
name of his father and his city.

The Athenian captains had received special orders
touching the queen; and moreover a reward of ten thou-
sand drachmas had been proclaimed for any one who
should make her prisoner; since there was great indigna-
tion felt that a woman should appear in arms against
Athens. However, as I have said, she escaped.

As soon as the sea-fight was ended, the Greeks drew
together to Salamis all the wrecks that were to be found
in that quarter, and prepared themselves for another
engagement, supposing that the King would renew the
fight with the vessels which still remained to him.

Xerxes, when he saw the extent of his loss, began to
be afraid that the Greeks might be counselled by the
lonians, or without their advice might determine, to sail
straight to the Hellespont and break down the bridges
there; in which case he would be blocked up in Europe,
and run great risk of perishing. He therefore made up
his mind to fly.

It was of course largely the cowardice of Xerxes that
made this brief sea-fight so decisive. He left 300,000
picked men to complete the conquest of Greece. These
were defeated and utterly destroyed the next summer at
Plataea. Never again did a Persian soldier march through

1 In Attica.

Herodotus 211

the pass of Thermopylae, never did the sail of a Persian
warship darken the waters of the Hellenic peninsula.


The most exhaustive work on Herodotus in any language is
by George Rawlinson, in four volumes. It includes a rather florid
translation, comment, and extended essays. The two-volume edi-
tion published by Scribner omits the longer excursuses. The
translation of Macaulay is much simpler, and nearer to the tone of
the original. In the series called Classical Writers, the volume
on Herodotus is by James Bryce, and is of much interest. Pro-
fessor B. I. Wheeler's essay in the Warner Library discusses
especially the travels of the chronicler, and the probable develop-
ment of his literary plan. The "Boys' Herodotus," or Church's
"Stories from Herodotus," both somewhat expurgated, may be
more suitable for immature readers.


The Periclean Funeral Oration.

It is a story oft-repeated, in various forms, that the
second great Greek historian was roused to emulation, in
boyhood, by hearing Herodotus read in public from his
chronicle. But in spirit the twain are very far apart.
The marvelous elements, the divine interventions, the
oracles, have almost vanished from the scene in which
the tragic story of Athens* fatal war against Sparta and
the allies is austerely revealed. Human action, and purely
human motive, mercilessly laid bare, fill nearly the whole

Yet the feeling for dramatic form is by no means lost.
The dreadful defeat in the harbor of Syracuse in this tale,
like the sea-fight by Salamis in Herodotus, is the supreme
crisis of fate. Doubtless Thucydides intended to complete
the record of the war, down to Athens' ignominious fall.
But the work as we have it can hardly be called a frag-
ment, anymore than the **niad," which only foreshad-
ows, not describes, the fall of Troy.

One trick of both the supreme historians seems to us
audacious. In detailed speeches, often quite fictitious,
the motives and aims of the leading men and states are
vividly set forth. In a few cases the narrator is clearly
following the main lines of a speech which he had him-
self heard.


Thucydides 213

Most of all is this probable in the noble memorial ora-
tion said to have been delivered by Pericles, the largest
minded of Greek statesmen, over the Athenian soldiers
slain in the first campaign of the war. It delineates in
grand outlines the spirit and policy of the imperial city.
In most readers it inspires a strong conviction that Athens
was fitted to be, and should have become, the capital of a
stronger, more united, and better developed Hellas than
selfish conservative Sparta could ever conceive. Just how
much of this speech we owe to the statesman, how much
to the equally patriotic and large-souled Athenian historian,
perhaps the latter himself could not have told. Quite
unlike his usual rather cold style is the idealist tone, the
glow of pride, with which Athens' right to national leader-
ship is here proclaimed. The oration is in certain quahties
almost un-Thucydidean, but it is those very traits that
make it indispensable in this volume.

The Funeral Oration
During the same winter, in accordance with an old
national custom, the funeral of those who first fell in this
war was celebrated by the Athenians at the public charge.
The ceremony is as follows: Three days before the cele-
bration they erect a tent in which the bones of the dead
are laid out, and everyone brings to his own dead any
offering which he pleases. At the time of the funeral the
bodies are placed in chests of cypress wood, which are
conveyed on hearses; there is one chest for each tribe.
They also carry a single empty litter, decked with a pall,
for all whose bodies are missing, and cannot be recovered
after the battle. The procession is accompanied by any
one who chooses, whether citizen or stranger, and the
female relatives of the deceased are present at the place of
interment and make lamentation. The public sepulchre is
situated in the most beautiful spot outside the walls; there

214 Ideals in Greek Literature

they always bury those who fall in war. When the re-
mains have been laid in the earth, some man of known
ability and high reputation, chosen by the city, delivers a
suitable oration over them, after which the people depart.
Such is the manner of interment, and the ceremony was
repeated from time to time throughout the war. Over
those who were the first buried Pericles was chosen to
speak. At the fitting moment he advanced from the
sepulchre to a lofty stage, which had been erected in
order that he might be heard as far as possible by the
multitude, and spoke as follows:

*'l should have preferred that, when men's deeds have
been brave, they should be honored in deed only, and with
such honor as this public funeral, which you are now wit-
nessing. Then the reputation of many would not have
been imperilled on the eloquence or want of eloquence of
one, and their virtues believed or not as he spoke well or
ill. For it is difficult to say neither too little nor too
much; and even moderation is apt not to give the impres-
sion of truthfulness. However, since our ancestors have
set the seal of their approval on the practice, I must obey,
and to the utmost of my power shall endeavor to satisfy
the wishes and beliefs of all who hear me.

**I will speak first of our ancestors, for it is right and
becoming that now, when we are lamenting the dead, a
tribute should be paid to their memory. There has never
been a time when they did not inhabit this land, ^ which by
their valor they have handed down from generation to
generation, and we have received from them a free state.
But if they were worthy of praise, still more were our
fathers, who added to their inheritance, and after many a
struggle transmitted to us their sons this great empire.
And we ourselves assembled here to-day, who are most of
us still in the vigor of Hfe, have mostly done the work of
improvement, and have richly endowed our city with all
things, so that she is sufficient for herself both in peace
and in war. Of the military exploits by which our vari-

^Tbe Athenians prided theipgelves on being autochthonous; sprung froqa
tbe soil.

Thucydides 215

ous possessions were acquired, or the energy with which
we or our fathers drove back the tide of war, Hellenic or
Barbarian, I will not speak; for the tale would be long
and is familiar to you. But before I praise the dead I
should like to point out by what principles we rose to
power, and under what institutions or through what man-
ner of life our empire became great. For I conceive that
such thoughts are not unsuited to the occasion, and that
this numerous assembly of citizens and strangers may
profitably Hsten to them.

*'Our form of government does not enter into rivalry
with the institutions of others. We do not copy our
neighbors, but are an example to them. It is true that
we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the
hands of the many, and not of the few. But while the
law secures equal justice for all alike in their private dis-
putes, the claim of excellence is also recognized; and
when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred
to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as
a reward of merit. Neither is poverty a bar, but a man
may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his
position. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and
in our private intercourse we are not suspicious of one
another, nor angry with our neighbor if he does what he
likes; we do not put on sour looks at him which, though
harmless, are unpleasant. While we are thus uncon-
strained in our private intercourse, a spirit of reverence
pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing
wrong by respect for authority and for the laws, having
especial regard to those which are ordained for the pro-
tection of the injured as well as those unwritten laws
which bring upon the transgressor of them the reproba-
tion of the general sentiment.

"And we have not forgotten to provide for our weary
spirits many relaxations from toil; we have regular games
and sacrifices throughout the year; at home the style of
our life is refined; and the delight which we daily feel in
all these things helps to banish melancholy. Because of

Cr -HE


OF ' ''

21 6 Ideals in Greek Literature

the greatness of our city the fruits of the whole earth jflow
in upon us; so that we enjoy the goods of other countries
as freely as our own.

**Then again, our military training is in many ways
superior to that of our adversaries. Our city is thrown
open to the world, and we never expel a foreigner or pre-
vent him from seeing or learning anything of which the
secret, if revealed to an enemy might profit him. We do

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