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B. C. 570.
having withheld too much. He himself admitted that his laws were not the best possible, but the best that the people would receive. He obtained, however, from the government and people, an oath to maintain the constitution ten years; and then, to rid himself of perpetual questions and complaints, he departed into foreign lands.
75. On returning to Athens, Solon found that the flames of faction had broken out with more fury than ever. The Plain had for its leader Lycurgus; the Shore, Megacles; and the Mountain, Pisis'tratus, a kinsman of Solon. The latter was idolized by the people for his personal beauty, his military fame, his persuasive eloquence, and his unbounded generosity. But beneath many real virtues he concealed an insatiable ambition, which could not rest short of supremacy in the state. When his plans were ready for execution, he appeared one day in the market-place bleeding with self-inflicted wounds, which he assured the people he had received in defense of their rights, from the hands of his and their enemies, the factious nobles. The people, in their grief and indignation, voted him a guard of fifty clubmen. Solon saw the danger that lurked in this measure, but his earnest remonstrances were unheeded.
Pisistratus did not limit himself to the fifty men allotted him, but raised a much larger force, with which he seized the Acropolis and made himself master of the city. Notwithstanding his resistance to the usurpation, Solon was treated with great deference by his cousin, who constantly asked his counsel in the administration of affairs. But the aged lawgiver did not long survive the freedom of Athens. After his death his ashes were scattered, as he had directed, around the island of Salamis, which in his youth he had won for the Athenians.
B. C. 560.
76. THE FIRST TYRANNY OF PISISTRATUS was not of long duration. For six years he had maintained the laws of Solon, when the two factions of the Plain and the Shore combined against him, and he was driven from the city. An incident which occurred during his first reign had an important bearing on the later history of Greece. A noble named Milti'ades, of the highest birth in Athens, was sitting one day before his door, when he saw strangers passing whom he knew to be foreigners by their spears and peculiar garments. With true Athenian hospitality, he invited them to enjoy the comforts of his house, and was rewarded by a singular disclosure.
that narrow tongue of They were natives of the Thracian Chersonesus land which lies along the north shore of the Hellespont - and had been to consult the oracle at Delphi concerning the war in which their countrymen were now engaged. The priestess had directed them to ask the first man who should offer them hospitality after leaving the temple, to found a colony in the Chersonesus. They had passed through Phocis and Boeotia without receiving an invitation, and they now hailed their host as the
B. C. 560-554.
person described by the oracle, and entreated him to come to their assistance. Miltiades and his family were regarded with especial enmity by Pisistratus, and were discontented under his rule. He accepted the invitation of his guests, collected a party of the similarly affected among his fellow-citizens, and with them planted an independent principality on the Hellespont. It was his nephew who commanded at Marathon. *
77. SECOND TYRANNY. Within six years from the expulsion of Pisistratus, his rivals quarreled between themselves, and MegaB. C. 548, 547. cles, the leader of the Shore, invited him to return and resume the sovereignty. But Athens could not yet remain at peace. In a short time Pisistratus offended Megacles, who had brought him back, and who again united with Lycurgus to expel him. This time the tyrant was ten years in exile, but he was constantly engaged in raising men and money in the different states of Greece. He landed at length with a powerful army at Marathon, and, joined by many friends, advanced toward the city. He had pitched his tent near the temple of Athena before his enemies had mustered any force to oppose him, and their hastily gathered troops were then signally defeated. The people willingly changed masters, and Pisistratus became for the third time supreme ruler of Athens.
B. C. 537.
78. THIRD TYRANNY. He now established his government upon firm er foundations, and the people forgot its arbitrary character in the liberality and justice which marked his administration. He maintained all the laws of Solon, and in his own person set the example of strict and constant obedience. He took care to fill the highest offices with his own kinsmen, but the wealth which he accumulated was at the service of all who needed assistance. His library, the earliest in Greece, and his beautiful gardens on the Ilissus, were thrown freely open to the public. He first caused the poems of Homer to be collected and arranged, that they might be chanted by the rhapsodists at the greater Panathena'a, † or twelve days' festival in honor of Athena. He ministered at once to the taste and the necessities of the people, by employing many poor men in the construction of magnificent public buildings with which he adorned the city. The opinion of Solon was justified, that he was the best of tyrants, and possessed no vice save that of ambition.
B. C. 537-527.
*See Book II, 22 37, 39; Book III, 22 99-102.
†The Panathenaic festival was celebrated every year from the time of Theseus, in honor of Athena Polias, the guardian of the city. It included torch races, musical and gymnastic contests, horse, foot, and chariot races, and costly sacrifices. The greater Panathenæa took place in the third year of every Olympiad. It was distinguished by a sacred procession, bearing to her temple in the Erechtheum a crocus-colored garment embroidered with representations of the victories of the goddess.
B. C. 527.
79. After a reign of seventeen years in all, Pisistratus died at an advanced age, and his eldest son, Hippias, succeeded to his power, his brother Hipparchus being so closely associated with him that they were frequently mentioned as the Two Tyrants. Their united government was carried on in the same mild and liberal spirit that had distinguished their father, and their reign was considered a sort of Golden Age in Athens. They reduced the tax on produce from a tenth to a twentieth, and yet, by a prudent management of resources, continued to add embellishments to the city.
B. C. 527-514.
Fourteen years had thus passed in peace and prosperity, when Hipparchus gave serious offense to a citizen named Harmo'dius, who thereupon united with his friend Aristogi'ton in a plot to murder the two tyrants. Hipparchus was slain. Hippias saved himself by promptness and presence of mind; but from that day his character was changed. His most intimate friends had been accused by the conspirators as concerned in the plot, and executed. Though the charge was false and made only for revenge, the suspicions of Hippias never again slept. The property and lives of the citizens were alike sacrificed to his cruel and miserly passions.
80. The faction of the Alcmæon'ids, who had been exiled under their leager, Megacles, now gained strength for an active demonstration. They bribed the Delphic priestess to reiterate in the ears of the Spartans that "Athens must be delivered." These brave but superstitious people had a friendship of long standing with the Pisistrat'idæ, but they dared not disobey the oracle. An army was sent to invade Attica: it was defeated and its leader slain. A second attempt was more successful: the Thessalian cavalry which had aided the tyrant was now defeated, and Hippias shut himself up in the citadel. His children fell into the hands of the Spartans, who released them only on condition that he and all his kin should withdraw from Attica within five days. A perpetual decree of banishment was passed against the family, and a monument recording their offenses was set up in the Acropolis.
B. C. 510.
81. Clisthenes, the head of the Alcmæonidæ, now rose into power. Though among the highest nobles, he attached himself to the popular party, and his measures gave still greater power to the people than the laws of Solon had done. Instead of the four tribes, he ordained ten, and subdivided each into demes, or districts, each of which had its own magistrate and popular assembly. The Senate, or Great Council, was increased from 400 to 500 members, fifty from each tribe, and all the free inhabitants of Attica were admitted to the privileges of citizens.
To guard against the assumption of power by one man, as in the case of Pisistratus, Clisthenes introduced the singular custom of ostracism, by which any citizen could be banished without accusation, trial, or defense.
If the Senate and Assembly decided that this extreme measure was required for the safety of the state, each citizen wrote upon a tile or oyster-shell the name of the person whom he wished to banish. If the name of any one person was found upon six thousand ballots, he was required to withdraw from the city within ten days. The term of his exile was at first ten years, but it was afterward reduced to five.
82. Isagʻoras, leader of the nobles, disgusted by the rise of his rival, called again upon the Spartans to interfere in Athenian affairs. Cleom'enes, king of Sparta, advanced upon Athens, and demanded the expulsion of Clisthenes and all his family, as accursed for the sacrilege committed, nearly a hundred years before, in the murder of Cylon. Clisthenes retired, and Cleomenes proceeded with his friend Isagoras to expel seven hundred families, dissolve the Senate, and revolutionize the city. But the people rose against this usurpation, besieged Isagoras and his Spartans in the citadel, and only accepted their surrender on condition of their withdrawing from Attica. Clisthenes was recalled and his institutions restored. 83. Cleomenes had been stirring up Greece to aid his vengeance against Athens. He advanced with a considerable army and seized
B. C. 507.
the city of Eleusis, while the Boeotians ravaged the western, and the Chalcidians from Euboea the eastern borders of Attica. Undismayed by this threefold invasion, the Athenians marched first against Cleomenes; but the irrational conduct of the Spartan had disgusted his allies and defeated his designs before a battle could take place. The Athenians turned upon the Boeotians and defeated them with great slaughter; then pressed on without delay, crossed the channel which divided them from Euboea, and gained an equally decisive victory over the Chalcidians.
Hippias now covered his old age with infamy, by going over to the king of Persia and exerting all his eloquence in directing the power of the empire against his native city. The Athenians sent to Artaphernes, begging him not to place confidence in one who had been banished only for his crimes. "If you wish for peace, recall Hippias," was the peremptory reply.
84. The history of the other continental states is more or less involved in that of Sparta and Athens; but before entering upon the Persian wars, we will take a rapid survey of those foreign settlements which afforded an outlet for the enterprise and the crowded population of the Hellenic peninsula. In very early times, colonies were led forth from Greece by leaders who were afterward worshiped as heroes in the states they founded. Fire, the emblem of civilization, was carried from the prytaneum of the mother city, and placed upon the new hearth-stone of the colony. The Agora, the
Acropolis, the temples, and the peculiar worship of the older city were imitated in the new. The colonists bore part in the religious festivals of the metropolis by delegates and offerings, and it was considered sacrilege to bear arms against the parent state.
85. There was, however, a great difference in the relations of the several colonies with the states from which they sprang. The Eolian, Ionian, and Dorian settlements in Asia, and the Achæan in Italy, were independent states. Commerce, literature, and the arts flourished at an earlier period on the eastern side of the Ægean than in the cities of Greece. Homer, the father of Greek poetry, was an Ionian. Alcæ'us and Sappho, the greatest of Greek poetesses, were natives of Lesbos. Ana'creon was an Ionian of Teos; and four of the Seven Wise Men of Greece lived in the Asiatic colonies.
86. Miletus was for two centuries not only the chief of the Asiatic colonies, but the first commercial city in all Hellas. Her sailors penetrated to the most distant corners of the Mediterranean and its inlets, and eighty colonies were founded to protect and enlarge her commerce. Ephesus succeeded Miletus as chief of the Ionian cities. Its commerce was rather by land than sea; and instead of planting distant colonies, it extended its territory on the land at the expense of its Lydian neighbors. Phocæa, the most northerly of the Ionic cities, possessed a powerful navy, and its ships were known on the distant coasts of Gaul and Spain. The beautiful city of Massilia (now Marseilles) owed to them its origin.
87. The first Greek colony in Italy was at Cuma, near the modern Naples, which sprang from it. It is said to have been founded about 1050 B. C., and continued five centuries the most flourishing city in Campania. Sybaris and Croto'na were Achæan colonies upon the Gulf of Taren'tum. Several native tribes became their subjects, and their dominions extended from sea to sea across the peninsula of Calabria. The Crotonians were early celebrated for the skill of their physicians, and for the number of their athletes who won prizes at the Olympic Games. The Sybarites were noted for their wealth, luxury, and effeminacy. In public festivals they mustered 5,000 horsemen fully equipped, while Athens could only show 1,200 even for the grand Panathenæa.
Coin of Ephesus, enlarged one-half.