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he had spent the best years of his life in building up. Falsehood to the great king seemed to him a less heinous crime than treason against his country. He made a solemn sacrifice to the gods, took leave of his friends, and ended his days by poison.

B. C. 465.

B. C. 464.

139. The Thasians, meanwhile, had a contest with Athens for some gold mines in Thrace. Cimon conducted a fleet to Thasos, gained a naval victory, and began a three years' siege of the principal town. The Thasians sent to Sparta for help, and that state was preparing to render it with great alacrity, when her attention was suddenly absorbed at home by unforeseen calamities. An earthquake of unprecedented violence first destroyed the city. Great rocks from Mount Taygetus rolled into the streets, and multitudes of persons were engulfed or buried beneath the ruins of their houses. The shocks were long-continued, and terror of the supposed wrath of Heaven was added to the anguish of poverty and bereavement. The dreaded vengeance soon appeared in human form; for the persecuted Helots, hearing the signal of their deliverance in the stroke of doom to Sparta, flocked together from the fields and villages, and mingled their revenge with the commotions of Nature.

It was a terrible moment for Sparta; but her king, Archidamus, was true to the stern valor of his race. The shocks of the earthquake had hardly ceased, when he ordered the trumpets to sound to arms. Even at that fearful moment Spartan discipline prevailed. Every man who survived hastened to the king, and when the disorderly, servile crowd approached, they found a disciplined force ready to resist them. Sparta was saved for the moment; the insurgents fled and scattered themselves over the country, calling to their standard all who were oppressed. The Messenians rose in a mass, seized Ithome, where their never-forgotten hero, Aristomenes, had so long withstood the Lacedæmonian arms, fortified it anew, and formally declared war against Sparta. The ten years' conflict which followed is known as the Third Messenian War (B. C. 464-455).

In her extremity, Sparta sent to Athens for aid, and the appeal produced a violent controversy between the two parties into which that city was divided. Cimon favored the Spartans; he had always held up their brave and hardy character as a model to his countrymen, and had even sacrificed much of his popularity by naming his son Lacedæmonius. When others urged that it was well the pride of Sparta should be humbled, and her power for mischief curtailed, Cimon exhorted his countrymen not to suffer Greece to be maimed by the loss of one of her two great powers, thus depriving Athens of her companion. His generous counsel prevailed, and Cimon led a strong force against the insurgents, who were now driven from the open country and compelled to shut themselves up in the castle of Ithome.

140. The influence of Cimon had greatly declined at Athens. The democratic party had recovered from its loss in Themistocles, for a new leader was arising whose popularity and services to the state were destined to eclipse even the great men who had preceded him. This was Per'icles, the son of that Xanthippus who had impeached Miltiades. His mother was niece of Clisthenes, who is called the second founder of the Athenian constitution. Born of an illustrious family, and educated in all the opportunities of Athenian camps and schools, Pericles was said to have nothing to contend against except his advantages. His beautiful face, winning manners, and musical voice reminded the oldest citizens of Pisistratus; and the vigilance with which the Athenians guarded their liberties, turned the admiration of some into jealousy. Pericles, however, made no haste to enter on his public career, but prepared himself by long and diligent study for the influence he hoped to attain. He sought the wisest teachers, and became skilled in the science of government, while he culti vated his gifts in oratory by training in all the arts of expression.

Anaxagoras, the first Greek philosopher who believed in one supreme Intelligence, creating and governing the universe, was the especial friend and instructor of Pericles, and to his sublime doctrines men attributed the elevation and purity of the young statesman's eloquence. Instead of relying solely upon the wisdom of his counsels, like Themistocles, or upon his natural gifts, like Pisistratus, Pericles chose every word with care, and was the first who committed his orations to writing, that he might subject every sentence to the highest polish of which it was capable. The Athenian people, the most sensitive, perhaps, to beauty of style of any that ever existed, enjoyed with keen delight the clear reasoning and brilliant language which characterized the discourses of Pericles. Nor was his perfection of detail gained by any sacrifice of energy. His public speaking was compared to thunder and lightning, and he was said to carry the weapons of Zeus upon his tongue. Above all, the sweetness of his temper, and the command which philosophy had enabled him to gain over his passions, gave him advantage over less disciplined orators. The fiercest debate or the most insulting interruptions never disturbed for a moment the cheerful and dignified composure of his manner.

141. Thasos surrendered B. C. 463; its walls were leveled, its shipping transferred to the Athenians, and all its claims upon the Thracian gold mines were given up. The people were compelled to pay all their arrears of tribute to the Delian treasury, beside engaging to meet their dues punctually in future.

B. C. 461.

142. A second time the Spartans asked the aid of Athens in their servile war, and Cimon again led an army to their relief. But the superiority of the Athenians in siege operations aroused the envy of the Lacedæmonians, even when employed in their defense; and the

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long siege of Ithome afforded time for the rivalries of the two nations to break out into open feuds. The Spartans declared that they had no further need of the Athenians, and dismissed their troops. Other allies were retained, including Egina, the ancient rival of Athens. The latter, considering herself insulted, made an alliance with the Argives and the Aleuads of Thessaly against Sparta. The Hellenic treasury was removed from Delos to Athens, for safe keeping, it was said, against the needy and rapacious hands of the Spartans.

The popular resentment naturally extended itself to Cimon. The favor with which he was regarded in Sparta was now his greatest crime. The Athenians had indeed some reason to fear, for the Spartan nobles always maintained a party in their city who were supposed to be secretly plotting against its free government. However honestly Cimon supported aristocratic principles, the people, with equal honesty and greater wisdom, opposed him. He was subjected to the ostracism and banished for ten years.


The power of Athens was increased by the Persian war; and her home gov ernment, which had been confined to the nobles, was thrown open to the people. Themistocles rebuilt the walls and improved the harbor. Pausanias, becoming a traitor, died of starvation in the temple of Athena, at Sparta. Athens became the chief of the Hellenic League, whose seat and treasury were at Delos. Cimon, son of Miltiades, in command of the allied forces, captured Eion, cleared Scyros of pirates, subdued rebellions in Carystus and Naxos, and conquered the Persians, both on sea and land, in the battle of the Eurymedon. He beautified Athens by a liberal use of his enormous wealth, and improved the military and naval discipline of his fellow-citizens, at the expense of their allies. Themistocles, exiled through suspicion, took refuge in the Persian dominion, where he died. Sparta suffered a double calamity, in an earthquake and a servile rebellion, known as the Third Messenian War. Her insulting treatment of her Athenian aids destroyed the popularity of Cimon; and Pericles, the most accomplished of the Athenians, rose into power.


143. Athens, under the lead of Pericles, now entered upon the most brilliant period of her history. A dispute between Megara and Corinth involved Athens on the former and Sparta on the latter side, and thus led to the First Peloponnesian War (B. C. 460-457). At the same time, a more distant enterprise tempted the Athenians. Egypt had now cast off the last semblance of obedience to Persia, and hailed a deliverer and sovereign in the person of Inarus. In looking about him for allies, Inarus naturally sought the aid of those who, at Marathon, had first broken the power of the Persians. The Athenians engaged gladly in the war, and

sent a fleet of two hundred triremes to the Nile. The events of the campaign have been recorded in the History of Persia. *

* See p. 93.

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