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144. The war in Greece went on with great vigor. The Athenians were defeated at Halæ, but soon after won a naval battle at Cec'ryphali'a,* which more than retrieved their reputation. Ægina now joined in the war, and the Athenians landed upon the island and besieged the city. A Peloponnesian army came to the aid of Ægina, while the Corinthians seized the opportunity to invade Megaris. With all her forces employed either in Egypt or Ægina, they hoped that Athens would be overcome by this new attack. But Myron'ides mustered an army of boys and old men exempt from service, and marched at once to the assistance of Megara. In the battle which ensued, neither party acknowledged itself defeated, but the Corinthians withdrew to their capital, while the Athenians held the field and erected a trophy. Unable to bear the reproaches of their government, the Corinthian army returned after twelve days and raised a monument upon the field, claiming that the victory had been theirs. But the Athenians now attacked them anew, and inflicted a decisive and disgraceful defeat.
B. C. 457.
145. In the midst of these enterprises abroad, great public works were going on in Athens. Cimon had already planned a line of fortifications to unite the city with its ports, and the spoils of the Persians, taken at the Eurymedon and at Cyprus, had been assigned for the expense. Under the direction of Pericles, the building began in earnest. One wall was extended to Phalerum, and another to Piræus; but as it was found difficult to defend so large an inclosed space, a second wall to Piræus was added, at a distance of 550 feet from the first. Between these Long Walls a continuous line of dwellings bordered the carriage-road, nearly five miles in length, which extended from Athens to its principal harbor.
146. The Spartans were still too much absorbed in the siege of Ithome to interfere with the great and sudden advancement of Athenian power; but a disaster which befell their little ancestral land of Doris, in war with the Phocians, withdrew their attention even from their own troubles. An army of 1,500 heavy-armed Spartans and 10,000 auxiliaries, sent to the relief of the Dorians, drove the Phocians from the town they had taken, and secured their future good behavior by a treaty. The retreat of the Spartans was now cut off by the Athenian fleet in the Gulf of Corinth and the garrison in the Megarid. Their commander, Nicome'des, had, however, reasons beyond the necessity of the case for remaining a while in Boeotia. He was plotting with the aristocratic party in Athens for the return of Cimon, and he also desired to increase the power of Thebes, as a near and dangerous rival to the former city.
The conspiracy becoming known, the Athenians were roused to revenge. They raised an army of 14,000 men and marched against Nicomedes, at
* A small island in the Saronic Gulf, between Ægina and the coast of Argolis,
Tan'agra. Both sides fought with equal bravery and skill, and the victory was undecided until the Thessalian cavalry deserted
B. C. 457.
to the Spartans. The Athenians and their allies still held out for some hours, but when the contest ended with the daylight, the victory remained with their adversaries. Nicomedes reaped no other fruit from his victory than a safe return home, but Thebes gained from it an increase of power over the cities of Boeotia.
B. C. 456.
147. BATTLE OF ENO PHYTA. The Athenians were only spurred to fresh exertions. The brave Myronides entered Boeotia two months after the battle of Tanagra, and gained at Enophyta one of the most decisive victories ever achieved by Greeks. The walls of Tanagra were leveled with the ground. Phocis, Locris, and all Boeotia, except Thebes, were brought into alliance with Athens. These alliances were rendered effective by the establishment of free governments in all the towns, which, for self-preservation, must always range themselves on the side of Athens; so that Myronides could boast that he had not only subdued enemies, but filled central Greece with garrisons of friends.
148. Soon after the completion of the Long Walls, in 456, the island of Ægina submitted at last to Athens. Her shipping was surrendered, her walls destroyed, and the life-long rival became a tributary and subject. A fleet of fifty Athenian vessels, commanded by Tol'mides, cruised around the Peloponnesus; burned Gyth'ium, a port of Sparta; captured Chalcis, in Etolia, which belonged to Corinth, and defeated the Sicyonians on their own coast. Returning through the Corinthian Gulf, they captured Naupac'tus, in western Locris, and all the cities of Cephallenia.
B. C. 455.
In the same year, the tenth of its siege, Ithome surrendered to the Spartans. So long and brave a defense won the respect even of bitter enemies. The Helots were reduced again to slavery, but the Messenians were permitted to depart in safety to Naupactus, which Tolmides presented them from the fruits of his victories.
149. In Egypt, the resistance of the Athenians to the Persians ended the same year, but not until after long and desperate adventures. When the citadel of Memphis was relieved by a Persian force, the Greeks withdrew to Prosopi'tis, an island in the Nile around which their ships lay anchored. The Persians following, drained the channel, and thus left the ships on dry land. The Egyptian allies yielded, on this loss of their most effective force; but the Athenians, after burning the stranded vessels, retired into the town of Byblus, resolved to hold out to the last. The siege continued eighteen months. At last the Persians marched across the dry bed of the channel and took the place by assault. Most of the Athenians fel!; a few crossed the Libyan desert to Cyrene, and thus returned home.
A fleet of fifty vessels, which had been sent to their relief, came too late, and was defeated by the Persians and Phoenicians.
150. Other enterprises of the Athenians at this time were scarcely more successful, and Cimon, who had now been recalled from exile, used all his influence in favor of peace. A five years' truce was made with Sparta in 451 B. C. The Isle of Cyprus was the next object of Athenian ambition. Divided into nine petty states, it seemed to offer an easy conquest; and as the Persian king still claimed the sovereignty, the enterprise was but a renewal of ancient hostilities. Cimon sailed from Athens with a fleet of two hundred vessels; and in spite of the Persian force of three hundred ships which guarded the coast of Cyprus, he landed and gained possession of many of its towns. While besieging Citium the great commander died. By his orders his death was concealed from his men, until they had gained another signal victory, both by land and sea, in his name. The naval battle occurred off the Cyprian Salamis—a name of good omen to the Athenians.
B. C. 449.
151. A slight incident about this time brought on renewed hostilities with Sparta. The city of Delphi, though on Phocian soil, claimed independence in the management of the temple and its treasures. The inhabitants were
B. C. 448.
of Dorian descent, and were, therefore, closely united with the Spartans. Where the interests of Greece were divided, the great influence of the oracle was always on the side of the Doric as opposed to the Ionic race. The Athenians did not therefore object when their allies, the Phocians, seized the Delphian territory and assumed the care of the temple. The Spartans instantly undertook what they called a holy war, by which they expelled the Phocians and reinstated the Delphians in their former privileges. Delphi now declared itself a sovereign state; and to reward the Spartans for their intervention, conferred upon them the first privilege in consulting the oracle. This decree was inscribed upon a brazen wolf erected in the city. The Athenians could not willingly resign their share in a power which, through the superstition of the people, was often able to bestow victory in war and prosperity in peace. No sooner had the Spartans left the sacred city, than Pericles marched in and restored the temple to the Phocians. The brazen wolf was now made to tell another tale, and award precedence to the Athenians.
152. At this signal of war, the exiles from various Boeotian cities, who had been driven out by the establishment of democratic governments, joined for a concerted movement. They seized Charone'a, Orchom ́enus, and other towns, and restored the oligarchic governments which the Athenians had overthrown. These changes caused great excitement in Athens. The people clamored for immediate war; Pericles strongly opposed it: the season was unfavorable, and he considered that the honor of Athens was not immediately at stake. But the counsel of Tolmides prevailed, and
with a thousand young Athenian volunteers, assisted by an army of allies, he marched into Boeotia. Chæronea was soon subdued and garrisoned with Athenians.
B. C. 447.
Flushed with its speedy victory, the army was returning home, when, in the vicinity of Coronæa, it fell into an ambush and suffered a most signal and memorable defeat. Tolmides himself, with the flower and pride of the Athenian soldiery, was left dead upon the field. A large number of prisoners were taken, and to recover these the government had to enter into a treaty with the new oligarchies, and withdraw its forces from Boeotia. Locris and Phocis lost their free institutions and became allies of Sparta. The island of Euboea threw off the Athenian yoke, and other subject islands showed signs of disaffection. At the same time, the five years' truce with Sparta expired, and that state prepared with new zeal to avenge its humiliation at Delphi.
B. C. 445.
153. Pericles, whose remembered warnings against the Bootian war only heightened the respect and confidence of the people, now acted with energy and promptness. He landed in Euboea with a sufficient force to reduce that island, but had scarcely crossed the channel when he learned that the Megarians were in revolt. Aided by allies from Sicyon, Epidaurus, and Corinth, they had put all the Athenian garrisons to the sword, except a few in the fortress of Nisæa, and all the Peloponnesian states had combined to send an army into Attica. To meet this greater danger, Pericles returned home. The Peloponnesian army soon appeared, under the young Spartan king, Plisto'anax; but instead of the decisive operations that were expected, it only plundered the western borders of Attica, and retired without striking a blow. Plistoanax and his guardian were accused, on their return, of having accepted bribes from the Athenians; and as both fled the country, rather than meet the prosecution, we may presume that the charge was just. Returning to Euboea, Pericles reduced the island to complete subjection, and established a colony at Histiæa.
154. All parties now desired peace. A thirty years' truce was concluded between Athens and Sparta, in which the former submitted
B. C. 445.
to the loss of her empire on land. The foothold in Trœzene, the right to levy troops in Achaia, the possession of the Megarid, the protectorate of free governments in central Greece, all were given up. But the losses of the war had fallen most heavily on the party which began it, while Pericles stood higher than ever in the esteem of his fellow-citizens. Thucyd ́ides,* a kinsman of Cimon, and his successor as leader of the aristocracy, was summoned to the ostracism, and when he rose to make his defense he had not a word to say. He was banished, and retired to Sparta, B. C. 444.
This exiled politician must not be confounded with Thucydides the great historian, who was living at the same time.
155. Pericles now united all parties, and for the rest of his life held supreme control of affairs. The nobles respected him as one of their own order; the merchants and alien settlers were enriched by his protection of trade; the shippers and sailors, by his attention to maritime affairs; artisans and artists, by the public works he was incessantly carrying on; while the ears of all classes were charmed by his eloquence, and their eyes by the magnificent buildings with which he adorned the city. At this time was erected the Parthenon, or temple of Athena the Virgin, adorned by Phidias with the most beautiful sculptures, especially with the colossal statue of the goddess in ivory and gold, forty-seven feet in height. The Erechtheum, or ancient sanctuary of Athena Polias, was rebuilt; the Propylæ'a, of Pentelic marble, erected; and the Acropolis now began to be called the "city of the gods."
B. C. 440.
156. Only three islands in the neighboring seas now maintained their independence, and of these the most important was Samos. The Milesians, who had some cause of complaint against the Samians, appealed to the arbitration of Athens, and were joined by a party in Samos itself which was opposed to the oligarchy. The Athenians readily assumed the judgment of the case, and as Samos refused their arbitration, resolved to conquer the island. Pericles with a fleet proceeded to Samos, revolutionized the government, and brought away hostages from the most powerful families. But no sooner was he departed than some of the deposed party returned by night, overpowered the Athenian garrison, and restored the oligarchy. They gained possession of their hostages, who had been deposited on the Isle of Lemnos, and being joined by Byzantium, declared open war against Athens.
157. When the news of this event reached Athens, a fleet of sixty vessels was immediately sent forth, Pericles being one of the ten commanders. Several battles were fought by sea, and the Samians were at length driven within the walls of their capital, where they endured a nine months' siege. When at last they were forced to yield, they were compelied to destroy their fortifications, surrender their fleet, give hostages for their future conduct, and pay the expenses of the war. The Byzantines submitted at the same time. Athens was completely triumphant; but the terror she had inspired was mixed with jealousy. During the revolt, the rival states had seriously discussed the question of aiding the rebels; and it was decided in the negative mainly by the influence of Corinth, which, though no friend to Athens, feared that the precedent might be remembered in case of a revolt of her own colonies.
B. C. 435.
158. Corcyra, a colony of Corinth, had itself founded, on the Illyrian coast, the city of Epidamnus. This city, attacked by the Illyrians, led by some of her own exiled nobles, sent to Corcyra for aid, but was refused, as the exiles belonged to the party in