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lans to desire their alliance. The treaty of peace, concluded between the states of Greece, left such Grecian citics as had not declared themselves, the liberty of joining whom they pleased, or of standing neutral. This the Cor cyrans had hitherto done ; judging it their interest not to espouse any party ; in consequence of which they had hitherto been without allies. They now sent for this purpose to Athens, which coming to the knowledge of the Corinthians, they also sent deputies thither. The affair was debated with great warmth in presence of the people, who heard the reasons on both sides, and it was twice put to the vote in the assembly. The Athenians declared the first time in favour of the Corinthians ; but afterwards changing their opinion (doubtless on the remonstrances of Pericles,) they received the Corcyrans into their alliance. However, they did not go so far as to conclude a league offensive and defensive with them, for they could not declare war against Corinth, without breaking at the same time with all Peloponnesus; but only agreed to succour each other mutually, in case they should be attacked, either personally, or in their allies. Their real design was, to set these two states, very powerful by sea, at variance; and after each should have exhausted the other by a tedious war, to triumph over the weakest : for, at that time, there were but three states in Greece, who possessed powerful feets ; and these were, Athens, Corinth, and Corcyra. They also had a design on Ítaly and Sicily, which their taking the island of Corcyra would very much promote.
On this plan they concluded an alliance with the Corcyrans, and accordingly sent them ten galleys, but with an order for them not to engage the Corinthians, unless they should first invade the island of Corcyra, or some other place be longing to their allies; this precaution was used, in order that the articles of the truce might not be infringed.
But it was very difficult to obey their orders. A battle was fought between the Corcyrans and the Corinthians near the island of Sybota, opposite to Corcyra. It was one of the most considerable, with regard to the number of ships, that ever was fought between the Greeks. The advantage was almost equal on both sides. About the end of the battle, as night was drawing on, twenty Athenian galleys came up. The Corcyrans, with this reinforcement, sailed the next morning by day-break towards the port of Sybota, whither the Corinthians had retired, to see if they would venture a second engagement. The latter, liowever, contented themselves with sailing away in order of battle without fighting. Both parties erected a trophy in the island of Sybota, each claiming the victory to themselves.
From this war arose another, which occasioned an open rupture between the Athenians and Corinthians, and afterwards the war of Peloponnesus. Potidæa, a city of Macedonia, was a colony belonging to the Corinthians, which sent magistrates thither annually; but it was dependent at that time on Athens, and paid tribute to it. The Athenians, fearing this city would revolt, and prevail with the rest of the Thracian allies to join them, commanded the inhabitants to demolish their walls on the side next Pallene ; to deliver hostages to them as sureties for their fidelity; and to send back the magistrates which Corinth had given them.* Demands of so unjust a nature only fomented the revolt. The Potidæans declared against the Athenians, and several neighbouring cities followed their example. Both Athens and Corinth armed and sent forces thither. The two armies engaged near Potidæa, and that of the Athenians had the advantage. Alcibiades, who was then very young, and Socrates, his master, signalized themselves on this occasion. It is something very singular, to see a philosopher put on his coat of mail, as well as to consider his behaviour and conduci in a battle. There was not a soldier in the whole army who so resolutely supported all the toils and fatigues of the campaign as Socrates. Hunger, thirst, and cold, were enemies he had long accustomed himself to despise and subdue with ease. Thrace, the scene of this expedition, was a frozen region. While the other soldiers, covered with thick clothes and warm furs, lay close
* Thucyd. I. i. p. 37-42. Diod. I. xii. p. 93, 94.
in their tents, and scarcely ever dared to stir out of them, Socrates used to come into the open air as thin clad as usual, and bare-footed. His gayety and wit were the life of all tables, and induced others to push the glass round cheerfully, though he himself never drank wine to excess. When the armies engaged, he perforined his duty to a miracle. Alcibiades having been thrown down and wounded, Socrates placed himself before him, defended him valiantly, and, in sight of the whole army, prevented him and his arms from being taken by the enemy
The prize of valour was justly due to Socrates; but as the generals seemed inclined to decree it to Alcibiades, on account of his illustrious birth, Socrates, who only sought for opportunities to inflame him with desire of true glory, contributed more than any other person, by the noble eulogy he made on his courage, to cause the crown and complete suit of armour, which was the prize of valour, to be adjudged to Alcibiades.*
Notwithstanding the loss which the Corinthians had sustained in the battle, the inhabitants of Potidæa did not change their conduct. The city was therefore besieged. The Corinthians, fearing to lose a place of so much'importance, addressed their allies in the strongest terms ; who all, in conjunction with them, sent a deputation to Lacedæmon, to complain of the Athenians as having infringed the articles of peace. The Lacedæmonians admitted them to audience in one of their ordinary assemblies. The people of Ægina, thongh very much disgusted at the Athenians, did not send a deputation publicly thither, for fear of giving umbrage to a republic to which they were subject; but they acted in secret as strenuously as the rest. The Megarians complained vehemently against the Athenians, that, contrary to the law of nations, and in violation of the treaty concluded between the Greeks, they had prohibited them, by a public decree, access to their fairs and markets, and excluded them from all the ports dependent on them.t By that decree, according to Plutarch, I the Athenians declared an eternal and irreconcileable batred against Megara; and ordained that all Megarians should be put to death that set foot in Athens and that all the Athenian generals, when they took the usual oath, should swear expressly, that iney would send a body of soldiers twice a year, to lay waste the territories of that hostile city.
The chief complaints were made by the Corinthian ambassador, who spoke with the utmost force and freedom. He represented to the Lacedæmonians, that as they themselves never swerved from the most inviolable integrity, either in public or private transactions, they for that very reason, were less suspicious of the probity of others; and that their own moderation prevented their discovering the ambition of their enemies: that instead of flying with instant activity to meet dangers and calamities, they never attempted to remedy them, till they were quite crushed by them : that by their indolence and supineness, they had given the Athenians an opportunity of attaining, by itssensible degrees, their present height of grandeur and power. That it was quite different with regard to the Athenians. “ That this active, vigilant, and indefatigable people, were never at rest themselves, nor would suffer any other nation to be so. Employed,” says be," wholly in their projects, they form only such as are of the greatest and most intrepid nature : their deliberations are speedy, and their execution the same. One enterprise serves only as a step to a second. Whether they are successful or unfortunate, they turn every thing to their advantage; and never stop in their career, or are discouraged. But you, who are oppressed by such formidable enemies, are lulled asleep in a fatal franquillity ; and do not reflect, that a man who desires to live calm and at ease, must not only forbear injuring others, but also binder any one
* Plut. in Conviv. p 219, 220. Plut. in Alcib. p. 194.
Thucyd. 1. i. p. 43–59. According to Plutarch, some persons pretended that Pericles bad caused this decree to be enacted, to revenge the private injury done to Aspasia, from whose house the people of Megara had carried off two courtezans; and he cites some yerses
of Aristophanes, who, in a comedy entitled the Acharnanians, roproaches Pericles with this action. quainted with all the transactions of Athens, does not say a word of this affair; and he is mucb more
But Thucydides, a cotemporary, author, and who was very well as worthy of belief than a poet who was a professed slanderer and satirist.
Plut. ia Pericl. p. 168.
from injuring himself; and that justice consists not only in forbearing to commit evil ourselves, but in avenging that done to us by others. Shall I be so free as to say it? Your integrity is of too antique a cast for the present state of affairs. It is necessary for men, in politics as well as in all other things, to conform always to the times. When a people are at peace, they may follow their ancient maxims ; but when they are involved in a variety of difficulties, they must try expedients, and set every engine at work to extricate themselves. It was by these arts that the Athenians have increased their power so much. Had you imitated their activity, they would not have dispossessed us of Corcyra, and would not now be laying siege to Potidæa. Follow their example on this occasion, by succouring the Potidæans and the rest of your allies, as your duty obliges you ; and do not force your friends and neighbours, by forsaking them, to have recourse out of despair to other powers.”
The Athenian ambassador, who had come to Sparta upon other affairs, and was in the assembly, did not think it adviseable to let this speech go unanswered; but put the Lacedæmonians in mind of the still recent services that the republic, by which he was sent, had done to all Greece, which, he said, merited some regard ; and that therefore it ought not to be envied, much less should endeavours be used to lessen its power. That the Athenians should not be charged with having usurped an empire over Greece ; since it was merely at the entreaty of their allies, and in some measure with the consent of Sparta, that they had been forced to take the abandoned helm; that those who murmured, did it without grounds, and only froin the aversion which mankind in general have to dependance and subjection, though of the gentlest and most equitable kind : that he exhorted them to employ a sufficient time in deliberating, before they came to a resolution, and not involve themselves and all Greece in a war, which would necessarily be attended with the most fatal consequences. That gentle methods might be found for terminating the differences of the allies, without coming at once to open violence. However, that the Atheniars, in case of an invasion, were able to oppose force with force, and would prepare for a vigorous defence, after having inyoked against Sparta, the deities who take ven, geance on those who forswear themselves, and who violate the faith of treaties.
The ambassadors having withdrawn, and the affair being debated, the majority were for war. But before it passed into an act, Archidamus king of Sparta, setting himself above those prejudices which so strongly biassed the rest, and direct. ing his views to futurity, made a speech, in which he set forth the dreadful consequences of the war in which they were about to embark; showed the strength of the Athenians; exhorted them first to try gentle methods, which they themselves had seemed to approve ; but to make, in the mean time, the necessary preparations for carrying on so important an enterprise, and not to be under any apprehensions, that their moderation and delays would be branded with the name of cowardice, since their past actions secured them from any suspicion of that kind.
But, notwithstanding all these wise expostulations, a war was resolved on. The people caused the allies to return into the assembly, and declared to them, that in their opinion the Athenians were the aggressors : but that it would be expedient first to assemble all those who were in the alliance, in order that peace or war might be agreed upon unanimously. This decree of the Lacedæmonians was made in the fourteenth year of the truce, and was not owing so much to the complaints of the allies, as to the jealousy of the Athenian power, which had already subjected a considerable part of Greece.
Accordingly, the allies were convened a second time. They all gave their votes, in their several turns, from the greatest city to the least, and war was resolved on by general consent. However, as they had not yet made any preparations, it was judged adviseable to begin them inmediately; and while this was doing, in order to gain time, and observe the necessary formalities, to send ambassadors to Athens, to complain of the violation of the treaty.*
* Thucyd. 1. i. p. 77–84, et 93.
The first why was sent thither, revived an ancient complaint, which required of the Athenians to expel from their city the descendants of those who had profaned the temple of Minerva in the affair of Cylon.* As Pericles was of that family by the mother's side, the purpose of the Lacedæmonians, in their making this demand, was either to procure his banishment, or lessen his authority. However, it was not complied with. The second anıbassadors required that the siege of Potidæa should be raised, and the liberty of Ægina restored, and above all, that the decree against the Megarians should be repealed; declaring that otherwise no accommodation could take place. In fine, a third ambassador came, who took no notice of any of these particulars, but only said, that the Lacedæmonians were for peace; but that this could never be, except the Athenians slould cease to infringe the liberties of Greece.
SECTION XIV.-TROUBLES EXCITED AGAINST PERICLES, &c. Pericles opposed all these demands with great vigour, and especially that relating to the Megarians. He had great influence in Athens, and at the same time had many enemies. Not daring to attack him first in person, they cited his most intimate friends, and those for whom he had the greatest esteem, as Phidias, Aspasia, and Anaxagoras, before the people; and their design in this was, to sound how the people stood affected towards Pericles himself.
Phidias was accused of having embezzled considerable sums in casting the statue of Minerva, which was his master-piece. The prosecution having been carried on with the usual forms, before the assembly of the people, not a single proof of Phidias's pretended embezzlement appeared : for that artist, on beginning the statue, had, by the advice of Pericles, contrived the workmanship of the gold in such a manner, that all of it might be taken off and weighed; which accordingly Pericles bid the informers do in presence of all the spectators. But Phidias had witnesses against him, the truth of whose evidence he could neither dispute nor silence; these were the fame and beauty of his works, the ever-existing causes of the envy which attacked him. The circumstance which they could least forgive in him was, his having represented to the life, in the battle of the Amazons, engraved on the shield of the goddess, his own person, and that of Pericles :I and, by an imperceptible art, he had so blended and incorporated these figures with the whole work, that it was impossible to erase them, without disfiguring and taking to pieces the whole statue. Phidias was therefore dragged to prison, where he came to his end, either by the common course of nature or by poison. Other authors say, that he was only banished, and that after his exile he made the famous statue of Jupiter at Olympia. It is not possible to excuse in any manner the ingratitude of the Athenians, in thus making a prison or death, the reward of a master-piece of art; nor their excessive rigour, in punishing, as a capital crime, an action that appears innocent in itself; or, which, to make the worst of it, was a vanity very pardonable in so great an artist.
Aspasia, a native of Miletus in Asia, had settled in Athens, where she was become very famous, not so much for the charms of her person, as for her vivacity and solidity of wit, and her great knowledge. All the illustrious men in the city thought it an honour to frequent her house. Socrates himself used to visit her constantly; and was not ashamed to pass for her pupil, and to own that he had learned rhetoric from her. Pericles declared also, that he was obliged to Aspasia for his eloquence, which so greatly distinguished him in Athens; and that it was from her conversation he had imbibed the principles of the art of policy; for she was exceedingly well versed in the maxims of go. vernment. Their intimacy was owing to still greater motives. Pericles did not love his wife; he resigned her very freely to another man, and supplied
* This Cylon seized on the citadel of Athens above one hundred years before. Those who followed bim, being besieged in it, and reduced to extreme famine, fled for shelter to the temple of Minerva; where they afterwards were taken out by force, and cut to pieces. Those who advised this murder were declared guilty of impiety and sacrilege, and as such banished. They were, however, recalled some time after f flut. in Pericl. 168, 169.
Aristot, in Tractat de Mund. a. 613
her place with Aspasia, whom he loved passionately, though her reputation was more than suspicious. Aspasia was therefore accused of impiety and dissolute conduct; and it was with the utmost difficulty that Pericles saved her, by his entreaties, and by the compassion he had raised in the judges, by shedding abundance of tears while her cause was pleading; a behaviour little consistent with the dignity of his character, and the rank of the supreme head of the most powerful state of Greece.*
A decree had passed, by which informations were ordered to be taken out against all such persons as denied what was ascribed to the ministry of the gods; or those philosophers and others who taught preternatural things, and the motions of the heavens, doctrines on this occasion considered injurious to the established religion. The scope and aim of this decree was, to render Pericles suspected with regard to those matters, because Anaxagoras had been his master. This Philosopher taught, that one only Intelligence had modified the chaos, and disposed the universe in the beautiful order in which we now see it; which tended directly to depreciate the gods of the pagan system. Pericles, thinking it would be impossible for him to save his life, sent him out of the city to a place of safety.
The enemies of Pericles seeing that the people approved and received with pleasure all these accusations, impeached that great man himself, and charged him with embezzling the public moneys during his administration. A decree was made, by which Pericles was ohliged to give in his accounts immediately; was to be tried for oppression and rapine ; and the cause to be adjudged by fifteen hundred judges. Pericles had not real cause of fear, because, in the administration of the public affairs, his conduct had always been irreproachable, especially on the side of interest: he could not however but be under some apprehensions from the ill-will of the people, when he considered their great levity and inconstancy. One day when Alcibiades, then very young, went to visit Pericles, he was told that he was not to be spoken with, because of some affairs of great consequence in which he was then engaged. Alcibiades inquiring what these great affairs were, was answered, that Pericles was preparing to give in his accounts. “He should rather,” said Alcibiades,“ not give them in :” and indeed this was what Pericles at last resolved. To allay the storm, he resolved to oppose the inclination the people discovered for the Peloponnesian war no longer, preparations for which had been long carrying on, firmly persuaded that this would soon silence all complaints against him; that envy would soon yield to a more powerful motive ; and that the citizens, when in such imminent danger, would not fail of throwing themselves into his arms, and submit implicitly to his conduct, from his great power and exalted reputation.
This is what some historians have related ; and the comic poets, in the lifetime, and under the eye as it were of Pericles, spread such a report in public, to sully, if possible, his reputation and merit, which drew upon him the envý and enmity of many. Plutarch, on this occasion, makes a reflection which may be of great service, not only to those in the administration of public affairs, but to all persons, as well as of advantage in the ordinary commerce of life. He thinks it strange, when actions are good in themselves, and manifestly laudable in all respects, that men, merely to discredit illustrious personages, should pretend to dive into their hearts; and from a spirit of the vilest and most abject malice, should ascribe such views and intentions to them, as they possibly never so much as imagined. He, on the contrary, wishes, when the motive is obscure, and the same action may be considered in different lights, that men would always view it most favourably and incline to judge candidly of it. He applies this maxim to the reports which had been spread concerning Pericles,
* Plut. in Menex. p. 235. * Τα θεία μη νομίζοντας, ή λόγος περί των μεραρσίων διδάσκοντας. Αnaxagoras teaching, that the divine Intelligence alone gave a regular motion to all the parts of nature, and presided in the government of the universe, destroyed, by that system, the plurality of gods, their powers, and all the peculiar fungo tions which were ascribed to them.
F2 Vol. II