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THE ISLAND

nicia, and had already concerted measures with the Arabians, to attack them in that country. News of this being brought to the king of Persia, he recalled the fleet which he had promised the Lacedæmonians, to employ it in the defence of his own dominions.

While Darius was carrying on the war in Egypt and Arabia, the Medes rebelled; however, they were defeated, and reduced to their allegiance by force of arms. To punish thein for this revolt, their yoke, which till then had been tolerably easy, was made heavier: a fate that rebellious subjects always experience, when the government which they have endeavoured to throw oft, gains

Darius's arms seem to have had the like success against the Egyptians. Amyrteus dying, or probably falling in battle after he had reigned sixty years, was, according to Herodotus, succeeded in the throne by his son Pausiris,

assisted by the Persians. To effect this, they must either have been masters of Egypt, or their party the strongest in that kingdom.*

After having crushed the rebels in Media, and restored the affairs of Egypt to their former situation, Darius gave Cyrus, the youngest of his sons, the supreme command of all the provinces of Asia Minor: an important commission,by which he commanded all the provincial governors in that part of the empire.

I thought it necessary to anticipate events and draw together the facts which relate to the kings of Persia, to prevent my being often obliged to interrupt the history of the Greeks, to which I now return. SECTION II.-THE ATHENIANS MAKE THEMSELVES MASTERS OF

OF CYTHERA, &c. &c. THE EIGHTH YEAR OF THE WAR. The three or four campaigns which followed the reduction of the small island of Sphacteria, were distinguished by very few considerable events.

The Athenians under Nicias took the little island of Cythera, situated on the coast of Lacedæmon, near Cape Malea, and from thence infested the whole country. I

Brasidas, on the other side, marched towards Thrace. The Lacedæmonians were induced by more than one motive to undertake the expedition : imagining they should oblige the Athenians, who had fallen upon them in their country, to divide their forces. The inhabitants of it invited them thither, and offered to pay the army. In fine, they were extremely glad to embrace that opportunity, to rid themselves of the Helots, who they expected would rise in rebellion, on the taking of Pylus. They had already made away with two thousand of them in a most horrid manner. Upon the specious pretence of rewarding merit even in slaves, but, in reality, to get rid of a body of men whose courage they dreaded, they caused proclamation to be made, that such of the Helots as had done the greatest service to the state in the last campaigns, should enter their names in the public registers, in order to their being made free. Accordingly two thousand gave in their names. They were carried in procession through the temples, with chaplets of flowers on their heads, as if they were really to be set at liberty. After this ceremony, they all disappeared, and were never heard of more. We have here an instance, in what manner a suspicious policy and power, when filled with jealousy and distrust, excite men to the commission of the blackest crimes, without scrupling to make even religion itself and the authority of the gods, subservient to their dark designs.

They therefore sent seven hundred Helots with Brasidas, whom they had appointed to head this enterprise. This general brought over several cities, either by force or secret understanding, but still more by his wisdom and mo

• Horod. ). iii. c. 15.

1.A. M.3597. Ant. J. C. 407
A. M 350. Ant. J. C. 424. Thucyd. l. iv. p. 286.
Thucyd. l. iv. p. 304–311. Diod. l. xii.

P.

117. 118.

deration. The chief of these were Acanthus and Stagira, two colonies from Andros. He also marched afterwards towards Amphipolis, an Athenian colony, on the river Strymon. The inhabitants immediately despatched a messenger to Thucydides* the Athenian general, who was then in Thasus, a little island of the Ægean sea, half a day's journey from Amphipolis. He instantly set sail with seven ships that were near him, to secure the place before Brasidas could seize it; or, at worst, to get into Eion, which lay very near Amphipolis. Brasidas, who was afraid of Thucydides, from his great influence througkout that country, where he was possessed of some gold mines, made all the despatch imaginable to get there before him ; and offered such advantageous conditions to the besieged, who did not expect succours so soon, that they surrendered. Thucydides arrived the same evening at Eion ; and had he failed to come that day, Brasidas would have taken possession of it the next morning by day-break. Although Thucydides bad made all imaginable despatch, the Athenians charged him with being the cause of the taking of Amphipolis, and accordingly banished him.

The Athenians were greatly afflicted at the loss of that city, as well because they drew great revenues from it, and timber to build their ships, as because it was a kind of gate for entering Thrace. They were afraid that all their allies in that neighbourhood would revolt ; especially as Brasidas discovered great moderation and justice, and continually gave out, that he came with no other view but to free the country. He declared to the several nations, that at his leaving Sparta, he had taken an oath, in presence of the magistrates, to leave all those the enjoyment of their liberties, who would conclude an alliance with him ; and that he ought to be considered as the most abandoned of men, should he employ vaths to ensnare their credulity. For,” according to Braó sidas, “ a fraud cloaked with a specious pretence, reflects infinitely greater dishonour on persons in high stations, than open violence; because the latter is the effect of power which fortune has put into our hands'; and the former is founded wholly on perfidy, which is the pest of society. Now I (said he) should do a great injury to my country, besides dishonouring it eternally, if by procuring it some slight advantages, í should ruin the reputation it enjoys of being just and faithful to its promises; which renders it much more powerful than all its forces united together, because this acquires it the esteem and confidence of other states." Upon such noble and equitable principals as these, Brasidas always formed his conduct; believing that the strongest bulwark of a nation is justice, moderation, integrity; and the firm persuasion which their neighbours and allies entertain, that they are not so base as to harbour a design to usurp their dominions, or deprive them of their liberty. By this conduct he brought over a great number of the enemy's allies.

The Athenians, under the command of Demosthenes and Hippocrates, had entered Buotia, expecting that several cities would join them the moment they should appear.' The Thebans marched out to nieet them near Delium. A considerable engagement ensued, in which the Athenians were defeated and put to flight. I Socrates was in this battle ; and Laches, who accompanied that great man in it, gives the following testimony of him in Plato, thát, had the rest of the army behaved as gallantly as Socrates, the Athenians would not have sustained so great a loss before Delium. He was borne away by the crowds who fled and was on foot; Alcibiades who was on horseback, when he saw him, rode up 'o him, and did not stir from him, but defended him with the utmost bravery, from the enenıy who were pursuing him.

After the battle, the victors besieged the city. Among other engines employed by them to batter it, they used one of a very extraordinary kind. This was a long piece of timber, cut into two parts, and afterwards made hollow and

* The same who wrote the history of the Peloponnesian war. | Thucyd. 1. iv. p. 320–324.

| Thucyd. I. iv. p. 311-91h Plut. in Lach. p. 181. lo convir.

P:

221. Plut. in Alcib. p. 195.

joined again, so that its shape resembled very much that of a Aute. At one of the ends was fixed a long iron tube, with a caldron attached to it ; so that, by blowing a large pair of bellows at the other end of the piece of timber, the wind being carried from thence into the tube, lighted a great fire with pitch and brimstone that lay in the caldron. This engine being carried on carts as far as the rampart, to that part where it was lined with stakes and fascines, threw out so great a flame, that the rampart being immediately abandoned, and the palisades burned, the city was easily taken. SECTION 10.- TWELVEMONTH'S TRUCE IS AGREED UPON BETWEEN THE TWO

ST:TES, &c. &c. NINTH, TENTH, AND ELEVENTH YEARS OF THE WAR. The losses and advantages on both sides were nearly equal; and the two nations began to grow weary of a war, which put them to great expense, and did not procure them any real advantage. A truce for a year was therefore corcluded between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians.* The former resolved on it, in order to check the progress of Brasidas's conquests; to secure their cities and fortresses; and afterwards to conclude a general peace, in case they judged it would be of advantage to them. The latter were induced to it, in order that, by the sweets of repose, peace might become desirable to their enemy; and to get out of their hands such of their citizens as the Athenians had taken prisoners in the island of Sphacteria, and which they could never expect to do, if Brasidas extended his conquests farther. The news of this accommodation sensibly afflicted Brasidas, as it stopped him in the midst of his career, and disconcerted all his projects. He could not even prevail with himself to abandon the city of Scione, which he had taken two days before, but without knowing that a truce was concluded. He still went farther, and did not scruple to take Mende, a little city not far from Scione, that surrendered to him as the former had done, which was a direct violation of the treaty : but Brasidas pretended he had other infractions to object to the Athenians.

It will naturally be supposed, that they were far from being pleased with the conduct of Brasidas. Cleon, in all public assemblies, was for ever inflaming the minds of the Athenians, and blowing up the fire of war. His great success in the expedition of Sphacteria had raised his credit infinitely with the people: he was now grown insupportably proud, and bis audaciousness was not to be restrained. He had a vehement, impetuous, and furious kind of eloquence, which prevailed over the minds of his auditors, not so much by the strength of his arguments, as by the boldness and fire of his style and utterance. It was Cleon who first set the example of bawling in assemblies, where the greatest decorum and moderation had till then been observed; of throwing his robe behind him, to give him the more liberty to display his arms; of striking his thigh ; and of running up and down the rostra while he was speaking. In a word, he first introduced among the orators, and all those who were in public employments, an ungovernable licentiousness, and a contempt of decency; a licentiousness and contempt which soon introduced terrible irregularities and confusion in public affairs.

Thus two men, each on his own side, opposed the tranquillity of Greece and raised, but in a very different way, an invincible obstacle to its peace These were Cleon and Brasidas. The former, because the war screened his vices and malversations; and the latter, because it added a new lustre to his virtues. And indeed, it gave Cleon an opportunity of committing enormous oppressions, and Brasidas of performing great and noble actions. But their death, which happened about the same time, made way for a new accommodation. I

The Athenians had appointed Cleon to command the troops which were to oppose Brasidas, and reduce those cities that had revolted from their alle.

+ A. M 3581. Ant. J. C. 423. Thucyd. l. iv. p. 3:28-333. Diod. I. xii. p. 120.
powd .. sat Nicive, p. 528.

Plut. in vit. Niciæ, p. 528

giance. The Athenians were solicitous for none of them so much as Amphipolis : and Brasidas threw himself into that city in order to defend it. Cleon had written to Perdiccas king of Macedonia, and to the king of the Odomantes, to furnish hin with as many troops as possible, and with the utmost ex. peditio:1. He waited for them, and had resolved to march immediately towards the enemy; but finding his soldiers, who had followed him invol'intarily and with regret, grow weary of continuing so long inactive, and to begin to coin pare his cowardice and inexperience with the ability and valour of Brasidas, he could no longer bear their contempt and murmurs; and magining himself a great captain by his taking Sphacteria, he now fancied that the same good fortune would attend him at Amphipolis. He iherefore approached it, as he said, to take a view of the place, till such time as all his forces should arrive; not that he thought he wanted them to carry that city, or that he doubted in any manner his success; for he was persuaded that no one would dare to oppose him, but only to enable him to invest the place on all sides, and afterwards to take it by storm. Accordingly, he encamped before Amphipolis: when viewing very leisurely its situation, he fondly supposed that it would be in his power to retire whenever he pleased, without drawing the sword; for not a man came out or appeared on the walls; and all the gates of the city were kept shut, so that Cleon began to repent his not having brought the engines, imagining that he wanted only these to make himself master of the city: Brasidas, who was perfectly well acquainted with Cleon's disposition and character, studiously affected an air of fear and reserve, to increase his temerity, and the good opinion he had of himself: besides, he knew that Cleon had brought with him the flower of the Athenian forces and the choicest troops of Lemnos and of Imbrus. Accordingly Cleon, despising an enemy who did not dare to appear before him, but shut himself up in a cowardly manner in the city, went boldly from place to place without precaution, or observing any discipline among his soldiers. Brasidas, whose intention was to attack him on a sudden before all his forces should come up, thought this the critical juncture. He liad concerted proper measures,

and given the necessary orders. Accordingly be made a sudden sally on the Athenians, which surprised and disconcerted them exceedingly; Immediate, ly the left wing drew off from the main body and fled. Brasidas then turned the whole force of his arms against the right wing, which gave him a warm reception. Here he was wounded and disabled, upon which the soldiers carried him off unperceived by the Athenians.. As for Cleon, not having resolved to fight, he fieit and was killed by a soldier who happened to meet him. The troops he couimanded defended themselves for some time, and sustained two or three attacks without giving ground, but at last they were entirely broken and routed. Brasidas was then carried into the city, where he survived his victory but a few moments.*

The whole army having returned from the pursuit, stripped the dead, and afterwards set up a trophy. After which, all the allies under arms solemnized the funeral obsequies of Brasidas in a public manner; and the inhabitants of Amphipolis celebrated funeral honours every year to his memory, as to a hero, with games, combats, and sacrifices. They considered him as their founder; and to secure this title the better to him, they demolished all the monuments of him who had really been so ; so that they might not appear to owe their establishment to an Athenian, and at the same time to make their court to the Lacedæmonians, on whom they depended wholly for their security. The Athenians, after having carried off, with the consent of the victors, their dead, returned to Athens, during which the Lacedæmonians settled the affairs of Amphipolis.

A saying is ascribed to the mother of Brasidas, which strongly intimates the Sparta. character. As some persons were applauding in her presence the fine

* A M. 3582. Ant. J. C. 422. Thucyd. I. iii. p. 342-351. Diod. I. xii. p. 121, 122.

| Agnon the Athenian.

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qualities and exalted actions of her son, and declaring him superior to all other generals: “You are mistaken,” said she, “my son was a valiant man, but Sparta has many citizens braver than be.” A mother's generosity, in thus

preferring the glory of the state to that of her son, was admired and did not i go unrewarded; for the ephori paid her public honours.

After this last engagement, in which two persons who were the greatest obstacles to the peace lost their lives, both nations seemed more inclined to an accommodation, and the war was suspended in a manner on both sides. The Athenians, from the loss of the battles of Delium and Amphipolis, wbich had very much brought down their haughtiness, were undeceived with regard to the opinion they had hitherto entertained of their own strength, which had made them refuse the advantageous offers of their enemies. Besides, they were afraid of the revolt of their allies, who, being discouraged by their losses, might thereby be induced to abandon them, as several had already done.

These reflections made them strongly repent their not having concluded a treaty, after the advantages they had gained at Pylus. The Lacedæmonians, on the other side, no longer flattered themselves with the hopes of being able to ruin the Athenians by laying waste their cuuntry; and were besides terrified and dejected by their loss in the island, the greatest they had ever sustained.

They also considered that their country was depopulated by the garrison of Pylus and Cythera; that their slaves deserted; that they had reason to dread a more considerable revolt ; and that, as the truce they had concluded with the inhabitants of Argos was near expiring, they had reason to be apprehensive of being abandoned by some of their allies of Peloponnesus, as they accordingly were. These several motives, enforced by the desire they had of recovering the prisoners, the greatest part of whom were the most considerable citizens of Sparta, made ibem desirous of peace.

Those who were most solicitous for having it concluded, and whose interest it was chiefly to wish it were the chiefs of the two states, viz. Plistonax king of Lacedæmon, and Nicias general of the Athenians. The former was lately returned from banishment, to which he had been sentenced, on account of his being suspected to bave received a bribe in order to draw off bis troops from the Athenian territories ; and to this precipitate retreat was ascribed several inisfortunes which followed after it. He was also charged with having corrupted by gifts the priestess of Delphos, who had commanded the Spartans, in the name of the god, to recall him from his exile. Plistonax was therefore desirous of peace, in order to put an end to the reproaches which, on account of the perpetual calamities of the war, were daily revived. As for Nicias, the most fortunate general of his age, he was afraid that some unhappy accident should eclipse his glory; and he wished to enjoy the fruits of peace in ease and tranquillity, and that bis country might possess the same happiness. Both states began by agreeing to a suspension of arms for twelve months during which, being every day together, and tasting the sweets of security and repose, and the pieasure of corresponding with their friends and with foreigners, they grew passionately desirous of leadiug an easy, undisturbed life, remote from the alarms of war, and the horrors of blood and slaughter. They heard with the utmost demonstrations of joy the choruses of their tragedies sing, “ May spiders henceforward weave their cobwebs on our lances and shields !" And they remembered with pleasure him who said, “ those who sleep in the arms of peace, do not start from it at the sound of the trumpet; and nothing interrupts their slumbers but the peaceful crowing of the cock."I

The whole winter was spent in conferences and interviews, in which each party proposed their rights and pretensions. At last a peace was concluded and ratified for fifty years, one of the chief articles of which was, that they should reciprocally restore the prisoners on each side. This treaty was con

• Diod. l. xii. p. 122.
| Thucyd. l. v. p. 354. Plut in Nic. p. 528. 529.

Thucyd. I. v. p 351-354

Diod. I. xü. p. 122

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