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Sect. 1. The Conquest of Salamis and Nisaea


In the midst of these domestic troubles and party struggles, there were a few statesmen who found time to attend to foreign affairs, and saw that the time had come for Athens to take a new step in her political career. Under her aristocracy, Athens had enjoyed a long period of development which may be called peaceful, if we compare the growth of some other states; and this prepared her to take her place in the general scene of Greek history. Though Attica was a poor country, scantily watered and with light soil, her prosperity in the oil trade might encourage her to look forward to becoming rich. But, if she was ever to become a political power, there was one thing to be achieved at all hazards. Every Athenian who stood on his strong hill and looked south-westward could see what this was. He descried, lying close to his own shore, an island which was not his own. And, if he walked across Mount Aegaleos, he saw how this foreign island blocked up the bay of what was now his own Eleusis. Almost equally distant from Athens and Megara, parted by a narrow water from both, Salamis in the hands of either must be a constant menace to the other. The possession of Salamis must decide the future history of both Megara and Athens. At this period Megara with her growing colonial connexions was a strong state and a formidable neighbour; and her expanding trade must have been viewed with alarm and jealousy by Athenian statesmen. A struggle with Megara, sooner or later, was inevitable, and the Cylonian conspiracy, as we saw, furnished an occasion of war. Theagenes could not easily brook the slaughter of his men in violation of the promise which had been given to them, and he sent his ships to harry the Attic coasts. The Athenians sought to occupy Salamis, but all their efforts to gain a permanent footing failed, and they abandoned the attempt in despair. Years passed away. At length Solon saw that the favourable hour had come. It was, perhaps, a quarter of a century after the year of his lawgiving; he had returned from his travels and was living at Athens, one of the Council of the Areopagus. Megara was now weaker than in the days of Theagenes, and, whether she had given any new cause of offence to Athens or not, Solon and his friends decided that it was time to strike. The great legislator came forward now, not as before to assuage strife but to stir up to conquest. He composed a stirring poem which Solon’s began: “I came myself as a herald from lovely Salamis, but with song on my lips instead of common speech.” He blamed the peace policy of the “men who let slip Salamis,” as dishonourable; and cried, “Arise and come to Salamis, to win that fair island and undo our shame.” The poem of Solon was intended to have the effect which in later times, when “common speech” had been perfected to a fine art, would have been wrought by the eloquence of an orator in the Assembly. His appeal moved the hearts of his countrymen to a national effort, and an Athenian army went forth to lay the first stone of their country’s greatness

An intimate friend of Solon took part in the enterprise,— Pisistratus, son of Hippocrates, whose home and estates were near Brauron. It has been thought that Pisistratus was the polemarch of the year, but it is more probable that he was only a general subordinate to the polemarch. He helped the expedition to a successful issue. Not only was the disputed island wrested from Megara, but Salamis he captured the port of Nisaea over against the island. We may conjecture that Nisaea was surprised first, and that its capture enabled the Athenians to occupy Salamis. Thus, though Pisistratus was associated with the conquest of Nisaea, not with the conquest of Salamis, it was to him, along with his friend Solon who inspired the enterprise, that the great achievement was really due. The seizure of her port was a great shock to the trade of Megara. It was indeed afterwards restored, when peace was made through the mediation of Sparta; but the hopes of Athenian policy, which its possession aroused, are reflected in the legend, created at this time, that Nisus the Megarian hero was a son of Pandion an early Athenian king. Shortly afterwards the text of the Iliad which assumed, as we shall see, its final shape at Athens, was tampered with. The Athenians entered in that venerable record the political geography which they desired. In the Catalogue of the Ships (where Megara has no independent place, she is counted as a city of Boeotia), two verses were inserted implying that Salamis belonged to Athens in the time of the Trojan war. There is no reason to suppose that there was any truth in this prehistoric claim. But Salamis now became permanently annexed to Attica. The island was afterwards divided in lots among Athenian citizens, who were called cleruchs or “lot-holders.” Salamis, unlike Eleusis, was not incorporated in Attica, though it was nearer Athens. There have been found fragments of a document inscribed on a stone-pillar, perhaps (but it is difficult to judge the dates of early Attic writings) not many years later than the conquest,—a decree of the people which concerns the settlement of Salamis; one of the earliest scriptured stones of Athenian history, and the earliest example we possess of a decree of the Athenian people. The old inhabitants of the island were to pay the same taxes as the “Athenians ” and to serve in the army, but they were to dwell on their farms in the island, and were not to let their lots to others under pain of a fine.

The conquest of Salamis was a decisive event for Athens. Her territory was now rounded off; she had complete command of the landlocked Eleusinian bay; it was she who now threatened Megara.


Sect. 2. Athens under Pisistratus

The conqueror of Nisaea was the hero of the day. By professing democratic doctrines and practising popular arts, he ingratiated him­self with those extreme democrats who, being bitterly opposed to the nobles and not satisfied by the Solonian compromise, were outside both the Plain and the Coast. Pisistratus thus organised a new party which was called the Hill, as it largely consisted of the poor hillsmen of the highlands of Attica; but it also included the hektemors, for whom Solon had done little, and many discontented men, who, formerly rich, had been impoverished by Solon’s measure of cancelling old debts. With this party at his back, Pisistratus aimed at no the less a thing than grasping the supreme power for himself. One day he appeared in the agora, wounded, he said, by a foul attack of his political foes—his foes because he was a friend of the people; and he showed wounds which he bore. In the Assembly, packed by the Hillsmen, a bodyguard of fifty clubsmen was voted to him on the proposal of Aristion. We have a monument, which we may associate with the author of this memorable act, in a sepulchral slab discovered near Brauron, on which is finely wrought in very low relief the portrait of “Aristion” standing armed by his tombstone; and is hardly too bold to recognise in this contemporary sculpture the friend of Pisistratus, when we remember that the home of the Pisistratid family was at Brauron. Having secured his bodyguard —the first step in the tyrant’s progress—Pisistratus seized the acropolis, and made himself master of the state.

It was the fate of Solon to live long enough to see the establishment of the tyranny which he dreaded. We know not what part he had taken in the troubled world of politics since his return of Athens. The story was invented that he called upon the citizens to arm themselves against the tyrant, but called in vain; and that then, laying his arms outside the threshold of his house, he cried, “I have aided, so far as I could, my country and the constitution, and I appeal to others to do likewise.” Nor has the story that he refused to live under a tyranny and sought refuge with his Cyprian friend the king of Soli, any good foundation. We know only that in his later years he enjoyed the pleasures of wine and love, and that he survived but a short time the seizure of the tyranny by Pisistratus, who at least treated the old man with respect.

 The discord of parties had smoothed the way for the schemes of Pisistratus; but his success led in turn to the union of the two other parties, the Plain and the Coast, against him, and at the end of about five years they succeeded in driving him out. But new disunion followed, and Megacles the leader of the Coast seems to have quarrelled not only with the Plain but with his own party. At all events, he sought a reconciliation with Pisistratus and undertook to help him back to the tyranny on condition that the tyrant wedded his daughter. The legend is that the partisans of Pisistratus found in Paeania, an Attic village, a woman of loftier than common stature, whom they arrayed in the guise of the goddess Athena. Her name was Phye. Then heralds, on a certain day, entered Athens, crying that Pallas herself was leading back Pisistratus. Presently a car arrived bearing the tyrant and Phye; and the trick deceived all the common folk.

But the coalition of Pisistratus with Megacles was not more abiding than that of Megacles with Lycurgus. By a former wife Pisistratus had two sons—Hippias and Hipparchus; and as he desired to create a dynasty, he feared that, if he had offspring by a second wife, the interests of his older sons might be injured and family dissensions ensue. So, though he went through the form of marriage with the daughter of Megacles, as he had promised, he did not treat her as his wife. Megacles was enraged when the tyrant’s neglect reached his ears; he made common cause with the enemies of Pisistratus and succeeded in driving him out for the second time, perhaps in the same year in which he had been restored.

The second exile lasted for about ten years, and Pisistratus spent it in forming new connexions in Macedonia. On the Thermaic gulf he organised the inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Rhaecelus into some sort of a city-state. He exploited the gold mines of Mount Pangaeus near the Strymon, and formed a force of mercenary soldiers, thus providing himself with money and men to recover his position at Athens. He was supported by Lygdamis, the tyrant of Naxos, and by the friendship of other Greek states, such as Thessaly, which he had cultivated in the days of his power. The aristocracy of Eretrian horsemen were well-disposed to him, and their city was an admirable basis for an attack upon Athens. When he landed at Marathon, his adherents flocked to his standard. The citizens who were loyal to the constitutional government marched forth, and were defeated in battle at Pallene. Resistance was at an end, and once more Pisistratus had the power in his hands. This time he kept it.

The rule of Pisistratus may be described as a constitutional tyranny. He did not stop the wheels of the democracy, but he guided the machine entirely at his own will. The constitution of Solon seems to have been preserved in its essential features, though in some details the lapse of time may have brought modifications. Thus it is possible that even before the first success of Pisistratus the assessment according to measures of corn and oil had been converted into an assessment in money. And as money became cheaper the earlier standards for the division of classes ceased to have the old significance. A man who at the beginning of the sixth century just reached the standard of the first class was passing rich; fifty years later he would be comparatively poor. But it was not to the interest of the tyrant to raise the census for political office. Various measures of policy were adopted by him to protect his position, while he preserved the old forms of government. He managed to exert an influence on the appointment of the archons, so as to secure personal adherents, and one his own family generally held some office. This involved the suspension or modification of the system of lot introduced by Solon.

The tyrant kept up a standing force of paid soldiers—among them, perhaps, Scythian archers, whom we see portrayed on Attic vases of the time. And he kept in his power, as hostages, the children of some noble families which he suspected. Most indeed of his more prominent opponents, including the Alcmaeonids, had left Attica, and the large estates which they abandoned were at his disposal.

These estates gave him the means of solving a problem which Solon had left unsolved, and of satisfying the expectations of a large number of his supporters. He divided the vacant lands into lots Abolition and gave them to the labourers who had worked on these and other estates. Thus the way was prepared for the total abolition of the hektemors. They became practically peasant proprietors, and they had to pay only the land-tax, amounting to one-tenth of the produce. The Land was also given to many needy people who idled in the city, and loans of money to start them. The tax of a tenth, imposed on all estates, formed an important source of the tyrant’s revenue, and it is generally supposed that he introduced it. But this is not probable. We may take it that this land-tax was an older institution which continued under Pisistratus, until either he or his sons were able, through an increase of revenue from other sources, to reduce it to one-twentieth. It has been plausibly suggested that this increase of revenue came from the silver mines of Laurion, which now perhaps began to be more effectively worked. His possessions on the Strymon were another mainstay of the finance of Pisistratus. He exerted himself to improve agriculture, and under his influence the olive, which had long ago found a home in Attica, was planted all over the land.

Under Pisistratus Athens rested from the distractions of party strife, and the old parties gradually disappeared. The mass of dis­contented hektemors was absorbed in the class of peasant proprietors. Thus the people enjoyed a tranquil period of economical and political development. And as the free forms of the constitution were preserved, the masses, in the Assembly and in the Law-courts, received a training in the routine at least of public affairs, which rendered them fit for the democracy which was to ensue when the tyranny was overthrown.

Abroad it was the consistent policy of Pisistratus to preserve peaceful relations with other states. Aegina indeed was openly the rival of Athens, and humbled Megara could hardly be aught save sullen. But Athens was on friendly terms with both the rival powers of the Peloponnesus, Sparta and Argos; and Thebes, and Thessaly, and the Eretrian knights had helped the tyrant in the days of his adversity. His influence extended to the banks of the Strymon and the coast of Macedonia, as we have already seen; and he had a sub­servient friend in Lygdamis of Naxos, who, when he was deposed from his tyranny by the Naxian people, was restored by Athenian arms.

It was doubtless with the object of injuring the Megarian trade in Pontic corn, and gaining some counterpoise to Megarian power in the region of the Propontis, that Athens made her first venture in distant seas. It was about forty years before Pisistratus became tyrant that Athens seized the Lesbian fortress of Sigeum on the shore of the Troad at the entrance to the Hellespont. The friendship of Miletus, mother of many Pontic colonies, favoured this enterprise, which however involved Athens in a conflict with Mytilene whose power and settlements extended along the shores of the straits. Mytilene, failing to recover the fortress, built another, the Achilleon, close by, which cut off the Athenians from the sea. It has been already told how the statesman Pittacus was engaged in this war and slew an Athenian commander in single combat, and how the poet Alcaeus threw away his shield. It would seem that while Athens was absorbed in her party conflicts at home, Sigeum slipped from her hands, and that the recapture of it was one of the achievements of Pisistratus. The tyrant showed the importance he attached to it by installing one of his sons as governor. The statesmen who first sent Athenian soldiers to the shores of the Hellespont had in truth opened up a new path for Athenian policy, and Pisistratus pursued that path. It was not long before a much greater acquisition than Sigeum was made in the same region; but this acquisition, though made with the good-will, and even under the auspices, of Pisistratus, was made by one who was his political rival and opponent. Miltiades, son of Cypselus, belonged to the noble family of the Philaids, and was one of the leaders of the Plain. It was after the usurpation of Pisistratus, that as he sat one day in the porch of his country-house at Laciadae on the road from Athens to Eleusis, he saw a company of men in Thracian dress, and armed with spears, passing along the road. He called out to them, invited them into his house, and proffered them hospitality. They were Dolonci, natives of the Thracian Chersonese, and they had come to Greece in search of a helper, who should have the strength and skill to defend them against their northern neighbours, who were pressing them hard in war. They had gone to Delphi, and the oracle had bidden them invite the man who first offered them entertainment after they left the shrine. Miltiades, thus designated by the god, obeyed the call of the Thracians, not reluctant to leave his country fallen under a tyrant’s rule.

The circumstances of the foundation of Athenian power in the Chersonese were thus wrought by the story-shaping instinct of the Greeks into a picturesque tale. The simple fact seems to have been that the Dolonci applied directly to Athens, inviting the settlement of an Athenian colony in their midst Pisistratus was well pleased to promote Athenian influence on the Hellespontine shores; and the selection of Miltiades was not unwelcome to him, since it removed a dangerous subject. We may feel no doubt that it was as an oecist duly chosen by the Athenian people that Miltiades went forth, blessed by the Delphic oracle, to the land of his Thracian guests. But the oecist who went forth, as it was said, to escape tyranny, became absolute ruler in his new country. He ruled as a Thracian prince over the Dolonci; he ruled as a tyrant over his Athenian fellow-settlers. He protected the peninsula against invasions from the north by a wall which he built across the neck from Cardia to Pactye. We hear of his war with Lampsacus and his friendship with the king of Lydia.

It is not too much to say that Pisistratus took the first steps on the path which led Athens to empire. That path had indeed been pointed out to him by nameless predecessors; but his sword conquered Salamis; under his auspices Athens won a footing on both shores of the Hellespont. We cannot estimate too highly the statesmanship which sought a field for Athenian enterprise in the regions ° of the Propontis. The Ionian cities had forestalled Athens in venturing into the vast spaces of the eastern sea and winning the products of its shores. But though she entered into the contest late, she was destined to outstrip both her friend Miletus, and Megara her foe. Many years indeed were still to run before her ships dominated the Euxine; but it was much that she now set her posts as a watcher on either side of the narrow gate

Pisistratus strongly asserted the claim of Athens to be the mother festival. and ]eader of the Ionian branch of the Greek race. The temple of Apollo in Delos, the island of his mythical birth, had been long a religious centre of the Ionians on both sides of the Aegean. There, as an ancient hymn sang, “the long-robed Ionians gather with their children and their wives,” to honour Apollo with dance and song and games: “a stranger who came upon the Ionians in their throng, seeing the men and the fair-girdled women and the swift ships and all their wealth, would say that they were beings free for ever from death and eld.” Pisistratus “purified” the sacred spot by digging up all the tombs that were within sight of the sanctuary and removing the bones of the dead to another part of the island.

And Athens took not only the Ionian festival under her special care, but also the great Ionann epics. It was probably towards the end of his reign that Pisistratus and his son Hipparchus took in hand the work of arranging and writing down the Homeric poems. Since the poet of Chios had composed the Iliad, since another Ionian poet had framed the Odyssey, new parts had been added by their successors; such as the Catalogue of the Ships and the poem of Dolon. The minstrels who recited Homer, at the Delian festival for example, adhered to no very strict order of parts in their recitations, and discrepancies were inevitable both in the order and in the text. At the instance of Pisistratus, some men of letters undertook the task of fixing definitely the text of both poems, and wrote them down in the old Attic alphabet. Thus Athens became one of the birth-cities of Homer; the Iliad and Odyssey assumed their final shape there. But what the Athenians did for Homer was entirely an achievement in literary criticism; it was in no way a work of original composition. We may say that the Pisistratean revision of Homer was the beginning of literary criticism in Europe. Some liberties indeed were taken with the text; a line or two were added, a line or two may have been omitted, for the sake of the political interest or the vanity of Athens. We have met an instance in regard to Salamis. The Homeric enterprise of Pisistratus was thoroughly successful; Athens grew to be the centre of the Greek book trade, and the Athenian text was circulated through the whole Greek world. But before this circulation began, it had been copied out in a new shape. About half a century later, Athenian poets began to give up the old Attic alphabet and use the more convenient Ionic alphabet instead. Homer was then copied out of the Attic letters into the Ionic, and our texts are still disfigured by some errors which arose in the process.

The immediate purpose of the revision of Pisistratus was to regulate the Homeric recitations which he had made a feature of the great Panathenaic festival. This feast had been remodelled, if not founded, shortly before he seized the tyranny, and, on the pattern of the national gatherings at Olympia and Delphi, was held every fourth year. It was celebrated with athletic and musical contests, but the centre and motive of the feast was the great procession which went up to the house of Athena on her hill, to offer her a robe woven by the hands of Athenian maidens. The “rich fane” of Athens, wherein she accorded Erechtheus a place, had the distinction of passing into the Homeric poems. It was situated near the northern cliff; and to the south of it a new house had been reared for the goddess of the city to inhabit, close to the ruins of the palace of the ancient kings. It had been built before the days of Pisistratus, but it was probably he who encompassed it with a Doric colonnade. From its length this temple was known as the House of the Hundred Feet, and many of the lowest stones of the walls, still lying in their places, show us its site and shape. The triangular gables displayed what Attic sculptors of the day could achieve. Hitherto the favourite material of these sculptors had been the soft marly limestone of the Piraeus, and by a curious stroke of luck some striking specimens of such work — Zeus encountering the three-headed Typhon, Heracles destroying the Hydra—have been partly preserved, the early efforts of an art which a hundred and fifty years would bring to perfection. But now—in the second half of the sixth century—Greek sculptors have begun to work in a nobler and harder material; and on one of the pediments of the renovated temple of Athena Polias the battle of the Gods and Giants was wrought in Parian marble. Athena herself in the centre of the composition, slaying Enceladus with her spear, may still be seen and admired.

But the tyrant planned a greater work than the new sanctuary on the hill. Down below, south-eastward from the citadel, on the banks a of the Ilisus, he began the building of a great Doric temple for the Olympian Zeus. He began but never finished it, nor his sons after him. So immense was the scale of his plan that Athens, even when she reached the height of her dominion and fulfilled many of the aspirations of Pisistratus, never ventured to undertake the burden of completing it. A full completion was indeed to come, though in shape far different from the old Athenian’s plan; but not until Athens and Greece had been gathered under the wings of a power which had all Europe at its feet. The richly ornamented capitals of the few lofty pillars which still stand belong to the work of the Roman emperor, but we must remember that the generations of Athenians, with whom this history has to do, saw only plain Doric columns there, the monument of the wealth and ambition of the tyrant who had done more for their city than they cared to think.

Pisistratus was indeed scrupulous and zealous in all matters concerned with religion, and his sons more than himself. But no act of his was more fruitful in results than what he did for the worship of Dionysus. In the marshes on the south side of the Areopagus the bacchic god had an ancient sanctuary, of which the foundations have been recently uncovered ; but Pisistratus built him a new house at the foot of the Acropolis, and its ruins have not yet wholly disappeared. In connexion with this temple Pisistratus instituted a new festival, called the Great Dionysia of the City, and it completely overshadowed the older feast of the Winepress (Lenaea), which still continued to be held in the first days of spring at the temple of the Marshes. The chief feature of the Dionysiac feasts was the choir of satyrs, the god’s attendants, who danced around the altar clothed in goat-skins, and sang their “goat song.” But it became usual for the leader of the dancers, who was also the composer of the song, to separate himself from his fellows and hold speech with them, assuming the character of some person connected with the events which the song celebrated, and wearing an appropriate dress. Such performances, which at the rural feasts had been arranged by private enterprise, were made an official part of the Great Dionysia, and thus taken under state protection, in the form of a “tragic” contest, two or more choruses competing for a prize. It was the work of a generation to develop these simple representations into a true drama, by differentiating the satyric element. Legends not connected with Dionysus were chosen for representation, and the dancers appeared, not in the bacchic goat-dress, but in the costume suitable for their part in the story. This performance was divided into three acts; the dancers changed their costumes for each act; and only at the end they come forward in their true goat-guise and perform a which preserved the original satyric character of “tragedy.” Then their preponderant importance was by degrees diminished, and a second actor was introduced; and by a development of this kind, hidden from us in its details, the goat song of the days of Pisistratus grew into the tragedy of Aeschylus.

The popularity of the worship of Dionysus at Athens in the days of Pisistratus might be observed in the workshops of the potters. No subject was more favoured than Dionysiac scenes by the artists—Exekias and his fellows—who painted the black-figured jars of this period. There is another thing which the student of history may learn among the graceful vessels of the potters of Athens. On the jars of the Pisistratean age the deeds of Heracles are a favourite theme, while Theseus is little regarded. But before the golden age of vase-painting sets in, about the time of the fall imagination as the great Attic hero, and this is reflected in painting on the cups of Euphronius and the other brilliant masters of the red-figured style. If we remember that Theseus was specially associated with the hill country of north Attica, which was the stronghold of the Pisistratean party, we may be tempted to infer that the glorification of Theseus was partly due to the policy of Pisistratus.

But besides caring for the due honours of the gods, the tyrant busied himself with such humbler matters as the improvement of the water-supply of Athens. West and south-west of the Acropolis, in the rocky valley between the Areopagus and the Pnyx, his water-works have recently come to light. A cistern there received the waters which an aqueduct conveyed from the upper stream of the Ilisus. It is indeed on this side of Athens, south and west of the oldest Athens of all, that the chief stone memorials of the age of Pisistratus stood, apart from what he may have built on the Acropolis itself. But he not only built; he also demolished. He pulled down the old city-wall, and for more than half a century Athens was an unwalled town.


Sect. 3. Growth of Sparta, and the Peloponnesian League


While a tyrant was moulding the destinies of Athens, the growth of the Spartan power had changed the political aspect of the Peloponnesus. About the middle of the sixth century Sparta won successes against her northern neighbours Tegea and Argos; and in consequence of these successes she became the predominant power in the peninsula.

Eastern Arcadia is marked by a large plain, high above the sea­level; the villages in the north of this plain had coalesced into the town of Mantinea, those in the south had been united in Tegea. Sparta had gradually pressed up to the borders of the Tegean territory, and a long war was the result. This war is associated with an interesting legend based on the tradition that the Laconian hero Orestes was buried in Tegea. When the Spartans asked the Delphic oracle whether they might hope to achieve the conquest of Arcadia, they received a promise that the god would give them Tegea. Then, on account of this answer, they went forth against Tegea with fetters, but were defeated; and bound in the fetters which they had brought to bind the Tegeates were compelled to till the Tegean plain. Herodotus professed that in his day the very fetters hung in the temple of Athena Aiea, the protectress of Tegea. War went on, and the Spartans, invariably defeated, at last consulted the oracle again. The god bade them bring back the bones of Orestes, but they could find no trace of the hero’s burying-place, and they asked the god once more. This time they received an oracle couched in obscure enigmatic words:


Among Arcadian hills a level space

Holds Tegea, where blow two blasts perforce

And woe is laid on woe and face to face

Striker and counter-striker; there the corse

Thou seekest lies, even Agamemnon’s son ;

Convey him home and victory is won.


This did not help them much. But it befell that, during a truce with the Tegeates, a certain Lichas, a Spartan man, was in Tegea and entering a smith’s shop saw the process of beating out iron. The smith in conversation told him that wishing to dig a well in his courtyard he had found a coffin seven cubits long and within it a corpse of the same length, which he replaced. Lichas guessed at once that he had won the solution of the oracular enigma, and returning to Sparta communicated his discovery. The courtyard was hired from the reluctant smith, the coffin was found, and the bones brought home to Laconia. Then Tegea was conquered, and here we return from fable to fact. The territory of the Arcadian city was not treated like Messenia; it was not incorporated in the territory of Lacedaemon. It became a dependent state, contributing a military contingent to the army of its conqueror; and it bound itself to harbour no Messenians within its borders.

At this period the counsels of Sparta seem to have been guided by Chilon, whose name became proverbial for wisdom. It was much about the same time, perhaps shortly after the victory over Tegea, that Sparta at length succeeded in rounding off the frontier of Laconia on the north-eastern side by wresting the disputed territory of Thyreatis from Argos. The armies of the two states met in the marchland, but the Spartan kings and the Argive chiefs agreed to decide the dispute by a combat between three hundred chosen champions on either side. The story is that all the six hundred were slain except three, one Spartan and two Argives; and that while the Argives hurried home to announce their victory, the Spartan— Othryades was his name—remained on the field and erected a trophy. In any case, the trial was futile, for both parties claimed the victory and a battle was fought in which the Argives were utterly defeated. Thyreatis was the last territorial acquisition of Sparta. She changed her policy, and instead of aiming at gaining new territory, she endeavoured to make the whole Peloponnesus a sphere of Lacedaemonian influence. This change of policy was exhibited in her dealing with Tegea.

The defeat of Argos placed Sparta at the head of the peninsula. All the Peloponnesian states, except Argos and Achaea, were enrolled in a loose confederacy, engaging themselves to supply military contingents in the common interest, Lacedaemon being the leader. The meetings of the confederacy were held at Sparta, and each member sent representatives. Corinth readily joined; for Corinth was naturally ranged against Argos, while her commercial rival, the island state of Aegina, was a friend of Argos. Periander had already inflicted a blow upon the Argives by seizing Epidaurus and thus cutting off their nearest communications with Aegina. The other Isthmian state, Megara, in which the rule of the nobles had been restored, was also enrolled. Everywhere Sparta exerted her influence to maintain oligarchy, everywhere she discountenanced democracy; so that her supremacy had important consequences for the constitutional development of the Peloponnesian states.

In northern Greece the power of the Thessalians was declining; and thus Sparta became the strongest state in Greece in the second half of the sixth century. She was on the most friendly terms with Athens throughout the reign of Pisistratus; but the tyrant was care­ful to maintain good relations with Argos also. With Argos herself indeed Athens had no cause for collision; but the rivalry which existed between Athens and Aegina naturally ranged Athens and Argos in opposite camps. It was, perhaps, not long before the accession of Pisistratus that the Athenians had landed forces in Aegina and had been repulsed with Argive help. The policy of Pisistratus avoided a conflict with his island neighbour and courted the friendship of Argos; but the deeper antagonism is shown by the embargo which Argos and Aegina placed upon the importation of Attic pottery. The excavations of the temple of the Argive Hera have illustrated this hostile measure; hardly any fragments of Attic pottery, dating from the period of Pisistratus or fifty years after his death, have been found in the precinct.


Sect. 4. Fall of the Pisistratids and Intervention of Sparta


When Pisistratus died, his eldest son Hippias took his place. Hipparchus helped him in the government, while Thessalus took little or no share in politics. The general policy of Pisistratus, both in home and foreign affairs, was continued. But the court of Athens seems to have acquired a more distinctive literary flavour. Hippias, who was a iearned student of oracles, and Hipparchus were abreast of the most modern culture. The eminent poets of the day came to their court. Simonides of Ceos, famous for his choral odes; Anacreon of Teos, boon companion, singer of wine and love; Lasus of Hermione, who made his mark by novelties in the treatment of the dithyramb, and amused his leisure hours by composing “ hissless hymns,” in which the sound did not occur—all these were invited or welcomed by Hipparchus. One of the most prominent figures in this society was Onomacritus, a religious teacher, who took part in preparing the new edition of Homer.

The first serious blow aimed at the power of the tyrants was due to a personal grudge, not to any widespread dissatisfaction; but nevertheless it produced a series of effects which resulted in fall of the tyranny. It would seem—but conflicting accounts of the affair were in circulation—that Hipparchus gave offence to a comely young man named Harmodius and his lover Aristogiton. It is said that Hipparchus was in love with Harmodius, and, when his wooing was rejected, avenged himself by putting a slight on the youth’s sister, refusing to allow her to “bear a basket” in the Panathenaic procession. Harmodius and Aristogiton then formed the plan of slaying the tyrants, and chose the day of that procession, because they could then, without raising suspicion, appear publicly with arms. Very few were initiated in the plot, as it was expected that when the first blow was struck, the citizens would declare themselves for freedom. But, as the hour approached, it was observed that one of the conspirators was engaged in speech with Hippias in the outer Ceramicus. His fellows leapt hastily to the conclusion that their plot was betrayed, and, giving up the idea of attacking Hippias, rushed to the market-place and slew Hipparchus near the Leokorion. Harmodius was cut down by the mercenaries, and Aristogiton, escaping for the moment, was afterwards captured, tortured, and put to death.

At the time no sympathy was manifested, little perhaps felt, for the conspirators. But their act led to a complete change in the government of Hippias. Not knowing what ramifications the plot might have, and what dangers might still lurk about his feet, he became a hard and suspicious despot. He fortified Munychia, to have a post on the shore, from which he might at any hour flee over­seas, and he began to turn his eyes towards Persia, where a new power had begun to cast its shadow over the Hellenic world. Then many Athenians came to hate him, and longed to shake off the reins of tyranny; and they began to cherish the memory of Harmodius and Aristogiton as tyrant-slayers.

The overthrow of the tyranny was chiefly brought about by the Alcmaeonids, who desired to return to Athens, and could not win their desire so long as the Pisistratids were in power. They had taken care to cultivate an intimacy with the priesthood of Delphi, which they now turned to account. The old sanctuary of Apollo had been burned down by a mischance, and it was resolved to build a new temple at an enormous cost. A Panhellenic subscription was organised, and by this means about a quarter of the needed money was raised; the rest was defrayed from the resources of Delphi. The Alcmaeonids undertook the contract for the work, and the story went that a frontage of Parian marble was added at their own expense, poros-stone having been specified in the agreement. The temple was not unworthy of the greatest shrine of Hellas. An Athenian poet has sung of the “glancing light of the two fair faces” of the pillared house of Loxias, and has vividly described sculptured metopes with heroes destroying monsters, and a pediment with the gods quelling the giants. It must have been about the time when the new temple was approaching its completion, or soon after, that to the holy buildings of Delphi was added one of the richest of all. The islanders of Siphnos spent some of the wealth which they dug out of their gold-mines, in making themselves a treasury at the mid-centre of the earth, and its remains, recently recovered, show us the richness of its decoration. Perhaps the building marks the height of Siphnian prosperity. Before a hundred years had passed, their supply of precious metal was withdrawn; their miners had got below the sea-level, and the water filtering in cut them off from the sources of their wealth.

Large sums of money passed through the hands of the Alcmaeonids during the building of the temple, and their enemies said that this enabled them to hire mercenaries for their design on Attica. Their first attempt was a failure. They and other exiles seized Leipsydrion, a strong position on a spur of Mount Pames looking down on Paeanidae and Achamae; but they were too few to take the field by themselves, and the people had no desire to drive out the tyrant for the sake of setting up an oligarchy of nobles. They were soon forced to abandon their fortress and leave Attica. Convinced that they could only accomplish their schemes by foreign help, they used their influence with the Delphic oracle to put pressure on Sparta. Accordingly, whenever the Spartans sent to consult the god, the response always was: “ First free Athens.”

It has been already said that the Pisistratids cultivated the friendship of Sparta, and after his brother’s murder Hippias was more anxious than ever not to break with her. But the diplomacy of the Alcmaeonids, of whose clan Cleisthenes, son of Megacles, was at this time head, supported as it was by the influence of Delphi, finally prevailed, and the Spartans consented to force freedom upon Athens. Perhaps they thought the dealings of Hippias with Persia suspicious; he had married his daughter Archedice to a son of the tyrant of Lampsacus, who was known to have influence at the Persian court.

A first expedition of the Spartans under Anchimolius was utterly routed with the help of a body of Thessalian cavalry; but a second led by king Cleomenes defeated the Thessalians, and Hippias was blockaded in the Acropolis. When his children, whom he was sending secretly into safety abroad, fell into the hands of his enemies, he capitulated, and, on condition that they were given back, undertook to leave Attica within five days. He and all his house departed to Sigeum; and a pillar was set up on the Acropolis, recording the sentence which condemned the Pisistratids to perpetual disfranchisement (atimia).

Thus the tyrants had fallen, and with the aid of Sparta Athens was free. It was not surprising that when she came to value her liberty she loved to turn away from the circumstances in which it was actually won and linger over the romantic attempt of Harmodius and Aristogiton, which might be considered at least the prelude to the fall of Hippias. A drinking-song, breathing the spirit of liberty, celebrated the two friends who slew the tyrant; Harmodius and Aristogiton became household words. A skilful sculptor Antenor wrought a commemorative group of the two tyrant-slayers, and it was set up, not very many years later, above the market-place.

The Athenian republic had to pay, indeed, something for its deliverance. It was obliged to enter into the Peloponnesian league, of which Sparta was the head; and thus Sparta acquired a certain right of interference in the affairs of Athens. This new obligation was destined to lead soon to another struggle.


Sect. 5. King Cleomenes and the Second Spartan Intervention


It is necessary here to digress for a moment to tell of the strange manner of the birth of king Cleomenes, who liberated Athens. His father king Anaxandridas was wedded to his niece, but she had no children. The Ephors, heedful that the royal family of the Agids should not die out, urged him to put her away, and when he gainsaid, they insisted that he should take a second wife into his house. This he did, and Cleomenes was born. But soon afterwards his first wife, hitherto childless, bore a son, who was named Doricus. When the old king died, it was ruled that Cleomenes as the eldest should succeed, and Doricus, who had looked forward to the kingship, was forced to leave Sparta. He went forth to seek his fortune in lands beyond the sea; having attempted to plant a settlement in Libya, he led an expedition of adventure to the west; he took part in a war of Croton with Sybaris, and then fared to Sicily, with the design of founding a new city in the south-west country, yet he did not bring his purpose to pass, for he fell in a battle against the Carthaginians and their Elymian allies. It must also be told that after the birth of Dorieus his mother brought Anaxandridas two other sons, Leonidas and Cleombrotus, both of whom we shall meet hereafter.

After the expulsion of the tyrant, the Athenians had to deal with the political problems, whose solution, fifty years before, had been postponed by the tyranny. The main problem was to modify the constitution of Solon in such a way as to render it practicable. The old evils which had hindered the realisation of Solon’s democracy reared their heads again as soon as Hippias had been driven out and the Spartans had departed. The strife of factions, led by noble and influential families, broke out; and the Coast and Plain seem to have risen again in the parties of the Alcmaeonid Cleisthenes and his rival Isagoras. As Cleisthenes had been the most active promoter of the revolution, Isagoras was naturally supported by the secret adherents of the tyrant’s house. The struggle at first turned in favour of Isagoras, who was elected to the chief magistracy; but it was only for a moment. Cleisthenes won the upper hand by enlisting on his side superior numbers. He rallied to his cause a host of poor men who were outside the pale of citizenship, by promising to make them citizens. Thus the victory of Cleisthenes—and the victory of Cleisthenes was the victory of reform—was won by the threat of physical force; and in the year of his rival’s archonship he introduced new democratic measures of law. Isagoras was so far outnumbered that he had no recourse but appeal to Sparta. At his instance the Lacedaemonians, who looked with disfavour on democracy, demanded that the Alcmaeonids, as a clan under a curse, should be expelled from Attica; and Cleisthenes, without attempting resistance, left the country. But this was not enough. King Cleomenes entered Attica for the second time; he expelled 700 families pointed out by Isagoras, and attempted to dissolve the new constitution and to set up an oligarchy. But the whole people rose in arms; Cleomenes, who had only a small band of soldiers with him, was blockaded with Isagoras in the Acropolis, and was forced to capitulate on the third day “in spite of his Spartan spirit.” Cleisthenes could now return with all the other exiles and complete his work. The event was a check for Lacedaemon. It was the first, but it was not the last, time that Athenian oligarchs sought Spartan intervention and Spartan men-at-arms held the hill of Athena.


Sect. 6. Reform of Cleisthenes


Solon created the institutions, and constructed the machinery, of the Athenian democracy. We have seen why this machinery would not work. The fatal obstacle to its success was the political strength of the clans; and Solon, by retaining the old Ionic tribes, had therewith retained the clan organisation as a base of his constitution. In order therefore to make democracy a reality, it was indispensable to deprive the clans of political significance and substitute a new organisation. Another grave evil during the past century had been the growth of local parties; Attica had been split up into political sections. The memorable achievement of Cleisthenes was the invention of a totally new organisation, a truly brilliant and, as the event proved, practical scheme, which did away with the Ionic tribes, abolished the political influence of the phratries and clans, and Abolition superseded the system of the Naucraries; thus removing the danger of the undue preponderance of social influence or local parties, and securing to the whole body of citizens a decisive and permanent part in the conduct of public affairs.

Taking the map of Attica as he found it, consisting of between one and two hundred demes or small districts, Cleisthenes distinguished three regions: the region of the city, the region of the Three coast, and the inland. In each of these regions he divided the demes into ten groups called trittyes, so that there were thirty such trittyes in all, and each trittys was named after the chief deme  which was included in it. Out of the thirty he then formed ten groups of three, in such a way that no group contained two trittyes from the same region. Each of these groups constituted a tribe, and the citizens of all the demes contained in its three trittyes were fellow-tribesmen. Thus Kydathenaion, a trittys of the city region, was combined with Paeania, a trittys of the inland, and Myrrhinus, a trittys of the coast, to form the tribe of Pandionis. The ten new tribes thus obtained were called after eponymous heroes chosen by the Delphic priestess. The heroes had their priests and sanctuaries, and their statues stood in front of the senate-house in the Agora.

Both the tribes and the demes were corporations with officers, assemblies, and corporate property. The demarch or president of the deme kept the burgess list of the place, in which was solemnly entered the name of each citizen when he reached the age of seventeen. The organisation of the army depended on the tribes, each of which contributed a regiment of hoplites and a squadron of horse. The trittys had no independent constitution of this kind, no corporate existence, and consequently it appears little in official documents. But it was the scarce visible pivot on which the Cleisthenic system revolved, the link between the demes and the tribes. By its means a number of groups of people in various parts of Attica, without community of local interest, were brought together at Athens, political action. Thus an organisation created for a purely political purpose was substituted for an organisation which was originally social and had been adapted to political needs. The ten new tribes, based on artificial geography, took the place of the our old tribes, based on birth. The incorporate trittys, which had no independent existence, but merely represented the relation between the tribe and the deme, took the place of the independent and active phratry. And the deme, a local unit, replaced the social unit of the clan. This scheme of Cleisthenes, with the artificial trittys and the artificially formed tribe, might seem almost too artificial to last. The secret of its permanence lay in the fact that the demes, the units on which it was built up, were natural divisions, which he did not attempt to reduce to a round number.

It must have taken some time to bring this reform into full working order. The first list of demesmen on the new system decided the deme of all their descendants. A man might change his home and reside in another deme, but he still remained a member of the deme to which he originally belonged. Hence­forward in official documents men were distinguished by their demes instead of, as heretofore, by their fathers’ names. All Attica was included in this system except Eleutherae and Oropus on the frontier, which were treated as subject districts and belonged to no tribe.

The political purpose and significance of this reorganisation, which entitles its author to be called the second founder of the of democracy, lay in its connexion with a reformed Council. As the existing Council of Four Hundred had been based on the four Ionic tribes, Cleisthenes devised a Council of Five Hundred based on his ten new tribes. Each tribe contributed fifty members, of which each deme returned a fixed number, according to its size. They were probably appointed by lot from a number of candidates chosen by each deme; but the preliminary election was afterwards abolished, and Oand forty years later they were appointed entirely by lot. All those on whom the lot fell were proved, as to the integrity of their private and public life, by the outgoing Council, which had the right of rejecting the unfit. They took an oath when they entered upon office that they would “advise what is best for the city”; and they were responsible for their acts, when they laid it down.

This Council, in which every part of Attica was represented, was (1) the supreme administrative authority in the state. “In conjunction with the various magistrates it managed most of the public affairs.” An effective control was exerted on the archons and other magistrates, who were obliged to present reports to the Council and receive the Council’s orders. All the finances of the state were practically in its hands, and ten new finance officers called apodektai (one from each tribe) acted under its direction. It seems, moreover, from the very first to have been invested with judicial powers in matters concerning the public finance, and with the right of fining officials. Further, the Council acted as a ministry of public works, and even as a ministry of war. It may also be regarded as the ministry of foreign affairs, for it conducted negotiations with foreign states, and received their envoys. It had no powers of declaring war or concluding a treaty; these powers resided solely in the sovereign Assembly. But the Council was not only an administrative body, it was a deliberative assembly, and had the initiation in all legislation. No proposal could come before the Ecclesia unless it had already been proposed and considered in the Council. Every law passed in the Ecclesia was first sent down from the Council in the form of a probuleuma, and, on receiving a majority of votes in the Ecclesia, became a psephisma. Again, the Council had some general as well as some special judicial functions. It formed a Judicial court before which impeachments could be brought, as well as before the Assembly, and in these cases it could either pass sentence or hand them over to another court.

It is obvious that the administrative duties could not be conveniently conducted by a body of five hundred constantly sitting. Accordingly the year of 360 days was divided into ten parts, and the councillors of each tribe took it in turn to act as a committee for carrying on public business during a tenth of the year. In this capacity as members of the acting committee of fifty, the councillors were called Prytaneis or presidents, the tribe to which they belonged was said to be the presiding, and the divisions of this artificial year were called prytanies. It was incumbent on the chairman, along with one trittys, of the committee, to live permanently during his prytany in the Tholos, a round building, where the presidents met and dined at the public expense. The Tholos or Skias was on the south side of the Agora, close to the Council-hall. The old prytaneion still remained in use as the office of the archon and the hearth of the city.

 Cleisthenes invented an ingenious arrangement for bringing his official year into general harmony with the civil year, so that the beginning one should not diverge too far from the beginning of the other. The civil year was supposed to begin as nearly as possible to the first new moon after the summer solstice; and the difference a between the lunar twelvemonth and the solar revolution was provided for a cycle of eight years, in the first, third, and sixth of which additional months were intercalated. The ordinary year consisted of 354, the intercalated of 384 days. Cleisthenes, taking 360 as the number of days in his official year, was also obliged to intercalate, but not so often. He adopted a cycle of five years, and once in each cycle an intercalary month of 30 days was introduced. But this month was not always inserted in the same year of the cycle. It was here that Cleisthenes brought his quinquennial into line with the octennial system. The extraordinary official month was intercalated in the first year of the official cycle that coincided with an intercalary year of the civil cycle. The new institution of Cleisthenes began to work in 503-2 B.C.—the first year of an octennial cycle. The first Cleisthenic year began on the 1st of Hecatombaeon, the first month of the civil calendar; it would not begin on that day again till forty years hence.

In opening the citizenship to a large number of people who had hitherto been excluded, Cleisthenes was only progressing along the path of Solon. He seems to have retained the Solonian restrictions on eligibility for the higher offices of state. It is just possible that he may have set the knights, in this respect, on a level with the Pentacosiomedimni; but the two lower classes were still excluded from the archonship; the third class remained ineligible for another half-century. But this conservatism of Cleisthenes might be easily misjudged. We must remember that since the days of Solon time itself had been doing the work of a democratic reformer. The money value of five hundred medimni was a much lower rating at the end than it had been at the beginning of the sixth century. Trade had increased and people had grown richer.

The new tribes of Cleisthenes led to a change in the military organisation. Each of the ten tribes was required to supply regiment of hoplites and a squadron of horsemen; and the hoplites were commanded by ten generals whom the people elected from each tribe. The office of general was destined hereafter to become the most important in the state; but at first he was merely the commander of the tribal regiment.

The Athenian Council instituted by Cleisthenes shows that Greek statesmen understood the principle of representative government. That Council is an excellent example of representation with a careful distribution of seats according to the size of the electorates; and it was practically the governing body of the state. But though Greek statesmen understood the principle, they always hesitated to entrust to a representative assembly sovereign powers of legislation. The reason mainly lay in the fact that, owing to the small size of the city-state, an Assembly which every citizen who chose could attend was a practicable institution; and the fundamental principle, that supreme legislative power is exercised by the people itself, could be literally applied. But while we remember that the Council could not legislate, although its co-operation was indispensable to the making of laws, we may say that its function will be misunderstood if it be either conceived as a sort of Second Chamber or compared to a body like the Roman Senate. It was a popular representative assembly, and from it were taken (though on a totally different principle) committees which performed in part the administrative functions of our “Government.” It had a decisive influence on legislation; and here the influence of the Council on the Ecclesia must be rather compared to the influence of the Government on our House of Commons. But the ratification given by the Assembly to the proposals sent down by the Council was often as purely formal as the ratification by the Crown of bills passed in Parliament.


Sect. 7. First Victories of the Democracy


The Athenian republic had now become a democracy in the fullest sense, and the new government was hardly established before it was called upon to prove its capacity. King Cleomenes, who was the greatest man in Greece at the time, could not rest without attempting to avenge the humiliation which he had recently endured at the hands of the Athenian people. The man who had pulled down one tyrant now proposed to set up another. Isagoras, who had hitherto aimed at establishing an oligarchy, now, it would seem, came forward as an aspirant to the tyrannis. Cleomenes arranged with the Boeotians and the Chalcidians a joint attack upon Attica. While the Lacedaemonians and their allies invaded from the south, the Boeotians were to come down from Mount Cithaeron, and the men of Chaicis were to cross the Euripus; the land was to be assailed on three sides at the same moment.

The Peloponnesian host under the two kings, Cleomenes and Demaratus, passed the isthmus and occupied Eleusis; and the Athenians marched to the Eleusinian plain. But the peril on this side passed away without a blow. The Corinthians, on second thoughts, disapproved of the expedition, as unjust, and returned to Corinth. At this time Aegina was the most formidable commercial rival of Corinth, and it therefore suited Corinthian interests to encourage the rising power of Aegina’s enemy. This action of the Corinthians disconcerted the whole army, and the situation was aggravated by the discord between the Spartan leaders, Cleomenes and Demaratus. In the end the army broke up, and there was nothing left for Cleomenes but to return home. His attempt to thrust a tyranny had been as unsuccessful as his previous attempt to thrust an oligarchy upon Athens. For the second time the Athenian democracy had been saved from Spartan coercion. A hundred years hence, indeed, that coercion was to befall her; Cleomenes is the forerunner of Lysander, who will amply avenge him.

The Theban leaders of Boeotia had readily concurred in the Spartan plan, for they had a recent cause of offence against Athens. The town of Plataea, on the Boeotian slope of Mount Cithaeron, was determined to retain her independence and hold aloof from the Boeotian league, which was under the supremacy of Thebes. The Plataeans applied in the first instance to Sparta; but as Sparta was unwilling to interfere, they sought and obtained the help of Athens. This was the beginning of a long friendship between Athens and Plataea, based on mutual interest. Plataea depended on the support of Athens to maintain her independence in Boeotia; while it suited Athens to have a small friendly power on the other side of Cithaeron—a sort of watchtower against Thebes. The Athenians went to the protection of Plataea, but the threatened conflict was averted by the intervention of Corinth. The Corinthian arbitration ruled that Boeotian cities which did not wish to join the league must not be coerced. But, as they were departing, the Athenians were treacherously attacked by the Thebans, and, winning a victory, they fixed the river Asopus as the southern boundary of the territory of Thebes. The Athenians acquired, by this expedition, a post in Boeotia itself—the town of Hysiae, on the northern slope of Cithaeron.

On the approach of the Peloponnesian army, the Boeotians had seized Hysiae, and crossing the pass of Cithaeron above it had taken Oenoe on the upper Attic slopes. When Cleomenes and the Peloponnesians retreated, the Athenian army marched northward to check the knights of Chalcis who were ravaging the northern demes of Attica. The Boeotian forces then withdrew into their own land and moved northwards too, in order to join the Chalcidians. But the Athenians, who must have been generalled by an able polemarch, succeeded in encountering their two foes singly. They intercepted the Boeotians near the straits and won a complete victory. Then they crossed the straits, for the Chalcidians had retired to their island, and fought another battle, no less decisive, with the horse­men of Chaicis. The defeat of the Chalcidians was so crushing that they were forced to cede to Athens a large part of that rich Lelantine plain whose possession in old days they had disputed so hotly with Eretria. But this was not all. A multitude of Chalcidians and Boeotians had been made prisoners; they were kept fettered in bitter bondage until their countrymen ransomed them at two minas a man. We cannot withhold our sympathy from the Athenian people if they dealt out hard measure to those whom the Spartan king had so unjustly stirred up against them. The “gloomy iron chains” in which “they quenched the insolence” of their foes were proudly preserved on the Acropolis, and with a tithe of the ransom they dedicated to Athena a bronze chariot.

A portico commemorative of this victory was set up within the sanctuary of Delphi. “The Athenians dedicated the portico, with the arms and figureheads which they took from their foes”—so runs the dedicatory inscription found in recent years on a step of the ruined building. It would appear from this that the Athenians captured and destroyed the ships of Chalcis. If the victory had been some twenty years later, Athens would have added them to her own fleet; but she had not yet come to discern that her true element was the sea.

The democracy had not only brilliantly defended itself, but had won a new territory. The richest part of the Chalcidian plain was divided into lots among two thousand Athenian citizens, who transported their homes to the fertile region beyond the straits—probably under the same conditions as the cleruchs of Salamis.

These outsettlers retained all their rights as citizens; they remained members of their demes and tribes. The Salaminians were so near Athens that it was easier for them than for most of the inhabitants of Attica to attend a meeting of the Ecclesia  and the plain of Chalcis was not farther than Sunium from Athens.

And not only beyond the sea was new territory acquired, but on the borders of Attica itself. This at least is the only occasion to which we can well assign the annexation of the march district of Oropus, the land of the people who gave to the Hellenic race its European name. It had come under the sway of Eretria, had adopted the Eretrian dialect which it was to retain throughout future vicissitudes, and was the last part of Boeotia to be annexed by the Boeotian power of Thebes. This fertile little plain was destined to be a constant subject of discord between Boeotia and Athens, as it had before been a source of strife between Eretria and Boeotia ; but it was now to remain subject to Athens for nearly a hundred years. Subject to Athens, not Athenian; the men of sOropus, like the men of Eleutherae, never became Athenian citizens.