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The three preceding chapters have been devoted exclusively to the narrative of the Expedition and Retreat immortalized by Xenophon, occupying the two years intervening between about April, 401 B.C., and June, 399 B.C. That event, replete as it is with interest and pregnant with important consequences, stands apart from the general sequence of Grecian affairs, which sequence I now resume.

It will be recollected that as soon as Xenophon with his Ten Thousand warriors descended from the rugged mountains between Armenia and the Euxine to the hospitable shelter of Trapezus, and began to lay their plans for returning to Central Greece, they found themselves within the Lacedaemonian empire, unable to advance a step without consulting Lacedaemonian dictation, and obliged, when they reached the Bosphorus, to endure without redress the harsh and treacherous usage of the Spartan officers Anaxibius and Aristarchus.

Of that empire the first origin has been already set forth. It began with the decisive victory of Aegospotami in the spartan Hellespont (September or October, 405 B.C.), where the Lacedaemonian Lysander, without the loss of a man, got possession of the entire Athenian fleet and a large portion of their crews, with the exception of eight or nine triremes with which the Athenian admiral Konon effected his escape to Evagoras at Cyprus. The whole power of Athens was thus annihilated. Nothing remained for the Lacedaemonians to master except the city itself and Peiraeus—a consummation certain to happen, and actually brought to pass in April, 404 B.C., when Lysander entered Athens in triumph, dismantled Peiraeus, and demolished a large portion of the Long Walls. With the exception of Athens herself—whose citizens deferred the moment of subjection by a heroic, though unavailing, struggle against the horrors of famine—and of Samos, no other Grecian city offered any resistance to Lysander after the battle of Aegospotami, which, in fact, not only took away from Athens her whole naval force, but transferred it all over to him, and rendered him admiral of a larger Grecian fleet than had ever been seen together since the battle of Salamis.

I have recounted, in my sixty-fifth chapter, the sixteen months of bitter suffering undergone by Athens immediately after her surrender. The loss of her fleet and power was aggravated by an extremity of internal oppression. Her 0ligarchical party and her exiles, returning after having served with the enemy against her, extorted from the public assembly under the dictation of Lysander, who attended it in person, the appointment of an omnipotent Council of Thirty, for the ostensible purpose of framing a new constitution. These Thirty rulersamong whom Critias was the most violent and Theramenes (seemingly) the most moderate, or at least the soonest satiatedperpetrated cruelty and spoliation on the largest scale, being protected against all resistance by a Lacedaemonian harmost and garrison established in the acropolis. Besides numbers of citizens put to death, so many others were driven into exile with the loss of their property, that Thebes and the neighbouring cities became crowded with them. After about eight months of unopposed tyranny, the Thirty found themselves for the first time attacked by Thrasybulus at the head of a small party of these exiles coming out of Boeotia. His bravery and good conduct, combined with the enormities of the Thirty, which became continually more nefarious, and to which even numerous oligarchical citizens, as well as Theramenes himself, successively became victims, enabled him soon to strengthen himself, to seize the Peiraeus, and to carry on a civil war which ultimately put down the tyrants.

These latter were obliged to invoke the aid of a new Lacedaemonian force. And had that force still continued at the disposal of Lysander, all resistance on the part of Athens would have been unavailing. But fortunately for the Athenians, the last few months hail wrought material change in the dispositions both of the allies of Sparta and of many among her leading men. The allies, especially Thebes and Corinth, not only relented in their hatred and fear of Athens, now that she had lost her power, but even sympathized with her suffering exiles, and became disgusted with the self-willed encroachments of Sparta; while the Spartan king Pausanias, together with some of the Ephors, were also jealous of the arbitrary and oppressive conduct of Lysander. Instead of conducting the Lacedaemonian force to uphold at all price the Lysandrian oligarchy, Pausanias appeared rather as an equitable mediator to terminate the civil war. He refused to concur in any measure for obstructing the natural tendency towards a revival of the democracy. It was in this manner that Athens, rescued from that sanguinary and rapacious regime which has passed into history under the name of the Thirty Tyrants, was enabled to reappear as a humble and dependent member of the Spartan alliance, with nothing but the recollection of her former power, yet with her democracy again in vigorous and tutelary action for internal government. The just and gentle bearing of her democratical citizens, and the absence of reactionary antipathies, after such cruel ill-treatment, are among the most honourable features in her history.

The reader will find in preceding chapters, what I can only rapidly glance at here, the details of that system of bloodshed, spoliation, extinction of free speech and even of intellectual teaching, efforts to implicate innocent citizens as agents in judicial assassinations, &c., which stained the year of Anarchy (as it was termed in Athenian annals) immediately following the surrender of the city. These details depend on evidence perfectly satisfactory, for they are conveyed to us chiefly by Xenophon, whose sympathies are decidedly oligarchical. From him, too, we obtain another fact, not less pregnant with instruction: that the Knights or Horsemen, the body of richest proprietors at Athens, were the mainstay of the Thirty from first to last, notwithstanding all the enormities of their career.

We learn from these dark but well-attested details to appreciate the auspices under which that period of history called the Lacedaemonian Empire was inaugurated. Such phenomena were by no means confined within the walls of Athens. On the contrary, the year of Anarchy (using that term in the sense in which it was employed by the Athenians), arising out of the same combination of causes and agents, was common to a very large proportion of the cities throughout Greece. The Lacedaemonian admiral Lysander, during his first year of naval command, had organized in most of the allied cities factious combinations of some of the principal citizens, corresponding with himself personally. By their efforts in their respective cities, he was enabled to prosecute the war vigorously; and he repaid them partly by seconding as much as he could their injustices in their respective cities, partly by promising to strengthen their hands still further as soon as victory should be made sure. This policy, while it served as a stimulus against the common enemy, contributed still more directly to aggrandize Lysander himself, creating for him an ascendency of his own, and imposing upon him personal obligations towards adherents, apart from what was required by the interests of Sparta.

The victory of Aegospotami, complete and decisive beyond all expectations either of friend or foe, enabled him to discharge these obligations with interest. All Greece at once made submission to the Lacedaemonians, except Athens and Samos, and these two only held out a few months. It was now the first business of the victorious commander to remunerate his adherents, and to take permanent security for Spartan dominion as well as for his own. In the greater number of cities, he established an oligarchy of Ten citizens, or a Dekarchy, composed of his own partisans; while he at the same time planted in each a Lacedaemonian harmost or governor, with a garrison, to uphold the new oligarchy. The Dekarchy of Ten Lysandrian partisans, with the Lacedaemonian harmost to sustain them, became the general scheme of Hellenic government throughout the Aegean, from Euboea to the Thracian coast towns, and from Miletus to Byzantium. Lysander sailed round in person with his victorious fleet to Byzantium and Chalcedon, to the cities of Lesbos, to Thasos, and other places; while he sent Eteonikus to Thrace for the purpose of thus recasting the governments everywhere. Not merely those cities which had hitherto been on the Athenian side, but also those which had acted as allies of Sparta, were subjected to the same intestine revolution and the same foreign constraint. Everywhere the new Lysandrian Dekarchy superseded the previous governments, whether oligarchical or democratical.

At Thasos, as well as in other places, this revolution was not accomplished without much bloodshed as well as treacherous stratagem; nor did Lysander himself scruple to enforce, personally and by his own presence, the execution and expulsion of suspected citizens. In many places, however, simple terrorism probably sufficed. The new Lysandrian Ten overawed resistance and procured recognition of their usurpation, by the menace of inviting the victorious admiral with his fleet of 200 sail, and by the simple arrival of the Lacedaemonian harmost. Not only was each town obliged to provide a fortified citadel and maintenance for this governor with his garrison, but a scheme of tribute, amounting to 1000 talents annually, was imposed for the future, and assessed rateably upon each city by Lysander.

In what spirit these new Dekarchies would govern, consisting as they did of picked oligarchical partisans distinguished for audacity and ambition1—who, to all the unscrupulous lust of power which characterized Lysander himself, added a thirst for personal gain, from which he was exempt, and were now about to reimburse themselves for services already rendered to himthe general analogy of Grecian history would sufficiently teach us, though we are without special details. But in reference to this point, we have not merely general analogy to guide us; we have further the parallel case of the Thirty at Athens, the particulars of whose rule are well known and have already been alluded to. These Thirty, with the exception of the difference of number, were to all intents and purposes a Lysandrian Dekarchy, created by the same originating force, placed under the like circumstances, and animated by the like spirit and interests. Every subject town would produce its Critias and Theramenes, and its body of wealthy citizens like the Knights or Horsemen at Athens to abet their oppressions, under Lacedaemonian patronage and the covering guard of the Lacedaemonian harmost. Moreover, Critias, with all his vices, was likely to be better rather than worse, as compared with his oligarchical parallel in any other less cultivated city. He was a man of letters and philosophy, accustomed to the conversation of Socrates, and to the discussion of ethical and social questions. We may say the same of the Knights or Horsemen at Athens. Undoubtedly they had been better educated, and had been exposed to more liberalizing and improving influences, than the corresponding class elsewhere. If then these Knights at Athens had no shame in serving as accomplices to the Thirty throughout all their enormities, we need not fear to presume that other cities would furnish a body of wealthy men yet more unscrupulous, and a leader at least as sanguinary, rapacious, and full of antipathies as Critias. As at Athens, so elsewhere; the Dekarchs would begin by putting to death notorious political opponents, under the name of “the wicked men”; they would next proceed to deal in the same manner with men of known probity and courage, likely to take a lead in resisting oppression. Their career of blood would continue—in spite of remonstrances from more moderate persons among their own number, like Theramenes—until they contrived some stratagem for disarming the citizens, which would enable them to gratify both their antipathies and their rapacity, by victims still more numerous—many of such victims being wealthy men, selected for purposes of pure spoliation. They would next despatch by force any obtrusive monitor from their own number, like Theramenes : probably with far less ceremony than accompanied the perpetration of this crime at Athens, where we may trace the effect of those judicial forms and habits to which the Athenian public had been habituated overruled indeed, yet still not forgotten. There would hardly remain any fresh enormity still to commit, over and above the multiplied executions, except to banish from the city all but their own immediate partisans, and to reward these latter with choice estates confiscated from the victims. If called upon to excuse such tyranny, the leader of a Dekarchy would have sufficient invention to employ the plea of Critias—that all changes of government were unavoidably death-dealing, and that nothing less than such stringent measures would suffice to maintain his city in suitable dependence upon Sparta.

Of course, it is not my purpose to affirm that in any other city precisely the same phenomena took place as those which occurred in Athens. But we are nevertheless perfectly warranted in regarding the history of the Athenian Thirty as a fair sample from whence to derive our idea of those Lysandrian Dekarchies which now overspread the Grecian world. Doubtless each had its own peculiar march : some were less tyrannical, but perhaps some even more tyrannical, regard being had to the size of the city. And, in point of fact, Isokrates, who speaks with indignant horror of these Dekarchies, while he denounces those features which they had in common with the Triakontarchy at Athens—extra­judicial murders, spoliations, and banishments—notices one enormity besides, which we do not find in the latter—violent outrages upon boys and women. Nothing of this kind is ascribed to Critias and his companions; and it is a considerable proof of the restraining force of Athenian manners, that men who inflicted so much evil in gratification of other violent impulses should have stopped short here. The Decemvirs named by Lysander, like the Decemvir Appius Claudius at Rome, would find themselves armed with power to satiate their lusts as well as their antipathies, and would not be more likely to set bounds to the former than to the latter. Lysander, in all the overweening insolence of victory, while rewarding his most devoted partisans with an exaltation comprising every sort of licence and tyranny, stained the dependent cities with countless murders, perpetrated on private as well as on public grounds. No individual Greek had ever before wielded so prodigious a power of enriching friends or destroying enemies, in this universal reorganization of Greece; nor was there ever any power more deplorably abused.

It was thus that the Lacedaemonian empire imposed upon each of the subject cities a double oppression: the native Decemvirs and the foreign Harmost, each abetting the other, and forming together an aggravated pressure upon the citizens, from which scarce any escape was left. The Thirty at Athens paid the greatest possible court to the harmost Kallibius, and put to death individual Athenians offensive to him, in order to purchase his co-operation in their own violences. The few details which we possess respecting these harmosts (who continued, throughout the insular and maritime cities for about ten years, until the battle of Cnidus, or as long as the maritime empire of Sparta lasted, but in various continental dependencies considerably longer—that is, until the defeat of Leuctra in 371 B.C.)—are all for the most part discreditable. We have seen in the last chapter the description given even by the philo-Laconian Xenophon, of the harsh and treacherous manner in which they acted towards the returning Cyreian soldiers, combined with their corrupt subservience to Pharnabazus. We learn from him that it depended upon the fiat of a Lacedaemonian harmost whether these soldiers should be proclaimed enemies and excluded for ever from their native cities; and Cleander, the harmost of Byzantium, who at first threatened them with this treatment, was only induced by the most unlimited submission, combined with very delicate management, to withdraw his menace. The cruel proceedings of Anaxibius and Aristarchus, who went so far as to sell 400 of these soldiers into slavery, has been recounted a few pages above. Nothing can be more arbitrary or reckless than their proceedings. If they could behave thus towards a body of Greek soldiers full of acquired glory, effective either as friends or as enemies, and having generals capable of prosecuting their collective interests and making their complaints heard, what protection would a private citizen of any subject city, Byzantium or Perinthus, be likely to enjoy against their oppression?

The story of Aristodemus, the harmost of Oreus in Euboea, evinces that no justice could be obtained against any of their enormities from the Ephors at Sparta. That harmost, among many other acts of brutal violence, seized a beautiful youth, son of a free citizen at Oreus, out of the palaestra—carried him off—and after vainly endeavouring to overcome his resistance, put him to death. The father of the youth went to Sparta, made known the atrocities, and appealed to the Ephors and Senate for redress. But a deaf ear was turned to his complaints, and in anguish of mind he slew himself. Indeed we know that these Spartan authorities would grant no redress, not merely against harmosts, but even against private Spartan citizens, who had been guilty of gross crime out of their own country. A Boeotian near Leuctra, named Skedasus, preferred complaint that two Spartans, on their way from Delphi, after having been hospitably entertained in his house, had first violated and afterwards killed his two daughters; but even for so flagitious an outrage as this no redress could be obtained. Doubtless, when a powerful foreign ally, like the Persian satrap Pharnabazus, complained to the Ephors of the conduct of a Lacedaemonian harmost or admiral, his representations would receive attention; and we learn that the Ephors were thus induced not merely to recall Lysander from the Hellespont, but to put to death another officer, Thorax, for corrupt appropriation of money. But for a private citizen in any subject city, the superintending authority of Sparta would be not merely remote but deaf and immovable, so as to afford him no protection whatever, and to leave him altogether at the mercy of the harmost. It seems too that the rigour of Spartan training and peculiarity of habits rendered individual Lacedaemonians on foreign service more self-willed, more incapable of entering into the customs or feelings of others, and more liable to degenerate when set free from the strict watch of home, than other Greeks generally.

Taking all these causes of evil together—the Dekarchies, the Harmosts, and the overwhelming dictatorship of Lysander—and construing other parts of the Grecian world by the analogy of Athens under the Thirty, we shall be warranted in affirming that the first years of the Spartan Empire, which followed upon the victory of Aegospotami, were years of all-pervading tyranny and multifarious intestine calamity, such as Greece had never before endured. The hardships of war, severe in many ways, were now at an end, but they were replaced by a state of suffering not the less difficult to bear because it was called peace. And what made the suffering yet more intolerable was, that it was a bitter disappointment and a flagrant violation of promises proclaimed, repeatedly and explicitly, by the Lacedaemonians themselves.

For more than thirty years preceding—from times earlier than the commencement of the Peloponnesian War—the Spartans had professed to interfere only for the purpose of liberating Greece, and of putting down the usurped ascendency of Athens. All the allies of Sparta had been invited into strenuous action—all those of Athens had been urged to revolt—under the soul-stirring cry of “Freedom to Greece”. The earliest incitements addressed by the Corinthians to Sparta in 432 B.C., immediately after the Corcyraean dispute, called upon her to stand forward in fulfilment of her recognized function as “Liberator of Greece,” and denounced her as guilty of connivance with Athens if she held back. Athens was branded as the “despot city,” which had already absorbed the independence of many Greeks, and menaced that of all the rest. The last formal requisition borne by the Lacedaemonian envoys to Athens, in the winter immediately preceding the war, ran thus—“If you desire the continuance of peace with Sparta, restore to the Greeks their autonomy”. When Archidamus king of Sparta approached at the head of his army to besiege Plataea, the Plataeans laid claim to autonomy as having been solemnly guaranteed to them by King Pausanias after the great victory near their town. Upon which Archidamus replied—“Your demand is just; we are prepared to confirm your autonomy; but we call upon you to aid us in securing the like for those other Greeks who have been enslaved by Athens. This is the sole purpose of our great present effort.” And the banner of general enfranchisement, which the Lacedaemonians thus held up at the outset of the war, enlisted in their cause encouraging sympathy and good wishes throughout Greece.

But most striking illustration by far, of the seductive promises held out by the Lacedaemonians, was afforded by the conduct of Brasidas in Thrace, when he first came into the neighbourhood of the Athenian allies during the eighth year of the war (424 B.C.). In his memorable discourse addressed to the public assembly at Acanthus, he takes the greatest pains to satisfy them that he came only for the purpose of realizing the promise of enfranchisement proclaimed by the Lacedaemonians at the beginning of the war. Having expected, when acting in such a cause, nothing less than a hearty welcome, he is astonished to find their gates closed against him. “I am come (said he), not to injure, but to liberate the Greeks; after binding the Lacedaemonian authorities by the most solemn oaths, that all whom I may bring over shall be dealt with as autonomous allies. We do not wish to obtain you as allies either by force or fraud, but to act as your allies at a time when you are enslaved by the Athenians. You ought not to suspect my purposes, in the face of these solemn assurances; least of all ought any man to hold back through apprehension of private enmities, and through fear lest I should put the city into the hands of a few chosen, partisans. I am not come to identify myself with local faction: I am not the man to offer you an unreal liberty by breaking down your established constitution, for the purpose of enslaving either the Many to the Few, or the Few to the Many. That would be more intolerable even than foreign dominion; and we Lacedaemonians should incur nothing but reproach, instead of reaping thanks and honour for our trouble. We should draw upon ourselves those very censures, upon the strength of which we are trying to put down Athens; and that too in aggravated measure, worse than those who have never made honourable professions; since to men in high position specious trick is more disgraceful than open violence. If (continued Brasidas), in spite of mv assurances, you still withhold from me your co-operation, I shall think myself authorized to constrain you by force. We should not be warranted in forcing freed om on any unwilling parties, except with a view to some common good. But as we seek not empire for ourselves—as we struggle only to put down the empire of others—as we offer autonomy to each and all—so we should do wrong to the majority if we allowed you to persist in your opposition.”

Like the allied sovereigns of Europe in 1813, who, requiring the most strenuous efforts on the part of the people to contend against the Emperor Napoleon, promised free constitutions, yet granted nothing after the victory had been assured, the Lacedaemonians thus held out the most emphatic and repeated assurances of general autonomy in order to enlist allies against Athens, disavowing, even, ostentatiously, any aim at empire for themselves. It is true that after the great catastrophe before Syracuse, when the rum of Athens appeared imminent, and when the alliance with the Persian satraps against her was first brought to pass, the Lacedaemonians began to think more of empire and less of Grecian freedom; which indeed, so far as concerned the Greeks on the continent of Asia, was surrendered to Persia. Nevertheless the old watchword still continued. It was still currently believed, though less studiously professed, that the destruction of the Athenian empire was aimed at as a means to the liberation of Greece.

The victory of Aegospotami with its consequences cruelly undeceived every one. The language of Brasidas, sanctioned by the solemn oaths of the Lacedaemonian Ephors, in 424 B.C., and the proceedings of the Lacedaemonian Lysander in 405—404 B.C., the commencing hour of Spartan omnipotence, stand in such literal and flagrant contradiction, that we might almost imagine the former to have foreseen the possibility of such a successor, and to have tried to disgrace and disarm him beforehand. The Dekarchies of Lysander realized that precise ascendency of a few chosen partisans which Brasidas repudiates as an abomination worse than foreign dominion; while the harmosts and garrison, installed in the dependent cities along with the native Decemvirs, planted the second variety of mischief as well as the first, each aggravating the other Had the noble-minded Callicratidas gamed a victory at Arginusae and lived to close the war, he would probably have tried, with more or less of success, to make some approach to the promises of Brasidas. But it was the double misfortune of Greece, first, that the closing victory was gained by such an admiral as Lysander, the most unscrupulous of all power-seekers, partly for his country, and still more for himself; next, that the victory was so decisive, sudden, and imposing, as to leave no enemy standing, or in a position to insist upon terms. The fiat of Lysander, acting in the name of Sparta, became omnipotent, not merely over enemies, but over allies, and to a certain degree even over the Spartan authorities themselves. There was no present necessity for conciliating allies—still less for acting up to former engagements; so that nothing remained to oppose the naturally ambitious of the Spartan Ephors, who allowed the admiral to carry out the details in his own way. But former assurances, though Sparta was in a condition to disregard them, were not forgotten by others; and the recollection of them imparted additional bitterness to the oppressions of the Decemvirs and Harmosts. In perfect consistency with her misrule throughout Eastern Greece, too, Sparta identified herself with the energetic tyranny of Dionysius at Syracuse, assisting both to erect and to uphold it—a contradiction to her former maxims of action which would have astounded the historian Herodotus.

The empire of Sparta, thus constituted at the end of 405 B.C., maintained itself in full grandeur for somewhat above ten years, until the naval battle of Knidos in 394 B.C. That defeat destroyed her fleet and maritime ascendency, yet left her in undiminished power on land, which she still maintained until her defeat by the Thebans at Leuctra in 371 B.C. Throughout all this time, it was her established system to keep up Spartan harmosts and garrisons in the dependent cities on the continent as well as in the islands. Chians, who had been her most active allies during the last eight year’s of the war, were compelled to submit to this hardship, besides having all their fleet taken away from them. But the native Dekarchies, though at first established by Lysander universally throughout the maritime dependencies, did not last as a system so long as the Harmosts. Composed as they were to a great degree of the personal nominees and confederates of Lysander, they suffered in part by the reactionary jealousy which in time made itself felt against his overweening ascendency. After continuing for some time, they lost the countenance of the Spartan Ephors, who proclaimed permission to the cities (we do not precisely know when) to resume their pre­existing governments. Some of the Dekarchies thus became dissolved or modified in various ways, but several probably still continued to subsist, if they had force enough to maintain themselves; for it does not appear that the Ephors ever systematically put them down as Lysander had systematically set them up.


The government of the Thirty at Athens would never have been overthrown, if the oppressed Athenians had been obliged to rely on a tutelary interference of the Spartan Ephors to help them in overthrowing it. I have already shown that this nefarious oligarchy came to its end by the unassisted efforts of Thrasybulus and the Athenian democrats themselves. It is true indeed that the arrogance and selfishness of Sparta and of Lysander had alienated the Thebans, Corinthians, Megarians, and other neighbouring allies, and induced them to sympathize with the Athenian exiles against the atrocities of the Thirty; but those neighbours never rendered any positive or serious aid. The inordinate personal ambition of Lysander had also offended King Pausanias and the Spartan Ephors, so that they too became indifferent to the Thirty, who were his creatures. But this merely deprived the Thirty of that foreign support which Lysander, had he still continued in the ascendant, would have extended to them in full measure. It was not the positive cause of their downfall. That crisis was brought about altogether by the energy of Thrasybulus and his companions, who manifested such force and determination as could not have been put down without an extraordinary display of Spartan military power—a display not entirely safe when the sympathies of the chief allies were with the other side, and at any rate adverse to the inclinations of Pausanias.

As it was with the Thirty at Athens, so it probably was also with the Dekarchies in the dependent cities. The Spartan Ephors took no steps to put them down; but where the resistance of the citizens was strenuous enough to overthrow them, no Spartan intervention came to prop them up, and the Harmost perhaps received orders not to consider his authority as indissolubly linked with theirs. The native forces of each dependent city being thus left to find their own level, the Decemvirs, once installed, would doubtless maintain themselves in a great number; while in other cases they would be overthrown—or perhaps would contrive to perpetuate their dominion by compromise and alliance with other oligarchical sections. This confused and unsettled state of the Dekarchies—some still existing, others half­existing, others again defunct—prevailed in 396 B.C., when Lysander accompanied Agesilaus into Asia in the lull hope that he should have influence enough to reorganize them all. We must recollect that no other dependent city would possess the same means of offering energetic resistance to its local Decemvirs, as Athens offered to the Thirty, and that the insular Grecian cities were not only feeble individually, but naturally helpless against the lords of the sea.

Such then was the result throughout Greece when that long war, which had been undertaken in the name of universal autonomy, was terminated by the battle of Aegospotami. In place of imperial Athens was substituted, not the promised autonomy, but yet more imperial Sparta. An awful picture is given by the philo-Laconian Xenophon, in 399 B.C., of the ascendency exercised throughout all the Grecian cities, not merely by the Ephors and the public officers, but even by the private citizens, of Sparta. “ The Lacedaemonians (says he, in addressing the Cyreian army) are now the presidents of Greece; and even any single private Lacedaemonian can accomplish what he pleases.” “All the cities (he says in another place) then obeyed whatever order they might receive from a Lacedaemonian citizen.” Not merely was the general ascendency thus omnipresent and irresistible, but it was enforced with a stringency of detail, and darkened by a thousand accompaniments of tyranny and individual abuse, such as had never been known under the much-decried empire of Athens.

We have more than, one picture of the Athenian empire in speeches made by hostile orators who had every motive to work up the strongest antipathies in the bosoms of their audience against it. We have the addresses of the Corinthian envoys at Sparta when stimulating the Spartan allies to the Peloponnesian War—that of the envoys from Mitylene delivered at Olympia to the Spartan confederates, when the city had revolted from Athens and stood in pressing need of support—the discourse of Brasidas in the public assembly at Acanthus— and more than one speech also from Hermokrates, impressing upon his Sicilian countrymen hatred as well as fear of Athens? Whoever reads these discourses will see that they dwell almost exclusively on the great political wrong inherent in the very fact of her empire, robbing so many Grecian communities of their legitimate autonomy, over and above the tribute imposed. That Athens had thus already enslaved many cities, and was only watching for opportunities to enslave many more, is the theme upon which they expatiate. But of practical grievances—of cruelty, oppression, spoliation, multiplied exiles, &c., of high­handed wrong committed by individual Athenians—not one word is spoken. Had there been the smallest pretext for introducing such inflammatory topics, how much more impressive would have been the appeal of Brasidas to the sympathies of the Akanthians? How vehement would have been the denunciations of the Mitylenaean envoys, in place of the tame and almost apologetic language which we now read in Thucydides? Athens extinguished the autonomy of her subject-allies, and punished revolters with severity, sometimes even with cruelty. But as to other points of wrong, the silence of accusers, such as those just noticed, counts as a powerful exculpation.

The case is altered when we come to the period succeeding the battle of Aegospotami. Here, indeed, also, we find the Spartan empire complained of (as the Athenian empire had been before), in contrast with that state of autonomy to which each city laid claim, and which Sparta not merely promised to ensure, but set forth as her only ground of war. Yet this is not the prominent grievance—other topics stand more emphatically forward. The Decemvirs and the Harmosts (some of the latter being Helots), the standing instruments of Spartan empire, are felt aa more sorely than the empire itself, as the language held by Brasidas at Acanthus admits them to be beforehand. At the time when Athens was a subject city under Sparta, governed by the Lysandrian Thirty and by the Lacedaemonian harmost in the Acropolis, the sense of indignity arising from subjection was absorbed in the still more terrible suffering arising from the enormities of those individual rulers whom the imperial state had set up. Now Athens set up no local rulers, no native Ten or native Thirty, no resident Athenian harmosts or garrisons. This was of itself an unspeakable exemption, when compared with the condition of cities subject not only to the Spartan empire, but also under that empire to native Decemvirs like Critias, and Spartan harmosts like Aristarchus or Aristodemus. A city subject to Athens had to bear definite burdens enforced by its own government, which was liable, in case of default or delinquency, to be tried before the popular Athenian Dikastery. But this same Dikastery (as I have shown in a former volume, and as is distinctly stated by Thucydides) was the harbour of refuge to each subject city—not less against individual Athenian wrong­doers than against misconduct from other cities. Those who complained of the hardship suffered by a subject city, from the obligation of bringing causes to be tiled in the Dikastery of Athens—even if we take the case as they state it, and overlook the unfairness of omitting those numerous instances wherein the city was thus enabled to avert or redress wrong done to its own citizens—would have complained both more loudly and with greater justice of an ever-present Athenian harmost; especially if there were co-existent a native government of Ten oligarchs, exchanging with him guilty connivances, like the partnership of the Thirty at Athens with the Lacedaemonian harmost Kallibius.

In no one point can it be shown that the substitution of Spartan empire in place of Athenian was a gain, either for the subject cities or for Greece generally, while in many points it was a great and serious aggravation of suffering. And this abuse of power is the more deeply to be regretted, as Sparta enjoyed, after the battle of Aegospotami, a precious opportunity—such as Athens had never had, and such as never again recurred—of reorganizing the Grecian world on wise principles, and with a view to Pan-hellenic stability and harmony. It is not her greatest sin to have refused to grant universal autonomy. She had, indeed, promised it; but we might pardon a departure from specific performance, had she exchanged the boon for one far greater, which it was within her reasonable power, at the end of 405 B.C., to confer. That universal town autonomy, towards which the Grecian instinct tended, though immeasurably better than universal subjection, was yet accompanied by much internal discord, and by the still more formidable evil of helplessness against any efficient foreign enemy. To ensure to the Hellenic world external safety as well as internal concord, it was not a new empire which was wanted, but a new political combination on equitable and comprehensive principles, divesting each town of a portion of its autonomy, and creating a common authority, responsible to all, for certain definite controlling purposes. If ever a tolerable federative system would have been practicable in Greece, it was after the battle of Aegospotami. The Athenian empire—which, with all its defects, I believe to have been much better for the subject cities than universal autonomy would have been—had already removed many difficulties, and shown that combined and systematic action of the maritime Grecian world was no impossibility. Sparta might now have substituted herself for Athens, not as heir to the imperial power, but as president and executive agent of a new Confederacy of Delos—reviving the equal, comprehensive, and liberal principles on which that Confederacy had first been organized.

It is true that, sixty years before, the constituent members of the original Synod at Delos had shown themselves insensible to its value. As soon as the pressing alarm from Persia had passed over, some had discontinued sending deputies, had disobeyed requisitions, others again had bought off their obligations, and forfeited their rights as autonomous and voting members, by pecuniary bargain with Athens, who, being obliged by the duties of her presidency to enforce obedience to the Synod against all reluctant members, made successively many enemies, and was gradually converted, almost without her own seeking, from President into Emperor, as the only means of obviating the total dissolution of the Confederacy.

But though such untoward circumstances had happened before, it does not follow that they would now have happened again, assuming the same experiment to have been retried by Sparta, with manifest sincerity of purpose and tolerable wisdom. The Grecian world, especially the maritime portion of it, had passed through trials, not less painful than instructive, during this important interval. Nor does it seem rash to suppose that the bulk of its members might now have been disposed to perform steady confederate duties, at the call and under the presidency of Sparta, had she really attempted to reorganize a liberal Confederacy, treating every city as autonomous and equal, except in so far as each was bound to obey the resolutions of the general synod. However impracticable such a scheme may appear, we must recollect that even Utopian schemes have their transient moments, if not of certain success, at least of commencement not merely possible but promising. And my belief is, that had Callicratidas, with his ardent Pan-Hellenic sentiment and force of moral resolution, been the final victor over imperial Athens, he would not have let the moment of pride and omnipotence pass over without essaying some noble project like that sketched above.

It is to be remembered that Athens had never had the power of organizing any such generous Pan-hellenic combination. She had become depopularized in the legitimate execution of her trust, as president of the Confederacy of Delos, against refractory members. She had been obliged to choose between breaking up the Confederacy, and keeping it together under the strong compression of an imperial chief. But Sparta had not yet become depopularized. She now stood without competitor as leader of the Grecian world, and might at that moment have reasonably hoped to carry the members of it along with her to any liberal and Pan-hellenic organization, had she attempted it with proper earnestness. Unfortunately, she took the opposite course, under the influence of Lysander—founding a new empire far more oppressive and odious than that of Athens, with few of the advantages, and none of the excuses, attached to the latter. As she soon became even more unpopular than Athens, her moment of high tide, for beneficent Pan-hellenic combination, passed away also—never to return.

Having thus brought all the maritime Greeks under her empire, with a tribute of more than 1000 talents imposed upon them, and continuing to be chief of her landed alliance in Central Greece, which now included Athens as a simple unit, Sparta was the all-pervading imperial power in Greece. Her new empire was organized by the victorious Lysander; but with so much arrogance, and so much personal ambition to govern all Greece by means of nominees of his own—Decemvirs and Harmosts—that he raised numerous rivals and enemies, as well at Sparta itself as elsewhere. The jealousy entertained by King Pausanias, the offended feelings of Thebes and Corinth, and the manner in which these new phenomena brought about (in spite of the opposition of Lysander) the admission of Athens as a revived democracy into the Lacedaemonian Confederacy have been already related.

In the early months of 403 B.C., Lysander was partly at home, partly in Attica, exerting himself to sustain the falling oligarchy of Athens against the increasing force of Thrasybulus and the Athenian exiles in Peiraeus. In this purpose he was directly thwarted by the opposing views of King Pausanias and three out of the five Ephors. But though the Ephors thus checked Lysander in regard to Athens, they softened the humiliation by sending him abroad to a fresh command on the Asiatic coast and the Hellespont—a step which had the further advantage of putting asunder two such marked rivals as he and Pausanias had now become. That which Lysander had tried in vain to do at Athens, he was doubtless better able to do in Asia, where he had neither Pausanias nor the Ephors along with him. He could lend effective aid to the Dekarchies and Harmosts in the Asiatic cities, against any internal opposition with which they might be threatened. Bitter were the complaints which readied Sparta, both against him and against his ruling partisans. At length the Ephors were prevailed upon to disavow the Dekarchies, and to proclaim that they would not hinder the cities from resuming their former governments at pleasure.

But all the crying oppressions set forth in the complaints of the maritime cities would have been insufficient to procure the recal of Lysander from his command in the Hellespont, had not Pharnabazus joined his remonstrances to the rest. These last representations so strengthened the enemies of Lysander at Sparta, that a peremptory order was sent to recall him. Constrained to obey, he came back to Sparta, but the comparative disgrace and the loss of that boundless power which he had enjoyed on his command were so insupportable to him, that he obtained permission to go on a pilgrimage to the temple of Zeus Ammon in Libya, under the plea that he had a vow to discharge. He appears also to have visited the temples of Delphi and Dodona, with secret ambitious projects which will be mentioned presently. This politic withdrawal softened the jealousy against him, so that we shall find him, after a year or two, re-established in great influence and ascendency. He was sent as Spartan envoy, at what precise moment we do not know, to Syracuse, where he lent countenance and aid to the recently established despotism of Dionysius.

The position of the Asiatic Greeks, along the coast of Ionia, Aeolis, and the Hellespont, became very peculiar after the triumph of Sparta at Aegospotami. I have already recounted how, immediately after the great Athenian catastrophe before Syracuse, the Persian king had renewed his g.asp upon those cities, from which the vigorous hand of Athens had kept him excluded for more than fifty years: how Sparta, bidding for his aid, had consented by three formal conventions to surrender them to him, while her commissioner Lichas even reproved the Milesians for their aversion to this bargain: how Athens also, in the days of her weakness, competing for the same advantage, had expressed her willingness to pay the same price for it. After the battle of Aegospotami, this convention was carried into effect; though seemingly not without disputes between the satrap Pharnabazus on one side, and Lysander and Derkyllidas on the other. The latter was Lacedaemonian harmost at Abydos, which town, so important as a station on the Hellespont, the Lacedaemonians seem still to have retained. But Pharnabazus and his subordinates acquired more complete command of the Hellespontine Aeolis and of the Troad than ever they had enjoyed before, both along the coast and in the interior.

Another element however soon became operative. The condition of the Greek cities on the coast of Ionia, though according to Persian regulations they belonged to the satrapy of Tissaphernes, was now materially determined,—first) by the competing claims of Cyrus, who wished to take them away from him, and tried to get such transfer ordered at court—next, by the aspirations of that young prince to the Persian throne. As Cyrus rested his hope of success on Grecian co-operation, it was highly important to him to render himself popular among the Greeks, especially on his own side of the Aegean. Partly his own manifestations of just and conciliatory temper, partly the bad name and known perfidy of Tissaphernes, induced the Grecian cities with one accord to revolt from the latter. All threw themselves into the arms of Cyrus, except Miletus, where Tissaphernes interposed in time, slew the leaders of the intended revolt, and banished many of their partisans. Cyrus, receiving the exiles with distinguished favour, levied an army to besiege Miletus and procure their restoration; while he at the same time threw strong Grecian garrisons into the other cities to protect them against attack.

This local quarrel was however soon merged in the more comprehensive dispute respecting the Persian succession. Both parties were found on the field of Cunaxa: Cyrus with the Greek soldiers and Milesian exiles on one side—Tissaphernes on the other. How that attempt, upon which so much hinged in the future history both of Asia Minor and of Greece, terminated, I have already recounted. Probably the impression brought back by the Lacedaemonian fleet which left Cyrus on the coast of Syria, after he had surmounted the most difficult country without any resistance, was highly favourable to his success. So much the more painful would be the disappointment among the Ionian Greeks when the news of his death was afterwards brought: so much the greater their alarm, when Tissaphernes, having relinquished the pursuit of the Ten Thousand Greeks at the moment when they entered the mountains of Karduchia, came down as victor to the seaboard; more powerful than ever—rewarded by the Great King, for the services which he had rendered against Cyrus, with all the territory which had been governed by the latter, as well as with the title of commander-in-chief over all the neighbouring satraps—and prepared not only to reconquer, but to punish, the revolted maritime cities. He began by attacking Kyme, ravaging the territory, with great loss to the citizens, and exacting from them a still larger contribution, when the approach of winter rendered it inconvenient to besiege their city.

In such state of apprehension, these cities sent to Sparta, as the great imperial power of Greece, to entreat her protection against the aggravated slavery impending over them. The Lacedaemonians had nothing further to expect from the king of Persia, with whom they had already broken the peace by lending aid to Cyrus. Moreover the fame of the Ten Thousand Greeks, who were now coming home along the Euxine towards Byzantium, had become diffused throughout Greece, inspiring signal contempt for Persian military efficiency, and hopes of enrichment by war against the Asiatic satraps. Accordingly, the Spartan Ephors were induced to comply with the petition of their Asiatic countrymen, and to send over to Asia Thimbron at the head of a considerable force : 2000 Neodamodes (or Helots who had been enfranchised), and 4000 Peloponnesian heavy-armed, accompanied by 300 Athenian horsemen, out of the number of those who had been adherents of the Thirty, four years before—an aid granted by Athens at the special request of Thimbron. Arriving in Asia during the winter of 400—399 B.C., Thimbron was reinforced in the spring of 399 B.c. by the Cyreian army, who were brought across from Thrace as described in my last chapter, and taken into Lacedaemonian pay. With this large force he became more than a match for the satraps, even on the plains where they could employ their numerous cavalry. The petty Grecian princes of Pergamus and Teuthrania, holding that territory by ancient grants from Xerxes to their ancestors, joined their troops to his, contributing much to enrich Xenophon at the moment of his departure from the Cyreians. Yet Thimbron achieved nothing worthy of so large an army. He not only miscarried in the siege of Larissa, but was even unable to maintain order among his own soldiers, who pillaged indiscriminately both friends and foes. Such loud complaints were transmitted to Sparta of his irregularities and inefficiency, that the Ephors first sent him an order to march into Karia where Tissaphernes resided,—and next, before that order was executed, despatched Derkyllidas to supersede him, seemingly in the winter 399—398 B.C. Thimbron on returning to Sparta was fined and banished.

It is highly probable that the Cyreian soldiers, though excellent in the field, yet having been disappointed of reward for the prodigious toils which they had gone through in their long march, and having been kept on short allowance in Thrace, as well as cheated by Seuthes, were greedy, unscrupulous, and hard to be restrained, in the matter of pillage; especially as Xenophon, their most influential general, had now left them. Their conduct greatly improved under Derkyllidas. And though such improvement was doubtless owing partly to the superiority of the latter over Thimbron, yet it seems also partly ascribable to the fact that Xenophon, after a few months of residence at Athens, accompanied him to Asia, and resumed the command of his old comrades.

Derkyllidas was a man of so much resource and cunning as to have acquired the surname of Sisyphus. He had served throughout all the concluding years of the war, and had been harmost at Abydus during the naval command of Lysander, who condemned him, on the complaint of Pharnabazus, to the disgrace of public exposure with his shield on his arm : this was (I presume) a disgrace, because an officer of rank always had his shield carried for him by an attendant, except in the actual encounter of battle. Having never forgiven Pharnabazus for thus dishonouring him, Derkyllidas now took advantage of a misunderstanding between the satrap and Tissaphernes, to make a truce with the latter, and conduct his army, 8000 strong, into the territory of the former. The mountainous region of Ida generally known as the Troad— inhabited by a population of Aeolic Greeks (who had gradually Hellenized the indigenous inhabitants), and therefore known as the Aeolis of Pharnabazus—was laid open to him by a recent event, important in itself as well as instructive to read.

The entire Persian empire was parcelled into so many satrapies, each satrap being bound to send a fixed amount of annual tribute, and to hold a certain amount of military force ready, for the court at Susa. Provided he was punctual in fulfilling these obligations, little inquiry was made as to his other proceedings, unless in the rare case of his maltreating some individual Persian high rank. In like manner, it appears, each satrapy was divided into sub-satrapies or districts , each of these held by a deputy, who paid to the satrap a fixed tribute and maintained for him a certain military force—having liberty to govern in other respects as he pleased. Besides the tribute, however, presents of undefined amount were of constant occurrence, both from the satrap to the king, and from the deputy to the satrap. Nevertheless, enough was extorted from the people (we need hardly add) to leave an ample profit both to the one and to the other?

This region called Aeolis had been entrusted by Pharnabazus to a native of Dardanus named Zenis, who, after holding the post for some time and giving full satisfaction, died of illness, leaving a widow with a son and daughter still minors. The satrap was on the point of giving the district to another person, when Mania, the widow of Zenis, herself a native of Dardanus, preferred her petition to be allowed to succeed her husband. Visiting Pharnabazus with money in hand, sufficient not only to satisfy himself, but also to gain over his mistresses and his ministers, she said to him—“My husband was faithful to you, and paid his tribute so regularly as to obtain your thanks. If I serve you no worse than he, why should you name any other deputy ? If I fail in giving you satisfaction, you can always remove me, and give the place to another.” Pharnabazus granted her petition, and had no cause to repent it. Mania was regular in her payment of tribute—frequent in bringing him presents—and splendid, beyond any of his other deputies, in her manner of receiving him whenever he visited the district.

Her chief residence was at Skepsis, Gergis, and Kebren—inland towns, strong both by position and by fortification, amidst the mountainous region once belonging to the Teukri Gergithes. It was here too that she kept her treasures, which, partly left by her husband, partly accumulated by herself, had gradually reached an enormous sum. But her district also reached down to the coast, comprising among other towns the classical name of Ilium, and probably her own native city the neighbouring Dardanus. She maintained, besides, a large military force of Grecian mercenaries in regular pay and excellent condition, which she employed both as garrison for each of her dependent towns, and as means for conquest in the neighbourhood. She had thus reduced the maritime towns of Larissa, Hamaxitus, and Kolonae, in the southern part of the Troad; commanding her troops in person, sitting in her chariot to witness the attack, and rewarding every one who distinguished himself. Moreover, when Pharnabazus undertook an expedition against the predatory Mysians or Pisidians, she accompanied him, and her military force formed so much the best part of his army, that he paid her the highest compliments, and sometimes condescended to ask her advice. So, when Xerxes invaded Greece, Artemisia queen of Halikarnassus not only furnished ships among the best-appointed in his fleet, and fought bravely at Salamis, but also, when he chose to call a council, stood alone in daring to give him sound opinions contrary to his own leanings—opinions which, fortunately for the Grecian world, he could bring himself only to tolerate, not to follow.

Under an energetic woman like Mania, thus victorious and well-provided, Aeolis was the most defensible part of the satrapy of Pharnabazus, and might probably have defied Derkyllidas, had not a domestic traitor put an end to her life. Her son-in-law, Meidias, a Greek of Skepsis, with whom she lived on terms of intimate confidence—“ though she was scrupulously mistrustful of every one else, as it is proper for a despot to be”—was so inflamed by his own ambition and by the suggestions of evil counsellors, who told him it was a shame that a woman should thus be ruler while he was only a private man, that he strangled her in her chamber. Following up his nefarious scheme, he also assassinated her son, a beautiful youth of seventeen. He succeeded in getting possession of the three strongest places in the district, Kebren, Skepsis, and Gergis, together with the accumulated treasure of Mania. But the commanders in the other towns refused obedience to his summons, until they should receive orders from Pharnabazus. To that satrap Meidias instantly sent envoys, bearing ample presents, with a petition that the satrap would grant to him the district which had been enjoyed by Mania. Pharnabazus, repudiating the presents, sent an indignant reply to Meidias—“Keep them until I come to seize them—and to seize you also along with them. I would not consent to live, if I were not to avenge the death of Mania.”

At that critical moment, prior to the coming of the satrap, Derkyllidas presented himself with his army, and found Aeolis almost defenceless. The three recent conquests of Mania— Larissa, Hamaxitus, and Kolonae—surrendered to him as soon as he appeared; while the garrisons of Ilium and some other places, who had taken special service under Mania, and found themselves worse off now that they had lost her, accepted his invitation to renounce Persian dependence, declare themselves allies of Sparta, and hold their cities for him. He thus became master of most part of the district; with the exception of Kebren, Skepsis, and Gergis, which he was anxious to secure before the arrival of Pharnabazus. On arriving before Kebren, however, in spite of this necessity for haste, he remained inactive for four days, because the sacrifices were unpropitious; while a rash subordinate officer, hazarding an unwarranted attack during this interval, was repulsed and wounded. The sacrifices at length became favourable, and Derkyllidas was rewarded for his patience. The garrison, affected by the example of those at Ilium and the other towns, disobeyed their commander, who tried to earn the satrap’s favour by holding out and assuring to him this very strong place. Sending out heralds to proclaim that they would go with Greeks and not with Persians, they admitted the Lacedaemonians at once within the gates. Having thus fortunately captured, and duly secured, this important town, Derkyllidas marched against Skepsis and Gergis, the former of which was held by Meidias himself, who, dreading the arrival of Pharnabazus, and mistrusting the citizens within, thought it best to open negotiations with Derkyllidas. He sent to solicit a conference, demanding hostages for his safety. When he came forth from the town, and demanded from the Lacedaemonian commander on what terms alliance would be granted to him, the latter replied—“On condition that the citizens shall be left free and autonomous”; at the same time marching on, without waiting either for acquiescence or refusal, straight up to the gates of the town. Meidias, taken by surprise, in the power of the assailants, and aware that the citizens were unfriendly to him, was obliged to give orders that the gate should be opened; so that Derkyllidas found himself by this rapid manoeuvre in possession of the strongest place in the district without either loss or delay, to the great delight of the Skepsians themselves.

Derkyllidas, having ascended the acropolis of Skepsis to offer a sacrifice of thanks to Athene, the great patron goddess of Ilium and most of the Teukrian towns, caused the garrison of Meidias to evacuate the town forthwith, and consigned it to the citizens themselves, exhorting them to conduct their political affairs as became Greeks and freemen. This proceeding, which reminds us of Brasidas in contrast with Lysander, was not less politic than generous; since Derkyllidas could hardly hope to hold an inland town in the midst of the Persian satrapy except by the attachment of the citizens themselves. He then marched away to Gergis, still conducting along with him Meidias, who urgently entreated to be allowed to retain that town, the last of his remaining fortresses. Without giving any decided answer, Derkyllidas took him by his side, and marched with him at the head of his army, arrayed only in double file, so as to carry the appearance of peace, to the foot of the lofty towers of Gergis. The garrison on the walls, seeing Meidias along with him, allowed him to approach without discharging a single missile. “ Now, Meidias (said he), order the gates to be opened, and show me the way in, to the temple of Athene, in order that I may there offer sacrifice”. Again, Meidias was forced, from fear of being at once seized as a prisoner, to give the order; and the Lacedaemonian forces found themselves in possession of the town. Derkyllidas, distributing his troops round the walls, in order to make sure of his conquest, ascended to the acropolis to offer his intended sacrifice; after which he proceeded to dictate the fate of Meidias, whom he divested of his character of prince and of his military force—incorporating the latter in the Lacedaemonian army. He then called upon Meidias to specify all his paternal property, and restored to him the whole of what he claimed as such, though the bystanders protested against the statement given in as a flagrant exaggeration. But he laid hands on all the property, and all the treasures of Mania—and caused her house, which Meidias had taken for himself, to be put under seal—as lawful prey; since Mania had belonged to Pharnabazus, against whom the Lacedaemonians were making war. On coming out after examining and verifying the contents of the house, he said to his officers, “Now, my friends, we have here already worked out pay for the whole army, 8000 men, for near a year. Whatever we acquire besides shall come to you also.” He well knew the favourable effect which this intelligence would produce upon the temper, as well as upon the discipline, of the army—especially upon the Cyreians, who had tasted the discomfort of irregular pay and poverty.

“And where am I to live?” asked Meidias, who found himself turned out of the house of Mania. “In your rightful place of abode, to be sure (replied Derkyllidas)—in your native town Skepsis, and in your paternal house.” What became of the assassin afterwards, we do not hear. But it is satisfactory to find that he did not reap the anticipated reward of his crime, the fruits of which were an important advantage to Derkyllidas and his army, and a still more important blessing to the Greek cities which had been governed by Mania—enfranchisement and autonomy.

This rapid, easy, and skilfully-managed exploit—the capture of nine towns in eight days—is all which Xenophon mentions as achieved by Derkyllidas during the summer. Having acquired pay for so many months, perhaps the soldiers may have been disposed to rest until it was spent. But as winter approached, it became necessary to find winter quarters, incurring the reproach which had fallen upon Thimbron of consuming the substance of allies. Fearing, however, that if he changed his position, Pharnabazus would employ the numerous Persian cavalry to harass the Grecian cities, he tendered a truce, which the latter willingly accepted. For the occupation of Adeolis by the Lacedaemonian general was a sort of watch-post (like Dekeleia to Athens), exposing the whole of Phrygia near the Propontis (in which was Daskylium, the residence of Pharnabazus) to constant attack. Derkyllidas accordingly only marched through Phrygia, to take up his winter quarters in Bithynia, the north-western corner of Asia Minor, between the Propontis and the Euxine—the same territory through which Xenophon and the Ten Thousand had marched, on their road from Kalpe to Chalcedon. He procured abundant provisions and booty, slaves as well as cattle, by plundering the Bithynian villages; not without occasional losses on his own side, by the carelessness of marauding parties.

One of these losses was of considerable magnitude. Derkyllidas had obtained from Seuthes in European Thrace (the same prince of whom Xenophon had had so much reason to complain) a reinforcement of 300 cavalry and 200 peltasts—Odrysian Thracians. These Odrysians established themselves in a separate camp, nearly two miles and a half from Derkyllidas, which they surrounded with a palisade about man’s height. Being indefatigable plunderers, they prevailed upon Derkyllidas to send them a guard of 200 hoplites, for the purpose of guarding their separate camp with the booty accumulated within it. Presently the camp became richly stocked, especially with Bithynian captives. The hostile Bithynians, however, watching their opportunity when the Odrysians were out marauding, suddenly attacked at daybreak the 200 Grecian hoplites in the camp. Shooting at them over the palisade with darts and arrows, they killed and wounded some, while the Greeks with their spears were utterly helpless, and could only reach their enemies by pulling up the palisade and charging out upon them. But the light-armed assailants, easily evading the charge of warriors with shield and spear, turned round upon them when they began to retire, and slew several before they could get back. In each successive sally the same phenomena recurred, until at length all the Greeks were overpowered and slain, except fifteen of them, who charged through the Bithynians in the first sally, and marched onward to join Derkyllidas, instead of returning with their comrades to the palisade. Derkyllidas lost no­time in sending a reinforcement, which, however, came too late, and found only the naked bodies of the slain. The victorious Bithynians carried away all their own captives.

At the beginning of spring the Spartan general returned to Lampsacus, where he found Arakus and two other Spartans just arrived out as commissioners sent by the Ephors. Arakus came with instructions to prolong the command of Derkyllidas for another year, as well as to communicate the satisfaction of the Ephors with the Cyreian army, in consequence of the great improvement in their conduct compared year of Thimbron. He accordingly assembled the soldiers and addressed them in a mingled strain of praise and admonition, expressing his hope that they would continue the forbearance which they had now begun to practise towards all Asiatic allies. The commander of the Cyreians (probably Xenophon himself), in his reply, availed himself of the occasion to pay a compliment to Derkyllidas. “We (said he) are the same men now as we were in the previous year; but we are under a different general: you need not look further for the explanation.” Without denying the superiority of Derkyllidas over his predecessor, we may remark that the abundant wealth of Mania, thrown into his hands by accident (though he showed great ability in turning the accident to account), was an auxiliary circumstance, not less unexpected than weighty, for ensuring the good behaviour of the soldiers.

It was among the further instructions of Arakus to visit all the principal Asiatic Greeks, and report their condition at Sparta; and Derkyllidas was pleased to see them entering on this survey at a moment when they would find the cities in undisturbed peace and tranquillity. So long as the truce continued both with Tissapliern.es and Pharnabazus, these cities were secure from aggression and paid no tribute, the land force of Derkyllidas affording to them a protection analogous to that which had been conferred by Athens and her powerful fleet during the interval between the formation of the Confederacy of Delos and the Athenian catastrophe at Syracuse. At the same time, during the truce, the army had neither occupation nor subsistence. To keep it together and near at hand, yet without living at the cost of friends, was the problem.

It was accordingly with great satisfaction that Derkyllidas noticed an intimation accidentally dropped by Arakus. Some envoys (the latter said) were now at Sparta from the Thracian Chersonesus (the long tongue of land bordering westward on the Hellespont), soliciting aid against their marauding Thracian neighbours. That fertile peninsula, first hellenized a century and a half before by the Athenian, Miltiades, had been a favourite resort for Athenian citizens, many of whom had acquired property there during the naval power of Athens. The battle of Aegospotami dispossessed and drove home these proprietors, at the same time depriving the peninsula of its protection against the Thracians. It now contained eleven distinct cities, of which Sestos was the most important; and its inhabitants combined to send envoys to Sparta, entreating the Ephors to despatch a force for the purpose of building a wall across the isthmus from Kardia to Paktye; in recompense for which (they said) there was fertile land enough open to as many settlers as chose to come, with coast and harbours for export close at hand. Miltiades, on first going out to the Chersonese, had secured it by constructing a cross wall on the same spot, which had since become neglected during the period of Persian supremacy; Pericles had afterwards sent fresh colonists, and caused the wall to be repaired. But it seems to have been unnecessary while the Athenian empire was in full vigour—since the Thracian princes had been generally either conciliated, or kept off, by Athens, even without any such bulwark. Informed that the request of the Chersonesites had been favourably listened to at Sparta, Derkyllidas resolved to execute their project with his own army. Having prolonged his truce with Pharnabazus, he crossed the Hellespont into Europe, and employed his army during the whole summer in constructing this cross wall, about 4’1/5 miles in length. The work was distributed in portions to different sections of the army, competition being excited by rewards for the most rapid and workmanlike execution; while the Chersonesites were glad to provide pay and subsistence for the army, during an operation which provided security for all the eleven cities, and gave additional value to their lands and harbours. Numerous settlers seem to have now come in, under Lacedaemonian auspices—who were again disturbed, wholly or partially, when the Lacedaemonian maritime empire was broken up a few years afterwards.

On returning to Asia in the autumn, after the completion of this work, which had kept his army usefully employed and amply provided during six months, Derkyllidas undertook the siege of Atarneus, a strong post (on the continental coast eastward of Mitylene) occupied by some Chian exiles, whom the Lacedaemonian admiral Kratesippidas had lent corrupt aid in expelling from the native island a few years before. These men, living by predatory expeditions against Chios and Ionia, were so well supplied with provisions that it cost Derkyllidas a blockade of eight months before he could reduce it. He placed in it a strong garrison well supplied, that it might serve him as a retreat in case of need—under an Achaean named Drako, whose name remained long terrible from his ravages on the neighbouring plain of Mysia.

Derkyllidas next proceeded to Ephesus, where orders presently reached him from the Ephors, directing him to march into Karia and attack Tissaphernes. The temporary truce, which had hitherto provisionally kept off Persian soldiers and tribute-gatherers from the Asiatic Greeks, was now renounced by mutual consent. These Greeks had sent envoys to Sparta, assuring the Ephors that Tissaphernes would be constrained to renounce formally the sovereign rights of Persia, and grant to them full autonomy, if his residence in Karia were vigorously attacked. Accordingly Derkyllidas marched southward across the Meander into Karia, while the Lacedaemonian fleet under Pharax co-operated along the shore. At the same time, Tissaphernes on his side had received reinforcements from Susa, together with the appointment of generalissimo over all the Persian force in Asia Minor; upon which Pharnabazus (who had gone up to court in the interval to concert more vigorous means of prosecuting the war, but had now returned) joined him in Karia, prepared to commence vigorous operations for the expulsion of Derkyllidas and his army. Having properly garrisoned the strong places, the two satraps crossed the Meander, at the head of a powerful Grecian and Karian force, with numerous Persian cavalry, to attack the Ionian cities. As soon as he heard this news, Derkyllidas came back with his army from Karia to cover the towns menaced. Having recrossed the Meander, he was marching with his army in disorder, not suspecting the enemy to be near, when on a sudden he came upon their scouts, planted on some sepulchral monuments in the road. He too sent some scouts up to the neighbouring monuments and towers, who apprised him that the two satraps, with their joint force in good order, were planted here to intercept him. He immediately gave orders for his hoplites to form in battle array of eight deep, with the peltasts and his handful of horsemen on each flank. But such was the alarm caused among his troops by this surprise, that none could be relied upon except the Cyreians and the Peloponnesians. Of the insular and Ionian hoplites, from Priene and other cities, some actually hid their arms in the thick standing corn and fled; others who took their places in the line manifested dispositions which left little hope that they would stand a charge; so that the Persians had the opportunity of fighting a battle not merely with superiority of number, but also with advantage of position and circumstances. Pharnabazus was anxious to attack without delay. But Tissaphernes, who recollected well the valour of the Cyreian troops, and concluded that all the remaining Greeks were like them, forbade it, sending forward heralds to demand a conference. As they approached, Derkyllidas, surrounding himself with a body-guard of the finest and the best-equipped soldiers, advanced to the front of the line to meet them, saying that he for his part was prepared to fight; but since a conference was demanded, he had no objection to grant it, providing hostages were exchanged. This having been assented to, and a place named for conference on the ensuing day, both armies were simultaneously withdrawn—the Persians to Tralles, the Greeks to Leukophrys, celebrated for its temple of Artemis Leukophryne.

This backwardness on the part of Tissaphernes, even at a time when he was encouraged by a brother satrap braver than himself, occasioned to the Persians the loss of a very promising moment, and rescued the Grecian army out of a position of much peril. It helps to explain to us the escape of the Cyreians, and the manner in which they were allowed to cross rivers and pass over the most difficult ground without any serious opposition; while at the same time it tended to confirm in the Greek mind the same impressions of Persian imbecility as that escape so forcibly suggested.

The conference, as might be expected, ended in nothing. Derkyllidas required on behalf of the Asiatic Greeks complete autonomy—exemption from Persian interference and tribute; while the two satraps on their side insisted that the Lacedaemonian army should be withdrawn from Asia, and the Lacedaemonian harmosts from all the Greco-Asiatic cities. An armistice was concluded, to allow time for reference to the authorities at home; thus replacing matters in the condition in which they had been at the beginning of the year.

Shortly after the conclusion of this truce, Agesilaus, king of Sparta, arrived with a large force, and the war in all respects began to assume larger proportions—of which more in the next chapter. 

But it was not in Asia alone that Sparta had been engaged in war. The prostration of the Athenian power had removed that common bond of hatred and alarm which attached the allies to her headship; while her subsequent conduct had given positive offence, and had even excited against herself the same fear of unmeasured imperial ambition which had before run so powerfully against Athens. She had appropriated to herself nearly the whole of the Athenian maritime empire, with a tribute scarcely inferior, if at all inferior, in amount. How far the total of 1000 talents was actually realized during each successive year, we are not in a condition to say; but such was the assessment imposed and the scheme laid down by Sparta tor her maritime dependencies—enforced, too, by omnipresent instruments of rapacity and oppression, decemvirs and harmosts, such as Athens had never paralleled. When we add to this great maritime empire the prodigious ascendency on land which Sparta had enjoyed before, we shall find a total of material power far superior to that which Athens had enjoyed, even in her day of greatest exaltation, prior to the truce of 445 B.C.

This was not all. From the general dullness of character pervading Spartan citizens, the full resources of the state were hardly ever put forth. Her habitual shortcomings at the moment of action are keenly criticised by her own friends, in contrast with the ardour and forwardness which animated her enemies. But at and after the battle of Aegospotami, the entire management of Spartan foreign affairs was found in the hands of Lysander—a man not only exempt from the inertia usual in his country- men, but of the most unwearied activity and grasping ambition, as well for his country as for himself. Under his direction the immense advantages which Sparta enjoyed from her new position were at once systematized and turned to the fullest account. Now there was enough in the new ascendency of Sparta, had it been ever so modestly handled, to spread apprehension through the Grecian world. But apprehension became redoubled when it was seen that her ascendency was organized and likely to be worked by aggressive leader for the purposes of an insatiable Fortunately for the Grecian world, indeed, the power of Sparta did not long continue to be thus absolutely wielded by Lysander, whose arrogance and overweening position raised enemies against him at home. Yet the first impressions received by the allies respecting Spartan empire were derived from his proceedings and his plans of dominion, manifested with ostentatious insolence; and such impressions continued, even after the influence of Lysander himself had been much abated by the counter-working rivalry of Pausanias and others.

While Sparta separately had thus gained so much by the close of the war, not one of her allies had received the smallest remuneration or compensation, except such as might be considered to be involved in the destruction of a formidable enemy. Even the pecuniary result or residue which Lysander had brought home with him (470 talents remaining out of the advances made by Cyrus), together with the booty acquired at Dekeleia, was all detained by the Lacedaemonians themselves. Thebes and Corinth, indeed, presented demands, in which the other allies did not (probably durst not) join, to be allowed to share. But though all the efforts and sufferings of the war had fallen upon these allies no less than upon Sparta, the demands were refused, and almost resented as insults. Hence there arose among the allies not merely a fear of the grasping dominion, but a hatred of the monopolizing rapacity, of Sparta. Of this new feeling an early manifestation, alike glaring and important, was made by the Thebans and Corinthians, when they refused to join Pausanias in his march against Thrasybulus and the Athenian exiles in Peiraeus—less than a year after the surrender of Athens, the enemy whom these two cities had hated with such extreme bitterness down to the very moment of surrender. Even Arcadians and Achaeans, too, habitually obedient as they were to Lacedaemon, keenly felt the different way in which she treated them, as compared with the previous years of war, when she had been forced to keep alive their zeal against the common enemy.

The Lacedaemonians were however strong enough not merely to despise this growing alienation of their allies, but even to take revenge upon such of the Peloponnesians as had incurred their displeasure. Among these stood conspicuous the Eleians, now under a government called democratical, of which the leading man was Thrasydaeus—a man who had lent considerable aid in 404 B.C. to Thrasybulus and the Athenian exiles in Peiraeus. The Eleians in the year 420 B.C. had been engaged in a controversy with Sparta—had employed their privileges as administrators of the Olympic festival to exclude her from attendance on that occasion—and had subsequently been in arms against her along with Argos and Mantineia. To these grounds of quarrel, now of rather ancient date, had been added afterwards a refusal to furnish aid in the war against Athens since the resumption of hostilities in 414 B.C., and a recent exclusion of King Agis, who had come in person to offer sacrifice and consult the oracle of Zeus Olympius, such exclusion being grounded on the fact that he was about to pray lor victory in the war then pending against Athens, contrary to the ancient canon of the Olympic temple, which admitted no sacrifice or consultation respecting hostilities of Greek against Greek. These were considered by Sparta as affronts, and the season was now favourable for resenting them, as well as for chastising and humbling Elis. Accordingly Sparta sent an embassy, requiring the Eleians to make good the unpaid arrears of the quota assessed upon them for the cost of the war against Athens; and further, to relinquish their authority over their dependent townships or Perioeki, leaving the latter autonomous. Of these dependencies there were several, no one very considerable individually, in the region called Triphylia, south of the river Alpheus, and north of the Neda. One of them was Lepreum, the autonomy of which the Lacedaemonians had vindicated against Elis in 420 B.C., though during the subsequent period it had again become subject.

The Eleians refused compliance with the demand thus sent, alleging that their dependent cities were held by the right of conquest. They even retorted upon the Lacedaemonians the charge of enslaving Greeks; upon which Agis marched with an army to invade their territory, entering it from the north side where it joined Achaia. Hardly had he crossed the frontier river Larissus and begun his ravages, when an earthquake occurred. Such an event, usually construed in Greece as a divine warning, acted on this occasion so strongly on the religious susceptibilities of Agis, that he not only withdrew from the Eleian territory, but disbanded his army. His retreat gave so much additional courage to the Eleians, that they sent envoys and tried to establish alliances among those cities which they knew to be alienated from Sparta. Not even Thebes and Corinth, however, could be induced to assist them; nor did they obtain any other aid except 1000 men from Aetolia.

In the next summer Agis undertook a second expedition, accompanied on this occasion by all the allies of Sparta; even by the Athenians, now enrolled upon the list. Thebes and Corinth alone stood aloof. On this occasion he approached from the opposite or southern side, that of the territory once called Messenia  passing through Aulon, and crossing the river Neda. He marched through Triphylia to the river Alpheus, which he crossed, and then proceeded to Olympia, where he consummated the sacrifice from with much which the Eleians had before excluded him. In his march he was joined by the inhabitants of Lepreum, Makistus, and other dependent towns, which now threw off their subjection to Elis. Thus reinforced, Agis proceeded onward towards the city of Elis, through a productive country under flourishing agriculture, enriched by the crowds and sacrifices at the neighbouring Olympic temple, and for a long period unassailed. After attacking, not very vigorously, the half-fortified city—and being repelled by the Aetolian auxiliaries—he marched onward to the harbour called Kyllene, still plundering the territory. So ample was the stock of slaves, cattle, and rural wealth generally, that his troops not only acquired riches for themselves by plunder, but were also joined by many Arcadian and Achaean volunteers, who crowded in to partake of the golden harvest.

The opposition or wealthy oligarchical party in Elis availed themselves of this juncture to take arms against the government, hoping to get possession of the city, and to maintain themselves in power by the aid of Sparta. Xenias, their leader, a man of immense wealth, with several of his adherents, rushed out armed, and assailed the government-house, in which it appears that Thrasydaeus and his colleagues had been banqueting. They slew several persons, and among them one, whom, from great personal resemblance, they mistook for Thrasydaeus. The latter was however at that moment intoxicated, and asleep in a separate chamber. They then assembled in arms in the market-place, believing themselves to be masters of the city; while the people under the like impression that Thrasydseus was dead, were too much dismayed to offer resistance. But presently it became known that he was yet alive; the people crowded to the government-house “like a swarm of bees,” and arrayed themselves for his protection as well as under his guidance. Leading them forth at once to battle, he completely defeated the oligarchical insurgents, and forced them to flee for protection to the Lacedaemonian army.

Agis presently evacuated the Eleian territory, yet not without planting a Lacedaemonian harmost and a garrison, together with Xenias and the oligarchical exiles, at Epitalium, a little way south of the river Alpheus. Occupying this fort (analogous to Dekeleia in Attica), they spread ravage and ruin all around throughout the autumn and winter, to such a degree, that in the early spring Thrasydaeus and the Eleian government were compelled to send to Sparta and solicit peace. They consented to raze the imperfect fortifications of their city, so as to leave it quite open. They further surrendered their harbour of Kyllene with their ships of war, and relinquished all authority over the Triphylian townships, as well as over Lasion, which was claimed as an Arcadian town. Though they pressed strenuously their claim to preserve the town of Epeium (between the Arcadian town of Heraea and the Triphylian town of Makistus), on the plea that they had bought it from its previous inhabitants at the price of thirty talents paid down—the Lacedaemonians, pronouncing this to be a compulsory bargain imposed upon weaker parties by force, refused to recognize it. The town was taken away from them, seemingly without any reimbursement of the purchase-money either in part or in whole. On these terms the Eleians were admitted to peace, and enrolled again among the members of the Lacedaemonian confederacy.

The time of the Olympic festival seems to have been now approaching, and the Eleians were probably the more anxious to obtain peace from Sparta, as they feared to be deprived of their privilege as superintendents. The Pisatans, inhabitants of the district immediately round Olympia, availed themselves of the Spartan invasion of Elis to petition for restoration of refuses to their original privilege, as administrators of the temple to Zeus at Olympia with its great periodical solemnity, by the dispossession of the Eleians as usurpers of that privilege. But their request met with no success. It was true indeed that such right had belonged to the Pisatans in early days, before the Olympic festival had acquired its actual Pan-hellenic importance and grandeur, and that the Eleians had only appropriated it to themselves after conquering the territory of Pisa. But taking the festival as it then stood, the Pisatans, mere villagers without any considerable city, were incompetent to do justice to it, and would have lowered its dignity in the eyes of all Greece.

Accordingly, the Lacedaemonians on this ground dismissed the claimants, and left the superintendence of the Olympic games still in the hands of the Eleians.

This triumphant dictation of terms to Elis placed the Lacedaemonians in a condition of overruling ascendency throughout Peloponnesus, such as they had never attained before. To complete their victory, they rooted out all the remnants of their ancient enemies the Messenians, some of whom had been planted by the Athenians at Naupactus, others in the island of Cephalonia. All of this persecuted race were now expelled, in the hour of Lacedaemonian omnipotence, from the neighbourhood of Peloponnesus, and forced to take shelter, some in Sicily, others at Cyrene. We shall in a future chapter have to commemorate the turn of fortune in their favour.