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HAVING in the preceding chapter touched upon the Greeks in their aggregate capacity, I now come to describe separately the portions of which this aggregate consisted, as they present themselves at the first discernible period of history.

It has already been mentioned that the twelve races or subdivisions, members of what is called the Amphiktyonic convocation, were as follows :

North of the pass of Thermopylae : Thessalians, Perrhaebians, Magnetes, Achaeans, Melians, Aenianes, Dolopes.

South of the pass of Thermopylae : Dorians, Ionians, Boeotians, Locrians, Phocaeans.

Other Hellenic races, not comprised among the Amphiktyons, were : The Aetolians and Acarnanians, north of the gulf of Corinth.

The Arcadians, Eleians, Pisatans, and Triphylians, in the central and western portion of Peloponnesus : I do not here name the Achaeans, who occupied the southern or Peloponnesian coast of the Corinthian gulf, because they may be presumed to have been originally of the same race as the Phthiot Achaeans, and therefore participant in the Amphiktyonic constituency, though their actual connection with it may have been disused.

The Dryopes, an inconsiderable, but seemingly peculiar subdivision, who occupied some scattered points on the sea-coast,—Hermione on the Argolic peninsula; Styrus and Karystus in Euboea; the island of Kythnus, etc.

Though it may be said, in a general way, that our historical discernment of the Hellenic aggregate, apart from the illusions of legend, commences with 776 BC, yet, with regard to the larger number of its subdivisions just enumerated, we can hardly be said to possess any specific facts anterior to the invasion of Xerxes in 480 BC. Until the year 560 BC, (the epoch of Croesus in Asia Minor, and of Peisistratus at Athens,) the history of the Greeks presents hardly anything of a collective character : the movements of each portion of the Hellenic world begin and end apart from the rest. The destruction of Kirrha by the Amphiktyons is the first historical incident which brings into play, in defense of the Delphian temple, a common Hellenic feeling of active obligation.

But about 560 BC, two important changes are seen to come into operation, which alter the character of Grecian history, extricating it out of its former chaos of detail, and centralizing its isolated phenomena : 1. The subjugation of the Asiatic Greeks by Lydia and by Persia, followed by their struggles for emancipation, wherein the European Greeks became implicated, first as accessories, and afterwards as principals. 2. The combined action of the large mass of Greeks under Sparta, as their most powerful state and acknowledged chief, succeeded by the rapid and extraordinary growth of Athens, the complete development of Grecian maritime power, and the struggle between Athens and Sparta for the headship. These two causes, though distinct in themselves, must, nevertheless, be regarded as working together to a certain degree, or rather, the second grew out of the first. For it was the Persian invasions of Greece which first gave birth to a widespread alarm and antipathy among the leading Greeks (we must not call it Pan-Hellenic, since more than half of the Amphiktyonic constituency gave earth and water to Xerxes) against the barbarians of the East, and impressed them with the necessity of joint active operations under a leader. The idea of a leadership or hegemony of collective Hellas, as a privilege necessarily vested in some one state for common security against the barbarians, thus became current, — an idea foreign to the mind of Solon, or any one of the same age. Next, came the miraculous development of Athens, and the violent contest between her and Sparta, which should be the leader; the larger portion of Hellas taking side with one or the other, and the common quarrel against the Persian being for the time put out of sight. Athens is put down, Sparta acquires the undisputed hegemony, and again the antibarbaric feeling manifests itself, though faintly, in the Asiatic expeditions of Agesilaus. But the Spartans, too incompetent either to deserve or maintain this exalted position, are overthrown by the Thebans, themselves not less incompetent, with the single exception of Epaminondas. The death of that single man extinguishes the pretensions of Thebes to the hegemony, and Hellas is left, like the deserted Penelope in the Odyssey, worried by the competition of several suitors, none of whom is strong enough to stretch the bow on which the prize depends. Such a manifestation of force, as well as the trampling down of the competing suitors, is reserved, not for any legitimate Hellenic arm, but for a semi-Hellenized Macedonian, “brought up at Pella”, and making good his encroachments gradually from the north of Olympus. The hegemony of Greece thus passes forever out of Grecian bands; but the conqueror finds his interest in rekindling the old sentiment under the influence of which it had first sprung up. He binds to him the discordant Greeks, by the force of their ancient and common antipathy against the Great King, until the desolation and sacrilege once committed by Xerxes at Athens is avenged by annihilation of the Persian empire. And this victorious consummation of Pan-Hellenic antipathy, the dream of Xenophon and the Ten Thousand Greeks after the battle of Kunaxa, the hope of Jason of Pherae, the exhortation of Isocrates, the project of Philip, and the achievement of Alexander, while it manifests the irresistible might of Hellenic ideas and organization in the then existing state of the world, is at the same time the closing scene of substantive Grecian life. The citizen-feelings of Greece become afterwards merely secondary forces, subordinate to the preponderance of Greek mercenaries under Macedonian order, and to the rudest of all native Hellens, the Aetolian mountaineers. Some few individuals are indeed found, even in the third century BC, worthy of the best times of Hellas, and the Achaean confederation of that century is an honorable attempt to contend against irresistible difficulties : but on the whole, that free, social, and political march, which gives so much interest to the earlier centuries, is irrevocably banished from Greece after the generation of Alexander the Great.

The foregoing brief sketch will show that, taking the period from Croesus and Peisistratus down to the generation of Alexander (560-300), the phenomena of Hellas generally, and her relations both foreign and interpolitical, admit of being grouped together in masses, with continued dependence on one or a few predominant circumstances. They may be said to constitute a sort of historical epopee, analogous to that which Herodotus has constructed out of the wars between Greeks and barbarians, from the legends of Io and Europa down to the repulse of Xerxes. But when we are called back to the period between 776 and 560 BC, the phenomena brought to our knowledge are scanty in number, exhibiting few common feelings of interests, and no tendency towards any one assignable purpose. To impart attraction to this first period, so obscure and unpromising, we shall be compelled to consider it in its relation with the second; partly as a preparation, partly as a contrast.

Of the extra-Peloponnesian Greeks north of Attica, during these two centuries, we know absolutely nothing; but it will be possible to furnish some information respecting the early condition and struggles of the great Dorian states in Peloponnesus, and respecting the rise of Sparta from the second to the first place in the comparative scale of Grecian powers. Athens becomes first known to us at the legislation of Drako and the attempt of Kylon (620 BC) to make himself despot; and we gather some facts concerning the Ionic cities in Euboea and Asia Minor, during the century of their chief prosperity, prior to the reign and conquests of Croesus. In this way, we shall form to ourselves some idea of the growth of Sparta and Athens, of the short-lived and energetic development of the Ionic Greeks, and of the slow working of those causes which tended to bring about increased Hellenic intercommunication, as contrasted with the enlarged range of ambition, the grand Pan-Hellenic ideas, the systematized party-antipathies, and the intensified action, both abroad and at home, which grew out of the contest with Persia.

There are also two or three remarkable manifestations which will require special notice during this first period of Grecian history : 1. The great multiplicity of colonies sent forth by individual cities, and the rise and progress of these several colonies; 2. The number of despots who arose in the various Grecian cities; 3. The lyric poetry; 4. The rudiments of that which afterwards ripened into moral philosophy, as manifested in gnomes, or aphorisms, or the age of the Seven Wise Men.

But before I proceed to relate those earliest proceedings (unfortunately too few) of the Dorians and Ionians during the historical period, together with the other matters just alluded to, it will be convenient to go over the names and positions of those other Grecian states respecting which we have no information during these first two centuries. Some idea will thus be formed of the less important members of the Hellenic aggregate, previous to the time when they will be called into action. We begin by the territory north of the pass of Thermopylae.


Of the different races who dwelt between this celebrated pass and the mouth of the river Peneius, by far the most powerful and important were the Thessalians. Sometimes, indeed, the whole of this area passes under the name of Thessaly, since nominally, though not always really, the power of the Thessalians extended over the whole. We know that the Trachinian Herakleia, founded by the Lacedaemonians in the early years of the Peloponnesian war, close at the pass of Thermopylae, was planted upon the territory of the Thessalians. But there were also within these limits other races, inferior and dependent on the Thessalians, yet said to be of more ancient date, and certainly not less genuine subdivisions of the Hellenic name. The Perrhaebi occupied the northern portion of the territory between the lower course of the river Peneius and Mount Olympus. The Magnetes dwelt along the eastern coast, between Mount Ossa and Pelion on one side and the Aegean on the other, comprising the south-eastern cape and the eastern coast of the gulf of Pagasae as far as Iolkos. The Achaeans occupied the territory called Phthiotis, extending from near Mount Pindus on the west to the gulf of Pagasae on the east, along the mountain chain of Othrys with its lateral projections northerly into the Thessalian plain, and southerly even to its junction with Oeta. The three tribes of the Malians dwelt between Achaea Phthiotis and Thermopylae, including both Trachin and Herakleia. Westward of Achaea Phthiotis, the lofty region of Pindus or Tymphrestus, with its declivities both westward and eastward, was occupied by the Dolopes.

All these five tribes, or subdivisions, Perrhaebians, Magnetes, Achaeans of Phthiotis, Malians, and Dolopes, together with certain Epirotic and Macedonian tribes besides, beyond the boundaries of Pindus and Olympus, were in a state of irregular dependence upon the Thessalians, who occupied the central plain or basin drained by the Peneius. That river receives the streams from Olympus, from Pindus, and from Othrys, flowing through a region which was supposed by its inhabitants to have been once a lake, until Poseidon cut open the defile of Tempe, through which the waters found an efflux. In travelling northward from Thermopylae, the commencement of this fertile region — the amplest space of land continuously productive which Hellas presents — is strikingly marked by the steep rock and ancient fortress of Thaumaki; from whence the traveller, passing over the mountains of Achaea Phthiotis and Othrys, sees before him the plains and low declivities which reach northward across Thessaly to Olympus. A narrow strip of coast—in the interior of the gulf of Pagasae, between the Magnetes and the Achaeans, and containing the towns of Amphanaeum and Pagasae belonged to this proper territory of Thessaly, but its great expansion inland: within it were situated the cities of Pherae, Pharsalus, Skotussa, Larissa, Krannon, Atrax, Pharkadon, Trikka, Metropolis, Pelinna, etc.

The abundance of corn and cattle from the neighboring plains sustained in these cities a numerous population, and above all a proud and disorderly noblesse, whose manners bore much resemblance to those of the heroic times. They were violent in their behavior, eager in armed feud, but unaccustomed to political discussion or compromise; faithless as to obligations, yet at the same time generous in their hospitalities, and much given to the enjoyments of the table. Breeding the finest horses in Greece, they were distinguished for their excellence as cavalry; but their infantry is little noticed, nor do the Thessalian cities seem to have possessed that congregation of free and tolerably equal citizens, each master of his own arms, out of whom the ranks of hoplites were constituted, —the warlike nobles, such as the Aleuadae at Larissa, or the Skopadae at Krannon, despising everything but equestrian servile for themselves, furnished, from their extensive herds on the plain, horses for the poorer soldiers. These Thessalian cities exhibit the extreme of turbulent oligarchy, occasionally trampled down by some one man of great vigor, but little tempered by that sense of political communion and reverence for established law, which was found among the better cities of Hellas. Both in Athens and Sparta, so different in many respects from each other, this feeling will be found, if not indeed constantly predominant, yet constantly present and operative. Both of them exhibit a contrast with Larissa or Pherae not unlike that between Rome and Capua, the former, with her endless civil disputes constitutionally conducted, admitting the joint action of parties against a common foe; the latter, with her abundant soil enriching a luxurious oligarchy, and impelled according to the feuds of her great proprietors, the Magii, Blossii, and Jubellii.

The Thessalians are, indeed, in their character and capacity as much Epirotic or Macedonian as Hellenic, forming a sort of link between the two. For the Macedonians, though trained in aftertimes upon Grecian principles by the genius of Philip and Alexander, so as to constitute the celebrated heavy-armed phalanx, were originally (even in the Peloponnesian war) distinguished chiefly for the excellence of their cavalry, like the Thessalians, while the broad-brimmed hat, or kausia, and the short spreading-mantle, or chlamys, were common to both.

We are told that the Thessalians were originally emigrants from Thesprotia in Epirus, and conquerors of the plain of the Peneius, which (according to Herodotus) was then called Aeolis, and which they found occupied by the Pelasgi. It may be doubted whether the great Thessalian families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa, descendants from Heracles, and placed by Pindar on the same level as the Lacedaemonian kings, would have admitted this Thesprotian origin; nor does it coincide with the tenor of those legends which make the eponymous, Thessalus, son of Heracles. Moreover, it is to be remarked that the language of the Thessalians was Hellenic, a variety of the Aeolic dialect, the same (so far as we can make out) as that of the people whom they must have found settled in the country at their first conquest. If then it be true that, at some period anterior to the commencement of authentic history, a body of Thesprotian warriors crossed the passes of Pindus, and established themselves as conquerors in Thessaly, we must suppose them to have been more warlike than numerous, and to have gradually dropped their primitive language.

In other respects, the condition of the population of Thessaly, such as we find it during the historical period, favors the supposition of an original mixture of conquerors and conquered: for it seems that there was among the Thessalians and their dependents a triple gradation, somewhat analogous to that of Laconia. First, a class of rich proprietors distributed throughout the principal cities, possessing most of the soil, and constituting separate oligarchies, loosely hanging together. Next, the subject Achaeans, Magnetes, Perrhaebi, differing from the Laconian Perioeki in this point, that they retained their ancient tribe-name and separate Amphiktyonic franchise. Thirdly, a class of serfs, or dependent cultivators, corresponding to the Laconian Helots, who, tilling the lands of the wealthy oligarchs, paid over a proportion of its produce, furnished the retainers by which these great families were surrounded, served as their followers in the cavalry, and were in a condition of villenage, yet with the important reserve, that they could not be sold out of the country, that they had a permanent tenure in the soil, and that they maintained among one another the relations of family and village. This last mentioned order of men, in Thessaly called the Penestae, is assimilated by all ancient authors to the Helots of Laconia, and in both cases the danger attending such a social arrangement is noticed by Plato and Aristotle. For the Helots as well as the Penestae had their own common language and mutual sympathies, a separate residence, arms, and courage; to a certain extent, also, they possessed the means of acquiring property, since we are told that some of the Penestae were richer than their masters. So many means of action, combined with a degraded social position, gave rise to frequent revolt and incessant apprehensions. As a general rule, indeed, the cultivation of the soil by slaves, or dependents, for the benefit of proprietors in the cities, prevailed throughout most parts of Greece. The rich men of Thebes, Argos, Athens, or Elis, must have derived their incomes in the same manner; but it seems that there was often, in other places, a larger intermixture of bought foreign slaves, and also that the number, fellow-feeling, and courage of the degraded village population was nowhere so great as in Thessaly and Laconia. Now the origin of the Penestae, in Thessaly, is ascribed to the conquest of the territory by the Thesprotians, as that of the Helots in Laconia is traced to the Dorian conquest. The victors in both countries are said to have entered into a convention with the vanquished population, whereby the latter became serfs and tillers of the land for the benefit of the former, but were at the same time protected in their holdings, constituted subjects of the state, and secured against being sold away as slaves. Even in the Thessalian cities, though inhabited in common by Thessalian proprietors and their Penestae, the quarters assigned to each were to a great degree separated : what was called the Free Agora could not be trodden by any Penest, except when specially summoned.

Who the people were, whom the conquest of Thessaly by the Thesprotians reduced to this predial villenage, we find differently stated. According to Theopompus, they were Perrhaebians and Magnetes; according to others, Pelasgians; while Archemachus alleged them to have been Boeotians of the territory of Arne, some emigrating, to escape the conquerors, others remaining and accepting the condition of serfs. But the conquest, assuming it as a fact, occurred at far too early a day to allow of out making out either the manner in which it came to pass, or the state of things which preceded it. The Pelasgians whom Herodotus saw at Kreston are affirmed by him to have been the descendants of those who quitted Thessaly to escape the invading Thesprotians; though others held that the Boeotians, driven on this occasion from their habitations on the gulf of Pagasae near the Achaeans of Phthiotis, precipitated themselves on Orchomenus and Boeotia, and settled in it, expelling the Minyae and the Pelasgians.


Passing over the legends on this subject, and confining ourselves to historical time, we find an established quadruple division of Thessaly, said to have been introduced in the time of Aleuas, the ancestor (real or mythical) of the powerful Aleuadae,—Thessaliotis, Pelasgiotis, Histiaeotis, Phthiotis. In Phthiotis were comprehended the Achaeans, whose chief towns were Melitaea, Itonus, Thebae, Phthiotides, Alos, Larissa, Kremaste, and Pteleon, on or near the western coast of the gulf of Pagasae. Histiaeotis, to the north of the Peneius, comprised the Perrhaebians, with numerous towns strong in situation, but of no great size or importance; they occupied the passes of Olympus and are sometimes considered as extending westward across Pindus. Pelasgiotis included the Magnetes, together with that which was called the Pelasgic plain, bordering on the western side of Pelion and Ossa. Thessaliotis comprised the central plain of Thessaly and the upper course of the river Peneius. This was the political classification of the Thessalian power, framed to suit a time when the separate cities were maintained in harmonious action by favorable circumstances, or by some energetic individual ascendency; for their union was in general interrupted and disorderly, and we find certain cities standing aloof while the rest went to war. Though a certain political junction, and obligations of some kind towards a common authority, were recognized in theory by all, and a chief, or Tagus, was nominated to enforce obedience, yet it frequently happened that the disputes of the cities among themselves prevented the choice of a Tagus, or drove him out of the country; and left the alliance little more than nominal. Larissa, Pharsalus, and Pherae, each with its cluster of dependent towns as adjuncts, seem to have been nearly on a par in strength, and each torn by intestine faction, so that not only was the supremacy over common dependents relaxed, but even the means of repelling invaders greatly enfeebled. The dependence of the Perrhaebians, Magnetes, Achaeans, and Malians, might, under these circumstances, be often loose and easy. But the condition of the Penestae—who occupied the villages belonging to these great cities, in the central plain of Pelasgiotis and Thessaliotis, and from whom the Aleuadae and Skopadae derived their exuberance of landed produce—was noway mitigated, if it was not even aggravated, by such constant factions. Nor were there wanting cases in which the discontent of this subject-class was employed by members of the native oligarchy, or even by foreign states, for the purpose of bringing about political revolutions.

“When Thessaly is under her tagus, all the neighboring people pay tribute to her; she can send into the field six thousand cavalry and ten thousand hoplites, or heavy-armed infantry”, observed Jason, despot of Pherae, to Polydamas of Pharsalus, in endeavoring to prevail on the latter to second his pretensions to that dignity. The impost due from the tributaries, seemingly considerable, was then realized with arrears, and the duties upon imports at the harbors of the Pagasaean gulf, imposed for the benefit of the confederacy, were then enforced with strictness; but the observation shows that, while unanimous Thessaly was very powerful, her periods of unanimity were only occasional. Among the nations which thus paid tribute to the fullness of Thessalian power, we may number not merely the Perrhaebi, Magnetes, and Achaeans of Phthiotis, but also the Malians and Dolopes, and various tribes of Epirots extending to the westward of Pindus. We may remark that they were all (except the Malians) javelin-men, or light-armed troops, not serving in rank with the full panoply; a fact which, in Greece, counts as presumptive evidence of a lower civilization : the Magnetes, too, had a peculiar close-fitting mode of dress, probably suited to movements in a mountainous country. There was even a time when the Thessalian power threatened to extend southward of Thermopylae, subjugating the Phocaeans, Dorians, and Locrians. So much were the Phocaeans alarmed at this danger, that they had built a wall across the pass of Thermopylae, for the purpose of more easily defending it against Thessalian invaders, who are reported to have penetrated more than once into the Phocaean valleys, and to have sustained some severe defeats. At what precise time these events happened, we find no information; but it must have been considerably earlier than the invasion of Xerxes, since the defensive wall which had been built at Thermopylae, by the Phocaeans, was found by Leonidas in a state of ruin. But the Phocaeans, though they no longer felt the necessity of keeping up this wall, had not ceased to fear and hate the Thessalians, an antipathy which will be found to manifest itself palpably in connection with the Persian invasion. On the whole, the resistance of the Phocaeans was successful, for the power of the Thessalians never reached southward of the pass.

It will be recollected that these different ancient races: Perrhaebi, Magnetes, Achaeans, Malians, Dolopes, though tributaries of the Thessalians, still retained their Amphiktyonic franchise, and were considered as legitimate Hellenes: all except the Malians are, indeed, mentioned in the Iliad. We shall rarely nave occasion to speak much of them in the course of this history : they are found siding with Xerxes (chiefly by constraint) in his attack of Greece, and almost indifferent in the struggle between Sparta and Athens. That the Achaeans of Phthiotis are a portion of the same race as the Achaeans of Peloponnesus it seems reasonable to believe, though we trace no historical evidence to authenticate it. Achaea Phthiotis is the seat of Hellen, the patriarch of the entire race, of the primitive Hellas, by some treated as a town, by others as a district of some breadth, and of the great national hero, Achilles. Its connection with the Peloponnesian Achaeans is not unlike that of Doris with the Peloponnesian Dorians.

We have, also, to notice another ethnical kindred, the date and circumstances of which are given to us only in a mythical form, but which seems, nevertheless, to be in itself a reality, that of the Magnetes on Pelion and Ossa, with the two divisions of Asiatic Magnetes, or Magnesia, on Mount Sipylus and Magnesia on the river Meander. It is said that these two Asiatic homonymous towns were founded by migrations of the Thessalian Magnetes, a body of whom became consecrated to the Delphian god, and chose a new abode under his directions. According to one story, these emigrants were warriors, returning from the Siege of Troy; according to another, they sought fresh seats, to escape from the Thesprotian conquerors of Thessaly. There was a third story, according to which the Thessalian Magnetes themselves were represented as colonists from Delphi. Though we can elicit no distinct matter of fact from these legends, we may, nevertheless, admit the connection of race between the Thessalian and the Asiatic Magnetes, as well as the reverential dependence of both, manifested in this supposed filiation, on the temple of Delphi Of the Magnetes in Crete, noticed by Plato as long extinct in his time, we cannot absolutely verify even the existence.

Of the Malians, Thucydides notices three tribes as existing in his time: the Paralii, the Hieres (priests), and the Trachinii, or men of Trachin : it is possible that the second of the two may have been possessors of the sacred spot on which the Amphiktyonic meetings were held. The prevalence of the hoplites or heavy-armed, infantry among the Malians, indicates that we are stepping from Thessalian to more southerly Hellenic habits: the Malians recognized every man as a qualified citizen, who either had served, or was serving, in the ranks with his full panoply. Yet the panoply was probably not perfectly suitable to the mountainous regions by which they were surrounded; for, at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, the aggressive mountaineers of the neighboring region of Oeta, had so harassed and overwhelmed them in war, that they were forced to throw themselves on the protection of Sparta; and the establishment of the Spartan colony of Herakleia, near Trachin, was the result of their urgent application. Of these mountaineers, described under the general name of Oetaeans, the principal were the Aenianes, or Enienes, as they are termed in the Homeric Catalogue, as well as by Herodotus), an ancient Hellenic Amphiktyonic race, who are said to have passed through several successive migrations in Thessaly and Epirus, but who, in the historical times, had their settlement and their chief town, Hypata, in the upper valley of the Spercheius, on the northern declivity of Mount Oeta. But other tribes were probably also included in the name, such as those Aetolian tribes, the Bomians and Kallians, whose high and cold abodes approached near to the Maliac gulf. It is in this sense that we are to understand the name, as comprehending all the predatory tribes along this extensive mountain range, when we are told of the damage done by the Oetaeans, both to the Malians on the east, and to the Dorians on the south: but there are some eases in which the name Oetaeans seems to designate expressly the Aenianes, especially when they are mentioned as exercising the Amphiktyonie franchise.


The fine soil, abundant moisture, and genial exposure of the southern declivities of Othrys, especially the valley of the Spercheius, through which river all these waters pass away, and which annually gives forth a fertilizing inundation, present a marked contrast with the barren, craggy, and naked masses of Mount Oeta, which forms one side of the pass of Thermopylae. Southward of the pass, the Locrians, Phocaeans, and Dorians, occupied the mountains and passes between Thessaly and Boeotia. The coast opposite to the western side of Euboea, from the neighborhood of Thermopylae, as far as the Boeotian frontier at Anthedon, was possessed by the Locrians, whose northern frontier town, Alpeni, was conterminous with the Malians. There was, however, one narrow strip of Phocis—the town of Daphnus, where the Phocaeans also touched the Euboean sea—which broke this continuity, and divided the Locrians into two sections, Locrians of Mount Knemis, or Epiknemidian Locrians, and Locrians of Opus, or Opuntian Locrians. The mountain called Knemis, running southward parallel to the coast from the end of Oeta, divided the former section from the inland Phocaeans and the upper valley of the Kephisus : farther southward, joining continuously with Mount Ptoon by means of an intervening mountain which is now called Chlomo, it separated the Locrians of Opus from the territories of Orchomenus, Thebes, and Anthedon, the north-eastern portions of Boeotia. Besides these two sections of the Locrian name, there was also a third, completely separate, and said to have been colonized out from Opus, the Locrians surnamed Ozolae, who dwelt apart on the western side of Phocis, along the northern coast of the Corinthian gulf. They reached from Amphissa—which overhung the plain of Krissa, and stood within seven miles of Delphi—to Naupaktus, near the narrow entrance of the gulf; which latter town was taken from these Locrians by the Athenians, a little before the Peloponnesian war. Opus prided itself on being the mother-city of the Locrian name, and the legends of Deukalion and Pyrrha found a home there as well as in Phthiotis. Alpeni, Nikaea, Thronium, and Skarpheia, were towns, ancient but unimportant, of the Epiknemidian Lokrians; but the whole length of this Locrian coast is celebrated for its beauty and fertility, both by ancient and modern observers.

The Phocaeans were bounded on the north by the little territories called Doris and Dryopis, which separated them from the Malians, on the north-east, east, and south-west, by the different branches of Locrians, and on the south-east, by the Boeotians. They touched the Euboean sea, (as has been mentioned) at Daphnus, the point where it approaches nearest to their chief town, Elateia; their territory also comprised most part of the lofty and bleak range of Parnassus, as far as its southerly termination, where a lower portion of it, called Kirphis, projects into the Corinthian gulf, between the two bays of Antikyra and Krissa; the latter, with its once fertile plain, lay immediately under the sacred rock of the Delphian Apollo. Both Delphi and Krissa originally belonged to the Phocaean race, but the sanctity of the temple, together with Lacedaemonian aid, enabled the Delphians to set up for themselves, disavowing their connection with the Phocaean brotherhood. Territorially speaking, the most valuable part of Phocis consisted is the valley of the river Kephisus, which takes its rise from Parnassus, not far from the Phocaean town of Lilaea, passes between Oeta and Knemis on one side, and Parnassus on the other, and enters Boeotia near Chaeronea, discharging itself into the lake Kopais. It was on the projecting mountain ledges and rocks on each side of this river, that the numerous little Phocaean towns were situated. Twenty-two of them were destroyed and broken up into villages by the Amphiktyonic order, after the second Sacred War; Abae (one of the few, if not the only one, that was spared) being protected by the sanctity of its temple and oracle. Of these cities, the most important was Elateia, situated on the left bank of the Kephisus, and on the road from Locris into Phocis, in the natural march of an army from Thermopylae into Boeotia. The Phocaean towns were embodied in an ancient confederacy, which held its periodical meetings at a temple between Daulis and Delphi.

The little territory called Doris and Dryopis, occupied the southern declivity of Mount Oeta, dividing Phocis on the north and north-west, from the Aetolians, Aenianes, and Malians. That which was called Doris in the historical times, and which reached, in the time of Herodotus, nearly as far eastward as the Maliac gulf, is said to have formed a part of what had been once called Dryopis; a territory which had comprised the summit of Oeta as far as the Spercheius, northward, and which had been inhabited by an old Hellenic tribe called Dryopes. The Dorians acquired their settlement in Dryopis by gift from Heracles, who, along with the Malians (so ran the legend), had expelled the Dryopes, and compelled them to find for themselves new seats at Hermione, and Asine, in the Argolic peninsula of Peloponnesus, at Styra and Karystus in Euboea, and in the island of Kythnus; it is only in these five last-mentioned places, that history recognizes them. The territory of Doris was distributed into four little townships, Pindus, or Akyphas, Boeon, Kytinion, and Erineon, each of which seems to have occupied a separate valley belonging to one of the feeders of the river Kephisus, the only narrow spaces of cultivated ground which this “small and sad” region presented. In itself, this tetrapolis is so insignificant, that we shall rarely find occasion to mention it; but it acquired a factitious consequence by being regarded as the metropolis of the great Dorian cities in Peloponnesus, and receiving on that ground special protection from Sparta. I do not here touch upon that string of ante-historical migrations —stated by Herodotus, and illustrated by the ingenuity as well as decorated by the fancy of O. Müller — through which the Dorians are affiliated with the patriarch of the Hellenic race,—moving originally out of Phthiotis to Histiaeotis, then to Pindus, and lastly to Doris. The residence of Dorians in Doris, is a fact which meets us at the commencement of history, like that of the Phocaeans and Locrians in their respective territories.


We next pass to the Aetolians, whose extreme tribes covered the bleak heights of Oeta and Korax, reaching almost within sight of the Maliac gulf, where they bordered on the Dorians and Malians, while their central and western tribes stretched along the frontier of the Ozolian Lokrians to the flat plain, abundant in marsh and lake, near the mouth of the Euenus. In the time of Herodotus and Thucydides, they do not seem to have extended so far westward as the Achelous; but in later times, this latter river, throughout the greater part of its lower course, divided them from the Acarnanians : on the north, they touched upon the Dolopians, and upon a parallel of latitude nearly as far north as Ambracia. There were three great divisions of the Aetolian name,—the Apodoti, Ophioneis, and Eurytanes,—each of which was subdivided into several different village tribes. The northern and eastern portion of the territory consisted of very high mountain ranges, and even in the southern portion, the mountains Arakynthus, Kurion, Chalcis, Taphiassus, are found at no great distance from the sea; while the chief towns in Aetolia, Kalydon, Pleuron, Chalcis, seem to have been situated eastward of the Euenus, between the last-mentioned mountains and the sea. The first two towns have been greatly ennobled in legend, but are little named in history; while, on the contrary, Thermus, the chief town of the historical Aetolians, and the place where the aggregate meeting and festival of the Aetolian name, for the choice of a Pan-Aetolic general, was convoked, is not noticed by any one earlier than Ephorus. It was partly legendary renown, partly ethnical kindred (publicly acknowledged on both sides) with the Eleians in Peloponnesus, which authenticated the title of the Aetolians to rank as Hellens. But the great mass of the Apodoti, Eurytanes, and Ophioneis in the inland mountains, were so rude in their manners, and so unintelligible in their speech, (which, however, was not barbaric, but very bad Hellenic,) that this title might well seem disputable, — in point of fact it was disputed, in later times, when the Aetolian power and depredations had become obnoxious nearly to all Greece. And it is, probably, to this difference of manners between the Aetolians on the sea-coast and those in the interior, that we are to trace a geographical division mentioned by Strabo, into ancient Aetolia, and Aetolia Epiktetus, or acquired. When or by whom this division was introduced, we do not know. It cannot be founded upon any conquest, for the inland Aetolians were the most unconquerable of mankind : and the affirmation which Ephorus applied to the whole Aetolian race, — that it had never been reduced to subjection by any one, — is, most of all, beyond dispute concerning the inland portion of it.

Adjoining the Aetolians were the Acarnanians, the westernmost of extra-Peloponnesian Greeks. They extended to the Ionian sea, and seem, in the time of Thucydides, to have occupied both banks of the river Achelous, in the lower part of its course, though the left bank appears afterwards as belonging to the Aetolians, so that the river came to constitute the boundary, often disputed and decided by arms, between them. The principal Acarnanian towns, Stratus and Oeniadae, were both on the right bank; the latter on the marshy and overflowed land near its mouth. Near the Acarnanians, towards the gulf of Ambrakia, were found barbarian, or non-Hellenic nations, the Agraeans and the Amphilochians: in the midst of the latter, on the shores of the Ambracian gulf, the Greek colony, called Argos Amphilochicum, was established.

Of the five Hellenic subdivisions now enumerated, Locrians, Phocaeans, Dorians (of Doris), Aetolians, and Acarnanians (of whom Locrians, Phocaeans, and Aetolians are comprised in the Homeric catalogue), we have to say the same as of those north of Thermopylae: there is no information respecting them from the commencement of the historical period down to the Persian war. Even that important event brings into action only the Locrians of the Euboean sea, the Phocaeans, and the Dorians: we have to wait until near the Peloponnesian war, before we require information respecting the Ozolian Locrians, the Aetolians, and the Acarnanians. These last three were unquestionably the most backward members of the Hellenic aggregate. Though not absolutely without a central town, they lived dispersed in villages, retiring, when attacked, to inaccessible heights, perpetually armed and in readiness for aggression and plunder wherever they found an opportunity. Very different was the condition of the Locrians opposite Euboea, the Phocaeans, and the Dorians. These were all orderly town communities, small, indeed, and poor, but not less well administered than the average of Grecian townships, and perhaps exempt from those individual violences which so frequently troubled the Boeotian Thebes or the great cities of Thessaly. Timaeus affirmed (contrary, as it seems, to the supposition of Aristotle) that, in early times, there were no slaves either among the Locrians or Phocaeans, and that the work required to be done for proprietors was performed by poor freemen; a habit which is alleged to have been continued until the temporary prosperity of the second Sacred War, when the plunder of the Delphian temple so greatly enriched the Phocaean leaders. But this statement is too briefly given, and too imperfectly authenticated, to justify any inferences.

We find in the poet Alkman (about 610 BC), the Erysichaean, or Kalydonian shepherd, named as a type of rude rusticity,—the antithesis of Sardis, where the poet was born. And among the suitors who are represented as coming forward to claim the daughter of the Sicyonian Cleisthenes in marriage, there appears both the Thessalian Diaktorides from Krannon, a member of the Skopad family, — and the Aetolian Males, brother of that Titormus who in muscular strength surpassed all his contemporary Greeks, and who had seceded from mankind into the inmost recesses of Aetolia: this Aetolian seems to be set forth as a sort of antithesis to the delicate Smindyrides of Sybaris, the most luxurious of mankind. Herodotus introduces these characters into his dramatic picture of this memorable wedding.


Between Phocis and Locris on one side, and Attica (from which it is divided by the mountains Cithaeron and Parnes) on the other, we find the important territory called Boeotia, with its ten or twelve autonomous cities, forming a sort of confederacy under the presidency of Thebes, the most powerful among them. Even of this territory, destined during the second period of this history, to play a part so conspicuous and effective, we know nothing during the first two centuries after 776 BC. We first acquire some insight into it, on occasion of the disputes between Thebes and Plataea, about the year 520 BC. Orchomenus, on the north-west of the lake Kopais, forms throughout the historical times one of the cities of the Boeotian league, seemingly the second after Thebes. But I have already stated that the Orchomenian legends, the Catalogue, and other allusions in Homer, and the traces of past power and importance yet visible in the historical age, attest the early political existence of Orchomenus and its neighborhood apart from Boeotia. The Amphiktyony in which Orchomenus participated, at the holy island of Kalauria near the Argolic peninsula, seems to show that it must once have possessed a naval force and commerce, and that its territory must have touched the sea at Halae and the lower town of Larymna, near the southern frontier of Locris; this sea is separated by a very narrow space from the range of mountains which join Knemis and Ptoon, and which enclose on the east both the basin of Orchomenus, Aspleden, and Kopae, and the lake Kopais. The migration of the Boeotians out of Thessaly into Boeotia (which is represented as a consequence of the conquest of the former country by the Thesprotians) is commonly assigned as the compulsory force which Boeotized Orchomenus. By whatever cause, or at whatever time (whether before or after 776 BC) the transition may have been effected, we find Orchomenus completely Boeotian throughout the known historical age, yet still retaining its local Minyeian legends, and subject to the jealous rivalry of Thebes, as being the second city in the Boeotian league. The direct road from the passes of Phocis southward into Boeotia went through Chaeronea, leaving Lebadeia on the right, and Orchomenus on the left hand, and passed the south-western edge of the lake Kopais near the towns of Koroneia, Alalkomenae, Haliartus, all situated on the mountain Tilphossion, an outlying ridge connected with Helicon by the intervention of Mount Leibethrius. The Tilphossion was an important military post, commanding that narrow pass between the mountain and the lake which lay in the great road from Phokis to Thebes. The territory of this latter city occupied the greater part of central Boeotia, south of the lake Kopais; it comprehended Akraephia and Mount Ptoon, and probably touched the Euboean sea at the village of Salganeus south of Anthedon. South-west of Thebes, occupying the southern descent of lofty Helicon towards the inmost corner of the Corinthian gulf, and bordering on the southeastern extremity of Phocis with the Phocaean town of Bulis, stood the city of Thespiae. Southward of the Asopus, between that river and Mount Cithaeron, were Plataea and Tanagra; in the south-eastern corner of Boeotia stood Oropus, the frequent subject of contention between Thebes and Athens; and in the road between the Euboean Chalcis and Thebes, the town of Mykalessus.

From our first view of historical Boeotia downward, there appears a confederation which embraces the whole territory; and during the Peloponnesian war, the Thebans invoke “the ancient constitutional maxims of the Boeotians” as a justification of extreme rigor, as well as of treacherous breach of the peace, against the recusant Plataeans. Of this confederation, the greater cities were primary members, while the lesser were attached to one or other of them in a kind of dependent union. Neither the names nor the number of these primary members can be certainly known, there seem grounds for including Thebes, Orchomenus, Lebadeia, Koroneia, Haliartus, Kopae, Anthedem, Tanagra, Thesphe, and Plataea before its secession. Akraephia, with the neighboring Mount Ptoon and its oracle, Skolus, Glisas, and other places, were dependencies of Thebes: Chaeronea, Aspledon, Holmones, and Hyettus, of Orchomenus: Siphae, Leuctra, Keresus, and Thisbe, of Thespiae. Certain generals or magistrates, called Boeotarchs, were chosen annually to manage the common affairs of the confederation. At the time of the battle of Delium in the Peloponnesian war, they were eleven in number, two of them from Thebes; but whether this number was always maintained, or in what proportions the choice was made by the different cities, we find no distinct information. There were likewise, during the Peloponnesian war, four different senates, with whom the Boeotarchs consulted on matters of importance; a curious arrangement, of which we have no explanation. Lastly, there was the general concilium and religious festival, the Pamboeotia, held periodically at Kortineia. Such were the forms, as far as we can make them out, of the Boeotian confederacy; each of the separate cities possessing its own senate and constitution, and having its political consciousness as an autonomous unit, yet with a certain habitual deference to the federal obligations. Substantially, the affairs of the confederation will be found in the hands of Thebes, managed in the interests of Theban ascendency, which appears to have been sustained by no other feeling except respect for superior force and bravery. The discontents of the minor Boeotian towns, harshly repressed and punished, form an uninviting chapter in Grecian history.


One piece of information we find, respecting Thebes singly and apart from the other Boeotian towns anterior to the year 700 BC. Though brief and incompletely recorded, it is yet highly valuable, as one of the first incidents of solid and positive Grecian history. Diokles, the Corinthian, stands enrolled as Olympic victor in the 13th Olympiad, or 728 BC, at a time when the oligarchy called Bacchiadae possessed the government of Corinth. The beauty of his person attracted towards him the attachment of Philolaus, one of the members of this oligarchical body,—a sentiment which Grecian manners did not proscribe; but it also provoked an incestuous passion on the part of his own mother, Halcyone, from which Diokles shrunk with hatred and horror. He abandoned forever his native city and retired to Thebes, whither he was followed by Philolaus, and where both of them lived and died. Their tombs were yet shown in the time of Aristotle, close adjoining to each other, yet with an opposite frontage; that of Philolaus being so placed that the inmate could command a view of the lofty peak of his native city, while that of Diokles was so disposed as to block out all prospect of the hateful spot. That which preserves to us the memory of so remarkable an incident, is, the esteem entertained for Philolaus by the Thebans, a feeling so profound, that they invited him to make laws for them. We shall have occasion to point out one or two similar cases, in which Grecian cities invoked the aid of an intelligent stranger; and the practice became common, among the Italian republics in the Middle Ages, to nominate a person not belonging to their city either as podesta or as arbitrator in civil dissensions. It would have been highly interesting to know, at length, what laws Philolaus made for the Thebans; but Aristotle, with his usual conciseness, merely alludes to his regulations respecting the adoption of children and respecting the multiplication of offspring in each separate family. His laws were framed with the view to maintain the original number of lots of land, without either subdivision or consolidation; but by what means the purpose was to be fulfilled we are not informed. There existed a law at Thebes, which perhaps may have been part of the scheme of Philolaus, prohibiting exposure of children, and empowering a father, under the pressure of extreme poverty, to bring his newborn infant to the magistrates, who sold it for a price to any citizen-purchaser, taking from him the obligation to bring it up, but allowing him in return, to consider the adult as his slave. From these brief allusions, coming to us without accompanying illustration, we can draw no other inference, except that the great problem of population, the relation between the well-being of the citizens and their more or less rapid increase in numbers, had engaged the serious attention even of the earliest Grecian legislators. We may, however, observe that the old Corinthian legislator, Pheidon, (whose precise date cannot be fixed) is stated by Aristotle to have contemplated much the same object as that which is ascribed to Philolaus at Thebes; an unchangeable number both of citizens and of lots of land, without any attempt to alter the unequal ratio of the lots, one to the other.