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It has already been stated that the territory properly called Elis, apart from the enlargement which it acquired by conquest, included the westernmost land in Peloponnesus, south of Achaia, and west of Mount Pholoe and Olenus in Arcadia—but not extending so far southward as the river Alpheius, the course of which lay along the southern portion of Pisatis and on the borders of Triphylia. This territory, which appears in the Odyssey as “the divine Elis, where the Epeians hold sway,” is in the historical times occupied by a population of Aetolian origin. The connection of race between the historical Eleians and the historical Aetolians was recognized by both parties, nor is there any ground for disputing it.

That Aetolian invaders or immigrants into Elis would cross from Naupaktus or some neighboring point in the Corinthian gulf, is in the natural course of things—and such is the course which Oxylus, the conductor of the invasion, is represented by the Herakleid legend as taking. That legend (as has been already recounted) introduces Oxylus as the guide of the three Herakleid brothers—Temenus, Kresphontes, and Aristodemus—and as stipulating with them that in the new distribution about to take place of Peloponnesus, he shall be allowed to possess the Eleian territory, coupled with many holy privileges as to the celebration of the Olympic games.

In the preceding chapter I have endeavored to show that the settlements of the Dorians in and near the Argolic peninsula, so far as the probabilities of the case enable us to judge, were not accom­plished by any inroad in this direction. But the localities occupied by the Dorians of Sparta, and by the Dorians of Stenyklerus in the territory called Messene, lead us to a different conclusion. The easiest and most natural road through which immigrants could reach either of these two spots is through the Eleian and the Pisatid country. Colonel Leake observes that the direct road from the Eleian territory to Sparta, ascending the valley of the Alpheius near Olympia to the sources of its branch the Theius, and from thence descending the Eurotas, affords the only easy march tow and that very inaccessible city and both ancients and moderns have remarked the vicinity of the source of the Alpheius to that of the Eurotas. The situation of Stenyklerus and Andania, the original settlements of the Messenian Dorians, adjoining closely the Arcadian Parrhasii, is only at a short distance from the course of the Alpheius; being thus reached most easily by the same route. Dismissing the idea of a great collective Dorian armament, powerful enough to grasp at once the entire peninsula—we may conceive two moderate detachments of hardy mountaineers from the cold regions in and near Doris, attach­ing themselves to the Aetolians their neighbors, who were proceeding to the invasion of Elis. After having aided the Aetolians both to occupy Elis and to subdue the Pisatid, these Dorians advanced up the valley of the Alpheius in quest of settlements for themselves. One of these bodies ripens into the stately, stubborn, and victorious Spartans; the other into the short-lived, trampled, and struggling Messenians.

Amid the darkness which overclouds these original settlements, we seem to discern something like special causes to determine both of them. With respect to the Spartan Dorians, we are told that a person named Philonomus betrayed Sparta to them, persuading the sovereign in possession to retire with his people into the habitations of the Ionians in the north of the peninsula—and that he received as a recompense for this acceptable service Amyklae with the district around it. It is farther stated—and this important fact there seems no reason to doubt—that Amyklae, though only twenty stadia, or two miles and a half, distant from Sparta, retained both its independence and its Achaean inhabitants long after the Dorian immigrants had acquired possession of the latter place, and was only taken by them under the reign of Teleklus, one generation before the first Olympiad. Without presuming to fill up by conjecture incurable gaps u the statements of our authorities, we may from hence reasonably presume that the Dorians were induced to invade, and enabled to Require, Sparta by the invitation and assistance of a party in the interior of the country. Again, with respect to the Messenian Dorians, a different, but not less effectual temptation was presented by the alliance of the Arcadians in the south-western portion of that central region of Peloponnesus. Kresphontes, the Herakleid leader, it is said, espoused the daughter of the Arcadian king Kypselus, which procured for him the support of a powerful section of Arcadia. His settlement at Stenyklerus was a considerable distance from the sea, at the north-east corner of Messenia, close to the Arcadian frontier; and it will be seen hereafter that this Arcadian alliance is a constant and material element in Ihe disputes of the Messenian Dorians with Sparta.

We may thus trace a reasonable sequence of events, showing how two bodies of Dorians, having first assisted the Aetolo-Eleians to conquer the Pisatid, and thus finding themselves on the banks of the Alpheius, followed the upward course of that river, the one to settle at Sparta, the other at Stenyklerus. The historian Ephorus, from whim our scanty fragments of information respecting these early settlements are derived—it is important to note that he lived in the age immediately succeeding the first foundation of Messene as a city, the restitution of the long-exiled Messenians, and the amputation of the fertile western half of Laconia for their benefit, by Epaminondas—imparts to these proceedings an immediate decisiveness of effect which does not properly belong to them; as if the Spartans had become at once possessed of all Laconia, and the Messenians of all Messenia; Pausanias, too, speaks as if the Arcadians collectively had assisted and allied themselves with Kresphontes. This is lie general spirit which pervades his account, though the particular facts, in so far as we find any such, do not always har­monize with it. Now we are ignorant of the pre-existing divisions of the country, either east or west of Mount Taygetus, at the time when Dorians invaded it. But to treat the one and the other as kingdoms, handed over at once to two Dorian leaders, is an illusion borrowed from the old legend, from the historicizing fancies of Ephorus, and from the fact that in the well-known times this whole territory came to be really united under the Spartan power.

At what date the Dorian settlements at Sparta and Stenyklerus were effected we have no means of determining. Yet that there existed between them in the earliest times a degree of fraternity which did not prevail between Lacedaemon and Argos, we may fairly presume from the common temple, with joint religious sacri­fices, of Artemis Limnatis (or Artemis on the Marsh) erected on the confines of Messenia and Laconia. Our first view of the two, at all approaching to distinctness, seems to date from a period about half a century earlier than the first Olympiad (776 b.c.)—about the reign of king Teleklus of the Eurystheneidor Agid line, and the introduction of the Lykurgean discipline. Teleklus stands in the list as the eighth king dating from Eurysthenes. But how many of the seven kings before him are to be considered as real persons—or how much, out of the brief warlike expeditions ascribed to them, is to be treated as authentic history—I pretend not to define.

The earliest determinable event in the internal history of Sparta is the introduction of the Lykurgean discipline; the earliest external events are the conquest of Amyklae, Pharis and Geronthrae. effected by king Teleklus, and the first quarrel with the Messenians, in which that prince was slain. When we come to see how deplorably great was the confusion and ignorance which reigned with reference to a matter so pre-eminently important as Lykurgus and his legislation, we shall not be inclined to think that facts much less important, and belonging to an earlier epoch, can have been handed down upon any good authority. And in like manner, when we learn that Amyklae, Pharis, and Geronthrae (all south of Sparta, and the first only two and a half miles distant from that city) were independent of the Spartans until the reign of Teleklus, we shall require some decisive testimony before we can believe that a community, so small and so hemmed in as Sparta must then have been, had in earlier times undertaken expeditions against Helos on the sea-coast, against Kleitor on the extreme northern side of Arcadia, against the Kynurians, or against the Argeians. If Helos and Kynuria were conquered by these early kings, it appears that they had to be conquered a second time by kings succeeding Teleklus. It would be more natural that we should hear when and how they conquered the places nearer to them—Sellasia, or Belemina, the valley of the Oenus or the upper valley of the Eurotas. But these seem to be assumed as matters of course; the proceedings ascribed to the early Spartan kings are such only as might beseem the palmy days when Sparta was undisputed mistress of all Laconia.

The succession of Messenian kings, beginning with Kresphontes, the Herakleid brother, and continuing from father to son—Aepytus, Glaukus, Isthmius, Dotadas, Subotas, Phintas, the last being con­temporary with Teleklus—is still less marked by incident than that of the early Spartan kings. It is said that the reign of Kresphontes was troubled, and himself ultimately slain, by mutinies among his subjects; Aepytus, then a youth, having escaped into Arcadia, was afterward restored to the throne by the Arcadian Spartans, and Argeians. From Aepytus the Messenian line of kings are stated to have been denominated Aepytids in preference to Herakleids—which affords another proof of their intimate connection with the Arcadians, since Aepytus was a very ancient name in Arcadian heroic antiquity.

There is considerable resemblance between the alleged behavior of Kresphontes on first settling at Stenyklerus, and that of Eurys­thenes and Prokles at Sparta—so far as we gather from statements, alike meager and uncertified, resting on the authority of Ephorus. Both are said to have tried to place the pre-existing inhabitants of the country on a level with their own Dorian bands; both provoked discontents and incurred obloquy, with their contemporaries as well as with posterity, by the attempt; nor did either permanently succeed. Kresphontes was forced to concentrate all his Dorians in Stenyklerus, while, after all the discontents ended in his violent death. And Agis, the son of Eurysthenes, is said to have reversed all the liberal tentatives of his father, so as to bring the whole of Laconia into subjection and dependence on the Dorians at Sparta, with the single exception of Amyklae. So odious to the Spartan Dorians was the conduct of Eurysthenes that they refused to acknowledge him as their oekist, and conferred that honor upon Agis; the two lines of kings being called Agiads and Eurypontids, instead of Enrystheneids and Prokleids. We see in these statements the same tone of mind as that which pervades the Panathenaic oration of Isokrates, the master of Ephorus—the facts of an unknown period so colored as to suit an ideal of haughty Dorian exclusiveness.

Again, as Eurysthenes and Prokles appear, in the picture of Epho­rus, to carry their authority at once over the whole of Laconia, so too does Kresphontes over the whole of Messenia—over the entire south-western region of Peloponnesus, westward of Mount Taygetus and Cape Taenarus, and southward of the river Neda. He sends an envoy to Pylus and Rhium, the western and southern portions of the south-western promontory of Peloponnesus, treating the entire terri­tory as if it were one sovereignty, and inviting the inhabitants to submit under equal laws. But it has already been observed that this supposed oneness and indivisibility is not less uncertified in regard to Messenia than in regard to Laconia. How large a proportion of the former territory these kings of Stenyklerus may have ruled, we have no means of determining, but there were certainly portions of it which they did not rule—not merely during the reign of Teleklus at Sparta, but still later, during the first Messenian war. For not only we are informed that Teleklus established three townships, Poieessa, Echeiae, and Tragium, near the Messenian gulf and on the course of the river Nedon, but we read also a farther matter of evi­dence in the roll of Olympic victors. Every competitor for the prize at one of these great festivals was always entered as member of some autonomous Hellenic community, which constituted his title to approach the lists: if successful, he was proclaimed with the name of the community to which he belonged. Now, during the first ten Olympiads seven winners are proclaimed as Messenians; in the eleventh Olympiad we find the name of Oxythemis, KoronaeusOxythemis, not of Koroneia in Boeotia, but of Korone in the western bend of the Messenian gulf, some miles on the right bank of the Pamisus, and a considerable distance to the north of the modern Coron. Now, if Korone had then been comprehended in Messenia, Oxythemis would have been proclaimed as a Messenian, like the seven winners who preceded him; and the fact of his being proclaimed as a Koronaean proves that Korone was then an independent com­munity, not under the dominion of the Dorians of Stenyklerus. It seems clear, therefore, that the latter did not reign over the whole territory commonly known as Messenia, though we are unable to assign the proportion of it which they actually possessed.

The Olympic festival, in its origin doubtless a privilege of the neighboring Pisatans, seems to have derived its great and gradually expanding importance from the Aetolo-Eleian settlement in Pelopon­nesus, combined with the Dorians of Laconia and Messenia. Lykurgus of Sparta and Iphitus of Elis are alleged to have joined their efforts for the purpose of establishing both the sanctity of the Olympic truce and the inviolability of the Eleian territory. Hence, though this tale is not to be construed as matter of fact, we may see that the Lacedaemonians regarded the Olympic games as a portion of their own antiquities. Moreover, it is certain both that the dignity of the festival increased simultaneously with their ascendency, and that their peculiar fashions were very early introduced into the practice of the Olympic competitors. Probably the three bands of co-operat­ing invaders, Aetolians and Spartan and Messenian Dorians, may have adopted this festival as a periodical renovation of mutual union and fraternity; from which cause the games became an attractive center for the western portion of Peloponnesus, before they were much frequented by people from the eastern, or still more from extra-­Peloponnesian Hellas. For it cannot be altogether accidental, when we read the names of the first twelve proclaimed Olympic victors (occupying nearly half a century from 776 b.c. downward), to find that seven of them are Messenians, three Eleians, one from Dyme in Achaia, and one from Korone; while after the twelfth Olympiad, Corinthians and Megarians and Epidaurians begin to occur, later still, extra-Peloponnesian victors. We may reasonably infer from hence that the Olympic ceremonies were at this early period chiefly frequented by visitors and competitors from the western regions of Peloponnesus, and that the affluence to them from the more distant parts of the Hellenic world did not become considerable until the first Messenian war had dosed.

Having thus set forth toe conjectures, to which our very scanty knowledge points, respecting the first establishment of the Aetolian and Dorian settlements in Elis, Laconia, and Messenia, connected as they are with the steadily-increasing dignity and frequentation of the Olympic festival, I proceed in the next chapter to that memorable circumstance which both determined the character and brought about the political ascendency, of the Spartans separately—I mean die laws and discipline of Lykurgus.

Of the pre-existing inhabitants of Laconia and Messenia, whom we are accustomed to call Achaeans and Pylians, so little is known, that we cannot at all measure the difference between them and their Dorian invaders, either in dialect, in habits, or in intelligence. There appear no traces of any difference of dialect among the various parts of the population of Laconia; the Messenian allies of Athens, in the Peloponnesian war, speak the same dialect as the Helots, and the same also as the Ambrakiotic colonists from Corinth—all Doric. Nor me we to suppose that the Doric dialect was at all peculiar to the people called Dorians. As far as can be made out by the evi­dence of inscriptions, it seems to have been Ike dialect of the Phokians, Delphians, Lokrians, Aetolians, and Achaeans of Phthiotis; with respect to the latter, the inscriptions of Thaumaki in Achaea Phthiotis afford a proof the more curious and the more cogent of native dialect, because the Phthiots were both immediate neighbors and subjects of the Thessalians, who spoke a variety of the Awolic. So too, within Peloponnesus, we find evidences of Doric dialect among the Achaeans in the north of Peloponnesus—the Dryopic inhabitants of Hermione—and the Eleuthero-Lacones, or Laconian townships (compounded of Perioeki and Helots), emancipated by the Romans in the second century me. Concerning the speech of that population whom the invading Dorians found in Laconia, we have no means of judging; the presumption would rather be that it did not differ materially from the Doric. Thucydides designates the Corinthians, whom the invading Dorians attacked from the hill Solygeius, as being Aeolians, and Strabo speaks both of the Achaeans as an Aeolic nation and of the Aeolic dialect as having been originally preponderant in Peloponnesus. But we do not readily see what means of information either of these authors possessed respecting the speech of a time which must have been four centuries anterior even to Thucydides.

Of that which is called the Aeolic dialect there are three marked and distinguishable varieties—the Lesbian, the Thessalian, and the Boeotian; the Thessalian forming a mean term between the other two. Ahrens has shown that the ancient grammatical critics are accustomed to affirm peculiarities, as belonging to the Aeolic dialect generally, which in truth belong only to the Lesbian variety of it, or critics attentively studied. Lesbian, Aeolic, Thessalian Aeolic, and Boeotian Aeolic, are all different; and if, abstracting from these differences, we confine our attention to that which is common to all three, we shall find little to distinguish this abstract Aeolic from the abstract Doric, or that which is common to the many varieties of the Doric dialect. These two are sisters, presenting both of them more or less the Latin side of the Greek language, while the relationship of either of them to the Attic and Ionic is more distant. Now it seems that (putting ­aside Attica) the speech of all Greece, from Perrhaebia and Mount Olympus to Cape Malea and Cape Akritas, consisted of different varieties either of the Doric or of the Aeolic dialect; this being true (as far as we are able to judge) not less of the aboriginal Arcadians than of the rest. The Laconian dialect contained more specialties of its own, and approached nearer to the Aeolic, and to the Eleian, than any other variety of the Dorian: it stands at the extreme of what has been classified as the strict Dorian—that is, the farthest removed from Ionic and Attic. The Kretan towns manifest also a strict Dorism; as well as the Lacedaemonian colony of Tarentum, and seem­ingly most of the italiotic Greeks, though some of them are called Achaean colonies. Most of the other varieties of the Doric dialect (Phokian, Lokrian, Delphian, Achaean of Phthiotis) exhibit a form departing less widely from the Ionic and Attic: Argos and the towns in the Argolic peninsula seem to form a stepping-stone between the two.

These positions represent all our scanty information respecting those varieties of Grecian speech which are not known to us by written works. The little presumption which can be raised upon them favors the belief that the Dorian invaders of Laconia and Messenia found there a dialect little different from that which they brought with them—a conclusion which it is the more necessary to state distinctly, since the work of O. Muller has caused an exaggerated estimate to be formed of the distinctive peculiarities whereby Dorism was parted off from the rest of Hellas.