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In the preceding chapters I have been under the necessity of presenting to the reader a picture altogether incoherent and destitute of central effect,—to specify briefly each of the two or three hundred towns which agreed in bearing the Hellenic name, and to recount its birth and early life, as far as our evidence goes,but without being able to point out any action and reaction, exploits or sufferings, prosperity or misfortune, glory or disgrace, common to all. To a great degree, this is a characteristic inseparable from the history of Greece from its beginning to its end, for the only political unity which it ever receives is the melancholy unity of subjection under all-conquering Rome. Nothing short of force will efface in the mind of a free Greek the idea of his city as an autonomous and separate organization; the village is a fraction, but the city is an unit,—and the highest of all political units, not admitting of being consolidated with others into a ten or a hundred, to the sacrifice of its own separate and individual mark. Such is the character of the race, both in their primitive country and in their colonial settlements,—in their early as well as in their late history,—splitting by natural fracture into a multitude of self-administering, indivisible cities. But that which marks the early historical period before Peisistratus, and which impresses upon it an incoherence at once so fatiguing and so irremediable, is, that as yet no causes have arisen to counteract this political isolation. Each city, whether progressive or stationary, prudent or adventurous, turbulent or tranquil, follows out its own thread of existence, having no partnership or common purposes with the rest, and not yet constrained into any active partnership with them by extraneous forces. In like manner, the races which on every side surround the Hellenic world appear distinct and unconnected, not yet taken up into any cooperating mass or system.

Contemporaneously with the accession of Peisistratus, this state of things becomes altered both in and out of Hellas,—the former as a consequence of the latter: for at that time begins the formation of the great Persian empire, which absorbs into itself not only Upper Asia and Asia Minor, but also Phenicia, Egypt, Thrace, Macedonia, and a considerable number of the Grecian cities themselves; and the common danger, threatening the greater states of Greece proper from this vast aggregate, drives them, in spite of great reluctance and jealousy, into ac­tive union. Hence arises a new impulse, counterworking the natural tendency to political isolation in the Hellenic cities, and centralizing their proceedings to a certain extent for the two centuries succeeding 560 b.c.; Athens and Sparta both availing themselves of the centralizing tendencies which had grown out of the Persian war. But during the interval between 776-560 BC, no such tendency can be traced even in commencement, nor any constraining force calculated to bring it about. Even Thucydides, as we may see by his excellent preface, knew of nothing during these two centuries except separate city-politics and occasional wars between neighbors: the only event, according to him, in which any considerable number of Grecian cities were jointly concerned, was the war between Chalcis and Eretria, the date of which we do not know. In this war, several cities took part as allies; Samos, among others, with Eretria,—Miletus with Chalcis: how far the alliances of either may have extended, we have no evidence to inform us, but the presumption is that no great number of Grecian cities was comprehended in them. Such as it was, however, this war between Chalcis and Eretria was the nearest approach, and the only approach, to a Pan-Hellenic proceeding which Thucydides indicates between the Trojan and the Persian wars. Both he and Herodotus present this early period only by way of preface and contrast to that which follows,— when the Pan-Hellenic spirit and tendencies, though never at any time predominant, yet counted for a powerful element in history, and sensibly modified the universal instinct of city-isolation. They tell us little about it, either because they could find no trustworthy informants, or because there was nothing in it to captivate the imagination in the same manner as the Persian or the Peloponnesian wars. From whatever cause their silence arises, it is deeply to be regretted, since the phenomena of the two centuries from 776-560 bc, though not susceptible of any central grouping, must have presented the most instructive matter for study, had they been preserved. In no period of history have there ever been formed a greater number of new political communities, under such variety of circumstances, personal as well as local. And a few chronicles, however destitute of philosophy, reporting the exact march of some of these colonies from their commencement,— amidst all the difficulties attendant on amalgamation with strange natives, as well as on a fresh distribution of land,—would have added greatly to our knowledge both of Greek character and Greek social existence.

Taking the two centuries now under review, then, it will appear that there is not only no growing political unity among the Grecian states, but a tendency even to the contrary,—to dissemination and mutual estrangement. Not so, however, in regard to the other feelings of unity capable of subsisting between men who acknowledge no common political authority,—sympathies founded on common religion, language, belief of race, legends, tastes and customs, intellectual appetencies, sense of proportion and artistic excellence, recreative enjoyments, etc. On all these points the manifestations of Hellenic unity become more and more pronounced and comprehensive, in spite of increased political dissemination, throughout the same period. The breadth of common sentiment and sympathy between Greek and Greek, together with the conception of multitudinous periodical meetings as an indispensable portion of existence, appears decidedly greater in 560 bc than it had been a century before. It was fostered by the increased conviction of the superiority of Greeks as compared with foreigners,—a conviction gradually more and more justified as Grecian art and intel­lect improved, and as the survey of foreign countries became extended,—as well as by the many new efforts of men of genius a the field of music, poetry, statuary, and architecture, each of whom touched chords of feeling belonging to other Greeks hardly less than to his own peculiar city. At the same time, the life of each peculiar city continues distinct, and even gathers to itself a greater abundance of facts and internal interests. Sc that during the two centuries now under review there was in the mind of every Greek an increase both of the city-feeling and of the Pan-Hellenic feeling, but on the other hand a decline of the old sentiment of separate race,—Doric, Ionic, Aeolic.

I have already, in my former volume, touched upon the many­sided character of the Grecian religion, entering as it did into all the enjoyments and sufferings, the hopes and fears, the affections and antipathies, of the people,—not simply imposing restraints and obligations, but protecting, multiplying, and diversifying all the social pleasures and all the decorations of existence. Each city and even each village had its peculiar religious festivals, wherein the sacrifices to the gods were usually followed by public recreations of one kind or other,—by feasting on the victims, processional marches, singing and dancing, or competition in strong and active exercises. The festival was originally local, but friendship or communion of race was shown by inviting others, non-residents, to partake in its attractions. In the case of a colony and its metropolis, it was a frequent practice that citizens of the metropolis were honored with a privileged scat at the festivals of the colony, or that one of their number was presented with the first taste of the sacrificial victim. Reciprocal frequentation of religious festivals was thus the standing evidence of friendship and fraternity among cities not politically united. That it must have existed to a certain degree from the earliest days, there can be no reasonable doubt; though in Homer and Hesiod we find only the celebration of funeral games, by a chief at his own private expense, in honor of his deceased father or friend,—with all the accompanying recreations, however, of a public festival, and with strangers not only present, but also contending for valuable prizes. Passing the historical Greece during the seventh century bc, we find evidence of two festivals, even then very considerable, and frequented by Greeks from many different cities and districts,—the festival at Delos, in honor of Apollo, the great place of meeting for Ionians throughout the Aegean—and the Olympic games. The Homeric Hymn to the Delian Apollo, which must be placed earlier than 600 bc, dwells with emphasis on the splendor of the Delian festival,unrivalled throughout Greece, as it would appear, during all the first period of this history, for wealth, finery of attire, and variety of exhibitions as well in poetical genius as in bodily activity,—equalling probably at that time, if not surpassing, the Olympic games. The complete and undiminished grandeur of this Delian Pan-Ionic festival is one of our chief marks of the first period of Grecian history, before the comparative prostration of the Ionic Greeks through the rise of Persia: it was celebrated periodically in every fourth year, to the honor of Apollo and Artemis. It was distinguished from the Olympic games by two circumstances both deserving of notice,—first, by including solemn matches not only of gymnastic, but also of musical and poetical excellence, whereas the latter had no place at Olympia; secondly, by the admission of men, women, and children indiscriminately as spectators, whereas women were formally excluded from the Olympic ceremony. Such exclusion may have depended in part on the inland situa­tion of Olympia, less easily approachable by females than the island of Delos; but even making allowance for this circumstance, both the one distinction and the other mark the rougher character of the Aetolo-Dorians in Peloponnesus. The Delian festival, which greatly dwindled away during the subjection of the Asiatic and insular Greeks to Persia, was revived afterwards by Athens during the period of her empire, when she was seeking in every way to strengthen her central ascendency in the Aegean. But though it continued to be ostentatiously celebrated under her management, it never regained that commanding sanctity and crowded frequentation which we find attested in the Homeric Hymn to Apollo for its earlier period.

Very different was the fate of the Olympic festival,—on the banks of the Alpheius in Peloponnesus, near the old oracular temple of the Olympian Zeus—which not only grew up uninterruptedly from small beginnings to the maximum of Pan­Hellenic importance, but even preserved its crowds of visitors and its celebrity for many centuries after the extinction of Greek freedom, and only received its final abolition, after more than eleven hundred years of continuance, from the decree of the Christian emperor Theodosius in 394 ad. I have already recounted, in the preceding volume of this history, the attempt made by Pheidon, despot of Argos, to restore to the Pisatans, or to acquire for himself, the administration of this festival,—an event which proves the importance of the festival in Peloponnesus, even so early as 740 bc. At that time, and for some years afterwards, it seems to have been frequented chiefly, if not exclusively, by the neighboring inhabitants of central and western Peloponnesus,— Spartans, Messenians, Arcadians, Triphylians, Pisatans, Eleians, and Achaeans,—and it forms an important link connecting the Etolo-Eleians, and their privileges as Agonothets to solemnize and preside over it, with Sparta. From the year 720 bc, we trace positive evidences of the gradual presence of more distant Greeks,— Corinthians, Megarians, Boeotians, Athenians, and even Smyrnaeans from Asia.

We observe also another proof of growing importance, in the increased number and variety of matches exhibited to the spectators, and in the substitution of the simple crown of olive, an honorary reward, in place of the more substantial present which the Olympic festival and all other Grecian festivals began by conferring upon the victor. The humble constitution of the Olympic games presented originally nothing more than a match of runners in the measured course called the Stadium: a continuous series of the victorious runners was formally inscribed and preserved by the Eleians, beginning with Koroebus in 776 BC and was made to serve by chronological inquirers from the third century BC downwards, as a means of measuring the chronological sequence of Grecian events. It was on the occasion of the 7th Olympiad after Koroebus, that Daikles the Messenian first received for his victory in the stadium no farther recompense than a wreath from the sacred olive-tree near Olympia: the honor of being proclaimed victor was found sufficient, without any pecuniary addition. But until the 14th Olympiad, there was no other match for the spectators to witness beside that of simple runners in the stadium. On that occasion a second race was first introduced, of runners in the double stadium, or up and down the course; in the next, or 15th Olympiad (720 bc), a third match, the long course for runners, or several times up and down the stadium. There were thus three races,—the simple stadium, the double stadium, or diaulos, and the long course, or dolichos, all for runners,—which continued without addition until the 18th Olympiad, when the wrestling-match and the complicated pentathlon—including jumping, running, the quoit, the javelin, and wrestling—were both added. A farther novelty appears in the 23d Olympiad (688 bc), the boxing-match; and another, still more important, in the 25th (680 bc), the chariot with four full-grown horses. This last-mentioned addition is deserving of special notice, not merely as it diversified the scene by the introduction of horses, but also as it brought in a totally new class of competitors,—rich men and women, who possessed the finest horses and could hire the most skilful drivers, without any personal superiority, or power of bodily display, in themselves. The prodigious exhibition of wealth in which the chariot proprietors indulged, id not only an evidence of growing importance in the Olympic games, but also served materially to increase that importance, and to heighten the interest of spectators. Two farther matches were added in the 33d Olympiad (648 bc),—the pankration, or boxing and wrestling conjoined, with the hand unarmed or divested of that hard leather cestus worn by the pugilist, which rendered the blow of the latter more terrible, but at the same time pr­vented him from grasping or keeping hold of his adversary,—and the single race-horse. Many other novelties were introduced one after the other, which it is unnecessary fully to enumerate,—the race between men clothed in full panoply, and bearing each his shield,—the different matches between boys, analogous to those between full-grown men, and between colts, of the same nature as between full-grown horses. At the maximum of its attraction the Olympic solemnity occupied live days, but until the 77th Olympiad, all the various matches had been compressed into one,—beginning at daybreak and not always closing before dark. The 77th Olympiad follows immediately after the successful expulsion of the Persian invader from Greece, when the Pan-Hellenic feeling had been keenly stimulated by resistance to a common enemy; and we may easily conceive that this was a suitable moment fur imparting additional dignity to the chief national festival.

We are thus enabled partially to trace the steps by which, during the two centuries succeeding 776 bc, the festival of the Olympic Zeus in the Pisatid gradually passed from a local to a national character, and acquired an attractive force capable of bringing together into temporary union the dispersed fragments of Hellas, from Marseilles to Trebizond. In this important function it did not long stand alone. During the sixth century BC, three other festivals, at first local, became successively nationalized,—the Pythia near Delphi, the Isthmia, near Cor­inth, the Nemea near Kleonae, between Sicyon and Argos.

In regard to the Pythian festival, we find a short notice of the particular incidents and individuals by whom its reconstitution and enlargement were brought about,—a notice the more interesting, inasmuch as these very incidents are themselves a manifestation of something like Pan-Hellenic patriotism, standing almost alone in an age which presents little else in operation except distinct city-interests. At the time when the Homeric Hymn to the Delphinian Apollo was composed (probably in the seventh century bc), the Pythian festival had as yet acquired little eminence. The rich and holy temple of Apollo was then purely oracular, established for the purpose of communicating to pious inquirers “the counsels of the immortals.” Multitudes of visitors came to consult it, as well as to sacrifice victims and to deposit costly offerings; but while the god delighted in the sound of the harp as an accompaniment to the singing of paeans, he was by no means anxious to encourage horse-races and chariot­races in the neighborhood, nay, this psalmist considers that the noise of horses would be “a nuisance,” the drinking of mules a desecration to the sacred fountains, and the ostentation of fine built chariots objectionable, as tending to divert the attention of spectators away from the great temple and its wealth.

From such inconveniences the god was protected by placing his sanctuary “in the rocky Pytho,”—a rugged and uneven recess, of no great dimensions, embosomed in the southern declivity of Parnassus, and about two thousand feet above the level of the sea, while the topmost Parnassian summits reach a height of near eight thousand feet. The situation was extremely imposing, but unsuited by nature for the congregation of any considerable number of spectators,—altogether impracticable for chariot-races, —and only rendered practicable by later art and outlay for the theatre as well as for the stadium; the original stadium, when first established, was placed in the plain beneath. It furnished little means of subsistence, but the sacrifices and presents of visitors enabled the ministers of the temple to live in abundance,and gathered together by degrees a village around it. Near the sanctuary of Pytho, and about the same altitude, was situated the ancient Phocian town of Krissa, on a projecting spur of Parnassus,—overhung above by the line of rocky precipice called the Phaedriades, and itself overhanging below the deep ravine through which flows the river Pleistus. On the other side of this river rises the steep mountain Kirphis, which projects southward into the Corinthian gulf,—the river reaching that gulf through the Krissaean or Kirrhacan plain, which stretches westward nearly to the Locrian town of Amphissa; a plain for the most part fertile and productive, though least so in its eastern part immediately under the Kirphis, where the sea port Kirrha was placed. The temple, the oracle, and the wealth of Pyrho belong to the very earliest periods of Grecian antiquity; but the octennial solemnity in honor of the god included at first no other competition except that of bards, who sang each a paean with the harp. It Las been already mentioned, in my preceding volume, that the Amphictyonic assembly held one of its half-yearly meetings near the temple of Pytho, the other at Thermopylae.

In those early times when the Homeric Hymn to Apollo was composed, the town of Krissa appears to have been great and powerful, possessing all the broad plain between Parnassus, Kirphis, and the gulf, to which latter it gave its name,—and possessing also, what was a property not less valuable, the adjoining sanctuary of Pytho itself, which the Hymn identifies with Krissa, not indicating Delphi as a separate place. The Krissaeans, doubtless, derived great profits from the number of visitors who came to visit Delphi, both by land and by sea, and Kirrha was originally only the name for their seaport. Gradually, however, the port appears to have grown in importance at the expense of the town, just as Apollonia and Ptolemais came to equal Cyrene and Barka, and as Plymouth Dock has swelled into Devonport; while at the same time, the sanctuary of Pytho with its administrators expanded into the town of Delphi, and came to claim an independent existence of its own. The original relations between Krissa, Kirrha, and Delphi, were in this manner at length subverted, the first declining and the two latter rising. The Krissaeans found themselves dispossessed of the management of the temple, which passed to the Delphians, as well as of the profits arising from the visitors, whose disbursements went to enrich the inhabitants of Kirrha. Krissa was a primitive city of the Phocian name, and could boast of a place as such in the Homeric Catalogue, so that her loss of importance was not likely to be quietly endured. Moreover, in addition to the above facts, already sufficient in themselves as seeds of quarrel, we arc told that the Kirrhaeans abused their position as masters of the avenue to the temple by sea, and levied exorbitant tolls on the visitors who landed there,—a number constantly increasing from the multiplication of the transmarine colonies, and from the prosperity of those in Paly and Sicily. Besides such offence against the general Grecian public, they had also incurred the enmity of their Phocian neighbors by outrages upon women, Phocian as well as Argeian, who were returning from the temple.

Thus stood the case, apparently, about 595 bc, when the Amphictyonic meeting interfered—either prompted by the Phocians, or perhaps on their own spontaneous impulse, out of regard to the temple—to punish the Kirrhaeans. After a war pf ten years, the first Sacred War in Greece, this object was completely accomplished, by a joint force of Thessalians under Eurylochus, Sicyonians under Kleisthenes, and Athenians under Alkmaeon; the Athenian Solon being the person who originated and enforced, in the Amphictyonic council, the proposition of interference. Kirrha appears to have made a strenuous resistance until its supplies from the sea were intercepted by the naval force of the Sicyonians Kleisthenes; and even after the town was taken, its inhabitants defended themselves for some time on the heights of Kirphis. At length, however, they were thoroughly subdued. Their town was destroyed, or left to subsist merely as a landing-place; and the whole adjoining plain was consecrated to the Delphian god, whose domains thus touched the sea. Under this sentence, pronounced by the religious feeling of Greece, and sanctified by a solemn oath publicly sworn and inscribed al Delphi, the land was condemned to remain untilled and unplanted, without any species of human care, and serving only for the pasturage of cattle. The latter circumstance was convenient to the temple, inasmuch as it furnished abundance of victims for the pilgrims who landed and came to sacrifice,—for without preliminary sacrifice no man could consult the oracle; while the entire prohibition of tillage was the only means of obviating the growth of another troublesome neighbor on the sea-board. The fate of Kirrha in this war is ascertained: that of Krissa is not so clear, nor do we know whether it was destroyed, or left subsisting in a position of inferiority with regard to Delphi. From this time forward, however, the Delphian community appears as substantive and autonomous, exercising in their own right the management of the temple; though we shall find, on more than one occasion, that the Phocians contest this right, and lay claim to the management of it for themselves,—a remnant of that early period when the oracle stood in the domain of the Phocian Krissa. There seems, moreover, to have been a standing antipathy between the Delphians and the Phocians.

The Sacred War just mentioned, emanating from a solemn Amphictyonic decree, carried on jointly by troops of different states whom we do not know to have ever before cooperated, and directed exclusively towards an object of common interest, is in itself a fact of high importance as manifesting a decided growth of Pan-Hellenic feeling. Sparta is not named as interfering,—a circumstance which seems remarkable when we consider both her power, even as it then stood, and her intimate connection with the Delphian oracle,—while the Athenians appear as the prime movers, through the greatest and best of their citizens: the credit of a large-minded patriotism rests prominently upon them.

But if this Sacred War itself is a proof that the Pan-Hellenic spirit was growing stronger, the positive result in which it ended reinforced that spirit still farther. The spoils of Kirrha were employed by the victorious allies in founding the Pythian games. The octennial festival hitherto celebrated at Delphi in honor of the god, including no other competition except in the harp and the paean, was expanded into comprehensive games on the model of the Olympic, with matches not only of music, but also of gymnastics and chariots,—celebrated, not at Delphi itself, but on the maritime plain near the ruined Kirrha,—and under the direct superintendence of the Amphictions themselves. I have already mentioned that Solon provided large rewards for such Athenians as gained victories in the Olympic and Isthmian games, thereby indicating his sense of the great value of the national games as a means of promoting Hellenic intercommunion It was the same feeling which instigated the foundation of the new games on the Kirrhaean plain, in commemoration of the vindicated honor of Apollo, and in the territory newly made over to him. They were celebrated in the latter half of summer, or first half of every third Olympic year,—the Amphictions being the ostensible agonothets, or administrators, and appointing persons to discharge the duty in their names. At the first Pythian ceremony (in 586 bc), valuable rewards were given to the different victors; at the second (582 bc), nothing was conferred but wreaths of laurel,the rapidly attained celebrity of the games being such as to render any farther reward superfluous. The Sicyonians despot Kleisthenes himself, one of the leaders in the conquest of Kirrha, gained the prize at the chariot-race of the second Pythia. We find other great personages in Greece frequently mentioned as competitors, and the games long maintained a dignity second only to the Olympic, over which, indeed, they had some advantages; first, that they were not abused for the purpose of pro­moting petty jealousies and antipathies of any administering state, as the Olympic games were perverted by the Eleians, on more than one occasion; next, that they comprised music and poetry as well as bodily display. From the circumstances attending their foundation, the Pythian games deserved, even more than the Olympic, the title bestowed on them by Demosthenes,— “The common Agon of the Greeks.”

The Olympic and Pythian games continued always to be the most venerated solemnities in Greece: yet the Nemea and Isthmia acquired a celebrity not much inferior; the Olympic prize counting for the highest of all. Both the Nemea and the Isthmia were distinguished from the other two festivals by occurring, not once in four years, but once in two years; tike former in the second and fourth years of each Olympiad, the latter in the first and third years. To both is assigned, according to Greek custom, an origin connected with the interesting persons and circumstances of Grecian antiquity: but our historical knowledge of both begins with the sixth century bc. The first historical Nemead is presented as belonging to Olympiad 52 or 53 (572-568 bc), a few years subsequent to the Sacred War above mentioned and to the origin of the Pythia. The festival was celebrated in honor of the Nemean Zeus, in the valley of Nemea, between Phlius and Kleonte, and originally by the Kleonaeans them­selves, until, at some period after 460 bc, the Argeians deprived them of that honor and assumed the honors of administration to themselves. The Nemean games had their Hellanodikae to superintend, to keep order, and to distribute the prizes, as well as the Olympic. Respecting the Isthmian festival, our first historical information is a little earlier, for it has already been stated that Solon conferred a premium upon every Athenian citizen who gained a prize at that festival as well as at the Olympian,—in or after 591 bc. It was celebrated by the Corinthians attheir isthmus, in honor of Poseidon ; and if we may draw any inference from the legends respecting its foundation, which is ascribed sometimes to Theseus, the Athenians appear to have identified it with the antiquities of their own state.

We thus perceive that the interval between 600-560 BC ex­hibits the first historical manifestation of the Pythia, Isthmia, and Nemea,—the first expansion of all the three from local into Pan-Hellenic festivals. To the Olympic games, for some time the only great centre of union among all the widely dispersed Greeks, are now added three other sacred agones of the like public, open, national character; constituting visible marks, as well as tutelary bonds, of collective Hellenism, and insuring to every Greek who went to compete in the matches, a safe and inviolate transit even through hostile Hellenic states. These four, all in or near Peloponnesus, and one of which occurred in each year, formed the period, or cycle, of sacred games, and those who had gained prizes at all the four received the enviable designation of periodonikes: the honors paid to Olympic victors on their return to their native city were prodigious, even in the sixth century bc, and became even more extravagant afterwards. We may remark that in the Olympic games alone, the oldest as well as the most illustrious of the four, the musical and intellectual element was wanting: all the three more recent agones included crowns for exercises of music and poetry, along with gymnastics, chariots, and horses.

Nor was it only in the distinguishing national stamp set upon these four great festivals that the gradual increase of Hellenic family-feeling exhibited itself, during the course of this earliest period of our history. Pursuant to the same tendencies, religious festivals in all the considerable towns gradually became more and more open and accessible, and attracted guests as well as competitors from beyond the border; the dignity of the state, at well as the honor rendered to the presiding god, being measured by numbers, admiration, and envy, in the frequenting visitors. There is no positive evidence, indeed, of such expansion in the Attic festivals earlier than the reign of Peisistratus, who first added the quadrennial or greater Panathenma to the ancient annual or lesser Panathenaea; nor can we trace the steps of progress in regard to Thebes, Orchomenus, Thespiae, Megara, Sicyon, Pellene, Egina, Argos, etc., but we find full reason for believing that such was the general reality. Of the Olympic or Isthmian victors whom Pindar and Simonides celebrated, many derived a portion of their renown from previous victories acquired at several of these local contests,victories sometimes so numerous, as to prove how widespread the habit of mutual frequentation had become; though we find, even in the third century BC, treaties of alliance between different cities, in which it is thought necessary to confer this mutual right by express stipulation. Temptation was offered, to the distinguished gymnastic or musical competitors, by prizes of great value; and Timaeus even asserted, as a proof of the overweening pride of Kroton and Sybaris, that these cities tried to supplant the preeminence of the Olympic games, by instituting games of their own with the richest prizes, to be celebrated at the same time,—a statement in itself not worthy of credit, but nevertheless illustrating the animated rivalry known to prevail among the Grecian cities, in procuring for themselves splendid and crowded games. At the time when the Homeric Hymn to Demeter was composed, the worship of that goddess seems to have been purely local at Eleusis; but before the Persian war, the festival celebrated by the Athenians every year, in honor of the Eleusinian Demeter, admitted Greeks of all cities to be initiated, and was attended by vast crowds of them.

It was thus that the simplicity and strict local application of the primitive religious festival, among the greater states in Greece, gradually expanded, on certain great occasions periodically recurring, into an elaborate and regulated series of exhibitions,—not merely admitting, but soliciting the fraternal presence of all Hellenic spectators. In this respect Sparta seems to have formed an exception to the remaining states: her festivals were for herself alone, and her general rudeness towards other Greeks was not materially softened even at the Karneia, or Hyakinthia, or Gymnopaediae. On the other hand, the Attic Dionysia were gradually exalted, from their original rude spontaneous outburst of village feeling in thankfulness to the god, followed by song, dance, and revelry of various kinds,—into costly and diversified performances, first, by a trained chorus, next, by actors superadded to it; and the dramatic compositions thus produced, as they embodied the perfection of Grecian art, so they were eminently calculated to invite a Pan-Hellenic audience and to encourage the sentiment of Hellenic unity. The dramatic literature of Athens, however, belongs properly to a later period; previous to the year 560 BC, we see only those commencements of innovation which drew upon Thespis the rebuke of Solon, who himself contributed to impart to the Panathenaic festival a more solemn and attractive character, by checking the license of the rhapsodes, and insuring to those present a full, orderly recital of the Iliad.

The sacred games and festivals, here alluded to as a class, took hold of the Greek mind by so great a variety of feelings, as to counterbalance in a high degree the political disseverance, and to keep alive among their widespread cities, in the midst of constant jealousy and frequent quarrel, a feeling of brotherhood and congenial sentiment such as must otherwise have died away. The Theors, or sacred envoys, who came to Olympia or Delphi from so many different points, all sacrificed to the same god and at the same altar, witnessed the same sports, and contributed by their donatives to enrich or adorn one respected scene. Nor must we forget that the festival afforded opportunity for a sort of fair, including much traffic amid so large a mass of spectators, and besides the exhibitions of the games themselves, there were recitations and lectures in a spacious council-room for those who chose to listen to them, by poets, rhapsodes, philosophers, and historians,—among which last, the history of Herodotus is said to have been publicly read by its author. Of the wealthy and great men in the various cities, many contended simply for the chariot victories and horse victories. But there were others whose ambition was of a character more strictly personal, and who stripped naked as runners, wrestlers, boxers, or pankratiasts, having gone through the extreme fatigue of a complete previous training. Kylon, whose unfortunate attempt to usurp the sceptre at Athens has been recounted, had gained the prize in the Olympic, stadium: Alexander son of Amyntas, the prince of Macedon, had run for it. The great family of the Diagoridae at Rhodes, who furnished magistrates and generals to their native city, supplied a still greater number of successful boxers and pankratiusae at Olympia, while other instances also occur of generals named by various cities from the lists of successful Olympic gymnasts; and the odes of Pindar, always dearly purchased, attest how many of the great and wealthy were found in that list. The perfect popularity and equality of persons at these great games, is a feature not less remarkable than the exact adherence to predetermined rule, and the self-imposed submission of the immense crowd to a handful of servants armed with sticks, who executed the orders of the Eleian Hellanodikae. The ground upon which the ceremony took place, and even the territory of the administering state, was pro­tected by a “Truce of God,” during the month of the festival, the commencement of which was formally announced by heralds sent round to the different states. Treaties of peace between different cities were often formally commemorated by pillars there erected, and the general impression of the scene suggested nothing but ideas of peace and brotherhood among Greeks. And I may remark that the impression of the games as belonging to all Greeks, and to none but Greeks, was stronger and clearer during the interval between 600-300 bc, than it came to be afterwards. For the Macedonian conquest had the effect of diluting and corrupting Hellenism, by spreading an exterior varnish of Hellenic tastes and manners over a wide area of incongruous foreigners, who were incapable of the real elevation of the Hellenic char­acter ; so that although in later times the games continued undi­minished, both in attraction and in number of visitors, the spirit of Pan-Hellenic communion, which had once animated the scene, was gone forever.