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A Manual of Ancient History by A. H. L. Heeren

Far different was the case with Sparta


9.

The changes introduced into the internal organization are not to be determined solely by the palpable alterations made in any of Lycurgus's or Solon's institutions. In Sparta, the general frame-work of Lycurgus's constitution subsisted; nevertheless the power was virtually in the hands of the ephori, whose dictatorial sway placed Sparta in the formidable posture she now assumed.--At Athens, in proportion as the importance of foreign relations increased, and amid the protracted struggles between the heads of the democratic and aristocratic parties, the real power, under the outward appearance of a democracy, gradually centered in the hands of the ten annually elected generals, ([Greek: strategoi],) who with more or less effect played the parts of demagogues.

Abrogation of the law that excluded the poorer citizens from official situations, B. C. 478.

Expulsion of Themistocles, implicated in the fall of Pausanias, principally through the intrigues of Sparta: he is first banished by ostracism, 469, but in consequence of further persecution he flies over to the Persians, 466.

10. The following forty years, from 470-430, constitute the flourishing period of Athens. A concurrence of fortunate circumstances happening among a people of the highest abilities and promoted by great men, produced here phenomena, such as have never since been witnessed. Political greatness was

the fundamental principle of the commonwealth; Athens had been the guardian, and the champion of Greece, and she wished to appear worthy of herself. Hence in Athens alone were men acquainted with public splendour, exhibited in buildings, in spectacles, and festivals, the acquisition of which was facilitated by private frugality. This public spirit animating every citizen, expanded the blossoms of genius; no broad line of distinction was anxiously drawn between private and public life; whatever great, whatever noble was produced by Athens, sprung up verdant and robust out of this harmony, this buxom vigour of the state. Far different was the case with Sparta; there rude customs and laws arrested the development of genius: there men were taught to die for the land of their forefathers: while at Athens they learnt to live for it.

11. Agriculture continued the principal occupation of the citizens of Attica; other employments were left to the care of slaves. Commerce and navigation were mainly directed towards the Thracian coast and the Black sea; the spirit of trade, however, was never the prevailing one. As affairs of state became more attractive, and men desired to participate in them, the want of intellectual education began to be felt, and sophists and rhetoricians soon offered their instruction. Mental expertness was more coveted than mental knowledge; men wished to learn how to think and to speak. A poetical education had long preceded the rise of this national desire; poesy now lost nothing of its value: as heretofore Homer remained the cornerstone of intellectual improvement. Could it be that such blossoms would produce other fruits than those which ripened in the school of Socrates, in the masterpieces of the tragedians and orators, and in the immortal works of Plato?

12. These flowers of national genius burst forth in spite of many evils, inseparable from such a constitution established among such a people. Great men were pushed aside; others took their places. The loss of Themistocles was supplied by Miltiades's son Cimon; who to purer politics united equal talents. He protracted the war against the Persians in order to maintain the union of the Greeks; and favoured the aristocratic party at the same time that he affected popularity. Even his enemies learnt by experience, that the state could not dispense with a leader who seemed to have entered into a compact for life with victory.


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