The History and Antiquities
by Karl Otfried Müller
Professor in the University of Göttingen
Translated From the German by
Henry Tufnell, Esq.
George Cornewall Lewis, Esq., A.M.
Student of Christ Church.
Second Edition, Revised.
John Murray, Albemarle Street.
- Book III. Political Institutions Of The Dorians.
- Chapter I.
- Chapter II.
- Chapter III.
- Chapter IV.
- Chapter V.
- Chapter VI.
- Chapter VII.
- Chapter VIII.
- Chapter IX.
- Chapter X.
- Chapter XI.
- Chapter XII.
- Book IV. Domestic Institutions, Arts, And Literature Of The Dorians.
- Chapter I.
- Chapter II.
- Chapter III.
- Chapter IV.
- Chapter V.
- Chapter VI.
- Chapter VII.
- Chapter VIII.
- Chapter IX.
- Appendix V. On the Doric Dialect.
- Appendix VI. Chronological Tables.
Book III. Political Institutions Of The Dorians.
1. Before we speak of the form of government which prevailed in the Doric states, it will be necessary to set aside all modern ideas respecting the origin, essence, and object of a state; namely, that it is an institution for protecting the persons and property of the individuals contained in it. We shall approach nearer to the ancient notion, if we consider the essence of a state to be, that by a recognition of the same opinions and principles, and the direction of actions to the same ends, the whole body become, as it were, one moral agent. Such an unity of opinions and actions can only be produced by the ties of some natural affinity, such as of a nation, a tribe, or a part of one: although in process of time the meaning of the terms state and nation became more distinct. The more complete the unity of feelings and principles is, the [pg 002] more vigorous will be the common exertions, and the more comprehensive the notion of the state. As this was in general carried to a wider extent among the Greeks than by modern nations, so it was perhaps nowhere so strongly marked as in the Dorian states, whose national views with regard to political institutions were most strongly manifested in the government of Sparta. Here the plurality of the persons composing the state was most completely reduced to unity; and hence the life of a Spartan citizen was chiefly concerned in public affairs. The greatest freedom of the Spartan, as well as of the Greeks in general, was only to be a living member of the body of the state; whereas that which in modern times commonly receives the name of liberty, consists in having the fewest possible claims from the community; or in other words, in dissolving the social union to the greatest degree possible, as far as the individual is concerned. What the Dorians endeavoured to obtain in a state was good order, or ??sµ??, the regular combination of different elements. The expression of king Archidamus in Thucydides,1 that “it is most honourable, and at the same time most secure, for many persons to show themselves obedient to the same order (??sµ??),” was a fundamental principle of this race. And hence the Spartans honoured Lycurgus so greatly, as having instituted the existing order of things (??sµ??):2 and called his son by the laudatory title of Eucosmus.3 For the same reason the supreme magistrate among the Cretans was called [pg 003] Cosmus; among the Epizephyrian Locrians, Cosmopolis. Thus this significant word expresses the spirit of the Dorian government, as well as of the Dorian music and philosophy.4 With this desire to obtain a complete uniformity, an attempt after stability is necessarily connected. For an unity of this kind having been once established, the next object is to remove whatever has a tendency to destroy it, and to repress all causes which may lead to a change: yet an attempt to exclude all alteration is never completely successful: partly on account of the internal changes which take place in the national character, and partly because causes operating from without necessarily produce some modifications. These states, however, endeavour to retain unchanged a state of things once established and approved; while others, in which from the beginning the opinions of individuals have out-weighed the authority of the whole, admit, in the progress of time, of greater variety, and more innovations, readily take up whatever is offered to them by accident of time and place, or even eagerly seek for opportunities of change. States of this description must soon lose all firmness and character, and fall to pieces from their own weakness; while those which never admit of innovation will at last, after having long stood as ruins in a foreign neighbourhood, yield to the general tide of human affairs, and their destruction is commonly preceded by the most complete anarchy.
2. This description expresses, though perhaps too forcibly, the difference between the Doric and Ionic races. The former had, of all the Grecians, the [pg 004] greatest veneration for antiquity; and not to degenerate from his ancestors was the strongest exhortation which a Spartan could hear:5 the latter, on the other hand, were in everything fond of novelty, and delighted in foreign communication; whence their cities were always built on the sea, whereas the Dorians generally preferred an inland situation. The anxiety of the Dorians, and the Spartans in particular, to keep up the pure Doric character and the customs of their ancestors, is strongly shown by the prohibition to travel,6 and the exclusion of foreigners, an institution common both to the Spartans and Cretans, and which has been much misrepresented by ancient authors.7 It is very possible, as Plutarch thinks, [pg 005] that the severity of these measures was increased by the decline of all morals and discipline, which had arisen among the Ionians from the contrary practice; that race having in the earliest times fallen into a state of the greatest effeminacy and inactivity, from their connexion with their Asiatic neighbours. For how early was the period when the ancient constitution of the Grecian family degenerated among the Ionians into the slavery of the wife! how weak, effeminate, and luxurious do their ancient poets Callinus8 and Asius9 represent them! and if the legend describes even the daughters of Neleus, the founder of the colony, as completely destitute of morality,10 what must have been the condition of this people, when the wives of the Ionians had mixed with Lydian women! The warning voice of such examples might well stimulate the ancient lawgivers to draw in with greater closeness the iron bond of custom.
3. But with all this difference in the races of [pg 006] which the Grecian nation consisted, there was, in the development of the constitutions of the Greek states, a common progress, which extended a certain influence even to such as retained their earlier impressions with a firm adherence to antiquity. As it is our present object to give a general view of this advance, we will begin with the constitution of the heroic age, so clearly described in Homer. This can scarcely be called by any other name than that of aristocracy, as its most important feature is the accurate division between the nobles11 and the people. The former composed the deliberative councils, and the courts of justice;12 and although both were commonly combined with a public assembly (?????), the nobles were the only persons who proposed measures, deliberated and voted; the people was only present in order to hear the debate, and to express its feelings as a body; which expressions might then be noticed by princes of a mild disposition.13 The chief ruler himself was properly of equal rank with the other nobles, and was only raised above them by the authority intrusted to him as president in the council, and commander in the field. This form of government [pg 007] continued to exist for a considerable time in the Ionian, Achæan, and Æolian states; but the power of the chief ruler gradually declined, and was at last wholly abolished. With the Dorians, however, the case was very different; they were peculiar in possessing a very limited nobility, for the Heraclidæ had nearly an exclusive right to that appellation: while, on the other hand, a whole nation occupied by means of conquest, a station analogous to that of an aristocracy, uniting military pursuits with independence obtained by the possession of the land.
4. About the 30th Olympiad (660 B.C.), however, on account of the increased trade and intercourse with foreign nations, and consequently of the greater demand for luxuries, the value of wealth rose in comparison with the honour of noble descent. The land, indeed, still remained for the most part in the hands of the aristocracy; but as it had at this time become more easy to dissipate an inherited estate, and to obtain consideration by the profits of trade, property was more exposed to sudden changes. It is probable that the Geomori of the Ionic Samos, as well as the Hippobotæ of Chalcis (which, as well as Samos, had once belonged to Ionians), whose distinction was derived from the possession of land, also carried on the extensive commerce of these two states; otherwise the wealth of the merchant would soon have exceeded that of the landowner. In the Doric states also, which were much engaged in trade, such as Corinth, Ægina, &c., it was attempted to unite the government of hereditary aristocracy and of wealth.14 The new importance attached to wealth, even at the time of the Seven Sages, gave rise to the saying of Aristodemus the Argive, [pg 008] “Money makes the man;”15 and at a later period Theognis the Megarean complains that the pursuit of riches confounds all distinction of rank, and that estimation was derived from it.16 The ancient legislators of Greece considered the power of money, or moveable property (which is as changeable as property in land is durable), most prejudicial to the safety of states; and they endeavoured by oppressing the commercial classes, as well as by rendering the land inalienable, to palliate a danger which they were unable wholly to remove. Sparta alone, from the unchangeableness of her institutions, remained free from these revolutions. Solon, on the other hand, endeavoured to arrest and perpetuate a state of things which was merely fleeting and transitory. He left some remnants of the aristocracy, particularly the political union of the ???ea, or houses, untouched; while he made his government in principle a timocracy, the amount of property determining the share in the governing power; and at the same time showed a democratic tendency in the low rate at which he fixed the valuation. In his poetry also Solon considers the middle ranks as most valuable to the state; and therefore he endeavoured to give them political importance.17 But the temperature which he chose was too artificial to be lasting; and the constitution of Solon, in its chief points, only remained in force for a few years. In other Ionic states also similar reconciliations were attempted, but without obtaining any stability.18 The spirit of the age was manifestly turned towards democracy; and though at Athens [pg 009] Solon, as being the friend of the people, succeeded perhaps in effecting a more gradual transition; in other places the parties were more directly opposed, as is clearly shown by the contest between the parties ????t?? and ?e???µ??a at Miletus.19
5. At Athens however, and generally throughout Greece, the first result of these democratic movements was the establishment of tyranny or despotism; which may be considered as a violent revulsion, destined to precede a complete subversion of all the existing institutions. It has been already shown that the tyrants of Corinth, Sicyon, Megara, and Epidaurus, were originally leaders of the popular party against the Doric nobility, or demagogues, according to the expression of Aristotle; and for this reason Sparta, as being the protector of aristocracy, overthrew them, wherever her power extended.20 In Ionia and Sicily the tyrants found an oligarchical timocracy, which was commonly opposed by a democratical party;21 and in some instances, as in that of Gelon, the tyrant acted against the popular faction. At the time of the Persian war democracy had struck deep root among the Ionians; and Mardonius the Persian, after the expulsion of the tyrants, restored it in their cities as the desired form of government.22 In Athens Cleisthenes had deprived the union of the houses (the last support of the aristocracy) of its political importance; [pg 010] and Aristides was at length compelled by circumstances to change the timocracy into a democracy. For in the Persian invasion the lower orders had discovered, while serving as rowers and sailors in the fleet, how much the safety of the state depended upon their exertions, and would no longer submit to be excluded from a share in the highest offices.23 The democracy flourished so long as great men understood how to guide it by the imposing superiority of their individual characters, and educated persons (?? ße?t???e?) dared to take a share in public affairs; it fell when the greedy and indolent people, allured by the prospect of rewards pernicious to the state, filled the public assemblies and courts of justice. We will not carry on any further our picture of the ochlocracy, in which all social union was entirely dissolved, and the state was surrendered to the arbitrary will of a turbulent populace.
6. The last of these changes, produced by what is called the spirit of the times, we have illustrated by the history of Athens, although the same course may be shown to have taken place in other, even originally Doric states. Thus in Ambracia, about the same time as at Athens, the timocracy gradually passed into a democracy,24 and at Argos also the democracy rose at the same period. At the time of Polybius, the people had in the Doric states of Crete so unlimited an authority, that this writer himself wonders that his description of them should be so entirely opposed to all former accounts.25 But since, in general, these alterations threw down the Doric families from their high station, and put an end to the Doric customs, they [pg 011] have not so strong a claim upon our attention, as the peculiar system of the Doric form of government, which was most strongly expressed in the ancient Cretan and Lacedæmonian constitutions: the latter of which, although in many points it yielded and adapted itself to the progress of civilization, existed in its essential parts for five centuries;26 and by its durability preserved Sparta alone among all the states of Greece from revolutions and revolutionary excesses.27
7. But, it may be asked, what right have we to speak of a Doric constitution in general; and why should we select Sparta in preference to any other state of the Doric race, as a model of that system? May not Lycurgus have formed his legislation from reflection upon the condition and wants of his own nation, or have conceived it from arbitrary principles of his own, and have thus impressed upon Sparta the character which it ever after retained, as an essential element of its system?28 Against this opinion, not unfrequently advanced, instead of bringing forward any general arguments, we prefer adducing the words of Pindar,29 who, beyond a doubt, was far better acquainted with the basis and origin of ancient constitutions, than either Ephorus or Plutarch. Pindar mentions that Hieron, the Syracusan, wished to establish the new city of Ætna (which was inhabited by 5000 [pg 012] Syracusans, and the same number of Peloponnesians) upon the genuine Doric principles; as in later times Dion wished to establish in Syracuse itself a Lacedæmonian or Cretan constitution.30 He founded it “with heaven-built freedom, according to the laws of the Hylean model;” i.e., after the example of the Spartan constitution. “For the descendants of Pamphylus, and of the Heraclidæ, who dwell under the brow of Taygetus, wish always to retain the Doric institutions of Ægimius.” Now in the first place, this passage proves that the laws of Sparta were considered the true Doric institutions; and, secondly, that their origin was held to be identical with that of the people. It proves that the Spartan laws (??µ??) were the true Doric institutions (??µ?µa), and indeed, in no other nation was the distinction between usage and positive law less marked; from which circumstance alone it is evident how little opportunity the legislator had for fresh enactments, since custom can never be the work of one person. From this view of the subject we can also explain why Hellanicus, the most ancient writer on the constitution of Sparta,31 made no mention of Lycurgus (for which he is ignorantly censured by Ephorus),32 and attributed what are called the institutions of Lycurgus to the first kings, Procles and Eurysthenes. It also follows, that when Herodotus describes the Spartans before the time of Lycurgus, as being in a state of the greatest [pg 013] anarchy,33 he can only mean that the original constitution (the te?µ?? ????µ???) had been overthrown and perverted by external circumstances, until it was restored and renewed by Lycurgus. Lycurgus, of whose real or imaginary existence we have already spoken,34 must at the time of Herodotus have been considered a mythical personage, as he had a temple, annual sacrifices, and, in fact, a regular worship.35 Now it is the tendency of mythological narration to represent accordant actions of many minds at different times under the name of one person: consequently, the mere name of an institution of Lycurgus says very little respecting its real origin and author.
8. The legislation of Lycurgus was, however, according to ancient traditions, aided by the support of Crete and Delphi, and the connexion between the religious usages of these states thus influenced their political condition. The form of government which was prevalent throughout the whole of Crete, originated, according to the concurrent testimony of the ancients, in the time of Minos; and it has been already shown that the Dorians at that time extended their dominion to this island, which thus received their [pg 014] language and customs.36 In Crete therefore, the constitution founded on the principles of the Doric race, was first moulded into a firm and consistent shape, but even in a more simple and antiquated manner than in Sparta at a subsequent period.37 Thus Lycurgus was enabled, without forcing any foreign usages upon Sparta, to take for a model the Cretan institutions which had been more fully developed at an earlier period; so that the constitutions of Crete and Sparta had from that time, as it were, a family resemblance.38 When therefore we are told that a pæan singer and expiatory priest of Crete, by name Thaletas of Elyrus,39 sent by the command of the Pythian oracle, composed the troubles and dissensions of Sparta by the power of his music, and that he was the instructor of Lycurgus;40 it is easy to perceive that the latter part of this account is an addition, made without any attention to chronology; but the operation of Cretan music upon the regulation of political affairs, is strictly in the spirit of an age, and of a race, in which religion, arts, and laws conduced far more than among any other people to attain the same end, and had their basis in the same notions.
9. On the other hand, it was the pride of the [pg 015] Spartans, that their laws had proceeded from the oracle of the Pythian god:41 and Tyrtæus says, in some verses of his Eunomia, that the fundamental principles of the Spartan constitution had been laid down by Apollo.42 It is probable that these laws were really composed in the form of injunctions to Lycurgus, or to the people.43 The oracle, however, continued to possess a superintending power over the constitution, chiefly through the intervention of the Pythians,44 four persons appointed by the kings as messengers to the temple of Pytho, who delivered the oracles truly and honestly to the kings,45 and were equally acquainted with their purport. On account of the importance of these oracles, the Pythians were the assessors of the kings and the gerusia,46 and were always the messmates, both at home and in the field, of the kings. It is probable that the three “Pythian interpreters” at Athens, who, besides explaining the oracles, performed public and domestic expiatory sacrifices,47 once possessed a similar dignity, although they lost these powers at a very early period. The theori of Ægina, Mantinea, Messenia, Trœzen, and Thasos, who composed separate colleges, ate together, and who were regular magistrates, not being like the theori of Athens, [pg 016] chosen for a single theoria, may be compared with the Pythians.48
10. This comparison again leads us back to our former position, that in the genuine Doric form of government there were certain predominant ideas, which were peculiar to that race, and were also expressed in the worship of Apollo, viz., those of harmony and order (t? e???sµ??); of self-control and moderation (s?f??s???), and of manly virtue (??et?).49 Accordingly, the constitution was formed for the education as well of the old as of the young, and in a Doric state education was upon the whole a subject of greater importance than government. And for this reason all attempts to explain the legislation of Lycurgus, from partial views and considerations, have necessarily failed. That external happiness and enjoyment were not the aim of these institutions was soon perceived. But it was thought, with Aristotle,50 that every thing could be traced to a desire of making the Spartans courageous warriors, and Sparta a dominant [pg 017] and conquering state; whereas the fact is, that Sparta was hardly ever known to seek occasion for a war, or to follow up a victory; and during the whole of her flourishing period (that is, from about the 50th Olympiad to the battle of Leuctra) did not make a single conquest by which her territory was enlarged. In conclusion we may say, that the Doric state was a body of men, acknowledging one strict principle of order, and one unalterable rule of manners; and so subjecting themselves to this system, that scarcely anything was unfettered by it, but every action was influenced and regulated by the recognised principles. Before however we come to the consideration of this system, it will be necessary to explain the condition of an order of persons, upon which it was in a certain measure founded, namely, the subject classes in the several Doric states.
1. The clearest notion of the subjection enforced by the dominant race of Dorians may be collected from the speech of Brasidas to the Peloponnesians, in Thucydides.51 “You are not come,” he says, “from states in which the many rule over the few, but the few over the many, having obtained their [pg 018] sovereignty in no other manner than by victory in the field.” The only right indeed which they possessed was the right of conquerors; the Dorians had by the sword driven out the Achæans, and these again could not rest their claim to Peloponnesus on any better title. It seemed also like a continuation of the heroic age, the existence of which was founded on the rule exercised by the military over the agricultural classes. The relative rights of the Dorians and Achæans appear, however, to have been determined by mutual compact, since the Dorians, obtaining the superiority only by slow degrees, were doubtless glad to purchase the accession of each town on moderate conditions; and this was perhaps especially the case in Messenia.52 The native inhabitants of the towns, thus reduced to a state of dependence, were called ?e???????.53 The difference of races was strictly preserved; and was not (as elsewhere) obliterated by an union in the same city and political community. The Periœci were always considered as Achæans, that people having in early times composed the larger mass of the people thus subdued. So, for example, the inhabitants of the maritime town of Asopus were called by the title of ??a??? ?? pa?a??pa??ss???.54 At a later date, when the power of Sparta had been long broken, and her freedom annihilated by the tyrant Nabis, Titus Quinctius detached the hamlets (once called p??e??, then ??µa?, vici) from all connexion with Sparta, and placed [pg 019] them under the protection of the Achæan league.55 Augustus confirmed the independence of twenty-four Laconian towns under the name of Eleutherolacones; these, like the former, being entirely released from the power of Sparta, were governed by their own laws,56 and formed a small distinct confederation. Hence it is evident that these Periœci had previously maintained a certain degree of independence, and composed separate communities. Of these twenty-four towns eighteen are mentioned—viz., Gerenia, Alagonia, Thalamæ, Leuctra, Œtylus, Cænepolis, Pyrrhichus, Las, Teuthrone, Gythium, Asopus, Acriæ, Bœæ, Zarax, Epidaurus, Limera, Prasiæ, Geronthræ, and Marius;57 a small part only of the coast near Cardamyle remained at that time under the power of Sparta.58 The towns, however, belonging to the Periœci did not lie merely on the coast, but [pg 020] also more inland; for example, Thuria and Æthæa, which were in what had formerly been Messenia.59 This Æthæa is reckoned among the hundred cities of Laconia,60 which Androtion had enumerated at full length in his Atthis, and perhaps also Stephanus of Byzantium, on the authority of Androtion;61 the epitome of whose work which we now possess only mentions Æthæa, Amyclæ, Croceæ, Epidaurus, Limera, Dyrrachium, Tenos, Aulon, and Anthana. Now since two of these towns are known from other authorities to have belonged to Periœci, we may perhaps infer the same of the whole hundred. The round number of a hundred cannot however have been fixed before the time when the whole of Messenia, as far as the river Neda (on which Aulon was situated), as well as Cynuria (to which Anthana, or Athene, belonged), came finally under the dominion of Sparta, that is to say, after Olymp. 58. 548 B.C.62 It must therefore have been subsequent to this epoch that Sparta fixed the exact number of the towns inhabited by her Periœci, and somewhat arbitrarily set them at a hundred; as Cleisthenes at Athens, though by what means is indeed unknown, contrived likewise to raise the number of demi in Attica to a hundred.
We have already63 taken notice of another division [pg 021] of Laconia besides that into towns, and shown that the Periœci of this country had formerly dwelt in five districts, of which the chief towns were Amyclæ, Las, Epidaurus Limera (or else Gytheium), Ægys, and Pharis; as also Messenia, in addition to the territory round the city inhabited by Dorians, contained four provinces—viz., Pylos, Rhium, Mesola, and Hyamia. For what length of time these districts were retained, and what relation they bore to the division into a hundred towns or hamlets, cannot now be determined.
2. It will next be necessary to ascertain what were the political rights and condition of the Periœci. The main circumstances are without doubt correctly given by Ephorus. “They were,” he says, “tributary to Sparta, and had not equal rights of citizenship.” If these words are taken in their literal sense, it is plain that the Periœci had not a share in the great legislative assembly of the citizens. And in truth the passages adduced by modern writers to show that they had a vote in this assembly are not by any means satisfactory.64 Perhaps the following considerations are sufficient to convince us of the impossibility of such general assemblies. Had the Spartan constitution permitted the whole people to hold large assemblies with the right of deciding on all public questions, it would have been in principle completely democratic, and would have had a perpetual tendency to become [pg 022] more so, in the necessary course of events. But, in addition to this objection, let us only picture to ourselves the absurdity of the Periœci, in the neighbourhood of Sparta, all flocking together between the brook Babyca and the bridge Cnacion! Where again were those, who took several days to arrive at Sparta from Cyphanta, Pylos, or Tænarus, to find houseroom and food? How could any of them be ready to leave their homes and trades at such a summons? It was esteemed a difficult matter even to collect an armed force of Periœci at a short notice. A city-community was doubtless everywhere requisite for a popular assembly; and hence in the Athenian, and every similar democracy, each citizen was in some way settled in the town, and had the right of there possessing an house (???t?s?? ????a?), which a Periœcus most assuredly had not.65
3. Now, if it is acknowledged that the distant situation and state of the Periœci presented almost insuperable objections to their possessing a share in the general government, their political inferiority to the Spartans will not appear very oppressive. They were admitted equally with the Spartans to the honourable occupation of war, and indeed sometimes served as heavy-armed soldiers, or as troops of the line.66 There were at Platæa 5000 Dorian hoplitæ, [pg 023] and the same number of Periœci; at Sphacteria 292 prisoners were taken, of whom only 120 were Spartans.67 How, if the Periœci had been an oppressed people, could Sparta have ventured to collect so large a number into her armies; and for what reason should the Periœci have taken part in the heroic devotion of that small band, if they had not the victory and honour of Sparta as much at heart as their own? “Sparta,” said the Spartan king Demaratus, to Xerxes,68 “contains 8000 Spartans, all of equal bravery; the other Lacedæmonians, in many surrounding cities, are indeed inferior to them, but yet not deficient in courage.” Nor do we hear of any insurrection of Periœci (if we except the revolt of two Messenian towns in Olymp. 78. 468 B.C.) until the downfall of the constitution.69 Again, would it be possible, on the assumption of an oppressive subjection, to explain how the Asinæans and Nauplians, when deprived of their independence by Argos, fled to Laconia, that they might occupy the maritime towns of Mothone and Asine, manifestly as Periœci? Nor is it consistent with a general contempt of the Periœci that ?a??? ?a?a???—“gentlemen”—are mentioned in their number.70 All trade and commerce, of indispensable need to Laconia, were in the hands of the maritime towns. Merchants from Libya and Egypt brought their cargoes to the Periœci of [pg 024] Cythera,71 who, among other branches of trade, followed the lucrative employment of the purple fishery.72 All manual labour in Sparta, not performed by slaves, was in the hands of this class, since no Spartan, before the introduction of the Achæan constitution, was allowed to follow any trade.73 The low estimation in which trade was held was founded on the ancient Grecian customs and opinions, in departing from which the Corinthians were nearly singular among the Doric states, the productiveness of trade having taught them to set a higher value upon it.74 And yet in their colony of Epidamnus public slaves were the only manual labourers;75 Diophantus wished to introduce the converse of this system at Athens, and to make all the manual labourers slaves. The Spartans, moreover, appear to have admitted those alone of the Periœci who were engaged in agriculture to serve among the heavy-armed, while artisans were admitted only to the light-armed infantry.76 This had been once the case at Athens, where the Thetes (to which class the artificers belonged) served only in that inferior rank. According to this, then, the 5000 Periœci, who at the battle of Platæa were allotted as light-armed to the same number of heavy-armed soldiers, were in part perhaps artificers. The [pg 025] industrious pursuit of trade did not, however, suffer so much as might be supposed, from the low estimation in which it was held; for not only were many raw commodities obtained in a high degree of perfection in Laconia, but many Lacedæmonian manufactures were also used and sought after in the rest of Greece. The Laconian cothon, a drinking vessel used in camps and marches,77 the bowl,78 the goblet,79 tables, seats, elbow chairs,80 doors,81 and cars,82 the Laconian steel,83 keys,84 swords, helmets, axes, and other iron fabrics,85 the shoes of Amyclæ,86 the Laconian mantles,87 and woollen garments dyed with native purple, which adorned alike the warriors setting out to battle and the bloody corpses of the slain; all these bespeak an active pursuit of trade, and at the same time a peculiar sense of propriety and comfort, which brought several [pg 026] of these goods and implements into general use. Many men were probably employed in the iron mines and forges;88 stone quarries of Tænarus had also been worked from early times;89 and that their industry was not confined to the mere drudgery of manufactures is shown by the schools of Lacedæmonian embossers and brass-founders (probably a branch of that in Crete), to which Chartas, Syadras, Dontas, Dorycleidas and Medon, Theocles, Gitiadas, and Cratinus belonged,90 all of whom were probably Periœci, although Pausanias, neglecting the distinction, calls them Spartans. Upon the whole we may venture to affirm that the Doric dominion did not discourage or stifle the intellectual growth of her dependent subjects, but allowed it full room for a vigorous development. Myson, by many reckoned one of the seven sages, was, according to some, and perhaps the most credible accounts, a husbandman of the Laconian town of Etia, and resided at a place called Chen in the same country.91 Even the highest honour among the [pg 027] Greeks, the victory at the Olympic games, was not denied to the Lacedæmonians; an inhabitant of Acriæ was found in the list of the conquerors at Olympia:92 from which circumstance it is evident that the Periœci of Sparta were in all other parts of Greece considered as free citizens. They must also without doubt have possessed civil rights, but only in those communities to which they immediately belonged, and which would never have been called cities (p??e??) unless they had to a certain point been independent bodies. Isocrates,93 indeed, states that they possessed less freedom and power than the demi of Attica; but no general comparison can be drawn between the d?µ?? of Attica and p??e?? of Laconia. Perhaps they had the power of electing their own municipal magistrates, though we find that a Spartan was sent as governor to the island of Cythera.94 The same was the case in war. We find the command at sea intrusted to one of the class of Periœci,95 doubtless because the Spartans did not hold the naval service in much estimation, and because the inhabitants of the maritime towns were more practised in naval affairs than the Dorians of the interior. Concerning the tribute of the towns belonging to the Periœci no accurate account has been preserved.
4. Though for the most part the early inhabitants were driven into the country by the Doric conquerors, there still remained some families which inhabited the [pg 028] city conjointly with the Spartans, and were held in equal consideration with them; as at Athens, for example, many families of the original inhabitants appear to have had the rank of Eupatridæ. Of this the Talthybiadæ are an instance. The office of herald was at Sparta (as in the fabulous times) hereditary, and not, as in other parts of Greece, obtained by competition.96 The privilege of performing all foreign embassies,97 and a share in the sacred missions,98 were assigned to the pretended descendants of the Mycenean herald Talthybius, who also enjoyed especial honours amongst the Achæans at Ægium;99 and there is doubtless reason to suppose that this family belonged to the Achæan race, without entering into the question of the correctness of their pedigree. The dignity attached to their office was very great, especially if, as was the case in the heroic ages, it was the custom for the heralds to address the princes as “beloved sons.” As to property and effects, they ranked with the first Spartans,100 if, as it appears, Sperthias and Bulis, who offered themselves to the Persian king as an atonement for the murder of his ambassadors,101 were of the family of the Talthybiadæ.
Indeed almost all the other trades and occupations, besides that of herald, were hereditary at Sparta, as, [pg 029] for example, those of cooking, baking, mixing wine, flute-playing, &c.102 The trade of cooks had its particular heroes, viz., Dæton, Matton, and Ceraon, whose statue stood in the Hyacinthian street.103 It is easy to see how this hereditary transmission of employments favoured the maintenance of ancient customs. In fact, Sparta would not have so long remained contented with her black broth, either if her cooks had not learnt the art of dressing it from their youth upwards, and continued to exercise their craft after the manner of their fathers, or if this office could have been assigned at will to those who were able by their art to gratify the palate. It is not probable that any of these families of artisans were of Doric origin, and they doubtless belonged to the class of Periœci; nor is it to be supposed that, like the Talthybiadæ, they possessed the Spartan rights of citizenship.104
1. The condition of the Periœci and that of the Helots must be carefully distinguished from each other; [pg 030] the latter state may be termed “villenage,” or “bondage,” to which that of the Periœci had not the slightest resemblance.105 The common account of the origin of this class is, that the inhabitants of the maritime town Helos were reduced by Sparta to this state of degradation, after an insurrection against the Dorians already established in power.106 This explanation, however, rests merely on an etymology, and that by no means a probable one; since such a Gentile name as ????? (which seems to be the more ancient form) cannot by any method of formation have been derived from ????. The word ????? is probably a derivative from ???; in a passive sense, and consequently means the prisoners.107 Perhaps it signifies those who were taken after having resisted to the uttermost, whereas the Periœci had surrendered upon conditions; at least [pg 031] Theopompus108 calls them Achæans as well as the others. It appears, however, more probable that they were an aboriginal race, which was subdued at a very early period, and which immediately passed over as slaves to the Doric conquerors.109
In speaking of the condition of the Helots, we will consider their political rights and their personal treatment under separate heads, though in fact the two subjects are very nearly connected. The first were doubtless exactly defined by law and custom, though the expressions made use of by ancient authors are frequently vague and ambiguous. “They were,” says Ephorus,110 “in a certain point of view public slaves. Their possessor could neither liberate them, nor sell them beyond the borders.” From this it is evident that they were considered as belonging properly to the state, which to a certain degree permitted them to be possessed, and apportioned them out to individuals, reserving to itself the power of enfranchising them. But to sell them out of the country was not in the power even of the state; and, to the best of our knowledge, such an event never occurred. It is, upon the whole, most probable that individuals had no power to sell them at all; since they were, for the most part, attached to the land, which was inalienable. On these lands they had certain fixed dwellings of their own, and particular services and payments were prescribed to them.111 They paid as rent a fixed measure of corn; not, however, like the Periœci, to the state, but to their [pg 032] masters. As this quantity had been definitively settled at a very early period (to raise the amount being forbidden under heavy imprecations),112 the Helots were the persons who profited by a good, and lost by a bad harvest; which must have been to them an encouragement to industry and good husbandry; a motive which would have been wanting, if the profit and loss had merely affected the landlords. And thus (as is proved by the accounts respecting the Spartan agriculture),113 a careful management of the cultivation of the soil was kept up. By means of the rich produce of the land, and in part by plunder obtained in war,114 they collected a considerable property,115 to the attainment of which almost every access was closed to the Spartans. Now the annual rent paid for each lot was eighty-two medimni of barley, and a proportionate quantity of oil and wine.116 It may therefore be asked how much remained to the Helots themselves, after paying this amount of corn from each lot. Tyrtæus appears to give some information, where he describes the Messenian bondmen117 “as groaning like asses under heavy burdens, and compelled by force to pay to their masters a half of the entire produce of the land.”118[pg 033]
According to this account, the families of the Helots (of which many resided on one lot) would have retained only eighty-two medimni on an average, and the whole amount would have been one hundred and sixty-four. But this cannot be the institution of which Plutarch speaks; and Tyrtæus doubtless describes some oppression much aggravated by particular circumstances. For, assuming that the property of the Spartans amounted to two-thirds of the whole Laconian territory, which may be rated at three thousand eight hundred and forty square miles English, and three-fourths being deducted for hill, wood, pasture-land, vineyards, and plantations, we have two thousand eight hundred and eighty square miles for the nine thousand lots of the Spartans; each of which accordingly amounted to 72/225 of a square mile, or one hundred and ninety-two plethra; a space amply sufficient to have produced four hundred medimni,119 which, after the deduction of the eighty-two medimni, would have supplied twenty-one men with double the common daily allowance, viz., one chœnix of bread. It is at least manifest that each lot would have been quite sufficient to maintain six or seven families of Helots. It must not, however, be supposed that the rent was precisely the same for all the lots of the Spartan territory. The different quality of the land made such a strict equalization impossible; not to mention that it would have entirely destroyed all interest in the possession. We even know that many Spartans were possessed of herds and [pg 034] flocks, from which they provided young animals for the public meals.120 The proprietors, besides their share of the harvest, received from their lands, at particular periods, the fruits of the season.121
There could not, on the whole, have been much intercourse and connexion between the Spartans, as possessors of the land, and the bondsmen upon their estates. For how little interest would the Spartan, who seldom left the town, and then only for a few days,122 have felt for Helots, who dwelt perhaps at Mothone! Nevertheless, the cultivation of the land was not the only duty of the Helots; they also attended upon their masters at the public meal,123 who, according to the Lacedæmonian principle of a community of goods, mutually lent them to one another.124 A large number of them was also doubtless employed by the state in public works.
2. In the field the Helots never served as Hoplitæ, except in extraordinary cases; and then it was the general practice afterwards to give them their liberty.125 On other occasions they attended the regular army as light-armed troops; and that their numbers were very considerable may be seen from the battle of Platæa, in [pg 035] which 5000 Spartans were attended by 35,000 Helots.126 Although they did not share the honour of the heavy-armed soldiers, they were in return exposed to a less degree of danger. For while the former in close rank received the onset of the enemy with spear and shield, the Helots, armed only with the sling and light javelin, were in a moment either before or behind the ranks, as Tyrtæus accurately describes the relative duties of the light-armed soldier (??µ???), and the Hoplite. Sparta, in her better time, is never recorded to have unnecessarily sacrificed the lives of her Helots. A certain number of them was allotted to each Spartan;127 at the battle of Platæa this number was seven. Those who were assigned to a single master were probably called ?µp?tta?e?.128 Of these, however, one in particular was the servant (?e??p??) of his master, as in the story of the blind Spartan, who was conducted by his Helot into the thickest of the battle of Thermopylæ, and, while the latter fled, fell with the other heroes.129 Te??p??, or servant, is the appropriate, and indeed honourable, appellation which the Dorians, particularly in Crete, gave to the armed slaves;130 these in Sparta were probably called ????t??e?, in allusion to their duty of drawing (????e??) the wounded from the ranks.131 It appears that the [pg 036] Helots were in the field placed more immediately under the command of the king than the rest of the army.132 In the fleet, they composed the large mass of the sailors,133 in which service at Athens the inferior citizens and slaves were employed; when serving in this manner they were, it appears, called by the name of desp?s???a?ta?.
These accounts are sufficient to give a tolerably correct notion of the relation of the Helots to the Doric citizens of Sparta. Although it does not fall within the scope of the present work to enter upon a moral or political examination of the condition of Helotism, I may be allowed to subjoin a few observations. The Grecian states then either contained a class of bondsmen, which can be traced in nearly all the Doric states, or they had slaves, who had been brought either by plunder or commerce from barbarous countries; or a class of slaves was altogether wanting. The last was the case among the Phoceans, Locrians, and other Greeks.134 But these nations, through the scantiness of their resources, never attained to such power as Sparta and Athens. Slavery was the basis of the prosperity of all commercial states, and was intimately connected with foreign trade; but (besides being a continued violation of justice) it was upon the whole of little advantage to the public, especially in time of war; and, according to the doctrine of the ancient politicians, it was both fraught with danger, and prejudicial to morality and good order. It must also be remembered, that nearly all the ties of family were [pg 037] broken among the slaves of Athens, with which the institution of bondage did not at all interfere;135 and that in the latter the condition of the bondmen was rather determined by general custom; in the former, by the arbitrary will of individuals. Sparta had, indeed, some foreign slaves, but their number was very inconsiderable. Thus Alcman, the slave of Agesidas,136 was the son of a slave from Sardis,137 who had perhaps been brought by Cretan traders to the coast of Laconia.
3. It is a matter of much greater difficulty to form a clear notion of the treatment of the Helots, and of their manner of life; for the rhetorical spirit with which later historians have embellished their philanthropic views, joined to our own ignorance, has been productive of much confusion and misconception. Myron of Priene, in his romance on the Messenian war, drew a very dark picture of Sparta, and endeavoured at the end to rouse the feelings of his readers by a description of the fate which the conquered underwent. “The Helots,” says he,138 “perform for the Spartans every ignominious service. They are compelled to wear a cap of dog's skin and a covering of sheep's skin, and they are severely beaten every year without having committed any fault, in order that [pg 038] they may never forget that they are slaves. In addition to this, those amongst them who, either by their stature or their beauty, raise themselves above the condition of a slave, are condemned to death; and the masters who do not destroy the most manly of them are liable to punishment.” The partiality and ignorance of this writer is evident from his very first statement. The Helots wore the leathern cap with a broad band, and the covering of sheep's skin, simply because it was the original dress of the natives; which moreover the Arcadians had retained from ancient usage;139 Laertes the father of Ulysses, when he assumed the character of a peasant, is also represented as wearing a cap of goat's skin.140 The truth is, that the ancients made a distinction between town and country costume. Hence, when the tyrants of Sicyon wished to accustom the unemployed people, whose numbers they dreaded, to a country life, they forced them to wear the ?at?????, which had underneath a lining of fur.141 The Pisistratidæ made use of the very same measure.142 Thus also Theognis describes the countrymen of Megara (whose admission to the rights of citizenship he deplores) as clothed with dressed skins, and dwelling around the town like frightened deer.143 The dipthera of the Helots therefore [pg 039] signified nothing more humiliating and degrading than their employment in agricultural labour. Myron is doubtless right in stating that the Helots could not lay aside this dress at pleasure; indeed, a young Spartan could not assume the dress of an older man. Whilst in Athens the influence of democracy had produced an uniformity of dress, and even (according to Xenophon)144 of bodily form, in citizens, resident aliens, and slaves; in Sparta the several orders were characterised by external differences. Now since Myron thus manifestly misinterpreted this circumstance, it is very probable that his other objections are founded in error; nor can misrepresentations of this political state, which was unknown to the later Greeks, and particularly to the class of writers, have been uncommon. Plutarch,145 for example, relates that the Helots were compelled to intoxicate themselves, and perform indecent dances, as a warning to the Spartan youth; but common sense is opposed to so absurd a method of education. Is it possible that the Spartans should have so degraded the men whom they appointed as tutors over their young children? Female Helots also discharged the office of nurse in the royal palaces,146 and doubtless obtained all the affection with which the attendants of early youth were honoured in ancient times. It is, however, certain that the Doric laws did not bind servants to strict temperance;147 and hence examples of drunkenness among them might have served as a means of recommending sobriety. It was also an established regulation, that the national songs and dances of Sparta were forbidden to the Helots,148 [pg 040] who, on the other hand, had some extravagant and lascivious dances peculiar to themselves, which may have given rise to the above report.149 We must, moreover, bear in mind, that most of the strangers who visited Sparta, and gave an account of its institutions, seized upon particular cases which they had imperfectly observed, and, without knowing their real nature, described them in the light suggested by their own false prepossessions.
4. But are we not labouring in vain to soften the bad impression of Myron's account, since the fearful word crypteia is of itself sufficient to show the unhappy fate of the Helots, and the cruelty of their masters? By this word is generally understood, a chase of the Helots, annually undertaken at a fixed time by the youth of Sparta, who either assassinated them by night, or massacred them formally in open day, in order to lessen their numbers, and weaken their power.150 Isocrates speaks of this institution in a very confused manner, and from mere report.151 Aristotle however, as well as Heraclides of Pontus,152 attribute it to Lycurgus, and represent it as a war which the Ephors themselves, on entering upon their yearly office, proclaimed against the Helots. Thus it was a regularly legalised massacre, and the more barbarous, as its periodical arrival could be foreseen by the unhappy victims. And yet were not these Helots, who in many districts lived entirely alone, united by despair for the sake of common protection, and did they not [pg 041] every year kindle a most bloody and determined war throughout the whole of Laconia? Such are the inextricable difficulties in which we are involved by giving credit to the received accounts: the solution of which is, in my opinion, to be found in the speech of Megillus the Spartan, in the Laws of Plato,153 who is there celebrating the manner of inuring his countrymen to hardships. “There is also amongst us,” he says, “what is called the crypteia, the pain of undergoing which is scarcely credible. It consists in going barefoot in storms, in enduring the privations of the camp, performing menial offices without a servant, and wandering night and day through the whole country.” The same is more clearly expressed in another passage,154 where the philosopher settles, that in his state sixty agronomi or phylarchs, should each choose twelve young men from the age of twenty-five to thirty, and send them as guards in succession through the several districts, in order to inspect the fortresses, roads, and public buildings in the country; for which purpose they should have power to make free use of the slaves. During this time they were to live sparingly, to minister to their own wants, and range through the whole country in arms without intermission, both in winter and summer. These persons were to be called ???pt??, or ????a??µ??. Can it be supposed that Plato would have here used the name of crypteia, if it signified an assassination of [pg 042] the Helots, or rather, if there was not an exact agreement in essentials between the institution which he proposed, and that in existence at Sparta, although the latter was perhaps one of greater hardship and severity? The youth of Sparta were also sent out, under certain officers,155 partly for the purpose of training them to hardships, partly of inspecting the territory of Sparta, which was of considerable extent. These emissaries may probably have kept a strict watch upon the Helots, who, living by themselves, and entirely separated from their masters, must have been for that reason the more formidable to Sparta. We must allow that oppression and severity were not sufficiently provided against; only the aim of the custom was wholly different; though perhaps it is reckoned by Thucydides156 among those institutions which, as he says, were established for the purpose of keeping a watch over the Helots.
It is hardly necessary to remark that this established institution of the crypteia was in no way connected with those extraordinary measures to which Sparta thought herself compelled in hazardous circumstances to resort. Thucydides leaves us to guess the fate of the 2000 Helots who, after having been destined for the field, suddenly disappeared. It was the curse of this bondage (of which Plato says that it produced the greatest doubt and difficulty)157 that the slaves abandoned their masters when they stood in greatest need [pg 043] of their assistance; and hence the Spartans were even compelled to stipulate in treaties for aid against their own subjects.158
5. A more favourable side of the Spartan system of bondage is, that a legal way to liberty and citizenship stood open to the Helots.159 The many intermediate steps seem to prove the existence of a regular mode of transition from the one rank to the other. The Helots, who were esteemed worthy of an especial confidence, were called ???e???;160 the ????t??e? enjoyed the same in war: the ?f?ta? were probably released from all service. The desp?s???a?ta?, who served in the fleet, resembled probably the freed-men of Attica, who were called the out-dwellers (? ????? ??????te?).161 When they received their liberty, they also obtained permission “to dwell where they wished,”162 and probably at the same time a portion of land was granted to them without the lot of their former masters. After they had been in possession of liberty for some time, they appear to have been called Neodamodes,163 the number of whom soon came near to that of the citizens.164 The Mothones, or Mothaces, also, were not Periœci (of whose elevation to the rank of Spartans we know nothing), but Helots, who, being brought up together with the young Spartans (like Eumæus in the house of Ulysses), obtained freedom [pg 044] without the rights of citizenship.165 For µ???? means a domestic slave, verna; and Periœci could never have been called by this name, not being dependent upon individual Spartans.166 The descendants of the Mothaces must also have sometimes received the rights of citizenship, since Callicratidas, Lysander, and Gylippus were of Mothacic origin.167 Those citizens who, in obedience to the ancient law of inheritance, married a widow of a deceased person, were (if we may judge from the etymology of the word) called Epeunacti: that slaves were once employed for this purpose is testified by Theopompus.168
6. The number of the Helots may be determined with sufficient accuracy from the account of the army at Platæa. We find that there were present in this battle 5000 Spartans, 35,000 Helots, and 10,000 [pg 045] Periœci.169 The whole number of Spartans that bore arms, amounted on another occasion to 8000, which, according to the same proportion, would give 56,000 for the number of Helots capable of bearing arms, and for the whole population about 224,000. If then the state of Sparta possessed 9000 lots there were twenty male Helots to each (although, as we saw above, a single lot could probably maintain a larger number), and there remained 44,000 for the service of the state and of individuals. The account of Thucydides, that the Chians had the greatest number of slaves of any one state after the Lacedæmonians,170 does not compel us to set the amount higher, because the great number of slaves in Ægina disappeared when that island lost its freedom, and Athens during the Peloponnesian war certainly did not possess 200,000 slaves. The number of Periœci able to bear arms would, according to the above proportion, only amount to 16,000; but we must suppose that a larger portion of them remained behind in Peloponnesus: for since the Periœci were possessed of 30,000 lots (though of less extent), there must have been about the same number of families, and we thus get at least 120,000 men; and upon the whole, for the 3800 square miles of Laconia, a suitable population of 380,000 souls.
From this calculation it also results, that, according to the population to be maintained, the estates of the Spartans (p???t??? ???a)171 must have amounted to two-thirds of all the tillage-land in the country. This arrangement could not have been attended with any [pg 046] difficulty after the conquest of the fertile territory of Messenia, when the number of lots was doubled,172 and the area of each was perhaps increased in a still greater proportion. For when the Spartans had (as it appears) dislodged the Doric Messenians, and conquered their country, a few maritime and inland towns (Asine, Mothone, Thuria, and Æthæa) were indeed suffered to remain in the possession of Periœci; but the best part of a country so rich in tillage-land, plantations, and pastures,173 passed into the hands of Spartan proprietors, and the husbandmen who remained behind became Helots.174 It was these last in particular who, during the great earthquake in 465 B.C., took possession of the towns of Thuria and Æthæa, fortified the strong hold of Ithome, and afterwards partially emigrated.175 If however this insurrection had been common to all the Helots, as Diodorus relates, how could the Spartans have afterwards allowed the insurgents to withdraw from the country, without entirely depriving the land of its cultivators? After the battle of Leuctra also, it was not the Laconian, but the Messenian Helots who revolted,176 and were without [pg 047] doubt the chief promoters of the re-establishment of Messenia, where they exercised the rights of citizenship in the newly-founded democracy.177
7. In Laconia itself, according to the Rhetra of Agis (which in all probability merely confirmed existing institutions), the territory belonging to Sparta consisted of the inland tract, which was bounded by part of mount Taygetus to the west, by the river Pellene, and by Sellasia to the north, and extended eastward towards Malea,178 and this was therefore at that time cultivated by Helots. Here it may be asked, who were the inhabitants of the towns situated in this district, for example Amyclæ, Therapne, and Pharis? Certainly not Helots alone, for there were a considerable number of Hoplitæ from Amyclæ in the Lacedæmonian army,179 who must therefore have been either Spartans or Periœci. But whether the Periœci inhabited small districts in the midst of the territory immediately occupied by the Spartans, or whether some Spartans lived out of the city in country-towns, cannot be completely determined. The former is, however, the more probable, since some Periœci lived in the vicinity of the city,180 and Amyclæ is reckoned among the towns of Laconia;181 the Spartans also are mentioned to have had dwellings in the country,182 but never to have possessed houses in any other town except Sparta, and a few villages in the neighbourhood.
This induces us to attempt the solution of the difficult problem, of what is the proper signification [pg 048] of the Phylæ (as the grammarians sometimes call them),183 of Pitana, Limnæ or Limnæum, Mesoa and Cynosura, which Pausanias also mentions together as divisions of the people.184 Now Pausanias calls them divisions of the Spartans, and it appears that we must follow his statement. For in an Amyclæan inscription,185 Damatrius, an overseer of the foreigners at Amyclæ, is called a Mesoatan; and in another inscription, a Gymnasiarch of the Roman time is designated as belonging to the Phyle of the Cynosurans;186 and we cannot suppose these persons to have been Periœci.187 And if Alcman, according to a credible account, was a Mesoatan,188 we may understand by this term a citizen of Sparta (although of an inferior grade), without contradicting the authority of Herodotus, who only denies that any stranger besides Tisamenus and Hegias was ever made a Spartan.189 Further, it is clear from ancient writers that Pitana, Limnæ, Mesoa, and Cynosura, were names of places. We are best informed with respect to Pitana, an ancient town, and without doubt anterior to the Dorians,190 which was of sufficient importance to have [pg 049] its own gymnastic contests,191 and to furnish a battalion of its own, called Pitanates.192 Herodotus, who was there himself, calls it a demus;193 and we know that it was near the temple and stronghold of Issorium,194 which, according to Pausanias' topography of Sparta, must have been situated at the western extremity of the town.195 This author also mentions, in the same district of the city, the porch of the Crotanes, who were a division of the Pitanatæ. We therefore know that Pitana lay to the west of Sparta, outside the town according to Herodotus,196 inside (as it appears) according to Pausanias. So Limnæ likewise, as we learn from Strabo, was a suburb of Sparta,197 and at the same time a part of the town, as also was Mesoa,198 whither however Pausanias relates that Preugenes the Achæan brought the statue of Artemis, rescued from the Dorians at Sparta.199 It follows from these apparently contradictory accounts, some including these places in Sparta, and some not, that they were nothing else than the hamlets (??µa?), of which, according to [pg 050] Thucydides,200 the town of Sparta consisted, and which lay on all sides around the city (p????) properly so called, but were divided from one another by intervals, until at a late period (probably when Sparta, during the time of the Macedonian power, was enclosed with walls) they were united and incorporated together.
1. After having thus separately considered the two dependent classes in Sparta, the pattern state of the Dorians, we will now point out the traces of the analogous ranks in several other states of Doric origin.
The Doric customs were first established in Crete, whose fortunate circumstances had given to that race a fertile country, and an undisturbed dominion. Accordingly, the relative rights of the Dorians and natives must at an early period have been fixed on a settled basis in this island; and we may suppose that this settlement was made on equitable terms, since Aristotle was not aware of any insurrection of the slaves in Crete against their masters.201 The Doric customs required here, as elsewhere, exemption from all agricultural [pg 051] or commercial industry; which is expressed in a lively manner in the song of Hybrias the Cretan, that “with lance and sword and shield he reaped and dressed his vines, and hence was called lord of the Mnoia.”202 In this island, however, different classes of dependents must have existed. Sosicrates and Dosiadas, both credible authors on the affairs of Crete, speak of three classes, the public bondsmen (????? d???e?a), called by the Cretans µ???a, the slaves of individual citizens, ?faµ??ta?, and the Periœci, ?p?????. Now we know that the Aphamiotæ received their name from the cultivation of the lands of private individuals (in Cretan ?faµ?a?) and accordingly they were agricultural bondsmen.203 These latter are identical with the Clarotæ, who, for this reason, were not separately mentioned by the writers just quoted: for although they are generally supposed to have taken their name from the lot cast for prisoners of war, the more natural derivation doubtless is from the lots or lands of the citizens, which were called ??????. But whichever explanation we adopt, they were bondsmen belonging to the individual citizens. Both the Clarotæ and Aphamiotæ have therefore been correctly compared with the Helots;204 and as the latter were entirely distinct from the Laconian Periœci, so were the former from the Cretan, although Aristotle neglects the distinction accurately observed by the Cretan [pg 052] writers.205 In the second place, the µ???a (or µ??a) was by more precise historians distinguished as well from the condition of Periœci as from that of private bondage, and it was explained to mean a state of public villenage; whence we may infer that every state in Crete was possessed of public lands, which the Mnotæ cultivated in the same relative situation to the community in which the Aphamiotæ, who cultivated the allotted estates, stood to the several proprietors. This name, however, is sometimes extended to all forced labourers, as in the song of Hybrias noticed above.206 Finally, the Periœci formed in Crete, as in Laconia, dependent and tributary communities: their tribute was, like the produce of the national lands, partly applied to the public banquets;207 to which also, according to Dosiadas,208 every slave in Lyctus contributed in addition one Æginetan stater. Now in this passage we cannot suppose that the Periœci are meant, because the exact author would not have called them [pg 053] slaves: nor yet the slaves purchased in foreign parts (called ????????t?? in Crete), since it would have been impossible to reckon with any certainty that persons in this situation possessed anything of their own; nor, lastly, can the Mnotæ be meant, since these were public slaves, having no connexion with individuals, nor consequently with their eating clubs.209 It remains, therefore, that it was the Clarotæ (or Aphamiotæ), who, in addition to the tax in kind, were also liable to this payment in money, with which utensils for the use of the public table were probably purchased. It may be, moreover, observed that we have no reason to suppose that the bondsmen were admitted to the daily banquets.210
Perhaps, however, there was no Grecian state in which the dependent classes were so little oppressed as in Crete. In general, every employment and profession, with the exception of the gymnasia and military service, was permitted to them.211 Hence also the Periœci held so firmly to the ancient legislation of Minos, that they even then observed it, when it had been neglected by the Dorians of the town of Lyctus;212 and thus, as was frequently the case elsewhere, in the decline of public manners the ancient customs were retained among the lower classes of society longer than amongst the higher. Upon the whole, Crete was the most fortunate of all the Doric states in this circumstance, that it could follow up its own institutions with [pg 054] energy and in quiet, without any powerful obstacle; although its very tranquillity and far-extended commerce at length occasioned a gradual decline of ancient customs. The reverse took place at Argos, whose Doric inhabitants, pressed on all sides, were at length compelled to renounce the institutions of their race, and adopt those of the natives. In the early history of this state, therefore, the two classes of dependents and bondsmen should be distinguished: this division was, however, very early laid aside, and an entirely different arrangement introduced.
2. There was at Argos a class of bond-slaves, who are compared with the Helots, and were called Gymnesii.213 The name alone sufficiently proves the correctness of the comparison; these slaves having evidently been the light-armed attendants on their masters (??µ??te?). Hence also the same class of slaves were in Sicyon called ??????f????; because they only carried a club or staff, and not, like the heavy-armed Dorians, a sword and lance. It is to these Gymnesii that the account of Herodotus refers,214 that 6000 of the citizens of Argos having been slain in battle by Cleomenes king of Sparta,215 the slaves got the government [pg 055] into their own hands, and retained possession of it until the sons of those who had fallen were grown to manhood. From this narrative it is plain that the number of Dorians at Argos was nearly exhausted by the death of 6000 of their body; and that none but bondsmen dwelt in the immediate neighbourhood of the city, since otherwise the sovereign power would not have fallen into their hands. It would be absurd to suppose that slaves bought in foreign countries can be here intended, since these could have had no more notion of governing a Grecian state than the bear in the fable of managing the ship.216 Afterwards, when the young citizens had grown up, the slaves were compelled by them to withdraw to Tiryns; and then, after a long war, as it appears, were either driven from the territory, or again subdued.217
The Argives, however, also had Periœci,218 who were known by the name of Orneatæ. This appellation was properly applied to the inhabitants of Orneæ, a town on the frontiers towards Mantinea, which, having been long independent, was at last, about the year 580 B.C.,219 reduced by the Argives; and afterwards the whole class of Periœci was so called from that place. These Orneatæ, or Periœci, therefore, like those of Laconia, formed separate communities of their own, which indeed was the case so late as the Persian war. [pg 056] For (as we have shown above) the Argives about this time incorporated the surrounding towns belonging to the Periœci,220 for the purpose of replenishing and increasing their own numbers, and gave them the rights of citizens. With this period an entirely new era in the history of the constitution of Argos commences, although this state of things has from its greater notoriety often been improperly applied also to earlier times. Thus Isocrates221 says that the Dorians of Argos, like those of Messene, admitted the native inhabitants into the city (as s???????), and gave them equal rights of citizenship, with the exception of offices of honour; contrasting with it the conduct of the Spartans, in a manner which every one now perceives to have been entirely groundless. The change in the constitution of Argos then introduced was no less than if the whole body of Periœci in Laconia had declared themselves the sovereign community. For the newly-adopted citizens appear to have soon demanded and obtained the full rights of the old; and hence, ever after the above epoch, democracy seems to have had the upper hand in Argos. And this could never be the case without the disappearance of the Doric character, which showed itself in the diminution of their military skill. For this reason the Argives in after-times were reduced to form a standing army of a thousand citizens, of noble extraction, under the command of generals who possessed great civil power.222 [pg 057] This body of men, however, immediately endeavoured to set up an oppressive oligarchy, until they at length yielded to the preponderating power of the democracy. But of this more hereafter.223
It is not known for what length of time the Epidaurians preserved the distinction between townsmen and countrymen. The name ????p?de?, i.e., dusty-feet, which was applied to the lower classes, is a proof of their agricultural habits,224 and is probably not merely a term of reproach. That this class, however, as at Argos, furnished citizens who were not originally Dorians, is shown by the occurrence of a fourth tribe, besides the three Doric.225
3. Neither in Corinth nor in Sicyon does there appear to have been any complete distinction between the Doric and other races. The inhabitants, especially those of the former state, must have lived on an equality with the aboriginal possessors, and were probably only admitted by a fresh division (?p? ??adasµ?) to a joint possession of the lands. Hence it was that in Corinth there were not only the three Doric tribes (of [pg 058] which we shall speak hereafter), but eight, all of which dwelt in the city.226 Nor were even the Cypselidæ Dorians; though, before they obtained the tyranny, they had long been distinguished citizens. We may discover a class of Corinthian Helots in the Cynophali,227 whose name was, as in a former instance, derived from the dog-skin cap of the native Peloponnesians. But regular slavery, as was natural in a commercial state, soon prevailed at Corinth, and probably under very nearly the same form as at Athens.228 In Sicyon there were bondsmen, of whom the names Corynephori229 and Catonacophori have been preserved.230 The first marks them as light-armed attendants in war, the second as a class always inhabiting the country. The citizens of this state were divided into four tribes, of which three were purely Doric, viz., the Hylleans, Dymanes, and Pamphylians; while the fourth tribe, the Ægialeans, derived their name from the country which they had inhabited before the Doric invasion.231 It is also certain that this fourth tribe possessed not merely some civil privileges, but the complete rights of citizenship; [pg 059] since the family of Cleisthenes raised itself from it to the royal dignity, which could scarcely have taken place had their tribe stood in the same relation to the citizens as the Periœci or Helots did to the Spartans. This Cleisthenes, with the arrogance of a tyrant, gave to his own tribe the name of Archelai, or rulers; while he called the three Doric tribes after the sow, the swine, and the ass (??ta?, ??e?ta?, ????e?ta?.) We can hardly, however, credit the assertion of Herodotus (who too often seeks for the causes of events in the passions and wishes of individuals, to the disregard of political circumstances) that these were merely terms of abuse;232 it is more probable that Cleisthenes wished to compel the Dorians to retire into the country, and employ themselves in the care of cattle and in agriculture, thus bidding an entire defiance to all their principles. But so arbitrary a subversion of all ancient customs and habits could not endure for any length of time; and, after the downfall of that tyrannical dynasty, the former constitution was restored in its most essential parts.
4. In the colonies of the Dorians the condition of the conquered peasants and bondsmen was often more oppressed and degraded than in the parent states; since the ruling class were there placed in [pg 060] contact, not with Greeks, but with barbarians. In their settlements the following ranks were generally formed at successive periods of time. A Doric state founded the colony; and its citizens constituted the sole nobility in the new city; these parted amongst themselves the conquered land into lots,233 and formed the body of citizens, the p???te?µa strictly so called.234 These colonists, however, soon endeavoured to strengthen themselves by fresh numbers, and opened their harbours to all exiled or discontented persons. The motley population235 thus formed, called by the name of Demus, was generally excluded from the body politic (or the p???te?µa), until it obtained admittance by force; and at the same time constantly pressed for a new division of the territory (??adasµ??).236 Besides these, a third rank was formed by the native inhabitants, who were compelled by the new-comers to serve either as bondsmen or public slaves. Thus, for example, the distinction at Syracuse was—first, the Gamori, viz., the old Corinthian colonists, who had taken possession of the large lots, and divided the land;237 secondly, a Demus; and, [pg 061] thirdly, slaves on the estates of the nobles, whose number became proverbial. These were, without doubt, native Siculians, as is shown by the various forms of their name (?????????, ???????????, ?a?????????,) which cannot be explained from the Greek.238 The political condition of Syracuse was formed in a manner essentially different from that of the Peloponnesian states, chiefly from the circumstance that the Demus (an unpleasant fellow-lodger, according to the expression of Gelon) was immediately received into the city. Hence also the prodigious size of the Sicilian and Italian towns in comparison with those of Peloponnesus. The Gamori, together with their Cyllyrians, stood in nearly the same relation to the Demus as the patricians with their clients did to the plebeians at Rome. The changes in the constitution also had nearly the same course as at Rome; for the two classes first sought to compromise their pretensions in a moderate timocracy (the p???te?a of Aristotle), which subsequently passed (as we shall see hereafter) into a complete democracy.
5. In the Megarian colony of Byzantium the native inhabitants, the Bithynians, were in precisely [pg 062] the same condition as the Helots.239 The same was likewise the fate of the nation of Mariandynians in Heraclea on the Pontus, which city also was founded by the Megarians conjointly with the Bœotians. They submitted under the stipulation that no Mariandynian should be sold beyond the borders,240 which was a fundamental rule of the ancient system of bondage; and that they should pay a tribute to be settled once for all, this being called by the mild name of presents (d??a241). The great number of these native slaves, who never suffered the country to want for sailors, was very favourable to the commerce and naval power of Heraclea.242
At Cyrene also the several classes were formed in a similar manner. In Thera, the mother-country of Cyrene, the families of the original colony from Laconia had once alone possessed the full rights of citizenship, and held the offices of state.243 Thus also at Cyrene the families from Thera at first were sole possessors of the governing power, and did not admit the after-comers to a full participation of it. It was the natural course of events, that they who first caused the Grecian name to be respected amongst the savages of Libya should be supposed to have a greater claim [pg 063] to honour and property than those who had flocked together to a town already established and securely defended. But the Cyrenæans having in the reign of Battus the Second proclaimed throughout Greece a new division of their lands244 (which, however, they had first to gain from the Libyans), and many fresh citizens having collected together, a new constitution became in time necessary: and this, Demonax of Mantinea established for them on democratic principles. He abolished the old tribes, and created in their place three new ones, in which the entire Grecian population of Cyrene was comprehended. The division of the people was into three parts, viz., one consisting of the Theræans and Periœci, the second of Peloponnesians and Cretans, and the third of all the islanders.245 From this it is evident that the original colonists still continued to keep Periœci under their power, while the other citizens did not enjoy this right; and that the former were a kind of privileged class, who probably were in a great measure relieved from any personal attendance to agriculture: in this manner the wise Demonax respected the institutions of antiquity. Of the origin and condition of these [pg 064] Periœci, not only have we no direct account, but not even an indirect trace.
6. We have now finished our comparison of the different subject classes in the Doric states. It has been clearly proved that a class of Periœci, and also of Helots, was the basis of the Doric form of government, insomuch that the abolition of servitude generally occasioned a subversion of the Doric institutions. Hence the Dorians generally, and above all the Spartans, were distinguished for the obstinacy with which they retained it. But this species of servitude may be said to have existed in ancient times, wherever a warlike nation had obtained a settlement by conquest; for example, in Thessaly, Bœotia, and even among the Ionians of Athens. Now as the distinction of subjects and bond-slaves was kept up for a longer time in Thessaly than in any other state, those of the Dorians alone being excepted, we will include that country in the present inquiry. The following classes may be there distinguished: First, a number of small nations were under the dominion of the Thessalians, to whom they paid a fixed tribute, and were also probably bound to assist in war; but they nevertheless still retained their national divisions, and a certain degree of independence. This must have been the state of the Perrhæbians to the north of Larissa, the Magnesians to the east of mount Pelion, and the Phthiotan Achæans to the south of mount Othrys and the Enipeus. For all these were indeed subject to the Thessalians,246 but had not ceased to be [pg 065] distinct, nay, even Amphictyonic nations.247 Their tribute had been accurately fixed by Scopas, prince of Pharsalus. They were also called Periœci.248 Excluding then this tract of country, we retain for Thessaly Proper the region between the Perrhæbians towards the north, and the Achæans towards the south, in which direction the Enipeus forms the boundary,249 comprehending the valley of the Peneus (the ancient Pelasgic Argos), and a district towards the Pagasæan bay, called by Herodotus Æolis.250 The Thessalians, therefore, held this territory under their immediate government, and had the towns of Larissa, Crannon, Pharsalus, Iolcus, and others, in their own possession; the land being cultivated by the Penestæ, who were the early Pelasgico-Æolian inhabitants.251 For, according to Archemachus,252 the Æolian Bœotians had in part emigrated from their country, leaving some of their numbers behind, who submitted conditionally, as Penestæ: amongst these Theopompus253 also includes the Magnesians and Perrhæbians; but this statement can only hold good of a part of these two races, since they were (as has been already shown) dependent, but not entirely subject.254 The fundamental laws of the [pg 066] ancient Greek bondage applied also to the Penestæ. They could neither be put to death without trial, nor be sold out of the country.255 Thus they stood in an intermediate position between freemen and purchased slaves,256 like the Mariandynians of Heraclea, the Clarotæ of Crete, and the Helots of Laconia, with whom they are generally compared.257 For, like these, they were reduced to servitude by conquest, although they cannot properly be called slaves taken in war.258 Further, they were not subject to the whole community, but belonged to particular houses and families:259 hence also they were called Tessa?????ta?.260 They were particularly numerous in the great families of the Aleuadæ and Scopadæ.261 Their principal employment was agriculture,262 from the produce of which they paid a rent to the proprietors of the soil.263 At the same time this did not prevent them from gaining [pg 067] property of their own, and they were frequently richer than their masters.264 In war they attended their lords, protecting and fighting before them, like knights and their squires; generally, however, contrary to the custom of other Greeks, on horseback.265 All these accounts respecting the Penestæ agree sufficiently well with one another, and refer to one and the same class; although it is certain that the attempts to obtain civil liberty had much increased amongst the Penestæ at the time of the Peloponnesian war, and were now and then, though not constantly, supported by Athens.266 The other internal affairs of the Thessalians do not lie within the range of our inquiry. They had little adapted themselves to a quiet course of events, nor indeed did the turbulent and haughty disposition of their race allow of a life of inactivity. In each town of Thessaly we find a constant struggle between the commons and a number of oligarchical families; from these arise several princely races, such as the Aleuadæ, Scopadæ,267 &c. The states themselves were generally at war with one another: thus their political constitution, as well as the want of steadiness and forbearance in the national character, must be regarded as the chief reasons why Thessaly was of so little importance in Greece. The external means which a wide territory and military power afforded them were here doubtless present in a greater degree than in any [pg 068] other country; the Thessalians were also distinguished for their bravery, and the ancient fame of the country would have supported claims in themselves well founded; how came it then that the history of Thessaly was a blank in the annals of Greece, while Sparta was so long its very soul? The only answer is, that the national character of the Thessalians was altogether different; for wisdom they had only cunning; for rational valour only a restless love of war; for strict self-command only unrestrained passions.
7. It appears, therefore, that foreign conquest universally in Greece gave birth to that political condition, which may be compared with the villenage or serfage of the Germanic nations; and indeed it does not seem that such a state of society could have any other origin. There would accordingly be matter for surprise if we found a class of bondsmen among the Arcadians, a nation which neither gained its territory by conquest,268 nor was ever conquered itself: and, accordingly, it can scarcely be doubted that the nation described by Theopompus as possessing 300,000 Prospelatæ, whom he compares with the Helots, is not the Arcadians, but the Illyrian Ardiæans.269 The distinction of ranks, which we find existing in the Arcadian towns, may be satisfactorily explained by the opposition between the city, properly so called (p????), and the country villages [pg 069] (d?µ??, ??µa?), which in later times most of the Arcadian cities, for example, Mantinea, Tegea, and Heræa, incorporated with themselves. For although it is asserted that these and other towns were made up of separate villages, it must not be supposed that they had no previous existence as cities. The account is to be understood in the same manner as that of the congregating of the people of Attica to Athens, which is stated to have taken place in the time of Theseus. Nearly all the towns of Arcadia possessed citadels of extreme antiquity, in and near which many princely, sacerdotal, and military families had dwelt from an early period. These formed a nobility, with reference to the agricultural classes in the country, which, however, included by far the greater portion of the Arcadians. If then one large town was formed of several villages, the constitution at the same time necessarily became more democratical, which was the result at Argos of the incorporation of the Periœci,270 and at Megara also of the same measure.271 For so long as the people inhabited a particular village, they interested themselves in its affairs alone, and the persons in the chief city managed the concerns of the whole community. But from the moment that they began to live together, every person considered himself entitled to a share in the public councils. Hence it was the interest of the head of the Peloponnesian confederacy again to separate the inhabitants of the towns (d??????e??); of the Athenians, to keep them together. The Argives first effected the union of the boroughs [pg 070] at Mantinea, doubtless not until they had seen other instances of the same proceeding, that is, after the Persian war. They united four hamlets with the ancient city,272 which made the fifth; the Lacedæmonians after some time restored the ancient villages, and with them the aristocracy. The territory of Tegea was also divided into eight hamlets, which were afterwards united to make the city, viz., the Gareatæ, Phylaceans, Caryatæ,273 Corytheans, Botachidæ, Manthyreans, Echeneteans, and Apheidantes: to these were added, as the ninth, the Tegeatans of the ancient town,274 who had previously been the citizens properly so called, while the former had been the inhabitants of the open country; a distinction, which, upon their union, must either instantly or very soon have disappeared.
8. Since it has been ascertained in the course of these inquiries that the distinction between p???? and d?µ??, that is, town and country, was of great political importance in the ancient states, we will conclude this chapter with some remarks upon those terms.
The word d?µ?? originally signified the ground and soil on which the people lived,275 and afterwards the [pg 071] whole number of persons inhabiting it. ?????, on the contrary, means the city, which in the time of Homer was probably always fortified. Now with the city everything that concerned the government of a state was connected, and those exempt from all personal share in the labours of the field, namely, the military families and the nobles,276 dwelt in it; hence it is viewed in Homer as a disgrace or a misfortune, for a noble to live among the bondsmen in the country.277 This is the state of things described by the most ancient poet; and particular accounts of an historical nature present the same picture. When the Achæans settled on the coast of Ægialea, they fortified themselves in the towns and strongholds, and kept entirely aloof from the natives; at least we know this to have been the case at Patræ;278 so that the same race here inhabited the principal city as conquerors, who in Laconia were scattered about in the country-towns as a conquered people. Hence also the town of Dyme was originally called Stratos;279 that is, the station of the army, the abode of the male population who had the means and the privilege of bearing arms. It was not till a later period that the Achæan towns, Patræ, Dyme, and Ægium, incorporated their villages.280 At Athens the Eupatridæ are stated to have had possession of the city;281 an account which is strikingly [pg 072] confirmed by the circumstance that Cydathenæum, one of the Attic demi, was situated within the city,282 and it had evidently taken its name from Cydathenæus, i.e., a noble and illustrious Athenian.283 Hence is explained the distinction between the terms “Athenian,” and “inhabitant of Attica (?tt????),” which was still preserved in common language after it had been in fact abolished by the democracy. Thus Plato uses the former, as a more honourable appellation than the latter;284 and when Dicæarchus, describing the manners of Greece, contrasts the inhabitants of Attica as loquacious, sycophantic, and fickle, with the noble-minded, simple, and honest Athenians, by the latter he means the ancient families, and by the former the Demus, which, since the time of Cleisthenes, had been compounded of the most heterogeneous elements. Thus the p???? and d?µ?? became identical in Athens, and the latter word was used by preference to signify the whole community. But in other states, the p???? was opposed to the d?µ??, as the ruling aristocratical power.285 Thus Theognis the Megarian says of his native town, with aristocratical feelings—
Hence, also, states not under a democratical government used the word p???? in their public documents, to signify the sovereign power; for instance, the Cretan [pg 073] towns, so late as the second century after Christ.287 The Spartan community, however, deviating from this usage of the word, calls itself d?µ?? in ancient laws;288 because it never thought of opposing itself as a body to the Periœci.
Democracies then were frequently formed by collecting the inhabitants of the country into the city (when the d?µ?? and p???? coincided), by the union of single villages, and by the admission of the Periœci to the rights of citizenship. At Athens, in order to give the democracy the highest possible antiquity, this change was dated as far back as the mythical age of Theseus. In Peloponnesus, the first movements tending to it had perhaps begun before the time of the tyrants; these very persons, however, though they had in most cases risen from demagogues, still, for the purpose of securing a more tranquil dominion, sought again to remove the common people from the city, and to bind them down to the country. Instead of the town-costume, they forced them to resume their former dress of sheep's skins, as has been remarked above of the tyrants of Sicyon;289 for this purpose likewise they [pg 074] very prudently encouraged agriculture in all its branches.290 Trade and commerce, by collecting men together in large towns, promoted the principles of democracy. It was in the wealthy and populous cities of the Greeks in the Ionian territory that a popular government was first established. Where, on the other hand, the courts of justice were at a distance, and there was no other inducement to mechanical industry and internal commerce, the ancient habits of life continued much longer in existence; as for example, among the shepherds of Mænalia and Parrhasia: these, as late as the founding of Megalopolis, lived in villages, amongst which particular boroughs (as Basilis) were distinguished as the abodes of sovereign families; such a state was altogether suited to the interests of the aristocracy or oligarchy. In oligarchical states, as in Elis, the people in later times remained almost constantly in the country; and it frequently happened that grandfathers and grandchildren had never seen the town: there were also country courts of justice, and other regulations, intended to make up for the advantages of a city life.291 But even in the democratic states, as at Athens, there was among the people a constant struggle of feeling between the turbulent working of the democracy, and the peaceful inclination to their ancient country life.
1. Having considered the subject classes in the several Doric states, we come to the free citizens properly so called, who, according to an old Grecian principle,292 which was actually put in practice in Sparta, were entirely exempted from all care for providing themselves with the necessaries of life. The exact distinction between these ranks, and the advantageous position of the latter class, increased the value of the rights of citizenship; hence Sparta showed peculiar reluctance to admitting foreigners to share in them.293 Before, then, we consider the body politic of free citizens in its active dealings, it will be proper first to direct our attention to its component members, to its division into smaller societies, such as tribes, phratriæ, houses, &c.[pg 076]
In every Doric state there were three tribes, Hylleis, Dymanes (or Dymanatæ), and Pamphyli. This threefold division belonged so peculiarly to the nation that even Homer called it “the thrice-divided” t??????e?, which ancient epithet is correctly explained in a verse of Hesiod, as implying the division of the territory among the people.294 Hence in the ancient fable which this poet has expressed in an epic poem, three sons of the ancient Doric king Ægimius were mentioned, namely, Dyman, Pamphylus, and the adopted Hyllus; and the same is confirmed by the direct testimony of Herodotus, who states that the Doric nation was divided into these three tribes.295 Hence also Pindar comprehends the whole Doric nation under the name of the sons of Ægimius and Hyllus.296 Thus we should be warranted in putting forth the proposition stated above in these general terms, even if in the several Doric states there had been no particular mention of all these tribes. The fact, however, is, that there are sufficient accounts of them. Pindar297 bears testimony to their existence in Sparta; and from an expression of a grammarian, it may be conjectured that they were also divisions of the city.298 Herodotus states that these tribes existed at Sicyon and Argos.299 In Argos, the city was doubtless [pg 077] divided according to them; and ?aµf???a??? is mentioned as a district of the town.300 The Doric tribes were transmitted from Argos to Epidaurus and Ægina.301 Hylleis occur also in the Æginetan colony of Cydonia.302 The same name is found in an inscription of Corcyra:303 consequently they also existed in the mother-country, Corinth. It occurs likewise in another inscription of Agrigentum;304 they must therefore have also been in existence at Rhodes, as indeed is declared by Homer.305 The Pamphylians occur at Megara as late as at the time of Hadrian.306 These tribes existed also at Trœzen;307 but the Trœzenian colony Halicarnassus seems to have been almost exclusively founded by Dymanes.308 On the whole it appears that wherever there were Dorians there were also Hylleans, Pamphylians, and Dymanes.
2. Wherever the Dorians alone had the full rights of citizenship, no other tribes of the highest ranks could exist; but if other persons were admitted in any considerable number to a share in the government, there were necessarily either one or more tribes in addition to these three. Thus a fourth, named Hyrnathia,309 is [pg 078] known to us in the states of Argos and Epidaurus; in Ægina also an additional tribe of this kind must have existed, for in this island there were distinguished families not of Doric origin.310 In Sicyon the fourth tribe was called the Ægialean. In Corinth also it appears that there were altogether eight tribes.311 But in Sparta, the city of pure Doric customs, we cannot suppose the existence of any other than the three genuine Doric tribes. At first sight, indeed, it might appear that the great and distinguished house of the Ægidæ, of Cadmean descent, was without the pale of these tribes; but it must have been adopted into one of the three at its admission to the rights of citizenship.312 For the number of the Spartan obæ, the gerontes, the knights, the landed estates, viz., 30, 300, 9000, &c., manifestly allow of division by the number 3, while they have no reference to the number 4.
3. The tribes of Sparta were again divided into obæ, which are also called phratriæ.313 The term phratria (f?at???) signified among the Greeks an union of houses, whether founded upon the ties of [pg 079] actual relationship, or formed for political purposes, and according to some fixed rule, for the convenience of public regulations. Thus the word oba comprehends houses (????, gentes), which were either really founded on descent from the same stock, or had united themselves in ancient times for civil and religious purposes, and afterwards continued to exist as political bodies under certain regulations.314 The Spartan obæ appear to have likewise been local divisions, since the name ?ß?, i.e., ??a, signifies single hamlets or districts of a town; although in the case of Sparta it is not evident what relation they bore to the five divisions of the city, of which we have spoken above.315 It should be, moreover, observed, that this does not prevent us from supposing that, as in the parallel case of the phratriæ, the obæ contained the houses; since we may be allowed to infer with great probability, from the simple and coherent regularity of the Spartan institutions, that the tribes had taken possession of particular districts of the town, and that these were again divided into smaller partitions, according to the obæ; a conjecture which, perhaps, will be confirmed by the statement, that a place in Sparta was called Agiadæ:316 now this was the name of one of the royal families, which, as being an oba, appears to have given its name to one district of the town.[pg 080]
The obæ were thirty in number;317 that is, there were ten of the Hyllean, ten of the Dymanatan, ten of the Pamphylian tribe. Of the Hyllean, two must have belonged to the royal families of the Heraclidæ. For since the councillors, together with the kings, amounted to thirty, and as this number doubtless depended upon and proceeded from that of the obæ, it follows that the two royal families, although springing from one stock, must nevertheless have been separated into two different obæ, of which they were in a manner the representatives. And if we proceed to conclude in this manner, we shall be obliged, since there were Heraclidæ, exclusive of the kings, in the gerusia,318 to suppose that there were, besides these, other Heraclide obæ in Sparta; although I am not of opinion that all the Hyllean houses derived themselves from Hercules, and were considered as Heraclidæ.
4. With respect to the influence and importance of the obæ in a political view, it was equal to, or even greater than, that of the phratriæ in ancient Athens. For, in the first place, the assembly of the people, in obedience to a rhetra of Lycurgus, was held according to tribes and obæ; afterwards the high council was constituted, and probably the 300 knights were chosen, upon the same principle. At the same time, all public situations and offices were not filled in this manner, but only where distinguished dignity and honour were required: this mode of election, as will be shown below, had always an aristocratic tendency. Magistrates, on the contrary, of a more democratical character, particularly the ephors, were nominated without regard to the division of tribes, as [pg 081] their number alone shows: it is probable that this had some relation to the number of the divisions of the city, of which, as was shown above, there were five. A striking analogy, with regard to this numerary regulation, is afforded by Athens, while yet under an aristocratic government. The tribe of the nobles and knights was in this state divided into three phratriæ, which may be compared with the three tribes of the Doric Spartans. Now, when the nobility (like a chamber of peers) constituted a court of justice over the Alcmæonidæ, 300 eupatridæse, 100 out of each phratria, composed the court.319 And when Cleisthenes the Alcmæonid had been expelled by the aristocratic party, and the democratic senate (ß????) overthrown, Isagoras established a high council of 300.320 Whereas the senate, to which Cleisthenes gave existence and stability, consisted of 500 citizens, and was chosen, without any regard to the ancient division into phratriæ, according to the new local tribes.
5. No Doric state, with the exception of Sparta, appears to have given the name of oba to a division of the people. But neither can the name phratria, so common in other places, be proved to have been used by any Doric people. On the other hand, phratriæ occur at Athens, in the Asiatic colonies,321 and in the Chalcidean colony of Neapolis, that is, chiefly in Ionic states; and Neapolis affords a solitary instance of their being distinguished by certain proper names, such [pg 082] as Eumelidæ, Eunostidæ, Cymæans, Aristæans, &c.322 Pindar however mentions patræ (p?t?a?) in the Doric states of Corinth and Ægina; an expression which, according to the precise definition of Dicæarchus, is equivalent to houses or ????, signifying persons descended from the same ancestor (pat??). It was indeed, although not at Athens, in use among the Ionians of Asia Minor and the islands, who appear however to have also employed the terms p?t?a or pat??a for the more extensive word phratria.323 In Ægina and Corinth it will be safest to consider the patræ as houses, since they are always denoted by patronymic names, going back to fabulous progenitors; and by Pindar himself they are also called “houses.” Since however, as being not only a natural, but also a political division, the patræ may sometimes have comprised several houses, and as there was probably in these states no intermediate division (like the phratria at Athens and the oba at Sparta) between them and the tribes, the ancient commentators have neglected their more restricted and original sense, and have compared and identified them with phratriæ.324[pg 083]
6. The name which the houses or ???ea bore at Sparta, and the number of them which was contained in an oba, may be perhaps ascertained from a passage of Herodotus,325 in which he mentions the Enomoties, Triacades, and Syssitia, as military institutions established by Lycurgus. Other inferences from this passage we shall not anticipate, remarking only that the Syssitia appear to have answered to the obæ, from which it is probable that the Triacades were contained in these latter divisions. Now in Attica, at an early period, a triacas was the thirtieth part of a phratria, and contained thirty men, the same number as a ?????.326 Following then the argument from analogy (by which we are so often surprised and guided in our inquiries into the early political institutions), triacas was in Sparta also the name of a house, which was so called, either as being the thirtieth part of an oba, or, as appears to me more probable, because it contained thirty houses. The relation of the triacas to the enomoty,—a small division of warriors, which originally contained twenty-four men,—is quite uncertain. The basis of the whole calculation, and in this case a sufficiently fixed standard, was found in Sparta in the families (?????) connected with the landed estates; indifferently whether these contained several citizens, [pg 084] or whether they had become extinct and been united with other families.327
7. We now proceed to mention another division of the citizens of Sparta, which concerns the difference of rank. In a certain sense indeed all Dorians were equal in rights and dignity; but there were yet manifold gradations, which, when once formed, were retained by the aristocratic feelings of the people. In the first place, there was the dignity of the Heraclide families, which had a precedence throughout the whole nation;328 and, connected with this, a certain pre-eminence of the Hyllean tribe; which is also expressed in Pindar. Then again, in the times of the Peloponnesian war, “men of the first rank” are often mentioned in Sparta, who, without being magistrates, had a considerable influence upon the government.329
Here also the difference between the Equals (?µ????) and Inferiors (?p?µe???e?) must be taken into consideration; which, if we judge only from the terms, would not appear to have been considerable, yet, though it is never mentioned in connexion with the constitution of Lycurgus, it had in later times a certain degree of influence upon the government. According to Demosthenes,330 the prize of virtue in Sparta was to become a master of the state, together with the Equals. [pg 085] Whoever neglected a civil duty, lost, according to Xenophon,331 his rank among the Equals. Cinadon wished to overthrow the government, because, although of a powerful and enterprising mind, he did not belong to the Equals.332 About the king's person in the field there were always three of the Equals, who provided for all his wants.333 It also appears that there were many peculiarities in the education of an Equal.334 Whoever, during his boyhood and youth, omitted to make the exertions and endure the fatigues of the Spartan discipline, lost his rank of an Equal.335 In like manner, exclusion from the public tables was followed by a sort of diminutio capitis, or civil degradation.336 This exclusion was either adjudged by the other members of the table, or it was the consequence of inability to defray the due share of the common expense. To them the Inferiors are most naturally opposed; and if the latter were distinct from the Spartans, by the Spartans, in a more limited sense of the word, Equals are sometimes probably understood.337 From these scanty accounts the unprejudiced reader can only infer that a distinction of rank is implied, [pg 086] which depended not upon any charge or office, but continued through life, without however excluding the possibility of passing from one rank into the other, any Equal being liable to be degraded for improper conduct, and an Inferior, under certain circumstances, being enabled to procure promotion by bravery and submission to the authorities; but if this degradation did not take place, the rank then remained in the family, and was transmitted to the children, as otherwise it could not have had any effect upon education.338
8. After these preliminary inquiries concerning the divisions and classes of the citizens, we have now to examine the manner in which the political power was distributed and held in Sparta and the other Doric states.
As the foundation of these inquiries, we may premise a rhetra of Lycurgus, which, given in the form of an oracle of the Pythian Apollo,339 contains the main features of the whole constitution of Sparta.340 [pg 087] “Build a temple to Zeus Hellanius and Athene Hellania; divide the tribes, and institute thirty obas; appoint a council, with its princes; convene the assembly between Babyca and Cnacion; propose this, and then depart; and let there be a right of decision and power to the people.” Here then there is an unlimited authority given to the people to approve or to reject what the kings proposed. This full power was, however, more nearly defined and limited by a subsequent clause, the addition of which was ascribed to kings Theopompus and Polydorus: “but if the people should follow a crooked opinion, the elders and the princes shall dissent.”341 Plutarch interprets these words thus; “That in case the people does not either approve or reject the measure in toto, but alters or vitiates it in any manner, the kings and councillors should dissolve the assembly, and declare the decree to be invalid.” According to this construction, indeed, the public assembly had so far the supreme power, that nothing could become a law without its consent. But it probably could not originate any legislative measure; inasmuch as such a power would have directly contravened the aristocratical spirit of the constitution, which feared nothing so much as the passionate and turbulent haste of the populace in decreeing and deciding. The sense of the rhetra of Lycurgus is also given in some verses from the Eunomia of Tyrtæus, which, on account of their antiquity and importance, we will quote in their original language:—[pg 088]
By the sixth line Tyrtæus means to say that the popular assembly could give a direct answer to a law proposed by the authorities, but not depart from or alter it.
9. The usual name of a public assembly in the Doric states was ???a. This is the name by which the Spartan assembly is called in Herodotus;344 and it is used also in official documents for those of Byzantium,345 of Gela, Agrigentum,346 Corcyra,347 and Heraclea;348 ???a?a was the term employed by the Tarentines349 and Epidamnians;350 the place of assembly among the Sicilian [pg 089] Dorians was called ???a?t??.351 In Crete it was known by the ancient Homeric expression of ?????.352 In Sparta the ancient name of an assembly of the people was ?p???a, whence the word ?pe????e?? in the rhetra quoted above. In later times the names ?????s?a and ?? ?????t?? appear to have been chiefly in use, which do not, more than at Athens, signify a select body, or a committee of the citizens;353 although in other Doric states select assemblies sometimes occur under similar names.354 There was also an assembly of this last kind at Sparta, but it is expressly called the small ecclesia;355 and, according to a passage in which it was mentioned, was chiefly occupied concerning the state of the constitution, and perhaps consisted only of Equals; for it can hardly be supposed that an assembly was convened of magistrates alone.356 To the regular assembly, however, all citizens [pg 090] above the age of thirty were doubtless admitted, who had not been deprived of their rights by law.357 The place of meeting was in Sparta, between the brook Cnacion358 and the bridge Babyca, where afterwards was a place called Œnus, near to Pitana, and therefore situated to the west of the city;359 but, whatever might have been the precise spot, it was in the open air.360 The time for the regular assembly was each full moon;361 yet, for business of emergency, extraordinary meetings were held, often succeeding one another at short intervals.362
Our chief object now is to ascertain what were the subjects which, according to the customs of Sparta, required the immediate decision of the people. In the first place, with regard to the external relations of the state, we know that the whole people alone could proclaim war, conclude a peace, enter into an armistice for any length of time, &c.;363 and that all negociations [pg 091] with foreign states, although conducted by the kings and ephors, could alone be ratified by the same authority. With regard to internal affairs, the highest offices, particularly the councillors, were filled by the votes of the people;364 a disputed succession to the throne was decided by the same tribunal;365 changes in the constitution were proposed and explained, and all new laws (as often as this rare event took place), after previous examination in the council, were confirmed in the assembly.366 Legally also it required the authority of the assembled people to liberate any considerable number of Helots, as being their collective owner.367 In short, the popular assembly possessed the supreme legislative authority; but it was so hampered and restrained by the spirit of the constitution, that it could only exert its authority within certain prescribed limits.
10. This circumstance was shown in an especial manner in the method of its proceedings. None but public magistrates, chiefly the ephors and kings, together with the sons of the latter,368 addressed the people without being called upon, and put the question to the vote;369 foreign ambassadors also being permitted to enter and speak concerning war and peace;370 but that citizens ever came forward upon their own impulse to speak on public affairs, is neither probable, nor do any examples of such a practice occur. A privilege of this kind could, according to Spartan [pg 092] principles, only be obtained by holding a public office.371 As therefore the magistrates alone, (t???, ???a?) were the leaders and speakers of the assembly, so we often find that stated as a decree of the authorities (especially in foreign affairs),372 which had been discussed before the whole community, and approved by it.373 The occasional speeches were short, and spoken extempore; Lysander first delivered before the people a prepared speech, which he procured from Cleon of Halicarnassus.374 The method of voting by acclamation has indeed something rude and barbarous; but it has the advantage of expressing not only the number of approving and negative voices, but also the eagerness of the voters, accurately enough, according to the ancient simplicity of manners.
11. The public assembly of Crete was, if we may judge from some imperfect accounts, similar to the Lacedæmonian. It included all the citizens, strictly so called; and likewise had only power to answer the decree of the chief officers (cosmi or gerontes) in the negative or affirmative.375 In the [pg 093] other Doric states the influence of the assembly is too closely connected with the historical epoch to allow the collection of the scattered accounts in this place to form an uniform whole. There were everywhere popular assemblies, as long as they were not suppressed by tyrants; nor indeed did every tyrant suppress them; in every state also they represented the supreme power and sovereignty of the people; its will was the only law. That this will, however, should be properly directed, and that the supreme decision should not be intrusted to the blind impulse of an ignorant or excited populace, was the problem which the founders of the Doric governments undertook to solve.
1. This result was chiefly brought about by the aristocratical counterpoise to the popular assembly, the gerusia, which was never wanting in a genuine Doric state, the “council of elders,” as the name signifies.376 In this respect it is opposed to the senate [pg 094] (ß????), which represented the people; although the latter name, as being the more general term, is sometimes used for the council, but never the converse. Thus in the Persian war a senate assembled at Argos, which had full powers to decide concerning peace and war;377 this was therefore of an aristocratic character, since the government of Argos had not then become democratical. The Homeric assembly, which was of a purely aristocratical form, is called ß???? ?e???t?? or ?e???s?a;378 it consisted of the older men of the ruling families, and decided both public business and judicial causes conjointly with the kings, properly so called,379 frequently, however, in connexion with an ?????. In this assembly lay, but as yet undeveloped, the political elements of the Doric gerusia. At Sparta the name was taken in the strictest sense, as the national opinion laid the greatest importance upon age in the management of public affairs; the young men were appointed for war;380 [pg 095] and accordingly none but men of sixty or more years of age had admission to this council.381 The office of a councillor was, however, according to the expression both of Aristotle and Demosthenes,382 the prize of virtue, and attended with general honour;383 none but men of distinguished families, blameless lives, and eminent station, could occupy it.384 Being an office which was held for life,385 it never could happen that more than one individual was elected at a time, and the eyes of the whole state were directed towards the choice of this one person. Distinguished men, therefore, bordering upon old age, probably always from the oba to which the person whose place was vacated had belonged,386 offered themselves upon their own judgment387 before the tribunal of the public voice. Their advanced age enabled the electors to consider and examine a long public life, and ensured to the state the greatest prudence and experience in the elected. To provide against the weakness of age, which Aristotle considers as a defect attendant on this mode of election, was unnecessary for a time and a state whose inhabitants enjoyed the highest bodily health. The aristocratic tendency of the office required that the candidates should be nominated by [pg 096] vote, not by lot, but yet by the whole people;388 and that they themselves should meet with the good-will of every person; which was particularly required for this dignity.
2. When they had passed through this ordeal they were for ever relieved from all further scrutiny, and were trusted to their own conscience.389 They were subject to no responsibility, since it was thought that the near prospect of death would give them more moderation,390 than the fear of incurring at the cessation of their office the displeasure of the community; to whom in other states the power of calling the highest officers to account was intrusted. The spirit of this aristocratic institution was, that the councillors were morally perfect, and hence it gave them a complete exemption from all fear as to the consequences of their actions. To later politicians it appeared still more dangerous that the councillors of Sparta acted upon their own judgment, and not according to written laws; but only because they did not take into account the power of custom and of ancient habit (the ???afa ??µ?µa, p?t???? ??µ??),391 which have an absolute sway, so long as the internal unity of a people is not separated and destroyed. Upon unwritten laws, which were fixed in the hearts of the citizens, and were there implanted by education, the whole public and legal transactions of the Spartans depended; and these were doubtless most correctly delivered through [pg 097] the mouths of the experienced old men, whom the community had voluntarily selected as its best citizens. Thousands of written laws always leave open a door for the entrance of arbitrary decision, if they have not by their mutual connexion a complete power of supplying what is deficient; this power is, however, alone possessed by the law, connate with the people, which, in the ancient simple times, when national habits are preserved in perfect purity, is better maintained by custom fixed under the inspection of the best men, than by any writing.
To me, therefore, the gerusia appears to be a splendid monument of early Grecian customs: and, by its noble openness, simple greatness, and pure confidence, shows that it was safe to build upon the moral excellence and paternal wisdom of those who had experienced a long life, and to whom in this instance the people intrusted its safety and welfare.
3. The functions of the gerusia were double, it having at the same time an administrative and a judicial authority. In the first capacity it debated with the kings upon all important affairs, preparing them for the decision of the public assembly, and passed a decree in its first stage by a majority of voices,392 the influence of which was doubtless far greater than at Athens: in the latter capacity it had the supreme decision in all criminal cases, and could punish with infamy and death.393 Since, however, in [pg 098] both these directions the power of the council gradually came in conflict with that of the ephors, we must first enter into an investigation concerning these officers, before it will be possible to speak of the extent of the functions of the council at different periods. Another circumstance also, which renders a separate inquiry into the nature of the ephoralty requisite, is the inspection which it exercised over the manners of the citizens,394 in which it manifests a great similarity with the ancient Athenian court of the Areopagus. As every old man had the right of severely censuring the habits of any youth, so every citizen was a youth in comparison with these aged fathers of the state. Hence the awe and veneration with which they were commonly regarded at Sparta. That, however, to an Athenian orator of the democratic times, the gerusia should appear possessed of despotic authority, is not surprising; for it is so far true, that this institution, if transplanted to Athens, would necessarily have caused a tyrannical dominion. In Sparta, however, so little was known of any despotic measure of the gerontes, that, on the contrary, the constitution was impaired when their antagonist office, the ephors, gained the ascendency in influence and power. The institution of the gerusia was in fact, in its main features, once established at Athens, when Lysander nominated the Thirty, who were to be a legislative body, and at the same time the supreme court of justice; with how little success [pg 099] is well known; so true is it, that every institution can only flourish in the soil in which it is first planted.395
4. In early times every Doric state must have had a gerusia; but Crete is the only place of whose council accounts have been preserved, and these represent it in precisely the same light as that of Sparta. It was, we are informed, armed with large political and legislative powers, and laid its decrees in a matured state before the general assembly, for its approval or rejection.396 It decided, without appeal to written laws, upon its own judgment, and was responsible to no one.397 The members were chosen from those persons who had before filled the supreme magistracy (the cosmi), not, however, until after a fresh examination of their fitness.398 The office lasted for life, as at Sparta.399 The princeps senatus was styled ß????? p?e???st??.400
In Elis, also, whose government resembled that of Sparta, a gerusia was a very important part of the constitution. It consisted of ninety members, who were chosen for their lifetime from oligarchical families;401 but in other respects the election was the [pg 100] same as at Sparta, and therefore they were chosen by the whole people. Yet there was also a larger council of 600,402 which may have been an aristocratical committee selected from the popular assembly. Thus much at least is clear, that the power of the people was very limited; and that, as Aristotle says, there was one oligarchy within another.403
5. To the consideration of the gerusia may be joined the inquiry concerning the kingly office in Sparta and other Doric states, as being a cognate element of the constitution. The Doric royalty was a continuation of the heroic or Homeric; and neither in the one nor in the other are we to look for that despotic power, with which the Greeks were not acquainted until they had seen it in foreign countries. In those early times the king, together with his council, was supreme ruler and judge, but not without it; he was also chief commander in war, and as such possessed a large executive authority, as circumstances required. On the whole, however, his station with regard to the nobles was that of an equal; and his office, although for the most part hereditary, could yet be transferred to another family of the aristocracy. [pg 101] He ruled over the common people either in an arbitrary manner, as the suitors in Ithaca, or as a mild father, like Ulysses.404 His office on the whole bore an analogy to the power of Zeus; and it received a religious confirmation from the circumstance of his presiding at and performing the great public sacrifices with the assistance of soothsayers.
6. These are the principal features of the kingly office at Sparta, where, according to Aristotle, as well as among the Molossi in Epirus, it acquired firmness by the limitation of its power; it also derived an additional strength from the mythical notion that the conquest of the country had originated from the royal family.405 The main support of the dignity of the kings was doubtless the honour paid to the Heraclidæ, which extended throughout the whole of Greece, and was the theme of many fables; even the claim of the Spartans to the command of the allied Grecian armies was in part founded upon it. These princes, deriving their origin from the first of the heroes of Greece, were in many respects themselves considered as heroes,406 and enjoyed a certain religious respect. Hence also we may account for their funeral ceremonies, so splendid, when compared with the simplicity of Doric customs; for the general mourning of ten days,407 to which a fixed number of Spartans, [pg 102] Periœci and Helots came, together with their wives, from all parts of the country into the city, where they covered their heads with dust or ashes with great lamentation, and on each occasion praised the dead king as the best of all princes;408 as well as for the exposure of those kings who had fallen in battle, whose images were laid upon a state-couch:409 usages which approximate very closely to the worship of an hero (t?µa? ?????a?). The royal dignity was also guarded by the sanction of the sacerdotal office: for the kings were priests of Zeus Uranius and Zeus Lacedæmon, and offered public sacrifices to Apollo on every new moon and seventh day (?e?µ????? and ?ßd?µa??ta?);410 they also received the skins of all sacrificed animals as a part of their income. From [pg 103] this circumstance, added to the fact that in war they had a right to the back of every victim, and had liberty to sacrifice as much as they wished,411 it follows that they presided over the entire worship of the army, being both priests and princes, like the Agamemnon of Homer.412 Their power, however, most directly required that they should maintain a constant intercourse between the state and the Delphian oracle; hence they nominated the Pythians, and, together with these officers, read and preserved the oracles.413 As then it appears from these facts that the dignity of the kings was founded on a religious notion, so it was also limited by religion; although the account we have is rather of an ancient custom, which was retained when its meaning had been lost, than an institution of real influence. Once in every eight years (d?? ?t?? ????a) the ephors chose a calm and moonless night, and placed themselves in the most profound silence to observe the heavens: if there was any appearance of a shooting star, it was believed that the kings had in some manner offended the Deity, and they were suspended until an oracle from Delphi, or the priests at Olympia, absolved them from the guilt.414 If this custom (doubtless of great antiquity) is compared with the frequent occurrence of this period of nine years in early times, and especially with the tradition preserved in a verse of Homer, “of Minos, who reigned for periods of nine years, holding intercourse with [pg 104] Zeus,”415 it is easy to perceive that the dominion of the ancient Doric princes determined, as it were, at the period of every eight years, and required a fresh religious ratification. So intimate in early times was the connexion between civil government and religion.
It is clear, from what has been said, that the Dorians considered the kingly office as proceeding from the Deity, and not as originating from the people; which would, I believe, have seemed to them in no-wise more natural, than that the liberty of the people should be dependent on the king. But they were well aware that the elements of the constitution had not been formed by a people consisting, like the American colonists after their defection from the mother-country, of individuals possessed of equal rights: but they had existed at the beginning, and grown with the growth of the nation. For this reason the people were not empowered to nominate the king (from which disputes concerning the rightful succession to the throne should be carefully distinguished;)416 but the royal dignity passed in a regular succession to the eldest son, with this exception, that the sons born during the reign of the father had the precedence of their elder brothers: if the eldest son died, the throne passed to his next male descendant; and on failure of [pg 105] his line, to the younger brothers in succession; if there was no male issue of the king, the office went to his brother417 (who also, during the minority of the son of the late king, was his natural guardian),418 and his heirs; or, lastly, if the whole line was extinct, to the next of kin.419 The anxiety of the Spartans for the legitimacy of their kings, also serves to prove the high importance which was attached to the genuineness of their birth. Notwithstanding these large privileges, the people believed its liberty to be secured by the oath which was taken every month by the kings, that they would reign according to the laws; a custom also in force among the Molossi;420 in return for which, the state engaged through the ephors to preserve the dominion of the kings unshaken (?st?f????t??), if they adhered to their oath.421
7. The constitutional powers of the kings of Sparta were inconsiderable, as compared with their dignity and honours. In the first place, the two kings were members of the gerusia, and their presence was requisite to make a full council; but as such they only had single votes,422 which in their absence were held by the [pg 106] councillor who was most nearly related to them, and therefore a Heraclide.423 If they were present, they presided at the council, and accordingly, in the ancient rhetra above mentioned, they are styled princes (???a??ta?) in reference to the council; it was also their especial office to speak and to propose measures in the public assembly. When the council sat as a court of justice, the kings of course presided in it; besides which, they had a distinct tribunal of their own,424 for in Sparta all magistrates had a jurisdiction in cases which belonged to the branch of the administration with which they were intrusted: the only remnant of which custom, spared by the democracy at Athens, was, that the public officers always introduced such suits into the courts. This coincidence of administrative and judicial authority also existed at Sparta in the person of their kings. They held a court in cases concerning the repair and security of the public roads, probably in their capacity of generals, and as superintendents of the intercourse with foreign nations. It is remarkable that they gave judgment in all cases of heiresses, and that all adoptions were made in their presence.425 Both these duties regarded the maintenance of families, the basis of the ancient Greek states, the care for which was therefore intrusted to the kings. Thus in Athens also, the same duty had been transferred from the ancient kings to the archon eponymus, who accordingly had the superintendence, [pg 107] and a species of guardianship over all heiresses and orphans.426
8. The greater part of the king's prerogative was his power in foreign affairs. The kings of Sparta were the commanders of the Peloponnesian confederacy. They also went out as ambassadors; although at times of mistrust companions were assigned, who were known to be disinclined and hostile to them.427 By the same power the kings also nominated citizens as proxeni, who entertained ambassadors and citizens of foreign states in their houses,428 and otherwise provided for them; it appears that the kings themselves were in fact the proxeni for foreign countries, and that those persons whom they nominated are only to be considered as their deputies.
As soon as the king had assumed the command of the army, and had crossed the boundaries, he became, according to ancient custom, general with unlimited power (st?at???? a?t????t??).429 He had authority to despatch and assemble armies, to collect money in foreign countries, and to lead and encamp the army according to his own judgment. Any person who dared to impede him, or to resist his authority, was outlawed.430 He had power of life and death, and could [pg 108] execute without trial (?? ?e???? ??µ?); although, from the well-known subordination of the Spartans, such cases were probably of rare occurrence. But it is manifest that the king, upon his return, was always responsible and liable to punishment, as well for an imprudent, as for a tyrannical use of his powers. His political was separated with sufficient accuracy from his military authority, and the king was not permitted to conclude treaties, or to decide the fate of cities, without communication with and permission from the state.431 His military power was, however, thought dangerous and excessive, and was from time to time curtailed. This limitation was not indeed effected by the arrangement which originated from the dissension between Demaratus and Cleomenes, viz., that only one king should be with the army at the same time432 (for this regulation rather increased the power of the one king who was sent out); but chiefly by the law, that the king should not go into the field without ten councillors (a rule which owed its origin to the over-hasty armistice of Agis),433 and by the compulsory attendance of the ephors.434[pg 109]
9. The investigation concerning the revenue of the kings is not in itself so important as it is rendered interesting by the parallel with the same office in the Homeric age. In Homer the kings are represented as having three sorts of revenues; first, the produce of their lands (teµ???),435 which often contained tillage ground, pastures, and plantations; secondly, the fees for judicial decisions (d??a); and, thirdly, the public banquets, which were provided at the expense of the community.436 To these were added extraordinary gifts, shares of the booty, and other honorary presents. The case was nearly the same at Sparta, except that they received no fees for judicial decisions. But in the first place, the king in this country had his landed property, which was situated in the territory of several cities belonging to the Periœci,437 and the royal tribute (ßas?????? f????) was probably derived from the same source.438 This was the foundation of the private wealth of the kings, which frequently amounted to a considerable sum; otherwise, how could it have been proposed to fine king Agis a hundred thousand drachmas,439 that is, doubtless, Æginetan drachmas, and therefore about 5800l. of our money? Also the younger Agis, [pg 110] the son of Eudamidas, was possessed of six hundred talents in coin;440 and in a dialogue attributed to Plato, the king of Sparta is declared to be richer than any private individual at Athens.441 But besides these revenues, the king received a large sum from the public property; a double portion at the public banquets,442 an animal without blemish for sacrifice, a medimnus of wheat, and a Lacedæmonian quart of wine on the first and seventh days of each month;443 the share in the sacrifices above mentioned, &c. It was, moreover, customary for private individuals who gave entertainments, to invite the kings, as was the practice in the Homeric times;444 on these occasions a double portion was set before them, and when a public sacrifice took place, the kings had the same rights and preferences.445 In war, also, the king received a large portion of the plunder; thus the share of Pausanias, after the battle of Platæa, was ten women, horses, camels, and talents:446 in later times it appears that a third of the booty fell to the lot of the king.447 Lastly, it is proper to mention the official residence of the two kings of Sparta, built, according to tradition, by Aristodemus the ancestor of the two royal families.448 In addition [pg 111] to this dwelling, they had frequently private houses of their own,449 and a tent was always built for them without the city, at the public expense.450
In taking a review of all these statements, it appears to me that the political sagacity was almost past belief, with which the ancient constitution of Sparta protected the power, the dignity, and welfare of the office of king, yet without suffering it to grow into a despotism, or without placing the king in any one point either above or without the law. Without endangering the liberty of the state, a royal race was maintained, which, blending the pride of their own family with the national feelings, produced, for a long succession of years, princes of a noble and patriotic disposition. Thus it was in fact with the two Heraclide families, to which Theopompus, Leonidas, Archidamus II., Agesilaus, Cleomenes III., and Agis III. belonged; and the greater number of the later kings retained, up to the last period, a genuine Spartan disposition, which we find expressed in many nervous and pithy apophthegms.
10. It may be inferred that it was the case in all, as we know it to have been in many Dorian states, with the exception of later colonies, that they were governed by princes of the Heraclide family. In Argos, the descendants of Temenus reigned until after [pg 112] the time of Phidon, and the kingly office did not expire till after the Persian war;451 in Corinth, the successors of Aletes, and afterwards of Bacchis, reigned until about the 8th Olympiad. How long the Ctesippidæ [pg 113] reigned in Epidaurus and Cleonæ,452 we are not informed. In Megara we find the name, but the name only, of a king at a very late period.453 In Messenia the Æpytidæ ruled as kings until the subjugation of the country; and when Aristomenes was compelled to quit it, he took refuge with Damagetus, the king of Ialysus, in the island of Rhodes, of the Heraclide family of the Eratidæ.454 Also the Hippotadæ at Cnidos and Lipara,455 the Bacchiadæ at Syracuse and Corcyra,456 the Phalantidæ at Tarentum,457 probably had in early times ruled as sovereign princes, as well as the Heraclidæ at Cos, who derived their origin from Phidippus and Antiphus.458 In Crete we find but little mention of the Heraclidæ, the only exceptions being Althæmenes of Argos, and Phæstus of Sicyon.459 In this island the family of Teutamas had reigned from a remote period: with regard to the time during which kings existed in this country, it can only be conjectured from the circumstance that a king named Etearchus reigned at Oaxus not long before the building of Cyrene.460 Cyrene, as has been already shown, [pg 114] was under the dominion of a Minyean, its mother-city Thera, under that of an Ægide family.461 Delphi was also at an early period under the rule of kings.462 Of the aristocratic offices, which were substituted in the place of the royal authority, we shall presently speak, when treating of the power of the cosmi.
1. Before we treat of the powers of the cosmi, it will be necessary to inquire into an office, which is of the greatest importance in the history of the Lacedæmonian constitution; for while the king, the council, and the people, preserved upon the whole the same political power and the same executive authority, the office of the ephors was the moving principle by which, in process of time, this most perfect constitution was assailed, and gradually overthrown. From this remark three questions arise: first, what was the original nature of the office of ephor? secondly, what changes did it experience in the lapse of time? and, thirdly, from what causes did these changes originate?[pg 115]
There is an account frequently repeated by ancient writers, that Theopompus, the grandson of Charilaus the Proclid, founded this office in order to limit the authority of the Kings. “He handed down the royal power to his descendants more durable, because he had diminished it.”463 If, however, the ephoralty was an institution of Theopompus, it is difficult to account for the existence of the same office in other Doric states. In Cyrene the ephors punished litigious people and impostors with infamy:464 the same office existed in the mother-city Thera,465 which island had been colonised from Laconia long before the time of Theopompus. The Messenians also would hardly, upon the re-establishment of their state, have received the ephoralty into their government,466 if they had thought it only an institution of some Spartan king. The ephors of the Tarentine colony Heraclea may be more easily derived from Sparta and the time of Theopompus.467 It is however plain that Herodotus468 and Xenophon469 placed the ephoralty [pg 116] among the institutions of Lycurgus, with as much reason as other writers attributed it to Theopompus; and it will probably be sufficient to state that the ephors were ancient Doric magistrates.
The ephoralty, however, considered as an office opposed to the kings and to the council, is not for this reason an institution less peculiar to the Spartans; and in no Doric, nor even in any Grecian state, is there any thing which exactly corresponds with it. It is evident, therefore, that it must have gradually obtained this peculiar character by causes which operated upon the Lacedæmonian state alone. Hence it appears, that the supposed expression of Theopompus referred rather to the powers of the ephors in later times, than to their original condition. At least Cleomenes the Third was ignorant of this account of them; since, after the abolition of these magistrates, he proposed, in a speech to the people, that the ephors should again be what they were originally (when they were elected in the first Messenian war), viz., the deputies and assistants of the king. In this proposal indeed a very partial view is displayed; for every magistrate must necessarily [pg 117] choose his own deputy; whereas the democratic election of the ephors was, as we shall presently see, an essential part of their office. From the accounts just adduced, we do not however wish to infer any thing further, than how variable were the opinions, and how little historical the statements, concerning the original object of the ephoralty.
2. In the constitution of Lycurgus, as it has been hitherto developed, the ephoralty of later times would not only have been a superfluous, but a destructive addition. For in this the king, the council, and the people constituted the chief authorities; and to suppose that any part would require either check or assistance, would have been inconsistent with the plans of the legislator. A counter-authority, such as the ephoralty, in which the mistrust of the people was expressed in a tyrannical manner, was far removed from the innocence and simplicity of the original constitution, and could not have been introduced, until the connexion and firmness arising from the first laws had been loosened and enfeebled. The Roman office of tribune had, doubtless, a certain similarity in its first origin with the ephoralty;470 yet the former was more imperatively required, as by it an entire people, the plebs Romana, obtained a necessary and fair representation; whereas in Sparta the gerusia, although chosen from the most distinguished citizens, belonged nevertheless to the whole Spartan people, and the democratic influence of the popular assembly served as the basis of the whole constitution.471[pg 118]
If then the extended political power of the ephors did not belong to the constitution of Lycurgus, neither can we suppose that it originated in the time of Theopompus. For the statement is worthy of credit, that Theopompus and Polydorus added the following words to the rhetra above quoted: “If however the people should follow a crooked opinion, the councillors and princes shall dissent.” Now in the first place, the ephors are here wholly omitted, although in the Peloponnesian war they put the vote to the people, and frequently made proposals in the assembly; and, secondly, the tendency of this clause is manifestly to diminish the power of the people; whereas it will be more clearly shown below, that the authority of the ephors rested upon democratical principles.
It is evident that these supposed historical traditions, instead of affording any clear explanation, lead to contradictions; and in order to obtain any distinct knowledge of the history of the ephoralty, we must proceed rather upon the evidence furnished by the nature of the office itself, and the analogy of similar offices in other states.
3. For this reason we will first consider the judicial authority of the ephors, a power which we know to have belonged also to the ephors of Cyrene. Now Aristotle472 describes their judicial powers by saying, that they decided causes relating to contracts, while the council decided causes of homicide.473 The latter [pg 119] was therefore a supreme criminal court, with power of life and death; the former a civil court, which gave judgment concerning contracts and property. Its influence upon the Spartans would appear to have been inconsiderable, from the opinions entertained by them on the division of property and exchange of money, perhaps less than it really was; but however this may be, the Periœci and Helots, when they were in Sparta, were under its jurisdiction. Now we have already shown, that it was a principle of the Lacedæmonian government so to divide the jurisdiction amongst the different magistrates, that the administration and jurisdiction belonged to the same officers.474 Hence a superintendence over sales and over the market must have been the original duty of the ephors, forming the basis of their judicial authority.475 The market, as being the central point of exchange, was no unimportant object of care:476 every Spartan here brought a part of the corn produced by his estate, in order to exchange it for other commodities: it was in a certain manner disgraceful not to have the power of buying and selling;477 a privilege which was also interdicted to youths: moreover, in the days of mourning for the king, the market was shut up and scattered with chaff.478 The day upon [pg 120] which Cinadon, according to the description of Xenophon,479 secretly endeavoured to inflame the minds of the lower classes, was evidently a market-day, and also, in my opinion, a great day of justice. A king, the ephors, the councillors, and about forty Spartans (?µ????), were in the market-place, all probably in a judicial capacity: besides whom, there were about four thousand men, chiefly occupied in buying and selling, as is seen from the fact that in one part of the market a large quantity of iron fabrics was heaped up. The ephors were therefore ?f???? (inspectors) over the market, and for this reason they met regularly in this place,480 where was also situated their office.
The number of the college of ephors (five),481 which it had in common with some other magistrates of Sparta,482 appears, as I conjectured above,483 to imply a democratic election—a fact which is also stated by the ancients. We know from Aristotle, that persons from the people, without property or distinction, could fill this office:484 in what manner, indeed, is not quite manifest. Properly indeed, no magistrate in Sparta was chosen by lot;485 but it appears that election by choice and by lot were combined.486 In this case we [pg 121] see displayed a principle of the ancient Greek states, which administered the criminal jurisdiction on aristocratic principles, while civil causes were decided by the whole community, or its representatives. At Athens, Solon gave the popular courts a jurisdiction only in civil suits; all criminal cases were decided by the timocratic Areopagus, and the aristocratic Ephetæ. In Heraclea on the Pontus, the chief officers were chosen from a small number of the citizens, the courts of justice from the rest of the people.487 And in Sparta also the civil judges were the deputies of the assembly—the ???a?a,488 which in Athens itself acted as a court of justice under the name of ???a?a.
4. From the view of this office now taken, the continued extension of the powers of the ephors may be more easily accounted for. It was the regular course of events in the Grecian states, that the civil courts enlarged their influence, while the power of the criminal courts was continually on the decline. As in Athens, the Helæeea rose, as compared with the Areopagus, so in Sparta the power of the ephors increased in comparison with that of the gerusia.
In the first place, the jurisdiction of the ephors was extended489 chiefly by their privilege of instituting scrutinies (e????a?) into the official conduct of all magistrates, with the exception of the councillors.490 By this indeed we are not to understand, that all magistrates, after the cessation of their office, rendered [pg 122] an account of their proceedings, but only that the ephors could compel them to undergo a trial, if there had been any thing suspicious in their administration; a right, however, as it extended over the ephors of the preceding year,491 which restrained the power that it bestowed. But the ephors were not compelled to wait for the natural expiration of an office, they could suspend or deprive the officer by their judicial powers.492 Now in this respect the king was in the very same situation with the remaining magistrates, and could, as well as the others, be brought before the tribunal of the ephors. Even before the Persian war, Cleomenes was tried before them for bribery.493 The king was always bound to obey their summons:494 but the fact of his not being compelled to yield till the third time, was used by Cleomenes III. as an argument to prove that the power of the ephors was originally an usurpation.495 At the same time, their power extended in practice so far, that they could accuse the king, as well as the other magistrates, in extreme cases, without consulting the assembly, and could bring him to trial for life and death.496 This larger court consisted of [pg 123] all the councillors, of the ephors, who thus came before it as accusers, besides having the right of sitting as judges, of the other king, and probably of several magistrates, who had all equal votes.497 From this court there was no appeal; it had power to condemn the king to death;498 although, until later times, it was prevented by a religious scruple from executing this sentence.499 That its proceedings were commonly carried on with great propriety and composure, is stated upon the occasion of an instance to the contrary.500 This great court of magistrates we frequently find deciding concerning public crimes with supreme authority,501 and the ephors acting in it as accusers:502 but that the ephors had power of themselves to punish with death, I deny most decidedly:503 whether they had authority to banish, I even doubt.504 The inaccuracy of later writers has confounded the steps preparatory to the sentence, with the sentence itself; a power of life and death in the hands of the ephors would have been worse than tyranny. The [pg 124] ephors, when they judged for themselves, were only able to impose fines, and to compel an instantaneous payment.505 Their power of punishing the kings in this manner, or by a reprimand, was doubtless very extensive, and appears to have been subject to no limitation. Agesilaus was fined by them for endeavouring to make himself popular,506 and Archidamus was censured for having married too small a wife,507 which implies the opinion, that the community had a right to require their kings to keep up a robust family.508 The kings, however, were compelled to submit to this treatment, in a state in which every magistrate exercised the full powers of his office with a certain degree of severity. We find, however, that the ephors had also jurisdiction in cases which were neither civil actions nor the scrutinies of public officers; for example, they punished a man for having brought money into the state;509 another for indolence;510 a third from the singular reason that he was generally injured and insulted:511 and their share in the superintendence of public education,512 as well as over the celebration of the public games,513 gave them a jurisdiction in causes relating to these points. In cases [pg 125] of this kind, however, we are ignorant how far they acted as a separate board, and how far in connexion with other magistrates, for example, as assessors of the kings.514 They judged according to unwritten laws, as Sparta knew no others. Aristotle calls this, deciding according to their will and pleasure.515
5. Another more important circumstance, as affecting the extension of the power of the ephors, was, that these officers (from what time we are not informed) placed themselves in connexion with the popular assembly, so that they had a right to transact business with it in preference to all other magistrates. They had power to convene the people,516 and put the vote to them.517 They must in early times have had the privilege of proposing laws518 (but doubtless not till after they had passed through the gerusia), if the ephor Chilon is correctly called a legislator.519 They also possessed great authority in transactions with foreign nations. They admitted ambassadors, and had also power to dismiss them from the boundary,520 likewise to expel suspected foreigners from the state,521 and therefore they were probably the chief managers of the Xenelasia. They frequently carried on the negotiations with foreign ambassadors, with full powers of treating;522 and had great influence, especially of a preparatory nature,523 upon declarations of war, as well as armistices and treaties of peace,524 which the ephors, and [pg 126] particularly the first among them, swore to and subscribed in presence of other persons.525 To them also was intrusted the right of dismissing ambassadors.526 In time of war they were empowered to send out troops (f?????? fa??e??527) on whatever day seemed to them expedient;528 and they even appear to have had authority to determine the number of men.529 The army they then intrusted to the king, or some other general,530 who received from them instructions how to act;531 sent back to the ephors for fresh instructions;532 were restrained by them through the attendance of extraordinary plenipotentiaries;533 were recalled by means of the scytale;534 summoned before a judicial tribunal;535 and their first duty after their return was to visit the office of the ephors.536 These officers also sent commands, with respect to discipline, to standing armies abroad,537 Now in these cases the ephors must [pg 127] have acted, not upon their own authority, but as the agents of the public assembly;538 it was their duty to execute the decrees of the people, the mode being left in some degree to their discretion. For this reason the assembly is frequently mentioned, together with the ephors, in the same cases in which on other occasions the ephors alone are represented as acting. The ephors were often manifestly mediators between the generals and the assembly. In the field the king was followed by two ephors, who belonged to the council of war;539 it is probable that they had the chief care of the maintenance of the army, as well as the division of the plunder:540 those ephors who remained behind in Sparta received the booty in charge, and paid it in to the public treasury.541 We also find the ephors deciding with regard to conquered cities, whether they should be dependent or independent;542 they suppressed the ten governors appointed by Lysander, nominated harmosts,543 &c.; all evidently in the name and authority of that power, which it would have been against all principles of a free constitution to intrust to the college of ephors.
6. Although we are prevented from obtaining an entirely clear view of this subject, and particularly from pointing out all the collisions between the authority [pg 128] of the ephors and other magistrates, by the secret nature of the Spartan constitution,544 it is yet evident that the powers of the ephors were essentially founded upon the supreme authority of the popular assembly, whose agents and plenipotentiaries they were. Every popular assembly is necessarily an unskilful body, and little able to act both with energy and moderation; least of all was the Spartan assembly capable of transacting and executing any complicated business. For this reason it intrusted to the ephors, who were chosen upon democratic principles from among the people, a power similar to that which the public leaders or demagogues of Athens exercised in so pernicious a manner. Plato and Aristotle compare their authority with a tyranny:545 and it is to be remembered that in Greece tyrants continually rose from demagogues. Accordingly the ephors reached the summit of their power when they began to lead the public assembly: it is probable that this was first done by the ephor Asteropus, who is one of the first persons to whom the extension of the powers of that office is ascribed,546 and who probably lived not long before the time of Chilon. The extensive political influence of Lacedæmon also contributed to give a greater importance to the ephoralty. Chasms arose in the constitution of Lycurgus, which had been intended for a simpler state of things, and were filled up by the ambition of these magistrates. The transactions with foreign states required a small number of skilful and clever men; the gerusia was too helpless, simple, and antiquated for this purpose; and accordingly the sphere of its operations [pg 129] appears to have been confined to domestic affairs. And lastly, as the finances of Sparta became continually an object of greater and greater importance, the influence of the officers necessarily increased, who had, as it appears, at all times the management of the treasury.
7. There are some other facts which may be added respecting the official proceedings of the ephors. They commenced their annual office with the autumnal equinox, the beginning of the Lacedæmonian year.547 The first of them gave his name to the year, which was called after him in all public transactions. They commenced their official duties with a species of edict, by which the secret officers (???pt??) were sent out: it appears from this that they also exercised a superintendence over the discipline of the Helots and Periœci.548 In the same edict it was ordered “to shave the beard,” “and obey the laws,”549 the former being a metaphorical, and indeed rather a singular expression for subjection and obedience. They held their daily meetings in the ephors' office, in which they also ate together.550 In this house foreigners and ambassadors were introduced, and hospitably entertained.551 Next to the Ephoreum stood a temple of Fear, which the dictatorial power of [pg 130] these magistrates doubtless inspired in the citizens.552 Lastly, these officers also required a religious foundation for their dignity. The ephors at certain periods saw dreams in the temple of Pasiphaa at Thalamæ, and their visions were politically interpreted: we know that a dream of this kind stimulated the Spartans to return to their ancient equality.553 Of their periodical inspection of the heavens we have already spoken, when treating of the kingly office:554 and it is remarkable that this custom, which was doubtless of great antiquity, occurs first in very late times, and was used in support of the tyranny of the ephors over the kings. It is these later times in particular which confirm the assertion made in the beginning of the chapter, that the ephoralty was the moving element, the principle of change, in the Spartan constitution, and, in the end, the cause of its final dissolution; for the ephors, being brought by means of their jurisdiction and their political duties into extensive intercourse with foreign nations, were the first to give up the severe customs of ancient Sparta, and to admit a greater luxury of manners. Even Aristotle censures their relaxed mode of life.555 It is still more to our purpose that the decrees which undermined the constitution of Sparta originated from these magistrates: it was the ephor Epitadeus who first carried through the law permitting the free inheritance of property. For this reason it was necessary for the royal heroes Agis and Cleomenes, when, in a fruitless but glorious struggle with the degenerate age, they undertook to restore the constitution [pg 131] of Lycurgus, to begin with the overthrow of the ephors.556
8. The undefined and vague nature of the authority of the ephors557 is strongly opposed to the accurate designation of the duties of the other annual officers. Although there were many officers of this description at Sparta, we seldom find any mention of them, as they rarely overstepped the legal bounds of their authority. Yet it is possible that the name t???,558 which is so frequently used for the presidents of the assembly, and the high court for state offences, and which to a foreigner rather concealed than explained the internal affairs of Sparta, comprehended other magistrates, according to the circumstances of the case, besides the kings, councillors, and ephors. The nomophylaces and bidiæi,559 as well as the ephors, had their offices in the market-place. The duties of the former officers are declared by their name, of their number we know nothing; of the latter there were five, and their business was to inspect the gymnastic exercises.560 The harmosyni were appointed to superintend the manners of the women;561 the buagi regulated a part of the education; to the empelori belonged the market-police.562[pg 132]
The polemarchs also, in addition to their military functions, had a civil, together with a certain judicial power. In some Laconian inscriptions, belonging to the Roman time, many names of nomophylaces, buagi, and s?ss?t?? of the magistrates are recorded; the meaning of the latter distinction is obscure. The election of regular nomophylaces was an occurrence somewhat unusual.563 With regard to later times we may further observe, that the ephoralty, which was abolished by Cleomenes, was re-established under the Roman dominion;564 and that the same king instituted a college of pat????µ?? in the place of the gerusia,565 although Pausanias again mentions gerontes; unless it is possible that the two councils coexisted. An inscription of the second century of the Christian era566 mentions a s??d???? at Sparta, a public advocate, and daµ?s??µ?st??, a public inquisitor, and interpreter of the laws of Lycurgus, concerning whom, as well as others of the magistrates here mentioned, we will say more hereafter.567
1. The cosmi of Crete are compared by Aristotle, Ephorus and Cicero, with the ephors of Lacedæmon.568 We are first led to suspect the correctness of this comparison by the fact, that the larger part of the extensive power of the ephoralty did not exist in the ancient constitution of Sparta, and consequently there could not have been any thing corresponding with it in the sister constitution of Crete. This conjecture is still further confirmed when we remember that the cosmi were chosen from particular families, rather according to their rank than their personal merits.569 For to take away from the office of ephors their election from among the people would be to give up its most essential characteristic. If then we abandon this comparison, it will be necessary, on account of the great similarity between the two constitutions, to find some other analogous office, and it will then appear that the parallel magistrates to the cosmi in the Spartan government were the kings; whom indeed the cosmi appear to have succeeded, like the prytanes, artynæ, &c., in other states, the expiring [pg 134] monarchical dignity having been replaced by an aristocratical magistrate.
This assertion is confirmed by whatever knowledge we have of the powers of the cosmi, which indeed chiefly regards their influence in foreign affairs. They were commanders in war, like the kings of Sparta.570 They conducted the negotiations with foreign ambassadors (although these last sometimes spoke before the public assembly); and they affixed their official name to the treaties, as well as to all decrees of the state.571 They provided for the ambassadors during their residence,572 and prepared for them the necessary documents.573 They appear to have themselves gone as ambassadors to neighbouring and friendly states.574 For the internal government and administration of the state they shared the power of the senate, with which body they consulted on important affairs.575 The decrees passed in this council were then laid before the public assembly for its decision, according to the manner above stated.576 On an occasion of the connexion of two Cretan cities by ?s?p???te?a, the cosmi of the one state, who were resident in the other city, went together into the house of meeting of the cosmi and of the senate (as it appears) and sat among them in the public assembly.577[pg 135]
The common routine of business they appear to have conducted with a large executive power;578 they must, for example, have had a compulsive authority, in order to force a person who had kidnapped citizens of a foreign state, against the right of asylum, to restore them.579 In judicial matters they performed, in the times at least subsequent to Alexander, certain duties which had a resemblance to the introduction of the lawsuits by the Athenian magistrates.580 They themselves, however, were not only subject to certain punishments for omission of their duties, but they could also be impeached, apparently during the continuance of their office.581 Upon the whole, without having equal dignity, they had more power and more extensive duties than the Spartan kings; yet both were limited by the large number of the college of cosmi, for it contained ten members. The college had power to degrade individuals, although the office was limited to a year, each individual being also permitted to tender his resignation within that period.582 The first of them gave his name to the year; he was called [pg 136] protocosmus,583 although he had probably no distinct privileges. The senate was chosen from persons who had filled the office of cosmus; it was not, however, so arranged that each cosmus, on the cessation of his office, became a senator (as at Athens, after the time of Solon, every archon, if no complaint was made against him, became a member of the Areopagus), but the senators were selected from among the former cosmi, after a fresh examination. For the number of the senators was, doubtless, limited, and was not sufficiently great to comprehend all the cosmi.
2. In the time of Aristotle the power of the cosmi had acquired a despotic character. The number of the families from which they were chosen had become less numerous; individual families had acquired an immediate influence upon the government, and their disputes had created parties, in which the whole nation took a share. The constitution had been thus converted into a narrow oligarchy; the democratic element, the public assembly, being too feeble to put an end to these dissensions. To this was added, at a time when men had ceased to venerate ancient customs, a want of written laws. When powerful families feared for the issue of a lawsuit, they prevented the election of the cosmi, and an ???sµ?a, as it was called, arose,584 in which the chief families and their dependents were opposed to one another as enemies. This state of things had at that time [pg 137] been introduced in several of the chief cities of Crete: at the time, however, when the alliance between the Priansii and Hierapytnii (which is still extant) was agreed to, the government appears to have been better regulated, and the powers of the aristocracy to have been considerably diminished. But before the time of Polybius a complete revolution had taken place, by which the power of the aristocracy was abolished, and the election of all magistrates founded on democratic principles;585 a revolution which gradually overthrew all the ancient institutions; so that the writer just mentioned cannot discover the least resemblance between the Spartan and Cretan governments, the original similarity of which cannot be doubted. It is worthy of remark that cosmi, as far as we know, were the chief magistrates in all the cities of Crete; and their constitutions were in all essential points the same: a proof that these cities, although originally founded by different tribes, were in their political institutions determined by the governing, that is, the Doric race.586 In the time of Plato, Cnosus was still, as in the time of Minos, considered the chief seat of ancient Cretan institutions; Ephorus, on the other hand, observes that they had been less preserved in this town than among the Lyctians, Gortynians, and other small cities.587
3. With the Cretan cosmi may be compared the magistrates named prytanes, who in Corinth, as well as in other states, succeeded in the place of the kings. The numerous house of the Bacchiadæ were [pg 138] not content that certain individuals of their number should exercise the government as an hereditary right for life, but wished to obtain a larger share in it, and to give the enjoyment of the supreme power to a greater number. The only difference, however, which existed between a prytanis and a king was, that the former was elected, and only held his office for a year, by which he was compelled to administer it according to the will of his house, into the body of which he was soon to return. In this state, doubtless, there was also a gerusia, but perhaps only consisting of Bacchiadæ. As the Bacchiadæ only intermarried with persons of their own house, they formed an aristocratic caste, whose government, which lasted for ninety years, must have been exceedingly oppressive.588 As Corcyra was founded from Corinth before the commencement of the tyranny of the Cypselidæ, we find that in the latter state annual prytanes, chosen apparently from among the aristocracy, remained the supreme magistrates even in a democratic age.589
The power of the prytanis, as has been already mentioned, came next in order in that of king, and hence the ancient Charon of Lampsacus called the Spartan kings prytanes;590 which was also the proper name of one of them. The early kings of Delphi [pg 139] were also, at least about 360 B.C., called prytanes;591 in which state there was for a long time an aristocratic government, similar to that which prevailed in the Homeric age.592 The number of the prytanes was in general only one or two.593 At Rhodes there were two in a year, each of whom had the precedence for six months;594 so that sometimes one, sometimes two prytanes are mentioned: they managed the public affairs with great power in the Prytaneum, in which building the archives of the city were preserved, and foreign ambassadors received.595 Yet their powers cannot have been excessive in the free constitution, which Rhodes, at its most flourishing period, enjoyed. For the senate, which was chosen on purely democratic principles, as we shall see below, shared the management of all public affairs with the prytanes; the people, however, exercised the supreme power in the general assembly, voted by cheirotonia,596 and does not appear to have been even led in its deliberations by the magistrates alone.597 Yet the government of Rhodes was never, up to the time of the Roman dominion, a complete democracy;598 perhaps it approximated at the [pg 140] period of the greatest power of these islanders to the politeia of Aristotle.599 But the power of the prytanes, who were also the chief magistrates in Ionian, and especially Æolian600 states, was not everywhere so wisely restrained; in Miletus their authority was nearly despotic.601 In all places the prytanes inherited from the kings the celebration of public sacrifices, which they generally performed in particular buildings in the market-place, on the common hearth of the state. So the prytanis of Tenedos, to whom Pindar has composed an ode for the sacrifice upon entrance into his office (e?s?t?????). In Cos a divination from fire was probably connected with the sacrifices of the prytanis.602 These sacrifices, the public banquets, together with the reception of foreign ambassadors, belonged at Athens to the fifty prytanes, as was the case at Rhodes and Cos. But the political signification of the name had, under the democratic government of Athens, become entirely different from that which it bore in other more aristocratic constitutions.
4. The striking dissimilarity in the duties of the prytanes in the Athenian and in the early constitutions of Greece, and a conviction that the democracy of Athens, although relatively modern, had so completely brought into oblivion the former institutions, that they can be only recognised in insulated traces [pg 141] and names which had lost their ancient meaning, encourage me to offer some conjectures on the original nature of the office held by the prytanes of Athens. There was at Athens a court of justice in the prytaneum (?p? p??ta?e??), which, in the times of which we have an historical account, only possessed the remnants of a formerly extensive criminal jurisdiction.603 Now that this had once been the chief court in Athens is proved by the name prytanea, which were fees deposited by the parties before each lawsuit, according to the amount of value in question, and which served for the maintenance of the judges.604 The name proves that these monies had at one time been the pay of the prytanes, in their judicial capacity, like the gifts in Homer and Hesiod. Furthermore we know that the ancient financial office of the colacretæ at one time, as their name testifies, collected their share of the animals sacrificed (which exactly resembles the perquisites of the kings at Sparta), and that they always continued to manage the banquets in the Prytaneum, and at a later time collected the justice-fees, for example, these very prytanea.605 From the connexion between these functions, which has not been entirely obliterated, it is manifest that the ancient judicial prytanes formed a company or syssition, dined in public, were fed at the public expense, and, with regard to their revenues, had stept into the rights of the kings, whose share in the sacrifices and justice-fees had formerly been collected by the colacretæ.[pg 142]
Although there appears to be nothing inconsistent in this account, it is nevertheless singular that a whole court of justice bore the name of prytanes, whereas in other states the number of these magistrates was always very small; and hence we are led to conjecture that the prytanes, as in other places, were merely the leaders and presidents of this supreme court. It is, however, certain that in later times the phylobasileis presided in the Prytaneum, four eupatridæ, who were at the head of the four ancient tribes; and doubtless performed other duties than the sacred functions which are ascribed to them;606 like the phylarchs of Epidamnus, whose extensive duties were in later times transferred to a senate.607 We must therefore suppose that these phylobasileis, who, in consequence of political changes, had at an early period fallen into oblivion, were once, under the name of prytanes, one of the highest offices of the state. Now these four prytanes, or phylobasileis, were assisted in their court by the ephetæ, who, as I have already remarked,608 were before the time of Solon identical with the court of the Areopagus, when they had the management of the criminal jurisdiction, and a superintendence over the manners of the citizens in an extended sense of the word. Both these were also duties of the Doric gerusia, to which the kings stood in nearly the same relation as the prytanes of Athens to the areopagites or ephetæ. Their number was fifty-one, which probably includes the basileus: there could not, however, have been fifty previously to the new division of the tribes [pg 143] by Cleisthenes, before which change their number was forty-eight, according to the four tribes, either with or without the phylobasileis.
If this view of the subject is correct, there is a remarkable correspondence, both in their respective numbers and constitutions, between the criminal court and the first administrative office in the ancient state of Athens. These latter were the naucrari. The naucrari, who were also anciently forty-eight in number, and fifty after the new division of the tribes, in early times managed the public revenue, and therefore fitted out armies and fleets.609 Now Herodotus also mentions prytanes of the naucrari, who in early times directed the government of Athens.610 Unless we suppose the existence of two kinds of prytanes (which does not appear suitable to the simplicity of ancient institutions), the same persons must have presided over both colleges, and have had an equal share in the jurisdiction and government. The regularity of these institutions would appear surprising, if we were not certain that the same order existed in all the ancient political establishments; at the same time we must leave the relative powers of many officers, such, for example, as those of the archons and prytanes, without any attempt at elucidation.
5. More obscure even than the condition of the cosmi and prytanes are the origin and powers of the artynæ at Argos.611 They cannot have arisen at a late period, for example, after the abolition of the royalty, since the same office existed in their ancient [pg 144] colony, Epidaurus, whose constitution resembled that of Argos only in the more ancient period. Since it did not originate from the downfall of the royalty, its origin may, perhaps, have been owing to a division of the regal authority, perhaps of the civil and military functions. In Epidaurus the artynæ were presidents of a large council of one hundred and eighty members:612 in Argos they are mentioned in connexion with a body of eighty persons, and a (democratic) senate, of whose respective powers we are entirely ignorant.613
The present is a convenient occasion for mentioning the demiurgi, as several grammarians state that they were in particular a Doric magistracy,614 perhaps, however, only judging from the form daµ???????. These magistrates were, it is true, not uncommon in Peloponnesus,615 but they do not occur often in the Doric states. They existed among the Eleans and Mantineans,616 the Hermioneans,617 in the Achæan league,618 at Argos also,619 as well as in Thessaly;620 officers named epidemiurgi were sent by the Corinthians to manage the government of their colony Potidæa.621 The statements and interpretations of the grammarians afford little instruction: among the Achæans at least, their [pg 145] chief duty was to transact business with the people; which renders it probable, that at Argos they were identical with the leaders of the people;622 of whom, as well as of some other public officers, whose functions admit of further explanation, we will speak in the following chapter.
1. It is my intention in the present chapter to collect and arrange the various accounts respecting the alterations in the constitution of those Doric states, which deviated more from their original condition than Crete and Sparta: having been more affected by the general revolutions of the Greek governments, and drawn with greater violence into the strong current of political change.
And first, with regard to Argos, I will extract the following particulars from former parts of this work. There were in this state three classes of persons; the inhabitants of the city, who were for the most part Dorians, distributed into four tribes; a class of [pg 146] Periœci, and also a class of bondslaves, named gymnesii.623 The kings, who were at first of the Heraclide family, and afterwards of another dynasty, reigned until the time of the Persian war;624 there were also officers named artynæ, and a senate possessing extensive powers. All these are traces which seem to prove a considerable resemblance between the constitutions of Argos and Sparta, at least they show that there was no essential difference. But this similarity was put an end to by the destruction of a large portion of the citizens, in the battle with Cleomenes, and the consequent admission of many Periœci to the rights of citizenship.625 Soon after this period, we find Argos flourishing in population, industry, and wealth;626 and in the enjoyment of a democratic constitution.627 The latter, however, was ill adapted to acquire the ascendency in Peloponnesus, which Argos endeavoured to obtain after the peace of Nicias. Hence the people appointed a board of twelve men, with full powers to conclude treaties with any Greek state that was willing to join their party; but in case of Sparta or Athens proposing any such alliance, the question was to be first referred to the whole people.628 The state also, in order to form the nucleus of an army, levied a body of well-armed men,629 who were selected from the higher ranks.630 It was natural that these should endanger the democracy; and after the battle of Mantinea (B.C. 418.) they overthrew it, in concert with the [pg 147] Lacedæmonians, after having put the demagogues to death.631 Their dominion, however, only lasted for eight months, as an insurrection and battle within the city deprived them of their power, and reinstated the democracy.632 Alcibiades the Athenian completed this change by the expulsion of many oligarchs, who were still remaining in the city;633 afterwards he wished to overthrow the democracy by means of his friends,634 in consequence of which they were all killed. Two parties, however, must have still continued to exist in this state. Æneas the Tactician relates, that the rich purposing to attack the people for the second time, and on a certain night having introduced many soldiers into the city, the leaders of the people hastily summoned an assembly, and ordered that every armed man should that night pass muster in his tribe,635 by which means the rich were prevented from uniting themselves in a body. The leaders of the people (d?µ?? p??st?ta?636) are here manifestly democratic magistrates, who rose to power during the contests between the opposite factions, and differed chiefly from the demagogues of Athens, in that their authority was official, without which they would not have been able to convene an [pg 148] assembly of the people. For although the appellation of d?µ?? p??st?t?? in the Doric states, as well as at Athens, sometimes denotes merely a person who by his character and eloquence had placed himself at the head of the people; we shall produce hereafter certain proofs, when we speak of Gela and Calymna, that it was also the title of a public officer.637
When, during the peace of Artaxerxes, the Lacedæmonians had ceased to possess any extensive share in the direction of public affairs in Peloponnesus, a spirit of ungovernable licentiousness and ochlocracy arose in those cities which had hitherto been under an oligarchical rule; everywhere there were vexatious accusations, banishments, and confiscations of property, especially of the property of such persons as had filled public offices under the guidance of Sparta, though, even during that period, (B.C. 374.) Argos had been a place of refuge for banished democrats.638 But after the battle of Leuctra, when the power of Lacedæmon was completely broken, and Peloponnesus had for a certain time lost its leader, the greatest anarchy began to prevail in Argos. Demagogues stirred up the people so violently against all privileged or distinguished persons, that the latter thought themselves driven to plot the overthrow of the democracy.639 The scheme was discovered, and the people raged with the greatest ferocity against the real or supposed conspirators. On this occasion, more than 1200 of the chief persons (many upon mere suspicion) were put to death;640 and at length the demagogues, fearing to carry [pg 149] through the measures which themselves had originated, suffered the same fate. This state of things was called by the name of s??ta??sµ??, or club-law; it appears to have been a time when the strongest man was the most powerful. When the Athenians heard of these transactions, they purified their market-place, thinking that the whole of Greece was polluted by such atrocities:641 it was probably at the same time that the Argives themselves offered an expiatory sacrifice to the mild Zeus (?e?? ?e???????), for the free blood which had been shed.642 Notwithstanding these proceedings, the rich and distinguished continued to be persecuted at Argos with the greatest violence;643 for which the ostracism, a custom introduced from Athens,644 together with other democratic institutions,645 was the chief instrument. In times such as these, the chief and most noble features of the Doric character necessarily disappeared; the unfortunate termination of nearly all military undertakings646 proves the decline of bravery. In so unsettled a state of public affairs, sycophancy and violence became prevalent:647 notwithstanding which, their eagerness and attention to public speaking produced no orator, whose fame was sufficient to descend to posterity.648
2. In Epidaurus, on the other hand, the aristocracy continued in force, and accordingly this city [pg 150] was as much attached to the Spartans, as Argos was disinclined to them. Of the artynæ in this state, and of the senate of 180, as well as of the class of cultivators, and of the tribes, we have spoken in former parts of this work.649
As long as Ægina remained an independent state, the government was held by the hereditary aristocracy, whose titular dignity was probably increased by the power derived from the possession of great wealth. The insurrection of a democratic party remained fruitless. Ægina and Corinth are decisive proofs, that under an aristocratical government an active and enterprising spirit of commerce may arise and flourish.
The Epidaurian colony, Cos, without doubt, originally adopted the constitution of its mother-state. Before the 75th (probably about the 73rd or 74th) Olympiad, we find a tyrant appointed by the king of Persia reigning in this island, Cadmus, the son of Scythes of Zancle;650 after some time, however, he quitted Cos, having established a senate, and given back the state its freedom; yet the island appears to have immediately afterwards fallen under the dominion of Artemisia.651 At a later period, the influence of Athens opened the way to democracy, but it was overthrown by violent demagogues, who compelled the chief persons in self-defence to combine against it.652 The senate (ß???? or ?e???s?a) of the Coans, as well as their prytanes, have been mentioned above;653 the nominal magistrates under the Roman dominion need not be here treated of.
3. In the Argive colony of Rhodes, it may be supposed [pg 151] that an ancient Doric constitution existed; for there were kings of the Heraclide family, and probably also a council with the same powers as the Spartan gerusia. The royalty expired after the 30th Olympiad (660 B.C.); but the ancient family of the Eratidæ at Ialysus, retained a considerable share in the government; probably exercising nearly the powers of a prytanis. Pindar shows that the frame of justice belonged to this once royal family,654 when he says, “Give, O father Zeus, to Diagoras favour both with citizens and with strangers, since he walks constantly in the way opposed to violence, knowing well what the just minds of noble ancestors have inspired in him. Destroy not the common progeny of Callianax. At the solemnities for the victory of the Eratidæ, the whole city rejoices in banquets. Yet in a moment of time many winds meet from many quarters.” Pindar thus early (464 B.C.) predicts the dangers that then awaited the ancient family, to which Rhodes owed so much, from the growing influence of Athens;655 throughout the whole ode he cautions the citizens against precipitate innovation, and prays for the continuance of the ancient firmly-seated constitution.656 Both prophecies were fulfilled. The sons of Diagoras were condemned to death, and banished by the Athenians, as heads of the aristocracy; but the hero Dorieus returned to his country from Thurii, with Thurian ships, and fought with them against the enemies of his family, as a faithful [pg 152] partisan of the Spartans. He was taken by the Athenians in the year 405 B.C., who, when about to condemn him, were moved by the appearance of the noble son of Diagoras (whose boldness of spirit corresponded with the size and beauty peculiar to his family), to release him from imprisonment and death.657 The ancient fortune of the Rhodians, which was owing to their strict adherence to the Doric customs, and to their great commercial activity, was interrupted by the troubles of the Peloponnesian war, in which the alternation of the Athenian and Lacedæmonian influence by turns introduced democracy and aristocracy. At the time of the Sicilian expedition, Rhodes was under the power of Athens;658 but the Spartans having in 412 B.C. obtained the superiority in this island,659 and Dorieus having been recalled by them (413 B.C.) in order to suppress internal dissensions, the governing power again reverted to the nobles: these latter having been compelled to unite against the people by the demagogues, who, while they distributed the public money among the people in the shape of salaries, had not repaid the sums due to the trierarchs, and at the same time vexed them by continual lawsuits.660 Soon [pg 153] after this period (408 B.C.),661 the large city of Rhodes was founded, by collecting to one spot the inhabitants of the three small cities of the island, Lindus, Ialysus, and Camirus. But in 396 B.C. Rhodes was again recovered by Conon to Athens, and became democratical;662 yet in five years (391 B.C.) the Spartan party was again victorious;663 and the Social War finally put an end to the influence of the Athenians. From this time the interference of the Carian rulers, Mausolus and Artemisia, commenced, by which the oligarchy was greatly raised, and the democratical party driven out; to restore which, and to regard rather the cause of popular freedom in Greece, than the injuries received from the Rhodians, was the advice of Demosthenes to the Athenians.664 At that time a Carian garrison was in the Acropolis of Rhodes. Out of these troubles and dissensions a constitution arose, in which, as far as we are able to ascertain, democracy prevailed, although the small number and extensive powers of the prytanes prove that it was not unmixed with aristocratical elements. According to the description which Cicero puts in the mouth of the younger Scipio, at this time all the members of the [pg 154] senate belonged (in the same year) to the public assembly, and sat in alternate months (probably periods of six months, like the prytanes) in the senate and among the people; in both capacities they received pay (conventicium): the same persons also sometimes sat as judges among the people in the theatre, sometimes in the senate in criminal and other cases.665 These statements cannot be easily reconciled with Strabo's view of the constitution, and yet there can be no doubt that he, as well as Cicero, speaks of the time preceding Cassius' conquest of Rhodes. “The Rhodians,” he says, “though not under a democratic government, took great care of the people; in order to support the number of poor in the state, they provided them with corn, and the rich maintained the poor according to an ancient custom; there were also liturgies, by which the people were furnished with meat, &c.”666 Notwithstanding the democratic institution of the senate, many offices, those perhaps in particular which were connected with the administration, such for example as the superintendence of the marine, were managed on oligarchical principles; the internal quiet of Rhodes at this period is also a proof against the existence of an unmixed democracy. Accordingly, the true Doric characteristics were here retained for a longer time than in most other Doric states; viz., courage, constancy, patriotism, with a haughty sternness [pg 155] of manners, and a certain temperance, which was indeed in some manner contrasted with their magnificence in meals, buildings, and all arts.667
4. Corinth, delivered by Sparta from its tyrants, had again reverted to its former constitution, which however was not so oligarchical as the hereditary aristocracy of the Bacchiadæ. Some noble families, as the Oligæthidæ,668 had a priority, probably the gerusia was composed of them; and the public assembly was restricted in a manner similar to that of Sparta. But at the same time Pindar celebrates Corinth as “the city in which Eunomia (or good government) dwells, and her sisters, the firm supports of cities, Justice and Peace, the bestowers of riches, who know how to keep off Violence, the bold mother of Arrogance.” From these words it may also be conjectured, that the aristocratical party was compelled to resist the endeavours made by the people to extend their power: it remained, however, unshaken up to the date of the Peloponnesian war, and Corinth, with the exception of a short time, continued the faithful ally of Sparta, and foe of Athens.669 At a later period, a democratic party, which relied upon Argos, rose in Corinth, by the assistance of Persian money: this at first obtained the supreme power, and afterwards attacked the Lacedæmonian party, consisting of the noble families, at the festival of the Euclea; and at last proceeded so far, as to wish to abolish the independence of Corinth, and to [pg 156] incorporate it completely with Argos (B.C. 395 and 394.)670 The banished aristocrats, supported by some Lacedæmonians who were quartered at Sicyon, continued nevertheless to keep up a contest, and maintained themselves at Lechæum;671 after this they must have returned and restored the ancient constitution: for we find Corinth again true to the Lacedæmonian alliance.672 In the time of Dion (356 B.C.) Corinth was under a government nearly oligarchical, little business being transacted in the popular assembly:673 and although this body sent Timoleon as general of the state to Sicily (B.C. 345.), there was then in existence a gerusia (a name completely aristocratic), which not only treated with foreign ambassadors, but also, which is very remarkable, exercised a criminal jurisdiction.674 The tyranny of Timophanes, who was slain by Timoleon, was, according to Aristotle, a short interruption of the oligarchy.675
5. From the moderate and well-balanced constitution, which Corinth had upon the whole the good fortune to possess, its colony Corcyra had at an early period departed. Founded under the guidance of Chersicrates, a Bacchiad, it was for a time governed by the Corinthian families, which had first taken possession of the colony. At the same time, however, a popular party was formed, which obtained a greater power by the violent disruption of Corcyra from its [pg 157] mother-country, and the hostile relation in which the two states were thus placed. In addition to these differences, the connexion between Corcyra and the Peloponnesian league had been relaxed, and was replaced by a closer intimacy with Athens; so that while the aristocratic party had lost its hold, the democratic influence had taken a deep root. The people also strengthened themselves by the union of a numerous class of slaves.676 By means of this combined force, the aristocratical party was overthrown, whose expulsion was attended with such scenes of blood and atrocity, as were hardly known in any other state of Greece.677 But even before these occurrences the constitution had been democratical.678 The popular assembly had the supreme power; and although the senate had perhaps a greater authority than at Athens,679 it was manifestly only a part of the demus:680 leaders of the people appear to have been in this, as well as in other states, a regular office.681 From this time the most unbounded freedom prevailed at Corcyra, of which the Greek proverb says coarsely indeed, but expressively, ??e????a ??????a, ???? ?p?? ???e??.682 The Corcyreans were active, industrious, and enterprising, good sailors, and active merchants; but they had entirely lost the stability and noble features of the Doric character. In absence of all modesty they even exceeded the Athenians, among whom the very dogs, as a certain philosopher said, were more [pg 158] impudent than in any other place: fabulous reports were circulated in Greece, respecting the excessive luxury of the successors of the Phæacians.683 Yet even in this state an antidemocratic party, inclined to the Lacedæmonians, was never entirely expelled; and it frequently rose against the people without success,684 but in the time of Chares with a fortunate result,685 The four or five686 prytanes, who were at a later period the chief magistrates of Corcyra, seem not to have been entirely democratic magistrates, although the government was democratical; besides these officers, there occur in an important monument,687 p??d???? ß?????, who appear as accusers in a lawsuit which has reference to the administration; also p??ß?????688 with a p??st?t??, who brings a lawsuit of the same description before the courts; besides which we learn, that from time to time revisions (d?????se??) of the laws took place, for which certain persons named d?????t??e? were appointed; and that a taµ?a? and a d?????t?? were among the financial authorities.
6. Another colony of Corinth, Ambracia, had been ruled by a tyrant of the family of the Cypselidæ, named Gorgus (Gorgias), who was succeeded by Periander, evidently a member of the same [pg 159] house:689 this latter tyrant, having insulted one of the subjects of his illicit pleasures, was put to death by the relations of the latter.690 The people had taken a share in the insurrection, and obtained the supreme power:691 the first change having, however, been into a government founded on property, which insensibly passed into a democracy, on account of the low rate of property which qualified a person for public offices.692
In the Corinthian colony of Leucadia, the large estates were originally inalienable, and in the possession of the nobles: when the inalienability was abolished, a certain amount of property was no longer required for the holding of public offices, by which the government became democratic.693
Epidamnus was founded by Corinthians and Corcyæeans, and a Heraclide, Phalias, from the mother-country, was leader of the colony. It cannot be doubted that the founders took possession of the best lands, and assumed the powers of government, only [pg 160] admitting persons of the same race to a share. A single magistrate, similar to the cosmopolis at Opus, was at the head of the administration;694 the phylarchs composed a species of council. But in the second period of the constitution, the phylarchs were replaced by a senate (ß????), chosen on democratic principles: a remnant, however, of the early constitution was preserved, in the regulation that all magistrates, who were chosen from the ancient citizens (the proper p???te?µa), were compelled to be present in the public assembly, if a magistrate required it;695 the highest archon also alone remained.696 The Peloponnesian war was occasioned by a contest between the popular party at Epidamnus, and the nobles, in which the Corinthians, from jealousy against Corcyra, unmindful of their true interests, supported the former: of the issue of this contest we are not informed. The number of resident and industrious foreigners was very great:697 besides this class of persons, none but public slaves were employed in mechanical labour, and never any citizen.698
Of all the Corinthian settlements, Apollonia kept the nearest to the original colonial constitution,699 upon which its fame for justice is probably founded.700 The government remained almost exclusively in the hands of the noble families and [pg 161] descendants of the first colonists, to whom the large estates doubtless belonged.701 Perhaps Apollonia was indebted for the stability of its government to the Xenelasia;702 an institution which was of the first importance for the preservation of ancient Greek customs, to a state closely bordering on barbarous nations.
7. That we may not disturb the order of the Corinthian colonies, we will immediately proceed to consider the state of Syracuse. In the Syracusan constitution the following were the chief epochs. In the first, the government was in the hands of the gamori,703 originally together with a king,704 whose office was afterwards abolished. These we have already stated705 to have been the original colonists, who took possession of the large estates cultivated by native bondslaves, and exercised the chief governing power. It is probable that the magistrates, and the members of the council,706 who were leaders of the people in the assembly (???a), were chosen from this body; in the same manner as the geomori of Samos formed a council, which after the subversion of the royalty governed the state.707 Against these authorities, the people, having gradually become more pressing in their demands, at length rebelled, and expelled them, by combining with their slaves the Cyllyrii (before B.C. 492.708); but the democracy [pg 162] which succeeded was so irregular and lawless, that it was of very short duration;709 the people therefore voluntarily opened the gates to Gelon, when he came to restore the gamori, and gave themselves entirely into his power,710 in 485 B.C. The rule of Gelon, and of his successor, was, although monarchical, yet not oppressive, and upon the whole beneficial to the state: as the former allowed an extraordinary assembly of the people to decide concerning his public administration,711 it may be perhaps supposed that he wished to be considered an Æsymnetes, to whom the city, overcome by difficulties, intrusted the unlimited disposal of its welfare. With the overthrow of this dynasty, the second period begins, during which there was upon the whole a moderate constitution, called by most writers democracy,712 and by Aristotle distinguished from democracy as a politeia, in his peculiar sense of the word.713 Immediately after the downfall of Thrasybulus an assembly was convened, in which it was debated concerning the constitution. The public offices were only to be filled by the ancient citizens; while those who had been admitted by Gelon from other cities, together with the naturalized mercenaries,714 were not [pg 163] to enjoy the complete rights of citizenship:715 measures which occasioned a war within the walls of Syracuse. Lastly, in this, as well as in the other states of Sicily, peace was re-established by the restoration of the ancient citizens, a separation of the foreigners, who found a settlement at Messana, and a new allotment of the lands,716 in which the estates of the nobles were probably divided anew. At the same time, by the violence of these proceedings, the states of Sicily were reduced to a feeble condition, which occasioned numerous attempts to set up a tyranny. As a security against this danger, the people (in 454 B.C.) established the institution called petalism, in imitation of the ostracism of Athens; but they had sufficient discernment soon to abolish this new form of tyranny, as all distinguished and well educated men717 were deterred by it from taking a part in public affairs. Syracuse suffered at that time, as well as Athens, by the intrigues of demagogues and cabals of sycophants.718 In this city, at an early period, a talent for the subtleties of oratory had begun to develope itself; which owed its origin to Corax, a man employed by Hieron as a secret spy and confidant, and celebrated among the people as a powerful orator and sagacious [pg 164] councillor.719 The naturally refined, acute, and lively temperament of the Sicilian Greeks720 had already turned towards cunning and deceit; and in particular the young, eager after all novelty, ran counter to the temperance and severity of the ancient customs and mode of life.721 As to the constitution at the time of the Sicilian war, we know that all public affairs of importance were decided in the popular assembly,722 and the management of them was in great part confided to the leaders of the people (d?µ?? p??st?ta?), who seem to have been regular public officers.723 In what manner the people was led, is shown by the instance of Athenagoras, who represents the expedition of the Athenians, when already approaching the shores of Sicily, as a story invented by the oligarchs to terrify the people. To what extent a complete freedom of speaking before the people existed, is not altogether clear.724 That persons of an aristocratic disposition still continued to possess political power, is evident from the speech of Athenagoras;725 and it is probable from Aristotle, that they had an exclusive right to [pg 165] certain offices. The third period begins with the victory over the Athenian armament. As this was decided by the fleet of the Syracusans, the men of inferior rank, who served as sailors, obtained a large increase of importance in their own sight, and were loud in their demands for admission to the highest offices; in the very same manner as at Athens, after the battle of Salamis. In 412 B.C., upon the proposal of Diocles the demagogue,726 a commission was appointed for the arrangement of a new constitution, in which the original contriver of the plan had himself the first place. The government was thus converted into a complete democracy, of which the first principle was, that the public offices should be filled not by election, but by lot.727 There was formed at the same time a collection of written laws, which were very precise and explicit in the determination of punishments, and were doubtless intended, by their severity, to keep off those troubles, which the new constitution could not fail to produce. This code, which was also adopted by other Sicilian states, was written in an ancient native dialect, which seventy years afterwards (in the time of Timoleon) required an interpreter.728 Notwithstanding these precautions, we find the democracy an Olympiad and a half later fallen into such contempt,729 that the people, utterly incapable of protecting the city in the dangers of the time, appointed a general with unlimited power: [pg 166] which measure, though always attended with bad success, they repeatedly had recourse to. Dionysius, a man powerful as well from his talents, as from the means which his situation as demagogue afforded him of keeping the people in continual dread of the nobles,730 soon became tyrant;731 but he still allowed an appearance of freedom to remain in public assemblies, which he summoned, conducted, and dismissed.732 Dion restored the democracy for a short time, and only partially;733 for it was his real intention to introduce a Doric aristocracy upon the model of those in Sparta and Crete.734 Timoleon with more decision abolished the democracy, and restored the former constitution,735 as may be supposed, not without sycophants and demagogues, who were not slow to turn their arms against the founder of the new liberty.736 A mixture of aristocracy is discernible in the office of amphipolus of the Olympian Zeus, which lasted three centuries from 343 B.C. and probably combined political influence with the highest dignity; the person who filled it gave his name to the year. Three candidates were chosen for this office from three families by vote, and one of the three was selected by lot.737[pg 167]
It may be observed, that Timoleon caused a revision of the laws to be made by Cephalus, a Corinthian, who, however, was only called an interpreter of the code of Diocles, although, as it appears, he entirely remodelled the civil law.738 We must pass hastily over the later times, remarking in general, that a feeble democracy continued to exist, frequently contending with clubs of oligarchs,739 and afterwards falling into the hand of tyrants who had risen from demagogues; such, for instance, as Agathocles, who undertook to bring about a redivision of the lands, and an abolition of all claims of debt.740 Hiero II. did not suppress the council of the city, which Hieronymus never consulted; but as it again returned into existence immediately after the death of the latter prince, it appears that it could not have been a body chosen annually, but a board appointed for a considerable period.741 The generals had at all times very large powers, especially in the popular assembly, in which, however, persons of the lowest condition had liberty to speak.742 Another military office also, that of the hipparchs, exercised a superintendence over the internal affairs of the state, in order to guard against disturbances.743[pg 168]
8. After this account of the constitution of Syracuse, we may proceed to notice those of Gela, and its colony Agrigentum; as these cities, though deriving their origin from Rhodes, perhaps took Syracuse for their model in the formation of their government. In both states the noble and wealthy first held the ruling power; which was afterwards for a long time possessed by tyrants.744 Agrigentum, after the overthrow of Thrasydæus in 473 B.C., received a democratic constitution:745 we know, however, that at that time an assembly of a thousand, appointed for three years, governed the state. This assembly was suppressed by Empedocles the philosopher;746 who obtained so large a share of popular favour that he was even offered the office of king.747 The assembly of a thousand also occurs in Rhegium and Croton, in speaking of which city we will again mention this subject. Further than this all information fails us. Scipio established anew the senate of Agrigentum, and ordered that the number of the new colonists of Manlius should never exceed that of the ancient [pg 169] citizens.748 The same senate, in an inscription of the Roman time,749 is called s?????t??, s???d????, and ß????, and appears to have consisted of 110 members; the day of meeting is stated: it appears that the senate then alternated every two months;750 the decree of the senate is referred to the popular assembly (???a); over which a p???????? presided751 (which was also the name of the supreme magistrate at Catana in the time of Cicero);752 the Hyllean tribe has the precedency on the day of this assembly. A hierothytes gives his name to the year, corresponding to the amphipolus at Syracuse; in whose place a hierapolus753 is mentioned in a similar decree of Gela,754 together with whom a ?ate??a?s???, an annual magistrate (perhaps archon), is mentioned. In this state the senate (ß????) appears to have been changed every half year,755 their decrees being also confirmed by the assembly (???a);756 the assembly is led by a p??st?t??, the same magistrate whom we have already met with in nearly all the democratic states of the Dorians, in Argos, Corcyra, and Syracuse.757
9. We now return to Peloponnesus. In Sicyon the tyrants had, as in other states, been the leaders of a democratic party;758 but their dominion put an end [pg 170] to the times of disturbance and irregularity, which had occasioned the Pythian priestess to say, that “Sicyon needed a disciplinarian.”759 After their overthrow an early constitution was restored, which remained unshaken during the Peloponnesian war. We are only informed that in 418 B.C. the Lacedæmonians made the constitution more oligarchical;760 that it had not previously been entirely democratical, is shown by the fidelity with which Sicyon adhered to the head of the Peloponnesian league. After the battle of Leuctra we find that Sicyon possessed an Achæan constitution, i.e., one founded on property, in which the rich were supreme;761 Euphron, in 369 B.C., undertook to change this into a democracy, and thus obtained the tyranny, until the party of the nobles, whom he persecuted, overthrew him.762 Plutarch states most clearly the changes in this constitution; “after the unmixed and Doric aristocracy763 had been destroyed, Sicyon fell from one sedition, from one tyranny into another;” until, at the time of Aratus, it adopted the almost purely democratical institutions of the Achæans.
As Phlius during the whole Peloponnesian war remained faithful to the interest of Sparta and hostile to Argos, it is evident that the state was under an aristocratic government.764 In a revolution which took place before 383 B.C. the Lacedæmonian party had been expelled, but were in the same year again received by the people; the government, however, did not become democratical, until Agesilaus, introduced by the former party, conquered the city, and remodelled [pg 171] the constitution765 (379 B.C.). Before this period the democratic assembly consisted of more than 5000 members, those who were inclined to the Lacedæmonians furnished above 1000 heavy-armed soldiers. A very regular system of government is proved to have existed, by the patience and heroism with which the Phliasians, in 372-376 B.C., defended their city and country against the attacks of the Argives, Arcadians, Eleans, and Thebans, until, without breaking their fidelity to Sparta, they concluded a peace with Thebes and Argos (366 B.C.).
10. In Megara the tyranny of Theagenes, to which he rose from a demagogue, was overthrown by Sparta, and the early constitution restored, which for a time was administered with moderation,766 but even during the Persian war it had already been rendered more democratical by the admission of Periœci.767 The elegiac poet Theognis shows himself about this time the zealous friend of aristocracy;768 he dreads in particular men who stir up the populace to evil, and, as leaders of parties, cause disorder and dissension in the peaceful city; he laments the disappearance of the pride of nobility, the general eagerness for riches, and the increase of a crafty and deceitful disposition.769 These struggles after popular [pg 172] liberty, promoted by demagogues, soon produced the greatest disturbance; the people no longer paid the interest of their debts, and even required a cession of that which had been already paid (pa???t???a); the houses of the rich, and the very temples, were plundered; many persons were banished for the purpose of confiscating their property.770 It was perhaps at this time that the Megarians adopted the democratic institution of ostracism.771 The nobles, however, soon returned, conquered the people in a battle, and restored an oligarchy, which was the more oppressive, as the public offices were for a time exclusively filled by persons who had fought against the people.772 It is probable that the consequence of this return was the revolt of Megara from Athens, in 446 B.C.;773 in the beginning of the Peloponnesian war the Lacedæmonian party was predominant. But in the eighth year of the war the aristocratic party of Megara was in banishment at Pegæ; and when they were about to be recalled, and restored to their city, the leaders of the people preferred to have the Athenians in the town rather than the citizens whom they had driven from their walls. By the influence of Brasidas, however, they returned, upon a promise of amnesty, which they did not long observe. For having first obtained the supreme offices (to which they must therefore have had a particular claim), they brought a hundred of their chief enemies before the people, and forced [pg 173] them to pass sentence upon the accused with open votes. The people, terrified by this measure, condemned them to death. At the same time the dominant party established a close and strict oligarchy,774 which remained in existence for a very long period.775 In 375 B.C., we again find that democracy was the established constitution, and that the attempts of the oligarchs to change it were defeated.776 Demosthenes777 mentions a court of three hundred in this state, sitting in judgment on public offences; and at this time nobility and wealth were frequently united in the same persons. Of the Megarian magistrates we have already mentioned a king,778 to which may now be added the hieromnamon, an office always held by the priest of Poseidon,779 and probably having the same duties and privileges as the amphipolus, hierapolus, and hierothytes in the Sicilian states. The antiquity of this office is evident from its occurrence in the colonies of Megara, Byzantium and Chalcedon. In the former a hieromnamon is mentioned in a decree quoted by Demosthenes,780 who gives his name to the year; in the latter, a decree now extant781 mentions first a king, then a hieromnamon, then a prophet, together with three nomophylaces, all administering the public [pg 174] affairs (a?s?µ???te?) for the appointed term of a month. The two first we have already seen united in the very same manner at Megara; the third refers to the worship of Apollo, of the transfer of which from the mother-state to Chalcedon we have already spoken, and pointed out an oracle of Apollo which was delivered there;782 the nomophylaces also occur at Sparta. The hieromnamon was probably priest also of Poseidon in the colonies, the worship of which god, deriving its origin from the Isthmus of Corinth, was at least more prevalent than any other.783
11. The constitution of Byzantium was at first royal,784 afterwards aristocratical,785 and the oligarchy, which soon succeeded, was, in 390 B.C., changed by Thrasybulus the Athenian into democracy.786 Equal privileges were at the same time probably granted to the new citizens, who, on account of their demands, had been driven from the city by the ancient colonists.787 After this, the democracy appears to have continued for a long time;788 but on account of the duration of this form of government, and the habit of passing their [pg 175] time in the market-place and the harbour, which the people had contracted from the situation of the town, a great dissoluteness of manners existed; and this was also transferred to the neighbouring city of Chalcedon, which had adopted the Byzantine democracy, and, together with its ancient constitution, had lost the temperance and regularity for which it had been distinguished. In these times the Byzantians were frequently in great financial difficulties, from which they often endeavoured to extricate themselves by violent measures.789 In the document quoted by Demosthenes, the senate (ß???) transfers a decree in its first stage, called ??t?a,790 to an individual, in order to bring it before the people in the assembly (???a), nearly in the same manner as was customary at Athens; the existing constitution is called in this document ? p?t???? p???te?a. The office of archon was perhaps introduced together with the democracy;791 the civil authority of the generals existed in many states in later times. The hundreds (??at?st??) occur apparently as a subdivision of the tribes,792 and therefore as a species of phratriæ;793 they were probably common to all the colonies of Megara, since we find them in Heraclea on the Pontus. In this city we know to a certainty that the hundreds were divisions of the tribes, of which there were three;794 the rich (i.e., the [pg 176] possessors of the original lots) were all in the same hundred; but the demagogues, intending to destroy the aristocracy, divided the people into sixty new hundreds, independent of the tribes, in which rich and poor were entered without distinction: nearly the same measure as that by which Cleisthenes had so greatly raised the democracy at Athens.
This Heraclea Pontica, a settlement in part of Bœotians, but chiefly from Megara,795 had doubtless originally possessed the same constitution as other Doric colonies; and the different classes were, first, the possessors of the original lots; secondly, a demus, or popular party, who had settled either at the same time or subsequently; and, thirdly, the bondslaves, the Mariandynians.796 Although we are not able to give any detailed account of the changes in the government of this state, it may be observed, that for a time the citizens alone had political power (the p???te?µa); but that the people had the privilege of judging (that is, probably in civil cases), which occasioned a change in the constitution.797 Before 364 B.C. the popular party demanded with violence an abolition of debts, and a new division of the territory; the senate, which at that time was not a body selected from the people, but from the aristocracy,798 at length, being unable to act for itself, knew no other means than to call in the assistance of Clearchus, an exile, who immediately [pg 177] marched with a body of soldiers into the city. But, instead of protecting the dignity of those who had called him in, he became a leader of the people, and, what in fact he is already, who sets the blind fury and physical force of the multitude in action against justice and good order—a tyrant.799 Clearchus put to death sixty of the members of the senate, whom he had seized,800 liberated their slaves, i.e., the Mariandynians; and compelled their wives and daughters to marry these bondsmen, unquestionably the best means of extirpating an hereditary aristocracy; but the pride of noble descent was so strong in the breasts of these women, that the greater number freed themselves from the disgrace by suicide. It must be supposed, that a tyranny administered in so violent a spirit, and continued through several generations, destroyed every vestige of the ancient constitution.801
12. In the Spartan colony of Cnidos the government was a close aristocracy. At the head of the state was a council of sixty members, who were chosen from among the nobles. Its powers were precisely the same as those of the Spartan gerusia, from which its number is also copied. It debated concerning all [pg 178] public affairs, previously to their being laid before the assembly of the people, and had the superintendence of manners. The office lasted for life, and was subject to no responsibility.802 The members were styled ?µ??µ??e?, and the president was called ?fest??, who inquired the opinion of each councillor. Only one person from each family was eligible to the council and public offices, younger brothers being excluded. This occasioned dissensions between members of the same family; those who were not admitted joined the popular party, and the oligarchy was overthrown.803 This event probably took place a short time before the life of Aristotle. Eudoxus the philosopher, and Archias, a person of whom little is known, are mentioned as legislators of the Cnidians.804
In the Spartan island of Melos we find nothing remarkable, except that the power of the magistrates was at least greater than at Athens,805 Of the ancient constitution of Thera, and of its ephors, we have already spoken.806
13. The changes in the government of Cyrene we pointed out when speaking of the Periœci. Originally the constitution was perhaps nearly similar to that of Sparta. Afterwards the ancient rights of the colonists came into collision with the claims of the later settlers, and at the same time the kings obtained an unconstitutional and nearly tyrannical power. It appears that they were stimulated by their connexion, both by friendship and marriage, with the sovereigns of Egypt, to change the ancient [pg 179] royalty into an oriental despotism. Hence, in the reign of Battus III., Demonax the Mantinean, who was called in to frame a constitution for this city, restored the supremacy of the community; he likewise gave to the new colonists equal rights of citizenship with the ancient citizens, although the latter doubtless still retained many privileges. The power of the kings was limited within the narrowest bounds; and they were only permitted to enjoy the revenues flowing from the sacerdotal office and their own lands,807 whereas they had before claimed possession of the whole property of the state;808 they had, like the Spartan kings, a seat and vote in the council, and probably presided over it, which duties were performed by Pheretime, the mother of Arcesilaus III., during the absence of her son.809 These restrictions were, however, violently opposed by the princes just mentioned, as well as by their successors, who thus drew upon themselves their own ruin. Arcesilaus also, to whom Pindar addressed an ode, the fourth of the name, ruled with harshness, and protected his power by foreign mercenaries:810 and the poet doubtless advised him with good reason, although without success, “not to destroy with sharp axe the branches of the great oak (the nobles of the state), and disfigure its beautiful form; for that, even when deprived of its vigour, it gives proof of its power, when the destructive [pg 180] fire of winter (of insurrection) snatches it; or, having left its own place desolate, serves a wretched servitude, supporting with the other columns the roof of the royal palace” (i.e., if the people in despair throws itself under the dominion of a foreign king).811 But the soothing hand with which the poet advises that the wounds of the state should be treated was not that of Arcesilaus, celebrated only for his boldness and valour. For these reasons he was the last in the line of the princes of Cyrene (after 457 B.C.), and a democratical government succeeded. His son Battus took refuge in the islands of the Hesperides, where he died; and the head of his corpse was thrown by these republicans into the sea.812 The new form of government obtained stability and duration by an entire change; the number of the tribes and phratrias was increased, the political union of the houses destroyed, the family rites were incorporated in the public worship,813 &c. Some element of disturbance and revolution must, however, have been still left in the constitution,814 if the Cyrenæans requested Plato to contrive for them a temperate and well-ordered government, which the philosopher is said to have declined, on the ground that they seemed too prosperous to themselves. At a later period, Lucullus the Roman [pg 181] is said to have restored the city to tranquillity, after many wars and tyrannies.815
14. In the constitution of the Lacedæmonian colony of Tarentum there were two chief periods. In the first we must infer, from the analogy of the other Doric colonies, that there was the same division of ranks, viz., noble citizens, governing the state under a king;816 the people, to whom few and limited powers were allowed; and aboriginal bondsmen, chiefly residing upon the lands of the highest class.817 This constitution must, however, have been gradually relaxed; for Aristotle calls it a politeia in the limited sense, which, as he informs us, lasted over the Persian war, and did not pass into a democracy until a large part of the nobles had been slain in a bloody battle against the Iapygians (474 B.C.)818 The transition was introduced without any violent revolution, by some measures, in which the aristocracy submitted to the claims of the people. First of all, according to Aristotle,819 they [pg 182] divided the public property among the poorer classes; but only gave them the use of it; i.e., apparently the public lands were apportioned out to them; but at the payment of a small rent, in token that they had not the absolute property in the soil. Besides this popular measure, the number of all the public offices was doubled; and one half was filled by election, the other by lot; in order, by the latter mode of nomination, to open a way to their attainment by the lower orders. This democracy at first promoted to a great degree the prosperity and power of the state,820 while persons of character and dignity were at the head of the government; for example, one of the first men of the time, Archytas the Pythagorean, a man of singular vigour and wisdom, who, as well as all adherents of the Pythagorean league (of which he could not then have been a member), was of an aristocratical disposition.821 He was general seven times, although it was prohibited by law that the same person should hold this office more than once,822 and never suffered a defeat:823 the people with a noble confidence entrusted to him for a [pg 183] considerable time the entire management of public affairs.824 At a subsequent period, however, as there were no longer any men of this stamp to carry on the government, and the corruption of manners, caused by the natural fruitfulness of the country, and restrained by no strict laws, was continually on the increase, the state of Tarentum was so entirely changed, that every trace of the ancient Doric character, and particularly of the mother-country, disappeared; hence, although externally powerful and wealthy, it was from its real internal debility, in the end, necessarily overthrown, particularly when the insolent violence of the people became a fresh source of weakness.825
15. On the constitution of the Tarentine colony Heraclea (433 B.C.) the monuments extant, although important in other respects, afford little information. In the well-known inscription of this city, an ephor gives his name to the year, five chosen surveyors (???sta?) are to value the sacred lands of Bacchus, and to measure it according to the rules of Etruscan agrimensores, upon the decree of the public assembly,826 in order to ascertain what had been lost in the course of time, and to secure the remainder. After this, the state, two polianomi, and the horistæ, let the sacred land according to a decree of the Heracleans, and state the conditions; in which certain officers named s?ta?e?ta? [pg 184] are mentioned as inspectors of the public corn-magazine. The annual polianomi are bound to take care that the contracts of lease shall be observed; they carry on inquiries upon this subject jointly with ten sworn colleagues, elected by the people, in case of any breach of contract, collect the appointed fines, and refer, in cases of singular importance, to the public assembly, they themselves being subject to the responsibility.
16. To these we may add Croton, since this city, founded under the authority of Sparta by a Heraclide, and therefore revering Hercules himself as its founder,827 must be considered as belonging to the Doric race, although at a later period the more numerous Achæan portion of the population appears to have preponderated. Croton was the soil upon which Pythagoras endeavoured to realise his notions of a true aristocracy, an endeavour in which he succeeded. This, however, we cannot comprehend, unless we consider his ideal state as no airy project or phantom of the brain, but rather as founded upon national feelings, and as being even the foundation of the governments of Sparta, Crete, and the cities of Lower Italy, in which Pythagoras first appeared: and for this reason he is described as in part merely to have restored and renewed; for example, to have destroyed tyrannies, quieted the claims of the people, and re-established ancient rights,828 &c. Croton, however, he selected as the centre of his operations, as being under the protection of Apollo, his household god;829 and, secondly, as being the “city of the healthy,” an advantage [pg 185] which it owed to its climate, to gymnastic exercises, and to purer morals than were prevalent at least in the neighbouring cities of Tarentum and Sybaris. The government of this city was, when the philosopher came forward, in the hands of the senate of a thousand,830 which formed a synedrion; the Crotoniats are reported to have offered to Pythagoras the presidency of this senate,831 probably as prytanis.832 A similar senate of a thousand existed at Agrigentum in the time of Empedocles; the same number of persons, elected according to their property, were sole governors at Rhegium.833 This council of a thousand members also existed at Locri.834 From this we may infer that the thousand of Croton were the most wealthy citizens: who in states of which the power is derived from the possession of land are, before the government is disturbed by revolutions, generally identical with the noble families. At Croton they had power to decide in most affairs without the ratification of the popular assembly,835 and also possessed a judicial authority.836 Now the council instituted by Pythagoras (which appears not to have been formed of members elected according to property, but to have been chosen on purely aristocratical principles) only contained three hundred members,837 a number which frequently occurs under similar circumstances;838 at the head of this council was Pythagoras himself. One of the most remarkable phenomena in the political history [pg 186] of the Greeks is, that the philosophy of order, of unison, of ??sµ??, expressing, and consequently enlisting on its side, the combined endeavours of the better part of the people, obtained the management of public affairs, and held possession of it for a considerable time; so that the nature and destination of the political elements in existence being understood, and each having assigned to it its proper place, those who were qualified both by their rank and talents were placed at the head of the state; a strict self-education having in the first place been made one of their chief obligations (as it was of the f??a?e? of Plato), in order by this means to prepare the way for the education of the other members of the community. At present it is generally acknowledged that the Pythagorean league was in great part of a political nature, that its object was to obtain a formal share in the administration of states, and that its influence upon them was of the most beneficial kind, which continued for many generations in Magna Græcia after the dissolution of the league itself.839 This dissolution was caused by the natural opposers of an aristocracy of this description, the popular party and its leaders; for in this character alone could Cylon have been the author of the catastrophe which he occasioned; it is recorded, that the opposition of this order to an agrarian law, which referred to the division of the territory of the conquered Sybaris among the people, served to inflame [pg 187] their minds.840 The opposite party demanded that the whole people should have admittance to the public assemblies and to public offices, that all magistrates at the expiration of their offices should render an account to a tribunal composed of members elected by lot,841 that all existing debts should be cancelled, and that the lands should be newly divided:842 from which we must infer, that the highest officers of the Pythagoreans were, according to the Spartan and Cretan principle, irresponsible, and that they considered election by vote as necessary for all such situations. How fatal to the quiet of Lower Italy were the convulsions which followed the destruction of this league (about 500 B.C.), is proved by the large share which the whole of Greece took in their pacification. This was at length effected by the Italian cities entirely giving up the Doric customs, and adopting an Achæan government and institutions;843 which they were afterwards, first by the power of Dionysius of Syracuse, and then of the neighbouring Barbarians, compelled to surrender. Now the Achæan constitution, according to Polybius,844 had become a democracy immediately after the overthrow of the last king Ogyges; and retained the same general character, though some subordinate parts experienced very great alterations: we also know that it was very unlike the Spartan government.845 I cannot, however, refrain from doubting whether it could properly be termed democracy at so early a period, since Xenophon states, that in Sicyon, in 368-365 B.C., timocracy was the [pg 188] prevailing form of government, “according to the laws of the Achæans,”846 which words cannot be referred to a mere transitory condition of that race. There also was always among the Achæans an equestrian order (?ppe??), of greater consideration and influence on the government than can be reconciled with complete democracy.847 So also at Croton, in the year of the city 637 (117 B.C.), there was a complete democracy; but (as in all the cities of the Italian Greeks at this period) a senate of nobles existed, which was frequently at open war with the people.848
17. Lastly, it is proper to mention the constitution of Delphi, if our supposition is admitted to be correct, that the most distinguished Delphian families were of Doric origin.849 It was also shown that these families composed at an early period a close aristocracy; the priests were chosen from among the nobles, to whom the management of the oracle belonged; from their body was taken the Pythian court of justice (which may be compared with the Spartan gerusia, and the Athenian court of the ephetæ), as well as the chief magistrates, among whom in early times a king,850 and afterwards a prytanis, was supreme.851 At a later period we find mention of archons who gave their name to the year.852 At the same time a popular party was formed (perhaps from the subjects of the temple), which in a later age at least exercised its authority in [pg 189] a public assembly.853 The senate (ß????) of Delphi was at this period, as in Gela and Rhodes (according to the hypothesis before advanced), renewed every half year; but it appears to have consisted of very few members, for only one senator (ß???e???), or at most a few, in addition to the archon, are named in the donatory decrees of Delphi.854 Many particulars which belong to a later date we pass over, as our only object is to point out the characteristic points of the ancient constitution.
18. From these various accounts it follows, that although there was no one form of government common to the Doric race in historic times, yet in many of these states we find a constitution of nearly the same character, which preceded and caused the subsequent changes and developments; and was of unequal duration in different states. This constitution, which we, with Pindar, consider as most strongly marked in the Spartan form of government, was of a strictly aristocratic character;855 hence Sparta was the basis and corner-stone of the Greek aristocracies, and in this country alone the nobility ever retained their original dignity and power. Hence also Sparta, during the flourishing period of her history, never had a large number of exiles on political grounds, while in the other Grecian states the constant revolutions to which they were subject generally kept one party or other of the citizens in banishment; nor did she ever experience [pg 190] any violent disturbances or changes in her constitution,856 until the number of the genuine Spartans had nearly become extinct, and the conditions necessary for the permanence of the ancient government had in part been removed. Now I call the Spartan constitution an aristocracy, without the least hesitation, on account of its continued and predominant tendency towards governing the community by a few, who were presumed to be the best, and as it inculcated in the citizens far less independent confidence than obedience and fear of those persons whose worth was guaranteed by their family, their education, and the public voice which had called them to the offices of state. The ancients,857 however, remark, that it might also be called a democracy, since the supreme power was always considered as residing in the people, and an entire equality of manners prevailed; that it might be called a monarchy on account of the kings;858 and that in the power of the ephors there was even an appearance of tyranny: so that in this one constitution all forms of government were united.859 But the animating soul of all these forms was the Doric spirit of fear and respect for ancient and established laws, and the judgment of older men, the spirit of implicit [pg 191] obedience towards the state and the constituted authorities (pe??a???a);860 and, lastly, the conviction that strict discipline and a wise restriction of actions are surer guides to safety, than a superabundance of strength and activity directed to no certain end.
The relation which, according to these Doric principles, existed between an inferior and a superior, between the private citizen and the magistrate, also extended to the Spartans and other states, as the former were for a long time considered as aristocrats when compared with the other Greeks. This superiority was not caused by external preponderance and compulsion, but by the internal acknowledgment that strict laws and a well-ordered discipline belonged to them above all. It is often curious to remark how great was the power of a Lacedæmonian cloak and stick (s??t??? ?a? t??ß??, as Plutarch says) among the other races of the Greeks:861 how, as it were by magic, the single Gylippus, although by no means the best of his nation, brings union and stability into the people at Syracuse, and first gives all their undertakings force and effect; on more than one occasion a single Spartan was enough to unite squadrons of Æolians and Ionians of Asia, and make them act in common; and even at the times of the dissolution of the Grecian name, we see Spartans acting as the generals of mercenaries [pg 192] bound by no other law than the firm and decided will of their leaders.
Many of the noblest and best of the Athenians always considered the Spartan state nearly as an ideal theory realised in practice; and, like Cimon and Xenophon (whose decided preference for Sparta, though perhaps sometimes prejudicial to his own country, must not be called folly), joined themselves to this state with zeal and eagerness, even to the prejudice of their own interests. The preference of all the followers of Socrates for Sparta is well known;862 and Lycurgus, the most just of financiers, united to an aristocratical disposition an admiration for the laws of Lacedæmon.863 It is singular that men of such eminence, both in a practical and theoretical view, should express their admiration of a state,864 which modern writers865 have often represented to us as a horde of half savages. Nor must the judgment of the persons above mentioned, who were without doubt sufficiently acquainted with the object of it, be attributed to a morbid craving after a state of nature which the Athenians had for ever lost.
We moderns, on the other hand, on account of our preconceived notions with respect to the advancement of civilization, do not read without partiality the lessons which history affords us; we refuse to recognise the [pg 193] most profound political wisdom in an age which we believe to have been occupied in rude attempts after the formation of a settled form of government. Far otherwise the political speculators of antiquity, such as the Pythagoreans and Plato, who considered the Spartan and Cretan form of government, i.e., the ancient Dorian, as a general model of all governments; and, in fact, the ideal constitution which was realized in Sparta approaches most nearly to that which Pythagoras attempted to establish in Lower Italy, and which Plato brought forward as capable of being put in practice, viz., a close communion, nearly similar to that of a family, having for its object mutual instruction. For the regulations of Pythagoras have many things besides their aristocratic spirit in common with the Spartan form of government, such as the public tables, and in general the perpetual living in public, with the number of laws for the maintenance of public morality (disciplina morum); and the community of goods, which existed among the Pythagoreans, is nearly allied to the Doric system of equalizing the landed estates. And Plato, although he at times criticises the Spartan and Cretan constitution in a somewhat unfair manner, has evidently derived his political notions, mediately or immediately, from the consideration of that form of government:866 for it is hardly possible that any person should speculate upon government, without proceeding upon some chosen historical basis, however he may endeavour to conceal it. But the Athenian and Ionic democracy he altogether despises, because that appeared on his principles to be an annihilation of government rather than a [pg 194] government, in which every person, striving to act as much as possible for himself, destroyed that unison and harmony in which each individual exists only as a part of the whole.
It would be interesting to know what were the opinions and judgments of Spartans of the better time concerning these relaxed forms of government. We may well suppose that they did not view them in a favourable light. The people of Athens must indeed have appeared to them in general, as a Lacedæmonian in Aristophanes867 expresses himself, as a lawless and turbulent rabble. For this reason they refused in the Peloponnesian war to negociate with the whole community; and would only treat with a few selected individuals.868 Upon the whole, the state of Sparta, being, in comparison with the general mutability of the Greeks after the Persian war, like the magnet, which always pointed to the pole of ancient national customs, became dissimilar, both in political and domestic usages, to the rest of Greece;869 and for this reason the Spartans who were sent into foreign parts either gave affront by their strangeness and peculiarity, or, by their want of consistency and firmness, forfeited that confidence with which they were everywhere met.
1. Having now considered the individuals composing the state in reference to the supreme governing power, we will next view them in reference to property, and investigate the subject of the public economy. It is evident that this latter must have been of great simplicity in the Doric states, as it was the object of their constitution to remove everything accidental and arbitrary; and by preventing property from being an object of free choice and individual exertion, to make it a matter of indifference to persons who were to be trained only in moral excellence; hence the dominant class, the genuine Spartans, were almost entirely interdicted from the labour of trade or agriculture, and excluded both from the cares and pleasures of such occupations.870 Since then upon this principle it was the object to allow as little freedom as possible to individuals in the use of property, while the state gained what these had lost, it is manifest that under a government of this kind there could not have been any [pg 196] accurate distinction between public and private economy; and therefore no attempt will be made to separate them in the following discussion.
All land in Laconia was either in the immediate possession of the state, or freehold property of the Spartans, or held by the Periœci upon the payment of a tribute. That there were flocks and lands belonging to the state of Sparta, is evident from facts which have been already stated;871 although perhaps they were not so considerable as in Crete:872 the large forest, in which every Spartan had a right of hunting, must also have belonged to the community. There can be no doubt that this property of the state was different from the royal lands,873 which were situated in the territory of the Periœci: it is probable that these (as well as the rest of that district) were cultivated by the Periœci, who only paid a tribute to the king. The rest of the territory of the Periœci was divided into numerous but small portions, of which, as has been already remarked, there were 30,000;874 a number which was probably arranged at the same time with that of the hundred towns.875 In each lot (??????) only one family resided, the members of which subsisted upon its produce, and cultivated it, to the best of our knowledge, without the assistance of Helots. For this reason the 9000 lots of the Spartans, which supported twice as many men as the lots of the Periœci,876 must upon the whole have been twice as extensive; each lot must therefore have been seven times greater. Now the property of [pg 197] the Spartans was, according to the united testimony of all writers, set out in equal lots; probably according to some general valuation of the produce;877 for the area could not have been taken as a standard in a country where the land was of such different degrees of goodness. Yet even this method of allotment might not have precluded all inequality: which, on account of the natural changes of the soil, must in the course of time have been much augmented; and to this result the variable number of the slaves, which were strictly connected with the land, necessarily contributed. Nevertheless this fact proves that there existed a principle of equality in the contrivers of the regulation: for, as we remarked above, this division was in strictness only a lower degree of a community of goods, which the Pythagoreans endeavoured to put in practice, on the principle of the possessions of friends being common;878 and which actually existed among the Spartans in the free use of dogs, horses, servants, and even the furniture of other persons.879 The whole institution of the public tables in Sparta and Crete was, indeed, only a means of producing an equal distribution of property among the members of them.880
2. Although similar partitions of land had perhaps been made from the time of the first occupation of Laconia by the Dorians, the later division into 9000 lots cannot have taken place before the end of the [pg 198] first Messenian war.881 There is something very remarkable in the historical account, that Tyrtæus by means of his poem of Eunomia repressed the desire of many citizens for a redivision of the lands.882 It may be explained by supposing that the Spartans, who before that time had possessed allotments in Messenia, from which they then obtained no returns, wished that new estates in Laconia should be assigned to them.883 At the time, however, of that division Sparta must in fact have had about 9000 fathers of families (or, according to the ancient expression, so many ?????), of which each received a lot; for families and lots were necessarily connected.884 If then we suppose that every family of a Spartan was provided with a lot, the chief object was to keep them together for the future by proper institutions: and to ascertain the means which were employed to attain this end (for they were upon the whole successful) is a problem which has never yet been satisfactorily solved.885 The first part was the preservation of families, in which the legislator was in ancient times assisted by the sanction of religion. Nothing was more dreaded by the early Greeks than the extinction of [pg 199] the family, and the destruction of the house;886 by which the dead lost their religious honour, the household gods their sacrifices, the hearth its flame, and the ancestors their name among the living. This was in Sparta provided against by regulations concerning heiresses, adoptions, introductions of mothaces, and other means which will presently be mentioned: those persons also who had not as yet any children were sometimes spared in war.887 The second means was the prohibition to alienate or divide the family allotment,888 which necessarily required the existence of only one heir,889 who probably was always the eldest son.890 The extent of his rights, however, was perhaps no further than that he was considered master of the house and property; while the other members of the family had an equal right to a share in the enjoyment of it. The head of the family was styled in Doric ?st??p?µ??, the lord of the hearth;891 the collective members of the family were called by Epimenides the Cretan ?µ???p??, that is, literally, eating from the same crib;892 and by Charondas ?µ?s?p???, or “living [pg 200] upon the same stock;”893 and by the Spartans perhaps pa?ta?.894 The master of the family was therefore obliged to contribute for all these to the syssitia, without which contribution no one was admitted;895 we shall see presently that he was able to provide this contribution for three men and women besides himself; the other expenses were inconsiderable.896 If, however, the family contained more than three men, which must frequently have been the case, the means adopted for relieving the excessive number were either to marry them with heiresses, or to send them out as colonists; or the state had recourse to some other means of preventing absolute want. This would have been effected with the greater ease, if it were true, as Plutarch relates, that immediately after the birth of every Spartan boy, the eldest of the tribe, sitting together in a lesche, gave him one of the 9000 lots.897 For this, however, it must be assumed that the state or the tribes had possession of some lots, of those perhaps in which the families had become extinct; but we know that these lots went in a regular succession to other families,898 by which means many became exceedingly rich. These elders of the tribe, mentioned by Plutarch, were therefore probably only the eldest of the house or ?????, who might take care that, if several sons and at the same time several lots had fallen together in one family, the younger sons should, [pg 201] as far as was possible, be in the possession of land, without however violating the indivisible unity of an allotment.
In this manner at Sparta the family, together with the estate, formed an undivided whole, under the control of one head, who was privileged by his birth. But if the number of persons to be fed was too great, as compared with the means of feeding them, the natural consequence was, that the privileged eldest brother could afford to marry, while the younger brothers remained without wives or children. This natural inference from the above account is strikingly confirmed by a most singular statement of Polybius,899 which has lately been brought to light, viz., that “in Sparta several brothers had often one wife, and that the children were brought up in common.” If we may here infer a misrepresentation, to which the Spartan institutions were particularly liable, it is seen how the custom just described might cause several men to dwell in one house, upon the same estate, of whom one only had a wife. But it must be confessed that the Spartan institution was very likely to lead to the terrible abuse which Polybius mentions, particularly as the Spartan laws, as we shall see presently,900 did not absolutely prohibit the husband from allowing the procreation of children from his wife by strangers. It is therefore possible that the Hebrew institution of the Levirate-marriage (viz., that if a man died without leaving children, his widow became the wife of her former husband's brother, who was to raise up seed to his brother)901 was extended in Sparta to the lifetime of the childless elder brother.[pg 202]
3. This whole system was entirely broken up by the law of the ephor Epitadeus, which permitted any person to give away his house and lot during his lifetime, and also to leave it as he chose by will.902 Whence, as might have been expected, the practice of legacy-hunting rose to a great height, in which the rich had always the advantage over the poor. This law, which was directly opposed to the spirit of the Spartan constitution, was passed after the time of Lysander, but a considerable period before Aristotle; since this writer, manifestly confounding the state of things as it existed in his time with the ancient legislation,903 reckons it as an inconsistency in the constitution of Sparta, that buying and selling of property was attended with dishonour,904 but that it was permitted to give it away, and bequeath it by will.905 From that time we find that the number of the Spartans, and particularly of the landed proprietors, continually decreased. The first fact is very remarkable, and can hardly be accounted for by the wars,906 in which moreover the Spartans lost but few of their number; it was perhaps rather owing to the late marriages, [pg 203] which also frequently took place between members of the same family. After all, it must be confessed that the constitution of Sparta too much restrained the natural inclination of the citizens; and by making every thing too subservient to public ends, checked the free growth of the people, and, like a plant trimmed by an unsparing hand, destroyed its means both of actual strength and future increase. At the time of Aristotle they endeavoured to increase the population by exempting the father of three sons from serving in war, and the father of four sons from all taxes.907 But even Herodotus only reckons 8000 Spartans in the 9000 families; in the middle of the Peloponnesian war Sparta did not send quite 6000 heavy-armed soldiers into the field.908 Aristotle states that in his time the whole of Laconia could hardly furnish 1000 heavy-armed men;909 and at the time of Agis the Third there were only 700 genuine Spartans.910 Even in 399 B.C. the Spartans who were in possession of lots911 did not compose a large number in comparison with the people; for the numerous Neodamodes must not be included among them, who it appears could not obtain lots in any other manner than by adoption into a Spartan family, before which time they were provided for by the state. We are entirely uninformed in what manner the loss of Messenia was borne by Sparta; it cannot be supposed [pg 204] that whole families completely lost their landed property; for they would have perished by famine. No writer has, however, preserved a trace of the mode in which these difficulties were met by the state. At the time of Agis the Third we know that of the 700 Spartans, about 100 only were in possession of the district of the city.912
4. From this view of the times, which succeeded the innovation of Epitadeus, we will now turn to the original system, which indeed we are scarcely able to ascertain, from the feeble and obscure indications now extant. In the first place, we know with certainty that daughters had originally no dowry (in Doric d?t???),913 and were married with a gift of clothes, &c.;914 afterwards, however, they were at least provided with money and other moveable property.915 At the time of Aristotle, after the ephoralty of Epitadeus, they were also endowed with land.916 This was the regulation in case of the existence of a son; if there [pg 205] was none, the daughter, and if there were several daughters, probably the eldest, became heiress (?p???????, in Doric ?p?paµat??);917 that is to say, the possession of her was necessarily connected with that of the inheritance. Regulations concerning heiresses were an object of chief importance in the ancient legislations, on account of their anxiety for the maintenance of families, as in that of Androdamas of Rhegium for the Thracian Chalcideans,918 and in the code of Solon,919 with which the Chalcidean laws of Charondas appear to have agreed in all essential points.920 We will mention the most important of these regulations. The heiress, together with her inheritance, belonged to the kinsmen of the family (????ste??); so that in early times921 the father could not dispose of his daughter as he liked without their assent. But, according to the later Athenian law, the father had power either during his life or by will to give his daughter, with her inheritance, in marriage to whomever he wished. If, however, this power was not exercised, the kinsmen had a right of claiming the daughter by a judicial process; and the right to marry her went round in a regular succession.922 But [pg 206] the unmarried man, to whom of all her kinsmen she was allotted, was not only privileged, but also compelled to marry her.923 The laws also exercised a further superintendence over him, and enjoined that he should beget children from his wife,924 which then did not pass into his family, but into that of his wife, and became the successors of their maternal grandfather. Now there is no doubt that in Sparta the family was continued by means of the heiresses; but it is probable that they always chose for their husbands persons who had no lots of their own, such as the descendants of younger brothers, and, first, persons of the same family,925 if there were any, then persons connected by relationship, and so on. If the father himself had made no disposition concerning his daughters, (in which respect, however, his choice was limited,) it was to be decided by the king's court who among the privileged persons should marry the heiress.926 It was not until after the time of Epitadeus that the father could betroth his daughter to whom [pg 207] he pleased; and if he had not declared his intention, his heir had equal right to decide concerning her.927
If, however, the family was without female issue, and the succession had not been secured during the father's lifetime by adoption in the presence of the king, it is probable that the heads of houses related to the surviving daughter married her to a son of their own, who was then considered as successor of the family into which he was introduced—a means employed at Athens,928 and probably therefore at Sparta also, for preventing the extinction of families. But there were two customs peculiar to the Lacedæmonians; in the first place, a husband, if he considered that the unfruitfulness of the marriage was owing to himself (for if he considered his wife as barren he had power immediately to put her away),929 gave his matrimonial rights to a younger and more powerful man, whose child then belonged to the family of the husband, although it was also publicly considered as related to the family of the real father.930 The second institution was, that to the wives of men, who, for example, had fallen in war before they had begotten any children, other men (probably slaves) were assigned, in order to produce heirs and successors, not to themselves, but to the deceased husband.931 Both these customs, which appear to us so singular (though similar regulations existed in the constitution of Solon), originated from the superstitious dread of the destruction of a family. When this motive lost its power [pg 208] upon the mind, these ancient institutions were probably also lost, and the population and number of families were continually diminished.
5. In Sparta, however, the principle of community of goods was carried to a further extent than in any other nation, although it was the principle on which the legislation of many other Grecian states was founded. Phaleas the Chalcedonian had made it the basis of his laws.932 The prohibition of Solon, that no citizen should possess more than a certain quantity of land, appears to have been a remnant of a former equality in the lots of the nobles.933 In cases, however, in which the restoration or introduction of equality was not possible, the legislators endeavoured to make the landed estates inalienable. For this reason the mortgaging of land was prohibited in Elis;934 and among the Locrians land could not be alienated without proof of absolute necessity.935 We have already spoken of the inalienability of the lots at Leucas.936 The ancient Corinthian lawgiver, Phidon, made no alteration in the unequal size of landed estates, but he wished to restrict their extent, as well as the number of the landed proprietors, who were all citizens.937 Philolaus the Corinthian, who gave laws to Thebes in the 13th Olympiad, went still further;938 since he not only endeavoured to retain the same number of lots, by laws [pg 209] concerning the procreation and adoption of children,939 but endeavoured to restore the original equality from time to time, perhaps in a manner similar to the jubilee-year of the Hebrews:940 this was in fact most simply effected by the Illyrian Dalmatians, who made a new division of the tillage-land every seven years.941 If the Doric legislation of Crete had originally a tendency of this kind, its adoption in practice had evidently been hindered by peculiar circumstances. For Polybius942 at least knew of no Cretan laws which laid any restriction upon the purchase of land, nor indeed upon gain in general:943 the landed estates were divided among the brothers, the sisters receiving half a brother's share.944 In this manner, in the narration of Ulysses,945 the sons of Castor, the son of Hylacus, made a division of their patrimony; the illegitimate son receiving only a small share (???e?a). But the poor frequently, by marriage with wealthy wives, attained to riches, together with personal distinction. In addition to this, privateering expeditions, sometimes as far as Egypt, for which individual adventurers frequently equipped whole flotillas, gave an opportunity for a more rapid acquisition of wealth. This habit of living in ships, [pg 210] and at the same time the variable condition of the different states, necessarily produced a frequent change of property, and soon put an end to all firmness and equality wherever they existed.
6. But the Cretan institution of the syssitia was, at least according to the judgment of Aristotle, founded more upon the principle of community of goods than the same establishment in Sparta, since in the former country the expenses of it were defrayed by the state, and not by the contributions of the citizens.946 This institution of the ancient Dorians, or rather of the ancient Greeks in general, we will consider in a subsequent part of this work, with reference to manners and taste; here it must be viewed as affecting the public economy. In Sparta every member of the phiditia contributed to them, as has been already stated, from his own stock;947 the amount required was about one Attic medimnus and a half of barley-meal, eleven or twelve choëis of wine,948 five minas of cheese, with half the same quantity of figs, together with dates,949 and ten Æginetan oboli for meat.950 The approximate statement of one Attic medimnus and a half is probably meant as an equivalent to one Æginetan medimnus;951 the ten oboli are equal to a Corinthian stater, or a Syracusan decalitre; the whole is doubtless the monthly contribution of an individual,952 and is amply sufficient for the consumption of one person. For the daily allowance being elsewhere [pg 211] reckoned at two chœnices, and one cotyla of wine (although the latter is an extremely small quantity),953 this contribution would give rather more than two chœnices, and five cotylas for each day. There appears to have been only a small allowance for meat, but the want of it was partly supplied by the frequent sacrifices, and partly by the excellent institution of the ?p????a, which were additions to the regular meal or a?????. The poorer members of the syssition furnished these from the proceeds of the chase, while wealthier persons supplied wheaten bread (the common provision being barley cakes, µ??a?), with young cattle from their flocks, birds prepared as µatt?a, and the fruits of the season from their lands.954 Voluntary gifts of this kind were probably seldom wanting, so long as the spirit of community influenced their minds; it was also natural that they should contribute largely, in order to give variety and grace to their otherwise uniform banquet.
7. In the Cretan institution, however, the state provided for all the citizens and their wives.955 The revenues received by the community from the public lands, and from the tributes of the Periœci, were divided according to the months of the year into twelve parts;956 and also into two according to the purpose to which it was appropriated; so that one half defrayed the sacrifices and the expenses of the government, the other [pg 212] went to the public banquets.957 Now this latter half was divided among the different families, and each gave his share into the company of syssitia (?ta???a) to which he belonged.958 It may be asked why the state did not allot these sums directly among the syssitia, instead of making the payment indirectly through the members: it is, however, probable that these companies were formed at will by the several messmates. The division of the public revenue is in some measure similar to the proceeding of the Athenians with respect to the Laurian silver-mines.959 In addition to this, every citizen furnished a tenth of the produce of his lands, and every Clarotes an Æginetan stater for his master.960
Although the meaning and object of this institution is quite intelligible, it is not easy to obtain a clear notion of the Lacedæmonian system. The produce of a lot amounted for the Spartans, according to a passage above quoted, to 82 medimni. If we suppose these to be Attic medimni, as was there assumed upon a mere approximate calculation, each lot would have enabled three men to contribute to the syssitia (54 medimni), and would also have furnished a scanty subsistence at home to three women. But this would leave a surplus, in addition to whatever money was [pg 213] required as a subscription to the syssitia, for all other household expenses. Now it is true that among the poorer citizens these could not have been considerable, since the younger children went with their fathers to the public tables, and the elder were educated and maintained by the state; to which might be added the produce of the chase, and the charity of other persons. But after making all allowance for these causes, the expenses for dwellings, clothing, furniture, and partly for food not provided by the syssitia, still remain undefrayed. It is, however, evident that there would have been sufficient income to meet these demands, if we suppose that the 82 medimni were not Attic, but Æginetan, which were considerably larger.961 But even upon this supposition one lot could not have maintained more than six persons, unless the rent of the Helots is assumed higher: and it might also be the case (which however, according to Aristotle, appears to have been of rare occurrence), that they were not able to pay their contributions.
8. Of the domestic economy of Lacedæmon we have little knowledge; although Aristotle, or rather Theophrastus (who is now known to be the author of the first book of the Economics), gives it a separate place in treating of this subject. Every master of a family, if he received his share of the produce of the soil, laid by a portion sufficient for the year's consumption, and sold the rest in the market of Sparta:962 the exchange being probably effected by barter, and not [pg 214] by the intervention of money.963 It should be observed, that the system of keeping the fruits in store had something peculiar,964 and the regularity was celebrated, by which every thing could be easily found and made use of.965 We are also informed that the Spartans had granaries (taµ?e?a) upon their estates, which, according to ancient custom, they kept under a seal; it was however permitted to any poor person, who for example had remained too long in the chase, to open the granary, take out what he wanted, and then put his own seal, his iron ring, upon the door.966
9. In the market of Sparta, money was employed more often as a medium of comparison than of exchange; small coins were chiefly used, and no value was attributed to the possession of large quantities.967 This usage Lycurgus had established, by permitting only the use of iron coin, which had been made useless for common purposes, by cooling in vinegar, or by some other process.968 In early times iron spits or bars had been really used as money,969 which after the time of Phidon the Argive were replaced by coined metal. The chief coin was called from its shape, and perhaps [pg 215] also from its size, p??a???, the cake used in sacrifices; its value was equal to four chalcûs, that is, to a half obolus, or the twelfth of a drachma970 (manifestly of the Æginetan standard, as the Spartan coinage must necessarily have been adapted to this measure), and weighed an Æginetan mina.971 Now as a mina of silver contained 1200 half oboli, the price of silver must have been to that of iron as 1200 to one; an excessive cheapness of the latter metal, which can only be explained by the large quantity of iron found in Laconia, and the high price of silver in early times. Ten Æginetan minas of money were, according to this calculation, equal in weight to 1200 minas, and it is easy to see that it would have required large carriages for transport, and an extensive space when kept in store.972
10. That, however, the possession of gold and silver money was expressly interdicted to the citizens of Sparta, is abundantly proved by the prohibition renewed at the time of Lysander by Sciraphidas or Phlogidas:973 and how strong was the hold of this ancient custom is seen from the punishment of death which was threatened to those who secretly transgressed it. The possession of wrought precious metals does not appear to have been illegal. This decree, however, expressly permitted to the state the possession of gold and silver:974 which enactment was also doubtless a [pg 216] restoration of ancient custom. Without the possession of a coin of general currency, Sparta would have been unable to send ambassadors to foreign states, to maintain troops in another country, or to take foreign, for instance Cretan, mercenaries into pay. We also know that the Lacedæmonians sent sacred offerings to Delphi, as for example, the golden stars of the Dioscuri dedicated by Lysander;975 and Lacedæmonian artists made for the state statues of gold and ivory.976 This took place about the time of the Persian war. A century indeed earlier, Sparta had not enough gold to gild the face of the statue of Apollo at Thornax, and endeavoured to buy it in Lydia, probably in exchange for silver.977 It follows from this, that in Sparta the state was sole possessor of the precious metals, at least in the shape of coin (though it did not coin any money of its own before the time of Alexander),978 which it used in the intercourse with foreign nations. The individual citizens however, who were without the pale of this intercourse, only required and possessed iron coin;979 in a manner precisely similar to that proposed by Plato in the Laws, viz., that the money [pg 217] generally current should be at the disposal of the state, and should be given out by the magistrates for the purposes of war and foreign travel, and that within the country should be circulated a coinage in itself worthless, deriving its value from public ordinance.980
Still however, some difficult questions remain to be considered. In the first place, it is evident that whatever commerce was carried on by Laconia,981 could not have existed without a coinage of universal currency. Now it is impossible that this trade could have been carried on by the state, since it would have required a proportionate number of public officers; consequently it was in the hands of the Periœci. We must therefore suppose that the possession of silver coin was allowed to this class of persons; in general, indeed the Spartan customs did not without exception extend to the Periœci. Nor could this have had much influence upon the Spartans, since they had not any personal connexion with the Periœci, the latter being only tributary to the state. In the market of Sparta in which the Spartans and Helots sold their corn and the products of native industry were exposed, all foreigners being entirely excluded,982 doubtless none but the iron coin was used; and so also in the whole of Laconia it was current at its fixed value; but those Lacedæmonians who were not of Doric origin must have possessed a currency of their own, probably under [pg 218] certain restrictions. And the tributes of these persons were doubtless the chief source from which the state derived its silver and gold coins. Besides this, the kings must also have been privileged to possess silver and gold. If some permission of this kind had not existed, Pausanias (who was in strictness only guardian of the king) would not have been able to receive among other spoils ten talents from the plunder of Platæa;983 and Pleistonax and Agis the First could not have been fined in the sums of fifteen talents, and 100,000 drachmas:984 at a later time also, as has been already remarked, Agis the Third was possessed of six hundred talents.985 The estates of the kings were also situated in the territory of the Periœci, in which silver money was in circulation, and it is at least possible that the payments may have been made to them in this coinage. Herodotus states that every king at the beginning of his reign remitted all the debts of the citizens both to the state and to the kings:986 they therefore cancelled all certificates of debt, which in Sparta were called ?????a, or mortgages, probably because the land (and in early times the produce of the land only) was assigned as security.987 This was a wise institution, by [pg 219] which those persons in particular were relieved who had, for a particular object, received from the kings or the state, gold or silver, which on account of the small value of the iron coinage they were seldom able to repay. Now gold and silver were, for example, necessary to all persons who had to undertake a journey out of Laconia, and these they could not obtain otherwise than from the magistrates or the king,988 a measure which must have placed great obstacles in the way of foreign travel.
11. It is, however, well known that in this respect the ancient severity of custom was gradually relaxed. Even in the third generation before the Persian war, the just Glaucus was tempted to defraud a Milesian of a sum of money deposited with him. The Persian war only increased the public wealth, and the Persian subsidies were confined to the payment of national expenses. When at length Lysander brought vast sums of money into Sparta, and made this state the most wealthy in Greece,989 the citizens are reported still to have maintained the same proud indigence. But was it possible for individuals to despise what the state esteemed so highly, and would they not naturally endeavour to found their fame upon that on which the power of the nation depended? Even Lysander, who, with all the artfulness and versatility of his manners, had a considerable severity of character, was still unwilling to enrich himself;990 a credible witness991 indeed [pg 220] relates, that he had deposited a talent and fifty-two minas of silver, together with eleven staters, probably in case he should have occasion for them when out of the country; but how small is this sum when compared with the acquisitions of others in similar situations!
It appears, however, to have been at that time customary to deposit money without the boundaries, especially in Arcadia, and this was the first means adopted for evading the law.992 Lysander, however, was far exceeded by Gylippus in love for money, in whose family avarice appears to have been hereditary; for his father Cleandridas had been condemned for taking bribes.993 Lastly, after the death of Lysander, the possession of precious metals must have been allowed to private individuals, under certain conditions with which we are unacquainted. At least some supposition of this kind must be adopted, to enable us to account for the fact, that Phœbidas was fined 100,000 [pg 221] drachmas for the taking of the Cadmea, and Lysanoridas an equally large sum for his weak defence of the same citadel.994
No regular taxation of the citizens of Sparta existed in any shape.995 Extraordinary contributions and taxes were, however, raised for the purposes of war, which, on account of their unusual and irregular occurrence, were collected with difficulty.996 This will serve to explain the exemption from duties (?t??e?a) that is sometimes mentioned.997 When in the time of Agis the Third the ephor Agesilaus extended the annual period of his office for a month, in order to increase his receipts,998 it is probable that he reckoned upon large fines;999 of which he, as it seems, would receive a part. There was no public treasure at Sparta up to the time of the Peloponnesian war;1000 the revenue and expenditure were therefore nearly equal; and the Spartans were honest enough to require from the allies only the sums which were necessary,1001 The altered state of these circumstances in later times lies without the sphere of our inquiries.
12. I shall equally abstain from collecting the [pg 222] various accounts respecting the finance and trade of other Doric states; since the inland countries, in which many peculiarities may perhaps have existed, are little known; and the commercial cities, such as Ægina, Corinth, Rhodes, and Cyrene, gave up their national customs for the sake of trade. In Peloponnesus, however, the cities on the coast of Argolis were adapted by nature for exchanging the products of the agricultural nations of the interior for foreign commodities;1002 and thus they established a connexion and intercourse between Laconia and Arcadia, and other countries.1003 In these cities also there were many commercial establishments, which did not manufacture only for the interior.1004 In Corinth, the duties from the harbour and market had in the time of Periander become so considerable, that the tyrant limited his receipts to that one branch of revenue;1005 although, according to a fabulous tradition, the golden colossus of Cypselus at Olympia was consecrated from a tax of a tenth upon all property continued for ten years.1006
The strongest proof of the ancient commerce of Peloponnesus, and of its great extent, is the Æginetan money; the standard of which was in early times prevalent in Peloponnesus, in Crete, in Italy,1007 and even [pg 223] in the north of Greece, since the early Bœotian, Thessalian, and Macedonian coins were before the time of Philip adapted to it.1008 In Italy the monetary system was arranged in a peculiar manner, for the convenience of intercourse with the natives; and as this subject is of much importance in a historical point of view, we will now examine it briefly, without attempting a complete investigation. If we consider the names of the coins in use among the Dorians of Italy and Sicily, for example, at Syracuse and Tarentum (as they had been collected by Aristotle in his Constitution of the Himeræans from Doric Poets),1009 viz., ??t?a for an obolus, ?µ???t??? for six, pe?t?????? for five, tet??? for four, t???? for three,1010 ???? for two, [pg 224] ????a for a twelfth; it is at once evident that these Greeks had adopted the Italian and Roman duodenary system, in which the libra, the pound of brass, was the unit;1011 a system which was originally unknown to the Greeks, and accordingly the word ??t?a has no root in their language. Now, together with these coins in the Greek states, the ??µ??,1012 among the Latins numus, occurs; manifestly, as Varro says, a word belonging to the former people, and signifying a coin current by law; whence it is evident that the Italians, in the regulations of their monetary system, did not merely give to the Greeks of Italy, but that they also received something in return, and that one standard was compounded, partaking in some measure of both methods of computation. If we, then, consider the form and value of these coins, it is plain that the Greek colonies retained the system of money which they brought with them from Peloponnesus; and that they did not till subsequently adapt their coinage to the native standard. They then made the litra equal to the obolus, i.e., to the Æginetan, which was also the Corinthian;1013 so that a Corinthian stater of ten oboli was called in Syracuse a de????t???, or piece of ten litras. At the time, therefore, when this system was [pg 225] formed, the lb. of copper must have really been equal in value to a silver obolus. Now since the former weighed 6048,1014 the latter nearly 23 French grains,1015 the ratio of silver to copper must at the time of this arrangement have been as 1 to 263; the commerce of these regions having in early times determined this proportion. But as more silver was gradually introduced by the trade with the west of Europe, and probably at the same time some native copper-mines were exhausted, copper, which was the circulating medium of Italy, rose in comparison with silver, the circulating medium of Greece; and this was the principal cause of the constant diminution in the weight of the as in Etruria and Rome. But a detailed examination of this subject, so important in the history of the commerce of Greece and Italy, does not fall within the plan of the present work.1016
What was the value of the ??µ?? of the Sicilian Greeks we are not informed by any decisive testimony: the name, however, proves that it was a current coin, and not of very inconsiderable value. For this reason I cannot assume that it was equal to a litra;1017 Aristotle1018 also states that the impression of the Tarentine coins was Taras sitting upon the dolphin; now, in the first place, this device does not occur on any litras or oboli of Tarentum; and, secondly, the coin would not be of sufficient size to contain it: for which reason the Greeks, whenever they stamped so small a coin of silver, always made use of the simplest devices. If, however, the Tarentine numus [pg 226] had the same ratio to the litra as the Roman numus sestertius to the as,1019 the former would have been a large coin; and we are also on the same supposition enabled to explain how it came that in Sicily an amount of 24, and afterwards of 12 numi, was called a talent;1020 for in that case 24 numi would be equal to 60 lbs. of copper, which was the same number of minas that the Æginetan talent of silver contained. It is also confirmed by the fact mentioned by Festus, that this talent in Neapolis amounted to six, and in Syracuse to three denarii, by which he means decalitra.1021 And therefore, although other circumstances tend to shake the certainty of this supposition,1022 it will be better to acquiesce in these arguments, on account of the harmony of the different statements.
1. The law, as well as the economy, of the Dorians, seems to bear a character of very great antiquity, as far as our scanty means of information permit us to judge. It exhibits strong marks of the early time at which it originated, and it is impossible not to recognise in it a certain loftiness and severity of character. For this reason it was ill suited to the circumstances of the more unrestrained and active manners of later times, and only owed its continuance to the isolated situation in which Sparta succeeded in keeping herself. Thus the civil law was less definite and settled here than in any other part of Greece in early times, as property was, according to the Spartan notions, to be looked upon as a matter of indifference; in the decrees and institutions attributed to Lycurgus, no mention was made of this point, and the ephors were permitted to judge according to their own notions of equity. The ancient legislators had an evident repugnance to any strict regulations on this subject; thus Zaleucus, who, however, first made particular enactments concerning the right of property,1023 expressly interdicted certificates of debt.1024 The laws of that early period had a much more personal tendency, and rather regulated the actions of every individual by means of the national customs. It was nearly indifferent [pg 228] whether those actions immediately concerned other persons or not; the whole state was considered as injured and attacked when any individual did not comply with the general principles. Hence the ancient courts of justice exercised a superintendence over the manners of the citizens, as, for instance, the Areopagus at Athens, and the Gerusia at Sparta: hence the extensive interference of the law with the most private relations, such, for example, as marriage. But the history of nations is a history of the progress of individual liberty; among the Greeks of later times the laws necessarily lost this binding force, and obtained a negative character, by which they only so far restrained the actions of each individual, as was necessary for the co-existence of other members of the state. In Sparta, however, law and custom retained nearly equal power; it will therefore be impossible to treat of them separately, and we must be satisfied with some observations upon the judicial system in Sparta and other Doric states.
2. The courts of justice in Sparta have already been spoken of in several places.1025 The Gerusia decided all criminal causes, together with most others which affected the conduct of the citizens; the other jurisdiction was divided among the magistrates according to the branches of their administration.1026 The ephors decided all disputes concerning money and property, as well as in accusations against responsible officers, provided they were not of a criminal nature; the kings decided in causes of heiresses and adoptions, and the bidiæi in disputes arising at the gymnasia. Public offences, particularly of the kings [pg 229] and other authorities, were decided by a supreme court of judicature.1027 The popular assembly had probably no judicial functions; disputes concerning the succession to the throne were referred to it only after ineffectual attempts to settle them, and it then passed a decree.1028 The assembly took the case of those who fled from their ranks at the battle of Leuctra out of the hands of the regular court, by nominating an extraordinary nomothetes for the occasion, and afterwards confirming his proposal.1029 It does not appear that the practice of ostracism was known in the Doric states before the destruction of the early constitution.1030 Arbitrators were also employed at Sparta for the decision of private cases, as in the Homeric time;1031 but whether they were publicly appointed, as in Athens, is not known.
At Sparta, as well as at Athens, the parties interested were, of course, entitled to accuse in private causes; and in criminal cases the next of kin; it cannot however be supposed that in Sparta, as in Athens, every citizen of the state was empowered to institute a public action; as a regulation of this kind [pg 230] appears too inseparably connected with democracy. Private individuals were therefore only permitted to lay an information before a magistrate, which was also allowed to the Helots;1032 the action being conducted, as we find to have been so frequently the case with the ephors, by some public officer. In the judicial procedure of Sparta, it is probable that much of the ancient Grecian simplicity remained, which Aristotle for example remarks in the criminal proceedings of the Æolic Cume, where in trials for murder witnesses from the family of the murdered person were sufficient to prove the offence.1033 In the ancient laws of Rhadamanthus, disputes were generally decided in a very summary manner by oath,1034 and the legislation of Charondas for the Chalcidean colonies was the first that instituted inquiries concerning false testimony.1035
The laws by which the decisions were regulated were supposed to live in the breasts of the magistrates themselves; nor was there any written law during the flourishing times of Sparta. The interpreters of the laws of Lycurgus, who occur at a late period,1036 appear to imply the existence of a written code, if they are compared with the Syracusan interpreters of the code of Diocles;1037 yet it is possible that they may have merely given answers from an innate knowledge of [pg 231] the traditional law, like the ?????ta? t?? pat???? at Athens.1038 Thus also it was allowed to the judges to impose punishments according to their own pleasure; the laws of Sparta contained no special enactments on this point, which were first added by Zaleucus to his code.1039
3. Among the various punishments which occur, fines levied on property would appear ridiculous in any other state than Sparta on account of their extreme lowness. Perseus in his treatise on the Lacedæmonian government, says, that “the judge immediately condemns the rich man to the loss of a dessert (?p?ï????); the poor he orders to bring a reed, or a rush, or laurel-leaves for the public banquet.” Nicocles the Lacedæmonian says, upon the same subject, “when the ephor has heard all the witnesses, he either acquits the defendant or condemns him: and the successful plaintiff slightly fines him in a cake, or some laurel-leaves,” which were used to give a relish to the cakes.1040 From this it is evident that actions were heard before the ephors, and probably in private cases, in which the plaintiff assessed the fine (????e? t?µ?t??). Large fines of money in early times only occur as being paid by the kings, but afterwards by generals, harmosts, &c.1041 The defendant was frequently condemned to leave the country.1042 It is hardly possible that a complete confiscation of property, extending to land, could have been [pg 232] permitted in Sparta,1043 although it is mentioned in Argos and Phlius. Imprisonment was never employed in Sparta as a penalty for a free citizen, but only as a means of preventing the escape of an accused person. Corporal punishment preceded, as in the case of Cinadon, the infliction of death; but was not a separate penalty.1044 On the other hand, infamy (?t?µ?a) was the more frequently used as a punishment, from the deep impression which it made on the mind of a Spartan.1045 The highest degree of this infamy, as it appears, fell upon the coward, who either left the ranks and fled from battle, or returned without the rest of the army, as Aristodemus from Thermopylæ.1046 A person thus excommunicated could fill no public office; had the lowest place in the choruses; in the game of ball neither party would have him on their side; he could find no competitor in the gymnasia, no companion of his tent in the field. The flame of his hearth was extinguished, as he was unable to obtain fire from any person. He was compelled to maintain his daughters at home, or, if unmarried, to live in an empty house, since no one would contract any alliance with him. In the street [pg 233] he yielded to every one the way, and gave up his seat to an inferior in age; his lost honour was at first sight evident to every one from his ragged cloak, and his half slavery, from his half-shorn head. Hence many persons have asked, what merit it was in a Spartan if he preferred death to flight, since a punishment far worse than death awaited the coward? It is indeed true, that the merit of each individual Spartan was less if he preferred dying at his post to saving himself by flight, than if public opinion had not affixed so severe a penalty to the offence of the cowardly soldier. But this argument would be equally good against all public laws and ordinances, and even against the expression of national feelings and opinion. For the looser the bond of social union, and the more anarchical the condition of any state, the greater is the individual merit of any citizen who nevertheless observes the rules of morality and justice, and the praise of virtue is more considered as his particular due. Whereas, when each citizen listens to the voice of public opinion, and feels himself, as it were, bound to support the national power, a large part of the merit of individual excellence is taken away from the individual, and bestowed on the public institutions.
A less severe description of infamy was the lot of prisoners taken in war, who were not subject to the imputation of cowardice, as, for instance, the captives at Sphacteria. They were not allowed to fill any public office, and were deprived of the privilege of buying and selling. The other degrading restrictions were not, however, enforced, and the time of the punishment was limited.1047[pg 234]
Among this class of punishments may be included the penalty of the unmarried, who were deprived of the customary honours of old age. Young men were also punished for various offences, by being compelled to sing defamatory songs against themselves, a custom corresponding with the inclination of the Doric race to mirth and merriment, under which a very serious character was frequently concealed. In the code of Charondas, public ridicule was also assigned as the penalty of the adulterer and busybody (p???p???µ??),1048 and that for sycophants and cowards was of a similar character.1049
4. Banishment was probably never a regular punishment in Sparta, for the law could hardly have compelled a person to do that which, if he had done it voluntarily, would have been punished with death.1050 Murderers, particularly if their crime was unpremeditated, were sometimes forced to fly the country;1051 but this cannot be considered as a case in point, for the flight only took place for the purpose of avoiding the revenge of relations. On the other hand, banishment exempted a person from the most severe punishments,1052 and, according to the principles of the Greeks, [pg 235] preserved him from every persecution; so that even a person who was declared an outlaw by the Amphictyons was thought secure when out of the country.1053 There is no instance in the history of Sparta of any individual being banished for political reasons, so long as the ancient constitution continued.
The punishment of death was inflicted either by strangulation in a room of the public prison called ?e???,1054 or by throwing the criminal into the Cæadas, a ceremony which was always performed by night.1055 It was also in ancient times the law of Athens, that no execution should take place in the day-time.1056 So also the senate of the Æolic Cume (whose antiquated institutions have been already mentioned) decided criminal cases during the night, and voted with covered balls,1057 nearly in the same manner as the kings of the people of Atlantis, in the Critias of Plato.1058 These must not be considered as oligarchical contrivances for the undisturbed execution of severe sentences, but are to be attributed to the dread of pronouncing and putting into execution the sentence of death, and to an unwillingness to bring the terrors of that penalty before the eye of day. A similar [pg 236] repugnance is expressed in the practice of the Spartan Gerusia, which never passed sentence of death without several days' deliberation, nor ever without the most conclusive testimony; the person who was acquitted could however be always subjected to a fresh examination.1059 Notwithstanding this horror of shedding blood, the punishments in the early Greek states were more severe than under the Athenian republic. The orator Lycurgus1060 ascribes to the ancient legislators in general the principle of the laws of Draco, to punish all actions with the same severity, whether the evil which they caused was great or small. This severity partly owed its origin to a supposition that the public rights were injured, and not the property or the peace of an individual. Thus the ancient law of Tenedos (which, together with the worship of Apollo there established, appears to have been derived from Crete) punished adulterers by decapitation with an axe;1061 the same offence was punished, according to the code of Zaleucus, by the loss of an eye,1062 and in Sparta it was guarded against by laws of extreme severity.1063[pg 237]
5. The laws respecting the penalty of death, which prevailed in the Grecian, and especially in the Doric states, were derived from Delphi. They were entirely founded upon the ancient rite of expiation, by which a limit was first set to the fury of revenge, and a fixed mode of procedure in such cases established.1064 Any person killing another without premeditation in the gymnastic contests and public battles was, according to the law which (as Plato states)1065 came from Delphi, immediately released from all guilt, when he had been purified: it is however probable, that much of what the philosopher recommends in other cases was derived from the institutions of Draco, as well as from the Delphian laws, which were actually administered in the latter state by the Pythian court of justice.1066 To what extent reconciliation with kinsmen by the payment of a fine was permitted, and in what cases the punishment of death was made compulsory, cannot be ascertained. The Delphian court having unjustly condemned Æsop to death, sentenced itself to the payment of a fine, and discovered some descendants or kinsmen of their victim, to whom the money was paid.1067 The Delphian institutions were doubtless connected with those of Crete, where Rhadamanthus was reported [pg 238] by ancient tradition to have first established courts of justice, and a system of law,1068 the larger and more important part of which, in early times, is always the criminal law. Now as Rhadamanthus is said to have made exact retaliation the fundamental principle of his code,1069 it cannot be doubted, after what has been said in the second book on the connexion of the worship of Apollo and its expiatory rites with Crete, that in this island the harshness of that principle was early softened by religious ceremonies, in which victims and libations took the place of the punishment which should have fallen on the head of the offender himself.
6. In the present chapter we have frequently had occasion to mention the laws of Zaleucus (the earliest written code which existed in Greece),1070 actuated by a belief that they were of Doric origin. The Epizephyrian Locrians, amongst whom these laws were in force, were indeed for the most part descendants of the Ozolian and Opuntian Locrians.1071 Aristotle describes them as a collected rabble, in the true spirit of a mythologist, carrying to the extreme the opposition between recent regularity and early anarchy. These Locrians, however, at the very first establishment of their city, received the Doric customs, Syracusans from Corinth having contributed largely to its foundation,1072 besides [pg 239] which the Spartans are said to have colonized Locri during the first Messenian war. Although the time may be doubtful, it is an additional confirmation of the fact, that in an ancient war with the inhabitants of Croton, the Locrians applied for assistance to the Spartans, who promised them the assistance of their gods of war, the Tyndaridæ. Locri was therefore considered a Doric state, a character which was likewise preserved in its dialect. The constitution was also an oligarchy,1073 in the hands apparently of a number of Doric and Locrian families. We find in this state, as well as in its mother-city Opus, the hundred families who, by virtue of their nobility, enjoyed a large share in the government.1074 But that the aristocracy was united with a timocracy appears to me to be proved by the senate of a thousand; which, under the presidency of the cosmopolis, constituted a supreme court of justice,1075 and appears to have been formed in the manner stated, if we may judge from the analogy of the senates of Rhegium and Agrigentum: which argument seems to have the greater weight, as such numerous councils of an aristocratic character do not appear to have existed in Greece, and they were evidently not democratic.
7. Now with regard to the laws themselves which Zaleucus gave to this state about the 29th Olympiad,1076 the testimony of Ephorus deserves particular attention, that they were founded upon the institutions of Crete, [pg 240] Sparta, and the Areopagus, and upon those of the latter in criminal law.1077 For this reason Zaleucus is brought into connexion with Thaletas, the expiatory priest of Crete, and the spirit of his laws suited the Pythagoreans (who proceeded upon the same Doric usages and maxims), and in later days Pindar1078 and Plato.1079 The prohibition to all citizens to leave their country, and to dwell in foreign states,1080 is of genuine Doric, and therefore Spartan character;1081 an institution which forms the other side of the Xenelasia. Of the same nature also is the firmness with which the legislation was maintained, and every change guarded against;1082 they laboured to resist in every manner the Ionic spirit of innovation; and if understood with a slight allowance, it may be true that every person arriving at Locri was punished, who inquired after novelties.1083 In the same spirit are the measures adopted for securing as far as possible the inalienability of landed property.1084 The same character is shown in the strict sumptuary laws,1085 and the superintendence of public morals exercised by the nomophylaces, who were, for example, empowered to admonish and to punish slanderers.1086 A certain progress is, however, [pg 241] shown in the rude attempts at a law of property, and a more accurate assignment of punishments.1087 It is remarkable that both Zaleucus and Charondas annexed a sort of recommendation to particular laws:1088 whereas nothing can be a greater proof of the total failure of a system of laws, than when an endeavour is made to demonstrate the expediency of arrangements, the truth and necessity of which should be self-evident. This statement must not, however, be thus understood: the meaning is, that all the laws were by a short introduction referred to some general principle; such, for example, as “In order not to offend the gods of the families.” “In order that the state may be well administered, and according to the laws of our fathers.” “Trusting that it will be salutary to the people,” (????? ?a? ?µe????, as the Delphic oracle says on some occasion1089), &c.; which seem to me to be rather ancient formulas, suited to the simplicity of the time, and inserted from a vague religious feeling, than intended logically to establish, to the satisfaction of the people, the wisdom and expediency of the new laws.
1. The military system of the Dorians, which we are now about to consider, was evidently brought to the greatest perfection in Sparta. In this state the military profession, as was hardly the case in any other part of Greece, was followed as an art, as the study of a life;1090 so that when Agesilaus (as is related) separated the shoemakers, carpenters, potters, &c., from the assembled allied army, the Spartans alone remained, as being the warriors by profession (as te???ta? t?? p??eµ????1091). But the principles of their military tactics were evidently common to the whole race; and, according to a conjecture advanced in a former part of this work,1092 it was chiefly the method of attack, in closed lines, with extended lances, by which the Dorians conquered the Achæans of Peloponnesus, and which was adopted from them by many other states of Greece.
Every Spartan was, if he had sufficient strength, [pg 243] bound to defend his country in expeditions without the boundaries during the years that were designated by the name ?????a.1093 This period lasted to the fortieth year from manhood (?f? ?ß??), that is to say, to the sixtieth year from birth:1094 until that time a man was called ?µf?????? (from f?????), and could not go out of the country without permission from the authorities.1095 Of these, the younger men were sometimes sent abroad; but those of fifty-five and upwards, not till the state was in difficulty.1096 The ephors stated in the name of the public assembly the years, until which the obligation to service in an individual case extended.1097 Upon the whole, the armies of Sparta must have contained many aged triarii: while in Athens the liability to foreign service generally terminated with the twenty-third year of manhood; which was computed from the eighteenth year.1098 But Sparta reckoned upon a healthy and strong old age; the time for deliberative sagacity does not begin till the age for fighting has ended. The allied army of the Argives, Arcadians, and Athenians was, in 418 B.C., met by an army composed of all the Spartans1099 (that is, all the ?µf??????1100); but they dismissed from the boundaries a sixth part of the [pg 244] army, consisting of the younger and the older, in order to protect the capital.1101
2. In marching and in battle the Spartans endeavoured to conceal their strength from the enemy; for this reason the levies were hastily made by the ephors, and the army sometimes marched during the night;1102 the depth of the ranks in the army was also very various, and the enemy could not be certain of its strength. In the battle of Mantinea there were seven lochi, each containing four pentecostyes, the pentecostys four enomoties, and the front row of the enomoty containing four men: the pentecostys had therefore 16 in front, the lochus 64, the whole army 448. According to Thucydides the Spartans generally stood eight men deep; therefore the whole number of the hoplitæ was 3584. To these however were added the 300 picked men about the king, about 400 cavalry in both wings,1103 and also the old men, posted as a body of reserve with the baggage, together with the Lacedæmonians, appointed to cover the right wing of the allies, in number perhaps about 500.1104 The whole number of men was 4784. A sixth part of the army had been sent back; which gives for the entire army 5740 men. This was at that time the number of heavy-armed soldiers, which, after severe losses in the field, the city of Sparta was able of itself to furnish:1105 nor indeed is it so considerable as the report of its strength would lead one to suppose; but it increased, in the manner of [pg 245] an avalanche, into a numerous and powerful army,1106 when there was time to collect troops from the allies.
Although we have given the account of this battle in the first instance, we cannot derive from it any information with regard to the original regulation of the army, since Agis had increased the lochi to four times their usual strength, as we shall presently see, in order to deceive the enemy by false accounts. For, if we compare the statements of the well informed Xenophon,1107 we obtain the following explanation of the names: two enomoties compose a pentecostys, two pentecostyes a lochus,1108 four lochi a mora; now if an enomoty, as must have been originally the case, contained twenty-four,1109 or, with the enomotarch, twenty-five men,1110 the mora would have contained 400; and, including the superior officers, pentecosters, and lochagi, 412. In the time of Xenophon, however, the enomoty consisted of thirty-six men1111; and accordingly, the mora of 600, as was the case on an occasion mentioned by the same historian1112; the other numbers, which vary between 5001113 and 900,1114 must also have resulted from the greater or less increase in the strength of the enomoty.
3. Now the enomoty, the most simple body of this military arrangement, was, as the word shows, a file of [pg 246] men closely united, and bound by a common oath,1115 which stood in the deep phalanx each one behind the other,1116 the enomotarch being in front (p??t?st?t??) of the whole file. Thus also the Thebans stood in files twenty-five men deep,1117 which they sometimes strengthened to double that number1118; in the Lacedæmonian army, however, the file was generally broken, and the enomoty, according to the order given before the battle, stood three and sometimes six men broad1119; in the former case, if its number was not increased, eight; in the latter, four deep: the Lacedæmonians are also reported to have once beaten the Arcadians with a line only one shield deep.1120 If, however, the whole enomoty stood in one file, it was called ????? ??????; and in this disposition they attacked high places, when the files were placed at some distance from each other.1121 The deployments (pa?a???a?), by which the phalanx was made more or less deep, were ordered by the enomotarch. This person was [pg 247] the strongest man or the best soldier of the whole enomoty; hence it was his continual care that on whatever point the attack was made he should always stand at the head of his file: the uragi, however, the last men of the file, were experienced soldiers, especially when the army was expected to be threatened in the rear. If then the lochi moved one behind the other (?p? ?????), the enomotarchs advanced before the long files. If the enemy approached in front, the files, either whole or broken, moved forward, each placing itself on the left side of the preceding file (pa?? ?sp?da1122). If the enomoty was broken, the enomotarch then occupied in the square formed by his enomoty the front angle to the right hand, and the first enomotarch of the army was always the last man of the right wing; this movement was called pa?a???? e?? µ?t?p??, or ?p? f??a????.1123 But if the enemy came on in the rear, each file wheeled round, so that the leaders again came in front.1124 If the enemy appeared on the right, the whole number of lochi, moving one behind the other, turned, like triremes, towards the enemy, and the man who was last upon the march was last in the line of battle to the right (pa?? d???). And, lastly, if they advanced from the left, the same movement took place, only the last lochus then occupied the left wing (pa?? ?sp?da1125).
4. Lochi also occur among the Argives and Thebans, and in the Asiatic armies; under the command of Sparta there were lochi of mercenaries and bowmen,1126 &c.; whereas the mora was a division peculiar to the Spartans. The formation of this body was as [pg 248] follows. The whole number of citizens (t? p???t????) was divided into six moras1127; so that every person of military age (?µf??????), even while he lived at Sparta, belonged to one of them. The strength of the mora in the field depended on the maximum fixed by the ephors for the age of those employed; thus, for example, they were able to send out a mora composed of persons less than thirty-five years from manhood (?f? ?ß??) and keep back those of greater age,1128 &c. So that in this sense the numbers of the division depended upon circumstances. To each mora of heavy-armed infantry there belonged, without being in close connexion with it, a body of cavalry bearing the same name,1129 consisting at the most of 100 men, and commanded by the hipparmost.1130 In the mora of the infantry, however, the men of different ages must have been in some manner separated, so that, for example, those between thirty and thirty-five years of age could be easily detached for pursuit.1131 In this division no respect was had to kindred; soldiers of one mora had brothers, sons, fathers, in another,1132 although in early times it appears to have been an object of the greatest care to bring relations and friends together. According to Herodotus1133 Lycurgus instituted the enomoties, triacades, and syssitia for war; evidently as military [pg 249] divisions; and the Lacedæmonians ate and fought in the same company; from which we may explain why the polemarchs had also a superintendence over the public tables.1134 By these the larger divisions, and not the single banqueting companies, are intended; when Sparta, in the reign of king Agis, again contained 4500 families, there were fifteen of these divisions1135; and in earlier times, when the number of families was 9000, there were probably thirty; it is therefore doubtless another name for oba, which rarely occurs; and the army was arranged according to tribes, phratrias, and houses. In early times also the single hamlets of Sparta furnished lochi of their own; as were the Pitanatæ1136 in the Persian war, and the Mesoatæ.1137
5. Of the two principles upon which the regulation of the Lacedæmonian army was founded, one (as has been already pointed out) belonged more peculiarly to early times, and at a late period nearly disappeared: I mean the complete union and amalgamation of the army in all its parts. This is expressed by the name enomoty; and we are led to the same [pg 250] result by many other remarkable vestiges, such as the proximity of the lovers to the loved (which in certain situations must have produced a strong effect upon the feelings), and the sacrifices to Love, which, according both to the Spartan and Cretan usage, the most beautiful men performed before the battle. The second principle was of longer duration; the duty of implicit obedience to every person in authority (pe??a???a). Now in the artificial organization of the army almost all Spartans were in a certain respect commanders1138; for not only the front men of the files, even when the enomoties were broken (p??t?st?ta?), but the first men of every line (?e???ta?) were officers1139; nay, every two persons throughout the whole enomoty were connected with each other as fore-man and rear-man (p??t?st?t?? and ?p?st?t??.1140) The commands (pa?a????se??) passed rapidly through the polemarchs, lochagi, &c, to the enomotarchs, who gave them out, like heralds, in a loud voice1141; but that the command alone of the immediate superior held good, is proved by the circumstance that the disobedience of a polemarch or lochagus entailed the disobedience of the whole lochus.1142 The polemarchs, lochagi, pentecosters, and also the xenagi (leaders of mercenaries1143), took part in the council of war, which was preceded by solemn sacrifices1144; the first mentioned officers commanded independently [pg 251] single moras and whole armies,1145 or composed the immediate council of the kings; they were supported or represented, as it appears, by the s?µf??e??.1146 The king, in an instance mentioned by Herodotus, himself appointed an inferior general,1147 which seems to be a consequence of his extensive power in military affairs. The escort of the king was called by the name of damosia,1148 and consisted of his tent comrades, to which the polemarchs,1149 the Pythians,1150 and three Equals also belonged1151; of the diviners, surgeons, flute-players, and volunteers in the army,1152 to which must be added the two ephors, who attended the kings on expeditions1153; the laphyropolæ, who together with the ephors, took possession of the booty; the hellanodicæ, who decided disputes in the army (in this case, as well as at Olympia, the Peloponnesians were called Hellenes by pre-eminence1154); the symbuli, sent out, after the time of Agis, as assistants to the king1155; the pyrphorus, a priest of Ares, who took fire from the sacrifice, which the king performed at home to Zeus Agetor,1156 and on the boundary to Zeus and Athene, [pg 252] and preserved it during the whole campaign (in battle the unarmed were protected by a religious awe1157); and, lastly, those who had conquered in crowned contests were in the king's train1158; a train indeed of sufficient importance, and fit in so simple a state of society to surround the descendant of Hercules with an appearance of dignity. The Thirty about the king's person are not identical with the damosia; for these were always Spartans, which we cannot say of flute-players, &c.; they were assigned to the king, even when the rest of the army (as was frequently the case in expeditions in Asia) consisted exclusively of neodamodes,1159 and were probably at the same time the body-guard and council of the king. They may therefore be considered as the 300 contracted into a small body, which accompanied the king only on expeditions to a small distance from home. These 300 were the picked regiment of Sparta, the flower of the youth, as the gerontes were of the old men, and also chosen on aristocratic principles. For the ephors appointed three hippagretæ, each of whom chose one hundred young men, with a statement of the grounds of his selection; from the number of those discharged from this body the five agathoergi were taken, who for the space of a year served the state in missions.1160[pg 253]
6. A similar body in the Cretan states really consisted of horsemen; the Spartans were called horsemen, and were in fact heavy-armed infantry1161; the cause of which was, the low estimation of the cavalry-service among the Lacedæmonians. The country was fitted rather for the production of men than of horses; and although the citizens furnished both the horse and accoutrements, they were ridden only by weak and inferior persons.1162 Thus the horsemen of Sparta, the number of whom in the Peloponnesian war was at first 400, and afterwards rose to 600,1163 effected nothing against the better mounted and practised cavalry of Bœotia, which as the light-armed riders sometimes mounted behind, sometimes vaulted off rapidly, was doubly formidable to the enemy.1164 Among the other Doric states, Tarentum in particular had a numerous1165 and very excellent light cavalry.1166 The preference for a force of this description is a proof, according to the principles of antiquity, of an unstable and effeminate character, exactly the reverse of that exhibited by the heavy-armed soldiery of the Lacedæmonians.
In the Lacedæmonian army the Sciritæ formed a separate body,1167 of whom there were 600 in the Peloponnesian [pg 254] war.1168 In marches they went in front, in the camp they occupied the extreme place,1169 and in the battle they formed the left wing.1170 Although we have no express statement of their mode of arms, we can hardly suppose that they were heavy-armed troops, since they were particularly employed when a rapid change of position, or a vigorous attack, such as storming of heights, &c., was required1171; they were often at the post of greatest danger.1172 Originally, doubtless, they were, as they were called, inhabitants of the district Sciritis, on the confines of Laconia, towards Parrhasia1173; their rights and duties appear to have been defined by agreement; their mode of fighting was also perhaps Arcadian. The other Periœci appear only to have taken part in large expeditions, and such as were prepared for a considerable time beforehand; and they probably served for the most part as hoplitæ1174; the ratio of their number, as well as that of the neodamodes and others, to the citizens of Sparta, was not governed by any fixed rule.1175
It is not by any means clear in what manner the [pg 255] Peloponnesian armies were accompanied by such numerous bodies of light-armed soldiers, more particularly of Helots.1176 It must at the same time be borne in mind that the Persian war was the only time, that is, on a general summons of the nation, when so many as seven attended upon every Spartan1177; on this occasion, when the numbers of the enemy were so excessive, they might have served to protect the rear of the long line of battle, and to resist the pressure; in addition to which they also annoyed the enemy from behind with slings, javelins, and stones. A large part of them, in the capacity of attendants (?e??p??te?, ????t??e?, ?pasp?sta?), were also destined exclusively for the service of the hoplitæ, and to rescue them in danger1178; another portion was probably detached to convoy and cover the baggage (st?at?? s?e??f??????). The Peloponnesians in early times never attempted to form separate divisions of light-armed soldiers, such as the peltasts were, who, in addition to the javelin, bore the small shield of the Thracians and Illyrians.1179 The perfection of this species of troops, especially after the improvement of Chabrias and Iphicrates, was the cause of severe injury to the heavy-armed tactics of the Spartans; and the Peloponnesians dreaded them for a long time, [pg 256] according to the Laconian expression, as children fear a bugbear.1180
7. The attention of Sparta was almost exclusively directed to the heavy infantry; and it can scarcely be denied that this was carried by them to the highest pitch of perfection. The arms1181 consisted of a long spear,1182 a short sword only used in the closest single combat,1183 a brazen shield,1184 which covered the body from the shoulders to the knees,1185 and was in other respects also more similar to the shield of the heroic age than that of the other Greeks. For while the Greeks in general had adopted the Carian handle (?????) in order to direct the motion of the shield, of which the size had been considerably reduced, the Spartan buckler was probably suspended upon a thong (te?aµ??) laid round the neck, and was only managed by a ring (p??pa?) fastened to the concave side, which in time of peace could be taken out.1186 Cleomenes the Third first introduced the handles of [pg 257] shields in Lacedæmon, and in general a less heavy armour.1187
8. The principles of the Lacedæmonian tactics may be deduced from what has been already said on the subject of the enomoty, and of its movements; the deployment of the enomoty (the ??e???µ??) was the chief means of opposing the best soldiers to the enemy,1188 and it was from this movement in particular that victory was expected. A particular kind of this manœuvre was called the Laconian; it began from the enomotarchs, who faced about to the right, and passed in an oblique direction between their own and the next file; the whole file, following its leader, placed itself in front of the uragus, who merely faced to the right about. So that the whole phalanx, by this means, turning their faces towards the enemy who appeared in the rear, advanced at the same time in that direction by the depth of the order of battle. The Macedonian mode was different from this; for in that the movement began from the uragus, and therefore the phalanx lost, instead of gained, the same space of ground as it covered; and the Cretan (called also Choreus) differed from both, as the enomotarch and uragus both moved, until they changed places, and consequently, according to this method, the phalanx remained on the same ground.1189 In a charge it was [pg 258] the duty of the general to take care that the army constantly inclined somewhat further to the right than the exact line of its intended direction, since each man naturally endeavoured to bring his unprotected side under the shield of his neighbour, and the last man on the right wing to turn away that side from the danger, and therefore to outflank the left of the enemy:1190 this was also the cause of the weakness of the right wing, which they endeavoured to remedy by putting in it the best troops, and by protecting it with cavalry. Before Epaminondas discovered the art of concentrating the battle in the spot in which he was strongest, and of keeping the rest of the enemy's troops unengaged, the general had to attend to two points. In the first place, that the chief charge of his own men should be made upon that part where it appeared most easy and advantageous to break the line; and that at the same time his own line should withstand the charge of the enemy: and, secondly, he might endeavour to obtain the victory by extending his front so as to outflank the enemy; a manœuvre which the Spartans seldom indeed attempted, being content to hinder the enemy from effecting it. The chief point was to keep the whole body of men in compact order, both in rapid advance and in pretended flight:1191 no bravery could excuse a man for quitting his post.
9. The chief characteristic of the warriors of Sparta was great composure and a subdued strength; the violence (??ssa) of Aristodemus1192 and Isadas1193 being considered as deserving rather of blame than praise; [pg 259] and these qualities in general distinguished the Greeks from the northern Barbarians, whose boldness always consisted in noise and tumult.1194 The conduct of the Spartans in battle denotes a high and noble disposition, which rejected all the extremes of brutal rage; the pursuit of the enemy ceased when the victory was completed;1195 and, after the signal for retreat had been given, all hostilities ceased.1196 The spoiling of arms, at least during the battle, was also interdicted;1197 and the consecration of the spoils of slain enemies to the gods,1198 as in general all rejoicings for victory were considered as ill-omened;1199 ancient principles of Greek humanity which we cannot but admire. War was as much as possible confined to a measure of strength; and battle, as Mardonius in Herodotus describes that of the Greeks in general,1200 was a kind of duel upon the principles of honour. In Peloponnesus, as well as in Eubœa,1201 the use of the different species of arms had perhaps been regulated by the appointment of general councils; Sparta also retained with a religious veneration the ancient institutions of sacred truces; as, for instance, the Olympic armistice: it wished not only to celebrate its native festivals in quiet,1202 but even respected [pg 260] foreign solemnities; thus, at so late a period as 391 B.C., that state allowed itself to be delayed and deceived by an appeal of the Argives to “the sacred months.”1203 If then the state, so long as it remained true to these principles, did not slaughter its enemies without aim or object, so much the more sparing was it of its own soldiers, every moderate loss being severely felt; but even in the engagements of the hoplitæ few of the victorious party were lost. Every one knows of the tearless battle between the Spartans and Arcadians, in which the state had no dead to mourn.1204 Nothing therefore can be less laid to the charge of Sparta than a violent passion for war, a foolhardy and reckless desire of conquest. The latter was also guarded against by the maxim of Lycurgus,1205 “not to go often against the same enemy,” the non-observance of which was a charge brought against Agesilaus. With what unwillingness the Lacedæmonians engaged in great wars is generally known. And yet in every action in the open field, up to the battle of Leuctra, Sparta had nearly a certainty of success,1206 since the consciousness of skill in the use of arms was added to the national feeling of the Doric race, that victory over the Ionians was not a matter of doubt.1207 With what timidity did the Athenians attack [pg 261] the hard-pressed and exhausted Spartans in Sphacteria! Their feeling towards the captives was nearly the same as that of the Achæans in Homer to the corpse of Hector.
These opinions necessarily experienced innumerable modifications when Sparta engaged in foreign warfare, and moved out of her own orbit into an unknown region; this was particularly the case in maritime war, which, although followed in early times by Corinth, Ægina, and Corcyra, never agreed with the nature of the Doric tribe. For this reason Sparta, although after many unsuccessful attempts she gave birth to men who had considerable talents for this service, as Callicratidas and Lysander, and for a time her fleet was very numerous, and the commander of it a second king,1208 never showed any particular inclination for it. A disinclination equally strong, and formed upon the same grounds, was shown by the Spartans to the storming of walled places (p????µa?e??1209) for which reason they never in early times constructed any defences of this kind; and despised the use of machines, by which Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, thought that “man's strength was annihilated.”
10. We conclude with the assertion with which we prefaced this chapter, though in a different point of view, that no nation ever considered war as an art in the same sense and to the same degree as the Doric Spartans. Indeed every nation, of a military disposition, and addicted to warlike pursuits, considers war not merely as a means of repelling the attacks of [pg 262] enemies, or of gaining plunder or territory by being itself the invader. The mere act of fighting, the common and disciplined movement of thousands directed to the same end, the “pomp, pride, and circumstance of glorious war,” arouse the feelings, and inspire the mind with the noblest and most elevated thoughts; and there is a certain affinity between the art of war and the more regular and peaceful arts; thus a military body resembled, in its movements and array, a large choral dance. These feelings and views were among all nations most natural to the Greeks, and, of the Greek races, familiar to the Dorians in particular.
The agreement which some moderns1210 have found between the Greek chorus and the lochus is not a mere creation of the fancy; the large chorus was a pentecostys in number, which was divided into enomoties (hemichoria); it advanced in certain divisions, like an army, and had corresponding evolutions.1211 Both the dance and the battle were the object of the Pyrrhic, which was particularly practised in Sparta and Crete.1212 In early times it was a preparation for battle, an use of it which was neglected in a later age; in the soldier heavy-armed for the battle was also seen the practised dancer of the Pyrrhic. The same connexion is alluded to by Homer, where Æneas hopes to overthrow Meriones of Crete, however good a dancer he may be:1213 thus also the Thessalians called the soldiers [pg 263] of the front ranks “principal dancers;” and said of a good fighter, that “he had danced well.”1214 For the same reason Homer calls hoplitæ by the name p????e?1215 the war-dance having been called p????? by the Cretans.1216 Now this latter expression is used by Homer in the passages in which both Greeks and Trojans give up the usual method of fighting, and the heroes descend from their chariots and form themselves into a body on foot; and therefore of that very mode of battle which became prevalent in Greece through the influence of the Dorians. For the same reason the Spartans sacrificed to the Muses before an action,1217 these goddesses being expected to produce regularity and order in battle; as they sacrificed on the same occasion in Crete to the god of love, as the confirmer of mutual esteem and shame.1218
The whole existence of the Spartans in the camp appears to have been easy and tranquil; and therefore resembled the mode of living in Sparta, as that city was to a certain degree always a camp.1219 The bodily [pg 264] exercises were regularly continued, and repeated twice in each day;1220 but with less severity than at home;1221 and the discipline in general was less strict. The Persian spy found the Spartans in the evening before the battle of Thermopylæ employed, some in gymnastic exercises, and some in arranging their hair,1222 which they always wore long after their entrance into manhood. Every man put on a crown1223 when the band of flute-players gave the signal for attack; all the shields of the line glittered with their high polish,1224 and mingled their splendour with the dark red of the purple mantles,1225 which were meant both to adorn the combatant, and to conceal the blood of the wounded; to fall well and decorously being an incentive the more to the most heroic valour.
Book IV. Domestic Institutions, Arts, And Literature Of The Dorians.
1. Having examined the political institutions of the Doric states, we next proceed to consider their private life and domestic economy; which two subjects were so intimately connected in the habits of this race, that we shall not attempt to separate them by any exact line of distinction. Our observations will be confined to those matters which appear most to exhibit the peculiar character of the Dorians. For which purpose, having first considered their domestic conveniences, such as dwellings, &c., we will proceed to their domestic relations, their arts, and literature.
2. The dwellings of the Dorians were plain and simple. By a law of Lycurgus the doors of every house were to be fashioned only with the saw, and the ceiling with the axe;1226 not that the legislator intended [pg 266] to abolish altogether the science of architecture, but merely to restrain it to its proper objects, viz., temples and public buildings, and to prevent it from purveying to private luxury. The kings of Greece in Homer's time lived not only in spacious, but also richly ornamented houses, the walls of which glittered with brass, silver, gold, amber, and ivory; but no such splendour was seen in the dwellings of the Heraclide princes. The palace of the two kings of Sparta was said to have been built by Aristodemus at the taking of the town; here Agesilaus lived after the manner of his ancestors; the doors even in his time being, according to Xenophon's somewhat exaggerated expression, those of the original building.1227 Hence Leotychidas the elder (490 B.C.) asked his host at Corinth (which city had early risen to riches and luxury), on seeing the ceiling ornamented with sunken panels (fat??µata), “whether the trees in Corinth were naturally four-cornered.”1228 The houses at Sparta, however, notwithstanding their rude structure, were probably spacious and commodious; in front there was generally a court-yard, separated by a wall from the street,1229 and containing a large portico. The towns of Peloponnesus were for the most part irregularly built, whereas the Ionians had early learnt to lay out their streets in straight lines,1230 a custom which Hippodamus [pg 267] of Miletus succeeded in spreading over the rest of Greece. It was probably this architect who in the year 445 B.C. laid out the plan of Thurii1231 in exact squares, with streets at right angles;1232 and the same who in his old age built the city of Rhodes (407 B.C.), the plan of which was designed with such perfect symmetry, that, according to the expression of the astonished ancients, it seemed like one house.1233
3. The principles of Lycurgus, however, we repeat did not in the least degree retard the progress of real architecture. Indeed we know that in the embellishment of their sacred edifices the Dorians employed a style of building which they themselves invented, from the strict principles of which they never deviated, and which at the same time they took the utmost care to bring to perfection. That they were in strictness the original inventors of this style of architecture has been first satisfactorily proved by the remarkable discoveries of modern times, which have laid open to us the monuments of the unknown ages of Greece in all their strange peculiarities. The treasury of Atreus is indeed the only example now extant of a class of buildings doubtless once very numerous;1234 but its paraboloidal construction distinguishes [pg 268] it as well from the later Grecian as the oriental style of architecture. Near this structure some fragments of columns have been discovered by modern travellers,1235 remarkable both for the variety of their forms and the richness of their ornaments; still the spot on which they were found, as well as their singular shape, leave no doubt that they belong to the same unknown period. They consist, first, of the base of a fluted column, with a plinth, and also a torus of elliptical outline, decorated with an alternation of projecting and receding compartments, the former of which have in some cases an ornament of spiral lines; secondly, a fragment of the shaft of a column of bronze-coloured marble, similarly ornamented with compartments; thirdly, a very small fragment of a capital; and, lastly, a tablet of white marble, with a species of ornament in imitation of shells. There are in the British Museum two tablets of light green and dark red marble, both taken from the treasury of Atreus, which have the spiral lines above mentioned, and are worked very elaborately, though without mathematical precision.1236 We have given this description of a style of architecture, not strictly belonging to our subject, in order to direct the reader's attention to these most remarkable remains of Grecian sculpture, which [pg 269] are quite sufficient to convince us that the building to which they belong, thus adorned with party-coloured stones, and probably covered in the interior with plates of bronze, may be reckoned as the monument of a time when a semi-barbarous style of architecture prevailed throughout Greece.
4. In direct contrast with the above is the simple unornamented character and unobtrusive grandeur of the style unanimously called by the ancients the Doric.1237 It appears certain that the first hints of this order were borrowed from buildings constructed of wood, a fact which I cannot reconcile with the supposition of a foreign origin. For we should thus lose sight altogether of the gradual and regular progress by which it advanced to maturity, and suppose that the improvements of foreign artificers, with their peculiar principles, and those of native architects, looking only to the original structure of wood, were blended, or rather violently confused together. Could anything be more natural than that the long surface of the principal beams should be imitated in stone, that the cross-beams with the Doric triglyph should be laid over these, the intervals or metopes being by degrees covered with marble, whilst the cornice, in imitation [pg 270] of carpenters' work, was allowed to project in bold relief? The roof perhaps was for some time allowed to end in a slope on each side; Corinth was the first place where the front and hind part were finished off with a pediment; the tympanum being adorned with statues of ancient clay-work.1238 Such was the origin of the Doric temple, of which early models have been preserved in the Doric towns of Corinth and Pæstum, in Ægina, and the Doric colonies of Sicily.
We cannot however suppose it to have been the opinion of the historian of ancient architecture,1239 that the artistical character of the Doric architecture may be satisfactorily derived from wooden buildings. It is the essence of this art to connect, by the varieties of form and proportion, a peculiar association of ideas with works intended merely for purposes of necessity. The Doric character, in short, created the Doric architecture. In the temples of this order the weight to be supported is intentionally increased, and the architrave, frieze, and cornice, of unusual depth; but the columns are proportionably strong, and placed very close to each other; so that, in contemplating the structure, our astonishment at the weight supported is mingled with pleasure at the security imparted by the strength of the columns underneath. This impression of firmness and solidity is increased by the rapid tapering of the column, its conical shape giving it an appearance of strength; while the diminution beginning immediately at the base, and the straight line not being, as in other orders, softened by the interposition of the swelling, gives a severity of character to the order.[pg 271]
With this rapid diminution is also connected the bold projection of the echinus (or quarter-round) of the capital; which likewise creates a striking impression, particularly if its outline is nearly rectilineal. The alternation of long unornamented surfaces with smaller rows of decorated work awakens a feeling of simple grandeur, without appearing either monotonous or fatiguing. The harmony spread over the whole becomes more conspicuous when contrasted with the dark shadows occasioned by the projecting drip of the cornice; above, the magnificent pediment crowns the whole. Thus in this creation of art we find expressed the peculiar bias of the Doric race to strict rule, simple proportion, and pure harmony.
1. The next point which we have to consider is the mode of clothing in use among the Dorians; in which a peculiar taste was displayed; an ancient decorum and simplicity, equally removed from the splendour of Asiatics and the uncleanliness of barbarians. At the same time, however, they paid considerable attention to their personal appearance, although their manners did not require the body to be studiously and completely covered. A Dorian was the first who [pg 272] in the lists of Olympia threw off the heavy girdle, which the wrestlers of Homer had worn in common with those of barbarous countries, and ran naked to the goal;1240 in fact a display of the naked form, when all covering was useless, and indeed inconvenient, was altogether in harmony with the Doric character. This reminds us of the nakedness of the Spartan young women, even in the time of Athenian civilization, [pg 273] which custom gave rise to the joke, that “the Spartans showed foreigners their virgins naked.”1241 On this subject, however, it is necessary that we should enter into greater detail.
2. In the first place these words direct our attention to the different modes of life of the married and unmarried women among the Dorians. Modern manners, derived from the age of chivalry, carefully withdraw young women from all impressions calculated to inflame the passions; while married women are more exposed to intercourse with men. But, according to the colder notions of the Greeks, which are seen most clearly among the Dorians, the unmarried lived more in public than the married women; who attended more to the care of their family; and hence the former alone practised music and athletic exercises; the latter being occupied only with their household affairs.1242 This explains why at Sparta unmarried women appeared with their faces uncovered, while the married only went out in veils;1243 and it was common to see the former walking in the streets with young men,1244 which was certainly not permitted to the others; and so also at Sparta,1245 in Crete,1246 and at Olympia, virgins were permitted to be spectators of the gymnastic contests, and married women only were excluded;1247 the reverse [pg 274] of which was the case in Ionia, where the unmarried women were usually shut up in the interior of the houses.1248
This different position in society was also marked by the dress, which was lighter and less strict among the unmarried women; for it is these alone who are charged with exposure of their persons. This charge of the Athenians was, however, caused by a strange forgetfulness of ancient custom; for after the mode of treatment of their women had become precisely similar to that of the eastern nations, the ancient Greek usage appeared to them unnatural;1249 and the dress of the Doric women caused in their minds the same notions as the German dress in those of the Romans; of which Tacitus says, “the German women wear the arms naked up to the shoulders, and even the next part of the breast is uncovered; notwithstanding which they never break the marriage vow.”
3. On the dress of the Spartans I need only, after the labours of former writers,1250 make the following remarks. The chief, or indeed the only garment of the Doric virgin is by ancient writers sometimes called himation,1251 sometimes chiton: the former more correctly, [pg 275] as appears from works of art; and the latter word was used metaphorically, from the resemblance of the himation to the linen chiton of the Ionians. This garment of woollen stuff was without sleeves, and fastened over both shoulders by clasps (p??pa?, pe???a?), which were often of considerable size;1252 while the Ionic women wore sleeves of greater or less length.1253 This chiton was only joined together on one side, while on the other it was left partly open or slit up (s??st?? ??t??1254); probably it could be fastened with clasps, or opened wider, so as to admit a freer motion of the limbs, so that the two skirts (pt????e?) flew open; whence Ibycus called the Spartan women fa???µ???de?.1255 This garment was also worn without a girdle; when it hung down to the calves of the legs.1256[pg 276]
This is generally the dress with which the goddesses Victory and Iris are represented in works of art, the latter particularly among the statues from the pediment of the Parthenon, in which rapid motion is indicated by the chiton being thrown from the feet and ancles on the left side; and in the same chiton, though with more ample folds, is the dress of Athene in many statues of the more finished and perfect style of the art: and Artemis, the huntress, in the Doric chiton, girt up for the purpose of rapid motion.
In one of these different fashions, according to her object and business, the virgin of Sparta, generally without the himation,1257 wore a single garment, and appeared even in the company of men without any further covering. Thus Periander the Corinthian1258 was seized with love for the beautiful Melissa at Epidaurus, when he saw her dressed, after the Peloponnesian manner, in her chiton, without any upper garment, as she was giving out wine to the labourers.1259 In this [pg 277] costume the Doric virgins might be seen dancing at their places of exercise and in the chorus.1260 The married women, however, never appeared without an upper garment; which probably was not essentially different from the himation of the men: thus, for example, the wife of Phocion, who lived in the Doric manner, according to the account of Plutarch, often went out in the himation of her husband.
4. This leads us to consider the costume of the men, the chief parts of which we will describe generally, before we speak of them in detail. These then are, first, the chiton, a woollen shirt without sleeves, worn by all the Greeks and Italians, the only dress of boys;1261 since it was not till after the increase of luxury in Athens that they began to dress young boys in the himation.1262 Secondly, the himation, called in Homer ??a??a.1263 a square piece of cloth, sometimes rounded off at the corners, which was commonly thrown over the left, and behind under the right arm, and the end was again brought back over the left shoulder.1264 Thirdly, the chlamys (Tetta???? pt??a), of Macedonian and Thessalian origin,1265 an oblong piece of [pg 278] cloth, of which the two lower ends came forward, and were fastened with a clasp upon the right shoulder; so that it left that arm free. This latter dress is never mentioned in the poems of Homer. Sappho was the first among the Greek poets who spoke of it.1266 It was not therefore till after her time that its use was extended over Greece Proper, first as the dress of horsemen, and young men in general, and then as a military cloak; under which character it was introduced into Sparta.1267 The earliest painted vases, however, always represent the warriors in the himation, which is commonly without folds, and drawn close to the body.1268
Thucydides1269 says of the Lacedæmonians, that “they were the first to adopt a simpler mode of dress:” a statement which is founded on a peculiar notion of this historian, that the loose linen garments, which were still worn by old-fashioned people at Athens in the time of Aristophanes, were the original Greek dress; whereas we know with tolerable certainty that this dress was brought over to Athens by the Ionians of Asia.1270 The Athenians again laid this aside at the time of the Peloponnesian war, and returned to the thin clothing of the ancient Greeks; with the exception of the women, who had formerly at Athens worn the Doric costume, but now retained the Ionic dress with long sleeves, wide folds, and trailing hem, which was generally of linen. Thucydides, however, is so [pg 279] far right, that the Lacedæmonians were distinguished among all the Greeks for their scanty and simple clothing: thus the Lacedæmonian habit,1271 the t??ß??,1272 was of thick cloth and small size,1273 which the youths1274 of Sparta were bound by custom to wear the whole year through without any other clothes;1275 and to which older men (for example, those Athenians who aped the Lacedæmonian manners) sometimes voluntarily submitted.
5. As at Athens the style of dress indicated the rank and station of the wearer, so also the Doric manners were clearly expressed in the arrangement of the clothes. Thus, for example, it was generally recognised in Greece that holding the arms within the cloak was a sign of modesty;1276 and hence the Spartan youths, like the Roman in the first year of their manhood, appeared always in the street with both hands under their cloak and their eyes cast down, “resembling statues,” says Xenophon,1277 “in their silence, and in the immoveability of their eyes, [pg 280] and more modest than virgins in the bridal chamber.” In the same manner the youths of lower Italy, in which there were many Doric cities, are frequently represented on vases, with the arms folded under the cloak, which is indicated by the large fold across the breast.1278
In other respects equality1279 and simplicity were the prevailing rule. Manufacturers of ointment were excluded from Sparta, as being corrupters of oil: dyers, because they deprived the wool of its beautiful white colour.1280 “Deceitful are ointments, and deceitful are dyes,” is the Spartan expression for this idea.1281 Even in the cities which had early departed from the Doric customs, there were frequent and strict prohibitions against expensiveness of female attire, prostitutes alone being wisely excepted.1282 As in Sparta the beard was considered as the ornament of a man,1283 and as a sign of freedom (to which the symbolical [pg 281] edict of the ephors to shave the beard refers),1284 so also at Byzantium and Rhodes shaving was prohibited by ancient, but constantly neglected, laws.1285 The custom of carrying sticks (in Doric s??t??a?) was common to the Spartans,1286 with the Dorians of lower Italy.1287
6. The Doric customs were not, however, hostile to the beauty of personal appearance; but the beauty at which they aimed was of a severe kind, and remote from all feminine tenderness. The Spartan from his youth upwards1288 preserved, in order to distinguish him from slaves and mechanics,1289 according to ancient usage,1290 the hair of his head uncut,1291 which indeed, if not properly arranged, might frequently give him a squalid appearance. It seems that both men and women tied the hair in a knot over the crown of the head;1292 [pg 282] while, according to the Ionic custom, which in this respect resembled that of the barbarians, it was divided into locks, and connected over the forehead with golden clasps in the shape of grasshoppers.1293 On their heads the Lacedæmonians wore hats with broad brims, which were sometimes also used in war, though probably only by the light-armed soldiers.1294 The manner in which they arranged and adorned their hair for battle was remarked above.1295
That most of the Doric states, and particularly the colonies, degenerated from this noble and beautiful simplicity, does not require to be proved. The splendour of Rhodes was proverbial, nor was any dress more effeminate than the transparent and loose robe of Tarentum;1296 and the Sicilian garments, which Lysander or Archidamus received as a present from Dionysius, he rejected as unfit for his daughters.1297[pg 283]
Among the accompaniments of the toilette may be mentioned the baths; with respect to which it may be remarked, that the Lacedæmonian custom only admitted of two kinds; viz., the cold daily baths in the Eurotas (which also formed a part of the regimen of king Agesilaus1298), and from time to time a dry sudorific bath.1299 But the weakening of the body by warm or tepid baths was strictly prohibited.1300
1. With respect to the food and meals of the Dorians, we will only mention those points which are connected with some historical or moral fact, since we have already considered this subject in connexion with the economy of the state.
In the first place, the adherence of the Dorians to ancient Greek usages is visible in their custom of eating together, or of the syssitia. For these public [pg 284] tables were not only in use among the Dorians (with whom, besides in Crete and Sparta, they also existed at Megara in the time of Theognis,1301 and at Corinth in the time of Periander),1302 but they had also once been a national custom among the Œnotrians1303 and their kinsmen the Arcadians, particularly at Phigalia;1304 and among the Greeks of Homer the princes at least eat together, and at the cost of the community; a custom which was retained by the Prytanes at Athens, Rhodes, and elsewhere. In particular, the public tables of Sparta have in many points a great resemblance to the Homeric banquets (da?te?)1305; only that all the Spartans were in a certain manner considered as princes. The Spartans, however, so far departed from the ancient custom, that at the time of Alcman they lay1306 at table; while the Dorians of Crete always sat,1307 like the heroes of Homer and the [pg 285] early Romans, according to the ancient European usage, which was entirely supplanted among the early Greeks by the oriental custom introduced by the Ionians.
2. With regard to the food, it is probable that in Sparta much had been retained from ancient usage, and that the rest had been from its first origin peculiar to the nation. The profession of cook at Sparta was, as we have already remarked, hereditary,1308 and consequently they had no inducement to vie with one another in the delicacy and luxury of their dishes: they cooked the black broth, as their ancestors had done before them. It was likewise more difficult to make dishes of various ingredients, on account of the division of the different departments of cookery; for instance, some cooks were only allowed to dress flesh, others to make broth,1309 &c. The bakers, whose trade also was hereditary, generally baked nothing but barley-bread (??f?ta);1310 wheaten bread was only eaten at the dessert of the public tables, when presented by liberal individuals.1311 The latter kind of bread was originally scarce in Greece, whither it was introduced chiefly from Sicily;1312 in which country they had also a particular [pg 286] kind of Doric wheaten bread, of coarser meal than was common elsewhere.1313 The chief dish of meat at the public tables was the black broth (µ??a? ??µ??);1314 also pork,1315 the meat being subjected to stricter regulations than any other kind of food.1316 Poultry and game were generally eaten after dinner: beef, pork, and kid, were chiefly supplied by the sacrifices, which upon the whole were an exception to the Phiditia.1317 Their mode of drinking was also that of the ancient Greeks; which, as far as I am aware, is only mentioned in Homer. Before each person was placed a cup, which was filled by the cup-bearer with mixed wine, when it had been emptied; the wine was however never passed round, and no person drank to another; which were Lydian customs introduced by the Ionians.1318 Both in Sparta and Crete it was forbidden by law to drink to intoxication;1319 and no persons were lighted home except old men of sixty.1320
3. But a still more beautiful feature in the Doric character is the friendly community of their public tables, founded upon the close union of the company [pg 287] of the tables (?ta???a in Crete);1321 into which fresh members were admitted by unanimous election (by ballot).1322 Whether a preference was shown to kinsmen is uncertain; the syssitia indeed, as divisions of the state, were founded upon a supposed relationship, that is, the connexion of houses;1323 but here we are speaking of smaller societies, consisting of about fifteen men. A company of this kind was a small state in itself,1324 arranged upon aristocratical principles,1325 although the equality was not interrupted by the privileges of any individuals. The ties of this friendly union were however drawn still closer by the constant intercourse of giving and taking, which enriched the scanty meal with the more palatable after-meal (?p??????) or dessert, which no one was permitted to purchase:1326 from which the ??p?? should be distinguished, a sacrificial feast, which individuals furnished [pg 288] on stated occasions, and invited to it any friends whom they wished, and particularly the kings.1327 The phiditia were not, however, considered a scanty and disagreeable meal, until thrown in the shade by the refinements of modern luxury; for they had originally been intended to increase the comforts of the partakers. The conversation, indeed, turned chiefly upon public affairs:1328 but laughter and jocularity were not prohibited.1329 Every person was encouraged to speak by the general confidence, and there were frequent songs, as Alcman says that “at the banquets and drinking entertainments of the men, it was fit for the guests to sing the pæan.”1330 Nor was the appellation fe?d?t?a, that is, the spare, or scanty meals, of any antiquity, and the Spartans received it from abroad:1331 by whom, as well as in Crete, they were once called ??d?e?a, or the meals of men.1332 For the men alone were admitted to them: the youths and boys ate in their own divisions, whilst the small children were allowed to eat at the public tables, and both in Crete and Sparta they sat on low stools near their fathers' chairs, and received a half share without any vegetables (?ßaµß??e?sta).1333 The [pg 289] women were never admitted to the syssitia of the men: both at Sparta and in Crete the rule was, that they ate at home;1334 in the latter state, however, a woman had the care of the tables of the men.1335 The Cretans were distinguished by their great hospitality: for every two tables of the citizens there was always one for foreigners; and when two cities were in close alliance with one another, their citizens mutually enjoyed the right of frequenting the public tables of the other state.1336
4. This temperance and simplicity, which was longest preserved in Crete and Sparta, were considered by the ancients as characterizing generally the whole Doric race, and a simple mode of cookery was called Doric;1337 although many cities of that race, such as [pg 290] Tarentum, Syracuse,1338 and Agrigentum,1339 entirely abandoned the severe and sober habits of their race; and having once broken through the bonds of ancient custom, gave themselves up with the less restraint to every kind of luxury and indulgence.1340
1. We now proceed to describe the different relations in the domestic life of the Dorians; and first, that between man and wife. Here it will be necessary to contradict the idea, that the duties of private life were but little esteemed by the Doric race, particularly at Sparta, and were sacrificed to the duty owed to the community. The Lacedæmonian maxim was in direct opposition to this doctrine; viz., that the door of his court1341 was the boundary of every [pg 291] man's freedom:1342 without, all owned the authority of the state; within, the master of the house ruled as lord on his own ground;1343 and the rights of domestic life, notwithstanding their frequent collision with the public institutions, were more respected than at Athens. At the same time, however, a peculiar national custom, which pervaded the whole system of legislation, prevailed throughout these relations with a force and energy, which we, taking the accounts of the ancients as our guide, will endeavour now to examine. It has been above remarked how, in accordance with the manners of the east, but in direct opposition to the later habits of the Greeks,1344 a free intercourse in public was permitted by the Dorians to the youth of both sexes, who were brought into contact particularly at festivals and choruses.1345 Hence Homer represents the Cretan chorus as composed of young men and women, who dance hand in hand.1346 At Sparta in particular the young men lived in the presence of the unmarried women, and as their derision was an object of dread, so to be the theme of their praise was the highest reward for noble actions.1347 Hence it was very possible [pg 292] at Sparta, that affection and love, although not of a romantic nature, should take possession of the heart: but at Athens, as far as my recollection goes, we have not a single instance of a man having loved a free-born woman, and marrying her from any strong affection, whilst a single narrative of Herodotus1348 contains two love stories at Sparta. How many opportunities may have been given by the festivals, as for instance the Hyacinthia, at which the Spartan damsels were seen going about in ???a??a (ornamented cars peculiar to the country, which were also used in the procession to the temple of Helen at Therapne), and racing in chariots in the midst of assembled multitudes.1349 Accordingly, the beauty of her women, the most beautiful in all Greece,1350 was at Sparta more than any other town, an object of general admiration, in a nation where beauty of form was particularly felt and esteemed.1351
2. Two things were, however, requisite as an introduction and preparation to marriage at Sparta, first, betrothing on the part of the father;1352 secondly, the seizure of the bride. The latter was clearly an ancient [pg 293] national custom, founded on the idea that the young woman could not surrender her freedom and virgin purity unless compelled by the violence of the stronger sex. They married, says Plutarch, by ravishing. The bridegroom brought the young virgin, having carried her off from the chorus of maidens or elsewhere, to the bride's maid, who cut short her hair, and left her lying in a man's dress and shoes, without a light, on a bed of rushes, until the bridegroom returned from the public banquet, carried the bride to the nuptial couch, and loosened her girdle.1353 And this intercourse was for some time carried on clandestinely, till the man brought his wife, and frequently her mother, into his house. That this usage was retained to the last days of Sparta may be inferred from the fact, that the young wife of Panteus was still in the house of her parents, and remained there, when he went with Cleomenes to Egypt.1354 A similar custom must have prevailed in Crete, where we find, that the young persons who were dismissed at the same time from the agele, were immediately married, but did not till some time after introduce their wives into their own house.1355 The children born before this took place [pg 294] were probably called pa??e??a?;1356 they were in general considered in all respects equal to those born at home; but in the first Messenian war particular circumstances seem to have made it impossible to provide them with lots of land;1357 and hence they became the founders of Tarentum.1358
3. The age of marriage was fixed by the ancient Greeks and western nations much later than at a subsequent period by those of the east. Following the former, the laws of Sparta did not allow women of too tender an age to be disposed of in marriage. The women were generally those at the highest pitch of youthful vigour1359 (called in Rhodes ???est????de?),1360 and for the men, about the age of thirty was esteemed the most proper, as we find in Hesiod,1361 Plato,1362 and even Aristotle. Public actions might however be brought against those who married too late (??af? ????aµ???), to which those also were liable who had entered into unsuitable marriages (??af? ?a???aµ???), [pg 295] and those who remained unmarried (??af? ??aµ???).1363 It is well known that these laws have been blamed as a violation of the rights of individuals, and even a profanation of the rite of marriage: but these censors should have remembered that they were judging those institutions by principles which the founders of them would not have recognised. For the Spartans considered marriage, not as a private relation, about which the state had little or no interest, but as a public institution, in order to rear up a strong and healthy progeny to the nation. In Solon's legislation, marriage was also placed under the inspection of the state, and an action for not marrying (??af? ??aµ???1364), though merely as a relic of antiquity, existed at Athens. It is nevertheless true that marriage, especially in Sparta, was, to a certain degree, viewed with a primitive simplicity, which shocks the feelings of more refined ages, as the peculiar object of matrimony was never kept out of sight. Leonidas, when despatched to Thermopylæ, is said to have left as a legacy to his wife Gorgo the maxim, Marry nobly, and produce a noble offspring;1365 and when Acrotatus had fought bravely in the war against Pyrrhus, the women followed him through the town, and some of the older ones shouted after him, “Go, Acrotatus, enjoy yourself with Chelidonis, and beget valiant sons for [pg 296] Sparta.”1366 Hence we may perceive the reason why in various cases1367 (such as are known to us have been mentioned above1368) Lycurgus not only allowed, but enjoined the marriage duties to be transferred to another; always, however, providing that the sanctity of the marriage union should be for a certain time sacrificed to that which the Doric race considered as of higher importance, viz., the maintenance of the family. That these cases were so defined by custom, as to leave but little room for the effects of caprice or passion, is evident from the infrequency of adultery at Sparta:1369 but the above aim justified even king Anaxandridas, when, contrary to all national customs, he cohabited with two wives,1370 who lived without doubt in separate houses. To marry foreign women was certainly forbidden to all Spartans, and to the Heraclidæ by a separate rhetra;1371 contrary to the custom in other Grecian towns, especially Athens, whose princes in early times, as Megacles, Miltiades, &c., frequently contracted marriages with foreigners.
4. The domestic relation of the wife to her husband [pg 297] among the Dorians was in general the same as that of the ancient western nations, described by Homer as universal among the Greeks, and which existed at Rome till a late period; the only difference being, that the peculiarities of the custom were preserved by the Dorians more strictly than elsewhere. It formed a striking contrast with the habits of the Ionic Athenians, with whom the ancient custom of Greece was almost entirely supplanted by that of the east.1372 Amongst the Ionians of Asia, the wife (as we are informed by Herodotus1373) shared indeed the bed, but not the table of her husband; she dared not call him by his name, but addressed him with the title of lord, and lived secluded in the interior of the house: on this model the most important relations between man and wife were regulated at Athens. But amongst the Dorians of Sparta, the wife1374 was honoured by her husband with the title of mistress (d?sp???a),1375 (a gallantry belonging to the north of Greece, and also practised by the Thessalians1376), which was used neither ironically nor unmeaningly. Nay, so strange did the importance [pg 298] which the Lacedæmonian women enjoyed, and the influence which they exercised as the managers of their household, and mothers of families, appear to the Greeks, at a time when the prevalence of Athenian manners prevented a due consideration for national customs, that Aristotle1377 supposed Lycurgus to have attempted, but without success, to regulate the life of women as he had that of the men; and the Spartans were frequently censured for submitting to the yoke of their wives.1378 Nevertheless Alcman, generally a great admirer of the beauty of Lacedæmonian women, could say, “It becomes a man to say much, and a woman to rejoice at all she hears.”1379 In accusing the women of Sparta, however, for not essentially assisting their country in times of necessity, Aristotle has in the first place required of them a duty which even in Sparta lay out of their sphere, and in the second place, his assertion has been sufficiently contradicted by the events of a subsequent period, in the last days of Sparta, which acquired a surprising lustre from female valour.1380 On the whole, however, little as the Athenians esteemed their own women, they involuntarily [pg 299] revered the heroines of Sparta, such as Gorgo the wife of Leonidas, Lampito the daughter of Leotychidas, the wife of Archidamus and mother of Agis;1381 and this feeling is sometimes apparent even in the coarse jests of Aristophanes.
5. How this indulgent treatment of the women among the Dorians produced a state of opinion entirely different from that prevalent at Athens, has been intimated above, and will be further explained hereafter. In general it may be remarked, that while among the Ionians women were merely considered in an inferior and sensual light, and though the Æolians allowed their feelings a more exalted tone, as is proved by the amatory poetesses of Lesbos;1382 the Dorians, as well at Sparta as in the south of Italy, were almost the only nation who esteemed the higher attributes of the female mind as capable of cultivation.
It is hardly necessary to remark, that in considering the rights and duties of the wife, as represented in the above pages, to apply to the whole Doric race, allowance must be made for the alterations introduced into different towns, particularly by foreign intercourse and luxury. At Corinth, for instance, the institution of the sacred slaves (?e??d?????) in the temple of Aphrodite, probably introduced from Asia Minor, produced a most prejudicial effect on the morals of that city, [pg 300] and made it the ancient and great resort of courtesans.1383
6. Having now considered the personal relations between the sexes, we next come to those depending on difference of age; which from the Doric principle of the elders instructing the younger, are intimately connected with education.1384 But before we enter on that subject, it will be necessary to speak of a connexion (termed by the Greeks pa?de?ast?a), which, so long as it was regulated by the ancient Doric principles, to be recognised both in the Cretan laws and those of Lycurgus, had great influence on the instruction of youth. We will first state the exact circumstances of this relation, and then make some general remarks on it; but without examining it in a moral point of view, which does not fall within the scope of this work.
At Sparta the party loving was called e?sp???a?,1385 [pg 301] and his affection was termed a breathing in, or inspiring (e?sp?e??1386); which expresses the pure and mental connexion between the two persons, and corresponds with the name of the other, viz., ??ta?,1387 i.e., listener or hearer. Now it appears to have been the practice for every youth of good character to have his lover;1388 and, on the other hand, every well-educated man was bound by custom to be the lover of some youth.1389 Instances of this connexion are furnished by several of the royal family of Sparta; thus Agesilaus, while he still belonged to the herd of youths, was the hearer of Lysander,1390 and himself had in his turn also a hearer;1391 his son Archidamus was the lover of the son of Sphodrias, the noble Cleonymus;1392 Cleomenes the Third was, when a young man, the hearer of Xenares,1393 and later in life the lover of the brave Panteus.1394 The connexion usually originated from the proposal of the lover; yet it was necessary that the listener should accept him from real affection, as a regard to the riches of the proposer was considered very disgraceful:1395 [pg 302] sometimes however it happened that the proposal originated from the other party.1396 The connexion appears to have been very intimate and faithful, and was recognised by the state. If his kinsmen were absent, the youth might be represented in the public assembly by his lover:1397 in battle too they stood near one another, where their fidelity and affection were often shown till death;1398 while at home the youth was constantly under the eyes of his lover, who was to him as it were a model and pattern of life;1399 which explains why, for many faults, particularly for want of ambition, the lover could be punished instead of the listener.1400
7. This ancient national custom prevailed with still greater force in Crete; which island was hence by many persons considered as the original seat of the connexion in question.1401 Here too it was disgraceful for a well-educated youth to be without a lover;1402 and hence the party loved was termed ??e????,1403 the praised; the lover being simply called f???t??. It appears that the youth was always carried away by force,1404 the intention of the ravisher being previously communicated to the relations, who however took no measures of precaution, and only made a feigned resistance; except when the ravisher appeared, either in family or talent, unworthy of the youth. The lover then led [pg 303] him away to his apartment (??d?e???), and afterwards, with any chance companions, either to the mountains or to his estate. Here they remained two months (the period prescribed by custom), which were passed chiefly in hunting together. After this time had expired, the lover dismissed the youth, and at his departure gave him, according to custom, an ox, a military dress, and brazen cup, with other things; and frequently these gifts were increased by the friends of the ravisher.1405 The youth then sacrificed the ox to Zeus, with which he gave a feast to his companions: at this he stated how he had been pleased with his lover; and he had complete liberty by law to punish any insult or disgraceful treatment. It depended now on the choice of the youth whether the connexion should be broken off or not. If it was kept up, the companion in arms (pa?ast?t??), as the youth was then called, wore the military dress which had been given him; and fought in battle next his lover, inspired with double valour by the gods of war and love, according to the notion of the Cretans;1406 and even in man's age he was distinguished by the first place and rank in the course, and certain insignia worn about the body.
Institutions, so systematic and regular as these, did not indeed exist in any Doric state except Crete and Sparta; but the feelings on which they were founded seem to have been common to all the Dorians. The love of Philolaus, a Corinthian of the family of the [pg 304] Bacchiadæ, and the lawgiver of Thebes, and of Diocles the Olympic conqueror, lasted until death; and even their graves were turned towards one another, in token of their affection:1407 and another person of the same name was honoured in Megara, as a noble instance of self-devotion for the object of his love.1408
8. It is indeed clear that a custom of such general prevalence cannot have originated from any accidental impression or train of reasoning; but must have been founded on feelings natural to the whole Doric race. Now that the affection of the lover was not entirely mental, and that a pleasure in beholding the beauty and vigour, the manly activity and exercises1409 of the youth was also present, is certain. But it is a very different question, whether this custom, universally prevalent both in Crete and Sparta, followed by the noblest men, by the legislators encouraged with all care, and having so powerful an influence on education, was identical with the vice to which in its name and outward form it is so nearly allied.
The subject should be carefully considered, before, with Aristotle, we answer this question in the affirmative, who not only takes the fact as certain, but even accounts for it by supposing that the custom was instituted by the legislator of Crete as a check to population.1410 Is it, I ask, likely that so disgraceful a vice, not practised in secret, but publicly acknowledged and [pg 305] countenanced by the state, not confined to a few individuals, but common for centuries to the whole people, should really have existed, and this in the race of all the Greeks, the most distinguished for its healthy, temperate, and even ascetic habits? These difficulties must be solved before the testimony of Aristotle can be received.
I will now offer what appears to me the most probable view of this question. The Dorians seem in early times to have considered an intimate friendship and connexion between males as necessary for their proper education. But the objection which would have presented itself in a later age, viz. the liability to abuse of such a habit, had then no existence, as has been already remarked by a learned writer.1411 And hence they saw no disadvantage to counterbalance the advantages which they promised themselves in the unrestrained intercourse which would be the natural consequence of the new institution. It is also true that the manners of simple and primitive nations generally have and need less restraint than those whom a more general intercourse and the greater facility of concealment have forced to enact prohibitory laws. This view is in fact confirmed by the declaration of Cicero, that the Lacedæmonians brought the lover into the closest relation with the object of his love, and that every sign of affection was permitted præter stuprum;1412 [pg 306] for although in the times of the corruption of manners this proximity would have been attended with the most dangerous consequences, in early times it never would have been permitted, if any pollution had been apprehended from it. And we know from another source that this stuprum was punished by the Lacedæmonians most severely, viz. with banishment or death.1413 It may be moreover added, that this pure connexion was encouraged by the Doric principle of taking the education from the hands of parents, and introducing boys in early youth to a wider society than their home could afford.1414
1. The education of the youth (?e??a?a)1415 in the ancient Doric states of Sparta and Crete, was conducted, as might be supposed, on a very artificial system: indeed, the great number of classes into which the boys and youths were distributed, would itself lead us to this conclusion. For since this separation could not have been made without some aim, each class, we may conjecture, was treated in some way different from the rest, the whole forming a complete scale of mental or bodily acquirements.
Whether a new-born infant should be preserved or not, was decided in Lacedæmon by the state, i.e. a council composed of the elders of the house.1416 This custom was not by any means more barbarous than that of the ancient world in general, which, in earlier times at least, gave the father full power over the lives of his children. Here we may perceive the great [pg 308] influence of the community over the education of its members, which should not, however, lead us to suppose that all connexion between parents and children was dissolved, or the dearest ties of nature torn asunder. Even Spartan mothers preserved a power over their sons when arrived at manhood, of which we find no trace in the rest of Greece. Agesilaus riding before his children on a stick1417 presents a true picture of the education,1418 which was entrusted entirely to the parents1419 till the age of seven; at which period the public and regular education (?????)1420 commenced. This was in strictness enjoyed only by the sons of Spartans (p???t???? pa?de?),1421 and the mothaces (slaves brought up in the family) selected to share their education: sometimes also Spartans of half-blood were admitted.1422 This education was one chief requisite for a free citizen;1423 whoever refused to submit to it,1424 suffered a partial [pg 309] loss of his rights; the immediate heir to the throne was the only person excepted,1425 whilst the younger sons of the kings were brought up in the herd (?????). Leonidas and Agesilaus, two of the noblest princes of Sparta, submitted when boys to the correction of their masters.
2. From the twelfth year1426 upwards, the education of boys was much more strict. About the age of sixteen or seventeen they were called s?de??a?.1427 At the expiration of his eighteenth year, the youth emerged from childhood, the first years of this new rank being distinguished by separate terms.1428 During the progress from the condition of an ephebus to manhood, the young Spartans were called Sphæreis,1429 probably because their chief exercise was foot-ball, which game [pg 310] was carried on with great emulation, and indeed resembled a battle rather than a diversion.1430 In their nineteenth year they were sent out on the crypteia,1431 at twenty they served in the ranks, their duties resembling those of the pe??p???? at Athens. Still the youths, although they were now admitted to the public banquets,1432 remained in the divisions, which were called ????a?, or in the Spartan dialect ß??a?,1433 and distributed into smaller troops (called ??a?).1434 The last name was also applied to a troop of horse,1435 and is one amongst several other proofs,1436 that, in early times at least, the exercise of riding was one of the principal occupations of the youths of Sparta. In these divisions all distinction of age was lost, the leaders of them were taken from among the Irenes,1437 and exercised great powers over the younger members; for the use of which they were in their turn responsible to every citizen of a more advanced age,1438 and particularly to the paidonomus, a magistrate of very extensive authority.1439 His assistants were the floggers, or mastigophori, who were selected from the young men,1440 the buagi or managers of the buæ;1441 besides which, there were certain [pg 311] officers appointed to manage the boys, called ampaides.1442 A similar arrangement was adopted in the societies of the girls and young women.1443 Theocritus, in his Epithalamium of Helen, represents 240 young women of the same age, as joining in the daily exercises and games.1444 And whilst Doric customs prevailed at Croton, the daughter of Pythagoras (according to Timæus)1445 was several times appointed leader of the young women and matrons.
3. In Crete the boys, as long as they remained in the house of their father, were said to dwell in darkness.1446 At this period they were admitted into the syssitia of their respective fathers, where they sat together on the ground; after the syssitia they formed themselves into societies under separate paidonomi.1447 It was not till their seventeenth year that they were enrolled in the agelæ,1448 so that the education was here entrusted to the family for a longer period than at Sparta. They remained in the agelæ till married, and consequently even after they had attained the age of manhood; hence in the extant treaty between the Latians and Olontians, it is required that the agelæ also should take the oath.1449 From the circumstance, [pg 312] however, that these troops of young men were brought together by one of the most wealthy and illustrious in their body, whose father held the office of commander (??e??t??), led them to the chase and the games, and exercised the right of punishment over them;1450 we perceive that a far greater influence, as well over the government1451 as the education, was permitted to particular families in Crete than at Sparta, whilst the system itself was less strict and impartial. The age of manhood was in Crete dated from the time of admittance into the male gymnasia (there called d??µ??;)1452 hence a person who had exercised ten years among the men was called de??d??µ??;1453 the youth who had not as yet wrestled or run in them ?p?d??µ??.1454 We have no account respecting other Doric towns, and merely know that the classes of the ephebi at Cyrene were called from the number of each, the “three hundred.”1455
4. Thus far respecting the arrangements for training the youths. The education itself was partly bodily, partly mental; although the division must not be drawn too strictly, since each exercise of the body includes at the same time that of the mind, at least of its hardihood, patience, and vigour. The Greeks, however, used the general terms of gymnastic for the [pg 313] former, and music for the latter of these branches. It is well known that the Dorians paid more attention than any other Greeks to gymnastic exercises;1456 and it has been above remarked, that these exercises in their proper sense first originated among the Cretans and Spartans; the latter in particular have often been censured for practising them in an immoderate degree.1457 This want of moderation, however, though it occurred in later times, is never perceivable in the maxims and ideas of the Dorians, who in this, as in several other cases, knew how to set bounds to youthful ardour, and check its pernicious effects. Aristotle himself1458 remarks concerning the Spartan education, that it did not tend to form athletes, who considered gymnastic exercises as the chief business of life; and that the exercises tending to the beauty and elasticity of the frame were accurately separated from those of an opposite character, is shown by the absolute prohibition of the rougher exercises of boxing and the pancration;1459 the latter being a mixture of wrestling [pg 314] and boxing, in which the fall of either party did not decide the victory, but the most violent contest often took place when the combatants were struggling on the ground. The reason of this is said to be, that in these alone an express confession of the defeated party by the raising of the hand, served to put an end to the contest; and that Lycurgus would not permit such an avowal to his Spartans. But the real reason is probably that stated above. On the other hand, gladiators (?p??µa???) who publicly exhibited their skill in the use of arms, were not tolerated in Laconia,1460 probably because the use of arms was thought too serious for mere sport and display. Nevertheless the colony of Cyrene adopted this custom from Mantinea in Arcadia,1461 under their legislator Demonax.1462
5. The Doric race, to whom the elevation of gymnastic contests into great national festivals was principally owing, were probably likewise the first who introduced crowns in lieu of other prizes of victory. The gymnastic combatants in Homer are excited by real rewards; but from the advanced state of civilization on which the Dorians stood in other respects, it is probable that they also purified the exhibition of bodily activity from all other motives than the love of honour. The first crown was bestowed at Olympia, and was gained in the seventh Olympiad by Daicles a Dorian of Messenia.1463 How much gymnastic exercises [pg 315] were practised in the different Doric states, may be collected from the extant catalogues of the conquerors at the Olympian, and Pythian games: some conclusions may even be drawn from an examination of Corsini's Catalogue. This shows that the Spartans never practised either boxing or the pancration,1464 and their principles were so generally recognized at the Olympian games, over which they possessed great influence, that boys were not till a very late period permitted to contend in the pancration.1465 On the other hand, many conquerors in the race came from Sparta, particularly between the 20th and 50th Olympiads: besides numerous pentathli and wrestlers: amongst the former Philombrotus (Olymp. 26-28.), amongst the latter Hipposthenes (Olymp. 37-43.) and his son Hetœmocles are distinguished by the number of crowns gained at Olympia; the first victors in both contests were also Lacedæmonians. Before the 9th Olympiad, the Elean catalogues mention Messenians in particular as victors in the race: from the 49th Olympiad, the natives of Croton are conspicuous as victors in the stadium; of these, Tisicrates and Astylus occupy the whole period between the 71st and 75th Olympiads. At the same time the swift-footed Phallys was thrice victorious at the Pythian games: this champion was likewise the wonder of his age in the pentathlon (a contest requiring extraordinary activity), but particularly in the exercise of leaping,1466 [pg 316] being also a warrior and athlete. The gymnastic training of the young Crotoniats at that time attained the height of the development of the body in equal beauty and strength; Croton was celebrated for its beautiful boys and youths.1467
During this period there existed at Croton a school of wrestlers, the chief of whom was Milo, who from the 62nd Olympiad was victorious in almost every one of the four principal games, more frequently than any other Greek. It was however whilst the philosophy of Pythagoras directed the public institutions of Croton, and influenced its manners, that this city outshone the rest of Greece by its warriors and athletes.1468 Milo himself, the fabulous champion of posterity, was at the same time a sage and hero. But the conquest of Sybaris, the destruction of the Pythagorean league, and the adoption of the Achæan constitution, soon put an end to this system, and Croton, without suffering any external change, lost at the end of the 75th Olympiad the whole of her internal vigour. As the athletes of this town followed in their choice of exercises the fundamental principles of Spartan discipline, the case was reversed amongst the Rhodians, particularly whilst the family of Diagoras flourished, [pg 317] which produced more than six boxers, the first of their day, and men of gigantic bodily strength.1469 The Æginetans were famed for their dexterity in the contests, and from the 45th Olympiad till the dissolution of their state, bore off numerous victories in the race, wrestling, and pancration, and were particularly distinguished as boys.1470 The distant colonies in Sicily and Libya took little interest in gymnastic contests: the latter expected more glory from their renowned horses and chariots,1471 the former from their breed of mules.1472 The Cretans, although particularly distinguished in running, fought (according to Pindar, whose statement is confirmed by these catalogues) “like gamecocks in the arena of their own court.”1473 It is not possible to detail the peculiarities of the Doric states in their management of the various exercises, till the customs observed at their contests, particularly in wrestling, have been more accurately examined.1474
6. But all the exercises in the gymnasium of Sparta were esteemed of perhaps less importance to the education of the body, than another class, the object of which was to harden the frame by labour [pg 318] and fatigue. The body was obliged to undergo heat and cold (the extremes of which were felt in an immoderate degree throughout the narrow valley of Sparta),1475 likewise hunger, thirst and privations of every description. To this they were trained by frequent hunting on the mountains, in which manner the youths of Crete were also exercised,1476 as also in the agelæ, under the agelates.1477 Next came the laborious service in the most distant parts of the Laconian territory, amidst which the young men of Sparta grew up from youth to manhood, obliged to administer to their own wants without the assistance of a servant.1478 The boys were also inured to hardships, by being forced to obtain their daily nourishment by stealing; for this custom was also limited to a particular period in the education of the sons of the Equals.1479 We should certainly afford at the best but a very partial representation of these peculiar customs, if we were to single out some striking peculiarity from a connected system, and attempt to examine in detail a subject which should be criticised generally, or not at all. According to the scattered fragments of our information, the state of the case was as follows:1480 the boys at a certain period were generally banished from the town, and all communion with men, and were obliged to lead a wandering life in the fields and forests. When thus excluded, they were forced to obtain, by force or cunning [pg 319] the means of subsistence from the houses and court-yards, all access to which was at this time forbidden them; frequently obliged to keep watch for whole nights, and always exposed to the danger of being beaten, if detected. To judge this custom with fairness, it should only be regarded in the connexion which we have explained above. The possession of property was made to furnish a means of sharpening the intellect, and strengthening the courage of the citizens, by forcing the one party to hold and the other to obtain it by a sort of war. The loss of property which was thus occasioned, appeared of little importance to a state where personal rights were so little regarded; and the mischievous consequences were in some measure avoided by an exact definition of the goods permitted to be stolen,1481 which were in fact those, that any Spartan who required them for the chase, might take from the stock of another. Such was the idea upon which this usage was kept up; it might possibly however have originated in the ancient mountain-life of the Dorians, when they inhabited mounts Œta and Olympus, cooped up within narrow boundaries, and engaged in perpetual contests with the more fortunate inhabitants of the plains: as a relic and memorial of those habits, it remained, contrasted with the independent and secure mode of life of the Spartans at a later period. Respecting the triumph of Spartan hardihood, viz. the scourging at the altar of Artemis Orthia, it has been above remarked in what manner, by a change made in the genuine Grecian [pg 320] spirit, the gloomy rites of a sanguinary religion had been turned to a different and useful purpose.1482
7. The gymnastic war-games, which were peculiar to the Cretans and Spartans, still remained to be noticed as a characteristic feature of the Doric education. At the celebration of these, the ephebi, after a sacrifice to Ares in a temple at Therapne, went through a regular battle unarmed, in an island formed by ditches, near the garden called Platanistas, and exerted every means in their power to obtain the victory.1483 In Crete the boys belonging to one syssition frequently engaged in battle against those of another, the youths of one agele against those of another, and these contests bore a still nearer resemblance to a real engagement. They marched to the sound of flutes and lyres, and besides fists, weapons of wood and iron were employed.1484 Yet although at Sparta gymnastic exercises were certainly brought to a nearer resemblance with war than in the rest of Greece, it would be erroneous [pg 321] on that account to conclude, that the aim of all bodily education among the Dorians was to obtain superiority in war. Enough has been alleged to prove satisfactorily to any unprejudiced reader, that the chief object of Spartan discipline was to invigorate the bodies of the youth, without rendering their minds at the same time either brutal or ferocious. And that this endeavour to attain, as it were, an ideal beauty and strength of limb, was not altogether unsuccessful, may be seen from the fact, that the Spartans, as well as the Crotoniats, were about the 60th Olympiad (540 B.C.) the most healthy of the Greeks,1485 and that the most beautiful men as well as women were found amongst them.1486
8. The female sex underwent in this respect the same education as the male, though (as has been above remarked) only the virgins. They had their own gymnasia,1487 and exercised themselves, either naked or lightly clad, in running, wrestling, or throwing the quoit and spear.1488 It is highly improbable that youths or men were allowed to look on, since in the gymnasia of Lacedæmon no idle bystanders were permitted; every person was obliged either to join the rest, or withdraw.1489 Like the Elean girls in the temples of [pg 322] Here, so at Sparta the eleven Bacchanalian virgins exhibited their skill in the race at a contest in honour of their god.
The whole system of gymnastic exercise was placed at Sparta under the superintendence of magistrates of the highest dignity, the bidiæi; and the ephors every ten days inspected the condition of the boys, to ascertain whether they were of a good habit of body, if so general a meaning can be attached to the testimony of Agatharchides.1490
The whole of this book from the first chapter has been employed in considering the manners and physical existence of the Dorians (the d?a?ta ??????). We now come to the second great division of education, viz. music; in which term the whole mental education of the Doric race was included, if we except writing, which was never generally taught at Sparta.1491 Nor indeed was it essential in a nation, where, as in Crete, laws, hymns, and the praises of illustrious men, that is the jurisprudence and history of such a people, were taught in the schools of music.1492
1. We are now about to speak of the history of music in the different Doric states; and before we notice particular facts and circumstances, we must direct our attention to the more general one, namely, that one of the musical modes or ??µ???a? (by which term the ancient Greeks denoted the arrangement of intervals, the length of which was fixed by the different kinds of harmony, ????, according to the strings of the tetrachord, together with the higher or lower scale of the whole system), was anciently called the Doric,1493 and that this measure, together with the Phrygian and Lydian, was long the only one in use among the musicians of Greece, and consequently the only one which in these early times derived its name from a Greek nation; a sufficient warrant for us to consider it as the genuine Greek mode, in contradistinction to [pg 324] any other introduced at a later period.1494 A question next arises, wherefore this ancient and genuine Greek strain was called the Doric.1495 The only explanation that can be given is, that it was brought to perfection in Doric countries, viz. in the ancient nurseries of music, Crete, Sparta, Sicyon, and Delphi. There cannot therefore have been any school or succession of musicians among the other Greek nations, of greater celebrity than the Doric, before the time we allude to. Had this been the fact, they must either have adopted the same mode, or had an original one of their own; in the first case, it would have been named rather after them, in preference to the Dorians; in the second, there would have been two Greek musical modes, not merely the Doric. It follows then, that the establishment of the Doric music must have been of greater antiquity than the renowned musicians of Lesbos, who themselves were prior to Archilochus,1496 and should not be considered as commencing with Terpander1497 (who flourished from Olymp. 26. till 33. 676-646 B.C.), since at his time they had already arrived at a high degree of eminence. In fact, the Lesbian musicians were at that time the most distinguished in Greece: [pg 325] they far surpassed the native musicians of Peloponnesus, nay, even of Lacedæmon itself; so that if the above style had not at that time been common in the Peninsula, it would not have been called the Doric. Notwithstanding which, the opposition of the Doric to the Phrygian and Lydian modes on the one side, and the definite and systematic relation between the three on the other, can neither have been the result of mere popular and unscientific attempts, nor have originated in the mother-country of Greece, where there was no opportunity of becoming acquainted with the styles of music peculiar to those Asiatic nations,1498 or of comparing them with their own, so as to mould them into one. The Doric mode, however, could only have been so named originally, from the contrast which it exhibited with these other kinds of music, and this must have been first observed in foreign countries, and not among the Dorians or Peloponnesians themselves, who were only acquainted with one style. The natural supposition then is, that the Lesbian musicians, being in constant communication both with Peloponnesus and Asia Minor, first established the distinction and names of the three modes, by adapting to the particular species of tetrachord in use throughout Peloponnesus, the accompaniments of singing and dancing practised in Asia Minor, and moulding the whole into a regular system.
2. Allowing then the truth of these premises, it follows that the Dorians of Peloponnesus, the genuine Greeks, cultivated music to a greater degree than any other of the Grecian tribes, before the time when [pg 326] this far-famed school of Asia flourished. We are warranted in assuming that it was not merely the external influence of the Doric race which gave their name to this mode, from the close affinity it bears to the character of the nation. The ancients, who were infinitely quicker in discovering the moral character of music than can be the case in modern times, attributed to it something solemn, firm, and manly, calculated to inspire fortitude in supporting misfortunes and hardships, and to strengthen the mind against the attacks of passion. They discovered in it a calm sublimity, and a simple grandeur which bordered upon severity, equally opposed to inconstancy and enthusiasm;1499 and this is precisely the character we find so strongly impressed on the religion, arts, and manners of the Dorians. The severity and rudeness of this music (which appeared gloomy and harsh to the later ages, and would be still more so to our ears, accustomed to a softer style) was strikingly contrasted with the mild and pleasing character which had then long pervaded the Epic poetry. It teaches us undoubtedly to distinguish between the Asiatic Greeks, and those sprung from the mountains in the north of Greece, who, proud of their natural loftiness of character and vigour of mind, had acquired but little refinement from any contact with strangers.
3. In the study of music, as well as every thing else, the Dorians were uniformly the friends of antiquity; and in this also Sparta was considered the model of Doric customs.1500 Not that Sparta opposed [pg 327] herself altogether to every attempt at improvement; her object was, that every novelty should be first acknowledged to be an improvement, before it passed into common use, and formed a part of the national education. Hence it unavoidably followed, that the music publicly practised in Sparta proceeded by rapid and single advances to a state of perfection; which opinion is perfectly consistent with the account given by an ancient author of the different regulations respecting the exercise of this art.1501 When Terpander, the son of Derdenes, an inhabitant of Antissa in Lesbos, four times carried off the prize in the Pythian games, and also in the Carnean festival at Sparta (where the musicians of his school were long distinguished),1502 and had tranquillized the tumults and disorders of the city by the solemn and healing tones of his songs,1503 the acknowledged admiration of this master became so general in Sparta, that he procured the sanction of the law to his new inventions, particularly the seven-stringed cithara. It appears that by these means1504 the music of earlier times became entirely antiquated, so that with the exception of the [pg 328] ancient Pythian minstrels, Chrysothemis and Philammon, not one name of the Doric musicians, before the time of Terpander, has come down to us. For those who, like Thaletas, have been sometimes considered more ancient, belong, according to undoubted testimony, to a later period.1505 Plutarch dates the second epoch of Spartan music from Thaletas the Elyrian (whose skill was undoubtedly derived from the ancient sacred minstrels of the neighbouring town of Tarrha),1506 and from Xenodamus of Cythera, and Xenocritus the Locrian,1507 (whose chief compositions were pæans and hyporchemes), from Polymnestus of Colophon, and Sacadas the Argive, the latter of whom distinguished himself in elegies and other compositions adapted to the flute, the former in the orthian and dithyrambic styles, and also as an epic and elegiac poet. Sacadas flourished and conquered at the Pythian games in Olymp. 48. 3. 586 B.C.; the other musicians, according to Plutarch, must also have lived about the same period. Thaletas was however earlier than Polymnestus1508 and Xenocritus,1509 although later than Terpander [pg 329] and Archilochus, and therefore lived before the 40th Olympiad, or 620 B.C. To these musicians Plutarch entirely ascribes the introduction of songs at the gymnopædia of Lacedæmon,1510 the endymatia at Argos, and some public spectacles in Arcadia. The regulations established at this period appear to have continued in force as long as the Spartan customs were kept up, and were the chief means by which the changes attempted to be introduced during the several epochs of Melanippides, Cinesias, Phrynis, and Timotheus the Milesian were prevented from being carried into effect. Thus Ecprepes the ephor, on observing that the cithara of Phrynis had two strings more than the allowed number, immediately cut them out; and the1511 same thing is said to have happened to Timotheus at the Carnean festival.1512 The account is, however, contradicted by an improbable story, that the accused minstrel justified himself by referring to a statue of Apollo at Sparta, which had a lyre containing the same number of strings.1513 At least Pausanias1514 saw in the hall of music at Sparta1515 (s????), the eleven-stringed cithara which was taken from Timotheus, and there hung up.[pg 330]
It is well known that a Spartan decree is supposed to exist,1516 on this real or fabulous transaction respecting the eleven-stringed cithara of Timotheus. It recites, that “whereas Timotheus of Miletus, despising the harmony of the seven-stringed cithara, poisoned the ears of the young men by increasing the number of strings, and introducing a new and effeminate species of melody; and that having been invited to perform at the festival of the Eleusian Ceres, he exhibited an indecent representation of the holy rites, and most improperly instructed the young men in the mystery of the labour-pains of Semele; it is decreed that the kings and ephors should reprimand Timotheus, and compel him to reduce the number of strings on his cithara to seven; in order that every person in future, being conscious of the dignity of the state, might beware of introducing improper customs into Sparta, and the fame of the contests be preserved unsullied.”1517 But the authenticity [pg 331] of the inscription is so doubtful, to say no more, that we dare not deduce any historical inferences from it. For in the first place, the style of the document appears to have been formed upon the model of a common Athenian honorary decree, only that censure is inserted instead of praise with a sort of mock gravity. There is nothing in it characteristic of Spartan manners, but much that is foreign and almost strange; for example, it is not even stated who proposed and approved the decree. Secondly, a decree upon such a subject is not consistent with the general spirit of the government of Sparta, which was distinguished by its summary method of proceeding. Every ephor, as inspector of the games, had the same powers individually as are here attributed to the whole college, and the kings; who had (it is true) a place of honour at the public games, but no share in the direction of them. The Eleusinia, in the form of a theatrical festival, were at least celebrated in Sparta at a late date.1518 That Timotheus should have ventured to produce his “Birth of Bacchus” at those games is very surprising; but still more so is the account of his having taught it to the Spartan youths, which can only mean that he contrived to have it represented by the young men of the town. Now the ?d?? of Timotheus was a dithyrambic ode of the mimic species, which was a late invention performed by regular actors, not by a [pg 332] public chorus. How then is it possible that the latter should have been the case at Sparta? The learned distinction between different styles of music in the decree, clearly savours less of Laconian brevity than of the self-complacency of some grammarian.1519 Most of the expressions used may be traced to the comic poets of Athens, and contain no Spartan peculiarities, and yet an accurate explanation of them might lead us into many difficulties. Lastly, the dialect appears to me to be the composition of some one who had accidentally become acquainted with peculiar Spartan inflections. The letter ? is most suspiciously used throughout; the author had evidently an erroneous notion that T is not Laconian, and should be changed into ?, instead of S.1520 The editors have endeavoured to make considerable alterations in the orthography;1521 but by this means all possibility of criticism is made hopeless. It is therefore probable that some grammarian has taken the trouble to draw up a Laconian decree from one of the stories respecting Timotheus, the interest of which should consist in the austerity of the sentiments, and the roughness of the dialect. That the inventor really intended it for a public monument, is evident from the ancient style of writing, which was abolished at Athens [pg 333] at the archonship of Euclid, and in Sparta perhaps later.1522
In Crete the national music was once formed on the same principles as in Lacedæmon,1523 but became relaxed in course of time. In a Cnosian1524 decree made at the beginning of the second century before Christ, an ambassador is commended for having often played on the cithara the melodies of Timotheus, Polyidus,1525 and the ancient Cretan poets. In Argos, too, the first person who used a cithara with more than seven strings was punished;1526 and in Sicyon, also, there were laws appointed to regulate musical contests.1527
4. The chief reason why the state constantly interfered in the regulation of music was, that it was considered much more as expressing the general tone of the feeling and morals of the people, than as an art which might be left to its own capabilities of improvement. Historical examples confirm the truth of this close connexion, and in particular, it is alleged respecting the Dorians of Sicily, that by introducing a soft effeminate music, they destroyed the purity of their morals;1528 while the strict domestic discipline at Sparta would hardly have been preserved without the assistance of the ancient style of music which was there cultivated. In order to explain this, it is necessary [pg 334] to observe, that in those times music formed a much more universal branch of education, and was practised to a far greater extent by the people at large, than it has ever been since.1529 We may trace the progress of music, as it from time to time fell more into the hands of individual artists, whilst the populace, which in the infancy of the art took a part in the exhibition, gradually became mere spectators. The command of an ancient Delphic oracle,1530 that public thanksgivings should be offered to Bromius by the whole people for a fruitful year, by singing choruses in the streets, was also followed at Sparta, at least in the Gymnopædia. At this festival large choruses of men and boys appeared,1531 in which many of the inhabitants of the city doubtless took part. From this circumstance either the whole or part of the market was called chorus;1532 and it is probable that the spacious (e????????) cities of Homer were merely furnished with open squares large enough to contain such numerous choruses. It was at these great city choruses that those of blemished reputation always occupied the hindermost rows:1533 sometimes, nevertheless, men of consideration, when placed there by the arranger of the chorus, boasted that they did honour to the places, the places did not dishonour them.1534[pg 335]
Those placed at the back of the chorus were called (like the soldiers arrayed behind the line of battle) ???e??;1535 the choregus, however, did not merely defray the expenses of the chorus, but he also led it in person; and indeed a choregos once performed the duties of flute-player at Lacedæmon.1536 If then every citizen took some part in these choruses, it follows that they must have been trained to them, and have practised them from childhood; as we know on the other hand that the whole musical instruction of Crete and Sparta was intended as a preparation for them.1537 Accordingly, the musical school was called chorus among the Dorians;1538 in musical training there was a constant reference to the public choral dances. Hence we perceive that, at least in early times, a certain cultivation of music within the limits prescribed by the national manners was common to all Spartans; and the saying of the poet Socrates,1539 “that the bravest of the Greeks also made the finest choruses,” was peculiarly applicable to them; also Pratinas the scenic poet speaks of “the Lacedæmonian cicada,1540 as ready for [pg 336] the chorus.”1541 In later times, indeed, the numbers of the citizens in Sparta so greatly diminished, and war occupied so much of the public attention, that the favourable side of Spartan discipline was cast into the shade, and Aristotle ascribes with truth to the Spartans of his time a just discrimination and taste for music, but no scientific knowledge of it.1542
The cultivation of music, however, was the more general among the Dorians and kindred race of Arcadians, from the circumstance that women took a part in it, and sang and danced in public both with men and by themselves.1543 On the nature of the parthenia, or the choruses performed by girls, the character and education of Doric virgins enable us to decide with confidence, when we are told, that the parthenia were accompanied by Dorian music, and there was something in them exceedingly grave and solemn.1544 It appears likewise, that aged persons, who at Athens would have been ridiculed for dancing at religious ceremonies, at Sparta often took a part in the great choruses, as is proved by the accounts of the three great choirs of boys, men, and old men, which seem to have danced at several great festivals.1545
5. Having now in the foregoing remarks considered the peculiarities of the Doric race, as well in general [pg 337] as with respect to Sparta in particular, we shall next give some account of the progress of music among the several states of that race.
That the religious music and poetry of the Dorians originated in Crete, has been shown above:1546 and perhaps the loud and irregular music of the early Phrygian inhabitants first awakened a taste for that art among the Dorians. The nome, the pæan, and the hyporcheme,1547 had been known in Crete from an early period, though the more polished form of the two last was introduced by Thaletas. The dances in a ring were often connected with the nome and hyporcheme, according to an ancient custom in Crete and the neighbouring regions; and they were danced by both men and women.1548 At Sparta there were the same dancers, known by the name of ?µ??, or ornaments.1549 The youth danced first some movements suited to his age, and of a military nature; the maiden followed in measured steps, and with feminine gestures. The Spartan music was in general derived from the Cretan, nor did it attempt to disown its origin; indeed many favourite dances, with their tunes, and certain pæans, ordered by law to be sung at appointed times, together with many other kinds of music, were called Cretan.1550 But it cannot be denied that, although their origin may have been [pg 338] similar, their progress and development were very different. The Cretan music appears to have been almost entirely warlike and religious, while the Spartan, from the time of Alcman, was adapted to more various purposes. Peculiar kinds of Lacedæmonian dances were in existence at the time of Cleisthenes of Sicyon;1551 they consisted both of motions of the hands and feet, as Aristoxenus states of several ancient national dances.1552 The early zeal for music in these regions is shown by the contests in the temple of Zeus at Ithome in Messenia, in which Eumelus engaged before the first war with Lacedæmon:1553 the contests of the Muses connected with the Carnean festival began in the 26th Olympiad (676 B.C.). In the time of Polycrates, Argos possessed the most celebrated musicians in Greece,1554 particularly flute-players; about the 48th Olympiad (588 B.C.) Sacadas wrote poetry, composed music, and played lyric songs and elegies to the flute:1555 a particular kind of flute was called the Argive.1556 Sicyon also appears to have had a share in these improvements: for after Sacadas had thrice gained the prize, Pythocritus of Sicyon was victorious in six following contests;1557 and the dithyrambic chorus to the flute was performed there with great skill and effect.1558 That at Sicyon, Corinth, and Phlius, the worship of Bacchus gave a peculiar turn to music [pg 339] and poetry, has been remarked above,1559 and will be explained at greater length hereafter. In Sicily the worship of Demeter prevailed, which was always attended with a degree of licentiousness; the Syracusan choruses of iambists1560 were, without doubt, connected with this worship.1561 The circumstance that the effeminate dances of the Ionians were celebrated there in honour of Artemis,1562 was probably occasioned by music having degenerated in that island.1563
6. We do not intend to consider the subject of dancing independently of music; as this combination appears to be most convenient for our purpose of ascertaining its importance as connected with manners and public education. Dancing, when it did not merely accompany the time of the music, inclined either to gymnastic display or to mimicry; that is, it either represented bodily activity, or it was meant to express certain ideas and feelings. The gymnastic dancing was no where so much practised as at Sparta, where the ancient connexion between the musical school and the palæstra, and of both with the military exercises,1564 was more strictly maintained than in any other state. Indeed the march of the Spartans and Cretans had, on account of its musical accompaniment, some resemblance to a dance. [pg 340] For, whereas the other Greeks either marched to battle without any music, in the manner of the ancient Achæans, or, like the Argives, made use of Tyrrhenian trumpets,1565 the Cretans advanced to battle to the sound of the lyre,1566 the Spartans to that of the flute.1567 This last seems, however, to have been an innovation; for Alcman the Laconian mentions the cithara;1568 and the Cretans also introduced the flute in their army.1569 However, be this as it may, the flute had become the common instrument at Sparta; probably because the cithara was not fitted for uniting large bodies of men, its sound being too low to produce any effect, even during a complete stillness. The sound of flutes was doubtless more piercing, and particularly when a great number of pipers (who in Sparta formed several native families)1570 played the tune for attack. Thucydides remarks that this was not for any religious purpose, but that the troops might march in time, [pg 341] and not as large armies are apt to do, fall into disorder.1571 The general term for a tune of this kind was embaterion.1572 One kind of nome was called castoreum, which, like the others, was played on the flute, when the army marched in line to meet the enemy.1573 This had the same rhythm1574 as the other embateria,1575 viz. an anapæstic; both in its measure and melody there was something very enlivening and animated,1576 so that Alexander of Macedon always felt himself inspired with fresh bravery when Timotheus the Theban played the castoreum to him. There can be no doubt that it was originally set in the Doric mode, and bore the character of Spartan simplicity, notwithstanding the many variations which were afterwards added.1577 Pindar is reminded by its name of Castor the horseman and charioteer;1578 but I do not perceive what relation the most ancient use of this nome, as a march for the Spartans, could have to this point: but it clearly took its name from the Tyndaridæ, who were considered as [pg 342] the leaders of the Spartan army.1579 That of the poems of Tyrtæus the anapæstic verses only were sung as marches, and that they were embateria, is now generally admitted.1580 The elegies were sung in campaigns, at meals, and after the pæan, not in chorus, but singly, and for a prize. The polemarch decided,1581 and the victor was rewarded with a chosen piece of meat.1582 The Cretans had also embateria, named after Ibycus, a musician.1583
7. That war among these ancient nations had something of an imitative nature, and that it was by imperceptible transitions connected with the pure imitations of art, I have already attempted to show;1584 and the same may be inferred from what has been just said. A transition of this kind was formed by the Pyrrhic dance, the dancers of which bore the same name as the practised, armed and expert combatant [pg 343] (p?????).1585 The Pyrrhic dance was undoubtedly a production of the Doric nation in Crete and Sparta,1586 although in the former state it was fabulously connected with the Curetes and the rites of the ancient Idæan Zeus,1587 and at Sparta with the Dioscuri. It was danced to the flute,1588 and its time was very quick and light, as is shown by the name of the Pyrrhic foot. Hence in Crete Thaletas was able to add hyporchematic or mimic variations to it,1589 which had likewise quick measures. From this account it may be also inferred that the war-dance of Crete was of an imitative kind; and indeed Plato says of the Pyrrhic dance in general that it imitated all the attitudes of defence, by avoiding a thrust or a cast, retreating, springing up, and crouching, as also the opposite movements of attack with arrows and lances, and also of every kind of thrust.1590 So strong was the attachment to this dance at Sparta, that, long after it had in the other Greek states degenerated into a Bacchanalian revel, it was still danced by the Spartans as a warlike exercise, and boys of fifteen were instructed in it.1591
8. But we must return to the subject whence we digressed, the connexion between gymnastic exercises and dancing. These two arts were connected [pg 344] by the pentathlon, a pattern of adroitness, activity, strength and measured motions, which was accompanied by the music of the flute.1592 In later times any tunes were used for this exhibition; but earlier certain fixed measures were played, one of which had been composed by Hierax, a disciple of Olympus:1593 nor at that time did distinguished artists disdain to appear as actors in these sports, as, for example, Pythocritus of Sicyon. At Argos, at the Sthenia, the combatants wrestled to the sound of the flute;1594 and a melody of this same Hierax was played1595 when the women carried flowers (at a festival) to the temple of Here. At Sparta the chief object of the Gymnopædia was to represent gymnastic exercises and dancing in intimate union, and indeed the latter only as the accomplishment and end of the former. One of the principal games at this festival resembled the anapale, or wrestling-dance; the boys danced in regular time with graceful motions of the hands, in which the methods of the wrestling-school and the pancration were shown; at the same time, however, this dance had some mixture of the Bacchanalian kind.1596 Thus also the youths (ephebi) of Sparta, when they were skilled in their exercises, danced in rows behind each other, to the music of the flute, first military, then choral dances, and at the same time repeated two verses, of which one was an invitation to Aphrodite [pg 345] and Eros to join them, the other an exhortation to one another.1597 There was also a dance with a ball at Sparta and Sicyon.1598 The Bibasis, a dance of men and women, was of the gymnastic kind;1599 all the dancers struck their feet behind, a feat, of which a Spartan woman in Aristophanes prides herself.1600 Prizes were given to the most skilful; and we are told by a verse which has been preserved that a Laconian girl had danced the Bibasis a thousand times more than any other had done.1601 Besides the Bibasis the Dipodia is mentioned;1602 but so little is known about it, that the origin of its name even is not clear.1603 In a comedy of Aristophanes a chorus of Lacedæmonians danced a Dipodia to the flute, and sing, chiefly in trochaic metre, of the battles of Thermopylæ and Artemisium, and the friendship of Sparta and Athens; after which follows another song, which was probably danced in the same manner. In this the chorus implores the Laconian Muse to come from mount Taygetus, and to celebrate the tutelar deities of Sparta; and urges itself to the dance in words which give a very good idea of its character: “Come [pg 346] hither with a light motion to sing of Sparta. Where there are choruses in honour of the gods, and the noise of dancing, when, like young horses, the maidens on the banks of the Eurotas rapidly move their feet; while their hair floats, like revelling Bacchanals; and the daughter of Leda directs them, the sacred leader of the chorus. Now bind up the hair, and leap like fawns; now strike the measured tune which gladdens the chorus.”1604 Many points in this description remind us of the dances of the Laconian maidens at the worship of Artemis of Caryæ, which were animated and vehement.1605
9. We now come to the dances whose object was to express and represent some peculiar meaning. This was either some feeling (to which class almost all the religious as well as the theatrical dances belong) or some outward object; to which we may refer the mimic dances. To the latter, the Pyrrhic and the Gymnopædian dances belong, and to the religious, the Hyporcheme, which we treated of in connexion with the worship of Apollo.1606 Of this description was perhaps the Bryallicha,1607 a dance in honour of [pg 347] Artemis and Apollo, danced by women, or, as some assert, by men in hideous women's masks, who at the same time sang hymns to the two deities.1608 The name signifies a violent leap; and from what we can gather elsewhere respecting the character of this dance, it appears to have been irregular and licentious. How it agrees with the worship of Apollo, one does not exactly perceive, unless it is supposed that some fable in the history of that god was represented in a mimic style, which admitted of such irregularity. The worship of Artemis, however, had other forms which produced these licentious dances, as in Laconia itself the Calabis.1609
A few particulars respecting several Laconian dances have been preserved by a grammarian,1610 whose [pg 348] account we will insert at full, adding only some remarks of our own. “The Deimalea was danced by Sileni and Satyrs waltzing in a circle,” its name being perhaps derived from the cowardice (de?µa) of these “useless and worthless fellows,” as Hesiod calls them.1611 “The Ithymbi was danced to Bacchus, the dance of the Caryatides to Artemis; the Bryallicha was so called after its inventor Bryallichus; it was danced by women to Apollo and Artemis.” The following dances also, as appears from the conclusion, were Laconian. The Hypogypones imitated old men with sticks. The Gypones danced on wooden stilts, and wearing transparent Tarentine dresses. The Menes was danced by Charini,1612 and took its name from the flute-player who invented it. There was a Bacchanalian dance called “Tyrbasia,” probably resembling the Argive Tyrbè, and deriving its name from its intricate mazes. “A dance in which they mimicked those who were caught stealing the remains of meals was called Mimelic. But the Gymnopœdia, danced with jests and merriment, was more splendid.” The merry spirit, and the love for comic exhibition, which produced all these mimic dances, is shown in these imperfect notices, the deficiencies of which we can only supply in one instance, viz. in the account of the Deicelictæ (or Mimeli). There was at [pg 349] Sparta an ancient play, but it was probably acted only by the common people, and quite extempore, nor ever by regular players.1613 From the account of Nepos it may be also conjectured that it was performed by unmarried women. The name Deicelictæ (or Mimeli) merely means “imitators;”1614 but it came to signify only comic imitators.1615 In this play there was not (according to Sosibius)1616 any great art; for Sparta in all things loved simplicity. It represented in plain and common language either a foreign physician or stealers of fruit (probably boys), who were caught with their stolen goods;1617 that is, it was an imitation of common life, probably alternating with comic dances.
10. In Laconia it was chiefly the lower orders who had any decided love for comedy and buffoonery; for with the Dorians we only now and then discover a ray of levity or mirth piercing the gravity of their nature. I have already mentioned,1618 that from the Helots, who dwelt in the houses of the Spartans, and were called Mothones, or Mothaces, a kind of riotous dance took [pg 350] its name, in which drunken persons were probably represented; whence perhaps was derived the story that the Spartans intoxicated their slaves as a warning to their children. Other dances may perhaps have been common among the peasants, and particularly among the shepherds of remote regions.
It is an interesting question, and one allied to the present inquiry, to ascertain the origin of the bucolic poetry of the ancients. No one can doubt that its mingled character of simplicity, nature, and buffoonery, was copied from real life. Now the manners which it represented could neither have been those of slaves, for the condition of slavery does not admit of any regular society; nor yet of free citizens, for the rustic scenes of this poetry wholly disagree with a city life. It remains therefore that it imitated the life of subjects, of bondmen, such as existed as a separate class in the Doric states, and accordingly bucolic poems are commonly in the Doric dialect. It is related, that when Xerxes had overrun Greece, and the Spartan women could not perform the customary rites of Artemis Caryatis, the shepherds came from the mountains, and sang pastoral hymns to the goddess.1619 From this confused account we may collect that in the north of Laconia there had been some rude essays of pastoral poetry. In this respect, however, the shepherds of Italy and Sicily have become far more celebrated; Epicharmus mentions their bucolics (ß??????asµ??), as a kind of dance and song;1620 and even before his time [pg 351] Stesichorus had formed them into a species of lyric poetry.1621 Nevertheless their origin appears not to have been independent of one another, for both in Laconia and Sicily the name of Tityrus was used for the leading goat or ram of the flock.1622 That the same name should equally distinguish the human and animal leader of the flock, is a trait of the simplicity of those men, who passed their days among valleys and pastures, harmlessly tending their flocks, and taking no more notice of other modes of life than sending from time to time the produce of their industry to the city. Now in Sicily these shepherds were not of Greek extraction, but were undoubtedly of the aboriginal Siculian population, the ancient worshippers of the goddess Pales;1623 and it is not improbable that the bucolic poetry owed its origin to native talent. Even the ancient legend of Daphnis, who lost his eyes through his love for a nymph,1624 appears to me rather of a Siculian than Grecian cast; although how far the character of the Greeks and of the native inhabitants were opposed, is a very obscure subject of inquiry.1625[pg 352]
11. To conclude; as in Attica, so among the Dorians, comedy connected itself with the country festivals of Bacchus; and, as Aristotle says,1626 originated from the extemporaneous songs of those who led the Phallic processions, which were still customary in many Greek cities at the time of that philosopher. Of this, Sicyon furnishes an example. There was there a dance called ???t??,1627 which was probably of a Phallic nature; and also a comic entertainment, called the Phallophori,1628 in which the actors, with their heads and faces adorned with flowers, but unmasked, came into the theatre, in stately garments, some at the common entrance, some at the scene-doors; the Phallophorus, his face smeared with soot, walked first from among them, and, after giving notice that they came with a new song in honour of Bacchus, they began to ridicule any person they chose to select. Thus too the Phlyaces of Tarentum were probably connected with the worship of Bacchus, whose festivals were accompanied with similar rejoicings in Sicily.1629
Yet the rites of Demeter sometimes gave rise among the Dorians to lascivious entertainments of this kind, as we learn from the description in Herodotus of the Æginetan choruses of women at the festival of Artemis and Auxesia, which provoked others of their sex [pg 353] by riotous and insulting language.1630 These mockeries were, however, only the humour of the moment, and were merely accessaries to certain dances and songs; but among the Megarians, comedy, we know not by what means, obtained a more artificial character, and a more independent form.
1. At Athens, a coarse and ill-mannered jest was termed a Megarian joke;1631 which may be considered as a certain proof of the decided propensity of that people to humour. This is confirmed by the claims of the Megarians, who disputed the invention of comedy with the Athenians,1632 and perhaps not without justice, if indeed the term invention be at all applicable [pg 354] to the rise of the several branches of poetry, which sprung so gradually, and at such different times, from the particular feelings excited by the ancient festival rites, that it is difficult, and perhaps impossible, to fix upon the period at which the species of composition to which each gave rise was sufficiently advanced to be called a particular kind of poetry. Yet it is in the highest degree probable that the Athenians were indebted for the earliest form of their comic poetry to the Megarians. The Megarian comedy is ridiculed by Ecphantides, one of the early comic poets of Athens, as rude and unpolished, which circumstance alone makes its higher antiquity probable.1633 Ecphantides, whom Aristophanes, Cratinus, and others, ridicule as rough and unpolished,1634 looks down in his turn on those who had introduced comedy from Megara, and claims the merit of first seasoning the uncouth Megarian productions with Attic salt. But one of the earliest introducers of comedy was, according to the most credible and authentic accounts, Susarion, a native of Tripodiscus, an ancient village in the Megarian territory;1635 in Attica he made his first appearance in the village of Icaria,1636 situated on [pg 355] the borders of Megaris and Bœotia;1637 where it is known from mythological fables, that the rural festival of Bacchus had been celebrated from an early period. The argument for its Doric origin, derived from the name ??µ?d?a, “the village-song” (the Peloponnesians calling their villages ??µa?, and the Athenians d?µ??), is by no means conclusive, as the derivation of that name from the word ??µ??, a tumultuous festival procession, is far more probable. The early time at which comedy must have flourished may be seen from the fact, that it passed over to Athens in the 50th Olympiad;1638 but of its character we should form a very partial judgment, if we trusted implicitly to the accounts of the Athenian neighbours; and yet we have no other means of information.
The ancient comedy of Susarion, and of the Megarians, was (as is clear from the passage of Ecphantides) founded on a dramatic principle; although a species of lyric poetry, also called comedy, had existed from an early period among the Dorians and Æolians;1639 nor can I admit the opinion of Aristotle, [pg 356] that Epicharmus and Phormis were the first who wrote a comedy with a plot or story; previously to those poets, only some extempore and abusive speeches (?aµß??e??) were, according to his view of the subject, introduced between the songs of the chorus; but if this had been the case, the Megarian comedy would not have differed materially from the Sicyonian sports of the Phallophori, nor have attracted so much attention as it actually did. A Megarian actor, named Mæson, is often mentioned by the ancients as the inventor of masks of certain characters of low comedy, as cooks, scullions, sailors, and the like.1640 Hence it may be inferred that these Megarian farces, with their established or frequently recurring characters, had some resemblance to the Oscan Atellane plays.
2. It is indeed very probable that the Megarian furnished the first germ and elements of the Sicilian comedy, as perfected by Epicharmus. For the Megarians in Sicily, as well as those near Athens, laid claim, according to Aristotle,1641 to the invention of comedy, and there is no doubt that a communication was kept up between those two states. Now it is possible that comedy was brought from Megara to Syracuse, when Gelon (484 or 483 B.C.)1642 transplanted the inhabitants from the former to the latter city; and thus the elements of comedy which existed in the choruses and iambic speeches, were, by their subsequent combination with a more improved species of poetry, brought to maturity. This supposition, [pg 357] however, rests upon mere conjecture. Epicharmus, the son of Helothales,1643 must have gone to Syracuse at this emigration, having formerly resided at Megara; but he cannot be considered as the person who really introduced comedy at Syracuse, as he had lived only a short time at Megara; he was, as we are credibly informed, a native of Cos,1644 and went to Sicily with Cadmus, that is, about, or soon after, 480 B.C.,1645 and he must at this time have been at least a youth, in order to have acquired a name and influence in the reign of Hieron (between 478 and 467 B.C.)1646 In confirmation of the statement that he was a native of Cos, it may be remarked, that he was likewise a physician, which was the regular profession of his brother, his family being probably connected with that of the Asclepiadæ. Phormis, or Phormus, who by Aristotle and others is often mentioned with Epicharmus, appears to have been earlier than that poet by some Olympiads, having been the friend of Gelon, and tutor to his children;1647 but his fame was so completely [pg 358] eclipsed by that of his successor, that there is scarcely anything remaining of his plays, except a few titles,1648 which however show that he parodied mythological subjects.
But Epicharmus is much less known and esteemed than his peculiar style of writing and dramatic skill deserve; and those authors greatly err, who fix upon the period when his peculiar kind of poetry had arrived at perfection, as the commencement of the Athenian comedy, and attribute the clumsy and rustic simplicity from which the latter emerged, to the Sicilian style, which had enjoyed all the advantages which the life of a city and court could afford.1649 Before, therefore, we enter into details respecting the dramas, of Epicharmus, we will say a few words on the nature of his subjects, and his mode of handling them.
The subjects of the plays of Epicharmus were chiefly mythological, that is, parodies or travesties of mythology, nearly in the style of the satyric drama of Athens. Thus in the comedy of Busiris, Hercules was represented in the most ludicrous light, as a voracious glutton, and he was again exhibited in the same character (with a mixture perhaps of satirical remarks on the luxury of the times) in “the Marriage of Hebe,” in which an astonishing number of [pg 359] dishes was mentioned.1650 We can however form a better notion of the drama called “Hephæstus, or the Revellers,” chiefly by the help of some ancient works of art, which have come down to us. The play began we are told, with Hephæstus chaining his mother Here by magical charms to a seat, from which he only released her after long entreaties.1651 Now on a vase discovered at Bari in the kingdom of Naples, and now preserved in the British Museum,1652 Here, with the superscription ????,1653 is seen seated on a throne; on her right is a clown fantastically dressed, whom his pointed cap marks as a servant of Hephæstus, and his name, Dædalus, is written over his head;1654 on her left is Mars, dressed, with the exception of his helmet, in the same fashion (with the superscription ????????S); both these figures are armed, and endeavouring, the one to dissolve, the other to strengthen the charm by which Here is held. The whole scene is evidently supposed to take place on a stage, leading to which there are some steps; and as there were no other Sicilian or Italian comedies on the same subject, it may without hesitation be considered as a representation of the first part of the Hephæstus of Epicharmus.[pg 360]
The legend went on to say, that Hephæstus, having in consequence of this act been ill-treated by his parents, entirely deserted Olympus, until Bacchus, having contrived to make him drunk, placed him on an ass, and thus brought him in jolly merriment back to Olympus; to which transaction the other title of the piece, “the Revellers,” evidently alludes. Now this scene also has been transmitted to us in some ancient paintings, which although they do not exhibit the theatrical dress and the place of performance so clearly as that just mentioned, are evidently taken from comedies. There is on a Coghill vase1655 a procession in which the names of the several individuals composing it are superscribed; first Marsyas as a flute-player; then Comedy, in a state of violent motion; next Bacchus, in the ancient festival costume; and lastly, Hephæstus, who in other compositions of the same subject is drawn riding on an ass.
3. From these data, I will leave it to the judgment and taste of the reader to draw his own conclusions on the character of the drama of Epicharmus. But I may take this opportunity of remarking, that the painted vases of lower Italy often enable us to gain a complete and vivid idea of the theatrical representations of that country. From this source I have above traced a farce, in which Hercules delivers the Cercopes to Eurystheus, or some other king,1656 and perhaps also the picture of Hercules in the form of a pigmy, and fighting with the cranes, was derived from [pg 361] a similar source.1657 We may likewise mention the picture of Zeus and Hermes, the latter with a lantern, and the former with a ladder, both dressed in the most ridiculous and fantastical costume, in the act of ascending to a fair female, who is expecting them at her window.1658 It seems also probable, that the buffoon represented on a vase, as sitting on a fish, and making ridiculous grimaces,1659 is a caricature of the Tarentine fable of Taras on the dolphin. The costume, which reminds us of the Italian Policinello and Arlecchino,1660 proves that it was taken from a dramatic representation, which however is still more conspicuous on the painted vase of Asteas,1661 on which, among a number of clowns, one is seen stretched on a couch, evidently the bed of Procrustes. But it is remarkable, that in this case the performers do not bear the names of the heroes whom they travesty, but those of their masks. The one on the bed is called ??????S, or Gracioso (which name was likewise in use at Sparta);1662 the others are named ???S???S “the jester:” ??G??S “the laugher;”1663 and G????S?S, if the letters are read correctly: these are evidently names of standing characters of a dramatic fable, resembling the Attelane farces of Campania. The vase was moreover discovered in Campania.1664[pg 362]
4. But to return to Epicharmus; the comedy of this poet was by no means confined to parodies of mythological stories, as he also, like Aristophanes, handled political subjects, and invented comic characters like the later Athenian poets; and indeed the extent of his subjects was very wide. The piece called ??pa?a?, or “the Plunderings,” which described the devastation of Sicily in his time, had, according to Hemsterhuis,1665 a political meaning; and this was perhaps also the case with the ??s??, or “the Islands:” at least it was mentioned in this play, that Hieron had prevented Anaxilas from destroying Locri (477 B.C.);1666 in his “Persians” also there were allusions to the history of the times. The play called the “Countryman” (????st????, i.e. ????????), was an instance of the drama, which illustrated the character of a certain class of society. Epicharmus also introduced, and almost perfected characters, which were very common in the drama of later times;1667 and if the plot of the Menæchmi of Plautus was, as the poet seems to state in the prologue, taken from a comedy of Epicharmus, it must be granted that the ingenious construction of plots was not beyond the powers of that poet.1668 The style of his plays was not less various [pg 363] than his subjects, as he passed from the extreme of rude and comic buffoonery to a more serious and instructive vein, introducing maxims and moral sentences1669 with precepts of the Pythagorean philosophy, in which he is said to have been initiated with Archytas and Philolaus the son of Arcesas, the successor of Pythagoras;1670 and we know from Diogenes Laertius that he introduced long discourses of a speculative and philosophical nature, though it is not easy to see how they were connected with the rest of the piece. In the Ulysses (as I conjecture from the speech to Eumæus) he made incidentally some philosophical remarks on the instinct of animals;1671 other pieces, such as “the Pyrrha and Prometheus,” and “the Land and Sea,” were by their subjects still more closely connected with philosophy; he also wrote some poems on questions of natural and moral philosophy, which, if we may judge from the imitation of Ennius, were composed in a theatrical and very lively metre, the trochaic tetrameter.1672 That the dramatic style of Epicharmus was perfect in its kind, is proved by the great admiration it was held in by the ancients, particularly by Plato; and if the Attic comedy excelled in cutting satire and ridicule, the Sicilian poet [pg 364] had a higher and more general aim. The Athenian poets, if we may judge from Aristophanes, confined themselves wholly to the affairs of their own state, and it was their object to point out what they considered beneficial to the people. But Epicharmus had a different and higher object; for if the elements of his drama, which we have discovered singly, were in his plays combined, he must have set out with an elevated and philosophical view, which enabled him to satirize mankind, without disturbing the calmness and tranquillity of his thoughts; while at the same time his scenes of common life were marked with the acute and penetrating genius which characterized the Sicilians.1673
5. Notwithstanding this excellence, the comedy of Epicharmus was only an insulated and passing phenomenon, as we are not informed of any successors of that great poet, except Deinolochus1674 his son, or rather his disciple. But about half a century after Epicharmus,1675 Sophron, the mimographer, made his appearance, who was the author of a new species of comedy, though in many respects resembling that of his predecessor. Still this variety of the drama differed so much, not only from that of Sicily, but from any other which existed in Greece, that its origin must, after all our attempts at explanation, remain involved in great obscurity. The mimes of Sophron [pg 365] had no accompaniment of music or dancing, and they were written, not in verse, but in prose, though perhaps in certain rhythmical divisions.1676 This latter circumstance seems quite singular, and without example in the Greek literature which has been transmitted to us. But that it was in reality so, seems improbable, when we remember that there would naturally be an intermediate rhythm, formed at the transition from the metrical to the prosaic style;1677 and with the Dorians this would have taken the form of concise and disjointed sentences, a periodical style being more suited to the Athenians. We are led to this notion by the consideration of some remains of Lacedæmonian composition, in which no one can fail to see the rhythmical form and symmetry of the sentences. Thus in the famous letter of Hippocrates,1678
and also in that of the Lacedæmonian women, preserved by Plutarch,1679
where the rhythm passes insensibly into verse; which is less strikingly the case in other instances.1680[pg 366]
Whether the mimes of Sophron were publicly represented or not, is a question not easily answered. It would however be singular, if a poetical work had been intended only for reading, in an age when everything was written, not for the public eye, but for the public ear. It is certainly more probable that these mimes were originally part of the amusements of certain festivals, as was the case with the Spartan deicelictæ, which they resembled more than any other variety of the drama.1681 Indeed it can be easily conceived, that farces of this description, acted by persons who had a quick perception of the eccentricities and peculiarities of mankind, and a talent for mimicry, should have existed among the Dorians of Sicily, as well as of Laconia, particularly as the former were celebrated for their imitative skill.1682 Even Agathocles the tyrant excited the laughter, not merely of his guests and companions, but of whole assemblies of the people, by ridiculing certain known characters, in the manner of an ethologus, or merry andrew.1683 Accordingly the mimes of Sophron, by which these rude attempts were improved, and raised to a regular species of the drama, were distinguished by their faithful imitation of manners, even of the vulgar, and the solecisms and rude dialect of the common people were copied with great exactness;1684 whence the numerous [pg 367] sayings and proverbs which were introduced.1685 On the other hand, he was most skilful in seizing the more delicate shades and turns of feeling, and in preserving the unity and consistency of his characters, without which he would never have been so much admired by Plato, or the study of his works have been so serviceable in the composition of the Socratic dialogues, as we know on good authority to have been the case;1686 and hence we should compare the scenery of Plato's dialogues with the poems of Theocritus, which we know to be imitated from the female mimes of Sophron, in order to obtain a proper idea of those master-pieces. His talent for description must however have been supported and directed by moral considerations; which probably preponderated rather in the serious (µ?µ?? sp??da???), and were less prominent in the common mimes (µ?µ?? ???????). The tribe of Aretalogi and Ethologi, who originally spoke much of virtue and morality, but gradually sank into mere buffoons, appears to have come from Sicily, and was, perhaps through several intermediate links, connected with Sophron.1687
In considering these philosophical sports, which mingled in the same breath the grave and solemn lessons of philosophy and the most ludicrous mimicry and buffoonery, we may perhaps find a reason why Persius, a youth educated in the Stoic sect, should [pg 368] have thought of making Sophron the model of his Satires. This statement is given by a late, but in this instance a credible writer,1688 and is confirmed by the dramatic character of the Satires of Persius, and the constant use of mimicry in them, particularly the first four; so much so indeed, that a study of Persius is the best method of forming an accurate and lively idea of the mimes of Sophron.
6. The Dorians in general had evidently less poetical skill and feeling than the Athenians, and did not cultivate those rude attempts of wit and mirth which the festivals called forth, and of which the Athenians knew so well how to take advantage. This incapacity or negligence of the early times enables us to explain why several kinds of Doric poetry were not received into the literature of civilized Greece until the Alexandrian age, of which we may particularly specify the bucolic poetry, and the phlyaces of Tarentum. These carnival sports had doubtless been represented for ages, before they acquired, in the time of Ptolemy the First, notoriety in other places by the poems of Rhinthon, which were named after them. These plays are also called ??a??t?a??d?a,1689 or tragi-comedy; and both these and the titles of some pieces1690 and fragments handed down to us show that they were burlesques of tragical subjects.1691 It may, however, be easily supposed that Rhinthon [pg 369] did not lose sight of the Athenian tragedy, and it is possible that his two Iphigenias in particular, at Aulis and Tauris, contained many parodies of the two plays of Euripides. I should conceive, however, that he adhered generally to the form of the ancient phlyaces; thus for example, he faithfully imitated the dialect of Tarentum;1692 we may also be assured that he polished the native farces, so as to fit them for theatrical representation. These pieces were generally written in trimeter iambics, which Rhinthon, however, framed somewhat carelessly, as may be seen from a fragment of his transmitted to us, where addressing himself to his verses, he declares “that he did not give himself much trouble about them;”1693 it is also possible that he mixed the iambic with other metres, as parodies, for the sake of contrast; thus, for instance, he appears to have employed the solemn hexameter in some very ludicrous passages.1694 Rhinthon was succeeded in this species of parody by Sopatrus, Sciras,1695 and Blæsus; the last-named poet, [pg 370] a native of Capreæ in Campania, wrote (as may be inferred from the title of his “Saturn”) after the Roman manners and religion had gained the ascendency; but he used only the ancient dialect, and he too, being called a serio-comic poet (sp??d??e????? p???t??), seems to have adopted the same mixture of tragedy and comedy.1696
7. We have now dwelt at some length on the comic poetry of the Dorians, on account of the interesting nature of the subject, and the light which it throws on the general character of a people, among whom the strictest gravity was found closely united with the most unrestrained jocularity and mirth; for as every real jest requires for a foundation a firm, solid, and grave disposition of mind, so moral indifference, and a frivolous temperament, not only destroy the contrast between gravity and jest, but annihilate the spirit of both. Our inquiries on the early state of the tragic drama among the Dorians will be more concise. And we may first observe, that the great difference between tragedy and comedy did not exist originally but was only formed gradually in their development. Their only distinction at first was, that while comedy was more a sport and a merriment of the country festivals, tragedy was from its commencement connected with the public rejoicings and ceremonies of Bacchus in cities, and was performed by the great cyclic or dithyrambic choruses. Thence it came that the former expressed the boisterous mirth and joviality of clowns [pg 371] and peasants; whereas the latter was formed upon the particular ideas and feelings suggested by the worship of Bacchus, and by the part which he bore in mythology. It principally turned on the sufferings of Bacchus (?????s?? p???), a point alluded to in some verses in the Iliad, though there is no doubt that it had been attempted at a much earlier period.1697
8. We shall now show how this applies to the tragedy of the Dorians. According to the account of Herodotus1698 there were at Sicyon, an ancient seat of the worship of Bacchus, tragic choruses which sung of Bacchus, and undoubtedly of his sufferings. These choruses however had even before the age of Cleisthenes (Olymp. 45.) been transferred to Adrastus, the hero of that city, but they were by that tyrant restored to their former subject. The date of their restoration is therefore known; the time of their extension to Adrastus, and consequently of their foundation, must have been much more remote; this shows the comparatively late date of the Attic tragedy, which began with Thespis. Now we are also informed that Epigenes, a very ancient tragedian of Sicyon, was the sixteenth before Thespis;1699 thus it appears that the ancients were in possession of a stock of information, which has been lost to us, that enabled them to draw [pg 372] up a regular succession of all the intermediate tragic poets. To this if we add that some of the Peloponnesians, as we are told by Aristotle,1700 disputed with the Athenians the invention of tragedy,1701 we shall not be inclined to deny the claims of the former, on the mere ground that their song, being drowned by the louder notes of the Athenians, was thus early silenced.
But it remains to be decided, whether this Sicyonian tragedy belonged to the regular drama, or whether it was merely a species of dithyrambic lyric poetry, the existence of which was first proved some few years ago by a learned writer of this country.1702 Of these hypotheses the latter seems most probable, as the accounts of the Athenians respecting the origin and progress of their own tragedy can only then be justified, and because it is distinctly stated that the early tragedy consisted exclusively of choruses.1703 But I should conceive that these Bacchanalian songs were always accompanied by some mimicry; which indeed the nature of that worship would seem to require; the liveliness of the feelings which it inspired calling for a personified representation of them; and thus Arion, who is styled the inventor of the tragic style (t?a????? p??p??), is said to have introduced satyrs into his choruses.1704 Arion, although by birth a Methymnæan, and probably a disciple of Terpander, chiefly lived and wrote (like his predecessors, mentioned above) in Peloponnesus and among Dorian [pg 373] nations. It was at Corinth, in the reign of Periander,1705 that he first practised a cyclic chorus1706 in the performance of a dithyramb,1707 where he probably took advantage of some local accidents and rude beginnings, which alone could justify Pindar in considering Corinth as the native city of the dithyramb.1708
Thus the district of Corinth and Sicyon is of considerable importance in the early history of the drama. Phlius also, where the satirical drama probably first became a separate variety of the ancient tragedy, was situate in that part: whence being introduced into Athens, it was brought into a regular dramatical shape. For Pratinas the Phliasian is truly called the inventor of this species of the drama;1709 and although he contended for the prize with Æschylus at Athens, he nevertheless must have remained a native of Phlius, as his son and successor Aristeas was a citizen of that city, and was buried there.1710 I have nothing to remark respecting the satyric drama, except that it must have abounded in mimicry and pantomimic dances, such as were used under the name of hyporchemes in the temples of Apollo.1711[pg 374]
9. Having now examined the two species of the drama, comedy and tragedy, under different heads, we will next consider them under the general name of orchestic poetry, or poetry accompanied with dancing. For while all poetry which was necessarily attended with music was called lyric, that which was sung to accompany dances, frequently of large choruses, has been called the Doric lyric poetry;1712 to which appellation it appears to be justly entitled, as in its various forms it always partakes more or less of the Doric dialect. Hence the terms Doric and Choral poetry may be used as synonymous, as songs for choral dances were usually composed in the Doric dialect; and whenever the Doric dialect occurred in regular lyric odes, these were generally for choral dances.1713 Thus, for instance, Pindar, the master of the Dorian lyric poetry, composed scolia; which, unlike the poems sung at feasts, were accompanied with dances and contained more of the Doric dialect.1714 Thus the dithyramb, so long as it belonged to the Dorian lyric poetry, was always antistrophic, that is, in a choral form, or one adapted to dancing; but after being new-modelled by Crexus, Phrynis, and others, it ceased to be acted by cyclic choruses, and its dialect at the same time underwent a total change. Choruses were sung in the Doric dialect in the midst of the Attic drama; so peculiarly did the choral dances seem to belong to the Dorians.1715[pg 375]
These facts afford two criterions for ascertaining the character of the lyric poetry of the Dorians. In the first place, it always bore the stamp of publicity; as in the formation of choruses the public was in some manner taken into consideration: secondly, it had some religious reference; as choruses ever formed part of religious worship. The feeling therefore expressed by this kind of lyric poetry, though it might more powerfully affect individuals, should nevertheless be of such a nature as to interest a whole people; and the subject, even if suggested by other circumstances, should have a reference to religious notions, and admit of a mythological treatment.
10. Thus much concerning the character of lyric poetry among the Dorians. But if we proceed to inquire what gave to this species of poetry the characteristic mark of the people, the circumstances which first strike the attention will rather surprise than enlighten us. For, in the first place, it is plain that no Greek city was wholly without choral poetry; and that prosodia, pæans, and dithyrambs, as soon as they obtained a separate existence, spread in a short time over the whole of Greece. Secondly, among the chief founders and masters of the Dorian lyric poetry, the smaller number only were Dorians, the others being either of Æolian or Ionian descent. Thus Terpander, the ancient pæan-singer, Arion, the inventor of the dithyramb, and Pindar, were Æolians; Ibycus of Rhegium, Bacchylides, and Simonides of Ceos, were Ionians; and of the more celebrated poets the only Dorians were Stesichorus of Himera, and Alcman, [pg 376] by birth a Laconian, though descended from a Lydian family. This last fact however may be reconciled with the view taken above, by the supposition that a certain national style had from an early period been established in the native country of this choral poetry, to which the poets of the several cities generally conformed; while in other places, being more thrown on their own resources, they were led to cultivate their talent with greater freedom. Thus the choral poetry flourished in no part of Greece so much as at Sparta,1716 as is proved by the best authorities, viz. Terpander1717 and Pindar.1718 But besides the foreign, though almost naturalized poets, such as Terpander, Thaletas, Nymphæeus of Cydonia,1719 and Simonides,1720 there were also more native lyric poets at Sparta than in any other place;1721 of whom we know by name, Spendon,1722 Dionysodotus,1723 Xenodamus,1724 and Gitiadas, who sung the praises of the same deity to whom he built the brazen house.1725 Notwithstanding which, there has not been preserved a single fragment of Spartan lyric poetry, with the exception of Alcman's; because, as [pg 377] we showed above, there was a certain uniformity and monotony in their productions, such as is perceivable in the early works of art, which prevented any single part from being prominent or distinguished. Something must also be attributed to the effects of a censorship, either of manners or of literary works; as the Spartans are said to have banished Archilochus from their city either on account of his cowardice, or of the licentiousness of his poems;1726 while, on the other hand, Tyrtæus was held in the greatest honour, as animating and encouraging their youth.1727 The generality of the use of the lyre at Sparta is proved by the fondness of the female sex for it.1728 And besides several instances of lyric poetesses at Sparta,1729 we know the names of some at Argos1730 and Phlius.1731 At the Isthmus of Corinth women were even allowed to strive in the musical contests.1732 Of the number of lyric poets known only to their own age and country, we may form some notion from the circumstance that Pindar, celebrating a native of Ægina, incidentally mentions two minstrels of the same family, Timocritus and Euphanes the Theandridæ.1733 Besides those already named, the following Doric poets are known to [pg 378] us: Lasus of Hermione, a poet and musician, who had improved the dithyramb after Arion, and the Æolian style of music before Pindar; Ariphron of Sicyon, a composer of pæans; Cleobulus of Rhodes, who was both a philosopher and a lyric poet; and the peculiar genius of Timocreon, who tuned the Doric lyre against Simonides and Themistocles, having been roused against the latter by the unjust conduct of Athens towards the islands.1734 Later poets we shall pass over.
11. The above statements merely go to establish the fact, that the choral lyric poetry, chiefly and originally belonged to the Dorians. In what manner this fact is to be accounted for, what were the causes of this phenomenon, can only be explained in a general history of the lyric poetry of the Greeks, a subject at once the most attractive and most difficult which remains for the industry of the present age. In the absence of such an investigation, I may be permitted to offer on that question a few remarks, which the occasion prevents me from supporting with a detailed body of evidence.
In the first place then it will, I believe, be safe to give up the notion that the lyric was regularly and gradually developed from epic poetry. The epic poetry, beginning at a period when the Achæans were yet in possession of Peloponnesus,1735 retaining till the latest times a peculiar dialect, and continued under [pg 379] its ancient form by Greeks of all races,1736 does not show any tendency to produce an offspring so unlike itself; and what could be more different than the recitation of a single bard and the religious songs of a chorus? From the time that there were Greeks and a Greek language there were doubtless songs at processions, both at festivals and to the temples, as well as during the sacrifice; and these varying according to the mode of worship and attributes of the god. And in none were they so early reduced to rule as in the worship of Apollo; to which, as has been already shown,1737 the ancient nomes, the pæans, and hyporchemes, and other varieties of lyric poetry, either in part or wholly, owed their origin. Now since this worship was originally Doric, and its chief temples were always in Doric countries, we can see a reason why in the ceremonial, that is the choral, poetry, the Doric dialect should have preponderated. Its form was, on the whole, originally a Doric variety of the epic hexameter; which was the rhythm of the ancient nomes composed by the minstrels Philammon, Olen, and Chrysothemis.1738 Their ancient strains, which were sung and danced to, must have been very different from the delivery of the Homeric rhapsodists, a sort of chaunting recitation; for Terpander is said to have first set them, as well as the laws of Lycurgus,1739 to a [pg 380] regular tune; whereas these ancient religious hymns had such tunes from the beginning; while the mode to which they were set can hardly have been any other than the Doric. The attempt to vary the rhythm probably began by breaking the dactylic hexameters into shorter portions, in order to produce new combinations of less uniform verses, and thus gave rise to the antistrophic form of metre.1740 A different origin must, however, as is natural, be assigned to the anapæstic military songs; nor can we suppose that pæans and hyporchemes ever followed the laws of hexameters; the pæonian variety must have been earlier than Alcman, who made use of Cretic hexameters. Generally indeed Alcman, however early his age, made use of a great variety of metres; the reason of which probably is, that before his time Terpander had mixed the Greek and Asiatic music; besides which, Alcman had doubtless, from his Lydian origin, an inclination to the eastern style of music; for in this a large portion of his songs, in which the logaœdic metre prevailed, were evidently composed:1741 he was also acquainted with Phrygian melodies.1742 But the diversity of his metres was only to express the variety of his muse, which sometimes adored the gods in [pg 381] solemn choruses (in which, when he danced himself, he implored the sweetly-singing virgins to be the supports of his age1743), now wrote bridal-hymns and drinking-songs; a sufficient refutation of the notion that life at Sparta was one unvaried scene of gloominess and melancholy; in which town these songs continued nevertheless to be popular until the time of Epaminondas.1744
12. If the essence of art consists in investing an idea of the mind with a sensible and bodily form, and this in a corresponding and satisfactory manner, we must certainly ascribe great skill in art to the Dorians, for (as we have before remarked) they delighted more in imitation than in creation or action. This remark applies to the Greeks in general, and particularly to the Dorians, as distinguished from later times; hence the attention of that race to the beauty of form; “Give us what is good and what is beautiful” was the Spartan prayer.1745 Whoever had enjoyed [pg 382] the benefits of the public education, participated in all that was beautiful in the city,1746 their whole existence was influenced by a sense of beauty, which was expressed in the most ancient production of the people—in their religion.
We may here be permitted to annex a few remarks on the art of sculpture; and we will curtail them the more, as it does not bear so much upon national manners as music, which formed a part of the education of the people, while the former art was consigned to the care of a few. Although from what we have observed elsewhere, it would be difficult to describe all in the ancient sculpture that was peculiar to the Doric nation, and that originated from them, we may still draw some conclusions from what has been already stated. There was in the Doric character a certain healthy sensibility, and a delight in the unadorned and unveiled forms of nature. That this very much favoured and assisted the progress of the above art is obvious; and that the human form was accurately studied and understood in the Doric schools of art is shown in those specimens of their works which have been preserved. The physical beauty of this race, ennobled and exposed to view by gymnastic1747 and warlike exercises, gave a right direction to the study of sculpture; and the prevailing religion, the worship of Apollo, by the energy of the figure and variety of the attributes of that god, shows not only the original talent of this people for sculpture, but it was fitted to lead them by a succession of compositions to the highest excellence. On the other hand, we may infer from some of the [pg 383] above remarks, that the Dorians considered the beauty of art to consist more in proportion, harmony, and regularity, than in a superabundance of glitter and ornament; and this is exemplified by the character of Doric architecture. Lastly, hence arises the composure and evenness of mind which so greatly distinguished the Dorians, who anxiously preserved the usages of their fathers as much in the art of sculpture as in music.
Although historical tradition does not extend so far as to prove and verify this view of the subject, still it agrees with all that is characteristic of the Dorians. In the first place then, we know that sculpture was diligently cultivated at an early time in several Doric cities; first perhaps in Crete, the most ancient abode of Doric civilisation;1748 then in Ægina,1749 Sicyon, Corinth, Argos,1750 and Sparta; for that the latter city, particularly at the time of the Persian war, was distinguished by its active pursuit of the arts, has been sufficiently proved in a former part of this work.1751 Sicyon produced the Apollo of Canachus, of which we have elsewhere endeavoured to give an idea;1752 and about the same time the Æginetan artists appear to have produced those groups of heroes, the fragments of which are the only sure records which we possess of the peculiarities of that school. For the information which we receive from Pausanias and others goes no further than that in Ægina many statues of the most ancient kind were sculptured, and that a certain hardness of style was preserved there longer than in [pg 384] Attica. The fragments, however, which remain, attest a liveliness of conception, and a truth of imitation, which in many points may be called perfect, and which excite our admiration, and even astonishment. On the other hand, we may remark in the countenances of the heroes, who evidently bear a Greek national physiognomy, though rudely and unpleasingly conceived, that respect for ancient customs which was a fundamental principle of the early times. That this happened at a time when Athens had already cast off every shackle, is a strong characteristic trait of the Dorians. These works, however, possess many other singularities, which cannot be referred to any peculiar disposition of that race.
1. It has been shown in the preceding chapter that the national and original poetry of the Doric race was not the epic, but the lyric; which is occupied rather in expressing inward feelings, than in describing outward objects. If this predilection may be considered as natural to the whole race, it will enable us to explain why history neither originated among, nor was cultivated by the Dorians. For both its progress and invention we are indebted to the Ionians, who were [pg 385] also the first to introduce prose-composition in general.1753 The Dorians, however, did not always retain this incapacity; for we are told that the Spartans gladly listened to the sophist Hippias of Elis, speaking of the families of heroes and men, the settlements by which the cities had in ancient times been founded, and of ancient events in general.1754 This naturally suggests the remark, that the Dorians paid more attention to the events of the past than of the present time; in which they are greatly opposed to the Ionians, who from their governments and geographical position were more thrown into society, and interested themselves more in the passing affairs of the day. Hence some of the early writers on mythical history were Dorians, as Acusilaus for example; but the contemporary historians were almost exclusively Ionians and Athenians;1755 for Herodotus, who in his early years [pg 386] had lived for some time at Samos, and after his various travels wrote his History at Thurii, can hardly be considered as a genuine Dorian.1756 Nor would it be difficult to account for the entire ignorance of the arts of rhetoric and logic in the Doric states (for the schools of rhetoricians and sophists in Sicily are evidently to be traced to the peculiar character of those islanders),1757 or to see why the perfection of these, both in theory and practice, as well as that of the regular drama, was left to the Athenians.
2. But instead of the pointed and logical reasoning, and the fervid declamation of the Athenians, the Doric race had a peculiar manner of expressing itself, viz. by apophthegms, and sententious and concise sayings. [pg 387] The object appears to have been, to convey as much meaning in as few words as possible, and to allude to, rather than express, the thoughts of the speaker. A habit of mind which might fit its possessor for such a mode of speaking, would best be generated by long and unbroken silence; which was enjoined to his scholars by Pythagoras, and by Sparta enforced on all youths during their education:1758 it being intended that their thoughts should gain force and intensity by compression.1759 Hence the great brevity of speech,1760 which was the characteristic of all the genuine Dorians, especially of the Spartans,1761 Cretans,1762 and Argives,1763 forming a remarkable contrast with the copious and headlong torrent of eloquence which distinguished the Athenians. The antiquity of this characteristic of the Spartans is proved by the fact of Homer's attributing it to Menelaus,
In which lines the poet evidently transfers the peculiarity of the Doric Laconians to the earlier inhabitants of that country.1765 In adopting this mode of expression, [pg 388] the Dorians may be conceived, in the first place, to have wished to avoid all ornament of speech, and to have contented themselves with the simplest manner of conveying their thoughts; as Stesimbrotus the Thasian opposes to the adroit and eloquent Athenian the openness and simplicity of the Peloponnesian, who was plain and unadorned, but of an honest and guileless disposition.1766 Or, secondly, it was intended to have double force by the contrast of the richness of the thought, with the slight expense of words. Probably, however, both these motives had their weight; though the latter perhaps predominated. In a dialogue of Plato,1767 Socrates says, half in joke and half in earnest, that “of all the philosophical systems in Greece, that established in Crete and Lacedæmon was the most ancient and copious, and there the sophists were most numerous; but they concealed their skill, and pretended to be ignorant. And hence, on conversing with the meanest Lacedæmonian, at first indeed he would appear awkward in his language, but when he perceived the drift of the conversation, he would throw in, like a dexterous lancer, some short and nervous remark, so as to make the other look no better than a child. Nor in these cities is such a manner of speaking confined to the men, but it extends also to women.”
That in this concise manner of speaking there was a kind of wit and epigrammatic point, may be easily seen from various examples; but it cannot be traced [pg 389] to the principles which we have just laid down. Sometimes it arises from the simplicity of the Doric manners, as contrasted with the more polished customs of other nations; of which kind is the answer of the Spartan, who, taking a fish to be cooked, and being asked where the cheese, oil, and vinegar were, replied, “If I had all these things, I should not have bought a fish.”1768 Or it is a moral elevation, viewed from which, things appear in a different light; thus the saying of Dieneces, that “if the Persians darkened the air with their arrows, they should fight in the shade.” Sometimes it is an ironical expression of bitterness and censure, which gains force by being concealed under a semblance of praise; as in the judgment of the Laconian on Athens, where every kind of trade and industry was tolerated, “Everything is beautiful there.”1769 Or it is the combination of various ridiculous ideas into one expression, as in the witty saying of a husband who found his wife, whom he detested, in the arms of an adulterer; “Unhappy man, who forced you to do this?”1770
At Sparta, however, an energetic, striking, and figurative mode of speaking must have been generally in use; which may be perceived in the style of all the Spartans who are mentioned by Herodotus.1771 And [pg 390] this, I have no doubt, was one of the most ancient customs of the Doric race. In Crete it had been retained, according to the testimony of Sosicrates, a Cretan author, in the town of Phæstus, in which place the boys were early practised in joking; and the apophthegms of Phæstus were celebrated over the whole island.1772 In Sparta too this peculiar mode of expression was implanted in boys; the youths (?f?ß??) proposing them questions, to which they were to give ready and pointed answers;1773 and they were taught to impart a peculiar sharpness and also brilliancy to their sayings.1774 Later in life this tendency was fostered and confirmed by the many occasions on which the public manners prescribed ridicule as a means of improvement:1775 at the festival of the Gymnopædia in particular, full vent seems to have been allowed to wit and merriment.1776 In common life, laughter and ridicule were not unfrequent at the public tables;1777 to be able to endure ridicule was considered the mark of a Lacedæmonian spirit; yet any person who took it ill might ask his antagonist to desist, who was then forced to comply.1778 In early times, similar customs existed in other places besides Sparta; thus the suitors of Agariste, in the house of Cleisthenes the tyrant of Sicyon, contended after the meal in musical skill and conversation,1779 with which we might perhaps compare the passage in the Hymn to Mercury, where it is said that [pg 391] youths at table attack one another in mutual jests,1780 and the practice among the ancient Germans, of jesting with freedom at table, alluded to in a verse of the Niebelungen Lied.1781 But this primitive custom having been retained longer in Sparta than elsewhere, it struck all foreigners as a peculiarity, of which the antique polish was sometimes rather offensive. Still, if we justly estimate the manners of that city, they do not deserve the name of needless austerity and strictness; it was the only Greek state in which a statue was erected to Laughter:1782 in late times even Agesilaus1783 and Cleomenes III.1784 amidst all the changes of their life, cheered their companions with wit and playfulness.
3. This national mode of expression had likewise a considerable effect on the progress of literature in Greece. Plato properly calls the Seven Sages, imitators and scholars of the Lacedæmonian system, and points out the resemblance between their sayings and the Laconian method of expression.1785 Of these, three, or, if we reckon both Myson and Periander, four, were of Doric descent, and Cheilon was a Spartan;1786 there were also perhaps at the same time others of the same character, as Aristodemus the Argive.1787 The sayings attributed [pg 392] to these sages were not so much the discoveries of particular individuals, as the indications of the general opinion of their contemporaries. And hence the Pythian Apollo, directed by the national ideas of the Dorians, particularly countenanced their philosophers, to whose sententious mode of expression his own oracles bore a certain resemblance.1788 It appears also that the Amphictyons caused some of their apophthegms to be inscribed on the temple of Delphi;1789 and the story of the enumeration of the Seven Sages by the oracle, although fabulously embellished, is founded on a real fact.1790
4. Since in this apophthegmatic and concise style of speaking the object was not to express the meaning in a clear and intelligible manner, it was only one step further altogether to conceal it. Hence the griphus or riddle was invented by the Dorians, and, as well as the epigram, was much improved by Cleobulus the Rhodian,1791 and his daughter Cleobulina.1792 It was also a favourite amusement with the Spartans,1793 and [pg 393] in the ancient times of Greece was generally a common pastime.1794
5. This leads us to speak of the symbolical maxims of the Pythagoreans, which might be called riddles, if they had been proposed as such, and not put in that form merely to make them more striking and impressive. So attached indeed do these philosophers appear to have been to the symbolical method of expression, that not only their language, but even their actions acquired a symbolical character.1795 The system of Pythagoras has by modern writers been correctly considered as the Doric philosophy: yet it is singular that it should have originated with a native of the Ionic Samos. It should, however, be remembered, that the family of Pythagoras, which seems to have lived with other Samians in the island of Samothrace, among the Tyrrhenians,1796 originally came from Phlius in Peloponnesus,1797 and always kept up a certain degree of communication with that city;1798 and again, that although Pythagoras doubtless brought with him to Croton the form of his philosophy, its subsequent expansion and growth were in great part owing to the [pg 394] character of the Dorians and Doric Achæans, among whom he lived. Its connexion with the chief branch of the Doric religion, the worship of Apollo,1799 and his temple at Delphi,1800 has been already pointed out; and it has been shown that the political institution of his league was founded on Doric principles.1801 Other points of resemblance are the universal education of the female followers of Pythagoras, such as Theano, Phintys, and Arignote,1802 the employment of music to appease passion, the public tables, the use of silence as a means of education, &c. It appears also, that the philosophers of this school always found a welcome reception at Sparta, as well as those whose character was somewhat similar, as the enthusiastic and religious sages, Abaris,1803 Epimenides,1804 and Pherecydes;1805 Anaximander1806 likewise and Anaximenes1807 lived for some time in that city, and lastly, in the lists of the Pythagorean philosophers (which are not entirely devoid of credit), there are, besides Italian Greeks, generally Lacedæmonians, Argives, Sicyonians, Phliasians, and sometimes women of Sparta, Argos, and Phlius.1808 [pg 395] And this is a fresh confirmation of the position, which we have frequently maintained, that up to the time of the Persian war all mental excellence, so far from being banished from Sparta, flourished there in the utmost perfection.
1. After Anacharsis the Scythian had visited the different states of Greece, and lived among them all, he is reported to have said, that “all wanted leisure and tranquillity for wisdom, except the Lacedæmonians, for that these were the only persons with whom it was possible to hold a rational conversation.”1809 The life of all the other Greeks had doubtless appeared to him as a restless and unquiet existence, as a constant struggle and effort without any object. In addition to the love of ease, which belonged to the original constitution of the Dorians, there was a further cause for this mode of life, viz. the entire exemption from necessary labour which the Spartans enjoyed, their wants being supplied by the dependent and industrious [pg 396] classes.1810 Several writers have dwelt on the tedium and listlessness of such an existence; but the Spartans considered an immunity from labour an immunity from pain, and as constituting entire liberty.1811 But, it may be asked, what was there to occupy the Spartan men from morning to night?1812 In the first place, the gymnastic, military, and musical exercises; then the chase, which with men advanced in life was a substitute for other exercises;1813 besides which, there was the management of public affairs, in which they might take an active part, together with the religious ceremonies, sacrifices, and choruses; and much time was also consumed in the places of public resort, or ??s?a?. Every small community had its lesche;1814 and here the old men sat together in winter round the blazing fire, while the respect for old age gave an agreeable turn to the conversation. At Athens, too, these small societies or clubs were once in great vogue; but a democracy likes a large mass, and hates all divisions; and accordingly in later times the public porticoes and open market were generally attended, where every Athenian appeared once in the day. At Sparta, the youths were forbidden to enter the market-place;1815 as well as the pylæa,1816 which was in other [pg 397] Doric towns besides Delphi1817 a place for buying and selling.1818
2. Having now so fully investigated the manners and daily occupations of the Dorians, it would be interesting to know what were their opinions on death, or on the existence of a future state; but on these points there is no information to be gleaned from ancient writers. Nor can much more be said on their funeral ceremonies, if indeed they had any rites peculiar and universally belonging to the whole race. At Tarentum, the dead were, according to an ancient oracle, called the majority (?? p?e???e?);1819 they were buried within the walls, each family having in their house tombstones, with the names of the deceased, where funeral sacrifices were performed;1820 at Sparta, it was doubtless the ancient custom to bury the dead in the city, and in the neighbourhood of the temples.1821 Monuments, with the names of the dead, were only erected to those who had fallen in battle,1822 and many [pg 398] other honours were also paid them.1823 The sacrifice to Demeter, on the twelfth day after death, evidently denotes the reception of the soul in the infernal regions; the Argives likewise sacrificed on the 30th day to Hermes, as conductor of the souls of the dead;1824 in the same manner that the Athenians called the dead ??µ?t??a???, i.e. returned to their mother earth. There was however a considerable difference between the Athenian and Doric modes of burying; for the former laid the body with the head to the west, the latter, at least the Megarians, to the east.1825
3. It now remains for us to collect into one point of view all that has been said in different parts of this work on the character of the Doric race, so as to furnish a complete and accurate idea of their nature and peculiarities. That this cannot be done in a few words is evident; but that it can be done at all, I consider equally clear; and by no means agree with those who deny that a whole nation, like an individual, can have one character; an error which is perhaps best refuted by consideration of the different tribes of Greece. And thus the word Dorian conveyed to the ancient Greeks a clear and definite, though indeed a complex idea.1826[pg 399]
The first feature in the character of the Dorians which we shall notice is one that has been pointed out in several places,1827 viz. their endeavour to produce uniformity and unity in a numerous body. Every individual was to remain within those limits which were prescribed by the regulation of the whole body.1828 Thus in the Doric form of government no individual was allowed to strive after personal independence, nor any class or order to move from its appointed place. The privileges of the aristocracy, and the subjection of the inferior orders, were maintained with greater strictness than in other tribes,1829 and greater importance was attached to obedience, in whatever form, than to the assertion of individual freedom. The government, the army, and the public education, were managed on a most complicated, but most regular succession and alternation of commanding and obeying.1830 Every one was to obey in his own place. All the smaller associations were also regulated on the same principle: always we find gradation of power, and never independent equality.1831 But it was not sufficient that this system should be complete and perfect within; it was to be fortified without. The Dorians had little inclination to admit the customs of others, and a strong desire to disconnect themselves with foreigners.1832 Hence in later times the blunt and harsh deportment of those Dorians who most scrupulously adhered to their national habits.1833 This independence and seclusion would however sometimes be turned into hostility; [pg 400] and hence the military turn of the Dorians, which may also be traced in the development of the worship of Apollo.1834 A calm and steady courage was the natural quality of the Dorian.1835 As they were not ready to receive, neither were they to communicate outward impressions; and this, neither as individuals, nor as a body. Hence both in their poetry and prose, the narrative is often concealed by expressions of the feeling, and tinged with the colour of the mind.1836 They endeavoured always to condense and concentrate their thoughts, which was the cause of the great brevity and obscurity of their language.1837 Their desire of disconnecting themselves with the things and persons around them, naturally produced a love for past times; and hence their great attachment to the usages and manners of their ancestors, and to ancient institutions.1838 The attention of the Doric race was turned to the past rather than to the future.1839 And thus it came to pass that the Dorians preserved most rigidly, and represented most truly, the customs of the ancient Greeks.1840 Their advances were constant, not sudden; and all their changes imperceptible. With the desire to attain uniformity, their love for measure and proportion was also combined. Their works of art are distinguished by this attention to singleness of effect, and everything discordant or useless was pruned off with an unsparing hand.1841 Their moral system also prescribed the observance of the proper mean; and it was in this that the temperance (s?f??s???) [pg 401] which so distinguished them consisted.1842 One great object of the worship of Apollo was to maintain the even balance of the mind, and to remove everything that might disquiet the thoughts, rouse the mind to passion, or dim its purity and brightness.1843 The Doric nature required an equal and regular harmony, and preserving that character in all its parts.1844 Dissonances, even if they combined into harmony, were not suited to the taste of that nation. The national tunes were doubtless not of a soft or pleasing melody; the general accent of the language had the character of command or dictation, not of question or entreaty. The Dorians were contented with themselves, with the powers to whom they owed their existence and happiness; and therefore they never complained. They looked not to future, but to present existence. To preserve this, and to preserve it in enjoyment, was their highest object. Everything beyond this boundary was mist and darkness, and everything dark they supposed the Deity to hate.1845 They lived in themselves, and for themselves.1846 Hence man was the chief and almost only object which attracted their attention. The same feelings may also be perceived in their religion, which was always unconnected with the worship of any natural object, and originated from their own reflection and conceptions.1847 And to the same source may perhaps be traced their aversion to mechanical and agricultural labour.1848 In short, the whole race bears generally the stamp and character of the male sex; the desire of assistance and connexion, [pg 402] of novelty and of curiosity, the characteristics of the female sex, being directly opposed to the nature of the Dorians, which bears the mark of independence and subdued strength.
4. This description of the Doric character, to which many other features might be added, is sufficient for our present purpose; and will serve to prove that the worship of Apollo, the ancient constitution of Crete and that of Lycurgus, the manners, arts, and literature of the Dorians, were the productions of one and the same national individual. To what extent this character was influenced by external circumstances cannot be ascertained; but though its features were impressed by nature, they might not in all places have been developed, and would have been lost without the fostering assistance of an inland and mountainous region. The country is to a nation what the body is to the soul: it may influence it partially, and assist its growth and increase; but it cannot give strength and impulse, or imprint that original mark of the Deity which is set upon our minds.
But outward circumstances, such as locality, form of government, geographical position, and foreign intercourse, had in the several states a different effect on the Doric character, unequally developing its various features, by confirming some, repressing others, and some wholly obliterating. We shall thus be enabled to separate the particular character of each state from the ideal character of the whole race, and also to explain their deviations, particularly in a political and practical point of view.
5. The Dorians of Sparta were influenced by their geographical position, which, with the exception of that of the Arcadians, was more inland than that of [pg 403] any people in Peloponnesus; as well as by their supremacy, which they at first asserted with ease and dignity, and afterwards maintained by the devotion of all their forces to that one object. The independence and seclusion so desired by the Dorians were at Sparta most conspicuous, and thus the original spirit of the Doric race, and its ancient customs, were most rigidly, and sometimes even in trifles,1849 there preserved; though it was the mummy rather than the living body of the ancient institutions. This deterioration, however, did not manifest itself till later times; for (as we have more than once remarked) at an early period the mode of life at Sparta was diversified, cheerful, and by no means unattractive. At that time Sparta was the centre and metropolis of Greece. This love of seclusion took a singular turn in the reserve, and in the short and sententious mode of expression, practised by the Laconians. Indeed their silence was carried to a pitch which exceeded the bounds of intentional concealment. Even the artfulness of the Spartans is after the Persian war often mentioned with blame; and it is said to have been impossible to guess their intention.1850 Sometimes indeed the deception was [pg 404] founded on patriotic principles, as in the answer of the ambassador, who being asked in whose name he came, replied, “In the name of the state, if we succeed; if we fail, in our own.” Demostratus the son of Phæax said with great truth that the Spartans were better as members of a state, the Athenians as members of private society;1851 the latter indeed were more left to their individual care and exertions, whilst the former were guided by national custom. Hence when they once deserted this guide, they deviated not partially, but wholly and widely from the right path.
Yet the history of the Peloponnesian war and of the period immediately following, being that part of the history of Greece which is clearest to our view, presents several distinguished and genuine Lacedæmonians, who may be divided into two distinct classes. Of these the first is marked by a cunning and artful disposition, combined with great vigour of mind, and a patriotism sometimes attended with contempt of other Greeks. Such was Lysander,1852 a powerful revolutionist; who, concentrating in his own person the [pg 405] efforts of numerous oligarchical clubs and factions, by the strict consistency of his principles, and by his art in carrying them into effect, for some time swayed the destinies of Greece; until Agesilaus, whom he had himself improvidently raised to the throne, restored in place of his usurped power the legitimate authority of the Heraclide dynasty; this doubtless suggested to Lysander the idea of overthrowing the royal authority, and helped to bring on that deep melancholy which preyed upon his strong mind during his latter years.1853 Similar in character to Lysander was Dercylidas, a man of extraordinary practical talent; who by his artfulness (which, however, was accompanied by uprightness of mind) obtained the nickname of Sisyphus.1854 But Sparta had at the same time men of a contrary disposition, in whom, as Plutarch says of Callicratidas, the simple and genuine Doric manners of ancient times were alive and in vigour.1855 This Callicratidas had at the very beginning of his career to contend with his partisans of Lysander, and resolutely resisted his club or association,1856 being also directly opposed to them in disposition. He deplored the necessity which compelled him to beg for subsidies from the Persians; dealt uprightly and honestly with the allies; disdained all power and authority which did not emanate from the state; refused to do anything by private connexions or influence, and showed himself everywhere humane, magnanimous, and heroic; in short, he was a faultless hero, unless perhaps we [pg 406] should blame him for his too hasty self-immolation at the battle of Arginusæ.1857 We can easily understand how the Greeks of Asia should have admired the virtues and greatness of the youthful hero, like the beauty of an heroic statue,1858 but were at the same time more pleased with the proceedings of Lysander, as being better suited to the times. In Brasidas we admire chiefly the manner in which the same elevation of mind was combined with a particular skill in controlling and availing itself of the circumstances of the times; but we must hurry on to Pedaritus the son of Teleutia, who is an instance that all the harmosts of Sparta did not yield to the many temptations of their situation.1859 But a more singular character was Lichas, the son of Arcesilaus, of whom we will give a slight sketch. He was chiefly distinguished by his liberality: whence by means of great banquets at the Gymnopædia,1860 and by his victories in the chariot race at Olympia,1861 he increased the fame of his city; by his boldness, which was even shown in his conduct at Olympia, at a time when the Spartans were excluded from the contests;1862 but which was still more conspicuous in his truly Spartan declaration to the satrap Tissaphernes;1863 and, lastly, by his policy in endeavouring to prevent the premature aggression of the Ionians against the Persians.1864
6. The flourishing age of Crete, in manners as well as in power, is anterior to the historical period; [pg 407] and the early corruption of her ancient institutions was accompanied with universal barbarism and degeneracy. Of her maritime sovereignty of the mythical age nothing but piracy remained; the different states were not combined under the supremacy of a single city; and, even in the reign of Alcamenes, Sparta attempted to settle the mutual dissensions of those very cities1865 which it had a century before taken for the models of its own constitution. The Cretans did not, however, confine their quarrelsome disposition to domestic feuds; but they began in early times to hire themselves as mercenaries to foreign states, which was certainly one cause of the internal corruption that made this once illustrious island act so ignoble a part in the history of Greece. If the verse of Epimenides (cited by St. Paul1866) is genuine, that prophet so early as about 600 B.C. accused his countrymen of being habitual liars, evil beasts, and indolent gluttons. Yet some particular cities (among which we may especially mention the Spartan town of Lyctus) retained with their ancient institutions the noble and pure customs of better times.1867
We have already more than once had occasion to explain how about the time of the Persian war Argos, by the changes in its constitution, and the direction of its policy, succeeded in obliterating almost every trace of the Doric character:1868 but one revolution only led to another, and none produced a stable and healthy [pg 408] state of affairs. Argos indeed only adopted the worst part of the republican institutions of Athens; for their better parts could not be naturalized in a people of a race and nature totally different.1869
But that Rhodes preserved to the latest period of Grecian independence many features of the Doric character we have already remarked.1870 Still this island had, particularly in the time of Artemisia the Second, adopted many Asiatic customs; which, when mixed with those of a Greek origin, formed a peculiar compound; of which the Rhodian oratory, painting,1871 and sculpture, should be considered as the products. The latter art had flourished there from ancient times; but later it took a particular turn towards the colossal, the imposing, and the grand style. The Laocoon and the Toro Farnese are in the number of its finest productions.1872 Its manners are described by the saying that Rhodes was the town of wooers. There was also another proverb, that the Rhodians were “white Cyrenæans;” their luxury forming the point of resemblance, and their colour the difference.1873
The character of Corinth likewise, in the time of the Peloponnesian war, was made up of rather discordant elements; for while there were still considerable remains of the Doric disposition, and its political conduct was some time guided by the principles of that race, there was also, the consequence of its situation and trade,1874 a great bias to splendour and magnificence, [pg 409] which showed itself in the Corinthian order; but which, when abandoned by the graces and refinements of luxury, soon degenerated into debauchery and vice.1875
The character of Corcyra we have attempted to delineate above.1876
Syracuse, though highly distinguished for its loyalty and affection to its mother-state, necessarily deviated widely from the character of Corinth. For while in the narrow and rocky territory of Corinth the crops were with difficulty extorted from the soil,1877 in the colony, a large and fertile district, which was either held by the Syracusans, or was tributary to them, furnished to an over-peopled city a plentiful supply of provisions without foreign importation.1878 In addition to this abundance, the early preponderance of democracy, and still more the levity, cunning, and address which were natural to the people of Sicily, tended to modify, or partly to destroy, the original Doric character. The Syracusans were, according to Thucydides, among all the adversaries of the Athenians in the Peloponnesian war, most like them in their customs and disposition.1879 It is ever to be lamented that such remarkable talents, as showed themselves among the Syracusans between the 70th and [pg 410] 90th Olympiads, should have been without a regulating and guiding judgment: their most frequent error both in the state and army being a want of order1880; and their knowledge of this defect was the reason why they so frequently threw themselves blindly into the arms of single individuals.1881
The vicinity of Corinth had undoubtedly a great influence on Sicyon; yet that city, though it had a navy, was nevertheless without any considerable foreign trade or colonies. The restraints and monotony of life were undoubtedly less than at Sparta,1882 but there was greater severity of manners than at Corinth. Sicyon was one of the earliest cradles of the arts and literature of the Dorians,1883 and enjoyed a high distinction among the cities of Peloponnesus.1884
Phlius, having no communication with the sea, was destitute of all resources except its fertile valley; but this sufficed to give it considerable importance and power.1885 The loyalty and bravery of its inhabitants1886 deserved the partiality with which Xenophon has written the most distinguished period of its history.1887
Megara was unfortunately hemmed in between powerful neighbours; and on account of the scanty produce of its stony and mountainous, though well cultivated1888 land, and the consequent deficiency of provisions, it was wholly dependent on the Athenian market, whither the Megarians were accustomed to [pg 411] carry their manufactures1889 and some few raw materials. The weakness of this state had early an influence on the manners and morals of the people; the tears and mirth of the Megarians were turned into ridicule by their Athenian neighbours,1890 who (according to the saying) would “rather be the ram than the son of a Megarian.” And at last the oracle itself declared them an insignificant and worthless people.
Nor could the mother-city have derived much assistance from Byzantium, had there even been a closer connexion between them than was actually the case; as this important colony was, for the most part, in distressed circumstances, and after the introduction of democracy involved in domestic confusion. We have reasons to consider the account of the mode of life at Byzantium above quoted from Theopompus1891 as correct; though that historian is accused of too great a fondness for censure. Damon likewise relates, that the Byzantians were so addicted to the pleasures of the table, that the citizens took up their regular abode in the numerous public houses of the city, and let their houses with their wives to strangers. The sound of the flute put them immediately into a merry movement; but they fled from that of a trumpet: and a general had no other means of keeping them on the ramparts during a close siege, than by causing the public houses and cook-shops to be removed thither.1892 Byzantium was full of foreign and native merchants, seamen, and fishermen,1893 whom the excellent wine of that city, supplied by Maronea and other regions, [pg 412] seldom permitted to return sober to their ships.1894 The state of the government may be judged from the reply of a Byzantine demagogue, who being asked what the law enjoined, replied, “Whatever I please.”1895
Ægina, on the other hand, lost its fame only with its political existence. Its situation near the great commercial road, which had taken this course chiefly in consequence of the danger of doubling the promontory of Malea, the renown of its mythical history, and the peculiar vigour of the inhabitants, had carried their activity to such a height, as to give their island an importance in the history of Greece which will ever be remarkable.
Though at Rhodes the amalgamation of the different nations produced an uniform and consistent whole, this does not seem to have been the case at Cyrene, which was corrupted by Ægyptian and Libyan influence. We have only to notice the character of Pheretime, who from a Doric lady became an eastern sultana. It is remarkable that another Doric female, viz. Artemisia (whose father was of Halicarnassus, her mother of Crete1896), obtained a similar situation. In the mother-country, however, there is after the fabulous times hardly any instance of women being at the head either of Doric or other cities.1897
We have already spoken as much as our object [pg 413] required of the Doric town of Croton1898 in Italy; and several times touched on the decay of the Doric discipline and manners at Tarentum. Their climate, which was very different from that of Greece,1899 and the manners of the native tribes, must have had a very considerable share in changing the characters of these two cities; as the Tarentines did not subjugate only and slaughter the inhabitants (like the Carbinates), but received them within the limits of their large city, and gave them the rights of citizenship, by which means those words which we call Roman, but which were probably common to all the Siculians,1900 were introduced into the Tarentine dialect.
In the Messenian state, as restored by Epaminondas, the ancient national manners were (according to Pausanias1901) still retained; and the dialect remained up to the time of that author the purest Doric that was spoken in Peloponnesus. The reason of this either was, that the Helots who remained in the country, and doubtless formed the larger part of the new nation, had obtained the Doric character, or that the exiles had during their long banishment really preserved their ancient language, as we know to have been the case with the Naupactians in more ancient times.1902 This the Messenians, who dwelt among the Euesperitæ of Libya, might have done, as they resided among Dorians; but it was less easy for the [pg 414] Messenians of Sicily,1903 and wholly impossible for those of Rhegium. In the people of Rhegium in general there appears to have been little of the Doric character;1904 nor probably in real truth among the later Messenians, however they might have endeavoured to bring back the ancient times.
Since we have frequently considered Delphi as belonging to the number of the Doric cities, on a supposition that it was the seat of an ancient Doric nobility (although the people was chiefly formed of naturalized slaves of the temple), we have finally to observe on the character of the Delphians, that their early degeneracy (which even Æsop is said to have strongly reproved) is a phenomenon which has frequently taken place among the people residing in the immediate neighbourhood of national sanctuaries. The number and variety of strangers flocking together; the continual fumes of the altars, from which the natives were fed without labour or expense;1905 the crowds of the market, in which jugglers and impostors of all kinds earned their subsistence,1906 and the large donatives which Crœsus, with other monarchs and wealthy men, had distributed among the Delphians, necessarily produced a lazy, ignorant, superstitious, and sensual people; and cast a shade over the few traces of a nobler character, which can be discovered in the events of earlier times.
Appendix V. On the Doric Dialect.
1. The ancient grammarians divided the Greek language into four distinct branches—the Doric, Ionic, Attic, and Æolic; the latter including all dialects not comprised under the other three heads, because only one branch of it, the Lesbian, was the written language of one species of poetry: and yet this latter division must unquestionably have contained different species less connected with each other than with some branches of the other three dialects. It is, however, pretty well agreed that the several Æolic dialects together contained more remains of the primitive Grecian or (if we will so call it) Pelasgic language, than either the Doric, Ionic, or Attic; and that at the same time many forms of the latter were preserved with great fidelity in the Latin tongue; partly because the life of the Italian husbandmen bore a nearer resemblance to that of the ancient Greeks than that of the later Greeks themselves, and because neither their literature, nor any fastidious sense of euphony and rhythm, induced them to soften and refine their language. But of the more polished dialects, that of Homer, though differing in many points, yet in others doubtless closely resembled the original language, which must once have been spoken from Thessaly to Peloponnesus, and was variously metamorphosed in the Doric, Ionic, and Attic dialects. Thus, for example, the genitive case of the second declension, in the ancient form, was ???, which was preserved in the Thessalian dialect,1907 perhaps also in the Bœotian,1908 and in Latin I or EI is also perceivable; [pg 418] whilst in the Doric O and the Attic ?? this vowel was entirely lost. The nominative of masculines of the first declension in ? belongs to the Latin, Homeric, Dryopian, Thessalian, Bœotian, Macedonian, and Elean dialects. In the Doric it was probably of rare occurrence, and more accidental.1909 The Æolic dialect, which was spoken in Bœotia, likewise contains remarkable traces of an ancient Pelasgic language, and has striking coincidences with the Latin: thus in the ancient Bœotian inscriptions the dative of the first declension ends in ??. Gradually, however, it departed from this language, as the diphthongs ?? and ??, which anciently were written ?? and ??, were changed into ? and ?: and thus almost all the vowels and diphthongs received a new form. On the other hand, we must be cautious of supposing the Latin to be the ancient form, in cases where a transmutation of letters has already taken place. The following is a remarkable example to this effect. ??O, from whence “the eye,” ?ppa in the Æolic dialect,1910 ?f??? in the Elean,1911 ?pt???? in the Spartan. In other dialect, ?????, hence ??ta???? in the Bœotian, in the Latin oculus, where ? and ? bear the same relation to each other as in the words p?t??e? (Æolic) quatuor, p?µpt??, quintus, p??, quo, p???, alicubi. Moreover the Latin has a very large number of words derived from the Campanian and Doric Greeks, which must be distinguished from the primitive Greek dialect.
2. These remarks are merely premised in order to point out the authorities upon which all investigations into the form of the most ancient language of the Greeks should be founded. We have already intimated our dissent from those who, in opposition to Pausanias,1912 suppose the Doric to have been the native dialect of Peloponnesus, not only disallowing the claim of the Dorians to its introduction, but even denying that they were the first to adopt it. This supposition would leave us without any means of explaining how the dialect of the Dorians of Peloponnesus agreed [pg 419] in so many peculiar idioms with that of their fellow-countrymen in Crete, the close and general connexion between the two being of an earlier date than the Doric invasion of Peloponnesus. The ancient Peloponnesian dialect was certainly that language which may be recognized in the Latin and in Homer, many of the peculiarities of which occur indeed, but many of the most essential are not found, in the Doric dialect. This latter dialect was, however, very widely diffused over that peninsula by the preponderance of the Dorians, being not merely adopted by the Helots (who even at Naupactus spoke Doric), the Orneatæ,1913 the Laconian Periœci, and the Attic inhabitants of Colonides;1914 but even by the independent Arcadians, who, according to Strabo, used indeed the Æolic dialect, but were generally supposed to adopt the Doric (d????e??), as also did Philopœmen.1915 Unfortunately we have little information respecting the dialect of the Arcadians, our chief guide being the names of their towns, in which several Dorisms occur; as, for instance, ?af?a? (from ??fe??), ??s??, ??eµ?sa (??eµ?essa), and some anomalous forms, such as ?ad???a for ?a?d???a, Te?p??sa for ???f??ssa, Dor. ???f?ssa, ??a?e?t??, a tribe of Tegea, for ??a?e?t??.1916 The Eleans, on the other hand, spoke nearly pure Doric; which is shown indeed by their use of the digamma,1917 by their broad accent, and the O in the genitive case; but chiefly by the frequent use of ?, which, besides the ????, ??? in the well-known treaty of the Eleans,1918 is also proved by the Elean forms d??a? (for d??a? or d??ast??), ??t??, ?pp?? and similar forms, whence the Eleans were called ßa?ßa??f????.1919 Moreover, the Apollo T??µ??? of the Eleans was the same as Apollo T?sµ???, in Attic Greek.1920 Eretria was founded by Eleans in conjunction with other Greeks, whence the frequent use of the ? in that town;1921 and from this city the neighbouring [pg 420] Chalcideans also adopted it;1922 whilst among the Carystians another peculiarity of the Spartan Elean dialect prevailed, in the change of T into S.1923 The Eretrians, however, received from the Eleans another peculiarity of the pure Doric, viz. the use of the aspirate in the place of S; and imparted it to the Oropians, their neighbours, and sometimes their subjects, on the other side of the strait.1924 Thus it is evident that the dialect of the Eleans was very similar, nay, almost akin, to the Spartan. Now it is very improbable that this strict observance of the Doric dialect should have been learnt by mere intercourse, since on no side were they in immediate contact with Dorians. It is much more probable that the Ætolians, who conquered Elis, used, from their vicinity to the Dorians, the same dialect: that they spoke Doric in later times, is proved by the testimony of ancient authors and monuments extant;1925 and the same was also the language of the inhabitants of the ancient Epirus Proper.1926 It seems, therefore, that this dialect was formed in the northern and mountainous districts of Greece, particularly in the vicinity of mount Pindus, from whence the Dorians brought it in their migration to the more southern parts of the country, where they were in consequence commonly regarded as the race with whom it first originated.
3. To determine with any degree of precision how much climate and the nature of the soil contributed to the formation of this dialect, would be a matter of extreme difficulty; although the comparison of the corresponding dialects of different languages with the various localities in which each was formed may lead to several interesting observations. There can be no doubt that a mountain life is favourable to the formation of the pure, broad, and long vowels, such as ? and O; as also that a residence in the lowlands and on [pg 421] the coast produces rather modifications of the long vowels1927 and short syllables. It should, however, be borne in mind, that the influence of these causes upon language was in full operation at one period only, when the organs generally evinced greater pliancy in adapting themselves to the various peculiarities of situation. In later times, Doric was spoken in maritime towns, as low German is now in mountains and highlands. We must likewise remember, that not only the country, but also the people, bore a distinct national character, the influence of which upon their language must have been full as great as of the former. The hypothesis that the ancient dialects were determined more by internal than external influence, more by the nature of the men than the influence of place, is confirmed by a remarkable passage of Jamblichus,1928 who had probably derived this sentiment from the schools of the early Pythagoreans: he pronounces the Doric dialect to be the most ancient and best, comparing it, on account of the sounding vowels with which it abounded, to the enharmonic style of music, as he does the Ionic and Æolic dialects to the chromatic style. The only meaning of this remark can be, that the long vowels ? and O were pronounced in as clear and marked a manner (particularly when, as was often the case, they were circumflexed) as a bar separated by a double bar in the tetrachord strung to the enharmonic pitch, so much used for music of the Doric style.1929 Otherwise a manly character is always attributed to the Doric dialect:1930 its fitness for solemn occasions and simple expression is shown by the literary remains which have come down to us.
4. It cannot be expected that we should here enter into a minute examination of all the peculiarities of the Doric dialect: the following brief remarks will, it is hoped, be received as an attempt rather to set forth the most remarkable features of the spoken language, than to explain the niceties [pg 422] of the polished style used in writing and poetry. The frequent use of ? prevailed indeed partially in the ancient dialect, and in most cases the use of ? originated in the Ionic, which in this respect bore nearly the same relation to the ancient Greek as the English language does to the German.1931 The broad pronunciation (p?ate?asµ??) of the Dorians frequently, however, exceeded that of the ancient language, as may be seen from the Latin. Thus fa???, fagus—f?µa, fama—µ????, malum—?????, terras (genit.) ?????, (caduceus), and the like, are clearly the genuine ancient forms. On the other hand, the change from ? to ? in the temporal augment existed in the most ancient Greek, as is evident from ago, egi, ????, capio, cepi, &c. The Doric dialect, however, here also used ? in the place of ?. I am not aware whether another change very nearly coinciding with the latter has ever been noticed, viz. the frequent use of the short ? for ?, especially in the enclitics, as ?? (which however is long) for ?e or ??, a form common to all the Dorians, and in the same manner ?a for ?e,1932 ?a for the correlative te in t??a, p??a, ??a in Sophron, Theocritus, and others, to which corresponds ?a in p??s?a, ???p?s?a (Alcman), ?µp??s?a, ????a.1933 The same change is also observable in ?te??? for ?te???, t??f? for t??p?,1934 ??taµ??1935 for ??teµ??, t???, pa?a?t???, in the Cretan dialect,1936 t?µ?? in the Heraclean Tables and elsewhere, s??a???, f?as??, in Pindar; and innumerable examples of a similar kind. ?, either as a contraction of ??, or a lengthening of ?, occurs in many instances in the place of ?? in the other dialects (the reverse took place among the Bœotians), as in p???, p????, µ???,1937 ?????, ?????? (Alcman), ??sµ??, ?at????? (Theocritus, and the Byzantine Decree in Demosthenes1938), d??a? for de??a? in [pg 423] the treaty of the Latians in Crete,1939 ???e? in Cretan, and also used by Alcman, ????? or t???? in Alcman and others; pep?????, ?p????? Theocritus and the Heraclean tables: and thus in contractions from ???, ? has frequently preponderated over ?, as in the pure Doric form ????,1940 ? ?a?d?a pad? Sophron;1941 although it must also be allowed that the diphthong ?? was contracted into ?, as in ???, &c. ??a? for ??a?,1942 and ????? for ????ae in a Laconian inscription in Leake's Morea, vol. III. Inscript. n. 71.:1943 to which instances we should probably add the following cases of crasis, ???, ??p?, ???. The reverse of this, which we find in the words pe? in Sophron,1944 and ?pe? in a Corcyrean inscription1945 for p? and ?p?, is a remarkable variety. The Dorians, consistently with their love for the pure and long ?, were equally partial to the O. This letter frequently forms the original sound, as in the accusative case ???e???, Argivos; and hence the abbreviated form ?e?? for ?e?? in Cretan and Coan1946 inscriptions, and in Theocritus, was probably formed by an elision of the characteristic vowel, as desp?t?? in the first declension. We frequently also find use made of the vowel O as a prolongation of ?, instead of the common form ??, produced by the elision of consonants: thus in the form of the participle [pg 424] feminine in ?sa, used in Crete and Peloponnesus, and also in the Heraclean Tables, whilst the softer form in ??sa, where ?? was also derived from ??t (as in the third person plural ?a???s??, and in the masculine participle t??a??), was perhaps peculiar to Sicily. ? also, when followed by ?, overpowers the latter letter, and is changed into O, as for instance in ?????ssa (a mountain near Phlius), ??t???, ?p??? for ?p??e?, Laconian forms in Aristophanes, paµ????, and similar words in the Heraclean Tables; though whether this is the case when the ? precedes the ? is doubtful, for in e?????s? and similar forms in Cretan inscriptions, it is ?O, not ??, which is contracted into O. In this case ?? is generally contracted into ??, or it is changed into ??, as ?O into ?O; thus µ????µe?, ?????f?????te? in the Lysistrata of Aristophanes (according to the old reading), ?pa????, ?µ??µe?a ib., a??????? for ???????? in the Laconian inscription in Leake, No. 71. with which compare ?µµe??? in the oath of the Latians, p?a???µe? in the decree of the Istionians, and paµ???? in the Heraclean Tables.1947 In the above cases there is no reason for assuming any other changes, than from ?? into ?? and ?O into ?O, as the Dorians appear to have been very unwilling to tolerate ? with ?; the short ?, however, before the lengthened ? must have been particularly suited to their ears. The long ? in ???µ??, ?t?e?da, ???s??a?, p??t?? was without doubt a thick sound between ? and ?, for which there was no distinct character. The Spartan dialect frequently has ?? for ? (which change regularly occurs in the Bœotian dialect), as d?f???a for ??f??a (Hesychius in v.), f???? for f?s??? (Valck. ad Adoniaz, p. 276.), µ??s?dd? for µ????? (ibid. p. 279.), f??a??? (vol. I. p. 384. note f.), µ????? for µ???? (Koen p. 343.), ?aµp?????, a species of olive-tree (in Hesychius), derived, I believe, from ??µpt?? ????, ?????a for ????a (Hesych. in v.); ??d?a??e?, pe???a?a??e? according to Hesych. for ?d?a??e?, t???? for s? (Hesych.), ?pess??a for ?pes?? in the letter of Hippocrates (compare Coray ad Plut. Alcib. 28.). ?? for ? is only found in ???????, according to Photius.[pg 425]
5. The consonants in the Doric dialect were in some cases so brought together as to give the words a roughness which was avoided in other dialects, and consequently it possessed more of that ancient fulness of consonants which was preserved with greater fidelity in the Latin language than in the Greek; partly from the neglect of that law, which was so constantly observed by all the dialects of the Greek, that every word should end either with a vowel or semi-vowel. The Doric has at least the ancient form of the participle t????? (Lat. ns, in ancient Gothic ants), which is quoted as a Cretan and Argive form;1948 and the preposition ??? for in with the accusative (into), which in other dialects was changed into e??; but in the Doric it became, by the omission of the final S, ?? in the sense of into, as in Crete and in Pindar,1949 although Cretan inscriptions of considerable antiquity have e??, which appears to have been the usual Laconian form. Thus also the Cretans and Argives formed the future in sp??s?, merely throwing out d, as a t is properly omitted in t?????.1950 The Rhegians adopted the same usage from the Messenians.1951 It is clear that the organs of the ancient Doric race were better fitted for this rough pronunciation than the more delicate ones of the other Greeks, who even changed the Roman Hortensius into ??t?s???. The same remark may be applied to the word µ??a?? in Alcman (fragm. 66.), and some similar forms.
Another more striking characteristic of the Doric dialect is the aversion to S, the s?? ??ßda???; hence the Doric lyric poets, Lasus and others, wrote poems without that letter; a practice in direct contradiction with the partiality shown by the Ionians for that sound. To this principle may be traced various other peculiarities: first, the interchange of S and ?, which, however, is on the whole merely a relic of the original dialect, as in the adjectives ???a?t??? and p???t???,1952 [pg 426] in t? or t??, tu, in t?ssa?e?, quatuor, in the third persons d?d?t?, fat?, which still retain this form in Sanscrit (while in the Latin and German languages T is always the last letter of this third person). Also in the name of Neptune the Doric was doubtless the original form, having the same root as p??t??, p?taµ??; the original form was ??t?da? (in Epicharmus and Sophron1953), and the Megarian in Aristophanes says ??te?da?; so also the Corinthians; and hence their colony ??te?da?a,1954 ??te?d?? (from ??te?d???) was the Spartan and the Rhodian form.1955 It is singular that in some cases the Dorians also used S for ?, as s?te? for t?te?,1956 corresponding to which we find s?µe??? in Pindar, Theocritus, and the Tarentine dialect (a word, according to Hesychius, synonymous with ???); the s? for t? of the Megarians, and this latter for t??a is the same change.1957 It was this aversion to S, noticed above, which led the Spartans in the double consonants S?, S?, S?, to reject the S and double the other consonant; hence the Laconian forms ?t?tta? for ?t?st??, ?tt?? for ?? t??, ?µp?tta? for ?µf?st??,1958 ????? for ?s???.1959 Valckenær lays down the following rule: “literam S Lacones in sequentem consonantem non liquidam mutant;” and of this change he finds traces in the Tarentine dialect, to which we may add, that Hecate, according to Hesychius, was there called ?f?att??, i.e. ?f?ast??. The most interesting example of this change in the Spartan dialect is the form ?ttas? for ???st??? (derived from ?????S?), in which word more than three Laconisms are discernible. With this point is immediately connected the change of ?, i.e. S? into ??, for instance in verbs in ??, Laconice—dd?, many instances of which occur in the Lysistrata and Acharneans of Aristophanes. There is no evidence of the same change occurring in verbs whose [pg 427] characteristic is G; although the Dorians were induced by analogy and a partiality to the letter ? to introduce the termination ??, where the characteristic letter was not G but ?, which is evident by the formation of the substantive ?a??ppa??? (as should be read in Hesychius for ?a??pta???), de??????ta?, &c.1960 Even in the Laconian dialect, however, the soft sound of S? is used instead of ??, as ???sde?, µe??sd?µe???, t??pesda in Alcman, and in the pretended apophthegm of Lycurgus, ?? pt???? µ???te ?a? µ? µ?sd? (i.e. µe???) ?te??? ?at??? ???? ?t?µe?.1961 It would however be erroneous to suppose, with regard to the mode in which this transition was effected, that the sound of ?, when already formed, passed into ?? or S?. The ancient dialect appears to have had a separate ?, pronounced with a peculiar compression of the mouth; the Dorians in several cases, agreeing with the Ionians, added the S, and formed either ?, where the sounds were more combined, or S?. In other cases the Dorians merely gave additional force to the ?. With the Æolians there was scarce any distinction between the harsh and the common ?, as in ?e?? for ?e??, d???? for ????? &c.; in the same manner ?e?? in the Latin became Deus, ???a radix, ??? odor,1962 and hence the long ? was wanting in that language; but the peculiarity of the original sounds of this consonant is evident from the circumstance that the Latins substituted for it I; for example in jugum from ?????, major from µe????, &c.; in like manner the Æolic dialect interchanged d?a and ?a, ?a???, ?a?d?a.1963 The change of the last letters of verbs ending in -ss? into -?? in the Tarentine dialect, instead of tt? like the other Dorians, as ????? for ???ss?, is quite peculiar to that town.1964[pg 428]
6. Another mode of avoiding the sound of S was to omit it altogether. This suppression was made at an early date in the third person plural, which consequently retained a nearer resemblance to the original form in the Doric than in the Ionico-Attic dialect, in which the preservation of S soon caused the ?? to be dropped. Examples of this, as pe????t?, ?p?d?d??t?, ?e???a?t?, a?????t? (bhavanti, in Sanscrit, corresponding to the ancient high German ant; the Bœotians wrote -????, -a???) are found in all the Doric inscriptions; yet Alcman uses the termination -??s? as well as the ancient form. Sometimes this elision of s lengthened the preceding vowel, as in ???ef??e?a Lacon. for ?e?sef??e?a, according to Hesychius, with which we may compare p???? for p??d?? in the Cretan dialect (ibid.); also p?e??e?ta?, p?e???st??, p?e????a in Cretan inscriptions for p?esße?t??, &c.; the Argives also used G for ? in p???e??. (See Hesychius.) Concerning the omission of S before F, e.g., f?? for sf??, in the Laconic dialect, see Koen p. 254.; the Syracusans changed the place of the S, and converted SF?? into FS??, i.e. ???. This aversion to S also appeared in the substitution of the aspirate for this consonant, in which change the pure Doric dialect is directly at variance with the Latin, in which the aspirate was often replaced by S, for example, ???, sal, ?µ?, semi, ????, sylva,1965 &c. The Laconians, on the other hand, used µ??, instead of µ?sa, and on the same principle µ????, music, as also in the participles ??e??, ????p??, &c, to which we may add ??µa?? for ??µ?s??, as in Aristophanes; also p?????, p??, ß??? for ?s??,1966 ß???a for ß??s?a;1967 the same usage also prevailed among the Argives, as we learn from Dercyllus, among the Eretrians, who borrowed it from the Eleans, and also among the Pamphylians; with whom several Argive and Rhodian peculiarities of dialect appear to have been preserved.1968 Lastly, with this aversion to S is [pg 429] connected the rhotacismus, which we have already observed in the Spartan and Elean dialect, and of which the interpreters of the decree against Timotheus,1969 particularly Casaubon, have collected many examples. Of these I will only cite ?p??e?ast??, the mocker; ?a???a?, an ape (Hesych. in vv. comp. Boeckh Exp. Pind. Pyth. II. p. 251); ????a?t??, an ass-driver (Pollux VII. 13. 56.); s????, a palm-branch (Hesych.); t??, t??, (ib. and in the Elean Rhetra), pa?a??? (Aristoph. Lys. 988.), s??? ?e??, p?? p???, ????? ?????, ß?µß?? a kind of flute (Hesych. in vv.). Whether in the oblique cases S could always be changed into ? is uncertain, since, besides the Elean Rhetra, no genuine monument, and only a few and obscure glosses, afford any information on the point. However, ?µ? ????? for ?p? ????? (according to Koen's conjecture ad Gregor. p. 283.) is an instance, as also the Cretan t??? for s?? (Hesych.), where the pronoun is declined, as ?µ???, ?µ???, ?µe?? in Epicharmus.1970 We may observe that generally the Latin is in this respect very different from the pure Doric; though it resembles it in some words. Thus the Laconian ??t?? is the Latin actor, and in gubernator we see the Doric form ??ße??at??, and so in other instances.1971
7. Notwithstanding this fuga sibili—this aversion to the S—to which almost all the changes mentioned in the last two sections may be traced—yet the Doric dialects always retained in the first person plural the final S from the ancient language (as is proved by the Latin -mus);1972 and Laconians, Megarians, and Doric Sicilians said ???µe?, ?p????µe?, &c. It does not appear that in the Doric dialect any original consonant passed into S, except T; and this change probably arose from a desire to soften the harsh sound of the aspirate. Instances of this Laconism in Alcman (?s??a?, ?s??e, s???e?, sa?ass?µ?d??sa?), in the Lysistrata (??se, [pg 430] ??s?, s??e??, µ??s?dde??, &c.), and the grammarians (e.g. s???ase?de?, ?asa?????, for ?a?a???s??, according to Koen, ?asa?e?e??, according to Valckenær) are well known, and particularly se??? ????; comp. Valckenær, p. 277, sqq. who has treated this point with great ability. Also in Hesychius, s?µß??ade?, ?pe?µa?e? (for s?µß???e?) we should probably write s?µß??ase? (otherwise Hemsterhuis), and ?ase?at?sa?, ?a??sa?, ibid. is from ???a, ??a, ???ed?a, sella; whence ??at??e??, ?a?e?at??e??, sedere facio. In this respect the colonists of Sparta at Tarentum did not follow the idiom of their mother city; as they said ???a???e??, not s??a???e??, to beg:1973 the Rhodians also retained the original T in ?????ß? (Strabo XIII. p. 613. Eustath. ad Il. a. 34.): in Cretan this change only occurs in se??a? for ?e??a? in Hesychius, and in s??? in the treaty of the Olontians: for Corinth may be cited S?s?f?? for Te?s?f??, according to Phavorinus, p. 403. Dindorf; for Sicyon perhaps se????, ????st???, Hesych. and also st?a? for ???a?, Schol. Apoll. R.h. II. 1172. That the Eleans were acquainted with this variety has been shown above.
8. In general the Dorians had less inclination to aspirated consonants than the other tribes of Greece, and therefore in many respects their dialect remained nearer to the primitive language. Thus the Lacedæmonians and Cretans said ?µp? for ?µf? (Koen ad Greg. p. 344), the latter in the derivative ?µp?t??, the former in ?µp?sa?, (above, p. 332, note f. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “orthography,” starting “For instance, ???SO.”]) in ?µp?tta? (p. 35, note a. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “?µp?tta?e?,” starting “I. q. ?µf?st??te?.”]) ?µp?????? in Hesychius; ?µfa?µ???, d??e??a, Hesych. utrinque aptata, makes an exception. So also the Thessalians called the river ?µf????s??, ?µß????s?? (Schol. Apoll. Rh. I. 51); and the same, according to the general rule (vol. I. p. 3, note g.), must be Macedonian and Latin. Some instances of ? for ? in the Cretan, Laconian, and Sicilian dialect, see in Koen p. 340, sqq.; Pindar's d??es?a? is probably also Doric, as well as in the Heraclean Tables. According to Hesychius in e?p???t??, the Dorians called the baskets in which the ??????ta? were carried ??ßa???a, where ??ß? is ????, and the termination -???a is probably formed from ???, unless (as is probable) [pg 431] we should correct -???a here and in the word ??ß?????, where Deinolochus (the Sicilian) is quoted as authority. (Compare Suidas in de?ß?st??.) The aspirate by itself is absent from the words ????µa?,1974 ???s?????? and the names ????, ???sa?d???, ???s?p????, and ???s??a?? (Ion. ???s??e??); originally perhaps all these names had the digamma, as ?a???, a general Lacon. in Hesychius. The aspirate was also neglected by the Lacedæmonians in the pronoun ?µ??, ?µ??;1975 as well as by the Cretans, as is evident from the words ???????, i.e. p??t? ?µ?, in an inscription (Chishull, p. 115. 10.), and by the Dorians. In the word ????? likewise the lene breathing is Doric, as is shown by ?p????e?? in Thucyd. V. 77: and the Syracusan name ?p????? (Demetrius pe?? ??µ??e?a?, § 157. Eustath. ad Il. e?. p. 571. Rom.). On the other hand the digamma was retained nearly as much among the Lacedæmonians and other Dorians, as by most of the Æolians; among the Dorians, however, it generally assumed the form of ?. See Etymol. M. p. 308. 26. Gudian. p. 104. 12. I will only cite a few examples. The Laconian word for “splendour” was ß??a, ???a (Hesychius), i.e. ???, whence by the prefix a, signifying an union or number, the word ?ße???? (??????S) was formed, literally “a collection or mass of brightness;” the Cretan and Pamphylian name for the sun (Hesychius; compare Hemsterhuis ad Hesych. in ??ßa???).1976 The Greek or Æolic word for the “ear” was a?a?, in Latin auris, in Doric ??a? (like ?app?ta? for ?atapa?t??), whence the Laconian word ???ß?d?a (i.e. ?????t?a) ???t?a, in Hesychius. In ?at???s?, ????s?µa?, Doric according to Photius, the digamma is lost, as well as in the Tarentine contraction ?ta, Hesychius. From the root [pg 432] ????O, to burn, are derived the Laconian forms d?ße?, ?a?eta? (vulg. ????ta?, otherwise Hemsterhuis), ??d?ß?, ??a??e; d?ße???, da??? in Hesychius; also t?? d????? in Alcman, fragm. 76. ed. Welcker. In Crete also we find the forms ?ß?d?? for ??d??, ßa?????t?? for ??????t??, ßa??a for a??a or ??? (Hesychius and Koen ad Greg. p. 251.); according to the same grammarian the Cretans called their shields ?a?ßa?, i.e. lævæ, the left; thus by a reverse analogy the Greeks said pa?? ?sp?da for “to the left.” The Laconian word for “the dawn,” was ??OS (also retained in µ????ß??, ????f??, Hesych. i.e. µ?s?-????), among the other Greeks ?OS: and as from the latter form the name of the east-wind e???? was derived (answering to ??f????, ?? ?? ??f?? p?e?), so from the Doric ???? came the word a??a, which had in this dialect the peculiar sense of “morning;” hence ??a??? p???, ???te?, and ?ß?, ?????e?, Hesychius. At Argos the digamma occurs in ?ßea for ?? (ova) Hesych.; at Hermione a double digamma in ße?d?? for ?d??, ??a?µa, Etymol. M. p. 195. 52.; at Syracuse in ?ßas?? for ?as??, which was also a Laconian form, ib. p. 308. 26. Hesych.
9. If we except the changes of the vowels, semivowels, and aspirates, there are not many others peculiar to the Doric dialect, since the mediæ and tenues were seldom inverted, and not often letters which are not cognate. It is worthy of remark that the Dorians frequently changed both ? and G into ?, the former in d??t??, good, compared with ß??t???, and ?de??? for ?ße???;1977 the latter in d? for ??, d???? for ?????, d?f???a for ??f??a in Laconian, de???? for ?????? in Ætolian, which likewise was preserved in the Latin dulcis.1978 I should also remark that p?da for µet? is pure Doric, as is proved by Alcman ap. Athen. X. p. 416 A. the Laconian word p?de??a, ?te???, in Hesychius, ped??????? for µ?t????? in an Argive inscription (Boeckh. No. 14.), and the [pg 433] Corcyræan inscription in Mustoxidi, tom. II. p. 70. (as it appears.)
The Doric dialect is also marked by a strong tendency to the omission of letters both in composition and flexion. In composition the prepositions ?at?, ???, p?t? become monosyllables by the suppression of the last vowel: and even with the first syllable short in ?aßa????, Alcman. fragm. 34. ??pet??, Pindar. Olymp. VIII. 48. compare Hesychius in ??ß??µa and ??ßas?. The Venus ?µß??????a of Sparta (Pausan. III. 18. 1.) has been already explained from ??aß???e?? t? ???a?, as also ?e?? ?app?ta? (ib. III. 22. 1.) as ?e?? ?atapa?t??. ?????, ???e?de, Laconice in Hesychius, shortened by apocope from ?????s?, i.e. ?at??e???, as ?µß? for ?µß?s? in Aristoph. Lys. 1303. In conjugation the Dorians frequently shortened the ancient longer forms by apocope, and not, like the other cases, by contraction; as in the infinitives d?µe? for d?µeµa?, e?µe? or ?µe? for ?µµe???, &c. the uncontracted form being seldom used, as ?µe?a? Aristoph. Ach. 775., ??e??µe?a?, Thucyd. V. 77., or the contracted, as s???????a? in Sophron. ap. Etym. M. p. 717, ext. and in Alcman. fragm. 23, Welcker is probably right in changing ?a???a? into ?a???a?. Also the shortened third persons of the aorists, d?????? in the Heraclean Tables, ?d?? (Corp. Inscript. No. 1511.), ????e? (ib. No. 29.), d?e???e? in the decree of the Oaxians, d?e????? in that of the Istronians; as well as the infinitives in e? and the second persons in e?, for e?? and e??, and many other similar changes. The forms e?µe??, ?e???e?? are not merely Agrigentine; the former also occurs in an inscription (probably of Rhodes) in Chandler, p. 14. No. 38: the Sicilian adverbs t?, t??t? (t??t? ??µe?a Sophron. fragm. 34. Mus. Crit. vol. II. p. 347.) for p??e?, t??t??e?, also come under this head. Ammonius adds p?? for p?se and p?? for p??e.
10. With regard to the differences of syntax, we may remark that the article was much used by the Dorians; as is evident from several passages in the Spartan choruses in the Lysistrata of Aristophanes.1979 It may be also observed [pg 434] that the article occurs very frequently in all the early monuments of Doric nations;1980 and that in the Doric poetry, particularly of Alcman, it was first introduced into the literature of Greece: the earlier language having been quite destitute of it. Hence perhaps it may be inferred that it was the Dorians who introduced the general use of the article; which would afford some idea of the changes which the Greek language experienced in consequence of the revolution caused by the Doric invasion.
Every dialect has peculiar words; but it is remarkable when these are radical forms, expressing very common ideas, and when they are quite foreign to the other dialects of the same language. This at least is true of the Laconian word ????, ?????, ??a???, “good” (Aristoph. Lys. 90, 1157. Hesychius in ??a?a, where Heinsius would without reason omit the a, Theocrit. VII. 4.), of ????, “large” (Etymol. M. p. 396. 29.), which words stand quite isolated in the common language: also ???, “to wish” (Koen. p. 252. Maittaire p. 278.), and µ??, “I think,” “I seek,” are pure Doric forms; the latter a Laconian and Sicilian word, see Toup Emend, in Suid. vol. I. p. 462. Meineke Euphorion. p. 162.1981
11. As yet we have considered the Doric dialect in general, as spoken by the whole race, only marking out the Laconian as its purest variety; we will now annex a brief list of those shades of difference which can be perceived in the language of the several states. The broad peculiarities of the Doric dialect of Laconia are partly known from the remains of Alcman (who however avoided in his poetry such harsh forms as µ?? for µ?sa, ??p?? for ??p?sa or [pg 435] ??p??sa, and never uses S for ?, &c.); and more fully from the Spartans in the Lysistrata. On comparing these with the Spartan and Argive treaty in Thucydides V. 77., there is indeed a general agreement; yet in this document the contractions ??a?????ta?, pe?t????ta?t?, d???, p??e? (but p???es? and a?t?p???e?), also ?????? and d????es?a?, together with ?? in the accusative of the substantives, but ??? of the adjectives, can hardly be considered as pure Doric; nor is there any instance of the change of S into the aspirate, and S for T only in the word s??. With regard to the indiscriminate use of O and ?? our copies of Thucydides are not much authority: for these two sounds were not distinguished in the writing of the time, being both expressed by ?; and it is probable that some forms have been modified either by Thucydides or his copyists, or both. On the whole, however, it is probable that the popular dialect of Peloponnesus, which is preserved in all its harshness in the famous treaty of the Eleans, was about the time of the Peloponnesian war softened down in public documents and treaties. Thus in a Lacedæmonian inscription of later date, we still find the ancient forms state?a?, a????a???, a??????, ???at?, da????? ??ta?at???, from a restoration, but also ??????? da?[?????], Corp. Inscript. No. 1511. In the Spartan decree preserved by Plutarch in his Life of Lysander c. 14., we should probably write, ta?ta ?? d???te? t?? e????a? ????te, ? ??? ?????S ?a? t?? f???da? ????te?. pe?? t?? ?a?? t? p???e?? ?????? t? ??????? d?????, ta?ta p???ete, as has been partly emended by Haitinger Act. Monac. vol. III. p. 311. In the time of Pyrrhus much of the ancient peculiarity of the dialect was still in existence, although in the following saying all the forms are not those of the ancient Laconian language, a? µ?? ?ss? t? ?e ?e??, ??d?? µ? p???µe?, ?? ???, ?d??e?µe?; a? d? ?????p??, ?seta? ?a? te? ?????? ?????, Plutarch. Pyrrh. 26. The remains of it in the decrees of the Eleutherolacones and Spartans in the time of the emperors are less considerable. That the Messenians retained the ancient idiom, from ancient recollections, or perhaps from affectation, was remarked above, p. 414, note c. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “Messenians of Sicily,” starting “The coins.”] The Argive [pg 436] dialect has been more than once observed to agree with the Cretan, a correspondence which may be even traced in unimportant particulars; thus the name of the Argive ßa??a???da? (above, p. 355. note n [Transcriber's Note: There is no such footnote on that page.]), was derived from ?????, which Hermonax ap. Schol. Nicand. Ther. 512. calls a Cretan, and Hesychius a Laconian word. The grammarians likewise particularly remark that in the Argive dialect ? was frequently changed into ?, as in µ??t?? for µ??t?? (Argive and Cretan, Maittaire p. 255), a???, ???at?? (Etymol. M. p. 402, 2.) fae???? (see Boeckh Not. crit. ad Pind. Olymp. I. 6.); the Sicilians in many cases made the contrary change—the Rhegini, however, the same as the Argives (Etymol. M. p. 135, 45. Gud. 73, 44.); which peculiarity they had evidently borrowed from the Messenians. Dercyllus wrote in the ancient Argive dialect; see Etymol. M. p. 391, 20. above, p. 385, note c. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “Ionians and Athenians,” starting “This is only true.”] The Cretan has a singularity which does not appear to have been observed in any other dialect of Greece, viz. of changing ? before a consonant and after e or a into ? (analogous to the French forms aumóne, haubergeon, &c. from the German Almosen, Halsberge, &c.); thus a?s?? for ??s??, a?µa for ??µa, likewise a?????a, a??a?; ?e??es?a? and e??e?? for ????es?a? and ???e??, according to Hesychius, Koen. p. 354. The Ætolian word de???? also shows the same formation, as it comes from the ancient root d?????, dulcis. There is an analogous change in the Cretan forms ??a?s?? from ???a?s??, and ?e???ta?, p?pp?? (Hesych.) i.e. for ?????ta? from ?????, and directly the reverse of that observed above in the termination of the participles t?????, &c. where the Cretans retained the ancient form t?????, which other Greeks softened into t??e??, &c. The Cretan ß??t??? for ß??t??? is paralleled by the Sicilian forms ????? and f??tat??. The words peculiar to the Cretan town Polyrrhenia, such as s??t?? “a crane,” ?µa??a “a partridge,” ??µßa “a crow,” (see also Hesychius in ???a and ??tta) are probably remains of an ancient Cydonian language, having no affinity with the Greek. See Hoeck's Kreta, vol. I. p. 146, note b. In the Cretan inscriptions of the beginning of the second century before Christ, the ancient dialect is still preserved [pg 437] in some words, but not regularly and constantly; peculiarities such as a?s?? no longer appear: and if they were found in a writer named Cypselas, he must have been of a much earlier date (Joann. Gramm. ad calc. H. Steph. Thes. Gr. p. 13.). Some peculiarities of the Doric dialect of Corinth and Sicyon have been noticed above; in general, however, we know little of these dialects; but of the Megarian we are better informed by means of the Acharneans of Aristophanes, and this probably gives a tolerably correct notion of the Doric of Peloponnesus, except Sparta. The Dryopians of Hermione also spoke Doric; at least an Hermionean inscription contains such Dorisms as ?p?daµ??t?, p?tt?? p????, t??? d? ?a??a? d?µe? st??a?, Boeckh No. 1193. and see others cited vol. I. p. 399, note y. The Rhodians still spoke Doric in the time of Tiberius (Sueton. Tiber. 56.), and indeed, as Aristides de Conc. boasts, in great purity (see Meurs. Rhod. II. 3.). Inscriptions of Cos (in Spon), Calymna (Chandler. Inscript. p. 21. No. 58.), Astypalæa, and Anaphæ (in Villoison's papers) are written in a Doric style, common in such monuments. The same was also adopted by the Æginetans after their re-establishment; see the inscription in Æginetica, p. 136, and the remarks on it in p. 160. Among the inscriptions of Corcyra, collected by Mustoxidi, a series might be arranged according to the greater and less traces of the Doric dialect; the large one in Boeckh's Staatshaushaltung, vol. II. p. 400. contains several peculiarities, as, e.g. the imperative d??t?. In a Theræan inscription, containing the will of a certain Epicteta (Boeckh, No. 2448.), several pure Dorisms occur, as e.g. the accusative plural in ??, the infinitives ??a???, ??e?, (Eustathius ad Od. t?. p. 706. 49. quotes ???e? for ???e?? as Theræan); at the same time several peculiar forms, such as ?st??e?a, s??a?a???e?a; and upon the whole there is little archaic in the language. But the Byzantine dialect was in the time of Philip, as we know from the decree in Demosthenes, rich in Dorisms: not so many occur in the more recent inscription in Chandler Inscript. App. p. 95. No. 10. How much of the language of the surrounding nations had [pg 438] been introduced into the Cyrenæan dialect cannot be determined: according to Hesychius ß????? was the Cyrenæan word for “ass;” which resembles the Spanish word borrico; both probably were derived from Africans. All that we know of the Tarentine dialect appears to have been taken from the Phlyaces of Rhinthon, who lived in the time of Ptolemy the First; although very different from the ancient Laconian dialect, it has many peculiarities:1982 but besides the vulgar language of Tarentum there was also spoken a polished (Attic) dialect, which was alone used in public transactions. See Dionys. Hal. Exc. p. 2239. ed. Reiske. With regard to the exchange of words with the neighbouring Italian nations (above, p. 413, note z [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “the Siculians,” starting “E.g. besides.”]), it is sometimes doubtful which party borrowed from the other. Thus Alcman uses p??t?? for puls; are we to suppose that this word was so early brought over from Italy? ????a??? is used for “prison” by Sophron, for “stall” by Rhinthon: it is the same word as the Latin carcer; but possibly both are derived from the Laconian word ??????a in Alcman. That the Italian Heracleans should have preserved the ancient language and writing to the fifth century after the building of Rome so faithfully as the famous Heraclean Tables show us, is very remarkable. At Syracuse the dialect was nearly the same as that in which Epicharmus and Sophron wrote: the laws of Diocles too were probably drawn up in this dialect, but the circumstance of their requiring an interpreter in the time of Timoleon is a proof of the rapid preponderance of the Attic language in this city (B. III. ch. 9. § 7.). The language of Sophron is also nearer to the common dialect, and less strictly Doric than that spoken in Peloponnesus in his time; e.g., he always says t??? and not t??. On the spreading of the Doric dialect in Sicily see Castelli Proleg. p. 25. We have not as yet touched on the Delphic dialect, the strong Doric character of which is proved [pg 439] by an inscription (Boeckh No. 1690.) in which ?de??? and t?t??e? occur, and still more, as I believe, by a monument of Olymp. 100. 1, which has futures such as ???e??? &c., the infinitives ?p?????e?, f??e?, and ??e?, a??a for ???, p??tess?, ?e??µ?aµ??ess?, d?a??t???, ?p???sµ?s??t?, ?? for ?? adverbialiter, ?att??, ???a?t???, p?µp??t?, p?tt?? (Boeckh No. 1688.). Besides this, all the prose oracles given at Delphi were doubtless written in Doric; as e.g. that in Demosth. in Mid. p. 531, and in Macart. p. 1072, that in Thuc. V. 16. (—??????? e????? e????e??, is, according to the scholiast, a Laconian expression), and the oracle quoted in vol. I. p. 199. note p, p?? t? ?aß?? ?a? p?? t? ?a????? ?a? p?? t? ????s?? (here the sense requires ?sfa???? ??e??, ???t??, ?e?e??...) ????a te ?e???s?a?, which, however, was probably written in hexameters, since the epic oracles sometimes show traces of Dorisms (Herod. IV. 155, 157; compare that given to the Lacedæmonians, ? f??????µat?a &c.). Plutarch (Pyth. Orac. 24. p. 289.) quotes from ancient oracles the expression p????a?? (i.e. p??????, as the Delphians themselves were called, vol. I. p. 254. note b), ??e??a? for ??d?a?,1983 ??eµp?ta? for p?t?µ???; likewise ??ata?p??? (Schol. Pind. Olymp. XIII. 114.) is probably from an oracle: from the Dorisms of the vulgar dialect we have G???da? for the treasure of Gyges, Herod. I. 14, a half-adjective form in -a?, which occurs frequently in Doric, and ??µa for ??µ?, “love,” Plutarch Amator, 23. The name of the month ??s??? (ap. Plutarch Quæst. Gr. 9. and in Delphian inscriptions) was derived by some from F?s???, as being a spring-month; it is, however, far more probable that this sacred oracular month received its name from Pytho, as ??????. In that case the change of ? into s corresponds with the Laconian dialect; but that of p into ß is peculiar to the Delphians, among whom, according to Plutarch, it also occurred in ß????? for p?????, and other words. A newly discovered honorary decree of Delphi (Ross, Inscript. Græc. ined. Fasc. I. No. 57.) points to a closer affinity of the Delphian and Ætolian [pg 440] dialects. We find in it the datives ???????, ??t???a???t???, and therefore the same metaplasm of declination as among the Ætolians, to whom the grammarians attribute such forms as ?e???t???, pa??µ?t???. The Phoceans appear from the inscriptions to have spoken an Æolic dialect, nearly akin to the Doric. A remarkable peculiarity, which occurs in inscriptions both of Steiris and Daulis, in the territory of the Phoceans, is that the radical vowel of t???µ? and ??µ? remains unlengthened in the active and passive perfect; as in ??ate???a?t?, ??ate?eµ?????, ?feµ??a for ??ate?e??as?, ??ate?e?µ?????, ?fe?µ???.
Appendix VI. Chronological Tables.
1. An attempt to ascertain the precise date of mythical events would at the present time be considered unreasonable, nor would it be better to arrange them according to generations. It must however be allowed that the mutual dependence of events recorded by mythology can be proved, and by this means, to a certain degree, their succession may be satisfactorily traced. We shall give a specimen from the work before us.
The Dorians in Hestiæotis. Worship of Apollo at Tempe b. I. ch. 1. b. II. ch. 1.
The Dorians at war with the Lapithæ. Taking of Œchalia, b. I. ch. 1. § 7. b. II. ch. 2. § 1.
The Dorians in Crete. Worship of Apollo at Cnosus, b. I. ch. 1. § 9. b. II. ch. 1. § 5.
Teucrian Pelagones (Encheleans) in the north of Thessaly, b. I. ch. 1. § 10.
Dorians at the foot of Œta and Parnassus. Worship of Apollo at Lycorea and Pytho, b. I. ch. 2. b. II. ch. 1. § 8.
The Dorians in alliance with the Trachinians and Ætolians, b. I. ch. 2. § 5.
Taking of Ephyra in Thesprotia. Origin of the Geryonia, b. II. ch. 2. § 3.
War with the Dryopians and transportation of this nation to Pytho, b. I. ch. 2. § 4. b. II. ch. 3. § 3.
Cretan sovereignty of the sea; Cretans in Crisa, Lycia and the Troad, b. II. ch. 1. § 6. ch. 2. § 2, 3.
Worship of Apollo in Bœotia; origin of the Theban traditions respecting Hercules, b. II. ch. 3. § 2. ch. 2. § 7.
Cretans in Megara and Attica. Connection of the religious worship of Athens with that of Crete, Delos, and Naxos, ibid.
Cretan fortress of Miletus in Caria; temples at Didymi and Claros, ibid. § 6.
Union of the Dorians and Ætolians, b. I. ch. 3. § 9.
Thessalians and Thesprotians in Pelasgic Argos, Orchomenos, p. 476.
The expelled Magnetes become subjects of the Pythian Apollo, b. II. ch. 3. § 4.
The Bœotians found a new Arne in Bœotia, Orchomenos, ubi sup.
Cadmean Ephyræans and Ægidæ in Athens and Amyclæ, ibid.
Partial emigration of the Dorians from the Tetrapolis, b. I. ch. 3.
Emigration of the Ænianes from the Inachus to the district of Œeta, b. I. ch. 2. § 6.
2. In reckoning from the migration of the Heraclidæ downwards, we follow the Alexandrine chronology, of which it should be observed, that our materials only enable us to restore it to its original state, not to examine its correctness. That it was chiefly founded upon original records and monuments preserved in Peloponnesus, which gave even the years of the kings, has been shown above, b. I. ch. 7. § 3. The dates which Syncellus has preserved from Eusebius, Eusebius from Diodorus, and Diodorus from Apollodorus, could not have been calculated merely by generations; and Larcher's criticism and rejection of the Alexandrine Chronologists may perhaps be found as groundless as they are presumptuous.
[Transcriber's Note: Entries beginning with a number are the year in B.C..][pg 443]
Temenus in Argos, Aristodemus in Sparta, Cresphontes in Messenia, Oxylus the Ætolian in Elis, Cypselus at Basilis. Resistance of the Achæans in Amyclæ. The Nelidæ go from Pylos to Athens.
Birth of Eurysthenes and Procles, and death of Aristodemus king of Sparta. Theras protector of the twin-brothers.1986
1074. 30. Eurysthenes and Procles governors of Sparta. Aletes reduces Corinth.1987 Ceisus the son of Temenus reigns at Argos, Phalces at Sicyon, Agæus at Trœzen (b. I. ch. 5. § 4.), Deiphontes at Epidaurus, Triacon in Ægina, Thersander at Cleonæ (b. I. ch. 5. § 4. b. III. ch. 6. § 10.), [pg 444] Laias the Cypselid, in Arcadia. Pityreus the Ionian goes from Epidaurus to Athens.
1072. 32. Theras colonises Thera with Minyæ and Ægidæ from the district of Amyclæ.
Corinthian Dorians conquer Megara.
Æpytus, son of Cresphontes, re-established in Messenia.
1051. 53. The Thessalian Magnetes found Magnesia in Asia Minor.1988
Advance of the Dorians in the direction of Attica.
Medon, son of Ceisus, at Argos, b. III. ch. 6. § 10. Althæmenes, son of Ceisus, goes to Crete. Amyclæan Laconians settle in Melos and Gortyna. Migration of the Argives and Epidaurians to Rhodes and Cos, of the Trœzenians to Halicarnassus.
1040. 60. Migration of the Ionians to Asia. Procles, son of Pityreus of Epidaurus, goes to Samos with carvers in wood from Ægina.1989 The Phliasians, driven out by Rhegnidas the son of Phalces, withdraw to Samos and Clazomenæ, b. I. ch. 5. § 3.
1038. 68. Ixion king of Corinth.
1033. 71. Soüs, the Proclid, at Sparta.1990
1032. 72. Agis the Eurysthenid.1991
Achæans from Laconia colonise Patræ.
1031. 73. Echestratus the Agid.
1006. 100*.1992 Eurypon the Proclid. Echestratus and Eurypon subdue Cynuria, b. I. ch. 7. § 15.[pg 445]
1000. 106. Agelas at Corinth.
996. 108. Labotas the Agid.
978. 126. Prytanis the Eurypontid.
963. 143. Prumnis at Corinth.
959. 145. Doryssus the Agid.
929. 175. Polydectes (Eunomus) the Eurypontid.
* Megara separates itself from Corinth, b. I. ch. 5. § 10.
930. 174. Agesilaus the Agid.
926. 178. Bacchis at Corinth.
924. 180*. Pompus the Cypselid in Arcadia supports the commerce of the Æginetans.
917. 187. Rhodes enjoys the sovereignty of the sea (Eusebius).
891. 213. Agelas at Corinth.
886. 218. Archelaus the Agid.
884. 220. Polydectes dies. Birth of Charilaus. Lycurgus regent.
Lycurgus, in conjunction with Iphitus the Elean and Cleosthenes, the son of Cleonicus of Pisa, arranges the Olympic games.1993
Lycurgus gives laws to Sparta.
861. 243. Eudemus at Corinth.
854. 250. Charilaus, the Eurypontid, king of Sparta. In this office he with Archelaus conquers Ægys (b. I. ch. 5. § 18.), lays waste the territory of Argos (ib. ch. 7. § 14.), and is defeated by the Tegeates (ib. § 12.). Polymestor, the Cypselid, in Arcadia.[pg 446]
836. 268. Aristomedes at Corinth.1994
826. 278. Teleclus the Agid. He conquers Amyclæ, Pharis, and Geronthræ, b. I. ch. 5. § 13, and destroys Nedon, ib. ch. 7. § 10.
824. 280. [Nicander the Eurypontid, according to Eusebius.]
810. 294. Nicander the Eurypontid (according to Sosibius1995). He ravages the territory of Argos, in alliance with Asine, ib. § 14.
801. 303. Agemon the Bacchiad.
786. 318. Alcamenes the Agid. He conquers Helos1996 and defeats the Argives. Charmides, the son of Euthys, is sent to quiet the troubles of Crete. [Theopompus the Eurysthenid, according to Eusebius.]
785. 319. Alexander at Corinth.
776. 328. Corœbus obtains the prize at the Olympic games at the full moon (according to the original institution), on the 13th or 14th day of the first Olympic month (Apollonius), if the Ennaëteris began with this Olympiad; of the second month (Parthenius), if the Olympiad fell in the middle of the period. The month began with the new moon after the summer solstice, on the 8th of July (according to De Lalande, see l'Art de vérifier les Dates, tom. III. p. 170.) 776. B.C. the distribution of the prizes therefore took place the 21st or 22nd of July.
3. Reckoning according to Olympiads.
[Transcriber's Note: Entries begining with two numbers are, first, the year in B.C., then the Olympiad.]
776. 1. Corœbus of Elis.[pg 447]
774. 3. Metapontum founded by Achæans and Crissæans according to Eusebius, book II. ch. 3. § 7.
* Eratus, king of Argos, expels the Asinæans from their town, b. I. ch. 7, § 14. above, p. 112. note g. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “Persian war,” starting “Herod. VII. 149.”]
772. 2. Antimachus of Elis.
1. Theopompus the Eurypontid according to Sosibius.
768. 3. Androcles of Messenia.
Cinæthon the epic poet of Laconia flourishes, according to Eusebius.
* Pheidon, prince of Argos, attempts to conquer Corinth.
764. 4. Polychares of Messenia.
4. Telestas at Corinth.
760. 5. Æschines of Elis.
2. The Chalcidians erect an altar to Apollo Archegetas in Sicily (b. II. ch. 3. § 7.) and, together with some Naxians, found Naxos.
3. Archias at Corinth founds Syracuse,1997 Chersicrates Corcyra (b. I. ch. 6. § 8.). Eumelus, also a Bacchiad, who composed an ode (p??s?d???) for [pg 448] the Messenians, to be sung at the procession to Delos, and had contended at the Ithomæa, lives with Archias at Syracuse. Phintas the Æpytid reigns in Messenia.
4. Ephors in Sparta (Euseb.).
Croton founded by Myscellus (the Heraclid) and some Achæans, and Locri shortly after (according to Strabo, with whom Pausanias nearly agrees with respect to time).
756. 6. Œbotas of Dyme.
4. The Chalcidians found Leontini. Lamis the Megarian lands and founds Trotilus.
752. 7. Daicles the Messenian, the first conqueror in the ???? stefa??t??, b. IV. ch. 5. § 5.
3. Death of Alcamenes,1998 succeeded by Polydorus the Agid. Polydorus and Theopompus limit the power of the popular assembly, b. III. ch. 5. § 8.
4. Automenes at Corinth.
748. 8. Anticles the Messenian. Pheidon the Argive president of the games with the Pisatans. Metal wares and silver coins at Ægina.
1. Yearly Prytanes at Corinth.
744. 9. Xenocles the Messenian.
1. The Androclidæ, banished from Messenia, fly to Sparta. Euphaes, son of Antiochus, the Æpytid, king of Messenia.
2. Beginning of the first Messenian war, according to Pausanias and Eusebius.
740. 10. Dotadas the Messenian.
1. [Death of Theopompus the Eurypontid,1999 according to Eusebius.][pg 449]
736. 11. Leochares the Messenian.
732. 12. Oxythemis of Coronea.
728. 13. Diocles of Corinth, the favourite of Philolaus the Bacchiad, legislator of Thebes.
1. Hyblean Megara founded, vol. I. p. 135. note r.
724. 14. Dasmon of Corinth. Hypenus of Pisa the first conqueror in the d?a????.
1. The Spartans reduce Ithome, and finish the first Messenian war. The Dryopes build a new Asine, the Androclidæ receive Hyamia from Sparta. Messenians at Rhegium, b. I. ch. 7. § 11.
720. 15. Orsippus of Megara is the first who runs naked in the stadium, and Acanthus the Lacedæmonian in the d?a????, see above, p. 272. note a. [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “naked to the goal,” starting “According to Plato.”]
War of Megara against Corinth, b. I. ch. 5. § 10.
The war between the Spartans and Argives respecting the possession of Cynuria breaks out afresh, b. I. ch. 7. § 16.
716. 16. Pythagoras the Laconian.
4. Gela founded by Rhodians and Cretans.2000
* Theopompus dies (Euseb.), succeeded by Zeuxidamus the Eurypontid.
712. 17. Polus of Epidaurus.
1. Megara founded by Astacus (according to Memnon; Olymp. 17. 3. according to Hieron. Scal.; Olymp. 18. 2. Cod. Arm.), b. I. ch. 6. § 9.
3. Croton founded according to Dion. Halicar. and Eusebius, Cod. Arm. (Olymp. 18. 1. according to Euseb. Cod. Arm. Olymp. 19. 2. according to Scaliger.)
* Polydorus killed by Polemarchus;2001 succeeded by Eurycrates the Agid.[pg 450]
708. 18. Tellis of Sicyon. Eurybatus, the Laconian, first conqueror in the wrestling match: Lampis the Laconian in the Pentathlon.
1. The Partheniæ at Tarentum, Eusebius.
4. * Ameinocles, the Corinthian, builds the Samian triremes (Thucyd.).
704. 19. Menon of Megara.
700. 20. Atheradas of Laconia.
696. 21. Pantacles of Athens.
692. 22. Pantacles a second time.
688. 23. Icarius of Hyperesia. Onomastus of Smyrna the first conqueror in the pugilistic contest.
1. Acræ and Enna founded from Syracuse.2002
4. [Commencement of the second Messenian war, according to Pausanias; but, according to Corsini, Fast. Att. II. 1. p. 37. this date should be altered to Olymp. 24. 4.]
Anaxander the Agid, Anaxidamus the Eurypontid, kings of Sparta.
684. 24. Cleoptolemus the Laconian.
2. Locri founded, according to Eusebius (Ol. 26. 4. Cod. Arm.) above, b. I. ch. 6. § 12.
680. 25. Thalpis the Laconian. Pagondas of Thebes the first conqueror in the chariot race.
676. 26. Callisthenes the Laconian.
The Pisatans render themselves independent of Elis (Strabo).
2. Megara founds Chalcedon, b. I. ch. 6. § 9.
The musical contests at the Carnea are first introduced (Africanus and Sosibius, above, p. 324. note e [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “commencing with Terpander,” starting “According to the important.”]), and Terpander is victorious as a harp-player. The same musician is four times victorious in the musical contests at Pytho, at that time still celebrated every nine years; from about Olymp. 27. to Olymp. 33. Doric, Phrygian, and Lydian styles of music.[pg 451]
Orthagoras, tyrant of Sicyon.2003
672. 27. Eurybates of Athens.
4. Victory of the Argives over the Spartans at Hysiæ, b. I. ch. 7. § 16.
* Megalostrata, b. IV. ch. 7. § 10.
668. 28. Chionis the Laconian (Corsini Fast. Hell. II. 1. pag. 44.). The Pisatans preside at the games, whilst Elis is at war with Dyme (Euseb.).
1. Syracuse founds Casmenæ.
End of the second Messenian war, according to Pausanias. Aristomenes goes to Damagetus the Eratid, prince of Ialysus; the Lacedæmonians give Mothone to the expelled Nauplians. Damocratidas king of Argos (above, p. 112. note g [Transcriber's Note: This is the footnote to “Persian war,” starting “Herod. VII. 149.”]).
4. Gymnopædia at Sparta (Euseb.).
* Sea-fight between the Corinthians and Corcyræans.2004
664. 29. Chionis for the second time.
660. 30. Chionis for the third time. [The Pisatans, according to Eusebius, celebrate this and the twenty-two following Olympiads.]
1. Zaleucus legislator of Locri (Euseb.).
2. Phigalia captured by Sparta, b. I. ch. 7. § 12.
3. Byzantium founded from Megara, b. I. ch. 6. § 9.