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to avoid the course of those reformers who do not close the source of the evils against which they contend. He believed, it seems, he could harmonize the Spartan people and corroborate their domination in Laconia, without removing the divisions between them and their subjects, which had been partly the cause of their own dissensions, and almost wholly the cause of their dangers. It was apparent that Lycurgus intended to inspire his nation with a spirit in which self-esteem and self-devotion were strangely blended. In the sight of the subject or the stranger, the Spartan was a dif. ferent being from what he seemed in the sight of his countrymen and their institutions. The Laconian and the Helot were the inferior creatures that have been just delineated. The stranger was forbidden entrance or welcome;" and in the same design, the Spartan was forbidden to wander into foreign lands, where, as he believed, he would meet with the insolence and the degradation from which he was protected at home. But the Spartan was held to even greater submission than the alien or the slave before the laws. Whatever in them was accounted bravest, that he did; whatever by them was considered mildest, that he abandoned. The husband stole his bride by force, and visited her by stealth, for fear of seeming to be happy in himself or her. The child was taken from its parents at the age of seven, to be educated according to a common system, from which none were excepted besides the heirs to the double throne. The older boys were set to watch the younger ones; the men of forty were superior to the men of thirty; and from the hour of birth to that of death, the Spartan was as much accustomed to obey his elders as he was to rule over his inferiors.” The men ate their meals together in public; they went together to the training-ground or to the field; and while they learned to be warriors and masters, their inferiors were obliged to be their laborers and slaves. It would have been criminal, indeed, for a Spartan to sit by his hearthstone, or to watch the fruits which were growing on his lands. Even the women were forbidden to pursue the household occupations which they would, perhaps, have made too winning, and were brought forth into nearly the same games or exercises as those in which their sons and brothers were engaged. In fact, modesty was treason to the severity of character which it was the will of the early lawgiver to command.” There is no need, however, in this place, of recounting the ordinances which Lycurgus appointed, each in its separate relation to the objects he entertained; although their number and their stringency of spirit would throw some stronger light upon the difficulty he was obliged to encounter, and the manner in which he finally prevailed. Only let it be remembered that stern feelings were aroused and hard blows” were dealt against him, as well as that he did not triumph in a month or in a year. His errors are plain. He would have made his people free, yet he increased the authority of the few amongst them, and allowed them all no other powers than the muscular strength and outward fortitude of which he was content that their virtues as citizens should be composed. It would be a great mistake, however, to believe that he intended to make them mere warriors. He gave them their discipline, not that they might prevail against their neighbours, but that they might be secure against their subjects and united among themselves. If he conceived of any conquest, it was that of Laconia, not yet entirely subdued; he, at least, had no aims on Peloponnesus or on Greece; and when he made his people promise to obey his unwritten laws while he was absent, and departed, himself, to die in exile,” he left them, as he desired, at peace with all
Spartans and their subjects, it could were known to have been admitted not be otherwise. Spartan citizens down to much later
7. Pastoret, Légis. des Lacéd., times. Herod., IX. 35. Ch. VII. Only two foreigners
and his complaint in Cap. III., that the Spartan women in his times
72 Even the magistrates, as the government, were under the control
of the Nomophylaces, the guardians of the laws, émigrkomotivres, as Xenophon says, OEcon., IX. 14. They were not, however, peculiar to Sparta.
73. See Xen., Lac. Resp., Cap. I.,
were more immodest than the men. It is only possible to allude to the barbarous customs by which the ties between husband and wife were often broken.
beyond their mountain land.”
74 Plut., Lyc., 11; Sol., 16.
75 Plut., Lyc., 29. Cf. Herod., I. 65.
76 If Plutarch's account were a little more trustworthy, it would be easy to put the ideas he ascribes to Lycurgus concerning the highest duty of his countrymen (Lyc., 31) with the truce Lycurgus obtained at the Olympic games (Ibid., 2, 3),
WOL. I. 19
It was sufficient to
with his love for Homer (Ibid., 4), and his prohibition against the pursuit of a flying enemy (Ibid., 11), in such a manner that the milder qualities of the lawgiver might have their place in our memories. See Van Limburg-Brouwer, Civ. Mor. et Rel. des Grecs, Tom. II. ptie. 2, p. 393.
the fame and to the hopes of Lycurgus that his laws should be obeyed,” even if the vigor they imparted to the Spartans were turned to conquest and to what he might himself have regarded as wrong. But whatever the purposes of the lawgiver may have really been, and however willingly the laws he left his people may have been obeyed, their history is the sternest exemplification of the strife which we have already observed as the characteristic of Greece. The statue of Mars was chained in Sparta, as if to keep war amongst the people.” The deities of the state were all of a martial order; and the warlike life which was pursued on earth seemed to have, not its excuse merely, but its necessity, in the scenes which men beheld in heaven. Almost immediately after the departure of Lycurgus into exile, the Spartan arms were carried across their former boundaries;” and the conquest of Laconia was soon completed. To this succeeded long contests with Arcadia and Argos, the more powerful sister-kingdom; and a century had scarcely passed when a war arose with the other Dorian kingdom, Messenia; which was again renewed after the lapse of another hundred years, when Aristomenes and all as brave as he were exiled or crushed.” The lust of blood and of dominion was quickened with every successive victory, until, within three centuries from the time of Lycurgus, Sparta was not only the mistress of the larger portion of the Peloponnesus,” but was unquestionably become the principal state of all the Grecian name.* The development of the state and of the people was almost purely material, except so far as the laws of Lycurgus became the models or the stimulants to other legislation. The appearance of a poet like Tyrtaeus, whose martial chants inflamed the valor of the Spartans in the second war with Messenia, is accounted for only by strange traditions.” Meanwhile, however, the conquests abroad brought changes even into the firm-fixed laws at home. Some time after the voluntary exile of Lycurgus, one of the old laws was altered to the effect, that, if the proposals of the senate were rejected in the assembly, the assembly might then be dissolved, and its proceedings be of no avail.” It is hence, but uncertainly, conjectured, that the usurping spirit of the kings and the senators urged them to this attack upon the powers of the
77 See Xen, Memor., IV. 4. 78 Pausan., III. 15. 79 Kai 8% orpt oëxért dréxpa jovXiny àyew, “And already was it no longer enough for them to live in peace,” says the old historian. Herod., I, 66. Cf. Thucyd., I. 18. * The first Messenian war was
from A. C. 743–723; the second from 685-668, according to Pausanias (IV. 15), or from 648–631, according to more acceptable chronology. See. Müller's Dor., Book I. ch. 7. sect. 10, and notes. Aristomenes was the hero of the second War.
them a poet in derision. Justin., III. 5. The Spartans were accustomed, however, as Dorians, to
St Her superiority, or Hegemony, concerned in chief the military duties of the subject states. See Her
mann, Pol. Antiq., Sect. 34 and
the influence of martial poetry and