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Another instance of the same free spirit may be related as having occurred under different circumstances. After a brilliant but perfidious tyranny at Samos, Polycrates died a miserable death at Magnesia;” on proceeding to which city, he had left his authority over Samos in charge of his officer, Maeandrius, a native, like the tyrant himself, of the island. As soon as the tidings of his master's fate arrived, Maeandrius erected an altar to Jupiter the Liberator, and called the citizens together, to inform them of the event, and to offer the resignation of his authority into their hands, provided they would allow him a certain sum from the treasures of Polycrates, and secure to him and to his heirs the office of priest to the god whose shrine he had just dedicated. The proposal was not, therefore, entirely disinterested; but it was more than could have been expected from a man whose character bore some previous stains. It was refused, however, by the Samians, of whom there was one man rash enough to inveigh against Maeandrius with great violence; at which, provoked, he changed his mind, and determined to maintain his power. Imprisonments and massacres followed fast; and Maeandrius himself was finally obliged to fly before the Persians, who established another tyrant in the island.” But the story, whether perfectly credible or not, is characteristic of the instinct with which the Greeks, even the most unfit for liberty, desired to be free. Not long after the expulsion of Hippias from Athens, the Spartans, repenting” of the part they had taken in liberating the neighbours of whom they were already jealous, invited Hippias to Sparta, and called a council of the Peloponnesians to bring before them the question of his restoration. The deputies present were mostly averse to interference in behalf of the exiled tyrant; but as it was not usual for them to oppose the pleasure of their superiors, they held their peace, until one Sosicles, from Corinth, rose up with bolder heart. “The sky,” he said, “must surely be below the earth, and the earth be lifted above the sky, -men must have their habitation in the sea, and fishes live where men have lived before, if ye, O Lacedaemonians! are to destroy all equal rights and bring back tyrants into our cities; for there can be nothing more unjust, nothing more blood-guilty amongst men! . . . . . We of Corinth were amazed to hear ye had sent for Hippias; but we are much more amazed to hear what ye now propose: and we implore you, in the name of the gods of Greece, to establish no tyrannies in our cities. Will ye not abstain from such doings, but will ye try to restore Hippias against all justice? Know, then, that the Corinthians cannot agree with you.” These earnest words of Sosicles roused the other deputies to join their remonstrances with his, and, as the historian adds, “the affair thus came to an end.”” It is an episode to which there are few counterparts in the history of freedom anywhere. It was, perhaps, in the same year, that the difficulties following the overthrow of the tyranny in Athens resulted in a change of the political constitution that had already, as we have seen, been sorely tried. Solon himself is said to have provided a legal means of repealing old and enacting new laws,” as might be desired by his impulsive countrymen, in a commission of Revisers,” as their title may be freely translated; but at the same time, an abundance of restraint seemed to have been placed upon the passion for innovation, the peculiar characteristic of the Athenians.” The inefficacy of all securities against tumultuous faction was evinced almost as soon as the failure of the others in the laws against aggressive ambition like that of Pisistratus. Clisthenes was at the head of the nobles who triumphed over the son of Pisistratus; but so high ran the disputes amongst the upper classes,” that he was speedily obliged to defend himself and his party against his adversaries by unexpected means. Uniting with the popular faction, he gave free rein to the democracy, which a comparatively small faction of the Athenians was urging forward. He increased the number of Tribes to ten, subdividing them into new municipalities, one hundred and seventy-four in all; and, at the same stroke, enlarged the magistracies, the tribunals, and the council, so that more of the lower citizens could find their way up to them.” The admission of aliens and even of slaves into the Tribes, which is ascribed to Clisthenes,” was probably an exception in favor of certain adherents on whom he depended, or whom he wished to reward. Yet these changes were introduced, not as independent, but, in every instance, as alterations, of the existing laws; and the profession on which Clisthenes relied for success was probably that he was defending the institutions of Solon, to whom the Athenians now looked back as to the great man of a former generation. It need scarcely be observed, that, to introduce new elements of democracy, where the original ones had not yet been allowed to act freely, was hastening the confusion and the wildness of a later day. The work of Clisthenes sufficed, at least, to his own protection. Under favor of Sparta, the opposite faction was
177 He was crucified by order of in full and the subsequent events his enemy, Oroetes, the satrap of are related with perfect confidence Sardis, A.C. 522. Herod., III. 125. by Herodotus, III. 142 et seq. 178 The harangue of Maeandrius
179 “Thinking,” says the old were kept under by a tyranny, it historian, “that the Attic race, if it would be feeble and submissive.” were free, would get to be equal in Herod., W. 91. strength with them, but that, if it
180 Herod., W. 91–94. that five advocates should defend 181 Schömann, Assemb. Ath., the old law against repeal; and if p. 254. But see Plut., Sol., 25. the new one prevailed, its author
* Nouoôérat, lawgivers. See was held accountable for its operaSchömann, Assemblies, etc., p. 241, tion during the succeeding year. Fng. transl. 184 'Eorraortaorav wept 8vvápuos,
* Any citizen might propose a “They quarrelled about supremacy,” new law; but it was then necessary says the historian. Herod., W. 66.
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many of his connections banishment; but the people, upholding his institutions, prevailed against his adversaries with their stranger allies, and, after three days, recalled the exiles.” A few years, during which Sparta was still the first, and Athens still the rising city in Greece, went by in the course of suspicions, conflicts, and changes common to their history. Of the events in which the Greeks were, at this time, most concerned, the revolt of their Ionian countrymen against Darius Hystaspis was by far the most interesting in itself, far the most memorable in its consequences. The insurrection, totally overcome by the Persian forces, received no succours from Greece, except from Athens and the Euboean Eretria; but when Ionia was subdued, Darius, remembering there were some Greeks who had aided his rebellious subjects, ordered them to be chastised and reduced beneath his vast dominion. The first attempt miscarried; and the king condescended to despatch ambassadors to demand submission of the states he scarcely knew by name. Many of the smaller cities promised obedience, as was required of them; but at Sparta and Athens, though Athens had not many years before been itself suing for aid from Persia,” the Persian envoys were put to death, as if the lips which uttered such demands were to be silenced for ever after. 187 A.C. 507. Herod., W. 72,73. later, urging the same satrap to give * A. C. 492. Herod., VII. 133. no countenance to their tyrant, HipAthens sent an embassy in A. C. pias, who was seeking the protec505 to Artaphernes, the satrap of tion of Artaphernes. See their brave
able to drive him, with amongst the nobility, into
185 The new magistrates were the Demarchs, the officers of the municipalities. The number of members of the council was increased to five hundred ; that of the Naucraries to fifty; a new court was, perhaps, added; elections were, perhaps, appointed to be by lot; but at
all events, the old barriers were completely broken down. See Herod., loc. cit. and sect. 69. Aristot., Pol., VI. 2. 11. Wachsmuth, Hist. Ant., Vol. I. p. 361, Eng. transl. Hermann, Pol. Ant., sect. 111, 112. 186 Arist., Pol., III. 1. 10.