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ent; he did not concur with every measure of the commonalty; and therefore the popular party determined not to banish him, but to put him to death. The crime laid to his charge was, that by presents from the Macedonians, he was prevailed upon to let slip a manifest opportunity of enlarging his conquests, after taking from the Persians the gold mines of Thrace. Elpinice, Cimon's sister, used all her interest in his behalf, and among others, spoke to Pericles, the celebrated orator. He was, indeed, Cimon's rival, and had, no doubt, assisted in stirring up the prosecution against him. Pericles spoke in such a manner, that it plainly appeared he did not think him guilty; and, in consequence of this, Cimon was only banished by the ostracism. He was afterwards recalled from his exile; and at his return he made a reconciliation between Lacedæmon and his countrymen; after which he totally ruined the Persian fleet. He died as he was besieging the town of Citium, in Cyprus. He may be called the last of the Greeks whose spirit and boldness defeated the armies of the barbarians. He was such an inveterate enemy to the Persian power, that he formed a plan of totally destroying it; and in his wars he had so reduced the Persians, that they promised, in a treaty, not to pass the Chelidonian islands with their fleet, or to approach within a day's journey of the Grecian seas.
PERICLES, an Athenian of a noble family, son of Xanthippus and Agariste. He was naturally endowed with great powers, which he improved by attending the lectures of Damon, of Zeno, and of Anaxagoras. Under these celebrated masters he became a commander, a statesman, and an orator, and gained the affections of the people by®his uncommon address and well directed liberality. When he took a share in the administration of public affairs, he rendered himself popular by opposing Cimon, who was the favourite of the nobility, and to remove every obstacle which stood in the way of his ambition, he lessened the dignity and the power of the court of the Areopagus, whom the people had been taught for ages to respect and to venerate. He also attacked Cimon, and caused him to be banished by the ostracism. Thucydides also, who had succeeded Cimon on his banishment, shared the same fate, and Pericles remained for 15 years the sole minister, and, as it may be said, the absolute sovereign of a republic which always showed itself so jealous of its liberties, and which distrusted so much the honesty of her magistrates. In his ministerial capacity, Pericles did not enrich himself, but the prosperity of Athens was the object of his administration. He made war against the Lacedæmonians, and restored the temple of Delphi to the care of the Phocians, who had been illegally deprived of that honourable trust. He obtained a victory over the Sicyonians near Nemæa, and waged a successful war against the inVOL. I.
habitants of Samos at the request of his favourite mistress Aspasia. The Peloponnesian war was fomented by his ambitious views; and when he had warmly represented the flourishing state, the opulence, and actual power of his country, the Athenians did not hesitate a moment to undertake a war against the most powerful republics of Greece, a war which continued for 27 years, and which was concluded by the destruction of their empire, and the demolition of their walls. The arms of the Athenians were for some time crowned with success, but an unfortunate expedition raised clamours against Pericles, and the enraged populace attributed all their losses to him, and to make atonement for their ill success, they condemned him to pay 50 talents. This loss of popular favour by republican caprice, did not so much affect Pericles as the recent death of all his children; and when the tide of unpopularity was passed by, he condescended to come into the public assembly, and to view with secret pride the contrition of his fellow citizens, who universally begged his forgiveness for the violence which they had offered to his ministerial character. He was again restored to all his honours, and, if possible, invested with more power and more authority than before, but the dreadful pestilence which had diminished the number of his family, proved fatal to him, and about B. C. 429, in his seventieth year, he fell a sacrifice to that terrible malady which robbed Athens of so many of her citizens. Pericles was for forty years at the head of the administration, twenty-five years with others, and fifteen alone, and the flourishing state of the empire during his government gave occasion to the Athenians publicly to lament his loss, and venerate his memory. As he was expiring, and seemingly senseless, his friends that stood around his bed expatiated with warmth on the most glorious actions of his life, and the victories which he had won, when he suddenly interrupted their tears and conversation, by saying, that in mentioning the exploits that he had achieved, and which were common to him with all generals, they had forgot to mention a circumstance which reflected far greater glory upon him as a minister, a general, and above all, as a man. It is, says he, that not a citizen in Athens has been obliged to put on mourning on my account. The Athenians were so pleased with his eloquence, that they compared it to thunder and lightning, and as to another father of the gods, they gave him the sirname of Olympian. The poets, his flatterers, said that the goddess of persuasion, with all her charms and her attraction, dwelt upon his tongue. When he marched at the head of the Athenian armies, Pericles observed that he had the command of a free nation that were Greeks, and citizens of Athens. He also declared, that not only the hand of a magistrate, but also his eyes and his tongue should be pure and undefiled. Yet great and venerable as this character may appear, we must not forget the follies of Pericles. His vicious partiality for the celebrated courtezan Aspasia, subjected him to the ridicule and the censure of his fellow citizens; but if he triumphed over satire and malevolent remarks, the Athenians had occasion to execrate the memory of a man who, by his example, corrupted the purity and innocence of their morals, and who made licentiousness respectable, and the indulgence of every impure desire the qualification of the soldier as well as of the senator. Pericles lost all his legitimate children by the pestilence, and to call a natural son by his own name he was obliged to repeal a law which he had made against spurious children, and which he had enforced with great severity. This son, called Pericles, became one of the ten generals who succeeded Aleibiades in the administration of affairs, and, like his colleagues, he was condemned to death by the Athenians, after the unfortunate battle of Arginusæ.
ASPASIA of Miletus, a courtezan, who settled at Athens under the administration of Pericles, and one of the most noted ladies of antiquity. She was of admirable beauty; yet her wit and eloquence, still more than her beauty, gained her extraordinary reputatïon among all ranks in the republic. In eloquence she surpassed all her contemporaries; and her conversation was so entertaining and instructive, that notwithstanding the dishonourable commerce she carried on, persons of the first distinction, male and female, resorted to her house as to an academy; she even numbered Socrates among her hearers and admirers. She captivated Pericles in such a manner, that he dismissed his own wife to espouse her; and, by her universal knowledge, irresistible elocution, and intriguing genius, she in a great measure influenced the administration of Athens. She was accused of having excited, from motives of personal resentment, the war of Peloponnesus; yet, calamitous as that long and obstinate conflict proved to Greece, and particularly to Athens, Aspasia occasioned still more incurable evils to both. Her example and instructions formed a school at Athens, by which her dangerous profession was reduced into a system. The companions of Aspasia served as models for painting and statuary, and themes for poetry and panegyric. Nor were they merely the objects but the authors of many literary works, in which they established rules for the behaviour of their lovers, particularly at table ; and explained the art of gaining the heart and captivating the affections. The dress, behaviour, and artifices of this class of women, became continually more seductive and dangerous, and Athens thenceforth remained the chief sehool of vice and pleasure, as well as of literature and philosophy. Hermippus, a comic poet, prosecuted Aspasia for impiety,
which seems, in the idea of the Greeks, to have consisted in disputing the existence of their imaginary gods, and introducing new opinions about celestial appearances. But she was acquitted, though much against the tenor of the law, by means of Pericles, who, according to Eschines, shed many tears in his application for mercy in her behalf.
After the death of Pericles, at the age of 70, B. C. 429, we hear nothing of her, but that Lysicles, a grazier, by his intercourse with her, became the most considerable man in Athens.
XANTIPPUS, a son of Pericles, who disgraced his father by his disobedience, his ingratitude, and his extravagance. He died of the plague in the Peloponnesian war.
NICIAS, an Athenian of considerable note, was the son of Niceratus, and inherited very large property, of which a great part consisted in the silver mines at Laurium. By the influence of his wealth he attained to consequence in the state, even during the life of Pericles; and after the death of that great man, he became one of the heads of the Athenian government. In the Peloponnesian war he had the command against the Lacedæmonians at Sphacteriæ; and being upbraided by Cleon for want of success, he proposed to that demagogue to take his place. He consented, and though he was wholly ignorant of military affairs, he made up in zeal and energy what he was deficient in with regard to experience, and completely effected the purpose which he had proposed. In B. C. 423, Nicias commanded in an expedition for the reduction of the island of Cythera, in which he was successful; but though he gained much reputation by the transactions in which he engaged, yet he was perpetually endeavouring to restore peace, which, after the death of Cleon, and Brasida in battle, he performed ; and a treaty, for a term of fifty years, between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, with a league offensive and defensive, was signed B. C. 421. Alcibiades was now rising into public esteem, and seemingly bent upon embroiling the affairs of Greece, in order to give himself scope for action. General tranquillity had not been restored by the peace of Nicias; a renewal of the Peloponnesian war followed, and the people of Athens determined to send a powerful force into Sicily, in order to assist the Egestines in their war with the Syracusans. Nicias, notwithstanding his opposition to this rash measure, was appointed one of the generals, in conjunction with Alcibiades and Lamachus; and the expedition set sail in the year B. C. 415. The Athenian troops landed in Sicily, and possessed themselves of several towns; and Alcibiades being recalled, Nicias and Lamachus took a strong post in the neighbourhood of Syracuse. The siege of that city commenced in the next campaign, and Nicias, after some successful actions, drew a line of circumvallation quite round it. The prospect of success, which, for a moment, seemed to open upon him, was clouded by the arrival of fresh supplies, and large reinforcements from Corinth. Lamachus being slain, two new generals, Eurymedon and Demosthenes, were appointed, and the former was sent from Athens with a supply of money, and an assurance to Nicias of a speedy succour. Nicias constantly recommended cautious measures, and when Demosthenes, who arrived with a large reinforcement, proposed an immediate assault upon the city, he argued strongly against such a hazard. He was, however, out-voted in the council of war, and the attempt was made, which was defeated, to the great loss of the Athenians. Demosthenes was so much disheartened by the result, that he advised on instantly raising the siege, and returning to Athens. But Nicias declared, that he would rather die before the place than abandon an enterprise which still might succeed, and expose himself to an ignominious condemnation from his countrymen. The aspect of affairs soon became still more gloomy; the Syracusans received powerful succours, and, what was much more alarming, a pestilential disease broke out in the Athenian camp, which daily thinned their numbers. Nicias now thought seriously of retreating, and every thing was prepared for embarkation. As the Syracusans had no suspicion of this design, it might have been easily effected, when, just at the moment, an eclipse of the moon took place. The superstition of Nicias was alarmed, and he refused to go on board the vessel till he had consulted the soothsayers. These, willing to appear wise, directed that the departure should be delayed thrice nine days, and thus the only opportunity to escape was lost. The enemy attacked the Athenians by sea and land; destroyed a number of their ships, and the residue was closely blocked up there, and nothing was left them but to make the
best retreat they were able to some friendly Sicilian state. “ By false intelligence,” says the historian, “ Nicias was prevented from commencing this march when it might have been safe; and when want of provisions at length compelled him to leave his camp, the passes were already blocked up. There could not be a scene of deeper distress, than at the moment when the army commenced its march, abandoning, not only all its baggage, but the sick and wounded, who clung round their comrades, and appealed to the gods and men against the cruelty of leaving them to a merciless foe. Nicias himself was the most melancholy figure in the group; worn down by disease and anxiety, pale and squalid, he seemed to centre in himself the afflictions of the whole. His mind, however, was entire; he bore up against despondency, and he exerted every effort to inspire courage in his men, and to make them preserve that order which alone could ensure to them