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year of Rome, the Romans formed the siege of Veii, which lasted ten years.
I have alrendy observed, that eighty years after the taking of Troy,' the Heraclides, that is, the descendants of Hercules, returned into the Peloponnesus, and made themselves masters of Lacedemon, where two of them, who were brothers, Euristhenes and Procles, sons of Aristodemus, reigned jointly together. "Herodotus observes, that these two brothers were during their whole lives at variance; and that almost all their descendants inherited the like disposition of mutual hatred and antipathy so true it is, that the sovereign power will admit of no partnership, and that two kings will always be too many for one kingdom! However, after the death of these two, the descendants of both still continued to sway the sceptre jointly, and what is very remarkable, these two branches subsisted for near nine hundred years, from the return of the Heraclides into the Peloponnesus to the death of Cleomenes, and supplied Sparta with kings without interruption, and that generally in a regular succession from father to son, especially in the elder branch of the family.
THE ORIGIN AND CONDITION OF THE ELOTÆ, OR HELOTS.
When the Lacedemonians first began to settle in Peloponnesus, they met with great opposition from the inhabitants of the country, whom they were obliged to subdue one after another by force of arms, or receive into their alliance on easy and equitable
FA. M. 2900. Ant. J. C. 1104.
$ Lib. vi. c. 50.
terms, as the paying them a small tribute. Strabo* speaks of a city, called Elos, not far from Sparta, which, after having submitted to the yoke, as others had done, revolted openly, and refused to pay the tribute. Agis, the son of Euristhenes, newly settled in the throne, was sensible of the dangerous tendency of this first revolt, and therefore immediately marched with an army against them, together with Soüs, his colleague. They laid siege to the city, which, after a pretty long resistance, was forced to surrender at discretion. This prince thought it proper to make such an example of them, as should intimidate all their neighbours, and deter them from the like attempts, and
yet not alienate their minds by too cruel a treatment; for which reason he put none to death. He spared the lives of all the inhabitants, but at the same time deprived them of their liberty, and reduced them all to a state of slavery. From thenceforward they were employed in all mean and servile offices, and treated with extreme rigour. These were the people who were called Elotæ. The number of them exceedingly increased in process of time, the Lacedemo. nians giving undoubtedly the same name to all the people they reduced to the same condition of servitude. As they themselves were averse to labour, and entirely addicted to war, they left the cultivation of their lands to these slaves, assigning every one of them a certain portion of ground, of which they were obliged to carry the products every year to their respective masters, who endeavoured by all sorts of ill usage
? Lib. viii. p. 365. Plut. in Lycurg. p. 40.
to make their yoke more grievous and insupportable. This was certainly very bad policy, and could only tend to breed a vast number of dangerous enemies in the very heart of the state, who were always ready to take arms and revolt on every occasion. The Romans acted more prudently in this respect; for they incorporated the conquered nations into their state, by associating them into the freedom of their city, and thereby converted them, from enemies, into brethren and fellowcitizens.
LYCURGUS, THE LACEDEMONIAN LAW GIVER,
"Eurytion, or Eurypon, as he is named by others, succeeded Soüs. In order to gain his people's affection, and render his government agreeable, he thought fit to recede in some points from the absolute power exercised by the kings his predecessors. This rendered his name so dear to his subjects, that all his successors were, from him, called Eurytionides. But this relaxation gave birth to horrible confusion, and an unbounded licentiousness in Sparta, and for a long time occasioned infinite mischiefs. The people became so insolent, that nothing could restrain them. If Eurytion's successors attempted to recover their authority by force, they became odious; and if, through complaisance or weakness, they chose to dissemble, their mildness served only to render them contemptible; so that order was in a manner abolished, and the laws no longer regarded. These confusions hastened the death of Lycurgus's father,
Plut. in Lycurg. p. 40
whose name was Eunomus, and who was killed in an insurrection. Polydectes, his eldest son and successor, dying soon after without children, every body expected Lycurgus would have been king. And indeed he was so in effect, as long as the pregnancy of his brother's wife was uncertain; but as soon as that was manifest, he declared that the kingdom belonged to her child, in case it proved a son. And from that moment he administered the government, as guardian to his unborn nephew, under the title of Prodicos, which was the name given by the Lacedemonians to the guardians of their kings. When the child was born, Lycurgus took him in his arms, and cried out to the company that was present, “Behold, my Lords of Sparta, this newborn child is your king:” And, at the same time, he put the infant into the king's seat, and named him Charilaus, because of the joy the people expressed upon occasion of his birth. The reader will find, in the second volume of this history, all that relates to the history of Lycurgus, the reformation he made, and the excellent laws he established in Sparta. Agesilaus was at this time king in the elder branch of
WAR BETWEEN THE ARGIVES AND LACEDEMONIANS.
Some time after this, in the reign of Theopompus, a war broke out between the Argives and Lacedemonians, on account of a little country, called Thyrea, that lay upon the confines of the two states, and to which each of them pretended a right. When the
• Herod. l. i. c. 1:
two armies were ready to engage, it was agreed on both sides, in order to spare the effusion of blood, that the quarrel should be decided by three hundred of the bravest men on both sides; and that the land in question should become the property of the victorious party. To leave the combatants more room to engage, the two armies retired to some distance. .
Those generous champions then, who had all the courage of two mighty armies, boldly advanced towards each other, and fought with so much resolution and fury, that the whole number, except three men, two on the side of the Argives, and one on that of the Lacedemonians, lay dead upon the spot; and only the night parted them. The two Argives, looking upon themselves as the conquerors, made what haste they could to Argos to carry the news, The single Lacedemonian, Othryades by name, instead of retiring, stripped the dead bodies of the Argives, and carrying their arms into the Lacedemonian camp, continued in his post. The next day the two armies returned to the field of battle. Both sides laid equal claim to the victory; the Argives, because they had more of their champions left alive than the enemy had ; the Lacedemonians, because the two Argives that remained alive had fled; whereas their single soldier had remained master of the field of battle, and had carried off the spoils of the enemy. In short, they could not determine the dispute without coming to another engagement. Here fortune declared in favour of the Lacedemonians, and the little territory of Thyrea was the prize of their victory. But Othryades, not able to bear the thoughts of