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SPARTA, or LACEDÆMON. It is supposed, that LELEX, the first king of Laconia, began his reign about 1516 years before the Christian æra.
TYNDARUS, the ninth king of Lacedæmon, had, by Leda, Castor and Pollux, who were twins, besides Helena, and Clytemnestra the wife of Agamemnon, king of Mycenæ. Having survived his two sons, the twins, he began to think of choosing a successor, by looking out for a husband for his daughter Helena. All the suitors to this princess bound themselves by oath, to abide by, and entirely submit to, the choice which the lady herself should make, who determined in favour of Menelaus. She had not lived above three years with her husband, before she was carried off by Alexander or Paris, son of Priam, king of the Trojans; which rape was the cause of the Trojan war. Greece did not properly begin to know or experience her united strength, till the famous siege of that city, where Achilles, the Ajaxes, Nestor, and Ulysses, gave Asia sufficient reason to forebode her future subjection to their posterity. The Greeks took Troy after a ten years'siege, much about the time that Jephthah governed the people of God; that is, according to Archbishop Usher, in the year of the world 2820, and 1184 years before Jesus Christ. This epocha is famous in history, ard should carefully be remembered, as well as that of the Olympiads.
An Olympiad is the revolution of four complete years, from one celebration of the Olympic games to the other. We have elsewhere given an account of the institution of these games, which were celebrated every
four years, near the town of Pisa, otherwise called Olympia.
The common æra of the Olympiads begins in the summer of the year of the world 3228, 776 years before Jesus Christ, from the games in which Corebus won the prize in the foot-race.
Fourscore years after the taking of Troy, the Heraclidæ re-entered Peloponnesus, and siezed Lacedæmon, where two brothers, Eurysthenes and Procles, sons of Aristodemus, began to reign together, and from their time the sceptre always continued jointly in the hands of the descendants of those two families. Many years after this, Lycurgus instituted that body of laws for the Spartan state, which rendered both the legislator and republic so famous in history: I shall speak of them at large in the sequel.
CORINTH. Corinth began later than the other cities Ant. J. C. 1376. I have been speaking of to be governed by kings of its own. It was at first subject to those of Argos and Mycenæ; at last, Sisyphus, the son of Æolus, made himself master of it. But his descendants were dispossessed of the throne by the Heraclidæ, about 110 years after the siege of Troy.
The regal power, after this, came to the descendants of Bacchis, under whom the mon
onarchy was changed into an aristocracy, that is, the reins of the government were in the hands of the elders, who annually chose from among themselves a chief magistrate, whom VOL. II.
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they called Prytanis. At last Cypselus having gained the people, usurped the supreme authority, which he transmitted to his son Periander; who held a distinguished rank among the Grecian sages, on account of the love he bore to learning, and the protection and en couragement he gave to learned men.
MACEDONIA. It was a long time before the Greeks Ant. J. C. 1813. paid any great attention to Macedonia. Her kings, living retired in woods and mountains, seemed not to be considered as a part of Greece. They pretended, that their kings, of whom CARANUS was the first, were descended from Hercules. Philip, and his son Alexander, raised the glory of this kingdom to a very high pitch. It had subsisted 471
years before the death of Alexander, and continued 155 more, till Perseus was defeated and taken by the Romans; in all, 626 years.
Colonies of the Greeks sent into Asia Minor.
We have already observed, that fourscore years after the taking of Troy, the Heraclidæ recovered Peloponnesus, after having defeated the Pelopidæ, that is, Tisamenes and Penthilus, sons of Orestes; and that ther divided the kingdoms of Mycenæ, Argos, and Lacedæmon, among tuemselves.
So great a revolution as this changed almost the whole face of the country, and made way for several very famous transmigrations. To understand these the better, and to have the clearer idea of the situation of many of the Grecian nations, as also of the four dialects, or different idioms of speech, that prevailed among them, it will be necessary to look a little farther back into history.
Deucalion,* who reigned in Thessaly, and under whom happened the flood that bears his name, had by Pyrrha his wife two sons, Hel 'en and Amphictyon. The latter, having driven Cranaus out of mthens, reigned there in his place. Hellen, if we may believe the historians of his country, gave the name of Hellenes to the Greeks: he had three sons, Æolus, Dorus, and Xuthus.
Æolus, who was the eldest, succeeded his father, and besides Thessaly, had Locris and Beotia added to his dominions. Several of his descendants went into Peloponnesus with Pelops, the son of Tantalus, king of Phrygia, from whom Peloponnesus took its name, and settled themselves in Laconia.
The country contiguous to Parnassus, fell to the share of Dorus, and from him was called Doris.
Xuthus, compelled by his brothers, upon some private quarrel, to quit his country, retired into Attica, where he married the daughter of Erechtheus, king of the Athenians, by whom he had two sons, Achæus and Ion. An involuntary murder committed by Achæus, obliged him to re
* Strab. I. viii. p. 38%, &c. Pausan. I. vii. p. 396, &c.
tire to Peloponnesus, which was then called Egialæa, of which one part was from him called Achaia. His descendants settled at Lacedæmon.
Ion, having signalized himself by his victories, was invited by the Athenians to govern their city, and gave his name to the country; for the inhabitants of Attica were likewise called Ionians. The number of the citizens increased to such a degree, that the Athenians were obliged to send a colony of Ionians into Peloponnesus, who likewise gave their name to the country they possessed.
Thus all the inhabitants of Peloponnesus, though composed of different people, were united under the names of Achæans and Ionians.
The Heraclidæ, fourscore years after the taking of Troy, resolved seriously to recover Peloponnesus, which, they inwgined, of right belonged to them. They had three principal leaders, sons of Aristomachus, namely, Temenus, Cresphontes, and Aristodemus :-the last dying, his two sons, Eurysthenes and Procles, succeeded him. The success of their expedition was as happy as the motive was just, and they recovered the possession of their ancient domain. Argos fell to Temenus, Messenia to Cresphontes, and Laconia to the two sons of Aristodemus.
Such of the Achæans as were descended from Æolus, and had hitherto inhabited Laconia, being driven from thence by the Dorians, who accompanied the Heraclide into Peloponnesus, after some wandering, settled in that part of Asia Minor which from them took the name of Æolus, where they founded Smyrna, and eleven other cities; but the city of Smyrna came afterwards into the hands of the Ioni
The Æolians became likewise possessed of several cities of Lesbos.
As for the Achæans of Mycene and Argos, being compelled to abandon their country to the Heraclidæ, they seized upon that of the Ionians, who dwelt at that time in a part of Peloponnesus. The latter fled at first to Athens, their original country, from whence they some time afterwards departed under the conduct of Nileus and Androcles, both sons of Codrus, and seized upon that part of the coast of Asia Minor which lies between Caria and Lydia, and from them was named Ionia; here they built twelve cities, Ephesus, Clazomenæ, Samos, &c.
The power of the Athenians,* who had then Codrus for their king, being very much augmented by the great number of refugees that had fled into their country, the Heraclide thought proper to oppose the progress of their power, and for that reason made war upon them. The latter were worsted in a battle, but still remained masters of Megaris, where they built Megara, and settled the Dorians in that country in the room of the Ionians.
One part of the Dorians continued in the country after the death of Codrus,t another went to Crete; the greatest number settled in
* Strab. p. 393.
that part of Asia Minor which from them was called Doris, where they built Halicarnassus, Cnidus, and other cities, and made themselves masters of the islands of Rhodes, Cos, &c.
The Grecian Dialects.
It will now be more easy to understand what we have to say concerning the several Grecian dialects. These were four in number: the Attic, the Ionic, the Doric, and the Æolic. They were in reality four different languages, each of them perfect in its kind, and used by a distinct nation; but yet all derived from, and grounded upon, the same original tongue. And this diversity of languages can no ways appear wonderful in a country where the inhabitants consisted of different nations, that did not depend upon one another, but had each its particular territories.
1. The Attic dialect is that which was used in Athens, and the country round about. This dialect has been chiefly used by Thucydides, Aristophanes, Plato, Isocrates, Xenophon, and Demosthenes.
2. The Ionic dialect was almost same with the ancient Attic; but after it had passed into several towns of Asia Minor, and into the adjacent islands, which were colonies of the Athenians, and of the people of Achaia, it received a sort of new tincture, and did not come up to that perfect delicacy which the Athenians afterwards attained. Hippocrates and Herodotus wrote in this dialect.
3. The Doric was first in use among the Spartans, and the people of Argos; it passed afterwards into Epirus, Libya, Sicily, Rhodes, and Crete. Archimedes and Theocritus, both of them Sy. racusans, and Pindar, followed this dialect.
4. The Æolic dialect was at first used by the Beotians and their neighbours, and then in Æolis, a country in Asia Minor, between Ionia and Mysia, which contained ten or twelve cities, that were Grecian colonies. Sappho and Alcæus, of whose works very little remains, wrote in this dialect. We find also a mixture of it in the writings of Theocritus, Pindar, Homer, and many others.
ARTICLE VI. The republican form of government almost generally established throughout Greece.
The reader may have observed, in the little I have said about the several settlements of Greece, that the primordial grounds of all those different states was monarchical government, the most ancient of all forms, the most universally received and established, the most proper to maintain peace and concord; and which, as Plato observes,* is formed upon the model of paternal authority, and of that gentle and moderate dominion, which fathers exercise over their families
* Plat. de Leg. l. iii. p. 680.
But, as the state of things degenerated by degrees, through the mjustice of usurpers, the severity of lawful 'masters, the insurrections of the people, and a thousand accidents and revolutions, that happened in those states; a totally different spirit seized the people, which prevailed all over Greece, kindled a violent desire of liberty, and brought about a general change of government every where, except in Macedonia ; so that monarchy gave way to a republican government, which however was diversified into almost as many various forms as there were different cities, according to the different genius and peculiar character of each people.' However, there still remained a kind of tincture or leaven of the ancient monarchical government, which from time to time inflamed the ambition of many private citizens, and made them desire to become masters of their country. In almost every one of these petty states of Greece, some private persons arose, who without any right to the throne, either by birth or election of the citizens, endeavoured to advance themselves to it by cabal, treachery, and violence; and who, without any respect for the laws, or regard to the public good, exercised a sovereign authority, with a despotic empire and arbitrary sway. In order to support their unjust usurpations in the midst of distrusts and alarms, they thought themselves obliged to prevent imaginary, or to suppress real conspiracies, by the most cruel proscriptions; and to sacrifice to their own security all those whom merit, rank, wealth, zeal for liberty, or love of their country, rendered obnoxious to a suspicious and tottering government, which found itself hated by all and was sensible it deserved to be so. It was this cruel and inhuman treatment that rendered these men so odious, under the appellation of tyrants,* and which furnished such ample matter for the declamation of orators, and the tragical representations of the theatre.
All these cities and districts of Greece, that seemed so entirely disjointed from one another by their laws, customs, and interests, were nevertheless formed and combined into one sole, entire, and united body; whose strength increased to such a degree, as to make the formidable power of the Persians under Darius and Xerxes tremble; and which even then, perhaps, would have entirely overthrown the Persian greatness, had the Grecian states been wise enough to preserve that union and concord among themselves, which afterwards rendered them invincible. This is the scene which I am now to open, and which certainly merits the reader's whole attention.
We shall see, in the following volumes, a small nation, confined within a country not equal to the fourth part of France, disputing Cor dominoin with the most powerful empire then upon the earth; and we shall see this handful of men, not only making head against the innumerable army of the Persians, but dispersing, routing, and cutting them to pieces, and sometimes reducing the Persian pride
* This word originally signified no more than king, and was anciently the title of lawn ful princes.