The Boys' and Girls' Plutarch Being Parts of The "Lives" of Plutarch Edited for Boys and Girls With Introductions

Part 5 out of 8

Tissaphernes and the Phoenician fleet of one hundred and fifty
galleys, which was said to be already under sail; if those came,
there remained then no hopes for the commonwealth of Athens.
Understanding this, Alcibiades sent secretly to the chief men of
the Athenians, who were then at Samos, giving them hopes, that he
would make Tissaphernes their friend; he was willing, he implied,
to do some favor, not to the people, nor in reliance upon them,
but to the better citizens, if only, like brave men, they would
make the attempt to put down the insolence of the people, and, by
taking upon them the government, would endeavor to save the city
from ruin. All of them gave a ready ear to the proposal made by
Alcibiades, except Phrynichus of the township of Dirades,
despatched Pisander to Athens to attempt a change of government,
and to encourage the aristocratical citizens to take upon
themselves the government, and overthrow the democracy,
representing to them, that, upon these terms, Alcibiades would
procure them the friendship and alliance of Tissaphernes.

Those who were at Samos set sail for the Piraeus; and, sending for
Alcibiades declared him general. He, however, in that juncture did
not, as it might have been thought a man would, on being suddenly
exalted by the favor of a multitude, think himself under an
obligation to gratify and submit to all the wishes of those who,
from a fugitive and an exile, had created him general of so great
an army and given him the command of such a fleet. But, as became
a great captain, he opposed himself to the precipitate resolutions
which their rage led them to, and, by restraining them from the
great error they were about to commit, unequivocally saved the
commonwealth. For if they had then sailed to Athens, all Ionia and
the islands and the Hellespont would have fallen into the enemies'
hands without opposition, while the Athenians, involved in civil
war, would have been fighting with one another within the circuit
of their own walls. It was Alcibiades alone, or, at least,
principally, who prevented all this mischief; for he not only used
persuasion to the whole army, and showed them the danger, but
applied himself to them, one by one, entreating some, and
constraining others. He was much assisted, however, by Thrasybulus
of Stiria, who, having the loudest voice, as we are told, of all
the Athenians, went along with him and cried out to those who were
ready to go. A second great service which Alcibiades did for them
was his undertaking that the Phoenician fleet, which the
Lacedaemonians expected to be sent to them by the king of Persia,
should either come in aid of the Athenians, or otherwise should
not come at all. And now the people in the city not only desired,
but commanded Alcibiades to return home from his exile. He,
however, desired not to owe his return to the mere grace and
commiseration of the people, and resolved to come back, not with
empty hands, but with glory and after some service done. To this
end, he sailed from Samos with a few ships, and cruised on the sea
of Cnidos and about the isle of Cos; but receiving intelligence
there that Mindarus, the Spartan admiral, had sailed with his
whole army into the Hellespont, and that the Athenians had
followed him, he hurried back to succor the Athenian commanders,
and, by good fortune, arrived with eighteen galleys at a critical
time. For both the fleets having engaged near Abydos, the fight
between them had lasted till night, the one side having the
advantage on one quarter, and the other on another. Upon his first
appearance, both sides formed a false impression; the enemy was
encouraged, and the Athenians terrified. But Alcibiades suddenly
raised the Athenian ensign in the admiral ship, and fell upon
those galleys of the Peloponnesians which had the advantage and
were in pursuit. He soon put these to flight, and followed them so
close that he forced them on shore, and broke the ships in pieces,
the sailors abandoning them and swimming away, in spite of all the
efforts of Pharnabazus, who had come down to their assistance by
land, and did what he could to protect them from the shore. In
fine, the Athenians, having taken thirty of the enemy's ships, and
recovered all their own, erected a trophy. After the gaining of so
glorious a victory his vanity made him eager to show himself to
Tissaphernes, and, having furnished himself with gifts and
presents, and an equipage suitable to his dignity, he set out to
visit him. But the thing did not succeed as he had imagined, for
Tissaphernes had long been suspected by the Lacedaemonians, and
was afraid to fall into disgrace with his king upon that account,
therefore thinking that Alcibiades had arrived very opportunely,
he immediately caused him to be seized and sent away prisoner to
Sardis; fancying, by this act of injustice, to clear himself from
all former imputations.

But about thirty days after, Alcibiades escaped from his keepers,
and, having got a horse, fled to Clazomenae, where he procured
Tissaphernes additional disgrace by professing that he was a party
to his escape. From there he sailed to the Athenian camp, and,
being informed that Mindarus and Pharnabazus were together at
Cyzicus, he made a speech to the soldiers, telling them that sea-
fighting, land-fighting, and, by the gods, fighting against
fortified cities too, must be all one for them, as, unless they
conquered everywhere, there was no money for them. As soon as he
got them on ship-board, he hastened to Proconnesus and gave
command to seize all the small vessels they met, and guard them
safely in the interior of the fleet, that the enemy might have no
notice of his coming; and a great storm of rain, accompanied with
thunder and darkness, which happened at the same time, contributed
much to the concealment of his enterprise. Indeed, it was not only
undiscovered by the enemy, but the Athenians themselves were
ignorant of it, for he commanded them suddenly on board, and set
sail when they had abandoned all intention of it. As the darkness
presently passed away, the Peloponnesian fleet were seen riding
out at sea in front of the harbor of Cyzicus. Fearing, if they
discovered the number of his ships, they might endeavor to save
themselves by land, he commanded the rest of the captains to
slacken, and follow him slowly, whilst he, advancing with forty
ships, showed himself to the enemy and provoked them to fight. The
enemy, being deceived as to their numbers, despised them, and,
supposing they were to contend with those only, made ready and
began the fight. But as soon as they were engaged, they perceived
the other part of the fleet coming down upon them, at which they
were so terrified that they fled immediately. Upon that,
Alcibiades, breaking through the midst of them with twenty of his
best ships, hastened to the shore, disembarked, and pursued those
who abandoned their ships and fled to land, and made a great
slaughter of them. Mindarus and Pharnabazus, coming to their
succor were utterly defeated. Mindarus was slain fighting
valiantly; Pharnabazus saved himself by flight. The Athenians slew
great numbers of their enemies, won much spoil, and took all their
ships. They also made themselves masters of Cyzicus, which was
deserted by Pharnabazus, and destroyed its Peloponnesian garrison,
and thereby not only secured to themselves the Hellespont, but by
force drove the Lacedaemonians out of all the rest of the sea.
They intercepted some letters written to the ephors, which gave an
account of this fatal overthrow, after their short, Iaconic
manner. "Our hopes are at an end. Mindarus is slain. The men are
starving. We know not what to do."

And now Alcibiades began to desire to see his native country
again, or rather to show his fellow-citizens a person who had
gained so many victories for them. He set sail for Athens, the
ships that accompanied him being adorned with great numbers of
shields and other spoils, and towing after them many galleys taken
from the enemy, and the ensigns and ornaments of many others which
he had sunk and destroyed; all of them together amounting to two
hundred. Little credit, perhaps, can be given to what Duris the
Samian, who professed to be descended from Alcibiades, adds, that
Chrysogonus, who had gained a victory at the Pythian games, played
upon his flute for the galleys, whilst the oars kept time with the
music; and that Callippides, the tragedian, attired in his
buskins, his purple robes, and other ornaments used in the
theatre, gave the word to the rowers, and that the admiral's
galley entered into the port with a purple sail. It is not
credible, that one who had returned from so long an exile, and
such a variety of misfortunes, should come to his countrymen in
the style of revelers breaking up from a drinking-party. On the
contrary, he entered the harbor full of fear, nor would he venture
to go on shore, till, standing on the deck, he saw Euryptolemus,
his cousin, and others of his friends and acquaintance, who were
ready to receive him, and invited him to land. As soon as he was
landed, the multitude who came out to meet him scarcely appeared
to see any of the other captains, but came in throngs about
Alcibiades, and saluted him with loud acclamations, and followed
him; those who could press near him crowned him with garlands, and
they who could not come up so close yet stayed to behold him afar
off, and the old men pointed him out to the young ones.
Nevertheless, this public joy was mixed with some tears, and the
present happiness was diminished by the remembrance of the
miseries they had endured. They made reflections, that they could
not have so unfortunately miscarried in Sicily, if they had left
the management of their affairs and the command of their forces,
to Alcibiades, since, upon his undertaking the administration,
when they were absolutely driven from the sea, and could scarcely
defend the suburbs of their city by land, and at the same time,
were miserably distracted with intestine factions, he had raised
them up from this low and deplorable condition, and had not only
restored them to their ancient dominion of the sea, but had also
made them everywhere victorious over their enemies on land.

The people being summoned to an assembly, Alcibiades came in among
them, and first bewailed and lamented his own sufferings, and, in
general terms complaining of the usage he had received, imputed
all to his hard fortune, and some ill genius that attended him:
then he spoke at large of their prospects, and exhorted them to
courage and good hope. The people crowned him with crowns of gold,
and created him general, both at land and sea, with absolute
power. They also made a decree that his estate should be restored
to him, and that the Eumolpiadae and the holy heralds should
absolve him from the curses which they had solemnly pronounced
against him by the sentence of the people. All the rest obeyed,
but Theodorus, the high-priest, excused himself, "For," said he,
"if he is innocent, I never cursed him."

Certainly, if ever man was ruined by his own glory, it was
Alcibiades. For his continual success had produced such an idea of
his courage and conduct, that, if he failed in anything he
undertook, it was imputed to his neglect, and no one would believe
it was through want of power. For they thought nothing was too
hard for him, if he went about it in good earnest. Now, having
departed with a fleet of one hundred ships for the reduction of
Chios, and of the rest of Ionia, the people grew impatient that
things were not effected as fast and as rapidly as they could wish
for them. They never considered how extremely money was wanting,
and that, having to carry on war with an enemy who had supplies of
all things from a great king, he was often forced to quit his
armament, in order to procure money and provisions for the
subsistence of his soldiers. This very thing gave occasion for the
last accusation which was made against him. For Lysander, being
sent from Lacedaemon with a commission to be admiral of their
fleet, and being furnished by Cyrus with a great sum of money,
gave every sailor four obols a day, whereas before thy had but
three. Alcibiades could hardly allow his men three obols, and
therefore was obliged to go into Caria to furnish himself with
money. He left the care of the fleet, in his absence, to
Antiochus, an experienced seaman, but rash and inconsiderate, who
had express orders from Alcibiades not to engage, though the enemy
provoked him. But he slighted and disregarded these directions to
such a degree that, having made ready his own galley and another,
he stood for Ephesus, where the enemy lay, and, as he sailed
before the heads of their galleys, used every provocation
possible, both in words and deeds. Lysander manned out a few ships
and pursued him. But all the Athenian ships coming in to his
assistance, Lysander, also, brought up his whole fleet, which
gained an entire victory. He slew Antiochus himself, took many men
and ships, and erected a trophy.

As soon as Alcibiades heard this news, he returned to Samos, and
loosing from thence with his whole fleet, came and offered battle
to Lysander. But Lysander, content with the victory he had gained,
would not stir. Amongst others in the army who hated Alcibiades,
Thrasybulus, the son of Thrason, was his particular enemy, and
went purposely to Athens to accuse him, and to exasperate his
enemies in the city against him. Addressing the people, he
represented that Alcibiades had ruined their affairs and lost
their ships by mere self-conceited neglect of his duties,
committing the government of the army, in his absence, to men who
gained his favor by drinking and scurrilous talking, whilst he
wandered up and down at pleasure to raise money, giving himself up
to every sort of luxury in Abydos and Ionia, at a time when the
enemy's navy were on the watch close at hand. It was also objected
to him, that he had fortified a castle near Bisanthe in Thrace,
for a safe retreat for himself, as one that either could not, or
would not, live in his own country. The Athenians gave credit to
these informations, and showed the resentment and displeasure
which they had conceived against him, by choosing other generals.

As soon as Alcibiades heard of this, he immediately forsook the
army, afraid of what might follow; and, collecting a body of
mercenary soldiers, made war upon his own account against those
Thracians who called themselves free, and acknowledged no king. By
this means he amassed for himself considerable treasure, and, at
the same time, secured the bordering Greeks from the incursions of
the barbarians. Tydeus, Menander, and Adimantus, the newly made
generals, were at that time posted at Aegospotami, with all the
ships which the Athenians had left. Whence they used to go out
every morning, offer battle to Lysander, who lay near Lampsacus,
and, returning back again, lie all the rest of the day, carelessly
and without order, in contempt of the enemy. Alcibiades, who was
not far off, did not think so lightly of their danger, nor neglect
to let them know it, but, mounting his horse, came to the
generals, and represented to them that they had chosen a very
inconvenient station, where there was no safe harbor, and where
they were distant from any town; so that they were constrained to
send for their necessary provisions as far as Sestos. He also
pointed out to them their carelessness in suffering the soldiers,
when they went ashore, disperse and wander up and down at their
pleasure, while the enemy's fleet under the command of one
general, and strictly obedient to discipline, lay so very near
them. He advised them to remove the fleet to Sestos. But the
admirals not only disregarded what he said, but Tydeus, with
insulting expressions, commanded him to be gone saying, that now
not he, but others, had the command of the forces. The event, soon
made it evident how rightly he had judged of the errors which the
Athenians were committing. For Lysander fell upon them on a
sudden, when they least suspected it, with such fury that Conon
alone, with eight galleys, escaped him; all the rest, about two
hundred, he took and carried away, together with three thousand
prisoners, whom he put to death. And within a short time after, he
took Athens itself, burnt all the ships which he found there,
demolished their long walls, and established the rule of the
Thirty Tyrants.

After this, Alcibiades, standing in dread of the Lacedaemonians,
who were now masters both at sea and land, retired into Bithynia.
He sent there great treasure before him, took much with him, but
left much more in the castle where he had before resided. But he
lost a great part of his wealth in Bithynia, being robbed by some
Thracians who lived in those parts, and thereupon determined to go
to the court of Artaxerxes, not doubting but that the king, if he
would make trial of his abilities, would find him not inferior to
Themistocles, besides being recommended by a more honorable cause.
For he went, not as Themistocles did, to offer his service against
his fellow-citizens, but against their enemies, and to implore the
king's aid for the defence of his country. The Athenians, in the
meantime, miserably afflicted at their loss of empire and liberty,
acknowledged and bewailed their former errors and follies, and
judged this second ill-usage of Alcibiades to be of all the most
inexcusable. For he was rejected, without any fault committed by
himself; and only because they were incensed against his
subordinate for having shamefully lost a few ships, they were much
more shamefully deprived the commonwealth of its most valiant and
accomplished general.

Critias finally represented to Lysander that the Lacedaemonians
could never securely enjoy the dominion of Greece, till the
Athenian democracy was absolutely destroyed; and though now the
people of Athens seemed quietly and patiently to submit to so
small a number of governors, yet so long as Alcibiades lived, the
knowledge of this fact would never suffer them to acquiesce in
their present circumstances.

Yet Lysander could not be prevailed upon by these representation,
till at last he received secret orders from the magistrates of
Lacedaemon, expressly requiring him to get Alcibiades despatched:
whether it was that they feared his energy and boldness in
undertaking what was hazardous, or that it was done to gratify
king Agis. Upon receipt of this order, Lysander sent a messenger
away to Pharnabazus, desiring him to put it in execution.
Alcibiades resided at that time in a small village in Phrygia.
Those who were sent to assassinate him had not courage enough to
enter the house, but surrounded it first, and set it on fire.
Alcibiades, as soon as he perceived it, wrapped his cloak about
his left arm, and holding his naked sword in his right, cast
himself into the middle of the fire, and escaped securely through
it, before his clothes were burnt. The barbarians, as soon as they
saw him, retreated, and none of them durst engage with him, but
standing at a distance, they slew him with their darts and arrows.


The patrician house of the Marcii in Rome produced many men of
distinction, and among the rest, Ancus Marcius, grandson to Numa
by his daughter, and king after Tulus Hostillus. Of the same
family were also Publius and Quintus Marcius, which two conveyed
into the city the best and most abundant supply of water they have
at Rome. But Caius Marcius, of whom I now write, being left an
orphan, and brought up under the widowhood of his mother, has
shown us by experience, that, although the early loss of a father
may be attended with other disadvantages, yet it can hinder none
from being either virtuous or eminent in the world, and that it is
no obstacle to true goodness and excellence. Those who saw with
admiration how proof his nature was against pleasure, hardships,
and the allurements of gain, while allowing to that universal
firmness of his the respective names of temperance, fortitude, and
justice, yet, in the life of the citizen and the statesman, could
not but be offended at the severity and ruggedness of his
deportment, and with his overbearing, haughty, and imperious

Those were times at Rome in which that kind of worth was most
esteemed which displayed itself in military achievements; one
evidence of which we find in the Latin word for virtue, which is
properly equivalent to many courage. But Marcius, having a more
passionate inclination than any of that age for feats of war,
began from his very childhood to handle arms; and feeling that
adventitious implements and artificial arms would be of small use
to such as have not their natural weapons well prepared for
services, he so exercised and inured his body to all sorts of
activity and accouter, that, besides the lightness of a racer, he
had a weight in close seizures and wrestlings with an enemy, from
which it was hard for anybody to disengage himself; so that his
competitors at home in displays of bravery, loath to own
themselves inferior in that respect, were wont to ascribe their
deficiencies to his strength of body, which they said no
resistance and no fatigue could exhaust.

The first time he went out to the wards, being yet a stripling,
was when Tarquinius Superbus, who had been king of Rome and was
afterwards expelled, after many unsuccessful attempts now entered
upon his last effort, and proceeded to hazard all as it were upon
a single throw. A great number of the Latins and other people of
Italy joined their forces, and were marching with him toward the
city, to procure his restoration; not, however, so much out of a
desire to serve and oblige Tarquin, as to gratify their own fear
and envy at the increase of the Roman greatness, which they were
anxious to check. The armies met and engaged in a decisive battle,
in the vicissitudes of which, Marcius, while fighting bravely in
the dictator's presence, saw a Roman soldier struck down at a
little distance, and immediately stepped in before him, and slew
his assailant. The general, after having gained the victory,
crowned him for this act with a garland of oak branches; it being
the Roman custom thus to adorn those who had saved the life of a
citizen; whether the law intended some special honor to the oak,
in memory of the Arcadians, a people the oracle had made famous by
the name of acorn-eaters; or, the oak wreath, being sacred to
Jupiter, the guardian of the city, might, therefore be thought a
proper ornament for one who preserved a citizen. And the oak, in
truth, is the tree which bears the most and the prettiest of any
that grow wild, and is the strongest of all that are under
cultivation; its acorns were the principal diet of the first
mortals, and the honey found in it gave them drink.

In this battle it is stated that Castor and Pollux appeared, and,
immediately after the battle, were seen at Rome just by the
fountain where their temple now stands, with their horses foaming
with sweat, and told the news of the victory of the people in the
Forum. The fifteenth of July, being the day of this conquest,
became consequently a solemn holiday sacred to the Twin Brothers.

It may be observed, in general, that when young men arrive early
at fame and repute, if they are of a nature but slightly touched
with emulation, this early attainment is apt to extinguish their
thirst and satiate their small appetite; whereas the first
distinctions of more solid and weighty characters only stimulate
and quicken them, and take them away, like a wind, in the pursuit
of honor; they look upon these marks and testimonies to their
virtue not as a recompense received for what they have already
done, but as a pledge given by themselves of what they will
perform hereafter, ashamed now to forsake or underlive the credit
they have won, or, rather, not to exceed and obscure all that is
gone before by the lustre of their following actions. Marcius,
having a spirit of this noble make, was ambitious always to
surpass himself, and did nothing, how extraordinary soever, but he
thought he was bound to outdo it at the next occasion; and ever
desiring to give continual fresh instances of his prowess, he
added one exploit to another, and heaped up trophies upon
trophies, so as to make it a matter of contest also among his
commanders, the latter still vying with the earlier, which should
pay him the greatest honor and speak highest in his commendation.
Of all the numerous wars and conflicts in those days, there was
not one from which he returned without laurels and rewards. And,
whereas others made glory the end of their daring, the end of his
glory was his mother's gladness; the delight we took to hear him
praised and to see him crowned, and her weeping for joy in his
embraces, rendered him, in his own thoughts, the most honored and
most happy person in the world. Epaminondas is similarly said to
have acknowledged his feeling, that it was the greatest felicity
of his whole life that his father and mother survived to hear of
his successful generalship and his victory at Leuctra. And he had
the advantage, indeed, to have both his parents partake with him,
and enjoy the pleasure of his good fortune. But Marcius, believing
himself bound to pay his mother Volumnia all that gratitude and
duty which would have belonged to his father, had he also been
alive, could never satiate himself in his tenderness and respect
to her. He took a wife, also, at her request and wish, and
continued, even after he had children, to live with his mother,
without parting families.

The repute of his integrity and courage had, by this time, gained
him considerable influence and authority in Rome, when the senate,
favoring the wealthier citizens, began to be at variance with the
common people, who made sad complaints of the rigorous and inhuman
usage they received from the money-lenders.

There had been frequent assemblies of the whole senate within a
small compass of time about this difficulty, but without any
definite result; the poor commonality, therefore, perceiving there
was likely to be no redress of their grievances, collected in a
body, and, encouraging each other in their resolution, forsook the
city with one accord, and seizing the hill which is now called the
Holy Mount, sat down by the river Anio, without committing any
sort of violence or seditious outrage, but merely exclaiming, as
they went along, that they had this long time past been expelled
from the city by the cruelty of the rich; that Italy would
everywhere afford them the benefit of air and water and a place of
burial, which was all they could expect in the city, unless it
were perhaps, the privilege of being wounded and killed in time of
war for the defence of their creditors. The senate apprehending
the consequences, sent the most moderate and popular men of their
own order to treat with them.

Menenius Agrippa, their chief spokesman, after much entreaty to
the people, concluded, at length, with this celebrated fable: "It
once happened, that all the other members of a man mutinied
against the stomach, which they accused as the only idle,
uncontributing part in the whole body, while the rest were put to
hardships and the expense of much labor to minister to its
appetites. The stomach, however, merely ridiculed the silliness of
the members, who appeared not to be aware that the stomach
certainly does receive the general nourishment, but only to return
it again, and redistribute it amongst the rest. Such is the case,"
he said, "citizens, between you and the senate. The counsels and
plans that are there duly digested, secure to all of you, your
proper benefit and support."

A reconciliation ensued, the senate acceding to the request of the
people for the annual election of five protectors for those in
need of succor, the same that are now called the tribunes of the
people; and the first two they pitched upon were Junius Brutus and
Sicinnius Vellutus, their leaders in the secession.

The city being thus united, the commons stood presently to their
arms, and followed their commanders.

The Romans were now at war with the Volscian nation, whose
principal city was Corioli; when, therefore, Cominius the consul
had invested this important place, the rest of the Volscians,
fearing it would be taken, mustered up whatever force they could
from all parts, to relieve it, designing to give the Romans battle
before the city, and so attack them on both sides. Cominius, to
avoid this inconvenience, divided his army, marching himself with
one body to encounter the Volscians on their approach from
without, and leaving Titus Lartius, one of the bravest Romans of
his time, to command the other and continue the siege. Those
within Corioli, despising now the smallness of their number, made
a sally upon them, and prevailed at first, and pursued the Romans
into their trenches. Here it was that Marcius, flying out with a
slender company, and cutting those in pieces that first enraged
him, obliged the other assailants to slacken their speed; and
then, with loud cries, called upon the Romans to renew the battle.
For he had, what Cato thought a great point in a soldier, not only
strength of hand and stroke, but also a voice and look that of
themselves were a terror to an enemy. Some of his own party now
rallying and making up to him, the enemies soon retreated; but
Marcius, not content to see them draw off and retire, pressed hard
upon the rear, and drove them, as they fled away in haste, to the
very gates of their city; where, perceiving the Romans to fall
back from their pursuit, beaten off by the multitude of darts
poured in upon them from the walls, and that none of his followers
had the hardiness to think of falling in pell-mell among the
fugitives and so entering a city full of enemies in arms, he,
nevertheless, stood and urged them to the attempt, crying out,
that fortune had not opened Corioli, not so much to shelter the
vanquished, as to receive the conquerors. Seconded by a few that
were willing to venture with him, he bore along through the crowd,
made good his passage, and thrust himself into the gate through
the midst of them, nobody at first daring to resist him. But when
the citizens, on looking about, saw that a very small number had
entered, they now took courage, and came up and attacked them. A
combat ensued of the most extraordinary description, in which
Marcius, by strength of hand, swiftness of foot, and daring of
soul, overpowered every one that he assailed, succeeded in driving
the enemy to seek refuge, for the most part, in the interior of
the town, while the remainder submitted, and threw down their
arms; thus affording Lartius abundant opportunity to bring in the
rest of the Romans with ease and safety.

Corioli being thus surprised and taken, the greater part of the
soldiers employed themselves in spoiling and pillaging it, while
Marcius indignantly reproached them, and exclaimed that it was a
dishonorable and unworthy thing, when the consul and their fellow-
citizens had now perhaps encountered the other Volscians, and were
hazarding their lives in battle, basely to mis-spend the time in
running up and down for booty, and, under a pretence of enriching
themselves, keep out of danger. Few paid him any attention, but,
putting himself at the head of these, he took the road by which
the consul's army had marched before him, encouraging his
companions, and beseeching them, as they went along, not to give
up, and praying often to the gods, too, that he might be so happy
as to arrive before the fight was over, and come seasonably up to
assist Cominius, and partake in the peril of the action.

It was customary with the Romans of that age, when they were
moving into battle array, and were on the point of taking up their
bucklers, and girding their coats about them, to make at the same
time an unwritten will, or verbal testament, and to name who
should be their heirs, in the hearing of three or four witnesses.
In this precise posture Marcius found them at his arrival, the
enemy having advanced within view.

They were not a little disturbed by his first appearance, seeing
him covered with blood and sweat, and attended with a small train;
but when he hastily made up to the consul with gladness in his
looks, giving him his hand, and recounting to him how the city had
been taken, and when they saw Cominius also embrace and salute
him, every one took fresh heart; those that were near enough
hearing, and those that were at a distance guessing, what had
happened; and all cried out to be led to battle. First, however,
Marcius desired to know of him how the Volscians had arrayed their
army, and where they had placed their best men, and on his
answering that he took the troops of the Activates in the centre
to be their prime warriors, than would yield to none in bravery,
"Let me then demand and obtain of you," said Marcius, "that we may
be posted against them." The consul granted the request, with much
admiration of his gallantry. And when the conflict began by the
soldiers darting at each other, and Marcius sallied out before the
rest the Volscians opposed to him were not able to make head
against him; wherever he fell in, he broke their ranks, and made a
lane through them; but the parties turning again, and enclosing
him on each side with their weapons, the consul, who observed the
danger he was in, despatched some of the choicest men he had for
his rescue. The conflict then growing warm and sharp about
Marcius, and many falling dead in a little space, the Romans bore
so hard upon the enemies, and pressed them with such violence,
that they forced them at length to abandon their ground, and to
quit the field. And, going now to prosecute the victory, they
besought Marcius, tired out with his toils, and faint and heavy
through the loss of blood, that he would retire to the camp. He
replied, however, that weariness was not for conquerors, and
joined with them in the pursuit. The rest of the Volscian army was
in like manner defeated, great numbers killed, and no less taken

The day after, when Marcius, with the rest of the army, presented
themselves at the consul's tent, Cominius rose, and having
rendered all due acknowledgment to the gods for the success of
that enterprise, turned next to Marcius, and first of all
delivered the strongest encomium upon his rare exploits, of which
he had partly been an eye-witness himself, in the late battle, and
had partly learned from the testimony of Lartius. And then he
required him to choose a tenth part of all the treasure and horses
and captives that had fallen into their hands, before any division
should be made to others; besides which, he made him the special
present of a horse with trappings and ornaments, in honor of his
actions. The whole army applauded; Marcius, however, stepped
forth, and declaring his thankful acceptance of the horse and his
gratification at the praises of his general, said, that all other
things which he could only regard rather as mercenary advantages
than any significations of honor, he must waive, and should be
content with the ordinary proportion of such rewards. "I have
only," said he "one special grace to beg, and this I hope you will
not deny me. There was a certain hospitable friend of mine among
the Volscians, a man of probity and virtue, who is become a
prisoner, and from former wealth and freedom is now reduced to
servitude. Among his many misfortunes let my intercession redeem
him from the one of being sold as a common slave." Such a refusal
and such a request on the part of Marcius were followed with yet
louder acclamations; and he had many more admirers of this
generous superiority to avarice, than of the bravery he had shown
in battle. The very persons who conceived some envy and despite to
see him so specially honored, could not but acknowledge, that one
who so nobly could refuse reward, was beyond others worth to
receive it; and were more charmed with that virtue which made him
despise advantage, than with any of those former actions that had
gained him his title to it. It is a higher accomplishment to use
money well than to use arms; but not to need it is more noble than
to use it.

When the noise of approbation and applause ceased, Cominius,
resuming, said, "It is idle, fellow-soldiers, to force those other
gifts of ours on one who is unwilling to accept them; let us,
therefore, give him one of such a kind that he cannot well reject
it; let us pass a vote, I mean, that he shall hereafter be called
Coriolanus, unless you think that his performance at Corioli has
itself anticipated any such resolution." Hence, therefore, he had
his third name of Coriolanus, making it all the plainer that Gaius
was a personal proper name, and the second, or surname, Marcius,
one common to his house and family; the third being a subsequent
addition which used to be imposed either from particular act or
fortune, bodily characteristic, or good quality of the bearer.

Not long after Marcius stood for the consulship. It was usual for
candidates for office to solicit personally the citizens,
presenting themselves in the forum with the toga on alone, and no
tunic under it; either to promote their supplications by the
humility of their dress, or that such as had received wounds might
more readily display those marks of their fortitude.

Marcius, therefore, as the fashion of candidates was, showing the
scars and gashes that were still visible on his body, from the
many conflicts in which he had signalized himself during a service
of seventeen years together, the people were affected at this
display of merit, and told one another that they ought in common
modesty to create him consul. But when the day of election had
come, and Marcius appeared in the forum with a pompous train of
senators attending him, and the patricians all seemed to be
exerting greater effort than they had ever done before on a
similar occasion, the commons then fell off again from the
kindness they had conceived for him, and in the place of their
late benevolence, began to feel something of indignation and envy;
passions assisted by the fear they entertained, that if a man of
such aristocratic temper, and so influential among the patricians,
should be invested with the power which that office would give
him, he might employ it to deprive the people of all that liberty
which was yet left them. In conclusion, they rejected Marcius. Two
other names were announced, to the great mortification of the
senators, who felt as if the indignity reflected rather upon
themselves than on Marcius. He, for his part, could not bear the
affront with any patience. He had always indulged his temper, and
had regarded the proud and contentious element of human nature as
a sort of nobleness and magnanimity; reason and discipline had not
imbued him with that solidity and equanimity which enter so
largely into the virtues for the statesman. He had never learned
how essential it is for any one who undertakes public business,
and desires to deal with mankind, to avoid above all things that
self-will, which, as Plato says, belongs to the family of
solitude; and to pursue, above all things, that capacity so
generally ridiculed, of submission to ill-treatment. Marcius,
straightforward and direct, stand together, and come in to their
assistance. The assembly met, and soon became tumultuous. The sum
of what Marcius had spoken, having been reported to the people,
excited them to such fury, that they were ready to break in upon
the senate. The tribunes prevented this, by laying all the blame
on Coriolanus, and they accordingly cited him to come before them,
and defend himself.

He came, therefore, as it were, to make his apology, and clear
himself; in which belief the people kept silence, and gave him a
quiet hearing. But when instead of the submissive and deprecatory
language expected from him, he began to use not only an offensive
kind of freedom, seeming rather to accuse than apologize, but as
well by the tone of his voice as the expression of his
countenance, displayed a security that was not far from disdain
and contempt of them, the whole multitude then became angry, and
gave evident signs of impatience and disgust; and Sicinnius, the
most violent of the tribunes, after a little private conference
with his colleagues, proceeded solemnly to pronounce before them
all, that Marcius was condemned to die by the tribunes of the
people, and bid the Aediles take him to the Tarpeian rock, and
without delay throw him headlong from the precipice. When they,
however, in compliance with the order, came to seize upon his
body, many, even of the plebeian party, felt it to be a horrible
and extravagant act; the patricians, meantime, wholly beside
themselves with distress and horror, hurried with cries to the
rescue; and persuaded them not to despatch him by any sudden
violence, but refer the cause to the general suffrage of the
people. But when the people met together, the tribunes, contrary
to all former practice, extorted first, that votes should be
taken, not by centuries, but tribes; a change, by which the
rabble, that had no respect for honesty and justice, would be sure
to carry it against those who were rich and well known, and
accustomed to serve the state in war. In the next place, whereas
they had engaged to prosecute Marcius upon no other head but that
of tyranny, which could never be made out against him, they
relinquished this plea, and urged instead, his language in the
senate against an abatement of the price of corn, and for the
overthrow of the tribunician power; adding further, as a new
impeachment, the distribution that was made by him of the spoil
and booty he had taken from the Antiates, when he overran their
country, which he had divided among those that had followed him,
whereas it ought rather to have been brought into the public
treasure; which last accusation did, they say, more discompose
Marcius than all the rest, as he had not anticipated he should
ever be questioned on that subject, and, therefore, was less
provided with any satisfactory answer to it on the sudden. And
when, by way of excuse, he began to magnify the merits of those
who had been partakers with him in the action, those that had
stayed at home, being more numerous than the other, interrupted
him with the outcries. In conclusion, when they came to vote, a
majority of three tribes condemned him; the penalty being
perpetual banishment.

Marcius himself, was neither stunned nor humiliated. In mien,
carriage, and countenance, he bore the appearance of entire
composure, and while all his friends were full of distress, seemed
the only man that was not touched with his misfortune. On his
return home, after saluting his mother and his wife, who were in
tears and full of loud lamentations, and exhorting them to
moderate the sense they had of his calamity, he proceeded at once
to the city gates, whither all the nobility came to attend him;
and not taking anything with him, or making any request to the
company, he departed from them, having only three or four clients
with him. He continued solitary for a few days in a place in the
country, distracted with a variety of counsels, such as rage and
indignation suggested to him; and proposing to himself no
honorable or useful end, but only how he might best satisfy his
revenge on the Romans, he resolved at length to arouse a heavy war
against them from their nearest neighbors. He determined, first to
make trial of the Volscians, whom he knew to be still vigorous and
flourishing, both in men and treasure, and he imagined their force
and power was not so much abated, as their spite and anger
increased, by the late overthrows they had received from the

There was a man of Antium, called Tullus Aufidius, who, for his
wealth and bravery and the splendor of his family, had the respect
and privilege of a king among the Volscians, but whom Marcius knew
to have a particular hostility to himself, above all other Romans.
Frequent menaces and challenges had passed in battle between them,
and those exchanges of defiance to which their hot and eager
emulation is apt to prompt young soldiers had added private
animosity to their national feelings of opposition. Yet for all
this, considering Tullus to have a certain generosity of temper,
and knowing that no Volscian, so much as he, desired an occasion
to requite upon the Romans the evils they had done, he put on a
dress which completely disguised him and thus, like Ulysses,--

He entered the town of his mortal foes.

His arrival at Antium was about evening, and though several met
him in the streets, yet he passed along without recognition, and
went directly to the house of Tullus, and entering undiscovered,
went up to the fire-hearth, and seated himself there without
speaking a work, covering up his head. Those of the family could
not but wonder, and yet they were afraid either to raise or
question him, for there was a certain air of majesty both in his
posture and silence, but they recounted to Tullus, then at supper,
the strangeness of this accident. He immediately rose from table
and came in, and asked him who he was, and for what business he
came there; and then Marcius, unmuffling himself, and pausing
awhile said, "If you cannot yet call me to mind, Tullus, or do not
believe your eyes concerning me, I must of necessity be my own
accuser. I am Gaius Marcius, the author of so much mischief to the
Volscians; of which, were I seeking to deny it, the surname of
Coriolanus I now bear would be a sufficient evidence against me.
The one recompense I received for all the hardships and perils I
have gone through, was the title that proclaims my enmity to your
nation, and this is the only thing which is still left me. Of all
other advantages, I have been stripped and deprived by the envy of
the Roman people, and the cowardice and treachery of the
magistrates and those of my own order. I am driven out as an
exile, and become an humble suppliant at your hearth, not so much
for safety and protection (should I have come hither, had I been
afraid to die?), as to seek vengeance against those that expelled
me; which, methinks, I have already obtained, by putting myself
into your hands. If, therefore, you have really a mind to attack
your enemies, make use of that affliction you see me in to assist
the enterprise, and convert my personal infelicity into a common
blessing to the Volscians; as I am likely to be more serviceable
in fighting for than against you, with the advantage, which I now
possess, of knowing all the secrets of the enemy that I am

Tullus, on hearing this, was extremely rejoiced, and giving him
his right hand, exclaimed, "rise, Marcius, and be of good courage;
it is a great happiness you bring to Antium, in the present you
make us of yourself; expect everything that is good from the
Volscians." he then proceeded to feast and entertain him with
every display of kindness, and for several days after they were in
close deliberation together on the prospects of a war.

Although the Volscians had sworn to a truce of arms for the space
of two years, the Romans themselves soon furnished them with a
pretence, by making proclamation, out of some jealousy or
slanderous report, at an exhibition of games, that all the
Volscians who had come to see them should depart from the city
before sunset. some affirm that this was a contrivance of Marcius,
who sent a man privately to the consuls, falsely to accuse the
Volscians of intending to fall upon the Romans during the games,
and to set the city on fire. This public affront aroused their
hostility to the Romans; and Tullus, perceiving it, took advantage
of it, aggravating the fact, and working on their indignation,
till he persuaded them, at last, to despatch ambassadors to Rome,
requiring the Romans to restore that part of their country and
those towns which they had taken from the Volscian in the late
war. When the Romans heard the message, they indignantly replied,
that the Volscians were the first that took up arms, but the
Romans would be the last to lay them down. This answer being
brought back, Tullus called a general assembly of the Volscians;
and the voted passing for a war, he then proposed that they should
call in Marcius, laying aside the remembrance of former grudges,
and assuring themselves that the services they should now receive
from him as friend and associate, would abundantly outweigh any
harm or damage he had done them when he was their enemy. Marcius
was accordingly summoned, and having made his entrance, and spoken
tot he people, won their good opinion of his capacity, his skill,
counsel, and boldness, not less by his present words than by his
past actions. They joined him in commission with Tullus, to have
full power as general of their forces in all that related to the
war. And he, fearing lest the time that would be requisite to
bring all the Volscians together in full preparation might be so
long as to lose him the opportunity of action, left order with the
chief persons and magistrates for the city to provide other
things, while he himself, prevailing upon the readiest to assemble
and march out with him as volunteers without staying to be
enrolled, made a sudden inroad into the Roman confines, when
nobody expected him, and possessed himself of so much booty, that
the Volscians found they had more than they could either carry
away or use in the camp. The abundance of provision which he
gained, and the waste and havoc of the country which he made,
were, however, the smallest results of that invasion; the great
mischief he intended, and his special object in all, was to
increase at Rome the suspicions entertained of the patricians, and
to make them upon worse terms with the people. With this view,
while despoiling all the fields and destroying the property of
other men, he took special care to preserve their farms and lands
untouched, and would not allow his soldiers to ravage there, or
seize upon any thing which belonged to them. Hence the quarrels
broke out afresh, and rose to a greater height than ever; the
senators reproaching those of the commonalty with their late
injustice to Marcius; while the plebeians, on their side, did not
hesitate to accuse them of having, out of spite and revenge,
solicited him to this enterprise, and thus, when others were
involved in the miseries of a war by their means, they sat like
unconcerned spectators furnished with a guardian abroad of their
fortunes, in the very person of the public enemy. After this
incursion and exploit, which was of great advantage to the
Volscians, since they learned by it to be more courageous and to
despise their enemy, Marcius drew them off, and returned in

But when the whole strength of the Volscians was brought together
into the field, with great expedition, it appeared so considerable
a body, that they agreed to leave part in garrison, for the
security of their towns, and with the other part to march against
the Romans. Marcius now desired Tullus to choose which of the two
charges would be most agreeable to him. Tullus answered, that
since he knew Marcius to be equally valiant with himself, and far
more fortunate, he would have him take the command of those that
were going out to the war, while he made it his care to defend
their cities at home, and provide all conveniences for the army
abroad. Marcius thus reinforced, and much stronger than before,
moved first towards the city called Circaeum, a Roman colony. He
received its surrender, and did the inhabitants no injury; passing
thence, he entered and laid waste the country of the Latins, where
he expected the Romans would meet him, as the Latins were their
confederates and allies, and had often sent to demand succor from
them. the people, however, on their part, showing little
inclination for the service, and the consuls themselves being
unwilling to run the hazard of a battle, when the time of their
office was almost ready to expire, they dismissed the Latin
ambassadors without any effect; so that Marcius, finding no army
to oppose him, marched up to their cities, and, having taken by
force Toleria, Lavici, Peda, and Bols, all of which offered
resistance, not only plundered their houses, but made a prey
likewise of their persons. Meantime, he showed particular regard
for all such as came over to his party, and, for fear they might
sustain any damage against his will, encamped them at the greatest
distance he could, and wholly abstained from their property.

After, however, he had made himself master of Bols, a town not
above ten miles from Rome, where he found great treasure, and put
almost all the adults to the sword; the other Volscians that were
ordered to stay behind and protect their cities, hearing of his
achievements and success, had not patience to remain any longer at
home, but came hastening in their arms to Marcius, saying that he
alone was their general and the sole commander they would own;
with all this, his name and renown spread throughout all Italy,
and universal wonder prevailed at the sudden and mighty revolution
in the fortunes for two nations which the loss and the accession
of a single man had effected.

All at Rome was in great disorder; they were utterly averse from
fighting, and spent their whole time in cabals and disputes and
reproaches against each other; until news was brought that the
enemy had laid close siege to Lavinium, where were the images and
sacred things of their tutelar gods, and whence they derived the
origin of their nations, that being the first city which Aeneas
built in Italy. These tidings produced a change as universal as it
was extraordinary in the thoughts and inclinations of the people,
but occasioned a yet stranger revulsion of feeling among the
patricians. The people now were for repealing the sentence against
Marcius, and calling him back into the city; whereas the senate,
being assembled to consider the decree, opposed and finally
rejected the proposal, either out of the mere humor of opposing
the people in whatever they should desire, or because they were
unwilling, perhaps, that he should owe his restoration to their
kindness. When Marcius heard of this, he was more exasperated than
ever, and, quitting the siege of Lavinium, marched furiously
towards Rome, and encamped at a place called the Cluilian ditches,
about five miles from the city. The nearness of his approach did,
indeed, create much terror and disturbance, yet it also ended
their dissensions for the present; as nobody now, whether consul
or senator, durst any longer contradict the people in their design
of recalling Marcius.

It was therefore, unanimously agreed by all parties, that
ambassadors should be despatched, offering him return to his
country, and desiring him to free them from the terrors and
distresses of ;the war. The persons sent by the senate with this
message were chosen out of his kindred and acquaintance, who
naturally expected a very kind reception at their first interview;
in which, however, they were much mistaken. Being led through the
enemy's camp, they found him sitting in state amid the chief men
of the Volscians, looking insupportably proud ;and arrogant. He
bade them declare the cause of their coming, which they did in the
most gently terms, and with a behavior suitable to their language.
When they had made an end of speaking, he returned them a sharp
answer, full of bitterness and angry resentment, as to what
concerned himself, and the ill usage he had received from them;
but as general of the Volscians, he demanded restitution of the
cities and the lands which had been seized upon during the late
war, and that the same rights and franchises should be granted
them at Rome, which had been before accorded to the Latins; since
there could be no assurance that a peace would be firm and lasting
without just conditions on both sides. He allowed them thirty days
to consider and resolve.

The ambassadors having departed; he withdrew his forces from the
Roman territory. Those of the Volscians who had long envied his
reputation, and could not endure to see the influence he had with
the people, laid hold of this as a matter of complaint against
him. Among them was Tullus himself, not for any wrong done him
personally by Marcius, but through the weakness incident to human
nature. He could not help feeling mortified to find his own glory
totally obscured, and himself overlooked and neglected now by the
Volscians, who had so great an opinion of their new leader. Yet
Marcius spent no part of the time idly, but attacked the
confederates of the enemy, ravaged their land, and took from them
seven great and populous cities in that interval. The Romans, in
the meanwhile, durst not venture out to their relief; but were
utterly fearful, and showed no more disposition or capacity for
action, than if their bodies had been struck with a palsy, and
become destitute of sense and motion. But when the thirty days
were expired, and Marcius appeared again with his whole army, they
sent another embassy to beseech him that he would moderate his
displeasure, and would withdraw the Volscian army, and then make
any proposals he thought best for both parties, but if it were his
opinion that the Volscians ought to have any favor shown them,
upon laying down their arms they might obtain all they could in
reason desire.

The reply of Marcius was, that he should make no answer to this as
a general of the Volscians, but in the quality still for a roman
citizen, he would advise them to return to him before three days
were at an end, with a ratification of his previous demands.

When the ambassadors came back, and acquainted the senate with the
answer, seeing the whole state now threatened as it were by a
tempest, a decree was made, that the whole order of their priests
should go in full procession to Marcius with their pontifical
array, and the dress and habit which they respectively used in
their several functions, and should urge him, as before, to
withdraw his forces, and then treat with his countrymen in favor
of the Volscians. He granted nothing at all, nor so much as
expressed himself more mildly; but without capitulating or
receding, bade them once for all choose whether they would yield
or fight, since the old terms were the only terms of peace. In
this great perplexity, the roman women went, some to other
temples, but the greater part, and the ladies of highest rank, tot
he altar of Jupiter Capitolinus. Among these suppliants was
Valeria, sister to the great Poplicola, who happily lighting, not
without divine guidance, on the right expedient, rose, and bade
the others rise, and went directly with them to the house of
Volumnia, the mother of Marcius. And coming in and finding her
sitting with her daughter-in-law, and with her little
grandchildren on her lap, Valeria, then surrounded by her
companions, spoke in the name of them all:--

"We, O Volumnia, and Vergilia, are come as women to women, to
request a thing on which our own and the common safety depends,
and which, if you consent to it, will raise our glory above that
of the daughters of the Sabines, who won over their fathers and
their husbands from mortal enmity to peace and friendship. Arise
and come with us to Marcius; join in our supplication, for your
country's sake."

The words of Valeria were seconded by the acclamations of the
other women, to which Volumnia made answer:-

"I and Vergilia, my countrywomen, have an equal share with you all
in the common miseries, and we have the additional sorrow, which
is wholly ours, that we have lost the merit and good fame of
Marcius, and see his person confined, rather than protected by the
arms of the enemy. Make use, however, of our service; and lead us,
if you please, to him; we are able, if nothing more, at least to
spend our last breath in making suit to him for our country."

Having spoken thus, she took Vergilia by the hand, and the young
children, and so accompanied them to the Volscian camp. so
lamentable a sight much affected the enemies themselves, who
viewed them in respectful silence. Marcius, seeing the party of
women advance, came down hastily to meet them, saluting his mother
first, and embracing her a long time, and then his wife and
children, sparing neither tears nor cares, but suffering himself
to be borne away and carried headlong, as it were, but the
impetuous violence of his passion.

when he had satisfied himself, and observed that his mother
Volumnia was desirous to say something, the Volscian council being
first called in, he heard her to the following effect: "Our dress
and our very persons, my son, might tell you, though we should say
nothing ourselves, in how forlorn a condition we have lived at
home since your banishment and absence from us; and now consider
with yourself, whether we may not pass for the most unfortunate of
all women, to have that sight, which should be the sweetest that
we could see, converted, through I know not what fatality, to one
of all others the most formidable and dreadful, --Volumnia to
behold her son, and Vergilia her husband, in arms against the
walls of Rome. As for myself, if I cannot prevail with you to
prefer amity and concord to quarrel and hostility, and to be the
benefactor to both parties, rather than the destroyer of one of
them, be assured of this, that you shall not be able to reach your
country, unless you trample first upon the corpse of her that
brought you into life. For it will be ill in me to loiter in the
world till the day com wherein I shall see a child of mine, either
led in triumph by his own countrymen, or triumphing over them."

Marcius listened to his mother while she spoke, without answering
her a word; and Volumnia, seeing him stand mute also for a long
time after she had ceased, resumed: "O my son, what is the meaning
of this silence? Is it wrong to gratify a mother in a request like
this? You have punished your country already; you have not yet
paid your debt to me." Having said this, she threw herself down at
his feet, as did also his wife and children; upon which Marcius,
crying out, "O mother! what is it you have done to me?" raised her
from the ground, and pressing her right hand with more than
ordinary vehemence said, "You have gained a victory, fortunate
enough for the Romans, but destructive to your son; whom you,
though none else, have defeated." And after a little private
conference with his mother and his wife, he went them back again
to Rome, as they desired of him.

the next morning, he broke up his camp, and led the Volscians
homeward, variously affected with what he had done. None, however,
opposed his commands; they all obediently followed him, though
rather from admiration of his virtue, than any regard they now had
to his authority. The Roman people, meantime began to crown
themselves with garlands and prepare for sacrifice, as they were
wont to do upon tidings brought of an signal victory. But the joy
and transport of the whole city was chiefly remarkable in the
honors and marks of affection paid to the women, as well by the
senate as the people in general; every one declaring that they
were, beyond all question, the instruments of the public safety.
And the senate having passed a decree that whatsoever they would
ask in the way of an a favor or honor should be allowed and done
for them by the magistrates, they demanded simply that a temple
might be erected to the Goddess Fortuna, the expense of which they
offered to defray out of their own contributions, if the city
would be at the cost of sacrifices, and other matters pertaining
to the due honor of the gods, out of the common treasury. The
senate, much commending their public spirit, caused the temple to
be built and a statue set up in it at the public charge; they
however, made up a sum among themselves, for a second image of
Fortune, which the Romans say utter these words as they were putt
it up "Blessed of ;the gods, O women, is your gift."

When Marcius came back to Antium, Tullus, who thoroughly hated and
greatly feared him, proceeded at once to contrive how he might
immediately despatch him; as, if he escaped now, he was never
likely to give him such another advantage. Having, therefore, got
together and suborned several partisans against him, he required
Marcius to resign his charge, and give the Volscians an account of
his administration.

An assembly was called, and popular speakers, as had been
concerted, came forward to exasperate and incense the multitude;
but when Marcius stood up to answer, even the most tumultuous part
of the people became quiet on a sudden, and out of reverence
allowed him to speak without the least disturbance; while all the
better people, and such as were satisfied with a peace, made it
evident by their whole behavior, that they would give him a
favorable hearing, and judge and pronounce according to equity.

For these reasons, the conspirators judged it prudent not to test
the general feeling; but the boldest of their faction fell upon
Marcius in a body, and slew him there, none of those that were
present offering to defend him. But it quickly appeared that the
action was in nowise approved of by the majority of the Volscians,
who hurried out of their several cities to show respect to his
corpse; to which they gave honorable interment, adorning his
sepulchre with arms and trophies, as the monument of a noble hero
and a famous general. When the Romans heard tidings of his death,
they gave no other signification either of honor or of anger
toward him, but simply granted the request of the women, that they
might put themselves into mourning and bewail him for ten months,
as the usage was upon the loss of a father or a son or a brother;
that being the period fixed for the longest lamentation by the
laws of Numa Pompilius.

Marcius was no sooner deceased, than the Volscians felt the need
of his assistance. They quarreled first with the Aequians, their
confederates and friends, about the appointment of the general of
their joint forces, and carried their dispute to the length of
bloodshed and slaughter; and were then defeated by the Romans in a
pitched battle, where not only Tullus lost his life, but the
flower of their whole army was cut to pieces; so that they were
forced to submit and accept of peace upon very dishonorable terms,
becoming subjects of Rome, and pledging themselves to submission.


Having described all their actions that seem to deserve
commemoration, their military ones, we may say, incline the
balance very decidedly upon neither side. They both, in pretty
equal measure, displayed on numerous occasions the daring and
courage of the soldier, and the skill and foresight of the
general; unless, indeed, the fact that Alcibiades was victorious
and successful in many contests both by sea and land, ought to
gain him the title of a more complete commander. That so long as
they remained and held command in their respective countries, they
eminently sustained, and when they were driven into exile, yet
more eminently damaged the fortunes of those countries, is common
to both. All the sober citizens felt disgust at the petulance, the
low flattery, and base seductions which Alcibiades, in his public
life, allowed himself to employ with the view of winning the
people's favor; and the ungraciousness, pride, and oligarchical
haughtiness which Marcius, on the other hand, displayed in his,
were the abhorrence of the Roman populace.

Marcius, according to our common conceptions of his character, was
undoubtedly simple and straightforward; Alcibiades, unscrupulous
as a public man, and false. He is more especially blamed for the
dishonorable and treacherous way in which, as Thucydides relates,
he imposed upon the Lacedaemonian ambassadors, and disturbed the
continuance of the peace. yet this policy, which engaged the city
again in way, nevertheless placed it in a powerful and formidable
position, by the accession, which Alcibiades obtained for it, of
the alliance of Argos and Mantinea. And Coriolanus also, Dionysius
relates, used unfair means to excite war between the Romans and
the Volscians, in the false report which he spread about the
visitors at the Games; and the motive of this action seems to make
it the worse for the two; since it was not done, like the other,
out of ordinary political jealousy, strife and competition. simply
to gratify anger, from which as Ion says, no one ever yet got any
return, he threw whole districts of Italy into confusion, and
sacrificed to his passion against his country numerous innocent
cities. It is true, indeed, that Alcibiades, by his resentment,
was the occasion of great disasters to his country, but he
relented as soon as he found their feelings to be changed; and
after he was driven out a second time, so far from taking pleasure
in the errors and inadvertencies of their commanders, or being
indifferent to the danger they were thus incurring, he did the
very thing that Aristides is so highly commended for doing to
Themistocles: he came to the generals who were his enemies, and
pointed out to them what they ought to do. Coriolanus, on the
other hand, first all attacked the whole body of his countrymen,
though only one portion of them had done him any wrong, while the
other, the better and nobler portion, had actually suffered, as
well as sympathized, with him. And, secondly, by the obduracy with
which he resisted numerous embassies and supplications, addressed
in propitiation of his person anger, he showed that it had been to
destroy and overthrow, not to recover and regain his country, that
he had excited bitter and implacable hostilities against. There
is, indeed, one distinction that may be drawn. Alcibiades, it may
be said, was not safe among the Spartans, and had the inducements
at once of fear and of hatred to lead him again to Athens; whereas
Marcius could not honorably have left the Volscians, when they
were behaving so well to him: he, in the command of their forces
and the enjoyment of their entire confidence, was in a very
different position from Alcibiades, whom the Lacedaemonians did
not so much wish to adopt into their service, as to use, and then
abandon. Driven about from house to house in the city, and from
general to general in the camp, the latter had no resort but to
place himself in the hands of Tissaphernes; unless we are to
suppose that his object in courting favor with him was to avert
the entire destruction of his native city, whither he wished
himself to return.

As regards money, Alcibiades, we are told, was often guilty of
procuring it by accepting bribes, and spent it in luxury and
dissipation. Coriolanus declined to receive it, even when pressed
upon him by his commanders as an honor; and one great reason for
the odium he incurred with the populace in the discussions about
their debts was, that he trampled upon the poor, not for money's
sake, but out of pride and insolence.

Antipater, in a letter written upon the death of Aristotle the
philosopher, observes, "Amongst his other gifts he had that of
persuasiveness," and the absence of this in the character of
Marcius made all his great actions and noble qualities
unacceptable to those whom they benefited: pride, and self-will,
the consort, as Plato calls it, of solitude, made him
insufferable. With the skill which Alcibiades, on the contrary,
professed to treat every one in the way most agreeable to him, we
cannot wonder that all his successes were attended with the most
exuberant favor and honor; his very errors, at times, being
accompanied by something of grace and felicity. And so, in spite
of great and frequent hurt that he had done the city, he was
repeatedly appointed to office and command; while Coriolanus stood
in vain for a place which his great services had made his due.

Alcibiades never professed to deny that it was pleasant to him to
be honored and distasteful to him to be overlooked; and,
accordingly, he always tried to place himself upon good terms with
all that he met; Coriolanus' pride forbade him to pay attentions
to those who could have promoted his advancement, and yet his love
of distinction made him feel hurt and angry when he was
disregarded. Such are the faulty parts of his character, which in
all other respects was a noble one. For his temperance,
continence, and probity, he might claim to be compared with the
best and purest of the Greeks; not in any sort of kind with
Alcibiades, the least scrupulous and most entirely careless of
human beings in all these points.


Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was of the tribe Antiochis, and
township of Alopece. Being the friend and supporter of that
Clisthenes, who settled the government after the expulsion of the
tyrants, and emulating and admiring Lycurgus the Lacedaemonian
above all politicians, he adhered to the aristocratical principles
of government; and had Themistocles, son to Neocles, his adversary
on the side of the populace. Some say that, when boys together,
they were always at variance in all their words and actions,
serious as well as playful. One was ready, venturesome, and
subtle, engaging readily and eagerly in everything; the other of a
staid and settled temper, intent on the exercise of justice, not
admitting any degree of falsity, indecorum, or trickery, even at
his play. Ariston of Ceos says that the first origin of enmity
which rose to so great a height, was a love affair; they were
rivals for the affection of the beautiful Stesilaus of Ceos, and
were passionate beyond moderation, and did not lay aside their
animosity when the beauty that had excited it passed away; but
carried their heats and differences into public business.

Themistocles joined an association of partisans, and fortified
himself with considerable strength; so that when some one told him
that if he were impartial, he would make a good magistrate, "I
wish," replied he, "I may never sit on that tribunal where my
friends shall not plead a greater privilege than strangers."

But Aristides walked alone on his path in politics being unwilling
to go with associates in ill doing, or to cause them vexation by
not gratifying their wishes.

When he had once opposed Themistocles in some measures that were
expedient, and had got the better of him, he could not refrain
from saying, when he left the assembly, that unless they sent
Themistocles and himself to the barathrum,(a pit into which the
dead bodies of malefactors were thrown) there could be no safety
for Athens. Another time, when urging some proposal upon the
people, although there was much opposition to it, yet he was
gaining the day; but just as the president of the assembly was
about to put it to the vote, perceiving by what had been said in
debate the inexpediency of his advice, he let it fall. He often
brought in his bills by other persons, lest Themistocles, thought
party spirit against him, should be any hindrance to the good of
the public.

In all the vicissitudes of public affairs, the constancy he showed
was admirable, not being elated with honors, and demeaning himself
sedately in adversity. Once, at the recital of these verses of
Aeshcylus in the theatre, relating to Amphiaraus,

For not at seeming just, but being so
He aims; and from his depth of soil below,
Harvest of wise and prudent counsels grow,

the eyes of all the spectators were turned upon Aristides, as if
this virtue in an especial manner belonged to him.

He was a most determined champion of justice, not only against
feelings of friendship and favor, but wrath and malice.

Thus it is reported of him that prosecuting one who was his enemy,
when the judges after accusation refused to hear the criminal, and
were proceeding immediately to pass sentence upon him, he rose in
haste from his seat and joined in petition with him for a hearing,
and that he might enjoy the privilege of the law. Another time,
judging between two private persons, when the one declared his
adversary had very much injured Aristides; "Tell me rather, good
friend," he said, "what wrong he has done you: for it is your
cause, not my own, which I now sit judge of." Being chosen to the
charge of the public revenue, he made it appear, that not only
those of his time, but the preceding officers, had alienated much
treasure, and especially Themistocles:

Well known he was an able man to be,
But with his fingers apt to be too free.

Therefore, Themistocles associating several persons against
Aristides, and impeaching him when he gave in his accounts, caused
him to be condemned of robbing of the public; so Idomeneus states;
but the best and chief men of the city much resented it, so that
he was not only exempted from the fine imposed upon him, but again
called to the same employment. Pretending now to repent of his
former practice, and carrying himself with more remissness, he
became acceptable to such as pillaged the treasury, by not
detecting or calling them to an exact account. So that those who
had their fill of the public money began highly to applaud
Aristides, and sued to the people, to have him once more chosen
treasurer. But when they were upon the point of election, he
reproved the Athenians in these words: "When I discharged my
office well and faithfully, I was insulted and abused; but now
that I have countenanced the public thieves in a variety of
malpractices, I am considered an admirable patriot. I am more
ashamed, therefore, of this present honor than of the former
sentence; and I pity your condition, with whom is more
praiseworthy to oblige bad men than to preserve the revenue of
public. "

When Datis was sent by Darius under pretense of punishing the
Athenians for their burning of Sardis, but in reality to reduce
the Greeks under his dominion, and had landed at Marathon and laid
waste the country, among the ten commanders appointed by the
Athenians for the war, Miltiades was of the greatest name; but the
second place, both for reputation and power, was possessed by
Aristides: and when his opinion to join battle was added to that
of Miltiades, it did much to incline the balance. Every leader by
his day having the command in chief, when it came to Aristides'
turn, he delivered it into the hands of Miltiades, showing his
fellow officers, that it is not dishonorable to obey and follow
wise and able men, but, on the contrary, noble and prudent. So
appeasing their rivalry, and bringing them to acquiesce in the
best advice, he confirmed Miltiades in the strength of undivided
and unmolested authority. And now every one, yielding his day of
command, looked for orders only to him. During the fight the main
body of the Athenians being the hardest pressed, the barbarians,
for a long time, making opposition there against the tribes
Leontis and Antiochis, Themistocles and Aristides being ranged
together, fought valiantly; the one being of the tribe Leontis,
the other of the Antiochis. But, after they had beaten the
barbarians back to their ships, and perceived that they did sail
for the isles, but were driven in by the force of se and wind
towards the country of Attica, fearing lest they should take the
city, they hurried away thither with nine tribes, and reached it
the same day.

Of all the virtues of Aristides, the common people were most
affected with his justice, because of its continual and common
use; and thus, although of mean fortune and ordinary birth, he
possessed himself of the most kingly and divine appellation of
Just; which kings, however, and tyrants have never sought after;
but have taken delight to be surnamed besiegers of cities,
thunderers, conquerors, eagles and hawks; affecting, it seems, the
reputation which proceeds from power and violence, rather than
that of virtue.

Aristides, therefore, had at first the fortune to be beloved for
this surname, but at length envied. Especially when Themistocles
spread a rumor amongst the people, that, by determining and
judging all matters privately, he had destroyed the courts of
judicature, and was secretly making way for a monarchy in his own
person, without the assistance of guards. Moreover, the spirit of
the people, now grown high, and confident with their late victory,
naturally entertained feelings of dislike to all of more than
common fame and reputation. Coming together, therefore, from all
parts into the city, they banished Aristides by the ostracism,
giving their jealousy of his reputation the name of fear of
tyranny. For ostracism was not the punishment of any criminal act,
but was speciously said to be the mere depression and humiliation
of excessive greatness and power; and was in fact a gentle relief
and mitigation of envious feeling, which was thus allowed to vent
itself in inflicting no intolerable injury, only a ten years'
banishment. But after it came be exercised upon base and
villainous fellows, they desisted from it; Hyperbolus, being the
last whom they banished by the ostracism.

The cause of Hyperbolus's banishment is said to have been this.
Alcibiades and Nicias, men that bore the greatest sway in the
city, were of different factions. As the people, therefore, were
about to vote the ostracism, and obviously to decree it against
one of them, consulting together and uniting their parties, they
contrived the banishment of Hyperbolus. Upon which the people,
being offended, as if some contempt or affront was put upon the
thing, left off and quite abolished it. It was performed, to be
short, in this manner. Every one taking an ostracon, that is, a
sherd, a piece of earthenware, wrote upon it the citizen's he
would have banished, and carried it to a certain part of the
market-place surrounded with wooden rails. First, the magistrates
numbered all the sherds in gross (for if there were less than six
thousand, the ostracism was imperfect); then, laying every name by
itself, they pronounced him whose name was written by the largest
number, banished for ten years, with the enjoyment of his estate.
As, therefore, they were writing the names on the sherds, it is
reported that an illiterate clownish fellow, giving Aristides his
sherd, supposing him a common citizen, begged him write Aristides
upon it; and he being surprised and asking if Aristides had ever
done him any injury, "None at all," said he, "neither know I the
man; but I am tired of hearing him everywhere called the Just."
Aristides, hearing this, is said to have made no reply, but
returned the sherd with his own name inscribed. At his departure
from the city, lifting up his hands to heaven, he made a prayer
(the reverse, it would seem, of that of Achilles), that the
Athenians might never have any occasion which should constrain
them to remember Aristides.

But three years afterwards, when Xerxes was marching through
Thessaly and Boeotia into the country of Attica, they repealed the
law, and decreed the return of the banished: chiefly fearing lest
Aristides might join himself to the enemy, and bring over many of
his fellow-citizens to the party of the barbarians; much mistaking
the man, who, already before the decree, was exerting himself to
excite and encourage the Greeks to the defense of their liberty.

After the battle of Salamis, Xerxes, much terrified, immediately
hastened to the Hellespont. But Mardonius was left with the most
serviceable part of the army, about three hundred thousand men,
and was a formidable enemy, confident in his infantry, and writing
messages of defiance to the Greeks: "You have overcome by sea men
accustomed to fight on land and unskilled at the oar; but there
lies now the open country of Thessaly; and the plains of Boeotia
offer a broad and worthy field for brave men, either horse or
foot, to contend in."

But he sent privately to the Athenians, both by letter and word of
mouth from the king, promising to rebuild their city, to give them
a vast sum of money, and constitute them lords of all Greece on
condition they would not engage in the war. The Lacedaemonians
receiving news of this, and fearing, dispatched an embassy to the
Athenians, entreating that they would send their wives and
children to Sparta, and receive support from them for their
superannuated. For, being despoiled both of their city and
country, the people were suffering extreme distress. Having given
audience to the ambassadors, they returned an answer, upon the
motion of Aristides, worthy of the highest admiration; declaring,
that they forgave their enemies if they thought all things
purchasable by wealth, than which they knew nothing of greater
value; but that they felt offended at the Lacaemonians, for
looking only to their present poverty, without any remembrance of
their valor and magnanimity, and offering them their victuals, to
fight in the cause of Greece. Aristides made this proposal,
brought back the ambassadors into the assembly, and charged them
to tell the Lacaemonians that all the treasure on earth or under
it was of less value with the people of Athens than the liberty of
Greece. And, showing the sun to those who came from Mardonius," as
long as that retains the same course, so long," said he, "shall
the citizens of Athens wage war with the Persians for the country
which has been wasted, and the temples that have been profaned and
burnt by them." Moreover, he proposed a decree, that the priests
should anathematize him who sent any herald to the Medes, or
deserted the alliance of Greece.

When Mardonius made a second incursion into the country of Attica,
the people passed over again into the isle of Salamis. Aristides
himself went to Lacedaemon, and reproved them for the delay and
neglect in abandoning Athens once more to the barbarians; and
demanded their assistance for that part of Greece which was not
yet lost. The Ephori, hearing this, made show of sporting all day,
and of carelessly keeping holy day (for they were then celebrating
the Hyacinthian festival), but in the night, selecting five
thousand Spartans, each of whom was attended by seven Helots, they
sent them forth unknown to those from Athens. And when Aristides
again reprehended them, they told him in derision that he either
doted or dreamed, for the army was already at Oresteum, in their
march towards the strangers; as they called the Persians.
Aristides answered that they jested unreasonably, deluding their
friends, instead of their enemies.

Being chosen general for the war, he repaired to Plataea, with
eight thousand Athenians, where Pausanias, general-issimo of all
Greece, joined him with the Spartans; and the forces of the other
Greeks came in to them. The encampment of the barbarians extended
all along the bank of the river Asopus, their numbers being so
great, there was no enclosing them all, but their baggage and most
valuable things were surrounded with a square bulwark, each side
of which was the length of ten furlongs.

The Tegeatans, contesting the post of honor with the Athenians,
demanded, that according to custom, the Lacedaemonians being
ranged on the right wing of the battle, they might have the left,
alleging several matters in commendation of their ancestors. The
Athenians being indignant at the claim, Aristides came forward and
said: "To contend with the Tegeatans for noble descent and valor,
the present time permits not: but this we say to you, O you
Spartans, and you the rest of the Greeks, that place neither takes
away nor contributes courage: we shall endeavor by maintaining the
post you assign us, to reflect no dishonor on our former
performances. For we are come, not to differ with our friends, but
to fight our enemies; not to extol our ancestors, but to behave as
valiant men. This battle will manifest how much each city,
captain, and private soldier is worth to Greece." The council of
war, upon this address, decided for the Athenians, and gave them
the other wing of the battle.

At this juncture, Mardonius made trial of the Grecian courage, by
sending his whole number of horse, in which he thought himself
much the stronger, against them, while they were all, except the
Megarians, encamped at the foot of Mount Cithaeron, in strong and
rocky places. They being three thousand in number, had pitched
their tents on the plain, where the cavalry charged and made
inroads upon them from all sides. They sent, therefore, in haste
to Pausanias, demanding relief, not being able alone to sustain
the great numbers of the barbarians. Pausanias, hearing this, and
perceiving the tents of the Megarians almost hidden by the
multitude of darts and arrows, and themselves driven together into
a narrow space, was at a loss how to aid them with his battalions
of heavy-armed Lacedaemonians. He asked, therefore, as a test of
emulation and love of distinction, to the commanders and captains
who were around him, if any would voluntarily take upon the
defense and succor of the Megarians.

The rest being backward, Aristides undertook the enterprise for
the Athenians, and sent Olympiodorus, the most valiant of his
inferior officers, with three hundred chosen men and some archers
under his command. These were soon in readiness, and running upon
the enemy, as soon as it was perceived by Masistius, who commanded
the cavalry of the barbarians, a man of wonderful courage and of
extraordinary bulk and comeliness of person, he turned his steed
and made towards them. They sustained the shock and joined battle
with him, as though by this encounter they were to try the success
of the whole war. But after Masistius's horse received a wound,
and flung him, and he falling, could hardly raise himself through
the weight of his armor, the Athenians pressed upon him with
blows, but could not easily get at his person, armed as he was,
breast, head, and limbs all over, with gold and brass and iron;
but one of them at last, running a javelin under the visor of his
helmet, slew him; and the rest of the Persians, leaving the body,
fled. The greatness of the Greek success was known, not by the
multitude of the slain, (for an inconsiderable number were
killed), but by the sorrow the barbarians expressed. For they
shaved themselves, their horses, and mules for the death of
Masistius, and filled the plain with howling and lamentation;
having lost a person, who, next to Mardonius himself, was by far
the chief among them, both for valor and authority.

After this skirmish of the horse, they kept from fighting a long
time; for the soothsayers, by the sacrifices, foretold the victory
both to Greeks and Persians, if they stood upon the defensive part
only, but if they became aggressors, the contrary. At length
Mardonious, when he had but a few days' provision, and the Greek
forces were increasing continually, impatient of delay, determined
to lie still no longer, but passing Asopus by daybreak, to fall
unexpectedly upon the Greeks. This he signified the night before
to the captains of his host. But about midnight, a certain
horseman stole into the Greek camp, and coming to the watch,
desired them to summon Aristides, the Athenian, to him. He came
speedily, and the stranger said: "I am Alexander, king of the
Macedonians, and have come here through the greatest danger in the
world for the goodwill I bear you, lest a sudden onset should
dismay you, so as to behave in the fight worse than usual. For to-
morrow Mardonius will give you battle, urged, not by any hope of
success or courage, but by want of victuals: for the prophets
prohibit him from the battle, the sacrifices and oracles being
unfavorable; but the army is in despondency and consternation; and
necessity forces him to try his fortune, or sit still and endure
the last extremity of want." Alexander, thus saying, entreated
Aristides to take notice and remember him, but not tell any other.
But he replied that it was not fair conceal to the matter from
Pausanias (because he was general); as for any others he would
keep it secret from them till the battle was fought; but if the
Greeks obtained the victory, that then no one should be ignorant
of Alexander's goodwill and kindness towards them. After this, the
king of the Macedonians rode back again, and Aristides went to
Pausanias's tent and told him; and they sent for the rest of the
captains and gave orders that the army should be in battle array.

Meantime, day came upon them; and Mardonious having his army in
array, fell upon the Lacedaemonians with great shouting and noise
of barbarous people, as if they were not about to join battle, but
crush the Greeks in their flight- a thing which very nearly came
to pass. For Pausanius, perceiving what was done, made a halt, and
commanded every one to put themselves in order for the battle; but
through the disturbance he was in, on account of the sudden
approach of the enemy, he forgot to give the signal to the Greeks
in general. Whence it was, that they did not come immediately, or
in a body, to their assistance, but by small companies and
straggling, when the fight was already begun. Pausanias, offering
sacrifice, could not procure favorable omens, and so commanded the
Lacedaemonians to set down their shields at their feet and wait
quietly await for his directions, making no resistance to any of
their enemies. At this time, Callicrates, who, we are told, was
the most comely man in the army, being shot with an arrow and upon
the point of expiring, said that he did not lament his death (for
he came from home to lay down his life in defense of Greece) but
that he died without action. While Pausanias was thus in the act
of supplication, the sacrifices appeared propitious, and the
soothsayers foretold victory. The word being given, the
Lacedaemonian battalion of foot seemed, on the sudden, like some
fierce animal, setting up his bristles, and betaking himself to
the combat; and the barbarians perceived that they encountered
with men who would fight to the death. Therefore, holding their
wicker shields before them, they shot their arrows amongst the
Lacedaemonians. But they, keeping together in the order of a
phalanx, and falling upon their enemies forced their shields out
of their hands, and, striking with their pikes at the breasts and
faces of the Persians, overthrew many of them; they, however, fell
neither unrevenged nor without courage. For taking hold of the
spears with their bare hands, they broke many of them, and betook
themselves with effect to the sword; and making use of their
falchions and scimitars, and wresting the Lacedaemonians' shields
from them, and grappling with them, for a long time stood their

Meanwhile, the Athenians were standing still, waiting for the
Lacedaemonians to come up. But when they heard a great noise as of
men engaged in fight, and a messenger came from Pausanias to
inform them of what was going on, they made haste to their
assistance. And as they passed through the plain to the place
where the noise was, the recreant Greeks, who took part with the
enemy, came upon them. Aristides, as soon as he saw them, going a
considerable space before the rest, cried out to them, by the
guardian gods of Greece, not to enter the fight, and be no
impediment to those who were going to succor the defenders of
Greece. But when he perceived that they gave no attention to him,
and had prepared themselves for the battle, then turning from the
present relief of the Lacedaemonians, he engaged with them, being
five thousand in number. But the greatest part soon gave way and
retreated, as the barbarians were also put to flight.

The battle being thus divided, the Lacedaemonians first beat off
the Persians; and a Spartan, named Arimnestus, slew Mardonius by a
blow on the head with a stone, as the oracle in the temple of
Amphiaraus had foretold to him. For Mardonius sent a Lydian
thither, and another person, a Carian, to the cave of Trophonius.
The latter, the priest of the oracle answered in his own language.
But to the Lydian sleeping in the temple of Amphiaraus, it seemed
that a minister of the divinity stood before him and commanded him
to be gone; and on his refusing to do it, flung a great stone at
his head, so that he thought himself slain with the blow. Such is
the story.

Of three hundred thousand of the enemy, forty thousand only are
said to have escaped with Artabazus; while on the Greeks' side
there perished in all thirteen hundred and sixty; of whom fifty-
two were Athenians, all of the tribe Aeantis, that fought, says
Clidemus, with the greatest courage of all; and for this reason
the men of this tribe used to offer sacrifice for the victory, as
enjoined by the oracle, at the public expense; ninety-one were
Lacedaemonians, and sixteen Tegeatans. They engraved upon the
altar this inscription:

The Greeks, when by their courage and their might,
They had repelled the Persian in the fight,
The common altar of freed Greece to be,
Reared this to Jupiter who guards the free.

The battle of Plataea was fought on the fourth day of the month
Boedromion, on which day there is still a convention of the Greeks
at Plataea, and the Plateans still offer sacrifice for the victory
to "Jupiter of freedom."

After this, the Athenians, not yielding the honor of the day to
the Lacedaemonians, nor consenting that they should erect a
trophy, peace was well-nigh destroyed by a dissension among the
armed Greeks; but Aristides, by soothing and counseling the
commanders, especially Leocrates and Myronides, pacified and
persuaded them to leave the thing to the decision of the Greeks.
Cleocritus of Corinth rising up, made people think he would ask
the palm for the Corinthians (for next to Sparta and Athens,
Corinth was in greatest estimation); but he delivered his opinion,
to the general admiration, in favor of the Plataeans; and
counseled to take away all contention by giving them the reward
and the glory of the victory, whose being honored could be
distasteful to neither party. This being said, first Aristides
gave consent in the name of the Athenians, and Pausanias then, for
the Lacedaemonians. So, being reconciled, they set apart eighty
talents for the Plateans, with which they built the temple and
dedicated the image to Minerva, and adorned the temple with
pictures, which even to this very day retain their lustre. But the
Lacedaemonians and Athenians each erected a trophy apart by
themselves. On their consulting the oracle about offering
sacrifice, Apollo answered that they should dedicate an altar to
Jupiter of freedom, but should not sacrifice till they had
extinguished the fires throughout the country, as having been
defiled by the barbarians, and had kindled unpolluted fire at the
common altar at Delphi. The magistrates of Greece, therefore, went
forthwith and compelled such as had fire to put it out; and
Euchidas, a Plataean, promising to fetch fire with all possible
speed, from the altar of the god, ran to Delphi, and having
sprinkled and purified his body, crowned himself with laurel; and
taking the fire from the altar ran back to Plataea, arriving
before sunset, and performing in one day a journey of a thousand
furlongs; and saluting his fellow-citizens and delivering them the
fire, he immediately fell down and a short time after expired.
Then the Plataeans, taking him up, interred him in the temple of
Diana Euclia, setting this inscription over him: "Euchidas ran to
Delphi and back again in one day."

A general assembly of all the Greeks being called, Aristides
proposed a decree, that the deputies and religious representatives
of the Greek states should assemble annually at Plataea, and every
fifth year celebrate the Eleutheria, or games of freedom. And that
there should be a levy upon all Greece, for the war against the
barbarians, of ten thousand spearmen, one thousand horse, and a
hundred sail of ships; but the Plateans to be exempt, and sacred
to the service of the gods, offering sacrifice for the welfare of
Greece. These things being ratified, the Plateans undertook the
performance of annual sacrifice to such as were slain and buried
in that place; which they still perform in the following manner.
On the sixteenth day of Maemacterion they make their procession,
which, beginning by break of day, is led by a trumpeter sounding
for onset; then follow chariots loaded with myrrh and garlands;
and then a black bull; then come the young men of free birth
carrying libations of wine and milk in large two-handed vessels,
and jars of oil and precious ointments, none of servile condition
being permitted to have any hand in this ministration, because the
men died in defense of freedom; after all comes the chief
magistrate of Plataea (for whom it is unlawful at other times for
him either to touch iron, or wear any other colored garment but
white), at that time appareled in a purple robe; and taking a
water-pot out of the city record-office, he proceeds, bearing a
sword in his hand, through the middle of the town to the
sepulchres. Then drawing water out of a spring, he washes and
anoints the monuments, and sacrificing the bull upon a pile of
wood, and making supplication to Jupiter and Mercury of the earth,
invites those valiant men who perished in the defense of Greece,
to the banquet and the libations of blood. After this, mixing a
bowl of wine, and pouring out for himself, he says, "I drink to
those who lost their lives for the liberty of Greece." These
solemnities the Plataeans observe to this day.

Theophrastus tells us that Aristides was, in his own private
affairs, and those of his own fellow-citizens, rigorously just,
but that in public matters he acted often in accordance with his
country's policy, which demanded, sometimes, not a little
injustice. It is reported of him that he said in a debate, upon
the motion of the Samians for removing the treasure from Delos to
Athens, contrary to the league, that the thing indeed was not
just, but was expedient.

In fine, having established the dominion of his city over so many
people, he himself remained indigent; and always delighted as much
in the glory of being poor, as in that of his trophies; as is
evident from the following story. Callias, the torch-bearer was
related to him: and was prosecuted by his enemies in a capital
cause, in which, after they had slightly argued the matters on
which they indicted him, they proceeded, beside the point, to
address the judges: "You know," said they, "Aristides, the son of
Lysimachus, who is the admiration of all Greece. In what a
condition do you think his family is at his house, when you see
him appear in public in such a threadbare cloak? Is it not
probable that one, who, out of doors, goes thus exposed to the
cold, must want food and other necessaries at home? Callias, the
wealthiest of the Athenians, does nothing to relieve either him or
his wife and children in their poverty, though he is his own
cousin, and has made use of him in many cases, and often reaped
advantage by his interest with you." But Callias, perceiving that
the judges were particularly moved by this, and were exasperated
against him, called in Aristides, who testified that when Callias
offered him divers presents, and entreated him to accept them, he
had refused, answering, that it became him better to be proud of
his poverty than Callias of his wealth. On Aristides deposing
these facts in favor of Callias, there was not one who heard them
that went way desirous rather to be poor like Aristides, than rich
as Callias. Thus Aeschines, the scholar of Socrates, writes. But
Plato declares, that of all the great and renowned men in the city
of Athens, he was the only one worthy of consideration; for while
Themistocles, Cimon, and Pericles filled the city with porticoes,
treasure, and many other vain things, Aristides guided his public
life by the rule of justice. He showed his moderation very plainly
in his conduct toward Themistocles himself. For though
Themistocles had been his adversary in all his undertakings, and
was the cause of his banishment, yet when he afforded a similar
opportunity of revenge, being accused by the city, Aristides bore
him no malice; but while Alcmaeon, Cimon, and many others were
prosecuting and impeaching him, Aristides alone, neither did, nor
said any evil against him, and no more triumphed over his enemy in
his adversity, than he had envied him his prosperity.

Some say Aristides died in Pontus, during a voyage upon the
affairs of the public. Others say that he died of old age at
Athens, being in great honor and veneration among his fellow-

His monument is to be seen at Phalerum, which they say was built
for him by the city, he not having left enough even to defray
funeral charges. And it is stated, that his two daughters were
publicly married out of the prytaneum, or state-house, by the
city, which decreed each of them three thousand drachmas for her
portion; and that upon his son Lysimachus, the people bestowed a
hundred minas of money, and as many acres of planted land, and
ordered him besides, upon the motion of Alcibiades, four drachmas
a day.


Cimon was the son of Miltiades and Hegesipyle, who was by birth a
Thracian, and daughter to the king Olorus. By this means the
historian Thucydides was his kinsman by the mother's side; for his
father's name also, in remembrance of this common ancestor, was
Olorus, and he was the owner of the gold mines in Thrace, and met
his death, it is said, by violence, in Scapte Hyle, a district of
Thrace. Cimon was left an orphan very young, with his sister
Elpinice, who was also young and unmarried. And at first he had
but an indifferent reputation, being looked upon as disorderly in
his habits, fond of drinking, and resembling his grandfather, also
called Cimon, in character, whose simplicity got him the surname
of Coalemus the simpleton. Stesimbrotus of Thasos, who lived about
the same time with Cimon, reports of him that he had little
acquaintance either with music, or any of the other liberal
studies and accomplishments, then common among the Greeks; that he
had nothing whatever of the quickness and the ready speech of his
countrymen in Attica; that he had great nobleness and candor in
his disposition, and in his character in general, resembled rather
a native of Peloponnesus, than of Athens; as Euripides describes
Hercules: --

----Rude And unrefined, for great things, well-endued;

for this may fairly be added to the character which Stesimbrotus
has given of him.

Almost all the points of Cimon's character were noble and good. He
was as daring as Miltiades, and not inferior to Themistocles in
judgment, and was incomparably more just and honest than either of
them. Fully their equal in all military virtues, in the ordinary
duties of a citizen at home he was immeasurably their superior.
And this, too, when he was very young, his years not strengthened
by any experience. For when Themistocles, upon the Median
invasion, advised the Athenians to forsake their city and their
country, and to carry all their arms on shipboard, and fight the
enemy by sea, in the straits of Salamis; when all the people stood
amazed at the confidence and rashness of this advice, Cimon was
seen, the first of all men, passing with a cheerful countenance
through the Ceramics, on his way with his companions to the
citadel, carrying a bridle in his hand to offer to the goddess,
intimating that there was no more need of horsemen now, but of
mariners. There, after he had paid his devotions to the goddess,
and offered up the bridle, he took down one of the bucklers that
hung upon the walls of the temple, and went down to the port; by
this example giving confidence to many of the citizens. He was
also of a fairly handsome person, according to the poet Ion, tall
and large, and let his thick and curly hair grow long. After he
had acquitted himself gallantly in this battle of Salamis, he
obtained great repute among the Athenians, and was regarded with
affection, as well as admiration. He had many who followed after
him, and bade him aspire to actions not less famous than his
father's battle of Marathon. And when he came forward in political
life, the people welcomed him gladly, being now weary of
Themistocles; in opposition to whom, and because of the frankness
and easiness of his temper, which was agreeable to every one, they
advanced Cimon to the highest employments in the government. The
man that contributed most to his promotion was Aristides, who
early discerned in his character his natural capacity, and
purposely raised him, that he might be a counterpoise to the craft
and boldness of Themistocles. After the Medes had been driven out
of Greece, Cimon was sent out as admiral, when the Athenians had
not yet attained their dominion by sea, but still followed
Pausanias and the Lacedaemonians; and his fellow-citizens under
his command were highly distinguished, both for the excellence of
their discipline, and for their extraordinary zeal and readiness.
And further, perceiving that Pausanias was carrying on secret
communications with the barbarians, and writing letters to the
king of Persia to betray Greece, and, puffed up with authority and
success, was treating the allies haughtily, and committing many
wanton injustices, Cimon, taking advantage, by acts of kindness to
those who were suffering wrong, and by his general humane bearing,
robbed him of the command of the Greeks, before he was aware, not
by arms, but by his mere language and character. Cimon,
strengthened with the accession of the allies, went as general
into Thrace. For he was told that some great men among the
Persians, of the king's kindred, being in possession of Eion, a
city situated upon the river Strymon, infested the neighboring
Greeks. First he defeated these Persians in battle, and shut them
up within the walls of their town. Then he fell upon the Thracians
of the country beyond the Strymon, because they supplied Eion with
victuals, and driving them entirely out of the country, took
possession of it as conqueror, by which means he reduced the
besieged to such straits, that Butes, who commanded there for the
king, in desperation set fire to the town, and burned himself, his
goods, and all his relations, in one common flame. By this means,
Cimon got the town, but no great booty; as the barbarians had not
only consumed themselves in the fire, but the richest of their
effects. However, he put the country into the hands of the
Athenians, a most advantageous and desirable situation for a
settlement. For this action, the people permitted him to erect the
stone Mercuries, upon the first of which was this inscription:--

Of bold and patient spirit, too, were those Who, where the Strymon
under Eion flows, With famine and the sword, to utmost need
Reduced at last the children of the Mede.

Upon the second stood this:--

The Athenians to their leaders this reward For great and useful
service did accord; Others hereafter, shall, from their applause,
Learn to be valiant in their country's cause.

And upon the third, the following:--

With Atreus' sons, this city sent of yore Divine Menestheus to the
Trojan shore; Of all the Greeks, so Homer's verses say, The ablest
man an army to array; So old the title of her sons the name Of
chiefs and champions in the field to claim.

Though the name of Cimon is not mentioned in these inscriptions,
yet his contemporaries considered them to be the very highest
honors to him; as neither Miltiades nor Themistocles ever received
the like. When Miltiades claimed a garland, Sochares of Decelea
stood up in the midst of the assembly and opposed it, using words
which, though ungracious, were received with applause by the
people. "When you have gained a victory by yourself, Miltiades,
then you may ask to triumph so too."

One mark of Cimon's great favor with the people, was the judgment,
afterwards so famous upon the tragic poets. Sophocles, still a
young man, had just brought forward his first plays; opinions were
much divided, and the spectators had taken sides with some heat.
So, to determine the case, Apsephion, who was at that time Archon,
would not cast lots who should be judges; but when Cimon, and his
brother commanders with him, came into the theatre, after they had
performed the usual rites to the god of the festival, he would not
allow them to retire, but came forward and made them swear, being
ten in all, one from each tribe, the usual oath; and so being
sworn judges, he made them sit down to give sentence. The
eagerness for victory grew all the warmer, from the ambition to
get the suffrages of such honorable judges. And the victory was at
last adjudged to Sophocles, which Aeschylus is said to have taken
so ill, that he left Athens shortly after, and went in anger to
Sicily, where he died, and was buried near the city of Gela.

Ion relates that when he was a young man, and had recently come
from Chios to Athens, he chanced to sup with Cimon, at Laomedon's
house. After supper, when they had, according to custom, poured
out wine to the honor of the gods, Cimon was desired by the
company to give them a song, which he did with sufficient success,
and received the commendations of the company, who remarked on his
superiority to Themistocles, who, on a like occasion, had declared
he had never learnt to sing, or to play, and only knew how to make
a city rich and powerful. After talking of things incident to such
entertainments, they entered upon the particulars of the several
actions for which Cimon had been famous. And when they were
mentioning the most signal, he told them they had omitted one,
upon which he valued himself most for address and good
contrivance. He gave this account of it. When the allies had taken
a great number of the barbarians prisoners in Sestos and
Byzantium, they gave him the preference to divide the booty; he
accordingly put the prisoners in one lot, and the spoils of their
rich attire and jewels in the other. This the allies complained of
as an unequal division; but he gave them their choice to take
which lot they would, saying that the Athenians should be content
with that which they refused. Herophytus of Samos advised them to
take the ornaments for their share, and leave the slaves to the
Athenians; and Cimon went away, and was much laughed at for his
ridiculous division. For the allies carried away the golden
bracelets, and armlets, and collars, and purple robes, and the
Athenians had only the naked bodies of the captives, which they
could make no advantage of, being unused to labor. But a little
while after, the friends and kinsmen of the prisoners coming from
Lydia and Phrygia, redeemed every one his relations at a high
ransom; so that by this means Cimon got so much treasure that he
maintained his whole fleet of galleys with the money for four
months; and yet there was some left to lay up in the treasury at

Cimon now grew rich, and what he gained from the barbarians with
honor, he spent yet more honorably upon the citizens. For he
pulled down all the enclosures of his gardens and grounds, that
strangers, and the needy of his fellow-citizens, might gather of
its fruits freely. At home, he kept a table, plain, but sufficient
for a considerable number, to which any poor townsman had free
access, and so might support himself without labor, with his whole
time left free for public duties. Aristotle states, however, that
this reception did not extend to all the Athenians, but only to
his own fellow townsmen, the Laciadae.* Besides this, he always
went attended by two or three young companions, very well clad;
and if he met with an elderly citizen in a poor habit, one of
these would change clothes with the decayed citizen, which was
looked upon as very nobly done. He enjoined them, likewise, to
carry a considerable quantity of coin about them, which they were
to convey silently into the hands of the better class of poor men,
as they stood by them in the market-place. This, Cratinus, the
poet, speaks of in one of his comedies, the Archilochi:--

For I, Metrobius too, the scrivener poor,
Of ease and comfort in my age secure,
By Greece's noblest son in life's decline,
Cimon, the generous-hearted, the divine,
Well-fed and feasted hoped till death to be,
Death which, alas! has taken him ere me.

Gorgias the Leontine gives him this character, that he got riches
that he might use them, and used them that he might get honor by
them. And Critias, one of the thirty tyrants, makes it, in his
elegies, his wish to have

The Scopads' wealth, and Cimon's nobleness,
And king Agesilaus's success.

Lichas, we know, became famous in Greece, only because on the days
of the sports, when the young boys ran naked, he used to entertain
the strangers that came to see these diversions. But Cimon's
generosity outdid all the old Athenian hospitality and good-
nature. For though it is the city's just boast that their


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