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Hence, in remarking on the condemnation of Phocion by the Athenians, while Mr. Grote owns that, considered as a judicial trial, that last scene before the people in the theatre is nothing better than a cruel imposture, he is yet careful to add, that considered as a manifestation of public opinion already settled, it is one for which the facts of the past supplied ample warrant. He freely, and feelingly confesses how impossible it is to read, without painful sympathy, the narrative of an old man above eighty-personally brave, mild, and superior to all pecuniary seductionperishing under an intense and crushing storm of popular execration. But he contends, on the other hand, than when we look at the whole case, and survey, not merely the details of Phocion's administration, but the grand public objects which those details subserved, and towards which he conducted his fellow-citizens, we shall see that this judgment was fully merited." In Phokion's patriotism --for so, doubtless, he himself sincerely conceived it-no account was taken of Athenian independence; of the autonomy or selfmanagement of the Hellenic world; of the conditions, in reference to foreign kings, under which alone such autonomy could exist. He had neither the Pan-hellenic sentiment of Aristeides, Kallikratides, and Demosthenes-nor the narrower Athenian sentiment, like the devotion of Agesilaus to Sparta, and of Epaminondas to Thebes. To Phokion it was indifferent whether Greece was an aggregate of autonomous cities, with Athens as first or second among them-or one of the satrapies under the Macedonian kings." Now this, in the historian's frequently and earnestly enunciated view of the case, –a view of capital interest, of essential moment to a History of Greece, in any large and lofty and liberal sense,this unpatriotic patriotism, this indifference to the free polity whether of Hellas in general, or of his own Athens in particular, was among the most fatal defects of a Grecian public man. By this view, had Themistocles, Aristides, and Leonidas resembled Phocion, Greece would have passed quietly under the dominion of Persia, and the brilliant, though chequered, century and more of independent politics which succeeded the repulse of Xerxes would never have occurred. And reviewing the fifty years of Phocion's political and military influence-a half century during which the Greeks were degraded from a state of freedom, and Athens from ascendancy as well as freedom, into absolute servitude—the historian avers, that in so far as this great public misfortune can be imputed to any one man, to no one was it more ascribable than to Phocion.He was stratêgus during most of the long series of years when Philip's power was growing; it was his duty to look ahead for the safety of his countrymen, and to combat the yet immature giant. He heard the warnings of Demosthenes, and he possessed exactly those qualities which were wanting to Demosthenes—military energy and aptitude. Had he
the tomb in a voice of thunder, against that fatal system of mis
lent his influence to inform the shortsightedness, to stimulate the inertia, to direct the armed efforts of his countrymen, the kings of Macedon might have been kept within their own limits, and the future history of Greece might have been altogether different. Unfortunately he took the opposite side. He acted with Æschines and the Philippizers; without receiving money from Philip, he did gratuitously all that Philip desired.” It is granted, as respects the latter half of his life, that Phocioni to naszanie
Not less, though dogs of faction bay, vgradil ....I
Would serve his kind in deed and words, yoi ts 12,6 that he contributed to lighten the severity of Macedonian dominion in Greece; that he always refrained from abusing the marked favour shown towards himself by the Macedonian princes, for purposes either of personal gain or of oppression over his fellowcitizens.
1 2251ntial Viborg While the Lamian war was running its disastrous course, Phocion remained at Athens, and gave free expression to his disapproval of that struggle. At its close, he “undertook the thankless and dishonourable function of satrap under Antipater at Athens, with the Macedonian garrison at Munychía to back him,"thus becoming the locum tenens of a conqueror, who not only slaughtered the chief Athenian orators, but disfranchised and deported the Demos in mass.” In this phase of his career, a strong case is made out against the aged viceroy, who having thus accepted partnership and responsibility in these strong measures
, was no longer safe, except under the protection of a foreign prince; and who, accord ingly, on the return of the banished demos, had to seek safety for himself by making interest (in one instance by what Mr. Grote calls that treasonable connivance" with Nicanor) with successive and opposed arbiters of the city's fate. "A voluntary expatriation (along with his friend the Phalerean Demetrius) would have been less dangerous, and less discreditable, than these manoeuvres, which still further darkened the close of his life, without averting from him, after all, the necessity of facing the restored Demos." This said demos was almost demon-iac in vehemence of wrath against him. The spectacle is pronounced by Mr. Grote" instructive, though " distressing." It was directed, he says, “not against the
man or the administrator-for in both characters Phokion had 9 been blameless, except as to the last collusion with Nikanor in the
seizure of the Peiræus—but against his public policy. It was the last protest of extinct Grecian freedom, speaking as it were from trust, inertia, self-seeking, and corruption, which had betrayed the once autonomous Athens to a foreign conqueror.” |
Ysgoenlida Referring to Nicanor's seizure of the Peiræus. It is be + Grote, XIL. 477–86..
this 9 MB Hellas loses sich philosophy on the subject of
· The affairs of Sicily have throughout been treated by Mr. Grote with great fulness, and made at once more important and interesting than is common with his predecessors. The concluding volume contains a very animated narrative of the career of Agathocles, that soldier of fortune, who raised himself from the meanest beginnings to the summit of political power, and approved himself & thorough adept in that art at which all aspiring men of his age aimed the handling of mercenary soldiers for the extinction of political liberty and security at home, and for predatory aggrandisement abroad. Scipio Africanus pronounced the elder Dionysius and Agathocles the most daring, sagacious, and capable men personal ambition, we know nothing of Agathocles except his sanguinary, faithless, and nefarious dispositions; in which"attributes also he stands pre-eminent; though, in spite of his often-proved perfidy, he seems to have had a joviality, and apparent simplicity of manner (the same is recounted of Cæsar Borgia) which amused men and put them off their guard, throwing them perpetually into
In taking leave of Mr. Grote, we cannot but cast a longing, lingering look behind, at the way by which he has led us,
these ten years past, a guide of such rare intelligence, persevering endeayour, honesty, and general ability. The History of Greece, from first to last, has occupied us with strangely-shifting scenes and brilliant dioramic effects." There is the mythical and legendary period, on which he has so ingeniously elaborated his views, to the non-content of that class of conservative readers, who can digest a hundred myths better than one such theory of the myth, and who regard with more than suspicion the generic race of Wolf
, and all such wolfish slaughterers of the innocents, -or Heyne, and all such heinous digressors from the old paths." Mr. Grote, for his part, prefers the literal belief of the Claviers
, and Larchers
, and Raoul 3. Rochettes which has at least the merit of consistency-to what
he calls the interpretative and half-incredulous processes applied by abler men, such as Niebuhr, or O. Mueller, or Bishop Thirlwall. His resolve to decline problems so insoluble as the genesis of the Pelasgi, for example, he justifies by appropriating the remark of Herodotus, respecting one of the theories then in vogue for explaining the inundation of the Nile by a supposed connexion with the ocean - that “the man who carries up his story into the invisible world, passes out of the range of criticism." But his and very perspicuously, of the legends themselves; and we read in
* Ibid. pp. 609 sq.
his pages as precisely as though he accepted them every whit, the oldest of old-world stories about Zeus and the Titans, Ares and Aphrodite, Athene and Poseidon,- the wondrous tale of Prometheus,
- with links Indissoluble of adamantine chains
Fastened against the beetling precipiceand that of Deucalion, and of Theseus, and those Argonauts whom an Edinburgh Reviewer is "content to abandon," as a sort of ideal impersonation of the first rude attempts at navigation beyond the more sunny surface of the Ægean, into the dark and perilous remoter seas; and the legend of the primitive Hellens, - Æolian, Dorian, and Ionic; and of Cecrops, who, coming to Attica from Egypt, before the time of Moses himself, occupied that rock which afterwards became the citadel (Acropolis) of Athens, and consecrated it to his native deity, that African Neith whose name should one day be changed into Athene; and of Cadmus, a leader of the immigrants who first brought Greece the letters and the religious rites she was to turn hereafter to such account; and the tale of Danaus, and the tale of Orpheus, and, above all,
The tale of Troy divine, from which time downward, as Hermann remarks, the Hellenes always looked upon themselves as one people. Yet that Trojan war is, in the eyes of Mr. Grote and modern inquiry,” essentially a legend and nothing more-though so literally believed, reverentially cherished, and numbered among the gigantic phenomena of the past, by the Grecian public. If he is asked whether it be not a legend embodying portions of historical matter, and raised upon a basis of truth-whether there may not really have occurred at the foot of the hill of Ilium, a war purely human and political, without gods, without heroes, without Helen, without Amazons, without Ethiopians under the beautiful son of Eos, without the wooden horse, without the characteristic and expressive features of the old epical war,- like the mutilated trunk of Deiphobus in the under-world,-if he is asked whether there was not really some such historical Trojan war as this, his answer is, that as the possibility of it cannot be denied, so neither can the reality of it be affirmed. “We possess nothing but the ancient epic itself, without any independent evidence: had it been an age of records, indeed, the Homeric epic, in its exquisite and unsuspecting simplicity, would probably never have come into existence. Whoever, therefore, ventures to dissect Homer, Arktinus, and Leschês, and to pick out certain portions as matter-of-fact, while he sets aside the rest as fiction, must do so in full reliance on his own powers of historical divination, without any means either of
proving or verifying his conclusions."* In other words, a dilemma is proposed between absolute scepticism on the one hand, and a sic volo sic jubeo self-sufficiency, an ipse dicit Sir Oracleship, on the other. Choose your horn.
Moving onwards, we arrive at the conquest of the Peloponnesus, and the territorial divisions of the conquest; we witness the institution of the Amphictyonics and the four great national Games of Greecemgames of which Bulwer has said, that they effected for the many what chivalry did for the few," they made a knighthood of a people;" and we are told the grand old legend of Codrus ; and we spell our way through blood in the laws of Draco; and we study the legislation of Solon,
who built his common-weal
And of bold freedom, they unequal'd shone;and we watch the fortunes of the Peisistratidæ, of whom it has been said, that so long as one of their race still swayed the destinies of Athens, so long was it still possible that Greece would have been without a head, without a heart, without a voice ;-—and anon we come to the stormy sunshine” of the wars with the Great King —and see fought o'er again, once more, that battle of Marathon which grave judges have pronounced to be, even as an event in English history, more important than the battle of Hastingst-and see the Great King sit on the rocky brow that o'erlooks sea-girt Salamis-and gaze on the procession of mortal-immortals who pass in majestic pomp before us--Leonidas,
As at Thermopylæ he glorious fell; and the honest front” of Aristides, “ to whom th' unflattering voice of freedom gave the noblest name of Just;" Pericles, the Magnificent; and Cimon, “sweet-sould, whose genius, rising strong, shook off the load of young debauch," and on Persian insolence “flamed amazement ;" and the great sea-captain Themistocles ; and the brilliant, capricious, impulsive Alcibiades ; and from Sparta come Lysander and Agesilaus; and from Corinth, Timoleon, “who wept the brother while the tyrant bled;" and from Thebes, the singular good” dual, Epaminondas and Pelopidas — not Arcades ambo, but Baotians both-though “sure such a pair" (with a Pindar to boot) might stultify the sneer, Can any good thing come out of Bæotia ?
* History of Greece. Part. I. chap. xv.
† For, says an Edinburgh Reviewer, “if the issue of that day [Marathon] had been ditřcrent, the Britons and Saxons might still have been wandering in the woods.” Forcible, it may be thought, and far-fetched.