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THE SUPREMACY OF SPARTA.
dawn of the Christian era, more than four centuries later, t be possible to fix on any epoch more illustrative of ect or Greek refinement than precisely that youth of
united itself by immediate consecutive succession to the t section in the administration of Pericles. It was, in hout the course of the Peloponnesian War -- the one
divided the whole household of Greece against itself, 'e to efforts, and dignity to personal competitions – , with Xenophon and the younger Cyrus, during the Alcibiades, and the declining years of Socrates - amongst and such circumstances of war and revolutionary truce
passed his fervent youth. The bright sunset of Periied in the Athenian heavens ; the gorgeous tragedy and
comedy, so recently created, were now in full possession ian stage; the city was yet fresh from the hands of its
ricles and Phidias ; the fine arts were towering into i altitude; and about the period when Plato might be
adult, sui juris, that is, just four hundred and ten ve birth of Christ, the Grecian intellect might be said n Athens. Any more favorable era for estimating the er cannot, we presume, be suggested. For, although re might be a brighter constellation gathered about ate twenty-five years antecedent to this era of Plato's as regarded the results upon the collective populace must have become most conspicuous and palpable in immediately succeeding. — DE QUINCEY.
SPARTA was now at the head of Greece, and for thirtyfour years (405 – 371 B. C.) wielded power over the Greek states. Her sway was harsh and despotic.
The Lacedæmonians are now the presidents of Greece; and even any single private Lacedæmonian can accomplish what he pleases. — XENOPHON.
We shall be warranted in affirming that the first years of the Spartan Empire which followed upon the victory of Ægospotamos were years of all-pervading tyranny and multifarious intestine calamity such as Greece had never before endured. — GROTE.
THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND.
AFTER the Peloponnesian War, some of the Greeks were hired by Cyrus, the Persian prince, to help him in an attempt to wrest the Persian throne from his brother Artaxerxes. The attempt failed, and the memorable retreat (400 B. C.) homeward of the Greeks is famous as the Retreat of the Ten Thousand.
at tue with him the mastermaer four years after time
ied twenty-four years before the war broke out ; but at the height of his splendid renown ; Euripides, a shared with him the mastery of the tragic stage ; can his brilliant dramatic career four years after the l; and other men, of genius only inferior to theirs, in nedy, appeared annually in competition for the honors
victory and an inscription on a monument in the inods. Euripides died two years, and Sophocles one, nilor of Athens; but Aristophanes survived it, and
nedy, app and an in.cz two years, as survived itThe
Xenophon and his Ten Thousand were quite equal to what they attempted, and did it; so equal, that it was not suspected to be a grand and inimitable exploit. Yet there stands that fact unrepeated, a high-water mark in military history. — EMERSON.
Who does not see that this is a gang of great boys, with such a code of honor and such lax discipline as great boys have ? — EMERSON.
This incident, lying apart from the main stream of Grecian affairs, would form an item, strictly speaking, in Persian history rather than in Grecian. But its effects on the Greek mind, and upon the future
lomatic labors under the restored democracy. The wird of dramatic literature was therefore just in the
oponnesian War.- FELTON.
course of Grecian affairs, were numerous and important; while as an illustration of Hellenic character and competence, measured against that of the contemporary Asiatics, it stands pre-eminent and full of instruction. — Grote.
The return to Greece of ten thousand men who had defeated the hosts of the Great King in the centre of his dominions, and fought their way back to the sea without suffering more than the common casualties of war, was an evidence of weakness which could not but become generally known, and of which all could feel the force. . . . If in late autumn and midwinter a small Greek army, without maps or guides, could make its way for a thousand miles through Asia, and encounter no foe over whom it could not easily triumph, it was clear that the fabric of Persian power was rotten, and would collapse on the first serious attack. Still, it will not be necessary to trace in detail the steps of the retreat. It was the fact of the return, rather than the mode of its accomplishment, which importantly affected the subsequent history of Persia. — Rawlinson.
It was the first symptom of the repulsion of the tide of conquest, which had in former times flowed from east to west, and the harbinger of those future victorious expeditions into Asia which were to be conducted by Agesilaus and Alexander the Great. — W. Smith.
Rome during this century was merely a little settlement on the banks of the Tiber and in the infancy of her power. Her history at this time is obscure, and often uncertain, and full confidence cannot be placed in the details of events.
Rome in its origin was a mere municipality, a corporation. The Roman government was nothing more than an assemblage of institutions suitable to a population enclosed within the walls of a city; that is to say, they were municipal institutions ; — this was their distinctive character. — Guizot. •
She was chiefly occupied by a struggle for rights and privileges between the Patricians," that is, the old citizens, the descendants of the first settlers," and the Plebeians, "the descendants of those who came in afterwards."
As the light begins to brighten about the cradle of the Roman institutions, we discover distinct traces of the existence within their pale, not of two classes only, — the warriors and their subjects, — but of a third also, occupying a position between the others, sharing in the name, and, in an inferior degree, in the rights and privileges of the dominant class. The Patricians and Plebeians of Rome represent, at this early period, two races of different origin, the former of which has admitted the other, whether on compulsion or by concession, after a fruitless resistance or by spontaneous arrangement, to a certain prescribed share in the privileges of government and the rights of conquest. — Merivale.
The proudest and most perfect separation which can be found in any age or country, between the nobles and the people, is perhaps that of the Patricians and the Plebeians, as it was established in the first age of the Roman republic. Wealth and honors, the offices of the state, and the ceremonies of religion were almost exclusively possessed by the former, who, preserving the purity of their blood with the most insulting jealousy, held their clients in a condition of specious vassalage. — Gibbon.
The Plebeians constituted in Rome the principle of extension, conquest, and aggregation; the Patricians, that of exclusion, unity, and national individuality. Without the Plebeians, Rome could not have conquered and adopted the world ; without the Patricians, she would have had no personal character, no original life, she would not have been Rome. — Michelet.