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He had studied all his passions, to know how to indulge them, and govern his prince by their means. He plunged him continually in pleasures and amusements, to engross his whole authority to himself. In fine under the name and protection of queen Parysatis, to whose will and pleasure he was the most devoted of slaves, he disposed of all the affairs of the empire, and nothing was transacted but by his orders. Intoxicated by the supreme authority which the favour of his sovereign gave him, he resolved to make himself king, instead of being prime minister ; and accordingly formed a design to rid himself of Darius, and afterwards ascend the throne. However, his plot being discovered, he was seized. and delivered up to Parysatis, who put him to a most ignominious and cruel death.
a But the greatest misfortune which happened in Darius's reign, was the revolt of the Egyptians. This terrible blow fell out the same year with Pisuthnes's rebellion. But Darius could not reduce Egypt as he had done that rebel.
The Egyptians, weary of the Persian government, flocked from all parts to Amyrtæus of Sais, who at last was come out of the fens, where he had defended himself, since the
suppression of the revolt of Inarus. The Persians were E driven out, and Amyrtæus proclaimed king of Egypt, where he reigned six years.
After having established himself securely on the throne, and entirely expelled the Persians out of Egypt, he prepared to pursue them as far as Phænicia, and had already concerted measures with the Arabians, to attack them in that country. News of this being brought the king of Persia, he recalled the feet which he had promised the Lacedæmonians, to employ it in the defence of his own dominions.
Whilst Darius was carrying on the war in Egypt and Ara bia, the Medes rebelled ; however, they were defeated, and reduced to their allegiance by force of arms.
To punish them for this revolt, their yoke (till then easy enough) was made heavier : a fate that rebellious subjects always experience, when the government, which they endeavoured to throw off, gains the upper hand,
c Darius's arms seem to have had the like success against the Egyptians. Amyrtæus dying after he had reigned six years, (he probably was killed in a battle) Herodotus observes, it was by the assistance of the Persians that Pausiris his son succeeded him in the throne. To effect this, they must either have been masters of Egypt, or their party the strongest in that kingdom.
d After having crushed the rebels in Media, and restored 4 Euseb. in Chron.
+ Thucyd. 1. j. p. 72, 73. < Herod. l. iii. c. 15.
dA,M. 3997. Ant. I, 6. 407.
the affairs of Egypt to their former situation, Darius gave Cyrus, the youngest of his sons, the supreme command of all the provinces of Asia Minor : an important commission, by which he commanded all the provincial governors in that part of the empire.
I thought it necessary to anticipate events, and draw together the facts which relate to the kings of Persia : to prevent my being often obliged to interrupt the history of the Greeks, to which I now return.
SECT. II. The Athenians make themselves Masters of the Island of
Cythera. Expeditions of Bracidas into Thrace. He takes Amphipolis. Thucydides the Historian is banished. À Battle is fought near Delium, where the Athenians are defeated.
THE EIGHTH YEAR OF THE WAR. The three or four campaigns which followed the reduction of the small island of Sphacteria, were distinguished by very few considerable events.
a The Athenians under Nicias took the island of Cythera, situated on the coast of Lacedæmonia, near cape Malea, and from thence they infested the whole country.
Brasidas, on the other side, marched towards Thrace. The Lacedæmonians were induced by more than one motive to undertake this expedition ; imagining they should oblige the Athenians, who had fallen upon them in their country, to divide their forces. The inhabitants of it invited them thither, and offered to pay the army. In fine, they were extremely glad to embrace that opportunity, to rid themselves. of the Helots, whom they expected to rise in rebellion, since the taking of Pylus. They had already made away with 2,000 of them in the most horrid manner. Upon the specious pretence of rewarding merit even in slaves, but, in reality, to get rid of a body of men whose courage they dread-3 ed, they caused proclamation to be made, that such of the Helots as had done the greatest service to the state in the last campaigns, should enter their names in the public registers, in order to their being made free. Accordingly 2,000 gave in their names. They were carried in procession through the temples, with chaplets of flowers on their heads, as if they were really to be set at liberty. After this ceremony, they all disappeared, and were never heard of more. We have here an instance, in what manner an umbrageous policy
a A. M. "580. Ant. J. C. 424. Thucyd. I. iv p. 286. b Thucyd. l. iv. p. 304–311. Diod, d. xil. p. 117, 118.
and power, when filled with jealousy and distrust, excite men to the commission of the blackest crimes, without scrupling to make even religion itself, and the authority of the gods, subservient to their dark designs.
They therefore sent 700 Helots with Brasidas, whom they had appointed to head this enterprise. This general brought over several cities, either by force or secret understanding, and still more by his wisdom and moderation. The chief of these were Acanthus and Stagyra, which were two colonies from Andros. a He also marched afterwar towards Amphipolis, an Athenian colony, on the river Stry. mon. The inhabitants immediately dispatched a messenger to 6 Thucydides the Athenian general, who was then in Thasus, a little island of the Ægean sea, half a day's journey from Amphipolis. He instantly set sail with seven ships that were near him, to secure the place before Brasidas could seize it; or, at worst, to get into Eion, which lay very near Amphipolis. Brasidas, who was afraid of Thucydides, from his great influence in all that country, where he was possessed of some gold mines, made all the dispatch imaginable, to get thither before him; and offered such advantageous conditions to the besieged, who did not expect succours so soon, that they surrendered. Thucydides arrived the same evening at Eion; and had he failed to come that day, Brasidas would have taken possession of it the next morning, by day-break. Although Thucydides had made all imaginable dispatch, the Athenians however charged him with being the cause of the taking of Amphipolis, and accordingly banished him.
The Athenians were greatly afflicted at the loss of that city, as well because they drew great revenues from it, and timber to build their ships, as because it was a door for entering. Thrace. They were afraid that all their allies in that neighbourhood would revolt; especially as Brasidas discovered great moderation and justice; and continually gave out, that he came with no other view than to free the country. He declared to the several nations, that at his leaving Sparta, he had taken an oath, in presence of the magistrates, to leave to all those the enjoyment of their liberties, who would conclude an alliance with him; and that he ought to be considered as the most abandoned of men, should he employ oaths to ensnare their credulity.
For,” according to Brasidas, “a fraud cloaked with a spe“ cious pretence, reflects intinitely greater dishonour on per“sons in high stations, than open violence; because the. “ latter is the effect of the power which fortune has put a I hucyd. 1. iv. p 320-324. b The same who wrote the history of the Peloponnesian war, VOL. III,
« into our hands; and the former is founded wholly on per
fidy, which is the peșt of society. Now I,” said he, “ should “ do a great disservice to my country, besides dishonouring “it eternally, if, by procuring it some slight advantages, I “ should ruin the reputation it enjoys of being just and faith“ ful to its promises; which renders it much more powerful " than all its forces united together, because this acquires it “the esteem and confidence of other states.” Upon such poble and equitable principles as these Basidas always regulated his conduct; believing, that the strongest bulwark of a state is justice, moderation, integrity, and the firm persuasion which their neighbours and
allies entertain, that they are incapable of harbouring a design to usurp their dominions, or deprive them of their liberty. By this conduct he brought over a great number of the enemy's allies.
a The Athenians, under the command of Demosthenes and Hippocrates, had entered Bæotia, expecting that several cities would join them, the moment they should appear. The Thebans marched out to meet them near Delium. A con. siderable engagement ensued, in which the Athenians were defeated and put to flight. Socrates was in this battle ; and Laches, who accompanied that great man in it, gives the following testimony of him in Plato ; that had the rest of the army behaved as gallantly as Socrates, the Athenians would not have sustained that loss before Delium. He was borne away by the crowds who fled, and was on foot ; Alcibiades, who was on horseback, when he saw him, rode up to him, and did not stir from him, but defended him with the utmost bravery from the enemy who were pursuing him.
After the battle, the victors besieged the city. Among other engines employed by them to batter it, they used one of a very extraordinary kind. This was a long piece of timber, cut into two parts, and afterwards made hollow and joined again, so that its shape resembled very much that of a flute. At one of the ends was fixed, a long iron tube, to which a cauldron hung; so that by blowing a large pair of bellows to the other end of the piece of timber, the wind
being carried from thence into the tube, lighted a great fire, with pitch and brimstone, that lay in the cauldron. This engine being carried on carts as far as the ranipart, to that part where it was lined with stakes and fascines, threw out so great a flame, that the rampart being immediately abandoned, and the palisades burnt, the city was easily taken.
a Thucyd. 1. iv. p 311-319, 271. Pint. in Alcib. p. 195,
b Plat. in Lach. p. 181. In Conris. p.
States. Death of Cleon and Brasidas. A Treaty of
a The losses and advantages on both sides had hitherto been pretty equal; and tħe two nations began to grow weary of a war, which put them to great expense, and did not procure them any real advantage. A truce, for a year, was therefore concluded between the Athenians and Lacedæmonians. The former resolved on it, in order to check the progress of Brasidas's conquests ; to secure their cities and fortresses ; and afterwards to conclude a general peace, in case they judged it would be of advantage to them. The latter were induced to it, in order that by the sweets of repose, peace might become desirable to their enemy; and to get out of their hands such of their citizens as the Athenians had taken prisoners in the island of Sphacteria; and which they could never expect to do, if Brasidas extended his conquests farther. The news of this accommodation sensibly afflicted Brasidas, as it stopped him in the midst of his career, and disconcerted all his projects. He could not even prevail with himself to abandon the city of Scione, which he had taken two days after the trúce, but without knowing that it had been concluded. He went still farther; and did not scruple to take Mende, a little city not far from Scione, that surrendered to him as the former had done, which was a direct violation of the treaty : but Brasidas pretended he had other infractions to object to the Athenians.
It will naturally be supposed that the latter were far from being pleased with this conduct of Brasidas. Cleon, in all public assemblies, was for ever inflaming the minds of the Athenians, and blowing up the fire of war. His great success in the expedition against Sphacteria had inrinitely raised his credit with the people: he now was grown insupportably proud, and his audaciousness was not to be restrained. He had a vehement, impetuous, and furious kind of eloquence, which prevailed over the minds of his auditors, not so much by the strength of his arguments, as by the boldness and fire of his style and declamation. It was Cleon who first set the example of bawling in assemblies, where the greatest decorum and moderation had till then been observed ; of á A, M. 3581. Ant. J. C. 423. Thucyd. 1. iv. p. 328–333. Djod. l. xii. De
5 Plut. in vit. Niciæ, p. 528.