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the open country, they should not be in want of any thing, but, on the contrary, would oblige the Sicilians to declare for them: that at last they should settle in Megara, which was quite desert and a near neighbour to Syracuse, and there lay up their fleet in safety. However, his counsel not being followed, he agreed to that of Alcibiades: accordingly they sailed for Sicily, where Alcibiades took Catana by surprise.
Alcibiades is recalled. He flies, and is sentenced to die for Contumacy. He retires to Sparta. Flexibility of his Genius and Disposition.
This was the first and last exploit performed by Alcibiades in this expedition, he being immediately recalled by the Athenians, in order to be tried upon the accusation laid against him. For since the departure of the fleet, his enemies, who had no regard to the welfare of their country; and who, under the specious pretence of religion, which is often made a cloak to cover the darkest designs, meditated nothing but satiating their hatred and revenge: his enemies, I say, taking advantage of his absence, had proceeded in the affair with greater vigour than ever. All those against whom informations were lodged, were thrown into prison, without so much as being suffered to be heard, and that too on the evidence of the most profligate and abandoned citizens; as if, says Thucidides, it was not as great a crime to punish the innocent, as to suffer the guilty to escape. One of the informers was proved to be perjured by his own words; having declared that he saw and knew one of the accused by moonlight; whereas it appeared, that there was no moon at that time. But notwithstanding this manifest perjury, the populace were as furious as ever. The remembrance of the tyranny of the Pisistratida made them apprehensive of a similar attempt; and strongly possessed with this fear, they would not give ear to any thing. b
At last, they sent out the ship of Salamis, ordering the captain not to carry off Alcibiades by force, for fear of raising a tumult in the army; but only to order him to return to Athens, to pacify the people by his presence. Alcibiades obeyed the order, and went immediately on board his galley; but the instant he was arrived at Thurium, and had got on shore, he disappeared, and eluded the pursuit of those who sought after him. Being asked, whether he would not rely on his country, with regard to the judgment it might pass on him: "I would not," says he, "rely on my mother,
a Thucyd. l. vi. p. 446–450. Plut in Alcib. p. 202.
"for fear lest she should inadvertently mistake a black bean "for a white one." The galley of Salamis returned back without the commander, who was ashamed of his having suffered his prey to escape him in that manner. Alcibiades was sentenced to die for his contumacy. His whole estate was confiscated, and all priests and priestesses were commanded to curse him. Among the latter was one Theano, who alone had the courage to oppose this decree, saying, “That she had been appointed priestess, not to curse but to "bless." Some time after news being brought him that the Athenians had conde.nned him to die, I shall make them sensible," says he, " that I am alive."
Much about this time Diagoras of Melia was prosecuted at Athens. He had settled himself in the latter city, where he taught Atheism, and was brought to a trial for his doctrine. d Diagoras escaped the punishment which would have been inflicted on him, by flying from the city; but he could not wipe off the ignominy of the sentence which condemned him to death. The Athenians had so great an abhorrence for the impious principles inculcated by him, that they even set a price upon his head, and promised a reward of a talent to any man who should bring him dead or alive.
About 20 years before a like affair had happend to Protagoras, for having only treated the same question by way of problem. He had said in the beginning of one of his books: "Whether the gods do or do not exist, is a question "which I know not whether I ought to affirm or deny: for
our understandings are too much clouded, and the life of "s man is too short, for the solution of so nice and difficult a "point." But the Athenians could not bear to have a subject of this nature made a doubt; and for this reason, they ordered proclamation to be made by the public crier, for all persons who had any copies of this book, to bring them to the magistrates: after which they were burnt as infamous pieces, and the author was banished, for ever, from all the territories of the Athenians.
Diagoras and Protagoras had been the disciples of Democritus, who first invented the philosophy of atoms.
Since the departure of Alcibiades, Nicias had possessed the whole authority: for Lamachus his colleague, though a man of bravery and experience, was however in no credit, because of his extreme poverty, for which he was despised by the soldiers. But the Athenians were not always of this way of thinking; for we have seen that Aristides, poor as
a The judges made use of beans in giving their suffrages, and the black bean
ἐχ. ὁ καταρῶν ἱέρειαν γεγονέναι.
c Joseph. contr App.
d Diod. I. xiii. p. 137. Joseph contr. App. Cic. 1. i. de nat. deor. n. 62. f Thucyd. p. 452, 453. Plut. in Nic. p. 533.
he was, was not less esteemed and respected on that account: but in this last expedition, the people in general had imbibed a passion for luxury and magnificence; the natural consequence of which is, a love of ricnes. As Nicias, therefore, governed all affairs solely, all his actions were of the same cast with his disposition, that is, of a slow and fearful kind: he suffered every thing to languish, sometimes either by lying still and undertaking nothing, sometimes by only sailing along the coast, or losing time in consulting and deliberating; all which soon suppressed, on one side, the ardour and confidence the troops expressed at first, and on the other, the fear and terror with which the enemy had been seized, at the sight of so terrible an armament. He besieged Hybla; and though it was but a small city, he was however obliged to raise the siege some days after, which brought him into the highest contempt. He retired at last to Catana, after having performed but one exploit, viz. the ruining of Hyccara, a small town inhabited by Barbarians, from which 1 place, it is said, that Lais, the courtezan, at that time very young, was sold with the rest of the captives, and carried to Peloponnesus.
" In the meantime, Alcibiades having left Thurium, was arrived at Argos; and as he quite despaired of ever being recalled home, he sent a messenger to the Spartans, desiring leave to reside among them under their guard and protection. He promised in the most solemn manner, that if they would consider him as their friend, he would render greater services to their state, than he before had done injuries to it. The Spartans received him with open arms; and soon after his arrival in their city he gained the love and esteem of all its inhabitants. He charmed, and even enchanted them, by his conforming himself so easily to their way of living. Such people as saw Alcibiades shave himself to the skin, bathe in cold wa er, eat of the coarse, heavy cakes which were their usual food, and be so well satisfied with their black broth; could not persuade themselves, that a man, who submitted so cheerfully to this kind of life, nad ever kept cooks in his palace; had used essences and perfumes; had worn the fine stuffs of Miletus; in a word had hitherto lived in the midst of voluptuousness and profusion. But flexibility was the characteristic that chiefly distinguished Alcibiades. Camelion-like, he could assume all shapes and colours, to win the favour of those among whom he resided. He immediately assu ned their manners, and adapted himself to their taste, as if they had been natural in him; and though he inwardly had an aversion to them, he could however cover his disgust with an easy, simple, and uncona Plut, in Alcib. p. 230.
strained air. With some he had all the graces and vivacity of the gayest youth, and with others all the gravity of old age. In Sparta, he was laborious, frugal, and austere; in Ionia, enjoyment, idleness, and pleasure, made up his whole life in Thrace he was always on horseback or carousing; and when he resided with Tissaphernes, the satrap, he exceeded all the magnificence of the Persians in luxury and profusion.
But he was not barely satisfied with gaining the esteem of Lacedæmonians. He insinuated himself so far into the affection of Timæa, the wife of king Agis, that he had a son by her, who, in public, went by the name of Leotychides ; though his mother, in private, and among her women and female friends, did not blush to call him Alcibiades; so violent was her passion for that Athenian. Agis was informed of this intrigue, and therefore refused to own Leotychides for his son; for which reason he was afterwards excluded the throne.
SECT. XI-Description of Syracuse.
As the siege of Syracuse is one of the most considerable in the Grecian history; the particular circumstances of which I thought proper to relate for that reason, in order to give my readers an idea of the manner in which the ancients formed the siege of a place; I judge it necessary, before I enter into that detail, to give the reader a description and plan of the city of Syracuse; in which he will also find the different fortifications, both of the Athenians and Syracusans, mentioned in this siege.
« Syracuse stood on the eastern coast of Sicily. Its vast extent, its advantageous situation, the conveniency of its double harbour, its fortifications built with the utmost care and labour, and the multitude and wealth of its inhabitants, made it one of the greatest, the most beautiful, and most powerful among the Grecian cities. We are told its air was so pure and serene, that there was no day in the year, how cloudy soever it might be, in which the sun did not display its beams.
It was built by Archias the Corinthian, a year after Naxos and Megara had been founded on the same coast.
When the Athenians besieged this city, it was divided into three parts, viz. the Island, Achradina and Tyche. Thucydides mentions only these three divisions. Two more, viz. Neapolis and Epipola, were afterwards added.
a Cie Verr. 6. n. 117-119.
Urem Syracusas elegerat, cujus bic situs atque hæc natura esse loci cœlique dicitur, ut nullus unquatn dies tam magna turbulentaque tempestate fue Lit. quin aliquo tempore solem ejus diei homines viderent. Cic. Ver 7.11.26 c A. M. 3295, Ant. J. C. 709, Strab. 1. vi. p. 269.
The ISLAND, situated to the south was called No (Nasos) signifying, in Greek, an island, but pronounced according to the Doric dialect; and Ortygia. It was joined to the continent by a bridge. a It was in this island that the Syracusans afterwards built the citadel, and the palace for their kings. This quarter of the city was of very great importance, because it might render those who possessed it, master of the two ports which surround it. It was for this reason that the Romans, when they took Syracuse, would not suffer any Syracusans to inhabit the Island.
There was in this island a very famous fountain, called Arethusa. The ancients, or rather the poets, from reasons which have not the least shadow of probability, supposed that Alpheus, a river of Elis, in Peloponnesus, rolled its waters either through or under the waves of the sea, without ever mixing with them, as far as the fountain of Arethusa. It was this fiction which gave occasion to the following lines of Virgil:
Extremum hunc. Arethusa, mihi concede laborem.
VIRE. Eclog. 10.
Thy sacred succour, Arethusa, bring, To crown my labour: 'Tis the last I sing. So may thy silver streams beneath the tide, Unmix'd with briny seas, securely glide. DRYDEN. ACHRADINA, situated entirely on the sea-side towards the east, was the most spacious, the most beautiful, and best fortified quarter of the city.
TYCHE, SO called from the temple of Fortune (Túx") which embellished that part of the city, extended along Achradina westward from the north towards the south, and was very well inhabited. It had a famous gate called Hexapylum, which led into the country, and was situated to the north of the city.
EPIPOLE was a hill without the city, which it commanded. It was situated between Hexapylum and the point of Euryelus, towards the north and west. It was exceedingly steep in several places, and for that reason of very difficult access. At the time of the siege in question, it was not surrounded with walls; and the Syracusans defended it with a body of troops, against the attacks of the enemy. Euryelus was the pass or entrance which led to Epipola. On the same hill of Epipola was a fort called Labdalon, or Lab dalum.
It was not till long after, (under Dionysius the tyrant) that Epipole was surrounded with walls, and inclosed witha Cic. Verr. 7. n. 97. 6 Strab. l. vi. p. 270, Senec. Nat. Quæst. 1. iii. c. 26.