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religious zeal and common interest, added to the great local influence gained by them by reason of their superior learning and judicial functions, renders the Ulema a power which no Sultan has ever been able to ignore. It was a powerful factor in the revolution of 1908.
We know the Greeks better than any other ancient people besides the Hebrews, mainly because more of their literature and of the records of their doings have come down to us than from any other. Their language was the vehicle through which we received the new testament, and their culture has been preserved and transmitted to us in many ways. Though few in numbers at all times and operating in a limited field, their intellectual activities were such that their works are still worthy of close study and full of instruction. In governments and laws they furnish experiments on a small scale of many schemes of social organization. Unlike their oriental neighbors, they adhered to no beaten path but were full of originality and invention. No religious creed enjoined loyalty to a particular form of government or imposed its laws on them. No ruler, prior to Alexander, was able to establish his authority over all.
Though much of tradition and more of fable concerning the early inhabitants of Greece have come down to us, it is sufficient for our purpose to know that in the earliest times, concerning which we have any light, there were movements of people from northern Asia Minor into Greece and that Phoenician traders settled on the coast. While Homer writes of kings, and the Greek traditions name early kingdoms, the extent of each was so small that the name seems illy fitted. The characteristics of the early organizations are analogous to those of tribes rather than states. The king was a chief, whose authority was fixed partly by custom and partly by personal capacity to lead.
The most marked peculiarity of the development of the early Greek societies was the tendency to segregation and to build cities. Not only in Greece proper but throughout the
Greek islands, the coast settlements in Asia Minor and on the continent of Europe, each settlement developed its city of more or less size, with so much adjacent land as was necessary for its support, and maintained its petty government, independent of every other city or state. Though the form of government was in the earliest times usually monarchical, most of the petty kings were content to rule over single cities and rarely attempted conquests beyond the lands used by their people. The desire to hold other cities by force seems to have been almost unknown, though there were instances of the exaction of tribute. The island of Crete may be mentioned as an exception. The authority of Minos and other of its kings is said to have extended over the whole island, and the romantic tale of Theseus relates that Athens was forced to pay tribute to Minos until Theseus liberated it. How much of history and how much of fable is contained in accounts of these persons it is impossible to determine.
In the early Greek communities the king consulted the elders in matters of public interest, and matters of first importance were submitted to and decided by a popular assembly. Polygamy was not allowed, but slavery existed from the earliest times till the subjugation by the Romans. As our accounts of the first Greeks come through themselves, it necessarily follows that the record starts with a people considerably advanced in knowledge and the arts. That much of their culture was borrowed is conceded, and credit is given the Phoenicians for their alphabet.
Sparta The most peculiar and enduring government was that developed at Sparta. The early Dorian settlements in the middle valley of the Eurotas in Laconia, forming a cluster of villages, developed into the Spartan state. When these settlements were first made and just what comprised the kingdom of Agamemnon, whose fame may rest far more on the vivid imagination of Homer than on historic facts, is unknown. The historic period is generally regarded as dating from the time of Lycurgus, about 900 B.C. The elements making up the Spartan state were, I, The Citizens, who were Dorians, 2, The Perioeci, who dwelt about the city in Laconia and were landholders, but given no voice in the government, and 3, The Helots, who were serfs of the state, bound to the soil and compelled to till it for the Spartan owners, to whom they were forced to yield a large share of the entire produce. These were allowed to have families, could not be sold out of the country and fought in the wars.
At the head of the state, though with little real power, were two hereditary kings, who commanded the armies in war. The council of elders (gerousia or senate), was made up of twenty-eight members, elected by the people from amongst the citizens over sixty years of age, who then held for life, and the two kings, making in all thirty. The senate formulated public measures and submitted them to the general assembly of the people for approval or rejection. It was also the great court of justice. The institution of the Ephors is said to have been established after the time of Lycurgus. They were five in number, elected annually by the people, and had authority to call all public officers, even the kings, to an account. It was they who had power to make war or peace, and in time they came to be the chief power in the state. The main design of the people was to restrain the power of the kings through the Ephors.
The central idea of all the Spartan institutions was military. A Spartan citizen hạd nothing to do with any trade or industrial occupation. The Perioeci and Helots performed all the labor of the state. The Spartan was raised a soldier, and from childhood subjected to exercises and training calculated to develop physical strength and endurance as well as courage and military discipline. Girls, who were to be the mothers of soldiers, were trained similarly and exercised in running, wrestling, boxing and throwing quoits and darts. The military spirit was inculcated in the females, and they became the censors of the actions of the soldiers. There was great freedom of association of males and females among the young, and nowhere else among Greeks were women treated with such high respect.
A peculiar feature of Spartan life was the public mess, to which all contributed and which all were bound to attend, not excepting the kings. The members were distributed to tables in parties of fifteen, selected by ballot. The fare was plain and partaken of by all alike. Especial attention was paid to the organization of the army as well as to the development of the individual soldiers. The sole aim of Spartan policy being to develop its military power, the moral tone was necessarily low. At birth the boys were inspected by the elders of their tribe and, if found deformed or puny, were exposed so that they perished. The strong and sound were regarded, not as subject to the guidance of their parents, but of the state. They were early accustomed to hardships of every kind for the purpose not merely of giving them strength and endurance, but also courage and self-reliance. At the age of seven they were assigned to classes and subjected to constant and severe discipline. Education did not lead to literature, art or any useful calling, but to war alone. It is most remarkable that, with no application to any useful labor, the Spartans through so many years should have maintained their physical vigor. Athletic exercises were doubtless very beneficial in the main, but the violent strains to which youths were subjected often resulted in crippling or even killing them. They were also subjected to cruel beating as a religious rite, often resulting in death. This was said to be for the purpose of inuring them to pain. In war the duty of the soldier was to conquer or die. No circumstances whatever were recognized as allowing surrender or retreat, and one who escaped from a lost battle was disgraced and treated by the whole community, men, women and children as infamous forever after. While the Helots and Perioeci tilled the soil, tended the flocks and performed all useful labor, the ruling class were always dwelling in a military camp under strict and constant discipline. Some attention was paid to oratory and the use of language, brevity and point being the excellences mainly sought. As the lands were parcelled out among the people, and no one was allowed to engage in any business by which wealth could be accumulated, there was of necessity a