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By Plutarch

(died ca. 468 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was of the tribe Antiochis, and
township of Alopece. As to wealth, statements differ; some say he
passed his life in extreme poverty, and left behind him two daughters
whose indigence long kept them unmarried; but Demetrius, the Phalerian,
in opposition to this general report, professes in his Socrates to
know a farm at Phalerum going by Aristides's name, where he was interred;
and, as marks of his opulence, adduces first, the office of archon
eponymus, which he obtained by the lot of the bean; which was confined
to the highest assessed families, called the Pentacosiomedimni; second,
the ostracism, which was not usually inflicted on the poorer citizens,
but on those of great houses, whose station exposed them to envy;
third and last, that he left certain tripods in the temple of Bacchus,
offerings for his victory in conducting the representation of dramatic
performances, which were even in our age still to be seen, retaining
this inscription upon them, "The tribe Antiochis obtained the victory:
Aristides defrayed the charges: Archestratus's play was acted." But
this argument, though in appearance the strongest, is of the least
moment of any. For Epaminondas, who all the world knows was educated,
and lived his whole life in much poverty, and also Plato, the philosopher,
exhibited magnificent shows, the one an entertainment of flute-players,
the other of dithyrambic singers; Dion, the Syracusan, supplying the
expenses of the latter, and Pelopidas those of Epaminondas. For good
men do not allow themselves in any inveterate and irreconcilable hostility
to receiving presents from their friends, but while looking upon those
that are accepted to be hoarded up and with avaricious intentions
as sordid and mean, they do not refuse such as, apart from all profit,
gratify the pure love of honour and magnificence. Panaetius, again,
shows that Demetrius was deceived concerning the tripod by an identity
of name. For, from the Persian war to the end of the Peloponnesian,
there are upon record only two of the name of Aristides who defrayed
the expense of representing plays and gained the prize, neither of
which was the same with the son of Lysimachus; but the father of the
one was Xenophilus, and the other lived at a much later time, as the
way of writing, which is that in use since the time of Euclides, and
the addition of the name of Archestratus prove, a name which, in the
time of the Persian war, no writer mentions, but which several, during
the Peloponnesian war, record as that of a dramatic poet. The argument
of Panaetius requires to be more closely considered. But as for the
ostracism, every one was liable to it, whom his reputation, birth,
or eloquence raised above the common level; insomuch that even Damon,
preceptor to Pericles, was thus banished, because he seemed a man
of more than ordinary sense. And, moreover, Idomeneus says that Aristides
was not made archon by the lot of the bean, but the free election
of the people. And if he held the office after the battle of Plataea,
as Demetrius himself has written, it is very probable that his great
reputation and success in the war made him be preferred for his virtue
to an office which others received in consideration of their wealth.
But Demetrius manifestly is eager not only to exempt Aristides, but
Socrates likewise, from poverty, as from a great evil; telling us
that the latter had not only a house of his own, but also seventy
minae put out at interest with Crito. 

Aristides being the friend and supporter of that Clisthenes, who settled
the government after the expulsion of the tyrants, and emulating and
admiring Lycurgus, the Lacedaemonian, above all politicians, adhered
to the aristocratical principles of government; and had Themistocles,
son to Neocles, his adversary on the side of the populace. Some say
that, being boys and bred up together from their infancy, they were
always at variance with each other in all their words and actions,
as well serious as playful, and that in this their early contention
they soon made proof of their natural inclinations; the one being
ready, adventurous, and subtle, engaging readily and eagerly in everything;
the other of a staid and settled temper, intent on the exercise of
justice, not admitting any degree of falsity, indecorum, or trickery,
no, not so much as at his play. Ariston of Chios says the first origin
of the enmity which rose to so great a height was a love affair; they
were rivals for the affection of the beautiful Stesilaus of Ceos,
and were passionate beyond all moderation, and did not lay aside their
animosity when the beauty that had excited it passed away; but, as
if it had only exercised them in it, immediately carried their beats
and differences into public business. 

Themistocles, therefore, joining an association of partisans, fortified
himself with considerable strength; insomuch that when some one told
him that were he impartial he would make a good magistrate; "I wish,"
replied he, "I may never sit on that tribunal where my friends shall
not plead a greater privilege than strangers." But Aristides walked,
so to say, alone on his own path in politics, being unwilling, in
the first place, to go along with his associates in ill-doing, or
to cause them vexation by not gratifying their wishes; and, secondly,
observing that many were encouraged by the support they had in their
friends to act injuriously, he was cautious; being of opinion that
the integrity of his words and actions was the only right security
for a good citizen. 

However, Themistocles making many dangerous alterations, and withstanding
and interrupting him in the whole series of his actions, Aristides
also was necessitated to set himself against all Themistocles did,
partly in self-defence, and partly to impede his power from still
increasing by the favour of the multitude; esteeming it better to
let slip some public conveniences, rather than that he by prevailing
should become powerful in all things. In fine, when he once had opposed
Themistocles in some measures that were expedient, and had got the
better of him, he could not refrain from saying, when he left the
assembly, that unless they sent Themistocles and himself to the barathum,
there could be no safety for Athens. Another time, when urging some
proposal upon the people, though there were much opposition and stirring
against it, he yet was gaining the day; but just as the president
of the assembly was about to put it to the vote, perceiving by what
had been said in debate the inexpediency of his advice, he let it
fall. Also he often brought in his bills by other persons, lest Themistocles,
through party spirit against him, should be any hindrance to the good
of the public. 

In all the vicissitudes of public affairs, the constancy he showed
was admirable, not being elated with honours, and demeaning himself
tranquilly and sedately in adversity; holding the opinion that he
ought to offer himself to the service of his country without mercenary
views and irrespectively of any reward, not only of riches, but even
of glory itself. Hence it came, probably, that at the recital of these
verses of Aeschylus in the theatre, relating to Amphiaraus-

"For not at seeming just, but being so 
He aims; and from his depth of soil below 
Harvests of wise and prudent counsels grow, the eyes of all the spectators
turned on Aristides, as if this virtue, in an especial manner, belonged
to him. 

He was a most determined champion for justice, not only against feelings
of friendship and favour, but wrath and malice. Thus it is reported
of him that when prosecuting the law against one who was his enemy,
on the judges after accusation refusing to hear the criminal, and
proceeding immediately to pass sentence upon him, he rose in haste
from his seat and joined in petition with him for a hearing, and that
he might enjoy the privilege of the law. Another time, when judging
between two private persons, on the one declaring his adversary had
very much injured Aristides; "Tell me rather, good friend," he said,
"what wrong he has done you; for it is your cause, not my own, which
I now sit judge of." Being chosen to the charge of the public revenue,
he made it appear, that not only those of his time, but the preceding
officers, had alienated much treasure, and especially Themistocles-

"Well known he was an able man to be, 
But with his fingers apt to be too free." 

Therefore, Themistocles associating several persons against Aristides,
and impeaching him when he gave in his accounts, caused him to be
condemned of robbing the public; so Idomeneus states; but the best
and chiefest men of the city much resenting it, he was not only exempted
from the fine imposed upon him, but likewise again called to the same
employment. Pretending now to repent him of his former practice, and
carrying himself with more remissness, he became acceptable to such
as pillaged the treasury by not detecting or calling them to an exact
account. So that those who had their fill of the public money began
highly to applaud Aristides, and sued to the people making interest
to have him once more chosen treasurer. But when they were upon the
point of election, he reproved the Athenians. "When I discharged my
office well and faithfully," said he, "I was insulted and abused;
but now that I have allowed the public thieves in a variety of malpractices,
I am considered an admirable patriot. I am more ashamed, therefore,
of this present honour than of the former sentence; and I commiserate
your condition, with whom it is more praiseworthy to oblige ill men
than to conserve the revenue of the public." Saying thus, and proceeding
to expose the thefts that had been committed, he stopped the mouths
of those who cried him up and vouched for him, but gained real and
true commendations from the best men. 

When Datis, being sent by Darius under pretence of punishing the Athenians
for their burning of Sardis, but in reality to reduce the Greeks under
his dominion, landed at Marathon and laid waste the country, among
the ten commanders appointed by the Athenians for the war, Miltiades
was of the greatest name; but the second place, both for reputation
and power, was possessed by Aristides; and when his opinion to join
battle was added to that of Miltiades, it did much to incline the
balance. Every leader by his day having the command in chief, when
it came to Aristides's turn he delivered it into the hands of Miltiades,
showing his fellow-officers that it is not dishonourable to obey and
follow wise and able men, but, on the contrary, noble and prudent.
So appeasing their rivalry, and bringing them to acquiesce in one
and the best advice, he confirmed Miltiades in the strength of an
undivided and unmolested authority. For now every one, yielding his
day of command, looked for orders only to him. During the fight the
main body of the Athenians being the hardest put to it, the barbarians,
for a long time, making opposition there against the tribes Leontis
and Antiochis, Themistocles and Aristides being ranged together fought
valiantly; the one being of the tribe Leontis, the other of the Antiochis.
But after they had beaten the barbarians back to their ships, and
perceived that they sailed not for the isles, but were driven in by
the force of sea and wind towards the country of Attica, fearing lest
they should take the city, unprovided of defence, they hurried away
thither with nine tribes, and reached it the same day. Aristides,
being left with his tribe at Marathon to guard the plunder and prisoners,
did not disappoint the opinion they had of him. Amidst the profusion
of gold and silver, all sorts of apparel, and other property, more
than can be mentioned, that were in the tents and the vessels which
they had taken, he neither felt the desire to meddle with anything
himself, nor suffered others to do it; unless it might be some who
took away anything unknown to him; as Callias, the torch-bearer, did.
One of the barbarians, it seems, prostrated himself before this man,
supposing him to be a king by his hair and fillet; and, when he had
so done, taking him by the hand, showed him a great quantity of gold
hid in a ditch. But Callias, most cruel and impious of men, took away
the treasure, but slew the man, lest he should tell of him. Hence,
they say, the comic poets gave his family the name of Laccopluti,
or enriched by the ditch, alluding to the place where Callias found
the gold. Aristides, immediately after this, was archon; although
Demetrius, the Phalerian, says he held the office a little before
he died after the battle of Plataea. But in the records of the successors
of Xanthippides, in whose year Mardonius was overthrown at Plataea,
amongst very many there mentioned, there is not so much as one of
the same name as Aristides; while immediately after Phaenippus, during
whose term of office they obtained the victory of Marathon, Aristides
is registered. 

Of all his virtues, the common people were most affected with his
justice, because of its continual and common use; and thus, although
of mean fortune and ordinary birth, he possessed himself of the most
kingly and divine appellation of just: which kings, however, and tyrants
have never sought after; but have taken delight to be surnamed besiegers
of cities, thunderers, conquerors, or eagles again, and hawks; affecting,
it seems, the reputation which proceeds from power and violence, rather
than that of virtue. Although the divinity, to whom they desire to
compare and assimilate themselves, excels, it is supposed, in three
things, immortality, power, and virtue; of which three the noblest
and divinest is virtue. For the elements and vacuum have an everlasting
existence; earthquakes, thunders, storms, and torrents have great
power; but in justice and equity nothing participates except by means
of reason and the knowledge of that which is divine. And thus, taking
the three varieties of feeling commonly entertained towards the deity,
the sense of his happiness, fear, and honour of him, people would
seem to think him blest and happy for his exemption from death and
corruption, to fear and dread him for his power and dominion, but
to love, honour, and adore him for his justice. Yet though thus disposed,
they covet that immortality which our nature is not capable of, and
that power the greatest part of which is at the disposal of fortune;
but give virtue, the only divine good really in our reach, the last
place, most unwisely; since justice makes the life of such as are
in prosperity, power, and authority the life of a god, and injustice
turns it to that of a beast. 

Aristides, therefore, had at first the fortune to be beloved for this
surname, but at length envied. Especially when Themistocles spread
a rumour amongst the people that, by determining and judging all matters
privately, he had destroyed the courts of judicature, and was secretly
making way for a monarchy in his own person, without the assistance
of guards. Moreover the spirit of the people, now grown high, and
confident with their late victory, naturally entertained feelings
of dislike to all of more than common fame and reputation. Coming
together, therefore, from all parts into the city, they banished Aristides
by the ostracism, giving their jealousy of his reputation the name
of fear of tyranny. For ostracism was not the punishment of any criminal
act, but was speciously said to be the mere depression and humiliation
of excessive greatness and power; and was in fact a gentle relief
and mitigation of envious feeling, which was thus allowed to vent
itself in inflicting no intolerable injury, only a ten years' banishment.
But after it came to be exercised upon base and villainous fellows,
they desisted from it; Hyperbolus being the last whom they banished
by the ostracism. 

The cause of Hyperbolus's banishment is said to have been this. Alcibiades
and Nicias, men that bore the greatest sway in the city, were of different
factions. As the people, therefore, were about to vote the ostracism,
and obviously to decree it against one of them consulting together
and uniting their parties they contrived the banishment of Hyperbolus.
Upon which the people, being offended, as if some contempt or affront
was put upon the thing left off and quite abolished it. It was performed,
to be short, in this manner. Every one taking an ostracon, a sherd,
that is, or piece of earthenware, wrote upon it the citizen's name
he would have banished, and carried it to a certain part of the market-place
surrounded with wooden rails. First, the magistrates numbered all
the sherds in gross (for if there were less than six thousand, the
ostracism was imperfect); then, laying every name by itself, they
pronounced him whose name was written by the larger number banished
for ten years, with the enjoyment of his estate. As therefore, they
were writing the names on the sherds, it is reported that an illiterate
clownish fellow, giving Aristides his sherd, supposing him a common
citizen, begged him to write Aristides upon it; and he being surprised
and asking if Aristides had ever done him any injury, "None at all,"
said he, "neither know I the man; but I am tired of hearing him everywhere
called the just." Aristides, hearing this, is said to have made no
reply, but returned the sherd with his own name inscribed. At his
departure from the city, lifting up his hands to heaven, he made a
prayer (the reverse, it would seem, of that of Achilles), that the
Athenians might never have any occasion which should constrain them
to remember Aristides. 

Nevertheless, three years after, when Xerxes marched through Thessaly
and Boeotia into the country of Attica, repealing the law, they decreed
the return of the banished: chiefly fearing Aristides, lest, joining
himself to the enemy, he should corrupt and bring over many of his
fellow-citizens to the party of the barbarians; much mistaking the
man, who, already before the decree, was exerting himself to excite
and encourage the Greeks to the defence of their liberty. And afterwards,
when Themistocles was general with absolute power, he assisted him
in all ways both in action and counsel; rendering, in consideration
of the common security, the greatest enemy he had the most glorious
of men. For when Eurybiades was deliberating to desert the isle of
Salamis, and the galleys of the barbarians putting out by night to
sea surrounded and beset the narrow passage and islands, and nobody
was aware how they were environed, Aristides, with great hazard, sailed
from Aegina through the enemy's fleet; and coming by night to Themistocles's
tent and calling him out by himself; "if we have any discretion,"
said he, "Themistocles, laying aside at this time our vain and childish
contention, let us enter upon a safe and honourable dispute, vying
with each other for the preservation of Greece; you in the ruling
and commanding, I in the subservient and advising part; even indeed,
as I now understand you to be alone adhering to the best advice, in
counselling without any delay to engage in the straits. And in this,
though our own party oppose, the enemy seems to assist you. For the
sea behind, and all around us, is covered with their fleet; so that
we are under a necessity of approving ourselves men of courage, and
fighting whether we will or no; for there is no room left us for flight."
To which Themistocles answered, "I would not willingly, Aristides,
be overcome by you on this occasion; and shall endeavour, in emulation
of this good beginning, to outdo it in my actions." Also relating
to him the stratagem he had framed against the barbarians, he entreated
him to persuade Eurybiades and show him how it was impossible they
should save themselves without an engagement; as he was the more likely
to be believed. Whence, in the council of war, Cleocritus, the Corinthian,
telling Themistocles that Aristides did not like his advice as he
was present and said nothing, Aristides answered, That he should not
have held his peace if Themistocles had not been giving the best advice;
and that he was now silent not out of any good-will to the person,
but in approbation of his counsel. 

Thus the Greek captains were employed. But Aristides perceiving Psyttalea,
a small island that lies within the straits over against Salamis,
to be filled by a body of the enemy, put aboard his small boats the
most forward and courageous of his countrymen, and went ashore upon
it; and, joining battle with the barbarians, slew them all, except
such more remarkable persons as were taken alive. Amongst these were
three children of Sandauce, the king's sister, whom he immediately
sent away to Themistocles, and it is stated that, in accordance with
a certain oracle, they were by the command of Euphrantides, the seer,
sacrificed to Bacchus, called Omestes, or the devourer. But Aristides,
placing armed men all around the island, lay in wait for such as were
cast upon it, to the intent that none of his friends should perish,
nor any of his enemies escape. For the closest engagement of the ships,
and the main fury of the whole battle, seems to been about this place;
for which reason a trophy was erected in Psyttalea. 

After the fight, Themistocles, to sound Aristides, told him they had
performed a good piece of service, but there was a better yet to be
done, the keeping Asia in Europe, by sailing forthwith to the Hellespont
and cutting in sunder the bridge. But Aristides, with an exclamation,
bid him think no more of it, but deliberate and find out means for
removing the Mede, as quickly as possible, out of Greece; lest being
enclosed, through want of means to escape, necessity should compel
him to force his way with so great an army. So Themistocles once more
despatched Arnaces, the eunuch, his prisoner, giving him in command
privately to advertise the king that he had diverted the Greeks from
their intention of setting sail for the bridges, out of the desire
he felt to preserve him. 

Xerxes, being much terrified with this, immediately hasted to the
Hellespont. But Mardonius was left with the most serviceable part
of the army, about three hundred thousand men, and was a formidable
enemy, confident in his infantry and writing messages of defiance
to the Greeks: "You have overcome by sea men accustomed to fight on
land, and unskilled at the oar; but there lies now the open country
of Thessaly; and the plains of Boeotia offer a broad and worthy field
for brave men, either horse or foot, to contend in." But he sent privately
to the Athenians, both by letter and word of mouth from the king,
promising to rebuild their city, to give them a vast sum of money,
and constitute them lords of all Greece, on condition they were not
engaged in the war. The Lacedaemonians, receiving news of this, and
fearing, despatched an embassy to the Athenians, entreating that they
would send their wives and children to Sparta, and receive support
from them for their superannuated. For, being despoiled both of their
city and country, the people were suffering extreme distress. Having
given audience to the ambassadors, they returned an answer, upon the
motion of Aristides, worthy of the highest admiration; declaring,
that they forgave their enemies if they thought all things purchasable
by wealth, than which they knew nothing of greater value; but that
they felt offended at the Lacedaemonians for looking only to their
present poverty and exigence, without any remembrance of their valour
and magnanimity, offering them their victuals to fight in the cause
of Greece. Aristides, making this proposal and bringing back the ambassadors
into the assembly, charged them to tell the Lacedaemonians, that all
the treasure on the earth or under it was of less value with the people
of Athens than the liberty of Greece. And, showing the sun to those
who came from Mardonius, "As long as that retains the same course,
so long," said he, "shall the citizens of Athens wage war with the
Persians for the country which has been wasted, and the temples that
have been profaned and burnt by them." Moreover, he proposed a decree
that the priests should anathematize him who sent any herald to the
Medes, or deserted the alliance of Greece. 

When Mardonius made a second incursion into the country of Attica,
the people passed over again into the isle of Salamis. Aristides,
being sent to Lacedaemon, reproved them for their delay aid neglect
in abandoning Athens once more to the barbarians; and demanded their
assistance for that part of Greece which was not yet lost. The Ephori,
hearing this, made show of sporting all day, and of carelessly keeping
holy day (for they were then celebrating the Hyacinthian festival),
but in the night, selecting five thousand Spartans, each of whom was
attended by seven Helots, they sent them forth unknown to those from
Athens. And when Aristides again reprehended them, they told him in
derision that he either doted or dreamed, for the army was already
at Oresteum, in their march towards the strangers, as they called
the Persians. Aristides answered that they jested unseasonably, deluding
their friends instead of their enemies. Thus says Idomeneus. But in
the decree of Aristides, not himself, but Cimon, Xanthippus, and Myronides
are appointed ambassadors. 

Being chosen general for the war, he repaired to Plataea with eight
thousand Athenians, where Pausanias, generalissimo of all Greece,
joined him with the Spartans; and the forces of the other Greeks came
into them. The whole encampment of the barbarians extended all along
the bank of the river Asopus, their numbers being so great there was
no enclosing them all, but their baggage and most valuable things
were surrounded with a square bulwark, each side of which was the
length of ten furlongs. 

Tisamenus, the Elean, had prophesied to Pausanias and all the Greeks,
and foretold them victory if they made no attempt upon the enemy,
but stood on their defence. But Aristides sending to Delphi, the god
answered that the Athenians should overcome their enemies in case
they made supplication to Jupiter and Juno of Cithaeron, Pan, and
the nymphs Sphragitides, and sacrificed to the heroes Androcrates,
Leucon, Pisander, Damocrates, Hypsion, Actaeon, and Polyidus; and
if they fought within their own territories in the plain of Ceres
Eleusinia and Proserpine. Aristides was perplexed upon the tidings
of this oracle; since the heroes to whom it commanded him to sacrifice
had been chieftains of the Plataeans, and the cave of the nymphs Sphragitides
was on the top of Mount Cithaeron, on the side facing the setting
sun of summer time; in which place, as the story goes, there was formerly
an oracle, and many that lived in the district were inspired with
it, whom they called Nympholepti, possessed with the nymphs. But the
plain of Ceres Eleusinia, and the offer of victory to the Athenians,
if they fought in their own territories, recalled them again, and
transferred the war into the country of Attica. In this juncture,
Arimnestus, who commanded the Plataeans, dreamed that Jupiter, the
Saviour, asked him what the Greeks had resolved upon; and that he
answered, "To-morrow, my Lord, we march our army to Eleusis, and there
give the barbarians battle according to the directions of the oracle
of Apollo." And that the god replied they were utterly mistaken, for
that the places spoken of by the oracle were within the bounds of
Plataea, and if they sought there they should find them. This manifest
vision having appeared to Arimnestus, when he awoke he sent for the
most aged and experienced of his countrymen, with whom, communicating
and examining the matter, he found that near Hysiae, at the foot of
Mount Cithaeron, there was a very ancient temple called the temple
of Ceres Eleusinia and Proserpine. He therefore forthwith took Aristides
to the place, which was very convenient for drawing up an army of
foot, because the slopes at the bottom of the mountain Cithaeron rendered
the plain, where it comes up to the temple, unfit for the movements
of cavalry. Also, in the same place, there was the fane of Androcrates,
environed with a thick shady grove. And that the oracle might be accomplished
in all particulars for the hope of victory, Arimnestus proposed, and
the Plataeans decreed, that the frontiers of their country towards
Attica should be removed, and the land given to the Athenians, that
they might fight in defence of Greece in their own proper territory.
This zeal and liberality of the Plataeans became so famous that Alexander,
many years after, when he had obtained the dominion of all Asia, upon
erecting the walls of Plataea, caused proclamation to be made, by
the herald at the Olympic games, that the king did the Plataeans this
favour in consideration of their nobleness and magnanimity, because,
in the war with the Medes, they freely gave up their land and zealously
fought with the Greeks. 

The Tegeatans, contesting the post of honour with the Athenians, demanded
that, according to custom, the Lacedaemonians being ranged on the
right wing of the battle, they might have the left, alleging several
matters in commendation of their ancestors. The Athenians being indignant
at the claim, Aristides came forward: "To contend with the Tegeatans,"
said he, "for noble descent and valour, the present time permits not;
but this we say to you, O you Spartans, and you the rest of the Greeks,
that place neither takes away nor contributes courage; we shall endeavour
by crediting and maintaining the post you assign us to reflect no
dishonour on our former performances. For we are come, not to differ
with our friends, but to fight our enemies; not to extol our ancestors,
but ourselves to behave as valiant men. This battle will manifest
how much each city, captain, and private soldier is worth to Greece."
The council of war, upon this address, decided for the Athenians,
and gave them the other wing of the battle. 

All Greece being in suspense, and especially the affairs of the Athenians
unsettled, certain persons of great families and possessions having
been impoverished by the war, and seeing all their authority and reputation
in the city vanished with their wealth, and others in possession of
their honours and places, convened privately at a house in Plataea,
and conspired for the dissolution of the democratic government; and,
if the plot should not succeed, to ruin the cause and betray all to
the barbarians. These matters being in agitation in the camp, and
many persons already corrupted, Aristides, perceiving the design,
and dreading the present juncture of time, determined neither to let
the business pass unanimadverted upon, nor yet altogether to expose
it; not knowing how many the accusation might reach, and willing to
set bounds to his justice with a view to the public convenience. Therefore,
of many that were concerned, he apprehended eight only, two of whom,
who were first proceeded against and most guilty, Aeschines of Lampra
and Agesias of Acharnae, made their escape out of the camp. The rest
he dismissed; giving opportunity to such as thought themselves concealed
to take courage and repent; intimating that they had in the war a
great tribunal, where they might clear their guilt by manifesting
their sincere and good intentions towards their country.

After this, Mardonius made trial of the Grecian courage, by sending
his whole number of horse, in which he thought himself much the stronger,
against them, while they were all pitched at the foot of Mount Cithaeron,
in strong and rocky places, except the Megarians. They, being three
thousand in number, were encamped on the plain, where they were damaged
by the horse charging and making inroads upon them on all hands. They
sent, therefore, in haste to Pausanias, demanding relief, as not being
able alone to sustain the great numbers of the barbarians. Pausanias,
hearing this, and perceiving the tents of the Megarians already hid
by the multitude of darts and arrows, and themselves driven together
into a narrow space, was at a loss himself how to aid them with his
battalion of heavy-armed Lacedaemonians. He proposed it, therefore,
as a point of emulation in valour and love of distinction, to the
commanders and captains who were around him, if any would voluntarily
take upon them the defence and succour of the Megarians. The rest
being backward, Aristides undertook the enterprise for the Athenians,
and sent Olympiodorus, the most valiant of his inferior officers,
with three hundred chosen men and some archers under his command.
These being soon in readiness, and running upon the enemy, as soon
as Masistius, who commanded the barbarians' horse, a man of wonderful
courage and of extraordinary bulk and comeliness of person, perceived
it, turning his steed he made towards them. And they sustaining the
shock and joining battle with him, there was a sharp conflict, as
though by this encounter they were to try the success of the whole
war. But after Masistius's horse received a wound and flung him, and
he falling could hardly raise himself through the weight of his armour,
the Athenians, pressing upon him with blows, could not easily get
at his person, armed as he was, his breast, his head, and his limbs
all over, with gold and brass and iron; but one of them at last, running
him in at the visor of his helmet, slew him; and the rest of the Persians,
leaving the body, fled. The greatness of the Greek success was known,
not by the multitude of the slain (for an inconsiderable number were
killed), but by the sorrow the barbarians expressed. For they shaved
themselves, their horses, and mules for the death of Masistius, and
filled the plain with howling and lamentation; having lost a person,
who, next to Mardonius himself, was by many degrees the chief among
them, both for valour and authority. 

After this skirmish of the horse, they kept from fighting a long time;
for the soothsayers, by the sacrifices, foretold the victory both
to Greeks and Persians, if they stood upon the defensive part only,
but if they became aggressors, the contrary. At length Mardonius,
when he had but a few days' provision, and the Greek forces increased
continually by some or other that came in to them, impatient of delay,
determined to lie still no longer, but passing Asopus by daybreak,
to fall unexpectedly upon the Greeks; and signified the same over
night to the captains of his host. But about midnight, a certain horseman
stole into the Greek camp, and coming to the watch, desired them to
call Aristides, the Athenian, to him. He coming speedily, "I am,"
said the stranger, "Alexander, king of the Macedonians, and am arrived
here through the greatest danger in the world for the goodwill I bear
you, lest a sudden onset should dismay you, so as to behave in the
fight worse than usual. For to-morrow Mardonius will give you battle,
urged, not by any hope of success or courage, but by want of victuals;
since, indeed, the prophets prohibit him the battle, the sacrifices
and oracles being unfavourable; and the army is in despondency and
consternation; but necessity forces him to try his fortune, or sit
still and endure the last extremity of want." Alexander, thus saying,
entreated Aristides to take notice and remember him, but not to tell
any other. But he told him, it was not convenient to conceal the matter
from Pausanias (because he was general); as for any other, he would
keep it secret from them till the battle was fought; but if the Greeks
obtained the victory, that then no one should be ignorant of Alexander's
good-will and kindness towards them. After this, the king of the Macedonians
rode back again, and Aristides went to Pausanias's tent and told him
they sent for the rest of the captains and gave orders that the army
should be in battle array. 

Here, according to Herodotus, Pausanias spoke to Aristides, desiring
him to transfer the Athenians to the right wing of the army opposite
to the Persians (as they would do better service against them, having
been experienced in their way of combat, and emboldened with former
victories), and to give him the left, where the Medizing Greeks were
to make their assault. The rest of the Athenian captains regarded
this as an arrogant and interfering act on the part of Pausanias;
because, while permitting the rest of the army to keep their stations,
he removed them only from place to place, like so many Helots, opposing
them to the greatest strength of the enemy. But Aristides said they
were altogether in the wrong. If so short a time ago they contested
the left wing with the Tegeatans, and gloried in being preferred before
them, now, when the Lacedaemonians give them place in the right, and
yield them in a manner the leading of the army, how is it they are
discontented with the honour that is done them, and do not look upon
it as an advantage to have to fight, not against their countrymen
and kindred, but barbarians, and such as were by nature their enemies?
After this, the Athenians very readily changed places with the Lacedaemonians,
and there went words amongst them as they were encouraging each other
that the enemy approached with no better arms or stouter hearts than
those who fought the battle of Marathon; but had the same bows and
arrows, and the same embroidered coats and gold, and the same delicate
bodies and effeminate minds within; "While we have the same weapons
and bodies, and our courage augmented by our victories; and fight
not like others in defence of our country only, but for the trophies
of Salamis and Marathon; that they may not be looked upon as due to
Miltiades or fortune, but to the people of Athens." Thus, therefore,
were they making haste to change the order of their battle. But the
Thebans, understanding it by some deserters, forthwith acquainted
Mardonius; and he, either for fear of the Athenians, or a desire to
engage the Lacedaemonians, marched over his Persians to the other
wing, and commanded the Greeks of his party to be posted opposite
to the Athenians. But this change was observed on the other side,
and Pausanias, wheeling about again, ranged himself on the right,
and Mardonius, also, as at first, took the left wing over against
the Lacedaemonians. So the day passed without action. 

After this the Greeks determined in council to remove their camp some
distance, to possess themselves of a place convenient for watering;
because the springs near them were polluted and destroyed by the barbarian
cavalry. But night being come, and the captains setting out towards
the place designed for their camping, the soldiers were not very ready
to follow, and keep in a body, but, as soon as they had quitted their
first entrenchments, made towards the city of Plataea; and there was
much tumult and disorder as they dispersed to various quarters and
proceeded to pitch their tents. The Lacedaemonians, against their
will, had the fortune to be left by the rest. For Amompharetus, a
brave and daring man, who had long been burning with desire of the
fight, and resented their many lingerings and delays, calling the
removal of the camp a mere running away and flight, protested he would
not desert his post, but would there remain with his company and sustain
the charge of Mardonius. And when Pausanias came to him and told him
he did do these things by the common vote and determination of the
Greeks, Amompharetus taking up a great stone and flinging it at Pausanias'
feet, and "By this token," said he, "do I give my suffrage for the
battle, nor have I any concern with the cowardly consultations and
decrees of other men." Pausanias, not knowing what to do in the present
juncture, sent to the Athenians, who were drawing off, to stay to
accompany him; and so he himself set off with the rest of the army
for Plataea, hoping thus to make Amompharetus move. 

Meantime, day came upon them; and Mardonius (for he was not ignorant
of their deserting their camp), having his army in array, fell upon
the Lacedaemonians with great shouting and noise of barbarous people,
as if they were not about to join battle, but crush the Greeks in
their flight. Which within a very little came to pass. For Pausanias,
perceiving what was done, made a halt, and commanded every one to
put themselves in order for the battle; but either through his anger
with Amompharetus, or the disturbance he was in by reason of the sudden
approach of the enemy, he forgot to give the signal to the Greeks
in general. Whence it was that they did not come in immediately or
in a body to their assistance, but by small companies and straggling,
when the fight was already begun. Pausanias, offering sacrifice, could
not procure favourable omens, and so commanded the Lacedaemonians,
setting down their shields at their feet, to abide quietly and attend
his directions, making no resistance to any of their enemies. And
he sacrificing again a second time, the horse charged, and some of
the Lacedaemonians were wounded. At this time, also, Callicrates,
who, we are told, was the most comely man in the army, being shot
with an arrow and upon the point of expiring, said that he lamented
not his death (for he came from home to lay down his life in the defence
of Greece), but that he died without action. The case was indeed hard,
and the forbearance of the men wonderful; for they let the enemy charge
without repelling them; and, expecting their proper opportunity from
the gods and their general, suffered themselves to be wounded and
slain in their ranks. And some say, that while Pausanias was at sacrifice
and prayers, some space out of the battle array, certain Lydians,
falling suddenly upon him, plundered and scattered the sacrifice:
and that Pausanias and his company, having no arms, beat them with
staves and whips; and that, in imitation of this attack, the whipping
the boys about the altar, and after it the Lydian procession, are
to this day practised in Sparta. 

Pausanias, therefore, being troubled at these things, while the priests
went on offering one sacrifice after another, turns himself towards
the temple with tears in his eyes, and lifting up his hands to heaven
besought Juno of Cithaeron, and the other tutelar gods of the Plataeans,
if it were not in the fates for the Greeks to obtain the victory,
that they might not perish without performing some remarkable thing,
and by their actions demonstrating to their enemies that they waged
war with men of courage and soldiers. While Pausanias was thus in
the act of supplication, the sacrifices appeared propitious, and the
soothsayers foretold victory. The word being given, the Lacedaemonian
battalion of foot seemed, on the sudden, like some one fierce animal,
setting up his bristles, and betaking himself to the combat; and the
barbarians perceived that they encountered with men who would fight
it to the death. Therefore, holding their wicker-shields before them,
they shot their arrows amongst the Lacedaemonians. But they, keeping
together in the order of a phalanx, and falling upon the enemies,
forced their shields out of their hands, and, striking with their
pikes at the breasts and faces of the Persians, overthrew many of
them, who, however, fell not either unrevenged or without courage.
For taking hold of the spears with their bare hands, they broke many
of them, and betook themselves not without effect to the sword; and
making use of their falchions and scimitars, and wresting the Lacedaemonians'
shields from them, and grappling with them, it was a long time that
they made resistance. 

Meanwhile, for some time, the Athenians stood still, waiting for the
Lacedaemonians to come up. But when they heard much noise as of men
engaged in fight, and a messenger, they say, came from Pausanias,
to advertise them of what was going on, they soon hasted to their
assistance. And as they passed through the plain to the place where
the noise was, the Greeks, who took part with the enemy, came upon
them. Aristides, as soon as he saw them, going a considerable space
before the rest, cried out to them, conjuring them by the guardian
gods of Greece to forbear the fight, and be no impediment or stop
to those who were going to succour the defenders of Greece. But when
he perceived they gave no attention to him, and had prepared themselves
for the battle, then turning from the present relief of the Lacedaemonians,
he engaged them, being five thousand in number. But the greatest part
soon gave way and retreated, as the barbarians also were put to flight.
The sharpest conflict is said to have been against the Thebans, the
chiefest and most powerful persons among them at that time siding
zealously with the Medes, and leading the multitude not according
to their own inclination, but as being subjects of an oligarchy.

The battle being thus divided, the Lacedaemonians first beat off the
Persians; and a Spartan, named Arimnestus, slew Mardonius by a blow
on the head with a stone, as the oracle in the temple of Amphiaraus
had foretold to him. For Mardonius sent a Lydian thither, and another
person, a Carian, to the cave of Trophonius. This latter the priest
of the oracle answered in his own language. But the Lydian sleeping
in the temple of Amphiaraus, it seemed to him that a minister of the
divinity stood before him and commanded him to be gone; and on his
refusing to do it, flung a great stone at his head, so that he thought
himself slain with the blow. Such is the story. -They drove the fliers
within their walls of wood; and, a little time after, the Athenians
put the Thebans to flight, killing three hundred of the chiefest and
of greatest note among them in the actual fight itself. For when they
began to fly, news came that the army of the barbarians was besieged
within their palisade; and so giving the Greeks opportunity to save
themselves, they marched to assist at the fortifications; and coming
in to the Lacedaemonians, who were altogether unhandy and unexperienced
in storming, they took the camp with great slaughter of the enemy.
For of three hundred thousand, forty thousand only are said to have
escaped with Artabazus; while on the Greeks' side there perished in
all thirteen hundred and sixty; of which fifty-two were Athenians,
all of the tribe Aeantis, that fought, says Clidemus, with the greatest
courage of any; and for this reason the men of this tribe used to
offer sacrifice for the victory, as enjoined by the oracle, to the
nymphs Sphragitides at the expense of the public; ninety-one were
Lacedaemonians, and sixteen Tegeatans. It is strange, therefore, upon
what grounds Herodotus can say, that they only, and none other, encountered
the enemy, for the number of the slain and their monuments testify
that the victory was obtained by all in general; and if the rest had
been standing still, while the inhabitants of three cities only had
been engaged in the fight, they would not have set on the altar the

"The Greeks, when, by their courage and their might, 
They had repelled the Persian in the fight, 
The common altar of freed Greece to be, 
Reared this to Jupiter who guards the free." 

They fought this battle on the fourth day of the month Boedromion,
according to the Athenians, but according to the Boeotians, on the
twenty-seventh of Panemus;- on which day there is still a convention
of the Greeks at Plataea, and the Plataeans still offer sacrifice
for the victory to Jupiter of freedom. As for the difference of days,
it is not to be wondered at, since even at the present time, when
there is a far more accurate knowledge of astronomy, some begin the
month at one time, and some at another. 

After this, the Athenians not yielding the honour of the day to the
Lacedaemonians, nor consenting they should erect a trophy, things
were not far from being ruined by dissension among the armed Greeks;
had not Aristides, by much soothing and counselling the commanders,
especially Leocrates and Myronides, pacified and persuaded them to
leave the thing to the decision of the Greeks. And on their proceeding
to discuss the matter, Theogiton, the Megarian, declared the honour
of the victory was to be given some other city, if they would prevent
a civil war; after him Cleocritus of Corinth rising up, made people
think he would ask the palm for the Corinthians (for next to Sparta
and Athens, Corinth was in greatest estimation); but he delivered
his opinion, to the general admiration, in favour of the Plataeans;
and counselled to take away all contention by giving them the reward
and glory of the victory, whose being honoured could be distasteful
to neither party. This being said, first Aristides gave consent in
the name of the Athenians, and Pausanias, then, for the Lacedaemonians.
So, being reconciled, they set apart eighty talents for the Plataeans,
with which they built the temple and dedicated the image to Minerva,
and adorned the temple with pictures, which even to this very day
retain their lustre. But the Lacedaemonians and Athenians each erected
a trophy apart by themselves. On their consulting the oracle about
offering sacrifice, Apollo answered that they should dedicate an altar
to Jupiter of freedom, but should not sacrifice till they had extinguished
the fires throughout the country, as having been defiled by the barbarians,
and had kindled unpolluted fire at the common altar at Delphi. The
magistrates of Greece, therefore, went forthwith and compelled such
as had fire to put it out; and Euchidas, a Plataean, promising to
fetch fire, with all possible speed, from the altar of the god, went
to Delphi, and having sprinkled and purified his body crowned himself
with laurel; and taking the fire from the altar ran back to Plataea,
and got back there before sunset, performing in one day a journey
of a thousand furlongs; and saluting his fellow-citizens and delivering
them the fire, he immediately fell down, and in a short time after
expired. But the Plataeans, taking him up, interred him in the temple
of Diana Euclia, setting this inscription over him: "Euchidas ran
to Delphi and back again in one day." Most people believe that Euclia
is Diana, and call her by that name. But some say she was the daughter
of Hercules, by Myrto, the daughter of Menoetius, and sister of Patroclus,
and dying a virgin, was worshipped by the Boeotians and Locrians.
Her altar and image are set up in all their market-places, and those
of both sexes that are about marrying sacrifice to her before the

A general assembly of all the Greeks being called, Aristides proposed
a decree that the deputies and religious representatives of the Greek
states should assemble annually at Plataea, and every fifth year celebrate
the Eleutheria or games of freedom. And that there should be a levy
upon all Greece for the war against the barbarians of ten thousand
spearmen, one thousand horse, and a hundred sail of ships; but the
Plataeans to be exempt, and sacred to the service of the gods, offering
sacrifice for the welfare of Greece. These things being ratified,
the Plataeans undertook the performance of annual sacrifice to such
as were slain and buried in that place; which they still perform in
the following manner. On the sixteenth day of Maemacterion (which
with the Boeotians is Alalcomenus) they make their procession, which,
beginning by break of day, is led by a trumpeter sounding for onset;
then follow certain chariots loaded with myrrh and garlands; and then
a black bull; then come the young men of free birth carrying libations
of wine and milk in large two-handed vessels, and jars of oil and
precious ointments, none of servile condition being permitted to have
any hand in this ministration, because the men died in defence of
freedom; after all comes the chief magistrate of Plataea (for whom
it is unlawful at other times either to touch iron or wear any other
coloured garment but white), at that time apparelled in a purple robe;
and, taking a water-pot out of the city record-office, he proceeds,
bearing a sword in his hand, through the middle of the town to the
sepulchres. Then drawing water out of a spring, he washes and anoints
the monuments, and sacrificing the bull upon a pile of wood, and making
supplication to Jupiter and Mercury of the earth, invites those valiant
men who perished in the defence of Greece to the banquet and the libations
of blood. After this, mixing a bowl of wine, and pouring out for himself,
he says, "I drink to those who lost their lives for the liberty of
Greece." These solemnities the Plataeans observe to this day.

Aristides perceived that the Athenians, after their return into the
city, were eager for a democracy; and deeming the people to deserve
consideration on account of their valiant behaviour, as also that
it was a matter of difficulty, they being well armed, powerful, and
full of spirit with their victories, to oppose them by force, he brought
forward a decree that every one might share in the government and
the archons be chosen out of the whole body of the Athenians. And
on Themistocles telling the people in assembly that he had some advice
for them, which could not be given in public, but was most important
for the advantage and security of the city, they appointed Aristides
alone to hear and consider it with him. And on his acquainting Aristides
that his intent was to set fire to the arsenal of the Greeks, for
by that means should the Athenians become supreme masters of all Greece,
Aristides, returning to the assembly, told them that nothing was more
advantageous than what Themistocles designed, and nothing more unjust.
The Athenians, hearing this, gave Themistocles order to desist; such
was the love of justice felt by the people, and such the credit and
confidence they reposed in Aristides. 

Being sent in joint commission with Cimon to the war, he took notice
that Pausanias and the other Spartan captains made themselves offensive
by imperiousness and harshness to the confederates; and by being himself
gentle and considerate with them, and by the courtesy and disinterested
temper which Cimon, after his example, manifested in the expeditions,
he stole away the chief command from the Lacedaemonians, neither by
weapons, ships, or horses, but by equity and wise policy. For the
Athenians being endeared to the Greeks by the justice of Aristides
and by Cimon's moderation, the tyranny and selfishness of Pausanias
rendered them yet more desirable. He on all occasions treated the
commanders of the confederates haughtily and roughly; and the common
soldiers he punished with stripes, or standing under the iron anchor
for a whole day together; neither was it permitted for any to provide
straw for themselves to lie on, or forage for their horses, or to
come near the springs to water before the Spartans were furnished,
but servants with whips drove away such as approached. And when Aristides
once was about to complain and expostulate with Pausanias, he told
him with an angry look that he was not at leisure, and gave no attention
to him. The consequence was that the sea captains and generals of
the Greeks, in particular, the Chians, Samians, and Lesbians, came
to Aristides and requested him to be their general, and to receive
the confederates into his command, who had long desired to relinquish
the Spartans and come over to the Athenians. But he answered that
he saw both equity and necessity in what they said, but their fidelity
required the test of some action, the commission of which would make
it impossible for the multitude to change their minds again. Upon
which Uliades, the Samian, and Antagoras of Chios, conspiring together,
ran in near Byzantium on Pausanias's galley, getting her between them
as she was sailing before the rest. But when Pausanias, beholding
them, arose up and furiously threatened soon to make them know that
they had been endangering not his galley, but their own countries,
they bid him go his way, and thank Fortune that fought for him at
Plataea; for hitherto, in reverence to that, the Greeks had forborne
from inflicting on him the punishment he deserved. In fine, they all
went off and joined the Athenians. And here the magnanimity of the
Lacedaemonians was wonderful. For when they perceived that their generals
were becoming corrupted by the greatness of their authority, they
voluntarily laid down the chief command, and left off sending any
more of them to the wars, choosing rather to have citizens of moderation
and consistent in the observance of their customs, than to possess
the dominion of all Greece. 

Even during the command of the Lacedaemonians, the Greeks paid a certain
contribution towards the maintenance of the war; and being desirous
to be rated city by city in their due proportion, they desired Aristides
of the Athenians, and gave him command, surveying the country and
revenue, to assess every one according to their ability and what they
were worth. But he, being so largely empowered, Greece as it were
submitting all her affairs to his sole management, went out poor and
returned poorer; laying the tax not only without corruption and injustice,
but to the satisfaction and convenience of all. For as the ancients
celebrated the age of Saturn, so did the confederates of Athens Aristides's
taxation, terming it the happy time of Greece; and that more especially,
as the sum was in a short time doubled, and afterwards trebled. For
the assessment which Aristides made was four hundred and sixty talents.
But to this Pericles added very near one third part more; for Thucydides
says that in the beginning of the Peloponnesian war the Athenians
had coming in from their confederates six hundred talents. But after
Pericles's death. the demagogues, increasing by little and little,
raised it to the sum of thirteen hundred talents; not so much through
the war's being so expensive and changeable either by its length or
ill success, as by their alluring the people to spend upon largesses
and playhouse allowances, and in erecting statues and temples. Aristides,
therefore, having acquired a wonderful and great reputation by this
levy of the tribute, Themistocles is said to have derided him, as
if this had been not the commendation of a man, but a money-bag; a
retaliation, though not in the same kind for some free words which
Aristides had used. For he, when Themistocles once was saying that
he thought the highest virtue of a general was to understand and foreknow
the measures the enemy would take, replied, "This, indeed, Themistocles,
is simply necessary, but the excellent thing in a general is to keep
his hands from taking money." 

Aristides, moreover, made all the people of Greece swear to keep the
league, and himself took the oath in the name of the Athenians, flinging
wedges of red-hot iron into the sea, after curses against such as
should make breach of their vow. But afterwards, it would seem, when
things were in such a state as constrained them to govern with a stronger
hand, he bade the Athenians to throw the perjury upon him, and manage
affairs as convenience required. And, in general, Theophrastus tells
us, that Aristides was, in his own private affairs, and those of his
fellow-citizens, rigorously just, but that in public matters he acted
often in accordance with his country's policy, which demanded, sometimes,
not a little injustice. It is reported of him that he said in a debate,
upon the motion of the Samians for removing the treasure from Delos
to Athens, contrary to the league, that the thing indeed was not just
but was expedient. 

In fine, having established the dominion of his city over so many
people, he himself remained indigent; and always delighted as much
in the glory of being poor, as in that of his trophies; as is evident
from the following story. Callias, the torch-bearer, was related to
him; and was prosecuted by his enemies in a capital cause, in which,
after they had slightly argued the matters on which they indicted
him, they proceeded, besides the point, to address the judges: "You
know," said they, "Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, who is the admiration
of all Greece. In what a condition do you think his family is in at
his house, when you see him appear in public in such a threadbare
cloak? Is it not probable that one who, out of doors, goes thus exposed
to the cold, must want food and other necessaries at home? Callias,
the wealthiest of the Athenians, does nothing to relieve either him
or his wife and children in their poverty, though he is his own cousin,
and has made use of him in many cases, and often reaped advantage
by his interest with you." But Callias, perceiving the judges were
moved more particularly by this, and were exasperated against him,
called in Aristides, requiring him to testify that when he frequently
offered him divers presents, and entreated him to accept them, he
had refused, answering that it became him better to be proud of his
poverty than Callias of his wealth; since there are many to be seen
that make a good or bad use of riches, but it is difficult, comparatively,
to meet with one who supports poverty in a noble spirit; those only
should be ashamed of it who incurred it against their wills. On Aristides
deposing these facts in favour of Callias, there was none who heard
them that went not away desirous rather to be poor like Aristides
than rich as Callias. Thus Aeschines, the scholar of Socrates, writes.
But Plato declares that, of all the great renowned men in the city
of Athens, he was the only one worthy of consideration; for Themistocles,
Cimon, and Pericles filled the city with porticoes, treasure, and
many other vain things, but Aristides guided his public life by the
rule of justice. He showed his moderation very plainly in his conduct
towards Themistocles himself. For though Themistocles had been his
adversary in all his undertakings, and was the cause of his banishment,
yet when he afforded a similar opportunity of revenge, being accused
to the city, Aristides bore him no malice; but while Alcmaeon, Cimon,
and many others were prosecuting and impeaching him, Aristides alone
neither did nor said any ill against him, and no more triumphed over
his enemy in his adversity than he had envied him his prosperity.

Some say Aristides died in Pontus, during a voyage upon the affairs
of the public. Others that he died of old age at Athens being in great
honour and veneration amongst his fellow-citizens. But Craterus, the
Macedonian, relates his death as follows. After the banishment of
Themistocles, he says, the people growing insolent, there sprung up
a number of false and frivolous accusers, impeaching the best and
most influential men and exposing them to the envy of the multitude,
whom their good fortune and power had filled with self-conceit. Amongst
these, Aristides was condemned of bribery upon the accusation of Diophantus
of Amphitrope, for taking money from the Ionians when he was collector
of the tribute; and being unable to pay the fine, which was fifty
minae, sailed to Ionia, and died there. But of this Craterus brings
no written proof, neither the sentence of his condemnation, nor the
decree of the people; though in general it is tolerably usual with
him to set down such things and to cite his authors. Almost all others
who have spoken of the misdeeds of the people towards their generals
collect them all together, and tell us of the banishment of Themistocles,
Miltiades's bonds, Pericles's fine, and the death of Paches in the
judgment-hall, who, upon receiving sentence, killed himself on the
hustings, with many things of the like nature. They add the banishment
of Aristides; but of this his condemnation they make no mention.

Moreover, his monument is to be seen at Phalerum, which they say was
built him by the city, he not having left enough even to defray funeral
charges. And it is stated that his two daughters were publicly married
out of the prytaneum, or state-house, by the city, which decreed each
of them three thousand drachmas for her portion; and that upon his
son Lysimachus the people bestowed a hundred minas of money, and as
many acres of planted land, and ordered him besides, upon the motion
of Alcibiades, four drachmas a day. Furthermore, Lysimachus leaving
a daughter, named Polycrite, as Callisthenes says, the people voted
her, also, the same allowance for food with those that obtained the
victory in the Olympic Games. But Demetrius the Phalerian, Hieronymus
the Rhodian, Aristoxenus the musician, and Aristotle (if the Treatise
of Nobility is to be reckoned among the genuine pieces of Aristotle)
say that Myrto, Aristides's granddaughter, lived with Socrates the
philosopher, who indeed had another wife, but took her into his house,
being a widow, by reason of her indigence and want of the necessaries
of life. But Panaetius sufficiently confutes this in his book concerning
Socrates. Demetrius the Phalerian, in his Socrates, says he knew one
Lysimachus, son to the daughter of Aristides, extremely poor, who
used to sit near what is called the Iaccheum, and sustained himself
by a table for interpreting dreams; and that, upon his proposal and
representations, a decree was passed by the people to give the mother
and aunt of this man half a drachma a day. The same Demetrius, when
he was legislating himself, decreed each of these women a drachma
per diem. And it is not to be wondered at, that the people of Athens
should take such care of people living in the city, since hearing
the granddaughter of Aristogiton was in a low condition in the isle
of Lemnos, and so poor nobody would marry her, they brought her back
to Athens, and marrying her to a man of good birth, gave a farm at
Potamus as her marriage-portion; and of similar humanity and bounty
the city of Athens, even in our age, has given numerous proofs, and
is justly admired and respected in consequence. 



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