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By Plutarch

(legendary, died 429 B.C.E.)

Translated by John Dryden

CAESAR once, seeing some wealthy strangers at Rome, carrying up and
down with them in their arms and bosoms young puppy-dogs and monkeys,
embracing and making much of them, took occasion not unnaturally to
ask whether the women in their country were not used to bear children;
by that prince-like reprimand gravely reflecting upon persons who
spend and lavish upon brute beasts that affection and kindness which
nature has implanted in us to be bestowed on those of our own kind.
With like reason may we blame those who misuse that love of inquiry
and observation which nature has implanted in our souls, by expending
it on objects unworthy of the attention either of their eyes or their
ears, while they disregard such as are excellent in themselves, and
would do them good. 

The mere outward sense, being passive in responding to the impression
of the objects that come in its way and strike upon it, perhaps cannot
help entertaining and taking notice of everything that addresses it,
be it what it will, useful or unuseful; but, in the exercise of his
mental perception, every man, if he chooses, has a natural power to
turn himself upon all occasions, and to change and shift with the
greatest ease to what he shall himself judge desirable. So that it
becomes a man's duty to pursue and make after the best and choicest
of everything, that he may not only employ his contemplation, but
may also be improved by it. For as that colour is more suitable to
the eye whose freshness and pleasantness stimulates and strengthens
the sight, so a man ought to apply his intellectual perception to
such objects as, with the sense of delight, are apt to call it forth,
and allure it to its own proper good and advantage. 

Such objects we find in the acts of virtue, which also produce in
the minds of mere readers about them an emulation and eagerness that
may lead them on to imitation. In other things there does not immediately
follow upon the admiration and liking of the thing done any strong
desire of doing the like. Nay, many times, on the very contrary, when
we are pleased with the work, we slight and set little by the workman
or artist himself, as for instance, in perfumes and purple dyes, we
are taken with the things themselves well enough, but do not think
dyers and perfumers otherwise than low and sordid people. It was not
said amiss by Antisthenes, when people told him that one Ismenias
was an excellent piper. "It may be so," said he, "but he is but a
wretched human being, otherwise he would not have been an excellent
piper." And King Philip, to the same purpose, told his son Alexander,
who once at a merry-meeting played a piece of music charmingly and
skilfully, "Are you not ashamed, son, to play so well?" For it is
enough for a king or prince to find leisure sometimes to hear others
sing, and he does the muses quite honour enough when he pleases to
be but present, while others engage in such exercises and trials of

He who busies himself in mean occupations produces, in the very pains
he takes about things of little or no use, an evidence against himself
of his negligence and indisposition to what is really good. Nor did
any generous and ingenuous young man, at the sight of the statue of
Jupiter at Pisa, ever desire to be a Phidias, or on seeing that of
Juno at Argos, long to be a Polycletus, or feel induced by his pleasure
in their poems to wish to be an Anacreon or Philetas or Archilochus.
For it does not necessarily follow, that, if a piece of work please
for its gracefulness, therefore he that wrought it deserves our admiration.
Whence it is that neither do such things really profit or advantage
the beholders, upon the sight of which no zeal arises for the imitation
of them, nor any impulse or inclination, which may prompt any desire
or endeavour of doing the like. But virtue, by the bare statement
of its actions, can so affect men's minds as to create at once both
admiration of the things done and desire to imitate the doers of them.
The goods of fortune we would possess and would enjoy; those of virtue
we long to practise and exercise: we are content to receive the former
from others, the latter we wish others to experience from us. Moral
good is a practical stimulus; it is no sooner seen, than it inspires
an impulse to practice, and influences the mind and character not
by a mere imitation which we look at, but by the statement of the
fact creates a moral purpose which we form. 

And so we have thought fit to spend our time and pains in writing
of the lives of famous persons; and have composed this tenth book
upon that subject, containing the life of Pericles, and that of Fabius
Maximus, who carried on the war against Hannibal, men alike, as in
their other virtues and good parts, so especially in their mind and
upright temper and demeanour, and in that capacity to bear the cross-grained
humours of their fellow-citizens and colleagues in office, which made
them both most useful and serviceable to the interests of their countries.
Whether we take a right aim at our intended purpose, it is left to
the reader to judge by what he shall here find. 

Pericles was of the tribe Acamantis, and the township Cholargus, of
the noblest birth both on his father's and mother's side. Xanthippus,
his father, who defeated the King of Persia's generals in the battle
of Mycale, took to wife Agariste, the grandchild of Clisthenes, who
drove out the sons of Pisistratus, and nobly put an end to their tyrannical
usurpation, and, moreover, made a body of laws, and settled a model
of government admirably tempered and suited for the harmony and safety
of the people. 

His mother, being near her time, fancied in a dream that she was brought
to bed of a lion, and a few days after was delivered of Pericles,
in other respects perfectly formed, only his head was somewhat longish
and out of proportion. For which reason almost all the images and
statues that were made of him have the head covered with a helmet,
the workmen apparently being willing not to expose him. The poets
of Athens called him Schinocephalos, or squill-head, from schinos,
a squill, or sea-onion. One of the comic poets, Cratinus, in the Chirons,
tells us that- 

"Old Chronos once took queen Sedition to wife: 
Which two brought to life 
That tyrant far-famed, 
Whom the gods the supreme skull-compeller have named; and, in the
Nemesis, addresses him- 

"Come, Jove, thou head of Gods." And a second, Teleclides, says, that
now, in embarrassment with political difficulties, he sits in the

"Fainting underneath the load 
Of his own head: and now abroad 
From his huge gallery of a pate 
Sends forth trouble to the state." And a third, Eupolis, in the comedy
called the Demi, in a series of questions about each of the demagogues,
whom he makes in the play to come up from hell, upon Pericles being
named last, exclaims- 

"And here by way of summary, now we've done, 
Behold, in brief, the heads of all in one." 

The master that taught him music, most authors are agreed, was Damon
(whose name, they say, ought to be pronounced with the first syllable
short). Though Aristotle tells us that he was thoroughly practised
in all accomplishments of this kind by Pythoclides. Damon, it is not
unlikely, being a sophist, out of policy sheltered himself under the
profession of music to conceal from people in general his skill in
other things, and under this pretence attended Pericles, the young
athlete of politics, so to say, as his training-master in these exercises.
Damon's lyre, however, did not prove altogether a successful blind;
he was banished the country by ostracism for ten years, as a dangerous
intermeddler and a favourer of arbitrary power, and, by this means,
gave the stage occasion to play upon him. As, for instance, Plato,
the comic poet, introduces a character who questions him-

"Tell me, if you please, 
Since you're the Chiron who taught Pericles." 

Pericles, also, was a hearer of Zeno, the Eleatic, who treated of
natural philosophy in the same manner as Parmenides did, but had also
perfected himself in an art of his own for refuting and silencing
opponents in argument; as Timon of Phlius describes it- 

"Also the two-edged tongue of mighty Zeno, who, 
Say what one would, could argue it untrue." 

But he that saw most of Pericles, and furnished him most especially
with a weight and grandeur of sense, superior to all arts of popularity,
and in general gave him his elevation and sublimity of purpose and
of character, was Anaxagoras of Clazomenae; whom the men of those
times called by the name of Nous, that is, mind, or intelligence,
whether in admiration of the great and extraordinary gift he had displayed
for the science of nature, or because that he was the first of the
philosophers who did not refer the first ordering of the world to
fortune or chance, nor to necessity or compulsion, but to a pure,
unadulterated intelligence, which in all other existing mixed and
compound things acts as a principle of discrimination, and of combination
of like with like. 

For this man, Pericles entertained an extraordinary esteem and admiration,
and filling himself with this lofty and, as they call it, up-in-the-air
sort of thought, derived hence not merely, as was natural, elevation
of purpose and dignity of language, raised far above the base and
dishonest buffooneries of mob eloquence, but, besides this, a composure
of countenance, and a serenity and calmness in all his movements,
which no occurrence whilst he was speaking could disturb, a sustained
and even tone of voice, and various other advantages of a similar
kind, which produced the greatest effect on his hearers. Once, after
being reviled and ill-spoken of all day long in his own hearing by
some vile and abandoned fellow in the open market-place, where he
was engaged in the despatch of some urgent affair. He continued his
business in perfect silence, and in the evening returned home composedly,
the man still dogging him at the heels, and pelting him all the way
with abuse and foul language; and stepping into his house, it being
by this time dark, he ordered one of his servants to take a light,
and to go along with the man and see him safe home. Ion, it is true,
the dramatic poet, says that Pericles's manner in company was somewhat
over-assuming and pompous; and that into his high-bearing there entered
a good deal of slightingness and scorn of others; he reserves his
commendation for Cimon's ease and pliancy and natural grace in society.
Ion, however, who must needs make virtue, like a show of tragedies,
include some comic scenes, we shall not altogether rely upon; Zeno
used to bid those who called Pericles's gravity the affectation of
a charlatan, to go and affect the like themselves; inasmuch as this
mere counterfeiting might in time insensibly instil into them a real
love and knowledge of those noble qualities. 

Nor were these the only advantages which Pericles derived from Anaxagoras's
acquaintance; he seems also to have become, by his instructions, superior
to that superstition with which an ignorant wonder at appearances,
for example, in the heavens, possesses the minds of people unacquainted
with their causes, eager for the supernatural, and excitable through
an inexperience which the knowledge of natural causes removes, replacing
wild and timid superstition by the good hope and assurance of an intelligent

There is a story, that once Pericles had brought to him from a country
farm of his a ram's head with one horn, and that Lampon, the diviner,
upon seeing the horn grow strong and solid out of the midst of the
forehead, gave it as his judgment, that, there being at that time
two potent factions, parties, or interests in the city, the one of
Thucydides and the other of Pericles, the government would come about
to that one of them in whose ground or estate this token or indication
of fate had shown itself. But that Anaxagoras, cleaving the skull
in sunder, showed to the bystanders that the brain had not filled
up its natural place, but being oblong, like an egg, had collected
from all parts of the vessel which contained it in a point to that
place from whence the root of the horn took its rise. And that, for
that time, Anaxagoras was much admired for his explanation by those
that were present; and Lampon no less a little while after, when Thucydides
was overpowered, and the whole affairs of the state and government
came into the hands of Pericles. 

And yet, in my opinion, it is no absurdity to say that they were both
in the right, both natural philosopher and diviner, one justly detecting
the cause of this event, by which it was produced, the other the end
for which it was designed. For it was the business of the one to find
out and give an account of what it was made, and in what manner and
by what means it grew as it did; and of the other to foretell to what
end and purpose it was so made, and what it might mean or portend.
Those who say that to find out the cause of a prodigy is in effect
to destroy its supposed signification as such, do not take notice,
that, at the same time, together with divine prodigies, they also
do away with signs and signals of human art and concert, as, for instance,
the clashings of quoits, fire-beacons, and the shadows of sun-dials,
every one of which has its cause, and by that cause and contrivance
is a sign of something else. But these are subjects, perhaps, that
would better befit another place. 

Pericles, while yet but a young man, stood in considerable apprehension
of the people, as he was thought in face and figure to be very like
the tyrant Pisistratus, and those of great age remarked upon the sweetness
of his voice, and his volubility and rapidity in speaking, and were
struck with amazement at the resemblance. Reflecting, too, that he
had a considerable estate, and was descended of a noble family, and
had friends of great influence, he was fearful all this might bring
him to be banished as a dangerous person, and for this reason meddled
not at all with state affairs, but in military service showed himself
of a brave and intrepid nature. But when Aristides was now dead, and
Themistocles driven out, and Cimon was for the most part kept abroad
by the expeditions he made in parts out of Greece, Pericles, seeing
things in this posture, now advanced and took his side, not with the
rich and few, but with the many and poor, contrary to his natural
bent, which was far from democratical; but, most likely fearing he
might fall under suspicion of aiming at arbitrary power, and seeing
Cimon on the side of the aristocracy, and much beloved by the better
and more distinguished people, he joined the party of the people,
with a view at once both to secure himself and procure means against

He immediately entered, also, on quite a new course of life and management
of his time. For he was never seen to walk in any street but that
which led to the market-place and council-hall, and he avoided invitations
of friends to supper, and all friendly visiting and intercourse whatever;
in all the time he had to do with the public, which was not a little,
he was never known to have gone to any of his friends to a supper,
except that once when his near kinsman Euryptolemus married, he remained
present till the ceremony of the drink-offering, and then immediately
rose from table and went his way. For these friendly meetings are
very quick to defeat any assumed superiority, and in intimate familiarity
an exterior of gravity is hard to maintain. Real excellence, indeed,
is most recognized when most openly looked into; and in really good
men, nothing which meets the eyes of external observers so truly deserves
their admiration, as their daily common life does that of their nearer
friends. Pericles, however, to avoid any feeling of commonness, or
any satiety on the part of the people, presented himself at intervals
only, not speaking to every business, nor at all times coming into
the assembly, but, as Critolaus says, reserving himself, like the
Salaminian galley, for great occasions, while matters of lesser importance
were despatched by friends or other speakers under his direction.
And of this number we are told Ephialtes made one, who broke the power
of the council of Areopagus, giving the people, according to Plato's
expression, so copious and so strong a draught of liberty, that growing
wild and unruly, like an unmanageable horse, it, as the comic poets

"-got beyond all keeping in, 
Champing at Euboea, and among the islands leaping in." 

The style of speaking most consonant to his form of life and the dignity
of his views he found, so to say, in the tones of that instrument
with which Anaxagoras had furnished him; of his teaching he continually
availed himself, and deepened the colours of rhetoric with the dye
of natural science. For having, in addition to his great natural genius,
attained, by the study of nature, to use the words of the divine Plato,
this height of intelligence, and this universal consummating power,
and drawing hence whatever might be of advantage to him in the art
of speaking, he showed himself far superior to all others. Upon which
account, they say, he had his nickname given him; though some are
of opinion he was named the Olympian from the public buildings with
which he adorned the city; and others again, from his great power
in public affairs, whether of war or peace. Nor is it unlikely that
the confluence of many attributes may have conferred it on him. However,
the comedies represented at the time, which, both in good earnest
and in merriment, let fly many hard words at him, plainly show that
he got that appellation especially from his speaking; they speak of
his "thundering and lightning" when he harangued the people, and of
his wielding a dreadful thunderbolt in his tongue. 

A saying also of Thucydides, the son of Melesias, stands on record,
spoken by him by way of pleasantry upon Pericles's dexterity. Thucydides
was one of the noble and distinguished citizens, and had been his
greatest opponent; and, when Archidamus, the King of the Lacedaemonians,
asked him whether he or Pericles were the better wrestler, he made
this answer: "When I," said he, "have thrown him and given him a fair
fall, by persisting that he had no fall, he gets the better of me,
and makes the bystanders, in spite of their own eyes, believe him."
The truth, however, is, that Pericles himself was very careful what
and how he was to speak, insomuch that, whenever he went up to the
hustings, he prayed the gods that no one word might unawares slip
from him unsuitable to the matter and the occasion. 

He has left nothing in writing behind him, except some decrees; and
there are but very few of his sayings recorded; one, for example,
is, that he said Aegina must, like a gathering in a man's eye, be
removed from Piraeus; and another, that he said he saw already war
moving on its way towards them out of Peloponnesus. Again, when on
a time Sophocles, who was his fellow-commissioner in the generalship,
was going on board with him, and praised the beauty of a youth they
met with in the way to the ship, "Sophocles," said he, "a general
ought not only to have clean hands but also clean eyes." And Stesimbrotus
tells us that, in his encomium on those who fell in battle at Samos,
he said they were become immortal, as the gods were. "For," said he,
"we do not see them themselves, but only by the honours we pay them,
and by the benefits they do us, attribute to them immortality; and
the like attributes belong also to those that die in the service of
their country." 

Since Thucydides describes the rule of Pericles as an aristocratical
government, that went by the name of a democracy, but was, indeed,
the supremacy of a single great man, while many others say, on the
contrary, that by him the common people were first encouraged and
led on to such evils as appropriations of subject territory, allowances
for attending theatres, payments for performing public duties, and
by these bad habits were, under the influence of his public measures,
changed from a sober, thrifty people, that maintained themselves by
their own labours, to lovers of expense, intemperance, and licence,
let us examine the cause of this change by the actual matters of fact.

At the first, as has been said, when he set himself against Cimon's
great authority, he did caress the people. Finding himself come short
of his competitor in wealth and money, by which advantages the other
was enabled to take care of the poor, inviting every day some one
or other of the citizens that was in want to supper, and bestowing
clothes on the aged people, and breaking down the hedges and enclosures
of his grounds, that all that would might freely gather what fruit
they pleased, Pericles, thus outdone in popular arts, by the advice
of one Damonides of Oea, as Aristotle states, turned to the distribution
of the public moneys; and in a short time having bought the people
over, what with moneys allowed for shows and for service on juries,
and what with other forms of pay and largess, he made use of them
against the council of Areopagus of which he himself was no member,
as having never been appointed by lot- either chief archon, or lawgiver,
or king, or captain. For from of old these offices were conferred
on persons by lot, and they who had acquitted themselves duly in the
discharge of them were advanced to the court of Areopagus. And so
Pericles, having secured his power in interest with the populace,
directed the exertions of his party against this council with such
success, that most of these causes and matters which had been used
to be tried there were, by the agency of Ephialtes, removed from its
cognisance; Cimon, also, was banished by ostracism as a favourer of
the Lacedaemonians and a hater of the people, though in wealth and
noble birth he was among the first, and had won several most glorious
victories over the barbarians, and had filled the city with money
and spoils of war; as is recorded in the history of his life. So vast
an authority had Pericles obtained among the people. 

The ostracism was limited by law to ten years; but the Lacedaemonians,
in the meantime, entering with a great army into the territory of
Tanagra, and the Athenians going out against them, Cimon, coming from
his banishment before his time was out, put himself in arms and array
with those of his fellow-citizens that were of his own tribe, and
desired by his deeds to wipe off the suspicion of his favouring the
Lacedaemonians, by venturing his own person along with his countrymen.
But Pericles's friends, gathering in a body, forced him to retire
as a banished man. For which cause also Pericles seems to have exerted
himself more in that than in any battle, and to have been conspicuous
above all for his exposure of himself to danger. All Cimon's friends,
also, to a man, fell together side by side, whom Pericles had accused
with him of taking part with the Lacedaemonians. Defeated in this
battle on their own frontiers, and expecting a new and perilous attack
with return of spring, the Athenians now felt regret and sorrow for
the loss of Cimon, and repentance for their expulsion of him. Pericles,
being sensible of their feelings, did not hesitate or delay to gratify
it, and himself made the motion for recalling him home. He, upon his
return, concluded a peace betwixt the two cities; for the Lacedaemonians
entertained as kindly feelings towards him as they did the reverse
towards Pericles and the other popular leaders. 

Yet some there are who say that Pericles did not propose the order
for Cimon's return till some private articles of agreement had been
made between them, and this by means of Elpinice, Cimon's sister;
that Cimon, namely, should go out to sea with a fleet of two hundred
ships, and be commander-in-chief abroad, with a design to reduce the
King of Persia's territories, and that Pericles should have the power
at home. 

This Elpinice, it was thought, had before this time procured some
favour for her brother Cimon at Pericles's hands, and induced him
to be more remiss and gentle in urging the charge when Cimon was tried
for his life; for Pericles was one of the committee appointed by the
commons to plead against him. And when Elpinice came and besought
him in her brother's behalf, he answered, with a smile, "O Elpinice,
you are too old a woman to undertake such business as this." But,
when he appeared to impeach him, he stood up but once to speak, merely
to acquit himself of his commission, and went out of court, having
done Cimon the least prejudice of any of his accusers. 

How, then, can one believe Idomeneus, who charges Pericles as if he
had by treachery procured the murder of Ephialtes, the popular statesman,
one who was his friend, and of his own party in all his political
course, out of jealousy, forsooth, and envy of his great reputation?
This historian, it seems, having raked up these stories, I know not
whence, has befouled with them a man who, perchance, was not altogether
free from fault or blame, but yet had a noble spirit, and a soul that
was bent on honour; and where such qualities are, there can no such
cruel and brutal passion find harbour or gain admittance. As to Ephialtes,
the truth of the story, as Aristotle has told it, is this: that having
made himself formidable to the oligarchical party, by being an uncompromising
asserter of the people's rights in calling to account and prosecuting
those who any way wronged them, his enemies, lying in wait for him,
by the means of Aristodicus the Tanagraean, privately despatched him.

Cimon, while he was admiral, ended his days in the Isle of Cyprus.
And the aristocratical party, seeing that Pericles was already before
this grown to be the greatest and foremost man of all the city, but
nevertheless wishing there should be somebody set up against him,
to blunt and turn the edge of his power, that it might not altogether
prove a monarchy, put forward Thucydides of Alopece, a discreet person,
and a near kinsman of Cimon's, to conduct the opposition against him;
who, indeed, though less skilled in warlike affairs than Cimon was,
yet was better versed in speaking and political business and keeping
close guard in the city, and, engaging with Pericles on the hustings,
in a short time brought the government to an equality of parties.
For he would not suffer those who were called the honest and good
(persons of worth and distinction) to be scattered up and down and
mix themselves and be lost among the populace, as formerly, diminishing
and obscuring their superiority amongst the masses; but taking them
apart by themselves and uniting them in one body, by their combined
weight he was able, as it were upon the balance, to make a counterpoise
to the other party. 

For, indeed, there was from the beginning a sort of concealed split,
or seam, as it might be in a piece of iron, marking the different
popular and aristocratical tendencies; but the open rivalry and contention
of these two opponents made the gash deep, and severed the city into
the two parties of the people and the few. And so Pericles, at that
time, more than at any other, let loose the reins to the people, and
made his policy subservient to their pleasure, contriving continually
to have some great public show or solemnity, some banquet, or some
procession or other in the town to please them, coaxing his countrymen
like children with such delights and pleasures as were not, however,
unedifying. Besides that every year he sent out threescore galleys,
on board of which there were numbers of the citizens, who were in
pay eight months, learning at the same time and practising the art
of seamanship. 

He sent, moreover, a thousand of them into the Chersonese as planters,
to share the land among them by lot, and five hundred more into the
isle of Naxos, and half that number to Andros, a thousand into Thrace
to dwell among the Bisaltae, and others into Italy, when the city
Sybaris, which now was called Thurii, was to be repeopled. And this
he did to ease and discharge the city of an idle, and, by reason of
their idleness, a busy meddling crowd of people; and at the same time
to meet the necessities and restore the fortunes of the poor townsmen,
and to intimidate, also, and check their allies from attempting any
change, by posting such garrisons, as it were, in the midst of them.

That which gave most pleasure and ornament to the city of Athens,
and the greatest admiration and even astonishment to all strangers,
and that which now is Greece's only evidence that the power she boasts
of and her ancient wealth are no romance or idle story, was his construction
of the public and sacred buildings. Yet this was that of all his actions
in the government which his enemies most looked askance upon and cavilled
at in the popular assemblies, crying out how that the commonwealth
of Athens had lost its reputation and was ill-spoken of abroad for
removing the common treasure of the Greeks from the isle of Delos
into their own custody; and how that their fairest excuse for so doing,
namely, that they took it away for fear the barbarians should seize
it, and on purpose to secure it in a safe place, this Pericles had
made unavailable, and how that "Greece cannot but resent it as an
insufferable affront, and consider herself to be tyrannized over openly,
when she sees the treasure, which was contributed by her upon a necessity
for the war, wantonly lavished out by us upon our city, to gild her
all over, and to adorn and set her forth, as it were some vain woman,
hung round with precious stones and figures and temples, which cost
a world of money." 

Pericles, on the other hand, informed the people, that they were in
no way obliged to give any account of those moneys to their allies,
so long as they maintained their defence, and kept off the barbarians
from attacking them; while in the meantime they did not so much as
supply one horse or man or ship, but only found money for the service;
"which money," said he, "is not theirs that give it, but theirs that
receive it, if so be they perform the conditions upon which they receive
it." And that it was good reason, that, now the city was sufficiently
provided and stored with all things necessary for the war, they should
convert the overplus of its wealth to such undertakings as would hereafter,
when completed, give them eternal honour, and, for the present, while
in process, freely supply all the inhabitants with plenty. With their
variety of workmanship and of occasions for service, which summon
all arts and trades and require all hands to be employed about them,
they do actually put the whole city, in a manner, into state-pay;
while at the same time she is both beautiful and maintained by herself.
For as those who are of age and strength for war are provided for
and maintained in the armaments abroad by their pay out of the public
stock, so, it being his desire and design that the undisciplined mechanic
multitude that stayed at home should not go without their share of
public salaries, and yet should not have them given them for sitting
still and doing nothing, to that end he thought fit to bring in among
them, with the approbation of the people, these vast projects of buildings
and designs of work, that would be of some continuance before they
were finished, and would give employment to numerous arts, so that
the part of the people that stayed at home might, no less than those
that were at sea or in garrisons or on expeditions, have a fair and
just occasion of receiving the benefit and having their share of the
public moneys. 

The materials were stone, brass, ivory, gold, ebony, cypresswood;
and the arts or trades that wrought and fashioned them were smiths
and carpenters, moulders, founders and braziers, stone-cutters, dyers,
goldsmiths, ivory-workers, painters, embroiderers, turners; those
again that conveyed them to the town for use, merchants and mariners
and ship-masters by sea, and by land, cartwrights, cattle-breeders,
wagoners, rope-makers, flax-workers, shoemakers and leather-dressers,
road-makers, miners. And every trade in the same nature, as a captain
in an army has his particular company of soldiers under him, had its
own hired company of journeymen and labourers belonging to it banded
together as in array, to be as it were the instrument and body for
the performance of the service. Thus, to say all in a word, the occasions
and services of these public works distributed plenty through every
age and condition. 

As then grew the works up, no less stately in size than exquisite
in form, the workmen striving to outvie the material and the design
with the beauty of their workmanship, yet the most wonderful thing
of all was the rapidity of their execution. 

Undertakings, any one of which singly might have required, they thought,
for their completion, several successions and ages of men, were every
one of them accomplished in the height and prime of one man's political
service. Although they say, too, that Zeuxis once, having heard Agatharchus
the painter boast of despatching his work with speed and ease, replied,
"I take a long time." For ease and speed in doing a thing do not give
the work lasting solidity or exactness of beauty; the expenditure
of time allowed to a man's pains beforehand for the production of
a thing is repaid by way of interest with a vital force for the preservation
when once produced. For which reason Pericles's works are especially
admired, as having been made quickly, to last long. For every particular
piece of his work was immediately, even at that time, for its beauty
and elegance, antique; and yet in its vigour and freshness looks to
this day as if it were just executed. There is a sort of bloom of
newness upon those works of his, preserving them from the touch of
time, as if they had some perennial spirit and undying vitality mingled
in the composition of them. 

Phidias had the oversight of all the works, and was surveyor-general,
though upon the various portions other great masters and workmen were
employed. For Callicrates and Ictinus built the Parthenon; the chapel
at Eleusis, where the mysteries were celebrated, was begun by Coroebus,
who erected the pillars that stand upon the floor or pavement, and
joined them to the architraves; and after his death Metagenes of Xypete
added the frieze and the upper line of columns; Xenocles of Cholargus
roofed or arched the lantern on top of the temple of Castor and Pollux;
and the long wall, which Socrates says he himself heard Pericles propose
to the people, was undertaken by Callicrates. This work Cratinus ridicules,
as long in finishing- 

"'Tis long since Pericles, if words would do it, 
Talked up the wall; yet adds not one mite to it." 

The Odeum, or music-room, which in its interior was full of seats
and ranges of pillars, and outside had its roof made to slope and
descend from one single point at the top, was constructed, we are
told, in imitation of the King of Persia's Pavilion; this likewise
by Pericles's order; which Cratinus again, in his comedy called the
Thracian Women, made an occasion of raillery- 

"So, we see here, 
Jupiter Long-pate Pericles appear, 
Since ostracism time, he's laid aside his head, 
And wears the new Odeum in its stead." 

Pericles, also eager for distinction, then first obtained the decree
for a contest in musical skill to be held yearly at the Panathenaea,
and he himself, being chosen judge, arranged the order and method
in which the competitors should sing and play on the flute and on
the harp. And both at that time, and at other times also, they sat
in this music-room to see and hear all such trials of skill.

The propylaea, or entrances to the Acropolis, were finished in five
years' time, Mnesicles being the principal architect. A strange accident
happened in the course of building, which showed that the goddess
was not averse to the work, but was aiding and co-operating to bring
it to perfection. One of the artificers, the quickest and the handiest
workman among them all, with a slip of his foot fell down from a great
height, and lay in a miserable condition, the physicians having no
hope of his recovery. When Pericles was in distress about this, Minerva
appeared to him at night in a dream, and ordered a course of treatment,
which he applied, and in a short time and with great ease cured the
man. And upon this occasion it was that he set up a brass statue of
Minerva, surnamed Health, in the citadel near the altar, which they
say was there before. But it was Phidias who wrought the goddess's
image in gold, and he has his name inscribed on the pedestal as the
workman of it; and indeed the whole work in a manner was under his
charge, and he had, as we have said already, the oversight over all
the artists and workmen, through Pericles's friendship for him; and
this, indeed, made him much envied, and his patron shamefully slandered
with stories, as if Phidias were in the habit of receiving, for Pericles's
use, freeborn women that came to see the works. The comic writers
of the town, when they had got hold of this story, made much of it,
and bespattered him with all the ribaldry they could invent, charging
him falsely with the wife of Menippus, one who was his friend and
served as lieutenant under him in the wars; and with the birds kept
by Pyrilampes, an acquaintance of Pericles, who, they pretended, used
to give presents of peacocks to Pericles's female friends. And how
can one wonder at any number of strange assertions from men whose
whole lives were devoted to mockery, and who were ready at any time
to sacrifice the reputation of their superiors to vulgar envy and
spite, as to some evil genius, when even Stesimbrotus the Thracian
has dared to lay to the charge of Pericles a monstrous and fabulous
piece of criminality with his son's wife? So very difficult a matter
is it to trace and find out the truth of anything by history, when,
on the one hand, those who afterwards write it find long periods of
time intercepting their view, and, on the other hand, the contemporary
records of any actions and lives, partly through envy and ill-will,
partly through favour and flattery, pervert and distort truth.

When the orators, who sided with Thucydides and his party, were at
one time crying out, as their custom was, against Pericles, as one
who squandered away the public money, and made havoc of the state
revenues, he rose in the open assembly and put the question to the
people, whether they thought that he had laid out much; and they saying,
"Too much, a great deal," "Then," said he, "since it is so, let the
cost not go to your account, but to mine; and let the inscription
upon the buildings stand in my name." When they heard him say thus,
whether it were out of a surprise to see the greatness of his spirit
or out of emulation of the glory of the works, they cried aloud, bidding
him to spend on, and lay out what he thought fit from the public purse,
and to spare no cost, till all were finished. 

At length, coming to a final contest with Thucydides which of the
two should ostracism the other out of the country, and having gone
through this peril, he threw his antagonist out, and broke up the
confederacy that had been organized against him. So that now all schism
and division being at an end, and the city brought to evenness and
unity, he got all Athens and all affairs that pertained to the Athenians
into his own hands, their tributes, their armies, and their galleys,
the islands, the sea, and their wide-extended power, partly over other
Greeks and partly over barbarians, and all that empire, which they
possessed, founded and fortified upon subject nations and royal friendships
and alliance. 

After this he was no longer the same man he had been before, nor as
tame and gentle and familiar as formerly with the populace, so as
readily to yield to their pleasures and to comply with the desires
of the multitude, as a steersman shifts with the winds. Quitting that
loose, remiss, and, in some cases, licentious court of the popular
will, he turned those soft and flowery modulations to the austerity
of aristocratical and regal rule; and employing this uprightly and
undeviatingly for the country's best interests, he was able generally
to lead the people along, with their own wills and consents, by persuading
and showing them what was to be done; and sometimes, too, urging and
pressing them forward extremely against their will, he made them,
whether they would or no, yield submission to what was for their advantage.
In which, to say the truth, he did but like a skilful physician, who,
in a complicated and chronic disease, as he sees occasion, at one
while allows his patient the moderate use of such things as please
him, at another while gives him keen pains and drug to work the cure.
For there arising and growing up, as was natural, all manner of distempered
feelings among a people which had so vast a command and dominion,
he alone, as a great master, knowing how to handle and deal fitly
with each one of them, and, in an especial manner, making that use
of hopes and fears, as his two chief rudders, with the one to check
the career of their confidence at any time, with the other to raise
them up and cheer them when under any discouragement, plainly showed
by this, that rhetoric, or the art of speaking, is, in Plato's language,
the government of the souls of men, and that her chief business is
to address the affections and passions, which are as it were the strings
and keys to the soul, and require a skilful and careful touch to be
played on as they should be. The source of this predominance was not
barely his power of language, but, as Thucydides assures us, the reputation
of his life, and the confidence felt in his character; his manifest
freedom from every kind of corruption, and superiority to all considerations
of money. Notwithstanding he had made the city of Athens, which was
great of itself, as great and rich as can be imagined, and though
he were himself in power and interest more than equal to many kings
and absolute rulers, who some of them also bequeathed by will their
power to their children, he, for his part, did not make the patrimony
his father left him greater than it was by one drachma. 

Thucydides, indeed, gives a plain statement of the greatness of his
power; and the comic poets, in their spiteful manner, more than hint
at it, styling his companions and friends the new Pisistratidae, and
calling on him to abjure any intention of usurpation, as one whose
eminence was too great to be any longer proportionable to and compatible
with a democracy or popular government. And Teleclides says the Athenians
had surrendered up to him- 

"The tribute of the cities, and with them, the cities too,

to do with them as he pleases, and undo; 
To build up, if he likes, stone walls around a town; and again,

if so he likes, to pull them down; 
Their treaties and alliances, power, empire, peace, and war,

their wealth and their success forever more." 

Nor was all this the luck of some happy occasion; nor was it the mere
bloom and grace of a policy that flourished for a season; but having
for forty years together maintained the first place among statesmen
such as Ephialtes and Leocrates and Myronides and Cimon and Tolmides
and Thucydides were, after the defeat and banishment of Thucydides,
for no less than fifteen years longer, in the exercise of one continuous
unintermitted command in the office, to which he was annually re-elected,
of General, he preserved his integrity unspotted; though otherwise
he was not altogether idle or careless in looking after his pecuniary
advantage; his paternal estate, which of right belonged to him, he
so ordered that it might neither through negligence he wasted or lessened,
nor yet, being so full of business as he was, cost him any great trouble
or time with taking care of it; and put it into such a way of management
as he thought to be the most easy for himself, and the most exact.
All his yearly products and profits he sold together in a lump, and
supplied his household needs afterwards by buying everything that
he or his family wanted out of the market. Upon which account, his
children, when they grew to age, were not well pleased with his management,
and the women that lived with him were treated with little cost, and
complained of his way of housekeeping, where everything was ordered
and set down from day to day, and reduced to the greatest exactness;
since there was not there, as is usual in a great family and a plentiful
estate, anything to spare, or over and above; but all that went out
or came in, all disbursements and all receipts, proceeded as it were
by number and measure. His manager in all this was a single servant,
Evangelus by name, a man either naturally gifted or instructed by
Pericles so as to excel every one in this art of domestic economy.

All this, in truth, was very little in harmony with Anaxagoras's wisdom;
if, indeed, it be true that he, by a kind of divine impulse and greatness
of spirit, voluntarily quitted his house, and left his land to lie
fallow and to be grazed by sheep like a common. But the life of a
contemplative philosopher and that of an active statesman are, I presume,
not the same thing; for the one merely employs, upon great and good
objects of thought, an intelligence that requires no aid of instruments
nor supply of any external materials; whereas the other, who tempers
and applies his virtue to human uses, may have occasion for affluence,
not as a matter of necessity, but as a noble thing; which was Pericles's
case, who relieved numerous poor citizens. 

However, there is a story that Anaxagoras himself, while Pericles
was taken up with public affairs, lay neglected, and that, now being
grown old, he wrapped himself up with a resolution to die for want
of food; which being by chance brought to Pericles's ear, he was horror-struck,
and instantly ran thither, and used all the arguments and entreaties
he could to him, lamenting not so much Anaxagoras's condition as his
own, should he lose such a counsellor as he had found him to be; and
that, upon this, Anaxagoras unfolded his robe, and showing himself,
made answer: "Pericles," said he, "even those who have occasion for
a lamp supply it with oil." 

The Lacedaemonians beginning to show themselves troubled at the growth
of the Athenian power, Pericles, on the other hand, to elevate the
people's spirit yet more, and to raise them to the thought of great
actions, proposed a decree, to summon all the Greeks in what, part
soever, whether of Europe or Asia, every city, little as well as great,
to send their deputies to Athens to a general assembly, or convention,
there to consult and advise concerning the Greek temples which the
barbarians had burnt down, and the sacrifices which were due from
them upon vows they had made to their gods for the safety of Greece
when they fought against the barbarians; and also concerning the navigation
of the sea, that they might henceforward pass to and fro and trade
securely and be at peace among themselves. 

Upon this errand there were twenty men, of such as were above fifty
years of age, sent by commission; five to summon the Ionians and Dorians
in Asia, and the islanders as far as Lesbos and Rhodes; five to visit
all the places in the Hellespont and Thrace, up to Byzantium; and
other five besides these to go to Boeotia and Phocis and Peloponnesus,
and from hence to pass through the Locrians over to the neighbouring
continent as far as Acarnania and Ambracia; and the rest to take their
course through Euboea to the Oetaeans and the Malian Gulf, and to
the Achaeans of Phthiotis and the Thessalians; all of them to treat
with the people as they passed, and persuade them to come and take
their part in the debates for settling the peace and jointly regulating
the affairs of Greece. 

Nothing was effected, nor did the cities meet by their deputies, as
was desired; the Lacedaemonians, as it is said, crossing the design
underhand, and the attempt being disappointed and baffled first in
Peloponnesus. I thought fit, however, to introduce the mention of
it, to show the spirit of the man and the greatness of his thoughts.

In his military conduct, he gained a great reputation for wariness;
he would not by his good-will engage in any fight which had much uncertainty
or hazard; he did not envy the glory of generals whose rash adventures
fortune favoured with brilliant success, however they were admired
by others; nor did he think them worthy his imitation, but always
used to say to his citizens that, so far as lay in his power, they
should continue immortal, and live for ever. Seeing Tolmides, the
son of Tolmaeus, upon the confidence of his former successes, and
flushed with the honour his military actions had procured him, making
preparations to attack the Boeotians in their own country when there
was no likely opportunity, and that he had prevailed with the bravest
and most enterprising of the youth to enlist themselves as volunteers
in the service, who besides his other force made up a thousand, he
endeavoured to withhold him and to advise him from it in the public
assembly, telling him in a memorable saying of his, which still goes
about, that, if he would not take Pericles's advice, yet he would
not do amiss to wait and be ruled by time, the wisest counsellor of
all. This saying, at that time, was but slightly commended; but within
a few days after, when news was brought that Tolmides himself had
been defeated and slain in battle near Coronea, and that many brave
citizens had fallen with him, it gained him great repute as well as
good-will among the people, for wisdom and for love of his countrymen.

But of all his expeditions, that to the Chersonese gave most satisfaction
and pleasure, having proved the safety of the Greeks who inhabited
there. For not only by carrying along with him a thousand fresh citizens
of Athens he gave new strength and vigour to the cities, but also
by belting the neck of land, which joins the peninsula to the continent,
with bulwarks and forts from sea to sea, he put a stop to the inroads
of the Thracians, who lay all about the Chersonese, and closed the
door against a continual and grievous war, with which that country
had been long harassed, lying exposed to the encroachments and influx
of barbarous neighbours, and groaning under the evils of a predatory
population both upon and within its borders. 

Nor was he less admired and talked of abroad for his sailing around
the Peloponnesus, having set out from Pegae, or The Fountains, the
port of Megara, with a hundred galleys. For he not only laid waste
the sea-coast, as Tolmides had done before, but also, advancing far
up into the mainland with the soldiers he had on board, by the terror
of his appearance drove many within their walls; and at Nemea, with
main force, routed and raised a trophy over the Sicyonians, who stood
their ground and joined battle with him. And having taken on board
a supply of soldiers into the galleys out of Achaia, then in league
with Athens, he crossed with the fleet to the opposite continent,
and, sailing along by the mouth of the river Achelous, overran Acarnania
and shut up the Oeniadae within their city walls, and having ravaged
and wasted their country, weighed anchor for home with the double
advantage of having shown himself formidable to his enemies, and at
the same time safe and energetic to his fellow citizens; for there
was not so much as any chance miscarriage that happened, the whole
voyage through, to those who were under his charge. 

Entering also the Euxine Sea with a large and finely equipped fleet,
he obtained for the Greek cities any new arrangements they wanted,
and entered into friendly relations with them; and to the barbarous
nations, and kings and chiefs round about them, displayed the greatness
of the power of the Athenians, their perfect ability avid confidence
to sail where-ever they had a mind, and to bring the whole sea under
their control. He left the Sinopians thirteen ships of war, with soldiers
under the command of Lamachus, to assist them against Timesileus the
tyrant; and when he and his accomplices had been thrown out, obtained
a decree that six hundred of the Athenians that were willing should
sail to Sinope and plant themselves there with the Sinopians, sharing
among them the houses and land which the tyrant and his party had
previously held. 

But in other things he did not comply with the giddy impulses of the
citizens, nor quit his own resolutions to follow their fancies, when,
carried away with the thought of their strength and great success,
they were eager to interfere again in Egypt, and to disturb the King
of Persia's maritime dominions. Nay, there were a good many who were,
even then, possessed with that unblest and inauspicious passion for
Sicily, which afterward the orators of Alcibiades's party blew up
into a flame. There were some also who dreamt of Tuscany and Carthage,
and not without plausible reason in their present large dominion and
prosperous course of their affairs. 

But Pericles curbed this passion for foreign conquest, and unsparingly
pruned and cut down their ever busy fancies for a multitude of undertakings;
and directed their power for the most part to securing and consolidating
what they had already got, supposing it would be quite enough for
them to do, if they could keep the Lacedaemonians in check; to whom
he entertained all along a sense of opposition; which, as upon many
other occasions, so he particularly showed by what he did in the time
of the holy war. The Lacedaemonians, having gone with an army to Delphi,
restored Apollo's temple, which the Phocians had got into their possession,
to the Delphians; immediately after their departure, Pericles, with
another army, came and restored the Phocians. And the Lacedaemonians,
having engraven the record of their privilege of consulting the oracle
before others, which the Delphians gave them, upon the forehead of
the brazen wolf which stands there, he, also, having received from
the Phocians the like privilege for the Athenians, had it cut upon
the same wolf of brass on his right side. 

That he did well and wisely in thus restraining the exertions of the
Athenians within the compass of Greece, the events themselves that
happened afterward bore sufficient witness. For, in the first place,
the Euboeans revolted, against whom he passed over with forces; and
then, immediately after, news came that the Megarians were turned
their enemies; and a hostile army was upon the borders of Attica,
under the conduct of Plistoanax, King of the Lacedaemonians. Wherefore
Pericles came with his army back again in all haste out of Euboea,
to meet the war which threatened at home; and did not venture to engage
a numerous and brave army eager for battle; but perceiving that Plistoanax
was a very young man, and governed himself mostly by the counsel and
advice of Cleandrides, whom the ephors had sent with him, by reason
of his youth, to be a kind of guardian and assistant to him, he privately
made trial of this man's integrity, and, in a short time, having corrupted
him with money, prevailed with him to withdraw the Peloponnesians
out of Attica. When the army had retired and dispersed into their
several states, the Lacedaemonians in anger fined their king in so
large a sum of money, that, unable to pay it, he quitted Lacedaemon;
while Cleandrides fled, and had sentence of death passed upon him
in his absence. This was the father of Gylippus, who overpowered the
Athenians in Sicily. And it seems that this covetousness was an hereditary
disease transmitted from father to son; for Gylippus also afterwards
was caught in foul practices, and expelled from Sparta for it. But
this we have told at large in the account of Lysander. 

When Pericles, in giving up his accounts of this expedition, stated
a disbursement of ten talents, as laid out upon fit occasion, the
people, without any question, nor troubling themselves to investigate
the mystery, freely allowed of it. And some historians, in which number
is Theophrastus the philosopher, have given it as a truth that Pericles
every year used to send privately the sum of ten talents to Sparta,
with which he complimented those in office, to keep off the war; not
to purchase peace neither, but time, that he might prepare at leisure,
and be the better able to carry on war hereafter. 

Immediately after this, turning his forces against the revolters,
and passing over into the island of Euboea with fifty sail of ships
and five thousand men in arms, he reduced their cities, and drove
out the citizens of the Chalcidians, called Hippobotae, horse-feeders,
the chief persons for wealth and reputation among them; and removing
all the Histiaeans out of the country, brought in a plantation of
Athenians in their room; making them his one example of severity,
because they had captured an Attic ship and killed all on board.

After this, having made a truce between the Athenians and Lacedaemonians
for thirty years, he ordered, by public decree, the expedition against
the isle of Samos, on the ground, that, when they were bid to leave
off their war with the Milesians they had not complied. And as these
measures against the Samians are thought to have been taken to please
Aspasia, this may be a fit point for inquiry about the woman, what
art or charming faculty she had that enabled her to captivate, as
she did, the greatest statesmen, and to give the philosophers occasion
to speak so much about her, and that, too, not to her disparagement.
That she was a Milesian by birth, the daughter of Axiochus, is a thing
acknowledged. And they say it was in emulation of Thargelia, a courtesan
of the old Ionian times, that she made her addresses to men of great
power. Thargelia was a great beauty, extremely charming, and at the
same time sagacious; she had numerous suitors among the Greeks, and
brought all who had to do with her over to the Persian interest, and
by their means, being men of the greatest power and station, sowed
the seeds of the Median faction up and down in several cities. Aspasia,
some say, was courted and caressed by Pericles upon account of her
knowledge and skill in politics. Socrates himself would sometimes
go to visit her, and some of his acquaintance with him; and those
who frequented her company would carry their wives with them to listen
to her. Her occupation was anything but creditable, her house being
a home for young courtesans. Aeschines tells us, also, that Lysicles,
a sheep-dealer, a man of low birth and character, by keeping Aspasia
company after Pericles's death, came to be a chief man in Athens.
And in Plato's Menexenus, though we do not take the introduction as
quite serious, still thus much seems to be historical, that she had
the repute of being resorted to by many of the Athenians for instruction
in the art of speaking. Pericles's inclination for her seems, however,
to have rather proceeded from the passion of love. He had a wife that
was near of kin to him, who had been married first to Hipponicus,
by whom she had Callias, surnamed the Rich; and also she brought Pericles,
while she lived with him, two sons, Xanthippus and Paralus. Afterwards,
when they did not well agree, nor like to live together, he parted
with her, with her own consent, to another man, and himself took Aspasia,
and loved her with wonderful affection; every day, both as he went
out and as he came in from the market-place, he saluted and kissed

In the comedies she goes by the nicknames of the new Omphale and Deianira,
and again is styled Juno. Cratinus, in downright terms, calls her
a harlot. 

"To find him a Juno the goddess of lust 
Bore that harlot past shame, 
Aspasia by name." It should seem also that he had a son by her; Eupolis,
in his Demi, introduced Pericles asking after his safety, and Myronides

"My son?" "He lives: a man he had been long, 
But that the harlot-mother did him wrong." Aspasia, they say, became
so celebrated and renowned, that Cyrus, also who made war against
Artaxerxes for the Persian monarchy, gave her whom he loved the best
of all his concubines the name of Aspasia, who before that was called
Milto. She was a Phocaean by birth, the daughter of one Hermotimus,
and, when Cyrus fell in battle, was carried to the king, and had great
influence at court. These things coming into my memory as I am writing
this story, it would be unnatural for me to omit them. 

Pericles, however, was particularly charged with having proposed to
the assembly the war against the Samians, from favour to the Milesians,
upon the entreaty of Aspasia. For the two states were at war for the
possession of Priene; and the Samians, getting the better, refused
to lay down their arms and to have the controversy betwixt them decided
by arbitration before the Athenians. Pericles, therefore, fitting
out a fleet, went and broke up the oligarchical government at Samos,
and taking fifty of the principal men of the town as hostages, and
as many of their children, sent them to the isle of Lemnos, there
to be kept, though he had offers, as some relate, of a talent apiece
for himself from each one of the hostages, and of many other presents
from those who were anxious not to have a democracy. Moreover, Pisuthnes
the Persian, one of the king's lieutenants, bearing some good-will
to the Samians, sent him ten thousand pieces of gold to excuse the
city. Pericles, however, would receive none of all this; but after
he had taken that course with the Samians which he thought fit, and
set up a democracy among them, sailed back to Athens. 

But they, however, immediately revolted, Pisuthnes having privily
got away their hostages for them, and provided them with means for
the war. Whereupon Pericles came out with a fleet a second time against
them, and found them not idle nor slinking away, but manfully resolved
to try for the dominion of the sea. The issue was, that after a sharp
sea-fight about the island called Tragia, Pericles obtained a decisive
victory, having with forty-four ships routed seventy of the enemy's,
twenty of which were carrying soldiers. 

Together with his victory and pursuit, having made himself master
of the port, he laid siege to the Samians, and blocked them up, who
yet, one way or another, still ventured to make sallies, and fight
under the city walls. But after that another greater fleet from Athens
was arrived, and that the Samians were now shut up with a close leaguer
on every side, Pericles, taking with him sixty galleys, sailed out
into the main sea, with the intention, as most authors give the account,
to meet a squadron of Phoenician ships that were coming for the Samians'
relief, and to fight them at as great distance as could be from the
island; but, as Stesimbrotus says, with a design of putting over to
Cyprus, which does not seem to be probable. But, whichever of the
two was his intention, it seems to have been a miscalculation. For
on his departure, Melissus, the son of Ithagenes, a philosopher, being
at that time the general in Samos, despising either the small number
of the ships that were left or the inexperience of the commanders,
prevailed with the citizens to attack the Athenians. And the Samians
having won the battle, and taken several of the men prisoners, and
disabled several of the ships, were masters of the sea, and brought
into port all necessaries they wanted for the war, which they had
not before. Aristotle says, too, that Pericles had been once before
this worsted by this Melissus in a sea-fight. 

The Samians, that they might requite an affront which had before been
put upon them, branded the Athenians, whom they took prisoners, in
their foreheads, with the figure of an owl. For so the Athenians had
marked them before with a Samaena, which is a sort of ship, low and
flat in the prow, so as to look snub-nosed, but wide and large and
well-spread in the hold, by which it both carries a large cargo and
sails well. And it was so called, because the first of that kind was
seen at Samos, having been built by order of Polycrates the tyrant.
These brands upon the Samians' foreheads, they say, are the allusion
in the passage of Aristophanes, where he says- 

"For, oh, the Samians are a lettered people." 

Pericles, as soon as news was brought him of the disaster that had
befallen his army, made all the haste he could to come in to their
relief, and having defeated Melissus, who bore up against him, and
put the enemy to flight, he immediately proceeded to hem them in with
a wall, resolving to master them and take the town, rather with some
cost and time than with the wounds and hazards of his citizens. But
as it was a hard matter to keep back the Athenians, who were vexed
at the delay, and were eagerly bent to fight, he divided the whole
multitude into eight parts, and arranged by lot that that part which
had the white bean should have leave to feast and take their ease
while the other seven were fighting. And this is the reason, they
say, that people, when at any time they have been merry, and enjoyed
themselves, called it white day, in allusion to this white bean.

Ephorus the historian tells us besides, that Pericles made use of
engines of battery in this siege, being much taken with the curiousness
of the invention, with the aid and presence of Artemon himself, the
engineer, who, being lame, used to be carried about in a litter, where
the works required his attendance, and for that reason was called
Periphoretus. But Heraclides Ponticus disproves this out of Anacreon's
poems, where mention is made of this Artemon Periphoretus several
ages before the Samian war, or any of these occurrences. And he says
that Artemon, being a man who loved his ease, and had a great apprehension
of danger, for the most part kept close within doors, having two of
his servants to hold a brazen shield over his head, that nothing might
fall upon him from above; and if he were at any time forced upon necessity
to go abroad, that he was carried about in a little hanging bed, close
to the very ground, and that for this reason he was called Periphoretus.

In the ninth month, the Samians surrendering themselves and delivering
up the town, Pericles pulled down their walls, and seized their shipping,
and set a fine of a large sum of money upon them, part of which they
paid down at once, and they agreed to bring in the rest by a certain
time, and gave hostages for security. Duris the Samian makes a tragical
drama out of these events, charging the Athenians and Pericles with
a great deal of cruelty, which neither Thucydides, nor Ephorus, nor
Aristotle have given any relation of, and probably with little regard
to truth; how, for example, he brought the captains and soldiers of
the alleys into the market-place at Miletus, and there having bound
them fast to boards for ten days, then, when they were already all
but half dead, gave order to have them killed by beating out their
brains with clubs, and their dead bodies to be flung out into the
open streets and fields, unburied. Duris however, who, even where
he has no private feeling concerned, is not wont to keep his narratives
within the limits of truth, is the more likely upon this occasion
to have exaggerated the calamities which befell his country, to create
odium against the Athenians. Pericles however, after the reduction
of Samos, returning back to Athens, took care that those who died
in the war should be honourably buried, and made a funeral harangue,
as the custom is, in their commendation at their graves, for which
he gained great admiration. As he came down from the stage on which
he spoke, the rest of the women came and complimented him, taking
him by the hand, and crowning him with garlands and ribbons, like
a victorious athlete in the games; but Elpinice, coming near to him,
said, "These are brave deeds, Pericles, that you have done, and such
as deserve our chaplets; who have lost us many a worthy citizen, not
in a war with Phoenicians or Medes, like my brother Cimon, but for
the overthrow of an allied and kindred city." As Elpinice spoke these
words, he, smiling quietly, as it is said, returned her answer with
this verse:- 

"Old women should not seek to be perfumed." Ion says of him, that
upon this exploit of his, conquering the Samians, he indulged very
high and proud thoughts of himself: whereas Agamemnon was ten years
taking a barbarous city, he had in nine months' time vanquished and
taken the greatest and most powerful of the Ionians. And indeed it
was not without reason that he assumed this glory to himself, for,
in real truth, there was much uncertainty and great hazard in this
great war, if so be, as Thucydides tells us, the Samian state were
within a very little of wresting the whole power and dominion of the
sea out of the Athenians' hands. 

After this was over, the Peloponnesian war beginning to break out
in full tide, he advised the people to send help to the Corcyraeans,
who were attacked by the Corinthians, and to secure to themselves
an island possessed of great naval resources, since the Peloponnesians
were already all but in actual hostilities against them. The people
readily consenting to the motion, and voting an aid and succour for
them, he despatched Lacedaemonius, Cimon's son, having only ten ships
with him, as it were out of a design to affront him; for there was
a great kindness and friendship betwixt Cimon's family and the Lacedaemonians;
so, in order that Lacedaemonius might lie the more open to a charge,
or suspicion at least, of favouring the Lacedaemonians and playing
false, if he performed no considerable exploit in this service, he
allowed him a small number of ships, and sent him out against his
will; and indeed he made it somewhat his business to hinder Cimon's
sons from rising in the state, professing that by their very names
they were not to be looked upon as native and true Athenians, but
foreigners and strangers, one being called Lacedaemonius, another
Thessalus, and the third Eleus and they were all three of them, it
was thought, born of an Arcadian woman. Being, however, ill spoken
of on account of these ten galleys, as having afforded but a small
supply to the people that were in need, and yet given a great advantage
to those who might complain of the act of intervention, Pericles sent
out a larger force afterwards to Corcyra, which arrived after the
fight was over. And when now the Corinthians, angry and indignant
with the Athenians, accused them publicly at Lacedaemon, the Megarians
joined with them, complaining that they were, contrary to common right
and the articles of peace sworn to among the Greeks, kept out and
driven away from every market and from all ports under the control
of the Athenians. The Aeginetans, also, professing to be ill-used
and treated with violence, made supplications in private to the Lacedaemonians
for redress, though not daring openly to call the Athenians in question.
In the meantime, also, the city Potidaea, under the dominion of the
Athenians, but a colony formerly of the Corinthians, had revolted,
and was beset with a formal siege, and was a further occasion of precipitating
the war. 

Yet notwithstanding all this, there being embassies sent to Athens,
and Archidamus, the King of the Lacedaemonians, endeavouring to bring
the greater part of the complaints and matters in dispute to a fair
determination, and to pacify and allay the heats of the allies, it
is very likely that the war would not upon any other grounds of quarrel
have fallen upon the Athenians, could they have been prevailed with
to repeal the ordinance against the Megarians, and to be reconciled
to them. Upon which account, since Pericles was the man who mainly
opposed it, and stirred up the people's passions to persist in their
contention with the Megarians, he was regarded as the sole cause of
the war. 

They say, moreover, that ambassadors went, by order, from Lacedaemon
to Athens about this very business, and that when Pericles was urging
a certain law which made it illegal to take down or withdraw the tablet
of the decree, one of the ambassadors, Polyalces by name, said, "Well,
do not take it down then, but turn it; there is no law, I suppose,
which forbids that;" which, though prettily said, did not move Pericles
from his resolution. There may have been, in all likelihood, something
of a secret grudge and private animosity which he had against the
Megarians. Yet, upon a public and open charge against them, that they
had appropriated part of the sacred land on the frontier, he proposed
a decree that a herald should be sent to them, and the same also to
the Lacedaemonians, with an accusation of the Megarians; an order
which certainly shows equitable and friendly proceeding enough. And
after that the herald who was sent, by name Anthemocritus, died, and
it was believed that the Megarians had contrived his death, then Charinus
proposed a decree against them, that there should be an irreconcilable
and implacable enmity thenceforward betwixt the two commonwealths;
and that if any one of the Megarians should but set his foot in Attica,
he should be put to death; and that the commanders, when they take
the usual oath, should, over and above that, swear that they will
twice every year make an inroad into the Megarian country; and that
Anthemocritus should be buried near the Thracian Gates, which are
now called the Dipylon, or Double Gate. 

On the other hand, the Megarians, utterly denying and disowning the
murder of Anthemocritus, throw the whole matter upon Aspasia and Pericles,
availing themselves of the famous verses in the Acharnians-

"To Megara some of our madcaps ran, 
And stole Simaetha thence, their courtesan. 
Which exploit the Megarians to outdo, 
Came to Aspasia's house, and took off two." 

The true occasion of the quarrel is not so easy to find out. But of
inducing the refusal to annul the decree, all alike charge Pericles.
Some say he met the request with a positive refusal, out of high spirit
and a view of the state's best interest, accounting that the demand
made in those embassies was designed for a trial of their compliance,
and that a concession would be taken for a confession of weakness
as if they durst not do otherwise; while other some there are who
say that it was rather out of arrogance and a willful spirit of contention,
to show his own strength, that he took occasion to slight the Lacedaemonians.
The worst motive of all, which is confirmed by most witnesses, is
to the following effect: Phidias the Moulder had, as has before been
said, undertaken to make the statue of Minerva. Now he, being admitted
to friendship with Pericles, and a great favourite of his, had many
enemies upon this account, who envied and maligned him; who also,
to make trial in a case of his, what kind of judges the commons would
prove, should there be occasion to bring Pericles himself before them,
having tampered with Menon, one who had been a workman with Phidias,
stationed him in the market-place, with a petition desiring public
security upon his discovery and impeachment of Phidias. The people
admitting the man to tell his story, and the prosecution proceeding
in the assembly, there was nothing of theft or cheat proved against
him; for Phidias, from the very first beginning, by the advice of
Pericles, had so wrought and wrapt the gold that was used in the work
about the statue, that they might take it all off, and make out the
just weight of it, which Pericles at that time bade the accuser do.
But the reputation of his works was what brought envy upon Phidias,
especially that where he represents the fight of the Amazons upon
the goddess's shield, he had introduced a likeness of himself as a
bald old man holding up a great stone with both hands, and had put
in a very fine representation of Pericles fighting with an Amazon.
And the position of the hand which holds out the spear in front of
the face, was ingeniously contrived to conceal in some degree the
likeness, which meantime showed itself on either side. 

Phidias then was carried away to prison, and there died of a disease;
but, as some say, of poison, administered by the enemies of Pericles,
to raise a slander, or a suspicion at least, as though he had procured
it. The informer Menon, upon Glycon's proposal, the people made free
from payment of taxes and customs, and ordered the generals to take
care that nobody should do him any hurt. About the same time, Aspasia
was indicted of impiety, upon the complaint of Hermippus the comedian,
who also laid further to her charge that she received into her house
freeborn women for the uses of Pericles. And Diopithes proposed a
decree, that public accusations should be laid against persons who
neglected religion, or taught new doctrines about things above, directing
suspicion, by means of Anaxagoras, against Pericles himself. The people
receiving and admitting these accusations and complaints, at length,
by this means, they came to enact a decree, at the motion of Dracontides,
that Pericles should bring in the accounts of the moneys he had expended,
and lodge them with the Prytanes; and that the judges, carrying their
suffrage from the altar in the Acropolis, should examine and determine
the business in the city. This last clause Hagnon took out of the
decree, and moved that the causes should be tried before fifteen hundred
jurors, whether they should be styled prosecutions for robbery, or
bribery, or any kind of malversation. Aspasia, Pericles begged off,
shedding, as Aeschines says, many tears at the trial, and personally
entreating the jurors. But fearing how it might go with Anaxagoras,
he sent him out of the city. And finding that in Phidias's case he
had miscarried with the people, being afraid of impeachment, he kindled
the war, which hitherto had lingered and smothered, and blew it up
into a flame; hoping, by that means, to disperse and scatter these
complaints and charges, and to allay their jealousy; the city usually
throwing herself upon him alone, and trusting to his sole conduct,
upon the urgency of great affairs and public dangers, by reason of
his authority and the sway he bore. 

These are given out to have been the reasons which induced Pericles
not to suffer the people of Athens to yield to the proposals of the
Lacedaemonians; but their truth is uncertain. 

The Lacedaemonians, for their part, feeling sure that if they could
once remove him, they might be at what terms they pleased with the
Athenians, sent them word that they should expel the "Pollution" with
which Pericles on the mother's side was tainted, as Thucydides tells
us. But the issue proved quite contrary to what those who sent the
message expected; instead of bringing Pericles under suspicion and
reproach, they raised him into yet greater credit and esteem with
the citizens, as a man whom their enemies most hated and feared. In
the same way, also, before Archidamus, who was at the head of the
Peloponnesians, made his invasion into Attica, he told the Athenians
beforehand, that if Archidamus, while he laid waste the rest of the
country, should forbear and spare his estate, either on the ground
of friendship or right of hospitality that was betwixt them, or on
purpose to give his enemies an occasion of traducing him; that then
he did freely bestow upon the state all his land and the buildings
upon it for the public use. The Lacedaemonians, therefore, and their
allies, with a great army, invaded the Athenian territories, under
the conduct of King Archidamus, and laying waste the country, marched
on as far as Acharnae, and there pitched their camp, presuming that
the Athenians would never endure that, but would come out and fight
them for their country's and their honour's sake. But Pericles looked
upon it as dangerous to engage in battle, to the risk of the city
itself, against sixty thousand men-at-arms of Peloponnesians and Boeotians;
for so many they were in number that made the inroad at first; and
he endeavoured to appease those who were desirous to fight, and were
grieved and discontented to see how things went, and gave them good
words, saying, that "trees, when they are lopped and cut, grow up
again in a short time, but men, being once lost, cannot easily be
recovered." He did not convene the people into an assembly, for fear
lest they should force him to act against his judgment; but, like
a skilful steersman or pilot of a ship, who, when a sudden squall
comes on, out at sea, makes all his arrangements, sees that all is
tight and fast, and then follows the dictates of his skill, and minds
the business of the ship, taking no notice of the tears and entreaties
of the sea-sick and fearful passengers, so he, having shut up the
city gates, and placed guards at all posts for security, followed
his own reason and judgment, little regarding those that cried out
against him and were angry at his management, although there were
a great many of his friends that urged him with requests, and many
of his enemies threatened and accused him for doing as he did, and
many made songs and lampoons upon him, which were sung about the town
to his disgrace, reproaching him with the cowardly exercise of his
office of general, and the tame abandonment of everything to the enemy's

Cleon, also, already was among his assailants, making use of the feeling
against him as a step to the leadership of the people, as appears
in the anapaestic verses of Hermippus- 

"Satyr-king, instead of swords, 
Will you always handle words? 
Very brave indeed we find them, 
But a Teles lurks behind them. 

"Yet to gnash your teeth you're seen, 
When the little dagger keen, 
Whetted every day anew, 
Of sharp Cleon touches you." 

Pericles, however, was not at all moved by any attacks, but took all
patiently, and submitted in silence to the disgrace they threw upon
him and the ill-will they bore him; and, sending out a fleet of a
hundred galleys to Peloponnesus, he did not go along with it in person,
but stayed behind, that he might watch at home and keep the city under
his own control, till the Peloponnesians broke up their camp and were
gone. Yet to soothe the common people, jaded and distressed with the
war, he relieved them with distributions of public moneys, and ordained
new divisions of subject land. For having turned out all the people
of Aegina, he parted the island among the Athenians according to lot.
Some comfort also, and ease in their miseries, they might receive
from what their enemies endured. For the fleet, sailing round the
Peloponnese, ravaged a great deal of the country, and pillaged and
plundered the towns and smaller cities; and by land he himself entered
with an army the Megarian country, and made havoc of it all. Whence
it is clear that the Peloponnesians, though they did the Athenians
much mischief by land, yet suffering as much themselves from them
by sea, would not have protracted the war to such a length, but would
quickly have given it over, as Pericles at first foretold they would,
had not some divine power crossed human purposes. 

In the first place, the pestilential disease, or plague, seized upon
the city, and ate up all the flower and prime of their youth and strength.
Upon occasion of which, the people, distempered and afflicted in their
souls, as well as in their bodies, were utterly enraged like madmen
against Pericles, and, like patients grown delirious, sought to lay
violent hands on their physician, or, as it were, their father. They
had been possessed, by his enemies, with the belief that the occasion
of the plague was the crowding of the country people together into
the town forced as they were now, in the heat of the summer-weather,
to dwell many of them together even as they could, in small tenements
and stifling hovels, and to be tied to a lazy course of life within
doors, whereas before they lived in a pure, open, and free air. The
cause and author of all this, said they, is he who on account of the
war has poured a multitude of people in upon us within the walls,
and uses all these men that he has here upon no employ or service,
but keeps them pent up like cattle, to be overrun with infection from
one another, affording them neither shift of quarters nor any refreshment.

With the design to remedy these evils, and do the enemy some inconvenience,
Pericles got a hundred and fifty galleys ready, and having embarked
many tried soldiers, both foot and horse, was about to sail out, giving
great hope to his citizens, and no less alarm to his enemies, upon
the sight of so great a force. And now the vessels having their complement
of men, and Pericles being gone aboard his own galley, it happened
that the sun was eclipsed, and it grew dark on a sudden, to the affright
of all, for this was looked upon as extremely ominous. Pericles, therefore,
perceiving the steersman seized with fear and at a loss what to do,
took his cloak and held it up before the man's face, and screening
him with it so that he could not see, asked him whether he imagined
there was any great hurt, or the sign of any great hurt in this, and
he answering No, "Why," said he, "and what does that differ from this,
only that what has caused that darkness there, is something greater
than a cloak?" This is a story which philosophers tell their scholars.
Pericles, however, after putting out to sea, seems not to have done
any other exploit befitting such preparations, and when he had laid
siege to the holy city Epidaurus, which gave him some hope of surrender,
miscarried in his design by reason of the sickness. For it not only
seized upon the Athenians, but upon all others, too, that held any
sort of communication with the army. Finding after this the Athenians
ill-affected and highly displeased with him, he tried and endeavoured
what he could to appease and re-encourage them. But he could not pacify
or allay their anger, nor persuade or prevail with them any way, till
they freely passed their votes upon him, resumed their power, took
away his command from him, and fined him in a sum of money; which
by their account that say least, was fifteen talents, while they who
reckon most, name fifty. The name prefixed to the accusation was Cleon,
as Idomeneus tells us; Simmias, according to Theophrastus; and Heraclides
Ponticus gives it as Lacratidas. 

After this, public troubles were soon to leave him unmolested; the
people, so to say, discharged their passion in their stroke, and lost
their stings in the wound. But his domestic concerns were in an unhappy
condition, many of his friends and acquaintance having died in the
plague time, and those of his family having long since been in disorder
and in a kind of mutiny against him. For the eldest of his lawfully
begotten sons, Xanthippus by name, being naturally prodigal, and marrying
a young and expensive wife, the daughter of Tisander, son of Epilycus,
was highly offended at his father's economy in making him but a scanty
allowance, by little and little at a time. He sent, therefore, to
a friend one day and borrowed some money of him in his father Pericles's
name, pretending it was by his order. The man coming afterward to
demand the debt, Pericles was so far from yielding to pay it, that
he entered an action against him. Upon which the young man, Xanthippus,
thought himself so ill-used and disobliged that he openly reviled
his father; telling first, by way of ridicule, stories about his conversations
at home, and the discourses he had with the sophists and scholars
that came to his house. As, for instance, how one who was a practicer
of the five games of skill, having with a dart or javelin unawares
against his will struck and killed Epitimus the Pharsalian, his father
spent a whole day with Protagoras in a serious dispute, whether the
javelin, or the man that threw it, or the masters of the games who
appointed these sports, were, according to the strictest and best
reason, to be accounted the cause of this mischance. Besides this,
Stesimbrotus tells us that it was Xanthippus who spread abroad among
the people the infamous story concerning his own wife; and in general
that this difference of the young man's with his father, and the breach
betwixt them, continued never to be healed or made up till his death.
For Xanthippus died in the plague time of the sickness. At which time
Pericles also lost his sister, and the greatest part of his relations
and friends, and those who had been most useful and serviceable to
him in managing the affairs of state. However, he did not shrink or
give in upon these occasions, nor betray or lower his high spirit
and the greatness of his mind under all his misfortunes; he was not
even so much as seen to weep or to mourn, or even attend the burial
of any of his friends or relations, till at last he lost his only
remaining legitimate son. Subdued by this blow, and yet striving still,
as far as he could, to maintain his principle, and to preserve and
keep up the greatness of his soul, when he came, however, to perform
the ceremony of putting a garland of flowers upon the head of the
corpse, he was vanquished by his passion at the sight, so that he
burst into exclamations, and shed copious tears, having never done
any such thing in his life before. 

The city having made trial of other generals for the conduct of war,
and orators for business of state, when they found there was no one
who was of weight enough for such a charge, or of authority sufficient
to be trusted with so great a command regretted the loss of him, and
invited him again to address and advise them, and to reassume the
office of general. He, however, lay at home in dejection and mourning;
but was persuaded by Alcibiades and others of his friends to come
abroad and show himself to the people; who having, upon his appearance,
made their acknowledgments, and apologized for their untowardly treatment
of him he undertook the public affairs once more; and, being chosen
general, requested that the statute concerning base-born children,
which he himself had formerly caused to be made, might be suspended;
that so the name and race of his family might not, for absolute want
of a lawful heir to succeed, be wholly lost and extinguished. The
case of the statute was thus: Pericles, when long ago at the height
of his power in the state, having then, as has been said, children
lawfully begotten, proposed a law that those only should be reputed
true citizens of Athens who were born of such parents as were both
Athenians. After this, the King of Egypt having sent to the people,
by way of present, forty thousand bushels of wheat, which were to
be shared out among the citizens, a great many actions and suits about
legitimacy occurred, by virtue of that edict; cases which, till that
time, had not been known nor taken notice of; and several persons
suffered by false accusations. There were little less than five thousand
who were convicted and sold for slaves; those who, enduring the test,
remained in the government and passed muster for true Athenians were
found upon the poll to be fourteen thousand and forty persons in number.

It looked strange, that a law, which had been carried so far against
so many people, should be cancelled again by the same man that made
it; yet the present calamity and distress which Pericles laboured
under in his family broke through all objections, and prevailed with
the Athenians to pity him, as one whose losses and misfortunes had
sufficiently punished his former arrogance and haughtiness. His sufferings
deserved, they thought, their pity, and even indignation, and his
request was such as became a man to ask and men to grant; they gave
him permission to enrol his son in the register of his fraternity,
giving him his own name. This son afterward, after having defeated
the Peloponnesians at Arginusae, was, with his fellow-generals, put
to death by the people. 

About the time when his son was enrolled, it should seem the plague
seized Pericles, not with sharp and violent fits, as it did others
that had it, but with a dull and lingering distemper, attended with
various changes and alterations, leisurely, by little and little,
wasting the strength of his body, and undermining the noble faculties
of his soul. So that Theophrastus, in his Morals, when discussing
whether men's characters change with their circumstances, and their
moral habits, disturbed by the ailings of their bodies, start aside
from the rules of virtue, has left it upon record, that Pericles,
when he was sick, showed one of his friends that came to visit him
an amulet or charm that the women had hung about his neck; as much
as to say, that he was very sick indeed when he would admit of such
a foolery as that was. 

When he was now near his end, the best of the citizens and those of
his friends who were left alive, sitting about him, were speaking
of the greatness of his merit, and his power, and reckoning up his
famous actions and the number of his victories; for there were no
less than nine trophies, which, as their chief commander and conqueror
of their enemies, he had set up for the honour of the city. They talked
thus together among themselves, as though he were unable to understand
or mind what they said, but had now lost his consciousness. He had
listened, however, all the while, and attended to all, and, speaking
out among them, said that he wondered they should commend and take
notice of things which were as much owing to fortune as to anything
else, and had happened to many other commanders, and, at the same
time, should not speak or make mention of that which was the most
excellent and greatest thing of all. "For," said he, "no Athenian,
through my means, ever wore mourning." 

He was indeed a character deserving our high admiration not only for
his equitable and mild temper, which all along in the many affairs
of his life, and the great animosities which he incurred, he constantly
maintained; but also for the high spirit and feeling which made him
regard it, the noblest of all his honours that, in the exercise of
such immense power, he never had gratified his envy or his passion,
nor ever had treated any enemy as irreconcilably opposed to him. And
to me it appears that this one thing gives that otherwise childish
and arrogant title a fitting and becoming significance; so dispassionate
a temper, a life so pure and unblemished, in the height of power and
place, might well be called Olympian, in accordance with our conceptions
of the divine beings, to whom, as the natural authors of all good
and of nothing evil, we ascribe the rule and government of the world.
Not as the poets represent, who, while confounding us with their ignorant
fancies, are themselves confuted by their own poems and fictions,
and call the place, indeed, where they say the gods make their abode,
a secure and quiet seat, free from all hazards and commotions, untroubled
with winds or with clouds, and equally through all time illumined
with a soft serenity and a pure light as though such were a home most
agreeable for a blessed and immortal nature; and yet, in the meanwhile,
affirm that the gods themselves are full of trouble and enmity and
anger and other passions, which no way become or belong to even men
that have any understanding. But this will, perhaps seem a subject
fitter for some other consideration, and that ought to be treated
of in some other place. 

The course of public affairs after his death produced a quick and
speedy sense of the loss of Pericles. Those who, while he lived, resented
his great authority, as that which eclipsed themselves, presently
after his quitting the stage, making trial of other orators and demagogues,
readily acknowledged that there never had been in nature such a disposition
as his was, more moderate and reasonable in the height of that state
he took upon him, or more grave and impressive in the mildness which
he used. And that invidious arbitrary power, to which formerly they
gave the name of monarchy and tyranny, did then appear to have been
the chief bulwark of public safety; so great a corruption and such
a flood of mischief and vice followed which he, by keeping weak and
low, had withheld from notice, and had prevented from attaining incurable
height through a licentious impunity. 



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Translation of "The Deeds of the Divine Augustus" by Augustus is
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