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The aiming at this was the destruction of the Argive and Messenian monarchs. That which probably preserved the Lacedæmonian state, was the originally lodging the regal power in the hands of two; then the institution of the senate by Lycurgus, and lastly, that of the Ephori by Theopompus. Had the three kingdoms been united and governed in the Spartan manner, the Persian king would never have dared to invade Greece: his repulse was entirely due to the Athenians and Lacedæmonians, and not to the common efforts of the Greeks.
Ρ. 690. Και κατα φυσιν, ὡς ὁ Θηβαιος.] See the passage of Pindar at length, cited in the Gorgias, p. 484.
691. Την κατα γηρας.] The institution of the Γεροντες, or senate of twenty-eight, by Lycurgus.
Ib. Iσoynpov.] The two kings sat in the senate, and had each a single vote, like the other citizens: they had only this privilege, that they could give their vote by proxy, when
Ib. Advμov.] Euristhenes and Procles were twins. (Herod. L. 6. c. 52.)
Ib. Miolovμevo.] Vid. L. 1. p. 630.
692. O тρITOS σwтnp.] i.e. Theopompus, who, as it is generally agreed, instituted the Ephori. I look upon this passage as one proof, that the eighth epistle of Plato is supposititious, for in that epistle this institution is expressly attributed to Lycurgus. Many sentiments in that letter seem borrowed from this book of the Laws.
Ib. Πολεμουσα αυτῃ.] I do not know any war in which the Spartans were engaged with the Messenians at the time of the battle of Marathon (see also p. 698.); but this doubtless is a better reason than that given by Herodotus (L. 6. c. 106.), namely, that it was not agreeable to their customs to take the field, before the moon was at the full.
P. 693. The two great forms of government, from which all the rest are derived, are monarchy and democracy: Persia is an example of the first carried to its height, and Athens an example of the latter. The best constitution is formed out of both.
P. 694. The reason of the variations observable in the Persian power is given; the different administra
P. 692. 'H TEρe To Apyos.] Their pretence for refusing was a point of honour: they insisted upon dividing the confederate army with Sparta; but it was believed, that they had secretly promised the Persian to observe a neutrality. As to the rest of Greece, the Thessalians had called in Xerxes, the Bœotians readily received him, the Cretans pretended an oracle which obliged them to continue quiet, and the Corcyreans waited to see the event of the first battle. After the action at Thermopylæ, a great part of Peloponnesus had determined to fortify the Isthmus, and to give up all the countries which lie north of it; and what is worse, even after the great victory at Salamis, they went on, Lacedæmonians and all, with the work, and gave up Attica a second time to the barbarians. It was with great difficulty that Themistocles could keep the fleet together at Salamis, or prevent the several squadrons which composed it from returning home; and, in the battle of Platææ, no one scarcely had any share, except the Lacedæmonians, the Athenians, and the Tegeætæ; and particularly, the Mantineans and the Eleans did not arrive till after the fight.
694. Παιδειας δε ορθης.] This passage has been generally looked upon as reflecting on the Cyropædia of Xenophon, and taken for a mark of ill-will in Plato: but I do not see how the words themselves carry in them any such reflection. They are plainly meant, not of the education which Cyrus himself received, but, of the little care he took (busied as he was in great affairs all his life long) of that of his two sons. There is nothing in this at all contradictory to Xenophon who scarcely mentions these princes any farther than to say, that they were
tion of different princes, who succeeded one another, and the cause of it is accounted for from their education. The care of Cyrus's children, while he was abroad in the field, was trusted entirely to the women, who bred them up in high notions of that grandeur to which they were to succeed, and in the effeminate and luxurious manners of the Medes. Darius, who suc
present and heard the excellent counsels which Cyrus gave them on his death-bed, and which they forgot immediately. Επει μεντοι Κυρος ετελεύτησεν, ευθυς μεν αυτου δι παιδες εστασιαζον. —παντα δ' επι το χειρον ετρεπετο. The great abilities and virtues of Cyrus himself are represented alike in Plato and in Xenophon.
P. 695. ALELNETо èπта μеρη.] I know not whether any historian tells us, that Darius divided the empire into seven parts, or great provinces, over which we are to suppose that he placed the great men who had entered into the conspiracy with him, and made these vice-royalties hereditary in their families. It is natural to imagine, that such an appointment could not continue many years under a succession of kings so absolute as those of Persia; but yet Plato says, that some faint shadow of this division was still left even in his days.
Ib. Tou Kupov daoμov.] We see here, that the division of the empire into twenty satrapiæ or governments, and the imposition of a regular tax or tribute, were originally designed by Cyrus, though they were never executed till Darius came to the throne. The Persians, according to Herodotus, attributed it to the avarice of Darius : Δια δε ταυτην την επιταξιν του φορου και παραπλησια ταυτη αλλα, λεγουσιν, ὡς Δαρειος μεν ην καπηλος Καμβυσης δε δεσποτης Κυρος δε πατηρ. Ο μεν γαρ, ότε εκαπηλευε παντα τα πρηγματα· ὁ δε, ότι χαλεπος τε ην και ολιγωρος ὁ δε, ότι ηπιος ην και αγαθα σφι παντα εμηχανήσατο.
Ib. Ποιμενες.] Herodotus says, that four of the Persian tribes, the Dai, Mardi, Tropici, and Sagartii, were Nouades, L. 1. p. 54. c. 125.
ceeded them, had been bred as a private soldier, and he restored the declining empire to its former greatness. Xerxes, his son, brought up as great princes usually are, by his folly weakened it again, and ever since it has been growing worse and worse.
Ρ. 695. Τραχειας χωρας.] See Herodotus, L. 1. c. 71. and L. 9. c. ult.
Ib. Του λεγομενου το τε Ευνουχου.] The account of this fact, which Plato had received, seems different from that given us by Herodotus, or by Ctesias. The counterfeit Smerdis and the Magus, his brother, were Medes, but neither of them eunuchs. He may possibly mean the eunuch Bagapates, who (according to Ctesias) was the favourite both of Cyrus and Cambyses, was privy to the secret murder of Tanyoxarces, and contrived after the death of Cambyses to place the Magus, or Mede, upon the throne, and afterwards betrayed him to the conspirators.
Ib. Των έπτα.] Ctesias calls them, Onophas, Idernes, Norondabates, Mardonius, Barisses, Artaphernes, and Darius. Ib. Baσiλews ouк ny vios.] Hystaspes, the father of Darius, was of the same family with Cyrus, and, at the time of his son's coming to the empire, was governor of Persia properly so called. Darius was brought up in that country, he served in Egypt among the guards of Cambyses, λογου ουδενος κω μeyaλov, says Herodotus, and came to the throne at about twenty-eight years of age.
Ib. ALEλETO Éπта μерη.] Herodotus tells us, that Otanes (who first laid the plan of the conspiracy) gave up all pretensions to the crown, on condition that he and his family might enjoy a perfect liberty; and even now (adds he) the descendants of Otanes are the only family in Persia which can be called free, obeying the orders of the court no farther than they please, and under no other restraint than that of the laws. The other six agreed among themselves, that to whichever among them fortune should give the empire, he should engage to marry out of no other family than theirs, and should never refuse them access to his person, except he were in the apartment of the women.
P. 696. Honour is the proper reward of virtue only; in what manner it ought to be distributed in a wellregulated state.
P. 697. The impossibility is stated of any government's subsisting long, where the people are enemies to the administration, which, where despotism in its full extent prevails, must always be the case.
P. 698. A picture of the reverse of this, a complete democracy, as at Athens. The constitution of that
P. 698. Hoλтela Talaia.] See the admirable Areopagitick oration of Isocrates, p. 147. and 150. for an account of the ancient Athenian manners and education; and the oration de Pace, p. 176. and Panathenaic. p. 260.
Ib. Εκ τιμηματων τετταρων.] See this division instituted by Solon in Plutarch's life of him. Aristides, after the victory at Platææ, proposed a law, whereby every citizen of Athens, without regard to rank or fortune, might be a competitor for the archonship, or principal magistracy, which afterwards gave a right to a seat in the senate of Areopagus.
Ib. Aaris.] This is all agreeable to Herodotus, L. 6. c. 98. See also Plato's Menexenus, p. 240.
699. 'Hv aidw.] Vid. L. 1. p. 647.
700. H Movσikŋ.] Republ. L. 4. p. 424. the Persian invasion.
Vid. L. 2. p. 657 and 658. and de The state of the Athenian musick before Certain kinds of harmony and of movement were appropriated to distinct species of poetry prayers and invocations to the gods formed one kind, called 'Tuval; lamentations for the dead formed a second, called Opηvo; the Παιανες were a third sort ; the Διθυραμβοι (the subject of which was the birth of Bacchus) a fourth; and the Noμoi Kilapwdikol, a fifth, with other kinds: these were afterwards confused and injudiciously mingled all together by the ignorance and by the bad taste of the poets and of their audience.
Ib. Ov σupy nv.] The Athenians used this instrument, as in modern theatres whistles and cat-calls.