There is nothing so corrupt as history when it enters the service of the state. — Edgar Quinet

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Cimon Improves Athens

As soon as Themistocles had been banished from Athens, Aristides again became the chief man of the city, and he was also made the head and leader of the allies. He was so upright and just that all were ready to honor and obey him, and they gladly let him take charge of the money of the state.

In reward for his services, the Athenians offered him a large salary and many rich gifts; but he refused them all, saying that he needed nothing, and could afford to serve his country without pay.

He therefore went on seeing to all the public affairs until his death, when it was found that he was so poor that there was not enough money left to pay for his funeral. The Athenians, touched by his virtues, gave him a public burial, held his name in great honor, and often regretted that they had once been so ungrateful as to banish their greatest citizen, Aristides the Just.

As Aristides had watched carefully over the money of the allied states, and had ruled the Athenians very wisely, it is no wonder that Athens had little by little risen above Sparta, which had occupied the first place ever since the battle of Thermopylæ.

The Athenians, as long as Aristides lived, showed themselves just and liberal; but as soon as he was dead, they began to treat their former allies unkindly. The money which all the Greek states furnished was now no longer used to strengthen the army and navy, as first agreed, but was lavishly spent to beautify the city.

Now, while it was a good thing to make their town as fine as possible, it was certainly wrong to use the money of others for this purpose, and the Athenians were soon punished for their dishonesty.

Cimon, the son of Miltiades, was made the head of the army, and won several victories over the Persians in Asia Minor. When he returned to Athens, he brought back a great deal of spoil, and generously gave up all his share to improve the city and strengthen the walls.

It is said that Cimon also enlarged the beautiful gardens of the Academy; and the citizens, by wandering up and down the shady walks, showed that they liked this as well as the Lyceum, which, you will remember Pisistratus had given them.

They also went in crowds to these gardens to hear the philosophers, who taught in the cool porticoes or stone piazzas built all around them, and there they learned many good things.

theseum
The Theseum.


Cimon showed his patriotism in still another way by persuading the people that the remains of Theseus, their ancient king, should rest in the city. Theseus' bones were therefore brought from Scyros, the island where he had been killed so treacherously, and were buried near the center of Athens, where the resting-place of this great man was marked by a temple called the Theseum. A building of this name is still standing in the city; and, although somewhat damaged, it is now used as a museum, and contains a fine statue of Theseus.



Contents

Front Matter
Review

Early Inhabitants of Greece
The Deluge of Ogyges
Founding of Important Cities
Story of Deucalion
Daedalus and Icarus
The Adventures of Jason
Theseus Visits the Labyrinth
The Terrible Prophecy
The Sphinx's Riddle
Death of Oedipus
The Brothers' Quarrel
The Taking of Thebes
The Childhood of Paris
Muster of the Troops
Sacrifice of Iphigenia
The Wrath of Achilles
Death of Hector and Achilles
The Burning of Troy
Heroic Death of Codrus
The Blind Poet
The Rise of Sparta
The Spartan Training
The Brave Spartan Boy
Public Tables in Sparta
Laws of Lycurgus
The Messenian War
The Music of Tyrtaeus
Aristomenes' Escape
The Olympic Games
Milo of Croton
The Jealous Athlete
The Girls' Games
The Bloody Laws of Draco
The Laws of Solon
The First Plays
The Tyrant Pisistratus
The Tyrant's Insult
Death of the Conspirators
Hippias Driven out of Athens
The Great King
Hippias Visits Darius
Destruction of the Persian Host
Advance of the Second Host
The Battle of Marathon
Miltiades' Disgrace
Aristides the Just
Two Noble Spartan Youths
The Great Army
Preparations for Defense
Leonidas at Thermopylae
Death of Leonidas
The Burning of Athens
Battles of Salamis and Plataea
The Rebuilding of Athens
Death of Pausanias
Cimon Improves Athens
The Earthquake
The Age of Pericles
Teachings of Anaxagoras
Peloponnesian War Begins
Death of Pericles
The Philosopher Socrates
Socrates' Favorite Pupil
Youth of Alcibiades
Greek Colonies in Italy
Alcibiades in Disgrace
Death of Alcibiades
Overthrow of Thirty Tyrants
Accusation of Socrates
Death of Socrates
The Defeat of Cyrus
Retreat of the Ten Thousand
Agesilaus in Asia
A Strange Interview
The Peace of Antalcidas
The Theban Friends
Thebes Free Once More
The Battle of Leuctra
Death of Pelopidas
The Battle of Mantinea
The Tyrant of Syracuse
Damon and Pythias
The Sword of Damocles
Dion and Dionysius
Civil War in Syracuse
Death of Dion
Philip of Macedon
Philip Begins His Conquests
The Orator Demosthenes
Philip Masters Greece
Birth of Alexander
The Steed Bucephalus
Alexander as King
Alexander and Diogenes
Alexander's Beginning
The Gordian Knot
Alexander's Royal Captives
Alexander at Jerusalem
The African Desert
Death of Darius
Defeat of Porus
Return to Babylon
Death of Alexander
Division of the Realm
Death of Demosthenes
Last of the Athenians
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Battle of Ipsus
Demetrius and the Athenians
The Achaean League
Division in Sparta
Death of Agis
War of the Two Leagues
The Last of the Greeks
Greece a Roman Province