It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt. — Abraham Lincoln

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Aristomenes' Escape

Although the Spartans thought that Aristomenes was dead, they were greatly mistaken. By some miracle he had not struck against any of the sharp, jagged rocks, but, falling upon the heap of his dead companions, had reached the bottom of the Ceadas unhurt.

There was apparently no way out of this pit except by the opening at the top, through which a bit of sky could be seen; and Aristomenes soon found that the sides were so steep that it was impossible to reach the opening. He therefore went off to one side, away from the heap of dead, and sat down on a stone in that cold, damp, and dark place. There he drew his cloak over his head to wait patiently until he should starve to death. Three days had thus been spent in this place, and his strength was already fast failing, when he suddenly felt a warm breath on his hand.

He softly drew aside his cloak, and, now that his eyes were used to the darkness, he dimly saw a fox prowling around him, and sniffing his clothes suspiciously.

Gently wrapping his cloak around his hand to protect it from the fox's sharp teeth, Aristomenes caught the animal firmly by the tail. Then, in spite of all its efforts to get away, he held it tight; and when it started off, he followed its lead.

As he had shrewdly suspected, the fox knew a way out of the horrible place. All at once it slipped into a hole; and Aristomenes, seeing a little light at the end of this, let the fox go. With the help of a sharp stone, he soon made the fox's hole big enough to crawl through, and quickly made his way back to the Messenians.

You can imagine how happy they were to see the beloved chief whom they thought dead, and how tenderly they cared for him until he was well and strong again. They never tired of hearing the story of his fall, imprisonment, and escape; and when he proposed to lead them once more against the Spartans, they gladly promised to help him.

In spite of all Aristomenes' courage, however, Messenia finally fell into the hands of the Spartans, and the Second Messenian War came to an end. All the people who wished to escape slavery or death left their native country, and went to Italy or Sicily, where they founded Greek colonies.

The cities that they built soon became very powerful, and one of them they named Messina in honor of their native land. This city still stands, as you will see by looking at your maps; and near it is the strait of the same name, which separates Sicily from Italy.



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