A nation that draws too broad a difference between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools. — Thucydides

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




The Tyrant's Insult

While Pisistratus was thus governing Athens to suit himself, Solon was traveling in Asia, where he met several interesting persons of whom you will hear in ancient history.

Solon had gone away for ten years, hoping that the Athenians would strictly obey his laws. During that time he had no news of his native land; for there were no post offices or newspapers in those days, and people neither wrote nor received letters except when something very important happened.

On coming back to Athens, Solon was very sorry to learn that it was Pisistratus, his own kinsman, who had taken the power of the archons; but when he saw how wisely Pisistratus governed the people, and how careful he was to make them happy and improve them, he freely forgave him, and remained on good terms with him until he died.

Pisistratus went on ruling the Athenians for thirty-three years, and when he died they mourned him greatly. In their grief for their loss, they allowed his sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, to succeed him, without raising any objections.

These young men were very careful at first to follow their father's good example; but they soon began to neglect business for pleasure, and, instead of thinking of the people's good, they spent much of their time in feasting and drinking.

In those days there dwelt at Athens two young men named Harmodius and Aristogiton. They were intimate friends, and were loved by all on account of their good qualities, and more especially because they were so anxious to increase the glory and prosperity of their native city.

Harmodius had a sister who was as good as she was beautiful: so the people, hoping to please him, chose her to carry a basket of flowers in the great religious procession which took place in Athens every year.

One of the tyrants, Hipparchus, was very jealous of Harmodius, because the people loved him so much. He therefore tried to annoy the young man in every way; and when he heard that his sister had been chosen to bear the flowers, he rudely forbade her presence at the feast.

This was a great insult, for none but wicked women were forbidden to appear; and, as Hipparchus had thus publicly disgraced the girl, her brother was very angry.

His friend, Aristogiton, was as angry as he; and the two young men, consulting together, decided that as long as these men ruled, the Athenians would be treated badly, and that it would be well to get rid of them soon.



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