When the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again. — Edith Hamilton

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




A Strange Interview

We are told that Agesilaus was once asked to meet the Persian general Pharnabazus, to have a talk or conference with him,—a thing which often took place between generals of different armies.

The meeting was set for a certain day and hour, under a large tree, and it was agreed that both generals should come under the escort of their personal attendant only.

Agesilaus, plainly clad as usual, came first to the meeting place, and, sitting down upon the grass under the tree, he began to eat his usual noonday meal of bread and onions.

A few moments later the Persian general arrived in rich attire, attended by fan and parasol bearer, and by servants bringing carpets for him to sit upon, cooling drinks to refresh him, and delicate dishes to tempt his appetite.

At first Pharnabazus fancied that a tramp was camping under the tree; but when he discovered that this plain little man was really Agesilaus, King of Sparta, and the winner of so many battles, he was ashamed of his pomp, sent away his attendants, and sat down on the ground beside the king.

Agesilaus and Pharnabazus
Agesilaus and Pharnabazus.


They now began an important talk, and Pharnabazus was filled with admiration when he heard the short but noble answers which Agesilaus had for all his questions. He was so impressed by the Spartan king, that he shook hands with him when the interview was ended.

Agesilaus was equally pleased with Pharnabazus, and told him that he should be proud to call him friend. He invited him to leave his master, and come and live in Greece where all noble men were free.

Pharnabazus did not accept this invitation, but renewed the war, whereupon Agesilaus again won several important victories. When the Persian king heard that all his soldiers could not get the better of the Spartan king, he resolved to try the effect of bribery.

He therefore sent a messenger to Athens to promise this city and her allies a very large sum of money provided that they would rise up in revolt against Sparta, and thus force Agesilaus to come home.



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