That which does not kill us makes us stronger. — Nietzsche

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Death of the Conspirators

Harmodius and Aristogiton, having decided to get rid of the tyrants, told their plans to a few of their friends. Secret meetings were held at the house of a brave lady called Leæna ("the lioness"), who was the only woman in the plot.

As the Athenians were in the habit of attending the feast in armor, the young men waited until then to carry out their plans. They mingled with the crowd, found a good place near the tyrants, and all at once drew their swords from their scabbards and attacked their enemies.

Harmodius was so quick that he managed to kill Hipparchus; but, before his companions could join and protect him, he was cut down by the tyrants' guards.

Aristogiton, his friend, rushed forward to save him, but was made prisoner, and dragged before Hippias, who bade him tell the names of his companions. The young man at first refused to speak; but after a while, pretending to yield, he named some of the tyrants' friends who were helping him oppress the Athenians.

The tyrant, in dismay, sent for the accused, and had them and Aristogiton killed without trial. When he found out his mistake, he again tried to learn the names of the real conspirators. He knew that Harmodius and Aristogiton had often visited Leæna: so he had her imprisoned and tortured, to make her tell the names of the conspirators, because he wanted to kill them all as he had killed Aristogiton.

The brave woman, knowing that the lives of several young men depended upon her, and that a single word might cause their death, resolved not to utter a sound. In spite of the most awful tortures, she therefore kept her mouth tightly closed; and when she was finally set free, they found that she had bitten off her tongue for fear of betraying her friends.

Poor Leæna did not live long after this; and when she died, she was buried in a beautiful tomb, over which her friends put the image of a lioness without a tongue, to remind the people of her courage.

The Athenians were very sorry for her death, and mourned the brave youths Harmodius and Aristogiton for a long time; but the tyranny of the son of Pisistratus daily grew more cruel and disagreeable.



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