Front Matter 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

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber

Aristides the Just

The Athenians were very happy, because they thought, that, having once defeated the Persians, they need fear them no more. They were greatly mistaken, however. The Great King had twice seen his preparations come to naught and his plans ruined, but he was not yet ready to give up the hope of conquering Greece.

On the contrary, he solemnly swore that he would return with a greater army than ever, and make himself master of the proud city which had defied him. These plans were suspected by Themistocles, who therefore urged the Athenians to strengthen their navy, so that they might be ready for war when it came.

Aristides, the other general, was of the opinion that it was useless to build any more ships, but that the Athenians should increase their land forces. As each general had a large party, many quarrels soon arose. It became clear before long, that, unless one of the two leaders left the town, there would be an outbreak of civil war.

All the Athenians, therefore, gathered together in the market place, where they were to vote for or against the banishment of one of the leaders. Of course, on this great occasion, all the workmen left their labors, and even the farmers came in from the fields.

Aristides was walking about among the voters, when a farmer stopped him. The man did not know who he was, but begged him to write his vote down on the shell, for he had never even learned to read.

"What name shall I write?" questioned Aristides.

"Oh, put down 'Aristides,' " answered the farmer.

"Why do you want him sent away? Has he ever done you any harm?" asked Aristides.

"No," said the man, "but I'm tired of hearing him called the Just."

Without saying another word, Aristides calmly wrote his own name on the shell. When the votes were counted, they found six thousand against him: so Aristides the Just was forced to leave his native city, and go away into exile.

This was a second example of Athenian ingratitude; for Aristides had never done anything wrong, but had, on the contrary, done all he could to help his country. His enemies, however, were the men who were neither honest nor just, and who felt that his virtues were a constant rebuke to them; and this was the very reason why they were so anxious to get him out of the city.