It is so hard to find out the truth by looking at the past. The process of time obscures the truth and even contemporaneous writers disguise and twist out of malice or flattery. — Plutarch

Story of the Greeks - Helene Guerber




Greece a Roman Province

For centuries the Greeks had been in the habit of assembling at Corinth every three years for the celebration of the Isthmian games, in honor of Poseidon, god of the sea. Here, as at Olympia, there were races, wrestling and boxing matches, and contests in verse and song; and as usual the prizes were simple crowns of olive leaves, which were considered far more precious than silver or gold.

In 196 B.C. not only were the Greeks present at this celebration, but there were also many Romans who wished to witness the games. The Greeks were then particularly happy because the War of the Two Leagues seemed to be ended, and the country was at peace.

In the midst of the festival, Quintius Flamininus, the Roman consul, mounted the orator's block, and proclaimed that the Roman army had just won a great victory over the revolted King of Macedon, and that the Greek states were now indeed free.

These tidings were received with such a tumult of joyful cries, it is said, that a flock of birds that were flying overhead fell to the earth, stunned by the shock of cheers which rent the air.

This joy, however, did not last very long, for the new-won freedom of Greece existed in name only. As soon as the Romans had completed the conquest of Macedon under its last ruler, Perseus, they prepared to annex Greece also.

Their first move was to accuse the Achæans of sending aid to Macedon. Under this pretext, one thousand leading citizens were seized, and sent to Rome to be tried.

Here they were kept in exile for many a year, longing to go home, and fuming against their detention. When they were finally allowed to return, they were so imbittered, that, as the Romans had foreseen, they soon stirred up a revolt among the Achæans.

Æmilius Paulus, the conqueror of Macedon, then marched into Greece, and swept over the whole country. He took the city of Corinth, and burned it to the ground, after carrying off many of its most precious works of art to adorn his triumph.

Such was the ignorance of the Romans at that time, however, about all matters of art, that the sailors who were to carry these treasures to Rome were warned by the consul to be careful, as they would have to replace any article they had damaged or lost.

The Romans then placed garrisons in the principal Greek towns, and the country became a mere province of Rome, under the name of Achaia.

Thus ends the history of ancient Greece, which, though so small, was yet the most famous country the world has ever known,—the country from which later nations learned their best lessons in art, philosophy, and literature.



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