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DEPARTURE FOR SICILY
Sicily forthwith, and took Catana. This was all tha: was done while he was there, for he was immediately after summoned home by the Athenians to abide his trial. At first, as we before said, there were only some slight suspicions advanced against Alcibiades, and evil reports by certain slaves and strangers. But afterwards, in his absence, his enemies attacked him more violently, and confounded together the breaking the images with the profanation of the Mysteries, as though both had been committed in pursuance of the same conspiracy for changing the government. The people proceeded to imprison all that seemed in any way implicated in the matter, without distinction, and without hearing them, and repented now, considering the importance of the charge, that they had not immediately brought Alcibiades to his trial, and given judgment upon him. Any of his relations or friends or companions who fell into the people's hands, whilst they were in this fury, did not fail to meet with very severe usage.
Thucydides has omitted to name the informers, but others mention Dioclides and Teucer. Amongst whom is Phrynichus, the comic poet, in whom we find the following :
O dearest Hermes ! only do take care,
To which he makes Mercury return this answer :
I will so: for I feel no inclination
The truth is, his accusers alleged nothing that was ver
tain or solid against him. One of them, being asked how he knew the men who defaced the images, replying, that he saw them by the light of the moon, made a palpable misstatement, for it was just new moon when the fact was committed. This made all men of understanding cry out upon the thing; but the people were as eager as ever to receive further accusations, nor was their first heat at all abated, but they went on seizing and imprisoning every one that had anything
said against them. 21 Amongst those who were detained in prison for their
trials, was Andocides the orator, whose descent the historian Hellanicus deduces from Ulysses. He was always supposed to hate popular government, and to support oligarchy. The chief ground of his being suspected of defacing the images, was because the great Mercury, which stood near his house, and was an ancient monument of the tribe Ægeïs, was almost the only statue, of all the remarkable ones, which remained entire. For this cause it is now called the Mercury of Andocides, all men giving it that name, though the inscription is evidence to the contrary. It happened that Andocides, amongst the rest who were prisoners upon the same account, contracted particular acquaintance and intimacy with one Timæus, a person inferior to him in repute, but of remarkable dexterity and bold
He persuaded Andocides to accuse himself and some few others of this crime, urging to him that upon his confession he would be, by the decree of the people, secure of his pardon, whereas the event of judgment is uncertain to all men, but to great persons, such as he was, most formidable : and it was better for him, if he
regarded himself, to save his life by telling a lie, than to suffer an infamous death, and remain, although unjustly, under the same imputation: and if he had rcgard to the public good, it was commendable to sacrifice a few suspected men, by that means to rescue many excellent persons from the fury of the people. Andocides was prevailed upon, and accused hinıself and some others, and by the terms of the decree obtained his pardon, while all the persons named by him, except some few who had saved themselves by flight, suffered death. To gain the greater credit to his information, he accused his own servants amongst others. But notwithstanding this, the people's anger was not immediately appeased; and being now less taken up with the mutilators, they had their whole passion, as it were, at their disposal to be discharged upon Alcibiades. In conclusion they sent, the Salaminian galley to recall him. They had the wisdom, however, to command those that were sent, to use no violence, nor seize upon his person, but address him in the mildest terms, requiring him to follow them to Athens, in order to abide his trial, and clear himself before the people. For they feared disorder and sedition in the
in an enemy's country; which indeed it would have been easy for Alcibiades to excite, if he had wished it. For the soldiers were dispirited upon his departure, expecting for the future tedious delays, and that the war would be drawn out into a lazy length by Nicias, when Alcibiades, who was the spur to action, was taken away.
For though Lamachus was a soldier, and a man of courage, poverty deprived him of authority and respect in the army.
Alcibiades, in his very departure, prevented Messina 22
from coming into the hands of the Athenians. There were some in that city who were upon the point of delivering it up, but he, knowing better than any one their names, gave information to the friends of the Syracusans, and so defeated the whole contrivance. When he arrived at Thurii, he went on shore, and there concealed himself, and escaped those who searched after him. To one who knew him, and asked him, if he durst not trust his own native country, he replied, " In everything else, yes; but in a matter that touches my life, I would not trust even my mother, lest she by mistake might throw in the black ball instead of the white." When afterwards he was told that the assembly had pronounced judgment of death against him, all he said was, “I will make them feel that I am alive."
The information against him was conceived in this form : 6. Thessalus son of Cimon, of the township of the Laciadæ, lays information that Alcibiades son of Clinias, of the township of the Scambonida, has committed a crime against the goddesses Ceres and Proserpine, by representing in derision the Holy Mysteries, and showing them to his companions in his own house. Where, being habited in such robes as are used by the Chief Priest when he shows the holy things, he named himself the Chief Priest, Polytion the Torch-bearer, and Theodorus of the township of Phegæa the Herald ; and saluted the rest of his company as Initiates and Adepts.
All which was done contrary to the laws and institutions of the Eumolpide and the Heralds and the Priests of the temple at Eleusis." He was condemned as contumacious upon his not appearing, his property confiscated, and a decree made that
all the priests and priestesses should solemnly curse him. One only of whom, Theano the daughter of Menon, of the township of Agraule, is said to have resisted that part of the decree, saying, that her holy office obliged her to make prayers, but not execrations.
Alcibiades, lying under these heavy decrees and 23 scntences, when first he fled from Thurii, passed over into Peloponnesus, and was at this time staying at Argos. But being there in fear of his enemies, and thinking himself utterly hopeless of return to his native country, he sent to Sparta, desiring safe conduct, and assuring them, that he would make them more than amends by his future services for the mischief he had done them while he was their enemy. The Spartans giving him the security he desired, he went among them with eagerness, and at his very first coming, succeeded in inducing them to delay and hesitate no longer about sending aid to the Syracusans; and so roused and excited them, that they forth with despatched Gylippus Gylipinto Sicily, to crush the forces which the Athenians
Syrahad in Sicily. A second point was, to renew the war upon the Athenians at home. But the third thing, and the most important of all, was to make them fortify RenewDecelea, which above everything reduced and wasted war in
Greece, the substance of the Athenians. The renown which he earned by these public services was equalled by the tion or admiration he attracted to his private life; he captivated lea. and won over everybody by his conformity to Spartan B.C. 413. habits. People who saw him wearing his hair close cut, bathing in cold water, eating coarse meal, and dining on black broth, doubted, or rather could not believe, that he had ever had a cook in his house, or seen