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Colonization Eastwards from The Story of Civilization, Volume I  (  https://tanbooks.com/catholic-homeschool/series/the-story-of-civilization/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI572dicfn7wIVmInICh3YVwKJEAMYASAAEgLbpvD_BwE  )

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1. Causes and Wars

In carrying the story of Sparta and Athens down to the eve of Marathon we have sacrificed the unity of time to the unity of place.

It is true that the cities of the mainland were older than the Greek settlements in the Aegean and Ionia, and that these cities, in many cases, sent out the colonies whose life we must now describe. But, by aconfusing inversion of normal sequences, several of these colonies became greater than their mother cities, and preceded them in the development of wealth and art. The real creators of Greek culture were not the Greeks of what we now call Greece, but those who fled before the conquering Dorians, fought desperately for a foothold on foreign shores, and there, out of their Mycenaean memories and their amazing energy, made the art and science, the philosophy andpoetry that, long before Marathon, placed them in the forefront of the Western world. Greek civilization was inherited by the parent cities from their children.

There is nothing more vital in the history of the Greeks than their rapid spread throughout the Mediterranean. [Cf. Pater: "Perhaps the most brilliant and animating episode in the entire history of Greece – its early colonization.] They had been nomadic before Homer, and all the Balkan peninsula had seemed fluid with this movement, but the successive Greek waves that broke upon the Aegean isles and the western coasts of Asia were stirred up above all by the Dorian invasion. From every part of Hellas men went out in search of homes and liberty beyond the grasp of the enslaving conquerors. Political faction and family feud in the older states contributed to the migration; the defeated sometimes chose exile, and the victors gave every encouragement to their exodus. Some of the Greek survivors of the Trojan War staved in Asia; others, through shipwreck or adventure, settled in the islands of the Aegean; some, reaching home after a perilous journey, found their thrones or their wives occupied, and returned to their ships to build new homes and fortunes abroad. In mainland Greece, as in modern Europe, colonization proved a blessing in varied ways: it provided outlets for surplus population adventurous spirits, and safety valves against agrarian discontent; it established foreign markets for domestic products, and strategic depots for the import of food and minerals. In the end it created a commercial empire whose thriving interchange of goods, arts, ways, and thoughts made possible the complex culture of Greece.

The migration followed five main lines-Aeolian, Ionian, Dorian, Euxine, Italian. The earliest began in the northern states of the mainland, which were the first to feel the brunt of the invasions from the north and the west. From Thessaly, Phthiotis, Boeotia, and Aetolia, throughout the twelfth and eleventh centuries, a stream of immigrants moved slowly across the Aegean to the region about Troy, and founded there the twelve cities of the Aeolian League. The second line took its start in the Peloponnesus, whence thousands of Nlycenaeans and Achaeans fled on the "Return of the Heraclids." Some of thei- : settled in Attica, some in Euboea; many of them moved out into the Cyclades, ventured across the Aegean, and established in western Asia Minor the twelve cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis. The third line was followed by Dorians who overflowed the Peloponnesus into the Cyclades, conquered Crete and Cyrene, and set up a Dorian Hexapolis around the island of Rhodes. The fourth line, starting anywhere in Greece, settled the coast of Thrace, and built a hundred cities on the shores of the Hellespont, the Propontis, and the Euxine Sea. The fifth line moved westward to what the Greeks called the Ionian Isles, thence across to Italy and Sicily, and finally to Gaul and Spain.

Only a sympathetic imagination or a keen recollection of our own colonial history can visualize the difficulties that were surmounted in this century-long migration. It was an adventure of high moment to leave the land consecrated by the graves of one's ancestors and guarded by one's hereditary deities, and go forth into strange regions unprotected, presumably, by the gods of Greece. Therefore the colonists took with them a handful of earth from their native state to strew upon the alien soil, and solemnly carried fire from the public altar of their mother city to light the civic fire at the hearth of their new settlement. The chosen site was on or near a shore, where ships-the second home of half the Greeks-might serve as a refuge from attack by land; better still if it were a coastal plain protected by mountains that provided a barrier in the rear, an acropolis for defense in the town, and a promontory-sheltered harbor in the sea; best of all if such a haven could be found on some commercial route, or by a river mouth that received the products of the interior for export or exchange; then prosperity was only a matter of time. Good sites were nearly always occupied, and had to be conquered by stratagem or force; the Greeks, in such matters, recognized no morals loftier than our own. In some cases the conquerors reduced the prior inhabitants to slavery, with all the irony of pilgrims seeking freedom; more often they made friends of the natives by bringing them Greek gifts, charming them with a superior culture, courting their women, and adopting their gods; the colonial Greeks did not bother about purity of race, and could always find in their teeming pantheon some deity sufficiently like the local divinity to facilitate a religious entente. Above all, the colonists offered the products of the Greek handicrafts to the natives, secured grain, cattle, or minerals in return, and exported these throughout the Meediterranean – preferably to the mettropolis, or mother city, from which the settlers had come, and to which they retained for centuries a certain filial piety.

One by one these narrow peninsula of colonies took form, until Greece was no longer the Homeric days, but a strangely loose association of independent cities scattered from Africa to Thrace and from Gibraltar to the eastern end of the Black Sea. It was an epochal performance for the women of Greece; we shall not always find them so ready to have children. Through these busy centers of vitality and intelligence the Greeks spread into all of southern Europe the seeds of that subtle and precarious luxury called civilization, without which life would have no beauty, and history no meaning.

II. The Ionian Cyclades

Sailing south from the Piraeus along the Attic coast, and bearing east around Sunium's templed promontory, the traveler reaches the little isle of Ceos, where, if we may believe the incredible on the authority of Strabo and Plutarch, "there was once a law that appears to have commanded those who were sixty years of age to drink hemlock, in order that the food might be sufficient for the rest," and "there was no memory of a case of adultery or seduction over a period of seven hundred years."

Perhaps that is why her greatest poet exiled himself from Ceos after reaching middle age; he might have found it difficult to attain, at home, the eighty-seven years that Greek tradition gives him. Ail the Hellenic world knew Simonides at thirty, and when he died, in 469, he was by common consent the most brilliant writer of his time. His fame as poet and singer won him an invitation from Hipparchus, codictator of Athens, at whose court he found it possible to live in amity with another poet, Anacreon. He survived the war with Persia, and was chosen again and again to write epitaphs for memorials of the honored dead. In his old age he lived at the court of Hieron I, dictator of Syracuse; and his repute was then so high that in 475 he made peace in the field between Hieron and Theron, dictator of Acragas, as hostilities were about to begin. Plutarch, in his perennially pertinent essay on "Should Old Men Govern" tells us that Simonides continued to win the prize for lyric poetry and choral song into very old age. When finally he consented to die he was buried at Acragas with the honors of a king.

He was a personality as well as a poet, and the Greeks denounced and loved him for his vices and eccentricities. He had a passion for money, and his muse was dumb in the absence of gold. He was the first to write poetrv for pay, on the ground that poets had as much right to eat as anyone else; but the practice was new to Greece, and Aristophanes echoed the resentment of the public when he said that Simonides "would go to sea on a hurdle to earn a groat." He prided himself on having invented a system of mnemonics, which Cicero adopted gratefully; its essential principle lay in arranging the things to be remembered into some logical classification and sequence, so that each item would naturally lead to the next. He was a wit, and his sharp repartees passed like a mental currency among the cities of Greece; but in his old age he remarked that he had often repented of speaking, but never of holding his tongue.

We are surprised to find, in the extant fragments of a poet so widely acclaimed and so liberally rewarded, that indispersible gloom which broods over so much of Greek literature after Homer – in whose days men were too active to be pessimists, and too violent to be bored.

Few and evil are the days of our life; but everlasting will be our sleep beneath the earth . . . . Small is the strength of man, and invincible are his errors; grief treads upon the heels of grief through his short life; and death, whom no man escapes, hangs over him at last; to this come good and bad alike . . . . Nothing human is ever lasting. Well said the bard of Chios that the life of man is even as that of a green leaf; yet few who hear this bear it in mind, for hope is strong in the breast of the young. When youth is in flower, and the heart of man is light, he nurses idle thought, hoping he will never grow old or die; nor does he think of sickness in good health. Fools are they who dream thus, nor know how short are the days of our youth and our life.

No hope of Blessed Isles comforts Simonides, and the divinities of Olympus, like those of Christianity in some modem verse, have become instruments of poetry rather than consolations of the soul. When Hieron challenged him to define the nature and attributes of God he asked for a day's time to prepare his answer, and the next day begged for two days more, and on each occasion doubled the period that he required for thought. When at last Hieron demanded an explanation, Simonides replied that the longer he pondered the matter the more obscure it became.

Out of Ceos came not only Simonides, but his nephew and lyric successor Bacchybdes, and, in Alexandrian days, the great anatomist Erasistratus. We cannot say so much for Seriphos, or Andros, or Tenos, or hlyconos, or Sicinos, or Ios. On Syros lived Pherecydes (ca. 55o), who was reputed to have taught Pythagoras, and to have been the first philosopher to write in prose. On Delos, said Greek story, Apollo himself had been born. So sacred was the island as his sanctuary that both death and birth were forbidden within its borders; those about to give birth or to die were hurriedly conveyed from its shores; and all known graves were emptied that the island might be purified." There, after the repulse of the Persians, Athens and her Ionian allies would keep the treasure of the Delian Confederacy; there, every fourth year, the Ionians met in pious but convivial assemblage to celebrate the festival of the handsome god. A seventh-century hymn describes the "women with fine girdles,"' the eager merchants busy at their booths, the crowds lining the road to watch the sacred procession; the tense ritual and solemn sacrifice in the temple; the joyous dances and choral hymns of Delian and Athenian maidens chosen for their comeliness as well as their song; the athletic and musical contests, and the plays in the theater under the open sky. Annually the Athenians sent an embassy to Delos to celebrate Apollo's birthday; and no criminal might be executed in Athens until this embassy's return. Hence the long interval, so fortunate for literature and philosophy, between the conviction of Socrates and his execution.

Naxos is the largest, as Delos is almost the smallest, of the Cyclades. It was famous for its wine and its marble, and became rich enough, in the sixth century, to have its own navy and its own school of sculpture. Southeast of Naxos lies Amorgos, home of the unamiable Semonides, whose ungallant satire on women has been carefully preserved by man-written history. [Simonides compares women now to foxes asses, pigs, and the changeful sea, and swears that no husband has ever passed through a day without some word of censure from his wife.] To the west lies Paros, almost composed of marble; its citizens made their homes of it, and Praxtteles found there the translucent stone which he would carve and polish into the warmth and texture of human flesh. On this island, about the end of the eighth century, Archilochus was born, son of a slave woman, but one of the greatest lyric singers of Greece. A soldier's fortune led him north to Thasos where, in a battle with the natives, he found his heels more valuable than his shield; he took to the one and abandoned the other, and lived to turn many a merry quip about his flight. Back in Paros he fell in love with Neobule, daughter of the rich Lycambes. He describes her as a modest lass with tresses falling over her shoulders, and sighs, as so many centuries hate sighed, "only to touch her hand." But Lycambes, admiring the poet's verses more than his income, put an end to the affair; whereupon Archilochus aimed at him and Neobule and her sister such barbs of satiric verse that all three of them, legend assures us, hanged themselves. Archilochus turned his back sourly upon the "figs and fishes" of Paros, and became again a soldier of fortune. Finally, his heels having failed him, he was killed in battle against the Naxians.

Use learn from his poems that he was a man of rough speech to both friends and foes, with a disappointed lover's penchant for adultery.' tVe picture him as an inspired pirate, a melodious buccaneer coarse in prose and polished in verse; taking the iambic meter already popular in folk songs and fashioning it into short and stinging lines of six feet; this was the "iambic trimeter" that would become the classic medium of Greek tragedy. He experimented gaily with dactylic hexameters, trochaic tetrameters, and a dozen other meters, and gave to Greek poetry the metrical forms that it would keep to the end. Only a few broken lines survive, and we must accept the word of the ancients that he was the most popular of all Greek poets after Homer. Horace loved to imitate his technical diversities; and the great Hellenistic critic, Aristophanes of Byzantium, when asked which of Archilochus' poems he liked best, voiced in two words the feeling of Greece when he answered, "The longest."

A morning's sail west of Paros is Siphnos, famous for its mines of silver and gold. These were owned by the people through their government. The yield was so rich that the island could set up at Delphi the Siphnian Treasury with its placid caryatides, erect many another monument, and yet distribute a substantial balance among the citizens at the end of every year. In 524 a band of freebooters from Samos landed on the island and exacted a tribute of a hundred talents – the equivalent of $600,000 today. The rest of Greece accepted this heroic robbery with the equanimity and fortitude with which men are accustomed to bear the misfortunes of their friends.

III. The Dorian Overflow

The Dorians, too, colonized the Cyclades, and tamed their warlike spirits to terrace the mountain slopes patiently, that the parsimonious rain might be held and coaxed to nourish their crops and vines. In Melos they took over from their Bronze Age predecessors the quarrying of obsidian, and made the island so prosperous that the Athenians, as we shall see, spared no pains to Melos to win its support in the struggle with Sparta. Here, in 1820, was found that Aphrodite of Melos which is now the most famous statue in the Western world.

Moving east and then south, the Dorians conquered Thera and Crete, and from Thera sent a further colony to Cvrene. A few of them settled in Cyprus, where, from the eleventh century, a small colony of Arcadian Greeks had struggled for mastery against the old Phoenician dynasties. It was one of these Phoenician kinRlcts, Pygmalion, of whom legend told how he so admired an ivory Aphrodite carved_by his hands that he fell in love with it, begged the goddess to give it life, and married his creation when the goddess complied. The coming of iron probably lessened the demand for Cyprian copper, and left the island off the main line of Greek economic advance. The cutting of the timber by the natives to burn the copper ore, by the Phoenicians for ships and by the Greeks for a(Tricultural clearinus, slowly transformed Cyprus into the hot and half-barren derelict that it isytodav. The art of the island, like its population, was in the Greek period a medley of Egyptian, Phoenician, and Hellenic influences, and never attained a homogeneous character of its own. [Cf. Case XIII of the Cesnola Collection of Cyprian Antiquities in the ,'Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sew York. A bilingual tablet unearthed by British scholars in 1868 enabled .hem to decipher Cypriote writing as a dialect of Greek expressed by syllabic signs; but the results have not added anything of interest to universal history.]

The Dorians were but a minaritv of the Greek population in Cyprus; but in Rhodes and the southern Sporades and on the adjoining mainland they became the ruling class. Rhodes prospered in the centuries between Homer and Marathon, though its zenith would not come till the Hellenistic age. On a promontory jutting out from Asia, Dorian settlers developed the city of Cnidus, well situated to be a port of the coastal trade. Here the astronomer Eudoxos would be born, and the historian (or fabulist) Ctesias, and that Sostratus who was to build the Pharos at Alexandria. Here, among the ruins of ancient temples, would be found the sad and matronly Demeter of the British Museum.

Opposite Cnidus lay the island of Cos, home of Hippocrates and rival of Cnidus as a center of Greek medical science. Apelles the painter would be born here, and Theocritus the poet. A little to the north, on the coast, was Haficarnassus, birthplace of Herodotus and royal seat, in Hellenistic days, of the Carian King llausolus and his fond Arternisia. This city, with Cos and Cnidus and the chief towns of Rhodes (Lindus, Camirus, and lalysus) formed the Dorian Hexapolis, or Six Cities, of Asia Minor-weak rivals, for a time, of the Twelve Cities of Ionia.

IV. The Ionian Dodecapolis

1. Miletus and the Birth o f Greek Philosophy

Running northwest of Caria for some ninety miles was the strip of mountainous coastland, twenty to thirty miles wide, ancientlv known as Ionia. Here, said Herodotus, "the air and climate are the most beautiful in the whole world."`° Its cities lay for the mast part at the mouths of rivers, or at the ends of roads, that carried the hoods of the hinterland down to the Mediterranean for shipment everywhere.

Miletus, southernmost of the Ionian Twelve, was in the sixth century the richest city of the Greek world. The site had been inhabited by Carians from Minoan days; and when, about 1000 b.c., the Ionians came there from Attica, they found the old Aegean culture, though in a decadent form, waiting to serve as the advanced starting point of their civilization. They brought no women with them to Aliletus. Gut merely killed the native males and married the widows; the fusion of cultures began with a fusion of blood. Like most of the Ionian cities, Miletus submitted at first to kings who led them in war, then to aristocrats who owned the land, then to "tyrants" representing the middle class. Under the dictator Thrasvbulus, at the beginning of the sixth century, industry and trade reached their peak, and the growing-wealth of Miletus flowered forth in literature, philosophy, and art. Wool was brought down from the rich pasture lands of the interior, and turned into clothing in the textile mills of the city. Taking a lesson from the Phoenicians and gradually bettering their instruction, Ionian merchants established colonies as wading posts in Egypt, Italy, the Propontis, and the Euxine. Ibiiletus alone had eighty such colonies, sixty of them in the north. From Abydos, Cyzicus, Sinope, Olbia, Trapezus, and Dioscurias, Miletus drew flax, timber, fruit, and metals, and paid for these with the products of her handicrafts. The wealth and luxury of the city became a proverb and a scandal throughout Greece. Ihlilesian merchants, overflowing with profits, lent money to enterprises far and wide, and to the municipality itself. They were the Medici of the Ionian Renaissance.

It was in this stimulating environment that Greece first developed nwo of its most characteristic gifts to the world-science and philosophy. The crossroads of trade are the meeting place of ideas, the attrition ground of rival customs and beliefs; diversities beget conflict, comparison, thought; superstitions cancel one another, and reason begins. Here in Miletus, as later in Athens, were men from a hundred scattered stares; mentally active through competitive commerce, and freed from the bondage of tradition by long absences from their native altars and homes. Milesians themselves traveled to distant cities, and had their eyes opened by the civilizations of Lydia, Babylonia, Phoenicia, and Egypt; in this way, among others, Egyptian geometry and Babylonian astronomy entered the Greek mind. Trade and mathematics, foreign commerce and geography, navigation and astronomy, developed hand in hand. Meanwhile wealth had created leisure; an aristocracy of culture was growing up in which freedom of thought was tolerated because only a small minority could read. No powerful priesthood, no ancient and inspired text limited men's thinking; even the Homeric poems, which were to become in some sense the Bible of the Greeks, had hardly taken yet a definite form; and in that final form their mythology was to bear the imprint of Ionian skepticism and scandalous merriment. Here for the first time thought became secular, and sought rational and consistent answers to the problems of the world and man. [Similar movements, however, appeared in India and China in this sixth century b.c.]

Nevertheless the new plant, mutation though it was, had its roots and ancestry. The hoary wisdom of Egyptian priests and Persian Ma0gi, perhaps even of Hindu seers, the sacerdotal science of the Chaldeans, the poetically personified cosmogony of Hesiod, were mingled with the natural realism of Phoenician and Greek merchants to produce Ionian philosophy. Greek religion itself had paved the way by talking of Moira, or Fate, as ruler of bath gods and men: here was that idea of law, as superior to incalculable personal decree, which would mark the essential difference between science and mythology, as well as between despotism and democracy. Man became free when he recognized that he was subject to law. That the Greeks, so far as our knowledge goes, were the first to achieve this recognition and this freedom in both philosophy and government is the secret of their accomplishment, and of their importance in history.

Since life proceeds by heredity as well as by variation, by stabilizing custom as well as by experimental innovation, it was to be expected that the religious roots of philosophy would form as well as feed it, and there should remain in it, to the very end, a vigorous element of theology. Two currents run side by side in the history of Greek philosophy: one naturalistic, the other mystical. The latter stemmed from Pythagoras, and ran through Parmenides, Heracleitus, Plato, and Cleanthes to Plotinus and St. Paul; the other had its first world figure in Thales, and passed down through Anaximander, Xenophanes, Protagoras, Hippocrates, and Democritus to Epicurus and Lucretius. Now and then some great spirit-Socrates, Aristotle, Marcus Aurelius-merged the two currents in an attempt to do justice to the unformulable complexity of life. But even in these men the dominant strain, characteristic of Greek thought, was the love and pursuit of reason.

Thales was born about 640, probably at Miletus, reputedly of Phoenician parentage,' and derived much of his education from Egypt and the Near East; here, as if personified, we see the transit of culture from East to West. He appears to have engaged in business only so far as to provide himself with the ordinary goods of life; everyone knows the story of his successful speculation in oil presses. [Let Aristotle tell the story: "They say that Thales, perceiving by his skill in astrology (astronomy) that there would be great plenty of olives that near, while it was yet winter hired at a low price all the oil presses in Miletus and Chios, there being no one to bid against him. But when the season came for making oil, many persons wanting them, he all at once let them upon what terms he pleased; and raising a large sum of money by that means, convinced them that it was easy for philosophers to be rich if they chose it."]

For the rest he gave himself to study, with the absorbed devotion suggested by the tale of his falling into a ditch while watching the stars. Despite his solitude, he interested himself in the affairs of his city, knew the dictator Thrasybulus intimately, and advocated the federation of the Ionian states for united defense against Lydia and Persia.

To him tradition unanimously ascribed the introduction of mathematical and astronomical science into Greece. Antiquity told how, in Egypt, he calculated the heights of the pyramids by measuring their shadows when a man's shadow equaled his height. Returning to Ionia, Thales pursued the fascinatingly logical study of geometry as a deductive science, and demonstrated several of the theorems later collected by Euclid. [That a circle is bisected by its diameter; that the angles at the base of any isosceles triangle are "similar" (i.e., equal); that the angle in a semicircle is a tight angle; that the opposite angles formed by two intersecting straight lines are aqual; that two triangles having two angles and one side respectively equal are themselves equal.] As these theorems founded Greek geometry, so his studies of astronomy established that science for Western civilization, and disentangled it from its Oriental associations troth astrology. He made several minor observations, and startled all Ionic by successfully predicting an eclipse of the sun for May 28, 585 b.c., probably on the basis of Egyptian records and Babylonian calculations. For the rest his theory of the universe was not appreciably superior to the current cosmology of the Egyptians and the Jews. The world, he thought, was a hemisphere resting on an endless expanse of water, and the earth was a flat disk floating on the flat side of the interior of this hemisphere. We are reminded of Goethe's remark that a man's vices (or errors) are common to him with his epoch, but his virtues (or insights) are his own.

As some Greek myths made Oceanus the father of all creation, so Thales made water the first principle of all things, their original form and their final destiny. Perhaps, says Aristotle, he had come to this opinion from observing "that the nutriment of everything is moist, and that . . . the seeds of everything have a moist nature; . . . and that from which everything is generated is always its first principle." Or perhaps he believed that water was the most primitive or fundamental of the three forms – gas, liquid, solid – into which, theoretically, all substances may be changed. The significance of his thought lay not in reducing all things to water, but in reducing all things to one; here was the first monism in recorded history. Aristotle describes Thales' view as materialistic; but Thales adds that every particle of the world is alive, that matter and life are inseparable and one, that there is an immortal "soul" in plants and metals as well as in animals and men; the vital power changes form, but never dies. Thales was wont to say that there is no essential difference between living and dead. When someone sought to nettle him by asking why, then he chose life instead of death, he answered, "Because there is no difference,"

In his old age he received by common consent the title of sophos, or sage; and when Greece came to name its Seven Wise Men it placed Thales first. Being asked what was very difficult, he answered, in a famous apophthegm, "To know thyself." Asked what was very easy, he answered, "To give advice." To the question, what is God? he replied, "That which has neither beginning nor end." Asked how men might live most virtuously and justly, he answered, "If we never do ourselves what we blame in others."° He died, says Diogenes Laertius, "while present as a spectator at a gymnastic contest, being worn out with heat and thirst and weakness, for he was very old."

Thales, says Strabo," was the first of those who wrote on physiologia – i.e., on the science of nature (physis), or on the principle of being and development in things. His work was vigorously advanced by his pupil Anaximander, who, though he lived from 611 to 549 b.c., expounded a philosophy surprisingly like that which Herbert Spencer, trembling before his own originality, published in a.d. 1860. The first principle, says Anaximander, was a vast Indefinite-Infinite (apeiron), a boundless mass possessing no specific qualities, but developing, by its inherent forces, into all the varied realities of the universe. [cf. Spencer's definition of evolution as substantially a change from "indefinite, incoherent homogeneity to a definite, coherent heterogeneity."] This animate and eternal but impersonal and unmoral Infinite is the only God in Anaximander's system; it is the unvarying and everlasting One, as distinguished from the mutable evanescent Many of the world of things. (Here stems the metaphysics of the Eleatic School – that only the eternal One is real.) From this characterless Infinite are born new worlds in endless succession, and to it in endless succession they return as they evolve and die. In the primordial Infinite all opposites are contained – hot and cold, moist and dry, liquid and solid and gas . . . ; in development these potential qualities become actual, and make diverse and definite things; in dissolution these opposed qualities are again resolved into the Infinite. (A source for Heracleitus as well as for Spencer.) In this rise and fall of worlds the various elements struggle with one another, and encroach upon each other as hostile opposites. For this opposition they pay with dissolution; "Things perish into those from which they have been born."

Anaximander, though he too can be guilty of astronomic bizarreries forgivable in an age without instruments, advanced on Thales by conceiving the earth as a cylinder freely suspended in the center of the universe, and sustained only by being equidistant from all things. The sun, moon, and stars, he thought, moved in circles around the earth. To illustrate all this Anaximander, probably on Babylonian models, constructed at Sparta a gnomon, or sundial, on which he showed the movement of the planets, the obliquity of the ecliptic [The ecliptic (so called because eclipses of the sun and moon take place in it) is the great circle made by the apparent annual path of the sun through the heavens. Since the plane of this circle or ecliptic is also the plane of the earth's orbit, the obliquity of the ecliptic is the oblique angle (about 23°) between the plane of the earth's equator and the plane of its orbit around the sun.], and the succession of solstices, equinoxes, and seasons. With the collaboration of his fellow Milesian, Hecataeus, he established geography as a science by drawing-apparently upon a tablet of brass – the first known map of the inhabited world.

In its earliest form, said Anaximander, the earth was in a fluid state; external heat dried some of it into land, and evaporated some of it into clouds; while the variations of heat in the atmosphere so formed caused the motions of the winds. Living organisms arose by gradual stages from the original moisture; land animals were at first fishes, and only with the drying of the earth did they acquire their present shape. Man too was once a fish; he could not at his earliest appearance have been born as now, for he would have been too helpless to secure his food, and would have been destroyed.

A slighter figure is Anaximander's pupil Anaximenes, whose first principle was air. All other elements are produced from air by rarefaction, which gives fire, or by condensation, which forms progressively wind, cloud, water, earth, and stone. As the soul, which is air, holds us together, so the air, or pneuma, of the world is its pervasive spirit, breath, or God. Here was an idea that would ride out all the storms of Greek philosophy, and find a haven in Stoicism and Christianity.

This heyday of Nliletus produced not only, the earliest philosophy, but the earliest prose, and the first historiography, in Greece.$ Poetry seems natural to a nation's adolescence, when imagination is greater than knowledge, and a strong faith gives personality to the forces of nature in field, wood, sea, and sky; it is hard for poetry to avoid animism, or for animism to avoid poetry. Prose is the voice of knowledge freeing itself from imagination and faith; it is the language of secular, mundane, "prosaic" affairs; it is the emblem of a nation's maturity, and the epitaph of its youth. Up to this time (600) nearly all Greek literature had taken a poetic form; education had transmitted in verse the lore and morals of the race; even early philosophers, like Xenophanes, Parmenides, and Empedocles, gave their systems a poetic dress. Just as science was at first a form of philosophy, struggling to free itself from the general, the speculative, the unverifiable, so philosophy was at first a form of poetry, striving to free itself from mythology, animism, and metaphor.

It was therefore an event when Pherecydes and Anaximander expounded their doctrines in prose. Other men of the age, whom the Greeks called logo-graphoi – reason writer, prose writers – began to chronicle in the new medium the annals of their states; so Cadmus (550) wrote a chronicle of Miletus, Eugaeon wrote of Samos, Xanthus wrote of Lydia. Towards the end of the century Hecatacus of Miletus advanced both history and geography in epochal works – the Historiai, or Inquiries, and the Ges periodos, or Circuit of the Earth. The latter divided the known planet into two continents, Europe and Asia, and included Egypt in Asia; if (as many doubt) the existing fragments are genuine, it was especially informative about Egypt, and provided a rich field for unacknowledged poaching by Herodotus. The Histories began with a skeptical blast: "I write what I consider to be the truth; for the traditions of the Greeks seem to me many and ridiculous." Hecataeus accepted Homer as history, and swallowed some tales with his eyes shut; nevertheless he made an honest effort to distinguish fact from myth, to trace real genealogies, and to arrive at a credible history of the Greeks. Greek historiography was old when the "Father of History" was born.

To Hecataeus and the other logo-graphoi who appeared in this age in most of the cities and colonies of Hellas, historia [From histor or istor, knowing; a euphonism for id-tor, from the root id in eidenai, to know; cf. our wit and wisdom. Story is a shortened form of history.] meant any inquiry into the facts of any matter, and was applied to science and philosophy as well as to historiography in the modern sense. The term had a skeptical connotation in Ionia; it signified that the miracle stories of gods and demigod heroes were to be replaced with secular records of events, and rational interpretations of causes and effects. In Hecatacus the process begins; in Herndotus it advances; in Thucydides it is complete.

The poverty of Greek prose before Herodotus is bound up with the conquest and impoverishment of Miletus in the very generation in which prose literature began. Internal decay followed the custom of history in smoothing the path of the conqueror. The growth of wealth and luxury made epicureanism fashionable, while stoicism and patriotism seemed antiquated and absurd; it became a byword among the Greeks that "once upon a time the Milesians were brave." Competition for the goods of the earth became keener as the old faith lost its power to mitigate class strife by giving scruples to the strong and consolations to the weak. The rich, supporting an oligarchic dictatorship, became a united party against the poor, who wanted a democracy. The poor secured control of the government, expelled the rich, collected the remaining children of the rich on threshing floors, set oxen upon them, and had them trampled to death. The rich returned, recaptured power, coated the leaders of the democracy with pitch, and then burnt them alive. De nobis fabula narrabitur. When, about 56o, Croesus began to subject to Lydian rule the Greek coast of Asia from Cnidus to the Hellespont, Miletus saved its independence by refusing to help her sister states. But in 546 Cyrus conquered Lydia, and without much difficulty absorbed the faction-torn cities of Ionia into the Persian Empire. The great age of kiiletus was over. Science and philosophy, in the history of states, reach their height after decadence has set in; wisdom is a harbinger of death.

2. Polycrates of Samos

Across the bay from Miletus, near the outlets of the Maeander, stood the modest town of Myus, and the more famous city of Priene. There, in the sixth century, lived Bias, one of the Seven Wise Men. As Hermippus said, the Seven Wise Men were seventeen; for different Greeks made different lists of them, most frequently agreeing upon Thales, Solon, Bias, Pittacus of Mytilene, Periander of Corinth, Chilon of Sparta, and Cleobolus of Lindus in Rhodes. Greece respected wisdom as India respected holiness, as Renaissance Italy respected artistic genius, as young America naturally respects economic enterprise. The heroes of Greece were not saints, or artists, or millionaires, but sages; and her most honored sages were not theorists but men who had made their wisdom function actively in the world. The sayings of these men became proverbial among the ~Greeks, and were in some cases inscribed in the temple of Apollo at Delphi. People liked to quote, for example, the remarks of Bias-that the most unfortunate of men is he who has not learned how to bear misfortune; that men ought to order their lives as if they were fated to live both a long and a short time; and that "wisdom should be cherished as a means of traveling from youth to old age, for it is more lasting than any other possession."

West of Priene lay Samos, second largest of Ionia's isles. The capital stood on the southeastern shore; and as one entered the well-protected harbor, passing the famous red ships of the Samian fleet, the city rose as if in tiers on the hill: first the wharves and shops, then the homes, then the fortress-acropolis and the great temple of Hera; and behind these a succession of ranges and peaks rising to a height of five thousand feet. It was a sight to stir the patriotism of every Samian soul.

The zenith of Samos came in the third quarter of the sixth century, under Polycrates. The revenues from the busy port enabled the dictator to end a dangerous period of unemployment by a program of public works that called forth the admiration of Herodotus. The greatest of these undertakings was a tunnel that carried the city's water supply 4500 feet through a mountain; we catch some idea of Greek ability in mathematics and engineering when we learn that the two bores, begun at opposite ends, met in the center with an error of eighteen feet in direction and nine in height. [Similar enterprises today make both ends meet with an error of only a few inches, or none.]

Samos had been a cultured center long before Polycrates. Here, about 590, the fabulous Aesop had been the Phrygian slave of the Greek Iadmon. An unconfirmed tradition tells how ladmon freed him, how Aesop traveled widely, met Solon, lived at the court of Croesus, embezzled the money that Croesus had commissioned him to distribute at Delphi, and met a violent death at the hands of the outraged Delphians. His fables, largely taken from Eastern sources, were well known at Athens in the classic age; Socrates, says Plutarch, put them into verse. Though their form was Oriental, their philosophy was characteristically Greek. "Sweet are the beauties of Nature, the earth and sea, the stars, and the orbs of sun and moon. But all the rest is fear and pain," especially if one embezzles. We can still meet him in the Vatican, where a cup from the Periclean age represents him with half-bald head and Vandyke beard, listening profitably to a merry fox.

The great Pythagoras was born in Samos, but left it in 529 to live at Crotona in Italy. Anacreon came from Teos to sing Polycrates' charms and to tutor his son. The greatest figure at the court was the artist Theodorus, the Leonardo of Samos, Jack-of-all-trades and master of most. The Greeks ascribed to him, perhaps as a cloture on research, the invention of the level, the square, and the lathe; he was a skilled engraver of gems, a metalworker, stoneworker, woodworker, sculptor, and architect. He took part in designing the second temple of Artemis at Ephesus, built a vast skias, or pavilion, for Sparta's public assemblies, helped to introduce clay modeling into Greece, and shared with Rhoecus the honor of bringing from Egypt or Assyria to Samos the hollow casting of bronze. Before Theodorus the Greeks had made crude bronze statues by riveting plates of the metal to a "bridge" of wood;" now they were prepared to produce such masterpieces in bronze as the Charioteer of Delphi and the Discus Thrower of Myron. Samos was famous also for its pottery; Pliny recommends it to us by telling us that the priests of Cybele would use nothing but Saurian potsherds in depriving themselves of their manhood:

3. Heracleitus of Ephesus

Across the Caystrian Gulf from Samos stood Ionia's most famous cityEphesus. Founded about Iooo by colonists from Athens, it prospered by tapping the trade of both the Cayster and the Maeander. Its population, its religion, and its art contained a strong Eastern element; the Artemis worshiped there began and ended as an Oriental goddess of motherhood and fertility. Her renowned temple had many deaths, and almost as many resurrections. On the site of an ancient altar twice built and twice destroyed, the first temple was erected about 600, and was probably the earliest important edifice in the Ionic style. The second temple was raised about 540, partly through the generosity of Croesus; Paeonius of Ephesus, Theodor-us of Samos, and Demetrius, a priest of the shrine, shared in designing it. It was the largest Greek temple that had yet been built, and was ranked without dispute among the Seven Wonders of the World. [The other six were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Photos at Alexandria, the Colossus of Rhodes the Pheidian Zeus at Olympia, the toms of hfausolus at Halicamassus, and the Pyramids. Pliny describes the second temple as 425 feet long by 225 feet wide, with 127 columns sixty feet to height-several of them adorned or disfigured with reliefs.' Completed is 420 b.c, after more than a century of labor, it was destroyed by fire is 356.]

The city was known not only for its temple but for its poets, its philosophers, and its expensively= gowned women.' Here, as early as 690 b.c., lived Callinus, the earliest known elegiac poet of Greece. Far greater and uglier was Hipponax, who, towards 550, composed poems so coarse in subject, obscure in language, pointed in wit, and refined in metrical style, that all Greece began to talk about him, and all Ephesus to hate him. He was short and thin, lame and deformed, and completely disagreeable. Woman, he tells us, in one of his surviving fragments, brings two days of happiness to a man – "one when he marries her, the other when he buries her." He was a ruthless satirist, and lampooned every notable in Ephesus from the lowest criminal to the highest priest of the temple. When two sculptors, Bupalus and Athenis, exhibited an elegant caricature of him he attacked them with such corrosive verse that some of it has proved more durable than their stone, and sharper than the teeth of time. "Hold my coat," says a typically polished morsel; "I shall hit Bupalus in the eye. I am ambidextrous, and I never miss my aim."" Tradition said that Hipponax died by suicide; but perhaps this was only a universal wish.

The most illustrious son of Ephesus was Heracleitus the Obscure. Born about 530, he belonged to a noble family, and thought that democracy was a mistake. "There are many bad but few good," he said (111), and "one man to me is as ten thousand if he be the best" (113) . But even aristocrats did not please him, nor women, nor scholars. "Abundant learning," he wrote with genial particularity, "does not form the mind; if it did it would have instructed Hesiod, Pythagoras, Xenophanes and Hecataeus" (16). "For the only real wisdom is to know that idea which by itself will govern everything on every occasion" (19). So he went off, like a Chinese sage, to live in the mountains and brood over the one idea that would explain all things. Disdaining to expound his conclusions in words intelligible to common men, and seeking in obscurity of life and speech some safety from individuality – destroying parties and mobs, he expressed his views in pithy and enigmatical apophthegms On Nature, which he deposited in the temple of Artemis for the mystification of posterity.

Heracleitus has been represented in modern literature as building his philosophy around the notion of change; but the extant fragments hardly support this interpretation. Like most philosophers he longed to find the One behind the Many, some mind-steadying unity and order amid the chaotic flux and multiplicity of the world. "All things are one," he said, as passionately as Parmenides (1); the problem of philosophy was, what is this one? Heracleitus answered, Fire. Perhaps he was influenced by the Persian worship of fire; probably, as we may judge from his identification of Fire with Soul and God, he used the term symbolically as well as literally, to mean energy as well as fire; the fragments permit no certainty. "This world . . . was made neither by a god nor by man, but it ever was, and is, and shall be, ever-living Fire, in measures being kindled and in measures going out" (20). Everything is a form of Fire, either in Fire's "downward path" through progressive condensation into moisture, water, and earth; or in its "upward path" from earth to water to moisture Fire. [Possibly Heracleitus had in mind a nebular hypothesis: the world begins as fire (or heat or energy), it becomes gas or moisture, which is precipitated as water, whose chemical reside after evaporation, forms the solids of he earth" V'ater and earth (liquid and solid) are tw stages of one proem, two forms of one reality {rs). "All things ate exchanged for Fire, an Fire for all things" (aa). All change is a "pathway donor or up," a passage from one t another form-now mote now less condensed-of energy or Fire. "The path upwards an downwards is one and the same" (69); rarefaction and condensation ate movements in a eternal oscillation of change; all things are formed or, the downward and condensing or the upward and rarefying pathway of reality from Fire and back to Fire; all forms are mod of one underlying energy. In S~inoza's language: Fire or energy is the eternal and omnipresent substance, or basic principle; condensation and rarefaction (the downward and up ward paths) are its attributes; its modes or specific forms are the visible things of the world.]

Though he finds a consoling constancy in the Eternal Fire, Heraclei is troubled by its endless transformations; and the second nucleus of thought is the eternity and ubiquity of change. He finds nothing sta ' in the universe, the mind, or the soul. Nothing is, everything becomes; condition persists unaltered, even for the smallest moment; everything ceasing to be what it was, and is becoming what it will he. Here is a ne emphasis in philosophy: Heracleitus does not merely ask, like Thales, what things are, but, like Anaximander, Lucretius, and Spencer, how they b came what they are; and he suggests, like Aristotle, that a study of the second question is the best approach to the first. The extant apophthegms do not contain the famous formula, panta rei, ouden menei – "all things flow, nothing abides"; but antiquity is unanimous in attributing it to Heracleitus. "You cannot step twice into the same river, for other waters are ever flowing on to you" (41); "we are and we are not" (81); here, as in Hegel, th universe is a vast Becoming. Multiplicity, variety, change are as real as unity, identity, being; the Many are as real as the One. The Many are the One; every change is a passage of things towards or from the condition of Fire. The One is the Many; in the very heart of Fire flickers restless change.

Hence Heracleitus passes to the third element in his philosophy – the unity of opposites, the interdependence of contraries, the harmony o strife. "God is day and night, winter and summer, war and peace, surf and hunger" (36). "Good and bad are the same; goodness and badne are one" (57-8); "life and death are the same; so are waking and sleeping youth and age" (78). All these contraries are stages in a fluctuating move ment, moments of the ever-changing Fire; each member in an opposing pair is necessary to the meaning and existence of the other; reality is the tension and interplay, the alternation and exchange, the unity and harmony, of opposites. "They understand not how that which is at variance with itself agrees with itself. There sits attunement of opposite tensions, like that of the bow and the harp" (45). As the tension of the string, loosened or drawn taut, creates the harmony of vibrations called music or a note, so the alternation and strife of opposites creates the essence and meaning and harmony of life and change. In the struggle of organism with organism, of man with man, of man with woman, of generation with generation, of elass with class, of nation with nation, of idea with idea, of creed with creed, the warring opposites are the warp and woof on the loom of life, working at cross-purposes to produce the unseen unity and hidden concord of the whole. "From things that differ comes the fairest attunement" (46); any lover will understand.

All three of these principles – fire, change, and the tension unity of contraries – enter into Heracleltus' conception of soul and God. He smiles at men who "seek in vain to purify themselves from blood-guiltiness by defiling themselves with blood" (130), or who "offer prayers to these statues here – as if one should try to converse with houses; such men know nothing of the real nature of gods" (126). Nor will he admit personal immortality; man too, like everything else, is a changeful and fitful flame, "kindled and put out like a light in the night" (77). Even so, man is Fire; the soul or vital principle is part of the eternal energy in all things; and as such it never dies. Death and birth are arbitrary points taken in the current of things by the human analyzing mind; but from the impartial standpoint of the universe they are merely phases in the endless change of forms. At every instant some part of us dies while the whole lives; at every second one of us dies while Life lives. Death is a beginning as well as an ending; birth is an ending as well as a beginning. Our words, our thoughts, even our morals, are prejudices, and represent our interests as parts or groups; philosophy must see things in the light of the whole. "To God alt things are beautiful and good and right; men deem some things wrong and some right" (6l).

As the soul is a passing tongue of the endlessly changing flame of life, so God is the everlasting Fire, the indestructible energy of the world. He is the unity binding all opposites, the harmony of all tensions, the sum and meaning of all strife. This Divine Fire, like life (for the two are everywhere and one), is always altering its form, always passing upward or downward on the ladder of change, always consuming and remaking things; indeed, some distant day, "Fire will judge and convict all things" (26), destroy them, and make way for new forms, in a Last judgment or cosmic catastrophe. Nevertheless, the operations of the Undying Fire are not without sense and order; if we could understand the world as a whole we should see in it a vast impersonal wisdom, a Logos or Reason or Word (65); and we should try to mold our lives into accord with this way of Nature, this law of tile universe, this wisdom or orderly energy which is God (9l). "It is wise to hearken not to me, but to tile Word" (1), to seek and follow the infinite reason of the whole.

When Heracleitus applies to ethics these four basic concepts of his thought – energy, change, the unity of opposites, and the reason of the whole – he illuminates all life and conduct. Energy harnessed to reason, wedded to order, is the greatest good. Change is not an evil but a boon; "in change one finds rest; it is weariness to be always toiling at the same things and always beginning afresh" (72-3), The mutual necessity of contraries makes intelligible and therefore forgivable the strife and suffering of life. "For men to get all they wish is not the better thing; it is disease that makes health pleasant; evil, good; hunger, surfeit; toil, rest" {104), He rebukes those who desire an end of strife in the world (43); without this tension of opposites there would be no "attunement," no weaving of the living web, no development. Harmony is not an ending of conflict, it is a tension in which neither element definitely wins, but both function indispensably (like the radicalism of youth and the conservatism of old age). The struggle for existence is necessary in order that the better may be separated from the worse, and may generate the highest. "Strife is the father of all and the king of all; some he has marked out to be gods, and some to be men; some he has made slaves, and some free" (44). In the end, "strife is justice" (62); the competition of individuals, groups, species, institutions, and empires constitutes nature's supreme court, from whose verdict there is no appeal.

All in all, the philosophy of Heracleitus, concentrated for us now in fragments, is among tile major products of the Greek mind. The theory of the Divine Fire passed down into Stoicism; the notion of a final conflagration was transmitted through Stoicism to Christianity; the Logos, or reason in nature, became in Philo and Christian theology the Divine Word, the personified wisdom with which or through whom God creates and governs all things; in some measure it prepared for the early modem view of natural law. Virtue as obedience to nature became a catchword of Stoicism; the unity of opposites revived vigorously in Hegel; the idea of change came back into its own with Bergson. The conception of strife and struggle as determining all things reappears in Darwin, Spencer, and Nietzsche – who carries on, after twenty-four centuries, the war of Heracleitus against democracy.

We know almost nothing of Heracleitus' life; and of his death we have only an unsupported story in Diogenes Laertius, which may illustrate the prosaic ends to which our poetry may return:

And at last becoming a complete misanthrope, he used to spend his time walking about the mountains, feeding on grasses and plants; and in consequence of these habits he was attacked by the dropsy, and so he returned to the city, and asked the physicians, in a riddle, whether they were able to produce a drought after wet weather. And as they did not understand him, he shut himself up in a stable for oxen, and covered himself with cow dung, hoping to cause the wet to evaporate from him by the warmth that this produced. And as he did himself no good in this way, he died, having lived seventy years.

4. Anacreon of Teos

Colophon, a few miles north of Ephesus, derived its name, presumably, from the hill on whose slope it rose. [Gk. kolophon, hill; cf. Latin collis, Eng. hill. Because the cavalry of the city was famous for giving the "finishing touch" to a defeated force, the word kolophon became in Greek a synonym for the final stroke, and passed into our language as a publisher's symbol, originally placed at the end of a book.] Xenophanes the anticlerical, born among them about 576, described the Colophonians as "richly clothed in purple garments, proud of their luxuriously dressed hair wet with costly and sweet-smelling oils"; vanity has a long history." Here, and perhaps at Smyrna, the poet Mimnermus (610) sang, for a people already infected with the languid pessimism of the East, his melancholy odes of fleeting youth and love. He lost his heart to Nanno, the girl who accompanied his songs with the plaintive obbligato of the flute; and when she rejected his love (perhaps on the ground that a poet married is a poet dead), he immortalized her with a sheaf of delicate elegiac verse.

We blossom like the leaves that come in Spring,
What time the sun begins to flame and glow,
And in the brief span of youth's gladdening
Nor good nor evil from the gods we know;
But always at the goal dark spirits stand
Holding, one grievous Age, one Death, within her hand.

A more famous poet lived a century later in the near-by town of Teos. Anacreon wandered much, but in Teos he was born (563) and died (478). Many a court sought him, for among his contemporaries only Simonides rivaled him in fame. We find him joining a band of emigrants to Thracian Abdera, serving as soldier for a campaign or two, abandoning his shield in the poetic fashion of the time, and thereafter content to brandish a pen; spending some years at the court of Polycrates in Samos; brought then in official state, on a fifty-oared galley, to grace the palace of Hipparchus in Athens; and at last, after the Persian War, returning to Teos to ease his declining years with song and drink. He paid for his excesses by living to a great age, and died at eighty-five, we are told, of a grape pit sticking in his throat"

Alexandria knew five books of Anacreon, but only disordered couplets remain. His subjects were wine, women, and boys; his manner was one of polished banter in tripping iambics. No topic seemed impure in his impeccable diction, or gross in his delicate verse. Instead of the vulgar virulence of Hipponax, or the trembling intensity of Sappho, Anacreon offered the urbane chatter of a court poet who would play Horace to an Augustus that pleased his fancy and paid for his wine. Athenaeus thinks that his tipsy songs and changeful loves were a pose; perhaps Anacreon hid his fidelities that he might be interesting to women, and concealed sobriety to augment his fame. A choice legend tells how, in his cups, he stumbled against a child and abused it with harsh words, and how, in age, he fell in love with this lad and did penance with doting praise. His Eros was ambidextrous, and reached impartially for either sex; but in his later years he gallantly gave the preference to women. "Lo, now," says a pretty fragment, "golden-haired Love strikes me with his purple ball, and calls me forth to play with a motley-slippered maid. But she hails from lofty Lesbos, and so finds fault with my white hair, and goes a-searching for other prey." A wit of a later age wrote for Anacreon's grave a reveal ing epitaph:

All-enchanting nurse of the wine, O Vine, grow lush and long above the tomb of Anacreon. So shall the tippling friend of neat liquor, who thrummed in night-long revel the lute of a lover of lads, yet sport above his buried head the glorious cluster of some teeming bough, and be wet evermore with the dew whose delicious scent was the breath of his mild old mouth.

5. Chios, Smyrna, Phocaea

From Teos the mainland staggers westward in vacillating bays and promontories until, across ten miles of sea, the traveler reaches Chios. Here, amid groves of figs and olives, and Anacreontic vines, Hornet may have spent his youth. Wine making was a major industry in Chios, and used many slaves; m 431 the island had 30,000 freemen, 100,000 slaves. Chios became a clearinghouse for slaves; slave dealers bought the families of insolvent debtors from their creditors, and purchased boys to make eunuchs of them for the palaces of Lydia and Persia. In the sixth century Drimachus led his fellow slaves in revolt, defeated all armies sent against him, established himself in a mountain fastness, levied toll upon the richer citizens by discriminating robbery, offered them "protection" for a consideration after our own fashion, terrified them into dealing more justly with their slaves, gave his voluntarily severed head to his friends so that they might claim the reward that had been promised for it, and was worshiped for centuries aftenvard as the patron deity of slaves: here is an excellent epic for some Spartacus of the pen. Art and literature flourished amid the wealth and bondage of Chios; here the Homeridae a guild and succession of bards, had their seat; here Ion the dramatist and Theopompus the historian would be bom; here Glaucus (tradition said) discovered, about 560, the technique of welding iron; here Archermus and his sons, Bupalus and Athenis, made the finest statuary in sixth-century Greece.

Returning to the mainland, the traveler passes by the sites of Erythrae and Clazomenae – birthplace of Pericles' teacher and friend, Anaxagoras. Farther east, on a well-sheltered inlet, is Smyrna. Settled by Aeolians as far back as 1015 it was changed by immigration and conquest into an Ionian city. Already famous in the days of Achilles, sacked by Alyattes of Lydia about 600 b.c., destroyed again and again, and recently by the Greeks in a.d. 1924, Smyrna, rivaling Damascus in age, has known all the vicissitudes of history. [Today, under the natpe of Ismir (this and Smyrna are probably connected with the ancient trade in myrrh), it is the second city of Turkey in population, and the largest in Asia Minor.] The remains of the ancient town suggest its rich and varied life; a gymnasium, an acropolis, a stadium, and a theater have been dug out of the earth. The avenues were broad and well paved; temples and palaces adorned them; the main street, called Golden, was famous throughout Greece.

The northernmost of Ionia's cities was Phocaea, still functioning as Fokia. The river Hermus connected it almost with Sardis itself, and gave it a lucrative advantage in the commerce of the Greeks with Lydia. Phocaean merchants undertook distant voyages in the search for markets; it was they who brought Greek culture to Corsica, and founded Marseilles.

Such were the Twelve Cities of Ionia, seen superficially as if in an hour's flight through space and time. Though they were too competitive and jealous to form a union for mutual defense, their citizens acknowledged some solidarity of background and interest, and met periodically on the promontory of illycale near Priene, in the great festival of the Panionium. Thales begged them to form a sympolity in which every adult male would be a citizen both of his city and of a Panionian union; but commercial rivalries were too strong, and led rather to internecine wars than to political unity. Hence, when the Persian attack came (546-5), the alliance improvised for defense proved rootlessly weak, and the Ionian cities came under the power of the Great King. Nevertheless this spirit of independence and rivalry gave to the Ionian communities the stimulus of competition and the zest of liberty. It was under these conditions that Ionia developed science, philosophy, history, and the Ionic capital, while at the same time it produced so many poets that the sixth century in Hellas seems almost as fertile as the fifth. When Ionia fell her cities bequeathed their culture to the Athens that had fought to save them, and transmitted to it the intellectual leadership of Greece.

V. Sappho of Lesbos

Above the Ionian Dodecapolis lay the twelve cities of mainland Aeolis, settled by Aeolians and Achaeans from northern Greece soon after the fall of Troy had opened Asia illinor to Greek immigration. Most of these cities were small, and played a modest role in history; but the Aeolian isle of Lesbos rivaled the Ionian centers in wealth, refinement, and literary genius. Its volcanic soil made the island a very garden of orchards and vines. 0f its five cities Mytilene was the greatest, almost as rich, through its commerce, as Miletus, Samoa, and Ephesus. Towards the end of the seventh century a coalition of the mercantile classes with the poorer citizens overthrew the landed aristocracy, and made the brave, rough Pittacus dictator for ten years, with powers like those of his friend and fellow Wise Alan, Solon. The aristocracy conspired to recapture power, but Pittacus foiled them and exiled their leaders, including Alcaeus and Sappho, first from Rlytilene and then from Lesbos itself.

Alcaeus was a roistering firebrand who mingled politics with poetry and made every other lyric raise the tocsin of revolt. Of aristocratic birth, he attacked Pittacus with a lusty scurrility that merited the crown of banishment. He molded his own poetic forms, to which posterity gave the name "alcaics"; and every stanza, we are told, had melody and charm. For a while he sang of war, and described his home as hung with martial trophies and accouterments; however, when his own chance for heroism came he threw away his shield, fled like Archilochus, and complimented himself lyrically on the valor of his discretion. Occasionally he sang of love, but dearest to his pen was the wine for which Lesbos was as famous as for its poetry. Nun chre methusthen, he advises us: nunc bibamus, let us drink deeply; in summer to cool our thirst, in autumn to put a bright color upon death, in winter to warm our blood, in spring to celebrate nature's resurrection.

The rain of Zeus descends, and from high heaven
A storm is driven,
And on the running water-brooks the cold
Lays icy hold.
Then up? beat down the winter, make the fire
Blaze higher and higher;
Mix wine as sweet as honey of the bee
Then drink, with comfortable wool around
Your temples bound.
We must not yield our hearts to woe, or wear
With wasting care;
For grief will profit us no whit, my friend,
Not nothing mend;
But this is our best medicine, with wine fraught
To cast out thought.

It was his misfortune – though he bore it with lighthearted unconsciousness – to have among his contemporaries the most famous of Greek women. Even in her lifetime all Greece honored Sappho. "One evening over the wine," says Stobaeus, "Execestides, the nephew of Solon, sang a song of Sappho's which his uncle liked so much that he bade the boy teach it to him; and when one of the company asked, ‘What for,' he answered, 'I want to learn it and die!’" Socrates, perhaps hoping for similar lenience, called her "The Beautiful," and Plato wrote about her an ecstatic epigram:

Some say there are Nine Muses. How careless they are!
Behold, Sappho of Lesbos is the Tenth!

"Sappho was a marvelous woman," said Strabo; "for in all the time of which we have record I do not know of any woman who could rival her even in a slight degree in the matter of poetry." As the ancients meant Homer when they said "the Poet," so all the Greek world knew whom men signified when they spoke of "the Poetess."

Psappha, as she called herself in her soft Aeolic dialect, was born at Eresus, on Lesbos, about 612; but her family moved to Mytilene when she was still a child. In 593 she was among the conspiring aristocrats whom Pittacus banished to the town of Pyrrha; already at nineteen she was playing a part in public life through politics or poetry. She was not known for beauty: her figure was small and frail, her hair and eyes and skin were darker than the Greeks desired; but she had the charm of daintiness, delicacy, refinement, and a brilliant mind that was not too sophisticated to conceal her tenderness. "My heart," she says, "is like that of a child." We know from her verses that she was of a passionate nature, one whose words, says Plutarch, "were mingled with flames"; a certain sensuous quality gave body to the enthusiasms of her mind. Atthis, her favorite pupil, spoke of her as dressed in saffron and purple, and garlanded with flowers. She must have been attractive in her minuscule way, for Alcaeus, exiled with her to Pyrrha, soon sent her an invitation to romance. "Violet-crowned, pure, sweet-smiling Sappho, I want to say something to you, but shame prevents me." Her answer was less ambiguous than his proposal: "If thy wishes were fair and noble, and thy tongue designed not to utter what is base, shame would not cloud thine eyes, but thou wouldst speak thy just desires." The poet sang her praises in odes and serenades, but we hear of no further intimacy between them.

Perhaps they were separated by Sappho's second exile. Pittacus, fearing her maturing pen, banished her now to Sicily, probably in the year 591, when one would have thought her still a harmless girl. About this time she married a rich merchant of Andros; some years later she writes: "1 have a little daughter, like a golden flower, my darling Cleis, for whom I would not take all Lydia, nor lovely Lesbos."' She could afford to reject the wealth of Lydia, having inherited that of her husband on his early death. After five years of exile she returned to Lesbos, and became a leader of the island's society and intellect. We catch the glamour of luxury in one of her surviving fragments: "But I, be it known, love soft living, and for me brightness and beauty belong to the desire of the sun." She became deeply attached to her young brother Charaxus, and was vexed to her finger tips when, on one of his mercantile journeys to Egypt, he fell in love with the courtesan Doricha, and, ignoring his sister's entreaties, married her.

Meanwhile Sappho too had felt the fire. Eager for an active life, she had opened a school for young women, to whom she taught poetry, music, and dancing; it was the first "finishing school" in history. She called her students not pupils but hetairai – companions; the word had not yet acquired a promiscuous connotation. Husbandless, Sappho fell in love with one after another of these girls. "Love," says one fragment, "has shaken my mind as a down-rushing wind that falls upon the oak-trees." "I loved you, Atthis, long ago," says another fragment, "when my own girlhood was still all flowers, and you seemed to me an awkward little child." But then Atthis accepted the attentions of a youth from Mytilene, and Sappho expressed her jealousy with unmeasured passion in a poem preserved by Longinus and translated haltingly into "sapphic" meter by John Addington Symonds:

Peer of gods he seemeth to me, the blissful
Man who sits and gazes at thee before him,
Close beside thee sits, and in silence hears thee
Silverly speaking,
Laughing love's low laughter. Oh, this, this only
Stirs the troubled heart in my breast to tremble!
For should I but see thee a little moment,
Straight is my voice hushed;
Yea, my tongue is broken, and through and through me,
’Neath the flesh, impalpable fire runs tingling.
Nothing see mine eyes, and a voice of roaring
Waves in my ear sounds;
Sweat runs down in rivers, a tremor seizes
All my limbs, and paler than grass in autumn,
Caught by pains of menacing death, I falter,
Lost in the love-trance.

Atthis' parents removed her from the school; and a letter ascribed to Sappho gives what may be her account of the parting.

She (Atthis?) wept full sore to leave me behind, and said: "Alas, how sad our lot! Sappho, I swear 'tis against my will I leave you." And I answered her: "Go your way rejoicing, but remember me, for you know how I doted upon you. And if you remember not, oh, then I will remind you of what you forget, how dear and beautiful was the life we led together. For with many a marland of violets and sweet roses mingled you have decked your flowing locks by my side, and with many a woven necklet, made of a hundred blossoms, your dainty throat; and with unguent in plenty, both precious and royal, have you anointed your fair young skin in my bosom. And no hill was there, nor holy place, nor water-brook, whither we did not go; nor ever did the teeming noises of the early spring fill any wood with the medley-song of the nightingales but you wandered thither with me."

After which, in the same manuscript, comes the bitter cry, "I shall never see Atthis again, and indeed I might as well be dead." This surely is the authentic voice of love, rising to a height of sincerity and beauty beyond good and evil.

The later scholars of antiquity debated whether these poems were expressions of "Lesbian love," or merely exercises of poetic fancy and impersonation. It is enough for us that they are poetry of the first order, tense with feeling, vivid with imagery, and perfect in speech and form. A fragment speaks of "the footfall of the flowering spring"; another of "Love the limb-loosener, the bitter-sweet torment"; another compares the unattainable love to "the sweet apple that reddens on the end of the bough, the very end of the bough, which the gatherers missed, nay missed not, but could not reach so far." Sappho wrote of other topics than love, and used, even for our extant remains, half a hundred meters; and she herself set her poems to music for the harp. Her verse was collected into nine books, of some twelve thousand lines; six hundred lines survive, seldom continuous. In the year 1073 of our era the poetry of Sappho and Alcaeus was publicly burned by ecclesiastical authorities in Constantinople and Rome. Then, in 1897, Grenfell and Hunt discovered, at Oxyrhynchus in the Fayum, coffins of papier-mâché, in whose making certain scraps of old books had been used; and on these scraps were some poems of Sappho.

Male posterity avenged itself upon her by handing down or inventing the tale of how she died of unrequited love for a man. A passage in Suidas" tells how "the courtesan Sappho" – usually identified with the poetess – leaped to death from a cliff on the island of Leucas because Phaon the sailor would not return her love. Menander, Strabo, and others refer to the story, and Ovid recounts it in loving detail; but it has many earmarks of legend, and must be left hovering nebulously between fiction and fact. In her later years, tradition said, Sappho had relearned the love of men. Among the Egyptian morsels is her touching reply to a proposal of marriage: "If my breasts were still capable of giving suck, and my womb were able to bear children, then to another marriage-bed not with trembling feet would I come. But now on my skin age has brought many lines, and Love hastens not to me with his gift of pain" – and she advises her suitor to seek a younger wife. In truth we do not know when she died, or haw; we know only that she left behind her a vivid memory of passion, poetry, and grace; and that she shone even above Alcaeus as the most melodious singer of her time. Gently, in a final fragment, she reproves those who would not admit that her song was finished:

You dishonor the good gifts of the Muses, my children, when you say, "We will crown you, dear Sappho, best player of the clear, sweet lyre." Know you not that my skin is all wrinkled with age, and my hair is turned from black to white? . . . Surely as starry Night follows rose-armed Dawn and brings darkness to the ends of the earth, so Death tracketh everything living, and catcheth it in the end.

VI. The Northern Empire

North of Lesbos is little Tenedos, whose women were accounted by some ancient travelers to be the most beautiful in Greece. Then one follows the adventurous Hellenes into the northern Sporades: to Imbros, and Lemnos, and Samothrace. The Alilesians, seeking to control the Hellespont, founded, about 560, the still-living town of Abydos on its south shore; here Leander and Byron swam the straits, and Xerxes' army crossed to Europe on a bridge of boats. Farther eastward the Phocaeans settled Lampsacus, birthplace of Epicures. Within the Propontis lay two groups of islands: the Proconnesus, rich in the marble that gave the Propontis its current name, the Sea of Marmora; and the Arctonnesus, on whose southernmost tip the Milesians established in 757 the great port of Cyzicus. Along the coast rose one Greek city after another: Panotmus, Dascylium, Apameia, Cius, Astacus, Chalcedon. Up through the Bosporus the Greeks advanced, hungry for metals, grain, and trade, founding Chrysopolis (now Scutari) and Nicopolis – "city of victory." Then they made their way along the southern shore of the Black Sea, depositing towns at Heracleia, Pontica, Tieum, and Sinope – a city splendidly adorned, says Strabo, with gymnasium, agora, and shady colonnades; Diogenes the Cynic was not above being born here. Then Amisus, Oenoe, Tripolis, and Trapczus (Trebizond, Trabzon)-where Xenophon's Ten Thousand shouted with joy at the sight of the longed-for sea. The opening up of this region to Greek colonization, perhaps by Jason, later by the Ionians, gave the mother cities the same outlet for surplus population and trade, the same resources in food, silver, and gold, that the discovery of America gave to Europe at the beginning of modem times.

Following the eastern shores of the Euxine northward into Medea's Colchis, the Greeks founded Phasis and Dioscurias, and Theodosia and Panticapaeutn in the Crimea. Near the mouths of the Bug and the Dnieper they established the city of Olbia (Nikolaev); at the mouth of the Dnieper, the town of Tyros; and on the Danube Troesmis. Then, moving southward along the west shore of the Black Sea, they built the cities of Istrus (Constants, Kustenje), Tomi (where Ovid died), Odessus (Varna), and Apollonia (Burgos). The historically sensitive traveler stands appalled at the antiquity of these living towns but today's residents, engrossed in the tasks of their own generation, are undisturbed by the depth of the centuries that lie silent beneath them.

Then again at the Bosporus the Megarians, about 660, built Byzantium [the name was probably taken from Byzas, a native king.] – yesterday Constantinople, now Istanbul. Even before Pericles this strategic port was becoming what Napoleon would call it at the Peace of Tilsit – the key to Europe; in the thud century rs.c. Polybius described its maritime position as "more favorable to security and prosperity than that of any other city in the world known to us." Byzantium grew rich by exacting tolls from passing vessels, and exporting to the Greek world the grain of southern Russia ("Scythia") and the Balkans, and the fish that were netted with shameful ease as they crowded through the narrow straits. It was its curving form, and the wealth derived from this fishing industry, that gave the city its later name, the "Golden Horn." Under Pericles Athens dominated Byzantine polities, levied tolls there to fill her treasury in time of emergency, and regulated the export of grain from the Black Sea as a contraband of war.

Along the northern or Thracian shore of the Propontis the Greeks built towns at Selymbria, Perinthus (Eregli), Bisanthe, Callipolis (Gallipoli), and Sesras. Later settlements were established on the southwestern coast of Thrace at Aphrodisias, Aenus, and Abdera-where Leucippus and Democritus would propound the philosophy of atomistic materialism. Off the coast of Thrace lay the island of Thasos, "bare and ugly as a donkey's back in the sea," Archilochus described it," but so rich in gold mines that their proceeds paid all the expenses of the government. On or near the eastern coast of Macedonia Greek goldseekers, chiefly Athenians, founded Neapolis and Amphipolis-whose capture by Philip would lead to the war in which Athens was to lose her liberty. Other Greeks, mostly from Chalcis and Eretria, conquered and named the three-fingered peninsula of Chalcidice, and by yoo had established thirty towns there, several of them destined to play a role in Greek history: Stageirus (birthplace of Aristotle), Scione, Mende, Potidaea, Acanthus, Cleonae, Torone, and Olynthus – captured by Philip in 348 and known to us now through the oratory of Demosthenes. Recent excavations at Olynthus have unearthed a town of considerable extent, with many houses of two stories and some of twenty-five rooms. In the time of Philip 0lynthus appears to have had 60,000 inhabitants; we may judge from this figure for a minor city the abounding fertility and energetic expansion of the pre-Periclean Greeks.

Finally, between Chalcidice and Euboea, Ionian migrants peopled the Euboean Isles-Gerontia, Polyaegos, Icos, Peparethos, Scandile, Scyros. The orbit of empire in east and north had come full turn, the circuit was complete; Greek enterprise had transformed the islands of the Aegean and the coasts of Asia Minor, the Hellespont, the Black Sea, Macedonia, and Thrace into a busy network of Hellenized cities, throbbing with agriculture, industry, trade politics, literature, religion, philosophy, science, art, eloquence, chicanery, and venery. It only remained to conquer another Greece in the West, and build a bridge between ancient Hellas and the modern world.

[end OF cOPY]