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and was indeed the most effectual way to support the liberty of the people. For laws intended to establish an equality would be of no avail, so long as the poor were deprived of the benefit of that equality by their debts. Where they seemed most to exercise their liberty, in offices, in debates, and in deciding causes, there they were most enslaved to the rich, and most entirely under their control. What is still more remarkable is that, though the cancelling of debts generally produces seditions, Solon seasonably applied it, as a strong though hazardous medicine, to remove the sedition then existing. The measure likewise lost it's infamous and obnoxious nature, when introduced by a man of Solon's probity and character.
If we consider the whole administration of each, that of Solon was more illustrious in the beginning. He was an original, and followed no example; besides by himself, without a collegue, he effected many great things for the public advantage. But Publicola's fortune was more to be admired at the conclusion. For Solon lived to see his own establishment overturned; whereas that of Publicola preserved the state in good order till the time of the civil wars. And no wonder; since the former, as soon as he had enacted his laws, left them inscribed on tables of wood without any one to support their authority, and departed from Athens; while the latter remaining at Rome, and continuing in the magistracy, thoroughly settled and secured the commonwealth.
Solon was sensible of the ambitious designs of Pisistratus, and desirous to prevent their being carried into execution; but he miscarried in the attempt, and saw a tyrant set up. On the other hand, Publicola demolished kingly power, when it had been established for some ages, and was at a formidable height. He was equalled by Solon in virtue and patriotism, but he had (what the other wanted) power and good fortune to second his virtue.
As to warlike exploits, there is a considerable difference; for Daimachus 78 of Platææ does not even attribute to Solon that enterprise against the Megarensians, which we have done; whereas Publicola, in many signal battles, performed the duty both of a general and a private soldier.
Again; if we compare their conduct in civil affairs, we shall find that Solon, only acting a part as it were, and under the form of a maniac, went out to speak concerning the recovery of Salamis. But Publicola in the face of the most imminent danger rose up against Tarquïn, detected the plot, prevented the escape of the vile conspirators, had them punished, and not only excluded the tyrants from the city, but cut up their hopes by the roots, If he was thus vigorous in prosecuting affairs that required spirit, resolution, and open force, he was still more successful in negociation, and the gentle arts of persuasion; for by his address he gained Porsena, whose power was so formidable that he could not be quelled by dint of arms, and made him a friend to Rome.
But here perhaps some will object, that Solon recovered Salamis, when the Athenians had given it up; whereas Publicola surrendered lands, of which the Romans were in possession. Our judgement of actions, however, should be formed according to the respective times and posture of affairs. An able politician, in order to manage all for the best, varies his conduct as the present occasion requires; often quits a part, to save the whole; and, by yielding
78 This Daïmachus, according to Strabo, was sent on an embassy to Allitrochades an Indian prince; and wrote a history of the country which he visited, as little entitled to credit as that of Megasthenes.*
in small matters, secures considerable advantages. Thus Publicola, by giving up what the Romans had lately usurped, saved all that was really their own; and, at a time when they found it difficult to defend their city, obtained for them the possession of the besiegers' camp. In effect, by referring his cause to the arbitration of the enemy, he gained his point; and, with that, all the advantages which he could have proposed to himself by a victory. For Porsena put an end to the war, and left the Romans all the provision he had made for carrying it on, induced by that impression of their virtue and honour, which he had received from their general.
His ertraction. Employments of his youth. He engages in the
study of politics. His rivalry with Aristides: his love of glory.
He suggests to the Athenians the formation of a navy. His mag- nificence and ambition. He procures the banishment of Aristides. His firmness; he is chosen general against the Persians, and persuades his countrymen to go on board their tessels. He yields the command to the Spartan general. Battle of Artemisiuin. Xerres gains possession of the pass of Thermopylæ. Stratagem of Themistocles to make the Athenians set suil. His scheme for paying the troops. He causes Aristides to be recalled from exile. His memorable speech to Eurybiades. He reduces the Greeks to the necessity of enyaging. Three young Persians offered in sacrifice by the Greeks. Number of Xerxes' nuvy: Themistocles gains the advantage of the wind. Battle and victory of Salamis. Xerxes, upon a false suggestion of Themistocles, flies. Honours bestowed on Themistocles. His passion for glory, and his remarkable erpressions. He rebuilds the walls of Athens, and fortifies the Piræus. An advantageous project of his rejected, as unjust. He incurs the hatred of Sparta; and the sarcasms of the poet Timoa: creon. He rates his services too highly, and is banished by the Ostracism: Is suspected of being concerned in Pausanias' cón-> spiracy, and flies to Corcyra. Passes thence to Epirus. Different opinions with regard to his travels. He proceeds to Persia; and solicits, through Artabanus, to be presented to the king. His interview with Artaxerxes; and kind reception. That prince
assigns him the revenue of three cities. Danger incurred in his travels. Artaxerxes prepares an armament against Athens : Themistocles, that he may not be constrained to serve against his country, destroys himself. His children, and magnificent sepulchre at Magnesia.
THE family of Themistocles was too obscure, to have contributed to his distinction. He was the son of Neocles, an inferior citizen of Athens, of the ward of Phrear', and the tribe of Leontis. By his mother's side, he is said to have been illegitimate", according to the following verses:
Though born in Thrace, Abrotonon my name,
Yet Phanias writes, that the mother of Themistocles was of Caria, not of Thrace, and that her name was not Abrotonon but Euterpe. Neanthes mentions Halicarnassus, as the city to which she belonged. Be that as it may, when all the illegiti. mate youth assembled at Cynosarges", in the
This ward was so named from it's situation on the sea. shore near the Piræus, where was a well (Gr. Opsap) by the side of which any one, who prior to his transportation for homicide was charged with a fresh crime, underwent a new trial. (Pausan. i. 28.)*
% It was a law at Athens, that every child of a foreign woman should be deemed a bastard, though born in wedlock, and should consequently be incapable of inheriting his father's estate. (L.) They were also occasionally (as we shall see in the Life of Pericles, vol. II. p. 62.) excluded from the distributions inade to the legitimate citizens. *
* In this place, according to Pausan. i. 19., were altars consecrated to Hercules, his wife Hebe, his mother Alcmena, and the partper of most of his labours Iölaus. It's etymology is given by Suidas. The object of the separation, here mentioned, must have been to preserve the purity of manners and dialect of the genuine youth from contamination.*