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[Illustration: A GREEK SHEPHERD, OLYMPIA.]




…dition d'…lite

Historical Tales

The Romance of Reality

By

CHARLES MORRIS

_Author of "Half-Hours with the Best American Authors," "Tales from the
Dramatists," etc._

IN FIFTEEN VOLUMES

Volume X

Greek

J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY

PHILADELPHIA AND LONDON




Copyright, 1896, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.
Copyright, 1904, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.
Copyright, 1908, by J.B. LIPPINCOTT COMPANY.




CONTENTS.

PAGE

HOW TROY WAS TAKEN 7

THE VOYAGE OF THE ARGONAUTS 28

THESEUS AND ARIADNE 33

THE SEVEN AGAINST THEBES 41

LYCURGUS AND THE SPARTAN LAWS 50

ARISTOMENES, THE HERO OF MESSENIA 60

SOLON, THE LAW-GIVER OF ATHENS 67

THE FORTUNE OF CROESUS 77

THE SUITORS OF AGARIST… 86

THE TYRANTS OF CORINTH 93

THE RING OF POLYCRATES 100

THE ADVENTURES OF DEMOCEDES 109

DARIUS AND THE SCYTHIANS 117

THE ATHENIANS AT MARATHON 126

XERXES AND HIS ARMY 135

HOW THE SPARTANS DIED AT THERMOPYL∆ 144

THE WOODEN WALLS OF ATHENS 154

PLAT∆A'S FAMOUS DAY 165

FOUR FAMOUS MEN OF ATHENS 174

HOW ATHENS ROSE FROM ITS ASHES 186

THE PLAGUE AT ATHENS 194

THE ENVOYS OF LIFE AND DEATH 200

THE DEFENCE OF PLAT∆A 205

HOW THE LONG WALLS WENT DOWN 213

SOCRATES AND ALCIBIADES 221

THE RETREAT OF THE TEN THOUSAND 231

THE RESCUE OF THEBES 245

THE HUMILIATION OF SPARTA 259

TIMOLEON, THE FAVORITE OF FORTUNE 271

THE SACRED WAR 288

ALEXANDER THE GREAT AND DARIUS 296

THE WORLD'S GREATEST ORATOR 305

THE OLYMPIC GAMES 315

PYRRHUS AND THE ROMANS 324

PHILOPOEMEN AND THE FALL OF SPARTA 334

THE DEATH-STRUGGLE OF GREECE 345

ZENOBIA AND LONGINUS 351

THE LITERARY GLORY OF GREECE 360




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


GREEK.

PAGE

A GREEK SHEPHERD, OLYMPIA _Frontispiece_.

PARTING OF HECTOR AND ANDROMACHE 15

OEDIPUS AND ANTIGONE 42

GRECIAN LADIES AT HOME 87

THE ACROPOLIS OF ATHENS 98

RUINS OF THE PARTHENON 130

THE PLACE OF ASSEMBLY OF THE ATHENIANS 145

THE VICTORS AT SALAMIS 160

ANCIENT ENTRANCE TO THE STADIUM, ATHENS 181

A REUNION AT THE HOUSE OF ASPASIA 190

PIR∆US, THE PORT OF ATHENS 213

PRISON OF SOCRATES, ATHENS 229

GATE OF THE AGORA, OR OIL MARKET, ATHENS 255

BED OF THE RIVER KLADEOS 289

THE DEATH OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT 300

THE MODERN OLYMPIC GAMES IN THE STADIUM 316

THE THEATRE OF BACCHUS, ATHENS 322

REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE OF MINERVA, CORINTH 345

THE RUINS OF PALMYRA 358

ALONG THE COAST OF GREECE 362




_HOW TROY WAS TAKEN._


The far-famed Helen, wife of King Menelaus of Sparta, was the most
beautiful woman in the world. And from her beauty and faithlessness came
the most celebrated of ancient wars, with death and disaster to numbers
of famous heroes and the final ruin of the ancient city of Troy. The
story of these striking events has been told only in poetry. We propose
to tell it again in sober prose.

But warning must first be given that Helen and the heroes of the Trojan
war dwelt in the mist-land of legend and tradition, that cloud-realm
from which history only slowly emerged. The facts with which we are here
concerned are those of the poet, not those of the historian. It is far
from sure that Helen ever lived. It is far from sure that there ever was
a Trojan war. Many people doubt the whole story. Yet the ancient Greeks
accepted it as history, and as we are telling their story, we may fairly
include it among the historical tales of Greece. The heroes concerned
are certainly fully alive in Homer's great poem, the "Iliad," and we can
do no better than follow the story of this stirring poem, while adding
details from other sources.

Mythology tells us that, once upon a time, the three goddesses, Venus,
Juno, and Minerva, had a contest as to which was the most beautiful, and
left the decision to Paris, then a shepherd on Mount Ida, though really
the son of King Priam of Troy. The princely shepherd decided in favor of
Venus, who had promised him in reward the love of the most beautiful of
living women, the Spartan Helen, daughter of the great deity Zeus (or
Jupiter). Accordingly the handsome and favored youth set sail for
Sparta, bringing with him rich gifts for its beautiful queen. Menelaus
received his Trojan guest with much hospitality, but, unluckily, was
soon obliged to make a journey to Crete, leaving Helen to entertain the
princely visitor. The result was as Venus had foreseen. Love arose
between the handsome youth and the beautiful woman, and an elopement
followed, Paris stealing away with both the wife and the money of his
confiding host. He set sail, had a prosperous voyage, and arrived safely
at Troy with his prize on the third day. This was a fortune very
different from that of Ulysses, who on his return from Troy took ten
years to accomplish a similar voyage.

As might naturally be imagined, this elopement excited indignation not
only in the hearts of Menelaus and his brother Agamemnon, but among the
Greek chieftains generally, who sympathized with the husband in his
grief and shared his anger against Troy. War was declared against that
faithless city, and most of the chiefs pledged themselves to take part
in it, and to lend their aid until Helen was recovered or restored. Had
they known all that was before them they might have hesitated, since it
took ten long years to equip the expedition, for ten years more the war
continued, and some of the leaders spent ten years in their return. But
in those old days time does not seem to have counted for much, and
besides, many of the chieftains had been suitors for the hand of Helen,
and were doubtless moved by their old love in pledging themselves to her
recovery.

Some of them, however, were anything but eager to take part. Achilles
and Ulysses, the two most important in the subsequent war, endeavored to
escape this necessity. Achilles was the son of the sea-nymph Thetis, who
had dipped him when an infant in the river Styx, the waters of which
magic stream rendered him invulnerable to any weapon except in one
spot,--the heel by which his mother had held him. But her love for her
son made her anxious to guard him against every danger, and when the
chieftains came to seek his aid in the expedition, she concealed him,
dressed as a girl, among the maidens of the court. But the crafty
Ulysses, who accompanied them, soon exposed this trick. Disguised as a
pedler, he spread his goods, a shield and a spear among them, before the
maidens. Then an alarm of danger being sounded, the girls fled in
affright, but the disguised youth, with impulsive valor, seized the
weapons and prepared to defend himself. His identity was thus revealed.

Ulysses himself, one of the wisest and shrewdest of men, had also sought
to escape the dangerous expedition. To do so he feigned madness, and
when the messenger chiefs came to seek him they found him attempting to
plough with an ox and a horse yoked together, while he sowed the field
with salt. One of them, however, took Telemachus, the young son of
Ulysses, and laid him in the furrow before the plough. Ulysses turned
the plough aside, and thus showed that there was more method than
madness in his mind.

And thus, in time, a great force of men and a great fleet of ships were
gathered, there being in all eleven hundred and eighty-six ships and
more than one hundred thousand men. The kings and chieftains of Greece
led their followers from all parts of the land to Aulis, in Boeotia,
whence they were to set sail for the opposite coast of Asia Minor, on
which stood the city of Troy. Agamemnon, who brought one hundred ships,
was chosen leader of the army, which included all the heroes of the age,
among them the distinguished warriors Ajax and Diomedes, the wise old
Nestor, and many others of valor and fame.

The fleet at length set sail; but Troy was not easily reached. The
leaders of the army did not even know where Troy was, and landed in the
wrong locality, where they had a battle with the people. Embarking
again, they were driven by a storm back to Greece. Adverse winds now
kept them at Aulis until Agamemnon appeased the hostile gods by
sacrificing to them his daughter Iphigenia,--one of the ways which those
old heathens had of obtaining fair weather. Then the winds changed, and
the fleet made its way to the island of Tenedos, in the vicinity of
Troy. From here Ulysses and Menelaus were sent to that city as envoys to
demand a return of Helen and the stolen property.

Meanwhile the Trojans, well aware of what was in store for them, had
made abundant preparations, and gathered an army of allies from various
parts of Thrace and Asia Minor. They received the two Greek envoys
hospitably, paid them every attention, but sustained the villany of
Paris, and refused to deliver Helen and the treasure. When this word was
brought back to the fleet the chiefs decided on immediate war, and sail
was made for the neighboring shores of the Trojan realm.

Of the long-drawn-out war that followed we know little more than what
Homer has told us, though something may be learned from other ancient
poems.



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