The Ancient Library

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and thus the Greeks were hemmed in. (Herod, viii. 76.)

The Greek commanders were disputing in coun­cil, not yet being aware that their retreat was cut off. Aristides, who was still in exile, crossed over from Aegina to Salamis, and sending for Themis­tocles out of the council, told him that it was use­less to discuss the matter of retreat any longer, for he had seen the enemy's fleet, and the Greeks were completely blockaded. Themistocles commu­nicated to Aristides what he had done to bring this about, and asked him to inform the council of what he had seen. Though Aristides assured the council that retreat was now impossible, and urged them to prepare for battle, many of the commanders would not believe the intelligence until it was confirmed by a Tenian galley which had deserted from the Persians. In the morning the battle took place, in .which the Greeks had the advantage of their position over the Persian fleet, which was crowded in too narrow a space. The battle was fought chiefly in the eastern strait. The Greeks gained a signal victory, in which the Aeginetae most distinguished themselves, and next to them the Athenians. Aristides did good service by landing on Psyttaleia with some soldiers from Sa­lamis, and cutting to pieces the Persians who were on this islet. Xerxes, who watched the battle from the shore of the mainland, saw his mighty armament defeated and dispersed in the autumn of b. o. 480. The fleet of the Persians was pur­sued by the Greeks as far as Andros, and as they did not come up with it there, a council was held, in which Themistocles advised that they should pursue the enemy through the Aegean, and sail to the Hellespont to destroy the bridge of boats by which Xerxes had passed over. Eurybiades more prudently suggested that they should allow the immense army of Xerxes to move off as quick as they could, and should leave the bridge standing; and this advice was approved by the other Pelo-ponnesian commanders. (Herod, viii. 107; com­pare Piut. Aristid. 9, Themist. 16.) Themisto­cles pacified the Athenians, who were most eager to follow the Persians, by urging plausible argu­ments against the pursuit at present, and saying that in the following spring they might sail to the Hellespont and to Ionia. Herodotus attributes to TJiemistocles a treacherous motive in the affair, and says that his object was to secure a retreat to Persia, if any thing should befal him at Athens (Herod, viii. 109) ; and accordingly he sent some confidential persons to Xerxes, and among them the faithful Sicinnus, to tell him that Themistocles had prevented the Greeks from pursuing the Per­sian fleet, and destroying the bridge over the Hel­lespont, and he advised the king to move off.-Xerxes" retreated with his army, and left Mardo-nius with a large force behind him.

While the Greek fleet was among the islands of the Aegean, Themistoeles attempted to levy contributions on the islanders. The people of An­dros were called upon to pay money in the name of two powerful deities, Persuasion and Necessity, but they answered, as other people may answer to the collector of imposts, that they possessed two invincible antagonist deities, Poverty and Want of means, whose powerlessness no power could van­quish. Themistocles, however, got money from the Carystians and Parians (Herod, viii. Ill, &c.) j and probably he filled his own pockets. -The


victory of Salamis, however, which was due to Themistocles, established his reputation among the Greeks ; and it was only jealousy among the com­manders which caused him to receive at the Isth­mus the second prize of merit instead of the first. (Herod, viii. 123.) But on his visiting Sparta, he was received with extraordinary honours by the Spartans, who gave Eurybiades the palm of bra­very, and to Themistocles the palm of wisdom and skill, with a crown of olive, and the best chariot that Sparta possessed. When he returned home, three hundred select Spartan horsemen accompanied him as far as the borders of Tegea. (Herod, viii. 124; Plut. TJiemist. 17.)

In the battle of Plataea, b. c. 479, in which Mardonius was defeated, Aristides, now no longer an exile, commanded the Athenians. (Herod, viii. 28 ; Plut. Arist. 11.) The name of Themistocles is not mentioned on this occasion by Herodotus or by Plutarch ; nor on the occasion of the fight at My-cale, which took place on the same day. Neither does it appear clearly what he was doing all this time, except so far as may be collected from Plu­tarch's vague narrative. (Plut. Themist. 18.) It seems probable that his political influence declined very speedily after the affair which raised his re­putation to the greatest height ; and that his con­duct to the Spartans on two several occasions con­tributed to his final downfal.

The Athenians began to restore their ruined city after the barbarians had left the country, and The­mistocles advised them to rebuild the walls, and to make them stronger than before. The Spartans sent an embassy to Athens to dissuade them from forti­fying their city, for which we can assign no motive, except a miserable jealousy. Themistocles, accord­ing to Theopompus, quoted by Plutarch, got over this opposition by bribing the Ephori, which is probable enough, and not inconsistent with the story told circumstantially by Thucydides of hia deceiving the Spartans. He prevailed on the Athe­nians to dismiss the Spartan ambassadors, and to send him and others to Sparta on the matter of the fortifications. Themistocles went first, after advising the Athenians not to send his colleagues till the walls were far enough advanced to be in a state of defence. In the mean time he amused the Spartans with lies, and pretended that he was waiting for his colleagues in order to be enabled to enter on the business on which he was sent; and when the report of the progress of the walls was confirmed by fresh intelligence, Themistocles told the Spartans to send trusty persons to Athens to inquire, and not to trust to rumours. The Spartans despatched their agents, and Themistocles at the same time sent instructions to Athens, to detain the Spartans until he and his colleagues should return in safety, for his colleagues had now joined him. When he was informed that the walls of Athens were in a fit state for defence, he came before the Spartans, and told them plainly that Athens could now protect herself. The Spar­tans dissembled their resentment, and the ambas­sadors respectively returned from Athens and Sparta. (Thucyd. i. 90, &c.) It was also on the advice of Themistocles that the Athenians finished the fortifications of the port of Peiraeeus, which they had commenced during his archonship (Thucyd. i. 93; Diod. xi. 41) ; the position was exceedingly favourable, possessing three natural harbours, and as the Athenians had been made a

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