Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 5 of 8
Author: Various
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[Transcriber's note: ^ is used to mark superscript.]


A Series of Pen and Pencil Sketches of



Copyright, 1894, BY SELMAR HESS

edited by Charles F. Horne

New-York: Selmar Hess Publisher

Copyright, 1894, by SELMAR HESS.



AENEAS, Charlotte M. Yonge, 12 ETHAN ALLEN, Gertrude Van Rensselaer Wickham, 200 KING ARTHUR, Rev. S. Baring-Gould, 36 THE CHEVALIER BAYARD, Herbert Greenhough Smith, 145 ST. BERNARD, Henry G. Hewlett, 60 ROBERT BRUCE, Sir J. Bernard Burke, LL.D., 105 WILLIAM CAXTON, 129 THE CID, Henry G. Hewlett, 56 CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS, A. R. Spofford, LL.D., 131 CAPTAIN JAMES COOK, Oliver Optic, 188 ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI, George Parsons Lathrop, LL.D., 78 FREDERICK BARBAROSSA, Lady Lamb, 65 VASCO DA GAMA, Judge Albion W. Tourgee, 139 THE GRACCHI, James Anthony Froude, LL.D., 20 GUSTAVUS VASA, Charles F. Horne, 153 HANS GUTENBERG, Alphonse de Lamartine, 121 HAROLD, KING OF ENGLAND, 54 WILLIAM HARVEY, 172 HERCULES, Charlotte M. Yonge, 1 JOHN HOWARD, Harriet G. Walker, 194 JOAN OF ARC, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 113 LEIF ERICSON, Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, 49 ST. LOUIS, Henry G. Hewlett, 86 MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS, Samuel L. Knapp, 159 MARCO POLO, Noah Brooks, 92 RICHARD COEUR DE LION, 71 ROLAND, 39 ROLLO THE GANGER, Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen, 44 SIEGFRIED, Karl Blind, 31 CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH, Marion Harland, 166 PRINCE CHARLES STUART, Andrew Lang, LL.D., 177 THESEUS, 5 ULYSSES, Charles F. Horne, 7 SIR WILLIAM WALLACE, 100 ARNOLD VON WINKELRIED, 111 XENOPHON, Professor J. Pentland Mahaffy, 15 ZENOBIA, QUEEN OF PALMYRA, Anna Jameson, 26





COLUMBUS BEFORE ISABELLA, Vacslav Brozik Frontispiece ULYSSES DEFYING THE CYCLOPS, Louis-Frederic Schutzenberger 10 THE MOTHER OF THE GRACCHI, Gustave Boulanger 20 LEIF ERICSON OFF THE COAST OF VINELAND, O. A. Wergeland 52 THE VISION OF ST. BERNARD, Wilhelm Bernatzik 62 THE DEATH OF BARBAROSSA, Wilhelm Beckmann 70 LOUIS IX. OPENS THE JAILS OF FRANCE, Luc Olivier Merson 90 ARNOLD WINKELRIED AT SEMPACH, Konrad Grob 112 JOAN OF ARC, Mme. Zoe-Laure de Chatillon 118 MARY STUART AND RIZZIO, Georg Conrader 162




The heights by great men reached and kept Were not attained by sudden flight, But they, while their companions slept, Were toiling upward in the night.




One morning Jupiter boasted among the gods in Olympus that a son would that day be born, in the line of Perseus, who would rule over all the Argives. Juno was angry and jealous at this, and, as she was the goddess who presided over the births of children, she contrived to hinder the birth of the child he intended till that day was over, and to hasten that of another grandson of the great Perseus. This child was named Eurystheus, and, as he had been born on the right day, Jupiter was forced to let him be King of Argos, Sparta, and Mycenae, and all the Dorian race; while the boy whom he had meant to be the chief was kept in subjection, in spite of having wonderful gifts of courage and strength, and a kind, generous nature, that always was ready to help the weak and sorrowful.

His name was Alcides, or Hercules, and he was so strong at ten months old that, with his own hands, he strangled two serpents whom Juno sent to devour him in his cradle. He was bred up by Chiron, the chief of the Centaurs, a wondrous race of beings, who had horses' bodies as far as the forelegs, but where the neck of the horse would begin had human breasts and shoulders, with arms and heads. Most of them were fierce and savage; but Chiron was very wise and good, and, as Jupiter made him immortal, he was the teacher of many of the great Greek heroes. When Hercules was about eighteen, two maidens appeared to him—one in a simple white dress, grave, modest, and seemly; the other scarcely clothed but tricked out in ornaments, with a flushed face, and bold, roving eyes. The first told him that she was Virtue, and that, if he would follow her, she would lead him through many hard trials, but that he would be glorious at last, and be blest among the gods. The other was Vice, and she tried to wile him by a smooth life among wine-cups and dances and flowers and sports, all to be enjoyed at once. But the choice of Hercules was Virtue, and it was well for him, for Jupiter, to make up for Juno's cheat, had sworn that, if he fulfilled twelve tasks which Eurystheus should put upon him, he should be declared worthy of being raised to the gods at his death.

Eurystheus did not know that in giving these tasks he was making his cousin fulfil his course; but he was afraid of such a mighty man, and hoped that one of these would be the means of getting rid of him. So when he saw Hercules at Argos, with a club made of a forest-tree in his hand, and clad in the skin of a lion which he had slain, Eurystheus bade him go and kill a far more terrible lion, of giant brood, and with a skin that could not be pierced, which dwelt in the valley of Nemea. The fight was a terrible one; the lion could not be wounded, and Hercules was forced to grapple with it and strangle it in his arms. He lost a finger in the struggle, but at last the beast died in his grasp, and he carried it on his back to Argos, where Eurystheus was so much frightened at the grim sight that he fled away to hide himself, and commanded Hercules not to bring his monsters within the gates of the city.

There was a second labor ready for Hercules—namely, the destroying a serpent with nine heads, called Hydra, whose lair was the marsh of Lerna. Hercules went to the battle, and managed to crush one head with his club, but that moment two sprang up in its place; moreover, a huge crab came out of the swamp and began to pinch his heels. Still he did not lose heart, but, calling his friend Iolaus, he bade him take a firebrand and burn the necks as fast as he cut off the heads; and thus at last they killed the creature, and Hercules dipped his arrows in its poisonous blood, so that their least wound became fatal. Eurystheus said that it had not been a fair victory, since Hercules had been helped, and Juno put the crab into the skies as the constellation Cancer; while a labor to patience was next devised for Hercules—namely, the chasing of the Arcadian stag, which was sacred to Diana, and had golden horns and brazen hoofs. Hercules hunted it up hill and down dale for a whole year, and when at last he caught it, he got into trouble with Apollo and Diana about it, and had hard work to appease them; but he did so at last; and for his fourth labor was sent to catch alive a horrid wild boar on Mount Erymanthus. He followed the beast through a deep swamp, caught it in a net, and brought it to Mycenae.

The fifth task was a curious one. Augeas, King of Elis, had immense herds, and kept his stables and cowhouses in a frightful state of filth, and Eurystheus, hoping either to disgust Hercules or kill him by the unwholesomeness of the work, sent him to clean them. Hercules, without telling Augeas it was his appointed task, offered to do it if he were repaid the tenth of the herds, and received the promise on oath. Then he dug a canal, and turned the water of two rivers into the stables, so as effectually to cleanse them; but when Augeas heard it was his task, he tried to cheat him of the payment, and on the other hand Eurystheus said, as he had been rewarded, it could not count as one of his labors, and ordered him off to clear the woods near Lake Stymphalis of some horrible birds, with brazen beaks and claws, and ready-made arrows for feathers, which ate human flesh. To get them to rise out of the forest was his first difficulty, but Pallas lent him a brazen clapper, which made them take to their wings; then he shot them with his poisoned arrows, killed many, and drove the rest away.

King Minos, of Crete, had once vowed to sacrifice to the gods whatever should appear from the sea. A beautiful white bull came, so fine that it tempted him not to keep his word, and he was punished by the bull going mad, and doing all sorts of damage in Crete; so that Eurystheus thought it would serve as a labor for Hercules to bring the animal to Mycenae. In due time back came the hero, with the bull, quite subdued, upon his shoulders; and, having shown it, he let it loose again to run about Greece.

He had a harder task in getting the mares of the Thracian king, Diomedes, which were fed on man's flesh. He overcame their grooms, and drove the beasts away; but he was overtaken by Diomedes, and, while fighting with him and his people, put the mares under the charge of a friend; but when the battle was over, and Diomedes killed, he found that they had eaten up their keeper. However, when he had fed them on the dead body of their late master they grew mild and manageable, and he brought them home.

The next expedition was against the Amazons, a nation of women warriors, who lived somewhere on the banks of the Euxine, or Black Sea, kept their husbands in subjection, and seldom brought up a son. The bravest of all the Amazons was the queen, Hippolyta, to whom Mars had given a belt as a reward for her valor. Eurystheus's daughter wanted this belt, and Hercules was sent to fetch it. He was so hearty, honest, and good-natured, that he talked over Hippolyta, and she promised him her girdle; but Juno, to make mischief, took the form of an Amazon, and persuaded the ladies that their queen was being deluded and stolen away by a strange man, so they mounted their horses and came down to rescue her. He thought she had been treacherous, and there was a great fight, in which he killed her, and carried off her girdle.

Far out in the west, near the ocean flowing found the world, were herds of purple oxen, guarded by a two-headed dog, and belonging to a giant with three bodies called Geryon, who lived in the isle of Erythria, in the outmost ocean. Passing Lybia, Hercules came to the end of the Mediterranean Sea, Neptune's domain, and there set up two pillars—namely, Mounts Calpe and Abyla—on each side of the Straits of Gibraltar. The rays of the sun scorched him, and in wrath he shot at it with his arrows, when Helios, instead of being angry, admired his boldness, and gave him his golden cup, wherewith to cross the outer ocean, which he did safely, although old Oceanus, who was king there, put up his hoary head, and tried to frighten him by shaking the bowl. It was large enough to hold all the herd of oxen, when Hercules had killed dog, herdsman, and giant, and he returned it safely to Helios when he had crossed the ocean.

Again Eurystheus sent Hercules to the utmost parts of the earth. This time it was to bring home the golden apples which grew in the gardens of the Hesperides, the daughters of old Atlas, who dwelt in the land of Hesperus, the Evening Star, and, together with a dragon, guarded the golden tree in a beautiful garden. Hercules made a long journey, apparently round by the north, and on his way had to wrestle with a dreadful giant named Antaeus. Though thrown down over and over again, Antaeus rose up twice as strong every time, till Hercules found out that he grew in force whenever he touched his mother earth, and therefore, lifting him up in those mightiest of arms, the hero squeezed the breath out of him. By and by he came to Mount Caucasus, where he found the chained Prometheus, and, aiming an arrow at the eagle, killed the tormentor, and set the Titan free. Atlas undertook to go to his daughters, and get the apples, if Hercules would hold up the skies for him in the meantime. Hercules agreed, and Atlas shifted the heavens to his shoulders, went, and presently returned with three apples of gold, but said he would take them to Eurystheus, and Hercules must continue to bear the load of the skies. Prometheus bade Hercules say he could not hold them without a pad for them to rest on upon his head. Atlas took them again to hold while the pad was put on; and thereupon Hercules picked up the apples, and left the old giant to his load.

One more labor remained—namely, to bring up the three-headed watch-dog, Cerberus, from the doors of Tartarus. Mercury and Pallas both came to attend him, and led him alive among the shades, who all fled from him, except Medusa and one brave youth. He gave them the blood of an ox to drink, and made his way to Pluto's throne, where he asked leave to take Cerberus to the upper world with him. Pluto said he might, if he could overcome Cerberus without weapons; and this he did, struggling with the dog, with no protection but the lion's skin, and dragging him up to the light, where the foam that fell from the jaws of one of the three mouths produced the plant called aconite, or hellebore, which is dark and poisonous. After showing the beast to Eurystheus, Hercules safely returned him to the under world, and thus completed his twelve great labors.

Hercules was subject to fits of madness, in one of which he slew a friend, and as a penalty he allowed himself to be sold as a slave. He was purchased by the Queen of Lydia, Omphale, and remained in her service three years. She used to make him do a woman's work, and even dressed him at times in female garments, while she herself wore his famous lion skin and laughed at him.

But strong as he was, Hercules had in time to meet death himself. He had married a nymph named Deianira, and was taking her home, when he came to a river where a Centaur named Nessus lived, and gained his bread by carrying travellers over on his back. Hercules paid him the price for carrying Deianira over, while he himself crossed on foot; but as soon as the river was between them, the faithless Centaur began to gallop away with the lady. Hercules sent an arrow after him, which brought him to the ground, and as he was dying he prepared his revenge by telling Deianira that his blood was enchanted with love for her, and that if ever she found her husband's affection failing her, she had only to make him put on a garment anointed with it, and his heart would return to her; he knew full well that his blood was full of the poison of the Hydra, but poor Deianira believed him, and had saved some of the blood before Hercules came up.

Several years after, Hercules made prisoner a maiden named Iole, in Lydia, after gaining a great victory. Landing in the island of Euboea, he was going to make a great sacrifice to Jupiter, and sent home to Deianira for a festal garment to wear at it. She was afraid he was falling in love with Iole, and steeped the garment in the preparation she had made from Nessus's blood. No sooner did Hercules put it on, than his veins were filled with agony, which nothing could assuage. He tried to tear off the robe, but the skin and flesh came with it, and his blood was poisoned beyond relief. Unable to bear the pain any longer, and knowing that by his twelve tasks he had earned the prize of endless life, he went to Mount Oeta, crying aloud with the pain, so that the rocks rang again with the sound. He gave his quiver of arrows to his friend Philoctetes, charging him to collect his ashes and bury them, but never to make known the spot; and then he tore up, with his mighty strength, trees by the roots, enough to form a funeral pile, lay down on it, and called on his friend to set fire to it; but no one could bear to do so, till a shepherd consented to thrust in a torch. Then thunder was heard, a cloud came down, and he was borne away to Olympus, while Philoctetes collected and buried the ashes.


Theseus, the great national hero of Athens, is said to have been born at Troezen, where his father, AEgeus, King of Athens, slept one night with AEthra, the daughter of Pittheus, king of the place. AEgeus, on his departure, hid his sword and his shoes under a large stone, and charged AEthra, if she brought forth a son, to send him to Athens with these tokens, as soon as he was able to roll away the stone. She brought forth a son, to whom she gave the name of Theseus, and when he was grown up informed him of his origin, and told him to take up the tokens and sail to Athens, for the roads were infested by robbers and monsters. But Theseus, who was desirous of emulating the glory of Hercules, refused to go by sea, and after destroying various monsters who had been the terror of the country, arrived in safety at Athens. Here he was joyfully recognized by AEgeus, but with difficulty escaped destruction from Media and the Pallantids, the sons and grandsons of Pallas, the brother of AEgeus. These dangers, however, he finally surmounted, and slew the Pallantids in battle.

His next exploit was the destruction of the great Marathonian bull, which ravaged the neighboring country; and shortly after he resolved to deliver the Athenians from the tribute that they were obliged to pay to Minos, King of Crete. Every ninth year the Athenians had to send seven young men and as many virgins to Crete, to be devoured by the Minotaur in the Labyrinth. Theseus volunteered to go as one of the victims, and through the assistance of Ariadne, the daughter of Minos, who became enamoured of him, he slew the Minotaur and escaped from the Labyrinth. He then sailed away with Ariadne, whom he deserted in the island of Dia or Naxos, an event which frequently forms the subject of ancient works of art. The sails of the ship Theseus left Athens in were black, but he promised his father, if he returned in safety, to hoist white sails. This, however, he neglected to do, and AEgeus, seeing the ship draw near with black sails, supposed that his son had perished, and threw himself from a rock.

Theseus now ascended the throne of Athens. But his adventures were by no means concluded. He marched into the country of the Amazons, who dwelt on the Thermodon, according to some accounts, in the company of Hercules, and carried away their queen, Antiope. The Amazons in revenge invaded Attica, and were with difficulty defeated by the Athenians. This battle was one of the favorite subjects of the ancient artists, and is commemorated in several works of art that are still extant. Theseus also took part in the Argonautic expedition and the Calydonian hunt. He assisted his friend Pirithous and the Lapithae in their contest with the Centaurs, and also accompanied the former in his descent to the lower world to carry off Proserpine, the wife of Pluto. When Theseus was fifty years old, according to tradition, he carried off Helen, the daughter of Leda, who was then only nine years of age. But his territory was invaded in consequence by Castor and Pollux, the brothers of Leda; his own people rose against him, and at last, finding his affairs desperate, he withdrew to the island of Scyros, and there perished, either by a fall from the cliffs or through the treachery of Lycomedes, the king of the island. For a long time his memory was forgotten by the Athenians, but he was subsequently honored by them as the greatest of their heroes. At the battle of Marathon they thought they saw him armed and bearing down upon the barbarians, and after the conclusion of the Persian war his bones were discovered at Scyros by Cimon, who conveyed them to Athens where they were received with great pomp and deposited in a temple built to his honor. A festival also was instituted, which was celebrated on the eighth day of every month, but more especially on the eighth of Pyanipsion.

The above is a brief account of the legends prevailing respecting Theseus. But he is, moreover, represented by ancient writers as the founder of the Attic commonwealth, and even of its democratic institutions. It would be waste of time to inquire whether there was an historical personage of this name who actually introduced the political changes ascribed to him; it will be convenient to adhere to the ancient account in describing them as the work of Theseus.

Before this time Attica contained many independent townships, which were only nominally united. Theseus incorporated the people into one state, removed the principal courts for the administration of justice to Athens, and greatly enlarged the city, which had hitherto covered little more than the rock which afterward formed the citadel. To cement their union he instituted several festivals, and especially changed the Athenaea into the Panathenaea, or the festivals of all the Atticans. He encouraged the nobles to reside at Athens, and surrendered a part of his kingly prerogatives to them; for which reason he is perhaps represented as the founder of the Athenian democracy, although the government which he established was, and continued to be long after him, strictly aristocratic.


[Footnote 1: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]


While courage and strength seemed to the ancient Greeks the noblest of virtues, they ranked wisdom and ready wit almost as high. Achilles was the strongest of the Grecian warriors at the siege of Troy, but there was another almost as strong, equally brave, and far shrewder of wit. This was Ulysses. It was he who ultimately brought about the capture of the city. Homer speaks often of him in his "Iliad;" and the bard's second great work, the "Odyssey," is devoted entirely to the wanderings of Odysseus, or, as we have learned from the Romans to call him, Ulysses. Whether he was a real person or only a creation of the poet's fancy, it is impossible to say. But as it is now generally agreed that there was a siege of Troy, it follows that there was probably a Ulysses, and his adventures, while in the main mythical, are of value as having perhaps some foundation in truth, and giving, at all events, a picture of what the old Greeks thought a hero should be and do.

Ulysses was King of Ithaca when he was summoned to join the rest of the Grecian princes for the war with Troy. He had no wish to go, for he had lately married a beautiful girl, Penelope, and was happy as a man might be. So when the heralds came he pretended to be insane, and hitching a yoke of oxen to a plough he drove them along the sands of the sea-shore. He sang and shouted, and ploughed up the sand, and scattered salt as if he were sowing it, and cried out that he would soon have a beautiful crop of salt waves. The heralds watched him for a moment, and then returning to the princes told them that there was no use delivering the summons to Ulysses, for he had lost his wits. Then Palamedes, who, after Ulysses, was accounted shrewdest of the Greeks, went, and standing there on the beach, watched the plough. And he took Ulysses's baby son and threw him in front of the team to see if the father was indeed mad. Ulysses turned the plough aside to avoid the child; and then the princes knew it was all a pretence, and he had to go with them. But he never forgave Palamedes, and long after brought about his death.

He was in many ways the ablest of the Greeks. Next to Achilles, Ajax was accounted the strongest; but Ulysses threw him in wrestling. Oilemenus was regarded as the swiftest of men, but Ulysses in a race outran him. When Achilles was slain Ulysses alone held back all the Trojans, while his comrades bore the body to their ships. Many other great exploits he performed, and his counsels were of much value to the Greeks through all the long siege. A great pile of spoils was heaped up to be given to the man who had been of most use to the assailants, and the Trojan prisoners themselves being called on to decide, gave it to Ulysses. At the last, when Achilles was dead, and the Greeks were all worn out and despairing, it was his fertile brain which originated the snare into which the Trojans fell.

Now, with the other Greeks, Ulysses set out to return to his home. Yet first he stopped with his Ithacans to attack the Trojan city of Ciconia. The assault was unexpected and successful. Great treasure fell into the hands of the conquerors; but, in spite of their leader's entreaties, they persisted in stopping in the captured city for a night's carouse. The dispersed Ciconians rallied, gathered together their allies, and attacking the revellers, defeated them with great slaughter, so that less than half of them escaped in their ships. Yet this was only the first of the many mishaps which befell the ill-starred Ulysses. So persistently did misfortune pursue him that the superstitious Greeks declared that he must have incurred the hatred of the sea-god, Neptune, who would not let him cross his domains.

No sooner had his flying ships escaped from Ciconia than they were struck by a terrific tempest which drove them far out of their course. For three days the storm continued; then, as it abated, they saw before them an unknown shore on which they landed to rest and recover their strength. It was the land of the lotos-eaters, and when Ulysses sent messengers to find out where he was, they, too, ate of the lotos fruit. It caused them to forget everything; their struggles and exhaustion, their homes, their leader, the great battles they had fought, all were obliterated. They only cared to lie there as the other lotos-eaters did, doing no work, but just dreaming all their lives, nibbling at the fruit, which was both food and drink, until they grew old and died.

Ulysses knew that any life, no matter how wretched, was far better than this death in life. He forbade any other of his men to touch the fruit, and binding those who had already eaten it, he bore them, despite their pleading and weeping, back to his ships, which he at once led away from that clime of subtle danger. They next sighted a fertile island, where leaving most of his comrades for the rest they needed, Ulysses sailed in his own ship, exploring. He soon found himself in a beautiful country, where were seen vast herds of sheep and goats, but no people. Landing with his men, they explored it and found great caves full of milk and cheese, but still no people, only a huge giant in the distance. So sitting down in one of the caves they feasted merrily and awaited the return of the inhabitants.

Now these inhabitants were giants, such as the one they had seen. They were called Cyclops, and had only one great eye in the middle of the forehead. The Cyclops who owned the cave in which the adventurers were was a particularly large and savage one named Polyphemus. When he returned at night and saw the men within, he immediately seized two of them, cracked their heads together, and ate them for supper. Then he went to bed. Ulysses and his terrified men would have slain the huge creature as he slept; but he had rolled a great stone in front of the door, and they could not possibly move it to escape. In the morning the monster ate two more of the unfortunates and then went off with his flocks, fastening the door as before. In the evening he ate two more.

By this time the crafty Ulysses, as Homer delights to call him, had perfected his plans. He offered Polyphemus some wine, which so delighted him that he asked the giver his name, and said he had it in mind to do him a kindness. The crafty one told him his name was No-man. Then said the ogre, "This shall be your reward, I will eat No-man the last of you all." Then, heavy with the wine, he fell into a deep sleep. The tiny weapons of the wanderers would have been of little effect against this man-mountain, so taking a great pole, they heated it red-hot in the fire, and all together plunged it into his one great eye, blinding him. Up he jumped, roaring and howling horribly, and groping in the dark to find his prisoners; but they easily avoided him. Then came other Cyclops running at the noise from their distant caves, and called to him, "Who has hurt thee, Polyphemus?"

He answered them, "No-man has hurt me, No-man has blinded me."

Then they said, "If no man has hurt thee, thy trouble is from the gods, and we may not interfere. Bear it patiently, and pray to them."

In the morning Polyphemus opened the door, and sitting in it, let his sheep pass out, feeling each one, so that the Greeks might not escape. But the crafty one fastened himself and his remaining comrades under the breasts of the largest sheep, and so, hidden by the wool, escaped unnoticed. They hurried to their ship and put out to sea. And now feeling safe, Ulysses shouted to the blind monster and taunted him, whereon, rushing to the shore, Polyphemus lifted up a vast rock and hurled it toward the sound he heard. It almost struck the vessel, and its waves swept the little craft back to the land. In great haste they shoved off again, and when they felt safe, shouted at him once more. He followed them, hurling rocks, but now they were beyond his reach and returned safely to their companions.

Next the wanderers reached the island of AEolus, who controls the winds. He received them with royal hospitality, pointed out to them their proper course to Ithaca, and when they left him, gave to Ulysses a bag in which he had tied up all the contrary winds, that they might have a fair one to waft them home. For nine days they sailed, and at last were actually in sight of their destination; but the seamen fancying there was treasure in AEolus's bag opened it while their leader slept. At once leaped out all the wild winds, and there was a terrible tempest which swept the vessels back to their starting-point. AEolus, however, refused to help them again, for he said they were plainly accursed of the gods.

So they journeyed on as best they might, and came to the land of the Laestrygonians. These people were of enormous strength and were cannibals; but Ulysses and his men knowing nothing of this, sailed into the narrow harbor. As they landed the cannibals rushed upon them and slew them, and hurling rocks from the top of the narrow entrance, sank those ships which would have escaped. Ulysses in his own ship managed to force his way out, but all the other ships were taken and their crews slain.

Then, in deep mourning, Ulysses sailed on till he came to the home of Circe, a beautiful but wicked enchantress. Here he divided his crew into two parties, and while one half rested, the others went to find what place this was. Circe welcomed them in her palace, feasted them, and gave them a magic drink. When they had drunk this, she touched them with her wand, and they were turned into swine, all except one, who had feared to enter the palace, and now returning, told Ulysses that the others had disappeared. Then the hero arose and went alone to the palace; but on the way he sought out a little herb which might render the drink harmless. This he ate, and when Circe having given him the deadly cup, would have turned him also into a brute, he drew his sword as if to slay her. Terribly frightened, she besought mercy, and at his request restored his men to their own forms.

Directed by her, Ulysses is said to have entered the abode of the dead, and conversed with the ghosts of all the great warriors who had been slain in the Trojan war, or who had died since. At last, when Circe had no more wonders to show him, the wanderer left her, once more directed on the road to Ithaca, and to some extent warned of the dangers which beset the path.

First he had to pass the Sirens, beautiful but baleful maidens, who sat on a rocky shore and sang a magic song so alluring, that men hearing it let their ships drift on the rocks while listening, or threw themselves into the sea to swim to the maidens, and were drowned. No man had ever heard them and lived. Here the crafty one filled his companions' ears with wax, so they could not hear the Sirens' song, and he bade them bind him to the mast, so that he might hear it but could not go to them. This was done, and they passed in safety. Ulysses heard the sweet song, and raved and struggled to break his bonds, but they held fast. So he was the first to hear the Sirens' song and live. And some say he was the last as well, for in despair, thinking their music had lost its power, the maidens threw themselves into the sea.

Next the wanderers came to a narrow strait, on one side of which was Charybdis, a dread whirlpool from which no ship could escape, and on the other was the cave of Scylla, a monster having six snake-like heads, with each of which she seized a man from every passing ship. Choosing the lesser evil, the bold Ulysses sailed through the strait close to Scylla; and six poor wretches were snatched by the monster from the deck and devoured, but the rest escaped.

Then they came to an uninhabited island, filled with herds of cattle. These were held sacred to the sun, and no man might slay or eat them without being punished by the gods. This Ulysses knew well, and warned his men against touching them; but great tempests now swelled up, and for a whole month the sailors could not leave the island. Their provisions gave out and they were starving. Then their leader wandered away looking for help, and while he was gone they slew some of the oxen and ate their fill. The storm died, and, Ulysses returning, they again set sail; but at once came a terrific hurricane, upset the ship, and drowned all of the guilty ones. Ulysses had not eaten the flesh of the oxen; and he alone was saved, clinging to a spar, and was tossed on the island of the nymph Calypso. After a long sojourn he escaped from here on a raft. But his old enemy Neptune again raised a storm, which broke his raft; and, naked and almost dead, he was thrown upon another shore, from which at last the pitying people sent him home. He had been away twenty years.

His fair wife Penelope had been for four years past pestered with suitors, who declared that Ulysses must be dead. She put them all off, by saying that first she must finish a wonderful cloth she was weaving; and on this she undid each night what she had done in the day. Meanwhile they stayed in the palace, haughty and insolent, terrifying everybody, in defiance of the protests of Ulysses' infant son, now grown to be almost a man.

The wanderer, coming alone and finding how things were, feared they would slay him; so, disguised as an old beggar man, he went to the palace. The suitors mocked him, and then in sport it was proposed to see who could bend the great Ulysses's bow. It was brought out, but none could bend it. The beggar asked leave to try, and they hesitated, but gave him leave. Right easily he bent it, and sent then a broad arrow through the leader of the suitors. Ulysses's son ranged himself by his side. Some old servants, recognizing him, did the same; and soon all those parasites were slain. Then was there a royal welcome from wife and son, and afterward from kinsmen and friends and servants, for the royal wanderer, whom the gods had spared, and who at last was returned home.



Among the Trojans at the fall of Troy there was a prince called AEneas, whose father was Anchises, a cousin of Priam, and whose mother was said to be the goddess Venus. When he saw that the city was lost he rushed back to his house and took his old father Anchises on his back, giving him his penates, or little images of household gods, to take care of, and led by the hand his little son Iulus, or Ascanius, while his wife Creusa followed close behind, and all the Trojans who could get their arms together joined him, so that they escaped in a body to Mount Ida; but just as they were outside the city he missed poor Creusa, and though he rushed back and searched for her everywhere, he never could find her. Because of his care for his gods, and for his old father, he is always known as the pious AEneas.

In the forests of Mount Ida he built ships enough to set forth with all his followers in quest of the new home which his mother, the goddess Venus, gave him hopes of. He had adventures rather like those of Ulysses as he sailed about the Mediterranean. Once in the Strophades, some clusters belonging to the Ionian Islands, where he and his troops had landed to get food, and were eating the flesh of the numerous goats which they found climbing about the rocks, down on them came the harpies, horrible birds with women's faces and hooked hands, with which they snatched away the food and spoiled what they could not eat. The Trojans shot at them, but the arrows glanced off their feathers and did not hurt them. However, they all flew off except one, who sat on a high rock, and croaked out that the Trojans would be punished for thus molesting the harpies, by being tossed about till they should reach Italy, but there they should not build their city till they should have been so hungry as to eat their very trenchers.

They sailed away from this dismal prophetess, and touched on the coast of Epirus, where AEneas found his cousin Helenus, son to old Priam, reigning over a little new Troy, and married to Andromache, Hector's wife, whom he had gained after Pyrrhus had been killed. Helenus was a prophet, and he gave AEneas much advice. In especial he said that when the Trojans should come to Italy they would find, under the holly-trees by the river-side, a large, white, old sow lying on the ground, with a litter of thirty little pigs round her, and this should be a sign to them where they were to build their city.

By his advice the Trojans coasted round the south of Sicily, instead of trying to pass the strait between the dreadful Scylla and Charybdis, and just below Mount Etna an unfortunate man came running down to the beach begging to be taken in. He was a Greek, who had been left behind when Ulysses escaped from Polyphemus's cave, and had made his way to the forests, where he had lived ever since. They had just taken him in when they saw the Cyclop coming down, with a pine-tree for a staff, to wash the burning hollow of his lost eye in the sea, and they rowed off in great terror.

Poor old Anchises died shortly after, and while his son was still sorrowing for him, Juno, who hated every Trojan, stirred up a terrible tempest, which drove the ships to the south, until, just as the sea began to calm down, they came into a beautiful bay, enclosed by tall cliffs with woods overhanging them. Here the tired wanderers landed, and, lighting a fire, AEneas went in quest of food. Coming out of the forest they looked down from a hill, and beheld a multitude of people building a city, raising walls, houses, towers, and temples. Into one of these temples AEneas entered, and to his amazement he found the walls sculptured with all the story of the siege of Troy, and all his friends so perfectly represented, that he burst into tears at the sight.

Just then a beautiful queen, attended by a whole troop of nymphs, came into the temple. This lady was Dido; her husband, Sichaeus, had been King of Tyre, till he was murdered by his brother, Pygmalion, who meant to have married her; but she fled from him with a band of faithful Tyrians and all her husband's treasure, and had landed on the north coast of Africa. There she begged of the chief of the country as much land as could be enclosed by a bullock's hide. He granted this readily; and Dido, cutting the hide into the finest possible strips, managed to measure off ground enough to build the splendid city which she had named Carthage. She received AEneas most kindly, and took all his men into her city, hoping to keep them there forever, and make him her husband. AEneas himself was so happy there that he forgot all his plans and the prophecies he had heard, until Jupiter sent Mercury to rouse him to fulfil his destiny. He obeyed the call; and Dido was so wretched at his departure that she caused a great funeral pile to be built, laid herself on the top, and stabbed herself with AEneas's sword; the pile was burnt, and the Trojans saw the flame from their ships without knowing the cause.

By and by AEneas landed at a place in Italy named Cumae. There dwelt one of the Sibyls. These were wondrous virgins whom Apollo had endowed with deep wisdom; and when AEneas went to consult the Cumaean Sibyl, she told him that he must visit the under-world of Pluto to learn his fate. First, however, he had to go into a forest, and find there and gather a golden bough, which he was to bear in his hand to keep him safe. Long he sought it, until two doves, his mother's birds, came flying before him to show him the tree where gold gleamed through the boughs, and he found the branch growing on the tree as mistletoe grows on the thorn.

Guarded with this, and guided by the Sibyl, after a great sacrifice, AEneas passed into a gloomy cave, where he came to the river Styx, round which flitted all the shades who had never received funeral rites, and whom the ferryman, Charon, would not carry over. The Sibyl, however, made him take AEneas across, his boat groaning under the weight of a human body. On the other side stood Cerberus, but the Sibyl threw him a cake of honey and of some opiate, and he lay asleep, while AEneas passed on and found in myrtle groves all who had died for love—among them, to his surprise, poor forsaken Dido. A little farther on he found the home of the warriors, and held converse with his old Trojan friends. He passed by the place of doom for the wicked, Tartarus; and in the Elysian Fields, full of laurel groves and meads of asphodel, he found the spirit of his father Anchises, and with him was allowed to see the souls of all their descendants, as yet unborn, who should raise the glory of their name. They are described on to the very time when the poet wrote to whom we owe all the tale of the wanderings of AEneas, namely, Virgil, who wrote the "AEneid," whence all these stories are taken. He further tells us that AEneas landed in Italy, just as his old nurse Caieta died, at the place which still is called Gaeta. After they had buried her they found a grove, where they sat down on the grass to eat, using large round cakes or biscuits to put their meat on. Presently they came to eating up the cakes. Little Ascanius cried out, "We are eating our very tables," and AEneas, remembering the harpy's words, knew that his wanderings were over.

Virgil goes on to tell at much length how the king of the country, Latinus, at first made friends with AEneas, and promised him his daughter Lavinia in marriage; but Turnus, an Italian chief who had before been a suitor to Lavinia, stirred up a great war, and was only conquered and killed after much hard fighting. However, the white sow was found in the right place with all her little pigs, and on the spot was founded the city of Alba Longa, where AEneas and Lavinia reigned until he died, and his descendants, through his two sons, Ascanius or Iulus, and AEneas Silvius, reigned after him for fifteen generations.


[Footnote 2: Copyright, 1894, by Selmar Hess.]


(445-354 B.C.)

There is no figure in Greek history more familiar to us than this famous Athenian. There are passages in his life known to every schoolboy; we possess all the books he ever wrote; we know therefore his opinions upon all the important questions of life, religion, ethics, politics, manners, education, as well as upon finance and military tactics, not to speak of social intercourse and sport. And yet his early youth and late age are hidden from us. Like the models of Greek eloquence, which begin with tame obviousness, rise into dignity, fire, pathos, and then close softly, without sounding peroration, so Xenophon comes upon us, an educated young man, looking out for something to do; we lose him in the autumn of his life, when he was driven from the fair retreat which the old man had hoped would be his final resting-place. During seven years of his early manhood we find him in the middle of all the most stirring events in the Greek world. For thirty years later (394-62 B.C.), we hear him from his retired country-seat recording contemporary history, telling the adventures of his youth, from the fascinations of the ragged Socrates to the fascinations of the magnificent Cyrus, preaching the lessons of his varied life. Then came the bitter loss of his brave son, killed in the van at Mantinea. According to good authority he only survived this blow a couple of years. But even then he appears to have found distraction from his grief by a dry tract upon the Attic revenue. Such is the general outline which we shall fill up and color from allusions throughout his varied and manifold writings.

He was a pure Athenian, evidently of aristocratic birth, and attracted, probably by his personal beauty, the attention of Socrates, who is said to have stopped him in the way, and asked him did he know where men of honor were to be found; upon his replying no, the sage said, follow me and learn. This apocryphal anecdote, at all events, records the fact that Xenophon attached himself to Socrates's teaching, and so afforded us perhaps the most remarkable instance of the great and various influence of that great teacher. We do not wonder at disciples like Plato; but here is a young man of fashion, of a practical turn, and loving adventure, who records in after years the teaching after his own fashion, and in a perfectly independent way, as the noblest of training. His youth, however, was spent in the distressful later years of the Peloponnesian War, which ended in fearful gloom and disaster for his native city. Intimate, apparently, with the great historian Thucydides, whose unfinished work he seems to have edited, and subsequently to have continued in his own "Hellenica," he must have long foreseen the collapse of the Athenian empire, and then he and many other adventurous spirits found themselves in a society faded in prosperity, with no scope for energy or enterprise. Such was the somewhat tame and vulgar Athens which succeeded to that of Pericles and Aristophanes, and which could not tolerate the spiritual boldness of Socrates. He tells us himself, in the third book of his "Anabasis," how he was tempted to leave Athens for the East by his friend Proxenus, who had made the acquaintance of the chivalrous and ambitious Cyrus, brother of the Persian king, and governor of southern Asia Minor. This prince was preparing secretly to invade Persia and dethrone his brother, and for that purpose was gathering troops and courting the favor of the Greeks. His splendid gifts were on a scale sufficient to dazzle men of small means and smaller prospects, like the youth of conquered Athens. Xenophon thought it right to consult his spiritual guide, Socrates, on the propriety of abandoning his country for hireling service. The philosopher advised him to consult the oracle at Delphi, but the young man only asked what gods he might best conciliate before his departure, and Socrates, though noting the evasion of his advice, acquiesced.

When Xenophon arrived at Sardis, Proxenus presented him to Cyrus, who invited him to accompany him on his pretended campaign to Pisidia, and then coaxed him on with the rest into his enterprise against the king Artaxerxes. On this expedition or anabasis up the country, Xenophon was only a volunteer, with no command, and under no man's orders, but accompanying the army on horseback, and enjoying the trip as a bright young man, well appointed by the prince, and full of intelligent curiosity, was sure to enjoy it. But then came the decisive day of Cunaxa, where Xenophon offered his services as an extra aide-de-camp to Cyrus, and where he witnessed the victory of his countrymen and the defeat of their cause by the rashness and death of Cyrus. In the crisis which followed he took no leading part, till the generals of the 10,000 Greeks were entrapped and murdered by Tissaphernes. Then, in the midst of the panic and despair which supervened, he tells us in graphic words how he came to be a leader of men. He, too, with the rest, was in sore distress, and could not sleep; but anon getting a snatch of rest he had a dream. It seemed to him that there was a storm, and a thunderbolt fell on his father's house and set it all in a blaze. He sprang up in terror, and, pondering the matter, decided that in part the dream was good, in that when in great danger he had seen a light from Zeus; but partly, too, he feared it, for it came from the king of heaven. But as soon as he was fully awake the first clear thought that came into his head was: "Why am I lying here? The night advances, and with the coming day the enemy will be upon us. If we fall into the king's hands we must face torture, slavery, and death, and yet here we lie, as if it were a time for rest! What am I waiting for? Is it a general to lead me? and where is he? or till I am myself of riper age to command? Older I shall never be, if to-day I surrender to mine enemies." And so he rouses the officers of his murdered friend, Proxenos, and appeals to them all to be up and stirring, to organize their defence and appoint new leaders to direct them. Before dawn he has some kind of confidence restored, and the new organization in progress. Presently the Persians send to demand the surrender of the army whose generals they had seized, and find to their astonishment that their task of subduing the Greeks must begin afresh. Meanwhile the policy of the Greek army becomes defined. They threaten to settle in Mesopotamia and build a fortified city which shall be a great danger and a torment to the king. They really desire to escape to the coast, if they can but find the way.

It was the king's policy to let them depart, but so harass them by the way as to produce disorder and rout, which meant absolute destruction. It was in conducting this retreat, as a joint general with the Spartan Cheirisophos, that Xenophon showed all his resource. There were no great pitched battles; no room for strategy or large combinations; but ample scope for resource in the details of tactics for meeting new and sudden difficulties, for maintaining order among an army of men that only acknowledged leaders for their ability. At first, in the plains, as they journeyed northward, the danger was from the Persian cavalry, for their own contingent had deserted to the enemy. This difficulty, which well-nigh ruined the 10,000, as it ruined Crassus in his retreat at Carrhae, he met by organizing a corps of Rhodian slingers and archers, whose range was longer than that of the Persians, and who thus kept the cavalry in check. When the plains were passed, and the mountains reached, there arose the new difficulties of forcing passes, of repelling wild mountaineers from positions commanding the road, of providing food, and avoiding false routes. The narrative of the surmounting of all these obstacles with tact and temper is the main subject of the famous "Anabasis." Still graver dangers awaited Xenophon when the retreating army had at last hailed the welcome sea—the Black Sea—and with returning safety returned jealousies, insubordinations, and the great problem what to do with this great army when it arrived at Greek cities. Xenophon had always dreamt of forming on the border of Hellenedom a new city state, which should honor him as its founder. The wilder spirits thought it simpler to loot some rich city like Byzantium, which was saved with difficulty from their lawlessness. The Spartan governors, who now ruled throughout the Greek world, saw the danger, and were determined to delay and worry the dangerous horde until it dissipated; and they succeeded so well that presently the 6,000 that remained were glad to be led by Xenophon to take service under the Spartan commander Thibron in Asia Minor (399 B.C.). But Xenophon was not given any independent command. He appears to have acted on the staff of the successive Spartan commanders till with King Agesilaus he attained personal influence, and probably planned the new expedition of that king to conquer Persia, which was only balked by a diversion wrought by Persian gold in Greece. With Agesilaus Xenophon returned therefore to Greece, and was present at the great shock of the rival infantries, the Theban and the Spartan, at Coronea (394 B.C.). But either his presence in the Spartan army, or his former action against the King of Persia, whom shifting politics were now bringing over to the Athenian side, caused him to be sentenced to banishment at Athens, and so made his return to his native city impossible. He went, therefore, with his royal patron to Sparta, and sojourned there for some time, even sending for his sons, now growing boys, from Miletus, and submitting them, at Agesilaus's advice, to the famous Spartan education. They grew up fine and warlike young men, so that the death of one of them, Gryllus, in a cavalry skirmish just before the great battle of Mantinea (362 B.C.) caused universal regret. But long before this catastrophe the Spartans gave Xenophon possession of an estate at Skillus, near the famous Olympia, which combined the pleasures of seclusion and of field sports with those of varied society when the stream of visitors assembled for the Olympic games (every four years). He himself tells us that he and his family, in company with their neighbors, had excellent sport of all kinds. He was not only a careful farmer, but so keen at hunting hares that he declares a man at this delightful pursuit "will forget that he ever cared for anything else." He had also built a shrine to his patroness, the goddess Artemis, and the solemn sacrifices at her shrine were the occasion of feasts, whose solemnity only enhanced their enjoyments. As Mr. Dakyns writes: "The lovely scenery of the place, to this day lovely; the delicious atmosphere; the rare combination of mountain, wood, and stream; the opportunity for sport; the horses and the dogs; the household, the farmstead, and their varying occupations; the neighboring country gentlemen, and the local politics; the recurring festival at Olympia with its stream of visitors; the pleasures of hospitable entertainment; the constant sacrifices before the cedar image of Artemis in her temple—these things, and above all the serene satisfaction of successful literary labors, combined to form an enviable sum total of sober happiness during many years." There can be no doubt that this was the first great period of his literary activity, though he may have edited, in early youth, his predecessor Thucydides, and composed the first two books of his historical continuation entitled "Hellenica." In his retreat at Skillus he composed a series of "Dialogues," in what is termed the Socratic vein; "Memorials" of his great master, a tract on household "Economy," another on a "Symposium," or feast, one called "Hiero," or on the Greek tyrant, and an account of the "Laconian Polity," which he had so long admired and known. The tract on "Hunting" also speaks the experience at Skillus. The tract "On the Athenian State," preserved among his writings, is not from his hand, but the work of an earlier writer.

With the sudden rise of the Theban power, and consequent depression of Sparta, he and other settlers around Skillus were driven out by the Eleans, and he lost his country-seat, with all its agreeable diversions. But probably the ageing man did not feel the transference of his home to Corinth so keenly as an English gentleman would. He was a thorough Greek, and therefore intensely attached to city life, Elis, his adopted country, being the only state which consisted of a country gentry.

In the next place, a daily thoroughfare such as the Isthmus, must have been far more suitable for the collecting of historical evidence than Skillus, where the crowd came by only once in four years. And then his grown-up sons could find something more serious to do than hunting deer, boars, and hares in the glades of Elis. He may have known, too, that his chances of restoration to Athens were improving, and that he would do well to be within easy reach of friends in that city. Indeed we find that the rescinding of exile soon followed, and so he was able to send his two sons to do cavalry duty for Athens (and Sparta) against the Thebans. It is, indeed, likely that the young men were enrolled as Spartan volunteers. He himself must have kept very close to his literary work; for in these closing years of his life he brought out or re-edited the "Anabasis;" he discussed "Cavalry Tactics," he kept writing up contemporary history to the year 362 B.C., when the star of Thebes set with the death of Epaminondas; he completed his long and perhaps tedious historical novel, the "Education of Cyrus" (the elder), and lastly composed a curious and fanciful tract on the "Revenues of Athens." There is no evidence that he ever changed his residence back to his native city, but that he often went there when no obstacle remained, from the neighboring Corinth, is most probable. An open sailing boat could carry him, with a fair wind, in a few hours. Though a very old man, he was, however, still active with his pen when we lose him. His promising remaining son disappears with him from the scene; we hear of no descendants. The only offspring he has left us are his immortal works. The names of these have already been given, with the exception of the speech put into Socrates's mouth as his Defence, the tract on "The Horse," appendant to his "Cavalry Tactics," and his "Panegyric on Agesilaus." It remains to estimate their general features. Without controversy, he excelled all his great contemporaries in breadth of culture and experience, and in the variety of his interests. Philosophy, politics, war, husbandry, sport, travel, are all represented in his works. And upon all he has written with a clearness and a grace which earned for him the title of the "Attic Bee." But this breadth implies (as usual) a certain lack of depth, as is particularly obvious in his case, owing to the almost necessary comparison with his two mighty rivals—Thucydides, in history, Plato, in philosophy. It may, indeed, be considered hard luck for him that he stood between two such men, for they have necessarily damaged his reputation by comparison. Xenophon's portrait of Socrates is quite independent, and probably historically truer than that of Plato; but the sage lives for us in Plato, not in Xenophon. The Retreat of the Ten Thousand, and the wars of Epaminondas were far more brilliant than the operations of the Peloponnesian War. Yet, to the scholar, a raid in Thucydides is more than a campaign in Xenophon. For neither is his style so pure as that of either of his rivals, nor is his enthusiasm the same. We feel him always a polished man of the world—never the rugged patriot, never the rapt seer. He seems, too, to lack impartiality. He lavishes praise upon Agesilaus, a second-rate man, while he is curt and ill-tempered concerning Epaminondas, the real genius of the age. It is more than likely that he has colored his own part in the famous "Retreat," in glowing colors. His hereditary instincts lead him to approve of autocrats as against republics, Spartan discipline as against Attic freedom. Yet in himself he has shown a striking example how the latter could appreciate and embrace the former. As the simplest specimen of pure Attic prose he will ever be paramount in schools, neglected in universities—the recreation rather than the occupation of mature scholars. He is a great worthy, a man of renown; "nevertheless, he did not attain unto the first three"—the two masters of his own day, and the colossal Demosthenes.

[Signature: J. Pentland Mahaffy.]


Extracts from "Caesar, a Sketch," by JAMES ANTHONY FROUDE, LL.D. (164-133, 153-121 B.C.)

Tiberius Gracchus was born about the year 164 B.C. He was one of twelve children, nine of whom died in infancy, himself, his brother Caius, and his sister Cornelia being the only survivors. His family was plebeian, but of high antiquity, his ancestors for several generations having held the highest offices in the Republic. On the mother's side he was the grandson of Scipio Africanus. His father, after a distinguished career as a soldier in Spain and Sardinia, had attempted reforms at Rome. He had been censor, and in this capacity he had ejected disreputable senators from the Curia; he had degraded offending Equites; he had rearranged and tried to purify the Comitia. But his connections were aristocratic. His wife was the daughter of the most famous of them, Scipio Africanus the Younger. He had been himself in antagonism with the tribunes, and had taken no part, at any time, in popular agitations.

The father died when Tiberius was still a boy, and the two brothers grew up under the care of their mother, a noble and gifted lady. They early displayed remarkable talents. Tiberius, when old enough, went into the army, and served under his brother-in-law in the last Carthaginian campaign. He was first on the walls of the city in the final storm. Ten years later he went to Spain as quaestor, when he carried on his father's popularity, and by taking the people's side in some questions, fell into disagreement with his brother-in-law. His political views had perhaps already inclined to change. He was still of an age when indignation at oppression calls out a practical desire to resist it. On his journey home from Spain he witnessed scenes which confirmed his conviction and determined him to throw all his energies into the popular cause. His road lay through Tuscany, where he saw the large estate system in full operation—the fields cultivated by the slave gangs, the free citizens of the Republic thrust away into the towns, aliens and outcasts in their own country, without a foot of soil which they could call their own. In Tuscany, too, the vast domains of the landlords had not even been fairly purchased. They were parcels of the ager publicus, land belonging to the state, which, in spite of a law forbidding it, the great lords and commoners had appropriated and divided among themselves. Five hundred acres of state land was the most which by statute any one lessee might be allowed to occupy. But the law was obsolete or sleeping, and avarice and vanity were awake and active. Young Gracchus, in indignant pity, resolved to rescue the people's patrimony. He was chosen tribune in the year 133. His brave mother and a few patricians of the old type encouraged him, and the battle of the revolution began. The Senate, as has been said, though without direct legislative authority, had been allowed the right of reviewing any new schemes which were to be submitted to the Assembly. The constitutional means of preventing tribunes from carrying unwise or unwelcome measures lay in a consul's veto, or in the help of the College of Augurs, who could declare the auspices unfavorable and so close all public business. These resources were so awkward that it had been found convenient to secure beforehand the Senate's approbation, and the encroachment, being long submitted to, was passing by custom into a rule. But the Senate, eager as it was, had not yet succeeded in engrafting the practice into the constitution. On the land question the leaders of the aristocracy were the principal offenders.

Disregarding usage, and conscious that the best men of all ranks were with him, Tiberius Gracchus appealed directly to the people to revive the Agrarian law. His proposals were not extravagant. That they should have been deemed extravagant was a proof of how much some measure of the kind was needed. Where lands had been enclosed and money laid out on them, he was willing that the occupants should have compensation. But they had no right to the lands themselves. Gracchus persisted that the ager publicus belonged to the people, and that the race of yeomen, for whose protection the law had been originally passed, must be re-established on their farms. No form of property gives to its owners so much consequence as land, and there is no point on which in every country an aristocracy is more sensitive. The large owners protested that they had purchased their interests on the faith that the law was obsolete. They had planted and built and watered with the sanction of the government, and to call their titles in question was to shake the foundations of society. The popular party pointed to the statute. The monopolists were entitled in justice to less than was offered them. They had no right to a compensation at all. Political passion awoke again after the sleep of a century. The oligarchy had doubtless connived at the accumulations. The suppression of the small holdings favored their supremacy, and placed the elections more completely in their control. Their military successes had given them so long a tenure of power that they had believed it to be theirs in perpetuity; and the new sedition, as they called it, threatened at once their privileges and their fortunes. The quarrel assumed the familiar form of a struggle between the rich and the poor, and at such times the mob of voters becomes less easy to corrupt. They go with their order, as the prospect of larger gain makes them indifferent to immediate bribes. It became clear that the majority of the citizens would support Tiberius Gracchus, but the constitutional forms of opposition might still be resorted to. Octavius Caecina, another of the tribunes, had himself large interests in the land question. He was the people's magistrate, one of the body appointed especially to defend their rights, but he went over to the Senate, and, using a power which undoubtedly belonged to him, he forbade the vote to be taken.

There was no precedent for the removal of either consul, praetor, or tribune, except under circumstances very different from any which could as yet be said to have arisen. The magistrates held office for a year only, and the power of veto had been allowed them expressly to secure time for deliberation and to prevent passionate legislation. But Gracchus was young and enthusiastic. Precedent or no precedent, the citizens were omnipotent, he invited them to declare his colleague deposed. They had warmed to the fight, and complied. A more experienced statesman would have known that established constitutional bulwarks cannot be swept away by a momentary vote. He obtained his Agrarian law. Three commissioners were appointed, himself, his younger brother, and his father-in-law, Appius Claudius, to carry it into effect; but the very names showed that he had alienated his few supporters in the higher circles, and that a single family was now contending against the united wealth and distinction of Rome. The issue was only too certain. Popular enthusiasm is but a fire of straw. In a year Tiberius Gracchus would be out of office. Other tribunes would be chosen more amenable to influence, and his work could then be undone. He evidently knew that those who would succeed him could not be relied on to carry on his policy. He had taken one revolutionary step already; he was driven on to another, and he offered himself illegally to the Comitia for re-election. It was to invite them to abolish the constitution, and to make him virtual sovereign; and that a young man of thirty should have contemplated such a position for himself as possible, is of itself a proof of his unfitness for it. The election day came. The noble lords and gentlemen appeared in the Campus Martius with their retinues of armed servants and clients; hot-blooded aristocrats, full of disdain for demagogues, and meaning to read a lesson to sedition which it would not easily forget. Votes were given for Gracchus. Had the hustings been left to decide the matter, he would have been chosen; but as it began to appear how the polling would go, sticks were used and swords; a riot rose, the unarmed citizens were driven off, Tiberius Gracchus himself and three hundred of his friends were killed, and their bodies were flung into the Tiber.

Thus the first sparks of the coming revolution were trampled out. But though quenched and to be again quenched with fiercer struggles, it was to smoulder and smoke and burst out time after time, till its work was done. Revolution could not restore the ancient character of the Roman nation, but it could check the progress of decay by burning away the more corrupted parts of it. It could destroy the aristocracy and the constitution which they had depraved, and under other forms preserve for a few more centuries the Roman dominion. Scipio Africanus, when he heard in Spain of the end of his brother-in-law, exclaimed "May all who act as he did perish like him!" There were to be victims enough and to spare before the bloody drama was played out. Quiet lasted for ten years, and then, precisely when he had reached his brother's age, Caius Gracchus came forward to avenge him, and carry the movement through another stage. Young Caius had been left one of the commissioners of the land law; and it is particularly noticeable that, though the author of it had been killed, the law had survived him, being too clearly right and politic in itself to be openly set aside. For two years the commissioners had continued to work, and in that time forty thousand families were settled on various parts of the ager publicus, which the patricians had been compelled to resign. This was all which they could do. The displacement of one set of inhabitants and the introduction of another could not be accomplished without quarrels, complaints, and perhaps some injustice. Those who entered on possession were not always satisfied. The commissioners became unpopular. When the cries against them became loud enough, they were suspended, and the law was then quietly repealed. The Senate had regained its hold over the Assembly, and had a further opportunity of showing its recovered ascendency when, two years after the murder of Tiberius Gracchus, one of his friends introduced a bill to make the tribunes legally re-eligible. Caius Gracchus actively supported the change, but it had no success; and, waiting till times had altered, and till he had arrived at an age when he could carry weight, the young brother retired from politics, and spent the next few years with the army in Africa and Sardinia, he served with distinction; he made a name for himself, both as a soldier and an administrator. Had the Senate left him alone, he might have been satisfied with a regular career, and have risen by the ordinary steps to the consulship. But the Senate saw in him the possibilities of a second Tiberius; the higher his reputation, the more formidable he became to them. They vexed him with petty prosecutions, charged him with crimes which had no existence, and at length, by suspicion and injustice, drove him into open war with them. Caius Gracchus had a broader intellect than his brother, and a character considerably less noble. The land question he perceived was but one of many questions. The true source of the disorders of the commonwealth was the Senate itself. The administration of the empire was in the hands of men totally unfit to be trusted with it, and there he thought the reform must commence. He threw himself on the people, he was chosen tribune in 123, ten years exactly after Tiberius. He had studied the disposition of parties. He had seen his brother fall because the Equites and the senators, the great commoners and the nobles, were combined against him. He revived the Agrarian law as a matter of course, but he disarmed the opposition to it by throwing an apple of discord between the two superior orders. The high judicial functions in the commonwealth had been hitherto a senatorial monopoly. All cases of importance, civil or criminal, came before courts of sixty or seventy jurymen, who, as the law stood, must be necessarily senators. The privilege had been extremely lucrative. The corruption of justice was already notorious, though it had not yet reached the level of infamy which it attained in another generation. It was no secret that in ordinary causes jurymen had sold their verdicts, and, far short of taking bribes in the direct sense of the word, there were many ways in which they could let themselves be approached, and their favor purchased. A monopoly of privileges is always invidious. A monopoly in the sale of justice is alike hateful to those who abhor iniquity on principle, and to those who would like to share the profits of it. But this was not the worst. The governors of the provinces, being chosen from those who had been consuls or praetors, were necessarily members of the Senate. Peculation and extortion in these high functions were offences, in theory, of the gravest kind; but the offender could only be tried before a limited number of his peers, and a governor who had plundered a subject state, sold justice, pillaged temples, and stolen all that he could lay hands on, was safe from punishment if he returned to Rome a millionnaire and would admit others to a share in his spoils. The provincials might send deputations to complain, but these complaints came before men who had themselves governed provinces, or else aspired to govern them. It had been proved in too many instances that the law which professed to protect them was a mere mockery.

Caius Gracchus secured the affections of the knights to himself, and some slightly increased chance of an improvement in the provincial administration, by carrying a law in the Assembly disabling the senators from sitting on juries of any kind from that day forward, and transferring the judicial functions to the Equites. How bitterly must such a measure have been resented by the Senate, which at once robbed them of their protective and profitable privileges, handed them over to be tried by their rivals for their pleasant irregularities, and stamped them at the same time with the brand of dishonesty! How certainly must such a measure have been deserved when neither consul nor tribune could be found to interpose his vote! Supported by the grateful knights, Caius Gracchus was for the moment all-powerful. It was not enough to restore the Agrarian law. He passed another aimed at his brother's murderers, which was to bear fruit in later years, that no Roman citizen might be put to death by any person, however high in authority, without legal trial, and without appeal, if he chose to make it, to the sovereign people. A blow was thus struck against another right claimed by the Senate, of declaring the Republic in danger, and the temporary suspension of the constitution. These measures might be excused, and perhaps commended; but the younger Gracchus connected his name with another change less commendable, which was destined also to survive and bear fruit. He brought forward and carried through, with enthusiastic clapping of every pair of hands in Rome that were hardened with labor, a proposal that there should be public granaries in the city, maintained and filled at the cost of the state, and that corn should be sold at a rate artificially cheap to the poor free citizens. Such a law was purely socialistic. The privilege was confined to Rome, because in Rome the elections were held, and the Roman constituency was the one depositary of power. The effect was to gather into the city a mob of needy unemployed voters, living on the charity of the state, to crowd the circus and to clamor at the elections, available no doubt immediately to strengthen the hands of the popular tribune, but certain in the long run to sell themselves to those who could bid highest for their voices. Excuses could be found, no doubt, for this miserable expedient, in the state of parties, in the unscrupulous violence of the aristocracy, in the general impoverishment of the peasantry through the land monopoly, and in the intrusion upon Italy of a gigantic system of slave labor. But none the less it was the deadliest blow which had yet been dealt to the constitution. Party government turns on the majorities at the polling places, and it was difficult afterward to recall a privilege which, once conceded, appeared to be a right. The utmost that could be ventured in later times, with any prospect of success, was to limit an intolerable evil, and if one side was ever strong enough to make the attempt, their rivals had a bribe ready in their hands to buy back the popular support. Caius Gracchus, however, had his way, and carried all before him. He escaped the rock on which his brother had been wrecked. He was elected tribune a second time. He might have had a third term if he had been contented to be a mere demagogue. But he, too, like Tiberius, had honorable aims. The powers which he had played into the hands of the mob to obtain, he desired to use for high purposes of statesmanship, and his instrument broke in his hands. He was too wise to suppose that a Roman mob, fed by bounties from the treasury, could permanently govern the world. He had schemes for scattering Roman colonies, with the Roman franchise, at various points of the empire.

Carthage was to be one of them. He thought of abolishing the distinction between Romans and Italians, and enfranchising the entire peninsula. These measures were good in themselves—essential, indeed, if the Roman conquests were to form a compact and permanent dominion. But the object was not attainable on the road on which Gracchus had entered. The vagabond part of the constituency was well contented with what it had obtained, a life in the city, supported at the public expense, with politics and games for its amusements. It had not the least inclination to be drafted off into settlements in Spain or Africa, where there would be work instead of pleasant idleness. Carthage was still a name of terror. To restore Carthage was no better than treason. Still less had the Roman citizens an inclination to share their privileges with Samnites and Etruscans, and see the value of their votes watered down. Political storms are always cyclones. The gale from the east to-day is a gale from the west to-morrow. Who and what were the Gracchi, then?—the sweet voices began to ask—ambitious intriguers, aiming at dictatorship, or perhaps the crown. The aristocracy were right, after all; a few things had gone wrong, but these had been amended. The Scipios and Metelli had conquered the world: the Scipios and Metelli were alone fit to govern it. Thus, when the election time came round, the party of reform was reduced to a minority of irreconcilable radicals, who were easily disposed of. Again, as ten years before, the noble lords armed their followers. Riots broke out and extended day after day. Caius Gracchus was at last killed, as his brother had been, and under cover of the disturbance three thousand of his friends were killed along with him. The power being again securely in their hands, the Senate proceeded at their leisure, and the surviving patriots who were in any way notorious or dangerous were hunted down in legal manner, and put to death or banished.



(REIGNED 267-273 A.D.)

Of the government and manners of the Arabians before the time of Mahomet, we have few and imperfect accounts; but from the remotest ages they led the same unsettled and predatory life which they do at this day, dispersed in hordes, and dwelling under tents. It was not to those wild and wandering tribes that the superb Palmyra owed its rise and grandeur, though situated in the midst of their deserts, where it is now beheld in its melancholy beauty and ruined splendor, like an enchanted island in the midst of an ocean of sands. The merchants who trafficked between India and Europe, by the only route then known, first colonized this singular spot, which afforded them a convenient resting-place; and even in the days of Solomon it was the emporium for the gems and gold, the ivory, gums, spices, and silks of the far Eastern countries, which thus found their way to the remotest parts of Europe. The Palmyrenes were, therefore, a mixed race—their origin, and many of their customs, were Egyptian; their love of luxury and their manners were derived from Persia; their language, literature, and architecture were Greek.

Thus, like Venice and Genoa, in more modern times, Palmyra owed its splendor to the opulence and public spirit of its merchants; but its chief fame and historical interest it owes to the genius and heroism of a woman.

Septimia Zenobia, for such is her classical appellation, was the daughter of an Arab chief, Amrou, the son of Dharb, the son of Hassan. Of her first husband we have no account; she was left a widow at a very early age, and married, secondly, Odenathus, chief of several tribes of the desert, near Palmyra, and a prince of extraordinary valor and boundless ambition. Odenathus was the ally of the Romans in their wars against Sapor (or, more properly, Shah Poor), king of Persia; he gained several splendid victories over that powerful monarch, and twice pursued his armies even to the gates of Ctesiphon (or Ispahan), his capital. Odenathus was as fond of the chase as of war, and in all his military and hunting expeditions he was accompanied by his wife Zenobia—a circumstance which the Roman historians record with astonishment and admiration, as contrary to their manners, but which was the general custom of the Arab women of that time. Zenobia not only excelled her countrywomen in the qualities for which they were all remarkable—in courage, prudence, and fortitude, in patience of fatigue, and activity of mind and body—she also possessed a more enlarged understanding; her views were more enlightened, her habits more intellectual. The successes of Odenathus were partly attributed to her, and they were always considered as reigning jointly. She was also eminently beautiful—with the oriental eyes and complexion, teeth like pearls, and a voice of uncommon power and sweetness.

Odenathus obtained from the Romans the title of Augustus, and General of the East; he revenged the fate of Valerian, who had been taken captive and put to death by Shah Poor: the eastern king, with a luxurious barbarity truly oriental, is said to have used the unfortunate emperor as his footstool to mount his horse. But in the midst of his victories and conquests Odenathus became the victim of a domestic conspiracy, at the head of which was his nephew Maeonius. He was assassinated at Emessa during a hunting expedition, and with him his son by his first marriage. Zenobia avenged the death of her husband on his murderers, and as her sons were yet in their infancy, she first exercised the supreme power in their name; but afterward, apparently with the consent of the people, assumed the diadem with the titles of Augusta and Queen of the East.

The Romans, and their effeminate emperor Gallienus, refused to acknowledge Zenobia's claim to the sovereignty of her husband's dominions, and Heraclianus was sent with a large army to reduce her to obedience; but Zenobia took the field against him, engaged and totally defeated him in a pitched battle. Not satisfied with this triumph over the haughty masters of the world, she sent her general Zabdas to attack them in Egypt, which she subdued and added to her territories, together with a part of Armenia and Asia Minor. Thus her dominions extended from the Euphrates to the Mediterranean, and over all those vast and fertile countries formerly governed by Ptolemy and Seleucus. Jerusalem, Antioch, Damascus, and other cities famed in history, were included in her empire, but she fixed her residence at Palmyra, and in an interval of peace she turned her attention to the further adornment of her magnificent capital. It is related by historians, that many of those stupendous fabrics of which the mighty ruins are still existing, were either erected, or at least restored and embellished, by this extraordinary woman. But that which we have most difficulty in reconciling with the manners of her age and country, was Zenobia's passion for study, and her taste for the Greek and Latin literature. She is said to have drawn up an epitome of history for her own use; the Greek historians, poets, and philosophers were familiar to her; she invited Longinus, one of the most elegant writers of antiquity, to her splendid court, and appointed him her secretary and minister. For her he composed his famous "Treatise on the Sublime," a work which is not only admirable for its intrinsic excellence, but most valuable as having preserved to our times many beautiful fragments of ancient poets whose works are now lost, particularly those of Sappho.

The classical studies of Zenobia seem to have inspired her with some contempt for her Arab ancestry. She was fond of deriving her origin from the Macedonian kings of Egypt, and of reckoning Cleopatra among her progenitors. In imitation of the famous Egyptian queen, she affected great splendor in her style of living and in her attire; and drank her wine out of cups of gold richly carved and adorned with gems. It is, however, admitted that in female dignity and discretion, as well as in beauty, she far surpassed Cleopatra. She administered the government of her empire with such admirable prudence and policy, and in particular with such strict justice toward all classes of her subjects, that she was beloved by her own people, and respected and feared by the neighboring nations. She paid great attention to the education of her three sons, habited them in the Roman purple, and brought them up in the Roman fashion. But this predilection for the Greek and Roman manners appears to have displeased and alienated the Arab tribes; for it is remarked that after this time their fleet cavalry, inured to the deserts and unequalled as horsemen, no longer formed the strength of her army.

While Gallienus and Claudius governed the Roman empire, Zenobia was allowed to pursue her conquests, rule her dominions, and enjoy her triumphs almost without opposition; but at length the fierce and active Aurelian was raised to the purple, and he was indignant that a woman should thus brave with impunity the offended majesty of Rome. Having subdued all his competitors in the West, he turned his arms against the Queen of the East. Zenobia, undismayed by the terrors of the Roman name, levied troops, placed herself at their head, and gave the second command to Zabdas, a brave, and hitherto successful, general. The first great battle took place near Antioch; Zenobia was totally defeated after an obstinate conflict; but, not disheartened by this reverse, she retired upon Emessa, rallied her armies, and once more defied the Roman emperor. Being again defeated with great loss, and her army nearly dispersed, the high-spirited queen withdrew to Palmyra, collected her friends around her, strengthened her fortifications, and declared her resolution to defend her capital and her freedom to the last moment of her existence.

Zenobia was conscious of the great difficulties which would attend the siege of a great city, well stored with provisions and naturally defended by surrounding deserts; these deserts were infested by clouds of Arabs, who, appearing and disappearing with the swiftness and suddenness of a whirlwind, continually harassed her enemies. Thus defended without, and supported by a strong garrison within, Zenobia braved her antagonist from the towers of Palmyra as boldly as she had defied him in the field of battle. The expectation of succors from the East added to her courage, and determined her to persevere to the last. "Those," said Aurelian in one of his letters, "who speak with contempt of the war I am waging against a woman, are ignorant both of the character and power of Zenobia. It is impossible to enumerate her warlike preparations of stones, of arrows, and of every species of missile weapons and military engines."

Aurelian, in fact, became doubtful of the event of the siege, and he offered the queen the most honorable terms of capitulation if she would surrender to his arms; but Zenobia, who was aware that famine raged in the Roman camp, and daily looked for the expected relief, rejected his proposals in a famous Greek epistle, written with equal arrogance and eloquence; she defied the utmost of his power; and, alluding to the fate of Cleopatra, expressed her resolution to die like her rather than yield to the Roman arms. Aurelian was incensed by this haughty letter, even more than by dangers and delays attending the siege; he redoubled his efforts, he cut off the succors she expected; he found means to subsist his troops even in the midst of the desert; every day added to the number and strength of his army, every day increased the difficulties of Zenobia, and the despair of the Palmyrenes. The city could not hold out much longer, and the queen resolved to fly, not to insure her own safety, but to bring relief to her capital—such at least is the excuse made for a part of her conduct which certainly requires apology. Mounted on a fleet dromedary, she contrived to elude the vigilance of the besiegers, and took the road to the Euphrates; but she was pursued by a party of the Roman light cavalry, overtaken, and brought as a captive into the presence of Aurelian. He sternly demanded how she had dared to oppose the power of Rome? to which she replied, with a mixture of firmness and gentleness, "Because I disdained to acknowledge as my masters such men as Aureolus and Gallienus. To Aurelian I submit as my conqueror and my sovereign." Aurelian was not displeased at the artful compliment implied in this answer, but he had not forgotten the insulting arrogance of her former reply. While this conference was going forward in the tent of the Roman emperor, the troops, who were enraged by her long and obstinate resistance, and all they had suffered during the siege, assembled in tumultuous bands calling out for vengeance, and with loud and fierce cries demanding her instant death. The unhappy queen, surrounded by the ferocious and insolent soldiery, forgot all her former vaunts and intrepidity; her feminine terrors had perhaps been excusable if they had not rendered her base; but in her first panic she threw herself on the mercy of the emperor, accused her ministers as the cause of her determined resistance, and confessed that Longinus had written in her name that eloquent letter of defiance which had so incensed the emperor.

Longinus, with the rest of her immediate friends and counsellors, were instantly sacrificed to the fury of the soldiers, and the philosopher met death with all the fortitude which became a wise and great man, employing his last moments in endeavoring to console Zenobia and reconcile her to her fate.

Palmyra surrendered to the conqueror, who seized upon the treasures of the city, but spared the buildings and the lives of the inhabitants. Leaving in the place a garrison of Romans, he returned to Europe, carrying with him Zenobia and her family, who were destined to grace his triumph.

But scarcely had Aurelian reached the Hellespont, when tidings were brought to him that the inhabitants of Palmyra had again revolted, and had put the Roman governor and garrison to the sword. Without a moment's deliberation the emperor turned back, reached Palmyra by rapid marches, and took a terrible vengeance on that miserable and devoted city; he commanded the indiscriminate massacre of all the inhabitants—men, women, and children; fired its magnificent edifices, and levelled its walls to the ground. He afterward repented of his fury, and devoted a part of the captured treasures to reinstate some of the glories he had destroyed; but it was too late; he could not reanimate the dead, nor raise from its ruins the stupendous Temple of the Sun. Palmyra became desolate; its very existence was forgotten, until about a century ago, when some English travellers discovered it by accident. Thus the blind fury of one man extinguished life, happiness, industry, art, and intelligence through a vast extent of country, and severed a link which had long connected the eastern and western continents of the old world.

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