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486 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.

ture which ever proceeded from that tall spirit.1

During the night the streets of Athens were in charge of public slaves and policemen. For

such offices Scythians were preferred. Armed with their bows and arrows, they patrolled

the public places, and muttered broken Greek at the disorderly. About one thousand two

hundred of these uncouth guards were nightly encamped on the Areopagus. Their services

were in constant demand to check and repress the uproar and riot of the unmanageable crew

of young Athenians who poured through the streets in the reckless abandonment of mischief

and the not infrequent perpetration of crime.

The women of the ancient Greeks had more freedom than among any other primitive people;

and they repaid the gift with a munificent contribution of beauty and faithfulness.

Alcestis gives her life as a ransom for her husband's. Antigone follows a father's -

wretched fortunes with all a daughter's love. Penelope for twenty years longs for her

absent lord. What to her are suitors while he is faraway? Andromache stands by Hector to

the end. Even Helen is the victim of the intrigue of the immortals rather than the wayward

and guilty wife, insomuch that, after her return to Menelaiis, she is regarded as a true

and noble queen. Such was woman in the age of the heroes.

In the later developments of Greek civilization woman suffered. She became restricted in

her freedom, and lost her ascendancy over the minds of men. Perhaps the change in her

condition and rank may be attributed to the constant encroachments of democracy, which, by

making every man a participant in public affairs, while not conceding like prerogatives to

woman, gradually drew off one of the sexes to the market-square and the Pnyx, there to

discuss the many times factitious issues

1 It will be remembered that it was at this feast of Agathon that the mad-drunk Alcibiades

broke in unbidden, assumed the role of symposiarch, drank a great bowl of wine, put a

garland on the big, brain- knotted head of Socrates, and declared that the reason why the

old sage was not already drunken was because there was not wine enough in Greece to

intoxicate him!

of politics, while at the same time the other sex was more and more restricted by domestic

duties and limited by the horizon of home. It was the pernicious political discovery that

each of the. sexes has a "sphere"-a discovery ,which has cost the world centuries of

retrogression.

In the Dorian and Aeolian states, most notably in Sparta, the Greek woman came more nearly

maintaining her old-time independence and consequent influence over men and public affairs

than in the more highly civilized commonwealths of the Ionians. The Spartans continued to

make a boast of their women long after the time when the philosophers, to say nothing of

the politicians, of Athens, had come to pass them by with indifference. The Spartan

mothers retained the old-time flavor of heroism even as long as they had a country. They

reared their sons and gave them to the state. The epitaph of Damaineta continued to find

exemplification among the heroic daughters of that brave land'-

"Eight sons Damaineta to battle sent, And buried all beneath one monument. No tear she

shed for sorrow, but thus spake- 'Sparta, I bore these children for thy sake.' "

The Ionian women of the classical age were less esteemed for heroic than for feminine

qualities. The girls were for the most part secluded. On the occasion of public festivals

they appeared and took part in the songs and dances. They were bred more and more to the

indoor than to the outdoor life. Housekeeping, however, was not taught until after

marriage. Then the care of the Greek home devolved almost exclusively upon the woman. In

this relation she came to be disprized as something of a drudge. The poets and wits made

her the object of innumerable satires. She was left to her beauty and grace for pro-

tection rather than to any chivalrous sentiment among the men. Nevertheless, with these

many disadvantages, the women of Attica continued to be ladylike and noble. The Greek was

rarely discourteous to his wife. Her modesty and dignity were not often shocked by rude

language or base conduct. Her home was sacred from the intrusion of strangers, and she