GREECE,-GROWTH AND LAW.
diligence of the great Council was the honor of Phoebes vindicated. From
this time forth his oracle was more consulted than ever, and richer gifts
were poured into his treasury. The influence of the Amphictyons was
extended throughout all Greece. It was seen that in them the national
religion and traditions had found an immovable bulwark against
aggression-a power jealous of whatever seemed to threaten the unity and
renown of Hellas.
CHAPTER XLIII- GROWTH AND LAW.
Most notable of the facts belonging to the second period of Greek
development-a period extending from the epoch of the Dorian migrations to
the revolt of the Ionian cities against the Persians-were the growth and
preponderance of Sparta and Athens as the two leading Hellenic states,
and the establishment of institutions by the legislation of Lycurgus and
Solon. The first fact unfortunately involved a rivalry of the two
commonwealths which became the bane of Greek history, but the other
contained those legislative germs which, springing here and there in the
soil of freedom, have contributed not a little to the growth of human
After the agitation consequent upon the return of the Heraclidae had
somewhat subsided, there appeared in Peloponnesus the three leading
states of Laconia, Argos, and Messenia. It was in the first of these that
the new Dorian population from the North became most easily and
completely predominant. Argos was not so much revolutionized, and
Messenia was not affected in her population and institutions by the
invasions. A period followed in which the new masters of Southern Greece
had to struggle and fight for the maintenance of their supremacy. By and
by, when that supremacy was fully established and acknowledged, the two
leading states of Peloponnesus-Sparta and Argolis-fell into quarrels and
went to war. After the Dorian invasion of Argolis, that state still
remained for awhile a confederacy of free cities. Such were Argos-the
capital-Cleonae, Phlius, Sicyon, Epidaurus, Troezen, and AEgina.
These were leagued together in the common worship of Apollo, and each of
the cities maintained a temple in his honor. The central shrine was in
Argos, and from this place the authority of the confederacy was
exercised. Her privileges increased until the time of Phidon, who was
king of Argos, and who, about B. C. 747, reduced the free cities and
established himself in a despotism.
It seemed that Argolis under his leadership was going to win an easy
supremacy over all the Dorian states. He made a conquest of Corinth. He
claimed to be par excellence the representative of the great ancestor,
Heracles, and in his name demanded the submission of his kinsmen, the
leaders of the Heraclidae. In the Eighth Olympiad he interfered with the
presidency of the games, deprived the Eleans of their privileges, took
the presidency himself, and then set up the Pisatans instead of their
This act, however, soon led to his downfall. For the Eleans, unwilling to
lose the honorable prerogative of presiding over the Olympic festival,
appealed to Sparta to aid in the maintenance of their rights. The appeal
was favorably heard. The Spartans espoused the cause of the petitioners,
went to war with Phidon, defeated him in battle, and destroyed the
pretensions of Argolis to the leadership of Southern Greece. From this
time forth there was never any doubt that Sparta was destined to the
first place among the Peloponnesian states.
It will be remembered that, when the Heraclidae drew lots for the
distribution of territories, Laconia fell to the two sons of Aristodemus.
This fact remained a precedent in Spartan institutions, and a double,