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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.


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

deposed rivals.

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,