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determined to make a third effort to undo the democratic institutions of

their rival. The tyrant Hippias was sent for from Sigeum, and coming to

Sparta represented to her assembled allies the great benefits from his

restoration to authority. But the Corinthians refused, as before, to have

any thing to do with the enterprise. They denounced the system of

despotism which Sparta would establish in Athens as a wicked and bloody

thing, and the other allies were scarcely less outspoken in their

denunciations. Further interference with Athenian affairs had to be

abandoned, and Hippias returned to his exile, first at Sigeum and

afterwards at the court of Darius. Athens thus relieved of her perils,

pursued her own course under the auspices of democracy, and was not long

in taking the foremost rank among the cities of Greece.

Up to this point in their history a general view of the progress of the

Greek states would show them pursuing independent careers and tending to

antagonisms rather than to unity among themselves. The final causes of

this condition have already been referred to as existing in the peculiar

country which the Greek tribes settled and the spirit of freedom and

individuality peculiar to the race. As long as these primary forces of

development were left free to work out their own results the Grecian

commonwealths preferred a certain local completeness to any possible

union of the Hellenes in one nation. It was only when this excessive

individuality was overcome by the presence of a common danger that

cooperation was rendered possible and unity considered a good. The time

came, however, when such a danger appeared imminent and overwhelming, and

it will be the purpose of the following chapter to recount the heroism of

the Greeks in the shadow of the peril.


IT will be remembered that the ambition of Darius the Great led him into

an expedition against the Scythians inhabiting the great plain between

the Don and the Danube. The circumstances of that campaign have already

been narrated in the History of the Persian Empire. In the conduct of the

invasion the king was in many things dependent upon the Greeks of Asia

Minor, especially those living on the shores of the Hellespont. The

course taken by the expedition was determined by the advice of one of the

Grecian generals, and the bridge of boats by which Darius crossed into

Europe was built by Greek carpenters, and it was at the suggestion of the

same friends that the bridge was left standing to insure an easy return

if the Persians should meet with disaster. It will also be recalled that

while Darius was prosecuting the campaign a body of Scythians came

suddenly to the Hellespont, reporting that the Persians were defeated,

and urging the guards of the bridge to burn it down, make common cause

with themselves, and overwhelm the invaders. This advice was seconded by

Miltiades, an Athenian, now despot of the Thracian Chersonesus, and many

of the Ionian Greeks favored the same policy; but Histiaeus of Miletus

supported the king, reminding the Ionian governors that if their master

was destroyed they would perish with him. This view prevailed. So Darius

on his return found a safe exit from the perils that were gathering

around him.

Megabazus was left with an army of eighty thousand men to finish the work

on the Hellespont. He quickly reduced the remnant of the Greek cities

which had not yielded to Persia, and then, in B. C. 510, carried his

conquest through Thrace to the borders of Macedonia. From this point he

sent an embassy to Amyntas, the king, __________________ See Book Sixth,

p. 360.