UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
company were the orator Lysias and the historian Herodotus. In B. C. 437,
another settlement of equal importance was made at Amphipolis, on the
river Strymon, in Macedonia-a dependency which afterwards played a
conspicuous part in Greek history.
A more liberal and less ambitious policy on the part of Pericles might
have postponed or possibly averted the coming disasters of his country.
But, in his eagerness to make Athens glorious, there was but little
thought given to justice and equity of administration. Especially was
this manifested in the exorbitant tribute which was collected from the
Athenian dependencies. The members of the Confederacy of Delos were taxed
to the extent of six hundred talents annually, and this too when the
occasion for which the tribute was originally levied had entirely passed
away. The peace with the Persians made such an imposition no longer
necessary as a measure of defense; but the ambition of Pericles still
exacted it as a measure of luxury.
At this time the only members of the Confederacy which retained their
freedom and continued to consult with the Athenians on terms of
comparative equality, were Samos, Lesbos, and Chios. The first of these
islands became embroiled with the Milesians, and the latter appealed to
Athens for a settlement of the difficulty. The Samian government was
still under the control of an oligarchy, and this furnished Pericles with
a good excuse for interference. In B. C. 440 an expedition was sent to
reduce the Samians by force. A democracy was established in the island,
and many leading Samians were sent to Lemnos as hostages. This state of
things, however, was soon undone by a counter revolution backed by the
satrap of Sardis; but the Athenians returned, put down the revolt, and
reestablished their own style of government over the Samians. The latter
were obliged to pay the expenses of the war, amounting to a thousand
talents, and to give hostages for the maintenance of the peace.
Such was the condition of affairs in B. C. 435, when a petty quarrel
between Corinth and her dependency Corcyra applied the spark to the long
smoldering animosities and jealousies of the Greeks, and set their
country in the flames of civil war.
CHAPTER XLVL-THE PELOPONNESIAN WARS.
Early in her history the city of Corinth had established, on the island
of that name, the colony of Corcyra. Afterwards Corcyra sent out a colony
and founded Epidamnus on the coast of Epirus. The latter, however, as
well as the former, regarded Corinth as her mother city. The Epidamnians,
like the other Greek states, expelled the oligarchic party, and the
latter brought in the Illyrians to restore them. The authorities appealed
to Corcyra for aid, which was refused; for the Corcyraeans sympathized
with the oligarchs. The Epidamnians then applied to Corinth. The latter
sent out an expedition, and the democracy in Epidamnus was sustained. But
the authorities of Corcyra resented the interference, sent a squadron,
blockaded the town, and restored the oligarchs. The Corcyraeans then
tried to persuade the Corinthians to refer the matter to arbitration, but
the latter sent a still larger fleet to the western coast, and this was
defeated and destroyed by the Corcyraean squadron at Actium. This left
the Epidamnians at the mercy of the oligarchic party.
The Corinthians immediately went to work rebuilding their fleet. Within
two years they had gathered with their own exertions and from their
allies a squadron of one hundred and fifty ships. The Corcyraeans, seeing
these preparations and remembering that Corinth was a member of the
Lacedaemonian league, applied to Athens for support. The Athenian