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over a steady and prudent prince, and knew how to conquer most of the people of Peloponnesus. He was even so far honoured and respected, that they gave his name to all that peninsula, I shall have occasion in the sequel to speak of the posterity of Pelops. Let us return to Acrisius.
No one is ignorant that the end of this prince was most unlucky. He lost his life by the hand of Perseus his grand. fon. By his death, Perseus found himself King of Argos. But the manner by which he ascended the throne, gave him a distaste to his kingdom. He condemned himself to quit his country, and engaged Megapentes king of Tyrinthus, his cousin, to change his kingdom with him ".
The kingdom of Argos loft by the death of Acrisius almost all its glory. From Megapentes, who left his crown to Anaxagoras his son, there is nothing cestain in the fuccession of the kings of Argos. All thaç we know, is, that Cylarabis was the last of them. In the reign of this prince, Orestes, son of Agamemnon, seized on the kingdom of Argos ?, and united it to that of Mycenæ,
T'Hough the kingdom of Mycenæ be the least ancient
and the least considerable in Greece; yet to leave'nothing to be wished for relative to the ancient state of that part of Europe, I shall examine its history, but that very briefly. What we have read of the exchange made between Perseus and Megapentes, made me place here what I have to say on this subject.
The kingdom of Mycena owes its foundation to Perseus •. Tyrinthes was the capital of that new kingdon which that prince had just acquired ; but, for reasons at present unknown, he resolved to change his residence. As he
m Apollod.'). 2. p. 77.; Paus.l. 2. C, 16. • Strabo, 1. 8. p. 579.
! Paus. ibid. c. 18.
• looked for a proper place to build a new city, the hilt of
his sword fell off. This accident appeared to him an happy prefage. He thought he there saw the will of the gods in a sensible manner, and because púrns in Greek signified the hilt of a sword, he built a city there, and called it My
Such were the motives by which they were commonly determined in these remote ages.
Perseus, a prince equally famous by his exploits and by his travels, is one of the most celebrated heroes of antiquity a. But I believe I shall be dispensed with from entering into any detail of his actions. What history has transmitted to to us is so disfigured by fabulous and contradictory relations, that one cannot tell what to make of them. I shall there. fore content myself with just taking notice of his voyages in the article of navigation.
The successors of Perseus were Mastor, Electrion, Sthe nelus, and Eurystheus. This last was grandson of Pelops by his mother Nicipper, whom Sthenelus had married. No one is ignorant of the labours with which he loaded Hercules his coulin. The family of Perseus ended in the person of Eurystheus. Having made war in Attica, he perilhed there with all his children 1.
At his death the crown of Mycenze passed into the family of Pelops. Upon going on his expedition against the Athenians, Eurystheus had intrusted the government of his dominions to his uncle Atreus, son of Pelops ',' Atreus was, no sooner apprised of the death of his nephew, and the defeat of his army, than availing himself of the consternation which that event had thrown his countries into, he feized on the throne of Mycenæ. This prince is but too well known by the horrible consequences of his implacable hatred of Thy. estes his elder brother. We know the cause of it. To reyenge hịmself of the disonour he believed he had received, Atreus made Thyeftes eat his own children. This unhappy father had been intimate with his own daughter Pelopia *. From this incest he had a son whom he called EgyAthus. Egysthus revenged his father by laying Atreus. This death placed Thyestes on the throne of Mycenæv. Agamemnon his nephew drove him ont z; but by the intrigues of his wife Clytemnestra, he himself some time afterward fell beneath the strokes of Egysthus, who seized on the crowns. This usurper in his turn perished by the hand of Oreftes, who did not even spare his own mother b.
P Paus. 1. 2. c. 16.
9 Herod. 1. 2. n. 91.4.7.n.61. et 150. ; Apollod. I. 2.; Hygin, fab. 64. ; Ovid. Met. 1.4.
Apollod. 1. 2. p. 78.79. f Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 8.; Apollod. 1. 2. p. 122.6 Diod. 1.4 p. 335. 302. * Thucyd. d. 1. p. 89.; Diod. 1. 4. D. 3720
The crime of Orestes did not go unpunished. Without speaking of the remorse of conscience, meant by the revenging furies with which the ancient tragedies have represented him tormented, he was accused before the people by Perilas, who, as cousin-german of Clytemnestra, demanded vengeance for her deaths Orestes was obliged to go to Athens to submit himself to the judgment of the Areopagus. Tis one of the most famous that this tribunal is said to have given. Though fable has strangely disfigured the circumstances, it is certain that this judgment was the epocha of a change of the utmost consequence in the criminal proceedings of the Athenians. For this reafon I will lay the facts before the reader. I leave to his own dicernment the care of disentangling the truth, from what has been added to it by the taste of an age too fond of the marvelous.
The Areopagus discussed the affair of Orestes with attention. They were divided in opinion at the beginning; but in the end the number of the judges who were for condemning Orestes, carried it by one vote over those who would have him acquitted. This unfortunate prince was going to be condemned ; when Minerva joined herself, say they, to the judges who were for pardoning, and by
" Paus. 1. 2. C. 18.; Hygin. fab. 87. 88. * ]dem, ibid. 7 Ibid.; Iliad. l. 2. v. 100. 2 Euripid. Iphig. act. 5.t Odyff
. 1. 4. v. 91.92. 1. 11. V. 408. &c.; Virgil. Æneid. ), 11. V. 226. & 268.; Hygin. fab. 117.; Vell. Pater. 1. 1. p. 2. o Marm. Arund: ep. 24.; Hygin. fab. 119.
c Paus. 1. 8. c. 34. Id. d. 1. c. 28.; Marm. Arund. ep. 24.
that means made the votes equal. In consequence, Oreftes was acquitted of the accusation • From that time, whenever there was an equality of voices, they decided in favour of the accused', by giving him what they call tlie fuffrage of Minerva s.
The reign of Orestes was glorious and flourishing. By his marriage with Hermione, daughter of Menelaus, he inherited the kingdom of Sparta h. I have already observed, that he united the crown of Mycenæ to the kingdom of Argos i
Tisamenes his son succeeded him k, and only wore the crown three years. It was in his reign that the kingdom of Mycenæ ended by the invasion of the Heraclidæ, who threw themselves into Peloponnesus, made themselves maIters of it, and changed the form of government,
bited; these people formerly called themselves Edenes, and reckoned'Ogyges for their first sovereign m. A violent plague having destroyed almost all the first colony, the Hyanthes and the Aonians entered Beatia, and settled there r. We are entirely ignorant of the events that happened till the time that Cadinus seized on it.
e Ærchil. in Eumen. v. 743. & 749.
+ Arift. problem. fe&t. 29. prob. 13. ; Hesychius voce "ous tñpor. See alfo Meziriac, in ep Ovid. t. 2. p. 271.; Bianchiani. ift. univ. p. 318. and the note on Marm. Oxon. p. 353.
According to Varro, this custom should be yet more ancient than Oreftes; he says it took place in the judgment which the Areopagus gave between Mars and Neptune, on account of the murder of Halirothius. Apud. Auguft. de civit. Dei, 1. 8. c. 10.
In France the accused are treated yet more favourabiy. There must al. ways be two voices majority for the most rigorous sentence. So among eleven, for example, if there are fix for ån heavy punishment, and five for a lighter, the five carry it against the six, and the court passes the milder sentence.
h Hygin. fab. 121.; Paus. 1. 3. C.1.
i Art. 2.
The arrival of this prince is one of the most celebrated epochas of the Grecian history. It happened in the reign of Amphy&ion second king of Athens °, 1519 years be. fore Christ. It is of very little consequence to know whether Cadmus was originally an Egyptian or Phenician; that is a point I shall not examine. It is sufficient to know that he came from Phenicia into Greece. All authors agree in this. The motive of his voyage, according to some, was an order he received from the King his father, to go in search of his sister Europa whom the Greeks had stolen away P. After having been stopped by a tempest a long time, he came into Beotia. His first care was to go and consult the oracle of Delphos, to know in what country he might find Europa. The god, without answering his question, bid him fix his abode at a place that should be shewn to him by an ox of a particular colour 9. On going out of the temple, Cadmus met one, which, after having led him a great way, laid down through weariness. Cadmus fixed himself in the very spot, and called it Beotia r.
It was not without meeting with great resistance from the inhabitants, that Cadmus was able to form his new establishment. The Hyantes in particular opposed him greatlys. But a decisive battle obliged them to abandon their country, and to look for a retreat somewhere else. The Aonians, become wise by the example of their neighbours, voluntarily submitted themselves to the conqueror, who, on their becoming subjects, permitted them to stay in their own country. From that time they were one and the fame people with the Phenicians :. This is the abridg.
• Marm. Oxon, ep. 7.
According to an ancient tradition related by Athenaeus, 1,14. p. 658. Cada mus vas only one of the principal officers of the King of Sidon. Seduced by the charms of Hermione or Harmione, a musician in the court of that prince, he carried her off, and conducted her into Boeotia. See upon this whole anecdote, le comment. du P. Calmet. ad Gen c. 37. v. 36. Athenaeus took this from the third book of Euhemeres, a famous author, but much cried down by antiquity, and I believe very unjustly, as I will fully new hereafter.
i Apollod. 1 3. p. 136.; Hygin. fab. 178.; Paul. l. 9.C.12.
s Paul. 1.9.C.S.