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two children by her, Amphytrion and his sister Anaxod, Electrion married his niece Anaxo, daughter of Alceus, and hy that marriage had Alcmena , who afterwards became the wife of Amphytrion, and was mother of Hercules.
Electrion enjoyed the throne of Mycenæ after the death of Perseus. Amphytrion ought naturally to have succeeded him. He was grandson of Perseus, and by his wife Alcme. na, he was the sole heir of Electrion. But having had the misfortune involuntarily to kill his father-in-law, he was obliged to retire to Thebes . Sthenelus, brother of Electrion, availing himself of the public hatred which this accident had drawn upon Amphytrion, seized on the realms of his fugitive nephew, and gave them to his son EurystheUs", - By this usurpation Hercules was himself excluded from the crown of Mycenæ. We know to what dangers Eurystheus exposed this fiero, with a view to destroy him. He without doubt apprehended that he would undertake fome time or other to dethrone him. Hercules at his death left many children. They were almost all brought up by the care of Ceix, king of Trachine i. Eurystheus fearing that they should one day unite to take the crown from him, threatened Ceix, to declare war against him if he did not drive them from his court. The Heraclidæ terrified by these menaces, quitted Trachine. In vain they fought an asylum in most of the cities of Greece. They found none who would receive them. The Athenians were the only people who durst give them a retreat k Eurystheus would not suffer them to stay there. Determined to destroy them, he led against them a powerful army. The Heraclidze fupported by the Athenians, and commanded by Iolaus, nephew of Hercules, by Hyllus his son, and by Theseus, they gave battle to Eurystheus. They gained it. Eurystheus lost his life in it 1.
+ Apollod. ibid. e Id. ibid. f Ib. p. 79. 80. & Id. p. 83.; Paus. 1. 9. C. II. h Apollod. I. 2. p. 87. * Id. ibid. p. 122.; Diod. 1. 4. p. 331. ; Paus.: 1. 1. c. 32. p. 79. *k Appollod. Diod. Paus. locis cit.; Euripid. Heraclid. v. !9. 55. 145. &c. ; Ifocrat. p. 129.
This happy success having drawn a great number of fol. diers to the army of the Heraclidæ, they took almost all the towns of Peloponnesus m. But a violent plague having afilicted that province, they consulted the oracle upon it. They were informed, that having entered the country too soon, they could not make the plague to cease but by reti, ing. They obeyed, and abandoned Peloponnesus",
The oracle, according to custom, explained itself obscure. ly as to the time that should elapse before the Heraclidæ cught to make a new attempt. So Hyllus, their chief, who thought he had discovered the meaning, returned to Peloponnesus at the end of three years o. Atreus who then reigned at Mycenx, assembled all his troops, strengthened him. self by alliances, and advanced to dispute the passage with the enemy P. The armies being in sight of each other, Hyllus remonstrated that it would not be so well to expose the two parties to the chance of a general battle. He therefore proposed to Atreus and the other chiefs, to chuse among them a champion, and he offered to fight him, on condition that the event of their combat should determine that of the war. The offer was accepted. They came to this agreement, that if Hyllus was victor, the Heraclidæ mould enter into their father's pofseflions; but if he was conquered, neither he nor any belonging to him should return into Peloponnesus for an hundred years 9. Echemus, King of Tegeates, on the side of the allies, accepted the challenge of Hyllus, and New him. The Heraclidæ, according to treaty, withdrew their troops, and abstained from all acts of hostility ".
1 Apollo. Diod. locis cit.; Strab. 1. 8.9. 579.
• Id. ibid. p. 123. 12. The god had ordered them to wait for the third fruit ; Hyllus believing that that expression meant three harvefts, returned into Peloponnesus at the end of three years; whereas, according to the intention of the oracle, he ought to have understood by the third fruit, the third generation. p. Diod. l. 4. p. 302.
9 Herod. l. 9. n. 26.; Diod. 1. 4. p. 3o2. He is mistaken in fixing this term only fifty years.
i Diod. 1. 4. P. 302.; Paus. 1. 1. C. 41. He is mistaken in placing this event in the reign of Oreftes.
They kept their word; but when the term they had a. greed upon was expired, Temenes, Chresphontes, and Ari. ftodemus, descendents of Hercules by Hyllus', made a last push to make themselves masters of Peloponnesus. This last trial succeeded better than the preceding. After having equipped a fleet at Naupactus ", the Heraclidæ, according to custom, consulted the oracle upon the success of their enterprise. The answer was, that they ought to take three eyes for the guides of their expedition u. As they endeavoured to find the sense of these words, there happened a one-eyed man to ride by on a mule. He was an Ætolián, called Oxylus. Persuaded that he was the guide designed by the oracle, the Heraclidæ joined him in their enterprise, and promised him Elis for his share *.
The Achaians and Ionians then possessed the greatest part of Peloponnesusy. Tisamenes, son of Orestes, reigned over Argos, Mycenæ, and Lacedæmon. He took up arnis, hut was defeated, and perished in the battle that was fought 2. The Heraclidæ took Argos, Mycenæ, and Lacedæmon. They divided these three cities among them. They had their posSessions by lot Temenes had Argos. Lacedxmon fell to the children of Aristodemus, who died during the course of the expedition. Mycenæ fell to Cresphontes b. Oxylus had Elis, as they had promised him. He was not so easily set. tled in it as they had flattered themselves. Dius, who was the poffeffor, disputed it with him. According to the custom of those times“, instead of exposing all their troops to the
r Paus. 1. 2. c. 18.
Apollod. l. 2. p. 124.; Paul. 1. 5. C. 3. While they were preparing this feet, Ariftodemus died. He left two children who succeeded to his rights. Apollod. fupra; Paus. 1. 4. C. 3.
* Apollod. I. 2. p. 125.; Paul. 1. 5. C. 3. * Apollod. Pauf. locis cit.
y These people had their names from Acheus and Ion, fons of Xuthus, grandfons of Helen, and great-grandfons of Deucalion.
z Apollod. loco cit.; Paul. 1. 2. c. 18. only says that this prince was obliged to retire with his children,
Apollod. I. 2. p. 125. 126.; Paus. l. 4. c. 3. The original of this treaty remained in the time of Tile rius. Tacit. Annal. 1. 4. n. 43.
b Plato de leg. 1. 3. p. 8-8.; Apollod. I. 2:. p. 126.; Paus. 1. 2. C. 18. 1. 4.c. 3. « Strabol. 8. p. 548.
risk of a battle, they agreed to chufe an Etolian and an Elean, who, by single combat, should terminate the quarrel of the two pretenders. The Etolian got the victory; so Oxylus was acknowledged King d.
It was thus that Peloponnesus went from the family of Pe. lops to the descendents of Hercules. That part of Greece was not the only one that felt the effects of this revolu. tione. The rest of the countries suffered almost as much from the consequences of this event. The people who were first attacked, threw themselves upon their neighbours: these here reciprocally carried desolation into the countries whose vicinity made them most convenient to them. The ftrongest drove out the weakest. Like the waves of an agitated sea, this people, so to speak, flowed back one upon another. The Achaians were the first upon whom the storm fell. Forced to quit their country, they threw themselves upon the Ionians, whom they obliged to quit theirs. These last had recourse to Melanthus, who had just ascended the throne of Athens. Touched with the misfortunes of his ancient countrymen, this prince gave them a retreat in his kingdom f.
The return of the Heraclidæ into Peloponnesus is one of the most remarkable epochs of the Grecian history. The confequences were fatal to the whole nation, as I shall shew, when I come to speak of the state of arts and sciences in Greece during the course of the ages we are going over.
Observations on the ancient government of Greece. WE have seen from the exposure I have made of the be.
ginnings of the Grecian history, that the monarchical government was the first that took place among these people, This is a truth acknowledged by all the writers of antiqui
Strabo, ib. Paul. l. 5. c. 4. init. • Jd. I. 2. C. 13. init.; Herod. I. 2. n. 171.; Diod. fragm. I. 6.; Apud Syncell. p. 179. ; Strabo. 1.9. p. 632. * Strab. 1.9. p. 632.; Paus, l. 7. c. 1. VOL. II. G
ty & These famous republics, Athens, Thebes, Corinth," &c. were not formed but till pretty late. Let us examine what were the rights, the power, the offices, and authority of the first fovereigns of Greece. We shall see by the details we are going to make, how shapeless and rude the ancient government of these people was.
One ought to apply to the first kings of Greece, what I have said of the first fovereigns of Asia. They were very distant from the idea we now join to the name of king. The extent of their dominions, their domains, and their power, in no respect answered to the title they bore ; a small city, a town, a few leagues of ground, were honoured with the name of kingdom. There were not then any confiderable cities in Greece. The greatest part of the inhabi. tants lived in the country. Thus when the history of those times speaks of great monarchies, and of powerful kings, we ought always to understand it in comparison of the neighbouring states. Argolide which formed the kingdom of Agamemnon, was only a very finall province. There are in France many-eftates more considerable, by the demesns that depend upon them, than this kingdom so boasted of in Grecia antiquity.
The power of those kings was not much more extensive than their territories. The affair of Hypermnestra, daughter of Danaus, proves how.very bounded was the authority of the Grecian sovereigns.
Danaus was provoked at his daughter, because she had not executed an order he had given her to stab her husband the first night of their marriage. He durst not punish her by his own authority. He cited her before the people, as guilty of disobedience : Hypermnestra was not only acquitted of the accusation, but was even honoured by the Argives, by being made priestess of Juno their principal divinity i.
6 Arist. polit. l. 1. c. 17.; Dionys. Halicarn. 1. 5. p. 336. ; Strabo, 1. 7.p. 496. bo Thucyd. 1. 1. p. 11. lin. 70.
i Paul. l. 2. C 19.; Euseb. Chron. 1. 2. n. 582. It seems in these times that the King did not name the high priestesses; but that they were elected by the people. See Iliad. l. 6. v. 306.