Page images

cannot understand those who say that tho Lacedæmonians "know how to obey, but not how to rulo;” nor that story of somo one who said to king Theopompus that the safety of Sparta lay in her kings knowing how to rule. " Rather," he answered, “in her citizens knowing how to obey."

They would not brook an incapablo commander: their very obcdienco is a lesson in tho art of command; for a good lealer makes good followers, and just as it is tho oliject of tho horse-breaker to turn out a gentlo and tractalilo horse, so it is the object of rulers to implant in men the spirit of obedience. But tho Lacedæmonians produced a desire in other states to be ruled by them and to obey them; for they used to send embassies and ask not for ships or money or troops, but for one Spartan for a leader; and when they obtained hiin, they ruspected him and feared him, as, for instance, the Sicilians had Gylippus as i general, tho people of Chalkidiko had Brasidas, while Lysander and Kallikratidas and Agesilaus were made uso of by all the Greeks in Asia Minor. Theso men wero calle Regulators and Pacificators in each several state, and the whole city of Sparta was regarded as a school and example of orilerly public life and of settler political insti. tutions. This was alluded to by Stratonikus when he said in jest that the Athenians onglit to conduct mysteries and shows, tho Eleans to be stowarıls at the games, and tho Lacedaemonians to be beaten if the others did not do right. This was not spoken seriously; but Antisthenes, the Sokratic philosophier, was serious when he said of the Thehans, who were in high spirits after their victory at Lcuktra, that they were as plcascd as schoolboys who had beaten their mastor.

XXXI. Not that this was Lykurgus's main object, that his country should dominato over as many other status as possible; but secing that, in states as in indivi:luals, happiness is derived from virtue and single-mindedness, he directed all his efforts to implant in his countrymen feclings of honour, self-reliance, and self-control. These were also taken as the basis of their constitution by Plato, Diogenes, Zeno, and all who have written with any success upon this subject. But they have left mere dissertations ; Lykurgus

produced an inimitablo constitution, confuted those who complained of the unrcality of the Essay on the True Philosopher,' by showing them the spectacio of an entire city acting like philosophers, and thereby obtained for himself a greater reputation than that of any other Grock legislator at any period. For this reason Aristotle says that ho has less honour in Lacedæmon than ho deserves, although his memory is greatly respectad; for lo has a temple, and they sacrilice to him every year as if he was a god. It is also said that after his remains wero carricii home, his tomb was struck by lightning. This distinction befoll scarcely any other man of note except Euripides, who dicd long after him, and was buricd at Arethusa in Macedonia. It was considered a great proof and token of his fame by the aclmirers of Euripides, that this should happen to him after his death which happened before to the especial favourite of Heaven. Somo say that Lykurgus dice at Kirrha, but Apollothemis says that he was taken to Elis and died there, and Timæus and Aristoxenus say that ho ended his days in C'rctc. Aristoxenus cven says that tho Cretans show his tomb in what is called the Strangers' load in l'ergamia. Ilo is said to havo left ono son, Antiorus, who dicd childless, and so oniled the family. llis companions and relatives and their descendants kept up the practice of meeting together for a long periol; and the days whon thoy met wero called Lykurgids. Aristokrates the son of Hipparchus says that when Lykurgus died in Crete, his friends burned his body and throw the ashcs into the sca, at his own request, no ho feared that if any remains of him should bo brought back to Lacedæmon, they would think themselves absolved from their oath, and change the constitution. This is the story of Lykurgus.


[ocr errors]

I. There is a considerablo conflict of opinion about the
time of King Numa's reign, although several pedigrecs scem
to be accurately traced to him. One Clodius, in a book on
tho verification of dates, insists that all theso old recorils
were destroyed during the Gaulish troubles, and that thoso
which are now extant were composcd by interested persons,
by whoso mcans men who had no right to such honours
claimed descent from the noblest families. Though Numa
is said to have been a friend of Pythagoras, yet somo deny
that he had any tincture of Greek loading, arguing that
cither he was born with a natural capacity for sound learn-
ing, or that ho was taught by somo barbarian.* Others
say that Pythagoras was born much later, somo fivo
generations after the times of Numa, but that Pythagoras
tho Spartan, who won tho Stadium race at Olympia on tho
thirteenth Olympind, wandered into Italy, and thero meet-
ing Nuina, assisted him in the establishment of his consti.
tution; and that from this cause, the Roman constitution
in many points resembles the Laconian. The Olympio
games were instituted in the third year of Numa's reign.
Another story is that Numa was a Sabino by birth, and
tho Sabines consider themselves to be of Lacedæmonian
origin. It is hard to reconcilo the dates, especially thoso
which refer to Olympiads, the table of which is said to
have been made out by Hippias of Elis, on no trustworthy
basis. IIowever, what things I havo heard about Numa
that are worthy of mention I shall proceed to relato,
beginning from a starting point of my own.

II. Romo had been founded, and Romulus had reigned, for thirty-seven years, when upon the fifth day of thó month of July, which day is now called nonæ caprotinæ, he

• That is, by some one who yas not a Greck.

was performing a public sacrifice outside the gates, at a place called the Goat's Marsh, in the presence of the Senato and most of the people. Suddenly a great commution began in the air, thick clouds covered the carth, with violent gusts and showers. The people flcd in terror, and Romulus disappeared. His body could never bo found, but suspicion fell upon tho patricians, and a report was current among the populaco that they had long been jealous of his power as king, and had determined to get it into their own hands. Indeed, lo had dealt with them very harshly and tyrannically: l'earing this suspicion, they gavo out that ho was not dend, but had been caught up into herren; anil l’roclus, a man of mark, sworo that he saw Romulus ascend into hcaven in his armour as lo was, and that he heard a voico ordering that lic should bo called Quirinus. Another disturbance took place in lomo about the election of the next king, because the new citizens were not yet thoroughly amalgamated with tho old oncs, tho people were unquict, and the patricians suspicious of ono another. Nevertheless they all determined that they would have a king, but they disagreed not merely about who, but of what race he should be.

Romulus's original colonists thought ita monstrous thing that the Sabines, because they had been admitted to a sharo of tho city and tho country, should propose to rulo over it; whilo tho Sabincs not unreasonably urged that becausc, after tho death of Tatius, they had acquiesced in Romulus reigning alone, now in their turn they ought to furnish a king of their own nation. They had not, they will, been adopted by n moro powerful raco than them. melven, but had, by their combination with the Romans, brently raised tho power and renown of their city.

The two races wero at issue on these points. Tho patricians, fearing that confusion might nriso if tho stato woro left witlout a henil, modo ono of their own number every dny, assumo tho insignin of royalty, perform tho unnl sacrifices to tho gods, and transnct business for six liours by day, and six ly night. This cqual division of their periods of rulo was not only just for thoso in oslico, but proventod any jonlonsy of thom being felt by thó populuoo, euch day and night, becauso they saw ono who had been a king becomo a privato person.

This form of government the Romans call an interregnum.

III. But, although they appeared to manage things so smoothly, suspicions and threatenings of disturbanco aroso, for men said that they meditated altoring tho form of government to an oligarchy, in order to keep all political power in tlıcir own hanıls, and would not thcroforo clcct in king. Hereupon the two factions agrcal that ono should select a king from tho ranks of the other. This, they thought, woull both put an end to their quarrels for tho present, and also custro tho candidato who shoulıl bo chonon being iinpartial, because ho won bo friendly to the ono party because it had choson him, and to tho other because he belonged to it by birth. The Sabines gave tho Romans thcir choico which they wonld do; and they deciiled that it would bo better to chooso a Sabino king themselves, than to be ruled by a Roman chosen by thio Salines. After deliberation amongst themselves, they chose Numa Pompilins, a man who was not ono of thoso Sabines who hail settlor in Rome, but whose excellenco was so well-known to all, that the Sabines, as soon as they hearil his name, were even moro cager for him than tho Romans who had chosen him. When they had informel the people of their decision, they sent an embassy to Numa, composed of the lealing men of both partics, to bez of him to come to Rome and assume the crown.

Numa belonged to a celebrated Sabino city, Cures, from which the mitud Romans and Sabines called themselves Quirites. To was the son of Pomponius, an honourablo citizen, and win the youngest of four brothers. L'y a miraculous coincidenco ho wild born on the very day on which lumulus founded lomo; that is, tho tenth day before the Calends of May. Ilis naturally good disposition had been so clucated by sorrow and philosophio pursuits, that lie ruso superior hot merely to commonpinco vicos, but oven to tho worship of bruto forco, so common among barbarians, anil consideroi truo contra go to consist in tho conquest of his own pussions. Accorilingly lo mnished all luxury inil extravagance from his house, and was known us n trusty friend and counsellor, both liy liis auntrymon and by strangers. When at loisiro, ho livroparlod onun orjoymonts und money getting, but dovuto limsoll to the

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »