A-1 A reading from the second Book of Maccabees
I do not doubt that there will be many, 1 Atticus, who will think this kind of writing 2 trifling in its nature, and not sufficiently adapted to the characters of eminent men, when they shall find it related who taught Epaminondas music, or see it numbered among his accomplishments, that he danced gracefully, and played skilfully on the flutes 3.
But these will be such, for the most part, as, being unacquainted with Greek literature, will think nothing right but what agrees with their own customs. If these readers will but understand that the same things are not becoming or unbecoming among all people, but that every thing is judged by the usages of men's forefathers, they will not wonder that we, in setting forth the excellencies of the Greeks, have had regard to their manners.
For to Cimon, an eminent man among the Athenians, it was thought no disgrace to have his half-sister, 4 by the father's side, in marriage, as his countrymen followed the same practice; but such a union, according to the order of things among us, is deemed unlawful.
At Lacedaemon there is no widow 6 so noble that will not go upon the stage, if engaged for a certain sum. Through the whole of Greece it was accounted a great glory to be proclaimed a conqueror at Olympia; while to appear upon the stage, and become a spectacle to the public, 7 was a dishonour to no one in that nation; but all these practices are, with us, deemed partly infamous, partly mean, and at variance with respectability.
On the other hand, many things in our habits are decorous, which are by them considered unbecoming; for what Roman is ashamed to bring his wife to a feast, or whose consort does not occupy the best room in the house, and live in the midst of company?
But in Greece the case is far otherwise; for a wife is neither admitted to a feast, except among relations, nor does she sit anywhere but in the innermost apartment of the house, 8 which is called the gynaeconitis, and into which nobody goes who is not connected with her by near relationship.
But both the size of my intended volume, and my haste to relate what I have undertaken, prevent me from saying more on this point. We will therefore proceed to our subject, and relate in this book the lives of eminent commanders. Miltiades leads out a colony to the Chersonese; is mocked by the people of Lemnos, I.
AT the time when Miltiades, the son of Cimon, an Athenian, was eminent above all his countrymen, both for the antiquity of his family, the glory of his forefathers, and his own good conduct, 9 and was of such an age that his fellow citizens might not only hope well of him, but assure themselves that he would be such as they found him when he became known, it chanced that the Athenians wished to send colonists to the Chersonese.
The Pythia expressly directed them, when they put the question, to take Miltiades as their commander, as, if they did so, their undertakings would be successful. Upon this answer from the oracle, Miltiades set out for the Chersonese with a fleet, accompanied by a chosen body of men, 12 and touched at Lemnos, when, wishing to reduce the people of the island under the power of the Athenians, and requesting the Lemnians to surrender of their own accord, they, in mockery, replied that "they would do so, whenever he, leaving home with a fleet, should reach Lemnos by the aid of the wind Aquilo;" for this wind, rising from the north, is contrary to those setting out from Athens.
Miltiades, having no time for delay, directed his course to the quarter to which he was bound, and arrived at the Chersonese. Having there, in a short time, scattered the forces of the barbarians, and made himself master of all the territory that he had desired, he strengthened suitable places with fortresses, 13 settled the multitude, which he had brought with him, in the country, and enriched them by frequent excursions.
Nor was he less aided, in this proceeding, by good conduct than by good fortune, for after he had, by the valour of his men, routed the troops of the enemy, he settled affairs with the greatest equity, and resolved upon residing in the country himself.
He held, indeed, among the inhabitants, the authority of a king, though he wanted the name; and he did not attain this influence more by his power than by his justice. Nor did he the less, on this account, perform his duty to the Athenians, from whom he had come. From these circumstances it happened that he held his office in perpetuity, not less with the consent of those who had sent him, than of those with whom he had gone thither.
Having settled the affairs of the Chersonese in this manner, he returned to Lemnos, and called on the people to deliver up their city to him according to their promise; for they had said that when he, starting from home, should reach their country by the aid of the north wind, they would surrender themselves; "and he had now a home," he told them, "in the Chersonese.
With like success he reduced some other islands, which are called the Cyclades, under the power of the Athenians. About the same period, Darius, king of Persia, resolved upon transporting his army from Asia into Europe, and making war upon the Scythians.
He constructed a bridge over the river Ister, by which he might lead across his forces.WITH CONGRESS FOISTING socialized medicine on unwilling Americans, the leading figure behind health care reform is the Jewish billionaire George Soros joined by Jewish medical, political, and academic professionals.
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