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( Originally Published Early 1900's )[an error occurred while processing this directive]
B. C. 520-455
GIVES ATHENS A NAVY AND SAVES GREECE
This celebrated Athenian statesman and leader was born somewhere about the year B. C. 520, shortly after the death of Pisistratus. His father was an Athenian citizen of middling rank and circumstances, but his mother was a woman of Thrace or of Caria. In his youth Themistocles is said to have shown a wayward and willful disposition, an inclination to reckless expenditure, a love of display and a fondness for admiration, which clearly fore-shadowed, in the opinion of his biographers, those traits both of nobility and sordidness which distinguished him in his public life.
We first meet with Themistocles at the battle of Marathon, B. C. 490. He and his political rival, Aristides, were among the ten generals who commanded the Athenians on that occasion. Both rendered the cause of Greece an excellent service by exerting their influence with their associate generals to secure for Miltiades the sole command of the army and to leave him free to decide upon the time for giving battle. On this, as on a similar occasion ten years later, they sank their political rivalry, and worked together unselfishly for the best interests of their country.
The victory of Marathon decided a momentous crisis in the affairs of Greece, and it was emphatically a victory for Athens. Single-handed, except for the one thousand Plataeans who had joined her army at the last moment, she had repelled the mighty host of Persia and had saved Greece. Naturally she was elated by her achievement. She felt that it entitled her to a place of the first rank among the Greek states. A glorious future seemed to open before her, and to no one of her citizens did it present itself with greater clearness than to Themistocles. He determined that Athens should derive the full benefit of her opportunity, and he threw himself with his whole soul into the work of guiding her counsels, not, however, as we shall see in the end, from purely patriotic motives, for he labored quite as much for himself as he did for his country. It has been said, and apparently with reason, that the vision which presented itself to the mind of this ambitious and far-seeing leader was Athens become the first State in Greece, and Themistocles the first man in Athens.
The government of Athens at this time was thoroughly democratic. All affairs of state were disposed of in the public assembly, which met at stated short intervals. Here all officers were chosen, all laws were enacted and resolutions adopted by the votes of the people. Any citizen who chose to come forward and who could gain a hearing might advise his fellow-citizens from the "berna," or tribunal, and his influence would depend upon the clearness and force with which he could present his arguments. It was in this public assembly that Themistocles and others who aspired to influence the public policy wielded such power as they had, simply as advisers, and without any prestige derived from constituted authority. The great leaders of Athens, Themistocles and the rest, were private citizens, except when they might choose to be elected to office for some special purpose.
The first great measure upon which Themistocles set his heart was the increase of the naval power of Athens. He well knew that, although the Persians had been defeated, they were preparing for another and more formidable descent upon Greece, and he had the sagacity to see that a large and well-equipped fleet would be the best protection against them. Fortunately for his policy, soon after the battle of Marathon an old feud between Athens and the island of AEgina, which had been suspended during the invasion of the Persians, broke out afresh. In order to carry on successfully the war which followed, it was necessary that Athens should increase her naval force. In this emergency Themistocles came forward in the public assembly with a proposition which, distasteful though it must have been to a large number of the citizens, he had the persuasiveness to carry through, and which virtually laid the foundation of the future naval supremacy of Athens. There was at this time a large surplus of money in the public treasury, arising from the produce of the valuable silver mines at Laurium. These mines, situated in the mountainous district in the southern part of Attica, belonged to the State, but were farmed out to be worked by individual operators, who paid a royalty for the privilege. It had been recently proposed to distribute this sum of money among the citizens, but Themistocles persuaded them, in view of the necessities of the AEginetan war and the possibility of a renewal of the war with Persia, to sacrifice their private advantage to the public good and to appropriate this money to the building of 200 ships. It is probable that the mass of the citizens were influenced more by the immediate need of a fleet in the war with AEgina than by the prospective danger to be apprehended from Persia. "And thus," as Herodotus says, "the AEginetan war saved Greece by compelling the Athenians to make themselves a maritime power." Themistocles succeeded about the same time in passing a decree that twenty new ships should be built every year.
Themistocles was not permitted to carry these and other measures without opposition. He was continually and systematically opposed by Aristides. These two eminent men formed a striking contrast with each other. Themistocles was brilliant, energetic, quick to grasp all the circumstances of a complicated situation, and fertile in resources for meeting every difficulty as it presented itself. The power of unassisted nature was never exemplified more strikingly than in him. No complication or embarrassment ever perplexed him, but the right expedient seemed to occur to him intuitively, and without the necessity for the least premeditation. He judged quickly and unerringly, and his course of action often startled even his friends by its boldness; He was a born leader; in a word one of those men who by sheer force of character compel others to follow them. But these transcendent abilities were marred by a total lack of principle. He was unscrupulous in the means he employed for accomplishing his ends, was notoriously corrupt in an age in which few public men were strictly honest, and he too often employed the great power which he wielded with no thought of the state, but solely for enriching himself. He ended a glorious life by years of deep disgrace a rich man, but an exile, a traitor and a pensioner of the Great King, scheming to undo the very work which had rendered his name illustrious.
A very different man was Aristides. Though inferior to Themistocles in ability, he was incomparably his superior in honesty and integrity. In the administration of public affairs he acted with an eye single to the public good, regardless of party ties and personal friendships.
His uprightness and justice were so universally recognized that he received the surname of the Just. As to the points on which the rivalry of these two great men turned, we have no information. Both men were doubtless equally desirous of promoting the interests of Athens, but they differed as to the means. Aristides, with his more stable character, less sanguine than his rival, would naturally be conservative; he doubtless had misgivings as to the out-come of the new departure advocated by Themistocles, and perhaps also he distrusted the man as well as his measures. But whatever may have been the precise points on which they differed, so violent was the animosity with which they frequently opposed each other, that Aristides is reported to have said, "If the Athenians were wise they would throw us both into the Barathrum." After three or four years of this bitter rivalry the two chiefs appealed to the ostracism, and Aristides was banished. The ostracism, it may be well to explain here, was a peculiar Athenian institution-a sort of political safety-valve--by means of which a citizen who was considered dangerous to the State or who had for any other reason become unpopular, might be exiled for a term of years, with-out any specific charge having been preferred against him. The ballots used were shells, whence the name "ostracism," from ostrakon, a potsherd. There is a story that when the voting between Themistocles and Aristides was in progress, the latter was approached by an unlettered countryman to whom he was not known, and was asked to write "Aristides" on the shell which was handed him, which he did. "And what," he asked, as he handed back the shell, "has Aristides done, that you wish him banished?" "Nothing," was the reply, "but I am tired of always hearing him called the Just."
Themistocles was now left in undisputed control in Athens. No particulars of his administration of affairs have come down to us; but we may be certain that his policy of strengthening the naval power of Athens was never lost sight of, and that he kept his eye continually upon Persia. What he learned of the Persian affairs, through his emissaries and from other sources, may be briefly stated.
The disaster at Marathon stimulated Darius to make a still more strenuous effort to conquer the insolent Greeks. Three years were spent by Darius in busy preparations throughout the whole of his vast empire. In the fourth year occurred a revolt of the Egyptians, and before he could suppress this revolt Darius died. His son, Xerxes, who succeeded him, seems not to have inherited his antipathy for the Greeks; but Xerxes was surrounded by advisers who, from various motives, urged him to prosecute his father's plans, and after two or three years of intermission the preparations for an expedition against Greece were resumed on a still more extensive scale.
At the end of the year B. C. 481 the preparations of Xerxes were completed, and he assembled his mighty host at Sardis. Troops had been collected from all parts of the Persian Empire. Forty-six nations, it is said, were represented in his land force. As for their numbers, they were reckoned, not by thousands, but by tens of thousands. We are told by Herodotus, who doubtless had excellent means of information, and who never wilfully exaggerates, that Xerxes led across the Hellespont into Europe an army of over two and a half millions of fighting men, and that the camp-followers were equally numerous. The fleet of Xerxes was furnished by the Phoenicians and Ionians, and other maritime nations subject to Persia, and is said to have contained 1,207 triremes and 3,000 smaller vessels.
The news of the assembling of this mighty army spread consternation throughout Greece. Opinions were divided as to what should be done in so great an emergency. When Xerxes sent his heralds into Greece to demand "fire and water" in token of submission, according to the Persian custom, the greater number of the States, believing resistance hopeless, were ready to yield to the demand; but Athens and Sparta displayed a quite different spirit. On the invitation of these States a congress of States assembled at Corinth, and here the most strenuous efforts were made to heal the numerous petty jealousies of the Greek States, and to unite them against the common enemy, but without success. In these negotiations Themistocles was the leading spirit. The most that was accomplished was the establishment of a firm alliance between Athens and Sparta, with the addition of Corinth and two or three other smaller States. The leadership was unanimously conferred upon Sparta, both of the land and of the naval force, the latter provision being due to the politic concession of Themistocles, for the naval command seemed rightfully to belong to Athens, inasmuch as nearly two-thirds of the ships in the combined fleet would be hers.
Even the oracle of Delphi was affected by the prevailing depression. The Athenians and Spartans sent envoys to consult this famous oracle, and the response was as gloomy as could well be conceived. "Wretched men, why sit ye there? Quit your land and city and flee afar Fire and sword, in the train of the Syrian chariot, shall overwhelm you. Get away from the sanctuary with your souls steeped in sorrow." The envoys were struck dumb by so terrific a response, and they durst not carry it back to Athens. But they were advised by an influential Delphian to provide themselves with the marks of the humblest supplication and in this guise to approach the oracle a second time. And now the response was a trifle more hopeful. Athene the protecting goddess of Athens could not, indeed, propitiate Zeus, but this assurance was given : "When everything else in the land of Cecrops shall be taken, Zeus grants to Athene that the wooden wall alone shall remain unconquered. . . . O ! divine Salamis, thou shalt destroy the children of women, either at the seed-time or at the harvest."
Those who believe that even the shrine of Delphi was not beyond the reach of influence, other than the divine inflatus of Apollo, have seen in this celebrated response the hand of Themistocles. Certain it is that he made an effective use of it. When the response was carried to Athens, a question arose as to the meaning of the "wooden wall." Some thought that the reference was to the Acropolis that they were directed to fortify this almost inaccessible eminence with a palisade. The greater number took the view of Themistocles that the reference was to the ships of the fleet. To meet the objection that the response seemed to forbode disaster, Themistocles pointed out that those destined to slaughter must be the enemy and not Greeks, else Salamis would have been called "wretched" rather than "divine." The resolution was therefore taken that, if worse came to worst, the population of Athens should leave the city and seek the protection of the ships.
We may pass over the incidents of the march of the Persians into Greece the two disastrous storms which, providentially for the Greeks, destroyed many of the Persian ships; the sea-fight at Artemisium, in which the Creek fleet held its own with the Persian, until obliged to retire before superior numbers; the famous defense of Thermopylae by Leonidas and his his 300 Spartans and come direct to the closing scene of the war at Salamis.
The Greek fleet, numbering 366 ships, of which 200 belonged to Athens, finding itself unable to cope with the Persian fleet on the open sea, withdrew to the small island of Salamis, near Athens, on its way to Troezen. Thermopylae had been passed by the Persians, and they were marching, unopposed, upon Attica. At the urgent request of Themistocles, the Spartan Admiral, Eurybiades, consented to remain for a few days at Salamis, that the ships might be used for transporting the Athenians to a place of safety. The greater number were taken to Troezen and AEgina, where they met with a warm reception; but many could be induced to proceed no farther than Salamis.
When the Persian reached Athens he found only the buildings of a deserted city. At about the same time the Persian fleet arrived and took up its station in the Bay of Phalerum.
Xerxes went down to inspect his fleet, and held a council of war as to the expediency of an immediate attack upon the Greeks. The Kings of Sidon and Tyre, together with the other assembled potentates probably with a view of flattering Xerxes, were for an immediate battle. One voice alone broke the unanimity of the meeting. Artemisia, Queen of Harlicarnassus, in Caria, deprecated the policy of fighting in the narrow strait of Salamis, where the numerous force of Xerxes would be an incumbrance rather than a help. She urged that if the army were marched toward Peloponnesus, the Peloponnesian ships would withdraw from the Grecian fleet, in order to protect their own homes. But though she was listened to with respect, her arguments were overruled, and Xerxes issued orders for the attack to begin on the following morning.
At the same time the army was commanded to march toward Peloponnesus.
At this critical juncture dissension reigned in the Grecian fleet. In a council of war which had been summoned by Eurybiades, Themistocles urged the assembled chiefs to remain at Salamis and give battle to the Persians in the narrow strait, where the superior numbers of the Persians would be of less consequence. But the Peloponnesian commanders were strongly opposed to this plan, their opinion being that the fleet should be taken to the Isthmus of Corinth, and be used in support of the land force, which was engaged in fortifying the isthmus. After a stormy debate the council broke up, having reached a decision to withdraw from Salamis, though the lateness of the hour compelled them to remain until the following morning.
It was with gloomy forebodings that Themistocles retired from the council. The more he reflected on the decision of the council, the more he became convinced that a mistake was about to be made. At a late hour of the night he proceeded to the ship of Eurybiades, where, urging with more freedom, and in greater detail than he had done in the council, the arguments against the removal of the fleet, he succeeded in persuading Eurybiades to convoke another assembly. The commanders, angry at the reopening of a discussion which they had thought closed, were in no mood to be reasonable. The case was desperate, and Themistocles no longer confined himself to argument. He reminded the assembly that 200 of the ships in the fleet belonged to Athens, and he virtually threatened, in case his advice was not followed, to desert the cause of Greece altogether and to seek, with his countrymen, new homes in some distant land. This menace silenced his opponents. Eurybiades, half convinced before, hesitated no longer; without taking a vote, he issued orders for the fleet to remain and to fight at Salamis.
The next day saw the Greeks preparing, however reluctantly, for the coming engagement. But now messengers began coming in from Corinth, representing the distress and anxiety of those who were engaged in defending the isthmus, and urging the assistance of the fleet. The very men who had objected to the second council now clamored for a third. It met and was characterized by the same turbulent dissensions as the former councils. Themistocles perceiving that the decision of the council would be against him, now had resort to one of those bold measures which he knew how to adopt in time of need. Among his slaves was an Asiatic Greek, a man of address and ability and perfectly acquainted with the Persian tongue. Themistocles secretly dispatched this man with a message to Xerxes, representing the dissensions which prevailed in the Greek fleet, and how easy it would be to surround and vanquish an armament both small and disunited. The slave was instructed particularly to impress upon Xerxes that Themistocles was really at heart favorable to the Persian cause ; and, indeed, there is reason to suspect that Themistocles was not now actuated wholly by a patriotic motive, but had an eye to his own future standing with the Persian, in case of the defeat of his countrymen. However this may be, it appears that Xerxes regarded the message as a friendly one, and was confirmed in his resolution to begin the attack without delay.
Meanwhile the debate among the Greeks continued. Themistocles had used every art to protract it and it was long after nightfall before the council broke up, with the understanding that the debate should be resumed at day-break.
Before the abandonment of Athens Themistocles had obtained the passage of a decree recalling all Athenian citizens who were in banishment, and naming particularly his old rival Aristides. It was from Aristides himself, who joined the Athenian fleet in the midst of these discussions, that he first learned of the success of his stratagem. Aristides announced that the whole Persian fleet was closing in upon the Greeks, and that it was only by favor of the darkness that his own vessel had been able to elude them, and the news was soon after confirmed by a. Tean ship which had deserted from the enemy.
Thus did Themistocles, despite the most violent opposition, decide the place at which the Greek fleet should match its weakness with the strength of the Persian. The result of the engagement fully justified the wisdom of his choice. As he had anticipated, the numbers of the Persian ships, far from adding to their strength, proved a source of weakness. Few particulars of the battle of Salamis have come down to us, but the main fact stands out prominently that almost from the first determined onset of the Greeks the Persians were thrown into confusion. They neither acted in concert, nor had they space in which to manoeuver, and the confusion was augmented by the mistrust with which the motley nations composing the Persian armament regarded one another. The number of ships destroyed and sunk is stated at forty on the side of the Greeks and 200 on that of the Persians.
Notwithstanding this signal defeat and loss, the Persian fleet was still formidable in number, while their land force had suffered hardly any loss. The Greeks them-selves did not regard the battle as decisive, and they pre-pared to renew the combat. But they were saved from this necessity by the pusillanimity of Xerxes. The rage and vexation with which he had witnessed the destruction of his fleet for Xerxes had himself been an eye-witness of the battle, seated on a lofty throne which he had caused to be erected on one of the projecting declivities of Mount AEgalecs, opposite Salamis soon gave way to apprehension for his personal safety. Nor were his fears lessened by a second message which he received from the wily Themistocles to the effect that the Greeks had in mind to send their fleet to break down the bridge over the Hellespont, but that he, Themistocles, was restraining them. Xerxes no longer hesitated. He ordered the remnant of his fleet to return at once to Asia, and having left Mardonius with 300,000 men to complete the conquest of Greece, he him-self set out with all haste on his homeward march.
The Greeks pursued the Persian fleet as far as the island of Andros, but without success. They then turned their attention to the punishment of those islands which had sided with Persia ; and now we catch a glimpse of the shady side of the character of Thenistocles. There is reason to believe that instead of imposing fines on the recreant islands for the benefit of the public treasury, a large part of the money he collected was in the form of bribes to secure his protection and went no farther than his own pocket.
All Greece now resounded with the praises of Themistocles. The deliverance just effected was universally ascribed to his foresight and conduct; and when the Grecian commanders met in the Temple of Neptune on the Isthmus of Corinth, to award the palm of individual merit, though no one was generous enough to resign the first place to another, the most were willing to award the second place to Themistocles. Still higher honors awaited him from Sparta, by no means prone to judge favorably of Athenian merit. He was invited thither, according to Plutarch, to be honored. The Spartans gave him a chaplet of olive leaves the same reward they had bestowed on their own admiral. They added a chariot, and to distinguish him above all other foreigners who had ever entered Sparta, they sent an escort of 300 knights to accompany him on his return as far as Tegea.
In the year following the battle of Salamis, Mardonius with his 300,000 Persians was defeated by the Spartans under Pausanias in the decisive battle of Plataea, and Greece was at last and finally relieved from the incubus which had for so many years weighed upon her.
The Athenians now returned to their desolated city, and began to rebuild it on a greater scale than before and to fortify it with a wall. Several of the States which dreaded the growing maritime power of Athens, and especially AEgina, beheld her rising fortifications with dismay. They sought to inspire the Lacedaemonians with their own fears and to induce them to arrest the work. But though Sparta was herself also distrustful of Athens, she could not well interfere by force to prevent a friendly city from exercising a right which belonged to every free State. Accordingly she assumed the hypocritical character of an adviser and counselor. She represented to Athens the danger which might arise in case of another Persian invasion from the existence in Greece of walled towns in which the enemy might fortify himself, and she urged Athens not merely herself to desist from building a wall, but to help to demolish those which already existed in other towns.
The object of this proposal was too transparent to deceive so acute a statesman as Themistocles. But Athens was not yet in a position to incur the danger of openly rejecting it. He, therefore, advised the Athenians to dismiss the Spartan envoys with the assurance that they would send ambassadors to Sparta to explain their views. He then caused himself to be elected one of these ambassadors, together with two others, of whom one was Aristides, and at once set out for Sparta, directing his colleagues to linger behind as long as possible. On arriving at Sparta the absence of his colleagues, at which he affected to be greatly surprised, afforded him an excuse for not at once demanding an audience of the authorities. During the time thus gained the whole population of Athens, of both sexes and of all ages, worked night and day upon the wall, which, when the loitering ambassadors finally arrived in Sparta, was already high enough to afford a tolerable defense. Meanwhile the suspicions of the Spartans had been more than once aroused by messages from the AEginetans respecting the progress of the walls. But Themistocles positively denied their statements, and urged the Spartans to send messengers of their own to Athens to learn the true condition of affairs; at the same time he privately sent instructions to Athens to retain the messengers, as hostages for himself and his colleagues. There was now no longer any motive for concealment. Themistocles threw off the mask and openly avowed the progress of the works, and declared that Athens henceforward would be her own mistress and would consult her own interests. As the works were too far advanced now to be easily taken Sparta was obliged to acquiesce, and the works were completed without further hindrance.
Themistocles now resumed his favorite project of making Athens the greatest maritime power in Greece. It was necessary to this end that she should have a fine harbor, as well as ships. The open roadstead of Phalerurn was unsuited to this purpose. Already he had persuaded his countrymen to improve the natural basin of the Piraeus; but the works begun had been destroyed by the Persians. He now resumed this scheme and on a more magnificent scale. This partly artificial harbor was surrounded with a wall as large as that of the city itself and of a much greater height, and by two long walls it was connected with the city, which was three miles distant from it. The design in building the walls of the Piraeus of extra height was that in time of siege they might be defended by the boys and old men. It seems, however, to have been found impracticable to carry out fully the magnificent project of Themistocles. The walls rose only to the height of about sixty feet, or half of the intended height; but even thus they formed a splendid monument to their projector.
Themistocles becomes henceforward less prominent in Athenian politics, for he is no longer the sole director of affairs. Aristides, his old rival, has recovered fully the esteem and confidence of the Athenians, and renders eminent service, particularly as commander of the fleet. He has abandoned his former hostility to Themistocles, and the two usually work together harmoniously. But in Cimon and Alcmaeon, Themistocles has two violent and able opponents, though these, too, are working in their own way to build up and consolidate the great maritime power of Athens of which he had laid the foundation. The causes which contributed to the downfall of Themistocles appear to have been various, and they have never been very clearly ascertained. Foremost among them seems to have been the offence which he gave the Athenians by his ostentation and vanity. He was continually boasting of his services to the State; and the immense wealth which he took no pains to conceal, had notoriously been amassed by dishonest means by the barter of his services in cases where the interest of the State had been made quite subordinate to his own. Furthermore, the Spartans never for-gave him for the trick he had played upon them in the mat-ter of the wall, and their influence at Athens was directed steadily against him. The effect of the various influences which were brought against him was to embitter factional strife in Athens to such an extent that it was found necessary to resort to the ostracism, and Themistocles was banished for a term of years (B. C. 471).
Themistocles retired to Argos, and here he had remained for four or five years, when the Lacedaemonians discovered evidence of a treasonable correspondence between him and Pausanias, and called upon the Athenians to prosecute their great statesman before a synod of the allies assembled at Sparta. To, escape arrest and trial, which in the present excited state of the public mind, consequent on the discovery of the treason of Pausanias, would almost certainly have resulted in his condemnation and death, Themistocles fled from Argos to Corcyra. The Corcyreans, however willing, were unable to shelter him from the united power of Athens and Sparta, and he crossed over to the opposite shore of Epirus. The Molossians, the most powerful people of this coast, were now ruled over by a King named Admetus, whom Themistocles in the day of his power had thwarted in a suit before the Athenians, and had added insult to disappointment. Themistocles now took the desperate resolution of throwing himself upon the mercy of his personal enemy. Fortunately the King was absent when he arrived a suppliant at his gate, and the Queen of Admetus, whose womanly compassion stifled all feeling of resentment, received him kindly, and instructed him how to act in order to disarm the resentment of her husband and to secure his protection. When the King returned he found Themistocles seated at his hearth holding the young Prince, whom the Queen had placed in his hands. The claims of hospitality are sacred among all nations. The King was touched ; he raised the suppliant with assurance of protection, which he fulfilled when the Athenian and Spartan commissioners followed the fugitive to his mansion, by refusing to surrender his guest. King Admetus afterward furnished Themistocles with the means of effecting his escape to Persia.
Artaxerxes, the son of Xerxes, was now upon the throne of Persia, and to him Themistocles hastened to announce himself by a letter, in which he claimed a reward for his past services in favoring the escape of Xerxes, and promised to effect much for the interest of Persia, if a year were given him for perfecting his plans. The King welcomed the arrival of his illustrious guest and readily granted him the requested delay. In the course of the year Themistocles had learned so much of the Persian language and customs as to be able to communicate personally with the King, and to acquire his confidence. No Greek, says Thucydides, had ever before attained such a commanding influence and position at the Persian court. His ingenuity was now displayed in laying out schemes for the subjugation of Greece to Persia, which were eminently captivating to the monarch, who rewarded him with a Persian wife and large presents, sending him down to Magnesia, near the Ionian coast. The revenues of the district round that town were assigned to him for bread; those of the neighboring seaport of Mylus for articles of condiment, and those of Lampsacus for wine. This was the Persian way of assigning revenues. Though we have no means of determining the amount of the income thus received by Themistocles, it was doubtless princely. How long his residence at Magnesia lasted we do not know. It was here that he died of sickness, sometime between the years B. C. 460 and 447, at the age of sixty-five, without having accomplished any of those plans which he had concerted with the Persian King.
It is unnecessary to add to what has already been said of the character of Themistocles. Nor are comments needed on the baseness of his conduct in the closing years of his life. The spectacle is one of the most painful in the pages of history. It is said that near his end he showed some signs of remorse, and that he requested to have his remains secretly conveyed to Attica. In later years a tomb was pointed out within the Piraeus, which was generally believed to be that of Themistocles. His descendants continued in the time of Plutarch to enjoy some privileges in Magnesia, but neither they nor his posterity at Athens ever revived the luster of his name.