zenktar_18.pdf - The Project Gutenberg eBook of Plutarch's...

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2/5/2021 The Project Gutenberg eBook of Plutarch's Lives, Vol.II, by Aubrey Stewart & George Long. 203/253 Indeed, Lichas the Spartan became renowned throughout Greece for nothing except having entertained all the strangers who were present at the festival of the Gymnopædia: while the profuse hospitality of Kimon, both to strangers and his own countrymen, far surpassed even the old Athenian traditions of the heroes of olden days; for though the city justly boasts that they taught the rest of the Greeks to sow corn, to discover springs of water, and to kindle fire, yet Kimon, by keeping open house for all his countrymen, and allowing them to share his crops in the country, and permitting his friends to partake of all the fruits of the earth with him in their season, seemed really to have brought back the golden age. If any scurrilous tongues hinted that it was merely to gain popularity and to curry favour with the people that he did these things, their slanders were silenced at once by Kimon's personal tastes and habits, which were entirely aristocratic and Spartan. He joined Aristeides in opposing Themistokles when the latter courted the mob to an unseemly extent, opposed Ephialtes when, to please the populace, he dissolved the senate of the Areopagus, and, at a time when all other men except Aristeides and Ephialtes were gorged with the plunder of the public treasury, kept his own hands clean, and always maintained the reputation of an incorruptible and impartial statesman. It is related that one Rhœsakes, a Persian, who had revolted from the king, came to Athens with a large sum of money, and being much pestered by the mercenary politicians there, took refuge in the house of Kimon, where he placed two bowls beside the door-posts, one of which he filled with gold, and the other with silver darics. [311] Kimon smiled at this, and inquired whether he wished him to be his friend, or his hired agent; and when the Persian answered that he wished him to be a friend, he said, "Then take this money away; for if I am your friend I shall be able to ask you for it when I want it." XI. When the allies of Athens, though they continued to pay their contribution towards the war against Persia, refused to furnish men and ships for it, and would not go on military expeditions any longer, because they were tired of war and wished to cultivate their fields and live in peace, now that the Persians no longer threatened them, the other Athenian generals endeavoured to force them into performing their duties, and by taking legal proceedings against the defaulters and imposing fines upon them, made the Athenian empire very much disliked. Kimon, on the other hand, never forced any one to serve, but took an equivalent in money from those who were unwilling to serve in person, and took their ships without crews, permitting them to stay at home and enjoy repose, and by their luxury and folly convert themselves into farmers and merchants, losing all their ancient

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