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Pericles   


a numerous and brave army eager for battle; but perceiving that Plistoanax
was a very young man, and governed himself mostly by the counsel and
advice of Cleandrides, whom the ephors had sent with him, by reason
of his youth, to be a kind of guardian and assistant to him, he privately
made trial of this man's integrity, and, in a short time, having corrupted
him with money, prevailed with him to withdraw the Peloponnesians
out of Attica. When the army had retired and dispersed into their
several states, the Lacedaemonians in anger fined their king in so
large a sum of money, that, unable to pay it, he quitted Lacedaemon;
while Cleandrides fled, and had sentence of death passed upon him
in his absence. This was the father of Gylippus, who overpowered the
Athenians in Sicily. And it seems that this covetousness was an hereditary
disease transmitted from father to son; for Gylippus also afterwards
was caught in foul practices, and expelled from Sparta for it. But
this we have told at large in the account of Lysander.
When Pericles, in giving up his accounts of this expedition, stated
a disbursement of ten talents, as laid out upon fit occasion, the
people, without any question, nor troubling themselves to investigate
the mystery, freely allowed of it. And some historians, in which number
is Theophrastus the philosopher, have given it as a truth that Pericles
every year used to send privately the sum of ten talents to Sparta,
with which he complimented those in office, to keep off the war; not
to purchase peace neither, but time, that he might prepare at leisure,
and be the better able to carry on war hereafter.
Immediately after this, turning his forces against the revolters,
and passing over into the island of Euboea with fifty sail of ships
and five thousand men in arms, he reduced their cities, and drove
out the citizens of the Chalcidians, called Hippobotae, horse-feeders,
the chief persons for wealth and reputation among them; and removing
all the Histiaeans out of the country, brought in a plantation of
Athenians in their room; making them his one example of severity,
because they had captured an Attic ship and killed all on board.
After this, having made a truce between the Athenians and Lacedaemonians
for thirty years, he ordered, by public decree, the expedition against
the isle of Samos, on the ground, that, when they were bid to leave
off their war with the Milesians they had not complied. And as these
measures against the Samians are thought to have been taken to please
Aspasia, this may be a fit point for inquiry about the woman, what
art or charming faculty she had that enabled her to captivate, as
she did, the greatest statesmen, and to give the philosophers occasion
to speak so much about her, and that, too, not to her disparagement.
That she was a Milesian by birth, the daughter of Axiochus, is a thing
acknowledged. And they say it was in emulation of Thargelia, a courtesan
of the old Ionian times, that she made her addresses to men of great
power. Thargelia was a great beauty, extremely charming, and at the
same time sagacious; she had numerous suitors among the Greeks, and
brought all who had to do with her over to the Persian interest, and
by their means, being men of the greatest power and station, sowed
the seeds of the Median faction up and down in several cities. Aspasia,
some say, was courted and caressed by Pericles upon account of her
knowledge and skill in politics. Socrates himself would sometimes
go to visit her, and some of his acquaintance with him; and those
who frequented her company would carry their wives with them to listen
to her. Her occupation was anything but creditable, her house being
a home for young courtesans. Aeschines tells us, also, that Lysicles,
a sheep-dealer, a man of low birth and character, by keeping Aspasia
company after Pericles's death, came to be a chief man in Athens.
And in Plato's Menexenus, though we do not take the introduction as
quite serious, still thus much seems to be historical, that she had
the repute of being resorted to by many of the Athenians for instruction
in the art of speaking. Pericles's inclination for her seems, however,
to have rather proceeded from the passion of love. He had a wife that
was near of kin to him, who had been married first to Hipponicus,
by whom she had Callias, surnamed the Rich; and also she brought Pericles,

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