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Pericles   


likeness, which meantime showed itself on either side.
Phidias then was carried away to prison, and there died of a disease;
but, as some say, of poison, administered by the enemies of Pericles,
to raise a slander, or a suspicion at least, as though he had procured
it. The informer Menon, upon Glycon's proposal, the people made free
from payment of taxes and customs, and ordered the generals to take
care that nobody should do him any hurt. About the same time, Aspasia
was indicted of impiety, upon the complaint of Hermippus the comedian,
who also laid further to her charge that she received into her house
freeborn women for the uses of Pericles. And Diopithes proposed a
decree, that public accusations should be laid against persons who
neglected religion, or taught new doctrines about things above, directing
suspicion, by means of Anaxagoras, against Pericles himself. The people
receiving and admitting these accusations and complaints, at length,
by this means, they came to enact a decree, at the motion of Dracontides,
that Pericles should bring in the accounts of the moneys he had expended,
and lodge them with the Prytanes; and that the judges, carrying their
suffrage from the altar in the Acropolis, should examine and determine
the business in the city. This last clause Hagnon took out of the
decree, and moved that the causes should be tried before fifteen hundred
jurors, whether they should be styled prosecutions for robbery, or
bribery, or any kind of malversation. Aspasia, Pericles begged off,
shedding, as Aeschines says, many tears at the trial, and personally
entreating the jurors. But fearing how it might go with Anaxagoras,
he sent him out of the city. And finding that in Phidias's case he
had miscarried with the people, being afraid of impeachment, he kindled
the war, which hitherto had lingered and smothered, and blew it up
into a flame; hoping, by that means, to disperse and scatter these
complaints and charges, and to allay their jealousy; the city usually
throwing herself upon him alone, and trusting to his sole conduct,
upon the urgency of great affairs and public dangers, by reason of
his authority and the sway he bore.
These are given out to have been the reasons which induced Pericles
not to suffer the people of Athens to yield to the proposals of the
Lacedaemonians; but their truth is uncertain.
The Lacedaemonians, for their part, feeling sure that if they could
once remove him, they might be at what terms they pleased with the
Athenians, sent them word that they should expel the "Pollution" with
which Pericles on the mother's side was tainted, as Thucydides tells
us. But the issue proved quite contrary to what those who sent the
message expected; instead of bringing Pericles under suspicion and
reproach, they raised him into yet greater credit and esteem with
the citizens, as a man whom their enemies most hated and feared. In
the same way, also, before Archidamus, who was at the head of the
Peloponnesians, made his invasion into Attica, he told the Athenians
beforehand, that if Archidamus, while he laid waste the rest of the
country, should forbear and spare his estate, either on the ground
of friendship or right of hospitality that was betwixt them, or on
purpose to give his enemies an occasion of traducing him; that then
he did freely bestow upon the state all his land and the buildings
upon it for the public use. The Lacedaemonians, therefore, and their
allies, with a great army, invaded the Athenian territories, under
the conduct of King Archidamus, and laying waste the country, marched
on as far as Acharnae, and there pitched their camp, presuming that
the Athenians would never endure that, but would come out and fight
them for their country's and their honour's sake. But Pericles looked
upon it as dangerous to engage in battle, to the risk of the city
itself, against sixty thousand men-at-arms of Peloponnesians and Boeotians;
for so many they were in number that made the inroad at first; and
he endeavoured to appease those who were desirous to fight, and were
grieved and discontented to see how things went, and gave them good
words, saying, that "trees, when they are lopped and cut, grow up
again in a short time, but men, being once lost, cannot easily be
recovered." He did not convene the people into an assembly, for fear

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