F Heritage History | Story of Greece by Mary Macgregor
Contents 
Front Matter Wonderland The Great God Pan The Six Pomegranate Seeds The Birth of Athene The Two Weavers The Purple Flowers Danae and Her Little Son The Quest of Perseus Andromeda and Sea-Monster Acrisius Killed by Perseus Achilles and Briseis Menelaus and Paris Do Battle Hector and Andromache The Horses of Achilles The Death of Hector Polyphemus the Giant Odysseus Escapes from Cave Odysseus Returns to Ithaca Argus the Hound Dies The Bow of Odysseus The Land of Hellas Lycurgus and His Nephew Lycurgus Returns to Sparta Training of the Spartans The Helots Aristomenes and the Fox The Olympian Games The Last King of Athens Cylon Fails to be Tyrant Solon Frees the Slaves Athenians Take Salamis Pisistratus Becomes Tyrant Harmodius and Aristogiton The Law of Ostracism The Bridge of Boats Darius Rewards Histiaeus Histiaeus Shaves His Slave Sardis Is Destroyed Sandal Sewn by Histiaeus Earth and Water Battle of Marathon Miltiades Sails to Paros Aristides is Ostracised The Dream of Xerxes Xerxes Scourges the Hellespont Bravest Men of All Hellas Battle of Thermopylae Battle of Artemisium Themistocles at Salamis Themistocles Tricks Admirals Battle of Salamis Battle of Plataea Delian League Themistocles Deceives Spartans Themistocles is Ostracised Eloquence of Pericles Pericles and Elpinice The City of Athens Great Men of Athens Thebans Attack Plataeans Attica Invaded by Spartans Last Words of Pericles Siege of Plataea The Sentence of Death Brasidas Loses His Shield The Spartans Surrender Brasidas the Spartan Amphipolus Surrenders Alcibiades the Favourite Socrates the Philosopher Alcibiades Praises Socrates Images of Hermes Destroyed Alcibiades Escapes to Sparta The Siege of Syracuse Athenian Army is Destroyed Alcibiades Returns to Athens Antiochus Disobeys Alcibiades Walls of Athens Destroyed March of the Ten Thousand Pelopidas and Epaminondas Seven Conspirators Battle of Leuctra Death of Epaminondas The Two Brothers Timoleon exiles Dionysius Icetes Attacks Timoleon Battle of Crimisus Demosthenes' Wish Greatest Orator of Athens The Sacred War Alexander and Bucephalus Alexander and Diogenes Battle of Granicus The Gordian Knot Darius Gallops from Battle Tyre Stormed by Alexander Battle of Gaugamela Alexander Burns Persepolis Alexander Slays Foster-Brother Porus and His Elephant Alexander Is Wounded The Death of Alexander Demosthenes in the Temple

Story of Greece - Mary Macgregor




Great Men of Athens

Athens, in the age of Pericles, was the home of literary men as well as of sculptors and architects.

Æschylus, one of the greatest men of the age, was a diligent writer of tragedies or serious plays. You will think that he was diligent indeed, when I tell you that he wrote ninety plays, although only seven are known to us now. His tragedies were acted in the great theatre of Dionysus. The Persae, his first play, was written eight years after the great sea-fight at Salamis, to tell of the victory the Athenians had won over the Persians.

Just as races were run, and music was written by competitors to win renown and gain prizes at the festival of Dionysus, so plays were written and prizes were awarded to the successful author at this great feast. These plays might be about the things that were taking place in Greece at that very time, or the plot might be taken from the old-world stories of Troy. Proud and dauntless were the men and women whom Æschylus made to live upon the stage of Athens. Of many of these you will some day read yourself.

Sophocles and Euripides also wrote tragedies, and Euripides is known, too, for the beauty of his songs. He was a magician who made all that he touched radiant with beauty. Many people loved Euripides because of the wonderful songs and plays which he wrote, but some hated him.

Aristophanes, the writer of comedies or amusing plays that made the Athenians laugh with uncontrollable glee, was one of those who disliked Euripides and held up some of his works to scorn. But Socrates, a greater man than he, loved Euripides and called him his favourite poet.

Herodotus was the first great Greek historian. He was not born in Attica, but he lived some years in Athens. He wrote the story of the Persian wars, while Thucydides wrote that of the Peloponnesian war.

Some of the greatest teachers in Greece at this time were called Sophists. A Sophist meant, at first, one who was clever in any special art. It did not matter what the art was; it might be cooking, gardening, teaching.

Protagoras was one of the most famous Sophists, but the Athenians did not treat him well. For he wrote a book which displeased them, so that they condemned it and accused him of writing against the gods of Greece. So angry were his enemies that Protagoras knew that he could no longer live safely in Athens. He fled from the city and set sail for Sicily, but he was drowned before he reached the island.

It was of his dead friend Protagoras that Euripides was thinking when he wrote in one of his plays, 'Ye have slain, O Greeks, ye have slain the nightingale of the muses, the wizard bird that did no wrong.'

These are a few of the great men who, with Ictinus, Pheidias, and many another of whom I have not told, made the glory of Greece known throughout the wide world.