The Age of Pericles: A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War - Vol. 2

By William Watkiss Lloyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XLII.
THE ADMINISTRATION OF PERICLES IN PEACE.--THUCYDIDES SON OF MELESIAS.--THE SCRUTINY OF CITIZENSHIP.
B.C. 445-441.

DIODORUS notes, under the archon Diphilus ( 442-41 B.C.), that the world was in the enjoyment of universal peace. The Persians were under treaty with Athens with respect to the Hellenic cities in Asia; the peace for thirty years was subsisting between Athens and Sparta; Western Hellas was equally at rest by the pacification of Syracuse and Agrigentum, of Sicily and Carthage; Italy, Gaul, and Spain were quiet. The records of the human race at large were free for a time from tales of war and bloodshed; an interval occurred when it remained for peace to furnish happier incidents of varied and often dignified importance,--the festive assemblages for competitions in arts and the contests in public games, periodical solemnities and sacrifices to the merciful gods, the extension of intercourse by travel and commerce, vicissitudes of taste, advance of knowledge, and whatever pertains and conduces to the truer nobleness and happiness of mankind.

The suspension of hostilities between Sparta and Athens was destined to last only for fourteen out of the stipulated thirty years, but these fourteen years of peace, preceded as

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