AGITATION AND DEBATES AT ATHENS.--THE MEGARIAN DECREES.-- OPPOSITION TO POLICY OF PERICLES.--INTERFERENCE OF ATHEN- IANS IN SEA-FIGHT BETWEEN CORINTHIANS AND CORCYRAEANS. --SERIOUS BREACH WITH CORINTH.
B.C. 433-432; Ol. 86. 4.
IT is not surprising, after the events narrated in the last chapter, that we have now to attend to signs of excitement and agitation at Athens, where imperial jealousy alone if not prudent apprehension made indifference to foreign naval preparations on such a scale impossible. The terms of the thirty years peace with Sparta put restraint upon direct interference; but certain measures were resorted to which could not but embarrass these proceedings, and while they gratified the peculiar animosity which had been excited by the conduct of Megara, bear the marks of having been dictated by a more serious ulterior policy. In the dearth of records, a notice supplied by Aristophanes of the complications that arose amidst this excitement, is most welcome and important. Dicaeopolis in the Acharnians addresses the spectators directly as to the origin of the war with Sparta, in a vein of seriousness which is scarcely veiled by accompaniments of comic tone and treatment. He intimates that quarrel was first declared by the exclusion of Megarian produce from the Athenian markets, a loss and annoyance that was aggravated by the severity with which denuncia-