Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][merged small][merged small][graphic]

one thousand nine hundred and fifteen, before Christ two thousand eighty-nine, and before the first Olympiad, one thousand three hundred and thirteen. Its first king was Ægialeus. It is said to have lasted a thousand years. , The kingdom of Argos, in Peloponnesus, began - a thousand and eighty years before the * * * *. o: of Abraham. , The first king was Inachus. This was succeeded by the kingdom of Mycenae, to which place the seat of government was transferred from Argos by Perseus, the grandson of Acrisius, the king of Argos, whom Perseus unfortuna– tely slew. Furystheus, the third in succession from him, was expelled by the Heraclidae, or descendants of Hercules, who made themselves masters of Peloponnesus. The kingdom of Athens was first formed into a regular government by Cecrops, an Egyptian. This prince having quitted Egypt, and spent some time in travelling through Phoenicia and other parts, came at last into Attica, where he married the daughter of Actaeus, the king of that country, and upon his death, succeeded to the throne. He taught the people, who had hitherto led a wandering life, the use of fixed habitations; restrained

A. M. 2448.

all licentious amours , by obliging every man to be content with one wife ; and, for the better admiuis?

tration ef justice, he instituted the celebrated court of Areopagus. Amphictyon, the third king of Athens, established the famous Amphictyonic Council, which makes so capital a figure in the history of Greece. And Codrus, the last prince of this line, devoted himself for the good of his country. For in a war between the Athenians and the Heraclidae, in which the latter had penetrated to the very gates of Athens, Codrus hearing that the Oracle had declared, that that people should prove conquerors, whose king first fell in the contest, disguised himself in the habit of a peasant, and going over to the enemy's camp, provoked one of their common soldiers, who instantly slew him. The Heraclidae, being informed of this circumstance, concluded that heaven had declared against them; and they therefore retreated to their own country without striking another blow. After the death of Codrus, the title of king was abolished at Athens, and that of Archon, or chiefgovernor, substituted in its stead. The duration of this last office was at first for the possessor's life. It was afterwards limited to ten years, and finally to One. Cadmus was the founder of the kingdom of Thebes. To him are attributed sixteen letters of the Greek alphabet; though it is probable he borrowed them from the Phoenician characters, rather than invented them. The adventures

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »