Mosaics of Grecian History

Mosaics of Grecian History

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Excerpt: ... of Greece," vol. iii., p. 66; by Dr. Ernst Curtius. THE PLAGUE AT ATHENS. In the spring of 430 B.C. the Spartans again invaded Attica, and the Athenians shut themselves up in Athens. But here the plague, a calamity more dreadful than war, attacked them and swept away multitudes. This plague, which not only devastated Athens, but other Grecian cities also, is described at considerable length, with a harrowing minuteness of detail, by the Latin poet LUCRETIUS. His description is based upon the account given by Thucydides. We give here only the beginning and the close of it: A plague like this, a tempest big with fate, Once ravaged Athens and her sad domains; Unpeopled all the city, and her paths Swept with destruction. For amid the realms Begot of Egypt, many a mighty tract Of ether traversed, many a flood o'erpassed, At length here fixed it; o'er the hapless realm Of Cecrops hovering, and the astonished race Dooming by thousands to disease and death. Thus seized the dread, unmitigated pest Man after man, and day succeeding day, With taint voracious; like the herds they fell Of bellowing beeves, or flocks of timorous sheep: On funeral, funeral hence forever piled. E'en he who fled the afflicted, urged by love Of life too fond, and trembling for his fate, Repented soon severely, and himself Sunk in his guilty solitude, devoid Of friends, of succor, hopeless and forlorn; While those who nursed them, to the pious task Roused by their prayers, with piteous moans commixt, Fell irretrievable: the best by far, The worthiest, thus most frequent met their doom. --Trans. by J. MASON GOOD. THE DEATH OF PERICLES. Oppressed by both war and pestilence, the Athenians were seized with rage and despair, and accused Pericles of being the author of their misfortunes. But that determined man still adhered to his plans, and endeavored to soothe the popular mind by an expedition against Peloponnesus, which he commanded in person. After committing devastations upon...show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 176 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 10mm | 327g
  • Rarebooksclub.com
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236703243
  • 9781236703248