Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/70

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must often have been recalled to the minds of the ancient Greeks, by the sight of one in particular of the memorials of the great battle which he won. This was the remarkable statue (minutely described by Pausanias), which the Athenians, in the time of Pericles, caused to be hewn out of a huge block of marble which, it was believed, had been provided by Datis, to form a trophy of the anticipated victory of the Persians. Phidias fashioned out of this a colossal image of the goddess Nemesis; the deity, whose peculiar function was, to visit the exuberant prosperity both of nations and individuals with sudden and awful reverses. This statue was placed in a temple of the goddess at Rhamnus, about eight miles from

    into prison and died there, and of his having been saved from death only by the interposition of the Prytanis of the day are, I think, rightly rejected by Mr. Grote as the fictions of after ages. The silence of Herodotus respecting them is decisive. It is true that Plato, in the Gorgias, says that the Athenians passed a vote to throw Miltiades into the Barathrum, and speaks of the interposition of the Prytanis in his favour; but it is to be remembered that Plato, with all his transcendant genius, was (as Niebuhr has termed him) a very indifferent patriot, who loved to blacken the character of his country's democratical institutions; and if the fact was that the Prytanis, at the trial of Miltiades, opposed the vote of capital punishment, and spoke in favour of the milder sentence, Plato, in a passage (written to show the misfortunes that befell Athenian statesmen) would readily exaggerate this fact into the story that appears in his text.