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Thucydides' portrait of Kleon Boundy, Deane Floyd 1966

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THUCYDIDES' PORTRAIT OF KLEON by DEANE FLOYD BOUNDY B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Columbia, 1961 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n t h e Department of CLASSICS We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1966 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h . Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for ex-tensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It is •understood that copying or publication of this thesis for finan^ cial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of CC/) SS, ' C S  The University of Br i t ish Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada Date ABSTRACT I t i s P r o f e s s o r A. G. Woodhead who r e c a l l s t h a t , s i n c e the time o f the n i n e t e e n t h - c e n t u r y h i s t o r i a n George G r o t e , Thucydidean s c h o l a r s have d i v i d e d themselves i n t o p r o - K l e o n and a n t i - K l e o n camps, w i t h t h e l a t t e r group more th a n h o l d i n g i t s own. I t i s the purpose o f t h i s s t u d y to j o i n f o r c e s w i t h the p r o - K l e o n camp,and t o r e h a b i l i t a t e K l e o n . K l e o n has always h e l d i n t e r e s t f o r s t u d e n t s o f the P e l o p o n -n e s i a n War; the e v i d e n c e about him both i n Thucydides and i n the o t h e r a n c i e n t sources i s almost c o n s i s t e n t l y d e r o g a t o r y , and y e t on d e t a i l e d e x a m i n a t i o n o f the sources the s t u d e n t can b a r e l y r e s i s t a murmur o f d i s s e n t from the p e r s i s t e n t condemnation the man r e c e i v e s . T h i s s t u d y seeks to f i n d j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s d i s s e n t , and to r e s t o r e K l e o n t o a p l a c e o f r e s p e c t and i n t e g -r i t y . I t i s n o t my aim to redeem K l e o n from charges o f c o a r s e n e s s and unorthodox manners. The comic p o e t s d i d n o t f a s t e n upon him so r e a d i l y w i t h o u t r e a s o n . What t h i s s t u d y seeks i s t o r e -s t o r e K l e o n * s s t a t u s as a p o l i t i c i a n , statesman, and e n e r g e t i c war l e a d e r . To do t h i s , i t has been n e c e s s a r y t o examine w i t h care a l l t h e evidence o f the a n c i e n t s o u r c e s , and, w i t h e q u a l c a r e , t o e v a l u a t e i t . I have s t u d i e d , f i r s t , T h u c y d i d e s 1 p o r t r a i t o f the demagogue, n o t e d t h e i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s o f t h a t p o r t r a i t , i i i and searched f o r t h e i r causes and t h e i r meaning. The r e s u l t has been a c o n v i c t i o n t h a t Thucydides has t r e a t e d K l e o n un-f a i r l y , and has condemned him w i t h o u t j u s t cause. I have t u r n e d , i n the second 1 p l a c e , t o the o t h e r a n c i e n t e v i d e n c e , t h a t i s , a s i d e from A r i s t o p h a n e s . Here we see t h a t a l l the evid e n c e l o o k s back t o Thucydides and the a n t i - d e m o c r a t i c t r a d i t i o n , e x cept f o r s h a f t s o f l i g h t here and t h e r e t h a t , i f n o t f l a t t e r i n g o f K l e o n , a t l e a s t do n o t condemn him a vue d ' o e i l . F i n a l l y , I have c o n s u l t e d the comic p o e t A r i s t o p h a n e s , to f i n d t h a t h i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n o f the dema-gogue, w h i l e l a u d a b l e as comedy, i s u n t e n a b l e as h i s t o r y . Ah e x a m i n a t i o n and a n a l y s i s o f the evi d e n c e f o r c e s the c o n c l u s i o n t h a t o n l y Thucydides i s r e l i a b l e as a source f o r a p p r a i s i n g the c h a r a c t e r o f K l e o n ; even so, we may c a l l i n t o q u e s t i o n the h i s t o r i a n ' s judgements. The c o n c l u s i o n o f the s t u d y , t h e r e f o r e , i s c l e a r l y s t a t e d : . K l e o n was a w i s e r and more i n t e l l i g e n t statesman, w i t h a b e t t e r r e p u t a t i o n and more j u s t e n t i t l e m e n t to fame and honour, than our p r i n c i p a l a u t h o r i t i e s l e a d us t o sup-pose. TABLE OF CONTENTS INTRODUCTION . . .. . . . . . . • .. 1 Chapter I . THUGIX-IDES' PORTRAIT OF KLEON 3 I I . THE EVIDENCE OF LATER SOURCES. . . . .38 I I I . ARISTOPHANES' PORTRAIT OF KLEON. . . .45 IV. EVALUATION AND CONCLUSION . 79 I n t r o d u c t i o n I t i s the purpose of t h i s study to r e h a b i l i t a t e Kleon; to seek to uncover, beneath the s t a r k l y etched p o r t r a i t of Kleon, another f i g u r e , more commendable, more noble, than that presented by the h i s t o r i a n ; to c a l l i n t o question Thucydides' a p p r a i s a l of the demagogue as unjust and biassed to the p o i n t of d i s t o r t i n g the true f i g u r e of the man* Whether tha t derogatory representation was d e l i b e r a t e , or the uncon-scious r e s u l t of an embittered mind, may not f i n a l l y be de-termined, but that Thucydides presented and set f o r p o s t e r i t y an u n f a i r judgement w i l l be argued. This study w i l l not deny that Kleon was a man of v i o l e n t temper and f i e r c e p o l i t i c a l c o n v i c t i o n s , a b i t t e r speaker, coarse i n h a b i t s and i n speech perhaps, and l a c k i n g i n the f i n e graces of the t r a d i t i o n a l Athenian c u l t u r e . What w i l l be argued i s that Thucydides has u n f a i r l y portrayed Kleon, i n a d d i t i o n , as a war-monger, cor-r u p t , l a c k i n g i n both p o l i t i c a l i n s i g h t and p o l i t i c a l honesty, indeed, the cause of the wholesale degeneration and c o l l a p s e of Athens a f t e r the death of P e r i k l e s . These are charges that Thucydides makes i n a l l seriousness, and that the poet A r i s t o -phanes, whose works w i l l also be considered, expands and i n -t e n s i f i e s with a l l the r i d i c u l e and indecency that the comic drama could allow. This study w i l l seek, furthermore, to d e l i v e r Kleon from h i s long-standing t r a d i t i o n a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n as a v i l l a i n and a rogue, to c o r r e c t the u n c r i t i c a l observations about him t h a t are found i n general works of a l l k i n d s . Por i n s t a n c e , Rogers - 2 -w r i t e s i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to t h e K n i g h t s : " C l e o n , a l e a t h e r -s e l l e r , son o f C l e a e n e t u s , was a most p e r s u a s i v e o r a t o r , f u l l o f r e s o u r c e , but c o r r u p t and r a p a c i o u s beyond o t h e r s . . . . " A g a i n , i n a comment on P y l o s , Rogers w r i t e s : "But C l e o n , who was no statesman, demanded such terms as were r e a l l y out o f the Spartans* power to g r a n t . ...,."* P h i l i p Myers, i n h i s H i s t o r y o f Greece, w r i t e s : " Having a r r i v e d a t Pylons, C l e o n , n o t by good g e n e r a l -s h i p , but t h r o u g h good f o r t u n e , a c t u a l l y d i d a c c o m p l i s h what o a s t o n i s h e d t h e whole H e l l e n i c w o r l d , h i m s e l f p r o b a b l y i n c l u d e d . " Such d i s p a r a g i n g l e g a c i e s from Thucydides a r e l e g i o n i n g e n e r a l h i s t o r i c a l works, and i t i s the i n t e n t i o n o f t h i s s t u d y t o d i s -p e l some o f the myths t h a t have hovered over K l e o n * s grave f o r more th a n two m i l l e n i a . The f i r s t p a r t o f the st u d y w i l l be an e x a m i n a t i o n o f t h e evid e n c e o f Thucydides; then i t w i l l be n e c e s s a r y t o t u r n to an e v a l u a t i o n o f the o s t e n s i b l y c o r r o b o r a t i n g m a t e r i a l o f A r i s t o -phanes, and t o survey the comic t r a d i t i o n on K l e o n , i n o r d e r t o r e l a t e i t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , ^ i f any, to the e v i d e n c e of Thucydides. F i n a l l y , t h i s s t u d y w i l l seek t o e x p l a i n why Thucydides, an h i s t o r i a n whose i n t e g r i t y and power are endorsed by a l l s t u d e n t s , c o u l d t r e a t K l e o n as he has t r e a t e d him.. A r i s t o p h a n e s , Comedies, t r a n s l a t e d by B.B.Rogers(Loeb  C l a s s i c a l L i b r a r y . London and Cambridge, Mass., 1940), I , p p . l 2 0 - 1 2 1 . 2. P. Meyers, H i s t o r y of Greece (Boston,1895),p.314. CHAPTER ONE Thucydides* P o r t r a i t of Kleon Thucydides' History leaves no doubt that the h i s t o r i a n viewed Kleon as a contemptible and unworthy fellow. He i s i n -troduced to the reader as "the most violent man at Athens."^ He i s given a rather gratuitous second introduction at the time of the Pylos incident, with a reminder of his "having the great-2 est influence" with the multitude. The repeated superlative 7ri©avcoraToq , placed as i t i s the second time with emphasis, i s a pregnant epithet; indeed, according to A. G. Woodhead, i t 3 "lends to the description oT)p,aY<*>Y°S a s i n i s t e r flavour...." He supports war, the h i s t o r i a n says, for i n peace "he would be more manifest i n h i s v i l l a i n i e s and less credited i n his calum-4 nies." He i s , i n a word, the type of man whom wise men are 5 better r i d of. The condemnation could not be more e x p l i c i t . A. ¥. Gomme, certainly, i s right when he says, " i f Kleon was i n fact a vulgar demagogue and most mischievous p o l i t i c i a n , i t was the historian's duty to represent him as one." This 1. 111,36,6. 2. IV, 21,3. 3. A. G. Woodhead, Mnemo syne. XIII (i960), p. 311. 4. V,16,l (trans. C. P. Smith). 5. IV,28,5. 6. A. W. Gomme, More Essays i n Greek History and Literature (Oxford, 1962),p.112. - 4 -study w i l l not c a l l into question Kleon's lack of decorum; i t w i l l dispute the label "mischievous p o l i t i c i a n . " In order to do so, I s h a l l examine the three episodes i n which Kleon appears i n the History: Mytilene, Pylos, and Amphipolis. Sig n i f i c a n t i n the study of Thucydides' treatment of the demagogue Kleon are the historian's oligarchic and a n t i -democratic p o l i t i c a l sympathies. M. P. McGregor, i n arguing the o l i g a r c h i c sentiments of Thucydides, speaks*: of the h i s t o r -7 ian's "natural antipathy to democracy." In one of the few passages of the History i n which Thucydides reveals his per-sonal views, he says of the moderate oligarchy of the Five Thousand established i n 411/0, "During the f i r s t period the Athenians appear to have enjoyed the best government they ever had, at least i n my time; f o r there was a moderate blend-ing of the few and the many." Thucydides was b i t t e r l y con-demnatory of the democracy as i t developed after P e r i k l e s , ^ and the History, indeed, becomes i n part a drama of selected 7. M. F. McGregor, Phoenix. X (1956),p.100. 8. VIII,97,2 (trans. C, F. Smith). 9. Woodhead has examined Thucydides' phraseology i n 11,65 to demonstrate t h i s (pp.294-295). - 5 -i n c i d e n t s i n t e n d e d to demonstrate how t h e d o w n f a l l o f Athens was the d i r e c t r e s u l t o f the weaknesses o f t h e d e m o c r a t i c s y s -tem. 1^ And, w h i l e Thucydides does n o t mention him by name,there was no doubt i n the h i s t o r i a n ' s mind t h a t K l e o n was one o f the p r i n c i p a l c o n t r i b u t o r s t o the system t h a t he f e l t u l t i m a t e l y de-s t r o y e d h i s b e l o v e d Athens. I n examining the p o r t r a i t o f K l e o n , t h e r e f o r e , we s h o u l d bear i n mind t h a t he i s d e s c r i b e d by a p e r -son o f q u i t e a n t i t h e t i c a l c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l s y mpathies. The f i r s t e p isode r e l e v a n t t o the s t u d y i s t h e debate con-c e r n i n g M y t i l e n e . M y t i l e n e had r e v o l t e d i n the t h i r d y e a r o f the war. The r e v o l t was s u c c e s s f u l l y c rushed and t h e A t h e n i a n a s -sembly under t h e l e a d e r s h i p o f K l e o n c a r r i e d the f o l l o w i n g motion: t o p u t t o death n o t o n l y the p r i s o n e r s a t Athens, but t h e whole a d u l t male p o p u l a t i o n o f M y t i l e n e , and to make s l a v e s o f the women and c h i l d r e n . 1 1 K l e o n f i r s t appears i n the History at t h e p o i n t when a second debate i s c a l l e d t o r e c o n s i d e r t h e motion. K l e o n 10. A. H. M. Jones ( A t h e n i a n Democracy [New l o r k , 1958]) argues t h a t Thucydides r e v e a l s h i s condemnation of the democracy by h i s s p e c i f i c s e l e c t i o n and t r e a t m e n t o f c e r t a i n i n c i d e n t s t h a t took p l a c e i n t h e course of the war ( e s p e c i a l l y pp.64-65). J . H. P i n l e y , on the o t h e r hand, (Thucydides [Cambridge, Mass., 1942]) more c a u t i o u s l y admits o n l y t h a t the H i s t o r y becomes a c o n f i r m a t i o n o f the prophecy o f P e r i k l e s t h a t i t would be Athens' e r r o r s t h a t would d e s t r o y her ( p . 1 4 2 ) . I f o l l o w t h e v i e w o f Jo n e s . 11. 111,36,2. - 6 -i s s u p p o r t i n g h i s motion o f t h e p r e v i o u s day, and on i n t r o -d u c i n g him Thucydides d e s c r i b e s him as p i a i o T a T o c ; TOOV 7toXtrc5v and rep 6iiytcp niOavcoraroc; . The i n t r o d u c t i o n s are s t r i k i n g , n o t o n l y because i t i s Thucydides' normal method to l e a v e 12 the r e a d e r t o make h i s own judgments, but because o f the d e c i d e d l y d i s p a r a g i n g tone o f the words used. Woodhead un-13 e q u i v o c a l l y r a t e s them "smear words," and t h e y are " v i o l e n t 14 i n p r e j u d i c e , " a c c o r d i n g to L. Pe a r s o n . A. W. Gomme, who i s more c o n s e r v a t i v e i n h i s remarks, admits t h a t t h e y an-t i c i p a t e t he e v i d e n c e . "There a re l e s s c o l o u r f u l p h r a s e s Thucydides might have used t o ex p r e s s the f a c t t h a t K l e o n r e x v f l net* k]%rc£i picj. laxucrs 7tpo<5 TO 7r£i'6eiv ."*" B u t , by c a r e f u l s e l e c t i o n o f words, the h i s t o r i a n c o n d i t i o n s the r e a d e r ' s a t t i t u d e to K l e o n b e f o r e t h e r e i s an o p p o r t u n i t y of independent assessment. Hence the i n s i g h t o f Woodhead's q u e s t i o n , "Without them s h o u l d we i n f a c t r e g a r d the speech 16 i n the l i g h t Thucydides r e q u i r e s ? " Would the r e a d e r be v as l i k e l y t o d e s c r i b e K l e o n ' s address as a " v o l c a n i c t i r a d e " ? 12. Thucydides has no i n t r o d u c t o r y comment on N i k i a s i n the P y l o s d e b a t e , when Kleon i s e x p r e s s l y condemned ( I V , 2 7 ) . 13. Woodhead, p.298. 14. I n a b r i e f r e f e r e n c e to K l e o n , T.A.P.A.. LXXVTII (1947),p.53. 15. Woodhead,p.298. 16. Woodhead, p.298. 17. P i n l e y , p.171. - 7 -While there i s no doubt Thucydides intends, to a great extent, both speeches to indicate that decadence that he be-lieved followed the death of Perikles, one may see how the hi s t o r i a n shows approval of Diodotos' po s i t i o n and condem-nation of Kleon's. I t quickly becomes apparent that, where-as the narrative states that a second debate was held be-cause of a revulsion of f e e l i n g at the cruelty of the motion, 18 the central theme of the debate has to do not with sentiments 19 but with p l a i n , expedient, imperial p o l i c y : what i s to be the p r i n c i p a l method of maintaining subject peoples i n obed-ience? Diodotos wants to f o r e s t a l l revolt by more v i g i l a n t 20 21 administration; Kleon wants to f o r e s t a l l revolt through fear. Thucydides c r i t i c i z e s Kleon's arguments f i r s t by demonstrating that, the motion having been rejected, none of Kleon's pro-22 phecies come to pass. Later, when Skione revolted, the extreme penalty was voted and executed, yet Mende soon after-wards also deserted Athens. 2^ 18. 111,48,1. 19. 111,44,3. 20. 111,46,4. 21. 111,40,8. 22. 111,39,7. 23. But see Kleon's promise i n 111,40,8. - 8 -Again i n the composition of the debate i t i s Diodotos who r e -c a l l s P e r i k l e s i n h i s t h e s i s of ebfiovkia and i n h i s p l e a f o r 24 the greatest l i b e r t y of debate. I t i s Diodotos who, l i k e P e r i k l e s , f i g h t s against imprudent anger of the people, Kleon who supports i t s use, f o r the making of d e c i s i o n s . Thucydides endorses the strengths of Diodotos' speech, while i n Kleon's 2 he shows . "a v e i l e d disapproval of the excesses of imp e r i a l i s m . " On the other hand Kleon seems to reecho P e r i k l e s i n phraseology. Thus 11,63,2 ( P e r i k l e s ) , abc; rupavvt'&a yap nbr\ exefe aurtiv, r\v AaPeTv p,ev aSinov Sonet e l v a t , acpeTvat 6e e7riHt'v6uvov , may be compared with 111,37 ,5 (Kleon), O U H kitIHivSuvooc, fjYeTcr9e Ic; upaq nai ouw Ic; T T J V T C E V c;up,u.d*xa>v Xcxptv p,aXaHr^ecr©ai, 0 6 0"KO7rouvTec; o n -rupavvt'Sa exere rr\v apx^v .... Echoes occur again when Kleon declares himself f a i t h f u l to 24. Compare 11,40,2 with 111,42,2. 25. Jacqueline de Romilly, Thucydides and Athenian Im- p e r i a l i s m , t r a n s . P h i l i p ) Thody (Oxford, 1963), p. 192. Mme, de Romi l l y w r i t e s , "In the two episodes of Mytilene and P y l o s , as we have seen, Thucydides expresses the same v e i l e d disapproval on the excesses of imperialism. I t must be added t h a t t h i s s p i r i t of censure accounts f o r everything else that Thucydides says - or does not say - about Cleon." - 9 -one p o i n t of view ( I I I , 3 8 , 1 ) , 'EY"> P-ev ouv oauToq eip,t Tfj yY<x>w,x\ . P e r i k l e s had s a i d (11,61,2), kyoj \xev 6 abroq eip,i • •.»» F u r t h e r , when Kleon i r o n i c a l l y d e s c r i b e s the a l t e r n a t i v e to vigorous r u l e , he says (111,40,4), r\ 7caue00at xr\c, apxr\<; nai IK TOU anivSuvou av6paYa6i'£eo*0ai . P e r i k l e s had s a i d (11,63,2), et TIC, nai robe ev T$ 7tapovTi 6e6ta)<5 artpaTPOCvvxi avbpayaQxierai • I t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , furthermore, t h a t the verb avbpayaQiteaQai i s not found e l s e -where, e i t h e r i n Thucydides or i n any other l i t e r a t u r e of the c l a s s i c a l e r a ( i n f a c t , A r i s t o t l e uses i t ; see L.S.J . , L e x i c o n , s . v . ) . These v e r b a l c o r r e l a t i o n s have a d i s t i n c t importance i n 26 the a n a l y s i s of Thucydides' treatment of Kleon. A. Andrewes w r i t e s , "In Thutcydides' c a r e f u l s t y l e such echoes cannot be 27 a c c i d e n t a l , nor i s t h e i r i n t e n t i o n i n doubt." A. W. Gomme reminds us of another source t h a t d e p i c t s Kleon as the i m i t a t o r 28 of P e r i k l e s , t h a t i s , Aristophanes. I n the Mytilenean de-bate, then, Kleon beco ;mes Mthe i m i t a t o r , t a k i n g up f o r v i o l e n t and ( i n comparison) t r i v i a l purposes the phrases i n which p e r i k l e s had d i s p l a y e d h i s steady i n s i g h t i n t o the l a r g e s t i s -" " 2 9 ' ' V ! sues." Thucydides thus moves from c r i t i c i s m o f p o l i c y to 26. Mme. de R o m i l l y denies t h i s . For her arguments see pp.164-166. 27. A. Andrewes, "The My t i l e n e Debate," Phoenix, XVI (1962), p.75. 28. A. W. Gomme, A H i s t o r i c a l Commentary on Thucydides. I I (Oxford, 1956), p.311. 29. Andrewes, p.75. r i d i c u l e of person, i n order to p o r t r a y Kleon as he sees him. Hence the i n t e n t of the i n t r o d u c t o r y comment i s c l a r i f i e d by an a n a l y s i s of the treatment of the speeches. Thucydides d i s -l i k e d Kleon. He sought, f i r s t , to c o n d i t i o n the reader to the same view. Then, by disparagement through r i d i c u l e , and i l -l u s t r a t i o n of the weakness of h i s argument, the h i s t o r i a n sought to enforce the judgement. Evidence i s not l a c k i n g , however, to demonstrate the strengths of Kleon's p o l i c y . Athens was at war. She had a l -ready s u f f e r e d great hurt and h u m i l i a t i o n . She had been sub-j e c t e d to the systematic i n v a s i o n and ravaging of A t t i c a by 30 the Peloponnesians; she had been s e r i o u s l y weakened by an 31 epidemic. A Spartan f l e e t under A l k i d a s had been roaming the Aegean. Now M y t i l e n e , a c i t y of s i g n i f i c a n t power and p o s i t i o n , had r e v o l t e d . She was an i s l a n d belonging n a t u r a l l y to the Athenian Empire, from which no one could detach her 32 against her own w i l l , possessing a f l e e t t h a t was precious 30. 11,19,2. 11,23,1. 31. 111,13,3. 32. As Kleon p o i n t s out with f o r c e , 111,39,2 for Athens and no less so for Sparta. Her defection 35 would mean serious loss of naval support. F i n a l l y there was the lack of provocation. Mytilene had held a p r i v i -leged position i n the empire, and had i n no way suffered oppression or extortion. Indeed, the speaker at Olympia admits that i n the past the Mytileneans have been treated 36 with marked honour. Furthermore, had Athens intended aggression against Mytilene, she would surely have taken action e a r l i e r , at a time when Mytilene would have been less l i k e l y to f i n d sympathetic support, and Athens herself more 37 able to r e a l i z e her intent. The war had increased the security of Mytilene. l e t the arguments they bring for de-fection seem to rest on t h e i r sense of need for acquiring security for the future. After Grote has analyzed the speech of the Mytilenean envoys, he comments, "We see the p l a i n con-fession that the Mytileneans had no reason whatever to com-pl a i n of the conduct of Athens towards them. This important fact helps us to explain... the barbarous resolution taken by the Athenians after i t s [the r e b e l l i o n ' s ! suppression."*^ 33. As the Mytileneans well know, 111,11,4. 34. As the Mytileneans are quick to point out,111,13,7. 35. As the Mytileneans know, 111,13,6; and Kleon's words (111,^39,8) are: r r jq eneira 7 r p o c r o 6 o u , bt'f\v tcocuou-ev, TO Xoi7tov OTepr ioeo'ee,... 36. 111,9,2. And Kleon's reproach of their.ingratitude ^111^39,2): auTovouot' T e o l H O U V T e c ; . K C C I Ttu-cJju.evoi ec; xa npcbra vno T]p,cov.... ^37. 111,11^6: ou^y,evTot exi T T O X U Y ' O V e6oKOup,ev 6 U V T ) 0 T ) V C X I , e i ]xr\ 6 7roXep,o<5 o 6 e narearx],... 38. George Grote, History of Greece (London, 1888),V, p.149. - 12 -The pressure of events, therefore, together with the lack of j u s t i f i a b l e reasons for re b e l l i o n , n a t u r a l l y caused an i n -tense reaction among the Athenians, and the p o l i c y of Kleon i n the l i g h t of the context can be appreciated; and, indeed, i n terms of war, i t was j u s t i f i e d . Any appreciation of Kleon 1s pos i t i o n , however, the reader may well miss altogether, for Thucydides gives no credit to the demagogue at a l l . Indeed, the hi s t o r i a n seems to be intent upon having the reader regard Kleon as natu r a l l y bad i n supporting such a cruel and monstrous motion, and Diodotos good i n countering i t . But i t i s just as unfair to regard Kleon's position as inhuman as i t i s false to regard Diodotos' as humane. The narrative states that«the reason for the debate was the repentance of the crowd, yet Diodotos makes no mention of this i n his spe.ech. One i s tempted to ask whether indeed the revulsion of fe e l i n g was as intense as Thucydides makes out, especially i n view of the slim margin of vict o r y . Did Thucydides exaggerate the emotional reaction of the people i n order to i n t e n s i f y the implied moral judgment upon Kleon? The speech of Diodotos i s termed " i c y " by F i n l e y , ^ and the words iityre otxrq) nksov veTpavTec; \xr\r' knei-neia (III,48,1) stri k e i t s mood. l e t i n every way i t i s against Kleon that the whole episode i s presented, not only against his po l i c y , but against h i s person. The evidence 39. Finley, p.177. - 13 -i s clear: Thucydides sought, by careful selection of words and organization of narrative, to disparage Kleon, and to present him i n the worst possible l i g h t . Inasmuch as an assessment of Kleon i n the Mytilenean episode depends upon an interpretation of the respective speeches, i t may well be asked here whether the speeches bear r e l a t i o n to anything actually said by the real speakers, whether the speeches do r e f l e c t the true p o r t r a i t of the speaker, and what role the Mytilenean debate plays i n Thucydides' work. Thucydides speaks of the d i f f i c u l t y he had i n r e c a l l i n g with s t r i c t accuracy the words actually spoken on the p a r t i c u l a r occasion. He sets down the speeches, then, "As I thought each speaker would most f i t t i n g l y speak about the p a r t i c u l a r occasion, keeping as close as I could 40 to the general sense of what was actually said." r While certain of the speeches of the History discourage too simple acceptance of thi s p r i n c i p l e , I believe that the guarantee to present f a aXT)0aic; ^ exOevra i s v a l i d enough to ensure that the speeches do r e f l e c t the general l i n e of the speaker's argument, while, at the same time, the l i b e r t y of rrjcj c;up,7rct0T]cj YVCDp,T]c; allows Thucydides to use the speeches to r e f l e c t and 40. I follow Andrewes' translation here, Phoenix. XVT(1962), p.66. The text reads: o>cj b'av e&onouv ep-oi enacrroi 7tepi' rcov a i e i 7rapovTcov ra 6eovra yiaWiar*.eiTreTv, exopevcp o n eyyuTaTa r^c, ^ uuTtaan,? yvawi^ TCDV CL\TI0COCJ Xex©£VTa>v,.. (1,22,1 ). - 14 -e i t h e r approve or condemn ideas that he b e l i e v e d were i n -41 volved i n the tension of the event. We may b e l i e v e , then, that Kleon and Diodotos a c t u a l l y d i d present these speeches, that they d i d argue along these l i n e s , and we may look i n the speeches f o r a r e f l e c t i o n of ideas t h a t Thucydides thought . , . . . 42. And, from an a n a l y s i s of were i n v o l v e d at the time. ' . J these speeches, as we have seen, i t , i s demonstrable that Thucydides intended to undermine whatever i n t e g r i t y l a y i n Kleon's p o s i t i o n , and to d i s c r e d i t i n every way p o s s i b l e both 41. This p o s i t i o n I f o l l o w w i t h A. Andrewes, pp.64-67. Other scholars are l e s s convinced of any general a u t h e n t i c i t y to the speeches. Jones b e l i e v e s that the speeches are i n e f f e c t "Thucydides' own opinion of empire" (p.67);; F. E. Adcock (Thucydides and h i s H i s t o r y fCamb. England, 19633) d i s t r u s t s the speeches and claims that the h i s t o r i a n wrote as f r e e l y as he wished (p.30). 42. As Mme. de Romilly s t a t e s : "But i f Thucydides made a p o i n t of b r i n g i n g t h i s unknown opponent [Diodotos3 i n t o the f u l l g l a r e of the l i g h t of h i s t o r y , i t was because he wanted to use him i n order to condemn c e r t a i n ideas and show the v a l i d -i t y of others" (p. 160). Compare also F i n l e y , p..l68. the demagogue and h i s p o l i c y . The next episode i n which Kleon appears i s t h a t of Sphakteria. This s i t u a t i o n o f f e r s a d i f f e r e n t problem, f o r here Thucydides i s dealing with actions not words. Once again an a n a l y s i s of the a f f a i r reveals that Thucydides u n f a i r l y 1 i represents Kleon: he d i s t o r t s the n a r r a t i v e to present Kleon i n the worst p a s s i b l e l i g h t . Demosthenes, while s a i l i n g around the Feloponnese with the Athenian f l e e t on i t s way to Kerkyra, proposed the f o r t i -f i c a t i o n o f P y l o s as a f o r t f o r r e b e l Messenians to occupy. The generals objected, but a chance storm came on and bore the ships i n t o the harbour of P y l o s . Demosthenes then pressed them to f o r t i f y the p l a c e . The Athenians, i n s i x days, completed a w a l l on the side toward the land, and at such other p o i n t s as were necessary. The Peloponnesians e v e n t u a l l y responded to the move, p l a c i n g a Spartan h o p l i t e force on the small i s l a n d of Sphakteria as p a r t of t h e i r o f f e n s i v e strategy.. But the Spar-tans were defeated on both land and sea, and the Athenian f l e e t cut o f f and i s o l a t e d from the mainland the S p a r t i a t e s on Sphakteria, to the number of 420 h o p l i t e s , with attendant h e l o t s . Spartan consternation was great enough to c a l l f o r an a r m i s t i c e 43. Compare the remark of Woodhead, "A good p o l i c y i s damned i n h i s ^Thucydides'J eyes when i t i s i n hands l i k e those of CIeon...?" (p.296). Mme. de Romilly w r i t e s , " I t must be added that t h i s s p i r i t of censure accounts f o r everything else that Thucydides says - or does not say - about Cleon" (p.192). - 16 -at Pylos and to sue f o r peace with Athens. The Athenians, however, under the leadership of Kleon, were i n t e n t upon r e a l i z i n g the utmost of t h i s fortune, and v i r t u a l l y r e j e c t e d the peace o f f e r by making claims f o r the re t u r n of N i s a i a , Pegai, Troizen and Achaia, places that had not been l o s t i n the war, but had been surrendered to Sparta by the terms of the peace t r e a t y with Sparta i n 446, concluded when Athens was i n a d i f f i c u l t bargaining p o s i t i o n . The Spartans asked f o r a committee to discuss the p o i n t s , 44 but Kleon " v i o l e n t l y a s s a i l e d them," upon which they r e -t i r e d to Sparta. The peace-offer c o l l a p s e d , the a r m i s t i c e was withdrawn, and war continued. There i s no doubt that Thucydides again wishes to con-demn Kleon. The h i s t o r i a n deplored the r e j e c t i o n of the peace-offer, and he blamed Kleon as l a r g e l y responsible f o r 45 i t . The whole episode i s coloured with h o s t i l i t y towards Kleon. There i s a second i n t r o d u c t o r y d e s c r i p t i o n of the 46 ' demagogue. The repeated e p i t h e t mOavcorarocj reminds the 44. 45. 46. IV,22,2s KXecov be evrau0a br\ TTOAUC; IveneiTo. IV,21,3. Noted by Woodhead, p. 311, and Gomme, I I , p.461. - 17 -reader of the v i o l e n c e of the a f f a i r of My t i l e n e , and the 47 force of the word i s i n t e n s i f i e d by i t s emphatic p o s i t i o n . Woodhead remarks t h a t 7U ©avoyraToc; i s used only of. Kleon and of Athenagoras, "a man whom he [Thucydides] regards as of the 48 same stamp." I t i s , however, i n an a n a l y s i s of the s i n g l e speech of V the episode, by the Spartan embassy, that the reader may see 49 Thucydides 1 judgment of the event. The Spartans base t h e i r appeal f o r peace upon a warning of two dangers, good fortune (IV,18,3-5) and immoderate hopes (IV,17,5). By the emphasis of p r e c i s e l y these two ideas Thucydides himself organizes h i s account of the whole a f f a i r : the Athenians have been lucky and they have not been able to moderate t h e i r d e s i r e s . Thucydides i s c a r e f u l to demonstrate how the success of Pylos was e f f e c t e d through chance occurrences: bad weather h e l d up the f l e e t , c r e a t i n g the occasion f o r the s o l d i e r s to f o r t i f y the place (IV,3,1): nara. TUXT)V xEIP'U)V' ^.TCIyev6]i£vo<; ; at 47. IV,21,3: avrip 6Tip,aY^ YO<3 waT'exeTvov TOV XPOVOV cw r $ n:Xr\Qei mOavcDTaroc; 48. Woodhead, p.298. 49. Mme- de Romilly comments on the f a c t that Kleon i s not represented by a speech. She w r i t e s , "Then, as now, the speaker to whom no one r e p l i e s i s the spokesman of wisdom" (p. 173). - 18 -the time the Spartans were by chance c e l e b r a t i n g a f e s t i v a l ( I V , 5 , 1 ) : 01 6e eop-nyv r i v a e r u x o v a y o v r e c ; ; there was the chance a r r i v a l of two Messenian ships ( I V , 9 , 1 ) : o f e r u x o v 7tapaY£vop,evot ; the Lakedaimonians had neglected to block up the harbours' mouths (IV, 1 3 , 4 ) : o u r e , a bievor)QT]Oav, cpdp<;ai roue; 'ianXovc; e r u x o v 7 t o i i i o a v r e c j . f i n a l l y there was the chance i n i t i a l success of the Athenians (IV, 1 4 , 3 ) : r^ Ttapouofl r u x n abq erci T tAeTorov £7re!;eX6eTv . This good fortune e x a l t s Athens tothe d e s i r e f o r more and more again. She r e j e c t s the Spartan proposals because she i s inflamed with the d e s i r e to get more ( I V , 2 1 , 2 ) : r o u 6e nXeovoc, copeyov ro • she r e j e c t s them a second time because of the same f a t a l f l aw ( l V , 4 1 , 4 ) : o i 6e p,ei£ovcDV r e cupeyovro ; f i n a l l y , when Thucydides r e c a l l s t h i s p e r s i s t e n t r e f u s a l of a peaceful settlement l a t e r , he cannot prevent himself from once again e x p l a i n i n g the reasons that brought i t about (V, 1 4 , 1 . ) . . Hence the close r e l a t i o n s h i p between the arguments put forward by the Spartans and the ideas w i t h i n the n a r r a -t i o n of events s t r o n g l y suggests t h a t the s i n g l e speech as-c r i b e d to the Spartans embodies Thucydides' own ideas. Again, a study of Thucydidean phraseology reveals the c a r e f u l procession of 'goo>d' words a t t r i b u t e d to the Spartans.: ^up-Pacrt cj, Kara r j c u x i a v , o n a v Ttei 'Gaxnv aAXriXoucj f while the phraseology associated with Kleon and Athens under Kleon's sway c a r r i e s the 'worst' connotations: r o u 7c\\eovoc; i p e y o v r o , 7toAuc; e v e u e t r o . The Spartans f i n a l l y withdraw because the Athenians r e f u s e to act cm u-eTpi'oic; ; however, Thucydides omits to s t a t e f o r  whom, thus b e g u i l i n g the reader i n t o sympathy with Sparta, while, i n f a c t , e x p r essing a merely Spartan p o i n t of view. Indeed, Thucydides n e g l e c t s a l t o g e t h e r to p o i n t out the s t r e n g t h of K l e o n 1 s p o s i t i o n . But by c a l l i n g i n t o q u e s t i o n the value of the Spartan o f f e r , Kleon manifests shrewd i n s i g h t t h a t was l a t e r to be proved sound enough. The Spartan t h r e a t that they would rcapa yv(X)]xr\v 6 i a -* 51 HivSuveueiv and have e t e r n a l h a t r e d f o r Athens i f 52 she r e f u s e d the p r o f f e r e d f r i e n d s h i p came to n o t h i n g . The promise t h a t t h i s f r i e n d s h i p would be e s p e c i a l l y s i n -cere and l a s t i n g i s proved of l i t t l e worth by the events f o l l o w i n g the peace of 421. Again, the events f o l l o w i n g 421 i n d i c a t e of how l i t t l e s i g n i f i c a n c e were the words • « j » * 53 r\ -L • 1 rip-cov yap nai uu-orv r a u r a keyovrwv .... C e r t a i n l y i t i s hazardous to a p p r o p r i a t e the consequences of the peace of 421 to a peace t r e a t y of 425, but, when we r e c a l l 50. I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to n o t i c e how J . B. Bury, H i s t o r y of Greece (London, 1906), p.311, i s wooed by ITTI y,8Tpi'otq , "But the r e c e p t i o n o f t h e i r reasonable p r o p o s a l s met...." 51. IV,19,4 52. Compare IV,41,3-4; IV,108,7; IV,117,1; V,15,22-23. 53. IV,20,4 20 -the Athenian predicament that followed 421, when we r e c a l l the 54 Athenian surrender of her best bargaining card and the Spartan f a i l u r e - whether or not her own f a u l t - to reciprocate, when we bear i n mind that even Thucydides himself confessed the f a i l u r e of the peace-compact i n 421, i t i s unfair to deny that i n the similar context of 425 Kleon showed wisdom and competency i n i n s i s t i n g upon a more r i g i d Athenian position. And yet, that Kleon's leadership at the assembly i n 425 had any i n t e g r i t y or statesmanship whatsoever was e n t i r e l y rejected or overlooked by the h i s t o r i a n , and i t i s clear from the record that Thucydides had only one purpose: to condemn Kleon's whole position. Ultimately, however, the Athenian advantage miscarried. The blockade soon became as f u l l of hardship for the besiegers 55 as for the besieged. The f l e e t began to grow sick i n body as well as impatient and d i s s a t i s f i e d i n mind. The Spartans were being secretly provisioned and what had seemed a glorious v i c t o r y was degenerating into a humiliating predicament. Winter could well reverse the whole situation. Messengers coming from the scene warned of the possible outcome, and there was a reversal of f e e l i n g at the l o s t opportunity for peace, public opinion turning against Kleon. Kleon charged that the reports were unfounded, whereupon the envoys advised that commissioners be sent to v e r i f y the f a c t , Kleon along with 54. The return of the Spartiates (V,24,2). 55. IV,29,2. - 21 -Theagenes being named. Kleon then, however, changed h i s l i n e of approach and claimed that the necessary a c t i o n was to s a i l at once and take the i s l a n d , and i f he were general he would 56 do t h a t . N i k i a s , under pressure of attack, r e t a l i a t e d by 57 o f f e r i n g him the command. Kleon accepted the command, and claimed that he would w i t h i n twenty days e i t h e r b r i n g the Spartans back to Athens a l i v e or k i l l them on the spot. The scene i s then concluded with the f o l l o w i n g words: At t h i s v a i n t a l k of h i s there was a burst of laughter on the part of the Athenians, but nevertheless the s e n s i b l e men among them were gl a d , f o r they r e f l e c t e d that they were bound to o btain one of two good things - e i t h e r they would be r i d of Kleon, which they p r e f e r r e d , or i f they were disappointed i n th i g g he would subdue the Lacedaemonians f o r them. The whole n a r r a t i v e i s t u r g i d w i t h comment h o s t i l e to Kleon, with the h i s t o r i a n i n t e n t upon s e t t i n g Kleon i n the worst p o s s i b l e l i g h t , as a w i l d and r e c k l e s s boaster. But again evidence may be brought to question Thucydides' judge-ments, and to p o i n t to u n f a i r treatment. In the f i r s t 59 p l a c e , as Woodhead has noted, Thucydides' i n i t i a l attack 60 on Kleon i s based p r i m a r i l y on mind-reading. The h i s t o r i a n IV,27,5. IV,27-28. IV,28,5 ( t r a n s . C. F. Smith). Woodhead, p.313. As also i s the derogatory account of Kleon i n 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. - 22 -w r i t e s , "But Kleon, knowing that t h e i r suspicions were d i r e c t -61 ed against him..." and " r e a l i z i n g now that he would... be 62 o b l i g e d to b r i n g the same report as the messengers...." • With the known evidence of Thucydides' h o s t i l i t y against Kleon, of what value are these mind-reading observations? Did wotyia. r e a l l y e x i s t ? Again, the evidence of l a t e r a c t i o n i n d i c a t e s that Kleon would not have been "o b l i g e d " simply to report as the messengers d i d , but would have been ready to take a c t i o n i n the predicament. l e t , as the n a r r a t i v e continues i n 6 3 IV,27,4, the h i s t o r i a n succeeds i n c a s t i n g a grim r e f l e c -t i o n upon the person of Kleon., The more serious anomaly i n the n a r r a t i v e , however, i s the h i s t o r i a n ' s d e s c r i p t i o n (IV,28,5) of "the Athenian people who are supposed to have enjoyed the e x c e l l e n t joke of p u t t i n g an incompetent man against h i s own w i l l at the head of t h i s e n t e r p r i s e , i n order that they might amuse themselves with 64 h i s blunders." But the i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and l e v i t y of such a c t i o n stands i n d i r e c t contrast to the examples of the democracy at work, and i s inconsonant w i t h the proven i n t e g r i t y 61. IV,27,3 ( t r a n s . G. F. Smith). 62. IV,27,4 ( t r a n s . C. F. Smith). 63. f| TccuTa Aeyetv oTcj bie$aK\ev r{ ravavn'a ei7ta>v tyeuSric; cpavnceaOai,... 64. Grote, p.254. Grote i s inaccurate here. The joke centred upon Kleon's promise and confidence of v i c t o r y . Never-t h e l e s s i n t h i s c a u s t i c sentence Grote w e l l brings to l i g h t the mood of mocking and v i r u l e n t h o s t i l i t y t h a t Thucydides f e l t con-vinced was both Kleon's desert and h i s l o t on t h i s occasion. - 23 -65 * of the Athenian demos. Woodhead comments, "The aaxppovec; may w e l l have been happy to p l a y ducks and drakes with an Athenian f l e e t : not so the Srjuoc; whose l i v e s were at stake.... They demanded and exacted responsible admini-s t r a t i o n , and were themselves prepared to serve on the same 66 terms." I f the people had been disposed to conduct t h e i r p u b l i c business upon such whims and f a n c i e s as are here im-p l i e d , they would have made a very d i f f e r e n t f i g u r e from that which t h e i r achievements present. The evidence s t r o n g l y suggests that Thucydides has exaggerated the report i n order to make Kleon contemptible, but i n doing so has made the 67 Athenian people look r i d i c u l o u s . Again the connotation of the words used by the h i s t o r i a n succeeds i n i n d i c a t i n g where h i s sympathies l a y . There are connotations of approval i n the words acocppoveq , kkrcic, .p YVcup,T), r e f e r r i n g to men who apparently took vast pleasure i n the prospect of a d i s a s t e r that would c e r t a i n l y have i n -volved many others besides Kleon. Kleon h i m s e l f - i s r i d i c u l e d through such words, as yeXcxtc,, K O U C p o X o Y i a . Throughout 65. The work of A. H. M. Jones, Athenian Democracy, i s i n l a r g e measure an attempt to show the general i n t e g r i t y and strength of the Athenian democracy. 66. Woodhead, p.315; he perhaps exaggerates. 67. See Grote, pp.255-256, f o r an imaginative p o r -t r a y a l of what might have happened i n the assembly on that day. - 24 -17,27-28 Thucydides draws with r e l i s h on vocabulary charged with disparagement and c r i t i c i s m of Kleon-\, making obvious his complete contempt of the orator. However, i n any comparison of Kleon with his p o l i t i c a l adversaries i t i s Kleon who i s to be commended, fo r , what-ever the justness of the rejecti o n of the peace-offer, the die had been cast for a vigorous war-po>licy, and the neces-s i t y for the capture of the is l a n d . But i n t h i s context, i Kleon*s p o l i t i c a l adversaries emerge as timid and careless 68^ • of public i n t e r e s t , -seeking only to turn the existing d i s -appointment and dilemma into an opportunity of ruining a party opponent, whatever the cost. The taunt "that i t was 69 an easy matter, i f the generals were men" must have stung; nevertheless, Kleon was i n the right to c r i t i c i z e the lack of response of Nikias and the other generals. And the l a t t e r must receive the severest censure i n forcing a p o l i t i c a l enemy into the supreme command against his own protest, ready to ris k the l i v e s of many soldiers and the destinies of the state i n order to s a t i s f y themselves i n bringing him 68. Plutarch states that on thi s occasion Nikias was overcome by sheer cowardice and fear of f a i l u r e , Nikias. ••1 is 8,1. The biographer also quotes Aristophanes' sneer i n the Birds, Heavens, th i s i s no time for us to doze Or dither about, l i k e our fr i e n d Nicias .' (638-639, translation by Ian Scott-Kilvert [The Penguin Classics, I960]). 69. IV,27,5. - 25 -i n t o disgrace and r u i n . Yet t h e i r sentiments are i m p l i -c i t l y endorsed by the h i s t o r i a n . Although Thucydides informs us that the Athenians were somewhat i n c l i n e d to mount an expedition against Pylos ( IV,27,4), and that N i k i a s was to lead i t ( IV,28,3), the readiness with which the l a t t e r was prepared to r e l i n q u i s h h i s command suggests t h a t , had Kleon not accepted the challenge and gone forward with Demosthenes, N i k i a s and h i s f r i e n d s could w e l l have l a i d aside the e n t e r p r i s e and reopened n e g o t i a t i o n s f o r i peace under circumstances most disadvantageous f o r Athens. But Kleon, through h i s vigour and courage, saved Athens from d e f a u l t and proceeded to the most important success of Athens throughout the whole war. For t h i s Thucydides a t t r i b u t e s to him not only no c r e d i t whatever, but i n f a c t the most s t i n g i n g abuse. Kleon proceeded to P y l o s , and the v i c t o r y was con-summated. Grote w r i t e s , "The events of Sphakteria... d i s c r e d i t e d the m i l i t a r y prowess of Sparta i n the eyes of 70 a l l Greece." But the judgement of Thucydides i s studied to assure that the estimation of Kleon w i l l not r i s e . Woodhead states i t s u c c i n c t l y , "Thucydides cannot avoid r e p o r t i n g that the UTtooxscn ? ccTceprj but he can and does turn i t sour by adding HaiVep p,avta)6T)c; . " ^ 70. Grote, p.263. 71. Woodhead, p.314. - 26 -The achievement, however, f a r from being the boast of a madman, was, at the l e a s t , the r e s u l t of a reasonable c a l c u l a t i o n . The i n t e r v a l of twenty days was not extrava-g a n t l y s m a l l , considering the p r o x i m i t y of P y l o s , and the attack on so small an isL_and could not occupy more than one or two days. Kleon brought with him f r e s h r e i n f o r c e -ments, and s e l e c t e d Demosthenes, an e n t e r p r i s i n g and ex-perienced leader, as h i s colleague. The promise i n d i c a t e d a reasonable and modest a n t i c i p a t i o n of the f u t u r e . And while undoubtedly the m i l i t a r y success against Sphakteria belongs to Demosthenes, y e t , had Kleon not stood up i n the assembly and d e f i e d the gloomy p r e d i c t i o n s of the envoys, Demosthenes might never have been r e i n f o r c e d nor put i n a p o s i t i o n to take the i s l a n d . The next episode i n which Kleon i s in v o l v e d and there-fore to which we must cast our a t t e n t i o n i s the Amphipolitan engagement. A new turn i n the events of the war took place when Brasidas along with a force c o n s i s t i n g mainly of h o p l i t e s marched north to the C h a l k i d i c p e n i n s u l a . This venture came as a response to the i n v i t a t i o n of |?erdikkas and the Olynthians, who feared more Athenian successes i n Thrace. Bra s i d a s , through sheer b r i l l i a n c e of p e r s o n a l i t y , t a c t , diplomacy, and e n t e r p r i s e , had managed to pass through Thessaly, and had occupied Akanthos i n 424. Akanthos was an Andrian colony, and i t s a c t i o n l e d to the adhesion of two other Andrian c o l o n i e s , Stageiros (IV,88,2) and A r g i l o s - 27 -(IV,103,4). A r g i l o s , j e a l o u s of Amphipolis, aided Brasidas i n t a k i n g Amphipolis, which he d i d before Thucydides, who was with the f l e e t at Thasos, could r e s i s t . Thucydides managed to save only Eion, at the mouth of the Strymon. Brasidas then roamed the C h a l k i d i k e , and took possession of the d i s t r i c t of Akte-and of Torone (424/3). L a t e r Skione and Mende r e v o l t e d and i n v i t e d Brasidas to provide supporti The war had thus moved i n t o the C h a l k i d i c area, and i t was to t h i s s i t u a t i o n that Kleon turned h i s ener-g i e s . The successes of Brasidas encouraged the s i g n i n g of the A r m i s t i c e of 423. The peace-party at Athens was anxious to conclude a peace, and Sparta was p a r t i c u l a r l y ready at t h i s time when the favourable C h a l k i d i c e n t e r p r i s e might give her more bargaining powers than she had had a year p r e v i o u s l y . But the r e v o l t of Skione and Mende ruptured any p o s s i b i l i t y of peace, and at the end of the year p u b l i c f e e l i n g i n Athens had changed, and the i n f l u e n c e of Kleon was strong enough to support a campaign d i r e c t l y to the C h a l k i d i c p eninsula. The r e s u l t was t h e , b a t t l e of Amphipolis i n which both Kleon and Brasidas were k i l l e d . The death of Brasidas and the r e -moval of o p p o s i t i o n to N i k i a s l e d to the conclusion of peace i n 421. Again, w i t h i n the context of t h i s n a r r a t i v e , Thucydides d i r e c t s b i t t e r attack upon Kleon. The evidence, once more,, i n d i c a t e s that the h i s t o r i a n ' s c r i t i c i s m i s unjust. Upon the death of the two l e a d e r s , Thucydides concludes the ac-count thus: But when the Athenians had met defeat at Amphipolis also and both Kleon and Brasidas had been k i l l e d -the men who on e i t h e r side had been most opposed to pejace, the one because of h i s success and the r e -p u t a t i o n he had derived from the war, the other be-cause he thought i f q u i e t were restored he would be more manifest i n h i s v i l l a i n i e s and l e s s c r e d i t e d i n h i s calumnies - then..... 2 The f i r s t question Thucydides r a i s e s i s whether, i n f a c t , 73 Kleon d i d have any r e a l i n t e r e s t i n f o s t e r i n g the war. 74 Kleon himself was not a m i l i t a r y leader, and both Grote 75 76 and Gomme r e c a l l Phokion's words that remind us that 72. V,16,l ( t r a n s l . C. P. Smith). 73. Gomme (Comm., I l l , p.660) p o i n t s out that the motives Thucydides a t t r i b u t e s to Kleon f o r wanting the war to go on are, i n the time of Aristophanes (Peace, 605-611), very l i k e those a t t r i b u t e d to P e r i k l e s f o r s t a r t i n g i t . 74. Grote, p.368. 75. Gomme, Comm. , I I I , p.,660. 76. P l u t a r c h , Phok. ,16,2: eya^e HCU raura ei6ejbcj o n 7roXepou yev ovroq ey^ oov, eiptyvric; be yevovevi)^ au epou apc;eicj. Compare also Thucydides, VI,33-36, where Athenagoras i s pportrayed as an u l t r a - p a c i f i c demagogue. He feared a war that would give power to Hermokrates and h i s l i k e : , (VI,38,3). - 29 -war r a i s e d up leaders who would most l i k e l y overshadow the in f l u e n c e of the demagogue. I t would be i n time of peace, when h i s i n f l u e n c e would be more powerful and prominent, that the demagogue would be l e s s subject to c r i t i c i s m and l e s s vulnerable to i n c r i m i n a t i o n . Furthermore, evidence i n d i c a t e s t h a t Kleon had not been always w a r l i k e . P l u t a r c h r e p o r t s that Kleon commenced h i s p o l i t i c a l career as an op-ponent of P e r i k l e s , when the l a t t e r was urging the n e c e s s i t y 77 and wisdom of beginning the Pelopomesian War. At the same time, even i f Kleon had vested i n t e r e s t s i n continuing the war, the f a c t s i n d i c a t e that an energetic w a r l i k e p o l i c y at t h i s time, when Brasidas was moving un-checked through C h a l k i d i k e , was the soundest and best p o l i c y f o r Athens to pursue. Gomme notes that t h i s was the p o l i c y 78 common to a l l p a r t i e s and persons at Athens. I n the summer of 423 N i k i a s and N i k o s t r a t o s had campaigned with 79 success at Mende and Skione, and N i k i a s l a t e r pretended, at l e a s t , to/have been i n favour of ac t i o n against 80 C h a l k i d i k e . Judged i n terms of P e r i k l e s ' exhortations, 77. P l u t a r c h , P e r i k l e s . 33-35. 78. Gomme, More Essays, p.113. 79. 17,129-130. 80. 71,10,5. - 30 -81 Kleon's p o l i c y was a^" l o g i c a l p l a n of a c t i o n . P e r i k l e s urged at the outset of the war that the Athenians were to stand i n rigorous defence of the c i t y , and to keep a f i r m 82 hand upon t h e i r a l l i e s . I f any blame should be l a i d , i t should f a l l to N i k i a s f o r not i n t e r f e r i n g immediately a f t e r Brasidas f i r s t broke i n t o Thrace. Again the war-policy of Kleon, and h i s sound judgement i n urging i t , may be defended by an examination of the peace-policy of N i k i a s at t h i s time. The peace-party i n Athens c a r r i e d the vote f o r an a r m i s t i c e with Sparta i n the b e l i e f that n e g o t i a t i o n with Sparta would a r r e s t the progress of Brasidas i n Thrace, also with the f u r t h e r expectation that 83 t h i s a r m i s t i c e would mature i n t o peace.. But Kleon could w e l l have r e a l i z e d that any f a i t h i n Spartan a b i l i t y to con-t r o l Brasidas when he was i n the f u l l flower of success un-opposed was pr e c a r i o u s . And the i n s t i n c t proved t r u e . The only way to stop Brasidas and expect a repossession of Cha l k i d i k e was by an energetic expedition to the scene. The war-policy was d i r e c t l y i n accord with P e r i k l e a n s t r a t e g y and also founded on a j u s t e r estimate of the s i t u a t i o n than the peace-policy of N i k i a s . 81. Gomme, More Essays, p.107 w r i t e s , "Kleon then followed the main l i n e s of str a t e g y l a i d down by P e r i k l e s . " F i n l e y * s statement (Thucydides, p.35), "That he [Thucydides^ owed h i s e x i l e to the abandonment of the l a t t e r ' s [ P e r i k l e s ' ] defensive strategy," i s hard to understand. 82. 11,13,2. ' 8.3. IV,117,1. - 31 -But again there i s no h i n t i n the H i s t o r y of any ac-clamation of Kleon. He i s condemned as a warmonger, "because he thought i f q u i e t were restored he would be more manifest i n h i s v i l l a i n i e s and l e s s c r e d i t e d i n h i s calumnies." The words are harsh and u n f a i r to Kleon, and Grote pronounces them "c a r e l e s s i n regard to t r u t h and the i n s t r u c t i o n of 84 h i s readers...." They are one more c o n t r i b u t i o n to a treatment of Kleon that Gomme says suggests "a strong b i a s , a hatred and contempt f o r Kleon which has not been j U S t i -f i C f i e d by Thucydides 1 own n a r r a t i v e . " However, apart from the open c r i t i c i s m of Kleon's war pi o l i c y , Thucydides f i l l s the n a r r a t i v e of the episode with derogatory comment toward Kleonycomment that i s incon-s i s t e n t with the f a c t s as Thucydides gives them, or, at the l e a s t , d i f f i c u l t to r e c o n c i l e w i t h them. Kleon i s commis-sioned to Cha l k i d i k e and leaves i n the l a t e summer of 422. He succeeds i n recapturing Torone, a considerable v i c t o r y that Gomme equates i n merit with t h a t of Brasidas over 86 Amphipolis. I n the Thucydidean account, however, the success i s simply noted and l e f t . Kleon then s a i l e d around from Torone to Amphipolis, and e s t a b l i s h e d himself at Eion, to await the Thracian mercenaries. The n a r r a t i v e then says 84. 85. 86. Grote, V, p.371. Gomme, More Essays, p. 115. Gomme, More Essays, p.114. that Kleon was compelled to move because of the r e s t l e s s -87 ness of h i s troops, yet there has been no mention of any long delay. Woodhead argues that Kleon's move at that time, before the Thracian reinforcements were o b t a i n -ed, was d e f e n s i b l e regardless of what the pressure was or 88 was not from the troops. The troops then began to d i s -cuss the q u a l i t y of Kleon's l e a d e r s h i p , becoming apprehen-s i v e of the weakness and incompetence of t h e i r commander 89 as against the s k i l l and v a l o u r opposed to them. Yet there i s no mention anywhere i n the t e x t to suggest e i t h e r that the Athenians had a p a r t i c u l a r f e a r of Brasidas or t h a t Kleon was h i t h e r t o g u i l t y of lack of i n t e l l i g e n c e or cowardice. The Athenians had met Brasidas before and with success, and the n a r r a t i v e i n f a c t suggests that the hop— l i t e s , r a ther than r e l u c t a n t to move, were f u l l of energy 90 to a c t , and f u l l of confidence. Kleon, i n the expedi-t i o n thus f a r , had shown marked vigour and i n i t i a t i v e . Thucydides continues that "the temper of the general was what i t had been at P y l o s , h i s success on that occa-91 sion having given him confidence i n h i s capsacity." 87. V , 7 , l . 88. Woodhead, p.307. 89. V,7,2. 90. V,7,2. 91. V,7,3: vtai expncraTo T$ Tpo7rcp cfwep vtai k<; TT\V nuAov euTuxTlcraq eniareuoe rt cppoveTv. - 33 -92 But i f Kleon had been so f i l l e d with arrogant confidence since P y l o s , i t i s strange that he had commanded no s i g -n i f i c a n t expedition since then. More l i k e l y he was r e -l u c t a n t to accept the command to Amphipolis, as he had been to Sphakteria. Thucydides, however, p i c t u r e s Kleon as f u l l of confidence as soon as he moves, i n s p i t e of the e a r l i e r statement that he was cautious enough to send f o r 93 reinforcements and to await them at Eion. The impression of arrogance continues as the h i s t o r i a n reports that "he had no expectation that anybody would come against him 94 95 f o r b a t t l e . " Yet Woodhead reminds us that here, as 96 elsewhere, Thucydides shows himself to be a remarkable mind-reader. What was Thucydides' source of information? "A few p r i s o n e r s , eager to blame t h e i r misfortune on t h e i r dead general? D i s g r u n t l e d h o p l i t e s , c a s t i n g back i n t h e i r 97 memories nineteen or more years l a t e r ? " 92. See Gomme (Comm., I l l , p.639) f o r an examination of the meaning of r $ rp6n<^> . Gomme concludes, " I am doubtful whether Thucydides had made c l e a r to himself what was wrong with Kleon's strategy." 93. V,6,3. Compare also V,10,3. 94. V,7,3. 95. Woodhead, p.308. 96. V,7,2. 97. Woodhead, p.308. - 34 -There are more i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s i n the n a r r a t i v e . Thucydides claims that Kleon r e g r e t t e d not having brought up siege-engines, yet the n a r r a t i v e reports i t was not Kleon's idea at a l l to make the reconnaissance.. The move was forced by the r e s t l e s s n e s s of the s o l d i e r s . Again, i n V,8,2-3, Brasidas' p o s i t i o n i s described as a d i f f i -c u l t one that demands a strategem, whereas i n V,8,4 he i s shown to have the advantage. Furthermore, whereas Brasidas states that the r i g h t wing that had exposed i t s 98 99 fl a n k would not stand, i t does i n f a c t stand, w i t h -out comment from Thucydides. Hence i n the l i g h t of these discrepancies Gomme asks, "Has Thucydides made c l e a r to himse l f what was wrong i n Kleon's s t r a t e g y ? " 1 ^ And yet, i n s p i t e of the o b s c u r i t i e s , Thucydides seems q u i t e c l e a r what was i n the minds of the generals. With respect to the b a t t l e i t s e l f , the n a r r a t i v e r e -vea l s the superior generalship of Brasidas, and Kleon out-w i t t e d . What was the nature of Kleon's behaviour i n the t h i c k of the b a t t l e ? I t i s obvious that Thucydides again intends to condemn him, and have him marked as a coward. He w r i t e s , "Kleon, indeed, as he had not intended from the 99. V,10,8. 100. Gomme, More Essays, p.116. - 35 -f i r s t to stand h i s ground, f l e d at once and was overtaken and s l a i n by a Myrkinian t a r g e t e e r . "^^^ But i c ; TCDCLXOV OU 6 i£voe?To p.evetv s u r e l y r e f e r s back to the p o l i c y of V , 1 0 , 3 , 06 pou\o]o,£voq paxtt biaya>viaaaQai , h i s s t r a t e g y as commander. However, eu0uc; cp£uytov i s c l e a r l y meant to comdemn, i n c o n t r a s t to h i s t r o o p s , who were standing t h e i r ground. But Kleon, anxious though he was to get away, had not gone o f f with the l e f t wing, but had stayed with the 1 0 2 r e a r , f o r the M y r k i n i o i were a l l with the l a t t e r . How, then, d i d Kleon die? Did he simply d e s e r t and f l e e , o r d i d he withdraw because he had ordered a withdrawal? He was k i l l e d by a Myrkinian t a r g e t e e r , and, " f o r a l l t h a t 1 0 3 we know, he was s t r u c k i n the chest." Kleon i s k i l l e d i n the b a t t l e , and the e x p e d i t i o n f a i l s . Yet when i t i s t o l d t h a t the troops were the best 1 0 4 and the best-armed h o p l i t e s i n Athens, t h a t they began t h e i r s c o r n f u l murmurs a g a i n s t Kleon before he had commit-te d any e r r o r , d e s p i s i n g him f o r h i s backwardness when he was not strong, and o n l y showing reasonable prudence i n a w a i t i n g reinforcements, i t becomes apparent t h a t the h o p l i t e s were not o n l y u n j u s t toward Kleon but were as 1 0 1 . V , 1 0 , 9 ( t r a n s l . C. F. Smith). 1 0 2 . V , 8 , 4 . 1 0 3 . Gomme, More Essays, p . 1 1 8 . 1 0 4 . V , 8 , 2 . - 36 -great a cause of the t o t a l f a i l u r e of the expedition as any m i l i t a r y incompetence of the commander. The whole expedition undoubtedly was enfeebled from the beginning because of the h o s t i l i t y of the hoplites. As to the ac-curacy of Thucydides 1 p o r t r a i t of Kleon at Amphipolis, Gomme writes, "With the evidence of Thucydides' bias be-fore us, and considering the uncertainty of any report of t h i s kind from the middle of a confused battle which ended i n a humiliating defeat, I would not be certain that he was, on th i s occasion, s u f f i c i e n t l y awake to his own 105 p r i n c i p l e s of work, 1,22,3." Scholars have noted the animosity and prejudice d i s -played i n the Amphipolitan episode and accounted for them by the b e l i e f that the exile Thucydides suffered through his f a i l u r e to relieve the c i t y was probably moved by 106 Kleon himself. But the evidence, even as Thucydides himself gives i t , indicates that the h i s t o r i a n was at f a u l t . For according to Thucydides his appointment i n the Thracian region was to Amphip>olis, and not especial-107 l y to Thasos, for he had been sent along as j o i n t 105. Gomme, Comm.. I l l , p.652. 106. Grote (p.266) derives the evidence from Markellinos, V i t a , 26. Gomme, Comm., I I I , p..661, ac-cepts the p o s s i b i l i t y without c i t i n g any evidence, as does A. Andrewes, Phoenix, p.80, again c i t i n g no e v i -dence. 107. IV, 104,4; ,V,26,5. - 37 -commander with Eukles of the whole Thracian d i s t r i c t . Both Thucydides and Eukles must have known of Brasidas' successes at Akanthos and Stageiros; they would have known the s e n t i -ments of Andrian A r g i l o s , a town whose t e r r i t o r y bordered on the Strymon, whose people were d i s a f f e c t e d toward Athens. l e t with such foreknowledge, the one leaves the bridge, the 108 only access to the c i t y , under a feeble guard, and i s caught unprepared, the other i s h a l f a day's t r a v e l o f f at Thasos, out of a l l p o s s i b l e area of danger. Grote w r i t e s , "We may be sure that the absence of Thucydides with h i s f l e e t at Thasos was one e s s e n t i a l c o n d i t i o n i n the p l o t l a i d by 109 Brasidas with the A r g i l i a n s . " Grote continues, "When I consider the immense value of Amphipolis to Athens, com-bined with the conduct whereby i t was l o s t , I cannot think t h a t there was a s i n g l e Athenian, or a s i n g l e Greek, who would deem the penalty of banishment too severe. 108. IV,103,5. 109. Grote, V,p.332. See also the very words of Thucydides h i m s e l f , IV,105,1-2: 6 Bpacu&ac; 6e6ia>c, nai TT]V ano TTJc; Sacou TCBV vea>v potfOetav ... r[Tce{yexo 7rpoHaracrxeTv, st Suvatro, rr\v 7toA.iv, u-ri acptnvoupevou aurou. 110. Grote, V, pp.333-334. The t r u t h of t h i s statement i s w e l l e xemplified by the f a c t that a f t e r the death of Kleon i n 422, and the removal of h i s i n f l u e n c e , there was no move whatever to reverse the misfortune of the h i s t o r i a n . One may wonder how P i n l e y j u s t i f i e s the statement (Thucydides, p.32), "When therefore he [Thucydides] l o s t Amphipolis and was promptly e x i l e d , i t seems almost c e r t a i n that he was made a scapegoat f o r Cleon's own losses at Delium." CHAPTER TWO The Evidence of Other Sources Before we analyse and compare with t h i s p o r t r a i t by Thucydides the only other contemporary source, Aristophanes, i t w i l l be informative to set f o r t h the evidence from other ancient sources on Kleon, namely, Diodoros Sike.los, A r i s t o t l e and P l u t a r c h . Diodoros i s not rated h i g h l y as a c r i t i c a l h i s t o r i a n , nevertheless h i s evidence i s i n t e r e s t i n g i n sup-p l y i n g a l e s s condemnatory account of Kleon than that of Thucydides. L i k e the l a t t e r , Diodoros f i r s t names Kleon i n r e l a t i o n to the Mytilenean i n c i d e n t (XII,55,8), and the judgement upon Kleon i s presented i n the same l i g h t . He i s described as c r u e l of temper and v i o l e n t . The n a r r a t i v e of Pylos i s t r e a t e d only i n summary fashion (XII,63); the pro-posals of peace by Sparta are presented, but r e j e c t e d by the Athenian people, without a mention of Kleon. Then i t i s announced (XII,63,3-4) simply that the Spartans sur-rendered and that they were l e d p r i s o n e r s to Athens by the demagogue Kleon, now strategos. Next i t i s recorded (XII,73,2) that i n 422 the Athenians appointed Kleon again as strategos, and that they entrusted to him the leadership of the expedition to Thrace. The account i s s i m i l a r to that of Thucydides. The demagogue took Torone, l a i d siege to Eion, and made the approach to Amphipolis. - 39 -j, However, i n the battle and death of Kleon, there i s a notable divergence from Thucydides. Quite contrary to the evidence of the History, Diodoros states that the battle was fought bravely by both sides, that for some time the outcome remained uncertain and that the opposing leaders vied i n every way to consummate v i c t o r y by hurling them-selves into battle with conspicuous energy (XII,74,1-2). With respect to the death of the demagogue, Diodoros, after having reported that Brasidas f e l l h e r o i c a l l y i n combat, affirms that Kleon suffered likewise, and with equal valour. He has no mention whatever of the f l i g h t of Kleon, but states that, af t e r the death of the two leaders, the two sides continued i n battle u n t i l the Spartans prevailed. Hence, i n spite of the anti-democratic t r a d i t i o n 1 * that Diodoros has c l e a r l y used, there i s a d i s t i n c t l y more honourable version of Kleon than that of Thucydides. The witness of A r i s t o t l e i s much less favourable. In the Ath. Pol. (28,1), A r i s t o t l e affirms that at Athens the public government deteriorated greatly after the death of Perikles, with a clear a l l u s i o n to Kleon, of whom there i s given, further on, a condemnatory description (28,3); after the death of Perikles he led to ruin the people through his wild leadership); from the beginning of his period of influence 1. I refer to Diodoros' u n c r i t i c a l appropriation of the main stream of t r a d i t i o n about Kleon that harks back to Thucydides. - 40 -he y e l l e d and hurled i n s u l t s from the Berna; he spoke i n the Assembly with his cloak g i r t up about him, while others o spoke with decarun. There i s no doubt that A r i s t o t l e har-bours an a r i s t o c r a t i c sympathy, and his deprecation of the demagogue i s t y p i c a l of c r i t i c i s m that i s f a m i l i a r from both Thucydides and Aristophanes. Plutarch i s just as r e a l i s t i c about Kleon's f a u l t s , but i s d i s t i n c t l y more favourable to him. The allusions to the demagogue are concentrated almost e n t i r e l y i n the biography of Nikias. After noting the impudence and insolence of Kleon (2,2), the author informs us that he had achieved a position of power by "pampering the people and finding jobs g for a l l . " The biographer alludes to the power of the demagogue to sway the Athenian masses (3,2); he speaks of Kleon's intolerable arrogance and audacity (8,3), and states that i t was he who "broke down a l l the conventions of de-4 cent behaviour i n the Assembly." 2. M. L. Paladini, "Considerazioni sulle Ponti d e l l a Storia di Cleone," H i s t o r i a , VII (1958), p. 53, notes, "Inoltre 1'affermazione che Cleone *per primo 1 grido ed insulto d a l l a tribuna, s i trova anche presso lo Scoliasta d i Luciano (Schol. Lucian., Tinv30, p.115 Rabe).." 3. See also Plutarch, Mor., 807a* 4. Plutarch has the same report as that c i t e d by Paladini from the Scholiast on Lucian (see note l ) : I t was he who f i r s t introduced shouting and abuse (8,3). Plutarch continues that Kleon had the habit of slapping his thigh, - 41 -The same c r i t i c i s m had been made by A r i s t o t l e . I t i s not p o s s i b l e to say d e f i n i t e l y that A r i s t o t l e l i e s behind P l u t a r c h ' s account, but there seems to have been a t r a d i -t i o n already #established that P l u t a r c h accepts. I n chapters 7 and 8 P l u t a r c h records the i n c i d e n t s of Pylos and Sphakteria. The Spartan peace-embassy i s r e j e c t e d , c h i e f l y because of Kleon (7,1-2). But while Kleon's v i o l e n c e i n r e j e c t i n g the peace o f f e r s , i n the Thucydidean account, i s represented merely as a c o n s i s -t e n t p a r t of the behaviour of the demagogue, i n P l u t a r c h Kleon's r e f u s a l i s motivated at l e a s t p a r t l y by h i s hatred of and p o l i t i c a l o p p o s i t i o n to N i k i a s . "He regard-ed N i k i a s as h i s n a t u r a l enemy and i t was because he saw him cooperating so eagerly with the Spartans that he per-suaded the Athenians to refuse t h e i r o f f e r " (7,2). Chap-t e r 7, 2-6 f o l l o w s Thucydides: the i n d i g n a t i o n of the people against Kleon f o r the d i f f i c u l t y t h a t Pylos had be-come; the charges against N i k i a s , the predicament of Kleon and h i s s p i r i t e d response. The biographer does not h e s i -t a t e to report the embarrassment of Kleon, h i s temper, h i s v a n i t y , h i s noucpoAOYia , but i n the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n throwing open h i s dress and s t r i d i n g up and down the p l a t -form as he spoke. He charges that Kleon's h a b i t s pro-duced among the p o l i t i c i a n s an i r r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and a d i s -regard f o r p r o p r i e t y that before long were to throw the af-f a i r s of, Athens i n t o chaos (8,3). There i s an i n t e r e s t i n g p a r a l l e l made by the biographer between Gaius Gracchus and Kleon i n T i b e r i u s Gracchus 2,2. - 42 -of the whole a f f a i r Kleon i s far less maligned by Plutarch than by Thucydides; there are no amused r e f l e c t i o n s by "sensible men" Aoyt^oiievotc; 6uoTv aya@o?v rou erepou reu^eoOai (IV,28,5), but the most censorious remark i s , "The Athenians were more i n c l i n e d to laugh than to believe." In the story of the actual campaign at Pylos (8,1), again Plutarch's version i s the less d i s c r e d i t i n g . The ac-count reads, "However, th i s time he had good fortune, serv-ed as general most successfully along with Demosthenes, and within the time which he had specified brought home as prisoners of war, t h e i r arms surrendered, a l l the Spartans on Sphacteria who had not f a l l e n i n battle." The f u l f i l m e n t - of the v i c t o r y i s reported without irony, indeed the emphasis l i e s on the shame of Nikias. F i n a l l y , i n agreement with Thucydides (V,16,l), Plutarch remarks that Kleon and Brasidas were, re-spectively, the two most opposed to the peace, and that the war concealed the e v i l practices of Kleon and gave him the 7 opportunity to perpetrate great i n j u s t i c e s . As to his death, the biographer mentions simply that both persons were k i l l e d i n the battle of Amphipolis (9,3), a report that 5» Nikias. 7,4: roTcj 6'A0T]vaioic; e7ttiA.ee yeAacrai y,sxa ~ j* ~ p,aAAov r\ Tttarevdai. 6. Nikias,, 8,1, Transit by B. Perri n . 7. Nikias, 9,3. - 43 -seems to approach the noncommittal v e r s i o n of Diodoros, especially i n the omission of Kleon's f l i g h t during the b a t t l e . The tone of the relev a n t passage of P l u t a r c h ' s M o r a l i a i s condemnatory. P l u t a r c h reports an occasion when the Assembly was suspended by Kleon's insolence and 8 f i c k l e n e s s . Kleon i s mentioned as an example of the f o l l y and vehemence by which a person may, by h i m s e l f , subdue the c i t y (Mor., 805c-d). Kleon i s urged to put aside h i s longing f o r wealth, the mania f o r c r e a t i n g d i s -turbances, h i s s p i r i t of envy and wickedness, f o r he was h o s t i l e toward the. honest, but ready to pander to the mul-t i t u d e f o r favour, and a l l i e d w ith the worst against the best (Mor., 806f-807a). Kleon i s attacked because, i n being a v i d f o r g l o r y and power, he wishes to be general, yet he i s not e l i g i b l e e i t h e r i n nature or t r a i n i n g (Mor. t 812e). Kleon and h i s f o l l o w e r s are l i k e drone, bees with s t i n g s (Mor., 818c).^ 8. Mor.,799d. The same i n c i d e n t i s reported i n N i k i a s , 7,7, and P a l a d i n i notes t h a t the S c h o l i a s t on Lucian (Tim., 30) a t t r i b u t e s to Theopompos a s i m i l a r anec-dote, "esposto i n maniera s i m i l i s s i m a a P l u t a r c o " (p.55). Theopompos, averse to the Athenian democracy, may have sup-p l i e d P l u t a r c h with much of h i s m a t e r i a l . 9. As i n P l a t o , R e p u b l i c t 552c-d. - 44 -Hence the p o r t r a i t of Kleon s u f f e r s i n emphasis ac-cording to the anti-demoicratic t r a d i t i o n . Nevertheless, i t i s c l e a r that P l u t a r c h has also looked to other sources f o r h i s compilations, and i t may be seen t h a t the t r a d i -t i o n formed by Thucydides and darkened by Aristophanes and the comics has elements here and there, i n which the condemnation of K l e o n , i s considerably lessened. I t i s our task now to turn to the other major source, Aristophanes. CHAPTER THREE Aristophanes 1 P o r t r a i t of Kleon, and the Comic T r a d i t i o n * The f a c t that Aristophanes' p o r t r a i t of Kleon i s g e n e r a l l y consonant with that of Thucydides i s enough f o r Gomme, who w r i t e s , "When the p i c t u r e s drawn, i n -dependently, by two men, both contemporaries, of such very d i f f e r e n t temper and i n t e r e s t s as Thucydides and Aristophanes, agree or complement each other, there i s every reason to suppose that they represent the t r u t h . " 1 On the other hand Grote c a l l s i n t o question the v a l i d i t y of the evidence of e i t h e r when he w r i t e s , " I t i s through t h i s r epresentation [ r e f e r r i n g to the p o r t r a i t of Kleon i n the Knights of Aristophanes] t h a t Kleon has been t r a n s -mitted to p o s t e r i t y , c r u c i f i e d by a poet who admits him-s e l f to have a personal grudge against him, j u s t as he has been commemorated i n the. prose of an h i s t o r i a n whose 2 banishment he had proposed." The task of t h i s chapter 1. A. W. Gomme, "Thucydides and Kleon: the Second B a t t l e of Amphipolis," H e l l e n i k a . X I I I (1954), p . l . 2. Grote, V, p.392. See p.36; note 106. Aside from the f a c t that scholars appear to b e l i e v e that Kleon may have been responsible f o r the h i s t o r i a n ' s e x i l e , i t i s d i f -f i c u l t to assess the v a l i d i t y of the evidence a v a i l a b l e . - 46 -w i l l be to examine the Aristophanic p o r t r a i t of Kleon, and to explore the questions why and with what v a l i d i t y Aristophanes portrayed Kleon as he did. The f i r s t play the poet gave to the public was per-Q formed i n the beginning of the year 427. I t was call e d 4 The Banqueters. The fragments remaining indicate that i t was a sa t i r e on the intrigue and sloth of the youths of the day. This i s the f i r s t presentation of a theme that runs right through Aristophanes, the censure of the degenerat-ing character of the Athenian youth.. I t was the "bad young man" from whom the play drew i t s vigour and who was the centre of the action. His father had apprenticed him to learned masters with the intent of a d i s c i p l i n e d and t r a d i -t i o n a l education. "But," he said, "he learned none of those things that I wanted him to learn. Instead of doing so, he learned how to drink, to sing i n topsy-turvy manner, to love nothing but Syracusan cookery, the pleasures of the Sybarites and bumpers of Chian wine from Laconian cups." 3. B. B. Rogers, The Comedies of"Aristophanes, Intro-duction to Acharnians, I(London, 1910), p»v. 4. The play i s alluded to i n the Clouds. 528-532. Line 529, 6 acocppoov re x<^  xaTa7ruYcov apiar' fiHOuaaT^v , refers to characters i n the play. 5. Theodorus Kock, Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta (Li p z i g , 1880), I, p.446, f r . 216. Translation quoted from M. Croiset, Aristophanes and the P o l i t i c a l Parties at Athens, p.33. - 47 -His son had also become i n i t i a t e d i n r h e t o r i c and i n sharp p r a c t i c e , and from there became a sycophant and p u b l i c de-nunc i a t o r , who had grown r i c h on threats and calumny. He had acquired a l l the v i c e s of that p r o f e s s i o n , and boasted of being gambler, drunkard, debauchee, t r e a t i n g h i s own f a t h e r with c y n i c a l insolence. From these fragments may be seen the young poet's f i r s t attack against the p r o f e s -s i o n a l p o l i t i c i a n s , that i s , those persons who were begin-ning to transform p o l i t i c s i n t o a l u c r a t i v e trade i n Athens, and who were, i n the poet's eyes, hastening a moral de-generation through t h e i r perverseness. Aristophanes saw 7 i t as a r e a l s e r v i c e to the democracy to cha s t i s e them. p The Banqueters was followed, i n 426, by the Babylonians, performed at the c i t y f e s t i v a l of Dionysos. I t was a p o l i -t i c a l s a t i r e of a much b i t t e r e r , much bolder and f a r more personal k i n d than the f i r s t p l a y . I t was w r i t t e n under the shadow of the Mytilenean a f f a i r , a f t e r punishment had been debated before the popular assembly f o r the second time, and the s e v e r i t y of Kleon's proposal had been reversed by a 6. Kock, f r . 198-225. 7. Acharni ans T 641-642. 8. Rogers, I , Acharnians, p.57. See ^ i n e s 378-382. - 48 -slender m a j o r i t y . There may w e l l have been i n Athens at the time f e e l i n g s among some sections of the people that ex-cessive burdens had been l a i d upon many of the a l l i e s . . And there must have been some t r u t h i n the claim that i t was the p o l i t i c i a n s of the day who made these burdens heavier through t h e i r s e v e r i t y . The p o l i t i c i a n s were charged with exacting monies and crushing those who refused to buy them o f f . Much of t h i s k i n d of t a l k would be f a l s e , but some t r u e , and such t r u t h as there was i n i t s u f f i c e d to make people who were r e s t l e s s and discontented accept i t w i t h -out question. And so i t came about that the e n t i r e r e -s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r a state of a f f a i r s that was a t t r i b u t a b l e to them i n p a r t , but i n pa r t only, was placed upon the leaders of the people, and e s p e c i a l l y , by the playwright, upon Kleon.. Hence the poet Aristophanes s e l e c t e d Kleon to become the targe t and -butt of attack i n the p l a y . U n f o r t u n a t e l y d e t a i l e d knowledge about the Babylonians i s meagre. The f i r s t piece of evidence i s that given by the poet him s e l f . I n the parabasis of the Acharnians, Aristophanes boasts of the s e r v i c e he has rendered the people i n h i s e a r l i e r comedy. He says t h a t he taught them 9 to d i s t r u s t the hollow f l a t t e r y of the o r a t o r s , and he claims he has done great s e r v i c e to the c i t y by f o r c i n g the 9. Acharnians, 634. - 49 -people to see the oppression to which they were subject-i n g the a l l i e s under the guise of democracy. 1^ A r i s t o -phanes boasts i n h i s r o l e of c r i t i c of Athenian tyranny over the a l l i e s . The S c h o l i a s t on Acharnians, 378, notes that i n the Babylonians Aristophanes "made fun of the magistrates, of those chosen by l o t as w e l l as those who were e l e c t e d , and of Cleon a l s o . " 1 1 The main v i c t i m i n the attack was c e r t a i n l y Kleon. The i n f l u e n c e of the demagogue at t h i s time profoundly a f f e c t e d the y o u t h f u l poet, who saw Kleon as the man who was responsible f o r a l l the e v i l s from which Athenian democracy appeared to be s u f f e r i n g . To the poet, Kleon became the p e r s o n i f i c a -t i o n of these e v i l s , and he was to f e e l convinced t h a t , by overthrowing the one, he would get r i d of the other. Because of h i s open attack on the Athenian p o l i c y and the Athenian people, the poet was charged by Kleon 12 with s c o f f i n g at h i s country and i n s u l t i n g the people. I t was no.doubt at the door of Kleon that the poet had l a i d a l l the horrors of the. p o l i c y he condemned; however, i n p r i n c i p l e , t h i s p o l i c y had been approved by the people 10. Acharnians. 642. 11. Schol. Acharnians, l i n e 378. T r a n s l . from C r o i s e t , Aristophanes, p>41. 12. Acharnians. 630-631. - 50 -themselves, and they must have been offended. The p l a y d i d not win a p r i z e , and r e a c t i o n must have been strong enough f o r Kleon to be convinced he could get h i s aggressor punished. The nature of the attack i s i n dispute. The only e v i -dence i s what Aristophanes gives i n the Acharnians; Aye and I know what I myself endured At Cleon's hands f o r l a s t year's Comedy, How to the Council-house he haled me o f f , And slanged, and l i e d , and slandered, and betongued me, Roaring Cycloborus-wisj^ t i l l I w e l l nigh Was done to death, ... Further on, D i k a i o p o l i s adds: Nor now can Cleon slander me because, With strangers present, I defame the State. 'Tis the Lenaea, and we're a l l ^ a l o n e ; No strangers yet have come;.... The evidence of the ancient commentators does not give any more info r m a t i o n , except that the s c h o l i a s t on Acharnians t 377, adds that Kleon brought a s u i t impugning the genuine-13. The p l a y was performed at the Great D i o n y s i a , at the time when the a l l i e s brought t h e i r annual t r i b u t e to Athens. They would not f a i l to attend the c e l e b r a t i o n s of the season (Acharnians, 643-644). Hence here was a p l a y , c r i t i c i z i n g the oppression p r a c t i s e d by Athens, enacted i n the very presence of the people who, i t was b o l d l y claimed, were being oppressed. 14. Lines 377-382, t r a n s . B.B.Rogers, Aristophanes (London and Camb. Mass., 1940). 15. 502-504, t r a n s . B. B. Rogers. ness of the poet's c i t i z e n s h i p . This second s u i t , however, i s not l i k e l y contemporaneous with the f i r s t , and probably 16 occurred a f t e r the appearance of the Knights. Aristophanes was s e r i o u s l y alarmed at the accusation, but ac q u i t t e d . Nevertheless i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to n o t i c e that i n the year f o l l o w i n g , 425, Aristophanes, aside from a few s a t i r i c a l a l l u s i o n s , attacked n e i t h e r Kleon p e r s o n a l l y , nor the dema-gogues as a c l a s s . At the Lenaean f e s t i v a l of that year he brought out the Acharni ans. an ardent d e c l a r a t i o n i n favour of peace.. There are only a few a l l u s i o n s to Kleon's misfortunes and v i c e s . There i s probably a reference to him i n the warning not to t r u s t those who betray by f l a t t e r y , c a j o l e r y , a d u l a t i o n and 17 l i e s . There i s also no doubt an a l l u s i o n to Kleon and h i s f o l l o w e r s when i t i s s a i d of the o l d that they are mocked by s t r i p l i n g o r a t o r s , who prosecute them i n the t r i b u n a l w ith t h e i r "pert f o r e n s i c s k i l l , g r a p p l i n g us with w r i t s and 18 warrants, holding up our age to scorn." Men l i k e Kleon are e v i d e n t l y i n cluded among the av6pe<; rrovripot those who 16. See p>.58 below. 17. Acharnians, 635. 18. Acharnians, 680-682, t r a n s . B. B. Rogers. 19. Acharnians, 699. - 52 -p>rosecute the benefactors of the country. At the beginning of the p l a y , D i k a i o p o l i s declares h i s j o y of the preceding year when, thanks to the k n i g h t s , 20 Kleon was compelled to "vomit" up f i v e t a l e n t s . The explanation of t h i s reference i s probably that i n that year Kleon had proposed a reduction of c o n t r i b u t i o n s f o r some of the a l l i e s , a proposal r e j e c t e d by the k n i g h t s . The i l l - w i s h e r s of Kleon claimed he had received money to make the proposal, and g l o r i e d i n the f a c t that he had 21 to r e t u r n i t . A f u r t h e r taunt at Kleon by D i k a i o p o l i s (Acharnians, 659-664) suggests t h a t , whatever the e a r l i e r charge had been, Aristophanes now f e l t s u f f i c i e n t l y as-sured of h i s p o s i t i o n to renew h i s attack on h i s adversary. In the Acharnians, however, i t i s not Kleon who i s p r i m a r i l y under a t t a c k , but the i n s t i g a t o r of the war, P e r i k l e s . Ac-cording to the poet, P e r i k l e s had .begun the war because 22 "the Megarians...stole.... two of Aspasia's hussies." Aristophanes probably cared nought about the t r u t h or f a l s i t y of the rumour. However, he was always ready to 20. Acharnians, 6-7. 21. This i s the i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of C r o i s e t , pp.52-53, whom I f o l l o w . According to the S c h o l i a s t on l i n e 6, Theopompos reports an ac t u a l s u i t brought by the knights against Kleon. B. B. Rogers accepts the l i n e s as t r u e , The  Comedies of Aristophanes (London, 1910), I , p>3. 22. Acharnians. 523-537. T r a n s l . by B. B. Rogers. - 53 -c a p i t a l i z e on gossip and, by h i s attack, he expressed h i s c o n v i c t i o n s that the war had begun because of p e t t y i n c i d e n t s that a competent statesman should have been above,;; The poet renews h i s war upon the demagogical p a r t y and i t s leaders with f r e s h v i o l e n c e i n the Knights, per-formed at the Lenaean f e s t i v a l of the year 424, The a t -tack was already forming i n the mind of the poet as he has the chorus of the Acharnians say: No debate.' Thee we hate Worse than Cleon's s e l f , whose s k i n I ' l l erelonggo Cut to shoes For the worthy Knights to use. I t i s i n the parabasis of the Wasp s, however, performed two years a f t e r the Knights, that Aristophanes records the b a t t l e that he set himself to wage against Kleon i n the Knights. He was to be a second Herakles i n t e n t on r i d d i n g the land of the monsters and p r o d i g i e s that were i n f e s t i n g i t . The f i r s t labour of t h i s A t t i c Herakles was to attack the a l l - p o w e r f u l demagogue Kleon. "He came i n the mood of a Heracles f o r t h to grapple at once 24 with the m i g h t i e s t foes." The Knights was w r i t t e n at the time when the demagogue's success at Sphakteria had l i f t e d him i n t o p u b l i c acclaim and c e l e b r i t y . It,was e x h i b i t e d at the f i r s t D ionysia since 23. Acharnians, 300-301, Rogers' t r a n s l a t i o n . 24. See Wasp;s, 1029-1037. - 54 -Kleon's triumphant return with the Spartan c a p t i v e s . He was no doubt present at the performance. Kleon i s represented as a man whose power l i e s s o l e l y i n a n t i c i p a t i n g and s a t i s f y i n g a l l the d e s i r e s of the 25 multitude. As soon as another p o l i t i c i a n of the same stamp dares to apply the same system of government with s t i l l greater impudence and v u l g a r i t y , that p o l i t i c i a n i s bound to oust Kleon. P o l i t i c a l men of whom Kleon i s the consummate type have nothing i n common with the honest and the educated, but are r e c r u i t e d from the wretches o f f the 26 s t r e e t , the ignorant and l i c e n t i o u s . A g o r a k r i t o s , who i s l i t t l e more than a savage c a r i c a t u r e of Kleon, c a l l e d upon to speak, s o l i c i t s Ye Gods of knavery, S k i t a l s , and Phenaces, And ye Beresceths, Cobals, Mothon, and Thou Agora, whence my y o u t h f u l t r a i n i n g came, Now give me boldnessgftiid a ready tongue And shameless voice .' The Sausage-Seller summons to h i s a i d a l l the powers of Impudence and T r i c k e r y , the powers of F r i v o l i t y , F o l l y , Cheating, and Drunken Wantonness. The demagogue i s attacked, again, because of h i s 2' raucous, brawling v o i c e . He i s given the name Paphlagon,. 25. Thucydides has represented Kleon s i m i l a r l y , as one whose r o l e i t i s to encourage the people to f o l l o w i t s own impulse (IV,21,3). Thucydides uses the same verb e v . T i Y e . o f A l k i b i a d e s (VI,15,2). 26. Knights. 180-181; 185-187; 191-193. 27. Knights. 634-638, Rogers. 2 8 • 7Tacp\a£a> : to s p l u t t e r , f r e t , fume, chafe. 29 His voice i s l i k e n e d to the roar of the Kykloboros. He i s s k i l l e d i n c u r r y i n g favour l i k e a dog th a t fawns 30 on h i s master. He i s s k i l l e d i n d u l l i n g the minds of the people, before he p l i e s h i s trade of b r i b e r y and ex-31 t o r t i o n . He i s s k i l l e d i n ora t o r y based on fraudulent 32 deception. Aristophanes also attacks the v i o l e n c e and the c r u e l t y of the demagogue, always ready to b r i n g f a l s e charges, to e x t o r t , to b l a c k m a i l , to b u l l y , to i n d i c t an opponent as 33 a t r a i t o r . Every base q u a l i t y i s a t t r i b u t e d to him: i n -t r i g u e r (74-75); cheater (803, 809); t h i e f (137, 205, 1082-1083); racketeer (248-249); robber (296, 370, 444, 1127, 1147, 1252); p e r j u r e r (298); v i l l a i n and abomination (304); slanderer (6, 45, 64); d i s t u r b e r of a l l the p u b l i c l i f e (303-308); c o n t r i v e r of p l o t s and frauds (315-318); im-pudent (324-325, 389-399); wicked and shameless charlatan (331-332); coward (390); informer (437); obstinate war-monger (792-6); boaster (903); deceiving hound-fox " s t e a l t h i l y snapping, the c r a f t y , the s w i f t , the t r i c k y marauder" (1067-1068). The poet c o n s t a n t l y attacks the greed of Kleon. He has brought the harvest of Pylos back to Athens (393-394), a 29. Knights. 137. 30. Knights. 48. 31. Knights. 61-63. 32. Knights, 210; 343; 351-2; 385; 395-396. 33. Knights, 67-68; 278-279; 284; 290; 294; 300., - 56 -h a r v e s t t h a t he intends to use f o r h i s own p r o f i t . The demagogue i s also, charged with c o r r u p t i o n i n connection with both the surrender of P o t i d a e a and the surrender of M y t i l e n e . According to the poet Kleon r e c e i v e d ten t a l e n t s 34 from P o t i d a e a . He a l l e g e d l y r e c e i v e d another b r i b e from M y t i l e n e . ^ Aristophanes a l s o charges t h a t Kleon champions a p o l i c y of Athenian r u l e over a l l H e l l a s , a p o l i c y t h a t would be 36 e s p e c i a l l y repugnant to the poet's Panhellenism. The Sausage-Seller r e t o r t s t h a t Kleon's p o l i c y i s geared not f o r Athenian b e n e f i t but t h a t Kleon may snatch more money f o r h i m s e l f , while the people, d i s t r a c t e d by the war, w i l l 37 not be aware of h i s f r a u d s . 34. K n i g h t s . 438: ere 6'ex noTi&cuaq exovr' eu ot6a oexa ToAavra . There i s no evidence of t h i s a f f a i r from any other source. Rogers, The Comedies of Aristophanes (note on K n i g h t s . 438), suggests t h a t the poet i s merely echo-i n g a denunciation,made by Kleon a g a i n s t the generals who had, a c c o r d i n g to the Athenians, come to terms too l e n i e n t l y with the i n h a b i t a n t s . There had been a charge of b r i b e r y . 35. P a l a d i n i demonstrates t h a t there i s confusion about the whole t r a d i t i o n (p.59). Apparently the S c h o l i a s t on L u c i a n (Tim., 30) accuses Kleon of r e c e i v i n g from M y t i l e n e what Aristophanes charges he r e c e i v e d from P o t i d a e a . 36. Knights, 797-798: i'vet y' 'EAAiyvcov ap^fl 7ravTa)v. 37. K n i g h t s , 801-803. Compare Thucydides, V , 1 6 , l . - 57 -The poet i n d i c a t e s that Kleon was c e r t a i n l y not i s o l a t e d p o l i t i c a l l y . He has f r i e n d s (850-854); he also has enemies: KoAbioi (1020), KcjovoiTrec; (1038), KOpSvai (1051). According to Aristophanes, Kleon made use of the u n c e r t a i n t y and heightened apprehension of the times by c o n t i n u a l l y r e s o r t i n g to the use of or a c l e s to support h i s statements, and more e a s i l y hold h i s i n f l u e n c e : And he chants o r a c l e s , t i l l the dazed o l d man Goes Sibyl-mad; then* when he sees him mooning, He p l i e s h i s trade. Kleon i s charged with b r i n g i n g the c i t y to r u i n because of the "oracle-chants which you hatch" (817). Through-out the p l a y there are also references to how much Kleon fawns upon and c u r r i e s favour with the judges (50-51, 255, 800), as w e l l as numerous h i n t s regarding h i s mania f o r law s u i t s (746, 750, 979, 1256). From the beginning of the p l a y to i t s end the poet sustains a b i t t e r , r u t h l e s s attack upon the demagogue. Even the most hearty supporters of Aristophanes' condem-nat i o n of the demagogue agree that the p o r t r a i t i s only a 39 c a r i c a t u r e , while C r o i s e t states that the poet's Kleon _ _ , • 38. Thucydides reports that the war brought anxious suspense and abnormal excitement (11,8,1-2). He says, nai itoXXa, p-ev Xoria eXeyero, noXXa, 6e XP^C^O^OYOI f|5ov ..... 39. Thus B. B. Rogers, The Comedies of Aristophanes, I , p . x x x v i . A. ¥. Gomme, More Essays, w r i t e s , " A c t u a l l y there i s l e s s character-drawing altogether i n the Knights than i n any other p l a y , ,and no character i s sympathetically t r e a t e d " (p>85). - 58 -i s " a monstrous composite of vice and impudence, a sort of mythological monster. He i s emphatically not a human being, and for t h i s very reason he cannot r e a l l y be the 40 personification of a class of real men." What was Kleon's response to thi s derision? The Wasp s, performed two years after the Knights, i n 422, may give an indication. The chorus says: Some there are who said that I was reconciled i n amity, When upon me Cleon pressed, and made me smart with injury, Currying and tanning me: then as the stripes f e l l heavily Th 1 outsiders laughed to see the sport, and hear me squalling l u s t i l y , Caring not a whit for me, but only looking merrily, To know i f squeezed and pressed I chanced to drop some small buffoonery. Seeing t h i s , I played the ap« a l i t t l e b i t undoubtedly. So then, after a l l , t h e ^ i n e - p o l e proved un f a i t h f u l to the Vine. W. J . M. Starkie believes there i s a reference here to the charge of ^evi'a that the Scholiast on Ach.,378, probably i n c o r r e c t l y , alleges was brought by Kleon against A r i s t o -42 phanes after the Babylonians. Starkie notes, " I t i s just possible that i t [the charge of ^evi'a Jwas brought after the Equites, on the ground that Aristophanes was an Aeginetan." 40. Croiset, p. 83. 41. Wasp>s. 1284-1291, Rogers. 42. W. J. M. Starkie, The Wasps of Aristophanes (London and New York, 1897), p>379.. For Kleon ' s attack on the poet after the Babylonians see pp. 49-51 above. 43. Ibid. 43 - 59 -Hence Kleon was f a r from crushed by the savage attack, and promptly brought the poet to his knees for his abuse. However, Kleon's charge, i f i t was indeed l a i d , must have f a i l e d , for i n 422 the poet's attacks on the demagogue are renewed i n the Wasp s. The theme of the play i s the mania for law suits fostered by the demagogues. The attack focuses upon Kleon. The corrupted j u d i c i a l system at Athens i s incarnated i n Philokleon, the eccentric old man. Bdelykleon i s the wise son who wishes to reform him. The demagogue i s attacked as the great promoter of lawsuits, of jurymen, and of pay for them. Philokleon appeals to him for help (197); the jurymen give to the demagogue t h e i r patronage, even though he i s an i r a s c i b l e accuser (242-243); he i s the great bawler and brawler who bites a l l but the judges, who state: at us, and us only, to nibble forbears, And sweeps o f f the f l i e s that annoy us, and s t i l l with a v i g i l a n t hand f o r our dignity cares.^4 He defends and protects the dikasts, and sweeps away any op>-pon'ents. Kleon, as KUCDV Ku6a©T]vat euq , attends to the burlesque lawsuit against the dog Labes, the per s o n i f i c a t i o n of the 45 strategos Laches. Kleon i s demonstrated to be f u l l of 44. Wasps. 596-597, Rogers. 45. Wasps. 895-1000. Kleon was of the deme Kydathenaion. .f •'! • and was called or called himself "watch-dog for the Demos," kyoj p,sv eip/ 6 HUCDV, rtpo cou yap anvcxt (Knights, 1023). - 60 -greed (914), and a se l f - c o n f e s s e d t h i e f (928). The psoet r e c a l l s h i s encounter with Kleon ( i n the K n i g h t s ) ; In the very f r o n t of h i s bold career with the jag-toothed Monster he closed i n f i g h t , Though out of i t s f i e r c e eyes f l a s h e d and flamed the g l a r e of Cynna's detestable l i g h t , And a hundred h o r r i b l e sycophants' tongues ^ were twining and f l i c k e r i n g over i t s head. Kleon surpasses a l l others as a racketeer and robber (1227); he crushes opponents by h i s v o c i f e r a t i o n s , and i s quick to threaten extermination, r u i n and e x i l e (1228-1230); he i s greedy to have supreme power, and to throw the c i t y i n t o a t u r m o i l (1234-1235); he i s a foxy deceiver and h o s t i l e to the good (1240-1241). He holds f o r t h i n the assembly "In 47 tone and accents l i k e a scaMed p i g . " He i s h a b i t u a l l y c o r r u p t i n g the a l l i e s w ith thundering t h r e a t s (669-671); he belongs to the category of " b i g t a l k e r s " ( CTop,cpa£ovTctc; , 721). In substance the attacks i n the Wasps against Kleon simply repeat the procession of steady abuse and r e v i l i n g a lready formulated i n the Knights, while doubtless the poet avenges himself f o r the unknown maltreatment and thr e a t s that Kleon d i r e c t e d against him f o l l o w i n g the Knights. C h r o n o l o g i c a l l y placed between the Knights and the Wasps i s the Clouds, w r i t t e n at the close of the year 424, 46. Wasps. 1031-1033, Rogers. 47. Wasps, 36 : exouca cpcovriv Ep.7re7tpriu.evf]<; toe,. - 61 -and g i v i n g evidence of the poet's i n t e n t i o n t e m p o r a r i l y to hold aloof from p o l i t i c s ; i n the p l a y there i s l i t t l e mention of the war or of the statesmen of the day. How-ever, the poet cannot abs t a i n from a t t a c k i n g Kleon upon 48 h i s e l e c t i o n as strategos. and he appeals to the people to get r i d of t h i s "robber" as q u i c k l y as p o s s i b l e , by p u t t i n g h i s neck i n the p i l l o r y . When the tanner of l e a t h e r , Paphlagon, the enemy of the gods, was e l e c t e d , there occurred an e c l i p s e of the moon and an e c l i p s e of 48 the sun, as the p r o t e s t of nature.. The theme of the Clouds, however, i s not p o l i t i c a l s a t i r e , but the d e t e r i o r a t i o n i n Athenian character wrought by the i n f l u e n c e of the current philosophy and r h e t o r i c . Through philosophy young people studied a thousand useless t h i n g s , i n s t e a d of t a k i n g p a r t i n a c t i v e l i f e . Through i t they learned to doubt t r a d i t i o n s and question m o r a l i t y . And the person who bore the brunt of attack, as the p r i n c i p a l type of so p h i s t , was Sdkrates, an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n as u n f a i r and as inaccurate as the poet's adoption of Kleon to bear the attack on the whole c l a s s 49 of demagogues. 48. Clouds. 581-594, Rogers.. 49. W. W. Merry, Aristophanes; The Clouds (Oxford, 1879), w r i t e s , "And i n the 'Clouds' the r e l a t i o n of Socrates to the Sophists i s w i l f u l l y or i g n o r a n t l y misunderstood; so that the p i c t u r e of him as t h e i r 'fugleman* i s , con-sequently, n o t o r i o u s l y u n f a i r " ( p . v i i ) . - 62 -In the very year i n which Aristophanes had produced the Wasps, i n the summer of 422, Kleon f e l l under the wa l l s of Amphipolis i n Thrace. His death assured the emergence of the peace-party of which N i k i a s was then the leader. I n the f o l l o w i n g year peace was concluded. Aristophanes wrote and produced the Peace during the days j u s t preceding the t r e a t y . The i n e x p r e s s i b l e d e l i g h t of the r u r a l p o p u l a t i o n of A t t i c a resounds throughout the p l a y . There i s a r e t r o -s p ective judgement upon Kleon and upon the p o l i c y of the demagogues. Abuse centres upon Kleon immediately i n the opening scenes. He i s the "dung-eating" beetle ( crnaTocpctYOc; , 48). He i s the distu>rber of H e l l a s , the p e s t l e of the 50 Athenians. Now that he has gone (272), along with the Spartan p e s t l e (281-282), there i s nothing to hinder the coming of peace: Now, men of H e l l a s , now the hour has come To throw away our tr o u b l e s and our wars, And, ere another p e s t l e r i s e to stop us, To p u l l out Peace, the joy of a l l mankind. But Kleon i s ready to block the way of Peace with h i s f u s -52 s i n g and h i s f u r y . He i s among the " p u b l i c speakers" who have " p i t c h f o r k e d " out the Goddess with t h e i r y e l l s and c r i e s , who have vexed and harassed the a l l i e s , as w e l l as accused them of being p a r t i s a n s of Brasidas(635-64l). 5 0» Peace. 269-270, an echo of Knights,984, where Kleon i s c a l l e d 6oT5ui; and ropuvT) . 51. Peace, 292-295, Rogers. 52. Peace, 313-315. Aristophanes r e c a l l s the t i t l e Paphlagon, see Knights, 919 and 1030, - 63 -And the fellow most to blame for the slanderings that were destroying the c i t y and for the prevalence of bribery was "a tanner" (644-650). The poet's attack on the demagogue culminates with the following: Knave and slave while yet amongst us, Wrangler, jangler, f a l s e accuser* Troubler, muddler, all-confuser. • The Peace f o r c e f u l l y r e f l e c t s some of the l o f t y moral sentiments that had made Aristophanes hate the war. He had considered i t as anti-Hellenic, as having been begun and prolonged for the s e l f i s h interests of a few men. To his mind Kleon was the pestle, "The tanner fellow that d i s -54 turbed a l l Hellas." And so the restoration of peace becomes a veritable f e s t i v a l of Hellenic brotherhood and deserves to be celebrated i n hymns of joy (291). The war had altered the character of Athens; when i t took the rural democracy from the farms, i t gave them vicious and ser v i l e 55 habits, and "the fellow most to blame was a tanner." To the poet, Kleon was the representative figure of the cor-rupters of the Athenian s p i r i t , and Kleon himself the arch-corrupter. The poet believed that, thanks to the peace and 53. Peace, 652-655, Rogers. 54. Peace, 269-270. Rogers' t r a n s l . 55. Peace, 647. See l i n e s 631-647 for the poet's ac-count of the degenerating influence on the rural f o l k caused by the orators, through whom "distracted Hellas came un-observed to wrack and ruin." - 64 -to Kleon's death, the Athenian s p i r i t would be restored to i t s former vigour. A f t e r kleon's death, and the peace of N i k i a s , some years passei before the next extant p l a y by the poet, the B i r d s , was produced. I t was e x h i b i t e d i n 415. The p l a y — — — \ < i s a c r i t i c i s m of the moral c o n d i t i o n of the c i t y , and of i t s p r o p e nsity to suspicions and to l i t i g a t i o n . There i s no d i r e c t mention of or a l l u s i o n to Kleon i n the pl a y . The next and f i n a l p l a y i n which there i s any reference to Kleon i s the Frogs, w r i t t e n under the shadow of the condemnation of the eight generals a f t e r Arginousai (406) and e x h i b i t e d at the Lenaean f e s t i v a l , January, 405. I t s s a t i r e again aimed at the moral c o n d i t i o n of the c i t y , and the persons of the demagogues. There are two contemptuous a l l u s i o n s to Kleon. The scene i s l a i d i n Hades whither the god Dionysos goes, i n the a t t i r e of Herakles, along with h i s slave Xanthias, f o r the purpose of b r i n g i n g to earth the deceased poet E u r i p i d e s . Xanthias i s represented as a c t i n g with v i o l e n c e and i n s u l t towards two hostesses of eating-houses, consuming t h e i r substance, robbing them, r e f u s i n g to pay when c a l l e d upon, and even threatening t h e i r l i v e s with a drawn sword. The women, having no other redress l e f t , announce t h e i r r e s o l u t i o n of c a l l i n g , the one upon her p r o t e c t o r Kleon, the other on Hyperbolos, f o r the purpose of b r i n g i n g the offender to j u s t i c e before the d i k a s t e r y . Kleon i s c o n f i d e n t l y expected to t w i s t and wring out ( SKTrnvtstreet ) the facts (577-578) and bring an accusation. The above, then, i s the p o r t r a i t of Kleon according to the poet Aristophanes. As has been stated before, i t i s not the purpose of t h i s study to contradict those charges that, i n essence, l i e at the base of Aristophanes* comic attack, namely, Kleon's b i t t e r and unrefined and turbulent manners, his vi o l e n t utterance and unorthodox behaviour. He was obviously one whose prominence and 56 idiosyncrasies were ready material for comic wit. What t h i s study seeks i s to restore Kleon's status as a p o l i t i c a l leader, as a statesman, a man of greater com-petence, energy, i n t e g r i t y , insight and wisdom than his contemporary sources admit. The examination of the por-t r a i t by Thucydides has sought to indicate that the evidence of the h i s t o r i a n i s u n f a i r l y condemnatory. What now i s the v a l i d i t y of the representation of Kleon by Aristophanes, a source that readily admits noXXa y'r\]iS.q * 57 X a v Q a v s t , a source that r e l i e s on comic exaggeration and d i s t o r t i o n f o r i t s ef f e c t s , on unreal and impossible events, " t y p i c a l " persons and topics. Victor Ehrenberg i s emphatic when he writes, "One essential 56. As Plutarch points out, Nikias, 7. Kleon had already become a comic figure before Aristophanes began to write. 57. Peace, 618. - 6 6 -point, frequently overlooked, i s that the situation on the stage, which i s naturally part of the p l o t , must not 58 be used as evidence for h i s t o r i c a l facts." Certainly Aristophanes was p r i n c i p a l l y bent on enter-tainment. Did the poet have a further purpose besides t h i s , a more serious purpose, as reformer and censor, and advocate for peace? The poet's counsels, i f counsels' they were, went unheeded. He attacked a l l the popular leaders of the day - Kleon, Hyperbolos, Peisander, Kleophon, but he drove no one from power. Kleon, when the poet's abuse became indecent, promptly brought the poet to his knees. I f the poet's goal was to reform he f a i l e d . At the same time i t i s wrong to regard Aristophanes simply as a je s t e r . He wrote comedy, but his comedy was always meant to be regenerative. Croiset notes, "$he instrument by which the poet probed the popular discontent was that most effe c t i v e of a l l means when s k i l f u l l y used -59 a laugh." The poet used the laugh to stimulate c r i t i c i s m and arouse discontent at what he saw as e v i l s . Nevertheless, while not simply a jester, Aristophanes' was writing comedy, and not c r i t i c a l essays, and even the poet's most ardent 58. V. Ehrenberg, The People of Aristophanes (Oxford, 1951), p.39. 59. Croiset, p.xv. Ehrenberg writes, "A great a r t i s t has views of his own, and the picture he paints w i l l be more than clownery." (p.9). modern supporters and adherents of his judgements of Kleon admit the essential d i s t o r t i o n inevitable i n comic ef-f e c t s . 6 0 There were invention, d i s t o r t i o n , and capricious exaggeration. There was also, i n the background, r e a l i t y 60. Cf. B. B. Rogers, The Comedies. I,p.xxxvi, "The description of Cleon i n the Knights i s avowedly a mere c a r i -cature." M. L. Paladini (p.65) c a l l s the poet's treatment of Kleon "a t h e a t r i c a l cartoon" ("la sua commedia e una caricatura t e a t r a l e " ) . Croiset warns of the deceptive qu a l i t y of the poet's humour, and speaks of the mistaken idea of the function of Greek comedy as c h i e f l y censorial and monitory. Hence "these plays have been regarded as a t r u s t -worthy source of information i n establishing the facts of Greek history, biography, and i n s t i t u t i o n s . So serious an interpretation of a form of l i t e r a t u r e of which the primary intention must always be entertainment and amusement inevitably obscured the poet's elusive humor" (p>.xiv). And because of t h i s mistaken dis p o s i t i o n , Croiset continues, "A j e s t became a statement of fact, a caricature a p o r t r a i t , a sa t i r e a document." A. TV. Gomme, More Essays, who accepts the Aristophanic p o r t r a i t of Kleon as b a s i c a l l y v a l i d , warns that Aristophanes was primarily a comic dramatist, and that his plays must be treated as drama, not his t o r y ( e s p e c i a l l y p.87). to provide the contrast with the unreal fantasy of the play. Tragedy had a f a m i l i a r starting point i n i t s well-known themes. Comedy needed an analdgous starting point. That starting point was the pulsating r e a l i t y of the " p o l i -t i c a l " l i f e of the Athenian c i t i z e n . There was no other source that sprang so d i r e c t l y from r e a l i t y as comedy. I t i s important to see the l i m i t s of t h i s r e a l i t y . The condi-tions of Athenian l i f e were described i n comedy i n two ways, now with intentional d i s t o r t i o n i n deteriorem, now simply as a r e f l e c t i o n of r e a l i t y . Ehrenberg warns of the problem of determining i n comedy where r e a l i t y ends and caricature 61 or fantasy begins. Furthermore, while there i s r e a l i t y i n the action and plo t of the comic drama there i s also con-6^ 2 siderable loss of i n d i v i d u a l i t y to p e r s o n a l i t i e s . Indeed stage p e r s o n a l i t i e s , i n the comic drama, merge into "types."' And i n the wake of acceptance of these "types" as s t r i c t and accurate characterizations there have suffered Kleon, as the Paphlagonian i n the Knights, Sokrates i n the Clouds, and Euripides i n the Thesmophoriazousai. Apart from the poet's conventional stock-in-trade of d i s t o r t i o n and fantasy, his mind was continually fed by 61. E s p e c i a l l y p.39. 62. I t i s Ehrenberg who argues t h i s position, and N, whose opinions I accept and follow, pp.39-41. 63. "They have much less i n d i v i d u a l i t y than the mythical men and women of tragedy..." (Ehrenberg, p.40). - 69 -gossip, the gossip o>f the s t r e e t s , the gossip of the 64 c i t y ' s p o l i t i c a l clubs* I t was the personal slanders hu r l e d back and f o r t h that supplied ammunition f o r the poet. Aristophanes' views, again, were fashioned by contact with the o l i g a r c h s , not so much by the o l i g a r c h i c t h e o r i s t s as by the yo u t h f u l company of the a r i s t o c r a c y . They repeated the t a l k of the t h e o r i s t s with the v i v a c i o u s -ness and exaggerated f a n c i e s of youth. They d e l i g h t e d i n a l l the scandal and r i d i c u l e that provided the raw m a t e r i a l out of which was formed much of the i n s u l t and abuse h u r l -ed at Kleon. There are, however, o>ther f a c t o r s that would have i n -creased Aristophanes' d e s i r e and s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to d i s t o r t the p i c t u r e of Kleon. He was h o s t i l e to the demagogme f o r per s o n a l , c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l reasons. He had q u a r r e l l e d with Kleon a f t e r the e x h i b i t i o n of the Babylonians. H o s t i l -i t y was i n t e n s i f i e d a f t e r the Knights.. Prom the evidence of the p l a y s there must have been a p e r s i s t e n t undercurrent of personal h o s t i l i t y and animosity. In the second place there was the poet's n a t u r a l pre-6 5 d i l e c t i o n f o r the country and the r u r a l l i f e . Although 64. See A. W. Gomme, More Essays, foor a h i n t at Aristophanes' t a l e n t f o r converting the gossip of the s t r e e t s i n t o m a t e r i a l f o r drama (p.87). 65. A. W. Gomme, More Essays, r e j e c t s the view that Aristophanes wrote f o r the r u r a l p o p ulation (pp.70-91); he would not, I t h i n k , deny the poet's genuine love f o r the country. - 70 -he belonged to the c i t y deme of Eydathenaion, Aristophanes had l i v e d i n the country, and i t i s clear from his plays that he knew and loved the rural l i f e . He i s well i n -formed about the ways of the farmer; he knows the names of trees, of plants, of the birds, and of tools. He knows the season when the grapes swell and turn golden. He speaks with a loye and l i v e l y appreciation of nature. To A r i s t o -phanes, Kleon must have appeared tout au contraire. The demagogue was very p>robably brought up i n the Peiraeus' 66 throngs, and ce r t a i n l y was a stranger to the l i g h t graces of A t t i c culture. His clamours, his violent gestures, the in s u l t s he heaped upon his opponents - a l l these t r a i t s com-bined to make him one upon whom Aristophanes could make per-sistent warfare as the very antithesis of the t r a d i t i o n a l culture of the rur a l democracy of Athens. This democratic section of the people was vulnerable to ambitious men who knew how to gain the goodwill of the •masses. And Athens, i n the Peloponnesian War, had become a theatre of action exceptionally suited to p o l i t i c i a n s . I t was one of these young men, Kleon, whom Aristophanes found as a target for incessant war. Kleon was seen by the poet as the root of the moral c r i s i s which was grip-ping the Athenian character. The p o l i c y of the demagogues, according to the poet, had changed the Athenian s p i r i t . Gone was the free and expansive nature, the gay, vivacious, 66. Knights. 1324 . - 71 -merry-making s p i r i t of Athens, gone were the "old days" of Aristeides and Miltiades, and the cause of t h i s was "a tanner." 6^ Aristophanes also saw Kleon as the embodiment of the thrust of the Peiraeus toward expansion and conquest, a zeal that was e n t i r e l y foreign to the people of the s o i l and i t s t r a d i t i o n s . The poet's pan^Hellenism would f i g h t tooth and n a i l against the alleged KItlonian p o l i c y of Athenian rule over the rest of Hellas. "My aim," says the Paphlagonian to Demos i n the Knights, " i s to make you rule 68 over a l l the Greeks." To the poet i t was unforgivable that the.Greeks should engage i n internecine war, or that the Athenian people should allow th e i r kindly, amiable, and sprightly natures to be spoiled by s e l f i s h demagogues. These personal, c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l animosities could not help but drive the poet to a more b i t t e r and more i n -tensive h o s t i l i t y against the demagogue. Further considerations give us pause i n evaluating the Aristophanic p o r t r a i t of Kleon. There i s the poet's representation of Sokrates i n the Clouds. W. ¥. Merry i s at pains to demonstrate how s i g n a l l y inaccurate i s A r i s t o -phanes i n terms of the character of Sokrates known from 69 other sources. There i s r e a l i t y i n the bare feet and 67. 68. 69. Peace, 647: raxJxa b'r\v 6 6p25v $\)poort<x>XT}c,. Knights, 797: t v a r' 'EAAiyvaov apc;n TTCXVTCDV. Merry, p . v i i . See p.61 above, note 49. - 7 2 -the argumentative subtlety, but the rest i s fancy and d i s -t o r t i o n . With such an analogy, according to Grote, "We are not warranted i n treating the p o r t r a i t of Kleon as a likeness, except on points where there i s corroborative evidence." Grote has also pointed out that the d i f f e r e n t i n d i c t -ments accumulated by Aristophanes are not easy to reconcile 71 one with another. Surely i t i s true to say that, for one who carries on peculation for his own p r o f i t , i t would be an unwise p o l i c y to become conspicuous as a ruthless ag-gressor against such actions i n others. I f Kleon were i n -clined to brigandage himself, he would not be l i k e l y to make himself prominent as a slanderer of the innocent. I t may also be claimed that the q u a l i t i e s of violent temper, f i e r c e p o l i t i c a l antipathies, coarse invective, are nothing but the q u a l i t i e s that i d e n t i f y every type of energetic opposi-tion. Just as the elder Cato was characterized by Plutarch as "the universal b i t e r , whom Persephone was a f r a i d even 72 to admit into Hades after his death," ' so Kleon has been represented for po s t e r i t y as a man of native acrimony of temper, a powerful talent for invective. But what propor-tion of cases were just or calumnious, there i s no means of deciding. "To lash the wicked i s not only no blame, 70. Grote, V, p.393. 71. Ibid., p. 394. 72. Plutarch, Cato, 1.3, quoted from Grote, p. 395. - 73 -but i s even a matter of honour to the good," observes 73 Aristophanes, but Kleon has seldom been allowed the benefit of the observation. A further point to bear i n mind i n evaluating A r i s -tophanes 1 p o r t r a i t of Kleon i s that, before the demagogue became prey to the former's wit, he had already become, because of his p o l i t i c a l prominence and idiosyncrasies, part of a comic t r a d i t i o n . Hermippos, elder contemporary of Aristophanes, and a b i t t e r opponent of Perikles, had 74 already selected Kleon for the comic theatre. The Scholiast on Knights, 1304, reports a fragment of an un-known poet who refers to the corruption of Kleon and to the succession of Hyperbolos. In Wasps, 1034, the Scholiast cites Pherekrates, who refers to the voice of Kleon, clear as a raging torrent. In the Peace, 313, where Kleon i s c a l l e d Gerberus, the Scholiast records that the same name was given to him by the comic poet 75 Plato. In the Scholiast on Frogs, 320 there i s a refer-76 ence to a passage by Hermippos, the f i r s t verse of which seems to allude to Kleon, who grows i n importance day by day, because of the hatred he has s t i r r e d i n Perikles. 73. Knights, 1271 74. Plutarch, Perikles, 33,8. 75. Plato, fragment 216 Kock: that the comic play-wright Plato had attacked Kleon i s confirmed by a further fragment (107 Kock). 76. Hermippos, fragment 42 Kock. - 74 -These traces, although s l i g h t , indicate that Kleon had already become a comic t r a d i t i o n that Aristophanes had appropriated, exploited and expanded. This comic t r a d i t i o n , as M. Paladini points out i n her 77 study of the ancient sources on Kleon, demonstrates that 78 ancient comedy was b a s i c a l l y opposed to the current democracy. It s c r i t i c i s m s were similar to those of the De Republica Atheniensium, an olig a r c h i c t r a c t wrongly attributed to Xeno-79 phon. In th i s work can be seen the kind of attack that Aristophanes and the entire comic t r a d i t i o n used against 80 Kleon and his time. I t was the t r a d i t i o n of the comic 77. M. L. Paladini, "Considerazioni su l l e Ponti d e l l a Storia d i Cleone." 78. She writes, "Cio conferma naturalmehte che tutta l a commedia antica ebbe un neto atteggiamento di opposizione a l i a democrazia vigente" (p.68). 79. Its date i s uncertain, but i t was very l i k e l y available to Aristophanes. After an exhaustive study of the text, and after much debate, Gomme settles for a date between 420-415 (A. ¥. Gomme, "The Old Oligarch", Harv. Stud. Class. P h i l . . Suppl. Vol.. 1(1940), pp.211-245). Gomme argues that Meritt's date of c i r c a 425-24 i s unsound. For Meritt's case see B. D. Meritt Documents on Athenian Tribute (Camb. Mass., 1937), pp. 40-42. 80. The state controlled by the poor and the vulgar; freedom of speech granted i n public to anyone; the love of the masses for the o f f i c e s from which are derived p r o f i t and personal advantage (1,2,3); the vulgar and the poor given preference over the aristocrats (4); the ignorance, disorder, - 75 -p o e t s to h u r l abuse, i n t h i s h o s t i l e v e i n , a t a l l o p p o s i -t i o n , as d i d K r a t i n o s , who " f l o w e d t h r o u g h the p l a i n s 'mid a t u m u l t o f p l a u d i t s and c h e e r i n g ; And sweeping on a l l t h a t o b s t r u c t e d h i s c o u r s e , w i t h a s w i r l from t h e i r s t a t i o n s he t o r e them, Oaks, r i v a l s , and p l a n e s ; And away on h i s f l o o d 81 u p r o o t e d and p r o s t a t e he bore them." D u r i n g t h e h e i g h t o f K r a t i n o s ' p e r i o d (450-440), comedy was a g g r e s s i v e l y 82 a c t i v e , e s p e c i a l l y a g a i n s t P e r i k l e s . The a t t a c k s on v i l e n e s s , i m m o r a l i t y , and l a c k o f e d u c a t i o n o f t h e masses ( 5 ) ; the e q u a l o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a l l to speak and to govern ( 6 , e i 7 r o i 6 ' a v TIC, dx; £XPT)v a u T o u q ]ir\ e a v Keyeiv ixdvrac; k^ "ar]^ VLT)6e p o u X e u e i . Compare Thuc y d i d e s , 11,65, and Woodhead's c r i t i c i s m , p.294. I t seems t h a t Thucydides i s r e f l e c t i n g a t y p i c a l a r i s t o c r a t i c b i a s ) ; the i n e v i t a b l e s e l f - i n t e r e s t o f t h e v u l g a r ( 6 ) ; the i g n o r a n c e and v u l g a r i t y o f t h e masses, and t h e i r l a c k o f r e f i n e m e n t ( 7 ) ; the p a r t i c i p a t i o n by madmen i n the c o u n c i l and assembly ( 9 ) ; the tendency o f the p e o p l e to e n r i c h t h e m s e l v e s , e s p e c i a l l y i n the a d m i n i s t r a t i o n o f j u s t i c e , w h i l e the r i c h are i m p o v e r i s h e d ( 1 3 ) . 81. K n i g h t s , 526-528, Rogers. 82. Compare P l u t a r c h , P e r i k l e s , where the comics j e s t on t h e shape of h i s head ( 3 ) , on h i s nickname Olympios ( 8 , 4 ) , on h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h A s p a s i a (24,9-10). P l u t a r c h c l a i m s t h a t the comic p o e t s have a t r o c i o u s l y m i s r e p r e s e n t e d him (16,1-2). - 76 -Perikles were so b i t t e r that the attempt to outlaw the a c t i v i t y of the comic playwrights, hinted at i n the De 83 Republica Atheniensium, does not appear unbelievable. This stinging abuse, ^already a t r a d i t i o n before A r i s t o -phanes, was adopted by him as he followed the s p i r i t of p o l i t i c a l opposition set by h i s comic forbears. From the beginning of comedy, b i t t e r r a i l i n g against p o l i t i c a l leaders was part of a convention. This may not undermine the impetus and force of the poet's attack on Kleon, but i t does help us to place i t i n perspective. F i n a l l y , before we summarize the above considerations, i t may be said that any prominent person was vulnerable to attack by the poets: Perikles, Aspasia, Sokrates, Euripides. Aristophanes i n the Peace alleged that Perikles, i n order to escape a charge of embezzlement, "blew up the Pelopon-nesian War" and involved his country i n such confusion and p e r i l as made his own aid and guidance indispensable to her; especially that he passed the decree against the Megarians 84 by which the war "was set ablaze." Tet we are sure t h i s allegation against Perikles i s not true. The comic writers attacked Perikles and exhausted t h e i r powers against him. But Perikles' stature was not blighted because of i t . 83. KoopcpSeTv 6 ' a u nai xanax; Keyeiv rov psv &T)uov O U H eaxriv (2,18). E f f o r t s to trace the law that em. bodied t h i s u-r) noap^Seiv have not been successful. See Paladini, p.72. 84. Peace. 587-603. - 77 -In turning, then, to the d i f f i c u l t task of evaluating Aristophanes as a source for the h i s t o r i c a l Kleon, we may say: Aristophanes was a comic dramatist, an a r t i s t . Gos-sip, exaggeration, d i s t o r t i o n , were handmaids to his dramatic art. We know that i t was the perilous fortune of any promi-nent person to f a l l victim to comic attacks. We know from independent evidence of Sokrates, and indeed of Perikles, that there was another truer p o r t r a i t of these men than comedy allowed. We know that the poet was antipathetic to Kleon for personal, c u l t u r a l and p o l i t i c a l reasons. We detect internal d i f f i c u l t i e s i f Kleon was indeed as A r i s t o -phanes portrays him. We know that Aristophanes inherited a •t comic convention accustomed to the wildest and most vitupera-tive language possible. In the l i g h t of the above considerations, i t may be properly urged that Aristophanes cannot be regarded as a v a l i d h i s t o r i c a l source for evaluation of the p o r t r a i t of Kleon, especially not for support of that evidence of Thucydides that i t i s the point of thi s paper to correct. We agree with Finley that i t was the profoundest of Greek a b i l i t i e s both to convey the generic without f a l s i f y i n g 85 the unique, and also to portray characters with clear 85. Finley, p.67. - 78 -generic significance while at the same time not losing 86 t h e i r r e a l i t y as creatures of f l e s h and blood. And we should say that i n the case of Aristophanes i t i s the greatness of his genius that creates the i l l u s i o n s (a) that he has not f a l s i f i e d the unique Kleon, and (b) that the character represented as Kleon was i n fact a creature of f l e s h and blood. 86. Pinley, p.61. CHAPTEE FOUR Evaluation and Conclusion: Why did Thucydides treat Kleon thus? E a r l i e r i t was said that " t h i s study w i l l seek to explain why Thucydides, an hi s t o r i a n whose i n t e g r i t y and power are endorsed by a l l students, could treat Kleon as he has." Why, indeed? There have already been set forth grounds for believing there was an embittered r e l a t i o n -ship between the two men. This h o s t i l i t y was probably based upon p o l i t i c a l antipathies, very l i k e l y upon cu l -t u r a l and soc i a l antipathies ( l i k e Aristophanes, Thucydides doubtless blamed Kleon f o r causing s o c i a l and moral deteriora-tion),''" and, i f we are to believe that Kleon was involved i n the punishment of exile upon the h i s t o r i a n , probably upon personal antipathy. But i n spite of these factors, i t i s d i f f i c u l t to believe that Thucydides would deliber- ately v i t i a t e the i n t e g r i t y of his History to s a t i s f y his animosities. A. W. Gomme seems to suggest that at times 2 Thucydides was not aware of the bias he f e l t against Kleon. Andrewes believes that personal enmity may have played a part 1. The Corcyrean revolution was intended to exemplify the result of the "violence" of the Mytilene debate. 2. A. W. Gomme, More Essays, pp.118-119. - 80 -i n Thucydides' treatment of Kleon, but he believes there i s "more than that...."'* A contribution to understanding what that "more" i s may be gained from F. M. Cornford's thesis that Thucydides treats Kleon not so much as a h i s t o r i c a l per-son as a tragi-comic figure i n a tragic drama, wrought 4 about.the downfall of Athens. We have seen that Ehrenberg states that i n comic drama the personalities 5 are less persons than types. In Thucydides, according to Cornford, Kleon i s less a person than an embodiment of tragic flaws that were to lead Athens inexorably to de-struction. Cornford argues that Thucydides never understood the o r i g i n of the war because h i s mind was f i l l e d with pre-conceptions that shaped the events he witnessed into a g certain form. Thucydides sees history shaped by forces and passions that overtake people's characters, and this basic presupposition leads Thucydides to portray Kleon as he does. Cornford rejects the p o s s i b i l i t y that the h i s t o r i a n d i s l i k e d Kleon personally to the point that he 3. Andrewes, Phoenix, p.80. 4. F. M. Cornford, Thucydides Mythistoricus (London, 1907), especially pp. 79-173. 5. See p.68 above. 6. Cornford notes that Thucydides wrote i n order that no one would need to ask the o r i g i n of the war (1,23,5), yet "We are s t i l l troubled by the question which he thought no one would ever have to ask" (p.3). - 81 -was prepared deliberately to d i s t o r t evidence to condemn Kleon. Rather Kleon i s treated as he i s because of a certain p r i n c i p l e of design that, i n Thucydides' under-standing, the war took. This p r i n c i p l e of design becomes clear i n the narrative of Pylos. The account of Pylos i s set for t h by Thucydides i n such a way that i t appears the h i s t o r i a n r e a l l y believed "Fortune" took a s i g n i f i c a n t role i n the whole a f f a i r . And Thucydides was predisposed to see Tyche at work i n t h i s incident because he believed i t had overtaken Kleon and was leading Athens to destruc-tion through Kleon's leadership. Why did Kleon appear i n the History only three times, when he must have been the leader of the war-party? I t i s because he i s the character of a drama to i l l u s t r a t e how Insolence (at Mytilene), Covetousness (at Pylos) and Pride (at Amphipolis) bring r u i n . These three forces r e f l e c t the structure of character-i z a t i o n , c r i s i s and catastrophe of the tragic drama. The p l o t of the war i s tr a g i c , but Kleon i s not to be a tragic figure. Hence Kleon's l i t t l e personal drama i s deliberately s p o i l t : "Laughter seized the Athenians at his wild words." 7. Mme. de Romilly (p.174) refers to Thucydides' emphasis and exaggeration of the element of chance i n the Pylos incident. A. W. Gomme (Comm., III.p.488) condescend-in g l y notes "Certainly the word T U Y X a v e t v occurs frequently." I cannot accept Gomme's statement that T U Y X a v s i v may mean merely contemporaneity; there i s always implied chance coincidence. 8. Thucydides, IV,28,5, quoted from Cornford, p.125. - 82 -According to Cornford, Thucydides represents the Athenian assembly i n such a way for dramatic cause and eff e c t . I t was essential to remove Kleon from tragic rank to t r a g i -comedy. Cornford argues that the story of Kleon i s patterned upon dramatized legend. He i s allowed no i n d i v i d u a l i t y , no past history, no atmosphere, no irr e l e v a n t relations. He enters the story abruptly from nowhere. A single phrase fixes his type, as though on a p l a y - b i l l * Kleon the most 9 violent of the c i t i z e n s . Then Kleon vanishes - although he was the leader and main/spokesman of the war party -to reappear before Sphakteria. Then he i s wrecked at Amphipolis. Cornford, i n f a c t , believes that both Perikles and Alkibiades are treated i n p r e c i s e l y the same stark, dramatic fashion. Although Cornford's hypothesis i s rejected by many scholars, his study i s prompted by a r e a l i z a t i o n of d i s -crepancies i n the Hi story, one of which i t i s the work of t h i s paper to examine and correct, namely,the p o r t r a i t of Kleon. Cornford's analysis aids the student to understand Thucydides* treatment of Kleon, and also relieves the h i s t o r i a n of such inevitable judgements as "prejudiced" and"biassed." Cornford says, " I t i s evident that Thucy-dides saw him [Kleon] not purely, or even primarily as an 9. We have noted above, page 6, the comments of scholars on t h i s unusual introduction of Kleon. Cornford (p,125) also answers Mme. de Romilly's query (p.173) about the omission of a response by Kleon to the Spartan peace - 83 -h i s t o r i c person, but as a type of character." 1 0 This t y p i c a l representation of character has been noted before, with respect to Aristophanes, where i t i s again the h i s t o r -i c a l Kleon who suffers. 1' 1' While Cornford's general thesis may have to be rejected, i t i s certain that dramatic factors did play a part i n Thucydides' organization of the History, and i t i s not impossible that dramatic factors helped to 12 shape his treatment of individuals within the History. To the question, therefore, why Kleon has received such treatment at the hands of the h i s t o r i a n , f i r s t we re-c a l l what has already been said, "Whether that derogatory representation was deliberate, or the unconscious result of an embittered mind, may not f i n a l l y be solved....." Nevertheless, we f e e l that almost c e r t a i n l y p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l factors were involved, most probably personal factors, and very l i k e l y dramatic. In t h i s study, we have not sought to refute Kleon's lack of refinement or unorthodox ways; what we have intend-ed i s to r e h a b i l i t a t e Kleon's i n t e g r i t y as a statesman, as embassy after Sphakteria. ~^ 10. Cornford, p«„126. 11. Pinley speaks of the absorption of the times with ideas and abstractions rather than with persons (pp>.63-67). Thucydides inherited the sophistic i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n of "the long-standing Greek concern for the t y p i c a l " (p.62). 12. This thesis need not jeopardize Thucydides' i n -t e g r i t y as an h i s t o r i a n , i t simply brings to l i g h t another ingredient that help>ed shape his mental thought and experience. - 84 -a p o l i t i c i a n , as a man of competent insight, foresight, and action. We believe that our analysis of Thucydides has demonstrated Kleon's i n t e g r i t y , and that our sub-sequent study of other available evidence, as well as an evaluation of Aristophanes' p o r t r a i t , has revealed the weaknesses of these sources as v a l i d h i s t o r i c a l e v i -dence. Where l a t e r sources condemn Kleon, they have been seen to follow an anti-democratic stream that un-c r i t i c a l l y follows Thucydides. Where the comic sources condemn Kleon, they have been seen to follow a convention-al pattern of attack that renders t h e i r work, at the le a s t , precarious for use as history. In the f i n a l analysis, therefore, we are thrown back upon Thucydides as the single r e l i a b l e source for evaluation of the person of Kleon. And, i f t h i s i s so, we are prep>ared to rest our case. BIBLIOGRAPHY Ancient Authorities Aristophanes, Comedies, edited, t r a n s l a t e d and explained by B. B. Rogers, 2 vols. (London, 1910). Aristophanes, Comedies, translated by B. B.. Rogers, I (Loeb C l a s s i c a l Library. Cambridge, Mass., 1940). A r i s t o t l e , The Athenian Constitution, edited by P. G. Kenyon (Oxford, 1920). Comicorum Atticorum Fragmenta. edited by Theodorus Kock, 3 vols. (Leipzig, 1880). Diodoros Sikelos, The Library of History, t r a n s l a t e d by C. H. Oldfather, 10 vols. (Loeb C l a s s i c a l Library, London and Cambridge, Mass., 1946). Plutarch, Lives, translated by Bernadotte Perrin, 11 vols. (Loeb C l a s s i c a l Library, London and New York, 1914-1926). > f Plutarch, Moralia. translated by H. N. Fowler, X (Loeb C l a s s i c a l Library, London and New York, 1936). Scholia Graeca, Aristophanis Comoediae, edited by G. Dindorf, 3 vols. (Oxford, 1888). Thucydides,, Histories,, edited by H. S. Jones, revised by J . E. Powell, 2 vols. (Oxford, 1955-1956). Thucydides, Histories , translated by C. F. Smith, 4 vols. (Loeb C l a s s i c a l Library, Cambridge, Mass., 1962). Pseudo-Xenophon, De Re Publiea Atheniensium, edited by H. Frisch (Copenhagen, 1942). Modern Authorities Adcock, P. E. Thucydides and His Hi story (Cambridge, England, 1963). Andrewes, A. "The Mytilene Debate: Thucydides 3.36-49," Phoenix, XVI (1962), pp> 64-85. Bury, J . B. History of Greece (London, 1906). Cornford, P. M. Thucydides Mythistoricus (London, 1907). Croiset, M. Aristophanes and the P o l i t i c a l Parties at Athens, translated by J . Loeb (London, 1909). Ehrenberg, V. The People of Aristophanes (Oxford, 1951). Pinley, J . H. ThucydidCes (Cambridge, Mass., 1942). Gomme, A. ¥. H i s t o r i c a l Commentary on Thucydides. 3 vols. (Oxford, 1945-1956). Gomme, A. ¥. "The Old Oligarch," Harv. Stud. Class. P h i l . , Suppl. Vol. 1 (1940), pp. 211-245. Gomme, A. ¥. More Essays i n Greek History and Literature (Oxford, 1962). Gomme, A. ¥. "Thucydides and Kleon: the Second Battle of Amphipolis," Hellenika. XIII (1954), pp. 1-10. Grote, G. A History of Greece. V (London, 1888). Jones, A. H. M. Athenian Democracy (New lork, 1958). McGregor, M. P. "The P o l i t i c s of the Historian Thucydides," Phoenix. X (1956), pp. 93-102. Meritt, B. D. Documents on Athenian Tribute (Cambridge, Mass., 1937). - 87 -Merry, ¥. W. Aristophanes: The Clouds (Oxford, 1879). Myers, P. History of Greece (Boston, 1895). Pal a d i n i , M. L.. "Considerazioni sulle Ponti d e l l a Storia d i Cleone, " H i s t o r i a . VII (1958), pp. 48-73. De Romilly, J . Thucydides and Athenian Imperialism, translated by P. Thody (Oxford, 1963). Starkie, W. J . M. The Wasps of Aristophanes (London and New To irk, 18)97). Woodhead, A. G. "Thucydides' P o r t r a i t of Kleon, " Mnemosyne, XIII (1960), pp. 289-317. 

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