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Greek element, but different in character from the Greek populations at home; partly by reason of the intermixture of Sikel, or Italian, or Phrygian, Libyan, or Carian blood, but still more on account of the difference of political elements, for no strict line was established between aristocracy and democracy, no barrier between race and race as in the countries from which these roving adventurers set out. There came to be but one race, one language, one religion*, and one mode of gaining a livelihood. The immigrants laid aside their exclusively military habits, and became in Sicily first agriculturists, and afterwards, with the assistance of fresh Greek immigrants, traders; and in Ionia the original immigrants seem at once to have taken to trade, for they probably found a kind of civilisation, and joined in and improved it, the increase of population requiring an increase of the means of subsistence; while, as in Sicily, they seem to have been the first to bring organised industry and tillage to their new homes. But in whatever state of civilisation the original inhabitants were, they were admitted to leaven the mass, and soon derived from the Greeks many of their characteristies, as the Greeks in turn were modified by them.
These colonies, therefore, started upon the career of national development with no other distinctions among them except what wealth marked out. None were very rich at first, but whatever might be the difference between the highest and lowest, there was nothing to impede the inhabitants rising or falling among themselves in proportion to their wealth. Thus these communities were free from the chief impediment to commerce — aristocratic hauteur and exactions.t
They had, on the other hand, strong incentives and opportunities to be commercial in the maritime situation
See, on the modifications of the Greek religion in Asia Minor caused by the fusion of the races, Grote, iii. 284.
† See, among others, Thirlwall, Greece, ii. 112.
of the greater part of these settlements, and in the spirit of naval enterprise, which having brought the emigrants to their new home, might lead them again upon the sea in search of wealth, and above all, in the sudden increase of population, for these conquerors did not usually put to death the former inhabitants*, but mixing with them, formed an additional pressure on the means of subsistence. All these circumstances combined to make the Italian and Asiatic Greeks commercial, while the present states of Greece were still ruled by trade-despising aristocracy; and they accordingly sprung up in an early and a short development. Sybaris, Croton, and Locrit in Italy; Miletus, Samos, and Ephesus in Asia, and a crowd of inferior cities, were the leaders of the civilisation of the world in the middle of the sixth century before Christ; while aristocratic Athens, Sparta, Corinth, and Ægina were yet inglorious. So the Hanse towns of Germany (though entirely different in the nature of their origin from the early Greek colonies) arrived at a splendid acme while the great kingdoms of Europe were still devoted to war and agriculture. But the very reason that made the acme of these early Italian and Asiatic Greeks more early, made it also less perfect than the acme of their parent states. They had no aristocratic element, and therefore no literature, except gay lyric songs -- the vehicles of sensuous music, sweet elegies, like those of Mimnermus exhorting the soft Ionian plutocrat to enjoy the passing hour$; but for ingenious industry in elegant arts, in refinement of manners, and in addiction to physical science and investigation s, the Italic and Asiatic Greeks have left a fame which entitles them to an undying memory among the greatest commercial states of the world. It is evident that as these states became richer, a plutocracy rose up within them; and the contests between this plutocracy and the poorer citizens have been blunderingly called by the ancient writers contests between an aristocracy or democracy, for they never kept constantly in view the clear distinction between aristocracy and plutocracy * any more than the moderns do when they write about Venice.
* The Ionian Greeks put to death the Carian men and married the women; but this does not appear to have been a common practice, and probably was caused by the conduct of the Carians (Thirlwall, ii. 95).
+ Grote, iii. 519, 527.
$ The Ionian and the Pythagorean schools were both schools principally of physical science, which, as I have elsewhere remarked, is always more connected with the democratic and plutocratic elements of a nation, and with the employments congenial to those elements, than with an aristocracy. In politics, Pythagoras appears to have been anti-democratic, though he preached loudly against pomps and vanities.
As the states of the continent of Greece became less aristocratic and more commercial, they gradually drew away the trade from these Italian and Asiatic Greeks, who had then become rich, luxurious, and idle ; and it is amusing to see how, in the half century before its fall (510 B.c.), Sybaris was reproached by the Greeks of the peninsula for its luxury, its effeminacy, and its vice, in the same way as our strict and solemn ancestors in the time of Ascham looked upon Venice, then the most refined and luxurious city of the world, as the corruptor of all the English youth who went there ; and if the Italiot cities had then yielded to the corruptions of wealth, those of the Ionic cities at the same time displayed in their revolt against Persia an effeminacy and worthlessness of character strikingly in contrast with the loyal and hardy sons of Athens. Thus these colonies came to bloom earlier than the mother country, and they perished sooner.
See for instance the contests in Sy baris, referred to by Niebuhr, i. 158. So in Massilia (Grote, iii. 533) the growth of a plutocracy is clearly discernible : it has perplexed both ancients and moderns, who, believing aristocracy to be a Doric characteristic and Massilia to be an Ionic town, were at loss to account for this growth of what they called aristocracy. In Miletus the two parties were called IIAоūros and Xepouáxa, Plut. Q. Gr. 32. ap., Thirlwall, ii. 117. May not these be translated capital and labour ? The upper class in Syracuse and Samos was the yewuópoi, and in the commercial colonies the oi maxşis, or men of substance (see Arnold ad Thucydides, viii. 21.; Griffiths ad Æsch. Septem, contra Theb. p. 86.) The ευπατρίδαι of Athens had no representatives in the colonies.
In early Roman history some colonisation of a like kind may be traced. The younger members of the military class are sent out with arms in their hands to win new homes, but the colonies so founded were not those for which Rome afterwards became famous.
After the aristocracies of modern Europe had been founded—this colonising element—the swarms of their warlike youth found an appropriate vent in the crusades. These celebrated expeditions would never have taken place, unless the aristocracies of France, Germany, and Hungary, and to a considerable extent England, had been devoted to war, contemptuous of peaceful occupations, and unable, therefore, to find any other honourable employment for their younger sons than military expeditions. Had there been no Mahometans to fight with, these adventurers would probably have gone by sea to some thinly inhabited coast, earned a footing by their sword, married women of the country, and established cities, populated after the first generation by a mixed race, commercial, and arriving at a speedy but not full development.
The fame of the Mahometans and the preaching of Peter the Hermit gave a different direction to this colonising element; and after the colonies of Christians had been founded by the earlier crusaders, a perpetual duty was imposed on the warrior youth of Europe to join in new crusades, and save these colonies from destruction by the Saracens.
The crusades differed, however, from the expeditions of the military freebooters who founded the earlier colonies of Greece, by including two other classes of
emigrants. First, kings and great princes of Europe, who, at leisure from broils in their own country, assumed the cross for the purpose of earning glory in this world and salvation in the next. They took with them a rabble rout of serfs and low adventurers, who brought upon all the crusades, but especially the earlier, an evil reputation. Most of this crew succumbed to the sufferings of the journey, or disappeared on the battle-field ; and the great personages in whose train they came, when fortunate enough to have accomplished the immediate object of each expedition unscathed, returned to their principalities and baronies in Europe, and exercised but a small influence on the colonies founded by the crusaders. The other class which joined the military adventurers from the aristocracies of Europe, consisted of commercial Italians. Italy (except the Normans of the two Sicilies) sent no aristocratic military adventurers to these expeditions, for the states of Italy had then advanced to a later stage of national progress than France, or Germany, or England, and the only Italians who joined the emigrations were traders animated by a prudent hope of gain, and sailors, engaged by the merchants of Italy to win by naval encounters a firm footing in Palestine for commercial settlements. So far, therefore, as the colonies in Palestine were founded by Italians, they deserve to be ranked with the commercial garrison colonies usually founded by nations in or just after their acme; so far as they were founded by the chivalry of Europe (and the latter formed far the larger element), they deserve to be ranked with the earlier Greek colonies.
It is amusing to find in the otherwise dull pages of Vitriaco the distinction which he draws between the Italians on the one hand, and the Transalpines on the other. The latter furnished the military glory to the expeditions ; the Italians were grave and prudent, moderate in eating and drinking, profuse and ornate in speech, circumspect in counsel, above all things jealous of their