|The Story of the Greeks|
|by Helene A. Guerber|
| Elementary history of Greece, made up principally of stories about persons, giving at the same time a clear idea of the most important events in the ancient world and calculated to enforce the lessons of perseverance, courage, patriotism, and virtue that are taught by the noble lives described. Beginning with the legends of Jason, Theseus, and events surrounding the Trojan War, the narrative moves on to present the contrasting city-states of Sparta and Athens, the war against Persia, their conflicts with each other, the feats of Alexander the Great, and annexation by Rome. Ages 10-14 |
CIMON IMPROVES ATHENS
 AS soon as Themistocles had been banished from Athens,
Aristides again became the chief man of the city, and
he was also made the head and leader of the allies. He
was so upright and just that all were ready to honor
and obey him, and they gladly let him take charge of
the money of the state.
In reward for his services, the Athenians offered him a
large salary and many rich gifts; but he refused them
all, saying that he needed nothing, and could afford to
serve his country without pay.
He therefore went on seeing to all the public affairs
until his death, when it was found that he was so poor
that there was not enough money left to pay for his
funeral. The Athenians, touched by his virtues, gave
him a public burial, held his name in great honor, and
often regretted that they had once been so ungrateful
as to banish their greatest citizen, Aristides the
As Aristides had watched carefully over the money of
the allied states, and had ruled the Athenians very
wisely, it is no wonder that Athens had little by
little risen above Sparta, which had occupied the first
place ever since the battle of Thermopylæ.
The Athenians, as long as Aristides lived, showed
themselves just and liberal; but as soon as he was
dead, they began to treat their former allies unkindly.
The money which all the Greek states furnished was now
no longer used to strengthen the army and navy, as
first agreed, but was lavishly spent to beautify the
 Now, while it was a good thing to make their town as
fine as possible, it was certainly wrong to use the
money of others for this purpose, and the Athenians
were soon punished for their dishonesty.
Cimon, the son of Miltiades, was made the head of the
army, and won several victories over the Persians in
Asia Minor. When he returned to Athens, he brought back
a great deal of spoil, and generously gave up all his
share to improve the city and strengthen the walls.
It is said that Cimon also enlarged the beautiful
gardens of the Academy; and the citizens, by wandering
up and down the shady walks, showed that they liked
this as well as the Lyceum, which, you will remember
Pisistratus had given them.
They also went in crowds to these gardens to hear
 the philosophers, who taught in the cool porticoes or
stone piazzas built all around them, and there they
learned many good things.
Cimon showed his patriotism in still another way by
persuading the people that the remains of Theseus,
their ancient king, should rest in the city. Theseus'
bones were therefore brought from Scyros, the island
where he had been killed so treacherously, and were
buried near the center of Athens, where the
resting-place of this great man was marked by a temple
called the Theseum. A building of this name is still
standing in the city; and, although somewhat damaged,
it is now used as a museum, and contains a fine statue
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