|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 |
DEMETRIUS AND THE ATHENIANS
THE Athenians trembled with fear when they saw the
stern expression on Demetrius' face as he entered their
city. This terror became still greater when he ordered
all the principal citizens to assemble in the public
square. None of the Athenians dared to disobey, and
they were in no wise reassured when the conquering army
surrounded them, each soldier holding an unsheathed
sword in his hand.
Demetrius now sternly addressed the citizens, who
fancied that every moment would be their last. He
reproved them harshly for their ingratitude and
desertion, and told them that they deserved death at
his hands; but he ended his speech by saying that he
pre-  ferred to show his power by granting them forgiveness
rather than by killing them.
Then he went on to tell them, that, knowing how much
they had suffered, he had sent supplies of grain to
every house, so that when they went home they should
not find their wives and children starving.
The sudden reaction from their great terror proved
almost fatal to the Athenian citizens. But when they
recovered their breath, the air was rent by a mighty
shout of joy in honor of the kind conqueror.
Although Demetrius was as generous as he was brave, his
end was very sad. After a long life of continual
warfare, and after conquering and losing Macedon, he
fell into the hands of his rival and enemy, Seleucus,
who kept him in prison as long as he lived.
About this time a new trouble befell Macedon and
Greece. This was an invasion of the Gauls, who came
sweeping down from the mountains into Greece, in order
to rob the temple at Delphi.
A second time, however, the temple escaped, thanks to a
terrible thunderstorm, which filled the superstitious
minds of the robbers with dread. In the sudden
darkness the Gauls fell upon each other, as the
Persians had done in the days of Xerxes, and fought so
desperately that many were killed.
The Greeks, remembering former victories, now made up
their minds to strike a blow in their own defense.
They collected an army, and defeated the invaders so
severely that Brennus, the leader of the Gauls, killed
himself in despair, while his followers withdrew to a
province in Asia Minor, which from the Gauls was called
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