The Glory That Was Greece

her real strength in war. As usual in oligarchies, even this purged Assembly seems to have been for show rather than for use. The government was, in fact, what it is generally called, a Government of the Four Hundred. Fortunately for human liberty the experiment was not a success. It only lasted for three months. The Four Hundred had, it is true, come rather late upon the stage if they were to bring the war to a successful conclusion. But they failed to do anything useful, and their accession to power was marked by a failure at sea and the loss of Eubœa. Assassination, a pleasantly rare weapon in Greek politics, removed the leader of the oligarchs, and Athens reverted to democracy.

Once more, however, at the very end of the war, when the city surrendered, Athens had perforce, at the bidding of


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