The Glory That Was Greece

in an oligarchic direction. Once more the sacred laws were thrown into the melting-pot, and there were elaborate programmes, and discussions as to the precise form of oligarchy which should be adopted. But while the preliminaries were going on the administration fell into the hands of a board of so-called commissioners charged, like Oliver Cromwell, with the revision of the constitution. Like Oliver these men soon found themselves in a position of power too good to be lost. They were called the Thirty Tyrants, and they deserved the name. They ruled with a strong hand, banished their enemies, disarmed the citizen army, and began a system of private plunder, with the spears of the Spartan garrison to enforce their commands. Athens never forgot and never forgave this nightmare of the Thirty. Most of them were men of talent, some of them were philosophers and literary men who had sat at the feet of Socrates. Critias, the Robespierre of the party,

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