Among the shining examples of the panhellenic spirit of Athens in the spacious days of the Persian Wars, which Attic orators of the fourth century were fond of parading before their degenerate audiences, was an act of the Athenian Ecclesia, by which one Arthmius of Zeleia was declared an outlaw in the territory of Athens and her allies, ‘for that he had brought the gold from Media into Peloponnesus.’ This Psephisma is cited twice over in the speeches of Demosthenes. On (...) the principle that the Devil may quote Scripture, Aeschines cast it back into Demosthenes' teeth. From Aeschines we learn further that Arthmius had visited Athens in the course of his errand, and that he had narrowly escaped execution at the hands of the irate citizens. The proceedings against Arthmius were also recorded by Dinarchus, by Plutarch and by Aelius Aristides. (shrink)
Among the conundrums relating to Roman ritual which Plutarch set himself to solve was this: ‘Why do they part the hair of brides with the point of a javelin?’ To this question Plutarch offers a number of answers, all based on the assumption that the spear was symbolical. Professor Rose in his discussion of the passage makes short work of these fumbling guesses, and points out that the original purpose of the spear was magical.