f603every man, and some women.”But though we cannot believe the statement of Plutarch, that the Plat?ans received by general vote the prize of valor, it is certain that they were largely honored and recompensed, as the[p. 189] proprietors of that ground on which the liberation of Greece had been achieved. The market-place and centre of their town was selected as the scene for the solemn sacrifice of thanksgiving, offered up by Pausanias, after the battle, to Zeus Eleutherius, in the name and presence of all the assembled allies. The local gods and heroes of the Plat?an territory, who had been invoked in prayer before the battle, and who had granted their soil as a propitious field for the Greek arms, were made partakers of this ceremony, and witnesses as well as guarantees of the engagements with which it was accompanied. The Plat?ans, now re-entering their city, which the Persian invasion had compelled them to desert, were invested with the honorable duty of celebrating the periodical sacrifice in commemoration of this great victory, as well as of rendering care and religious service at the tombs of the fallen warriors. As an aid to enable them to discharge this obligation, which probably might have pressed hard upon them at a time when their city was half-ruined and their fields unsown, they received out of the prize-money the large allotment of eighty talents, which was partly employed in building and adorning a handsome temple of Athênê,—the symbol probably of renewed connection with Athens. They undertook to render religious honors every year to the tombs of the warriors, and to celebrate in every fifth year the grand public solemnity of the Eleutheria with gymnastic matches analogous to the other great festival games of Greece. In consideration of the discharge of these duties, together with the sanctity of the ground, Pausanias, and the whole body of allies, bound themselves by oath to guarantee the autonomy of Plat?a, and the inviolability[p. 190] of her territory. This was an emancipation of the town from the bond of the B?otian federation, and from the enforcing supremacy of Thebes as its chief.ordinarily called—has been distinguished from the barn or byreIf in view of the illness of Maximus, Petronilla had regarded the deacon’s visit as providential, the event of yesterday moved her to a more agitated thankfulness for the conference she was about to enjoy. After a night made sleepless by dread and wrath, she rose at daybreak and passed in a fever of impatience the time which elapsed before her reverend guest issued from his chamber. This being the fourth day of the week, Petronilla held rigid fast until the hour of nones; and of course no refreshment was offered to the churchman, who, with that smiling placidity, that graceful self-possession, which ever distinguished him in such society, at length entered the inner hall, and suavely, almost tenderly, greeted his noble hostess. Brimming over as she was with anxiety and indignation, Petronilla allowed nothing of this to appear in her reception of the revered friend. To his inquiries touching the health of the Senator, she replied with significant gravity that Maximus had suffered during the night, and was this morning, by the physician’s report, much weaker; she added not a word on the momentous subject presently to be broached. Then Leander, after viewing with many compliments a piece of rich embroidery which occupied the lady’s leisure, and or its completion would of course be put at his disposal, took a seat, set the tips of his fingers together, and began to chat pleasantly of his journey. Many were the pious offerings which had fallen to him upon his way: that of the Sicilian lady who gave her little all to be used to maintain the lamps in the basilica of the Chief Apostle; that of the merchant encountered on shipboard, who gave ten pounds of gold to purchase the freedom of slaves; that of the wealthy curial in Lucania, healed of disease by miracle on the feast of St. Cyprian, who bestowed upon the church in gratitude many acres of olive-bearing land, and promised an annual shipload of prime hogs to feed St. Peter’s poor. By smooth transition he passed to higher themes: with absent eyes turned to the laurel-planted court on to which the hall opened, he spoke as if scarcely aware of a listener, of troubles at Rome occasioned by imprudences, indiscretions—what should he say—of the Holy Father. As Petronilla bent forward, all tremulous curiosity, he lowered his voice, grew frankly confidential. The Pope had been summoned to Byzantium, to discuss certain points of doctrine with the Emperor; his departure was delayed, but no doubt in his weakness he would obey. Verily, the lack of courage—not to use severer terms—so painfully evident in Pope Vigilius, was a grave menace to the Church—the Catholic Church, which, rightly claiming to rule Christendom, should hold no terms with the arrogance of Justinian. Could it be wondered that the Holy Father was disliked—not to say hated—by the people of Rome? By his ill management the papal granaries had of late been so ill stored that the poor had suffered famine, the Greeks having put an end to that gratuitous distribution of food to which the Roman populace had from of old been accustomed. On this account, chiefly, had Leander journeyed to Sicily, to look after the supplies of corn, and seek out those who were to blame for the recent negligence. His bushy eyebrows gave a hint of their sterner possibilities as he spoke of the measures he had taken, the reproofs and threats he had distributed.f603
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