Page:15 decisive battles of the world Vol 1 (London).djvu/79

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INTERVENING EVENTS.

galleys. This last fact may give us some idea of the strength of the Athenian home-fleet that gained the victory: and by adopting the same ratio of multiplying whatever number of galleys we suppose to have been employed, by two hundred, so as to gain the aggregate number of the crews, we may form some estimate of the forces which this little Greek state then kept on foot. Between sixty and seventy thousand men must have served in her fleets during that year. Her tenacity of purpose was equal to her boldness of enterprise. Sooner than yield or withdraw from any of their expeditions, the Athenians at this very time, when Corinth sent an army to attack their garrison at Megara, did not recall a single crew or a single soldier from Ægina or from abroad; but the lads and old men, who had been left to guard the city, fought and won a battle against these new assailants. The inscription which we have referred to, is graven on a votive tablet to the memory of the dead, erected in that year by the Erecthean tribe, one of the ten into which the Athenians were divided. It shows, as Thirlwall has remarked, 'that the Athenians were conscious of the greatness of their own effort;' and in it this little civic community of the ancient world still 'records to us with emphatic simplicity, that its slain fell in Cyprus, in