Herodotus relates an anecdote, that the Eleans sent deputies to Egypt, vaunting the glories of the Olympic games, and inquiring if the Egyptians could suggest any improvement. The Egyptians asked if the citizens of Elis were allowed to contend, and, on hearing that they were, declared it was impossible they should not favour their own countrymen, and consequently that the games must lead to injustice - a suspicion not verified.
 Cic. Quaest. Tusc., II, 17.
 Nero (when the glory had left the spot) drove a chariot of ten horses in Olympia, out of which he had the misfortune to tumble. He obtained other prizes in other Grecian games, and even contended with the heralds as a crier. The vanity of Nero was astonishing, but so was that of most of his successors. The Roman emperors were the sublimest coxcombs in history. In men born to stations which are beyond ambition, all aspirations run to seed.
 Plut. in Sympos.
 It does not appear that at Elis there were any of the actual contests in music and song which made the character of the Pythian games. But still it was a common exhibition for the cultivation of every art. Sophist, and historian, and orator, poet and painter found their mart in the Olympic fair.
 Plut. in vita Them.
 Pausanias, lib. v.
 When Phidias was asked on what idea he should form his statue, he answered by quoting the well-known verses of Homer, on the curls and nod of the thunder god.
 I am of course aware that the popular story that Herodotus read portions of his history at Olympia has been disputed - but I own I think it has been disputed with very indifferent success against the testimony of competent authorities, corroborated by the general practice of the time.
 We find, indeed, that the Messenians continued to struggle against their conquerors, and that about the time of the battle of Marathon they broke out into a resistance sometimes called the third war. - Plato, Leg. III.
 Suppose Vortigern to have been expelled by the Britons, and to have implored the assistance of the Saxons to reinstate him in his throne, the Return of Vortigern would have been a highly popular name for the invasion of the Saxons. So, if the Russians, after Waterloo, had parcelled out France, and fixed a Cossack settlement in her "violet vales," the destruction of the French would have been still urbanely entitled "The Return of the Bourbons."
 According to Herodotus, the Spartan tradition assigned the throne to Aristodemus himself, and the regal power was not divided till after his death.
 He wrote or transcribed them, is the expression of Plutarch, which I do not literally translate, because this touches upon very disputed ground.
 "Sometimes the states," says Plutarch, "veered to democracy - sometimes to arbitrary power;" that is, at one time the nobles invoked the people against the king; but if the people presumed too far, they supported the king against the people. If we imagine a confederacy of Highland chiefs even a century or two ago - give them a nominal king - consider their pride and their jealousy - see them impatient of authority in one above them, yet despotic to those below - quarrelling with each other - united only by clanship, never by citizenship; - and place them in a half-conquered country, surrounded by hostile neighbours and mutinous slaves - we may then form, perhaps, some idea of the state of Sparta previous to the legislation of Lycurgus.
 When we are told that the object of Lycurgus was to root out the luxury and effeminacy existent in Sparta, a moment's reflection tells us that effeminacy and luxury could not have existed. A tribe of fierce warriors, in a city unfortified - shut in by rocks - harassed by constant war - gaining city after city from foes more civilized, stubborn to bear, and slow to yield - maintaining a perilous yoke over the far more numerous races they had subdued - what leisure, what occasion had such men to become effeminate and luxurious?
 See Mueller's Dorians, vol. ii., p. 12 (Translation).
 In the same passage Aristotle, with that wonderful sympathy in opinion between himself and the political philosophers of our own day, condemns the principle of seeking and canvassing for suffrages.
 In this was preserved the form of royalty in the heroic times. Aristotle well remarks, that in the council Agamemnon bears reproach and insult, but in the field he becomes armed with authority over life itself - "Death is in his hand."
 Whereas the modern republics of Italy rank among the causes which prevented their assuming a widely conquering character, their extreme jealousy of their commanders, often wisely ridiculed by the great Italian historians; so that a baggage-cart could scarcely move, or a cannon be planted, without an order from the senate!
 Mueller rightly observes, that though the ephoralty was a common Dorian magistrature, "yet, considered as an office, opposed to the king and council, it is not for that reason less peculiar to the Spartans; and in no Doric, nor even in any Grecian state is there any thing which exactly corresponds with it."
 They rebuked Archidamus for having married too small a wife. See Mueller's Dorians, vol. ii. (Translation), p. 124, and the authorities he quotes.
 Aristot. Pol., lib. ii., c. 9.
 These remarks on the democratic and representative nature of the ephoralty are only to be applied to it in connexion with the Spartan people. It must be remembered that the ephors represented the will of that dominant class, and not of the Laconians or Perioeci, who made the bulk of the non-enslaved population; and the democracy of their constitution was therefore but the democracy of an oligarchy.