THE Historical Library OF Diodorus the Sicilian. BOOK XII.
HE who seriously considers the incertainty and instability of Humane Affairs, must needs be struck with great admiration; for he'll find that nothing which amongst Men is accounted Good, is purely such; nor any thing that is esteemed Bad, is perfectly or absolutely evil, without some ingredient of Profit and Advantage: Which Lesson we may learn from what is before Related, if we ponder and digest things well. For the Expedition of Xerxes the King of Persia into Greece by reason of his vast Army, terrify'd the Grecians to the highest degree, who were by that War in great danger to be brought into absolute Slavery, and might justly fear that Greece was likely to fall into the same condition with the Greek Cities in Asia, who were not long before brought under the power of the Persians. But beyond all expectation, the event of this War, was wonderful, for the Grecians were not only deliver'd from this threatning Storm, but by that occasion gain'd an everlasting Renown, and every City in Greece thereby abounded with so much Wealth, that their suddain Turn of Fortune into such a height of Prosperity was admir'd by all: For Fifty Years together from that time, Greece flourished in all Felicity; in which time, by the Wealth that abounded amongst them, all good Arts were highly improv'd, and excellent Artists are recorded to have flourished in this Age; amongst whom was Phidias that famous Statuary; and several other Arts and Sciencesthen advanced to an extraordinary degree. But the great honour of Greece was Philosophy and Oratory, and chiefly among the Athenians, Those that were eminent for Philosophy, were Socrates, Plato and Aristotle: For Oratory, Pericles, Isocrates and his Scholars. There were others no less famous for Military Discipline and excellent Commanders, as Miltiades, Themistocles, Aristides, Cimon, Mironides, and many others, of whom it would be too tedious to give a particular account. For the Athenian Name was highly honoured almost through all parts of the World; for they so enlarged