Soon after the Thirty had taken power in the
spring of 404, two of them, Theognis and Peison, proposed that measures should be adopted against the resident-aliens; nominally, because that class was disaffected—really, because it was rich. Ten resident-aliens were chosen out for attack, two poor men being included for the sake of appearances. Lysias and Polemarchos were on the list. When Theognis and Peison, with their attendants, came to the house of Lysias in the Peiraeus, they found him entertaining a party of friends. The guests were driven off, and their host was left in the charge of Peison, while Theognis and his companions went to the shield-manufactory close by to take an inventory of the slaves. Lysias, left alone with Peison, asked if he would take a sum of money to save him. ‘Yes,’ said Peison, ‘if it is a large sum.’ They agreed on a talent; and Lysias went to bring it from the room where he kept his money-box. Peison, catching sight of the box, called up two servants, and told them to take its whole contents. Thus robbed of more than thrice the amount bargained for, Lysias begged to be left at least enough to take him out of the country. Peison replied that he might consider himself lucky if he got off with his life. They were then going to leave the house, when they met at the door two other emissaries of the Thirty. Finding that Peison was now going to the house of Polemarchos in the town, these men relieved him of Lysias, whom they took to the house of one Damnippos. Theognis was there already with some other prisoners. As Lysias knew Damnippos, he took him aside, and asked him to assist his
escape. Damnippos thought that it would be best to speak directly to Theognis, who, he was sure, would do anything for money. While Theognis and Damnippos were talking in the front-hall, Lysias slipped through the door, which chanced to be open, leading from the first court of the house to the second1
. He had still two doors to pass through— luckily they were both unlocked. He escaped to the house of Archeneôs, the master of a merchantship, close by, and sent him up to Athens to learn what had become of Polemarchos. Archeneôs came back with the news that Polemarchos had been met in the street by Eratosthenes, one of the Thirty, and taken straight to prison. The same night Lysias took boat to Megara.
Polemarchos received the usual message of the Thirty2
—to drink the hemlock. Although the property of which the brothers had been despoiled was so valuable—including almost the whole stock of the shield-manufactory, gold and silver plate, furniture, and a large sum of money—the decencies of burial were refused to Polemarchos. He was laid out in the prison on a common stretcher,—one friend gave a cloth to throw over the body, another a cushion for the head, and so forth. A pair of gold earrings were taken from the ears of his widow3