Return to AWC Military History page

Project Gutenberg's The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides

Copyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the
copyright laws for your country before downloading or redistributing
this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.

This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project
Gutenberg file.  Please do not remove it.  Do not change or edit the
header without written permission.

Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the
eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of this file.  Included is
important information about your specific rights and restrictions in
how the file may be used.  You can also find out about how to make a
donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.

**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts**

**eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971**

*****These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****

Title: The History of the Peloponnesian War

Author: Thucydides
        translated by Richard Crawley

Release Date: December, 2004 [EBook #7142]
[Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule]
[This file was first posted on March 15, 2003]
[Date last updated: June 19, 2004]

Edition: 10

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


This etext was prepared by Albert Imrie, Colorado, USA

[Internal links were added by Air War College to allow
for jumping to a particular chapter or key passage.]

by Thucydides 431 BC

translated by Richard Crawley

With Permission
Historian of Greece
This Translation of the Work of His
Great Predecessor
is Respectfully Inscribed
-The Translator-



The state of Greece from the earliest Times to the
Commencement of the Peloponnesian War

Causes of the War - The Affair of Epidamnus -
The Affair of Potidaea

Congress of the Peloponnesian Confederacy at

From the End of the Persian to the Beginning of
the Peloponnesian War - The Progress from
Supremacy to Empire

Second Congress at Lacedaemon - Preparations for
War and Diplomatic Skirmishes - Cylon -
Pausanias - Themistocles


Beginning of the Peloponnesian War - First
Invasion of Attica - Funeral Oration of Pericles

Second Year of the War - The Plague of Athens -
Position and Policy of Pericles - Fall of Potidaea

Third Year of the War - Investment of Plataea -
Naval Victories of Phormio - Thracian Irruption
into Macedonia under Sitalces


Fourth and Fifth Years of the War - Revolt of

Fifth Year of the War - Trial and Execution of the
Plataeans - Corcyraean Revolution

Sixth Year of the War - Campaigns of Demosthenes
in Western Greece - Ruin of Ambracia


Seventh Year of the War - Occupation of pylos -
Surrender of the Spartan Army in Sphacteria

Seventh and Eighth Years of the War - End of
Corcyraean Revolution - Peace of Gela -
Capture of Nisaea

Eighth and Ninth Years of the War - Invasion of
Boeotia - Fall of Amphipolis - Brilliant Successes
of Brasidas


Tenth Year of the War - Death of Cleon and
Brasidas - Peace of Nicias

Feeling against Sparta in Peloponnese - League
of the Mantineans, Eleans, Argives, and
Athenians - Battle of Mantinea and breaking up of
the League

Sixteenth Year of the War - The Melian
Conference - Fate of Melos


Seventeenth Year of the War - The Sicilian
Campaign - Affair of the Hermae - Departure of the

Seventeenth Year of the War - Parties at Syracuse -
Story of Harmodius and Aristogiton -
Disgrace of Alcibiades

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Years of the War -
Inaction of the Athenian Army - Alcibiades at
Sparta -Investment of Syracuse


Eighteenth and Nineteenth Years of the War -
Arrival of Gylippus at Syracuse - Fortification
of Decelea - Successes of the Syracusans

Nineteenth Year of the War - Arrival of
Demosthenes - Defeat of the Athenians at Epipolae -
Folly and Obstinacy of Nicias

Nineteenth Year of the War - Battles in the Great
Harbour - Retreat and Annihilation of the
Athenian Army


Nineteenth and Twentieth Years of the War -
Revolt of Ionia - Intervention of Persia - The
War in Ionia

Twentieth and Twenty-first Years of the War -
Intrigues of Alcibiades - Withdrawal of the
Persian Subsidies - Oligarchical Coup d'Etat
at Athens - Patriotism of the Army at Samos

Twenty first Year of the War - Recall of
Alcibiades to Samos - Revolt of Euboea and
Downfall of the Four Hundred - Battle of Cynossema



_The State of Greece from the earliest Times to the
Commencement of the Peloponnesian War_

Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between
the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment
that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war
and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it.
This belief was not without its grounds.  The preparations of
both the combatants were in every department in the last state
of perfection; and he could see the rest of the Hellenic race
taking sides in the quarrel; those who delayed doing so at once
having it in contemplation.  Indeed this was the greatest movement
yet known in history, not only of the Hellenes, but of a large
part of the barbarian world--I had almost said of mankind.  For
though the events of remote antiquity, and even those that more
immediately preceded the war, could not from lapse of time be
clearly ascertained, yet the evidences which an inquiry carried
as far back as was practicable leads me to trust, all point to
the conclusion that there was nothing on a great scale, either in
war or in other matters.

For instance, it is evident that the country now called Hellas
had in ancient times no settled population; on the contrary,
migrations were of frequent occurrence, the several tribes
readily abandoning their homes under the pressure of superior
numbers.  Without commerce, without freedom of communication
either by land or sea, cultivating no more of their territory
than the exigencies of life required, destitute of capital,
never planting their land (for they could not tell when an invader
might not come and take it all away, and when he did come they
had no walls to stop him), thinking that the necessities of
daily sustenance could be supplied at one place as well as
another, they cared little for shifting their habitation, and
consequently neither built large cities nor attained to any other
form of greatness.  The richest soils were always most subject
to this change of masters; such as the district now called
Thessaly, Boeotia, most of the Peloponnese, Arcadia excepted,
and the most fertile parts of the rest of Hellas.  The goodness
of the land favoured the aggrandizement of particular individuals,
and thus created faction which proved a fertile source of ruin.
It also invited invasion. Accordingly Attica, from the poverty
of its soil enjoying from a very remote period freedom from
faction, never changed its inhabitants.  And here is no
inconsiderable exemplification of my assertion that the migrations
were the cause of there being no correspondent growth in other
parts.  The most powerful victims of war or faction from
the rest of Hellas took refuge with the Athenians as a safe
retreat; and at an early period, becoming naturalized,
swelled the already large population of the city to such a
height that Attica became at last too small to hold them, and
they had to send out colonies to Ionia.

There is also another circumstance that contributes not a little
to my conviction of the weakness of ancient times.  Before the Trojan
war there is no indication of any common action in Hellas, nor
indeed of the universal prevalence of the name; on the contrary,
before the time of Hellen, son of Deucalion, no such appellation
existed, but the country went by the names of the different tribes, in
particular of the Pelasgian.  It was not till Hellen and his sons
grew strong in Phthiotis, and were invited as allies into the other
cities, that one by one they gradually acquired from the connection
the name of Hellenes; though a long time elapsed before that name
could fasten itself upon all.  The best proof of this is furnished by
Homer.  Born long after the Trojan War, he nowhere calls all of them by
that name, nor indeed any of them except the followers of Achilles
from Phthiotis, who were the original Hellenes: in his poems they
are called Danaans, Argives, and Achaeans.  He does not even use the
term barbarian, probably because the Hellenes had not yet been
marked off from the rest of the world by one distinctive
appellation.  It appears therefore that the several Hellenic
communities, comprising not only those who first acquired the name,
city by city, as they came to understand each other, but also those
who assumed it afterwards as the name of the whole people, were before
the Trojan war prevented by their want of strength and the absence
of mutual intercourse from displaying any collective action.

Indeed, they could not unite for this expedition till they had
gained increased familiarity with the sea.  And the first person
known to us by tradition as having established a navy is Minos.  He
made himself master of what is now called the Hellenic sea, and
ruled over the Cyclades, into most of which he sent the first
colonies, expelling the Carians and appointing his own sons governors;
and thus did his best to put down piracy in those waters, a
necessary step to secure the revenues for his own use.

For in early times the Hellenes and the barbarians of the coast
and islands, as communication by sea became more common, were
tempted to turn pirates, under the conduct of their most powerful men;
the motives being to serve their own cupidity and to support the
needy.  They would fall upon a town unprotected by walls, and
consisting of a mere collection of villages, and would plunder it;
indeed, this came to be the main source of their livelihood, no
disgrace being yet attached to such an achievement, but even some
glory.  An illustration of this is furnished by the honour with which
some of the inhabitants of the continent still regard a successful
marauder, and by the question we find the old poets everywhere
representing the people as asking of voyagers--"Are they pirates?"--as
if those who are asked the question would have no idea of
disclaiming the imputation, or their interrogators of reproaching them
for it.  The same rapine prevailed also by land.

And even at the present day many of Hellas still follow the old
fashion, the Ozolian Locrians for instance, the Aetolians, the
Acarnanians, and that region of the continent; and the custom of
carrying arms is still kept up among these continentals, from the
old piratical habits.  The whole of Hellas used once to carry arms,
their habitations being unprotected and their communication with
each other unsafe; indeed, to wear arms was as much a part of everyday
life with them as with the barbarians.  And the fact that the people in
these parts of Hellas are still living in the old way points to a time
when the same mode of life was once equally common to all.  The
Athenians were the first to lay aside their weapons, and to adopt an
easier and more luxurious mode of life; indeed, it is only lately that
their rich old men left off the luxury of wearing undergarments of
linen, and fastening a knot of their hair with a tie of golden
grasshoppers, a fashion which spread to their Ionian kindred and
long prevailed among the old men there.  On the contrary, a modest
style of dressing, more in conformity with modern ideas, was first
adopted by the Lacedaemonians, the rich doing their best to assimilate
their way of life to that of the common people.  They also set the
example of contending naked, publicly stripping and anointing
themselves with oil in their gymnastic exercises.  Formerly, even in
the Olympic contests, the athletes who contended wore belts across
their middles; and it is but a few years since that the practice
ceased.  To this day among some of the barbarians, especially in
Asia, when prizes for boxing and wrestling are offered, belts are worn
by the combatants.  And there are many other points in which a likeness
might be shown between the life of the Hellenic world of old and the
barbarian of to-day.

With respect to their towns, later on, at an era of increased
facilities of navigation and a greater supply of capital, we find
the shores becoming the site of walled towns, and the isthmuses
being occupied for the purposes of commerce and defence against a
neighbour.  But the old towns, on account of the great prevalence of
piracy, were built away from the sea, whether on the islands or the
continent, and still remain in their old sites.  For the pirates used
to plunder one another, and indeed all coast populations, whether
seafaring or not.

The islanders, too, were great pirates.  These islanders were Carians
and Phoenicians, by whom most of the islands were colonized, as was
proved by the following fact.  During the purification of Delos by
Athens in this war all the graves in the island were taken up, and
it was found that above half their inmates were Carians: they were
identified by the fashion of the arms buried with them, and by the
method of interment, which was the same as the Carians still follow.
But as soon as Minos had formed his navy, communication by sea
became easier, as he colonized most of the islands, and thus
expelled the malefactors.  The coast population now began to apply
themselves more closely to the acquisition of wealth, and their life
became more settled; some even began to build themselves walls on
the strength of their newly acquired riches.  For the love of gain
would reconcile the weaker to the dominion of the stronger, and the
possession of capital enabled the more powerful to reduce the
smaller towns to subjection.  And it was at a somewhat later stage of
this development that they went on the expedition against Troy.

What enabled Agamemnon to raise the armament was more, in my
opinion, his superiority in strength, than the oaths of Tyndareus,
which bound the suitors to follow him.  Indeed, the account given by
those Peloponnesians who have been the recipients of the most credible
tradition is this.  First of all Pelops, arriving among a needy
population from Asia with vast wealth, acquired such power that,
stranger though he was, the country was called after him; and this
power fortune saw fit materially to increase in the hands of his
descendants.  Eurystheus had been killed in Attica by the Heraclids.
Atreus was his mother's brother; and to the hands of his relation, who
had left his father on account of the death of Chrysippus, Eurystheus,
when he set out on his expedition, had committed Mycenae and the
government.  As time went on and Eurystheus did not return, Atreus
complied with the wishes of the Mycenaeans, who were influenced by
fear of the Heraclids--besides, his power seemed considerable, and he
had not neglected to court the favour of the populace--and assumed
the sceptre of Mycenae and the rest of the dominions of Eurystheus.
And so the power of the descendants of Pelops came to be greater
than that of the descendants of Perseus.  To all this Agamemnon
succeeded.  He had also a navy far stronger than his contemporaries, so
that, in my opinion, fear was quite as strong an element as love in
the formation of the confederate expedition.  The strength of his
navy is shown by the fact that his own was the largest contingent, and
that of the Arcadians was furnished by him; this at least is what
Homer says, if his testimony is deemed sufficient.  Besides, in his
account of the transmission of the sceptre, he calls him

   Of many an isle, and of all Argos king.

Now Agamemnon's was a continental power; and he could not have been
master of any except the adjacent islands (and these would not be
many), but through the possession of a fleet.

And from this expedition we may infer the character of earlier
enterprises.  Now Mycenae may have been a small place, and many of
the towns of that age may appear comparatively insignificant, but no
exact observer would therefore feel justified in rejecting the
estimate given by the poets and by tradition of the magnitude of the
armament.  For I suppose if Lacedaemon were to become desolate, and the
temples and the foundations of the public buildings were left, that as
time went on there would be a strong disposition with posterity to
refuse to accept her fame as a true exponent of her power.  And yet
they occupy two-fifths of Peloponnese and lead the whole, not to speak
of their numerous allies without.  Still, as the city is neither
built in a compact form nor adorned with magnificent temples and
public edifices, but composed of villages after the old fashion of
Hellas, there would be an impression of inadequacy.  Whereas, if Athens
were to suffer the same misfortune, I suppose that any inference
from the appearance presented to the eye would make her power to
have been twice as great as it is.  We have therefore no right to be
sceptical, nor to content ourselves with an inspection of a town to
the exclusion of a consideration of its power; but we may safely
conclude that the armament in question surpassed all before it, as
it fell short of modern efforts; if we can here also accept the
testimony of Homer's poems, in which, without allowing for the
exaggeration which a poet would feel himself licensed to employ, we
can see that it was far from equalling ours.  He has represented it
as consisting of twelve hundred vessels; the Boeotian complement of
each ship being a hundred and twenty men, that of the ships of
Philoctetes fifty.  By this, I conceive, he meant to convey the maximum
and the minimum complement: at any rate, he does not specify the
amount of any others in his catalogue of the ships.  That they were all
rowers as well as warriors we see from his account of the ships of
Philoctetes, in which all the men at the oar are bowmen.  Now it is
improbable that many supernumeraries sailed, if we except the kings
and high officers; especially as they had to cross the open sea with
munitions of war, in ships, moreover, that had no decks, but were
equipped in the old piratical fashion.  So that if we strike the
average of the largest and smallest ships, the number of those who
sailed will appear inconsiderable, representing, as they did, the
whole force of Hellas.  And this was due not so much to scarcity of men
as of money.  Difficulty of subsistence made the invaders reduce the
numbers of the army to a point at which it might live on the country
during the prosecution of the war.  Even after the victory they
obtained on their arrival--and a victory there must have been, or the
fortifications of the naval camp could never have been built--there
is no indication of their whole force having been employed; on the
contrary, they seem to have turned to cultivation of the Chersonese
and to piracy from want of supplies.  This was what really enabled
the Trojans to keep the field for ten years against them; the
dispersion of the enemy making them always a match for the
detachment left behind.  If they had brought plenty of supplies with
them, and had persevered in the war without scattering for piracy
and agriculture, they would have easily defeated the Trojans in the
field, since they could hold their own against them with the
division on service.  In short, if they had stuck to the siege, the
capture of Troy would have cost them less time and less trouble.  But
as want of money proved the weakness of earlier expeditions, so from
the same cause even the one in question, more famous than its
predecessors, may be pronounced on the evidence of what it effected to
have been inferior to its renown and to the current opinion about it
formed under the tuition of the poets.

Even after the Trojan War, Hellas was still engaged in removing
and settling, and thus could not attain to the quiet which must
precede growth.  The late return of the Hellenes from Ilium caused many
revolutions, and factions ensued almost everywhere; and it was the
citizens thus driven into exile who founded the cities.  Sixty years
after the capture of Ilium, the modern Boeotians were driven out of
Arne by the Thessalians, and settled in the present Boeotia, the
former Cadmeis; though there was a division of them there before, some
of whom joined the expedition to Ilium.  Twenty years later, the
Dorians and the Heraclids became masters of Peloponnese; so that
much had to be done and many years had to elapse before Hellas could
attain to a durable tranquillity undisturbed by removals, and could
begin to send out colonies, as Athens did to Ionia and most of the
islands, and the Peloponnesians to most of Italy and Sicily and some
places in the rest of Hellas.  All these places were founded
subsequently to the war with Troy.

But as the power of Hellas grew, and the acquisition of wealth
became more an object, the revenues of the states increasing,
tyrannies were by their means established almost everywhere--the old
form of government being hereditary monarchy with definite
prerogatives--and Hellas began to fit out fleets and apply herself
more closely to the sea.  It is said that the Corinthians were the
first to approach the modern style of naval architecture, and that
Corinth was the first place in Hellas where galleys were built; and
we have Ameinocles, a Corinthian shipwright, making four ships for
the Samians.  Dating from the end of this war, it is nearly three
hundred years ago that Ameinocles went to Samos.  Again, the earliest
sea-fight in history was between the Corinthians and Corcyraeans; this
was about two hundred and sixty years ago, dating from the same time.
Planted on an isthmus, Corinth had from time out of mind been a
commercial emporium; as formerly almost all communication between the
Hellenes within and without Peloponnese was carried on overland, and
the Corinthian territory was the highway through which it travelled.
She had consequently great money resources, as is shown by the epithet
"wealthy" bestowed by the old poets on the place, and this enabled
her, when traffic by sea became more common, to procure her navy and
put down piracy; and as she could offer a mart for both branches of
the trade, she acquired for herself all the power which a large
revenue affords.  Subsequently the Ionians attained to great naval
strength in the reign of Cyrus, the first king of the Persians, and of
his son Cambyses, and while they were at war with the former commanded
for a while the Ionian sea.  Polycrates also, the tyrant of Samos,
had a powerful navy in the reign of Cambyses, with which he reduced
many of the islands, and among them Rhenea, which he consecrated to
the Delian Apollo.  About this time also the Phocaeans, while they were
founding Marseilles, defeated the Carthaginians in a sea-fight.
These were the most powerful navies.  And even these, although so
many generations had elapsed since the Trojan war, seem to have been
principally composed of the old fifty-oars and long-boats, and to have
counted few galleys among their ranks.  Indeed it was only shortly
the Persian war, and the death of Darius the successor of Cambyses,
that the Sicilian tyrants and the Corcyraeans acquired any large
number of galleys.  For after these there were no navies of any account
in Hellas till the expedition of Xerxes; Aegina, Athens, and others
may have possessed a few vessels, but they were principally
fifty-oars.  It was quite at the end of this period that the war with
Aegina and the prospect of the barbarian invasion enabled Themistocles
to persuade the Athenians to build the fleet with which they fought at
Salamis; and even these vessels had not complete decks.

The navies, then, of the Hellenes during the period we have
traversed were what I have described.  All their insignificance did not
prevent their being an element of the greatest power to those who
cultivated them, alike in revenue and in dominion.  They were the means
by which the islands were reached and reduced, those of the smallest
area falling the easiest prey.  Wars by land there were none, none at
least by which power was acquired; we have the usual border
contests, but of distant expeditions with conquest for object we
hear nothing among the Hellenes.  There was no union of subject
cities round a great state, no spontaneous combination of equals for
confederate expeditions; what fighting there was consisted merely of
local warfare between rival neighbours.  The nearest approach to a
coalition took place in the old war between Chalcis and Eretria;
this was a quarrel in which the rest of the Hellenic name did to
some extent take sides.

Various, too, were the obstacles which the national growth
encountered in various localities.  The power of the Ionians was
advancing with rapid strides, when it came into collision with Persia,
under King Cyrus, who, after having dethroned Croesus and overrun
everything between the Halys and the sea, stopped not till he had
reduced the cities of the coast; the islands being only left to be
subdued by Darius and the Phoenician navy.

Again, wherever there were tyrants, their habit of providing
simply for themselves, of looking solely to their personal comfort and
family aggrandizement, made safety the great aim of their policy,
and prevented anything great proceeding from them; though they would
each have their affairs with their immediate neighbours.  All this is
only true of the mother country, for in Sicily they attained to very
great power.  Thus for a long time everywhere in Hellas do we find
causes which make the states alike incapable of combination for
great and national ends, or of any vigorous action of their own.

But at last a time came when the tyrants of Athens and the far older
tyrannies of the rest of Hellas were, with the exception of those in
Sicily, once and for all put down by Lacedaemon; for this city, though
after the settlement of the Dorians, its present inhabitants, it
suffered from factions for an unparalleled length of time, still at
a very early period obtained good laws, and enjoyed a freedom from
tyrants which was unbroken; it has possessed the same form of
government for more than four hundred years, reckoning to the end of
the late war, and has thus been in a position to arrange the affairs
of the other states.  Not many years after the deposition of the
tyrants, the battle of Marathon was fought between the Medes and the
Athenians.  Ten years afterwards, the barbarian returned with the
armada for the subjugation of Hellas.  In the face of this great
danger, the command of the confederate Hellenes was assumed by the
Lacedaemonians in virtue of their superior power; and the Athenians,
having made up their minds to abandon their city, broke up their
homes, threw themselves into their ships, and became a naval people.
This coalition, after repulsing the barbarian, soon afterwards split
into two sections, which included the Hellenes who had revolted from
the King, as well as those who had aided him in the war.  At the end of
the one stood Athens, at the head of the other Lacedaemon, one the
first naval, the other the first military power in Hellas.  For a short
time the league held together, till the Lacedaemonians and Athenians
quarrelled and made war upon each other with their allies, a duel into
which all the Hellenes sooner or later were drawn, though some might
at first remain neutral.  So that the whole period from the Median
war to this, with some peaceful intervals, was spent by each power
in war, either with its rival, or with its own revolted allies, and
consequently afforded them constant practice in military matters,
and that experience which is learnt in the school of danger.

The policy of Lacedaemon was not to exact tribute from her allies,
but merely to secure their subservience to her interests by
establishing oligarchies among them; Athens, on the contrary, had by
degrees deprived hers of their ships, and imposed instead
contributions in money on all except Chios and Lesbos.  Both found
their resources for this war separately to exceed the sum of their
strength when the alliance flourished intact.

Having now given the result of my inquiries into early times, I
grant that there will be a difficulty in believing every particular
detail.  The way that most men deal with traditions, even traditions of
their own country, is to receive them all alike as they are delivered,
without applying any critical test whatever.  The general Athenian
public fancy that Hipparchus was tyrant when he fell by the hands of
Harmodius and Aristogiton, not knowing that Hippias, the eldest of the
sons of Pisistratus, was really supreme, and that Hipparchus and
Thessalus were his brothers; and that Harmodius and Aristogiton
suspecting, on the very day, nay at the very moment fixed on for the
deed, that information had been conveyed to Hippias by their
accomplices, concluded that he had been warned, and did not attack
him, yet, not liking to be apprehended and risk their lives for
nothing, fell upon Hipparchus near the temple of the daughters of
Leos, and slew him as he was arranging the Panathenaic procession.

There are many other unfounded ideas current among the rest of the
Hellenes, even on matters of contemporary history, which have not been
obscured by time.  For instance, there is the notion that the
Lacedaemonian kings have two votes each, the fact being that they have
only one; and that there is a company of Pitane, there being simply no
such thing.  So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of
truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand.  On the
whole, however, the conclusions I have drawn from the proofs quoted
may, I believe, safely be relied on.  Assuredly they will not be
disturbed either by the lays of a poet displaying the exaggeration
of his craft, or by the compositions of the chroniclers that are
attractive at truth's expense; the subjects they treat of being out of
the reach of evidence, and time having robbed most of them of
historical value by enthroning them in the region of legend.  Turning
from these, we can rest satisfied with having proceeded upon the
clearest data, and having arrived at conclusions as exact as can be
expected in matters of such antiquity.  To come to this war: despite
the known disposition of the actors in a struggle to overrate its
importance, and when it is over to return to their admiration of
earlier events, yet an examination of the facts will show that it
was much greater than the wars which preceded it.

With reference to the speeches in this history, some were
delivered before the war began, others while it was going on; some I
heard myself, others I got from various quarters; it was in all
cases difficult to carry them word for word in one's memory, so my
habit has been to make the speakers say what was in my opinion
demanded of them by the various occasions, of course adhering as
closely as possible to the general sense of what they really said.  And
with reference to the narrative of events, far from permitting
myself to derive it from the first source that came to hand, I did not
even trust my own impressions, but it rests partly on what I saw
myself, partly on what others saw for me, the accuracy of the report
being always tried by the most severe and detailed tests possible.
My conclusions have cost me some labour from the want of coincidence
between accounts of the same occurrences by different eye-witnesses,
arising sometimes from imperfect memory, sometimes from undue
partiality for one side or the other.  The absence of romance in my
history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but if it be
judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of
the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the
course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it, I
shall be content.  In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay
which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for
all time.

The Median War, the greatest achievement of past times, yet found
a speedy decision in two actions by sea and two by land.  The
Peloponnesian War was prolonged to an immense length, and, long as
it was, it was short without parallel for the misfortunes that it
brought upon Hellas.  Never had so many cities been taken and laid
desolate, here by the barbarians, here by the parties contending
(the old inhabitants being sometimes removed to make room for others);
never was there so much banishing and blood-shedding, now on the field
of battle, now in the strife of faction.  Old stories of occurrences
handed down by tradition, but scantily confirmed by experience,
suddenly ceased to be incredible; there were earthquakes of
unparalleled extent and violence; eclipses of the sun occurred with
a frequency unrecorded in previous history; there were great
droughts in sundry places and consequent famines, and that most
calamitous and awfully fatal visitation, the plague.  All this came
upon them with the late war, which was begun by the Athenians and
Peloponnesians by the dissolution of the thirty years' truce made
after the conquest of Euboea.  To the question why they broke the
treaty, I answer by placing first an account of their grounds of
complaint and points of difference, that no one may ever have to ask
the immediate cause which plunged the Hellenes into a war of such
magnitude.  The real cause I consider to be the one which was
formally most kept out of sight.  The growth of the power of Athens,
and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war
inevitable.  Still it is well to give the grounds alleged by either
side which led to the dissolution of the treaty and the breaking out
of the war.


_Causes of the War - The Affair of Epidamnus -
The Affair of Potidaea_

The city of Epidamnus stands on the right of the entrance of the
Ionic Gulf.  Its vicinity is inhabited by the Taulantians, an
Illyrian people.  The place is a colony from Corcyra, founded by
Phalius, son of Eratocleides, of the family of the Heraclids, who
had according to ancient usage been summoned for the purpose from
Corinth, the mother country.  The colonists were joined by some
Corinthians, and others of the Dorian race.  Now, as time went on,
the city of Epidamnus became great and populous; but falling a prey to
factions arising, it is said, from a war with her neighbours the
barbarians, she became much enfeebled, and lost a considerable
amount of her power.  The last act before the war was the expulsion
of the nobles by the people.  The exiled party joined the barbarians,
and proceeded to plunder those in the city by sea and land; and the
Epidamnians, finding themselves hard pressed, sent ambassadors to
Corcyra beseeching their mother country not to allow them to perish,
but to make up matters between them and the exiles, and to rid them of
the war with the barbarians.  The ambassadors seated themselves in
the temple of Hera as suppliants, and made the above requests to the
Corcyraeans.  But the Corcyraeans refused to accept their supplication,
and they were dismissed without having effected anything.

When the Epidamnians found that no help could be expected from
Corcyra, they were in a strait what to do next.  So they sent to Delphi
and inquired of the God whether they should deliver their city to
the Corinthians and endeavour to obtain some assistance from their
founders.  The answer he gave them was to deliver the city and place
themselves under Corinthian protection.  So the Epidamnians went to
Corinth and delivered over the colony in obedience to the commands
of the oracle.  They showed that their founder came from Corinth, and
revealed the answer of the god; and they begged them not to allow them
to perish, but to assist them.  This the Corinthians consented to do.
Believing the colony to belong as much to themselves as to the
Corcyraeans, they felt it to be a kind of duty to undertake their
protection.  Besides, they hated the Corcyraeans for their contempt
of the mother country.  Instead of meeting with the usual honours
accorded to the parent city by every other colony at public
assemblies, such as precedence at sacrifices, Corinth found herself
treated with contempt by a power which in point of wealth could
stand comparison with any even of the richest communities in Hellas,
which possessed great military strength, and which sometimes could not
repress a pride in the high naval position of an, island whose
nautical renown dated from the days of its old inhabitants, the
Phaeacians.  This was one reason of the care that they lavished on
their fleet, which became very efficient; indeed they began the war
with a force of a hundred and twenty galleys.

All these grievances made Corinth eager to send the promised aid
to Epidamnus.  Advertisement was made for volunteer settlers, and a
force of Ambraciots, Leucadians, and Corinthians was dispatched.
They marched by land to Apollonia, a Corinthian colony, the route by
sea being avoided from fear of Corcyraean interruption.  When the
Corcyraeans heard of the arrival of the settlers and troops in
Epidamnus, and the surrender of the colony to Corinth, they took fire.
Instantly putting to sea with five-and-twenty ships, which were
quickly followed by others, they insolently commanded the
Epidamnians to receive back the banished nobles--(it must be premised
that the Epidamnian exiles had come to Corcyra and, pointing to the
sepulchres of their ancestors, had appealed to their kindred to
restore them)--and to dismiss the Corinthian garrison and settlers.
But to all this the Epidamnians turned a deaf ear.  Upon this the
Corcyraeans commenced operations against them with a fleet of forty
sail.  They took with them the exiles, with a view to their
restoration, and also secured the services of the Illyrians.  Sitting
down before the city, they issued a proclamation to the effect that
any of the natives that chose, and the foreigners, might depart
unharmed, with the alternative of being treated as enemies.  On their
refusal the Corcyraeans proceeded to besiege the city, which stands on
an isthmus; and the Corinthians, receiving intelligence of the
investment of Epidamnus, got together an armament and proclaimed a
colony to Epidamnus, perfect political equality being guaranteed to
all who chose to go.  Any who were not prepared to sail at once
might, by paying down the sum of fifty Corinthian drachmae, have a
share in the colony without leaving Corinth.  Great numbers took
advantage of this proclamation, some being ready to start directly,
others paying the requisite forfeit.  In case of their passage being
disputed by the Corcyraeans, several cities were asked to lend them
a convoy.  Megara prepared to accompany them with eight ships, Pale
in Cephallonia with four; Epidaurus furnished five, Hermione one,
Troezen two, Leucas ten, and Ambracia eight.  The Thebans and
Phliasians were asked for money, the Eleans for hulls as well; while
Corinth herself furnished thirty ships and three thousand heavy

When the Corcyraeans heard of their preparations they came to
Corinth with envoys from Lacedaemon and Sicyon, whom they persuaded to
accompany them, and bade her recall the garrison and settlers, as
she had nothing to do with Epidamnus.  If, however, she had any
claims to make, they were willing to submit the matter to the
arbitration of such of the cities in Peloponnese as should be chosen
by mutual agreement, and that the colony should remain with the city
to whom the arbitrators might assign it.  They were also willing to
refer the matter to the oracle at Delphi.  If, in defiance of their
protestations, war was appealed to, they should be themselves
compelled by this violence to seek friends in quarters where they
had no desire to seek them, and to make even old ties give way to
the necessity of assistance.  The answer they got from Corinth was
that, if they would withdraw their fleet and the barbarians from
Epidamnus, negotiation might be possible; but, while the town was
still being besieged, going before arbitrators was out of the
question.  The Corcyraeans retorted that if Corinth would withdraw
her troops from Epidamnus they would withdraw theirs, or they were
ready to let both parties remain in statu quo, an armistice being
concluded till judgment could be given.

Turning a deaf ear to all these proposals, when their ships were
manned and their allies had come in, the Corinthians sent a herald
before them to declare war and, getting under way with seventy-five
ships and two thousand heavy infantry, sailed for Epidamnus to give
battle to the Corcyraeans.  The fleet was under the command of
Aristeus, son of Pellichas, Callicrates, son of Callias, and
Timanor, son of Timanthes; the troops under that of Archetimus, son of
Eurytimus, and Isarchidas, son of Isarchus.  When they had reached
Actium in the territory of Anactorium, at the mouth of the mouth of
the Gulf of Ambracia, where the temple of Apollo stands, the
Corcyraeans sent on a herald in a light boat to warn them not to
sail against them.  Meanwhile they proceeded to man their ships, all of
which had been equipped for action, the old vessels being
undergirded to make them seaworthy.  On the return of the herald
without any peaceful answer from the Corinthians, their ships being
now manned, they put out to sea to meet the enemy with a fleet of
eighty sail (forty were engaged in the siege of Epidamnus), formed
line, and went into action, and gained a decisive victory, and
destroyed fifteen of the Corinthian vessels.  The same day had seen
Epidamnus compelled by its besiegers to capitulate; the conditions
being that the foreigners should be sold, and the Corinthians kept
as prisoners of war, till their fate should be otherwise decided.

After the engagement the Corcyraeans set up a trophy on Leukimme,
a headland of Corcyra, and slew all their captives except the
Corinthians, whom they kept as prisoners of war.  Defeated at sea,
the Corinthians and their allies repaired home, and left the
Corcyraeans masters of all the sea about those parts.  Sailing to
Leucas, a Corinthian colony, they ravaged their territory, and burnt
Cyllene, the harbour of the Eleans, because they had furnished ships
and money to Corinth.  For almost the whole of the period that followed
the battle they remained masters of the sea, and the allies of Corinth
were harassed by Corcyraean cruisers.  At last Corinth, roused by the
sufferings of her allies, sent out ships and troops in the fall of the
summer, who formed an encampment at Actium and about Chimerium, in
Thesprotis, for the protection of Leucas and the rest of the
friendly cities.  The Corcyraeans on their part formed a similar
station on Leukimme.  Neither party made any movement, but they
remained confronting each other till the end of the summer, and winter
was at hand before either of them returned home.

Corinth, exasperated by the war with the Corcyraeans, spent the
whole of the year after the engagement and that succeeding it in
building ships, and in straining every nerve to form an efficient
fleet; rowers being drawn from Peloponnese and the rest of Hellas by
the inducement of large bounties.  The Corcyraeans, alarmed at the news
of their preparations, being without a single ally in Hellas (for they
had not enrolled themselves either in the Athenian or in the
Lacedaemonian confederacy), decided to repair to Athens in order to
enter into alliance and to endeavour to procure support from her.
Corinth also, hearing of their intentions, sent an embassy to Athens
to prevent the Corcyraean navy being joined by the Athenian, and her
prospect of ordering the war according to her wishes being thus
impeded.  An assembly was convoked, and the rival advocates appeared:
the Corcyraeans spoke as follows:

"Athenians! when a people that have not rendered any important
service or support to their neighbours in times past, for which they
might claim to be repaid, appear before them as we now appear before
you to solicit their assistance, they may fairly be required to
satisfy certain preliminary conditions.  They should show, first,
that it is expedient or at least safe to grant their request; next,
that they will retain a lasting sense of the kindness.  But if they
cannot clearly establish any of these points, they must not be annoyed
if they meet with a rebuff.  Now the Corcyraeans believe that with
their petition for assistance they can also give you a satisfactory
answer on these points, and they have therefore dispatched us
hither.  It has so happened that our policy as regards you with respect
to this request, turns out to be inconsistent, and as regards our
interests, to be at the present crisis inexpedient.  We say
inconsistent, because a power which has never in the whole of her past
history been willing to ally herself with any of her neighbours, is
now found asking them to ally themselves with her.  And we say
inexpedient, because in our present war with Corinth it has left us in
a position of entire isolation, and what once seemed the wise
precaution of refusing to involve ourselves in alliances with other
powers, lest we should also involve ourselves in risks of their
choosing, has now proved to be folly and weakness.  It is true that
in the late naval engagement we drove back the Corinthians from our
shores single-handed.  But they have now got together a still larger
armament from Peloponnese and the rest of Hellas; and we, seeing our
utter inability to cope with them without foreign aid, and the
magnitude of the danger which subjection to them implies, find it
necessary to ask help from you and from every other power.  And we hope
to be excused if we forswear our old principle of complete political
isolation, a principle which was not adopted with any sinister
intention, but was rather the consequence of an error in judgment.

"Now there are many reasons why in the event of your compliance
you will congratulate yourselves on this request having been made to
you.  First, because your assistance will be rendered to a power which,
herself inoffensive, is a victim to the injustice of others.  Secondly,
because all that we most value is at stake in the present contest, and
your welcome of us under these circumstances will be a proof of
goodwill which will ever keep alive the gratitude you will lay up in
our hearts.  Thirdly, yourselves excepted, we are the greatest naval
power in Hellas.  Moreover, can you conceive a stroke of good fortune
more rare in itself, or more disheartening to your enemies, than
that the power whose adhesion you would have valued above much
material and moral strength should present herself self-invited,
should deliver herself into your hands without danger and without
expense, and should lastly put you in the way of gaining a high
character in the eyes of the world, the gratitude of those whom you
shall assist, and a great accession of strength for yourselves? You
may search all history without finding many instances of a people
gaining all these advantages at once, or many instances of a power
that comes in quest of assistance being in a position to give to the
people whose alliance she solicits as much safety and honour as she
will receive.  But it will be urged that it is only in the case of a
war that we shall be found useful.  To this we answer that if any of
you imagine that that war is far off, he is grievously mistaken, and
is blind to the fact that Lacedaemon regards you with jealousy and
desires war, and that Corinth is powerful there--the same, remember,
that is your enemy, and is even now trying to subdue us as a
preliminary to attacking you.  And this she does to prevent our
becoming united by a common enmity, and her having us both on her
hands, and also to ensure getting the start of you in one of two ways,
either by crippling our power or by making its strength her own.  Now
it is our policy to be beforehand with her--that is, for Corcyra to
make an offer of alliance and for you to accept it; in fact, we
ought to form plans against her instead of waiting to defeat the plans
she forms against us.

"If she asserts that for you to receive a colony of hers into
alliance is not right, let her know that every colony that is well
treated honours its parent state, but becomes estranged from it by
injustice.  For colonists are not sent forth on the understanding
that they are to be the slaves of those that remain behind, but that
they are to be their equals.  And that Corinth was injuring us is
clear.  Invited to refer the dispute about Epidamnus to arbitration,
they chose to prosecute their complaints war rather than by a fair
trial.  And let their conduct towards us who are their kindred be a
warning to you not to be misled by their deceit, nor to yield to their
direct requests; concessions to adversaries only end in self-reproach,
and the more strictly they are avoided the greater will be the
chance of security.

"If it be urged that your reception of us will be a breach of the
treaty existing between you and Lacedaemon, the answer is that we
are a neutral state, and that one of the express provisions of that
treaty is that it shall be competent for any Hellenic state that is
neutral to join whichever side it pleases.  And it is intolerable for
Corinth to be allowed to obtain men for her navy not only from her
allies, but also from the rest of Hellas, no small number being
furnished by your own subjects; while we are to be excluded both
from the alliance left open to us by treaty, and from any assistance
that we might get from other quarters, and you are to be accused of
political immorality if you comply with our request.  On the other
hand, we shall have much greater cause to complain of you, if you do
not comply with it; if we, who are in peril and are no enemies of
yours, meet with a repulse at your hands, while Corinth, who is the
aggressor and your enemy, not only meets with no hindrance from you,
but is even allowed to draw material for war from your dependencies.
This ought not to be, but you should either forbid her enlisting men
in your dominions, or you should lend us too what help you may think

"But your real policy is to afford us avowed countenance and
support.  The advantages of this course, as we premised in the
beginning of our speech, are many.  We mention one that is perhaps
the chief.  Could there be a clearer guarantee of our good faith than
is offered by the fact that the power which is at enmity with you is
also at enmity with us, and that that power is fully able to punish
defection? And there is a wide difference between declining the
alliance of an inland and of a maritime power.  For your first
endeavour should be to prevent, if possible, the existence of any
naval power except your own; failing this, to secure the friendship of
the strongest that does exist.  And if any of you believe that what
we urge is expedient, but fear to act upon this belief, lest it should
lead to a breach of the treaty, you must remember that on the one
hand, whatever your fears, your strength will be formidable to your
antagonists; on the other, whatever the confidence you derive from
refusing to receive us, your weakness will have no terrors for a
strong enemy.  You must also remember that your decision is for Athens
no less than Corcyra, and that you are not making the best provision
for her interests, if at a time when you are anxiously scanning the
horizon that you may be in readiness for the breaking out of the war
which is all but upon you, you hesitate to attach to your side a
place whose adhesion or estrangement is alike pregnant with the most
vital consequences.  For it lies conveniently for the coast-navigation
in the direction of Italy and Sicily, being able to bar the passage
of naval reinforcements from thence to Peloponnese, and from
Peloponnese thither; and it is in other respects a most desirable
station.  To sum up as shortly as possible, embracing both general
and particular considerations, let this show you the folly of
sacrificing us.  Remember that there are but three considerable
naval powers in Hellas--Athens, Corcyra, and Corinth--and that if you
allow two of these three to become one, and Corinth to secure us for
herself, you will have to hold the sea against the united fleets of
Corcyra and Peloponnese.  But if you receive us, you will have our
ships to reinforce you in the struggle."

Such were the words of the Corcyraeans.  After they had finished, the
Corinthians spoke as follows:

"These Corcyraeans in the speech we have just heard do not confine
themselves to the question of their reception into your alliance.  They
also talk of our being guilty of injustice, and their being the
victims of an unjustifiable war.  It becomes necessary for us to
touch upon both these points before we proceed to the rest of what
we have to say, that you may have a more correct idea of the grounds
of our claim, and have good cause to reject their petition.
According to them, their old policy of refusing all offers of alliance
was a policy of moderation.  It was in fact adopted for bad ends, not
for good; indeed their conduct is such as to make them by no means
desirous of having allies present to witness it, or of having the
shame of asking their concurrence.  Besides, their geographical
situation makes them independent of others, and consequently the
decision in cases where they injure any lies not with judges appointed
by mutual agreement, but with themselves, because, while they seldom
make voyages to their neighbours, they are constantly being visited by
foreign vessels which are compelled to put in to Corcyra.  In short,
the object that they propose to themselves, in their specious policy
of complete isolation, is not to avoid sharing in the crimes of
others, but to secure monopoly of crime to themselves--the licence of
outrage wherever they can compel, of fraud wherever they can elude,
and the enjoyment of their gains without shame.  And yet if they were
the honest men they pretend to be, the less hold that others had
upon them, the stronger would be the light in which they might have
put their honesty by giving and taking what was just.

"But such has not been their conduct either towards others or
towards us.  The attitude of our colony towards us has always been
one of estrangement and is now one of hostility; for, say they: 'We
were not sent out to be ill-treated.' We rejoin that we did not
found the colony to be insulted by them, but to be their head and to
be regarded with a proper respect.  At any rate our other colonies
honour us, and we are much beloved by our colonists; and clearly, if
the majority are satisfied with us, these can have no good reason
for a dissatisfaction in which they stand alone, and we are not acting
improperly in making war against them, nor are we making war against
them without having received signal provocation.  Besides, if we were
in the wrong, it would be honourable in them to give way to our
wishes, and disgraceful for us to trample on their moderation; but
in the pride and licence of wealth they have sinned again and again
against us, and never more deeply than when Epidamnus, our dependency,
which they took no steps to claim in its distress upon our coming to
relieve it, was by them seized, and is now held by force of arms.

"As to their allegation that they wished the question to be first
submitted to arbitration, it is obvious that a challenge coming from
the party who is safe in a commanding position cannot gain the
credit due only to him who, before appealing to arms, in deeds as well
as words, places himself on a level with his adversary.  In their case,
it was not before they laid siege to the place, but after they at
length understood that we should not tamely suffer it, that they
thought of the specious word arbitration.  And not satisfied with their
own misconduct there, they appear here now requiring you to join
with them not in alliance but in crime, and to receive them in spite
of their being at enmity with us.  But it was when they stood firmest
that they should have made overtures to you, and not at a time when we
have been wronged and they are in peril; nor yet at a time when you
will be admitting to a share in your protection those who never
admitted you to a share in their power, and will be incurring an equal
amount of blame from us with those in whose offences you had no
hand.  No, they should have shared their power with you before they
asked you to share your fortunes with them.

"So then the reality of the grievances we come to complain of, and
the violence and rapacity of our opponents, have both been proved.  But
that you cannot equitably receive them, this you have still to
learn.  It may be true that one of the provisions of the treaty is that
it shall be competent for any state, whose name was not down on the
list, to join whichever side it pleases.  But this agreement is not
meant for those whose object in joining is the injury of other powers,
but for those whose need of support does not arise from the fact of
defection, and whose adhesion will not bring to the power that is
mad enough to receive them war instead of peace; which will be the
case with you, if you refuse to listen to us.  For you cannot become
their auxiliary and remain our friend; if you join in their attack,
you must share the punishment which the defenders inflict on them.  And
yet you have the best possible right to be neutral, or, failing
this, you should on the contrary join us against them.  Corinth is at
least in treaty with you; with Corcyra you were never even in truce.
But do not lay down the principle that defection is to be
patronized.  Did we on the defection of the Samians record our vote
against you, when the rest of the Peloponnesian powers were equally
divided on the question whether they should assist them? No, we told
them to their face that every power has a right to punish its own
allies.  Why, if you make it your policy to receive and assist all
offenders, you will find that just as many of your dependencies will
come over to us, and the principle that you establish will press
less heavily on us than on yourselves.

"This then is what Hellenic law entitles us to demand as a right.
But we have also advice to offer and claims on your gratitude,
which, since there is no danger of our injuring you, as we are not
enemies, and since our friendship does not amount to very frequent
intercourse, we say ought to be liquidated at the present juncture.
When you were in want of ships of war for the war against the
Aeginetans, before the Persian invasion, Corinth supplied you with
twenty vessels.  That good turn, and the line we took on the Samian
question, when we were the cause of the Peloponnesians refusing to
assist them, enabled you to conquer Aegina and to punish Samos.  And we
acted thus at crises when, if ever, men are wont in their efforts
against their enemies to forget everything for the sake of victory,
regarding him who assists them then as a friend, even if thus far he
has been a foe, and him who opposes them then as a foe, even if he has
thus far been a friend; indeed they allow their real interests to
suffer from their absorbing preoccupation in the struggle.

"Weigh well these considerations, and let your youth learn what they
are from their elders, and let them determine to do unto us as we have
done unto you.  And let them not acknowledge the justice of what we
say, but dispute its wisdom in the contingency of war.  Not only is the
straightest path generally speaking the wisest; but the coming of
the war, which the Corcyraeans have used as a bugbear to persuade
you to do wrong, is still uncertain, and it is not worth while to be
carried away by it into gaining the instant and declared enmity of
Corinth.  It were, rather, wise to try and counteract the
unfavourable impression which your conduct to Megara has created.
For kindness opportunely shown has a greater power of removing old
grievances than the facts of the case may warrant.  And do not be
seduced by the prospect of a great naval alliance.  Abstinence from all
injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength
than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent
tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.  It is now our turn
to benefit by the principle that we laid down at Lacedaemon, that
every power has a right to punish her own allies.  We now claim to
receive the same from you, and protest against your rewarding us for
benefiting you by our vote by injuring us by yours.  On the contrary,
return us like for like, remembering that this is that very crisis in
which he who lends aid is most a friend, and he who opposes is most a
foe.  And for these Corcyraeans--neither receive them into alliance in
our despite, nor be their abettors in crime.  So do, and you will act
as we have a right to expect of you, and at the same time best consult
your own interests."

Such were the words of the Corinthians.

When the Athenians had heard both out, two assemblies were held.
In the first there was a manifest disposition to listen to the
representations of Corinth; in the second, public feeling had
changed and an alliance with Corcyra was decided on, with certain
reservations.  It was to be a defensive, not an offensive alliance.
It did not involve a breach of the treaty with Peloponnese: Athens
could not be required to join Corcyra in any attack upon Corinth.
But each of the contracting parties had a right to the other's
assistance against invasion, whether of his own territory or that of
an ally.  For it began now to be felt that the coming of the
Peloponnesian war was only a question of time, and no one was
willing to see a naval power of such magnitude as Corcyra sacrificed
to Corinth; though if they could let them weaken each other by
mutual conflict, it would be no bad preparation for the struggle which
Athens might one day have to wage with Corinth and the other naval
powers.  At the same time the island seemed to lie conveniently on
the coasting passage to Italy and Sicily.  With these views, Athens
received Corcyra into alliance and, on the departure of the
Corinthians not long afterwards, sent ten ships to their assistance.
They were commanded by Lacedaemonius, the son of Cimon, Diotimus,
the son of Strombichus, and Proteas, the son of Epicles.  Their
instructions were to avoid collision with the Corinthian fleet
except under certain circumstances.  If it sailed to Corcyra and
threatened a landing on her coast, or in any of her possessions,
they were to do their utmost to prevent it.  These instructions were
prompted by an anxiety to avoid a breach of the treaty.

Meanwhile the Corinthians completed their preparations, and sailed
for Corcyra with a hundred and fifty ships.  Of these Elis furnished
ten, Megara twelve, Leucas ten, Ambracia twenty-seven, Anactorium one,
and Corinth herself ninety.  Each of these contingents had its own
admiral, the Corinthian being under the command of Xenoclides, son of
Euthycles, with four colleagues.  Sailing from Leucas, they made land
at the part of the continent opposite Corcyra.  They anchored in the
harbour of Chimerium, in the territory of Thesprotis, above which,
at some distance from the sea, lies the city of Ephyre, in the Elean
district.  By this city the Acherusian lake pours its waters into the
sea.  It gets its name from the river Acheron, which flows through
Thesprotis and falls into the lake.  There also the river Thyamis
flows, forming the boundary between Thesprotis and Kestrine; and
between these rivers rises the point of Chimerium.  In this part of the
continent the Corinthians now came to anchor, and formed an
encampment.  When the Corcyraeans saw them coming, they manned a
hundred and ten ships, commanded by Meikiades, Aisimides, and
Eurybatus, and stationed themselves at one of the Sybota isles; the
ten Athenian ships being present.  On Point Leukimme they posted
their land forces, and a thousand heavy infantry who had come from
Zacynthus to their assistance.  Nor were the Corinthians on the
mainland without their allies.  The barbarians flocked in large numbers
to their assistance, the inhabitants of this part of the continent
being old allies of theirs.

When the Corinthian preparations were completed, they took three
days' provisions and put out from Chimerium by night, ready for
action.  Sailing with the dawn, they sighted the Corcyraean fleet out
at sea and coming towards them.  When they perceived each other, both
sides formed in order of battle.  On the Corcyraean right wing lay
the Athenian ships, the rest of the line being occupied by their own
vessels formed in three squadrons, each of which was commanded by
one of the three admirals.  Such was the Corcyraean formation.  The
Corinthian was as follows: on the right wing lay the Megarian and
Ambraciot ships, in the centre the rest of the allies in order.  But
the left was composed of the best sailers in the Corinthian navy, to
encounter the Athenians and the right wing of the Corcyraeans.  As soon
as the signals were raised on either side, they joined battle.  Both
sides had a large number of heavy infantry on their decks, and a large
number of archers and darters, the old imperfect armament still
prevailing.  The sea-fight was an obstinate one, though not
remarkable for its science; indeed it was more like a battle by
land.  Whenever they charged each other, the multitude and crush of the
vessels made it by no means easy to get loose; besides, their hopes of
victory lay principally in the heavy infantry on the decks, who
stood and fought in order, the ships remaining stationary.  The
manoeuvre of breaking the line was not tried; in short, strength and
pluck had more share in the fight than science.  Everywhere tumult
reigned, the battle being one scene of confusion; meanwhile the
Athenian ships, by coming up to the Corcyraeans whenever they were
pressed, served to alarm the enemy, though their commanders could
not join in the battle from fear of their instructions.  The right wing
of the Corinthians suffered most.  The Corcyraeans routed it, and
chased them in disorder to the continent with twenty ships, sailed
up to their camp, and burnt the tents which they found empty, and
plundered the stuff.  So in this quarter the Corinthians and their
allies were defeated, and the Corcyraeans were victorious.  But where
the Corinthians themselves were, on the left, they gained a decided
success; the scanty forces of the Corcyraeans being further weakened
by the want of the twenty ships absent on the pursuit.  Seeing the
Corcyraeans hard pressed, the Athenians began at length to assist them
more unequivocally.  At first, it is true, they refrained from charging
any ships; but when the rout was becoming patent, and the
Corinthians were pressing on, the time at last came when every one set
to, and all distinction was laid aside, and it came to this point,
that the Corinthians and Athenians raised their hands against each

After the rout, the Corinthians, instead of employing themselves
in lashing fast and hauling after them the hulls of the vessels
which they had disabled, turned their attention to the men, whom
they butchered as they sailed through, not caring so much to make
prisoners.  Some even of their own friends were slain by them, by
mistake, in their ignorance of the defeat of the right wing For the
number of the ships on both sides, and the distance to which they
covered the sea, made it difficult, after they had once joined, to
distinguish between the conquering and the conquered; this battle
proving far greater than any before it, any at least between Hellenes,
for the number of vessels engaged.  After the Corinthians had chased
the Corcyraeans to the land, they turned to the wrecks and their dead,
most of whom they succeeded in getting hold of and conveying to
Sybota, the rendezvous of the land forces furnished by their barbarian
allies.  Sybota, it must be known, is a desert harbour of Thesprotis.
This task over, they mustered anew, and sailed against the
Corcyraeans, who on their part advanced to meet them with all their
ships that were fit for service and remaining to them, accompanied
by the Athenian vessels, fearing that they might attempt a landing
in their territory.  It was by this time getting late, and the paean
had been sung for the attack, when the Corinthians suddenly began to
back water.  They had observed twenty Athenian ships sailing up,
which had been sent out afterwards to reinforce the ten vessels by the
Athenians, who feared, as it turned out justly, the defeat of the
Corcyraeans and the inability of their handful of ships to protect
them.  These ships were thus seen by the Corinthians first.  They
suspected that they were from Athens, and that those which they saw
were not all, but that there were more behind; they accordingly
began to retire.  The Corcyraeans meanwhile had not sighted them, as
they were advancing from a point which they could not so well see, and
were wondering why the Corinthians were backing water, when some
caught sight of them, and cried out that there were ships in sight
ahead.  Upon this they also retired; for it was now getting dark, and
the retreat of the Corinthians had suspended hostilities.  Thus they
parted from each other, and the battle ceased with night.  The
Corcyraeans were in their camp at Leukimme, when these twenty ships
from Athens, under the command of Glaucon, the son of Leagrus, and
Andocides, son of Leogoras, bore on through the corpses and the
wrecks, and sailed up to the camp, not long after they were sighted.
It was now night, and the Corcyraeans feared that they might be
hostile vessels; but they soon knew them, and the ships came to

The next day the thirty Athenian vessels put out to sea, accompanied
by all the Corcyraean ships that were seaworthy, and sailed to the
harbour at Sybota, where the Corinthians lay, to see if they would
engage.  The Corinthians put out from the land and formed a line in the
open sea, but beyond this made no further movement, having no
intention of assuming the offensive.  For they saw reinforcements
arrived fresh from Athens, and themselves confronted by numerous
difficulties, such as the necessity of guarding the prisoners whom
they had on board and the want of all means of refitting their ships
in a desert place.  What they were thinking more about was how their
voyage home was to be effected; they feared that the Athenians might
consider that the treaty was dissolved by the collision which had
occurred, and forbid their departure.

Accordingly they resolved to put some men on board a boat, and
send them without a herald's wand to the Athenians, as an
experiment.  Having done so, they spoke as follows: "You do wrong,
Athenians, to begin war and break the treaty.  Engaged in chastising
our enemies, we find you placing yourselves in our path in arms
against us.  Now if your intentions are to prevent us sailing to
Corcyra, or anywhere else that we may wish, and if you are for
breaking the treaty, first take us that are here and treat us as
enemies." Such was what they said, and all the Corcyraean armament
that were within hearing immediately called out to take them and
kill them.  But the Athenians answered as follows: "Neither are we
beginning war, Peloponnesians, nor are we breaking the treaty; but
these Corcyraeans are our allies, and we are come to help them.  So
if you want to sail anywhere else, we place no obstacle in your way;
but if you are going to sail against Corcyra, or any of her
possessions, we shall do our best to stop you."

Receiving this answer from the Athenians, the Corinthians
commenced preparations for their voyage home, and set up a trophy in
Sybota, on the continent; while the Corcyraeans took up the wrecks and
dead that had been carried out to them by the current, and by a wind
which rose in the night and scattered them in all directions, and
set up their trophy in Sybota, on the island, as victors.  The
reasons each side had for claiming the victory were these.  The
Corinthians had been victorious in the sea-fight until night; and
having thus been enabled to carry off most wrecks and dead, they
were in possession of no fewer than a thousand prisoners of war, and
had sunk close upon seventy vessels.  The Corcyraeans had destroyed
about thirty ships, and after the arrival of the Athenians had taken
up the wrecks and dead on their side; they had besides seen the
Corinthians retire before them, backing water on sight of the Athenian
vessels, and upon the arrival of the Athenians refuse to sail out
against them from Sybota.  Thus both sides claimed the victory.

The Corinthians on the voyage home took Anactorium, which stands
at the mouth of the Ambracian gulf.  The place was taken by
treachery, being common ground to the Corcyraeans and Corinthians.
After establishing Corinthian settlers there, they retired home.  Eight
hundred of the Corcyraeans were slaves; these they sold; two hundred
and fifty they retained in captivity, and treated with great
attention, in the hope that they might bring over their country to
Corinth on their return; most of them being, as it happened, men of
very high position in Corcyra.  In this way Corcyra maintained her
political existence in the war with Corinth, and the Athenian
vessels left the island.  This was the first cause of the war that
Corinth had against the Athenians, viz. , that they had fought
against them with the Corcyraeans in time of treaty.

Almost immediately after this, fresh differences arose between the
Athenians and Peloponnesians, and contributed their share to the
war.  Corinth was forming schemes for retaliation, and Athens suspected
her hostility.  The Potidaeans, who inhabit the isthmus of Pallene,
being a Corinthian colony, but tributary allies of Athens, were
ordered to raze the wall looking towards Pallene, to give hostages, to
dismiss the Corinthian magistrates, and in future not to receive the
persons sent from Corinth annually to succeed them.  It was feared that
they might be persuaded by Perdiccas and the Corinthians to revolt,
and might draw the rest of the allies in the direction of Thrace to
revolt with them.  These precautions against the Potidaeans were
taken by the Athenians immediately after the battle at Corcyra.  Not
only was Corinth at length openly hostile, but Perdiccas, son of
Alexander, king of the Macedonians, had from an old friend and ally
been made an enemy.  He had been made an enemy by the Athenians
entering into alliance with his brother Philip and Derdas, who were in
league against him.  In his alarm he had sent to Lacedaemon to try
and involve the Athenians in a war with the Peloponnesians, and was
endeavouring to win over Corinth in order to bring about the revolt of
Potidaea.  He also made overtures to the Chalcidians in the direction
of Thrace, and to the Bottiaeans, to persuade them to join in the
revolt; for he thought that if these places on the border could be
made his allies, it would be easier to carry on the war with their
co-operation.  Alive to all this, and wishing to anticipate the
revolt of the cities, the Athenians acted as follows.  They were just
then sending off thirty ships and a thousand heavy infantry for his
country under the command of Archestratus, son of Lycomedes, with four
colleagues.  They instructed the captains to take hostages of the
Potidaeans, to raze the wall, and to be on their guard against the
revolt of the neighbouring cities.

Meanwhile the Potidaeans sent envoys to Athens on the chance of
persuading them to take no new steps in their matters; they also
went to Lacedaemon with the Corinthians to secure support in case of
need.  Failing after prolonged negotiation to obtain anything
satisfactory from the Athenians; being unable, for all they could say,
to prevent the vessels that were destined for Macedonia from also
sailing against them; and receiving from the Lacedaemonian
government a promise to invade Attica, if the Athenians should
attack Potidaea, the Potidaeans, thus favoured by the moment, at
last entered into league with the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, and
revolted.  And Perdiccas induced the Chalcidians to abandon and
demolish their towns on the seaboard and, settling inland at Olynthus,
to make that one city a strong place: meanwhile to those who
followed his advice he gave a part of his territory in Mygdonia
round Lake Bolbe as a place of abode while the war against the
Athenians should last.  They accordingly demolished their towns,
removed inland and prepared for war.  The thirty ships of the
Athenians, arriving before the Thracian places, found Potidaea and the
rest in revolt.  Their commanders, considering it to be quite
impossible with their present force to carry on war with Perdiccas and
with the confederate towns as well turned to Macedonia, their original
destination, and, having established themselves there, carried on
war in co-operation with Philip, and the brothers of Derdas, who had
invaded the country from the interior.

Meanwhile the Corinthians, with Potidaea in revolt and the
Athenian ships on the coast of Macedonia, alarmed for the safety of
the place and thinking its danger theirs, sent volunteers from
Corinth, and mercenaries from the rest of Peloponnese, to the number
of sixteen hundred heavy infantry in all, and four hundred light
troops.  Aristeus, son of Adimantus, who was always a steady friend
to the Potidaeans, took command of the expedition, and it was
principally for love of him that most of the men from Corinth
volunteered.  They arrived in Thrace forty days after the revolt of

The Athenians also immediately received the news of the revolt of
the cities.  On being informed that Aristeus and his reinforcements
were on their way, they sent two thousand heavy infantry of their
own citizens and forty ships against the places in revolt, under the
command of Callias, son of Calliades, and four colleagues.  They
arrived in Macedonia first, and found the force of a thousand men that
had been first sent out, just become masters of Therme and besieging
Pydna.  Accordingly they also joined in the investment, and besieged
Pydna for a while.  Subsequently they came to terms and concluded a
forced alliance with Perdiccas, hastened by the calls of Potidaea
and by the arrival of Aristeus at that place.  They withdrew from
Macedonia, going to Beroea and thence to Strepsa, and, after a
futile attempt on the latter place, they pursued by land their march
to Potidaea with three thousand heavy infantry of their own
citizens, besides a number of their allies, and six hundred Macedonian
horsemen, the followers of Philip and Pausanias.  With these sailed
seventy ships along the coast.  Advancing by short marches, on the
third day they arrived at Gigonus, where they encamped.

Meanwhile the Potidaeans and the Peloponnesians with Aristeus were
encamped on the side looking towards Olynthus on the isthmus, in
expectation of the Athenians, and had established their market outside
the city.  The allies had chosen Aristeus general of all the
infantry; while the command of the cavalry was given to Perdiccas, who
had at once left the alliance of the Athenians and gone back to that
of the Potidaeans, having deputed Iolaus as his general: The plan of
Aristeus was to keep his own force on the isthmus, and await the
attack of the Athenians; leaving the Chalcidians and the allies
outside the isthmus, and the two hundred cavalry from Perdiccas in
Olynthus to act upon the Athenian rear, on the occasion of their
advancing against him; and thus to place the enemy between two
fires.  While Callias the Athenian general and his colleagues
dispatched the Macedonian horse and a few of the allies to Olynthus,
to prevent any movement being made from that quarter, the Athenians
themselves broke up their camp and marched against Potidaea.  After
they had arrived at the isthmus, and saw the enemy preparing for
battle, they formed against him, and soon afterwards engaged.  The wing
of Aristeus, with the Corinthians and other picked troops round him,
routed the wing opposed to it, and followed for a considerable
distance in pursuit.  But the rest of the army of the Potidaeans and of
the Peloponnesians was defeated by the Athenians, and took refuge
within the fortifications.  Returning from the pursuit, Aristeus
perceived the defeat of the rest of the army.  Being at a loss which of
the two risks to choose, whether to go to Olynthus or to Potidaea,
he at last determined to draw his men into as small a space as
possible, and force his way with a run into Potidaea.  Not without
difficulty, through a storm of missiles, he passed along by the
breakwater through the sea, and brought off most of his men safe,
though a few were lost.  Meanwhile the auxiliaries of the Potidaeans
from Olynthus, which is about seven miles off and in sight of
Potidaea, when the battle began and the signals were raised,
advanced a little way to render assistance; and the Macedonian horse
formed against them to prevent it.  But on victory speedily declaring
for the Athenians and the signals being taken down, they retired
back within the wall; and the Macedonians returned to the Athenians.
Thus there were no cavalry present on either side.  After the battle
the Athenians set up a trophy, and gave back their dead to the
Potidaeans under truce.  The Potidaeans and their allies had close upon
three hundred killed; the Athenians a hundred and fifty of their own
citizens, and Callias their general.

The wall on the side of the isthmus had now works at once raised
against it, and manned by the Athenians.  That on the side of Pallene
had no works raised against it.  They did not think themselves strong
enough at once to keep a garrison in the isthmus and to cross over
to Pallene and raise works there; they were afraid that the Potidaeans
and their allies might take advantage of their division to attack
them.  Meanwhile the Athenians at home learning that there were no
works at Pallene, some time afterwards sent off sixteen hundred
heavy infantry of their own citizens under the command of Phormio, son
of Asopius.  Arrived at Pallene, he fixed his headquarters at
Aphytis, and led his army against Potidaea by short marches,
ravaging the country as he advanced.  No one venturing to meet him in
the field, he raised works against the wall on the side of Pallene.  So
at length Potidaea was strongly invested on either side, and from
the sea by the ships co-operating in the blockade.  Aristeus, seeing
its investment complete, and having no hope of its salvation, except
in the event of some movement from the Peloponnese, or of some other
improbable contingency, advised all except five hundred to watch for a
wind and sail out of the place, in order that their provisions might
last the longer.  He was willing to be himself one of those who
remained.  Unable to persuade them, and desirous of acting on the
next alternative, and of having things outside in the best posture
possible, he eluded the guardships of the Athenians and sailed out.
Remaining among the Chalcidians, he continued to carry on the war;
in particular he laid an ambuscade near the city of the Sermylians,
and cut off many of them; he also communicated with Peloponnese, and
tried to contrive some method by which help might be brought.
Meanwhile, after the completion of the investment of Potidaea, Phormio
next employed his sixteen hundred men in ravaging Chalcidice and
Bottica: some of the towns also were taken by him.


_Congress of the Peloponnesian Confederacy at Lacedaemon_

The Athenians and Peloponnesians had these antecedent grounds of
complaint against each other: the complaint of Corinth was that her
colony of Potidaea, and Corinthian and Peloponnesian citizens within
it, were being besieged; that of Athens against the Peloponnesians
that they had incited a town of hers, a member of her alliance and a
contributor to her revenue, to revolt, and had come and were openly
fighting against her on the side of the Potidaeans.  For all this,
war had not yet broken out: there was still truce for a while; for
this was a private enterprise on the part of Corinth.

But the siege of Potidaea put an end to her inaction; she had men
inside it: besides, she feared for the place.  Immediately summoning
the allies to Lacedaemon, she came and loudly accused Athens of breach
of the treaty and aggression on the rights of Peloponnese.  With her,
the Aeginetans, formally unrepresented from fear of Athens, in
secret proved not the least urgent of the advocates for war, asserting
that they had not the independence guaranteed to them by the treaty.
After extending the summons to any of their allies and others who
might have complaints to make of Athenian aggression, the
Lacedaemonians held their ordinary assembly, and invited them to
speak.  There were many who came forward and made their several
accusations; among them the Megarians, in a long list of grievances,
called special attention to the fact of their exclusion from the ports
of the Athenian empire and the market of Athens, in defiance of the
treaty.  Last of all the Corinthians came forward, and having let those
who preceded them inflame the Lacedaemonians, now followed with a
speech to this effect:

"Lacedaemonians! the confidence which you feel in your
constitution and social order, inclines you to receive any reflections
of ours on other powers with a certain scepticism.  Hence springs
your moderation, but hence also the rather limited knowledge which you
betray in dealing with foreign politics.  Time after time was our voice
raised to warn you of the blows about to be dealt us by Athens, and
time after time, instead of taking the trouble to ascertain the
worth of our communications, you contented yourselves with
suspecting the speakers of being inspired by private interest.  And so,
instead of calling these allies together before the blow fell, you
have delayed to do so till we are smarting under it; allies among whom
we have not the worst title to speak, as having the greatest
complaints to make, complaints of Athenian outrage and Lacedaemonian
neglect.  Now if these assaults on the rights of Hellas had been made
in the dark, you might be unacquainted with the facts, and it would be
our duty to enlighten you.  As it is, long speeches are not needed
where you see servitude accomplished for some of us, meditated for
others--in particular for our allies--and prolonged preparations in
the aggressor against the hour of war.  Or what, pray, is the meaning
of their reception of Corcyra by fraud, and their holding it against
us by force? what of the siege of Potidaea?--places one of which lies
most conveniently for any action against the Thracian towns; while the
other would have contributed a very large navy to the Peloponnesians?

"For all this you are responsible.  You it was who first allowed them
to fortify their city after the Median war, and afterwards to erect
the long walls--you who, then and now, are always depriving of
freedom not only those whom they have enslaved, but also those who
have as yet been your allies.  For the true author of the subjugation
of a people is not so much the immediate agent, as the power which
permits it having the means to prevent it; particularly if that
power aspires to the glory of being the liberator of Hellas.  We are at
last assembled.  It has not been easy to assemble, nor even now are our
objects defined.  We ought not to be still inquiring into the fact of
our wrongs, but into the means of our defence.  For the aggressors with
matured plans to oppose to our indecision have cast threats aside
and betaken themselves to action.  And we know what are the paths by
which Athenian aggression travels, and how insidious is its
progress.  A degree of confidence she may feel from the idea that
your bluntness of perception prevents your noticing her; but it is
nothing to the impulse which her advance will receive from the
knowledge that you see, but do not care to interfere.  You,
Lacedaemonians, of all the Hellenes are alone inactive, and defend
yourselves not by doing anything but by looking as if you would do
something; you alone wait till the power of an enemy is becoming twice
its original size, instead of crushing it in its infancy.  And yet
the world used to say that you were to be depended upon; but in your
case, we fear, it said more than the truth.  The Mede, we ourselves
know, had time to come from the ends of the earth to Peloponnese,
without any force of yours worthy of the name advancing to meet him.
But this was a distant enemy.  Well, Athens at all events is a near
neighbour, and yet Athens you utterly disregard; against Athens you
prefer to act on the defensive instead of on the offensive, and to
make it an affair of chances by deferring the struggle till she has
grown far stronger than at first.  And yet you know that on the whole
the rock on which the barbarian was wrecked was himself, and that if
our present enemy Athens has not again and again annihilated us, we
owe it more to her blunders than to your protection; Indeed,
expectations from you have before now been the ruin of some, whose
faith induced them to omit preparation.

"We hope that none of you will consider these words of
remonstrance to be rather words of hostility; men remonstrate with
friends who are in error, accusations they reserve for enemies who
have wronged them.  Besides, we consider that we have as good a right
as any one to point out a neighbour's faults, particularly when we
contemplate the great contrast between the two national characters;
a contrast of which, as far as we can see, you have little perception,
having never yet considered what sort of antagonists you will
encounter in the Athenians, how widely, how absolutely different
from yourselves.  The Athenians are addicted to innovation, and their
designs are characterized by swiftness alike in conception and
execution; you have a genius for keeping what you have got,
accompanied by a total want of invention, and when forced to act you
never go far enough.  Again, they are adventurous beyond their power,
and daring beyond their judgment, and in danger they are sanguine;
your wont is to attempt less than is justified by your power, to
mistrust even what is sanctioned by your judgment, and to fancy that
from danger there is no release.  Further, there is promptitude on
their side against procrastination on yours; they are never at home,
you are never from it: for they hope by their absence to extend
their acquisitions, you fear by your advance to endanger what you have
left behind.  They are swift to follow up a success, and slow to recoil
from a reverse.  Their bodies they spend ungrudgingly in their
country's cause; their intellect they jealously husband to be employed
in her service.  A scheme unexecuted is with them a positive loss, a
successful enterprise a comparative failure.  The deficiency created by
the miscarriage of an undertaking is soon filled up by fresh hopes;
for they alone are enabled to call a thing hoped for a thing got, by
the speed with which they act upon their resolutions.  Thus they toil
on in trouble and danger all the days of their life, with little
opportunity for enjoying, being ever engaged in getting: their only
idea of a holiday is to do what the occasion demands, and to them
laborious occupation is less of a misfortune than the peace of a quiet
life.  To describe their character in a word, one might truly say
that they were born into the world to take no rest themselves and to
give none to others.

"Such is Athens, your antagonist.  And yet, Lacedaemonians, you still
delay, and fail to see that peace stays longest with those, who are
not more careful to use their power justly than to show their
determination not to submit to injustice.  On the contrary, your
ideal of fair dealing is based on the principle that, if you do not
injure others, you need not risk your own fortunes in preventing
others from injuring you.  Now you could scarcely have succeeded in
such a policy even with a neighbour like yourselves; but in the
present instance, as we have just shown, your habits are old-fashioned
as compared with theirs.  It is the law as in art, so in politics, that
improvements ever prevail; and though fixed usages may be best for
undisturbed communities, constant necessities of action must be
accompanied by the constant improvement of methods.  Thus it happens
that the vast experience of Athens has carried her further than you on
the path of innovation.

"Here, at least, let your procrastination end.  For the present,
assist your allies and Potidaea in particular, as you promised, by a
speedy invasion of Attica, and do not sacrifice friends and kindred to
their bitterest enemies, and drive the rest of us in despair to some
other alliance.  Such a step would not be condemned either by the
Gods who received our oaths, or by the men who witnessed them.  The
breach of a treaty cannot be laid to the people whom desertion compels
to seek new relations, but to the power that fails to assist its
confederate.  But if you will only act, we will stand by you; it
would be unnatural for us to change, and never should we meet with
such a congenial ally.  For these reasons choose the right course,
and endeavour not to let Peloponnese under your supremacy degenerate
from the prestige that it enjoyed under that of your ancestors."

Such were the words of the Corinthians.  There happened to be
Athenian envoys present at Lacedaemon on other business.  On hearing
the speeches they thought themselves called upon to come before the
Lacedaemonians.  Their intention was not to offer a defence on any of
the charges which the cities brought against them, but to show on a
comprehensive view that it was not a matter to be hastily decided
on, but one that demanded further consideration.  There was also a wish
to call attention to the great power of Athens, and to refresh the
memory of the old and enlighten the ignorance of the young, from a
notion that their words might have the effect of inducing them to
prefer tranquillity to war.  So they came to the Lacedaemonians and
said that they too, if there was no objection, wished to speak to
their assembly.  They replied by inviting them to come forward.  The
Athenians advanced, and spoke as follows:

"The object of our mission here was not to argue with your allies,
but to attend to the matters on which our state dispatched us.
However, the vehemence of the outcry that we hear against us has
prevailed on us to come forward.  It is not to combat the accusations
of the cities (indeed you are not the judges before whom either we
or they can plead), but to prevent your taking the wrong course on
matters of great importance by yielding too readily to the persuasions
of your allies.  We also wish to show on a review of the whole
indictment that we have a fair title to our possessions, and that
our country has claims to consideration.  We need not refer to remote
antiquity: there we could appeal to the voice of tradition, but not to
the experience of our audience.  But to the Median War and contemporary
history we must refer, although we are rather tired of continually
bringing this subject forward.  In our action during that war we ran
great risk to obtain certain advantages: you had your share in the
solid results, do not try to rob us of all share in the good that
the glory may do us.  However, the story shall be told not so much to
deprecate hostility as to testify against it, and to show, if you
are so ill advised as to enter into a struggle with Athens, what
sort of an antagonist she is likely to prove.  We assert that at
Marathon we were at the front, and faced the barbarian
single-handed.  That when he came the second time, unable to cope
with him by land we went on board our ships with all our people, and
joined in the action at Salamis.  This prevented his taking the
Peloponnesian states in detail, and ravaging them with his fleet; when
the multitude of his vessels would have made any combination for
self-defence impossible.  The best proof of this was furnished by the
invader himself.  Defeated at sea, he considered his power to be no
longer what it had been, and retired as speedily as possible with
the greater part of his army.

"Such, then, was the result of the matter, and it was clearly proved
that it was on the fleet of Hellas that her cause depended.  Well, to
this result we contributed three very useful elements, viz., the
largest number of ships, the ablest commander, and the most
unhesitating patriotism.  Our contingent of ships was little less
than two-thirds of the whole four hundred; the commander was
Themistocles, through whom chiefly it was that the battle took place
in the straits, the acknowledged salvation of our cause.  Indeed,
this was the reason of your receiving him with honours such as had
never been accorded to any foreign visitor.  While for daring
patriotism we had no competitors.  Receiving no reinforcements from
behind, seeing everything in front of us already subjugated, we had
the spirit, after abandoning our city, after sacrificing our
property (instead of deserting the remainder of the league or
depriving them of our services by dispersing), to throw ourselves into
our ships and meet the danger, without a thought of resenting your
neglect to assist us.  We assert, therefore, that we conferred on you
quite as much as we received.  For you had a stake to fight for; the
cities which you had left were still filled with your homes, and you
had the prospect of enjoying them again; and your coming was
prompted quite as much by fear for yourselves as for us; at all
events, you never appeared till we had nothing left to lose.  But we
left behind us a city that was a city no longer, and staked our
lives for a city that had an existence only in desperate hope, and
so bore our full share in your deliverance and in ours.  But if we
had copied others, and allowed fears for our territory to make us give
in our adhesion to the Mede before you came, or if we had suffered our
ruin to break our spirit and prevent us embarking in our ships, your
naval inferiority would have made a sea-fight unnecessary, and his
objects would have been peaceably attained.

"Surely, Lacedaemonians, neither by the patriotism that we displayed
at that crisis, nor by the wisdom of our counsels, do we merit our
extreme unpopularity with the Hellenes, not at least unpopularity
for our empire.  That empire we acquired by no violent means, but
because you were unwilling to prosecute to its conclusion the war
against the barbarian, and because the allies attached themselves to
us and spontaneously asked us to assume the command.  And the nature of
the case first compelled us to advance our empire to its present
height; fear being our principal motive, though honour and interest
afterwards came in.  And at last, when almost all hated us, when some
had already revolted and had been subdued, when you had ceased to be
the friends that you once were, and had become objects of suspicion
and dislike, it appeared no longer safe to give up our empire;
especially as all who left us would fall to you.  And no one can
quarrel with a people for making, in matters of tremendous risk, the
best provision that it can for its interest.

"You, at all events, Lacedaemonians, have used your supremacy to
settle the states in Peloponnese as is agreeable to you.  And if at the
period of which we were speaking you had persevered to the end of
the matter, and had incurred hatred in your command, we are sure
that you would have made yourselves just as galling to the allies, and
would have been forced to choose between a strong government and
danger to yourselves.  It follows that it was not a very wonderful
action, or contrary to the common practice of mankind, if we did
accept an empire that was offered to us, and refused to give it up
under the pressure of three of the strongest motives, fear, honour,
and interest.  And it was not we who set the example, for it has always
been law that the weaker should be subject to the stronger.  Besides,
we believed ourselves to be worthy of our position, and so you thought
us till now, when calculations of interest have made you take up the
cry of justice--a consideration which no one ever yet brought forward
to hinder his ambition when he had a chance of gaining anything by
might.  And praise is due to all who, if not so superior to human
nature as to refuse dominion, yet respect justice more than their
position compels them to do.

"We imagine that our moderation would be best demonstrated by the
conduct of others who should be placed in our position; but even our
equity has very unreasonably subjected us to condemnation instead of
approval.  Our abatement of our rights in the contract trials with
our allies, and our causing them to be decided by impartial laws at
Athens, have gained us the character of being litigious.  And none care
to inquire why this reproach is not brought against other imperial
powers, who treat their subjects with less moderation than we do;
the secret being that where force can be used, law is not needed.
But our subjects are so habituated to associate with us as equals that
any defeat whatever that clashes with their notions of justice,
whether it proceeds from a legal judgment or from the power which
our empire gives us, makes them forget to be grateful for being
allowed to retain most of their possessions, and more vexed at a
part being taken, than if we had from the first cast law aside and
openly gratified our covetousness.  If we had done so, not even would
they have disputed that the weaker must give way to the stronger.
Men's indignation, it seems, is more excited by legal wrong than by
violent wrong; the first looks like being cheated by an equal, the
second like being compelled by a superior.  At all events they
contrived to put up with much worse treatment than this from the Mede,
yet they think our rule severe, and this is to be expected, for the
present always weighs heavy on the conquered.  This at least is
certain.  If you were to succeed in overthrowing us and in taking our
place, you would speedily lose the popularity with which fear of us
has invested you, if your policy of to-day is at all to tally with the
sample that you gave of it during the brief period of your command
against the Mede.  Not only is your life at home regulated by rules and
institutions incompatible with those of others, but your citizens
abroad act neither on these rules nor on those which are recognized by
the rest of Hellas.

"Take time then in forming your resolution, as the matter is of
great importance; and do not be persuaded by the opinions and
complaints of others to bring trouble on yourselves, but consider
the vast influence of accident in war, before you are engaged in it.
As it continues, it generally becomes an affair of chances, chances
from which neither of us is exempt, and whose event we must risk in
the dark.  It is a common mistake in going to war to begin at the wrong
end, to act first, and wait for disaster to discuss the matter.  But we
are not yet by any means so misguided, nor, so far as we can see,
are you; accordingly, while it is still open to us both to choose
aright, we bid you not to dissolve the treaty, or to break your oaths,
but to have our differences settled by arbitration according to our
agreement.  Or else we take the gods who heard the oaths to witness,
and if you begin hostilities, whatever line of action you choose, we
will try not to be behindhand in repelling you."

Such were the words of the Athenians.  After the Lacedaemonians had
heard the complaints of the allies against the Athenians, and the
observations of the latter, they made all withdraw, and consulted by
themselves on the question before them.  The opinions of the majority
all led to the same conclusion; the Athenians were open aggressors,
and war must be declared at once.  But Archidamus, the Lacedaemonian
king, came forward, who had the reputation of being at once a wise and
a moderate man, and made the following speech:

"I have not lived so long, Lacedaemonians, without having had the
experience of many wars, and I see those among you of the same age
as myself, who will not fall into the common misfortune of longing for
war from inexperience or from a belief in its advantage and its
safety.  This, the war on which you are now debating, would be one of
the greatest magnitude, on a sober consideration of the matter.  In a
struggle with Peloponnesians and neighbours our strength is of the
same character, and it is possible to move swiftly on the different
points.  But a struggle with a people who live in a distant land, who
have also an extraordinary familiarity with the sea, and who are in
the highest state of preparation in every other department; with
wealth private and public, with ships, and horses, and heavy infantry,
and a population such as no one other Hellenic place can equal, and
lastly a number of tributary allies--what can justify us in rashly
beginning such a struggle? wherein is our trust that we should rush on
it unprepared? Is it in our ships? There we are inferior; while if
we are to practise and become a match for them, time must intervene.
Is it in our money? There we have a far greater deficiency.  We neither
have it in our treasury, nor are we ready to contribute it from our
private funds.  Confidence might possibly be felt in our superiority in
heavy infantry and population, which will enable us to invade and
devastate their lands.  But the Athenians have plenty of other land
in their empire, and can import what they want by sea.  Again, if we
are to attempt an insurrection of their allies, these will have to
be supported with a fleet, most of them being islanders.  What then
is to be our war? For unless we can either beat them at sea, or
deprive them of the revenues which feed their navy, we shall meet with
little but disaster.  Meanwhile our honour will be pledged to keeping
on, particularly if it be the opinion that we began the quarrel.  For
let us never be elated by the fatal hope of the war being quickly
ended by the devastation of their lands.  I fear rather that we may
leave it as a legacy to our children; so improbable is it that the
Athenian spirit will be the slave of their land, or Athenian
experience be cowed by war.

"Not that I would bid you be so unfeeling as to suffer them to
injure your allies, and to refrain from unmasking their intrigues; but
I do bid you not to take up arms at once, but to send and
remonstrate with them in a tone not too suggestive of war, nor again
too suggestive of submission, and to employ the interval in perfecting
our own preparations.  The means will be, first, the acquisition of
allies, Hellenic or barbarian it matters not, so long as they are an
accession to our strength naval or pecuniary--I say Hellenic or
barbarian, because the odium of such an accession to all who like us
are the objects of the designs of the Athenians is taken away by the
law of self-preservation--and secondly the development of our home
resources.  If they listen to our embassy, so much the better; but if
not, after the lapse of two or three years our position will have
become materially strengthened, and we can then attack them if we
think proper.  Perhaps by that time the sight of our preparations,
backed by language equally significant, will have disposed them to
submission, while their land is still untouched, and while their
counsels may be directed to the retention of advantages as yet
undestroyed.  For the only light in which you can view their land is
that of a hostage in your hands, a hostage the more valuable the
better it is cultivated.  This you ought to spare as long as
possible, and not make them desperate, and so increase the
difficulty of dealing with them.  For if while still unprepared,
hurried away by the complaints of our allies, we are induced to lay it
waste, have a care that we do not bring deep disgrace and deep
perplexity upon Peloponnese.  Complaints, whether of communities or
individuals, it is possible to adjust; but war undertaken by a
coalition for sectional interests, whose progress there is no means of
foreseeing, does not easily admit of creditable settlement.

"And none need think it cowardice for a number of confederates to
pause before they attack a single city.  The Athenians have allies as
numerous as our own, and allies that pay tribute, and war is a
matter not so much of arms as of money, which makes arms of use.  And
this is more than ever true in a struggle between a continental and
a maritime power.  First, then, let us provide money, and not allow
ourselves to be carried away by the talk of our allies before we
have done so: as we shall have the largest share of responsibility for
the consequences be they good or bad, we have also a right to a
tranquil inquiry respecting them.

"And the slowness and procrastination, the parts of our character
that are most assailed by their criticism, need not make you blush.  If
we undertake the war without preparation, we should by hastening its
commencement only delay its conclusion: further, a free and a famous
city has through all time been ours.  The quality which they condemn is
really nothing but a wise moderation; thanks to its possession, we
alone do not become insolent in success and give way less than
others in misfortune; we are not carried away by the pleasure of
hearing ourselves cheered on to risks which our judgment condemns;
nor, if annoyed, are we any the more convinced by attempts to
exasperate us by accusation.  We are both warlike and wise, and it is
our sense of order that makes us so.  We are warlike, because
self-control contains honour as a chief constituent, and honour
bravery.  And we are wise, because we are educated with too little
learning to despise the laws, and with too severe a self-control to
disobey them, and are brought up not to be too knowing in useless
matters--such as the knowledge which can give a specious criticism of
an enemy's plans in theory, but fails to assail them with equal
success in practice--but are taught to consider that the schemes of
our enemies are not dissimilar to our own, and that the freaks of
chance are not determinable by calculation.  In practice we always base
our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are
good; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his
blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions.  Nor ought we to
believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to
think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest
school.  These practices, then, which our ancestors have delivered to
us, and by whose maintenance we have always profited, must not be
given up.  And we must not be hurried into deciding in a day's brief
space a question which concerns many lives and fortunes and many
cities, and in which honour is deeply involved--but we must decide
calmly.  This our strength peculiarly enables us to do.  As for the
Athenians, send to them on the matter of Potidaea, send on the
matter of the alleged wrongs of the allies, particularly as they are
prepared with legal satisfaction; and to proceed against one who
offers arbitration as against a wrongdoer, law forbids.  Meanwhile do
not omit preparation for war.  This decision will be the best for
yourselves, the most terrible to your opponents."

Such were the words of Archidamus.  Last came forward Sthenelaidas,
one of the ephors for that year, and spoke to the Lacedaemonians as

"The long speech of the Athenians I do not pretend to understand.
They said a good deal in praise of themselves, but nowhere denied that
they are injuring our allies and Peloponnese.  And yet if they
behaved well against the Mede then, but ill towards us now, they
deserve double punishment for having ceased to be good and for
having become bad.  We meanwhile are the same then and now, and shall
not, if we are wise, disregard the wrongs of our allies, or put off
till to-morrow the duty of assisting those who must suffer to-day.
Others have much money and ships and horses, but we have good allies
whom we must not give up to the Athenians, nor by lawsuits and words
decide the matter, as it is anything but in word that we are harmed,
but render instant and powerful help.  And let us not be told that it
is fitting for us to deliberate under injustice; long deliberation
is rather fitting for those who have injustice in contemplation.
Vote therefore, Lacedaemonians, for war, as the honour of Sparta
demands, and neither allow the further aggrandizement of Athens, nor
betray our allies to ruin, but with the gods let us advance against
the aggressors."

With these words he, as ephor, himself put the question to the
assembly of the Lacedaemonians.  He said that he could not determine
which was the loudest acclamation (their mode of decision is by
acclamation not by voting); the fact being that he wished to make them
declare their opinion openly and thus to increase their ardour for
war.  Accordingly he said: "All Lacedaemonians who are of opinion
that the treaty has been broken, and that Athens is guilty, leave your
seats and go there," pointing out a certain place; "all who are of the
opposite opinion, there." They accordingly stood up and divided; and
those who held that the treaty had been broken were in a decided
majority.  Summoning the allies, they told them that their opinion
was that Athens had been guilty of injustice, but that they wished
to convoke all the allies and put it to the vote; in order that they
might make war, if they decided to do so, on a common resolution.
Having thus gained their point, the delegates returned home at once;
the Athenian envoys a little later, when they had dispatched the
objects of their mission.  This decision of the assembly, judging
that the treaty had been broken, was made in the fourteenth year of
the thirty years' truce, which was entered into after the affair of

The Lacedaemonians voted that the treaty had been broken, and that
the war must be declared, not so much because they were persuaded by
the arguments of the allies, as because they feared the growth of
the power of the Athenians, seeing most of Hellas already subject to


_From the end of the Persian to the beginning of the
Peloponnesian War - The Progress from Supremacy to Empire_

The way in which Athens came to be placed in the circumstances
under which her power grew was this.  After the Medes had returned
from Europe, defeated by sea and land by the Hellenes, and after
those of them who had fled with their ships to Mycale had been
destroyed, Leotychides, king of the Lacedaemonians, the commander of
the Hellenes at Mycale, departed home with the allies from
Peloponnese.  But the Athenians and the allies from Ionia and
Hellespont, who had now revolted from the King, remained and laid
siege to Sestos, which was still held by the Medes.  After wintering
before it, they became masters of the place on its evacuation by the
barbarians; and after this they sailed away from Hellespont to their
respective cities.  Meanwhile the Athenian people, after the departure
of the barbarian from their country, at once proceeded to carry over
their children and wives, and such property as they had left, from
the places where they had deposited them, and prepared to rebuild
their city and their walls.  For only isolated portions of the
circumference had been left standing, and most of the houses were in
ruins; though a few remained, in which the Persian grandees had taken
up their quarters.

Perceiving what they were going to do, the Lacedaemonians sent an
embassy to Athens.  They would have themselves preferred to see neither
her nor any other city in possession of a wall; though here they acted
principally at the instigation of their allies, who were alarmed at
the strength of her newly acquired navy and the valour which she had
displayed in the war with the Medes.  They begged her not only to
abstain from building walls for herself, but also to join them in
throwing down the walls that still held together of the
ultra-Peloponnesian cities.  The real meaning of their advice, the
suspicion that it contained against the Athenians, was not proclaimed;
it was urged that so the barbarian, in the event of a third
invasion, would not have any strong place, such as he now had in
Thebes, for his base of operations; and that Peloponnese would suffice
for all as a base both for retreat and offence.  After the
Lacedaemonians had thus spoken, they were, on the advice of
Themistocles, immediately dismissed by the Athenians, with the
answer that ambassadors should be sent to Sparta to discuss the
question.  Themistocles told the Athenians to send him off with all
speed to Lacedaemon, but not to dispatch his colleagues as soon as
they had selected them, but to wait until they had raised their wall
to the height from which defence was possible.  Meanwhile the whole
population in the city was to labour at the wall, the Athenians, their
wives, and their children, sparing no edifice, private or public,
which might be of any use to the work, but throwing all down.  After
giving these instructions, and adding that he would be responsible for
all other matters there, he departed.  Arrived at Lacedaemon he did not
seek an audience with the authorities, but tried to gain time and made
excuses.  When any of the government asked him why he did not appear in
the assembly, he would say that he was waiting for his colleagues, who
had been detained in Athens by some engagement; however, that he
expected their speedy arrival, and wondered that they were not yet
there.  At first the Lacedaemonians trusted the words of
Themistocles, through their friendship for him; but when others
arrived, all distinctly declaring that the work was going on and
already attaining some elevation, they did not know how to
disbelieve it.  Aware of this, he told them that rumours are deceptive,
and should not be trusted; they should send some reputable persons
from Sparta to inspect, whose report might be trusted.  They dispatched
them accordingly.  Concerning these Themistocles secretly sent word
to the Athenians to detain them as far as possible without putting
them under open constraint, and not to let them go until they had
themselves returned.  For his colleagues had now joined him,
Abronichus, son of Lysicles, and Aristides, son of Lysimachus, with
the news that the wall was sufficiently advanced; and he feared that
when the Lacedaemonians heard the facts, they might refuse to let them
go.  So the Athenians detained the envoys according to his message, and
Themistocles had an audience with the Lacedaemonians, and at last
openly told them that Athens was now fortified sufficiently to protect
its inhabitants; that any embassy which the Lacedaemonians or their
allies might wish to send to them should in future proceed on the
assumption that the people to whom they were going was able to
distinguish both its own and the general interests.  That when the
Athenians thought fit to abandon their city and to embark in their
ships, they ventured on that perilous step without consulting them;
and that on the other hand, wherever they had deliberated with the
Lacedaemonians, they had proved themselves to be in judgment second to
none.  That they now thought it fit that their city should have a wall,
and that this would be more for the advantage of both the citizens
of Athens and the Hellenic confederacy; for without equal military
strength it was impossible to contribute equal or fair counsel to
the common interest.  It followed, he observed, either that all the
members of the confederacy should be without walls, or that the
present step should be considered a right one.

The Lacedaemonians did not betray any open signs of anger against
the Athenians at what they heard.  The embassy, it seems, was
prompted not by a desire to obstruct, but to guide the counsels of
their government: besides, Spartan feeling was at that time very
friendly towards Athens on account of the patriotism which she had
displayed in the struggle with the Mede.  Still the defeat of their
wishes could not but cause them secret annoyance.  The envoys of each
state departed home without complaint.

In this way the Athenians walled their city in a little while.  To
this day the building shows signs of the haste of its execution; the
foundations are laid of stones of all kinds, and in some places not
wrought or fitted, but placed just in the order in which they were
brought by the different hands; and many columns, too, from tombs, and
sculptured stones were put in with the rest.  For the bounds of the
city were extended at every point of the circumference; and so they
laid hands on everything without exception in their haste.
Themistocles also persuaded them to finish the walls of Piraeus, which
had been begun before, in his year of office as archon; being
influenced alike by the fineness of a locality that has three
natural harbours, and by the great start which the Athenians would
gain in the acquisition of power by becoming a naval people.  For he
first ventured to tell them to stick to the sea and forthwith began to
lay the foundations of the empire.  It was by his advice, too, that
they built the walls of that thickness which can still be discerned
round Piraeus, the stones being brought up by two wagons meeting
each other.  Between the walls thus formed there was neither rubble nor
mortar, but great stones hewn square and fitted together, cramped to
each other on the outside with iron and lead.  About half the height
that he intended was finished.  His idea was by their size and
thickness to keep off the attacks of an enemy; he thought that they
might be adequately defended by a small garrison of invalids, and
the rest be freed for service in the fleet.  For the fleet claimed most
of his attention.  He saw, as I think, that the approach by sea was
easier for the king's army than that by land: he also thought
Piraeus more valuable than the upper city; indeed, he was always
advising the Athenians, if a day should come when they were hard
pressed by land, to go down into Piraeus, and defy the world with
their fleet.  Thus, therefore, the Athenians completed their wall,
and commenced their other buildings immediately after the retreat of
the Mede.

Meanwhile Pausanias, son of Cleombrotus, was sent out from
Lacedaemon as commander-in-chief of the Hellenes, with twenty ships
from Peloponnese.  With him sailed the Athenians with thirty ships, and
a number of the other allies.  They made an expedition against Cyprus
and subdued most of the island, and afterwards against Byzantium,
which was in the hands of the Medes, and compelled it to surrender.
This event took place while the Spartans were still supreme.  But the
violence of Pausanias had already begun to be disagreeable to the
Hellenes, particularly to the Ionians and the newly liberated
populations.  These resorted to the Athenians and requested them as
their kinsmen to become their leaders, and to stop any attempt at
violence on the part of Pausanias.  The Athenians accepted their
overtures, and determined to put down any attempt of the kind and to
settle everything else as their interests might seem to demand.  In the
meantime the Lacedaemonians recalled Pausanias for an investigation of
the reports which had reached them.  Manifold and grave accusations had
been brought against him by Hellenes arriving in Sparta; and, to all
appearance, there had been in him more of the mimicry of a despot than
of the attitude of a general.  As it happened, his recall came just
at the time when the hatred which he had inspired had induced the
allies to desert him, the soldiers from Peloponnese excepted, and to
range themselves by the side of the Athenians.  On his arrival at
Lacedaemon, he was censured for his private acts of oppression, but
was acquitted on the heaviest counts and pronounced not guilty; it
must be known that the charge of Medism formed one of the principal,
and to all appearance one of the best founded, articles against him.
The Lacedaemonians did not, however, restore him to his command, but
sent out Dorkis and certain others with a small force; who found the
allies no longer inclined to concede to them the supremacy.  Perceiving
this they departed, and the Lacedaemonians did not send out any to
succeed them.  They feared for those who went out a deterioration
similar to that observable in Pausanias; besides, they desired to be
rid of the Median War, and were satisfied of the competency of the
Athenians for the position, and of their friendship at the time
towards themselves.

The Athenians, having thus succeeded to the supremacy by the
voluntary act of the allies through their hatred of Pausanias, fixed
which cities were to contribute money against the barbarian, which
ships; their professed object being to retaliate for their
sufferings by ravaging the King's country.  Now was the time that the
office of "Treasurers for Hellas" was first instituted by the
Athenians.  These officers received the tribute, as the money
contributed was called.  The tribute was first fixed at four hundred
and sixty talents.  The common treasury was at Delos, and the
congresses were held in the temple.  Their supremacy commenced with
independent allies who acted on the resolutions of a common
congress.  It was marked by the following undertakings in war and in
administration during the interval between the Median and the
present war, against the barbarian, against their own rebel allies,
and against the Peloponnesian powers which would come in contact
with them on various occasions.  My excuse for relating these events,
and for venturing on this digression, is that this passage of
history has been omitted by all my predecessors, who have confined
themselves either to Hellenic history before the Median War, or the
Median War itself.  Hellanicus, it is true, did touch on these events
in his Athenian history; but he is somewhat concise and not accurate
in his dates.  Besides, the history of these events contains an
explanation of the growth of the Athenian empire.

First the Athenians besieged and captured Eion on the Strymon from
the Medes, and made slaves of the inhabitants, being under the command
of Cimon, son of Miltiades.  Next they enslaved Scyros, the island in
the Aegean, containing a Dolopian population, and colonized it
themselves.  This was followed by a war against Carystus, in which
the rest of Euboea remained neutral, and which was ended by
surrender on conditions.  After this Naxos left the confederacy, and
a war ensued, and she had to return after a siege; this was the
first instance of the engagement being broken by the subjugation of an
allied city, a precedent which was followed by that of the rest in the
order which circumstances prescribed.  Of all the causes of
defection, that connected with arrears of tribute and vessels, and
with failure of service, was the chief; for the Athenians were very
severe and exacting, and made themselves offensive by applying the
screw of necessity to men who were not used to and in fact not
disposed for any continuous labour.  In some other respects the
Athenians were not the old popular rulers they had been at first;
and if they had more than their fair share of service, it was
correspondingly easy for them to reduce any that tried to leave the
confederacy.  For this the allies had themselves to blame; the wish
to get off service making most of them arrange to pay their share of
the expense in money instead of in ships, and so to avoid having to
leave their homes.  Thus while Athens was increasing her navy with
the funds which they contributed, a revolt always found them without
resources or experience for war.

Next we come to the actions by land and by sea at the river
Eurymedon, between the Athenians with their allies, and the Medes,
when the Athenians won both battles on the same day under the
conduct of Cimon, son of Miltiades, and captured and destroyed the
whole Phoenician fleet, consisting of two hundred vessels.  Some time
afterwards occurred the defection of the Thasians, caused by
disagreements about the marts on the opposite coast of Thrace, and
about the mine in their possession.  Sailing with a fleet to Thasos,
the Athenians defeated them at sea and effected a landing on the
island.  About the same time they sent ten thousand settlers of their
own citizens and the allies to settle the place then called Ennea
Hodoi or Nine Ways, now Amphipolis.  They succeeded in gaining
possession of Ennea Hodoi from the Edonians, but on advancing into the
interior of Thrace were cut off in Drabescus, a town of the
Edonians, by the assembled Thracians, who regarded the settlement of
the place Ennea Hodoi as an act of hostility.  Meanwhile the Thasians
being defeated in the field and suffering siege, appealed to
Lacedaemon, and desired her to assist them by an invasion of Attica.
Without informing Athens, she promised and intended to do so, but
was prevented by the occurrence of the earthquake, accompanied by
the secession of the Helots and the Thuriats and Aethaeans of the
Perioeci to Ithome.  Most of the Helots were the descendants of the old
Messenians that were enslaved in the famous war; and so all of them
came to be called Messenians.  So the Lacedaemonians being engaged in a
war with the rebels in Ithome, the Thasians in the third year of the
siege obtained terms from the Athenians by razing their walls,
delivering up their ships, and arranging to pay the moneys demanded at
once, and tribute in future; giving up their possessions on the
continent together with the mine.

The Lacedaemonians, meanwhile, finding the war against the rebels in
Ithome likely to last, invoked the aid of their allies, and especially
of the Athenians, who came in some force under the command of Cimon.
The reason for this pressing summons lay in their reputed skill in
siege operations; a long siege had taught the Lacedaemonians their own
deficiency in this art, else they would have taken the place by
assault.  The first open quarrel between the Lacedaemonians and
Athenians arose out of this expedition.  The Lacedaemonians, when
assault failed to take the place, apprehensive of the enterprising and
revolutionary character of the Athenians, and further looking upon
them as of alien extraction, began to fear that, if they remained,
they might be tempted by the besieged in Ithome to attempt some
political changes.  They accordingly dismissed them alone of the
allies, without declaring their suspicions, but merely saying that
they had now no need of them.  But the Athenians, aware that their
dismissal did not proceed from the more honourable reason of the
two, but from suspicions which had been conceived, went away deeply
offended, and conscious of having done nothing to merit such treatment
from the Lacedaemonians; and the instant that they returned home
they broke off the alliance which had been made against the Mede,
and allied themselves with Sparta's enemy Argos; each of the
contracting parties taking the same oaths and making the same alliance
with the Thessalians.

Meanwhile the rebels in Ithome, unable to prolong further a ten
years' resistance, surrendered to Lacedaemon; the conditions being
that they should depart from Peloponnese under safe conduct, and
should never set foot in it again: any one who might hereafter be
found there was to be the slave of his captor.  It must be known that
the Lacedaemonians had an old oracle from Delphi, to the effect that
they should let go the suppliant of Zeus at Ithome.  So they went forth
with their children and their wives, and being received by Athens from
the hatred that she now felt for the Lacedaemonians, were located at
Naupactus, which she had lately taken from the Ozolian Locrians.  The
Athenians received another addition to their confederacy in the
Megarians; who left the Lacedaemonian alliance, annoyed by a war about
boundaries forced on them by Corinth.  The Athenians occupied Megara
and Pegae, and built the Megarians their long walls from the city to
Nisaea, in which they placed an Athenian garrison.  This was the
principal cause of the Corinthians conceiving such a deadly hatred
against Athens.

Meanwhile Inaros, son of Psammetichus, a Libyan king of the
Libyans on the Egyptian border, having his headquarters at Marea,
the town above Pharos, caused a revolt of almost the whole of Egypt
from King Artaxerxes and, placing himself at its head, invited the
Athenians to his assistance.  Abandoning a Cyprian expedition upon
which they happened to be engaged with two hundred ships of their
own and their allies, they arrived in Egypt and sailed from the sea
into the Nile, and making themselves masters of the river and
two-thirds of Memphis, addressed themselves to the attack of the
remaining third, which is called White Castle.  Within it were Persians
and Medes who had taken refuge there, and Egyptians who had not joined
the rebellion.

Meanwhile the Athenians, making a descent from their fleet upon
Haliae, were engaged by a force of Corinthians and Epidaurians; and
the Corinthians were victorious.  Afterwards the Athenians engaged
the Peloponnesian fleet off Cecruphalia; and the Athenians were
victorious.  Subsequently war broke out between Aegina and Athens,
and there was a great battle at sea off Aegina between the Athenians
and Aeginetans, each being aided by their allies; in which victory
remained with the Athenians, who took seventy of the enemy's ships,
and landed in the country and commenced a siege under the command of
Leocrates, son of Stroebus.  Upon this the Peloponnesians, desirous
of aiding the Aeginetans, threw into Aegina a force of three hundred
heavy infantry, who had before been serving with the Corinthians and
Epidaurians.  Meanwhile the Corinthians and their allies occupied the
heights of Geraneia, and marched down into the Megarid, in the
belief that, with a large force absent in Aegina and Egypt, Athens
would be unable to help the Megarians without raising the siege of
Aegina.  But the Athenians, instead of moving the army of Aegina,
raised a force of the old and young men that had been left in the
city, and marched into the Megarid under the command of Myronides.
After a drawn battle with the Corinthians, the rival hosts parted,
each with the impression that they had gained the victory.  The
Athenians, however, if anything, had rather the advantage, and on
the departure of the Corinthians set up a trophy.  Urged by the
taunts of the elders in their city, the Corinthians made their
preparations, and about twelve days afterwards came and set up their
trophy as victors.  Sallying out from Megara, the Athenians cut off the
party that was employed in erecting the trophy, and engaged and
defeated the rest.  In the retreat of the vanquished army, a
considerable division, pressed by the pursuers and mistaking the road,
dashed into a field on some private property, with a deep trench all
round it, and no way out.  Being acquainted with the place, the
Athenians hemmed their front with heavy infantry and, placing the
light troops round in a circle, stoned all who had gone in.  Corinth
here suffered a severe blow.  The bulk of her army continued its
retreat home.

About this time the Athenians began to build the long walls to the
sea, that towards Phalerum and that towards Piraeus.  Meanwhile the
Phocians made an expedition against Doris, the old home of the
Lacedaemonians, containing the towns of Boeum, Kitinium, and
Erineum.  They had taken one of these towns, when the Lacedaemonians
under Nicomedes, son of Cleombrotus, commanding for King
Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, who was still a minor, came to the
aid of the Dorians with fifteen hundred heavy infantry of their own,
and ten thousand of their allies.  After compelling the Phocians to
restore the town on conditions, they began their retreat.  The route by
sea, across the Crissaean Gulf, exposed them to the risk of being
stopped by the Athenian fleet; that across Geraneia seemed scarcely
safe, the Athenians holding Megara and Pegae.  For the pass was a
difficult one, and was always guarded by the Athenians; and, in the
present instance, the Lacedaemonians had information that they meant
to dispute their passage.  So they resolved to remain in Boeotia, and
to consider which would be the safest line of march.  They had also
another reason for this resolve.  Secret encouragement had been given
them by a party in Athens, who hoped to put an end to the reign of
democracy and the building of the Long Walls.  Meanwhile the
Athenians marched against them with their whole levy and a thousand
Argives and the respective contingents of the rest of their allies.
Altogether they were fourteen thousand strong.  The march was
prompted by the notion that the Lacedaemonians were at a loss how to
effect their passage, and also by suspicions of an attempt to
overthrow the democracy.  Some cavalry also joined the Athenians from
their Thessalian allies; but these went over to the Lacedaemonians
during the battle.

The battle was fought at Tanagra in Boeotia.  After heavy loss on
both sides, victory declared for the Lacedaemonians and their
allies.  After entering the Megarid and cutting down the fruit trees,
the Lacedaemonians returned home across Geraneia and the isthmus.
Sixty-two days after the battle the Athenians marched into Boeotia
under the command of Myronides, defeated the Boeotians in battle at
Oenophyta, and became masters of Boeotia and Phocis.  They dismantled
the walls of the Tanagraeans, took a hundred of the richest men of the
Opuntian Locrians as hostages, and finished their own long walls.  This
was followed by the surrender of the Aeginetans to Athens on
conditions; they pulled down their walls, gave up their ships, and
agreed to pay tribute in future.  The Athenians sailed round
Peloponnese under Tolmides, son of Tolmaeus, burnt the arsenal of
Lacedaemon, took Chalcis, a town of the Corinthians, and in a
descent upon Sicyon defeated the Sicyonians in battle.

Meanwhile the Athenians in Egypt and their allies were still
there, and encountered all the vicissitudes of war.  First the
Athenians were masters of Egypt, and the King sent Megabazus a Persian
to Lacedaemon with money to bribe the Peloponnesians to invade
Attica and so draw off the Athenians from Egypt.  Finding that the
matter made no progress, and that the money was only being wasted,
he recalled Megabazus with the remainder of the money, and sent
Megabuzus, son of Zopyrus, a Persian, with a large army to Egypt.
Arriving by land he defeated the Egyptians and their allies in a
battle, and drove the Hellenes out of Memphis, and at length shut them
up in the island of Prosopitis, where he besieged them for a year
and six months.  At last, draining the canal of its waters, which he
diverted into another channel, he left their ships high and dry and
joined most of the island to the mainland, and then marched over on
foot and captured it.  Thus the enterprise of the Hellenes came to ruin
after six years of war.  Of all that large host a few travelling
through Libya reached Cyrene in safety, but most of them perished.  And
thus Egypt returned to its subjection to the King, except Amyrtaeus,
the king in the marshes, whom they were unable to capture from the
extent of the marsh; the marshmen being also the most warlike of the
Egyptians.  Inaros, the Libyan king, the sole author of the Egyptian
revolt, was betrayed, taken, and crucified.  Meanwhile a relieving
squadron of fifty vessels had sailed from Athens and the rest of the
confederacy for Egypt.  They put in to shore at the Mendesian mouth
of the Nile, in total ignorance of what had occurred.  Attacked on
the land side by the troops, and from the sea by the Phoenician
navy, most of the ships were destroyed; the few remaining being
saved by retreat.  Such was the end of the great expedition of the
Athenians and their allies to Egypt.

Meanwhile Orestes, son of Echecratidas, the Thessalian king, being
an exile from Thessaly, persuaded the Athenians to restore him.  Taking
with them the Boeotians and Phocians their allies, the Athenians
marched to Pharsalus in Thessaly.  They became masters of the
country, though only in the immediate vicinity of the camp; beyond
which they could not go for fear of the Thessalian cavalry.  But they
failed to take the city or to attain any of the other objects of their
expedition, and returned home with Orestes without having effected
anything.  Not long after this a thousand of the Athenians embarked
in the vessels that were at Pegae (Pegae, it must be remembered, was
now theirs), and sailed along the coast to Sicyon under the command of
Pericles, son of Xanthippus.  Landing in Sicyon and defeating the
Sicyonians who engaged them, they immediately took with them the
Achaeans and, sailing across, marched against and laid siege to
Oeniadae in Acarnania.  Failing however to take it, they returned home.

Three years afterwards a truce was made between the Peloponnesians
and Athenians for five years.  Released from Hellenic war, the
Athenians made an expedition to Cyprus with two hundred vessels of
their own and their allies, under the command of Cimon.  Sixty of these
were detached to Egypt at the instance of Amyrtaeus, the king in the
marshes; the rest laid siege to Kitium, from which, however, they were
compelled to retire by the death of Cimon and by scarcity of
provisions.  Sailing off Salamis in Cyprus, they fought with the
Phoenicians, Cyprians, and Cilicians by land and sea, and, being
victorious on both elements departed home, and with them the
returned squadron from Egypt.  After this the Lacedaemonians marched
out on a sacred war, and, becoming masters of the temple at Delphi, it
in the hands of the Delphians.  Immediately after their retreat, the
Athenians marched out, became masters of the temple, and placed it
in the hands of the Phocians.

Some time after this, Orchomenus, Chaeronea, and some other places
in Boeotia being in the hands of the Boeotian exiles, the Athenians
marched against the above-mentioned hostile places with a thousand
Athenian heavy infantry and the allied contingents, under the
command of Tolmides, son of Tolmaeus.  They took Chaeronea, and made
slaves of the inhabitants, and, leaving a garrison, commenced their
return.  On their road they were attacked at Coronea by the Boeotian
exiles from Orchomenus, with some Locrians and Euboean exiles, and
others who were of the same way of thinking, were defeated in
battle, and some killed, others taken captive.  The Athenians evacuated
all Boeotia by a treaty providing for the recovery of the men; and the
exiled Boeotians returned, and with all the rest regained their

This was soon afterwards followed by the revolt of Euboea from
Athens.  Pericles had already crossed over with an army of Athenians to
the island, when news was brought to him that Megara had revolted,
that the Peloponnesians were on the point of invading Attica, and that
the Athenian garrison had been cut off by the Megarians, with the
exception of a few who had taken refuge in Nisaea.  The Megarians had
introduced the Corinthians, Sicyonians, and Epidaurians into the
town before they revolted.  Meanwhile Pericles brought his army back in
all haste from Euboea.  After this the Peloponnesians marched into
Attica as far as Eleusis and Thrius, ravaging the country under the
conduct of King Pleistoanax, the son of Pausanias, and without
advancing further returned home.  The Athenians then crossed over again
to Euboea under the command of Pericles, and subdued the whole of
the island: all but Histiaea was settled by convention; the Histiaeans
they expelled from their homes, and occupied their territory

Not long after their return from Euboea, they made a truce with
the Lacedaemonians and their allies for thirty years, giving up the
posts which they occupied in Peloponnese--Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and
Achaia.  In the sixth year of the truce, war broke out between the
Samians and Milesians about Priene.  Worsted in the war, the
Milesians came to Athens with loud complaints against the Samians.
In this they were joined by certain private persons from Samos itself,
who wished to revolutionize the government.  Accordingly the
Athenians sailed to Samos with forty ships and set up a democracy;
took hostages from the Samians, fifty boys and as many men, lodged
them in Lemnos, and after leaving a garrison in the island returned
home.  But some of the Samians had not remained in the island, but
had fled to the continent.  Making an agreement with the most
powerful of those in the city, and an alliance with Pissuthnes, son of
Hystaspes, the then satrap of Sardis, they got together a force of
seven hundred mercenaries, and under cover of night crossed over to
Samos.  Their first step was to rise on the commons, most of whom
they secured; their next to steal their hostages from Lemnos; after
which they revolted, gave up the Athenian garrison left with them
and its commanders to Pissuthnes, and instantly prepared for an
expedition against Miletus. The Byzantines also revolted with them. 

As soon as the Athenians heard the news, they sailed with sixty
ships against Samos.  Sixteen of these went to Caria to look out for
the Phoenician fleet, and to Chios and Lesbos carrying round orders
for reinforcements, and so never engaged; but forty-four ships under
the command of Pericles with nine colleagues gave battle, off the
island of Tragia, to seventy Samian vessels, of which twenty were
transports, as they were sailing from Miletus.  Victory remained with
the Athenians.  Reinforced afterwards by forty ships from Athens, and
twenty-five Chian and Lesbian vessels, the Athenians landed, and
having the superiority by land invested the city with three walls;
it was also invested from the sea.  Meanwhile Pericles took sixty ships
from the blockading squadron, and departed in haste for Caunus and
Caria, intelligence having been brought in of the approach of the
Phoenician fleet to the aid of the Samians; indeed Stesagoras and
others had left the island with five ships to bring them.  But in the
meantime the Samians made a sudden sally, and fell on the camp,
which they found unfortified.  Destroying the look-out vessels, and
engaging and defeating such as were being launched to meet them,
they remained masters of their own seas for fourteen days, and carried
in and carried out what they pleased.  But on the arrival of
Pericles, they were once more shut up.  Fresh reinforcements afterwards
arrived--forty ships from Athens with Thucydides, Hagnon, and
Phormio; twenty with Tlepolemus and Anticles, and thirty vessels
from Chios and Lesbos.  After a brief attempt at fighting, the Samians,
unable to hold out, were reduced after a nine months' siege and
surrendered on conditions; they razed their walls, gave hostages,
delivered up their ships, and arranged to pay the expenses of the
war by instalments.  The Byzantines also agreed to be subject as


_Second Congress at Lacedaemon - Preparations for War and
Diplomatic Skirmishes - Cylon - Pausanias - Themistocles_

After this, though not many years later, we at length come to what
has been already related, the affairs of Corcyra and Potidaea, and the
events that served as a pretext for the present war.  All these actions
of the Hellenes against each other and the barbarian occurred in the
fifty years' interval between the retreat of Xerxes and the
beginning of the present war.  During this interval the Athenians
succeeded in placing their empire on a firmer basis, and advanced
their own home power to a very great height.  The Lacedaemonians,
though fully aware of it, opposed it only for a little while, but
remained inactive during most of the period, being of old slow to go
to war except under the pressure of necessity, and in the present
instance being hampered by wars at home; until the growth of the
Athenian power could be no longer ignored, and their own confederacy
became the object of its encroachments.  They then felt that they could
endure it no longer, but that the time had come for them to throw
themselves heart and soul upon the hostile power, and break it, if
they could, by commencing the present war.  And though the
Lacedaemonians had made up their own minds on the fact of the breach
of the treaty and the guilt of the Athenians, yet they sent to
Delphi and inquired of the God whether it would be well with them if
they went to war; and, as it is reported, received from him the answer
that if they put their whole strength into the war, victory would be
theirs, and the promise that he himself would be with them, whether
invoked or uninvoked.  Still they wished to summon their allies
again, and to take their vote on the propriety of making war.  After
the ambassadors from the confederates had arrived and a congress had
been convened, they all spoke their minds, most of them denouncing the
Athenians and demanding that the war should begin.  In particular the
Corinthians.  They had before on their own account canvassed the cities
in detail to induce them to vote for the war, in the fear that it
might come too late to save Potidaea; they were present also on this
occasion, and came forward the last, and made the following speech:

"Fellow allies, we can no longer accuse the Lacedaemonians of having
failed in their duty: they have not only voted for war themselves, but
have assembled us here for that purpose.  We say their duty, for
supremacy has its duties.  Besides equitably administering private
interests, leaders are required to show a special care for the
common welfare in return for the special honours accorded to them by
all in other ways.  For ourselves, all who have already had dealings
with the Athenians require no warning to be on their guard against
them.  The states more inland and out of the highway of communication
should understand that, if they omit to support the coast powers,
the result will be to injure the transit of their produce for
exportation and the reception in exchange of their imports from the
sea; and they must not be careless judges of what is now said, as if
it had nothing to do with them, but must expect that the sacrifice
of the powers on the coast will one day be followed by the extension
of the danger to the interior, and must recognize that their own
interests are deeply involved in this discussion.  For these reasons
they should not hesitate to exchange peace for war.  If wise men remain
quiet, while they are not injured, brave men abandon peace for war
when they are injured, returning to an understanding on a favourable
opportunity: in fact, they are neither intoxicated by their success in
war, nor disposed to take an injury for the sake of the delightful
tranquillity of peace.  Indeed, to falter for the sake of such delights
is, if you remain inactive, the quickest way of losing the sweets of
repose to which you cling; while to conceive extravagant pretensions
from success in war is to forget how hollow is the confidence by which
you are elated.  For if many ill-conceived plans have succeeded through
the still greater fatuity of an opponent, many more, apparently well
laid, have on the contrary ended in disgrace.  The confidence with
which we form our schemes is never completely justified in their
execution; speculation is carried on in safety, but, when it comes
to action, fear causes failure.

"To apply these rules to ourselves, if we are now kindling war it is
under the pressure of injury, with adequate grounds of complaint;
and after we have chastised the Athenians we will in season desist.  We
have many reasons to expect success--first, superiority in numbers
and in military experience, and secondly our general and unvarying
obedience in the execution of orders.  The naval strength which they
possess shall be raised by us from our respective antecedent
resources, and from the moneys at Olympia and Delphi.  A loan from
these enables us to seduce their foreign sailors by the offer of
higher pay.  For the power of Athens is more mercenary than national;
while ours will not be exposed to the same risk, as its strength
lies more in men than in money.  A single defeat at sea is in all
likelihood their ruin: should they hold out, in that case there will
be the more time for us to exercise ourselves in naval matters; and as
soon as we have arrived at an equality in science, we need scarcely
ask whether we shall be their superiors in courage.  For the advantages
that we have by nature they cannot acquire by education; while their
superiority in science must be removed by our practice.  The money
required for these objects shall be provided by our contributions:
nothing indeed could be more monstrous than the suggestion that, while
their allies never tire of contributing for their own servitude, we
should refuse to spend for vengeance and self-preservation the
treasure which by such refusal we shall forfeit to Athenian rapacity
and see employed for our own ruin.

"We have also other ways of carrying on the war, such as revolt of
their allies, the surest method of depriving them of their revenues,
which are the source of their strength, and establishment of fortified
positions in their country, and various operations which cannot be
foreseen at present.  For war of all things proceeds least upon
definite rules, but draws principally upon itself for contrivances
to meet an emergency; and in such cases the party who faces the
struggle and keeps his temper best meets with most security, and he
who loses his temper about it with correspondent disaster.  Let us also
reflect that if it was merely a number of disputes of territory
between rival neighbours, it might be borne; but here we have an enemy
in Athens that is a match for our whole coalition, and more than a
match for any of its members; so that unless as a body and as
individual nationalities and individual cities we make an unanimous
stand against her, she will easily conquer us divided and in detail.
That conquest, terrible as it may sound, would, it must be known, have
no other end than slavery pure and simple; a word which Peloponnese
cannot even hear whispered without disgrace, or without disgrace see
so many states abused by one.  Meanwhile the opinion would be either
that we were justly so used, or that we put up with it from cowardice,
and were proving degenerate sons in not even securing for ourselves
the freedom which our fathers gave to Hellas; and in allowing the
establishment in Hellas of a tyrant state, though in individual states
we think it our duty to put down sole rulers.  And we do not know how
this conduct can be held free from three of the gravest failings, want
of sense, of courage, or of vigilance.  For we do not suppose that
you have taken refuge in that contempt of an enemy which has proved so
fatal in so many instances--a feeling which from the numbers that it
has ruined has come to be called not contemptuous but contemptible.

"There is, however, no advantage in reflections on the past
further than may be of service to the present.  For the future we
must provide by maintaining what the present gives us and redoubling
our efforts; it is hereditary to us to win virtue as the fruit of
labour, and you must not change the habit, even though you should have
a slight advantage in wealth and resources; for it is not right that
what was won in want should be lost in plenty; no, we must boldly
advance to the war for many reasons; the god has commanded it and
promised to be with us, and the rest of Hellas will all join in the
struggle, part from fear, part from interest.  You will be the first to
break a treaty which the god, in advising us to go to war, judges to
be violated already, but rather to support a treaty that has been
outraged: indeed, treaties are broken not by resistance but by

"Your position, therefore, from whatever quarter you may view it,
will amply justify you in going to war; and this step we recommend
in the interests of all, bearing in mind that identity of interest
is the surest of bonds, whether between states or individuals.  Delay
not, therefore, to assist Potidaea, a Dorian city besieged by Ionians,
which is quite a reversal of the order of things; nor to assert the
freedom of the rest.  It is impossible for us to wait any longer when
waiting can only mean immediate disaster for some of us, and, if it
comes to be known that we have conferred but do not venture to protect
ourselves, like disaster in the near future for the rest.  Delay not,
fellow allies, but, convinced of the necessity of the crisis and the
wisdom of this counsel, vote for the war, undeterred by its
immediate terrors, but looking beyond to the lasting peace by which it
will be succeeded.  Out of war peace gains fresh stability, but to
refuse to abandon repose for war is not so sure a method of avoiding
danger.  We must believe that the tyrant city that has been established
in Hellas has been established against all alike, with a programme
of universal empire, part fulfilled, part in contemplation; let us
then attack and reduce it, and win future security for ourselves and
freedom for the Hellenes who are now enslaved."

Such were the words of the Corinthians.  The Lacedaemonians, having
now heard all, give their opinion, took the vote of all the allied
states present in order, great and small alike; and the majority voted
for war.  This decided, it was still impossible for them to commence at
once, from their want of preparation; but it was resolved that the
means requisite were to be procured by the different states, and
that there was to be no delay.  And indeed, in spite of the time
occupied with the necessary arrangements, less than a year elapsed
before Attica was invaded, and the war openly begun.

This interval was spent in sending embassies to Athens charged
with complaints, in order to obtain as good a pretext for war as
possible, in the event of her paying no attention to them.  The first
Lacedaemonian embassy was to order the Athenians to drive out the
curse of the goddess; the history of which is as follows.  In former
generations there was an Athenian of the name of Cylon, a victor at
the Olympic games, of good birth and powerful position, who had
married a daughter of Theagenes, a Megarian, at that time tyrant of
Megara.  Now this Cylon was inquiring at Delphi; when he was told by
the god to seize the Acropolis of Athens on the grand festival of
Zeus.  Accordingly, procuring a force from Theagenes and persuading his
friends to join him, when the Olympic festival in Peloponnese came, he
seized the Acropolis, with the intention of making himself tyrant,
thinking that this was the grand festival of Zeus, and also an
occasion appropriate for a victor at the Olympic games.  Whether the
grand festival that was meant was in Attica or elsewhere was a
question which he never thought of, and which the oracle did not offer
to solve.  For the Athenians also have a festival which is called the
grand festival of Zeus Meilichios or Gracious, viz., the Diasia.  It is
celebrated outside the city, and the whole people sacrifice not real
victims but a number of bloodless offerings peculiar to the country.
However, fancying he had chosen the right time, he made the attempt.
As soon as the Athenians perceived it, they flocked in, one and all,
from the country, and sat down, and laid siege to the citadel.  But
as time went on, weary of the labour of blockade, most of them
departed; the responsibility of keeping guard being left to the nine
archons, with plenary powers to arrange everything according to
their good judgment.  It must be known that at that time most political
functions were discharged by the nine archons.  Meanwhile Cylon and his
besieged companions were distressed for want of food and water.
Accordingly Cylon and his brother made their escape; but the rest
being hard pressed, and some even dying of famine, seated themselves
as suppliants at the altar in the Acropolis.  The Athenians who were
charged with the duty of keeping guard, when they saw them at the
point of death in the temple, raised them up on the understanding that
no harm should be done to them, led them out, and slew them.  Some
who as they passed by took refuge at the altars of the awful goddesses
were dispatched on the spot.  From this deed the men who killed them
were called accursed and guilty against the goddess, they and their
descendants.  Accordingly these cursed ones were driven out by the
Athenians, driven out again by Cleomenes of Lacedaemon and an Athenian
faction; the living were driven out, and the bones of the dead were
taken up; thus they were cast out.  For all that, they came back
afterwards, and their descendants are still in the city.

This, then was the curse that the Lacedaemonians ordered them to
drive out.  They were actuated primarily, as they pretended, by a
care for the honour of the gods; but they also know that Pericles, son
of Xanthippus, was connected with the curse on his mother's side,
and they thought that his banishment would materially advance their
designs on Athens.  Not that they really hoped to succeed in
procuring this; they rather thought to create a prejudice against
him in the eyes of his countrymen from the feeling that the war
would be partly caused by his misfortune.  For being the most
powerful man of his time, and the leading Athenian statesman, he
opposed the Lacedaemonians in everything, and would have no
concessions, but ever urged the Athenians on to war.

The Athenians retorted by ordering the Lacedaemonians to drive out
the curse of Taenarus.  The Lacedaemonians had once raised up some
Helot suppliants from the temple of Poseidon at Taenarus, led them
away and slain them; for which they believe the great earthquake at
Sparta to have been a retribution.  The Athenians also ordered them
to drive out the curse of the goddess of the Brazen House; the history
of which is as follows.  After Pausanias the Lacedaemonian had been
recalled by the Spartans from his command in the Hellespont (this is
his first recall), and had been tried by them and acquitted, not being
again sent out in a public capacity, he took a galley of Hermione on
his own responsibility, without the authority of the Lacedaemonians,
and arrived as a private person in the Hellespont.  He came
ostensibly for the Hellenic war, really to carry on his intrigues with
the King, which he had begun before his recall, being ambitious of
reigning over Hellas.  The circumstance which first enabled him to
lay the King under an obligation, and to make a beginning of the whole
design, was this.  Some connections and kinsmen of the King had been
taken in Byzantium, on its capture from the Medes, when he was first
there, after the return from Cyprus.  These captives he sent off to the
King without the knowledge of the rest of the allies, the account
being that they had escaped from him.  He managed this with the help of
Gongylus, an Eretrian, whom he had placed in charge of Byzantium and
the prisoners.  He also gave Gongylus a letter for the King, the
contents of which were as follows, as was afterwards discovered:
"Pausanias, the general of Sparta, anxious to do you a favour, sends
you these his prisoners of war.  I propose also, with your approval, to
marry your daughter, and to make Sparta and the rest of Hellas subject
to you.  I may say that I think I am able to do this, with your
co-operation.  Accordingly if any of this please you, send a safe man
to the sea through whom we may in future conduct our correspondence."

This was all that was revealed in the writing, and Xerxes was
pleased with the letter.  He sent off Artabazus, son of Pharnaces, to
the sea with orders to supersede Megabates, the previous governor in
the satrapy of Daskylion, and to send over as quickly as possible to
Pausanias at Byzantium a letter which he entrusted to him; to show him
the royal signet, and to execute any commission which he might receive
from Pausanias on the King's matters with all care and fidelity.
Artabazus on his arrival carried the King's orders into effect, and
sent over the letter, which contained the following answer: "Thus
saith King Xerxes to Pausanias.  For the men whom you have saved for me
across sea from Byzantium, an obligation is laid up for you in our
house, recorded for ever; and with your proposals I am well pleased.
Let neither night nor day stop you from diligently performing any of
your promises to me; neither for cost of gold nor of silver let them
be hindered, nor yet for number of troops, wherever it may be that
their presence is needed; but with Artabazus, an honourable man whom I
send you, boldly advance my objects and yours, as may be most for
the honour and interest of us both."

Before held in high honour by the Hellenes as the hero of Plataea,
Pausanias, after the receipt of this letter, became prouder than ever,
and could no longer live in the usual style, but went out of Byzantium
in a Median dress, was attended on his march through Thrace by a
bodyguard of Medes and Egyptians, kept a Persian table, and was
quite unable to contain his intentions, but betrayed by his conduct in
trifles what his ambition looked one day to enact on a grander
scale.  He also made himself difficult of access, and displayed so
violent a temper to every one without exception that no one could come
near him.  Indeed, this was the principal reason why the confederacy
went over to the Athenians.

The above-mentioned conduct, coming to the ears of the
Lacedaemonians, occasioned his first recall.  And after his second
voyage out in the ship of Hermione, without their orders, he gave
proofs of similar behaviour.  Besieged and expelled from Byzantium by
the Athenians, he did not return to Sparta; but news came that he
had settled at Colonae in the Troad, and was intriguing with the
barbarians, and that his stay there was for no good purpose; and the
ephors, now no longer hesitating, sent him a herald and a scytale with
orders to accompany the herald or be declared a public enemy.
Anxious above everything to avoid suspicion, and confident that he
could quash the charge by means of money, he returned a second time to
Sparta.  At first thrown into prison by the ephors (whose powers enable
them to do this to the King), soon compromised the matter and came out
again, and offered himself for trial to any who wished to institute an
inquiry concerning him.

Now the Spartans had no tangible proof against him--neither his
enemies nor the nation--of that indubitable kind required for the
punishment of a member of the royal family, and at that moment in high
office; he being regent for his first cousin King Pleistarchus,
Leonidas's son, who was still a minor.  But by his contempt of the laws
and imitation of the barbarians, he gave grounds for much suspicion of
his being discontented with things established; all the occasions on
which he had in any way departed from the regular customs were
passed in review, and it was remembered that he had taken upon himself
to have inscribed on the tripod at Delphi, which was dedicated by
the Hellenes as the first-fruits of the spoil of the Medes, the
following couplet:

   The Mede defeated, great Pausanias raised
   This monument, that Phoebus might be praised.

At the time the Lacedaemonians had at once erased the couplet, and
inscribed the names of the cities that had aided in the overthrow of
the barbarian and dedicated the offering.  Yet it was considered that
Pausanias had here been guilty of a grave offence, which,
interpreted by the light of the attitude which he had since assumed,
gained a new significance, and seemed to be quite in keeping with
his present schemes.  Besides, they were informed that he was even
intriguing with the Helots; and such indeed was the fact, for he
promised them freedom and citizenship if they would join him in
insurrection and would help him to carry out his plans to the end.
Even now, mistrusting the evidence even of the Helots themselves,
the ephors would not consent to take any decided step against him;
in accordance with their regular custom towards themselves, namely, to
be slow in taking any irrevocable resolve in the matter of a Spartan
citizen without indisputable proof.  At last, it is said, the person
who was going to carry to Artabazus the last letter for the King, a
man of Argilus, once the favourite and most trusty servant of
Pausanias, turned informer.  Alarmed by the reflection that none of the
previous messengers had ever returned, having counterfeited the
seal, in order that, if he found himself mistaken in his surmises,
or if Pausanias should ask to make some correction, he might not be
discovered, he undid the letter, and found the postscript that he
had suspected, viz. an order to put him to death.

On being shown the letter, the ephors now felt more certain.
Still, they wished to hear Pausanias commit himself with their own
ears.  Accordingly the man went by appointment to Taenarus as a
suppliant, and there built himself a hut divided into two by a
partition; within which he concealed some of the ephors and let them
hear the whole matter plainly.  For Pausanias came to him and asked him
the reason of his suppliant position; and the man reproached him
with the order that he had written concerning him, and one by one
declared all the rest of the circumstances, how he who had never yet
brought him into any danger, while employed as agent between him and
the King, was yet just like the mass of his servants to be rewarded
with death.  Admitting all this, and telling him not to be angry
about the matter, Pausanias gave him the pledge of raising him up from
the temple, and begged him to set off as quickly as possible, and
not to hinder the business in hand.

The ephors listened carefully, and then departed, taking no action
for the moment, but, having at last attained to certainty, were
preparing to arrest him in the city.  It is reported that, as he was
about to be arrested in the street, he saw from the face of one of the
ephors what he was coming for; another, too, made him a secret signal,
and betrayed it to him from kindness.  Setting off with a run for the
temple of the goddess of the Brazen House, the enclosure of which
was near at hand, he succeeded in taking sanctuary before they took
him, and entering into a small chamber, which formed part of the
temple, to avoid being exposed to the weather, lay still there.  The
ephors, for the moment distanced in the pursuit, afterwards took off
the roof of the chamber, and having made sure that he was inside, shut
him in, barricaded the doors, and staying before the place, reduced
him by starvation.  When they found that he was on the point of
expiring, just as he was, in the chamber, they brought him out of
the temple, while the breath was still in him, and as soon as he was
brought out he died.  They were going to throw him into the Kaiadas,
where they cast criminals, but finally decided to inter him
somewhere near.  But the god at Delphi afterwards ordered the
Lacedaemonians to remove the tomb to the place of his death--where he
now lies in the consecrated ground, as an inscription on a monument
declares--and, as what had been done was a curse to them, to give
back two bodies instead of one to the goddess of the Brazen House.
So they had two brazen statues made, and dedicated them as a
substitute for Pausanias.  the Athenians retorted by telling the
Lacedaemonians to drive out what the god himself had pronounced to
be a curse.

To return to the Medism of Pausanias.  Matter was found in the course
of the inquiry to implicate Themistocles; and the Lacedaemonians
accordingly sent envoys to the Athenians and required them to punish
him as they had punished Pausanias.  The Athenians consented to do
so.  But he had, as it happened, been ostracized, and, with a residence
at Argos, was in the habit of visiting other parts of Peloponnese.
So they sent with the Lacedaemonians, who were ready to join in the
pursuit, persons with instructions to take him wherever they found
him.  But Themistocles got scent of their intentions, and fled from
Peloponnese to Corcyra, which was under obligations towards him.  But
the Corcyraeans alleged that they could not venture to shelter him
at the cost of offending Athens and Lacedaemon, and they conveyed
him over to the continent opposite.  Pursued by the officers who hung
on the report of his movements, at a loss where to turn, he was
compelled to stop at the house of Admetus, the Molossian king,
though they were not on friendly terms.  Admetus happened not to be
indoors, but his wife, to whom he made himself a suppliant, instructed
him to take their child in his arms and sit down by the hearth.  Soon
afterwards Admetus came in, and Themistocles told him who he was,
and begged him not to revenge on Themistocles in exile any
opposition which his requests might have experienced from Themistocles
at Athens.  Indeed, he was now far too low for his revenge; retaliation
was only honourable between equals.  Besides, his opposition to the
king had only affected the success of a request, not the safety of his
person; if the king were to give him up to the pursuers that he
mentioned, and the fate which they intended for him, he would just
be consigning him to certain death.

The King listened to him and raised him up with his son, as he was
sitting with him in his arms after the most effectual method of
supplication, and on the arrival of the Lacedaemonians not long
afterwards, refused to give him up for anything they could say, but
sent him off by land to the other sea to Pydna in Alexander's
dominions, as he wished to go to the Persian king.  There he met with a
merchantman on the point of starting for Ionia.  Going on board, he was
carried by a storm to the Athenian squadron which was blockading
Naxos.  In his alarm--he was luckily unknown to the people in the
vessel--he told the master who he was and what he was flying for, and
said that, if he refused to save him, he would declare that he was
taking him for a bribe.  Meanwhile their safety consisted in letting no
one leave the ship until a favourable time for sailing should arise.
If he complied with his wishes, he promised him a proper recompense.
The master acted as he desired, and, after lying to for a day and a
night out of reach of the squadron, at length arrived at Ephesus.

After having rewarded him with a present of money, as soon as he
received some from his friends at Athens and from his secret hoards at
Argos, Themistocles started inland with one of the coast Persians, and
sent a letter to King Artaxerxes, Xerxes's son, who had just come to
the throne.  Its contents were as follows: "I, Themistocles, am come to
you, who did your house more harm than any of the Hellenes, when I was
compelled to defend myself against your father's invasion--harm,
however, far surpassed by the good that I did him during his
retreat, which brought no danger for me but much for him.  For the
past, you are a good turn in my debt"--here he mentioned the warning
sent to Xerxes from Salamis to retreat, as well as his finding the
bridges unbroken, which, as he falsely pretended, was due to him--
"for the present, able to do you great service, I am here, pursued
by the Hellenes for my friendship for you.  However, I desire a
year's grace, when I shall be able to declare in person the objects of
my coming."

It is said that the King approved his intention, and told him to
do as he said.  He employed the interval in making what progress he
could in the study of the Persian tongue, and of the customs of the
country.  Arrived at court at the end of the year, he attained to
very high consideration there, such as no Hellene has ever possessed
before or since; partly from his splendid antecedents, partly from the
hopes which he held out of effecting for him the subjugation of
Hellas, but principally by the proof which experience daily gave of
his capacity.  For Themistocles was a man who exhibited the most
indubitable signs of genius; indeed, in this particular he has a claim
on our admiration quite extraordinary and unparalleled.  By his own
native capacity, alike unformed and unsupplemented by study, he was at
once the best judge in those sudden crises which admit of little or of
no deliberation, and the best prophet of the future, even to its
most distant possibilities.  An able theoretical expositor of all
that came within the sphere of his practice, he was not without the
power of passing an adequate judgment in matters in which he had no
experience.  He could also excellently divine the good and evil which
lay hid in the unseen future.  In fine, whether we consider the
extent of his natural powers, or the slightness of his application,
this extraordinary man must be allowed to have surpassed all others in
the faculty of intuitively meeting an emergency.  Disease was the
real cause of his death; though there is a story of his having ended
his life by poison, on finding himself unable to fulfil his promises
to the king.  However this may be, there is a monument to him in the
marketplace of Asiatic Magnesia.  He was governor of the district,
the King having given him Magnesia, which brought in fifty talents a
year, for bread, Lampsacus, which was considered to be the richest
wine country, for wine, and Myos for other provisions.  His bones, it
is said, were conveyed home by his relatives in accordance with his
wishes, and interred in Attic ground.  This was done without the
knowledge of the Athenians; as it is against the law to bury in Attica
an outlaw for treason.  So ends the history of Pausanias and
Themistocles, the Lacedaemonian and the Athenian, the most famous
men of their time in Hellas.

To return to the Lacedaemonians.  The history of their first embassy,
the injunctions which it conveyed, and the rejoinder which it
provoked, concerning the expulsion of the accursed persons, have
been related already.  It was followed by a second, which ordered
Athens to raise the siege of Potidaea, and to respect the independence
of Aegina.  Above all, it gave her most distinctly to understand that
war might be prevented by the revocation of the Megara decree,
excluding the Megarians from the use of Athenian harbours and of the
market of Athens.  But Athens was not inclined either to revoke the
decree, or to entertain their other proposals; she accused the
Megarians of pushing their cultivation into the consecrated ground and
the unenclosed land on the border, and of harbouring her runaway
slaves.  At last an embassy arrived with the Lacedaemonian ultimatum.
The ambassadors were Ramphias, Melesippus, and Agesander.  Not a word
was said on any of the old subjects; there was simply this:
"Lacedaemon wishes the peace to continue, and there is no reason why
it should not, if you would leave the Hellenes independent." Upon this
the Athenians held an assembly, and laid the matter before their
consideration.  It was resolved to deliberate once for all on all their
demands, and to give them an answer.  There were many speakers who came
forward and gave their support to one side or the other, urging the
necessity of war, or the revocation of the decree and the folly of
allowing it to stand in the way of peace.  Among them came forward
Pericles, son of Xanthippus, the first man of his time at Athens,
ablest alike in counsel and in action, and gave the following advice:

"There is one principle, Athenians, which I hold to through
everything, and that is the principle of no concession to the
Peloponnesians.  I know that the spirit which inspires men while they
are being persuaded to make war is not always retained in action; that
as circumstances change, resolutions change.  Yet I see that now as
before the same, almost literally the same, counsel is demanded of me;
and I put it to those of you who are allowing yourselves to be
persuaded, to support the national resolves even in the case of
reverses, or to forfeit all credit for their wisdom in the event of
success.  For sometimes the course of things is as arbitrary as the
plans of man; indeed this is why we usually blame chance for
whatever does not happen as we expected.  Now it was clear before
that Lacedaemon entertained designs against us; it is still more clear
now.  The treaty provides that we shall mutually submit our differences
to legal settlement, and that we shall meanwhile each keep what we
have.  Yet the Lacedaemonians never yet made us any such offer, never
yet would accept from us any such offer; on the contrary, they wish
complaints to be settled by war instead of by negotiation; and in
the end we find them here dropping the tone of expostulation and
adopting that of command.  They order us to raise the siege of
Potidaea, to let Aegina be independent, to revoke the Megara decree;
and they conclude with an ultimatum warning us to leave the Hellenes
independent.  I hope that you will none of you think that we shall be
going to war for a trifle if we refuse to revoke the Megara decree,
which appears in front of their complaints, and the revocation of
which is to save us from war, or let any feeling of self-reproach
linger in your minds, as if you went to war for slight cause.  Why,
this trifle contains the whole seal and trial of your resolution.  If
you give way, you will instantly have to meet some greater demand,
as having been frightened into obedience in the first instance;
while a firm refusal will make them clearly understand that they
must treat you more as equals.  Make your decision therefore at once,
either to submit before you are harmed, or if we are to go to war,
as I for one think we ought, to do so without caring whether the
ostensible cause be great or small, resolved against making
concessions or consenting to a precarious tenure of our possessions.
For all claims from an equal, urged upon a neighbour as commands
before any attempt at legal settlement, be they great or be they
small, have only one meaning, and that is slavery.

"As to the war and the resources of either party, a detailed
comparison will not show you the inferiority of Athens.  Personally
engaged in the cultivation of their land, without funds either private
or public, the Peloponnesians are also without experience in long wars
across sea, from the strict limit which poverty imposes on their
attacks upon each other.  Powers of this description are quite
incapable of often manning a fleet or often sending out an army:
they cannot afford the absence from their homes, the expenditure
from their own funds; and besides, they have not command of the sea.
Capital, it must be remembered, maintains a war more than forced
contributions.  Farmers are a class of men that are always more ready
to serve in person than in purse.  Confident that the former will
survive the dangers, they are by no means so sure that the latter will
not be prematurely exhausted, especially if the war last longer than
they expect, which it very likely will.  In a single battle the
Peloponnesians and their allies may be able to defy all Hellas, but
they are incapacitated from carrying on a war against a power
different in character from their own, by the want of the single
council-chamber requisite to prompt and vigorous action, and the
substitution of a diet composed of various races, in which every state
possesses an equal vote, and each presses its own ends, a condition of
things which generally results in no action at all.  The great wish
of some is to avenge themselves on some particular enemy, the great
wish of others to save their own pocket.  Slow in assembling, they
devote a very small fraction of the time to the consideration of any
public object, most of it to the prosecution of their own objects.
Meanwhile each fancies that no harm will come of his neglect, that
it is the business of somebody else to look after this or that for
him; and so, by the same notion being entertained by all separately,
the common cause imperceptibly decays.

"But the principal point is the hindrance that they will
experience from want of money.  The slowness with which it comes in
will cause delay; but the opportunities of war wait for no man.  Again,
we need not be alarmed either at the possibility of their raising
fortifications in Attica, or at their navy.  It would be difficult
for any system of fortifications to establish a rival city, even in
time of peace, much more, surely, in an enemy's country, with Athens
just as much fortified against it as it against Athens; while a mere
post might be able to do some harm to the country by incursions and by
the facilities which it would afford for desertion, but can never
prevent our sailing into their country and raising fortifications
there, and making reprisals with our powerful fleet.  For our naval
skill is of more use to us for service on land, than their military
skill for service at sea.  Familiarity with the sea they will not
find an easy acquisition.  If you who have been practising at it ever
since the Median invasion have not yet brought it to perfection, is
there any chance of anything considerable being effected by an
agricultural, unseafaring population, who will besides be prevented
from practising by the constant presence of strong squadrons of
observation from Athens? With a small squadron they might hazard an
engagement, encouraging their ignorance by numbers; but the
restraint of a strong force will prevent their moving, and through
want of practice they will grow more clumsy, and consequently more
timid.  It must be kept in mind that seamanship, just like anything
else, is a matter of art, and will not admit of being taken up
occasionally as an occupation for times of leisure; on the contrary,
it is so exacting as to leave leisure for nothing else.

"Even if they were to touch the moneys at Olympia or Delphi, and try
to seduce our foreign sailors by the temptation of higher pay, that
would only be a serious danger if we could not still be a match for
them by embarking our own citizens and the aliens resident among us.
But in fact by this means we are always a match for them; and, best of
all, we have a larger and higher class of native coxswains and sailors
among our own citizens than all the rest of Hellas.  And to say nothing
of the danger of such a step, none of our foreign sailors would
consent to become an outlaw from his country, and to take service with
them and their hopes, for the sake of a few days' high pay.

"This, I think, is a tolerably fair account of the position of the
Peloponnesians; that of Athens is free from the defects that I have
criticized in them, and has other advantages of its own, which they
can show nothing to equal.  If they march against our country we will
sail against theirs, and it will then be found that the desolation
of the whole of Attica is not the same as that of even a fraction of
Peloponnese; for they will not be able to supply the deficiency except
by a battle, while we have plenty of land both on the islands and
the continent.  The rule of the sea is indeed a great matter.
Consider for a moment.  Suppose that we were islanders; can you
conceive a more impregnable position? Well, this in future should,
as far as possible, be our conception of our position.  Dismissing
all thought of our land and houses, we must vigilantly guard the sea
and the city.  No irritation that we may feel for the former must
provoke us to a battle with the numerical superiority of the
Peloponnesians.  A victory would only be succeeded by another battle
against the same superiority: a reverse involves the loss of our
allies, the source of our strength, who will not remain quiet a day
after we become unable to march against them.  We must cry not over the
loss of houses and land but of men's lives; since houses and land do
not gain men, but men them.  And if I had thought that I could persuade
you, I would have bid you go out and lay them waste with your own
hands, and show the Peloponnesians that this at any rate will not make
you submit.

"I have many other reasons to hope for a favourable issue, if you
can consent not to combine schemes of fresh conquest with the
conduct of the war, and will abstain from wilfully involving
yourselves in other dangers; indeed, I am more afraid of our own
blunders than of the enemy's devices.  But these matters shall be
explained in another speech, as events require; for the present
dismiss these men with the answer that we will allow Megara the use of
our market and harbours, when the Lacedaemonians suspend their alien
acts in favour of us and our allies, there being nothing in the treaty
to prevent either one or the other: that we will leave the cities
independent, if independent we found them when we made the treaty, and
when the Lacedaemonians grant to their cities an independence not
involving subservience to Lacedaemonian interests, but such as each
severally may desire: that we are willing to give the legal
satisfaction which our agreements specify, and that we shall not
commence hostilities, but shall resist those who do commence them.
This is an answer agreeable at once to the rights and the dignity of
Athens.  It must be thoroughly understood that war is a necessity;
but that the more readily we accept it, the less will be the ardour of
our opponents, and that out of the greatest dangers communities and
individuals acquire the greatest glory.  Did not our fathers resist the
Medes not only with resources far different from ours, but even when
those resources had been abandoned; and more by wisdom than by
fortune, more by daring than by strength, did not they beat off the
barbarian and advance their affairs to their present height? We must
not fall behind them, but must resist our enemies in any way and in
every way, and attempt to hand down our power to our posterity

Such were the words of Pericles.  The Athenians, persuaded of the
wisdom of his advice, voted as he desired, and answered the
Lacedaemonians as he recommended, both on the separate points and in
the general; they would do nothing on dictation, but were ready to
have the complaints settled in a fair and impartial manner by the
legal method, which the terms of the truce prescribed.  So the envoys
departed home and did not return again.

These were the charges and differences existing between the rival
powers before the war, arising immediately from the affair at
Epidamnus and Corcyra.  Still intercourse continued in spite of them,
and mutual communication.  It was carried on without heralds, but not
without suspicion, as events were occurring which were equivalent to a
breach of the treaty and matter for war.



_Beginning of the Peloponnesian War - First Invasion of Attica -
Funeral Oration of Pericles_

The war between the Athenians and Peloponnesians and the allies on
either side now really begins.  For now all intercourse except
through the medium of heralds ceased, and hostilities were commenced
and prosecuted without intermission.  The history follows the
chronological order of events by summers and winters.

The thirty years' truce which was entered into after the conquest of
Euboea lasted fourteen years.  In the fifteenth, in the forty-eighth
year of the priestess-ship of Chrysis at Argos, in the ephorate of
Aenesias at Sparta, in the last month but two of the archonship of
Pythodorus at Athens, and six months after the battle of Potidaea,
just at the beginning of spring, a Theban force a little over three
hundred strong, under the command of their Boeotarchs, Pythangelus,
son of Phyleides, and Diemporus, son of Onetorides, about the first
watch of the night, made an armed entry into Plataea, a town of
Boeotia in alliance with Athens.  The gates were opened to them by a
Plataean called Naucleides, who, with his party, had invited them
in, meaning to put to death the citizens of the opposite party,
bring over the city to Thebes, and thus obtain power for themselves.
This was arranged through Eurymachus, son of Leontiades, a person of
great influence at Thebes.  For Plataea had always been at variance
with Thebes; and the latter, foreseeing that war was at hand, wished
to surprise her old enemy in time of peace, before hostilities had
actually broken out.  Indeed this was how they got in so easily without
being observed, as no guard had been posted.  After the soldiers had
grounded arms in the market-place, those who had invited them in
wished them to set to work at once and go to their enemies' houses.
This, however, the Thebans refused to do, but determined to make a
conciliatory proclamation, and if possible to come to a friendly
understanding with the citizens.  Their herald accordingly invited
any who wished to resume their old place in the confederacy of their
countrymen to ground arms with them, for they thought that in this way
the city would readily join them.

On becoming aware of the presence of the Thebans within their gates,
and of the sudden occupation of the town, the Plataeans concluded in
their alarm that more had entered than was really the case, the
night preventing their seeing them.  They accordingly came to terms
and, accepting the proposal, made no movement; especially as the
Thebans offered none of them any violence.  But somehow or other,
during the negotiations, they discovered the scanty numbers of the
Thebans, and decided that they could easily attack and overpower them;
the mass of the Plataeans being averse to revolting from Athens.  At
all events they resolved to attempt it.  Digging through the party
walls of the houses, they thus managed to join each other without
being seen going through the streets, in which they placed wagons
without the beasts in them, to serve as a barricade, and arranged
everything else as seemed convenient for the occasion.  When everything
had been done that circumstances permitted, they watched their
opportunity and went out of their houses against the enemy.  It was
still night, though daybreak was at hand: in daylight it was thought
that their attack would be met by men full of courage and on equal
terms with their assailants, while in darkness it would fall upon
panic-stricken troops, who would also be at a disadvantage from
their enemy's knowledge of the locality.  So they made their assault at
once, and came to close quarters as quickly as they could.

The Thebans, finding themselves outwitted, immediately closed up
to repel all attacks made upon them.  Twice or thrice they beat back
their assailants.  But the men shouted and charged them, the women
and slaves screamed and yelled from the houses and pelted them with
stones and tiles; besides, it had been raining hard all night; and
so at last their courage gave way, and they turned and fled through
the town.  Most of the fugitives were quite ignorant of the right
ways out, and this, with the mud, and the darkness caused by the
moon being in her last quarter, and the fact that their pursuers
knew their way about and could easily stop their escape, proved
fatal to many.  The only gate open was the one by which they had
entered, and this was shut by one of the Plataeans driving the spike
of a javelin into the bar instead of the bolt; so that even here there
was no longer any means of exit.  They were now chased all over the
town.  Some got on the wall and threw themselves over, in most cases
with a fatal result.  One party managed to find a deserted gate, and
obtaining an axe from a woman, cut through the bar; but as they were
soon observed only a few succeeded in getting out.  Others were cut off
in detail in different parts of the city.  The most numerous and
compact body rushed into a large building next to the city wall: the
doors on the side of the street happened to be open, and the Thebans
fancied that they were the gates of the town, and that there was a
passage right through to the outside.  The Plataeans, seeing their
enemies in a trap, now consulted whether they should set fire to the
building and burn them just as they were, or whether there was
anything else that they could do with them; until at length these
and the rest of the Theban survivors found wandering about the town
agreed to an unconditional surrender of themselves and their arms to
the Plataeans.

While such was the fate of the party in Plataea, the rest of the
Thebans who were to have joined them with all their forces before
daybreak, in case of anything miscarrying with the body that had
entered, received the news of the affair on the road, and pressed
forward to their succour.  Now Plataea is nearly eight miles from
Thebes, and their march delayed by the rain that had fallen in the
night, for the river Asopus had risen and was not easy of passage; and
so, having to march in the rain, and being hindered in crossing the
river, they arrived too late, and found the whole party either slain
or captive.  When they learned what had happened, they at once formed a
design against the Plataeans outside the city.  As the attack had
been made in time of peace, and was perfectly unexpected, there were
of course men and stock in the fields; and the Thebans wished if
possible to have some prisoners to exchange against their countrymen
in the town, should any chance to have been taken alive.  Such was
their plan.  But the Plataeans suspected their intention almost
before it was formed, and becoming alarmed for their fellow citizens
outside the town, sent a herald to the Thebans, reproaching them for
their unscrupulous attempt to seize their city in time of peace, and
warning them against any outrage on those outside.  Should the
warning be disregarded, they threatened to put to death the men they
had in their hands, but added that, on the Thebans retiring from their
territory, they would surrender the prisoners to their friends.  This
is the Theban account of the matter, and they say that they had an
oath given them.  The Plataeans, on the other hand, do not admit any
promise of an immediate surrender, but make it contingent upon
subsequent negotiation: the oath they deny altogether.  Be this as it
may, upon the Thebans retiring from their territory without committing
any injury, the Plataeans hastily got in whatever they had in the
country and immediately put the men to death.  The prisoners were a
hundred and eighty in number; Eurymachus, the person with whom the
traitors had negotiated, being one.

This done, the Plataeans sent a messenger to Athens, gave back the
dead to the Thebans under a truce, and arranged things in the city
as seemed best to meet the present emergency.  The Athenians meanwhile,
having had word of the affair sent them immediately after its
occurrence, had instantly seized all the Boeotians in Attica, and sent
a herald to the Plataeans to forbid their proceeding to extremities
with their Theban prisoners without instructions from Athens.  The news
of the men's death had of course not arrived; the first messenger
having left Plataea just when the Thebans entered it, the second
just after their defeat and capture; so there was no later news.
Thus the Athenians sent orders in ignorance of the facts; and the
herald on his arrival found the men slain.  After this the Athenians
marched to Plataea and brought in provisions, and left a garrison in
the place, also taking away the women and children and such of the men
as were least efficient.

After the affair at Plataea, the treaty had been broken by an
overt act, and Athens at once prepared for war, as did also Lacedaemon
and her allies.  They resolved to send embassies to the King and to
such other of the barbarian powers as either party could look to for
assistance, and tried to ally themselves with the independent states
at home.  Lacedaemon, in addition to the existing marine, gave orders
to the states that had declared for her in Italy and Sicily to build
vessels up to a grand total of five hundred, the quota of each city
being determined by its size, and also to provide a specified sum of
money.  Till these were ready they were to remain neutral and to
admit single Athenian ships into their harbours.  Athens on her part
reviewed her existing confederacy, and sent embassies to the places
more immediately round Peloponnese--Corcyra, Cephallenia, Acarnania,
and Zacynthus--perceiving that if these could be relied on she could
carry the war all round Peloponnese.

And if both sides nourished the boldest hopes and put forth their
utmost strength for the war, this was only natural.  Zeal is always
at its height at the commencement of an undertaking; and on this
particular occasion Peloponnese and Athens were both full of young men
whose inexperience made them eager to take up arms, while the rest
of Hellas stood straining with excitement at the conflict of its
leading cities.  Everywhere predictions were being recited and
oracles being chanted by such persons as collect them, and this not
only in the contending cities.  Further, some while before this,
there was an earthquake at Delos, for the first time in the memory
of the Hellenes.  This was said and thought to be ominous of the events
impending; indeed, nothing of the kind that happened was allowed to
pass without remark.  The good wishes of men made greatly for the
Lacedaemonians, especially as they proclaimed themselves the
liberators of Hellas.  No private or public effort that could help them
in speech or action was omitted; each thinking that the cause suffered
wherever he could not himself see to it.  So general was the
indignation felt against Athens, whether by those who wished to escape
from her empire, or were apprehensive of being absorbed by it.  Such
were the preparations and such the feelings with which the contest

The allies of the two belligerents were the following.  These were
the allies of Lacedaemon: all the Peloponnesians within the Isthmus
except the Argives and Achaeans, who were neutral; Pellene being the
only Achaean city that first joined in the war, though her example was
afterwards followed by the rest.  Outside Peloponnese the Megarians,
Locrians, Boeotians, Phocians, Ambraciots, Leucadians, and
Anactorians.  Of these, ships were furnished by the Corinthians,
Megarians, Sicyonians, Pellenians, Eleans, Ambraciots, and Leucadians;
and cavalry by the Boeotians, Phocians, and Locrians.  The other states
sent infantry.  This was the Lacedaemonian confederacy.  That of
Athens comprised the Chians, Lesbians, Plataeans, the Messenians in
Naupactus, most of the Acarnanians, the Corcyraeans, Zacynthians,
and some tributary cities in the following countries, viz., Caria upon
the sea with her Dorian neighbours, Ionia, the Hellespont, the
Thracian towns, the islands lying between Peloponnese and Crete
towards the east, and all the Cyclades except Melos and Thera.  Of
these, ships were furnished by Chios, Lesbos, and Corcyra, infantry
and money by the rest.  Such were the allies of either party and
their resources for the war.

Immediately after the affair at Plataea, Lacedaemon sent round
orders to the cities in Peloponnese and the rest of her confederacy to
prepare troops and the provisions requisite for a foreign campaign, in
order to invade Attica.  The several states were ready at the time
appointed and assembled at the Isthmus: the contingent of each city
being two-thirds of its whole force.  After the whole army had
mustered, the Lacedaemonian king, Archidamus, the leader of the
expedition, called together the generals of all the states and the
principal persons and officers, and exhorted them as follows:

"Peloponnesians and allies, our fathers made many campaigns both
within and without Peloponnese, and the elder men among us here are
not without experience in war.  Yet we have never set out with a larger
force than the present; and if our numbers and efficiency are
remarkable, so also is the power of the state against which we
march.  We ought not then to show ourselves inferior to our
ancestors, or unequal to our own reputation.  For the hopes and
attention of all Hellas are bent upon the present effort, and its
sympathy is with the enemy of the hated Athens.  Therefore, numerous as
the invading army may appear to be, and certain as some may think it
that our adversary will not meet us in the field, this is no sort of
justification for the least negligence upon the march; but the
officers and men of each particular city should always be prepared for
the advent of danger in their own quarters.  The course of war cannot
be foreseen, and its attacks are generally dictated by the impulse
of the moment; and where overweening self-confidence has despised
preparation, a wise apprehension often been able to make head
against superior numbers.  Not that confidence is out of place in an
army of invasion, but in an enemy's country it should also be
accompanied by the precautions of apprehension: troops will by this
combination be best inspired for dealing a blow, and best secured
against receiving one.  In the present instance, the city against which
we are going, far from being so impotent for defence, is on the
contrary most excellently equipped at all points; so that we have
every reason to expect that they will take the field against us, and
that if they have not set out already before we are there, they will
certainly do so when they see us in their territory wasting and
destroying their property.  For men are always exasperated at suffering
injuries to which they are not accustomed, and on seeing them
inflicted before their very eyes; and where least inclined for
reflection, rush with the greatest heat to action.  The Athenians are
the very people of all others to do this, as they aspire to rule the
rest of the world, and are more in the habit of invading and
ravaging their neighbours' territory, than of seeing their own treated
in the like fashion.  Considering, therefore, the power of the state
against which we are marching, and the greatness of the reputation
which, according to the event, we shall win or lose for our
ancestors and ourselves, remember as you follow where you may be led
to regard discipline and vigilance as of the first importance, and
to obey with alacrity the orders transmitted to you; as nothing
contributes so much to the credit and safety of an army as the union
of large bodies by a single discipline."

With this brief speech dismissing the assembly, Archidamus first
sent off Melesippus, son of Diacritus, a Spartan, to Athens, in case
she should be more inclined to submit on seeing the Peloponnesians
actually on the march.  But the Athenians did not admit into the city
or to their assembly, Pericles having already carried a motion against
admitting either herald or embassy from the Lacedaemonians after
they had once marched out.

The herald was accordingly sent away without an audience, and
ordered to be beyond the frontier that same day; in future, if those
who sent him had a proposition to make, they must retire to their
own territory before they dispatched embassies to Athens.  An escort
was sent with Melesippus to prevent his holding communication with any
one.  When he reached the frontier and was just going to be
dismissed, he departed with these words: "This day will be the
beginning of great misfortunes to the Hellenes." As soon as he arrived
at the camp, and Archidamus learnt that the Athenians had still no
thoughts of submitting, he at length began his march, and advanced
with his army into their territory.  Meanwhile the Boeotians, sending
their contingent and cavalry to join the Peloponnesian expedition,
went to Plataea with the remainder and laid waste the country.

While the Peloponnesians were still mustering at the Isthmus, or
on the march before they invaded Attica, Pericles, son of
Xanthippus, one of the ten generals of the Athenians, finding that the
invasion was to take place, conceived the idea that Archidamus, who
happened to be his friend, might possibly pass by his estate without
ravaging it.  This he might do, either from a personal wish to oblige
him, or acting under instructions from Lacedaemon for the purpose of
creating a prejudice against him, as had been before attempted in
the demand for the expulsion of the accursed family.  He accordingly
took the precaution of announcing to the Athenians in the assembly
that, although Archidamus was his friend, yet this friendship should
not extend to the detriment of the state, and that in case the enemy
should make his houses and lands an exception to the rest and not
pillage them, he at once gave them up to be public property, so that
they should not bring him into suspicion.  He also gave the citizens
some advice on their present affairs in the same strain as before.
They were to prepare for the war, and to carry in their property
from the country.  They were not to go out to battle, but to come
into the city and guard it, and get ready their fleet, in which
their real strength lay.  They were also to keep a tight rein on
their allies--the strength of Athens being derived from the money
brought in by their payments, and success in war depending principally
upon conduct and capital.  had no reason to despond.  Apart from other
sources of income, an average revenue of six hundred talents of silver
was drawn from the tribute of the allies; and there were still six
thousand talents of coined silver in the Acropolis, out of nine
thousand seven hundred that had once been there, from which the
money had been taken for the porch of the Acropolis, the other
public buildings, and for Potidaea.  This did not include the
uncoined gold and silver in public and private offerings, the sacred
vessels for the processions and games, the Median spoils, and
similar resources to the amount of five hundred talents.  To this he
added the treasures of the other temples.  These were by no means
inconsiderable, and might fairly be used.  Nay, if they were ever
absolutely driven to it, they might take even the gold ornaments of
Athene herself; for the statue contained forty talents of pure gold
and it was all removable.  This might be used for self-preservation,
and must every penny of it be restored.  Such was their financial
position--surely a satisfactory one.  Then they had an army of
thirteen thousand heavy infantry, besides sixteen thousand more in the
garrisons and on home duty at Athens.  This was at first the number
of men on guard in the event of an invasion: it was composed of the
oldest and youngest levies and the resident aliens who had heavy
armour.  The Phaleric wall ran for four miles, before it joined that
round the city; and of this last nearly five had a guard, although
part of it was left without one, viz., that between the Long Wall
and the Phaleric.  Then there were the Long Walls to Piraeus, a
distance of some four miles and a half, the outer of which was manned.
Lastly, the circumference of Piraeus with Munychia was nearly seven
miles and a half; only half of this, however, was guarded.  Pericles
also showed them that they had twelve hundred horse including
mounted archers, with sixteen hundred archers unmounted, and three
hundred galleys fit for service.  Such were the resources of Athens
in the different departments when the Peloponnesian invasion was
impending and hostilities were being commenced.  Pericles also urged
his usual arguments for expecting a favourable issue to the war.

The Athenians listened to his advice, and began to carry in their
wives and children from the country, and all their household
furniture, even to the woodwork of their houses which they took
down.  Their sheep and cattle they sent over to Euboea and the adjacent
islands.  But they found it hard to move, as most of them had been
always used to live in the country.

From very early times this had been more the case with the Athenians
than with others.  Under Cecrops and the first kings, down to the reign
of Theseus, Attica had always consisted of a number of independent
townships, each with its own town hall and magistrates.  Except in
times of danger the king at Athens was not consulted; in ordinary
seasons they carried on their government and settled their affairs
without his interference; sometimes even they waged war against him,
as in the case of the Eleusinians with Eumolpus against Erechtheus.  In
Theseus, however, they had a king of equal intelligence and power; and
one of the chief features in his organization of the country was to
abolish the council-chambers and magistrates of the petty cities,
and to merge them in the single council-chamber and town hall of the
present capital.  Individuals might still enjoy their private
property just as before, but they were henceforth compelled to have
only one political centre, viz., Athens; which thus counted all the
inhabitants of Attica among her citizens, so that when Theseus died he
left a great state behind him.  Indeed, from him dates the Synoecia, or
Feast of Union; which is paid for by the state, and which the
Athenians still keep in honour of the goddess.  Before this the city
consisted of the present citadel and the district beneath it looking
rather towards the south.  This is shown by the fact that the temples
of the other deities, besides that of Athene, are in the citadel;
and even those that are outside it are mostly situated in this quarter
of the city, as that of the Olympian Zeus, of the Pythian Apollo, of
Earth, and of Dionysus in the Marshes, the same in whose honour the
older Dionysia are to this day celebrated in the month of Anthesterion
not only by the Athenians but also by their Ionian descendants.
There are also other ancient temples in this quarter.  The fountain
too, which, since the alteration made by the tyrants, has been
called Enneacrounos, or Nine Pipes, but which, when the spring was
open, went by the name of Callirhoe, or Fairwater, was in those
days, from being so near, used for the most important offices.  Indeed,
the old fashion of using the water before marriage and for other
sacred purposes is still kept up.  Again, from their old residence in
that quarter, the citadel is still known among Athenians as the city.

The Athenians thus long lived scattered over Attica in independent
townships.  Even after the centralization of Theseus, old habit still
prevailed; and from the early times down to the present war most
Athenians still lived in the country with their families and
households, and were consequently not at all inclined to move now,
especially as they had only just restored their establishments after
the Median invasion.  Deep was their trouble and discontent at
abandoning their houses and the hereditary temples of the ancient
constitution, and at having to change their habits of life and to
bid farewell to what each regarded as his native city.

When they arrived at Athens, though a few had houses of their own to
go to, or could find an asylum with friends or relatives, by far the
greater number had to take up their dwelling in the parts of the
city that were not built over and in the temples and chapels of the
heroes, except the Acropolis and the temple of the Eleusinian
Demeter and such other Places as were always kept closed.  The
occupation of the plot of ground lying below the citadel called the
Pelasgian had been forbidden by a curse; and there was also an ominous
fragment of a Pythian oracle which said:

Leave the Pelasgian parcel desolate,
Woe worth the day that men inhabit it!

Yet this too was now built over in the necessity of the moment.  And in
my opinion, if the oracle proved true, it was in the opposite sense to
what was expected.  For the misfortunes of the state did not arise from
the unlawful occupation, but the necessity of the occupation from
the war; and though the god did not mention this, he foresaw that it
would be an evil day for Athens in which the plot came to be
inhabited.  Many also took up their quarters in the towers of the walls
or wherever else they could.  For when they were all come in, the
city proved too small to hold them; though afterwards they divided the
Long Walls and a great part of Piraeus into lots and settled there.
All this while great attention was being given to the war; the
allies were being mustered, and an armament of a hundred ships
equipped for Peloponnese.  Such was the state of preparation at Athens.

Meanwhile the army of the Peloponnesians was advancing.  The first
town they came to in Attica was Oenoe, where they to enter the
country.  Sitting down before it, they prepared to assault the wall
with engines and otherwise.  Oenoe, standing upon the Athenian and
Boeotian border, was of course a walled town, and was used as a
fortress by the Athenians in time of war.  So the Peloponnesians
prepared for their assault, and wasted some valuable time before the
place.  This delay brought the gravest censure upon Archidamus.  Even
during the levying of the war he had credit for weakness and
Athenian sympathies by the half measures he had advocated; and after
the army had assembled he had further injured himself in public
estimation by his loitering at the Isthmus and the slowness with which
the rest of the march had been conducted.  But all this was as
nothing to the delay at Oenoe.  During this interval the Athenians were
carrying in their property; and it was the belief of the
Peloponnesians that a quick advance would have found everything
still out, had it not been for his procrastination.  Such was the
feeling of the army towards Archidamus during the siege.  But he, it is
said, expected that the Athenians would shrink from letting their land
be wasted, and would make their submission while it was still
uninjured; and this was why he waited.

But after he had assaulted Oenoe, and every possible attempt to take
it had failed, as no herald came from Athens, he at last broke up
his camp and invaded Attica.  This was about eighty days after the
Theban attempt upon Plataea, just in the middle of summer, when the
corn was ripe, and Archidamus, son of Zeuxis, king of Lacedaemon,
was in command.  Encamping in Eleusis and the Thriasian plain, they
began their ravages, and putting to flight some Athenian horse at a
place called Rheiti, or the Brooks, they then advanced, keeping
Mount Aegaleus on their right, through Cropia, until they reached
Acharnae, the largest of the Athenian demes or townships.  Sitting down
before it, they formed a camp there, and continued their ravages for a
long while.

The reason why Archidamus remained in order of battle at Acharnae
during this incursion, instead of descending into the plain, is said
to have been this.  He hoped that the Athenians might possibly be
tempted by the multitude of their youth and the unprecedented
efficiency of their service to come out to battle and attempt to
stop the devastation of their lands.  Accordingly, as they had met
him at Eleusis or the Thriasian plain, he tried if they could be
provoked to a sally by the spectacle of a camp at Acharnae.  He thought
the place itself a good position for encamping; and it seemed likely
that such an important part of the state as the three thousand heavy
infantry of the Acharnians would refuse to submit to the ruin of their
property, and would force a battle on the rest of the citizens.  On the
other hand, should the Athenians not take the field during this
incursion, he could then fearlessly ravage the plain in future
invasions, and extend his advance up to the very walls of Athens.
After the Acharnians had lost their own property they would be less
willing to risk themselves for that of their neighbours; and so
there would be division in the Athenian counsels.  These were the
motives of Archidamus for remaining at Acharnae.

In the meanwhile, as long as the army was at Eleusis and the
Thriasian plain, hopes were still entertained of its not advancing any
nearer.  It was remembered that Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, king
of Lacedaemon, had invaded Attica with a Peloponnesian army fourteen
years before, but had retreated without advancing farther than Eleusis
and Thria, which indeed proved the cause of his exile from Sparta,
as it was thought he had been bribed to retreat.  But when they saw the
army at Acharnae, barely seven miles from Athens, they lost all
patience.  The territory of Athens was being ravaged before the very
eyes of the Athenians, a sight which the young men had never seen
before and the old only in the Median wars; and it was naturally
thought a grievous insult, and the determination was universal,
especially among the young men, to sally forth and stop it.  Knots were
formed in the streets and engaged in hot discussion; for if the
proposed sally was warmly recommended, it was also in some cases
opposed.  Oracles of the most various import were recited by the
collectors, and found eager listeners in one or other of the
disputants.  Foremost in pressing for the sally were the Acharnians, as
constituting no small part of the army of the state, and as it was
their land that was being ravaged.  In short, the whole city was in a
most excited state; Pericles was the object of general indignation;
his previous counsels were totally forgotten; he was abused for not
leading out the army which he commanded, and was made responsible
for the whole of the public suffering.

He, meanwhile, seeing anger and infatuation just now in the
ascendant, and of his wisdom in refusing a sally, would not call
either assembly or meeting of the people, fearing the fatal results of
a debate inspired by passion and not by prudence.  Accordingly he
addressed himself to the defence of the city, and kept it as quiet
as possible, though he constantly sent out cavalry to prevent raids on
the lands near the city from flying parties of the enemy.  There was
a trifling affair at Phrygia between a squadron of the Athenian
horse with the Thessalians and the Boeotian cavalry; in which the
former had rather the best of it, until the heavy infantry advanced to
the support of the Boeotians, when the Thessalians and Athenians
were routed and lost a few men, whose bodies, however, were
recovered the same day without a truce.  The next day the
Peloponnesians set up a trophy.  Ancient alliance brought the
Thessalians to the aid of Athens; those who came being the Larisaeans,
Pharsalians, Cranonians, Pyrasians, Gyrtonians, and Pheraeans.  The
Larisaean commanders were Polymedes and Aristonus, two party leaders
in Larisa; the Pharsalian general was Menon; each of the other
cities had also its own commander.

In the meantime the Peloponnesians, as the Athenians did not come
out to engage them, broke up from Acharnae and ravaged some of the
demes between Mount Parnes and Brilessus.  While they were in Attica
the Athenians sent off the hundred ships which they had been preparing
round Peloponnese, with a thousand heavy infantry and four hundred
archers on board, under the command of Carcinus, son of Xenotimus,
Proteas, son of Epicles, and Socrates, son of Antigenes.  This armament
weighed anchor and started on its cruise, and the Peloponnesians,
after remaining in Attica as long as their provisions lasted,
retired through Boeotia by a different road to that by which they
had entered.  As they passed Oropus they ravaged the territory of
Graea, which is held by the Oropians from Athens, and reaching
Peloponnese broke up to their respective cities.

After they had retired the Athenians set guards by land and sea at
the points at which they intended to have regular stations during
the war.  They also resolved to set apart a special fund of a
thousand talents from the moneys in the Acropolis.  This was not to
be spent, but the current expenses of the war were to be otherwise
provided for.  If any one should move or put to the vote a
proposition for using the money for any purpose whatever except that
of defending the city in the event of the enemy bringing a fleet to
make an attack by sea, it should be a capital offence.  With this sum
of money they also set aside a special fleet of one hundred galleys,
the best ships of each year, with their captains.  None of these were
to be used except with the money and against the same peril, should
such peril arise.

Meanwhile the Athenians in the hundred ships round Peloponnese,
reinforced by a Corcyraean squadron of fifty vessels and some others
of the allies in those parts, cruised about the coasts and ravaged the
country.  Among other places they landed in Laconia and made an assault
upon Methone; there being no garrison in the place, and the wall being
weak.  But it so happened that Brasidas, son of Tellis, a Spartan,
was in command of a guard for the defence of the district.  Hearing
of the attack, he hurried with a hundred heavy infantry to the
assistance of the besieged, and dashing through the army of the
Athenians, which was scattered over the country and had its
attention turned to the wall, threw himself into Methone.  He lost a
few men in making good his entrance, but saved the place and won the
thanks of Sparta by his exploit, being thus the first officer who
obtained this notice during the war.  The Athenians at once weighed
anchor and continued their cruise.  Touching at Pheia in Elis, they
ravaged the country for two days and defeated a picked force of
three hundred men that had come from the vale of Elis and the
immediate neighbourhood to the rescue.  But a stiff squall came down
upon them, and, not liking to face it in a place where there was no
harbour, most of them got on board their ships, and doubling Point
Ichthys sailed into the port of Pheia.  In the meantime the Messenians,
and some others who could not get on board, marched over by land and
took Pheia.  The fleet afterwards sailed round and picked them up and
then put to sea; Pheia being evacuated, as the main army of the Eleans
had now come up.  The Athenians continued their cruise, and ravaged
other places on the coast.

About the same time the Athenians sent thirty ships to cruise
round Locris and also to guard Euboea; Cleopompus, son of Clinias,
being in command.  Making descents from the fleet he ravaged certain
places on the sea-coast, and captured Thronium and took hostages
from it.  He also defeated at Alope the Locrians that had assembled
to resist him.

During the summer the Athenians also expelled the Aeginetans with
their wives and children from Aegina, on the ground of their having
been the chief agents in bringing the war upon them.  Besides, Aegina
lies so near Peloponnese that it seemed safer to send colonists of
their own to hold it, and shortly afterwards the settlers were sent
out.  The banished Aeginetans found an asylum in Thyrea, which was
given to them by Lacedaemon, not only on account of her quarrel with
Athens, but also because the Aeginetans had laid her under obligations
at the time of the earthquake and the revolt of the Helots.  The
territory of Thyrea is on the frontier of Argolis and Laconia,
reaching down to the sea.  Those of the Aeginetans who did not settle
here were scattered over the rest of Hellas.

The same summer, at the beginning of a new lunar month, the only
time by the way at which it appears possible, the sun was eclipsed
after noon.  After it had assumed the form of a crescent and some of
the stars had come out, it returned to its natural shape.

During the same summer Nymphodorus, son of Pythes, an Abderite,
whose sister Sitalces had married, was made their proxenus by the
Athenians and sent for to Athens.  They had hitherto considered him
their enemy; but he had great influence with Sitalces, and they wished
this prince to become their ally.  Sitalces was the son of Teres and
King of the Thracians.  Teres, the father of Sitalces, was the first to
establish the great kingdom of the Odrysians on a scale quite
unknown to the rest of Thrace, a large portion of the Thracians
being independent.  This Teres is in no way related to Tereus who
married Pandion's daughter Procne from Athens; nor indeed did they
belong to the same part of Thrace.  Tereus lived in Daulis, part of
what is now called Phocis, but which at that time was inhabited by
Thracians.  It was in this land that the women perpetrated the
outrage upon Itys; and many of the poets when they mention the
nightingale call it the Daulian bird.  Besides, Pandion in
contracting an alliance for his daughter would consider the advantages
of mutual assistance, and would naturally prefer a match at the
above moderate distance to the journey of many days which separates
Athens from the Odrysians.  Again the names are different; and this
Teres was king of the Odrysians, the first by the way who attained
to any power.  Sitalces, his son, was now sought as an ally by the
Athenians, who desired his aid in the reduction of the Thracian
towns and of Perdiccas.  Coming to Athens, Nymphodorus concluded the
alliance with Sitalces and made his son Sadocus an Athenian citizen,
and promised to finish the war in Thrace by persuading Sitalces to
send the Athenians a force of Thracian horse and targeteers.  He also
reconciled them with Perdiccas, and induced them to restore Therme
to him; upon which Perdiccas at once joined the Athenians and
Phormio in an expedition against the Chalcidians.  Thus Sitalces, son
of Teres, King of the Thracians, and Perdiccas, son of Alexander, King
of the Macedonians, became allies of Athens.

Meanwhile the Athenians in the hundred vessels were still cruising
round Peloponnese.  After taking Sollium, a town belonging to
Corinth, and presenting the city and territory to the Acarnanians of
Palaira, they stormed Astacus, expelled its tyrant Evarchus, and
gained the place for their confederacy.  Next they sailed to the island
of Cephallenia and brought it over without using force.  Cephallenia
lies off Acarnania and Leucas, and consists of four states, the
Paleans, Cranians, Samaeans, and Pronaeans.  Not long afterwards the
fleet returned to Athens.  Towards the autumn of this year the
Athenians invaded the Megarid with their whole levy, resident aliens
included, under the command of Pericles, son of Xanthippus.  The
Athenians in the hundred ships round Peloponnese on their journey home
had just reached Aegina, and hearing that the citizens at home were in
full force at Megara, now sailed over and joined them.  This was
without doubt the largest army of Athenians ever assembled, the
state being still in the flower of her strength and yet unvisited by
the plague.  Full ten thousand heavy infantry were in the field, all
Athenian citizens, besides the three thousand before Potidaea.  Then
the resident aliens who joined in the incursion were at least three
thousand strong; besides which there was a multitude of light
troops.  They ravaged the greater part of the territory, and then
retired.  Other incursions into the Megarid were afterwards made by the
Athenians annually during the war, sometimes only with cavalry,
sometimes with all their forces.  This went on until the capture of
Nisaea.  Atalanta also, the desert island off the Opuntian coast, was
towards the end of this summer converted into a fortified post by
the Athenians, in order to prevent privateers issuing from Opus and
the rest of Locris and plundering Euboea.  Such were the events of this
summer after the return of the Peloponnesians from Attica.

In the ensuing winter the Acarnanian Evarchus, wishing to return
to Astacus, persuaded the Corinthians to sail over with forty ships
and fifteen hundred heavy infantry and restore him; himself also
hiring some mercenaries.  In command of the force were Euphamidas,
son of Aristonymus, Timoxenus, son of Timocrates, and Eumachus, son of
Chrysis, who sailed over and restored him and, after failing in an
attempt on some places on the Acarnanian coast which they were
desirous of gaining, began their voyage home.  Coasting along shore
they touched at Cephallenia and made a descent on the Cranian
territory, and losing some men by the treachery of the Cranians, who
fell suddenly upon them after having agreed to treat, put to sea
somewhat hurriedly and returned home.

In the same winter the Athenians gave a funeral at the public cost
to those who had first fallen in this war.  It was a custom of their
ancestors, and the manner of it is as follows.  Three days before the
ceremony, the bones of the dead are laid out in a tent which has
been erected; and their friends bring to their relatives such
offerings as they please.  In the funeral procession cypress coffins
are borne in cars, one for each tribe; the bones of the deceased being
placed in the coffin of their tribe.  Among these is carried one
empty bier decked for the missing, that is, for those whose bodies
could not be recovered.  Any citizen or stranger who pleases, joins
in the procession: and the female relatives are there to wail at the
burial.  The dead are laid in the public sepulchre in the Beautiful
suburb of the city, in which those who fall in war are always
buried; with the exception of those slain at Marathon, who for their
singular and extraordinary valour were interred on the spot where they
fell.  After the bodies have been laid in the earth, a man chosen by
the state, of approved wisdom and eminent reputation, pronounces
over them an appropriate panegyric; after which all retire.  Such is
the manner of the burying; and throughout the whole of the war,
whenever the occasion arose, the established custom was observed.
Meanwhile these were the first that had fallen, and Pericles, son of
Xanthippus, was chosen to pronounce their eulogium.  When the proper
time arrived, he advanced from the sepulchre to an elevated platform
in order to be heard by as many of the crowd as possible, and spoke as

"Most of my predecessors in this place have commended him who made
this speech part of the law, telling us that it is well that it should
be delivered at the burial of those who fall in battle.  For myself,
I should have thought that the worth which had displayed itself in
deeds would be sufficiently rewarded by honours also shown by deeds;
such as you now see in this funeral prepared at the people's cost.  And
I could have wished that the reputations of many brave men were not to
be imperilled in the mouth of a single individual, to stand or fall
according as he spoke well or ill.  For it is hard to speak properly
upon a subject where it is even difficult to convince your hearers
that you are speaking the truth.  On the one hand, the friend who is
familiar with every fact of the story may think that some point has
not been set forth with that fullness which he wishes and knows it
to deserve; on the other, he who is a stranger to the matter may be
led by envy to suspect exaggeration if he hears anything above his own
nature.  For men can endure to hear others praised only so long as they
can severally persuade themselves of their own ability to equal the
actions recounted: when this point is passed, envy comes in and with
it incredulity.  However, since our ancestors have stamped this
custom with their approval, it becomes my duty to obey the law and
to try to satisfy your several wishes and opinions as best I may.

"I shall begin with our ancestors: it is both just and proper that
they should have the honour of the first mention on an occasion like
the present.  They dwelt in the country without break in the succession
from generation to generation, and handed it down free to the
present time by their valour.  And if our more remote ancestors deserve
praise, much more do our own fathers, who added to their inheritance
the empire which we now possess, and spared no pains to be able to
leave their acquisitions to us of the present generation.  Lastly,
there are few parts of our dominions that have not been augmented by
those of us here, who are still more or less in the vigour of life;
while the mother country has been furnished by us with everything that
can enable her to depend on her own resources whether for war or for
peace.  That part of our history which tells of the military
achievements which gave us our several possessions, or of the ready
valour with which either we or our fathers stemmed the tide of
Hellenic or foreign aggression, is a theme too familiar to my
hearers for me to dilate on, and I shall therefore pass it by.  But
what was the road by which we reached our position, what the form of
government under which our greatness grew, what the national habits
out of which it sprang; these are questions which I may try to solve
before I proceed to my panegyric upon these men; since I think this to
be a subject upon which on the present occasion a speaker may properly
dwell, and to which the whole assemblage, whether citizens or
foreigners, may listen with advantage.

"Our constitution does not copy the laws of neighbouring states;
we are rather a pattern to others than imitators ourselves.  Its
administration favours the many instead of the few; this is why it
is called a democracy.  If we look to the laws, they afford equal
justice to all in their private differences; if no social standing,
advancement in public life falls to reputation for capacity, class
considerations not being allowed to interfere with merit; nor again
does poverty bar the way, if a man is able to serve the state, he is
not hindered by the obscurity of his condition.  The freedom which we
enjoy in our government extends also to our ordinary life.  There,
far from exercising a jealous surveillance over each other, we do
not feel called upon to be angry with our neighbour for doing what
he likes, or even to indulge in those injurious looks which cannot
fail to be offensive, although they inflict no positive penalty.  But
all this ease in our private relations does not make us lawless as
citizens.  Against this fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to
obey the magistrates and the laws, particularly such as regard the
protection of the injured, whether they are actually on the statute
book, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot
be broken without acknowledged disgrace.

"Further, we provide plenty of means for the mind to refresh
itself from business.  We celebrate games and sacrifices all the year
round, and the elegance of our private establishments forms a daily
source of pleasure and helps to banish the spleen; while the magnitude
of our city draws the produce of the world into our harbour, so that
to the Athenian the fruits of other countries are as familiar a luxury
as those of his own.

"If we turn to our military policy, there also we differ from our
antagonists.  We throw open our city to the world, and never by alien
acts exclude foreigners from any opportunity of learning or observing,
although the eyes of an enemy may occasionally profit by our
liberality; trusting less in system and policy than to the native
spirit of our citizens; while in education, where our rivals from
their very cradles by a painful discipline seek after manliness, at
Athens we live exactly as we please, and yet are just as ready to
encounter every legitimate danger.  In proof of this it may be
noticed that the Lacedaemonians do not invade our country alone, but
bring with them all their confederates; while we Athenians advance
unsupported into the territory of a neighbour, and fighting upon a
foreign soil usually vanquish with ease men who are defending their
homes.  Our united force was never yet encountered by any enemy,
because we have at once to attend to our marine and to dispatch our
citizens by land upon a hundred different services; so that,
wherever they engage with some such fraction of our strength, a
success against a detachment is magnified into a victory over the
nation, and a defeat into a reverse suffered at the hands of our
entire people.  And yet if with habits not of labour but of ease, and
courage not of art but of nature, we are still willing to encounter
danger, we have the double advantage of escaping the experience of
hardships in anticipation and of facing them in the hour of need as
fearlessly as those who are never free from them.

"Nor are these the only points in which our city is worthy of
admiration.  We cultivate refinement without extravagance and knowledge
without effeminacy; wealth we employ more for use than for show, and
place the real disgrace of poverty not in owning to the fact but in
declining the struggle against it.  Our public men have, besides
politics, their private affairs to attend to, and our ordinary
citizens, though occupied with the pursuits of industry, are still
fair judges of public matters; for, unlike any other nation, regarding
him who takes no part in these duties not as unambitious but as
useless, we Athenians are able to judge at all events if we cannot
originate, and, instead of looking on discussion as a
stumbling-block in the way of action, we think it an indispensable
preliminary to any wise action at all.  Again, in our enterprises we
present the singular spectacle of daring and deliberation, each
carried to its highest point, and both united in the same persons;
although usually decision is the fruit of ignorance, hesitation of
reflection.  But the palm of courage will surely be adjudged most
justly to those, who best know the difference between hardship and
pleasure and yet are never tempted to shrink from danger.  In
generosity we are equally singular, acquiring our friends by
conferring, not by receiving, favours.  Yet, of course, the doer of the
favour is the firmer friend of the two, in order by continued kindness
to keep the recipient in his debt; while the debtor feels less
keenly from the very consciousness that the return he makes will be
a payment, not a free gift.  And it is only the Athenians, who,
fearless of consequences, confer their benefits not from
calculations of expediency, but in the confidence of liberality.

"In short, I say that as a city we are the school of Hellas, while I
doubt if the world can produce a man who, where he has only himself to
depend upon, is equal to so many emergencies, and graced by so happy a
versatility, as the Athenian.  And that this is no mere boast thrown
out for the occasion, but plain matter of fact, the power of the state
acquired by these habits proves.  For Athens alone of her
contemporaries is found when tested to be greater than her reputation,
and alone gives no occasion to her assailants to blush at the
antagonist by whom they have been worsted, or to her subjects to
question her title by merit to rule.  Rather, the admiration of the
present and succeeding ages will be ours, since we have not left our
power without witness, but have shown it by mighty proofs; and far
from needing a Homer for our panegyrist, or other of his craft whose
verses might charm for the moment only for the impression which they
gave to melt at the touch of fact, we have forced every sea and land
to be the highway of our daring, and everywhere, whether for evil or
for good, have left imperishable monuments behind us.  Such is the
Athens for which these men, in the assertion of their resolve not to
lose her, nobly fought and died; and well may every one of their
survivors be ready to suffer in her cause.

"Indeed if I have dwelt at some length upon the character of our
country, it has been to show that our stake in the struggle is not the
same as theirs who have no such blessings to lose, and also that the
panegyric of the men over whom I am now speaking might be by
definite proofs established.  That panegyric is now in a great
measure complete; for the Athens that I have celebrated is only what
the heroism of these and their like have made her, men whose fame,
unlike that of most Hellenes, will be found to be only commensurate
with their deserts.  And if a test of worth be wanted, it is to be
found in their closing scene, and this not only in cases in which it
set the final seal upon their merit, but also in those in which it
gave the first intimation of their having any.  For there is justice in
the claim that steadfastness in his country's battles should be as a
cloak to cover a man's other imperfections; since the good action
has blotted out the bad, and his merit as a citizen more than
outweighed his demerits as an individual.  But none of these allowed
either wealth with its prospect of future enjoyment to unnerve his
spirit, or poverty with its hope of a day of freedom and riches to
tempt him to shrink from danger.  No, holding that vengeance upon their
enemies was more to be desired than any personal blessings, and
reckoning this to be the most glorious of hazards, they joyfully
determined to accept the risk, to make sure of their vengeance, and to
let their wishes wait; and while committing to hope the uncertainty of
final success, in the business before them they thought fit to act
boldly and trust in themselves.  Thus choosing to die resisting, rather
than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonour, but met danger
face to face, and after one brief moment, while at the summit of their
fortune, escaped, not from their fear, but from their glory.

"So died these men as became Athenians.  You, their survivors, must
determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field, though you
may pray that it may have a happier issue.  And not contented with
ideas derived only from words of the advantages which are bound up
with the defence of your country, though these would furnish a
valuable text to a speaker even before an audience so alive to them as
the present, you must yourselves realize the power of Athens, and feed
your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your
hearts; and then, when all her greatness shall break upon you, you
must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling
of honour in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no
personal failure in an enterprise could make them consent to deprive
their country of their valour, but they laid it at her feet as the
most glorious contribution that they could offer.  For this offering of
their lives made in common by them all they each of them
individually received that renown which never grows old, and for a
sepulchre, not so much that in which their bones have been
deposited, but that noblest of shrines wherein their glory is laid
up to be eternally remembered upon every occasion on which deed or
story shall call for its commemoration.  For heroes have the whole
earth for their tomb; and in lands far from their own, where the
column with its epitaph declares it, there is enshrined in every
breast a record unwritten with no tablet to preserve it, except that
of the heart.  These take as your model and, judging happiness to be
the fruit of freedom and freedom of valour, never decline the
dangers of war.  For it is not the miserable that would most justly
be unsparing of their lives; these have nothing to hope for: it is
rather they to whom continued life may bring reverses as yet
unknown, and to whom a fall, if it came, would be most tremendous in
its consequences.  And surely, to a man of spirit, the degradation of
cowardice must be immeasurably more grievous than the unfelt death
which strikes him in the midst of his strength and patriotism!

"Comfort, therefore, not condolence, is what I have to offer to
the parents of the dead who may be here.  Numberless are the chances to
which, as they know, the life of man is subject; but fortunate
indeed are they who draw for their lot a death so glorious as that
which has caused your mourning, and to whom life has been so exactly
measured as to terminate in the happiness in which it has been passed.
Still I know that this is a hard saying, especially when those are
in question of whom you will constantly be reminded by seeing in the
homes of others blessings of which once you also boasted: for grief is
felt not so much for the want of what we have never known, as for
the loss of that to which we have been long accustomed.  Yet you who
are still of an age to beget children must bear up in the hope of
having others in their stead; not only will they help you to forget
those whom you have lost, but will be to the state at once a
reinforcement and a security; for never can a fair or just policy be
expected of the citizen who does not, like his fellows, bring to the
decision the interests and apprehensions of a father.  While those of
you who have passed your prime must congratulate yourselves with the
thought that the best part of your life was fortunate, and that the
brief span that remains will be cheered by the fame of the departed.
For it is only the love of honour that never grows old; and honour
it is, not gain, as some would have it, that rejoices the heart of age
and helplessness.

"Turning to the sons or brothers of the dead, I see an arduous
struggle before you.  When a man is gone, all are wont to praise him,
and should your merit be ever so transcendent, you will still find
it difficult not merely to overtake, but even to approach their
renown.  The living have envy to contend with, while those who are no
longer in our path are honoured with a goodwill into which rivalry
does not enter.  On the other hand, if I must say anything on the
subject of female excellence to those of you who will now be in
widowhood, it will be all comprised in this brief exhortation.  Great
will be your glory in not falling short of your natural character; and
greatest will be hers who is least talked of among the men, whether
for good or for bad.

"My task is now finished.  I have performed it to the best of my
ability, and in word, at least, the requirements of the law are now
satisfied.  If deeds be in question, those who are here interred have
received part of their honours already, and for the rest, their
children will be brought up till manhood at the public expense: the
state thus offers a valuable prize, as the garland of victory in
this race of valour, for the reward both of those who have fallen
and their survivors.  And where the rewards for merit are greatest,
there are found the best citizens.

"And now that you have brought to a close your lamentations for your
relatives, you may depart."


_Second Year of the War - The Plague of Athens - Position and
Policy of Pericles - Fall of Potidaea_

Such was the funeral that took place during this winter, with
which the first year of the war came to an end.  In the first days of
summer the Lacedaemonians and their allies, with two-thirds of their
forces as before, invaded Attica, under the command of Archidamus, son
of Zeuxidamus, King of Lacedaemon, and sat down and laid waste the
country.  Not many days after their arrival in Attica the plague
first began to show itself among the Athenians.  It was said that it
had broken out in many places previously in the neighbourhood of
Lemnos and elsewhere; but a pestilence of such extent and mortality
was nowhere remembered.  Neither were the physicians at first of any
service, ignorant as they were of the proper way to treat it, but they
died themselves the most thickly, as they visited the sick most often;
nor did any human art succeed any better.  Supplications in the
temples, divinations, and so forth were found equally futile, till the
overwhelming nature of the disaster at last put a stop to them

It first began, it is said, in the parts of Ethiopia above Egypt,
and thence descended into Egypt and Libya and into most of the
King's country.  Suddenly falling upon Athens, it first attacked the
population in Piraeus--which was the occasion of their saying that
the Peloponnesians had poisoned the reservoirs, there being as yet
no wells there--and afterwards appeared in the upper city, when the
deaths became much more frequent.  All speculation as to its origin and
its causes, if causes can be found adequate to produce so great a
disturbance, I leave to other writers, whether lay or professional;
for myself, I shall simply set down its nature, and explain the
symptoms by which perhaps it may be recognized by the student, if it
should ever break out again.  This I can the better do, as I had the
disease myself, and watched its operation in the case of others.

That year then is admitted to have been otherwise unprecedentedly
free from sickness; and such few cases as occurred all determined in
this.  As a rule, however, there was no ostensible cause; but people in
good health were all of a sudden attacked by violent heats in the
head, and redness and inflammation in the eyes, the inward parts, such
as the throat or tongue, becoming bloody and emitting an unnatural and
fetid breath.  These symptoms were followed by sneezing and hoarseness,
after which the pain soon reached the chest, and produced a hard
cough.  When it fixed in the stomach, it upset it; and discharges of
bile of every kind named by physicians ensued, accompanied by very
great distress.  In most cases also an ineffectual retching followed,
producing violent spasms, which in some cases ceased soon after, in
others much later.  Externally the body was not very hot to the
touch, nor pale in its appearance, but reddish, livid, and breaking
out into small pustules and ulcers.  But internally it burned so that
the patient could not bear to have on him clothing or linen even of
the very lightest description; or indeed to be otherwise than stark
naked.  What they would have liked best would have been to throw
themselves into cold water; as indeed was done by some of the
neglected sick, who plunged into the rain-tanks in their agonies of
unquenchable thirst; though it made no difference whether they drank
little or much.  Besides this, the miserable feeling of not being
able to rest or sleep never ceased to torment them.  The body meanwhile
did not waste away so long as the distemper was at its height, but
held out to a marvel against its ravages; so that when they succumbed,
as in most cases, on the seventh or eighth day to the internal
inflammation, they had still some strength in them.  But if they passed
this stage, and the disease descended further into the bowels,
inducing a violent ulceration there accompanied by severe diarrhoea,
this brought on a weakness which was generally fatal.  For the disorder
first settled in the head, ran its course from thence through the
whole of the body, and, even where it did not prove mortal, it still
left its mark on the extremities; for it settled in the privy parts,
the fingers and the toes, and many escaped with the loss of these,
some too with that of their eyes.  Others again were seized with an
entire loss of memory on their first recovery, and did not know either
themselves or their friends.

But while the nature of the distemper was such as to baffle all
description, and its attacks almost too grievous for human nature to
endure, it was still in the following circumstance that its difference
from all ordinary disorders was most clearly shown.  All the birds
and beasts that prey upon human bodies, either abstained from touching
them (though there were many lying unburied), or died after tasting
them.  In proof of this, it was noticed that birds of this kind
actually disappeared; they were not about the bodies, or indeed to
be seen at all.  But of course the effects which I have mentioned could
best be studied in a domestic animal like the dog.

Such then, if we pass over the varieties of particular cases which
were many and peculiar, were the general features of the distemper.
Meanwhile the town enjoyed an immunity from all the ordinary
disorders; or if any case occurred, it ended in this.  Some died in
neglect, others in the midst of every attention.  No remedy was found
that could be used as a specific; for what did good in one case, did
harm in another.  Strong and weak constitutions proved equally
incapable of resistance, all alike being swept away, although dieted
with the utmost precaution.  By far the most terrible feature in the
malady was the dejection which ensued when any one felt himself
sickening, for the despair into which they instantly fell took away
their power of resistance, and left them a much easier prey to the
disorder; besides which, there was the awful spectacle of men dying
like sheep, through having caught the infection in nursing each other.
This caused the greatest mortality.  On the one hand, if they were
afraid to visit each other, they perished from neglect; indeed many
houses were emptied of their inmates for want of a nurse: on the
other, if they ventured to do so, death was the consequence.  This
was especially the case with such as made any pretensions to goodness:
honour made them unsparing of themselves in their attendance in
their friends' houses, where even the members of the family were at
last worn out by the moans of the dying, and succumbed to the force of
the disaster.  Yet it was with those who had recovered from the disease
that the sick and the dying found most compassion.  These knew what
it was from experience, and had now no fear for themselves; for the
same man was never attacked twice--never at least fatally.  And such
persons not only received the congratulations of others, but
themselves also, in the elation of the moment, half entertained the
vain hope that they were for the future safe from any disease

An aggravation of the existing calamity was the influx from the
country into the city, and this was especially felt by the new
arrivals.  As there were no houses to receive them, they had to be
lodged at the hot season of the year in stifling cabins, where the
mortality raged without restraint.  The bodies of dying men lay one
upon another, and half-dead creatures reeled about the streets and
gathered round all the fountains in their longing for water.  The
sacred places also in which they had quartered themselves were full of
corpses of persons that had died there, just as they were; for as
the disaster passed all bounds, men, not knowing what was to become of
them, became utterly careless of everything, whether sacred or
profane.  All the burial rites before in use were entirely upset, and
they buried the bodies as best they could.  Many from want of the
proper appliances, through so many of their friends having died
already, had recourse to the most shameless sepultures: sometimes
getting the start of those who had raised a pile, they threw their own
dead body upon the stranger's pyre and ignited it; sometimes they
tossed the corpse which they were carrying on the top of another
that was burning, and so went off.

Nor was this the only form of lawless extravagance which owed its
origin to the plague.  Men now coolly ventured on what they had
formerly done in a corner, and not just as they pleased, seeing the
rapid transitions produced by persons in prosperity suddenly dying and
those who before had nothing succeeding to their property.  So they
resolved to spend quickly and enjoy themselves, regarding their
lives and riches as alike things of a day.  Perseverance in what men
called honour was popular with none, it was so uncertain whether
they would be spared to attain the object; but it was settled that
present enjoyment, and all that contributed to it, was both honourable
and useful.  Fear of gods or law of man there was none to restrain
them.  As for the first, they judged it to be just the same whether
they worshipped them or not, as they saw all alike perishing; and
for the last, no one expected to live to be brought to trial for his
offences, but each felt that a far severer sentence had been already
passed upon them all and hung ever over their heads, and before this
fell it was only reasonable to enjoy life a little.

Such was the nature of the calamity, and heavily did it weigh on the
Athenians; death raging within the city and devastation without.  Among
other things which they remembered in their distress was, very
naturally, the following verse which the old men said had long ago
been uttered:

   A Dorian war shall come and with it death.

So a dispute arose as to whether dearth and not death had not been the
word in the verse; but at the present juncture, it was of course
decided in favour of the latter; for the people made their
recollection fit in with their sufferings.  I fancy, however, that if
another Dorian war should ever afterwards come upon us, and a dearth
should happen to accompany it, the verse will probably be read
accordingly.  The oracle also which had been given to the
Lacedaemonians was now remembered by those who knew of it.  When the
god was asked whether they should go to war, he answered that if
they put their might into it, victory would be theirs, and that he
would himself be with them.  With this oracle events were supposed to
tally.  For the plague broke out as soon as the Peloponnesians
invaded Attica, and never entering Peloponnese (not at least to an
extent worth noticing), committed its worst ravages at Athens, and
next to Athens, at the most populous of the other towns.  Such was
the history of the plague.

After ravaging the plain, the Peloponnesians advanced into the
Paralian region as far as Laurium, where the Athenian silver mines
are, and first laid waste the side looking towards Peloponnese, next
that which faces Euboea and Andros.  But Pericles, who was still
general, held the same opinion as in the former invasion, and would
not let the Athenians march out against them.

However, while they were still in the plain, and had not yet entered
the Paralian land, he had prepared an armament of a hundred ships
for Peloponnese, and when all was ready put out to sea.  On board the
ships he took four thousand Athenian heavy infantry, and three hundred
cavalry in horse transports, and then for the first time made out of
old galleys; fifty Chian and Lesbian vessels also joining in the
expedition.  When this Athenian armament put out to sea, they left
the Peloponnesians in Attica in the Paralian region.  Arriving at
Epidaurus in Peloponnese they ravaged most of the territory, and
even had hopes of taking the town by an assault: in this however
they were not successful.  Putting out from Epidaurus, they laid
waste the territory of Troezen, Halieis, and Hermione, all towns on
the coast of Peloponnese, and thence sailing to Prasiai, a maritime
town in Laconia, ravaged part of its territory, and took and sacked
the place itself; after which they returned home, but found the
Peloponnesians gone and no longer in Attica.

During the whole time that the Peloponnesians were in Attica and the
Athenians on the expedition in their ships, men kept dying of the
plague both in the armament and in Athens.  Indeed it was actually
asserted that the departure of the Peloponnesians was hastened by fear
of the disorder; as they heard from deserters that it was in the city,
and also could see the burials going on.  Yet in this invasion they
remained longer than in any other, and ravaged the whole country,
for they were about forty days in Attica.

The same summer Hagnon, son of Nicias, and Cleopompus, son of
Clinias, the colleagues of Pericles, took the armament of which he had
lately made use, and went off upon an expedition against the
Chalcidians in the direction of Thrace and Potidaea, which was still
under siege.  As soon as they arrived, they brought up their engines
against Potidaea and tried every means of taking it, but did not
succeed either in capturing the city or in doing anything else
worthy of their preparations.  For the plague attacked them here
also, and committed such havoc as to cripple them completely, even the
previously healthy soldiers of the former expedition catching the
infection from Hagnon's troops; while Phormio and the sixteen
hundred men whom he commanded only escaped by being no longer in the
neighbourhood of the Chalcidians.  The end of it was that Hagnon
returned with his ships to Athens, having lost one thousand and
fifty out of four thousand heavy infantry in about forty days;
though the soldiers stationed there before remained in the country and
carried on the siege of Potidaea.

After the second invasion of the Peloponnesians a change came over
the spirit of the Athenians.  Their land had now been twice laid waste;
and war and pestilence at once pressed heavy upon them.  They began
to find fault with Pericles, as the author of the war and the cause of
all their misfortunes, and became eager to come to terms with
Lacedaemon, and actually sent ambassadors thither, who did not however
succeed in their mission.  Their despair was now complete and all
vented itself upon Pericles.  When he saw them exasperated at the
present turn of affairs and acting exactly as he had anticipated, he
called an assembly, being (it must be remembered) still general,
with the double object of restoring confidence and of leading them
from these angry feelings to a calmer and more hopeful state of
mind.  He accordingly came forward and spoke as follows:

"I was not unprepared for the indignation of which I have been the
object, as I know its causes; and I have called an assembly for the
purpose of reminding you upon certain points, and of protesting
against your being unreasonably irritated with me, or cowed by your
sufferings.  I am of opinion that national greatness is more for the
advantage of private citizens, than any individual well-being
coupled with public humiliation.  A man may be personally ever so
well off, and yet if his country be ruined he must be ruined with
it; whereas a flourishing commonwealth always affords chances of
salvation to unfortunate individuals.  Since then a state can support
the misfortunes of private citizens, while they cannot support hers,
it is surely the duty of every one to be forward in her defence, and
not like you to be so confounded with your domestic afflictions as
to give up all thoughts of the common safety, and to blame me for
having counselled war and yourselves for having voted it.  And yet if
you are angry with me, it is with one who, as I believe, is second
to no man either in knowledge of the proper policy, or in the
ability to expound it, and who is moreover not only a patriot but an
honest one.  A man possessing that knowledge without that faculty of
exposition might as well have no idea at all on the matter: if he
had both these gifts, but no love for his country, he would be but a
cold advocate for her interests; while were his patriotism not proof
against bribery, everything would go for a price.  So that if you
thought that I was even moderately distinguished for these qualities
when you took my advice and went to war, there is certainly no
reason now why I should be charged with having done wrong.

"For those of course who have a free choice in the matter and
whose fortunes are not at stake, war is the greatest of follies.  But
if the only choice was between submission with loss of independence,
and danger with the hope of preserving that independence, in such a
case it is he who will not accept the risk that deserves blame, not he
who will.  I am the same man and do not alter, it is you who change,
since in fact you took my advice while unhurt, and waited for
misfortune to repent of it; and the apparent error of my policy lies
in the infirmity of your resolution, since the suffering that it
entails is being felt by every one among you, while its advantage is
still remote and obscure to all, and a great and sudden reverse having
befallen you, your mind is too much depressed to persevere in your
resolves.  For before what is sudden, unexpected, and least within
calculation, the spirit quails; and putting all else aside, the plague
has certainly been an emergency of this kind.  Born, however, as you
are, citizens of a great state, and brought up, as you have been, with
habits equal to your birth, you should be ready to face the greatest
disasters and still to keep unimpaired the lustre of your name.  For
the judgment of mankind is as relentless to the weakness that falls
short of a recognized renown, as it is jealous of the arrogance that
aspires higher than its due.  Cease then to grieve for your private
afflictions, and address yourselves instead to the safety of the

"If you shrink before the exertions which the war makes necessary,
and fear that after all they may not have a happy result, you know the
reasons by which I have often demonstrated to you the groundlessness
of your apprehensions.  If those are not enough, I will now reveal an
advantage arising from the greatness of your dominion, which I think
has never yet suggested itself to you, which I never mentioned in my
previous speeches, and which has so bold a sound that I should
scarce adventure it now, were it not for the unnatural depression
which I see around me.  You perhaps think that your empire extends only
over your allies; I will declare to you the truth.  The visible field
of action has two parts, land and sea.  In the whole of one of these
you are completely supreme, not merely as far as you use it at
present, but also to what further extent you may think fit: in fine,
your naval resources are such that your vessels may go where they
please, without the King or any other nation on earth being able to
stop them.  So that although you may think it a great privation to lose
the use of your land and houses, still you must see that this power is
something widely different; and instead of fretting on their
account, you should really regard them in the light of the gardens and
other accessories that embellish a great fortune, and as, in
comparison, of little moment.  You should know too that liberty
preserved by your efforts will easily recover for us what we have
lost, while, the knee once bowed, even what you have will pass from
you.  Your fathers receiving these possessions not from others, but
from themselves, did not let slip what their labour had acquired,
but delivered them safe to you; and in this respect at least you
must prove yourselves their equals, remembering that to lose what
one has got is more disgraceful than to be balked in getting, and
you must confront your enemies not merely with spirit but with
disdain.  Confidence indeed a blissful ignorance can impart, ay, even
to a coward's breast, but disdain is the privilege of those who,
like us, have been assured by reflection of their superiority to their
adversary.  And where the chances are the same, knowledge fortifies
courage by the contempt which is its consequence, its trust being
placed, not in hope, which is the prop of the desperate, but in a
judgment grounded upon existing resources, whose anticipations are
more to be depended upon.

"Again, your country has a right to your services in sustaining
the glories of her position.  These are a common source of pride to you
all, and you cannot decline the burdens of empire and still expect
to share its honours.  You should remember also that what you are
fighting against is not merely slavery as an exchange for
independence, but also loss of empire and danger from the
animosities incurred in its exercise.  Besides, to recede is no
longer possible, if indeed any of you in the alarm of the moment has
become enamoured of the honesty of such an unambitious part.  For
what you hold is, to speak somewhat plainly, a tyranny; to take it
perhaps was wrong, but to let it go is unsafe.  And men of these
retiring views, making converts of others, would quickly ruin a state;
indeed the result would be the same if they could live independent
by themselves; for the retiring and unambitious are never secure
without vigorous protectors at their side; in fine, such qualities are
useless to an imperial city, though they may help a dependency to an
unmolested servitude.

"But you must not be seduced by citizens like these or angry with
me--who, if I voted for war, only did as you did yourselves--in spite
of the enemy having invaded your country and done what you could be
certain that he would do, if you refused to comply with his demands;
and although besides what we counted for, the plague has come upon
us--the only point indeed at which our calculation has been at fault.
It is this, I know, that has had a large share in making me more
unpopular than I should otherwise have been--quite undeservedly,
unless you are also prepared to give me the credit of any success with
which chance may present you.  Besides, the hand of heaven must be
borne with resignation, that of the enemy with fortitude; this was the
old way at Athens, and do not you prevent it being so still.  Remember,
too, that if your country has the greatest name in all the world, it
is because she never bent before disaster; because she has expended
more life and effort in war than any other city, and has won for
herself a power greater than any hitherto known, the memory of which
will descend to the latest posterity; even if now, in obedience to the
general law of decay, we should ever be forced to yield, still it will
be remembered that we held rule over more Hellenes than any other
Hellenic state, that we sustained the greatest wars against their
united or separate powers, and inhabited a city unrivalled by any
other in resources or magnitude.  These glories may incur the censure
of the slow and unambitious; but in the breast of energy they will
awake emulation, and in those who must remain without them an
envious regret.  Hatred and unpopularity at the moment have fallen to
the lot of all who have aspired to rule others; but where odium must
be incurred, true wisdom incurs it for the highest objects.  Hatred
also is short-lived; but that which makes the splendour of the present
and the glory of the future remains for ever unforgotten.  Make your
decision, therefore, for glory then and honour now, and attain both
objects by instant and zealous effort: do not send heralds to
Lacedaemon, and do not betray any sign of being oppressed by your
present sufferings, since they whose minds are least sensitive to
calamity, and whose hands are most quick to meet it, are the
greatest men and the greatest communities."

Such were the arguments by which Pericles tried to cure the
Athenians of their anger against him and to divert their thoughts from
their immediate afflictions.  As a community he succeeded in convincing
them; they not only gave up all idea of sending to Lacedaemon, but
applied themselves with increased energy to the war; still as
private individuals they could not help smarting under their
sufferings, the common people having been deprived of the little
that they were possessed, while the higher orders had lost fine
properties with costly establishments and buildings in the country,
and, worst of all, had war instead of peace.  In fact, the public
feeling against him did not subside until he had been fined.  Not
long afterwards, however, according to the way of the multitude,
they again elected him general and committed all their affairs to
his hands, having now become less sensitive to their private and
domestic afflictions, and understanding that he was the best man of
all for the public necessities.  For as long as he was at the head of
the state during the peace, he pursued a moderate and conservative
policy; and in his time its greatness was at its height.  When the
war broke out, here also he seems to have rightly gauged the power
of his country.  He outlived its commencement two years and six months,
and the correctness of his previsions respecting it became better
known by his death.  He told them to wait quietly, to pay attention
to their marine, to attempt no new conquests, and to expose the city
to no hazards during the war, and doing this, promised them a
favourable result.  What they did was the very contrary, allowing
private ambitions and private interests, in matters apparently quite
foreign to the war, to lead them into projects unjust both to
themselves and to their allies--projects whose success would only
conduce to the honour and advantage of private persons, and whose
failure entailed certain disaster on the country in the war.  The
causes of this are not far to seek.  Pericles indeed, by his rank,
ability, and known integrity, was enabled to exercise an independent
control over the multitude--in short, to lead them instead of being
led by them; for as he never sought power by improper means, he was
never compelled to flatter them, but, on the contrary, enjoyed so high
an estimation that he could afford to anger them by contradiction.
Whenever he saw them unseasonably and insolently elated, he would with
a word reduce them to alarm; on the other hand, if they fell victims
to a panic, he could at once restore them to confidence.  In short,
what was nominally a democracy became in his hands government by the
first citizen.  With his successors it was different.  More on a level
with one another, and each grasping at supremacy, they ended by
committing even the conduct of state affairs to the whims of the
multitude.  This, as might have been expected in a great and
sovereign state, produced a host of blunders, and amongst them the
Sicilian expedition; though this failed not so much through a
miscalculation of the power of those against whom it was sent, as
through a fault in the senders in not taking the best measures
afterwards to assist those who had gone out, but choosing rather to
occupy themselves with private cabals for the leadership of the
commons, by which they not only paralysed operations in the field, but
also first introduced civil discord at home.  Yet after losing most
of their fleet besides other forces in Sicily, and with faction
already dominant in the city, they could still for three years make
head against their original adversaries, joined not only by the
Sicilians, but also by their own allies nearly all in revolt, and at
last by the King's son, Cyrus, who furnished the funds for the
Peloponnesian navy.  Nor did they finally succumb till they fell the
victims of their own intestine disorders.  So superfluously abundant
were the resources from which the genius of Pericles foresaw an easy
triumph in the war over the unaided forces of the Peloponnesians.

During the same summer the Lacedaemonians and their allies made an
expedition with a hundred ships against Zacynthus, an island lying off
the coast of Elis, peopled by a colony of Achaeans from Peloponnese,
and in alliance with Athens.  There were a thousand Lacedaemonian heavy
infantry on board, and Cnemus, a Spartan, as admiral.  They made a
descent from their ships, and ravaged most of the country; but as
the inhabitants would not submit, they sailed back home.

At the end of the same summer the Corinthian Aristeus, Aneristus,
Nicolaus, and Stratodemus, envoys from Lacedaemon, Timagoras, a
Tegean, and a private individual named Pollis from Argos, on their way
to Asia to persuade the King to supply funds and join in the war, came
to Sitalces, son of Teres in Thrace, with the idea of inducing him, if
possible, to forsake the alliance of Athens and to march on Potidaea
then besieged by an Athenian force, and also of getting conveyed by
his means to their destination across the Hellespont to Pharnabazus,
who was to send them up the country to the King.  But there chanced
to be with Sitalces some Athenian ambassadors--Learchus, son of
Callimachus, and Ameiniades, son of Philemon--who persuaded Sitalces'
son, Sadocus, the new Athenian citizen, to put the men into their
hands and thus prevent their crossing over to the King and doing their
part to injure the country of his choice.  He accordingly had them
seized, as they were travelling through Thrace to the vessel in
which they were to cross the Hellespont, by a party whom he had sent
on with Learchus and Ameiniades, and gave orders for their delivery to
the Athenian ambassadors, by whom they were brought to Athens.  On
their arrival, the Athenians, afraid that Aristeus, who had been
notably the prime mover in the previous affairs of Potidaea and
their Thracian possessions, might live to do them still more
mischief if he escaped, slew them all the same day, without giving
them a trial or hearing the defence which they wished to offer, and
cast their bodies into a pit; thinking themselves justified in using
in retaliation the same mode of warfare which the Lacedaemonians had
begun, when they slew and cast into pits all the Athenian and allied
traders whom they caught on board the merchantmen round Peloponnese.
Indeed, at the outset of the war, the Lacedaemonians butchered as
enemies all whom they took on the sea, whether allies of Athens or

About the same time towards the close of the summer, the Ambraciot
forces, with a number of barbarians that they had raised, marched
against the Amphilochian Argos and the rest of that country.  The
origin of their enmity against the Argives was this.  This Argos and
the rest of Amphilochia were colonized by Amphilochus, son of
Amphiaraus.  Dissatisfied with the state of affairs at home on his
return thither after the Trojan War, he built this city in the
Ambracian Gulf, and named it Argos after his own country.  This was the
largest town in Amphilochia, and its inhabitants the most powerful.
Under the pressure of misfortune many generations afterwards, they
called in the Ambraciots, their neighbours on the Amphilochian border,
to join their colony; and it was by this union with the Ambraciots
that they learnt their present Hellenic speech, the rest of the
Amphilochians being barbarians.  After a time the Ambraciots expelled
the Argives and held the city themselves.  Upon this the
Amphilochians gave themselves over to the Acarnanians; and the two
together called the Athenians, who sent them Phormio as general and
thirty ships; upon whose arrival they took Argos by storm, and made
slaves of the Ambraciots; and the Amphilochians and Acarnanians
inhabited the town in common.  After this began the alliance between
the Athenians and Acarnanians.  The enmity of the Ambraciots against
the Argives thus commenced with the enslavement of their citizens; and
afterwards during the war they collected this armament among
themselves and the Chaonians, and other of the neighbouring
barbarians.  Arrived before Argos, they became masters of the
country; but not being successful in their attacks upon the town,
returned home and dispersed among their different peoples.

Such were the events of the summer.  The ensuing winter the Athenians
sent twenty ships round Peloponnese, under the command of Phormio, who
stationed himself at Naupactus and kept watch against any one
sailing in or out of Corinth and the Crissaean Gulf.  Six others went
to Caria and Lycia under Melesander, to collect tribute in those
parts, and also to prevent the Peloponnesian privateers from taking up
their station in those waters and molesting the passage of the
merchantmen from Phaselis and Phoenicia and the adjoining continent.
However, Melesander, going up the country into Lycia with a force of
Athenians from the ships and the allies, was defeated and killed in
battle, with the loss of a number of his troops.

The same winter the Potidaeans at length found themselves no
longer able to hold out against their besiegers.  The inroads of the
Peloponnesians into Attica had not had the desired effect of making
the Athenians raise the siege.  Provisions there were none left; and so
far had distress for food gone in Potidaea that, besides a number of
other horrors, instances had even occurred of the people having
eaten one another.  In this extremity they at last made proposals for
capitulating to the Athenian generals in command against
them--Xenophon, son of Euripides, Hestiodorus, son of Aristocleides,
and Phanomachus, son of Callimachus.  The generals accepted their
proposals, seeing the sufferings of the army in so exposed a position;
besides which the state had already spent two thousand talents upon
the siege.  The terms of the capitulation were as follows: a free
passage out for themselves, their children, wives and auxiliaries,
with one garment apiece, the women with two, and a fixed sum of
money for their journey.  Under this treaty they went out to Chalcidice
and other places, according as was their power.  The Athenians,
however, blamed the generals for granting terms without instructions
from home, being of opinion that the place would have had to surrender
at discretion.  They afterwards sent settlers of their own to Potidaea,
and colonized it.  Such were the events of the winter, and so ended the
second year of this war of which Thucydides was the historian.


_Third Year of the War - Investment of Plataea - Naval Victories
of Phormio - Thracian Irruption into Macedonia under Sitalces_

The next summer the Peloponnesians and their allies, instead of
invading Attica, marched against Plataea, under the command of
Archidamus, son of Zeuxidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians.  He had
encamped his army and was about to lay waste the country, when the
Plataeans hastened to send envoys to him, and spoke as follows:
"Archidamus and Lacedaemonians, in invading the Plataean territory,
you do what is wrong in itself, and worthy neither of yourselves nor
of the fathers who begot you.  Pausanias, son of Cleombrotus, your
countryman, after freeing Hellas from the Medes with the help of
those Hellenes who were willing to undertake the risk of the battle
fought near our city, offered sacrifice to Zeus the Liberator in the
marketplace of Plataea, and calling all the allies together restored
to the Plataeans their city and territory, and declared it
independent and inviolate against aggression or conquest.  Should any
such be attempted, the allies present were to help according to their
power.  Your fathers rewarded us thus for the courage and patriotism
that we displayed at that perilous epoch; but you do just the
contrary, coming with our bitterest enemies, the Thebans, to enslave
us.  We appeal, therefore, to the gods to whom the oaths were then
made, to the gods of your ancestors, and lastly to those of our
country, and call upon you to refrain from violating our territory
or transgressing the oaths, and to let us live independent, as
Pausanias decreed."

The Plataeans had got thus far when they were cut short by
Archidamus saying: "There is justice, Plataeans, in what you say, if
you act up to your words.  According, to the grant of Pausanias,
continue to be independent yourselves, and join in freeing those of
your fellow countrymen who, after sharing in the perils of that
period, joined in the oaths to you, and are now subject to the
Athenians; for it is to free them and the rest that all this provision
and war has been made.  I could wish that you would share our labours
and abide by the oaths yourselves; if this is impossible, do what we
have already required of you--remain neutral, enjoying your own; join
neither side, but receive both as friends, neither as allies for the
war.  With this we shall be satisfied." Such were the words of
Archidamus.  The Plataeans, after hearing what he had to say, went into
the city and acquainted the people with what had passed, and presently
returned for answer that it was impossible for them to do what he
proposed without consulting the Athenians, with whom their children
and wives now were; besides which they had their fears for the town.
After his departure, what was to prevent the Athenians from coming and
taking it out of their hands, or the Thebans, who would be included in
the oaths, from taking advantage of the proposed neutrality to make
a second attempt to seize the city? Upon these points he tried to
reassure them by saying: "You have only to deliver over the city and
houses to us Lacedaemonians, to point out the boundaries of your land,
the number of your fruit-trees, and whatever else can be numerically
stated, and yourselves to withdraw wherever you like as long as the
war shall last.  When it is over we will restore to you whatever we
received, and in the interim hold it in trust and keep it in
cultivation, paying you a sufficient allowance."

When they had heard what he had to say, they re-entered the city,
and after consulting with the people said that they wished first to
acquaint the Athenians with this proposal, and in the event of their
approving to accede to it; in the meantime they asked him to grant
them a truce and not to lay waste their territory.  He accordingly
granted a truce for the number of days requisite for the journey,
and meanwhile abstained from ravaging their territory.  The Plataean
envoys went to Athens, and consulted with the Athenians, and
returned with the following message to those in the city: "The
Athenians say, Plataeans, that they never hitherto, since we became
their allies, on any occasion abandoned us to an enemy, nor will
they now neglect us, but will help us according to their ability;
and they adjure you by the oaths which your fathers swore, to keep the
alliance unaltered."

On the delivery of this message by the envoys, the Plataeans
resolved not to be unfaithful to the Athenians but to endure, if it
must be, seeing their lands laid waste and any other trials that might
come to them, and not to send out again, but to answer from the wall
that it was impossible for them to do as the Lacedaemonians
proposed.  As soon as he had received this answer, King Archidamus
proceeded first to make a solemn appeal to the gods and heroes of
the country in words following: "Ye gods and heroes of the Plataean
territory, be my witnesses that not as aggressors originally, nor
until these had first departed from the common oath, did we invade
this land, in which our fathers offered you their prayers before
defeating the Medes, and which you made auspicious to the Hellenic
arms; nor shall we be aggressors in the measures to which we may now
resort, since we have made many fair proposals but have not been
successful.  Graciously accord that those who were the first to
offend may be punished for it, and that vengeance may be attained by
those who would righteously inflict it."

After this appeal to the gods Archidamus put his army in motion.
First he enclosed the town with a palisade formed of the fruit-trees
which they cut down, to prevent further egress from Plataea; next they
threw up a mound against the city, hoping that the largeness of the
force employed would ensure the speedy reduction of the place.  They
accordingly cut down timber from Cithaeron, and built it up on
either side, laying it like lattice-work to serve as a wall to keep
the mound from spreading abroad, and carried to it wood and stones and
earth and whatever other material might help to complete it.  They
continued to work at the mound for seventy days and nights without
intermission, being divided into relief parties to allow of some being
employed in carrying while others took sleep and refreshment; the
Lacedaemonian officer attached to each contingent keeping the men to
the work.  But the Plataeans, observing the progress of the mound,
constructed a wall of wood and fixed it upon that part of the city
wall against which the mound was being erected, and built up bricks
inside it which they took from the neighbouring houses.  The timbers
served to bind the building together, and to prevent its becoming weak
as it advanced in height; it had also a covering of skins and hides,
which protected the woodwork against the attacks of burning missiles
and allowed the men to work in safety.  Thus the wall was raised to a
great height, and the mound opposite made no less rapid progress.
The Plataeans also thought of another expedient; they pulled out
part of the wall upon which the mound abutted, and carried the earth
into the city.

Discovering this the Peloponnesians twisted up clay in wattles of
reed and threw it into the breach formed in the mound, in order to
give it consistency and prevent its being carried away like the
soil.  Stopped in this way the Plataeans changed their mode of
operation, and digging a mine from the town calculated their way under
the mound, and began to carry off its material as before.  This went on
for a long while without the enemy outside finding it out, so that for
all they threw on the top their mound made no progress in
proportion, being carried away from beneath and constantly settling
down in the vacuum.  But the Plataeans, fearing that even thus they
might not be able to hold out against the superior numbers of the
enemy, had yet another invention.  They stopped working at the large
building in front of the mound, and starting at either end of it
inside from the old low wall, built a new one in the form of a
crescent running in towards the town; in order that in the event of
the great wall being taken this might remain, and the enemy have to
throw up a fresh mound against it, and as they advanced within might
not only have their trouble over again, but also be exposed to
missiles on their flanks.  While raising the mound the Peloponnesians
also brought up engines against the city, one of which was brought
up upon the mound against the great building and shook down a good
piece of it, to the no small alarm of the Plataeans.  Others were
advanced against different parts of the wall but were lassoed and
broken by the Plataeans; who also hung up great beams by long iron
chains from either extremity of two poles laid on the wall and
projecting over it, and drew them up at an angle whenever any point
was threatened by the engine, and loosing their hold let the beam go
with its chains slack, so that it fell with a run and snapped off
the nose of the battering ram.

After this the Peloponnesians, finding that their engines effected
nothing, and that their mound was met by the counterwork, concluded
that their present means of offence were unequal to the taking of
the city, and prepared for its circumvallation.  First, however, they
determined to try the effects of fire and see whether they could
not, with the help of a wind, burn the town, as it was not a large
one; indeed they thought of every possible expedient by which the
place might be reduced without the expense of a blockade.  They
accordingly brought faggots of brushwood and threw them from the
mound, first into the space between it and the wall; and this soon
becoming full from the number of hands at work, they next heaped the
faggots up as far into the town as they could reach from the top,
and then lighted the wood by setting fire to it with sulphur and
pitch.  The consequence was a fire greater than any one had ever yet
seen produced by human agency, though it could not of course be
compared to the spontaneous conflagrations sometimes known to occur
through the wind rubbing the branches of a mountain forest together.
And this fire was not only remarkable for its magnitude, but was also,
at the end of so many perils, within an ace of proving fatal to the
Plataeans; a great part of the town became entirely inaccessible,
and had a wind blown upon it, in accordance with the hopes of the
enemy, nothing could have saved them.  As it was, there is also a story
of heavy rain and thunder having come on by which the fire was put out
and the danger averted.

Failing in this last attempt the Peloponnesians left a portion of
their forces on the spot, dismissing the rest, and built a wall of
circumvallation round the town, dividing the ground among the
various cities present; a ditch being made within and without the
lines, from which they got their bricks.  All being finished by about
the rising of Arcturus, they left men enough to man half the wall, the
rest being manned by the Boeotians, and drawing off their army
dispersed to their several cities.  The Plataeans had before sent off
their wives and children and oldest men and the mass of the
non-combatants to Athens; so that the number of the besieged left in
the place comprised four hundred of their own citizens, eighty
Athenians, and a hundred and ten women to bake their bread.  This was
the sum total at the commencement of the siege, and there was no one
else within the walls, bond or free.  Such were the arrangements made
for the blockade of Plataea.

The same summer and simultaneously with the expedition against
Plataea, the Athenians marched with two thousand heavy infantry and
two hundred horse against the Chalcidians in the direction of Thrace
and the Bottiaeans, just as the corn was getting ripe, under the
command of Xenophon, son of Euripides, with two colleagues.  Arriving
before Spartolus in Bottiaea, they destroyed the corn and had some
hopes of the city coming over through the intrigues of a faction
within.  But those of a different way of thinking had sent to Olynthus;
and a garrison of heavy infantry and other troops arrived accordingly.
These issuing from Spartolus were engaged by the Athenians in front of
the town: the Chalcidian heavy infantry, and some auxiliaries with
them, were beaten and retreated into Spartolus; but the Chalcidian
horse and light troops defeated the horse and light troops of the
Athenians.  The Chalcidians had already a few targeteers from Crusis,
and presently after the battle were joined by some others from
Olynthus; upon seeing whom the light troops from Spartolus, emboldened
by this accession and by their previous success, with the help of
the Chalcidian horse and the reinforcement just arrived again attacked
the Athenians, who retired upon the two divisions which they had
left with their baggage.  Whenever the Athenians advanced, their
adversary gave way, pressing them with missiles the instant they began
to retire.  The Chalcidian horse also, riding up and charging them just
as they pleased, at last caused a panic amongst them and routed and
pursued them to a great distance.  The Athenians took refuge in
Potidaea, and afterwards recovered their dead under truce, and
returned to Athens with the remnant of their army; four hundred and
thirty men and all the generals having fallen.  The Chalcidians and
Bottiaeans set up a trophy, took up their dead, and dispersed to their
several cities.

The same summer, not long after this, the Ambraciots and
Chaonians, being desirous of reducing the whole of Acarnania and
detaching it from Athens, persuaded the Lacedaemonians to equip a
fleet from their confederacy and send a thousand heavy infantry to
Acarnania, representing that, if a combined movement were made by land
and sea, the coast Acarnanians would be unable to march, and the
conquest of Zacynthus and Cephallenia easily following on the
possession of Acarnania, the cruise round Peloponnese would be no
longer so convenient for the Athenians.  Besides which there was a hope
of taking Naupactus.  The Lacedaemonians accordingly at once sent off a
few vessels with Cnemus, who was still high admiral, and the heavy
infantry on board; and sent round orders for the fleet to equip as
quickly as possible and sail to Leucas.  The Corinthians were the
most forward in the business; the Ambraciots being a colony of theirs.
While the ships from Corinth, Sicyon, and the neighbourhood were
getting ready, and those from Leucas, Anactorium, and Ambracia,
which had arrived before, were waiting for them at Leucas, Cnemus
and his thousand heavy infantry had run into the gulf, giving the slip
to Phormio, the commander of the Athenian squadron stationed off
Naupactus, and began at once to prepare for the land expedition.  The
Hellenic troops with him consisted of the Ambraciots, Leucadians,
and Anactorians, and the thousand Peloponnesians with whom he came;
the barbarian of a thousand Chaonians, who, belonging to a nation that
has no king, were led by Photys and Nicanor, the two members of the
royal family to whom the chieftainship for that year had been
confided.  With the Chaonians came also some Thesprotians, like them
without a king, some Molossians and Atintanians led by Sabylinthus,
the guardian of King Tharyps who was still a minor, and some
Paravaeans, under their king Oroedus, accompanied by a thousand
Orestians, subjects of King Antichus and placed by him under the
command of Oroedus.  There were also a thousand Macedonians sent by
Perdiccas without the knowledge of the Athenians, but they arrived too
late.  With this force Cnemus set out, without waiting for the fleet
from Corinth.  Passing through the territory of Amphilochian Argos, and
sacking the open village of Limnaea, they advanced to Stratus the
Acarnanian capital; this once taken, the rest of the country, they
felt convinced, would speedily follow.

The Acarnanians, finding themselves invaded by a large army by land,
and from the sea threatened by a hostile fleet, made no combined
attempt at resistance, but remained to defend their homes, and sent
for help to Phormio, who replied that, when a fleet was on the point
of sailing from Corinth, it was impossible for him to leave
Naupactus unprotected.  The Peloponnesians meanwhile and their allies
advanced upon Stratus in three divisions, with the intention of
encamping near it and attempting the wall by force if they failed to
succeed by negotiation.  The order of march was as follows: the
centre was occupied by the Chaonians and the rest of the barbarians,
with the Leucadians and Anactorians and their followers on the
right, and Cnemus with the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots on the
left; each division being a long way off from, and sometimes even
out of sight of, the others.  The Hellenes advanced in good order,
keeping a look-out till they encamped in a good position; but the
Chaonians, filled with self-confidence, and having the highest
character for courage among the tribes of that part of the
continent, without waiting to occupy their camp, rushed on with the
rest of the barbarians, in the idea that they should take the town
by assault and obtain the sole glory of the enterprise.  While they
were coming on, the Stratians, becoming aware how things stood, and
thinking that the defeat of this division would considerably
dishearten the Hellenes behind it, occupied the environs of the town
with ambuscades, and as soon as they approached engaged them at
close quarters from the city and the ambuscades.  A panic seizing the
Chaonians, great numbers of them were slain; and as soon as they
were seen to give way the rest of the barbarians turned and fled.
Owing to the distance by which their allies had preceded them, neither
of the Hellenic divisions knew anything of the battle, but fancied
they were hastening on to encamp.  However, when the flying
barbarians broke in upon them, they opened their ranks to receive
them, brought their divisions together, and stopped quiet where they
were for the day; the Stratians not offering to engage them, as the
rest of the Acarnanians had not yet arrived, but contenting themselves
with slinging at them from a distance, which distressed them
greatly, as there was no stirring without their armour.  The
Acarnanians would seem to excel in this mode of warfare.

As soon as night fell, Cnemus hastily drew off his army to the river
Anapus, about nine miles from Stratus, recovering his dead next day
under truce, and being there joined by the friendly Oeniadae, fell
back upon their city before the enemy's reinforcements came up.  From
hence each returned home; and the Stratians set up a trophy for the
battle with the barbarians.

Meanwhile the fleet from Corinth and the rest of the confederates in
the Crissaean Gulf, which was to have co-operated with Cnemus and
prevented the coast Acarnanians from joining their countrymen in the
interior, was disabled from doing so by being compelled about the same
time as the battle at Stratus to fight with Phormio and the twenty
Athenian vessels stationed at Naupactus.  For they were watched, as
they coasted along out of the gulf, by Phormio, who wished to attack
in the open sea.  But the Corinthians and allies had started for
Acarnania without any idea of fighting at sea, and with vessels more
like transports for carrying soldiers; besides which, they never
dreamed of the twenty Athenian ships venturing to engage their
forty-seven.  However, while they were coasting along their own
shore, there were the Athenians sailing along in line with them; and
when they tried to cross over from Patrae in Achaea to the mainland on
the other side, on their way to Acarnania, they saw them again
coming out from Chalcis and the river Evenus to meet them.  They
slipped from their moorings in the night, but were observed, and
were at length compelled to fight in mid passage.  Each state that
contributed to the armament had its own general; the Corinthian
commanders were Machaon, Isocrates, and Agatharchidas.  The
Peloponnesians ranged their vessels in as large a circle as possible
without leaving an opening, with the prows outside and the sterns
in; and placed within all the small craft in company, and their five
best sailers to issue out at a moment's notice and strengthen any
point threatened by the enemy.

The Athenians, formed in line, sailed round and round them, and
forced them to contract their circle, by continually brushing past and
making as though they would attack at once, having been previously
cautioned by Phormio not to do so till he gave the signal.  His hope
was that the Peloponnesians would not retain their order like a
force on shore, but that the ships would fall foul of one another
and the small craft cause confusion; and if the wind should blow
from the gulf (in expectation of which he kept sailing round them, and
which usually rose towards morning), they would not, he felt sure,
remain steady an instant.  He also thought that it rested with him to
attack when he pleased, as his ships were better sailers, and that
an attack timed by the coming of the wind would tell best.  When the
wind came down, the enemy's ships were now in a narrow space, and what
with the wind and the small craft dashing against them, at once fell
into confusion: ship fell foul of ship, while the crews were pushing
them off with poles, and by their shouting, swearing, and struggling
with one another, made captains' orders and boatswains' cries alike
inaudible, and through being unable for want of practice to clear
their oars in the rough water, prevented the vessels from obeying
their helmsmen properly.  At this moment Phormio gave the signal, and
the Athenians attacked.  Sinking first one of the admirals, they then
disabled all they came across, so that no one thought of resistance
for the confusion, but fled for Patrae and Dyme in Achaea.  The
Athenians gave chase and captured twelve ships, and taking most of the
men out of them sailed to Molycrium, and after setting up a trophy
on the promontory of Rhium and dedicating a ship to Poseidon, returned
to Naupactus.  As for the Peloponnesians, they at once sailed with
their remaining ships along the coast from Dyme and Patrae to Cyllene,
the Eleian arsenal; where Cnemus, and the ships from Leucas that
were to have joined them, also arrived after the battle at Stratus.

The Lacedaemonians now sent to the fleet to Cnemus three
commissioners--Timocrates, Bradidas, and Lycophron--with orders to
prepare to engage again with better fortune, and not to be driven from
the sea by a few vessels; for they could not at all account for
their discomfiture, the less so as it was their first attempt at
sea; and they fancied that it was not that their marine was so
inferior, but that there had been misconduct somewhere, not
considering the long experience of the Athenians as compared with
the little practice which they had had themselves.  The commissioners
were accordingly sent in anger.  As soon as they arrived they set to
work with Cnemus to order ships from the different states, and to
put those which they already had in fighting order.  Meanwhile
Phormio sent word to Athens of their preparations and his own victory,
and desired as many ships as possible to be speedily sent to him, as
he stood in daily expectation of a battle.  Twenty were accordingly
sent, but instructions were given to their commander to go first to
Crete.  For Nicias, a Cretan of Gortys, who was proxenus of the
Athenians, had persuaded them to sail against Cydonia, promising to
procure the reduction of that hostile town; his real wish being to
oblige the Polichnitans, neighbours of the Cydonians.  He accordingly
went with the ships to Crete, and, accompanied by the Polichnitans,
laid waste the lands of the Cydonians; and, what with adverse winds
and stress of weather wasted no little time there.

While the Athenians were thus detained in Crete, the
Peloponnesians in Cyllene got ready for battle, and coasted along to
Panormus in Achaea, where their land army had come to support them.
Phormio also coasted along to Molycrian Rhium, and anchored outside it
with twenty ships, the same as he had fought with before.  This Rhium
was friendly to the Athenians.  The other, in Peloponnese, lies
opposite to it; the sea between them is about three-quarters of a mile
broad, and forms the mouth of the Crissaean gulf.  At this, the Achaean
Rhium, not far off Panormus, where their army lay, the
Peloponnesians now cast anchor with seventy-seven ships, when they saw
the Athenians do so.  For six or seven days they remained opposite each
other, practising and preparing for the battle; the one resolved not
to sail out of the Rhia into the open sea, for fear of the disaster
which had already happened to them, the other not to sail into the
straits, thinking it advantageous to the enemy, to fight in the
narrows.  At last Cnemus and Brasidas and the rest of the Peloponnesian
commanders, being desirous of bringing on a battle as soon as
possible, before reinforcements should arrive from Athens, and
noticing that the men were most of them cowed by the previous defeat
and out of heart for the business, first called them together and
encouraged them as follows:

"Peloponnesians, the late engagement, which may have made some of
you afraid of the one now in prospect, really gives no just ground for
apprehension.  Preparation for it, as you know, there was little
enough; and the object of our voyage was not so much to fight at sea
as an expedition by land.  Besides this, the chances of war were
largely against us; and perhaps also inexperience had something to
do with our failure in our first naval action.  It was not,
therefore, cowardice that produced our defeat, nor ought the
determination which force has not quelled, but which still has a
word to say with its adversary, to lose its edge from the result of an
accident; but admitting the possibility of a chance miscarriage, we
should know that brave hearts must be always brave, and while they
remain so can never put forward inexperience as an excuse for
misconduct.  Nor are you so behind the enemy in experience as you are
ahead of him in courage; and although the science of your opponents
would, if valour accompanied it, have also the presence of mind to
carry out at in emergency the lesson it has learnt, yet a faint
heart will make all art powerless in the face of danger.  For fear
takes away presence of mind, and without valour art is useless.
Against their superior experience set your superior daring, and
against the fear induced by defeat the fact of your having been then
unprepared; remember, too, that you have always the advantage of
superior numbers, and of engaging off your own coast, supported by
your heavy infantry; and as a rule, numbers and equipment give
victory.  At no point, therefore, is defeat likely; and as for our
previous mistakes, the very fact of their occurrence will teach us
better for the future.  Steersmen and sailors may, therefore,
confidently attend to their several duties, none quitting the
station assigned to them: as for ourselves, we promise to prepare
for the engagement at least as well as your previous commanders, and
to give no excuse for any one misconducting himself.  Should any insist
on doing so, he shall meet with the punishment he deserves, while
the brave shall be honoured with the appropriate rewards of valour."

The Peloponnesian commanders encouraged their men after this
fashion.  Phormio, meanwhile, being himself not without fears for the
courage of his men, and noticing that they were forming in groups
among themselves and were alarmed at the odds against them, desired to
call them together and give them confidence and counsel in the present
emergency.  He had before continually told them, and had accustomed
their minds to the idea, that there was no numerical superiority
that they could not face; and the men themselves had long been
persuaded that Athenians need never retire before any quantity of
Peloponnesian vessels.  At the moment, however, he saw that they were
dispirited by the sight before them, and wishing to refresh their
confidence, called them together and spoke as follows:

"I see, my men, that you are frightened by the number of the
enemy, and I have accordingly called you together, not liking you to
be afraid of what is not really terrible.  In the first place, the
Peloponnesians, already defeated, and not even themselves thinking
that they are a match for us, have not ventured to meet us on equal
terms, but have equipped this multitude of ships against us.  Next,
as to that upon which they most rely, the courage which they suppose
constitutional to them, their confidence here only arises from the
success which their experience in land service usually gives them, and
which they fancy will do the same for them at sea.  But this
advantage will in all justice belong to us on this element, if to them
on that; as they are not superior to us in courage, but we are each of
us more confident, according to our experience in our particular
department.  Besides, as the Lacedaemonians use their supremacy over
their allies to promote their own glory, they are most of them being
brought into danger against their will, or they would never, after
such a decided defeat, have ventured upon a fresh engagement.  You need
not, therefore, be afraid of their dash.  You, on the contrary, inspire
a much greater and better founded alarm, both because of your late
victory and also of their belief that we should not face them unless
about to do something worthy of a success so signal.  An adversary
numerically superior, like the one before us, comes into action
trusting more to strength than to resolution; while he who voluntarily
confronts tremendous odds must have very great internal resources to
draw upon.  For these reasons the Peloponnesians fear our irrational
audacity more than they would ever have done a more commensurate
preparation.  Besides, many armaments have before now succumbed to an
inferior through want of skill or sometimes of courage; neither of
which defects certainly are ours.  As to the battle, it shall not be,
if I can help it, in the strait, nor will I sail in there at all;
seeing that in a contest between a number of clumsily managed
vessels and a small, fast, well-handled squadron, want of sea room
is an undoubted disadvantage.  One cannot run down an enemy properly
without having a sight of him a good way off, nor can one retire at
need when pressed; one can neither break the line nor return upon
his rear, the proper tactics for a fast sailer; but the naval action
necessarily becomes a land one, in which numbers must decide the
matter.  For all this I will provide as far as can be.  Do you stay at
your posts by your ships, and be sharp at catching the word of
command, the more so as we are observing one another from so short a
distance; and in action think order and silence
all-important--qualities useful in war generally, and in naval
engagements in particular; and behave before the enemy in a manner
worthy of your past exploits.  The issues you will fight for are
great--to destroy the naval hopes of the Peloponnesians or to bring
nearer to the Athenians their fears for the sea.  And I may once more
remind you that you have defeated most of them already; and beaten men
do not face a danger twice with the same determination."

Such was the exhortation of Phormio.  The Peloponnesians finding that
the Athenians did not sail into the gulf and the narrows, in order
to lead them in whether they wished it or not, put out at dawn, and
forming four abreast, sailed inside the gulf in the direction of their
own country, the right wing leading as they had lain at anchor.  In
this wing were placed twenty of their best sailers; so that in the
event of Phormio thinking that their object was Naupactus, and
coasting along thither to save the place, the Athenians might not be
able to escape their onset by getting outside their wing, but might be
cut off by the vessels in question.  As they expected, Phormio, in
alarm for the place at that moment emptied of its garrison, as soon as
he saw them put out, reluctantly and hurriedly embarked and sailed
along shore; the Messenian land forces moving along also to support
him.  The Peloponnesians seeing him coasting along with his ships in
single file, and by this inside the gulf and close inshore as they
so much wished, at one signal tacked suddenly and bore down in line at
their best speed on the Athenians, hoping to cut off the whole
squadron.  The eleven leading vessels, however, escaped the
Peloponnesian wing and its sudden movement, and reached the more
open water; but the rest were overtaken as they tried to run
through, driven ashore and disabled; such of the crews being slain
as had not swum out of them.  Some of the ships the Peloponnesians
lashed to their own, and towed off empty; one they took with the men
in it; others were just being towed off, when they were saved by the
Messenians dashing into the sea with their armour and fighting from
the decks that they had boarded.

Thus far victory was with the Peloponnesians, and the Athenian fleet
destroyed; the twenty ships in the right wing being meanwhile in chase
of the eleven Athenian vessels that had escaped their sudden
movement and reached the more open water.  These, with the exception of
one ship, all outsailed them and got safe into Naupactus, and
forming close inshore opposite the temple of Apollo, with their
prows facing the enemy, prepared to defend themselves in case the
Peloponnesians should sail inshore against them.  After a while the
Peloponnesians came up, chanting the paean for their victory as they
sailed on; the single Athenian ship remaining being chased by a
Leucadian far ahead of the rest.  But there happened to be a
merchantman lying at anchor in the roadstead, which the Athenian
ship found time to sail round, and struck the Leucadian in chase
amidships and sank her.  An exploit so sudden and unexpected produced a
panic among the Peloponnesians; and having fallen out of order in
the excitement of victory, some of them dropped their oars and stopped
their way in order to let the main body come up--an unsafe thing to
do considering how near they were to the enemy's prows; while others
ran aground in the shallows, in their ignorance of the localities.

Elated at this incident, the Athenians at one word gave a cheer, and
dashed at the enemy, who, embarrassed by his mistakes and the disorder
in which he found himself, only stood for an instant, and then fled
for Panormus, whence he had put out.  The Athenians following on his
heels took the six vessels nearest them, and recovered those of
their own which had been disabled close inshore and taken in tow at
the beginning of the action; they killed some of the crews and took
some prisoners.  On board the Leucadian which went down off the
merchantman, was the Lacedaemonian Timocrates, who killed himself when
the ship was sunk, and was cast up in the harbour of Naupactus.  The
Athenians on their return set up a trophy on the spot from which
they had put out and turned the day, and picking up the wrecks and
dead that were on their shore, gave back to the enemy their dead under
truce.  The Peloponnesians also set up a trophy as victors for the
defeat inflicted upon the ships they had disabled in shore, and
dedicated the vessel which they had taken at Achaean Rhium, side by
side with the trophy.  After this, apprehensive of the reinforcement
expected from Athens, all except the Leucadians sailed into the
Crissaean Gulf for Corinth.  Not long after their retreat, the twenty
Athenian ships, which were to have joined Phormio before the battle,
arrived at Naupactus.

Thus the summer ended.  Winter was now at hand; but dispersing the
fleet, which had retired to Corinth and the Crissaean Gulf, Cnemus,
Brasidas, and the other Peloponnesian captains allowed themselves to
be persuaded by the Megarians to make an attempt upon Piraeus, the
port of Athens, which from her decided superiority at sea had been
naturally left unguarded and open.  Their plan was as follows: The
men were each to take their oar, cushion, and rowlock thong, and,
going overland from Corinth to the sea on the Athenian side, to get to
Megara as quickly as they could, and launching forty vessels, which
happened to be in the docks at Nisaea, to sail at once to Piraeus.
There was no fleet on the look-out in the harbour, and no one had
the least idea of the enemy attempting a surprise; while an open
attack would, it was thought, never be deliberately ventured on, or,
if in contemplation, would be speedily known at Athens.  Their plan
formed, the next step was to put it in execution.  Arriving by night
and launching the vessels from Nisaea, they sailed, not to Piraeus
as they had originally intended, being afraid of the risk, besides
which there was some talk of a wind having stopped them, but to the
point of Salamis that looks towards Megara; where there was a fort and
a squadron of three ships to prevent anything sailing in or out of
Megara.  This fort they assaulted, and towed off the galleys empty, and
surprising the inhabitants began to lay waste the rest of the island.

Meanwhile fire signals were raised to alarm Athens, and a panic
ensued there as serious as any that occurred during the war.  The
idea in the city was that the enemy had already sailed into Piraeus:
in Piraeus it was thought that they had taken Salamis and might at any
moment arrive in the port; as indeed might easily have been done if
their hearts had been a little firmer: certainly no wind would have
prevented them.  As soon as day broke, the Athenians assembled in
full force, launched their ships, and embarking in haste and uproar
went with the fleet to Salamis, while their soldiery mounted guard
in Piraeus.  The Peloponnesians, on becoming aware of the coming
relief, after they had overrun most of Salamis, hastily sailed off
with their plunder and captives and the three ships from Fort
Budorum to Nisaea; the state of their ships also causing them some
anxiety, as it was a long while since they had been launched, and they
were not water-tight.  Arrived at Megara, they returned back on foot to
Corinth.  The Athenians finding them no longer at Salamis, sailed
back themselves; and after this made arrangements for guarding Piraeus
more diligently in future, by closing the harbours, and by other
suitable precautions.

About the same time, at the beginning of this winter, Sitalces,
son of Teres, the Odrysian king of Thrace, made an expedition
against Perdiccas, son of Alexander, king of Macedonia, and the
Chalcidians in the neighbourhood of Thrace; his object being to
enforce one promise and fulfil another.  On the one hand Perdiccas
had made him a promise, when hard pressed at the commencement of the
war, upon condition that Sitalces should reconcile the Athenians to
him and not attempt to restore his brother and enemy, the pretender
Philip, but had not offered to fulfil his engagement; on the other he,
Sitalces, on entering into alliance with the Athenians, had agreed
to put an end to the Chalcidian war in Thrace.  These were the two
objects of his invasion.  With him he brought Amyntas, the son of
Philip, whom he destined for the throne of Macedonia, and some
Athenian envoys then at his court on this business, and Hagnon as
general; for the Athenians were to join him against the Chalcidians
with a fleet and as many soldiers as they could get together.

Beginning with the Odrysians, he first called out the Thracian
tribes subject to him between Mounts Haemus and Rhodope and the Euxine
and Hellespont; next the Getae beyond Haemus, and the other hordes
settled south of the Danube in the neighbourhood of the Euxine, who,
like the Getae, border on the Scythians and are armed in the same
manner, being all mounted archers.  Besides these he summoned many of
the hill Thracian independent swordsmen, called Dii and mostly
inhabiting Mount Rhodope, some of whom came as mercenaries, others
as volunteers; also the Agrianes and Laeaeans, and the rest of the
Paeonian tribes in his empire, at the confines of which these lay,
extending up to the Laeaean Paeonians and the river Strymon, which
flows from Mount Scombrus through the country of the Agrianes and
Laeaeans; there the empire of Sitalces ends and the territory of the
independent Paeonians begins.  Bordering on the Triballi, also
independent, were the Treres and Tilataeans, who dwell to the north of
Mount Scombrus and extend towards the setting sun as far as the
river Oskius.  This river rises in the same mountains as the Nestus and
Hebrus, a wild and extensive range connected with Rhodope.

The empire of the Odrysians extended along the seaboard from
Abdera to the mouth of the Danube in the Euxine.  The navigation of
this coast by the shortest route takes a merchantman four days and
four nights with a wind astern the whole way: by land an active man,
travelling by the shortest road, can get from Abdera to the Danube
in eleven days.  Such was the length of its coast line.  Inland from
Byzantium to the Laeaeans and the Strymon, the farthest limit of its
extension into the interior, it is a journey of thirteen days for an
active man.  The tribute from all the barbarian districts and the
Hellenic cities, taking what they brought in under Seuthes, the
successor of Sitalces, who raised it to its greatest height,
amounted to about four hundred talents in gold and silver.  There
were also presents in gold and silver to a no less amount, besides
stuff, plain and embroidered, and other articles, made not only for
the king, but also for the Odrysian lords and nobles.  For there was
here established a custom opposite to that prevailing in the Persian
kingdom, namely, of taking rather than giving; more disgrace being
attached to not giving when asked than to asking and being refused;
and although this prevailed elsewhere in Thrace, it was practised most
extensively among the powerful Odrysians, it being impossible to get
anything done without a present.  It was thus a very powerful
kingdom; in revenue and general prosperity surpassing all in Europe
between the Ionian Gulf and the Euxine, and in numbers and military
resources coming decidedly next to the Scythians, with whom indeed
no people in Europe can bear comparison, there not being even in
Asia any nation singly a match for them if unanimous, though of course
they are not on a level with other races in general intelligence and
the arts of civilized life.

It was the master of this empire that now prepared to take the
field.  When everything was ready, he set out on his march for
Macedonia, first through his own dominions, next over the desolate
range of Cercine that divides the Sintians and Paeonians, crossing
by a road which he had made by felling the timber on a former campaign
against the latter people.  Passing over these mountains, with the
Paeonians on his right and the Sintians and Maedians on the left, he
finally arrived at Doberus, in Paeonia, losing none of his army on the
march, except perhaps by sickness, but receiving some augmentations,
many of the independent Thracians volunteering to join him in the hope
of plunder; so that the whole is said to have formed a grand total
of a hundred and fifty thousand.  Most of this was infantry, though
there was about a third cavalry, furnished principally by the
Odrysians themselves and next to them by the Getae.  The most warlike
of the infantry were the independent swordsmen who came down from
Rhodope; the rest of the mixed multitude that followed him being
chiefly formidable by their numbers.

Assembling in Doberus, they prepared for descending from the heights
upon Lower Macedonia, where the dominions of Perdiccas lay; for the
Lyncestae, Elimiots, and other tribes more inland, though
Macedonians by blood, and allies and dependants of their kindred,
still have their own separate governments.  The country on the sea
coast, now called Macedonia, was first acquired by Alexander, the
father of Perdiccas, and his ancestors, originally Temenids from
Argos.  This was effected by the expulsion from Pieria of the Pierians,
who afterwards inhabited Phagres and other places under Mount
Pangaeus, beyond the Strymon (indeed the country between Pangaeus
and the sea is still called the Pierian Gulf); of the Bottiaeans, at
present neighbours of the Chalcidians, from Bottia, and by the
acquisition in Paeonia of a narrow strip along the river Axius
extending to Pella and the sea; the district of Mygdonia, between
the Axius and the Strymon, being also added by the expulsion of the
Edonians.  From Eordia also were driven the Eordians, most of whom
perished, though a few of them still live round Physca, and the
Almopians from Almopia.  These Macedonians also conquered places
belonging to the other tribes, which are still theirs--Anthemus,
Crestonia, Bisaltia, and much of Macedonia proper.  The whole is now
called Macedonia, and at the time of the invasion of Sitalces,
Perdiccas, Alexander's son, was the reigning king.

These Macedonians, unable to take the field against so numerous an
invader, shut themselves up in such strong places and fortresses as
the country possessed.  Of these there was no great number, most of
those now found in the country having been erected subsequently by
Archelaus, the son of Perdiccas, on his accession, who also cut
straight roads, and otherwise put the kingdom on a better footing as
regards horses, heavy infantry, and other war material than had been
done by all the eight kings that preceded him.  Advancing from Doberus,
the Thracian host first invaded what had been once Philip's
government, and took Idomene by assault, Gortynia, Atalanta, and
some other places by negotiation, these last coming over for love of
Philip's son, Amyntas, then with Sitalces.  Laying siege to Europus,
and failing to take it, he next advanced into the rest of Macedonia to
the left of Pella and Cyrrhus, not proceeding beyond this into
Bottiaea and Pieria, but staying to lay waste Mygdonia, Crestonia, and

The Macedonians never even thought of meeting him with infantry; but
the Thracian host was, as opportunity offered, attacked by handfuls of
their horse, which had been reinforced from their allies in the
interior.  Armed with cuirasses, and excellent horsemen, wherever these
charged they overthrew all before them, but ran considerable risk in
entangling themselves in the masses of the enemy, and so finally
desisted from these efforts, deciding that they were not strong enough
to venture against numbers so superior.

Meanwhile Sitalces opened negotiations with Perdiccas on the objects
of his expedition; and finding that the Athenians, not believing
that he would come, did not appear with their fleet, though they
sent presents and envoys, dispatched a large part of his army
against the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, and shutting them up inside
their walls laid waste their country.  While he remained in these
parts, the people farther south, such as the Thessalians, Magnetes,
and the other tribes subject to the Thessalians, and the Hellenes as
far as Thermopylae, all feared that the army might advance against
them, and prepared accordingly.  These fears were shared by the
Thracians beyond the Strymon to the north, who inhabited the plains,
such as the Panaeans, the Odomanti, the Droi, and the Dersaeans, all
of whom are independent.  It was even matter of conversation among
the Hellenes who were enemies of Athens whether he might not be
invited by his ally to advance also against them.  Meanwhile he held
Chalcidice and Bottice and Macedonia, and was ravaging them all; but
finding that he was not succeeding in any of the objects of his
invasion, and that his army was without provisions and was suffering
from the severity of the season, he listened to the advice of Seuthes,
son of Spardacus, his nephew and highest officer, and decided to
retreat without delay.  This Seuthes had been secretly gained by
Perdiccas by the promise of his sister in marriage with a rich
dowry.  In accordance with this advice, and after a stay of thirty days
in all, eight of which were spent in Chalcidice, he retired home as
quickly as he could; and Perdiccas afterwards gave his sister
Stratonice to Seuthes as he had promised.  Such was the history of
the expedition of Sitalces.

In the course of this winter, after the dispersion of the
Peloponnesian fleet, the Athenians in Naupactus, under Phormio,
coasted along to Astacus and disembarked, and marched into the
interior of Acarnania with four hundred Athenian heavy infantry and
four hundred Messenians.  After expelling some suspected persons from
Stratus, Coronta, and other places, and restoring Cynes, son of
Theolytus, to Coronta, they returned to their ships, deciding that
it was impossible in the winter season to march against Oeniadae, a
place which, unlike the rest of Acarnania, had been always hostile
to them; for the river Achelous flowing from Mount Pindus through
Dolopia and the country of the Agraeans and Amphilochians and the
plain of Acarnania, past the town of Stratus in the upper part of
its course, forms lakes where it falls into the sea round Oeniadae,
and thus makes it impracticable for an army in winter by reason of the
water.  Opposite to Oeniadae lie most of the islands called
Echinades, so close to the mouths of the Achelous that that powerful
stream is constantly forming deposits against them, and has already
joined some of the islands to the continent, and seems likely in no
long while to do the same with the rest.  For the current is strong,
deep, and turbid, and the islands are so thick together that they
serve to imprison the alluvial deposit and prevent its dispersing,
lying, as they do, not in one line, but irregularly, so as to leave no
direct passage for the water into the open sea.  The islands in
question are uninhabited and of no great size.  There is also a story
that Alcmaeon, son of Amphiraus, during his wanderings after the
murder of his mother was bidden by Apollo to inhabit this spot,
through an oracle which intimated that he would have no release from
his terrors until he should find a country to dwell in which had not
been seen by the sun, or existed as land at the time he slew his
mother; all else being to him polluted ground.  Perplexed at this,
the story goes on to say, he at last observed this deposit of the
Achelous, and considered that a place sufficient to support life upon,
might have been thrown up during the long interval that had elapsed
since the death of his mother and the beginning of his wanderings.
Settling, therefore, in the district round Oeniadae, he founded a
dominion, and left the country its name from his son Acarnan.  Such
is the story we have received concerning Alcmaeon.

The Athenians and Phormio putting back from Acarnania and arriving
at Naupactus, sailed home to Athens in the spring, taking with them
the ships that they had captured, and such of the prisoners made in
the late actions as were freemen; who were exchanged, man for man.  And
so ended this winter, and the third year of this war, of which
Thucydides was the historian.



_Fourth and Fifth Years of the War - Revolt of Mitylene_

The next summer, just as the corn was getting ripe, the
Peloponnesians and their allies invaded Attica under the command of
Archidamus, son of Zeuxidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians, and sat
down and ravaged the land; the Athenian horse as usual attacking them,
wherever it was practicable, and preventing the mass of the light
troops from advancing from their camp and wasting the parts near the
city.  After staying the time for which they had taken provisions,
the invaders retired and dispersed to their several cities.

Immediately after the invasion of the Peloponnesians all Lesbos,
except Methymna, revolted from the Athenians.  The Lesbians had
wished to revolt even before the war, but the Lacedaemonians would not
receive them; and yet now when they did revolt, they were compelled to
do so sooner than they had intended.  While they were waiting until the
moles for their harbours and the ships and walls that they had in
building should be finished, and for the arrival of archers and corn
and other things that they were engaged in fetching from the Pontus,
the Tenedians, with whom they were at enmity, and the Methymnians, and
some factious persons in Mitylene itself, who were proxeni of
Athens, informed the Athenians that the Mitylenians were forcibly
uniting the island under their sovereignty, and that the
preparations about which they were so active, were all concerted
with the Boeotians their kindred and the Lacedaemonians with a view to
a revolt, and that, unless they were immediately prevented, Athens
would lose Lesbos.

However, the Athenians, distressed by the plague, and by the war
that had recently broken out and was now raging, thought it a
serious matter to add Lesbos with its fleet and untouched resources to
the list of their enemies; and at first would not believe the
charge, giving too much weight to their wish that it might not be
true.  But when an embassy which they sent had failed to persuade the
Mitylenians to give up the union and preparations complained of,
they became alarmed, and resolved to strike the first blow.  They
accordingly suddenly sent off forty ships that had been got ready to
sail round Peloponnese, under the command of Cleippides, son of
Deinias, and two others; word having been brought them of a festival
in honour of the Malean Apollo outside the town, which is kept by
the whole people of Mitylene, and at which, if haste were made, they
might hope to take them by surprise.  If this plan succeeded, well
and good; if not, they were to order the Mitylenians to deliver up
their ships and to pull down their walls, and if they did not obey, to
declare war.  The ships accordingly set out; the ten galleys, forming
the contingent of the Mitylenians present with the fleet according
to the terms of the alliance, being detained by the Athenians, and
their crews placed in custody.  However, the Mitylenians were
informed of the expedition by a man who crossed from Athens to Euboea,
and going overland to Geraestus, sailed from thence by a merchantman
which he found on the point of putting to sea, and so arrived at
Mitylene the third day after leaving Athens.  The Mitylenians
accordingly refrained from going out to the temple at Malea, and
moreover barricaded and kept guard round the half-finished parts of
their walls and harbours.

When the Athenians sailed in not long after and saw how things
stood, the generals delivered their orders, and upon the Mitylenians
refusing to obey, commenced hostilities.  The Mitylenians, thus
compelled to go to war without notice and unprepared, at first
sailed out with their fleet and made some show of fighting, a little
in front of the harbour; but being driven back by the Athenian
ships, immediately offered to treat with the commanders, wishing, if
possible, to get the ships away for the present upon any tolerable
terms.  The Athenian commanders accepted their offers, being themselves
fearful that they might not be able to cope with the whole of
Lesbos; and an armistice having been concluded, the Mitylenians sent
to Athens one of the informers, already repentant of his conduct,
and others with him, to try to persuade the Athenians of the innocence
of their intentions and to get the fleet recalled.  In the meantime,
having no great hope of a favourable answer from Athens, they also
sent off a galley with envoys to Lacedaemon, unobserved by the
Athenian fleet which was anchored at Malea to the north of the town.

While these envoys, reaching Lacedaemon after a difficult journey
across the open sea, were negotiating for succours being sent them,
the ambassadors from Athens returned without having effected anything;
and hostilities were at once begun by the Mitylenians and the rest
of Lesbos, with the exception of the Methymnians, who came to the
aid of the Athenians with the Imbrians and Lemnians and some few of
the other allies.  The Mitylenians made a sortie with all their
forces against the Athenian camp; and a battle ensued, in which they
gained some slight advantage, but retired notwithstanding, not feeling
sufficient confidence in themselves to spend the night upon the field.
After this they kept quiet, wishing to wait for the chance of
reinforcements arriving from Peloponnese before making a second
venture, being encouraged by the arrival of Meleas, a Laconian, and
Hermaeondas, a Theban, who had been sent off before the insurrection
but had been unable to reach Lesbos before the Athenian expedition,
and who now stole in in a galley after the battle, and advised them to
send another galley and envoys back with them, which the Mitylenians
accordingly did.

Meanwhile the Athenians, greatly encouraged by the inaction of the
Mitylenians, summoned allies to their aid, who came in all the quicker
from seeing so little vigour displayed by the Lesbians, and bringing
round their ships to a new station to the south of the town, fortified
two camps, one on each side of the city, and instituted a blockade
of both the harbours.  The sea was thus closed against the Mitylenians,
who, however, commanded the whole country, with the rest of the
Lesbians who had now joined them; the Athenians only holding a limited
area round their camps, and using Malea more as the station for
their ships and their market.

While the war went on in this way at Mitylene, the Athenians,
about the same time in this summer, also sent thirty ships to
Peloponnese under Asopius, son of Phormio; the Acarnanians insisting
that the commander sent should be some son or relative of Phormio.
As the ships coasted along shore they ravaged the seaboard of Laconia;
after which Asopius sent most of the fleet home, and himself went on
with twelve vessels to Naupactus, and afterwards raising the whole
Acarnanian population made an expedition against Oeniadae, the fleet
sailing along the Achelous, while the army laid waste the country.  The
inhabitants, however, showing no signs of submitting, he dismissed the
land forces and himself sailed to Leucas, and making a descent upon
Nericus was cut off during his retreat, and most of his troops with
him, by the people in those parts aided by some coastguards; after
which the Athenians sailed away, recovering their dead from the
Leucadians under truce.

Meanwhile the envoys of the Mitylenians sent out in the first ship
were told by the Lacedaemonians to come to Olympia, in order that
the rest of the allies might hear them and decide upon their matter,
and so they journeyed thither.  It was the Olympiad in which the
Rhodian Dorieus gained his second victory, and the envoys having
been introduced to make their speech after the festival, spoke as

"Lacedaemonians and allies, the rule established among the
Hellenes is not unknown to us.  Those who revolt in war and forsake
their former confederacy are favourably regarded by those who
receive them, in so far as they are of use to them, but otherwise
are thought less well of, through being considered traitors to their
former friends.  Nor is this an unfair way of judging, where the rebels
and the power from whom they secede are at one in policy and sympathy,
and a match for each other in resources and power, and where no
reasonable ground exists for the rebellion.  But with us and the
Athenians this was not the case; and no one need think the worse of us
for revolting from them in danger, after having been honoured by
them in time of peace.

"Justice and honesty will be the first topics of our speech,
especially as we are asking for alliance; because we know that there
can never be any solid friendship between individuals, or union
between communities that is worth the name, unless the parties be
persuaded of each other's honesty, and be generally congenial the
one to the other; since from difference in feeling springs also
difference in conduct.  Between ourselves and the Athenians alliance
began, when you withdrew from the Median War and they remained to
finish the business.  But we did not become allies of the Athenians for
the subjugation of the Hellenes, but allies of the Hellenes for
their liberation from the Mede; and as long as the Athenians led us
fairly we followed them loyally; but when we saw them relax their
hostility to the Mede, to try to compass the subjection of the allies,
then our apprehensions began.  Unable, however, to unite and defend
themselves, on account of the number of confederates that had votes,
all the allies were enslaved, except ourselves and the Chians, who
continued to send our contingents as independent and nominally free.
Trust in Athens as a leader, however, we could no longer feel, judging
by the examples already given; it being unlikely that she would reduce
our fellow confederates, and not do the same by us who were left, if
ever she had the power.

"Had we all been still independent, we could have had more faith
in their not attempting any change; but the greater number being their
subjects, while they were treating us as equals, they would
naturally chafe under this solitary instance of independence as
contrasted with the submission of the majority; particularly as they
daily grew more powerful, and we more destitute.  Now the only sure
basis of an alliance is for each party to be equally afraid of the
other; he who would like to encroach is then deterred by the
reflection that he will not have odds in his favour.  Again, if we were
left independent, it was only because they thought they saw their
way to empire more clearly by specious language and by the paths of
policy than by those of force.  Not only were we useful as evidence
that powers who had votes, like themselves, would not, surely, join
them in their expeditions, against their will, without the party
attacked being in the wrong; but the same system also enabled them
to lead the stronger states against the weaker first, and so to
leave the former to the last, stripped of their natural allies, and
less capable of resistance.  But if they had begun with us, while all
the states still had their resources under their own control, and
there was a centre to rally round, the work of subjugation would
have been found less easy.  Besides this, our navy gave them some
apprehension: it was always possible that it might unite with you or
with some other power, and become dangerous to Athens.  The court which
we paid to their commons and its leaders for the time being also
helped us to maintain our independence.  However, we did not expect
to be able to do so much longer, if this war had not broken out,
from the examples that we had had of their conduct to the rest.

"How then could we put our trust in such friendship or freedom as we
had here? We accepted each other against our inclination; fear made
them court us in war, and us them in peace; sympathy, the ordinary
basis of confidence, had its place supplied by terror, fear having
more share than friendship in detaining us in the alliance; and the
first party that should be encouraged by the hope of impunity was
certain to break faith with the other.  So that to condemn us for being
the first to break off, because they delay the blow that we dread,
instead of ourselves delaying to know for certain whether it will be
dealt or not, is to take a false view of the case.  For if we were
equally able with them to meet their plots and imitate their delay, we
should be their equals and should be under no necessity of being their
subjects; but the liberty of offence being always theirs, that of
defence ought clearly to be ours.

"Such, Lacedaemonians and allies, are the grounds and the reasons of
our revolt; clear enough to convince our hearers of the fairness of
our conduct, and sufficient to alarm ourselves, and to make us turn to
some means of safety.  This we wished to do long ago, when we sent to
you on the subject while the peace yet lasted, but were balked by your
refusing to receive us; and now, upon the Boeotians inviting us, we at
once responded to the call, and decided upon a twofold revolt, from
the Hellenes and from the Athenians, not to aid the latter in
harming the former, but to join in their liberation, and not to
allow the Athenians in the end to destroy us, but to act in time
against them.  Our revolt, however, has taken place prematurely and
without preparation--a fact which makes it all the more incumbent on
you to receive us into alliance and to send us speedy relief, in order
to show that you support your friends, and at the same time do harm to
your enemies.  You have an opportunity such as you never had before.
Disease and expenditure have wasted the Athenians: their ships are
either cruising round your coasts, or engaged in blockading us; and it
is not probable that they will have any to spare, if you invade them a
second time this summer by sea and land; but they will either offer no
resistance to your vessels, or withdraw from both our shores.  Nor must
it be thought that this is a case of putting yourselves into danger
for a country which is not yours.  Lesbos may appear far off, but
when help is wanted she will be found near enough.  It is not in Attica
that the war will be decided, as some imagine, but in the countries by
which Attica is supported; and the Athenian revenue is drawn from
the allies, and will become still larger if they reduce us; as not
only will no other state revolt, but our resources will be added to
theirs, and we shall be treated worse than those that were enslaved
before.  But if you will frankly support us, you will add to your
side a state that has a large navy, which is your great want; you will
smooth the way to the overthrow of the Athenians by depriving them
of their allies, who will be greatly encouraged to come over; and
you will free yourselves from the imputation made against you, of
not supporting insurrection.  In short, only show yourselves as
liberators, and you may count upon having the advantage in the war.

"Respect, therefore, the hopes placed in you by the Hellenes, and
that Olympian Zeus, in whose temple we stand as very suppliants;
become the allies and defenders of the Mitylenians, and do not
sacrifice us, who put our lives upon the hazard, in a cause in which
general good will result to all from our success, and still more
general harm if we fail through your refusing to help us; but be the
men that the Hellenes think you, and our fears desire."

Such were the words of the Mitylenians.  After hearing them out,
the Lacedaemonians and confederates granted what they urged, and
took the Lesbians into alliance, and deciding in favour of the
invasion of Attica, told the allies present to march as quickly as
possible to the Isthmus with two-thirds of their forces; and
arriving there first themselves, got ready hauling machines to carry
their ships across from Corinth to the sea on the side of Athens, in
order to make their attack by sea and land at once.  However, the
zeal which they displayed was not imitated by the rest of the
confederates, who came in but slowly, being engaged in harvesting
their corn and sick of making expeditions.

Meanwhile the Athenians, aware that the preparations of the enemy
were due to his conviction of their weakness, and wishing to show
him that he was mistaken, and that they were able, without moving
the Lesbian fleet, to repel with ease that with which they were
menaced from Peloponnese, manned a hundred ships by embarking the
citizens of Athens, except the knights and Pentacosiomedimni, and
the resident aliens; and putting out to the Isthmus, displayed their
power, and made descents upon Peloponnese wherever they pleased.  A
disappointment so signal made the Lacedaemonians think that the
Lesbians had not spoken the truth; and embarrassed by the
non-appearance of the confederates, coupled with the news that the
thirty ships round Peloponnese were ravaging the lands near Sparta,
they went back home.  Afterwards, however, they got ready a fleet to
send to Lesbos, and ordering a total of forty ships from the different
cities in the league, appointed Alcidas to command the expedition in
his capacity of high admiral.  Meanwhile the Athenians in the hundred
ships, upon seeing the Lacedaemonians go home, went home likewise.

If, at the time that this fleet was at sea, Athens had almost the
largest number of first-rate ships in commission that she ever
possessed at any one moment, she had as many or even more when the war
began.  At that time one hundred guarded Attica, Euboea, and Salamis; a
hundred more were cruising round Peloponnese, besides those employed
at Potidaea and in other places; making a grand total of two hundred
and fifty vessels employed on active service in a single summer.  It
was this, with Potidaea, that most exhausted her revenues--Potidaea
being blockaded by a force of heavy infantry (each drawing two
drachmae a day, one for himself and another for his servant), which
amounted to three thousand at first, and was kept at this number
down to the end of the siege; besides sixteen hundred with Phormio who
went away before it was over; and the ships being all paid at the same
rate.  In this way her money was wasted at first; and this was the
largest number of ships ever manned by her.

About the same time that the Lacedaemonians were at the Isthmus, the
Mitylenians marched by land with their mercenaries against Methymna,
which they thought to gain by treachery.  After assaulting the town,
and not meeting with the success that they anticipated, they
withdrew to Antissa, Pyrrha, and Eresus; and taking measures for the
better security of these towns and strengthening their walls,
hastily returned home.  After their departure the Methymnians marched
against Antissa, but were defeated in a sortie by the Antissians and
their mercenaries, and retreated in haste after losing many of their
number.  Word of this reaching Athens, and the Athenians learning
that the Mitylenians were masters of the country and their own
soldiers unable to hold them in check, they sent out about the
beginning of autumn Paches, son of Epicurus, to take the command,
and a thousand Athenian heavy infantry; who worked their own passage
and, arriving at Mitylene, built a single wall all round it, forts
being erected at some of the strongest points.  Mitylene was thus
blockaded strictly on both sides, by land and by sea; and winter now
drew near.

The Athenians needing money for the siege, although they had for the
first time raised a contribution of two hundred talents from their own
citizens, now sent out twelve ships to levy subsidies from their
allies, with Lysicles and four others in command.  After cruising to
different places and laying them under contribution, Lysicles went
up the country from Myus, in Caria, across the plain of the Meander,
as far as the hill of Sandius; and being attacked by the Carians and
the people of Anaia, was slain with many of his soldiers.

The same winter the Plataeans, who were still being besieged by
the Peloponnesians and Boeotians, distressed by the failure of their
provisions, and seeing no hope of relief from Athens, nor any other
means of safety, formed a scheme with the Athenians besieged with them
for escaping, if possible, by forcing their way over the enemy's
walls; the attempt having been suggested by Theaenetus, son of
Tolmides, a soothsayer, and Eupompides, son of Daimachus, one of their
generals.  At first all were to join: afterwards, half hung back,
thinking the risk great; about two hundred and twenty, however,
voluntarily persevered in the attempt, which was carried out in the
following way.  Ladders were made to match the height of the enemy's
wall, which they measured by the layers of bricks, the side turned
towards them not being thoroughly whitewashed.  These were counted by
many persons at once; and though some might miss the right
calculation, most would hit upon it, particularly as they counted over
and over again, and were no great way from the wall, but could see
it easily enough for their purpose.  The length required for the
ladders was thus obtained, being calculated from the breadth of the

Now the wall of the Peloponnesians was constructed as follows.  It
consisted of two lines drawn round the place, one against the
Plataeans, the other against any attack on the outside from Athens,
about sixteen feet apart.  The intermediate space of sixteen feet was
occupied by huts portioned out among the soldiers on guard, and
built in one block, so as to give the appearance of a single thick
wall with battlements on either side.  At intervals of every ten
battlements were towers of considerable size, and the same breadth
as the wall, reaching right across from its inner to its outer face,
with no means of passing except through the middle.  Accordingly on
stormy and wet nights the battlements were deserted, and guard kept
from the towers, which were not far apart and roofed in above.

Such being the structure of the wall by which the Plataeans were
blockaded, when their preparations were completed, they waited for a
stormy night of wind and rain and without any moon, and then set
out, guided by the authors of the enterprise.  Crossing first the ditch
that ran round the town, they next gained the wall of the enemy
unperceived by the sentinels, who did not see them in the darkness, or
hear them, as the wind drowned with its roar the noise of their
approach; besides which they kept a good way off from each other, that
they might not be betrayed by the clash of their weapons.  They were
also lightly equipped, and had only the left foot shod to preserve
them from slipping in the mire.  They came up to the battlements at one
of the intermediate spaces where they knew them to be unguarded: those
who carried the ladders went first and planted them; next twelve
light-armed soldiers with only a dagger and a breastplate mounted, led
by Ammias, son of Coroebus, who was the first on the wall; his
followers getting up after him and going six to each of the towers.
After these came another party of light troops armed with spears,
whose shields, that they might advance the easier, were carried by men
behind, who were to hand them to them when they found themselves in
presence of the enemy.  After a good many had mounted they were
discovered by the sentinels in the towers, by the noise made by a tile
which was knocked down by one of the Plataeans as he was laying hold
of the battlements.  The alarm was instantly given, and the troops
rushed to the wall, not knowing the nature of the danger, owing to the
dark night and stormy weather; the Plataeans in the town having also
chosen that moment to make a sortie against the wall of the
Peloponnesians upon the side opposite to that on which their men
were getting over, in order to divert the attention of the
besiegers.  Accordingly they remained distracted at their several
posts, without any venturing to stir to give help from his own
station, and at a loss to guess what was going on.  Meanwhile the three
hundred set aside for service on emergencies went outside the wall
in the direction of the alarm.  Fire-signals of an attack were also
raised towards Thebes; but the Plataeans in the town at once displayed
a number of others, prepared beforehand for this very purpose, in
order to render the enemy's signals unintelligible, and to prevent his
friends getting a true idea of what was passing and coming to his
aid before their comrades who had gone out should have made good their
escape and be in safety.

Meanwhile the first of the scaling party that had got up, after
carrying both the towers and putting the sentinels to the sword,
posted themselves inside to prevent any one coming through against
them; and rearing ladders from the wall, sent several men up on the
towers, and from their summit and base kept in check all of the
enemy that came up, with their missiles, while their main body planted
a number of ladders against the wall, and knocking down the
battlements, passed over between the towers; each as soon as he had
got over taking up his station at the edge of the ditch, and plying
from thence with arrows and darts any who came along the wall to
stop the passage of his comrades.  When all were over, the party on the
towers came down, the last of them not without difficulty, and
proceeded to the ditch, just as the three hundred came up carrying
torches.  The Plataeans, standing on the edge of the ditch in the dark,
had a good view of their opponents, and discharged their arrows and
darts upon the unarmed parts of their bodies, while they themselves
could not be so well seen in the obscurity for the torches; and thus
even the last of them got over the ditch, though not without effort
and difficulty; as ice had formed in it, not strong enough to walk
upon, but of that watery kind which generally comes with a wind more
east than north, and the snow which this wind had caused to fall
during the night had made the water in the ditch rise, so that they
could scarcely breast it as they crossed.  However, it was mainly the
violence of the storm that enabled them to effect their escape at all.

Starting from the ditch, the Plataeans went all together along the
road leading to Thebes, keeping the chapel of the hero Androcrates
upon their right; considering that the last road which the
Peloponnesians would suspect them of having taken would be that
towards their enemies' country.  Indeed they could see them pursuing
with torches upon the Athens road towards Cithaeron and
Druoskephalai or Oakheads.  After going for rather more than half a
mile upon the road to Thebes, the Plataeans turned off and took that
leading to the mountain, to Erythrae and Hysiae, and reaching the
hills, made good their escape to Athens, two hundred and twelve men in
all; some of their number having turned back into the town before
getting over the wall, and one archer having been taken prisoner at
the outer ditch.  Meanwhile the Peloponnesians gave up the pursuit
and returned to their posts; and the Plataeans in the town, knowing
nothing of what had passed, and informed by those who had turned
back that not a man had escaped, sent out a herald as soon as it was
day to make a truce for the recovery of the dead bodies, and then,
learning the truth, desisted.  In this way the Plataean party got
over and were saved.

Towards the close of the same winter, Salaethus, a Lacedaemonian,
was sent out in a galley from Lacedaemon to Mitylene.  Going by sea
to Pyrrha, and from thence overland, he passed along the bed of a
torrent, where the line of circumvallation was passable, and thus
entering unperceived into Mitylene told the magistrates that Attica
would certainly be invaded, and the forty ships destined to relieve
them arrive, and that he had been sent on to announce this and to
superintend matters generally.  The Mitylenians upon this took courage,
and laid aside the idea of treating with the Athenians; and now this
winter ended, and with it ended the fourth year of the war of which
Thucydides was the historian.

The next summer the Peloponnesians sent off the forty-two ships
for Mitylene, under Alcidas, their high admiral, and themselves and
their allies invaded Attica, their object being to distract the
Athenians by a double movement, and thus to make it less easy for them
to act against the fleet sailing to Mitylene.  The commander in this
invasion was Cleomenes, in the place of King Pausanias, son of
Pleistoanax, his nephew, who was still a minor.  Not content with
laying waste whatever had shot up in the parts which they had before
devastated, the invaders now extended their ravages to lands passed
over in their previous incursions; so that this invasion was more
severely felt by the Athenians than any except the second; the enemy
staying on and on until they had overrun most of the country, in the
expectation of hearing from Lesbos of something having been achieved
by their fleet, which they thought must now have got over.  However, as
they did not obtain any of the results expected, and their
provisions began to run short, they retreated and dispersed to their
different cities.

In the meantime the Mitylenians, finding their provisions failing,
while the fleet from Peloponnese was loitering on the way instead of
appearing at Mitylene, were compelled to come to terms with the
Athenians in the following manner.  Salaethus having himself ceased
to expect the fleet to arrive, now armed the commons with heavy
armour, which they had not before possessed, with the intention of
making a sortie against the Athenians.  The commons, however, no sooner
found themselves possessed of arms than they refused any longer to
obey their officers; and forming in knots together, told the
authorities to bring out in public the provisions and divide them
amongst them all, or they would themselves come to terms with the
Athenians and deliver up the city.

The government, aware of their inability to prevent this, and of the
danger they would be in, if left out of the capitulation, publicly
agreed with Paches and the army to surrender Mitylene at discretion
and to admit the troops into the town; upon the understanding that the
Mitylenians should be allowed to send an embassy to Athens to plead
their cause, and that Paches should not imprison, make slaves of, or
put to death any of the citizens until its return.  Such were the terms
of the capitulation; in spite of which the chief authors of the
negotiation with Lacedaemon were so completely overcome by terror when
the army entered that they went and seated themselves by the altars,
from which they were raised up by Paches under promise that he would
do them no wrong, and lodged by him in Tenedos, until he should
learn the pleasure of the Athenians concerning them.  Paches also
sent some galleys and seized Antissa, and took such other military
measures as he thought advisable.

Meanwhile the Peloponnesians in the forty ships, who ought to have
made all haste to relieve Mitylene, lost time in coming round
Peloponnese itself, and proceeding leisurely on the remainder of the
voyage, made Delos without having been seen by the Athenians at
Athens, and from thence arriving at Icarus and Myconus, there first
heard of the fall of Mitylene.  Wishing to know the truth, they put
into Embatum, in the Erythraeid, about seven days after the capture of
the town.  Here they learned the truth, and began to consider what they
were to do; and Teutiaplus, an Elean, addressed them as follows:

"Alcidas and Peloponnesians who share with me the command of this
armament, my advice is to sail just as we are to Mitylene, before we
have been heard of.  We may expect to find the Athenians as much off
their guard as men generally are who have just taken a city: this will
certainly be so by sea, where they have no idea of any enemy attacking
them, and where our strength, as it happens, mainly lies; while even
their land forces are probably scattered about the houses in the
carelessness of victory.  If therefore we were to fall upon them
suddenly and in the night, I have hopes, with the help of the
well-wishers that we may have left inside the town, that we shall
become masters of the place.  Let us not shrink from the risk, but
let us remember that this is just the occasion for one of the baseless
panics common in war: and that to be able to guard against these in
one's own case, and to detect the moment when an attack will find an
enemy at this disadvantage, is what makes a successful general."

These words of Teutiaplus failing to move Alcidas, some of the
Ionian exiles and the Lesbians with the expedition began to urge
him, since this seemed too dangerous, to seize one of the Ionian
cities or the Aeolic town of Cyme, to use as a base for effecting
the revolt of Ionia.  This was by no means a hopeless enterprise, as
their coming was welcome everywhere; their object would be by this
move to deprive Athens of her chief source of revenue, and at the same
time to saddle her with expense, if she chose to blockade them; and
they would probably induce Pissuthnes to join them in the war.
However, Alcidas gave this proposal as bad a reception as the other,
being eager, since he had come too late for Mitylene, to find
himself back in Peloponnese as soon as possible.

Accordingly he put out from Embatum and proceeded along shore; and
touching at the Teian town, Myonnesus, there butchered most of the
prisoners that he had taken on his passage.  Upon his coming to
anchor at Ephesus, envoys came to him from the Samians at Anaia, and
told him that he was not going the right way to free Hellas in
massacring men who had never raised a hand against him, and who were
not enemies of his, but allies of Athens against their will, and
that if he did not stop he would turn many more friends into enemies
than enemies into friends.  Alcidas agreed to this, and let go all
the Chians still in his hands and some of the others that he had
taken; the inhabitants, instead of flying at the sight of his vessels,
rather coming up to them, taking them for Athenian, having no sort
of expectation that while the Athenians commanded the sea
Peloponnesian ships would venture over to Ionia.

From Ephesus Alcidas set sail in haste and fled.  He had been seen by
the Salaminian and Paralian galleys, which happened to be sailing from
Athens, while still at anchor off Clarus; and fearing pursuit he now
made across the open sea, fully determined to touch nowhere, if he
could help it, until he got to Peloponnese.  Meanwhile news of him
had come in to Paches from the Erythraeid, and indeed from all
quarters.  As Ionia was unfortified, great fears were felt that the
Peloponnesians coasting along shore, even if they did not intend to
stay, might make descents in passing and plunder the towns; and now
the Paralian and Salaminian, having seen him at Clarus, themselves
brought intelligence of the fact.  Paches accordingly gave hot chase,
and continued the pursuit as far as the isle of Patmos, and then
finding that Alcidas had got on too far to be overtaken, came back
again.  Meanwhile he thought it fortunate that, as he had not fallen in
with them out at sea, he had not overtaken them anywhere where they
would have been forced to encamp, and so give him the trouble of
blockading them.

On his return along shore he touched, among other places, at Notium,
the port of Colophon, where the Colophonians had settled after the
capture of the upper town by Itamenes and the barbarians, who had been
called in by certain individuals in a party quarrel.  The capture of
the town took place about the time of the second Peloponnesian
invasion of Attica.  However, the refugees, after settling at Notium,
again split up into factions, one of which called in Arcadian and
barbarian mercenaries from Pissuthnes and, entrenching these in a
quarter apart, formed a new community with the Median party of the
Colophonians who joined them from the upper town.  Their opponents
had retired into exile, and now called in Paches, who invited Hippias,
the commander of the Arcadians in the fortified quarter, to a
parley, upon condition that, if they could not agree, he was to be put
back safe and sound in the fortification.  However, upon his coming out
to him, he put him into custody, though not in chains, and attacked
suddenly and took by surprise the fortification, and putting the
Arcadians and the barbarians found in it to the sword, afterwards took
Hippias into it as he had promised, and, as soon as he was inside,
seized him and shot him down.  Paches then gave up Notium to the
Colophonians not of the Median party; and settlers were afterwards
sent out from Athens, and the place colonized according to Athenian
laws, after collecting all the Colophonians found in any of the

Arrived at Mitylene, Paches reduced Pyrrha and Eresus; and finding
the Lacedaemonian, Salaethus, in hiding in the town, sent him off to
Athens, together with the Mitylenians that he had placed in Tenedos,
and any other persons that he thought concerned in the revolt.  He also
sent back the greater part of his forces, remaining with the rest to
settle Mitylene and the rest of Lesbos as he thought best.

Upon the arrival of the prisoners with Salaethus, the Athenians at
once put the latter to death, although he offered, among other things,
to procure the withdrawal of the Peloponnesians from Plataea, which
was still under siege; and after deliberating as to what they should
do with the former, in the fury of the moment determined to put to
death not only the prisoners at Athens, but the whole adult male
population of Mitylene, and to make slaves of the women and
children.  It was remarked that Mitylene had revolted without being,
like the rest, subjected to the empire; and what above all swelled the
wrath of the Athenians was the fact of the Peloponnesian fleet
having ventured over to Ionia to her support, a fact which was held to
argue a long meditated rebellion.  They accordingly sent a galley to
communicate the decree to Paches, commanding him to lose no time in
dispatching the Mitylenians.  The morrow brought repentance with it and
reflection on the horrid cruelty of a decree, which condemned a
whole city to the fate merited only by the guilty.  This was no
sooner perceived by the Mitylenian ambassadors at Athens and their
Athenian supporters, than they moved the authorities to put the
question again to the vote; which they the more easily consented to
do, as they themselves plainly saw that most of the citizens wished
some one to give them an opportunity for reconsidering the matter.
An assembly was therefore at once called, and after much expression of
opinion upon both sides, Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, the same who had
carried the former motion of putting the Mitylenians to death, the
most violent man at Athens, and at that time by far the most
powerful with the commons, came forward again and spoke as follows:

"I have often before now been convinced that a democracy is
incapable of empire, and never more so than by your present change
of mind in the matter of Mitylene.  Fears or plots being unknown to you
in your daily relations with each other, you feel just the same with
regard to your allies, and never reflect that the mistakes into
which you may be led by listening to their appeals, or by giving way
to your own compassion, are full of danger to yourselves, and bring
you no thanks for your weakness from your allies; entirely
forgetting that your empire is a despotism and your subjects
disaffected conspirators, whose obedience is ensured not by your
suicidal concessions, but by the superiority given you by your own
strength and not their loyalty.  The most alarming feature in the
case is the constant change of measures with which we appear to be
threatened, and our seeming ignorance of the fact that bad laws
which are never changed are better for a city than good ones that have
no authority; that unlearned loyalty is more serviceable than
quick-witted insubordination; and that ordinary men usually manage
public affairs better than their more gifted fellows.  The latter are
always wanting to appear wiser than the laws, and to overrule every
proposition brought forward, thinking that they cannot show their
wit in more important matters, and by such behaviour too often ruin
their country; while those who mistrust their own cleverness are
content to be less learned than the laws, and less able to pick
holes in the speech of a good speaker; and being fair judges rather
than rival athletes, generally conduct affairs successfully.  These
we ought to imitate, instead of being led on by cleverness and
intellectual rivalry to advise your people against our real opinions.

"For myself, I adhere to my former opinion, and wonder at those
who have proposed to reopen the case of the Mitylenians, and who are
thus causing a delay which is all in favour of the guilty, by making
the sufferer proceed against the offender with the edge of his anger
blunted; although where vengeance follows most closely upon the wrong,
it best equals it and most amply requites it.  I wonder also who will
be the man who will maintain the contrary, and will pretend to show
that the crimes of the Mitylenians are of service to us, and our
misfortunes injurious to the allies.  Such a man must plainly either
have such confidence in his rhetoric as to adventure to prove that
what has been once for all decided is still undetermined, or be bribed
to try to delude us by elaborate sophisms.  In such contests the
state gives the rewards to others, and takes the dangers for
herself.  The persons to blame are you who are so foolish as to
institute these contests; who go to see an oration as you would to see
a sight, take your facts on hearsay, judge of the practicability of
a project by the wit of its advocates, and trust for the truth as to
past events not to the fact which you saw more than to the clever
strictures which you heard; the easy victims of new-fangled arguments,
unwilling to follow received conclusions; slaves to every new paradox,
despisers of the commonplace; the first wish of every man being that
he could speak himself, the next to rival those who can speak by
seeming to be quite up with their ideas by applauding every hit almost
before it is made, and by being as quick in catching an argument as
you are slow in foreseeing its consequences; asking, if I may so
say, for something different from the conditions under which we
live, and yet comprehending inadequately those very conditions; very
slaves to the pleasure of the ear, and more like the audience of a
rhetorician than the council of a city.

"In order to keep you from this, I proceed to show that no one state
has ever injured you as much as Mitylene.  I can make allowance for
those who revolt because they cannot bear our empire, or who have been
forced to do so by the enemy.  But for those who possessed an island
with fortifications; who could fear our enemies only by sea, and there
had their own force of galleys to protect them; who were independent
and held in the highest honour by you--to act as these have done,
this is not revolt--revolt implies oppression; it is deliberate and
wanton aggression; an attempt to ruin us by siding with our
bitterest enemies; a worse offence than a war undertaken on their
own account in the acquisition of power.  The fate of those of their
neighbours who had already rebelled and had been subdued was no lesson
to them; their own prosperity could not dissuade them from
affronting danger; but blindly confident in the future, and full of
hopes beyond their power though not beyond their ambition, they
declared war and made their decision to prefer might to right, their
attack being determined not by provocation but by the moment which
seemed propitious.  The truth is that great good fortune coming
suddenly and unexpectedly tends to make a people insolent; in most
cases it is safer for mankind to have success in reason than out of
reason; and it is easier for them, one may say, to stave off adversity
than to preserve prosperity.  Our mistake has been to distinguish the
Mitylenians as we have done: had they been long ago treated like the
rest, they never would have so far forgotten themselves, human
nature being as surely made arrogant by consideration as it is awed by
firmness.  Let them now therefore be punished as their crime
requires, and do not, while you condemn the aristocracy, absolve the
people.  This is certain, that all attacked you without distinction,
although they might have come over to us and been now again in
possession of their city.  But no, they thought it safer to throw in
their lot with the aristocracy and so joined their rebellion! Consider
therefore: if you subject to the same punishment the ally who is
forced to rebel by the enemy, and him who does so by his own free
choice, which of them, think you, is there that will not rebel upon
the slightest pretext; when the reward of success is freedom, and
the penalty of failure nothing so very terrible? We meanwhile shall
have to risk our money and our lives against one state after
another; and if successful, shall receive a ruined town from which
we can no longer draw the revenue upon which our strength depends;
while if unsuccessful, we shall have an enemy the more upon our hands,
and shall spend the time that might be employed in combating our
existing foes in warring with our own allies.

"No hope, therefore, that rhetoric may instil or money purchase,
of the mercy due to human infirmity must be held out to the
Mitylenians.  Their offence was not involuntary, but of malice and
deliberate; and mercy is only for unwilling offenders.  I therefore,
now as before, persist against your reversing your first decision,
or giving way to the three failings most fatal to empire--pity,
sentiment, and indulgence.  Compassion is due to those who can
reciprocate the feeling, not to those who will never pity us in
return, but are our natural and necessary foes: the orators who
charm us with sentiment may find other less important arenas for their
talents, in the place of one where the city pays a heavy penalty for a
momentary pleasure, themselves receiving fine acknowledgments for
their fine phrases; while indulgence should be shown towards those who
will be our friends in future, instead of towards men who will
remain just what they were, and as much our enemies as before.  To
sum up shortly, I say that if you follow my advice you will do what is
just towards the Mitylenians, and at the same time expedient; while by
a different decision you will not oblige them so much as pass sentence
upon yourselves.  For if they were right in rebelling, you must be
wrong in ruling.  However, if, right or wrong, you determine to rule,
you must carry out your principle and punish the Mitylenians as your
interest requires; or else you must give up your empire and
cultivate honesty without danger.  Make up your minds, therefore, to
give them like for like; and do not let the victims who escaped the
plot be more insensible than the conspirators who hatched it; but
reflect what they would have done if victorious over you, especially
they were the aggressors.  It is they who wrong their neighbour without
a cause, that pursue their victim to the death, on account of the
danger which they foresee in letting their enemy survive; since the
object of a wanton wrong is more dangerous, if he escape, than an
enemy who has not this to complain of.  Do not, therefore, be
traitors to yourselves, but recall as nearly as possible the moment of
suffering and the supreme importance which you then attached to
their reduction; and now pay them back in their turn, without yielding
to present weakness or forgetting the peril that once hung over you.
Punish them as they deserve, and teach your other allies by a striking
example that the penalty of rebellion is death.  Let them once
understand this and you will not have so often to neglect your enemies
while you are fighting with your own confederates."

Such were the words of Cleon.  After him Diodotus, son of Eucrates,
who had also in the previous assembly spoken most strongly against
putting the Mitylenians to death, came forward and spoke as follows:

"I do not blame the persons who have reopened the case of the
Mitylenians, nor do I approve the protests which we have heard against
important questions being frequently debated.  I think the two things
most opposed to good counsel are haste and passion; haste usually goes
hand in hand with folly, passion with coarseness and narrowness of
mind.  As for the argument that speech ought not to be the exponent
of action, the man who uses it must be either senseless or interested:
senseless if he believes it possible to treat of the uncertain
future through any other medium; interested if, wishing to carry a
disgraceful measure and doubting his ability to speak well in a bad
cause, he thinks to frighten opponents and hearers by well-aimed
calumny.  What is still more intolerable is to accuse a speaker of
making a display in order to be paid for it.  If ignorance only were
imputed, an unsuccessful speaker might retire with a reputation for
honesty, if not for wisdom; while the charge of dishonesty makes him
suspected, if successful, and thought, if defeated, not only a fool
but a rogue.  The city is no gainer by such a system, since fear
deprives it of its advisers; although in truth, if our speakers are to
make such assertions, it would be better for the country if they could
not speak at all, as we should then make fewer blunders.  The good
citizen ought to triumph not by frightening his opponents but by
beating them fairly in argument; and a wise city, without
over-distinguishing its best advisers, will nevertheless not deprive
them of their due, and, far from punishing an unlucky counsellor, will
not even regard him as disgraced.  In this way successful orators would
be least tempted to sacrifice their convictions to popularity, in
the hope of still higher honours, and unsuccessful speakers to
resort to the same popular arts in order to win over the multitude.

"This is not our way; and, besides, the moment that a man is
suspected of giving advice, however good, from corrupt motives, we
feel such a grudge against him for the gain which after all we are not
certain he will receive, that we deprive the city of its certain
benefit.  Plain good advice has thus come to be no less suspected
than bad; and the advocate of the most monstrous measures is not
more obliged to use deceit to gain the people, than the best
counsellor is to lie in order to be believed.  The city and the city
only, owing to these refinements, can never be served openly and
without disguise; he who does serve it openly being always suspected
of serving himself in some secret way in return.  Still, considering
the magnitude of the interests involved, and the position of
affairs, we orators must make it our business to look a little farther
than you who judge offhand; especially as we, your advisers, are
responsible, while you, our audience, are not so.  For if those who
gave the advice, and those who took it, suffered equally, you would
judge more calmly; as it is, you visit the disasters into which the
whim of the moment may have led you upon the single person of your
adviser, not upon yourselves, his numerous companions in error.

"However, I have not come forward either to oppose or to accuse in
the matter of Mitylene; indeed, the question before us as sensible men
is not their guilt, but our interests.  Though I prove them ever so
guilty, I shall not, therefore, advise their death, unless it be
expedient; nor though they should have claims to indulgence, shall I
recommend it, unless it be dearly for the good of the country.  I
consider that we are deliberating for the future more than for the
present; and where Cleon is so positive as to the useful deterrent
effects that will follow from making rebellion capital, I, who
consider the interests of the future quite as much as he, as
positively maintain the contrary.  And I require you not to reject my
useful considerations for his specious ones: his speech may have the
attraction of seeming the more just in your present temper against
Mitylene; but we are not in a court of justice, but in a political
assembly; and the question is not justice, but how to make the
Mitylenians useful to Athens.

"Now of course communities have enacted the penalty of death for
many offences far lighter than this: still hope leads men to
venture, and no one ever yet put himself in peril without the inward
conviction that he would succeed in his design.  Again, was there
ever city rebelling that did not believe that it possessed either in
itself or in its alliances resources adequate to the enterprise?
All, states and individuals, are alike prone to err, and there is no
law that will prevent them; or why should men have exhausted the
list of punishments in search of enactments to protect them from
evildoers? It is probable that in early times the penalties for the
greatest offences were less severe, and that, as these were
disregarded, the penalty of death has been by degrees in most cases
arrived at, which is itself disregarded in like manner.  Either then
some means of terror more terrible than this must be discovered, or it
must be owned that this restraint is useless; and that as long as
poverty gives men the courage of necessity, or plenty fills them
with the ambition which belongs to insolence and pride, and the
other conditions of life remain each under the thraldom of some
fatal and master passion, so long will the impulse never be wanting to
drive men into danger.  Hope also and cupidity, the one leading and the
other following, the one conceiving the attempt, the other
suggesting the facility of succeeding, cause the widest ruin, and,
although invisible agents, are far stronger than the dangers that
are seen.  Fortune, too, powerfully helps the delusion and, by the
unexpected aid that she sometimes lends, tempts men to venture with
inferior means; and this is especially the case with communities,
because the stakes played for are the highest, freedom or empire, and,
when all are acting together, each man irrationally magnifies his
own capacity.  In fine, it is impossible to prevent, and only great
simplicity can hope to prevent, human nature doing what it has once
set its mind upon, by force of law or by any other deterrent force

"We must not, therefore, commit ourselves to a false policy
through a belief in the efficacy of the punishment of death, or
exclude rebels from the hope of repentance and an early atonement of
their error.  Consider a moment.  At present, if a city that has already
revolted perceive that it cannot succeed, it will come to terms
while it is still able to refund expenses, and pay tribute afterwards.
In the other case, what city, think you, would not prepare better than
is now done, and hold out to the last against its besiegers, if it
is all one whether it surrender late or soon? And how can it be
otherwise than hurtful to us to be put to the expense of a siege,
because surrender is out of the question; and if we take the city,
to receive a ruined town from which we can no longer draw the
revenue which forms our real strength against the enemy? We must
not, therefore, sit as strict judges of the offenders to our own
prejudice, but rather see how by moderate chastisements we may be
enabled to benefit in future by the revenue-producing powers of our
dependencies; and we must make up our minds to look for our protection
not to legal terrors but to careful administration.  At present we do
exactly the opposite.  When a free community, held in subjection by
force, rises, as is only natural, and asserts its independence, it
is no sooner reduced than we fancy ourselves obliged to punish it
severely; although the right course with freemen is not to chastise
them rigorously when they do rise, but rigorously to watch them before
they rise, and to prevent their ever entertaining the idea, and, the
insurrection suppressed, to make as few responsible for it as

"Only consider what a blunder you would commit in doing as Cleon
recommends.  As things are at present, in all the cities the people
is your friend, and either does not revolt with the oligarchy, or,
if forced to do so, becomes at once the enemy of the insurgents; so
that in the war with the hostile city you have the masses on your
side.  But if you butcher the people of Mitylene, who had nothing to do
with the revolt, and who, as soon as they got arms, of their own
motion surrendered the town, first you will commit the crime of
killing your benefactors; and next you will play directly into the
hands of the higher classes, who when they induce their cities to
rise, will immediately have the people on their side, through your
having announced in advance the same punishment for those who are
guilty and for those who are not.  On the contrary, even if they were
guilty, you ought to seem not to notice it, in order to avoid
alienating the only class still friendly to us.  In short, I consider
it far more useful for the preservation of our empire voluntarily to
put up with injustice, than to put to death, however justly, those
whom it is our interest to keep alive.  As for Cleon's idea that in
punishment the claims of justice and expediency can both be satisfied,
facts do not confirm the possibility of such a combination.

"Confess, therefore, that this is the wisest course, and without
conceding too much either to pity or to indulgence, by neither of
which motives do I any more than Cleon wish you to be influenced, upon
the plain merits of the case before you, be persuaded by me to try
calmly those of the Mitylenians whom Paches sent off as guilty, and to
leave the rest undisturbed.  This is at once best for the future, and
most terrible to your enemies at the present moment; inasmuch as
good policy against an adversary is superior to the blind attacks of
brute force."

Such were the words of Diodotus.  The two opinions thus expressed
were the ones that most directly contradicted each other; and the
Athenians, notwithstanding their change of feeling, now proceeded to a
division, in which the show of hands was almost equal, although the
motion of Diodotus carried the day.  Another galley was at once sent
off in haste, for fear that the first might reach Lesbos in the
interval, and the city be found destroyed; the first ship having about
a day and a night's start.  Wine and barley-cakes were provided for the
vessel by the Mitylenian ambassadors, and great promises made if
they arrived in time; which caused the men to use such diligence
upon the voyage that they took their meals of barley-cakes kneaded
with oil and wine as they rowed, and only slept by turns while the
others were at the oar.  Luckily they met with no contrary wind, and
the first ship making no haste upon so horrid an errand, while the
second pressed on in the manner described, the first arrived so little
before them, that Paches had only just had time to read the decree,
and to prepare to execute the sentence, when the second put into
port and prevented the massacre.  The danger of Mitylene had indeed
been great.

The other party whom Paches had sent off as the prime movers in
the rebellion, were upon Cleon's motion put to death by the Athenians,
the number being rather more than a thousand.  The Athenians also
demolished the walls of the Mitylenians, and took possession of
their ships.  Afterwards tribute was not imposed upon the Lesbians; but
all their land, except that of the Methymnians, was divided into three
thousand allotments, three hundred of which were reserved as sacred
for the gods, and the rest assigned by lot to Athenian shareholders,
who were sent out to the island.  With these the Lesbians agreed to pay
a rent of two minae a year for each allotment, and cultivated the land
themselves.  The Athenians also took possession of the towns on the
continent belonging to the Mitylenians, which thus became for the
future subject to Athens.  Such were the events that took place at


_Fifth Year of the War - Trial and Execution of the Plataeans -
Corcyraean Revolution_

During the same summer, after the reduction of Lesbos, the Athenians
under Nicias, son of Niceratus, made an expedition against the
island of Minoa, which lies off Megara and was used as a fortified
post by the Megarians, who had built a tower upon it.  Nicias wished to
enable the Athenians to maintain their blockade from this nearer
station instead of from Budorum and Salamis; to stop the Peloponnesian
galleys and privateers sailing out unobserved from the island, as they
had been in the habit of doing; and at the same time prevent
anything from coming into Megara.  Accordingly, after taking two towers
projecting on the side of Nisaea, by engines from the sea, and
clearing the entrance into the channel between the island and the
shore, he next proceeded to cut off all communication by building a
wall on the mainland at the point where a bridge across a morass
enabled succours to be thrown into the island, which was not far off
from the continent.  A few days sufficing to accomplish this, he
afterwards raised some works in the island also, and leaving a
garrison there, departed with his forces.

About the same time in this summer, the Plataeans, being now without
provisions and unable to support the siege, surrendered to the
Peloponnesians in the following manner.  An assault had been made
upon the wall, which the Plataeans were unable to repel.  The
Lacedaemonian commander, perceiving their weakness, wished to avoid
taking the place by storm; his instructions from Lacedaemon having
been so conceived, in order that if at any future time peace should be
made with Athens, and they should agree each to restore the places
that they had taken in the war, Plataea might be held to have come
over voluntarily, and not be included in the list.  He accordingly sent
a herald to them to ask if they were willing voluntarily to
surrender the town to the Lacedaemonians, and accept them as their
judges, upon the understanding that the guilty should be punished, but
no one without form of law.  The Plataeans were now in the last state
of weakness, and the herald had no sooner delivered his message than
they surrendered the town.  The Peloponnesians fed them for some days
until the judges from Lacedaemon, who were five in number, arrived.
Upon their arrival no charge was preferred; they simply called up
the Plataeans, and asked them whether they had done the Lacedaemonians
and allies any service in the war then raging.  The Plataeans asked
leave to speak at greater length, and deputed two of their number to
represent them: Astymachus, son of Asopolaus, and Lacon, son of
Aeimnestus, proxenus of the Lacedaemonians, who came forward and spoke
as follows:

"Lacedaemonians, when we surrendered our city we trusted in you, and
looked forward to a trial more agreeable to the forms of law than
the present, to which we had no idea of being subjected; the judges
also in whose hands we consented to place ourselves were you, and
you only (from whom we thought we were most likely to obtain justice),
and not other persons, as is now the case.  As matters stand, we are
afraid that we have been doubly deceived.  We have good reason to
suspect, not only that the issue to be tried is the most terrible of
all, but that you will not prove impartial; if we may argue from the
fact that no accusation was first brought forward for us to answer,
but we had ourselves to ask leave to speak, and from the question
being put so shortly, that a true answer to it tells against us, while
a false one can be contradicted.  In this dilemma, our safest, and
indeed our only course, seems to be to say something at all risks:
placed as we are, we could scarcely be silent without being
tormented by the damning thought that speaking might have saved us.
Another difficulty that we have to encounter is the difficulty of
convincing you.  Were we unknown to each other we might profit by
bringing forward new matter with which you were unacquainted: as it
is, we can tell you nothing that you do not know already, and we fear,
not that you have condemned us in your own minds of having failed in
our duty towards you, and make this our crime, but that to please a
third party we have to submit to a trial the result of which is
already decided.  Nevertheless, we will place before you what we can
justly urge, not only on the question of the quarrel which the Thebans
have against us, but also as addressing you and the rest of the
Hellenes; and we will remind you of our good services, and endeavour
to prevail with you.

"To your short question, whether we have done the Lacedaemonians and
allies any service in this war, we say, if you ask us as enemies, that
to refrain from serving you was not to do you injury; if as friends,
that you are more in fault for having marched against us.  During the
peace, and against the Mede, we acted well: we have not now been the
first to break the peace, and we were the only Boeotians who then
joined in defending against the Mede the liberty of Hellas.  Although
an inland people, we were present at the action at Artemisium; in
the battle that took place in our territory we fought by the side of
yourselves and Pausanias; and in all the other Hellenic exploits of
the time we took a part quite out of proportion to our strength.
Besides, you, as Lacedaemonians, ought not to forget that at the
time of the great panic at Sparta, after the earthquake, caused by the
secession of the Helots to Ithome, we sent the third part of our
citizens to assist you.

"On these great and historical occasions such was the part that we
chose, although afterwards we became your enemies.  For this you were
to blame.  When we asked for your alliance against our Theban
oppressors, you rejected our petition, and told us to go to the
Athenians who were our neighbours, as you lived too far off.  In the
war we never have done to you, and never should have done to you,
anything unreasonable.  If we refused to desert the Athenians when
you asked us, we did no wrong; they had helped us against the
Thebans when you drew back, and we could no longer give them up with
honour; especially as we had obtained their alliance and had been
admitted to their citizenship at our own request, and after
receiving benefits at their hands; but it was plainly our duty loyally
to obey their orders.  Besides, the faults that either of you may
commit in your supremacy must be laid, not upon the followers, but
on the chiefs that lead them astray.

"With regard to the Thebans, they have wronged us repeatedly, and
their last aggression, which has been the means of bringing us into
our present position, is within your own knowledge.  In seizing our
city in time of peace, and what is more at a holy time in the month,
they justly encountered our vengeance, in accordance with the
universal law which sanctions resistance to an invader; and it
cannot now be right that we should suffer on their account.  By
taking your own immediate interest and their animosity as the test
of justice, you will prove yourselves to be rather waiters on
expediency than judges of right; although if they seem useful to you
now, we and the rest of the Hellenes gave you much more valuable
help at a time of greater need.  Now you are the assailants, and others
fear you; but at the crisis to which we allude, when the barbarian
threatened all with slavery, the Thebans were on his side.  It is just,
therefore, to put our patriotism then against our error now, if
error there has been; and you will find the merit outweighing the
fault, and displayed at a juncture when there were few Hellenes who
would set their valour against the strength of Xerxes, and when
greater praise was theirs who preferred the dangerous path of honour
to the safe course of consulting their own interest with respect to
the invasion.  To these few we belonged, and highly were we honoured
for it; and yet we now fear to perish by having again acted on the
same principles, and chosen to act well with Athens sooner than wisely
with Sparta.  Yet in justice the same cases should be decided in the
same way, and policy should not mean anything else than lasting
gratitude for the service of good ally combined with a proper
attention to one's own immediate interest.

"Consider also that at present the Hellenes generally regard you
as a pattern of worth and honour; and if you pass an unjust sentence
upon us in this which is no obscure cause, but one in which you, the
judges, are as illustrious as we, the prisoners, are blameless, take
care that displeasure be not felt at an unworthy decision in the
matter of honourable men made by men yet more honourable than they,
and at the consecration in the national temples of spoils taken from
the Plataeans, the benefactors of Hellas.  Shocking indeed will it seem
for Lacedaemonians to destroy Plataea, and for the city whose name
your fathers inscribed upon the tripod at Delphi for its good service,
to be by you blotted out from the map of Hellas, to please the
Thebans.  To such a depth of misfortune have we fallen that, while
the Medes' success had been our ruin, Thebans now supplant us in
your once fond regards; and we have been subjected to two dangers, the
greatest of any--that of dying of starvation then, if we had not
surrendered our town, and now of being tried for our lives.  So that we
Plataeans, after exertions beyond our power in the cause of the
Hellenes, are rejected by all, forsaken and unassisted; helped by none
of our allies, and reduced to doubt the stability of our only hope,

"Still, in the name of the gods who once presided over our
confederacy, and of our own good service in the Hellenic cause, we
adjure you to relent; to recall the decision which we fear that the
Thebans may have obtained from you; to ask back the gift that you have
given them, that they disgrace not you by slaying us; to gain a pure
instead of a guilty gratitude, and not to gratify others to be
yourselves rewarded with shame.  Our lives may be quickly taken, but it
will be a heavy task to wipe away the infamy of the deed; as we are no
enemies whom you might justly punish, but friends forced into taking
arms against you.  To grant us our lives would be, therefore, a
righteous judgment; if you consider also that we are prisoners who
surrendered of their own accord, stretching out our hands for quarter,
whose slaughter Hellenic law forbids, and who besides were always your
benefactors.  Look at the sepulchres of your fathers, slain by the
Medes and buried in our country, whom year by year we honoured with
garments and all other dues, and the first-fruits of all that our land
produced in their season, as friends from a friendly country and
allies to our old companions in arms.  Should you not decide aright,
your conduct would be the very opposite to ours.  Consider only:
Pausanias buried them thinking that he was laying them in friendly
ground and among men as friendly; but you, if you kill us and make the
Plataean territory Theban, will leave your fathers and kinsmen in a
hostile soil and among their murderers, deprived of the honours
which they now enjoy.  What is more, you will enslave the land in which
the freedom of the Hellenes was won, make desolate the temples of
the gods to whom they prayed before they overcame the Medes, and
take away your ancestral sacrifices from those who founded and
instituted them.

"It were not to your glory, Lacedaemonians, either to offend in this
way against the common law of the Hellenes and against your own
ancestors, or to kill us your benefactors to gratify another's
hatred without having been wronged yourselves: it were more so to
spare us and to yield to the impressions of a reasonable compassion;
reflecting not merely on the awful fate in store for us, but also on
the character of the sufferers, and on the impossibility of predicting
how soon misfortune may fall even upon those who deserve it not.  We,
as we have a right to do and as our need impels us, entreat you,
calling aloud upon the gods at whose common altar all the Hellenes
worship, to hear our request, to be not unmindful of the oaths which
your fathers swore, and which we now plead--we supplicate you by the
tombs of your fathers, and appeal to those that are gone to save us
from falling into the hands of the Thebans and their dearest friends
from being given up to their most detested foes.  We also remind you of
that day on which we did the most glorious deeds, by your fathers'
sides, we who now on this are like to suffer the most dreadful fate.
Finally, to do what is necessary and yet most difficult for men in our
situation--that is, to make an end of speaking, since with that
ending the peril of our lives draws near--in conclusion we say that
we did not surrender our city to the Thebans (to that we would have
preferred inglorious starvation), but trusted in and capitulated to
you; and it would be just, if we fail to persuade you, to put us
back in the same position and let us take the chance that falls to us.
And at the same time we adjure you not to give us up--your
suppliants, Lacedaemonians, out of your hands and faith, Plataeans
foremost of the Hellenic patriots, to Thebans, our most hated
enemies--but to be our saviours, and not, while you free the rest of
the Hellenes, to bring us to destruction."

Such were the words of the Plataeans.  The Thebans, afraid that the
Lacedaemonians might be moved by what they had heard, came forward and
said that they too desired to address them, since the Plataeans had,
against their wish, been allowed to speak at length instead of being
confined to a simple answer to the question.  Leave being granted,
the Thebans spoke as follows:

"We should never have asked to make this speech if the Plataeans
on their side had contented themselves with shortly answering the
question, and had not turned round and made charges against us,
coupled with a long defence of themselves upon matters outside the
present inquiry and not even the subject of accusation, and with
praise of what no one finds fault with.  However, since they have
done so, we must answer their charges and refute their self-praise, in
order that neither our bad name nor their good may help them, but that
you may hear the real truth on both points, and so decide.

"The origin of our quarrel was this.  We settled Plataea some time
after the rest of Boeotia, together with other places out of which
we had driven the mixed population.  The Plataeans not choosing to
recognize our supremacy, as had been first arranged, but separating
themselves from the rest of the Boeotians, and proving traitors to
their nationality, we used compulsion; upon which they went over to
the Athenians, and with them did as much harm, for which we

"Next, when the barbarian invaded Hellas, they say that they were
the only Boeotians who did not Medize; and this is where they most
glorify themselves and abuse us.  We say that if they did not Medize,
it was because the Athenians did not do so either; just as
afterwards when the Athenians attacked the Hellenes they, the
Plataeans, were again the only Boeotians who Atticized.  And yet
consider the forms of our respective governments when we so acted.  Our
city at that juncture had neither an oligarchical constitution in
which all the nobles enjoyed equal rights, nor a democracy, but that
which is most opposed to law and good government and nearest a
tyranny--the rule of a close cabal.  These, hoping to strengthen their
individual power by the success of the Mede, kept down by force the
people, and brought him into the town.  The city as a whole was not its
own mistress when it so acted, and ought not to be reproached for
the errors that it committed while deprived of its constitution.
Examine only how we acted after the departure of the Mede and the
recovery of the constitution; when the Athenians attacked the rest
of Hellas and endeavoured to subjugate our country, of the greater
part of which faction had already made them masters.  Did not we
fight and conquer at Coronea and liberate Boeotia, and do we not now
actively contribute to the liberation of the rest, providing horses to
the cause and a force unequalled by that of any other state in the

"Let this suffice to excuse us for our Medism.  We will now endeavour
to show that you have injured the Hellenes more than we, and are
more deserving of condign punishment.  It was in defence against us,
say you, that you became allies and citizens of Athens.  If so, you
ought only to have called in the Athenians against us, instead of
joining them in attacking others: it was open to you to do this if you
ever felt that they were leading you where you did not wish to follow,
as Lacedaemon was already your ally against the Mede, as you so much
insist; and this was surely sufficient to keep us off, and above all
to allow you to deliberate in security.  Nevertheless, of your own
choice and without compulsion you chose to throw your lot in with
Athens.  And you say that it had been base for you to betray your
benefactors; but it was surely far baser and more iniquitous to
sacrifice the whole body of the Hellenes, your fellow confederates,
who were liberating Hellas, than the Athenians only, who were
enslaving it.  The return that you made them was therefore neither
equal nor honourable, since you called them in, as you say, because
you were being oppressed yourselves, and then became their accomplices
in oppressing others; although baseness rather consists in not
returning like for like than in not returning what is justly due but
must be unjustly paid.

"Meanwhile, after thus plainly showing that it was not for the
sake of the Hellenes that you alone then did not Medize, but because
the Athenians did not do so either, and you wished to side with them
and to be against the rest; you now claim the benefit of good deeds
done to please your neighbours.  This cannot be admitted: you chose the
Athenians, and with them you must stand or fall.  Nor can you plead the
league then made and claim that it should now protect you.  You
abandoned that league, and offended against it by helping instead of
hindering the subjugation of the Aeginetans and others of its members,
and that not under compulsion, but while in enjoyment of the same
institutions that you enjoy to the present hour, and no one forcing
you as in our case.  Lastly, an invitation was addressed to you
before you were blockaded to be neutral and join neither party: this
you did not accept.  Who then merit the detestation of the Hellenes
more justly than you, you who sought their ruin under the mask of
honour? The former virtues that you allege you now show not to be
proper to your character; the real bent of your nature has been at
length damningly proved: when the Athenians took the path of injustice
you followed them.

"Of our unwilling Medism and your wilful Atticizing this then is our
explanation.  The last wrong wrong of which you complain consists in
our having, as you say, lawlessly invaded your town in time of peace
and festival.  Here again we cannot think that we were more in fault
than yourselves.  If of our own proper motion we made an armed attack
upon your city and ravaged your territory, we are guilty; but if the
first men among you in estate and family, wishing to put an end to the
foreign connection and to restore you to the common Boeotian
country, of their own free will invited us, wherein is our crime?
Where wrong is done, those who lead, as you say, are more to blame
than those who follow.  Not that, in our judgment, wrong was done
either by them or by us.  Citizens like yourselves, and with more at
stake than you, they opened their own walls and introduced us into
their own city, not as foes but as friends, to prevent the bad among
you from becoming worse; to give honest men their due; to reform
principles without attacking persons, since you were not to be
banished from your city, but brought home to your kindred, nor to be
made enemies to any, but friends alike to all.

"That our intention was not hostile is proved by our behaviour.  We
did no harm to any one, but publicly invited those who wished to
live under a national, Boeotian government to come over to us; which
as first you gladly did, and made an agreement with us and remained
tranquil, until you became aware of the smallness of our numbers.
Now it is possible that there may have been something not quite fair
in our entering without the consent of your commons.  At any rate you
did not repay us in kind.  Instead of refraining, as we had done,
from violence, and inducing us to retire by negotiation, you fell upon
us in violation of your agreement, and slew some of us in fight, of
which we do not so much complain, for in that there was a certain
justice; but others who held out their hands and received quarter, and
whose lives you subsequently promised us, you lawlessly butchered.
If this was not abominable, what is? And after these three crimes
committed one after the other--the violation of your agreement, the
murder of the men afterwards, and the lying breach of your promise not
to kill them, if we refrained from injuring your property in the
country--you still affirm that we are the criminals and yourselves
pretend to escape justice.  Not so, if these your judges decide aright,
but you will be punished for all together.

"Such, Lacedaemonians, are the facts.  We have gone into them at some
length both on your account and on our own, that you may fed that
you will justly condemn the prisoners, and we, that we have given an
additional sanction to our vengeance.  We would also prevent you from
being melted by hearing of their past virtues, if any such they had:
these may be fairly appealed to by the victims of injustice, but
only aggravate the guilt of criminals, since they offend against their
better nature.  Nor let them gain anything by crying and wailing, by
calling upon your fathers' tombs and their own desolate condition.
Against this we point to the far more dreadful fate of our youth,
butchered at their hands; the fathers of whom either fell at
Coronea, bringing Boeotia over to you, or seated, forlorn old men by
desolate hearths, with far more reason implore your justice upon the
prisoners.  The pity which they appeal to is rather due to men who
suffer unworthily; those who suffer justly as they do are on the
contrary subjects for triumph.  For their present desolate condition
they have themselves to blame, since they wilfully rejected the better
alliance.  Their lawless act was not provoked by any action of ours:
hate, not justice, inspired their decision; and even now the
satisfaction which they afford us is not adequate; they will suffer by
a legal sentence, not as they pretend as suppliants asking for quarter
in battle, but as prisoners who have surrendered upon agreement to
take their trial.  Vindicate, therefore, Lacedaemonians, the Hellenic
law which they have broken; and to us, the victims of its violation,
grant the reward merited by our zeal.  Nor let us be supplanted in your
favour by their harangues, but offer an example to the Hellenes,
that the contests to which you invite them are of deeds, not words:
good deeds can be shortly stated, but where wrong is done a wealth
of language is needed to veil its deformity.  However, if leading
powers were to do what you are now doing, and putting one short
question to all alike were to decide accordingly, men would be less
tempted to seek fine phrases to cover bad actions."

Such were the words of the Thebans.  The Lacedaemonian judges decided
that the question whether they had received any service from the
Plataeans in the war, was a fair one for them to put; as they had
always invited them to be neutral, agreeably to the original
covenant of Pausanias after the defeat of the Mede, and had again
definitely offered them the same conditions before the blockade.
This offer having been refused, they were now, they conceived, by
the loyalty of their intention released from their covenant; and
having, as they considered, suffered evil at the hands of the
Plataeans, they brought them in again one by one and asked each of
them the same question, that is to say, whether they had done the
Lacedaemonians and allies any service in the war; and upon their
saying that they had not, took them out and slew them, all without
exception.  The number of Plataeans thus massacred was not less than
two hundred, with twenty-five Athenians who had shared in the siege.
The women were taken as slaves.  The city the Thebans gave for about
a year to some political emigrants from Megara and to the surviving
Plataeans of their own party to inhabit, and afterwards razed it to
the ground from the very foundations, and built on to the precinct
of Hera an inn two hundred feet square, with rooms all round above and
below, making use for this purpose of the roofs and doors of the
Plataeans: of the rest of the materials in the wall, the brass and the
iron, they made couches which they dedicated to Hera, for whom they
also built a stone chapel of a hundred feet square.  The land they
confiscated and let out on a ten years' lease to Theban occupiers.  The
adverse attitude of the Lacedaemonians in the whole Plataean affair
was mainly adopted to please the Thebans, who were thought to be
useful in the war at that moment raging.  Such was the end of
Plataea, in the ninety-third year after she became the ally of Athens.

Meanwhile, the forty ships of the Peloponnesians that had gone to
the relief of the Lesbians, and which we left flying across the open
sea, pursued by the Athenians, were caught in a storm off Crete, and
scattering from thence made their way to Peloponnese, where they found
at Cyllene thirteen Leucadian and Ambraciot galleys, with Brasidas,
son of Tellis, lately arrived as counsellor to Alcidas; the
Lacedaemonians, upon the failure of the Lesbian expedition, having
resolved to strengthen their fleet and sail to Corcyra, where a
revolution had broken out, so as to arrive there before the twelve
Athenian ships at Naupactus could be reinforced from Athens.
Brasidas and Alcidas began to prepare accordingly.

The Corcyraean revolution began with the return of the prisoners
taken in the sea-fights off Epidamnus.  These the Corinthians had
released, nominally upon the security of eight hundred talents given
by their proxeni, but in reality upon their engagement to bring over
Corcyra to Corinth.  These men proceeded to canvass each of the
citizens, and to intrigue with the view of detaching the city from
Athens.  Upon the arrival of an Athenian and a Corinthian vessel,
with envoys on board, a conference was held in which the Corcyraeans
voted to remain allies of the Athenians according to their
agreement, but to be friends of the Peloponnesians as they had been
formerly.  Meanwhile, the returned prisoners brought Peithias, a
volunteer proxenus of the Athenians and leader of the commons, to
trial, upon the charge of enslaving Corcyra to Athens.  He, being
acquitted, retorted by accusing five of the richest of their number of
cutting stakes in the ground sacred to Zeus and Alcinous; the legal
penalty being a stater for each stake.  Upon their conviction, the
amount of the penalty being very large, they seated themselves as
suppliants in the temples to be allowed to pay it by instalments;
but Peithias, who was one of the senate, prevailed upon that body to
enforce the law; upon which the accused, rendered desperate by the
law, and also learning that Peithias had the intention, while still
a member of the senate, to persuade the people to conclude a defensive
and offensive alliance with Athens, banded together armed with
daggers, and suddenly bursting into the senate killed Peithias and
sixty others, senators and private persons; some few only of the party
of Peithias taking refuge in the Athenian galley, which had not yet

After this outrage, the conspirators summoned the Corcyraeans to
an assembly, and said that this would turn out for the best, and would
save them from being enslaved by Athens: for the future, they moved to
receive neither party unless they came peacefully in a single ship,
treating any larger number as enemies.  This motion made, they
compelled it to be adopted, and instantly sent off envoys to Athens to
justify what had been done and to dissuade the refugees there from any
hostile proceedings which might lead to a reaction.

Upon the arrival of the embassy, the Athenians arrested the envoys
and all who listened to them, as revolutionists, and lodged them in
Aegina.  Meanwhile a Corinthian galley arriving in the island with
Lacedaemonian envoys, the dominant Corcyraean party attacked the
commons and defeated them in battle.  Night coming on, the commons took
refuge in the Acropolis and the higher parts of the city, and
concentrated themselves there, having also possession of the Hyllaic
harbour; their adversaries occupying the market-place, where most of
them lived, and the harbour adjoining, looking towards the mainland.

The next day passed in skirmishes of little importance, each party
sending into the country to offer freedom to the slaves and to
invite them to join them.  The mass of the slaves answered the appeal
of the commons; their antagonists being reinforced by eight hundred
mercenaries from the continent.

After a day's interval hostilities recommenced, victory remaining
with the commons, who had the advantage in numbers and position, the
women also valiantly assisting them, pelting with tiles from the
houses, and supporting the melee with a fortitude beyond their sex.
Towards dusk, the oligarchs in full rout, fearing that the
victorious commons might assault and carry the arsenal and put them to
the sword, fired the houses round the marketplace and the
lodging-houses, in order to bar their advance; sparing neither their
own, nor those of their neighbours; by which much stuff of the
merchants was consumed and the city risked total destruction, if a
wind had come to help the flame by blowing on it.  Hostilities now
ceasing, both sides kept quiet, passing the night on guard, while
the Corinthian ship stole out to sea upon the victory of the
commons, and most of the mercenaries passed over secretly to the

The next day the Athenian general, Nicostratus, son of Diitrephes,
came up from Naupactus with twelve ships and five hundred Messenian
heavy infantry.  He at once endeavoured to bring about a settlement,
and persuaded the two parties to agree together to bring to trial
ten of the ringleaders, who presently fled, while the rest were to
live in peace, making terms with each other, and entering into a
defensive and offensive alliance with the Athenians.  This arranged, he
was about to sail away, when the leaders of the commons induced him to
leave them five of his ships to make their adversaries less disposed
to move, while they manned and sent with him an equal number of
their own.  He had no sooner consented, than they began to enroll their
enemies for the ships; and these, fearing that they might be sent
off to Athens, seated themselves as suppliants in the temple of the
Dioscuri.  An attempt on the part of Nicostratus to reassure them and
to persuade them to rise proving unsuccessful, the commons armed
upon this pretext, alleging the refusal of their adversaries to sail
with them as a proof of the hollowness of their intentions, and took
their arms out of their houses, and would have dispatched some whom
they fell in with, if Nicostratus had not prevented it.  The rest of
the party, seeing what was going on, seated themselves as suppliants
in the temple of Hera, being not less than four hundred in number;
until the commons, fearing that they might adopt some desperate
resolution, induced them to rise, and conveyed them over to the island
in front of the temple, where provisions were sent across to them.

At this stage in the revolution, on the fourth or fifth day after
the removal of the men to the island, the Peloponnesian ships
arrived from Cyllene where they had been stationed since their
return from Ionia, fifty-three in number, still under the command of
Alcidas, but with Brasidas also on board as his adviser; and
dropping anchor at Sybota, a harbour on the mainland, at daybreak made
sail for Corcyra.

The Corcyraeans in great confusion and alarm at the state of
things in the city and at the approach of the invader, at once
proceeded to equip sixty vessels, which they sent out, as fast as they
were manned, against the enemy, in spite of the Athenians recommending
them to let them sail out first, and to follow themselves afterwards
with all their ships together.  Upon their vessels coming up to the
enemy in this straggling fashion, two immediately deserted: in
others the crews were fighting among themselves, and there was no
order in anything that was done; so that the Peloponnesians, seeing
their confusion, placed twenty ships to oppose the Corcyraeans, and
ranged the rest against the twelve Athenian ships, amongst which
were the two vessels Salaminia and Paralus.

While the Corcyraeans, attacking without judgment and in small
detachments, were already crippled by their own misconduct, the
Athenians, afraid of the numbers of the enemy and of being surrounded,
did not venture to attack the main body or even the centre of the
division opposed to them, but fell upon its wing and sank one
vessel; after which the Peloponnesians formed in a circle, and the
Athenians rowed round them and tried to throw them into disorder.
Perceiving this, the division opposed to the Corcyraeans, fearing a
repetition of the disaster of Naupactus, came to support their
friends, and the whole fleet now bore down, united, upon the
Athenians, who retired before it, backing water, retiring as leisurely
as possible in order to give the Corcyraeans time to escape, while the
enemy was thus kept occupied.  Such was the character of this
sea-fight, which lasted until sunset.

The Corcyraeans now feared that the enemy would follow up their
victory and sail against the town and rescue the men in the island, or
strike some other blow equally decisive, and accordingly carried the
men over again to the temple of Hera, and kept guard over the city.
The Peloponnesians, however, although victorious in the sea-fight, did
not venture to attack the town, but took the thirteen Corcyraean
vessels which they had captured, and with them sailed back to the
continent from whence they had put out.  The next day equally they
refrained from attacking the city, although the disorder and panic
were at their height, and though Brasidas, it is said, urged
Alcidas, his superior officer, to do so, but they landed upon the
promontory of Leukimme and laid waste the country.

Meanwhile the commons in Corcyra, being still in great fear of the
fleet attacking them, came to a parley with the suppliants and their
friends, in order to save the town; and prevailed upon some of them to
go on board the ships, of which they still manned thirty, against
the expected attack.  But the Peloponnesians after ravaging the country
until midday sailed away, and towards nightfall were informed by
beacon signals of the approach of sixty Athenian vessels from
Leucas, under the command of Eurymedon, son of Thucles; which had been
sent off by the Athenians upon the news of the revolution and of the
fleet with Alcidas being about to sail for Corcyra.

The Peloponnesians accordingly at once set off in haste by night for
home, coasting along shore; and hauling their ships across the Isthmus
of Leucas, in order not to be seen doubling it, so departed.  The
Corcyraeans, made aware of the approach of the Athenian fleet and of
the departure of the enemy, brought the Messenians from outside the
walls into the town, and ordered the fleet which they had manned to
sail round into the Hyllaic harbour; and while it was so doing, slew
such of their enemies as they laid hands on, dispatching afterwards,
as they landed them, those whom they had persuaded to go on board
the ships.  Next they went to the sanctuary of Hera and persuaded about
fifty men to take their trial, and condemned them all to death.  The
mass of the suppliants who had refused to do so, on seeing what was
taking place, slew each other there in the consecrated ground; while
some hanged themselves upon the trees, and others destroyed themselves
as they were severally able.  During seven days that Eurymedon stayed
with his sixty ships, the Corcyraeans were engaged in butchering those
of their fellow citizens whom they regarded as their enemies: and
although the crime imputed was that of attempting to put down the
democracy, some were slain also for private hatred, others by their
debtors because of the moneys owed to them.  Death thus raged in
every shape; and, as usually happens at such times, there was no
length to which violence did not go; sons were killed by their
fathers, and suppliants dragged from the altar or slain upon it; while
some were even walled up in the temple of Dionysus and died there.

So bloody was the march of the revolution, and the impression
which it made was the greater as it was one of the first to occur.
Later on, one may say, the whole Hellenic world was convulsed;
struggles being every, where made by the popular chiefs to bring in
the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Lacedaemonians.
In peace there would have been neither the pretext nor the wish to
make such an invitation; but in war, with an alliance always at the
command of either faction for the hurt of their adversaries and
their own corresponding advantage, opportunities for bringing in the
foreigner were never wanting to the revolutionary parties.  The
sufferings which revolution entailed upon the cities were many and
terrible, such as have occurred and always will occur, as long as
the nature of mankind remains the same; though in a severer or
milder form, and varying in their symptoms, according to the variety
of the particular cases.  In peace and prosperity, states and
individuals have better sentiments, because they do not find
themselves suddenly confronted with imperious necessities; but war
takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough
master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their
fortunes.  Revolution thus ran its course from city to city, and the
places which it arrived at last, from having heard what had been
done before, carried to a still greater excess the refinement of their
inventions, as manifested in the cunning of their enterprises and
the atrocity of their reprisals.  Words had to change their ordinary
meaning and to take that which was now given them.  Reckless audacity
came to be considered the courage of a loyal ally; prudent hesitation,
specious cowardice; moderation was held to be a cloak for unmanliness;
ability to see all sides of a question, inaptness to act on any.
Frantic violence became the attribute of manliness; cautious plotting,
a justifiable means of self-defence.  The advocate of extreme
measures was always trustworthy; his opponent a man to be suspected.
To succeed in a plot was to have a shrewd head, to divine a plot a
still shrewder; but to try to provide against having to do either
was to break up your party and to be afraid of your adversaries.  In
fine, to forestall an intending criminal, or to suggest the idea of
a crime where it was wanting, was equally commended until even blood
became a weaker tie than party, from the superior readiness of those
united by the latter to dare everything without reserve; for such
associations had not in view the blessings derivable from
established institutions but were formed by ambition for their
overthrow; and the confidence of their members in each other rested
less on any religious sanction than upon complicity in crime.  The fair
proposals of an adversary were met with jealous precautions by the
stronger of the two, and not with a generous confidence.  Revenge
also was held of more account than self-preservation.  Oaths of
reconciliation, being only proffered on either side to meet an
immediate difficulty, only held good so long as no other weapon was at
hand; but when opportunity offered, he who first ventured to seize
it and to take his enemy off his guard, thought this perfidious
vengeance sweeter than an open one, since, considerations of safety
apart, success by treachery won him the palm of superior intelligence.
Indeed it is generally the case that men are readier to call rogues
clever than simpletons honest, and are as ashamed of being the
second as they are proud of being the first.  The cause of all these
evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from
these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in
contention.  The leaders in the cities, each provided with the
fairest professions, on the one side with the cry of political
equality of the people, on the other of a moderate aristocracy, sought
prizes for themselves in those public interests which they pretended
to cherish, and, recoiling from no means in their struggles for
ascendancy engaged in the direst excesses; in their acts of
vengeance they went to even greater lengths, not stopping at what
justice or the good of the state demanded, but making the party
caprice of the moment their only standard, and invoking with equal
readiness the condemnation of an unjust verdict or the authority of
the strong arm to glut the animosities of the hour.  Thus religion
was in honour with neither party; but the use of fair phrases to
arrive at guilty ends was in high reputation.  Meanwhile the moderate
part of the citizens perished between the two, either for not
joining in the quarrel, or because envy would not suffer them to

Thus every form of iniquity took root in the Hellenic countries by
reason of the troubles.  The ancient simplicity into which honour so
largely entered was laughed down and disappeared; and society became
divided into camps in which no man trusted his fellow.  To put an end
to this, there was neither promise to be depended upon, nor oath
that could command respect; but all parties dwelling rather in their
calculation upon the hopelessness of a permanent state of things, were
more intent upon self-defence than capable of confidence.  In this
contest the blunter wits were most successful.  Apprehensive of their
own deficiencies and of the cleverness of their antagonists, they
feared to be worsted in debate and to be surprised by the combinations
of their more versatile opponents, and so at once boldly had
recourse to action: while their adversaries, arrogantly thinking
that they should know in time, and that it was unnecessary to secure
by action what policy afforded, often fell victims to their want of

Meanwhile Corcyra gave the first example of most of the crimes
alluded to; of the reprisals exacted by the governed who had never
experienced equitable treatment or indeed aught but insolence from
their rulers--when their hour came; of the iniquitous resolves of
those who desired to get rid of their accustomed poverty, and ardently
coveted their neighbours' goods; and lastly, of the savage and
pitiless excesses into which men who had begun the struggle, not in
a class but in a party spirit, were hurried by their ungovernable
passions.  In the confusion into which life was now thrown in the
cities, human nature, always rebelling against the law and now its
master, gladly showed itself ungoverned in passion, above respect
for justice, and the enemy of all superiority; since revenge would not
have been set above religion, and gain above justice, had it not
been for the fatal power of envy.  Indeed men too often take upon
themselves in the prosecution of their revenge to set the example of
doing away with those general laws to which all alike can look for
salvation in adversity, instead of allowing them to subsist against
the day of danger when their aid may be required.

While the revolutionary passions thus for the first time displayed
themselves in the factions of Corcyra, Eurymedon and the Athenian
fleet sailed away; after which some five hundred Corcyraean exiles who
had succeeded in escaping, took some forts on the mainland, and
becoming masters of the Corcyraean territory over the water, made this
their base to Plunder their countrymen in the island, and did so
much damage as to cause a severe famine in the town.  They also sent
envoys to Lacedaemon and Corinth to negotiate their restoration; but
meeting with no success, afterwards got together boats and mercenaries
and crossed over to the island, being about six hundred in all; and
burning their boats so as to have no hope except in becoming masters
of the country, went up to Mount Istone, and fortifying themselves
there, began to annoy those in the city and obtained command of the

At the close of the same summer the Athenians sent twenty ships
under the command of Laches, son of Melanopus, and Charoeades, son
of Euphiletus, to Sicily, where the Syracusans and Leontines were at
war.  The Syracusans had for allies all the Dorian cities except
Camarina--these had been included in the Lacedaemonian confederacy
from the commencement of the war, though they had not taken any active
part in it--the Leontines had Camarina and the Chalcidian cities.  In
Italy the Locrians were for the Syracusans, the Rhegians for their
Leontine kinsmen.  The allies of the Leontines now sent to Athens and
appealed to their ancient alliance and to their Ionian origin, to
persuade the Athenians to send them a fleet, as the Syracusans were
blockading them by land and sea.  The Athenians sent it upon the plea
of their common descent, but in reality to prevent the exportation
of Sicilian corn to Peloponnese and to test the possibility of
bringing Sicily into subjection.  Accordingly they established
themselves at Rhegium in Italy, and from thence carried on the war
in concert with their allies.


_Year of the War - Campaigns of Demosthenes in Western Greece -
Ruin of Ambracia_

Summer was now over.  The winter following, the plague a second
time attacked the Athenians; for although it had never entirely left
them, still there had been a notable abatement in its ravages.  The
second visit lasted no less than a year, the first having lasted
two; and nothing distressed the Athenians and reduced their power more
than this.  No less than four thousand four hundred heavy infantry in
the ranks died of it and three hundred cavalry, besides a number of
the multitude that was never ascertained.  At the same time took
place the numerous earthquakes in Athens, Euboea, and Boeotia,
particularly at Orchomenus in the last-named country.

The same winter the Athenians in Sicily and the Rhegians, with
thirty ships, made an expedition against the islands of Aeolus; it
being impossible to invade them in summer, owing to the want of water.
These islands are occupied by the Liparaeans, a Cnidian colony, who
live in one of them of no great size called Lipara; and from this as
their headquarters cultivate the rest, Didyme, Strongyle, and Hiera.
In Hiera the people in those parts believe that Hephaestus has his
forge, from the quantity of flame which they see it send out by night,
and of smoke by day.  These islands lie off the coast of the Sicels and
Messinese, and were allies of the Syracusans.  The Athenians laid waste
their land, and as the inhabitants did not submit, sailed back to
Rhegium.  Thus the winter ended, and with it ended the fifth year of
this war, of which Thucydides was the historian.

The next summer the Peloponnesians and their allies set out to
invade Attica under the command of Agis, son of Archidamus, and went
as far as the Isthmus, but numerous earthquakes occurring, turned back
again without the invasion taking place.  About the same time that
these earthquakes were so common, the sea at Orobiae, in Euboea,
retiring from the then line of coast, returned in a huge wave and
invaded a great part of the town, and retreated leaving some of it
still under water; so that what was once land is now sea; such of
the inhabitants perishing as could not run up to the higher ground
in time.  A similar inundation also occurred at Atalanta, the island
off the Opuntian Locrian coast, carrying away part of the Athenian
fort and wrecking one of two ships which were drawn up on the beach.
At Peparethus also the sea retreated a little, without however any
inundation following; and an earthquake threw down part of the wall,
the town hall, and a few other buildings.  The cause, in my opinion, of
this phenomenon must be sought in the earthquake.  At the point where
its shock has been the most violent, the sea is driven back and,
suddenly recoiling with redoubled force, causes the inundation.
Without an earthquake I do not see how such an accident could happen.

During the same summer different operations were carried on by the
different belligerents in Sicily; by the Siceliots themselves against
each other, and by the Athenians and their allies: I shall however
confine myself to the actions in which the Athenians took part,
choosing the most important.  The death of the Athenian general
Charoeades, killed by the Syracusans in battle, left Laches in the
sole command of the fleet, which he now directed in concert with the
allies against Mylae, a place belonging to the Messinese.  Two
Messinese battalions in garrison at Mylae laid an ambush for the party
landing from the ships, but were routed with great slaughter by the
Athenians and their allies, who thereupon assaulted the
fortification and compelled them to surrender the Acropolis and to
march with them upon Messina.  This town afterwards also submitted upon
the approach of the Athenians and their allies, and gave hostages
and all other securities required.

The same summer the Athenians sent thirty ships round Peloponnese
under Demosthenes, son of Alcisthenes, and Procles, son of
Theodorus, and sixty others, with two thousand heavy infantry, against
Melos, under Nicias, son of Niceratus; wishing to reduce the
Melians, who, although islanders, refused to be subjects of Athens
or even to join her confederacy.  The devastation of their land not
procuring their submission, the fleet, weighing from Melos, sailed
to Oropus in the territory of Graea, and landing at nightfall, the
heavy infantry started at once from the ships by land for Tanagra in
Boeotia, where they were met by the whole levy from Athens,
agreeably to a concerted signal, under the command of Hipponicus,
son of Callias, and Eurymedon, son of Thucles.  They encamped, and
passing that day in ravaging the Tanagraean territory, remained
there for the night; and next day, after defeating those of the
Tanagraeans who sailed out against them and some Thebans who had
come up to help the Tanagraeans, took some arms, set up a trophy,
and retired, the troops to the city and the others to the ships.
Nicias with his sixty ships coasted alongshore and ravaged the Locrian
seaboard, and so returned home.

About this time the Lacedaemonians founded their colony of
Heraclea in Trachis, their object being the following: the Malians
form in all three tribes, the Paralians, the Hiereans, and the
Trachinians.  The last of these having suffered severely in a war
with their neighbours the Oetaeans, at first intended to give
themselves up to Athens; but afterwards fearing not to find in her the
security that they sought, sent to Lacedaemon, having chosen Tisamenus
for their ambassador.  In this embassy joined also the Dorians from the
mother country of the Lacedaemonians, with the same request, as they
themselves also suffered from the same enemy.  After hearing them,
the Lacedaemonians determined to send out the colony, wishing to
assist the Trachinians and Dorians, and also because they thought that
the proposed town would lie conveniently for the purposes of the war
against the Athenians.  A fleet might be got ready there against
Euboea, with the advantage of a short passage to the island; and the
town would also be useful as a station on the road to Thrace.  In
short, everything made the Lacedaemonians eager to found the place.
After first consulting the god at Delphi and receiving a favourable
answer, they sent off the colonists, Spartans, and Perioeci,
inviting also any of the rest of the Hellenes who might wish to
accompany them, except Ionians, Achaeans, and certain other
nationalities; three Lacedaemonians leading as founders of the colony,
Leon, Alcidas, and Damagon.  The settlement effected, they fortified
anew the city, now called Heraclea, distant about four miles and a
half from Thermopylae and two miles and a quarter from the sea, and
commenced building docks, closing the side towards Thermopylae just by
the pass itself, in order that they might be easily defended.

The foundation of this town, evidently meant to annoy Euboea (the
passage across to Cenaeum in that island being a short one), at
first caused some alarm at Athens, which the event however did nothing
to justify, the town never giving them any trouble.  The reason of this
was as follows.  The Thessalians, who were sovereign in those parts,
and whose territory was menaced by its foundation, were afraid that it
might prove a very powerful neighbour, and accordingly continually
harassed and made war upon the new settlers, until they at last wore
them out in spite of their originally considerable numbers, people
flocking from all quarters to a place founded by the Lacedaemonians,
and thus thought secure of prosperity.  On the other hand the
Lacedaemonians themselves, in the persons of their governors, did
their full share towards ruining its prosperity and reducing its
population, as they frightened away the greater part of the
inhabitants by governing harshly and in some cases not fairly, and
thus made it easier for their neighbours to prevail against them.

The same summer, about the same time that the Athenians were
detained at Melos, their fellow citizens in the thirty ships
cruising round Peloponnese, after cutting off some guards in an ambush
at Ellomenus in Leucadia, subsequently went against Leucas itself with
a large armament, having been reinforced by the whole levy of the
Acarnanians except Oeniadae, and by the Zacynthians and
Cephallenians and fifteen ships from Corcyra.  While the Leucadians
witnessed the devastation of their land, without and within the
isthmus upon which the town of Leucas and the temple of Apollo
stand, without making any movement on account of the overwhelming
numbers of the enemy, the Acarnanians urged Demosthenes, the
Athenian general, to build a wall so as to cut off the town from the
continent, a measure which they were convinced would secure its
capture and rid them once and for all of a most troublesome enemy.

Demosthenes however had in the meanwhile been persuaded by the
Messenians that it was a fine opportunity for him, having so large
an army assembled, to attack the Aetolians, who were not only the
enemies of Naupactus, but whose reduction would further make it easy
to gain the rest of that part of the continent for the Athenians.
The Aetolian nation, although numerous and warlike, yet dwelt in
unwalled villages scattered far apart, and had nothing but light
armour, and might, according to the Messenians, be subdued without
much difficulty before succours could arrive.  The plan which they
recommended was to attack first the Apodotians, next the Ophionians,
and after these the Eurytanians, who are the largest tribe in Aetolia,
and speak, as is said, a language exceedingly difficult to understand,
and eat their flesh raw.  These once subdued, the rest would easily
come in.

To this plan Demosthenes consented, not only to please the
Messenians, but also in the belief that by adding the Aetolians to his
other continental allies he would be able, without aid from home, to
march against the Boeotians by way of Ozolian Locris to Kytinium in
Doris, keeping Parnassus on his right until he descended to the
Phocians, whom he could force to join him if their ancient
friendship for Athens did not, as he anticipated, at once decide
them to do so.  Arrived in Phocis he was already upon the frontier of
Boeotia.  He accordingly weighed from Leucas, against the wish of the
Acarnanians, and with his whole armament sailed along the coast to
Sollium, where he communicated to them his intention; and upon their
refusing to agree to it on account of the non-investment of Leucas,
himself with the rest of the forces, the Cephallenians, the
Messenians, and Zacynthians, and three hundred Athenian marines from
his own ships (the fifteen Corcyraean vessels having departed),
started on his expedition against the Aetolians.  His base he
established at Oeneon in Locris, as the Ozolian Locrians were allies
of Athens and were to meet him with all their forces in the
interior.  Being neighbours of the Aetolians and armed in the same way,
it was thought that they would be of great service upon the
expedition, from their acquaintance with the localities and the
warfare of the inhabitants.

After bivouacking with the army in the precinct of Nemean Zeus, in
which the poet Hesiod is said to have been killed by the people of the
country, according to an oracle which had foretold that he should
die in Nemea, Demosthenes set out at daybreak to invade Aetolia.  The
first day he took Potidania, the next Krokyle, and the third
Tichium, where he halted and sent back the booty to Eupalium in
Locris, having determined to pursue his conquests as far as the
Ophionians, and, in the event of their refusing to submit, to return
to Naupactus and make them the objects of a second expedition.
Meanwhile the Aetolians had been aware of his design from the moment
of its formation, and as soon as the army invaded their country came
up in great force with all their tribes; even the most remote
Ophionians, the Bomiensians, and Calliensians, who extend towards
the Malian Gulf, being among the number.

The Messenians, however, adhered to their original advice.
Assuring Demosthenes that the Aetolians were an easy conquest, they
urged him to push on as rapidly as possible, and to try to take the
villages as fast as he came up to them, without waiting until the
whole nation should be in arms against him.  Led on by his advisers and
trusting in his fortune, as he had met with no opposition, without
waiting for his Locrian reinforcements, who were to have supplied
him with the light-armed darters in which he was most deficient, he
advanced and stormed Aegitium, the inhabitants flying before him and
posting themselves upon the hills above the town, which stood on
high ground about nine miles from the sea.  Meanwhile the Aetolians had
gathered to the rescue, and now attacked the Athenians and their
allies, running down from the hills on every side and darting their
javelins, falling back when the Athenian army advanced, and coming
on as it retired; and for a long while the battle was of this
character, alternate advance and retreat, in both which operations the
Athenians had the worst.

Still as long as their archers had arrows left and were able to
use them, they held out, the light-armed Aetolians retiring before the
arrows; but after the captain of the archers had been killed and his
men scattered, the soldiers, wearied out with the constant
repetition of the same exertions and hard pressed by the Aetolians
with their javelins, at last turned and fled, and falling into
pathless gullies and places that they were unacquainted with, thus
perished, the Messenian Chromon, their guide, having also
unfortunately been killed.  A great many were overtaken in the
pursuit by the swift-footed and light-armed Aetolians, and fell
beneath their javelins; the greater number however missed their road
and rushed into the wood, which had no ways out, and which was soon
fired and burnt round them by the enemy.  Indeed the Athenian army fell
victims to death in every form, and suffered all the vicissitudes of
flight; the survivors escaped with difficulty to the sea and Oeneon in
Locris, whence they had set out.  Many of the allies were killed, and
about one hundred and twenty Athenian heavy infantry, not a man
less, and all in the prime of life.  These were by far the best men
in the city of Athens that fell during this war.  Among the slain was
also Procles, the colleague of Demosthenes.  Meanwhile the Athenians
took up their dead under truce from the Aetolians, and retired to
Naupactus, and from thence went in their ships to Athens;
Demosthenes staying behind in Naupactus and in the neighbourhood,
being afraid to face the Athenians after the disaster.

About the same time the Athenians on the coast of Sicily sailed to
Locris, and in a descent which they made from the ships defeated the
Locrians who came against them, and took a fort upon the river Halex.

The same summer the Aetolians, who before the Athenian expedition
had sent an embassy to Corinth and Lacedaemon, composed of Tolophus,
an Ophionian, Boriades, an Eurytanian, and Tisander, an Apodotian,
obtained that an army should be sent them against Naupactus, which had
invited the Athenian invasion.  The Lacedaemonians accordingly sent off
towards autumn three thousand heavy infantry of the allies, five
hundred of whom were from Heraclea, the newly founded city in Trachis,
under the command of Eurylochus, a Spartan, accompanied by Macarius
and Menedaius, also Spartans.

The army having assembled at Delphi, Eurylochus sent a herald to the
Ozolian Locrians; the road to Naupactus lying through their territory,
and he having besides conceived the idea of detaching them from
Athens.  His chief abettors in Locris were the Amphissians, who were
alarmed at the hostility of the Phocians.  These first gave hostages
themselves, and induced the rest to do the same for fear of the
invading army; first, their neighbours the Myonians, who held the most
difficult of the passes, and after them the Ipnians, Messapians,
Tritaeans, Chalaeans, Tolophonians, Hessians, and Oeanthians, all of
whom joined in the expedition; the Olpaeans contenting themselves with
giving hostages, without accompanying the invasion; and the Hyaeans
refusing to do either, until the capture of Polis, one of their

His preparations completed, Eurylochus lodged the hostages in
Kytinium, in Doris, and advanced upon Naupactus through the country of
the Locrians, taking upon his way Oeneon and Eupalium, two of their
towns that refused to join him.  Arrived in the Naupactian territory,
and having been now joined by the Aetolians, the army laid waste the
land and took the suburb of the town, which was unfortified; and after
this Molycrium also, a Corinthian colony subject to Athens.
Meanwhile the Athenian Demosthenes, who since the affair in Aetolia
had remained near Naupactus, having had notice of the army and fearing
for the town, went and persuaded the Acarnanians, although not without
difficulty because of his departure from Leucas, to go to the relief
of Naupactus.  They accordingly sent with him on board his ships a
thousand heavy infantry, who threw themselves into the place and saved
it; the extent of its wall and the small number of its defenders
otherwise placing it in the greatest danger.  Meanwhile Eurylochus
and his companions, finding that this force had entered and that it
was impossible to storm the town, withdrew, not to Peloponnese, but to
the country once called Aeolis, and now Calydon and Pleuron, and to
the places in that neighbourhood, and Proschium in Aetolia; the
Ambraciots having come and urged them to combine with them in
attacking Amphilochian Argos and the rest of Amphilochia and
Acarnania; affirming that the conquest of these countries would
bring all the continent into alliance with Lacedaemon.  To this
Eurylochus consented, and dismissing the Aetolians, now remained quiet
with his army in those parts, until the time should come for the
Ambraciots to take the field, and for him to join them before Argos.

Summer was now over.  The winter ensuing, the Athenians in Sicily
with their Hellenic allies, and such of the Sicel subjects or allies
of Syracuse as had revolted from her and joined their army, marched
against the Sicel town Inessa, the acropolis of which was held by
the Syracusans, and after attacking it without being able to take
it, retired.  In the retreat, the allies retreating after the Athenians
were attacked by the Syracusans from the fort, and a large part of
their army routed with great slaughter.  After this, Laches and the
Athenians from the ships made some descents in Locris, and defeating
the Locrians, who came against them with Proxenus, son of Capaton,
upon the river Caicinus, took some arms and departed.

The same winter the Athenians purified Delos, in compliance, it
appears, with a certain oracle.  It had been purified before by
Pisistratus the tyrant; not indeed the whole island, but as much of it
as could be seen from the temple.  All of it was, however, now purified
in the following way.  All the sepulchres of those that had died in
Delos were taken up, and for the future it was commanded that no one
should be allowed either to die or to give birth to a child in the
island; but that they should be carried over to Rhenea, which is so
near to Delos that Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, having added Rhenea to
his other island conquests during his period of naval ascendancy,
dedicated it to the Delian Apollo by binding it to Delos with a chain.

The Athenians, after the purification, celebrated, for the first
time, the quinquennial festival of the Delian games.  Once upon a time,
indeed, there was a great assemblage of the Ionians and the
neighbouring islanders at Delos, who used to come to the festival,
as the Ionians now do to that of Ephesus, and athletic and poetical
contests took place there, and the cities brought choirs of dancers.
Nothing can be clearer on this point than the following verses of
Homer, taken from a hymn to Apollo:

   Phoebus, wherever thou strayest, far or near,
   Delos was still of all thy haunts most dear.
   Thither the robed Ionians take their way
   With wife and child to keep thy holiday,
   Invoke thy favour on each manly game,
   And dance and sing in honour of thy name.

That there was also a poetical contest in which the Ionians went
to contend, again is shown by the following, taken from the same hymn.
After celebrating the Delian dance of the women, he ends his song of
praise with these verses, in which he also alludes to himself:

   Well, may Apollo keep you all! and so,
   Sweethearts, good-bye--yet tell me not I go
   Out from your hearts; and if in after hours
   Some other wanderer in this world of ours
   Touch at your shores, and ask your maidens here
   Who sings the songs the sweetest to your ear,
   Think of me then, and answer with a smile,
   'A blind old man of Scio's rocky isle.'

Homer thus attests that there was anciently a great assembly and
festival at Delos.  In later times, although the islanders and the
Athenians continued to send the choirs of dancers with sacrifices, the
contests and most of the ceremonies were abolished, probably through
adversity, until the Athenians celebrated the games upon this occasion
with the novelty of horse-races.

The same winter the Ambraciots, as they had promised Eurylochus when
they retained his army, marched out against Amphilochian Argos with
three thousand heavy infantry, and invading the Argive territory
occupied Olpae, a stronghold on a hill near the sea, which had been
formerly fortified by the Acarnanians and used as the place of assizes
for their nation, and which is about two miles and three-quarters from
the city of Argos upon the sea-coast.  Meanwhile the Acarnanians went
with a part of their forces to the relief of Argos, and with the
rest encamped in Amphilochia at the place called Crenae, or the Wells,
to watch for Eurylochus and his Peloponnesians, and to prevent their
passing through and effecting their junction with the Ambraciots;
while they also sent for Demosthenes, the commander of the Aetolian
expedition, to be their leader, and for the twenty Athenian ships that
were cruising off Peloponnese under the command of Aristotle, son of
Timocrates, and Hierophon, son of Antimnestus.  On their part, the
Ambraciots at Olpae sent a messenger to their own city, to beg them to
come with their whole levy to their assistance, fearing that the
army of Eurylochus might not be able to pass through the
Acarnanians, and that they might themselves be obliged to fight
single-handed, or be unable to retreat, if they wished it, without

Meanwhile Eurylochus and his Peloponnesians, learning that the
Ambraciots at Olpae had arrived, set out from Proschium with all haste
to join them, and crossing the Achelous advanced through Acarnania,
which they found deserted by its population, who had gone to the
relief of Argos; keeping on their right the city of the Stratians
and its garrison, and on their left the rest of Acarnania.
Traversing the territory of the Stratians, they advanced through
Phytia, next, skirting Medeon, through Limnaea; after which they
left Acarnania behind them and entered a friendly country, that of the
Agraeans.  From thence they reached and crossed Mount Thymaus, which
belongs to the Agraeans, and descended into the Argive territory after
nightfall, and passing between the city of Argos and the Acarnanian
posts at Crenae, joined the Ambraciots at Olpae.

Uniting here at daybreak, they sat down at the place called
Metropolis, and encamped.  Not long afterwards the Athenians in the
twenty ships came into the Ambracian Gulf to support the Argives, with
Demosthenes and two hundred Messenian heavy infantry, and sixty
Athenian archers.  While the fleet off Olpae blockaded the hill from
the sea, the Acarnanians and a few of the Amphilochians, most of
whom were kept back by force by the Ambraciots, had already arrived at
Argos, and were preparing to give battle to the enemy, having chosen
Demosthenes to command the whole of the allied army in concert with
their own generals.  Demosthenes led them near to Olpae and encamped, a
great ravine separating the two armies.  During five days they remained
inactive; on the sixth both sides formed in order of battle.  The
army of the Peloponnesians was the largest and outflanked their
opponents; and Demosthenes fearing that his right might be surrounded,
placed in ambush in a hollow way overgrown with bushes some four
hundred heavy infantry and light troops, who were to rise up at the
moment of the onset behind the projecting left wing of the enemy,
and to take them in the rear.  When both sides were ready they joined
battle; Demosthenes being on the right wing with the Messenians and
a few Athenians, while the rest of the line was made up of the
different divisions of the Acarnanians, and of the Amphilochian
carters.  The Peloponnesians and Ambraciots were drawn up pell-mell
together, with the exception of the Mantineans, who were massed on the
left, without however reaching to the extremity of the wing, where
Eurylochus and his men confronted the Messenians and Demosthenes.

The Peloponnesians were now well engaged and with their
outflanking wing were upon the point of turning their enemy's right;
when the Acarnanians from the ambuscade set upon them from behind, and
broke them at the first attack, without their staying to resist; while
the panic into which they fell caused the flight of most of their
army, terrified beyond measure at seeing the division of Eurylochus
and their best troops cut to pieces.  Most of the work was done by
Demosthenes and his Messenians, who were posted in this part of the
field.  Meanwhile the Ambraciots (who are the best soldiers in those
countries) and the troops upon the right wing, defeated the division
opposed to them and pursued it to Argos.  Returning from the pursuit,
they found their main body defeated; and hard pressed by the
Acarnanians, with difficulty made good their passage to Olpae,
suffering heavy loss on the way, as they dashed on without
discipline or order, the Mantineans excepted, who kept their ranks
best of any in the army during the retreat.

The battle did not end until the evening.  The next day Menedaius,
who on the death of Eurylochus and Macarius had succeeded to the
sole command, being at a loss after so signal a defeat how to stay and
sustain a siege, cut off as he was by land and by the Athenian fleet
by sea, and equally so how to retreat in safety, opened a parley
with Demosthenes and the Acarnanian generals for a truce and
permission to retreat, and at the same time for the recovery of the
dead.  The dead they gave back to him, and setting up a trophy took
up their own also to the number of about three hundred.  The retreat
demanded they refused publicly to the army; but permission to depart
without delay was secretly granted to the Mantineans and to
Menedaius and the other commanders and principal men of the
Peloponnesians by Demosthenes and his Acarnanian colleagues; who
desired to strip the Ambraciots and the mercenary host of foreigners
of their supporters; and, above all, to discredit the Lacedaemonians
and Peloponnesians with the Hellenes in those parts, as traitors and

While the enemy was taking up his dead and hastily burying them as
he could, and those who obtained permission were secretly planning
their retreat, word was brought to Demosthenes and the Acarnanians
that the Ambraciots from the city, in compliance with the first
message from Olpae, were on the march with their whole levy through
Amphilochia to join their countrymen at Olpae, knowing nothing of what
had occurred.  Demosthenes prepared to march with his army against
them, and meanwhile sent on at once a strong division to beset the
roads and occupy the strong positions.  In the meantime the
Mantineans and others included in the agreement went out under the
pretence of gathering herbs and firewood, and stole off by twos and
threes, picking on the way the things which they professed to have
come out for, until they had gone some distance from Olpae, when
they quickened their pace.  The Ambraciots and such of the rest as
had accompanied them in larger parties, seeing them going on, pushed
on in their turn, and began running in order to catch them up.  The
Acarnanians at first thought that all alike were departing without
permission, and began to pursue the Peloponnesians; and believing that
they were being betrayed, even threw a dart or two at some of their
generals who tried to stop them and told them that leave had been
given.  Eventually, however, they let pass the Mantineans and
Peloponnesians, and slew only the Ambraciots, there being much dispute
and difficulty in distinguishing whether a man was an Ambraciot or a
Peloponnesian.  The number thus slain was about two hundred; the rest
escaped into the bordering territory of Agraea, and found refuge
with Salynthius, the friendly king of the Agraeans.

Meanwhile the Ambraciots from the city arrived at Idomene.  Idomene
consists of two lofty hills, the higher of which the troops sent on by
Demosthenes succeeded in occupying after nightfall, unobserved by
the Ambraciots, who had meanwhile ascended the smaller and
bivouacked under it.  After supper Demosthenes set out with the rest of
the army, as soon as it was evening; himself with half his force
making for the pass, and the remainder going by the Amphilochian
hills.  At dawn he fell upon the Ambraciots while they were still abed,
ignorant of what had passed, and fully thinking that it was their
own countrymen--Demosthenes having purposely put the Messenians in
front with orders to address them in the Doric dialect, and thus to
inspire confidence in the sentinels, who would not be able to see them
as it was still night.  In this way he routed their army as soon as
he attacked it, slaying most of them where they were, the rest
breaking away in flight over the hills.  The roads, however, were
already occupied, and while the Amphilochians knew their own
country, the Ambraciots were ignorant of it and could not tell which
way to turn, and had also heavy armour as against a light-armed enemy,
and so fell into ravines and into the ambushes which had been set
for them, and perished there.  In their manifold efforts to escape some
even turned to the sea, which was not far off, and seeing the Athenian
ships coasting alongshore just while the action was going on, swam off
to them, thinking it better in the panic they were in, to perish, if
perish they must, by the hands of the Athenians, than by those of
the barbarous and detested Amphilochians.  Of the large Ambraciot force
destroyed in this manner, a few only reached the city in safety; while
the Acarnanians, after stripping the dead and setting up a trophy,
returned to Argos.

The next day arrived a herald from the Ambraciots who had fled
from Olpae to the Agraeans, to ask leave to take up the dead that
had fallen after the first engagement, when they left the camp with
the Mantineans and their companions, without, like them, having had
permission to do so.  At the sight of the arms of the Ambraciots from
the city, the herald was astonished at their number, knowing nothing
of the disaster and fancying that they were those of their own
party.  Some one asked him what he was so astonished at, and how many
of them had been killed, fancying in his turn that this was the herald
from the troops at Idomene.  He replied: "About two hundred"; upon
which his interrogator took him up, saying: "Why, the arms you see
here are of more than a thousand." The herald replied: "Then they
are not the arms of those who fought with us?" The other answered:
"Yes, they are, if at least you fought at Idomene yesterday." "But
we fought with no one yesterday; but the day before in the retreat."
"However that may be, we fought yesterday with those who came to
reinforce you from the city of the Ambraciots." When the herald
heard this and knew that the reinforcement from the city had been
destroyed, he broke into wailing and, stunned at the magnitude of
the present evils, went away at once without having performed his
errand, or again asking for the dead bodies.  Indeed, this was by far
the greatest disaster that befell any one Hellenic city in an equal
number of days during this war; and I have not set down the number
of the dead, because the amount stated seems so out of proportion to
the size of the city as to be incredible.  In any case I know that if
the Acarnanians and Amphilochians had wished to take Ambracia as the
Athenians and Demosthenes advised, they would have done so without a
blow; as it was, they feared that if the Athenians had it they would
be worse neighbours to them than the present.

After this the Acarnanians allotted a third of the spoils to the
Athenians, and divided the rest among their own different towns.  The
share of the Athenians was captured on the voyage home; the arms now
deposited in the Attic temples are three hundred panoplies, which
the Acarnanians set apart for Demosthenes, and which he brought to
Athens in person, his return to his country after the Aetolian
disaster being rendered less hazardous by this exploit.  The
Athenians in the twenty ships also went off to Naupactus.  The
Acarnanians and Amphilochians, after the departure of Demosthenes
and the Athenians, granted the Ambraciots and Peloponnesians who had
taken refuge with Salynthius and the Agraeans a free retreat from
Oeniadae, to which place they had removed from the country of
Salynthius, and for the future concluded with the Ambraciots a
treaty and alliance for one hundred years, upon the terms following.
It was to be a defensive, not an offensive alliance; the Ambraciots
could not be required to march with the Acarnanians against the
Peloponnesians, nor the Acarnanians with the Ambraciots against the
Athenians; for the rest the Ambraciots were to give up the places
and hostages that they held of the Amphilochians, and not to give help
to Anactorium, which was at enmity with the Acarnanians.  With this
arrangement they put an end to the war.  After this the Corinthians
sent a garrison of their own citizens to Ambracia, composed of three
hundred heavy infantry, under the command of Xenocleides, son of
Euthycles, who reached their destination after a difficult journey
across the continent.  Such was the history of the affair of Ambracia.

The same winter the Athenians in Sicily made a descent from their
ships upon the territory of Himera, in concert with the Sicels, who
had invaded its borders from the interior, and also sailed to the
islands of Aeolus.  Upon their return to Rhegium they found the
Athenian general, Pythodorus, son of Isolochus, come to supersede
Laches in the command of the fleet.  The allies in Sicily had sailed to
Athens and induced the Athenians to send out more vessels to their
assistance, pointing out that the Syracusans who already commanded
their land were making efforts to get together a navy, to avoid
being any longer excluded from the sea by a few vessels.  The Athenians
proceeded to man forty ships to send to them, thinking that the war in
Sicily would thus be the sooner ended, and also wishing to exercise
their navy.  One of the generals, Pythodorus, was accordingly sent
out with a few ships; Sophocles, son of Sostratides, and Eurymedon,
son of Thucles, being destined to follow with the main body.  Meanwhile
Pythodorus had taken the command of Laches' ships, and towards the end
of winter sailed against the Locrian fort, which Laches had formerly
taken, and returned after being defeated in battle by the Locrians.

In the first days of this spring, the stream of fire issued from
Etna, as on former occasions, and destroyed some land of the
Catanians, who live upon Mount Etna, which is the largest mountain
in Sicily.  Fifty years, it is said, had elapsed since the last
eruption, there having been three in all since the Hellenes have
inhabited Sicily.  Such were the events of this winter; and with it
ended the sixth year of this war, of which Thucydides was the



_Seventh Year of the War - Occupation of Pylos - Surrender of
the Spartan Army in Sphacteria_

Next summer, about the time of the corn's coming into ear, ten
Syracusan and as many Locrian vessels sailed to Messina, in Sicily,
and occupied the town upon the invitation of the inhabitants; and
Messina revolted from the Athenians.  The Syracusans contrived this
chiefly because they saw that the place afforded an approach to
Sicily, and feared that the Athenians might hereafter use it as a base
for attacking them with a larger force; the Locrians because they
wished to carry on hostilities from both sides of the strait and to
reduce their enemies, the people of Rhegium.  Meanwhile, the Locrians
had invaded the Rhegian territory with all their forces, to prevent
their succouring Messina, and also at the instance of some exiles from
Rhegium who were with them; the long factions by which that town had
been torn rendering it for the moment incapable of resistance, and
thus furnishing an additional temptation to the invaders.  After
devastating the country the Locrian land forces retired, their ships
remaining to guard Messina, while others were being manned for the
same destination to carry on the war from thence.

About the same time in the spring, before the corn was ripe, the
Peloponnesians and their allies invaded Attica under Agis, the son
of Archidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians, and sat down and laid waste
the country.  Meanwhile the Athenians sent off the forty ships which
they had been preparing to Sicily, with the remaining generals
Eurymedon and Sophocles; their colleague Pythodorus having already
preceded them thither.  These had also instructions as they sailed by
to look to the Corcyraeans in the town, who were being plundered by
the exiles in the mountain.  To support these exiles sixty
Peloponnesian vessels had lately sailed, it being thought that the
famine raging in the city would make it easy for them to reduce it.
Demosthenes also, who had remained without employment since his return
from Acarnania, applied and obtained permission to use the fleet, if
he wished it, upon the coast of Peloponnese.

Off Laconia they heard that the Peloponnesian ships were already
at Corcyra, upon which Eurymedon and Sophocles wished to hasten to the
island, but Demosthenes required them first to touch at Pylos and do
what was wanted there, before continuing their voyage.  While they were
making objections, a squall chanced to come on and carried the fleet
into Pylos.  Demosthenes at once urged them to fortify the place, it
being for this that he had come on the voyage, and made them observe
there was plenty of stone and timber on the spot, and that the place
was strong by nature, and together with much of the country round
unoccupied; Pylos, or Coryphasium, as the Lacedaemonians call it,
being about forty-five miles distant from Sparta, and situated in
the old country of the Messenians.  The commanders told him that
there was no lack of desert headlands in Peloponnese if he wished to
put the city to expense by occupying them.  He, however, thought that
this place was distinguished from others of the kind by having a
harbour close by; while the Messenians, the old natives of the
country, speaking the same dialect as the Lacedaemonians, could do
them the greatest mischief by their incursions from it, and would at
the same time be a trusty garrison.

After speaking to the captains of companies on the subject, and
failing to persuade either the generals or the soldiers, he remained
inactive with the rest from stress of weather; until the soldiers
themselves wanting occupation were seized with a sudden impulse to
go round and fortify the place.  Accordingly they set to work in
earnest, and having no iron tools, picked up stones, and put them
together as they happened to fit, and where mortar was needed, carried
it on their backs for want of hods, stooping down to make it stay
on, and clasping their hands together behind to prevent it falling
off; sparing no effort to be able to complete the most vulnerable
points before the arrival of the Lacedaemonians, most of the place
being sufficiently strong by nature without further fortifications.

Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians were celebrating a festival, and also
at first made light of the news, in the idea that whenever they
chose to take the field the place would be immediately evacuated by
the enemy or easily taken by force; the absence of their army before
Athens having also something to do with their delay.  The Athenians
fortified the place on the land side, and where it most required it,
in six days, and leaving Demosthenes with five ships to garrison it,
with the main body of the fleet hastened on their voyage to Corcyra
and Sicily.

As soon as the Peloponnesians in Attica heard of the occupation of
Pylos, they hurried back home; the Lacedaemonians and their king
Agis thinking that the matter touched them nearly.  Besides having made
their invasion early in the season, and while the corn was still
green, most of their troops were short of provisions: the weather also
was unusually bad for the time of year, and greatly distressed their
army.  Many reasons thus combined to hasten their departure and to make
this invasion a very short one; indeed they only stayed fifteen days
in Attica.

About the same time the Athenian general Simonides getting
together a few Athenians from the garrisons, and a number of the
allies in those parts, took Eion in Thrace, a Mendaean colony and
hostile to Athens, by treachery, but had no sooner done so than the
Chalcidians and Bottiaeans came up and beat him out of it, with the
loss of many of his soldiers.

On the return of the Peloponnesians from Attica, the Spartans
themselves and the nearest of the Perioeci at once set out for
Pylos, the other Lacedaemonians following more slowly, as they had
just come in from another campaign.  Word was also sent round
Peloponnese to come up as quickly as possible to Pylos; while the
sixty Peloponnesian ships were sent for from Corcyra, and being
dragged by their crews across the isthmus of Leucas, passed
unperceived by the Athenian squadron at Zacynthus, and reached
Pylos, where the land forces had arrived before them.  Before the
Peloponnesian fleet sailed in, Demosthenes found time to send out
unobserved two ships to inform Eurymedon and the Athenians on board
the fleet at Zacynthus of the danger of Pylos and to summon them to
his assistance.  While the ships hastened on their voyage in
obedience to the orders of Demosthenes, the Lacedaemonians prepared to
assault the fort by land and sea, hoping to capture with ease a work
constructed in haste, and held by a feeble garrison.  Meanwhile, as
they expected the Athenian ships to arrive from Zacynthus, they
intended, if they failed to take the place before, to block up the
entrances of the harbour to prevent their being able to anchor
inside it.  For the island of Sphacteria, stretching along in a line
close in front of the harbour, at once makes it safe and narrows its
entrances, leaving a passage for two ships on the side nearest Pylos
and the Athenian fortifications, and for eight or nine on that next
the rest of the mainland: for the rest, the island was entirely
covered with wood, and without paths through not being inhabited,
and about one mile and five furlongs in length.  The inlets the
Lacedaemonians meant to close with a line of ships placed close
together, with their prows turned towards the sea, and, meanwhile,
fearing that the enemy might make use of the island to operate against
them, carried over some heavy infantry thither, stationing others
along the coast.  By this means the island and the continent would be
alike hostile to the Athenians, as they would be unable to land on
either; and the shore of Pylos itself outside the inlet towards the
open sea having no harbour, and, therefore, presenting no point
which they could use as a base to relieve their countrymen, they,
the Lacedaemonians, without sea-fight or risk would in all probability
become masters of the place, occupied as it had been on the spur of
the moment, and unfurnished with provisions.  This being determined,
they carried over to the island the heavy infantry, drafted by lot
from all the companies.  Some others had crossed over before in
relief parties, but these last who were left there were four hundred
and twenty in number, with their Helot attendants, commanded by
Epitadas, son of Molobrus.

Meanwhile Demosthenes, seeing the Lacedaemonians about to attack him
by sea and land at once, himself was not idle.  He drew up under the
fortification and enclosed in a stockade the galleys remaining to
him of those which had been left him, arming the sailors taken out
of them with poor shields made most of them of osier, it being
impossible to procure arms in such a desert place, and even these
having been obtained from a thirty-oared Messenian privateer and a
boat belonging to some Messenians who happened to have come to them.
Among these Messenians were forty heavy infantry, whom he made use
of with the rest.  Posting most of his men, unarmed and armed, upon the
best fortified and strong points of the place towards the interior,
with orders to repel any attack of the land forces, he picked sixty
heavy infantry and a few archers from his whole force, and with
these went outside the wall down to the sea, where he thought that the
enemy would most likely attempt to land.  Although the ground was
difficult and rocky, looking towards the open sea, the fact that
this was the weakest part of the wall would, he thought, encourage
their ardour, as the Athenians, confident in their naval
superiority, had here paid little attention to their defences, and the
enemy if he could force a landing might feel secure of taking the
place.  At this point, accordingly, going down to the water's edge,
he posted his heavy infantry to prevent, if possible, a landing, and
encouraged them in the following terms:

"Soldiers and comrades in this adventure, I hope that none of you in
our present strait will think to show his wit by exactly calculating
all the perils that encompass us, but that you will rather hasten to
close with the enemy, without staying to count the odds, seeing in
this your best chance of safety.  In emergencies like ours
calculation is out of place; the sooner the danger is faced the
better.  To my mind also most of the chances are for us, if we will
only stand fast and not throw away our advantages, overawed by the
numbers of the enemy.  One of the points in our favour is the
awkwardness of the landing.  This, however, only helps us if we stand
our ground.  If we give way it will be practicable enough, in spite
of its natural difficulty, without a defender; and the enemy will
instantly become more formidable from the difficulty he will have in
retreating, supposing that we succeed in repulsing him, which we shall
find it easier to do, while he is on board his ships, than after he
has landed and meets us on equal terms.  As to his numbers, these
need not too much alarm you.  Large as they may be he can only engage
in small detachments, from the impossibility of bringing to.
Besides, the numerical superiority that we have to meet is not that of
an army on land with everything else equal, but of troops on board
ship, upon an element where many favourable accidents are required
to act with effect.  I therefore consider that his difficulties may
be fairly set against our numerical deficiencies, and at the same time
I charge you, as Athenians who know by experience what landing from
ships on a hostile territory means, and how impossible it is to
drive back an enemy determined enough to stand his ground and not to
be frightened away by the surf and the terrors of the ships sailing
in, to stand fast in the present emergency, beat back the enemy at the
water's edge, and save yourselves and the place."

Thus encouraged by Demosthenes, the Athenians felt more confident,
and went down to meet the enemy, posting themselves along the edge
of the sea.  The Lacedaemonians now put themselves in movement and
simultaneously assaulted the fortification with their land forces
and with their ships, forty-three in number, under their admiral,
Thrasymelidas, son of Cratesicles, a Spartan, who made his attack just
where Demosthenes expected.  The Athenians had thus to defend
themselves on both sides, from the land and from the sea; the enemy
rowing up in small detachments, the one relieving the other--it being
impossible for many to bring to at once--and showing great ardour and
cheering each other on, in the endeavour to force a passage and to
take the fortification.  He who most distinguished himself was
Brasidas.  Captain of a galley, and seeing that the captains and
steersmen, impressed by the difficulty of the position, hung back even
where a landing might have seemed possible, for fear of wrecking their
vessels, he shouted out to them, that they must never allow the
enemy to fortify himself in their country for the sake of saving
timber, but must shiver their vessels and force a landing; and bade
the allies, instead of hesitating in such a moment to sacrifice
their ships for Lacedaemon in return for her many benefits, to run
them boldly aground, land in one way or another, and make themselves
masters of the place and its garrison.

Not content with this exhortation, he forced his own steersman to
run his ship ashore, and stepping on to the gangway, was
endeavouring to land, when he was cut down by the Athenians, and after
receiving many wounds fainted away.  Falling into the bows, his
shield slipped off his arm into the sea, and being thrown ashore was
picked up by the Athenians, and afterwards used for the trophy which
they set up for this attack.  The rest also did their best, but were
not able to land, owing to the difficulty of the ground and the
unflinching tenacity of the Athenians.  It was a strange reversal of
the order of things for Athenians to be fighting from the land, and
from Laconian land too, against Lacedaemonians coming from the sea;
while Lacedaemonians were trying to land from shipboard in their own
country, now become hostile, to attack Athenians, although the
former were chiefly famous at the time as an inland people and
superior by land, the latter as a maritime people with a navy that had
no equal.

After continuing their attacks during that day and most of the next,
the Peloponnesians desisted, and the day after sent some of their
ships to Asine for timber to make engines, hoping to take by their
aid, in spite of its height, the wall opposite the harbour, where
the landing was easiest.  At this moment the Athenian fleet from
Zacynthus arrived, now numbering fifty sail, having been reinforced by
some of the ships on guard at Naupactus and by four Chian vessels.
Seeing the coast and the island both crowded with heavy infantry,
and the hostile ships in harbour showing no signs of sailing out, at a
loss where to anchor, they sailed for the moment to the desert
island of Prote, not far off, where they passed the night.  The next
day they got under way in readiness to engage in the open sea if the
enemy chose to put out to meet them, being determined in the event
of his not doing so to sail in and attack him.  The Lacedaemonians
did not put out to sea, and having omitted to close the inlets as they
had intended, remained quiet on shore, engaged in manning their
ships and getting ready, in the case of any one sailing in, to fight
in the harbour, which is a fairly large one.

Perceiving this, the Athenians advanced against them by each
inlet, and falling on the enemy's fleet, most of which was by this
time afloat and in line, at once put it to flight, and giving chase as
far as the short distance allowed, disabled a good many vessels and
took five, one with its crew on board; dashing in at the rest that had
taken refuge on shore, and battering some that were still being
manned, before they could put out, and lashing on to their own ships
and towing off empty others whose crews had fled.  At this sight the
Lacedaemonians, maddened by a disaster which cut off their men on
the island, rushed to the rescue, and going into the sea with their
heavy armour, laid hold of the ships and tried to drag them back, each
man thinking that success depended on his individual exertions.
Great was the melee, and quite in contradiction to the naval tactics
usual to the two combatants; the Lacedaemonians in their excitement
and dismay being actually engaged in a sea-fight on land, while the
victorious Athenians, in their eagerness to push their success as
far as possible, were carrying on a land-fight from their ships.  After
great exertions and numerous wounds on both sides they separated,
the Lacedaemonians saving their empty ships, except those first taken;
and both parties returning to their camp, the Athenians set up a
trophy, gave back the dead, secured the wrecks, and at once began to
cruise round and jealously watch the island, with its intercepted
garrison, while the Peloponnesians on the mainland, whose
contingents had now all come up, stayed where they were before Pylos.

When the news of what had happened at Pylos reached Sparta, the
disaster was thought so serious that the Lacedaemonians resolved
that the authorities should go down to the camp, and decide on the
spot what was best to be done.  There, seeing that it was impossible to
help their men, and not wishing to risk their being reduced by
hunger or overpowered by numbers, they determined, with the consent of
the Athenian generals, to conclude an armistice at Pylos and send
envoys to Athens to obtain a convention, and to endeavour to get
back their men as quickly as possible.

The generals accepting their offers, an armistice was concluded upon
the terms following:

That the Lacedaemonians should bring to Pylos and deliver up to
the Athenians the ships that had fought in the late engagement, and
all in Laconia that were vessels of war, and should make no attack
on the fortification either by land or by sea.

That the Athenians should allow the Lacedaemonians on the mainland
to send to the men in the island a certain fixed quantity of corn
ready kneaded, that is to say, two quarts of barley meal, one pint
of wine, and a piece of meat for each man, and half the same
quantity for a servant.

That this allowance should be sent in under the eyes of the
Athenians, and that no boat should sail to the island except openly.

That the Athenians should continue to the island same as before,
without however landing upon it, and should refrain from attacking the
Peloponnesian troops either by land or by sea.

That if either party should infringe any of these terms in the
slightest particular, the armistice should be at once void.

That the armistice should hold good until the return of the
Lacedaemonian envoys from Athens--the Athenians sending them thither
in a galley and bringing them back again--and upon the arrival of the
envoys should be at an end, and the ships be restored by the Athenians
in the same state as they received them.

Such were the terms of the armistice, and the ships were delivered
over to the number of sixty, and the envoys sent off accordingly.
Arrived at Athens they spoke as follows:

"Athenians, the Lacedaemonians sent us to try to find some way of
settling the affair of our men on the island, that shall be at once
satisfactory to our interests, and as consistent with our dignity in
our misfortune as circumstances permit.  We can venture to speak at
some length without any departure from the habit of our country.  Men
of few words where many are not wanted, we can be less brief when
there is a matter of importance to be illustrated and an end to be
served by its illustration.  Meanwhile we beg you to take what we may
say, not in a hostile spirit, nor as if we thought you ignorant and
wished to lecture you, but rather as a suggestion on the best course
to be taken, addressed to intelligent judges.  You can now, if you
choose, employ your present success to advantage, so as to keep what
you have got and gain honour and reputation besides, and you can avoid
the mistake of those who meet with an extraordinary piece of good
fortune, and are led on by hope to grasp continually at something
further, through having already succeeded without expecting it.
While those who have known most vicissitudes of good and bad, have
also justly least faith in their prosperity; and to teach your city
and ours this lesson experience has not been wanting.

"To be convinced of this you have only to look at our present
misfortune.  What power in Hellas stood higher than we did? and yet
we are come to you, although we formerly thought ourselves more able
to grant what we are now here to ask.  Nevertheless, we have not been
brought to this by any decay in our power, or through having our heads
turned by aggrandizement; no, our resources are what they have
always been, and our error has been an error of judgment, to which all
are equally liable.  Accordingly, the prosperity which your city now
enjoys, and the accession that it has lately received, must not make
you fancy that fortune will be always with you.  Indeed sensible men
are prudent enough to treat their gains as precarious, just as they
would also keep a clear head in adversity, and think that war, so
far from staying within the limit to which a combatant may wish to
confine it, will run the course that its chances prescribe; and
thus, not being puffed up by confidence in military success, they
are less likely to come to grief, and most ready to make peace, if
they can, while their fortune lasts.  This, Athenians, you have a
good opportunity to do now with us, and thus to escape the possible
disasters which may follow upon your refusal, and the consequent
imputation of having owed to accident even your present advantages,
when you might have left behind you a reputation for power and
wisdom which nothing could endanger.

"The Lacedaemonians accordingly invite you to make a treaty and to
end the war, and offer peace and alliance and the most friendly and
intimate relations in every way and on every occasion between us;
and in return ask for the men on the island, thinking it better for
both parties not to stand out to the end, on the chance of some
favourable accident enabling the men to force their way out, or of
their being compelled to succumb under the pressure of blockade.
Indeed if great enmities are ever to be really settled, we think it
will be, not by the system of revenge and military success, and by
forcing an opponent to swear to a treaty to his disadvantage, but when
the more fortunate combatant waives these his privileges, to be guided
by gentler feelings conquers his rival in generosity, and accords
peace on more moderate conditions than he expected.  From that
moment, instead of the debt of revenge which violence must entail, his
adversary owes a debt of generosity to be paid in kind, and is
inclined by honour to stand to his agreement.  And men oftener act in
this manner towards their greatest enemies than where the quarrel is
of less importance; they are also by nature as glad to give way to
those who first yield to them, as they are apt to be provoked by
arrogance to risks condemned by their own judgment.

"To apply this to ourselves: if peace was ever desirable for both
parties, it is surely so at the present moment, before anything
irremediable befall us and force us to hate you eternally,
personally as well as politically, and you to miss the advantages that
we now offer you.  While the issue is still in doubt, and you have
reputation and our friendship in prospect, and we the compromise of
our misfortune before anything fatal occur, let us be reconciled,
and for ourselves choose peace instead of war, and grant to the rest
of the Hellenes a remission from their sufferings, for which be sure
they will think they have chiefly you to thank.  The war that they
labour under they know not which began, but the peace that concludes
it, as it depends on your decision, will by their gratitude be laid to
your door.  By such a decision you can become firm friends with the
Lacedaemonians at their own invitation, which you do not force from
them, but oblige them by accepting.  And from this friendship
consider the advantages that are likely to follow: when Attica and
Sparta are at one, the rest of Hellas, be sure, will remain in
respectful inferiority before its heads."

Such were the words of the Lacedaemonians, their idea being that the
Athenians, already desirous of a truce and only kept back by their
opposition, would joyfully accept a peace freely offered, and give
back the men.  The Athenians, however, having the men on the island,
thought that the treaty would be ready for them whenever they chose to
make it, and grasped at something further.  Foremost to encourage
them in this policy was Cleon, son of Cleaenetus, a popular leader
of the time and very powerful with the multitude, who persuaded them
to answer as follows: First, the men in the island must surrender
themselves and their arms and be brought to Athens.  Next, the
Lacedaemonians must restore Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and Achaia, all
places acquired not by arms, but by the previous convention, under
which they had been ceded by Athens herself at a moment of disaster,
when a truce was more necessary to her than at present.  This done they
might take back their men, and make a truce for as long as both
parties might agree.

To this answer the envoys made no reply, but asked that
commissioners might be chosen with whom they might confer on each
point, and quietly talk the matter over and try to come to some
agreement.  Hereupon Cleon violently assailed them, saying that he knew
from the first that they had no right intentions, and that it was
clear enough now by their refusing to speak before the people, and
wanting to confer in secret with a committee of two or three.  No, if
they meant anything honest let them say it out before all.  The
Lacedaemonians, however, seeing that whatever concessions they might
be prepared to make in their misfortune, it was impossible for them to
speak before the multitude and lose credit with their allies for a
negotiation which might after all miscarry, and on the other hand,
that the Athenians would never grant what they asked upon moderate
terms, returned from Athens without having effected anything.

Their arrival at once put an end to the armistice at Pylos, and
the Lacedaemonians asked back their ships according to the convention.
The Athenians, however, alleged an attack on the fort in contravention
of the truce, and other grievances seemingly not worth mentioning, and
refused to give them back, insisting upon the clause by which the
slightest infringement made the armistice void.  The Lacedaemonians,
after denying the contravention and protesting against their bad faith
in the matter of the ships, went away and earnestly addressed
themselves to the war.  Hostilities were now carried on at Pylos upon
both sides with vigour.  The Athenians cruised round the island all day
with two ships going different ways; and by night, except on the
seaward side in windy weather, anchored round it with their whole
fleet, which, having been reinforced by twenty ships from Athens
come to aid in the blockade, now numbered seventy sail; while the
Peloponnesians remained encamped on the continent, making attacks on
the fort, and on the look-out for any opportunity which might offer
itself for the deliverance of their men.

Meanwhile the Syracusans and their allies in Sicily had brought up
to the squadron guarding Messina the reinforcement which we left
them preparing, and carried on the war from thence, incited chiefly by
the Locrians from hatred of the Rhegians, whose territory they had
invaded with all their forces.  The Syracusans also wished to try their
fortune at sea, seeing that the Athenians had only a few ships
actually at Rhegium, and hearing that the main fleet destined to
join them was engaged in blockading the island.  A naval victory,
they thought, would enable them to blockade Rhegium by sea and land,
and easily to reduce it; a success which would at once place their
affairs upon a solid basis, the promontory of Rhegium in Italy and
Messina in Sicily being so near each other that it would be impossible
for the Athenians to cruise against them and command the strait.  The
strait in question consists of the sea between Rhegium and Messina, at
the point where Sicily approaches nearest to the continent, and is the
Charybdis through which the story makes Ulysses sail; and the
narrowness of the passage and the strength of the current that pours
in from the vast Tyrrhenian and Sicilian mains, have rightly given
it a bad reputation.

In this strait the Syracusans and their allies were compelled to
fight, late in the day, about the passage of a boat, putting out
with rather more than thirty ships against sixteen Athenian and
eight Rhegian vessels.  Defeated by the Athenians they hastily set off,
each for himself, to their own stations at Messina and Rhegium, with
the loss of one ship; night coming on before the battle was
finished.  After this the Locrians retired from the Rhegian
territory, and the ships of the Syracusans and their allies united and
came to anchor at Cape Pelorus, in the territory of Messina, where
their land forces joined them.  Here the Athenians and Rhegians
sailed up, and seeing the ships unmanned, made an attack, in which
they in their turn lost one vessel, which was caught by a grappling
iron, the crew saving themselves by swimming.  After this the
Syracusans got on board their ships, and while they were being towed
alongshore to Messina, were again attacked by the Athenians, but
suddenly got out to sea and became the assailants, and caused them
to lose another vessel.  After thus holding their own in the voyage
alongshore and in the engagement as above described, the Syracusans
sailed on into the harbour of Messina.

Meanwhile the Athenians, having received warning that Camarina was
about to be betrayed to the Syracusans by Archias and his party,
sailed thither; and the Messinese took this opportunity to attack by
sea and land with all their forces their Chalcidian neighbour,
Naxos.  The first day they forced the Naxians to keep their walls,
and laid waste their country; the next they sailed round with their
ships, and laid waste their land on the river Akesines, while their
land forces menaced the city.  Meanwhile the Sicels came down from
the high country in great numbers, to aid against the Messinese; and
the Naxians, elated at the sight, and animated by a belief that the
Leontines and their other Hellenic allies were coming to their
support, suddenly sallied out from the town, and attacked and routed
the Messinese, killing more than a thousand of them; while the
remainder suffered severely in their retreat home, being attacked by
the barbarians on the road, and most of them cut off.  The ships put in
to Messina, and afterwards dispersed for their different homes.  The
Leontines and their allies, with the Athenians, upon this at once
turned their arms against the now weakened Messina, and attacked,
the Athenians with their ships on the side of the harbour, and the
land forces on that of the town.  The Messinese, however, sallying
out with Demoteles and some Locrians who had been left to garrison the
city after the disaster, suddenly attacked and routed most of the
Leontine army, killing a great number; upon seeing which the Athenians
landed from their ships, and falling on the Messinese in disorder
chased them back into the town, and setting up a trophy retired to
Rhegium.  After this the Hellenes in Sicily continued to make war on
each other by land, without the Athenians.

Meanwhile the Athenians at Pylos were still besieging the
Lacedaemonians in the island, the Peloponnesian forces on the
continent remaining where they were.  The blockade was very laborious
for the Athenians from want of food and water; there was no spring
except one in the citadel of Pylos itself, and that not a large one,
and most of them were obliged to grub up the shingle on the sea
beach and drink such water as they could find.  They also suffered from
want of room, being encamped in a narrow space; and as there was no
anchorage for the ships, some took their meals on shore in their turn,
while the others were anchored out at sea.  But their greatest
discouragement arose from the unexpectedly long time which it took
to reduce a body of men shut up in a desert island, with only brackish
water to drink, a matter which they had imagined would take them
only a few days.  The fact was that the Lacedaemonians had made
advertisement for volunteers to carry into the island ground corn,
wine, cheese, and any other food useful in a siege; high prices
being offered, and freedom promised to any of the Helots who should
succeed in doing so.  The Helots accordingly were most forward to
engage in this risky traffic, putting off from this or that part of
Peloponnese, and running in by night on the seaward side of the
island.  They were best pleased, however, when they could catch a
wind to carry them in.  It was more easy to elude the look-out of the
galleys, when it blew from the seaward, as it became impossible for
them to anchor round the island; while the Helots had their boats
rated at their value in money, and ran them ashore, without caring how
they landed, being sure to find the soldiers waiting for them at the
landing-places.  But all who risked it in fair weather were taken.
Divers also swam in under water from the harbour, dragging by a cord
in skins poppyseed mixed with honey, and bruised linseed; these at
first escaped notice, but afterwards a look-out was kept for them.
In short, both sides tried every possible contrivance, the one to
throw in provisions, and the other to prevent their introduction.

At Athens, meanwhile, the news that the army was in great
distress, and that corn found its way in to the men in the island,
caused no small perplexity; and the Athenians began to fear that
winter might come on and find them still engaged in the blockade.  They
saw that the convoying of provisions round Peloponnese would be then
impossible.  The country offered no resources in itself, and even in
summer they could not send round enough.  The blockade of a place
without harbours could no longer be kept up; and the men would
either escape by the siege being abandoned, or would watch for bad
weather and sail out in the boats that brought in their corn.  What
caused still more alarm was the attitude of the Lacedaemonians, who
must, it was thought by the Athenians, feel themselves on strong
ground not to send them any more envoys; and they began to repent
having rejected the treaty.  Cleon, perceiving the disfavour with which
he was regarded for having stood in the way of the convention, now
said that their informants did not speak the truth; and upon the
messengers recommending them, if they did not believe them, to send
some commissioners to see, Cleon himself and Theagenes were chosen
by the Athenians as commissioners.  Aware that he would now be
obliged either to say what had been already said by the men whom he
was slandering, or be proved a liar if he said the contrary, he told
the Athenians, whom he saw to be not altogether disinclined for a
fresh expedition, that instead of sending and wasting their time and
opportunities, if they believed what was told them, they ought to sail
against the men.  And pointing at Nicias, son of Niceratus, then
general, whom he hated, he tauntingly said that it would be easy, if
they had men for generals, to sail with a force and take those in
the island, and that if he had himself been in command, he would
have done it.

Nicias, seeing the Athenians murmuring against Cleon for not sailing
now if it seemed to him so easy, and further seeing himself the object
of attack, told him that for all that the generals cared, he might
take what force he chose and make the attempt.  At first Cleon
fancied that this resignation was merely a figure of speech, and was
ready to go, but finding that it was seriously meant, he drew back,
and said that Nicias, not he, was general, being now frightened, and
having never supposed that Nicias would go so far as to retire in
his favour.  Nicias, however, repeated his offer, and resigned the
command against Pylos, and called the Athenians to witness that he did
so.  And as the multitude is wont to do, the more Cleon shrank from the
expedition and tried to back out of what he had said, the more they
encouraged Nicias to hand over his command, and clamoured at Cleon
to go.  At last, not knowing how to get out of his words, he
undertook the expedition, and came forward and said that he was not
afraid of the Lacedaemonians, but would sail without taking any one
from the city with him, except the Lemnians and Imbrians that were
at Athens, with some targeteers that had come up from Aenus, and
four hundred archers from other quarters.  With these and the
soldiers at Pylos, he would within twenty days either bring the
Lacedaemonians alive, or kill them on the spot.  The Athenians could
not help laughing at his fatuity, while sensible men comforted
themselves with the reflection that they must gain in either
circumstance; either they would be rid of Cleon, which they rather
hoped, or if disappointed in this expectation, would reduce the

After he had settled everything in the assembly, and the Athenians
had voted him the command of the expedition, he chose as his colleague
Demosthenes, one of the generals at Pylos, and pushed forward the
preparations for his voyage.  His choice fell upon Demosthenes
because he heard that he was contemplating a descent on the island;
the soldiers distressed by the difficulties of the position, and
rather besieged than besiegers, being eager to fight it out, while the
firing of the island had increased the confidence of the general.  He
had been at first afraid, because the island having never been
inhabited was almost entirely covered with wood and without paths,
thinking this to be in the enemy's favour, as he might land with a
large force, and yet might suffer loss by an attack from an unseen
position.  The mistakes and forces of the enemy the wood would in a
great measure conceal from him, while every blunder of his own
troops would be at once detected, and they would be thus able to
fall upon him unexpectedly just where they pleased, the attack being
always in their power.  If, on the other hand, he should force them
to engage in the thicket, the smaller number who knew the country
would, he thought, have the advantage over the larger who were
ignorant of it, while his own army might be cut off imperceptibly,
in spite of its numbers, as the men would not be able to see where
to succour each other.

The Aetolian disaster, which had been mainly caused by the wood, had
not a little to do with these reflections.  Meanwhile, one of the
soldiers who were compelled by want of room to land on the extremities
of the island and take their dinners, with outposts fixed to prevent a
surprise, set fire to a little of the wood without meaning to do so;
and as it came on to blow soon afterwards, almost the whole was
consumed before they were aware of it.  Demosthenes was now able for
the first time to see how numerous the Lacedaemonians really were,
having up to this moment been under the impression that they took in
provisions for a smaller number; he also saw that the Athenians
thought success important and were anxious about it, and that it was
now easier to land on the island, and accordingly got ready for the
attempt, sent for troops from the allies in the neighbourhood, and
pushed forward his other preparations.  At this moment Cleon arrived at
Pylos with the troops which he had asked for, having sent on word to
say that he was coming.  The first step taken by the two generals after
their meeting was to send a herald to the camp on the mainland, to ask
if they were disposed to avoid all risk and to order the men on the
island to surrender themselves and their arms, to be kept in gentle
custody until some general convention should be concluded.

On the rejection of this proposition the generals let one day
pass, and the next, embarking all their heavy infantry on board a
few ships, put out by night, and a little before dawn landed on both
sides of the island from the open sea and from the harbour, being
about eight hundred strong, and advanced with a run against the
first post in the island.

The enemy had distributed his force as follows: In this first post
there were about thirty heavy infantry; the centre and most level
part, where the water was, was held by the main body, and by
Epitadas their commander; while a small party guarded the very end
of the island, towards Pylos, which was precipitous on the sea-side
and very difficult to attack from the land, and where there was also a
sort of old fort of stones rudely put together, which they thought
might be useful to them, in case they should be forced to retreat.
Such was their disposition.

The advanced post thus attacked by the Athenians was at once put
to the sword, the men being scarcely out of bed and still arming,
the landing having taken them by surprise, as they fancied the ships
were only sailing as usual to their stations for the night.  As soon as
day broke, the rest of the army landed, that is to say, all the
crews of rather more than seventy ships, except the lowest rank of
oars, with the arms they carried, eight hundred archers, and as many
targeteers, the Messenian reinforcements, and all the other troops
on duty round Pylos, except the garrison on the fort.  The tactics of
Demosthenes had divided them into companies of two hundred, more or
less, and made them occupy the highest points in order to paralyse the
enemy by surrounding him on every side and thus leaving him without
any tangible adversary, exposed to the cross-fire of their host; plied
by those in his rear if he attacked in front, and by those on one
flank if he moved against those on the other.  In short, wherever he
went he would have the assailants behind him, and these light-armed
assailants, the most awkward of all; arrows, darts, stones, and slings
making them formidable at a distance, and there being no means of
getting at them at close quarters, as they could conquer flying, and
the moment their pursuer turned they were upon him.  Such was the
idea that inspired Demosthenes in his conception of the descent, and
presided over its execution.

Meanwhile the main body of the troops in the island (that under
Epitadas), seeing their outpost cut off and an army advancing
against them, serried their ranks and pressed forward to close with
the Athenian heavy infantry in front of them, the light troops being
upon their flanks and rear.  However, they were not able to engage or
to profit by their superior skill, the light troops keeping them in
check on either side with their missiles, and the heavy infantry
remaining stationary instead of advancing to meet them; and although
they routed the light troops wherever they ran up and approached too
closely, yet they retreated fighting, being lightly equipped, and
easily getting the start in their flight, from the difficult and
rugged nature of the ground, in an island hitherto desert, over
which the Lacedaemonians could not pursue them with their heavy

After this skirmishing had lasted some little while, the
Lacedaemonians became unable to dash out with the same rapidity as
before upon the points attacked, and the light troops finding that
they now fought with less vigour, became more confident.  They could
see with their own eyes that they were many times more numerous than
the enemy; they were now more familiar with his aspect and found him
less terrible, the result not having justified the apprehensions which
they had suffered, when they first landed in slavish dismay at the
idea of attacking Lacedaemonians; and accordingly their fear
changing to disdain, they now rushed all together with loud shouts
upon them, and pelted them with stones, darts, and arrows, whichever
came first to hand.  The shouting accompanying their onset confounded
the Lacedaemonians, unaccustomed to this mode of fighting; dust rose
from the newly burnt wood, and it was impossible to see in front of
one with the arrows and stones flying through clouds of dust from
the hands of numerous assailants.  The Lacedaemonians had now to
sustain a rude conflict; their caps would not keep out the arrows,
darts had broken off in the armour of the wounded, while they
themselves were helpless for offence, being prevented from using their
eyes to see what was before them, and unable to hear the words of
command for the hubbub raised by the enemy; danger encompassed them on
every side, and there was no hope of any means of defence or safety.

At last, after many had been already wounded in the confined space
in which they were fighting, they formed in close order and retired on
the fort at the end of the island, which was not far off, and to their
friends who held it.  The moment they gave way, the light troops became
bolder and pressed upon them, shouting louder than ever, and killed as
many as they came up with in their retreat, but most of the
Lacedaemonians made good their escape to the fort, and with the
garrison in it ranged themselves all along its whole extent to repulse
the enemy wherever it was assailable.  The Athenians pursuing, unable
to surround and hem them in, owing to the strength of the ground,
attacked them in front and tried to storm the position.  For a long
time, indeed for most of the day, both sides held out against all
the torments of the battle, thirst, and sun, the one endeavouring to
drive the enemy from the high ground, the other to maintain himself
upon it, it being now more easy for the Lacedaemonians to defend
themselves than before, as they could not be surrounded on the flanks.

The struggle began to seem endless, when the commander of the
Messenians came to Cleon and Demosthenes, and told them that they were
losing their labour: but if they would give him some archers and light
troops to go round on the enemy's rear by a way he would undertake
to find, he thought he could force the approach.  Upon receiving what
he asked for, he started from a point out of sight in order not to
be seen by the enemy, and creeping on wherever the precipices of the
island permitted, and where the Lacedaemonians, trusting to the
strength of the ground, kept no guard, succeeded after the greatest
difficulty in getting round without their seeing him, and suddenly
appeared on the high ground in their rear, to the dismay of the
surprised enemy and the still greater joy of his expectant friends.
The Lacedaemonians thus placed between two fires, and in the same
dilemma, to compare small things with great, as at Thermopylae,
where the defenders were cut off through the Persians getting round by
the path, being now attacked in front and behind, began to give way,
and overcome by the odds against them and exhausted from want of food,

The Athenians were already masters of the approaches when Cleon
and Demosthenes perceiving that, if the enemy gave way a single step
further, they would be destroyed by their soldiery, put a stop to
the battle and held their men back; wishing to take the Lacedaemonians
alive to Athens, and hoping that their stubbornness might relax on
hearing the offer of terms, and that they might surrender and yield to
the present overwhelming danger.  Proclamation was accordingly made, to
know if they would surrender themselves and their arms to the
Athenians to be dealt at their discretion.

The Lacedaemonians hearing this offer, most of them lowered their
shields and waved their hands to show that they accepted it.
Hostilities now ceased, and a parley was held between Cleon and
Demosthenes and Styphon, son of Pharax, on the other side; since
Epitadas, the first of the previous commanders, had been killed, and
Hippagretas, the next in command, left for dead among the slain,
though still alive, and thus the command had devolved upon Styphon
according to the law, in case of anything happening to his
superiors.  Styphon and his companions said they wished to send a
herald to the Lacedaemonians on the mainland, to know what they were
to do.  The Athenians would not let any of them go, but themselves
called for heralds from the mainland, and after questions had been
carried backwards and forwards two or three times, the last man that
passed over from the Lacedaemonians on the continent brought this
message: "The Lacedaemonians bid you to decide for yourselves so
long as you do nothing dishonourable"; upon which after consulting
together they surrendered themselves and their arms.  The Athenians,
after guarding them that day and night, the next morning set up a
trophy in the island, and got ready to sail, giving their prisoners in
batches to be guarded by the captains of the galleys; and the
Lacedaemonians sent a herald and took up their dead.  The number of the
killed and prisoners taken in the island was as follows: four
hundred and twenty heavy infantry had passed over; three hundred all
but eight were taken alive to Athens; the rest were killed.  About a
hundred and twenty of the prisoners were Spartans.  The Athenian loss
was small, the battle not having been fought at close quarters.

The blockade in all, counting from the fight at sea to the battle in
the island, had lasted seventy-two days.  For twenty of these, during
the absence of the envoys sent to treat for peace, the men had
provisions given them, for the rest they were fed by the smugglers.
Corn and other victual was found in the island; the commander Epitadas
having kept the men upon half rations.  The Athenians and
Peloponnesians now each withdrew their forces from Pylos, and went
home, and crazy as Cleon's promise was, he fulfilled it, by bringing
the men to Athens within the twenty days as he had pledged himself
to do.

Nothing that happened in the war surprised the Hellenes so much as
this.  It was the opinion that no force or famine could make the
Lacedaemonians give up their arms, but that they would fight on as
they could, and die with them in their hands: indeed people could
scarcely believe that those who had surrendered were of the same stuff
as the fallen; and an Athenian ally, who some time after insultingly
asked one of the prisoners from the island if those that had fallen
were men of honour, received for answer that the atraktos--that is,
the arrow--would be worth a great deal if it could tell men of honour
from the rest; in allusion to the fact that the killed were those whom
the stones and the arrows happened to hit.

Upon the arrival of the men the Athenians determined to keep them in
prison until the peace, and if the Peloponnesians invaded their
country in the interval, to bring them out and put them to death.
Meanwhile the defence of Pylos was not forgotten; the Messenians
from Naupactus sent to their old country, to which Pylos formerly
belonged, some of the likeliest of their number, and began a series of
incursions into Laconia, which their common dialect rendered most
destructive.  The Lacedaemonians, hitherto without experience of
incursions or a warfare of the kind, finding the Helots deserting, and
fearing the march of revolution in their country, began to be
seriously uneasy, and in spite of their unwillingness to betray this
to the Athenians began to send envoys to Athens, and tried to
recover Pylos and the prisoners.  The Athenians, however, kept grasping
at more, and dismissed envoy after envoy without their having effected
anything.  Such was the history of the affair of Pylos.


_Seventh and Eighth Years of the War - End of Corcyraean Revolution -
Peace of Gela - Capture of Nisaea_

The same summer, directly after these events, the Athenians made
an expedition against the territory of Corinth with eighty ships and
two thousand Athenian heavy infantry, and two hundred cavalry on board
horse transports, accompanied by the Milesians, Andrians, and
Carystians from the allies, under the command of Nicias, son of
Niceratus, with two colleagues.  Putting out to sea they made land at
daybreak between Chersonese and Rheitus, at the beach of the country
underneath the Solygian hill, upon which the Dorians in old times
established themselves and carried on war against the Aeolian
inhabitants of Corinth, and where a village now stands called Solygia.
The beach where the fleet came to is about a mile and a half from
the village, seven miles from Corinth, and two and a quarter from
the Isthmus.  The Corinthians had heard from Argos of the coming of the
Athenian armament, and had all come up to the Isthmus long before,
with the exception of those who lived beyond it, and also of five
hundred who were away in garrison in Ambracia and Leucadia; and they
were there in full force watching for the Athenians to land.  These
last, however, gave them the slip by coming in the dark; and being
informed by signals of the fact the Corinthians left half their number
at Cenchreae, in case the Athenians should go against Crommyon, and
marched in all haste to the rescue.

Battus, one of the two generals present at the action, went with a
company to defend the village of Solygia, which was unfortified;
Lycophron remaining to give battle with the rest.  The Corinthians
first attacked the right wing of the Athenians, which had just
landed in front of Chersonese, and afterwards the rest of the army.
The battle was an obstinate one, and fought throughout hand to hand.
The right wing of the Athenians and Carystians, who had been placed at
the end of the line, received and with some difficulty repulsed the
Corinthians, who thereupon retreated to a wall upon the rising
ground behind, and throwing down the stones upon them, came on again
singing the paean, and being received by the Athenians, were again
engaged at close quarters.  At this moment a Corinthian company
having come to the relief of the left wing, routed and pursued the
Athenian right to the sea, whence they were in their turn driven
back by the Athenians and Carystians from the ships.  Meanwhile the
rest of the army on either side fought on tenaciously, especially
the right wing of the Corinthians, where Lycophron sustained the
attack of the Athenian left, which it was feared might attempt the
village of Solygia.

After holding on for a long while without either giving way, the
Athenians aided by their horse, of which the enemy had none, at
length routed the Corinthians, who retired to the hill and, halting,
remained quiet there, without coming down again.  It was in this rout
of the right wing that they had the most killed, Lycophron their
general being among the number.  The rest of the army, broken and put
to flight in this way without being seriously pursued or hurried,
retired to the high ground and there took up its position.  The
Athenians, finding that the enemy no longer offered to engage them,
stripped his dead and took up their own and immediately set up a
trophy.  Meanwhile, the half of the Corinthians left at Cenchreae to
guard against the Athenians sailing on Crommyon, although unable to
see the battle for Mount Oneion, found out what was going on by the
dust, and hurried up to the rescue; as did also the older Corinthians
from the town, upon discovering what had occurred.  The Athenians
seeing them all coming against them, and thinking that they were
reinforcements arriving from the neighbouring Peloponnesians,
withdrew in haste to their ships with their spoils and their own
dead, except two that they left behind, not being able to find them,
and going on board crossed over to the islands opposite, and from
thence sent a herald, and took up under truce the bodies which they
had left behind.  Two hundred and twelve Corinthians fell in the
battle, and rather less than fifty Athenians.

Weighing from the islands, the Athenians sailed the same day to
Crommyon in the Corinthian territory, about thirteen miles from the
city, and coming to anchor laid waste the country, and passed the
night there.  The next day, after first coasting along to the territory
of Epidaurus and making a descent there, they came to Methana
between Epidaurus and Troezen, and drew a wall across and fortified
the isthmus of the peninsula, and left a post there from which
incursions were henceforth made upon the country of Troezen, Haliae,
and Epidaurus.  After walling off this spot, the fleet sailed off home.

While these events were going on, Eurymedon and Sophocles had put to
sea with the Athenian fleet from Pylos on their way to Sicily and,
arriving at Corcyra, joined the townsmen in an expedition against
the party established on Mount Istone, who had crossed over, as I have
mentioned, after the revolution and become masters of the country,
to the great hurt of the inhabitants.  Their stronghold having been
taken by an attack, the garrison took refuge in a body upon some
high ground and there capitulated, agreeing to give up their mercenary
auxiliaries, lay down their arms, and commit themselves to the
discretion of the Athenian people.  The generals carried them across
under truce to the island of Ptychia, to be kept in custody until they
could be sent to Athens, upon the understanding that, if any were
caught running away, all would lose the benefit of the treaty.
Meanwhile the leaders of the Corcyraean commons, afraid that the
Athenians might spare the lives of the prisoners, had recourse to
the following stratagem.  They gained over some few men on the island
by secretly sending friends with instructions to provide them with a
boat, and to tell them, as if for their own sakes, that they had
best escape as quickly as possible, as the Athenian generals were
going to give them up to the Corcyraean people.

These representations succeeding, it was so arranged that the men
were caught sailing out in the boat that was provided, and the
treaty became void accordingly, and the whole body were given up to
the Corcyraeans.  For this result the Athenian generals were in a great
measure responsible; their evident disinclination to sail for
Sicily, and thus to leave to others the honour of conducting the men
to Athens, encouraged the intriguers in their design and seemed to
affirm the truth of their representations.  The prisoners thus handed
over were shut up by the Corcyraeans in a large building, and
afterwards taken out by twenties and led past two lines of heavy
infantry, one on each side, being bound together, and beaten and
stabbed by the men in the lines whenever any saw pass a personal
enemy; while men carrying whips went by their side and hastened on the
road those that walked too slowly.

As many as sixty men were taken out and killed in this way without
the knowledge of their friends in the building, who fancied they
were merely being moved from one prison to another.  At last,
however, someone opened their eyes to the truth, upon which they
called upon the Athenians to kill them themselves, if such was their
pleasure, and refused any longer to go out of the building, and said
they would do all they could to prevent any one coming in.  The
Corcyraeans, not liking themselves to force a passage by the doors,
got up on the top of the building, and breaking through the roof,
threw down the tiles and let fly arrows at them, from which the
prisoners sheltered themselves as well as they could.  Most of their
number, meanwhile, were engaged in dispatching themselves by thrusting
into their throats the arrows shot by the enemy, and hanging
themselves with the cords taken from some beds that happened to be
there, and with strips made from their clothing; adopting, in short,
every possible means of self-destruction, and also falling victims
to the missiles of their enemies on the roof.  Night came on while
these horrors were enacting, and most of it had passed before they
were concluded.  When it was day the Corcyraeans threw them in layers
upon wagons and carried them out of the city.  All the women taken in
the stronghold were sold as slaves.  In this way the Corcyraeans of the
mountain were destroyed by the commons; and so after terrible excesses
the party strife came to an end, at least as far as the period of this
war is concerned, for of one party there was practically nothing left.
Meanwhile the Athenians sailed off to Sicily, their primary
destination, and carried on the war with their allies there.

At the close of the summer, the Athenians at Naupactus and the
Acarnanians made an expedition against Anactorium, the Corinthian town
lying at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, and took it by treachery;
and the Acarnanians themselves, sending settlers from all parts of
Acarnania, occupied the place.

Summer was now over.  During the winter ensuing, Aristides, son of
Archippus, one of the commanders of the Athenian ships sent to collect
money from the allies, arrested at Eion, on the Strymon,
Artaphernes, a Persian, on his way from the King to Lacedaemon.  He was
conducted to Athens, where the Athenians got his dispatches translated
from the Assyrian character and read them.  With numerous references to
other subjects, they in substance told the Lacedaemonians that the
King did not know what they wanted, as of the many ambassadors they
had sent him no two ever told the same story; if however they were
prepared to speak plainly they might send him some envoys with this
Persian.  The Athenians afterwards sent back Artaphernes in a galley to
Ephesus, and ambassadors with him, who heard there of the death of
King Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes, which took place about that time,
and so returned home.

The same winter the Chians pulled down their new wall at the command
of the Athenians, who suspected them of meditating an insurrection,
after first however obtaining pledges from the Athenians, and security
as far as this was possible for their continuing to treat them as
before.  Thus the winter ended, and with it ended the seventh year of
this war of which Thucydides is the historian.

In first days of the next summer there was an eclipse of the sun
at the time of new moon, and in the early part of the same month an
earthquake.  Meanwhile, the Mitylenian and other Lesbian exiles set
out, for the most part from the continent, with mercenaries hired in
Peloponnese, and others levied on the spot, and took Rhoeteum, but
restored it without injury on the receipt of two thousand Phocaean
staters.  After this they marched against Antandrus and took the town
by treachery, their plan being to free Antandrus and the rest of the
Actaean towns, formerly owned by Mitylene but now held by the
Athenians.  Once fortified there, they would have every facility for
ship-building from the vicinity of Ida and the consequent abundance of
timber, and plenty of other supplies, and might from this base
easily ravage Lesbos, which was not far off, and make themselves
masters of the Aeolian towns on the continent.

While these were the schemes of the exiles, the Athenians in the
same summer made an expedition with sixty ships, two thousand heavy
infantry, a few cavalry, and some allied troops from Miletus and other
parts, against Cythera, under the command of Nicias, son of Niceratus,
Nicostratus, son of Diotrephes, and Autocles, son of Tolmaeus.  Cythera
is an island lying off Laconia, opposite Malea; the inhabitants are
Lacedaemonians of the class of the Perioeci; and an officer called the
judge of Cythera went over to the place annually from Sparta.  A
garrison of heavy infantry was also regularly sent there, and great
attention paid to the island, as it was the landing-place for the
merchantmen from Egypt and Libya, and at the same time secured Laconia
from the attacks of privateers from the sea, at the only point where
it is assailable, as the whole coast rises abruptly towards the
Sicilian and Cretan seas.

Coming to land here with their armament, the Athenians with ten
ships and two thousand Milesian heavy infantry took the town of
Scandea, on the sea; and with the rest of their forces landing on
the side of the island looking towards Malea, went against the lower
town of Cythera, where they found all the inhabitants encamped.  A
battle ensuing, the Cytherians held their ground for some little
while, and then turned and fled into the upper town, where they soon
afterwards capitulated to Nicias and his colleagues, agreeing to leave
their fate to the decision of the Athenians, their lives only being
safe.  A correspondence had previously been going on between Nicias and
certain of the inhabitants, which caused the surrender to be
effected more speedily, and upon terms more advantageous, present
and future, for the Cytherians; who would otherwise have been expelled
by the Athenians on account of their being Lacedaemonians and their
island being so near to Laconia.  After the capitulation, the Athenians
occupied the town of Scandea near the harbour, and appointing a
garrison for Cythera, sailed to Asine, Helus, and most of the places
on the sea, and making descents and passing the night on shore at such
spots as were convenient, continued ravaging the country for about
seven days.

The Lacedaemonians seeing the Athenians masters of Cythera, and
expecting descents of the kind upon their coasts, nowhere opposed them
in force, but sent garrisons here and there through the country,
consisting of as many heavy infantry as the points menaced seemed to
require, and generally stood very much upon the defensive.  After the
severe and unexpected blow that had befallen them in the island, the
occupation of Pylos and Cythera, and the apparition on every side of a
war whose rapidity defied precaution, they lived in constant fear of
internal revolution, and now took the unusual step of raising four
hundred horse and a force of archers, and became more timid than
ever in military matters, finding themselves involved in a maritime
struggle, which their organization had never contemplated, and that
against Athenians, with whom an enterprise unattempted was always
looked upon as a success sacrificed.  Besides this, their late numerous
reverses of fortune, coming close one upon another without any reason,
had thoroughly unnerved them, and they were always afraid of a
second disaster like that on the island, and thus scarcely dared to
take the field, but fancied that they could not stir without a
blunder, for being new to the experience of adversity they had lost
all confidence in themselves.

Accordingly they now allowed the Athenians to ravage their seaboard,
without making any movement, the garrisons in whose neighbourhood
the descents were made always thinking their numbers insufficient, and
sharing the general feeling.  A single garrison which ventured to
resist, near Cotyrta and Aphrodisia, struck terror by its charge
into the scattered mob of light troops, but retreated, upon being
received by the heavy infantry, with the loss of a few men and some
arms, for which the Athenians set up a trophy, and then sailed off
to Cythera.  From thence they sailed round to Epidaurus Limera, ravaged
part of the country, and so came to Thyrea in the Cynurian
territory, upon the Argive and Laconian border.  This district had been
given by its Lacedaemonian owners to the expelled Aeginetans to
inhabit, in return for their good offices at the time of the
earthquake and the rising of the Helots; and also because, although
subjects of Athens, they had always sided with Lacedaemon.

While the Athenians were still at sea, the Aeginetans evacuated a
fort which they were building upon the coast, and retreated into the
upper town where they lived, rather more than a mile from the sea.  One
of the Lacedaemonian district garrisons which was helping them in
the work, refused to enter here with them at their entreaty,
thinking it dangerous to shut themselves up within the wall, and
retiring to the high ground remained quiet, not considering themselves
a match for the enemy.  Meanwhile the Athenians landed, and instantly
advanced with all their forces and took Thyrea.  The town they burnt,
pillaging what was in it; the Aeginetans who were not slain in
action they took with them to Athens, with Tantalus, son of Patrocles,
their Lacedaemonian commander, who had been wounded and taken
prisoner.  They also took with them a few men from Cythera whom they
thought it safest to remove.  These the Athenians determined to lodge
in the islands: the rest of the Cytherians were to retain their
lands and pay four talents tribute; the Aeginetans captured to be
all put to death, on account of the old inveterate feud; and
Tantalus to share the imprisonment of the Lacedaemonians taken on
the island.

The same summer, the inhabitants of Camarina and Gela in Sicily
first made an armistice with each other, after which embassies from
all the other Sicilian cities assembled at Gela to try to bring
about a pacification.  After many expressions of opinion on one side
and the other, according to the griefs and pretensions of the
different parties complaining, Hermocrates, son of Hermon, a
Syracusan, the most influential man among them, addressed the
following words to the assembly:

"If I now address you, Sicilians, it is not because my city is the
least in Sicily or the greatest sufferer by the war, but in order to
state publicly what appears to me to be the best policy for the
whole island.  That war is an evil is a proposition so familiar to
every one that it would be tedious to develop it.  No one is forced
to engage in it by ignorance, or kept out of it by fear, if he fancies
there is anything to be gained by it.  To the former the gain appears
greater than the danger, while the latter would rather stand the
risk than put up with any immediate sacrifice.  But if both should
happen to have chosen the wrong moment for acting in this way,
advice to make peace would not be unserviceable; and this, if we did
but see it, is just what we stand most in need of at the present

"I suppose that no one will dispute that we went to war at first
in order to serve our own several interests, that we are now, in
view of the same interests, debating how we can make peace; and that
if we separate without having as we think our rights, we shall go to
war again.  And yet, as men of sense, we ought to see that our separate
interests are not alone at stake in the present congress: there is
also the question whether we have still time to save Sicily, the whole
of which in my opinion is menaced by Athenian ambition; and we ought
to find in the name of that people more imperious arguments for
peace than any which I can advance, when we see the first power in
Hellas watching our mistakes with the few ships that she has at
present in our waters, and under the fair name of alliance
speciously seeking to turn to account the natural hostility that
exists between us.  If we go to war, and call in to help us a people
that are ready enough to carry their arms even where they are not
invited; and if we injure ourselves at our own expense, and at the
same time serve as the pioneers of their dominion, we may expect, when
they see us worn out, that they will one day come with a larger
armament, and seek to bring all of us into subjection.

"And yet as sensible men, if we call in allies and court danger,
it should be in order to enrich our different countries with new
acquisitions, and not to ruin what they possess already; and we should
understand that the intestine discords which are so fatal to
communities generally, will be equally so to Sicily, if we, its
inhabitants, absorbed in our local quarrels, neglect the common enemy.
These considerations should reconcile individual with individual,
and city with city, and unite us in a common effort to save the
whole of Sicily.  Nor should any one imagine that the Dorians only
are enemies of Athens, while the Chalcidian race is secured by its
Ionian blood; the attack in question is not inspired by hatred of
one of two nationalities, but by a desire for the good things in
Sicily, the common property of us all.  This is proved by the
Athenian reception of the Chalcidian invitation: an ally who has never
given them any assistance whatever, at once receives from them
almost more than the treaty entitles him to.  That the Athenians should
cherish this ambition and practise this policy is very excusable;
and I do not blame those who wish to rule, but those who are
over-ready to serve.  It is just as much in men's nature to rule
those who submit to them, as it is to resist those who molest them;
one is not less invariable than the other.  Meanwhile all who see these
dangers and refuse to provide for them properly, or who have come here
without having made up their minds that our first duty is to unite
to get rid of the common peril, are mistaken.  The quickest way to be
rid of it is to make peace with each other; since the Athenians menace
us not from their own country, but from that of those who invited them
here.  In this way instead of war issuing in war, peace quietly ends
our quarrels; and the guests who come hither under fair pretences
for bad ends, will have good reason for going away without having
attained them.

"So far as regards the Athenians, such are the great advantages
proved inherent in a wise policy.  Independently of this, in the face
of the universal consent, that peace is the first of blessings, how
can we refuse to make it amongst ourselves; or do you not think that
the good which you have, and the ills that you complain of, would be
better preserved and cured by quiet than by war; that peace has its
honours and splendours of a less perilous kind, not to mention the
numerous other blessings that one might dilate on, with the not less
numerous miseries of war? These considerations should teach you not to
disregard my words, but rather to look in them every one for his own
safety.  If there be any here who feels certain either by right or
might to effect his object, let not this surprise be to him too severe
a disappointment.  Let him remember that many before now have tried
to chastise a wrongdoer, and failing to punish their enemy have not
even saved themselves; while many who have trusted in force to gain an
advantage, instead of gaining anything more, have been doomed to
lose what they had.  Vengeance is not necessarily successful because
wrong has been done, or strength sure because it is confident; but the
incalculable element in the future exercises the widest influence, and
is the most treacherous, and yet in fact the most useful of all
things, as it frightens us all equally, and thus makes us consider
before attacking each other.

"Let us therefore now allow the undefined fear of this unknown
future, and the immediate terror of the Athenians' presence, to
produce their natural impression, and let us consider any failure to
carry out the programmes that we may each have sketched out for
ourselves as sufficiently accounted for by these obstacles, and send
away the intruder from the country; and if everlasting peace be
impossible between us, let us at all events make a treaty for as
long a term as possible, and put off our private differences to
another day.  In fine, let us recognize that the adoption of my
advice will leave us each citizens of a free state, and as such
arbiters of our own destiny, able to return good or bad offices with
equal effect; while its rejection will make us dependent on others,
and thus not only impotent to repel an insult, but on the most
favourable supposition, friends to our direst enemies, and at feud
with our natural friends.

"For myself, though, as I said at first, the representative of a
great city, and able to think less of defending myself than of
attacking others, I am prepared to concede something in prevision of
these dangers.  I am not inclined to ruin myself for the sake of
hurting my enemies, or so blinded by animosity as to think myself
equally master of my own plans and of fortune which I cannot
command; but I am ready to give up anything in reason.  I call upon the
rest of you to imitate my conduct of your own free will, without being
forced to do so by the enemy.  There is no disgrace in connections
giving way to one another, a Dorian to a Dorian, or a Chalcidian to
his brethren; above and beyond this we are neighbours, live in the
same country, are girt by the same sea, and go by the same name of
Sicilians.  We shall go to war again, I suppose, when the time comes,
and again make peace among ourselves by means of future congresses;
but the foreign invader, if we are wise, will always find us united
against him, since the hurt of one is the danger of all; and we
shall never, in future, invite into the island either allies or
mediators.  By so acting we shall at the present moment do for Sicily a
double service, ridding her at once of the Athenians, and of civil
war, and in future shall live in freedom at home, and be less
menaced from abroad."

Such were the words of Hermocrates.  The Sicilians took his advice,
and came to an understanding among themselves to end the war, each
keeping what they had--the Camarinaeans taking Morgantina at a price
fixed to be paid to the Syracusans--and the allies of the Athenians
called the officers in command, and told them that they were going
to make peace and that they would be included in the treaty.  The
generals assenting, the peace was concluded, and the Athenian fleet
afterwards sailed away from Sicily.  Upon their arrival at Athens,
the Athenians banished Pythodorus and Sophocles, and fined Eurymedon
for having taken bribes to depart when they might have subdued Sicily.
So thoroughly had the present prosperity persuaded the citizens that
nothing could withstand them, and that they could achieve what was
possible and impracticable alike, with means ample or inadequate it
mattered not.  The secret of this was their general extraordinary
success, which made them confuse their strength with their hopes.

The same summer the Megarians in the city, pressed by the
hostilities of the Athenians, who invaded their country twice every
year with all their forces, and harassed by the incursions of their
own exiles at Pegae, who had been expelled in a revolution by the
popular party, began to ask each other whether it would not be
better to receive back their exiles, and free the town from one of its
two scourges.  The friends of the emigrants, perceiving the
agitation, now more openly than before demanded the adoption of this
proposition; and the leaders of the commons, seeing that the
sufferings of the times had tired out the constancy of their
supporters, entered in their alarm into correspondence with the
Athenian generals, Hippocrates, son of Ariphron, and Demosthenes,
son of Alcisthenes, and resolved to betray the town, thinking this
less dangerous to themselves than the return of the party which they
had banished.  It was accordingly arranged that the Athenians should
first take the long walls extending for nearly a mile from the city to
the port of Nisaea, to prevent the Peloponnesians coming to the rescue
from that place, where they formed the sole garrison to secure the
fidelity of Megara; and that after this the attempt should be made
to put into their hands the upper town, which it was thought would
then come over with less difficulty.

The Athenians, after plans had been arranged between themselves
and their correspondents both as to words and actions, sailed by night
to Minoa, the island off Megara, with six hundred heavy infantry under
the command of Hippocrates, and took post in a quarry not far off, out
of which bricks used to be taken for the walls; while Demosthenes, the
other commander, with a detachment of Plataean light troops and
another of Peripoli, placed himself in ambush in the precinct of
Enyalius, which was still nearer.  No one knew of it, except those
whose business it was to know that night.  A little before daybreak,
the traitors in Megara began to act.  Every night for a long time back,
under pretence of marauding, in order to have a means of opening the
gates, they had been used, with the consent of the officer in command,
to carry by night a sculling boat upon a cart along the ditch to the
sea, and so to sail out, bringing it back again before day upon the
cart, and taking it within the wall through the gates, in order, as
they pretended, to baffle the Athenian blockade at Minoa, there
being no boat to be seen in the harbour.  On the present occasion the
cart was already at the gates, which had been opened in the usual
way for the boat, when the Athenians, with whom this had been
concerted, saw it, and ran at the top of their speed from the ambush
in order to reach the gates before they were shut again, and while the
cart was still there to prevent their being closed; their Megarian
accomplices at the same moment killing the guard at the gates.  The
first to run in was Demosthenes with his Plataeans and Peripoli,
just where the trophy now stands; and he was no sooner within the
gates than the Plataeans engaged and defeated the nearest party of
Peloponnesians who had taken the alarm and come to the rescue, and
secured the gates for the approaching Athenian heavy infantry.

After this, each of the Athenians as fast as they entered went
against the wall.  A few of the Peloponnesian garrison stood their
ground at first, and tried to repel the assault, and some of them were
killed; but the main body took fright and fled; the night attack and
the sight of the Megarian traitors in arms against them making them
think that all Megara had gone over to the enemy.  It so happened
also that the Athenian herald of his own idea called out and invited
any of the Megarians that wished, to join the Athenian ranks; and this
was no sooner heard by the garrison than they gave way, and, convinced
that they were the victims of a concerted attack, took refuge in
Nisaea.  By daybreak, the walls being now taken and the Megarians in
the city in great agitation, the persons who had negotiated with the
Athenians, supported by the rest of the popular party which was
privy to the plot, said that they ought to open the gates and march
out to battle.  It had been concerted between them that the Athenians
should rush in, the moment that the gates were opened, while the
conspirators were to be distinguished from the rest by being
anointed with oil, and so to avoid being hurt.  They could open the
gates with more security, as four thousand Athenian heavy infantry
from Eleusis, and six hundred horse, had marched all night, according
to agreement, and were now close at hand.  The conspirators were all
ready anointed and at their posts by the gates, when one of their
accomplices denounced the plot to the opposite party, who gathered
together and came in a body, and roundly said that they must not march
out--a thing they had never yet ventured on even when in greater force
than at present--or wantonly compromise the safety of the town, and
that if what they said was not attended to, the battle would have to
be fought in Megara.  For the rest, they gave no signs of their
knowledge of the intrigue, but stoutly maintained that their advice
was the best, and meanwhile kept close by and watched the gates,
making it impossible for the conspirators to effect their purpose.

The Athenian generals seeing that some obstacle had arisen, and that
the capture of the town by force was no longer practicable, at once
proceeded to invest Nisaea, thinking that, if they could take it
before relief arrived, the surrender of Megara would soon follow.
Iron, stone-masons, and everything else required quickly coming up
from Athens, the Athenians started from the wall which they
occupied, and from this point built a cross wall looking towards
Megara down to the sea on either side of Nisaea; the ditch and the
walls being divided among the army, stones and bricks taken from the
suburb, and the fruit-trees and timber cut down to make a palisade
wherever this seemed necessary; the houses also in the suburb with the
addition of battlements sometimes entering into the fortification.  The
whole of this day the work continued, and by the afternoon of the next
the wall was all but completed, when the garrison in Nisaea, alarmed
by the absolute want of provisions, which they used to take in for the
day from the upper town, not anticipating any speedy relief from the
Peloponnesians, and supposing Megara to be hostile, capitulated to the
Athenians on condition that they should give up their arms, and should
each be ransomed for a stipulated sum; their Lacedaemonian
commander, and any others of his countrymen in the place, being left
to the discretion of the Athenians.  On these conditions they
surrendered and came out, and the Athenians broke down the long
walls at their point of junction with Megara, took possession of
Nisaea, and went on with their other preparations.

Just at this time the Lacedaemonian Brasidas, son of Tellis,
happened to be in the neighbourhood of Sicyon and Corinth, getting
ready an army for Thrace.  As soon as he heard of the capture of the
walls, fearing for the Peloponnesians in Nisaea and the safety of
Megara, he sent to the Boeotians to meet him as quickly as possible at
Tripodiscus, a village so called of the Megarid, under Mount Geraneia,
and went himself, with two thousand seven hundred Corinthian heavy
infantry, four hundred Phliasians, six hundred Sicyonians, and such
troops of his own as he had already levied, expecting to find Nisaea
not yet taken.  Hearing of its fall (he had marched out by night to
Tripodiscus), he took three hundred picked men from the army,
without waiting till his coming should be known, and came up to Megara
unobserved by the Athenians, who were down by the sea, ostensibly, and
really if possible, to attempt Nisaea, but above all to get into
Megara and secure the town.  He accordingly invited the townspeople
to admit his party, saying that he had hopes of recovering Nisaea.

However, one of the Megarian factions feared that he might expel
them and restore the exiles; the other that the commons,
apprehensive of this very danger, might set upon them, and the city be
thus destroyed by a battle within its gates under the eyes of the
ambushed Athenians.  He was accordingly refused admittance, both
parties electing to remain quiet and await the event; each expecting a
battle between the Athenians and the relieving army, and thinking it
safer to see their friends victorious before declaring in their

Unable to carry his point, Brasidas went back to the rest of the
army.  At daybreak the Boeotians joined him.  Having determined to
relieve Megara, whose danger they considered their own, even before
hearing from Brasidas, they were already in full force at Plataea,
when his messenger arrived to add spurs to their resolution; and
they at once sent on to him two thousand two hundred heavy infantry,
and six hundred horse, returning home with the main body.  The whole
army thus assembled numbered six thousand heavy infantry.  The Athenian
heavy infantry were drawn up by Nisaea and the sea; but the light
troops being scattered over the plain were attacked by the Boeotian
horse and driven to the sea, being taken entirely by surprise, as on
previous occasions no relief had ever come to the Megarians from any
quarter.  Here the Boeotians were in their turn charged and engaged
by the Athenian horse, and a cavalry action ensued which lasted a long
time, and in which both parties claimed the victory.  The Athenians
killed and stripped the leader of the Boeotian horse and some few of
his comrades who had charged right up to Nisaea, and remaining masters
of the bodies gave them back under truce, and set up a trophy; but
regarding the action as a whole the forces separated without either
side having gained a decisive advantage, the Boeotians returning to
their army and the Athenians to Nisaea.

After this Brasidas and the army came nearer to the sea and to
Megara, and taking up a convenient position, remained quiet in order
of battle, expecting to be attacked by the Athenians and knowing
that the Megarians were waiting to see which would be the victor.  This
attitude seemed to present two advantages.  Without taking the
offensive or willingly provoking the hazards of a battle, they
openly showed their readiness to fight, and thus without bearing the
burden of the day would fairly reap its honours; while at the same
time they effectually served their interests at Megara.  For if they
had failed to show themselves they would not have had a chance, but
would have certainly been considered vanquished, and have lost the
town.  As it was, the Athenians might possibly not be inclined to
accept their challenge, and their object would be attained without
fighting.  And so it turned out.  The Athenians formed outside the
long walls and, the enemy not attacking, there remained motionless;
their generals having decided that the risk was too unequal.  In fact
most of their objects had been already attained; and they would have
to begin a battle against superior numbers, and if victorious could
only gain Megara, while a defeat would destroy the flower of their
heavy soldiery.  For the enemy it was different; as even the states
actually represented in his army risked each only a part of its entire
force, he might well be more audacious.  Accordingly, after waiting for
some time without either side attacking, the Athenians withdrew to
Nisaea, and the Peloponnesians after them to the point from which they
had set out.  The friends of the Megarian exiles now threw aside
their hesitation, and opened the gates to Brasidas and the
commanders from the different states--looking upon him as the victor
and upon the Athenians as having declined the battle--and receiving
them into the town proceeded to discuss matters with them; the party
in correspondence with the Athenians being paralysed by the turn
things had taken.

Afterwards Brasidas let the allies go home, and himself went back to
Corinth, to prepare for his expedition to Thrace, his original
destination.  The Athenians also returning home, the Megarians in the
city most implicated in the Athenian negotiation, knowing that they
had been detected, presently disappeared; while the rest conferred
with the friends of the exiles, and restored the party at Pegae, after
binding them under solemn oaths to take no vengeance for the past, and
only to consult the real interests of the town.  However, as soon as
they were in office, they held a review of the heavy infantry, and
separating the battalions, picked out about a hundred of their
enemies, and of those who were thought to be most involved in the
correspondence with the Athenians, brought them before the people, and
compelling the vote to be given openly, had them condemned and
executed, and established a close oligarchy in the town--a revolution
which lasted a very long while, although effected by a very few


_Eighth and Ninth Years of the War - Invasion of Boeotia -
Fall of Amphipolis - Brilliant Successes of Brasidas_

The same summer the Mitylenians were about to fortify Antandrus,
as they had intended, when Demodocus and Aristides, the commanders
of the Athenian squadron engaged in levying subsidies, heard on the
Hellespont of what was being done to the place (Lamachus their
colleague having sailed with ten ships into the Pontus) and
conceived fears of its becoming a second Anaia-the place in which
the Samian exiles had established themselves to annoy Samos, helping
the Peloponnesians by sending pilots to their navy, and keeping the
city in agitation and receiving all its outlaws.  They accordingly
got together a force from the allies and set sail, defeated in
battle the troops that met them from Antandrus, and retook the
place.  Not long after, Lamachus, who had sailed into the Pontus,
lost his ships at anchor in the river Calex, in the territory of
Heraclea, rain having fallen in the interior and the flood coming
suddenly down upon them; and himself and his troops passed by land
through the Bithynian Thracians on the Asiatic side, and arrived at
Chalcedon, the Megarian colony at the mouth of the Pontus.

The same summer the Athenian general, Demosthenes, arrived at
Naupactus with forty ships immediately after the return from the
Megarid.  Hippocrates and himself had had overtures made to them by
certain men in the cities in Boeotia, who wished to change the
constitution and introduce a democracy as at Athens; Ptoeodorus, a
Theban exile, being the chief mover in this intrigue.  The seaport
town of Siphae, in the bay of Crisae, in the Thespian territory, was
to be betrayed to them by one party; Chaeronea (a dependency of what
was formerly called the Minyan, now the Boeotian, Orchomenus) to be
put into their hands by another from that town, whose exiles were
very active in the business, hiring men in Peloponnese.  Some Phocians
also were in the plot, Chaeronea being the frontier town of Boeotia
and close to Phanotis in Phocia.  Meanwhile the Athenians were to
seize Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo, in the territory of Tanagra
looking towards Euboea; and all these events were to take place
simultaneously upon a day appointed, in order that the Boeotians
might be unable to unite to oppose them at Delium, being everywhere
detained by disturbances at home.  Should the enterprise succeed, and
Delium be fortified, its authors confidently expected that even if no
revolution should immediately follow in Boeotia, yet with these
places in their hands, and the country being harassed by incursions,
and a refuge in each instance near for the partisans engaged in them,
things would not remain as they were, but that the rebels being
supported by the Athenians and the forces of the oligarchs divided,
it would be possible after a while to settle matters according to
their wishes.

Such was the plot in contemplation.  Hippocrates with a force
raised at home awaited the proper moment to take the field against the
Boeotians; while he sent on Demosthenes with the forty ships above
mentioned to Naupactus, to raise in those parts an army of Acarnanians
and of the other allies, and sail and receive Siphae from the
conspirators; a day having been agreed on for the simultaneous
execution of both these operations.  Demosthenes on his arrival found
Oeniadae already compelled by the united Acarnanians to join the
Athenian confederacy, and himself raising all the allies in those
countries marched against and subdued Salynthius and the Agraeans;
after which he devoted himself to the preparations necessary to enable
him to be at Siphae by the time appointed.

About the same time in the summer, Brasidas set out on his march for
the Thracian places with seventeen hundred heavy infantry, and
arriving at Heraclea in Trachis, from thence sent on a messenger to
his friends at Pharsalus, to ask them to conduct himself and his
army through the country.  Accordingly there came to Melitia in
Achaia Panaerus, Dorus, Hippolochidas, Torylaus, and Strophacus, the
Chalcidian proxenus, under whose escort he resumed his march, being
accompanied also by other Thessalians, among whom was Niconidas from
Larissa, a friend of Perdiccas.  It was never very easy to traverse
Thessaly without an escort; and throughout all Hellas for an armed
force to pass without leave through a neighbour's country was a
delicate step to take.  Besides this the Thessalian people had always
sympathized with the Athenians.  Indeed if instead of the customary
close oligarchy there had been a constitutional government in
Thessaly, he would never have been able to proceed; since even as it
was, he was met on his march at the river Enipeus by certain of the
opposite party who forbade his further progress, and complained of his
making the attempt without the consent of the nation.  To this his
escort answered that they had no intention of taking him through
against their will; they were only friends in attendance on an
unexpected visitor.  Brasidas himself added that he came as a friend to
Thessaly and its inhabitants, his arms not being directed against them
but against the Athenians, with whom he was at war, and that although
he knew of no quarrel between the Thessalians and Lacedaemonians to
prevent the two nations having access to each other's territory, he
neither would nor could proceed against their wishes; he could only
beg them not to stop him.  With this answer they went away, and he took
the advice of his escort, and pushed on without halting, before a
greater force might gather to prevent him.  Thus in the day that he set
out from Melitia he performed the whole distance to Pharsalus, and
encamped on the river Apidanus; and so to Phacium and from thence to
Perrhaebia.  Here his Thessalian escort went back, and the
Perrhaebians, who are subjects of Thessaly, set him down at Dium in
the dominions of Perdiccas, a Macedonian town under Mount Olympus,
looking towards Thessaly.

In this way Brasidas hurried through Thessaly before any one could
be got ready to stop him, and reached Perdiccas and Chalcidice.  The
departure of the army from Peloponnese had been procured by the
Thracian towns in revolt against Athens and by Perdiccas, alarmed at
the successes of the Athenians.  The Chalcidians thought that they
would be the first objects of an Athenian expedition, not that the
neighbouring towns which had not yet revolted did not also secretly
join in the invitation; and Perdiccas also had his apprehensions on
account of his old quarrels with the Athenians, although not openly at
war with them, and above all wished to reduce Arrhabaeus, king of
the Lyncestians.  It had been less difficult for them to get an army to
leave Peloponnese, because of the ill fortune of the Lacedaemonians at
the present moment.  The attacks of the Athenians upon Peloponnese, and
in particular upon Laconia, might, it was hoped, be diverted most
effectually by annoying them in return, and by sending an army to
their allies, especially as they were willing to maintain it and asked
for it to aid them in revolting.  The Lacedaemonians were also glad
to have an excuse for sending some of the Helots out of the country,
for fear that the present aspect of affairs and the occupation of
Pylos might encourage them to move.  Indeed fear of their numbers and
obstinacy even persuaded the Lacedaemonians to the action which I
shall now relate, their policy at all times having been governed by
the necessity of taking precautions against them.  The Helots were
invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who
claimed to have most distinguished themselves against the enemy, in
order that they might receive their freedom; the object being to
test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom
would be the most high-spirited and the most apt to rebel.  As many
as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves
and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom.  The
Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever
knew how each of them perished.  The Spartans now therefore gladly sent
seven hundred as heavy infantry with Brasidas, who recruited the
rest of his force by means of money in Peloponnese.

Brasidas himself was sent out by the Lacedaemonians mainly at his
own desire, although the Chalcidians also were eager to have a man
so thorough as he had shown himself whenever there was anything to
be done at Sparta, and whose after-service abroad proved of the utmost
use to his country.  At the present moment his just and moderate
conduct towards the towns generally succeeded in procuring their
revolt, besides the places which he managed to take by treachery;
and thus when the Lacedaemonians desired to treat, as they
ultimately did, they had places to offer in exchange, and the burden
of war meanwhile shifted from Peloponnese.  Later on in the war,
after the events in Sicily, the present valour and conduct of
Brasidas, known by experience to some, by hearsay to others, was
what mainly created in the allies of Athens a feeling for the
Lacedaemonians.  He was the first who went out and showed himself so
good a man at all points as to leave behind him the conviction that
the rest were like him.

Meanwhile his arrival in the Thracian country no sooner became known
to the Athenians than they declared war against Perdiccas, whom they
regarded as the author of the expedition, and kept a closer watch on
their allies in that quarter.

Upon the arrival of Brasidas and his army, Perdiccas immediately
started with them and with his own forces against Arrhabaeus, son of
Bromerus, king of the Lyncestian Macedonians, his neighbour, with whom
he had a quarrel and whom he wished to subdue.  However, when he
arrived with his army and Brasidas at the pass leading into Lyncus,
Brasidas told him that before commencing hostilities he wished to go
and try to persuade Arrhabaeus to become the ally of Lacedaemon,
this latter having already made overtures intimating his willingness
to make Brasidas arbitrator between them, and the Chalcidian envoys
accompanying him having warned him not to remove the apprehensions
of Perdiccas, in order to ensure his greater zeal in their cause.
Besides, the envoys of Perdiccas had talked at Lacedaemon about his
bringing many of the places round him into alliance with them; and
thus Brasidas thought he might take a larger view of the question of
Arrhabaeus.  Perdiccas however retorted that he had not brought him
with him to arbitrate in their quarrel, but to put down the enemies
whom he might point out to him; and that while he, Perdiccas,
maintained half his army it was a breach of faith for Brasidas to
parley with Arrhabaeus.  Nevertheless Brasidas disregarded the wishes
of Perdiccas and held the parley in spite of him, and suffered himself
to be persuaded to lead off the army without invading the country of
Arrhabaeus; after which Perdiccas, holding that faith had not been
kept with him, contributed only a third instead of half of the support
of the army.

The same summer, without loss of time, Brasidas marched with the
Chalcidians against Acanthus, a colony of the Andrians, a little
before vintage.  The inhabitants were divided into two parties on the
question of receiving him; those who had joined the Chalcidians in
inviting him, and the popular party.  However, fear for their fruit,
which was still out, enabled Brasidas to persuade the multitude to
admit him alone, and to hear what he had to say before making a
decision; and he was admitted accordingly and appeared before the
people, and not being a bad speaker for a Lacedaemonian, addressed
them as follows:

"Acanthians, the Lacedaemonians have sent out me and my army to make
good the reason that we gave for the war when we began it, viz.,
that we were going to war with the Athenians in order to free
Hellas.  Our delay in coming has been caused by mistaken expectations
as to the war at home, which led us to hope, by our own unassisted
efforts and without your risking anything, to effect the speedy
downfall of the Athenians; and you must not blame us for this, as we
are now come the moment that we were able, prepared with your aid to
do our best to subdue them.  Meanwhile I am astonished at finding
your gates shut against me, and at not meeting with a better
welcome.  We Lacedaemonians thought of you as allies eager to have
us, to whom we should come in spirit even before we were with you in
body; and in this expectation undertook all the risks of a march of
many days through a strange country, so far did our zeal carry us.
It will be a terrible thing if after this you have other intentions,
and mean to stand in the way of your own and Hellenic freedom.  It is
not merely that you oppose me yourselves; but wherever I may go people
will be less inclined to join me, on the score that you, to whom I
first came--an important town like Acanthus, and prudent men like the
Acanthians--refused to admit me.  I shall have nothing to prove that
the reason which I advance is the true one; it will be said either
that there is something unfair in the freedom which I offer, or that
I am in insufficient force and unable to protect you against an
attack from Athens.  Yet when I went with the army which I now have to
the relief of Nisaea, the Athenians did not venture to engage me
although in greater force than I; and it is not likely they will
ever send across sea against you an army as numerous as they had at
Nisaea.  And for myself, I have come here not to hurt but to free the
Hellenes, witness the solemn oaths by which I have bound my government
that the allies that I may bring over shall be independent; and
besides my object in coming is not by force or fraud to obtain your
alliance, but to offer you mine to help you against your Athenian
masters.  I protest, therefore, against any suspicions of my intentions
after the guarantees which I offer, and equally so against doubts of
my ability to protect you, and I invite you to join me without

"Some of you may hang back because they have private enemies, and
fear that I may put the city into the hands of a party: none need be
more tranquil than they.  I am not come here to help this party or
that; and I do not consider that I should be bringing you freedom in
any real sense, if I should disregard your constitution, and enslave
the many to the few or the few to the many.  This would be heavier than
a foreign yoke; and we Lacedaemonians, instead of being thanked for
our pains, should get neither honour nor glory, but, contrariwise,
reproaches.  The charges which strengthen our hands in the war
against the Athenians would on our own showing be merited by
ourselves, and more hateful in us than in those who make no
pretensions to honesty; as it is more disgraceful for persons of
character to take what they covet by fair-seeming fraud than by open
force; the one aggression having for its justification the might which
fortune gives, the other being simply a piece of clever roguery.  A
matter which concerns us thus nearly we naturally look to most
jealously; and over and above the oaths that I have mentioned, what
stronger assurance can you have, when you see that our words, compared
with the actual facts, produce the necessary conviction that it is our
interest to act as we say?

"If to these considerations of mine you put in the plea of
inability, and claim that your friendly feeling should save you from
being hurt by your refusal; if you say that freedom, in your
opinion, is not without its dangers, and that it is right to offer
it to those who can accept it, but not to force it on any against
their will, then I shall take the gods and heroes of your country to
witness that I came for your good and was rejected, and shall do my
best to compel you by laying waste your land.  I shall do so without
scruple, being justified by the necessity which constrains me,
first, to prevent the Lacedaemonians from being damaged by you,
their friends, in the event of your nonadhesion, through the moneys
that you pay to the Athenians; and secondly, to prevent the Hellenes
from being hindered by you in shaking off their servitude.  Otherwise
indeed we should have no right to act as we propose; except in the
name of some public interest, what call should we Lacedaemonians
have to free those who do not wish it? Empire we do not aspire to:
it is what we are labouring to put down; and we should wrong the
greater number if we allowed you to stand in the way of the
independence that we offer to all.  Endeavour, therefore, to decide
wisely, and strive to begin the work of liberation for the Hellenes,
and lay up for yourselves endless renown, while you escape private
loss, and cover your commonwealth with glory."

Such were the words of Brasidas.  The Acanthians, after much had been
said on both sides of the question, gave their votes in secret, and
the majority, influenced by the seductive arguments of Brasidas and by
fear for their fruit, decided to revolt from Athens; not however
admitting the army until they had taken his personal security for
the oaths sworn by his government before they sent him out, assuring
the independence of the allies whom he might bring over.  Not long
after, Stagirus, a colony of the Andrians, followed their example
and revolted.

Such were the events of this summer.  It was in the first days of the
winter following that the places in Boeotia were to be put into the
hands of the Athenian generals, Hippocrates and Demosthenes, the
latter of whom was to go with his ships to Siphae, the former to
Delium.  A mistake, however, was made in the days on which they were
each to start; and Demosthenes, sailing first to Siphae, with the
Acarnanians and many of the allies from those parts on board, failed
to effect anything, through the plot having been betrayed by
Nicomachus, a Phocian from Phanotis, who told the Lacedaemonians,
and they the Boeotians.  Succours accordingly flocked in from all parts
of Boeotia, Hippocrates not being yet there to make his diversion, and
Siphae and Chaeronea were promptly secured, and the conspirators,
informed of the mistake, did not venture on any movement in the towns.

Meanwhile Hippocrates made a levy in mass of the citizens,
resident aliens, and foreigners in Athens, and arrived at his
destination after the Boeotians had already come back from Siphae, and
encamping his army began to fortify Delium, the sanctuary of Apollo,
in the following manner.  A trench was dug all round the temple and the
consecrated ground, and the earth thrown up from the excavation was
made to do duty as a wall, in which stakes were also planted, the
vines round the sanctuary being cut down and thrown in, together
with stones and bricks pulled down from the houses near; every
means, in short, being used to run up the rampart.  Wooden towers
were also erected where they were wanted, and where there was no
part of the temple buildings left standing, as on the side where the
gallery once existing had fallen in.  The work was begun on the third
day after leaving home, and continued during the fourth, and till
dinnertime on the fifth, when most of it being now finished the army
removed from Delium about a mile and a quarter on its way home.  From
this point most of the light troops went straight on, while the
heavy infantry halted and remained where they were; Hippocrates having
stayed behind at Delium to arrange the posts, and to give directions
for the completion of such part of the outworks as had been left

During the days thus employed the Boeotians were mustering at
Tanagra, and by the time that they had come in from all the towns,
found the Athenians already on their way home.  The rest of the
eleven Boeotarchs were against giving battle, as the enemy was no
longer in Boeotia, the Athenians being just over the Oropian border,
when they halted; but Pagondas, son of Aeolidas, one of the Boeotarchs
of Thebes (Arianthides, son of Lysimachidas, being the other), and
then commander-in-chief, thought it best to hazard a battle.  He
accordingly called the men to him, company after company, to prevent
their all leaving their arms at once, and urged them to attack the
Athenians, and stand the issue of a battle, speaking as follows:

"Boeotians, the idea that we ought not to give battle to the
Athenians, unless we came up with them in Boeotia, is one which should
never have entered into the head of any of us, your generals.  It was
to annoy Boeotia that they crossed the frontier and built a fort in
our country; and they are therefore, I imagine, our enemies wherever
we may come up with them, and from wheresoever they may have come to
act as enemies do.  And if any one has taken up with the idea in
question for reasons of safety, it is high time for him to change
his mind.  The party attacked, whose own country is in danger, can
scarcely discuss what is prudent with the calmness of men who are in
full enjoyment of what they have got, and are thinking of attacking
a neighbour in order to get more.  It is your national habit, in your
country or out of it, to oppose the same resistance to a foreign
invader; and when that invader is Athenian, and lives upon your
frontier besides, it is doubly imperative to do so.  As between
neighbours generally, freedom means simply a determination to hold
one's own; and with neighbours like these, who are trying to enslave
near and far alike, there is nothing for it but to fight it out to the
last.  Look at the condition of the Euboeans and of most of the rest of
Hellas, and be convinced that others have to fight with their
neighbours for this frontier or that, but that for us conquest means
one frontier for the whole country, about which no dispute can be
made, for they will simply come and take by force what we have.  So
much more have we to fear from this neighbour than from another.
Besides, people who, like the Athenians in the present instance, are
tempted by pride of strength to attack their neighbours, usually march
most confidently against those who keep still, and only defend
themselves in their own country, but think twice before they grapple
with those who meet them outside their frontier and strike the first
blow if opportunity offers.  The Athenians have shown us this
themselves; the defeat which we inflicted upon them at Coronea, at the
time when our quarrels had allowed them to occupy the country, has
given great security to Boeotia until the present day.  Remembering
this, the old must equal their ancient exploits, and the young, the
sons of the heroes of that time, must endeavour not to disgrace
their native valour; and trusting in the help of the god whose
temple has been sacrilegiously fortified, and in the victims which
in our sacrifices have proved propitious, we must march against the
enemy, and teach him that he must go and get what he wants by
attacking someone who will not resist him, but that men whose glory it
is to be always ready to give battle for the liberty of their own
country, and never unjustly to enslave that of others, will not let
him go without a struggle."

By these arguments Pagondas persuaded the Boeotians to attack the
Athenians, and quickly breaking up his camp led his army forward, it
being now late in the day.  On nearing the enemy, he halted in a
position where a hill intervening prevented the two armies from seeing
each other, and then formed and prepared for action.  Meanwhile
Hippocrates at Delium, informed of the approach of the Boeotians, sent
orders to his troops to throw themselves into line, and himself joined
them not long afterwards, leaving about three hundred horse behind him
at Delium, at once to guard the place in case of attack, and to
watch their opportunity and fall upon the Boeotians during the battle.
The Boeotians placed a detachment to deal with these, and when
everything was arranged to their satisfaction appeared over the
hill, and halted in the order which they had determined on, to the
number of seven thousand heavy infantry, more than ten thousand
light troops, one thousand horse, and five hundred targeteers.  On
their right were the Thebans and those of their province, in the
centre the Haliartians, Coronaeans, Copaeans, and the other people
around the lake, and on the left the Thespians, Tanagraeans, and
Orchomenians, the cavalry and the light troops being at the
extremity of each wing.  The Thebans formed twenty-five shields deep,
the rest as they pleased.  Such was the strength and disposition of the
Boeotian army.

On the side of the Athenians, the heavy infantry throughout the
whole army formed eight deep, being in numbers equal to the enemy,
with the cavalry upon the two wings.  Light troops regularly armed
there were none in the army, nor had there ever been any at Athens.
Those who had joined in the invasion, though many times more
numerous than those of the enemy, had mostly followed unarmed, as part
of the levy in mass of the citizens and foreigners at Athens, and
having started first on their way home were not present in any number.
The armies being now in line and upon the point of engaging,
Hippocrates, the general, passed along the Athenian ranks, and
encouraged them as follows:

"Athenians, I shall only say a few words to you, but brave men
require no more, and they are addressed more to your understanding
than to your courage.  None of you must fancy that we are going out
of our way to run this risk in the country of another.  Fought in their
territory the battle will be for ours: if we conquer, the
Peloponnesians will never invade your country without the Boeotian
horse, and in one battle you will win Boeotia and in a manner free
Attica.  Advance to meet them then like citizens of a country in
which you all glory as the first in Hellas, and like sons of the
fathers who beat them at Oenophyta with Myronides and thus gained
possession of Boeotia."

Hippocrates had got half through the army with his exhortation, when
the Boeotians, after a few more hasty words from Pagondas, struck up
the paean, and came against them from the hill; the Athenians
advancing to meet them, and closing at a run.  The extreme wing of
neither army came into action, one like the other being stopped by the
water-courses in the way; the rest engaged with the utmost
obstinacy, shield against shield.  The Boeotian left, as far as the
centre, was worsted by the Athenians.  The Thespians in that part of
the field suffered most severely.  The troops alongside them having
given way, they were surrounded in a narrow space and cut down
fighting hand to hand; some of the Athenians also fell into
confusion in surrounding the enemy and mistook and so killed each
other.  In this part of the field the Boeotians were beaten, and
retreated upon the troops still fighting; but the right, where the
Thebans were, got the better of the Athenians and shoved them
further and further back, though gradually at first.  It so happened
also that Pagondas, seeing the distress of his left, had sent two
squadrons of horse, where they could not be seen, round the hill,
and their sudden appearance struck a panic into the victorious wing of
the Athenians, who thought that it was another army coming against
them.  At length in both parts of the field, disturbed by this panic,
and with their line broken by the advancing Thebans, the whole
Athenian army took to flight.  Some made for Delium and the sea, some
for Oropus, others for Mount Parnes, or wherever they had hopes of
safety, pursued and cut down by the Boeotians, and in particular by
the cavalry, composed partly of Boeotians and partly of Locrians,
who had come up just as the rout began.  Night however coming on to
interrupt the pursuit, the mass of the fugitives escaped more easily
than they would otherwise have done.  The next day the troops at Oropus
and Delium returned home by sea, after leaving a garrison in the
latter place, which they continued to hold notwithstanding the defeat.

The Boeotians set up a trophy, took up their own dead, and
stripped those of the enemy, and leaving a guard over them retired
to Tanagra, there to take measures for attacking Delium.  Meanwhile a
herald came from the Athenians to ask for the dead, but was met and
turned back by a Boeotian herald, who told him that he would effect
nothing until the return of himself the Boeotian herald, and who
then went on to the Athenians, and told them on the part of the
Boeotians that they had done wrong in transgressing the law of the
Hellenes.  Of what use was the universal custom protecting the
temples in an invaded country, if the Athenians were to fortify Delium
and live there, acting exactly as if they were on unconsecrated
ground, and drawing and using for their purposes the water which they,
the Boeotians, never touched except for sacred uses? Accordingly for
the god as well as for themselves, in the name of the deities
concerned, and of Apollo, the Boeotians invited them first to evacuate
the temple, if they wished to take up the dead that belonged to them.

After these words from the herald, the Athenians sent their own
herald to the Boeotians to say that they had not done any wrong to the
temple, and for the future would do it no more harm than they could
help; not having occupied it originally in any such design, but to
defend themselves from it against those who were really wronging them.
The law of the Hellenes was that conquest of a country, whether more
or less extensive, carried with it possession of the temples in that
country, with the obligation to keep up the usual ceremonies, at least
as far as possible.  The Boeotians and most other people who had turned
out the owners of a country, and put themselves in their places by
force, now held as of right the temples which they originally
entered as usurpers.  If the Athenians could have conquered more of
Boeotia this would have been the case with them: as things stood,
the piece of it which they had got they should treat as their own, and
not quit unless obliged.  The water they had disturbed under the
impulsion of a necessity which they had not wantonly incurred,
having been forced to use it in defending themselves against the
Boeotians who first invaded Attica.  Besides, anything done under the
pressure of war and danger might reasonably claim indulgence even in
the eye of the god; or why, pray, were the altars the asylum for
involuntary offences? Transgression also was a term applied to
presumptuous offenders, not to the victims of adverse circumstances.
In short, which were most impious--the Boeotians who wished to barter
dead bodies for holy places, or the Athenians who refused to give up
holy places to obtain what was theirs by right? The condition of
evacuating Boeotia must therefore be withdrawn.  They were no longer in
Boeotia.  They stood where they stood by the right of the sword.  All
that the Boeotians had to do was to tell them to take up their dead
under a truce according to the national custom.

The Boeotians replied that if they were in Boeotia, they must
evacuate that country before taking up their dead; if they were in
their own territory, they could do as they pleased: for they knew
that, although the Oropid where the bodies as it chanced were lying
(the battle having been fought on the borders) was subject to
Athens, yet the Athenians could not get them without their leave.
Besides, why should they grant a truce for Athenian ground? And what
could be fairer than to tell them to evacuate Boeotia if they wished
to get what they asked? The Athenian herald accordingly returned
with this answer, without having accomplished his object.

Meanwhile the Boeotians at once sent for darters and slingers from
the Malian Gulf, and with two thousand Corinthian heavy infantry who
had joined them after the battle, the Peloponnesian garrison which had
evacuated Nisaea, and some Megarians with them, marched against
Delium, and attacked the fort, and after divers efforts finally
succeeded in taking it by an engine of the following description.  They
sawed in two and scooped out a great beam from end to end, and fitting
it nicely together again like a pipe, hung by chains a cauldron at one
extremity, with which communicated an iron tube projecting from the
beam, which was itself in great part plated with iron.  This they
brought up from a distance upon carts to the part of the wall
principally composed of vines and timber, and when it was near,
inserted huge bellows into their end of the beam and blew with them.
The blast passing closely confined into the cauldron, which was filled
with lighted coals, sulphur and pitch, made a great blaze, and set
fire to the wall, which soon became untenable for its defenders, who
left it and fled; and in this way the fort was taken.  Of the
garrison some were killed and two hundred made prisoners; most of
the rest got on board their ships and returned home.

Soon after the fall of Delium, which took place seventeen days after
the battle, the Athenian herald, without knowing what had happened,
came again for the dead, which were now restored by the Boeotians, who
no longer answered as at first.  Not quite five hundred Boeotians
fell in the battle, and nearly one thousand Athenians, including
Hippocrates the general, besides a great number of light troops and
camp followers.

Soon after this battle Demosthenes, after the failure of his
voyage to Siphae and of the plot on the town, availed himself of the
Acarnanian and Agraean troops and of the four hundred Athenian heavy
infantry which he had on board, to make a descent on the Sicyonian
coast.  Before however all his ships had come to shore, the
Sicyonians came up and routed and chased to their ships those that had
landed, killing some and taking others prisoners; after which they set
up a trophy, and gave back the dead under truce.

About the same time with the affair of Delium took place the death
of Sitalces, king of the Odrysians, who was defeated in battle, in a
campaign against the Triballi; Seuthes, son of Sparadocus, his nephew,
succeeding to the kingdom of the Odrysians, and of the rest of
Thrace ruled by Sitalces.

The same winter Brasidas, with his allies in the Thracian places,
marched against Amphipolis, the Athenian colony on the river
Strymon.  A settlement upon the spot on which the city now stands was
before attempted by Aristagoras, the Milesian (when he fled from
King Darius), who was however dislodged by the Edonians; and
thirty-two years later by the Athenians, who sent thither ten thousand
settlers of their own citizens, and whoever else chose to go.  These
were cut off at Drabescus by the Thracians.  Twenty-nine years after,
the Athenians returned (Hagnon, son of Nicias, being sent out as
leader of the colony) and drove out the Edonians, and founded a town
on the spot, formerly called Ennea Hodoi or Nine Ways.  The base from
which they started was Eion, their commercial seaport at the mouth
of the river, not more than three miles from the present town, which
Hagnon named Amphipolis, because the Strymon flows round it on two
sides, and he built it so as to be conspicuous from the sea and land
alike, running a long wall across from river to river, to complete the

Brasidas now marched against this town, starting from Arne in
Chalcidice.  Arriving about dusk at Aulon and Bromiscus, where the lake
of Bolbe runs into the sea, he supped there, and went on during the
night.  The weather was stormy and it was snowing a little, which
encouraged him to hurry on, in order, if possible, to take every one
at Amphipolis by surprise, except the party who were to betray it.  The
plot was carried on by some natives of Argilus, an Andrian colony,
residing in Amphipolis, where they had also other accomplices gained
over by Perdiccas or the Chalcidians.  But the most active in the
matter were the inhabitants of Argilus itself, which is close by,
who had always been suspected by the Athenians, and had had designs on
the place.  These men now saw their opportunity arrive with Brasidas,
and having for some time been in correspondence with their
countrymen in Amphipolis for the betrayal of the town, at once
received him into Argilus, and revolted from the Athenians, and that
same night took him on to the bridge over the river; where he found
only a small guard to oppose him, the town being at some distance from
the passage, and the walls not reaching down to it as at present.  This
guard he easily drove in, partly through there being treason in
their ranks, partly from the stormy state of the weather and the
suddenness of his attack, and so got across the bridge, and
immediately became master of all the property outside; the
Amphipolitans having houses all over the quarter.

The passage of Brasidas was a complete surprise to the people in the
town; and the capture of many of those outside, and the flight of
the rest within the wall, combined to produce great confusion among
the citizens; especially as they did not trust one another.  It is even
said that if Brasidas, instead of stopping to pillage, had advanced
straight against the town, he would probably have taken it.  In fact,
however, he established himself where he was and overran the country
outside, and for the present remained inactive, vainly awaiting a
demonstration on the part of his friends within.  Meanwhile the party
opposed to the traitors proved numerous enough to prevent the gates
being immediately thrown open, and in concert with Eucles, the
general, who had come from Athens to defend the place, sent to the
other commander in Thrace, Thucydides, son of Olorus, the author of
this history, who was at the isle of Thasos, a Parian colony, half a
day's sail from Amphipolis, to tell him to come to their relief.  On
receipt of this message he at once set sail with seven ships which
he had with him, in order, if possible, to reach Amphipolis in time to
prevent its capitulation, or in any case to save Eion.

Meanwhile Brasidas, afraid of succours arriving by sea from
Thasos, and learning that Thucydides possessed the right of working
the gold mines in that part of Thrace, and had thus great influence
with the inhabitants of the continent, hastened to gain the town, if
possible, before the people of Amphipolis should be encouraged by
his arrival to hope that he could save them by getting together a
force of allies from the sea and from Thrace, and so refuse to
surrender.  He accordingly offered moderate terms, proclaiming that any
of the Amphipolitans and Athenians who chose, might continue to
enjoy their property with full rights of citizenship; while those
who did not wish to stay had five days to depart, taking their
property with them.

The bulk of the inhabitants, upon hearing this, began to change
their minds, especially as only a small number of the citizens were
Athenians, the majority having come from different quarters, and
many of the prisoners outside had relations within the walls.  They
found the proclamation a fair one in comparison of what their fear had
suggested; the Athenians being glad to go out, as they thought they
ran more risk than the rest, and further, did not expect any speedy
relief, and the multitude generally being content at being left in
possession of their civic rights, and at such an unexpected reprieve
from danger.  The partisans of Brasidas now openly advocated this
course, seeing that the feeling of the people had changed, and that
they no longer gave ear to the Athenian general present; and thus
the surrender was made and Brasidas was admitted by them on the
terms of his proclamation.  In this way they gave up the city, and late
in the same day Thucydides and his ships entered the harbour of
Eion, Brasidas having just got hold of Amphipolis, and having been
within a night of taking Eion: had the ships been less prompt in
relieving it, in the morning it would have been his.

After this Thucydides put all in order at Eion to secure it
against any present or future attack of Brasidas, and received such as
had elected to come there from the interior according to the terms
agreed on.  Meanwhile Brasidas suddenly sailed with a number of boats
down the river to Eion to see if he could not seize the point
running out from the wall, and so command the entrance; at the same
time he attempted it by land, but was beaten off on both sides and had
to content himself with arranging matters at Amphipolis and in the
neighbourhood.  Myrcinus, an Edonian town, also came over to him; the
Edonian king Pittacus having been killed by the sons of Goaxis and his
own wife Brauro; and Galepsus and Oesime, which are Thasian
colonies, not long after followed its example.  Perdiccas too came up
immediately after the capture and joined in these arrangements.

The news that Amphipolis was in the hands of the enemy caused
great alarm at Athens.  Not only was the town valuable for the timber
it afforded for shipbuilding, and the money that it brought in; but
also, although the escort of the Thessalians gave the Lacedaemonians a
means of reaching the allies of Athens as far as the Strymon, yet as
long as they were not masters of the bridge but were watched on the
side of Eion by the Athenian galleys, and on the land side impeded
by a large and extensive lake formed by the waters of the river, it
was impossible for them to go any further.  Now, on the contrary, the
path seemed open.  There was also the fear of the allies revolting,
owing to the moderation displayed by Brasidas in all his conduct,
and to the declarations which he was everywhere making that he sent
out to free Hellas.  The towns subject to the Athenians, hearing of the
capture of Amphipolis and of the terms accorded to it, and of the
gentleness of Brasidas, felt most strongly encouraged to change
their condition, and sent secret messages to him, begging him to
come on to them; each wishing to be the first to revolt.  Indeed
there seemed to be no danger in so doing; their mistake in their
estimate of the Athenian power was as great as that power afterwards
turned out to be, and their judgment was based more upon blind wishing
than upon any sound prevision; for it is a habit of mankind to entrust
to careless hope what they long for, and to use sovereign reason to
thrust aside what they do not fancy.  Besides the late severe blow
which the Athenians had met with in Boeotia, joined to the
seductive, though untrue, statements of Brasidas, about the
Athenians not having ventured to engage his single army at Nisaea,
made the allies confident, and caused them to believe that no Athenian
force would be sent against them.  Above all the wish to do what was
agreeable at the moment, and the likelihood that they should find
the Lacedaemonians full of zeal at starting, made them eager to
venture.  Observing this, the Athenians sent garrisons to the different
towns, as far as was possible at such short notice and in winter;
while Brasidas sent dispatches to Lacedaemon asking for
reinforcements, and himself made preparations for building galleys
in the Strymon.  The Lacedaemonians however did not send him any,
partly through envy on the part of their chief men, partly because
they were more bent on recovering the prisoners of the island and
ending the war.

The same winter the Megarians took and razed to the foundations
the long walls which had been occupied by the Athenians; and
Brasidas after the capture of Amphipolis marched with his allies
against Acte, a promontory running out from the King's dike with an
inward curve, and ending in Athos, a lofty mountain looking towards
the Aegean Sea.  In it are various towns, Sane, an Andrian colony,
close to the canal, and facing the sea in the direction of Euboea; the
others being Thyssus, Cleone, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium, inhabited
by mixed barbarian races speaking the two languages.  There is also a
small Chalcidian element; but the greater number are
Tyrrheno-Pelasgians once settled in Lemnos and Athens, and Bisaltians,
Crestonians, and Edonians; the towns being all small ones.  Most of
these came over to Brasidas; but Sane and Dium held out and saw
their land ravaged by him and his army.

Upon their not submitting, he at once marched against Torone in
Chalcidice, which was held by an Athenian garrison, having been
invited by a few persons who were prepared to hand over the town.
Arriving in the dark a little before daybreak, he sat down with his
army near the temple of the Dioscuri, rather more than a quarter of
a mile from the city.  The rest of the town of Torone and the Athenians
in garrison did not perceive his approach; but his partisans knowing
that he was coming (a few of them had secretly gone out to meet him)
were on the watch for his arrival, and were no sooner aware of it than
they took it to them seven light-armed men with daggers, who alone
of twenty men ordered on this service dared to enter, commanded by
Lysistratus an Olynthian.  These passed through the sea wall, and
without being seen went up and put to the sword the garrison of the
highest post in the town, which stands on a hill, and broke open the
postern on the side of Canastraeum.

Brasidas meanwhile came a little nearer and then halted with his
main body, sending on one hundred targeteers to be ready to rush in
first, the moment that a gate should be thrown open and the beacon
lighted as agreed.  After some time passed in waiting and wondering
at the delay, the targeteers by degrees got up close to the town.
The Toronaeans inside at work with the party that had entered had by
this time broken down the postern and opened the gates leading to
the market-place by cutting through the bar, and first brought some
men round and let them in by the postern, in order to strike a panic
into the surprised townsmen by suddenly attacking them from behind and
on both sides at once; after which they raised the fire-signal as
had been agreed, and took in by the market gates the rest of the

Brasidas seeing the signal told the troops to rise, and dashed
forward amid the loud hurrahs of his men, which carried dismay among
the astonished townspeople.  Some burst in straight by the gate, others
over some square pieces of timber placed against the wall (which has
fallen down and was being rebuilt) to draw up stones; Brasidas and the
greater number making straight uphill for the higher part of the town,
in order to take it from top to bottom, and once for all, while the
rest of the multitude spread in all directions.

The capture of the town was effected before the great body of the
Toronaeans had recovered from their surprise and confusion; but the
conspirators and the citizens of their party at once joined the
invaders.  About fifty of the Athenian heavy infantry happened to be
sleeping in the market-place when the alarm reached them.  A few of
these were killed fighting; the rest escaped, some by land, others
to the two ships on the station, and took refuge in Lecythus, a fort
garrisoned by their own men in the corner of the town running out into
the sea and cut off by a narrow isthmus; where they were joined by the
Toronaeans of their party.

Day now arrived, and the town being secured, Brasidas made a
proclamation to the Toronaeans who had taken refuge with the
Athenians, to come out, as many as chose, to their homes without
fearing for their rights or persons, and sent a herald to invite the
Athenians to accept a truce, and to evacuate Lecythus with their
property, as being Chalcidian ground.  The Athenians refused this
offer, but asked for a truce for a day to take up their dead.  Brasidas
granted it for two days, which he employed in fortifying the houses
near, and the Athenians in doing the same to their positions.
Meanwhile he called a meeting of the Toronaeans, and said very much
what he had said at Acanthus, namely, that they must not look upon
those who had negotiated with him for the capture of the town as bad
men or as traitors, as they had not acted as they had done from
corrupt motives or in order to enslave the city, but for the good
and freedom of Torone; nor again must those who had not shared in
the enterprise fancy that they would not equally reap its fruits, as
he had not come to destroy either city or individual.  This was the
reason of his proclamation to those that had fled for refuge to the
Athenians: he thought none the worse of them for their friendship
for the Athenians; he believed that they had only to make trial of the
Lacedaemonians to like them as well, or even much better, as acting
much more justly: it was for want of such a trial that they were now
afraid of them.  Meanwhile he warned all of them to prepare to be
staunch allies, and for being held responsible for all faults in
future: for the past, they had not wronged the Lacedaemonians but
had been wronged by others who were too strong for them, and any
opposition that they might have offered him could be excused.

Having encouraged them with this address, as soon as the truce
expired he made his attack upon Lecythus; the Athenians defending
themselves from a poor wall and from some houses with parapets.  One
day they beat him off; the next the enemy were preparing to bring up
an engine against them from which they meant to throw fire upon the
wooden defences, and the troops were already coming up to the point
where they fancied they could best bring up the engine, and where
place was most assailable; meanwhile the Athenians put a wooden
tower upon a house opposite, and carried up a quantity of jars and
casks of water and big stones, and a large number of men also
climbed up.  The house thus laden too heavily suddenly broke down
with a loud crash; at which the men who were near and saw it were more
vexed than frightened; but those not so near, and still more those
furthest off, thought that the place was already taken at that
point, and fled in haste to the sea and the ships.

Brasidas, perceiving that they were deserting the parapet, and
seeing what was going on, dashed forward with his troops, and
immediately took the fort, and put to the sword all whom he found in
it.  In this way the place was evacuated by the Athenians, who went
across in their boats and ships to Pallene.  Now there is a temple of
Athene in Lecythus, and Brasidas had proclaimed in the moment of
making the assault that he would give thirty silver minae to the man
first on the wall.  Being now of opinion that the capture was
scarcely due to human means, he gave the thirty minae to the goddess
for her temple, and razed and cleared Lecythus, and made the whole
of it consecrated ground.  The rest of the winter he spent in
settling the places in his hands, and in making designs upon the rest;
and with the expiration of the winter the eighth year of this war

In the spring of the summer following, the Lacedaemonians and
Athenians made an armistice for a year; the Athenians thinking that
they would thus have full leisure to take their precautions before
Brasidas could procure the revolt of any more of their towns, and
might also, if it suited them, conclude a general peace; the
Lacedaemonians divining the actual fears of the Athenians, and
thinking that after once tasting a respite from trouble and misery
they would be more disposed to consent to a reconciliation, and to
give back the prisoners, and make a treaty for the longer period.
The great idea of the Lacedaemonians was to get back their men while
Brasidas's good fortune lasted: further successes might make the
struggle a less unequal one in Chalcidice, but would leave them
still deprived of their men, and even in Chalcidice not more than a
match for the Athenians and by no means certain of victory.  An
armistice was accordingly concluded by Lacedaemon and her allies
upon the terms following:

1.  As to the temple and oracle of the Pythian Apollo, we are
agreed that whosoever will shall have access to it, without fraud or
fear, according to the usages of his forefathers.  The Lacedaemonians
and the allies present agree to this, and promise to send heralds to
the Boeotians and Phocians, and to do their best to persuade them to
agree likewise.

2.  As to the treasure of the god, we agree to exert ourselves to
detect all malversators, truly and honestly following the customs of
our forefathers, we and you and all others willing to do so, all
following the customs of our forefathers.  As to these points the
Lacedaemonians and the other allies are agreed as has been said.

3.  As to what follows, the Lacedaemonians and the other allies
agree, if the Athenians conclude a treaty, to remain, each of us in
our own territory, retaining our respective acquisitions: the garrison
in Coryphasium keeping within Buphras and Tomeus: that in Cythera
attempting no communication with the Peloponnesian confederacy,
neither we with them, nor they with us: that in Nisaea and Minoa not
crossing the road leading from the gates of the temple of Nisus to
that of Poseidon and from thence straight to the bridge at Minoa:
the Megarians and the allies being equally bound not to cross this
road, and the Athenians retaining the island they have taken,
without any communication on either side: as to Troezen, each side
retaining what it has, and as was arranged with the Athenians.

4.  As to the use of the sea, so far as refers to their own coast
and to that of their confederacy, that the Lacedaemonians and their
allies may voyage upon it in any vessel rowed by oars and of not
more than five hundred talents tonnage, not a vessel of war.

5.  That all heralds and embassies, with as many attendants as they
please, for concluding the war and adjusting claims, shall have free
passage, going and coming, to Peloponnese or Athens by land and by

6.  That during the truce, deserters whether bond or free shall
be received neither by you, nor by us.

7.  Further, that satisfaction shall be given by you to us and by
us to you according to the public law of our several countries, all
disputes being settled by law without recourse to hostilities.

The Lacedaemonians and allies agree to these articles; but if
you have anything fairer or juster to suggest, come to Lacedaemon
and let us know: whatever shall be just will meet with no objection
either from the Lacedaemonians or from the allies.  Only let those
who come come with full powers, as you desire us.  The truce shall be
for one year.

Approved by the people.

The tribe of Acamantis had the prytany, Phoenippus was
secretary, Niciades chairman.  Laches moved, in the name of the good
luck of the Athenians, that they should conclude the armistice upon
the terms agreed upon by the Lacedaemonians and the allies.  It was
agreed accordingly in the popular assembly that the armistice should
be for one year, beginning that very day, the fourteenth of the
month of Elaphebolion; during which time ambassadors and heralds
should go and come between the two countries to discuss the bases of a
pacification.  That the generals and prytanes should call an assembly
of the people, in which the Athenians should first consult on the
peace, and on the mode in which the embassy for putting an end to
the war should be admitted.  That the embassy now present should at
once take the engagement before the people to keep well and truly this
truce for one year.

On these terms the Lacedaemonians concluded with the Athenians and
their allies on the twelfth day of the Spartan month Gerastius; the
allies also taking the oaths.  Those who concluded and poured the
libation were Taurus, son of Echetimides, Athenaeus, son of
Pericleidas, and Philocharidas, son of Eryxidaidas, Lacedaemonians;
Aeneas, son of Ocytus, and Euphamidas, son of Aristonymus,
Corinthians; Damotimus, son of Naucrates, and Onasimus, son of
Megacles, Sicyonians; Nicasus, son of Cecalus, and Menecrates, son
of Amphidorus, Megarians; and Amphias, son of Eupaidas, an Epidaurian;
and the Athenian generals Nicostratus, son of Diitrephes, Nicias,
son of Niceratus, and Autocles, son of Tolmaeus.  Such was the
armistice, and during the whole of it conferences went on on the
subject of a pacification.

In the days in which they were going backwards and forwards to these
conferences, Scione, a town in Pallene, revolted from Athens, and went
over to Brasidas.  The Scionaeans say that they are Pallenians from
Peloponnese, and that their first founders on their voyage from Troy
were carried in to this spot by the storm which the Achaeans were
caught in, and there settled.  The Scionaeans had no sooner revolted
than Brasidas crossed over by night to Scione, with a friendly
galley ahead and himself in a small boat some way behind; his idea
being that if he fell in with a vessel larger than the boat he would
have the galley to defend him, while a ship that was a match for the
galley would probably neglect the small vessel to attack the large
one, and thus leave him time to escape.  His passage effected, he
called a meeting of the Scionaeans and spoke to the same effect as
at Acanthus and Torone, adding that they merited the utmost
commendation, in that, in spite of Pallene within the isthmus being
cut off by the Athenian occupation of Potidaea and of their own
practically insular position, they had of their own free will gone
forward to meet their liberty instead of timorously waiting until they
had been by force compelled to their own manifest good.  This was a
sign that they would valiantly undergo any trial, however great; and
if he should order affairs as he intended, he should count them
among the truest and sincerest friends of the Lacedaemonians, and
would in every other way honour them.

The Scionaeans were elated by his language, and even those who had
at first disapproved of what was being done catching the general
confidence, they determined on a vigorous conduct of the war, and
welcomed Brasidas with all possible honours, publicly crowning him
with a crown of gold as the liberator of Hellas; while private persons
crowded round him and decked him with garlands as though he had been
an athlete.  Meanwhile Brasidas left them a small garrison for the
present and crossed back again, and not long afterwards sent over a
larger force, intending with the help of the Scionaeans to attempt
Mende and Potidaea before the Athenians should arrive; Scione, he
felt, being too like an island for them not to relieve it.  He had
besides intelligence in the above towns about their betrayal.

In the midst of his designs upon the towns in question, a galley
arrived with the commissioners carrying round the news of the
armistice, Aristonymus for the Athenians and Athenaeus for the
Lacedaemonians.  The troops now crossed back to Torone, and the
commissioners gave Brasidas notice of the convention.  All the
Lacedaemonian allies in Thrace accepted what had been done; and
Aristonymus made no difficulty about the rest, but finding, on
counting the days, that the Scionaeans had revolted after the date
of the convention, refused to include them in it.  To this Brasidas
earnestly objected, asserting that the revolt took place before, and
would not give up the town.  Upon Aristonymus reporting the case to
Athens, the people at once prepared to send an expedition to Scione.
Upon this, envoys arrived from Lacedaemon, alleging that this would be
a breach of the truce, and laying claim to the town upon the faith
of the assertion of Brasidas, and meanwhile offering to submit the
question to arbitration.  Arbitration, however, was what the
Athenians did not choose to risk; being determined to send troops at
once to the place, and furious at the idea of even the islanders now
daring to revolt, in a vain reliance upon the power of the
Lacedaemonians by land.  Besides the facts of the revolt were rather as
the Athenians contended, the Scionaeans having revolted two days after
the convention.  Cleon accordingly succeeded in carrying a decree to
reduce and put to death the Scionaeans; and the Athenians employed the
leisure which they now enjoyed in preparing for the expedition.

Meanwhile Mende revolted, a town in Pallene and a colony of the
Eretrians, and was received without scruple by Brasidas, in spite of
its having evidently come over during the armistice, on account of
certain infringements of the truce alleged by him against the
Athenians.  This audacity of Mende was partly caused by seeing Brasidas
forward in the matter and by the conclusions drawn from his refusal to
betray Scione; and besides, the conspirators in Mende were few, and,
as I have already intimated, had carried on their practices too long
not to fear detection for themselves, and not to wish to force the
inclination of the multitude.  This news made the Athenians more
furious than ever, and they at once prepared against both towns.
Brasidas, expecting their arrival, conveyed away to Olynthus in
Chalcidice the women and children of the Scionaeans and Mendaeans, and
sent over to them five hundred Peloponnesian heavy infantry and
three hundred Chalcidian targeteers, all under the command of

Leaving these two towns to prepare together against the speedy
arrival of the Athenians, Brasidas and Perdiccas started on a second
joint expedition into Lyncus against Arrhabaeus; the latter with the
forces of his Macedonian subjects, and a corps of heavy infantry
composed of Hellenes domiciled in the country; the former with the
Peloponnesians whom he still had with him and the Chalcidians,
Acanthians, and the rest in such force as they were able.  In all there
were about three thousand Hellenic heavy infantry, accompanied by
all the Macedonian cavalry with the Chalcidians, near one thousand
strong, besides an immense crowd of barbarians.  On entering the
country of Arrhabaeus, they found the Lyncestians encamped awaiting
them, and themselves took up a position opposite.  The infantry on
either side were upon a hill, with a plain between them, into which
the horse of both armies first galloped down and engaged a cavalry
action.  After this the Lyncestian heavy infantry advanced from their
hill to join their cavalry and offered battle; upon which Brasidas and
Perdiccas also came down to meet them, and engaged and routed them
with heavy loss; the survivors taking refuge upon the heights and
there remaining inactive.  The victors now set up a trophy and waited
two or three days for the Illyrian mercenaries who were to join
Perdiccas.  Perdiccas then wished to go on and attack the villages of
Arrhabaeus, and to sit still no longer; but Brasidas, afraid that
the Athenians might sail up during his absence, and of something
happening to Mende, and seeing besides that the Illyrians did not
appear, far from seconding this wish was anxious to return.

While they were thus disputing, the news arrived that the
Illyrians had actually betrayed Perdiccas and had joined Arrhabaeus;
and the fear inspired by their warlike character made both parties now
think it best to retreat.  However, owing to the dispute, nothing had
been settled as to when they should start; and night coming on, the
Macedonians and the barbarian crowd took fright in a moment in one
of those mysterious panics to which great armies are liable; and
persuaded that an army many times more numerous than that which had
really arrived was advancing and all but upon them, suddenly broke and
fled in the direction of home, and thus compelled Perdiccas, who at
first did not perceive what had occurred, to depart without seeing
Brasidas, the two armies being encamped at a considerable distance
from each other.  At daybreak Brasidas, perceiving that the Macedonians
had gone on, and that the Illyrians and Arrhabaeus were on the point
of attacking him, formed his heavy infantry into a square, with the
light troops in the centre, and himself also prepared to retreat.
Posting his youngest soldiers to dash out wherever the enemy should
attack them, he himself with three hundred picked men in the rear
intended to face about during the retreat and beat off the most
forward of their assailants, Meanwhile, before the enemy approached,
he sought to sustain the courage of his soldiers with the following
hasty exhortation:

"Peloponnesians, if I did not suspect you of being dismayed at being
left alone to sustain the attack of a numerous and barbarian enemy,
I should just have said a few words to you as usual without further
explanation.  As it is, in the face of the desertion of our friends and
the numbers of the enemy, I have some advice and information to offer,
which, brief as they must be, will, I hope, suffice for the more
important points.  The bravery that you habitually display in war
does not depend on your having allies at your side in this or that
encounter, but on your native courage; nor have numbers any terrors
for citizens of states like yours, in which the many do not rule the
few, but rather the few the many, owing their position to nothing else
than to superiority in the field.  Inexperience now makes you afraid of
barbarians; and yet the trial of strength which you had with the
Macedonians among them, and my own judgment, confirmed by what I
hear from others, should be enough to satisfy you that they will not
prove formidable.  Where an enemy seems strong but is really weak, a
true knowledge of the facts makes his adversary the bolder, just as
a serious antagonist is encountered most confidently by those who do
not know him.  Thus the present enemy might terrify an inexperienced
imagination; they are formidable in outward bulk, their loud yelling
is unbearable, and the brandishing of their weapons in the air has a
threatening appearance.  But when it comes to real fighting with an
opponent who stands his ground, they are not what they seemed; they
have no regular order that they should be ashamed of deserting their
positions when hard pressed; flight and attack are with them equally
honourable, and afford no test of courage; their independent mode of
fighting never leaving any one who wants to run away without a fair
excuse for so doing.  In short, they think frightening you at a
secure distance a surer game than meeting you hand to hand;
otherwise they would have done the one and not the other.  You can thus
plainly see that the terrors with which they were at first invested
are in fact trifling enough, though to the eye and ear very prominent.
Stand your ground therefore when they advance, and again wait your
opportunity to retire in good order, and you will reach a place of
safety all the sooner, and will know for ever afterwards that rabble
such as these, to those who sustain their first attack, do but show
off their courage by threats of the terrible things that they are
going to do, at a distance, but with those who give way to them are
quick enough to display their heroism in pursuit when they can do so
without danger."

With this brief address Brasidas began to lead off his army.
Seeing this, the barbarians came on with much shouting and hubbub,
thinking that he was flying and that they would overtake him and cut
him off.  But wherever they charged they found the young men ready to
dash out against them, while Brasidas with his picked company
sustained their onset.  Thus the Peloponnesians withstood the first
attack, to the surprise of the enemy, and afterwards received and
repulsed them as fast as they came on, retiring as soon as their
opponents became quiet.  The main body of the barbarians ceased
therefore to molest the Hellenes with Brasidas in the open country,
and leaving behind a certain number to harass their march, the rest
went on after the flying Macedonians, slaying those with whom they
came up, and so arrived in time to occupy the narrow pass between
two hills that leads into the country of Arrhabaeus.  They knew that
this was the only way by which Brasidas could retreat, and now
proceeded to surround him just as he entered the most impracticable
part of the road, in order to cut him off.

Brasidas, perceiving their intention, told his three hundred to
run on without order, each as quickly as he could, to the hill which
seemed easiest to take, and to try to dislodge the barbarians
already there, before they should be joined by the main body closing
round him.  These attacked and overpowered the party upon the hill, and
the main army of the Hellenes now advanced with less difficulty
towards it--the barbarians being terrified at seeing their men on
that side driven from the height and no longer following the main
body, who, they considered, had gained the frontier and made good
their escape.  The heights once gained, Brasidas now proceeded more
securely, and the same day arrived at Arnisa, the first town in the
dominions of Perdiccas.  The soldiers, enraged at the desertion of
the Macedonians, vented their rage on all their yokes of oxen which
they found on the road, and on any baggage which had tumbled off (as
might easily happen in the panic of a night retreat), by unyoking
and cutting down the cattle and taking the baggage for themselves.
From this moment Perdiccas began to regard Brasidas as an enemy and to
feel against the Peloponnesians a hatred which could not be
congenial to the adversary of the Athenians.  However, he departed from
his natural interests and made it his endeavour to come to terms
with the latter and to get rid of the former.

On his return from Macedonia to Torone, Brasidas found the Athenians
already masters of Mende, and remained quiet where he was, thinking it
now out of his power to cross over into Pallene and assist the
Mendaeans, but he kept good watch over Torone.  For about the same time
as the campaign in Lyncus, the Athenians sailed upon the expedition
which we left them preparing against Mende and Scione, with fifty
ships, ten of which were Chians, one thousand Athenian heavy
infantry and six hundred archers, one hundred Thracian mercenaries and
some targeteers drawn from their allies in the neighbourhood, under
the command of Nicias, son of Niceratus, and Nicostratus, son of
Diitrephes.  Weighing from Potidaea, the fleet came to land opposite
the temple of Poseidon, and proceeded against Mende; the men of
which town, reinforced by three hundred Scionaeans, with their
Peloponnesian auxiliaries, seven hundred heavy infantry in all,
under Polydamidas, they found encamped upon a strong hill outside
the city.  These Nicias, with one hundred and twenty light-armed
Methonaeans, sixty picked men from the Athenian heavy infantry, and
all the archers, tried to reach by a path running up the hill, but
received a wound and found himself unable to force the position; while
Nicostratus, with all the rest of the army, advancing upon the hill,
which was naturally difficult, by a different approach further off,
was thrown into utter disorder; and the whole Athenian army narrowly
escaped being defeated.  For that day, as the Mendaeans and their
allies showed no signs of yielding, the Athenians retreated and
encamped, and the Mendaeans at nightfall returned into the town.

The next day the Athenians sailed round to the Scione side, and took
the suburb, and all day plundered the country, without any one
coming out against them, partly because of intestine disturbances in
the town; and the following night the three hundred Scionaeans
returned home.  On the morrow Nicias advanced with half the army to the
frontier of Scione and laid waste the country; while Nicostratus
with the remainder sat down before the town near the upper gate on the
road to Potidaea.  The arms of the Mendaeans and of their Peloponnesian
auxiliaries within the wall happened to be piled in that quarter,
where Polydamidas accordingly began to draw them up for battle,
encouraging the Mendaeans to make a sortie.  At this moment one of
the popular party answered him factiously that they would not go out
and did not want a war, and for thus answering was dragged by the
arm and knocked about by Polydamidas.  Hereupon the infuriated
commons at once seized their arms and rushed at the Peloponnesians and
at their allies of the opposite faction.  The troops thus assaulted
were at once routed, partly from the suddenness of the conflict and
partly through fear of the gates being opened to the Athenians, with
whom they imagined that the attack had been concerted.  As many as were
not killed on the spot took refuge in the citadel, which they had held
from the first; and the whole, Athenian army, Nicias having by this
time returned and being close to the city, now burst into Mende, which
had opened its gates without any convention, and sacked it just as
if they had taken it by storm, the generals even finding some
difficulty in restraining them from also massacring the inhabitants.
After this the Athenians told the Mendaeans that they might retain
their civil rights, and themselves judge the supposed authors of the
revolt; and cut off the party in the citadel by a wall built down to
the sea on either side, appointing troops to maintain the blockade.
Having thus secured Mende, they proceeded against Scione.

The Scionaeans and Peloponnesians marched out against them,
occupying a strong hill in front of the town, which had to be captured
by the enemy before they could invest the place.  The Athenians stormed
the hill, defeated and dislodged its occupants, and, having encamped
and set up a trophy, prepared for the work of circumvallation.  Not
long after they had begun their operations, the auxiliaries besieged
in the citadel of Mende forced the guard by the sea-side and arrived
by night at Scione, into which most of them succeeded in entering,
passing through the besieging army.

While the investment of Scione was in progress, Perdiccas sent a
herald to the Athenian generals and made peace with the Athenians,
through spite against Brasidas for the retreat from Lyncus, from which
moment indeed he had begun to negotiate.  The Lacedaemonian
Ischagoras was just then upon the point of starting with an army
overland to join Brasidas; and Perdiccas, being now required by Nicias
to give some proof of the sincerity of his reconciliation to the
Athenians, and being himself no longer disposed to let the
Peloponnesians into his country, put in motion his friends in
Thessaly, with whose chief men he always took care to have
relations, and so effectually stopped the army and its preparation
that they did not even try the Thessalians.  Ischagoras himself,
however, with Ameinias and Aristeus, succeeded in reaching Brasidas;
they had been commissioned by the Lacedaemonians to inspect the
state of affairs, and brought out from Sparta (in violation of all
precedent) some of their young men to put in command of the towns,
to guard against their being entrusted to the persons upon the spot.
Brasidas accordingly placed Clearidas, son of Cleonymus, in
Amphipolis, and Pasitelidas, son of Hegesander, in Torone.

The same summer the Thebans dismantled the wall of the Thespians
on the charge of Atticism, having always wished to do so, and now
finding it an easy matter, as the flower of the Thespian youth had
perished in the battle with the Athenians.  The same summer also the
temple of Hera at Argos was burnt down, through Chrysis, the
priestess, placing a lighted torch near the garlands and then
falling asleep, so that they all caught fire and were in a blaze
before she observed it.  Chrysis that very night fled to Phlius for
fear of the Argives, who, agreeably to the law in such a case,
appointed another priestess named Phaeinis.  Chrysis at the time of her
flight had been priestess for eight years of the present war and
half the ninth.  At the close of the summer the investment of Scione
was completed, and the Athenians, leaving a detachment to maintain the
blockade, returned with the rest of their army.

During the winter following, the Athenians and Lacedaemonians were
kept quiet by the armistice; but the Mantineans and Tegeans, and their
respective allies, fought a battle at Laodicium, in the Oresthid.
The victory remained doubtful, as each side routed one of the wings
opposed to them, and both set up trophies and sent spoils to Delphi.
After heavy loss on both sides the battle was undecided, and night
interrupted the action; yet the Tegeans passed the night on the
field and set up a trophy at once, while the Mantineans withdrew to
Bucolion and set up theirs afterwards.

At the close of the same winter, in fact almost in spring,
Brasidas made an attempt upon Potidaea.  He arrived by night, and
succeeded in planting a ladder against the wall without being
discovered, the ladder being planted just in the interval between
the passing round of the bell and the return of the man who brought it
back.  Upon the garrison, however, taking the alarm immediately
afterwards, before his men came up, he quickly led off his troops,
without waiting until it was day.  So ended the winter and the ninth
year of this war of which Thucydides is the historian.



_Tenth Year of the War - Death of Cleon and Brasidas -
Peace of Nicias_

The next summer the truce for a year ended, after lasting until
the Pythian games.  During the armistice the Athenians expelled the
Delians from Delos, concluding that they must have been polluted by
some old offence at the time of their consecration, and that this
had been the omission in the previous purification of the island,
which, as I have related, had been thought to have been duly
accomplished by the removal of the graves of the dead.  The Delians had
Atramyttium in Asia given them by Pharnaces, and settled there as they
removed from Delos.

Meanwhile Cleon prevailed on the Athenians to let him set sail at
the expiration of the armistice for the towns in the direction of
Thrace with twelve hundred heavy infantry and three hundred horse from
Athens, a large force of the allies, and thirty ships.  First
touching at the still besieged Scione, and taking some heavy
infantry from the army there, he next sailed into Cophos, a harbour in
the territory of Torone, which is not far from the town.  From
thence, having learnt from deserters that Brasidas was not in
Torone, and that its garrison was not strong enough to give him
battle, he advanced with his army against the town, sending ten
ships to sail round into the harbour.  He first came to the
fortification lately thrown up in front of the town by Brasidas in
order to take in the suburb, to do which he had pulled down part of
the original wall and made it all one city.  To this point Pasitelidas,
the Lacedaemonian commander, with such garrison as there was in the
place, hurried to repel the Athenian assault; but finding himself hard
pressed, and seeing the ships that had been sent round sailing into
the harbour, Pasitelidas began to be afraid that they might get up
to the city before its defenders were there and, the fortification
being also carried, he might be taken prisoner, and so abandoned the
outwork and ran into the town.  But the Athenians from the ships had
already taken Torone, and their land forces following at his heels
burst in with him with a rush over the part of the old wall that had
been pulled down, killing some of the Peloponnesians and Toronaeans in
the melee, and making prisoners of the rest, and Pasitelidas their
commander amongst them.  Brasidas meanwhile had advanced to relieve
Torone, and had only about four miles more to go when he heard of
its fall on the road, and turned back again.  Cleon and the Athenians
set up two trophies, one by the harbour, the other by the
fortification and, making slaves of the wives and children of the
Toronaeans, sent the men with the Peloponnesians and any Chalcidians
that were there, to the number of seven hundred, to Athens; whence,
however, they all came home afterwards, the Peloponnesians on the
conclusion of peace, and the rest by being exchanged against other
prisoners with the Olynthians.  About the same time Panactum, a
fortress on the Athenian border, was taken by treachery by the
Boeotians.  Meanwhile Cleon, after placing a garrison in Torone,
weighed anchor and sailed around Athos on his way to Amphipolis.

About the same time Phaeax, son of Erasistratus, set sail with two
colleagues as ambassador from Athens to Italy and Sicily.  The
Leontines, upon the departure of the Athenians from Sicily after the
pacification, had placed a number of new citizens upon the roll, and
the commons had a design for redividing the land; but the upper
classes, aware of their intention, called in the Syracusans and
expelled the commons.  These last were scattered in various directions;
but the upper classes came to an agreement with the Syracusans,
abandoned and laid waste their city, and went and lived at Syracuse,
where they were made citizens.  Afterwards some of them were
dissatisfied, and leaving Syracuse occupied Phocaeae, a quarter of the
town of Leontini, and Bricinniae, a strong place in the Leontine
country, and being there joined by most of the exiled commons
carried on war from the fortifications.  The Athenians hearing this,
sent Phaeax to see if they could not by some means so convince their
allies there and the rest of the Sicilians of the ambitious designs of
Syracuse as to induce them to form a general coalition against her,
and thus save the commons of Leontini.  Arrived in Sicily, Phaeax
succeeded at Camarina and Agrigentum, but meeting with a repulse at
Gela did not go on to the rest, as he saw that he should not succeed
with them, but returned through the country of the Sicels to Catana,
and after visiting Bricinniae as he passed, and encouraging its
inhabitants, sailed back to Athens.

During his voyage along the coast to and from Sicily, he treated
with some cities in Italy on the subject of friendship with Athens,
and also fell in with some Locrian settlers exiled from Messina, who
had been sent thither when the Locrians were called in by one of the
factions that divided Messina after the pacification of Sicily, and
Messina came for a time into the hands of the Locrians.  These being
met by Phaeax on their return home received no injury at his hands, as
the Locrians had agreed with him for a treaty with Athens.  They were
the only people of the allies who, when the reconciliation between the
Sicilians took place, had not made peace with her; nor indeed would
they have done so now, if they had not been pressed by a war with
the Hipponians and Medmaeans who lived on their border, and were
colonists of theirs.  Phaeax meanwhile proceeded on his voyage, and
at length arrived at Athens.

Cleon, whom we left on his voyage from Torone to Amphipolis, made
Eion his base, and after an unsuccessful assault upon the Andrian
colony of Stagirus, took Galepsus, a colony of Thasos, by storm.  He
now sent envoys to Perdiccas to command his attendance with an army,
as provided by the alliance; and others to Thrace, to Polles, king
of the Odomantians, who was to bring as many Thracian mercenaries as
possible; and himself remained inactive in Eion, awaiting their
arrival.  Informed of this, Brasidas on his part took up a position
of observation upon Cerdylium, a place situated in the Argilian
country on high ground across the river, not far from Amphipolis,
and commanding a view on all sides, and thus made it impossible for
Cleon's army to move without his seeing it; for he fully expected that
Cleon, despising the scanty numbers of his opponent, would march
against Amphipolis with the force that he had got with him.  At the
same time Brasidas made his preparations, calling to his standard
fifteen hundred Thracian mercenaries and all the Edonians, horse and
targeteers; he also had a thousand Myrcinian and Chalcidian
targeteers, besides those in Amphipolis, and a force of heavy infantry
numbering altogether about two thousand, and three hundred Hellenic
horse.  Fifteen hundred of these he had with him upon Cerdylium; the
rest were stationed with Clearidas in Amphipolis.

After remaining quiet for some time, Cleon was at length obliged
to do as Brasidas expected.  His soldiers, tired of their inactivity,
began also seriously to reflect on the weakness and incompetence of
their commander, and the skill and valour that would be opposed to
him, and on their own original unwillingness to accompany him.  These
murmurs coming to the ears of Cleon, he resolved not to disgust the
army by keeping it in the same place, and broke up his camp and
advanced.  The temper of the general was what it had been at Pylos, his
success on that occasion having given him confidence in his
capacity.  He never dreamed of any one coming out to fight him, but
said that he was rather going up to view the place; and if he waited
for his reinforcements, it was not in order to make victory secure
in case he should be compelled to engage, but to be enabled to
surround and storm the city.  He accordingly came and posted his army
upon a strong hill in front of Amphipolis, and proceeded to examine
the lake formed by the Strymon, and how the town lay on the side of
Thrace.  He thought to retire at pleasure without fighting, as there
was no one to be seen upon the wall or coming out of the gates, all of
which were shut.  Indeed, it seemed a mistake not to have brought
down engines with him; he could then have taken the town, there
being no one to defend it.

As soon as Brasidas saw the Athenians in motion he descended himself
from Cerdylium and entered Amphipolis.  He did not venture to go out in
regular order against the Athenians: he mistrusted his strength, and
thought it inadequate to the attempt; not in numbers--these were not
so unequal--but in quality, the flower of the Athenian army being in
the field, with the best of the Lemnians and Imbrians.  He therefore
prepared to assail them by stratagem.  By showing the enemy the
number of his troops, and the shifts which he had been put to to to
arm them, he thought that he should have less chance of beating him
than by not letting him have a sight of them, and thus learn how
good a right he had to despise them.  He accordingly picked out a
hundred and fifty heavy infantry and, putting the rest under
Clearidas, determined to attack suddenly before the Athenians retired;
thinking that he should not have again such a chance of catching
them alone, if their reinforcements were once allowed to come up;
and so calling all his soldiers together in order to encourage them
and explain his intention, spoke as follows:

"Peloponnesians, the character of the country from which we have
come, one which has always owed its freedom to valour, and the fact
that you are Dorians and the enemy you are about to fight Ionians,
whom you are accustomed to beat, are things that do not need further
comment.  But the plan of attack that I propose to pursue, this it is
as well to explain, in order that the fact of our adventuring with a
part instead of with the whole of our forces may not damp your courage
by the apparent disadvantage at which it places you.  I imagine it is
the poor opinion that he has of us, and the fact that he has no idea
of any one coming out to engage him, that has made the enemy march
up to the place and carelessly look about him as he is doing,
without noticing us.  But the most successful soldier will always be
the man who most happily detects a blunder like this, and who
carefully consulting his own means makes his attack not so much by
open and regular approaches, as by seizing the opportunity of the
moment; and these stratagems, which do the greatest service to our
friends by most completely deceiving our enemies, have the most
brilliant name in war.  Therefore, while their careless confidence
continues, and they are still thinking, as in my judgment they are now
doing, more of retreat than of maintaining their position, while their
spirit is slack and not high-strung with expectation, I with the men
under my command will, if possible, take them by surprise and fall
with a run upon their centre; and do you, Clearidas, afterwards,
when you see me already upon them, and, as is likely, dealing terror
among them, take with you the Amphipolitans, and the rest of the
allies, and suddenly open the gates and dash at them, and hasten to
engage as quickly as you can.  That is our best chance of
establishing a panic among them, as a fresh assailant has always
more terrors for an enemy than the one he is immediately engaged with.
Show yourself a brave man, as a Spartan should; and do you, allies,
follow him like men, and remember that zeal, honour, and obedience
mark the good soldier, and that this day will make you either free men
and allies of Lacedaemon, or slaves of Athens; even if you escape
without personal loss of liberty or life, your bondage will be on
harsher terms than before, and you will also hinder the liberation
of the rest of the Hellenes.  No cowardice then on your part, seeing
the greatness of the issues at stake, and I will show that what I
preach to others I can practise myself."

After this brief speech Brasidas himself prepared for the sally, and
placed the rest with Clearidas at the Thracian gates to support him as
had been agreed.  Meanwhile he had been seen coming down from Cerdylium
and then in the city, which is overlooked from the outside,
sacrificing near the temple of Athene; in short, all his movements had
been observed, and word was brought to Cleon, who had at the moment
gone on to look about him, that the whole of the enemy's force could
be seen in the town, and that the feet of horses and men in great
numbers were visible under the gates, as if a sally were intended.
Upon hearing this he went up to look, and having done so, being
unwilling to venture upon the decisive step of a battle before his
reinforcements came up, and fancying that he would have time to
retire, bid the retreat be sounded and sent orders to the men to
effect it by moving on the left wing in the direction of Eion, which
was indeed the only way practicable.  This however not being quick
enough for him, he joined the retreat in person and made the right
wing wheel round, thus turning its unarmed side to the enemy.  It was
then that Brasidas, seeing the Athenian force in motion and his
opportunity come, said to the men with him and the rest: "Those
fellows will never stand before us, one can see that by the way
their spears and heads are going.  Troops which do as they do seldom
stand a charge.  Quick, someone, and open the gates I spoke of, and let
us be out and at them with no fears for the result." Accordingly
issuing out by the palisade gate and by the first in the long wall
then existing, he ran at the top of his speed along the straight road,
where the trophy now stands as you go by the steepest part of the
hill, and fell upon and routed the centre of the Athenians,
panic-stricken by their own disorder and astounded at his audacity.  At
the same moment Clearidas in execution of his orders issued out from
the Thracian gates to support him, and also attacked the enemy.  The
result was that the Athenians, suddenly and unexpectedly attacked on
both sides, fell into confusion; and their left towards Eion, which
had already got on some distance, at once broke and fled.  Just as it
was in full retreat and Brasidas was passing on to attack the right,
he received a wound; but his fall was not perceived by the
Athenians, as he was taken up by those near him and carried off the
field.  The Athenian right made a better stand, and though Cleon, who
from the first had no thought of fighting, at once fled and was
overtaken and slain by a Myrcinian targeteer, his infantry forming
in close order upon the hill twice or thrice repulsed the attacks of
Clearidas, and did not finally give way until they were surrounded and
routed by the missiles of the Myrcinian and Chalcidian horse and the
targeteers.  Thus the Athenian army was all now in flight; and such
as escaped being killed in the battle, or by the Chalcidian horse
and the targeteers, dispersed among the hills, and with difficulty
made their way to Eion.  The men who had taken up and rescued Brasidas,
brought him into the town with the breath still in him: he lived to
hear of the victory of his troops, and not long after expired.  The
rest of the army returning with Clearidas from the pursuit stripped
the dead and set up a trophy.

After this all the allies attended in arms and buried Brasidas at the
public expense in the city, in front of what is now the marketplace,
and the Amphipolitans, having enclosed his tomb, ever afterwards
sacrifice to him as a hero and have given to him the honour of games
and annual offerings.  They constituted him the founder of their
colony, and pulled down the Hagnonic erections, and obliterated
everything that could be interpreted as a memorial of his having
founded the place; for they considered that Brasidas had been their
preserver, and courting as they did the alliance of Lacedaemon for
fear of Athens, in their present hostile relations with the latter
they could no longer with the same advantage or satisfaction pay
Hagnon his honours.  They also gave the Athenians back their dead.
About six hundred of the latter had fallen and only seven of the
enemy, owing to there having been no regular engagement, but the
affair of accident and panic that I have described.  After taking up
their dead the Athenians sailed off home, while Clearidas and his
troops remained to arrange matters at Amphipolis.

About the same time three Lacedaemonians--Ramphias, Autocharidas,
and Epicydidas--led a reinforcement of nine hundred heavy infantry to
the towns in the direction of Thrace, and arriving at Heraclea in
Trachis reformed matters there as seemed good to them.  While they
delayed there, this battle took place and so the summer ended.

With the beginning of the winter following, Ramphias and his
companions penetrated as far as Pierium in Thessaly; but as the
Thessalians opposed their further advance, and Brasidas whom they came
to reinforce was dead, they turned back home, thinking that the moment
had gone by, the Athenians being defeated and gone, and themselves not
equal to the execution of Brasidas's designs.  The main cause however
of their return was because they knew that when they set out
Lacedaemonian opinion was really in favour of peace.

Indeed it so happened that directly after the battle of Amphipolis
and the retreat of Ramphias from Thessaly, both sides ceased to
prosecute the war and turned their attention to peace.  Athens had
suffered severely at Delium, and again shortly afterwards at
Amphipolis, and had no longer that confidence in her strength which
had made her before refuse to treat, in the belief of ultimate victory
which her success at the moment had inspired; besides, she was
afraid of her allies being tempted by her reverses to rebel more
generally, and repented having let go the splendid opportunity for
peace which the affair of Pylos had offered.  Lacedaemon, on the
other hand, found the event of the war to falsify her notion that a
few years would suffice for the overthrow of the power of the
Athenians by the devastation of their land.  She had suffered on the
island a disaster hitherto unknown at Sparta; she saw her country
plundered from Pylos and Cythera; the Helots were deserting, and she
was in constant apprehension that those who remained in Peloponnese
would rely upon those outside and take advantage of the situation to
renew their old attempts at revolution.  Besides this, as chance
would have it, her thirty years' truce with the Argives was upon the
point of expiring; and they refused to renew it unless Cynuria were
restored to them; so that it seemed impossible to fight Argos and
Athens at once.  She also suspected some of the cities in Peloponnese
of intending to go over to the enemy and that was indeed the case.

These considerations made both sides disposed for an
accommodation; the Lacedaemonians being probably the most eager, as
they ardently desired to recover the men taken upon the island, the
Spartans among whom belonged to the first families and were
accordingly related to the governing body in Lacedaemon.
Negotiations had been begun directly after their capture, but the
Athenians in their hour of triumph would not consent to any reasonable
terms; though after their defeat at Delium, Lacedaemon, knowing that
they would be now more inclined to listen, at once concluded the
armistice for a year, during which they were to confer together and
see if a longer period could not be agreed upon.

Now, however, after the Athenian defeat at Amphipolis, and the death
of Cleon and Brasidas, who had been the two principal opponents of
peace on either side--the latter from the success and honour which
war gave him, the former because he thought that, if tranquillity were
restored, his crimes would be more open to detection and his
slanders less credited--the foremost candidates for power in either
city, Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, king of Lacedaemon, and Nicias,
son of Niceratus, the most fortunate general of his time, each desired
peace more ardently than ever.  Nicias, while still happy and honoured,
wished to secure his good fortune, to obtain a present release from
trouble for himself and his countrymen, and hand down to posterity a
name as an ever-successful statesman, and thought the way to do this
was to keep out of danger and commit himself as little as possible
to fortune, and that peace alone made this keeping out of danger
possible.  Pleistoanax, again, was assailed by his enemies for his
restoration, and regularly held up by them to the prejudice of his
countrymen, upon every reverse that befell them, as though his
unjust restoration were the cause; the accusation being that he and
his brother Aristocles had bribed the prophetess of Delphi to tell the
Lacedaemonian deputations which successively arrived at the temple
to bring home the seed of the demigod son of Zeus from abroad, else
they would have to plough with a silver share.  In this way, it was
insisted, in time he had induced the Lacedaemonians in the
nineteenth year of his exile to Lycaeum (whither he had gone when
banished on suspicion of having been bribed to retreat from Attica,
and had built half his house within the consecrated precinct of Zeus
for fear of the Lacedaemonians), to restore him with the same dances
and sacrifices with which they had instituted their kings upon the
first settlement of Lacedaemon.  The smart of this accusation, and
the reflection that in peace no disaster could occur, and that when
Lacedaemon had recovered her men there would be nothing for his
enemies to take hold of (whereas, while war lasted, the highest
station must always bear the scandal of everything that went wrong),
made him ardently desire a settlement.  Accordingly this winter was
employed in conferences; and as spring rapidly approached, the
Lacedaemonians sent round orders to the cities to prepare for a
fortified occupation of Attica, and held this as a sword over the
heads of the Athenians to induce them to listen to their overtures;
and at last, after many claims had been urged on either side at the
conferences a peace was agreed on upon the following basis.  Each party
was to restore its conquests, but Athens was to keep Nisaea; her
demand for Plataea being met by the Thebans asserting that they had
acquired the place not by force or treachery, but by the voluntary
adhesion upon agreement of its citizens; and the same, according to
the Athenian account, being the history of her acquisition of
Nisaea.  This arranged, the Lacedaemonians summoned their allies, and
all voting for peace except the Boeotians, Corinthians, Eleans, and
Megarians, who did not approve of these proceedings, they concluded
the treaty and made peace, each of the contracting parties swearing to
the following articles:

The Athenians and Lacedaemonians and their allies made a treaty,
and swore to it, city by city, as follows;

1.  Touching the national temples, there shall be a free passage by
land and by sea to all who wish it, to sacrifice, travel, consult, and
attend the oracle or games, according to the customs of their

2.  The temple and shrine of Apollo at Delphi and the Delphians
shall be governed by their own laws, taxed by their own state, and
judged by their own judges, the land and the people, according to
the custom of their country.

3.  The treaty shall be binding for fifty years upon the
Athenians and the allies of the Athenians, and upon the Lacedaemonians
and the allies of the Lacedaemonians, without fraud or hurt by land or
by sea.

4.  It shall not be lawful to take up arms, with intent to do hurt,
either for the Lacedaemonians and their allies against the Athenians
and their allies, or for the Athenians and their allies against the
Lacedaemonians and their allies, in any way or means whatsoever.  But
should any difference arise between them they are to have recourse
to law and oaths, according as may be agreed between the parties.

5.  The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall give back
Amphipolis to the Athenians.  Nevertheless, in the case of cities given
up by the Lacedaemonians to the Athenians, the inhabitants shall be
allowed to go where they please and to take their property with
them: and the cities shall be independent, paying only the tribute
of Aristides.  And it shall not be lawful for the Athenians or their
allies to carry on war against them after the treaty has been
concluded, so long as the tribute is paid.  The cities referred to
are Argilus, Stagirus, Acanthus, Scolus, Olynthus, and Spartolus.
These cities shall be neutral, allies neither of the Lacedaemonians
nor of the Athenians: but if the cities consent, it shall be lawful
for the Athenians to make them their allies, provided always that
the cities wish it.  The Mecybernaeans, Sanaeans, and Singaeans shall
inhabit their own cities, as also the Olynthians and Acanthians: but
the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall give back Panactum to the

6.  The Athenians shall give back Coryphasium, Cythera, Methana,
Lacedaemonians that are in the prison at Athens or elsewhere in the
Athenian dominions, and shall let go the Peloponnesians besieged in
Scione, and all others in Scione that are allies of the
Lacedaemonians, and all whom Brasidas sent in there, and any others of
the allies of the Lacedaemonians that may be in the prison at Athens
or elsewhere in the Athenian dominions.

7.  The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall in like manner give
back any of the Athenians or their allies that they may have in
their hands.

8.  In the case of Scione, Torone, and Sermylium, and any other
cities that the Athenians may have, the Athenians may adopt such
measures as they please.

9.  The Athenians shall take an oath to the Lacedaemonians and
their allies, city by city.  Every man shall swear by the most
binding oath of his country, seventeen from each city.  The oath
shall be as follows; "I will abide by this agreement and treaty
honestly and without deceit." In the same way an oath shall be taken
by the Lacedaemonians and their allies to the Athenians: and the
oath shall be renewed annually by both parties.  Pillars shall be
erected at Olympia, Pythia, the Isthmus, at Athens in the Acropolis,
and at Lacedaemon in the temple at Amyclae.

10.  If anything be forgotten, whatever it be, and on whatever
point, it shall be consistent with their oath for both parties, the
Athenians and Lacedaemonians, to alter it, according to their

The treaty begins from the ephoralty of Pleistolas in
Lacedaemon, on the 27th day of the month of Artemisium, and from the
archonship, of Alcaeus at Athens, on the 25th day of the month of
Elaphebolion.  Those who took the oath and poured the libations for the
Lacedaemonians were Pleistoanax, Agis, Pleistolas, Damagetis, Chionis,
Metagenes, Acanthus, Daithus, Ischagoras, Philocharidas, Zeuxidas,
Antippus, Tellis, Alcinadas, Empedias, Menas, and Laphilus: for the
Athenians, Lampon, Isthmonicus, Nicias, Laches, Euthydemus, Procles,
Pythodorus, Hagnon, Myrtilus, Thrasycles, Theagenes, Aristocrates,
Iolcius, Timocrates, Leon, Lamachus, and Demosthenes.

This treaty was made in the spring, just at the end of winter,
directly after the city festival of Dionysus, just ten years, with the
difference of a few days, from the first invasion of Attica and the
commencement of this war.  This must be calculated by the seasons
rather than by trusting to the enumeration of the names of the several
magistrates or offices of honour that are used to mark past events.
Accuracy is impossible where an event may have occurred in the
beginning, or middle, or at any period in their tenure of office.
But by computing by summers and winters, the method adopted in this
history, it will be found that, each of these amounting to half a
year, there were ten summers and as many winters contained in this
first war.

Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians, to whose lot it fell to begin the work
of restitution, immediately set free all the prisoners of war in their
possession, and sent Ischagoras, Menas, and Philocharidas as envoys to
the towns in the direction of Thrace, to order Clearidas to hand
over Amphipolis to the Athenians, and the rest of their allies each to
accept the treaty as it affected them.  They, however, did not like its
terms, and refused to accept it; Clearidas also, willing to oblige the
Chalcidians, would not hand over the town, averring his inability to
do so against their will.  Meanwhile he hastened in person to
Lacedaemon with envoys from the place, to defend his disobedience
against the possible accusations of Ischagoras and his companions, and
also to see whether it was too late for the agreement to be altered;
and on finding the Lacedaemonians were bound, quickly set out back
again with instructions from them to hand over the place, if possible,
or at all events to bring out the Peloponnesians that were in it.

The allies happened to be present in person at Lacedaemon, and those
who had not accepted the treaty were now asked by the Lacedaemonians
to adopt it.  This, however, they refused to do, for the same reasons
as before, unless a fairer one than the present were agreed upon;
and remaining firm in their determination were dismissed by the
Lacedaemonians, who now decided on forming an alliance with the
Athenians, thinking that Argos, who had refused the application of
Ampelidas and Lichas for a renewal of the treaty, would without Athens
be no longer formidable, and that the rest of the Peloponnese would be
most likely to keep quiet, if the coveted alliance of Athens were shut
against them.  Accordingly, after conference with the Athenian
ambassadors, an alliance was agreed upon and oaths were exchanged,
upon the terms following:

1.  The Lacedaemonians shall be allies of the Athenians for fifty

2.  Should any enemy invade the territory of Lacedaemon and
injure the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians shall help in such way as
they most effectively can, according to their power.  But if the
invader be gone after plundering the country, that city shall be the
enemy of Lacedaemon and Athens, and shall be chastised by both, and
one shall not make peace without the other.  This to be honestly,
loyally, and without fraud.

3.  Should any enemy invade the territory of Athens and injure
the Athenians, the Lacedaemonians shall help them in such way as
they most effectively can, according to their power.  But if the
invader be gone after plundering the country, that city shall be the
enemy of Lacedaemon and Athens, and shall be chastised by both, and
one shall not make peace without the other.  This to be honestly,
loyally, and without fraud.

4.  Should the slave population rise, the Athenians shall help
the Lacedaemonians with all their might, according to their power.

5.  This treaty shall be sworn to by the same persons on either
side that swore to the other.  It shall be renewed annually by the
Lacedaemonians going to Athens for the Dionysia, and the Athenians
to Lacedaemon for the Hyacinthia, and a pillar shall be set up by
either party: at Lacedaemon near the statue of Apollo at Amyclae,
and at Athens on the Acropolis near the statue of Athene.  Should the
Lacedaemonians and Athenians see to add to or take away from the
alliance in any particular, it shall be consistent with their oaths
for both parties to do so, according to their discretion.

Those who took the oath for the Lacedaemonians were Pleistoanax,
Agis, Pleistolas, Damagetus, Chionis, Metagenes, Acanthus, Daithus,
Ischagoras, Philocharidas, Zeuxidas, Antippus, Alcinadas, Tellis,
Empedias, Menas, and Laphilus; for the Athenians, Lampon,
Isthmionicus, Laches, Nicias, Euthydemus, Procles, Pythodorus, Hagnon,
Myrtilus, Thrasycles, Theagenes, Aristocrates, Iolcius, Timocrates,
Leon, Lamachus, and Demosthenes.

This alliance was made not long after the treaty; and the
Athenians gave back the men from the island to the Lacedaemonians, and
the summer of the eleventh year began.  This completes the history of
the first war, which occupied the whole of the ten years previously.


_Feeling against Sparta in Peloponnese - League of the Mantineans,
Eleans, Argives, and Athenians - Battle of Mantinea and
breaking up of the League_

After the treaty and the alliance between the Lacedaemonians and
Athenians, concluded after the ten years' war, in the ephorate of
Pleistolas at Lacedaemon, and the archonship of Alcaeus at Athens, the
states which had accepted them were at peace; but the Corinthians
and some of the cities in Peloponnese trying to disturb the
settlement, a fresh agitation was instantly commenced by the allies
against Lacedaemon.  Further, the Lacedaemonians, as time went on,
became suspected by the Athenians through their not performing some of
the provisions in the treaty; and though for six years and ten
months they abstained from invasion of each other's territory, yet
abroad an unstable armistice did not prevent either party doing the
other the most effectual injury, until they were finally obliged to
break the treaty made after the ten years' war and to have recourse to
open hostilities.

The history of this period has been also written by the same
Thucydides, an Athenian, in the chronological order of events by
summers and winters, to the time when the Lacedaemonians and their
allies put an end to the Athenian empire, and took the Long Walls
and Piraeus.  The war had then lasted for twenty-seven years in all.
Only a mistaken judgment can object to including the interval of
treaty in the war.  Looked at by the light of facts it cannot, it
will be found, be rationally considered a state of peace, where
neither party either gave or got back all that they had agreed,
apart from the violations of it which occurred on both sides in the
Mantinean and Epidaurian wars and other instances, and the fact that
the allies in the direction of Thrace were in as open hostility as
ever, while the Boeotians had only a truce renewed every ten days.
So that the first ten years' war, the treacherous armistice that
followed it, and the subsequent war will, calculating by the
seasons, be found to make up the number of years which I have
mentioned, with the difference of a few days, and to afford an
instance of faith in oracles being for once justified by the event.
I certainly all along remember from the beginning to the end of the
war its being commonly declared that it would last thrice nine
years.  I lived through the whole of it, being of an age to
comprehend events, and giving my attention to them in order to know
the exact truth about them.  It was also my fate to be an exile from my
country for twenty years after my command at Amphipolis; and being
present with both parties, and more especially with the Peloponnesians
by reason of my exile, I had leisure to observe affairs somewhat
particularly.  I will accordingly now relate the differences that arose
after the ten years' war, the breach of the treaty, and the
hostilities that followed.

After the conclusion of the fifty years' truce and of the
subsequent alliance, the embassies from Peloponnese which had been
summoned for this business returned from Lacedaemon.  The rest went
straight home, but the Corinthians first turned aside to Argos and
opened negotiations with some of the men in office there, pointing
out that Lacedaemon could have no good end in view, but only the
subjugation of Peloponnese, or she would never have entered into
treaty and alliance with the once detested Athenians, and that the
duty of consulting for the safety of Peloponnese had now fallen upon
Argos, who should immediately pass a decree inviting any Hellenic
state that chose, such state being independent and accustomed to meet
fellow powers upon the fair and equal ground of law and justice, to
make a defensive alliance with the Argives; appointing a few
individuals with plenipotentiary powers, instead of making the people
the medium of negotiation, in order that, in the case of an applicant
being rejected, the fact of his overtures might not be made public.
They said that many would come over from hatred of the Lacedaemonians.
After this explanation of their views, the Corinthians returned home.

The persons with whom they had communicated reported the proposal to
their government and people, and the Argives passed the decree and
chose twelve men to negotiate an alliance for any Hellenic state
that wished it, except Athens and Lacedaemon, neither of which
should be able to join without reference to the Argive people.  Argos
came into the plan the more readily because she saw that war with
Lacedaemon was inevitable, the truce being on the point of expiring;
and also because she hoped to gain the supremacy of Peloponnese.  For
at this time Lacedaemon had sunk very low in public estimation
because of her disasters, while the Argives were in a most
flourishing condition, having taken no part in the Attic war, but
having on the contrary profited largely by their neutrality.  The
Argives accordingly prepared to receive into alliance any of the
Hellenes that desired it.

The Mantineans and their allies were the first to come over through
fear of the Lacedaemonians.  Having taken advantage of the war against
Athens to reduce a large part of Arcadia into subjection, they
thought that Lacedaemon would not leave them undisturbed in their
conquests, now that she had leisure to interfere, and consequently
gladly turned to a powerful city like Argos, the historical enemy of
the Lacedaemonians, and a sister democracy.  Upon the defection of
Mantinea, the rest of Peloponnese at once began to agitate the
propriety of following her example, conceiving that the Mantineans
not have changed sides without good reason; besides which they were
angry with Lacedaemon among other reasons for having inserted in the
treaty with Athens that it should be consistent with their oaths for
both parties, Lacedaemonians and Athenians, to add to or take away
from it according to their discretion.  It was this clause that was
the real origin of the panic in Peloponnese, by exciting suspicions
of a Lacedaemonian and Athenian combination against their liberties:
any alteration should properly have been made conditional upon the
consent of the whole body of the allies.  With these apprehensions
there was a very general desire in each state to place itself in
alliance with Argos.

In the meantime the Lacedaemonians perceiving the agitation going on
in Peloponnese, and that Corinth was the author of it and was
herself about to enter into alliance with the Argives, sent
ambassadors thither in the hope of preventing what was in
contemplation.  They accused her of having brought it all about, and
told her that she could not desert Lacedaemon and become the ally of
Argos, without adding violation of her oaths to the crime which she
had already committed in not accepting the treaty with Athens, when it
had been expressly agreed that the decision of the majority of the
allies should be binding, unless the gods or heroes stood in the
way.  Corinth in her answer, delivered before those of her allies who
had like her refused to accept the treaty, and whom she had previously
invited to attend, refrained from openly stating the injuries she
complained of, such as the non-recovery of Sollium or Anactorium
from the Athenians, or any other point in which she thought she had
been prejudiced, but took shelter under the pretext that she could not
give up her Thracian allies, to whom her separate individual
security had been given, when they first rebelled with Potidaea, as
well as upon subsequent occasions.  She denied, therefore, that she
committed any violation of her oaths to the allies in not entering
into the treaty with Athens; having sworn upon the faith of the gods
to her Thracian friends, she could not honestly give them up.  Besides,
the expression was, "unless the gods or heroes stand in the way."
Now here, as it appeared to her, the gods stood in the way.  This was
what she said on the subject of her former oaths.  As to the Argive
alliance, she would confer with her friends and do whatever was right.
The Lacedaemonian envoys returning home, some Argive ambassadors who
happened to be in Corinth pressed her to conclude the alliance without
further delay, but were told to attend at the next congress to be held
at Corinth.

Immediately afterwards an Elean embassy arrived, and first making an
alliance with Corinth went on from thence to Argos, according to their
instructions, and became allies of the Argives, their country being
just then at enmity with Lacedaemon and Lepreum.  Some time back
there had been a war between the Lepreans and some of the Arcadians;
and the Eleans being called in by the former with the offer of half
their lands, had put an end to the war, and leaving the land in the
hands of its Leprean occupiers had imposed upon them the tribute of
a talent to the Olympian Zeus.  Till the Attic war this tribute was
paid by the Lepreans, who then took the war as an excuse for no longer
doing so, and upon the Eleans using force appealed to Lacedaemon.
The case was thus submitted to her arbitrament; but the Eleans,
suspecting the fairness of the tribunal, renounced the reference and
laid waste the Leprean territory.  The Lacedaemonians nevertheless
decided that the Lepreans were independent and the Eleans
aggressors, and as the latter did not abide by the arbitration, sent a
garrison of heavy infantry into Lepreum.  Upon this the Eleans, holding
that Lacedaemon had received one of their rebel subjects, put
forward the convention providing that each confederate should come out
of the Attic war in possession of what he had when he went into it,
and considering that justice had not been done them went over to the
Argives, and now made the alliance through their ambassadors, who
had been instructed for that purpose.  Immediately after them the
Corinthians and the Thracian Chalcidians became allies of Argos.
Meanwhile the Boeotians and Megarians, who acted together, remained
quiet, being left to do as they pleased by Lacedaemon, and thinking
that the Argive democracy would not suit so well with their
aristocratic government as the Lacedaemonian constitution.

About the same time in this summer Athens succeeded in reducing
Scione, put the adult males to death, and, making slaves of the
women and children, gave the land for the Plataeans to live in.  She
also brought back the Delians to Delos, moved by her misfortunes in
the field and by the commands of the god at Delphi.  Meanwhile the
Phocians and Locrians commenced hostilities.  The Corinthians and
Argives, being now in alliance, went to Tegea to bring about its
defection from Lacedaemon, seeing that, if so considerable a state
could be persuaded to join, all Peloponnese would be with them.  But
when the Tegeans said that they would do nothing against Lacedaemon,
the hitherto zealous Corinthians relaxed their activity, and began
to fear that none of the rest would now come over.  Still they went
to the Boeotians and tried to persuade them to alliance and a common
action generally with Argos and themselves, and also begged them to go
with them to Athens and obtain for them a ten days' truce similar to
that made between the Athenians and Boeotians not long after the fifty
years' treaty, and, in the event of the Athenians refusing, to throw
up the armistice, and not make any truce in future without Corinth.
These were the requests of the Corinthians.  The Boeotians stopped them
on the subject of the Argive alliance, but went with them to Athens,
where however they failed to obtain the ten days' truce; the
Athenian answer being that the Corinthians had truce already, as being
allies of Lacedaemon.  Nevertheless the Boeotians did not throw up
their ten days' truce, in spite of the prayers and reproaches of the
Corinthians for their breach of faith; and these last had to content
themselves with a de facto armistice with Athens.

The same summer the Lacedaemonians marched  into Arcadia with
their whole levy under Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, king of
Lacedaemon, against the Parrhasians, who were subjects of Mantinea,
and a faction of whom had invited their aid.  They also meant to
demolish, if possible, the fort of Cypsela which the Mantineans had
built and garrisoned in the Parrhasian territory, to annoy the
district of Sciritis in Laconia.  The Lacedaemonians accordingly laid
waste the Parrhasian country, and the Mantineans, placing their town
in the hands of an Argive garrison, addressed themselves to the
defence of their confederacy, but being unable to save Cypsela or
the Parrhasian towns went back to Mantinea.  Meanwhile the
Lacedaemonians made the Parrhasians independent, razed the fortress,
and returned home.

The same summer the soldiers from Thrace who had gone out with
Brasidas came back, having been brought from thence after the treaty
by Clearidas; and the Lacedaemonians decreed that the Helots who had
fought with Brasidas should be free and allowed to live where they
liked, and not long afterwards settled them with the Neodamodes at
Lepreum, which is situated on the Laconian and Elean border;
Lacedaemon being at this time at enmity with Elis.  Those however of
the Spartans who had been taken prisoners on the island and had
surrendered their arms might, it was feared, suppose that they were to
be subjected to some degradation in consequence of their misfortune,
and so make some attempt at revolution, if left in possession of their
franchise.  These were therefore at once disfranchised, although some
of them were in office at the time, and thus placed under a disability
to take office, or buy and sell anything.  After some time, however,
the franchise was restored to them.

The same summer the Dians took Thyssus, a town on Acte by Athos in
alliance with Athens.  During the whole of this summer intercourse
between the Athenians and Peloponnesians continued, although each
party began to suspect the other directly after the treaty, because of
the places specified in it not being restored.  Lacedaemon, to whose
lot it had fallen to begin by restoring Amphipolis and the other
towns, had not done so.  She had equally failed to get the treaty
accepted by her Thracian allies, or by the Boeotians or the
Corinthians; although she was continually promising to unite with
Athens in compelling their compliance, if it were longer refused.
She also kept fixing a time at which those who still refused to come
in were to be declared enemies to both parties, but took care not to
bind herself by any written agreement.  Meanwhile the Athenians, seeing
none of these professions performed in fact, began to suspect the
honesty of her intentions, and consequently not only refused to comply
with her demands for Pylos, but also repented having given up the
prisoners from the island, and kept tight hold of the other places,
until Lacedaemon's part of the treaty should be fulfilled.  Lacedaemon,
on the other hand, said she had done what she could, having given up
the Athenian prisoners of war in her possession, evacuated Thrace, and
performed everything else in her power.  Amphipolis it was out of her
ability to restore; but she would endeavour to bring the Boeotians and
Corinthians into the treaty, to recover Panactum, and send home all
the Athenian prisoners of war in Boeotia.  Meanwhile she required
that Pylos should be restored, or at all events that the Messenians
and Helots should be withdrawn, as her troops had been from Thrace,
and the place garrisoned, if necessary, by the Athenians themselves.
After a number of different conferences held during the summer, she
succeeded in persuading Athens to withdraw from Pylos the Messenians
and the rest of the Helots and deserters from Laconia, who were
accordingly settled by her at Cranii in Cephallenia.  Thus during
this summer there was peace and intercourse between the two peoples.

Next winter, however, the ephors under whom the treaty had been made
were no longer in office, and some of their successors were directly
opposed to it.  Embassies now arrived from the Lacedaemonian
confederacy, and the Athenians, Boeotians, and Corinthians also
presented themselves at Lacedaemon, and after much discussion and no
agreement between them, separated for their several homes; when
Cleobulus and Xenares, the two ephors who were the most anxious to
break off the treaty, took advantage of this opportunity to
communicate privately with the Boeotians and Corinthians, and,
advising them to act as much as possible together, instructed the
former first to enter into alliance with Argos, and then try and bring
themselves and the Argives into alliance with Lacedaemon.  The
Boeotians would so be least likely to be compelled to come into the
Attic treaty; and the Lacedaemonians would prefer gaining the
friendship and alliance of Argos even at the price of the hostility of
Athens and the rupture of the treaty.  The Boeotians knew that an
honourable friendship with Argos had been long the desire of
Lacedaemon; for the Lacedaemonians believed that this would
considerably facilitate the conduct of the war outside Peloponnese.
Meanwhile they begged the Boeotians to place Panactum in her hands
in order that she might, if possible, obtain Pylos in exchange for it,
and so be more in a position to resume hostilities with Athens.

After receiving these instructions for their governments from
Xenares and Cleobulus and their friends at Lacedaemon, the Boeotians
and Corinthians departed.  On their way home they were joined by two
persons high in office at Argos, who had waited for them on the
road, and who now sounded them upon the possibility of the Boeotians
joining the Corinthians, Eleans, and Mantineans in becoming the allies
of Argos, in the idea that if this could be effected they would be
able, thus united, to make peace or war as they pleased either against
Lacedaemon or any other power.  The Boeotian envoys were were pleased
at thus hearing themselves accidentally asked to do what their friends
at Lacedaemon had told them; and the two Argives perceiving that their
proposal was agreeable, departed with a promise to send ambassadors to
the Boeotians.  On their arrival the Boeotians reported to the
Boeotarchs what had been said to them at Lacedaemon and also by the
Argives who had met them, and the Boeotarchs, pleased with the idea,
embraced it with the more eagerness from the lucky coincidence of
Argos soliciting the very thing wanted by their friends at Lacedaemon.
Shortly afterwards ambassadors appeared from Argos with the
proposals indicated; and the Boeotarchs approved of the terms and
dismissed the ambassadors with a promise to send envoys to Argos to
negotiate the alliance.

In the meantime it was decided by the Boeotarchs, the Corinthians,
the Megarians, and the envoys from Thrace first to interchange oaths
together to give help to each other whenever it was required and not
to make war or peace except in common; after which the Boeotians and
Megarians, who acted together, should make the alliance with Argos.
But before the oaths were taken the Boeotarchs communicated these
proposals to the four councils of the Boeotians, in whom the supreme
power resides, and advised them to interchange oaths with all such
cities as should be willing to enter into a defensive league with
the Boeotians.  But the members of the Boeotian councils refused
their assent to the proposal, being afraid of offending Lacedaemon
by entering into a league with the deserter Corinth; the Boeotarchs
not having acquainted them with what had passed at Lacedaemon and with
the advice given by Cleobulus and Xenares and the Boeotian partisans
there, namely, that they should become allies of Corinth and Argos
as a preliminary to a junction with Lacedaemon; fancying that, even if
they should say nothing about this, the councils would not vote
against what had been decided and advised by the Boeotarchs.  This
difficulty arising, the Corinthians and the envoys from Thrace
departed without anything having been concluded; and the Boeotarchs,
who had previously intended after carrying this to try and effect
the alliance with Argos, now omitted to bring the Argive question
before the councils, or to send to Argos the envoys whom they had
promised; and a general coldness and delay ensued in the matter.

In this same winter Mecyberna was assaulted and taken by the
Olynthians, having an Athenian garrison inside it.

All this while negotiations had been going on between the
Athenians and Lacedaemonians about the conquests still retained by
each, and Lacedaemon, hoping that if Athens were to get back
Panactum from the Boeotians she might herself recover Pylos, now
sent an embassy to the Boeotians, and begged them to place Panactum
and their Athenian prisoners in her hands, in order that she might
exchange them for Pylos.  This the Boeotians refused to do, unless
Lacedaemon made a separate alliance with them as she had done with
Athens.  Lacedaemon knew that this would be a breach of faith to
Athens, as it had been agreed that neither of them should make peace
or war without the other; yet wishing to obtain Panactum which she
hoped to exchange for Pylos, and the party who pressed for the
dissolution of the treaty strongly affecting the Boeotian
connection, she at length concluded the alliance just as winter gave
way to spring; and Panactum was instantly razed.  And so the eleventh
year of the war ended.

In the first days of the summer following, the Argives, seeing
that the promised ambassadors from Boeotia did not arrive, and that
Panactum was being demolished, and that a separate alliance had been
concluded between the Boeotians and Lacedaemonians, began to be afraid
that Argos might be left alone, and all the confederacy go over to
Lacedaemon.  They fancied that the Boeotians had been persuaded by
the Lacedaemonians to raze Panactum and to enter into the treaty
with the Athenians, and that Athens was privy to this arrangement, and
even her alliance, therefore, no longer open to them--a resource
which they had always counted upon, by reason of the dissensions
existing, in the event of the noncontinuance of their treaty with
Lacedaemon.  In this strait the Argives, afraid that, as the result
of refusing to renew the treaty with Lacedaemon and of aspiring to the
supremacy in Peloponnese, they would have the Lacedaemonians, Tegeans,
Boeotians, and Athenians on their hands all at once, now hastily
sent off Eustrophus and Aeson, who seemed the persons most likely to
be acceptable, as envoys to Lacedaemon, with the view of making as
good a treaty as they could with the Lacedaemonians, upon such terms
as could be got, and being left in peace.

Having reached Lacedaemon, their ambassadors proceeded to
negotiate the terms of the proposed treaty.  What the Argives first
demanded was that they might be allowed to refer to the arbitration of
some state or private person the question of the Cynurian land, a
piece of frontier territory about which they have always been
disputing, and which contains the towns of Thyrea and Anthene, and
is occupied by the Lacedaemonians.  The Lacedaemonians at first said
that they could not allow this point to be discussed, but were ready
to conclude upon the old terms.  Eventually, however, the Argive
ambassadors succeeded in obtaining from them this concession: For
the present there was to be a truce for fifty years, but it should
be competent for either party, there being neither plague nor war in
Lacedaemon or Argos, to give a formal challenge and decide the
question of this territory by battle, as on a former occasion, when
both sides claimed the victory; pursuit not being allowed beyond the
frontier of Argos or Lacedaemon.  The Lacedaemonians at first thought
this mere folly; but at last, anxious at any cost to have the
friendship of Argos they agreed to the terms demanded, and reduced
them to writing.  However, before any of this should become binding,
the ambassadors were to return to Argos and communicate with their
people and, in the event of their approval, to come at the feast of
the Hyacinthia and take the oaths.

The envoys returned accordingly.  In the meantime, while the Argives
were engaged in these negotiations, the Lacedaemonian ambassadors--
Andromedes, Phaedimus, and Antimenidas--who were to receive
the prisoners from the Boeotians and restore them and Panactum to
the Athenians, found that the Boeotians had themselves razed Panactum,
upon the plea that oaths had been anciently exchanged between their
people and the Athenians, after a dispute on the subject to the effect
that neither should inhabit the place, but that they should graze it
in common.  As for the Athenian prisoners of war in the hands of the
Boeotians, these were delivered over to Andromedes and his colleagues,
and by them conveyed to Athens and given back.  The envoys at the
same time announced the razing of Panactum, which to them seemed as
good as its restitution, as it would no longer lodge an enemy of
Athens.  This announcement was received with great indignation by the
Athenians, who thought that the Lacedaemonians had played them
false, both in the matter of the demolition of Panactum, which ought
to have been restored to them standing, and in having, as they now
heard, made a separate alliance with the Boeotians, in spite of
their previous promise to join Athens in compelling the adhesion of
those who refused to accede to the treaty.  The Athenians also
considered the other points in which Lacedaemon had failed in her
compact, and thinking that they had been overreached, gave an angry
answer to the ambassadors and sent them away.

The breach between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians having gone thus
far, the party at Athens, also, who wished to cancel the treaty,
immediately put themselves in motion.  Foremost amongst these was
Alcibiades, son of Clinias, a man yet young in years for any other
Hellenic city, but distinguished by the splendour of his ancestry.
Alcibiades thought the Argive alliance really preferable, not that
personal pique had not also a great deal to do with his opposition; he
being offended with the Lacedaemonians for having negotiated the
treaty through Nicias and Laches, and having overlooked him on account
of his youth, and also for not having shown him the respect due to the
ancient connection of his family with them as their proxeni, which,
renounced by his grandfather, he had lately himself thought to renew
by his attentions to their prisoners taken in the island.  Being
thus, as he thought, slighted on all hands, he had in the first
instance spoken against the treaty, saying that the Lacedaemonians
were not to be trusted, but that they only treated, in order to be
enabled by this means to crush Argos, and afterwards to attack
Athens alone; and now, immediately upon the above occurring, he sent
privately to the Argives, telling them to come as quickly as
possible to Athens, accompanied by the Mantineans and Eleans, with
proposals of alliance; as the moment was propitious and he himself
would do all he could to help them.

Upon receiving this message and discovering that the Athenians,
far from being privy to the Boeotian alliance, were involved in a
serious quarrel with the Lacedaemonians, the Argives paid no further
attention to the embassy which they had just sent to Lacedaemon on the
subject of the treaty, and began to incline rather towards the
Athenians, reflecting that, in the event of war, they would thus
have on their side a city that was not only an ancient ally of
Argos, but a sister democracy and very powerful at sea.  They
accordingly at once sent ambassadors to Athens to treat for an
alliance, accompanied by others from Elis and Mantinea.

At the same time arrived in haste from Lacedaemon an embassy
consisting of persons reputed well disposed towards the
Athenians--Philocharidas, Leon, and Endius--for fear that the
Athenians in their irritation might conclude alliance with the
Argives, and also to ask back Pylos in exchange for Panactum, and in
defence of the alliance with the Boeotians to plead that it had not
been made to hurt the Athenians.  Upon the envoys speaking in the
senate upon these points, and stating that they had come with full
powers to settle all others at issue between them, Alcibiades became
afraid that, if they were to repeat these statements to the popular
assembly, they might gain the multitude, and the Argive alliance might
be rejected, and accordingly had recourse to the following
stratagem.  He persuaded the Lacedaemonians by a solemn assurance
that if they would say nothing of their full powers in the assembly,
he would give back Pylos to them (himself, the present opponent of its
restitution, engaging to obtain this from the Athenians), and would
settle the other points at issue.  His plan was to detach them from
Nicias and to disgrace them before the people, as being without
sincerity in their intentions, or even common consistency in their
language, and so to get the Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans taken into
alliance.  This plan proved successful.  When the envoys appeared before
the people, and upon the question being put to them, did not say as
they had said in the senate, that they had come with full powers,
the Athenians lost all patience, and carried away by Alcibiades, who
thundered more loudly than ever against the Lacedaemonians, were ready
instantly to introduce the Argives and their companions and to take
them into alliance.  An earthquake, however, occurring, before anything
definite had been done, this assembly was adjourned.

In the assembly held the next day, Nicias, in spite of the
Lacedaemonians having been deceived themselves, and having allowed him
to be deceived also in not admitting that they had come with full
powers, still maintained that it was best to be friends with the
Lacedaemonians, and, letting the Argive proposals stand over, to
send once more to Lacedaemon and learn her intentions.  The adjournment
of the war could only increase their own prestige and injure that of
their rivals; the excellent state of their affairs making it their
interest to preserve this prosperity as long as possible, while
those of Lacedaemon were so desperate that the sooner she could try
her fortune again the better.  He succeeded accordingly in persuading
them to send ambassadors, himself being among the number, to invite
the Lacedaemonians, if they were really sincere, to restore Panactum
intact with Amphipolis, and to abandon their alliance with the
Boeotians (unless they consented to accede to the treaty), agreeably
to the stipulation which forbade either to treat without the other.
The ambassadors were also directed to say that the Athenians, had they
wished to play false, might already have made alliance with the
Argives, who were indeed come to Athens for that very purpose, and
went off furnished with instructions as to any other complaints that
the Athenians had to make.  Having reached Lacedaemon, they
communicated their instructions, and concluded by telling the
Lacedaemonians that unless they gave up their alliance with the
Boeotians, in the event of their not acceding to the treaty, the
Athenians for their part would ally themselves with the Argives and
their friends.  The Lacedaemonians, however, refused to give up the
Boeotian alliance--the party of Xenares the ephor, and such as shared
their view, carrying the day upon this point--but renewed the oaths
at the request of Nicias, who feared to return without having
accomplished anything and to be disgraced; as was indeed his fate,
he being held the author of the treaty with Lacedaemon.  When he
returned, and the Athenians heard that nothing had been done at
Lacedaemon, they flew into a passion, and deciding that faith had
not been kept with them, took advantage of the presence of the Argives
and their allies, who had been introduced by Alcibiades, and made a
treaty and alliance with them upon the terms following:

The Athenians, Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, acting for
themselves and the allies in their respective empires, made a treaty
for a hundred years, to be without fraud or hurt by land and by sea.

1.  It shall not be lawful to carry on war, either for the Argives,
Eleans, Mantineans, and their allies, against the Athenians, or the
allies in the Athenian empire: or for the Athenians and their allies
against the Argives, Eleans, Mantineans, or their allies, in any way
or means whatsoever.

The Athenians, Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans shall be allies for a
hundred years upon the terms following:

2.  If an enemy invade the country of the Athenians, the Argives,
Eleans, and Mantineans shall go to the relief of Athens, according
as the Athenians may require by message, in such way as they most
effectually can, to the best of their power.  But if the invader be
gone after plundering the territory, the offending state shall be
the enemy of the Argives, Mantineans, Eleans, and Athenians, and war
shall be made against it by all these cities: and no one of the cities
shall be able to make peace with that state, except all the above
cities agree to do so.

3.  Likewise the Athenians shall go to the relief of Argos,
Mantinea, and Elis, if an enemy invade the country of Elis,
Mantinea, or Argos, according as the above cities may require by
message, in such way as they most effectually can, to the best of
their power.  But if the invader be gone after plundering the
territory, the state offending shall be the enemy of the Athenians,
Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, and war shall be made against it by
all these cities, and peace may not be made with that state except all
the above cities agree to it.

4.  No armed force shall be allowed to pass for hostile purposes
through the country of the powers contracting, or of the allies in
their respective empires, or to go by sea, except all the
cities--that is to say, Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis--vote for
such passage.

5.  The relieving troops shall be maintained by the city sending
them for thirty days from their arrival in the city that has
required them, and upon their return in the same way: if their
services be desired for a longer period, the city that sent for them
shall maintain them, at the rate of three Aeginetan obols per day
for a heavy-armed soldier, archer, or light soldier, and an
Aeginetan drachma for a trooper.

6.  The city sending for the troops shall have the command when the
war is in its own country: but in case of the cities resolving upon
a joint expedition the command shall be equally divided among all
the cities.

7.  The treaty shall be sworn to by the Athenians for themselves
and their allies, by the Argives, Mantineans, Eleans, and their
allies, by each state individually.  Each shall swear the oath most
binding in his country over full-grown victims: the oath being as


The oath shall be taken at Athens by the Senate and the magistrates,
the Prytanes administering it: at Argos by the Senate, the Eighty, and the
Artynae, the Eighty administering it: at Mantinea by the Demiurgi, the
Senate, and the other magistrates, the Theori and Polemarchs
administering it: at Elis by the Demiurgi, the magistrates, and the
Six Hundred, the Demiurgi and the Thesmophylaces administering it.  The
oaths shall be renewed by the Athenians going to Elis, Mantinea, and
Argos thirty days before the Olympic games: by the Argives,
Mantineans, and Eleans going to Athens ten days before the great feast
of the Panathenaea.  The articles of the treaty, the oaths, and the
alliance shall be inscribed on a stone pillar by the Athenians in
the citadel, by the Argives in the market-place, in the temple of
Apollo: by the Mantineans in the temple of Zeus, in the
market-place: and a brazen pillar shall be erected jointly by them
at the Olympic games now at hand.  Should the above cities see good
to make any addition in these articles, whatever all the above
cities shall agree upon, after consulting together, shall be binding.

Although the treaty and alliances were thus concluded, still the
treaty between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians was not renounced by
either party.  Meanwhile Corinth, although the ally of the Argives, did
not accede to the new treaty, any more than she had done to the
alliance, defensive and offensive, formed before this between the
Eleans, Argives, and Mantineans, when she declared herself content
with the first alliance, which was defensive only, and which bound
them to help each other, but not to join in attacking any.  The
Corinthians thus stood aloof from their allies, and again turned their
thoughts towards Lacedaemon.

At the Olympic games which were held this summer, and in which the
Arcadian Androsthenes was victor the first time in the wrestling and
boxing, the Lacedaemonians were excluded from the temple by the
Eleans, and thus prevented from sacrificing or contending, for
having refused to pay the fine specified in the Olympic law imposed
upon them by the Eleans, who alleged that they had attacked Fort
Phyrcus, and sent heavy infantry of theirs into Lepreum during the
Olympic truce.  The amount of the fine was two thousand minae, two
for each heavy-armed soldier, as the law prescribes.  The
Lacedaemonians sent envoys, and pleaded that the imposition was
unjust; saying that the truce had not yet been proclaimed at
Lacedaemon when the heavy infantry were sent off.  But the Eleans
affirmed that the armistice with them had already begun (they proclaim
it first among themselves), and that the aggression of the
Lacedaemonians had taken them by surprise while they were living
quietly as in time of peace, and not expecting anything.  Upon this the
Lacedaemonians submitted, that if the Eleans really believed that they
had committed an aggression, it was useless after that to proclaim the
truce at Lacedaemon; but they had proclaimed it notwithstanding, as
believing nothing of the kind, and from that moment the Lacedaemonians
had made no attack upon their country.  Nevertheless the Eleans adhered
to what they had said, that nothing would persuade them that an
aggression had not been committed; if, however, the Lacedaemonians
would restore Lepreum, they would give up their own share of the money
and pay that of the god for them.

As this proposal was not accepted, the Eleans tried a second.
Instead of restoring Lepreum, if this was objected to, the
Lacedaemonians should ascend the altar of the Olympian Zeus, as they
were so anxious to have access to the temple, and swear before the
Hellenes that they would surely pay the fine at a later day.  This
being also refused, the Lacedaemonians were excluded from the
temple, the sacrifice, and the games, and sacrificed at home; the
Lepreans being the only other Hellenes who did not attend.  Still the
Eleans were afraid of the Lacedaemonians sacrificing by force, and
kept guard with a heavy-armed company of their young men; being also
joined by a thousand Argives, the same number of Mantineans, and by
some Athenian cavalry who stayed at Harpina during the feast.  Great
fears were felt in the assembly of the Lacedaemonians coming in
arms, especially after Lichas, son of Arcesilaus, a Lacedaemonian, had
been scourged on the course by the umpires; because, upon his horses
being the winners, and the Boeotian people being proclaimed the victor
on account of his having no right to enter, he came forward on the
course and crowned the charioteer, in order to show that the chariot
was his.  After this incident all were more afraid than ever, and
firmly looked for a disturbance: the Lacedaemonians, however, kept
quiet, and let the feast pass by, as we have seen.  After the Olympic
games, the Argives and the allies repaired to Corinth to invite her to
come over to them.  There they found some Lacedaemonian envoys; and a
long discussion ensued, which after all ended in nothing, as an
earthquake occurred, and they dispersed to their different homes.

Summer was now over.  The winter following a battle took place
between the Heracleots in Trachinia and the Aenianians, Dolopians,
Malians, and certain of the Thessalians, all tribes bordering on and
hostile to the town, which directly menaced their country.
Accordingly, after having opposed and harassed it from its very
foundation by every means in their power, they now in this battle
defeated the Heracleots, Xenares, son of Cnidis, their Lacedaemonian
commander, being among the slain.  Thus the winter ended and the
twelfth year of this war ended also.  After the battle, Heraclea was so
terribly reduced that in the first days of the summer following the
Boeotians occupied the place and sent away the Lacedaemonian
Agesippidas for misgovernment, fearing that the town might be taken by
the Athenians while the Lacedaemonians were distracted with the
affairs of Peloponnese.  The Lacedaemonians, nevertheless, were
offended with them for what they had done.

The same summer Alcibiades, son of Clinias, now one of the
generals at Athens, in concert with the Argives and the allies, went
into Peloponnese with a few Athenian heavy infantry and archers and
some of the allies in those parts whom he took up as he passed, and
with this army marched here and there through Peloponnese, and settled
various matters connected with the alliance, and among other things
induced the Patrians to carry their walls down to the sea, intending
himself also to build a fort near the Achaean Rhium.  However, the
Corinthians and Sicyonians, and all others who would have suffered
by its being built, came up and hindered him.

The same summer war broke out between the Epidaurians and Argives.
The pretext was that the Epidaurians did not send an offering for
their pasture-land to Apollo Pythaeus, as they were bound to do, the
Argives having the chief management of the temple; but, apart from
this pretext, Alcibiades and the Argives were determined, if possible,
to gain possession of Epidaurus, and thus to ensure the neutrality
of Corinth and give the Athenians a shorter passage for their
reinforcements from Aegina than if they had to sail round Scyllaeum.
The Argives accordingly prepared to invade Epidaurus by themselves, to
exact the offering.

About the same time the Lacedaemonians marched out with all their
people to Leuctra upon their frontier, opposite to Mount Lycaeum,
under the command of Agis, son of Archidamus, without any one
knowing their destination, not even the cities that sent the
contingents.  The sacrifices, however, for crossing the frontier not
proving propitious, the Lacedaemonians returned home themselves, and
sent word to the allies to be ready to march after the month
ensuing, which happened to be the month of Carneus, a holy time for
the Dorians.  Upon the retreat of the Lacedaemonians the Argives
marched out on the last day but three of the month before Carneus, and
keeping this as the day during the whole time that they were out,
invaded and plundered Epidaurus.  The Epidaurians summoned their allies
to their aid, some of whom pleaded the month as an excuse; others came
as far as the frontier of Epidaurus and there remained inactive.

While the Argives were in Epidaurus embassies from the cities
assembled at Mantinea, upon the invitation of the Athenians.  The
conference having begun, the Corinthian Euphamidas said that their
actions did not agree with their words; while they were sitting
deliberating about peace, the Epidaurians and their allies and the
Argives were arrayed against each other in arms; deputies from each
party should first go and separate the armies, and then the talk about
peace might be resumed.  In compliance with this suggestion, they
went and brought back the Argives from Epidaurus, and afterwards
reassembled, but without succeeding any better in coming to a
conclusion; and the Argives a second time invaded Epidaurus and
plundered the country.  The Lacedaemonians also marched out to
Caryae; but the frontier sacrifices again proving unfavourable, they
went back again, and the Argives, after ravaging about a third of
the Epidaurian territory, returned home.  Meanwhile a thousand Athenian
heavy infantry had come to their aid under the command of
Alcibiades, but finding that the Lacedaemonian expedition was at an
end, and that they were no longer wanted, went back again.

So passed the summer.  The next winter the Lacedaemonians managed
to elude the vigilance of the Athenians, and sent in a garrison of
three hundred men to Epidaurus, under the command of Agesippidas.  Upon
this the Argives went to the Athenians and complained of their
having allowed an enemy to pass by sea, in spite of the clause in
the treaty by which the allies were not to allow an enemy to pass
through their country.  Unless, therefore, they now put the
Messenians and Helots in Pylos to annoy the Lacedaemonians, they,
the Argives, should consider that faith had not been kept with them.
The Athenians were persuaded by Alcibiades to inscribe at the bottom
of the Laconian pillar that the Lacedaemonians had not kept their
oaths, and to convey the Helots at Cranii to Pylos to plunder the
country; but for the rest they remained quiet as before.  During this
winter hostilities went on between the Argives and Epidaurians,
without any pitched battle taking place, but only forays and
ambuscades, in which the losses were small and fell now on one side
and now on the other.  At the close of the winter, towards the
beginning of spring, the Argives went with scaling ladders to
Epidaurus, expecting to find it left unguarded on account of the war
and to be able to take it by assault, but returned unsuccessful.  And
the winter ended, and with it the thirteenth year of the war ended

In the middle of the next summer the Lacedaemonians, seeing the
Epidaurians, their allies, in distress, and the rest of Peloponnese
either in revolt or disaffected, concluded that it was high time for
them to interfere if they wished to stop the progress of the evil, and
accordingly with their full force, the Helots included, took the field
against Argos, under the command of Agis, son of Archidamus, king of
the Lacedaemonians.  The Tegeans and the other Arcadian allies of
Lacedaemon joined in the expedition.  The allies from the rest of
Peloponnese and from outside mustered at Phlius; the Boeotians with
five thousand heavy infantry and as many light troops, and five
hundred horse and the same number of dismounted troopers; the
Corinthians with two thousand heavy infantry; the rest more or less as
might happen; and the Phliasians with all their forces, the army being
in their country.

The preparations of the Lacedaemonians from the first had been known
to the Argives, who did not, however, take the field until the enemy
was on his road to join the rest at Phlius.  Reinforced by the
Mantineans with their allies, and by three thousand Elean heavy
infantry, they advanced and fell in with the Lacedaemonians at
Methydrium in Arcadia.  Each party took up its position upon a hill,
and the Argives prepared to engage the Lacedaemonians while they
were alone; but Agis eluded them by breaking up his camp in the night,
and proceeded to join the rest of the allies at Phlius.  The Argives
discovering this at daybreak, marched first to Argos and then to the
Nemean road, by which they expected the Lacedaemonians and their
allies would come down.  However, Agis, instead of taking this road
as they expected, gave the Lacedaemonians, Arcadians, and
Epidaurians their orders, and went along another difficult road, and
descended into the plain of Argos.  The Corinthians, Pellenians, and
Phliasians marched by another steep road; while the Boeotians,
Megarians, and Sicyonians had instructions to come down by the
Nemean road where the Argives were posted, in order that, if the enemy
advanced into the plain against the troops of Agis, they might fall
upon his rear with their cavalry.  These dispositions concluded, Agis
invaded the plain and began to ravage Saminthus and other places.

Discovering this, the Argives came up from Nemea, day having now
dawned.  On their way they fell in with the troops of the Phliasians
and Corinthians, and killed a few of the Phliasians and had perhaps
a few more of their own men killed by the Corinthians.  Meanwhile the
Boeotians, Megarians, and Sicyonians, advancing upon Nemea according
to their instructions, found the Argives no longer there, as they
had gone down on seeing their property ravaged, and were now forming
for battle, the Lacedaemonians imitating their example.  The Argives
were now completely surrounded; from the plain the Lacedaemonians
and their allies shut them off from their city; above them were the
Corinthians, Phliasians, and Pellenians; and on the side of Nemea
the Boeotians, Sicyonians, and Megarians.  Meanwhile their army was
without cavalry, the Athenians alone among the allies not having yet
arrived.  Now the bulk of the Argives and their allies did not see
the danger of their position, but thought that they could not have a
fairer field, having intercepted the Lacedaemonians in their own
country and close to the city.  Two men, however, in the Argive army,
Thrasylus, one of the five generals, and Alciphron, the
Lacedaemonian proxenus, just as the armies were upon the point of
engaging, went and held a parley with Agis and urged him not to
bring on a battle, as the Argives were ready to refer to fair and
equal arbitration whatever complaints the Lacedaemonians might have
against them, and to make a treaty and live in peace in future.

The Argives who made these statements did so upon their own
authority, not by order of the people, and Agis on his accepted
their proposals, and without himself either consulting the majority,
simply communicated the matter to a single individual, one of the high
officers accompanying the expedition, and granted the Argives a
truce for four months, in which to fulfil their promises; after
which he immediately led off the army without giving any explanation
to any of the other allies.  The Lacedaemonians and allies followed
their general out of respect for the law, but amongst themselves
loudly blamed Agis for going away from so fair a field (the enemy
being hemmed in on every side by infantry and cavalry) without
having done anything worthy of their strength.  Indeed this was by
far the finest Hellenic army ever yet brought together; and it
should have been seen while it was still united at Nemea, with the
Lacedaemonians in full force, the Arcadians, Boeotians, Corinthians,
Sicyonians, Pellenians, Phliasians and Megarians, and all these the
flower of their respective populations, thinking themselves a match
not merely for the Argive confederacy, but for another such added to
it.  The army thus retired blaming Agis, and returned every man to
his home.  The Argives however blamed still more loudly the persons who
had concluded the truce without consulting the people, themselves
thinking that they had let escape with the Lacedaemonians an
opportunity such as they should never see again; as the struggle would
have been under the walls of their city, and by the side of many and
brave allies.  On their return accordingly they began to stone
Thrasylus in the bed of the Charadrus, where they try all military
causes before entering the city.  Thrasylus fled to the altar, and so
saved his life; his property however they confiscated.

After this arrived a thousand Athenian heavy infantry and three
hundred horse, under the command of Laches and Nicostratus; whom the
Argives, being nevertheless loath to break the truce with the
Lacedaemonians, begged to depart, and refused to bring before the
people, to whom they had a communication to make, until compelled to
do so by the entreaties of the Mantineans and Eleans, who were still
at Argos.  The Athenians, by the mouth of Alcibiades their ambassador
there present, told the Argives and the allies that they had no
right to make a truce at all without the consent of their fellow
confederates, and now that the Athenians had arrived so opportunely
the war ought to be resumed.  These arguments proving successful with
the allies, they immediately marched upon Orchomenos, all except the
Argives, who, although they had consented like the rest, stayed behind
at first, but eventually joined the others.  They now all sat down
and besieged Orchomenos, and made assaults upon it; one of their
reasons for desiring to gain this place being that hostages from
Arcadia had been lodged there by the Lacedaemonians.  The Orchomenians,
alarmed at the weakness of their wall and the numbers of the enemy,
and at the risk they ran of perishing before relief arrived,
capitulated upon condition of joining the league, of giving hostages
of their own to the Mantineans, and giving up those lodged with them
by the Lacedaemonians.  Orchomenos thus secured, the allies now
consulted as to which of the remaining places they should attack next.
The Eleans were urgent for Lepreum; the Mantineans for Tegea; and
the Argives and Athenians giving their support to the Mantineans,
the Eleans went home in a rage at their not having voted for
Lepreum; while the rest of the allies made ready at Mantinea for going
against Tegea, which a party inside had arranged to put into their

Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians, upon their return from Argos after
concluding the four months' truce, vehemently blamed Agis for not
having subdued Argos, after an opportunity such as they thought they
had never had before; for it was no easy matter to bring so many and
so good allies together.  But when the news arrived of the capture of
Orchomenos, they became more angry than ever, and, departing from
all precedent, in the heat of the moment had almost decided to raze
his house, and to fine him ten thousand drachmae.  Agis however
entreated them to do none of these things, promising to atone for
his fault by good service in the field, failing which they might
then do to him whatever they pleased; and they accordingly abstained
from razing his house or fining him as they had threatened to do,
and now made a law, hitherto unknown at Lacedaemon, attaching to him
ten Spartans as counsellors, without whose consent he should have no
power to lead an army out of the city.

At this juncture arrived word from their friends in Tegea that,
unless they speedily appeared, Tegea would go over from them to the
Argives and their allies, if it had not gone over already.  Upon this
news a force marched out from Lacedaemon, of the Spartans and Helots
and all their people, and that instantly and upon a scale never before
witnessed.  Advancing to Orestheum in Maenalia, they directed the
Arcadians in their league to follow close after them to Tegea, and,
going on themselves as far as Orestheum, from thence sent back the
sixth part of the Spartans, consisting of the oldest and youngest men,
to guard their homes, and with the rest of their army arrived at
Tegea; where their Arcadian allies soon after joined them.  Meanwhile
they sent to Corinth, to the Boeotians, the Phocians, and Locrians,
with orders to come up as quickly as possible to Mantinea.  These had
but short notice; and it was not easy except all together, and after
waiting for each other, to pass through the enemy's country, which lay
right across and blocked up the line of communication.  Nevertheless
they made what haste they could.  Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians with the
Arcadian allies that had joined them, entered the territory of
Mantinea, and encamping near the temple of Heracles began to plunder
the country.

Here they were seen by the Argives and their allies, who immediately
took up a strong and difficult position, and formed in order of
battle.  The Lacedaemonians at once advanced against them, and came
on within a stone's throw or javelin's cast, when one of the older
men, seeing the enemy's position to be a strong one, hallooed to
Agis that he was minded to cure one evil with another; meaning that he
wished to make amends for his retreat, which had been so much
blamed, from Argos, by his present untimely precipitation.  Meanwhile
Agis, whether in consequence of this halloo or of some sudden new idea
of his own, quickly led back his army without engaging, and entering
the Tegean territory, began to turn off into that of Mantinea the
water about which the Mantineans and Tegeans are always fighting, on
account of the extensive damage it does to whichever of the two
countries it falls into.  His object in this was to make the Argives
and their allies come down from the hill, to resist the diversion of
the water, as they would be sure to do when they knew of it, and
thus to fight the battle in the plain.  He accordingly stayed that
day where he was, engaged in turning off the water.  The Argives and
their allies were at first amazed at the sudden retreat of the enemy
after advancing so near, and did not know what to make of it; but when
he had gone away and disappeared, without their having stirred to
pursue him, they began anew to find fault with their generals, who had
not only let the Lacedaemonians get off before, when they were so
happily intercepted before Argos, but who now again allowed them to
run away, without any one pursuing them, and to escape at their
leisure while the Argive army was leisurely betrayed.
  The generals, half-stunned for the moment, afterwards led them
down from the hill, and went forward and encamped in the plain, with
the intention of attacking the enemy.

The next day the Argives and their allies formed in the order in
which they meant to fight, if they chanced to encounter the enemy; and
the Lacedaemonians returning from the water to their old encampment by
the temple of Heracles, suddenly saw their adversaries close in
front of them, all in complete order, and advanced from the hill.  A
shock like that of the present moment the Lacedaemonians do not ever
remember to have experienced: there was scant time for preparation, as
they instantly and hastily fell into their ranks, Agis, their king,
directing everything, agreeably to the law.  For when a king is in
the field all commands proceed from him: he gives the word to the
Polemarchs; they to the Lochages; these to the Pentecostyes; these
again to the Enomotarchs, and these last to the Enomoties.  In short
all orders required pass in the same way and quickly reach the troops;
as almost the whole Lacedaemonian army, save for a small part,
consists of officers under officers, and the care of what is to be
done falls upon many.

In this battle the left wing was composed of the Sciritae, who in
a Lacedaemonian army have always that post to themselves alone; next
to these were the soldiers of Brasidas from Thrace, and the Neodamodes
with them; then came the Lacedaemonians themselves, company after
company, with the Arcadians of Heraea at their side.  After these
were the Maenalians, and on the right wing the Tegeans with a few of
the Lacedaemonians at the extremity; their cavalry being posted upon
the two wings.  Such was the Lacedaemonian formation.  That of their
opponents was as follows: On the right were the Mantineans, the action
taking place in their country; next to them the allies from Arcadia;
after whom came the thousand picked men of the Argives, to whom the
state had given a long course of military training at the public
expense; next to them the rest of the Argives, and after them their
allies, the Cleonaeans and Orneans, and lastly the Athenians on the
extreme left, and lastly the Athenians on the extreme left, and
their own cavalry with them.

Such were the order and the forces of the two combatants.  The
Lacedaemonian army looked the largest; though as to putting down the
numbers of either host, or of the contingents composing it, I could
not do so with any accuracy.  Owing to the secrecy of their
government the number of the Lacedaemonians was not known, and men are
so apt to brag about the forces of their country that the estimate
of their opponents was not trusted.  The following calculation,
however, makes it possible to estimate the numbers of the
Lacedaemonians present upon this occasion.  There were seven
companies in the field without counting the Sciritae, who numbered six
hundred men: in each company there were four Pentecostyes, and in
the Pentecosty four Enomoties.  The first rank of the Enomoty was
composed of four soldiers: as to the depth, although they had not been
all drawn up alike, but as each captain chose, they were generally
ranged eight deep; the first rank along the whole line, exclusive of
the Sciritae, consisted of four hundred and forty-eight men.

The armies being now on the eve of engaging, each contingent
received some words of encouragement from its own commander.  The
Mantineans were, reminded that they were going to fight for their
country and to avoid returning to the experience of servitude after
having tasted that of empire; the Argives, that they would contend for
their ancient supremacy, to regain their once equal share of
Peloponnese of which they had been so long deprived, and to punish
an enemy and a neighbour for a thousand wrongs; the Athenians, of
the glory of gaining the honours of the day with so many and brave
allies in arms, and that a victory over the Lacedaemonians in
Peloponnese would cement and extend their empire, and would besides
preserve Attica from all invasions in future.  These were the
incitements addressed to the Argives and their allies.  The
Lacedaemonians meanwhile, man to man, and with their war-songs in
the ranks, exhorted each brave comrade to remember what he had
learnt before; well aware that the long training of action was of more
saving virtue than any brief verbal exhortation, though never so
well delivered.

After this they joined battle, the Argives and their allies
advancing with haste and fury, the Lacedaemonians slowly and to the
music of many flute-players--a standing institution in their army,
that has nothing to do with religion, but is meant to make them
advance evenly, stepping in time, without break their order, as
large armies are apt to do in the moment of engaging.

Just before the battle joined, King Agis resolved upon the following
manoeuvre.  All armies are alike in this: on going into action they get
forced out rather on their right wing, and one and the other overlap
with this adversary's left; because fear makes each man do his best to
shelter his unarmed side with the shield of the man next him on the
right, thinking that the closer the shields are locked together the
better will he be protected.  The man primarily responsible for this is
the first upon the right wing, who is always striving to withdraw from
the enemy his unarmed side; and the same apprehension makes the rest
follow him.  On the present occasion the Mantineans reached with
their wing far beyond the Sciritae, and the Lacedaemonians and Tegeans
still farther beyond the Athenians, as their army was the largest.
Agis, afraid of his left being surrounded, and thinking that the
Mantineans outflanked it too far, ordered the Sciritae and
Brasideans to move out from their place in the ranks and make the line
even with the Mantineans, and told the Polemarchs Hipponoidas and
Aristocles to fill up the gap thus formed, by throwing themselves into
it with two companies taken from the right wing; thinking that his
right would still be strong enough and to spare, and that the line
fronting the Mantineans would gain in solidity.

However, as he gave these orders in the moment of the onset, and
at short notice, it so happened that Aristocles and Hipponoidas
would not move over, for which offence they were afterwards banished
from Sparta, as having been guilty of cowardice; and the enemy
meanwhile closed before the Sciritae (whom Agis on seeing that the two
companies did not move over ordered to return to their place) had time
to fill up the breach in question.  Now it was, however, that the
Lacedaemonians, utterly worsted in respect of skill, showed themselves
as superior in point of courage.  As soon as they came to close
quarters with the enemy, the Mantinean right broke their Sciritae
and Brasideans, and, bursting in with their allies and the thousand
picked Argives into the unclosed breach in their line, cut up and
surrounded the Lacedaemonians, and drove them in full rout to the
wagons, slaying some of the older men on guard there.  But the
Lacedaemonians, worsted in this part of the field, with the rest of
their army, and especially the centre, where the three hundred
knights, as they are called, fought round King Agis, fell on the older
men of the Argives and the five companies so named, and on the
Cleonaeans, the Orneans, and the Athenians next them, and instantly
routed them; the greater number not even waiting to strike a blow, but
giving way the moment that they came on, some even being trodden under
foot, in their fear of being overtaken by their assailants.

The army of the Argives and their allies, having given way in this
quarter, was now completely cut in two, and the Lacedaemonian and
Tegean right simultaneously closing round the Athenians with the
troops that outflanked them, these last found themselves placed
between two fires, being surrounded on one side and already defeated
on the other.  Indeed they would have suffered more severely than any
other part of the army, but for the services of the cavalry which they
had with them.  Agis also on perceiving the distress of his left
opposed to the Mantineans and the thousand Argives, ordered all the
army to advance to the support of the defeated wing; and while this
took place, as the enemy moved past and slanted away from them, the
Athenians escaped at their leisure, and with them the beaten Argive
division.  Meanwhile the Mantineans and their allies and the picked
body of the Argives ceased to press the enemy, and seeing their
friends defeated and the Lacedaemonians in full advance upon them,
took to flight.  Many of the Mantineans perished; but the bulk of the
picked body of the Argives made good their escape.  The flight and
retreat, however, were neither hurried nor long; the Lacedaemonians
fighting long and stubbornly until the rout of their enemy, but that
once effected, pursuing for a short time and not far.

Such was the battle, as nearly as possible as I have described it;
the greatest that had occurred for a very long while among the
Hellenes, and joined by the most considerable states.  The
Lacedaemonians took up a position in front of the enemy's dead, and
immediately set up a trophy and stripped the slain; they took up their
own dead and carried them back to Tegea, where they buried them, and
restored those of the enemy under truce.  The Argives, Orneans, and
Cleonaeans had seven hundred killed; the Mantineans two hundred, and
the Athenians and Aeginetans also two hundred, with both their
generals.  On the side of the Lacedaemonians, the allies did not suffer
any loss worth speaking of: as to the Lacedaemonians themselves it was
difficult to learn the truth; it is said, however, that there were
slain about three hundred of them.

While the battle was impending, Pleistoanax, the other king, set out
with a reinforcement composed of the oldest and youngest men, and
got as far as Tegea, where he heard of the victory and went back
again.  The Lacedaemonians also sent and turned back the allies from
Corinth and from beyond the Isthmus, and returning themselves
dismissed their allies, and kept the Carnean holidays, which
happened to be at that time.  The imputations cast upon them by the
Hellenes at the time, whether of cowardice on account of the
disaster in the island, or of mismanagement and slowness generally,
were all wiped out by this single action: fortune, it was thought,
might have humbled them, but the men themselves were the same as ever.

The day before this battle, the Epidaurians with all their forces
invaded the deserted Argive territory, and cut off many of the
guards left there in the absence of the Argive army.  After the
battle three thousand Elean heavy infantry arriving to aid the
Mantineans, and a reinforcement of one thousand Athenians, all these
allies marched at once against Epidaurus, while the Lacedaemonians
were keeping the Carnea, and dividing the work among them began to
build a wall round the city.  The rest left off; but the Athenians
finished at once the part assigned to them round Cape Heraeum; and
having all joined in leaving a garrison in the fortification in
question, they returned to their respective cities.

Summer now came to an end.  In the first days of the next winter,
when the Carnean holidays were over, the Lacedaemonians took the
field, and arriving at Tegea sent on to Argos proposals of
accommodation.  They had before had a party in the town desirous of
overthrowing the democracy; and after the battle that had been fought,
these were now far more in a position to persuade the people to listen
to terms.  Their plan was first to make a treaty with the
Lacedaemonians, to be followed by an alliance, and after this to
fall upon the commons.  Lichas, son of Arcesilaus, the Argive proxenus,
accordingly arrived at Argos with two proposals from Lacedaemon, to
regulate the conditions of war or peace, according as they preferred
the one or the other.  After much discussion, Alcibiades happening to
be in the town, the Lacedaemonian party, who now ventured to act
openly, persuaded the Argives to accept the proposal for
accommodation; which ran as follows:

The assembly of the Lacedaemonians agrees to treat with the
Argives upon the terms following:

1.  The Argives shall restore to the Orchomenians their children,
and to the Maenalians their men, and shall restore the men they have
in Mantinea to the Lacedaemonians.

2.  They shall evacuate Epidaurus, and raze the fortification
there.  If the Athenians refuse to withdraw from Epidaurus, they
shall be declared enemies of the Argives and of the Lacedaemonians,
and of the allies of the Lacedaemonians and the allies of the Argives.

3.  If the Lacedaemonians have any children in their custody,
they shall restore them every one to his city.

4.  As to the offering to the god, the Argives, if they wish, shall
impose an oath upon the Epidaurians, but, if not, they shall swear
it themselves.

5.  All the cities in Peloponnese, both small and great, shall be
independent according to the customs of their country.

6.  If any of the powers outside Peloponnese invade Peloponnesian
territory, the parties contracting shall unite to repel them, on
such terms as they may agree upon, as being most fair for the

7.  All allies of the Lacedaemonians outside Peloponnese shall be
on the same footing as the Lacedaemonians, and the allies of the
Argives shall be on the same footing as the Argives, being left in
enjoyment of their own possessions.

8.  This treaty shall be shown to the allies, and shall be concluded,
if they approve; if the allies think fit, they may send the treaty
to be considered at home.

The Argives began by accepting this proposal, and the
Lacedaemonian army returned home from Tegea.  After this intercourse
was renewed between them, and not long afterwards the same party
contrived that the Argives should give up the league with the
Mantineans, Eleans, and Athenians, and should make a treaty and
alliance with the Lacedaemonians; which was consequently done upon the
terms following:

The Lacedaemonians and Argives agree to a treaty and alliance
for fifty years upon the terms following:

1.  All disputes shall be decided by fair and impartial
arbitration, agreeably to the customs of the two countries.

2.  The rest of the cities in Peloponnese may be included in this
treaty and alliance, as independent and sovereign, in full enjoyment
of what they possess, all disputes being decided by fair and impartial
arbitration, agreeably to the customs of the said cities.

3.  All allies of the Lacedaemonians outside Peloponnese shall be
upon the same footing as the Lacedaemonians themselves, and the allies
of the Argives shall be upon the same footing as the Argives
themselves, continuing to enjoy what they possess.

4.  If it shall be anywhere necessary to make an expedition in
common, the Lacedaemonians and Argives shall consult upon it and
decide, as may be most fair for the allies.

5.  If any of the cities, whether inside or outside Peloponnese,
have a question whether of frontiers or otherwise, it must be settled,
but if one allied city should have a quarrel with another allied city,
it must be referred to some third city thought impartial by both
parties.  Private citizens shall have their disputes decided
according to the laws of their several countries.

The treaty and above alliance concluded, each party at once released
everything whether acquired by war or otherwise, and thenceforth
acting in common voted to receive neither herald nor embassy from
the Athenians unless they evacuated their forts and withdrew from
Peloponnese, and also to make neither peace nor war with any, except
jointly.  Zeal was not wanting: both parties sent envoys to the
Thracian places and to Perdiccas, and persuaded the latter to join
their league.  Still he did not at once break off from Athens, although
minded to do so upon seeing the way shown him by Argos, the original
home of his family.  They also renewed their old oaths with the
Chalcidians and took new ones: the Argives, besides, sent
ambassadors to the Athenians, bidding them evacuate the fort at
Epidaurus.  The Athenians, seeing their own men outnumbered by the rest
of the garrison, sent Demosthenes to bring them out.  This general,
under colour of a gymnastic contest which he arranged on his
arrival, got the rest of the garrison out of the place, and shut the
gates behind them.  Afterwards the Athenians renewed their treaty
with the Epidaurians, and by themselves gave up the fortress.

After the defection of Argos from the league, the Mantineans, though
they held out at first, in the end finding themselves powerless
without the Argives, themselves too came to terms with Lacedaemon, and
gave up their sovereignty over the towns.  The Lacedaemonians and
Argives, each a thousand strong, now took the field together, and
the former first went by themselves to Sicyon and made the
government there more oligarchical than before, and then both,
uniting, put down the democracy at Argos and set up an oligarchy
favourable to Lacedaemon.  These events occurred at the close of the
winter, just before spring; and the fourteenth year of the war
ended.  The next summer the people of Dium, in Athos, revolted from the
Athenians to the Chalcidians, and the Lacedaemonians settled affairs
in Achaea in a way more agreeable to the interests of their country.
Meanwhile the popular party at Argos little by little gathered new
consistency and courage, and waited for the moment of the
Gymnopaedic festival at Lacedaemon, and then fell upon the
oligarchs.  After a fight in the city, victory declared for the
commons, who slew some of their opponents and banished others.  The
Lacedaemonians for a long while let the messages of their friends at
Argos remain without effect.  At last they put off the Gymnopaediae and
marched to their succour, but learning at Tegea the defeat of the
oligarchs, refused to go any further in spite of the entreaties of
those who had escaped, and returned home and kept the festival.
Later on, envoys arrived with messages from the Argives in the town
and from the exiles, when the allies were also at Sparta; and after
much had been said on both sides, the Lacedaemonians decided that
the party in the town had done wrong, and resolved to march against
Argos, but kept delaying and putting off the matter.  Meanwhile the
commons at Argos, in fear of the Lacedaemonians, began again to
court the Athenian alliance, which they were convinced would be of the
greatest service to them; and accordingly proceeded to build long
walls to the sea, in order that in case of a blockade by land; with
the help of the Athenians they might have the advantage of importing
what they wanted by sea.  Some of the cities in Peloponnese were also
privy to the building of these walls; and the Argives with all their
people, women and slaves not excepted, addressed themselves to the
work, while carpenters and masons came to them from Athens.

Summer was now over.  The winter following the Lacedaemonians,
hearing of the walls that were building, marched against Argos with
their allies, the Corinthians excepted, being also not without
intelligence in the city itself; Agis, son of Archidamus, their
king, was in command.  The intelligence which they counted upon
within the town came to nothing; they however took and razed the walls
which were being built, and after capturing the Argive town Hysiae and
killing all the freemen that fell into their hands, went back and
dispersed every man to his city.  After this the Argives marched into
Phlius and plundered it for harbouring their exiles, most of whom
had settled there, and so returned home.  The same winter the Athenians
blockaded Macedonia, on the score of the league entered into by
Perdiccas with the Argives and Lacedaemonians, and also of his
breach of his engagements on the occasion of the expedition prepared
by Athens against the Chalcidians in the direction of Thrace and
against Amphipolis, under the command of Nicias, son of Niceratus,
which had to be broken up mainly because of his desertion.  He was
therefore proclaimed an enemy.  And thus the winter ended, and the
fifteenth year of the war ended with it.


_Sixteenth Year of the War - The Melian Conference - Fate of Melos_

The next summer Alcibiades sailed with twenty ships to Argos and
seized the suspected persons still left of the Lacedaemonian faction
to the number of three hundred, whom the Athenians forthwith lodged in
the neighbouring islands of their empire.  The Athenians also made an
expedition against the isle of Melos with thirty ships of their own,
six Chian, and two Lesbian vessels, sixteen hundred heavy infantry,
three hundred archers, and twenty mounted archers from Athens, and
about fifteen hundred heavy infantry from the allies and the
islanders.  The Melians are a colony of Lacedaemon that would not
submit to the Athenians like the other islanders, and at first
remained neutral and took no part in the struggle, but afterwards upon
the Athenians using violence and plundering their territory, assumed
an attitude of open hostility.  Cleomedes, son of Lycomedes, and
Tisias, son of Tisimachus, the generals, encamping in their
territory with the above armament, before doing any harm to their
land, sent envoys to negotiate.  These the Melians did not bring before
the people, but bade them state the object of their mission to the
magistrates and the few; upon which the Athenian envoys spoke as

Athenians.  Since the negotiations are not to go on before the
people, in order that we may not be able to speak straight on
without interruption, and deceive the ears of the multitude by
seductive arguments which would pass without refutation (for we know
that this is the meaning of our being brought before the few), what if
you who sit there were to pursue a method more cautious still? Make no
set speech yourselves, but take us up at whatever you do not like, and
settle that before going any farther.  And first tell us if this
proposition of ours suits you.

The Melian commissioners answered:

Melians.  To the fairness of quietly instructing each other as you
propose there is nothing to object; but your military preparations are
too far advanced to agree with what you say, as we see you are come to
be judges in your own cause, and that all we can reasonably expect
from this negotiation is war, if we prove to have right on our side
and refuse to submit, and in the contrary case, slavery.

Athenians.  If you have met to reason about presentiments of the
future, or for anything else than to consult for the safety of your
state upon the facts that you see before you, we will give over;
otherwise we will go on.

Melians.  It is natural and excusable for men in our position to turn
more ways than one both in thought and utterance.  However, the
question in this conference is, as you say, the safety of our country;
and the discussion, if you please, can proceed in the way which you

Athenians.  For ourselves, we shall not trouble you with specious
pretences--either of how we have a right to our empire because we
overthrew the Mede, or are now attacking you because of wrong that you
have done us--and make a long speech which would not be believed; and
in return we hope that you, instead of thinking to influence us by
saying that you did not join the Lacedaemonians, although their
colonists, or that you have done us no wrong, will aim at what is
feasible, holding in view the real sentiments of us both; since you
know as well as we do that right, as the world goes, is only in
question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can
and the weak suffer what they must.

Melians.  As we think, at any rate, it is expedient--we speak as we
are obliged, since you enjoin us to let right alone and talk only of
interest--that you should not destroy what is our common protection,
the privilege of being allowed in danger to invoke what is fair and
right, and even to profit by arguments not strictly valid if they
can be got to pass current.  And you are as much interested in this
as any, as your fall would be a signal for the heaviest vengeance
and an example for the world to meditate upon.

Athenians.  The end of our empire, if end it should, does not
frighten us: a rival empire like Lacedaemon, even if Lacedaemon was
our real antagonist, is not so terrible to the vanquished as
subjects who by themselves attack and overpower their rulers.  This,
however, is a risk that we are content to take.  We will now proceed to
show you that we are come here in the interest of our empire, and that
we shall say what we are now going to say, for the preservation of
your country; as we would fain exercise that empire over you without
trouble, and see you preserved for the good of us both.

Melians.  And how, pray, could it turn out as good for us to serve as
for you to rule?

Athenians.  Because you would have the advantage of submitting before
suffering the worst, and we should gain by not destroying you.

Melians.  So that you would not consent to our being neutral, friends
instead of enemies, but allies of neither side.

Athenians.  No; for your hostility cannot so much hurt us as your
friendship will be an argument to our subjects of our weakness, and
your enmity of our power.

Melians.  Is that your subjects' idea of equity, to put those who
have nothing to do with you in the same category with peoples that are
most of them your own colonists, and some conquered rebels?

Athenians.  As far as right goes they think one has as much of it
as the other, and that if any maintain their independence it is
because they are strong, and that if we do not molest them it is
because we are afraid; so that besides extending our empire we
should gain in security by your subjection; the fact that you are
islanders and weaker than others rendering it all the more important
that you should not succeed in baffling the masters of the sea.

Melians.  But do you consider that there is no security in the policy
which we indicate? For here again if you debar us from talking about
justice and invite us to obey your interest, we also must explain
ours, and try to persuade you, if the two happen to coincide.  How
can you avoid making enemies of all existing neutrals who shall look
at case from it that one day or another you will attack them? And what
is this but to make greater the enemies that you have already, and
to force others to become so who would otherwise have never thought of

Athenians.  Why, the fact is that continentals generally give us
but little alarm; the liberty which they enjoy will long prevent their
taking precautions against us; it is rather islanders like yourselves,
outside our empire, and subjects smarting under the yoke, who would be
the most likely to take a rash step and lead themselves and us into
obvious danger.

Melians.  Well then, if you risk so much to retain your empire, and
your subjects to get rid of it, it were surely great baseness and
cowardice in us who are still free not to try everything that can be
tried, before submitting to your yoke.

Athenians.  Not if you are well advised, the contest not being an
equal one, with honour as the prize and shame as the penalty, but a
question of self-preservation and of not resisting those who are far
stronger than you are.

Melians.  But we know that the fortune of war is sometimes more
impartial than the disproportion of numbers might lead one to suppose;
to submit is to give ourselves over to despair, while action still
preserves for us a hope that we may stand erect.

Athenians.  Hope, danger's comforter, may be indulged in by those who
have abundant resources, if not without loss at all events without
ruin; but its nature is to be extravagant, and those who go so far
as to put their all upon the venture see it in its true colours only
when they are ruined; but so long as the discovery would enable them
to guard against it, it is never found wanting.  Let not this be the
case with you, who are weak and hang on a single turn of the scale;
nor be like the vulgar, who, abandoning such security as human means
may still afford, when visible hopes fail them in extremity, turn to
invisible, to prophecies and oracles, and other such inventions that
delude men with hopes to their destruction.

Melians.  You may be sure that we are as well aware as you of the
difficulty of contending against your power and fortune, unless the
terms be equal.  But we trust that the gods may grant us fortune as
good as yours, since we are just men fighting against unjust, and that
what we want in power will be made up by the alliance of the
Lacedaemonians, who are bound, if only for very shame, to come to
the aid of their kindred.  Our confidence, therefore, after all is
not so utterly irrational.

Athenians.  When you speak of the favour of the gods, we may as
fairly hope for that as yourselves; neither our pretensions nor our
conduct being in any way contrary to what men believe of the gods,
or practise among themselves.  Of the gods we believe, and of men we
know, that by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever
they can.  And it is not as if we were the first to make this law, or
to act upon it when made: we found it existing before us, and shall
leave it to exist for ever after us; all we do is to make use of it,
knowing that you and everybody else, having the same power as we have,
would do the same as we do.  Thus, as far as the gods are concerned, we
have no fear and no reason to fear that we shall be at a disadvantage.
But when we come to your notion about the Lacedaemonians, which
leads you to believe that shame will make them help you, here we bless
your simplicity but do not envy your folly.  The Lacedaemonians, when
their own interests or their country's laws are in question, are the
worthiest men alive; of their conduct towards others much might be
said, but no clearer idea of it could be given than by shortly
saying that of all the men we know they are most conspicuous in
considering what is agreeable honourable, and what is expedient
just.  Such a way of thinking does not promise much for the safety
which you now unreasonably count upon.

Melians.  But it is for this very reason that we now trust to their
respect for expediency to prevent them from betraying the Melians,
their colonists, and thereby losing the confidence of their friends in
Hellas and helping their enemies.

Athenians.  Then you do not adopt the view that expediency goes
with security, while justice and honour cannot be followed without
danger; and danger the Lacedaemonians generally court as little as

Melians.  But we believe that they would be more likely to face
even danger for our sake, and with more confidence than for others, as
our nearness to Peloponnese makes it easier for them to act, and our
common blood ensures our fidelity.

Athenians.  Yes, but what an intending ally trusts to is not the
goodwill of those who ask his aid, but a decided superiority of
power for action; and the Lacedaemonians look to this even more than
others.  At least, such is their distrust of their home resources
that it is only with numerous allies that they attack a neighbour; now
is it likely that while we are masters of the sea they will cross over
to an island?

Melians.  But they would have others to send.  The Cretan Sea is a
wide one, and it is more difficult for those who command it to
intercept others, than for those who wish to elude them to do so
safely.  And should the Lacedaemonians miscarry in this, they would
fall upon your land, and upon those left of your allies whom
Brasidas did not reach; and instead of places which are not yours, you
will have to fight for your own country and your own confederacy.

Athenians.  Some diversion of the kind you speak of you may one day
experience, only to learn, as others have done, that the Athenians
never once yet withdrew from a siege for fear of any.  But we are
struck by the fact that, after saying you would consult for the safety
of your country, in all this discussion you have mentioned nothing
which men might trust in and think to be saved by.  Your strongest
arguments depend upon hope and the future, and your actual resources
are too scanty, as compared with those arrayed against you, for you to
come out victorious.  You will therefore show great blindness of
judgment, unless, after allowing us to retire, you can find some
counsel more prudent than this.  You will surely not be caught by
that idea of disgrace, which in dangers that are disgraceful, and at
the same time too plain to be mistaken, proves so fatal to mankind;
since in too many cases the very men that have their eyes perfectly
open to what they are rushing into, let the thing called disgrace,
by the mere influence of a seductive name, lead them on to a point
at which they become so enslaved by the phrase as in fact to fall
wilfully into hopeless disaster, and incur disgrace more disgraceful
as the companion of error, than when it comes as the result of
misfortune.  This, if you are well advised, you will guard against; and
you will not think it dishonourable to submit to the greatest city
in Hellas, when it makes you the moderate offer of becoming its
tributary ally, without ceasing to enjoy the country that belongs to
you; nor when you have the choice given you between war and
security, will you be so blinded as to choose the worse.  And it is
certain that those who do not yield to their equals, who keep terms
with their superiors, and are moderate towards their inferiors, on the
whole succeed best.  Think over the matter, therefore, after our
withdrawal, and reflect once and again that it is for your country
that you are consulting, that you have not more than one, and that
upon this one deliberation depends its prosperity or ruin.

The Athenians now withdrew from the conference; and the Melians,
left to themselves, came to a decision corresponding with what they
had maintained in the discussion, and answered: "Our resolution,
Athenians, is the same as it was at first.  We will not in a moment
deprive of freedom a city that has been inhabited these seven
hundred years; but we put our trust in the fortune by which the gods
have preserved it until now, and in the help of men, that is, of the
Lacedaemonians; and so we will try and save ourselves.  Meanwhile we
invite you to allow us to be friends to you and foes to neither party,
and to retire from our country after making such a treaty as shall
seem fit to us both."

Such was the answer of the Melians.  The Athenians now departing from
the conference said: "Well, you alone, as it seems to us, judging from
these resolutions, regard what is future as more certain than what
is before your eyes, and what is out of sight, in your eagerness, as
already coming to pass; and as you have staked most on, and trusted
most in, the Lacedaemonians, your fortune, and your hopes, so will you
be most completely deceived."

The Athenian envoys now returned to the army; and the Melians
showing no signs of yielding, the generals at once betook themselves
to hostilities, and drew a line of circumvallation round the
Melians, dividing the work among the different states.  Subsequently
the Athenians returned with most of their army, leaving behind them
a certain number of their own citizens and of the allies to keep guard
by land and sea.  The force thus left stayed on and besieged the place.

About the same time the Argives invaded the territory of Phlius
and lost eighty men cut off in an ambush by the Phliasians and
Argive exiles.  Meanwhile the Athenians at Pylos took so much plunder
from the Lacedaemonians that the latter, although they still refrained
from breaking off the treaty and going to war with Athens, yet
proclaimed that any of their people that chose might plunder the
Athenians.  The Corinthians also commenced hostilities with the
Athenians for private quarrels of their own; but the rest of the
Peloponnesians stayed quiet.  Meanwhile the Melians attacked by night
and took the part of the Athenian lines over against the market, and
killed some of the men, and brought in corn and all else that they
could find useful to them, and so returned and kept quiet, while the
Athenians took measures to keep better guard in future.

Summer was now over.  The next winter the Lacedaemonians intended
to invade the Argive territory, but arriving at the frontier found the
sacrifices for crossing unfavourable, and went back again.  This
intention of theirs gave the Argives suspicions of certain of their
fellow citizens, some of whom they arrested; others, however,
escaped them.  About the same time the Melians again took another
part of the Athenian lines which were but feebly garrisoned.
Reinforcements afterwards arriving from Athens in consequence, under
the command of Philocrates, son of Demeas, the siege was now pressed
vigorously; and some treachery taking place inside, the Melians
surrendered at discretion to the Athenians, who put to death all the
grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for
slaves, and subsequently sent out five hundred colonists and inhabited
the place themselves.



_Seventeenth Year of the War - The Sicilian Campaign -
Affair of the Hermae - Departure of the Expedition_

The same winter the Athenians resolved to sail again to Sicily, with
a greater armament than that under Laches and Eurymedon, and, if
possible, to conquer the island; most of them being ignorant of its
size and of the number of its inhabitants, Hellenic and barbarian, and
of the fact that they were undertaking a war not much inferior to that
against the Peloponnesians.  For the voyage round Sicily in a
merchantman is not far short of eight days; and yet, large as the
island is, there are only two miles of sea to prevent its being

It was settled originally as follows, and the peoples that
occupied it are these.  The earliest inhabitants spoken of in any
part of the country are the Cyclopes and Laestrygones; but I cannot
tell of what race they were, or whence they came or whither they went,
and must leave my readers to what the poets have said of them and to
what may be generally known concerning them.  The Sicanians appear to
have been the next settlers, although they pretend to have been the
first of all and aborigines; but the facts show that they were
Iberians, driven by the Ligurians from the river Sicanus in Iberia.  It
was from them that the island, before called Trinacria, took its
name of Sicania, and to the present day they inhabit the west of
Sicily.  On the fall of Ilium, some of the Trojans escaped from the
Achaeans, came in ships to Sicily, and settled next to the Sicanians
under the general name of Elymi; their towns being called Eryx and
Egesta.  With them settled some of the Phocians carried on their way
from Troy by a storm, first to Libya, and afterwards from thence to
Sicily.  The Sicels crossed over to Sicily from their first home Italy,
flying from the Opicans, as tradition says and as seems not
unlikely, upon rafts, having watched till the wind set down the strait
to effect the passage; although perhaps they may have sailed over in
some other way.  Even at the present day there are still Sicels in
Italy; and the country got its name of Italy from Italus, a king of
the Sicels, so called.  These went with a great host to Sicily,
defeated the Sicanians in battle and forced them to remove to the
south and west of the island, which thus came to be called Sicily
instead of Sicania, and after they crossed over continued to enjoy the
richest parts of the country for near three hundred years before any
Hellenes came to Sicily; indeed they still hold the centre and north
of the island.  There were also Phoenicians living all round Sicily,
who had occupied promontories upon the sea coasts and the islets
adjacent for the purpose of trading with the Sicels.  But when the
Hellenes began to arrive in considerable numbers by sea, the
Phoenicians abandoned most of their stations, and drawing together
took up their abode in Motye, Soloeis, and Panormus, near the Elymi,
partly because they confided in their alliance, and also because these
are the nearest points for the voyage between Carthage and Sicily.

These were the barbarians in Sicily, settled as I have said.  Of
the Hellenes, the first to arrive were Chalcidians from Euboea with
Thucles, their founder.  They founded Naxos and built the altar to
Apollo Archegetes, which now stands outside the town, and upon which
the deputies for the games sacrifice before sailing from Sicily.
Syracuse was founded the year afterwards by Archias, one of the
Heraclids from Corinth, who began by driving out the Sicels from the
island upon which the inner city now stands, though it is no longer
surrounded by water: in process of time the outer town also was
taken within the walls and became populous.  Meanwhile Thucles and
the Chalcidians set out from Naxos in the fifth year after the
foundation of Syracuse, and drove out the Sicels by arms and founded
Leontini and afterwards Catana; the Catanians themselves choosing
Evarchus as their founder.

About the same time Lamis arrived in Sicily with a colony from
Megara, and after founding a place called Trotilus beyond the river
Pantacyas, and afterwards leaving it and for a short while joining the
Chalcidians at Leontini, was driven out by them and founded Thapsus.
After his death his companions were driven out of Thapsus, and founded
a place called the Hyblaean Megara; Hyblon, a Sicel king, having given
up the place and inviting them thither.  Here they lived two hundred
and forty-five years; after which they were expelled from the city and
the country by the Syracusan tyrant Gelo.  Before their expulsion,
however, a hundred years after they had settled there, they sent out
Pamillus and founded Selinus; he having come from their mother country
Megara to join them in its foundation.  Gela was founded by
Antiphemus from Rhodes and Entimus from Crete, who joined in leading a
colony thither, in the forty-fifth year after the foundation of
Syracuse.  The town took its name from the river Gelas, the place where
the citadel now stands, and which was first fortified, being called
Lindii.  The institutions which they adopted were Dorian.  Near one
hundred and eight years after the foundation of Gela, the Geloans
founded Acragas (Agrigentum), so called from the river of that name,
and made Aristonous and Pystilus their founders; giving their own
institutions to the colony.  Zancle was originally founded by pirates
from Cuma, the Chalcidian town in the country of the Opicans:
afterwards, however, large numbers came from Chalcis and the rest of
Euboea, and helped to people the place; the founders being Perieres
and Crataemenes from Cuma and Chalcis respectively.  It first had the
name of Zancle given it by the Sicels, because the place is shaped
like a sickle, which the Sicels call zanclon; but upon the original
settlers being afterwards expelled by some Samians and other Ionians
who landed in Sicily flying from the Medes, and the Samians in their
turn not long afterwards by Anaxilas, tyrant of Rhegium, the town
was by him colonized with a mixed population, and its name changed
to Messina, after his old country.

Himera was founded from Zancle by Euclides, Simus, and Sacon, most
of those who went to the colony being Chalcidians; though they were
joined by some exiles from Syracuse, defeated in a civil war, called
the Myletidae.  The language was a mixture of Chalcidian and Doric, but
the institutions which prevailed were the Chalcidian.  Acrae and
Casmenae were founded by the Syracusans; Acrae seventy years after
Syracuse, Casmenae nearly twenty after Acrae.  Camarina was first
founded by the Syracusans, close upon a hundred and thirty-five
years after the building of Syracuse; its founders being Daxon and
Menecolus.  But the Camarinaeans being expelled by arms by the
Syracusans for having revolted, Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, some time
later receiving their land in ransom for some Syracusan prisoners,
resettled Camarina, himself acting as its founder.  Lastly, it was
again depopulated by Gelo, and settled once more for the third time by
the Geloans.

Such is the list of the peoples, Hellenic and barbarian,
inhabiting Sicily, and such the magnitude of the island which the
Athenians were now bent upon invading; being ambitious in real truth
of conquering the whole, although they had also the specious design of
succouring their kindred and other allies in the island.  But they were
especially incited by envoys from Egesta, who had come to Athens and
invoked their aid more urgently than ever.  The Egestaeans had gone
to war with their neighbours the Selinuntines upon questions of
marriage and disputed territory, and the Selinuntines had procured the
alliance of the Syracusans, and pressed Egesta hard by land and sea.
The Egestaeans now reminded the Athenians of the alliance made in
the time of Laches, during the former Leontine war, and begged them to
send a fleet to their aid, and among a number of other
considerations urged as a capital argument that if the Syracusans were
allowed to go unpunished for their depopulation of Leontini, to ruin
the allies still left to Athens in Sicily, and to get the whole
power of the island into their hands, there would be a danger of their
one day coming with a large force, as Dorians, to the aid of their
Dorian brethren, and as colonists, to the aid of the Peloponnesians
who had sent them out, and joining these in pulling down the
Athenian empire.  The Athenians would, therefore, do well to unite with
the allies still left to them, and to make a stand against the
Syracusans; especially as they, the Egestaeans, were prepared to
furnish money sufficient for the war.  The Athenians, hearing these
arguments constantly repeated in their assemblies by the Egestaeans
and their supporters, voted first to send envoys to Egesta, to see
if there was really the money that they talked of in the treasury
and temples, and at the same time to ascertain in what posture was the
war with the Selinuntines.

The envoys of the Athenians were accordingly dispatched to Sicily.
The same winter the Lacedaemonians and their allies, the Corinthians
excepted, marched into the Argive territory, and ravaged a small
part of the land, and took some yokes of oxen and carried off some
corn.  They also settled the Argive exiles at Orneae, and left them a
few soldiers taken from the rest of the army; and after making a truce
for a certain while, according to which neither Orneatae nor Argives
were to injure each other's territory, returned home with the army.
Not long afterwards the Athenians came with thirty ships and six
hundred heavy infantry, and the Argives joining them with all their
forces, marched out and besieged the men in Orneae for one day; but
the garrison escaped by night, the besiegers having bivouacked some
way off.  The next day the Argives, discovering it, razed Orneae to the
ground, and went back again; after which the Athenians went home in
their ships.  Meanwhile the Athenians took by sea to Methone on the
Macedonian border some cavalry of their own and the Macedonian
exiles that were at Athens, and plundered the country of Perdiccas.
Upon this the Lacedaemonians sent to the Thracian Chalcidians, who had
a truce with Athens from one ten days to another, urging them to
join Perdiccas in the war, which they refused to do.  And the winter
ended, and with it ended the sixteenth year of this war of which
Thucydides is the historian.

Early in the spring of the following summer the Athenian envoys
arrived from Sicily, and the Egestaeans with them, bringing sixty
talents of uncoined silver, as a month's pay for sixty ships, which
they were to ask to have sent them.  The Athenians held an assembly
and, after hearing from the Egestaeans and their own envoys a
report, as attractive as it was untrue, upon the state of affairs
generally, and in particular as to the money, of which, it was said,
there was abundance in the temples and the treasury, voted to send
sixty ships to Sicily, under the command of Alcibiades, son of
Clinias, Nicias, son of Niceratus, and Lamachus, son of Xenophanes,
who were appointed with full powers; they were to help the
Egestaeans against the Selinuntines, to restore Leontini upon
gaining any advantage in the war, and to order all other matters in
Sicily as they should deem best for the interests of Athens.  Five days
after this a second assembly was held, to consider the speediest means
of equipping the ships, and to vote whatever else might be required by
the generals for the expedition; and Nicias, who had been chosen to
the command against his will, and who thought that the state was not
well advised, but upon a slight aid specious pretext was aspiring to
the conquest of the whole of Sicily, a great matter to achieve, came
forward in the hope of diverting the Athenians from the enterprise,
and gave them the following counsel:

"Although this assembly was convened to consider the preparations to
be made for sailing to Sicily, I think, notwithstanding, that we
have still this question to examine, whether it be better to send out
the ships at all, and that we ought not to give so little consideration
to a matter of such moment, or let ourselves be persuaded by
foreigners into undertaking a war with which we have nothing to do.
And yet, individually, I gain in honour by such a course, and fear as
little as other men for my person--not that I think a man need be
any the worse citizen for taking some thought for his person and
estate; on the contrary, such a man would for his own sake desire
the prosperity of his country more than others--nevertheless,
as I have never spoken against my convictions to gain honour, I
shall not begin to do so now, but shall say what I think best.
Against your character any words of mine would be weak enough, if
I were to advise your keeping what you have got and not risking
what is actually yours for advantages which are dubious in themselves,
and which you may or may not attain.  I will, therefore, content
myself with showing that your ardour is out of season, and your
ambition not easy of accomplishment.

"I affirm, then, that you leave many enemies behind you here to go
yonder and bring more back with you.  You imagine, perhaps, that the
treaty which you have made can be trusted; a treaty that will continue
to exist nominally, as long as you keep quiet--for nominal it has
become, owing to the practices of certain men here and at Sparta--but
which in the event of a serious reverse in any quarter would not delay
our enemies a moment in attacking us; first, because the convention
was forced upon them by disaster and was less honourable to them
than to us; and secondly, because in this very convention there are
many points that are still disputed.  Again, some of the most
powerful states have never yet accepted the arrangement at all.  Some
of these are at open war with us; others (as the Lacedaemonians do not
yet move) are restrained by truces renewed every ten days, and it is
only too probable that if they found our power divided, as we are
hurrying to divide it, they would attack us vigorously with the
Siceliots, whose alliance they would have in the past valued as they
would that of few others.  A man ought, therefore, to consider these
points, and not to think of running risks with a country placed so
critically, or of grasping at another empire before we have secured
the one we have already; for in fact the Thracian Chalcidians have
been all these years in revolt from us without being yet subdued,
and others on the continents yield us but a doubtful obedience.
Meanwhile the Egestaeans, our allies, have been wronged, and we run to
help them, while the rebels who have so long wronged us still wait for

"And yet the latter, if brought under, might be kept under; while
the Sicilians, even if conquered, are too far off and too numerous
to be ruled without difficulty.  Now it is folly to go against men
who could not be kept under even if conquered, while failure would
leave us in a very different position from that which we occupied
before the enterprise.  The Siceliots, again, to take them as they
are at present, in the event of a Syracusan conquest (the favourite
bugbear of the Egestaeans), would to my thinking be even less
dangerous to us than before.  At present they might possibly come
here as separate states for love of Lacedaemon; in the other case
one empire would scarcely attack another; for after joining the
Peloponnesians to overthrow ours, they could only expect to see the
same hands overthrow their own in the same way.  The Hellenes in Sicily
would fear us most if we never went there at all, and next to this, if
after displaying our power we went away again as soon as possible.
We all know that that which is farthest off, and the reputation of
which can least be tested, is the object of admiration; at the least
reverse they would at once begin to look down upon us, and would
join our enemies here against us.  You have yourselves experienced this
with regard to the Lacedaemonians and their allies, whom your
unexpected success, as compared with what you feared at first, has
made you suddenly despise, tempting you further to aspire to the
conquest of Sicily.  Instead, however, of being puffed up by the
misfortunes of your adversaries, you ought to think of breaking
their spirit before giving yourselves up to confidence, and to
understand that the one thought awakened in the Lacedaemonians by
their disgrace is how they may even now, if possible, overthrow us and
repair their dishonour; inasmuch as military reputation is their
oldest and chiefest study.  Our struggle, therefore, if we are wise,
will not be for the barbarian Egestaeans in Sicily, but how to
defend ourselves most effectually against the oligarchical
machinations of Lacedaemon.

"We should also remember that we are but now enjoying some respite
from a great pestilence and from war, to the no small benefit of our
estates and persons, and that it is right to employ these at home on
our own behalf, instead of using them on behalf of these exiles
whose interest it is to lie as fairly as they can, who do nothing
but talk themselves and leave the danger to others, and who if they
succeed will show no proper gratitude, and if they fail will drag down
their friends with them.  And if there be any man here, overjoyed at
being chosen to command, who urges you to make the expedition,
merely for ends of his own--specially if he be still too young to
command--who seeks to be admired for his stud of horses, but on
account of its heavy expenses hopes for some profit from his
appointment, do not allow such a one to maintain his private splendour
at his country's risk, but remember that such persons injure the
public fortune while they squander their own, and that this is a
matter of importance, and not for a young man to decide or hastily to
take in hand.

"When I see such persons now sitting here at the side of that same
individual and summoned by him, alarm seizes me; and I, in my turn,
summon any of the older men that may have such a person sitting next
him not to let himself be shamed down, for fear of being thought a
coward if he do not vote for war, but, remembering how rarely
success is got by wishing and how often by forecast, to leave to
them the mad dream of conquest, and as a true lover of his country,
now threatened by the greatest danger in its history, to hold up his
hand on the other side; to vote that the Siceliots be left in the
limits now existing between us, limits of which no one can complain
(the Ionian sea for the coasting voyage, and the Sicilian across the
open main), to enjoy their own possessions and to settle their own
quarrels; that the Egestaeans, for their part, be told to end by
themselves with the Selinuntines the war which they began without
consulting the Athenians; and that for the future we do not enter into
alliance, as we have been used to do, with people whom we must help in
their need, and who can never help us in ours.

"And you, Prytanis, if you think it your duty to care for the
commonwealth, and if you wish to show yourself a good citizen, put the
question to the vote, and take a second time the opinions of the
Athenians.  If you are afraid to move the question again, consider that
a violation of the law cannot carry any prejudice with so many
abettors, that you will be the physician of your misguided city, and
that the virtue of men in office is briefly this, to do their
country as much good as they can, or in any case no harm that they can

Such were the words of Nicias.  Most of the Athenians that came
forward spoke in favour of the expedition, and of not annulling what
had been voted, although some spoke on the other side.  By far the
warmest advocate of the expedition was, however, Alcibiades, son of
Clinias, who wished to thwart Nicias both as his political opponent
and also because of the attack he had made upon him in his speech, and
who was, besides, exceedingly ambitious of a command by which he hoped
to reduce Sicily and Carthage, and personally to gain in wealth and
reputation by means of his successes.  For the position he held among
the citizens led him to indulge his tastes beyond what his real
means would bear, both in keeping horses and in the rest of his
expenditure; and this later on had not a little to do with the ruin of
the Athenian state.  Alarmed at the greatness of his licence in his own
life and habits, and of the ambition which he showed in all things
soever that he undertook, the mass of the people set him down as a
pretender to the tyranny, and became his enemies; and although
publicly his conduct of the war was as good as could be desired,
individually, his habits gave offence to every one, and caused them to
commit affairs to other hands, and thus before long to ruin the
city.  Meanwhile he now came forward and gave the following advice to
the Athenians:

"Athenians, I have a better right to command than others--I must
begin with this as Nicias has attacked me--and at the same time I
believe myself to be worthy of it.  The things for which I am abused,
bring fame to my ancestors and to myself, and to the country profit
besides.  The Hellenes, after expecting to see our city ruined by the
war, concluded it to be even greater than it really is, by reason of
the magnificence with which I represented it at the Olympic games,
when I sent into the lists seven chariots, a number never before
entered by any private person, and won the first prize, and was second
and fourth, and took care to have everything else in a style worthy of
my victory.  Custom regards such displays as honourable, and they
cannot be made without leaving behind them an impression of power.
Again, any splendour that I may have exhibited at home in providing
choruses or otherwise, is naturally envied by my fellow citizens,
but in the eyes of foreigners has an air of strength as in the other
instance.  And this is no useless folly, when a man at his own
private cost benefits not himself only, but his city: nor is it unfair
that he who prides himself on his position should refuse to be upon an
equality with the rest.  He who is badly off has his misfortunes all to
himself, and as we do not see men courted in adversity, on the like
principle a man ought to accept the insolence of prosperity; or
else, let him first mete out equal measure to all, and then demand
to have it meted out to him.  What I know is that persons of this
kind and all others that have attained to any distinction, although
they may be unpopular in their lifetime in their relations with
their fellow-men and especially with their equals, leave to
posterity the desire of claiming connection with them even without any
ground, and are vaunted by the country to which they belonged, not
as strangers or ill-doers, but as fellow-countrymen and heroes.  Such
are my aspirations, and however I am abused for them in private, the
question is whether any one manages public affairs better than I do.
Having united the most powerful states of Peloponnese, without great
danger or expense to you, I compelled the Lacedaemonians to stake
their all upon the issue of a single day at Mantinea; and although
victorious in the battle, they have never since fully recovered

"Thus did my youth and so-called monstrous folly find fitting
arguments to deal with the power of the Peloponnesians, and by its
ardour win their confidence and prevail.  And do not be afraid of my
youth now, but while I am still in its flower, and Nicias appears
fortunate, avail yourselves to the utmost of the services of us
both.  Neither rescind your resolution to sail to Sicily, on the ground
that you would be going to attack a great power.  The cities in
Sicily are peopled by motley rabbles, and easily change their
institutions and adopt new ones in their stead; and consequently the
inhabitants, being without any feeling of patriotism, are not provided
with arms for their persons, and have not regularly established
themselves on the land; every man thinks that either by fair words
or by party strife he can obtain something at the public expense,
and then in the event of a catastrophe settle in some other country,
and makes his preparations accordingly.  From a mob like this you
need not look for either unanimity in counsel or concert in action;
but they will probably one by one come in as they get a fair offer,
especially if they are torn by civil strife as we are told.
Moreover, the Siceliots have not so many heavy infantry as they boast;
just as the Hellenes generally did not prove so numerous as each state
reckoned itself, but Hellas greatly over-estimated their numbers,
and has hardly had an adequate force of heavy infantry throughout this
war.  The states in Sicily, therefore, from all that I can hear, will
be found as I say, and I have not pointed out all our advantages,
for we shall have the help of many barbarians, who from their hatred
of the Syracusans will join us in attacking them; nor will the
powers at home prove any hindrance, if you judge rightly.  Our
fathers with these very adversaries, which it is said we shall now
leave behind us when we sail, and the Mede as their enemy as well,
were able to win the empire, depending solely on their superiority
at sea.  The Peloponnesians had never so little hope against us as at
present; and let them be ever so sanguine, although strong enough to
invade our country even if we stay at home, they can never hurt us
with their navy, as we leave one of our own behind us that is a
match for them.

"In this state of things what reason can we give to ourselves for
holding back, or what excuse can we offer to our allies in Sicily
for not helping them? They are our confederates, and we are bound to
assist them, without objecting that they have not assisted us.  We
did not take them into alliance to have them to help us in Hellas, but
that they might so annoy our enemies in Sicily as to prevent them from
coming over here and attacking us.  It is thus that empire has been
won, both by us and by all others that have held it, by a constant
readiness to support all, whether barbarians or Hellenes, that
invite assistance; since if all were to keep quiet or to pick and
choose whom they ought to assist, we should make but few new
conquests, and should imperil those we have already won.  Men do not
rest content with parrying the attacks of a superior, but often strike
the first blow to prevent the attack being made.  And we cannot fix the
exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position
in which we must not be content with retaining but must scheme to
extend it, for, if we cease to rule others, we are in danger of
being ruled ourselves.  Nor can you look at inaction from the same
point of view as others, unless you are prepared to change your habits
and make them like theirs.

"Be convinced, then, that we shall augment our power at home by this
adventure abroad, and let us make the expedition, and so humble the
pride of the Peloponnesians by sailing off to Sicily, and letting them
see how little we care for the peace that we are now enjoying; and
at the same time we shall either become masters, as we very easily
may, of the whole of Hellas through the accession of the Sicilian
Hellenes, or in any case ruin the Syracusans, to the no small
advantage of ourselves and our allies.  The faculty of staying if
successful, or of returning, will be secured to us by our navy, as
we shall be superior at sea to all the Siceliots put together.  And
do not let the do-nothing policy which Nicias advocates, or his
setting of the young against the old, turn you from your purpose,
but in the good old fashion by which our fathers, old and young
together, by their united counsels brought our affairs to their
present height, do you endeavour still to advance them;
understanding that neither youth nor old age can do anything the one
without the other, but that levity, sobriety, and deliberate
judgment are strongest when united, and that, by sinking into
inaction, the city, like everything else, will wear itself out, and
its skill in everything decay; while each fresh struggle will give
it fresh experience, and make it more used to defend itself not in
word but in deed.  In short, my conviction is that a city not
inactive by nature could not choose a quicker way to ruin itself
than by suddenly adopting such a policy, and that the safest rule of
life is to take one's character and institutions for better and for
worse, and to live up to them as closely as one can."

Such were the words of Alcibiades.  After hearing him and the
Egestaeans and some Leontine exiles, who came forward reminding them
of their oaths and imploring their assistance, the Athenians became
more eager for the expedition than before.  Nicias, perceiving that
it would be now useless to try to deter them by the old line of
argument, but thinking that he might perhaps alter their resolution by
the extravagance of his estimates, came forward a second time and
spoke as follows:

"I see, Athenians, that you are thoroughly bent upon the expedition,
and therefore hope that all will turn out as we wish, and proceed to
give you my opinion at the present juncture.  From all that I hear we
are going against cities that are great and not subject to one
another, or in need of change, so as to be glad to pass from
enforced servitude to an easier condition, or in the least likely to
accept our rule in exchange for freedom; and, to take only the
Hellenic towns, they are very numerous for one island.  Besides Naxos
and Catana, which I expect to join us from their connection with
Leontini, there are seven others armed at all points just like our own
power, particularly Selinus and Syracuse, the chief objects of our
expedition.  These are full of heavy infantry, archers, and darters,
have galleys in abundance and crowds to man them; they have also
money, partly in the hands of private persons, partly in the temples
at Selinus, and at Syracuse first-fruits from some of the barbarians
as well.  But their chief advantage over us lies in the number of their
horses, and in the fact that they grow their corn at home instead of
importing it.

"Against a power of this kind it will not do to have merely a weak
naval armament, but we shall want also a large land army to sail
with us, if we are to do anything worthy of our ambition, and are
not to be shut out from the country by a numerous cavalry;
especially if the cities should take alarm and combine, and we
should be left without friends (except the Egestaeans) to furnish us
with horse to defend ourselves with.  It would be disgraceful to have
to retire under compulsion, or to send back for reinforcements,
owing to want of reflection at first: we must therefore start from
home with a competent force, seeing that we are going to sail far from
our country, and upon an expedition not like any which you may
undertaken undertaken the quality of allies, among your subject states
here in Hellas, where any additional supplies needed were easily drawn
from the friendly territory; but we are cutting ourselves off, and
going to a land entirely strange, from which during four months in
winter it is not even easy for a messenger get to Athens.

"I think, therefore, that we ought to take great numbers of heavy
infantry, both from Athens and from our allies, and not merely from
our subjects, but also any we may be able to get for love or for money
in Peloponnese, and great numbers also of archers and slingers, to
make head against the Sicilian horse.  Meanwhile we must have an
overwhelming superiority at sea, to enable us the more easily to carry
in what we want; and we must take our own corn in merchant vessels,
that is to say, wheat and parched barley, and bakers from the mills
compelled to serve for pay in the proper proportion; in order that
in case of our being weather-bound the armament may not want
provisions, as it is not every city that will be able to entertain
numbers like ours.  We must also provide ourselves with everything else
as far as we can, so as not to be dependent upon others; and above all
we must take with us from home as much money as possible, as the
sums talked of as ready at Egesta are readier, you may be sure, in
talk than in any other way.

"Indeed, even if we leave Athens with a force not only equal to that
of the enemy except in the number of heavy infantry in the field,
but even at all points superior to him, we shall still find it
difficult to conquer Sicily or save ourselves.  We must not disguise
from ourselves that we go to found a city among strangers and enemies,
and that he who undertakes such an enterprise should be prepared to
become master of the country the first day he lands, or failing in
this to find everything hostile to him.  Fearing this, and knowing that
we shall have need of much good counsel and more good fortune--a hard
matter for mortal man to aspire to--I wish as far as may be to make
myself independent of fortune before sailing, and when I do sail, to
be as safe as a strong force can make me.  This I believe to be
surest for the country at large, and safest for us who are to go on
the expedition.  If any one thinks differently I resign to him my

With this Nicias concluded, thinking that he should either disgust
the Athenians by the magnitude of the undertaking, or, if obliged to
sail on the expedition, would thus do so in the safest way possible.
The Athenians, however, far from having their taste for the voyage
taken away by the burdensomeness of the preparations, became more
eager for it than ever; and just the contrary took place of what
Nicias had thought, as it was held that he had given good advice,
and that the expedition would be the safest in the world.  All alike
fell in love with the enterprise.  The older men thought that they
would either subdue the places against which they were to sail, or
at all events, with so large a force, meet with no disaster; those
in the prime of life felt a longing for foreign sights and spectacles,
and had no doubt that they should come safe home again; while the idea
of the common people and the soldiery was to earn wages at the moment,
and make conquests that would supply a never-ending fund of pay for
the future.  With this enthusiasm of the majority, the few that liked
it not, feared to appear unpatriotic by holding up their hands against
it, and so kept quiet.

At last one of the Athenians came forward and called upon Nicias and
told him that he ought not to make excuses or put them off, but say at
once before them all what forces the Athenians should vote him.  Upon
this he said, not without reluctance, that he would advise upon that
matter more at leisure with his colleagues; as far however as he could
see at present, they must sail with at least one hundred galleys--the
Athenians providing as many transports as they might determine, and
sending for others from the allies--not less than five thousand heavy
infantry in all, Athenian and allied, and if possible more; and the
rest of the armament in proportion; archers from home and from
Crete, and slingers, and whatever else might seem desirable, being got
ready by the generals and taken with them.

Upon hearing this the Athenians at once voted that the generals
should have full powers in the matter of the numbers of the army and
of the expedition generally, to do as they judged best for the
interests of Athens.  After this the preparations began; messages being
sent to the allies and the rolls drawn up at home.  And as the city had
just recovered from the plague and the long war, and a number of young
men had grown up and capital had accumulated by reason of the truce,
everything was the more easily provided.

In the midst of these preparations all the stone Hermae in the
city of Athens, that is to say the customary square figures, so common
in the doorways of private houses and temples, had in one night most
of them their fares mutilated.  No one knew who had done it, but
large public rewards were offered to find the authors; and it was
further voted that any one who knew of any other act of impiety having
been committed should come and give information without fear of
consequences, whether he were citizen, alien, or slave.  The matter was
taken up the more seriously, as it was thought to be ominous for the
expedition, and part of a conspiracy to bring about a revolution and
to upset the democracy.

Information was given accordingly by some resident aliens and body
servants, not about the Hermae but about some previous mutilations
of other images perpetrated by young men in a drunken frolic, and of
mock celebrations of the mysteries, averred to take place in private
houses.  Alcibiades being implicated in this charge, it was taken
hold of by those who could least endure him, because he stood in the
way of their obtaining the undisturbed direction of the people, and
who thought that if he were once removed the first place would be
theirs.  These accordingly magnified the matter and loudly proclaimed
that the affair of the mysteries and the mutilation of the Hermae were
part and parcel of a scheme to overthrow the democracy, and that
nothing of all this had been done without Alcibiades; the proofs
alleged being the general and undemocratic licence of his life and

Alcibiades repelled on the spot the charges in question, and also
before going on the expedition, the preparations for which were now
complete, offered to stand his trial, that it might be seen whether he
was guilty of the acts imputed to him; desiring to be punished if
found guilty, but, if acquitted, to take the command.  Meanwhile he
protested against their receiving slanders against him in his absence,
and begged them rather to put him to death at once if he were
guilty, and pointed out the imprudence of sending him out at the
head of so large an army, with so serious a charge still undecided.
But his enemies feared that he would have the army for him if he
were tried immediately, and that the people might relent in favour
of the man whom they already caressed as the cause of the Argives
and some of the Mantineans joining in the expedition, and did their
utmost to get this proposition rejected, putting forward other orators
who said that he ought at present to sail and not delay the
departure of the army, and be tried on his return within a fixed
number of days; their plan being to have him sent for and brought home
for trial upon some graver charge, which they would the more easily
get up in his absence.  Accordingly it was decreed that he should sail.

After this the departure for Sicily took place, it being now about
midsummer.  Most of the allies, with the corn transports and the
smaller craft and the rest of the expedition, had already received
orders to muster at Corcyra, to cross the Ionian Sea from thence in
a body to the Iapygian promontory.  But the Athenians themselves, and
such of their allies as happened to be with them, went down to Piraeus
upon a day appointed at daybreak, and began to man the ships for
putting out to sea.  With them also went down the whole population, one
may say, of the city, both citizens and foreigners; the inhabitants of
the country each escorting those that belonged to them, their friends,
their relatives, or their sons, with hope and lamentation upon their
way, as they thought of the conquests which they hoped to make, or
of the friends whom they might never see again, considering the long
voyage which they were going to make from their country.  Indeed, at
this moment, when they were now upon the point of parting from one
another, the danger came more home to them than when they voted for
the expedition; although the strength of the armament, and the profuse
provision which they remarked in every department, was a sight that
could not but comfort them.  As for the foreigners and the rest of
the crowd, they simply went to see a sight worth looking at and
passing all belief.

Indeed this armament that first sailed out was by far the most
costly and splendid Hellenic force that had ever been sent out by a
single city up to that time.  In mere number of ships and heavy
infantry that against Epidaurus under Pericles, and the same when
going against Potidaea under Hagnon, was not inferior; containing as
it did four thousand Athenian heavy infantry, three hundred horse, and
one hundred galleys accompanied by fifty Lesbian and Chian vessels and
many allies besides.  But these were sent upon a short voyage and
with a scanty equipment.  The present expedition was formed in
contemplation of a long term of service by land and sea alike, and was
furnished with ships and troops so as to be ready for either as
required.  The fleet had been elaborately equipped at great cost to the
captains and the state; the treasury giving a drachma a day to each
seaman, and providing empty ships, sixty men-of-war and forty
transports, and manning these with the best crews obtainable; while
the captains gave a bounty in addition to the pay from the treasury to
the thranitae and crews generally, besides spending lavishly upon
figure-heads and equipments, and one and all making the utmost
exertions to enable their own ships to excel in beauty and fast
sailing.  Meanwhile the land forces had been picked from the best
muster-rolls, and vied with each other in paying great attention to
their arms and personal accoutrements.  From this resulted not only a
rivalry among themselves in their different departments, but an idea
among the rest of the Hellenes that it was more a display of power and
resources than an armament against an enemy.  For if any one had
counted up the public expenditure of the state, and the private outlay
of individuals--that is to say, the sums which the state had already
spent upon the expedition and was sending out in the hands of the
generals, and those which individuals had expended upon their personal
outfit, or as captains of galleys had laid out and were still to lay
out upon their vessels; and if he had added to this the journey
money which each was likely to have provided himself with,
independently of the pay from the treasury, for a voyage of such
length, and what the soldiers or traders took with them for the
purpose of exchange--it would have been found that many talents in
all were being taken out of the city.  Indeed the expedition became not
less famous for its wonderful boldness and for the splendour of its
appearance, than for its overwhelming strength as compared with the
peoples against whom it was directed, and for the fact that this was
the longest passage from home hitherto attempted, and the most
ambitious in its objects considering the resources of those who
undertook it.

The ships being now manned, and everything put on board with which
they meant to sail, the trumpet commanded silence, and the prayers
customary before putting out to sea were offered, not in each ship
by itself, but by all together to the voice of a herald; and bowls
of wine were mixed through all the armament, and libations made by the
soldiers and their officers in gold and silver goblets.  In their
prayers joined also the crowds on shore, the citizens and all others
that wished them well.  The hymn sung and the libations finished,
they put out to sea, and first out in column then raced each other
as far as Aegina, and so hastened to reach Corcyra, where the rest
of the allied forces were also assembling.


_Seventeenth Year of the War - Parties at Syracuse - Story of
Harmodius and Aristogiton - Disgrace of Alcibiades_

Meanwhile at Syracuse news came in from many quarters of the
expedition, but for a long while met with no credence whatever.
Indeed, an assembly was held in which speeches, as will be seen,
were delivered by different orators, believing or contradicting the
report of the Athenian expedition; among whom Hermocrates, son of
Hermon, came forward, being persuaded that he knew the truth of the
matter, and gave the following counsel:

"Although I shall perhaps be no better believed than others have
been when I speak upon the reality of the expedition, and although I
know that those who either make or repeat statements thought not
worthy of belief not only gain no converts but are thought fools for
their pains, I shall certainly not be frightened into holding my
tongue when the state is in danger, and when I am persuaded that I can
speak with more authority on the matter than other persons.  Much as
you wonder at it, the Athenians nevertheless have set out against us
with a large force, naval and military, professedly to help the
Egestaeans and to restore Leontini, but really to conquer Sicily,
and above all our city, which once gained, the rest, they think,
will easily follow.  Make up your minds, therefore, to see them
speedily here, and see how you can best repel them with the means
under your hand, and do be taken off your guard through despising
the news, or neglect the common weal through disbelieving it.
Meanwhile those who believe me need not be dismayed at the force or
daring of the enemy.  They will not be able to do us more hurt than
we shall do them; nor is the greatness of their armament altogether
without advantage to us.  Indeed, the greater it is the better, with
regard to the rest of the Siceliots, whom dismay will make more
ready to join us; and if we defeat or drive them away, disappointed of
the objects of their ambition (for I do not fear for a moment that
they will get what they want), it will be a most glorious exploit
for us, and in my judgment by no means an unlikely one.  Few indeed
have been the large armaments, either Hellenic or barbarian, that have
gone far from home and been successful.  They cannot be more numerous
than the people of the country and their neighbours, all of whom
fear leagues together; and if they miscarry for want of supplies in
a foreign land, to those against whom their plans were laid none the
less they leave renown, although they may themselves have been the
main cause of their own discomfort.  Thus these very Athenians rose
by the defeat of the Mede, in a great measure due to accidental
causes, from the mere fact that Athens had been the object of his
attack; and this may very well be the case with us also.

"Let us, therefore, confidently begin preparations here; let us send
and confirm some of the Sicels, and obtain the friendship and alliance
of others, and dispatch envoys to the rest of Sicily to show that
the danger is common to all, and to Italy to get them to become our
allies, or at all events to refuse to receive the Athenians.  I also
think that it would be best to send to Carthage as well; they are by
no means there without apprehension, but it is their constant fear
that the Athenians may one day attack their city, and they may perhaps
think that they might themselves suffer by letting Sicily be
sacrificed, and be willing to help us secretly if not openly, in one
way if not in another.  They are the best able to do so, if they
will, of any of the present day, as they possess most gold and silver,
by which war, like everything else, flourishes.  Let us also send to
Lacedaemon and Corinth, and ask them to come here and help us as
soon as possible, and to keep alive the war in Hellas.  But the true
thing of all others, in my opinion, to do at the present moment, is
what you, with your constitutional love of quiet, will be slow to see,
and what I must nevertheless mention.  If we Siceliots, all together,
or at least as many as possible besides ourselves, would only launch
the whole of our actual navy with two months' provisions, and meet the
Athenians at Tarentum and the Iapygian promontory, and show them
that before fighting for Sicily they must first fight for their
passage across the Ionian Sea, we should strike dismay into their
army, and set them on thinking that we have a base for our
defensive--for Tarentum is ready to receive us--while they have a wide
sea to cross with all their armament, which could with difficulty keep
its order through so long a voyage, and would be easy for us to attack
as it came on slowly and in small detachments.  On the other hand, if
they were to lighten their vessels, and draw together their fast
sailers and with these attack us, we could either fall upon them
when they were wearied with rowing, or if we did not choose to do
so, we could retire to Tarentum; while they, having crossed with few
provisions just to give battle, would be hard put to it in desolate
places, and would either have to remain and be blockaded, or to try to
sail along the coast, abandoning the rest of their armament, and being
further discouraged by not knowing for certain whether the cities
would receive them.  In my opinion this consideration alone would be
sufficient to deter them from putting out from Corcyra; and what
with deliberating and reconnoitring our numbers and whereabouts,
they would let the season go on until winter was upon them, or,
confounded by so unexpected a circumstance, would break up the
expedition, especially as their most experienced general has, as I
hear, taken the command against his will, and would grasp at the first
excuse offered by any serious demonstration of ours.  We should also be
reported, I am certain, as more numerous than we really are, and men's
minds are affected by what they hear, and besides the first to attack,
or to show that they mean to defend themselves against an attack,
inspire greater fear because men see that they are ready for the
emergency.  This would just be the case with the Athenians at
present.  They are now attacking us in the belief that we shall not
resist, having a right to judge us severely because we did not help
the Lacedaemonians in crushing them; but if they were to see us
showing a courage for which they are not prepared, they would be
more dismayed by the surprise than they could ever be by our actual
power.  I could wish to persuade you to show this courage; but if
this cannot be, at all events lose not a moment in preparing generally
for the war; and remember all of you that contempt for an assailant is
best shown by bravery in action, but that for the present the best
course is to accept the preparations which fear inspires as giving the
surest promise of safety, and to act as if the danger was real.  That
the Athenians are coming to attack us, and are already upon the
voyage, and all but here--this is what I am sure of."

Thus far spoke Hermocrates.  Meanwhile the people of Syracuse were at
great strife among themselves; some contending that the Athenians
had no idea of coming and that there was no truth in what he said;
some asking if they did come what harm they could do that would not be
repaid them tenfold in return; while others made light of the whole
affair and turned it into ridicule.  In short, there were few that
believed Hermocrates and feared for the future.  Meanwhile Athenagoras,
the leader of the people and very powerful at that time with the
masses, came forward and spoke as follows:

"For the Athenians, he who does not wish that they may be as
misguided as they are supposed to be, and that they may come here to
become our subjects, is either a coward or a traitor to his country;
while as for those who carry such tidings and fill you with so much
alarm, I wonder less at their audacity than at their folly if they
flatter themselves that we do not see through them.  The fact is that
they have their private reasons to be afraid, and wish to throw the
city into consternation to have their own terrors cast into the
shade by the public alarm.  In short, this is what these reports are
worth; they do not arise of themselves, but are concocted by men who
are always causing agitation here in Sicily.  However, if you are
well advised, you will not be guided in your calculation of
probabilities by what these persons tell you, but by what shrewd men
and of large experience, as I esteem the Athenians to be, would be
likely to do.  Now it is not likely that they would leave the
Peloponnesians behind them, and before they have well ended the war in
Hellas wantonly come in quest of a new war quite as arduous in Sicily;
indeed, in my judgment, they are only too glad that we do not go and
attack them, being so many and so great cities as we are.

"However, if they should come as is reported, I consider Sicily
better able to go through with the war than Peloponnese, as being at
all points better prepared, and our city by itself far more than a
match for this pretended army of invasion, even were it twice as large
again.  I know that they will not have horses with them, or get any
here, except a few perhaps from the Egestaeans; or be able to bring
a force of heavy infantry equal in number to our own, in ships which
will already have enough to do to come all this distance, however
lightly laden, not to speak of the transport of the other stores
required against a city of this magnitude, which will be no slight
quantity.  In fact, so strong is my opinion upon the subject, that I do
not well see how they could avoid annihilation if they brought with
them another city as large as Syracuse, and settled down and carried
on war from our frontier; much less can they hope to succeed with
all Sicily hostile to them, as all Sicily will be, and with only a
camp pitched from the ships, and composed of tents and bare
necessaries, from which they would not be able to stir far for fear of
our cavalry.

"But the Athenians see this as I tell you, and as I have reason to
know are looking after their possessions at home, while persons here
invent stories that neither are true nor ever will be.  Nor is this the
first time that I see these persons, when they cannot resort to deeds,
trying by such stories and by others even more abominable to
frighten your people and get into their hands the government: it is
what I see always.  And I cannot help fearing that trying so often they
may one day succeed, and that we, as long as we do not feel the smart,
may prove too weak for the task of prevention, or, when the
offenders are known, of pursuit.  The result is that our city is rarely
at rest, but is subject to constant troubles and to contests as
frequent against herself as against the enemy, not to speak of
occasional tyrannies and infamous cabals.  However, I will try, if
you will support me, to let nothing of this happen in our time, by
gaining you, the many, and by chastising the authors of such
machinations, not merely when they are caught in the act--a difficult
feat to accomplish--but also for what they have the wish though not
the power to do; as it is necessary to punish an enemy not only for
what he does, but also beforehand for what he intends to do, if the
first to relax precaution would not be also the first to suffer.  I
shall also reprove, watch, and on occasion warn the few--the most
effectual way, in my opinion, of turning them from their evil courses.
And after all, as I have often asked, what would you have, young men?
Would you hold office at once? The law forbids it, a law enacted
rather because you are not competent than to disgrace you when
competent.  Meanwhile you would not be on a legal equality with the
many! But how can it be right that citizens of the same state should
be held unworthy of the same privileges?

"It will be said, perhaps, that democracy is neither wise nor
equitable, but that the holders of property are also the best fitted
to rule.  I say, on the contrary, first, that the word demos, or
people, includes the whole state, oligarchy only a part; next, that if
the best guardians of property are the rich, and the best
counsellors the wise, none can hear and decide so well as the many;
and that all these talents, severally and collectively, have their
just place in a democracy.  But an oligarchy gives the many their share
of the danger, and not content with the largest part takes and keeps
the whole of the profit; and this is what the powerful and young among
you aspire to, but in a great city cannot possibly obtain.

"But even now, foolish men, most senseless of all the Hellenes
that I know, if you have no sense of the wickedness of your designs,
or most criminal if you have that sense and still dare to pursue
them--even now, if it is not a case for repentance, you may still
learn wisdom, and thus advance the interest of the country, the common
interest of us all.  Reflect that in the country's prosperity the men
of merit in your ranks will have a share and a larger share than the
great mass of your fellow countrymen, but that if you have other
designs you run a risk of being deprived of all; and desist from
reports like these, as the people know your object and will not put up
with it.  If the Athenians arrive, this city will repulse them in a
manner worthy of itself; we have moreover, generals who will see to
this matter.  And if nothing of this be true, as I incline to
believe, the city will not be thrown into a panic by your
intelligence, or impose upon itself a self-chosen servitude by
choosing you for its rulers; the city itself will look into the
matter, and will judge your words as if they were acts, and, instead
of allowing itself to be deprived of its liberty by listening to
you, will strive to preserve that liberty, by taking care to have
always at hand the means of making itself respected."

Such were the words of Athenagoras.  One of the generals now stood up
and stopped any other speakers coming forward, adding these words of
his own with reference to the matter in hand: "It is not well for
speakers to utter calumnies against one another, or for their
hearers to entertain them; we ought rather to look to the intelligence
that we have received, and see how each man by himself and the city as
a whole may best prepare to repel the invaders.  Even if there be no
need, there is no harm in the state being furnished with horses and
arms and all other insignia of war; and we will undertake to see to
and order this, and to send round to the cities to reconnoitre and
do all else that may appear desirable.  Part of this we have seen to
already, and whatever we discover shall be laid before you." After
these words from the general, the Syracusans departed from the

In the meantime the Athenians with all their allies had now
arrived at Corcyra.  Here the generals began by again reviewing the
armament, and made arrangements as to the order in which they were
to anchor and encamp, and dividing the whole fleet into three
divisions, allotted one to each of their number, to avoid sailing
all together and being thus embarrassed for water, harbourage, or
provisions at the stations which they might touch at, and at the
same time to be generally better ordered and easier to handle, by each
squadron having its own commander.  Next they sent on three ships to
Italy and Sicily to find out which of the cities would receive them,
with instructions to meet them on the way and let them know before
they put in to land.

After this the Athenians weighed from Corcyra, and proceeded to
cross to Sicily with an armament now consisting of one hundred and
thirty-four galleys in all (besides two Rhodian fifty-oars), of
which one hundred were Athenian vessels--sixty men-of-war, and forty
troopships--and the remainder from Chios and the other allies; five
thousand and one hundred heavy infantry in all, that is to say,
fifteen hundred Athenian citizens from the rolls at Athens and seven
hundred Thetes shipped as marines, and the rest allied troops, some of
them Athenian subjects, and besides these five hundred Argives, and
two hundred and fifty Mantineans serving for hire; four hundred and
eighty archers in all, eighty of whom were Cretans, seven hundred
slingers from Rhodes, one hundred and twenty light-armed exiles from
Megara, and one horse-transport carrying thirty horses.

Such was the strength of the first armament that sailed over for the
war.  The supplies for this force were carried by thirty ships of
burden laden with corn, which conveyed the bakers, stone-masons, and
carpenters, and the tools for raising fortifications, accompanied by
one hundred boats, like the former pressed into the service, besides
many other boats and ships of burden which followed the armament
voluntarily for purposes of trade; all of which now left Corcyra and
struck across the Ionian Sea together.  The whole force making land
at the Iapygian promontory and Tarentum, with more or less good
fortune, coasted along the shores of Italy, the cities shutting
their markets and gates against them, and according them nothing but
water and liberty to anchor, and Tarentum and Locri not even that,
until they arrived at Rhegium, the extreme point of Italy.  Here at
length they reunited, and not gaining admission within the walls
pitched a camp outside the city in the precinct of Artemis, where a
market was also provided for them, and drew their ships on shore and
kept quiet.  Meanwhile they opened negotiations with the Rhegians,
and called upon them as Chalcidians to assist their Leontine
kinsmen; to which the Rhegians replied that they would not side with
either party, but should await the decision of the rest of the
Italiots, and do as they did.  Upon this the Athenians now began to
consider what would be the best action to take in the affairs of
Sicily, and meanwhile waited for the ships sent on to come back from
Egesta, in order to know whether there was really there the money
mentioned by the messengers at Athens.

In the meantime came in from all quarters to the Syracusans, as well
as from their own officers sent to reconnoitre, the positive tidings
that the fleet was at Rhegium; upon which they laid aside their
incredulity and threw themselves heart and soul into the work of
preparation.  Guards or envoys, as the case might be, were sent round
to the Sicels, garrisons put into the posts of the Peripoli in the
country, horses and arms reviewed in the city to see that nothing
was wanting, and all other steps taken to prepare for a war which
might be upon them at any moment.

Meanwhile the three ships that had been sent on came from Egesta
to the Athenians at Rhegium, with the news that so far from there
being the sums promised, all that could be produced was thirty
talents.  The generals were not a little disheartened at being thus
disappointed at the outset, and by the refusal to join in the
expedition of the Rhegians, the people they had first tried to gain
and had had had most reason to count upon, from their relationship
to the Leontines and constant friendship for Athens.  If Nicias was
prepared for the news from Egesta, his two colleagues were taken
completely by surprise.  The Egestaeans had had recourse to the
following stratagem, when the first envoys from Athens came to inspect
their resources.  They took the envoys in question to the temple of
Aphrodite at Eryx and showed them the treasures deposited there:
bowls, wine-ladles, censers, and a large number of other pieces of
plate, which from being in silver gave an impression of wealth quite
out of proportion to their really small value.  They also privately
entertained the ships' crews, and collected all the cups of gold and
silver that they could find in Egesta itself or could borrow in the
neighbouring Phoenician and Hellenic towns, and each brought them to
the banquets as their own; and as all used pretty nearly the same, and
everywhere a great quantity of plate was shown, the effect was most
dazzling upon the Athenian sailors, and made them talk loudly of the
riches they had seen when they got back to Athens.  The dupes in
question--who had in their turn persuaded the rest--when the news got
abroad that there was not the money supposed at Egesta, were much
blamed by the soldiers.

Meanwhile the generals consulted upon what was to be done.  The
opinion of Nicias was to sail with all the armament to Selinus, the
main object of the expedition, and if the Egestaeans could provide
money for the whole force, to advise accordingly; but if they could
not, to require them to supply provisions for the sixty ships that
they had asked for, to stay and settle matters between them and the
Selinuntines either by force or by agreement, and then to coast past
the other cities, and after displaying the power of Athens and proving
their zeal for their friends and allies, to sail home again (unless
they should have some sudden and unexpected opportunity of serving the
Leontines, or of bringing over some of the other cities), and not to
endanger the state by wasting its home resources.

Alcibiades said that a great expedition like the present must not
disgrace itself by going away without having done anything; heralds
must be sent to all the cities except Selinus and Syracuse, and
efforts be made to make some of the Sicels revolt from the Syracusans,
and to obtain the friendship of others, in order to have corn and
troops; and first of all to gain the Messinese, who lay right in the
passage and entrance to Sicily, and would afford an excellent
harbour and base for the army.  Thus, after bringing over the towns and
knowing who would be their allies in the war, they might at length
attack Syracuse and Selinus; unless the latter came to terms with
Egesta and the former ceased to oppose the restoration of Leontini.

Lamachus, on the other hand, said that they ought to sail straight
to Syracuse, and fight their battle at once under the walls of the
town while the people were still unprepared, and the panic at its
height.  Every armament was most terrible at first; if it allowed
time to run on without showing itself, men's courage revived, and they
saw it appear at last almost with indifference.  By attacking suddenly,
while Syracuse still trembled at their coming, they would have the
best chance of gaining a victory for themselves and of striking a
complete panic into the enemy by the aspect of their numbers--which
would never appear so considerable as at present--by the anticipation
of coming disaster, and above all by the immediate danger of the
engagement.  They might also count upon surprising many in the fields
outside, incredulous of their coming; and at the moment that the enemy
was carrying in his property the army would not want for booty if it
sat down in force before the city.  The rest of the Siceliots would
thus be immediately less disposed to enter into alliance with the
Syracusans, and would join the Athenians, without waiting to see which
were the strongest.  They must make Megara their naval station as a
place to retreat to and a base from which to attack: it was an
uninhabited place at no great distance from Syracuse either by land or
by sea.

After speaking to this effect, Lamachus nevertheless gave his
support to the opinion of Alcibiades.  After this Alcibiades sailed
in his own vessel across to Messina with proposals of alliance, but
met with no success, the inhabitants answering that they could not
receive him within their walls, though they would provide him with a
market outside.  Upon this he sailed back to Rhegium.  Immediately
upon his return the generals manned and victualled sixty ships out
of the whole fleet and coasted along to Naxos, leaving the rest of the
armament behind them at Rhegium with one of their number.  Received
by the Naxians, they then coasted on to Catana, and being refused
admittance by the inhabitants, there being a Syracusan party in the
town, went on to the river Terias.  Here they bivouacked, and the
next day sailed in single file to Syracuse with all their ships except
ten which they sent on in front to sail into the great harbour and see
if there was any fleet launched, and to proclaim by herald from
shipboard that the Athenians were come to restore the Leontines to
their country, as being their allies and kinsmen, and that such of
them, therefore, as were in Syracuse should leave it without fear
and join their friends and benefactors the Athenians.  After making
this proclamation and reconnoitring the city and the harbours, and the
features of the country which they would have to make their base of
operations in the war, they sailed back to Catana.

An assembly being held here, the inhabitants refused to receive
the armament, but invited the generals to come in and say what they
desired; and while Alcibiades was speaking and the citizens were
intent on the assembly, the soldiers broke down an ill-walled-up
postern gate without being observed, and getting inside the town,
flocked into the marketplace.  The Syracusan party in the town no
sooner saw the army inside than they became frightened and withdrew,
not being at all numerous; while the rest voted for an alliance with
the Athenians and invited them to fetch the rest of their forces
from Rhegium.  After this the Athenians sailed to Rhegium, and put off,
this time with all the armament, for Catana, and fell to work at their
camp immediately upon their arrival.

Meanwhile word was brought them from Camarina that if they went
there the town would go over to them, and also that the Syracusans
were manning a fleet.  The Athenians accordingly sailed alongshore with
all their armament, first to Syracuse, where they found no fleet
manning, and so always along the coast to Camarina, where they brought
to at the beach, and sent a herald to the people, who, however,
refused to receive them, saying that their oaths bound them to receive
the Athenians only with a single vessel, unless they themselves sent
for more.  Disappointed here, the Athenians now sailed back again,
and after landing and plundering on Syracusan territory and losing
some stragglers from their light infantry through the coming up of the
Syracusan horse, so got back to Catana.

There they found the Salaminia come from Athens for Alcibiades, with
orders for him to sail home to answer the charges which the state
brought against him, and for certain others of the soldiers who with
him were accused of sacrilege in the matter of the mysteries and of
the Hermae.  For the Athenians, after the departure of the
expedition, had continued as active as ever in investigating the facts
of the mysteries and of the Hermae, and, instead of testing the
informers, in their suspicious temper welcomed all indifferently,
arresting and imprisoning the best citizens upon the evidence of
rascals, and preferring to sift the matter to the bottom sooner than
to let an accused person of good character pass unquestioned, owing to
the rascality of the informer.  The commons had heard how oppressive
the tyranny of Pisistratus and his sons had become before it ended,
and further that that had been put down at last, not by themselves and
Harmodius, but by the Lacedaemonians, and so were always in fear and
took everything suspiciously.

Indeed, the daring action of Aristogiton and Harmodius was
undertaken in consequence of a love affair, which I shall relate at
some length, to show that the Athenians are not more accurate than the
rest of the world in their accounts of their own tyrants and of the
facts of their own history.  Pisistratus dying at an advanced age in
possession of the tyranny, was succeeded by his eldest son, Hippias,
and not Hipparchus, as is vulgarly believed.  Harmodius was then in the
flower of youthful beauty, and Aristogiton, a citizen in the middle
rank of life, was his lover and possessed him.  Solicited without
success by Hipparchus, son of Pisistratus, Harmodius told Aristogiton,
and the enraged lover, afraid that the powerful Hipparchus might
take Harmodius by force, immediately formed a design, such as his
condition in life permitted, for overthrowing the tyranny.  In the
meantime Hipparchus, after a second solicitation of Harmodius,
attended with no better success, unwilling to use violence, arranged
to insult him in some covert way.  Indeed, generally their government
was not grievous to the multitude, or in any way odious in practice;
and these tyrants cultivated wisdom and virtue as much as any, and
without exacting from the Athenians more than a twentieth of their
income, splendidly adorned their city, and carried on their wars,
and provided sacrifices for the temples.  For the rest, the city was
left in full enjoyment of its existing laws, except that care was
always taken to have the offices in the hands of some one of the
family.  Among those of them that held the yearly archonship at
Athens was Pisistratus, son of the tyrant Hippias, and named after his
grandfather, who dedicated during his term of office the altar to
the twelve gods in the market-place, and that of Apollo in the Pythian
precinct.  The Athenian people afterwards built on to and lengthened
the altar in the market-place, and obliterated the inscription; but
that in the Pythian precinct can still be seen, though in faded
letters, and is to the following effect:

Pisistratus, the son of Hippias,
Sent up this record of his archonship
In precinct of Apollo Pythias.

That Hippias was the eldest son and succeeded to the government,
is what I positively assert as a fact upon which I have had more exact
accounts than others, and may be also ascertained by the following
circumstance.  He is the only one of the legitimate brothers that
appears to have had children; as the altar shows, and the pillar
placed in the Athenian Acropolis, commemorating the crime of the
tyrants, which mentions no child of Thessalus or of Hipparchus, but
five of Hippias, which he had by Myrrhine, daughter of Callias, son of
Hyperechides; and naturally the eldest would have married first.
Again, his name comes first on the pillar after that of his father;
and this too is quite natural, as he was the eldest after him, and the
reigning tyrant.  Nor can I ever believe that Hippias would have
obtained the tyranny so easily, if Hipparchus had been in power when
he was killed, and he, Hippias, had had to establish himself upon
the same day; but he had no doubt been long accustomed to overawe
the citizens, and to be obeyed by his mercenaries, and thus not only
conquered, but conquered with ease, without experiencing any of the
embarrassment of a younger brother unused to the exercise of
authority.  It was the sad fate which made Hipparchus famous that got
him also the credit with posterity of having been tyrant.

To return to Harmodius; Hipparchus having been repulsed in his
solicitations insulted him as he had resolved, by first inviting a
sister of his, a young girl, to come and bear a basket in a certain
procession, and then rejecting her, on the plea that she had never
been invited at all owing to her unworthiness.  If Harmodius was
indignant at this, Aristogiton for his sake now became more
exasperated than ever; and having arranged everything with those who
were to join them in the enterprise, they only waited for the great
feast of the Panathenaea, the sole day upon which the citizens forming
part of the procession could meet together in arms without
suspicion.  Aristogiton and Harmodius were to begin, but were to be
supported immediately by their accomplices against the bodyguard.
The conspirators were not many, for better security, besides which
they hoped that those not in the plot would be carried away by the
example of a few daring spirits, and use the arms in their hands to
recover their liberty.

At last the festival arrived; and Hippias with his bodyguard was
outside the city in the Ceramicus, arranging how the different parts
of the procession were to proceed.  Harmodius and Aristogiton had
already their daggers and were getting ready to act, when seeing one
of their accomplices talking familiarly with Hippias, who was easy
of access to every one, they took fright, and concluded that they were
discovered and on the point of being taken; and eager if possible to
be revenged first upon the man who had wronged them and for whom
they had undertaken all this risk, they rushed, as they were, within
the gates, and meeting with Hipparchus by the Leocorium recklessly
fell upon him at once, infuriated, Aristogiton by love, and
Harmodius by insult, and smote him and slew him.  Aristogiton escaped
the guards at the moment, through the crowd running up, but was
afterwards taken and dispatched in no merciful way: Harmodius was
killed on the spot.

When the news was brought to Hippias in the Ceramicus, he at once
proceeded not to the scene of action, but to the armed men in the
procession, before they, being some distance away, knew anything of
the matter, and composing his features for the occasion, so as not
to betray himself, pointed to a certain spot, and bade them repair
thither without their arms.  They withdrew accordingly, fancying he had
something to say; upon which he told the mercenaries to remove the
arms, and there and then picked out the men he thought guilty and
all found with daggers, the shield and spear being the usual weapons
for a procession.

In this way offended love first led Harmodius and Aristogiton to
conspire, and the alarm of the moment to commit the rash action
recounted.  After this the tyranny pressed harder on the Athenians, and
Hippias, now grown more fearful, put to death many of the citizens,
and at the same time began to turn his eyes abroad for a refuge in
case of revolution.  Thus, although an Athenian, he gave his
daughter, Archedice, to a Lampsacene, Aeantides, son of the tyrant
of Lampsacus, seeing that they had great influence with Darius.  And
there is her tomb in Lampsacus with this inscription:

Archedice lies buried in this earth,
Hippias her sire, and Athens gave her birth;
Unto her bosom pride was never known,
Though daughter, wife, and sister to the throne.

Hippias, after reigning three years longer over the Athenians, was
deposed in the fourth by the Lacedaemonians and the banished
Alcmaeonidae, and went with a safe conduct to Sigeum, and to Aeantides
at Lampsacus, and from thence to King Darius; from whose court he
set out twenty years after, in his old age, and came with the Medes to

With these events in their minds, and recalling everything they knew
by hearsay on the subject, the Athenian people grow difficult of
humour and suspicious of the persons charged in the affair of the
mysteries, and persuaded that all that had taken place was part of
an oligarchical and monarchical conspiracy.  In the state of irritation
thus produced, many persons of consideration had been already thrown
into prison, and far from showing any signs of abating, public feeling
grew daily more savage, and more arrests were made; until at last
one of those in custody, thought to be the most guilty of all, was
induced by a fellow prisoner to make a revelation, whether true or not
is a matter on which there are two opinions, no one having been
able, either then or since, to say for certain who did the deed.
However this may be, the other found arguments to persuade him, that
even if he had not done it, he ought to save himself by gaining a
promise of impunity, and free the state of its present suspicions;
as he would be surer of safety if he confessed after promise of
impunity than if he denied and were brought to trial.  He accordingly
made a revelation, affecting himself and others in the affair of the
Hermae; and the Athenian people, glad at last, as they supposed, to
get at the truth, and furious until then at not being able to discover
those who had conspired against the commons, at once let go the
informer and all the rest whom he had not denounced, and bringing
the accused to trial executed as many as were apprehended, and
condemned to death such as had fled and set a price upon their
heads.  In this it was, after all, not clear whether the sufferers
had been punished unjustly, while in any case the rest of the city
received immediate and manifest relief.

To return to Alcibiades: public feeling was very hostile to him,
being worked on by the same enemies who had attacked him before he
went out; and now that the Athenians fancied that they had got at
the truth of the matter of the Hermae, they believed more firmly
than ever that the affair of the mysteries also, in which he was
implicated, had been contrived by him in the same intention and was
connected with the plot against the democracy.  Meanwhile it so
happened that, just at the time of this agitation, a small force of
Lacedaemonians had advanced as far as the Isthmus, in pursuance of
some scheme with the Boeotians.  It was now thought that this had
come by appointment, at his instigation, and not on account of the
Boeotians, and that, if the citizens had not acted on the
information received, and forestalled them by arresting the prisoners,
the city would have been betrayed.  The citizens went so far as to
sleep one night armed in the temple of Theseus within the walls.  The
friends also of Alcibiades at Argos were just at this time suspected
of a design to attack the commons; and the Argive hostages deposited
in the islands were given up by the Athenians to the Argive people
to be put to death upon that account: in short, everywhere something
was found to create suspicion against Alcibiades.  It was therefore
decided to bring him to trial and execute him, and the Salaminia was
sent to Sicily for him and the others named in the information, with
instructions to order him to come and answer the charges against
him, but not to arrest him, because they wished to avoid causing any
agitation in the army or among the enemy in Sicily, and above all to
retain the services of the Mantineans and Argives, who, it was
thought, had been induced to join by his influence.  Alcibiades, with
his own ship and his fellow accused, accordingly sailed off with the
Salaminia from Sicily, as though to return to Athens, and went with
her as far as Thurii, and there they left the ship and disappeared,
being afraid to go home for trial with such a prejudice existing
against them.  The crew of the Salaminia stayed some time looking for
Alcibiades and his companions, and at length, as they were nowhere
to be found, set sail and departed.  Alcibiades, now an outlaw, crossed
in a boat not long after from Thurii to Peloponnese; and the Athenians
passed sentence of death by default upon him and those in his company.


_Seventeenth and Eighteenth Years of the War - Inaction of
the Athenian Army - Alcibiades at Sparta - Investment of Syracuse_

The Athenian generals left in Sicily now divided the armament into
two parts, and, each taking one by lot, sailed with the whole for
Selinus and Egesta, wishing to know whether the Egestaeans would
give the money, and to look into the question of Selinus and ascertain
the state of the quarrel between her and Egesta.  Coasting along
Sicily, with the shore on their left, on the side towards the Tyrrhene
Gulf they touched at Himera, the only Hellenic city in that part of
the island, and being refused admission resumed their voyage.  On their
way they took Hyccara, a petty Sicanian seaport, nevertheless at war
with Egesta, and making slaves of the inhabitants gave up the town
to the Egestaeans, some of whose horse had joined them; after which
the army proceeded through the territory of the Sicels until it
reached Catana, while the fleet sailed along the coast with the slaves
on board.  Meanwhile Nicias sailed straight from Hyccara along the
coast and went to Egesta and, after transacting his other business and
receiving thirty talents, rejoined the forces.  They now sold their
slaves for the sum of one hundred and twenty talents, and sailed round
to their Sicel allies to urge them to send troops; and meanwhile
went with half their own force to the hostile town of Hybla in the
territory of Gela, but did not succeed in taking it.

Summer was now over.  The winter following, the Athenians at once
began to prepare for moving on Syracuse, and the Syracusans on their
side for marching against them.  From the moment when the Athenians
failed to attack them instantly as they at first feared and
expected, every day that passed did something to revive their courage;
and when they saw them sailing far away from them on the other side of
Sicily, and going to Hybla only to fail in their attempts to storm it,
they thought less of them than ever, and called upon their generals,
as the multitude is apt to do in its moments of confidence, to lead
them to Catana, since the enemy would not come to them.  Parties also
of the Syracusan horse employed in reconnoitring constantly rode up to
the Athenian armament, and among other insults asked them whether they
had not really come to settle with the Syracusans in a foreign country
rather than to resettle the Leontines in their own.

Aware of this, the Athenian generals determined to draw them out
in mass as far as possible from the city, and themselves in the
meantime to sail by night alongshore, and take up at their leisure a
convenient position.  This they knew they could not so well do, if they
had to disembark from their ships in front of a force prepared for
them, or to go by land openly.  The numerous cavalry of the
Syracusans (a force which they were themselves without) would then
be able to do the greatest mischief to their light troops and the
crowd that followed them; but this plan would enable them to take up a
position in which the horse could do them no hurt worth speaking of,
some Syracusan exiles with the army having told them of the spot
near the Olympieum, which they afterwards occupied.  In pursuance of
their idea, the generals imagined the following stratagem.  They sent
to Syracuse a man devoted to them, and by the Syracusan generals
thought to be no less in their interest; he was a native of Catana,
and said he came from persons in that place, whose names the Syracusan
generals were acquainted with, and whom they knew to be among the
members of their party still left in the city.  He told them that the
Athenians passed the night in the town, at some distance from their
arms, and that if the Syracusans would name a day and come with all
their people at daybreak to attack the armament, they, their
friends, would close the gates upon the troops in the city, and set
fire to the vessels, while the Syracusans would easily take the camp
by an attack upon the stockade.  In this they would be aided by many of
the Catanians, who were already prepared to act, and from whom he
himself came.

The generals of the Syracusans, who did not want confidence, and who
had intended even without this to march on Catana, believed the man
without any sufficient inquiry, fixed at once a day upon which they
would be there, and dismissed him, and the Selinuntines and others
of their allies having now arrived, gave orders for all the Syracusans
to march out in mass.  Their preparations completed, and the time fixed
for their arrival being at hand, they set out for Catana, and passed
the night upon the river Symaethus, in the Leontine territory.
Meanwhile the Athenians no sooner knew of their approach than they
took all their forces and such of the Sicels or others as had joined
them, put them on board their ships and boats, and sailed by night
to Syracuse.  Thus, when morning broke the Athenians were landing
opposite the Olympieum ready to seize their camping ground, and the
Syracusan horse having ridden up first to Catana and found that all
the armament had put to sea, turned back and told the infantry, and
then all turned back together, and went to the relief of the city.

In the meantime, as the march before the Syracusans was a long
one, the Athenians quietly sat down their army in a convenient
position, where they could begin an engagement when they pleased,
and where the Syracusan cavalry would have least opportunity of
annoying them, either before or during the action, being fenced off on
one side by walls, houses, trees, and by a marsh, and on the other
by cliffs.  They also felled the neighbouring trees and carried them
down to the sea, and formed a palisade alongside of their ships, and
with stones which they picked up and wood hastily raised a fort at
Daskon, the most vulnerable point of their position, and broke down
the bridge over the Anapus.  These preparations were allowed to go on
without any interruption from the city, the first hostile force to
appear being the Syracusan cavalry, followed afterwards by all the
foot together.  At first they came close up to the Athenian army, and
then, finding that they did not offer to engage, crossed the
Helorine road and encamped for the night.

The next day the Athenians and their allies prepared for battle,
their dispositions being as follows: Their right wing was occupied
by the Argives and Mantineans, the centre by the Athenians, and the
rest of the field by the other allies.  Half their army was drawn up
eight deep in advance, half close to their tents in a hollow square,
formed also eight deep, which had orders to look out and be ready to
go to the support of the troops hardest pressed.  The camp followers
were placed inside this reserve.  The Syracusans, meanwhile, formed
their heavy infantry sixteen deep, consisting of the mass levy of
their own people, and such allies as had joined them, the strongest
contingent being that of the Selinuntines; next to them the cavalry of
the Geloans, numbering two hundred in all, with about twenty horse and
fifty archers from Camarina.  The cavalry was posted on their right,
full twelve hundred strong, and next to it the darters.  As the
Athenians were about to begin the attack, Nicias went along the lines,
and addressed these words of encouragement to the army and the nations
composing it:

"Soldiers, a long exhortation is little needed by men like
ourselves, who are here to fight in the same battle, the force
itself being, to my thinking, more fit to inspire confidence than a
fine speech with a weak army.  Where we have Argives, Mantineans,
Athenians, and the first of the islanders in the ranks together, it
were strange indeed, with so many and so brave companions in arms,
if we did not feel confident of victory; especially when we have
mass levies opposed to our picked troops, and what is more, Siceliots,
who may disdain us but will not stand against us, their skill not
being at all commensurate to their rashness.  You may also remember
that we are far from home and have no friendly land near, except
what your own swords shall win you; and here I put before you a motive
just the reverse of that which the enemy are appealing to; their cry
being that they shall fight for their country, mine that we shall
fight for a country that is not ours, where we must conquer or
hardly get away, as we shall have their horse upon us in great
numbers.  Remember, therefore, your renown, and go boldly against the
enemy, thinking the present strait and necessity more terrible than

After this address Nicias at once led on the army.  The Syracusans
were not at that moment expecting an immediate engagement, and some
had even gone away to the town, which was close by; these now ran up
as hard as they could and, though behind time, took their places
here or there in the main body as fast as they joined it.  Want of zeal
or daring was certainly not the fault of the Syracusans, either in
this or the other battles, but although not inferior in courage, so
far as their military science might carry them, when this failed
them they were compelled to give up their resolution also.  On the
present occasion, although they had not supposed that the Athenians
would begin the attack, and although constrained to stand upon their
defence at short notice, they at once took up their arms and
advanced to meet them.  First, the stone-throwers, slingers, and
archers of either army began skirmishing, and routed or were routed by
one another, as might be expected between light troops; next,
soothsayers brought forward the usual victims, and trumpeters urged on
the heavy infantry to the charge; and thus they advanced, the
Syracusans to fight for their country, and each individual for his
safety that day and liberty hereafter; in the enemy's army, the
Athenians to make another's country theirs and to save their own
from suffering by their defeat; the Argives and independent allies
to help them in getting what they came for, and to earn by victory
another sight of the country they had left behind; while the subject
allies owed most of their ardour to the desire of self-preservation,
which they could only hope for if victorious; next to which, as a
secondary motive, came the chance of serving on easier terms, after
helping the Athenians to a fresh conquest.

The armies now came to close quarters, and for a long while fought
without either giving ground.  Meanwhile there occurred some claps of
thunder with lightning and heavy rain, which did not fail to add to
the fears of the party fighting for the first time, and very little
acquainted with war; while to their more experienced adversaries these
phenomena appeared to be produced by the time of year, and much more
alarm was felt at the continued resistance of the enemy.  At last the
Argives drove in the Syracusan left, and after them the Athenians
routed the troops opposed to them, and the Syracusan army was thus cut
in two and betook itself to flight.  The Athenians did not pursue
far, being held in check by the numerous and undefeated Syracusan
horse, who attacked and drove back any of their heavy infantry whom
they saw pursuing in advance of the rest; in spite of which the
victors followed so far as was safe in a body, and then went back
and set up a trophy.  Meanwhile the Syracusans rallied at the
Helorine road, where they re-formed as well as they could under the
circumstances, and even sent a garrison of their own citizens to the
Olympieum, fearing that the Athenians might lay hands on some of the
treasures there.  The rest returned to the town.

The Athenians, however, did not go to the temple, but collected
their dead and laid them upon a pyre, and passed the night upon the
field.  The next day they gave the enemy back their dead under truce,
to the number of about two hundred and sixty, Syracusans and allies,
and gathered together the bones of their own, some fifty, Athenians
and allies, and taking the spoils of the enemy, sailed back to Catana.
It was now winter; and it did not seem possible for the moment to
carry on the war before Syracuse, until horse should have been sent
for from Athens and levied among the allies in Sicily--to do away
with their utter inferiority in cavalry--and money should have been
collected in the country and received from Athens, and until some of
the cities, which they hoped would be now more disposed to listen to
them after the battle, should have been brought over, and corn and all
other necessaries provided, for a campaign in the spring against

With this intention they sailed off to Naxos and Catana for the
winter.  Meanwhile the Syracusans burned their dead and then held an
assembly, in which Hermocrates, son of Hermon, a man who with a
general ability of the first order had given proofs of military
capacity and brilliant courage in the war, came forward and encouraged
them, and told them not to let what had occurred make them give way,
since their spirit had not been conquered, but their want of
discipline had done the mischief.  Still they had not been beaten by so
much as might have been expected, especially as they were, one might
say, novices in the art of war, an army of artisans opposed to the
most practised soldiers in Hellas.  What had also done great mischief
was the number of the generals (there were fifteen of them) and the
quantity of orders given, combined with the disorder and
insubordination of the troops.  But if they were to have a few
skilful generals, and used this winter in preparing their heavy
infantry, finding arms for such as had not got any, so as to make them
as numerous as possible, and forcing them to attend to their
training generally, they would have every chance of beating their
adversaries, courage being already theirs and discipline in the
field having thus been added to it.  Indeed, both these qualities would
improve, since danger would exercise them in discipline, while their
courage would be led to surpass itself by the confidence which skill
inspires.  The generals should be few and elected with full powers, and
an oath should be taken to leave them entire discretion in their
command: if they adopted this plan, their secrets would be better
kept, all preparations would be properly made, and there would be no
room for excuses.

The Syracusans heard him, and voted everything as he advised, and
elected three generals, Hermocrates himself, Heraclides, son of
Lysimachus, and Sicanus, son of Execestes.  They also sent envoys to
Corinth and Lacedaemon to procure a force of allies to join them,
and to induce the Lacedaemonians for their sakes openly to address
themselves in real earnest to the war against the Athenians, that they
might either have to leave Sicily or be less able to send
reinforcements to their army there.

The Athenian forces at Catana now at once sailed against Messina, in
the expectation of its being betrayed to them.  The intrigue,
however, after all came to nothing: Alcibiades, who was in the secret,
when he left his command upon the summons from home, foreseeing that
he would be outlawed, gave information of the plot to the friends of
the Syracusans in Messina, who had at once put to death its authors,
and now rose in arms against the opposite faction with those of
their way of thinking, and succeeded in preventing the admission of
the Athenians.  The latter waited for thirteen days, and then, as
they were exposed to the weather and without provisions, and met
with no success, went back to Naxos, where they made places for
their ships to lie in, erected a palisade round their camp, and
retired into winter quarters; meanwhile they sent a galley to Athens
for money and cavalry to join them in the spring.  During the winter
the Syracusans built a wall on to the city, so as to take in the
statue of Apollo Temenites, all along the side looking towards
Epipolae, to make the task of circumvallation longer and more
difficult, in case of their being defeated, and also erected a fort at
Megara and another in the Olympieum, and stuck palisades along the sea
wherever there was a landing Place.  Meanwhile, as they knew that the
Athenians were wintering at Naxos, they marched with all their
people to Catana, and ravaged the land and set fire to the tents and
encampment of the Athenians, and so returned home.  Learning also
that the Athenians were sending an embassy to Camarina, on the
strength of the alliance concluded in the time of Laches, to gain,
if possible, that city, they sent another from Syracuse to oppose
them.  They had a shrewd suspicion that the Camarinaeans had not sent
what they did send for the first battle very willingly; and they now
feared that they would refuse to assist them at all in future, after
seeing the success of the Athenians in the action, and would join
the latter on the strength of their old friendship.  Hermocrates,
with some others, accordingly arrived at Camarina from Syracuse, and
Euphemus and others from the Athenians; and an assembly of the
Camarinaeans having been convened, Hermocrates spoke as follows, in
the hope of prejudicing them against the Athenians:

"Camarinaeans, we did not come on this embassy because we were
afraid of your being frightened by the actual forces of the Athenians,
but rather of your being gained by what they would say to you before
you heard anything from us.  They are come to Sicily with the pretext
that you know, and the intention which we all suspect, in my opinion
less to restore the Leontines to their homes than to oust us from
ours; as it is out of all reason that they should restore in Sicily
the cities that they lay waste in Hellas, or should cherish the
Leontine Chalcidians because of their Ionian blood and keep in
servitude the Euboean Chalcidians, of whom the Leontines are a colony.
No; but the same policy which has proved so successful in Hellas is
now being tried in Sicily.  After being chosen as the leaders of the
Ionians and of the other allies of Athenian origin, to punish the
Mede, the Athenians accused some of failure in military service,
some of fighting against each other, and others, as the case might be,
upon any colourable pretext that could be found, until they thus
subdued them all.  In fine, in the struggle against the Medes, the
Athenians did not fight for the liberty of the Hellenes, or the
Hellenes for their own liberty, but the former to make their
countrymen serve them instead of him, the latter to change one
master for another, wiser indeed than the first, but wiser for evil.

"But we are not now come to declare to an audience familiar with
them the misdeeds of a state so open to accusation as is the Athenian,
but much rather to blame ourselves, who, with the warnings we
possess in the Hellenes in those parts that have been enslaved through
not supporting each other, and seeing the same sophisms being now
tried upon ourselves--such as restorations of Leontine kinsfolk and
support of Egestaean allies--do not stand together and resolutely
show them that here are no Ionians, or Hellespontines, or islanders,
who change continually, but always serve a master, sometimes the
Mede and sometimes some other, but free Dorians from independent
Peloponnese, dwelling in Sicily.  Or, are we waiting until we be
taken in detail, one city after another; knowing as we do that in no
other way can we be conquered, and seeing that they turn to this plan,
so as to divide some of us by words, to draw some by the bait of an
alliance into open war with each other, and to ruin others by such
flattery as different circumstances may render acceptable? And do we
fancy when destruction first overtakes a distant fellow countryman
that the danger will not come to each of us also, or that he who
suffers before us will suffer in himself alone?

"As for the Camarinaean who says that it is the Syracusan, not he,
that is the enemy of the Athenian, and who thinks it hard to have to
encounter risk in behalf of my country, I would have him bear in
mind that he will fight in my country, not more for mine than for
his own, and by so much the more safely in that he will enter on the
struggle not alone, after the way has been cleared by my ruin, but
with me as his ally, and that the object of the Athenian is not so
much to punish the enmity of the Syracusan as to use me as a blind
to secure the friendship of the Camarinaean.  As for him who envies
or even fears us (and envied and feared great powers must always
be), and who on this account wishes Syracuse to be humbled to teach us
a lesson, but would still have her survive, in the interest of his own
security the wish that he indulges is not humanly possible.  A man
can control his own desires, but he cannot likewise control
circumstances; and in the event of his calculations proving
mistaken, he may live to bewail his own misfortune, and wish to be
again envying my prosperity.  An idle wish, if he now sacrifice us
and refuse to take his share of perils which are the same, in
reality though not in name, for him as for us; what is nominally the
preservation of our power being really his own salvation.  It was to be
expected that you, of all people in the world, Camarinaeans, being our
immediate neighbours and the next in danger, would have foreseen this,
and instead of supporting us in the lukewarm way that you are now
doing, would rather come to us of your own accord, and be now offering
at Syracuse the aid which you would have asked for at Camarina, if
to Camarina the Athenians had first come, to encourage us to resist
the invader.  Neither you, however, nor the rest have as yet
bestirred yourselves in this direction.

"Fear perhaps will make you study to do right both by us and by
the invaders, and plead that you have an alliance with the
Athenians.  But you made that alliance, not against your friends, but
against the enemies that might attack you, and to help the Athenians
when they were wronged by others, not when as now they are wronging
their neighbours.  Even the Rhegians, Chalcidians though they be,
refuse to help to restore the Chalcidian Leontines; and it would be
strange if, while they suspect the gist of this fine pretence and
are wise without reason, you, with every reason on your side, should
yet choose to assist your natural enemies, and should join with
their direst foes in undoing those whom nature has made your own
kinsfolk.  This is not to do right; but you should help us without fear
of their armament, which has no terrors if we hold together, but
only if we let them succeed in their endeavours to separate us;
since even after attacking us by ourselves and being victorious in
battle, they had to go off without effecting their purpose.

"United, therefore, we have no cause to despair, but rather new
encouragement to league together; especially as succour will come to
us from the Peloponnesians, in military matters the undoubted
superiors of the Athenians.  And you need not think that your prudent
policy of taking sides with neither, because allies of both, is either
safe for you or fair to us.  Practically it is not as fair as it
pretends to be.  If the vanquished be defeated, and the victor conquer,
through your refusing to join, what is the effect of your abstention
but to leave the former to perish unaided, and to allow the latter
to offend unhindered? And yet it were more honourable to join those
who are not only the injured party, but your own kindred, and by so
doing to defend the common interests of Sicily and save your friends
the Athenians from doing wrong.

"In conclusion, we Syracusans say that it is useless for us to
demonstrate either to you or to the rest what you know already as well
as we do; but we entreat, and if our entreaty fail, we protest that we
are menaced by our eternal enemies the Ionians, and are betrayed by
you our fellow Dorians.  If the Athenians reduce us, they will owe
their victory to your decision, but in their own name will reap the
honour, and will receive as the prize of their triumph the very men
who enabled them to gain it.  On the other hand, if we are the
conquerors, you will have to pay for having been the cause of our
danger.  Consider, therefore; and now make your choice between the
security which present servitude offers and the prospect of conquering
with us and so escaping disgraceful submission to an Athenian master
and avoiding the lasting enmity of Syracuse."

Such were the words of Hermocrates; after whom Euphemus, the
Athenian ambassador, spoke as follows:

"Although we came here only to renew the former alliance, the attack
of the Syracusans compels us to speak of our empire and of the good
right we have to it.  The best proof of this the speaker himself
furnished, when he called the Ionians eternal enemies of the
Dorians.  It is the fact; and the Peloponnesian Dorians being our
superiors in numbers and next neighbours, we Ionians looked out for
the best means of escaping their domination.  After the Median War we
had a fleet, and so got rid of the empire and supremacy of the
Lacedaemonians, who had no right to give orders to us more than we
to them, except that of being the strongest at that moment; and
being appointed leaders of the King's former subjects, we continue
to be so, thinking that we are least likely to fall under the dominion
of the Peloponnesians, if we have a force to defend ourselves with,
and in strict truth having done nothing unfair in reducing to
subjection the Ionians and islanders, the kinsfolk whom the Syracusans
say we have enslaved.  They, our kinsfolk, came against their mother
country, that is to say against us, together with the Mede, and,
instead of having the courage to revolt and sacrifice their property
as we did when we abandoned our city, chose to be slaves themselves,
and to try to make us so.

"We, therefore, deserve to rule because we placed the largest
fleet and an unflinching patriotism at the service of the Hellenes,
and because these, our subjects, did us mischief by their ready
subservience to the Medes; and, desert apart, we seek to strengthen
ourselves against the Peloponnesians.  We make no fine profession of
having a right to rule because we overthrew the barbarian
single-handed, or because we risked what we did risk for the freedom
of the subjects in question any more than for that of all, and for our
own: no one can be quarrelled with for providing for his proper
safety.  If we are now here in Sicily, it is equally in the interest of
our security, with which we perceive that your interest also
coincides.  We prove this from the conduct which the Syracusans cast
against us and which you somewhat too timorously suspect; knowing that
those whom fear has made suspicious may be carried away by the charm
of eloquence for the moment, but when they come to act follow their

"Now, as we have said, fear makes us hold our empire in Hellas,
and fear makes us now come, with the help of our friends, to order
safely matters in Sicily, and not to enslave any but rather to prevent
any from being enslaved.  Meanwhile, let no one imagine that we are
interesting ourselves in you without your having anything to do with
us, seeing that, if you are preserved and able to make head against
the Syracusans, they will be less likely to harm us by sending
troops to the Peloponnesians.  In this way you have everything to do
with us, and on this account it is perfectly reasonable for us to
restore the Leontines, and to make them, not subjects like their
kinsmen in Euboea, but as powerful as possible, to help us by annoying
the Syracusans from their frontier.  In Hellas we are alone a match for
our enemies; and as for the assertion that it is out of all reason
that we should free the Sicilian, while we enslave the Chalcidian, the
fact is that the latter is useful to us by being without arms and
contributing money only; while the former, the Leontines and our other
friends, cannot be too independent.

"Besides, for tyrants and imperial cities nothing is unreasonable if
expedient, no one a kinsman unless sure; but friendship or enmity is
everywhere an affair of time and circumstance.  Here, in Sicily, our
interest is not to weaken our friends, but by means of their
strength to cripple our enemies.  Why doubt this? In Hellas we treat
our allies as we find them useful.  The Chians and Methymnians govern
themselves and furnish ships; most of the rest have harder terms and
pay tribute in money; while others, although islanders and easy for us
to take, are free altogether, because they occupy convenient positions
round Peloponnese.  In our settlement of the states here in Sicily,
we should therefore; naturally be guided by our interest, and by fear,
as we say, of the Syracusans.  Their ambition is to rule you, their
object to use the suspicions that we excite to unite you, and then,
when we have gone away without effecting anything, by force or through
your isolation, to become the masters of Sicily.  And masters they must
become, if you unite with them; as a force of that magnitude would
be no longer easy for us to deal with united, and they would be more
than a match for you as soon as we were away.

"Any other view of the case is condemned by the facts.  When you
first asked us over, the fear which you held out was that of danger to
Athens if we let you come under the dominion of Syracuse; and it is
not right now to mistrust the very same argument by which you
claimed to convince us, or to give way to suspicion because we are
come with a larger force against the power of that city.  Those whom
you should really distrust are the Syracusans.  We are not able to stay
here without you, and if we proved perfidious enough to bring you into
subjection, we should be unable to keep you in bondage, owing to the
length of the voyage and the difficulty of guarding large, and in a
military sense continental, towns: they, the Syracusans, live close to
you, not in a camp, but in a city greater than the force we have
with us, plot always against you, never let slip an opportunity once
offered, as they have shown in the case of the Leontines and others,
and now have the face, just as if you were fools, to invite you to aid
them against the power that hinders this, and that has thus far
maintained Sicily independent.  We, as against them, invite you to a
much more real safety, when we beg you not to betray that common
safety which we each have in the other, and to reflect that they, even
without allies, will, by their numbers, have always the way open to
you, while you will not often have the opportunity of defending
yourselves with such numerous auxiliaries; if, through your
suspicions, you once let these go away unsuccessful or defeated, you
will wish to see if only a handful of them back again, when the day is
past in which their presence could do anything for you.

"But we hope, Camarinaeans, that the calumnies of the Syracusans
will not be allowed to succeed either with you or with the rest: we
have told you the whole truth upon the things we are suspected of, and
will now briefly recapitulate, in the hope of convincing you.  We
assert that we are rulers in Hellas in order not to be subjects;
liberators in Sicily that we may not be harmed by the Sicilians;
that we are compelled to interfere in many things, because we have
many things to guard against; and that now, as before, we are come
as allies to those of you who suffer wrong in this island, not without
invitation but upon invitation.  Accordingly, instead of making
yourselves judges or censors of our conduct, and trying to turn us,
which it were now difficult to do, so far as there is anything in
our interfering policy or in our character that chimes in with your
interest, this take and make use of; and be sure that, far from
being injurious to all alike, to most of the Hellenes that policy is
even beneficial.  Thanks to it, all men in all places, even where we
are not, who either apprehend or meditate aggression, from the near
prospect before them, in the one case, of obtaining our intervention
in their favour, in the other, of our arrival making the venture
dangerous, find themselves constrained, respectively, to be moderate
against their will, and to be preserved without trouble of their
own.  Do not you reject this security that is open to all who desire
it, and is now offered to you; but do like others, and instead of
being always on the defensive against the Syracusans, unite with us,
and in your turn at last threaten them."

Such were the words of Euphemus.  What the Camarinaeans felt was
this.  Sympathizing with the Athenians, except in so far as they
might be afraid of their subjugating Sicily, they had always been at
enmity with their neighbour Syracuse.  From the very fact, however,
that they were their neighbours, they feared the Syracusans most of
the two, and being apprehensive of their conquering even without them,
both sent them in the first instance the few horsemen mentioned, and
for the future determined to support them most in fact, although as
sparingly as possible; but for the moment in order not to seem to
slight the Athenians, especially as they had been successful in the
engagement, to answer both alike.  Agreeably to this resolution they
answered that as both the contending parties happened to be allies
of theirs, they thought it most consistent with their oaths at present
to side with neither; with which answer the ambassadors of either
party departed.

In the meantime, while Syracuse pursued her preparations for war,
the Athenians were encamped at Naxos, and tried by negotiation to gain
as many of the Sicels as possible.  Those more in the low lands, and
subjects of Syracuse, mostly held aloof; but the peoples of the
interior who had never been otherwise than independent, with few
exceptions, at once joined the Athenians, and brought down corn to the
army, and in some cases even money.  The Athenians marched against
those who refused to join, and forced some of them to do so; in the
case of others they were stopped by the Syracusans sending garrisons
and reinforcements.  Meanwhile the Athenians moved their winter
quarters from Naxos to Catana, and reconstructed the camp burnt by the
Syracusans, and stayed there the rest of the winter.  They also sent
a galley to Carthage, with proffers of friendship, on the chance of
obtaining assistance, and another to Tyrrhenia; some of the cities
there having spontaneously offered to join them in the war.  They
also sent round to the Sicels and to Egesta, desiring them to send
them as many horses as possible, and meanwhile prepared bricks,
iron, and all other things necessary for the work of
circumvallation, intending by the spring to begin hostilities.

In the meantime the Syracusan envoys dispatched to Corinth and
Lacedaemon tried as they passed along the coast to persuade the
Italiots to interfere with the proceedings of the Athenians, which
threatened Italy quite as much as Syracuse, and having arrived at
Corinth made a speech calling on the Corinthians to assist them on the
ground of their common origin.  The Corinthians voted at once to aid
them heart and soul themselves, and then sent on envoys with them to
Lacedaemon, to help them to persuade her also to prosecute the war
with the Athenians more openly at home and to send succours to Sicily.
The envoys from Corinth having reached Lacedaemon found there
Alcibiades with his fellow refugees, who had at once crossed over in a
trading vessel from Thurii, first to Cyllene in Elis, and afterwards
from thence to Lacedaemon; upon the Lacedaemonians' own invitation,
after first obtaining a safe conduct, as he feared them for the part
he had taken in the affair of Mantinea.  The result was that the
Corinthians, Syracusans, and Alcibiades, pressing all the same request
in the assembly of the Lacedaemonians, succeeded in persuading them;
but as the ephors and the authorities, although resolved to send
envoys to Syracuse to prevent their surrendering to the Athenians,
showed no disposition to send them any assistance, Alcibiades now came
forward and inflamed and stirred the Lacedaemonians by speaking as

"I am forced first to speak to you of the prejudice with which I
am regarded, in order that suspicion may not make you disinclined to
listen to me upon public matters.  The connection, with you as your
proxeni, which the ancestors of our family by reason of some
discontent renounced, I personally tried to renew by my good offices
towards you, in particular upon the occasion of the disaster at Pylos.
But although I maintained this friendly attitude, you yet chose to
negotiate the peace with the Athenians through my enemies, and thus to
strengthen them and to discredit me.  You had therefore no right to
complain if I turned to the Mantineans and Argives, and seized other
occasions of thwarting and injuring you; and the time has now come
when those among you, who in the bitterness of the moment may have
been then unfairly angry with me, should look at the matter in its
true light, and take a different view.  Those again who judged me
unfavourably, because I leaned rather to the side of the commons, must
not think that their dislike is any better founded.  We have always
been hostile to tyrants, and all who oppose arbitrary power are called
commons; hence we continued to act as leaders of the multitude;
besides which, as democracy was the government of the city, it was
necessary in most things to conform to established conditions.
However, we endeavoured to be more moderate than the licentious temper
of the times; and while there were others, formerly as now, who
tried to lead the multitude astray--the same who banished me--our
party was that of the whole people, our creed being to do our part
in preserving the form of government under which the city enjoyed
the utmost greatness and freedom, and which we had found existing.
As for democracy, the men of sense among us knew what it was, and I
perhaps as well as any, as I have the more cause to complain of it;
but there is nothing new to be said of a patent absurdity; meanwhile
we did not think it safe to alter it under the pressure of your

"So much then for the prejudices with which I am regarded: I now can
call your attention to the questions you must consider, and upon which
superior knowledge perhaps permits me to speak.  We sailed to Sicily
first to conquer, if possible, the Siceliots, and after them the
Italiots also, and finally to assail the empire and city of
Carthage.  In the event of all or most of these schemes succeeding,
we were then to attack Peloponnese, bringing with us the entire
force of the Hellenes lately acquired in those parts, and taking a
number of barbarians into our pay, such as the Iberians and others
in those countries, confessedly the most warlike known, and building
numerous galleys in addition to those which we had already, timber
being plentiful in Italy; and with this fleet blockading Peloponnese
from the sea and assailing it with our armies by land, taking some
of the cities by storm, drawing works of circumvallation round others,
we hoped without difficulty to effect its reduction, and after this to
rule the whole of the Hellenic name.  Money and corn meanwhile for
the better execution of these plans were to be supplied in
sufficient quantities by the newly acquired places in those countries,
independently of our revenues here at home.

"You have thus heard the history of the present expedition from
the man who most exactly knows what our objects were; and the
remaining generals will, if they can, carry these out just the same.
But that the states in Sicily must succumb if you do not help them,
I will now show.  Although the Siceliots, with all their
inexperience, might even now be saved if their forces were united, the
Syracusans alone, beaten already in one battle with all their people
and blockaded from the sea, will be unable to withstand the Athenian
armament that is now there.  But if Syracuse falls, all Sicily falls
also, and Italy immediately afterwards; and the danger which I just
now spoke of from that quarter will before long be upon you.  None need
therefore fancy that Sicily only is in question; Peloponnese will be
so also, unless you speedily do as I tell you, and send on board
ship to Syracuse troops that shall able to row their ships themselves,
and serve as heavy infantry the moment that they land; and what I
consider even more important than the troops, a Spartan as
commanding officer to discipline the forces already on foot and to
compel recusants to serve.  The friends that you have already will thus
become more confident, and the waverers will be encouraged to join
you.  Meanwhile you must carry on the war here more openly, that the
Syracusans, seeing that you do not forget them, may put heart into
their resistance, and that the Athenians may be less able to reinforce
their armament.  You must fortify Decelea in Attica, the blow of
which the Athenians are always most afraid and the only one that
they think they have not experienced in the present war; the surest
method of harming an enemy being to find out what he most fears, and
to choose this means of attacking him, since every one naturally knows
best his own weak points and fears accordingly.  The fortification in
question, while it benefits you, will create difficulties for your
adversaries, of which I shall pass over many, and shall only mention
the chief.  Whatever property there is in the country will most of it
become yours, either by capture or surrender; and the Athenians will
at once be deprived of their revenues from the silver mines at
Laurium, of their present gains from their land and from the law
courts, and above all of the revenue from their allies, which will
be paid less regularly, as they lose their awe of Athens and see you
addressing yourselves with vigour to the war.  The zeal and speed
with which all this shall be done depends, Lacedaemonians, upon
yourselves; as to its possibility, I am quite confident, and I have
little fear of being mistaken.

"Meanwhile I hope that none of you will think any the worse of me
if, after having hitherto passed as a lover of my country, I now
actively join its worst enemies in attacking it, or will suspect
what I say as the fruit of an outlaw's enthusiasm.  I am an outlaw from
the iniquity of those who drove me forth, not, if you will be guided
by me, from your service; my worst enemies are not you who only harmed
your foes, but they who forced their friends to become enemies; and
love of country is what I do not feel when I am wronged, but what I
felt when secure in my rights as a citizen.  Indeed I do not consider
that I am now attacking a country that is still mine; I am rather
trying to recover one that is mine no longer; and the true lover of
his country is not he who consents to lose it unjustly rather than
attack it, but he who longs for it so much that he will go all lengths
to recover it.  For myself, therefore, Lacedaemonians, I beg you to use
me without scruple for danger and trouble of every kind, and to
remember the argument in every one's mouth, that if I did you great
harm as an enemy, I could likewise do you good service as a friend,
inasmuch as I know the plans of the Athenians, while I only guessed
yours.  For yourselves I entreat you to believe that your most
capital interests are now under deliberation; and I urge you to send
without hesitation the expeditions to Sicily and Attica; by the
presence of a small part of your forces you will save important cities
in that island, and you will destroy the power of Athens both
present and prospective; after this you will dwell in security and
enjoy the supremacy over all Hellas, resting not on force but upon
consent and affection."

Such were the words of Alcibiades.  The Lacedaemonians, who had
themselves before intended to march against Athens, but were still
waiting and looking about them, at once became much more in earnest
when they received this particular information from Alcibiades, and
considered that they had heard it from the man who best knew the truth
of the matter.  Accordingly they now turned their attention to the
fortifying of Decelea and sending immediate aid to the Sicilians;
and naming Gylippus, son of Cleandridas, to the command of the
Syracusans, bade him consult with that people and with the Corinthians
and arrange for succours reaching the island, in the best and
speediest way possible under the circumstances.  Gylippus desired the
Corinthians to send him at once two ships to Asine, and to prepare the
rest that they intended to send, and to have them ready to sail at the
proper time.  Having settled this, the envoys departed from Lacedaemon.

In the meantime arrived the Athenian galley from Sicily sent by
the generals for money and cavalry; and the Athenians, after hearing
what they wanted, voted to send the supplies for the armament and
the cavalry.  And the winter ended, and with it ended the seventeenth
year of the present war of which Thucydides is the historian.

The next summer, at the very beginning of the season, the
Athenians in Sicily put out from Catana, and sailed along shore to
Megara in Sicily, from which, as I have mentioned above, the
Syracusans expelled the inhabitants in the time of their tyrant
Gelo, themselves occupying the territory.  Here the Athenians landed
and laid waste the country, and after an unsuccessful attack upon a
fort of the Syracusans, went on with the fleet and army to the river
Terias, and advancing inland laid waste the plain and set fire to
the corn; and after killing some of a small Syracusan party which they
encountered, and setting up a trophy, went back again to their
ships.  They now sailed to Catana and took in provisions there, and
going with their whole force against Centoripa, a town of the
Sicels, acquired it by capitulation, and departed, after also
burning the corn of the Inessaeans and Hybleans.  Upon their return
to Catana they found the horsemen arrived from Athens, to the number
of two hundred and fifty (with their equipments, but without their
horses which were to be procured upon the spot), and thirty mounted
archers and three hundred talents of silver.

The same spring the Lacedaemonians marched against Argos, and went
as far as Cleonae, when an earthquake occurred and caused them to
return.  After this the Argives invaded the Thyreatid, which is on
their border, and took much booty from the Lacedaemonians, which was
sold for no less than twenty-five talents.  The same summer, not long
after, the Thespian commons made an attack upon the party in office,
which was not successful, but succours arrived from Thebes, and some
were caught, while others took refuge at Athens.

The same summer the Syracusans learned that the Athenians had been
joined by their cavalry, and were on the point of marching against
them; and seeing that without becoming masters of Epipolae, a
precipitous spot situated exactly over the town, the Athenians could
not, even if victorious in battle, easily invest them, they determined
to guard its approaches, in order that the enemy might not ascend
unobserved by this, the sole way by which ascent was possible, as
the remainder is lofty ground, and falls right down to the city, and
can all be seen from inside; and as it lies above the rest the place
is called by the Syracusans Epipolae or Overtown.  They accordingly
went out in mass at daybreak into the meadow along the river Anapus,
their new generals, Hermocrates and his colleagues, having just come
into office, and held a review of their heavy infantry, from whom they
first selected a picked body of six hundred, under the command of
Diomilus, an exile from Andros, to guard Epipolae, and to be ready
to muster at a moment's notice to help wherever help should be

Meanwhile the Athenians, the very same morning, were holding a
review, having already made land unobserved with all the armament from
Catana, opposite a place called Leon, not much more than half a mile
from Epipolae, where they disembarked their army, bringing the fleet
to anchor at Thapsus, a peninsula running out into the sea, with a
narrow isthmus, and not far from the city of Syracuse either by land
or water.  While the naval force of the Athenians threw a stockade
across the isthmus and remained quiet at Thapsus, the land army
immediately went on at a run to Epipolae, and succeeded in getting
up by Euryelus before the Syracusans perceived them, or could come
up from the meadow and the review.  Diomilus with his six hundred and
the rest advanced as quickly as they could, but they had nearly
three miles to go from the meadow before reaching them.  Attacking in
this way in considerable disorder, the Syracusans were defeated in
battle at Epipolae and retired to the town, with a loss of about three
hundred killed, and Diomilus among the number.  After this the
Athenians set up a trophy and restored to the Syracusans their dead
under truce, and next day descended to Syracuse itself; and no one
coming out to meet them, reascended and built a fort at Labdalum, upon
the edge of the cliffs of Epipolae, looking towards Megara, to serve
as a magazine for their baggage and money, whenever they advanced to
battle or to work at the lines.

Not long afterwards three hundred cavalry came to them from
Egesta, and about a hundred from the Sicels, Naxians, and others;
and thus, with the two hundred and fifty from Athens, for whom they
had got horses from the Egestaeans and Catanians, besides others
that they bought, they now mustered six hundred and fifty cavalry in
all.  After posting a garrison in Labdalum, they advanced to Syca,
where they sat down and quickly built the Circle or centre of their
wall of circumvallation.  The Syracusans, appalled at the rapidity with
which the work advanced, determined to go out against them and give
battle and interrupt it; and the two armies were already in battle
array, when the Syracusan generals observed that their troops found
such difficulty in getting into line, and were in such disorder,
that they led them back into the town, except part of the cavalry.
These remained and hindered the Athenians from carrying stones or
dispersing to any great distance, until a tribe of the Athenian
heavy infantry, with all the cavalry, charged and routed the Syracusan
horse with some loss; after which they set up a trophy for the cavalry

The next day the Athenians began building the wall to the north of
the Circle, at the same time collecting stone and timber, which they
kept laying down towards Trogilus along the shortest line for their
works from the great harbour to the sea; while the Syracusans,
guided by their generals, and above all by Hermocrates, instead of
risking any more general engagements, determined to build a
counterwork in the direction in which the Athenians were going to
carry their wall.  If this could be completed in time, the enemy's
lines would be cut; and meanwhile, if he were to attempt to
interrupt them by an attack, they would send a part of their forces
against him, and would secure the approaches beforehand with their
stockade, while the Athenians would have to leave off working with
their whole force in order to attend to them.  They accordingly sallied
forth and began to build, starting from their city, running a cross
wall below the Athenian Circle, cutting down the olives and erecting
wooden towers.  As the Athenian fleet had not yet sailed round into the
great harbour, the Syracusans still commanded the seacoast, and the
Athenians brought their provisions by land from Thapsus.

The Syracusans now thought the stockades and stonework of their
counterwall sufficiently far advanced; and as the Athenians, afraid of
being divided and so fighting at a disadvantage, and intent upon their
own wall, did not come out to interrupt them, they left one tribe to
guard the new work and went back into the city.  Meanwhile the
Athenians destroyed their pipes of drinking-water carried
underground into the city; and watching until the rest of the
Syracusans were in their tents at midday, and some even gone away into
the city, and those in the stockade keeping but indifferent guard,
appointed three hundred picked men of their own, and some men picked
from the light troops and armed for the purpose, to run suddenly as
fast as they could to the counterwork, while the rest of the army
advanced in two divisions, the one with one of the generals to the
city in case of a sortie, the other with the other general to the
stockade by the postern gate.  The three hundred attacked and took
the stockade, abandoned by its garrison, who took refuge in the
outworks round the statue of Apollo Temenites.  Here the pursuers burst
in with them, and after getting in were beaten out by the
Syracusans, and some few of the Argives and Athenians slain; after
which the whole army retired, and having demolished the counterwork
and pulled up the stockade, carried away the stakes to their own
lines, and set up a trophy.

The next day the Athenians from the Circle proceeded to fortify
the cliff above the marsh which on this side of Epipolae looks towards
the great harbour; this being also the shortest line for their work to
go down across the plain and the marsh to the harbour.  Meanwhile the
Syracusans marched out and began a second stockade, starting from
the city, across the middle of the marsh, digging a trench alongside
to make it impossible for the Athenians to carry their wall down to
the sea.  As soon as the Athenians had finished their work at the cliff
they again attacked the stockade and ditch of the Syracusans.  Ordering
the fleet to sail round from Thapsus into the great harbour of
Syracuse, they descended at about dawn from Epipolae into the plain,
and laying doors and planks over the marsh, where it was muddy and
firmest, crossed over on these, and by daybreak took the ditch and the
stockade, except a small portion which they captured afterwards.  A
battle now ensued, in which the Athenians were victorious, the right
wing of the Syracusans flying to the town and the left to the river.
The three hundred picked Athenians, wishing to cut off their
passage, pressed on at a run to the bridge, when the alarmed
Syracusans, who had with them most of their cavalry, closed and routed
them, hurling them back upon the Athenian right wing, the first
tribe of which was thrown into a panic by the shock.  Seeing this,
Lamachus came to their aid from the Athenian left with a few archers
and with the Argives, and crossing a ditch, was left alone with a
few that had crossed with him, and was killed with five or six of
his men.  These the Syracusans managed immediately to snatch up in
haste and get across the river into a place of security, themselves
retreating as the rest of the Athenian army now came up.

Meanwhile those who had at first fled for refuge to the city, seeing
the turn affairs were taking, now rallied from the town and formed
against the Athenians in front of them, sending also a part of their
number to the Circle on Epipolae, which they hoped to take while
denuded of its defenders.  These took and destroyed the Athenian
outwork of a thousand feet, the Circle itself being saved by Nicias,
who happened to have been left in it through illness, and who now
ordered the servants to set fire to the engines and timber thrown down
before the wall; want of men, as he was aware, rendering all other
means of escape impossible.  This step was justified by the result, the
Syracusans not coming any further on account of the fire, but
retreating.  Meanwhile succours were coming up from the Athenians
below, who had put to flight the troops opposed to them; and the fleet
also, according to orders, was sailing from Thapsus into the great
harbour.  Seeing this, the troops on the heights retired in haste,
and the whole army of the Syracusans re-entered the city, thinking
that with their present force they would no longer be able to hinder
the wall reaching the sea.

After this the Athenians set up a trophy and restored to the
Syracusans their dead under truce, receiving in return Lamachus and
those who had fallen with him.  The whole of their forces, naval and
military, being now with them, they began from Epipolae and the cliffs
and enclosed the Syracusans with a double wall down to the sea.
Provisions were now brought in for the armament from all parts of
Italy; and many of the Sicels, who had hitherto been looking to see
how things went, came as allies to the Athenians: there also arrived
three ships of fifty oars from Tyrrhenia.  Meanwhile everything else
progressed favourably for their hopes.  The Syracusans began to despair
of finding safety in arms, no relief having reached them from
Peloponnese, and were now proposing terms of capitulation among
themselves and to Nicias, who after the death of Lamachus was left
sole commander.  No decision was come to, but, as was natural with
men in difficulties and besieged more straitly than before, there
was much discussion with Nicias and still more in the town.  Their
present misfortunes had also made them suspicious of one another;
and the blame of their disasters was thrown upon the ill-fortune or
treachery of the generals under whose command they had happened; and
these were deposed and others, Heraclides, Eucles, and Tellias,
elected in their stead.

Meanwhile the Lacedaemonian, Gylippus, and the ships from Corinth
were now off Leucas, intent upon going with all haste to the relief of
Sicily.  The reports that reached them being of an alarming kind, and
all agreeing in the falsehood that Syracuse was already completely
invested, Gylippus abandoned all hope of Sicily, and wishing to save
Italy, rapidly crossed the Ionian Sea to Tarentum with the Corinthian,
Pythen, two Laconian, and two Corinthian vessels, leaving the
Corinthians to follow him after manning, in addition to their own ten,
two Leucadian and two Ambraciot ships.  From Tarentum Gylippus first
went on an embassy to Thurii, and claimed anew the rights of
citizenship which his father had enjoyed; failing to bring over the
townspeople, he weighed anchor and coasted along Italy.  Opposite the
Terinaean Gulf he was caught by the wind which blows violently and
steadily from the north in that quarter, and was carried out to sea;
and after experiencing very rough weather, remade Tarentum, where he
hauled ashore and refitted such of his ships as had suffered most from
the tempest.  Nicias heard of his approach, but, like the Thurians,
despised the scanty number of his ships, and set down piracy as the
only probable object of the voyage, and so took no precautions for the

About the same time in this summer, the Lacedaemonians invaded Argos
with their allies, and laid waste most of the country.  The Athenians
went with thirty ships to the relief of the Argives, thus breaking
their treaty with the Lacedaemonians in the most overt manner.  Up to
this time incursions from Pylos, descents on the coast of the rest
of Peloponnese, instead of on the Laconian, had been the extent of
their co-operation with the Argives and Mantineans; and although the
Argives had often begged them to land, if only for a moment, with
their heavy infantry in Laconia, lay waste ever so little of it with
them, and depart, they had always refused to do so.  Now, however,
under the command of Phytodorus, Laespodius, and Demaratus, they
landed at Epidaurus Limera, Prasiae, and other places, and plundered
the country; and thus furnished the Lacedaemonians with a better
pretext for hostilities against Athens.  After the Athenians had
retired from Argos with their fleet, and the Lacedaemonians also,
the Argives made an incursion into the Phlisaid, and returned home
after ravaging their land and killing some of the inhabitants.



_Eighteenth and Nineteenth Years of the War - Arrival of
Gylippus at Syracuse - Fortification of Decelea -
Successes of the Syracusans_

After refitting their ships, Gylippus and Pythen coasted along
from Tarentum to Epizephyrian Locris.  They now received the more
correct information that Syracuse was not yet completely invested, but
that it was still possible for an army arriving at Epipolae to
effect an entrance; and they consulted, accordingly, whether they
should keep Sicily on their right and risk sailing in by sea, or,
leaving it on their left, should first sail to Himera and, taking with
them the Himeraeans and any others that might agree to join them, go
to Syracuse by land.  Finally they determined to sail for Himera,
especially as the four Athenian ships which Nicias had at length
sent off, on hearing that they were at Locris, had not yet arrived
at Rhegium.  Accordingly, before these reached their post, the
Peloponnesians crossed the strait and, after touching at Rhegium and
Messina, came to Himera.  Arrived there, they persuaded the
Himeraeans to join in the war, and not only to go with them themselves
but to provide arms for the seamen from their vessels which they had
drawn ashore at Himera; and they sent and appointed a place for the
Selinuntines to meet them with all their forces.  A few troops were
also promised by the Geloans and some of the Sicels, who were now
ready to join them with much greater alacrity, owing to the recent
death of Archonidas, a powerful Sicel king in that neighbourhood and
friendly to Athens, and owing also to the vigour shown by Gylippus
in coming from Lacedaemon.  Gylippus now took with him about seven
hundred of his sailors and marines, that number only having arms, a
thousand heavy infantry and light troops from Himera with a body of
a hundred horse, some light troops and cavalry from Selinus, a few
Geloans, and Sicels numbering a thousand in all, and set out on his
march for Syracuse.

Meanwhile the Corinthian fleet from Leucas made all haste to arrive;
and one of their commanders, Gongylus, starting last with a single
ship, was the first to reach Syracuse, a little before Gylippus.
Gongylus found the Syracusans on the point of holding an assembly to
consider whether they should put an end to the war.  This he prevented,
and reassured them by telling them that more vessels were still to
arrive, and that Gylippus, son of Cleandridas, had been dispatched
by the Lacedaemonians to take the command.  Upon this the Syracusans
took courage, and immediately marched out with all their forces to
meet Gylippus, who they found was now close at hand.  Meanwhile
Gylippus, after taking Ietae, a fort of the Sicels, on his way, formed
his army in order of battle, and so arrived at Epipolae, and ascending
by Euryelus, as the Athenians had done at first, now advanced with the
Syracusans against the Athenian lines.  His arrival chanced at a
critical moment.  The Athenians had already finished a double wall of
six or seven furlongs to the great harbour, with the exception of a
small portion next the sea, which they were still engaged upon; and in
the remainder of the circle towards Trogilus on the other sea,
stones had been laid ready for building for the greater part of the
distance, and some points had been left half finished, while others
were entirely completed.  The danger of Syracuse had indeed been great.

Meanwhile the Athenians, recovering from the confusion into which
they had been first thrown by the sudden approach of Gylippus and
the Syracusans, formed in order of battle.  Gylippus halted at a
short distance off and sent on a herald to tell them that, if they
would evacuate Sicily with bag and baggage within five days' time,
he was willing to make a truce accordingly.  The Athenians treated this
proposition with contempt, and dismissed the herald without an answer.
After this both sides began to prepare for action.  Gylippus, observing
that the Syracusans were in disorder and did not easily fall into
line, drew off his troops more into the open ground, while Nicias
did not lead on the Athenians but lay still by his own wall.  When
Gylippus saw that they did not come on, he led off his army to the
citadel of the quarter of Apollo Temenites, and passed the night
there.  On the following day he led out the main body of his army, and,
drawing them up in order of battle before the walls of the Athenians
to prevent their going to the relief of any other quarter,
dispatched a strong force against Fort Labdalum, and took it, and
put all whom he found in it to the sword, the place not being within
sight of the Athenians.  On the same day an Athenian galley that lay
moored off the harbour was captured by the Syracusans.

After this the Syracusans and their allies began to carry a single
wall, starting from the city, in a slanting direction up Epipolae,
in order that the Athenians, unless they could hinder the work,
might be no longer able to invest them.  Meanwhile the Athenians,
having now finished their wall down to the sea, had come up to the
heights; and part of their wall being weak, Gylippus drew out his army
by night and attacked it.  However, the Athenians who happened to be
bivouacking outside took the alarm and came out to meet him, upon
seeing which he quickly led his men back again.  The Athenians now
built their wall higher, and in future kept guard at this point
themselves, disposing their confederates along the remainder of the
works, at the stations assigned to them.  Nicias also determined to
fortify Plemmyrium, a promontory over against the city, which juts out
and narrows the mouth of the Great Harbour.  He thought that the
fortification of this place would make it easier to bring in supplies,
as they would be able to carry on their blockade from a less distance,
near to the port occupied by the Syracusans; instead of being obliged,
upon every movement of the enemy's navy, to put out against them
from the bottom of the great harbour.  Besides this, he now began to
pay more attention to the war by sea, seeing that the coming of
Gylippus had diminished their hopes by land.  Accordingly, he
conveyed over his ships and some troops, and built three forts in
which he placed most of his baggage, and moored there for the future
the larger craft and men-of-war.  This was the first and chief occasion
of the losses which the crews experienced.  The water which they used
was scarce and had to be fetched from far, and the sailors could not
go out for firewood without being cut off by the Syracusan horse,
who were masters of the country; a third of the enemy's cavalry
being stationed at the little town of Olympieum, to prevent plundering
incursions on the part of the Athenians at Plemmyrium.  Meanwhile
Nicias learned that the rest of the Corinthian fleet was
approaching, and sent twenty ships to watch for them, with orders to
be on the look-out for them about Locris and Rhegium and the
approach to Sicily.

Gylippus, meanwhile, went on with the wall across Epipolae, using
the stones which the Athenians had laid down for their own wall, and
at the same time constantly led out the Syracusans and their allies,
and formed them in order of battle in front of the lines, the
Athenians forming against him.  At last he thought that the moment
was come, and began the attack; and a hand-to-hand fight ensued
between the lines, where the Syracusan cavalry could be of no use; and
the Syracusans and their allies were defeated and took up their dead
under truce, while the Athenians erected a trophy.  After this Gylippus
called the soldiers together, and said that the fault was not theirs
but his; he had kept their lines too much within the works, and had
thus deprived them of the services of their cavalry and darters.  He
would now, therefore, lead them on a second time.  He begged them to
remember that in material force they would be fully a match for
their opponents, while, with respect to moral advantages, it were
intolerable if Peloponnesians and Dorians should not feel confident of
overcoming Ionians and islanders with the motley rabble that
accompanied them, and of driving them out of the country.

After this he embraced the first opportunity that offered of again
leading them against the enemy.  Now Nicias and the Athenians held
the opinion that even if the Syracusans should not wish to offer
battle, it was necessary for them to prevent the building of the cross
wall, as it already almost overlapped the extreme point of their
own, and if it went any further it would from that moment make no
difference whether they fought ever so many successful actions, or
never fought at all.  They accordingly came out to meet the Syracusans.
Gylippus led out his heavy infantry further from the fortifications
than on the former occasion, and so joined battle; posting his horse
and darters upon the flank of the Athenians in the open space, where
the works of the two walls terminated.  During the engagement the
cavalry attacked and routed the left wing of the Athenians, which
was opposed to them; and the rest of the Athenian army was in
consequence defeated by the Syracusans and driven headlong within
their lines.  The night following the Syracusans carried their wall
up to the Athenian works and passed them, thus putting it out of their
power any longer to stop them, and depriving them, even if
victorious in the field, of all chance of investing the city for the

After this the remaining twelve vessels of the Corinthians,
Ambraciots, and Leucadians sailed into the harbour under the command
of Erasinides, a Corinthian, having eluded the Athenian ships on
guard, and helped the Syracusans in completing the remainder of the
cross wall.  Meanwhile Gylippus went into the rest of Sicily to raise
land and naval forces, and also to bring over any of the cities that
either were lukewarm in the cause or had hitherto kept out of the
war altogether.  Syracusan and Corinthian envoys were also dispatched
to Lacedaemon and Corinth to get a fresh force sent over, in any way
that might offer, either in merchant vessels or transports, or in
any other manner likely to prove successful, as the Athenians too were
sending for reinforcements; while the Syracusans proceeded to man a
fleet and to exercise, meaning to try their fortune in this way
also, and generally became exceedingly confident.

Nicias perceiving this, and seeing the strength of the enemy and his
own difficulties daily increasing, himself also sent to Athens.  He had
before sent frequent reports of events as they occurred, and felt it
especially incumbent upon him to do so now, as he thought that they
were in a critical position, and that, unless speedily recalled or
strongly reinforced from home, they had no hope of safety.  He
feared, however, that the messengers, either through inability to
speak, or through failure of memory, or from a wish to please the
multitude, might not report the truth, and so thought it best to write
a letter, to ensure that the Athenians should know his own opinion
without its being lost in transmission, and be able to decide upon the
real facts of the case.

His emissaries, accordingly, departed with the letter and the
requisite verbal instructions; and he attended to the affairs of the
army, making it his aim now to keep on the defensive and to avoid
any unnecessary danger.

At the close of the same summer the Athenian general Euetion marched
in concert with Perdiccas with a large body of Thracians against
Amphipolis, and failing to take it brought some galleys round into the
Strymon, and blockaded the town from the river, having his base at

Summer was now over.  The winter ensuing, the persons sent by Nicias,
reaching Athens, gave the verbal messages which had been entrusted
to them, and answered any questions that were asked them, and
delivered the letter.  The clerk of the city now came forward and
read out to the Athenians the letter, which was as follows:

"Our past operations, Athenians, have been made known to you by many
other letters; it is now time for you to become equally familiar
with our present condition, and to take your measures accordingly.
We had defeated in most of our engagements with them the Syracusans,
against whom we were sent, and we had built the works which we now
occupy, when Gylippus arrived from Lacedaemon with an army obtained
from Peloponnese and from some of the cities in Sicily.  In our first
battle with him we were victorious; in the battle on the following day
we were overpowered by a multitude of cavalry and darters, and
compelled to retire within our lines.  We have now, therefore, been
forced by the numbers of those opposed to us to discontinue the work
of circumvallation, and to remain inactive; being unable to make use
even of all the force we have, since a large portion of our heavy
infantry is absorbed in the defence of our lines.  Meanwhile the
enemy have carried a single wall past our lines, thus making it
impossible for us to invest them in future, until this cross wall be
attacked by a strong force and captured.  So that the besieger in
name has become, at least from the land side, the besieged in reality;
as we are prevented by their cavalry from even going for any
distance into the country.

"Besides this, an embassy has been dispatched to Peloponnese to
procure reinforcements, and Gylippus has gone to the cities in Sicily,
partly in the hope of inducing those that are at present neutral to
join him in the war, partly of bringing from his allies additional
contingents for the land forces and material for the navy.  For I
understand that they contemplate a combined attack, upon our lines
with their land forces and with their fleet by sea.  You must none of
you be surprised that I say by sea also.  They have discovered that the
length of the time we have now been in commission has rotted our ships
and wasted our crews, and that with the entireness of our crews and
the soundness of our ships the pristine efficiency of our navy has
departed.  For it is impossible for us to haul our ships ashore and
careen them, because, the enemy's vessels being as many or more than
our own, we are constantly anticipating an attack.  Indeed, they may be
seen exercising, and it lies with them to take the initiative; and not
having to maintain a blockade, they have greater facilities for drying
their ships.

"This we should scarcely be able to do, even if we had plenty of
ships to spare, and were freed from our present necessity of
exhausting all our strength upon the blockade.  For it is already
difficult to carry in supplies past Syracuse; and were we to relax our
vigilance in the slightest degree it would become impossible.  The
losses which our crews have suffered and still continue to suffer
arise from the following causes.  Expeditions for fuel and for
forage, and the distance from which water has to be fetched, cause our
sailors to be cut off by the Syracusan cavalry; the loss of our
previous superiority emboldens our slaves to desert; our foreign
seamen are impressed by the unexpected appearance of a navy against
us, and the strength of the enemy's resistance; such of them as were
pressed into the service take the first opportunity of departing to
their respective cities; such as were originally seduced by the
temptation of high pay, and expected little fighting and large
gains, leave us either by desertion to the enemy or by availing
themselves of one or other of the various facilities of escape which
the magnitude of Sicily affords them.  Some even engage in trade
themselves and prevail upon the captains to take Hyccaric slaves on
board in their place; thus they have ruined the efficiency of our

"Now I need not remind you that the time during which a crew is in
its prime is short, and that the number of sailors who can start a
ship on her way and keep the rowing in time is small.  But by far my
greatest trouble is, that holding the post which I do, I am
prevented by the natural indocility of the Athenian seaman from
putting a stop to these evils; and that meanwhile we have no source
from which to recruit our crews, which the enemy can do from many
quarters, but are compelled to depend both for supplying the crews
in service and for making good our losses upon the men whom we brought
with us.  For our present confederates, Naxos and Catana, are incapable
of supplying us.  There is only one thing more wanting to our
opponents, I mean the defection of our Italian markets.  If they were
to see you neglect to relieve us from our present condition, and
were to go over to the enemy, famine would compel us to evacuate,
and Syracuse would finish the war without a blow.

"I might, it is true, have written to you something different and
more agreeable than this, but nothing certainly more useful, if it
is desirable for you to know the real state of things here before
taking your measures.  Besides I know that it is your nature to love to
be told the best side of things, and then to blame the teller if the
expectations which he has raised in your minds are not answered by the
result; and I therefore thought it safest to declare to you the truth.

"Now you are not to think that either your generals or your soldiers
have ceased to be a match for the forces originally opposed to them.
But you are to reflect that a general Sicilian coalition is being
formed against us; that a fresh army is expected from Peloponnese,
while the force we have here is unable to cope even with our present
antagonists; and you must promptly decide either to recall us or to
send out to us another fleet and army as numerous again, with a
large sum of money, and someone to succeed me, as a disease in the
kidneys unfits me for retaining my post.  I have, I think, some claim
on your indulgence, as while I was in my prime I did you much good
service in my commands.  But whatever you mean to do, do it at the
commencement of spring and without delay, as the enemy will obtain his
Sicilian reinforcements shortly, those from Peloponnese after a longer
interval; and unless you attend to the matter the former will be
here before you, while the latter will elude you as they have done

Such were the contents of Nicias's letter.  When the Athenians had
heard it they refused to accept his resignation, but chose him two
colleagues, naming Menander and Euthydemus, two of the officers at the
seat of war, to fill their places until their arrival, that Nicias
might not be left alone in his sickness to bear the whole weight of
affairs.  They also voted to send out another army and navy, drawn
partly from the Athenians on the muster-roll, partly from the
allies.  The colleagues chosen for Nicias were Demosthenes, son of
Alcisthenes, and Eurymedon, son of Thucles.  Eurymedon was sent off
at once, about the time of the winter solstice, with ten ships, a
hundred and twenty talents of silver, and instructions to tell the
army that reinforcements would arrive, and that care would be taken of
them; but Demosthenes stayed behind to organize the expedition,
meaning to start as soon as it was spring, and sent for troops to
the allies, and meanwhile got together money, ships, and heavy
infantry at home.

The Athenians also sent twenty vessels round Peloponnese to
prevent any one crossing over to Sicily from Corinth or Peloponnese.
For the Corinthians, filled with confidence by the favourable
alteration in Sicilian affairs which had been reported by the envoys
upon their arrival, and convinced that the fleet which they had before
sent out had not been without its use, were now preparing to
dispatch a force of heavy infantry in merchant vessels to Sicily,
while the Lacedaemonians did the like for the rest of Peloponnese.  The
Corinthians also manned a fleet of twenty-five vessels, intending to
try the result of a battle with the squadron on guard at Naupactus,
and meanwhile to make it less easy for the Athenians there to hinder
the departure of their merchantmen, by obliging them to keep an eye
upon the galleys thus arrayed against them.

In the meantime the Lacedaemonians prepared for their invasion of
Attica, in accordance with their own previous resolve, and at the
instigation of the Syracusans and Corinthians, who wished for an
invasion to arrest the reinforcements which they heard that Athens was
about to send to Sicily.  Alcibiades also urgently advised the
fortification of Decelea, and a vigorous prosecution of the war.  But
the Lacedaemonians derived most encouragement from the belief that
Athens, with two wars on her hands, against themselves and against the
Siceliots, would be more easy to subdue, and from the conviction
that she had been the first to infringe the truce.  In the former
war, they considered, the offence had been more on their own side,
both on account of the entrance of the Thebans into Plataea in time of
peace, and also of their own refusal to listen to the Athenian offer
of arbitration, in spite of the clause in the former treaty that where
arbitration should be offered there should be no appeal to arms.  For
this reason they thought that they deserved their misfortunes, and
took to heart seriously the disaster at Pylos and whatever else had
befallen them.  But when, besides the ravages from Pylos, which went on
without any intermission, the thirty Athenian ships came out from
Argos and wasted part of Epidaurus, Prasiae, and other places; when
upon every dispute that arose as to the interpretation of any doubtful
point in the treaty, their own offers of arbitration were always
rejected by the Athenians, the Lacedaemonians at length decided that
Athens had now committed the very same offence as they had before
done, and had become the guilty party; and they began to be full of
ardour for the war.  They spent this winter in sending round to their
allies for iron, and in getting ready the other implements for
building their fort; and meanwhile began raising at home, and also
by forced requisitions in the rest of Peloponnese, a force to be
sent out in the merchantmen to their allies in Sicily.  Winter thus
ended, and with it the eighteenth year of this war of which Thucydides
is the historian.

In the first days of the spring following, at an earlier period than
usual, the Lacedaemonians and their allies invaded Attica, under the
command of Agis, son of Archidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians.  They
began by devastating the parts bordering upon the plain, and next
proceeded to fortify Decelea, dividing the work among the different
cities.  Decelea is about thirteen or fourteen miles from the city of
Athens, and the same distance or not much further from Boeotia; and
the fort was meant to annoy the plain and the richest parts of the
country, being in sight of Athens.  While the Peloponnesians and
their allies in Attica were engaged in the work of fortification,
their countrymen at home sent off, at about the same time, the heavy
infantry in the merchant vessels to Sicily; the Lacedaemonians
furnishing a picked force of Helots and Neodamodes (or freedmen),
six hundred heavy infantry in all, under the command of Eccritus, a
Spartan; and the Boeotians three hundred heavy infantry, commanded
by two Thebans, Xenon and Nicon, and by Hegesander, a Thespian.
These were among the first to put out into the open sea, starting from
Taenarus in Laconia.  Not long after their departure the Corinthians
sent off a force of five hundred heavy infantry, consisting partly
of men from Corinth itself, and partly of Arcadian mercenaries, placed
under the command of Alexarchus, a Corinthian.  The Sicyonians also
sent off two hundred heavy infantry at same time as the Corinthians,
under the command of Sargeus, a Sicyonian.  Meantime the
five-and-twenty vessels manned by Corinth during the winter lay
confronting the twenty Athenian ships at Naupactus until the heavy
infantry in the merchantmen were fairly on their way from Peloponnese;
thus fulfilling the object for which they had been manned
originally, which was to divert the attention of the Athenians from
the merchantmen to the galleys.

During this time the Athenians were not idle.  Simultaneously with
the fortification of Decelea, at the very beginning of spring, they
sent thirty ships round Peloponnese, under Charicles, son of
Apollodorus, with instructions to call at Argos and demand a force
of their heavy infantry for the fleet, agreeably to the alliance.  At
the same time they dispatched Demosthenes to Sicily, as they had
intended, with sixty Athenian and five Chian vessels, twelve hundred
Athenian heavy infantry from the muster-roll, and as many of the
islanders as could be raised in the different quarters, drawing upon
the other subject allies for whatever they could supply that would
be of use for the war.  Demosthenes was instructed first to sail
round with Charicles and to operate with him upon the coasts of
Laconia, and accordingly sailed to Aegina and there waited for the
remainder of his armament, and for Charicles to fetch the Argive

In Sicily, about the same time in this spring, Gylippus came to
Syracuse with as many troops as he could bring from the cities which
he had persuaded to join.  Calling the Syracusans together, he told
them that they must man as many ships as possible, and try their
hand at a sea-fight, by which he hoped to achieve an advantage in
the war not unworthy of the risk.  With him Hermocrates actively joined
in trying to encourage his countrymen to attack the Athenians at
sea, saying that the latter had not inherited their naval prowess
nor would they retain it for ever; they had been landsmen even to a
greater degree than the Syracusans, and had only become a maritime
power when obliged by the Mede.  Besides, to daring spirits like the
Athenians, a daring adversary would seem the most formidable; and
the Athenian plan of paralysing by the boldness of their attack a
neighbour often not their inferior in strength could now be used
against them with as good effect by the Syracusans.  He was convinced
also that the unlooked-for spectacle of Syracusans daring to face
the Athenian navy would cause a terror to the enemy, the advantages of
which would far outweigh any loss that Athenian science might
inflict upon their inexperience.  He accordingly urged them to throw
aside their fears and to try their fortune at sea; and the Syracusans,
under the influence of Gylippus and Hermocrates, and perhaps some
others, made up their minds for the sea-fight and began to man their

When the fleet was ready, Gylippus led out the whole army by
night; his plan being to assault in person the forts on Plemmyrium
by land, while thirty-five Syracusan galleys sailed according to
appointment against the enemy from the great harbour, and the
forty-five remaining came round from the lesser harbour, where they
had their arsenal, in order to effect a junction with those inside and
simultaneously to attack Plemmyrium, and thus to distract the
Athenians by assaulting them on two sides at once.  The Athenians
quickly manned sixty ships, and with twenty-five of these engaged
the thirty-five of the Syracusans in the great harbour, sending the
rest to meet those sailing round from the arsenal; and an action now
ensued directly in front of the mouth of the great harbour, maintained
with equal tenacity on both sides; the one wishing to force the
passage, the other to prevent them.

In the meantime, while the Athenians in Plemmyrium were down at
the sea, attending to the engagement, Gylippus made a sudden attack on
the forts in the early morning and took the largest first, and
afterwards the two smaller, whose garrisons did not wait for him,
seeing the largest so easily taken.  At the fall of the first fort, the
men from it who succeeded in taking refuge in their boats and
merchantmen, found great difficulty in reaching the camp, as the
Syracusans were having the best of it in the engagement in the great
harbour, and sent a fast-sailing galley to pursue them.  But when the
two others fell, the Syracusans were now being defeated; and the
fugitives from these sailed alongshore with more ease.  The Syracusan
ships fighting off the mouth of the harbour forced their way through
the Athenian vessels and sailing in without any order fell foul of one
another, and transferred the victory to the Athenians; who not only
routed the squadron in question, but also that by which they were at
first being defeated in the harbour, sinking eleven of the Syracusan
vessels and killing most of the men, except the crews of three ships
whom they made prisoners.  Their own loss was confined to three
vessels; and after hauling ashore the Syracusan wrecks and setting
up a trophy upon the islet in front of Plemmyrium, they retired to
their own camp.

Unsuccessful at sea, the Syracusans had nevertheless the forts in
Plemmyrium, for which they set up three trophies.  One of the two
last taken they razed, but put in order and garrisoned the two others.
In the capture of the forts a great many men were killed and made
prisoners, and a great quantity of property was taken in all.  As the
Athenians had used them as a magazine, there was a large stock of
goods and corn of the merchants inside, and also a large stock
belonging to the captains; the masts and other furniture of forty
galleys being taken, besides three galleys which had been drawn up
on shore.  Indeed the first and chiefest cause of the ruin of the
Athenian army was the capture of Plemmyrium; even the entrance of
the harbour being now no longer safe for carrying in provisions, as
the Syracusan vessels were stationed there to prevent it, and
nothing could be brought in without fighting; besides the general
impression of dismay and discouragement produced upon the army.

After this the Syracusans sent out twelve ships under the command of
Agatharchus, a Syracusan.  One of these went to Peloponnese with
ambassadors to describe the hopeful state of their affairs, and to
incite the Peloponnesians to prosecute the war there even more
actively than they were now doing, while the eleven others sailed to
Italy, hearing that vessels laden with stores were on their way to the
Athenians.  After falling in with and destroying most of the vessels in
question, and burning in the Caulonian territory a quantity of
timber for shipbuilding, which had been got ready for the Athenians,
the Syracusan squadron went to Locri, and one of the merchantmen
from Peloponnese coming in, while they were at anchor there,
carrying Thespian heavy infantry, took these on board and sailed
alongshore towards home.  The Athenians were on the look-out for them
with twenty ships at Megara, but were only able to take one vessel
with its crew; the rest getting clear off to Syracuse.  There was
also some skirmishing in the harbour about the piles which the
Syracusans had driven in the sea in front of the old docks, to allow
their ships to lie at anchor inside, without being hurt by the
Athenians sailing up and running them down.  The Athenians brought up
to them a ship of ten thousand talents burden furnished with wooden
turrets and screens, and fastened ropes round the piles from their
boats, wrenched them up and broke them, or dived down and sawed them
in two.  Meanwhile the Syracusans plied them with missiles from the
docks, to which they replied from their large vessel; until at last
most of the piles were removed by the Athenians.  But the most
awkward part of the stockade was the part out of sight: some of the
piles which had been driven in did not appear above water, so that
it was dangerous to sail up, for fear of running the ships upon
them, just as upon a reef, through not seeing them.  However divers
went down and sawed off even these for reward; although the Syracusans
drove in others.  Indeed there was no end to the contrivances to
which they resorted against each other, as might be expected between
two hostile armies confronting each other at such a short distance:
and skirmishes and all kinds of other attempts were of constant
occurrence.  Meanwhile the Syracusans sent embassies to the cities,
composed of Corinthians, Ambraciots, and Lacedaemonians, to tell
them of the capture of Plemmyrium, and that their defeat in the
sea-fight was due less to the strength of the enemy than to their
own disorder; and generally, to let them know that they were full of
hope, and to desire them to come to their help with ships and
troops, as the Athenians were expected with a fresh army, and if the
one already there could be destroyed before the other arrived, the war
would be at an end.

While the contending parties in Sicily were thus engaged,
Demosthenes, having now got together the armament with which he was to
go to the island, put out from Aegina, and making sail for
Peloponnese, joined Charicles and the thirty ships of the Athenians.
Taking on board the heavy infantry from Argos they sailed to
Laconia, and, after first plundering part of Epidaurus Limera,
landed on the coast of Laconia, opposite Cythera, where the temple
of Apollo stands, and, laying waste part of the country, fortified a
sort of isthmus, to which the Helots of the Lacedaemonians might
desert, and from whence plundering incursions might be made as from
Pylos.  Demosthenes helped to occupy this place, and then immediately
sailed on to Corcyra to take up some of the allies in that island, and
so to proceed without delay to Sicily; while Charicles waited until he
had completed the fortification of the place and, leaving a garrison
there, returned home subsequently with his thirty ships and the
Argives also.

This same summer arrived at Athens thirteen hundred targeteers,
Thracian swordsmen of the tribe of the Dii, who were to have sailed to
Sicily with Demosthenes.  Since they had come too late, the Athenians
determined to send them back to Thrace, whence they had come; to
keep them for the Decelean war appearing too expensive, as the pay
of each man was a drachma a day.  Indeed since Decelea had been first
fortified by the whole Peloponnesian army during this summer, and then
occupied for the annoyance of the country by the garrisons from the
cities relieving each other at stated intervals, it had been doing
great mischief to the Athenians; in fact this occupation, by the
destruction of property and loss of men which resulted from it, was
one of the principal causes of their ruin.  Previously the invasions
were short, and did not prevent their enjoying their land during the
rest of the time: the enemy was now permanently fixed in Attica; at
one time it was an attack in force, at another it was the regular
garrison overrunning the country and making forays for its
subsistence, and the Lacedaemonian king, Agis, was in the field and
diligently prosecuting the war; great mischief was therefore done to
the Athenians.  They were deprived of their whole country: more than
twenty thousand slaves had deserted, a great part of them artisans,
and all their sheep and beasts of burden were lost; and as the cavalry
rode out daily upon excursions to Decelea and to guard the country,
their horses were either lamed by being constantly worked upon rocky
ground, or wounded by the enemy.

Besides, the transport of provisions from Euboea, which had before
been carried on so much more quickly overland by Decelea from
Oropus, was now effected at great cost by sea round Sunium; everything
the city required had to be imported from abroad, and instead of a
city it became a fortress.  Summer and winter the Athenians were worn
out by having to keep guard on the fortifications, during the day by
turns, by night all together, the cavalry excepted, at the different
military posts or upon the wall.  But what most oppressed them was that
they had two wars at once, and had thus reached a pitch of frenzy
which no one would have believed possible if he had heard of it before
it had come to pass.  For could any one have imagined that even when
besieged by the Peloponnesians entrenched in Attica, they would still,
instead of withdrawing from Sicily, stay on there besieging in like
manner Syracuse, a town (taken as a town) in no way inferior to
Athens, or would so thoroughly upset the Hellenic estimate of their
strength and audacity, as to give the spectacle of a people which,
at the beginning of the war, some thought might hold out one year,
some two, none more than three, if the Peloponnesians invaded their
country, now seventeen years after the first invasion, after having
already suffered from all the evils of war, going to Sicily and
undertaking a new war nothing inferior to that which they already
had with the Peloponnesians? These causes, the great losses from
Decelea, and the other heavy charges that fell upon them, produced
their financial embarrassment; and it was at this time that they
imposed upon their subjects, instead of the tribute, the tax of a
twentieth upon all imports and exports by sea, which they thought
would bring them in more money; their expenditure being now not the
same as at first, but having grown with the war while their revenues

Accordingly, not wishing to incur expense in their present want of
money, they sent back at once the Thracians who came too late for
Demosthenes, under the conduct of Diitrephes, who was instructed, as
they were to pass through the Euripus, to make use of them if possible
in the voyage alongshore to injure the enemy.  Diitrephes first
landed them at Tanagra and hastily snatched some booty; he then sailed
across the Euripus in the evening from Chalcis in Euboea and
disembarking in Boeotia led them against Mycalessus.  The night he
passed unobserved near the temple of Hermes, not quite two miles
from Mycalessus, and at daybreak assaulted and took the town, which is
not a large one; the inhabitants being off their guard and not
expecting that any one would ever come up so far from the sea to
molest them, the wall too being weak, and in some places having
tumbled down, while in others it had not been built to any height, and
the gates also being left open through their feeling of security.
The Thracians bursting into Mycalessus sacked the houses and
temples, and butchered the inhabitants, sparing neither youth nor age,
but killing all they fell in with, one after the other, children and
women, and even beasts of burden, and whatever other living
creatures they saw; the Thracian race, like the bloodiest of the
barbarians, being even more so when it has nothing to fear.  Everywhere
confusion reigned and death in all its shapes; and in particular
they attacked a boys' school, the largest that there was in the place,
into which the children had just gone, and massacred them all.  In
short, the disaster falling upon the whole town was unsurpassed in
magnitude, and unapproached by any in suddenness and in horror.

Meanwhile the Thebans heard of it and marched to the rescue, and
overtaking the Thracians before they had gone far, recovered the
plunder and drove them in panic to the Euripus and the sea, where
the vessels which brought them were lying.  The greatest slaughter took
place while they were embarking, as they did not know how to swim, and
those in the vessels on seeing what was going on on on shore moored
them out of bowshot: in the rest of the retreat the Thracians made a
very respectable defence against the Theban horse, by which they
were first attacked, dashing out and closing their ranks according
to the tactics of their country, and lost only a few men in that
part of the affair.  A good number who were after plunder were actually
caught in the town and put to death.  Altogether the Thracians had
two hundred and fifty killed out of thirteen hundred, the Thebans
and the rest who came to the rescue about twenty, troopers and heavy
infantry, with Scirphondas, one of the Boeotarchs.  The Mycalessians
lost a large proportion of their population.

While Mycalessus thus experienced a calamity for its extent as
lamentable as any that happened in the war, Demosthenes, whom we
left sailing to Corcyra, after the building of the fort in Laconia,
found a merchantman lying at Phea in Elis, in which the Corinthian
heavy infantry were to cross to Sicily.  The ship he destroyed, but the
men escaped, and subsequently got another in which they pursued
their voyage.  After this, arriving at Zacynthus and Cephallenia, he
took a body of heavy infantry on board, and sending for some of the
Messenians from Naupactus, crossed over to the opposite coast of
Acarnania, to Alyzia, and to Anactorium which was held by the
Athenians.  While he was in these parts he was met by Eurymedon
returning from Sicily, where he had been sent, as has been
mentioned, during the winter, with the money for the army, who told
him the news, and also that he had heard, while at sea, that the
Syracusans had taken Plemmyrium.  Here, also, Conon came to them, the
commander at Naupactus, with news that the twenty-five Corinthian
ships stationed opposite to him, far from giving over the war, were
meditating an engagement; and he therefore begged them to send him
some ships, as his own eighteen were not a match for the enemy's
twenty-five.  Demosthenes and Eurymedon, accordingly, sent ten of their
best sailers with Conon to reinforce the squadron at Naupactus, and
meanwhile prepared for the muster of their forces; Eurymedon, who
was now the colleague of Demosthenes, and had turned back in
consequence of his appointment, sailing to Corcyra to tell them to man
fifteen ships and to enlist heavy infantry; while Demosthenes raised
slingers and darters from the parts about Acarnania.

Meanwhile the envoys, already mentioned, who had gone from
Syracuse to the cities after the capture of Plemmyrium, had
succeeded in their mission, and were about to bring the army that they
had collected, when Nicias got scent of it, and sent to the Centoripae
and Alicyaeans and other of the friendly Sicels, who held the
passes, not to let the enemy through, but to combine to prevent
their passing, there being no other way by which they could even
attempt it, as the Agrigentines would not give them a passage
through their country.  Agreeably to this request the Sicels laid a
triple ambuscade for the Siceliots upon their march, and attacking
them suddenly, while off their guard, killed about eight hundred of
them and all the envoys, the Corinthian only excepted, by whom fifteen
hundred who escaped were conducted to Syracuse.

About the same time the Camarinaeans also came to the assistance
of Syracuse with five hundred heavy infantry, three hundred darters,
and as many archers, while the Geloans sent crews for five ships, four
hundred darters, and two hundred horse.  Indeed almost the whole of
Sicily, except the Agrigentines, who were neutral, now ceased merely
to watch events as it had hitherto done, and actively joined
Syracuse against the Athenians.

While the Syracusans after the Sicel disaster put off any
immediate attack upon the Athenians, Demosthenes and Eurymedon,
whose forces from Corcyra and the continent were now ready, crossed
the Ionian Gulf with all their armament to the Iapygian promontory,
and starting from thence touched at the Choerades Isles lying off
Iapygia, where they took on board a hundred and fifty Iapygian darters
of the Messapian tribe, and after renewing an old friendship with
Artas the chief, who had furnished them with the darters, arrived at
Metapontium in Italy.  Here they persuaded their allies the
Metapontines to send with them three hundred darters and two
galleys, and with this reinforcement coasted on to Thurii, where
they found the party hostile to Athens recently expelled by a
revolution, and accordingly remained there to muster and review the
whole army, to see if any had been left behind, and to prevail upon
the Thurians resolutely to join them in their expedition, and in the
circumstances in which they found themselves to conclude a defensive
and offensive alliance with the Athenians.

About the same time the Peloponnesians in the twenty-five ships
stationed opposite to the squadron at Naupactus to protect the passage
of the transports to Sicily had got ready for engaging, and manning
some additional vessels, so as to be numerically little inferior to
the Athenians, anchored off Erineus in Achaia in the Rhypic country.
The place off which they lay being in the form of a crescent, the land
forces furnished by the Corinthians and their allies on the spot
came up and ranged themselves upon the projecting headlands on
either side, while the fleet, under the command of Polyanthes, a
Corinthian, held the intervening space and blocked up the entrance.
The Athenians under Diphilus now sailed out against them with
thirty-three ships from Naupactus, and the Corinthians, at first not
moving, at length thought they saw their opportunity, raised the
signal, and advanced and engaged the Athenians.  After an obstinate
struggle, the Corinthians lost three ships, and without sinking any
altogether, disabled seven of the enemy, which were struck prow to
prow and had their foreships stove in by the Corinthian vessels, whose
cheeks had been strengthened for this very purpose.  After an action of
this even character, in which either party could claim the victory
(although the Athenians became masters of the wrecks through the
wind driving them out to sea, the Corinthians not putting out again to
meet them), the two combatants parted.  No pursuit took place, and no
prisoners were made on either side; the Corinthians and Peloponnesians
who were fighting near the shore escaping with ease, and none of the
Athenian vessels having been sunk.  The Athenians now sailed back to
Naupactus, and the Corinthians immediately set up a trophy as victors,
because they had disabled a greater number of the enemy's ships.
Moreover they held that they had not been worsted, for the very same
reason that their opponent held that he had not been victorious; the
Corinthians considering that they were conquerors, if not decidedly
conquered, and the Athenians thinking themselves vanquished, because
not decidedly victorious.  However, when the Peloponnesians sailed
off and their land forces had dispersed, the Athenians also set up a
trophy as victors in Achaia, about two miles and a quarter from
Erineus, the Corinthian station.

This was the termination of the action at Naupactus.  To return to
Demosthenes and Eurymedon: the Thurians having now got ready to join
in the expedition with seven hundred heavy infantry and three
hundred darters, the two generals ordered the ships to sail along
the coast to the Crotonian territory, and meanwhile held a review of
all the land forces upon the river Sybaris, and then led them
through the Thurian country.  Arrived at the river Hylias, they here
received a message from the Crotonians, saying that they would not
allow the army to pass through their country; upon which the Athenians
descended towards the shore, and bivouacked near the sea and the mouth
of the Hylias, where the fleet also met them, and the next day
embarked and sailed along the coast touching at all the cities
except Locri, until they came to Petra in the Rhegian territory.

Meanwhile the Syracusans hearing of their approach resolved to
make a second attempt with their fleet and their other forces on
shore, which they had been collecting for this very purpose in order
to do something before their arrival.  In addition to other
improvements suggested by the former sea-fight which they now
adopted in the equipment of their navy, they cut down their prows to a
smaller compass to make them more solid and made their cheeks stouter,
and from these let stays into the vessels' sides for a length of six
cubits within and without, in the same way as the Corinthians had
altered their prows before engaging the squadron at Naupactus.  The
Syracusans thought that they would thus have an advantage over the
Athenian vessels, which were not constructed with equal strength,
but were slight in the bows, from their being more used to sail
round and charge the enemy's side than to meet him prow to prow, and
that the battle being in the great harbour, with a great many ships in
not much room, was also a fact in their favour.  Charging prow to prow,
they would stave in the enemy's bows, by striking with solid and stout
beaks against hollow and weak ones; and secondly, the Athenians for
want of room would be unable to use their favourite manoeuvre of
breaking the line or of sailing round, as the Syracusans would do
their best not to let them do the one, and want of room would
prevent their doing the other.  This charging prow to prow, which had
hitherto been thought want of skill in a helmsman, would be the
Syracusans' chief manoeuvre, as being that which they should find most
useful, since the Athenians, if repulsed, would not be able to back
water in any direction except towards the shore, and that only for a
little way, and in the little space in front of their own camp.  The
rest of the harbour would be commanded by the Syracusans; and the
Athenians, if hard pressed, by crowding together in a small space
and all to the same point, would run foul of one another and fall into
disorder, which was, in fact, the thing that did the Athenians most
harm in all the sea-fights, they not having, like the Syracusans,
the whole harbour to retreat over.  As to their sailing round into
the open sea, this would be impossible, with the Syracusans in
possession of the way out and in, especially as Plemmyrium would be
hostile to them, and the mouth of the harbour was not large.

With these contrivances to suit their skill and ability, and now
more confident after the previous sea-fight, the Syracusans attacked
by land and sea at once.  The town force Gylippus led out a little
the first and brought them up to the wall of the Athenians, where it
looked towards the city, while the force from the Olympieum, that is
to say, the heavy infantry that were there with the horse and the
light troops of the Syracusans, advanced against the wall from the
opposite side; the ships of the Syracusans and allies sailing out
immediately afterwards.  The Athenians at first fancied that they
were to be attacked by land only, and it was not without alarm that
they saw the fleet suddenly approaching as well; and while some were
forming upon the walls and in front of them against the advancing
enemy, and some marching out in haste against the numbers of horse and
darters coming from the Olympieum and from outside, others manned
the ships or rushed down to the beach to oppose the enemy, and when
the ships were manned put out with seventy-five sail against about
eighty of the Syracusans.

After spending a great part of the day in advancing and retreating
and skirmishing with each other, without either being able to gain any
advantage worth speaking of, except that the Syracusans sank one or
two of the Athenian vessels, they parted, the land force at the same
time retiring from the lines.  The next day the Syracusans remained
quiet, and gave no signs of what they were going to do; but Nicias,
seeing that the battle had been a drawn one, and expecting that they
would attack again, compelled the captains to refit any of the ships
that had suffered, and moored merchant vessels before the stockade
which they had driven into the sea in front of their ships, to serve
instead of an enclosed harbour, at about two hundred feet from each
other, in order that any ship that was hard pressed might be able to
retreat in safety and sail out again at leisure.  These preparations
occupied the Athenians all day until nightfall.

The next day the Syracusans began operations at an earlier hour, but
with the same plan of attack by land and sea.  A great part of the
day the rivals spent as before, confronting and skirmishing with
each other; until at last Ariston, son of Pyrrhicus, a Corinthian, the
ablest helmsman in the Syracusan service, persuaded their naval
commanders to send to the officials in the city, and tell them to move
the sale market as quickly as they could down to the sea, and oblige
every one to bring whatever eatables he had and sell them there,
thus enabling the commanders to land the crews and dine at once
close to the ships, and shortly afterwards, the selfsame day, to
attack the Athenians again when they were not expecting it.

In compliance with this advice a messenger was sent and the market
got ready, upon which the Syracusans suddenly backed water and
withdrew to the town, and at once landed and took their dinner upon
the spot; while the Athenians, supposing that they had returned to the
town because they felt they were beaten, disembarked at their
leisure and set about getting their dinners and about their other
occupations, under the idea that they done with fighting for that day.
Suddenly the Syracusans had manned their ships and again sailed
against them; and the Athenians, in great confusion and most of them
fasting, got on board, and with great difficulty put out to meet them.
For some time both parties remained on the defensive without engaging,
until the Athenians at last resolved not to let themselves be worn out
by waiting where they were, but to attack without delay, and giving
a cheer, went into action.  The Syracusans received them, and
charging prow to prow as they had intended, stove in a great part of
the Athenian foreships by the strength of their beaks; the darters
on the decks also did great damage to the Athenians, but still greater
damage was done by the Syracusans who went about in small boats, ran
in upon the oars of the Athenian galleys, and sailed against their
sides, and discharged from thence their darts upon the sailors.

At last, fighting hard in this fashion, the Syracusans gained the
victory, and the Athenians turned and fled between the merchantmen
to their own station.  The Syracusan ships pursued them as far as the
merchantmen, where they were stopped by the beams armed with
dolphins suspended from those vessels over the passage.  Two of the
Syracusan vessels went too near in the excitement of victory and
were destroyed, one of them being taken with its crew.  After sinking
seven of the Athenian vessels and disabling many, and taking most of
the men prisoners and killing others, the Syracusans retired and set
up trophies for both the engagements, being now confident of having
a decided superiority by sea, and by no means despairing of equal
success by land.


_Nineteenth Year of the War - Arrival of Demosthenes - Defeat of
the Athenians at Epipolae - Folly and Obstinancy of Nicias_

In the meantime, while the Syracusans were preparing for a second
attack upon both elements, Demosthenes and Eurymedon arrived with
the succours from Athens, consisting of about seventy-three ships,
including the foreigners; nearly five thousand heavy infantry,
Athenian and allied; a large number of darters, Hellenic and
barbarian, and slingers and archers and everything else upon a
corresponding scale.  The Syracusans and their allies were for the
moment not a little dismayed at the idea that there was to be no
term or ending to their dangers, seeing, in spite of the fortification
of Decelea, a new army arrive nearly equal to the former, and the
power of Athens proving so great in every quarter.  On the other
hand, the first Athenian armament regained a certain confidence in the
midst of its misfortunes.  Demosthenes, seeing how matters stood,
felt that he could not drag on and fare as Nicias had done, who by
wintering in Catana instead of at once attacking Syracuse had
allowed the terror of his first arrival to evaporate in contempt,
and had given time to Gylippus to arrive with a force from
Peloponnese, which the Syracusans would never have sent for if he
had attacked immediately; for they fancied that they were a match
for him by themselves, and would not have discovered their inferiority
until they were already invested, and even if they then sent for
succours, they would no longer have been equally able to profit by
their arrival.  Recollecting this, and well aware that it was now on
the first day after his arrival that he like Nicias was most
formidable to the enemy, Demosthenes determined to lose no time in
drawing the utmost profit from the consternation at the moment
inspired by his army; and seeing that the counterwall of the
Syracusans, which hindered the Athenians from investing them, was a
single one, and that he who should become master of the way up to
Epipolae, and afterwards of the camp there, would find no difficulty
in taking it, as no one would even wait for his attack, made all haste
to attempt the enterprise.  This he took to be the shortest way of
ending the war, as he would either succeed and take Syracuse, or would
lead back the armament instead of frittering away the lives of the
Athenians engaged in the expedition and the resources of the country
at large.

First therefore the Athenians went out and laid waste the lands of
the Syracusans about the Anapus and carried all before them as at
first by land and by sea, the Syracusans not offering to oppose them
upon either element, unless it were with their cavalry and darters
from the Olympieum.  Next Demosthenes resolved to attempt the
counterwall first by means of engines.  As however the engines that
he brought up were burnt by the enemy fighting from the wall, and
the rest of the forces repulsed after attacking at many different
points, he determined to delay no longer, and having obtained the
consent of Nicias and his fellow commanders, proceeded to put in
execution his plan of attacking Epipolae.  As by day it seemed
impossible to approach and get up without being observed, he ordered
provisions for five days, took all the masons and carpenters, and
other things, such as arrows, and everything else that they could want
for the work of fortification if successful, and, after the first
watch, set out with Eurymedon and Menander and the whole army for
Epipolae, Nicias being left behind in the lines.  Having come up by the
hill of Euryelus (where the former army had ascended at first)
unobserved by the enemy's guards, they went up to the fort which the
Syracusans had there, and took it, and put to the sword part of the
garrison.  The greater number, however, escaped at once and gave the
alarm to the camps, of which there were three upon Epipolae,
defended by outworks, one of the Syracusans, one of the other
Siceliots, and one of the allies; and also to the six hundred
Syracusans forming the original garrison for this part of Epipolae.
These at once advanced against the assailants and, falling in with
Demosthenes and the Athenians, were routed by them after a sharp
resistance, the victors immediately pushing on, eager to achieve the
objects of the attack without giving time for their ardour to cool;
meanwhile others from the very beginning were taking the counterwall
of the Syracusans, which was abandoned by its garrison, and pulling
down the battlements.  The Syracusans and the allies, and Gylippus with
the troops under his command, advanced to the rescue from the
outworks, but engaged in some consternation (a night attack being a
piece of audacity which they had never expected), and were at first
compelled to retreat.  But while the Athenians, flushed with their
victory, now advanced with less order, wishing to make their way as
quickly as possible through the whole force of the enemy not yet
engaged, without relaxing their attack or giving them time to rally,
the Boeotians made the first stand against them, attacked them, routed
them, and put them to flight.

The Athenians now fell into great disorder and perplexity, so that
it was not easy to get from one side or the other any detailed account
of the affair.  By day certainly the combatants have a clearer
notion, though even then by no means of all that takes place, no one
knowing much of anything that does not go on in his own immediate
neighbourhood; but in a night engagement (and this was the only one
that occurred between great armies during the war) how could any one
know anything for certain? Although there was a bright moon they saw
each other only as men do by moonlight, that is to say, they could
distinguish the form of the body, but could not tell for certain
whether it was a friend or an enemy.  Both had great numbers of heavy
infantry moving about in a small space.  Some of the Athenians were
already defeated, while others were coming up yet unconquered for
their first attack.  A large part also of the rest of their forces
either had only just got up, or were still ascending, so that they did
not know which way to march.  Owing to the rout that had taken place
all in front was now in confusion, and the noise made it difficult
to distinguish anything.  The victorious Syracusans and allies were
cheering each other on with loud cries, by night the only possible
means of communication, and meanwhile receiving all who came against
them; while the Athenians were seeking for one another, taking all
in front of them for enemies, even although they might be some of
their now flying friends; and by constantly asking for the
watchword, which was their only means of recognition, not only
caused great confusion among themselves by asking all at once, but
also made it known to the enemy, whose own they did not so readily
discover, as the Syracusans were victorious and not scattered, and
thus less easily mistaken.  The result was that if the Athenians fell
in with a party of the enemy that was weaker than they, it escaped
them through knowing their watchword; while if they themselves
failed to answer they were put to the sword.  But what hurt them as
much, or indeed more than anything else, was the singing of the paean,
from the perplexity which it caused by being nearly the same on either
side; the Argives and Corcyraeans and any other Dorian peoples in
the army, struck terror into the Athenians whenever they raised
their paean, no less than did the enemy.  Thus, after being once thrown
into disorder, they ended by coming into collision with each other
in many parts of the field, friends with friends, and citizens with
citizens, and not only terrified one another, but even came to blows
and could only be parted with difficulty.  In the pursuit many perished
by throwing themselves down the cliffs, the way down from Epipolae
being narrow; and of those who got down safely into the plain,
although many, especially those who belonged to the first armament,
escaped through their better acquaintance with the locality, some of
the newcomers lost their way and wandered over the country, and were
cut off in the morning by the Syracusan cavalry and killed.

The next day the Syracusans set up two trophies, one upon Epipolae
where the ascent had been made, and the other on the spot where the
first check was given by the Boeotians; and the Athenians took back
their dead under truce.  A great many of the Athenians and allies
were killed, although still more arms were taken than could be
accounted for by the number of the dead, as some of those who were
obliged to leap down from the cliffs without their shields escaped
with their lives and did not perish like the rest.

After this the Syracusans, recovering their old confidence at such
an unexpected stroke of good fortune, dispatched Sicanus with
fifteen ships to Agrigentum where there was a revolution, to induce if
possible the city to join them; while Gylippus again went by land into
the rest of Sicily to bring up reinforcements, being now in hope of
taking the Athenian lines by storm, after the result of the affair
on Epipolae.

In the meantime the Athenian generals consulted upon the disaster
which had happened, and upon the general weakness of the army.  They
saw themselves unsuccessful in their enterprises, and the soldiers
disgusted with their stay; disease being rife among them owing to
its being the sickly season of the year, and to the marshy and
unhealthy nature of the spot in which they were encamped; and the
state of their affairs generally being thought desperate.  Accordingly,
Demosthenes was of opinion that they ought not to stay any longer; but
agreeably to his original idea in risking the attempt upon Epipolae,
now that this had failed, he gave his vote for going away without
further loss of time, while the sea might yet be crossed, and their
late reinforcement might give them the superiority at all events on
that element.  He also said that it would be more profitable for the
state to carry on the war against those who were building
fortifications in Attica, than against the Syracusans whom it was no
longer easy to subdue; besides which it was not right to squander
large sums of money to no purpose by going on with the siege.

This was the opinion of Demosthenes.  Nicias, without denying the bad
state of their affairs, was unwilling to avow their weakness, or to
have it reported to the enemy that the Athenians in full council
were openly voting for retreat; for in that case they would be much
less likely to effect it when they wanted without discovery.  Moreover,
his own particular information still gave him reason to hope that
the affairs of the enemy would soon be in a worse state than their
own, if the Athenians persevered in the siege; as they would wear
out the Syracusans by want of money, especially with the more
extensive command of the sea now given them by their present navy.
Besides this, there was a party in Syracuse who wished to betray the
city to the Athenians, and kept sending him messages and telling him
not to raise the siege.  Accordingly, knowing this and really waiting
because he hesitated between the two courses and wished to see his way
more clearly, in his public speech on this occasion he refused to lead
off the army, saying he was sure the Athenians would never approve
of their returning without a vote of theirs.  Those who would vote upon
their conduct, instead of judging the facts as eye-witnesses like
themselves and not from what they might hear from hostile critics,
would simply be guided by the calumnies of the first clever speaker;
while many, indeed most, of the soldiers on the spot, who now so
loudly proclaimed the danger of their position, when they reached
Athens would proclaim just as loudly the opposite, and would say
that their generals had been bribed to betray them and return.  For
himself, therefore, who knew the Athenian temper, sooner than perish
under a dishonourable charge and by an unjust sentence at the hands of
the Athenians, he would rather take his chance and die, if die he
must, a soldier's death at the hand of the enemy.  Besides, after
all, the Syracusans were in a worse case than themselves.  What with
paying mercenaries, spending upon fortified posts, and now for a
full year maintaining a large navy, they were already at a loss and
would soon be at a standstill: they had already spent two thousand
talents and incurred heavy debts besides, and could not lose even ever
so small a fraction of their present force through not paying it,
without ruin to their cause; depending as they did more upon
mercenaries than upon soldiers obliged to serve, like their own.  He
therefore said that they ought to stay and carry on the siege, and not
depart defeated in point of money, in which they were much superior.

Nicias spoke positively because he had exact information of the
financial distress at Syracuse, and also because of the strength of
the Athenian party there which kept sending him messages not to
raise the siege; besides which he had more confidence than before in
his fleet, and felt sure at least of its success.  Demosthenes,
however, would not hear for a moment of continuing the siege, but said
that if they could not lead off the army without a decree from Athens,
and if they were obliged to stay on, they ought to remove to Thapsus
or Catana; where their land forces would have a wide extent of country
to overrun, and could live by plundering the enemy, and would thus
do them damage; while the fleet would have the open sea to fight in,
that is to say, instead of a narrow space which was all in the enemy's
favour, a wide sea-room where their science would be of use, and where
they could retreat or advance without being confined or
circumscribed either when they put out or put in.  In any case he was
altogether opposed to their staying on where they were, and insisted
on removing at once, as quickly and with as little delay as
possible; and in this judgment Eurymedon agreed.  Nicias however
still objecting, a certain diffidence and hesitation came over them,
with a suspicion that Nicias might have some further information to
make him so positive.


_Nineteenth Year of the War - Battles in the Great Harbour -
Retreat and Annihilation of the Athenian Army_

While the Athenians lingered on in this way without moving from
where they were, Gylippus and Sicanus now arrived at Syracuse.  Sicanus
had failed to gain Agrigentum, the party friendly to the Syracusans
having been driven out while he was still at Gela; but Gylippus was
accompanied not only by a large number of troops raised in Sicily, but
by the heavy infantry sent off in the spring from Peloponnese in the
merchantmen, who had arrived at Selinus from Libya.  They had been
carried to Libya by a storm, and having obtained two galleys and
pilots from the Cyrenians, on their voyage alongshore had taken
sides with the Euesperitae and had defeated the Libyans who were
besieging them, and from thence coasting on to Neapolis, a
Carthaginian mart, and the nearest point to Sicily, from which it is
only two days' and a night's voyage, there crossed over and came to
Selinus.  Immediately upon their arrival the Syracusans prepared to
attack the Athenians again by land and sea at once.  The Athenian
generals seeing a fresh army come to the aid of the enemy, and that
their own circumstances, far from improving, were becoming daily
worse, and above all distressed by the sickness of the soldiers, now
began to repent of not having removed before; and Nicias no longer
offering the same opposition, except by urging that there should be no
open voting, they gave orders as secretly as possible for all to be
prepared to sail out from the camp at a given signal.  All was at
last ready, and they were on the point of sailing away, when an
eclipse of the moon, which was then at the full, took place.  Most of
the Athenians, deeply impressed by this occurrence, now urged the
generals to wait; and Nicias, who was somewhat over-addicted to
divination and practices of that kind, refused from that moment even
to take the question of departure into consideration, until they had
waited the thrice nine days prescribed by the soothsayers.

The besiegers were thus condemned to stay in the country; and the
Syracusans, getting wind of what had happened, became more eager
than ever to press the Athenians, who had now themselves
acknowledged that they were no longer their superiors either by sea or
by land, as otherwise they would never have planned to sail away.
Besides which the Syracusans did not wish them to settle in any
other part of Sicily, where they would be more difficult to deal with,
but desired to force them to fight at sea as quickly as possible, in a
position favourable to themselves.  Accordingly they manned their ships
and practised for as many days as they thought sufficient.  When the
moment arrived they assaulted on the first day the Athenian lines, and
upon a small force of heavy infantry and horse sallying out against
them by certain gates, cut off some of the former and routed and
pursued them to the lines, where, as the entrance was narrow, the
Athenians lost seventy horses and some few of the heavy infantry.

Drawing off their troops for this day, on the next the Syracusans
went out with a fleet of seventy-six sail, and at the same time
advanced with their land forces against the lines.  The Athenians put
out to meet them with eighty-six ships, came to close quarters, and
engaged.  The Syracusans and their allies first defeated the Athenian
centre, and then caught Eurymedon, the commander of the right wing,
who was sailing out from the line more towards the land in order to
surround the enemy, in the hollow and recess of the harbour, and
killed him and destroyed the ships accompanying him; after which
they now chased the whole Athenian fleet before them and drove them

Gylippus seeing the enemy's fleet defeated and carried ashore beyond
their stockades and camp, ran down to the breakwater with some of
his troops, in order to cut off the men as they landed and make it
easier for the Syracusans to tow off the vessels by the shore being
friendly ground.  The Tyrrhenians who guarded this point for the
Athenians, seeing them come on in disorder, advanced out against
them and attacked and routed their van, hurling it into the marsh of
Lysimeleia.  Afterwards the Syracusan and allied troops arrived in
greater numbers, and the Athenians fearing for their ships came up
also to the rescue and engaged them, and defeated and pursued them
to some distance and killed a few of their heavy infantry.  They
succeeded in rescuing most of their ships and brought them down by
their camp; eighteen however were taken by the Syracusans and their
allies, and all the men killed.  The rest the enemy tried to burn by
means of an old merchantman which they filled with faggots and
pine-wood, set on fire, and let drift down the wind which blew full on
the Athenians.  The Athenians, however, alarmed for their ships,
contrived means for stopping it and putting it out, and checking the
flames and the nearer approach of the merchantman, thus escaped the

After this the Syracusans set up a trophy for the sea-fight and
for the heavy infantry whom they had cut off up at the lines, where
they took the horses; and the Athenians for the rout of the foot
driven by the Tyrrhenians into the marsh, and for their own victory
with the rest of the army.

The Syracusans had now gained a decisive victory at sea, where until
now they had feared the reinforcement brought by Demosthenes, and
deep, in consequence, was the despondency of the Athenians, and
great their disappointment, and greater still their regret for
having come on the expedition.  These were the only cities that they
had yet encountered, similar to their own in character, under
democracies like themselves, which had ships and horses, and were of
considerable magnitude.  They had been unable to divide and bring
them over by holding out the prospect of changes in their governments,
or to crush them by their great superiority in force, but had failed
in most of their attempts, and being already in perplexity, had now
been defeated at sea, where defeat could never have been expected, and
were thus plunged deeper in embarrassment than ever.

Meanwhile the Syracusans immediately began to sail freely along
the harbour, and determined to close up its mouth, so that the
Athenians might not be able to steal out in future, even if they
wished.  Indeed, the Syracusans no longer thought only of saving
themselves, but also how to hinder the escape of the enemy;
thinking, and thinking rightly, that they were now much the
stronger, and that to conquer the Athenians and their allies by land
and sea would win them great glory in Hellas.  The rest of the Hellenes
would thus immediately be either freed or released from
apprehension, as the remaining forces of Athens would be henceforth
unable to sustain the war that would be waged against her; while they,
the Syracusans, would be regarded as the authors of this
deliverance, and would be held in high admiration, not only with all
men now living but also with posterity.  Nor were these the only
considerations that gave dignity to the struggle.  They would thus
conquer not only the Athenians but also their numerous allies, and
conquer not alone, but with their companions in arms, commanding
side by side with the Corinthians and Lacedaemonians, having offered
their city to stand in the van of danger, and having been in a great
measure the pioneers of naval success.

Indeed, there were never so many peoples assembled before a single
city, if we except the grand total gathered together in this war under
Athens and Lacedaemon.  The following were the states on either side
who came to Syracuse to fight for or against Sicily, to help to
conquer or defend the island.  Right or community of blood was not
the bond of union between them, so much as interest or compulsion as
the case might be.  The Athenians themselves being Ionians went against
the Dorians of Syracuse of their own free will; and the peoples
still speaking Attic and using the Athenian laws, the Lemnians,
Imbrians, and Aeginetans, that is to say the then occupants of Aegina,
being their colonists, went with them.  To these must be also added the
Hestiaeans dwelling at Hestiaea in Euboea.  Of the rest some joined
in the expedition as subjects of the Athenians, others as
independent allies, others as mercenaries.  To the number of the
subjects paying tribute belonged the Eretrians, Chalcidians, Styrians,
and Carystians from Euboea; the Ceans, Andrians, and Tenians from
the islands; and the Milesians, Samians, and Chians from Ionia.  The
Chians, however, joined as independent allies, paying no tribute,
but furnishing ships.  Most of these were Ionians and descended from
the Athenians, except the Carystians, who are Dryopes, and although
subjects and obliged to serve, were still Ionians fighting against
Dorians.  Besides these there were men of Aeolic race, the Methymnians,
subjects who provided ships, not tribute, and the Tenedians and
Aenians who paid tribute.  These Aeolians fought against their
Aeolian founders, the Boeotians in the Syracusan army, because they
were obliged, while the Plataeans, the only native Boeotians opposed
to Boeotians, did so upon a just quarrel.  Of the Rhodians and
Cytherians, both Dorians, the latter, Lacedaemonian colonists,
fought in the Athenian ranks against their Lacedaemonian countrymen
with Gylippus; while the Rhodians, Argives by race, were compelled
to bear arms against the Dorian Syracusans and their own colonists,
the Geloans, serving with the Syracusans.  Of the islanders round
Peloponnese, the Cephallenians and Zacynthians accompanied the
Athenians as independent allies, although their insular position
really left them little choice in the matter, owing to the maritime
supremacy of Athens, while the Corcyraeans, who were not only
Dorians but Corinthians, were openly serving against Corinthians and
Syracusans, although colonists of the former and of the same race as
the latter, under colour of compulsion, but really out of free will
through hatred of Corinth.  The Messenians, as they are now called in
Naupactus and from Pylos, then held by the Athenians, were taken
with them to the war.  There were also a few Megarian exiles, whose
fate it was to be now fighting against the Megarian Selinuntines.

The engagement of the rest was more of a voluntary nature.  It was
less the league than hatred of the Lacedaemonians and the immediate
private advantage of each individual that persuaded the Dorian Argives
to join the Ionian Athenians in a war against Dorians; while the
Mantineans and other Arcadian mercenaries, accustomed to go against
the enemy pointed out to them at the moment, were led by interest to
regard the Arcadians serving with the Corinthians as just as much
their enemies as any others.  The Cretans and Aetolians also served for
hire, and the Cretans who had joined the Rhodians in founding Gela,
thus came to consent to fight for pay against, instead of for, their
colonists.  There were also some Acarnanians paid to serve, although
they came chiefly for love of Demosthenes and out of goodwill to the
Athenians whose allies they were.  These all lived on the Hellenic side
of the Ionian Gulf.  Of the Italiots, there were the Thurians and
Metapontines, dragged into the quarrel by the stern necessities of a
time of revolution; of the Siceliots, the Naxians and the Catanians;
and of the barbarians, the Egestaeans, who called in the Athenians,
most of the Sicels, and outside Sicily some Tyrrhenian enemies of
Syracuse and Iapygian mercenaries.

Such were the peoples serving with the Athenians.  Against these
the Syracusans had the Camarinaeans their neighbours, the Geloans
who live next to them; then passing over the neutral Agrigentines, the
Selinuntines settled on the farther side of the island.  These
inhabit the part of Sicily looking towards Libya; the Himeraeans
came from the side towards the Tyrrhenian Sea, being the only Hellenic
inhabitants in that quarter, and the only people that came from thence
to the aid of the Syracusans.  Of the Hellenes in Sicily the above
peoples joined in the war, all Dorians and independent, and of the
barbarians the Sicels only, that is to say, such as did not go over to
the Athenians.  Of the Hellenes outside Sicily there were the
Lacedaemonians, who provided a Spartan to take the command, and a
force of Neodamodes or Freedmen, and of Helots; the Corinthians, who
alone joined with naval and land forces, with their Leucadian and
Ambraciot kinsmen; some mercenaries sent by Corinth from Arcadia; some
Sicyonians forced to serve, and from outside Peloponnese the
Boeotians.  In comparison, however, with these foreign auxiliaries, the
great Siceliot cities furnished more in every department--numbers of
heavy infantry, ships, and horses, and an immense multitude besides
having been brought together; while in comparison, again, one may say,
with all the rest put together, more was provided by the Syracusans
themselves, both from the greatness of the city and from the fact that
they were in the greatest danger.

Such were the auxiliaries brought together on either side, all of
which had by this time joined, neither party experiencing any
subsequent accession.  It was no wonder, therefore, if the Syracusans
and their allies thought that it would win them great glory if they
could follow up their recent victory in the sea-fight by the capture
of the whole Athenian armada, without letting it escape either by
sea or by land.  They began at once to close up the Great Harbour by
means of boats, merchant vessels, and galleys moored broadside
across its mouth, which is nearly a mile wide, and made all their
other arrangements for the event of the Athenians again venturing to
fight at sea.  There was, in fact, nothing little either in their plans
or their ideas.

The Athenians, seeing them closing up the harbour and informed of
their further designs, called a council of war.  The generals and
colonels assembled and discussed the difficulties of the situation;
the point which pressed most being that they no longer had
provisions for immediate use (having sent on to Catana to tell them
not to send any, in the belief that they were going away), and that
they would not have any in future unless they could command the sea.
They therefore determined to evacuate their upper lines, to enclose
with a cross wall and garrison a small space close to the ships,
only just sufficient to hold their stores and sick, and manning all
the ships, seaworthy or not, with every man that could be spared
from the rest of their land forces, to fight it out at sea, and, if
victorious, to go to Catana, if not, to burn their vessels, form in
close order, and retreat by land for the nearest friendly place they
could reach, Hellenic or barbarian.  This was no sooner settled than
carried into effect; they descended gradually from the upper lines and
manned all their vessels, compelling all to go on board who were of
age to be in any way of use.  They thus succeeded in manning about
one hundred and ten ships in all, on board of which they embarked a
number of archers and darters taken from the Acarnanians and from
the other foreigners, making all other provisions allowed by the
nature of their plan and by the necessities which imposed it.  All
was now nearly ready, and Nicias, seeing the soldiery disheartened
by their unprecedented and decided defeat at sea, and by reason of the
scarcity of provisions eager to fight it out as soon as possible,
called them all together, and first addressed them, speaking as

"Soldiers of the Athenians and of the allies, we have all an equal
interest in the coming struggle, in which life and country are at
stake for us quite as much as they can be for the enemy; since if
our fleet wins the day, each can see his native city again, wherever
that city may be.  You must not lose heart, or be like men without
any experience, who fail in a first essay and ever afterwards
fearfully forebode a future as disastrous.  But let the Athenians among
you who have already had experience of many wars, and the allies who
have joined us in so many expeditions, remember the surprises of
war, and with the hope that fortune will not be always against us,
prepare to fight again in a manner worthy of the number which you
see yourselves to be.

"Now, whatever we thought would be of service against the crush of
vessels in such a narrow harbour, and against the force upon the decks
of the enemy, from which we suffered before, has all been considered
with the helmsmen, and, as far as our means allowed, provided.  A
number of archers and darters will go on board, and a multitude that
we should not have employed in an action in the open sea, where our
science would be crippled by the weight of the vessels; but in the
present land-fight that we are forced to make from shipboard all
this will be useful.  We have also discovered the changes in
construction that we must make to meet theirs; and against the
thickness of their cheeks, which did us the greatest mischief, we have
provided grappling-irons, which will prevent an assailant backing
water after charging, if the soldiers on deck here do their duty;
since we are absolutely compelled to fight a land battle from the
fleet, and it seems to be our interest neither to back water
ourselves, nor to let the enemy do so, especially as the shore, except
so much of it as may be held by our troops, is hostile ground.

"You must remember this and fight on as long as you can, and must
not let yourselves be driven ashore, but once alongside must make up
your minds not to part company until you have swept the heavy infantry
from the enemy's deck.  I say this more for the heavy infantry than for
the seamen, as it is more the business of the men on deck; and our
land forces are even now on the whole the strongest.  The sailors I
advise, and at the same time implore, not to be too much daunted by
their misfortunes, now that we have our decks better armed and greater
number of vessels.  Bear in mind how well worth preserving is the
pleasure felt by those of you who through your knowledge of our
language and imitation of our manners were always considered
Athenians, even though not so in reality, and as such were honoured
throughout Hellas, and had your full share of the advantages of our
empire, and more than your share in the respect of our subjects and in
protection from ill treatment.  You, therefore, with whom alone we
freely share our empire, we now justly require not to betray that
empire in its extremity, and in scorn of Corinthians, whom you have
often conquered, and of Siceliots, none of whom so much as presumed to
stand against us when our navy was in its prime, we ask you to repel
them, and to show that even in sickness and disaster your skill is
more than a match for the fortune and vigour of any other.

"For the Athenians among you I add once more this reflection: You
left behind you no more such ships in your docks as these, no more
heavy infantry in their flower; if you do aught but conquer, our
enemies here will immediately sail thither, and those that are left of
us at Athens will become unable to repel their home assailants,
reinforced by these new allies.  Here you will fall at once into the
hands of the Syracusans--I need not remind you of the intentions with
which you attacked them--and your countrymen at home will fall into
those of the Lacedaemonians.  Since the fate of both thus hangs upon
this single battle, now, if ever, stand firm, and remember, each and
all, that you who are now going on board are the army and navy of
the Athenians, and all that is left of the state and the great name of
Athens, in whose defence if any man has any advantage in skill or
courage, now is the time for him to show it, and thus serve himself
and save all."

After this address Nicias at once gave orders to man the ships.
Meanwhile Gylippus and the Syracusans could perceive by the
preparations which they saw going on that the Athenians meant to fight
at sea.  They had also notice of the grappling-irons, against which
they specially provided by stretching hides over the prows and much of
the upper part of their vessels, in order that the irons when thrown
might slip off without taking hold.  All being now ready, the
generals and Gylippus addressed them in the following terms:

"Syracusans and allies, the glorious character of our past
achievements and the no less glorious results at issue in the coming
battle are, we think, understood by most of you, or you would never
have thrown yourselves with such ardour into the struggle; and if
there be any one not as fully aware of the facts as he ought to be, we
will declare them to him.  The Athenians came to this country first
to effect the conquest of Sicily, and after that, if successful, of
Peloponnese and the rest of Hellas, possessing already the greatest
empire yet known, of present or former times, among the Hellenes.  Here
for the first time they found in you men who faced their navy which
made them masters everywhere; you have already defeated them in the
previous sea-fights, and will in all likelihood defeat them again now.
When men are once checked in what they consider their special
excellence, their whole opinion of themselves suffers more than if
they had not at first believed in their superiority, the unexpected
shock to their pride causing them to give way more than their real
strength warrants; and this is probably now the case with the

"With us it is different.  The original estimate of ourselves which
gave us courage in the days of our unskilfulness has been
strengthened, while the conviction superadded to it that we must be
the best seamen of the time, if we have conquered the best, has
given a double measure of hope to every man among us; and, for the
most part, where there is the greatest hope, there is also the
greatest ardour for action.  The means to combat us which they have
tried to find in copying our armament are familiar to our warfare, and
will be met by proper provisions; while they will never be able to
have a number of heavy infantry on their decks, contrary to their
custom, and a number of darters (born landsmen, one may say,
Acarnanians and others, embarked afloat, who will not know how to
discharge their weapons when they have to keep still), without
hampering their vessels and falling all into confusion among
themselves through fighting not according to their own tactics.  For
they will gain nothing by the number of their ships--I say this to
those of you who may be alarmed by having to fight against odds--as a
quantity of ships in a confined space will only be slower in executing
the movements required, and most exposed to injury from our means of
offence.  Indeed, if you would know the plain truth, as we are credibly
informed, the excess of their sufferings and the necessities of
their present distress have made them desperate; they have no
confidence in their force, but wish to try their fortune in the only
way they can, and either to force their passage and sail out, or after
this to retreat by land, it being impossible for them to be worse
off than they are.

"The fortune of our greatest enemies having thus betrayed itself,
and their disorder being what I have described, let us engage in
anger, convinced that, as between adversaries, nothing is more
legitimate than to claim to sate the whole wrath of one's soul in
punishing the aggressor, and nothing more sweet, as the proverb has
it, than the vengeance upon an enemy, which it will now be ours to
take.  That enemies they are and mortal enemies you all know, since
they came here to enslave our country, and if successful had in
reserve for our men all that is most dreadful, and for our children
and wives all that is most dishonourable, and for the whole city the
name which conveys the greatest reproach.  None should therefore relent
or think it gain if they go away without further danger to us.  This
they will do just the same, even if they get the victory; while if
we succeed, as we may expect, in chastising them, and in handing
down to all Sicily her ancient freedom strengthened and confirmed,
we shall have achieved no mean triumph.  And the rarest dangers are
those in which failure brings little loss and success the greatest

After the above address to the soldiers on their side, the Syracusan
generals and Gylippus now perceived that the Athenians were manning
their ships, and immediately proceeded to man their own also.
Meanwhile Nicias, appalled by the position of affairs, realizing the
greatness and the nearness of the danger now that they were on the
point of putting out from shore, and thinking, as men are apt to think
in great crises, that when all has been done they have still something
left to do, and when all has been said that they have not yet said
enough, again called on the captains one by one, addressing each by
his father's name and by his own, and by that of his tribe, and
adjured them not to belie their own personal renown, or to obscure the
hereditary virtues for which their ancestors were illustrious: he
reminded them of their country, the freest of the free, and of the
unfettered discretion allowed in it to all to live as they pleased;
and added other arguments such as men would use at such a crisis,
and which, with little alteration, are made to serve on all
occasions alike--appeals to wives, children, and national
gods--without caring whether they are thought commonplace, but loudly
invoking them in the belief that they will be of use in the
consternation of the moment.  Having thus admonished them, not, he
felt, as he would, but as he could, Nicias withdrew and led the troops
to the sea, and ranged them in as long a line as he was able, in order
to aid as far as possible in sustaining the courage of the men afloat;
while Demosthenes, Menander, and Euthydemus, who took the command on
board, put out from their own camp and sailed straight to the
barrier across the mouth of the harbour and to the passage left
open, to try to force their way out.

The Syracusans and their allies had already put out with about the
same number of ships as before, a part of which kept guard at the
outlet, and the remainder all round the rest of the harbour, in
order to attack the Athenians on all sides at once; while the land
forces held themselves in readiness at the points at which the vessels
might put into the shore.  The Syracusan fleet was commanded by Sicanus
and Agatharchus, who had each a wing of the whole force, with Pythen
and the Corinthians in the centre.  When the rest of the Athenians came
up to the barrier, with the first shock of their charge they
overpowered the ships stationed there, and tried to undo the
fastenings; after this, as the Syracusans and allies bore down upon
them from all quarters, the action spread from the barrier over the
whole harbour, and was more obstinately disputed than any of the
preceding ones.  On either side the rowers showed great zeal in
bringing up their vessels at the boatswains' orders, and the
helmsmen great skill in manoeuvring, and great emulation one with
another; while the ships once alongside, the soldiers on board did
their best not to let the service on deck be outdone by the others; in
short, every man strove to prove himself the first in his particular
department.  And as many ships were engaged in a small compass (for
these were the largest fleets fighting in the narrowest space ever
known, being together little short of two hundred), the regular
attacks with the beak were few, there being no opportunity of
backing water or of breaking the line; while the collisions caused
by one ship chancing to run foul of another, either in flying from
or attacking a third, were more frequent.  So long as a vessel was
coming up to the charge the men on the decks rained darts and arrows
and stones upon her; but once alongside, the heavy infantry tried to
board each other's vessel, fighting hand to hand.  In many quarters
it happened, by reason of the narrow room, that a vessel was
charging an enemy on one side and being charged herself on another,
and that two or sometimes more ships had perforce got entangled
round one, obliging the helmsmen to attend to defence here, offence
there, not to one thing at once, but to many on all sides; while the
huge din caused by the number of ships crashing together not only
spread terror, but made the orders of the boatswains inaudible.  The
boatswains on either side in the discharge of their duty and in the
heat of the conflict shouted incessantly orders and appeals to their
men; the Athenians they urged to force the passage out, and now if
ever to show their mettle and lay hold of a safe return to their
country; to the Syracusans and their allies they cried that it would
be glorious to prevent the escape of the enemy, and, conquering, to
exalt the countries that were theirs.  The generals, moreover, on
either side, if they saw any in any part of the battle backing
ashore without being forced to do so, called out to the captain by
name and asked him--the Athenians, whether they were retreating
because they thought the thrice hostile shore more their own than
that sea which had cost them so much labour to win; the Syracusans,
whether they were flying from the flying Athenians, whom they well
knew to be eager to escape in whatever way they could.

Meanwhile the two armies on shore, while victory hung in the
balance, were a prey to the most agonizing and conflicting emotions;
the natives thirsting for more glory than they had already won,
while the invaders feared to find themselves in even worse plight than
before.  The all of the Athenians being set upon their fleet, their
fear for the event was like nothing they had ever felt; while their
view of the struggle was necessarily as chequered as the battle
itself.  Close to the scene of action and not all looking at the same
point at once, some saw their friends victorious and took courage
and fell to calling upon heaven not to deprive them of salvation,
while others who had their eyes turned upon the losers, wailed and
cried aloud, and, although spectators, were more overcome than the
actual combatants.  Others, again, were gazing at some spot where the
battle was evenly disputed; as the strife was protracted without
decision, their swaying bodies reflected the agitation of their minds,
and they suffered the worst agony of all, ever just within reach of
safety or just on the point of destruction.  In short, in that one
Athenian army as long as the sea-fight remained doubtful there was
every sound to be heard at once, shrieks, cheers, "We win," "We lose,"
and all the other manifold exclamations that a great host would
necessarily utter in great peril; and with the men in the fleet it was
nearly the same; until at last the Syracusans and their allies,
after the battle had lasted a long while, put the Athenians to flight,
and with much shouting and cheering chased them in open rout to the
shore.  The naval force, one one way, one another, as many as were
not taken afloat now ran ashore and rushed from on board their ships
to their camp; while the army, no more divided, but carried away by
one impulse, all with shrieks and groans deplored the event, and ran
down, some to help the ships, others to guard what was left of their
wall, while the remaining and most numerous part already began to
consider how they should save themselves.  Indeed, the panic of the
present moment had never been surpassed.  They now suffered very nearly
what they had inflicted at Pylos; as then the Lacedaemonians with
the loss of their fleet lost also the men who had crossed over to
the island, so now the Athenians had no hope of escaping by land,
without the help of some extraordinary accident.

The sea-fight having been a severe one, and many ships and lives
having been lost on both sides, the victorious Syracusans and their
allies now picked up their wrecks and dead, and sailed off to the city
and set up a trophy.  The Athenians, overwhelmed by their misfortune,
never even thought of asking leave to take up their dead or wrecks,
but wished to retreat that very night.  Demosthenes, however, went to
Nicias and gave it as his opinion that they should man the ships
they had left and make another effort to force their passage out
next morning; saying that they had still left more ships fit for
service than the enemy, the Athenians having about sixty remaining
as against less than fifty of their opponents.  Nicias was quite of his
mind; but when they wished to man the vessels, the sailors refused
to go on board, being so utterly overcome by their defeat as no longer
to believe in the possibility of success.

Accordingly they all now made up their minds to retreat by land.
Meanwhile the Syracusan Hermocrates--suspecting their intention, and
impressed by the danger of allowing a force of that magnitude to
retire by land, establish itself in some other part of Sicily, and
from thence renew the war--went and stated his views to the
authorities, and pointed out to them that they ought not to let the
enemy get away by night, but that all the Syracusans and their
allies should at once march out and block up the roads and seize and
guard the passes.  The authorities were entirely of his opinion, and
thought that it ought to be done, but on the other hand felt sure that
the people, who had given themselves over to rejoicing, and were
taking their ease after a great battle at sea, would not be easily
brought to obey; besides, they were celebrating a festival, having
on that day a sacrifice to Heracles, and most of them in their rapture
at the victory had fallen to drinking at the festival, and would
probably consent to anything sooner than to take up their arms and
march out at that moment.  For these reasons the thing appeared
impracticable to the magistrates; and Hermocrates, finding himself
unable to do anything further with them, had now recourse to the
following stratagem of his own.  What he feared was that the
Athenians might quietly get the start of them by passing the most
difficult places during the night; and he therefore sent, as soon as
it was dusk, some friends of his own to the camp with some horsemen
who rode up within earshot and called out to some of the men, as
though they were well-wishers of the Athenians, and told them to
tell Nicias (who had in fact some correspondents who informed him of
what went on inside the town) not to lead off the army by night as the
Syracusans were guarding the roads, but to make his preparations at
his leisure and to retreat by day.  After saying this they departed;
and their hearers informed the Athenian generals, who put off going
for that night on the strength of this message, not doubting its

Since after all they had not set out at once, they now determined to
stay also the following day to give time to the soldiers to pack up as
well as they could the most useful articles, and, leaving everything
else behind, to start only with what was strictly necessary for
their personal subsistence.  Meanwhile the Syracusans and Gylippus
marched out and blocked up the roads through the country by which
the Athenians were likely to pass, and kept guard at the fords of
the streams and rivers, posting themselves so as to receive them and
stop the army where they thought best; while their fleet sailed up
to the beach and towed off the ships of the Athenians.  Some few were
burned by the Athenians themselves as they had intended; the rest
the Syracusans lashed on to their own at their leisure as they had
been thrown up on shore, without any one trying to stop them, and
conveyed to the town.

After this, Nicias and Demosthenes now thinking that enough had been
done in the way of preparation, the removal of the army took place
upon the second day after the sea-fight.  It was a lamentable scene,
not merely from the single circumstance that they were retreating
after having lost all their ships, their great hopes gone, and
themselves and the state in peril; but also in leaving the camp
there were things most grievous for every eye and heart to
contemplate.  The dead lay unburied, and each man as he recognized a
friend among them shuddered with grief and horror; while the living
whom they were leaving behind, wounded or sick, were to the living far
more shocking than the dead, and more to be pitied than those who
had perished.  These fell to entreating and bewailing until their
friends knew not what to do, begging them to take them and loudly
calling to each individual comrade or relative whom they could see,
hanging upon the necks of their tent-fellows in the act of
departure, and following as far as they could, and, when their
bodily strength failed them, calling again and again upon heaven and
shrieking aloud as they were left behind.  So that the whole army being
filled with tears and distracted after this fashion found it not
easy to go, even from an enemy's land, where they had already suffered
evils too great for tears and in the unknown future before them feared
to suffer more.  Dejection and self-condemnation were also rife among
them.  Indeed they could only be compared to a starved-out town, and
that no small one, escaping; the whole multitude upon the march
being not less than forty thousand men.  All carried anything they
could which might be of use, and the heavy infantry and troopers,
contrary to their wont, while under arms carried their own victuals,
in some cases for want of servants, in others through not trusting
them; as they had long been deserting and now did so in greater
numbers than ever.  Yet even thus they did not carry enough, as there
was no longer food in the camp.  Moreover their disgrace generally, and
the universality of their sufferings, however to a certain extent
alleviated by being borne in company, were still felt at the moment
a heavy burden, especially when they contrasted the splendour and
glory of their setting out with the humiliation in which it had ended.
For this was by far the greatest reverse that ever befell an
Hellenic army.  They had come to enslave others, and were departing
in fear of being enslaved themselves: they had sailed out with
prayer and paeans, and now started to go back with omens directly
contrary; travelling by land instead of by sea, and trusting not in
their fleet but in their heavy infantry.  Nevertheless the greatness of
the danger still impending made all this appear tolerable.

Nicias seeing the army dejected and greatly altered, passed along
the ranks and encouraged and comforted them as far as was possible
under the circumstances, raising his voice still higher and higher
as he went from one company to another in his earnestness, and in
his anxiety that the benefit of his words might reach as many as

"Athenians and allies, even in our present position we must still
hope on, since men have ere now been saved from worse straits than
this; and you must not condemn yourselves too severely either
because of your disasters or because of your present unmerited
sufferings.  I myself who am not superior to any of you in
strength--indeed you see how I am in my sickness--and who in the gifts
of fortune am, I think, whether in private life or otherwise, the
equal of any, am now exposed to the same danger as the meanest among
you; and yet my life has been one of much devotion toward the gods,
and of much justice and without offence toward men.  I have, therefore,
still a strong hope for the future, and our misfortunes do not terrify
me as much as they might.  Indeed we may hope that they will be
lightened: our enemies have had good fortune enough; and if any of the
gods was offended at our expedition, we have been already amply
punished.  Others before us have attacked their neighbours and have
done what men will do without suffering more than they could bear; and
we may now justly expect to find the gods more kind, for we have
become fitter objects for their pity than their jealousy.  And then
look at yourselves, mark the numbers and efficiency of the heavy
infantry marching in your ranks, and do not give way too much to
despondency, but reflect that you are yourselves at once a city
wherever you sit down, and that there is no other in Sicily that could
easily resist your attack, or expel you when once established.  The
safety and order of the march is for yourselves to look to; the one
thought of each man being that the spot on which he may be forced to
fight must be conquered and held as his country and stronghold.
Meanwhile we shall hasten on our way night and day alike, as our
provisions are scanty; and if we can reach some friendly place of
the Sicels, whom fear of the Syracusans still keeps true to us, you
may forthwith consider yourselves safe.  A message has been sent on
to them with directions to meet us with supplies of food.  To sum up,
be convinced, soldiers, that you must be brave, as there is no place
near for your cowardice to take refuge in, and that if you now
escape from the enemy, you may all see again what your hearts
desire, while those of you who are Athenians will raise up again the
great power of the state, fallen though it be.  Men make the city and
not walls or ships without men in them."

As he made this address, Nicias went along the ranks, and brought
back to their place any of the troops that he saw straggling out of
the line; while Demosthenes did as much for his part of the army,
addressing them in words very similar.  The army marched in a hollow
square, the division under Nicias leading, and that of Demosthenes
following, the heavy infantry being outside and the baggage-carriers
and the bulk of the army in the middle.  When they arrived at the
ford of the river Anapus there they found drawn up a body of the
Syracusans and allies, and routing these, made good their passage
and pushed on, harassed by the charges of the Syracusan horse and by
the missiles of their light troops.  On that day they advanced about
four miles and a half, halting for the night upon a certain hill.  On
the next they started early and got on about two miles further, and
descended into a place in the plain and there encamped, in order to
procure some eatables from the houses, as the place was inhabited, and
to carry on with them water from thence, as for many furlongs in
front, in the direction in which they were going, it was not
plentiful.  The Syracusans meanwhile went on and fortified the pass
in front, where there was a steep hill with a rocky ravine on each
side of it, called the Acraean cliff.  The next day the