The History of the Peloponnesian War


Translated by Benjamin Jowett


From Thucydides, translated into English, to which is prefixed an essay on inscriptions and a note on the geography of Thucydides, by Benjamin Jowett. Second edition. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1900.

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Table of Contents


THUCYDIDES, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war in which the Peloponnesians and the Athenians fought against one another. He began to write when they first took up arms, believing that it would be great and memorable above any previous war. For he argued that both states were then at the full height of their military power, and he saw the rest of the Hellenes either siding or intending to side with one or other of them. No movement ever stirred Hellas more deeply than this; it was shared by many of the Barbarians, and might be said even to affect the world at large. The character of the events which preceded, whether immediately or in more remote antiquity, owing to the lapse of time cannot be made out with certainty. But, judging from the evidence which I am able to trust after most careful enquiry,1 I should imagine that former ages were not great either in their wars or in anything else.

The country which is now called Hellas was not regularly settled in ancient times.2 The people were migratory, and readily left their homes whenever they were overpowered by numbers. There was no commerce, and they could not safely hold intercourse with one another either by land or sea. The several tribes cultivated their own soil just enough to obtain a maintenance from it. But they had no accumulations of wealth and did not plant the ground; for, being without walls, they were never sure that an invader might not come and despoil them. Living in this manner and knowing that they could anywhere obtain a bare subsistence, they were always ready to migrate; so that they had neither great cities nor any considerable resources. The richest districts were most constantly changing their inhabitants; for example, the countries which are now called Thessaly and Boeotia, the greater part of the Peloponnesus with the exception of Arcadia, and all the best parts of Hellas. For the productiveness of the land increased the power of individuals; this in turn was a source of quarrels by which communities3 were ruined, while at the same time they were more exposed to attacks from without. Certainly Attica, of which the soil was poor and thin, enjoyed a long freedom from civil strife, and therefore retained its original inhabitants. And a striking confirmation of my argument is afforded by the fact that Attica through immigration increased in population more than any other region. For the leading men of Hellas,4 when driven out of their own country by war or revolution, sought an asylum at Athens; and from the very earliest times, being admitted to rights of citizenship, so greatly increased the number of inhabitants that Attica became incapable of containing them, and was at last obliged to send out colonies to Ionia.

The feebleness of antiquity is further proved to me by the circumstance that there appears to have been no common action in Hellas before the Trojan War. And I am inclined to think that the very name was not as yet given to the whole country, and in fact did not exist at all before the time of Hellen, the son of Deucalion; the different tribes, of which the Pelasgian was the most widely spread, gave their own names to different districts. But when Hellen and his sons became powerful in Phthiotis, their aid was invoked by other cities, and those who associated with them gradually began to be called Hellenes, though a long time elapsed before the name prevailed over the whole country. Of this Homer affords the best evidence; for he, although he lived long after the Trojan War, nowhere uses this name collectively, but confines it to the followers of Achilles from Phthiotis, who were the original Hellenes; when speaking of the entire host he calls them Danaäns, or Argives, or Achaeans. Neither is there any mention of Barbarians in his poems, clearly because there were as yet no Hellenes opposed to them by a common distinctive name. Thus the several Hellenic tribes (and I mean by the term Hellenes those who, while forming separate communities, had a common language, and were afterwards called by a common name),5 owing to their weakness and isolation, were never united in any great enterprise before the Trojan War. And they only made the expedition against Troy after they had gained considerable experience of the sea.

Minos is the first to whom tradition ascribes the possession of a navy. He made himself master of a great part of what is now termed the Hellenic sea; he conquered the Cyclades, and was the first coloniser of most of them, expelling the Carians and appointing his own sons to govern in them. Lastly, it was he who, from a natural desire to protect his growing revenues, sought, as far as he was able, to clear the sea of pirates.

For in ancient times both the Hellenes, and those Barbarians, whose homes were on the coast of the mainland or in islands, when they began to find their way to one another by sea had recourse to piracy. They were commanded by powerful chiefs, who took this means of increasing their wealth and providing for their poorer followers. They would fall upon the unwalled and straggling towns, or rather villages, which they plundered, and maintained themselves chiefly by the plunder of them; for, as yet, such an occupation was held to be honourable and not disgraceful. This is proved by the practice of certain tribes on the mainland who, to the present day, glory in piratical exploits, and by the witness of the ancient poets, in whose verses the question is invariably asked of newly-arrived voyagers, whether they are pirates;6 which implies that neither those who are questioned disclaim, nor those who are interested in knowing censure the occupation. On land also neighbouring communities plundered each other; and there are many parts of Hellas in which the old practices still continue, as for example among the Ozolian Locrians, Aetolians, Acarnanians, and the adjacent regions of the continent. The fashion of wearing arms among these continental tribes is a relic of their old predatory habits. For in ancient times all Hellenes carried weapons because their homes were undefended and intercourse was unsafe; like the Barbarians they went armed in their every-day life. And the continuance of the custom in certain parts of the country indicates that it once prevailed everywhere.

The Athenians were the first who laid aside arms and adopted an easier and more luxurious way of life. Quite recently the old-fashioned refinement of dress still lingered among the elder men of their richer class, who wore under-garments of linen, and bound back their hair in a knot with golden clasps in the form of grasshoppers; and the same customs long survived among the elders of Ionia, having been derived from their Athenian ancestors. On the other hand, the simple dress which is now common was first worn at Sparta; and there, more than anywhere else, the life of the rich was assimilated to that of the people. The Lacedaemonians too were the first who in their athletic exercises stripped naked and rubbed themselves over with oil. But this was not the ancient custom; athletes formerly, even when they were contending at Olympia, wore girdles about their loins, a practice which lasted until quite lately, and still prevails among Barbarians, especially those of Asia, where the combatants in boxing and wrestling matches wear girdles. And many other customs which are now confined to the Barbarians might be shown to have existed formerly in Hellas.

In later times, when navigation had become general and wealth was beginning to accumulate, cities were built upon the sea-shore and fortified; peninsulas too were occupied and walled-off with a view to commerce and defence against the neighbouring tribes. But the older towns both in the islands and on the continent, in order to protect themselves against the piracy which so long prevailed, were built inland; and there they remain to this day. For the piratical tribes plundered, not only one another, but all those who, without being seamen, lived on the sea-coast.

The islanders were even more addicted to piracy than the inhabitants of the mainland. They were mostly Carian or Phoenician settlers. This is proved by the fact that when the Athenians purified Delos7 during the Peloponnesian War and the tombs of the dead were opened, more than half of them were found to be Carians. They were known by the fashion of their arms which were buried with them, and by their mode of burial, the same which is still practised among them.

After Minos had established his navy, communication by sea became more general. For, he having expelled the marauders8 when he colonised the greater part of the islands, the dwellers on the sea-coast began to grow richer and to live in a more settled manner; and some of them, finding their wealth increase beyond their expectations, surrounded their towns with walls. The love of gain made the weaker willing to serve the stronger, and the command of wealth enabled the more powerful to subjugate the lesser cities.9 This was the state of society which was beginning to prevail at the time of the Trojan War.

I am inclined to think that Agamemnon succeeded in collecting the expedition, not because the suitors of Helen had bound themselves by oath to Tyndareus, but because he was the most powerful king of his time. Those Peloponnesians who possess the most accurate traditions say that10 originally Pelops gained his power by the great wealth which he brought with him from Asia into a poor country, whereby he was enabled, although a stranger, to give his name to the Peloponnesus; and that still greater fortune attended his descendants after the death of Eurystheus, king of Mycenae, who was slain in Attica by the Heraclidae. For Atreus the son of Pelops was the maternal uncle of Eurystheus, who, when he went on the expedition, naturally committed to his charge the kingdom of Mycenae. Now Atreus had been banished by his father on account of the murder of Chrysippus. But Eurystheus never returned; and the Mycenaeans, dreading the Heraclidae, were ready to welcome Atreus, who was considered a powerful man and had ingratiated himself with the multitude. So he succeeded to the throne of Mycenae and the other dominions of Eurystheus. Thus the house of Pelops prevailed over that of Perseus.

And it was, as I believe, because Agamemnon inherited this power and also because he was the greatest naval potentate of his time that he was able to assemble the expedition; and the other princes followed him, not from good-will, but from fear. Of the chiefs who came to Troy, he, if the witness of Homer be accepted, brought the greatest number of ships himself, besides supplying the Arcadians with them. In the 'Handing down of the Sceptre' he is described as 'The king of many islands, and of all Argos.'11 But, living on the mainland, he could not have ruled over any except the adjacent islands (which would not be 'many') unless he had possessed a considerable navy. From this expedition we must form our conjectures about the character of still earlier times.

When it is said that Mycenae was but a small place, or that any other city which existed in those days is inconsiderable in our own, this argument will hardly prove that the expedition was not as great as the poets relate and as is commonly imagined. Suppose the city of Sparta to be deserted, and nothing left but the temples and the ground-plan, distant ages would be very unwilling to believe that the power of the Lacedaemonians was at all equal to their fame. And yet they own two-fifths of the Peloponnesus, and are acknowledged leaders of the whole, as well as of numerous allies in the rest of Hellas. But their city is not built continuously, and has no splendid temples or other edifices; it rather resembles a group of villages like the ancient towns of Hellas, and would therefore make a poor show. Whereas, if the same fate befell the Athenians, the ruins of Athens would strike the eye, and we should infer their power to have been twice as great as it really is. We ought not then to be unduly sceptical. The greatness of cities should be estimated by their real power and not by appearances. And we may fairly suppose the Trojan expedition to have been greater than any which preceded it, although according to Homer, if we may once more appeal to his testimony, not equal to those of our own day. He was a poet, and may therefore be expected to exaggerate; yet, even upon his showing, the expedition was comparatively small. For it numbered, as he tells us, twelve hundred ships, those of the Boeotians12 carrying one hundred and twenty men each, those of Philoctetes 13 fifty; and by these numbers he may be presumed to indicate the largest and the smallest ships; else why in the catalogue is nothing said about the size of any others? That the crews were all fighting men as well as rowers he clearly implies when speaking of the ships of Philoctetes; for he tells us that all the oarsmen were likewise archers. And it is not to be supposed that many who were not sailors would accompany the expedition, except the kings and principal officers; for the troops had to cross the sea, bringing with them the materials of war, in vessels without decks, built after the old piratical fashion. Now if we take a mean between the crews, the invading forces will appear not to have been very numerous when we remember that they were drawn from the whole of Hellas.

The cause of the inferiority was not so much the want of men as the want of money; the invading army was limited, by the difficulty of obtaining supplies, to such a number as might be expected to live on the country in which they were to fight. After their arrival at Troy, when they had won a battle (as they clearly did, for otherwise they could not have fortified their camp), even then they appear not to have used the whole of their force, but to have been driven by want of provisions to the cultivation of the Chersonese and to pillage. And in consequence of this dispersion of their forces, the Trojans were enabled to hold out against them during the whole ten years, being always a match for those who remained on the spot. Whereas if the besieging army had brought abundant supplies, and, instead of betaking themselves to agriculture or pillage, had carried on the war persistently with all their forces, they would easily have been masters of the field and have taken the city; since, even divided as they were, and with only a part of their army available at any one time, they held their ground. Or, again, they might have regularly invested Troy, and the place would have been captured in less time and with less trouble. Poverty was the real reason why the achievements of former ages were insignificant, and why the Trojan War, the most celebrated of them all, when brought to the test of facts, falls short of its fame and of the prevailing traditions to which the poets have given authority.

Even in the age which followed the Trojan War, Hellas was still in process of ferment and settlement, and had no time for peaceful growth. The return of the Hellenes from Troy after their long absence led to many changes: quarrels too arose in nearly every city, and those who were expelled by them went and founded other cities. Thus in the the sixtieth year after the fall of Troy, the Boeotian people, having been expelled from Arnè by the Thessalians, settled in the country formerly called Cadmeis, but now Boeotia: a portion of the tribe already dwelt there, and some of these had joined in the Trojan expedition. In the eightieth year after the war, the Dorians led by the Heraclidae conquered the Peloponnesus. A considerable time elapsed before Hellas became finally settled; after a while, however, she recovered tranquillity and began to send out colonies. The Athenians colonised Ionia and most of the islands; the Peloponnesians the greater part of Italy and Sicily, and various places in Hellas. These colonies were all founded after the Trojan War.

As Hellas grew more powerful and the acquisition of wealth became more and more rapid, the revenues of her cities increased, and in most of them tyrannies were established; they had hitherto been ruled by hereditary kings, having fixed prerogatives. The Hellenes likewise began to build navies and to make the sea their element. The Corinthians are said to have first adopted something like the modern style of marine, and the oldest Hellenic triremes to have been constructed at Corinth. A Corinthian ship-builder, Ameinocles, appears to have built four ships for the Samians; he went to Samos about three hundred years before the end of the Peloponnesian War. And the earliest naval engagement on record is that between the Corinthians and Corcyraeans which occurred about forty years later. Corinth, being seated on an isthmus, was naturally from the first a centre of commerce; for the Hellenes within and without the Peloponnese in the old days, when they communicated chiefly by land, had to pass through her territory in order to reach one another. Her wealth too was a source of power, as the ancient poets testify, who speak of 'Corinth the rich.'14 When navigation grew more common, the Corinthians, having already acquired a fleet, were able to put down piracy; they offered a market both by sea and land, and with the increase of riches the power of their city increased yet more. Later, in the time of Cyrus, the first Persian king, and of Cambyses his son, the Ionians had a large navy; they fought with Cyrus, and were for a time masters of the sea around their own coasts. Polycrates, too, who was a tyrant of Samos in the reign of Cambyses, had a powerful navy and subdued several of the islands, among them Rhenea, which he dedicated to the Delian Apollo.15 And the Phocaeans, when they were colonising Massalia, defeated the Carthaginians on the sea.

These were the most powerful navies, and even these, which came into existence many generations after the Trojan Warr, appear to have consisted chiefly of fifty-oared vessels and galleys of war, as in the days of Troy; as yet triremes were not common. But a little before the Persian War and the death of Darius, who succeeded Cambyses, the Sicilian tyrants and the Corcyraeans had them in considerable numbers. No other maritime powers of any consequence arose in Hellas before the expedition of Xerxes. The Aeginetans, Athenians, and a few more had small fleets, and these mostly consisted of fifty-oared vessels. Even the ships which the Athenians built quite recently at the instigation of Themistocles, when they were at war with the Aeginetans and in expectation of the Barbarian, even these ships with which they fought at Salamis were not completely decked.16

So inconsiderable were the Hellenic navies in recent as well as in more ancient times. And yet those who applied their energies to the sea obtained a great accession of strength by the increase of their revenues and the extension of their dominion. For they attacked and subjugated the islands, especially when the pressure of population was felt by them. Whereas by land, no conflict of any kind which brought increase of power ever occurred; what wars they had were mere border feuds. Foreign and distant expeditions of conquest the Hellenes never undertook; for they were not as yet ranged under the command of the great states, nor did they form voluntary leagues or make expeditions on an equal footing. Their wars were only the wars of the several neighbouring tribes with one another. The conflict in which the rest of Hellas was most divided, allying itself with one side or the other, was the ancient war between the Chalcidians and Eretrians.17

There were different impediments to the progress of the different states. The Ionians had attained great prosperity when Cyrus and the Persians, having overthrown Croesus and subdued the countries between the river Halys and the sea, made war against them and enslaved the cities on the mainland. Some time afterwards, Darius, strong in the possession of the Phoenician fleet, conquered the islands also.

Nor again did the tyrants of the Hellenic cities extend their thoughts beyond their own interest, that is, the security of their persons, and the aggrandisement of themselves and their families. They were extremely cautious in the administration of their government, and nothing considerable was ever effected by them; except in wars with their neighbours, as in Sicily, where their power attained its greatest height. Thus for a long time everything conspired to prevent Hellas from uniting in any great action and to paralyse enterprise in the individual states.

At length the tyrants both at Athens and in the rest of Hellas (which had been under their dominion long before Athens), at least the greater number of them, and with the exception of the Sicilian the last who ever ruled, were put down by the Lacedaemonians. For although Lacedaemon, after the conquest18 of the country by the Dorians who now inhabit it, remained long unsettled, and indeed longer than any country which we know, nevertheless she obtained good laws at an earlier period than any other, and has never been subject to tyrants; she has preserved the same form of government for rather more than four hundred years, reckoning to the end of the Peloponnesian War. It was the excellence of her constitution which gave her power, and thus enabled her to regulate the affairs of other states. Not long after the overthrow of the tyrants by the Lacedaemonians, the battle of Marathon was fought between the Athenians and the Persians; ten years later, the Barbarian returned with the vast armament which was to enslave Hellas. In the greatness of the impending danger, the Lacedaemonians, who were the most powerful state in Hellas, assumed the lead of the confederates, while the Athenians, as the Persian host advanced, resolved to forsake their city, broke up their homes, and, taking to their ships, became seamen. The Barbarian was repelled by a common effort; but soon the Hellenes, as well those who had revolted from the King as those who formed the original confederacy,19 took different sides and became the allies either of the Athenians or of the Lacedaemonians; for these were now the two leading powers, the one strong by land and the other by sea. The league between them was of short duration; they speedily quarrelled and, with their respective allies, went to war. Any of the other Hellenes who had differences of their own now resorted to one or other of them. So that from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War, the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians were perpetually fighting or making peace, either with one another or with their own revolted allies; thus they attained military efficiency, and learned experience in the school of danger.

The Lacedaemonians did not make tributaries of those who acknowledged their leadership, but took care that they should be governed by oligarchies in the exclusive interest of Sparta. The Athenians, on the other hand, after a time deprived the subject cities of their ships and made all of them pay a fixed tribute, except Chios and Lesbos.20 And the single power of Athens21 at the beginning of this war was greater than that of Athens and Sparta together at their greatest, while the confederacy remained intact.

Such are the results of my enquiries, though the early history of Hellas is of a kind which forbids implicit reliance on every particular of the evidence.22 Men do not discriminate, and are too ready to receive ancient traditions about their own as well as about other countries. For example, most Athenians think that Hipparchus was actually tyrant when he was slain by Harmodius and Aristogeiton; they are not aware that Hippias was the eldest of the sons of Peisistratus, and succeeded him, and that Hipparchus and Thessalus were only his brothers.23 At the last moment, Harmodius and Aristogeiton suddenly suspected that Hippias had been forewarned by some of their accomplices. They therefore abstained from attacking him, but, wishing to do something before they were seized, and not to risk their lives in vain, they slew Hipparchus, with whom they fell in near the temple called Leocorium as he was marshalling the Panathenaic procession. There are many other matters, not obscured by time, but contemporary, about which the other Hellenes are equally mistaken. For example, they imagine that the kings of Lacedaemon in their council have not one but two votes each,24 and that in the army of the Lacedaemonians there is a division called the Pitanate division;25 whereas they never had anything of the sort. So little trouble do men take in the search after truth; so readily do they accept whatever comes first to hand.

Yet any one who upon the grounds which I have given arrives at some such conclusion as my own about those ancient times, would not be far wrong. He must not be misled by the exaggerated fancies of the poets, or by the tales of chroniclers who seek to please the ear rather than to speak the truth. Their accounts cannot be tested by him; and most of the facts in the lapse of ages have passed into the region of romance. At such a distance of time he must make up his mind to be satisfied with conclusions resting upon the clearest evidence which can be had. And, though men will always judge any war in which they are actually fighting to be the greatest at the time, but, after it is over, revert to their admiration of some other which has preceded, still the Peloponnesian, if estimated by the actual facts, will certainly prove to have been the greatest ever known.

As to the speeches which were made either before or during the war, it was hard for me, and for others who reported them to me, to recollect the exact words. I have therefore put into the mouth of each speaker the sentiments proper to the occasion, expressed as I thought he would be likely to express them, while at the same time I endeavoured, as nearly as I could, to give the general purport of what was actually said. Of the events of the war I have not ventured to speak from any chance information, nor according to any notion of my own; I have described nothing but what I either saw myself, or learned from others of whom I made the most careful and particular enquiry. The task was a laborious one, because eye-witnesses of the same occurrences gave different accounts of them, as they remembered or were interested in the actions of one side or the other. And very likely the strictly historical character of my narrative may be disappointing to the ear. But if he who desires to have before his eyes a true picture of the events which have happened, and of the like events which may be expected to happen hereafter in the order of human things, shall pronounce what I have written to be useful, then I shall be satisfied. My history is an everlasting possession, not a prize composition which is heard and forgotten.

The greatest achievement of former times was the Persian War; yet even this was speedily decided in two battles by sea and two by land. But the Peloponnesian War was a protracted struggle, and attended by calamities such as Hellas had never known within a like period of time. Never were so many cities captured and depopulated--some by Barbarians, others by Hellenes themselves fighting against one another; and several of them after their capture were repeopled by strangers. Never were exile and slaughter more frequent, whether in the war or brought about by civil strife. And traditions which had often been current before, but rarely verified by fact, were now no longer doubted. For there were earthquakes unparalleled in their extent and fury, and eclipses of the sun more numerous than are recorded to have happened in any former age; there were also in some places great droughts causing famines, and lastly the plague which did immense harm and destroyed numbers of the people. All these calamities fell upon Hellas simultaneously with the war, which began when the Athenians and Peloponnesians violated the thirty years' truce concluded by them after the recapture of Euboea.26 Why they broke it and what were the grounds of quarrel I will first set forth, that in time to come no man may be at a loss to know what was the origin of this great war. The real though unavowed cause I believe to have been the growth of the Athenian power, which terrified the Lacedaemonians and forced them into war; but the reasons publicly alleged on either side were as follows.

The city of Epidamnus is situated on the right hand as you sail up the Ionian Gulf. The neighbouring inhabitants are the Taulantians, a barbarian tribe of the Illyrian race. The place was colonised by Corcyraeans, but under the leadership of a Corinthian, Phalius, son of Eratocleides, who was of the lineage of Heracles; he was invited, according to ancient custom, from the mother city, and Corinthians and other Dorians joined in the colony. In process of time Epidamnus became great and populous, but there followed a long period of civil commotion, and the city is said to have been brought low in a war against the neighbouring barbarians, and to have lost her ancient power. At last, shortly before the Peloponnesian War, the notables were overthrown and driven out by the people; the exiles went over to the barbarians, and, uniting with them, plundered the remaining inhabitants both by sea and land. These, finding themselves hard pressed, sent an embassy to the mother-city Corcyra, begging the Corcyraeans not to leave them to their fate, but to reconcile them to the exiles and settle the war with the barbarians. The ambassadors came, and sitting as suppliants in the temple of Herè preferred their request; but the Corcyraeans would not listen to them, and they returned without success. The Epidamnians, finding that they had no hope of assistance from Corcyra, knew not what to do, and sending to Delphi enquired of the God whether they should deliver up the city to their original founders, the Corinthians, and endeavour to obtain aid from them. The God replied that they should, and bade them place themselves under the leadership of the Corinthians. So the Epidamnians went to Corinth, and informing the Corinthians of the answer which the oracle had given, delivered up the city to them. They reminded them that the original leader of the colony was a citizen of Corinth; and implored the Corinthians to come and help them, and not leave them to their fate. The Corinthians took up their cause, partly in vindication of their own rights (for they considered that Epidamnus belonged to them quite as much as to the Corcyraeans), partly too because they hated the Corcyraeans, who were their own colony but slighted them. In their common festivals they would not allow them the customary privileges of founders, and at their sacrifices denied to a Corinthian the right of receiving first the lock of hair cut from the head of the victim, an honour usually granted by colonies to a representative of the mother-country. In fact they despised the Corinthians, for they were more than a match for them in military strength, and as rich as any state then existing in Hellas. They would often boast that on the sea they were very far superior to them, and would appropriate to themselves the naval renown of the Phaeacians, who were the ancient inhabitants of the island. Such feelings led them more and more to strengthen their navy, which was by no means despicable; for they had a hundred and twenty triremes when the war broke out.

Irritated by these causes of offence, the Corinthians were too happy to assist Epidamnus; accordingly they invited any one who was willing to settle there, and for the protection of the colonists despatched with them Ambracian and Leucadian troops and a force of their own. All these they sent by land as far as Apollonia, which is a colony of theirs, fearing that if they went by sea the Corcyraeans might oppose their passage. Great was the rage of the Corcyraeans when they discovered that the settlers and the troops had entered Epidamnus and that the colony had been given up to the Corinthians. They immediately set sail with five and twenty ships, followed by a second fleet, and in insulting terms bade the Epidamnians receive the exiled oligarchs, who had gone to Corcyra and implored the Corcyraeans to restore them, appealing to the tie of kindred and pointing to the sepulchres of their common ancestors.27 They also bade them send away the troops and the new settlers. But the Epidamnians would not listen to their demands. Whereupon the Corcyraeans attacked them with forty ships. They were accompanied by the exiles whom they were to restore, and had the assistance of the native Illyrian troops. They sat down before the city, and made proclamation that any Epidamnian who chose, and the foreigners, might depart in safety, but that all who remained would be treated as enemies. This had no effect, and the Corcyraeans proceeded to invest the city, which is built upon an isthmus.

When the news reached the Corinthians that Epidamnus was besieged, they equipped an army and proclaimed that a colony was to be sent thither; all who wished might go and enjoy equal rights of citizenship; but any one who was unwilling to sail at once might remain at Corinth, and, if he made a deposit of fifty Corinthian drachmae, might still have a share in the colony.28

Many sailed, and many deposited the money. The Corinthians also sent and requested the Megarians to assist them with a convoy in case the Corcyraeans should intercept the colonists on their voyage. The Megarians accordingly provided eight ships, and the Cephallenians of Palè four; the Epidaurians, of whom they made a similar request, five; the Hermionians one; the Troezenians two; the Leucadians ten; and the Ambraciots eight. Of the Thebans and Phliasians they begged money, and of the Eleans money, and ships without crews. On their own account they equipped thirty ships and three thousand hoplites.

When the Corcyraeans heard of their preparations they came to Corinth, taking with them Lacdaemonian and Sicyonian envoys, and summoned the Corinthians to withdraw the troops and the colonists, telling them that they had nothing to do with Epidamnus. If they made any claim to it, the Corcyraeans expressed themselves willing to refer the cause for arbitration to such Peloponnesian states as both parties should agree upon, and their decision was to be final; or, they were willing to leave the matter in the hands of the Delphian oracle. But they deprecated war, and declared that, if war there must be, they would be compelled by the Corinthians in self-defence to discard their present friends and seek others whom they would rather not, for help they must have. The Corinthians replied that if the Corcyraeans would withdraw the ships and the barbarian troops they would consider the matter, but that it would not do for them to be litigating while Epidamnus and the colonists were in a state of siege. The Corcyraeans rejoined that they would consent to this proposal if the Corinthians on their part would withdraw their forces from Epidamnus: or again, they were willing that both parties should remain29 on the spot, and that a truce should be made until the decision was given.

The Corinthians turned a deaf ear to all these overtures, and, when their vessels were manned and their allies had arrived, they sent a herald before them to declare war, and set sail for Epidamnus with seventy-five ships and two thousand hoplites, intending to give battle to the Corcyraeans. Their fleet was commanded by Aristeus the son of Pellichus, Callicrates the son of Callias, and Timanor the son of Timanthes; the land forces by Archetimus the son of Eurytimus, and Isarchidas the son of Isarchus. When they arrived at Actium in the territory of Anactorium, at the mouth of the Ambracian gulf, where the temple of Apollo stands, the Corcyraeans sent a herald to meet them in a small boat forbidding them to come on. Meanwhile their crews got on board; they had previously put their fleet in repair, and strengthened the old ships with cross-timbers, so as to make them serviceable. The herald brought back no message of peace from the Corinthians. The Corcyraean ships, numbering eighty (for forty out of the hundred and twenty were engaged in the blockade of Epidamnus), were now fully manned; these sailed out against the Corinthians and, forming line, fought and won a complete victory over them, and destroyed fifteen of their ships. On the very same day the forces besieging Epidamnus succeeded in compelling the city to capitulate, the terms being that the Corinthians until their fate was determined should be imprisoned and the strangers sold.

After the sea-fight the Corcyraeans raised a trophy on Leucimnè, a promontory of Corcyra, and put to death all their prisoners with the exception of the Corinthians, whom they kept in chains. The defeated Corinthians and their allies then returned home, and the Corcyraeans (who were now masters of the Ionian sea), sailing to Leucas, a Corinthian colony, devastated the country. They also burnt Cyllenè, where the Eleans had their docks, because they had supplied the Corinthians with money and ships. And, during the greater part of the summer after the battle, they retained the command of the sea and sailed about plundering the allies of the Corinthians. But, before the season was over, the Corinthians, perceiving that their allies were suffering, sent out a fleet and took up a position at Actium and near the promontory of Cheimerium in Thesprotia, that they might protect Leucas and other friendly places. The Corcyraeans with their fleet and army stationed themselves on the opposite coast at Leucimnè. Neither party attacked the other, but during the remainder of the summer they maintained their respective stations, and at the approach of winter returned home.

For the whole year after the battle and for a year after that, the Corinthians, exasperated by the war with Corcyra, were busy in building ships. They took the utmost pains to create a great navy: rowers were collected from the Peloponnesus and from the rest of Hellas by the attraction of pay. The Corcyraeans were alarmed at the report of their preparations. They reflected that they had not enrolled themselves in the league either of the Athenians or of the Lacedaemonians, and that allies in Hellas they had none. They determined to go to Athens, join the Athenian alliance, and get what help they could from them. The Corinthians, hearing of their intentions, also sent ambassadors to Athens, fearing lest the combination of the Athenian and Corcyraean navies might prevent them from bringing the war to a satisfactory termination. Accordingly an assembly was held at which both parties came forward to plead their respective causes; and first the Corcyraeans spoke as follows:

'Men of Athens, those who, like ourselves, come to others who are not their allies and to whom they have never rendered any considerable service and ask help of them, are bound to show, in the first place, that the granting of their request is expedient, or at any rate not inexpedient, and, secondly, that their gratitude will be lasting. If they fulfil neither requirement they have no right to complain of a refusal. Now the Corcyraeans, when they sent us hither to ask for an alliance, were confident that they could establish to your satisfaction both these points. But, unfortunately, we have had a practice alike inconsistent with the request which we are about to make and contrary to our own interest at the present moment:--Inconsistent; for hitherto we have never, if we could avoid it, been the allies of others, and now we come and ask you to enter into an alliance with us;--Contrary to our interest; for through this practice we find ourselves isolated in our war with the Corinthians. The policy of not making alliances lest they should endanger us at another's bidding, instead of being wisdom, as we once fancied, has now unmistakably proved to be weakness and folly. True, in the last naval engagement we repelled the Corinthians single-handed. But now they are on the point of attacking us with a much greater force which they have drawn together from the Peloponnesus and from all Hellas. We know that we are too weak to resist them unaided, and may expect the worst if we fall into their hands. We are therefore compelled to ask assistance of you and of all the world; and you must not be hard upon us if now, renouncing our indolent neutrality which was an error but not a crime, we dare to be inconsistent.

'To you at this moment the request which we are making offers a glorious opportunity. In the first place, you will assist the oppressed and not the oppressors; secondly, you will admit us to your alliance at a time when our dearest interests are at stake, and will lay up a treasure of gratitude in our memories which will have the most abiding of all records. Lastly, we have a navy greater than any but your own. Reflect; what good fortune can be more extraordinary, what more annoying to your enemies than the voluntary accession of a power for whose alliance you would have given any amount of money and could never have been too thankful? This power now places herself at your disposal; you are to incur no danger and no expense, and she brings you a good name in the world, gratitude from those who seek your aid, and an increase of your own strength. Few have ever had all these advantages offered them at once; equally few when they come asking an alliance are able to give in the way of security and honour as much as they hope to receive.

'And if any one thinks that the war in which our services may be needed will never arrive, he is mistaken. He does not see that the Lacedaemonians, fearing the growth of your empire, are eager to take up arms, and that the Corinthians, who are your enemies, are all-powerful with them. They begin with us, but they will go on to you, that we may not stand united against them in the bond of a common enmity; they will not miss the chance of weakening us or strengthening themselves. And it is our business to strike first, we offering and you accepting our alliance, and to forestall their designs instead of waiting to counteract them.

'If they say that we are their colony and that therefore you have no right to receive us, they should be made to understand that all colonies honour their mother-city when she treats them well, but are estranged from her by injustice. For colonists are not meant to be the servants but the equals of those who remain at home. And the injustice of their conduct to us is manifest: for we proposed an arbitration in the matter of Epidamnus, but they insisted on prosecuting their quarrel by arms and would not hear of a legal trial.30. When you see how they treat us who are their own kinsmen, take warning: if they try deception, do not be misled by them; and if they make a direct request of you, refuse. For he passes through life most securely who has least reason to reproach himself with complaisance to his enemies.

'But again, you will not break the treaty with the Lacedaemonians31 by receiving us: for we are not allies either of you or of them. What says the treaty?--"Any Hellenic city which is the ally of no one may join whichever league it pleases." And how monstrous, that they should man their ships, not only from their own confederacy, but from Hellas in general, nay, even from your subjects, while they would debar us from the alliance which naturally offers and from every other, and will denounce it as a crime if you accede to our request. With far better reason shall we complain of you if you refuse. For you will be thrusting away us who are not your enemies and are in peril; and, far from restraining the enemy and the aggressor, you will be allowing him to gather fresh forces out of your own dominions. How unjust is this! Surely if you would be impartial you should either prevent the Corinthians from hiring soldiers in your dominions, or send to us also such help as you can be induced to send; but it would be best of all if you would openly receive and assist us. Many, as we have already intimated, are the advantages which we offer. Above all, our enemies are your enemies, which is the best guarantee of fidelity in an ally; and they are not weak but well able to injure those who secede from them. Again, when the proffered alliance is that of a maritime and not of an inland power, it is a far more serious matter to refuse. You should, if possible, allow no one to have a fleet but yourselves; or, if this is impossible, whoever is strongest at sea; make him your friend.

'Some one may think that the course which we recommend is expedient, but he may be afraid that if he is convinced by our arguments he will break the treaty. To him we reply, that as long as he is strong he may make a present of his fears to the enemy, but that if he reject the alliance he will be weak, and then his confidence, however reassuring to himself, will be anything but terrifying to enemies who are strong. It is Athens about which he is advising, and not Corcyra: will he be providing for her best interests if, when war is imminent and almost at the door, he is so anxious about the chances of the hour that he hesitates to attach to him a state which cannot be made a friend or enemy without momentous consequences? Corcyra, besides offering many other advantages, is conveniently situated for the coast voyage to Italy and Sicily; it stands in the way of any fleet coming from thence to the Peloponnesus, and can also protect a fleet on its way to Sicily. One word more, which is the sum of all and everything we have to say, and should convince you that you must not abandon us. Hellas has only three considerable navies:--there is ours, and there is yours, and there is the Corinthian. Now, if the Corinthians get hold of ours, and you allow the two to become one, you will have to fight against the united navies of Corcyra and the Peloponnesus. But, if you make us your allies, you will have our navy in addition to your own ranged at your side in the impending conflict.'

Thus spoke the Corcyraeans: the Corinthians replied as follows:

'Since these Corcyraeans have chosen to speak, not only of their reception into your alliance, but of our misdoings and of the unjust war which has been forced upon them by us, we too must touch on these two points before we proceed to our main argument, that you may be better prepared to appreciate our claim upon you, and may have a good reason for rejecting their petition. They pretend that they have hitherto refused to make alliances from a wise moderation, but they really adopted this policy from a mean and not from a high motive. They did not want to have an ally who might go and tell of their crimes, and who would put them to the blush whenever they called him in. Their insular position makes them judges of their own offences against others, and they can therefore afford to dispense with judges appointed under treaties; for they hardly ever visit their neighbours, but foreign ships are constantly driven to their shores by stress of weather. And all the time they screen themselves under the specious name of neutrality, making believe that they are unwilling to be the accomplices of other men's crimes. But the truth is that they wish to keep their own criminal courses to themselves: where they are strong, to oppress; where they cannot be found out, to defraud; and whatever they may contrive to appropriate, never to be ashamed. If they were really upright men, as they profess to be, the greater their immunity from attack the more clearly they might have made their honesty appear by a willingness to submit differences to arbitration.

'But such they have not shown themselves either towards us or towards others. Although they are our colony they have always stood aloof from us, and now they are fighting against us on the plea that they were not sent out to be ill used. To which we rejoin that we did not send them out to be insulted by them, but that we might be recognised as their leaders and receive proper respect. Our other colonies at any rate honour us; no city is more beloved by her colonies than Corinth. That we are popular with the majority proves that the Corcyraeans have no reason to dislike us; and, if it seems extraordinary that we should go to war with them, our defence is that the injury which they are doing us is unexampled.32 Even if we had been misled by passion, it would have been honourable in them to make allowance for us, and dishonourable in us to use violence when they showed moderation. But they have wronged us over and over again in their insolence and pride of wealth; and now there is our colony of Epidamnus which they would not acknowledge in her distress, but, when we came to her rescue, they seized and are now holding by force.

'They pretend that they first offered to have the matter decided by arbitration. The appeal to justice might have some meaning in the mouth of one who before he had recourse to arms acted honourably, as he now talks fairly,33 but not when it is made from a position of security and advantage. Whereas these men began by laying siege to Epidamnus, and not until they feared our vengeance did they put forward their specious offer of arbitration. And as if the wrong which they have themselves done at Epidamnus were not enough, they now come hither and ask you to be, not their allies, but their accomplices in crime, and would have you receive them when they are at enmity with us. But they ought to have come when they were out of all danger, not at a time when we are smarting under an injury and they have good reason to be afraid. You have never derived any benefit from their power, but they will now be benefited by yours, and, although innocent of their crimes, you will equally be held responsible by us. If you were to have shared the consequences with them, they ought long ago to have shared the power with you.34

'We have proved that our complaints are justified and that our adversaries are tyrannical and dishonest; we will now show you that you have no right to receive them. Admitting that the treaty allows any unenrolled cities to join either league, this provision does not apply to those who have in view the injury of others, but only to him who is in need of protection,--certainly not to one who forsakes his allegiance and who will bring war instead of peace to those who receive him, or rather, if they are wise, will not receive him on such terms. And war the Corcyraeans will bring to you if you listen to them and not to us. For if you become the allies of the Corcyraeans you will be no longer at peace with us, but will be converted into enemies; and we must, if you take their part, in defending ourselves against them, defend ourselves against you. But you ought in common justice to stand aloof from both; or, if you must join either, you should join us and go to war with them; to Corinth you are at all events bound by treaty, but with Corcyra you never even entered into a temporary negotiation. And do not set the precedent of receiving the rebellious subjects of others. At the revolt of Samos,35 when the other Peloponnesians were divided upon the question of giving aid to the rebels, we voted in your favour and expressly maintained "that every one should be allowed to chastise his own allies." If you mean to receive and assist evil-doers, we shall assuredly gain as many allies of yours as you will of ours; and you will establish a principle which will tell against yourselves more than against us.

'Such are the grounds of right which we urge; and they are sufficient according to Hellenic law. And may we venture to recall to your minds an obligation of which we claim the repayment in our present need, we and you being not enemies who seek one another's hurt, nor yet friends who freely give and take? There was a time before the Persian invasion when you were in want of ships for the Aeginetan war, and we Corinthians lent you twenty: the service which we then rendered to you gave you the victory over the Aeginetans,36 as the other, which prevented the Peloponnesians from aiding the Samians, enabled you to punish Samos. Both benefits were conferred on one of those critical occasions when men in the act of attacking their enemies are utterly regardless of everything but victory, and deem him who assists them a friend though he may have previously been a foe, him who opposes them a foe, even though he may happen to be a friend; nay, they will often neglect their own interests in the excitement of the struggle.

'Think of these things; let the younger be informed of them by their elders, and resolve all of you to render like for like. Do not say to yourselves that this is just, but that in the event of war something else is expedient; for the true path of expediency is the path of right. The war with which the Corcyraeans would frighten you into doing wrong is distant, and may never come; is it worth while to be so carried away by the prospect of it, that you bring upon yourselves the hatred of the Corinthians which is both near and certain? Would you not be wiser in seeking to mitigate the ill-feeling which your treatment of the Megarians has already inspired?37 The later kindness done in season, though small in comparison, may cancel a greater previous offence. And do not be attracted by their offer of a great naval alliance; for to do no wrong to a neighbour is a surer source of strength than to gain a perilous advantage under the influence of a momentary illusion.

'We are now ourselves in the same situation in which you were, when we declared at Sparta that every one so placed should be allowed to chastise his own allies; and we claim to receive the same measure at your hands. You were profited by our vote, and we ought not to be injured by yours. Pay what you owe, knowing that this is our time of need, in which a man's best friend is he who does him a service, he who opposes him, his worst enemy. Do not receive these Corcyraeans into alliance in despite of us, and do not support them in injustice. In acting thus you will act rightly, and will consult your own true interests.'

Such were the words of the Corinthians.

The Athenians heard both sides, and they held two assemblies; in the first of them they were more influenced by the words of the Corinthians, but in the second they changed their minds and inclined towards the Corcyraeans. They would not go so far as to make an alliance both offensive and defensive with them; for then, if the Corcyraeans had required them to join in an expedition against Corinth, the treaty with the Peloponnesians would have been broken. But they concluded a defensive league, by which the two states promised to aid each other if an attack were made on the territory or on the allies of either. For they knew that in any case the war with Peloponnesus was inevitable, and they had no mind to let Corcyra and her navy fall into the hands of the Corinthians. Their plan was to embroil them more and more with one another, and then, when the war came, the Corinthians and the other naval powers would be weaker. They also considered that Corcyra was conveniently situated for the coast voyage to Italy and Sicily.

Under the influence of these feelings, they received the Corcyraeans into alliance; the Corinthians departed; and the Athenians now despatched to Corcyra ten ships commanded by Lacedaemonius the son of Cimon, Diotimus the son of Strombichus, and Proteas the son of Epicles. The commanders received orders not to engage with the Corinthians unless they sailed against Corcyra or to any place belonging to the Corcyraeans, and attempted to land there, in which case they were to resist them to the utmost. These orders were intended to prevent a breach of the treaty.38

The Corinthians, when their preparations were completed, sailed against Corcyra with a hundred and fifty ships,--ten Elean, twelve Megarian, ten Leucadian, twenty-seven Ambraciot, one from Anactorium, and ninety of their own. The contingents of the several cities were commanded by their own generals. The Corinthian commander was Xenocleides the son of Euthycles, with four others. The fleet sailed from Leucas, and, arriving at the mainland opposite Corcyra, came to anchor at Cheimerium in the country of Thesprotia. Cheimerium is only a harbour;39 above it, at some distance from the sea, in that part of Thesprotia called Eleatis, lies the city of Ephyrè, near which the Acherusian lake finds a way out to the sea; the river Acheron, whence the name is derived, flows through Thesprotia and falls into the lake. Another river, the Thyamis, forms the boundary of Thesprotia and Cestrinè, and the promontory of Cheimerium runs out between these two rivers. Here the Corinthians anchored and formed a camp.

The Corcyraeans, observing their approach, manned a hundred and ten ships. These, which were placed under the command of Meiciades, Aesimides, and Eurybatus, took up a position off one of the islands called Sybota; the ten Athenian ships accompanied them. The land forces occupied the promontory of Leucimnè, whither a thousand Zacynthians had come to the aid of Corcyra. The Corinthians on their part were supported by a large force of barbarians, which collected on the mainland; for the inhabitants of this region have always been well disposed towards them.

The Corinthians had now made their preparations, and, taking with them three days' provisions, put off by night from Cheimerium, intending to give battle: at break of day they descried the Corcyraean fleet, which had also put out to sea and was sailing to meet them. As soon as they saw one another, they ranged themselves in order of battle. On the right Corcyraean wing were the Athenian ships. The Corcyraeans themselves occupied the centre and the left wing, and were drawn up in three divisions, each under the command of one of the generals. On the right wing of the Corinthians were the Megarian and Ambraciot ships, in the centre the contingents of their other allies; they themselves with their swiftest vessels formed the left wing, which was opposed to the Athenians and to the right division of the Corcyraeans.

The standards were now raised on both sides, and the two fleets met and fought. The decks of both were crowded with heavy infantry, with archers and with javelin-men; for their naval arrangements were still of the old clumsy sort. The engagement was obstinate, but more courage than skill was displayed, and it had almost the appearance of a battle by land. When two ships once charged one another it was hardly possible to part company, for the throng of vessels was dense, and the hopes of victory lay chiefly in the heavy-armed, who maintained a steady fight upon the decks, the ships meanwhile remaining motionless. There were no attempts to break the enemy's line. Brute force and rage made up for the want of tactics. Everywhere the battle was a scene of tumult and confusion. At any point where they saw the Corcyraeans distressed, the Athenians appeared and kept the enemy in check; but the generals, who were afraid of disobeying their instructions, would not begin the attack themselves. The Corinthians suffered most on their right wing. For the Corcyraeans with twenty ships routed them, drove them in disorder to the shore, and sailed right up to their encampment; there landing, they plundered and burnt the deserted tents. So in this part of the battle the Corinthians and their allies were worsted, and the Corcyraeans prevailed. But the left wing of the Corinthians, where their own ships were stationed, had greatly the advantage, because the Corcyraeans, whose numbers were originally inferior, had now twenty vessels detached in the pursuit. When the Athenians saw the distress of the Corcyraeans, they began to assist them more openly. At first they had abstained from actual collision, but when the Corcyraeans fled outright and the Corinthians pressed them hard, then every man fell to work; all distinctions were forgotten;-the time had arrived when Corinthian and Athenian were driven to attack one another.

The Corinthians, having put to flight their enemies, never stopped to take in tow the hulls of the vessels which they had disabled, but fell upon the men; they rowed up and down and slew them, giving no quarter, and unintentionally killing their own friends; for they were not aware that their right wing had been defeated. There were so many ships on one side and on the other, and they covered so great an extent of water, that, when the engagement had once begun, it was hard among conquerors and conquered to distinguish friend from foe. For never before had two Hellenic navies so numerous met in battle.

When the Corinthians had chased the Corcyraeans to the shore, they turned their attention to their own wrecks and the bodies of their dead. Most of these were recovered by them and conveyed to Sybota, a desert harbour of Thesprotia, whither their barbarian allies had come to support them. They then formed afresh and once more made a movement towards the Corcyraeans, who, taking such vessels as had not been disabled, and any others which they had in their docks, together with the Athenian ships, put out to meet them, dreading a descent upon Corcyra. It was now late in the day and the Paean had been already sounded for the onset, when the Corinthians suddenly began to row astern. They had descried sailing towards them twenty vessels which the Athenians had sent to reinforce the former ten, fearing what had actually happened, that the Corcyraeans would he defeated, and that the original squadron would be insufficient to protect them.

The Corinthians, who had the first view of these vessels, suspecting that they were Athenian and that there were more of them than they saw, were beginning to retreat. The Corcyraeans, owing to their position, could not see them, and they wondered why the Corinthians rowed astern. At length some of them who spied the advancing fleet exclaimed, 'Yonder are ships coming up;' and then the Corcyraeans, as it was getting dark, likewise retired, and the Corinthians turned about and sailed away. Thus the two fleets separated after a battle which lasted until nightfall. The twenty ships which came from Athens under the command of Glaucon the son of Leagrus, and Andocides the son of Leogoras, made their way through the wrecks and corpses and sailed into the Corcyraean station at Leucimnè almost as soon as they were sighted. At first in the darkness the Corcyraeans feared that they were enemies, but they soon recognised them and the Athenian vessels came to anchor.

On the next day the thirty Athenian and all the Corcyraean ships which were fit for service, wanting to ascertain whether the Corinthians would fight, sailed to the harbour at Sybota where their fleet lay. The Corinthians, putting out into deep water, drew up their ships in line and so remained, but they did not intend to begin the battle. For they saw that fresh ships, which had received no damage in the action, had arrived from Athens, and their own position was one of great difficulty. They had to guard the prisoners in their vessels, and there were no means of refitting in such a desert place. They were more disposed to consider how they should get home than to fight. For they feared that the Athenians, deeming the peace, now that blows had been exchanged, to be already broken, would intercept their return.

They therefore determined to send a few men in a boat without a flag of truce to the Athenians, and so test their intentions. The men were to deliver the following message: 'You do wrong, Athenians, to begin war and violate the treaty. We were only chastising our enemies, and you come with a hostile force and place yourselves between us and them. If it is your intention to hinder us from sailing to Corcyra, or whithersoever we choose, and you are going to break the treaty, take us first and deal with us as enemies.' Whereupon all the Corcyraeans who were within hearing cried out 'Take and kill them.' But the Athenians replied 'Men of Peloponnesus, we are not beginning war, and we are not violating the treaty; we are only aiding the Corcyraeans here, who are our allies. If you mean to sail against Corcyra or any place belonging to the Corcyraeans, we will do our utmost to prevent you, but, if you want to go anywhere else, you may.'

Reassured by this reply, the Corinthians prepared to sail home, first setting up a trophy at the Sybota which is on the mainland. The Corcyraeans took up the wrecks and dead bodies which were carried towards them, the current and the wind which had risen during the night having scattered them in all directions. They then set up a rival trophy on the island of Sybota. Both parties claimed the victory, but on different grounds. The Corinthians had retained the advantage in the seafight until nightfall, and had thus secured a greater number of wrecks and dead bodies; they had taken not less than a thousand prisoners and had disabled about seventy ships. The Corcyraeans, on the other hand, had destroyed some thirty sail, and when reinforced by the Athenians had taken up the wrecks and dead bodies which had drifted in their direction; whereas the enemy on the evening of the battle had rowed astern at sight of the Athenian ships, and after their arrival had not come out against them from Sybota. Upon these grounds both sides raised trophies and claimed the victory. On their homeward voyage the Corinthians took by stratagem Anactorium, a town situated at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, which they and the Corcyraeans held in common; there they settled colonists of their own, and returned to Corinth. Of their Corcyraean captives eight hundred who were slaves they sold, but two hundred and fifty they detained in prison, treating them with much consideration, in the hope that, when they returned, they would win over Corcyra to the Corinthian interest:40 it so happened that the majority of them were among the most influential men of the state. Thus the war ended to the advantage of Corcyra, and the Athenian fleet returned home. This was the first among the causes of the Peloponnesian War, the Corinthians alleging that the Athenian fleet had taken part with the Corcyraeans and had fought against them in a time of truce.

There soon arose another cause of quarrel between the Athenians and Peloponnesians. Potidaea, which is situated on the isthmus of Pallenè, was originally a Corinthian colony, although at this time the tributary and ally of Athens. Now the Corinthians were forming plans of vengeance, and the Athenians, who suspected their intentions, commanded the Potidaeans to raze their walls on the side of Pallenè and give hostages; also to send away and not to receive for the future the magistrates whom the Corinthians annually sent to them. For they were afraid lest the Potidaeans might be persuaded by the Corinthians and Perdiccas to revolt, and might induce the rest of Chalcidicè to follow their example.

These measures of precaution were taken by the Athenians immediately after the sea-fight off Corcyra. The hostility of the Corinthians was no longer doubtful, and Perdiccas, king of Macedon, the son of Alexander, hitherto the friend and ally of Athens, had now become an enemy. He had quarrelled with the Athenians because they had made an alliance with his brother Philip and with Derdas, who were leagued against him. Alarmed by their attitude, he sent envoys to Sparta and did all he could to stir up a war between Athens and the Peloponnese. He also sought the alliance of Corinth, for he had an eye to the revolt of Potidaea; and he proposed to the Chalcidians and to the Bottiaeans that they should join in the revolt, thinking, that if he had the assistance of the neighbouring peoples, the difficulties of the war would be diminished. The Athenians became aware of his designs and resolved to forestall the revolt of the cities. They were already intending to send against Perdiccas thirty ships and a thousand hoplites under the command of Archestratus the son of Lycomedes, and ten41 others, and they told their admirals to take hostages from the Potidaeans and to demolish their wall. They were also to keep a watch over the towns in the neighbourhood and prevent any attempt at rebellion.

Meanwhile the Potidaeans sent envoys to the Athenians in the hope of persuading them to take no strong measures; but at the same time other envoys of theirs accompanied a Corinthian embassy to Lacedaemon and exerted themselves to procure assistance in case of need. A long negotiation was carried on at Athens which came to no satisfactory result; the ships destined for Macedonia were also sent against Potidaea. But at Lacedaemon they were promised by the magistrates that if the Athenians attacked Potidaea they would invade Attica. So they seized the opportunity and revolted: the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans swore alliance with them and joined in the revolt. Perdiccas persuaded the Chalcidians to abandon and pull down their towns on the sea-coast, and settling at Olynthus inland, there to form one strong city. On their removal he gave them part of his own territory of Mygdonia about the lake Bolbè to cultivate while the contest lasted. So, dismantling their cities, they settled up the country and made preparation for war.

The Athenians, when the thirty ships arrived in Chalcidicè, found that Potidaea and the other cities had already revolted. Whereupon the generals, thinking that they were not able without a stronger force to act against all the rebels as well as against Perdiccas, directed their attention to Macedonia, which was their original destination, and there carried on a regular campaign in concert with Philip and the brothers of Derdas, who had invaded the country from the interior.

Now that Potidaea had revolted and the Athenian ships were on the coast of Macedonia, the Corinthians grew anxious about the town; they felt that the danger came home to them, and despatched thither volunteers of their own and other troops whom they attracted by pay from various parts of the Peloponnese, numbering in all sixteen hundred hoplites and four hundred light-armed. Their commander was Aristeus the son of Adeimantus, who had always been a great friend of the Potidaeans; it was mainly out of regard for him that most of the Corinthian soldiers volunteered on the expedition. They arrived in Chalcidicè forty days after the revolt of Potidaea.

The news of the revolt in Chalcidicè quickly reached Athens, and the Athenians, when they heard that Aristeus had come with reinforcements, sent against the revolted towns forty ships and two thousand of their own hoplites under the command of Callias the son of Calliades, and four others. The expedition, sailing first of all to Macedonia, found that the former thousand had just taken Thermè and were blockading Pydna; they joined in the siege themselves; but before long the Athenian army were constrained to come to an understanding and make an alliance with Perdiccas. For Potidaea, now that Aristeus had arrived, urgently demanded their presence; so they prepared to quit Macedonia. They first marched out of their way to Beroea, which they attempted to take without success. Returning to their route, they moved on by land towards Potidaea with three thousand hoplites of their own and a large force of allies; they had also six hundred Macedonian horse, who fought under Philip and Pausanias; meanwhile their ships, in number seventy, sailed along the coast. Proceeding by slow marches, they arrived on the third day at Gigonus and there encamped.

The Potidaeans and the Peloponnesian force under Aristeus had now taken up a position at the isthmus on the side towards Olynthus,42 where they awaited the coming of the Athenians; they held their market outside the walls of Potidaea. The allies had chosen Aristeus general of all the infantry, and of the cavalry Perdiccas, for he had no sooner joined than he again deserted the Athenians and was now fighting on the side of the Potidaeans, having appointed Iolaus to be his lieutenant at home.43 The plan of Aristeus was as follows:--His own army was to remain on the isthmus and watch for the approach of the Athenians, while the Chalcidians, their allies from beyond the isthmus, and the two hundred horse furnished by Perdiccas were stationed at Olynthus; and as soon as the Athenians attacked Aristeus himself and his army, they were to fall upon them in the rear; thus the enemy would be assailed on both sides. But Callias the Athenian general and his colleagues sent the Macedonian horse and a few of the allied troops towards Olynthus that they might check any movement in that quarter, while they themselves, quitting their position, marched against Potidaea. When they had reached the isthmus and saw the enemy preparing for battle, they did the same. The two armies soon closed. The wing led by Aristeus, which was composed of his Corinthian followers and other picked troops, routed their opponents and chased them far away; but the rest of the army, both Potidaeans and Peloponnesians, were defeated by the Athenians and fled into the city.

Aristeus, when he returned from the pursuit and perceived that the other wing of his army was defeated, hesitated whether he should make for Olynthus or return to Potidaea. Both courses were hazardous; but at last he determined to contract his troops into the smallest compass and force his way at full speed into Potidaea. Harassed by the missiles of the enemy he pushed forward through the water44 along the bank in front of the sea-wall, not without loss; but he contrived to save the greater part of his men. When the battle began, the allies of the Potidaeans in Olynthus, which is only about seven miles45 distant, and is visible from Potidaea, seeing the signals raised, came out a little way to support their friends; and the Macedonian horse drew up in order of battle to oppose them. But victory quickly declared for the Athenians; and when the signals were torn down the Olynthian auxiliaries retired within the walls, and the Macedonians rejoined the Athenians: thus on neither side did the cavalry take any part in the action. The Athenians raised a trophy and granted the Potidaeans a truce for the burial of their dead. Of the Potidaeans and their allies, there fell somewhat less than three hundred; of the Athenians, a hundred and fifty, and their general Callias.

The Athenians instantly blockaded the town on the side towards the isthmus, raising a wall, which they guarded; but the side towards Pallenè was left open. They were conscious that they were too weak both to guard the isthmus and, crossing over to Pallenè, there to build another wall; they feared that their forces if divided would be attacked by the Potidaeans and their allies. Afterwards, when the Athenians at home heard that on the side towards Pallenè Potidaea was not invested, they sent out sixteen hundred hoplites of their own under the command of Phormio the son of Asopius. On his arrival in Pallenè he made Aphytis his head-quarters, and brought his army by slow marches up to Potidaea, wasting the country as he went along. No one came out to meet him, and so he built a wall towards Pallenè. Potidaea was now closely invested on both sides, while the Athenian ships, lying off the city, cut off all communication from the sea.

Aristeus despaired of saving the place unless aid came from Peloponnesus or he was relieved in some unforeseen manner. Being anxious to husband provisions, he proposed to the garrison that they should avail themselves of the first favourable wind and sail away, leaving behind five hundred men, of whom he offered to be one. But they would not listen to him; so, wanting to do the best he could, and to further the Peloponnesian interests beyond the walls, he sailed out undiscovered by the Athenian guard-ships. He did not leave the country, but assisted the Chalcidians in carrying on the war. He succeeded in cutting off a large force of Sermylians by an ambuscade which he laid near their city; he also exerted himself to obtain aid from Peloponnesus. Phormio with his sixteen hundred hoplites, now that Potidaea was invested, ravaged Chalcidicè and Botticè, and captured several places.

Such were the causes of ill-feeling which at this time existed between the Athenians and Peloponnesians: the Corinthians complaining that the Athenians were blockading their colony of Potidaea, and a Corinthian and Peloponnesian garrison in it; the Athenians rejoining that a member of the Peloponnesian confederacy had excited to revolt a state which was an ally and tributary of theirs, and that they had now openly joined the Potidaeans, and were fighting on their side. The Peloponnesian war, however, had not yet broken out; the peace still continued; for thus far the Corinthians had acted alone.

But now, seeing Potidaea besieged, they bestirred themselves in earnest. Corinthian troops were shut up within the walls, and they were afraid of losing the town; so without delay they invited the allies to meet at Sparta. There they inveighed against the Athenians, whom they affirmed to have broken the treaty and to be wronging the Peloponnese. The Aeginetans did not venture to send envoys openly, but secretly they acted with the Corinthians, and were among the chief instigators of the war, declaring that they had been robbed of the independence which the treaty guaranteed them. The Lacedaemonians themselves then proceeded to summon any of the allies who had similar charges46 to bring against the Athenians, and calling their own ordinary assembly told them to speak. Several of them came forward and stated their wrongs: The Megarians alleged, among other grounds of complaint, that they were excluded from all harbours within the Athenian dominion and from the Athenian market, contrary to the treaty. The Corinthians waited until the other allies had stirred up the Lacedaemonians; at length they came forward, and, last of all, spoke as follows:

'The spirit of trust, Lacedaemonians, which animates your own political and social life, makes you distrust others who, like ourselves, have something unpleasant to say,47 and this temper of mind, though favourable to moderation, too often leaves you in ignorance of what is going on outside your own country. Time after time we have warned you of the mischief which the Athenians would do to us, but instead of taking our words to heart, you chose to suspect that we only spoke from interested motives. And this is the reason why you have brought the allies to Sparta too late, not before but after the injury has been inflicted, and when they are smarting under the sense of it. Which of them all has a better right to speak than ourselves, who have the heaviest accusations to make, outraged as we are by the Athenians, and neglected by you? If the crimes which they are committing against Hellas were being done in a corner, then you might be ignorant, and we should have to inform you of them: but now, what need of many words? Some of us, as you see, have been already enslaved; they are at this moment intriguing against others, notably against allies of ours; and long ago they had made all their preparations in the prospect of war. Else why did they seduce from her allegiance Corcyra, which they still hold in defiance of us, and why are they blockading Potidaea, the latter a most advantageous post for the command of the Thracian peninsula, the former a great naval power which might have assisted the Peloponnesians?

'And the blame of all this rests on you; for you who originally allowed them to fortify their city after the Persian War,48 and afterwards to build their Long Walls;49 and to this hour you have gone on defrauding of liberty their unfortunate subjects, and are now beginning to take it away from your own allies. For the true enslaver of a people is he who can put an end to their slavery but has no care about it; and all the more, if he be reputed the champion of liberty in Hellas.--And so we have met at last, but with what difficulty! and even now we have no definite object. By this time we ought to have been considering, not whether we are wronged, but how we are to be revenged. The aggressor is not now threatening, but advancing; he has made up his mind, while we are resolved about nothing. And we know too well how by slow degrees and with stealthy steps the Athenians encroach upon their neighbours. While they think that you are too dull to observe them, they are more careful, but, when they know that you wilfully overlook their aggressions, they will strike and not spare. Of all Hellenes, Lacedaemonians, you are the only people who never do anything: on the approach of an enemy you are content to defend yourselves against him, not by acts, but by intentions, and seek to overthrow him, not in the infancy but in the fulness of his strength. How came you to be considered safe? That reputation of yours was never justified by facts. We all know that the Persian made his way from the ends of the earth against Peloponnesus before you encountered him in a worthy manner; and now you are blind to the doings of the Athenians, who are not at a distance as he was, but close at hand. Instead of attacking your enemy, you wait to be attacked, and take the chances of a struggle which has been deferred until his power is doubled. And you know that the Barbarian miscarried chiefly through his own errors; and that we have oftener been delivered from these very Athenians by blunders of their own, than by any aid from you. Some have already been ruined by the hopes which you inspired in them; for so entirely did they trust you that they took no precautions themselves. These things we say in no accusing or hostile spirit--let that be understood--but by way of expostulation. For men expostulate with erring friends, they bring accusation against enemies who have done them a wrong.

'And surely we have a right to find fault with our neighbours, if any one ever had. There are important interests at stake to which, as far as we can see, you are insensible. And you have never considered what manner of men are these Athenians50 with whom you will have to fight, and how utterly unlike yourselves. They are revolutionary, equally quick in the conception and in the execution of every new plan; while you are conservative--careful only to keep what you have, originating nothing, and not acting even when action is most urgent. They are bold beyond their strength; they run risks which prudence would condemn; and in the midst of misfortune they are full of hope. Whereas it is your nature, though strong, to act feebly; when your plans are most prudent, to distrust them; and when calamities come upon you, to think that you will never be delivered from them. They are impetuous, and you are dilatory; they are always abroad, and you are always at home. For they hope to gain something by leaving their homes; but you are afraid that any new enterprise may imperil what you have already. When conquerors, they pursue their victory to the utmost; when defeated, they fall back the least. Their bodies they devote to their country as though they belonged to other men; their true self is their mind, which is most truly their own when employed in her service. When they do not carry out an intention which they have formed, they seem to themselves to have sustained a personal bereavement; when an enterprise succeeds, they have gained a mere instalment of what is to come; but if they fail, they at once conceive new hopes and so fill up the void. With them alone to hope is to have, for they lose not a moment in the execution of an idea. This is the lifelong task, full of danger and toil, which they are always imposing upon themselves. None enjoy their good things less, because they are always seeking for more. To do their duty is their only holiday, and they deem the quiet of inaction to be as disagreeable as the most tiresome business. If a man should say of them, in a word, that they were born neither to have peace themselves nor to allow peace to other men, he would simply speak the truth.

'In the face of such an enemy, Lacedaemonians, you persist in doing nothing. You do not see that peace is best secured by those who use their strength justly, but whose attitude shows that they have no intention of submitting to wrong. Justice with you seems to consist in giving no annoyance to others and in defending yourselves only against positive injury.51 But this policy would hardly be successful, even if your neighbours were like yourselves; and in the present case, as we pointed out just now, your ways compared with theirs are old-fashioned. And, as in the arts, so also in politics, the new must always prevail over the old. In settled times the traditions of government should be observed: but when circumstances are changing and men are compelled to meet them, much originality is required. The Athenians have had a wider experience, and therefore the administration of their state unlike yours has been greatly reformed. But here let your procrastination end; send an army at once into Attica and assist your allies, especially the Potidaeans, to whom your word is pledged.52 Do not betray friends and kindred into the hands of their worst enemies; or drive us in despair to seek the alliance of others; in taking such a course we should be doing nothing wrong either before the Gods who are the witnesses of our oaths, or before men whose eyes are upon us. For the true breakers of treaties53 are not those who, when forsaken, turn to others, but those who forsake allies whom they have sworn to defend. We will remain your friends if you choose to bestir yourselves; for we should be guilty of an impiety if we deserted you without cause; and we shall not easily find allies equally congenial to us. Take heed then: you have inherited from your fathers the leadership of Peloponnesus; see that her greatness suffers no diminution at your hands.'

Thus spoke the Corinthians. Now there happened to be staying at Lacedaemon an Athenian embassy which had come on other business, and when the envoys heard what the Corinthians had said, they felt bound to go before the Lacedaemonian assembly, not with the view of answering the accusations brought against them by the cities, but they wanted to put the whole question before the Lacedaemonians, and make them understand that they should take time to deliberate and not be rash. They also desired to set forth the greatness of their city, reminding the elder men of what they knew, and informing the younger of what lay beyond their experience. They thought that their words would sway the Lacedaemonians in the direction of peace. So they came and said that, if they might be allowed, they too would like to address the people. The Lacedaemonians invited them to come forward, and they spoke as follows:

'We were not sent here to argue with your allies, but on a special mission; observing, however, that no small outcry has arisen against us, we have come forward, not to answer the accusations which they bring (for you are not judges before whom either we or they have to plead), but to prevent you from lending too ready an ear to their bad advice and so deciding wrongly about a very serious question. We propose also, in reply to the wider charges which are raised against us, to show that what we have acquired we hold rightfully and that our city is not to be despised.

'Of the ancient deeds handed down by tradition and which no eye of any one who hears us ever saw, why should we speak? But of the Persian War, and other events which you yourselves remember, speak we must, although we have brought them forward so often that the repetition of them is disagreeable to us.54 When we faced those perils we did so for the common benefit: in the solid good you shared, and of the glory, whatever good there may be in that, we would not be wholly deprived. Our words are not designed to deprecate hostility, but to set forth in evidence the character of the city with which, unless you are very careful, you will soon be involved in war. We tell you that we, first and alone, dared to engage with the Barbarian at Marathon, and that when he came again, being too weak to defend ourselves by land, we and our whole people embarked on shipboard and shared with the other Hellenes in the victory of Salamis. Thereby he was prevented from sailing to the Peloponnesus and ravaging city after city; for against so mighty a fleet how could you have helped one another? He himself is the best witness of our words; for when he was once defeated at sea, he felt that his power was gone and quickly retreated with the greater part of his army.

'The event proved undeniably that the fate of Hellas depended on her navy. And the three chief elements of success were contributed by us; namely, the greatest number of ships, the ablest general, the most devoted patriotism. The ships in all numbered four hundred,55 and of these, our own contingent amounted to nearly two-thirds. To the influence of Themistocles our general it was chiefly due that we fought in the strait, which was confessedly our salvation; and for this service you yourselves honoured him above any stranger who ever visited you. Thirdly, we displayed the most extraordinary courage and devotion; there was no one to help us by land; for up to our frontier those who lay in the enemy's path were already slaves; so we determined to leave our city and sacrifice our homes. Even in that extremity we did not choose to desert the cause of the allies who still resisted, or by dispersing ourselves to become useless to them; but we embarked and fought, taking no offence at your failure to assist us sooner. We maintain then that we rendered you a service at least as great as you rendered us. The cities from which you came to help us were still inhabited and you might hope to return to them; your concern was for yourselves and not for us; at any rate you remained at a distance while we had anything to lose. But we went forth from a city which was no more, and fought for one of which there was small hope; and yet we saved ourselves, and bore our part in saving you. If, in order to preserve our land, like other states, we had gone over to the Persians at first, or afterwards had not ventured to embark because our ruin was already complete, it would have been useless for you with your weak navy to fight at sea, but everything would have gone quietly just as the Persian desired.

'Considering, Lacedaemonians, the energy and sagacity which we then displayed, do we deserve to be so bitterly hated by the other Hellenes merely because we have an empire? That empire was not acquired by force; but you would not stay and make an end of the Barbarian, and the allies came of their own accord and asked us to be their leaders. The subsequent development of our power was originally forced upon us by circumstances; fear was our first motive; afterwards honour, and then interest stepped in. And when we had incurred the hatred of most of our allies; when some of them had already revolted and been subjugated, and you were no longer the friends to us which you once had been, but suspicious and ill-disposed, how could we without great risk relax our hold? For the cities as fast as they fell away from us would have gone over to you. And no man is to be reproached who seizes every possible advantage when the danger is so great.

'At all events, Lacedaemonians, we may retort that you, in the exercise of your supremacy, manage the cities of Peloponnesus to suit your own views; and that if you, and not we, had persevered in the command of the allies long enough to be hated, you would have been quite as intolerable to them as we are, and would have been compelled, for the sake of your own safety, to rule with a strong hand. An empire was offered to us: can you wonder that, acting as human nature always will, we accepted it and refused to give it up again, constrained by three all-powerful motives, honour, fear, interest? We are not the first who have aspired to rule; the world has ever held that the weaker must be kept down by the stronger. And we think that we are worthy of power; and there was a time when you thought so too; but now, when you mean expediency you talk about justice. Did justice ever deter any one from taking by force whatever he could? Men who indulge the natural ambition of empire deserve credit if they are in any degree more careful of justice than they need be. How moderate we are would speedily appear if others took our place; indeed our very moderation, which should be our glory, has been unjustly converted into a reproach.

'For because in our suits with our allies, regulated by treaty, we do not even stand upon our rights, but have instituted the practice of deciding them at Athens and by Athenian56 law, we are supposed to be litigious. None of our opponents observe why others, who exercise dominion elsewhere and are less moderate than we are in their dealings with their subjects, escape this reproach. Why is it? Because men who practise violence have no longer any need of law. But we are in the habit of meeting our allies on terms of equality, and, therefore, if through some legal decision of ours, or exercise of our imperial power, contrary to their own ideas of right, they suffer ever so little, they are not grateful for our moderation in leaving them so much, but are far more offended at their trifling loss than if we had from the first plundered them in the face of day, laying aside all thought of law. For then they would themselves have admitted that the weaker must give way to the stronger. Mankind resent injustice more than violence, because the one seems to be an unfair advantage taken by an equal, the other is the irresistible force of a superior. They were patient under the yoke of the Persian, who inflicted on them far more grievous wrongs; but now our dominion is odious in their eyes. And no wonder: the ruler of the day is always detested by his subjects. And should your empire supplant ours, may not you lose the good-will which you owe to the fear of us? Lose it you certainly will, if you mean again to exhibit the temper of which you gave a specimen when, for a short time, you led the confederacy against the Persian. For the institutions under which you live are incompatible with those of foreign states; and further, when any of you goes abroad, he respects neither these nor any other Hellenic customs.57

'Do not then be hasty in deciding a question which is serious; and do not, by listening to representations and complaints which concern others, bring trouble upon yourselves. Realise, while there is time, the inscrutable nature of war; and how when protracted it generally ends in becoming a mere matter of chance, over which neither of us can have any control, the event being equally unknown and equally hazardous to both. The misfortune is that in their hurry to go to war, men begin with blows, and when a reverse comes upon them, then have recourse to words. But neither you, nor we, have as yet committed this mistake; and therefore while both of us can still choose the prudent part, we tell you not to break the peace or violate your oaths. Let our differences be determined by arbitration, according to the treaty. If you refuse we call to witness the Gods, by whom your oaths were sworn, that you are the authors of the war; and we will do our best to strike in return.'

When the Lacedaemonians had heard the charges brought by the allies against the Athenians, and their rejoinder, they ordered everybody but themselves to withdraw, and deliberated alone. The majority were agreed that there was now a clear case against the Athenians, and that they must fight at once. But Archidamus their king, who was held to be both an able and a prudent man, came forward and spoke as follows:

'At my age, Lacedaemonians, I have had experience of many wars, and I see several of you who are as old as I am, and who will not, as men too often do, desire war because they have never known it, or in the belief that it is either a good or a safe thing. Any one who calmly reflects will find that the war about which you are now deliberating is likely to be a very great one. When we encounter our neighbours in the Peloponnese, their mode of fighting is like ours, and they are all within a short march. But when we have to do with men whose country is a long way off, and who are most skilful seamen and thoroughly provided with the means of war,--having wealth, private and public, ships, horses, infantry, and a population larger than is to be found in any single Hellenic territory, not to speak of the numerous allies who pay them tribute,--is this a people against whom we can lightly take up arms or plunge into a contest unprepared? To what do we trust? To our navy? There we are inferior; and to exercise and train ourselves until we are a match for them, will take time. To our money? Nay, but in that we are weaker still; we have none in a common treasury, and we are never willing to contribute out of our private means.

'Perhaps some one may be encouraged by the superior equipment and numbers of our infantry, which will enable us regularly to invade and ravage their lands. But their empire extends to distant countries, and they will be able to introduce supplies by sea. Or, again, we may try to stir up revolts among their allies. But these are mostly islanders, and we shall have to employ a fleet in their defence, as well as in our own. How then shall we carry on the war? For if we can neither defeat them at sea, nor deprive them of the revenues by which their navy is maintained, we shall get the worst of it. And having gone so far, we shall no longer be able even to make peace with honour, especially if we are believed to have begun the quarrel. We must not for one moment flatter ourselves that if we do but ravage their country the war will be at an end. Nay, I fear that we shall bequeath it to our children; for the Athenians with their high spirit will never barter their liberty to save their land, or be terrified like novices at the sight of war.

'Not that I would have you shut your eyes to their designs and abstain from unmasking them, or tamely suffer them to injure our allies. But do not take up arms yet. Let us first send and remonstrate with them: we need not let them know positively whether we intend to go to war or not. In the meantime our own preparations may be going forward; we may seek for allies wherever we can find them, whether in Hellas or among the Barbarians, who will supply our deficiencies in ships and money. Those who, like ourselves, are exposed to Athenian intrigue cannot be blamed if in self-defence they seek the aid not of Hellenes only, but of Barbarians. And we must develop our own resources to the utmost. If they listen to our ambassadors, well and good; but, if not, in two or three years' time we shall be in a stronger position, should we then determine to attack them. Perhaps too when they begin to see that we are getting ready, and that our words are to be interpreted by our actions,58 they may be more likely to yield; for their fields will be still untouched and their goods undespoiled, and it will be in their power to save them by their decision. Think of their land simply in the light of a hostage, all the more valuable in proportion as it is better cultivated; you should spare it as long as you can, and not by reducing them to despair make their resistance more obstinate. For if we allow ourselves to be stung into premature action by the reproaches of our allies, and waste their country before we are ready, we shall only involve Peloponnesus in more and more difficulty and disgrace. Charges brought by cities or persons against one another can be satisfactorily arranged; but when a great confederacy, in order to satisfy private grudges, undertakes a war of which no man can foresee the issue, it is not easy to terminate it with honour.

'And let no one think that there is any want of courage in cities so numerous hesitating to attack a single one. The allies of the Athenians are not less numerous; they pay them tribute too; and war is not an affair of arms, but of money which gives to arms their use, and which is needed above all things when a continental is fighting against a maritime power: let us find money first, and then we may safely allow our minds to be excited by the speeches of our allies. We, on whom the future responsibility, whether for good or evil, will chiefly fall, should calmly reflect on the consequences which may follow.

'Do not be ashamed of the slowness and procrastination with which they are so fond of charging you; if you begin the war in haste, you will end it at your leisure, because you took up arms without sufficient preparation. Remember that we have always been citizens of a free and most illustrious state, and that for us the policy which they condemn may well be the truest good sense and discretion. It is a policy which has saved us from growing insolent in prosperity or giving way under adversity, like other men. We are not stimulated by the allurements of flattery into dangerous courses of which we disapprove; nor are we goaded by offensive charges into compliance with any man's wishes. Our habits of discipline make us both brave and wise; brave, because the spirit of loyalty quickens the sense of honour, and the sense of honour inspires courage; wise, because we are not so highly educated that we have learned to despise the laws, and are too severely trained and of too loyal a spirit to disobey them. We have not acquired that useless over-intelligence which makes a man an excellent critic of an enemy's plans, but paralyses him in the moment of action. We think that the wits of our enemies are as good as our own, and that the element of fortune cannot be forecast in words. Let us assume that they have common prudence, and let our preparations be, not words, but deeds.59 Our hopes ought not to rest on the probability of their making mistakes, but on our own caution and foresight. We should remember that one man is much the same as another, and that he is best who is trained in the severest school.

'These are principles which our fathers have handed down to us, and we maintain to our lasting benefit; we must not lose sight of them, and when many lives and much wealth, many cities and a great name are at stake, we must not be hasty, or make up our minds in a few short hours; we must take time. We can afford to wait, when others cannot, because we are strong. And now, send to the Athenians and remonstrate with them about Potidaea first, and also about the other wrongs of which your allies complain. They say that they are willing to have the matter tried; and against one who offers to submit to justice you must not proceed as against a criminal until his cause has been heard. In the meantime prepare for war. This decision will be the best for yourselves and the most formidable to your enemies.'

Thus spoke Archidamus. Last of all, Sthenelaidas, at that time one of the Ephors, came forward and addressed the Lacedaemonians as follows:

'I do not know what the long speeches of the Athenians mean. They have been loud in their own praise, but they do not pretend to say that they are dealing honestly with our allies and with the Peloponnesus. If they behaved well in the Persian War and are now behaving badly to us they ought to be punished twice over, because they were once good men and have become bad. But we are the same now as we were then, and we shall not do our duty if we allow our allies to be ill-used, and put off helping them, for they cannot put off their troubles. Others may have money and ships and horses, but we have brave allies and we must not betray them to the Athenians. If they were suffering in word only, by words and legal processes their wrongs might be redressed; but now there is not a moment to be lost, and we must help them with all our might. Let no one tell us that we should take time to think when we are suffering injustice. Nay, we reply, those who mean to do injustice should take a long time to think. Wherefore, Lacedaemonians, prepare for war as the honour of Sparta demands. Withstand the advancing power of Athens. Do not let us betray our allies, but, with the Gods on our side, let us attack the evil-doer.'

When Sthenelaidas had thus spoken he, being Ephor, himself put the question to the Lacedaemonian assembly. Their custom is to signify their decision by cries and not by voting. But he professed himself unable to tell on which side was the louder cry, and wishing to call forth a demonstration which might encourage the warlike spirit, he said, 'Whoever of you, Lacedaemonians, thinks that the treaty has been broken and that the Athenians are in the wrong, let him rise and go yonder' (pointing to a particular spot), 'and those who think otherwise to the other side.' So the assembly rose and divided, and it was determined by a large majority that the treaty had been broken. The Lacedaemonians then recalled the allies and told them that in their judgment the Athenians were guilty, but that they wished to hold a general assembly of the allies and take a vote from them all; then the war, if they approved of it, might be undertaken by common consent. Having accomplished their purpose, the allies returned home; and the Athenian envoys, when their errand was done, returned likewise. Thirteen years of the thirty years' peace which was concluded after the recovery of Euboea had elapsed and the fourteenth year had begun when the Lacedaemonian assembly decided that the treaty had been broken.

In arriving at this decision and resolving to go to war, the Lacedaemonians were influenced, not so much by the speeches of their allies, as by the fear of the Athenians and of their increasing power.60 For they saw the greater part of Hellas already subject to them.

How the Athenians attained the position in which they rose to greatness I will now proceed to describe. When the Persians, defeated by the Hellenes on sea and land, had retreated from Europe, and the remnant of the fleet, which had taken refuge at Mycalè, had there perished, Leotychides, the Lacedaemonian king, who had commanded the Hellenes in the battle, returned home with the allies from Peloponnesus. But the Athenians and their allies from Ionia and the Hellespont, who had now revolted from the king, persevered and besieged Sestos, at that time still in the hands of the Persians. Remaining there through the winter they took the place, which the Barbarians deserted. The allies then sailed back from the Hellespont to their respective homes. Meanwhile the Athenian people, now quit of the Barbarians, fetched their wives, their children, and the remains of their property from the places in which they had been deposited, and set to work, rebuilding the city and the walls. Of the old line of wall but a small part was left standing. Most of the houses were in ruins, a few only remaining in which the chief men of the Persians had lodged.

The Lacedaemonians knew what would happen and sent an embassy to Athens. They would rather themselves have seen neither the Athenians nor any one else protected by a wall; but their main motive was the importunity of their allies, who dreaded not only the Athenian navy, which had until lately been quite small, but also the spirit which had animated them in the Persian War. So the Lacedaemonians requested them not to restore their walls,61 but on the contrary to join with them in razing the fortifications of other towns outside the Peloponnesus which had them standing. They did not reveal their real wishes or the suspicion which they entertained of the Athenians, but argued that the Barbarian, if he again attacked them, would then have no strong place which he could make his head-quarters as he had lately made Thebes. Peloponnesus would be a sufficient retreat for all Hellas and a good base of operations. To this the Athenians, by the advice of Themistocles, replied, that they would send an embassy of their own to discuss the matter, and so got rid of the Spartan envoys. He then proposed that he should himself start at once for Sparta, and that they should give him colleagues who were not to go immediately, but were to wait until the wall reached the lowest height which could possibly be defended. The whole people, who were in the city, men, women, and children, should join in the work, and they must spare no building, private or public, which could be of use, but demolish them all. Having given these instructions and intimated that he would manage affairs at Sparta, he departed. On his arrival he did not at once present himself officially to the magistrates, but delayed and made excuses; and when any of them asked him 'why he did not appear before the assembly,' he said 'that he was waiting for his colleagues, who had been detained by some engagement; he was daily expecting them, and wondered that they had not appeared.'

The friendship of the Lacedaemonian magistrates for Themistocles induced them to believe him; but when everybody who came from Athens declared positively that the wall was building and had already reached a considerable height, they knew not what to think. He, aware of their suspicions, desired them not to be misled by reports, but to send to Athens men whom they could trust out of their own number who would see for themselves and bring back word. They agreed; and he at the same time privately instructed the Athenians to detain the envoys as quietly as they could, and not let them go until he and his colleagues had got safely home. For by this time Habronichus the son of Lysicles, and Aristides the son of Lysimachus, who were joined with him in the embassy, had arrived, bringing the news that the wall was of sufficient height; and he was afraid that the Lacedaemonians, when they heard the truth, might not allow them to return. So the Athenians detained the envoys, and Themistocles, coming before the Lacedaemonians, at length declared in so many words that Athens was now provided with walls and could protect her citizens; henceforward, if the Lacedaemonians or their allies wished at any time to negotiate, they must deal with the Athenians as with men who knew quite well what was for their own and the common good. When they boldly resolved to leave their city and go on board ship, they did not first ask the advice of the Lacedaemonians, and, when the two states met in council, their own judgment had been as good as that of any one. And now they had arrived at an independent opinion that it was better far, and would be more advantageous both for themselves and for the whole body of the allies, that their city should have a wall; when any member of a confederacy had not equal military advantages, his counsel could not be of equal weight or worth. Either all the allies should pull down their walls, or they should acknowledge that the Athenians were in the right.

On hearing these words the Lacedaemonians did not openly quarrel with the Athenians; for they professed that the embassy had been designed, not to interfere with them, but to offer a suggestion for the public good; besides at that time the patriotism which the Athenians had displayed in the Persian War had created a warm feeling of friendliness between the two cities. They were annoyed at the failure of their purpose, but they did not show it. And the envoys on either side returned home without any formal complaint.

In such hurried fashion did the Athenians build the walls of their city. To this day the structure shows evidence of haste. The foundations are made up of all sorts of stones, in some places unwrought, and laid just as each worker brought them; there were many columns too, taken from sepulchres, and many old stones already cut, inserted in the work. The circuit of the city was extended in every direction, and the citizens, in their ardour to complete the design, spared nothing.

Themistocles also persuaded the Athenians to finish the Piraeus, of which he had made a beginning in his year of office as Archon. The situation of the place, which had three natural havens, was excellent; and now that the Athenians had become seamen, he thought that they had great advantage for the attainment of empire. For he first dared to say that 'they must make the sea their domain,' and he lost no time in laying the foundations of their empire. By his advice, they built the wall of such a width that two waggons carrying the stones could meet and pass on the top; this width may still be traced at the Piraeus; inside there was no rubble or mortar, but the whole wall was made up of large stones hewn square, which were clamped on the outer face with iron and lead. The height was not more than half what he had originally intended; he had hoped by the very dimensions of the wall to paralyse the designs of an enemy, and he thought that a handful of the least efficient citizens would suffice for its defence, while the rest might man the fleet. His mind was turned in this direction, as I conceive, from observing that the King's armament had met with fewer obstacles by sea than by land. The Piraeus appeared to him to be of more real consequence than the upper city. He was fond of telling the Athenians that if ever they were hard pressed on land they should go down to the Piraeus and fight the world at sea.

Thus the Athenians built their walls and restored their city immediately after the retreat of the Persians.

Pausanias the son of Cleombrotus was now sent from Peloponnesus with twenty ships in command of the Hellenic forces; thirty Athenian ships and a number of the allies sailed with him. They first made an expedition against Cyprus, of which they subdued the greater part; and afterwards against Byzantium, which was in the hands of the Persians, and was taken while he was still in command.

He had already begun to be oppressive,62 and the allies were offended with him, especially the Ionians and others who had been recently emancipated from the King. So they had recourse to their kinsmen the Athenians and begged them to be their leaders, and to protect them against Pausanias, if he attempted to oppress them. The Athenians took the matter up and prepared to interfere, being fully resolved to manage the confederacy in their own way. In the meantime the Lacedaemonians summoned Pausanias to Sparta, intending to investigate certain reports which had reached them; for he was accused of numerous crimes by Hellenes returning from the Hellespont, and appeared to exercise his command more after the fashion of a tyrant than of a general. His recall occurred at the very time when the hatred which he inspired had induced the allies, with the exception of the Peloponnesians, to transfer themselves to the Athenians. On arriving at Lacedaemon he was punished for the wrongs which he had done to particular persons, but he had been also accused of conspiring with the Persians, and of this, which was the principal charge and was generally believed to be proven, he was acquitted. The government however did not continue him in his command, but sent in his place Dorcis and certain others with a small force. To these the allies refused allegiance, and Dorcis, seeing the state of affairs, returned home. Henceforth the Lacedaemonians sent out no more commanders, for they were afraid that those whom they appointed would be corrupted, as they had found to be the case with Pausanias; they had had enough of the Persian War; and they thought that the Athenians were fully able to lead, and at that time believed them to be their friends.

Thus the Athenians by the good-will of the allies, who detested Pausanias, obtained the leadership. They immediately fixed which of the cities should supply money and which of them ships for the war against the Barbarians, the avowed object being to compensate themselves and the allies for their losses by devastating the King's country. Then was first instituted at Athens the office of Hellenic treasurers (Hellenotamiae), who received the tribute, for so the contributions were termed. The amount was originally fixed at 460 talents.63 The island of Delos was the treasury, and the meetings of the allies were held in the temple.

At first the allies were independent and deliberated in a common assembly under the leadership of Athens. But in the interval between the Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars, by their military success and by policy in dealing with the Barbarian, with their own rebellious allies and with the Peloponnesians who came across their path from time to time, the Athenians made immense strides in power. I have gone out of my way to speak of this period because the writers who have preceded me treat either of Hellenic affairs previous to the Persian invasion or of that invasion itself; the intervening portion of history has been omitted by all of them, with the exception of Hellanicus; and he, where he has touched upon it in his Attic history, is very brief, and inaccurate in his chronology. The narrative will also serve to explain how the Athenian empire grew up.

First of all under the leadership of Cimon, the son of Miltiades, the Athenians besieged and took Eion upon the Strymon, then in the hands of the Persians, and sold the inhabitants into slavery. The same fate befell Scyros, an island in the Aegean inhabited by Dolopes; this they colonised themselves. They also made war on the Carystians of Euboea, who, after a time, capitulated; the other Euboeans took no part in the war. Then the Naxians revolted, and the Athenians made war against them and reduced them by blockade. This was the first of the allied cities which was enslaved contrary to Hellenic right; the turn of the others came later.

The causes which led to the defections of the allies were of different kinds, the principal being their neglect to pay the tribute or to furnish ships, and, in some cases, failure of military service. For the Athenians were exacting and oppressive, using coercive measures towards men who were neither willing nor accustomed to work hard. And for various reasons they soon began to prove less agreeable leaders than at first. They no longer fought upon an equality with the rest of the confederates, and they had no difficulty in reducing them when they revolted. Now the allies brought all this upon themselves; for the majority of them disliked military service and absence from home, and so they agreed to contribute their share of the expense instead of ships. Whereby the Athenian navy was proportionally increased, while they themselves were always untrained and unprepared for war when they revolted.

A little later the Athenians and their allies fought two battles, one by land and the other by sea, against the Persians, at the river Eurymedon in Pamphylia. The Athenians, under the command of Cimon the son of Miltiades, on the same day conquered in both, and took and destroyed all the Phoenician triremes numbering two hundred. After a while the Thasians revolted; a quarrel had arisen between them and the Athenians about the Thracian markets and the mine on the Thracian coast opposite, of which the Thasians received the profits. The Athenians sailed to Thasos and, gaining a victory at sea, landed upon the island. About the same time they sent ten thousand of their own people and of their allies to the Strymon, intending to colonise the place then called the Nine Ways and now Amphipolis. They gained possession of the Nine Ways, which were inhabited by the Edoni, but, advancing into the interior of Thrace, they were destroyed at Drabescus in Edonia by the united Thracians,64 whose country was threatened by the new settlement.

The Thasians, now blockaded after several defeats, had recourse to the Lacedaemonians and entreated them to invade Attica. Unknown to the Athenians they agreed, and were on the point of setting out when the great earthquake occurred and was immediately followed by the revolt of the Helots and with them the Perioeci of Thuria and Aethaea, who seized Ithomè. These Helots were mostly the descendants of the Messenians who had been enslaved in ancient times, and hence all the insurgents were called Messenians.

While the Lacedaemonians were thus engaged, the Thasians, who had now been blockaded for more than two years, came to terms with the Athenians; they pulled down their walls and surrendered their ships; they also agreed to pay what was required of them whether in the shape of immediate indemnity or of tribute for the future; and they gave up their claim to the mainland and to the mine.

The siege of Ithomè proved tedious, and the Lacedaemonians called in, among other allies, the Athenians, who sent to their aid a considerable force under Cimon. The Athenians were specially invited because they were reputed to be skilful in siege operations, and the length of the blockade proved to the Lacedaemonians their own deficiency in that sort of warfare; else why had they not taken the place by assault? This expedition of the Athenians led to the first open quarrel between them and the Lacedaemonians. For the Lacedaemonians, not succeeding in storming the place, took alarm at the bold and original spirit of the Athenians. They reflected that they were aliens in race, and fearing that, if they were allowed to remain, they might be tempted by the Helots in Ithomè to change sides, they dismissed them, while they retained the other allies. But they concealed their mistrust, and merely said that they no longer needed their services. Now the Athenians saw that their dismissal was due to some suspicion which had arisen and not to the less offensive reason which was openly avowed; they felt keenly that such a slight ought not to have been offered them by the Lacedaemonians; and so, on their return home, they forthwith abandoned the alliance which they had made with them against the Persians and went over to their Argive enemies. At the same time both Argos and Athens bound themselves to Thessaly by a common oath of alliance.

In the tenth65 year of the siege the defenders of Ithomè were unable to hold out any longer, and capitulated to the Lacedaemonians. The terms were as follows: They were to leave Peloponnesus under a safe-conduct, and were never again to return; if any of them were taken on Peloponnesian soil, he was to be the slave of his captor. Now an ancient oracle of Delphi was current among the Lacedaemonians, bidding them let the suppliant of Ithomaean Zeus go free. So the Messenians left Ithomè with their wives and children; and the Athenians, who were now the avowed enemies of Sparta, gave them a home at Naupactus, a place which they had lately taken from the Ozolian Locrians.

The Athenians obtained the alliance of the Megarians, who revolted from the Lacedaemonians because the Corinthians were pressing them hard in a war arising out of a question of frontiers. Thus they gained both Megara and Pegae; and they built for the Megarians the long walls, extending from the city to the port of Nisaea, which they garrisoned themselves. This was the original and the main cause of the intense hatred which the Corinthians entertained towards the Athenians.

Meanwhile Inaros the son of Psammetichus, king of the Libyans who border on Egypt, had induced the greater part of Egypt to revolt from King Artaxerxes. He began the rebellion at Mareia, a city opposite the island of Pharos, and, having made himself ruler of the country, called in the Athenians. They were just then engaged in an expedition against Cyprus with two hundred ships of their own and of their allies; and, quitting the island, they went to his aid. They sailed from the sea into the Nile, and, making themselves masters of the river and of two-thirds of Memphis, proceeded to attack the remaining part called the White Castle, in which some of the Persians and Medes had taken refuge, and with them such Egyptians as had not joined in the revolt.

An Athenian fleet made a descent upon Halieis, where a battle took place against some Corinthian and Epidaurian troops; the Athenians gained the victory. Soon afterwards the Athenians fought at sea off Cecryphaleia with a Peloponnesian fleet, which they defeated. A war next broke out between the Aeginetans and the Athenians, and a great battle was fought off the coast of Aegina, in which the allies of both parties joined; the Athenians were victorious, and captured seventy of the enemy's ships; they then landed on Aegina and, under the command of Leocrates the son of Stroebus, besieged the town. Thereupon the Peloponnesians sent over to the assistance of the Aeginetans three hundred hoplites who had previously been assisting the Corinthians and Epidaurians. The Corinthians seized66 on the heights of Geraneia, and thence made a descent with their allies into the Megarian territory, thinking that the Athenians, who had so large a force absent in Aegina and in Egypt, would be unable to assist the Megarians; or, if they did; would be obliged to raise the siege of Aegina. But the Athenians, without moving their army from Aegina, sent to Megara under the command of Myronides a force consisting of their oldest and youngest men, who had remained at home. A battle was fought, which hung equally in the balance; and when the two armies separated, they both thought that they had gained the victory. The Athenians, who did however get rather the better, on the departure of the Corinthians erected a trophy. And then the Corinthians, irritated by the reproaches of the aged men in the city, after about twelve days' preparation came out again, and, claiming the victory, raised another trophy. Hereupon the Athenians sallied out of Megara, killed those who were erecting the trophy, and charged and defeated the rest of the army.

The Corinthians now retreated, but a considerable number of them were hard pressed, and missing their way got into an enclosure belonging to a private person, which was surrounded by a great ditch and had no exit. The Athenians, perceiving their situation, closed the entrance in front with heavy-armed troops, and, placing their light troops in a circle round, stoned all who had entered the enclosure. This was a great blow to the Corinthians. The main body of their army returned home.

About this time the Athenians began to build their Long Walls extending to the sea, one to the harbour of Phalerum, and the other to the Piraeus. The Phocians made an expedition against the Dorians, who inhabit Boeum, Cytinium, and Erineum, and are the mother people of the Lacedaemonians; one of these towns they took. Thereupon the Lacedaemonians under the command of Nicomedes the son of Cleombrotus, who was general in the place of the king Pleistoanax the son of Pausanias (he being at that time a minor), came to the assistance of the Dorians with fifteen hundred hoplites of their own, and, of their allies, ten thousand, and compelled the Phocians to make terms and to restore the town. They then thought of returning; but there were difficulties. Either they might go by sea across the Crisaean Gulf, in which case the Athenian fleet would be sure to sail round and intercept them, or they might march over Mount Geraneia; but this seemed dangerous when the Athenians were holding Megara and Pegae. The pass was not easy, and was always guarded by the Athenians, who were obviously intending to stop them by that route also. So they determined to remain in Boeotia and consider how they could best get home. They had another motive:--Certain Athenians were privately making overtures to them, in the hope that they would put an end to the democracy and the building of the Long Walls. But the Athenians were aware of their embarrassment, and they also suspected their design against the democracy. So they went out to meet them with their whole force, together with a thousand Argives and contingents from the other allies; they numbered in all fourteen thousand men. Among them were some Thessalian cavalry, who came to their aid in accordance with the treaty,67 but these deserted to the Lacedaemonians during the engagement.

The battle was fought at Tanagra in Boeotia, and the Lacedaemonians and their allies, after great slaughter on both sides, gained the victory. They then marched into the Megarian territory, and, cutting down the fruit-trees; returned home by way of Geraneia and the Isthmus. But on the sixty-second day after the battle, the Athenians made another expedition into Boeotia under the command of Myronides, and there was a battle at Oenophyta, in which they defeated the Boeotians and became masters of Boeotia and Phocis. They pulled down the walls of Tanagra and took as hostages from the Opuntian Locrians a hundred of their richest citizens. They then completed their own Long Walls. Soon afterwards the Aeginetans came to terms with the Athenians, dismantling their walls, surrendering their ships, and agreeing to pay tribute for the future. The Athenians, under the command of Tolmides, the son of Tolmaeus, sailed round Peloponnesus and burnt the Lacedaemonian dockyard.68 They also took the Corinthian town of Chalcis, and, making a descent upon Sicyon, defeated a Sicyonian force.

The Athenians and their allies were still in Egypt, where they carried on the war with varying fortune. At first they were masters of the country. The King sent to Lacedaemon Megabazus a Persian, who was well supplied with money, in the hope that he might persuade the Peloponnesians to invade Attica, and so draw off the Athenians from Egypt. He had no success; the money was being spent and nothing done; so, with what remained of it, he found his way back to Asia. The King then sent into Egypt Megabyzus the son of Zopyrus, a Persian, who marched overland with a large army and defeated the Egyptians and their allies. He drove the Hellenes out of Memphis, and finally shut them up in the island of Prosopitis, where he blockaded them for eighteen months. At length he drained the canal and diverted the water, thus leaving their ships high and dry and joining nearly the whole island to the mainland. He then crossed over with a land force, and took the island.

Thus, after six years' fighting, the cause of the Hellenes in Egypt was lost. A few survivors of their great army found their way through Libya to Cyrenè; by far the larger number perished. Egypt again became subject to the Persians, although Amyrtaeus, the king in the fens, still held out. He escaped capture owing to the extent of the fens and the bravery of their inhabitants, who are the most warlike of all the Egyptians. Inaros, the king of Libya, the chief author of the revolt, was betrayed and impaled. Fifty additional triremes, which had been sent by the Athenians and their allies to relieve their other forces, in ignorance of what had happened, sailed into the Mendesian mouth of the Nile. But they were at once attacked both from the land and from the sea, and the greater part of them destroyed by the Phoenician fleet, a few ships only escaping. Thus ended the great Egyptian expedition of the Athenians and their allies.

About this time Orestes, the exiled son of the Thessalian king Echecratides, persuaded the Athenians to restore him: Taking with them a force of the Boeotians and Phocians, who were now their allies, they marched against Pharsalus in Thessaly. They made themselves masters of the country in the neighbourhood of their camp, but the Thessalian cavalry stopped any further advance. They could not take the place, and none of their plans prospered; so they returned unsuccessful and brought back Orestes.

A short time afterwards a thousand Athenians, under the command of Pericles the son of Xanthippus, embarking on board the fleet which they had at Pegae, now in their possession, coasted along to Sicyon, and there landing, defeated the Sicyonians who came out to meet them. With the least possible delay taking on board Achaean troops and sailing to the opposite coast, they attacked and besieged Oeniadae, a town of Acarnania; but failing to reduce it, they returned home.

After an interval of three years a five years' truce was concluded between the Peloponnesians and Athenians. The Athenians now abstained from war in Hellas itself, but made an expedition to Cyprus with two hundred ships of their own and of their allies, under the command of Cimon. Sixty ships were detached from the armament and sailed to Egypt, at the request of Amyrtaeus the king in the fens; the remainder proceeded to blockade Citium. Here Cimon died, and a famine arose in the country; so the fleet quitted Citium. Arriving off Salamis in Cyprus they fought at sea and also on land with Phoenician and Cilician forces. Gaining a victory in both engagements, they returned home, accompanied by the ships which had gone out with them and had now come back from Egypt. After this the Lacedaemonians engaged in the so-called Sacred War and gained possession of the temple of Delphi, which they handed over to the Delphians. But no sooner had they retired than the Athenians sent an expedition and recovered the temple, which they handed over to the Phocians.

Some time afterwards the Athenians, under the command of Tolmides the son of Tolmaeus, with a thousand hoplites of their own and contingents of their allies, made an expedition against Orchomenus, Chaeronea, and certain other places in Boeotia which were in the hands of oligarchical exiles from different Boeotian towns, and so were hostile to them. They took Chaeronea, and leaving a garrison there, departed. But while they were on their march, the exiles who had occupied Orchomenus, some Locrians, some Euboean exiles and others of the same party, set upon them at Coronea and defeated them, killing many and taking many prisoners. The Athenians then agreed to evacuate the whole of Boeotia upon condition that the prisoners should be restored. And so the Boeotian exiles returned to their homes, and all the Boeotians regained their independence.

Not long afterwards Euboea revolted from Athens. Pericles had just arrived in the island with an Athenian army when the news came that Megara had likewise revolted, that the Peloponnesians were on the point of invading Attica, and that the Megarians had slaughtered the Athenian garrison, of whom a few only had escaped to Nisaea. The Megarians had introduced a force of Corinthians, Sicyonians, and Epidaurians into the city, and by their help had effected the revolt. Pericles in haste withdrew his army from Euboea. The Peloponnesians then invaded Attica under the command of Pleistoanax son of Pausanias, the Lacedaemonian king. They advanced as far as Eleusis and Thria but no further, and after ravaging the country, returned home. Thereupon the Athenians under the command of Pericles again crossed over to Euboea and reduced the whole country; the Hestiaeans they ejected from their homes and appropriated their territory; the rest of the island they settled by agreement.

Soon after their return from Euboea they made a truce for thirty years with the Laeedaemonians and their allies, restoring Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen and Achaia, which were the places held by them in Peloponnesus. Six years later the Samians and Milesians went to war about the possession of Prienè, and the Milesians, who were getting worsted, came to Athens and complained loudly of the Samians. Some private citizens of Samos, who wanted to overthrow the government, supported their complaint. Whereupon the Athenians, sailing to Samos with forty ships, established a democracy, and taking as hostages fifty boys and fifty men whom they deposited at Lemnos, they returned leaving a garrison. But certain of the Samians who had quitted the island and fled to the mainland entered into an alliance with the principal oligarchs who remained in the city, and with Pissuthnes the son of Hystaspes, then governor of Sardis, and collecting troops to the number of seven hundred they crossed over by night to Samos. First of all they attacked the victorious populace and got most of them into their power; then they stole away their hostages from Lemnos, and finally revolted from Athens. The garrison of the Athenians and the officials who were in their power were delivered by them into the hands of Pissuthnes. They at once prepared to make an expedition against Miletus. The Byzantians joined in their revolt.

When the Athenians heard of the insurrection they sailed for Samos with sixty ships. But of this number they sent away sixteen, some towards Caria to keep a look out for the Phoenician fleet, others to summon aid from Chios and Lesbos. With the remaining forty-four ships they fought at sea under the command of Pericles and nine others, near the island of Tragia, against seventy Samian vessels, all sailing from Miletus, of which twenty were transports; the Athenians gained the victory. After receiving a reinforcement of forty ships from Athens and of twenty-five from Chios and Lesbos they disembarked, and their infantry proving superior, invested the city with three walls; they also blockaded it by sea. At the same time Pericles took sixty ships of the blockading force and sailed hastily towards Caunus in Caria, news having arrived that a Phoenician fleet was approaching; Stesagoras and others had already gone with five ships from Samos to fetch it.

Meanwhile the Samians made a sudden sally, and attacking the naval station of the Athenians which was unprotected, destroyed the guard-ships and engaged and defeated the other vessels which put out to meet them. During some fourteen days they were masters of the sea about their own coasts, and carried in and out whatever they pleased. But when Pericles returned, they were again closely blockaded; and there soon arrived from Athens forty additional ships under Thucydides, Hagnon, and Phormio, twenty more under Tlepolemus and Anticles, and thirty from Chios and Lesbos. The Samians made a feeble attempt at a sea-fight, but soon they were unable to resist, and after nine months were forced to surrender. The terms of capitulation were as follows:--They were to raze their walls, give hostages, surrender their ships, and pay a full indemnity by regular instalments. The Byzantians too made terms and became subjects as before.

Not long afterwards occurred the affairs of Corcyra and Potidaea, which have been already narrated, and the various other circumstances which led to the Peloponnesian War. Fifty years elapsed between the retreat of Xerxes and the beginning of the war; during these years took place all those operations of the Hellenes against one another and against the Barbarian which I have been describing. The Athenians acquired a firmer hold over their empire and the city itself became a great power. The Lacedaemonians saw what was going on, but during most of the time they remained inactive and hardly attempted to interfere. They had never been of a temper prompt to take the field unless they were compelled; and they were in some degree embarrassed by wars near home. But the Athenians were growing too great to be ignored and were laying hands on their allies. They could now bear it no longer: they made up their minds that they must put out all their strength and overthrow the Athenian power by force of arms. And therefore they commenced the Peloponnesian War. They had already voted in their own assembly that the treaty had been broken and that the Athenians were guilty;69 they now sent to Delphi and asked the God if it would be for their advantage to make war. He is reported to have answered that, if they did their best, they would be conquerors, and that he himself, invited or uninvited, would take their part.

So they again summoned the allies, intending to put to them the question of war or peace. When their representatives arrived, an assembly was held; and the allies said what they had to say, most of them complaining of the Athenians and demanding that the war should proceed. The Corinthians had already gone the round of the cities and entreated them privately to vote for war; they were afraid that they would be too late to save Potidaea. At the assembly they came forward last of all and spoke as follows:

'Fellow allies, we can no longer find fault with the Lacedaemonians; they have themselves resolved upon war and have brought us hither to confirm their decision. And they have done well; for the leaders of a confederacy, while they do not neglect the interests of their own state, should look to the general weal: as they are first in honour, they should be first in the fulfilment of their duties. Now those among us who have ever had dealings with the Athenians, do not require to be warned against them; but such as live inland and not on any maritime highway should clearly understand that, if they do not protect the sea-board, they will find it more difficult to carry their produce to the sea, or to receive in return the goods which the sea gives to the land. They should not lend a careless ear to our words, for they nearly concern them; they should remember that, if they desert the cities on the sea-shore, the danger may some day reach them, and that they are consulting for their own interests quite as much as for ours. And therefore let no one hesitate to accept war in exchange for peace. Wise men refuse to move until they are wronged, but brave men as soon as they are wronged go to war, and when there is a good opportunity make peace again. They are not intoxicated by military success; but neither will they tolerate injustice from a love of peace and ease. For he whom pleasure makes a coward will quickly lose, if he continues inactive, the delights of ease which he is so unwilling to renounce; and he whose arrogance is stimulated by victory does not see how hollow is the confidence which elates him. Many schemes which were ill-advised have succeeded through the still greater folly which possessed the enemy, and yet more, which seemed to be wisely contrived, have ended in foul disaster. The execution of an enterprise is never equal70 to the conception of it in the confident mind of its promoter; for men are safe while they are forming plans, but, when the time of action comes, then they lose their presence of mind and fail.

'We, however, do not make war upon the Athenians in a spirit of vain-glory, but from a sense of wrong; there is ample justification, and when we obtain redress, we will put up the sword. For every reason we are likely to succeed. First, because we are superior in numbers and in military skill; secondly, because we all obey as one man the orders given to us. They are doubtless strong at sea, but we too will provide a navy, for which the means can be supplied partly by contributions from each state, partly out of the funds at Delphi and Olympia. A loan will be granted to us, and by the offer of higher pay we can draw away their foreign sailors. The Athenian power consists of mercenaries, and not of their own citizens; but our soldiers are not mercenaries, and therefore cannot so be bought, for we are strong in men if poor in money. Let them be beaten in a single naval engagement and they are probably conquered at once; but suppose they hold out, we shall then have more time in which to practise at sea. As soon as we have brought our skill up to the level of theirs our courage will surely give us the victory. For that is a natural gift which they cannot learn, but their superior skill is a thing acquired, which we must attain by practice.71

And the money which is required for the war, we will provide by a contribution. What! shall their allies never fail in paying the tribute which is to enslave them, and shall we refuse to give freely in order to save ourselves and be avenged on our enemies, or rather to prevent the money which we refused to give from being taken from us by them and used to our destruction?

'These are some of the means by which the war may be carried on; but there are others. We may induce their allies to revolt,--a sure mode of cutting off the revenues in which the strength of Athens consists; or we may plant a fort in their country; and there are many expedients which will hereafter suggest themselves. For war, least of all things, conforms to prescribed rules; it strikes out a path for itself when the moment comes. And therefore he who has his temper under control in warfare is safer far, but he who gets into a passion is, through his own fault, liable to the greater fall.

'If this were merely a quarrel between one of us and our neighbours about a boundary line it would not matter; but reflect: the truth is that the Athenians are a match for us all, and much more than a match for any single city. And if we allow ourselves to be divided or are not united against them heart and soul--the whole confederacy and every nation and city in it--they will easily overpower us. It may seem a hard saying, but you may be sure that defeat means nothing but downright slavery, and the bare mention of such a possibility is a disgrace to the Peloponnese:--shall so many states suffer at the hands of one? Men will say, some that we deserve our fate, others that we are too cowardly to resist: and we shall seem a degenerate race. For our fathers were the liberators of Hellas, but we cannot secure even our own liberty; and while we make a point of overthrowing the rule of a single man in this or that city, we allow a city which is a tyrant to be set up in the midst of us. Are we not open to one of three most serious charges -- folly, cowardice, or carelessness? For you certainly do not escape such imputations by wrapping yourselves in that contemptuous wisdom which has so often72 brought men to ruin, as in the end to be pronounced contemptible folly.

'But why should we dwell reproachfully upon the past, except in the interest of the present? We should rather, looking to the future, devote our energies to the task which we have immediately in hand. By labour to win virtue,--that is the lesson which we73 have learnt from our fathers, and which you ought not to unlearn, because you chance to have some trifling advantage over them in wealth and power; for men should not lose in the time of their wealth what was gained by them in their time of want. There are many reasons why you may advance with confidence. The God has spoken and has promised to take our part himself. All Hellas will fight at our side, from motives either of fear or of interest. And you will not break the treaty,--the God in bidding you go to war pronounces it to have been already broken,--but you will avenge the violation of it. For those who attack others, not those who defend themselves, are the real violators of treaties.74

'On every ground you will be right in going to war: it is our united advice; and if you believe community of interests to be the surest ground of strength both to states and individuals, send speedy aid75 to the Potidaeans, who are Dorians and now besieged by Ionians (for times have changed), and recover the liberties which the rest of the allies have lost. We cannot go on as we are: for some of us are already suffering, and if it is known that we have met, but do not dare to defend ourselves, others will soon share their fate. Acknowledging then, allies, that there is no alternative, and that we are advising you for the best, vote for war; and be not afraid of the immediate danger, but fix your thoughts on the durable peace which will follow. For by war peace is assured, but to remain at peace when you should be going to war may be often very dangerous. The tyrant city which has been set up in Hellas is a standing menace to all alike; she rules over some of us already, and would fain rule over others. Let us attack and subdue her, that we may ourselves live safely for the future and deliver the Hellenes whom she has enslaved.'

Such were the words of the Corinthians.

The Lacedaemonians, having heard the opinions of all the allies, put the question to them all, one after the other, great and small alike, and the majority voted for war. But, although they had come to this decision, they were not ready, and could not take up arms at once; so they determined to make the necessary preparations, each for themselves, with the least possible delay. Still nearly a whole year was passed in preparation before they invaded Attica and commenced open hostilities.

During this interval they sent embassies to Athens and made various complaints that their grounds for going to war might be all the stronger in case the Athenians refused to listen. The first ambassadors desired the Athenians to drive out 'the curse of the Goddess.' The curse to which they referred was as follows:--In the days of old there was an Athenian named Cylon, who had been an Olympic victor; he was powerful and of noble birth; and he had married the daughter of Theagenes, a Megarian who was at that time tyrant of Megara. In answer to an enquiry which Cylon made at Delphi, the God told him to seize the Acropolis of Athens at the greatest festival of Zeus. Thereupon he obtained forces from Theagenes, and, persuading his friends to join him, when the time of the Olympic festival in Peloponnesus came round, he took possession of the Acropolis, intending to make himself tyrant. He thought that this was the greatest festival of Zeus, and, having been an Olympic victor, he seemed to have a special interest in it. But whether the greatest festival spoken of was in Attica or in some other part of Hellas was a question which never entered into his mind, and the oracle said nothing about it. (For the Athenians also have a greatest festival of Zeus--the festival of Zeus the Gracious, or Diasia, as it is called76-- this is held outside the city and the whole people sacrifice at it, some, ordinary victims, others, a kind of offering peculiar to the country.) However, Cylon thought that his interpretation was right, and made the attempt at the Olympic festival. The Athenians, when they saw what had happened, came in a body from the fields and invested the Acropolis. After a time they grew tired of the siege and most of them went away, committing the guard to the nine Archons, and giving them full powers to do what they thought best in the whole matter; for in those days public affairs were chiefly administered by the nine Archons.77. Cylon and his companions were in great distress from want of food and water. So he and his brother made their escape; the rest, being hard pressed, and some of them ready to die of hunger, sat as suppliants at the altar which is in the Acropolis. When the Athenians, to whose charge the guard had been committed, saw them dying in the temple, they bade them rise, promising to do them no harm, and then led them away and put them to death. They even slew some of them in the very presence of the awful Goddesses at whose altars, in passing by, they had sought refuge. The murderers and their descendants are held to be accursed, and offenders against the Goddess. These accursed persons were banished by the Athenians; and Cleomenes, the Lacedaemonian king, again banished them from Athens in a time of civil strife by the help of the opposite faction, expelling the living and disinterring and casting forth the bones of the dead.78 Nevertheless they afterwards returned, and to this day their race still survives in the city.

The Lacedaemonians desired the Athenians to drive away this curse, as if the honour of the Gods were their first object, but in reality because they knew that the curse attached to Pericles, the son of Xanthippus, by his mother's side, and they thought that if he were banished they would find the Athenians more manageable. They did not really expect that he would be driven into exile, but they hoped to discredit him with the citizens and make them believe that his misfortune was to a certain extent the cause of the war. For he was the leader of the state and the most powerful man of his day, and his policy was utterly opposed to the Lacedaemonians. He would not suffer the Athenians to give way, but was always urging upon them the necessity of war.

The Athenians retaliated by demanding that the Lacedaemomans should drive away the curse of Taenarus. They referred to the murder of certain Helots who had taken refuge in the temple of Poseidon at Taenarus; these the Lacedaemonians, having first raised by the hand, had then led away and slain. The Lacedaemonians themselves believe this act of theirs to have been the cause of the great earthquake which visited Sparta.79 The Athenians also bade them drive out the curse of Athenè of the Brazen House. The story is as follows:--When Pausanias the Lacedaemonian was originally summoned by the Spartans to give an account of his command at the Hellespont,80 and had been tried and acquitted, he was no longer sent out in a public capacity, but he hired a trireme of Hermionè on his own account and sailed to the Hellespont, pretending that he had gone thither to fight in the cause of the Hellenes. In reality he wanted to prosecute an intrigue with the King, by which he hoped to obtain the empire of Hellas. He had already taken the first steps after the return from Cyprus, when he captured Byzantium81 The city was at that time held by the Persians and by certain relatives and kinsmen of the King, who were taken prisoners. These he restored to the King without the knowledge of the allies, to whom he declared that they had made their escape. This act was the beginning of the whole affair, and thereby he originally placed the King under an obligation to him. His accomplice was Gongylus the Eretrian, to whose care he had entrusted Byzantium and the captives. To this same Gongylus he also gave a letter addressed to the King, of which, as was afterwards discovered, the terms were as follows:

'Pausanias, the Spartan commander, desiring to do you a service, sends you back these captives of his spear. And I propose, if you have no objection, to marry your daughter, and to bring Sparta and the rest of Hellas under your sway. I think that I can accomplish this if you and I take counsel together. Should you approve of my proposal, send a trusty person to the sea and through him we will negotiate.' Thus far the letter.

Xerxes was pleased, and sent Artabazus the son of Pharnaces to the sea, commanding him to assume the government of the satrapy of Dascylium in the room of Megabates. An answer was entrusted to him, which he was to send as quickly as possible to Pausanias at Byzantium; he was to show him at the same time the royal seal. If Pausanias gave him any order about his own affairs, he was to execute it with all diligence and fidelity. Artabazus came down to the sea, as he was desired, and transmitted the letter. The answer of the King was as follows:

'Thus saith Xerxes, the King, to Pausanias. The benefit which thou hast done me in saving the captives who were taken at Byzantium beyond the sea is recorded in my house for ever, and thy words please me. Let neither day nor night hinder thee from fulfilling diligently the promise which thou hast made to me; spare not gold or silver, and take as large an army as thou wilt, wheresoever of it may be required. I have sent to thee Artabazus, a good man; act with him for my honour and welfare, and for thine own, and be of good courage.'

Pausanias received the letter. He had already acquired a high reputation among the Hellenes when in command at Plataea, and now he was so great that he could no longer contain himself or live like other men. Whenever he marched out of Byzantium he wore Persian apparel. On his way through Thrace he was always attended by a body-guard of Medes and Egyptians, and he had his table served after the Persian fashion. He could not conceal his ambition, but indicated by little things the greater designs which he was meditating. He made himself difficult of access, and displayed such a violent temper towards everybody that no one could come near him; and this was one of the chief reasons why the confederacy transferred themselves to the Athenians.

The news of his behaviour soon reached the Lacedaemonians; who had recalled him in the first instance on this ground.82 And now, when he had sailed away in the ship of Hermionè without leave,83 and was evidently carrying on the same practices; when he had been forced out of Byzantium and the gates had been shut against him by the Athenians; and when, instead of returning to Sparta, he settled at Colonae in Troas, and was reported to the Ephors to be negotiating with the Barbarians, and to be staying there for no good purpose, then at last they made up their minds to act. They sent a herald to him with a despatch rolled on a scytalè, commanding him to follow the officer home, and saying that, if he refused, Sparta would declare war against him. He, being desirous as far as he could to avoid suspicion and believing that he could dispose of the accusations by bribery, returned for the second time to Sparta. On his return he was at once thrown into prison by the Ephors, who have the power to imprison the king himself. But after a time he contrived to come out, and challenged any one who asserted his guilt to bring him to trial.

As yet however neither his enemies among the citizens nor the Spartan government had any trustworthy evidence such as would have justified them in inflicting punishment upon a member of the royal family holding royal office at the time. For he was the guardian as well as cousin of the king, Pleistarchus son of Leonidas, who was still a minor. But his disregard of propriety and affectation of Barbarian fashions made them strongly suspect that he was dissatisfied with his position in the state. They examined into any violation of established usage which they could find in his previous life; and they remembered among other things how in past times he had presumed on his own authority to inscribe on the tripod at Delphi, which the Hellenes dedicated as the first fruits of their victory over the Persians, this elegiac couplet:

'Pausanias, captain of the Hellenes, having destroyed the Persian host,
Made this offering to Phoebus for a memorial.'

The Lacedaemonians had at once effaced the lines and inscribed on the tripod the names of the cities which took part in the overthrow of the Barbarian and in the dedication of the offering. But still this act of Pausanias gave offence at the time, and, now that he had again fallen under suspicion, seemed to receive a new light from his present designs. They were also informed that he was intriguing with the Helots; and this was true, for he had promised them emancipation and citizenship if they would join him in an insurrection and help to carry out his whole design. Still the magistrates would not take decided measures; they even refused to believe the distinct testimony which certain Helots brought against him; their habit having always been to be slow in taking an irrevocable decision against a Spartan without incontestable proof. At last a certain man of Argilus, who had been a favourite and was still a confidential servant of Pausanias, turned informer. He had been commissioned by him to carry to Artabazus the last letters for the King, but the thought struck him that no previous messenger had ever returned; he took alarm, and so, having counterfeited the seal of Pausanias in order to avoid discovery if he were mistaken, or if Pausanias, wanting to make some alteration, should ask him for the letter, he opened it, and among the directions given in it found written, as he had partly suspected, an order for his own death.

He showed the letter to the Ephors, who were now more inclined to believe, but still they wanted to hear something from Pausanias' own mouth, and so, according to a plan preconcerted with them, the man went to Taenarus as a suppliant and there put up a hut divided by a partition. In the inner part of the hut he placed some of the Ephors, and when Pausanias came to him and asked him why he was a suppliant, the whole truth was at once revealed to them. There was the man reproaching Pausanias with the directions which he had found in the letter, and going into minute details about the whole affair; he protested that never on any occasion had he brought him into any trouble when sent on his service in this matter to the King: why then should he share the fate of the other messengers, and be rewarded with death? And there was Pausanias, admitting the truth of his words, and telling him not to be angry at what had happened, offering to raise him by the hand that he might safely leave the temple, and bidding him start at once and not make difficulties.

The Ephors, who had heard every word, went away for the present, intending, now that they had certain knowledge, to take Pausanias in the city. It is said that he was on the point of being arrested in the street, when the face of one of them as they approached revealed to him their purpose, and another who was friendly warned him by a hardly perceptible nod. Whereupon he ran and fled to the temple of Athenè of the Brazen House and arrived before them, for the precinct was not far off. There, entering into a small chamber which belonged to the temple, that he might not suffer from exposure to the weather, he remained. His pursuers, failing to overtake him, afterwards unroofed the building, and watching when he was within, and preventing him from getting out, they built up the doors, and, investing the place, starved him to death. He was on the point of expiring in the chamber where he lay, when they; observing his condition, brought him out; he was still breathing, but as soon as he was brought out he died. The Spartans were going to cast his body into the Caeadas, a chasm into which they throw malefactors, but they changed their minds and buried him somewhere in the neighbourhood. The God of Delphi afterwards commanded them to transfer him to the place where he died, and he now lies in the entrance to the precinct, as the inscription on the column testifies. The oracle also told them that they had brought a curse upon themselves, and must offer two bodies for one to Athenè of the Brazen House. Whereupon they made two brazen statues, which they dedicated, intending them to be an expiation for Pausanias.

To this judgment of the God himself the Athenians referred when they retorted on the Lacedaemonians, telling them to banish the curse.

Now the evidence which proved that Pausanias was in league with Persia implicated Themistocles; and the Lacedaemonians sent ambassadors to the Athenians charging him likewise with treason, and demanding that he should receive the same punishment. The Athenians agreed, but having been ostracised he was living at the time in Argos, whence he used to visit other parts of the Peloponnese. The Lacedaemonians were very ready to join in the pursuit; so they and the Athenians sent officers, who were told to arrest him wherever they should find him.

Themistocles received information of their purpose, and fled from the Peloponnesus to the Corcyraeans, who were under an obligation to him. The Corcyraeans said that they were afraid to keep him, lest they should incur the enmity of Athens and Lacedaemon; so they conveyed him to the neighbouring continent, whither he was followed by the officers, who constantly enquired in which direction he had gone and pursued him everywhere. Owing to an accident he was compelled to stop at the house of Admetus, king of the Molossians, who was not his friend.

He chanced to be absent from home, but Themistocles presented himself as a suppliant to his wife, and was instructed by her to take their child and sit at the hearth. Admetus soon returned, and then Themistocles told him who he was, adding that if in past times he had opposed any request which Admetus had made to the Athenians, he ought not to retaliate on an exile. He was now in such extremity that a far weaker adversary than he could do him a mischief; but a noble nature should not be revenged by taking at a disadvantage one as good as himself. Themistocles further argued that he had opposed Admetus in some matter of business, and not when life was at stake; but that, if Admetus delivered him up, he would be consigning him to death. At the same time he told him who his pursuers were and what was the charge against him.

Admetus, hearing his words, raised him up, together with his own son, from the place where he sat holding the child in his arms, which was the most solemn form of supplication. Not long afterwards the Athenians and Lacedaemonians came and pressed him to give up the fugitive, but he refused; and as Themistocles wanted to go to the King, sent him on foot across the country to the sea at Pydna (which was in the kingdom of Alexander). There he found a merchant vessel sailing to Ionia, in which he embarked; it was driven, however, by a storm to the station of the Athenian fleet which was blockading Naxos. He was unknown to his fellow passengers, but, fearing what might happen, he told the captain who he was and why he fled, threatening if he did not save his life to say that he had been bribed to take him on board. The only hope was that no one should be allowed to leave the ship while they had to remain off Naxos; if he complied with his request, the obligation should be abundantly repaid. The captain agreed, and after anchoring in a rough sea for a day and a night off the Athenian station, he at length arrived at Ephesus. Themistocles rewarded him with a liberal present; for he received soon afterwards from his friends the property which they had in their keeping at Athens, and which he had deposited at Argos. He then went up the country in the company of one of the Persians who dwelt on the coast, and sent a letter to Artaxerxes the son Xerxes, who had just succeeded to the throne. The letter was in the following words:-- 'I, Themistocles, have come to you, I who of all Hellenes did your house the greatest injuries so long as I was compelled to defend myself against your father; but still greater benefits when I was in safety and he in danger during his retreat. And there is a debt of gratitude due to me' (here he noted how he had forewarned Xerxes at Salamis of the resolution of the Hellenes to withdraw,84 and how through his influence, as he pretended, they had refrained from breaking down the bridges).85 'Now I am here, able to do you many other services, and persecuted by the Hellenes for your sake. Let me wait a year, and then I will myself explain why I have come.'

The King is said to have been astonished at the boldness of his character, and told him to wait a year as he proposed. In the interval he made himself acquainted, as far as he could, with the Persian language and the manners of the country. When the year was over, he arrived at the court and became a greater man there than any Hellene had ever been before. This was due partly to his previous reputation, and partly to the hope which he inspired in the King's mind that he would enslave Hellas to him; above all, his ability had been tried and not found wanting. For Themistocles was a man whose natural force was unmistakeable; this was the quality for which he was distinguished above all other men; from his own native acuteness, and without any study either before or at the time, he was the ablest judge of the course to be pursued in a sudden emergency, and could best divine what was likely to happen in the remotest future. Whatever he had in hand he had the power of explaining to others, and even where he had no experience he was quite competent to form a sufficient judgment; no one could foresee with equal clearness the good or evil event which was hidden in the future. In a word, Themistocles, by natural power of mind and with the least preparation, was of all men the best able to extemporise the right thing to be done. A sickness put an end to his life, although some say that he poisoned himself because he felt that he could not accomplish what he had promised to the King. There is a monument of him in the agora of the Asiatic Magnesia, where he was governor--the King assigning to him, for bread, Magnesia, which produced a revenue of fifty talents86 in the year; for wine, Lampsacus, which was considered to be the richest in wine of any district then known; and Myus for meat. His family say that his remains were carried home at his own request and buried in Attica, but secretly; for he had been accused of treason and had fled from his country, and he could not lawfully be interred there. Such was the end of Pausanias the Lacedaemonian, and Themistocles the Athenian, the two most famous Hellenes of their day.

Thus the demand for the banishment of the accursed made by the Lacedaemonians on the occasion of their first embassy was met by a counter demand on the part of Athens. They came again and again, and told the Athenians that they must raise the siege of Potidaea and restore Aegina to independence. Above all, and in the plainest terms, they insisted that if they wanted to avert war, they must rescind the decree which excluded the Megarians from the market of Athens and the harbours in the Athenian dominions. But the Athenians would not listen to them, nor rescind the decree; alleging in reply that the Megarians had tilled the holy ground and the neutral borderland, and had received their runaway slaves. Finally, there came from Sparta an embassy, consisting of Rhamphias, Melesippus, and Hegesander, who said nothing of all this, but only, 'The Lacedaemonians desire to maintain peace; and peace there may be, if you will restore independence to the Hellenes.' Whereupon the Athenians called an assembly and held a discussion; it seemed best to them to make up their minds and to give a complete and final answer. Many came forward to speak, and much was said on both sides, some affirming that they ought to go to war, and others that this decree about the Megarians should be rescinded and not stand in the way of peace. At last Pericles the son of Xanthippus, who was the first man of his day at Athens, and the greatest orator and statesman, came forward and advised as follows:

'Athenians, I say, as I always have said, that we must never yield to the Peloponnesians, although I know that men are persuaded to go to war in one temper of mind, and act when the time comes in another, and that their resolutions change with the changes of fortune. But I see that I must give you the same or nearly the same advice which I gave before, and I call upon those whom my words may convince to maintain our united determination, even if we should not escape disaster; or else, if our sagacity be justified by success, to claim no share of the credit.87 The movement of events is often as wayward and incomprehensible as the course of human thought; and this is why we ascribe to chance whatever belies our calculation.

'For some time past the designs of the Lacedaemonians have been clear enough, and they are still clearer now. Our agreement says that when differences arise, the two parties shall refer them to arbitration, and in the mean time both are to retain what they have. But for arbitration they never ask; and when it is offered by us, they refuse it.88 They want to redress their grievances by arms and not by argument; and now they come to us, using the language, no longer of expostulation, but of command. They tell us to quit Potidaea, to leave Aegina independent, and to rescind the decree respecting the Megarians. These last ambassadors go further still, and announce that we must give the Hellenes independence. I would have none of you imagine that he will be fighting for a small matter if we refuse to annul the Megarian decree, of which they make so much, telling us that its revocation would prevent the war. You should have no lingering uneasiness about this; you are not really going to war for a trifle. For in the seeming trifle is involved the trial and confirmation of your whole purpose. If you yield to them in a small matter, they will think that you are afraid, and will immediately dictate some more oppressive condition; but if you are firm, you will prove to them that they must treat you as their equals.

'Wherefore make up your minds once for all, either to give way while you are still unharmed, or, if we are going to war, as in my judgment is best, then on no plea small or great to give way at all; we will not condescend to possess our own in fear. Any claim, the smallest as well as the greatest, imposed on a neighbour and an equal when there has been no legal award can mean nothing but slavery.

'That our resources are equal to theirs, and that we shall be as strong in the war, I will now prove to you in detail. The Peloponnesians cultivate their own lands, and they have no wealth either public or private. Nor have they any experience of long wars in countries beyond the sea; their poverty prevents them from fighting, except in person against each other, and that for a short time only. Such men cannot be often manning fleets or sending out armies. They would be at a distance from their own properties, upon which they must nevertheless draw, and they will be kept off the sea by us. Now wars are supported out of accumulated wealth, and not out of forced contributions. And men who cultivate their own lands are more ready to serve with their persons than with their property;89 they do not despair of their lives, but they soon grow anxious lest their money should all be spent, especially if the war in which they are engaged is protracted beyond their calculation, as may well be the case. In a single pitched battle the Peloponnesians and their allies are a match for all Hellas, but they are not able to maintain a war against a power different in kind from their own;90 they have no regular general assembly, and therefore cannot execute their plans with speed and decision. The confederacy is made up of many races; all the representatives have equal votes, and press their several interests. There follows the usual result, that nothing is ever done properly. For some are all anxiety to be revenged on an enemy, while others only want to get off with as little loss as possible. The members of such a confederacy are slow to meet, and when they do meet, they give little time to the consideration of any common interest, and a great deal to schemes which further the interest of their particular state. Every one fancies that his own neglect will do no harm, but that it is somebody else's business to keep a look-out for him, and this idea, cherished alike by each, is the secret ruin of all.

'Their greatest difficulty will be want of money, which they can only provide slowly; delay will thus occur, and war waits for no man. Further, no fortified place which they can raise against us91 is to be feared any more than their navy. As to the first, even in time of peace it would be hard for them to build a city able to compete with Athens; and how much more so when they are in an enemy's country, and our walls will be a menace to them quite as much as theirs to us! Or, again, if they simply raise a fort in our territory, they may do mischief to some part of our lands by sallies, and the slaves may desert to them; but that will not prevent us from sailing to the Peloponnese and there raising forts against them, and defending ourselves there by the help of our navy, which is our strong arm. For we have gained more experience of fighting on land from warfare at sea than they of naval affairs from warfare on land. And they will not easily acquire the art of seamanship;92 even you yourselves, who have been practising ever since the Persian War, are not yet perfect. How can they, who are not sailors, but tillers of the soil, do much? They will not even be permitted to practise, because a large fleet will constantly be lying in wait for them. If they were watched by a few ships only, they might run the risk, trusting to their numbers and forgetting their inexperience; but if they are kept off the sea by our superior strength, their want of practice will make them unskilful, and their want of skill timid. Maritime skill is like skill of other kinds, not a thing to be cultivated by the way or at chance times; it is jealous of any other pursuit which distracts the mind for an instant from itself.

'Suppose, again, that they lay hands on the treasures at Olympia and Delphi, and tempt our mercenary sailors with the offer of higher pay,93 there might be serious danger, if we and our metics94 embarking alone were not still a match for them. But we are a match for them: and, best of all, our pilots are taken from our own citizens, while no sailors are to be found so good or so numerous as ours in all the rest of Hellas. None of our mercenaries will choose to fight on their side for the sake of a few days' high pay, when he will not only be an exile, but will incur greater danger, and will have less hope of victory.

'Such I conceive to be the prospects of the Peloponnesians. But we ourselves are free from the defects which I have noted in them; and we have great advantages. If they attack our country by land, we shall attack theirs by sea; and the devastation, even of part of Peloponnesus, will be a very different thing from that of all Attica. For they, if they want fresh territory, must take it by arms, whereas we have abundance of land both in the islands and on the continent; such is the power which the empire of the sea gives. Reflect, if we were islanders, who would be more invulnerable? Let us imagine that we are, and acting in that spirit let us give up land and houses, but keep a watch over the city and the sea. We should not under any irritation at the loss of our property give battle to the Peloponnesians, who far outnumber us. If we conquer, we shall have to fight over again with as many more; and if we fail, besides the defeat, our confederacy, which is our strength, will be lost to us; for our allies will rise in revolt when we are no longer capable of making war upon them. Mourn not for houses and lands, but for men; men may gain these, but these will not gain men. If I thought that you would listen to me, I would say to you, "Go yourselves and destroy them, and thereby prove to the Peloponnesians that none of these things will move you."

'I have many other reasons for believing that you will conquer, but you must not be extending your empire while you are at war, or run into unnecessary dangers. I am more afraid of our own mistakes than of our enemies' designs. But of all this I will speak again when the time of action comes; for the present, let us send the ambassadors away, giving them this answer: "That we will not exclude the Megarians from our markets and harbours, if the Lacedaemonians will cease to expel foreigners, whether ourselves or our allies, from Sparta; for the treaty no more forbids the one than the other. That we will concede independence to the cities, if they were independent when we made the treaty, and as soon as the Lacedaemonians allow their allied states a true independence, not for the interest of Lacedaemon, but everywhere for their own. Also that we are willing to offer arbitration according to the treaty. And that we do not want to begin a war, but intend to defend ourselves if attacked." This answer will be just, and befits the dignity of the city. We must be aware however that war will come; and the more willing we are to accept the situation, the less ready will our enemies be to lay hands upon us. Remember that where dangers are greatest, there the greatest honours are to be won by men and states. Our fathers, when they withstood the Persian, had no such power as we have; what little they had they forsook: not by good fortune but by wisdom, and not by power but by courage, they drove the Barbarian away and raised us to our present height of greatness. We must be worthy of them, and resist our enemies to the utmost, that we may hand down our empire unimpaired to posterity.'

Such were the words of Pericles. The Athenians, approving, voted as he told them, and on his motion answered the Laeedaemonians in detail as he had suggested, and on the whole question to the effect 'that they would do nothing upon compulsion, but were ready to settle their differences by arbitration upon fair terms according to the treaty.' So the ambassadors went home and came no more.

These were the causes of offence alleged on either side before the war began. The quarrel arose immediately out of the affair of Epidamnus and Corcyra. But, although the contest was imminent, the contending parties still kept up intercourse and visited each other, without a herald, but not with entire confidence. For the situation was really an abrogation of the treaty, and might at any time lead to war.

1. Or, connecting hôn with makrotaton: 'But after carrying the enquiry to the furthest point at which any trustworthy evidence can be obtained.'

2. Or, taking hou palai closely together: 'until recent times.'

3. Or, 'gave to some communities greater power; this was a source of quarrels, by which they' etc.

4. Or, taking es ta alla in another sense: 'that Attica through immigration increased in population quite out of proportion to her increase in other respects;' or, supplying tên 'Ellada and taking metoikias in another sense: 'And here is a striking confirmation of my argument that the constant migrations were the cause which prevented the rest of Hellas from increasing equally with Attica. The leading men of Hellas,' etc.

5. Or, supplying klêthentes with both clauses: ' those who successively acquired the Hellenic name, which first spread among the several tribes speaking the same language, and afterwards became universal.'

6. Od. iii. 73 ff.; ix. 252; Hymn to Apoll. 452 ff.

7. Cp. iii. 104 init.

8. Cp. i. 4.

9. Or, 'and incited the more powerful, who now had wealth at their command, to subjugate the lesser cities.'

10. Or, "Those who possess the most accurate traditions respecting the history of Peloponnesus say that' etc.

11. Il. ii. 108.

12. Il. ii. 509, 510.

13. Il. ii. 719, 720.

14. Il. ii. 570.

15. Cp. iii. 104 init.

16. Or, 'It was quite at a recent period, when the Athenians were at war with the Aeginetans and in expectation of the Barbarian, that Themistocles persuaded them to build the ships with which they fought at Salamis; and even these were not completely decked.'

17. Herod. v. 99.

18. Reading ktêsin, not ktisin.

19. Or, 'as well those who had revolted from the King, as those who had joined with him.'

20. Cp. i. 96, 99; iii. 39 init.; vi. 85 med.; vii. 57 init.

21. Or, 'either of Athens or Sparta.

22. Or (i), 'Though they may not obtain entire credit, even when the proofs of them are all set down in order.' Or (2), 'Though they will not readily be believed upon a bare recital of all the proofs of them.' Or (3), ' Though it is difficult to set down all the proofs in order, so as to make the account credible.'

23. Cp. vi. 54 seqq.

24. Herod. vi. 57.

25. Herod. ix. 53.

26. Cp. i. 115, 146.

27. Cp. iii. 58 med., 59 init.

28. The sum would amount to £2 15s. 4d., or to £1 2s. 6d., according to the two systems of reckoning discussed in the note on iii. 70, q.v.

29. Or, 'or again, they would agree to arbitration on the condition that both parties should remain' etc.

30. Cp. i. 29 init.

31. Cp. i. 115 init.

32. Or, 'and there is nothing extraordinary in our going to war with them, for they are doing us an unexampled injury.'

33. Or, 'whose actions corresponded to his professions, before he entered on the struggle.'

34. The last words of the chapter are omitted by Poppo on the authority of several of the best MSS.; they may perhaps be a gloss. If they are retained they may be translated: 'But you ought not to share all the consequences of their crimes, while in the crimes, and in them alone, you have no part.'

35. Cp. i. 115.

36. Cp. Herod. vi. 89.

37. Cp. i. 67 fin.

38. CP. i. 40 init.

39. Or, 'Here there is a harbour.'

40. Cp. iii. 70.

41. Or e conj. 'four.'

42. Reading pros 'Olynthou.

43. Or, 'to take his place with the expedition:' cp. infra, tên para Perdikkou dikosian hippon.

44. Cp. Herod. viii. 129.

45. Sixty stadia, the stadium being reckoned at two hundred and two yards.

46. Or, adopting the inferior reading tôn summachôn te kai ei tis: proceeded to summon any of their own allies, and any one else, who had similar charges,' etc.

47. "Or, I makes you distrustful of us when we bring a charge against others."

48. Cp. i. 90-92.

49. Cp. i. 107.

50. For descriptions of Athenian character, cp. ii. 37 ff:; iii. 38; 42, 43; vi. 76; 87.

51. Or, 'in running no risk even in self-defence.'

52. Cp. i. 58 med.

53. Cp. i. 123 fin.

54. Or, 'although it may be disagreeable to you to hear what we are always bringing forward.'

55. "Reading with the great majority of MSS. tetrakosias."

56. (?) by impartial law.

57. For the misconduct of Spartan officers abroad, cp. i. 95; 130; iii. 32; 93 fin.; viii. 84 init. Contrast Brasidas, iv. 81.

58. Or, 'and that our words too sound a note of war.'

59. Reading paraskeuazômetha.

60. Cp. i. 23 fin.

61. Cp. i. 69 init.

62. Cp. c. 130.

63. About £92,000.

64. Or, reading simpantes [?], as Poppo is inclined to do, 'were destroyed to a man by the Thracians.'

65. Or, accepting tetartô (Krüger's conj.), 'the fourth year.'

66. Omitting the stop after katelabon.

67. Cp. i. 102

68. I. e. Gythium.

69. cp. vii. 18 med.

70. Reading homoia

71. Or, 'which we must overcome by practice.'

72. Or, 'For we cannot suppose that, having avoided these errors, you have wrapped yourselves in that contemptuous wisdom, which has so often' etc.

73. Reading hêmin.

74. Cp. i. 71 fin.

75. Reading tauta: or, with all the MSS. retaining tauta: 'And as it is most certain that the policy which we recommend is for our advantage both as states and individuals, send speedy aid' etc.

76. Placing the comma before instead of after Diasia.

77. Cp. Herod. v. 71.

78. Cp. Herod. v. 70, 72.

79. Cp. i. 101, 102.


81. Cp. i. 94.

82. Cp. i. 93 init.

83. Cp. i. 128.

84. Cp. Herod. viii. 75.

85. Cp. Herod. viii. 108.

86. About £10,000.

87. Cp. ii. 64 init.

88. Cp. i. 78.

89. Cp. i. 121 med.

90. Cp. viii. 96 fin.

91. Cp. i. 122 init.

92. Cp. i. 121 med.

93. Cp. i. 121 init.

94. Cp. iii. 16 init.


And now the war between the Athenians and Peloponnesians and the allies of both actually began. Henceforward the struggle was uninterrupted, and they communicated with one another only by heralds. The narrative is arranged according to summers and winters and follows the order of events.

For fourteen years the thirty years' peace which was concluded after the recovery of Euboea remained unbroken. But in the fifteenth year, when Chrysis the high-priestess of Argos was in the forty-eighth year of her priesthood, Aenesias being Ephor at Sparta, and at Athens Pythodorus having two months of his archonship to run,1 in the sixth month after the engagement at Potidaea and at the beginning of spring, about the first watch of the night an armed force of somewhat more than three hundred Thebans entered Plataea, a city of Boeotia, which was an ally of Athens, under the command of two Boeotarchs, Pythangelus the son of Phyleides, and Diemporus the son of Onetorides. They were invited by Naucleides, a Plataean, and his partisans, who opened the gates to them. These men wanted to kill certain citizens of the opposite faction and to make over the city to the Thebans, in the hope of getting the power into their own hands. The intrigue had been conducted by Eurymachus the son of Leontiades, one of the chief citizens of Thebes. There was an old quarrel between the two cities, and the Thebans, seeing that war was inevitable, were anxious to surprise the place while the peace lasted and before hostilities had actually broken out. No watch had been set; and so they were enabled to enter the city unperceived. They grounded their arms in the Agora, but instead of going to work at once and making their way into the houses of their enemies, as those who invited them suggested, they resolved to issue a conciliatory proclamation and try to make friends with the citizens. The herald announced that if any one wished to become their ally and return to the ancient constitution of Boeotia, he should join their ranks. In this way they thought that the inhabitants would easily be induced to come over to them.

The Plataeans, when they found that the city had been surprised and taken and that the Thebans were within their walls, were panic-stricken. In the darkness they were unable to see them and greatly over-estimated their numbers. So they came to terms, and accepting the proposals which were made to them, remained quiet, the more readily since the Thebans offered violence to no one. But in the course of the negotiations they somehow discovered that their enemies were not so numerous as they had supposed, and concluded that they could easily attack and master them. They determined to make the attempt, for the commons at Plataea were strongly attached to the Athenian alliance. They began to collect inside the houses, breaking through the party-walls that they might not be seen going along the streets; they likewise raised barricades of waggons (without the beasts which drew them), and took other measures suitable to the emergency. When they had done all which could be done under the circumstances, they sallied forth from their houses, choosing the time of night just before daybreak, lest, if they put off the attack until dawn, the enemy might be more confident and more a match for them. While darkness lasted they would be timid, and at a disadvantage, not knowing the streets so well as themselves. So they fell upon them at once hand to hand.

When the Thebans found that they had been deceived they closed their ranks and resisted their assailants on every side. Two or three times they drove them back. But when at last the Plataeans charged them, and the women and slaves on the housetops screamed and yelled and pelted them with stones and tiles, the confusion, which was aggravated by the rain which had been falling heavily during the night, became too much for them, and they turned and fled in terror through the city. Hardly any of them knew the way out, and the streets were dark as well as muddy, for the affair happened at the end of the month when there was no moon; whereas their pursuers knew well enough how to prevent their escape; and thus many of them perished. The gates by which they entered were the only ones open, and these a Plataean fastened with the spike of a javelin, which he thrust into the bar instead of the pin. So this exit too was closed and they were chased up and down the city. Some of them mounted upon the wall and cast themselves down into the open. Most of these were killed. Others got out by a deserted gate, cutting through the bar unperceived with an axe which a woman gave them; but only a few, for they were soon found out. Others lost themselves in different parts of the city, and were put to death. But the greater number kept together and took refuge in a large building abutting upon the wall, of which the doors on the near side chanced to be open, they thinking them to be the gates of the city, and expecting to find a way through them into the country. The Plataeans, seeing that they were in a trap, began to consider whether they should not set the building on fire, and burn them where they were. At last they and the other Thebans who were still alive, and were wandering about the city, agreed to surrender themselves and their arms unconditionally. Thus fared the Thebans in Plataea.

The main body of the Theban army, which should have come during the night to the support of the party entering the city in case of a reverse, having on their march heard of the disaster, were now hastening to the rescue. Plataea is about eight miles distant from Thebes, and the heavy rain which had fallen in the night delayed their arrival; for the river Asopus had swollen, and was not easily fordable. Marching in the rain, and with difficulty crossing the river, they came up too late, some of their friends being already slain and others captives. When the Thebans became aware of the state of affairs, they resolved to lay hands on what was outside the walls; for there were men and property left in the fields, as would naturally happen when a sudden blow was struck in time of peace. They meant to keep any one whom they caught as a hostage and exchange him for one of their own men, if any of them were still alive. But before they had executed their plan, the Plataeans, suspecting their intentions, and fearing for their friends outside, sent a herald to the Thebans protesting against the crime of which they had been guilty in trying to seize their city during peace, and warning them not to touch anything which was outside the walls. If they persisted they threatened in return to kill the prisoners; but if they retired, they would give them up. This is the Theban account, and they add that the Plataeans took an oath. The Plataeans do not admit that they ever promised to restore the captives at once, but only if they could agree after negotiations; and they deny that they took an oath. However this may have been, the Thebans withdrew, leaving the Plataean territory unhurt; but the Plataeans had no sooner got in their property from the country than they put the prisoners to death. Those who were taken were a hundred and eighty in number, and Eurymachus, with whom the betrayers of the city had negotiated, was one of them.

When they had killed their prisoners, they sent a messenger to Athens and gave back the dead to the Thebans under a flag of truce; they then took the necessary measures for the security of the city. The news had already reached Athens, and the Athenians had instantly seized any Boeotians who were in Attica, and sent a herald to Plataea bidding them do no violence to the Theban prisoners, but wait for instructions from Athens. The news of their death had not arrived. For the first messenger had gone out when the Thebans entered, and the second when they were just defeated and captured; but of what followed the Athenians knew nothing; they sent the message in ignorance, and the herald, when he arrived, found the prisoners dead. The Athenians next despatched an army to Plataea, and brought in supplies. Then leaving a small force in the place they conveyed away the least serviceable of the citizens, together with the women and children.

The affair of Plataea was a glaring violation of the thirty years' truce, and the Athenians now made preparations for war. The Lacedaemonians and their allies made similar preparations. Both they and the Athenians meditated sending embassies to the King,2 and to the other Barbarian potentates3 from whom either party might hope to obtain aid; they likewise sought the alliance of independent cities outside their own dominion. The Lacedaemonians ordered their friends in Italy and Sicily to build others in number proportioned to the size of their cities, in addition to the ships which they had on the spot; for they intended to raise the Peloponnesian navy to a total of five hundred. The cities were also required to furnish a fixed sum of money; they were not to receive more than one ship of the Athenians at a time, but were to take no further measures until these preparations had been completed. The Athenians reviewed their confederacy, and sent ambassadors to the places immediately adjacent to Peloponnesus--Corcyra, Cephallenia, Acarnania, and Zacynthus. They perceived that if they could only rely upon the friendship of these states,4 they might completely encircle Peloponnesus with war.

On neither side were there any mean thoughts; they were both full of enthusiasm: and no wonder, for all men are energetic when they are making a beginning. At that time the youth of Peloponnesus and the youth of Athens were numerous; they had never seen war, and were therefore very willing to take up arms. All Hellas was excited by the coming conflict between her two chief cities. Many were the prophecies circulated and many the oracles chanted by diviners, not only in the cities about to engage in the struggle, but throughout Hellas. Quite recently the island of Delos had been shaken by an earthquake for the first time within the memory of the Hellenes; this was interpreted and generally believed to be a sign of coming events. And everything of the sort which occurred was curiously noted.

The feeling of mankind was strongly on the side of the Lacedaemonians; for they professed to be the liberators of Hellas. Cities and individuals were eager to assist them to the utmost, both by word and deed; and where a man could not hope to be present, there it seemed to him that all things were at a stand. For the general indignation against the Athenians was intense; some were longing to be delivered from them, others fearful of falling under their sway.

Such was the temper which animated the Hellenes, and such were the preparations made by the two powers for the war. Their respective allies were as follows:--The Lacedaemonian confederacy included all the Peloponnesians with the exception of the Argives and the Achaeans--they were both neutral; only the Achaeans of Pellene took part with the Lacedaemonians at first; afterwards all the Achaeans joined them.5 Beyond the borders of the Peloponnese, the Megarians, Phocians, Locrians, Boeotians, Ambraciots, Leucadians, and Anactorians were their allies. Of these the Corinthians, Megarians, Sicyonians, Pellenians, Eleans, Ambraciots, and Leucadians provided a navy, the Boeotians, Phocians, and Locrians furnished cavalry, the other states only infantry. The allies of the Athenians were Chios, Lesbos, Plataea, the Messenians of Naupactus, the greater part of Acarnania, Corcyra, Zacynthus, and cities in many other countries which were their tributaries. There was the maritime region of Caria, the adjacent Dorian peoples, Ionia, the Hellespont, the Thracian coast, the islands that lie to the east within the line of Peloponnesus and Crete, including all the Cyclades with the exception of Melos and Thera. Chios, Lesbos, and Corcyra furnished a navy; the rest, land forces and money. Thus much concerning the two confederacies, and the character of their respective forces.

Immediately after the affair at Plataea the Lacedaemonians sent round word to their Peloponnesian and other allies, bidding them equip troops and provide all things necessary for a foreign expedition, with the object of invading Attica. The various states made their preparations as fast as they could, and at the appointed time, with contingents numbering two-thirds of the forces of each, met at the Isthmus. When the whole army was assembled, Archidamus, the king of the Lacedaemonians, and the leader of the expedition, called together the generals of the different states and their chief officers and most distinguished men, and spoke as follows:

'Men of Peloponnesus, and you, allies, many are the expeditions which our fathers made both within and without the Peloponnese, and the veterans among ourselves are experienced in war; and yet we never went forth with a greater army than this. But then we should remember that, whatever may be our numbers or our valour, we are going against a most powerful city. And we are bound to show ourselves worthy of our fathers, and not wanting to our own reputation. For all Hellas is stirred by our enterprise, and her eyes are fixed upon us: she is friendly and would have us succeed because she hates the Athenians. Now although some among you, surveying this great host, may think that there is very little risk of the enemy meeting us in the field, we ought not on that account to advance heedlessly; but the general and the soldier of every state should be always expecting that his own division of the army will be the one first in danger. War is carried on in the dark; attacks are generally sudden and furious, and often the smaller army, animated by a proper fear, has been more than a match for a larger force which, disdaining their opponent, were taken unprepared by him. When invading an enemy's country, men should always be confident in spirit, but they should fear too, and take measures of precaution; and thus they will be at once most valorous in attack and impregnable in defence.

'And the city which we are attacking is not so utterly powerless against an invader, but is in the best possible state of preparation, and for this reason our enemies may be quite expected to meet us in the field. Even if they have no such intention beforehand, yet as soon as they see us in Attica, wasting and destroying their property, they will certainly change their mind. For all men are angry when they not only suffer but see, and some strange form of calamity strikes full upon the eye; the less they reflect the more ready they are to fight; above all men the Athenians, who claim imperial power, and are more disposed to invade and waste their neighbour's land than to look on while their own is being wasted. Remembering how great this city is which you are attacking, and what a fame you will bring on your ancestors and yourselves for good or evil according to the result, follow whithersoever you are led; maintain discipline and caution above all things, and be on the alert to obey the word of command. It is both the noblest and the safest thing for a great army to be visibly animated by one spirit.'

Having thus spoken, Archidamus dismissed the assembly. His first step was to send Melesippus, the son of Diaeritus, a Spartan, to Athens in the hope that the Athenians might after all give way, when they saw their enemies actually on the march. But they would not admit him to the assembly, nor even into the city. For Pericles had already carried a motion to the effect that they would have nothing to do with herald or embassy while the Lacedaemonians were in the field. So Melesippus was sent away without a hearing and told that he must cross the frontier before sunset; if the Lacedaemonians wanted to hold any parley with the Athenians, they must go home first. He was attended by an escort in order to prevent his communicating with any one. When he arrived at the Athenian frontier, and was about to leave them, he uttered these words: 'This day will be to the Hellenes the beginning of great sorrows.' On the return of the herald to the camp Archidamus learned that the Athenians were not as yet at all in the mood to yield; so at last he moved forward his army and prepared to enter Attica. The Boeotians who had sent their contingent of two-thirds, including their cavalry, to the Peloponnesian army, marched to Plataea with the remainder of their forces and wasted the country.

While the Peloponnesians were gathering at the Isthmus, and were still on their way, but before they entered Attica, Pericles the son of Xanthippus, who was one of the ten Athenian generals, knowing that the invasion was inevitable, and suspecting that Archidamus in wasting the country might very likely spare his lands, either out of courtesy and because he happened to be his friend, or by the order of the Lacedaemonian authorities (who had already attempted to raise a prejudice against him6 when they demanded the expulsion of the polluted family, and might take this further means of injuring him in the eyes of the Athenians), openly declared in the assembly that Archidamus was his friend; but was not so to the injury of the state, and that supposing the enemy did not destroy his lands and buildings like the rest, he would make a present of them to the public; and he desired that the Athenians would have no suspicion of him on that account. As to the general situation, he repeated his previous advice; they must prepare for war and bring their property from the country into the city; they must defend their walls but not go out to battle; they should also equip for service the fleet in which lay their strength. Their allies should be kept well in hand, for their power depended on the revenues which they derived from them; military successes were generally gained by a wise policy and command of money. The state of their finances was encouraging; they had on an average six hundred talents7 of tribute coming in annually from their allies, to say nothing of their other revenue; and there were still remaining in the Acropolis six thousand talents of coined silver. (The whole amount had once been as much as nine thousand seven hundred talents,8 but from this had to be deducted a sum of three thousand seven hundred expended on various buildings, such as the Propylaea of the Acropolis, and also on the siege of Potidaea.) Moreover there was uncoined gold and silver in the form of private and public offerings, sacred vessels used in processions and games, the Persian spoil and other things of the like nature, worth at least five hundred talents9 more. There were also at their disposal, besides what they had in the Acropolis, considerable treasures in various temples. If they were reduced to the last extremity they could even take off the plates of gold with which the image of the goddess was overlaid; these, as he pointed out, weighed forty talents, and were of refined gold, which was all removeable. They might use this treasure in self-defence, but they were bound to replace all that they had taken. By this estimate of their wealth he strove to encourage them. He added that they had thirteen thousand hoplites, besides the sixteen thousand who occupied the fortresses or who manned the walls of the city. For this was the number engaged on garrison duty at the beginning of the war,10 whenever the enemy invaded Attica; they were made up of the elder and younger men, and of such metics as bore heavy arms. The Phaleric wall extended four miles from Phalerum to the city walls: the portion of the city wall which was guarded was somewhat less than five miles; that between the Long Wall and the Phaleric requiring no guard. The Long Walls running down to the Piraeus were rather more than four and a half miles in length; the outer only was guarded. The whole circuit of the Piraeus and of Munychia was not quite seven miles, of which half required a guard. The Athenian cavalry, so Pericles pointed out, numbered twelve hundred, including mounted archers; the foot-archers, sixteen hundred; of triremes fit for service the city had three hundred.--The forces of various kinds which Athens possessed at the commencement of the war, when the first Peloponnesian invasion was impending, cannot be estimated at less.--To these Pericles added other arguments, such as he was fond of using, which were intended to prove to the Athenians that victory was certain.

The citizens were persuaded, and brought into the city their children and wives, their household goods, and even the wood-work of their houses, which they took down. Their flocks and beasts of burden they conveyed to Euboea and the adjacent islands.

The removal of the inhabitants was painful; for the Athenians had always been accustomed to reside in the country. Such a life had been characteristic of them, more than of any other Hellenic people, from very early times. In the days of Cecrops and the first kings, down to the reign of' Theseus, Attica was divided into communes, having their own town halls and magistrates. Except in case of alarm the whole people did not assemble in council under the king, but administered their own affairs, and advised together in their several townships. Some of them at times even went to war with him, as the Eleusinians under Eumolpus with Erectheus. But when Theseus came to the throne, he, being a powerful as well as a wise ruler, among other improvements in the administration of the country, dissolved the councils and separate governments, and united all the inhabitants of Attica in the present city, establishing one council and town hall. They continued to live on their own lands, but he compelled them to resort to Athens as their metropolis, and henceforward they were all inscribed in the roll of her citizens.11 A great city thus arose which was handed down by Theseus to his descendants, and from his day to this the Athenians have regularly celebrated the national festival of the Synoecia, or 'union of the communes' in honour of the Goddess Athene.

Before his time, what is now the Acropolis and the ground lying under it to the south was the city. Many reasons may be urged in proof of this statement: The temples of Athenè and of other divinities are situated in the Acropolis itself, and those which are not lie chiefly thereabouts; the temples of Olympian Zeus, for example, and of the Pythian Apollo, and the temple of Earth and of Dionysus in the Marshes, in honour of whom the more ancient Dionysia are celebrated on the twelfth day of the month Anthesterion,12 a festival which also continues to be observed by the Ionian descendants of the Athenians. In the same quarter are other ancient temples, and not far off is the fountain now called Enneacrounos, or the Nine Conduits, from the form given to it by the tyrants, but originally, before the springs were covered in, Callirrhoè, or the Fair Stream. The water of this fountain was used by the ancient Athenians on great occasions, it being near the original city; and at marriage rites and other ceremonies the custom is still retained. To this day the Acropolis or Citadel is called by the Athenians Polis, or City, because that neighbourhood was first inhabited.

Thus for a long time the ancient Athenians enjoyed a country life in self-governing communities; and although they were now united in a single city, they and their descendants, down to the time of this war, from old habit generally resided with their households in the country where they had been born. For this reason, and also because they had recently restored their country-houses and estates after the Persian War, they had a disinclination to move. They were depressed at the thought of forsaking their homes and the temples which had come down to them from their fathers and were the abiding memorials of their early constitution. They were going to change their manner of life, and in leaving their villages were in fact each of them going into exile.

When they came to Athens, only a few of them had houses or could find homes among friends or kindred. The majority took up their abode in the vacant spaces of the city, and in the temples and shrines of heroes, with the exception of those on the Acropolis, the Eleusinium, and any other precinct which could be securely closed. The Pelasgian ground, as it was called, which lay at the foot of the citadel, was under a curse forbidding its occupation. There was also a half-line of a Pythian oracle to the same effect:

'Better the Pelasgian ground left waste.'

Yet even this was filled under the sudden pressure of necessity. And to my mind the oracle came true in a sense exactly contrary to the popular expectation; for the unlawful occupation to which men were driven was not the cause of the calamities which befell the city, but the war was the cause of the occupation; and the oracle without mentioning the war foresaw that the place would be inhabited some day for no good. Many also established themselves in the turrets of the walls, or in any other place which they could find; for the city could not contain them when they first came in. But afterwards they divided among them the Long Walls and the greater part of the Piraeus. At the same time the Athenians applied themselves vigorously to the war, summoning their allies, and preparing an expedition of a hundred ships against the Peloponnese.

While they were thus engaged, the Peloponnesian army was advancing: it arrived first of all at Oenoè, a fortress on the confines of Attica and Boeotia, which was garrisoned by the Athenians whenever war broke out, and was the point at which the Peloponnesians intended to enter the enemy's country. There they encamped and prepared to assault the walls by means of engines and siege works. But these and other measures took up time and detained them in the neighbourhood. Archidamus was severely blamed for the delay; he was also thought not to have been energetic enough in levying war, and to have done the Athenians good service by discouraging vigorous action. After the muster of the forces he had been accused of delay at the isthmus, and of loitering on the march. But his reputation was most affected by his halt at Oenoè. For the Athenians employed the interval in getting away their property; and the Peloponnesians fancied that, if they had advanced quickly and he had not lingered, they could have seized everything before it was conveyed within the walls. Such were the feelings entertained towards Archidamus by his troops during the halt. He is said to have held back in the belief that the Athenians, while their lands were still unravaged,13 would yield, and that the thought of allowing them to be devastated would be too much for them.

But when they had assaulted Oenoè, and after leaving no means untried were unable to take it, and no herald came from the Athenians, at last they marched on, and about the eightieth day after the entry of the Thebans into Plataea, in the middle of the summer,14 when the corn was in full ear, invaded Attica, under the command of Archidamus the son of Zeuxidamus the Lacedaemonian king. They encamped and ravaged, first of all, Eleusis and the plain of Thria, where they put to flight some Athenian horse near the streams called Rheiti; they then advanced, keeping Mount Aegaleos on the right hand, through the district of Kropeia until they reached Acharnae, which is the largest of the Athenian townships or demes, as they are called; and at Acharnae they encamped, and remained there a considerable time ravaging the country.

In this first invasion Archidamus is said to have lingered about Acharnae with his army ready for battle, instead of descending into the plain,15 in the hope that the Athenians, who were now flourishing in youth and numbers and provided for war as they had never been before, would perhaps meet them in the field rather than allow their lands to be ravaged. When therefore they did not appear at Eleusis or in the plain of Thria, he tried once more whether by encamping in the neighbourhood of Acharnae he could induce them to come out. The situation appeared to be convenient, and the Acharnians, being a considerable section of the city and furnishing three thousand hoplites, were likely to be impatient at the destruction of their property, and would communicate to the whole people a desire to fight. Or if the Athenians did not come out to meet him during this invasion, he could henceforward ravage the plain with more confidence, and march right up to the walls of the city. The Acharnians, having lost their own possessions, would be less willing to hazard their lives on behalf of their neighbours, and so there would be a division in the Athenian counsels. Such was the motive of Archidamus in remaining at Acharnae.

The Athenians, so long as the Lacedaemonians were in the neighbourhood of Eleusis and the plain of Thria, entertained a hope that they would come no further. They remembered how, fourteen years before,16 the Lacedaemonian king, Pleistoanax the son of Pausanias, invaded Attica with a Peloponnesian army, and how after advancing as far as Eleusis and Thria he came no further, but retreated. And indeed this retreat was the cause of his exile; for he was thought to have been bribed. But when they saw the army in the neighbourhood of Acharnae, and barely seven miles from the city, they felt the presence of the invader to be intolerable. The devastation of their country before their eyes, which the younger men had never seen at all, nor the elder except in the Persian invasion, naturally appeared to them a horrible thing, and the whole people, the young men especially, were anxious to go forth and put a stop to it. Knots were formed in the streets, and there were loud disputes, some eager to go out, a minority resisting. Soothsayers were repeating oracles of the most different kinds, which all found in some one or other enthusiastic listeners. The Acharnians, who in their own estimation were no small part of the Athenian state, seeing their land ravaged, strongly insisted that they should go out and fight. The excitement in the city was universal; the people were furious with Pericles, and, forgetting all his previous warnings, they abused him for not leading them to battle, as their general should, and laid all their miseries to his charge.

But he, seeing that they were overcome by the irritation of the moment and inclined to evil counsels, and confident that he was right in refusing to go out, would not summon an assembly or meeting of any kind, lest, coming together more in anger than in prudence, they might take some false step. He maintained a strict watch over the city, and sought to calm the irritation as far as he could. Meanwhile he sent out horsemen from time to time to prevent flying parties finding their way into the fields near the city and doing mischief. A skirmish took place at Phrygia between one of the divisions of the Athenian horse assisted by their Thessalian allies on the one hand, and the Boeotian cavalry on the other, in which the Athenians and Thessalians were at least a match for their opponents, until, the Boeotian infantry coming up to support the horse, they were compelled to fly. The Athenians and Thessalians lost a few men, but recovered their bodies on the same day without asking for a truce. On the morrow the Peloponnesians raised a trophy. The forces which the Thessalians brought to the aid of the Athenians, according to the terms of their old alliance,17 consisted of Larissaeans, Pharsalians, Cranonians, Pyrasians, Gyrtonians, and Pheraeans. The leaders of the Larissaeans were Polymedes and Aristonous, one from each of the two leading factions of their city; the Pharsalians were commanded by Meno. The forces of the other cities had likewise generals of their own.

When the Peloponnesians found that the Athenians did not come out to meet them, they moved their army from Acharnae, and ravaged some of the townships which lie between Mount Parnes and Mount Brilessus. While they were still in the country, the Athenians sent the fleet of a hundred ships which they had been equipping on an expedition round the Peloponnese. These ships carried on board a thousand hoplites and four hundred archers; they were under the command of Carcinus the son of Xenotimus, Proteas the son of Epicles, and Socrates the son of Antigenes. After the departure of the fleet the Peloponnesians remained in Attica as long as their provisions lasted, and then, taking a new route, retired through Boeotia. In passing by Oropus they wasted the country called Peiraïkè,18 inhabited by the Oropians, who are subjects of the Athenians. On their return to Peloponnesus the troops dispersed to their several cities.

When they had retreated, the Athenians posted guards to keep watch both by land and sea, a precaution which they maintained throughout the war. They then passed a decree reserving of the treasure in the Acropolis a thousand talents:19 this sum was set apart and was not to be expended unless the enemy attacked the city with a fleet and they had to defend it. In any other case, he who brought forward or put to the vote a proposal to touch the money was to be punished with death. They also resolved to set apart yearly a hundred triremes, the finest of the year, and to appoint trierarchs for them; these they were only to use at the same time with the money, and in the same emergency.

The Athenian forces, which had lately been dispatched to Peloponnesus in the hundred vessels, and were assisted by the Corcyraeans with fifty ships and by some of the allies from the same region, did considerable damage on the Peloponnesian coast. They also disembarked and attacked Methonè, a fortress in Laconia, which was weak and had no regular garrison. Now Brasidas the son of Tellis, a Spartan, happened to be in those parts in command of a force, and, seeing the danger, he came to the aid of the inhabitants with a hundred hoplites. He dashed through the scattered parties of Athenian troops, whose attention was occupied with the fortress, and threw himself into Methonè, suffering a slight loss; he thus saved the place. The exploit was publicly acknowledged at Sparta, Brasidas being the first Spartan who obtained this distinction in the war. The Athenians, proceeding on their voyage, ravaged the territory of Pheia in Elis for two days, and defeated three hundred chosen men from the vale of Elis, as well as some Elean perioeci from the neighbourhood of Pheia who came to the rescue. But a violent storm arose, and there was no harbour in which the fleet could find shelter; so the greater part of the army re-embarked and sailed round the promontory called Ichthys towards the harbour of Pheia. Meanwhile the Messenians and others who were unable to get on board marched by land and captured Pheia. The fleet soon sailed into the harbour and took them up; they then evacuated Pheia and put to sea. By this time the main army of the Eleans had arrived; whereupon the Athenians proceeded on their way to other places, which they ravaged.

About the same time the Athenians sent thirty ships to cruise off Locris, having an eye also to the safety of Euboea. Cleopompus the son of Cleinias was their commander. He made descents on the Locrian coast and ravaged various places. He also captured Thronium, taking hostages of the inhabitants, and at Alopè defeated the Locrians who came to defend the place.

In the same summer the Athenians expelled the Aeginetans and their families from Aegina, alleging that they had been the main cause of the war. The island lies close to Peloponnesus, and they thought it safer to send thither settlers of their own, an intention which they shortly afterwards carried out. The Lacedaemonians gave the Aeginetan exiles the town of Thyrea to occupy and the adjoining country to cultivate, partly in order to annoy the Athenians, partly out of gratitude to the Aeginetans, who had done them good service at the time of the earthquake and the revolt of the Helots. The Thyrean territory is a strip of land coming down to the sea on the borders of Argolis and Laconia. There some of them found a home; others dispersed over Hellas.

During the same summer, at the beginning of the lunar month (apparently the only time when such an event is possible), and in the afternoon, there was an eclipse of the sun, which took the form of a crescent, and then became full again; during the eclipse a few stars were visible.

In the same summer, Nymphodorus the son of Pythes, a native of Abdera and a man of great influence with Sitalces who had married his sister, was made by the Athenians their proxenus at that place and invited by them to Athens. He had formerly been considered their enemy, but now they hoped that he would gain over to their alliance Sitalces, who was the son of Teres and king of Thrace.

This Teres, the father of Sitalces, was the first founder of the great Odrysian empire, which he extended over a large part of Thrace, although many of the Thracian tribes are still independent. He has no connexion with Tereus who took to wife from Athens Procnè, the daughter of Pandion; they do not even belong to the same Thrace. For Tereus dwelt in Daulia, a part of the region which is now called Phocis but in those days was inhabited by Thracians, and in that country Itys suffered at the hands of the women Procnè and Philomela. Many of the poets when they make mention of the nightingale (Philomela) apply to the bird the epithet Daulian. Further, Pandion would surely have formed a marriage connexion for his daughter among his neighbours with a view to mutual protection, and not at a distance of so many days' journey, among the Odrysian Thracians. And the Teres of whom I am speaking, and who was the first powerful king of the Odrysae, has not even the same name.20

Now Sitalces, whom the Athenians made their ally, was the son of this Teres; they wanted him to assist them in the conquest of Chalcidicè and of Perdiccas. So Nymphodorus came to Athens, negotiated the alliance with Sitalces, and got his son Sadocus enrolled an Athenian citizen. He also undertook to terminate the war in Chalcidicè, promising that he would persuade Sitalces to send the Athenians an army of Thracian horsemen and targeteers. He further reconciled Perdiccas with the Athenians, and persuaded them to restore Thermè to him.21 Whereupon Perdiccas joined the Athenian army under Phormio,22 and with him fought against the Chalcidians. Thus Sitalces the son of Teres king of Thrace, and Perdiccas son of Alexander king of Macedonia, entered into the Athenian alliance.

The Athenians, in the hundred ships which were still cruising about Peloponnesus, took Sollium, a town belonging to the Corinthians, which they handed over to the Palaereans of Acarnania, giving to them alone of the Acarnanians the right of occupying the city and country. They also stormed the town of Astacus, and driving out Evarchus who was tyrant there, added it to the Athenian confederacy. They next sailed to the island of Cephallenia, which they gained over without fighting. The island lies over against Acarnania and Leucas, and contains four cities inhabited by the Paleans, Cranians, Samaeans, and Pronnaeans. Soon afterwards the fleet proceeded on its voyage homewards.

About the end of the summer the entire Athenian force, including the metics, invaded the territory of Megara, under the command of Pericles the son of Xanthippus. The Athenian fleet had reached Aegina on its way home, and when the commanders heard that the whole armed force of the city was in Megara, they sailed thither and joined them. This was the largest army which the Athenians ever had in one place; for the city was still in her full strength, and had not as yet suffered from the plague. The Athenians themselves numbered not less than ten thousand hoplites, exclusive of the remaining three thousand who were engaged at Potidaea. A force of metic hoplites amounting to at least three thousand took part in the invasion, and also a large number of light-armed troops. After ravaging the greater part of the country they retired. They repeated the invasion, sometimes with cavalry, sometimes with the whole Athenian army, every year during the war until Nisaea was taken.23

At the end of this summer the island of Atalantè, which lies off the coast of the Opuntian Locrians and had hitherto been uninhabited, was fortified and made a guard-station by the Athenians. They wanted to prevent pirates sailing from Opus and other places in Locris and plundering Euboea. Such were the events which occurred during the remainder of the summer after the Peloponnesians had retired from Attica.

During the following winter, Evarchus the Acarnanian, desiring to be restored to Astacus, persuaded the Corinthians to sail with forty ships and fifteen hundred hoplites and reinstate him, he himself hiring some mercenaries. Of this expedition Euphamidas the son of Aristonymus, Timoxenus the son of Timocrates, and Eumachus the son of Chrysis, were the commanders. They sailed to Astacus, and restored Evarchus; they then tried to gain over certain other towns on the coast of Acarnania; but, failing in their attempt, they proceeded homewards. Touching at Cephallenia on their voyage, they made a descent on the country of the Cranians, but being entrapped by means of a pretended agreement, and then unexpectedly attacked, they lost a part of their forces; at length, not without a severe struggle, they put to sea again and returned home.

During the same winter, in accordance with an old national custom, the funeral of those who first fell in this war was celebrated by the Athenians at the public charge. The ceremony is as follows: Three days before the celebration they erect a tent in which the bones of the dead are laid out, and every one brings to his own dead any offering which he pleases. At the time of the funeral the bones are placed in chests of cypress wood, which are conveyed on hearses; there is one chest for each tribe. They also carry a single empty litter decked with a pall for all whose bodies are missing, and cannot be recovered after the battle. The procession is accompanied by any one who chooses, whether citizen or stranger, and the female relatives of the deceased are present at the place of interment and make lamentation. The public sepulchre is situated in the most beautiful spot outside the walls; there they always bury those who fall in war; only after the battle of Marathon the dead, in recognition of their pre-eminent valour, were interred on the field. When the remains have been laid in the earth, some man of known ability and high reputation, chosen by the city, delivers a suitable oration over them; after which the people depart. Such is the manner of interment; and the ceremony was repeated from time to time throughout the war. Over those who were the first buried Pericles was chosen to speak. At the fitting moment he advanced from the sepulchre to a lofty stage, which had been erected in order that he might be heard as far as possible by the multitude, and spoke as follows:


'Most of those who have spoken here before me have commended the lawgiver who added this oration to our other funeral customs; it seemed to them a worthy thing that such an honour should be given at their burial to the dead who have fallen on the field of battle. But I should have preferred that, when men's deeds have been brave, they should be honoured in deed only, and with such an honour as this public funeral, which you are now witnessing. Then the reputation of many would not have been imperilled on the eloquence or want of eloquence of one, and their virtues believed or not as he spoke well or ill. For it is difficult to say neither too little nor too much; and even moderation is apt not to give the impression of truthfulness. The friend of the dead who knows the facts is likely to think that the words of the speaker fall short of his knowledge and of his wishes; another who is not so well informed, when he hears of anything which surpasses his own powers, will be envious and will suspect exaggeration. Mankind are tolerant of the praises of others so long as each hearer thinks that he can do as well or nearly as well himself, but, when the speaker rises above him, jealousy is aroused and he begins to be incredulous. However, since our ancestors have set the seal of their approval upon the practice, I must obey, and to the utmost of my power shall endeavour to satisfy the wishes and beliefs of all who hear me.

I will speak first of our ancestors, for it is right and seemly that now, when we are lamenting the dead, a tribute should be paid to their memory. There has never been a time when they did not inhabit this land, which by their valour they have handed down from generation to generation, and we have received from them a free state. But if they were worthy of praise, still more were our fathers, who added to their inheritance, and after many a struggle transmitted to us their sons this great empire. And we ourselves assembled here to-day, who are still most of us in the vigour of life, have carried the work of improvement further, and have richly endowed our city with all things, so that she is sufficient for herself both in peace and war. Of the military exploits by which our various possessions were acquired, or of the energy with which we or our fathers drove back the tide of war, Hellenic or Barbarian, I will not speak; for the tale would be long and is familiar to you. But before I praise the dead, I should like to point out by what principles of action we rose24 to power, and under what institutions and through what manner of life our empire became great. For I conceive that such thoughts are not unsuited to the occasion, and that this numerous assembly of citizens and strangers may profitably listen to them.

'Our form of government does not enter into rivalry with the institutions of others. We do not copy our neighbours, but are an example to them. It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many and not of the few. But while the the law secures equal justice to all alike in their private disputes, the claim of excellence is also recognised; and when a citizen is in any way distinguished, he is preferred to the public service, not as a matter of privilege, but as the reward of merit. Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition. There is no exclusiveness in our public life, and in our private intercourse we are not suspicious of one another, nor angry with our neighbour if he does what he likes; we do not put on sour looks at him which, though harmless, are not pleasant. While we are thus unconstrained in our private intercourse, a spirit of reverence pervades our public acts; we are prevented from doing wrong by respect for the authorities and for the laws, having an especial regard to those which are ordained for the protection of the injured as well as to those unwritten laws which bring upon the transgressor of them the reprobation of the general sentiment.

'And we have not forgotten to provide for our weary spirits many relaxations from toil; we have regular games and sacrifices throughout the year; our homes are beautiful and elegant; and the delight which we daily feel in all these things helps to banish melancholy. Because of the greatness of our city the fruits of the whole earth flow in upon us; so that we enjoy the goods of other countries as freely as of our own.

'Then, again, our military training is in many respects superior to that of our adversaries. Our city is thrown open to the world, and we never expel a foreigner or prevent him from seeing or learning anything of which the secret if revealed to an enemy might profit him. We rely not upon management or trickery, but upon our own hearts and hands. And in the matter of education, whereas they from early youth are always undergoing laborious exercises which are to make them brave, we live at ease, and yet are equally ready to face the perils which they face.25 And here is the proof. The Lacedaemonians come into Attica not by themselves, but with their whole confederacy following; we go alone into a neighbour's country; and although our opponents are fighting for their homes and we on a foreign soil, we have seldom any difficulty in overcoming them. Our enemies have never yet felt our united strength; the care of a navy divides our attention, and on land we are obliged to send our own citizens everywhere. But they, if they meet and defeat a part of our army, are as proud as if they had routed us all, and when defeated they pretend to have been vanquished by us all.

'If then we prefer to meet danger with a light heart but without laborious training, and with a courage which is gained by habit and not enforced by law, are we not greatly the gainers? Since we do not anticipate the pain, although, when the hour comes, we can be as brave as those who never allow themselves to rest; and thus too our city is equally admirable in peace and in war. For we are lovers of the beautiful, yet simple in our tastes, and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness. Wealth we employ, not for talk and ostentation, but when there is a real use for it. To avow poverty with us is no disgrace; the true disgrace is in doing nothing to avoid it. An Athenian citizen does not neglect the state because he takes care of his own household; and even those of us who are engaged in business have a very fair idea of politics. We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public affairs, not as a harmless; but as a useless character; and if few of us are originators, we are all sound judges of a policy. The great impediment to action is, in our opinion, not discussion, but the want of that knowledge which is gained by discussion preparatory to action. For we have a peculiar power of thinking before we act and of acting too, whereas other men are courageous from ignorance but hesitate upon reflection. And they are surely to be esteemed the bravest spirits who, having the clearest sense both of the pains and pleasures of life, do not on that account shrink from danger. In doing good, again, we are unlike others; we make our friends by conferring, not by receiving favours. Now he who confers a favour is the firmer friend, because he would fain by kindness keep alive the memory of an obligation; but the recipient is colder in his feelings, because he knows that in requiting another's generosity he will not be winning gratitude but only paying a debt. We alone do good to our neighbours not upon a calculation of interest, but in the confidence of freedom and in a frank and fearless spirit. To sum up: I say that Athens is the school of Hellas, and that the individual Athenian in his own person seems to have the power of adapting himself to the most varied forms of action with the utmost versatility and grace. This is no passing and idle word, but truth and fact; and the assertion is verified by the position to which these qualities have raised the state. For in the hour of trial Athens alone among her contemporaries is superior to the report of her. No enemy who comes against her is indignant at the reverses which he sustains at the hands of such a city; no subject complains that his masters are unworthy of him. And we shall assuredly not be without witnesses; there are mighty monuments of our power which will make us the wonder of this and of succeeding ages; we shall not need the praises of Homer or of any other panegyrist whose poetry may please for the moment,26 although his representation of the facts will not bear the light of day. For we have compelled every land and every sea to open a path for our valour, and have everywhere planted eternal memorials of our friendship and of our enmity. Such is the city for whose sake these men nobly fought and died; they could not bear the thought that she might be taken from them; and every one of us who survive should gladly toil on her behalf.

'I have dwelt upon the greatness of Athens because I want to show you that we are contending for a higher prize than those who enjoy none of these privileges, and to establish by manifest proof the merit of these men whom I am now commemorating. Their loftiest praise has been already spoken. For in magnifying the city I have magnified them, and men like them whose virtues made her glorious. And of how few Hellenes can it be said as of them, that their deeds when weighed in the balance have been found equal to their fame! Methinks that a death such as theirs has been gives the true measure of a man's worth; it may be the first revelation of his virtues, but is at any rate their final seal. For even those who come short in other ways may justly plead the valour with which they have fought for their country; they have blotted out the evil with the good, and have benefited the state more by their public services than they have injured her by their private actions. None of these men were enervated by wealth or hesitated to resign the pleasures of life; none of them put off the evil day in the hope, natural to poverty, that a man, though poor, may one day become rich. But, deeming that the punishment of their enemies was sweeter than any of these things, and that they could fall in no nobler cause, they determined at the hazard of their lives to be honourably avenged, and to leave the rest. They resigned to hope their unknown chance of happiness; but in the face of death they resolved to rely upon themselves alone. And when the moment came they were minded to resist and suffer, rather than to fly and save their lives; they ran away from the word of dishonour, but on the battle-field their feet stood fast, and in an instant, at the height of their fortune, they passed away from the scene, not of their fear, but of their glory.27

'Such was the end of these men; they were worthy of Athens, and the living need not desire to have a more heroic spirit, although they may pray for a less fatal issue. The value of such a spirit is not to be expressed in words. Any one can discourse to you for ever about the advantages of a brave defence, which you know already. But instead of listening to him I would have you day by day fix your eyes upon the greatness of Athens, until you become filled with the love of her; and when you are impressed by the spectacle of her glory, reflect that this empire has been acquired by men who knew their duty and had the courage to do it, who in the hour of conflict had the fear of dishonour always present to them, and who, if ever they failed in an enterprise, would not allow their virtues to be lost to their country, but freely gave their lives to her as the fairest offering which they could present at her feast. The sacrifice which they collectively made was individually repaid to them; for they received again each one for himself a praise which grows not old, and the noblest of all sepulchres--I speak not of that in which their remains are laid, but of that in which their glory survives, and is proclaimed always and on every fitting occasion both in word and deed. For the whole earth is the sepulchre of famous men; not only are they commemorated by columns and inscriptions in their own country, but in foreign lands there dwells also an unwritten memorial of them, graven not on stone but in the hearts of men. Make them your examples, and, esteeming courage to be freedom and freedom to be happiness, do not weigh too nicely the perils of war. The unfortunate who has no hope of a change for the better has less reason to throw away his life than the prosperous who, if he survive, is always liable to a change for the worse, and to whom any accidental fall makes the most serious difference. To a man of spirit, cowardice and disaster coming together are far more bitter than death striking him unperceived at a time when he is full of courage and animated by the general hope.

Wherefore I do not now commiserate the parents of the dead who stand here; I would rather comfort them. You know that your life has been passed amid manifold vicissitudes; and that they may be deemed fortunate who have gained most honour, whether an honourable death like theirs, or an honourable sorrow like yours, and whose days have been so ordered that the term of their happiness is likewise the term of their life. I know how hard it is to make you feel this, when the good fortune of others will too often remind you of the gladness which once lightened your hearts. And sorrow is felt at the want of those blessings, not which a man never knew, but which were a part of his life before they were taken from him. Some of you are of an age at which they may hope to have other children, and they ought to bear their sorrow better; not only will the children who may hereafter be born make them forget their own lost ones, but the city will be doubly a gainer. She will not be left desolate, and she will be safer. For a man's counsel cannot have equal weight or worth, when he alone has no children to risk in the general danger. To those of you who have passed their prime, I say: "Congratulate yourselves that you have been happy during the greater part of your days; remember that your life of sorrow will not last long, and be comforted by the glory of those who are gone. For the love of honour alone is ever young, and not riches, as some say, but honour is the delight of men when they are old and useless."

'To you who are the sons and brothers of the departed, I see that the struggle to emulate them will be an arduous one. For all men praise the dead, and, however preeminent your virtue may be, hardly will you be thought, I do not say to equal, but even to approach them. The living have their rivals and detractors, but when a man is out of the way, the honour and good-will which he receives is unalloyed. And, if I am to speak of womanly virtues to those of you who will henceforth be widows, let me sum them up in one short admonition: To a woman not to show more weakness than is natural to her sex is a great glory, and not to be talked about for good or for evil among men.

'I have paid the required tribute, in obedience to the law, making use of such fitting words as I had. The tribute of deeds has been paid in part; for the dead have been honourably interred, and it remains only that their children should be maintained at the public charge until they are grown up: this is the solid prize with which, as with a garland, Athens crowns her sons living and dead, after a struggle like theirs. For where the rewards of virtue are greatest, there the noblest citizens are enlisted in the service of the state. And now, when you have duly lamented, every one his own dead, you may depart.'

Such was the order of the funeral celebrated in this winter, with the end of which ended the first year of the PeloponnesianWar. As soon as summer returned, the Peloponnesian army, comprising as before two-thirds of the force of each confederate state, under the command of the Lacedaemonian king Archidamus, the son of Zeuxidamus, invaded Attica, where they established themselves and ravaged the country. They had not been there many days when the plague broke out at Athens for the first time. A similar disorder is said to have previously smitten many places, particularly Lemnos, but there is no record of such a pestilence occurring elsewhere, or of so great a destruction of human life. For a while physicians, in ignorance of the nature of the disease, sought to apply remedies; but it was in vain, and they themselves were among the first victims, because they oftenest came into contact with it. No human art was of any avail, and as to supplications in temples, enquiries of oracles, and the like, they were utterly useless, and at last men were overpowered by the calamity and gave them all up.

The disease is said to have begun south of Egypt in Aethiopia; thence it descended into Egypt and Libya, and after spreading over the greater part of the Persian empire, suddenly fell upon Athens. It first attacked the inhabitants of the Piraeus, and it was supposed that the Peloponnesians had poisoned the cisterns, no conduits having as yet been made there. It afterwards reached the upper city, and then the mortality became far greater. As to its probable origin or the causes which might or could have produced such a disturbance of nature, every man, whether a physician or not, will give his own opinion. But I shall describe its actual course, and the symptoms by which any one who knows them beforehand may recognise the disorder should it ever reappear. For I was myself attacked, and witnessed the sufferings of others.

The season was admitted to have been remarkably free from ordinary sickness; and if anybody was already ill of any other disease, it was absorbed in this. Many who were in perfect health, all in a moment, and without any apparent reason, were seized with violent heats in the head and with redness and inflammation of the eyes. Internally the throat and the tongue were quickly suffused with blood, and the breath became unnatural and fetid. There followed sneezing and hoarseness; in a short time the disorder, accompanied by a violent cough, reached the chest; then fastening lower down, it would move the stomach and bring on all the vomits of bile to which physicians have ever given names; and they were very distressing. An ineffectual retching producing violent convulsions attacked most of the sufferers; some as soon as the previous symptoms had abated, others not until long afterwards.28 The body externally was not so very hot to the touch, nor yet pale; it was of a livid colour inclining to red, and breaking out in pustules and ulcers. But the internal fever was intense; the sufferers could not bear to have on them even the finest linen garment; they insisted on being naked, and there was nothing which they longed for more eagerly than to throw themselves into cold water. And many of those who had no one to look after them actually plunged into the cisterns, for they were tormented by unceasing thirst, which was not in the least assuaged whether they drank little or much. They could not sleep; a restlessness which was intolerable never left them. While the disease was at its height the body, instead of wasting away, held out amid these sufferings in a marvellous manner, and either they died on the seventh or ninth day, not of weakness, for their strength was not exhausted, but of internal fever, which was the end of most; or, if they survived, then the disease descended into the bowels and there produced violent ulceration; severe diarrhoea at the same time set in, and at a later stage caused exhaustion, which finally with few exceptions carried them off. For the disorder which had originally settled in the head passed gradually through the whole body, and, if a person got over the worst, would often seize the extremities and leave its mark, attacking the privy parts and the fingers and the toes; and some escaped with the loss of these, some with the loss of their eyes. Some again had no sooner recovered than they were seized with a forgetfulness of all things and knew neither themselves nor their friends.

The general character of the malady no words can describe, and the fury with which it fastened upon each sufferer was too much for human nature to endure. There was one circumstance in particular which distinguished it from ordinary diseases. The birds and animals which feed on human flesh, although so many bodies were lying unburied, either never came near them, or died if they touched them. This was proved by a remarkable disappearance of the birds of prey, which were not to be seen either about the bodies or anywhere else; while in the case of the dogs the result was even more obvious, because they live with man.

Such was the general nature of the disease: I omit many strange peculiarities which characterised individual cases. None of the ordinary sicknesses attacked any one while it lasted, or, if they did, they ended in the plague. Some of the sufferers died from want of care, others equally who were receiving the greatest attention. No single remedy could be deemed a specific; for that which did good to one did harm to another. No constitution was of itself strong enough to resist or weak enough to escape the attacks; the disease carried off all alike and defied every mode of treatment. Most appalling was the despondency which seized upon any one who felt himself sickening; for he instantly abandoned his mind to despair and, instead of holding out, absolutely threw away his chance of life. Appalling too was the rapidity with which men caught the infection; dying like sheep if they attended on one another; and this was the principal cause of mortality. When they were afraid to visit one another, the sufferers died in their solitude, so that many houses were empty because there had been no one left to take care of the sick; or if they ventured they perished, especially those who aspired to heroism. For they went to see their friends without thought of themselves and were ashamed to leave them, at a time when the very relations of the dying were at last growing weary and ceased even to make lamentations, overwhelmed by the vastness of the calamity. But whatever instances there may have been of such devotion, more often the sick and the dying were tended by the pitying care of those who had recovered, because they knew the course of the disease and were themselves free from apprehension. For no one was ever attacked a second time, or not with a fatal result. All men congratulated them, and they themselves, in the excess of their joy at the moment, had an innocent fancy that they could not die of any other sickness.

The crowding of the people out of the country into the city aggravated the misery; and the newly-arrived suffered most. For, having no houses of their own, but inhabiting in the height of summer stifling huts, the mortality among them was dreadful, and they perished in wild disorder. The dead lay as they had died, one upon another, while others hardly alive wallowed29 in the streets and crawled about every fountain craving for water. The temples in which they lodged were full of the corpses of those who died in them; for the violence of the calamity was such that men, not knowing where to turn, grew reckless of all law, human and divine. The customs which had hitherto been observed at funerals were universally violated, and they buried their dead each one as best he could. Many, having no proper appliances, because the deaths in their household had been so numerous already, lost all shame in the burial of the dead.30 When one man had raised a funeral pile, others would come, and throwing on their dead first, set fire to it; or when some other corpse was already burning, before they could be stopped, would throw their own dead upon it and depart.

There were other and worse forms of lawlessness which the plague introduced at Athens. Men who had hitherto concealed what they took pleasure in, now grew bolder. For, seeing the sudden change,--how the rich died in a moment, and those who had nothing immediately inherited their property,--they reflected that life and riches were alike transitory, and they resolved to enjoy themselves while they could, and to think only of pleasure. Who would be willing to sacrifice himself to the law of honour when he knew not whether he would ever live to be held in honour? The pleasure of the moment and any sort of thing which conduced to it took the place both of honour and of expediency. No fear of Gods or law of man deterred a criminal. Those who saw all perishing alike, thought that the worship or neglect of the Gods made no difference. For offences against human law no punishment was to be feared; no one would live long enough to be called to account. Already a far heavier sentence had been passed and was hanging over a man's head; before that fell, why should he not take a little pleasure?

Such was the grievous calamity which now afflicted the Athenians; within the walls their people were dying, and without, their country was being ravaged. In their troubles they naturally called to mind a verse which the elder men among them declared to have been current long ago:

A Dorian war will come and a plague with it.'

There was a dispute about the precise expression; some saying that limos, a famine, and not loimos, a plague, was the original word. Nevertheless, as might have been expected, for men's memories reflected their sufferings, the argument in favour of loimos prevailed at the time. But if ever in future years another Dorian war arises which happens to be accompanied by a famine, they will probably repeat the verse in the other form. The answer of the oracle to the Lacedaemonians when the God was asked 'whether they should go to war or not,' and he replied 'that if they fought with all their might, they would conquer, and that he himself would take their part,'31 was not forgotten by those who had heard of it, and they quite imagined that they were witnessing the fulfilment of his words. The disease certainly did set in immediately after the invasion of the Peloponnesians, and did not spread into Peloponnesus in any degree worth speaking of, while Athens felt its ravages most severely, and next to Athens the places which were most populous. Such was the history of the plague.32

After the Peloponnesians had wasted the plain they entered what are called the coast lands (Paralus) and penetrated as far as Laurium, where are the silver mines belonging to the Athenians. First they ravaged that part of the coast which looks towards Peloponnesus, and afterwards that situated towards Euboea and Andros. But Pericles, who was still general, continued to insist, as in the former invasion, that the Athenians should remain within their walls.

Before, however, the Peloponnesians had left the plain and moved forward into the coast lands he had begun to equip an expedition of a hundred ships against Peloponnesus. When all was ready he put to sea, having on board four thousand Athenian hoplites and three hundred cavalry conveyed in horse transports which the Athenians then constructed for the first time out of their old ships. The Chians and Lesbians joined them with fifty vessels. The expedition did not actually put to sea until the Peloponnesians had reached the coast lands. Arriving at Epidaurus in Peloponnesus the Athenians devastated most of the country and attacked the city, which at one time they were in hopes of taking, but did not quite succeed. Setting sail again they ravaged the territory of Troezen, Halieis, and Hermionè, which are all places on the coast of Peloponnesus. Again putting off they came to Prasiae, a small town on the coast of Laconia, ravaged the country, and took and plundered the place. They then returned home and found that the Peloponnesians had also returned and were no longer in Attica.

All the time during which the Peloponnesians remained in the country and the armament of the Athenians continued at sea the plague was raging both among the troops and in the city. The fear which it inspired was said to have induced the enemy to leave Attica sooner than they intended; for they heard from deserters that the disease was in the city, and likewise saw the burning of the dead. Still in this invasion the whole country was ravaged by them, and they remained about forty days, which was the longest stay they ever made.

In the same summer, Hagnon the son of Nicias, and Cleopompus the son of Cleinias, who were colleagues of Pericles in his military command, took the fleet which he had employed and sailed forthwith against the Thracian Chalcidians and against Potidaea, which still held out. On their arrival they brought engines up to the walls, and tried every means of taking the town. But they did not succeed; nor did the result by any means correspond to the magnitude of their armament; for thither too the plague came and made dreadful havoc among the Athenian troops. Even the soldiers who were previously there and had been in good health caught the infection from the forces under Hagnon. But the army of Phormio33 escaped; for he and his sixteen hundred troops had left Chalcidicè. And so Hagnon returned with his fleet to Athens, having lost by the plague out of four thousand hoplites a thousand and fifty men in about forty days. But the original armament34 remained and prosecuted the siege.

After the second Peloponnesian invasion, now that Attica had been once more ravaged, and the war and the plague together lay heavy upon the Athenians, a change came over their spirit. They blamed Pericles because he had persuaded them to go to war, declaring that he was the author of their troubles; and they were anxious to come to terms with the Lacedaemonians. Accordingly envoys were despatched to Sparta, but they met with no success. And now, being completely at their wits' end, they turned upon Pericles. He saw that they were exasperated by their misery and were behaving just as he had always anticipated that they would. And so, being still general, he called an assembly, wanting to encourage them and to convert their angry feelings into a gentler and more hopeful mood. At this assembly he came forward and spoke as follows:

'I was expecting this outburst of indignation; the causes of it are not unknown to me. And I have summoned an assembly that I may remind you of your resolutions and reprove you for your inconsiderate anger against me, and want of fortitude in misfortune. In my judgment it would be better for individuals themselves that the citizens should suffer and the state flourish than that the citizens should flourish and the state suffer. A private man, however successful in his own dealings, if his country perish is involved in her destruction; but if he be an unprosperous citizen of a prosperous city he is much more likely to recover. Seeing then that states can bear the misfortunes of individuals, but individuals cannot bear the misfortunes of the state, let us all stand by our country and not do what you are doing now, who because you are stunned by your private calamities are letting go the hope of saving the state, and condemning not only me who advised, but yourselves who consented to, the war. Yet I with whom you are so angry venture to say of myself, that I am as capable as any one of devising and explaining a sound policy; and that I am a lover of my country, and incorruptible. Now a man may have a policy which he cannot clearly expound, and then he might as well have none at all; or he may possess both ability and eloquence, but if he is disloyal to his country he cannot, like a true man, speak in her interest; or again he may be unable to resist a bribe, and then all his other good qualities will be sold for money. If, when you determined to go to war, you believed me to have somewhat more of the statesman in me than others, it is not fair that I should now be charged with anything like crime.

'I allow that for men who are in prosperity and free to choose it is great folly to make war. But when they must either submit and at once surrender independence, or strike and be free, then he who shuns and not he who meets the danger is deserving of blame. For my own part, I am the same man and stand where I did. But you are changed; for you have been driven by misfortune to recall the consent which you gave when you were yet unhurt, and to think that my advice was wrong because your own characters are weak. The pain is present and comes home to each of you, but the good is as yet unrealised by any one; and your minds have not the strength to persevere in your resolution, now that a great reverse has overtaken you unawares. Anything which is sudden and unexpected and utterly beyond calculation, such a disaster for instance as this plague coming upon other misfortunes, enthralls the spirit of a man. Nevertheless, being the citizens of a great city and educated in a temper of greatness, you should not succumb to calamities however overwhelming, or darken the lustre of your fame. For if men hate the presumption of those who claim a reputation to which they have no right, they equally condemn the faint-heartedness of those who fall below the glory which is their own. You should lose the sense of your private sorrows and cling to the deliverance of the state.

'As to your sufferings in the war, if you fear that they may be very great and after all fruitless, I have shown you already over and over again that such a fear is groundless. If you are still unsatisfied I will indicate one element of your superiority which appears to have escaped you,35 although it nearly touches your imperial greatness. I too have never mentioned it before, nor would I now, because the claim may seem too arrogant, if I did not see that you are unreasonably depressed. You think that your empire is confined to your allies, but I say that of the two divisions of the world accessible to man, the land and the sea, there is one of which you are absolute masters, and have or may have, the dominion to any extent which you please. Neither the great King nor any nation on earth can hinder a navy like yours from penetrating whithersoever you choose to sail. When we reflect on this great power, houses and lands, of which the loss seems so dreadful to you, are as nothing. We ought not to be troubled about them or to think much of them in comparison; they are only the garden of the house, the superfluous ornament of wealth; and you may be sure that if we cling to our freedom and preserve that, we shall soon enough recover all the rest. But, if we are the servants of others, we shall be sure to lose not only freedom, but all that freedom gives. And where your ancestors doubly succeeded, you will doubly fail. For their empire was not inherited by them from others but won by the labour of their hands, and by them preserved and bequeathed to us. And to be robbed of what you have is a greater disgrace than to attempt a conquest and fail. Meet your enemies therefore not only with spirit but with disdain. A coward or a fortunate fool may brag and vaunt, but he only is capable of disdain whose conviction that he is stronger than his enemy rests, like our own, on grounds of reason. Courage fighting in a fair field is fortified by the intelligence which looks down upon an enemy; an intelligence relying, not on hope, which is the strength of helplessness, but on that surer foresight which is given by reason and observation of facts.

'Once more, you are bound to maintain the imperial dignity of your city in which you all take pride; for you should not covet the glory unless you will endure the toil. And do not imagine that you are fighting about a simple issue, freedom or slavery; you have an empire to lose, and there is the danger to which the hatred of your imperial rule has exposed you. Neither can you resign your power, if, at this crisis, any timorous or inactive spirit is for thus playing the honest man. For by this time your empire has become a tyranny which in the opinion of mankind may have been unjustly gained, but which cannot be safely surrendered. The men of whom I was speaking, if they could find followers, would soon ruin a city, and if they were to go and found a state of their own, would equally ruin that. For inaction is secure only when arrayed by the side of activity; nor is it expedient or safe for a sovereign, but only for a subject state, to be a servant.

'You must not be led away by the advice of such citizens as these, nor be angry with me; for the resolution in favour of war was your own as much as mine. What if the enemy has come and done what he was certain to do when you refused to yield? What too if the plague followed? That was an unexpected blow, but we might have foreseen all the rest. I am well aware that your hatred of me is aggravated by it. But how unjustly, unless to me you also ascribe the credit of any extraordinary success which may befall you!36 The visitations of heaven should be borne with resignation, the sufferings inflicted by an enemy with manliness. This has always been the spirit of Athens, and should not die out in you. Know that our city has the greatest name in all the world because she has never yielded to misfortunes, but has sacrificed more lives and endured severer hardships in war than any other; wherefore also she has the greatest power of any state up to this day; and the memory of her glory will always survive. Even if we should be compelled at last to abate somewhat of our greatness (for all things have their times of growth and decay), yet will the recollection live, that, of all Hellenes, we ruled over the greatest number of Hellenic subjects; that we withstood our enemies, whether single or united, in the most terrible wars, and that we were the inhabitants of a city endowed with every sort of wealth and greatness. The indolent may indeed find fault, but the man of action37 will seek to rival us, and he who is less fortunate will envy us. To be hateful and offensive has ever been at the time the fate of those who have aspired to empire. But he judges well who accepts unpopularity in a great cause. Hatred does not last long, and, besides the immediate splendour of great actions, the renown of them endures for ever in men's memories. Looking forward to such future glory and present avoidance of dishonour, make an effort now and secure both. Let no herald be sent to the Lacedaemonians, and do not let them know that you are depressed by your sufferings. For those are the greatest states and the greatest men, who, when misfortunes come, are the least depressed in spirit and the most resolute in action.'

By these and similar words Pericles endeavoured to appease the anger of the Athenians against himself, and to divert their minds from their terrible situation. In the conduct of public affairs they took his advice, and sent no more embassies to Sparta; they were again eager to prosecute the war. Yet in private they felt their sufferings keenly; the common people had been deprived even of the little which they possessed, while the upper class had lost fair estates in the country with all their houses and rich furniture. Worst of all, instead of enjoying peace, they were now at war. The popular indignation was not pacified until they had fined Pericles; but, soon, afterwards, with the usual fickleness of a multitude, they elected him general and committed all their affairs to his charge. Their private sorrows were beginning to be less acutely felt, and for a time of public need they thought that there was no man like him. During the peace while he was at the head of affairs he ruled with prudence; under his guidance Athens was safe, and reached the height of her greatness in his time. When the war began he showed that here too he had formed a true estimate of the Athenian power. He survived the commencement of hostilities two years and six months; and, after his death, his foresight was even better appreciated than during his life. For he had told the Athenians that if they would be patient and would attend to their navy, and not seek to enlarge their dominion while the war was going on, nor imperil the existence of the city, they would be victorious; but they did all that he told them not to do, and in matters which seemingly had nothing to do with the war, from motives of private ambition and private interest they adopted a policy which had disastrous effects in respect both of themselves and of their allies; their measures, had they been successful, would only have brought38 honour and profit to individuals, and, when unsuccessful, crippled the city in the conduct of the war. The reason of the difference was that he, deriving authority from his capacity and acknowledged worth, being also a man of transparent integrity, was able to control the multitude in a free spirit; he led them rather than was led by them; for, not seeking power by dishonest arts, he had no need to say pleasant things, but, on the strength of his own high character, could venture to oppose and even to anger them. When he saw them unseasonably elated and arrogant, his words humbled and awed them; and, when they were depressed by groundless fears, he sought to reanimate their confidence. Thus Athens, though still in name a democracy, was in fact ruled by her greatest citizen, But his successors were more on an equality with one another, and, each one struggling to be first himself, they were ready to sacrifice the whole conduct of affairs to the whims of the people. Such weakness in a great and imperial city led to many errors, of which the greatest was the Sicilian expedition; not that the Athenians miscalculated their enemy's power, but they themselves, instead of consulting for the interests of the expedition which they had sent out, were occupied in intriguing against one another for the leadership of the democracy,39 and not only hampered the operations of the army, but became embroiled, for the first time, at home. And yet after they had lost in the Sicilian expedition the greater part of their fleet and army, and were now distracted by revolution, still they held out three years not only against their former enemies, but against the Sicilians who had combined with them, and against most of their own allies who had risen in revolt. Even when Cyrus the son of the King joined in the war and supplied the Peloponnesian fleet with money, they continued to resist, and were at last overthrown, not by their enemies, but by themselves and their own internal dissensions. So that at the time Pericles was more than justified in the conviction at which his foresight had arrived, that the Athenians would win an easy victory over the unaided forces of the Peloponnesians.

During the same summer the Lacedaemonians and their allies sent a fleet of a hundred ships against the island of Zacynthus, which lies opposite Elis. The Zacynthians are colonists of the Peloponnesian Achaeans, and were allies of the Athenians. There were on board the fleet a thousand Lacedaemonian hoplites, under the command of Cnemus the Spartan admiral. They disembarked and ravaged the greater part of the country; but as the inhabitants would not come to terms, they sailed away home.

At the end of the same summer, Aristeus the Corinthian, the Lacedaemonian ambassadors Aneristus, Nicolaus, and Stratodemus, Timagoras of Tegea, and Pollis of Argos who had no public mission, were on their way to Asia in the hope of persuading the King to give them money and join in the war. They went first of all to Sitalces son of Teres, in Thrace, wishing if possible to detach him from the Athenians, and induce him to lead an army to the relief of Potidaea, which was still blockaded by Athenian forces; they also wanted him to convey them across the Hellespont on their intended journey to Pharnaces, the son of Pharnabazus, who was to send them on to the King. At the time of their arrival two Athenian envoys, Learchus the son of Callimachus, and Ameiniades the son of Philemon, chanced to be at the court of Sitalces; and they entreated his son Sadocus, who had been made an Athenian citizen,40 to deliver the envoys into their hands, that they might not find their way to the King and so injure a city which was in some degree his own. He consented, and, sending a body of men with Learchus and Ameiniades, before they embarked, as they were on their way through Thrace to the vessel in which they were going to cross the Hellespont, seized them; they were then, in accordance with the orders of Sadocus, handed over to the Athenian envoys, who conveyed them to Athens. On the very day of their arrival the Athenians, fearing that Aristeus, whom they considered to be the cause of all their troubles at Potidaea and in Chalcidicè, would do them still further mischief if he escaped, put them all to death without trial and without hearing what they wanted to say; they then threw their bodies down precipices. They considered that they had a right to retaliate on the Lacedaemonians, who had begun by treating in the same way the traders of the Athenians and their allies when they caught their vessels off the coast of Peloponnesus. For at the commencement of the war, all whom the Lacedaemonians captured at sea were treated by them as enemies and indiscriminately slaughtered, whether they were allies of the Athenians or neutrals.

About the end of the same summer the Ambraciots, with a large Barbarian force which they had called out, made war upon the Amphilochian Argos and upon Amphilochia. The original cause of their enmity against the Argives was as follows:--The Amphilochian territory had been occupied and the city founded by Amphilochus the son of Amphiaraus, who on returning home after the Trojan War was dissatisfied at the state of Argos. He fixed the site on the shore of the Ambracian Gulf, and called the new city by the name of his native place; it was the greatest city in that region, and its inhabitants were the most powerful community. Many generations afterwards, these Amphilochians in a time of distress invited their neighbours the Ambraciots to join in the settlement, and from them they first learned the Hellenic language which they now speak; the other Amphilochians are Barbarians. After a while the Ambraciots drove out the Amphilochian Argives and themselves took possession of the city. The expelled Amphilochians placed themselves under the protection of the Acarnanians, and both together called in the Athenians, who sent them a fleet of thirty ships under the command of Phormio. When Phormio arrived, they stormed Argos, and sold the Ambraciots into slavery; and the Amphilochians and Acarnanians dwelt together in the place. The alliance between the Acarnanians and Athenians then first began. The hatred of the Ambraciots towards the Amphilochian Argives commenced with the enslavement of their countrymen; and now when the war offered an opportunity they invaded their territory, accompanied by the Chaonians and some others of the neighbouring Barbarians. They came as far as Argos and made themselves masters of the country; but not being able to take the city by assault they returned, and the several tribes dispersed to their own homes. Such were the events of the summer.

In the following winter the Athenians sent twenty ships on an expedition round Peloponnesus. These were placed under the command of Phormio, who, stationing himself at Naupactus, guarded the straits and prevented any one from sailing either out of or into Corinth and the Crisaean Gulf. Six other vessels were sent to collect tribute in Lycia and Caria; they were under the command of Melesander, who was to see that Peloponnesian privateers did not establish themselves in those parts, and damage merchant vessels coming from Phaselis and Phoenicia and all that region. But he, going up the country into Lycia with an army composed of Athenians taken from the crews and of allied troops, was defeated, and himself and a part of his forces slain.

In the same winter the Potidaeans, who were still blockaded, found themselves unable to hold out; for the Peloponnesian invasions of Attica did not make the Athenians withdraw; and they had no more food. When they had been reduced to such straits as actually in some cases to feed on human flesh, they entered into communications with the Athenian generals, Xenophon the son of Euripides, Hestiodorus the son of Aristocleides, and Phanomachus the son of Callimachus, to whom the siege had been entrusted. They, seeing that the army was suffering from the exposed situation, and considering that the city had already spent two thousand talents41 on the siege, accepted the terms proposed. The Potidaeans, with their wives and their children, and likewise the foreign troops,42 were to come out of the city, the men with one garment, the women with two, and they were allowed a certain fixed sum of money for their journey. So they came out under a safe-conduct, and went into Chalcidicè, or wherever they could find a home. But the Athenians blamed the generals for coming to terms without their authority, thinking that they could have made the city surrender at discretion. Soon afterwards they sent thither colonists of their own. Such were the events of the winter. And so ended the second year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

In the following summer the Peloponnesians and their allies under the command of Archidamus the son of Zeuxidamus, the Lacedaemonian king, instead of invading Attica, made an expedition against Plataea. There he encamped and was about to ravage the country, when the Plataeans sent envoys to him bearing the following message:

'Archidamus, and you Lacedaemonians, in making war upon Plataea you are acting unjustly, and in a manner unworthy of yourselves and of your ancestors. Pausanias the son of Cleombrotus, the Lacedaemonian, when he and such Hellenes as were willing to share the danger with him fought a battle in our land and liberated Hellas from the Persian, offered up sacrifice in the Agora of Plataea to Zeus the God of Freedom, and in the presence of all the confederates then and there restored to the Plataeans their country and city to be henceforth independent; no man was to make unjust war upon them at any time or to seek to enslave them; and if they were attacked, the allies who were present promised that they would defend them to the utmost of their power. These privileges your fathers granted to us as a reward for the courage and devotion which we displayed in that time of danger. But you are acting in an opposite spirit; for you have joined the Thebans, our worst enemies, and have come hither to enslave us. Wherefore, calling to witness the Gods to whom we all then swore, and also the Gods of your race and the Gods who dwell in our country, we bid you do no harm to the land of Plataea. Do not violate your oaths, but allow the Plataeans to be independent, and to enjoy the rights which Pausanias granted to them.'

To this appeal Archidamus rejoined:

'What you say, Plataeans, is just, but your acts should correspond to your words. Enjoy the independence which Pausanias granted to you, but also assist us in freeing the other Hellenes who were your sworn confederates in that time of danger and are now in subjection to the Athenians. With a view to the emancipation of them and of the other subject states, this great war has been undertaken and all these preparations made. It would be best for you to join with us, and observe the oaths yourselves which you would have us observe. But if you prefer to be neutral, a course which we have already once proposed to you, retain possession of your lands, and receive both sides in peace, but neither for the purposes of war; and we shall be satisfied.'

The Plataean ambassadors then returned to the city and reported these words of Archidamus to the people, who made answer that they that they could not do what they were asked without the sanction of the Athenians, in whose power they had left their wives and children, and that they also feared for the very existence of their state. When the Lacedaemonians were gone the Athenians might come and not allow them to carry out the treaty; or the Thebans, who would be included in the clause requiring them 'to receive both sides,' might again attempt to seize their town. To this Archidamus, wanting to reassure them, made the following answer:

'Then deliver over your city and houses to the Lacedaemonians; mark the boundaries of your land, and number your fruit-trees and anything else which can be counted. Go yourselves whithersoever you please, while the war lasts, and on the return of peace we will give back to you all that we have received. Until then we will hold your property in trust, and will cultivate your ground, paying you such a rent as will content you.'

Upon hearing these words the envoys again returned into the city, and, after holding a consultation with the people, told Archidamus that they wished first to communicate his proposals to the Athenians, and if they could get their consent they would do as he advised; in the meantime they desired him to make a truce with them, and not to ravage their land. So he made a truce which allowed sufficient time for their ambassadors to return from Athens; and meanwhile he spared their land. The Plataean envoys came to Athens, and after advising with the Athenians they brought back the following message to their fellow-citizens:

'Plataeans, the Athenians say that never at any time since you first became their allies43 have they suffered any one to do you wrong, and that they will not forsake you now, but will assist you to the utmost of their power; and they adjure you, by the oaths which your fathers swore, not to forsake the Athenian alliance.'

When the answer came, the Plataeans resolved not to desert the Athenians, but patiently to look on, if they must, while the Lacedaemonians wasted their country, and to endure the worst. No one was henceforward to leave the town, but answer was to be made from the walls that they could not possibly consent to the Lacedaemonian proposal. King Archidamus, as soon as he received the reply, before proceeding to action, fell to calling upon the Gods and heroes of the country in the following words:

'O ye Gods and heroes who possess the land of Plataea, be our witnesses that our invasion of this land in which our fathers prayed to you when they conquered the Persians, and which you made a propitious battle-field to the Hellenes, has thus far been justified, for the Plataeans first deserted the alliance; and that if we go further we shall be guilty of no crime, for we have again and again made them fair proposals and they have not listened to us. Be gracious to us and grant that the real authors of the iniquity may be punished, and that they may obtain revenge who lawfully seek it.'

After this appeal to the Gods he began military operations. In the first place, the soldiers felled the fruit-trees and surrounded the city with a stockade, that henceforth no one might get out. They then began to raise a mound against it, thinking that with so large an army at work this would be the speediest way of taking the place. So they cut timber from Cithaeron and built on either side of the intended mound a frame of logs placed cross-wise in order that the material might not scatter. Thither they carried wood, stones, earth, and anything which would fill up the vacant space. They continued raising the mound seventy days and seventy nights without intermission; the army was divided into relays, and one party worked while the other slept and ate. The Lacedaemonian officers who commanded the contingents of the allies stood over them and kept them at work. The Plataeans, seeing the mound rising, constructed a wooden frame, which they set upon the top of their own wall opposite the mound; in this they inserted bricks, which they took from the neighbouring houses; the wood served to strengthen and bind the structure together as it increased in height; they also hung curtains of skins and hides in front; these were designed to protect the wood-work and the workers, and shield them against blazing arrows. The wooden wall rose high, but the mound rose quickly too. Then the Plataeans had a new device;--they made a hole in that part of the wall against which the mound pressed and drew in the earth.

The Peloponnesians discovered what they were doing, and threw into the gap clay packed in wattles of reed, which could not scatter and like the loose earth be carried away. Whereupon the Plataeans, baffled in one plan, resorted to another. Calculating the direction, they dug a mine from the city to the mound and again drew the earth inward. For a long time their assailants did not find them out, and so what the Peloponnesians threw on was of little use, since the mound was always being drawn off below and settling into the vacant space. But in spite of all their efforts, the Plataeans were afraid that their numbers would never hold out against so great an army; and they devised yet another expedient. They left off working at the great building opposite the mound, and beginning at both ends, where the city wall returned to its original lower height, they built an inner wall projecting inwards in the shape of a crescent, that if the first wall were taken the other might still be defensible. The enemy would be obliged to begin again and carry the mound right up to it, and as they advanced inwards would have their trouble all over again, and be exposed to missiles on both flanks. While the mound was rising the Peloponnesians brought battering engines up to the wall; one which was moved forward on the mound itself shook a great part of the raised building, to the terror of the Plataeans. They brought up others too at other points of the wall. But the Plataeans dropped nooses over the ends of these engines and drew them up; they also let down huge beams suspended at each end by long iron chains from two poles leaning on the wall and projecting over it. These beams they drew up at right angles to the advancing battering-ram, and whenever at any point it was about to attack them they slackened their hold of the chains and let go the beam, which fell with great force and snapped off the head of the ram.

At length the Peloponnesians, finding that their engines were useless, and that the new wall was rising opposite to the mound, and perceiving that they could not without more formidable means of attack hope to take the city, made preparations for a blockade. But first of all they resolved to try whether, the wind favouring, the place, which was but small, could not be set on fire; they were anxious not to incur the expense of a regular siege, and devised all sorts of plans in order to avoid it. So they brought faggots and threw them down from the mound along the space between it and the wall, which was soon filled up when so many hands were at work; then they threw more faggots one upon another into the city as far as they could reach from the top of the mound, and casting in lighted brands with brimstone and pitch, set them all on fire. A flame arose of which the like had never before been made by the hand of man; I am not speaking of fires in the mountains, when the forest has spontaneously blazed up from the action of the wind and mutual attrition. There was a great conflagration, and the Plataeans, who had thus far escaped, were all but destroyed; a considerable part of the town was unapproachable, and if a wind had come on and carried the flame that way, as the enemy hoped, they could not have been saved. It is said that there was also a violent storm of thunder and rain, which quenched the flames and put an end to the danger.

The Peloponnesians, having failed in this, as in their former attempts, sent away a part of their army but retained the rest,44 and dividing the task among the contingents of the several cities, surrounded Plataea with a wall. Trenches, out of which they took clay for the bricks, were formed both on the inner and the outer side of the wall. About the rising of Arcturus45 all was completed. They then drew off their army, leaving a guard on one half of the wall, while the other half was guarded by the Boeotians; the disbanded troops returned to their homes. The Plataeans had already conveyed to Athens46 their wives, children, and old men, with the rest of their unserviceable population. Those who remained during the siege were four hundred Plataeans, eighty Athenians, and a hundred and ten women to make bread. These were their exact numbers when the siege began. There was no one else, slave or freeman, within the walls. In such sort was the blockade of Plataea completed.

During the same summer, when the corn was in full ear, and about the time of the attack on Plataea, the Athenians sent an expedition against the Chalcidians of Thrace and against the Bottiaeans, consisting of two thousand heavy-armed troops of their own and two hundred horsemen under the command of Xenophon the son of Euripides, and two others. They came close up to the Bottian Spartolus and destroyed the crops. They expected that the place would be induced to yield to them by a party within the walls. But the opposite party sent to Olynthus and obtained from thence a garrison, partly composed of hoplites, which sallied out of Spartolus and engaged with the Athenians under the walls of the town. The Chalcidian hoplites and with them certain auxiliaries were defeated and retreated into Spartolus, but their cavalry and light-armed troops had the advantage over those of the Athenians. They were assisted by a few targeteers, who came from the district called Crusis. The engagement was scarcely over when another body of targeteers from Olynthus came up to their aid. Encouraged by the reinforcement and their previous success, and supported by the Chalcidian horse and the newly-arrived troops, the light-armed again attacked the Athenians, who began to fall back upon the two companies which they had left with their baggage: as often as the Athenians charged, the enemy retired; but when the Athenians continued their retreat, they pressed upon them and hurled darts at them. The Chalcidian cavalry too rode up, and wherever they pleased charged the Athenians, who now fled utterly disconcerted and were pursued to a considerable distance. At length they escaped to Potidaea, and having recovered their dead under a flag of truce, returned to Athens with the survivors of their army, out of which they had lost four hundred and thirty men and all their generals. The Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, having set up a trophy and carried off their dead, disbanded and dispersed to their several cities.

In the same summer, not long afterwards, the Ambraciots and Chaonians, designing to subjugate the whole of Acarnania and detach it from the Athenian alliance, persuaded the Lacedaemonians to equip a fleet out of the confederate forces, and to send into that region a thousand hoplites. They said that if the Lacedaemonians would join with them and attack the enemy both by sea and land, the Acarnanians on the sea-coast would be unable to assist the inland tribes, and they might easily conquer Acarnania. Zacynthus and Cephallenia would then fall into their hands, and the Athenian fleet would not so easily sail round Peloponnesus. They might even hope to take Naupactus. The Lacedaemonians agreed, and at once despatched Cnemus, who was still admiral,47 with the thousand hoplites in a few ships; they ordered the rest of the allied navy to get ready and at once sail to Leucas. The interests of the Ambraciots were zealously supported by Corinth, their mother city. The fleet which was to come from Corinth, Sicyon, and the adjacent places was long in preparation; but the contingent from Leucas, Anactorium, and Ambracia was soon equipped, and waited at Leucas. Undiscovered by Phormio, the commander of the twenty Athenian ships which were keeping guard at Naupactus, Cnemus and his thousand hoplites crossed the sea and began to make preparations for the land expedition. Of Hellenes he had in his army Ambraciots, Leucadians, Anactorians, and the thousand Peloponnesians whom he brought with him,--of Barbarians a thousand Chaonians, who, having no king, were led by Photyus and Nicanor, both of the governing family and holding the presidency for a year. With the Chaonians came the Thesprotians, who, like them, have no king. A Molossian and Atintanian force was led by Sabylinthus, the guardian of Tharypas the king, who was still a minor; the Paravaeans were led by their king Oroedus, and were accompanied by a thousand Orestians placed at the disposal of Oroedus by their king Antiochus. Perdiccas also, unknown to the Athenians, sent a thousand Macedonians, who arrived too late. With this army Cnemus, not waiting for the ships from Corinth, began his march. They passed through the Argive territory and plundered Limnaea, an unwalled village. At length they approached Stratus, which is the largest city in Acarnania, thinking that, if they could take it, the other places would soon come over to them.

The Acarnanians, seeing that a great army had invaded their territory, and that the enemy was threatening them by sea as well as by land, did not attempt any united action, but guarded their several districts, and sent to Phormio for aid. He replied that a fleet of the enemy was about to sail from Corinth, and that he could not leave Naupactus unguarded. Meanwhile the Peloponnesians and their allies marched in three divisions towards Stratus, intending to encamp near and try negotiations; if these failed, they would take stronger measures and assault the wall. The Chaonians and the other Barbarians advanced in the centre; on the right wing were the Leucadians, Anactorians, and their auxiliaries; on the left was Cnemus with the Peloponnesians and Ambraciots. The three divisions were a long way apart, and at times not even in sight of one another. The Hellenic troops maintained order on the march and kept a look out, until at length they found a suitable place in which to encamp; the Chaonians, confident in themselves, and having a great military reputation in that part of the country, would not stop to encamp, but they and the other Barbarians rushed on at full speed, hoping to take the place by storm and appropriate to themselves the glory of the action. The Stratians perceiving their approach in time, and thinking that, if they could overcome them before the others arrived, the Hellenic forces would not be so ready to attack them, set ambuscades near the city. When they were quite close, the troops came out of the city and from the ambuscades and fell upon them hand to hand. Whereupon the Chaonians were seized with a panic and many of them perished; the other Barbarians, seeing them give way, no longer stood their ground, but took to flight. Neither of the Hellenic divisions knew of the battle; the Chaonians were far in advance of them, and were thought to have hurried on because they wanted to choose a place for their camp. At length the Barbarians in their flight broke in upon their lines; they received them, and the two divisions uniting during that day remained where they were, the men of Stratus not coming to close quarters with them, because the other Acarnanians had not as yet arrived, but slinging at them from a distance and distressing them greatly. For they could not move a step without their armour. Now the Acarnanians are famous for their skill in slinging.

When night came on, Cnemus withdrew his army in haste to the river Anapus, which is rather more than nine miles from Stratus, and on the following day carried off his dead under a flag of truce. The people of Oeniadae were friendly and had joined him; to their city therefore he retreated before the Acarnanians had collected their forces. From Oeniadae all the Peloponnesian troops returned home. The Stratians erected a trophy of the battle in which they had defeated the Barbarians.

The fleet from Corinth and the other allied cities on the Crisaean Gulf, which was intended to support Cnemus and to prevent the Acarnanians on the sea-coast from assisting their friends in the interior of the country, never arrived, but was compelled, almost on the day of the battle of Stratus, to fight with Phormio and the twenty Athenian ships which were stationed at Naupactus. As they sailed by into the open sea, Phormio was watching them, preferring to make his attack outside the gulf. Now the Corinthians and their allies were not equipped for a naval engagement, but for the conveyance of troops into Acarnania, and they never imagined that the Athenians with twenty ships would venture to engage their own forty-seven. But, as they were coasting along the southern shore, they saw the Athenian fleet following their movements on the northern; they then attempted to cross the sea from Patrae in Achaea to the opposite continent in the direction of Acarnania, when they again observed the enemy bearing down upon them from Chalcis and the mouth of the river Evenus. They had previously endeavoured to anchor under cover of night,48 but had been detected. So at last they were compelled to fight in the middle of the channel. The ships were commanded by generals of the cities which had furnished them; the Corinthian squadron by Machaon, Isocrates, and Agatharchidas. The Peloponnesians arranged their ships in such a manner as to make the largest possible circle without leaving space to break through, turning their prows outwards and their sterns inwards; within the circle they placed the smaller craft which accompanied them, and five of their swiftest ships that they might be close at hand and row out at whatever point the enemy charged them.

The Athenians ranged their ships in a single line and sailed round and round the Peloponnesian fleet, which they drove into a narrower and narrower space, almost touching as they passed, and leading the crews to suppose that they were on the point of charging. But they had been warned by Phormio not to begin until he gave the signal, for he was hoping that the enemy's ships, not having the steadiness of an army on land, would soon fall into disorder and run foul of one another; they would be embarrassed by the small craft, and if the usual morning breeze, for which he continued waiting as he sailed round them, came down from the gulf, they would not be able to keep still for a moment. He could attack whenever he pleased, because his ships were better sailers; and he knew that this would be the right time. When the breeze began to blow, the ships, which were by this time crowded into a narrow space and were distressed at once by the force of the wind and by the small craft which were knocking up against them, fell into confusion; ship dashed against ship, and they kept pushing one another away with long poles; there were cries of `keep off' and noisy abuse, so that nothing could be heard either of the word of command or of the coxswains' giving the time; and the difficulty which unpractised rowers had in clearing the water in a heavy sea made the vessels disobedient to the helm. At that moment Phormio gave the signal; the Athenians, falling upon the enemy, began by sinking one of the admirals' vessels, and then wherever they went made havoc of them; at last such was the disorder that no one any longer thought of resisting, but the whole fleet fled away to Patrae and Dymè in Achaea. The Athenians pursued them, captured twelve ships, and taking on board most of their crews, sailed away to Molycrium. They set up a trophy on Rhium, and having there dedicated a ship to Poseidon, retired to Naupactus. The Peloponnesians likewise, with the remainder of their fleet, proceeded quickly along the coast from Dymè and Patrae to Cyllenè, where the Eleans have their docks. Cnemus with the ships from Leucas, which should have been joined by these, arrived after the battle of Stratus at Cyllenè.

The Lacedaemonians at home now sent to the fleet three commissioners, Timocrates, Brasidas, and Lycophron, to advise Cnemus. He was told that he must contrive to fight again and be more successful; he should not allow a few ships to keep him off the sea. The recent sea-fight had been the first attempt of the Lacedaemonians, and they were quite amazed and could not imagine that their own fleet was so inferior to that of the enemy. They suspected that there had been cowardice, not considering that the Athenians were old sailors and that they were only beginners.49 So they despatched the commissioners in a rage. On their arrival they and Cnemus sent round to the allied cities for ships, and equipped for action those which were on the spot. Phormio likewise sent home messengers to announce the victory, and at the same time to inform the Athenians of the preparations which the enemy were making. He told them to send him immediately as large a reinforcement as possible, for he might have to fight any day. They sent him twenty ships, but ordered the commander of them to go to Crete first; for Nicias of Gortys in Crete, who was the proxenus of the Athenians, had induced them to send a fleet against Cydonia, a hostile town which he promised to reduce. But he really invited them to please the Polichnitae, who are neighbours of the Cydoniatae. So the Athenian commander took the ships, went to Crete, and joined the Polichnitae in ravaging the lands of the Cydoniatae; there, owing to contrary winds and bad weather, a considerable time was wasted.

While the Athenians were detained in Crete the Peloponnesians at Cyllene, equipped for a naval engagement, coasted along to Panormus in Achaia, whither the Peloponnesian army had gone to co-operate with them. Phormio also coasted along to the Molycrian Rhium and anchored outside the gulf with the twenty ships which had fought in the previous engagement. This Rhium was friendly to the Athenians; there is another Rhium on the opposite coast in Peloponnesus; the space between them, which is rather less than a mile, forms the mouth of the Crisaean Gulf. When the Peloponnesians saw that the Athenians had come to anchor, they likewise anchored with seventy-seven ships at the Rhium which is in Achaia, not far from Panormus where their land forces were stationed. For six or seven days the two fleets lay opposite one another, and were busy in practising and getting ready for the engagement--the one resolved not to sail into the open sea, fearing a recurrence of their disaster, the other not to sail into the strait, because the confined space was favourable to their enemies. At length Cnemus, Brasidas, and the other Peloponnesian generals determined to bring on an engagement at once, and not wait until the Athenians too received their reinforcements. So they assembled their soldiers and, seeing that they were generally dispirited at their former defeat and reluctant to fight, encouraged them in the following words:

'The late sea-fight, Peloponnesians, may have made some of you anxious about the one which is impending, but it really affords no just ground for alarm. In that battle we were, as you know, ill-prepared, and our whole expedition had a military and not a naval object. Fortune was in many ways unpropitious to us, and this being our first sea-fight we may possibly have suffered a little from inexperience. The defeat which ensued was not the result of cowardice; nor should the unconquerable quality which is inherent in our minds, and refuses to acknowledge the victory of mere force, be depressed by the accident of the event. For though fortune may sometimes bring disaster, yet the spirit of a brave man is always the same, and while he retains his courage he will never allow inexperience to be an excuse for misbehaviour. And whatever be your own inexperience, it is more than compensated by your superiority in valour. The skill of your enemies which you so greatly dread, if united with courage, may be able in the moment of danger to remember and execute the lesson which it has learned, but without courage no skill can do anything at such a time. For fear makes men forget, and skill which cannot fight is useless. And therefore against their greater skill set your own greater valour, and against the defeat which so alarms you set the fact that you were unprepared. But now you have a larger fleet; this turns the balance in your favour; and you will fight close to a friendly shore under the protection of heavy-armed troops. Victory is generally on the side of those who are more numerous and better equipped. So that we have absolutely no reason for anticipating failure. Even our mistakes will be an additional advantage, because they will be a lesson to us. Be of good courage, then, and let every one of you, pilot or sailor, do his own duty and maintain the post assigned to him. We will order the attack rather better than your old commanders, and so give nobody an excuse for cowardice. But, if any one should be inclined to waver, he shall be punished as he deserves, while the brave shall be honoured with the due rewards of their valour.'

Such were the words of encouragement addressed to the Peloponnesians by their commanders. Phormio too, fearing that his sailors might be frightened, and observing that they were gathering in knots and were evidently apprehensive of the enemy's numbers, resolved to call them together and inspirit them by a suitable admonition. He had always been in the habit of telling them and training their minds to believe that no superiority of hostile forces could justify them in retreating. And it had long been a received opinion among the sailors that, as Athenians, they were bound to face any quantity of Peloponnesian ships. When, however, he found them dispirited by the sight which met their eyes, he determined to revive their drooping courage, and, having assembled them together, he spoke as follows:

'Soldiers, I have summoned you because I see that you are alarmed at the numbers of the enemy, and I would not have you dismayed when there is nothing to fear. In the first place, the reason why they have provided a fleet so disproportionate is because we have defeated them already, and they can see themselves that they are no match for us; next, as to the courage which they suppose to be native to them and which is the ground of their confidence when they attack us,50 that reliance is merely inspired by the success which their experience on land usually gives them, and will, as they fancy, equally ensure them by sea. But the superiority which we allow to them on land we may justly claim for ourselves at sea; for in courage at least we are their equals, and the superior confidence of either of us is really based upon greater experience. The Lacedaemonians lead the allies for their own honour and glory; the majority of them are dragged into battle against their will; if they were not compelled they would never have ventured after so great a defeat to fight again at sea. So that you need not fear their valour; they are far more afraid of you and with better reason, not only because you have already defeated them, but because they cannot believe that you would oppose them at all if you did not mean to do something worthy of that great victory. For most men when, like these Peloponnesians, they are a match for their enemies51 rely more upon their strength than upon their courage; but those who go into battle against far superior numbers and under no constraint must be inspired by some extraordinary force of resolution. Our enemies are well aware of this, and are more afraid of our surprising boldness than they would be if our forces were less out of proportion to their own. Many an army before now has been overthrown by smaller numbers owing to want of experience; some too through cowardice; and from both these faults we are certainly free. If I can help I shall not give battle in the gulf, or even sail into it. For I know that where a few vessels which are skilfully handled and are better sailers engage with a larger number which are badly managed the confined space is a disadvantage. Unless the captain of a ship see his enemy a good way off he cannot come on or strike properly; nor can he retreat when he is pressed hard. The manoeuvres suited to fast-sailing vessels, such as breaking of the line or returning to the charge, cannot be practised in a narrow space. The sea-fight must of necessity be reduced to a land-fight52 in which numbers tell. For all this I shall do my best to provide. Do you meanwhile keep order and remain close to your ships. Be prompt in taking your instructions, for the enemy is near at hand and watching us. In the moment of action remember the value of silence and order, which are always important in war, especially at sea. Repel the enemy in a spirit worthy of your former exploits. There is much at stake; for you will either destroy the rising hope of the Peloponnesian navy, or bring home to Athens the fear of losing the sea. Once more I remind you that you have beaten most of the enemy's fleet already; and, once defeated, men do not meet the same dangers with their old spirit.' Thus did Phormio encourage his sailors.

The Peloponnesians, when they found that the Athenians would not enter the straits or the gulf, determined to draw them in against their will. So they weighed anchor early in the morning, and, ranging their ships four deep, stood in towards the gulf along their own coast,53 keeping the order in which they were anchored. The right wing, consisting of twenty of their fastest vessels, took the lead. These were intended to close upon the Athenians and prevent them from eluding their attack and getting beyond the wing in case Phormio, apprehending an attack upon Naupactus, should sail along shore to its aid. He, when he saw them weighing anchor, was alarmed, as they anticipated, for the safety of the town, which was undefended. Against his will and in great haste he embarked and sailed along the shore; the land forces of the Messenians followed. The Peloponnesians, seeing that the enemy were in single file and were already within the gulf and close to land, which was exactly what they wanted, at a given signal suddenly brought their ships round, and the whole line faced the Athenians and bore down upon them, every ship rowing at the utmost speed, for they hoped to cut off all the Athenian fleet. Eleven vessels which were in advance evaded the sudden turn of the Peloponnesians, and rowed past their right wing into the open water; but they caught the rest, forced them aground, and disabled them. All the sailors who did not swim out of them were slain. Some of the empty ships they fastened to their own and began to tow away; one they had already taken with the crew, but others were saved by the Messenians, who came to the rescue, dashed armed as they were into the sea, boarded them, and, fighting from their decks when they were being already towed away, finally recovered them.

While in this part of the engagement the Lacedaemonians had the victory and routed the Athenian ships, their twenty vessels on the right wing were pursuing the eleven of the Athenians which had escaped from their attack into the open water of the gulf. These fled and, with the exception of one, arrived at Naupactus before their pursuers. They stopped off the temple of Apollo, and, turning their beaks outward, prepared to defend themselves in case the enemy followed them to the land. The Peloponnesians soon came up; they were singing a paean of victory as they rowed, and one Leucadian ship far in advance of the rest was chasing the single Athenian ship which had been left behind. There chanced to be anchored in the deep water a merchant vessel, round which the Athenian ship rowed just in time, struck the Leucadian amidships, and sank her. At this sudden and unexpected feat the Peloponnesians were dismayed; they had been carrying on the pursuit in disorder because of their success. And some of them, dropping the blades of their oars, halted, intending to await the rest, which was a foolish thing to do when the enemy were so near and ready to attack them. Others, not knowing the coast, ran aground.

When the Athenians saw what was going on their hopes revived, and at a given signal they charged their enemies with a shout. The Lacedaemonians did not long resist, for they had made mistakes and were all in confusion, but fled to Panormus, whence they had put to sea. The Athenians pursued them, took six of their ships which were nearest to them, and recovered their own ships which the Peloponnesians had originally disabled and taken in tow near the shore. The crews of the captured vessels were either slain or made prisoners. Timocrates the Lacedaemonian54 was on board the Leucadian ship which went down near the merchant vessel; when he saw the ship sinking he killed himself; the body was carried into the harbour of Naupactus. The Athenians then retired and raised a trophy on the place from which they had just sailed out to their victory. They took up the bodies and wrecks which were floating near their own shore, and gave back to the enemy, under a flag of truce, those which belonged to them. The Lacedaemonians also set up a trophy of the victory which they had gained over the ships destroyed by them near the shore; the single ship which they took they dedicated on the Achaean Rhium, close to the trophy. Then, fearing the arrival of the Athenian reinforcements, they sailed away at nightfall to the Crisaean Gulf and to Corinth, all with the exception of the Leucadians. And not long after their retreat the twenty Athenian ships from Crete, which ought to have come to the assistance of Phormio before the battle, arrived at Naupactus. So the summer ended.

Before breaking up the fleet which had returned to Corinth and the Crisaean Gulf, Cnemus, Brasidas, and the other Peloponnesian commanders, it being now the beginning of winter, wished to make an attempt, suggested by some Megarians, on Piraeus, the harbour of Athens. The entrance was unclosed and unguarded; as was natural, since the Athenians were complete masters of the sea. Each sailor was to carry his cushion and his oar with its thong, and cross on foot with all haste from Corinth to the Athenian side of the Isthmus; they were to go to Megara and from Nisaea, the harbour of Megara, to launch forty ships which happened to be lying in the docks; thence they were to sail straight for the Piraeus. No guard ships were stationed there, for no one ever expected that the enemy would attempt a surprise of this kind. As to an open and deliberate attack, how was he likely to venture on that? and if he even entertained such a design, would he not have been found out in time?55

The plan was immediately carried out. Arriving at night, they launched the ships from Nisaea and sailed away, but not to the Piraeus; the danger seemed too great, and also the wind is said to have been unfavourable. So they gave up their original idea and made for the projecting point of Salamis which looks towards Megara; here there was a fort, and three ships were stationed in order to prevent anything being conveyed by sea into or out of Megara. This fort they assailed, towed away the ships without their crews, and ravaged the rest of Salamis which was unprepared for their attack.

By this time fire-signals had carried the alarm to Athens. Nothing which happened in the war caused a greater panic. The inhabitants of the city thought that the enemy had already sailed into the Piraeus; the belief in the Piraeus was that Salamis had been taken and that the enemy were on the point of sailing into the harbour, which, if they had been bolder, they might easily have done, and no wind would have prevented them. But as soon as day dawned, the Athenians, coming down with the whole strength of the city to the Piraeus, launched their ships and, embarking in tumultuous haste, sailed to Salamis, while their land-forces remained and guarded the Piraeus. When the Peloponnesians saw the fleet coming they sailed quickly back to Nisaea, but not until they had ravaged the greater part of Salamis and taken many prisoners and much spoil, as well as the three ships which lay off the fort of Budorum. There was some apprehension about their own ships; for they had long been lain up and were not sea-worthy. Arriving at Megara they marched back again to Corinth, and the Athenians, having failed to overtake them in Salamis, sailed back likewise. Henceforth they kept more careful watch over the Piraeus, among other precautions closing the entrance to the harbour.

About the same time, at the beginning of winter, Sitalces the Odrysian, the son of Teres, king of Thrace, made war upon Perdiccas, the son of Alexander, king of Macedon, and upon the Thracian Chalcidians. There were two promises, of which he wished to perform one, and exact fulfilment of the other. The promise of which he claimed fulfilment had been made to him by Perdiccas, when, being hard pressed at the beginning of the war, he wanted Sitalces to reconcile him to the Athenians,56 and not to restore and place on the throne his brother Philip, who was his enemy; but Perdiccas did not keep his word. The other was a promise which Sitalces had himself made to the Athenians when he entered into alliance with them, that he would put an end to their war with the Chalcidians. For these two reasons he invaded the country, taking with him Amyntas the son of Philip, whom he intended to make king of Macedon, and also certain Athenian envoys who had just come to remind him of his engagement, and an Athenian commander Hagnon. For the Athenians on their part were bound to assist him against the Chalcidians with ships and with as large an army as they could provide.

Accordingly Sitalces, beginning with the Odrysae, made a levy of all his Thracian subjects dwelling between Mount Haemus and Mount Rhodopè as far as the shores of the Euxine and of the Hellespont. Beyond the Haemus he made a levy of the Getae and of all the tribes lying more towards the Euxine on this side of the Ister. Now the Getae and their neighbours border on the Scythians, and are equipped like them, for they are all horse-archers. He also summoned to his standard many of the highland Thracians, who are independent and carry dirks; they are called Dii, and most of them inhabit Mount Rhodope; of these some were attracted by pay, while others came as volunteers. He further called out the Agrianians, the Laeaeans, and the other Paeonian nations who were his subjects. These tribes were the last within his empire; they extended as far as the Graaean Paeonians and the river Strymon, which rises in Mount Scombrus and flows through the country of the Graaeans and Laeaeans; there his dominion ended and the independent Paeonians began. In the direction of the Triballi, who are likewise independent, the Treres and the Tilataeans formed his boundary. These tribes dwell to the north of Mount Scombrus and reach westward as far as the Oscius. This river rises in the same mountains as the Nestus and the Hebrus, an uninhabited and extensive range which adjoins Rhodopè.

The empire of the Odrysae measured by the coast-line reaches from the city of Abdera to the mouth of the Ister in the Euxine. The voyage round can be made by a merchant vessel, if the wind is favourable the whole way, at the quickest in four days and as many nights. Or an expeditious traveller going by land from Abdera to the mouth of the Ister, if he takes the shortest route, will accomplish the journey in eleven days. Such was the extent of the Odrysian empire towards the sea: up the country the land journey from Byzantium to the Laeaeans and to the Strymon, this being the longest line which can be drawn from the sea into the interior, may be accomplished by an expeditious traveller in thirteen days. The tribute which was collected from the Hellenic cities and from all the barbarous nations in the reign of Seuthes, the successor of Sitalces, under whom the amount was greatest, was valued at about four hundred talents of coined money,57 reckoning only gold and silver. Presents of gold and silver equal in value to the tribute, besides stuffs embroidered or plain and other articles, were also brought, not only to the king himself, but to the inferior chiefs and nobles of the Odrysae. For their custom was the opposite of that which prevailed in the Persian kingdom; they were more ready to receive than to give; and he who asked and was refused was not so much discredited as he who refused when he was asked. The same custom prevailed among the other Thracians in a less degree, but among the Odrysae, who were richer, more extensively; nothing could be done without presents. By these means the kingdom became very powerful, and in revenue and general prosperity exceeded all the nations of Europe which lie between the Ionian Sea and the Euxine; in the size and strength of their army being second only, though far inferior, to the Scythians. For if the Scythians were united, there is no nation which could compare with them, or would be capable of resisting them;58 I do not say in Europe, but even in Asia--not that they are at all on a level with other nations in sense, or in that intelligence which uses to advantage the ordinary means of life.

Such was the great country over which Sitalces ruled. When he had collected his army and his preparations were complete he marched into Macedonia, passing first of all through his own territory, and then through Cercinè, a desert mountain which lies between the Sinti and the Paeonians. He went by the road which he had himself constructed when he made his expedition against the Paeonians and cut down the forest. As he left the Odrysian territory in going through the mountain he had on the right hand the Paeonians and on the left hand the Sinti and Maedi; on quitting the mountain he arrived at Doberus in Paeonia. He lost no part of his army on the march, except by sickness, but rather increased it; for many of the independent Thracian tribes followed him of their own accord in hopes of plunder. The whole number of his forces was estimated at a hundred and fifty thousand, of which about two-thirds were infantry and the rest cavalry. The largest part of the cavalry was furnished by the Odrysae themselves, and the next largest by the Getae. Of the infantry, those armed with dirks who came from the independent tribes of Mount Rhodopè were the most warlike. The remainder of the army was a mixed multitude, chiefly formidable from its numbers.

Having mustered at Doberus, they made ready to descend over the heights into the plains of Macedonia, which were the territory of Perdiccas. There is an upper Macedonia, which is inhabited by Lyncestians, Elimiots, and other tribes; these are the allies and tributaries of the lower Macedonians, but have kings of their own. The maritime country which we now call Macedonia was conquered and formed into a kingdom by Alexander the father of Perdiccas and his ancestors the Temenidae, who originally came from Argos.59 They defeated and drove out of Pieria the Pierians, who afterwards settled in Phagres and other places at the foot of Mount Pangaeus, beyond the Strymon; the land which lies under Mount Pangaeus towards the sea is still called the Pierian vale. They also drove out of Bottia, as it is called, the Bottiaeans, who are now the neighbours of the Chalcidians, and they acquired a narrow strip of Paeonia by the river Axius, reaching down to Pella and the sea. Beyond the Axius they possess the country called Mygdonia reaching to the Strymon, out of which they have driven the Edonians. They expelled from the country still called Eordia the Eordians, of whom the greater part perished, but a small remnant of them settled in the neighbourhood of Physca; and from Almopia the Almopians. They and their subjects further subdued and still hold various places belonging to other tribes, Anthemus, Grestonia, Bisaltia, and a great part of the original Macedonia. But the whole of this country is now called Macedonia, and was under the rule of Perdiccas the son of Alexander at the time of the invasion of Sitalces.

The Macedonians were unable to defend themselves against the onset of so vast a host; they therefore retired into their strongholds and forts, which at that time were few. For those which now exist were built by Archelaus the son of Perdiccas, who, when he became king, made straight roads and in various ways improved the country. In his force of cavalry and infantry and in his military resources generally he surpassed all the eight kings who preceded him.

The Thracian army, leaving Doberus, invaded first of all the country which had formerly been the principality of Philip, and took Eidomenè by storm. Gortynia, Atalantè, and some other towns came to terms out of regard for Amyntas the son of Philip, who accompanied the expedition. They also besieged but failed to take Europus; they next advanced into that part of Macedonia which lay on the left of Pella and Cyrrhus. Farther south into Bottiaea and Pieria they did not penetrate, but were content to ravage the territory of Mygdonia, Grestonia, and Anthemus. The Macedonians had no idea of facing them with infantry, but sent for additional cavalry from their allies in the upper part of the country, and, although a handful of men, dashed in amongst the great Thracian host wherever they pleased. No one withstood their onset; for they were excellent horsemen and well protected with coats of mail. But hemmed in as they continually were by a multitude many times their own number, they ran into great danger. At last, feeling that they were not strong enough to encounter such superiority of force, they desisted.

Sitalces now held a conference with Perdiccas touching the matters which gave occasion to the war. The fleet which the Athenians had promised never arrived; for not believing that Sitalces would come, they only sent gifts and envoys to him. After waiting for them in vain he despatched a part of his army against the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans, and, driving them within their walls, devastated the country. While he was encamped in these parts, the Thessalians, who lie towards the south, the Magnesians and other dependants of the Thessalians, and all the Hellenes as far as Thermopylae were afraid that his army would move on them, and took measures of precaution. Those independent Thracian tribes to the north beyond the Strymon who dwelt in the plains, namely the Panaeans, Odomantians, Droans, and Dersaeans, were also in great alarm. A belief arose, which spread far and wide among the enemies of Athens, that the Athenians meant to lead their Odrysian allies against the rest of Hellas. Meanwhile Sitalces overran and ravaged Chalcidicè, Botticè, and Macedonia, but could not effect his objects; and, his army being without food and suffering from the winter, he was persuaded by his nephew, who next to himself had the greatest authority, Seuthes the son of Spardacus,60 to return home at once. Now Perdiccas had secretly gained over Seuthes, promising to give him his sister in marriage, with a portion. And so Sitalces and his army, having remained thirty days in all, of which eight were passed among the Chalcidians, returned home in haste. Perdiccas in fulfilment of his promise gave his sister Stratonicè in marriage to Seuthes. Thus ended the expedition of Sitalces.

During the same winter the Athenian forces at Naupactus, after the Peloponnesian fleet had dispersed, made an expedition under the command of Phormio into the centre of Acarnania with four hundred hoplites of their own taken from the fleet61 and four hundred Messenian hoplites. They first coasted along towards Astacus62 and disembarked. From Stratus, Coronta, and other places they expelled those of the inhabitants whom they distrusted, and restoring Cynes the son of Theolytus to Coronta, they returned to their ships. Oeniadae, of which the inhabitants, unlike the rest of the Acarnanians, were their persistent enemies, was unapproachable in winter. For the town is in the midst of a marsh formed by the river Achelous, which, rising in Mount Pindus and passing first through the territory of the Dolopians, Agraeans, and Amphilochians, and then through the Acarnanian plain, at some distance from its mouth flows by the city of Stratus and finds an exit into the sea near Oeniadae: an expedition in winter is thus rendered impossible by the water. Most of the islands called Echinades are situated opposite to Oeniadae and close to the mouth of the Achelous. The consequence is that the river, which is large, is always silting up: some of the islands have been already joined to the mainland, and very likely, at no distant period, they may all be joined to it. The stream is wide and strong and full of mud; and the islands are close together and serve to connect the deposits made by the river, not allowing them to dissolve in the water. For, lying irregularly and not one behind the other, they prevent the river from finding a straight channel into the sea. These islands are small and uninhabited. The story is that when Alcmaeon the son of Amphiaraus was wandering over the earth after the murder of his mother, he was told by Apollo that here he should find a home, the oracle intimating that he would never obtain deliverance from his terrors until he discovered some country which was not yet in existence and not seen by the sun at the time when he slew his mother; there he might settle, but the rest of the earth was accursed to him. He knew not what to do, until at last, according to the story, he spied the deposit of earth made by the Achelous, and he thought that a place sufficient to support life must have accumulated in the long time during which he had been wandering since his mother's death. There, near Oeniadae, he settled, and, becoming ruler, left to the country the name of his son Acarnan. Such is the tradition which has come down to us concerning Alcmaeon.

The Athenians under Phormio sailed back from Acarnania to Naupactus, and later at the beginning of spring returned to Athens, bringing with them the ships which they had captured, besides the prisoners of free birth whom they had taken in the naval engagements. These were exchanged man for man. And so the winter ended, and with it the third year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

1. For the difficulties attending the chronology see note on the passage.

2. Cp. ii. 67 init.; iv. 50.

3. Cp. ii. 29, 67.

4. Taking bebaiôs with ei sphisi philia tauta eiê.

5. Cp. v. 82 init.

6. Cp. i. 126 init. and 127.

7. About £120,000

8. About £1,940,000

9. About £100,000.

10. Cp. what is said of the citizens on garrison duty, vii. 28 init.

11. Or, 'all paid taxes to Athens.'

12. February-March.

13. Cp. i. 82 med.

14. i. e. of the Attic summer, including spring, see note.

15. i.e. the plain round Athens.

16. Cp. i. 114 fin.

17. Cp. i. 102 fin., 107 fin.; iv. 78 med.

18. Reading with the MSS. tên gên tên Peiraikên. Cp. iii. 91 med., es Ôrôpon tês peran gês, i. e. the coast opposite Euboea.

19. About £200,000.

20. i. e. is called Teres, not Tereus.

21. Cp. i. 61 init.

22. Cp. i. 64 med.

23. Cp. iv. 66 init., 69 fin.

24. Reading hêlthomen.

25. Or, 'perils such as our strength can bear;' or 'perils which are enough to daunt us.'

26. Cp. i. 10 med., and 21.

27. Or, taking tychès with kairou: 'while for a moment in the hands of fortune, at the height, not of terror but of glory, they passed away.'

28. Or, taking lôphesanta with spasmon: 'these convulsions in some cases soon abated, in others not until long afterwards.'

29. More literally: 'They, dying, lay dead one upon another, or wallowed hardly alive' &c.

30. See note ad loc.

31. Cp. i. 118 fin.

32. Cp. iii. 87

33. Cp. i. 64 med.

34. Cp. i. 59, 61 init.

35. Or, taking huparchon humin absolutely: 'a consideration which, however obvious, appears to have escaped you.' Or, again, taking megathous peri with enthumêthênai: 'one element of your superiority which nearly touches your empire, but of which you never seem to have considered the importance.'

36. Cp. i. 140 init.

37. Or, taking kai autos with boulomenos: `he who is ambitious like ourselves.'

38. Or, 'while they continued to succeed, only brought.'

39. Cp. vi. 28.

40. Cp. ii. 29 fin.

41. £400,000.

42. Cp, i. 60.

43. Herod. vi. 108.

44. Retaining in the text to de loipon aphentes.

45. i. e. about the middle of September.

46. ii. 6 fin.

47. Cp. ii. 66.

48. Or, reading aphormisamenoi, 'they had weighed anchor before it was light, but had been detected.'

49. Cp. i. 142.

50. Or, taking the antecedent to as supplied by the clause hou di' allo ti tharsousin . . . katorthountes: 'as to the ground of the confidence with which they attack us as if courage were native to them.'

51. Or, 'For men who, like these Peloponnesians, are numerically superior to the enemy whom they face.'

52. Cp. vii. 62.

53. Reading para for epi with the Laurentian and three other MSS. Or, adopting the conjecture ekeinôn for eautôn: ` making for the enemy's shore, and' &c.

54. Cp. ii. 85 init.

55. Or, taking epei differently, and kath' hêsuchian in the sense of 'without interference': 'that the enemy would make a sudden attack of this kind. An attempt so bold and open was not likely to be unopposed, or the very design, if entertained, to escape detection.'

56. The reconciliation had been effected through the instrumentality of Nymphodorus; ii. 29.

57. £80,000

58. Cp. Herod. iv. 46.

59. Herod. viii. 137-139.

60. Cp. iv. 101 fin.

61. Cp. ii. 83 init.; 92 fin.

62. Cp. ii. 30; 33.


IN the following summer, when the corn was in full ear, the Peloponnesians and their allies, under the command of Archidamus, the son of Zeuxidamus, the Lacedaemonian king, invaded Attica, and encamping wasted the country. The Athenian cavalry as usual attacked them whenever an opportunity offered, and prevented the great body of the light-armed troops from going beyond their lines and injuring the lands near the city. The invaders remained until their supplies were exhausted; they were then disbanded, and returned to their several homes.

No sooner had the Peloponnesians quitted Attica than the whole people of Lesbos, with the exception of the Methymnaeans, revolted from Athens. They had entertained the design before the war began, but the Lacedaemonians gave them no encouragement. And now they were not ready, and were compelled to revolt sooner than they had intended. For they were waiting until they had completed the work of closing their harbours, raising walls, and building ships, and they had not as yet received from Pontus the force of archers, the corn and the other supplies for which they had sent. But the inhabitants of Tenedos, who were not on good terms with them, and the Methymnaeans, and individual citizens who were of the opposite faction and were proxeni of Athens, turned informers and told the Athenians that the Mytilenaeans were forcibly making Mytilenè the centre of government for the whole island; that the preparations which they were pressing forward had been throughout undertaken by them in concert with the Lacedaemonians and with their Boeotian kinsmen, and meant revolt; and that if something were not immediately done, Lesbos would be lost to Athens.

The Athenians, who were suffering severely from the plague and from the war, of which they had begun to feel the full effects, reflected that it was a serious matter to bring upon themselves a second war with a naval power like Lesbos, whose resources were unimpaired; and so, mainly because they wished that the charges might not be true, they at first refused to listen to them. But, when they had sent envoys to Mytilenè and found that the Mytilenaeans, in spite of remonstrances, continued their preparations and persisted in the attempt to concentrate the government in Mytilenè, they took alarm and determined to be beforehand with them. Without losing a moment, they sent to Lesbos, under the command of Cleïppides the son of Deinias, and two others, forty ships which had been intended to cruise about Peloponnesus. They had heard that there was a festival of Apollo Maloeis held outside the walls in which the whole population took part, and that if they made haste they might hope to surprise them. The attempt would very likely succeed; but, if not, they might bid the Mytilenaeans give up their fleet and dismantle their walls, and in case they refused they might go to war with them. So the ships sailed; and as there happened to be at Athens ten Mytilenaean triremes, serving in accordance with the terms of the alliance, the Athenians seized them and threw their crews into prison. But the Mytilenaeans were warned by a messenger from Athens, who crossed to Euboea and went on foot to Geraestus; there he found a merchant vessel just about to sail; he took ship, and arriving at Mytilenè on the third day after he left Athens, announced the coming of the Athenian fleet. Whereupon the Mytilenaeans abstained from going out to the temple of Apollo Maloeis. They also kept good watch about their walls and harbours, and barricaded the unfinished works.

Soon afterwards the Athenians arrived. The commanders of the fleet, seeing that they were foiled, delivered the message entrusted to them; the city refused to yield and they commenced hostilities. Taken by surprise, and unprepared for the war which was forced upon them, the Mytilenaeans came out once and made a show of fighting a little in front of the harbour; but they were soon driven back by the Athenian ships, and then they began to parley with the generals, in the hope of obtaining tolerable terms of some kind, and getting rid of the fleet for the time. The Athenian generals accepted their proposals, they too fearing that they were not strong enough to make war against the whole island. Having got the armistice, the Mytilenaeans sent envoys to Athens; one of them was a person who had given information against his fellow-citizens, but was now repentant. They had a faint hope that the Athenians would be induced to withdraw their ships and believe in their good intentions. But as they did not really expect to succeed in their Athenian mission, they also sent an embassy to Lacedaemon, unperceived by the Athenian fleet, which was stationed at Malea to the north of the city.1 After a troublesome voyage through the open sea, the envoys arrived at Lacedaemon and solicited aid for their countrymen.

The other envoys who had been sent to Athens met with no success. When they returned, the Mytilenaeans and the rest of Lesbos, with the exception of Methymna, commenced hostilities; the Methymnaeans, with the Imbrians, Lemnians, and a few of the allies, had come to the support of the Athenians. The Mytilenaeans with their whole force sallied out against the Athenian camp, and a battle took place, in which they got the better; but they had no confidence in themselves, and, instead of encamping on the field, retired. They then remained quiet, being unwilling to risk an engagement without the additional help which they were expecting from Peloponnesus and elsewhere. For Meleas a Lacedaemonian, and Hermaeondas a Theban, had now arrived at Mytilenè; they had been sent before the revolt, but the Athenian fleet anticipated them, and they sailed in by stealth after the battle in a single trireme. The envoys recommended the Mytilenaeans to send an embassy of their own in another trireme to accompany them on their return to Sparta; which they accordingly did.

The Athenians, greatly encouraged by the inactivity of their adversaries, summoned their allies, who came all the more readily because they saw that the Lesbians displayed no energy. They then anchored the fleet round the south of the city, and having fortified two camps, one on either side of it, they established a blockade of both the harbours. Thus they excluded the Mytilenaeans from the sea. They likewise held the country in the immediate neighbourhood of their two camps; but the Mytilenaeans and the other Lesbians, who had now taken up arms, were masters of the rest of the island. At Malea the Athenians had, not a camp, but a station for their ships and for their market.

Such was the course of the war in Lesbos. In the same summer, and about the same time, the Athenians sent thirty ships to Peloponnesus; they were placed under the command of Asopius, the son of Phormio; for the Acarnanians had desired them to send out a son or relation of Phormio to be their leader. The ships in passing ravaged the coast of Laconia, and then Asopius sent most of them home, but kept twelve, with which he sailed to Naupactus. Next he made a general levy of the Acarnanians and led his forces against Oeniadae, his ships sailing up the river Achelous, while his army ravaged the country by land. As the inhabitants refused to yield, he disbanded his land-forces, but himself sailed to Leucas and made a descent upon Nericus, where he and part of his army in returning to their ships were slain by the inhabitants, assisted by a few Peloponnesian guards. The Athenians then put to sea, and received their dead from the Leucadians under a flag of truce.

The envoys whom the Mytilenaeans had sent out in their first vessel were told by the Lacedaemonians to come to the Olympic festival, in order that the allies, as well as themselves, might hear them and determine what should be done. So they went to Olympia. The Olympiad was that in which the Rhodian Dorieus won his second victory. When the festival was over, the allies met in council, and the ambassadors spoke as follows:

'We know, Lacedaemonians and allies, that all Hellenes entertain a fixed sentiment against those who in time of war revolt and desert an old alliance. Their new allies are delighted with them in as far as they profit by their aid; but they do not respect them, for they deem them traitors to their former friends. And this opinion is reasonable enough; but only when the rebels, and those from whom they sever themselves, are naturally united by the same interests and feelings and equally matched in power and resources, and when there is no reasonable excuse for a revolt. But our relation to the Athenians was of another sort, and no one should be severe upon us for deserting them in the hour of danger although we were honoured by them in time of peace.

'Since an alliance is our object, we will first address ourselves to the question of justice and honour. We know that no friendship between man and man, no league between city and city, can ever be permanent unless the friends or allies have a good opinion of each other's honesty, and are similar in general character. For the diversity in men's minds makes the difference in their actions.

'Now our alliance with the Athenians first began when you ceased to take part in the Persian War, and they remained to complete the work. But we were never the allies of the Athenians in their design of subjugating Hellas; we were really the allies of the Hellenes, whom we sought to liberate from the Persians. And while in the exercise of their command they claimed no supremacy, we were very ready to follow them, But our fears began to be aroused when we saw them relaxing their efforts against the Persians and imposing the yoke of their dominion upon the allies, who could not unite and defend themselves, for their interests were too various. And so they were all enslaved, except ourselves and the Chians. We forsooth were independent allies, free men--that was the word--who fought at their side. But, judging from previous examples, how could we any longer have confidence in our leaders? For they had subjugated others to whom, equally with ourselves, their faith was pledged; and how could we who survived expect to be spared if ever they had the power to destroy us?

'Had all the allies retained their independence,we should have had better assurance that they would leave us as we were; but when the majority had been subjugated by them, they might naturally be expected to take offence at our footing of equality; they would contrast us who alone maintained this equality with the majority who had submitted to them; they would also observe that in proportion as their strength was increasing, our isolation was increasing too. Mutual fear is the only solid basis of alliance; for he who would break faith is deterred from aggression by the consciousness of inferiority. And why were we left independent? Only because they thought that to gain an empire they must use fair words and win their way by policy and not by violence. On the one hand, our position was a witness to their character. For, having an equal vote with them, we could not be supposed to have fought in their wars against our will, but those whom they attacked must have been in the wrong. On the other hand, they were thus enabled to use the powerful against the weak; they thought that they would leave us to the last; when the lesser states were removed, the stronger would fall an easier prey. But if they had begun with us while the power of the allies was still intact, and we might have afforded a rallying-point, they would not so easily have mastered them. Besides, our navy caused them some apprehension; they were afraid that we might join you, or some other great power, and that the union would be dangerous to them. For a time, too, we saved ourselves by paying court to the people and to the popular leaders of the day. But we were not likely to have survived long, judging by the conduct of the Athenians towards others, if this war had not arisen.

'What trust then could we repose in such a friendship or such a freedom as this? The civility which we showed to one another was at variance with our real feelings. They courted us in time of war because they were afraid of us, and we in time of peace paid a like attention to them. And the faith which is generally assured by mutual good-will had with us no other bond but mutual fear; from fear, and not from love, we were constrained to maintain the alliance, and whichever of us first thought that he could safely venture would assuredly have been the first to break it. And therefore if any one imagines that we do wrong in striking first, because they delay the blow which we dread, and thinks that we should wait and make quite sure of their intentions, he is mistaken. If we were really on an equality with them and in a position to counteract their designs and imitate their threatening attitude, how was it consistent with this equality that we had still to be at their mercy? The power of attack is always in their hands, and the power of anticipating attack should always be in ours.

'These were the reasons, Lacedaemonians and allies, and the grievances which led us to revolt. They were clear enough to prove to all hearers the justice of our cause, and strong enough to alarm us and drive us to seek some deliverance. We have acted from no sudden impulse; long ago, before the war began, we sent envoys to you, and proposed to revolt. But we could not, because you refused our request. Now, however, when the Boeotians have invited us, we have at once obeyed the call. We were intending to make a double severance of ourselves, from the Hellenes and from the Athenians; from the guilt, that is, of oppressing the Hellenes, in concert with the Athenians, instead of aiding in their liberation, and from the ruin which the Athenians were sooner or later sure to bring upon us, unless we anticipated them. But the step has been taken hastily and without due preparation; hence you are the more bound to receive us into alliance and to send us speedy help, thereby showing that you are ready to protect those who have claims upon you and to strike a blow at your enemies. Never was there such an opportunity before. The Athenians are exhausted by pestilence and by a costly war; some of their ships are cruising about your shores; the remainder are threatening us; so that they are not likely to have many to spare if you, in the course of this summer, make a second attack upon them by land and by sea. They will not be able to meet you at sea; or, if they do, they will have to withdraw their forces both from Lesbos and from Peloponnesus. And let no one say to himself that he is going to incur a danger which will be his own on behalf of a country which is not his own. He may think that Lesbos is a long way off; but he will find that the help which we bring will be very near him. For the war will not be fought in Attica, as might be imagined; but in those countries by which Attica is supported. The revenues of the Athenians are derived from their allies, and, if they subdue us, will be greater than ever; no one will revolt again, and our resources will be added to theirs; and we shall suffer worse things than those who have been enslaved already. But, if you assist us heartily, you will gain the alliance of a great naval power, and a navy is your chief want; you will draw away the allies of the Athenians, who will fearlessly come over to you; thus you will more easily overthrow the power of Athens. And you will no longer incur, as in times past, the reproach of deserting those who revolt.2 If you come forward as their liberators your final triumph will be assured.

'Do not then for very shame frustrate the hopes which the Hellenes rest on you, or dishonour the name of Olympian Zeus in whose temple we are in a manner suppliants, but be our allies and helpers. Do not betray us; we, the people of Mytilenè, risk our lives alone in the common cause of Hellas: universal will be the benefit which we confer if we succeed, and still more universal the ruin if you are inflexible and we fall. Wherefore prove yourselves worthy of your reputation in Hellas, and be such as we in our fear would have you.'

These were the words of the Mytilenaeans.

The Lacedaemonians and the allies immediately accepted their proposals and took the Lesbians into alliance. The confederates, who were present at Olympia, were told to make ready quickly for another expedition into Attica, and to assemble at the isthmus, bringing the usual contingent of two-thirds. The Lacedaemonians arrived first, and at once set to work making machines for hauling ships over the isthmus, from Corinth to the Saronic Gulf. For they intended to attack the Athenians both by sea and land. But although they were energetic themselves, the other allies assembled slowly; they were gathering in their fruits and in no mood for war.

The Athenians, perceiving that the activity of the Lacedaemonians was due to a conviction of their weakness, determined to show them their mistake, and to prove that, without moving the fleet from Lesbos, they were fully able to repel this new force which threatened them. They manned a hundred ships, in which they embarked, both metics and citizens,3 all but the highest class and the Knights; they then set sail, and, after displaying their strength along the shores of the isthmus, made descents upon the Peloponnesian coast wherever they pleased. The Lacedaemonians were astounded, and thought that the Lesbians had told them what was not true. Their allies too had not yet arrived, and they heard that the Athenians in the thirty ships4 which had been sent to cruise around Peloponnesus were wasting their country districts; and so, not knowing what else to do, they returned home. However, they afterwards prepared a fleet to go to Lesbos, and ordered the allies to equip forty ships: these they placed under the command of Alcidas, who was to take them out. When the Athenians saw that the Peloponnesians had gone home, they and their fleet of a hundred ships did the same.

At the time when the fleet was at sea, the Athenians had the largest number of ships which they ever had all together, effective and in good trim, although the mere number was as large or even larger at the commencement of the war. For then there were a hundred which guarded Attica, Euboea, and Salamis, and another hundred which were cruising off Peloponnesus,5 not including the ships employed in blockading Potidaea and at other places; so that in one and the same summer their fleet in all numbered two hundred and fifty. This and the money spent in the war against Potidaea was the chief call upon their treasury. Every one of the hoplites engaged in the siege received two drachmae6 a day, one for himself, and one for his servant; the original force amounted to three thousand,7 and this number was maintained as long as the siege lasted. Sixteen hundred more came with Phormio, but went away before the end.8 The sailors in the fleet all received the same pay as the soldiers. So great was the drain on the resources of the Athenians in the early part of the war, and such was the largest number of ships which they ever manned.

While the Lacedaemonians were at the isthmus, the Mytilenaeans and their auxiliaries marched against Methymna, which they expected to be betrayed to them, but, making an assault, and finding that they were mistaken, they went off to Antissa, Pyrrha, and Eresus; and, having strengthened the walls of these places and established their interest in them, they hastily returned. As soon as they had retired, the Methymnaeans retaliated by making an expedition against Antissa; but the people of Antissa and their auxiliaries sallied out and defeated them with heavy loss; the survivors made a hasty retreat. The Athenians heard that the Mytilenaeans were masters of the country, and that their own troops in Lesbos were not sufficient to confine them within the walls. So about the beginning of autumn they sent to Mytilenè, under the command of Paches the son of Epicurus, a thousand Athenian hoplites who handled the oars themselves. On arriving, they surrounded the town with a single line of wall; and in some strong places forts were erected which formed part of the wall. Thus Mytilenè was effectually blockaded both by sea and by land. The winter now began to set in.

The Athenians, being in want of money to carry on the siege, raised among themselves for the first time a property-tax of two hundred talents,9 and sent out twelve ships to collect tribute among the allies, under the command of Lysicles and four others. He sailed to various places and exacted tribute; but as he was going up from Myus in Caria, through the plain of the Maeander, he was attacked at the hill of Sandius by the Carians and the Samians of Anaea,10 and, with a great part of his army, perished.

During the same winter the Plataeans, who were still besieged by the Peloponnesians and Boeotians, began to suffer from the failure of provisions. They had no hope of assistance from Athens and no other chance of deliverance. So they and the Athenians who were shut up with them contrived a plan of forcing their way over the enemy's walls. The idea was suggested by Theaenetus the son of Tolmides, a diviner, and Eupompidas, the son of Daïmachus, one of their generals. At first they were all desirous of joining, but afterwards half of them somehow lost heart, thinking the danger too great, and only two hundred and twenty agreed to persevere. They first made ladders equal in length to the height of the enemy's wall, which they calculated by the help of the layers of bricks on the side facing the town, at a place where the wall had accidentally not been plastered. A great many counted at once, and, although some might make mistakes, the calculation would be oftener right than wrong; for they repeated the process again and again, and, the distance not being great, they could see the wall distinctly enough for their purpose. In this manner they ascertained the proper length of the ladders, taking as a measure the thickness of the bricks.

The Peloponnesian wall was double, and consisted of an inner circle looking towards Plataea, and an outer intended to guard against an attack from Athens; they were at a distance of about sixteen feet from one another. This interval of sixteen feet was partitioned off into lodgings for the soldiers, by which the two walls were joined together, so that they appeared to form one thick wall with battlements on both sides. At every tenth battlement there were large towers, filling up the space between the walls, and extending both to the inner and outer face; there was no way at the side of the towers, but only through the middle of them. During the night, whenever there was storm and rain, the soldiers left the battlements and kept guard from the towers, which were not far from each other and were covered overhead. Such was the plan of the wall with which Plataea was invested.

When the Plataeans had completed their preparations they took advantage of a night on which there was a storm of wind and rain and no moon, and sallied forth. They were led by the authors of the attempt. First of all they crossed the ditch which surrounded the town; then they came right up to the wall of the enemy. The guard did not discover them, for the night was so dark that they could not be seen, while the clatter of the storm drowned the noise of their approach. They marched a good way apart from each other, that the clashing of their arms might not betray them; and they were lightly equipped, having the right foot bare that they might be less liable to slip in the mud. They now set about scaling the battlements, which they knew to be deserted, choosing a space between two of the towers. Those who carried the ladders went first and placed them against the wall; they were followed by twelve others, armed only with sword and breastplate, under the command of Ammeas the son of Coroebus: he was the first to mount; after him came the twelve, ascending the wall and proceeding to the towers on the right and left, six to each.11 To these succeeded more men lightly armed with short spears, others following who bore their shields, that they might have less difficulty in mounting the wall; the shields were to be handed to them as soon as they were near the enemy. A considerable number had ascended, when they were discovered by the guards in the towers. One of the Plataeans, taking hold of the battlements, threw down a tile which made a noise in falling: immediately a shout was raised and the army rushed out upon the wall; for in the dark and stormy night they did not know what the alarm meant. At the same time, in order to distract their attention, the Plataeans who were left in the city made a sally against the Peloponnesian wall on the side opposite to the place at which their friends were getting over. The besiegers were in great excitement, but every one remained at his own post, and dared not stir to give assistance, being at a loss to imagine what was happening. The three hundred who were appointed to act in any sudden emergency marched along outside the walls towards the spot from which the cry proceeded; and fire-signals indicating danger were raised towards Thebes. But the Plataeans in the city had numerous counter signals ready on the wall, which they now lighted and held up, thereby hoping to render the signals of the enemy unintelligible, that so the Thebans, misunderstanding the true state of affairs, might not arrive until the men had escaped and were in safety.

Meanwhile the Plataeans were scaling the walls. The first party had mounted, and, killing the sentinels, had gained possession of the towers on either side. Their followers now began to occupy the passages, lest the enemy should come through and fall upon them. Some of them placed ladders upon the wall against the towers, and got up more men. A shower of missiles proceeding both from the upper and lower parts of the towers kept off all assailants. Meanwhile the main body of the Plataeans, who were still below, applied to the wall many ladders at once, and, pushing down the battlements, made their way over through the space between the towers. As each man got to the other side he halted upon the edge of the ditch, whence they shot darts and arrows at any one who came along under the wall and attempted to impede their passage. When they had all passed over, those who had occupied the towers came down, the last of them not without great difficulty, and proceeded towards the ditch. By this time the three hundred were upon them; they had lights, and the Plataeans, standing on the edge of the ditch, saw them all the better out of the darkness, and shot arrows and threw darts at them where their bodies were exposed; they themselves were concealed by the darkness, while the enemy were dazed by their own lights. And so the Plataeans, down to the last man of them all, got safely over the ditch, though with great exertion and only after a hard struggle; for the ice in it was not frozen hard enough to bear, but was half water, as is commonly the case when the wind is from the east and not from the north. And the snow which the east wind brought in the night had greatly swollen the water, so that they could scarcely accomplish the passage.12 It was the violence of the storm, however, which enabled them to escape at all.

From the ditch the Plataeans, leaving on the right hand the shrine of Androcrates, ran all together along the road to Thebes. They made sure that no one would ever suspect them of having fled in the direction of their enemies. On their way they saw the Peloponnesians pursuing them with torches on the road which leads to Athens by Cithaeron and Dryoscephalae. For nearly a mile the Plataeans continued on the Theban road; they then turned off and went by the way up the mountain leading to Erythrae and Hysiae, and so, getting to the hills, they escaped to Athens. Their number was two hundred and twelve,13 though they had been originally more, for some of them went back to the city and never got over the wall; one who was an archer was taken at the outer ditch. The Peloponnesians at length gave up the pursuit and returned to their lines. But the Plataeans in the city, knowing nothing of what had happened, for those who had turned back had informed them that not one was left alive, sent out a herald at daybreak, wanting to make a truce for the burial of the dead; they then discovered the truth and returned. Thus the Plataeans scaled the wall and escaped.

At the end of the same winter Salaethus the Lacedaemonian was despatched in a trireme from Lacedaemon to Mytilenè. He sailed to Pyrrha, and thence, proceeding on foot, made his way, by the channel of a torrent at a place where the line of the Athenian wall could be crossed, undiscovered into Mytilenè. He told the government that there was to be an invasion of Attica, and that simultaneously the forty ships which were coming to their assistance would arrive at Lesbos; he himself had been sent in advance to bring the news and take charge of affairs. Whereupon the Mytilenaeans recovered their spirits, and were less disposed to make terms with the Athenians. So the winter ended, and with it the fourth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

With the return of summer the Peloponnesians despatched the two and forty ships which they intended for Mytilenè in charge of Alcidas, the Lacedaemonian admiral. They and their allies then invaded Attica, in order that the Athenians, embarrassed both by sea and land, might have their attention distracted from the ships sailing to Mytilenè. Cleomenes led the invasion. He was acting in the place of his nephew, the king Pausanias, son of Pleistoanax, who was still a minor. All the country which they had previously overrun, wherever anything had grown up again, they ravaged afresh, and devastated even those districts which they had hitherto spared. This invasion caused greater distress to the Athenians than any, except the second. For the Peloponnesians, who were daily expecting to hear from Lesbos of some action on the part of the fleet, which they supposed by this time to have crossed the sea, pursued their ravages far and wide. But when none of their expectations were realised, and their food was exhausted, they retired and dispersed to their several cities.

Meanwhile the Mytilenaeans, finding as time went on that the ships from Peloponnesus never came, and that their provisions had run short, were obliged to make terms with the Athenians. The immediate cause was as follows: Salaethus himself began to despair of the arrival of the ships, and therefore he put into the hands of the common people (who had hitherto been light-armed) shields and spears, intending to lead them out against the Athenians. But, having once received arms, they would no longer obey their leaders; they gathered into knots and insisted that the nobles should bring out the corn and let all share alike; if not, they would themselves negotiate with the Athenians and surrender the city.

The magistrates, knowing that they were helpless, and that they would be in peril of their lives if they were left out of the convention, concluded a general agreement with Paches and his army, stipulating that the fate of the Mytilenaeans should be left in the hands of the Athenians at home. They were to receive him and his forces into the city; but might send an embassy to Athens on their own behalf. Until the envoys returned, Paches was not to bind, enslave, or put to death any Mytilenaean. These were the terms of the capitulation. Nevertheless, when the army entered, those Mytilenaeans who had been principally concerned with the Lacedaemonians were in an agony of fear, and could not be satisfied until they had taken refuge at the altars. Paches raised them up, and promising not to hurt them, deposited them at Tenedos until the Athenians should come to a decision. He also sent triremes to Antissa, of which he gained possession, and took such other military measures as he deemed best.

The forty ships of the Peloponnesians, which should have gone at once to Mytilenè, lost time about the Peloponnese, and proceeded very leisurely on their voyage. They arrived safely at Delos, before they were heard of at Athens; but on touching at Icarus and Myconus they found, too late, that Mytilenè was taken. Wanting to obtain certain information, they sailed to Embatum near Erythrae, which they reached, but not until seven days after the fall of Mytilenè. Having now made sure of the fact, they consulted as to what measures should next be taken, and Teutiaplus, an Elean, addressed them as follows:

'My opinion, Alcidas, and you, my fellow-commanders of the Peloponnesian forces, is that we should attack Mytilenè at once, just as we are, before our arrival is known. In all probability we shall find that men who have recently gained possession of a city will be much off their guard, and entirely so at sea, on which element they do not fear the attack of an enemy, and where at this moment we can strike with effect. Probably too their land forces, in the carelessness of victory, will be scattered up and down among the houses of the city. If we were to fall upon them suddenly by night, with the help of our friends inside, should there be any left, I have no doubt that Mytilenè would be ours. The danger should not deter us; for we should consider that the execution of a military surprise is always dangerous, and that the general who is never taken off his guard himself, and never loses an opportunity of striking at an unguarded foe, will be most likely to succeed in war.'

His words failed to convince Alcidas; whereupon some Ionian exiles and the Lesbians who were on board the fleet14 recommended that, if this enterprise appeared too hazardous, he should occupy one of the Ionian towns or the Aeolian Cymè: having thus established their head-quarters in a city, the Peloponnesians might raise the standard of revolt in Ionia. There was a good chance of success, for every one was glad of his arrival; they might cut off a main source of Athenian revenue; and although they themselves would incur expense, for the Athenians would blockade them,15 the attempt was worth making. Pissuthnes might very likely be persuaded to co-operate. But Alcidas objected to this proposal equally with the last; his only idea was, now that he had failed in saving Mytilenè, to get back as fast as he could to Peloponnesus.

Accordingly he sailed from Embatum along the coast, touching at Myonnesus in the territory of Teos; he there slew most of the captives whom he had taken on his voyage. He then put into harbour at Ephesus, where a deputation from the Samians of Anaea16 came to him. They told him that it was an ill-manner of liberating Hellas, to have put to death men who were not his enemies and were not lifting a hand against him, but were allies of Athens from necessity: if he went on in this way he would convert few of his enemies into friends, and many of his friends into enemies. He was convinced by them, and allowed such of the Chian prisoners as he had not yet put to death and some others to go free. They had been easily taken, because, when people saw the ships, instead of flying, they came close up to them under the idea that they were Athenian; the thought never entered into their minds that while the Athenians were masters of the sea, Peloponnesian ships would find their way across the Aegean to the coast of Ionia.

From Ephesus Alcidas sailed away in haste, or rather fled; for while he was at anchor near Clarus he had been sighted by the Athenian sacred vessels, Paralus and Salaminia, which happened to be on a voyage from Athens. In fear of pursuit he hurried through the open sea, determined to stop nowhere, if he could help it, until he reached Peloponnesus. News of him and his fleet was brought to Paches from the country of Erythrae, and indeed kept coming in from all sides. For Ionia not being fortified, there was great apprehension lest the Peloponnesians, as they sailed along the coast, might fall upon the cities and plunder them, even though they had no intention of remaining. And the Paralus and Salaminia reported that they had themselves seen him at Clarus. Paches eagerly gave chase and pursued him as far as the island of Patmos, but, seeing that he was no longer within reach, he returned. Not having come up with the fleet of the Peloponnesians upon the open sea, he congratulated himself that they had not been overtaken somewhere near land, where they would have been forced to put in and fortify themselves on shore, and the Athenians would have had the trouble of watching and blockading them.

As he was sailing along the coast on his return he touched at Notium, the port of Colophon. Here some inhabitants of the upper town had taken up their abode; for it had been captured by Itamenes and the Barbarians, who had been invited into the city by a certain local faction. The capture took place about the time of the second invasion of Attica. The refugees who settled in Notium again quarrelled among themselves. The one party, having introduced Arcadian and Barbarian auxiliaries whom they had obtained, from Pissuthnes, stationed them in a fortified quarter of the town; the Persian faction from the upper city of Colophon joined them and were living with them. The other party had retired from the city, and being now in exile, called in Paches. He proposed to Hippias, the commander of the Arcadians in the fortress, that they should hold a conference, undertaking, if they could not agree, to put him back in the fort, safe and sound. So he came out, and Paches kept him in custody without fetters. In the meantime he made an attack upon the unsuspecting garrison, took the fortress, and slaughtered all the Arcadians and Barbarians whom he found within. He then conducted Hippias into the fort, according to the agreement, and when he was inside seized him and shot him to death with arrows. He next handed over Notium to the Colophonians, excluding the Persian party. The Athenians afterwards gathered together all the Colophonians who could be found in the neighbouring cities and colonised the place, to which they gave laws like their own, under new founders whom they sent out from Athens.

On returning to Lesbos, Paches reduced Pyrrha and Eresus, and finding Salaethus, the Lacedaemonian governor, concealed in Mytilenè, sent him to Athens. He also sent thither the Mytilenaeans whom he had deposited in Tenedos, and any others who seemed to have been implicated in the revolt. He then dismissed the greater part of his army, and, by the aid of the remainder, settled as seemed best to him the affairs of Mytilenè and Lesbos.

When the captives arrived at Athens the Athenians instantly put Salaethus to death, although he made various offers, and among other things promised to procure the withdrawal of the Peloponnesians from Plataea which was still blockaded. Concerning the other captives a discussion was held, and in their indignation the Athenians determined to put to death not only the men then at Athens, but all the grown-up citizens of Mytilenè, and to enslave the women and children; the act of the Mytilenaeans appeared inexcusable, because they were not subjects like the other states which had revolted, but free. That Peloponnesian ships should have had the audacity to find their way to Ionia and assist the rebels contributed to increase their fury; and the action showed that the revolt was a long premeditated affair.17 So they sent a trireme to Paches announcing their determination, and bidding him put the Mytilenaeans to death at once. But on the following day a kind of remorse seized them; they began to reflect that a decree which doomed to destruction not only the guilty, but a whole city, was cruel and monstrous. The Mytilenaean envoys who were at Athens18 perceived the change of feeling, and they and the Athenians who were in their interest prevailed on the magistrates to bring the question again before the people; this they were the more willing to do, because they saw themselves that the majority of the citizens were anxious to have an opportunity given them of reconsidering their decision. An assembly was again summoned, and different opinions were expressed by different speakers. In the former assembly, Cleon the son of Cleaenetus had carried the decree condemning the Mytilenaeans to death. He was the most violent of the citizens, and at that time exercised by far the greatest influence over the people.19 And now he came forward a second time and spoke as follows:--

'I have remarked again and again that a democracy cannot manage an empire, but never more than now, when I see you regretting your condemnation of the Mytilenaeans. Having no fear or suspicion of one another in daily life,20 you deal with your allies upon the same principle, and you do not consider that whenever you yield to them out of pity or are misled by their specious tales, you are guilty of a weakness dangerous to yourselves, and receive no thanks from them. You should remember that your empire is a despotism21 exercised over unwilling subjects, who are always conspiring against you; they do not obey in return for any kindness which you do them to your own injury, but in so far as you are their masters; they have no love of you, but they are held down by force. Besides, what can be more detestable than to be perpetually changing our minds? We forget that a state in which the laws, though imperfect, are inviolable, is better off than one in which the laws are good but ineffective.22 Dullness and modesty are a more useful combination than cleverness and licence; and the more simple sort generally make better citizens than the more astute. For the latter desire to be thought wiser than the laws;23 they want to be always getting their own way in public discussions; they think that they can nowhere have a finer opportunity of displaying their intelligence,24 and their folly generally ends in the ruin of their country; whereas the others, mistrusting their own capacity, admit that the laws are wiser than themselves: they do not pretend to criticise the arguments of a great speaker; and being impartial judges, not ambitious rivals, they hit the mark. That is the spirit in which we should act; not suffering ourselves to be so excited by our own cleverness in a war of wits as to advise the Athenian people contrary to our own better judgment.

'I myself think as I did before, and I wonder at those who have brought forward the case of the Mytilenaeans again, thus interposing a delay which is in the interest of the evil-doer. For after a time the anger of the sufferer waxes dull, and he pursues the offender with less keenness; but the vengeance which follows closest upon the wrong is most adequate to it and exacts the fullest retribution. And again I wonder who will answer me, and whether he will attempt to show that the crimes of the Mytilenaeans are a benefit to us, or that when we suffer, our allies suffer with us. Clearly he must be some one who has such confidence in his powers of speech as to contend that you never adopted what was most certainly your resolution;25 or else he must be some one who, under the inspiration of a bribe, elaborates a sophistical speech in the hope of diverting you from the point. In such rhetorical contests the city gives away the prizes to others, while she takes the risk upon herself. And you are to blame, for you order these contests amiss. When speeches are to be heard, you are too fond of using your eyes, but, where actions are concerned, you trust your ears; you estimate the possibility of future enterprises from the eloquence of an orator, but as to accomplished facts, instead of accepting ocular demonstration, you believe only what ingenious critics tell you.26 No men are better dupes, sooner deceived by novel notions, or slower to follow approved advice. You despise what is familiar, while you are worshippers of every new extravagance. Not a man of you but would be an orator if he could; when he cannot, he will not yield the palm to a more successful rival: he would fain show that he does not let his wits come limping after, but that he can praise a sharp remark before it is well out of another's mouth; he would like to be as quick in anticipating what is said, as he is slow in foreseeing its consequences. You are always hankering after an ideal state, but you do not give your minds even to what is straight before you. In a word, you are at the mercy of your own ears, and sit like spectators attending a performance of sophists, but very unlike counsellors of a state.

'I want you to put aside this trifling, and therefore I say to you that no single city has ever injured us so deeply as Mytilenè. I can excuse those who find our rule too heavy to bear, or who have revolted because the enemy has compelled them. But islanders who had walls, and were unassailable by our enemies, except at sea, and on that element were sufficiently protected by a fleet of their own, who were independent and treated by us with the highest regard, when they act thus, they have not revolted (that word would imply that they were oppressed), but they have rebelled; and entering the ranks of our bitterest enemies have conspired with them to seek our ruin. And surely this is far more atrocious than if they had been led by motives of ambition to take up arms against us on their own account. They learned nothing from the misfortunes of their neighbours who had already revolted and been subdued by us, nor did the happiness of which they were in the enjoyment make them hesitate to court destruction. They trusted recklessly to the future, and cherishing hopes which, if less than their wishes, were greater than their powers, they went to war, preferring might to right. No sooner did they seem likely to win than they set upon us, although we were doing them no wrong. Too swift and sudden a rise is apt to make cities insolent and, in general, ordinary good-fortune is safer than extraordinary. Mankind apparently find it easier to drive away adversity than to retain prosperity. We should from the first have made no difference between the Mytilenaeans and the rest of our allies, and then their insolence would never have risen to such a height; for men naturally despise those who court them, but respect those who do not give way to them. Yet it is not too late to punish them as their crimes deserve. And do not absolve the people while you throw the blame upon the nobles. For they were all of one mind when we were to be attacked. Had the people deserted the nobles and come over to us, they might at this moment have been reinstated in their city; but they considered that their safety lay in sharing the dangers of the oligarchy, and therefore they joined in the revolt. Reflect: if you impose the same penalty upon those of your allies who wilfully rebel and upon those who are constrained by the enemy, which of them will not revolt upon any pretext however trivial, seeing that, if he succeed, he will be free, and, if he fail, no irreparable evil will follow? We in the meantime shall have to risk our lives and our fortunes against every one in turn. When conquerors we shall recover only a ruined city, and, for the future, the revenues which are our strength will be lost to us.27 But if we fail, the number of our adversaries will be increased. And when we ought to be employed in repelling the enemies with whom we have to do, we shall be wasting time in fighting against our own allies.

'Do not then hold out a hope, which eloquence can secure or money buy, that they are to be excused and that their error is to be deemed human and venial. Their attack was not unpremeditated; that might have been an excuse for them; but they knew what they were doing. This was my original contention, and I still maintain that you should abide by your former decision, and not be misled either by pity, or by the charm of words, or by a too forgiving temper. There are no three things more prejudicial to your power. Mercy should be reserved for the merciful, and not thrown away upon those who will have no compassion on us, and who must by the force of circumstances always be our enemies. And our charming orators will still have an arena,28 but one in which the questions at stake will not be so grave, and the city will not pay so dearly for her brief pleasure in listening to them, while they for a good speech get a good fee. Lastly, forgiveness is naturally shown to those who, being reconciled, will continue friends, and not to those who will always remain what they were, and will abate nothing of their enmity. In one word, if you do as I say, you will do what is just to the Mytilenaeans, and also what is expedient for yourselves; but, if you take the opposite course, they will not be grateful to you, and you will be self-condemned. For, if they were right in revolting, you must be wrong in maintaining your empire. But if, right or wrong, you are resolved to rule, then rightly or wrongly they must be chastised for your good. Otherwise you must give up your empire, and, when virtue is no longer dangerous, you may be as virtuous as you please. Punish them as they would have punished you; let not those who have escaped appear to have less feeling than those who conspired against them. Consider: what might not they have been expected to do if they had conquered?--especially since they were the aggressors. For those who wantonly attack others always rush into extremes, and sometimes, like these Mytilenaeans, to their own destruction. They know the fate which is reserved for them by an enemy who is spared: when a man is injured wantonly he is more dangerous if he escape than the enemy who has only suffered what he has inflicted.29 Be true then to yourselves, and recall as vividly as you can what you felt at the time; think how you would have given the world to crush your enemies, and now take your revenge. Do not be soft-hearted at the sight of their distress, but remember the danger which was once hanging over your heads. Chastise them as they deserve, and prove by an example to your other allies that rebellion will be punished with death. If this is made quite clear to them, your attention will no longer be diverted from your enemies by wars against your own allies.'

Such were the words of Cleon; and after him Diodotus the son of Eucrates, who in the previous assembly had been the chief opponent of the decree which condemned the Mytilenaeans, came forward again and spoke as follows:

'I am far from blaming those who invite us to reconsider our sentence upon the Mytilenaeans, nor do I approve of the censure which has been cast on the practice of deliberating more than once about matters so critical. In my opinion the two things most adverse to good counsel are haste and passion; the former is generally a mark of folly, the latter of vulgarity and narrowness of mind. When a man insists that words ought not to be our guides in action,30 he is either wanting in sense or wanting in honesty: he is wanting in sense if he does not see that there is no other way in which we can throw light on the unknown future; and he is not honest if, seeking to carry a discreditable measure, and knowing that he cannot speak well in a bad cause, he reflects that he can slander well and terrify his opponents and his audience by the audacity of his calumnies. Worst of all are those who, besides other topics of abuse, declare that their opponent is hired to make an eloquent speech. If they accused him of stupidity only, when he failed in producing an impression he might go his way having lost his reputation for sense but not for honesty; whereas he who is accused of dishonesty, even if he succeed, is viewed with suspicion, and, if he fail, is thought to be both fool and rogue. And so the city suffers; for she is robbed of her counsellors by fear. Happy would she be if such citizens could not speak at all, for then the people would not be misled. The good citizen should prove his superiority as a speaker, not by trying to intimidate those who are to follow him in debate, but by fair argument; and the wise city ought not to give increased honour to her best counsellor, any more than she will deprive him of that which he has; while he whose proposal is rejected not only ought to receive no punishment, but should be free from all reproach. Then he who succeeds will not say pleasant things contrary to his better judgment in order to gain a still higher place in popular favour, and he who fails will not be striving to attract the multitude to himself by like compliances.

'But we take an opposite course; and still worse. Even when we know a man to be giving the wisest counsel, a suspicion of corruption is set on foot; and from a jealousy which is perhaps groundless we allow the state to lose an undeniable advantage. It has come to this, that the best advice when offered in plain terms is as much distrusted as the worst; and not only he who wishes to lead the multitude into the most dangerous courses must deceive them, but he who speaks in the cause of right must make himself believed by lying. In this city, and in this city only, to do good openly and without deception is impossible, because you are too clever; and, when a man confers an unmistakeable benefit on you, he is rewarded by a suspicion that, in some underhand manner, he gets more than he gives. But, whatever you may suspect,31 when great interests are at stake, we who advise ought to look further and weigh our words more carefully than you whose vision is limited. And you should remember that we are accountable for our advice to you, but you who listen are accountable to nobody. If he who gave and he who followed evil counsel suffered equally, you would be more reasonable in your ideas; but now, whenever you meet with a reverse, led away by the passion of the moment you punish the individual who is your adviser for his error of judgment, and your own error you condone, if the judgments of many concurred in it.

'I do not come forward either as an advocate of the Mytilenaeans or as their accuser; the question for us rightly considered is not, what are their crimes? but, what is for our interest? If I prove them ever so guilty, I will not on that account bid you put them to death, unless it is expedient. Neither, if perchance there be some degree of excuse for them, would I have you spare them, unless it be clearly for the good of the state. For I conceive that we are now concerned, not with the present, but with the future. When Cleon insists that the infliction of death will be expedient and will secure you against revolt in time to come, I, like him taking the ground of future expediency, stoutly maintain the contrary position; and I would not have you be misled by the apparent fairness of his proposal, and reject the solid advantages of mine. You are angry with the Mytilenaeans, and the superior justice of his argument may for the moment attract you; but we are not at law with them, and do not want to be told what is just; we are considering a question of policy, and desire to know how we can turn them to account.

'To many offences less than theirs states have affixed the punishment of death; nevertheless, excited by hope, men still risk their lives. No one when venturing on a perilous enterprise ever yet passed a sentence of failure on himself. And what city when entering on a revolt ever imagined that the power which she had, whether her own or obtained from her allies, did not justify the attempt? All are by nature prone to err both in public and in private life, and no law will prevent them. Men have gone through the whole catalogue of penalties in the hope that, by increasing their severity, they may suffer less at the hands of evil-doers. In early ages the punishments, even of the worst offences, would naturally be milder; but as time went on and mankind continued to transgress, they seldom stopped short of death. And still there are transgressors. Some greater terror then has yet to be discovered; certainly death is no deterrent. For poverty inspires necessity with daring; and wealth engenders avarice in pride and insolence; and the various conditions of human life, as they severally fall under the sway of some mighty and fatal power, lure men through their passions to destruction. Desire and hope are never wanting, the one leading, the other following, the one devising the enterprise, the other suggesting that fortune will be kind; and they are the most ruinous, for, being unseen, they far outweigh the dangers which are seen. Fortune too assists the illusion, for she often presents herself unexpectedly, and induces states as well as individuals to run into peril, however inadequate their means; and states even more than individuals, because they are throwing for a higher stake, freedom or empire, and because when a man has a whole people acting with him,32 he magnifies himself out of all reason. In a word then, it is impossible and simply absurd to suppose that human nature when bent upon some favourite project can be restrained either by the strength of law or by any other terror.

'We ought not therefore to act hastily out of a mistaken reliance on the security which the penalty of death affords. Nor should we drive our rebellious subjects to despair; they must not think that there is no place for repentance, or that they may not at any moment give up their mistaken policy. Consider: at present, although a city may actually have revolted, when she becomes conscious of her weakness she will capitulate while still able to defray the cost of the war and to pay tribute for the future; but if we are too severe, will not the citizens make better preparations, and, when besieged, resist to the last, knowing that it is all the same whether they come to terms early or late? Shall not we ourselves suffer? For we shall waste our money by sitting down before a city which refuses to surrender; when the place is taken it will be a mere wreck, and we shall in future lose the revenues derived from it;33 and in these revenues lies our military strength. Do not then weigh offences with the severity of a judge, when you will only be injuring yourselves, but have an eye to the future; let the penalties which you impose on rebellious cities be moderate, and then their wealth will be undiminished and at your service. Do not hope to find a safeguard in the severity of your laws, but only in the vigilance of your administration. At present we do just the opposite; a free people under a strong government will always revolt in the hope of independence; and when we have put them down we think that they cannot be punished too severely. But instead of inflicting extreme penalties on free men who revolt, we should practise extreme vigilance before they revolt, and never allow such a thought to enter their minds. When however they have been once put down we ought to extenuate their crimes as much as possible.

'Think of another great error into which you would fall if you listened to Cleon. At present the popular party are everywhere our friends; either they do not join with the oligarchs, or, if compelled to do so, they are always ready to turn against the authors of the revolt; and so in going to war with a rebellious state you have the multitude on your side. But, if you destroy the people of Mytilenè who took no part in the revolt, and who voluntarily surrendered the city as soon as they got arms into their hands; in the first place they were your benefactors, and to slay them would be a crime; in the second place you will play into the hands of the oligarchic parties, who henceforward, in fomenting a revolt, will at once have the people on their side; for you will have proclaimed to all that the innocent and the guilty will share the same fate. Even if they were guilty you should wink at their conduct, and not allow the only friends whom you have left to be converted into enemies. Far more conducive to the maintenance of our empire would it be to suffer wrong willingly, than for the sake of justice to put to death those whom we had better spare. Cleon may speak of a punishment which is just and also expedient, but you will find that, in any proposal like his, the two cannot be combined.

'Assured then that what I advise is for the best, and yielding neither to pity nor to lenity, for I am as unwilling as Cleon can be that you should be influenced by any such motives, but simply weighing the arguments which I have urged, accede to my proposal: Pass sentence at your leisure on the Mytilenaeans whom Paches, deeming them guilty, has sent hither; but leave the rest of the inhabitants where they are. This will be good policy for the future, and will strike present terror into your enemies. For wise counsel is really more formidable to an enemy than the severity of unreasoning violence.'

Thus spoke Diodotus, and such were the proposals on either side which most nearly represented the opposing parties. In spite of the reaction there was a struggle between the two opinions; the show of hands was very near, but the motion of Diodotus prevailed. The Athenians instantly despatched another trireme, hoping that, if the second could overtake the first,34 which had a start of about twenty-four hours, it might be in time to save the city. The Mytilenaean envoys provided wine and barley for the crew, and promised them great rewards if they arrived first. And such was their energy that they continued rowing whilst they ate their barley, kneaded with wine and oil, and slept and rowed by turns. Fortunately no adverse wind sprang up, and, the first of the two ships sailing in no great hurry on her untoward errand, and the second hastening as I have described, the one did indeed arrive sooner than the other, but not much sooner. Paches had read the decree and was about to put it into execution, when the second appeared and arrested the fate of the city.

So near was Mytilenè to destruction.

The captives whom Paches had sent to Athens as being the most guilty numbered about a thousand, or rather more;35 these the Athenians, upon the motion of Cleon, put to death. They razed the walls of the Mytilenaeans and took away their fleet. Then, instead of imposing tribute on them, they divided the whole island, exclusive of the territory of Methymna, into three thousand portions, of which they dedicated three hundred to the Gods; the remainder they let out to cleruchi36 taken from their own citizens, whom they chose by lot and sent to Lesbos. The Lesbians undertook to pay them a yearly rent of two minae37 for each portion and cultivated the land themselves. The Athenians also took possession of the towns on the continent which the Mytilenaeans held,38 and these henceforward were subject to Athens.

Thus ended the revolt of Lesbos.

During the same summer, after the recovery of Lesbos, the Athenians, under the command of Nicias the son of Niceratus, made an expedition against the island of Minoa, which lies in front of Megara; the Megarians had built a fort there and used the island as a military station. But Nicias wanted the Athenians to keep a watch over Megara, not as hitherto from Budorum in Salamis, but from this spot, which was nearer, the Peloponnesians would then be no longer able to send out triremes, as they had already done on one occasion,39 or privateers from the harbour unobserved, and nothing could be brought in by sea to Megara. First of all he took two projecting towers on the side of the island towards Nisaea40 by the help of engines from the sea, and, having thus freed a way into the channel dividing Minoa from the coast of Megara, he fortified the point nearest the mainland, where, by a bridge through a lagoon, aid could be brought by the enemy to the island, lying as it did at that point close to the shore. The work was completed in a few days. Nicias then proceeded to build a fort on the island, and, leaving a garrison, returned with the rest of his army.

In this summer and about the same time the Plataeans, who had exhausted their food and could no longer hold out, capitulated to the Peloponnesians. The enemy had assaulted their wall and they were unable to defend themselves. But the Lacedaemonian commander knew their weakness, and was desirous that the place should be surrendered and not stormed; he had instructions from home to this effect, the intention being that if some day a treaty of peace were concluded, and both parties agreed to give up all the places which they had taken by force of arms,41 Plataea might be excepted on the ground that the inhabitants had come to terms of their own accord. So he sent a herald to enquire whether they would surrender the place to the Lacedaemonians and submit to their decision; the guilty were to be punished, but no one without a just cause. The Plataeans, now in the last stage of weakness, surrendered the city; and for a few days, until the five men who were appointed judges came from Lacedaemon, the Peloponnesians supplied them with food. On the arrival of the judges no accusation was brought against them; they were simply asked one by one, Whether they had done any kind of service to the Lacedaemonians or to their allies in the present war. Before making their reply they requested leave to speak at length, and appointed two of their number, Astymachus the son of Asopolaus, and Lacon the son of Aeimnestus, who was the Lacedaemonian proxenus, to be their advocates. They came forward and spoke as follows:--

'Men of Lacedaemon, we surrendered our city because we had confidence in you; we were under the impression that the trial to which we submitted would be legal, and of a very different kind from this; and when we accepted you and you alone to be our judges, which indeed you are, we thought that at your hands we had the best hope of obtaining justice. But we fear that we are doubly mistaken, having too much reason to suspect that in this trial our lives are at stake, and that you will turn out to be partial judges. So we must infer, because no accusation has been preferred against us calling for a defence, but we speak at our own request; and because your question is a short one, to which the answer, if true, condemns us, and, if false, is exposed at once. In the extremity of our helplessness, our only and our safest course is to say something, whatever may be our fate; for men in our condition are sure to reproach themselves with their silence, and to fancy that the unuttered word, if spoken, would have saved them.

'But by what arguments can we ever convince you? If we were unacquainted with one another we might with advantage adduce in evidence matters of which you were ignorant, but now you know all that we can say; and we are afraid, not that we are criminals in your eyes because you have decided that we fall short of your own standard of virtue,42 but that we are being sacrificed to please others, and that the cause which we plead is already prejudged.

'Still we may urge our claims of justice against our Theban enemies, and our claims of gratitude upon you and the other Hellenes; the recollection of our good deeds may perhaps move you. To your short question, "Whether in this war we have done any service to the Lacedaemonians and their allies," we reply that "if we are enemies you are not wronged, because you have received no good from us; and if you deem us friends, you who have made war upon us, and not we, are to blame." During the late peace and in the Persian War our conduct was irreproachable; we were not the first to violate the peace, and we were the only Boeotians who took part in repelling the Persian invader and in the liberation of Hellas. Although we are an inland city, we joined in the sea-fight off Artemisium; we were at your side when you fought in our land under Pausanias, and, whatever dangers the Hellenes underwent in those days, we took a share beyond our strength in all of them. And you, Lacedaemonians, more especially should remember how at the time when Sparta was panic-stricken by the rebellion of the Helots, who seized Ithomè after the earthquake,43 we sent a third part of our own citizens to your aid; these are things not to be forgotten.

'Such was the spirit which animated us in the great days of old; not until later did we become your enemies, and that was originally your own fault. For when we sought your help against the violence of the Thebans, you had rejected us and had bade us turn to the Athenians, who were near, whereas you were at a distance. Yet even in this war you have neither suffered nor were ever likely to suffer anything very atrocious at our hands. If we refused to revolt from the Athenians at your bidding, we were quite right; for they assisted us against the Thebans when you shrank from the task; and after this it would have been dishonourable to betray them. They had been our benefactors; we had been at our own request admitted to their alliance, and we shared the rights of citizenship with them. How could we refuse to respond loyally to their call? When you or they in the exercise of your supremacy have acted, it may be, wrongly and led your allies into evil courses, the leaders and not the followers are to be blamed.

'The Thebans have inflicted many injuries upon us, and their latest crime, as you are well aware, is the cause of our present misfortunes. They came not only in time of peace, but at a holy season and attempted to seize our city; we righteously and in accordance with univeral law defended ourselves and punished the aggressor; and there is no reason why we should now suffer for their satisfaction. If you take your own present advantage and their present hatred to be the measure of justice, you will prove yourselves, not upright and impartial judges, but the slaves of expediency. The Thebans may appear serviceable now, but of far greater service to you were we and the other Hellenes when you were in far greater danger. For now you invade and menace others, but in those days the Barbarian was threatening to enslave us all, and they were on his side. May we not fairly set our former patriotism against our present offence, if indeed we have offended? You will find that the one more than outweighs the other; for our service to you was performed at a time when very few Hellenes opposed their courage to the power of Xerxes; they were then held in honour, not who, looking to their own advantage, made terms with the invader44 and were safe, but who, in the face of danger, dared the better part. Of that number were we, and there was a time when we received the highest honour at your hands, but now we fear that these same principles, which have led us to prefer a just alliance with the Athenians to an interested alliance with you, will be our destruction. Yet when men have been consistent in their conduct, others should show themselves consistent in their judgment of it.45 For true expediency is only this--to have an enduring sense of gratitude towards good allies for their services, while we46 do not neglect our own immediate interest.

'Consider, before you act, that hitherto you have been generally esteemed among Hellenes to be a pattern of nobility; if you decide unjustly (and this judgment cannot be hidden, for you, the judges, are famous, and we, who are judged by you, are of good repute), mankind will be indignant at the strange and disgraceful sentence which will have been passed against good men by men still better.47 They will not endure to see spoils taken from us, the benefactors of Hellas, dedicated by our enemies in the common temples. Will it not be deemed a monstrous thing that the Lacedaemonians should desolate Plataea; that they, whose fathers inscribed the name of the city on the tripod at Delphi in token of her valour,48 should for the sake of the Thebans blot out the whole people from the Hellenic world? For to this we have come at last. When the Persians conquered our land, we were all but ruined; and now, when we plead before you, who were once our dearest friends, the Thebans have prevailed against us. We have had to meet two terrible trials, the danger first of starvation, if we had not given up the city; and secondly, of condemnation to death. The Plataeans, who were zealous in the cause of Hellas even beyond their strength, are now friendless, spurned and rejected by all. None of our old allies will help us, and we fear that you, O Lacedaemonians, our only hope, are not to be depended upon.

'Yet once more for the sake of those Gods in whose name we made a league of old, and for our services to the cause of Hellas, relent and change your minds, if the Thebans have at all influenced you: in return for the wicked request which they make of you, ask of them the righteous boon that you should not slay us to your own dishonour.49 Do not bring upon yourselves an evil name merely to gratify others. For, although you may quickly take our lives, you will not so easily obliterate the infamy of the deed. We are not enemies whom you might justly punish, but friends who were compelled to go to war with you; and therefore piety demands that you should spare our lives. Before you pass judgment, consider that we surrendered ourselves, and stretched out our hands to you; the custom of Hellas does not allow the suppliant to be put to death. Remember too that we have ever been your benefactors: Cast your eyes upon the sepulchres of your fathers slain by the Persians and buried in our land, whom we have honoured by a yearly public offering of garments, and other customary gifts. We were their friends, and we gave them the first fruits in their season of that friendly land in which they rest; we were their allies too, who in times past had fought at their side; and if you now pass an unjust sentence, will not your conduct strangely contrast with ours? Reflect: when Pausanias buried them here, he thought that he was laying them among friends and in friendly earth. But if you put us to death, and make Plataea one with Thebes, are you not robbing your fathers and kindred of the honour which they enjoy, and leaving them in a hostile land inhabited by their murderers? Nay more, you will enslave the land in which the Hellenes won their liberty; you bring desolation upon the temples in which they prayed when they conquered the Persians; and you will take away the sacrifices which our fathers instituted from the city which ordained and established them.

'These things, O Lacedaemonians, would not be for your honour. They would be an offence against the common feeling of Hellas and against your ancestors. You should be ashamed to put us to death, who are your benefactors and have never done you any wrong, in order that you may gratify the enmity of another. Spare us, and let your heart be softened towards us; be wise, and have mercy upon us, considering not only how terrible will be our fate, but who the sufferers are; think too of the uncertainty of fortune, which may strike any one how ever innocent. We implore you, as is becoming and natural in our hour of need, by the Gods whom the Hellenes worship at common altars, to listen to our prayers. We appeal to the oaths which your fathers swore, and entreat you not to forget them. We kneel at your fathers' tombs, and we call upon the dead not to let us be betrayed into the hands of the Thebans, their dearest friends to their bitterest enemies. We remind you of the day on which we shared in their glorious deeds--we who on this day are in danger of meeting a fearful doom. And now we say no more; to men in our case, though we must, there is nothing harder than to make an end; for with the end comes the decisive hour. Our last word is that we did not surrender Plataea to the Thebans,--far rather would we have perished from hunger, the most miserable of deaths,--but to you, in whom we trusted, and, if you will not listen to us, you ought at least to replace us in the same position, and allow us to choose our destiny, whatever it may be. We adjure you not to deliver us, the Plataeans, who were so loyal to the cause of Hellas, and who are now suppliants to you, O Lacedaemonians, out of your own hands and your own good faith, into the hands of the Thebans, our worst enemies. Be our saviours. You are liberating the other Hellenes; do not destroy us.'

Such were the words of the Plataeans; whereupon the Thebans, fearing that the Lacedaemonians might give way, came forward and said that since, against their judgment, the Plataeans had been allowed, instead of answering the question, to make a long defence, they too wished to speak. Permission was granted, and they spoke as follows:

'We should never have asked to speak, if the Plataeans had briefly answered the question which was put to them,50 and had not turned upon us and arraigned us while they made a long and irrelevant defence of their own doings, excusing themselves from charges which nobody brought against them, and praising what nobody blamed. We must answer their accusations of us, and look a little closely into their glorification of themselves, that neither our baseness nor their superior reputation may benefit them, and that, before you judge, you may hear the truth both about us and them. Our quarrel with them arose thus:--Some time after our first occupation of Boeotia51 we settled Plataea and other places, out of which we drove a mixed multitude. But the Plataeans refused to acknowledge our leadership according to the original agreement, and, separating themselves from the other Boeotians, deserted the traditions of their ancestors. When force was applied to them they went over to the Athenians, and, assisted by them, did us a great deal of mischief; and we retaliated.

'They say that when the Barbarian invaded Hellas they were the only Boeotians who did not join the Persian; and this is their great glory, and our great reproach. But we say that if they did not side with Persians, it was only because the Athenians did not; and on the same principle, they alone of all the Boeotians afterwards sided with the Athenians when the liberties of Hellas were attacked by them. But, consider how different were the circumstances in which we and they acted. In those days our state was not governed by an oligarchy which granted equal justice to all, nor yet by a democracy; the power was in the hands of a small cabal, than which nothing is more opposed to law or to true political order, or more nearly resembles a tyranny. The rulers of the state, hoping to strengthen their private interest if the Persian won, kept the people down and brought him in. The city at large, when she acted thus, was not her own mistress; and she cannot be fairly blamed for an error which she committed when she had no constitution. After the Persian departed and she obtained a constitution, you may see how we fought against the Athenians when they became aggressive and endeavoured to subjugate us as well as the rest of Hellas. Owing to our divisions they actually conquered the greater part of the country; but we defeated them at Coronea, and liberated Boeotia;52 and at this moment we are zealously co-operating in the liberation of Hellas, providing cavalry and munitions of war more largely than any of the allies. Thus much in answer to the charge respecting our Persian tendencies.

'And now we will proceed to show that you, and not we, have done the greater wrong to Hellas, and are deserving of every sort of punishment. You say that you became allies and citizens of Athens in order that you might be protected against us. If so, you ought to have invited their aid only against us, and not to have assisted them in their attacks upon others; such a course was certainly open to you: even if you had been in some degree constrained against your will by the Athenians, you had previously made the alliance with the Lacedaemonians against the Persians, to which you are so fond of appealing. That alliance would at any rate have restrained our hands, and above all would have secured to you freedom of deliberation. But you acted willingly, and were no longer under compulsion when you made common cause with the Athenians. Your allegation is that they were your benefactors and that you could not honourably betray them; but how far more dishonourable and wicked to betray all the Hellenes with whom you had sworn alliance, than the Athenians only, the one the liberators, the other the enslavers of Hellas! The return which you made to them is unequal, nay, infamous; you say that you invited them to assist you because you were wronged, and then you became their accomplices in wronging others. Surely ingratitude is shown in refusing to return an honourable kindness, when it can be done honourably, not in refusing to return a kindness which, however justly due, cannot be repaid without a crime.

'You have thus made it plain that, when you alone among the Boeotians refused to join the Persian cause, this was not out of any love for Hellas, but because the Athenians did not;53 and that you wanted to act with them and not with us; and now you claim the benefit of the virtue which others inspired in you. But this is not reasonable; having once chosen the Athenians, fight on their side, and do not at the last moment be saying that the old alliance ought to save you. For you have abandoned it, and by the violation of it, instead of striving to prevent, have aided in the enslavement of the Aeginetans and of other members of the alliance. And you were not, like us, under compulsion, but free, living under your ancient laws. Moreover, you persisted in refusing that last offer of peace and neutrality which we made to you before the siege began.54 Who more thoroughly than you deserve the hatred of the Hellenes? than you who have only displayed your virtues to their injury? You have given proof that the merit which you claim for your former actions does not properly belong to you! Your true nature and constant desire are now revealed in the light of day; for you have followed the Athenians in the path of injustice. Thus much we have to say as to our involuntary dealings with the Persians, and your voluntary dealings with the Athenians.

'The last offence which you lay to our charge is that we unlawfully assailed your city in time of peace, and at a holy season; even in that affair we do not think ourselves more in fault than you. We do not deny that we were wrong if of our own mere motion we went to your city, fought with you, and ravaged your land. But when certain of the noblest and richest of your citizens, who wished to withdraw you from a foreign alliance and to bring you back to the national institutions of Boeotia, came and invited us, wherein are we to blame? As you say yourselves, the leaders rather than the followers are the transgressors.55 But in our opinion, neither we nor they were really guilty. Like yourselves they were citizens, and they had a greater stake in the country than you have; they opened their own gates and received us into their native city, not as her enemies but as her friends. They desired that the bad among you should not grow worse, and that the good should have their reward. They wanted to reform the principles of your citizens, and not to banish their persons; they would have brought them back into a natural union with their kindred, that Plataea might be at peace with all and the enemy of none.

'And the proof that we acted in no hostile spirit is that we did no harm to any one, but made a proclamation that whoever wished to live under the national institutions of Boeotia should join us. You came to us gladly, and, entering into an agreement, for a time offered no opposition; but afterwards, when you discovered that we were few, you turned upon us. Even allowing that we did act somewhat inconsiderately in entering your town without the consent of your whole people, still how different was your conduct and ours! For if you had followed our example you would have used no violence, but thought only of getting us out by persuasion, whereas you broke the agreement and attacked us. Now we do not so much complain of the fate of those whom you slew in battle--for they indeed suffered by a kind of law --but there were others who stretched out their hands to you; and although you gave them quarter, and then promised to us that you would spare them, in utter defiance of law you took their lives--was not that a cruel act? Here are three crimes which you committed within a few hours; the breach of the agreement, the slaughter of the prisoners which followed, and the lying promise which you made to us that you would not slay them if we did no injury to your property in the fields; and yet you insist that we are the criminals, and that you ought to be acquitted. Not so; if the Lacedaemonians give just judgment: but for all these offences you shall suffer.

'We have entered into particulars, Lacedaemonians, both for your sakes and for our own, that you may know the sentence which you are going to pass on them to be just, and still more righteous the vengeance which we have taken. Do not let your hearts be softened by tales about their ancient virtues, if they had any; such virtues might plead for the injured, but should bring a double penalty56 on the authors of a base deed, because they are false to their own character. Let them gain nothing by their pitiful lamentations, or by appealing to your fathers' tombs and their own desolate condition. We tell you that a far sadder fate was inflicted by them on our murdered youth, of whose fathers some fell at Coronea in the act of bringing Boeotia to join you, while others are left in their old age by their solitary hearths, and entreat you, with far better reason, to punish the Plataeans. Men who suffer an unworthy fate are indeed to be pitied, but there should be joy over those who suffer justly, as these do. For their present desolation they may thank themselves; they might have chosen the worthier alliance, but they wilfully renounced it. They sinned against us though we had never injured them; the spirit of hatred and not of justice possessed them, and even now they are not punished half enough. For they are going to suffer by a lawful sentence, not, as they pretend, stretching out their suppliant hands on the field of battle, but delivering themselves up to justice under the terms of a capitulation. Maintain then, Lacedaemonians, the common Hellenic law which they have outraged, and give to us, who have suffered contrary to law, the just recompense of our zeal in your cause. Do not be moved by their words to spurn and reject us,57 but show Hellas by example that, when a cause is tried at your tribunal, deeds and not words will prevail. If the deeds be good, a brief statement of them is enough; if they be evil, speeches full of fine sentiments do but veil them. If all persons in authority were like you, and would sum up a case in a short question, and pass sentence upon all the offenders at once, men would be less tempted to seek out fair words in order to excuse foul deeds.'

Thus spoke the Thebans. The Lacedaemonian judges thought that no objection could be made to their question, whether the Plataeans had done them any service in the war. For they pretended to have expected neutrality from them in the times before the war, on the strength of the original treaty concluded with Pausanias after the defeat of the Persians. And just before the siege they had made to them a proposal58 of neutrality in accordance with the terms of the same treaty; but the Plataeans had refused. Considering that they had been wronged by them, after their own fair proposals had released them from the obligations of the treaty, they again brought up the Plataeans one after another, and asked each of them separately, Whether he had done any service to the Lacedaemonians and their allies in the war? When he said No, they took him away and slew him; no one was spared. They put to death not less than two hundred Plataeans, as well as twenty-five Athenians who had shared with them in the siege; and made slaves of the women. For about a year the Thebans gave possession of the city to certain Megarians, who had been driven out by a revolution,59 and to any surviving Plataeans who were of their own party; but they afterwards razed the whole place to the very foundations, and built near the precinct of Herè an inn forming a square of two hundred feet; it had two stories, and chambers all round. They used the roofs and the doors of the Plataeans; and of the brass and iron articles of furniture found within the walls they made couches, which they dedicated to Herè; they also built in her honour a stone temple a hundred feet long. The Plataean territory they converted into public land, and let it out for terms of ten years; some of their own citizens occupied it. Throughout the whole affair the severity shown by the Lacedaemonians to the Plataeans was mainly promoted by a desire to gratify the Thebans, who seemed likely to be useful allies to them in the war then just beginning. Such was the fate of Plataea, which was overthrown in the ninety-third year after the Plataeans entered into alliance with Athens.60

The forty Peloponnesian ships which had been sent to the aid of Lesbos, as they fled through the open sea pursued bythe Athenians,61 were caught in a storm near Crete, and, making their way in a straggling condition from Crete to the Peloponnesus, found at Cyllene thirteen Leucadian and Ambraciot triremes, and Brasidas the son of Tellis, who had been sent out as a commissioner to advise Alcidas. The Lacedaemonians at home, after the failure of their attempt on Lesbos, had determined to increase their navy and sail to Corcyra, which was in a state of revolution. The Athenian squadron at Naupactus consisted of twelve ships only, and the Lacedaemonians wanted to reach the island before any more vessels could arrive from Athens. Brasidas and Alcidas made their preparations accordingly.

Now Corcyra had been in an unsettled state ever since the return of the prisoners who were taken at sea in the Epidamnian war,62 and afterwards released by the Corinthians. They were nominally let out on bail for a sum of eight hundred talents63 on the security of their proxeni, but in reality they had been induced to try and gain over Corcyra to the Corinthian interest. They went from one citizen to another, and did their best with them to bring about a revolt from Athens. On the arrival of an Athenian and also of a Corinthian vessel conveying ambassadors, there was a discussion in the assembly, and the Corcyraeans voted that they would continue allies of Athens according to their agreement,64 but would renew their former friendship with the Peloponnesians. A certain Peithias, who voluntarily acted as the proxenus of the Athenians and was the popular leader, was summoned by the partisans of the Peloponnesians to take his trial, they affirming that he wanted to bring Corcyra under the yoke of Athens. He was acquitted, and then he in turn summoned their five richest men, declaring that they were in the habit of cutting poles for vines in the sacred precinct of Zeus and Alcinous; now for each pole the penalty was fixed at a stater.65 They were condemned; but the fine was so excessive that they went and sat as suppliants in the temple of Zeus and Alcinous, begging that they might pay the money by instalments. Peithias, who happened to be a member of the senate as well as the popular leader, persuaded the senators to put the law in execution. The culprits, knowing that the law was against them, and perceiving that Peithias as long as he remained in the senate would try to induce the people66 to make an alliance offensive and defensive with Athens, conspired together, and, rushing into the council chamber with daggers in their hands, slew him and others to the number of sixty, as well private persons as senators. A few who were of the same party with him took refuge in the Athenian trireme, which had not yet left.

The next step taken by the conspirators was to assemble the people and tell them that they had acted for the best, and in order to secure them against the tyranny of Athens. For the future they should receive neither Athenians nor Peloponnesians, unless they came peaceably with one ship; to bring more should be deemed the act of an enemy; and this proposal they compelled the people to ratify. They also sent envoys to Athens, who were to put the most favourable colour on the affair, and to dissuade the refugees who had fled thither from taking any inconvenient step which might lead to a counter-revolution.

When the envoys arrived, the Athenians arrested them as disturbers of the peace, and deposited them in Aegina, together with any of the refugees whom they had gained over. In the meantime, the Corcyraean oligarchs who were now in power, on the arrival of a Corinthian trireme and Lacedaemonian envoys, attacked and defeated the people, who at nightfall took refuge in the Acropolis and the higher parts of the city, and there concentrated their forces. They also held the Hyllaic harbour; the other party seized the Agora, where most of them lived, and the adjacent harbour which looked towards the continent.

On the following day they skirmished a little, and both parties sent messengers round the country inviting the slaves to join them, and promising them liberty; the greater number came to the aid of the people, while the other faction was reinforced by eight hundred auxiliaries from the mainland.

After resting a day they fought again, and the people, who had the advantage in numbers and in the strength of their positions, gained the victory. Their women joined vigorously in the fray, hurling tiles from the housetops, and showing amid the uproar a fortitude beyond their sex. The conflict was decided towards evening; the oligarchy, fearing lest the people should take the arsenal with a sudden rush and so make an end of them, set fire to the private houses which surrounded the Agora, as well as to the larger blocks of buildings, sparing neither their own property nor that of any one else in their determination to stop them. Much merchandise was burnt, and the whole city would have been destroyed if the wind had carried the flame in that direction. Both parties now left off fighting, and kept watch in their own positions during the night. When the popular cause triumphed, the Corinthian vessel stole away and most of the auxiliaries crossed over unobserved to the continent.

On the following day, Nicostratus the son of Diitrephes, an Athenian general, arrived from Naupactus with twelve ships and five hundred Messenian hoplites. He tried to effect a reconciliation between the two parties, and on his suggestion they agreed to bring to trial ten of the most guilty persons, who immediately fled. The rest were to live together, and to make peace with one another, and with Athens an alliance offensive and defensive. Having accomplished his purpose he was about to sail away, when the leaders of the people induced him to leave five of his own vessels, that the enemy might be less inclined to stir, promising to man five ships of their own and send them with him. He agreed, and they selected the crews of the ships out of the opposite faction. But the men were afraid of being sent to Athens, and sat as suppliants in the temple of the Dioscuri. Nicostratus sought to raise them up and reassure them, but they would not trust him; whereupon the people armed themselves, arguing that their mistrust and unwillingness to sail was a proof of their evil designs. They took their enemies' arms out of their houses, and some of them whom they chanced to meet would have been slain if Nicostratus had not interfered. The rest, to the number of about four hundred, when they saw what was going on, took refuge afresh in the temple of Herè. But the people, fearing that they would resort to violence, persuaded them to rise and conveyed them at once to the island that lies in front of the temple of Herè, whither provisions were regularly sent to them.

At this stage of the revolution, on the fourth or fifth day after the suppliants had been conveyed to the island, the Peloponnesian ships from Cyllene, which since the expedition to Ionia had been in harbour there,67 arrived on the scene, fifty-three in number, still under the command of Alcidas. Brasidas his adviser was on board. They anchored for the night at Sybota, a harbour on the mainland, and when the morning broke they sailed upon Corcyra.

The whole place was in an uproar; the people dreaded their enemies within the city no less than the Peloponnesian fleet. They hastened to equip sixty ships, and as fast as they were manned sent them out against the Peloponnesians, although the Athenians entreated to be allowed to sail out first, leaving them to follow as soon as they had got their fleet together. But when in this straggling fashion their ships approached the enemy, two of them at once deserted; in others the crews were fighting with one another, and everything was in disorder. The Peloponnesians, seeing the confusion, employed twenty ships only against the Corcyraeans, and opposed the remainder of their fleet to the twelve Athenian ships, of which two were the Salaminia and Paralus.

The Corcyraeans, coming up few at a time and in this disorderly fashion, had trouble enough among themselves. The Athenians, afraid of being surrounded by superior numbers, did not attack the main body nor the centre of those opposed to them, but fell upon the wings and sank a single ship; then, the enemy forming in a circle, they sailed round them and endeavoured to throw them into confusion. But those who were opposed to the Corcyraeans, seeing this movement and fearing a repetition of what happened at Naupactus,68 came to the rescue, and the united fleet charged the Athenians. Thereupon they rowed astern, hoping that by retreating very leisurely they might give the Corcyraeans time to escape, especially as the attack of the enemy was now directed against themselves. The naval engagement ended at sunset.

The Corcyraeans, who were afraid that the victorious enemy would sail to the city and have recourse to some decisive measure, such as taking on board the prisoners in the island, conveyed them back to the temple of Herè and guarded the city. But the Peloponnesians, although they had won the battle, did not venture to attack the city, but returned to their station on the mainland with thirteen Corcyraean ships which they had taken. On the next day they still hesitated, although there was great panic and confusion among the inhabitants. It is said that Brasidas advised Alcidas to make the attempt, but he had not an equal vote with him. So they only disembarked at the promontory of Leucimnè and ravaged the country.

Meanwhile the people of Corcyra, dreading that the fleet of the Peloponnesians would attack them, held a parley with the other faction, especially with the suppliants, in the hope of saving the city; they even persuaded some of them to go on board the fleet; for the Corcyraeans still contrived to man thirty ships. But the Peloponnesians, after devastating the land till about midday, retired. And at nightfall the approach of sixty Athenian vessels was signalled to them from Leucas. These had been sent by the Athenians under the command of Eurymedon the son of Thucles, when they heard of the revolution and of the intended expedition of Alcidas to Corcyra.

The Peloponnesians set out that very night on their way home, keeping close to the land, and transporting the ships over the Leucadian isthmus, that they might not be seen sailing round.69 When the Corcyraeans perceived that the Athenian fleet was appoaching, while that of the enemy had disappeared, they took the Messenian troops, who had hitherto been outside the walls, into the city, and ordered the ships which they had manned to sail round into the Hyllaic harbour. These proceeded on their way. Meanwhile they killed any of their enemies whom they caught in the city. On the arrival of the ships they disembarked those whom they had induced to go on board, and despatched them;70 they also went to the temple of Herè, and persuading about fifty of the suppliants to stand their trial condemned them all to death. The majority would not come out, and, when they saw what was going on, destroyed one another in the enclosure of the temple where they were, except a few who hung themselves on trees, or put an end to their own lives in any other way which they could. And, during the seven days which Eurymedon after his arrival remained with his sixty ships, the Corcyraeans continued slaughtering those of their fellow-citizens whom they deemed their enemies; they professed to punish them for their designs against the democracy, but in fact some were killed from motives of personal enmity, and some because money was owing to them, by the hands of their debtors. Every form of death was to be seen; and everything, and more than everything, that commonly happens in revolutions, happened then. The father slew the son, and the suppliants were torn from the temples and slain near them; some of them were even walled up in the temple of Dionysus, and there perished. To such extremes of cruelty did revolution go; and this seemed to be the worst of revolutions, because it was the first.

For not long afterwards nearly the whole Hellenic world was in commotion; in every city the chiefs of the democracy and of the oligarchy were struggling, the one to bring in the Athenians, the other the Lacedaemonians. Now in time of peace, men would have had no excuse for introducing either, and no desire to do so; but, when they were at war, the introduction of a foreign alliance on one side or the other to the hurt of their enemies and the advantage of themselves was easily effected by the dissatisfied party.71 And revolution brought upon the cities of Hellas many terrible calamities, such as have been and always will be while human nature remains the same, but which are more or less aggravated and differ in character with every new combination of circumstances. In peace and prosperity both states and individuals are actuated by higher motives, because they do not fall under the dominion of imperious necessities; but war, which takes away the comfortable provision of daily life, is a hard master and tends to assimilate men's characters to their conditions.

When troubles had once begun in the cities, those who followed carried the revolutionary spirit further and further, and determined to outdo the report of all who had preceded them by the ingenuity of their enterprises and the atrocity of their revenges. The meaning of words had no longer the same relation to things, but was changed by them as they thought proper. Reckless daring was held to be loyal courage; prudent delay was the excuse of a coward; moderation was the disguise of unmanly weakness; to know everything was to do nothing. Frantic energy was the true quality of a man. A conspirator who wanted to be safe was a recreant in disguise. The lover of violence was always trusted, and his opponent suspected. He who succeeded in a plot was deemed knowing, but a still greater master in craft was he who detected one. On the other hand, he who plotted from the first to have nothing to do with plots was a breaker up of parties and a poltroon who was afraid of the enemy. In a word, he who could outstrip another in a bad action was applauded, and so was he who encouraged to evil one who had no idea of it. The tie of party was stronger than the tie of blood, because a partisan was more ready to dare without asking why. (For party associations are not based upon any established law, nor do they seek the public good; they are formed in defiance of the laws and from self-interest.) The seal of good faith was not divine law, but fellowship in crime. If an enemy when he was in the ascendant offered fair words, the opposite party received them not in a generous spirit, but by a jealous watchfulness of his actions.72 Revenge was dearer than self-preservation. Any agreements sworn to by either party, when they could do nothing else, were binding as long as both were powerless. But he who on a favourable opportunity first took courage, and struck at his enemy when he saw him off his guard, had greater pleasure in a perfidious than he would have had in an open act of revenge; he congratulated himself that he had taken the safer course, and also that he had overreached his enemy and gained the prize of superior ability. In general the dishonest more easily gain credit for cleverness than the simple for goodness; men take a pride in the one, but are ashamed of the other.

The cause of all these evils was the love of power, originating in avarice and ambition, and the party-spirit which is engendered by them when men are fairly embarked in a contest. For the leaders on either side used specious names, the one party professing to uphold the constitutional equality of the many, the other the wisdom of an aristocracy, while they made the public interests, to which in name they were devoted, in reality their prize. Striving in every way to overcome each other, they committed the most monstrous crimes; yet even these were surpassed by the magnitude of their revenges which they pursued to the very utmost,73 neither party observing any definite limits either of justice or public expediency, but both alike making the caprice of the moment their law. Either by the help of an unrighteous sentence, or grasping power with the strong hand, they were eager to satiate the impatience of party-spirit. Neither faction cared for religion; but any fair pretence which succeeded in effecting some odious purpose was greatly lauded. And the citizens who were of neither party fell a prey to both; either they were disliked because they held aloof, or men were jealous of their surviving.

Thus revolution gave birth to every form of wickedness in Hellas. The simplicity which is so large an element in a noble nature was laughed to scorn and disappeared. An attitude of perfidious antagonism everywhere prevailed; for there was no word binding enough, nor oath terrible enough to reconcile enemies. Each man was strong only in the conviction that nothing was secure; he must look to his own safety, and could not afford to trust others. Inferior intellects generally succeeded best. For, aware of their own deficiencies, and fearing the capacity of their opponents, for whom they were no match in powers of speech, and whose subtle wits were likely to anticipate them in contriving evil, they struck boldly and at once. But the cleverer sort, presuming in their arrogance that they would be aware in time, and disdaining to act when they could think, were taken off their guard and easily destroyed.

Now in Corcyra most of these deeds were perpetrated, and for the first time. There was every crime which men could commit in revenge who had been governed not wisely, but tyrannically, and now had the oppressor at their mercy. There were the dishonest designs of others who were longing to be relieved from their habitual poverty, and were naturally animated by a passionate desire for their neighbour's goods; and there were crimes of another class which men commit, not from covetousness, but from the enmity which equals foster towards one another until they are carried away by their blind rage into the extremes of pitiless cruelty. At such a time the life of the city was all in disorder, and human nature, which is always ready to transgress the laws, having now trampled them underfoot, delighted to show that her passions were ungovernable, that she was stronger than justice, and the enemy of everything above her. If malignity had not exercised a fatal power, how could any one have preferred revenge to piety, and gain to innocence? But, when men are retaliating upon others, they are reckless of the future, and do not hesitate to annul those common laws of humanity to which every individual trusts for his own hope of deliverance should he ever be overtaken by calamity; they forget that in their own hour of need they will look for them in vain.

Such were the passions which the citizens of Corcyra first of all Hellenes displayed towards one another. After the departure of Eurymedon and the Athenian fleet the surviving oligarchs, who to the number of five hundred had escaped, seized certain forts on the mainland, and thus became masters of the territory on the opposite coast which belonged to Corcyra. Thence issuing forth, they plundered the Corcyraeans in the island, and did much harm, so that there was a great famine in the city. They also sent ambassadors to Lacedaemon and Corinth, begging that they might be restored, but, failing of their object, they procured boats and auxiliaries, and passed over to Corcyra about six hundred in all; then, burning their boats, that they might have no hope but in the conquest of the island, they went into Mount Istonè, and building a fort there, became masters of the country to the ruin of the inhabitants of the city.

At the end of the same summer the Athenians sent twenty ships to Sicily under the command of Laches the son of Melanopus, and Charoeades the son of Euphiletus. Syracuse and Leontini were now at war with one another. All the Dorian cities, except Camarina, were in alliance with Syracuse; they were the same which at the beginning of the war were reckoned in the Lacedaemonian confederacy, but they had taken no active part.74 The allies of the Leontines were the Chalcidian cities and Camarina. In Italy the Locrians sided with the Syracusans, and the Rhegians with the Leontines, who were their kinsmen.75 The Leontines and their allies sent to Athens, and on the ground, partly of an old alliance, partly of their Ionian descent, begged the Athenians to send them ships, for they were driven off both sea and land by their Syracusan enemies. The Athenians sent the ships, professedly on the ground of relationship, but in reality because they did not wish the Peloponnesians to obtain corn from Sicily. Moreover they meant to try what prospect they had of getting the affairs of Sicily into their hands. So the commanders of the fleet came to Rhegium in Italy, where they established themselves, and carried on the war in concert with their allies. Thus the summer ended.

In the following winter the plague, which had never entirely disappeared, although abating for a time, again attacked the Athenians. It continued on this second occasion not less than a year, having previously lasted for two years. To the power of Athens certainly nothing was more ruinous; not less than four thousand four hundred Athenian hoplites who were on the roll died, and also three hundred horsemen; how many of the common people could never be ascertained. This too was the time when the frequent earthquakes occurred at Athens, in Euboea, and in Boeotia, especially at Orchomenos.76

During the same winter the Athenians in Sicily and the Rhegians made an expedition with thirty ships against the islands of Aeolus, as they are called, which in summer time cannot be attacked owing to the want of water. These islands belong to the Liparaeans, who are colonists of the Cnidians: they inhabit one of them, which is not large, and is called Lipara; from this they go and cultivate the rest, Didymè, Strongylè, and Hiera. The inhabitants believe that the forge of Hephaestus is in Hiera, because the island sends up a blaze of fire in the night-time and clouds of smoke by day. The Aeolian islands lie off the territory of the Sicels and Messenians; they were in alliance with Syracuse. The Athenians wasted the country, but finding that the inhabitants would not yield, sailed back to Rhegium. And so ended the winter, and with it the fifth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

In the ensuing summer the Peloponnesians and their allies, under the command of Agis the son of Archidamus, the Lacedaemonian king, came as far as the isthmus. They intended to invade Attica, but were deterred from proceeding by numerous earthquakes,77 and no invasion took place in this year. About the time when these earthquakes prevailed, the sea at Orobiae in Euboea, retiring from what was then the line of coast and rising in a great wave, overflowed a part of the city; and although it subsided in some places, yet in others the inundation was permanent, and that which was formerly land is now sea. All the people who could not escape to the high ground perished. A similar inundation occurred in the neighbourhood of Atalantè, an island on the coast of the Opuntian Locri, which carried away a part of the Athenian fort,78 and dashed in pieces one of two ships which were drawn up on the beach. At Peparethus also the sea retired, but no inundation followed; an earthquake, however, overthrew a part of the wall, the Prytaneum, and a few houses. I conceive that, where the force of the earthquake was greatest, the sea was driven back, and the suddenness of the recoil made the inundation more violent; and I am of opinion that this was the cause of the phenomenon, which would never have taken place if there had been no earthquake.

During the same summer war was going on in various parts of Sicily, the Hellenes in Sicily fighting against one another, the Athenians helping their own allies. I will mention the chief actions in which the Athenians took part, whether by the help of their allies attacking, or attacked by their enemies. Charoeades, the Athenian general, had been killed in battle by the Syracusans, and, Laches having taken the entire command of the fleet, he and the allies made an expedition against Mylae, a town belonging to Messenè. Two tribes of the Messenians were keeping guard there, and they had set an ambuscade for the force which they were expecting to land; but the Athenians and their allies put to flight with heavy loss the troops which came out of the ambush. Then, attacking the fortress, they compelled its defenders to come to terms, surrender the citadel, and march with them against Messenè. Finally, upon the approach of the Athenians and their allies, the Messenians themselves came to terms, giving hostages and the other pledges which were required of them.

In the same summer the Athenians sent thirty ships round the Peloponnese under the command of Demosthenes the son of Alcisthenes, and Procles the son of Theodorus. They also sent sixty ships and two thousand hoplites to Melos, under the command of Nicias the son of Niceratus, wishing to subdue the Melians, who, although they were islanders, resisted them and would not join their alliance.79 So they ravaged their country, but finding that the Melians would not yield, they sailed away to Oropus, opposite Euboea. There they put in at nightfall, and the hoplites disembarking went at once by land to Tanagra in Boeotia. Meanwhile the entire Athenian force, under the command of Hipponicus the son of Callias, and Eurymedon the son of Thucles, upon a signal given marched to meet them at the same spot. There they encamped, and all together devastated the country, remaining at Tanagra during that day and the following night. On the morrow they defeated the Tanagraeans who sallied out upon them, and also some Thebans who had come to their aid; they then took up the arms of the slain, raised a trophy, and returned, the one part of the forces back again to the city, the other to their ships. Nicias with his sixty ships then sailed to the coast of Locris; after ravaging the country he returned home.

About the same time the Lacedaemonians founded Heraclea, their colony in Trachinia. The intention was as follows: The Trachinians are one of the three Melian tribes; the other two being the Paralians and the Hiereans. These Trachinians, having suffered greatly in war from their neighbours the Oetaeans, at first thought of attaching themselves to the Athenians, but, fearing that they could not trust them,80 sent Tisamenus, whom they appointed their envoy, to Lacedaemon. The Dorians, who were the mother state of Lacedaemon, joined in the embassy and also requested help, for they too were suffering from the Oetaeans. The Lacedaemonians heard their appeal, and, being desirous of assisting both the Trachinians and Dorians, made up their minds to send out a colony. They also thought that the situation of the new city would be convenient for carrying on the war against the Athenians. There a navy could be equipped if they wanted to attack Euboea, which was quite near, and the station would be handy for the conveyance of troops to Chalcidicè. For every reason they were eager to colonise the place. First they enquired of the God at Delphi; he bade them go, and they sent out settlers taken from their own citizens and the Perioeci, announcing that any Hellenes who desired, not being of the Ionian, Achaean, or certain other races, might accompany them. The leaders of the colony were three Lacedaemonians, Leon, Alcidas, and Damagon. They set to work and built afresh the walls of the city, which received the name of Heraclea, and is situated about four miles and a half from Thermopylae and a little more than two from the sea. They also constructed docks,81 beginning the works near Thermopylae, at the pass, that the city might be perfectly defended.

While the new colonists were collecting at Heraclea, the Athenians grew alarmed; the scheme appeared to be aimed at Euboea, for Cape Cenaeum on the opposite coast is within a short sail. But their fears were not realised; no harm whatever ensued. The reasons were these: In the first place the Thessalians are strong in that part of the country, and fearing that Heraclea, which was built to control them, would be a powerful and dangerous neighbour, they carried on uninterrupted war against the young colony until they completely wore the settlers out, although originally they had been very numerous. For every one joined without hesitation, encouraged by the promise of security which a Lacedaemonian colony seemed to offer. But another great cause of the ruin and depopulation of the place was the conduct of the governors sent out from Lacedaemon, who frightened the people away by their severe and often unjust administration.82 Thus the Heracleans fell an easy prey to their neighbours.

During the same summer, and just about the same time when the Athenians were engaged at Melos, the troops which were cruising in the thirty Athenian ships83 about Peloponnesus set an ambuscade at Ellomenus in Leucadia and killed a few of the guards of the country. They next attacked Leucas itself with a larger armament, consisting of the Acarnanians, who followed them with their whole forces, all but the inhabitants of Oeniadae,84 and some Zacynthians and Cephallenians, together with fifteen ships from Corcyra. The Leucadians saw their territory both on the mainland and within the isthmus, where the town of Leucas and the temple of Apollo are situated, ravaged by the enemy; but being powerless against a superior force, they remained inactive. The Acarnanians begged Demosthenes, the Athenian general, to cut Leucas off by a wall, thinking that they could easily take the city and so rid themselves of an old enemy. But just then he was persuaded by the Messenians that, having such an army in the field, it would be a great thing to attack the Aetolians: they were the enemies of Naupactus, and if he defeated them he would easily subjugate the adjoining part of the mainland to the Athenians. The Aetolians, they said, though a large and warlike people, dwelt in unwalled villages, which were widely scattered, and as they had only light-armed soldiers, they would be subdued without difficulty before they could combine. They told him that he should first attack the Apodotians, then the Ophioneans, and after them the Eurytanians, The last are the largest tribe of the Aetolians; they speak a dialect more unintelligible than any of their neighbours, and are believed to eat raw flesh. They said that, if he conquered these, the rest would readily come over to him.

He was influenced by his regard for the Messenians, and still more by the consideration that without reinforcements from Athens, and with no other help than that of the allies on the mainland, to whom he hoped to add the Aetolians, he could make his way by land to attack Boeotia. He might proceed through the Ozolian Locri to the Dorian Cytinium, keeping Mount Parnassus on the right, until he came down upon the Phocians. They would probably be eager to join in the expedition because they had always been friendly to Athens, or, if unwilling, they might be coerced; and once in Phocis he would be on the borders of Boeotia. So he left Leucas with all his army, much against the will of the Acarnanians, and sailed to Sollium. He there communicated his design to them, but they would not accompany him because he had refused to blockade Leucas; so with the remainder of his army, which consisted of Cephallenians, Messenians, Zacynthians, and three hundred marines belonging to the Athenian fleet,85 the fifteen Corcyraean vessels having left, he marched against the Aetolians, starting from Oeneon in Locris. The Ozolian Locrians were allies of the Athenians, and they were to meet him with their whole force in the interior of the country. They dwelt on the border of the Aetolians, and as they were armed in a similar manner and knew their country and ways of fighting, their help in the expedition seemed likely to be very valuable.

He encamped the first night at the temple of Nemean Zeus, where the poet Hesiod is said to have been killed by the inhabitants in fulfilment of an oracle which foretold that he should die at Nemea. Early the next morning he proceeded on his march into Aetolia. On the first day he took Potidania, on the second Crocyleium, on the third Teichium. There he stayed and sent back the spoils to Eupalium in Locris. For he did not intend to attack the Ophioneans yet; when he had subjugated the rest of the country he would return to Naupactus and make a second expedition against them if they continued to resist. The Aetolians were aware of his designs from the very first; and no sooner did he enter their territory than they all collected in great force; even the most distant of the Ophioneans, the Bomieans and Callieans who reach down towards the Malian Gulf, came to the aid of their countrymen.

The Messenians repeated the advice which they had originally given to Demosthenes. They assured him that there would be no difficulty in conquering the Aetolians, and told him to march as quickly as he could against the villages. He should not wait until they could combine and meet him with an army, but should endeavour to take any place which was nearest. He, trusting to their advice, and confident in his good fortune since everything was going favourably, did not wait for the Locrians, who should have supplied his deficiency in javelin-men, but at once marched towards Aegitium, which he attacked, and forced his way in. The inhabitants had stolen away and taken up a position on the top of the hills overhanging the town, which was itself built upon heights at a distance of about nine miles from the sea. The other Aetolians, who had by this time come to the rescue of Aegitium, attacked the Athenians and their allies. Some ran down from one hill and some from another and hurled darts at them; when the Athenian army advanced they retired, and when the Athenians retreated they pressed upon them. The battle, which lasted long, was nothing but a series of pursuits and retreats, and in both the Athenians were at a disadvantage.

While their archers had arrows and were able to use them, the Athenians maintained their ground, for the Aetolians, being light-armed, were driven back by the arrows. But at length the captain of the archers was slain, and the forces under his command no longer kept together. The Athenians themselves grew weary of the long and tedious struggle. The Aetolians came closer and closer, and never ceased hurling darts at them. At last they turned and fled, and falling into ravines, out of which there was no way, or losing themselves in a strange country, they perished. Their guide, Chromon the Messenian, had been killed. The Aetolians, who were light-armed and swift of foot, followed at their heels, hurling darts, and caught and slew many of them in the actual rout. The greater number missed their way and got into the woods, out of which no path led; and their enemies brought fire and burnt the wood about them. So the Athenian army tried every means of escape and perished in all manner of ways. The survivors with difficulty made their way to the sea at Oeneon in Locris, whence they had set out. Many of the allies fell, and of the Athenian heavy-armed about a hundred and twenty, all in the flower of their youth; they were the very finest men whom the city of Athens lost during the war. Procles, one of the two generals, was also killed. When they had received the bodies of their dead under a flag of truce from the Aetolians, they retreated to Naupactus, and returned in their ships to Athens. Demosthenes remained behind in Naupactus and the neighbourhood; for, after what had happened, he feared the anger of the Athenians.

About the same time the Athenian forces engaged in Sicily, sailing to the territory of Locri and there disembarking, defeated the Locrians who came out to meet them, and took a small garrison fort, which was situated upon the river Halex.

During the same summer the Aetolians, who had some time before despatched Tolophus the Ophionean, Boriades the Eurytanian, and Tisander the Apodotian on an embassy to Corinth and Lacedaemon, induced the Lacedaemonians to aid them by sending an army against Naupactus, in order to punish the inhabitants for inviting the Athenian invasion.86 So in the autumn they sent out three thousand hoplites of their allies, including five hundred from Heraclea, the newly-founded city in Trachis. Eurylochus, a Spartan, was general, and with him were associated in the command Macarius and Menedaeus, also Spartans.

When the army was collected at Delphi, Eurylochus sent a herald to the Ozolian Locrians, for he had to pass through their country on the way to Naupactus; and he also wished to detach them from the Athenian alliance. Of the Locrians, the inhabitants of Amphissa were most willing to co-operate with him, being anxious for protection against their enemies the Phocians; they were the first who gave hostages, and by them the other Locrians, who were alarmed at the impending invasion, were persuaded to do the like:--first their neighbours the Myoneans, who commanded the most difficult pass into Locris; then the Ipneans, Messapians, Tritaeeans, Chalaeans, Tolophonians, Hessians, and Oeantheans; all these tribes also joined the expedition. The Olpaeans gave hostages but did not join; the Hyaeans would not give hostages until the Lacedaemonians had taken one of their villages, called Polis.

When everything was ready, and Eurylochus had deposited the hostages at Cytinium of the Dorians, he marched with his army against Naupactus, through the territory of the Locrians. On his march he took Oeneon87 and Eupalium,88 two Locrian towns which refused to come to terms. When they had arrived in the territory of Naupactus and the Aetolians had at length joined them, they devastated the country, and after taking the unwalled suburbs of the town marched against Molycrium, a colony of the Corinthians subject to Athens, which they captured. But Demosthenes the Athenian, who after his misfortune in Aetolia was still in the neighbourhood of Naupactus, having previous intelligence, and fearing for the town, went and persuaded the Acarnanians, much against their will--for they had not forgotten his withdrawal from Leucas--to assist Naupactus. So they sent with him on board the Athenian ships89 a thousand hoplites; these got in and saved the place, which was in danger of having to capitulate, owing to the extent of the wall and the paucity of its defenders. Eurylochus and his soldiers, when they saw that the garrison had been reinforced, and that there was no possibility of taking the city by storm, instead of going back to Peloponnesus, retired into the country of Aeolis, which is now called by the names of the towns Calydon and Pleuron, and to other places in the neighbourhood; also to Proschium in Aetolia. For the Ambraciots sent and persuaded them to take part in an attack on the Amphilochian Argos and the rest of Amphilochia and Acarnania, declaring that, if they gained possession of these places, all the tribes of the mainland would at once come over to the Lacedaemonians. Eurylochus assented and, dismissing the Aetolians, waited with his army in that region until the time for the Ambraciots to make their expedition and for him to join them in the neighbourhood of Argos. Thus the summer ended.

In the following winter the Athenians in Sicily and their Hellenic allies made an attack upon the Sicel fort of Inessa, a Sicel town of which the citadel was held by the Syracusans. They were joined by many of the Sicels, who had formerly been allies to the Syracusans, and, having been held down by them, had now revolted to the Athenians. The attempt failed, and they retreated. But during their retreat the Syracusans sallied out and fell upon the allies who were in the rear of the Athenians, routed them, and put to flight a part of their forces with great loss. Soon afterwards, Laches and the Athenians in the fleet made several descents upon Locris. At the river Caecinus they defeated about three hundred Locrians who came out to meet them under Proxenus the son of Capaton, took arms from the slain, and returned.

In the same winter the Athenians, by command of an oracle, purified the island of Delos. Pisistratus the tyrant had already purified it, but imperfectly, for the purification only extended to that part which was within sight of the temple. The whole island was now purified in the following manner:--The Athenians took away all the coffins of the dead which were in Delos,90 and passed a decree that henceforward no one should die or give birth to a child there, but that the inhabitants when they were near the time of either should be carried across to Rhenea. Now Rhenea is near to Delos, so near indeed that Polycrates the tyrant of Samos, who for a time had a powerful navy, attached this island, which he conquered with the rest of the islands and dedicated to the Delian Apollo, by a chain to Delos. After the purification, the Athenians for the first time celebrated the Delian games, which were held every four years. There had been in ancient days a great gathering of the Ionians and the neighbouring islanders at Delos; whither they brought their wives and children to be present at the Delian games, as the Ionians now frequent the games at Ephesus. Musical and gymnastic contests were held there, and the cities celebrated choral dances. The character of the festival is attested by Homer in the following verses, which are taken from the hymn to Apollo:

'At other times, Phoebus, Delos is dearest to thy heart,
Where are gathered together the Ionians in flowing robes,
With their wives and children in thy street:
There do they delight thee with boxing and dancing and song,
Making mention of thy name when they gather at the assembly.'

And that there were musical contests which attracted competitors is implied in the following words of the same hymn. After commemorating the Delian dance of women, Homer ends their praises with these lines, in which he alludes to himself:

'And now may Apollo and Artemis be gracious,
And to all of you, maidens, I say farewell.
Yet remember me when I am gone;
And if some other toiling pilgrim among the sons of men
Comes and asks: O maidens,
Who is the sweetest minstrel of all who wander hither,
And in whom do you delight most?
Make answer with one voice, in gentle words,
The blind old man of Chios' rocky isle.'

Thus far Homer, who clearly indicates that even in days of old there was a great gathering and festival at Delos. In after ages the islanders and the Athenians led choruses in procession, and sacrificed. But the games and the greater part of the ceremonies naturally fell into disuse, owing to the misfortunes of Ionia. The Athenians now restored the games and for the first time introduced horse-races.

During the same winter the Ambraciots, in fulfilment of the promise by which they had induced Eurylochus and his army to remain,91 made an expedition against the Amphilochian Argos with three thousand hoplites. They invaded the Argive territory and seized Olpae, a strong fort on a hill by the sea-side, which in former days the Acarnanians had fortified and used as a common hall of justice. The place is about three miles from Argos, which is also on the sea-shore. One division of the Acarnanians came to the aid of Argos, while another encamped at a spot called the Wells, where they could lie in wait for Eurylochus and the Peloponnesians, and prevent them from joining the Ambraciots unobserved. They also despatched a messenger to Demosthenes, who had led the Athenian expedition into Aetolia, asking him to be their commander, and sent for twenty Athenian ships which were just then cruising about the Peloponnese under the command of Aristoteles the son of Timocrates, and Hierophon the son of Antimnestus. The Ambraciots sent a messenger from Olpae to their own citizens, bidding them come and help them with their entire force; for they were afraid that Eurylochus and his followers might not be able to make their way through the Acarnanians, and then they would have either to fight alone, or to attempt a hazardous retreat.

Eurylochus and the Peloponnesians, when they heard that the Ambraciots had arrived at Olpae, left Proschium and went with all speed to help, them. Passing over the river Achelous they marched through Acarnania, leaving the city and garrison of Stratus on the right hand, and the rest of Acarnania on their left. The land was deserted, for the inhabitants had gone to the assistance of Argos. Crossing the territory of Stratus they proceeded through Phytia and by the extreme border of Medeon, and so through Limnaea; at last they left Acarnania, and reached the friendly territory of the Agraeans. Then taking to Mount Thyamus, which is open country, they marched on and descended into the plain of Argos after dark. Making their way unobserved between the city of Argos and the Acarnanian force stationed at the Wells, they at length reached the Ambraciots at Olpae.

The two armies having effected this junction moved at break of day to a place called Metropolis, and there encamped. Soon afterwards the Argives received the expected reinforcement of twenty Athenian ships, which arrived in the Ambracian Gulf. With them came Demosthenes, who brought two hundred Messenian hoplites and sixty Athenian archers. The ships anchored about the hill of Olpae, while the Acarnanians and a few of the Amphilochians (the greater part of them were prevented from stirring by the Ambraciots92), having mustered at Argos, were now preparing to give battle. They associated Demosthenes with their own generals in the command of the allied forces. He led them to the neighbourhood of Olpae, and there encamped at a place where they were divided from the enemy by a great ravine. During five days they remained inactive; on the sixth day both armies drew up in battle array. Demosthenes, fearing that he would be surrounded by the Peloponnesians who were more numerous and extended beyond his own line, placed hoplites and light-armed troops, numbering altogether four hundred, in a deep lane overgrown with brushwood, intending them to lie in wait until the moment of conflict, when they were to rush out from the rear on the line of the enemy where it overlapped. The preparations of both armies were now complete and they engaged. Demosthenes led his own right wing, on which were the Messenians and a few Athenians, while the other was held by the Acarnanians, who were disposed according to their cities, and by the Amphilochian javelin-men who were in the battle. The Peloponnesians and Ambraciots were intermingled, with the exception of the Mantineans, who were all collected on the left wing; but the extremity of the wing was occupied by Eurylochus and his division, who were opposed to the Messenians under Demosthenes.

When the two armies were at close quarters, the left wing of the Peloponnesians out-flanked the right wing of their opponents and threatened to surround them; whereupon the Acarnanians, coming upon them from behind out of the ambuscade, charged and turned them. They fled without striking a blow, and their panic caused the greater part of the army to run with them. For, when they saw Eurylochus and their best troops routed, they lost whatever courage they had. The Messenians, who were in this part of the field under the command of Demosthenes, were foremost in the action. The right wing of the enemy, however, and the Ambraciots, who are the most warlike nation in those parts, vanquished their opponents and drove them back to Argos. But, returning, they saw the greater part of the army defeated, and were hard pressed by the victorious division of the Acarnanians, whereupon, escaping with difficulty, they made their way to Olpae. Numbers of the defeated were killed, for they dashed into the fort wildly and in confusion, except the Mantineans, who kept together and retreated in better order than any other part of the army. The battle, which had lasted until evening, now ended.

On the next day Menedaeus took the command, for Eurylochus and Macarius, the two other generals, had been slain.93 He knew not what to do after so serious a defeat. He could not hope, if he remained, to stand a siege, hemmed in as he was by land, and at sea blockaded by the Athenian ships; neither could he safely retire; so entering into a parley with Demosthenes and the Acarnanian generals about the burial of the dead, he tried to negotiate with them at the same time for a retreat. The Athenians gave back to the enemy their dead, erected a trophy, and took up their own dead, in number about three hundred. They would not openly agree to the proposal for a general retreat, but Demosthenes and his Acarnanian colleagues made a secret treaty with the Mantineans, and Menedaeus, and the other Peloponnesian generals and chief persons, allowing their army to depart. He wanted partly to isolate the Ambraciots and their foreign mercenary troops, but much more to take away the character of the Lacedaemonians and Peloponnesians among the Hellenes in those parts and convict them of selfishness and treachery. Accordingly the Peloponnesians took up their dead, and burying them quickly as well as they could, consulted secretly how those who had permission could best depart.

Meanwhile news was brought to Demosthenes and the Acarnanians that the whole remaining force of the Ambraciots, who some time previously had been summoned from the city94 to join the troops in Olpae, were now on their way through the territory of the Amphilochians and were in entire ignorance of what had occurred. Whereupon he at once sent forward a part of his army to lie in ambush in the roads and to occupy the strong places, himself at the same time preparing to support them with the rest of his forces.

In the meantime the Mantineans and the others who were included in the truce went out on pretence of gathering herbs and sticks, and stole away one by one, picking up as they went along what they pretended to be looking for. But, as they got farther away from Olpae, they quickened their steps, and then the Ambraciots and others who happened to collect on the instant, when they saw that they were leaving, ran after them at full speed, wanting to get up with them. The Acarnanians at first thought that none of those who were going away were protected by a truce, and pursued the Peloponnesians. Some of the generals tried to keep them back and explained how matters stood; whereupon a soldier, suspecting that there was treachery, hurled a javelin at them. At length the soldiers understood, and let the Mantineans and other Peloponnesians go, but began to kill the Ambraciots. There was great dispute and uncertainty as to who was an Ambraciot and who a Peloponnesian. Of the former they killed about two hundred; the Peloponnesians escaped into the neighbouring country of Agraea, and were received by king Salynthius who was their friend.

Meanwhile the reinforcement from the city of Ambracia had reached Idomenè, which is the name of two lofty peaks. The higher of the two had been already occupied unobserved at nightfall by the troops which Demosthenes had sent forward; of the lower the Ambraciots first obtained possession and encamped there. As soon as it was dark, after supper, Demosthenes advanced with the rest of his army, himself leading half of them towards the pass between the mountains, while the rest made their way through the Amphilochian hills. At the first dawn of day he fell upon the Ambraciots, who were still half-asleep, and so far from knowing anything of what had happened that they imagined his troops to be their own comrades. For Demosthenes had taken care to place the Messenians in the first rank and desired them to speak to the enemy in their own Doric dialect, thereby putting the sentinels off their guard; and as it was still dark, their appearance could not be distinguished. So they fell upon the Ambraciots and routed them. Most of them were slain on the spot; the remainder fled over the mountains. But the paths were beset; the Amphilochians were lightly-armed, and in their own country which they knew, while their enemies were heavy-armed and the country was strange to them. And so, not knowing which way to turn, they fell into ravines and into ambuscades which had been set for them, and perished. Every means of escape was tried. Some even fled to the sea which was not far distant, and seeing the Athenian ships which were sailing by while the action was taking place, swam out to them, thinking in the terror of the moment that they had better be killed, if die they must, by the Athenians in the ships than by their barbarous and detested enemies the Amphilochians. So the Ambraciots were cut to pieces, and but few out of many returned home to their city. The Acarnanians, having despoiled the dead and raised trophies, returned to Argos.

On the following day there arrived a herald from the Ambraciots who had escaped out of Olpae to the Agraeans. He came to recover the bodies of the dead who had been slain subsequently to the first engagement, when, unprotected by the treaty, they tried to get out of Olpae in company with the Mantineans and others protected by it. The herald saw the arms of the Ambraciot troops from the city and wondered at the number of them; he knew nothing of the later disaster, and he imagined that they belonged to his own division of the army. Some one present thought that the herald had come from the army defeated at Idomenè, and asked why he looked so astonished, and how many of their men had fallen; he replied, 'about two hundred';95 whereupon the other rejoined, 'These which you see are not the arms of two hundred men, but of more than a thousand.' The herald replied, 'Then they cannot be the arms of our men.' The other answered, 'They must be, if you were fighting yesterday at Idomenè' 'But yesterday we did not fight at all; it was the day before, in the retreat.' 'All I know is that we fought yesterday with these men, who were marching to your aid from Ambracia.' When the herald heard these words, and knew that the army coming from the city had perished, he uttered a cry of anguish, and, overwhelmed by the greatness of the blow, went away at once without doing his errand, no longer caring to demand the dead. And indeed in the whole war no such calamity happened within so few days to any Hellenic state.96 I have not ventured to set down the number of those who fell, for the loss would appear incredible when compared with the size of the city. Of this I am certain, that if the Acarnanians had been willing to destroy Ambracia as Demosthenes and the Athenians desired, they might have taken it at the first onset. But they were afraid that the Athenians, if they once got possession of the place, would be more troublesome neighbours than the Ambraciots.97

After assigning a third part of the spoils to the Athenians, the Acarnanians divided the remainder among their cities. The spoils of the Athenians were captured on the voyage. But three hundred panoplies which were allotted to Demosthenes he brought home with him, and they are still preserved in the Athenian temples. This good service of his enabled him to return to Athens with less apprehension after his misfortune in Aetolia. The twenty Athenian ships sailed away to Naupactus. The Acarnanians and Amphilochians, after the Athenians and Demosthenes had left them, granted a truce to the Ambraciots and Peloponnesians who had fled to Salynthius and the Agraeans; they were thus enabled to return home from Oeniadae, whither they had removed from the country of Salynthius. The Acarnanians and Amphilochians now made a treaty of alliance for one hundred years with the Ambraciots, of which the terms were as follows:--'The Ambraciots shall not be required to join the Acarnanians in making war on the Peloponnesians, nor the Acarnanians to join the Ambraciots in making war on the Athenians. But they shall aid in the defence of one another's territory. The Ambraciots shall give up such places or hostages of the Amphilochians as they possess,98 and they shall not assist Anactorium' (which was hostile to the Acarnanians).99 Upon these terms they put an end to the war. Soon afterwards the Corinthians sent a force of their own, consisting of three hundred hoplites under the command of Xenocleidas the son of Euthycles, to guard Ambracia, whither they made their way with some difficulty by land. Such was the end of the Ambracian war.

During the same winter the Athenian fleet in Sicily, sailing to Himera, made a descent upon the country in concert with the Sicels, who had invaded the extreme border of the Himeraeans from the interior; they also attacked the Aeolian Isles. Returning to Rhegium, they found that Pythodorus son of Isolochus, one of the Athenian generals, had superseded Laches in the command of the fleet. The allies of the Athenians in Sicily had sailed to Athens, and persuaded the Athenians to send a larger fleet to their aid; for their territory was in the power of the Syracusans, and they were kept off the sea by a few ships only; so they were preparing to resist, and had begun to collect a navy. The Athenians manned forty ships for their relief, partly hoping to finish the war in Sicily the sooner, partly because they wanted to exercise their fleet. They despatched one of the commanders, Pythodorus, with a few ships, intending to send Sophocles the son of Sostratides, and Eurymedon the son of Thucles, with the larger division of the fleet afterwards. Pythodorus, having now succeeded Laches in the command, sailed at the end of the winter against the Locrian fort which Laches had previously taken,100* but he was defeated by the Locrians and retired.

In the early spring the burning lava, not for the first time, issued from Mount Aetna, which is the highest mountain in Sicily, and devastated a portion of the territory of the Catanaeans who dwell on the skirts of Aetna. The last eruption is said to have taken place fifty years before; and altogether three eruptions are recorded since the Hellenes first settled in Sicily. Such were the events of the winter; and so ended the sixth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

1. Or, to avoid the geographical contradiction (see notes), we may take the words with apostellousin: 'they also sent an embassy . . . north ward from the city.'

2. Cp. i. 40 fin.; i. 69.

3. Cp. i. 143 init.

4. Cp. iii. 7 init.

5. Cp. ii. 17 fin.

6. About 1s. 4d

7. Cp. i. 57 fin.; 61 init.

8. Cp. i. 64 med.; ii. 58 med.

9. £40,000.

10. Cp. iii. 32 init.; iv. 75 med.

11. See note on the passage.

12. Taking hyperechein in the sense of 'superare': or, 'could hardly keep above the surface in crossing.'

13. Cp, iii, 20 med.

14. i. e. the envoys who had been sent to Sparta. Cp. iii. 4 fin., 5 fin.

15. Adopting with Bekker the conjecture ephormousin.

16. Cp. iii. 19 fin.; iv. 75 med.

17. Or, 'was part of an extensive scheme'.

18. Cp. iii. 28 med.

19. Cp. iv. 21 med.

20. Cp. i. 68 init.

21. Cp. ii. 63 med.

22. Cp. vi. 18 fin.

23. Cp. i. 84 med.

24. Cp. iii. 40 init.

25. Or, 'that what all men believe to be true is absolutely false.'

26. Cp. vii. 48 med.

27. Cp. iii. 46 med.

28. Cp. iii. 37 fin.

29. Or, referring the words to the Mytilenaeans: `He who has gone out of his way to bring a calamity upon himself is more dangerous if he be allowed to escape than the enemy who only retaliates.'

30. Cp. ii. 40 med.

31. Reading axiounti.

32. Or, reading autôn, 'he exaggerates the importance of his aims.'

33. Cp. iii. 39 fin.

34. Reading deuteras.

35. See note. The number must be considered doubtful.

36. Cleruchi, literally ' portioners,' Athenians who received land in a conquered

country, but remained citizens.

37. £6 13s. 4d.

38. Cp. iv. 52 med.

39. Cp. ii. 93, 94.

40. Or, 'two towers projecting from Nisaea.'

41. Cp. v. 17 med.

42. Cp. iii. 57 init.

43. Cp. i. 101.

44. Or, reading autois, and referring the word to the Persians: 'who, looking to advantage, forwarded the course of the invader.'

45. This may refer to the judgment of the Spartans on the Plataeans, or to the adhesion of the Plataeans to the Athenians; see note.

46. Reading hêmin.

47. Cp. iii. 53 fin.

48. Cp. i. 132 init.

49. Or, 'ask of them the boon that you should not kill those whom you ought not, and receive an honest gratitude from us, instead of a disgraceful gratitude from them.'

50. Cp. i. 37 init. 73; vi. 82.

51. Cp. i. 12.

52. Cp. iv. 92 fin.

53. Or reading oti oud Athênaioi, hêmeis de, but because the Athenians did not and we did.'

54. Cp. ii. 72, 73.

55. Cp. iii. 55 fin.

56. Cp. i. 86 init.

57. Cp. iii. 57 fin.

58. Or, taking hêxioun in a different sense, and repeating it before kai ote hysteron: 'For they had been constantly requesting them, as they said, to remain neutral in the times before the war,.. . and they had repeated the request when just before the siege they had made to them a proposal,' &c.

59. Cp. iv. 66 init.

60. Cp. Herod. vi. 108.

61. Cp. iii. 33.

62. Cp. i. 55 med.

63. £160,000.

64. Cp. i. 44.

65. If the gold stater, about 16s.; if the silver Athenian stater, about 2s. 8d.; if the silver Corinthian stater (didrachmon) (tetradrachmon), about 1s. 4d.

66. Or, ' before he ceased to be a senator would persuade the people.'

67. Cp. iv. 69.

68. Cp. ii. 84.

69. Cp. iv. 8 init.

70. Reading with a few MSS. apechrônto, (which is quoted from Thucydides by the Lexicographers,) instead of anechôrêsan, which gives no sense.

71. Omitting the comma inserted in Bekker's text after prospoiêsei, or retaining it 'and both sides could easily obtain allies to the hurt of their enemies and the advantage of themselves, the dissatisfied party were only too ready to invoke foreign aid'; see note on the passage.

72. Or, 'but by active precautions.'

73. Placing the comma after meizous instead of after epexêesin te.

74. Cp. ii. 7 med.

75. Cp. vi. 44 fin.

76. Cp. iii.89, and i. 23 med.

77. Cp. iii. 87.

78. Cp. ii. 32.

79. Cp. v. 84.

80. Cp. iii. 113 fin.

81. Or, reading eirxan to--, 'and blockaded the defile at Thermopylae.'

82. Cp. v. 52 init.

83. Cp. iii. 91 init.

84. Cp. ii. 102 init.

85. Cp. iii. 94 init.

86. Cp. iii. 94 med.

87. Cp. iii. 95 fin.

88. Cp. iii. 96 med.

89. Cp. iii. 105 fin.

90. Cp. i. 8 init:; v. 1.

91. Cp. iii. 102 fin.

92. Cp. iii. 114 fin.

93. Cp. iv. 38 init.

94. Cp. iii. 105 fin.

95. Cp. iii. 111 fin.

96. Cp. vii. 30 fin.

97. Cp. iii. 92 init.

98. Cp. iii. 107 init.

99. Cp. i. 55 init.

100. Cp. iii. 99.


IN the following summer, about the time when the corn comes into ear, ten Syracusan and ten Locrian ships took possession of Messenè in Sicily, whither they had gone by the invitation of the inhabitants. And so Messenè revolted from the Athenians. The Syracusans took part in this affair chiefly because they saw that Messenè was the key to Sicily. They were afraid that the Athenians would one day establish themselves there and come and attack them with a larger force. The Locrians took part because the Rhegians were their enemies, and they wanted to crush them by sea as well as by land. They had already invaded the territory of Rhegium with their whole army, in order to hinder the Rhegians from assisting the Messenians; they were also partly instigated by certain Rhegian exiles who had taken refuge with them. For the Rhegians had been for a long time torn by revolution, and in their present condition could not resist the Locrians, who for this very reason were the more disposed to attack them. After wasting the country, the Locrians withdrew their land forces; but the ships remained to protect Messenè. Another fleet which the allies were manning was intended to lie in the harbour of Messenè, and to carry on the war from thence.

During the spring and about the same time, before the corn was in full ear, the Peloponnesians and their allies invaded Attica, under the command of Agis the son of Archidamus, the Lacedaemonian king. They encamped and ravaged the country.

The Athenians sent to Sicily the forty ships,1 which were now ready, under the command of Eurymedon and Sophocles, the third general, Pythodorus, having gone thither beforehand. Orders were given to them, as they passed Corcyra, to assist the Corcyraeans in the city, who were harassed by the exiles in the mountain.2 The Peloponnesians had already sent sixty ships to the assistance of the exiles, expecting to make themselves masters of the situation with little difficulty; for there was a great famine in the city. Demosthenes, since his return from Acarnania, had been in no command, but now at his own request the Athenians allowed him to make use of the fleet about the Peloponnese according to his judgment.

When they arrived off the coast of Laconia and heard that the Peloponnesian ships were already at Corcyra, Eurymedon and Sophocles wanted to hasten thither, but Demosthenes desired them first to put in at Pylos and not to proceed on their voyage until they had done what he wanted. They objected, but it so happened that a storm came on and drove them into Pylos. Instantly Demosthenes urged them to fortify the place; this being the project which he had in view when he accompanied the fleet.3 He pointed out to them that there was abundance of timber and stone ready to their hand, and that the position was naturally strong, while both the place itself and the country for a long way round was uninhabited. Pylos is distant about forty-six miles from Sparta, and is situated in the territory which once belonged to the Messenians; by the Lacedaemonians it is called Coryphasium. The other generals argued that there were plenty of desolate promontories on the coast of Peloponnesus which he might occupy if he wanted to waste the public money. But Demosthenes thought that this particular spot had exceptional advantages. There was a harbour ready at hand; the Messenians, who were the ancient inhabitants of the country and spoke the same language with the Lacedaemonians, would make descents from the fort and do the greatest mischief: and they would be a trusty garrison.

As neither generals nor soldiers would listen to him, he at last communicated his idea to the officers of divisions; who would not listen to him either. The weather was still unfit for sailing; he was therefore compelled to remain doing nothing; until at length the soldiers, who had nothing to do, were themselves seized with a desire to come round and fortify the place forthwith. So they put their hands to the work; and, being unprovided with iron tools, brought stones which they picked out and put them together as they happened to fit; if they required to use mortar, having no hods, they carried it on their backs, which they bent so as to form a resting-place for it, clasping their hands behind them that it might not fall off. By every means in their power they hurried on the weaker points, wanting to finish them before the Lacedaemonians arrived. The position was in most places so strongly fortified by nature as to have no need of a wall.

The Lacedaemonians, who were just then celebrating a festival,4 made light of the news, being under the impression that they could easily storm the fort whenever they chose to attack it, even if the Athenians did not run away of themselves at their approach. They were also delayed by the absence of their army in Attica. In six days the Athenians finished the wall on the land side, and in places towards the sea where it was most required; they then left Demosthenes with five ships to defend it, and with the rest hastened on their way to Corcyra and Sicily.

The Peloponnesian army in Attica, when they heard that Pylos had been occupied, quickly returned home, Agis and the Lacedaemonians thinking that this matter touched them very nearly. The invasion had been made quite early in the year while the corn was yet green, and they were in want of food for their soldiers; moreover the wet and unseasonable weather had distressed them, so that on many grounds they were inclined to return sooner than they had intended. This was the shortest of all the Peloponnesian invasions; they only remained fifteen days in Attica.

About the same time Simonides, an Athenian general, collecting a few troops from the Athenian garrisons, and a larger force from their allies in that neighbourhood, took Eion in Chalcidicè, a colony of Mendè, which had been hostile to Athens; the place was betrayed to him. But the Chalcidians and Bottiaeans quickly came to the rescue and he was driven out with considerable loss.

On the return of the Peloponnesians from Attica, the Spartans and the Perioeci in the neighbourhood of the city5 went at once to attack Pylos, but the other Lacedaemonians, having only just returned from an expedition, were slower in arriving. A message was sent round the Peloponnesus bidding the allies come without a moment's delay and meet at Pylos; another message summoned the sixty Peloponnesian ships from Corcyra. These were carried over the Leucadian isthmus,6 and, undiscovered by the Athenian ships, which were by this time at Zacynthus, reached Pylos, where their land forces had already assembled. While the Peloponnesian fleet was still on its way, Demosthenes succeeded in despatching unobserved two vessels to let Eurymedon and the Athenian fleet know of his danger, and to bid them come at once.

While the Athenian ships were hastening to the assistance of Demosthenes in accordance with his request, the Lacedaemonians prepared to attack the fort both by sea and by land; they thought that there would be little difficulty in taking a work hastily constructed and defended by a handful of men. But as they expected the speedy arrival of the Athenian fleet they meant to close the entrances to the harbour, and prevent the Athenians from anchoring there should they fail in taking the fort before their arrival.

The island which is called Sphacteria stretches along the land and is quite close to it, making the harbour safe and the entrances narrow; there is only a passage for two ships at the one end, which was opposite Pylos and the Athenian fort, while at the other the strait between the island and the mainland7 is wide enough to admit eight or nine. The length of the island is about a mile and three-quarters; it was wooded, and being uninhabited had no roads. The Lacedaemonians were intending to block up the mouths of the harbour by ships placed close together with their prows outwards; meanwhile, fearing lest the Athenians should use the island for military operations, they conveyed thither some hoplites, and posted others along the shore of the mainland. Thus both the island and the mainland would be hostile to the Athenians; and nowhere on the mainland would there be a possibility of landing. For on the shore of Pylos itself, outside the entrance of the strait, and where the land faced the open sea, there were no harbours, and the Athenians would find no position from which they could assist their countrymen. Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians, avoiding the risk of an engagement at sea, might take the fort, which had been occupied in a hurry and was not provisioned. Acting on this impression they conveyed their hoplites over to the island, selecting them by lot out of each division of the army. One detachment relieved another; those who went over last and were taken in the island were four hundred and twenty men, besides the Helots who attended them; they were under the command of Epitadas the son of Molobrus.

Demosthenes, seeing that the Lacedaemonians were about to attack him both by sea and by land, made his own preparations. He drew up on shore under the fort the three triremes remaining8 to him out of the five which had not gone on to Corcyra, and protected them by a stockade; their crews he armed with shields, but of a poor sort, most of them made of wicker-work. In an uninhabited country there was no possibility of procuring arms, and these were only obtained from a thirty-oared privateer and a light boat belonging to some Messenians who had just arrived. Of these Messenians about forty were hoplites, whom Demosthenes used with the others. He placed the greater part of his forces, armed and unarmed, upon the side of the place which looks towards the mainland and was stronger and better fortified; these he ordered, if they should be attacked, to repel the land forces, while he himself selected out of the whole body of his troops sixty hoplites and a few archers, and marched out of the fort to the sea-shore at the point where the Lacedaemonians seemed most likely to attempt a landing. The spot which he chose lay towards the open sea, and was rocky and dangerous; but he thought that the enemy would be attracted thither and would be sure to make a dash at that point because the fortifications were weaker. For the Athenians, not expecting to be defeated at sea, had left the wall just there less strong, while if the enemy could once force a landing, the place would easily be taken. Accordingly, marching down to the very edge of the sea, he there posted his hoplites; he was determined to keep the enemy off if he could, and in this spirit he addressed his men:

'My companions in danger, let none of you now on the eve of battle desire to display his wits by reckoning up the sum of the perils which surround us; let him rather resolve to meet the enemy without much thought, but with a lively hope that he will survive them all. In cases like these, when there is no choice, reflection is useless, and the sooner danger comes the better. I am sure that our chances are more than equal if we will only stand firm, and, having so many advantages, do not take fright at the numbers of the enemy and throw them all away. The inaccessibility of the place is one of them; this, however, will only aid us if we maintain our position; when we have once retreated, the ground, though difficult in itself, will be easy enough to the enemy, for there will be no one to oppose him. And if we turn and press upon him he will be more obstinate than ever; for his retreat will be next to impossible. On ship-board the Peloponnesians are easily repelled, but once landed they are as good as we are. Of their numbers again we need not be so much afraid; for, numerous as they are, few only can fight at a time, owing to the difficulty of bringing their ships to shore. We are contending against an army superior indeed in numbers, but they are not our equals in other respects; for they are not on land but on water, and ships require many favourable accidents before they can act with advantage. So that I consider their embarrassments to counterbalance our want of numbers. You are Athenians, who know by experience the difficulty of disembarking in the presence of an enemy, and that if a man is not frightened out of his wits at the splashing of oars and the threatening look of a ship bearing down upon him, but is determined to hold his ground, no force can move him. It is now your turn to be attacked, and I call on you to stand fast and not to let the enemy touch the beach at all. Thus you will save yourselves and the place.'

The Athenians, inspirited by the words of Demosthenes, went down to the shore and formed a line along the water's edge. The Lacedaernonians now began to move, and assaulted the fort with their army by land, and with their fleet, consisting of forty-three ships, by sea. The admiral in command was Thrasymelidas, son of Cratesicles, a Spartan; he made his attack just where Demosthenes expected. The Athenians defended themselves both by sea and land. The Peloponnesians had divided their fleet into relays of a few ships--the space would not allow of more--and so resting and fighting by turns they made their attack with great spirit, loudly exhorting one another to force back the enemy and take the fort. Brasidas distinguished himself above all other men in the engagement; he was captain of a ship, and seeing his fellow-captains and the pilots, even if they could touch anywhere, hesitating and afraid of running their ships on the rocks, he called out to them: 'Not to be sparing of timber when the enemy had built a fort in their country; let them wreck their ships to force a landing': this he said to his own countrymen, and to the allies that 'they should not hesitate at such a moment to make a present of their ships to the Lacedaemonians, who had done so much for them; they must run aground, and somehow or other get to land and take the fort and the men in it.'

While thus upbraiding the others he compelled his own pilot to run his ship aground, and made for the gangway. But in attempting to disembark he was struck by the Athenians, and, after receiving many wounds, he swooned away and fell into the fore part of the ship; his shield slipped off his arm into the sea, and, being washed ashore, was taken up by the Athenians and used for the trophy which they raised in commemoration of this attack. The Peloponnesians in the other ships made great efforts to disembark, but were unable on account of the roughness of the ground and the tenacity with which the Athenians held their position. It was a singular turn of fortune which drove the Athenians to repel the Lacedaemonians, who were attacking them by sea, from the Lacedaemonian coast, and the Lacedaemonians to fight for a landing on their own soil, now hostile to them, in the face of the Athenians. For in those days it was the great glory of the Lacedaemonians to be a land power distinguished for their military prowess, and of the Athenians to be a nation of sailors and the first sea power in Hellas.

The Peloponnesians, having continued their efforts during this day and a part of the next, at length desisted; on the third day they sent some of their ships to Asinè for timber with which to make engines, hoping by their help to take the part of the fort looking towards the harbour where the landing was easier, although it was built higher. Meanwhile the Athenian ships arrived from Zacynthus; they had been increased in number to fifty by the arrival of some guard-ships from Naupactus and of four Chian vessels. Their commanders saw that both the mainland and the island were full of hoplites, and that the ships were in the harbour and were not coming out: so, not knowing where to find anchorage, they sailed away for the present to the island of Protè, which is close at hand and uninhabited, and there passed the night. Next day, having made ready for action, they put off to sea, intending, if, as they hoped, the Peloponnesians were willing to come out against them, to give battle in the open; if not, to sail into the harbour. The Peloponnesians did not come out, and had somehow neglected to close the mouths as they had intended. They showed no sign of moving, but were on shore, manning their ships and preparing to fight, if any one entered the harbour, which was of considerable size.

The Athenians, seeing how matters stood, rushed in upon them at both mouths of the harbour. Most of the enemies' ships had by this time got into deep water and were facing them. These they put to flight and pursued them as well as they could in such a narrow space; damaging many and taking five, one of them with the crew. They charged the remaining vessels even after they had reached the land, and there were some which they disabled while the crews were getting into them and before they put out at all. Others they succeeded in tying to their own ships and began to drag them away empty, the sailors having taken flight. At this sight the Lacedaemonians were in an agony, for their friends were being cut off in the island; they hurried to the rescue, and dashing armed as they were into the sea, took hold of the ships and pulled them back; that was a time when every one thought that the action was at a stand where he himself was not engaged.9 The confusion was tremendous; the two combatants in this battle for the ships interchanging their usual manner of fighting; for the Lacedaemonians in their excitement and desperation did, as one may say, carry on a sea-fight from the land, and the Athenians, who were victorious and eager to push their good fortune to the utmost, waged a land-fight from their ships. At length, after giving each other much trouble and inflicting great damage, they parted. The Lacedaemonians saved their empty ships, with the exception of those which were first taken. Both sides retired to their encampments; the Athenians then raised a trophy, gave up the dead, and took possession of the wrecks. They lost no time in sailing round the island and establishing a guard over the men who were cut off there. The Peloponnesians on the mainland, who had now been joined by all their contingents, remained in their position before Pylos.

At Sparta, when the news arrived, there was great consternation; it was resolved that the magistrates should go down to the camp and see for themselves; they could then take on the spot any measures which they thought necessary. Finding on their arrival that nothing could be done for their soldiers in the island, and not liking to run the risk of their being starved to death or overcome by force of numbers,10 they decided that with the consent of the Athenian generals they would suspend hostilities at Pylos, and sending ambassadors to ask for peace at Athens, would endeavour to recover their men as soon as possible.

The Athenian commanders accepted their proposals, and a truce was made on the following conditions:

'The Lacedaemonians shall deliver into the hands of the Athenians at Pylos the ships in which they fought, and shall also bring thither and deliver over any other ships of war which are in Laconia; and they shall make no assault upon the fort either by sea or land. The Athenians shall permit the Lacedaemonians on the mainland to send to those on the island a fixed quantity of kneaded flour, viz. two Attic quarts11 of barley-meal for each man, and a pint of wine, and also a piece of meat; for an attendant, half these quantities; they shall send them into the island under the inspection of the Athenians, and no vessel shall sail in by stealth. The Athenians shall guard the island as before, but not land, and shall not attack the Peloponnesian forces by land or by sea. If either party violate this agreement in any particular, however slight, the truce is to be at an end. The agreement is to last until the Lacedaemonian ambassadors return from Athens, and the Athenians are to convey them thither and bring them back in a trireme. When they return the truce is to be at an end, and the Athenians are to restore the ships in the same condition in which they received them.' Such were the terms of the truce. The ships, which were about sixty in number, were given up to the Athenians. The ambassadors went on their way, and arriving at Athens spoke as follows:

'Men of Athens, the Lacedaemonians have sent us to negotiate for the recovery of our countrymen in the island, in the hope that you may be induced to grant us terms such as will be at once advantageous to you and not inglorious to us in our present misfortune. If we speak at length, this will be no departure from the custom of our country. On the contrary, it is our manner not to say much where few words will suffice, but to be more liberal of speech when something important has to be said and words are the ministers of action.12 Do not receive what we say in a hostile spirit, or imagine that we deem you ignorant and are instructing you, but regard us simply as putting you in mind13 of what you already know to be good policy. For you may turn your present advantage to excellent account, not only keeping what you have won, but gaining honour and glory as well. You will then escape the reverse which is apt to be experienced by men who attain any unusual good fortune; for, having already succeeded beyond all expectation, they see no reason why they should set any limit to their hopes and desires. Whereas they who have oftenest known the extremes of either kind of fortune ought to be most suspicious of prosperity; and this may naturally be expected to be the lesson which experience has taught both us and you.

'Look only at the calamity which has just overtaken us, who formerly enjoyed the greatest prestige of any Hellenic state, but are now come hither to ask of you the boon which at one time we should have thought ourselves better able to confer. You cannot attribute our mishap to any want of power; nor to the pride which an increase of power fosters. We were neither stronger nor weaker than before, but we erred in judgment, and to such errors all men are liable. Therefore you should not suppose that, because your city and your empire are powerful at this moment, you will always have fortune on your side. The wise ensure their own safety by not making too sure of their gains, and when disasters come they can meet them more intelligently; they know that war will go on its way whithersoever chance may lead, and will not restrict itself to the limits which he who begins to meddle with it would fain prescribe. They of all men will be least likely to meet with reverses, because they are not puffed up with military success, and they will be most inclined to end the struggle in the hour of victory. It will be for your honour, Athenians, to act thus towards us. And then the victories which you have gained already cannot be attributed to mere luck; as they certainly will be if, rejecting our prayer, you should hereafter encounter disasters, a thing which is not unlikely to happen. Whereas you may if you will leave to posterity a reputation for power and wisdom which no danger can affect.

'The Lacedaemonians invite you to make terms with them and to finish the war. They offer peace and alliance and a general friendly and happy relation, and they ask in return their countrymen who are cut off in the island. They think it better that neither city should run any further risk, you of the escape of the besieged, who may find some means of forcing their way out, we of their being compelled to surrender and passing absolutely into your hands. We think that great enmities are most effectually reconciled, not when one party seeks revenge and, getting a decided superiority, binds his adversary by enforced oaths and makes a treaty with him on unequal terms, but when, having it in his power to do all this, he from a generous and equitable feeling overcomes his resentment, and by the moderation of his terms surprises his adversary, who, having sufered no violence at his hands, is bound to recompense his generosity not with evil but with good, and who therefore, from a sense of honour, is more likely to keep his word. And mankind are more ready to make such a concession to their greater enemies than to those with whom they have only a slight difference.14 Again, they joyfully give way to those who first give way themselves, although against overbearing power they will risk a conflict even contrary to their own better judgment.

'Now, if ever, is the time of reconciliation for us both, before either has suffered any irremediable calamity, which must cause, besides the ordinary antagonism of contending states, a personal and inveterate hatred, and will deprive you of the advantages which we now offer. While the contest is still undecided, while you may acquire reputation and our friendship, and while our disaster can be repaired on tolerable terms, and disgrace averted, let us be reconciled, and choosing peace instead of war ourselves, let us give relief and rest to all the Hellenes. The chief credit of the peace will be yours. Whether we or you drove them into war is uncertain; but to give them peace lies with you, and to you they will be grateful. If you decide for peace, you may assure to yourselves the lasting friendship of the Lacedaemonians freely offered by them, you on your part employing no force but kindness only. Consider the great advantages which such a friendship will yield. If you and we are at one, you may be certain that the rest of Hellas, which is less powerful than we, will pay to both of us the greatest deference.'

Thus spoke the Lacedaemonians, thinking that the Athenians, who had formerly been desirous of making terms with them, and had only been prevented by their refusal,15 would now, when peace was offered to them, joyfully agree and would restore their men. But the Athenians reflected that, since they had the Lacedaemonians shut up in the island, it was at any time in their power to make peace, and they wanted more. These feelings were chiefly encouraged by Cleon the son of Cleaenetus, a popular leader of the day who had the greatest influence over the multitude.16 He persuaded them to reply that the men in the island must first of all give up themselves and their arms and be sent to Athens; the Lacedaemonians were then to restore Nisaea, Pegae, Troezen, and Achaia--places which had not been taken in war, but had been surrendered under a former treaty17 in a time of reverse, when the Athenians were more anxious to obtain peace than they now were.18 On these conditions they might recover the men and make a treaty of such duration as both parties should approve.

To this reply the Lacedaemonians said nothing, but only requested that the Athenians would appoint commissioners to discuss with them the details of the agreement and quietly arrive at an understanding about them if they could. This proposal was assailed by Cleon in unmeasured language: he had always known, he said, that they meant no good, and now their designs were unveiled; for they were unwilling to speak a word before the people, but wanted to be closeted with a select few;19if they had any honesty in them, let them say what they wanted to the whole city. But the Lacedaemonians knew that, although they might be willing to make concessions under the pressure of their calamities, they could not speak openly before the assembly (for if they spoke and did not succeed, the terms which they offered might injure them in the opinion of their allies); they saw too that the Athenians would not grant what was asked of them on any tolerable conditions. So, after a fruitless negotiation, they returned home.

Upon their return the truce at Pylos instantly came to an end, and the Lacedaemonians demanded back their ships according to the agreement. But the Athenians accused them of making an assault upon the fort, and of some other petty infractions of the treaty which seemed hardly worth mentioning. Accordingly they refused to restore them, insisting upon the clause which said that if 'in any particular, however slight,' the agreement were violated, the treaty was to be at an end. The Lacedaemonians remonstrated, and went away protesting against the injustice of detaining their ships. Both parties then renewed the war at Pylos with the utmost vigour. The Athenians had two triremes sailing round Sphacteria in opposite directions throughout the day, and at night their whole fleet was moored about the island, except on the side towards the sea when the wind was high. Twenty additional ships had come from Athens to assist in the blockade, so that the entire number was seventy. The Peloponnesians lay encamped on the mainland and made assaults upon the fort, watching for any opportunity which might present itself of rescuing their men.

Meanwhile in Sicily the Syracusans and the allies brought up the fleet which they had been equipping20 to Messenè, and joining the other fleet which was keeping guard there, carried on the war from thence. They were instigated chiefly by the Locrians, who hated the Rhegians, and had already invaded their territory with their whole force. They were eager to try their fortune in a naval engagement, for they saw that the Athenians had only a few ships actually on the spot; the larger portion of the fleet which had been despatched to Sicily being, as they heard, engaged in the siege of Sphacteria. If they conquered at sea they hoped to blockade Rhegium both by sea and land; they would easily master the place, and their affairs would then be really gaining strength. Rhegium, the extreme point of Italy, and Messenè, of Sicily, are close to one another; and if Rhegium were taken the Athenians would not be able to lie there and command the strait. Now the strait is that portion of sea between Rhegium and Messenè where Sicily is nearest to the continent; it is the so-called Charybdis by which Odysseus is said to have passed. The channel was naturally considered dangerous; for the strait is narrow; and the sea flowing into it from two great oceans, the Tyrrhenian and Sicilian, is full of currents.

In this strait the Syracusans and their allies, who had somewhat more than thirty ships, were compelled to fight late in the day for a vessel which was sailing through. They put out against sixteen Athenian and eight Rhegian ships; but, being defeated by the Athenians, they made a hasty retreat, each ship as it best could, to their stations at Messenè and near Rhegium; one ship was lost. Night closed the engagement. After this the Locrians quitted the Rhegian territory, and the Syracusans and their confederates united their fleet and anchored at the promontory of Pelorus near Messenè, where their land-forces were also stationed. The Athenians and Rhegians, sailing up to them, and seeing that the crews were not there, fell upon the empty vessels, but an iron grapnel was thrown out at them, and they in their turn lost a ship, from which the crew escaped by swimming. Then the Syracusans embarked, and, as they were being towed along the shore towards Messenè, the Athenians again attacked them. Making a sudden twist outwards they struck the first blow at the Athenians, who lost another ship. Thus both in the movement along the coast and in the naval engagement which ensued, the Syracusans proved themselves quite a match for the Athenians, and at length made their way into the harbour at Messenè.

The Athenians, hearing that Camarina was to be betrayed to the Syracusans by a certain Archias and his confederates, sailed thither. Meanwhile the Messenians, with their whole power by land and with the allied fleet, made war upon Naxos, a Chalcidian city which was their neighbour. On the first day they forced the Naxians to retire within their walls and ravaged the country; on the morrow they sailed round to the mouth of the river Acesines, again ravaged the country, and with their land-forces made incursions right up to the city. But in the meantime a large body of Sicels came down over the heights to assist the Naxians against the Messenians. Perceiving this the besieged took heart, and shouting to one another that the Leontines and their other Hellenic allies were coming to succour them, they sallied out of the city, charged the Messenians, and put them to flight with a loss of more than a thousand men; the rest with difficulty escaped, for the barbarians fell upon them in the roads and destroyed most of them. The allied fleet, putting into Messenè, broke up and returned home. Whereupon the Leontines and their allies, in concert with the Athenians, marched against the now enfeebled Messenè. The Athenian fleet attempted an assault of the harbour while the army attacked the city. But the Messenians and a Locrian garrison under Demoteles, which after their disaster at Naxos had been left to protect the place, suddenly falling upon them put to flight the main body of the Leontines with great loss; whereupon the Athenians disembarked, came to their aid, and, falling on the Messenians while they were still in confusion, chased them back to the city. They then erected a trophy and retired to Rhegium. After this the Hellenes in Sicily went on fighting against one another by land; but the Athenians took no part in their operations.

At Pylos meanwhile the Athenians continued to blockade the Lacedaemonians in the island, and the Peloponnesian forces on the mainland remained in their old position. The watch was harassing to the Athenians, for they were in want both of food and water; there was only one small well, which was in the acropolis, and the soldiers were commonly in the habit of scraping away the shingle on the sea-shore, and drinking such water as they could get. The Athenian garrison was crowded into a narrow space, and, their ships having no regular anchorage, the crews took their meats on land by turns; one half of the army eating while the other lay at anchor in the open sea. The unexpected length of the siege was a great discouragement to them; they had hoped to starve their enemies out in a few days, for they were on a desert island, and had only brackish water to drink. The secret of this protracted resistance was a proclamation issued by the Lacedaemonians offering large fixed prices, and freedom if he were a Helot, to any one who would convey into the island meal, wine, cheese or any other provision suitable for a besieged place. Many braved the danger, especially the Helots; they started from all points of Peloponnesus, and before daybreak bore down upon the shore of the island looking towards the open sea. They took especial care to have a strong wind in their favour, since they were less likely to be discovered by the triremes when it blew hard from the sea. The blockade was then impracticable, and the crews of the boats were perfectly reckless in running them aground; for a value had been set upon them, and Lacedaemonian hoplites were waiting to receive them about the landing-places of the island. All however who ventured when the sea was calm were captured. Some too dived and swam by way of the harbour, drawing after them by a cord skins containing pounded linseed and poppy-seeds mixed with honey. At first they were not found out, but afterwards watches were posted. The two parties had all sorts of devices, the one determined to send in food, the other to detect them.

When the Athenians heard that their own army was suffering and that supplies were introduced into the island, they began to be anxious and were apprehensive that the blockade might extend into the winter. They reflected that the conveyance of necessaries round the Peloponnese would then be impracticable. Their troops were in a desert place, to which, even in summer, they were not able to send a sufficient supply. The coast was without harbours; and therefore it would be impossible to maintain the blockade. Either the watch would be relaxed and the men would escape; or, taking advantage of a storm, they might sail away in the ships which brought them food. Above all they feared that the Lacedaemonians, who no longer made overtures to them, must now be reassured of the strength of their own position, and they regretted having rejected their advances. Cleon, knowing that he was an object of general mistrust because he had stood in the way of peace, challenged the reports of the messengers from Pylos; who rejoined that, if their words were not believed, the Athenians should send commissioners of their own. And so Theogenes and Cleon himself were chosen commissioners. As he knew that he could only confirm the report of the messengers whom he was calumniating, or would be convicted of falsehood if he contradicted them, observing too that the Athenians were now more disposed to take active measures, he advised them not to send commissioners, which would only be a loss of valuable time, but, if they were themselves satisfied with the report, to send a fleet against the island. Pointedly alluding to Nicias the son of Niceratus, who was one of the generals and an enemy of his, he declared sarcastically that, if the generals were men, they might easily sail with an expedition to the island and take the garrison, and that this was what he would certainly have done, had he been general.

Nicias perceived that the multitude were murmuring at Cleon, and asking 'why21 he did not sail in any case--now was his time if he thought the capture of Sphacteria to be such an easy matter'; and hearing him find fault, he told him that, as far as they, the generals, were concerned, he might take any force which he required and try. Cleon at first imagined that the offer of Nicias was only a pretence, and was willing to go; but finding that he was in earnest, he tried to back out; and said that not he but Nicias was general. He was now alarmed, for he never imagined that Nicias would go so far as to give up his place to him Again Nicias bade him take the command of the expedition against Pylos, which he formally gave up to him in the presence of the assembly. And the more Cleon declined the proffered command and tried to retract what he had said, so much the more the multitude, as their manner is, urged Nicias to resign and shouted to Cleon that he should sail. At length, not knowing how to escape from his own words, he undertook the expedition, and, coming forward, said that he was not afraid of the Lacedaemonians, and that he would sail without taking a single man from the city if he were allowed to have the Lemnian and Imbrian forces now at Athens, the auxiliaries from Aenus, who were targeteers, and four hundred archers from other places. With these and with the troops already at Pylos he gave his word that within twenty days he would either bring the Lacedaemonians alive or kill them on the spot. His vain words moved the Athenians to laughter; nevertheless; the wiser sort of men were pleased when they reflected that of two good things they could not fail to obtain one--either there would be no more trouble with Cleon, which they would have greatly preferred, or, if they were disappointed, he would put the Lacedaemonians into their hands.

When he had concluded the affair in the assembly, and the Athenians had passed the necessary vote for his expedition, he made choice of Demosthenes, one of the generals at Pylos, to be his colleague, and proceeded to sail with all speed. He selected Demosthenes because he heard that he was already intending to make an attack upon the island; for the soldiers, who were suffering much from the discomfort of the place, in which they were rather besieged than besiegers,22 were eager to strike a decisive blow. He had been much encouraged by a fire which had taken place in the island. It had previously been nearly covered with wood and was pathless, having never been inhabited; and he had feared that the nature of the country would give the enemy an advantage. For, however large the force with which he landed, the Lacedaemonians might attack him from some place of ambush and do him much injury. Their mistakes and the character of their forces would be concealed by the wood; whereas all the errors made by his own army would be palpable, and so the enemy, with whom the power of attack would rest, might come upon them suddenly wherever they liked. And if they were compelled to go into the wood and there engage, a smaller force which knew the ground would be more than a match for the larger number who were unacquainted with it. Their own army, however numerous, would be destroyed without knowing it, for they would not be able to see where they needed one another's assistance.

Demosthenes was led to make these reflections from his experience in Aetolia,23 where his defeat had been in a great measure owing to the forest. However, while the Athenian soldiers were taking their midday meal, with a guard posted in advance, at the extremity of the island, compelled as they were by want of room to land on the edge of the shore at meal-times, some one unintentionally set fire to a portion of the wood; a wind came on; and from this accident, before they knew what was happening, the greater part of it was burnt. Demosthenes, who had previously suspected that the Lacedaemonians when they sent in provisions to the besieged had exaggerated their number, saw that the men were more numerous than he had imagined. He saw too24 the increased zeal of the Athenians, who were now convinced that the attempt was worth making; and the island seemed to him more accessible. So he prepared for the descent, despatching messengers to the allies in the neighbourhood for additional forces and putting all in readiness. Cleon sent and announced to Demosthenes his approach, and soon afterwards, bringing with him the army which he had requested, himself arrived at Pylos. On the meeting of the two generals they first of all sent a herald to the Lacedaemonian force on the mainland, proposing that they should avoid any further risk by ordering the men in the island to surrender with their arms; they were to be placed under surveillance but well treated until a general peace was concluded.

Finding that their proposal was rejected, the Athenians waited for a day, and on the night of the day following put off, taking with them all their heavy-armed troops, whom they had embarked in a few ships. A little before dawn they landed on both sides of the island, towards the sea and towards the harbour, a force amounting in all to about eight hundred men. They then ran as fast as they could to the first station on the island. Now the disposition of the enemy was as follows: This first station was garrisoned by about thirty hoplites, while the main body under the command of Epitadas was posted near the spring in the centre of the island, where the ground was most level. A small force guarded25 the furthest extremity of the island opposite Pylos, which was precipitous towards the sea, and on the land side the strongest point of all, being protected to some extent by an ancient wall made of rough stones, which the Spartans thought would be of use to them if they were overpowered and compelled to retreat. Such was the disposition of the Lacedaemonian troops.

The Athenians rushed upon the first garrison and cut them down, half asleep as they were and just snatching up their arms. Their landing had been unobserved, the enemy supposing that the ships were only gone to keep the customary watch for the night. When the dawn appeared, the rest of the army began to disembark. They were the crews of rather more than seventy ships, including all but the lowest rank of rowers, variously equipped. There were also archers to the number of eight hundred, and as many targeteers, besides the Messenian auxiliaries and all who were on duty about Pylos, except the guards who could not be spared from the walls of the fortress. Demosthenes divided them into parties of two hundred more or less, who seized the highest points of the island in order that the enemy, being completely surrounded and distracted by the number of their opponents, might not know whom they should face first, but might be exposed to missiles on every side. For if they attacked those who were in front, they would be assailed by those behind; and if those on one flank, by those posted on the other; and whichever way they moved, the light-armed troops of the enemy were sure to be in their rear. These were their most embarrassing opponents, because they were armed with bows and javelins and slings and stones, which could be used with effect at a distance. Even to approach them was impossible, for they conquered in their very flight, and when an enemy retreated, pressed close at his heels. Such was the plan of the descent which Demosthenes had in his mind, and which he now carried into execution.

The main body of the Lacedaemonians on the island under Epitadas, when they saw the first garrison cut to pieces and an army approaching them, drew up in battle array. The Athenian hoplites were right in front, and the Lacedaemonians advanced against them, wanting to come to close quarters; but having light-armed adversaries both on their flank and rear, they could not get at them or profit by their own military skill, for they were impeded by a shower of missiles from both sides. Meanwhile the Athenians instead of going to meet them remained in position, while the light-armed again and again ran up and attacked the Lacedaemonians, who drove them back where they pressed closest. But though compelled to retreat they still continued fighting, being lightly equipped and easily getting the start of their enemies. The ground was difficult and rough, the island having been uninhabited; and the Lacedaemonians, who were incumbered by their arms, could not pursue them in such a place.

For some little time these skirmishes continued. But soon the Lacedaemonians became too weary to rush out upon their assailants, who began to be sensible that their resistance grew feebler. The sight of their own number, which was many times that of the enemy, encouraged them more than anything; they soon found that their losses were trifling compared with what they had expected; and familiarity made them think their opponents much less formidable than when they first landed cowed by the fear of facing Lacedaemonians. They now despised them and with a loud cry rushed upon them in a body, hurling at them stones, arrows, javelins, whichever came first to hand. The shout with which they accompanied the attack dismayed the Lacedaemonians, who were unaccustomed to this kind of warfare. Clouds of dust arose from the newly-burnt wood, and there was no possibility of a man's seeing what was before him, owing to the showers of arrows and stones hurled by their assailants which were flying amid the dust. And now the Lacedaemonians began to be sorely distressed, for their felt cuirasses did not protect them against the arrows, and the points of the javelins broke off where they struck them. They were at their wits' end, not being able to see out of their eyes or to hear the word of command, which was drowned by the cries of the enemy. Destruction was staring them in the face, and they had no means or hope of deliverance.

At length, finding that so long as they fought in the same narrow spot more and more of their men were wounded, they closed their ranks and fell back on the last fortification of the island, which was not far off, and where their other garrison was stationed. Instantly the light-armed troops of the Athenians pressed upon them with fresh confidence, redoubling their cries. Those of the Lacedaemonians who were caught by them on the way were killed, but the greater number escaped to the fort and ranged themselves with the garrison, resolved to defend the heights wherever they were assailable. The Athenians followed, but the strength of the position made it impossible to surround and cut them off, and so they attacked them in face and tried to force them back. For a long time, and indeed during the greater part of the day, both armies, although suffering from the battle and thirst and the heat of the sun, held their own; the one endeavouring to thrust their opponents from the high ground, the other determined not to give way. But the Lacedaemonians now defended themselves with greater ease, because they were not liable to be taken in flank.

There was no sign of the end. At length the general of the Messenian contingent came to Cleon and Demosthenes and told them that the army was throwing away its pains, but if they would give him some archers and light-armed troops and let him find a path by which he might get round in the rear of the Lacedaemonians, he thought that he could force the approach. Having obtained his request he started from a point out of sight of the enemy, and making his way wherever the broken ground afforded a footing and where the cliff was so steep that no guards had been set, he and his men with great difficulty got round unseen and suddenly appeared on the summit in their rear, striking panic into the astonished enemy and redoubling the courage of his own friends who were watching for his reappearance. The Lacedaemonians were now assailed on both sides, and to compare a smaller thing to a greater, were in the same case with their own countrymen at Thermopylae. For as they perished when the Persians found a way round by the path, so now the besieged garrison were attacked on both sides, and no longer resisted. The disparity of numbers, and the failure of bodily strength arising from want of food, compelled them to fall back; and the Athenians were at length masters of the approaches.

Cleon and Demosthenes saw that if the Lacedaemonians gave way one step more they would be destroyed by the Athenians; so they stopped the engagement and held back their own army, for they wanted, if possible, to bring them alive to Athens. They were in hopes that when they heard the offer of terms their courage might be broken, and that they might be induced by their desperate situation to yield up their arms. Accordingly they proclaimed to them that they might, if they would, surrender at discretion to the Athenians themselves and their arms.

Upon hearing the proclamation most of them lowered their shields and waved their hands in token of their willingness to yield. A truce was made, and then Cleon and Demosthenes on the part of the Athenians, and Styphon the son of Pharax on the part of the Lacedaemonians, held a parley. Epitadas, who was the first in command, had been already slain; Hippagretas, who was next in succession, lay among the slain for dead; and Styphon had taken the place of the two others, having been appointed, as the law prescribed, in case anything should happen to them. He and his companions expressed their wish to communicate with the Lacedaemonians on the mainland as to the course which they should pursue. The Athenians allowed none of them to stir, but themselves invited heralds from the shore; and after two or three communications, the herald who came over last from the body of the army brought back word, 'The Lacedaemonians bid you act as you think best, but you are not to dishonour yourselves.' Whereupon they consulted together, and then gave up themselves and their arms. During that day and the following night the Athenians kept guard over them; on the next day they set up a trophy on the island and made preparations to sail, distributing the prisoners among the trierarchs. The Lacedaemonians sent a herald and conveyed away their own dead. The number of the dead and the prisoners was as follows:--Four hundred and twenty hoplites in all passed over into the island; of these, two hundred and ninety-two were brought to Athens alive, the remainder had perished. Of the survivors the Spartans numbered about a hundred and twenty. But few Athenians fell, for there was no regular engagement.

Reckoned from the sea-fight to the final battle in the island, the time during which the blockade lasted was ten weeks and two days. For about three weeks the Lacedaemonians were supplied with food while the Spartan ambassadors were gone to solicit peace, but during the rest of this time they lived on what was brought in by stealth. A store of corn and other provisions was found in the island at the time of the capture; for the commander Epitadas had not served out full rations. The Athenians and Peloponnesians now withdrew their armies from Pylos and returned home. And the mad promise of Cleon was fulfilled; for he did bring back the prisoners within twenty days, as he had said.

Nothing which happened during the war caused greater amazement in Hellas; for it was universally imagined that the Lacedaemonians would never give up their arms, either under the pressure of famine or in any other extremity, but would fight to the last and die sword in hand. No one would believe that those who surrendered were men of the same quality with those who perished. There is a story of a reply made by a captive taken in the island to one of the Athenian allies who had sneeringly asked 'Where were their brave men all killed?'26 He answered that 'The spindle' (meaning the arrow) `would be indeed a valuable weapon if it picked out the brave.' He meant to say that the destruction caused by the arrows and stones was indiscriminate.

On the arrival of the captives the Athenians resolved to put them in chains until peace was concluded, but if in the meantime the Lacedaemonians invaded Attica, to bring them out and put them to death. They placed a garrison in Pylos; and the Messenians of Naupactus, regarding the place as their native land (for Pylos is situated in the territory which was once Messenia), sent thither some of themselves, being such troops as were best suited for the service, who ravaged Laconia and did great harm, because they spoke the same language with the inhabitants. The Lacedaemonians had never before experienced this irregular and predatory warfare; and finding the Helots desert, and dreading some serious domestic calamity, they were in great trouble. Although reluctant to expose their condition before the Athenians, they sent envoys to them and endeavoured to recover Pylos and the prisoners. But the Athenians only raised their terms, and at last, after they had made many fruitless journeys, dismissed them. Thus ended the affair of Pylos.

During the same summer and immediately afterwards the Athenians attacked the Corinthian territory with eighty ships, two thousand heavy-armed, and cavalry to the number of two hundred conveyed in horse transports. They were accompanied by allies from Miletus, Andros, and Carystus. Nicias the son of Niceratus, and two others, were in command. Very early in the morning they put in between the promontory Chersonesus and the stream Rhetus, to that part of the coast which is overhung by the Solygean ridge; there in ancient times Dorian invaders had taken up their position and fought against their Aeolian enemies in Corinth, and to this day there is a village, called Solygea, on the hill which they occupied. From the beach where the crews landed this village is distant nearly a mile and a half, the city of Corinth about seven miles, and the isthmus about two miles and a quarter. The Corinthians, having had early intimation from Argos of the intended invasion, came in good time to the isthmus. The whole population, with the exception of those who dwelt to the north of the isthmus and five hundred troops who were employed in protecting Ambracia and Leucadia,27 was on the watch to see where the Athenians would land. But, having sailed in before daylight, they were not discovered; the Corinthians however were soon informed by signals of their landing; and so, leaving half their troops at Cenchreae in case the Athenians should attack Crommyon, they came to the rescue with all speed.

Battus, one of the two generals who were present in the engagement, taking a single division of the force, went to Solygea, intending to protect the village, which was not fortified; Lycophron with the remainder of the army attacked the enemy. The Corinthians first of all assailed the right wing of the Athenians, which had only just landed in front of the Chersonesus, and then engaged with the rest. The conflict was stubborn, and all hand to hand. The Athenians, who were on the right wing, and the Carystians, who were on the extreme right, received the Corinthians, and with some difficulty drove them back. They retired behind a loose stone wall, and the whole place being a steep hill-side, threw the stones down from above; but soon they raised the paean and again came on. Again the Athenians received them, and another hand-to-hand fight ensued, when a division of the Corinthians coming to the aid of their left wing, forced back the right wing of the Athenians and pursued them to the sea; but the Athenians and Carystians in their turn again drove them back from the ships. Meanwhile the rest of the two armies had been fighting steadily. On the right wing of the Corinthians, where Lycophron was opposed to the Athenian left, the defence was most energetic; for he and his troops were apprehensive that the Athenians would move on the village of Solygea. For a long time neither would give way, but at length the Athenians, having an advantage in cavalry, with which the Corinthians were unprovided, drove them back, and they retired to the summit of the ridge; where they grounded their arms and remained inactive, refusing to come down. In this defeat of their right wing the Corinthians incurred the heaviest loss, and Lycophron their general was slain. The whole army was now forced back upon the high ground, where they remained in position; they were not pursued far, and made a leisurely retreat. The Athenians seeing that they did not return to the attack, at once erected a trophy and began to spoil the enemies' dead and take up their own. The other half of the Corinthians who were keeping guard at Cenchreae, lest the Athenians should sail against Crommyon, had their view of the battle intercepted by Mount Oneum. But when they saw the dust and knew what was going on, they instantly came to the rescue. The elder men of Corinth hearing of the defeat likewise hastened to the spot. The united army then advanced against the Athenians, who fancying that a reinforcement had come from the neighbouring states of Peloponnesus, quickly retreated to their ships, taking their spoils and their own dead, with the exception of two whom they could not find; they then embarked and sailed to the neighbouring islands. Thence they sent a herald asking for a truce, and recovered the two dead bodies which were missing. The Corinthians lost two hundred and twelve men; the Athenians hardly so many as fifty.

On the same day the Athenians sailed from the islands to Crommyon, which is in the territory of Corinth, nearly fourteen miles from the city, and, there anchoring, they ravaged the country and encamped for the night. On the following day they sailed along the coast to Epidaurus, where they made a descent, and then passed onward and came to Methonè, which is situated between Epidaurus and Troezen. They built a wall across the isthmus, and so cut off the peninsula on which Methonè stands. There they established a garrison, which continued for some time to ravage the country of Troezen, Halieis, and Epidaurus. The fleet, when the fortification was completed, returned home.

Just about this time Eurymedon and Sophocles, who had started from Pylos on their voyage to Sicily with the Athenian fleet, arrived at Corcyra, and in concert with the popular party attacked the Corcyraean oligarchs, who after the revolution had crossed over into the island and settled in Mount Istonè. Here they had become masters of the country again, and were doing great mischief.28 The Athenians assaulted and took their fortress; the garrison, who had fled in a body to a peak of the hill, came to terms, agreeing to give up their auxiliaries and surrender their arms, but stipulating that their own fate should be decided by the Athenian people. The garrison themselves were conveyed by the generals to the island of Ptychia and kept there under a promise of safety until they could be sent to Athens; on condition however that if any of them were caught attempting to escape, they should all lose the benefit of the agreement. Now the leaders of the Corcyraean democracy feared that when the captives arrived at Athens they would not be put to death; so they devised the following trick:--They sent to the island friends of the captives, whom with seeming good-will they instructed to tell them that they had better escape as fast as they could, for the fact was that the Athenian generals were about to hand them over to the Corcyraean democracy; they would themselves provide a vessel.

The friends of the captives persuaded a few of them, and the vessel was provided. The prisoners were taken sailing out; the truce was at an end, and they were all instantly delivered up to the Corcyraeans. The feeling which the Athenian generals displayed greatly contributed to the result; for, being compelled to proceed to Sicily themselves, they were well known to wish that no one else should gain the credit of bringing the prisoners to Athens; and therefore the agreement was interpreted to the letter,29 and the contrivers of the trick thought that they could execute it with impunity. The Corcyraeans took the prisoners and shut them up in a large building; then, leading them out in bands of twenty at a time, they made them pass between two files of armed men; they were bound to one another and struck and pierced by the men on each side, whenever any one saw among them an enemy of his own; and there were men with whips, who accompanied them to the place of execution and quickened the steps of those who lingered.

In this manner they brought the prisoners out of the building, and slew them to the number of sixty undiscovered by the rest, who thought that they were taking them away to some other place. But soon they found out what was happening, for some one told them, and then they called upon the Athenians, if they wanted them to die, to take their lives themselves. Out of the building they refused to stir, and threatened that into it, if they could help, no one should enter. The Corcyraean populace had not the least intention of forcing a way in by the door, but they got upon the roof and, making an opening, threw tiles and shot arrows down from above. The prisoners sought to shelter themselves as they best could. Most of them at the same time put an end to their own lives; some thrust into their throats arrows which were shot at them, others strangled themselves with cords taken from beds which they found in the place, or with strips which they tore from their own garments. This went on during the greater part of the night, which had closed upon their sufferings, until in one way or another, either by their own hand or by missiles hurled from above, they all perished. At daybreak the Corcyraeans flung the dead bodies cross-wise on waggons and carried them out of the city. The women who were taken in the fortress on Mount Istonè were reduced to slavery. Thus the Corcyraeans in the mountain were destroyed by the people, and, at least while the Peloponnesian war lasted, there was an end of the great sedition; for there was nothing left of the other party worth mentioning. The Athenians then sailed for Sicily, their original destination,30 and there fought in concert with their allies.

At the end of the summer the Athenian forces in Naupactus and some Acarnanians made an expedition against Anactorium, a Corinthian town at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, which was betrayed to them. The Acarnanians expelled the Corinthians, and sent a colony of their own, taken from the whole nation, to occupy the place. So the summer ended.

During the ensuing winter Aristides the son of Archippus, one of the commanders of the Athenian vessels which collected tribute from the allies, captured, at Eion upon the Strymon, Artaphernes a Persian, who was on his way from the King to Sparta. He was brought to Athens, and the Athenians had the despatches which he was carrying and which were written in the Assyrian character translated, and read them; there were many matters contained in them, but the chief point was a remonstrance addressed to the Lacedaemonians by the King, who said that he could not understand what they wanted; for, although many envoys had come to him, no two of them agreed. If they meant to make themselves intelligible, he desired them to send to him another embassy with the Persian envoy. Shortly afterwards the Athenians sent Artaphernes in a trireme to Ephesus, and with him an embassy of their own, but they found that Artaxerxes the son of Xerxes had recently died; for the embassy arrived just at that time. Whereupon they returned home.

During the same winter the Chians dismantled their new walls by order of the Athenians, who suspected that they meant to rebel, not however without obtaining from the Athenians such pledges and assurances as they could, that no violent change should be made in their condition. So the winter came to an end; and with it the seventh year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

Early in the ensuing summer there was a partial eclipse of the sun at the time of the new moon, and within the first ten days of the same month an earthquake.

The main body of the refugees who had escaped from Mitylenè and the rest of Lesbos had established themselves on the continent. They hired mercenaries from Peloponnesus or collected them on the spot, and took Rhoeteum, but on receiving a payment of two thousand Phocaean staters,31 they restored the town uninjured. They then made an expedition against Antandrus and took the city, which was betrayed into their hands. They hoped to liberate the other so-called 'cities of the coast,' which had been formerly in the possession of the Mytilenaeans and were now held by the Athenians,32 but their principal object was Antandrus itself, which they intended to strengthen and make their head-quarters. Mount Ida was near and would furnish timber for shipbuilding, and by the help of a fleet and by other means they could easily harass Lesbos which was close at hand, and reduce the Aeolian towns on the continent. Such were their designs.

During the same summer the Athenians with sixty ships, two thousand hoplites, and a few cavalry, taking also certain Milesian and other allied forces, made an expedition against Cythera, under the command of Nicias the son of Niceratus, Nicostratus the son of Diotrephes, and Autocles the son of Tolmaeus. Cythera is an island which lies close to Laconia off Cape Malea; it is inhabited by Lacedaemonian Perioeci, and a Spartan officer called the judge of Cythera was sent thither every year. The Lacedaemonians kept there a garrison of hoplites, which was continually relieved, and took great care of the place. There the merchant vessels coming from Egypt and Libya commonly put in; the island was a great protection to the Lacedaemonians against depredation by sea, on which element, though secure by land, they were exposed to attack, for the whole of Laconia runs out towards the Sicilian and Cretan seas.33

The Athenian fleet appeared off Cythera, and with a detachment of ten ships and two thousand Milesian hoplites took Scandea, one of the cities on the sea-shore. The rest of their army disembarked on the side of the island looking towards Malea, and moved on to the lower city of the Cytherians, which is also on the sea-coast; there they found all the inhabitants encamped in force. A battle was fought in which the Cytherians held their ground for some little time, and then, betaking themselves to flight, retired to the upper city. They at length surrendered to Nicias and his colleagues, placing themselves at the disposal of the Athenians, but stipulating that their lives should be spared. Nicias had already contrived to enter into communication with some of them, and in consequence the negotiations were speedier, and lighter terms were imposed upon them both at the time and afterwards.34 Else the Athenians would have expelled them, because they were Lacedaemonians and their island was close to Laconia. After the capitulation they took into their own hands Scandea, the city near the harbour, and secured the island by a garrison. They then sailed away, made descents upon Asinè, Helos, and most of the other maritime towns of Laconia, and, encamping wherever they found convenient, ravaged the country for about seven days.

The Lacedaemonians seeing that the Athenians had got possession of Cythera, and anticipating similar descents on their own shores, nowhere opposed them with their united forces, but distributed a body of hoplites in garrisons through the country where their presence seemed to be needed. They kept strict watch, fearing lest some domestic revolution should break out. Already a great and unexpected blow had fallen upon them at Sphacteria; Pylos and Cythera were in the hands of the Athenians, and they were beset on every side by an enemy against whose swift attacks precaution was vain. Contrary to their usual custom they raised a force of four hundred cavalry and archers. Never in their history had they shown so much hesitation in their military movements. They were involved in a war at sea, an element to which they were strange, against a power like the Athenians, in whose eyes to miss an opportunity was to lose a victory.35 Fortune too was against them, and they were panic-stricken by the many startling reverses which had befallen them within so short a time. They feared lest some new calamity like that of the island might overtake them; and therefore they dared not venture on an engagement, but expected all their undertakings to fail; they had never hitherto known misfortune, and now they lost all confidence in their own powers.

While the Athenians were ravaging their coasts they hardly ever stirred; for each garrison at the places where they happened to land considered in their depressed state of mind that they were too few to act. One of them however, which was in the neighbourhood of Cotyrta and Aphrodisia, did offer some resistance, and by a sudden rush put to flight the multitude of light-armed troops who had been scattered, but, being encountered by the hoplites, they again retired with the loss of some few men and arms. The Athenians, raising a trophy, sailed back to Cythera. Thence they coasted round to Epidaurus Limera and, after devastating some part of its territory, to Thyrea, which is situated in the country called Cynuria, on the border of Argolis and Laconia. The Lacedaemonians, who at that time held the town, had settled there the Aeginetan exiles,36 whom they wished to requite for services rendered to them at the time of the earthquake and the Helot revolt, and also because they had always been partisans of theirs, although subjects of the Athenians.

Before the Athenian ships had actually touched, the Aeginetans quitted a fort on the sea-shore which they were just building and retired to the upper city, where they lived, a distance of rather more than a mile. One of the country garrisons of the Lacedaemonians which was helping to build the fort was entreated by the Aeginetans to enter the walls, but refused, thinking that to be shut up inside them would be too dangerous. So they ascended to the high ground, and then, considering the enemy to be more than a match for them, would not come down. Meanwhile the Athenians landed, marched straight upon Thyrea with their whole army, and took it. They burnt and plundered the city, and carried away with them to Athens all the Aeginetans who had not fallen in the battle, and the Lacedaemonian governor of the place, Tantalus the son of Patrocles, who had been wounded and taken prisoner. They also had on board a few of the inhabitants of Cythera, whose removal seemed to be required as a measure of precaution. These the Athenians determined to deposit in some of the islands; at the same time they allowed the other Cytherians to live in their own country, paying a tribute of four talents.37 They resolved to kill all the Aeginetans whom they had taken in satisfaction of their long-standing hatred, and to put Tantalus in chains along with the captives from Sphacteria.

During the same summer the people of Camarina and Gela in Sicily made a truce, in the first instance with one another only. But after a while all the other Sicilian states sent envoys to Gela, where they held a conference in the hope of effecting a reconciliation. Many opinions were expressed on both sides; and the representatives of the different cities wrangled and put in claims for the redress of their several grievances. At length Hermocrates the son of Hermon, a Syracusan, whose words chiefly influenced their decision,38 addressed the conference in the following speech:

'Sicilians, the city to which I belong is not the least in Sicily, nor am I about to speak because Syracuse suffers more than other cities in the war, but because I want to lay before you the policy which seems to me best fitted to promote the common good of the whole country. You well know, and therefore I shall not rehearse to you at length, all the misery of war. Nobody is driven into war by ignorance, and no one who thinks that he will gain anything from it is deterred by fear. The truth is that the aggressor deems the advantage to be greater than the suffering; and the side which is attacked would sooner run any risk than suffer the smallest immediate loss. But when such feelings on the part of either operate unseasonably, the time for offering counsels of peace has arrived, and such counsels, if we will only listen to them, will be at this moment invaluable to us. Why did we go to war? Simply from a consideration of our own individual interests, and with a view to our interests we are now trying by means of discussion to obtain peace; and if, after all, we do not before we separate succeed in getting our respective rights, we shall go to war again.

'But at the same time we should have the sense to see that this conference is not solely concerned with our private interests, but with those of the whole country. Sicily is in my opinion at this moment imperilled by the designs of the Athenians, and we must try, if not too late, to save her. The Athenians are a much more convincing argument of peace than any words of mine can be. They are the greatest power in Hellas; they come hither with a few ships to spy out our mistakes; though we are their natural enemies, they assume the honourable name of allies, and under this flimsy pretence turn our enmity to good account. For when we go to war and invite their assistance (and they are fond of coming whether they are invited or not) we are taxing ourselves for our own destruction, and at the same time paving the way for the advance of their empire. And at some future day, when they see that we are exhausted, they are sure to come again with a larger armament, and attempt to bring all Sicily under their yoke.39

'And yet if we must call in allies and involve ourselves in dangers, as men of sense, looking to the interest of our several states, we should set before us the prospect of gaining an increase of dominion, not of losing what we already have. We should consider that internal quarrels more than anything else are the ruin of Sicily and her cities; we Sicilians are fighting against one another at the very time when we are threatened by a common enemy. Knowing this, we should be reconciled man to man, city to city, and make an united effort for the preservation of all Sicily. Let no one say to himself, "The Dorians among us may be enemies to the Athenians, but the Chalcidians, being Ionians, are safe because they are their kinsmen." For the Athenians do not attack us because we are divided into two races, of which one is their enemy and the other their friend, but because they covet the good things of Sicily which we all share alike.40 Is not their reception of the Chalcidian appeal a proof of this?41 They have actually gone out of their way to grant the full privileges of their old treaty to those who up to this hour have never aided them as required by the terms of that treaty. The ambition and craft of the Athenians are pardonable enough. I blame not those who wish to rule, but those who are willing to serve. The same human nature which is always ready to domineer over the subservient, bids us defend ourselves against the aggressor. And if, knowing all these things, we continue to take no thought for the future, and have not, every one of us, made up our minds already that first and foremost we must all deal wisely with the danger which threatens all, we are grievously in error.

'Now a mutual reconciliation would be the speediest way of deliverance from this danger; for the Athenians do not come direct from their own country, but first plant themselves in that of the Sicilians who have invited them. Instead of finishing one war only to begin another, we should then quietly end our differences by peace. And those who came at our call and had so good a reason for doing wrong will have a still better reason for going away and doing nothing.

'Such is the great advantage which we obtain by sound policy as against the Athenians. And why, if peace is acknowledged by all to be the greatest of blessings, should we not make peace among ourselves? Whatever good or evil is the portion of any of us, is not peace more likely than war to preserve the one and to alleviate the other? And has not peace honours and glories of her own unattended by the dangers of war? (But it is unnecessary to dilate on the blessings of peace any more than on the miseries of war.) Consider what I am saying, and instead of despising my words, may every man seek his own safety in them! And should there be some one here present who was hoping to gain a permanent advantage either by right or by force, let him not take his disappointment to heart. For he knows that many a man before now who has sought a righteous revenge, far from obtaining it, has not even escaped himself; and many an one who in the consciousness of power has grasped at what was another's, has ended by losing what was his own. The revenge of a wrong is not always successful merely because it is just; nor is strength most assured of victory when it is most full of hope. The inscrutable future is the controller of events, and, being the most treacherous of all things, is also the most beneficent; for when there is mutual fear, men think twice before they make aggressions upon one another.

'And now, because we know not what this hidden future may bring forth, and because the Athenians, who are dangerous enemies, are already at our gates,--having these two valid reasons for alarm, let us acquiesce in our disappointment, deeming that the obstacles to the fulfilment of our individual hopes42 are really insuperable. Let us send out of the country the enemies who threaten us, and make peace among ourselves, if possible for ever; but if not, for as long as we can, and let our private enmities bide their time. If you take my advice, rest assured that you will maintain the freedom of your several cities; from which you will go forth your own masters, and recompense, like true men, the good or evil which is done to you. But if you will not believe me, and we are enslaved by others, the punishment of our enemies will be out of the question. Even supposing we succeed in obtaining vengeance to our hearts' content, we may perhaps become the friends of our greatest enemies, we certainly become the enemies of our real friends.

'As I said at first, I am the representative of a great city which is more likely to act on the aggressive than on the defensive; and yet with the prospect of these dangers before me I am willing to come to terms, and not to injure my enemies in such a way that I shall doubly injure myself. Nor am I so obstinate and foolish as to imagine that, because I am master of my own will, I can control fortune, of whom I am not master; but I am disposed to make reasonable concessions. And I would ask the other Sicilians to do the same of their own accord, and not to wait until the enemy compels them. There is no disgrace in kinsmen yielding to kinsmen, whether Dorians to Dorians, or Chalcidians to the other Ionians. Let us remember too that we are all neighbours, inhabitants of one island home, and called by the common name of Sicilians. When we see occasion we will fight among ourselves, and will negotiate and come to terms among ourselves. But we shall always, if we are wise, unite as one man against the invader; for when a single state suffers, all are imperilled. We will never again introduce allies from abroad, no, nor pretended mediators. This policy will immediately secure to Sicily two great blessings; she will get rid of the Athenians, and of civil war. And for the future we shall keep the island free and our own, and none will be tempted to attack us.'

Such were the words of Hermocrates. The Sicilians took his advice and agreed among themselves to make peace, on the understanding that they should all retain what they had; only Morgantinè was handed over to the Camarinaeans, who were to pay in return a fixed sum to the Syracusans. The cities in alliance with Athens sent for the Athenian generals and told them that a treaty was about to be made in which they might join if they pleased. They assented; the treaty was concluded; and so the Athenian ships sailed away from Sicily. When the generals returned the Athenians punished two of them, Pythodorus and Sophocles, with exile, and imposed a fine on the third, Eurymedon, believing that they might have conquered Sicily but had been bribed to go away. For in their present prosperity they were indignant at the idea of a reverse; they expected to accomplish everything, possible or impossible, with any force, great or small. The truth was that they were elated by the unexpected success of most of their enterprises, which inspired them with the liveliest hope.

During the same summer the citizens of Megara were hard pressed by the Athenians, who twice every year invaded the country with their whole army,43 as well as by their own exiles in Pegae, who had been driven out by the people in a revolution,44 and were continually harassing and plundering them. So they conferred together upon the advisability of recalling the exiles, lest they should expose the city to destruction from the attacks of two enemies at once. The friends of the exiles became aware of the agitation and ventured to urge the measure more openly than hitherto. But the popular leaders, knowing that their partisans were in great extremity and could not be trusted to hold out in support of them much longer, took alarm and entered into negotiation with the Athenian generals, Hippocrates the son of Ariphron, and Demosthenes the son of Alcisthenes. They thought that they would incur less danger by surrendering the city to them than by the restoration of the exiles whom they had themselves expelled. So they agreed that the Athenians should in the first place seize their Long Walls,45 which were a little less than a mile in length and extended from the city to their harbour Nisaea. They wanted to prevent the Peloponnesians intefering from Nisaea, of which they formed the sole garrison, being stationed there to secure Megara. The conspirators were then to try and place in the hands of the Athenians the upper city, which would be more ready to come over when they once had possession of the Long Walls.

Both parties had now made all necessary preparations, both in word and act. The Athenians sailed at nightfall to Minoa, the island in front of Megara, with six hundred hoplites under the command of Hippocrates. They then took up their position not far from the Long Walls, in a pit out of which the bricks for the walls had been dug. A second division of the Athenian army, consisting of light-armed Plataeans and of a part of the force employed in guarding the frontier, under the command of Demosthenes the other general, lay in ambush at the temple of Ares, which is nearer still. During the night no one knew what they were about, except the men who were immediately concerned. Just before daybreak the conspirators executed their plan. They had long ago provided that the gates should be open when required; for by the permission of the commander, who supposed them to be privateering, they had been in the habit of conveying a sculling-boat out of the town by night. This they placed upon a waggon, and carried it down to the sea through the trench; they then sailed out, and just before day broke the boat was brought back by them on the waggon and taken in at the gates; their object being, as they pretended, to baffle the Athenian watch at Minoa, as no vessel would be seen in the harbour at all. The waggon had just arrived at the gates, which were opened for the boat to enter, when the Athenians, with whom the whole affair had been preconcerted, seeing this movement, rushed out of the ambuscade, wanting to get in before the gates were shut again and while the waggon was still in them, and prevented them from being closed. At the same instant their Megarian confederates cut down the guards stationed at the gates. First of all the Plataeans and the frontier-guard under Demosthenes rushed in where the trophy now stands. No sooner were they within the gates than the Peloponnesians who were nearest and saw what was going on hastened to the rescue; but they were overpowered by the Plataeans, who secured the gates for the entrance of the Athenian hoplites as they came running up.

Then the Athenians entered, and one after another proceeded to mount the wall. A few Peloponnesian guards at first resisted and some of them were killed; but the greater part took to flight; they were terrified at the night attack of the enemy, and fancied, when they saw the Megarians who were in the conspiracy fighting against them, that all the Megarians had betrayed them. It had occurred at the same time to the Athenian herald, without orders, to make proclamation that any Megarian who pleased might join the ranks of the Athenians. When the Lacedaemonians heard the proclamation none of them remained any longer, but thinking that the Megarians were really fighting on the Athenian side they fled, into Nisaea.

When the morning dawned and the Long Walls were already captured, Megara was in a tumult, and those who had negotiated with the Athenians and a large number of others who were in the plot insisted upon opening the gates and going out to battle. Now they had agreed that the Athenians should immediately rush in; and they were themselves to be anointed with oil; this was the mark by which they were to be distinguished, that they might be spared in the attack. There was the less danger in opening the gates, since there had now arrived four thousand Athenian hoplites and six hundred horse, who by a previous arrangement had come from Eleusis during the night. When they were anointed and had collected about the gates some one in the secret acquainted the other party, who instantly came upon them in a compact body and declared that there should be no going out; even when they were stronger than at present they had not ventured to take the field; the danger to the city was too palpable; if any one opposed them the battle would have to be fought first within the walls. They did not betray their knowledge of the plot, but assumed the confident tone of men who were recommending the best course. At the same time they kept watch about the gates; and thus the conspiracy was foiled.

The Athenian generals became aware that some difficulty had arisen, and that they could not carry the city by storm. So they immediately set about the circumvallation of Nisaea, thinking that, if they could take it before any assistance arrived, Megara itself would be more likely to capitulate. Iron and other things needful, as well as masons, were quickly procured from Athens. Beginning from the wall which they already held they intercepted the approach from Megara by a cross wall, and from that drew another on either side of Nisaea down to the sea. The army divided among them the execution of the trench and walls, obtaining stones and bricks from the suburbs of the town. They also cut down timber and fruit-trees and made palisades where they were needed. The houses in the suburbs were of themselves a sufficient fortification, and only required battlements. All that day they continued working; on the following day, towards evening, the wall was nearly finished, and the terrified inhabitants of Nisaea having no food (for they depended for their daily supplies on the upper city), and imagining that Megara had gone over to the enemy, despairing too of any aid soon arriving from Peloponnesus, capitulated to the Athenians. The conditions were as follows: They were to go free, every man paying a fixed ransom and giving up his arms; but the Athenians might deal as they pleased with the Lacedaemonian commander and any Lacedaemonian who was in the place. Upon these terms they came out, and the Athenians, having broken down the Long Walls between Megara and Nisaea, took possession of Nisaea and prepared for further action.

But it so happened that Brasidas, son of Tellis, the Lacedaemonian, who was equipping an expedition intended for Chalcidicè, was in the neighbourhood of Sicyon and Corinth at the time. Hearing of the capture of the Long Walls, and fearing for the safety of the Peloponnesians in Nisaea, and of Megara itself, he sent to the Boeotians, desiring them to bring an army and meet him with all speed at Tripodiscus. The place so called is a village of Megara situated under Mount Geranea. Thither he also came himself, bringing two thousand seven hundred Corinthian, four hundred Phliasian, and six hundred Sicyonian hoplites, as well as the followers whom he had previously collected.46 He had hoped to find Nisaea still untaken; but the news of the capture reached him on his exit from the hills at Tripodiscus, where he did not arrive until night. He immediately took with him a body of three hundred chosen men, and before his arrival in the country was reported reached Megara, undiscovered by the Athenians, who were near the sea. He professed that he wanted, and he really meant if he could, to attempt the recovery of Nisaea; but the great point was to get into Megara and make that safe. So he demanded admission, saying that he had hopes of regaining Nisaea.

The two factions in Megara were both equally afraid to receive him--the one lest he should introduce the exiles and drive them out, the other lest the people, fearing this very thing, should set upon them and ruin the city, which would then be distracted by civil war and at the same time beset by the Athenians. And so both parties determined to wait and see what would happen. For they both expected a battle to ensue between the Athenians and the army which had come to the relief of the city, and when the victory was won the party whose friends had conquered could more safely join them. Brasidas, thus failing in his purpose, returned to the main body of his troops.

At dawn of day the Boeotians appeared. Even before they were summoned by Brasidas they had intended to relieve Megara; for the danger came home to them; and their whole force was already collected at Plataea. When his messenger arrived they were more resolved than ever, and sent forward two thousand two hundred heavy-armed and six hundred horse, allowing the greater number to return. The entire army of Brasidas now amounted to six thousand hoplites. The Athenian hoplites were drawn up near Nisaea and the sea, and their light-armed troops were scattered over the plain, when the Boeotian cavalry came riding up, fell upon the light-armed, and drove them to the shore. The attack was unexpected, for in no former invasion had aid come to the Megarians from any quarter. The Athenian cavalry now rode forward and there was a long engagement, in which both parties claimed to have won a victory. The Athenians drove the general of the Boeotian cavalry and a few other horsemen up47 to the walls of Nisaea, and there slew them and took their arms. As they retained possession of the dead bodies, and only restored them under a flag of truce, they raised a trophy. Still in respect of the whole engagement neither side when they parted had a decided advantage. The Boeotians retired to their main body, and the Athenians to Nisaea.

Brasidas and his army then moved nearer to the sea and to the town of Megara, and there, taking up a convenient position and marshalling their forces, they remained without moving. They were expecting the Athenians to attack them, and knew that the Megarians were waiting to see who would be the conquerors. They were very well satisfied, for two reasons. In the first place they were not the assailants, and had not gone out of their way to risk a battle, although they had clearly shown that they were ready to engage; and so they might fairly claim a victory without fighting. Again, the result in regard to Megara was good: for if they had not put in an appearance they would have had no chance at all, but would have been as good as beaten, and beyond a doubt would immediately have lost the city. Whereas now the Athenians themselves might be unwilling to fight; and, if so, they would gain their object without striking a blow. And this turned out to be the fact; for the Megarians did in the end receive Brasidas. At first the Athenians came out and drew up near the Long Walls, but not being attacked they likewise remained inactive. The generals on their side were restrained by similar reflections. They had gained the greater part of what they wanted; they would be offering battle against a superior force; and their own danger would be out of proportion to that of the enemy. They might be victorious and take Megara, but if they failed the loss would fall on the flower of their infantry. Whereas the Peloponnesians were naturally more willing to encounter a risk which would be divided among the several contingents making up the army now in the field; and each of these was but a part of their whole force, present and absent. Both armies waited for a time, and, when neither saw the other moving, the Athenians first of the two retired into Nisaea and the Peloponnesians returned to their previous position. Whereupon the party in Megara friendly to the exiles took courage, opened the gates, and received Brasidas and the generals of the other cities, considering that the Athenians had finally made up their minds not to fight, and that he was the conqueror. They then entered into negotiations with him; for the other faction which had conspired with the Athenians was now paralysed.

After this the allies dispersed to their several cities and Brasidas returned to Corinth, where he made preparations for his expedition into Chalcidicè, his original destination. When the Athenians had also gone home, such of the Megarians as had been chiefly concerned with them, knowing that they were discovered, at once slipped away. The rest of the citizens, after conferring with the friends of the exiles, recalled them from Pegae,48 first binding them by the most solemn oaths to consider the interests of the state and to forget old quarrels. But no sooner had they come into office than, taking the opportunity of a review and drawing up the divisions apart from one another, they selected about a hundred of their enemies, and of those who seemed to have been most deeply implicated with the Athenians, and compelled the people to give sentence upon them by an open vote; having obtained their condemnation, they put them to death. They then established in the city an extreme oligarchy. And no government based on a counter revolution effected by so few ever lasted so long a time.

During the same summer Demodocus and Aristides, two commanders of the Athenian fleet which collected tribute from the allies, happened to be in the neighbourhood of the Hellespont; there were only two of them, the third, Lamachus, having sailed with ten ships into the Pontus. They saw that the Lesbian exiles were going to strengthen Antandrus as they had intended,49 and they feared that it would prove as troublesome an enemy to Lesbos as Anaea had been to Samos;50 for the Samian refugees, who had settled there, aided the Peloponnesian navy by sending them pilots; they likewise took in fugitives from Samos and kept the island in a state of perpetual alarm. So the Athenian generals collected troops from their allies, sailed to Antandrus, and, defeating a force which came out against them, recovered the place. Not long afterwards Lamachus, who had sailed into the Pontus and had anchored in the territory of Heraclea at the mouth of the river Calex, lost his ships by a sudden flood which a fall of rain in the upper country had brought down. He and his army returned by land through the country of the Bithynian Thracians who dwell on the Asiatic coast across the water, and arrived at Chalcedon, the Megarian colony at the mouth of the Pontus.

In the same summer, and immediately after the withdrawal of the Athenians from Megara, the Athenian general Demosthenes arrived at Naupactus with forty ships. A party in the cities of Boeotia, who wanted to overthrow their constitution and set up a democracy like that of Athens, had entered into communications with him and with Hippocrates, and a plan of operations had been concerted, chiefly under the direction of Ptoeodorus, a Theban exile. Some of the democratical party undertook to betray Siphae, which is a seaport on the Crisaean Gulf in the Thespian territory, and certain Orchomenians were to deliver up to the Athenians Chaeronea, which is a dependency of the Boeotian, or as it was formerly called the Minyan, Orchomenus. A body of Orchomenian exiles had a principal hand in this design and were seeking to hire a Peloponnesian force. The town of Chaeronea is at the extremity of Boeotia near the territory of Phanoteus in Phocis, and some Phocians took part in the plot. The Athenians meanwhile were to seize Delium, a temple of Apollo which is in the district of Tanagra and looks towards Euboea. In order to keep the Boeotians occupied with disturbances at home, and prevent them from marching in a body to Delium, the whole movement was to be made on a single day, which was fixed beforehand. If the attempt succeeded and Delium was fortified, even though no revolution should at once break out in the states of Boeotia, they might hold the places which they had taken and plunder the country. The partisans of democracy in the several cities would have a refuge near at hand to which in case of failure they might retreat. Matters could not long remain as they were; and in time, the Athenians acting with the rebels, and the Boeotian forces being divided, they would easily settle Boeotia in their interest. Such was the nature of the proposed attempt.

Hippocrates himself with a force from the city was ready to march into Boeotia when the moment came. He had sent Demosthenes beforehand with the forty ships to Naupactus, intending him to collect an army of Acarnanians and other allies of the Athenians in that region and sail against Siphae, which was to be betrayed to them. These operations were to be carried out simultaneously on the day appointed.

Demosthenes on his arrival found that the confederate Acarnanians had already compelled Oeniadae to enter the Athenian alliance. He then himself raised all the forces of the allies in those parts and proceeded first to make war upon Salynthius and the Agraeans.51 Having subdued them, he took the necessary steps for keeping his appointment at Siphae.

During this summer, and about the same time, Brasidas set out on his way to Chalcidicè with seventeen hundred hoplites. When he arrived at Heraclea in Trachis he despatched a messenger to Pharsalus, where he had friends, with a request that they would conduct him and his army through the country. Accordingly there came to meet him at Melitia, in Achaea Phthiotis, Panaerus, Dorus, Hippolochidas, Torylaus, and Strophacus who was the proxenus of the Chalcidians. Under their guidance he started. Other Thessalians also conducted him; in particular, Niconidas a friend of Perdiccas from Larissa. Under any circumstances it would not have been easy to cross Thessaly without an escort, and certainly for an armed force to go through a neighbour's country without his consent was a proceeding which excited jealousy among all Hellenes. Besides, the common people of Thessaly were always well disposed towards the Athenians. And if the traditions of the country had not been in favour of a close oligarchy, Brasidas could never have gone on; even as it was, some of the opposite party met him on his march at the river Enipeus and would have stopped him, saying that he had no business to proceed without the consent of the whole nation. His escort replied that they would not conduct him if the others objected, but that he had suddenly presented himself and they were doing the duty of hosts in accompanying him. Brasidas himself added that he came as a friend to the Thessalian land and people, and that he was making war upon his enemies the Athenians, and not upon them. He had never heard that there was any ill-feeling between the Thessalians and Lacedaemonians which prevented either of them from passing through the territory of the other; however, if they refused their consent, he would not and indeed could not go on; but such was not the treatment which he had a right to expect from them. Upon this they departed, and he by the advice of his escort, fearing that a large force might collect and stop him, marched on at full speed and without a halt. On the same day on which he started from Melitia he arrived at Pharsalus, and encamped by the river Apidanus. Thence he went on to Phacium, and thence to Perrhaebia. Here his Thessalian escort returned; and the Perrhaebians, who are subjects of the Thessalians, brought him safe to Dium in the territory of Perdiccas, a city of Macedonia which is situated under Mount Olympus on the Thessalian side.

Thus Brasidas succeeded in running through Thessaly before any measures were taken to stop him, and reached Perdiccas and Chalcidicè. He and the revolted tributaries of the Athenians, alarmed at their recent successes, had invited the Peloponnesians. The Chalcidians were expecting that the first efforts of the Athenians would be directed against them: their cities in the neighbourhood also which had not revolted secretly joined in the invitation. Perdiccas was not a declared enemy of Athens, but was afraid that the old differences between himself and the Athenians might revive, and he was especially anxious to subdue Arrhibaeus, king of the Lyncestians.

The Lacedaemonians were the more willing to let the Chalcidians have an army from Peloponnesus owing to the unfortunate state of their affairs. For now that the Athenians were infesting Peloponnesus, and especially Laconia, they thought that a diversion would be best effected if they could retaliate on them by sending troops to help their dissatisfied allies, who moreover were offering to maintain them, and had asked for assistance from Sparta with the intention of revolting. They were also glad of a pretext for sending out of the way some of the Helots, fearing that they would take the opportunity of rising afforded by the occupation of Pylos. Most of the Lacedaemonian institutions were specially intended to secure them against this source of danger. Once, when they were afraid of the number and vigour52 of the Helot youth, this was what they did: They proclaimed that a selection would be made of those Helots who claimed to have rendered the best service to the Lacedaemonians in war, and promised them liberty. The announcement was intended to test them; it was thought that those among them who were foremost in asserting their freedom would be most high-spirited, and most likely to rise against their masters. So they selected about two thousand, who were crowned with garlands and went in procession round the temples; they were supposed to have received their liberty; but not long afterwards the Spartans put them all out of the way, and no man knew how any one of them came by his end. And so they were only too glad to send with Brasidas seven hundred Helots as hoplites. The rest of his army he hired from Peloponnesus.53 He himself was even more willing to go than they were to send him.

The Chalcidians too desired to have him, for at Sparta he had always been considered a man of energy. And on this expedition he proved invaluable to the Lacedaemonians. At the time he gave an impression of justice and moderation in his behaviour to the cities, which induced most of them to revolt, while others were betrayed into his hands. Thus the Lacedaemonians were able to lighten the pressure of war upon Peloponnesus; and when shortly afterwards they desired to negotiate, they had places to give in return for what they sought to recover. And at a later period of the war, after the Sicilian expedition, the honesty and ability of Brasidas which some had experienced, and of which others had heard the fame, mainly attracted the Athenian allies to the Lacedaemonians. For he was the first Spartan who had gone out to them, and he proved himself54 to be in every way a good man. Thus he left in their minds a firm conviction that the others would be like him.

The Athenians, hearing of the arrival of Brasidas in Chalcidicè, and believing that Perdiccas was the instigator of the expedition, declared war against the latter and kept a closer watch over their allies in that region.

Perdiccas, at once uniting the soldiers of Brasidas with his own forces, made war upon Arrhibaeus the son of Bromerus, king of the Lyncestians, a neighbouring people of Macedonia; for he had a quarrel with him and wanted to subdue him. But when he and Brasidas and the army arrived at the pass leading into Lyncus, Brasidas said that before appealing to arms he should like to try in person the effect of negotiations, and see if he could not make Arrhibaeus an ally of the Lacedaemonians. He was partly influenced by messages which came from Arrhibaeus expressing his willingness to submit any matter in dispute to the arbitration of Brasidas: and the Chalcidian ambassadors who accompanied the expedition recommended him not to remove from Perdiccas' path all his difficulties, lest, when they were wanting him for their own affairs, his ardour should cool. Besides, the envoys of Perdiccas when at Sparta had said something to the Lacedaemonians about his making many of the neighbouring tribes their allies, and on this ground Brasidas claimed to act jointly with Perdiccas in the matter of Arrhibaeus. But Perdiccas answered that he had not brought Brasidas there to arbitrate in the quarrels of Macedonia; he had meant him to destroy his enemies when he pointed them out. While he, Perdiccas, was maintaining half the Lacedaemonian army, Brasidas had no business to be holding parley with Arrhibaeus. But in spite of the opposition and resentment of Perdiccas, Brasidas communicated with Arrhibaeus, and was induced by his words to withdraw his army without invading the country. From that time Perdiccas thought himself ill-used, and paid only a third instead of half the expenses of the army.

During the same summer, immediately on his return from Lyncus, and a little before the vintage, Brasidas, reinforced by Chalcidian troops, marched against Acanthus, a colony of Andros. The inhabitants of the city were not agreed about admitting him; those who in concert with the Chalcidians had invited him being opposed to the mass of the people. So he asked them to receive him alone, and hear what he had to say before they decided; and to this request the multitude, partly out of fear for their still ungathered vintage, were induced to consent. Whereupon, coming forward to the people (and for a Lacedaemonian he was not a bad speaker), he addressed them as follows:

'Men of Acanthus, the Lacedaemonians have sent me out at the head of this army to justify the declaration which we made at the beginning of the war--that we were going to fight against the Athenians for the liberties of Hellas. If we have been long in coming, the reason is that we were disappointed in the result of the war nearer home; for we had hoped that, without involving you in danger, we might ourselves have made a speedy end of the Athenians. And therefore let no one blame us; we have come as soon as we could, and with your help will do our best to overthrow them. But how is it that you close your gates against me, and do not greet my arrival? We Lacedaemonians thought that we were coming to those who even before we came in act were our allies in spirit, and would joyfully receive us; having this hope we have braved the greatest dangers, marching for many days through a foreign country, and have shown the utmost zeal in your cause. And now, for you to be of another mind and to set yourselves against the liberties of your own city and of all Hellas would be monstrous! The evil is not only that you resist me yourselves, but wherever I go people will be less likely to join me; they will take it amiss when they hear that you to whom I first came, representing a powerful city and reputed to be men of sense, did not receive me, and I shall not be able to give a satisfactory explanation, but shall have to confess either that I offer a spurious liberty, or that I am weak55 and incapable of protecting you against the threatened attack of the Athenians. And yet when I brought assistance to Nisaea in command of the army which I have led hither, the Athenians, though more numerous, refused to engage with me; and they are not likely now, when their forces must be conveyed by sea, to send an army against you equal to that which they had at Nisaea.56 And I myself, why am I here? I come, not to injure, but to emancipate the Hellenes. And I have bound the government of Lacedaemon by the most solemn oaths to respect the independence of any states which I may bring over to their side. I do not want to gain your alliance by force or fraud, but to give you ours, that we may free you from the Athenian yoke. I think that you ought not to doubt my word when I offer you the most solemn pledges, nor should I be regarded as an inefficient champion; but you should confidently join me.

'If any one among you hangs back because he has a personal fear of anybody else, and is under the impression that I shall hand over the city to a party, him above all I would reassure. For I am not come hither to be the tool of a faction; nor do I conceive that the liberty which I bring you is of an ambiguous character; I should forget the spirit of my country were I to enslave the many to the few, or the minority to the whole people. Such a tyranny would be worse than the dominion of the foreigner, and we Lacedaemonians should receive no thanks in return for our trouble, but, instead of honour and reputation, only reproach. We should lay ourselves open to the charges which are our best weapons against the Athenians, and in a far more detestable form, for they have never been great examples of virtue. For to men of character there is more disgrace in seeking aggrandisement by specious deceit than by open violence;57 the violent have the justification of strength which fortune gives them, but a policy of intrigue is insidious and wicked.

'So careful are we where our highest interests are at stake. And not to speak of our oaths, you cannot have better assurance than they give whose actions, when compared with their professions, afford a convincing proof that it is their interest to keep their word.

'But if you plead that you cannot accept the proposals which I offer, and insist that you ought not to suffer for the rejection of them because you are our friend; if you are of opinion that liberty is perilous and should not in justice be forced upon any one, but gently brought to those who are able to receive it,--I shall first call the Gods and heroes of the country to witness that I have come hither for your good, and that you would not be persuaded by me: I shall then use force and ravage your country without any more scruple. I shall deem myself justified by two overpowering arguments. In the first place, I must not permit the Lacedaemonians to suffer by your friendship, and suffer they will through the revenues which the Athenians will continue to derive from you if you do not join me; and in the second place, the Hellenes must not lose their hope of liberation by your fault. On any other ground we should certainly be wrong in taking such a step; it is only for the sake of the general weal that we Lacedaemonians have any right to be forcing liberty upon those who would rather not have it. For ourselves, we are far from desiring empire, but we want to overthrow the empire of others. And having this end in view, we should do injustice to the majority if, while bringing independence to all, we tolerated opposition in you. Wherefore be well advised. Strive to take the lead in liberating Hellas, and lay up a treasure of undying fame. You will save your own property, and you will crown your city with glory.'

Thus spoke Brasidas. The Acanthians, after much had been said on both sides, partly under the attraction of his words, and partly because they were afraid of losing their vintage, determined by a majority, voting secretly, to revolt from Athens. They pledged Brasidas to stand by the engagement to which the government of Sparta had sworn before they sent him out, to respect the independence of all whom he brought over to the Lacedaemonian alliance. They then admitted his army; and shortly afterwards Stagirus, a colony of the Andrians, revolted also. Such were the events of the summer.

Meanwhile the betrayal of Boeotia into the hands of Hippocrates and Demosthenes, the Athenian generals, was on the eve of accomplishment. At the beginning of the ensuing winter Demosthenes and his fleet were to appear at Siphae, and Hippocrates simultaneously to march upon Delium. But there was a mistake about the day, and Demosthenes, with his Acarnanian and numerous other allies drawn from that neighbourhood, sailed to Siphae too soon. His attempt failed; for the plot was betrayed by Nicomachus a Phocian, of the town of Phanoteus, who told the Lacedaemonians, and they the Boeotians. Whereupon there was a general levy of the Boeotians, for Hippocrates, who was to have been in the country and to have distracted their attention, had not yet arrived; and so they forestalled the Athenians by the occupation of Siphae and Chaeronea. When the conspirators in the Boeotian cities saw that there had been a mistake they made no movement from within.

Hippocrates had called out the whole force of Athens, metics as well as citizens, and all the strangers who were then in the city. But he did not arrive at Delium until after the Boeotians had quitted Siphae. He encamped and fortified Delium, which is a temple of Apollo. His army dug a trench around the temple and the sacred precinct, the earth which they threw up out of the trench forming a rampart; along this rampart they drove in a double palisade, and cutting down the vines in the neighbourhood of the temple threw them in between. They made a like use of the stones and bricks of the houses near, which they pulled down, and by every means in their power strove to increase the height of the rampart. Where the temple buildings did not extend they erected wooden towers at convenient places; the cloister which had once existed had fallen down. They began their work on the third day after their departure from Athens, and continued all this day and the next and the following day until the midday meal. When it was nearly finished the army retired from Delium to a distance of a little more than a mile, intending to go home. The greater part of the light-armed troops proceeded on their march, but the hoplites piled their arms and rested. Hippocrates, who had remained behind, was occupied in placing the guards at their posts, and in superintending the completion of that part of the outworks which was still unfinished.

Meanwhile the Boeotians were gathering at Tanagra. All the forces from the different cities had now arrived. They saw that the Athenians were already marching homewards, and most of the Boeotarchs (who are in number eleven) disapproved of giving battle, because the enemy had left the Boeotian territory. For when the Athenians rested in their march they were just on the borders of Oropia. But Pagondas the son of Aeoladas, one of the two Boeotarchs from Thebes, who was in command at the time (the other being Arianthidas the son of Lysimachidas), wanted to fight,58 believing that the risk was worth encountering. So calling the soldiers to him in successive divisions, that they might not all leave their arms at once, he exhorted the Boeotians to march against the Athenians and to hazard battle, in the following words:

'Men of Boeotia, no one among us generals should ever have allowed the thought to enter his mind that we ought not to fight with the Athenians, even although we may not overtake them on Boeotian soil. They have crossed our frontier; it is Boeotia in which they have built a fort, and Boeotia which they intend to lay waste. Our enemies they clearly are wherever we find them, and therefore in that country out of which they came and did us mischief. But perhaps not to fight may appear to some one to be the safer course. Well then, let him who thinks so think again. When a man being in full possession of his own goes out of his way to attack others because he covets more, he cannot reflect too much; but when a man is attacked by another and has to fight for his own, prudence does not allow of reflection. In you the temper has been hereditary which would repel the foreign invader, whether he be in another's country or in your own; the Athenian invader above all others should be thus repelled, because he is your next neighbour. For among neighbours antagonism is ever a condition of independence, and against men like these, who are seeking to enslave not only near but distant countries, shall we not fight to the last? Look at their treatment of Euboea just over the strait, and of the greater part of Hellas. I would have you know, that whereas other men fight with their neighbours about the lines of a frontier, for us, if we are conquered, there will be no more disputing about frontiers, but one fixed boundary, including our whole country, for the Athenians will come in and take by force all that we have. So much more dangerous are they than ordinary neighbours. And men who, like them, wantonly assail others, will not hesitate to attack him who remains quietly at home and only defends himself; but they are not so ready to overbear the adversary who goes out of his own country to meet them, and when there is an opportunity strikes first. We have proved this in our own dealings with the Athenians. Once, owing to our internal dissensions, they took possession of our land, but we overcame them at Coronea, and gave Boeotia that complete security which has lasted to this day.59 Remember the past: let the elder men among us emulate their own earlier deeds, and the younger who are the sons of those valiant fathers do their best not to tarnish the virtues of their race. Confident that the God whose temple they have impiously fortified and now occupy will be our champion, and relying on the sacrifices, which are favourable to us, let us advance to meet them. They may satisfy their greed by attacking those who do not defend themselves; but we will show them that from men whose generous spirit ever impels them to fight for the liberties of their country, and who will not see that of others unjustly enslaved,--from such men they will not part without a battle.'

With this exhortation Pagondas persuaded the Boeotians to march against the Athenians, and quickly moved his army forward (for the day was far advanced). As soon as he approached the enemy he took up a position where a hill intercepted the view, and there drew up his army and prepared for action. Hippocrates, who was still at Delium, heard that the Boeotians were advancing, and sent a message to the army bidding them get into position. He himself came up shortly afterwards, having left three hundred cavalry at Delium, in order that they might protect the place if assailed, and also might watch their opportunity and attack the Boeotians while the battle was going on. To these the Boeotians opposed a separate force. When everything was ready they appeared over the crest of the hill, and halted in the order which they proposed to maintain in the engagement; they numbered about seven thousand hoplites, more than ten thousand light-armed troops, a thousand cavalry, and five hundred targeteers. The Thebans and the Boeotians who served in their ranks occupied the right wing. In the centre were the men of Haliartus, Coronea, and Copae, and the other dwellers about the Lake Copais. On the left wing were the Thespians, Tanagraeans, and Orchomenians; the cavalry and light-armed troops were placed on both wings. The Thebans were formed in ranks of five and twenty deep; the formation of the others varied. Such was the character and array of the Boeotian forces.

All the hoplites of the Athenian army were arranged in ranks eight deep; in numbers they equalled the hoplites of the enemy; the cavalry were stationed on either wing. No regular light-armed troops accompanied them, for Athens had no organised force of this kind. Those who originally joined the expedition were many times over the number of their opponents; but they were to a great extent without proper arms, for the whole force, strangers as well as citizens, had been called out. Having once started homewards, there were but few of them forthcoming in the engagement. When the Athenians were ranged in order of battle and, on the point of advancing, Hippocrates the general, proceeding along the lines, exhorted them as follows:

'Men of Athens, there is not much time for exhortation, but to the brave a few words are as good as many; I am only going to remind, not to admonish you.60 Let no man think that because we are on foreign soil we are running into great danger without cause. Although in Boeotian territory we shall be fighting for our own. If we are victors, the Peloponnesians, deprived of the Boeotian cavalry, will never invade our land again, so that in one battle you win Boeotia and win at the same time for Attica a more complete freedom. Meet them in a spirit worthy of the first city in Hellas-of that Athens which we are all proud to call our country; in a spirit too worthy of our fathers, who in times past under Myronides at Oenophyta overcame these very Boeotians and conquered their land.'

Thus spoke Hippocrates, and had gone over half the army, not having had time for more, when the Boeotians (to whom Pagondas just before engaging had been making a second short exhortation) raised the paean, and came down upon them from the hill. The Athenians hastened forward, and the two armies met at a run. The extreme right and left of either army never engaged, for the same reason; they were both prevented by water-courses. But the rest closed, and there was a fierce struggle and pushing of shield against shield. The left wing of the Boeotians as far as their centre was worsted by the Athenians, who pressed hard upon this part of the army, especially upon the Thespians. For the troops ranged at their side having given way they were surrounded and hemmed in; and so the Thespians who perished were cut down fighting hand to hand. Some of the Athenians themselves in surrounding the enemy were thrown into confusion and unwittingly slew one another. On this side then the Boeotians were overcome, and fled to that part of the army which was still fighting; but the right wing, where the Thebans were stationed, overcame the Athenians, and forcing them back, at first step by step, were following hard upon them, when Pagondas, seeing that his left wing was in distress, sent two squadrons of horse unperceived round the hill. They suddenly appeared over the ridge; the victorious wing of the Athenians, fancying that another army was attacking them, was struck with panic; and so at both points, partly owing to this diversion, and partly to the pressure of the advancing Thebans who broke their line, the rout of the Athenian army became general. Some fled to the sea at Delium, others towards Oropus, others to Mount Parnes, or in any direction which gave hope of safety. The Boeotians, especially their cavalry and that of the Locrians which arrived when the rout had begun, pursued and slaughtered them. Night closed upon the pursuit, and aided the mass of the fugitives in their escape. On the next day those of them who had reached Oropus and Delium, which, though defeated, they still held, were conveyed home by sea. A garrison was left in the place.

The Boeotians, after raising a trophy, took up their own dead, and despoiled those of the enemy. They then left them under the care of a guard, and retiring to Tanagra concerted an attack upon Delium. The herald of the Athenians, as he was on his way to ask for their dead, met a Boeotian herald, who turned him back, declaring that he would get no answer until he had returned himself. He then came before the Athenians and delivered to them the message of the Boeotians, by whom they were accused of transgressing the universally recognised customs of Hellas. Those who invaded the territory of others ever abstained from touching the temples, whereas the Athenians had fortified Delium and were now dwelling there, and doing all that men usually do in an unconsecrated place. They were even drawing, for common use, the water which the Boeotians themselves were forbidden to use except as holy water for the sacrifices. They therefore on behalf both of the God and of themselves, invoking Apollo and all the divinities who had a share in the temple, bade the Athenians depart and carry off what belonged to them.

Upon the delivery of this message the Athenians sent to the Boeotians a herald of their own, who on their behalf declared 'that they had done no wilful injury to the temple, and would not damage it if they could help it; they had not originally entered it with any injurious intent, but in order that from it they might defend themselves against those who were really injuring them. According to Hellenic practice, they who were masters of the land, whether much or little, invariably had possession of the temples, to which they were bound to a show the customary reverence, but in such ways only as were possible.61

There was a time when the Boeotians themselves and most other nations, including all who had driven out the earlier inhabitants of the land which they now occupied, attacked the temples of others, and these had in time become their own. So the Boeotian temples would have become theirs if they had succeeded in conquering more of Boeotia. So much of the country as they did occupy was their own, and they did not mean to leave it until compelled. As to meddling with the water, they could not help themselves; the use of it was a necessity which they had not incurred wantonly; they were resisting the Boeotians who had begun by attacking their territory. When men were constrained by war, or by some other great calamity, there was every reason to think that their offence was forgiven by the God himself. He who has committed an involuntary misdeed finds a refuge at the altar, and men are said to transgress, not when they presume a little in their distress, but when they do evil of their own free will. The Boeotians, who demanded a sacred place as a ransom for the bodies of the dead, were guilty of a far greater impiety than the Athenians who refused to make such an unseemly exchange. They desired the Boeotians to let them take away their dead, not adding the condition "if they would quit Boeotia," for in fact they were in a spot which they had fairly won by arms and not in Boeotia, but simply saying, "if they would make a truce according to ancestral custom."'

The Boeotians replied that if they were in Boeotia they might take what belonged to them, but must depart out of it; if they were in their own land they could do as they pleased. They knew that the territory of Oropus, in which the dead lay (for the battle took place on the border), was actually in the possession of Athens, but that the Athenians could not take them away without their leave, and they were unwilling as they pretended to make a truce respecting a piece of ground which did not belong to them.62 And to say in their reply 'that if they would quit Boeotian ground they might take what they asked for,' sounded plausible. Thereupon the Athenian herald departed, leaving his purpose unaccomplished.

The Boeotians immediately sent for javelin-men and slingers from the Malian Gulf. They had been joined after the battle by the Corinthians with two thousand hoplites, and by the Peloponnesian garrison which had evacuated Nisaea,63 as well as by some Megarians. They now marched against Delium and attacked the rampart, employing among other military devices an engine, with which they succeeded in taking the place; it was of the following description. They sawed in two and hollowed out a great beam, which they joined together again very exactly, like a flute, and suspended a vessel by chains at the end of the beam; the iron mouth of a bellows directed downwards into the vessel was attached to the beam, of which a great part was itself overlaid with iron. This machine they brought up from a distance on carts to various points of the rampart where vine stems and wood had been most extensively used, and when it was quite near the wall they applied a large bellows to their own end of the beam, and blew through it. The blast, prevented from escaping, passed into the vessel which contained burning coals and sulphur and pitch; these made a huge flame, and set fire to the rampart, so that no one could remain upon it. The garrison took flight, and the fort was taken. Some were slain; two hundred were captured; but the greater number got on board their ships and so reached home.

Delium was captured seventeen days after the battle. The Athenian herald came shortly afterwards in ignorance of its fate to ask again for the dead, and now the Boeotians, instead of repeating their former answer, gave them up. In the battle the Boeotians lost somewhat less than five hundred; the Athenians not quite a thousand, and Hippocrates their general; also a great number of light-armed troops and baggage-bearers.

Shortly after the battle of Delium, Demosthenes, on the failure of the attempt to betray Siphae, against which he had sailed with forty ships,64 employed the Agraean and Acarnanian troops together with four hundred Athenian hoplites whom he had on board in a descent on the Sicyonian coast. Before all the fleet had reached the shore the Sicyonians came out against the invaders, put to flight those who had landed, and pursued them to their ships, killing some, and making prisoners of others. They then erected a trophy, and gave back the dead under a flag of truce.

While the affair of Delium was going on, Sitalces the Odrysian king died; he had been engaged in an expedition against the Triballi, by whom he was defeated in battle. Seuthes the son of Sparadocus,65 his nephew, succeeded him in the kingdom of the Odrysians and the rest of his Thracian dominions.

During the same winter, Brasidas and his Chalcidian allies made an expedition against Amphipolis upon the river Strymon, the Athenian colony. The place where the city now stands is the same which Aristagoras of Miletus in days of old, when he was fleeing from King Darius, attempted to colonise; he was driven out by the Edonians.66 Two and thirty years afterwards the Athenians made another attempt; they sent a colony of ten thousand, made up partly of their own citizens, partly of any others who liked to join; but these also were attacked by the Thracians at Drabescus, and perished.67 Twenty-nine years later the Athenians came again, under the leadership of Hagnon the son of Nicias, drove out the Edonians, and built a town on the same spot, which was formerly called `The Nine Ways.' Their base of operations was Eion, a market and seaport which they already possessed, at the mouth of the river, about three miles from the site of the present town. Wanting to enclose the newly-founded city, which on two sides is surrounded by the river Strymon, Hagnon cut it off by a long wall reaching from the upper part of the river to the lower, and called the place Amphipolis, because it strikes the eye both by sea and land.

Against Amphipolis Brasidas now led his army. Starting from Arnae in Chalcidicè, towards evening he reached Aulon and Bromiscus at the point where the lake Bolbè flows into the sea; having there supped, he marched on during the night. The weather was wintry and somewhat snowy; and so he pushed on all the quicker; he was hoping that his approach might be known at Amphipolis only to those who were in the secret. There dwelt in the place settlers from Argilus, a town which was originally colonised from Andros; these and others aided in the attempt, instigated some by Perdiccas, others by the Chalcidians. The town of Argilus is not far off, and the inhabitants were always suspected by the Athenians, and were always conspiring against Amphipolis. For some time past, ever since the arrival of Brasidas had given them an opportunity, they had been concerting measures with their countrymen inside the walls for the surrender of the city. They now revolted from the Athenians on that very night, and received him into their town, and before dawn68 they conducted the army to the bridge over the river, which is at some distance from the town. At that time no walls had been built down to the river, as they have since been; a small guard was posted there. Brasidas easily overcame the guard, owing partly to the plot within the walls, partly to the severity of the weather and the suddenness of his attack; he then crossed the bridge, and at once was master of all the possessions of the Amphipolitans outside the walls. For they lived scattered about in the country.

The passage of the river was a complete surprise to the citizens within the walls. Many who happened to be outside were taken. Others fled into the town. The Amphipolitans were in great consternation, for they suspected one another. It is even said that Brasidas, if, instead of allowing his army to plunder, he had marched direct to the place, would probably69 have captured it. But he merely occupied a position, and overran the country outside the walls; and then, finding that his confederates within failed in accomplishing their part, he took no further step. Meanwhile the opponents of the conspirators, being superior in number, prevented the immediate opening of the gates, and acting with Eucles, the general to whose care the place had been committed by the Athenians, sent for help to the other general in Chalcidicè, Thucydides the son of Olorus, who wrote this history; he was then at Thasos, an island colonised from Paros, and distant from Amphipolis about half a day's sail. As soon as he heard the tidings he sailed quickly to Amphipolis with seven ships which happened to be on the spot; he wanted to get into Amphipolis if possible before it could capitulate, or at any rate to occupy Eion.

Meanwhile Brasidas, fearing the arrival of the ships from Thasos, and hearing that Thucydides had the right of working gold mines in the neighbouring district of Thrace, and was consequently one of the leading men of the country, did his utmost to get possession of the city before his arrival. He was afraid that, if Thucydides once came, the people of Amphipolis would no longer be disposed to surrender. For their hope would be that he would bring in allies from the islands or maritime towns or from the interior of Thrace, and relieve them. He therefore offered moderate terms, proclaiming that any Amphipolitan or Athenian might either remain in the city and have the enjoyment of his property on terms of equality; or, if he preferred, might depart, taking his goods with him, within five days.

When the people heard the proclamation they began to waver; for very few of the citizens were Athenians, the greater number being a mixed multitude. Many within the walls were relatives of those who had been captured outside. In their alarm they thought the terms reasonable; the Athenian population because they were too glad to withdraw, reflecting how much greater their share of the danger was, and not expecting speedy relief; the rest of the people because they retained all their existing rights, and were delivered from a fate which seemed inevitable. The partisans of Brasidas now proceeded to justify his proposals without disguise, for they saw that the mind of the whole people had changed, and that they no longer paid any regard to the Athenian general who was on the spot. So his terms were accepted, and the city was surrendered and delivered up to him. On the evening of the same day Thucydides and his ships sailed into Eion, but not until Brasidas had taken possession of Amphipolis, missing Eion only by a night. For if the ships had not come to the rescue with all speed, the place would have been in his hands on the next morning.

Thucydides now put Eion in a state of defence, desiring to provide not only against any immediate attempt of Brasidas, but also against future danger. He received the fugitives who had chosen to quit Amphipolis according to the agreement and wished to come into Eion. Brasidas suddenly sailed with a number of small craft down the river to Eion, hoping that he might take the point which runs out from the wall, and thereby command the entrance to the harbour; at the same time he made an attack by land. But in both these attempts he was foiled. Whereupon he returned, and took measures for the settlement of Amphipolis. Myrcinus a city in the Edonian country joined him, Pittacus the king of the Edonians having been assassinated by the children of Goaxis and Brauro his wife. Soon afterwards Galepsus and Oesymè (both colonies from Thasos) came over to him. Perdiccas likewise arrived shortly after the taking of Amphipolis, and assisted him in settling the newly-acquired towns.

The Athenians were seriously alarmed at the loss of Amphipolis; the place was very useful to them, and supplied them with a revenue, and with timber which they imported for shipbuilding. As far as the Strymon the Lacedaemonians could always have found a way to the allies of Athens, if the Thessalians allowed them to pass; but until they gained possession of the bridge they could proceed no further, because, for a long way above, the river forms a large lake, and below, towards Eion, there were triremes on guard. All difficulty seemed now to be removed, and the Athenians feared that more of their allies would revolt. For Brasidas in all his actions showed himself reasonable, and whenever he made a speech lost no opportunity of declaring that he was sent to emancipate Hellas. The cities which were subject to Athens, when they heard of the taking of Amphipolis and of his promises and of his gentleness, were more impatient than ever to rise, and privately sent embassies to him, asking him to come and help them, every one of them wanting to be first. They thought that there was no danger, for they had under-estimated the Athenian power, which afterwards proved its greatness and the magnitude of their mistake; they judged rather by their own illusive wishes than by the safe rule of prudence. For such is the manner of men; what they like is always seen by them in the light of unreflecting hope, what they dislike they peremptorily set aside by an arbitrary conclusion. Moreover, the Athenians had lately received a blow in Boeotia, and Brasidas told the allies what was likely to attract them, but untrue, that at Nisaea the Athenians had refused to fight with his unassisted forces.70 And so they grew bold, and were quite confident that no army would ever reach them. Above all, they were influenced by the pleasurable excitement of the moment; they were now for the first time going to find out of what the Lacedaemonians were capable when in real earnest, and therefore they were willing to risk anything. The Athenians were aware of their disaffection, and as far as they could, at short notice and in winter time, sent garrisons to the different cities. Brasidas also despatched a message to the Lacedaemonians requesting them to let him have additional forces, and he himself began to build triremes on the Strymon. But they would not second his efforts because their leading men were jealous of him, and also because they preferred to recover the prisoners taken in the island and bring the war to an end.

In the same winter the Megarians recovered their Long Walls which had been in the hands of the Athenians,71 and razed them to the ground.

After the taking of Amphipolis, Brasidas and his allies marched to the so-called Actè, or coastland, which runs out from the canal made by the Persian King and extends into the peninsula; it ends in Athos, a high mountain projecting into the Aegean sea.72 There are cities in the peninsula, of which one is Sanè, an Andrian colony on the edge of the canal looking towards the sea in the direction of Euboea; the others are Thyssus, Cleonae, Acrothoi, Olophyxus, and Dium; their inhabitants are a mixed multitude of barbarians, speaking Greek as well as their native tongue. A few indeed are Chalcidian; but the greater part are Pelasgians (sprung from the Tyrrhenians who once inhabited Lemnos and Athens), or Bisaltians, Crestonians, Edonians. They all dwell in small cities. Most of them joined Brasidas, but Sanè and Dium held out; whereupon he remained there for a time and wasted their territory.

Finding that they would not yield, he promptly made an expedition against Toronè in Chalcidicè, which was held by the Athenians. He was invited by a few of the inhabitants, who were ready to deliver the city into his hands. Arriving at night, or about daybreak, he took up a position at the temple of the Dioscuri, which is distant about three furlongs from the city. The great body of the inhabitants and the Athenian garrison never discovered him; but those Toronaeans who were in his interest, and knew that he was coming, were awaiting his approach; some few of them had privately gone to meet him. When his confederates found that he had arrived, they introduced into the city, under the command of Lysistratus an Olynthian, seven light-armed soldiers carrying daggers (for of twenty who had been originally appointed to that service, only seven had the courage to enter). These men slipped in undiscovered by way of the wall where it looks towards the sea. They ascended the side of the hill on the slope of which the city is built, and slew the sentinels posted on the summit; they then began to break down the postern-gate towards the promontory of Canastraeum.

Meanwhile Brasidas advanced a little with the rest of his army, and then halting, sent forward a hundred targeteers, that as soon as any of the gates were opened, and the signal agreed upon displayed, they might rush in first. There was a delay, and they, wondering what had happened, drew by degrees nearer and nearer to the city. Their partisans in Toronè, acting with the soldiers who had already got inside, had now broken through the postern-gate, and proceeded to cut the bar which fastened the gates near the market-place. They then brought round some of the targeteers by way of the postern-gate, and introduced them into the city, hoping to strike panic into the unconscious citizens by the sudden appearance of an armed force in their rear and on both sides of them at once. Their next step was to raise the fire-signal according to agreement; they then received the rest of the targeteers through the gates by the market-place.

Brasidas, when he saw the signal, gave his army the word to advance, and ran forward. Raising with one voice a shout which struck great terror into the inhabitants, they followed him. Some of them dashed in by the gates; others found a way in at a place where the wall had fallen down and was being repaired, getting up by some planks which were placed against it, intended for drawing up stones. He himself with the main body of his army ascended to the upper part of the city, wanting to make the capture thorough and secure; the rest of his soldiers overran the town.

While the capture was proceeding the Toronaeans generally, who knew nothing about the plot, were in confusion. The conspirators and their party at once joined the assailants. Of the Athenian hoplites, who to the number of fifty chanced to be sleeping in the Agora, a few were cut down at once, but the greater number, when they saw what had happened, fled, some by land, others to the Athenian guard-ships, of which two were on the spot, and reached safely the fort of Lecythus, a high point of the city which the Athenians had occupied and retained in their own hands; it runs out into the sea, and is only joined to the mainland by a narrow isthmus; thither fled also such Toronaeans as were friendly to the Athenians.

It was now daylight, and the city being completely in his power, Brasidas made proclamation to the Toronaeans who had taken refuge with the Athenians, that if they liked they might come out and return to their homes; they would suffer no harm in the city. He also sent a herald to the Athenians, bidding them take what was their own and depart under a flag of truce out of Lecythus. The place, he said, belonged to the Chalcidians, and not to them. They refused to go, but asked him to make a truce with them for a day, that they might take up their dead, and he granted them two days. During these two days he fortified the buildings which were near Lecythus, and the Athenians strengthened the fort itself. He then called a meeting of the Toronaeans, and addressed them much in the same terms which he had used at Acanthus.73 He told them that they ought not to think badly of those citizens who had aided him, much less to deem them traitors; for they were not bribed and had not acted with any view of enslaving the city, but in the interest of her freedom and welfare. Those of the inhabitants who had not joined in the plot were not to suppose that they would fare worse than the rest; for he had not come thither to destroy either the city or any of her citizens. In this spirit he had made the proclamation to those who had taken refuge with the Athenians, and he thought none the worse of them for being their friends; when they had a similar experience of the Lacedaemonians their attachment to them would be still greater, for they would recognise their superior honesty; they were only afraid of them now because they did not know them. They must all make up their minds to be faithful allies, and expect henceforward to be held responsible if they offended; but in the past the Lacedaemonians had not been wronged by them; on the contrary, it was they who had been wronged by a power too great for them, and were to be excused if they had opposed him.

With these words he encouraged the citizens. On the expiration of the truce he made his intended attack upon Lecythus. The Athenians defended themselves from the fortress, which was weak, and from some houses which had battlements. For a whole day they repulsed the assault; but on the morrow an engine was brought against them, from which the Lacedaemonians proposed to throw fire upon the wooden breastwork. Just as the army was drawing near the wall, the Athenians raised a wooden tower upon the top of a building at a point where the approach was easiest and where they thought that the enemy would be most likely to apply the engine. To this tower they carried up numerous jars and,casks of water and great stones; and many men mounted upon it. Suddenly the building, being too heavily weighted, fell in with a loud crash. This only annoyed and did not much alarm the Athenians who were near and saw what had happened, but the rest were terrified, and their fright was the greater in proportion as they were further off. They thought that the place had been taken at that spot, and fled as fast as they could to the sea where their ships lay.

Brasidas witnessed the accident and observed that they were abandoning the battlements. He at once rushed forward with his army, captured the fort, and put to death all whom he found in it. Thus the Athenians were driven out; and in their ships of war and other vessels crossed over to Pallenè. There happened to be in Lecythus a temple of Athenè; and when Brasidas was about to storm the place he had made a proclamation that he who first mounted the wall should receive thirty minae;74 but now, believing that the capture had been effected by some more than human power, he gave the thirty minae to the Goddess for the service of the temple, and then pulling down Lecythus and clearing the ground, he consecrated the whole place. The rest of this winter he spent in settling the administration of the towns which he already held, and in concerting measures against the rest. At the end of the winter ended the eighth year of the war.

Early in the following spring the Lacedaemonians and Athenians made a truce for a year. The Athenians hoped to prevent Brasidas from gaining over any more of their allies for the present; the interval would give them leisure for preparation; and hereafter, if it was for their interest, they might come to a general understanding. The Lacedaemonians had truly divined the fears of the Athenians, and thought that, having enjoyed an intermission of trouble and hardship, they would be more anxious to make terms, restore the captives taken in the island, and conclude a durable peace. Their main object was to recover their men while the good fortune of Brasidas lasted; when, owing to his successful career and the balance which he had established between the contending powers, they did not feel the loss of them, and yet by retaliating on equal terms with the remainder of their forces might have a fair prospect of victory.75 So they made a truce for themselves and their allies in the following terms:

'I. Concerning the temple and oracle of the Pythian Apollo, it seems good to us that any one who will shall ask counsel thereat without fraud and without fear, according to his ancestral customs. To this we, the Lacedaemonians and their allies here present, agree, and we will send heralds to the Boeotians and Phocians, and do our best to gain their assent likewise.

'II. Concerning the treasures of the God, we will take measures for the detection of evil-doers, both you and we, according to our ancestral customs, and any one else who will, according to his ancestral customs, proceeding always with right and equity. Thus it seems good to the Lacedaemonians and their allies in respect of these matters.

'III. It further seems good to the Lacedaemonians and their allies that, if the Athenians consent to a truce, either party shall remain within his own territory, retaining what he has. The Athenians at Coryphasium shall keep between Buphras and Tomeus. They shall remain at Cythera,76 but shall not communicate with the Lacedaemonian confederacy, neither we with them nor they with us. The Athenians who are in Nisaea77 and Minoa78 shall not cross the road which leads from the gates of the shrine of Nisus to the temple of Poseidon, and from the temple of Poseidon goes direct to the bridge leading to Minoa; neither shall the Megarians and their allies cross this road; the Athenians shall hold the island which they have taken, neither party communicating with the other. They shall also hold what they now hold near Troezen,79 according to the agreement concluded between the Athenians and Troezenians.

'IV. At sea the Lacedaemonians and their allies may sail along their own coasts and the coasts of the confederacy, not in ships of war, but in any other rowing vessel whose burden does not exceed five hundred talents.80

'V. There shall be a safe-conduct both by sea and land for a herald, with envoys and any number of attendants which may be agreed upon, passing to and fro between Peloponnesus and Athens, to make arrangements about the termination of the war and about the arbitration of disputed points.

' VI. While the truce lasts, neither party, neither we nor you, shall receive deserters, either bond or free.

'VII. And we will give satisfaction to you and you shall give satisfaction to us according to our ancestral customs, and determine disputed points by arbitration and not by arms.

'These things seem good to us, the Lacedaemonians, and to our allies. But if you deem any other condition more just or honourable, go to Lacedaemon and explain your views; neither the Lacedaemonians nor their allies will reject any just claim which you may prefer.

'And we desire you, as you desire us, to send envoys invested with full powers.

' This truce shall be for a year.'

'The Athenian people passed the following decree. The prytanes were of the tribe Acamantis, Phaenippus was the registrar, Niciades was the president. Laches moved that a truce be concluded on the terms to which the Lacedaemonians and their allies had consented; and might it be for the best interests of the Athenian people! Accordingly the assembly agreed that the truce shall last for a year, beginning from this day, being the fourteenth day of the month Elaphebolion.81 During the year of truce ambassadors and heralds are to go from one state to another and discuss proposals for the termination of the war. The generals and prytanes shall proceed to hold another assembly, at which the people shall discuss, first of all, the question of peace, whatever proposal the Lacedaemonian embassy may offer about the termination of the war. The embassies now present shall bind themselves on the spot, in the presence of the assembly, to abide for a year by the truce just made.'

To these terms the Lacedaemonians assented, and they and their allies took oath to the Athenians and their allies on the twelfth day of the Spartan month Gerastius. Those who formally ratified the truce were, on behalf of Lacedaemon, Taurus the son of Echetimidas, Athenaeus the son of Periclidas, Philocharidas the son of Eryxidaidas; of Corinth, Aeneas the son of Ocytus, Euphamidas the son of Aristonymus; of Sicyon, Damotimus the son of Naucrates, Onasimus the son of Megacles; of Megara, Nicasus the son of Cecalus, Menecrates the son of Amphidorus; of Epidaurus, Amphias the son of Eupaidas; and on behalf of Athens, Nicostratus the son of Diitrephes, Nicias the son of Niceratus, Autocles the son of Tolmaeus. Such were the terms of the armistice; during its continuance fresh negotiations for a final peace were constantly carried on.

About the time when the envoys engaged in the negotiations were passing to and fro, Scionè, a town of Pallenè, revolted from the Athenians and joined Brasidas. The Scionaeans, according to their own account, sprang originally from Pellenè in Peloponnesus, but their ancestors returning from Troy were carried by the storm which the Achaean fleet encountered to Scionè, where they took up their abode. Brasidas, when he heard of the revolt, sailed thither by night, sending before him a friendly trireme, while he himself followed at some distance in a small boat, thinking that if he met any vessel, not a trireme, larger than the boat, the trireme would protect him,82 while if another trireme of equal strength came up, it would fall, not upon the boat, but upon the larger vessel, and in the meantime he would be able to save himself. He succeeded in crossing, and having summoned a meeting of the Scionaeans, he repeated what he had said at Acanthus and Toronè, adding that their conduct was deserving of the highest praise; for at a time when the Athenians were holding Potidaea and the isthmus of Pallenè, and they, being cut off from the mainland, were as defenceless as if they had been islanders, they had taken the side of liberty unbidden. They were not such cowards as to wait until they were compelled to do what was obviously for their own interest; and this was a sufficient proof that they would endure like men any hardships, however great, if only their aspirations could be realised. He should reckon them the truest and most loyal friends of the Lacedaemonians, and pay them the highest honour.

The Scionaeans were inspirited by his words; and one and all, even those who had previously been against the movement, took courage and determined to bear cheerfully the burdens of the war. They received Brasidas with honour, and in the name of the city crowned him with a golden crown as the liberator of Hellas; many too, in token of their personal admiration, placed garlands on his head, and congratulated him, as if he had been a victor in the games. For the present he left a small garrison with them and returned, but soon afterwards again crossed the sea with a larger army, being desirous, now that he had the help of the Scionaeans, to attempt Mendè and Potidaea; he made sure that the Athenians would follow him with their ships to Pallenè, which they would consider an island; and he wished to anticipate them. Moreover he had entered into negotiations with these cities, and had some hope of their being betrayed to him.

But before he had executed his intentions, a trireme arrived conveying the ambassadors who went round to proclaim the truce, Aristonymus from Athens, and Athenaeus from Lacedaemon. His army then returned to Toronè, and the truce was formally announced to him. All the allies of the Lacedaemonians in Chalcidicè agreed to the terms. Aristonymus the Athenian assented generally, but finding on a calculation of the days that the Scionaeans had revolted after the conclusion of the truce, refused to admit them. Brasidas insisted that they were in time, and would not surrender the city. Whereupon Aristonymus despatched a message to Athens. The Athenians were ready at once to make an expedition against Scionè. The Lacedaemonians, however, sent an embassy to them and protested that such a step would be a breach of the truce. They laid claim to the place, relying on the testimony of Brasidas, and proposed to have the matter decided by arbitration. But the Athenians, instead of risking an arbitration, wanted to send an expedition instantly; for they were exasperated at discovering that even the islanders were now daring to revolt from them, in a futile reliance on the Lacedaemonian power by land. The greater right was on their side; for the truth was that the Scionaeans had revolted two days after the truce was made. They instantly carried a resolution, moved by Cleon, to destroy Scionè and put the citizens to the sword; and, while abstaining from hostilities elsewhere, they prepared to carry out their intentions.

In the meantime Mendè, a city of Pallenè and an Eretrian colony, revolted from them. Brasidas felt justified in receiving the Mendaeans, although, when they came to him, the peace had unmistakably been declared, because there were certain points in which he too charged the Athenians with violating the treaty. His attitude encouraged them to take this bold step; they saw his zeal in the cause, which they likewise inferred from his unwillingness to hand over Scionè to the Athenians. Moreover the persons who negotiated with him were few in number, and having once begun, would not give up their purpose. For they feared the consequences of detection, and therefore compelled the multitude to act contrary to their own wishes. When the Athenians heard of the revolt they were more angry than ever, and made preparations against both cities. Brasidas, in expectation of their attack, conveyed away the wives and children of the Scionaeans83 and Mendaeans to Olynthus in Chalcidice, and sent over five hundred Peloponnesian hoplites and three hundred Chalcidian targeteers, under the sole command of Polydamidas, to their aid. The two cities concerted measures for their defence against the Athenians, who were expected shortly to arrive.

Brasidas and Perdiccas now joined their forces, and made a second expedition to Lyncus against Arrhibaeus. Perdiccas led his own Macedonian army and a force of hoplites supplied by the Hellenic inhabitants of the country. Brasidas, beside the Peloponnesians who remained with him, had under his command a body of Chalcidians from Acanthus and other cities which supplied as many troops as they severally could. The entire heavy-armed Hellenic forces numbered about three thousand; the Chalcidian and Macedonian cavalry nearly a thousand, and there was also a great multitude of barbarians. They entered the territory of Arrhibaeus, and there finding the Lyncestians ready for battle, they took up a position in face of them. The infantry of the two armies was stationed upon two opposite hills, and between them was a plain, into which the cavalry of both first descended and fought. Then the Lyncestian heavy-armed troops began to advance from the hill, and forming a junction with their cavalry, offered battle. Brasidas and Perdiccas now drew out their army and charged; the Lyncestians were put to flight and many slain; the rest escaped to the high ground, and there remained inactive. The conquerors raised a trophy, and waited for two or three days expecting the arrival of some Illyrians whom Perdiccas had hired. Then Perdiccas wanted, instead of sitting idle, to push on against the villages of Arrhibaeus, but Brasidas was anxious about Mendè, and apprehensive that the Athenians might sail thither and do some mischief before he returned. The Illyrians had not appeared; and for both reasons he was more disposed to retreat than to advance.

But while they were disputing, the news arrived that the Illyrians had just betrayed Perdiccas and joined Arrhibaeus, whereupon they both resolved to retreat; for they were afraid of the Illyrians, who are a nation of warriors. Owing to the dispute nothing had been determined respecting the time of their departure. Night came on, and the Macedonians and the mass of the barbarians were instantly seized with one of those unaccountable panics to which great armies are liable.84 They fancied that the Illyrians were many times their real number, and that they were close at their heels; so, suddenly betaking themselves to flight, they hastened homewards. And they compelled Perdiccas, when he understood the state of affairs, which at first he did not, to go away without seeing Brasidas, for the two armies were encamped at a considerable distance from one another. At dawn Brasidas, finding that Arrhibaeus and the Illyrians were coming on and that the Macedonians had already decamped, resolved to follow them. So he formed his hoplites into a compact square, and placed his light-armed troops in the centre. He selected the youngest of his soldiers to run out upon the enemy at whatever point the attack might be made. He himself proposed during the retreat to take his post in the rear with three hundred chosen men, meaning to stop the foremost of his assailants and beat them off. Before the Illyrians came up he exhorted his soldiers, as far as the shortness of the time permitted, in the following words:

'Did I not suspect, men of Peloponnesus, that you may be terrified because you have been deserted by your companions and are assailed by a host of barbarians, I should think only of encouraging and not of instructing you.85 But now that we are left alone in the face of numerous enemies, I shall endeavour in a few words to impress upon you the main points which it concerns you to be informed of and to remember. For you ought to fight like men not merely when you happen to have allies present, but because courage is native to you; nor should you fear any number of foreign troops. Remember that in the cities from which you come, not the many govern the few, but the few govern the many, and have acquired their supremacy simply by successful fighting. Your enemies are barbarians, and you in your inexperience fear them. But you ought to know, from your late conflicts with the Macedonian portion of them86--and any estimate which I can form, or account of them which I receive from others, would lead me to infer--that they will not prove so very formidable. An enemy often has weak points which wear the appearance of strength; and these; when their nature is explained, encourage rather than frighten their opponents. As, on the other hand, where an army has a real advantage, the adversary who is the most ignorant is also the most foolhardy. The Illyrians, to those who have no experience of them, do indeed at first sight present a threatening aspect. The spectacle of their numbers is terrible, their cries are intolerable, and the brandishing of their spears in the air has a menacing effect. But in action they are not the men they look, if their opponents will only stand their ground; for they have no regular order, and therefore are not ashamed of leaving any post in which they are hard pressed; to fly and to advance being alike honourable, no imputation can be thrown on their courage. When every man is his own master in battle he will readily find a decent excuse for saving himself. They clearly think that to frighten us at a safe distance is a better plan than to meet us hand to hand; else why do they shout instead of fighting? You may easily see that all the terrors with which you have invested them are in reality nothing; they do but startle the sense of sight and hearing. If you repel their tumultuous onset, and, when opportunity offers, withdraw again in good order, keeping your ranks, you will sooner arrive at a place of safety, and will also learn the lesson that mobs like these, if an adversary withstand their first attack, do but threaten at a distance and make a flourish of valour, although if he yields to them they are quick enough to show their courage in following at his heels when there is no danger.'

Brasidas, having addressed his army, began to retreat. Whereupon the barbarians with loud noise and in great disorder pressed hard upon him, supposing that he was flying, and that they could overtake and destroy his troops. But, wherever they attacked, the soldiers appointed for the purpose ran out and met them, and Brasidas himself with his chosen men received their charge. Thus the first onset of the barbarians met with a resistance which surprised them, and whenever they renewed the attack the Lacedaemonians received and repelled them again, and when they ceased, proceeded with their march. Thereupon the greater part of the barbarians abstained from attacking Brasidas and his Hellenes in the open country; but leaving a certain number to follow and harass them, they ran on after the fugitive Macedonians and killed any with whom they fell in. They then secured beforehand the narrow pass between two hills which led into the country of Arrhibaeus, knowing that this was the only path by which Brasidas could retreat. And as he was approaching the most dangerous point of the defile they began to surround him in the hope of cutting him off.

Perceiving their intention, he told his three hundred to leave their ranks and run every man as fast as he could to the top of one of the hills, being the one which he thought the barbarians would be most likely to occupy; and before a larger number of them could come up and surround them, to dislodge those who were already there.87 They accordingly attacked and defeated them; and so the main body of his army more easily reached the summit; for the barbarians, seeing their comrades defeated and driven from the high ground, took alarm; they considered too that the enemy were already on the borders of the country, and had got away from them, and therefore followed no further. Brasidas had now gained the high ground and could march unmolested; on the same day he arrived at Arnissa, which is in the dominion of Perdiccas. The soldiers were enraged at the hasty retreat of the Macedonians, and when they came upon carts of theirs drawn by oxen, or any baggage which had been dropped in the flight, as was natural in a retreat made in a panic and by night, they of themselves loosed the oxen and slaughtered them, and appropriated the baggage. From that time forward Perdiccas regarded Brasidas in the light of a foe, and conceived a new hatred of the Peloponnesians, which was not a natural feeling in an enemy of the Athenians. Nevertheless, disregarding his own nearest interests, he took steps to make terms with the one and get rid of the other.

Brasidas returned from Macedonia to Toronè, and when he arrived there found the Athenians already in possession of Mendè. Thinking it now too late to cross over to Pallenè and assist Mendè and Scionè, he remained quiet and guarded Toronè. While he was engaged with the Lyncestians, the Athenians, having completed their preparations, had sailed against Mendè and Scionè with fifty ships, of which ten were Chian, conveying a thousand hoplites of their own, six hundred archers, a thousand Thracian mercenaries, and targeteers furnished by their allies in the neighbourhood. They were under the command of Nicias the son of Niceratus, and Nicostratus the son of Diitrephes. Sailing from Potidaea and putting in near the temple of Poseidon they marched against the Mendaeans. Now they and three hundred Scionaeans who had come to their aid, and their Peloponnesian auxiliaries, seven hundred hoplites in all, with Polydamidas their commander, had just encamped outside the city on a steep hill. Nicias, taking with him for the assault a hundred and twenty Methonaean light-armed troops, sixty select Athenian hoplites and all the archers, made an attempt to ascend the hill by a certain pathway, but he was wounded and failed to carry the position. Nicostratus with the remainder of his troops approaching the hill, which was hard of access, by another and more circuitous route was thrown into utter confusion, and the whole army of the Athenians were nearly defeated. So on this day the Athenians, finding that the Mendaeans and their allies refused to give way, retreated and encamped; and when night came on, the Mendaeans likewise returned to the city.

On the following day the Athenians sailed round to the side of Mendè looking towards Scionè; they took the suburb, and during the whole of that day devastated the country. No one came out to meet them; for a division had arisen in the city, and on the following night the three hundred Scionaeans returned home. On the next day Nicias with half his army went as far as the Scionaean frontier and devastated the country on his march, while Nicostratus with the other half sat down before the upper gates of Mendè, out of which the road leads to Potidaea. In this part of the city within the walls the Mendaeans and their allies chanced to have their arms deposited, and Polydamidas, arraying his forces in order of battle, was just exhorting the Mendaeans to go forth. Some one of the popular faction answered in the heat of party that he would not go out, and that he did not care to fight, but no sooner had he uttered the words than he was seized by the Peloponnesian commander and roughly handled. Whereupon the people lost patience, caught up their arms, and made a furious rush upon the Peloponnesians and the opposite party who were in league with them. They soon put them to flight, partly because the onslaught was sudden, and also because the gates were thrown open to the Athenians, which greatly terrified them. For they thought that the attack upon them was premeditated. All the Peloponnesians who were not killed on the spot fled to the citadel, which they had previously kept in their own hands. Nicias had now returned and was close to the city, and the Athenians rushed into Mendè with their whole force. As the gates had been opened without any previous capitulation they plundered the town as if it had been stormed; and even the lives of the citizens were with difficulty saved by the efforts of the generals. The Mendaeans were then told that they were to retain their former constitution, and bring to trial among themselves any whom they thought guilty of the revolt. At the same time the Athenians blockaded the garrison in the Acropolis by a wall extending to the sea on either side and established a guard. Having thus secured Mendè, they proceeded against Scionè.

The inhabitants of Scionè and the Peloponnesian garrison had come out to meet them and occupied a steep hill in front of the city. The hill had to be taken by the Athenians before they could effect the circumvallation of the place. So they made a furious attack and dislodged those who were stationed there;88 they then encamped, and after raising a trophy, prepared to invest the city. Soon afterwards, while they were engaged in the work, the Peloponnesian auxiliaries who were besieged in the Acropolis of Mendè, forcing their way out by the sea-shore, broke through the watch and came to Scionè by night. Most of them eluded the Athenians who were encamped outside, and got into the town.

While the circumvallation of Scionè was proceeding, Perdiccas, who, after what had occurred in the retreat from Lyncus, hated Brasidas, sent heralds to the Athenian generals, and came to an understanding with them, which without loss of time he took measures to carry out.89 It so happened that Ischagoras the Lacedaemonian was then on the eve of marching with an army to reinforce Brasidas. Perdiccas was told by Nicias that, having now made friends with the Athenians, he should give them some evidence of his sincerity. He himself too no longer wished the Peloponnesians to find their way into his country. And so by his influence over the Thessalian chiefs, with whom he was always on good terms, he put a stop to the whole expedition; indeed, the Lacedaemonians did not even attempt to obtain the consent of the Thessalians. Nevertheless, Ischagoras, Ameinias, and Aristeus, who had been sent by the Lacedaemonian government to report on the state of affairs, found their way to Brasidas. They brought with them, though contrary to law, certain young Spartans, intending to make them governors of the cities, instead of leaving the care of them to chance persons. Accordingly Brasidas appointed Clearidas the son of Cleonymus governor of Amphipolis, and Pasitelidas90 the son of Hegesander governor of Toronè.

During the same summer the Thebans dismantled the wall of the Thespians, charging them with Athenian tendencies. This was an object which they always had in view, and now they had their opportunity, because the flower of the Thespian army had fallen in the battle of Delium.91 During the same summer the temple of Herè near Argos was burnt down; Chrysis the priestess had put a light too near the sacred garlands, and had then gone to sleep, so that the whole place took fire and was consumed. In her fear of the people she fled that very night to Phlius; and the Argives, as the law provided, appointed another priestess named Phaeinis. Chrysis had been priestess during eight years of the war and half of the ninth when she became an exile. Towards the close of the summer Scionè was completely invested, and the Athenians, leaving a guard, retired with the rest of their army.

In the following winter the Athenians and Lacedaemonians remained inactive, in consequence of the armistice; but the Mantineans and the Tegeans with their respective allies fought a battle at Laodicium in the territory of Orestheum; the victory was disputed. For the troops of both cities defeated the allies on the wing opposed to them, and both erected trophies, and sent spoils to Delphi. The truth is that, although there was considerable slaughter on both sides, and the issue was still undecided when night put an end to the conflict, the Tegeans encamped on the field and at once erected a trophy, while the Mantineans retreated to Bucolion and raised a rival trophy, but afterwards.

At the close of the same winter, towards the beginning of spring, Brasidas made an attempt on Potidaea. He approached the place by night and planted a ladder against the walls. Thus far he proceeded undiscovered; for the ladder was fixed at a point which the sentinel who was passing on the bell had just quitted, and before he had returned to his post. But Brasidas had not yet mounted the ladder when he was detected by the garrison: whereupon he withdrew his army in haste without waiting for the dawn. So the winter ended, and with it the ninth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

1. Cp. iii. 115 med.

2. Cp. iii. 85 fin.

3. Reading with many good MSS. xunepleuse, and epi touto.

4. Cp. v. 54; v. 82 init.

5. Or, 'in the neighbourhood of Pylos.'

6. Cp. iii. 81 init.

7. It is really very much wider.

8. Reading ai periêsan autô.

9. Or, taking kekôlusthai with ekastos: 'that was a time when every one felt that he was under a restraint because he was unable to be everywhere and to do everything.'

10. Omitting after biasthentas.

11. The choenix was about two pints, dry measure; the cotylè about half a pint.

12. Or, taking logos with didaskontas: 'when some weighty communication has to be made by words, if anything is to be really done.'

13. Cp. iv. 95 init.; iv. 126 init.; v. 6o fin.

14. Cp. v. 91 init.

15. Cp. ii. 59.

16. Cp. iii. 36 fin.

17. Cp. i. 115 init.

18. Or, ' were making and not receiving offers of peace.'

19. Cp. v. 85.

20. Cp. iv. 1 fin.

21. Reading ho ti.

22. Cp. vii. 11 fin.

23. Cp. iii. 98.

24. Reading to te.

25. Reading auto to eschaton, or, auto touschaton.

26. Literally, 'Were their dead brave?' implying that the living were not.

27. Cp. iii. 114 fin.

28. Cp. iii. 85.

29. Or, 'and so the pretext turned out to be the exact truth;' or,' and so the pretext seemed to correspond to the facts.'

30. Cp. iv. 4 fin.; iv. 46 init.

31. The value of the Phocaean stater is not precisely known: it was somewhat less than that of the Attic stater (about 16s.).

32. Cp. iii. 50 fin.

33. Cp. Herod. vii. 235.

34. Cp. iv. 57 fin.

35. Cp. i. 70 med.

36. Cp. ii. 27.

37. £800.

38. Or, 'who had been the chief agent in bringing them together.'

39. Cp. iv. 1 med.

40. Cp. vi. 77, 79.

41. Cp. iii. 86.

42. Or, reading ekastos ti: 'to the accomplishment of those things which each of us in whatever degree was hoping to effect.'

43. Cp. ii. 31.

44. Cp. iii. 68 med.

45. Cp. i. 103 fin.

46. Cp. iv. 80 fin.

47. Or, reading proselasantas and omitting kai before apokteinantes, 'who had ridden up to the walls.'

48. Cp iv. 66 init.

49. Cp. iv. 52.

50. Cp. iii. 19; iii. 32 init.

51. Cp. iii. 111 fin.

52. Or, reading skaiotêta, 'obstinacy.'

53. CP. iv. 70 med.

54. Or, taking prôtos closely with doxas: 'For of all the Spartans who had been sent out, he was the first who proved himself,' &c.

55. Or, taking epipherein after aitian exô: 'but shall be deemed either to offer a spurious liberty, or to be weak.'

56. Cp. iv. 108 fin.

57. Cp. i. 77 med.

58. Or, omitting the words 'who was in command at the time': 'wanted to fight while he held the command.'

59. Cp. iii. 62 fin.

60. Cp. iv. 17 med.; iv. 126 init.; v. 69 fin.

61. Or, ' were bound to show reverence in such ways as they could in addition to the customary observances.'

62. Or, taking dêthen with hyper tês ekein ôn: land they were unwilling to make a truce respecting a piece of ground which was claimed by the Athenians.'

63. Cp. iv. 69 fin.

64. Cp. iv. 77 init., 89.

65. Cp, ii. 101 fin.

66. Cp. Herod. v. 124.

67. Cp. i. 100 fin.

68. Reading pro eô.

69. Or, 'It is said to have been the impression that Brasidas' &c., omitting 'probably.'

70. Cp. iv. 73, 85 fin.

71. Cp. iv. 68, 69.

72. Cp. Herod. vii. 22.

73. Cp. iv. 85-87.

74. About £100.

75. See the note on this passage in Barton and Chavasse's edition of Thucydidcs, Book IV.

76. Cp. iv. 53, 54.

77. Cp. iv. 69.

78. Cp. iii. 51.

79. Cp. iv. 45.

80. About 12 tons.

81. March-April.

82. Reading autô; or, reading autê, 'the mere presence of the trireme would protect him.'

83. But cp. v. 32 init.

84. Cp. vii. 80 med.

85. Cp. iv. 17 med.; iv. 95 init.; v. 69 fin.

86. Cp. iv. 124 med.

87. Adopting with Poppo the correction epontas.

88. Reading epontas.

89. Or, ' having commenced negotiations immediately after the retreat' (cp. iv. 128 fin.); in which case, however, euthus tote arxamenos and eutunchane tote must refer to different times.

90. Reading, according to Dobree's conjecture, Pasitelidan, not Epitelidan. Pasitelidas is mentioned, v. 3, as governor of Toronè.

91. Cp. iv. 96 med.


WITH the return of summer the year of the truce expired, but hostilities were not resumed until after the Pythian games. During the armistice the Athenians removed the Delians from Delos; they considered them impure and unworthy of their sacred character by reason of a certain ancient offence. The island had been purified before, when they took up the coffns of the dead as I have already narrated;1 but this purification, which seemed sufficient at the time, was now thought unsatisfactory because the inhabitants had been suffered to remain. Pharnaces gave to the Delians an asylum at Adramyttium in Asia, and whoever chose went and settled there.

When the armistice was over, Cleon, having obtained the consent of the people, sailed on an expedition to the Chalcidian cities with thirty ships conveying twelve hundred Athenian hoplites, three hundred Athenian horsemen, and numerous allies. Touching first at Scionè (which was still blockaded, and taking from thence some hoplites of the besieging force, he sailed into the so-called Colophonian port, which was near the city of Toronè; there learning from deserters that Brasidas was not in Toronè, and that the garrison was too weak to resist, he marched with his army against the town, and sent ten ships to sail round into the harbour. First he came to the new line of wall which Brasidas had raised when, wanting to take in the suburbs, he broke down a part of the old wall and made the whole city one.

But Pasitelidas, the Lacedaemonian governor, and the garrison under his command came to the defence of this quarter of the town, and fought against their assailants, who pressed them hard. Meanwhile the Athenian fleet was sailing round into the harbour, and Pasitelidas feared that the ships would take the city before he could return and defend it, and that the new fortifications would be captured and himself in them. So he left the suburb and ran back into the city. But the enemy were too quick; the Athenians from the ships having taken Toronè before he arrived; while their infantry followed close upon him, and in a moment dashed in along with him at the breach in the old wall. Some of the Peloponnesians and Toronaeans were slain upon the spot, others were captured, and among them Pasitelidas the governor. Brasidas was on his way to the relief of Toronè at the time, but, hearing that the place was taken, he stopped and returned; he was within four miles and a half at the time of the capture. Cleon and the Athenians erected two trophies, one at the harbour and the other near the new wall. The women and children were made slaves; the men of Toronè and any other Chalcidians, together with the Peloponnesians, numbering in all seven hundred, were sent to Athens. The Peloponnesian captives were liberated at the peace which was concluded shortly afterwards; the rest were recovered by the Olynthians in exchange for a like number of the captives held by them. About the same time Panactum, a fortress on the Athenian frontier, was betrayed to the Boeotians. Cleon, putting a garrison into Toronè, sailed round Mount Athos, intending to attack Amphipolis.

About the same time three envoys, of whom one was Phaeax the son of Erasistratus, were sent by the Athenians with two ships to Italy and Sicily. After the general peace and the withdrawal of the Athenians from Sicily,2 the Leontines had enrolled many new citizens, and the people contemplated a redistribution of the land. The oligarchy, perceiving their intention, called in the Syracusans and drove out the people, who separated and wandered up and down the island. The oligarchy then made an agreement with the Syracusans; and, leaving their own city deserted, settled in Syracuse, and received the privileges of citizenship. Not long afterwards some of them grew discontented, and, quitting Syracuse, seized a place called Phocaeae, which was a part of the town of Leontini, and Bricinniae, a fortress in the Leontine territory. Here they were joined by most of the common people who had been previously driven out, and from their strongholds they carried on a continual warfare against Syracuse. It was the report of these events which induced the Athenians to send Phaeax to Sicily. He was to warn the Sicilians that the Syracusans were aiming at supremacy, and to unite the allies of Athens, and if possible the other cities, in a war against Syracuse. The Athenians hoped that they might thus save the Leontine people. Phaeax succeeded in his mission to the Camarinaeans and Agrigentines, but in Gela he failed, and, convinced that he could not persuade the other states, went no further. Returning by land through the country of the Sicels, and by the way going to Bricinniae and encouraging the exiles, he arrived at Catana, where he embarked for Athens.

On his voyage, both to and from Sicily, he made proposals of friendship to several of the Italian cities. He also fell in with some Locrian settlers who had been driven out of Messenè. After the agreement between the Sicilian towns, a feud had broken out at Messenè, and one of the two parties called in the Locrians, who sent some of their citizens to settle there; thus Messenè was held for a time by the Locrians. They were returning home after their expulsion when Phaeax fell in with them, but he did them no harm; for the Locrians had already agreed with him to enter into a treaty with the Athenians. At the general reconciliation of the Sicilians, they alone of the allies had not made peace with Athens. And they would have continued to hold out had they not been constrained by a war with the Itoneans and Melaeans, who were their neighbours and colonists from their city. Phaeax then returned to Athens.

Cleon had now sailed round from Toronè against Amphipolis, and making Eion his headquarters, attacked Stagirus,3 a colony of the Andrians, which he failed to take. He succeeded, however, in storming Galepsus,4 a Thasian colony. He sent an embassy to Perdiccas, desiring him to come with an army, according to the terms of the alliance,5 and another to Polles, the king of the Odomantian Thracians, who was to bring as many Thracian mercenaries as he could; he then remained quietly at Eion waiting for these reinforcements. Brasidas, hearing of his movements, took up a counter-position on Cerdylium. This is a high ground on the right bank of the river, not far from Amphipolis, belonging to the Argilians. From this spot he commanded a view of the country round, so that Cleon was sure to be seen by him if,--as Brasidas fully expected,--despising the numbers of his opponents, he should go up against Amphipolis without waiting for his reinforcements. At the same time he prepared for a battle, summoning to his side fifteen hundred Thracian mercenaries and the entire forces of the Edonians, who were targeteers and horsemen; he had already one thousand Myrcinian and Chalcidian targeteers, in addition to the troops in Amphipolis. His heavy-armed, when all mustered, amounted to nearly two thousand, and he had three hundred Hellenic cavalry. Of these forces about fifteen hundred were stationed with Brasidas on Cerdylium, and the remainder were drawn up in order of battle under Clearidas in Amphipolis.

Cleon did nothing for a time, but he was soon compelled to make the movement which Brasidas expected. For the soldiers were disgusted at their inaction, and drew comparisons between the generals; what skill and enterprise might be expected on the one side, and what ignorance and cowardice on the other. And they remembered how unwilling they had been to follow Cleon when they left Athens. He, observing their murmurs, and not wanting them to be depressed by too long a stay in one place, led his army forward. He went to work in the same confident spirit which had already been successful at Pylos, and of which the success had given him a high opinion of his own wisdom. That any one would come out to fight with him he never even imagined; he said that he was only going to look at the place. If he waited for a larger force, this was not because he thought that there was any risk of his being defeated should he be compelled to fight, but that he might completely surround and storm the city. So he stationed his army upon a steep hill above Amphipolis, whence he surveyed with his own eyes the lake formed by the river Strymon, and the lie of the country on the side towards Thrace. He thought that he could go away without fighting whenever he pleased. For indeed there was no one to be seen on the walls, nor passing through the gates, which were all closed. He even imagined that he had made a mistake in coming up against the city without siege-engines; had he brought them he would have taken Amphipolis, for there was no one to prevent him.

No sooner did Brasidas see the Athenians in motion, than he himself descended from Cerdylium, and went into Amphipolis. He did not go out and draw up his forces in order of battle; he feared too much the inferiority of his own troops, not in their numbers (which were about equal to those of the enemy) but in quality; for the Athenian forces were the flower of their army, and they were supported by the best of the Lemnians and Imbrians. So he determined to employ a manoeuvre, thinking that, if he showed them the real number and meagre equipment of his soldiers, he would be less likely to succeed than if he came upon them before there had been time to observe him, and when as yet they had no real grounds for their contempt of him. Selecting a hundred and fifty hoplites, and handing over the rest to Clearidas, he resolved to make a sudden attack before the Athenians retired, considering that, if their reinforcements should arrive, he might never again have an opportunity of fighting them by themselves. So he called together all his troops, and wishing to encourage them, and explain his plan, spoke as follows:

'Men of Peloponnesus, I need not waste words in telling you that we come from a land which has always been brave, and therefore free,6 and that you are Dorians,7 and are about to fight with Ionians whom you have beaten again and again. But I must explain to you my plan of attack; lest you should be disheartened at the seeming disproportion of numbers, because we go into battle not with our whole force but with a handful of men. Our enemies, if I am not mistaken, despise us; they believe that no one will come out against them, and so they have ascended the hill, where they are busy looking about them in disorder, and making but small account of us. Now, he is the most successful general8 who discerns most clearly such mistakes when made by his enemies, and adapts his attack to the character of his own forces, not always assailing them openly and in regular array, but acting according to the circumstances of the case. And the greatest reputation is gained by those stratagems in which a man deceives his enemies most completely, and does his friends most service. Therefore while they are still confident and unprepared, and, if I read their intentions aright, are thinking of withdrawing rather than of maintaining their ground, while they are off their guard and before they have recovered their presence of mind, I and my men will do our best to anticipate their retreat, and will make a rush at the centre of the army. Then, Clearidas, when you see me engaged, and I hope striking panic into them, bring up your troops, the Amphipolitans and the other allies, open the gates suddenly, run out, and lose no time in closing with them. This is the way to terrify them; for reinforcements are always more formidable to an enemy than the troops with which he is already engaged. Show yourself a brave man and a true Spartan, and do you, allies, follow manfully, remembering that readiness, obedience, and a sense of honour are the virtues of a soldier. To-day you have to choose between freedom and slavery; between the name of Lacedaemonian allies, which you will deserve if you are brave, and of servants of Athens. For even if you should be so fortunate as to escape bonds or death, servitude will be your lot, a servitude more cruel than hitherto; and what is more, you will be an impediment to the liberation of the other Hellenes. Do not lose heart; think of all that is at stake; and I will show you that I can not only advise others, but fight myself.'

When Brasidas had thus spoken, he prepared to sally forth with his own division, and stationed the rest of his army with Clearidas at the so-called Thracian gate, that they might come out and support him, in accordance with his instructions. He had been seen descending from Cerdylium into Amphipolis, and then offering up sacrifice at the temple of Athenè within the walls; for the interior of the city was visible from the surrounding country. While he was thus employed, a report was brought to Cleon, who9 had just gone forward to reconnoitre, that the whole army of the enemy could plainly be seen collected inside the town, and that the feet of numerous men and horses ready to come forth were visible under the gate. He went to the spot and saw for himself; but, not wishing to hazard a regular engagement until his allies arrived, and thinking he could get away soon enough, he gave a general signal for retreat, at the same time ordering his forces to retire slowly on the left wing, which was the only direction possible, towards Eion. They appeared to linger; whereupon he caused his own right wing to face round, and so with his unshielded side exposed to the enemy began to lead off his army. Meanwhile Brasidas, seeing that the Athenians were on the move and that his opportunity was come, said to his companions and to the troops: 'These men do not mean to face us; see how their spears and their heads are shaking; such behaviour always shows that an army is going to run away. Open me the gates there as I ordered, and let us boldly attack them at once.' Thereupon he went out himself by the gate leading to the palisade and by the first gate of the long wall which was then standing, and ran at full speed straight up the road, where, on the steepest part of the hill, a trophy now stands: he then attacked the centre of the Athenians, who were terrified at his audacity and their own disorder, and put them to flight. Then Clearidas, as he was bidden, sallied forth by the Thracian gate with his division, and charged the Athenians. The sudden attack at both points created a panic among them. Their left wing, which had proceeded some little way along the road towards Eion, broke off and instantly fled. They were already in full retreat, and Brasidas was going on to the right wing when he was wounded; the Athenians did not observe his fall, and those about him carried him off the field. The right wing of the Athenians was more disposed to stand. Cleon indeed, who had never intended to remain, fled at once, and was overtaken and slain by a Myrcinian targeteer. But his soldiers rallied where they were on the top of the hill, and repulsed Clearidas two or three times. They did not yield until the Chalcidian and Myrcinian cavalry and the targeteers hemmed them in and put them to flight with a shower of darts. And so the rout became general, and those of the Athenians who were not slain at once in close combat or destroyed by the Chalcidian horse and the targeteers, hard-pressed and wandering by many paths over the hills, made their way back to Eion. Brasidas was carried safely by his followers out of the battle into the city. He was still alive, and knew that his army had conquered, but soon afterwards he died. The rest of the army, returning with Clearidas from the pursuit, spoiled the dead, and erected a trophy.

Brasidas was buried in the city with public honours in front of what is now the Agora. The whole body of the allies in military array followed him to the grave. The Amphipolitans enclosed his sepulchre, and to this day they sacrifice to him as to a hero, and have also instituted games and yearly offerings in his honour. They likewise made him their founder, and dedicated their colony to him, pulling down the buildings which Hagnon had erected,10 and obliterating any memorials which might have remained to future time of his foundation.11 For they considered Brasidas to have been their deliverer, and under the present circumstances the fear of Athens induced them to pay court to their Lacedaemonian allies. That Hagnon should retain the honours of a founder, now that they were enemies of the Athenians, seemed to them no longer in accordance with their interests, and likely to be displeasing to him.

They gave back to the Athenians their dead, who numbered about six hundred, while only seven were slain on the other side. For there was no regular engagement, but an unforeseen circumstance led to the battle; and the Athenians were panic-stricken before it had well begun. After the recovery of the dead the Athenians went home by sea. Clearidas and his companions remained and administered the affairs of Amphipolis.

At the end of the summer, a little before this time, a reinforcement of nine hundred heavy-armed, under the command of the Lacedaemonian generals Rhamphias, Autocharidas, and Epicydidas, set out for Chalcidicè. Coming first to Heraclea in Trachis,12 they regulated whatever appeared to them to be amiss. They were staying there when the battle of Amphipolis occurred. And so the summer came to an end.

The following winter Rhamphias and his army went as far as Pierium in Thessaly, but as the Thessalians would not let them proceed,13 and Brasidas, for whom these reinforcements were intended, was dead, they returned home, thinking that the time for action had gone by. They felt that they were not competent to carry out the great designs of Brasidas, and the Athenians had now left the country defeated. But their chief reason for not proceeding was that the Lacedaemonians, at the time when they left Sparta, were inclined towards peace.

After the battle of Amphipolis and the return of Rhamphias from Thessaly, neither side undertook any military operations. Both alike were inclined to peace. The Athenians had been beaten at Delium, and shortly afterwards at Amphipolis; and so they had lost that confidence in their own strength which had indisposed them to treat at a time when temporary success seemed to make their final triumph certain. They were afraid too that their allies would be elated at their disasters, and that more of them would revolt; they repented that after the affair at Pylos, when they might honourably have done so, they had not come to terms. The Lacedaemonians on the other hand inclined to peace because the course of the war had disappointed their expectations. There was a time when they fancied that, if they only devastated Attica, they would crush the power of Athens within a few years;14 and yet they had received a blow at Sphacteria such as Sparta had never experienced until then; their country was continually ravaged from Pylos and Cythera; the Helots were deserting, and they were always fearing lest those who had not deserted, relying on the help of those who had, should seize their opportunity and revolt, as they had done once before. Moreover, the truce for thirty years which they had made with Argos was on the point of expiring; the Argives were unwilling to renew it unless Cynuria were restored to them, and the Lacedaemonians deemed it impossible to fight against the Argives and Athenians combined. They suspected also that some of the Peloponnesian cities would secede and join the Argives, which proved to be the case.

Upon these grounds both governments thought it desirable to make peace. The Lacedaemonians were the more eager of the two, because they wanted to recover the prisoners taken at Sphacteria; for the Spartans among them were of high rank, and all alike related to themselves. They had negotiated for their recovery immediately after they were taken, but the Athenians, in the hour of their prosperity, would not as yet agree to fair terms.15 After their defeat at Delium, the Lacedaemonians were well aware that they would now be more compliant, and therefore they had at once made a truce for a year, during which the envoys of the two states were to meet and advise about a lasting peace. When Athens had received a second blow at Amphipolis, and Brasidas and Cleon, who had been the two greatest enemies of peace, the one because the war brought him success and reputation, and the other because he fancied that in quiet times his rogueries would be more transparent and his slanders less credible, had fallen in the battle, the two chief aspirants for political power end to the war at Athens and Sparta, Pleistoanax16 the son of Pausanias, king of the Lacedaemonians, and Nicias the son of Niceratus the Athenian, who had been the most fortunate general of his day, became more eager than ever to make an end of the war. Nicias desired, whilst he was still successful and held in repute, to preserve his good fortune; he would have liked to rest from toil, and to give the people rest; and he hoped to leave behind him to other ages the name of a man who in all his life had never brought disaster on the city. He thought that the way to gain his wish was to trust as little as possible to fortune, and to keep out of danger; and that danger would be best avoided by peace. Pleistoanax wanted peace, because his enemies were always stirring up the scruples of the Lacedaemonians against him, and insisting whenever misfortunes came that they were to be attributed to his illegal return from exile. For they accused him and Aristocles his brother of having induced the priestess at Delphi, whenever Lacedaemonian envoys came to enquire of the oracle, constantly to repeat the same answer: 'Bring back the seed of the hero son of Zeus from a strange country to your own; else you will plough with a silver ploughshare': until, after a banishment of nineteen years, he persuaded the Lacedaemonians to bring him home again with dances and sacrifices and such ceremonies as they observed when they first enthroned their kings at the foundation of Lacedaemon. He had been banished on account of his retreat from Attica, when he was supposed to have been bribed.17 While in exile at Mount Lycaeum he had occupied a house half within the sacred precinct of Zeus, through fear of the Lacedaemonians.

He was vexed by these accusations, and thinking that in peace, when there would be no mishaps, and when the Lacedaemonians would have recovered the captives, he would himself be less open to attack, whereas in war leading men must always have the misfortunes of the state laid at their door, he was very anxious to come to terms. Negotiations were commenced during the winter. Towards spring the Lacedaemonians sounded a note of preparation by announcing to the allies that their services would be required in the erection of a fort; they thought that the Athenians would thereby be induced to listen to them. At the same time, after many conferences and many demands urged on both sides, an understanding was at last arrived at that both parties should give up what they had gained by arms. The Athenians, however, were to retain Nisaea, for when they demanded the restoration of Plataea the Thebans protested that they had obtained possession of the place not by force or treachery, but by agreement;18 to which the Athenians rejoined that they had obtained Nisaea in the same manner.19 The Lacedaemonians then summoned their allies; and although the Boeotians, Corinthians, Eleans, and Megarians were dissatisfied, the majority voted for peace. And so the peace was finally concluded and ratified by oaths and libations, the Lacedaemonians binding themselves to the Athenians and the Athenians to the Lacedaemonians in the following terms:

'The Athenians and Lacedaemonians and their respective allies make peace upon the following terms, to which they swear, each city separately:

'I. Touching the common temples, any one who pleases may go and sacrifice in them and enquire at them, on behalf either of himself or of the state, according to the custom of his country, both by land and sea, without fear.

II. The precinct and the temple of Apollo at Delphi and the Delphian people shall be independent, and shall retain their own revenues and their own courts of justice, both for themselves and for their territory, according to their ancestral customs.

'III. The peace between the Athenians and their confederates and the Lacedaemonians and their confederates shall endure fifty years, both by sea and land, without fraud or hurt.

'IV. They shall not be allowed to bear arms to the hurt of one another in any way or manner; neither the Lacedaemonians and their allies against the Athenians and their allies, nor the Athenians and their allies against the Lacedaemonians and their allies; and they shall determine any controversy which may arise between them by oaths and other legal means in such sort as they shall agree.

'V. The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall restore Amphipolis to the Athenians.

'VI. The inhabitants of any cities which the Lacedaemonians deliver over to the Athenians may depart whithersoever they please, and take their property with them. The said cities shall be independent, but shall pay the tribute which was fixed in the time of Aristides. After the conclusion of the treaty the Athenians and their allies shall not be allowed to make war upon them to their hurt, so long as they pay the tribute. The cities are these--Argilus,20 Stagirus,21 Acanthus,22 Scolus, Olynthus,23 Spartolus:24 these shall be allies neither of the Lacedaemonians nor of the Athenians, but if the Athenians succeed in persuading them, having their consent, they may make them allies.

'VII. The Mecybernaeans, Sanaeans,25 and Singaeans shall dwell in their own cities on the same terms as the Olynthians and Acanthians.

'VII. The Lacedaemonians and the allies shall restore Panaetum26 to the Athenians. The Athenians shall restore to the Lacedaemonians Coryphasium,27 Cythera,28 Methonè,29 Pteleum, and Atalantè.30

IX. The Athenians shall surrender the Lacedaemonian captives whom they have in their public prison, or who are in the public prison of any place within the Athenian dominions, and they shall let go the Peloponnesians who are besieged in Scionè, and any other allies of the Lacedaemonians who are in Scionè, and all whom Brasidas introduced into the place,31 and any of the allies of the Lacedaemonians who are in the public prison at Athens, or in the public prison of any place within the Athenian dominions. The Lacedaemonians and their allies in like manner shall restore those of the Athenians and their allies who are their prisoners.

'X. Respecting Scionè,32 Toronè,33 and Sermylè, or any cities which are held by the Athenians, the Athenians shall do with the inhabitants of the said cities, or of any cities which are held by them, as they think fit.

'XI. The Athenians shall bind themselves by oath to the Lacedaemonians and their allies, city by city, and the oath shall be that which in the several cities of the two contracting parties is deemed the most binding. The oath shall be in the following form:--'I will abide by this treaty and by this peace truly and sincerely.' The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall bind themselves by a similar oath to the Athenians. This oath shall be renewed by both parties every year; and they shall erect pillars at Olympia, Delphi, and the Isthmus, at Athens in the Acropolis, at Lacedaemon in the temple of Apollo at Amyclae.

'XII. If anything whatsoever be forgotten on one side or the other, either party may, without violation of their oaths, take honest counsel and alter the treaty in such manner as shall seem good to the two parties, the Athenians and Lacedaemonians.'

The treaty begins, at Lacedaemon in the Ephorate of Pleistolas, and on the twenty-seventh day of the month Artemisium, and at Athens in the Archonship of Alcaeus, on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elaphebolion.34 The following persons took the oaths and ratified the treaty:--On behalf of the Lacedaemonians, Pleistolas, Damagetus, Chionis, Metagenes, Acanthus, Daïthus, Ischagoras, Philocharidas, Zeuxidas, Antippus, Tellis, Alcinidas, Empedias, Menas, Laphilus; on behalf of the Athenians, Lampon, Isthmionicus, Nicias, Laches, Euthydemus, Procles, Pythodorus, Hagnon, Myrtilus, Thrasycles, Theagenes, Aristocrates, Iolcius, Timocrates, Leon, Lamachus, Demosthenes.

This treaty was concluded at the end of winter, just at the beginning of spring, immediately after the city Dionysia. Ten years, with a difference of a few days, had passed since the invasion of Attica and the commencement of the war. I would have a person reckon the actual periods of time, and not rely upon catalogues of the archons or other official personages whose names may be used in different cities to mark the dates of past events. For whether an event occurred in the beginning, or in the middle, or whatever might be the exact point, of a magistrate's term of office is left uncertain by such a mode of reckoning. But if he measure by summers and winters as they are here set down, and count each summer and winter as a half year, he will find that ten summers and ten winters passed in the first part of the war.

The Lacedaemonians--for the lot having fallen upon them they had to make restitution first--immediately released their prisoners, and sending three envoys, Ischagoras, Menas, and Philocharidas, to Chalcidicè, commanded Clearidas to deliver up Amphipolis to the Athenians, and the other cities to accept the articles of the treaty which severally concerned them. But they did not approve of the terms, and refused. Clearidas, who acted in the interest of the Chalcidians, would not give up the place, and said that it was not in his power to do so against their will. Accompanied by envoys from the Chalcidian cities, he himself went direct to Lacedaemon, intending to defend himself in case Ischagoras and his colleagues should accuse him of insubordination; he also wanted to know whether the treaty could still be reconsidered. On his arrival he found that it was positively concluded, and he himself was sent back to Thrace by the Lacedaemonians, who commanded him to give up Amphipolis, or, if he could not, at any rate to withdraw all the Peloponnesian forces from the place. So he returned in haste.

The representatives of the other allies were present at Lacedaemon, and the Lacedaemonians urged the reluctant states to accept the treaty. But they refused for the same reasons as before,35 and insisted that they must have more equitable conditions. Finding that they would not come in, the Lacedaemonians dismissed them, and proceeded on their own account to make an alliance with the Athenians. They thought that the Argives, whose hostile intentions had been manifested by their refusal to renew the peace at the request of Ampelidas and Lichas, the Lacedaemonian envoys who had gone thither, being now unsupported by the Athenians, would thus be least dangerous and that the rest of Peloponnesus would be least likely to stir. For the Athenian alliance, to which they would otherwise have had recourse, would now be closed to them. There were present at the time Athenian envoys, and after a negotiation the two parties took oaths, and made an alliance, of which the terms were as follows:

'The Lacedaemonians shall be allies of the Athenians for fifty years, on the following conditions:

'I. If any enemy invade the Lacedaemonian territory and harm the Lacedaemonians, the Athenians shall assist the Lacedaemonians in any way which they can, and to the utmost of their power; and if the enemy ravage their territory and depart, the offending city shall be the enemy of the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, and shall suffer at the hands of both of them, and neither city shall cease from war before the other. These things shall be performed honestly, and zealously, and sincerely.

'II. If any enemy invade the Athenian territory and harm the Athenians, the Lacedaemonians shall assist them in any way which they can, and to the utmost of their power; and if the enemy ravage their territory and depart, the offending city shall be the enemy of the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, and shall suffer at the hands of both of them, and neither city shall cease from war before the other. These things shall be performed honestly, and zealously, and sincerely.

'III. If the slaves rebel, the Athenians shall aid the Lacedaemonians with all their might and to the utmost of their power.

'IV. These provisions shall be sworn to on both sides by the same persons who swore to the former treaty. Every year the Lacedaemonians shall go to Athens at the Dionysia and renew the oath, and the Athenians shall go to Lacedaemon at the Hyacinthia and renew the oath. Both parties shall erect pillars, one in Lacedaemon at the temple of Apollo in Amyclae, another at Athens in the Acropolis at the temple of Athenè.

'V. If the Lacedaemonians and Athenians agree that anything shall be added to or taken away from the treaty of alliance, whatever it be, this may be done without violation of their oaths.'

On behalf of the Lacedaemonians there took the oaths, Pleistoanax, Agis, Pleistolas, Damagetus, Chionis, Metagenes, Acanthus, Daïthus, Ischagoras, Philocharidas, Zeuxidas, Antippus, Alcinadas, Tellis, Empedias, Menas, Laphilus. On behalf of the Athenians there took the oaths, Lampon, Isthmionicus, Laches, Nicias, Euthydemus, Procles, Pythodorus, Hagnon, Myrtilus, Thrasycles, Theagenes, Aristocrates, Iolcius, Timocrates, Leon, Lamachus, Demosthenes.

This alliance was made shortly after the treaty; at the same time the Athenians restored to the Lacedaemonians the prisoners taken at Sphacteria. The summer of the eleventh year then began. During the previous ten years the first war, of which the history has now been written, went on without intermission.

The treaty and the alliance which terminated the ten years' war were made in the Ephorate of Pleistolas at Lacedaemon, and the Archonship of Alcaeus at Athens. Those who accepted the treaty were now at peace; but the Corinthians and several of the Peloponnesian cities did what they could to disturb the arrangement. And so before long a new cause of quarrel set the allies against the Lacedaemonians; who also, as time went on, incurred the suspicion of the Athenians, because in certain particulars they would not execute the provisions of the treaty. For six years and ten months the two powers abstained from invading each other's territories, but abroad the cessation of arms was intermittent, and they did each other all the harm which they could. At last they were absolutely compelled to break the treaty made at the end of the first ten years, and engaged once more in open war.

The same Thucydides of Athens continued the history, following the order of events, which he reckoned by summers and winters, up to the destruction of the Athenian empire and the taking of Piraeus and the Long Walls by the Lacedaemonians and their allies. Altogether the war lasted twenty-seven years, for if any one argue that the interval during which the truce continued should be excluded, he is mistaken. If he have regard to the facts of the case, he will see that the term 'peace' can hardly be applied to a state of things in which neither party gave back or received all the places stipulated; moreover in the Mantinean and Epidaurian wars and in other matters there were violations of the treaty on both sides; the Chalcidian allies maintained their attitude of hostility towards Athens, and the Boeotians merely observed an armistice terminable at ten days' notice. So that, including the first ten years' war, the doubtful truce which followed, and the war which followed that, he who reckons up the actual periods of time will find that I have rightly given the exact number of years with the difference only of a few days. He will also find that this was the solitary instance in which those who put their faith in oracles were justified by the event. For I well remember how, from the beginning to the end of the war, there was a common and often repeated saying that it was to last thrice nine years. I lived through the whole of it, being of mature years and judgment, and I took great pains to make out the exact truth. For twenty years I was banished from my country after I held the command at Amphipolis, and associating with both sides, with the Peloponnesians quite as much as with the Athenians, because of my exile, I was thus enabled to watch quietly the course of events. I will now proceed to narrate the quarrels which after the first ten years broke up the treaty, and the events of the war which followed.

After the conclusion of the fifty years' peace and of the subsequent alliance, the ambassadors who had been invited to the conference from the other states of Peloponnesus left Lacedaemon. They all went home except the Corinthians, who turned aside to Argos and opened communications with certain of the Argive magistrates, saying that the Lacedaemonians had made peace and alliance with the Athenians, hitherto their mortal enemies, to no good end, but for the enslavement of Peloponnesus, and that the Argives were bound to take measures for its deliverance. They ought to pass a vote that any independent Hellenic city which would allow a settlement of disputes on equal terms might enter into a defensive alliance with them. The negotiation should not be carried on with the assembly, but the Argives should appoint a few commissioners having full powers, lest, if any states appealed to the people and were rejected, their failure should become public. They added that hatred of the Lacedaemonians would induce many to join them. Having offered this recommendation, the Corinthians returned home.

The Argive magistrates, after hearing these proposals, referred them to their colleagues and the people. The Argives passed a vote accordingly, and elected twelve commissioners; through these any of the Hellenes who pleased might make an alliance with them, except the Athenians and Lacedaemonians, who could only be admitted to the league with the sanction of the Argive people. The Argives were the more inclined to take this course because, their truce with the Lacedaemonians being about to expire, they saw that war was imminent. Moreover they were encouraged by the hope of becoming the leaders of Peloponnesus. For at this time the reputation of Lacedaemon had fallen very low; her misfortunes had brought her into contempt, while the resources of Argos were unimpaired. For the Argives had not taken part in the war with Athens, and, being at peace with both parties, had reaped a harvest from them.

The first to enter the alliance offered by the Argives to any Hellenes who were willing to accept it were the Mantineans and their allies, who joined through fear of the Lacedaemonians. For, during the war with Athens, they had subjected a part of Arcadia, which they thought that the Lacedaemonians, now that their hands were free, would no longer allow them to retain. So they gladly joined Argos, reflecting that it was a great city, the constant enemy of Sparta, and, like their own, governed by a democracy. When Mantinea seceded, a murmur ran through the other states of Peloponnesus that they must secede too; they imagined that the Mantineans had gone over to the Argives because they had better information than themselves, and also they were angry with the Lacedaemonians, chiefly on account of that clause in the treaty with Athens which provided that the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, if agreed, might add to or take away from it whatever they pleased.36 This clause aroused great uneasiness among the Peloponnesians, and made them suspect that the Lacedaemonians meant to unite with the Athenians in order to enslave them;37 they argued that the power of altering the treaty ought to have been given only to the whole confederacy. Entertaining these fears they generally inclined towards Argos, and every state was eager to follow the example of Mantinea and form an alliance with her.

The Lacedaemonians perceived that great excitement prevailed in Peloponnesus, and that the Corinthians had inspired it and were themselves on the point of making a treaty with Argos. So they sent envoys to Corinth, desiring to anticipate what might happen. They laid the blame of having instigated the whole movement on the Corinthians, and protested that, if they deserted them and joined the Argives, they would be forsworn; indeed they were already much to blame for not accepting the peace made with Athens, although there was an article in their league which said that what the majority of the allies voted should be binding unless there was some impediment on the part of Gods or heroes. Now the Corinthians had previously summoned those of the allies who, like themselves, had rejected the treaty: and, replying in their presence, they were unwilling to speak out and state their grievances, of which the chief was that the Lacedaemonians had not recovered for them Sollium38 or Anactorium.39 But they pretended that they could not betray their allies in Thrace, to whom, when they originally joined in the revolt of Potidaea, they had sworn a separate oath,40 and had afterwards renewed it. They denied therefore that they were violating the terms of the league by refusing to join in the peace with the Athenians, for, having sworn in the name of the Gods to their allies, they would be violating their oaths if they betrayed them: the treaty said 'unless there was some impediment on the part of Gods or heroes,' and this did appear to them to be an impediment of that nature. Thus far they pleaded their former oaths; as to the Argive alliance they would take counsel with their friends, and do whatever was right. So the Lacedaemonians returned home. Now there happened to be at that time Argive envoys present at Corinth who urged the Corinthians to join the alliance without more delay, and the Corinthians told them to come to their next assembly.

Soon afterwards envoys from Elis likewise arrived at Corinth, who, first of all making an alliance with the Corinthians, went on to Argos, and became allies of the Argives in the manner prescribed. Now the Eleans had a quarrel with the Lacedaemonians about the town of Lepreum. A war had arisen between the Lepreans and certain Arcadian tribes, and the Eleans having been called in by the Lepreans came to assist them, on condition of receiving half their territory. When they had brought the war to a successful end the Eleans allowed the inhabitants of Lepreum to cultivate the land themselves, paying a rent of a talent to Olympian Zeus. Until the Peloponnesian war they had paid the talent, but taking advantage of the war they ceased to pay, and the Eleans tried to compel them. The Lepreans then had recourse to the Lacedaemonians, who undertook to arbitrate. The Eleans suspected that they would not have fair play at their hands; they therefore disregarded the arbitration and ravaged the Leprean territory. Nevertheless the Lacedaemonians went on with the case and decided that Lepreum was an independent state, and that the Eleans were in the wrong. As their award was rejected by the Eleans, they sent a garrison of hoplites to Lepreum. The Eleans, considering that the Lacedaemonians had taken into alliance a city which had seceded from them, appealed to the clause of the agreement which provided that whatever places any of the confederates had held previous to the war with Athens should be retained by them at its conclusion, and acting under a sense of injustice they now seceded to the Argives and, like the rest, entered into the alliance with them in the manner prescribed. Immediately afterwards the Corinthians and the Chalcidians of Thrace joined; but the Boeotians and the Megarians agreed to refuse,41 and, jealously watched by the Lacedaemonians, stood aloof; for they were well aware that the Lacedaemonian constitution was far more congenial to their own oligarchical form of government than the Argive democracy.

During the same summer, and about this time, the Athenians took Scionè which they were blockading,42 put to death all the grown-up men, and enslaved the women and children; they then gave possession of the land to the Plataeans. They also replaced the Delians in Delos,43 moved partly by the defeats which they had sustained, partly by an oracle of the Delphic God. About this time too the Phocians and Locrians went to war. The Corinthians and Argives (who were now allies) came to Tegea, which they hoped to withdraw from the Lacedaemonian alliance, thinking that if they could secure so important a part of Peloponnesus they would soon have the whole of it. The Tegeans however said that they could have no quarrel with the Lacedaemonians; and the Corinthians, who had hitherto been zealous in the cause, now began to cool, and were seriously afraid that no other Peloponnesian state would join them. Nevertheless they applied to the Boeotians and begged them to become allies of themselves and of the Argives, and generally to act with them; they further requested that they would accompany them to Athens and procure an armistice terminable at ten days' notice, similar to that which the Athenians and Boeotians had made with one another shortly after the conclusion of the fifty years' peace. If the Athenians did not agree, then the Corinthians demanded of the Boeotians that they should renounce the armistice and for the future make no truce without them. The Boeotians on receiving this request desired the Corinthians to say no more about alliance with the Argives. But they went together to Athens, where the Boeotians failed to obtain the armistice for the Corinthians, the Athenians replying that the original truce44 extended to them, if they were allies of the Lacedaemonians. The Boeotians however did not renounce their own armistice, although the Corinthians expostulated, and argued that such had been the agreement. Thus the Corinthians had only a suspension of hostilities with Athens, but no regular truce.

During the same summer the Lacedaemonians with their whole force, commanded by their king Pleistoanax the son of Pausanias, made war upon the Parrhasians of Arcadia, who were subjects of the Mantineans.45 They had been invited by a faction among the Parrhasians; and moreover they wanted to demolish a fortress in the Parrhasian town of Cypsela, threatening the Laconian district of Sciritis, which the Mantineans had built and garrisoned. The Lacedaemonians devastated the country of the Parrhasians; and the Mantineans, leaving the custody of their own city to a force of Argives, themselves garrisoned the territory of their allies. But being unable to save either the fort of Cypsela or the cities of Parrhasia, they went home again; whereupon the Lacedaemonians, having demolished the fort and restored the independence of the Parrhasians, returned home likewise.

In the course of the same summer the troops serving in Thrace, which had gone out under Brasidas and were brought home by Clearidas after the conclusion of peace, arrived at Lacedaemon. The Lacedaemonians passed a vote that the Helots who had fought under Brasidas should be free and might dwell wherever they pleased. Not long afterwards, they settled them, together with the Neodamodes, at Lepreum, which is on the borders of Laconia and Elis, being now enemies of the Eleans. Fearing lest their own citizens who had been taken in the island and had delivered up their arms might expect to be slighted in consequence of their misfortune, and, if they retained the privileges of citizens, would attempt revolution, they took away the right of citizenship from them, although some of them were holding office at the time. By this disqualification they were deprived of their eligibility to offices, and of the legal right to buy and sell. In time, however, their privileges were restored to them.

During this summer the Dictidians took Thyssus, a town of Mount Athos, which was in alliance with the Athenians. During the whole summer intercourse continued between the Athenians and Peloponnesians. But almost as soon as the peace was concluded both Athenians and Lacedaemonians began to mistrust one another, because the places mentioned in the treaty were not given up. For the Lacedaemonians, who were to make restitution first, according to the lot, had not surrendered Amphipolis and the other less important places which they held, and had not made their allies in Chalcidicè, nor the Boeotians, nor the Corinthians accept the treaty, but only kept declaring that they would join the Athenians in coercing them if they continued to refuse. They even fixed a time, though they did not commit themselves in writing, within which those who would not come into the treaty were to be declared the enemies of both parties. The Athenians, seeing that nothing was being really done, suspected the Lacedaemonians of dishonesty, and therefore they would not give up Pylos when the Lacedaemonians required it; they even repented that they had restored the prisoners taken at Sphacteria, and resolved to keep the other places until the Lacedaemonians had fulfilled their part of the contract. The Lacedaemonians replied that they had done what they could. They had delivered up the Athenian prisoners who were in their hands, and had withdrawn their soldiers from Chalcidicè; they had neglected nothing which lay within their power. But they could not give up Amphipolis, of which they were not entirely masters; they would however try to bring the Boeotians and Corinthians into the treaty, to get back Panactum, and recover all the Athenian captives who were in the hands of the Boeotians. They still continued to insist on the restoration of Pylos, or at any rate on the withdrawal of the Messenians and Helots, now that the Lacedaemonians had withdrawn their troops from Chalcidicè; the Athenians might, if they liked, garrison the place themselves. After many long conferences held during the summer, they persuaded the Athenians to withdraw the Messenians, Helots, and Lacedaemonian deserters: these the Athenians settled at Cranii in Cephallenia. So during this summer there was peace and intercourse between Athens and Sparta.

Before the following winter the Ephors under whom the peace was concluded were succeeded by others, of whom some were actually opposed to it. During the winter, embassies from the allied states arrived at Sparta, including representatives of Athens, Boeotia, and Corinth. Much was said with no result. As the ambassadors were departing, Cleobulus and Xenares, the Ephors who were most desirous of renewing the war, entered into a private negotiation with the Boeotians and Corinthians, recommending them to unite as closely as possible, and suggesting that the Boeotians should first enter the Argive alliance and then try and make the Argives, as well as themselves, allies of the Lacedaemonians. The Boeotians would thus escape the necessity of accepting the peace with Athens; for the Lacedaemonians would prefer the friendship and alliance of Argos to anything which they might lose by the enmity of Athens and the dissolution of the treaty. The two Ephors knew that a satisfactory alliance with Argos was an object which the Lacedaemonians always had at heart, perceiving as they did that it would enable them to carry on the war beyond the Peloponnesus with greater freedom. At the same time they entreated the Boeotians to give up Panactum to the Lacedaemonians, in order that they might exchange it for Pylos, and so be in a better position for renewing the war with Athens.

The Boeotians and Corinthians, having received from Xenares and Cleobulus and their other Lacedaemonian friends the instructions which they were to convey to their own governments, returned to their respective cities. On their way home two Argives high in office, who had been waiting for them on the road, entered into communications with them, in the hope that the Boeotians, like the Corinthians, Eleans, and Mantineans, might join their alliance; if this could only be accomplished, and they could act together, they might easily, they said, go to war or make peace, either with Lacedaemon or with any other power. The Boeotian envoys were pleased at the proposal, for it so happened that the request of the Argives coincided with the instructions of their Lacedaemonian friends. Whereupon the Argives, finding that their proposals were acceptable to the Boeotians, promised to send an embassy to them, and so departed. When the Boeotians returned home they told the Boeotarchs what they had heard, both at Lacedaemon and from the Argives who had met them on their way. The Boeotarchs were glad, and their zeal was quickened when they discovered that the request made to them by their friends in Lacedaemon fell in with the projects of the Argives. Soon afterwards the envoys from Argos appeared, inviting the Boeotians to fulfil their engagement. The Boeotarchs encouraged their proposals, and dismissed them; promising that they would send envoys of their own to negotiate the intended alliance.

In the meantime the Boeotarchs and the envoys from Corinth, Megara, and Chalcidicè determined that they would take an oath to one another, pledging themselves to assist whichever of them was at any time in need, and not go to war or make peace without the consent of all. When they had got thus far, the Megarians and Boeotians, who acted together in the matter,46 were to enter into an agreement with the Argives. But before the oath was sworn, the Boeotarchs communicated their intentions to the Four Councils of the Boeotians, whose sanction is always necessary, and urged that oaths of alliance should be offered to any cities which were willing to join with them for mutual protection. But the Boeotian Councils, fearing that they might offend the Lacedaemonians if they swore alliance to the Corinthians who had seceded from them, rejected their proposals. For the Boeotarchs did not tell them what had passed at Lacedaemon, and how two of the Ephors, Cleobulus and Xenares, and their friends had advised them first to become allies of Argos and Corinth, and then to make a further alliance with the Lacedaemonians. They thought that the Councils, whether informed of this or not, would be sure to ratify their foregone decision when it was communicated to them. So the plan broke down, and the Corinthian and the Chalcidian envoys went away without effecting their purpose. The Boeotarchs, who had originally intended, if they succeeded, to do their best to effect an alliance with the Argives, gave up the idea of bringing this latter measure before the Councils, and did not fulfil their promise of sending envoys to Argos; but the whole business was neglected and deferred.

During the same winter the Olynthians made a sudden attack upon Mecyberna,47 which was held by an Athenian garrison, and took it. The Athenians and Lacedaemonians still continued to negotiate about the places which had not been restored, the Lacedaemonians hoping that, if the Athenians got back Panactum from the Boeotians, they might themselves recover Pylos. So they sent an embassy to the Boeotians, and begged of them to give up Panactum and the Athenian prisoners to themselves, that they might obtain Pylos in return for them. But the Boeotians refused to give them up unless the Lacedaemonians made a separate alliance with them as they had done with the Athenians. Now the Lacedaemonians knew that, if they acceded to this request, they would be dealing unfairly with Athens, because there was a stipulation which forbade either state to make war or peace without the consent of the other; but they were eager to obtain Panactum and thereby, as they hoped, recover Pylos. At the same time the party who wished to break the peace with Athens were zealous on behalf of the Boeotians. So they made the alliance about the end of winter and the beginning of spring. The Boeotians at once commenced the demolition of Panactum; and the eleventh year of the war ended.

Immediately on the commencement of spring, the Argives, observing that the envoys whom the Beeotians promised to send had not arrived, that Panactum was being demolished, and that a private alliance had been made between the Lacedaemonians and the Boeotians, began to fear that they would be isolated, and that the whole confederacy would go over to the Lacedaemonians. For they thought that the Boeotians were demolishing Panactum by the desire of the Lacedaemonians, and had likewise been induced by them to come into the Athenian treaty; and that the Athenians were cognisant of the whole affair. But, if so, they could no longer form an alliance even with Athens, although they had hitherto imagined that the enmity of the two powers would secure them an alliance with one or the other, and that if they lost the peace with Lacedaemon, they might at any rate become allies of the Athenians. So in their perplexity, fearing that they might have to fight Lacedaemon, Tegea, Boeotia, and Athens, all at once, the Argives, who at the time when they were proudly hoping to be the leaders of Peloponnesus had refused to make a treaty with Lacedaemon, now sent thither two envoys, Eustrophus and Aeson, who were likely to be well regarded by the Spartans. For under present circumstances it seemed to them that nothing better could be done than to make a treaty with the Lacedaemonians on any terms whatever, and keep out of war.

The envoys arrived, and began to confer with the Lacedaemonians respecting the conditions on which the peace should be made. The Argives at first demanded that the old quarrel about the border-land of Cynuria, a district which contains the cities of Thyrea and Anthenè and is occupied by the Lacedaemonians, should be referred to the arbitration of some state or person. Of this the Lacedaemonians would not allow a word to be said, but they professed their readiness to renew the treaty on the old terms. The Argives at length induced them to make a fifty years' peace, on the understanding however that either Lacedaemon or Argos, provided that neither city were suffering at the time from war or plague, might challenge the other to fight for the disputed territory, as they had done once before when both sides claimed the victory; but the conquered party was not to be pursued over their own border. The Lacedaemonians at first thought that this proposal was nonsense; however, as they were desirous of having the friendship of Argos on any terms, they assented, and drew up a written treaty. But they desired the envoys, before any of the provisions took effect, to return and lay the matter before the people of Argos; if they agreed, they were to come again at the Hyacinthia and take the oaths. So they departed.

While the Argives were thus engaged, the envoys ofthe Lacedaemonians--Andromedes, Phaedimus, and Antimenidas--who were appointed to receive Panactum and the prisoners from the Boeotians, and give them up to the Athenians, found Panactum already demolished by the Boeotians. They alleged that the Athenians and Boeotians in days of old had quarrelled about the place, and had sworn that neither of them should inhabit it, but both enjoy the use of it. However, Andromedes and his colleagues conveyed the Athenian prisoners who were in the hands of the Boeotians to Athens, and restored them; they further announced the destruction of Panactum, maintaining that they were restoring that too,48 inasmuch as no enemy of the Athenians could any longer dwell there. Their words raised a violent outcry among the Athenians; they felt that the Lacedaemonians were dealing unfairly with them in two respects: first, there was the demolition of Panactum, which should have been delivered standing; secondly, they were informed of the separate alliance which the Lacedaemonians had made with the Boeotians, notwithstanding their promise that they would join in coercing those who did not accept the peace. They called to mind all their other shortcomings in the fulfilment of the treaty, and conscious that they had been deceived, they answered the envoys roughly, and sent them away.

When the difference between the Lacedaemonians and Athenians had gone thus far, the war party at Athens in their turn lost no time in pressing their views. Foremost among them was Alcibiades the son of Cleinias, a man who would have been thought young in any other city, but was influential by reason of his high descent: he sincerely preferred the Argive alliance, but at the same time he took part against the Lacedaemonians from temper, and because his pride was touched. For they had not consulted him, but had negotiated the peace through Nicias and Laches, despising his youth, and disregarding an ancient connexion with his family, who had been their proxeni; a connexion which his grandfather had renounced, and he, by the attention which he had paid to the captives from Sphacteria, had hoped to have renewed. Piqued at the small respect which was shown to all his claims, he had originally opposed the negotiations; declaring that the Lacedaemonians were not to be trusted, and that their only object in making terms was that they might by Athenian help crush the Argives, and afterwards attack the Athenians themselves when they had no friends. As soon as the rupture occurred he promptly despatched a private message to the Argives, bidding them send an embassy as quickly as they could, together with representatives of Mantinea and Elis, and invite the Athenians to enter the alliance; now was the time, and he would do his utmost to assist them.

The Argives received his message, and thus became aware that the alliance with the Boeotians had been made without the consent of the Athenians, and that a violent quarrel had broken out between Athens and Lacedaemon. So they thought no more about their ambassadors who were at that very moment negotiating the peace with Lacedaemon, but turned their thoughts towards Athens. They reflected that Athens was a city which had been their friend of old;49 like their own it was governed by a democracy, and would be a powerful ally to them at sea, if they were involved in war. They at once sent envoys to negotiate an alliance with the Athenians; the Eleans and Mantineans joined in the embassy. Thither also came in haste three envoys from Lacedaemon, who were thought likely to be acceptable at Athens--Philocharidas, Leon, and Endius.50 They were sent because the Lacedaemonians were afraid that the Athenians in their anger would join the Argive alliance. The envoys while they demanded the restoration of Pylos in return for Panactum, were to apologise for the alliance with the Boeotians, and to explain that it was not made with any view to the injury of Athens.

They delivered their message to the council, adding that they came with full power to treat about all differences. Alcibiades took alarm; he feared that if the envoys made a similar statement to the people they would win them over to their side, and that the Argive alliance would be rejected. Whereupon he devised the following trick: he solemnly assured the Lacedaemonians that if they would not communicate to the people the extent of their powers, he would restore Pylos to them, for he would use his influence in their favour instead of against them, and would arrange their other differences. But his real aim all the time was to alienate them from Nicias, and to bring about an alliance with Argos, Elis, and Mantinea, which he hoped to effect, if he could only discredit them in the assembly, and create the impression that their intentions were not honest, and that they never told the same tale twice. And he succeeded; for when the envoys appeared before the assembly, and in answer to the question whether they had full powers replied 'No,' in direct contradiction to what they had said in the council, the patience of the Athenians was exhausted, and Alcibiades declaimed against the Lacedaemonians more violently than ever. The people were carried away and were ready to have in the Argives, and make an alliance with them and their confederates on the spot. But an earthquake occurred before the final vote was taken, and the assembly was adjourned.

The trick which had deceived the Lacedaemonians themselves completely deceived Nicias, who could not understand the disavowal of their powers. Nevertheless in the assembly which met on the following day he still continued to maintain that the Athenians ought to prefer the friendship of Sparta, and not to conclude the Argive alliance until they had sent to the Lacedaemonians and ascertained their intentions. He urged them not to renew the war now, when it could be put off with honour to themselves and discredit to the Lacedaemonians; they were successful and should seek to preserve their good fortune as long as they could, but the Lacedaemonians were in a bad way, and would be only too glad to fight as soon as possible at all hazards. And he prevailed on them to send envoys, of whom he was himself one, requiring the Lacedaemonians, if they were sincere in their intentions, to rebuild and restore Panactum, to restore Amphipolis, and to renounce their alliance with the Boeotians unless they came into the treaty, according to the stipulation which forbade the contracting parties to make a new alliance except by mutual consent. If we, they added, had wanted to deal unfairly, we should already have accepted an alliance with the Argives, whose ambassadors have come hither to offer it. They entrusted the representation of these and their other grievances to Nicias and his colleagues, and sent them away to Sparta. These, on their arrival, delivered their message, which they concluded by declaring that, unless the Lacedaemonians renounced their alliance with the Boeotians in case the latter still refused to accept the peace, the Athenians on their part would enter into an alliance with the Argives and their confederates. The Lacedaemonians refused to give up their Boeotian alliance, Xenares the Ephor, with his friends and partisans, carrying this point. However they consented to ratify their former oaths at the request of Nicias, who was afraid that he would return without having settled anything, and would incur the blame of failure, as indeed he did, because he was held to be responsible for the original treaty with the Lacedaemonians. When the Athenians learned on his return that the negotiations with Sparta had miscarried, they were furious; and acting under a sense of injustice, entered into an alliance with the Argives and their allies, whose ambassadors were present at the time, for Alcibiades had introduced them on purpose. The terms were as follows:

'I. The Athenians and the Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, on their own behalf and that of the allies over whom they severally rule, make a peace to continue for a hundred years both by sea and land, without fraud or hurt. The Argives, Eleans, Mantineans, and their allies shall not make war against the Athenians and the allies over whom they rule, and the Athenians and their allies shall not make war against the Argives, Eleans, Mantineans, and their allies, in any sort or manner.

'II. Athens, Argos, Elis, and Mantinea shall be allied for a hundred years on the following conditions:--If enemies invade the territory of the Athenians, the Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans shall go to Athens and render the Athenians any assistance which they may demand of them, in the most effectual manner, and to the utmost of their power. And if the enemy spoil their territory and depart, the offending city shall be an enemy to Argos, Mantinea, Elis, and Athens, and suffer at the hands of all these cities; and it shall not be lawful for any of them to make peace with the offending city, unless they have the consent of all the rest. And if enemies shall invade the territory of the Eleans or Argives or Mantineans, the Athenians shall go to Argos, Mantinea, or Elis, and render these cities any assistance which they may demand of them, in the most effectual manner, and to the utmost of their power. If an enemy spoil their territory and depart, the offending city shall be an enemy to Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis, and shall suffer at the hands of all these cities; and it shall not be lawful for any of them to make peace with the offending city, unless they have the consent of all the rest.

'III. The confederates shall not allow armed men to pass through their own territory, or that of the allies over whom they severally rule or may rule, or to pass by sea, with hostile intent, unless all the cities have formally consented to their passage--that is to say, Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis.

'IV. The city which sends troops to help another shall supply them with provisions for thirty days, counting from the time of their arrival at the city which summons them; it shall also provide for them at their departure. But if the city which summons the troops wishes to employ them for a longer time, it shall give them provisions at the rate of three Aeginetan obols51 a day for heavy-armed and light-armed troops and for archers, and an Aeginetan drachma52 for cavalry.

'V. The city which sent for the troops shall have the command when the war is carried on in her territory. Or, if the allied cities agree to send out a joint expedition, then the command shall be equally shared among all the cities.

'VI. The Athenians shall swear to the peace on their own behalf and on that of their allies; the Argives, Mantineans, and Eleans, and their allies shall swear city by city. The oath shall be taken over full-grown victims, and shall be that oath which in the countries of the several contracting parties is deemed the most binding. The form of oath shall be as follows:

"I will be true to the alliance, and will observe the agreement in all honesty and without fraud or hurt; I will not transgress it in any way or manner."'

At Athens the senate and the home magistrates shall swear, and the prytanes shall administer the oath; at Argos the senate and the council of eighty and the artynae shall swear, and the eighty shall administer the oath; at Mantinea the demiurgi and the senate and the other magistrates shall swear, and the theori and the polemarchs shall administer the oath. At Elis the demiurgi and the supreme magistrates and the six hundred shall swear, and the demiurgi and the guardians of the law shall administer the oath. Thirty days before the Olympian games the Athenians shall go to Elis, to Mantinea, and to Argos, and renew the oath. Ten days before the Great Panathenaea the Argives, Eleans, and Mantineans shall go to Athens and renew the oath. The agreement concerning the treaty and the oaths and the alliance shall be inscribed on a stone column in the Acropolis by the Athenians, by the Argives on a similar column in the temple of Apollo in the Agora, and by the Mantineans in the temple of Zeus in the Agora. They shall together erect at Olympia a brazen column at the coming Olympic games. And if these cities think it desirable to make any improvement in the treaty, they shall add it to the provisions of it. Whatever the cities agree upon in common shall hold good.

Thus the peace and the alliance were concluded. Nevertheless the previous treaty between the Lacedaemonians and the Athenians was not on that account renounced by either party. The Corinthians, although allies of the Argives, took no part in the new alliance; they had already refused to swear to an offensive and defensive alliance which the Eleans, Argives, and Mantineans had previously made with one another. They said that they were satisfied with the original defensive alliance which bound them only to assist one another when attacked, but not to join in offensive movements. Thus the Corinthians severed themselves from the allies, and were again beginning to turn their thoughts to the Lacedaemonians.

During the summer the Olympic games were celebrated, the Olympiad being that in which Androsthenes, an Arcadian, won his first victory in the pancratium. The Lacedaemonians were excluded from the temple by the Eleans, and so could neither sacrifice nor contend in the games. For they had refused to pay the fine which, according to Olympic law, the Eleans had imposed upon them, alleging that they had brought an armed force against the fortress of Phyrcus, and had introduced some hoplites of their own into Lepreum during the Olympic truce. The fine amounted to two thousand minae,53 being two minae54 for each hoplite, which is the penalty imposed by the law. The Lacedaemonians sent envoys who argued that the sentence was unjust, for at the time when their troops entered Lepreum the truce had not been announced at Lacedaemon. The Eleans replied that the truce (which they always proclaim first to themselves) had already begun with them, and that while they were quietly observing the truce, and expecting nothing less, the Lacedaemonians had treacherously attacked them. The Lacedaemonians rejoined by asking why the Eleans proclaimed the truce at all at Lacedaemon if they considered them to have broken it already--they could not really have thought so when they made the proclamation; and from the moment when the announcement reached Lacedaemon all hostilities had ceased. The Eleans were still positive that the Lacedaemonians were in the wrong, and said that they would never be persuaded of the contrary. But if the Lacedaemonians were willing to restore Lepreum to them, they offered to remit their own share of the penalty, and pay on their behalf that part which was due to the God.

As this proposal was rejected, the Eleans made another: the Lacedaemonians need not give up Lepreum if they did not like, but since they wanted to have access to the temple of Olympian Zeus, they might go up to his altar and swear before all the Hellenes that they would hereafter pay the fine. But neither to this offer would the Lacedaemonians agree; they were therefore excluded from the temple and from the sacrifices and games, and sacrificed at home. The other Hellenes, with the exception of the people of Lepreum, sent representatives to Olympia. The Eleans however, fearing that the Lacedaemonians would force their way into the temple and offer sacrifice, had a guard of young men under arms; there came to their aid likewise a thousand Argives, and a thousand Mantineans, and certain Athenian horsemen, who had been awaiting the celebration of the festival at Argos. The whole assembly were in terror lest the Lacedaemonians should come upon them in arms, and their fears were redoubled when Lichas, the son of Arcesilaus, was struck by the officers. As a Lacedaemonian he had been excluded from the lists, but his chariot had been entered in the name of the Boeotian state, and was declared victorious. He had then come forward into the arena and placed a garland on the head of his charioteer, wishing to show that the chariot was his own. When the blows were given the anxiety became intense, and every one thought that something serious would happen. But the Lacedaemonians did not stir, and the festival passed off quietly.

The Olympic games being over, the Argives and their allies went to Corinth, and requested the Corinthians to join them. An embassy from Lacedaemon was also present. After much discussion nothing was concluded, for an earthquake broke up the assembly, and the envoys from the several states returned home. So the summer ended.

In the following winter there was a battle between the Heracleans of Trachis and the Oenianians, Dolopes, Malians, and certain Thessalians. These were neighbouring tribes hostile to the place, for it was in order to control them that it was originally fortified; they had been enemies to it from the first, and had done it all the damage in their power. In this battle they gained a victory over the Heracleans. Xenares, son of Cnidis, the Lacedaemonian governor, and many of the Heracleans were killed. Thus ended the winter, and with it the twelfth year of the war.

At the beginning of the following summer the Boeotians took possession of Heraclea, which after the battle was in a miserable plight. They dismissed Hegesippidas, the Lacedaemonian governor, for his misconduct,55 and occupied the place themselves. They were afraid that now, when the Lacedaemonians were embroiled in Peloponnesus, the Athenians would take it if they did not. But, for all that, the Lacedaemonians were offended.

During the same summer, Alcibiades, the son of Cleinias, now one of the Athenian generals, acting in concert with the Argives and their allies, led into Peloponnesus a small Athenian force of hoplites and archers. He collected other troops from the Athenian allies in the Peloponnese, and, marching with his army through the country, organised the affairs of the confederacy. Coming to Patrae, he persuaded the citizens to build walls reaching down to the sea. He was intending also to erect a fort himself on the promontory of Rhium in Achaia. But the Corinthians, Sicyonians, and others to whose interests the fort would have been injurious, came and prevented him.

In the same summer there broke out a war between the Epidaurians and the Argives. The occasion of the war was as follows: The Epidaurians were bound to send a victim as a tribute for the meadows56 to the temple of Apollo Pythaeus over which the Argives had chief authority, and they had not done so. But this charge was a mere pretext; for in any case Alcibiades and the Argives had determined, if possible, to attach Epidaurus to their league, that they might keep the Corinthians quiet, and enable the Athenians to bring forces to Argos direct from Aegina instead of sailing round the promontory of Scyllaeum. So the Argives prepared to invade Epidauria, as if they wished on their own account to exact payment of the sacrifice.

About the same time the Lacedaemonians with their whole force, under the command of king Agis the son of Archidamus, likewise made an expedition. They marched as far as Leuctra, a place on their own frontier in the direction of Mount Lycaeum. No one, not even the cities whence the troops came, knew whither the expedition was going. But at the frontier the sacrifices proved unfavourable; so they returned, and sent word to their allies that, when the coming month was over, which was Carneus, a month held sacred by the Dorians, they should prepare for an expedition. When they had retreated, the Argives, setting out on the twenty-seventh day of the month before Carneus, and continuing the observance of this day during the whole time of the expedition, invaded and devastated the territory of Epidaurus. The Epidaurians summoned their allies, but some of them refused to come, pleading the sanctity of the month; others came as far as the frontier of Epidauria and there stopped.

While the Argives were in Epidauria, envoys from the different cities met at Mantinea, on the invitation of the Athenians. A conference was held, at which Euphamidas the Corinthian remarked that their words and their actions were at variance; for they were conferring about peace while the Argives and the Epidaurians with their allies were in the field against each other; first let envoys from both parties go and induce the armies to disband, and then they might come back and discuss the peace. His advice was approved; so they went straight to the Argives and compelled them to withdraw from Epidauria. But, when they reassembled, they were still unable to agree, and the Argives again invaded and began to ravage the Epidaurian territory. Whereupon the Lacedaemonians likewise made an expedition as far as Caryae; but again the sacrifices at the frontier proved unfavourable, and they returned home. The Argives, after devastating about one-third of Epidauria, also returned home. One thousand Athenian hoplites, under the command of Alcibiades, had come to their aid. But hearing that the Lacedaemonian expedition was over, and seeing that there was no longer any need of them, they departed. And so passed the summer.

In the following winter the Lacedaemonians, unknown to the Athenians, sent by sea to Epidaurus a garrison of three hundred under the command of Agesippidas. The Argives came to the Athenians and complained that, notwithstanding the clause in the treaty which forbade the passage of enemies through the territory of any of the contracting parties,57 they had allowed the Lacedaemonians to pass by sea along the Argive coast. If they did not retaliate by replacing the Messenians and Helots in Pylos, and letting them ravage Laconia, they, the Argives, would consider themselves wronged. The Athenians, by the advice of Alcibiades, inscribed at the foot of the column on which the treaty was recorded58 words to the effect that the Lacedaemonians had not abided by their oaths, and thereupon conveyed the Helots recently settled at Cranii59 to Pylos that they might plunder the country, but they took no further steps. During the winter the war between the Argives and Epidaurians continued; there was no regular engagement, but there were ambuscades and incursions in which losses were inflicted, now on one side, now on the other. At the end of winter, when the spring was approaching, the Argives came with scaling-ladders against Epidaurus, expecting to find that the place was stripped of its defenders by the war, and could be taken by storm. But the attempt failed, and they returned. So the winter came to an end, and with it the thirteenth year of the war.

In the middle of the following summer, the Lacedaemonians, seeing that their Epidaurian allies were in great distress, and that several cities of Peloponnesus had seceded from them, while others were disaffected, and knowing that if they did not quickly take measures of precaution the evil would spread, made war on Argos with their whole forces, including the Helots, under the command of Agis the son of Archidamus, the Lacedaemonian king. The Tegeans and the other Arcadian allies of the Lacedaemonians took part in the expedition. The rest of their allies, both from within and without the Peloponnesus, mustered at Phlius. Among the other contingents there came from Boeotia five thousand heavy-armed, and as many light-armed, five hundred cavalry, and attached to each horseman a foot-soldier; and from Corinth two thousand heavy-armed, while the Phliasians joined with their whole force, because the army was to assemble in their country.

The Argives, having had previous notice of the Lacedaemonian preparations, and seeing that they were actually on their march to join the rest of the army at Phlius, now took the field themselves. The Mantineans and their allies and three thousand Elean hoplites came to their aid. They advanced to the territory of Methydrium in Arcadia, where they fell in with the Lacedaemonians. The two armies each occupied a hill, and the Argives, thinking that they now had the Lacedaemonians alone, prepared for action. But in the night Agis removed his forces unknown to them and went to join the allies at Phlius. At dawn the Argives became aware of his departure, and moved first towards Argos, then to the Nemean road, by which they expected the Lacedaemonians and their allies to descend into the plain. But Agis, instead of taking the road by which he was expected, led the Lacedaemonians, Arcadians, and Epidaurians by a more difficult path, and so made his way down; the Corinthians, Pellenians, and Phliasians went by another steep pass; the Boeotians, Megarians, and Sicyonians he commanded to descend by the Nemean road, where the Argives had taken up their position, in order that, if the Argives should return and attack his own division of the army in the plain, they might be pursued and harassed by their cavalry. Having made these dispositions, and having come down into the plain, he began to devastate Saminthus and the neighbourhood.

It was now daylight, and the Argives, who had become aware of his movements, quitted Nemea and went in search of the enemy. Encountering the Phliasian and Corinthian forces, they killed a few of the Phliasians, and had rather more of their own troops killed by the Corinthians. The Boeotians, Megarians, and Sicyonians marched as they were ordered towards Nemea, but found the Argives no longer there, for by this time they had descended from the high ground, and seeing their lands ravaged were drawing up their troops in order of battle. The Lacedaemonians prepared to meet them. The Argives were now surrounded by their enemies; for on the side of the plain the Lacedaemonians and their division of the army cut them off from the city; from the hills above they were hemmed in by the Corinthians, Phliasians and Pellenians, towards Nemea by the Boeotians, Sicyonians, and Megarians, and in the absence of the Athenians, who alone of their allies had not arrived, they had no cavalry. The main body of the Argives and their allies had no conception of their danger. They thought that their position was a favourable one, and that they had cut off the Lacedaemonians in their own country and close to the city of Argos. But two of the Argives, Thrasyllus one of the five generals, and Alciphron the proxenus of the Lacedaemonians, came to Agis when the armies were on the point of engaging and urged him privately not to fight; the Argives were ready to offer and accept a fair arbitration, if the Lacedaemonians had any complaint to make of them; they would gladly conclude a treaty, and be at peace for the future.

These Argives spoke of their own motion; they had no authority from the people; and Agis, likewise on his own authority, accepted their proposals, not conferring with his countrymen at large, but only with one of the Lacedaemonian magistrates who accompanied the expedition. He made a treaty with the Argives for four months, within which they were to execute their agreement, and then, without saying a word to any of the allies, he at once withdrew his army. The Lacedaemonians and their allies followed Agis out of respect for the law, but they blamed him severely among themselves. For they believed that they had lost a glorious opportunity; their enemies had been surrounded on every side both by horse and foot; and yet they were returning home having done nothing worthy of their great effort.--No finer Hellenic army had ever up to that day been collected; its appearance was most striking at Nemea while the host was still one; the Lacedaemonians were there in their full strength; arrayed by their side were Arcadians, Boeotians, Corinthians, Sicyonians, Pellenians, Phliasians, and Megarians, from each state chosen men--they might have been thought a match not only for the Argive confederacy, but for another as large.--So the army returned and dispersed to their homes, much out of humour with Agis.

The Argives on their part found still greater fault with those who had made the peace, unauthorised by the people; they too thought that such an opportunity would never recur, and that it was the Lacedaemonians who had escaped, for the combat would have taken place close to their own city, and they had numerous and brave allies. And so, as they were retreating and had reached the bed of the Charadrus, where they hold military trials before they enter the city, they began to stone Thrasyllus. He saved his life by flying to the altar, but they confiscated his property.

Soon afterwards there arrived an Athenian reinforcement of a thousand hoplites and three hundred horse, under the command of Laches and Nicostratus. The Argives, although dissatisfied with the truce, were reluctant to break it, so they bade them depart; and, when they desired to treat, they would not present them to the assembly until they were compelled by the importunity of their Mantinean and Elean allies, who had not yet left Argos. The Athenians then, speaking by the mouth of their ambassador Alcibiades, told the Argives in the presence of the rest that they had no right to make the truce at all independently of their allies, and that, the Athenians having arrived at the opportune moment, they should fight at once. The allies were convinced, and they all, with the exception of the Argives, immediately marched against Orchomenus in Arcadia; the Argives, though consenting, did not join them at first, but they came afterwards. The united forces then sat down before Orchomenus, which they assailed repeatedly; they were especially anxious to get the place into their hands, because certain Arcadian hostages had been deposited there by the Lacedaemonians. The Orchomenians, considering the weakness of their fortifications and the numbers of the enemy, and beginning to fear that they might perish before any one came to their assistance, agreed to join the alliance: they were to give hostages of their own to the Mantineans, and to deliver up those whom the Lacedaemonians had deposited with them.

The allied force, now in possession of Orchomenus, considered against what town they should next proceed; the Eleans wanted them to attack Lepreum, the Mantineans Tegea. The Argives and Athenians sided with the Mantineans; whereupon the Eleans, indignant that they had not voted for the expedition against Lepreum, returned home, but the remainder of the allies made preparations at Mantinea to attack Tegea. They were assisted by a party within the walls who were ready to betray the place to them.

The Lacedaemonians, when after making the four months' truce they had returned home, severely blamed Agis because he had not conquered Argos, and had lost an opportunity of which, in their own judgment, they had never before had the like. For it was no easy matter to bring together a body of allies so numerous and brave. But when the news came that Orchomenus had fallen they were furious, and in a fit of passion, which was unlike their usual character, they had almost made up their minds to raze his house and fine him in the sum of a hundred thousand drachmae.60 But he besought them not to punish him, promising that he would atone for his error by some brave action in the field; if he did not keep his word they might do as they pleased with him. So they did not inflict the fine or demolish his house, but on this occasion they passed a law which had no precedent in their history, providing that ten Spartans should be appointed his counsellors,61 who were to give their consent before he could lead the army out of the city.

Meanwhile word was brought from their friends in Tegea that they must come at once, since Tegea was about to secede and had almost seceded already to the Argives and their allies. Whereupon the Lacedaemonians led out their whole force, including the Helots, with an alacrity which they had never before displayed, and marched to Orestheum in Maenalia. They told their Arcadian allies to assemble and follow them at once to Tegea. When the army had proceeded as far as Orestheum they dismissed the sixth part, including the elder and the younger men, who were to keep guard at home, and arrived at Tegea with the rest of their troops. Not long afterwards the Arcadian allies appeared. They had also sent to the Corinthians, and to the Boeotians, Phocians, and Locrians, whom they summoned to meet them with all speed at Mantinea. But the notice given to the allies was short, and their passage was barred by the enemies' country, which they could not easily traverse unless they waited for one another and came all together. However, they did their best. The Lacedaemonians, accompanied by their Arcadian allies, invaded the territory of Mantinea, and pitching their camp near the temple of Heracles, wasted the country.

When the Argives and their allies saw the enemy they took up a steep and hardly assailable position, and arranged themselves in order of battle. The Lacedaemonians instantly charged them, and had proceeded within a javelin or stone's throw when one of the elder Spartans, seeing the strength of the ground which they were attacking, called out to Agis that he was trying to mend one error by another; he meant to say that his present mistaken forwardness was intended to repair the discredit of his former retreat. And, either in consequence of this exclamation or because some new thought suddenly struck him,62 he withdrew his army in haste without actually engaging. He marched back into the district of Tegea, and proceeded to turn the water into the Mantinean territory. This water is a constant source of war between the Mantineans and Tegeans, on account of the great harm which is done63 to one or other of them according to the direction which the stream takes. Agis hoped that the Argives and their allies when they heard of this movement would come down from the hill and try to prevent it; he could then fight them on level ground. Accordingly he stayed about the water during the whole day, diverting the stream. Now the Argives and their confederates were at first amazed at the sudden retreat of their enemies when they were so near, and did not know what to think. But when the Lacedaemonians had retired and disappeared from view, and they found themselves standing still and not pursuing, they once more began to blame their own generals. Their cry was that they had already let the Lacedaemonians slip when they had them at a disadvantage close to Argos; and now they were running away and no one pursued them; the enemy were just allowed to escape, while their own army was quietly betrayed. The commanders were at first bewildered by the outcry; but soon they quitted the hill, and advancing into the plain took up a position with the intention of attacking.

On the following day the Argives and their allies drew themselves up in the order in which they intended to fight should they meet with the enemy. Meanwhile the Lacedaemonians returned from the water to their old encampment near the temple of Heracles. There they saw quite close to them the Argive army, which had moved on from the hill, and was already in order of battle. Never within their recorded history were the Lacedaemonians more dismayed than at that instant; not a moment was to be lost: immediately they hurried every man to his own place, the king Agis, according to the law, directing their several movements. For when the king is in the field nothing is done without him; he in person gives general orders to the polemarchs, which they convey to the commanders of divisions; these again to the commanders of fifties, the commanders of fifties to the commanders of enomoties, and these to the enomoty. In like manner any more precise instructions are passed down through the army, and quickly reach their destination. For almost the whole Lacedaemonian army are officers who have officers under them, and the responsibility of executing an order devolves upon many.

On this occasion the Sciritae formed the left wing, a position to which in the Lacedaemonian army they have a peculiar and exclusive right. Next to the Sciritae were placed the troops who had served in Chalcidicè under Brasidas, and with them the Neodamodes. Next in order were ranged the several divisions of the Lacedaemonian army, and near them the Heraeans of Arcadia; next the Maenalians, and on the right wing the Tegeans, and a few Lacedaemonians at the extreme point of the line; the cavalry were placed on both wings. This was the order of the Lacedaemonians. On the right wing of the enemy were placed the Mantineans, because the action was to be fought in their country, and next to them such of the Arcadians as were their allies. Then came the select force of a thousand Argives, whom the city had long trained at the public expense in military exercises; next the other Argives, and after them their allies, the Cleonaeans and Orneatae. Last of all the Athenians occupied the left wing, supported by their own cavalry.

Such was the order and composition of the two armies: that of the Lacedaemonians appeared to be the larger, but what the number was, either of the several contingents, or of the total on either side, I cannot pretend exactly to say, for the secrecy of the government did not allow the strength of the Lacedaemonian army to be known, and the numbers on the other side were thought to be exaggerated by the vanity natural to men when speaking of their own forces. However, the following calculation may give some idea of the Lacedaemonian numbers. There were seven divisions in the field, besides the Sciritae who numbered six hundred; in each division there were four pentecosties, in every pentecosty four enomoties, and of each enomoty there fought in the front rank four. The depth of the line was not everywhere equal, but was left to the discretion of the generals commanding divisions; on an average it was eight deep. The front line consisted of four hundred and forty-eight men, exclusive of the Sciritae.64

The two armies were now on the point of engaging, but first the several commanders addressed exhortations to their own contingents. The Mantineans were told that they were not only about to fight for their country, but would have to choose between dominion65 or slavery; having tried both, did they want to be deprived of the one, or to have any more acquaintance with the other? The Argives were reminded that in old times they had been sovereign, and more recently the equals of Sparta, in Peloponnesus; would they acquiesce for ever in the loss of their supremacy, and lose at the same time the chance of revenging themselves upon their hateful neighbours, who had wronged them again and again? The Athenians were told that it was glorious to be fighting side by side with a host of brave allies and to be found equal to the bravest. If they could conquer a Lacedaemonian army in Peloponnesus, they would both extend and secure their dominion, and need never fear an invader again. Such were the exhortations addressed to the Argives and to their allies. But the Lacedaemonians, both in their war-songs and in the words which a man spoke to his comrade, did but remind one another of what their brave spirits knew already.66 For they had learned that true safety was to be found in long previous training, and not in eloquent exhortations uttered when they were going into action.

At length the two armies went forward. The Argives and their allies advanced to the charge with great fury and determination. The Lacedaemonians moved slowly and to the music of many flute-players, who were stationed in their ranks, and played, not as an act of religion, but in order that the army might march evenly and in true measure, and that the line might not break, as often happens in great armies when they go into battle.

Before they had actually closed a thought occurred to Agis. All armies, when engaging, are apt to thrust outwards their right wing; and either of the opposing forces tends to outflank his enemy's left with his own right, because every soldier individually fears for his exposed side, which he tries to cover with the shield of his comrade on the right, conceiving that the closer he draws in the better he will be protected. The first man in the front rank of the right wing is originally responsible for the deflection, for he always wants to withdraw from the enemy his own exposed side, and the rest of the army, from a like fear, follow his example. In this battle the line of the Mantineans, who were on the Argive right wing, extended far beyond the Sciritae: and still further, in proportion as the army to which they belonged was the larger, did the Lacedaemonians and Tegeans on the Lacedaemonian right wing extend beyond the Athenian left. Agis was afraid that the Lacedaemonian left wing would be surrounded, and, thinking that the Mantineans outflanked them too far, he signalled to the Sciritae and the old soldiers of Brasidas to make a lateral movement away from his own division of the army, and so cover the line of the Mantineans: to fill up the space thus left vacant he ordered Hipponoidas and Aristocles, two of the polemarchs, to bring up their two divisions from the right wing, thinking that he would still have more troops than he wanted there, and that he would thus strengthen that part of his line which was opposed to the Mantineans.

He had given the order at the last moment, when the charge had already begun, and Aristocles and Hipponoidas refused to make the movement. (For the cowardice which they were supposed to have shown on this occasion they were afterwards banished from Sparta.) The enemy were upon him before he was ready, and as the two divisions would not advance into the place left by the Sciritae, Agis ordered the Sciritae themselves to close up, but he found that it was too late, and that they also were now unable to fill the vacant space. Then the Lacedaemonians showed in a remarkable manner that, although utterly failing in their tactics, they could win by their courage alone. When they were at close quarters with the enemy, the Mantinean right put to flight the Sciritae and the soldiers of Brasidas. The Mantineans and their allies and the thousand chosen Argives dashed in through the gap in the Lacedaemonian ranks and completed their defeat; they surrounded and routed them, and so drove them to their waggons, where they killed some of the elder men who were appointed to guard them. In this part of the field the Lacedaemonians were beaten, but elsewhere, and especially in the centre of the army, where the king Agis and the three hundred Knights, as they are called, who attend him, were posted, they charged the elder Argives, the Five Divisions as they are termed, the Cleonaeans, Orneatae, and those of the Athenians who were ranged with them, and put them to flight. Most of them never even struck a blow, but gave way at once on the approach of the Lacedaemonians; some were actually trodden under foot, being overtaken by the advancing host.

When the allies and the Argives had yielded in this quarter, they became severed from their comrades to the left as well as to the right of the line; meanwhile the extended right wing of the Lacedaemonians and the Tegeans threatened to surround the Athenians. They were in great danger; their men were being hemmed in at one point and were already defeated at another; and but for their cavalry, which did them good service, they would have suffered more than any other part of the army. Just then Agis, observing the distress of the Lacedaemonian left wing, which was opposed to the Mantineans and the thousand select Argives, commanded his whole forces to go and assist their own defeated troops. Whereupon the Athenians, when their opponents turned aside and began to move away from them, quietly made their escape, and along with them the defeated Argives. The Mantineans and their allies and the chosen force of Argives, seeing their army conquered and the Lacedaemonians bearing down upon them, gave up all thoughts of following up their advantage and fled. The loss incurred by the chosen Argives was small, that of the Mantineans more serious. The pursuit was not fierce nor the flight protracted, for the Lacedaemonians fight long and refuse to move until they have put an enemy to flight, but, having once defeated him, they do not follow him far or long.

Thus, or nearly thus, went the battle, by far the greatest of Hellenic battles which had taken place for a long time, and fought by the most famous cities. The Lacedaemonians exposed the arms of the enemies' dead, and made a trophy of them; they then plundered the bodies, and taking up their own dead carried them away to Tegea, where they were buried; the enemies' dead they gave back under a flag of truce. Of the Argives, Orneatae, and Cleonaeans there fell seven hundred, of the Mantineans two hundred, and of the Athenians, including their settlers in Aegina,67 two hundred, and both their generals. As to the Lacedaemonians, their allies were not hard pressed and did not incur any considerable loss; how many of themselves fell it was hard to ascertain precisely, but their dead are reported to have numbered about three hundred.

Just before the battle, Pleistoanax, the other king, led out of Sparta a reinforcement composed of the elder and younger citizens;68 he had proceeded as far as Tegea when he heard of the victory, and returned. The Lacedaemonians sent and countermanded the reinforcements from Corinth and beyond the Isthmus; they then went home themselves and, dismissing the allies, celebrated the festival of the Carnea, for which this happened to be the season. Thus, by a single action, they wiped out the charge of cowardice, which was due to their misfortune at Sphacteria, and of general stupidity and sluggishness, then current against them in Hellas. They were now thought to have been hardly used by fortune;69 but in character to be the same as ever.

The very day before the battle, the Epidaurians with their whole force invaded the territory of Argos, expecting to find it deserted; they killed many of the men who had been left to protect the country when the main army took the field.70 After the battle three thousand Elean hoplites came to the aid of the Mantineans, and a second detachment of a thousand from Athens. While the Lacedaemonians were still celebrating the Carnea they marched all together against Epidaurus, and began to surround the city with a wall, dividing the task among them. The other allies did not persevere, but the Athenians soon completed their own portion, the fortification of the promontory on which the temple of Herè stood. In this part of the works a garrison was left, to which all furnished a contingent; they then returned to their several cities. So the summer ended.

At the very beginning of the following winter, after the celebration of the Carnea, the Lacedaemonians led out an army as far as Tegea, whence they sent proposals of peace to the Argives. There had always been some partisans of Lacedaemon in the city, who had wanted to put down the democracy. After the battle it was far easier for this party to draw the people into an alliance with Sparta. Their intention was to make first of all a peace, and then an alliance, with the Lacedaemonians, and, having done so, to set upon the people. And now there arrived in Argos, Lichas the son of Arcesilaus, the proxenus of the Argives, offering them one of two alternatives: There were terms of peace, but they might also have war if they pleased. A warm discussion ensued, for Alcibiades happened to be in the place. The party which had been intriguing for the Lacedaemonians, and had at last ventured to come forward openly, persuaded the Argives to accept the terms of peace, which were as follows:

'It seems good to the Lacedaemonian assembly to make an agreement with the Argives on the following terms:

'I. The Argives shall restore to the Orchomenians the youths, and to the Maenalians the men whom they hold as hostages, and to the Lacedaemonians71 the men who were deposited in Mantinea.

'II. They shall also evacuate Epidauria, and demolish the fortifications which they have erected there. If the Athenians refuse to evacuate Epidauria, they shall be enemies to the Argives and Lacedaemonians, and to the allies of the Lacedaemonians, and to the allies of the Argives.

'III. If the Lacedaemonians have any youths belonging to any of the allies in their country, they shall restore them to their several cities.

'IV. Concerning the sacrifice to the God, the Epidaurians shall be permitted to take an oath which the Argives shall formally tender to them.

'V. The cities in Peloponnesus, both small and great, shall be all independent, according to their ancestral laws.

'VI. If anyone from without Peloponnesus comes against Peloponnesus with evil intent, the Peloponnesians shall take council together and shall repel the enemy; and the several states shall bear such a share in the war as may seem equitable to the Peloponnesians.

'VII. The allies of the Lacedaemonians without Peloponnesus shall be in the same position as the other allies of the Lacedaemonians and the allies of the Argives, and they shall retain their present territory.

'VIII. The Argives may if they think fit show this agreement to their allies and make terms with them,72 but if the allies raise any objection, they shall dismiss them to their homes.'

When the Argives had accepted these propositions in the first instance, the Lacedaemonian army returned home from Tegea. The two states now began to hold intercourse with one another, and not long afterwards the same party which had negotiated the treaty contrived that the Argives should renounce their alliance with Mantinea, Athens, and Elis, and make a new treaty of alliance with Lacedaemon on the following terms:

'It seems good to the Lacedaemonians and to the Argives to make peace and alliance for fifty years on the following conditions:

'I. They shall submit to arbitration on fair and equal terms, according to their ancestral customs.

'II. The other cities of Peloponnesus shall participate in the peace and alliance, and shall be independent and their own masters, retaining their own territory and submitting to arbitration on fair and equal terms, according to their ancestral customs.

'III. All the allies of the Lacedaemonians outside Peloponnesus shall share in the same terms as the Lacedaemonians, and the allies of the Argives shall be in the same position as the Argives, and shall retain their present territory.

`IV. If it shall be necessary to make an expedition in common against any place, the Lacedaemonians and the Argives shall consult together and fix the share in the war which may be equitably borne by the allies.

'V. If any of the states, either within or without Peloponnesus, have a dispute about a frontier, or any other matter, the difference shall be duly settled. But should a quarrel break out between two of the allied cities, they shall appeal to some state which both the cities deem to be impartial.

'VI. Justice shall be administered to the individual citizens of each state according to their ancestral customs.'

Thus the peace and the alliance were concluded, and the Lacedaemonians and Argives settled with each other any difference which they had about captures made in the war, or about any other matter. They now acted together, and passed a vote that no herald or embassy should be received from the Athenians, unless they evacuated the fortifications which they held in Peloponnesus and left the country; they agreed also that they would not enter into alliance or make war except in concert. They were very energetic in all their doings, and jointly sent ambassadors to the Chalcidian cities in Thrace, and to Perdiccas whom they persuaded to join their confederacy. He did not, however, immediately desert the Athenians, but he was thinking of deserting, being influenced by the example of the Argives; for he was himself of Argive descent.73 The Argives and Lacedaemonians renewed the oaths formerly taken by the Lacedaemonians to the Chalcidians and swore new ones.74 The Argives also sent envoys to the Athenians bidding them evacuate the fortifications which they had raised at Epidaurus. They, seeing that their troops formed but a small part of the garrison, sent Demosthenes to bring them away with him. When he came he proposed to hold a gymnastic contest outside the fort; upon this pretext he induced the rest of the garrison to go out, and then shut the gates upon them. Soon afterwards the Athenians renewed their treaty with the Epidaurians, and themselves restored the fort to them.

When the Argives deserted the alliance the Mantineans held out for a time, but without the Argives they were helpless, and so they too came to terms with the Lacedaemonians, and gave up their claim to supremacy over the cities in Arcadia which had been subject to them.75 Next the Lacedaemonians and the Argives, each providing a thousand men, made a joint expedition: first the Lacedaemonians went alone and set up a more oligarchical government at Sicyon; then they and the Argives uniting their forces put down the democracy at Argos, and established an oligarchy which was in the interest of the Lacedaemonians. These changes were effected at the close of winter towards the approach of spring, and so ended the fourteenth year of the war.

In the ensuing summer the Dictidians in Mount Athos revolted from the Athenians to the Chalcidians; and the Lacedaemonians resettled the affairs of Achaia upon a footing more favourable to their interests than hitherto. The popular party at Argos, reconstituting themselves by degrees, plucked up courage, and, taking advantage of the festival of the Gymnopaediae at Lacedaemon, attacked the oligarchy. A battle took place in the city: the popular party won, and either killed or expelled their enemies. The oligarchy had sought help from their friends the Lacedaemonians, but they did not come for some time; at last they put off the festival and went to their aid. When they arrived at Tegea they heard that the oligarchs had been defeated. They would proceed no further, but in spite of the entreaties of the fugitives returned home and resumed the celebration of the festival. Not long afterwards envoys came to them both from the party now established in Argos and from those who had been driven out, and in the presence of their allies, after hearing many pleas from both sides, they passed a vote condemning the victorious faction; they then resolved to send an expedition to Argos, but delays occurred and time was lost. Meanwhile the democracy at Argos, fearing the Lacedaemonians, and again courting the Athenian alliance in which their hopes were centred, began building Long Walls to the sea, in order that if they were blockaded by land they might have the advantage, with Athenian help, of introducing provisions by water. Certain other states in Peloponnesus were privy to this project. The whole Argive people, the citizens themselves, their wives, and their slaves, set to work upon the wall, and the Athenians sent them carpenters and masons from Athens. So the summer ended.

In the ensuing winter the Lacedaemonians, hearing of the progress of the work, made an expedition to Argos with their allies, all but the Corinthians; there was also a party at Argos itself acting in their interest. Agis the son of Archidamus, king of the Lacedaemonians, led the army. The support which they expected to find at Argos was not forthcoming; the walls however, which were not yet finished, were captured by them and razed to the ground; they also seized Hysiae, a place in the Argive territory, and put to death all the free men whom they caught; they then withdrew, and returned to their several cities. Next the Argives in their turn made an expedition into the territory of Phlius, which they ravaged because the Phliasians had received the Argive refugees, most of whom had settled there; they then returned home.

During the same winter the Athenians blockaded Perdiccas in Macedonia, complaining of the league which he had made with the Argives and Lacedaemonians; and also that he had been false to their alliance when they had prepared to send an army against the Chalcidians and against Amphipolis under the command of Nicias the son of Niceratus. The army was in fact disbanded chiefly owing to his withdrawal. So he became their enemy. Thus the winter ended, and with it the fifteenth year of the war.

In the ensuing summer, Alcibiades sailed to Argos with twenty ships, and seized any of the Argives who were still suspected to be of the Lacedaemonian faction, to the number of three hundred; and the Athenians deposited them in the subject islands near at hand. The Athenians next made an expedition against the island of Melos with thirty ships of their own, six Chian, and two Lesbian, twelve hundred hoplites and three hundred archers besides twenty mounted archers of their own, and about fifteen hundred hoplites furnished by their allies in the islands. The Melians are colonists of the Lacedaemonians who would not submit to Athens like the other islanders. At first they were neutral and took no part. But when the Athenians tried to coerce them by ravaging their lands, they were driven into open hostilities.76 The generals, Cleomedes the son of Lycomedes and Tisias the son of Tisimachus, encamped with the Athenian forces on the island. But before they did the country any harm they sent envoys to negotiate with the Melians. Instead of bringing these envoys before the people, the Melians desired them to explain their errand to the magistrates and to the dominant class. They spoke as follows:

'Since we are not allowed to speak to the people, lest, forsooth, a multitude should be deceived by seductive and unanswerable77 arguments which they would hear set forth in a single uninterrupted oration (for we are perfectly aware that this is what you mean in bringing us before a select few), you who are sitting here may as well make assurance yet surer. Let us have no set speeches at all, but do you reply to each several statement of which you disapprove, and criticise it at once. Say first of all how you like this mode of proceeding.'

The Melian representatives answered: 'The quiet interchange of explanations is a reasonable thing, and we do not object to that. But your warlike movements, which are present not only to our fears but to our eyes, seem to belie your words. We see that, although you may reason with us, you mean to be our judges; and that at the end of the discussion, if the justice of our cause prevail and we therefore refuse to yield, we may expect war; if we are convinced by you, slavery.'

Athenians. 'Nay, but if you are only going to argue from fancies about the future, or if you meet us with any other purpose than that of looking your circumstances in the face and saving your city, we have done; but if this is your intention we will proceed.'

Mel. 'It is an excusable and natural thing that men in our position should neglect no argument and no view which may avail. But we admit that this conference has met to consider the question of our preservation; and therefore let the argument proceed in the manner which you propose.'

Ath. `Well, then, we Athenians will use no fine words; we will not go out of our way to prove at length that we have a right to rule, because we overthrew the Persians;78 or that we attack you now because we are suffering any injury at your hands. We should not convince you if we did; nor must you expect to convince us by arguing that, although a colony of the Lacedaemonians, you have taken no part in their expeditions, or that you have never done us any wrong. But you and we should say what we really think, and aim only at what is possible, for we both alike know that into the discussion of human affairs the question of justice only enters where there is equal power to enforce it, and that the powerful exact what they can, and the weak grant what they must.'

Mel. `Well, then, since you set aside justice and invite us to speak of expediency, in our judgment it is certainly expedient that you should respect a principle which is for the common good; that to every man when in peril a reasonable claim should be accounted a claim of right, and that any plea which he is disposed to urge, even if failing of the point a little, should help his cause. Your interest in this principle is quite as great as ours, inasmuch as you, if you fall, will incur the heaviest vengeance, and will be the most terrible example to mankind.'79

Ath. 'The fall of our empire, if it should fall, is not an event to which we look forward with dismay; for ruling states such as Lacedaemon are not cruel to their vanquished enemies. With the Lacedaemonians, however, we are not now contending; the real danger is from our many subject states, who may of their own motion rise up and overcome their masters.80 But this is a danger which you may leave to us. And we will now endeavour to show that we have come in the interests of our empire, and that in what we are about to say we are only seeking the preservation of your city. For we want to make you ours with the least trouble to ourselves, and it is for the interests of us both that you should not be destroyed.'

Mel. 'It may be your interest to be our masters, but how can it be ours to be your slaves?'

Ath. 'To you the gain will be that by submission you will avert the worst; and we shall be all the richer for your preservation.'

Mel. 'But must we be your enemies? Will you not receive us as friends if we are neutral and remain at peace with you?'

Ath. `No, your enmity is not half so mischievous to us as your friendship; for the one is in the eyes of our subjects an argument of our power, the other of our weakness.'

Mel. 'But are your subjects really unable to distinguish between states in which you have no concern, and those which are chiefly your own colonies, and in some cases have revolted and been subdued by you?'

Ath. 'Why, they do not doubt that both of them have a good deal to say for themselves on the score of justice, but they think states like yours are left free because they are able to defend themselves, and that we do not attack them because we dare not. So that your subjection will give us an increase of security, as well as an extension of empire. For we are masters of the sea, and you who are islanders, and insignificant islanders too, must not be allowed to escape us.'

Mel. 'But do you not recognise another danger? For, once more, since you drive us from the plea of justice and press upon us your doctrine of expediency,81 we must show you what is for our interest, and, if it be for yours also, may hope to convince you:--Will you not be making enemies of all who are now neutrals? When they see how you are treating us they will expect you some day to turn against them; and if so, are you not strengthening the enemies whom you already have, and bringing upon you others who, if they could help, would never dream of being your enemies at all?'

Ath. 'We do not consider our really dangerous enemies to be any of the peoples inhabiting the mainland who, secure in their freedom, may defer indefinitely any measures of precaution which they take against us, but islanders who, like you, happen to be under no control, and all may be already irritated by the necessity of submission to our empire--these are our real enemies, for they are the most reckless and most likely to bring themselves as well as us into a danger which they cannot but foresee.'

Mel. `Surely then, if you and your subjects will brave all this risk, you to preserve your empire and they to be quit of it, how base and cowardly would it be in us, who retain our freedom, not to do and suffer anything rather than be your slaves.'

Ath. 'Not so, if you calmly reflect: for you are not fighting against equals to whom you cannot yield without disgrace, but you are taking counsel whether or no you shall resist an overwhelming force. The question is not one of honour but of prudence.'

Mel. 'But we know that the fortune of war is sometimes impartial, and not always on the side of numbers. If we yield now, all is over; but if we fight, there is yet a hope that we may stand upright.'

Ath. 'Hope is a good comforter in the hour of danger, and when men have something else to depend upon, although hurtful, she is not ruinous. But when her spendthrift nature has induced them to stake their all, they see her as she is in the moment of their fall, and not till then. While the knowledge of her might enable them to be ware of her, she never fails.82

You are weak and a single turn of the scale might be your ruin. Do not you be thus deluded; avoid the error of which so many are guilty, who, although they might still be saved if they would take the natural means, when visible grounds of confidence forsake them, have recourse to the invisible, to prophecies and oracles and the like, which ruin men by the hopes which they inspire in them.'

Mel. `We know only too well how hard the struggle must be against your power, and against fortune, if she does not mean to be impartial. Nevertheless we do not despair of fortune; for we hope to stand as high as you in the favour of heaven, because we are righteous, and you against whom we contend are unrighteous; and we are satisfied that our deficiency in power will be compensated by the aid of our allies the Lacedaemonians; they cannot refuse to help us, if only because we are their kinsmen, and for the sake of their own honour. And therefore our confidence is not so utterly blind as you suppose.'

Ath. 'As for the Gods, we expect to have quite as much of their favour as you: for we are not doing or claiming anything which goes beyond common opinion about divine or men's desires about human things. For of the Gods we believe, and of men we know, that by a law of their nature wherever they can rule they will. This law was not made by us, and we are not the first who have acted upon it; we did but inherit it, and shall bequeath it to all time, and, we know that you and all mankind, if you were as strong as we are, would do as we do. So much for the Gods; we have told you why we expect to stand as high in their good opinion as you. And then as to the Lacedaemonians--when you imagine that out of very shame they will assist you, we admire the innocence of your idea, but we do not envy you the folly of it. The Lacedaemonians are exceedingly virtuous among themselves, and according to their national standard of morality.83 But, in respect of their dealings with others, although many things might be said, they can be described in few words--of all men whom we know they are the most notorious for identifying what is pleasant with what is honourable, and what is expedient with what is just. But how inconsistent is such a character with your present blind hope of deliverance!'

Mel. `That is the very reason why we trust them; they will look to their interest, and therefore will not be willing to betray the Melians, who are their own colonists, lest they should be distrusted by their friends in Hellas and play into the hands of their enemies.'

Ath. ' But do you not see that the path of expediency is safe, whereas justice and honour involve danger in practice, and such dangers the Lacedaemonians seldom care to face?'

Mel. 'On the other hand, we think that whatever perils there may be, they will be ready to face them for our sakes, and will consider danger less dangerous where we are concerned. For if they need our aid84 we are close at hand, and they can better trust our loyal feeling because we are their kinsmen.'

Ath. `Yes, but what encourages men who are invited to join in a conflict is clearly not the good-will of those who summon them to their side, but a decided superiority in real power. To this no men look more keenly than the Lacedaemonians; so little confidence have they in their own resources, that they only attack their neighbours when they have numerous allies, and therefore they are not likely to find their way by themselves to an island, when we are masters of the sea.'

Mel. `But they may send their allies: the Cretan sea is a large place; and the masters of the sea will have more difficulty in overtaking vessels which want to escape than the pursued in escaping. If the attempt should fail they may invade Attica itself, and find their way to allies of yours whom Brasidas did not reach: and then you will have to fight, not for the conquest of a land in which you have no concern, but nearer home, for the preservation of your confederacy and of your own territory.'

Ath. `Help may come from Lacedaemon to you as it has come to others, and should you ever have actual experience of it, then you will know that never once have the Athenians retired from a siege through fear of a foe elsewhere. You told us that the safety of your city would be your first care, but we remark that, in this long discussion, not a word has been uttered by you which would give a reasonable man expectation of deliverance. Your strongest grounds are hopes deferred, and what power you have is not to be compared with that which is already arrayed against you. Unless after we have withdrawn you mean to come, as even now you may, to a wiser conclusion, you are showing a great want of sense. For surely you cannot dream of flying to that false sense of honour which has been the ruin of so many when danger and dishonour were staring them in the face. Many men with their eyes still open to the consequences have found the word "honour" too much for them, and have suffered a mere name to lure them on, until it has drawn down upon them real and irretrievable calamities; through their own folly they have incurred a worse dishonour than fortune would have inflicted upon them. If you are wise you will not run this risk; you ought to see that there can be no disgrace in yielding to a great city which invites you to become her ally on reasonable terms, keeping your own land, and merely paying tribute; and that you will certainly gain no honour if, having to choose between two alternatives, safety and war, you obstinately prefer the worse. To maintain our rights against equals, to be politic with superiors, and to be moderate towards inferiors is the path of safety. Reflect once more when we have withdrawn, and say to yourselves over and over again that you are deliberating about your one and only country, which may be saved or may be destroyed by a single decision.'

The Athenians left the conference: the Melians, after consulting among themselves, resolved to persevere in their refusal, and made answer as follows:--'Men of Athens, our resolution is unchanged; and we will not in a moment surrender that liberty which our city, founded seven hundred years ago, still enjoys; we will trust to the good fortune which, by the favour of the Gods, has hitherto preserved us, and for human help to the Lacedaemonians, and endeavour to save ourselves. We are ready however to be your friends, and the enemies neither of you nor of the Lacedaemonians, and we ask you to leave our country when you have made such a peace as may appear to be in the interest of both parties.'

Such was the answer of the Melians; the Athenians, as they quitted the conference, spoke as follows:--'Well, we must say, judging from the decision at which you have arrived, that you are the only men who deem the future to be more certain than the present, and regard things unseen as already realised in your fond anticipation, and that the more you cast yourselves upon the Lacedaemonians and fortune and hope, and trust them, the more complete will be your ruin.'

The Athenian envoys returned to the army; and the generals, when they found that the Melians would not yield, immediately commenced hostilities. They surrounded the town of Melos with a wall, dividing the work among the several contingents. They then left troops of their own and of their allies to keep guard both by land and by sea, and retired with the greater part of their army; the remainder carried on the blockade.

About the same time the Argives made an inroad into Phliasia, and lost nearly eighty men, who were caught in an ambuscade by the Phliasians and the Argive exiles. The Athenian garrison in Pylos took much spoil from the Lacedaemonians; nevertheless the latter did not renounce the peace and go to war, but only notified by a proclamation that if any one of their own people had a mind to make reprisals on the Athenians he might. The Corinthians next declared war upon the Athenians on some private grounds, but the rest of the Peloponnesians did not join them. The Melians took that part of the Athenian wall which looked towards the agora by a night assault, killed a few men, and brought in as much corn and other necessaries as they could; they then retreated and remained inactive. After this the Athenians set a better watch. So the summer ended.

In the following winter the Lacedaemonians had intended to make an expedition into the Argive territory, but finding that the sacrifices which they offered at the frontier were unfavourable85 they returned home. The Argives, suspecting that the threatened invasion was instigated by citizens of their own, apprehended some of them; others however escaped.

About the same time the Melians took another part of the Athenian wall; for the fortifications were insufficiently guarded. Whereupon the Athenians sent fresh troops, under the command of Philocrates the son of Demeas. The place was now closely invested, and there was treachery among the citizens themselves. So the Melians were induced to surrender at discretion. The Athenians thereupon put to death all who were of military age, and made slaves of the women and children. They then colonised the island, sending thither five hundred settlers of their own.

1. Cp. i. 8 init.; iii. 104 init.; v. 32 init.; viii. 108 med.

2. Cp. iv. 65 init.

3. Cp. iv. 88 fin.

4. Cp. iv. 107 fin.

5. Cp. iv. 132 init.

6. Cp. iv. 28 med.

7. Cp. i. 124 init.; vi. 77 med.; vii. 5 fin.; viii. 25 med. and fin.

8. Cp. iii. 29 fin.

9. Or, taking the words kai tauta prassontos as subordinate to phanerou genomenou: 'and then offering up sacrifice at the temple of Athenè within the walls, for the interior of the city, &c., . . . and making preparations. A report was brought to Cleon, who,' &c.

10. Or, 'the shrine of Hagnon.'

11. Cp. iv. 102 fin.

12. Cp. iii. 92, 93.

13. Cp. iv, 132 med.

14. Cp. i. 81 fin.

15. Cp. iv. 41

16. Reading hoi en before ekatera. Or, omitting hoi en and inserting a comma after hêgemonian: 'these (i.e. Cleon and Brasidas) being at the time the two great champions of the supremacy of their respective states; Pleistoanax' &c.

17. Cp. i. 114; ii. 21 init.

18. Cp. iii. 52 init.

19. Cp. iv. 69 fin.

20. Cp. iv. 103 med.

21. Cp. iv. 88 fin.

22. Cp. iv. 88.

23. Cp. i. 58 med.

24. Cp. ii. 79 init.

25. Cp. iv. 109 fin.

26. Cp. v. 3 fin.

27. Cp. iv. 3 med.

28. Cp. iv. 54.

29. Cp. iv. 45.

30. Cp. ii. 32.

31. Cp. iv. 123 fin.

32. Cp. v. 32 init.

33. Cp. v. 3.

34. March-April.

35. Cp. v. 17 fin.

36. Cp. v. 18. § 12.

37. Cp. iv. 20 fin.

38. Cp. ii. 30 init.

39. Cp. iv. 49.

40. Cp. i. 58.

41. Cp. v. 38 init.

42. Cp. iv. 130.

43. Cp. v. 1.

44. Cp. v. 18.

45. Cp. v. 29 init.

46. Cp. v. 31 fin.

47. Cp. v. 18. § 7.

48. Or, 'maintaining that this,' i. e. its destruction, 'was equivalent to its restoration' (kai touto, tên kathairesin, apodosin einai.).

49. Cp. i, 102 fin.

50. Cp, viii. 6 med.

51. About 6d.

52. About is.

53. About £6,660.

54. About £6 12s.

55. Cp. iii. 93 fin.

56. Or, reading parapotamiôn, 'the water meadows.'

57. Cp. v. 47. § 3.

58. Cp. v. 18. § 4; 23. § 5.

59. Cp. v. 35 fin.

60. About £4,600, supposing the sum to be given in Aeginetan drachmae.

61. Cp. the cases of Cnemus, ii. 85 init.; Alcidas, iii. 69 med.; Astyochus, viii. 39 med., for a somewhat similar proceeding.

62. Or, 'some new thought, or the same thought (which had occurred to the Spartan elder), suddenly struck him.'

63. Or, 'the harm which is commonly done.'

64. The whole number of the Lacedaemonians is 3584 without the Sciritae, or with them 4184.

65. Cp. v. 29 init.

66. Cp. iv. 17 med., 95 init., 126 init.

67. Cp. ii. 27 med.

68. Cp. v. 64 med.

69. Or, 'to have incurred disgrace through a mishap.'

70. Reading exelthontôn autôn.

71. Cp. v. 61 fin.

72. Or, taking autois of the allies: 'may show this agreement to their allies and make terms with them if the allies think fit;' or, referring xumbalesthai [?] to the original agreement and giving a different sense to the words ai ka autois dokê: 'may show the agree ment to their allies before they conclude it, in case they are willing to come into it.'

73. See note.

74. Cp. i. 58 med; v. 31 fin.

75. Cp. v. 29 init.

76. Cp. iii. 91 init.

77. Or, 'unexamined.'

78. Cp. vi. 83 init.

79. Or, `inasmuch as you, if you disregard it, will by your example justify others in inflicting the heaviest vengeance on you should you fall.'

80. Taking esti de . . . ho agôn as a parenthesis and giving a different sense to pou and autoi. Or, 'And we are fighting not so much against the Lacedaemonians, as against our own subjects who may some day rise up and overcome their former masters.'

81. Or, "and insist upon our compliance with your interests."

82. Or, 'they see her as she is in the moment of their fall; and afterwards, when she is known and they might be ware of her, she leaves them nothing worth saving.'

83. Cp. i. 68 init.

84. Or, 'when we need their aid.'

85. Cp. v. 54, 55.


DURING the same winter the Athenians conceived a desire of sending another expedition to Sicily, larger than those commanded by Laches and Eurymedon.1 They hoped to conquer the island. Of its great size and numerous population, barbarian as well as Hellenic, most of them knew nothing, and they never reflected that they were entering on a struggle almost as arduous as the Peloponnesian War. The voyage in a merchant-vessel round Sicily takes up nearly eight days, and this great island is all but a part of the mainland, being divided from it by a sea not much more than two miles in width.

I will now describe the original settlement of Sicily, and enumerate the nations which it contained. Oldest of all were (1) the Cyclopes and Laestrygones, who are said to have dwelt in a district of the island; but who they were, whence they came, or whither they went, I cannot tell. We must be content with the legends of the poets, and every one must be left to form his own opinion. (2) The Sicanians appear to have succeeded these early races, although according to their own account they were still older; for they profess to have been children of the soil. But the fact proves to be that they were Iberians, and were driven from the river Sicanus in Iberia by the Ligurians. Sicily, which was originally called Trinacria, received from them the name Sicania. To this day the Sicanians inhabit the western parts of the island. (3) After the capture of Troy, some Trojans who had escaped from the Achaeans came in ships to Sicily; they settled near the Sicanians, and took the common name of Elymi but had two separate cities, Eryx and Egesta. (4) These were joined by certain Phocians, who had also fought at Troy, and were driven by a storm first to Libya and thence to Sicily. (5) The Sicels were originally inhabitants of Italy, whence they were driven by the Opici, and passed over into Sicily; according to a probable tradition they crossed upon rafts, taking advantage of the wind blowing from the land, but they may have found other ways of effecting a passage; there are Sicels still in Italy, and the country itself was so called from Italus a Sicel king. They entered Sicily with a large army, and defeating the Sicanians in battle, drove them back to the southern and western parts of the country; from them the island, formerly Sicania, took the name of Sicily. For nearly three hundred years after their arrival until the time when the Hellenes came to Sicily they occupied the most fertile districts, and they still inhabit the central and northern regions. (6) The Phoenicians at one time had settlements all round the island. They fortified headlands on the sea-coast, and settled in the small islands adjacent, for the sake of trading with the Sicels; but when the Hellenes began to find their way by sea to Sicily in greater numbers they withdrew from the larger part of the island, and forming a union established themselves in Motyè, Soloeis, and Panormus, in the neighbourhood of the Elymi, partly trusting to their alliance with them, and partly because this is the point at which the passage from Carthage to Sicily is shortest. Such were the Barbarian nations who inhabited Sicily, and these were their settlements.

7 The first Hellenic colonists sailed from Chalcis in Euboea under the leadership of Thucles, and founded Naxos; there they erected an altar in honour of Apollo the Founder, which is still standing without the city,2 and on this altar religious embassies sacrifice before they sail from Sicily. (8) In the following year Archias, one of the Heraclidae, came from Corinth and founded Syracuse, first driving the Sicels out of the island of Ortygia; in which, though it is no longer surrounded by the sea, the inner city now stands; in process of time the outer city was included within the walls and became populous. (9) In the fifth year after the foundation of Syracuse Thucles and the Chalcidians went forth from Naxos, and driving out the Sicels by force of arms, founded first Leontini, then Catana. The Catanaeans however chose a founder of their own, named Evarchus.

10 About the same time Lamis came from Megara bringing a colony to Sicily, where he occupied a place called Trotilus, upon the river Pantacyas; but he soon afterwards joined the settlement of the Chalcidians at Leontini; with them he dwelt a short time; until he was driven out; he then founded Thapsus, where he died. His followers quitted Thapsus and founded the city which is called the Hyblaean Megara; Hyblon, a Sicel king, had betrayed the place to them and guided them thither. There they remained two hundred and forty-five years, and were then driven out of their town and land by Gelo the tyrant of Syracuse; but before they were driven out, and a hundred years after their own foundation, they sent out Pamillus and founded Selinus; he had come from Megara, their own mother state, to take part in the new colony. (11) In the forty-fifth year after the foundation of Syracuse, Antiphemus of Rhodes and Entimus of Crete came with their followers and together built Gela. The city was named from the river Gela, but the spot which is now the Acropolis and was first fortified is called Lindii. The institutions of the new settlement were Dorian. Exactly a hundred and eight years after their own foundation the inhabitants of Gela founded Agrigentum (Acragas), which they named from the river Acragas; they appointed Aristonous and Pystilus founders of the place, and gave to it their own institutions. (12) Zanclè was originally colonised by pirates who came from Cymè, the Chalcidian city in Opicia; these were followed by a large body of colonists from Chalcis and the rest of Euboea, who shared in the allotment of the soil. The first settlement was led by Perieres of Cymè, the second by Crataemenes of Chalcis. Zanclè was the original name of the place, a name given by the Sicels because the site was in shape like a sickle, for which the Sicel word is zanclon. These earlier settlers were afterwards driven out by the Samians and other Ionians, who when they fled from the Persians found their way to Sicil.3 Not long afterwards Anaxilas, the tyrant of Rhegium, drove out these Samians. He then repeopled their city with a mixed multitude, and called the place Messenè after his native country.

Himera was colonised from Zanclè by Euclides, Simus, and Sacon. Most of the settlers were Chalcidian, but the so-called Myletidae, Syracusan exiles who had been defeated in a civil war, took part in the colony. Their language was a mixture of the Chalcidian and Doric dialects, but their institutions were mainly Chalcidian. (13) Acrae and Casmenae were founded by the Syracusans, Acrae seventy years after Syracuse, and Casmenae nearly twenty years after Acrae. Camarina was originally founded by the Syracusans exactly a hundred and thirty-five years after the foundation of Syracuse; the founders were Dascon and Menecolus. But the Camarinaeans revolted, and as a punishment for their revolt were violently expelled by the Syracusans. After a time Hippocrates the tyrant of Gela, receiving the territory of Camarina4 as the ransom of certain Syracusan prisoners, became the second founder of the place, which he colonised anew. The inhabitants were once more driven out by Gelo, who himself colonised the city for the third time.5

These were the nations, Hellenic or Barbarian, who inhabited Sicily, and such was the great island on which the Athenians were determined to make war. They virtuously professed that they were going to assist their own kinsmen and their newly-acquired allies,6 but the simple truth was that they aspired to the empire of Sicily. They were principally instigated by an embassy which had come from Egesta and was urgent in requesting aid. The Egestaeans had gone to war with the neighbouring city of Selinus about certain questions of marriage and about a disputed piece of land. The Selinuntians summoned the Syracusans to their assistance, and their united forces reduced the Egestaeans to great straits both by sea and land. The Egestaean envoys reminded the Athenians of the alliance which they had made with the Leontines under Laches in the former war,7 and begged them to send ships to their relief. Their chief argument was that, if the Syracusans were not punished for the expulsion of the Leontines, but were allowed to destroy the remaining allies of the Athenians, and to get the whole of Sicily into their own hands, they would one day come with a great army, Dorians assisting Dorians, who were their kinsmen, and colonists assisting their Peloponnesian founders, and would unite in overthrowing Athens herself. Such being the danger, the Athenians would be wise in combining with the allies who were still left to them in Sicily against the Syracusans, especially since the Egestaeans would themselves provide money sufficient for the war. These arguments were constantly repeated in the ears of the Athenian assembly by the Egestaeans and their partisans; at length the people passed a vote that they would at all events send envoys to ascertain on the spot whether the Egestaeans really had the money which they professed to have in their treasury and in their temples, and to report on the state of the war with Selinus. So the Athenian envoys were despatched to Sicily.

During the same winter the Lacedaemonians and their allies, all but the Corinthians, made an expedition into the Argive territory, of which they devastated a small part, and, having brought with them waggons, carried away a few loads of corn. They settled the Argive exiles at Orneae, where they left a small garrison, and having made an agreement that the inhabitants of Orneae and the Argives should not injure one another's land for a given time, returned home with the rest of their army. Soon afterwards the Athenians arrived with thirty ships and six hundred hoplites. They and the people of Argos with their whole power went out and blockaded Orneae for a day, but at night the Argive exiles within the walls got away unobserved by the besiegers, who were encamped at some distance. On the following day the Argives, perceiving what had happened, razed Orneae to the ground and returned. Soon afterwards the Athenian fleet returned likewise.

The Athenians also conveyed by sea cavalry of their own, and some Macedonian exiles who had taken refuge with them, to Methonè on the borders of Macedonia, and ravaged the territory of Perdiccas. Whereupon the Lacedaemonians sent to the Thracian Chalcidians, who were maintaining an armistice terminable at ten days' notice with the Athenians, and commanded them to assist Perdiccas, but they refused. So the winter ended, and with it the sixteenth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

Early in the next spring the Athenian envoys returned from Sicily. They were accompanied by Egestaeans who brought sixty talents8 of uncoined silver, being a month's pay for sixty vessels which they hoped to obtain from Athens. The Athenians called an assembly, and when they heard both from their own and from the Egestaean envoys, amongst other inviting but untrue statements, that there was abundance of money lying ready in the temples and in the treasury of Egesta,9 they passed a vote that sixty ships should be sent to Sicily; Alcibiades the son of Cleinias, Nicias the son of Niceratus, and Lamachus the son of Xenophanes were appointed commanders with full powers. They were to assist Egesta against Selinus; if this did not demand all their military strength they were empowered to restore the Leontines, and generally to further in such manner as they deemed best the Athenian interests in Sicily. Five days afterwards another assembly was called to consider what steps should be taken for the immediate equipment of the expedition, and to vote any additional supplies which the generals might require. Nicias, who had been appointed general against his will, thought that the people had come to a wrong conclusion, and that upon slight if specious grounds they were aspiring to the conquest of Sicily, which was no easy task. So, being desirous of diverting the Athenians from their purpose, he came forward and admonished them in the following terms:

'I know that we are assembled here to discuss the preparations which are required for our expedition to Sicily, but in my judgment it is still a question whether we ought to go thither at all; we should not be hasty in determining a matter of so much importance, or allow ourselves to enter into an impolitic war at the instigation of foreigners. Yet to me personally war brings honour; and I am as careless as any man about my own life: not that I think the worse of a citizen who takes a little thought about his life or his property, for I believe that the sense of a man's own interest will quicken his interest in the prosperity of the state. But I have never in my life been induced by the love of reputation to say a single word contrary to what I thought; neither will I now: I will say simply what I believe to be best. If I told you to take care of what you have and not to throw away present advantages in order to gain an uncertain and distant good, my words would be powerless against a temper like yours. I would rather argue that this is not the time for vigorous action, and that your great aims will not be easily realised.

'I tell you that in going to Sicily you are leaving many enemies behind you, and seem to be bent on bringing new ones hither. You are perhaps relying upon the treaty recently made, which if you remain quiet may retain the name of a treaty; for to a mere name the intrigues of certain persons both here and at Lacedaemon have nearly succeeded in reducing it. But if you meet with any serious reverse, your enemies will be upon you in a moment, for the agreement was originally extracted from them by the pressure of misfortune, and the discredit of it was on their side not on ours.10 In the treaty itself there are many disputed points; and, unsatisfactory as it is, to this hour several cities, and very powerful cities too, persist in rejecting it. Some of these are at open war with us already;11 others may declare war at ten days' notice;12 and they only remain at peace because the Lacedaernonians are indisposed to move. And in all probability, if they find our power divided (and such a division is precisely what we are striving to create), they will eagerly join the Sicilians, whose alliance in the war they would long ago have given anything to obtain. These considerations should weigh with us. The state is far from the desired haven, and we should not run into danger and seek to gain a new empire before we have fully secured the old. The Chalcidians in Thrace have been rebels all these years and remain unsubdued, and there are other subjects of ours in various parts of the mainland who are uncertain in their allegiance. And we forsooth cannot lose a moment in avenging the wrongs of our allies the Egestaeans, while we still defer the punishment of our revolted subjects, whose offences are of long standing.

'And yet if we subdue the Chalcidian rebels we may retain our hold on them; but Sicily is a populous and distant country; over which, even if we are victorious, we shall hardly be able to maintain our dominion. And how foolish it is to select for attack a land which no conquest can secure, while he who fails to conquer will not be where he was before!

'I should say that the Sicilian cities are not dangerous to you, certainly not in their present condition, and they would be even so if they were to fall under the sway of the Syracusans (and this is the prospect with which the Egestaeans would fain scare you). At present individuals might cross the sea out of friendship for the Lacedaemonians; but if the states of Sicily were all united in one empire they would not be likely to make war upon another empire. For whatever chance they may have of overthrowing us if they unite with the Peloponnesians, there will be the same chance of their being overthrown themselves if the Peloponnesians and Athenians are ever united against them.13 The Hellenes in Sicily will dread us most if we never come; in a less degree if we display our strength and speedily depart; but if any disaster occur, they will despise us and be ready enough to join the enemies who are attacking us here. We all know that men have the greatest respect for that which is farthest off, and for that of which the reputation has been least tested; and this, Athenians, you may verify by your own experience. There was a time when you feared the Lacedaemonians and their allies, but now you have got the better of them, and because your first fears have not been realised you despise them, and even hope to conquer Sicily. But you ought not to be elated at the chance mishaps of your enemies; before you can be confident you should have gained the mastery over their minds.14 Remember that the Lacedaemonians are sensitive to their disgrace, and that their sole thought is how they may even yet find a way of inflicting a blow upon us which will retrieve their own character; the rather because they have laboured so earnestly and so long to win a name for valour. If we are wise we shall not trouble ourselves about the barbarous Egestaeans in Sicily; the real question is how we can make ourselves secure against the designs of an insidious oligarchy.

'We must remember also that we have only just recovered in some measure from a great plague and a great war, and are beginning to make up our losses in men and money. It is our duty to expend our new resources upon ourselves at home, and not upon begging exiles who have an interest in successful lies; who find it expedient only to contribute words, and let others fight their battles; and who, if saved, prove ungrateful; if they fail, as they very likely may, only involve their friends in a common ruin.

'I dare say there may be some young man here who is delighted at holding a command, and the more so because he is too young for his post;15 and he, regarding only his own interest, may recommend you to sail; he may be one who is much admired for his stud of horses, and wants to make something out of his command which will maintain him in his extravagance. But do not you give him the opportunity of indulging his own magnificent tastes at the expense of the state. Remember that men of this stamp impoverish themselves and defraud the public. An expedition to Sicily is a serious business, and not one which a mere youth can plan and carry into execution off-hand. The youth of whom I am speaking has summoned to his side young men like himself, whom, not without alarm, I see sitting by him in this assembly, and I appeal against them to you elder citizens. If any of you should be placed next one of his supporters, I would not have him ashamed, or afraid, of being thought a coward if he does not vote for war. Do not, like them, entertain a desperate craving for things out of your reach; you know that by prevision many successes are gained, but few or none by mere greed. On behalf of our country, now on the brink of the greatest danger which she has ever known, I entreat you to hold up your hands against them. Do not interfere with the boundaries which divide us from Sicily; I mean the Ionian gulf which parts us if we sail along the coast, the Sicilian sea if we sail through the open water; these are quite satisfactory. The Sicilians have their own country; let them manage their own concerns. And let the Egestaeans in particular be informed that, having originally gone to war with the Selinuntians on their own account, they must make peace on their own account. Let us have no more allies such as ours have too often been, whom we are expected to assist when they are in misfortune, but to whom we ourselves when in need may look in vain.

'And you, Prytanis, as you wish to be a good citizen, and believe that the welfare of the state is entrusted to you, put my proposal to the vote, and lay the question once more before the Athenians. If you hesitate, remember that in the presence of so many witnesses there can be no question of breaking the law, and that you will be the physician of the state at the critical moment. The first duty of the good magistrate is to do the very best which he can for his country, or, at least, to do her no harm which he can avoid.'

Such were the words of Nicias. Most of the Athenians who came forward to speak were in favour of war, and reluctant to rescind the vote which had been already passed, although a few took the other side. The most enthusiastic supporter of the expedition was Alcibiades the son of Cleinias; he was determined to oppose Nicias, who was always his political enemy and had just now spoken of him in disparaging terms; but the desire to command was even a stronger motive with him. He was hoping that he might be the conqueror of Sicily and Carthage; and that success would repair his private fortunes, and gain him money as well as glory. He had a great position among the citizens and was devoted to horse-racing and other pleasures which outran his means. And in the end his wild courses went far to ruin the Athenian state. For the people feared the extremes to which he carried the lawlessness of his personal habits, and the far-reaching purposes which invariably animated him in all his actions. They thought that he was aiming at a tyranny and set themselves against him. And therefore, although his talents as a military commander were unrivalled, they entrusted the administration of the war to others, because they personally objected to his private habits; and so they speedily shipwrecked the state. He now came forward and spoke as follows:

'I have a better right to command, men of Athens, than another; for as Nicias has attacked me, I must begin by praising myself; and I consider that I am worthy. Those doings of mine for which I am so much cried out against are an honour to myself and to my ancestors, and a solid advantage to my country. In consequence of the distinguished manner in which I represented the state at Olympia, the other Hellenes formed an idea of our power which even exceeded the reality, although they had previously imagined that we were exhausted by war. I sent into the lists seven chariots,--no other private man ever did the like; I was victor, and also won the second and fourth prize; and I ordered everything in a style worthy of my victory. Apart from the conventional honour paid to such successes, the energy which is shown by them creates an impression of power. At home, again, whenever I gain distinction by providing choruses or by the performance of some other public duty, although the citizens are naturally jealous of me, to strangers these acts of munificence are a new argument of our strength. There is some use in the folly of a man who at his own cost benefits not only himself, but the state. And where is the injustice, if I or any one who feels his own superiority to another refuses to be on a level with him? The unfortunate keep their misfortunes to themselves. We do not expect to be recognised by our acquaintance when we are down in the world; and on the same principle why should any one complain when treated with disdain by the more fortunate? He who would have proper respect shown to him should himself show it towards others. I know that men of this lofty spirit, and all who have been in any way illustrious, are hated while they are alive, by their equals especially, and in a lesser degree by others who have to do with them; but that they leave behind them to after-ages a reputation which leads even those who are not of their family to claim kindred with them, and that they are the glory of their country, which regards them, not as aliens or as evil-doers, but as her own children, of whose character she is proud. These are my own aspirations, and this is the reason why my private life is assailed; but let me ask you, whether in the management of public affairs any man surpasses me. Did I not, without involving you in any great danger or expense, combine the most powerful states of Peloponnesus against the Lacedaemonians, whom I compelled to stake at Mantinea all that they had upon the fortune of one day? And even to this hour, although they were victorious in the battle, they have hardly recovered courage.

'These were the achievements of my youth, and of what is supposed to be my monstrous folly; thus did I by winning words conciliate the Peloponnesian powers, and my heartiness made them believe in me and follow me. And now do not be afraid16 of me because I am young, but while I am in the flower of my days and Nicias enjoys the reputation of success, use the services of us both.

Having determined to sail, do not change your minds under the impression that Sicily is a great power. For although the Sicilian cities are populous, their inhabitants are a mixed multitude, and they readily give up old forms of government and receive new ones from without. No one really feels that he has a city of his own; and so the individual is ill provided with arms, and the country has no regular means of defence. A man looks only to what he can win from the common stock by arts of speech or by party violence; hoping, if he is overthrown, at any rate to carry off his prize and enjoy it elsewhere. They are a motley crew, who are never of one mind in counsel, and are incapable of any concert in action. Every man is for himself, and will readily come over to anyone who makes an attractive offer; the more readily if, as report says, they are in a state of internal discord. They boast of their hoplites, but, as has proved to be the case in all Hellenic states, the number of them is grossly exaggerated. Hellas has been singularly mistaken about her heavy infantry; and even in this war it was as much as she could do to collect enough of them. The obstacles then which will meet us in Sicily, judging of them from the information which I have received, are not great; indeed, I have overrated them, for there will be many barbarians who, through fear of the Syracusans, will join us in attacking them.17 And at home there is nothing which, viewed rightly, need interfere with the expedition. Our forefathers had the same enemies whom we are now told that we are leaving behind us, and the Persian besides; but their strength lay in the greatness of their navy, and by that and that alone they gained their empire. Never were the Peloponnesians more hopeless of success than at the present moment; and let them be ever so confident, they will only invade us by land, which they can equally do whether we go to Sicily or not. But on the sea they cannot hurt us, for we shall leave behind us a navy equal to theirs.

'What reason can we give to ourselves for hesitation? What excuse can we make to our allies for denying them aid? We have sworn to them, and have no right to argue that they never assisted us.18 In seeking their alliance we did not intend that they should come and help us here, but that the should harass our enemies in Sicily, and prevent them from coming hither. Like all other imperial powers, we have acquired our dominion by our readiness to assist any one, whether Barbarian or Hellene, who may have invoked our aid. If we are all to sit and do nothing, or to draw distinctions of race when our help is requested, we shall add little to our empire, and run a great risk of losing it altogether. For mankind do not await the attack of a superior power, they anticipate it. We cannot cut down an empire as we might a household; but having once gained our present position, we must, while keeping a firm hold upon some, contrive occasion against others; for if we are not rulers we shall be subjects. You cannot afford to regard inaction in the same light as others might, unless you impose a corresponding restriction on your practice. Convinced then that we shall be most likely to increase our power here if we attack our enemies there, let us sail. We shall humble the pride of the Peloponnesians when they see that, scorning the delights of repose, we have attacked Sicily. By the help of our acquisitions there, we shall probably become masters of all Hellas; at any rate we shall injure the Syracusans, and at the same time benefit ourselves and our allies. Whether we succeed and remain, or depart, in either case our navy will ensure our safety; for at sea we shall be more than a match for all Sicily. Nicias must not divert you from your purpose by preaching indolence, and by trying to set the young against the old; rather in your accustomed order, old and young taking counsel together, after the manner of your fathers who raised Athens to this height of greatness, strive to rise yet higher. Consider that youth and age have no power unless united; but that the shallower and the more exact and the middle sort of judgment, when duly attempered, are likely to be most efficient. The state, if at rest, like everything else will wear herself out by internal friction. Every pursuit which requires skill will tend to decay, whereas by conflict the city will always be gaining fresh experience and learning to defend herself, not in theory, but in practice. My opinion in short is, that a state used to activity will quickly be ruined by the change to inaction; and that they of all men enjoy the greatest security who are truest to themselves and their institutions even when they are not the best.'

Such were the words of Alcibiades. After hearing him and the Egestaeans and certain Leontine exiles who came forward and earnestly entreated assistance, reminding the Athenians of the oaths which they had sworn,19 the people were more than ever resolved upon war. Nicias, seeing that his old argument would no longer deter them, but that he might possibly change their minds if he insisted on the magnitude of the force which would be required, came forward again and spoke as follows:

'Men of Athens, as I see that you are thoroughly determined to go to war, I accept the decision, and will advise you according1y, trusting that the event will be such as we all wish. The cities which we are about to attack are, I am informed, powerful, and independent of one another; they are not inhabited by slaves, who would gladly pass out of a harder into an easier condition of life; and they are very unlikely to accept our rule in exchange for their present liberty.20 As regards numbers, although Sicily is but one island, it contains a great many Hellenic states. Not including Naxos and Catana (of which the inhabitants, as I hope, will be our allies because they are the kinsmen of the Leontines), there are seven other cities fully provided with means of warfare similar to our own, above all Selinus and Syracuse, the cities against which our expedition is particularly directed. For they have numerous hoplites, archers, and javelin-men, and they have many triremes which their large population will enable them to man; besides their private wealth, they have the treasures of the Selinuntian temples; and the Syracusans receive a tribute which has been paid them from time immemorial by certain barbarian tribes. Moreover, they have a numerous cavalry, and grow their own corn instead of importing it: in the two last respects they have a great advantage over us.

'Against such a power more is needed than an insignificant force of marines; if we mean to do justice to our design, and not to be kept within our lines by the numbers of their cavalry, we must embark a multitude of infantry. For what if the Sicilians in terror combine against us, and we make no friends except the Egestaeans who can furnish us with horsemen capable of opposing theirs? To be driven from the island or to send for reinforcements, because we were wanting in forethought at first, would be disgraceful. We must take a powerful armament with us from home, in the full knowledge that we are going to a distant land, and that the expedition will be21 of a kind very different from any which you have hitherto made among your subjects against some enemy in this part of the world, yourselves the allies of others. Here a friendly country is always near, and you can easily obtain supplies. There you will be dependent on a country22 which is entirely strange to you, and whence during the four winter months hardly even a message can be sent hither.

'I say, therefore, that we must take with us a large heavy-armed force both of Athenians and of allies, whether our own subjects or any Peloponnesians whom we can persuade23 or attract by pay24 to our service; also plenty of archers and javelin-men to act against the enemy's cavalry. Our naval superiority must be overwhelming, that we may not only be able to fight, but may have no difficulty in bringing in supplies. And there is the food carried from home, such as wheat and parched barley, which will have to be conveyed in merchant-vessels; we must also have bakers, drafted in a certain proportion from each mill, who will receive pay, but will be forced to serve, in order that, if we should be detained by a calm, the army may not want food; for it is not every city that will be able to receive so large a force as ours. We must make our preparations as complete as possible, and not be at the mercy of others; above all, we must take out with us as much money as we can; for as to the supplies of the Egestaeans which are said to be awaiting us, we had better assume that they are imaginary.

'Even supposing we leave Athens with a force of our own, not merely equal to that of the enemy, but in every way superior, except indeed as regards the number of hoplites which they can put into the field, for in that respect equality is impossible, still it will be no easy task to conquer Sicily, or indeed to preserve ourselves. You ought to consider that we are like men going to found a city in a land of strangers and enemies, who on the very day of their disembarkation must have command of the country; for if they meet with a disaster they will have no friends. And this is what I fear. We shall have much need of prudence; still more of good fortune (and who can guarantee this to mortals?). Wherefore I would trust myself and the expedition, as little as possible to accident, and would not sail until I had taken such precautions as will be likely to ensure our safety. This I conceive to be the course which is the most prudent for the whole state, and, for us who are sent upon the expedition, a condition of safety. If any one thinks otherwise, to him I resign the command.'

These were the words of Nicias. He meant either to deter the Athenians by bringing home to them the vastness of the undertaking, or to provide as far as he could for the security of the expedition if he were compelled to proceed. The result disappointed him. Far from losing their enthusiasm at the disagreeable prospect, they were more determined than ever; they approved of his advice, and were confident that every chance of danger was now removed. All alike were seized with a passionate desire to sail, the elder among them convinced that they would achieve the conquest of Sicily,--at any rate such an armament could suffer no disaster; the youth were longing to see with their own eyes the marvels of a distant land, and were confident of a safe return; the main body of the troops expected to receive present pay, and to conquer a country which would be an inexhaustible mine of pay for the future. The enthusiasm of the majority was so overwhelming that, although some disapproved, they were afraid of being thought unpatriotic if they voted on the other side, and therefore held their peace.

At last an Athenian came forward and, calling upon Nicias, said that they would have no more excuses and delays; he must speak out and say what forces the people were to vote him. He replied, with some unwillingness, that he would prefer to consider the matter at leisure with his colleagues, but that, as far as he could see at present, they ought to have at least a hundred triremes of their own; of these a certain number might be used as transports,25 and they must order more triremes from their allies. Of heavy-armed troops they would require in all, including Athenians and allies, not less than five thousand, and more if they could possibly have them; the rest of the armament must be in proportion, and should comprise archers to be procured both at home and from Crete, and slingers. These forces, and whatever else seemed to be required, the generals would make ready before they started.

Upon this the Athenians at once decreed that the generals should be empowered to act as they thought best in the interest of the state respecting the numbers of the army and the whole management of the expedition. Then the preparations began. Lists for service were made up at home and orders given to the allies. The city had newly recovered from the plague and from the constant pressure of war; a new population had grown up; there had been time for the accumulation of money during the peace; so that there was abundance of everything at command.

While they were in the midst of their preparations, the Hermae or square stone figures carved after the ancient Athenian fashion, and standing everywhere at the doorways both of temples and private houses, in one night had nearly all of them throughout the city their faces mutilated. The offenders were not known, but great rewards were publicly offered for their detection, and a decree was passed that any one, whether citizen, stranger, or slave, might without fear of punishment disclose this or any other profanation of which he was cognisant. The Athenians took the matter greatly to heart--it seemed to them ominous of the fate of the expedition; and they ascribed it to conspirators who wanted to effect a revolution and to overthrow the democracy.

Certain metics and servants gave information, not indeed about the Hermae, but about the mutilation of other statues which had shortly before been perpetrated by some young men in a drunken frolic: they also said that the mysteries were repeatedly profaned by the celebration of them in private houses, and of this impiety they accused, among others, Alcibiades. A party who were jealous of his influence over the people, which interfered with the permanent establishment of their own, thinking that if they could get rid of him they would be supreme,26 took up and exaggerated the charges against him, clamorously insisting that both the mutilation of the Hermae and the profanation of the mysteries were part of a conspiracy against the democracy, and that he was at the bottom of the whole affair. In proof they alleged the excesses of his ordinary life, which were unbecoming in the citizen of a free state.

He strove then and there to clear himself of the charges, and also offered to be tried before he sailed (for all was now ready), in order that, if he were guilty, he might be punished, and if acquitted, might retain his command. He adjured his countrymen to listen to no calumnies which might be propagated against him in his absence; and he protested that they would be wiser in not sending a man who had so serious an imputation hanging over him on a command so important. But his enemies feared that if the trial took place at once he would have the support of the army; and that the people would be lenient, and would not forget that27 he had induced the Argives and some Mantineans to join in the expedition. They therefore exerted themselves to postpone the trial. To this end they suborned fresh speakers, who proposed that he should sail now and not delay the expedition, but should return and stand his trial within a certain number of days. Their intention was that he should be recalled and tried when they had stirred up a stronger feeling against him, which they could better do in his absence. So it was decided that Alcibiades should sail.

About the middle of summer the expedition started for Sicily. Orders had been previously given to most of the allies, to the cornships, the smaller craft, and generally to the vessels in attendance on the armament, that they should muster at Corcyra, whence the whole fleet was to strike across the Ionian gulf to the promontory of Iapygia. Early in the morning of the day appointed for their departure, the Athenian forces and such of their allies as had already joined them went down to the Piraeus and began to man the ships. Almost the entire population of Athens accompanied them, citizens and strangers alike. The citizens came to take farewell, one of an acquaintance, another of a kinsman, another of a son, and as they passed along were full of hope and full of tears; hope of conquering Sicily, tears because they doubted whether they would ever see their friends again, when they thought of the long voyage on which they were going away. At the last moment of parting the danger was nearer; and terrors which had never occurred to them when they were voting the expedition now entered into their souls. Nevertheless their spirits revived at the sight of the armament in all its strength and of the abundant provision which they had made. The strangers and the rest of the multitude came out of curiosity, desiring to witness an enterprise of which the greatness exceeded belief.

No armament so magnificent or costly had ever been sent out by any single Hellenic power, though in mere number of ships and hoplites that which sailed to Epidaurus under Pericles and afterwards under Hagnon to Potidaea28 was not inferior. For that expedition consisted of a hundred Athenian and fifty Chian and Lesbian triremes, conveying four thousand hoplites all Athenian citizens, three hundred cavalry, and a multitude of allied troops. Still the voyage was short and the equipments were poor, whereas this expedition was intended to be long absent, and was thoroughly provided both for sea and, land service, wherever its presence might be required. On the fleet the greatest pains and expense had been lavished by the trierarchs and the state. The public treasury gave a drachma29 a day to each sailor, and furnished empty hulls for sixty swift-sailing vessels, and for forty transports carrying hoplites. All these were manned with the best crews which could be obtained. The trierarchs, besides the pay given by the state, added somewhat more out of their own means to the wages of the upper ranks of rowers and of the petty officers.30 The figure-heads and other fittings provided by them were of the most costly description. Every one strove to the utmost that his own ship might excel both in beauty and swiftness. The infantry had been well selected and the lists carefully made up. There was the keenest rivalry among the soldiers in the matter of arms and personal equipment. And while at home the Athenians were thus competing with one another in the performance of their several duties, to the rest of Hellas the expedition seemed to be a grand display of their power and greatness, rather than a preparation for war. If any one had reckoned up the whole expenditure, both of the state and of individual soldiers and others, including in the first not only what the city had already laid out, but what was entrusted to the generals, and in the second what either at the time or afterwards private persons spent upon their outfit, or the trierarchs upon their ships, the provision for the long voyage which every one may be supposed to have carried with him over and above his public pay, and what soldiers or traders may have taken for purposes of exchange, he would have found that altogether an immense sum amounting to many talents was withdrawn from the city. Men were quite amazed at the boldness of the scheme and the magnificence of the spectacle, which were everywhere spoken of, no less than at the great disproportion of the force when compared with that of the enemy against whom it was intended. Never had a greater expedition been sent to a foreign land; never was there an enterprise in which the hope of future success seemed to be better justified by actual power.

When the ships were manned and everything required for the voyage had been placed on board, silence was proclaimed by the sound of the trumpet, and all with one voice before setting sail offered up the customary prayers; these were recited, not in each ship separately, but by a single herald, the whole fleet accompanying him. On every deck both the officers and the marines, mingling wine in bowls, made libations from vessels of gold and silver. The multitude of citizens and other well-wishers who were looking on from the land joined in the prayer. The crews raised the paean and, when the libations were completed, put to sea. After sailing out for some distance in single file, the ships raced with one another as far as Aegina; thence they hastened onwards to Corcyra, where the allies who formed the rest of the army were assembling.

Meanwhile reports of the expedition were coming in to Syracuse from many quarters, but for a long time nobody gave credit to them. At length an assembly was held. Even then different opinions were expressed, some affirming and others denying that the expedition was coming. At last Hermocrates the son of Hermon, believing that he had certain information, came forward, and warned the Syracusans in the following words:

'I dare say that, like others, I shall not be believed when I tell you that the expedition is really coming; and I am well aware that those who are either the authors or reporters of tidings which seem incredible not only fail to convince others, but are thought fools for their pains. Yet, when the city is in danger, fear shall not stop my mouth; for I am convinced in my own mind that I have better information than anybody. The Athenians, wonder as you may, are coming against us with a great fleet and army; they profess to be assisting their Egestaean allies and to be restoring the Leontines. But the truth is that they covet Sicily, and especially our city. They think that, if they can conquer us, they will easily conquer the rest. They will soon be here, and you must consider how with your present resources you can make the most successful defence. You should not let them take you by surprise because you despise them, or neglect the whole matter because you will not believe that they are coming at all. But to him who is not of this unbelieving temper I say- And do not you be dismayed at their audacity and power. They cannot do more harm to us than we can do to them; the very greatness of their armament may be an advantage to us; it will have a good effect on the other Sicilian cities, who will be alarmed, and in their terror will be the more ready to assist us. Then, again, if in the end we overpower them, or at any rate drive them away baffled, for I have not the slightest fear of their accomplishing their purpose, we shall have achieved a noble triumph. And of this I have a good hope. Rarely have great expeditions, whether Hellenic or Barbarian, when sent far from home, met with success. They are not more numerous than the inhabitants and their neighbours, who all combine through fear; and if owing to scarcity of supplies in a foreign land they miscarry, although their ruin may be chiefly due to themselves, they confer glory on those whom they meant to overthrow. The greatness of these very Athenians was based on the utter and unexpected ruin of the Persians,31 who were always supposed to have directed their expedition against Athens. And I think that such a destiny may very likely be reserved for us.

'Let us take courage then, and put ourselves into a state of defence; let us also send envoys to the Sicels, and, while we make sure of our old allies, endeavour to gain new ones. We will despatch envoys to the rest of Sicily, and point out that the danger is common to all; we will also send to the Italian cities in the hope that they may either join us, or at any rate refuse to receive the Athenians. And I think that we should send to the Carthaginians; the idea of an Athenian attack is no novelty to them; they are always living in apprehension of it. They will probably feel that if they leave us to our fate, the trouble may reach themselves, and therefore they may be inclined in some way or other, secretly, if not openly, to assist us. If willing to help, of all existing states they are the best able; for they have abundance of gold and silver, and these make war, like other things, go smoothly. Let us also send to the Lacedaemonians and Corinthians and entreat them to come to our aid speedily, and at the same time to revive the war in Hellas. I have a plan which in my judgment is the best suited to the present emergency, although it is the last which you in your habitual indolence will readily embrace.32 Let me tell you what it is. If all the Sicilian Greeks, or at least if we and as many as will join us, taking two months' provisions, would put out to sea with all our available ships and prepare to meet the Athenians at Tarentum and the promontory of Iapygia, thereby proving to them that before they fight for Sicily they must fight for the passage of the Ionian Sea, we should strike a panic into them. They would then reflect that at Tarentum (which receives us), we, the advanced guard of Sicily, are among friends, and go forth from a friendly country, and that the sea is a large place not easy to traverse with so great an armament as theirs. They would know that after a long voyage their ships will be unable to keep in line, and coming up slowly and few at a time will be at our mercy. On the other hand, if they lighten their vessels and meet us in a compact body with the swifter part of their fleet, they may have to use oars, and then we shall attack them when they are exhausted. Or if we prefer not to fight, we can retire again to Tarentum. Having come over with slender supplies and prepared for a naval engagement, they will not know what to do on these desolate coasts. If they remain they will find themselves blockaded; if they attempt to sail onwards they will cut themselves off from the rest of their armament, and will be discouraged; for they will be far from certain whether the cities of Italy and Sicily will receive them. In my opinion the anticipation of these difficulties will hamper them to such a degree, that they will never leave Corcyra. While they are holding consultations, and sending out spies to discover our number and exact position, they will find themselves driven into winter; or in dismay at the unexpected opposition, they may very likely break up the expedition; especially if, as I am informed, the most experienced of their generals has taken the command against his will, and would gladly make any considerable demonstration on our part an excuse for retreating. I am quite sure that rumour will exaggerate our strength. The minds of men are apt to be swayed by what they hear; and they are most afraid of those who commence an attack, or who at any rate show to the aggressor betimes that he will meet with resistance; for then they reflect that the risk is equally divided. And so it will be with the Athenians. They are now attacking us because they do not believe that we shall defend ourselves, and in this opinion they are justified by our neglect to join with the Lacedaemonians in putting them down. But, if they see that they were mistaken, and that we boldly venture,33 they will be more dismayed at our unexpected resistance than at our real power. Take my advice; if possible, resolve on this bold step, but if not, adopt other measures of defence as quickly as possible. Remember each and all of you that the true contempt of an invader is shown by deeds of valour in the field, and that meanwhile the greatest service which you can render to the state is to act as if you were in the presence of danger, considering that safety depends on anxious preparation.34 The Athenians are coming; I am certain that they are already on the sea and will soon be here.'

Thus spoke Hermocrates. Great was the contention which his words aroused among the Syracusan people, some asserting that the Athenians would never come, and that he was not speaking truth, others asking, 'And if they should come, what harm could they do to us nearly so great as we could do to them?' while others were quite contemptuous, and made a jest of the whole matter. A few only believed Hermocrates and realised the danger. At last Athenagoras, the popular leader, who had at that time the greatest influence with the multitude, came forward and spoke as follows:

'He is either a coward or a traitor who would not rejoice to hear that the Athenians are so mad as to come hither and deliver themselves into our hands. The audacity of the people who are spreading these alarms does not surprise me, but I do wonder at their folly if they cannot see that their motives are transparent. Having private reasons for being afraid, they want to strike terror into the whole city that they may hide themselves35 under the shadow of the common fear. And now, what is the meaning of these rumours? They do not grow of themselves; they have been got up by persons who are the troublers of our state. And you, if you are wise, will not measure probabilities by their reports, but by what we may assume to be the intentions of shrewd and experienced men such as I conceive the Athenians to be. They are not likely to leave behind them a power such as Peloponnesus. The war which they have already on their hands is far from settled, and will they go out of their way to bring upon themselves another as great? In my opinion they are only too glad that we are not attacking them, considering the number and power of our states.

'Even if the rumour of their coming should turn out to be true, I am sure that Sicily is more fit than Peloponnesus to maintain a great war. The whole island is better supplied in every way, and our own city is herself far more than a match for the army which is said to be threatening us; aye, and for another as great. I know that they will not bring cavalry with them, and will find none here, except the few horsemen which they may procure from Egesta. They cannot provide a force of hoplites equal to ours,36 for they have to cross the sea; and to come all this distance, if only with ships and with no troops or lading, would be work enough.37 I know too that an armament which is directed against so great a city as ours will require immense supplies.38 Nay, I venture to assert that if they came hither, having at their command another city close upon our border as large as Syracuse, and could there settle and carry on war against us from thence, they would still be destroyed to a man; how much more when the whole country will be their enemy (for Sicily will unite), and when they must pitch their camp the moment they are out of their ships, and will have nothing but their wretched huts and meagre supplies, being prevented by our cavalry from advancing far beyond their lines? Indeed I hardly think that they will effect a landing at all. So far superior, in my judgment, are our forces to theirs.

'The Athenians, I repeat, know all that I am telling you, and do not mean to throw away what they have got: I am pretty sure of that. But some of our people are fabricating reports which neither are, nor are ever likely to be, true. I know, and have always known, that by words like these, and yet more mischievous, if not by acts, they want to intimidate you, the Syracusan people, and make themselves chiefs of the state. And I am afraid that if they persevere they will succeed at last, and that we shall be delivered into their hands before we have had the sense to take precautions or to detect and punish them. This is the reason why our city is always in a state of unrest and disorganisation, fighting against herself quite as much as against foreign enemies, and from time to time subjected to tyrants and to narrow and wicked oligarchies. If the people will only support me I shall endeavour to prevent any such misfortunes happening in our day. With you I shall use persuasion, but to these conspirators I shall apply force; and I shall not wait until they are detected in the act (for who can catch them?), but I shall punish their intentions and the mischief which they would do if they could. For the thoughts of our enemies must be punished before they have ripened into deeds. If a man does not strike first, he will be the first struck. As to the rest of the oligarchical party, I must expose them and have an eye on their designs; I must also instruct them; that, I think, will be the way by which I can best deter them from their evil courses. Come now, young men, and answer me a question which I have often asked myself. "What can you want?" To hold office already? But the law forbids. And the law was not intended to slight you had you been capable; it was passed because you were incapable. And so you would rather not be on an equality with the many? But when there is no real difference between men, why should there be a privileged class?

'I shall be told that democracy is neither a wise nor a just thing, and that those who have the money are most likely to govern well. To which I answer, first of all, that the people is the name of the whole, the oligarchy of a part; secondly, that the rich are the best guardians of the public purse, the wise the best counsellors, and the many, when they have heard a matter discussed, the best judges;39 and that each and all of these classes have in a democracy equal privileges. Whereas an oligarchy, while giving the people the full share of danger, not merely takes too much of the good things, but absolutely monopolises them. And this is what the powerful among you and the young would like to have, and what in a great city they will never obtain.

'O most senseless of men, for such you are indeed if you do not see the mischief of your own schemes; never in all my experience have I known such blindness among Hellenes, or such wickedness if you have your eyes open to what you are doing. Yet even now learn if you are stupid, repent if you are guilty; and let your aim be the welfare of the whole country. Remember that the good among you will have an equal or larger share in the government of it than the people;40 while if you want more you will most likely lose all. Away with these reports; we know all about them, and are determined to suppress them. Let the Athenians come, and Syracuse will repel her enemies in a manner worthy of herself; we have generals who will look to the matter. But if, as I believe, none of your tales are true, the state is not going to be deceived, and will not in a moment of panic admit you to power, or impose upon her own neck the yoke of slavery. She will take the matter into her own hands, and when she gives judgment will reckon words to be equally criminal with actions. She will not be talked out of her liberty by you, but will do her utmost to preserve it; she will be on her guard, and will put you down with a strong hand.'

Thus spoke Athenagoras. Whereupon one of the generals rose, and suffering no one else to come forward, closed the discussion himself in the following words:

'There is little wisdom in exchanging abuse or in sitting by and listening to it; let us rather, in view of the reported danger, see how the whole city and every man in it may take measures for resisting the invaders worthily. Why should not the city be richly furnished with arms, horses, and all the pride and pomp of war; where is the harm even if they should not be wanted? We, who are generals, will take in hand all these matters and examine into them ourselves; and we will send messengers to the neighbouring cities in order to obtain information, and for any other purpose which may be necessary. Some precautions we have taken already, and whatever comes to our notice we will communicate to you.' When the general had thus spoken, the assembly dispersed.

The Athenians and their allies were by this time gathered at Corcyra. There the generals began by holding a final review of the ships, and disposed them in the order in which they were to anchor at their stations. The fleet was divided into three squadrons, and one of them assigned by lot to each of the three generals, in order to avoid any difficulties which might occur, if they sailed together, in finding water, anchorage, and provisions where they touched; they also thought that the presence of a general with each division would promote good order and discipline throughout the fleet. They then sent before them to Italy and Sicily three ships, which had orders to find out what cities in those regions would receive them, and to meet them again on their way, that they might know before they put in.

At length the great armament proceeded to cross from Corcyra to Sicily. It consisted of a hundred and thirty-four triremes in all, besides two Rhodian vessels of fifty oars. Of these a hundred were Athenian; sixty being swift vessels, and the remaining forty transports: the rest of the fleet was furnished by the Chians and other allies. The hoplites numbered in all five thousand one hundred, of whom fifteen hundred were Athenians taken from the roll, and seven hundred who served as marines were of the fourth and lowest class of Athenian citizens. The remainder of the hoplites were furnished by the allies, mostly by the subject states; but five hundred came from Argos, besides two hundred and fifty Mantinean and other mercenaries. The archers were in all four hundred and eighty, of whom eighty were Cretans. There were seven hundred Rhodian slingers, a hundred and twenty light-armed Megarians who were exiles;41 and one horse transport which conveyed thirty horsemen and horses.

Such were the forces with which the first expedition crossed the sea. For the transport of provisions thirty merchant-ships, which also conveyed bakers, masons, carpenters, and tools such as are required in sieges, were included in the armament. It was likewise attended by a hundred small vessels; these, as well as the merchant-vessels, were pressed into the service. Other merchant-vessels and lesser craft in great numbers followed of their own accord for purposes of trade. The whole fleet now struck across the Ionian sea from Corcyra. They arrived at the promontory of Iapygia and at Tarentum, each ship taking its own course, and passed along the coast of Italy. The Italian cities did not admit them within their walls, or open a market to them, but allowed them water and anchorage; Tarentum and Locri refused even these. At length they reached Rhegium, the extreme point of Italy, where the fleet reunited. As they were not received within the walls they encamped outside the city at the temple of Artemis; there they were provided by the inhabitants with a market, and drawing up their ships on shore they took a rest. They held a conference with the Rhegians, and pressed them, being Chalcidians themselves, to aid their Chalcidian kinsmen the Leontines. But the Rhegians replied that they would be neutral, and would only act in accordance with the decision of all the Italian Greeks. The Athenian commanders now began to consider how they could best commence operations in Sicily. Meanwhile they were expecting the ships which had gone on and were to meet them from Egesta; for they wanted to know whether the Egestaeans really had the money of which the messengers had brought information to Athens.

From many quarters the news began to reach the Syracusans that the Athenian fleet was at Rhegium, and the report was confirmed by their spies. They now no longer doubted, but fell to work heart and soul. To some of the Sicel towns they sent troops, to others envoys; they also garrisoned the forts in the territory of Syracuse, and within the city itself inspected the horses and arms, and saw that they were in good condition. In short, they made every preparation, as for a war which was rapidly approaching, and almost at their gates.

The three ships which had gone forward to Egesta now returned to the Athenians at Rhegium; they reported that of the money which had been promised thirty talents42 only were forthcoming and no more. The spirits of the generals fell at once on receiving this their first discouragement. They were also disappointed at the unfavourable answer of the Rhegians, whom they had asked first, and who might naturally have been expected to join them because they were kinsmen of the Leontines, and had always hitherto been in the Athenian interest. Nicias had expected that the Egestaeans would fail them;43 to the two others their behaviour appeared even more incomprehensible than the defection of the Rhegians. The fact was that when the original envoys came from Athens to inspect the treasure, the Egestaeans had practised a trick upon them. They brought them to the temple of Aphrodite at Eryx, and showed them the offerings deposited there, consisting of bowls, flagons, censers, and a good deal of other plate. Most of the vessels were only of silver, and therefore they made a show quite out of proportion to their value. They also gave private entertainments to the crews of the triremes: on each of these occasions they produced, as their own, drinking-vessels of gold and silver not only collected in Egesta itself, but borrowed from the neighbouring towns, Phoenician as well as Hellenic. All of them exhibiting much the same vessels and making everywhere a great display, the sailors were amazed, and on their arrival at Athens told every one what heaps of wealth they had seen. When the news spread that the Egestaeans had not got the money, great was the unpopularity incurred throughout the army by these men, who having been first imposed upon themselves had been instrumental in imposing upon others.

The generals now held a council of war. Nicias was of opinion that they should sail with the whole fleet against Selinus, which was their main errand: if the Egestaeans provided pay for all their forces, they would shape their course accordingly; if not, they would demand maintenance for sixty ships, the number which the Egestaeans had requested,44 and remain on the spot until they had brought the Selinuntians to terms either by force or by negotiation. They would then pass along the coast before the eyes of the other cities and display the visible power of Athens, while they proved at the same time her zeal in the cause of her friends and allies; after this they would return home, unless a speedy way of relieving the Leontines or obtaining support from some of the other cities should unexpectedly present itself. But they should not throw away their own resources and imperil the safety of Athens.

Alcibiades urged that it would be a disgrace to have gone forth with so great an armament and to return without achieving anything. They should send envoys to every city of Sicily, with the exception of Selinus and Syracuse; they should also negotiate with the Sicels, making friends of the independent tribes, and persuading the rest to revolt from the Syracusans. They would thus obtain supplies and reinforcements. They should first appeal to the Messenians, whose city being on the highway of traffic was the key of Sicily, and possessed a harbour from which the Athenian forces could most conveniently watch the enemy. Finally, when they had brought the cities over to them and knew who would be on their side in the war, they should attack Selinus and Syracuse, unless the Selinuntians would come to terms with the Egestaeans, and the Syracusans would permit the restoration of the Leontines.

Lamachus was of opinion that they ought to sail direct to Syracuse, and fight as soon as possible under the walls of the city, while the inhabitants were unprepared and the consternation was at its height. He argued that all armies are most terrible at first; if the appearance of them is long delayed the spirits of men revive, and, when they actually come, the sight of them only awakens contempt.45 If the Athenians could strike suddenly, while their opponents were still in fear and suspense, that would be the best chance of victory. Not only the sight of the armament which would never seem so numerous again, but the near approach of suffering, and above all the immediate peril of battle, would create a panic among the enemy. Many of the Syracusans would probably be cut off in the country, not believing in the approach of an invader; and while the villagers were trying to convey their property into the city, their own army, which would be encamped close under the walls, would be masters of the field and could have no lack of provisions. In the end, the other Sicilian Greeks, instead of joining the Syracusan alliance, would come over to them, and would no longer hesitate and look about them to see which side would conquer. He was also of opinion that they should make Megara their naval station, the fleet returning thither from Syracuse and anchoring in the harbour.46 The place was deserted, and was not far distant from Syracuse either by land or by sea.

Lamachus having thus spoken nevertheless gave his own voice for the proposal of Alcibiades. Whereupon Alcibiades sailed across in his admiral's ship to Messenè and proposed an alliance to the inhabitants. He failed to convince them, for they refused to receive the Athenians into the city, although they offered to open a market for them outside the walls. So he sailed back to Rhegium. The generals at once manned sixty ships, selecting the crews indifferently out of the entire fleet, and taking the necessary provisions coasted along to Naxos; they left the rest of the armament and one of themselves at Rhegium. The Naxians received them into their city, and they sailed on to Catana; but the Catanaeans, having a Syracusan party within their walls, denied admission to them; so they moved to the river Terias and there encamped. On the following day they went on to Syracuse in long file with all their ships, except ten, which they had sent forward to sail into the Great Harbour and see whether there was any fleet launched. On their approaching the city a herald was to proclaim from the decks that the Athenians had come to restore their allies and kinsmen the Leontines to their homes, and that therefore any Leontines who were in Syracuse should regard the Athenians as their friends and benefactors, and join them without fear. When the proclamation had been made, and the fleet had taken a survey of the city, and harbours, and of the ground which was to be the scene of operations, they sailed back to Catana.

The Catanaeans now held an assembly and, although they still refused to receive the army, they told the generals to come in and say what they had to say. While Alcibiades was speaking and the people of the city had their attention occupied with the assembly, the soldiers broke down unobserved a postern gate which had been badly walled up, and finding their way into the town began to walk about in the market-place. Those of the Catanaeans who were in the Syracusan interest, when they saw that the enemy had entered, took alarm and stole away. They were not numerous, and the other Catanaeans voted the alliance with the Athenians, and told them to bring up the rest of their armament from Rhegium. The Athenians then sailed back to Rhegium, and with their entire force moved to Catana, where on their arrival they began to establish their camp.

But meanwhile news came from Camarina that if they would go thither the Camarinaeans would join them. They also heard that the Syracusans were manning a navy. So they sailed with their whole force first to Syracuse, but they found that there was no fleet in preparation; they then passed on to Camarina, and putting in to the open beach they sent a herald to the city. The citizens would not receive them, declaring that their oath47 bound them not to receive the Athenians if they came with more than one ship, unless they themselves sent for a greater number. So they sailed away without effecting their purpose. They then disembarked on a part of the Syracusan territory, which they ravaged. But a few Syracusan horse coming up killed some of their light-armed troops who were straggling. They then returned to Catana.

There they found that the vessel Salaminia had come from Athens to fetch Alcibiades, who had been put upon his trial by the state and was ordered home to defend himself. With him were summoned certain of the soldiers, who were accused at the same time, some of profaning the mysteries, others of mutilation of the Hermae. For after the departure of the expedition the Athenians prosecuted both enquiries as keenly as ever. They did not investigate the character of the informers, but in their suspicious mood listened to all manner of statements, and seized and imprisoned some of the most respectable citizens on the evidence of wretches; they thought it better to sift the matter and discover the truth; and they would not allow even a man of good character, against whom an accusation was brought, to escape without a thorough investigation, merely because the informer was a rogue. For the people, who had heard by tradition that the tyranny of Pisistratus and his sons ended in great oppression, and knew moreover that their power was overthrown, not by Harmodius or any efforts of their own, but by the Lacedaemonians,48 were in a state of incessant fear and suspicion.

Now the attempt of Aristogiton and Harmodius arose out of a love affair, which I will narrate at length; and the narrative will show that the Athenians themselves give quite an inaccurate account of their own tyrants, and of the incident in question, and know no more than other Hellenes.49 Pisistratus died at an advanced age in possession of the tyranny, and then, not, as is the common opinion, Hipparchus, but Hippias (who was the eldest of his sons) succeeded to his power. Harmodius was in the flower of youth, and Aristogiton, a citizen of the middle class, became his lover. Hipparchus made an attempt to gain the affections of Harmodius, but he would not listen to him, and told Aristogiton. The latter was naturally tormented at the idea, and fearing that Hipparchus who was powerful would resort to violence, at once formed such a plot as a man in his station might for the overthrow of the tyranny. Meanwhile Hipparchus made another attempt; he had no better success, and thereupon he determined, not indeed to take any violent step, but to insult Harmodius in some secret place,50 so that his motive could not be suspected. To use violence would have been at variance with the general character of his rule, which was not unpopular or oppressive to the many; in fact no tyrants ever displayed greater merit or capacity than these. Although the tax on the produce of the soil which they exacted amounted only to five per cent, they improved and adorned the city, and carried on successful wars; they were also in the habit of sacrificing in the temples. The city meanwhile was permitted to retain her ancient laws; but the family of Pisistratus took care that one of their own number should always be in office. Among others who thus held the annual archonship at Athens was Pisistratus, a son of the tyrant Hippias. He was named after his grandfather Pisistratus, and during his term of office he dedicated the altar of the Twelve Gods in the Agora, and another altar in the temple of the Pythian Apollo. The Athenian people afterwards added to one side of the altar in the Agora and so concealed the inscription upon it; but the other inscription on the altar of the Pythian Apollo may still be seen, although the letters are nearly effaced. It runs as follows:

'Pisistratus the son of Hippias dedicated this memorial of his archonship in the sacred precinct of the Pythian Apollo.'

That Hippias was the eldest son of Pisistratus and succeeded to his power I can positively affirm from special information which has been transmitted to me. But there is other evidence. Of the legitimate sons of Pisistratus he alone had children; this is indicated by the altar just mentioned, and by the column which the Athenians set up in the Acropolis to commemorate the oppression of the tyrants. For on that column no son of Thessalus or of Hipparchus is named, but five of Hippias who were born to him of Myrrhinè the daughter of Callias the son of Hyperechides; now there is a presumption that the son who married first would be the eldest. Moreover, his name is inscribed on the same column51 immediately after his father's; this again is a presumption that he was his eldest son and succeeded him. I think too that Hippias would have found a difficulty in seizing the tyranny if Hipparchus had been tyrant at the time of his death and he had tried to step into his place. As it was, owing to the habitual dread which he had inspired in the citizens, and the strict discipline which he maintained among his body-guard, he held the government with the most perfect security and without the least difficulty. Nor did he behave at all like a younger brother, who would not have known what to do because he had not been regularly used to command.52 Yet Hipparchus by reason of his violent end became famous, and obtained in after ages the reputation of having been the tyrant.

When Hipparchus found his advances repelled by Harmodius he carried out his intention of insulting him. There was a young sister of his whom Hipparchus and his friends first invited to come and carry a sacred basket in a procession, and then rejected her, declaring that she had never been invited by them at all because she was unworthy. At this Harmodius was very angry, and Aristogiton, for his sake, more angry still. They and the other conspirators had already laid their preparations, but were waiting for the festival of the great Panathenaea, when the citizens who took part in the procession assembled in arms; for to do so on any other day would have aroused suspicion. Harmodius and Aristogiton were to begin the attack, and the rest were immediately to join in, and engage with the guards. The plot had been communicated to a few only, the better to avoid detection; but they hoped that, however few struck the blow, the crowd who would be armed, although not in the secret, would at once rise and assist in the recovery of their own liberties.

The day of the festival arrived, and Hippias went out of the city to the place called the Ceramicus, where he was occupied with his guards in marshalling the procession. Harmodius and Aristogiton, who were ready with their daggers, stepped forward to do the deed. But seeing one of the conspirators in familiar conversation with Hippias, who was readily accessible to all, they took alarm, and imagined that they had been betrayed and were on the point of being seized. Whereupon they determined to take their revenge first on the man who had outraged them and was the cause of their desperate attempt. So they rushed, just as they were, within the gates. They found Hipparchus near the Leocorium, as it was called, and then and there falling upon him with all the blind fury, one of an injured lover, the other of a man smarting under an insult, they smote and slew him. The crowd ran together, and so Aristogiton for the present escaped the guards; but he was afterwards taken and not very gently handled. Harmodius perished on the spot.

The news was carried to Hippias at the Ceramicus; he went at once, not to the place, but to the armed men who were to march in the procession and, being at a distance, were as yet ignorant of what had happened. Betraying nothing in his looks of the calamity which had befallen him, he bade them leave their arms and go to a certain spot which he pointed out. They, supposing that he had something to say to them, obeyed, and then bidding his guards seize the arms, he at once selected those whom he thought guilty, and all who were found carrying daggers; for the custom was to march in the procession with spear and shield only.

Such was the conspiracy of Harmodius and Aristogiton, which began in the resentment of a lover; the reckless attempt which followed arose out of a sudden fright. To the people at large the tyranny simply became more oppressive, and Hippias, after his brother's death living in great fear, slew many of the citizens; he also began to look abroad in hope of securing an asylum should a revolution occur. Himself an Athenian, he married his daughter Archedicè to a Lampsacene, Aeantides, son of Hippoclus the tyrant of Lampsacus; for he observed that the family of Hippoclus had great influence with King Darius. Her tomb is at Lampsacus, and bears this inscription:

'This earth covers Archedicè the daughter of Hippias,
A man who was great among the Hellenes of his day.
Her father, her husband, her brothers, and her sons were tyrants,
Yet was not her mind lifted up to vanity.'

Hippias ruled three years longer over the Athenians. In the fourth year he was deposed by the Lacedaemonians and the exiled Alcmaeonidae. He retired under an agreement, first to Sigeum, and then to Aeantides at Lampsacus. From him he went to the court of Darius, whence returning twenty years later with the Persian army he took part in the expedition to Marathon, being then an old man.

The Athenian people, recalling these and other traditions of the tyrants which had sunk deep into their minds, were suspicious and savage against the supposed profaners of the mysteries; the whole affair seemed to them to indicate some conspiracy aiming at oligarchy or tyranny. Inflamed by these suspicions they had already imprisoned many men of high character. There was no sign of returning quiet, but day by day the movement became more furious and the number of arrests increased. At last one of the prisoners, who was believed to be deeply implicated, was induced by a fellow-prisoner to make a confession--whether true or false I cannot say; opinions are divided, and no one knew at the time, or to this day knows, who the offenders were. His companion argued that even if he were not guilty he ought to confess and claim a pardon;53 he would thus save his own life, and at the same time deliver Athens from the prevailing state of suspicion. His chance of escaping would be better if he confessed his guilt in the hope of a pardon, than if he denied it and stood his trial. So he gave evidence both against himself and others in the matter of the Hermae. The Athenians were delighted at finding out what they supposed to be the truth; they had been in despair at the thought that the conspirators against the democracy would never be known, and they immediately liberated the informer and all whom he had not denounced. The accused they brought to trial, and executed such of them as could be found. Those who had fled they condemned to death, and promised a reward to any one who would kill them. No one could say whether the sufferers were justly punished; but the beneficial effect on the city at the time was undeniable.

The enemies of Alcibiades, who had attacked him before he sailed, continued their machinations, and popular feeling was deeply stirred against him. The Athenians now thought that they knew the truth about the Hermae, and they were more than ever convinced that the violation of the mysteries which had been laid to his charge was done by him with the same purpose, and was a part of the conspiracy. It so happened that while the city was in this state of excitement a small Lacedaemonian force proceeded as far as the Isthmus, having something to do in Boeotia. They were supposed to have come, not in the interest of the Boeotians, but by a secret understanding with Alcibiades; and the Athenians really believed that but for their own alacrity in arresting the accused persons the city would have been betrayed. For one whole night the people lay in arms in the temple of Theseus which is within the walls. About this time too the friends of Alcibiades at Argos were suspected of conspiring against the Argive democracy, and accordingly the Argive hostages who had been deposited in the islands54 were at once given up by the Athenians to the vengeance of the Argive people. From every quarter suspicion had gathered around Alcibiades, and the Athenian people were determined to have him tried and executed; so they sent the ship Salaminia to Sicily bearing a summons to him and to others against whom information had been given. He was ordered to follow the officers home and defend himself, but they were told not to arrest him; the Athenians, having regard to their interests in Sicily, were anxious not to cause excitement in their own camp or to attract the attention of the enemy, and above all not to lose the Mantineans and Argives, whom they knew to have been induced by his influence to join in the expedition.55 He in his own ship, and those who were accused with him, left Sicily in company with the Salaminia, and sailed for Athens. When they arrived at Thurii they followed no further, but left the ship and disappeared, fearing to return and stand their trial when the prejudice against them was so violent. The crew of the Salaminia searched for them, but after a time, being unable to find them, gave up the search and went home. Alcibiades, now an exile, crossed not long afterwards in a small vessel from Thurii to Peloponnesus, and the Athenians on his non-appearance sentenced him and his companions to death.

The two Athenian generals who remained in Sicily now divided the fleet between them by lot, and sailed towards Selinus and Egesta; they wanted to know whether the Egestaeans would give them the promised money, and also to ascertain the condition of the Selinuntians and the nature of their quarrel with the Egestaeans. Sailing along the north coast of Sicily, which looks towards the Tyrrhenian Gulf, they touched at Himera, the only Hellenic city in this part of the island. But they were not received, and passed on. On their voyage they took Hyccara, a city on the sea-shore which, although of Sicanian origin, was hostile to the Egestaeans.56 They reduced the inhabitants to slavery, and handed the place over to the Egestaeans, whose cavalry had now joined them. The Athenian troops then marched back through the country of the Sicels until they arrived at Catana; the ships which conveyed the prisoners going round the coast to meet them. Nicias had sailed straight from Hyccara to Egesta, where he did his business, and having obtained thirty talents57 of silver, rejoined the army at Catana. The Athenians on their return disposed of their slaves;58 the sum realised by the sale was about a hundred and twenty talents.59 They next sailed round to their Sicel allies and bade them send reinforcements. Then with half of their army they marched against Hybla Geleatis, a hostile town, which they failed to take. And so ended the summer.

Early in the ensuing winter the Athenians made preparations for an attack upon Syracuse; the Syracusans likewise prepared to take the offensive. For when they found that their enemies did not assail them at once, as in their first panic they had expected, day by day their spirits rose. And now the Athenians, after cruising about at the other end of Sicily, where they seemed to be a long way off, had gone to Hybla, and their attack upon it had failed. So the Syracusans despised them more than ever. After the manner of the populace when elated, they insisted that since the Athenians would not come to them, their generals should lead them against Catana. Syracusan horsemen, who were always riding up to the Athenian army and watching their movements, would ask insultingly whether, instead of resettling the Leontines in their old home, they were not themselves going to settle down with their good friends the Syracusans in a new one.

The generals were aware of the state of affairs. They determined to draw the whole Syracusan army as far as possible out of the city, and then in their absence sail thither by night and take up a convenient position unmolested. They knew that they would fail of their purpose60 if they tried to disembark their men in the face of an enemy who was prepared to meet them, or if they marched openly by land and were discovered, for they had no cavalry of their own, and the Syracusan horse which were numerous would do great harm to their light-armed troops and the mass of attendants. Whereas if they sailed thither by night they would be enabled to take up a position in which the cavalry could do them no serious mischief. The exact spot near the temple of Olympian Zeus which they afterwards occupied was indicated by Syracusan exiles who accompanied them. Accordingly the generals devised the following plan; they sent to Syracuse a man of whose fidelity they were assured, but whom the Syracusan leaders believed to be a friend of theirs. He was a Catanaean, and professed to come from adherents of their party whose names were familiar to them, and whom they knew to be still remaining in Catana.61 He told them that the Athenians lay within the city every night away from the camp in which their arms were deposited, and if at dawn on a set day the Syracusans with their whole force would come and attack the troops left in the camp, their partisans in Catana would themselves shut the Athenians up in the town62 and fire their ships; meanwhile the Syracusans might assault the palisade, and easily take the camp--preparations had been made,63 and many of the Catanaeans were in the plot; from them he came.

The Syracusan generals were already in high spirits, and before this proposal reached them had made up their minds to have all things in readiness for a march to Catana. So they trusted the man the more recklessly, and at once fixed the day on which they would arrive. They then sent him back, and issued orders for an expedition to their whole army, including the Selinuntians and the rest of the allies, who had now joined them. When they were ready and the appointed day drew near they marched towards Catana, and encamped by the river Symaethus in the Leontine territory. The Athenians, aware of the approach of the Syracusans, took all their own army and Sicel or other allies on board their ships and smaller craft, and sailed away at nightfall to Syracuse. At dawn they disembarked opposite the temple of Olympian Zeus, intending to seize a place for their camp; almost at the same moment the Syracusan horse who had advanced before the rest to Catana discovered that the whole Athenian army had put out to sea, whereupon they returned and told the infantry: and then all together hurried back to protect the city.

The march from Catana to Syracuse was long, and in the meantime the Athenians had quietly established themselves in an advantageous position, where they could give battle whenever they pleased, and the Syracusan horse were least likely to harass them either before or during the engagement. On one side they were protected by walls, and houses, and trees, and a marsh; on another by a line of cliffs. They felled the trees near, and bringing them down to the sea made a palisade to protect their ships; on the shore of Dascon too they hurriedly raised a fortification of rough stones and logs at a point where the ground was most accessible to the enemy, and broke down the bridge over the river Anapus. No one came out from the walls to hinder them in their work. The first to appear at all were the returning cavalry; after a while the whole body of infantry came up and re-formed. They at once marched right up to the Athenian position, but the Athenians did not come out to meet them; so they retired and encamped on the other side of the Helorine road.

On the next day the Athenians and their allies prepared to give battle. Their order was as follows: The Argives and Mantineans formed the right wing, the Athenians held the centre; on the left wing were the remaining allies. Half of their army which formed the van was ranged eight deep. The other half was drawn up likewise eight deep close to their sleeping-places, in a hollow oblong. The latter were told to watch the engagement, and to move up to the support of any part of the line which might be distressed. In the midst of the reserve thus disposed were placed the baggage-bearers. The Syracusans drew up their heavy-armed sixteen deep; the army consisted of the whole Syracusan people and their allies, chiefly the Selinuntians, who were in the city; they had also two hundred horsemen from Gela, and twenty, with about fifty archers, from Camarina. The cavalry, numbering in all twelve hundred, were placed upon the right wing, and beside them the javelin-men. The Athenians determined to begin the attack. Just before the battle Nicias went up and down, and addressed the following words to all and each of the various peoples who composed the army:

'What need, soldiers, is there of a long exhortation when we are all here united in the same cause?64 The mere sight of this great army is more likely to put courage into you than an eloquent speech and an inferior force.65 We are Argives and Mantineans, and Athenians and the chief of the islanders; and must not the presence of so many brave allies inspire every one of us with a good hope of victory, especially when we reflect that our opponents are not like ourselves picked soldiers, but a whole city which has turned out to meet us? They are Sicilians too, who, although they may despise us, will not stand their ground against us; for their skill is not equal to their courage. Consider again that we are far from home, and that there is no friendly land near but what you can win with your swords.66 The generals of the enemy, as I know well, are appealing to very different motives. They say to them, "you are fighting for your own country," but I say to you that you are fighting in a country which is not your own, and from which, if you do not conquer, retreat will be impossible, for swarms of cavalry will follow at your heels. Remember your own reputation, and charge valiantly, deeming the difficulties and necessities of your position to be more formidable than the enemy.'

Nicias having thus exhorted his men led them at once to the charge. The Syracusans did not expect that they would have to fight just at that moment, and some of them had even gone away into the city, which was close at hand; others came running up as fast as they could, and, although late, joined the main body one by one at the nearest point. For they showed no want of spirit or daring in this or any other engagement; in courage they were not a whit inferior to their enemies, had their skill only been adequate, but when it failed, they could no longer do justice to their good intentions. On this occasion they were compelled to make a hasty defence, for they felt sure that the Athenians would not begin the attack. Nevertheless they took up their arms and immediately went forward to meet them. For a while the throwers of stones, and slingers, and archers skirmished in front of the two armies, driving one another before them after the manner of light-armed troops. Then the soothsayers brought out the customary victims, and the trumpets sounded and called the infantry to the charge. The two armies advanced; the Syracusans to fight for their country, and every man for life now, and liberty hereafter; on the opposite side the Athenians to gain a new country, and to save the old from the disaster of defeat; the Argives and the independent allies eager to share the good things of Sicily, and, if they returned victorious, to see their own homes once more. The courage of the subject allies was chiefly inspired by a lively consciousness that their only chance of life was in victory; they had also a distant hope that, if they assisted the Athenians in overthrowing others, their own yoke might be lightened.

The armies met, and for a long time the issue was doubtful. During the battle there came on thunder and lightning, and a deluge of rain; these added to the terror of the inexperienced who were fighting for the first time, but experienced soldiers ascribed the storm to the time of year, and were much more alarmed at the stubborn resistance of the enemy,67 First the Argives drove back the left wing of the Syracusans; next the Athenians the right wing which was opposed to them. Whereupon the rest of the army began to give way and were soon put to flight. Their opponents did not pursue them far, for the Syracusan horsemen, who were numerous and had not shared in the defeat, interposed, and wherever they saw hoplites advancing from the ranks attacked and drove them back. The Athenians pursued in a body as far as they safely could, and then returned and raised a trophy. The Syracusans rallied on the Helorine road, and did their best to reform after their defeat. They did not neglect to send some of their forces as a guard to the Olympieum, fearing lest the Athenians should plunder the treasures of the temple. The rest of the army returned to the city.

The Athenians, however, did not go to the temple at all, but collecting their dead, and laying them on a pyre, they passed the night where they were. On the following day they gave back the Syracusan dead under a flag of truce, and gathered from the pyre the bones of their own dead. There had fallen of the Syracusans and of their allies about two hundred and sixty; of the Athenians and their allies not more than fifty. The Athenians then taking with them the spoils of their enemies, sailed back to Catana. Winter had now set in, and they thought that before they could do anything more at Syracuse they must send for horsemen from Athens, and collect others from their Sicilian allies; without them they would be at the mercy of the Syracusan cavalry. They also wanted to obtain both in Sicily and from Athens a supply of money, and to gain over some of the Sicilian cities. These would be more willing to listen to them after their victory. They had likewise to provide supplies, and to make the other requisite preparations for attacking Syracuse in the spring. Accordingly they sailed away to Naxos and Catana, intending to winter.

The Syracusans, after burying their dead; called an assembly. Hermocrates the son of Hermon, a man of first-rate ability, of distinguished bravery, and also of great military experience, came forward and encouraged them. He told them not to be disheartened at the result of the battle; for their resolution had not been defeated;68 but they had suffered from want of discipline. Yet they had proved less unequal than might have been expected; and they should remember that they had been contending against the most experienced soldiers of Hellas; they were unskilled workmen, and the Athenians masters in their craft.69 Another great source of weakness had been the number of generals (there were fifteen of them); the division of authority had produced disorganisation and disorder among the troops. If they had a few experienced generals, and during the winter got their hoplites into order, providing arms for those who had none, and so raising the number of their forces to the utmost, while at the same time they insisted on strict drill and discipline, they would have a good chance of victory; for they had courage already, and only wanted steadiness in action. Both qualities would improve together; they would learn steadiness in the school of danger, and their natural courage would be reinforced by the confidence which skill inspires. The generals whom they elected should be few in number and should be entrusted with full power, the people taking a solemn oath to them that they would be allowed to command according to their own judgment. The secrets of the army would then be better kept, and everything would be done in a more orderly and straightforward manner.

The Syracusans listened to him, and voted all that he desired. They chose three generals and no more; Hermocrates himself, Heraclides the son of Lysimachus, and Sicanus the son of Execestus. They also sent ambassadors to Corinth and to Lacedaemon requesting aid as allies, and urged the Lacedaemonians to make war openly and decidedly against the Athenians on their behalf; thus they would either draw them off from Sicily, or at any rate prevent them from sending reinforcements to the army which was there already.

No sooner had the Athenians returned in the fleet to Catana than they sailed to Messenè, expecting that the city would be betrayed to them. But they were disappointed. For Alcibiades, when he was recalled and gave up his command, foreseeing that he would be an exile, communicated to the Syracusan party at Messenè the plot of which he was cognisant.70 They at once put to death the persons whom he indicated; and on the appearance of the Athenians the same party, rising and arming, prevented their admission. The Athenians remained there about thirteen days, but the weather was bad, their provisions failed, and they had no success. So they went to Naxos, and having surrounded their camp with a palisade, proposed to pass the winter there. They also despatched a trireme to Athens for money and cavalry, which were to arrive at the beginning of spring.

The Syracusans employed the winter in various defensive works. Close to the city they built a wall, which took in the shrine of Apollo Temenites and extended all along that side of Syracuse which looks towards Epipolae; they thus enlarged the area of the city, and increased the difficulty of investing it in case of defeat. They fortified and garrisoned Megara, and also raised a fort at the Olympieum,71 besides fixing stockades at all the landing-places along the shore. They knew that the Athenians were wintering at Naxos, and so, marching out with their whole army to Catana, they ravaged the country and burnt the huts and the camp of the Athenians; they then returned home. They heard that the Athenians were sending an embassy to gain over the Camarinaeans on the strength of their former alliance, which had been made under Laches,72 and they despatched a counter embassy of their own. They suspected that the Camarinaeans had not been over-zealous in sending their contingent to the first battle, and would not be willing to assist them any longer now that the Athenians had gained a victory; old feelings of friendship would revive, and they would be induced to join them. Accordingly Hermocrates came with an embassy to Camarina, and Euphemus with another embassy from the Athenians. An assembly of the Camarinaeans was held, at which Hermocrates, hoping to raise a prejudice against the Athenians, spoke as follows:

'We are not here, Camarinaeans, because we suppose that the presence of the Athenian army will dismay you; we are more afraid of their as yet unuttered words, to which you may too readily lend an ear if you hear them without first hearing us. You know the pretext on which they have come to Sicily, but we can all guess their real intentions. If I am not mistaken they want, not to restore the Leontines to their city, but to drive us out of ours. Who can believe that they who desolate the cities of Hellas mean to restore those of Sicily, or that the enslavers and oppressors of the Chalcidians in Euboea have any feeling of kindred towards the colonists of these Chalcidians in Leontini? In their conquests at home, and in their attempt to conquer Sicily, is not the principle upon which they act one and the same? The Ionians and other colonists of theirs who were their allies, wanting to be revenged on the Persian, freely invited them to be their leaders; and they accepted the invitation. But soon they charged them, some with desertion, and some with making war upon each other;73 any plausible accusation which they could bring against any of them became an excuse for their overthrow. It was not for the liberties of Hellas that Athens, or for her own liberty that Hellas, fought against the Persian; they fought, the Athenians that they might enslave Hellas to themselves instead of him, the rest of the Hellenes that they might get a new master, who may be cleverer, but certainly makes a more dishonest use of his wits.

'However, the character of the Athenians is known to you already, and we do not come here to set forth their enormities, which would be an easy task, but rather to accuse ourselves. We have had a warning in the fate of the Hellenes elsewhere; we know that they were reduced to slavery because they would not stand by one another. And when the same tricks are practised upon us,74 and we hear the old tale once more about the restoration of "our kinsmen the Leontines," and the succour of "our allies the Egestaeans," why do we not all rise as one man and show them that here they will find, not Ionians, nor yet Hellespontians, nor islanders, who must always be the slaves, if not of the Persian, of some other master; but Dorians75 and free inhabitants of Sicily, sprung from the independent soil of Peloponnesus? Are we waiting till our cities are taken one by one, when we know that this is the only way in which we can be conquered? We see what their policy is: how in some cases their cunning words sow ill-feeling; in others they stir up war by the offer of alliance; or again, by some well-invented phrase specially agreeable to an individual state they do it all the mischief which they can. And does any one suppose that, if his countryman at a distance perishes, the danger will not reach him, or that he who suffers first will have no companions in ruin?

'If any one fancies that not he, but the Syracusan, is the enemy of the Athenian, and asks indignantly "Why should I risk myself for you?" let him consider that in fighting for my country he will be at the same time fighting in mine for his own.76 And he will fight with less danger, because I shall still be in existence; he will not carry on the struggle alone, for he will have me for an ally.77 Let him consider that the Athenian is not really seeking to chastise the enmity of the Syracusan, but under pretence of attacking me may be quite as desirous of drawing hard and fast the bonds of friendship with him. And if any one from envy, or possibly from fear (for greatness is exposed to both), would have Syracuse suffer that we may receive a lesson, but survive for his own security, he is asking to have a thing which human power cannot compass. For a man may regulate his own desires, but he is not the dispenser of fortune;78 the time may come when he will find himself mistaken, and while mourning over his own ruin he may possibly wish that he could still have my prosperity to envy. But he cannot bring me back again when he has once abandoned me and has refused to take his share in the common danger, which, far from being imaginary, is only too real. For though in name you may be saving me, in reality you will be saving yourselves. And you especially, Camarinaeans, who are our next neighbours, and on whom the danger will fall next, should have anticipated all this, and not be so slack in your alliance. Instead of our coming to you, you should have come to us. Suppose the Athenians had gone to Camarina first, would you not at this moment be begging and praying for assistance? Then why did not you present yourselves at Syracuse, and say to us in our time of danger, "Never yield to the enemy"? But, hitherto, neither you nor any of the Sicilians have shown a spirit like this.

'You may perhaps disguise your cowardice under the pretence of impartiality; you may balance between us and the invaders, and plead that you have an alliance with the Athenians. But that alliance was made on the supposition that you were invaded by an enemy, not against a friend; and you promised to assist the Athenians if they were wronged by others, not when, as now, they are doing wrong themselves. Are the Rhegians who are Chalcidians so very anxious to join in the restoration of their Leontine kinsmen?79 And yet how monstrous that they, suspecting the real meaning of this plausible claim, should display a prudence for which they can give no reason; and that you, who have every reason for a like prudence, should be eager to assist your natural enemies, and to conspire with them for the destruction of those who by a higher law are your still more natural kinsmen. This should not be. You must make a stand against them. And do not be afraid of their armament. There is no danger if we hold together; the danger is in disunion, and they want to disunite us. Even when they engaged with our unaided forces,80 and defeated us in battle, they failed in their main purpose, and quickly retired.

'If then we can once unite, there is no reason for discouragement. But there is every reason why you, who are our allies, should meet us more cordially. We may be sure that help will come to us from Peloponnesus, and the Peloponnesians are far better soldiers than the Athenians. Let no one think that the caution which professes to be in league with both, and therefore gives aid to neither, is just to us or safe for you. Such a policy, though it may pretend to impartiality, is really unjust. For if through your absence the victor overcomes and the vanquished falls, have you not abandoned the one to his fate, and allowed the other to commit a crime? How much nobler would it be to join your injured kinsmen, and thereby maintain the common interest of Sicily and save the Athenians, whom you call your friends, from doing wrong!

'To sum up: We Syracusans are quite aware that there is no use in our dilating to you or to any one else on matters which you know as well as ourselves. But we prefer a prayer to you; and solemnly adjure you to consider, that, if you reject us, we, who are Dorians like yourselves, are betrayed by you to Ionians, our inveterate enemies, who are seeking our ruin. If the Athenians subdue us, your decision will have gained them the day; but the honour will be all their own, and the authors of their victory will be the prize of their victory. If on the other hand we conquer, you who have brought the peril upon us will have to suffer the penalty. Reflect then, and take your choice: will you have present safety and slavery, or the hope of delivering yourselves and us, and thereby escaping the dishonour of submitting to the Athenian yoke, and the danger of our enmity, which will not be short-lived?'

Thus spoke Hermocrates. Euphemus, the Athenian envoy, replied as follows:

'We had come to renew our former alliance, but the attack made upon us by the Syracusan envoy renders it necessary for us to vindicate our title to empire.81 He himself bore the strongest witness in our favour when he said that Dorians and Ionians are inveterate enemies. And so they are. We Ionians dwelling in the neighbourhood of the Peloponnesians (who are Dorians and more numerous than ourselves) have had to consider the best way of securing our independence. After the Persian War we were delivered by the help of our newly-acquired navy from the rule and supremacy of Lacedaemon; they had no more right to domineer over us than we over them, except the right of the stronger, which at the time they possessed. We then assumed the leadership of the King's former subjects, which we still retain; if we were not to be the slaves of the Peloponnesians we thought that we must have the means of self-defence. And what if we did subjugate those kinsmen of ours whom the Syracusans say that we have enslaved, the Ionians and the islanders? On the strictest principles, where was the injustice? For we were their mother-city, and they joined in the Persian invasion. They had not the courage to revolt from him and to destroy their homes, as we did when we left our city. But they chose slavery for their own portion, and would have imposed it upon us.

'We rule then, in the first place, because we deserve to rule; for we provided the largest navy and showed the most patriotic alacrity in the cause of Hellas;82 while those who became our subjects were willing slaves to the Persian, and were doing us mischief. And secondly, we were anxious to gain additional strength against the Peloponnesians. We use no fine words: we do not tell you that we have a right to rule on the ground that we alone overthrew the Barbarians,83 nor do we pretend that we fought for the liberty of our allies, and not equally for the general liberty and for our own.84 Can any man be blamed because he makes the natural provision for his own safety?85 The same care of our safety has brought us hither, and we can see that our presence here is for your benefit as well as for ours. This we will prove to you; and our proofs shall be drawn from the calumnies of our enemies, and from the suspicions and fears which most sway your minds. For we know that those who are timorous and mistrustful may be won for the moment by alluring words, but that when the time of action comes they follow their own interests.

'We have told you already that fear makes us maintain our empire at home; and that a like fear brings us to your shores. For we desire by the help of our friends to secure our position in Sicily. And we have not come to enslave you, but to save you from being enslaved. Let no one imagine that your welfare is no business of ours, for if you are preserved, and are strong enough to hold out against the Syracusans, they will be less likely to aid the Peloponnesians, and so to injure us. Thus you become at once our first concern. And we are quite consistent in restoring the Leontines, not to be subjects, like their kinsmen in Euboea, but to be as strong as ever we can make them, that from their position on the border they may harass the Syracusans and do our work. In Hellas we are a match for our enemies single-handed; and as to our subjection of the Chalcidians at home, which Hermocrates finds so inconsistent with our emancipation of the Chalcidians here, it is for our advantage, on the one hand, that the cities of Euboea should have no armed force and contribute money only, and, on the other hand, that the Leontines and our friends in Sicily should be as independent as possible.

'Now to a tyrant or to an imperial city86 nothing is inconsistent which is expedient, and no man is a kinsman who cannot be trusted. In each case we must make friends or enemies according to circumstances, and here our interest requires, not that we should weaken our friends, but that our friends should be too strong for our enemies. Do not mistrust us. In Hellas we act upon the same principle, managing our allies as our interest requires in their several cases. The Chians and Methymnaeans furnish us with ships, and are their own masters; the majority are less independent, and pay a tribute; others, although they are islanders and might be easily conquered, enjoy complete freedom, because they are situated conveniently for operations about Peloponnesus.87 So that in Sicily too our policy is likely to be determined by our interest, and, as I was saying, by our fear of the Syracusans. For they desire to be your masters, but first they must unite you in a common suspicion of us, and then either by force, or through your isolation, when we have failed and retired, they will dominate Sicily. This is inevitable if you now join them. Your united power will be more than we can manage, and the Syracusans, when we are gone, will be too much for you. He who thinks otherwise is convicted out of his own mouth. For when you originally invited us, the danger which we should incur if we allowed you to fall into the hands of the Syracusans was precisely what you held before our eyes, and now you ought not to distrust the argument which you thought good enough for us. Nor should you suspect us because we bring hither a force larger than before; for we have to contend against the power of Syracuse. Much more to be mistrusted are they. Without your aid we cannot even remain where we are, and if we were so dishonourable as to make conquests we should be unable to retain them,88 for the voyage is long, and it would be a hopeless task to garrison great cities which, though situated on an island, have the resources of a continent. Whereas these men are your nearest neighbours. And they dwell, not in a camp, but in a city far more powerful than the forces which we have brought to Sicily; they are always scheming against you, and never miss a chance, as they have often shown, especially in their conduct towards the Leontines. And now they have the impudence to stir you up against those who resist them, and have thus far saved Sicily from passing under their yoke. As if you had no eyes! Far more real than the security offered by them is that to which we invite you, a security which we and you gain from one another, and we beseech you not to throw it away. Reflect: the Syracusans are so numerous that with or without allies they can always find their way to you, but you will not often have the chance of defending yourself with the aid of an army like ours. And if from any suspicion you allow us to depart unsuccessful, or perhaps defeated, the time may come when you will desire to see but a fraction of that army, although, if it came, it would be too late to save you.

'But we would not have either you, Camarinaeans, or others moved by their calumnies. We have told you the whole truth about the suspicions which are entertained of us; we will now sum up our arguments, and we think that they ought to convince you. We rule over the cities of Hellas in order to maintain our independence, and we emancipate the cities of Sicily that they may not be used against us. And we are compelled to adopt a policy of interference because we have many interests to guard. Lastly, we come now, as we came before, not uninvited, but upon your own invitation to assist those of you who are suffering wrong. Do not sit in judgment upon our actions, or seek to school us into moderation and so divert us from our purpose, (the time for good advice has gone by), but in as far as our busy, meddlesome spirit can be of service to you as well as to ourselves, take and use us, remembering that these qualities, so far from being injurious to all alike, actually benefit great numbers of the Hellenes. For in all places--however remote from our sphere--both he who fears and he who intends injustice, the one because he has a lively hope that from us he will obtain redress, and the other because he may well be alarmed for the consequences if we answer to the call, must both alike submit, the one to learn moderation against his will, the other to receive at our hands a deliverance which costs him nothing. Do not reject the common salvation which is offered to you at this moment, as well as to all who seek it, but following the example of your countrymen join with us and, instead of having always to watch the Syracusans, assert your equality and threaten them as they have long been threatening you.'

Thus spoke Euphemus. Now the Camarinaeans were swayed by opposite feelings; they had a good will to the Athenians, tempered by a suspicion that they might be intending to enslave Sicily, whereas the Syracusans, from their proximity, were always at feud with them. But they were not so much afraid of the Athenians as of their Syracusan neighbours, who, as they thought, might win without their assistance. This was the reason why they sent them the small body of horse which took part in the first battle; and in a like spirit they now determined that for the future they would give real assistance only to the Syracusans, but to a very moderate extent. For the present however, that they might seem to deal equal justice to the Athenians, especially after their recent victory, they resolved to return the same answer to both. Such were the considerations which led them to reply that, as two of their allies were at war with one another, they thought that under the circumstances the best way of observing their oaths would be to assist neither. So the two embassies departed.

The Syracusans proceeded with their own preparations for the war, and the Athenians who were encamped at Naxos tried by negotiation to gain over as many of the Sicels as they could. The dwellers in the plain who were subjects of the Syracusans mostly stood aloof, but the Sicel settlements in the interior (which had always been independent) at once, with a few exceptions, joined the Athenians, and brought down food to the army; in some cases money also. Against those who were recalcitrant troops were despatched by the Athenians; and some of them were forced into submission, but others were protected by the garrisons which the Syracusans sent to their aid. They then transferred their station from Naxos to Catana and, reconstructing the camp which had been burnt by the Syracusans,89 passed the winter there. In the hope of obtaining assistance they sent a trireme to Carthage with a proposal of friendship; likewise to Tyrrhenia, since some of the cities there were offering of themselves to join them in the war: to the various Sicel tribes90 and to the Egestaeans they issued orders that they were to send as many horse as possible. They further prepared bricks, tools, and whatever else was requisite for siege operations, intending, when the spring arrived, to prosecute the war with vigour.

The envoys whom the Syracusans had sent to Corinth and Lacedaemon91 endeavoured on the voyage to persuade the Italian Greeks that they were equally threatened by the Athenian designs, and should take an interest in the war. When they arrived at Corinth they appealed to the Corinthians for aid on the ground of relationship. The Corinthians, taking the lead of all the Hellenic states, voted that they would assist Syracuse with all possible energy. They sent with the Syracusan envoys ambassadors of their own to the Lacedaemonians, bearing a joint request that they would resume open hostilities at home, and unite with them in sending help to Sicily. At Lacedaemon the Corinthian ambassadors met Alcibiades and his fellow exiles. He had sailed at once from Thurii in a trading vessel to Cyllenè in Elis, and thence proceeded to Lacedaemon on the invitation of the Lacedaemonians themselves, first obtaining a safe-conduct; for he was afraid of them after his proceedings in the matter of the Mantinean league.92 And so it came to pass that the Corinthians, the Syracusans, and Alcibiades appeared simultaneously in the Lacedaemonian assembly, and concurred in urging the same request. The ephors and the magistrates were already intending to send envoys to the Syracusans bidding them make no terms with the Athenians, although they were not disposed to assist them actively. But now Alcibiades came forward and stimulated the energies of the Lacedaemonians in the following words:

'I must endeavour first of all to remove a prejudice against myself, lest through suspicion of me you should turn a deaf ear to considerations of public interest. My ancestors in consequence of some misunderstanding renounced the office of Lacedaemonian proxenus; I myself resumed it, and did you many good offices, especially after your misfortune at Pylos. My anxiety to serve you never ceased, but when you were making peace with Athens you negotiated through my enemies, thereby conferring power on them, and bringing dishonour upon me.93 And if I then turned to the Mantineans and Argives and opposed you in that or in any other way, you were rightly served, and any one who while the wound was recent may have been unduly exasperated against me should now take another and a truer view. Or, again, if any one thought the worse of me because I was inclined to the people, let him acknowledge that here too there is no real ground of offence. Any power adverse to despotism is called democracy, and my family have always retained the leadership of the people in their hands because we have been the persistent enemies of tyrants. Living too under a popular government, how could we avoid in a great degree conforming to circumstances? However, we did our best to observe political moderation amid the prevailing licence. But there were demagogues, as there always have been, who led the people into evil ways, and it was they who drove me out.94 Whereas we were the leaders of the state as a whole,95 and not of a part only; it was our view that all ought to combine in maintaining that form of government which had been inherited by us, and under which the city enjoyed the greatest freedom and glory. Of course, like all sensible men, we knew only too well what democracy is, and I better than any one, who have so good a reason for abusing it. The follies of democracy are universally admitted, and there is nothing new to be said about them. But we could not venture to change our form of government when an enemy like yourselves was so near to us.

'Such is the truth about the calumnies under which I labour. And now I will speak to you of the matter which you have in hand, and about which I, in so far as I have better information, am bound to instruct you. We sailed to Sicily hoping in the first place to conquer the Sicilian cities; then to proceed against the Hellenes of Italy; and lastly, to make an attempt on the Carthaginian dominions, and on Carthage itself. If all or most of these enterprises succeeded, we meant finally to attack Peloponnesus, bringing with us the whole Hellenic power which we had gained abroad, besides many barbarians whom we intended to hire--Iberians and the neighbouring tribes, esteemed to be the most warlike barbarians that now are.96 Of the timber which Italy supplies in such abundance we meant to build numerous additional triremes, and with them to blockade Peloponnesus. At the same time making inroads by land with our infantry, we should have stormed some of your cities and invested others. Thus we hoped to crush you easily, and to rule over the Hellenic world. For the better accomplishment of our various aims our newly-acquired territory would supply money and provisions enough, apart from the revenue which we receive in Hellas.

'You have heard the objects of our expedition from him who knows them best; the generals who remain will persevere and carry them out if they can. And now let me prove to you that if you do not come to the rescue Sicily will be lost. If the Greeks would all unite they might even now, notwithstanding their want of military skill, resist with success; but the Syracusans alone, whose whole forces have been already defeated, and who cannot move freely at sea, will be unable to withstand the power which the Athenians already have on the spot. And Syracuse once taken, the whole of Sicily is in their hands; the subjugation of Italy will follow; and the danger which, as I was saying, threatens you from that quarter, will speedily overwhelm you. And therefore remember every one of you that the safety, not of Sicily alone, but of Peloponnesus, is at stake. No time should be lost. You must send to Sicily a force of hoplites who will themselves handle the oars and will take the field immediately on landing. A Spartan commander I conceive to be even more indispensable than an army; his duty will be to organise the troops which are already enlisted, and to press the unwilling into the service. Thus you will inspire confidence in your friends and overcome the fears of the wavering. Here too in Hellas you should make open war. The Syracusans, seeing that you have not forgotten them, will then persevere in their resistance, while the Athenians will have greater difficulty in reinforcing their army. You ought also to fortify Decelea in Attica; the Athenians are always in particular dread of this; to them it seems to be the only peril of which they have not faced the worst in the course of the war. And the way to hurt an enemy most surely is to inform yourself exactly about the weak points of which you see that he is conscious, and strike at them. For every man is likely to know best himself the dangers which he has most to fear. I will sum up briefly the chief though by no means all the advantages which you will gain, and the disadvantages which you will inflict, by the fortification of Decelea. The whole stock of the country will fall into your hands. The slaves will come over to you of their own accord; what there is besides will be seized by you. The Athenians will at once be deprived of the revenues which they obtain from the silver mines of Laurium, and of all the profits which they make by the land or by the law courts: above all, the customary tribute will cease to flow in; for their allies, when they see that you are now carrying on the war in earnest, will not mind them. How far these plans are executed, and with how much speed and energy, Lacedaemonians, depends on you; for I am confident that they are practicable, and I am not likely to be mistaken.

'You ought not in fairness to think the worse of me because, having been once distinguished as a lover of my country, I now cast in my lot with her worst foes and attack her with all my might; or suspect that I speak only with the eagerness of an exile. An exile I am indeed; I have lost an ungrateful country, but I have not lost the power of doing you service, if you will listen to me. The true enemies of my country are not those who, like you, have injured her in open war, but those who have compelled her friends to become her enemies. I love Athens, not in so far as I am wronged by her, but in so far as I once enjoyed the privileges of a citizen. The country which I am attacking is no longer mine, but a lost country which I am seeking to regain. He is the true patriot, not who, when unjustly exiled, abstains from attacking his country, but who in the warmth of his affection seeks to recover her without regard to the means. I desire therefore that you, Lacedaemonians, will use me without scruple in any service however difficult or dangerous, remembering that, according to the familiar saying, "the more harm I did you as an enemy, the more good can I do you as a friend." For I know the secrets of the Athenians, while I could only guess at yours. Remember the immense importance of your present decision, and do not hesitate to send an expedition to Sicily and Attica. By despatching a fraction of your forces to co-operate in Sicily you may save great interests, and may overthrow the Athenian power once and for ever. And so henceforward you may dwell safely yourselves and be leaders of all Hellas, which will follow you, not upon compulsion, but from affection.'

Thus spoke Alcibiades: the Lacedaemonians, who had been intending to send an army against Athens, but were still hesitating and looking about them, were greatly strengthened in their resolution when they heard all these points urged by him who, as they thought, knew best. Accordingly they now turned their thoughts to the fortification of Decelea, and determined to send immediate assistance to the Syracusans. They appointed Gylippus the son of Cleandridas commander of the Syracusan forces, and desired him to co-operate with the Syracusan and Corinthian representatives, and send aid to Sicily in the speediest and most effective manner which the circumstances admitted. Whereupon he told the Corinthians to despatch immediately two ships to him at Asine, and to fit out as many more as they meant to send; the latter were to be ready for sea when the season arrived. Coming to this understanding the envoys departed from Lacedaemon.

About this time the trireme which the Athenian generals had despatched from Sicily for money and cavalry97 arrived at Athens. The Athenians, hearing their request, voted money and a force of cavalry for the army. So the winter ended, and with it the seventeenth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

At the very beginning of the following spring the Athenians quitted Catana, and sailed along the coast towards the Sicilian Megara; this place, as I have already mentioned,98 in the days of Gelo the tyrant was depopulated by the Syracusans, who still retain possession of the country. They disembarked, and after ravaging the fields proceeded to attack a small Syracusan fortress,99 but without success; they then moved on some by land and some by sea to the river Terias, and going up the country wasted the plain and burned the corn. They encountered a few Syracusans, some of whom they killed, and setting up a trophy returned to their ships. They then sailed back to Catana, and having taken in provisions marched with their whole force against Centoripa, a Sicel town, which capitulated. Thence they returned, and on their way burned the corn of the Inessians and the Hyblaeans. Arriving at Catana they found that the horsemen, for whom they had sent, to the number of two hundred and fifty had come from Athens, with their equipments, but without horses, which they were expected to procure on the spot. Thirty mounted archers and three hundred talents of silver100 had arrived also.

During the same spring the Lacedaemonians led an army against Argos, and advanced as far as Cleonae, but retired in consequence of an earthquake. The Argives in their turn invaded the neighbouring district of Thyrea, and took a great deal of spoil from the Lacedaemonians, which was sold for no less than twenty-five talents.101 Somewhat later the populace of Thespiae102 made an attack upon the government, but the attempt did not succeed; for the Thebans came to the rescue. Some of the insurgents were apprehended, others fled to Athens.

The Syracusans heard that the Athenians had received their cavalry, and that they would soon be upon them. They considered that, unless the Athenians gained possession of Epipolae (which was a steep place looking down upon Syracuse), the city could not easily be invested, even if they were defeated in battle; they therefore determined to guard the paths leading to the summit that the enemy might not get up by stealth. At all other points the place was secure, as it lies high and slopes right down to the city, from the interior of which it can all be seen; the Syracusans call it Epipolae (or the plateau, because it is above the level of the adjacent country. Hermocrates and his colleagues had now entered upon their command. The whole people went out at break of day to the meadow skirting the river Anapus, and proceeded to hold a review of their forces. A selection was at once made of six hundred hoplites, who were appointed to guard Epipolae, and to run in a body to any point at which they were needed. They were commanded by Diomilus, an Andrian exile.

On the very same morning the Athenians were likewise holding a muster of their army. They had come from Catana with their whole force, and had put in unobserved near a place called Leon, which is distant from Epipolae not quite a mile; there they disembarked their troops. Their ships cast anchor at Thapsus, which is a peninsula with a narrow isthmus, running out into the sea, and not far from Syracuse either by land or water. The Athenian sailors made a stockade across the isthmus and remained at Thapsus, while the troops ran to Epipolae, and gained the summit by the way of the Euryelus before the Syracusans saw them or could come up to them from the meadow where the review was going on. Nevertheless Diomilus with his six hundred hurried to the spot, accompanied by the rest of the army, each man running as fast he could; but the distance from the meadow which they had to traverse before they could engage was not less than three miles; consequently they were in disorder when they closed with the Athenians. They were defeated in the engagement which ensued on Epipolae, and retired into the city. Diomilus and about three hundred others were slain. The Athenians erected a trophy, and gave up to the Syracusans the bodies of the dead under a flag of truce. On the following day they went down to the city itself, but as the Syracusans did not come out against them, they retired and built a fort upon Labdalum, at the edge of the cliffs of Epipolae looking towards Megara, in order that when they advanced either to fight or to construct lines, the place might serve as a depository for their baggage and their property.

Not long afterwards the Athenians were joined by three hundred Egestaean horsemen, and about a hundred more furnished by the Sicels, Naxians, and others. They had two hundred and fifty of their own, for some of whom they received horses from the Egestaeans and Catanaeans; other horses they bought. The whole number of their cavalry was now raised to six hundred and fifty. They placed a garrison in Labdalum and went down to Sycè, where they took up a position and immediately commenced building a wall round the city.103 The Syracusans were amazed at the celerity of the work. They saw that they must interfere, and made up their minds to go out and fight. The two armies were already preparing to engage when the Syracusan generals, seeing that their forces were in disorder and were forming with difficulty, led them back into the city, all but a detachment of the cavalry, who, remaining on the spot, prevented their opponents from gathering stones for the wall, and compelled them to keep together. At length, advancing with one division of their hoplites and all their cavalry, the Athenians attacked the Syracusan horse, whom they put to flight, and killed some of them; they then erected a trophy.

On the following day some of the Athenians proceeded with the construction of that part of the circle which lay towards the north;104 others began to collect wood and stones and lay them along the intended course of the wall towards Trogilus, where the distance was shortest from the Great Harbour to the outer sea. The Syracusans by the advice of their commanders, chiefly of Hermocrates, determined to risk no more general engagements. They thought it better to raise a counter-wall across the line along which the Athenian wall was building. If they were first they would intercept them. They might indeed be attacked by the Athenians while thus engaged, but then they could oppose them with a part of their army; and there would be time to run a stockade across, if not a wall, before any attack took place. The Athenians on the other hand would have to leave their work, and employ their whole army against them. So they came out and drew a cross-wall, beginning at their own city, from a point below the circle of the Athenian wall,105 cutting down the olive-trees in the precinct of Apollo and erecting wooden towers. As yet the Athenian ships had not sailed round from Thapsus into the Great Harbour; the Syracusans were still masters of their own coast, and the Athenians brought their necessaries from Thapsus by land.

The Athenians did not interfere with their work, for they were afraid of dividing and weakening their forces; and they were pressing forward that part of the line on which they were employed. So the Syracusans when they had sufficiently completed a part of their stockade and cross-wall, leaving one division to guard the work, retreated into the city with the rest of their army. The Athenians now destroyed their conduits, which were laid underground to bring drinking-water into the city. Then, choosing their time at noon when the Syracusan guard remained within their tents (some of them had even retired into the city) and when the vigilance of their sentinels at the stockade was relaxed, they took a body of three hundred chosen hoplites of their own and some light-armed troops, picked soldiers, to whom they had given heavy arms, and bade them run quickly to the cross-wall. The rest of the army proceeded in two divisions under the two generals, one towards the city in case the enemy should come to save the wall, the other to that part of the stockade which adjoined the postern-gate of the city. The three hundred attacked and captured the further end of the stockade, from which the guards retired and fled inside the new outer wall which enclosed the shrine of Apollo Temenites.106 The pursuers pressed forward and made their way in after them; but they were forced out again by the Syracusans; and some Argives and a few of the Athenians fell there. Then the whole army, turning back, destroyed the cross-wall, tore up the stockades, carried the stakes to their camp, and raised a trophy.

On the following day the Athenians, beginning at one end of the unfinished circle, began to bring the wall down over107 the cliff which on this side of Epipolae looks across the marsh towards the Great Harbour, intending to carry on the line by the shortest way to the harbour right through the level of the marsh. Meanwhile the Syracusans also came out, and beginning from the city, proceeded to carry another stockade through the middle of the marsh, with a ditch at the side, in order to prevent the Athenians from completing their line to the sea. The latter, having finished their work as far as the cliff, attacked the new Syracusan stockade and ditch. They ordered the ships to sail round from Thapsus into the Great Harbour of the Syracusans; with the first break of day they descended themselves from Epipolae to the level ground; and passing through the marsh where the soil was clay and firmer than the rest, over planks and gates which they laid down, they succeeded at sunrise in taking nearly the whole of the stockade and the ditch, and the remainder not long afterwards. A battle took place in which the Athenians were victorious, and the Syracusans on the right wing fled to the city, those on the left along the river. The three hundred chosen Athenian troops pressed on at full speed towards the bridge, intending to stop their passage, but the Syracusans, fearing that they would be cut off, and having most of their horsemen on the spot, turned upon the three hundred, and putting them to flight, charged the right wing of the Athenians. The panic now extended to the whole division108 at the extremity of the wing. Lamachus saw what had happened, and hastened to the rescue from his own place on the left wing, taking with him a few archers and the Argive troops; but pressing forward across a certain ditch he and a few who had followed him were cut off from the rest, and he fell with five or six others. The Syracusans hastily snatched up their bodies, and carried them across the river out of the reach of the enemy. But when they saw the rest of the Athenian army advancing towards them they retreated.

Meanwhile the Syracusans who fled first into the city, observing the resistance made by the left wing, took courage, and coming out drew up against that part of the Athenian line which was opposed to them. They also sent a detachment against the wall of circumvallation on Epipolae, supposing that it was undefended, and might be taken. They did indeed take and demolish the outwork, which was about a thousand feet in length; but Nicias, who happened to have been left there because he was ill, saved the lines109 themselves. He commanded the attendants of the camp to set fire to the engines and to the timber which had been left lying in front of the wall, for being without troops he knew that there was no other way of escape. The expedient succeeded; and in consequence of the fire the Syracusans gave up the attack. The Athenian army too was now hastening from the plain to the surrounding wall, with the intention of beating off the enemy; while the ships, as they had been ordered, were sailing from Thapsus into the Great Harbour. The Syracusans on the heights, seeing this combined movement, quickly retreated, together with the rest of the army, into the city, thinking that with their present force they were no longer able to prevent the completion of the line of wall towards the sea.

The Athenians then erected a trophy and restored the Syracusan dead under a flag of truce. The Syracusans delivered to them the bodies of Lamachus and his companions. The whole Athenian forces, both naval and military, were now on the spot, and they proceeded to cut off the Syracusans by a double wall, beginning at the southern cliff of Epipolae and extending to the sea. Provisions came to their army in abundance from various parts of Italy. Many of the Sicel tribes who had hitherto been hesitating now joined the Athenians, and three penteconters came from the Tyrrhenians. Everything began to answer to their hopes. The Syracusans despaired of saving the city by arms, for no help reached them even from Peloponnesus. Within the walls they were talking of peace, and they began to enter into communications with Nicias, who, now that Lamachus was dead, had the sole command. But no definite result was attained; although, as might be expected when men began to feel the pressure of the siege and their own helplessness, many proposals were made to him, and many more were discussed in the city. Their calamities even made them suspicious of one another; accordingly they deposed their generals, attributing the misfortunes which had befallen the city since they were appointed either to their ill-luck or to their treachery. In their room they chose Heraclides, Eucles, and Tellias.

Meanwhile Gylippus the Lacedaemonian and the ships from Corinth110 were already at Leucas hastening to their relief. They were alarmed at the reports which were continually pouring in, all false, but all agreeing that the Athenian lines round Syracuse were now complete. Gylippus had no longer any hope of Sicily, but thought that he might save Italy; so he and Pythen the Corinthian sailed across the Ionian Gulf to Tarentum as fast as they could, taking two Laconian and two Corinthian ships. The Corinthians were to man ten ships of their own, two Leucadian, and three Ambracian, and to follow. Gylippus on his arrival at Tarentum went on a mission to Thurii, of which his father had formerly been a citizen; he had hoped to gain over the Thurians, but failed; he then continued his voyage from Tarentum along the coast of Italy. He was caught in the Terinaean gulf111 by a wind which in this region blows violently and steadily from the north, and was carried into the open sea. After experiencing a most violent storm he returned to Tarentum, where he drew up those of his ships which had suffered in the gale and refitted them. Nicias heard of his approach, but despised the small number of his ships; in this respect he was like the Thurians. He thought that he had come on a mere privateering expedition, and for some time set no watch.112

During the same summer, about the same time, the Lacedaemonians and their allies invaded Argolis and wasted most of the Argive territory. The Athenians assisted the Argives with thirty ships. The use which they made of them was a glaring violation of the treaty with the Lacedaemonians. Hitherto they had only gone out on marauding expeditions from Pylos; when they landed, it was not upon the shores of Laconia, but upon other parts of the Peloponnese; and they had merely fought as the allies of the Argives and Mantineans. The Argives had often urged them just to land soldiers on Lacedaemonian ground, and to waste some part of Laconia, however small, without remaining, and they had refused. But now, under the command of Pythodorus, Laespodias, and Demaratus, they landed at Epidaurus Limera, Prasiae, and other places, and wasted the country. Thereby the Athenians at last gave the Lacedaemonians a right to complain of them and completely justified measures of retaliation. After the Athenian fleet had departed from Argos, and the Lacedaemonians had likewise retired, the Argives invaded Phliasia, and having ravaged the country and killed a few of the Phliasians, returned home.

1. Cp. iii. 86, 115.

2. Or, 'which is now outside the city.'

3. Cp. Herod. vi. 22, 23.

4. Cp. Herod. vii. 154.

5. Or, adopting the conjecture Gelôôn: ' and the city was colonised for the third time by the inhabitants of Gela.' This accords with the statement of Diodorus, xi. 76.

6. The Camarinaeans and Agrigentines, v. 4 fin., and some of the Sicels, iii. 103 init., 115 init.

7. Or 'with Egesta under Laches in the former war on behalf of the Leontines: See note. Cp. for either rendering iii. 86.

8. £12,000.

9. Cp. vi. 46.

10. Cp. v. 46 init.

11. Cp. v. 115 med.

12. Cp. v. 26 med, vi. 7 fin.

13. Cp. viii. 46.

14. Cp. ii. 87 init.; vi. 72 init.

15. Omitting the comma after ekplein.

16. Adopting the conjecture pephobêsthe, and placing a full stop after epeise.

17. Cp. vi. 88 init., 98 init., 103 med.

18. Cp. iv. 61 med.

19. Cp. iii. 86.

20. CP. vii. 55 fin.

21. Reading strateusomenoi and apartêsontes.

22. Or, 'you will be removed to a country'; or, reading with Bekker apartêsantes, 'you will find yourselves dependent on,' or 'will have been removed to a country.'

23. Cp. vi. 29 med.

24. Cp. vi. 43 med.; vii. 57 fin.

25. Cp. ch. 31 init., 43 init.

26. Cp. ii. 65 fin.

27. Or supplying auton with therapeuôn: 'being well disposed to him because' etc.

28. Cp. ii. 56, 58.

29. 8d.

30. Others translate 'the crews generally,' or 'the soldiers' servants.'

31. Cp. i. 69 fin.

32. Cp. i. 143 fin.

33. Cp. ii. 89 med.

34. Cp. ii. 11 med.

35. Or, 'that they may hide their own consciousness of guilt.'

36. Cp. vi. 23 init.

37. Placing a colon after elthontas and taking mega gar . . . komisthênai as a parenthesis.

38. Cp. vi. 21 med.

39. Cp. ii. 40 med.

40. Cp. ii. 37 init.

41. Cp. iv. 74.

42. £6,000.

43. Cp. vi. 22 fin.

44. Cp. vi. 8 init.

45. Cp. vii. 42 med.

46. Reading ephormisthentas, a conjecture of Schaefer's adopted by Poppo; or, following the MSS. and reading ephormêthentas: 'there taking up a secure position and thence attacking Syracuse.'

47. Cp. iv. 65 init.

48. Cp. Herod. v. 65.

49. Cp. i. 20.

50. Reading topô with all the MSS.; or, reading tropô: 'in some underhand manner.'

51. Reading en tê autê stêlê. Or, reading with the MSS. en tê prôtê stêlê: 'on the front part of the column.' But the words can hardly bear this meaning. The word prôtê is probably derived from prôtos which follows.

52. Or, giving a more precise sense to xunechôs: 'because he had succeeded to the command and not been used to it:'

53. Cp. vi. 27.

54. CP. v. 84 init.

55. Cp. vi. 29.

56. Cp. vi. 2 med.

57. Cp. vi. 46 init.

58. Cp. vii, 13 fin.

59. £24,000.

60. Omitting kai before ei ek tôn neôn.

61. Cp. vi. 51.

62. Reading autous after apoklêsein: or, reading tous instead of autous: 'shut up those of the Athenians who were in the town.'

63. Placing a comma after hêdê.

64. Cp. vii. 61 init.

65. Cp. v. 69 fin.; vii. 61 fin., 77 med.

66. Cp. vii. 77 fin.

67. Or, giving a slightly different meaning to the present: 'at the prospect of the enemy's success.'

68. Cp. ii. 87 init.; vi. 11 fin.

69. Reading cheirotechnais. Or reading cheirotechnas with Bekker and the MSS.; "themselves were untrained handicraftsmen."

70. Cp. vi. 50 init.

71. Cp. vii. 4 fin.

72. Cp. Iii. 86

73. Cp. i. 99.

74. Cp. iv. 61 med.

75. Cp. i. 124 init.; v. 9 init.; vii. 5 fin.; viii. 25 med.

76. Cp. iii. 13 med.

77. Reading erêmos.

78. Cp. iv. 64 init.

79. Cp. vi. 44 fin., 46 init.

80. But cp. vi. 65 init., 67 med.

81. Cp. i. 37 init.; i. 73 init.

82. Cp. i. 74 init.

83. Cp. v. 89 init.

84. Cp. vi. 76 fin.

85. Cp. i. 75 fin.

86. Cp. ii. 63; iii. 37 init.

87. Cp. ii. 7 fin.; vii. 57 med.

88. Cp. vi. 11 init.

89. Cp. vi. 75 med.

90. Cp. vi. 98 init.

91. Cp. vi. 73.

92. Cp. v. 43 ff., 61 ff.

93. Cp. v. 43.

94. Cp. viii. 65 med.

95. Cp. vi. 39 init.

96. Reading machimôtatous and placing a comma after ekei.

97. Cp. vi. 74 fin.

98. Cp. vi. 4 init.

99. Cp. vi. 75 init.

100. £60,000.

101. £5,000.

102. Cp. iv. 133 init.

103. Or 'a circular fort.' See note.

104. Or 'that part of their wall which lay to the north of the circle.'

105. Or 'the Athenian circle.'

106. Cp. vi. 75 init.

107. Or, 'along.'

108. Reading phylê.

109. Or 'the circle.'

110. Cp. vi. 93 med.

111. See note.

112. Cp. vii. 1 med.


GYLIPPUS and Pythen, after refitting their ships at Tarentum, coasted along to the Epizephyrian Locri. They now learned the truth, that Syracuse was not as yet completely invested, but that an army might still enter by way of Epipolae. So they considered whether they should steer their course to the left or to the right of Sicily. They might attempt to throw themselves into Syracuse by sea, but the risk would be great; or they might go first to Himera, and gathering a force of the Himeraeans, and of any others whom they could induce to join them, make their way by land. They determined to sail to Himera, especially as the straits were unguarded. Nicias, when he heard that they were at Locri, although he had despised them at first, now sent out four Athenian ships to intercept them; but these had not as yet arrived at Rhegium, and came too late. So they sailed through the strait and, touching by the way at Rhegium and Messenè, reached Himera. They persuaded the Himeraeans to make common cause with them, and not only to join in the expedition themselves, but to supply arms to all their unarmed sailors, for they had beached their ships at Himera. They then sent to the Selinuntians and told them to come and meet them with their whole army at an appointed place. The Geloans and certain of the Sicels also promised to send them a small force; the latter with the more alacrity because Archonides, a Sicel king in these parts who was a powerful man and friendly to the Athenians, had recently died, and because Gylippus seemed to have come from Lacedaemon with hearty good-will. And so, taking with him about seven hundred of his own sailors and marines for whom he had obtained arms, about a thousand Himeraean infantry, heavy and light-armed included, and a hundred Himeraean horsemen, some light-armed troops and cavalry from Selinus, a few more from Gela, and of the Sicels about a thousand in all, Gylippus marched towards Syracuse.

In the meantime the Corinthian ships1 had put to sea from Leucas and were coming with all speed to the relief of the besieged. Gongylus, one of the Corinthian commanders, who started last in a single ship, arrived at Syracuse before the rest of the fleet, and a little before Gylippus. He found the citizens on the point of holding an assembly at which the question of peace was to be discussed; from this intention he dissuaded them by the encouraging announcement that more ships, and Gylippus the son of Cleandridas, whom the Lacedaemonians had sent to take the command, were on their way. Whereupon the Syracusans were reassured, and at once went forth with their whole army to meet Gylippus, who, as they were informed, was now close at hand. He had shortly before captured the Sicel fort Geta on his march, and drawing up his men in readiness to fight, came to Epipolae, which he ascended by the Euryelus; where the Athenians had found a way before him.2 Having formed a junction with the Syracusans, he marched against the Athenian lines. He arrived just at the time when the Athenians had all but finished their double wall,3 nearly a mile long, reaching to the Great Harbour; there remained only a small portion toward the sea, upon which they were still at work. Along the remainder of the line of wall, which extended towards Trogilus and the northern sea, the stones were mostly lying ready; a part was half-finished, a part had been completed and left. So near was Syracuse to destruction.

The Athenians, though at first disconcerted by the sudden advance of Gylippus and the Syracusans, drew up their forces in order of battle. He halted as he approached, and sent a herald to them offering a truce if they were willing to quit Sicily within five days taking what belonged to them. But they despised his offer, and sent away the herald without an answer. Whereupon both armies set themselves in order of battle. Gylippus, seeing that the Syracusans were in confusion, and could with difficulty form, led back his troops to the more open ground. Nicias did not follow, but lay still, close to his own wall. When Gylippus observed that the Athenians remained where they were, he led away his army to the height called Temenites; there they passed the night. On the following day he stationed the greater part of his troops in front of the Athenian wall that the enemy might not despatch a force to any other point, and then sent a detachment against the fort of Labdalum, which was out of sight of the Athenian lines. He took the place, and killed every one whom he found in it. On the same day an Athenian trireme which was keeping watch over the mouth of the harbour was taken by the Syracusans.

The Syracusans and their allies now began to build4 a single line of wall starting from the city and running upwards across Epipolae at an angle with the Athenian wall; this was a work which, unless it could be stopped by the Athenians, would make the investment of the city impossible. Towards the sea the Athenian wall was now completed, and their forces had come up to the high ground. Gylippus, knowing that a part of the wall was weak, instantly went by night with his army to attack it. But the Athenians, who happened to be passing the night outside the walls, perceived this movement and marched to oppose him; whereupon he at once withdrew. They then raised the weak portion of their wall higher; and guarded it themselves, while they posted the allies on the other parts of the fortification in the places severally assigned to them.

Nicias now determined to fortify Plemmyrium, a promontory which runs out opposite the city and narrows the entrance to the Great Harbour. He thought that this measure would facilitate the introduction of supplies.5 His forces would then be able to watch the harbour of the Syracusans from a nearer point, whereas they had hitherto been obliged to put out from the further corner of the Great Harbour whenever a Syracusan ship threatened to move. He was inclined to pay more attention than hitherto to naval operations; for since the arrival of Gylippus the Athenian prospects by land were not so encouraging. Having therefore transferred his ships and a portion of his army to Plemmyrium, he built three forts in which the greater part of the Athenian stores were deposited; and the large boats as well as the ships of war were now anchored at this spot. The removal was a first and main cause of the deterioration of the crews. For when the sailors went out to procure forage and water, of which there was little, and that only to be obtained from a distance, they were constantly cut off by the Syracusan cavalry, who were masters of the country, a third part of their force having been posted in a village at the Olympieum6 expressly in order to prevent the enemy at Plemmyrium from coming out and doing mischief. About this time Nicias was informed that the rest of the Corinthian fleet7 was on the point of arriving, and he sent twenty ships, which were ordered to lie in wait for them about Locri and Rhegium and the approach to Sicily.

While Gylippus was building the wall across Epipolae, employing the stones which the Athenians had previously laid there for their own use, he at the same time constantly led out and drew up in front of the wall the Syracusans and their allies, and the Athenians on their part drew up in face of them. When he thought that the moment had arrived he offered battle; the two armies met and fought hand to hand between the walls. But there the Syracusan cavalry was useless; the Syracusans and their allies were defeated, and received their dead under a flag of truce, while the Athenians raised a trophy. Gylippus then assembled his army and confessed that the fault was his own and not theirs; for by confining their ranks too much between the walls he had rendered useless both their cavalry and their javelin-men. So he would lead them out again. And he reminded them that in material force they were equal to their enemies, while as for resolution they ought to be far superior. That they, who were Peloponnesians and Dorians,8 should allow a mixed rabble of Ionians and islanders to remain in the country and not determine to master them and drive them out, was a thing not to be thought of.

On the first opportunity he led them out again. Nicias and the Athenians had determined that, whether the Syracusans would offer battle or not, they must not allow them to carry on their counter-work. For already it had almost passed the end of the Athenian wall, and if the work advanced any further it would make no difference to the Athenians whether they fought and conquered in every battle, or never fought at all. So they went out to meet the Syracusans. Gylippus before engaging led his heavy-armed further outside the walls than on the former occasion; his cavalry and javelin-men he placed on the flanks of the Athenians in the open space between the points at which their respective lines of walls stopped. In the course of the battle the cavalry attacked the left wing of the Athenians which was opposed to them, and put them to flight; the defeat became general, and the whole Athenian army was driven back by main force within their lines. On the following night the Syracusans succeeded in carrying their wall past the works of the enemy. Their operations were now no longer molested by them, and the Athenians, whatever success they might gain in the field, were utterly deprived of all hope of investing the city.

Not long afterwards the remaining Corinthian with the Ambraciot and Leucadian ships9 sailed in, under the command of Erasinides the Corinthian, having eluded the Athenian guardships. They assisted the Syracusans in completing what remained of the Syracusan wall up to the Athenian wall which it crossed. Gylippus meanwhile had gone off into Sicily to collect both naval and land forces, and also to bring over any cities which either were slack in the Syracusan cause or had stood aloof from the war. More ambassadors, Syracusan and Corinthian, were despatched to Lacedaemon and Corinth, requesting that reinforcements might be sent across the sea in merchantships or small craft, or by any other available means, since the Athenians were sending for assistance. The Syracusans, who were in high spirits, also manned a fleet, and began to practise, intending to try their hand at this new sort of warfare.

Nicias observing how they were employed, and seeing that the strength of the enemy and the helplessness of the Athenians was daily increasing, sent to Athens a full report of his circumstances, as he had often done before, but never in such detail. He now thought the situation so critical that, if the Athenians did not at once recall them or send another considerable army to their help, the expedition was lost. Fearing lest his messengers, either from inability to speak or from want of intelligence,10 or because they desired to please the people, might not tell the whole truth, he wrote a letter, that the Athenians might receive his own opinion of their affairs unimpaired in the transmission, and so be better able to judge of the real facts of the case. The messengers departed carrying his letter and taking verbal instructions. He was now careful to keep his army on the defensive, and to run no risks which he could avoid.

At the end of the same summer, Euetion, an Athenian general, in concert with Perdiccas and assisted by a large force of Thracians, made an attack upon Amphipolis, which he failed to take. He then brought round triremes into the Strymon and besieged the place from the river, making Himeraeum his head-quarters. So the summer ended.

In the following winter the messengers from Nicias arrived at Athens. They delivered their verbal instructions, and answered any questions which were put to them. They also presented his letter, which the registrar of the city, coming forward, read to the Athenian people. It ran as follows:

'Athenians, in many previous despatches I have reported to you the course of events up to this time, but now there is greater need than ever that you should inform yourselves of our situation, and come to some decision. After we had engaged the Syracusans, against whom you sent us, in several battles, and conquered in most of them, and had raised the lines within which we are now stationed, Gylippus, a Lacedaemonian arrived, bringing an army from Peloponnesus and from certain of the cities of Sicily. In the first engagement he was defeated by us, but on the following day we were overcome by numerous horsemen and javelin-men, and retired within our lines. We have therefore desisted from our siege-works and remain idle, since we are overpowered by the superior numbers of the enemy, and indeed cannot bring our whole army into the field, for the defence of our wall absorbs a large part of our heavy-armed. The enemy meanwhile have built a single wall which crosses ours, and we cannot now invest them, unless a large army comes up and takes this cross-wall. So that we, who are supposed to be the besiegers, are really the besieged,11 at least by land; and the more so because we cannot go far even into the country, for we are prevented by their horsemen.

'Moreover they have sent ambassadors to Peloponnesus asking for reinforcements, and Gylippus has gone to the cities in Sicily intending to solicit those who are at present neutral to join him, and to obtain from his allies fresh naval and land forces. For they purpose, as I hear, to attack our walls by land, and at the same time to make an effort at sea. And let no one be startled when I say "at sea." Our fleet was originally in first-rate condition: the ships were sound and the crews were in good order, but now, as the enemy are well aware, the timbers of the ships, having been so long exposed to the sea, are soaked, and the efficiency of the crews is destroyed. We have no means of drawing up our vessels and airing them, because the enemy's fleet is equal or even superior in numbers to our own, and we are always expecting an attack from them. They are clearly trying their strength; they can attack us when they please, and they have far greater facilities for drying their ships, since they are not, like us, engaged in a blockade.

'Even if we had a great superiority in the number of our ships, and were not compelled as we are to employ them all in keeping guard, we could hardly have the like advantage. For our supplies have to pass so near the enemy's city that they are with difficulty conveyed to us now, and if we relax our vigilance ever so little we shall lose them altogether.

'It has been, and continues to be the ruin of our crews, that the sailors, having to forage and fetch water and wood from a distance, are cut off by the Syracusan horse,12 while our servants, since we have been reduced to an equality with the enemy, desert us. Of the foreign sailors, some who were pressed into the service run off at once to the Sicilian cities; others, having been originally attracted by high pay, and fancying that they were going to trade and not to fight, astonished at the resistance which they encounter, and especially at the naval strength of the enemy, either find an excuse for deserting to the Syracusans, or they effect their escape into the country; and Sicily is a large place. Others, again, have persuaded the trierarchs to take Hyccarian slaves in their room while they themselves are busy trading; and thus the precision of the service is lost.

'You to whom I am writing know that the crew of a vessel does not long remain at its prime, and that the sailors who really start the ship and keep the rowing together are but a fraction of the whole number.13 The most hopeless thing of all is that, although I am general, I am not able to put a stop to these disorders, for tempers like yours are not easily controlled, and that we cannot even fill up the crews, whereas the enemy can obtain recruits from many sources. Our daily waste in men and stores can only be replaced out of the supplies which we brought with us; and these we have no means of increasing, for the cities which are now our confederates, Naxos and Catana, are unable to maintain us. There is only one advantage more which the Syracusans can gain over us: if the towns of Italy from which our provisions are derived, seeing in what a plight we are and that you do not come to our help, go over to the enemy, we shall be starved out, and they will have made an end of the war without striking a blow. I could have written you tidings more cheering than these, but none more profitable; for you should be well-informed of our circumstances if you are to take the right steps. Moreover I know your dispositions; you like to hear pleasant things, but afterwards lay the fault on those who tell you them if they are falsified by the event; therefore I think it safer to speak the truth.

'And now, do not imagine that your soldiers and their generals have failed in the fulfilment of the duty which you originally imposed upon them. But when all Sicily is uniting against us, and the Syracusans are expecting another army from Peloponnesus, it is time that you should make up your minds. For the troops which we have here certainly cannot hold out even against our present enemies, and therefore you ought either to recall us or to send another army and fleet as large as this, and plenty of money. You should also send a general to succeed me, for I have a disease in the kidneys and cannot remain here. I claim your indulgence; while I retained my health I often did you good service when in command. But do whatever you mean to do at the very beginning of spring, and let there be no delay. The enemy will obtain reinforcements in Sicily without going far, and although the troops from Peloponnesus will not arrive so soon, yet if you do not take care they will elude you; their movements will either be too secret for you, as they were before,14 or too quick.'

Such was the condition of affairs described in the letter of Nicias. The Athenians, after hearing it read, did not release Nicias from his command, but they joined with him two officers who were already in Sicily, Menander and Euthydemus, until regular colleagues could be elected and sent out, for they did not wish him to bear the burden in his sickness alone. They also resolved to send a second fleet and an army of Athenians taken from the muster-roll and of allies. As colleagues to Nicias they elected Demosthenes the son of Alcisthenes, and Eurymedon the son of Thucles. Eurymedon was despatched immediately to Sicily about the winter solstice; he took with him ten ships conveying a hundred and twenty talents15 of silver, and was to tell the army in Sicily that they should receive assistance and should not be neglected. Demosthenes remained behind, and busied himself in getting ready the expedition which he was to bring out in the spring. He announced to the allies that troops would be required, collected money, and mustered ships, and hoplites at Athens. The Athenians also sent twenty ships to cruise off the Peloponnesian coast and intercept any vessels trying to pass to Sicily from the Peloponnesus or Corinth. The Sicilian envoys16 had now arrived at Corinth, and the Corinthians had heard from them that affairs were looking better in Sicily. Seeing how opportune had been the arrival of the ships which they had already despatched they were more zealous than ever. They prepared to convey hoplites to Sicily in merchant-vessels; the Lacedaemonians were to do the like from Peloponnesus. The Corinthians also proceeded to man twenty-five ships of war, intending to hazard a naval engagement against the Athenian squadron stationed at Naupactus. They hoped that, if the attention of the Athenians was diverted by an opposing force, they would be unable to prevent their merchant-vessels from sailing.

The Lacedaemonians also prepared for their already projected invasion of Attica.17 They were kept to their purpose by the Syracusans and Corinthians, who, having heard of the reinforcements which the Athenians were sending to Sicily, hoped they might be stopped by the invasion. Alcibiades was always at hand insisting upon the importance of fortifying Decelea and of carrying on the war with vigour. Above all, the Lacedaemonians were inspirited by the thought that the Athenians would be more easily overthrown now that they had two wars on hand, one against themselves, and another against the Sicilians. They considered also that this time they had been the first offenders against the treaty, whereas in the former war the transgression had rather been on their own side. For the Thebans had entered Plataea in time of peace,18 and they themselves had refused arbitration when offered by the Athenians, although the former treaty forbade war in case an adversary was willing to submit to arbitration.19 They felt that their ill success was deserved, and they took seriously to heart the disasters which had befallen them at Pylos and elsewhere. But now the Athenians with a fleet of thirty ships had gone forth from Argive territory and ravaged part of the lands of Epidaurus and Prasiae, besides other places;20 marauding expeditions from Pylos were always going on; and whenever quarrels arose about disputed points in the treaty and the Lacedaemonians proposed arbitration, the Athenians refused it. Reflecting upon all this, the Lacedaemonians concluded that the guilt of their former transgression was now shifted to the Athenians, and they were full of warlike zeal. During the winter they bade their allies provide iron, and themselves got tools in readiness for the fortification of Decelea. They also prepared, and continually urged the other Peloponnesians to prepare, the succours which they intended to send in merchant-vessels to the Syracusans. And so the winter ended, and with it the eighteenth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.

At the very beginning of the next spring, and earlier than ever before, the Lacedaemonians and their allies entered Attica under the command of Agis the son of Archidamus the Lacedaemonian king. They first devastated the plain and its neighbourhood. They then began to fortify Decelea, dividing the work among the cities of the confederacy. Decelea is distant about fourteen miles from Athens, and not much further from Boeotia. The fort was designed for the devastation of the plain and the richest parts of the country, and was erected on a spot within sight of Athens.

While the Peloponnesians and their allies in Attica were thus engaged, the Peloponnesians at home were despatching the hoplites in the merchant-vessels to Sicily. The Lacedaemonians selected the best of the Helots and Neodamodes, numbering in all six hundred, and placed them under the command of Eccritus, a Spartan. The Boeotians furnished three hundred hoplites, who were commanded by two Thebans, Xenon and Nicon, and by Hegesander, a Thespian. These started first and put out into the open sea from Taenarus in Laconia. Not long afterwards the Corinthians sent five hundred heavy-armed, some of them from Corinth itself, others who were Arcadian mercenaries; they were all placed under the command of Alexarchus, a Corinthian. The Sicyonians also sent with the Corinthians two hundred hoplites under the command of Sargeus, a Sicyonian. Meanwhile the twenty-five ships which the Corinthians had manned in the winter lay opposite to the twenty Athenian ships at Naupactus until the merchant-vessels conveying the heavy-armed troops had got safely off. So the design succeeded, and the attention of the Athenians was diverted from the merchant-ships to the triremes.

At the beginning of spring, whilst the Lacedaemonians were fortifying Decelea, the Athenians sent thirty ships under the command of Charicles the son of Apollodorus to cruise about Peloponnesus. He was told to touch at Argos, and there to summon and take on board a force of heavy-armed which the Argives, being allies of the Athenians, were bound to furnish. Meanwhile they despatched under Demosthenes their intended expedition to Sicily: it consisted of sixty Athenian ships and five Chian, twelve hundred heavy-armed Athenians taken from the roll, and as many others as could possibly be obtained from the different islanders; they had also collected from their subject-allies supplies of all sorts for the war. Demosthenes was told first of all to co-operate with Charicles on the coast of Laconia. So he sailed to Aegina, and there waited until the whole of his armament was assembled and until Charicles had taken on board the Argives.

In the same spring and about the same time Gylippus returned to Syracuse, bringing from each of the cities which he had persuaded to join him as many troops as he could obtain. He assembled the Syracusans and told them that they should man as large a fleet as possible and try their fortune at sea; he hoped to obtain a decisive result which would justify the risk. Hermocrates took the same view, and urged them strongly not to be faint-hearted at the prospect of attacking with their ships. He said that the Athenians had not inherited their maritime skill, and would not retain it for ever;21 there was a time when they were less of a naval people than the Syracusans themselves,22 but they had been made sailors from necessity by the Persian invasion. To daring men like the Athenians those who emulated their daring were the most formidable foes. The same reckless courage which had often enabled the Athenians, although inferior in power, to strike terror into their adversaries might now be turned against them by the Syracusans. He was quite sure that if they faced the Athenian navy suddenly and unexpectedly, they would gain more than they would lose; the consternation which they would inspire would more than counterbalance their own inexperience and the superior skill of the Athenians. He told them therefore to try what they could do at sea, and not to be timid. Thus under the influence of Gylippus, Hermocrates, and others, the Syracusans, now eager for the conflict, began to man their ships.

When the fleet was ready, Gylippus, under cover of night, led forth the whole land-army, intending to attack in person the forts on Plemmyrium. Meanwhile the triremes of the Syracusans, at a concerted signal, sailed forth, thirty-five from the greater harbour and forty-five from the lesser, where they had their arsenal. These latter sailed round into the Great Harbour, intending to form a junction with the other ships inside and make a combined attack on Plemmyrium, that the Athenians, assailed both by sea and land, might be disconcerted. The Athenians however quickly manned sixty ships; and with twenty-five of them engaged the thirty-five of the Syracusans which were in the Great Harbour: with the remainder they encountered those which were sailing round from the arsenal. These two squadrons met at once before the mouth of the Great Harbour: the struggle was long and obstinate, the Syracusans striving to force an entrance, the Athenians to prevent them.

Meanwhile Gylippus, quite early in the morning, while the Athenians in Plemmyrium who had gone down to the water-side had their minds occupied by the sea-fight, made a sudden attack upon their forts. He captured the largest of them first, then the two lesser, their garrisons forsaking them when they saw the largest so easily taken. Those who escaped from the fortress first captured, getting into a merchant-vessel and some boats which were moored at Plemmyrium, found their way to the main station of the Athenians, but with difficulty; for they were chased by a swift trireme, the Syracusans at that time having the advantage in the Great Harbour. But when the two lesser fortresses were taken, the Syracusans were already losing the day, and the fugitives got past them with greater ease. For the Syracusan ships which were fighting before the mouth of the harbour, having forced their way through the enemy, entered in disorder, and falling foul of one another gave away the victory to the Athenians, who routed not only these, but also the others by whom they were at first worsted inside the harbour. Eleven Syracusan ships were disabled; the crews in most of them were slain, in three, made prisoners. The Athenians themselves lost three ships. They now drew to land the wrecks of the Syracusan ships, and erecting a trophy on the little island in front of Plemmyrium returned to their own station.

But although the Syracusans were unsuccessful in the sea-fight, still they had taken the fortresses of Plemmyrium. They erected three trophies, one for each fort. Two out of the three forts they repaired and garrisoned, but one of the two which were captured last they demolished. Many perished and many prisoners were made at the capture of the forts, and abundant spoil of different kinds was taken, for the Athenians had used them as a store, and much corn and goods of traders were deposited in them; also much property belonging to the trierarchs, including the sails and other fittings of forty triremes which fell into the enemy's hands, and three triremes which had been drawn up on the beach. The loss of Plemmyrium was one of the greatest and severest blows which befell the Athenians. For now they could no longer even introduce provisions with safety, but the Syracusan ships lay watching to prevent them; and they had to fight for the passage.23 General discouragement and dismay prevailed throughout the army.

The Syracusans next sent out twelve ships under the command of Agatharchus, a Syracusan. One of these hastened to Peloponnesus conveying envoys who were to report their improved prospects, and to urge more strongly than ever the prosecution of the war in Hellas. The remaining eleven sailed to Italy, hearing that ships laden with supplies were on their way to the Athenians. They fell in with and destroyed most of these ships, and burnt a quantity of ship-timber which was lying ready for the Athenians in the territory of Caulonia. Then they came to Locri, and while they were at anchor there, one of the merchant-vessels from Peloponnesus sailed in, bringing some Thespian hoplites.24 These the Syracusans took on board, and sailed homewards. The Athenians watched for them near Megara with twenty ships and took one ship with the crew, but the rest made their escape to Syracuse.

There was some skirmishing in the harbour about the palisades which the Syracusans had fixed in the sea in front of their old dock-houses, that their ships might ride at anchor in the enclosed space, where they could not be struck by the enemy, and would be out of harm's way. The Athenians brought up a ship of ten thousand talents25 burden, which had wooden towers and bulwarks; and from their boats they tied cords to the stakes and wrenched and tore them up;26 or dived and sawed them through underneath the water. Meanwhile the Syracusans kept up a shower of missiles from the dock-houses, which the men in the ship returned. At length the Athenians succeeded in pulling up most of the palisade. The stakes which were out of sight were the most dangerous of all, there being some which were so fixed that they did not appear above the water; and no vessel could safely come near. They were like a sunken reef, and a pilot, not seeing them, might easily catch his ship upon them. Even these were sawn off by men who dived for hire; but the Syracusans drove them in again. Many were the contrivances employed on both sides, as was very natural, when two armies confronted each other at so short a distance. There were continual skirmishes, and they practised all kinds of stratagems.

The Syracusans also sent to the Siciliot cities Corinthian, Ambraciot, and Lacedaemonian ambassadors announcing the taking of Plemmyrium, and explaining that in the sea-fight they had been defeated not so much by the superior strength of the enemy as through their own disorder. They were also to report their great hopes of success, and to ask for assistance both by land and sea. They were to add that the Athenians were expecting reinforcements; if they could succeed in destroying the army then in Sicily before these arrived, there would be an end of the war. Such was the course of events in Sicily.

Demosthenes, when the reinforcements which he was to take to Sicily had all been collected, sailed from Aegina to Peloponnesus and joined Charicles and his thirty ships.27 He embarked the Argive hoplites, and, proceeding to Laconia, first devastated some part of the lands of Epidaurus Limera. Next the Athenians landed in the district of Laconia opposite Cythera, where there is a temple of Apollo. They ravaged various parts of the country, and fortified a sort of isthmus in the neighbourhood, that the Helots of the Lacedaemonians might desert and find a refuge there, and that privateers might make the place, as they did Pylos, their head-quarters for marauding expeditions. Demosthenes assisted in the occupation, and then sailed for Corcyra, intending to collect additional forces from the allies in that region, and to make his way with all speed to Sicily. Charicles waited until he had completed the fort, and then leaving a garrison he sailed home with his thirty ships, accompanied by the Argives.

During the same summer there arrived at Athens thirteen hundred Thracian targeteers of the Dian race, who carried dirks; they were to have sailed with Demosthenes to Sicily, but came too late, and the Athenians determined to send them back to their native country. Each soldier was receiving a drachma28 per day; and to use them against Decelea would have been too expensive.

For during this summer Decelea had been fortified by the whole Peloponnesian army, and was henceforward regularly occupied for the annoyance of the country by a succession of garrisons sent from the allied cities, whose incursions did immense harm to the Athenians: the destruction of property and life which ensued did as much as anything to ruin the city. Hitherto the invasions had been br