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.
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.
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.
Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:00