THE news was brought to Athens, but the Athenians could not believe that the armament had been so completely annihilated, although they had the positive assurances of the very soldiers who1 had escaped from the scene of action. At last they knew the truth; and then they were furious with the orators who had joined in promoting the expedition--as if they had not voted it themselves2--and with the soothsayers, and prophets, and all who by the influence of religion had at the time inspired them with the belief that they would conquer Sicily. Whichever way they looked there was trouble; they were overwhelmed by their calamity, and were in fear and consternation unutterable. The citizens and the city were alike distressed; they had lost a host of cavalry and hoplites and the flower of their youth, and there were none to replace them.3 And when they saw an insufficient number of ships in their docks, and no crews to man them, nor money in the treasury, they despaired of deliverance. They had no doubt that their enemies in Sicily, after the great victory which they had already gained, would at once sail against the Piraeus. Their enemies in Hellas, whose resources were now doubled, would likewise set upon them with all their might both by sea and land, and would be assisted by their own revolted allies. Still they determined, so far as their situation allowed, not to give way. They would procure timber and money by whatever means they might, and build a navy. They would make sure of their allies, and above all of Euboea. Expenses in the city were to be economised, and they were to choose a council of the elder men, who should advise together, and lay before the people the measures which from time to time might be required. After the manner of a democracy, they were very amenable to discipline while their fright lasted. They proceeded to carry out these resolutions. And so the summer ended.
During the following winter all Hellas was stirred by the great overthrow of the Athenians in Sicily. The states which had been neutral determined that the time had come when, invited or not, they could no longer stand aloof from the war; they must of their own accord attack the Athenians. They considered, one and all, that if the Sicilian expedition had succeeded, they would sooner or later have been attacked by them. The war would not last long, and they might as well share in the glory of it. The Lacedaemonian allies, animated by a common feeling, were more eager than ever to make a speedy end of their great hardships. But none showed greater alacrity than the subjects of the Athenians, who were everywhere willing even beyond their power to revolt; for they judged by their excited feelings,4 and would not admit a possibility that the Athenians could survive another summer. To the Lacedaemonians themselves all this was most encouraging; and they had in addition the prospect that their allies from Sicily would join them at the beginning of spring with a large force of ships as well as men; necessity having at last compelled them to become a naval power. Everything looked hopeful, and they determined to strike promptly and vigorously. They considered that by the successful termination of the war they would be finally delivered from dangers such as would have surrounded them if the Athenians had become masters of Sicily.5 Athens once overthrown, they might assure to themselves the undisputed leadership of all Hellas.
At the beginning therefore of this winter, Agis the Lacedaemonian king led out a body of troops from Decelea, and collected from the allies contributions towards the expenses of a navy. Then passing to the Malian Gulf he carried off from the Oetaeans, who were old enemies,6 the greater part of their cattle, and exacted money of them; from the Achaeans of Phthia, and from the other tribes in that region, without the leave and in spite of the remonstrance of the Thessalians, to whom they were subject, he likewise extorted money and took some hostages, whom he deposited at Corinth, and tried to force upon them the Lacedaemonian alliance. The whole number of ships which the allies were to build was fixed by the Lacedaemonians at a hundred: twenty-five were to be built by themselves and twenty-five by the Boeotians, fifteen by the Phocians and Locrians, fifteen by the Corinthians, ten by the Arcadians, Pellenians, and Sicyonians, ten by the Megarians, Troezenians, Epidaurians, and Hermionians. Every sort of preparation was made, for the Lacedaemonians were determined to prosecute the war at the first appearance of spring.
The Athenians also carried out their intended preparations during this winter. They collected timber and built ships; they fortified Sunium for the protection of their corn-ships on the voyage round to Athens; also they abandoned the fort in Laconia which they had erected while sailing to Sicily,7 and cut down any expenses which seemed unnecessary. Above all, they kept strict watch over their allies, apprehending revolt.
During the same winter, while both parties were as intent upon their preparations as if the war were only just beginning, first among the Athenian subjects the Euboeans sent envoys to negotiate with Agis. Agis accepted their proposals, and summoned from Lacedaemon Alcamenes the son of Sthenelaidas, and Melanthus, that they might take the command in Euboea. They came, accompanied by three hundred of the Neodamodes. But while he was making ready to convey them across the strait, there arrived envoys from Lesbos, which was likewise anxious to revolt; and as the Boeotians8 were in their interest, Agis was persuaded to defer the expedition to Euboea while he prepared to assist the Lesbians. He appointed Alcamenes, who had been designed for Euboea, their governor; and he further promised them ten ships, the Boeotians promising ten more. All this was done without the authority of the Lacedaemonian government; for Agis, while he was with his army at Decelea, had the right to send troops whithersoever he pleased, to raise levies, and to exact money. And at that particular time he might be said to have far more influence over the allies than the Lacedaemonians at home, for he had an army at his disposal, and might appear in formidable strength anywhere at any time.
While he was supporting the Lesbians, certain Chians and Erythraeans (who were also ready to revolt) had recourse, not to Agis, but to Lacedaemon; they were accompanied by an envoy from Tissaphernes, whom King Darius the son of Artaxerxes had appointed to be military governor of the provinces on the coast of Asia. Tissaphernes too was inviting the assistance of the Lacedaemonians, and promised to maintain their troops; for the King had quite lately been demanding of him the revenues due from the Hellenic cities in his province, which he had been prevented by the Athenians from collecting, and therefore still owed. He thought that if he could weaken the Athenians he would be more likely to get his tribute; he hoped also to make the Lacedaemonians allies of the King, and by their help either to slay or take alive, in accordance with the King's orders, Amorges the natural son of Pissuthnes, who had revolted in Caria.
While the Chians and Tissaphernes were pursuing their common object, Calligitus the son of Laophon, a Megarian, and Timagoras the son of Athenagoras, a Cyzicene, both exiles from their own country, who were residing at the court of Pharnabazus the son of Pharnaces, came to Lacedaemon. They had been commissioned by Pharnabazus to bring up a fleet to the Hellespont; like Tissaphernes he was anxious, if possible, to induce the cities in his province to revolt from the Athenians, that he might obtain the tribute from them; and he wanted the alliance between the Lacedaemonians and the King to come from himself. The two parties--that is to say, the envoys of Pharnabazus and those of Tissaphernes--were acting independently; and a vehement contest arose at Lacedaemon, the one party urging the Lacedaemonians to send a fleet and army to Ionia and Chios, the other to begin with the Hellespont. They were themselves far more favourable to the proposals of the Chians and Tissaphernes; for Alcibiades was in their interest, and he was a great hereditary friend of Endius, one of the Ephors of that year.--Through this friendship the Lacedaemonian name of Alcibiades had come into his family; for Alcibiades was the name of Endius' father,9--Nevertheless the Lacedaemonians, before giving an answer, sent a commissioner, Phrynis, one of their Perioeci, to see whether the Chians had as many ships as they said, and whether the power of the city was equal to her reputation. He reported that what they had heard was true. Whereupon they at once made alliance with the Chians and Erythraeans and voted them forty ships--there being at Chios already, as the Chians informed them, no less than sixty. Of the forty ships they at first intended to send out ten themselves under the command of Melancridas their admiral; but an earthquake occurred; so instead of Melancridas they appointed Chalcideus, and instead of the ten ships they prepared to send five only, which they equipped in Laconia. So the winter ended, and with it the nineteenth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.
At the beginning of the next summer the Chians were eager to get the fleet sent off at once. For their proposals, like those of the other allies, had been made secretly, and they were afraid that the Athenians would detect them. Thereupon the Lacedaemomans sent to Corinth three Spartans, who were to give orders that the ships then lying at the Isthmus should be as quickly as possible dragged over from the Corinthian gulf to the coast on the other side. They were all to be despatched to Chios, including the ships which Agis had been equipping for Lesbos. The allied fleet then at the Isthmus numbered in all thirty-nine.
Calligitus and Timagoras, who represented Pharnabazus, took no part in the expedition to Chios, nor did they offer to contribute towards the expenses of it the money which they had brought with them, amounting to twenty-five talents;10 they thought of sailing later with another expedition. Agis, when he saw that the Lacedaemonians were bent on going to Chios first, offered no opposition; so the allies held a conference at Corinth, and after some deliberation determined to sail, first of all to Chios, under the command of Chalcideus, who was equipping the five ships in Laconia, then to proceed to Lesbos, under the command of Alcamenes, whom Agis had previously designed to appoint to that island, and finally to the Hellespont; for this last command they had selected Clearchus the son of Rhamphias. They resolved to carry over the Isthmus half the ships first; these were to sail at once, that the attention of the Athenians might be distracted between those which were starting and those which were to follow. They meant to sail quite openly, taking it for granted that the Athenians were powerless, since no navy of theirs worth speaking of had as yet appeared. In pursuance of their plans they conveyed twenty-one ships over the Isthmus.
They were in a hurry to be off, but the Corinthians were unwilling to join them until the conclusion of the Isthmian games, which were then going on. Agis was prepared to respect their scruples and to take the responsibility of the expedition on himself. But the Corinthians would not agree to this proposal, and there was delay. In the meantime the Athenians began to discover the proceedings of the Chians, and despatched one of their generals, Aristocrates, to accuse them of treason. They denied the charge; whereupon he desired them to send back with him a few ships as a pledge of their fidelity to the alliance; and they sent seven. They could not refuse his request, for the Chian people were ignorant of the whole matter, while the oligarchs, who were in the plot, did not want to break with the multitude until they had secured their ground. And the Peloponnesian ships had delayed so long that they had ceased to expect them.
Meanwhile the Isthmian games were celebrated. The Athenians, to whom they had been formally notified, sent representatives to them; and now their eyes began to be opened to the designs of the Chians. On their return home they took immediate measures to prevent the enemy's ships getting away from Cenchreae unperceived. When the games were over, the Peloponnesians, under the command of Alcamenes, with their twenty-one ships set sail for Chios; the Athenians, with an equal number, first sailed up to them and tried to draw them into the open sea. The Peloponnesians did not follow them far, but soon turned back to Cenchreae; the Athenians likewise retired, because they could not depend on the fidelity of the seven Chian ships which formed a part of their fleet. So they manned some more ships, making the whole number thirty-seven, and when the Peloponnesians resumed their voyage along the coast they pursued them into Piraeum, a lonely harbour, the last in the Corinthian territory before you reach Epidauria. One ship was lost by the Peloponnesians at sea, but they got the rest together and came to anchor in the harbour. Again the Athenians attacked them, not only on the water, but also after they had landed; there was a fierce struggle, but no regular engagement; most of the enemy's ships were damaged by the Athenians on the beach, and their commander, Alcamenes, was slain. Some Athenians also fell.
When the conflict was over, the conquerors left a sufficient number of ships to watch the enemy, and with the remainder they lay to under a little island not far off, where they encamped, and sent to Athens, requesting reinforcements. For on the day after the battle the Corinthians had come to assist the Peloponnesian ships, and the other inhabitants of the country quickly followed them. Foreseeing how great would be the labour of keeping guard on so desolate a spot, the Peloponnesians knew not what to do; they even entertained the idea of burning their ships, but on second thoughts they determined to draw them high up on shore, and to keep guard over them with their land-forces stationed near, until some good opportunity of escape should occur. Agis was informed of their condition, and sent Thermon, a Spartan, to them. The first tidings which had reached Sparta were to the effect that the ships had left the Isthmus (the Ephors having told Alcamenes to send a horseman announcing the fact), and immediately they determined to send out the five ships of their own which they had ready, under the command of Chalcideus, who was to be accompanied by Alcibiades. But when they were on the point of departure, a second messenger reported that the other squadron had been chased into Piraeum; and then, disheartened by finding that they had begun the Ionian war with a failure, they determined to give up sending the ships from Laconia, and even to recall some others which had already sailed.
Alcibiades, seeing the state of affairs, advised Endius and the Ephors to persevere in the expedition. They would arrive, he said, before the Chians had heard of the misadventure of the ships. He would himself, as soon as he reached Ionia, represent to the cities the weakness of the Athenians and the alacrity of the Lacedaemonians, and they would revolt at once; for they would believe him sooner than any one. To Endius he argued in private 'that he would win honour if he were the instrument of effecting a revolt in Ionia, and of gaining the alliance of the King;11 he should not allow such a prize to fall into the hands of Agis';--now Agis was a personal enemy of Alcibiades. His opinion prevailed with Endius and the other Ephors. So he put to sea with the five ships, accompanied by Chalcideus the Lacedaemonian, and hastened on his way.
About this time sixteen Peloponnesian ships which had remained with Gylippus to the end of the Sicilian war were returning home. They were caught in the neighbourhood of Leucadia and roughly handled by twenty-seven Athenian vessels, under the command of Hippocles the son of Menippus, which were on the watch for ships coming from Sicily; but all except one of them escaped the Athenians and sailed into Corinth.
Chalcideus and Alcibiades on their voyage seized every one whom they met in order that their coming might not be reported. They touched first at the promontory of Corycus on the mainland, and there releasing their prisoners they held a preliminary conference with certain of the Chians, who were in the plot, and who advised them to give no notice of their intention, but to sail at once to the city. So they appeared suddenly at Chios, to the great wonder and alarm of the people. The oligarchs had contrived that the council should be sitting at the time. Chalcideus and Alcibiades made speeches and announced that many more ships were on their way, but said nothing about the blockade of Piraeum. So Chios first, and afterwards Erythrae, revolted from Athens. They then sailed with three vessels to Clazomenae, which they induced to revolt. The Clazomenians at once crossed over to the mainland and fortified Polichnè, intending in case of need to retreat thither from the little island on which Clazomenae stands. All the revolted cities were occupied in raising fortifications and preparing for war.
The news of the revolt of Chios soon reached Athens; and the Athenians realised at once the magnitude of the danger which now surrounded them. The greatest city of all had gone over to the enemy, and the rest of their allies were certain to rise. In the extremity of their alarm they abrogated the penalties denounced against any one who should propose or put to the vote the employment of the thousand talents which throughout the war they had hitherto jealously reserved.12 They now passed a decree permitting their use, and resolved to man a large number of ships; also to send at once to Chios eight ships which had been keeping guard at Piraeum, and had gone away under the command of Strombichides the son of Diotimus in pursuit of Chalcideus, but not overtaking him had returned. Twelve other ships, under the command of Thrasycles, were to follow immediately; these too were to be taken from the blockading force. They also withdrew the seven Chian ships which were assisting them in the blockade of Piraeum; and setting free the slaves in them, put the freemen in chains. Other ships were then quickly manned by them and sent to take the place of all those which had been subtracted from the blockading squadron, and they proposed to equip thirty more. They were full of energy, and spared no effort for the recovery of Chios.
Meanwhile Strombichides with his eight ships arrived at Samos, and thence, taking with him an additional Saurian vessel, sailed to Teos and warned the inhabitants against revolt. But Chalcideus with twenty-three ships was on his way from Chios to Teos, intending to attack it; he was assisted by the land-forces of Clazomenae and Erythrae, which followed his movements on the shore. Strombichides saw him in time, and put out to sea before he arrived.
When fairly away from land he observed the superior numbers of the fleet coming from Chios, and fled towards Samos, pursued by the enemy. The land-forces were not at first received by the Teians, but after the flight of the Athenians they admitted them. The troops waited a little for the return of Chalcideus from the pursuit, but as he did not come they proceeded without him to demolish the fort which the Athenians had built for the protection of Teos on the land side. A few barbarians under the command of Stages, a lieutenant of Tissaphernes, came and joined in the work of demolition.
Chalcideus and Alcibiades, when they had chased Strombichides to Samos, gave heavy arms to the crews of the ships which they had brought from Peloponnesus, and left them in Chios. Then, having manned their own vessels and twenty others with Chians, they sailed to Miletus, intending to raise a revolt.--For Alcibiades, who was on friendly terms with the principal Milesians, wanted to gain over the place before any more ships from Peloponnesus arrived, and, using the Chian troops and those of Chalcideus only, to spread revolt far and wide among the cities of Ionia. Thus he would gain the chief glory of the war for the Chians, for himself, for Chalcideus; and, in fulfilment of his promise,13 for Endius, who had sent him out.--They were not observed during the greater part of their voyage, and, although narrowly escaping from Strombichides, and from Thrasycles who had just arrived with twelve ships from Athens and had joined Strombichides in the pursuit, they succeeded in raising a revolt in Miletus. The Athenians followed close behind them with nineteen ships, but the Milesians would not receive them, and they came to anchor at Ladè, the island opposite the town. Immediately after the revolt of Miletus the Lacedaemonians made their first alliance with the King of Persia, which was negotiated by Tissaphernes and Chalcideus. It ran as follows:
'The Lacedaemonians and their allies make an alliance with the King and Tissaphernes on the following terms:
'I. All the territory and all the cities which are in possession of the King, or were in possession of his forefathers, shall be the King's,14 and whatever revenue or other advantages the Athenians derived from these cities, the King, and the Lacedaemonians and their allies, shall combine to prevent them from receiving such revenue or advantage.
'II. The King, and the Lacedaemonians and their allies, shall carry on the war against the Athenians in common, and they shall not make peace with the Athenians unless both parties--the King on the one hand and the Lacedaemonians and their allies on the other--agree.
'III. Whosoever revolts from the King shall be the enemy of the Lacedaemonians and their allies, and whosoever revolts from the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall be the enemy of the King in like manner.'
Such were the terms of the alliance.
Shortly afterwards the Chians manned ten more ships and sailed to Anaea, wanting to hear whether the attempt on Miletus had succeeded, and to draw fresh cities into the revolt. A message however was brought from Chalcideus, bidding them return, and warning them that Amorges was coming thither by land at the head of an army. So they sailed to the Temple of Zeus,15 where they caught sight of sixteen Athenian ships which Diomedon, following Thrasycles, was bringing from Athens. They instantly fled; one ship to Ephesus, the remainder towards Teos. Four of them the Athenians took empty, the crews having got safe to land; the rest escaped to Teos. The Athenians then sailed away to Samos. The Chians with their remaining ships put to sea again, and, assisted by the land-forces of their allies,16 caused first Lebedus, and afterwards Erae, to revolt. Both the army and the fleet then returned home.
About the same time the twenty Peloponnesian ships which had been chased into Piraeum, and were now blockaded by a like number of Athenian ships, made a sally, defeated the Athenians, and took four ships; they then got away to Cenchreae, and once more prepared to sail to Chios and Ionia. At Cenchreae they were met by Astyochus, the admiral from Lacedaemon, to whom the whole of the Peloponnesian navy was about to be entrusted.
By this time the land-forces of Clazomenae and Erythrae,17 had retired from Teos, and Tissaphernes, who had led a second army thither in person and overthrown what was left of the Athenian fort, had retired also. Not long after his departure, Diomedon arrived with ten ships, and made an agreement with the Teians, who promised to receive the Athenians as well as the Peloponnesians. He then sailed to Erae, which he attacked without success, and departed.
About the same time a great revolution occurred in Samos. The people, aided by the crews of three Athenian vessels which happened to be on the spot, rose against the nobles, slew in all about two hundred of them, and banished four hundred more; they then distributed their land and houses among themselves. The Athenian people, now assured of their fidelity, granted them independence; and henceforward the city was in the hands of the democracy. They denied to the former landed proprietors all the privileges of citizenship, not even allowing them to contract marriage with any family belonging to the people, nor any of the people with them.
The zeal of the Chians did not abate. They had already begun to go out with armies and raise revolts independently of the Peloponnesians,18 and they wished to draw as many cities as they could into their own danger. During the same summer they sent out a Chian fleet numbering thirteen ships. The expedition was directed first against Lesbos, the Lacedaemonians having originally instructed their officers to proceed from Chios to Lesbos, and thence to the Hellespont.19 It was placed under the command of Deiniadas, one of the Perioeci. Meanwhile the infantry of the Peloponnesians and of the neighbouring allies, under Evalas, a Spartan, moved along the shore towards Clazomenae and Cymè. The fleet sailed to Lesbos, and first induced Methymna to rebel; there leaving four of their ships, with the remainder they raised a revolt in Mytilenè.
Meanwhile Astyochus the Lacedaemonian admiral, with four ships, set forth, as he intended, from Cenchreae, and arrived at Chios. On the third day after his arrival a division of the Athenian fleet, numbering twenty-five ships, sailed to Lesbos under the command of Leon and Diomedon; Leon had arrived from Athens later than Diomedon with a reinforcement of ten ships. On the same day, towards evening, Astyochus put to sea, and taking with him one Chian ship, sailed to Lesbos, that he might render any assistance which he could to the Chian fleet. He came to Pyrrha, and on the following day to Eresus, where he heard that Mytilenè had been taken by the Athenians at the first blow. The Athenian ships had sailed right into the harbour when they were least expected, and captured the Chian vessels; the men on board had then landed, and defeating in a battle a Mytilenean force which came out to meet them, had taken possession of the city. Astyochus heard the news from the Eresians, and from the Chian ships which had been left with Eubulus at Methymna. They had fled when Mytilenè was taken, and had now fallen in with him; but only three out of the four, for one of them had been captured by the Athenians. Upon this, instead of going on to Mytilenè, he raised a revolt in Eresus, and armed the inhabitants: he then disembarked the heavy-armed from his ships and sent them by land to Antissa and Methymna under the command of Eteonicus; and with his own and the three Chian ships coasted thither himself, hoping that the Methymnaeans would take courage at the sight of them and persevere in their revolt. But everything went against him in Lesbos; so he re-embarked his troops and sailed back to Chios. The land-forces from the ships which were intended to go to the Hellespont20 also returned to their several homes. Not long afterwards six ships came to Chios from the allied forces of the Peloponnesians now collected at Cenchreae. The Athenians, when they had re-established their influence in Lesbos, sailed away, and having taken Polichnè on the mainland, which the Clazomenians were fortifying,21 brought them all back to their city on the island, except the authors of the revolt, who had escaped to Daphnus. So Clazomenae returned to the Athenian alliance.
During the same summer the Athenians, who were stationed with twenty of their ships at the island of Ladè22 and were watching the enemy in Miletus, made a descent upon Panormus in the Milesian territory. Chalcideus the Lacedaemonian general with a few followers came out to meet them, but was killed. Three days later they again sailed across and set up a trophy, which the Milesians pulled down, because the Athenians were not really masters of the ground at the time when they erected it. Leon and Diomedon, who were at Lesbos with the rest of the Athenian fleet, stationed their ships at the islands called Oenussae which lie in front of Chios, at Sidussa and Pteleum, which were forts held by them in the Erythraean territory, and at Lesbos itself, and carried on the war by sea against the Chians. The marines whom they had on board were hoplites taken from the roll and compelled to serve. They made descents upon Cardamylè and Bolissus, and having defeated with heavy loss the Chians who came out to meet them, they devastated all that region. In another battle at Phanae they defeated them again, and in a third at Leuconium. Henceforward the Chians remained within their walls. The Athenians ravaged their country, which was well stocked, and from the Persian War until that time had never been touched by an invader. No people as far as I know, except the Chians and Lacedaemonians (but the Chians not equally with the Lacedaemonians), have preserved moderation in prosperity, and in proportion as their city has gained in power have gained also in the stability of their administration. In this revolt they may seem to have shown a want of prudence, yet they did not venture upon it until many brave allies were ready to share the peril with them, and until the Athenians themselves seemed to confess that after their calamity in Sicily the state of their affairs was hopelessly bad. And, if they were deceived through the uncertainty of human things, this error of judgment was common to many who, like them, believed that the Athenian power would speedily be overthrown. But now that they were driven off the sea and saw their lands ravaged, some of their citizens undertook to bring back the city to the Athenians. The magistrates perceived their design, but instead of acting themselves, they sent to Erythrae for Astyochus the admiral. He came with four ships which he had on the spot, and they considered together by what means the conspiracy might be suppressed with the least violence, whether by taking hostages or in some other way.
The Lacedaemonians were thus engaged in Chios when towards the end of the summer there came from Athens a thousand Athenian hoplites and fifteen hundred Argives, of whom five hundred were originally light-armed, but the Athenians gave them heavy arms; also a thousand of the allies. They were conveyed in forty-eight ships, of which some were transports, under the command of Phrynichus, Onomacles, and Scironides. Sailing first to Samos they crossed over to Miletus, and there took up a position. The Milesians with a force of eight hundred heavy-armed of their own, the Peloponnesians who came with Chalcideus, and certain foreign mercenaries of Tissaphernes, who was there in person with his cavalry, went out and engaged the Athenians and their allies. The Argives on their own wing dashed forward, and made a disorderly attack upon the troops opposed to them, whom they despised; they thought that, being Ionians, they would be sure to run away.23 But they were defeated by the Milesians, and nearly three hundred of them perished. The Athenians first overcame the Peloponnesians, and then forced back the barbarians and the inferior troops. But they never engaged the Milesians, who, after routing the Argives, when they saw their other wing defeated, returned to the city. The Athenians, having won the day, took up a position close under the walls of Miletus. In this engagement the Ionians on both sides had the advantage of the Dorians; for the Athenians vanquished the Peloponnesians who were opposed to them, and the Milesians vanquished the Argives.24 The Athenians now raised a trophy, and prepared to build a wall across the isthmus which separates the city from the mainland, thinking that, if they could reduce Miletus, the other cities would quickly return to their allegiance.
But meanwhile, late in the afternoon, news was brought to them that a fleet of fifty-five ships from Peloponnesus and Sicily was close at hand. Hermocrates the Syracusan had urged the Sicilians to assist in completing the overthrow of Athens. Twenty ships came from Syracuse, two from Selinus, and with them the Peloponnesian ships which had been in preparation.25 The two squadrons were entrusted to Theramenes, who was to conduct them to Astyochus the admiral. They sailed first to Leros,26 an island lying off Miletus. Thence, finding that the Athenians were at Miletus, they sailed away to the Iasian Gulf, wanting to ascertain the fate of the town. Alcibiades came on horseback to Teichiussa in the Milesian territory, the point of the gulf at which the fleet had passed the night, and from him they received news of the battle. For he had been present, and had fought on the side of the Milesians and Tissaphernes. And he recommended them, if they did not mean to ruin their cause in Ionia and everywhere else, to assist Miletus at once, and break up the blockade.
They determined to go at daybreak and relieve the place. But Phrynichus the Athenian general had certain information from Leros of their approach, and, although his colleagues wanted to remain and risk a battle, he refused and declared that he would neither himself fight, nor allow them or any one else to fight if he could help it. For when they might discover the exact number of the enemy's ships and the proportion which their own bore to them, and, before engaging, make adequate preparations at their leisure, he would not be so foolish as to risk all through fear of disgrace. There was no dishonour in Athenians retreating before an enemy's fleet when circumstances required. But there would be the deepest dishonour under any circumstances in a defeat; and the city would then not only incur disgrace, but would be in the utmost danger. Even if their preparations were complete and satisfactory, Athens after her recent disasters ought not to take the offensive, or in any case not without absolute necessity; and now when they were not compelled, why should they go out of their way to court danger? He urged them to put on board their wounded, and their infantry, and all the stores which they had brought with them, but to leave behind the plunder obtained from the enemy's country, that their ships might be lighter; they should sail back to Samos, and there uniting all their forces, they might go on making attacks upon Miletus when opportunity offered. His advice was followed.27And not on this occasion only, but quite as much afterwards, whenever Phrynichus had to act, he showed himself to be a man of great sagacity.28 So the Athenians departed that very evening from Miletus without completing their victory, and the Argives, hurrying away from Samos in a rage after their disaster, went home.
At dawn the Peloponnesians sailed from Teichiussa, and on their arrival at Miletus found that the Athenians had left: after remaining one day, on the morrow they took the Chian ships which under the command of Chalcideus had previously been chased into Miletus,29 and resolved to go back to Teichiussa and fetch that part of the tackle of which they had lightened the ships. There they found Tissaphernes, who had come with his infantry; he persuaded them to sail against Iasus, in which his enemy Amorges lay. So they attacked Iasus, which they took by a sudden assault; for it never occurred to the inhabitants that their ships were not Athenian. The Syracusans distinguished themselves greatly in the action. The Peloponnesians took captive Amorges the natural son of Pissuthnes, who had rebelled, and gave him to Tissaphernes, that, if he liked, he might convey him to the King in obedience to the royal command.30 They then plundered Iasus, and the army obtained a great deal of treasure; for the city had been rich from early times. They did no harm to the mercenaries of Amorges, but received them into their own ranks; for most of them came from Peloponnesus. The town, and all their prisoners, whether bond or free, were delivered by them into the hands of Tissaphernes, who engaged to give them a Daric stater31 for each man; they then returned to Miletus. Thence they despatched by land as far as Erythrae Pedaritus the son of Leon, whom the Lacedaemonians had sent out to be governor of Chios; he was escorted by the mercenaries who had been in the service of Amorges. To remain on the spot, and take charge of Miletus, they appointed Philip. So the summer ended.
During the following winter, Tissaphernes, after he had provided for the security of Iasus, came to Miletus. There he distributed one month's pay among all the ships, at the rate of an Attic drachma32 a day per man, as his envoy had promised at Lacedaemon; in future he proposed to give half a drachma only until he had asked the King's leave, promising that if he obtained it he would pay the entire drachma. On the remonstrance, however, of Hermocrates the Syracusan general (Theramenes, not being himself admiral, but only taking charge of the ships which he was to hand over to Astyochus, took no interest in the matter of the pay), he promised to each man a payment of somewhat more than three obols, reckoning the total sum paid to every five ships. For he offered to every five ships, up to the number of fifty-five,33 three talents a month, and to any ships in excess of this number he agreed to give at a like rate.
During the same winter there arrived at Samos from Athens thirty-five ships, under the command of Charminus, Strombichides, and Euctemon. Whereupon the generals assembled their whole fleet, including the ships engaged at Chios,34 their purpose being to make a distribution of their forces by lot. The principal division was to continue watching Miletus, while a second force of ships and soldiers was to be sent to Chios. Accordingly Strombichides, Onomacles, and Euctemon, with thirty ships, besides transports in which they conveyed a portion of the thousand heavy-armed who had joined the army at Miletus,35 sailed away to Chios, the duty which the lot assigned to them. The other generals remaining at Samos with seventy-four ships, and having the mastery of the sea, prepared to make a descent upon Miletus.
Astyochus was at Chios selecting hostages as a precaution against the betrayal of the island to Athens,36 but when he heard of the reinforcements which Theramenes had brought, and of the improved prospects of the allies, he desisted, and taking with him his own Peloponnesian ships, ten in number,37 and ten Chian, he put to sea. Failing in an attack upon Pteleum he sailed on to Clazomenae, and demanded that the Athenian party should settle at Daphnus38 on the mainland, and come over to the Peloponnesians: Tamos, one of the Persian lieutenants of Ionia, joined in the demand. But the Clazomenians would not listen to him; whereupon he assaulted the city (which was unwalled), but being unable to take it, sailed away with a strong wind. He was himself carried to Phocaea and Cymè, and the remainder of the fleet put into the islands, Marathussa, Pelè, and Drymussa, which lie off Clazomenae. There, being detained eight days by the weather, they spoiled and destroyed part of the property of the Clazomenians which had been deposited in the islands, and, taking part on board, they sailed away to Phocaea and Cymè, where they rejoined Astyochus.
While Astyochus was there, envoys came to him from Lesbos; the Lesbians were once more eager to revolt, and he was willing to assist them; but the Corinthians and the other allies were disheartened by the previous failure. So he put to sea and sailed back to Chios. His ships were scattered by a storm, and reached Chios from various places. Soon afterwards Pedaritus and his army39 having come by land from Miletus to Erythrae, where he crossed the channel, arrived in Chios. On his arrival he found at his disposal the sailors whom Chalcideus had taken from his five ships40 and left in Chios fully armed, to the number of five hundred. Some of the Lesbians renewing their proposal to revolt, Astyochus suggested to Pedaritus and the Chians that they should go with the fleet to Lesbos and raise the country; they would thus increase the number of their allies, and, even if the attempt did not wholly succeed, they would injure the Athenians. But they would not listen, and Pedaritus refused to let him have the Chian ships.
So Astyochus took five Corinthian ships41 and a sixth from Megara, one from Hermionè, and the Lacedaemonian ships which he had brought with him,42 and set sail for Miletus in order to assume his command. He threatened the Chians, again and again, that he would certainly not help them when their time of need came. Touching at Corycus in Erythraea he passed the night there. The Athenian ships from Samos were now on their way to Chios; they had put in at a place where they were only divided from the Peloponnesians by a hill, and neither fleet knew that the other was so near. But that night there came a despatch from Pedaritus informing Astyochus that certain Erythraean prisoners had been released by the Athenians from Samos on condition of betraying Erythrae, and had gone thither with that intention. Whereupon Astyochus sailed back to Erythrae. So narrowly did he escape falling into the hands of the Athenians. Pedaritus sailed over to meet him. They then enquired about the supposed traitors, and found that the whole matter was a trick which the men had devised in order to get away from Samos; so they acquitted them of the charge, and Pedaritus returned to Chios, while Astyochus resumed his voyage to Miletus.
In the meantime the Athenian fleet, sailing round the promontory of Corycus towards Arginus, lighted upon three Chian ships of war, to which they gave chase. A great storm came on, and the Chian ships with difficulty escaped into their harbour, but of the Athenian ships the three which were most zealous in the pursuit were disabled and driven ashore near the city of Chios; the crews were either lost or taken captive. The remainder of the fleet found shelter in the harbour called Phoenicus, lying under Mount Mimas, whence again setting sail they put in at Lesbos, and made preparations for building the fort which they meant to establish in Chios.
During the same winter, Hippocrates the Lacedaemonian sailed from the Peloponnese with one Laconian, one Syracusan, and ten Thurian ships; of these last Dorieus the son of Diagoras and two others were the commanders. They put in at Cnidus, which under the influence of Tissaphernes43 had already revolted from Athens. The Peloponnesian authorities at Miletus, when they heard of their arrival, ordered one half of these ships to protect Cnidus, and the other half to cruise off Triopium and seize the merchant-vessels which put in there from Egypt. This Triopium is a promontory in the district of Cnidus on which there is a temple of Apollo. The Athenians, hearing of their intentions, sailed from Samos and captured the six ships which were keeping guard at Triopium; the crews escaped. They then sailed to Cnidus, and attacking the town, which was unwalled, all but took it. On the following day they made a second attack, but during the night the inhabitants had improved their hasty defences, and some of the men who had escaped from the ships captured at Triopium had come into the city. So the Athenian assault was less destructive than on the first day; and after retiring from the city and devastating the country belonging to it they sailed back to Samos.
About the same time Astyochus arrived at Miletus and took the command of the fleet. He found the Peloponnesians still abundantly provided with all requisites. They had sufficient pay; the great spoils taken at Iasus were in the hands of the army, and the Milesians carried on the war with a will. The Peloponnesians however considered the former treaty made between Tissaphernes and Chalcideus defective and disadvantageous to them; so before the departure of Theramenes they made new terms of alliance, which were as follows:
'The Lacedaemonians and their allies make agreement with King Darius and the sons of the King, and with Tissaphernes, that there shall be alliance and friendship between them on the following conditions:
"I. Whatever territory and cities belong to King Darius, or formerly belonged to his father, or to his ancestors, against these neither the Lacedaemonians nor their allies shall make war, or do them any hurt, nor shall the Lacedaemonians or their allies exact tribute of them. Neither Darius the King nor the subjects of the King shall make war upon the Lacedaemonians or their allies, or do them any hurt.
"II. If the Lacedaemonians or their allies have need of anything from the King, or the King have need of anything from the Lacedaemonians and their allies, whatever they do by mutual agreement shall hold good.
"III. They shall carry on the war against the Athenians and their allies in common, and if they make peace, shall make peace in common.
"IV. The King shall defray the expense of any number of troops for which the King has sent, so long as they remain in the King's country.
"V. If any of the cities who are parties to this treaty go against the King's country, the rest shall interfere and aid the King to the utmost of their power. And if any of the inhabitants of the King's country or any country under the dominion of the King shall go against the country of the Lacedaemonians or their allies, the King shall interfere and aid them to the utmost of his power".'
After the conclusion of the treaty, Theramenes, having delivered over the fleet to Astyochus, sailed away in a small boat and was no more heard of. The Athenians, who had now crossed over with their troops from Lesbos to Chios, and had the upper hand both by land and sea, began to fortify Delphinium, a place not far distant from the town of Chios, which had the double advantage of being strong by land and of possessing harbours. The Chians meanwhile remained inactive; they had been already badly beaten in several battles, and their internal condition was far from satisfactory; for Tydeus the son of Ion and his accomplices had been executed by Pedaritus on a charge of complicity with Athens, and the city was reduced by the strong hand to a mere oligarchy. Hence they were in a state of mutual distrust, and could not be persuaded that either they or the mercenaries44 brought by Pedaritus were a match for the enemy. They sent however to Miletus and requested the aid of Astyochus, but he refused. Whereupon Pedaritus sent a despatch to Lacedaemon, complaining of his misconduct. So favourable to the Athenians was the course of affairs in Chios. The main fleet, which they had left at Samos, from time to time made threatening movements against the enemy at Miletus, but as they would never come out, the Athenians at length retired to Samos and there remained.
During the same winter, about the solstice, twenty-seven ships which Calligitus of Megara and Timagoras of Cyzicus, the agents of Pharnabazus, had persuaded the Lacedaemonians to fit out in his interest,45 sailed for Ionia: they were placed under the command of Antisthenes, a Spartan. The Lacedaemonians sent at the same time eleven Spartans to act as advisers46 to Astyochus, one of whom was Lichas the son of Arcesilaus.47 Besides receiving a general commission to assist in the direction of affairs to the best of their judgment, they were empowered on their arrival at Miletus to send on, if they saw fit, these ships, or a larger or smaller number, to Pharnabazus at the Hellespont under the command of Clearchus48 the son of Rhamphias, who sailed with them. The eleven might also, if they thought good, deprive Astyochus of his command and appoint Antisthenes in his place, for the despatch of Pedaritus had excited suspicion against him. So the ships sailed from Malea over the open sea until they came to Melos. There they lighted on ten Athenian ships; of these they took three without their crews and burned them. But then, fearing that the remainder which had escaped would, as in fact they did, give information of their approach to the fleet at Samos, they took the precaution of going by a longer route. And sailing round by Crete they put in at Caunus in Asia. They thought that they were now safe, and sent a messenger to the fleet at Miletus requesting a convoy.
Meanwhile the Chians and Pedaritus continued to send messengers to Astyochus, who continued to delay. They implored him to come to their help with his whole fleet, saying that they were blockaded, and that he should not allow the chief ally of Sparta in Ionia to be cut off from the sea and overrun and devastated by land. Now the Chians had more domestic slaves than any other state with the exception of Lacedaemon, and their offences were always more severely punished because of their number; so that, when the Athenian army appeared to be firmly settled in their fortifications, most of them at once deserted to the enemy.49 And they did the greatest damage, because they knew the country. The Chians pressed upon the Lacedaemonians the necessity of coming to their assistance while there was still hope of interfering to some purpose; the fortification of Delphinium, though not yet completed, was in progress, and the Athenians were beginning to extend the lines of defence which protected their army and ships. Astyochus, seeing that the allies were zealous in the cause, although he had fully meant to carry out his threat, now determined to relieve the Chians.
But in the meantime he received a message from Caunus, informing him that the twenty-seven ships and his Lacedaemonian advisers had arrived. He thought that everything should give way to the importance of convoying so large a reinforcement which would secure to the Lacedaemonians greater command of the sea, and that he must first of all provide for the safe passage of the commissioners who were to report on his conduct. So he at once gave up his intended expedition to Chios and sailed for Caunus. As he coasted along he made a descent on the island of Cos Meropis. The city was unfortified and had been overthrown by an earthquake, the greatest which has ever happened within our memory. The citizens had fled into the mountains; so he sacked the town and overran and despoiled the country, but let go the free inhabitants whom he found. From Cos he came by night to Cnidus, and was prevailed upon by the importunity of the Cnidians, instead of disembarking his men, to sail at once, just as he was, against twenty Athenian ships with which Charminus (one of the generals at Samos) was watching for the twenty-seven ships expected from Peloponnesus, being those which Astyochus was going to escort. The Athenians at Samos had heard from Melos of their coming, and Charminus was cruising off the islands of Symè, Chalcè, and Rhodes, and on the coast of Lycia; he had by this time discovered that they were at Caunus.
So Astyochus sailed at once to Symè before his arrival was reported, in the hope that he might come upon the Athenian squadron in the open sea. The rain and cloudy state of the atmosphere caused confusion among his ships, which lost their way in the dark. When dawn broke, the fleet was dispersed and the left wing alone was visible to the Athenians, while the other ships were still straggling off the shore of the island. Charminus and the Athenians put out to sea with part of their twenty ships, supposing that these were only the squadron from Caunus for which they were watching. They at once attacked them, sank three of them, disabled others, and were gaining the victory, when to their surprise there appeared the larger part of the Lacedaemonian fleet threatening to surround them. Whereupon they fled, and in their flight lost six ships, but with the rest gained the island of Teutlussa, and thence Halicarnassus. The Peloponnesians touched at Cnidus, and there uniting with the twenty-seven ships from Caunus, they all sailed to Symè and raised a trophy; they then returned and put into port again at Cnidus.
As soon as the Athenians heard the result of the sea-fight they sailed from Samos to Symè with their whole fleet. They did not attack the Peloponnesians at Cnidus, nor the Peloponnesians them; but they carried away the heavy tackle of their own ships which had been left at Symè, and touching at Loryma, a place on the mainland, returned to Samos. The Peloponnesians were now all together at Cnidus, and were making the repairs necessary after the battle, while the Lacedaemonian commissioners conferred with Tissaphernes (who was himself on the spot) as to any matters in his past dealings with them at which they were displeased, and as to the best manner of securing their common interests in the future conduct of the war. Lichas entered into the enquiry with great energy; he took exception to both the treaties; that of Chalcideus and that of Theramenes were equally objectionable. For the King at that time of day to claim power over all the countries which his ancestors had formerly held was monstrous. If either treaty were carried out, the inhabitants of all the islands, of Thessaly, of Locris, and of all Hellas, as far as Boeotia, would again be reduced to slavery; instead of giving the Hellenes freedom, the Lacedaemonians would be imposing upon them the yoke of Persia. So he desired them to conclude some more satisfactory treaty, for he would have nothing to say to these; he did not want to have the fleet maintained upon any such terms. Tissaphernes was indignant, and without settling anything went away in a rage.
Meanwhile the Peloponnesians had been receiving communications from the chief men of Rhodes, and resolved to sail thither. They hoped to gain over an island which was strong alike in sailors and in infantry; if successful, they might henceforward maintain their navy by the help of their own allies without asking Tissaphernes for money. So in the same winter they sailed from Cnidus against Rhodes, and first attacked Camirus with ninety-four ships. The inhabitants, who were in ignorance of the plot and dwelt in an unfortified city, were alarmed and began to fly. The Lacedaemonians re-assured them, and assembling the people not only of Camirus, but of Lindus and Ialysus, the two other cities of Rhodes, persuaded all of them to revolt from the Athenians. Thus Rhodes went over to the Peloponnesians. Nearly at the same time the Athenians, who had heard of their intentions, brought up the fleet from Samos, hoping to forestall them; they appeared in the offing, but finding that they were just too late, sailed to Chalcè for the present, and thence back to Samos. They then fought against Rhodes, making descents upon it from Chalcè, Cos, and Samos, while the Peloponnesians, having collected thirty-two talents50 from the Rhodians, drew up their ships, and did nothing for eleven weeks.
Before the Peloponnesians had removed to Rhodes affairs took a new turn. After the death of Chalcideus and the engagement at Miletus,51 Alcibiades fell under suspicion at Sparta, and orders came from home to Astyochus that he should be put to death. Agis hated him, and he was generally distrusted. In fear he retired to Tissaphernes, and soon, by working upon him, did all he could to injure the Peloponnesian cause. He was his constant adviser, and induced him to cut down the pay of the sailors from an Attic drachma to half a drachma,52 and this was only to be given at irregular intervals. Tissaphernes was instructed by him to tell the Peloponnesians that the Athenians, with their long experience of naval affairs, gave half a drachma only, not from poverty, but lest their sailors should be demoralised by high pay, and spend their money on pleasures which injured their health, and thereby impaired their efficiency; the payment too was made irregularly, that the arrears, which they would forfeit by desertion, might be a pledge of their continuance in the service.53 He also recommended him to bribe the trierarchs and the generals of the allied cities into consenting. They all yielded with the exception of the Syracusans: Hermocrates alone stood firm on behalf of the whole alliance. When the allies who had revolted came asking for money, Alcibiades drove them away himself, saying on behalf of Tissaphernes that the Chians must have lost all sense of shame; they were the richest people in Hellas, and now, when they were being saved by foreign aid, they wanted other men, not only to risk life, but to expend money in their cause. To the other cities he replied that, having paid such large sums to the Athenians before they revolted, they would be inexcusable if they were not willing to contribute as much and even more for their own benefit. He represented further that Tissaphernes was now carrying on the war at his own expense, and must be expected to be careful. But if supplies should come from the King he would restore the full pay, and do whatever was reasonable for the cities.
Alcibiades also advised Tissaphernes not to be in a hurry about putting an end to the war, and neither to bring up the Phoenician fleet which he was preparing, nor to give pay to more Hellenic sailors; he should not be so anxious to put the whole power both by sea and land into the same hands. Let the dominion only remain divided, and then, whichever of the two rivals was troublesome, the King might always use the other against him. But if one defeated the other and became supreme on both elements, who would help Tissaphernes to overthrow the conqueror? He would have to take the field in person and fight, which he might not like, at great risk and expense. The danger would be easily averted at a fraction of the cost, and at no risk to himself, if he wore out the Hellenes in internal strife. Alcibiades also said that the Athenians would be more suitable partners of empire, because they were less likely to encroach by land, and both their principles and their practice in carrying on the war accorded better with the King's interest. For if he helped them to subject the element of the sea to themselves, they would gladly help him in the subjugation of the Hellenes who were in his country, whereas the Lacedaemonians came to be their liberators. But a power which was at that very moment emancipating the Hellenes from the dominion of another Hellenic power like themselves would not be satisfied to leave them under the yoke of the Barbarian if they once succeeded in crushing the Athenians.54 So he advised him first to wear them both out, and when he had clipped the Athenians as close as he could, then to get the Peloponnesians out of his country. To this course Tissaphernes was strongly inclined, if we may judge from his acts. For he gave his full confidence to Alcibiades, whose advice he approved; and kept the Peloponnesians ill-provided, at the same time refusing to let them fight at sea, and insisting that they must wait until the Phoenician ships arrived; they would then fight at an advantage. In this manner he ruined their affairs and impaired the efficiency of their navy, which had once been in first-rate condition. There were many other ways in which he showed openly and unmistakeably that he was not in earnest in the cause of his allies.
In giving this advice to Tissaphernes and the King, now that he had passed under their protection, Alcibiades said what he really thought to be most for their interests.55 But he had another motive; he was preparing the way for his own return from exile. He knew that, if he did not destroy his country altogether, the time would come when he would persuade his countrymen to recall him; and he thought that his arguments would be most effectual if he were seen to be on intimate terms with Tissaphernes. And the result proved that he was right. The Athenian soldiers at Samos soon perceived that he had great influence with him, and he sent messages to the chief persons among them, whom he begged to remember him to all good men and true, and to let them know that he would be glad to return to his country and cast in his lot with them. He would at the same time make Tissaphernes their friend; but they must establish an oligarchy, and abolish the villainous democracy which had driven him out. Partly moved by these messages, but still more of their own inclination, the trierarchs and leading Athenians at Samos were now eager to overthrow the democracy.
The matter was stirred in the camp first of all, and introduced into the city afterwards. A few persons went over from Samos to Alcibiades, and conferred with him: to them he held out the hope that he would make, first of all Tissaphernes, and secondly the King himself, their friend, if they would put down democracy; the King would then be better able to trust them. And so the aristocracy, on whom the heaviest burdens are apt to fall,56 conceived great hopes of getting the government into their own hands, and overcoming their enemies. Returning to Samos, the envoys drew all such as seemed desirable accomplices into a conspiracy, while the language held in public to the main body of the army was that the King would be their friend and would supply them with money if Alcibiades was restored and democracy given up. Now the multitude were at first dissatisfied with the scheme, but the prospect of the King's pay was so grateful to them that they offered no opposition; and the authors of the movement, after they had broached the idea to the people, once more considered the proposals of Alcibiades among themselves and the members of their clubs. Most of them thought the matter safe and straightforward enough. Phrynichus, who was still general, was of another mind. He maintained, and rightly, that Alcibiades cared no more for oligarchy than he did for democracy, and in seeking to change the existing form of government was only considering how he might be recalled and restored to his country at the invitation of the clubs; whereas their one care should be to avoid disunion. Why should the King go out of his way to join the Athenians whom he did not trust, when he would only get into trouble with the Peloponnesians, who were now as great a naval power, and held some of the most important cities in his dominion?--it would be much easier for him to make friends with them, who had never done him any harm. As to the allies, to whom they had promised the blessings of oligarchy which they were now about to enjoy themselves, he would be bound that the revolted cities would not return to them, and that their old allies would be not a whit more loyal in consequence. The form of government was indifferent to them if they could only be free, but they did not want to be in subjection either to an oligarchy or to a democracy. And as for the so-called nobility, the allies thought that they would be quite as troublesome as the people; they were the persons who suggested crimes to the popular mind; who provided the means for their execution; and who reaped the fruits themselves. As far as it rested with the oligarchy the punishment of death would be inflicted unscrupulously, and without trial, whereas the people brought the oligarchs to their senses, and were a refuge to which the oppressed might always have recourse. Experience had taught the cities this lesson, and he was well aware of their feelings. He was therefore himself utterly dissatisfied with the proposals of Alcibiades, and disapproved of the whole affair.
But the conspirators who were present were not at all shaken in their opinion. They accepted the plan and prepared to send Peisander and other envoys to Athens, that they might manage the recall of Alcibiades and the overthrow of the democracy, and finally make Tissaphernes a friend of the Athenians.
Phrynichus now knew that a proposal would be made for the restoration of Alcibiades, which the Athenians would certainly accept; and having opposed his return he feared that Alcibiades, if he were recalled, would do him a mischief, because he had stood in his way. So he had recourse to the following device. He secretly sent a letter to Astyochus, the Lacedaemonian admiral, who was still at Miletus, informing him that Alcibiades was gaining over Tissaphernes to the Athenians and ruining the Peloponnesian interests. He gave full particulars, adding that Astyochus must excuse him if he sought to harm an enemy even at some cost to his country."57 Now Astyochus had no idea of punishing Alcibiades, who moreover no longer came within his reach. On the contrary, he went to him and to Tissaphernes at Magnesia, and, turning informer, told them of the letter which he had received from Samos. (He was believed to have sold himself to Tissaphernes, to whom he now betrayed everything; and this was the reason why he was so unwilling to bestir himself about the reduction of the pay.58) Alcibiades immediately sent a despatch denouncing to the leaders of the army at Samos the treason of Phrynichus, and demanding that he should be put to death. Phrynichus was confounded,59 and in fact the revelation placed him in the greatest danger. However he sent again to Astyochus, blaming him for having violated his former confidence. He then proceeded to say that he was ready to give the Peloponnesians the opportunity of destroying the whole Athenian army, and he explained in detail how Samos, which was unfortified, might best be attacked; adding that he was in danger of his life for their sakes, and that he need no longer apologise if by this or any other means he could save himself from destruction at the hands of his worst enemies. Again the message was communicated by Astyochus to Alcibiades.
Now Phrynichus was well aware of his treachery, and he knew that another letter from Alcibiades giving further information was on the point of arriving. Before its arrival he himself warned the army that, Samos being unwalled and some of the ships not anchoring within the harbour, the enemy were going to attack the fleet; of this he had certain knowledge. They ought therefore to fortify the place as quickly as they could, and to take every precaution. As he was a general he could execute his proposals by his own authority. So they set to work, and in consequence Samos, which would have been fortified in any case, was fortified all the sooner. Not long afterwards the expected letter came from Alcibiades warning the Athenians that the army was being betrayed by Phrynichus, and that the enemy were going to make an attack. But Alcibiades was not trusted; he was thought to have attributed to Phrynichus out of personal animosity complicity in the enemy's designs, with which he was himself acquainted. Thus he did him no harm, but rather strengthened his position by telling the same tale.
Alcibiades still continued his practices with Tissaphernes, whom he now sought to draw over to the Athenian interest. But Tissaphernes was afraid of the Peloponnesians, who had more ships on the spot than the Athenians. And yet he would have liked, if he could, to have been persuaded; especially when he saw the opposition which the Peloponnesians raised at Cnidus to the treaty of Theramenes.60 For his quarrel with them had broken out before the Peloponnesians went to Rhodes, where they were at present stationed;61 and the words of Alcibiades, who had previously warned Tissaphernes that the Lacedaemonians were the liberators of all the cities of Hellas, were verified by the protest of Lichas, who declared that 'for the King to hold all the cities which he or his ancestors had held was a stipulation not to be endured.' So Alcibiades, who was playing for a great stake, was very assiduous in paying his court to Tissaphernes.
Meanwhile Peisander and the other envoys who had been sent from Samos arrived at Athens and made their proposals to the people. They said much in few words, insisting above all that if the Athenians restored Alcibiades and modified their democracy they might secure the alliance of the King and gain the victory over the Peloponnesians. There was great opposition to any change in the democracy, and the enemies of Alcibiades were loud in protesting that it would be a dreadful thing if he were permitted to return in defiance of the law. The Eumolpidae and Ceryces called heaven and earth to witness that the city must never restore a man who had been banished for profaning the mysteries. Amid violent expressions of indignation Peisander came forward, and having up the objectors one by one he pointed out to them that the Peloponnesians had a fleet ready for action as large as their own, that they numbered more cities among their allies, and that they were furnished with money by Tissaphernes and the King; whereas the Athenians had spent everything: he then asked them whether there was the least hope of saving the country unless the King could be won over. They all acknowledged that there was none. He then said to them plainly:
'But this alliance is impossible unless we are governed in a wiser manner, and office is confined to a smaller number: then the King will trust us. Do not let us be dwelling on the form of the constitution,62 which we may hereafter change as we please, when the very existence of Athens is at stake. And we must restore Alcibiades, who is the only man living capable of saving us.'
The people were very angry at the first suggestion of an oligarchy; but when Peisander proved to them that they had no other resource, partly in fear, and partly in hope that it might be hereafter changed, they gave way. So a decree was passed that Peisander himself and ten others should go out and negotiate to the best of their judgment with Tissaphernes and Alcibiades. Peisander also denounced Phrynichus, and therefore the people dismissed him and his colleague Scironides from their commands, and appointed Diomedon and Leon to be admirals in their room. Peisander thought that Phrynichus would stand in the way of the negotiations with Alcibiades, and for this reason he calumniated him, alleging that he had betrayed Iasus and Amorges. Then he went, one after another, to all the clubs which already existed in Athens for the management of trials and elections, and exhorted them to unite, and by concerted action put down the democracy. When he had completed all the necessary preparations and the plot was ripe, he and his colleagues proceeded on their voyage to Tissaphernes.
During the same winter Leon and Diomedon, who had now entered upon their command, made a descent upon Rhodes. They found the Peloponnesian fleet drawn up out of their reach, but they landed, and defeated the Rhodians who came out to meet them. From Rhodes they retired to Chalcè,63 which henceforth they made their base of operations rather than Cos, because they could there better command any movement which might be made by the Peloponnesian fleet. About this time Xenophantidas, a Lacedaemonian, brought word to Rhodes from Pedaritus, the governor of Chios, that the Athenian fortification was now completed,64 and that if the Peloponnesians with their whole fleet did not at once come to the rescue Chios would be lost. So they began to think of sending help. Meanwhile Pedaritus in person with his mercenaries65 and the whole Chian army attacked the lines which protected the Athenian fleet; he took a part of the wall and obtained possession of certain ships which were drawn up on shore. But the Athenians rushed out upon them, and first putting to flight the Chians, soon defeated the rest of his forces. Pedaritus himself was slain, together with many of the Chians, and a great quantity of arms was taken.
The Chians were now blockaded more closely than ever both by sea and land, and there was a great famine in the place. Meanwhile Peisander and his colleagues came to Tissaphernes and proposed an agreement. But Alcibiades was not as yet quite sure of Tissaphernes, who was more afraid of the Peloponnesians than of the Athenians, and was still desirous, in accordance with the lesson which he had been taught by Alcibiades himself, to wear them both out. So he had recourse to the device of making Tissaphernes ask too much, that the negotiations might be broken off. And I imagine that Tissaphernes himself equally wanted them to fail; he was moved by his fears; while Alcibiades, seeing that his reluctance was insuperable, did not wish the Athenians to think that he was unable to persuade him--he wanted them to believe that Tissaphernes was already persuaded and anxious to make terms but could not, because they themselves would not grant enough. And so, speaking on behalf of Tissaphernes who was himself present, he made such exorbitant demands that, although for a time the Athenians were willing to grant anything which he asked, at length the responsibility of breaking off the conference was thrown upon them. He and Tissaphernes demanded, first the cession of all Ionia to the King, then that of the neighbouring islands; and there were some other conditions. Thus far the Athenians offered no opposition. But at last, fearing that his utter inability to fulfil his promise would be exposed, at the third interview he demanded permission for the King to build ships, and sail along his own coast wherever and with as many vessels as he pleased. This was too much; the Athenians now perceived that matters were hopeless, and that they had been duped by Alcibiades. So they departed in anger to Samos.
Immediately afterwards, and during the same winter, Tissaphernes came down to Caunus wishing to bring back the Peloponnesians to Miletus, and once more to make a treaty with them on such terms as he could get; he was willing to maintain them, for he did not want to become wholly their enemy, and was afraid that if their large fleet were at a loss for supplies they might be compelled to fight and be defeated, or their crews might desert; in either case the Athenians would gain their ends without his assistance. Above all he feared lest they should ravage the adjoining mainland in search of food. Taking into account all these possibilities, and true to his policy, which was to hold the balance evenly between the two contending powers, he sent for the Lacedaemonians, furnished them with supplies, and made a third treaty with them, which ran as follows:
'In the thirteenth year of the reign of Darius the King, when Alexippidas was Ephor at Lacedaemon, a treaty was made in the plain of the Maeander between the Lacedaemonians and their allies on the one hand, and Tissaphernes, Hieramenes, and the sons of Pharnaces on the other, touching the interests of the King, and of the Lacedaemonians and their allies.
'I. All the King's country which is in Asia shall continue to be the King's, and the King shall act as he pleases in respect of his own country.
'II. The Lacedaemonians and their allies shall not go against the King's country to do hurt, and the King shall not go against the country of the Lacedaemonians and their allies to do hurt. If any of the Lacedaemonians or their allies go against the King's country and do hurt, the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall interfere: and if any of the dwellers in the King's country shall go against the country of the Lacedaemonians and their allies and do hurt, the King shall interfere.
'III. Tissaphernes shall provide maintenance for the number of ships which the Lacedaemonians have at present, according to the agreement, until the King's ships arrive. When they have arrived, the Lacedaemonians and their allies may either maintain their own ships, or they may receive the maintenance of their ships from Tissaphernes. But in this case the Lacedaemonians and their allies shall at the end of the war repay to Tissaphernes the money which they have received.
'IV. When the King's ships have arrived, the ships of the Lacedaemonians and of their allies and of the King shall carry on the war in common, as may seem best to Tissaphernes and to the Lacedaemonians and their allies: and if they wish to make peace with the Athenians both parties shall make peace on the same terms.'
Such was the treaty. Tissaphernes now prepared to bring up the Phoenician ships, as he had promised, and to fulfil his other pledges. He was anxious at all events to be seen making a beginning.
Towards the end of the winter, Oropus, which was occupied by an Athenian garrison, was betrayed to the Boeotians. Certain of the Eretrians and of the Oropians themselves, both having an eye to the revolt of Euboea, were concerned in the enterprise. For Oropos, facing Eretria, while held by the Athenians could not be other than a serious annoyance, both to Eretria and to the whole of Euboea. Having now possession of Oropus the Eretrians came to Rhodes, and invited the Peloponnesians to Euboea. They were however more disposed to relieve the distress of Chios, and thither they sailed from Rhodes with their whole fleet. Near Triopium they descried the Athenian ships in the open sea sailing from Chalcè: neither fleet attacked the other, but both arrived safely, the one at Samos, and the other at Miletus. The Lacedaemonians now saw that they could no longer relieve Chios without a battle at sea. So the winter ended, and with it the twentieth year in the Peloponnesian War of which Thucydides wrote the history.
At the beginning of the following spring, Dercyllidas, a Spartan, was sent at the head of a small army along the coast to the Hellespont. He was to effect the revolt of Abydos, a Milesian colony. The Chians, while Astyochus was doubting whether he could assist them, were compelled by the pressure of the blockade to fight at sea. While he was still at Rhodes they had obtained from Miletus, after the death of Pedaritus, a new governor, Leon, a Spartan, who had come out as a marine with Antisthenes;66 he brought with him twelve ships, five Thurian, four Syracusan, one from Anaea, one Milesian, and one which was Leon's own; they had been employed in guarding Miletus. The Chians made a sally with their whole force, and seized a strong position; their ships at the same time, to the number of thirty-six, sailed out and fought with the thirty-two of the Athenians. The engagement was severe; the Chians and their allies had rather the advantage, but evening had come on; so they retired to the city.
Soon afterwards Dercyllidas arrived at the Hellespont from Miletus; Abydos, and two days later Lampsacus, revolted to him and Pharnabazus. Strombichides, having intelligence, hastened thither from Chios with twenty-four Athenian ships, of which some were transports conveying hoplites. Defeating the Lampsacenes who came out against him, he took Lampsacus, which was unfortified, at the first onset. He made plunder of the slaves and property which he found there, and, reinstating the free inhabitants, went on to Abydos. But the people of Abydos would not yield, and though he attempted to take the place by assault, he failed; so he crossed over to Sestos, a city of the Chersonese opposite Abydos, which the Persians had formerly held. There he placed a garrison to keep watch over the entire Hellespont.
Meanwhile the Chians gained more command of the sea, and Astyochus and the Peloponnesians at Miletus, hearing of the naval engagement and of the withdrawal of Strombichides and his ships, took courage. Sailing to Chios with two ships, Astyochus fetched away the fleet67 which was there, and with his united forces made a demonstration against Samos. But the Athenian crews, who were in a state of mutual distrust, did not go out to meet him; so he sailed back to Miletus.
For about this time, or rather sooner, the democracy at Athens had been subverted. Peisander and his fellow envoys, on their return to Samos after their visit to Tissaphernes, had strengthened their interest in the army, and had even persuaded the chief men of Samos to join them in setting up an oligarchy, although they had lately risen against their own countrymen68
in order to put down oligarchy.69 At the same time conferring among themselves, the Athenian leaders at Samos came to the conclusion that since Alcibiades would not join they had better leave him alone; for indeed he was not the sort of person who was suited to an oligarchy. But they determined, as they were already compromised, to proceed by themselves, and to take measures for carrying the movement through; they meant also to persevere in the war, and were willing enough to contribute money or anything else which might be wanted out of their own houses, since they would now be toiling, not for others, but for themselves.70
Having thus encouraged one another in their purpose they sent Peisander and one half of the envoys back to Athens. They were to carry out the scheme at home, and had directions to set up an oligarchy in the subject-cities at which they touched on their voyage. The other half were despatched different ways to other subject-cities. Diotrephes, who was then at Chios, was sent to assume the command in Chalcidicè and on the coast of Thrace, to which he had been previously appointed. On arriving at Thasos he put down the democracy. But within about two months of his departure the Thasians began to fortify their city; they did not want to have an aristocracy dependent on Athens when they were daily expecting to obtain their liberty from Lacedaemon. For there were Thasian exiles who had been driven out by the Athenians dwelling in Peloponnesus, and they, with the assistance of their friends at home, were exerting themselves vigorously to obtain ships and effect the revolt of Thasos. The recent change was exactly what they desired; for the government had been reformed without danger to themselves, and the democracy, who would have opposed them, had been overthrown. Thus the result in the case of Thasos, and also, as I imagine, of many other states, was the opposite of what the oligarchical conspirators had intended. For the subject-cities, having secured a moderate form of government, and having no fear of being called to account for their proceedings, aimed at absolute freedom; they scorned the sham independence71 proffered to them by the Athenians.
Peisander and his colleagues pursued their voyage and, as they had agreed, put down the democracies in the different states. From some places they obtained the assistance of heavy-armed troops, which they took with them to Athens.72 There they found the revolution more than half accomplished by the oligarchical clubs. Some of the younger citizens had conspired and secretly assassinated one Androcles, one of the chief leaders of the people, who had been foremost in procuring the banishment of Alcibiades.73 Their motives were two-fold: they killed him because he was a demagogue; but more because they hoped to gratify Alcibiades, whom they were still expecting to return, and to make Tissaphernes their friend. A few others who were inconvenient to them they made away with in a like secret manner. Meanwhile they declared in their public programme that no one ought to receive pay who was not on military service; and that not more than five thousand should have a share in the government; those, namely, who were best able to serve the state in person and with their money.
These were only pretences intended to look well in the eyes of the people; for the authors of the revolution fully meant to retain the new government in their own hands. The popular assembly and the council of five hundred were still convoked; but nothing was brought before them of which the conspirators had not approved; the speakers were of their party and the things to be said had been all arranged by them beforehand. No one any longer raised his voice against them; for the citizens were afraid when they saw the strength of the conspiracy, and if any one did utter a word, he was put out of the way in some convenient manner. No search was made for the assassins; and though there might be suspicion, no one was brought to trial; the people were so depressed and afraid to move that he who escaped violence thought himself fortunate, even though he had never said a word. Their minds were cowed by the supposed number of the conspirators, which they greatly exaggerated, having no means of discovering the truth, since the size of the city prevented them from knowing one another. For the same reason a man could not conspire and retaliate,74 because he was unable to express his sorrow or indignation to another; he could not make a confidant of a stranger, and he would not trust his acquaintance. The members of the popular party all approached one another with suspicion; every one was supposed to have a hand in what was going on. Some were concerned whom no one would ever have thought likely to turn oligarchs; their adhesion created the worst mistrust among the multitude, and by making it impossible for them to rely upon one another, greatly contributed to the security of the few.
Such was the state of affairs when Peisander and his colleagues arrived at Athens. They immediately set to work and prepared to strike the final blow. First, they called an assembly and proposed the election of ten commissioners, who should be empowered to frame for the city the best constitution which they could devise; this was to be laid before the people on a fixed day. When the day arrived they summoned an assembly to meet in the temple75 of Poseidon at Colonus without the walls, and distant rather more than a mile. But the commissioners only moved that any Athenian should be allowed to propose whatever resolution he pleased--nothing more; threatening at the same time with severe penalties anybody who indicted the proposer for unconstitutional action, or otherwise offered injury to him. The whole scheme now came to light. A motion was made to abolish all the existing magistracies and the payment of magistrates, and to choose a presiding board of five; these five were to choose a hundred, and each of the hundred was to co-opt three others. The Four Hundred thus selected were to meet in the council-chamber; they were to have absolute authority, and might govern as they deemed best; the Five Thousand were to be summoned by them whenever they chose.
The mover of this proposal, and to outward appearance the most active partisan of the revolution, was Peisander, but the real author and maturer of the whole scheme, who had been longest interested in it, was Antiphon, a man inferior in virtue to none of his contemporaries, and possessed of remarkable powers of thought and gifts of speech. He did not like to come forward in the assembly, or in any other public arena. To the multitude, who were suspicious of his great abilities, he was an object of dislike; but there was no man who could do more for any who consulted him, whether their business lay in the courts of justice or in the assembly. And when the government of the Four Hundred was overthrown and became exposed to the vengeance of the people, and he being accused of taking part in the plot had to speak in his own case, his defence was undoubtedly the best ever made by any man tried on a capital charge down to my time. Phrynichus also showed extraordinary zeal in the interests of the oligarchy. He was afraid of Alcibiades, whom he knew to be cognisant of the intrigue which when at Samos he had carried on with Astyochus,76 and he thought that no oligarchy would ever be likely to restore him. Having once set his hand to the work he was deemed by the others to be the man upon whom they could best depend in the hour of danger. Another chief leader of the revolutionary party was Theramenes the son of Hagnon, a good speaker and a sagacious man. No wonder then that, in the hands of all these able men, the attempt, however arduous, succeeded. For an easy thing it certainly was not, about one hundred years after the fall of the tyrants, to destroy the liberties of the Athenians, who not only were a free, but during more than one half of this time had been an imperial people.
The assembly passed all these measures without a dissentient voice, and was then dissolved. And now the Four Hundred were introduced into the council-chamber. The manner was as follows:--The whole population were always on service, either manning the walls or drawn up at their places of arms, for the enemy were at Decelea.77 On the day of the assembly those who were not in the conspiracy were allowed to go home as usual, while the conspirators were quietly told to remain, not actually by their arms, but at a short distance; if anybody opposed what was doing they were to arm and interfere. There were also on the spot some Andrians and Tenians, three hundred Carystians, and some of the Athenian colonists from Aegina,78 who received similar instructions; they had all been told to bring with them from their homes their own arms for this especial purpose.79 Having disposed their forces the Four Hundred arrived, every one with a dagger concealed about his person, and with them a bodyguard of a hundred and twenty Hellenic youths whose services they used for any act of violence which they had in hand. They broke in upon the council of five hundred as they sat in the council-chamber, and told them to take their pay and begone. They had brought with them the pay of the senators for the remainder of their yearly term of office, which they handed to them as they went out.
In this manner the council retired without offering any remonstrance; and the rest of the citizens kept perfectly quiet and made no counter-movement. The Four Hundred then installed themselves in the council-chamber; for the present they elected by lot Prytanes of their own number, and did all that was customary in the way of prayers and sacrifices to the Gods at their entrance into office. Soon however they wholly changed the democratic system; and although they did not recall the exiles, because Alcibiades was one of them, they governed the city with a high hand. Some few whom they thought would be better out of the way were put to death by them, others imprisoned, others again exiled. They also sent heralds to Agis, the Lacedaemonian king, who was at Decelea, saying that they desired to conclude a peace with him; and that they expected him to be more ready to treat with them than with the perfidious democracy.
But he, thinking that the city must be in an unsettled state and that the people would not so quickly yield up their ancient liberty, thinking too that the appearance of a great Lacedaemonian army would increase their excitement, and far from convinced that civil strife was not at that very moment raging among them, gave unfavourable answers to the envoys of the Four Hundred. He sent to Peloponnesus for large reinforcements, and then, with the garrison at Decelea and the newly arrived troops, came down in person to the very walls of Athens. He expected that the Athenians, distracted by civil strife, would be quite at his mercy; there would be such a panic created by the presence of enemies both within and without the walls, that he might even succeed in taking the city at the first onset; for the Long Walls would be deserted, and he could not fail of capturing them. But when he drew near there was no sign of the slightest disorder within; the Athenians, sending out their cavalry and a force of heavy and light-armed troops and archers, struck down a few of his soldiers who had ventured too far, and retained possession of some arms and dead bodies; whereupon, having found out his mistake, he withdrew to Decelea. There he and the garrison remained at their posts; but he ordered the newly arrived troops, after they had continued a few days in Attica, to return home. The Four Hundred resumed negotiations, and Agis was now more ready to listen to them. At his suggestion they sent envoys to Lacedaemon in the hope of coming to terms.
They also sent ten commissioners to Samos, who were to pacify the army, and to explain that the oligarchy was not established with any design of injuring Athens or her citizens, but for the preservation of the whole state. The promoters of the change, they said, were five thousand, not four hundred; but never hitherto, owing to the pressure of war and of business abroad, had so many as five thousand assembled to deliberate even on the most important questions. They instructed them to say anything else which would have a good effect, and sent them on their mission as soon as they themselves were installed in the government. For they were afraid, and not without reason as the event showed, that the Athenian sailors would be impatient of the oligarchical system, and that disaffection would begin at Samos and end in their own overthrow.
At the very time when the Four Hundred were establishing themselves at Athens, a reaction had set in against the oligarchical movement at Samos. Some Samians of the popular party, which had originally risen up against the nobles, had changed sides again when Peisander came to the island80 and, persuaded by him and his Athenian accomplices at Samos, had formed a body of three hundred conspirators and prepared to attack the rest of the popular party who had previously been their comrades. There was a certain Hyperbolus, an Athenian of no character, who, not for any fear of his power and influence, but for his villany, and because the city was ashamed of him, had been ostracised. This man was assassinated by them, and they were abetted in the act by Charminus, one of the generals, and by certain of the Athenians at Samos, to whom they pledged their faith. They also joined these Athenians in other deeds of violence, and were eager to fall upon the popular party. But the people, discovering their intention, gave information to the generals Leon and Diomedon, who were impatient of the attempted oligarchy because they were respected by the multitude, to Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus, one of whom was a trierarch and the other a private soldier, and to others who were thought to be the steadiest opponents of the oligarchical movement. They entreated them not to allow the Samian people to be destroyed, and the island of Samos, without which the Athenian empire would never have lasted until then, to be estranged. Thereupon the generals went to the soldiers one by one, and begged them to interfere, addressing themselves especially to the Parali, or crew of the ship Paralus, all freeborn Athenians, who were at any time ready to attack oligarchy, real or imaginary. Leon and Diomedon, whenever they sailed to any other place, left some ships for the protection of the Samians. And so, when the three hundred began the attack, all the crews, especially the Parali, hastened to the rescue, and the popular party gained the victory. Of the three hundred they slew about thirty, and the three most guilty were banished; the rest they forgave, and henceforward all lived together under a democracy.
Chaereas the son of Archestratus, an Athenian, who had been active in the movement, was quickly despatched in the ship Paralus by the Samians and the army to Athens, there to report the defeat of the Samian oligarchy, for as yet they did not know that the government was in the hands of the Four Hundred. No sooner had he arrived than the Four Hundred imprisoned two or three of the Parali, and taking away their ship transferred the rest of the crew to a troop-ship which was ordered to keep guard about Euboea. Chaereas, seeing promptly how matters stood, had contrived to steal away and get back to Samos, where he told the soldiers with much aggravation the news from Athens, how they were punishing everybody with stripes, and how no one might speak a word against the government; he declared that their wives and children were being outraged, and that the oligarchy were going to take the relations of all the men serving at Samos who were not of their faction and shut them up, intending, if the fleet did not submit, to put them to death. And he added a great many other falsehoods.
When the army heard his report they instantly rushed upon the chief authors of the recent oligarchy who were present, and their confederates, and tried to stone them. But they were deterred by the warnings of the moderate party, who begged them not to ruin everything by violence while the enemy were lying close to them, prow threatening prow. Thrasybulus the son of Lycus, and Thrasyllus, who were the chief leaders of the reaction, now thought that the time had come for the open proclamation of democracy among the Athenians at Samos, and they bound the soldiers, more especially those of the oligarchical party, by the most solemn oaths to maintain a democracy and be of one mind, to prosecute vigorously the war with Peloponnesus, to be enemies to the Four hundred, and to hold no parley with them by heralds. All the Samians who were of full age took the same oath, and the Athenian soldiers determined to make common cause with the Samians in their troubles and dangers, and invited them to share their fortunes. They considered that neither the Samians nor themselves had any place of refuge to which they could turn, but that, whether the Four Hundred or their enemies at Miletus gained the day, they were doomed.
There was now an obstinate struggle; the one party determined to force democracy upon the city, the other to force oligarchy upon the fleet. The soldiers proceeded to summon an assembly, at which they deposed their former generals, and any trierarchs whom they suspected, and chose others. Among the new generals Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus naturally found a place. One after another the men rose and encouraged their comrades by various arguments. 'We ought not to despond,' they said, 'because the city has revolted from us, for they are few and we are many; they have lost us and not we them, and our resources are far greater. Having the whole navy with us we can compel the subject-states to pay us tribute as well as if we sailed forth from the Piraeus; Samos is our own--no weak city, but one which in the Samian war all but wrested from Athens the dominion of the sea; and the position which we hold against our Peloponnesian enemies is as strong as heretofore. And again, with the help of the fleet we are better able to obtain supplies than the Athenians at home. Indeed the only reason why the citizens have so long retained the command of the Piraeus is that we who are stationed at Samos are the advanced guard of the Piraeus itself. And now if they will not agree to give us back the constitution, it will come to this--that we shall be better able to drive them off the sea than they us. The help which the city gives us against our enemies is poor and worthless; and we have lost nothing in losing them. They have no longer any money to send' (the soldiers were supplying themselves). 'They cannot aid us by good counsel; and yet for what other reason do states exercise authority over armies? But in this respect too they are useless. They have gone altogether astray, and overthrown the constitution of their country, which we maintain and will endeavour to make the oligarchy maintain likewise. Our advisers in the camp then are at least as good as theirs in the city. Alcibiades, if we procure his recall and pardon, will be delighted to obtain for us the alliance of the King. And above all, if these hopes fail entirely, yet, while we have our great navy, there are many places of refuge open to us in which we shall find city and lands.'
Having met and encouraged one another by these and similar appeals, they displayed a corresponding energy in their preparations for war. And the ten commissioners whom the Four Hundred had sent out to Samos, hearing when they reached Delos how matters stood, went no further.
Meanwhile the Peloponnesians in the fleet at Miletus had likewise troubles among themselves. The sailors complained loudly to one another that their cause was ruined by Astyochus and Tissaphernes. 'Astyochus,' they said, `refused to fight before,81 while we were strong and the Athenian navy weak, and will not fight now when they are reported to be in a state of anarchy, and their fleet is not as yet united. We are kept waiting for Tissaphernes and the Phoenician ships, which are a mere pretence and nothing more, and we shall soon be utterly exhausted. Tissaphernes never brings up the promised reinforcement, and he destroys our navy by his scanty and irregular payments: the time has come when we must fight.' The Syracusans were especially vehement in the matter.
Astyochus and the allies became aware of the outcry, and had resolved in council to fight a decisive battle. This resolution was confirmed when they heard of the confusion at Samos. So they put to sea with all their ships, in number a hundred and twelve, and ordering the Milesians to march along the coast towards Mycalè, sailed thither themselves. But the Athenians with their fleet of eighty-two ships, which had come out of Samos and were just then moored at Glaucè on the promontory of Mycalè, a point of the mainland not far off, saw the Peloponnesians bearing down upon them, and returned, thinking that with their inferior numbers they were not justified in risking their all. Besides, having previous information from Miletus that the Peloponnesians were anxious to fight, they had sent a messenger to Strombichides at the Hellespont, and were waiting for him to come to their aid with the ships from Chios which had gone to Abydos.82 So they retreated to Samos, and the Peloponnesians sailed for Mycalè and there established themselves, together with the land-forces of Miletus and of the neighbouring cities. On the following day they were on the point of attacking Samos, when news came that Strombichides had arrived with the fleet from the Hellespont; whereupon the Peloponnesians immediately retired towards Miletus, and the Athenians themselves, thus reinforced, sailed against Miletus with a hundred and eight ships. They had hoped to fight a decisive battle, but no one came out to meet them, and they returned to Samos.
The Peloponnesians had not gone out because they thought that even with their united force they could not risk a battle.83 But not knowing how to maintain so large a fleet, especially since Tissaphernes never paid them properly, they at once while the summer lasted sent Clearchus the son of Rhamphias with forty ships to Pharnabazus, this being the commission which he had originally received from Peloponnesus.84 Pharnabazus had been inviting them to come, and promised to maintain them; the Byzantians likewise had been sending envoys to them proposing to revolt. The Peloponnesian squadron put out into the open sea that they might not be seen on their voyage by the Athenians. They were caught in a storm; Clearchus and most of his ships found refuge at Delos, and thence returned to Miletus. He himself proceeded later by land to the Hellespont and assumed his command. But ten ships under Helixus of Megara arrived safely, and effected the revolt of Byzantium. The Athenians at Samos, receiving information of these movements, sent a naval force to guard the Hellespont; and off Byzantium a small engagement was fought by eight ships against eight.
Ever since Thrasybulus restored the democracy at Samos he had strongly insisted that Alcibiades should be recalled; the other Athenian leaders were of the same mind, and at last the consent of the army was obtained at an assembly which voted his return and full pardon. Thrasybulus then sailed to Tissaphernes, and brought Alcibiades to Samos, convinced that there was no help for the Athenians unless by his means Tissaphernes could be drawn away from the Peloponnesians. An assembly was called, at which Alcibiades lamented the cruel and unjust fate which had banished him; he then spoke at length of their political prospects; and bright indeed were the hopes of future victory with which he inspired them, while he magnified to excess his present influence over Tissaphernes. He meant thereby first to frighten the oligarchy at home, and effect the dissolution of their clubs; and secondly, to exalt himself in the eyes of the army at Samos and fortify their resolution; thirdly, to widen the breach between Tissaphernes and the enemy, and blast the hopes of the Lacedaemonians. Having these objects in view, Alcibiades carried his fulsome assurances to the utmost. Tissaphernes, he said, had promised him that if he could only trust the Athenians they should not want for food while he had anything to give, no not if he were driven at last to turn his own bed into money; that he would bring up the Phoenician ships (which were already at Aspendus) to assist the Athenians instead of the Peloponnesians; but that he could not trust the Athenians unless Alcibiades were restored and became surety for them.
Hearing all this, and a great deal more, the Athenians immediately appointed him a colleague of their other generals, and placed everything in his hands; no man among them would have given up for all the world the hope of deliverance and of vengeance on the Four Hundred which was now aroused in them; so excited were they that under the influence of his words they despised the Peloponnesians, and were ready to sail at once for the Piraeus. But in spite of the eagerness of the multitude he absolutely forbade them to go thither and leave behind them enemies nearer at hand. Having been elected general, he said, he would make the conduct of the war his first care, and go at once to Tissaphernes. And he went straight from the assembly, in order that he might be thought to do nothing without Tissaphernes; at the same time he wished to be honoured in the eyes of Tissaphernes himself, and to show him that he had now been chosen general, and that a time had come when he could do him a good or a bad turn. Thus Alcibiades frightened the Athenians with Tissaphernes, and Tissaphernes with the Athenians.
The Peloponnesians at Miletus, who had already conceived a mistrust of Tissaphernes, when they heard of the restoration of Alcibiades were still more exasperated against him. About the time of the advance in force of the Athenians on Miletus, Tissaphernes, observing that the Peloponnesians would not put out to sea and fight with them, had become much more remiss in paying the fleet; and previously to this a dislike of him, arising out of his connexion with Alcibiades, had gained ground. He was now more hated than ever. As before, the soldiers began to gather in knots and to express discontent; and not only the soldiers, but some men of position complained that they had never yet received their full pay, and that the sum given was too small, while even this was irregularly paid; if nobody would fight, or go where food could be got, the men would desert. All these grievances they laid to the charge of Astyochus, who humoured Tissaphernes for his own gain.
While these thoughts were passing in their minds the behaviour of Astyochus gave occasion to an outbreak. The Syracusan and Thurian sailors were for the most part free men, and therefore bolder than the rest in assailing him with demands for pay. Astyochus answered them roughly and threatened them; he even raised his stick against Dorieus of Thurii who was pleading the cause of his own sailors. When the men saw the action they, sailor-like, lost all control of themselves, and rushed upon him, intending to stone him; but he, perceiving what was coming, ran to an altar, where taking refuge he escaped unhurt, and they were parted. The Milesians, who were likewise discontented, captured by a sudden assault a fort which had been built in Miletus by Tissaphernes, and drove out the garrison which he had placed there. Of this proceeding the allies approved, especially the Syracusans; Lichas, however, was displeased, and said that the Milesians and the inhabitants of the King's country should submit to the necessary humiliation, and manage to keep on good terms with Tissaphernes until the war was well over. His conduct on this and on other occasions excited a strong feeling against him among the Milesians; and afterwards, when he fell sick and died, they would not let him be buried where his Lacedaemonian comrades would have laid him.
While the Lacedaemonians were quarrelling in this manner with Astyochus and Tissaphernes, Mindarus arrived from Lacedaemon; he had been appointed to succeed Astyochus, who surrendered to him the command of the fleet and sailed home. Tissaphernes sent with him an envoy, one of his own attendants, a Carian named Gaulites, who spoke both Greek and Persian.85 He was instructed to complain of the destruction of the fort by the Milesians, and also to defend Tissaphernes against their charges. For he knew that Milesian envoys were going to Sparta chiefly to accuse him, and Hermocrates with them, who would explain how he, aided by Alcibiades, was playing a double game and ruining the Peloponnesian cause. Now Tissaphernes owed Hermocrates a grudge ever since they quarrelled about the payment of the sailors.86 And when afterwards he had been exiled from Syracuse, and other generals, Potamis, Myscon, and Demarchus, came to take the command of the Syracusan ships at Miletus,87 Tissaphernes attacked him with still greater violence in his exile, declaring among other things that Hermocrates had asked him for money and had been refused, and that this was the reason of the enmity which he conceived88 against him. And so Astyochus, the Milesians, and Hermocrates sailed away to Lacedaemon. Alcibiades had by this time returned from Tissaphernes to Samos.
The envoys whom the Four Hundred had sent to pacify the army and give explanations left Delos89 and came to Samos after the return of Alcibiades, and an assembly was held at which they endeavoured to speak. At first the soldiers would not listen to them, but shouted 'Death to the subverters of the democracy.' When quiet had been with difficulty restored, the envoys told them that the change was not meant for the destruction but for the preservation of the state, and that there was no intention of betraying Athens to the enemy, which might have been effected by the new government already if they had pleased during the recent invasion. They declared that all the Five Thousand were in turn to have a share in the administration;90 and that the families of the sailors were not being outraged, as Chaereas slanderously reported, or in any way molested; they were living quietly in their several homes. They defended themselves at length, but the more they said, the more furious and unwilling to listen grew the multitude. Various proposals were made; above all they wanted to sail to the Piraeus. Then Alcibiades appears to have done as eminent91 a service to the state as any man ever did. For if the Athenians at Samos in their excitement had been allowed to sail against their fellow-citizens, the enemy would instantly have obtained possession of Ionia and the Hellespont. This he prevented, and at that moment no one else could have restrained the multitude: but he did restrain them, and with sharp words protected the envoys against the fury of individuals in the crowd. He then dismissed them himself with the reply that he had nothing to say against the rule of the Five Thousand, but that the Four Hundred must be got rid of, and the old council of Five Hundred restored. If they had reduced the expenditure in order that the soldiers on service might be better off for supplies, he highly approved. For the rest he entreated them to stand firm, and not give way to the enemy; if the city was preserved, there was good hope that they might be reconciled amongst themselves, but if once anything happened either to the army at Samos or to their fellow-citizens at home, there would be no one left to be reconciled with.
There were also present envoys from Argos, who proffered their aid 'to the Athenian people at Samos.' Alcibiades complimented them, and requested them to come with their forces when they were summoned; he then dismissed them. These Argives came with the Parali who had been ordered by the Four Hundred to cruise off Euboea in a troop-ship;92 they were afterwards employed in conveying to Lacedaemon certain envoys sent by the Four Hundred, Laespodias, Aristophon, and Melesias. But when they were near Argos on their voyage the crews seized the envoys, and, as they were among the chief authors of the revolution, delivered them over to the Argives; while they, instead of returning to Athens, went from Argos to Samos, and brought with them in their trireme the Argive ambassadors.
During the same summer, and just at the time when the Peloponnesians were most offended with Tissaphernes on various grounds, and above all on account of the restoration of Alcibiades, which finally proved him to be a partisan of the Athenians, he, as if he were wanting to clear himself of these suspicions, prepared to go to Aspendus and fetch the Phoenician ships; and he desired Lichas to go with him. He also said that he would assign the charge of the army to his lieutenant Tamos, who would provide for them during his absence. Why he went to Aspendus, and having gone there never brought the ships, is a question not easy to answer, and which has been answered in various ways. For the Phoenician fleet of a hundred and forty-seven ships came as far as Aspendus--there is no doubt about this; but why they never came further is matter of conjecture. Some think that, in going to Aspendus, Tissaphernes was still pursuing his policy of wearing out the Peloponnesians; at any rate Tamos, who was in charge, supplied them no better, but rather worse. Others are of opinion that he brought up the Phoenician fleet to Aspendus in order to make money by selling the crews their discharge; for he certainly had no idea of using them in actual service. Others think that he was influenced by the outcry against him which had reached Lacedaemon; and that he wanted to create an impression of his honesty: 'Now at any rate he has gone to fetch the ships, and they are really manned.' I believe beyond all question that he wanted to wear out and to neutralise the Hellenic forces; his object was to damage them both while he was losing time in going to Aspendus, and to paralyse their action, and not strengthen either of them by his alliance. For if he had chosen to finish the war, finished it might have been once for all, as any one may see: he would have brought up the ships, and would in all probability have given the victory to the Lacedaemonians, who lay opposite to the Athenians and were fully a match for them already. The excuse which he gave for not bringing them is the most conclusive evidence against him; he said that there was not as many collected as the King had commanded. But if so, the King would have been all the better pleased, for his money would have been saved and Tissaphernes would have accomplished the same result at less expense. Whatever may have been his intention, Tissaphernes came to Aspendus and conferred with the Phoenicians, and the Peloponnescans at his request sent Philip, a Lacedaemonian, with two triremes to fetch the ships:
Alcibiades, when he learned that Tissaphernes was going to Aspendus, sailed thitherward himself with thirteen ships, promising the army at Samos that he would not fail to do them a great service. He would either bring the Phoenician ships to the Athenians, or, at any rate, make sure that they did not join the Peloponnesians. He had probably known all along the real mind of Tissaphernes, and that he never meant to bring them at all. He wanted further to injure him as much as possible in the opinion of the Peloponnesians when they observed how friendly Tissaphernes was towards himself and the Athenians; their distrust would compel him to change sides. So he set sail and went on his voyage eastward, making directly for Phaselis and Caunus.
The commissioners sent by the Four Hundred returned from Samos to Athens and reported the words of Alcibiades--how he bade them stand firm and not give way to the enemy, and what great hopes he entertained of reconciling the army to the city, and of overcoming the Peloponnesians. The greater number of the oligarchs, who were already dissatisfied, and would have gladly got out of the whole affair if they safely could, were now much encouraged. They began to come together and to criticise the conduct of affairs. Their leaders were some of the oligarchical generals and actually in office at the time, for example, Theramenes the son of Hagnon and Aristocrates the son of Scellius. They had been among the chief authors of the revolution, but now, fearing, as they urged, the army at Samos, and being in good earnest afraid of Alcibiades, fearing also lest their colleagues, who were sending envoys to Lacedaemon,93 might, unauthorised by the majority, betray the city, they did not indeed openly profess94 that they meant to get rid of extreme oligarchy, but they maintained that the Five Thousand should be established in reality and not in name, and the constitution made more equal. This was the political phrase of which they availed themselves, but the truth was that most of them were given up to private ambition of that sort which is more fatal than anything to an oligarchy succeeding a democracy. For the instant an oligarchy is established the promoters of it disdain mere equality, and everybody thinks that he ought to be far above everybody else. Whereas in a democracy, when an election is made, a man is less disappointed at a failure because he has not been competing with his equals. The influence which most sensibly affected them were the great power of Alcibiades at Samos, and an impression that the oligarchy was not likely to be permanent. Accordingly every one was struggling hard to be the first champion of the people himself.
The leading men among the Four Hundred most violently opposed to the restoration of democracy were Phrynichus, who had been general at Samos, and had there come into antagonism with Alcibiades,95 Aristarchus, a man who had always been the most thorough-going enemy of the people, Peisander, and Antiphon. These and the other leaders, both at the first establishment of the oligarchy,96 and again later when the army at Samos declared for the democracy,97 sent envoys of their own number to Lacedaemon, and were always anxious to make peace; meanwhile they continued the fortification which they had begun to build at Eetionea. They were confirmed in their purposes after the return of their own ambassadors from Samos; for they saw that not only the people, but even those who had appeared steadfast adherents of their own party, were now changing their minds. So, fearing what might happen both at Athens and Samos, they sent Antiphon, Phrynichus, and ten others, in great haste, authorising them to make peace with Lacedaemon upon anything like tolerable terms; at the same time they proceeded more diligently than ever with the fortification of Eetionea. The design was (so Theramenes and his party averred) not to bar the Piraeus against the fleet at Samos should they sail thither with hostile intentions, but rather to admit the enemy with his sea and land forces whenever they pleased. This Eetionea is the mole of the Piraeus and forms one side of the entrance; the new fortification was to be so connected with the previously existing wall, which looked towards the land, that a handful of men stationed between the two walls might command the approach from the sea. For the old wall looking towards the land, and the new inner wall in process of construction facing the water, ended at the same point in one of the two forts which protected the narrow mouth of the harbour: A cross-wall was added, taking in the largest storehouse in the Piraeus and the nearest to the new fortification, which it joined; this the authorities held themselves, and commanded every one to deposit their corn there, not only what came in by sea but what they had on the spot, and to take from thence all that they wanted to sell.
For some time Theramenes had been circulating whispers of their designs, and when the envoys returned from Lacedaemon without having effected anything in the nature of a treaty for the Athenian people, he declared that this fort was likely to prove the ruin of Athens. Now the Euboeans had requested the Peloponnesians to send them a fleet,98 and just at this time two and forty ships, including Italian vessels from Tarentum and Locri and a few from Sicily, were stationed at Las in Laconia, and were making ready to sail to Euboea under the command of Agesandridas the son of Agesander, a Spartan. Theramenes insisted that these ships were intended, not for Euboea, but for the party who were fortifying Eetionea, and that, if the people were not on the alert, they would be undone before they knew where they were. The charge was not a mere calumny, but had some foundation in the disposition of the ruling party. For what would have best pleased them would have been, retaining the oligarchy in any case, to have preserved the Athenian empire over the allies; failing this, to keep merely their ships and walls, and to be independent; if this too proved impracticable, at any rate they would not see democracy restored, and themselves fall the first victims, but would rather bring in the enemy and come to terms with them, not caring if thereby the city lost walls and ships and everything else, provided that they could save their own lives.
So they worked diligently at the fort, which had entrances and postern-gates and every facility for introducing the enemy, and did their best to finish the building in time. As yet the murmurs of discontent had been secret and confined to a few; when suddenly Phrynichus, after his return from the embassy to Lacedaemon, in a full market-place, having just quitted the council-chamber, was struck by an assassin, one of the force employed in guarding the frontier, and fell dead. The man who dealt the blow escaped; his accomplice, an Argive, was seized and put to the torture by order of the Four Hundred, but did not disclose any name or say who had instigated the deed. All he would confess was that a number of persons used to assemble at the house of the commander of the frontier guard, and in other houses. No further measures followed; and so Theramenes and Aristocrates, and the other citizens, whether members of the Four Hundred or not, who were of the same mind, were emboldened to take decided steps. For the Peloponnesians had already sailed round from Las, and having overrun Aegina had cast anchor at Epidaurus; and Theramenes insisted that if they had been on their way to Euboea they would never have gone up the Saronic gulf to Aegina and then returned and anchored at Epidaurus, but that some one had invited them for the purposes which he had always alleged; it was impossible therefore to be any longer indifferent. After many insinuations and inflammatory harangues, the people began to take active measures. The hoplites who were at work on the fortification of Eetionea in the Piraeus, among whom was Aristocrates with his own tribe, which, as taxiarch, he commanded, seized Alexicles, an oligarchical general who had been most concerned with the clubs, and shut him up in a house. Others joined in the act, including one Hermon, who commanded the Peripoli stationed at Munychia; above all, the rank and file of the hoplites heartily approved. The Four Hundred, who were assembled in the council-house when the news was brought to them, were ready in a moment to take up arms, except Theramenes and his associates, who disapproved of their proceedings; to these they began to use threats. Theramenes protested, and offered to go with them at once and rescue Alexicles. So, taking one of the generals who was of his own faction, he went down to the Piraeus. Aristarchus and certain young knights came also to the scene of action. Great and bewildering was the tumult, for in the city the people fancied that the Piraeus was in the hands of the insurgents, and that their prisoner had been killed, and the inhabitants of the Piraeus that they were on the point of being attacked from the city. The elder men with difficulty restrained the citizens, who were running up and down and flying to arms. Thucydides of Pharsalus, the proxenus of Athens in that city, happening to be on the spot, kept throwing himself in every man's way and loudly entreating the people, when the enemy was lying in wait so near, not to destroy their country. At length they were pacified, and refrained from laying hands on one another. Theramenes, who was himself a general, came to the Piraeus, and in an angry voice pretended to rate the soldiers, while Aristarchus and the party opposed to the people were furious. No effect was produced on the mass of the hoplites, who were for going to work at once. They began asking Theramenes if he thought that the fort was being built to any good end, and whether it would not be better demolished. He answered that, if they thought so, he thought so too. And immediately the hoplites and a crowd of men from the Piraeus got on the walls and began to pull them down. The cry addressed to the people was, 'Whoever wishes the Five Thousand to rule and not the Four Hundred, let him come and help us.' For they still veiled their real minds under the name of the Five Thousand, and did not venture to say outright 'Whoever wishes the people to rule': they feared that the Five Thousand might actually exist, and that a man speaking in ignorance to his neighbour might get into trouble. The Four Hundred therefore did not wish the Five Thousand either to exist or to be known not to exist, thinking that to give so many a share in the government would be downright democracy, while at the same time the mystery tended to make the people afraid of one another.
The next day the Four Hundred, although much disturbed, met in the council-chamber. Meanwhile the hoplites in the Piraeus let go Alexicles whom they had seized, and having demolished the fort went to the theatre of Dionysus near Munychia; there piling arms they held an assembly, and resolved to march at once to the city, which they accordingly did, and again piled arms in the temple of the Dioscuri. Presently deputies appeared sent by the Four Hundred. These conversed with them singly, and tried to persuade the more reasonable part of them to keep quiet and restrain their comrades, promising that they would publish the names of the Five Thousand, and that out of these the Four Hundred should be in turn elected in such a manner as the Five Thousand might think fit. In the meantime they begged them not to ruin everything; or to drive the city upon the enemy. The discussion became general on both sides, and at length the whole body of soldiers grew calmer, and turned their thoughts to the danger which threatened the commonwealth. They finally agreed that an assembly should be held on a fixed day in the theatre of Dionysus to deliberate on the restoration of harmony.
When the day arrived and the assembly was on the point of meeting in the theatre of Dionysus, news came that Agesandridas and his forty-two ships had crossed over from Megara, and were sailing along the coast of Salamis. Every man of the popular party thought that this was what they had been so often told by Theramenes and his friends, and that the ships were sailing to the fort, happily now demolished. Nor is it impossible that Agesandridas may have been hovering about Epidaurus and the neighbourhood by agreement; but it is equally likely that he lingered there of his own accord, with an eye to the agitation which prevailed at Athens, hoping to be on the spot at the critical moment. Instantly upon the arrival of the news the whole city rushed down to the Piraeus, thinking that a conflict with their enemies more serious than their domestic strife99 was now awaiting them, not at a distance, but at the very mouth of the harbour. Some embarked in the ships which were lying ready; others launched fresh ships; others manned the walls and prepared to defend the entrance of the Piraeus.
The Peloponnesian squadron, however, sailed onward, doubled the promontory of Sunium, and then, after putting in between Thoricus and Prasiae, finally proceeded to Oropus. The Athenians in their haste were compelled to employ crews not yet trained to work together, for the city was in a state of revolution, and the matter was vital and urgent; Euboea was all in all to them now that they were shut out from Attica.100 They despatched a fleet under the command of Thymochares to Eretria; these ships, added to those which were at Euboea before, made up thirty-six. No sooner had they arrived than they were constrained to fight; for Agesandridas, after his men had taken their midday meal, brought out his own ships from Oropus, which is distant by sea about seven miles from the city of Eretria, and bore down upon them. The Athenians at once began to man their ships, fancying that their crews were close at hand; but it had been so contrived that they were getting their provisions from houses at the end of the town, and not in the market, for the Eretrians intentionally sold nothing there that the men might lose time in embarking; the enemy would then come upon them before they were ready, and they would be compelled to put out as best they could. A signal was also raised at Eretria telling the fleet at Oropus when to attack. The Athenians putting out in this hurried manner, and fighting off the harbour of Eretria, nevertheless resisted for a little while, but before long they fled and were pursued to the shore. Those of them who took refuge in the city of Eretria, relying on the friendship of the inhabitants, fared worst, for they were butchered by them; but such as gained the fortified position which the Athenians held in the Eretrian territory escaped, and also the crews of the vessels which reached Chalcis. The Peloponnesians, who had taken twenty-two Athenian ships and had killed or made prisoners of the men, erected a trophy. Not long afterwards they induced all Euboea to revolt, except Oreus of which the Athenians still maintained possession. They then set in order the affairs of the island.
When the news of the battle and of the defection of Euboea was brought to Athens, the Athenians were panic-stricken. Nothing which had happened before, not even the ruin of the Sicilian expedition, however overwhelming at the time, had so terrified them. The army at Samos was in insurrection; they had no ships in reserve or crews to man them; there was revolution at home--civil war might break out at any moment; and by this new and terrible misfortune they had lost, not only their ships, but what was worse, Euboea, on which they were more dependent for supplies than on Attica itself. Had they not reason to despair? But what touched them nearest, and most agitated their minds, was the fear lest their enemies, emboldened by victory, should at once attack the Piraeus, in which no ships were left; indeed they fancied that they were all but there. And had the Peloponnesians been a little more enterprising they could easily have executed such a plan. Either they might have cruised near, and would then have aggravated the divisions in the city; or by remaining and carrying on a blockade they might have compelled the fleet in Ionia, although hostile to the oligarchy, to come and assist their kindred and their native city; and then the Hellespont, Ionia, all the islands between Ionia and Euboea, in a word, the whole Athenian empire, would have fallen into their hands. But on this as on so many other occasions the Lacedaemonians proved themselves to be the most convenient enemies whom the Athenians could possibly have had. For the two peoples were of very different tempers; the one quick, the other slow; the one adventurous, the other timorous;101 and the Lacedaemonian character was of great service to the Athenians, the more so because the empire for which they were fighting was maritime. And this view is confirmed by the defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse; for the Syracusans, who were most like them,102 fought best against them.
When the news came the Athenians in their extremity still contrived to man twenty ships, and immediately summoned an assembly (the first of many) in the place called the Pnyx, where they had always been in the habit of meeting; at which assembly they deposed the Four Hundred, and voted that the government should be in the hands of the Five Thousand; this number was to include all who could furnish themselves with arms. No one was to receive pay for holding any office, on pain of falling under a curse. In the numerous other assemblies which were afterwards held they appointed Nomothetae, and by a series of decrees established a constitution. This government during its early days was the best which the Athenians ever enjoyed within my memory. Oligarchy and Democracy were duly attempered. And thus after the miserable state into which she had fallen, the city was again able to raise her head. The people also passed a vote recalling Alcibiades and others from exile, and sending to him and to the army in Samos exhorted them to act vigorously.
When this new revolution began, Peisander, Alexicles, and the other leaders of the oligarchy stole away to Decelea; all except Aristarchus, who, being one of the generals at the time, gathered round him hastily a few archers of the most barbarous sort and made his way to Oenoè. This was an Athenian fort on the borders of Boeotia which the Corinthians,103 having called the Boeotians to their aid, were now besieging on their own account, in order to revenge an overthrow inflicted by the garrison of Oenoè upon a party of them who were going home from Decelea. Aristarchus entered into communication with the besiegers, and deceived the garrison by telling them that the Athenian government had come to terms with the Lacedaemonians, and that by one of the conditions of the peace they were required to give up the place to the Boeotians. They, trusting him, whom they knew to be a general, and being in entire ignorance of what had happened because they were closely invested, capitulated and came out. Thus Oenoè was taken and occupied by the Boeotians; and the oligarchical revolution at Athens came to an end.
During this summer and about the same time Mindarus transferred the fleet of the Peloponnesians to the Hellespont. They had been waiting at Miletus. But none of the commissioners whom Tissaphernes on going to Aspendus appointed to supply the fleet gave them anything; and neither the Phoenician ships nor Tissaphernes himself had as yet made their appearance; Philip, who had been sent with Tissaphernes, and Hippocrates, a Spartan then in Phaselis, had informed the admiral Mindarus that the ships would never come, and that Tissaphernes was thoroughly dishonest in his dealings with them. All this time Pharnabazus was inviting them and was eager to secure the assistance of the fleet; he wanted, like Tissaphernes, to raise a revolt, whereby he hoped to profit, among the cities in his own dominion which still remained faithful to Athens. So at length Mindarus, in good order and giving the signal suddenly, lest he should be discovered by the Athenians at Samos, put to sea from Miletus with seventy-three ships, and set sail for the Hellespont, whither in this same summer a Peloponnesian force had already gone in sixteen ships, and had overrun a portion of the Chersonese. But meeting with a storm Mindarus was driven into Icarus, and being detained there five or six days by stress of weather, he put in at Chios.
When Thrasyllus at Samos heard that he had started from Miletus he sailed away in all haste with fifty-five ships, fearing that the enemy might get into the Hellespont before him. Observing that Mindarus was at Chios, and thinking that he could keep him there, he placed scouts at Lesbos and on the mainland opposite, that he might be informed if the ships made any attempt to sail away. He himself coasted along the island to Methymna and ordered a supply of barley-meal and other provisions, intending, if he were long detained, to make Lesbos his head-quarters while attacking Chios. He wanted also to sail against the Lesbian town of Eresus, which had revolted, and, if possible, to destroy the place. Now certain of the chief citizens of Methymna who had been driven into exile had conveyed to the island about fifty hoplites, partisans of theirs, from Cymè, besides others whom they hired on the mainland, to the number of three hundred in all. They were commanded by Anaxander, a Theban, who was chosen leader because the Lesbians were of Theban descent.104 They first of all attacked Methymna. In this attempt they were foiled by the timely arrival of the Athenian garrison from Mytilenè, and being a second time repulsed outside the walls, had marched over the mountains and induced Eresus to revolt. Thither Thrasyllus sailed, having determined to attack them with all his ships. He found that Thrasybulus had already reached the place, having started from Samos with five ships as soon as he heard that the exiles had landed. But he had come too late to prevent the revolt, and was lying off Eresus. There Thrasyllus was also joined by two ships which were on their way home from the Hellespont, and by a squadron from Methymna. The whole fleet now consisted of sixty-seven ships, from the crews of which the generals formed an army, and prepared by the help of engines and by every possible means to take Eresus.
Meanwhile Mindarus and the Peloponnesian fleet at Chios, having spent two days in provisioning, and having received from the Chians three Chian tesseracosts105 for each man, on the third day sailed hastily from Chios, not going through the open sea,106 lest they should fall in with the ships blockading Eresus, but making directly for the mainland and keeping Lesbos on the left. They touched at the harbour of the island Carteria, which belongs to Phocaea, and there taking their midday meal, sailed past the Cymaean territory, and supped at Argennusae on the mainland over against Mytilenè. They sailed away some time before dawn, and at Harmatus, which is opposite Methymna on the mainland, they again took their midday meal; they quickly passed by the promontory of Lectum, Larissa, Hamaxitus, and the neighbouring towns, and finally arrived at Rhoeteum in the Hellespont before midnight. Some of the ships also put into Sigeum and other places in the neighbourhood.
The Athenians, who lay with eighteen ships at Sestos,107 knew from the beacons which their scouts kindled, and from the sudden blaze of many watch-fires which appeared in the enemy's country, that the Peloponnesians were on the point of sailing into the strait. That very night, getting close under the Chersonese, they moved towards Elaeus, in the hope of reaching the open sea before the enemy's ships arrived. They passed unseen the sixteen Peloponnesian ships108 which were at Abydos, and had been told by109 their now approaching friends to keep a sharp look-out if the Athenians tried to get away. At dawn of day they sighted the fleet of Mindarus, which immediately gave chase; most of them escaped in the direction of Imbros, and Lemnos, but the four which were hindermost were caught off Elaeus. One which ran ashore near the temple of Protesilaus the Peloponnesians took, together with the crew; two others without the crews; a fourth they burnt on the shore of Imbros; the crew escaped.
For the rest of that day they blockaded Elaeus with the ships from Abydos which had now joined them; the united fleet numbering eighty-six; but as the town would not yield they sailed away to Abydos.
The Athenians, whose scouts had failed them, and who had never imagined that the enemy's fleet could pass them undetected, were quietly besieging Eresus; but on finding out their mistake they instantly set sail and followed the enemy to the Hellespont. They fell in with and took two Peloponnesian ships, which during the pursuit had ventured too far into the open sea. On the following day they came to Elaeus, where they remained at anchor, and the ships which had taken refuge at Imbros joined them; the next five days were spent in making preparations for the impending engagement.
After this they fought, and the manner of the battle was as follows. The Athenians began to sail in column close along the shore towards Sestos, when the Peloponnesians, observing them, likewise put to sea from Abydos. Perceiving that a battle was imminent, the Athenians, numbering seventy-six ships, extended their line along the Chersonese from Idacus to Arrhiani, and the Peloponnesians, numbering eighty-eight ships, from Abydos to Dardanus. The Syracusans held the right wing of the Peloponnesians; the other wing, on which were the swiftest ships, was led by Mindarus himself. Thrasyllus commanded the left wing of the Athenians, and Thrasybulus the right; the other generals had their several posts. The Peloponnesians were eager to begin the engagement, intending, as their left wing extended beyond the right of the Athenians, to prevent them, if possible, from sailing out of the straits again, and also to thrust their centre back on the land which was near. The Athenians, seeing their intention, advanced from the land the wing on which the enemy wanted to cut them off, and succeeded in getting beyond them. But their left wing by this time had passed the promontory of Cynossema, and the result was that the centre of their line was thinned and weakened--all the more since their numbers were inferior and the sharp projection of the shore about Cynossema hindered those who were on one side from seeing what was taking place on the other.
So the Peloponnesians, falling upon the centre of the Athenian fleet, forced their enemies' ships back on the beach, and having gained a decisive advantage, disembarked to follow up their victory. Neither Thrasybulus on the right wing, who was pressed hard by superior numbers, nor Thrasyllus on the left, was able to assist them. The promontory of Cynossema hindered the left wing from seeing the action, and the ships of the Syracusans and others, equal in number to their own, kept them fully engaged. But at last, while the victorious Peloponnesians were incautiously pursuing, some one ship, some another; a part of their line began to fall into disorder. Thrasybulus remarked their confusion, and at once left off extending his wing; then turning upon the ships which were opposed to him, he repulsed and put them to flight; he next faced110 the conquering and now scattered ships of the Peloponnesian centre, struck at them, and threw them into such a panic that hardly any of them resisted. The Syracusans too had by this time given way to Thrasyllus, and were still more inclined to fly when they saw the others flying.
After the rout the Peloponnesians effected their escape, most of them to the river Midius first, and then to Abydos. Not many ships were taken by the Athenians; for the Hellespont, being narrow, afforded a retreat to the enemy within a short distance. Nevertheless nothing could have been more opportune for them than this victory at sea; for some time past they had feared the Peloponnesian navy on account of their disaster in Sicily, as well as of the various smaller defeats which they had sustained.111 But now they ceased to depreciate themselves or to think much of their enemies' seamanship. They had taken eight Chian vessels, five Corinthian, two Ambracian, two Boeotian, and of the Leucadians, Lacedaemonians, Syracusans, and Pellenians one each. Their own loss amounted to fifteen ships. They raised a trophy on the promontory of Cynossema, and then collecting the wrecks, and giving up to the enemy his dead under a flag of truce, sent a trireme carrying intelligence of the victory to Athens. On the arrival of the ship and the news of a success so incredible after the calamities which had befallen them in Euboea and during the revolution, the Athenians were greatly encouraged. They thought that their affairs were no longer hopeless, and that if they were energetic they might still win.
The Athenians at Sestos promptly repaired their ships, and on the fourth day were proceeding against Cyzicus, which had revolted, when, seeing the eight Peloponnesian ships112 from Byzantium anchored at Harpagium and Priapus, they bore down upon them, and defeating the land-forces which were acting with them, took the ships. They then went and recovered Cyzicus, which was unwalled, and exacted a contribution from the inhabitants. Meanwhile the Peloponnesians sailed from Abydos to Elaeus, and recovered as many of their own captured vessels as were still seaworthy; the rest had been burnt by the Elaeusians. They then sent Hippocrates and Epicles to Euboea to bring up the ships which were there.
About the same time Alcibiades sailed back with his thirteen ships113 from Caunus and Phaselis to Samos, announcing that he had prevented the Phoenician fleet from coming to the assistance of the enemy, and that he had made Tissaphernes a greater friend of the Athenians than ever. He then manned nine additional ships, and exacted large sums of money from the Halicarnassians. He also fortified Cos,114 where he left a governor, and towards the autumn returned to Samos.
When Tissaphernes heard that the Peloponnesian fleet had sailed from Miletus to the Hellespont, he broke up his camp at Aspendus and marched away towards Ionia. Now after the arrival of the Peloponnesians at the Hellespont, the Antandrians, who are Aeolians, had procured from them at Abydos a force of infantry, which they led through Mount Ida and introduced into their city. They were oppressed by Arsaces the Persian, a lieutenant of Tissaphernes. This Arsaces, when the Athenians, wishing to purify Delos, expelled the inhabitants and they settled in Adramyttium,115 professing to have a quarrel which he did not wish to declare openly, asked their best soldiers to form an army for him. He then led them out of the town as friends and allies, and, taking advantage of their midday meal, surrounded them with his own troops, and shot them down. This deed alarmed the Antandrians, who thought that they might meet with some similar violence at his hands; and as he was imposing upon them burdens which were too heavy for them, they expelled his garrison from their citadel.
Tissaphernes, who was already offended at the expulsion of his garrison from Miletus,116 and from Cnidus,117 where the same thing had happened, perceived that this new injury was the work of the Peloponnesians. He felt that they were now his determined enemies, and was apprehensive of some further injury. He was also disgusted at discovering that Pharnabazus had induced the Peloponnesians to join him, and was likely in less time and at less expense to be more successful in the war with the Athenians than himself. He therefore determined to go to the Hellespont, and complain of their conduct in the affair of Antandrus, offering at the same time the most plausible defence which he could concerning the non-arrival of the Phoenician fleet and their other grievances. He first went to Ephesus, and there offered sacrifice to Artemis . . . .
[With the end of the winter which follows this summer the twenty-first year of the Peloponnesian War is completed.]
1. Or, taking panu with stratiôtôn: 'trustworthy soldiers who.'
2. Cp. ii. 60 med., 61 med.
3. Cp. vii. 64.
4. Cp. iv. 108 med.
5. Cp. vi. 90.
6. Cp. iii. 92 foll.
7. Cp. vii. 26 med.
8. Cp. iii 2. fin., 5 med., 13 init.; viii 100 med.
9. Literally, `for Endius was called Endius the son of Alcibiades;' implying that in the family of Endius the names Endius and Alcibiades alternated.
11. Or, 'that he would win honour by effecting through his (Alcibiades') agency a revolt in Ionia and gaining the alliance of the King.'
12. Cp. ii 24.
13. Cp. viii. 12.
14. Cp. viii. 43 med.
15. A place so called between Lebedus and Colophon.
16. Cp. viii. 16 init.
17. Cp. viii. 16 init.; 19 fin.
18. Cp. viii. 19.
19. Cp. viii. 8 med.
20. The meaning is obscure; see note.
21. Cp. viii 14 fin.
22. Cp. viii. 17 fin.
23. Cp. i. 124. init.; v. 9 init.; vi. 77 med.; vii. 5 fin.
24. Cp iv. 12 fin.
25. Cp. viii. 6 fin.
26. According to the reading of the Vatican MS. adopted by Bekker: cp. infra, 27 init. Other MSS. Eleon, a name otherwise unknown.
27. Or 'And not on this occasion only, but whenever Phrynichus had to act, he was acknowledged, afterwards if not at the time, to be' &c.
28. Cp viii. 68 med.
29. Cp. viii. 17 fin.
30. Cp. viii. 5 fin.
31. Twenty Attic drachmae, about 13s. 4d.
33. Retaining, with the MSS., kai pentêkonta after naus; see note.
34. Cp. viii. 24 init.
35. Cp. viii. 25 init.
36. Cp, viii. 24 fin.
37. Cp. viii. 23 init. and fin.
38. Cp. viii. 23 fin.
39. Cp. viii. 28 fin.
40. Cp. viii. 17 init.
41. Cp. viii. 23 fin.
42. Cp. viii. 23 init.
43. Accepting Palmer's conjecture, hypo for apo. But see note, and cp. viii. 109 init.
44. Cp. viii. 28 fin.
45. Cp. viii. 6 init.
46. Cp. ii. 85 init.; iii. 69 med.; v. 63 fin.
47. Cp. v. 50 med.
48. Cp. viii. 8 med.
49. Cp. vii. 27 fin.
51. Cp. viii. 24 init., 25.
52. About 4d.
53. Others translate (omitting 'the payment too was made irregularly'), 'also lest they should get away from their ships too freely, leaving the pay still owing them as a pledge.'
54. More literally: 'unless they failed at some time or other to crush the Athenians'; or 'unless the Persians got the Lacedaemonians out of the way': see note.
55. Cp. v. 43 init.
56. Cp. viii. 63 fin.
57. Cp. vi. 92 for a similar excuse.
58. Cp. viii. 45 med.
59. Placing the comma after Phrynicos.
60. Cp. viii. 43.
61. Cp. viii. 45 init.
62. Reading bouleuômen with most MSS.
63. Cp. viii. 44 fin., 60 fin.
64. Cp. viii. 40 fin.
65. Cp. viii. 28 fin., 38 med.
66. CP. viii. 39 init.
67. i.e. the allied fleet, not the Chian: cp. 61 med.
68. Or, 'although there had just been an insurrection in Samos itself.'
69. Cp. viii. 21, 73 init.
70. Cp. viii. 48 init.
71. Or, 'pretence of law and order,' reading tês hupoulou eunomas with Dionysius, supported by Schol., and two good MSS.; see note.
72. Cp. viii. 69 med.
73. Cp. vi. 89 fin.
74. Or, taking epibouleusanta as the object: 'could not defend himself against the wiles of an enemy.'
75. Reading xunelexan. Or, 'called an assembly to meet within the narrow bounds of the temple' (xuneklêsan); see note.
76. Cp. viii. 50, 51.
77. Cp.vii. 28 init.
78. Cp. ii. 27.
79. Cp. viii. 65 init.
80. Cp. viii. 21, 63 med.
81. Cp. viii. 38 fin., 44 fin., 55 init, 60 fin.
82. Cp. viii. 62.
83. Or, 'that they were not a match for the now united forces of the enemy.'
84. Cp. viii. 8 med.
85. Cp. iv. 109 med.
86. Cp. viii. 45 med.
87. Cp. Xen. Hell. 1. 1. 27 foll.
88. Or, 'displayed.'
89. Cp. viii. 77.
90. Cp. viii. 93 med.
91. Reading prôtos.
92. Cp. viii. 74 med.
93. Cp. viii. 90 init.
94. Or, retaining epempon: 'and now fearing, as they urged, the army at Samos, and being in good earnest afraid of Alcibiades, they joined in sending envoys to Lacedaemon, but only lest, if left to themselves, the envoys should betray the city. They did not openly profess' etc.
95. Cp. viii. 48.
96. Cp. viii. 71 fin.
97. Cp. viii. 86 fin.
98. Cp. viii. 60 med.
99. Omitting hê with one MS. Otherwise, retaining hê with a great majority of MSS.: 'thinking that a conflict among themselves more serious than the attack of their enemies' etc.
100. Cp. vii. 27 fin., 28 init.
101. Cp i. 70.
102. Cp. i. 141 med.; vii. 55.
103. Or, 'which Corinthian volunteers,' omitting 'on their own account'
104. Cp. iii. 2 fin., 5 med., 13 init.; viii. 5 init.
105. A small Chian coin of which the exact value is unknown: if it amounted to 1/40th of the gold stater (20 drachmae) it would be worth 3 obols, 4d.
106. Inserting hou before pelagiai with Haacke, and most editors.
107. Cp. viii. 80 fin.
108. Cp. viii. 99 fin.
109. Or 'had told.'
110. Or, 'intercepted.'
111. Cp. viii. 95, 102.
112. Cp. viii. 80 fin.
113. Cp. viii. 88 init.
114. Cp. viii. 41 med.
115. Cp. v. 1.
116. Cp. viii. 84 med.
117. Cp. viii. 35 init.
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