Hellenica, by Xenophon



B.C. 388. Such was the state of affairs in the Hellespont, so far at least as Athens and Sparta are concerned. Eteonicus was once more in Aegina; and notwithstanding that the Aeginetans and Athenians had up to this time held commercial intercourse, yet now that the war was plainly to be fought out on the sea, that officer, with the concurrence of the ephorate, gave permission to any one who liked to plunder Attica.394 The Athenians retaliated by despatching a body of hoplites under their general Pamphilus, who constructed a fort against the Aeginetans,395 and proceeded to blockade them by land and sea with ten warships. Teleutias, however, while threading his way among the islands in question of contributions, had chanced to reach a point where he received information of the turn in affairs with regard to the construction of the fortress, whereupon he came to the rescue of the beleaguered Aeginetans, and so far succeeded that he drove off the enemy’s blockading squadron. But Pamphilus kept a firm hold on the offensive fortress, and was not to be dislodged.

After this the new admiral Hierax arrived from Lacedaemon. The naval force was transferred into his successor’s hands, and under the happiest auspices Teleutias set sail for home. As he descended to the seashore to start on his homeward voyage there was not one among his soldiers who had not a warm shake of the hand for their old admiral. Here one presented him with a crown, and there another with a victor’s wreath; and those who arrived too late, still, as the ship weighed anchor, threw garlands into the sea and wafted him many a blessing with prayerful lips. I am well aware that in the above incident I have no memorable story of munificence, peril, or invention to narrate, but in all sincerity I protest that a man may find food for reflection in the inquiry what Teleutias had done to create such a disposition in his subordinates. Here we are brought face to face with a true man’s work more worthy of account than multitudes of riches or adventure.396

The new admiral Hierax, taking with him the larger portion of the fleet, set sail once more for Rhodes. He left behind him twelve vessels in Aegina under his vice-admiral Gorgopas, who was now installed as governor of that island. In consequence of this chance the Athenian troops inside the fortres were more blockaded than the Aeginetans themselves, so much so that a vote was passed by the Athenian assembly, in obedience to which a large fleet was manned, and the garrison, after four months’ sojourn in Aegina, were brought back. But this was no sooner done than they began to be harassed by Gorgopas and the privateers again. To operate aganst these they fitted out thirteen vessels, choosing Eunomus as admiral in command. Hierax was still in Rhodes when the Lacedaemonians sent out a new admiral, Antalcidas; they believed that they could not find a better mode of gratifying Tiribazus. Accordingly Antalcidas, after visiting Aegina in order to pick up the vessels under Gorgopas, set sail for Ephesus. At this point he sent back Gorgopas with his twelve ships to Aegina, and appointed his vice-admiral Nicolochus to command the remainder of the fleet.

Nicolochus was to relieve Abydos, and thither set sail; but in the course of the voyage turned aside to Tenedos, where he ravaged the territory, and, with the money so secured, sailed on to Abydos. The Athenian generals397 on their side, collecting from Samothrace, Thasos, and the fortresses in that quarter, hastened to the relief of Tenedos; but, finding that Nicolochus had continued his voyage to Abydos, they selected the Chersonese as their base, and proceeded to blockade him and his fleet of five-and-twenty vessels with the two-and-thirty vessels under their joint command.

Meanwhile Gorgopas, returning from Ephesus, fell in with the Athenian admiral Eunomus, and, shunning an encounter at the moment, sought shelter in Aegina, which he reached a little before sunset; and at once disembarking his men, set them down to their evening meal; whilst Eunomus on his side, after hanging back for a little while, sailed away. Night fell, and the Athenian, showing the customary signal light to prevent his squadron straggling, led the way in the darkness. Gorgopas instantly got his men on board again, and, taking the lantern for his guide, followed the Athenians, craftily lagging behind a little space, so as not to show himself or raise any suspicion of his presence. In place of the usual cry the boatswains timed the rowers by a clink of stones, and silently the oars slid, feathering through the waves398; and just when the squadron of Eunomus was touching the coast, off Cape Zoster399 in Attica, the Spartan sounded the bugle-note for the charge. Some of Eunomus’s vessels were in the act of discharging their crews, others were still getting to their moorings, whilst others were as yet only bearing down to land. The engagement was fought by the light of the moon, and Gorgopas captured four triremes, which he tied astern, and so set sail with his prizes in tow towards Aegina. The rest of the Athenian squadron made their escape into the harbour of Piraeus.

It was after these events that Chabrias400 commenced his voyage to Cyprus, bringing relief to Evagoras. His force consisted at first of eight hundred light troops and ten triremes, but was further increased by other vessels from Athens and a body of heavy infantry. Thus reinforced, the admiral chose a night and landed in Aegina; and secreted himself in ambuscade with his light troops in hollow ground some way beyond the temple of Heracles. At break of day, as prearranged, the Athenian hoplites made their appearance under command of Demaenetus, and began mounting up between two and three miles401 beyond the Kerakleion at Tripurgia, as it is called. The news soon reached Gorgopas, who sallied out to the rescue with the Aeginetans and the marines of his vessels, being further accompanied by eight Spartans who happened to be with him. Not content with these he issued orders inviting any of the ships’ crews, who were free men, to join the relief party. A large number of these sailors responded. They armed themselves as best they could, and the advance commenced. When the vanguard were well past the ambuscade, Chabrias and his men sprang up from their hiding-place, and poured a volley of javelins and stones upon the enemy. At the same moment the hoplites, who had disembarked,402 were advancing, so that the Spartan vanguard, in the absence of anything like collective action, were speedily cut down, and among them fell Gorgopas with the Lacedaemonians. At their fall the rest of course turned and fled. One hundred and fifty Aeginetans were numbered among the slain, while the loss incurred by the foreigners, metics, and sailors who had joined the relief party, reached a total of two hundred. After this the Athnenians sailed the sea as freely as in the times of actual peace. Nor would anything induce the sailors to row a single stroke for Eteonicus — even under pressure — since he had no pay to give.

Subsequently the Lacedaemonians despatched Teleutias once again to take command of the squadron, and when the sailors saw it was he who had come, they were overjoyed. He summoned a meeting and addressed them thus: “Soldiers, I am back again, but I bring with me no money. Yet if God be willing, and your zeal flag not, I will endeavour to supply you with provisions without stint. Be well assured, as often as I find myself in command of you, I have but one prayer — that your lives may be spared no less than mine; and as for the necessaries of existence, perhaps it would astonish you if I said I would rather you should have them than I. Yet by the gods I swear I would welcome two days’ starvation in order to spare you one. Was not my door open in old days to every comer? Open again it shall stand now; and so it shall be; where your own board overflows, you shall look in and mark the luxury of your general; but if at other times you see him bearing up against cold and heat and sleepless nights, you must apply the lesson to yourselves and study to endure those evils. I do not bid you do aught of this for self-mortification’s sake, but that you may derive some after-blessing from it. Soldiers, let Lacedaemon, our own mother-city, be to you an example. Her good fortune is reputed to stand high. That you know; and you know too, that she purchased her glory and her greatness not by faint-heartedness, but by choosing to suffer pain and incur dangers in the day of need. ‘Like city,’ I say, ‘like citizens.’ You, too, as I can bear you witness, have been in times past brave; but today must we strive to be better than ourselves. So shall we share our pains without repining, and when fortune smiles, mingle our joys; for indeed the sweetest thing of all surely is to flatter no man, Hellene or Barbarian, for the sake of hire; we will suffice to ourselves, and from a source to which honour pre-eminently invites us; since, I need not remind you, abundance won from the enemy in war furnishes forth not bodily nutrition only, but a feast of glory the wide world over.”

So he spoke, and with one voice they all shouted to him to issue what orders he thought fit; they would not fail him in willing service. The general’s sacrifice was just concluded, and he answered: “Good, then, my men; go now, as doubtless you were minded, and take your evening meal, and next provide yourselves, please, with one day’s food. After that repair to your ships without delay, for we have a voyage on hand, whither God wills, and must arrive in time.” So then, when the men returned, he embarked them on their ships, and sailed under cover of night for the great harbour of Piraeus: at one time he gave the rowers rest, passing the order to take a snatch of sleep; at another he pushed forward towards his goal with rise and fall of oars. If any one supposes that there was a touch of madness in such an expedition — with but twelve triremes to attack an enemy possessed of a large fleet — he should consider the calculations of Teleutias. He was under the firm persuasion that the Athenians were more careless than ever about their navy in the harbour since the death of Gorgopas; and in case of finding warships riding at anchor — even so, there was less danger, he conjectured, in attacking twenty ships in the port of Athens than ten elsewhere; for, whereas, anywhere outside the harbour the sailors would certainly be quartered on board, at Athens it was easy to divine that the captains and officers would be sleeping at their homes, and the crews located here and there in different quarters.

This minded he set sail, and when he was five or six furlongs403 distant from the harbour he lay on his oars and rested. But with the first streak of dawn he led the way, the rest following. The admiral’s orders to the crews were explicit. They were on no account to sink any merchant vessel; they were equally to avoid damaging404 their own vessels, but if at any point they espied a warship at her moorings they must try and cripple her. The trading vessels, provided they had got their cargoes on board, they must seize and tow out of the harbour; those of larger tonnage they were to board wherever they could and capture the crews. Some of his men actually jumped on to the Deigma quay,405 where they seized hold of various traders and pilots and deposited them bodily on board ship. So the Spartan admiral carried out his programme.

As to the Athenians, meanwhile, some of them who got wind of what was happening rushed from indoors outside to see what the commotion meant, others from the streets home to get their arms, and others again were off to the city with the news. The whole of Athens rallied to the rescue at that instant, heavy infantry and cavalry alike, the apprehension being that Piraeus was taken. But the Spartan sent off the captured vessels to Aegina, telling off three or four of his triremes to convoy them thither; with the rest he followed along the coast of Attica, and emerging in seemingly innocent fashion from the harbour, captured a number of fishing smacks, and passage boats laden with passengers crossing to Piraeus from the islands; and finally, on reaching Sunium he captured some merchantmen laden with corn or other merchandise. After these performances he sailed back to Aegina, where he sold his prizes, and with the proceeds was able to provide his troops with a month’s pay, and for the future was free to cruise about and make what reprisals chance cast in his way. By such a procedure he was able to support a full quota of mariners on board his squadron, and procured to himself the prompt and enthusiastic service of his troops.

B.C. 388-387. Antalcidas had now returned from the Persian court with Tiribazus. The negotiations had been successful. He had secured the alliance of the Persian king and his military co-operation in case the Athenians and their allies refused to abide by the peace which the king dictated. But learning that his second in command, Nicolochus, was being blockaded with his fleet by Iphicrates and Diotimus406 in Abydos, he set off at once by land for that city. Being come thither he took the fleet one night and put out to sea, having first spread a story that he had invitations from a party in Calchedon; but as a matter of fact he came to anchorage in Percote and there kept quiet. Meanwhile the Athenian forces under Demaenetus and Dionysius and Leontichus and Phanias had got wind of his movement, and were in hot pursuit towards Proconnesus. As soon as they were well past, the Spartan veered round and returned to Abydos, trusting to information brought him of the approach of Polyxenus with the Syracusan407 and Italian squadron of twenty ships, which he wished to pick up and incorporate with his own.

A little later the Athenian Thrasybulus408 (of Collytus) was making his way up with eight ships from Thrace, his object being to effect a junction with the main Athenian squadron. The scouts signalled the approach of eight triremes, whereupon Antalcidas, embarking his marines on board twelve of the fastest sailers of his fleet, ordered them to make up their full complements, where defective, from the remaining vessels; and so lay to, skulking in his lair with all possible secrecy. As soon as the enemy’s vessels came sailing past he gave chase; and they catching sight of him took to flight. With his swiftest sailors he speedily overhauled their laggards, and ordering his vanguard to let these alone, he followed hard on those ahead. But when the foremost had fallen into his clutches, the enemy’s hinder vessels, seeing their leaders taken one by one, out of sheer despondency fell an easy prey to the slower sailors of the foe, so that not one of the eight vessels escaped.

Presently the Syracusan squadron of twenty vessels joined him, and again another squadron from Ionia, or rather so much of that district as lay under the control of Tiribazus. The full quota of the contingent was further made up from the territory of Ariobarzanes (which whom Antalcidas kept up a friendship of long standing), in the absence of Pharnabazus, who by this date had already been summoned up country on the occasion of his marriage with the king’s daughter. With this fleet, which, from whatever sources derived, amounted to more than eighty sail, Antalcidas ruled the seas, and was in a position not only to cut off the passage of vessels bound to Athens from the Euxine, but to convoy them into the harbours of Sparta’s allies.

The Athenians could not but watch with alarm the growth of the enemy’s fleet, and began to fear a repetition of their former discomfiture. To be trampled under foot by the hostile power seemed indeed no remote possibility, now that the Lacedaemonians had procured an ally in the person of the Persian monarch, and they were in little less than a state of siege themselves, pestered as they were by privateers from Aegina. On all these grounds the Athenians became passionately desirous of peace.409 The Lacedaemonians were equally out of humour with the war for various reasons — what with their garrison duties, one mora at Lechaeum and another at Orchomenus, and the necessity of keeping watch and ward on the states, if loyal not to lose them, if disaffected to prevent their revolt; not to mention that reciprocity of annoyance410 of which Corinth was the centre. So again the Argives had a strong appetite for peace; they knew that the ban had been called out against them, and, it was plain, that no fictitious alteration of the calendar would any longer stand them in good stead. Hence, when Tiribazus issued a summons calling on all who were willing to listen to the terms of peace sent down by the king411 to present themselves, the invitation was promptly accepted. At the opening of the conclave412 Tiribazus pointed to the king’s seal attached to the document, and proceeded to read the contents, which ran as follows:

“The king, Artaxerxes, deems it just that the cities in Asia, with the islands of Clazomenae and Cyprus, should belong to himself; the rest of the Hellenic cities he thinks it just to leave independent, both small and great, with the exception of Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros, which three are to belong to Athens as of yore. Should any of the parties concerned not accept this peace, I, Artaxerxes, will war against him or them with those who share my views. This will I do by land and by sea, with ships and with money.”

After listening to the above declaration the ambassadors from the several states proceeded to report the same to their respective governments. One and all of these took the oaths413 to ratify and confirm the terms unreservedly, with the exception of the Thebans, who claimed to take the oaths in behalf of all Boeotians. This claim Agesilaus repudiated: unless they chose to take the oaths in precise conformity with the words of the king’s edict, which insisted on “the future autonomy of each state, small or great,” he would not admit them. To this the Theban ambassadors made no other reply, except that the instructions they had received were different. “Pray go, then,” Agesilaus retorted, “and ask the question; and you may inform your countrymen that if they will not comply, they will be excluded from the treaty.” The Theban ambassadors departed, but Agesilaus, out of hatred to the Thebans, took active measures at once. Having got the consent of the ephors he forthwith offered sacrifice. The offerings for crossing the frontier were propitious, and he pushed on to Tegea. From Tegea he despatched some of the knights right and left to vist the perioeci and hasten their mobilisation, and at the same time sent commanders of foreign brigades to the allied cities on a similar errand. But before he had started from Tegea the answer from Thebes arrived; the point was yielded, they would suffer the states to be independent. Under these circumstances the Lacedaemonians returned home, and the Thebans were forced to accept the truce unconditionally, and to recognise the autonomy of the Boeotian cities.414 But now the Corinthians were by no means disposed to part with the garrison of the Argives. Accordingly Agesilaus had a word of warning for both. To the former he said, “if they did not forthwith dismiss the Argives,” and to the latter, “if they did not instantly quit Corinth,” he would march an army into their territories. The terror of both was so great that the Argives marched out of Corinth, and Corinth was once again left to herself;415 whereupon the “butchers”416 and their accomplices in the deed of blood determined to retire from Corinth, and the rest of the citizens welcomed back their late exiles voluntarily.

Now that the transactions were complete, and the states were bound by their oaths to abide by the peace sent down to them by the king, the immediate result was a general disarmament, military and naval forces being alike disbanded; and so it was that the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, with their allies, found themselves in the enjoyment of peace for the first time since the period of hostilities subsequent to the demolition of the walls of Athens. From a condition which, during the war, can only be described as a sort of even balance with their antagonists, the Lacedaemonians now emerged; and reached a pinnacle of glory consequent upon the Peace of Antalcidas,417 so called. As guarantors of the peace presented by Hellas to the king, and as administrators personally of the autonomy of the states, they had added Corinth to their alliance; they had obtained the independence of the states of Boeotia at the expense of Thebes,418 which meant the gratification of an old ambition; and lastly, by calling out the ban in case the Argives refused to evacuate Corinth, they had put a stop to the appopriation of that city by the Argives.

394 Or, “determined to let slip the hounds of war;” or, more prosaically, “issued letters of marque.” See Grote, “H. G.” ix. 517.

395 I.e. in Aegina as an epiteikhisma.

396 See Grote, “H. G.” ix. 518: “The ideal of government as it presented itself to Xenophon was the paternal despotism or something like it,” to ethelonton arkhein. Cf. “Cyrop.” passim, “Heiro,” and his various other compositions.

397 And among the rest Iphicrates and Diotimus. See below, S. 25; above, IV. viii. 39.

398 Lit. “the boatswains employing a clink of stones and a sliding motion of the oars.”

399 I.e. “Cape Girdle,” mod. Cape Karvura. See Tozer, “Geog. of Greece,” pp. 78, 372.

400 According to Diod. xiv. 92, Chabrias had been for some time in Corinth. See also above, IV. viii. 24.

401 Lit. “about sixteen stades.”

402 Or, reading oi anabebekotes, “who had scaled the height.” See Hartman, “Anal. Xen.” p. 364.

403 Lit. “five or six stades.”

404 See Hartman, “Anal. Xen.” pp. 365, 366.

405 See Grote (“H. G.” ix. 523): cf. Thuc. ii. 94, the attempt of Brasidas on the port of Megara. For the wealth of Piraeus, Grote “H. G.” ix. 351. See below, “Pol. Ath.” i. 17; “Rev.” iii. 13.

406 See above; Lysias, “de bon. Arist.” (Jebb, “Att. Or.” i. p. 327).

407 See below, VI. ii. 4 foll; Hicks, 71, 84, 88.

408 His name occurs on the famous stele of the new Athenian confederacy, B.C. 378. See Hicks, 81; Kohler, “C. I. A.” ii. 17; Demos. “de. Cor.” p. 301; Arist. “Rhet.” ii. 23; Demos. “c. Timocr.” 742.

409 See, at this point, Grote on the financial condition of Athens and the “Theorikon,” “H. G.” ix. 525.

410 Or, “that give-and-take of hard knocks.”

411 See Hicks, 76.

412 At Sardis, doubtless.

413 At Sparta, doubtless.

414 See Freeman, op. cit. pp. 168, 169.

415 See “Ages.” ii. 21; Grote, “H. G.” ix. 537.

416 oi sphageis, a party catchword (in reference to the incidents narrated above, “Hell.” IV. iv. 2). See below, ton bareon demagogon, “Hell.” V. ii. 7; oi kedomenoi tes Peloponnesou, “Hell.” VII. v. 1; above, oi sphageis, “Hell.” III. ii. 27, of the philo-Laconian oligarchs in Elis. See Dem. “c. Lept.” 473.

417 Or, more correctly, the peace “under,” or “at the date of,” ep ‘Antalkidou. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 1, note 1.

418 Or, “they had made the states of Boeotia independent of Thebes.” See Grote, “H. G.” x. 44.


B.C. 386. Indeed the late events had so entirely shaped themselves in conformity with the wishes of the Lacedaemonians, that they determined to go a step farther and chastise those of their allies who either had borne hard on them during the war, or otherwise had shown themselves less favourable to Lacedaemon than to her enemies.419 Chastisement was not all; they must lay down such secure foundations for the future as should render the like disloyalty impossible again.420 As the first step towards this policy they sent a dictatorial message to the Mantinaeans, and bade them raze their fortifications, on the sole ground that they could not otherwise trust them not to side with their enemies. Many things in their conduct, they alleged, from time to time, had not escaped their notice: their frequent despatches of corn to the Argives while at war with Lacedaemon; at other times their refusal to furnish contingents during a campaign, on the pretext of some holy truce or other;421 or if they did reluctantly take the field — the miserable inefficiency of their service. “But, more than that,” they added, “we note the jealousy with which you eye any good fortune which may betide our state; the extravagant pleasure422 you exhibit at the sudden descent of some disaster.”

This very year, moreover, it was commonly said,423 saw the expiration, as far as the Mantineans were concerned, of the thirty years’ truce, consequent upon the battle of Mantinea. On their refusal, therefore, to raze their fortification walls the ban was called out against them. Agesilaus begged the state to absolve him from the conduct of this war on the plea that the city of Mantinea had done frequent service to his father424 in his Messenian wars. Accordingly Agesipolis led the expedition — in spite of the cordial relations of his father Pausanias425 with the leaders of the popular party in Mantinea.

B.C. 385. The first move of the invader was to subject the enemy’s territory to devastation; but failing by such means to induce them to raze their walls, he proceeded to draw lines of circumvallation round the city, keeping half his troops under arms to screen the entrenching parties whilst the other half pushed on the work with the spade. As soon as the trench was completed, he experienced no further difficulty in building a wall round the city. Aware, however, of the existence of a huge supply of corn inside the town, the result of the bountiful harvest of the preceding year, and averse to the notion of wearing out the city of Lacedaemon and her allies by tedious campaigning, he hit upon the expedient of damming up the river which flowed through the town.

It was a stream of no inconsiderable size.426 By erecting a barrier at its exit from the town he caused the water to rise above the basements of the private dwellings and the foundations of the fortification walls. Then, as the lower layers of bricks became saturated and refused their support to the rows above, the wall began to crack and soon to totter to its fall. The citizens for some time tried to prop it with pieces of timber, and used other devices to avert the imminent ruin of their tower; but finding themselves overmatched by the water, and in dread lest the fall at some point or other of the circular wall427 might deliver them captive to the spear of the enemy, they signified their consent to raze their walls. But the Lacedaemonians now steadily refused any form of truce, except on the further condition that the Mantineans would suffer themselves to be broken up and distributed into villages. They, looking the necessity in the face, consented to do even that. The sympathisers with Argos among them, and the leaders of their democracy, thought their fate was sealed. Then the father treated with the son, Pausanias with Agesipolis, on their behalf, and obtained immunity for them — sixty in number — on condition that they should quit the city. The Lacedaemonian troops stood lining the road on both sides, beginning from the gates, and watched the outgoers; and with their spears in their hands, in spite of bitter hatred, kept aloof from them with less difficulty than the Mantineans of the better classes themselves — a weighty testimony to the power of Spartan discipline, be it said. In conclusion, the wall was razed, and Mantinea split up into four parts,428 assuming once again its primitive condition as regards inhabitants. The first feeling was one of annoyance at the necessity of pulling down their present houses and erecting others, yet when the owners429 found themselves located so much nearer their estates round about the villages, in the full enjoyment of aristocracy, and rid for ever of “those troublesome demagogues,” they were delighted with the turn which affairs had taken. It became the custom for Sparta to send them, not one commander of contingents,430 but four, one for each village; and the zeal displayed, now that the quotas for military service were furnished from the several village centres, was far greater than it had been under the democratic system. So the transactions in connection with Mantinea were brought to a conclusion, and thereby one lesson of wisdom was taught mankind — not to conduct a river through a fortress town.

B.C. 384-383. To pass on. The party in exile from Phlius, seeing the severe scrutiny to which the behaviour of the allies of Lacedaemon during the late war was being subjected, felt that their opportunity had come. They repaired to Lacedaemon, and laid great emphasis on the fact that, so long as they had been in power themselves at home, “their city used to welcome Lacedaemonians within her walls, and her citizens flocked to the campaign under their leadership; but no sooner had they been driven into exile than a change had come. The men of Phlius now flatly refused to follow Lacedaemon anywhere; the Lacedaemonians, alone of all men living, must not be admitted within their gates.” After listening to their story, the ephors agreed that the matter demanded attention. Then they sent to the state of Phlius a message to this effect; the Phliasian exiles were friends of Lacedaemon; nor did it appear that they owed their exile to any misdoing. Under the circumstances, Lacedaemon claimed their recall from banishment, not by force, but as a concession voluntarily granted. When the matter was thus stated, the Phliasians were not without alarm that an army might much upon Phlius, and a party inside the town might admit the enemy within the walls; for within the walls of Phlius were to be found many who, either as blood relations or for other reasons, were partisans of the exiles, and as so often happens, at any rate in the majority of states, there was a revolutionary party who, in their ardour to reform, would welcome gladly their restoration. Owing to fears of this character, a formal decree was passed: to welcome home the exiles, and to restore to them all undisputed property, the purchasers of the same being indemnified from the treasury of the state; and in the event of any ambiguity or question arising between the parties, the same to be determined before a court of justice. Such was the position of affairs in connection with the Phliasian exiles at the date in question.

B.C. 383.431 And now from yet another quarter ambassadors arrived at Lacedaemon: that is to say, from Acanthus and Apollonia, the two largest and most important states of the Olynthian confederacy. The ephorate, after learning from them the object of their visit, presented them to the assembly and the allies, in presence of whom Cleigenes of Acanthus made a speech to this effect:

“Men of Lacedaemon and of the allied states,” he said, “are you aware of a silent but portentous growth within the bosom of Hellas?432 Few here need to be told that for size and importance Olynthus now stands at the head of the Thracian cities. But are you aware that the citizens of Olynthus had already brought over several states by the bribe of joint citizenship and common laws; that they have forcibly annexed some of the larger states; and that, so encouraged, they have taken in hand further to free the cities of Macedonia from Amyntas the king of the Macedonians; that, as soon as their immediate neighbours had shown compliance, they at once proceeded to attack larger and more distant communities; so much so, that when we started to come hither, we left them masters not only of many other places, but of Pella itself, the capital of Macedonia. Amyntas,433 we saw plainly, must ere long withdraw from his cities, and was in fact already all but in name an outcast from Macedonia.

“The Olynthians have actually sent to ourselves and to the men of Apollonia a joint embassy, warning us of their intention to attack us if we refuse to present ourselves at Olynthus with a military contingent. Now, for our parts, men of Lacedaemon, we desire nothing better than to abide by our ancestral laws and institutions, to be free and independent citizens; but if aid from without is going to fail us, we too must follow the rest and coalesce with the Olynthians. Why, even now they muster no less than eight hundred434 heavy infantry and a considerably larger body of light infantry, while their cavalry, when we have joined them, will exceed one thousand men. At the date of our departure we left embassies from Athens and Boeotia in Olynthus, and we were told that the Olynthians themselves had passed a formal resolution to return the compliment. They were to send an embassy on their side to the aforesaid states to treat of an alliance. And yet, if the power of the Athenians and the Thebans is to be further increased by such an accession of strength, look to it,” the speaker added, “whether hereafter you will find things so easy to manage in that quarter.

“They hold Potidaea, the key to the isthmus of Pallene, and therefore, you can well believe, they can command the states within that peninsula. If you want any further proof of the abject terror of those states, you have it in the fact that notwithstanding the bitter hatred which they bear to Olynthus, not one of them has dared to send ambassadors along with us to apprise you of these matters.

“Reflect, how you can reconcile your anxiety to prevent the unification of Boeotia with your neglect to hinder the solidifying of a far larger power — a power destined, moreover, to become formidable not on land only, but by sea? For what is to stop it, when the soil itself supplies timber for shipbuilding,435 and there are rich revenues derived from numerous harbours and commercial centres? — it cannot but be that abundance of food and abundance of population will go hand in hand. Nor have we yet reached the limits of Olynthian expansion; there are their neighbours to be thought of — the kingless or independent Thracians. These are already today the devoted servants of Olynthus, and when it comes to their being actually under her, that means at once another vast accession of strength to her. With the Thracians in her train, the gold mines of Pangaeus would stretch out to her the hand of welcome.

“In making these assertions, we are but uttering remarks ten thousand times repeated in the democracy of Olynthus. And as to their confident spirit, who shall attempt to describe it? It is God, for aught I know, who, with the growth of a new capacity, gives increase also to the proud thoughts and vast designs of humanity. For ourselves, men of Lacedaemon and of the allied states, our task is completed. We have played our parts in announcing to you how things stand there. To you it is left to determine whether what we have described is worthy of your concern. One only thing further you ought to recognise: the power we have spoken of as great is not as yet invincible, for those states which are involuntary participants in the citizenship of Olynthus will, in prospect of any rival power appearing in the field, speedily fall away. On the contrary, let them be once closely knit and welded together by the privileges of intermarriage and reciprocal rights of holding property in land — which have already become enactments; let them discover that it is a gain to them to follow in the wake of conquerors (just as the Arcadians,436 for instance, find it profitable to march in your ranks, whereby they save their own property and pillage their neighbours’); let these things come to pass, and perhaps you may find the knot no longer so easy to unloose.”

At the conclusion of this address, the Lacedaemonians requested the allies to speak, bidding them give their joint advice as to the best course to be pursued in the interests of Peloponnese and the allies. Thereupon many members, and especially those who wished to gratify the Lacedaemonians, agreed in counselling active measures; and it was resolved that the states should severally send contingents to form a total of ten thousand men. Proposals were also made to allow any state, so wishing, to give money instead of men, at the rate of three Aeginetan obols437 a day per man; or where the contingent consisted of cavalry, the pay given for one horseman was to be the equivalent to that of four hoplites; while, in the event of any defaulting in service, the Lacedaemonians should be allowed to mulct the said state of a stater per man per diem. These resolutions were passed, and the deputies from Acanthus rose again. They argued that, though excellent, these resolutions were not of a nature to be rapidly carried into effect. Would it not be better, they asked, pending the mobilisation of the troops, to despatch an officer at once in command of a force from Lacedaemon and the other states, not too large to start immediately. The effect would be instantaneous, for the states which had not yet given in their adhesion to Olynthus would be brought to a standstill, and those already forcibly enrolled would be shaken in their alliance. These further resolutions being also passed, the Lacedaemonians despatched Eudamidas, accompanied by a body of neodamodes, with perioeci and Sciritae,438 to the number of two thousand odd. Eudamidas lost no time in setting out, having obtained leave from the ephors for his brother Phoebidas to follow later with the remainder of the troops assigned to him. Pushing on himself to the Thracian territory, he set about despatching garrisons to various cities at their request. He also secured the voluntary adhesion of Potidaea, although already a member of the Olynthian alliance; and this town now served as his base of operations for carrying on war on a scale adapted to his somewhat limited armament.

Phoebidas, when the remaining portion of his brother’s forces was duly mustered, put himself at their head and commenced his march. On reaching Thebes the troops encamped outside the city, round the gymnasium. Faction was rife within the city. The two polemarchs in office, Ismenias and Leontiades, were diametrically opposed,439 being the respective heads of antagonistic political clubs. Hence it was that, while Ismenias, ever inspired by hatred to the Lacedaemonians, would not come anywhere near the Spartan general, Leontiades, on the other hand, was assiduous in courting him; and when a sufficient intimacy was established between them, he made a proposal as follows: “You have it in your power,” he said, addressing Phoebidas, “this very day to confer supreme benefit on your country. Follow me with your hoplites, and I will introduce you into the citadel. That done, you may rest assured Thebes will be completely under the thumb of Lacedaemon and of us, your friends. At present, as you see, there is a proclamation forbidding any Theban to take service with you against Olynthus, but we will change all that. You have only to act with us as we suggest, and we shall at once be able to furnish you with large supplies of infantry and cavalry, so that you will join your brother with a magnificent reinforcement, and pending his proposed reduction of Olynthus, you will have accomplished the reduction of a far larger state than that — to wit, this city of Thebes.”

The imagination of Phoebidas was kindled as he listened to the tempting proposal. To do a brilliant deed was far dearer to him than life;440 on the other hand, he had no reasoning capacity, and would seem to have been deficient altogether in sound sense. The consent of the Spartan secured, Leontiades bade him set his troops in motion, as if everything were ready for his departure. “And anon, when the hour is come,” added the Theban, “I will be with you, and show you the way myself.”

The senate was seated in the arcade or stoa in the market-place, since the Cadmeia was in possession of the women who were celebrating the Thesmophoria.441 It was noon of a hot summer’s day; scarcely a soul was stirring in the streets. This was the moment for Leontiades. He mounted on horseback and galloped off to overtake Phoebidas. He turned him back, and led him without further delay into the acropolis. Having posted Phoebidas and his soldiers inside, he handed him the key of the gates, and warning him not to suffer any one to enter into the citadel without a pass from himself, he straightway betook himself to the senate. Arrived there, he delivered himself thus: “Sirs, the Lacedaemonians are in possession of the citadel; but that is no cause for despondency, since, as they assure us, they have no hostile intention, except, indeed, towards any one who has an appetite for war. For myself, and acting in obedience to the law, which empowers the polemarch to apprehend all persons suspected of capital crimes, I hereby seize the person of Ismenias as an arch-formenter of war. I call upon you, sirs, who are captains of companies, and you who are ranked with them, to do your duty. Arise and secure the prisoner, and lead him away to the place appointed.”

Those who were privy to the affair, it will be understood, presented themselves, and the orders were promptly carried out. Of those not in the secret, but opposed to the party of Leontiades, some sought refuge at once outside the city in terror for their lives; whilst the rest, albeit they retired to their houses at first, yet when they found that Ismenias was imprisoned in the Cadmeia, and further delay seemed dangerous, retreated to Athens. These were the men who shared the views of Androcleidas and Ismenias, and they must have numbered about three hundred.

Now that the transactions were concluded, another polemarch was chosen in place of Ismenias, and Leontiades at once set out to Lacedaemon. There he found the ephors and the mass of the community highly incensed agaisnt Phoebidas, “who had failed to execute the orders assigned to him by the state.” Against this general indignation, however, Agesilaus protested.442 If mischief had been wrought to Lacedaemon by this deed, it was just that the doer of it should be punished; but, if good, it was a time-honoured custom to allow full scope for impromptu acts of this character. “The sole point you have to look to,” he urged, “is whether what has been done is good or evil.” After this, however, Leontiades presented himself to the assembly443 and addressed the members as follows: “Sirs, Lacedaemonians, the hostile attitude of Thebes towards you, before the occurrence of late events, was a topic constantly on your lips, since time upon time your eyes were called upon to witness her friendly bearing to your foes in contrast with her hatred of your friends. Can it be denied that Thebes refused to take part with you in the campaign against your direst enemy, the democracy in Piraeus; and balanced that lukewarmness by on onslaught on the Phocians, whose sole crime was cordiality to yourselves?444 Nor is that all. In full knowledge that you were likly to be engaged in war with Olynthus, she proceeded at once to make an alliance with that city. So that up to the last moment you were in constant expectation of hearing that the whole of Boeotia was laid at the feet of Thebes. With the late incidents all is changed. You need fear Thebes no longer. One brief despatch445 in cipher will suffice to procure a dutiful subservience to your every wish in that quarter, provided only you will take as kindly an interest in us as we in you.”

This appeal told upon the meeting, and the Lacedaemonians446 resolved formally, now that the citadel had been taken, to keep it, and to put Ismenias on his trial. In consequence of this resolution a body of commissioners447 was despatched, three Lacedaemonians and one for each of the allied states, great and small alike. The court of inquiry thus constituted, the sittings commenced, and an indictment was preferred against Ismenias. He was accused of playing into the hands of the barbarian; of seeking amity with the Persians to the detriment of Hellas; of accepting sums of money as bribes from the king; and, finally, of being, along with Androcleidas, the prime cause of the whole intestine trouble to which Hellas was a prey. Each of these charges was met by the defendant, but to no purpose, since he failed to disabuse the court of their conviction that the grandeur of his designs was only equalled by their wickedness.448 The verdict was given against him, and he was put to death. The party of Leontiades thus possessed the city; and went beyond the injunctions given them in the eager performance of their services.

B.C. 382. As a result of these transactions the Lacedaemonians pressed on the combined campaign against Olynthus with still greater enthusiasm. They not only set out Teleutias as governor, but by their united efforts furnished him with an aggregate army of ten thousand men.449 They also sent despatches to the allied states, calling upon them to support Teleutias in accordance with the resolution of the allies. All the states were ready to display devotion to Teleutias, and to do him service, since he was a man who never forgot a service rendered him. Nor was Thebes an exception; for was not the governor a brother of Agesilaus? Thebes, therefore, was enthusiastic in sending her contribution of heavy infantry and cavalry. The Spartan conducted his march slowly and surely, taking the utmost pains to avoid injuring his friends, and to collect as large a force as possible. He also sent a message in advance to Amyntas, begging him, if he were truly desirous of recovering his empire, to raise a body of mercenaries, and to distribute sums of money among the neighbouring kings with a view to their alliance. Nor was that all. He sent also to Derdas, the ruler of Elimia, pointing out to him that the Olynthians, having laid at their feet the great power of Macedonia, would certainly not suffer his lesser power to escape unless they were stayed up by force in arms in their career of insolence. Proceeding thus, by the time he had reached the territory of the allied powers he was at the head of a very considerable army. At Potidaea he halted to make the necessary disposition of his troops, and thence advanced into the territory of the enemy. As he approached the hostile city, he abstained from felling and firing alike, being persuaded that to do so was only to create difficulties in his own path, whether advancing or retreating; it would be time enough, when he retired from Olynthus, to fell the trees and lay them as a barrier in the path of any assailant in the rear.

Being now within a mile or so450 of the city he came to a halt. The left division was under his personal command, for it suited him to advance in a line opposite the gate from which the enemy sallied; the other division of the allies stretched away to the right. The cavalry were thus distributed: the Laconians, Thebans, and all the Macedonians present were posted on the right. With his own division he kept Derdas and his troopers, four hundred strong. This he did partly out of genuine admiration for this body of horse, and partly as a mark of courtesy to Derdas, which should make him not regret his coming.

Presently the enemy issued forth and formed in line opposite, under cover of their walls. Then their cavalry formed in close order and commenced the attack. Dashing down upon the Laconians and Boeotians they dismounted Polycharmus, the Lacedaemonian cavalry general, inflicting a hundred wounds on him as he lay on the ground, and cut down others, and finally put to flight the cavalry on the right wing. The flight of these troopers infected the infantry in close proximity to them, who in turn swerved; and it looked as if the whole army was about to be worsted, when Derdas at the head of his cavalry dashed straight at the gates of Olynthus, Teleutias supporting him with the troops of his division. The Olynthian cavalry, seeing how matters were going, and in dread of finding the gates closed upon them, wheeled round and retired with alacrity. Thus it was that Derdas had his chance to cut down man after man as their cavalry ran the gauntlet past him. In the same way, too, the infantry of the Olynthians retreated within their city, though, owing to the closeness of the walls in their case, their loss was trifling. Teleutias claimed the victory, and a trophy was duly erected, after which he turned his back on Olynthus and devoted himself to felling the fruit-trees. This was the campaign of the summer. He now dismissed both the Macedonians and the cavalry force of Derdas. Incursions, however, on the part of the Olynthians themselves against the states allied to Lacedaemon were frequent; lands were pillaged, and people put to the sword.

419 See Hartman, “An. Xen.” p. 367 foll.; Busolt, “Die Lak.” p. 129 foll.

420 Or, “they determined to chastise . . . and reduce to such order that disloyalty should be impossible.”

421 See above, “Hell.” IV. ii. 16.

422 Ib. IV. v. 18.

423 As to this point, see Curtius, “H. G.” V. v. (iv. 305 note, Eng. trans.) There appears to be some confusion. According to Thuc. v. 81, “When the Argives deserted the alliance [with Mantinea, Athens, and Elis, making a new treaty of alliance with Lacedaemon for fifty years] the Mantineans held out for a time, but without the Argives they were helpless, and so they came to terms with the Lacedaemonians, and gave up their claims to supremacy over the cities in Arcadia, which had been subject to them. . . . These changes were effected at the close of winter [418 B.C.] towards the approach of spring [417 B.C.], and so ended the fourteenth year of the war.” Jowett. According to Diod. xv. 5, the Lacedaemonians attacked Mantinea within two years after the Peace of Antalcidas, apparently in 386 B.C. According to Thuc. v. 82, and “C. I. A.” 50, in B.C. 417 Argos had reverted to her alliance with Athens, and an attempt to connect the city with the sea by long walls was made,” certain other states in Peloponnese being privy to the project” (Thuc. v. 83)— an attempt frustrated by Lacedaemon early in B.C. 416. Is it possible that a treaty of alliance between Mantinea and Lacedaemon for thirty years was formally signed in B.C. 416?

424 I.e. Archidamus.

425 See above, “Hell.” III. v. 25.

426 I.e. the Ophis. See Leake, “Morea,” III. xxiv. p. 71; Pausan. “Arcad.” 8; Grote, “H. G.” x. 48, note 2.

427 Or, “in the circuit of the wall.”

428 See Diod. xv. 5; Strab. viii. 337; Ephor. fr. 138, ed. Did.; and Grote, “H. G.” x. 51.

429 Or, “holders of properties.” The historian is referring not to the population at large, I think, but to the rich landowners, i.e. the Beltistoi, and is not so partial as Grote supposes (“H. G.” x. 51 foll.)

430 Technically zenagoi, Lacedaemonian officers who commanded the contingents of the several allies. See above, “Hell.” III. v. 7; Thuc. ii. 76; and Arnold’s note ad loc.; also C. R. Kennedy, “ap. Dict. of Greek and Roman Antiquities,” s.v.; Muller, “Dorians,” ii. 250, Eng. tr.; Busolt, “Die Lak.” p. 125.

431 Al. B.C. 382.

432 Or, “are you aware of a new power growing up in Hellas?”

433 For Amyntas’s reign, see Diod. xiv. 89, 92; xv. 19; Isocr. “Panegyr.” 126, “Archid.” 46.

434 See Grote, “H. G.” x. 72; Thirlwall, “H. G.” v. 12 (ch. xxxvii).

435 See Hicks, 74, for a treaty between Amyntas and the Chalcidians, B.C. 390-389: “The article of the treaty between Amyntas III., father of Philip, and the Chalcidians, about timber, etc., reminds us that South Macedonia, the Chalcidic peninsula, and Amphipolis were the chief sources whence Athens derived timber for her dockyards.” Thuc. iv. 108; Diod. xx. 46; Boeckh, “P. E. A.” p. 250; and for a treaty between Athens and Amyntas, B.C. 382, see Hicks, 77; Kohler, “C. I. A.” ii. 397, 423.

436 For the point of the comparison, see Freeman, “Hist. Fed. Gov.” ch. iv. “Real nature of the Olynthian scheme,” pp. 190 foll., and note 2, p. 197; also Grote, “H. G.” x. 67 foll., 278 foll.

437 I.e. “rather more than sixpence a day for a hoplite, and two shillings for a horseman.” “The Aeginetan stater weighed about 196 grains, rather more than two of our shillings, and was divided into two drachms of 98 grains, each of which contained six obols of about 16 grains each.” See Percy Gardner, “Types of Greek Coins,” “Hist. Int.” p. 8; Jowett, note to Thuc. III. lxx. 4, vol. i. pp. 201, 202.

438 Or, “new citizens, provincials, and Sciritae.”

439 See Grote, “H. G.” vol. x. p. 80: “We have little or no information respecting the government of Thebes,” etc. The “locus classicus” seems to be Plut. “de Genio Socratis.” See Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. S. 2, “Of the Boeotian League,” pp. 154-184; and, in reference to the seizure of the Kadmeia, p. 170.

440 Or, “Renown was his mistress.” See Grote, “H. G.” x. 84.

441 An ancient festival held by women in honour of Demeter and Persephone (to Thesmophoro), who gave the first impulse to civil society, lawful marriage, etc. See Herod. ii. 171; Diod. v. 5.

442 See “Ages.” vii.

443 “Select Committee.” See “Hell.” II. iv. 38; and below, VI. iii. 3.

444 See above, “Hell.” III. v. 4.

445 Lit. “scytale.”

446 See Grote, “H. G.” vol. x. p. 85; Diod. xv. 20; Plut. “Pelop.” vi.; ib. “de Genio Socratis,” V. vii. 6 A; Cor. Nep. “Pelop.” 1.

447 Lit. “Dicasts.”

448 Or, “that he was a magnificent malefactor.” See Grote, “H. G.” vol. ix. p. 420, “the great wicked man” (Clarendon’s epithets for Cromwell); Plato, “Meno.” 90 B; “Republic,” 336 A, “a rich and mighty man.” See also Plut. “Ages.” xxxii. 2, Agesilaus’s exclamation at sight of Epaminondas, o tou megalopragmonos anthropou.

449 Lit. “sent out along with him the combined force of ten thousand men,” in ref to S. 20 above.

450 Lit. “ten stades.”


B.C. 381. With the first symptoms of approaching spring the Olynthian cavalry, six hundred strong, had swooped into the territory of Apollonia — about the middle of the day — and dispersing over the district, were employed in pillaging; but as luck would have it, Derdas had arrived that day with his troopers, and was breakfasting in Apollonia. He noted the enemy’s incursion, but kept quiet, biding his time; his horses were ready saddled, and his troopers armed cap-a-pied. As the Olynthians came galloping up contemptuously, not only into the suburbs, but to the very gates of the city, he seized his opportunity, and with his compact and well-ordered squadron dashed out; whereupon the invaders took to flight. Having once turned them, Derdas gave them no respite, pursuing and slaughtering them for ten miles or more,451 until he had driven them for shelter within the very ramparts of Olynthus. Report said that Derdas slew something like eighty men in this affair. After this the Olynthians were more disposed to keep to their walls, contenting themselves with tilling the merest corner of their territory.

Time advanced, and Teleutias was in conduct of another expedition against the city of Olynthus. His object was to destroy any timber452 still left standing, or fields still cultivated in the hostile territory. This brought out the Olynthian cavalry, who, stealthily advancing, crossed the river which washes the walls of the town, and again continued their silent march right up to the adversary’s camp. At sight of an audacity which nettled him, Teleutias at once ordered Tlemonidas, the officer commanding his light infantry division, to charge the assailants at the run. On their side the men of Olynthus, seeing the rapid approach of the light infantry, wheeled and quietly retired until they had recrossed the river, drawing the enemy on, who followed with conspicuous hardihood. Arrogating to themselves the position of pursuers towards fugitives, they did not hesitate to cross the river which stood between them and their prey. Then the Olynthian cavalry, choosing a favourable moment, when those who had crossed seemed easy to deal with, wheeled and attacked them, putting Tlemonidas himself to the sword with more than a hundred others of his company. Teleutias, when he saw what was happening, snatched up his arms in a fit of anger and began leading his hoplites swiftly forward, ordering at the same time his peltasts and cavalry to give chase and not to slacken. Their fate was the fate of many before and since, who, in the ardour of pursuit, have come too close to the enemy’s walls and found it hard to get back again. Under a hail of missiles from the walls they were forced to retire in disorder and with the necessity of guarding themselves against the missiles. At this juncture the Olynthians sent out their cavalry at full gallop, backed by supports of light infantry; and finally their heavy infantry reserves poured out and fell upon the enemy’s lines, now in thorough confusion. Here Teleutias fell fighting, and when that happened, without further pause the troops immediately about him swerved. Not one soul longer cared to make a stand, but the flight became general, some fleeing towards Spartolus, others in the direction of Acanthus, a third set seeking refuge within the walls of Apollonia, and the majority within those of Potidaea. As the tide of fugitives broke into several streams, so also the pursuers divided the work between them; this way and that they poured, dealing death wholesale. So perished the pith and kernel of the armament.

Such calamities are not indeed without a moral. The lesson they are meant to teach mankind, I think, is plain. If in a general sense one ought not to punish any one, even one’s own slave, in anger — since the master in his wrath may easily incur worse evil himself than he inflicts — so, in the case of antagonists in war, to attack an enemy under the influence of passion rather than of judgment is an absolute error. For wrath is but a blind impulse devoid of foresight, whereas to the penetrating eye of reason a blow parried may be better than a wound inflicted.453

When the news of what had happened reached Lacedaemon it was agreed, after due deliberation, that a force should be sent, and of no trifling description, if only to quench the victors’ pride, and to prevent their own achievements from becoming null and void. In this determination they sent out King Agesipolis, as general, attended, like Agesilaus454 on his Asiatic campaign, by thirty Spartans.455 Volunteers flocked to his standard. They were partly the pick and flower of the provincials,456 partly foreigners of the class called Trophimoi,457 or lastly, bastard sons of Spartans, comely and beautiful of limb, and well versed in the lore of Spartan chivalry. The ranks of this invading force were further swelled by volunteers from the allied states, the Thessalians notably contributing a corps of cavalry. All were animated by the desire of becoming known to Agesipolis, so that even Amyntas and Derdas in zeal of service outdid themselves. With this promise of success Agesipolis marched forward against Olynthus.

Meanwhile the state of Phlius, complimented by Agesipolis on the amount of the funds contributed by them to his expedition and the celerity with which the money had been raised, and in full belief that while one king was in the field they were secure against the hostile attack of the other (since it was hardly to be expected that both kings should be absent from Sparta at one moment), boldly desisted from doing justice by her lately reinstated citizens. On the one hand, these exiles claimed that points in dispute should be determined before an impartial court of justice; the citizens, on the other, insisted on the claimants submitting the cases for trial in the city itself. And when the latter demurred to that solution, asking “What sort of trial that would be where the offenders were also the judges?” they appealed to deaf ears. Consequently the restored party appealed at Sparta, to prefer a complaint against their city. They were accompanied by other members of the community, who stated that many of the Phliasians themselves besides the appellants recognised the injustice of their treatment. The state of Phlius was indignant at this manouvre, and retaliated by imposing a fine on all who had betaken themselves to Lacedaemon without a mandate from the state. Those who incurred the fine hesitated to return home; they preferred to stay where they were and enforce their views: “It is quite plain now who were the perpetrators of all the violence — the very people who originally drove us into exile, and shut their gates upon Lacedaemon; the confiscators of our property one day, the ruthless opponents of its restoration the next. Who else but they have now brought it about that we should be fined for appearing at Lacedaemon? and for what purpose but to deter any one else for the future from venturing to expose the proceedings at Phlius?” Thus far the appellants. And in good sooth the conduct of the men of Phlius did seem to savour of insolence; so much so that the ephors called out the ban against them.

B.C. 380. Nor was Agesilaus otherwise than well satisfied with this decision, not only on the ground of old relations of friendly hospitality between his father Archidamus and the party of Podanemus, who were numbered among the restored exiles at this time, but because personally he was bound by similar ties himself towards the adherents of Procles, son of Hipponicus. The border sacrifices proving favourable, the march commenced at once. As he advanced, embassy after embassy met him, and would fain by presents of money avert invasion. But the king answered that the purpose of his march was not to commit wrongdoing, but to protect the victims of injustice. Then the petitioners offered to do anything, only they begged him to forgo invasion. Again he replied — How could he trust to their words when they had lied to him already? He must have the warrant of acts, not promises. And being asked, “What act (would satisfy him)?” he answered once more, saying, “The same which you performed aforetime, and suffered no wrong at our hands”— in other words, the surrender of the acropolis.458 But to this they could not bring themselves. Whereupon he invaded the territory of Phlius, and promptly drawing lines of circumvallation, commenced the siege. Many of the Lacedaemonians objected, for the sake of a mere handful of wretched people, so to embroil themselves with a state of over five thousand men.459 For, indeed, to leave no doubt on this score, the men of Phlius met regularly in assembly in full view of those outside. But Agesilaus was not to be beaten by this move. Whenever any of the townsmen came out, drawn by friendship or kinship with the exiles, in every case the king’s instructions were to place the public messes460 at the service of the visitors, and, if they were willing to go through the course of gymnastic training, to give them enough to procure necessaries. All members of these classes were, by the general’s strict injunctions, further to be provided with arms, and loans were to be raised for the purpose without delay. Presently the superintendents of this branch of the service were able to turn out a detachment of over a thousand men, in the prime of bodily perfection, well disciplined and splendidly armed, so that in the end the Lacedaemonians affirmed: “Fellow-soldiers of this stamp are too good to lose.” Such were the concerns of Agesilaus.

Meanwhile Agesipolis on leaving Macedonia advanced straight upon Olynthus and took up a strategical position in front of the town. Finding that no one came out to oppose him, he occupied himself for the present with pillaging any remnant of the district till intact, and with marching into the territory allied with the enemy, where he destroyed the corn. The town of Torone he attacked and took by storm. But while he was so engaged, in the height of mid-summer he was attacked by a burning fever. In this condition his mind reverted to a scene once visited, the temple of Dionysus at Aphytis, and a longing for its cool and sparkling waters and embowered shades461 seized him. To this spot accordingly he was carried, still living, but only to breathe his last outside the sacred shrine, within a week of the day on which he sickened. His body was laid in honey and conveyed home to Sparta, where he obtained royal sepulchre.

When the news reached Agesilaus he displayed none of the satisfaction which might possibly have been expected at the removal of an antagonist. On the contrary, he wept and pined for the companionship so severed, it being the fashion at Sparta for the kings when at home to mess together and to share the same quarters. Moreover, Agesipolis was admirably suited to Agesilaus, sharing with the merriment of youth in tales of the chase and horsemanship and boyish loves;462 while, to crown all, the touch of reverence due from younger to elder was not wanting in their common life. In place of Agesipolis, the Lacedaemonians despatched Polybiades as governor to Olynthus.

B.C. 379. Agesilaus had already exceeded the time during which the supplies of food in Phlius were expected to last. The difference, in fact, between self-command and mere appetite is so great that the men of Phlius had only to pass a resolution to cut down the food expenditure by one half, and by doing so were able to prolong the siege for twice the calculated period. But if the contrast between self-restraint and appetite is so great, no less startling is that between boldness and faint-heartedness. A Phliasian named Delphion, a real hero, it would seem, took to himself three hundred Phliasians, and not only succeeded in preventing the peace-party from carrying out their wishes, but was equal to the task of incarcerating and keeping safely under lock and key those whom he mistrusted. Nor did his ability end there. He succeeded in forcing the mob of citizens to perform garrison duty, and by vigorous patrolling kept them constant to the work. Over and over again, accompanied by his personal attendants, he would dash out of the walls and drive in the enemy’s outposts, first at one point and then at another of the beleaguering circle. But the time eventually came when, search as they might by every means, these picked defenders463 could find no further store of food within the walls, and they were forced to send to Agesilaus, requesting a truce for an embassy to visit Sparta, adding that they were resolved to leave it to the discretion of the authorities at Lacedaemon to do with their city what they liked. Agesilaus granted a pass to the embassy, but, at the same time, he was so angry at their setting his personal authority aside, that he sent to his friends at home and arranged that the fate of Phlius should be left to his discretion. Meanwhile he proceeded to tighten the cordon of investment, so as to render it impossible that a single soul inside the city should escape. In spite of this, however, Delphion, with one comrade, a branded dare-devil, who had shown great dexterity in relieving the besieging parties of their arms, escaped by night. Presently the deputation returned with the answer from Lacedaemon that the state simply left it entirely to the discretion of Agesilaus to decide the fate of Phlius as seemed to him best. Then Agesilaus announced his verdict. A board of one hundred — fifty taken from the restored exiles, fifty from those within the city — were in the first place to make inquisition as to who deserved to live and who to die, after which they were to lay down laws as the basis of a new constitution. Pending the carrying out of these transactions, he left a detachment of troops to garrison the place for six months, with pay for that period. After this he dismissed the allied forces, and led the state464 division home. Thus the transactions concerning Phlius were brought to a conclusion, having occupied altogether one year and eight months.

Meanwhile Polybiades had reducd the citizens of Olynthus to the last stage of misery through famine. Unable to supply themselves with corn from their own land, or to import it by sea, they were forced to send an embassy to Lacedaemon to sue for peace. The plenipotentiaries on their arrival accepted articles of agreement by which they bound themselves to have the same friends and the same foes as Lacedaemon, to follow her lead, and to be enrolled among her allies; and so, having taken an oath to abide by these terms, they returned home.

On every side the affairs of Lacedaemon had signally prospered: Thebes and the rest of the Boeotian states lay absolutely at her feet; Corinth had become her most faithful ally; Argos, unable longer to avail herself of the subterfuge of a movable calendar, was humbled to the dust; Athens was isolated; and, lastly, those of her own allies who displayed a hostile feeling towards her had been punished; so that, to all outward appearance, the foundations of her empire were at length absolutely well and firmly laid.

451 Lit. “ninety stades.”

452 I.e. fruit-trees.

453 See, for the same sentiment, “Horsemanship,” vi. 13. See also Plut. “Pel.” and “Marc.” (Clough, ii. p. 278).

454 See above, “Hell.” III. iv. 2.

455 Lit. “Spartiates.” The new army was sent out B.C. 380, according to Grote.

456 Lit. “beautiful and brave of the Perioeci.”

457 Xenophon’s own sons educated at Sparta would belong to this class. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 91.

458 See above, IV. iv. 15.

459 See Grote, “H. G.” x. 45, note 4; and below, V. iv. 13.

460 See “Pol. Lac.” v.

461 Lit. “shady tabernacles.”

462 See “Ages.” viii. 2.

463 See below, “Hell.” VII. i. 19.

464 to politokon, the citizen army. See above, IV. iv. 19; “Pol. Lac.” xi.


Abundant examples might be found, alike in Hellenic and in foreign history, to prove that the Divine powers mark what is done amiss, winking neither at impiety nor at the commission of unhallowed acts; but at present I confine myself to the facts before me.465 The Lacedaemonians, who had pledged themselves by oath to leave the states independent, had laid violent hands on the acropolis of Thebes, and were eventually punished by the victims of that iniquity single-handed — the Lacedaemonians, be it noted, who had never before been mastered by living man; and not they alone, but those citizens of Thebes who introduced them to their acropolis, and who wished to enslave their city to Lacedaemon, that they might play the tyrant themselves — how fared it with them? A bare score of the fugitives were sufficient to destroy their government. How this happened I will now narrate in detail.

There was a man named Phyllidas — he was secretary to Archias, that is, to the polemarchs.466 Beyond his official duties, he had rendered his chief other services, and all apparently in an exemplary fashion. A visit to Athens in pursuance of some business brought this man into contact with a former acquaintance of his, Melon, one of the exiles who had fled for safety to Athens. Melon had various questions to ask touching the sort of tyranny practised by Archias in the exercise of the polemarchy, and by Philip. He soon discovered that affairs at home were still more detestable to Phyllidas than to himself. It only remained to exchange pledges, and to arrange the details of what was to be done. After a certain interval Melon, accompanied by six of the trustiest comrades he could find among his fellow-exiles, set off for Thebes. They were armed with nothing but daggers, and first of all crept into the neighbourhood under cover of night. The whole of the next day they lay concealed in a desert place, and drew near to the city gates in the guise of labourers returning home with the latest comers from the fields. Having got safely within the city, they spent the whole of that night at the house of a man named Charon, and again the next day in the same fashion. Phyllidas meanwhile was busily taken up with the concerns of the polemarchs, who were to celebrate a feast of Aphrodite on going out of office. Amongst other things, the secretary was to take this opportunity of fulfilling an old undertaking, which was the introduction of certain women to the polemarchs. They were to be the most majestic and the most beautiful to be found in Thebes. The polemarchs, on their side (and the character of the men is sufficiently marked), were looking forward to the pleasures of the night with joyful anticipation. Supper was over, and thanks to the zeal with which the master of the ceremonies responded to their mood, they were speedily intoxicated. To their oft-repeated orders to introduce their mistresses, he went out and fetched Melon and the rest, three of them dressed up as ladies and the rest as their attendant maidens. Having brought them into the treasury of the polemarchs’ residence,467 he returned himself and announced to Archias and his friends that the women would not present themselves as long as any of the attendants remained in the room; whereupon they promptly bade all withdraw, and Phyllidas, furnishing the servants with a stoup of wine, sent them off to the house of one of them. And now at last he introduced the mistresses, and led them to their seats beside their respective lords. It was preconcerted that as soon as they were seated they were to throw aside their veils and strike home. That is one version of the death of the polemarchs.468 According to another, Melon and his friends came in as revellers, and so despatched their victims.

That over, Phyllidas, with three of the band, set off to the house of Leontiades. Arrived there, he knocked on the door, and sent in word that he had a message from the polemarchs. Leontiades, as chance befell, was still reclining in privacy after dinner, and his wife was seated beside him working wools. The fidelity of Phyllidas was well known to him, and he gave orders to admit him at once. They entered, slew Leontiades, and with threats silenced his wife. As they went out they ordered the door to be shut, threatening that if they found it open they would kill every one in the house. And now that this deed was done, Phyllidas, with two of the band, presented himself at the prison, telling the gaoler he had brought a man from the polemarchs to be locked up. The gaoler opened the door, and was at once despatched, and the prisoners were released. These they speedily supplied with arms taken from the armoury in the stoa, and then led them to the Ampheion,469 and bade them take up a position there, after which they at once made a proclamation calling on all Thebans to come out, horse and foot, seeing that the tyrants were dead. The citizens, indeed, as long as it was night, not knowing whom or what to trust, kept quiet, but when day dawned and revealed what had occurred, the summons was responded to with alacrity, heavy infantry and cavalry under arms alike sallying forth. Horsemen were also despatched by the now restored exiles to the two Athenian generals on the frontier; and they, being aware of the object of the mesage [promptly responded].470

On the other hand, the Lacedaemonian governor in the citadel, as soon as that night’s proclamation reached his ears, was not slow to send to Plataeae471 and Thespiae for reinforcements. The approach of the Plataeans was perceived by the Theban cavalry, who met them and killed a score of them and more, and after that achievement returned to the city, to find the Athenians from the frontier already arrived. Then they assaulted the acropolis. The troops within recognised the paucity of their own numbers, whilst the zeal of their opponents (one and all advancing to the attack) was plainly visible, and loud were the proclamations, promising rewards to those who should be first to scale the walls. All this so worked upon their fears that they agreed to evacuate the place if the citizens would allow them a safe-conduct to retire with their arms. To this request the others gladly yielded, and they made a truce. Oaths were taken on the terms aforesaid, and the citizens dismissed their adversaries. For all that, as the garrison retired, those of them who were recognised as personal foes were seized and put to death. Some were rescued through the good offices of the Athenian reinforcements from the frontier, who smuggled them across and saved them. The Thebans were not content with putting the men to death; if any of them had children, these also were sacrificed to their vengeance.

B.C. 378. When the news of these proceedings reached Sparta the first thing the Lacedaemonians did was to put to death the governor, who had abandoned the Cadmeia instead of awaiting reinforcements, and the next was to call out the ban against Thebes. Agesilaus had little taste to head the expedition; he pointed out that he had seen more than forty years’ service,472 and that the exemption from foreign duty applicable to others at that age was applicable on the same principle to the king. Such were the ostensible grounds on which he excused himself from the present expedition, but his real objections lay deeper. He felt certain that if he led the expedition his fellow-citizens would say: “Agesilaus caused all this trouble to the state in order to aid and abet tyrants.” Therefore he preferred to leave his countrymen to settle the matter themselves as they liked. Accordingly the ephors, instructed by the Theban exiles who had escaped the late massacres, despatched Cleombrotus. He had not commanded before, and it was the depth of winter.

Now while Chabrias, with a body of Athenian peltasts, kept watch and ward over the road through Eleutherae, Cleombrotus made his way up by the direct route to Plataeae. His column of light infantry, pushing forward in advance, fell upon the men who had been released from the Theban prison, guarding the summit, to the number of about one hundred and fifty. These, with the exception of one or two who escaped, were cut down by the peltasts, and Cleombrotus descended in person upon Plataeae, which was still friendly to Sparta. Presently he reached Thespiae, and that was the base for an advance upon Cynoscephalae, where he encamped on Theban territory. Here he halted sixteen days, and then again fell back upon Thespiae. At this latter place he now left Sphodrias as governor, with a third portion of each of the contingents of the allies, handing over to him all the moneys he had brought with him from home, with directions to supplement his force with a contingent of mercenaries.

While Sphodrias was so employed, Cleombrotus himself commenced his homeward march, following the road through Creusis at the head of his own moiety of the troops, who indeed were in considerable perplexity to discover whether they were at war with the Thebans or at peace, seeing that the general had led his army into Theban territory, had inflicted the minimum of mischief, and again retired. No sooner, however, was his back turned than a violent wind storm assailed him in his rear, which some construed as an omen clearly significant of what was about to take place. Many a blow this assailant dealt them, and as the general and his army, crossing from Creusis, scaled that face of the mountain473 which stretches seaward, the blast hurled headlong from the precipices a string of asses, baggage and all: countless arms were wrested from the bearers’ grasp and whirled into the sea; finally, numbers of the men, unable to march with their arms, deposited them at different points of the pass, first filling the hollow of their shields with stones. For the moment, then, they halted at Aegosthena, on Megarian soil, and supped as best they could. Next day they returned and recovered their arms. After this adventure the contingents lost no time in returning to their several homes, as Cleombrotus disbanded them.

Meanwhile at Athens and Thebes alike fear reigned. To the Athenians the strength of the Lacedaemonians was unmistakable: the war was plainly no longer confined to Corinth; on the contrary, the Lacedaemonians had ventured to skirt Athenian territory and to invade Thebes. They were so worked upon by their alarm that the two generals who had been privy to the insurrection of Melon against Leontiades and his party had to suffer: the one was formally tried and put to death; the other, refusing to abide his trial, was banished.

The apprehensions of the Thebans were of a different sort: their fear was rather lest they should find themselves in single-handed war with Lacedaemon. To prevent this they hit upon the following expedient. They worked upon Sphodrias,474 the Spartan governor left in Thespiae, by offering him, as at least was suspected, a substantial sum, in return for which he was to make an incursion into Attica; their great object being to involve Athens and Lacedaemon in hostilities. Sphodrias lent a willing ear, and, pretending that he could easily capture Piraeus in its present gateless condition, gave his troops an early evening meal and marched out of Thespiae, saying that he would reach Piraeus before daybreak. As a matter of fact day overtook him at Thria, nor did he take any pains even to draw a veil over his intentions; on the contrary, being forced to turn aside, he amused himself by recklessly lifting cattle and sacking houses. Meanwhile some who chanced upon him in the night had fled to the city and brought news to the men of Athens that a large body of troops was approaching. It needs no saying with what speed the cavalry and heavy infantry armed themselves and stood on guard to protect the city. As chance befell, there were some Lacedaemonian ambassadors in Athens at the moment, at the house of Callias their proxenos; their names were Etymocles, Aristolochus, and Ocyllus. Immediately on receipt of the news the Athenians seized these three and imprisoned them, as not improbably concerned in the plot. Utterly taken aback by the affair themselves, the ambassadors pleaded that, had they been aware of an attempt to seize Piraeus, they would hardly have been so foolish as to put themselves into the power of the Athenians, or have selected the house of their proxenos for protection, where they were so easily to be found. It would, they further urged, soon be plain to the Athenians themselves that the state of Lacedaemon was quite as little cognisant of these proceedings as they. “You will hear before long”— such was their confident prediction —“that Sphodrias has paid for his behaviour by his life.” On this wise the ambassadors were acquitted of all concern in the matter and dismissed. Sphodrias himself was recalled and indicted by the ephors on the capital charge, and, in spite of his refusal to face the trial, he was acquitted. This miscarriage of justice, as it seemed to many, who described it as unprecedented in Lacedaemon, has an explanation.

Sphodrias had a son named Cleonymus. He was just at the age when youth emerges from boyhood, very handsome and of high repute among his fellows. To this youth Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, was passionately attached. Now the friends of Cleombrotus, as comrades of Sphodrias, were disposed to acquit him; but they feared Agesilaus and his friends, not to mention the intermediate party, for the enormity of his proceeding was clear. So when Sphodrias addressed his son Cleonymus: “You have it in your power, my son, to save your father, if you will, by begging Archidamus to dispose Agesilaus favourably to me at my trial.” Thus instructed, the youth did not shrink from visiting Archidamus, and implored him for his sake to save his father. Now when Archidamus saw how Cleonymus wept, he too was melted to tears as he stood beside him, but to his petition he made answer thus: “Nay, Cleonymus, it is the bare truth I tell you, I cannot so much as look my father in the face;475 if I wished anything transacted for me in the city I would beg assistance from the whole world sooner than from my father. Still, since it is you who bid me, rest assured I will do my best to bring this about for you as you desire.” He then left the common hall476 and retired home to rest, but with dawn he arose and kept watch that his father might not go out without his knowledge. Presently, when he saw him ready to go forth, first some citizen was present, and then another and another; and in each case he stepped aside, while they held his father in conversation. By and by a stranger would come, and then another; and so it went on until he even found himself making way for a string of petitioning attendants. At last, when his father had turned his back on the Eurotas, and was entering his house again, he was fain to turn his back also and be gone without so much as accosting him. The next day he fared no better: all happened as on the previous day. Now Agesilaus, although he had his suspicions why his son went to and fro in this way, asked no questions, but left him to take his own course. Archidamus, on his side, was longing, as was natural, to see his friend Cleonymus; but how he was to visit him, without having held the desired conversation with his father, he knew not. The friends of Sphodrias, observing that he who was once so frequent a visitor had ceased coming, were in agony; he must surely have been deterred by the reproaches of his father. At last, however, Archidamus dared to go to his father, and said, “Father, Cleonymus bids me ask you to save his father; grant me this boon, if possible, I beg you.” He answered: “For yourself, my son, I can make excuse, but how shall my city make excuse for me if I fail to condemn that man who, for his own base purpose, traffics to the injury of the state?” For the moment the other made no reply, but retired crestfallen before the verdict of justice. Afterwards, whether the thought was his own or that he was prompted by some other, he came and said, “Father, if Sphodrias had done no wrong you would have released him, that I know; but now, if he has done something wrong, may he not be excused by you for our sakes?” And the father answered: “If it can be done without loss of honour on our parts, so shall it be.” At that word the young man, in deep despondency, turned and went. Now one of the friends of Sphodrias, conversing with Etymocles, remarked to him: “You are all bent on putting Sphodrias to death, I take it, you friends of Agesilaus?” And Etymocles replied: “If that be so, we all are bent on one thing, and Agesilaus on another, since in all his conversations he still harps upon one string: that Sphodrias has done a wrong there is no denying, yet Sphodrias is a man who, from boyhood to ripe manhood,477 was ever constant to the call of honour. To put such a man as that to death is hard; nay, Sparta needs such soldiers.” The other accordingly went off and reported what he had just heard to Cleonymus; and he in the joy of his heart went straightway to Archidamus and said: “Now we know that you care for us; rest assured, Archidamus, that we in turn will take great pains that you shall never have cause to blush for our friendship.” Nor did his acts belie his words; but so long as he lived he was ever faithful to the code of Spartan chivalry; and at Leuctra, fighting in front of the king side by side with Deinon the polemarch, thrice fell or ever he yielded up his breath — foremost of the citizens amidst the foe. And so, albeit he caused his friend the bitterest sorrow, yet to that which he had promised he was faithful, seeing he wrought Archidamus no shame, but contrariwise shed lustre on him.478 In this way Sphodrias obtained his acquittal.

At Athens the friends of Boeotia were not slow to instruct the people that his countrymen, so far from punishing Sphodrias, had even applauded him for his designs on Athens; and in consequence of this the Athenians not only furnished Piraeus with gates, but set to work to build a fleet, and displayed great zeal in sending aid to the Boeotians.479 The Lacedaemonians, on their side, called out the ban against the Thebans; and being persuaded that in Agesilaus they would find a more prudent general than Cleombrotus had proved, they begged the former to undertake the expedition.480 He, replying that the wish of the state was for him law, began making preparations to take the field.

Now he had come to the conclusion that without the occupation of Mount Cithaeron any attack on Thebes would be difficult. Learning then that the men of Cleitor were just now at war with the men of Orchomenus,481 and were maintaing a foreign brigade, he came to an understanding with the Cleitorians that in the event of his needing it, this force would be at his service; and as soon as the sacrifices for crossing the frontier proved favourable, he sent to the commander of the Cleitorian mercenaries, and handing him a month’s pay, ordered him to occupy Cithaeron with his men. This was before he himself reached Tegea. Meanwhile he sent a message to the men of Orchomenus that so long as the campaign lasted they must cease from war. If any city during his campaign abroad took on itself to march against another city, his first duty, he declared, would be to march against such offending city in accordance with a decree of the allies.

Thus crossing Cithaeron he reached Thespiae,482 and from that base made the territory of Thebes his objective. Finding the great plain fenced round with ditch and palisade, as also the most valuable portions of the country, he adopted the plan of shifting his encampment from one place to another. Regularly each day, after the morning meal, he marched out his troops and ravaged the territory, confining himself to his own side of the palisadings and trench. The appearance of Agesilaus at any point whatever was a signal to the enemy, who within the circuit of his entrenchment kept moving in parallel line to the invader, and was ever ready to defend the threatened point. On one occasion, the Spartan king having retired and being well on the road back to camp, the Theban cavalry, hitherto invisible, suddenly dashed out, following one of the regularly constructed roads out of the entrenchment. Taking advantage of the enemy’s position — his light troops breaking off to supper or busily preparing the meal, and the cavalry, some of them on their legs just483 dismounted, and others in the act of mounting — on they rode, pressing the charge home. Man after man of the light troops was cut down; and three cavalry troopers besides — two Spartans, Cleas and Epicydidas by name, and the third a provincial484 named Eudicus, who had not had time to mount their horses, and whose fate was shared by some Theban485 exiles. But presently Agesilaus wheeled about and advanced with his heavy infantry to the succour; his cavalry dashed at the enemy’s cavalry, and the flower of the heavy infantry, the ten-years-service men, charged by their side. The Theban cavalry at that instant looked like men who had been imbibing too freely in the noontide heat — that is to say, they awaited the charge long enough to hurl their spears; but the volley sped without effect, and wheeling about within that distance they left twelve of their number dead upon the field.

Agesilaus had not failed to note with what regularity the enemy presented himself after the morning meal. Turning the observation to account, he offered sacrifice with day’s dawn, and marched with all possible speed, and so crossed within the palisadings, through what might have been a desert, as far as defence or sign of living being went. Once well inside, he proceeded to cut down and set on fire everything up to the city gates. After this exploit he beat a retreat, retiring into Thespiae, where he fortified their citadel for them. Here he left Phoebidas as governor, while he himself crossed the passes back into Megara. Arrived here he disbanded the allies, and led the city troops homewards.

After the departure of Agesilaus, Phoebidas devoted himself to harrying the Thebans by sending out robber bands, and laid waste their land by a system of regular incursions. The Thebans, on their side, desiring to retaliate, marched out with their whole force into the territory of Thespiae. But once well inside the district they found themselves closely beset by Phoebidas and his light troops, who would not give them the slightest chance to scatter from their main body, so that the Thebans, heartily vexed at the turn their foray had taken, beat a retreat quicker than they had come. The muleteers threw away with their own hands the fruits they had captured, in their anxiety to get home as quickly as possible; so dire a dread had fallen upon the invading army. This was the chance for the Spartan to press home his attack boldly, keeping his light division in close attendance on himself, and leaving the heavy infantry under orders to follow him in battle order. He was in hopes even that he might put the enemy to complete rout, so valiantly did he lead the advance, encouraging the light troops to “come to a close grip with the invadors,” or summoning the heavy infantry of the Thespiaeans to “bring up their supports.” Presently the Theban cavalry as they retired found themselves face to face with an impassable glen or ravine, where in the first instance they collected in a mob, and next wheeled right-about-face in sheer resourcelessness where to cross. The handful of light troops who formed the Spartan vanguard took fright at the Thebans and fled, and the Theban horsemen seeing this put in practice the lesson of attack which the fugitives taught them. As for Phoebidas himself, he and two or three with him fell sword in hand, whereupon his mercenary troops all took to their heels.

When the stream of fugitives reached the Thespiaean heavy infantry reserves, they too, in spite of much boasting beforehand that they would never yield to Thebans, took to flight, though there was now absolutely no pursuit whatever, for it was now late. The number slain was not large, but, for all that, the men of Thespiae did not come to a standstill until they found themselves safe inside their walls. As a sequel, the hopes and spirits of the Thebans were again kindled into new life, and they made campaigns against Thespiae and the other provincial cities of Boeotia.486 It must be admitted that in each case the democratical party retired from these cities to Thebes; since absolute governments had been established in all of them on the pattern previously adopted at Thebes; and the result was that the friends of Lacedaemon in these cities also needed her assistance.487 After the death of Phoebidas the Lacedaemonians despatched a polemarch with a division by sea to form the garrison of Thespiae.

B.C. 377. With the advent of spring488 the ephors again called out the ban against Thebes, and requested Agesilaus to lead the expedition, as on the former campaign. He, holding to his former theory with regard to the invasion, even before sacrificing the customary frontier sacrifice, sent a despatch to the polemarch at Thespiae, with orders to seize the pass which commands the road over Cithaeron, and to guard it against his arrival. Then, having once more crossed the pass and reached Plataeae, he again made a feint of marching first into Thespiae, and so sent a despatch ordering supplies to be in readiness, and all embassies to be waiting his arrival there; so that the Thebans concentrated their attention on the approaches from Thespiae, which they strongly guarded. Next morning, however, Agesilaus sacrificed at daybreak and set out on the road to Erythrae,489 and completing in one day what was a good two days’ march for an army, gave the Thebans the slip, and crossed their palisade-work at Scolus before the enemy had arrived from the closely-guarded point at which he had effected his entrance formerly. This done he proceeded to ravage the eastward-facing districts of the city of Thebes as far as the territory of Tanagra, for at that date Tanagra was still in the hands of Hypatodorus and his party, who were friends of the Lacedaemonians. After that he turned to retire, keeping the walls of Thebes on his left. But the Thebans, who had stolen, as it were, upon the scene, drew up at the spot called “The Old Wife’s Breast,”490 keeping the trench and palisading in their rear: they were persuaded that here, if anywhere, lay their chance to risk a decisive engagement, the ground at this point being somewhat narrow and difficult to traverse. Agesilaus, however, in view of the situation, refused to accept the challenge. Instead of marching upon them he turned sharp off in the direction of the city; and the Thebans, in alarm for the city in its undefended state, abandoned the favourable ground on which they were drawn up in battle line, and retired at the double towards the city along the road to Potniae, which seemed the safer route. This last move of Agesilaus may be described as a stroke of genius:491 while it allowed him to retire to a distance, it forced the enemy themselves to retreat at the double. In spite of this, however, one or two of the polemarchs, with their divisions, charged the foe as he raced past. But again the Thebans, from the vantage-ground of their heights, sent volleys of spears upon the assailants, which cost one of the polemarchs, Alypetus, his life. He fell pierced by a spear. But again from this particular crest the Thebans on their side were forced to turn in flight; so much so that the Sciritae, with some of the cavalry, scaled up and speedily cut down the rearmost ranks of the Thebans as they galloped past into the city. When, however, they were close under cover of their walls the Thebans turned, and the Sciritae seeing them retreated at more than a steady walking pace. No one, it is true, was slain; but the Thebans all the same set up a trophy in record of the incident at the point where the scaling party had been forced to retreat.

And now, since the hour was come, Agesilaus fell back and encamped on the very site on which he had seen the enemy drawn up in battle array. Next day he retired by the road to Thespiae. The light troops, who formed a free corps in the pay of the Thebans, hung audaciously at his heels. Their shouts could be heard calling out to Chabrias492 for not bringing up his supports; when the cavalry of the Olynthians (who now contributed a contingent in accordance with their oaths)493 wheeled round on them, caught the pursuers in the heat of their pursuit, and drove them uphill, putting large numbers of them to the sword — so quickly are infantry overhauled by cavalry on steep ground which can be ridden over. Being arrived within the walls of Thespiae, Agesilaus found the citizens in a state of party feud, the men of Lacedaemonian proclivities desiring to put their political opponents, one of whom was Menon, to death494 — a proceeding which Agesilaus would not sanction. After having healed their differences and bound them over by solemn oath to keep the peace with one another, he at once retired, taking his old route across Cithaeron to Megara. Here once more he disbanded the allies, and at the head of the city troops himself marched back to Sparta.

The Thebans had not gathered in the fruits of their soil for two years now, and began to be sorely pinched for want of corn; they therefore sent a body of men on board a couple of triremes to Pagasae, with ten talents495 in hand for the purchase of corn. But while these commissioners were engaged in effecting their purchases, Alcetas, the Lacedaemonian who was garrisoning Oreus,496 fitted out three triremes, taking precautions that no rumour of his proceedings should leak out. As soon as the corn was shipped and the vessels under weigh, he captured not only the corn but the triremes, escort and all, numbering no less than three hundred men. This done he locked up his prisoners in the citadel, where he himself was also quartered. Now there was a youth, the son of a native of Oreus, fair of mien and of gentle breeding,497 who danced attendance on the commandant: and the latter must needs leave the citadel and go down to busy himself with this youth. This was a piece of carelessness which the prisoners did not fail to observe, and turned to good account by seizing the citadel, whereupon the town revolted, and the Thebans experienced no further difficulty in obtaining corn supplies.

B.C. 376. At the return of spring Agesilaus lay sick — a bedridden invalid. The history of the case is this: During the withdrawal of his army from Thebes the year before, when at Megara, while mounting from the Aphrodision498 to the Government house he ruptured a vein or other vessel of the body. This was followed by a rush of blood to his sound leg. The knee was much swelled, and the pain intolerable, until a Syracusan surgeon made an incision in the vein near the ankle. The blood thus let flowed night and day; do what they could to stop the discharge, all failed, till the patient fainted away; then it ceased. In this plight Agesilaus was conveyed home on a litter to Lacedaemon, and remained an invalid the rest of that summer and throughout the winter.

But to resume: at the first burst of spring the Lacedaemonians again called out the ban, and gave orders to Cleombrotus to lead the expedition. The king found himself presently with his troops at the foot of Cithaeron, and his light infantry advanced to occupy the pass which commands the road. But here they found a detachment of Thebans and Athenians already in occupation of the desired height, who for a while suffered them to approach; but when they were close upon them, sprang from their position and charged, putting about forty to the sword. This incident was sufficient to convince Cleombrotus that to invade Thebes by this mountain passage was out of the question, and in this faith he led back and disbanded his troops.

The allies met in Lacedaemon, and arguments were adduced on the part of the allies to show that faintheartedness would very soon lead to their being absolutely worn out by the war. They had got it in their power, it was urged, to fit out a fleet far outnumbering that of Athens, and to reduce that city by starvation; it was open to them, in the self-same ships, to carry an army across into Theban territory, and they had a choice of routes — the road into Phocis, or, if they preferred, by Creusis. After thus carefully considering the matter they manned a fleet of sixty triremes, and Pollis was appointed admiral in command. Nor indeed were their expectations altogether belied. The Athenians were soon so closely blockaded that their corn vessels could get no farther than Geraestus;499 there was no inducing them to coast down father south, with a Lacedaemonian navy hovering about Aegina and Ceos and Andros. The Athenians, making a virtue of necessity, manned their ships in person, gave battle to Pollis under the leadership of Chabrias, and came out of the sea-fight500 victorious.

B.C. 375. Then the corn supplies flowed freely into Athens. The Lacedaemonians, on their side, were preparing to transport an army across the water into Boeotia, when the Thebans sent a request to the Athenians urging them to despatch an armament round Peloponnesus, under the persuasion that if this were done the Lacedaemonians would find it impossible at once to guard their own or the allied territory in that part of the world, and at the same time to convery an army of any size to operate against Thebes. The proposals fell in with the present temper of the Athenians, irritated with Lacedaemon on account of the exploit of Sphodrias. Accordingly they eagerly manned a fleet of sixty vessels, appointing Timotheus as admiral in command, and despatched it on a cruise round Peloponnesus.

The Thebans, seeing that there had been no hostile invasion of their territory for so long (neither during the campaign of Cleombrotus nor now,501 whilst Timotheus prosecuted his coasting voyage), felt emboldened to carry out a campaign on their own account against the provincial cities;502 and one by one they again recovered them.

Timotheus in his cruise reached Corcyra, and reduced it at a blow. That done, he neither enslaved the inhabitants nor drove them into exile, nor changed their laws. And of this conduct he reaped the benefit of the increased cordiality503 of all the cities of those parts. The Lacedaemonians thereupon fitted out and despatched a counter fleet, with Nicolochus in command, an officer of consummate boldness. This admiral no sooner caught sight of Timotheus’s fleet than without hesitation, and in spite of the absence of six Ambraciot vessels which formed part of his squadron, he gave battle, with fifty-five ships to the enemy’s sixty. The result was a defeat at the moment, and Timotheus set up a trophy at Alyzia. But as soon as the six missing Ambraciot vessels had reinforced him — the ships of Timotheus meanwhile being docked and undergoing repairs — he bore down upon Alyzia in search of the Athenian, and as Timotheus refused to put out to meet him, the Lacedaemonian in turn set up a trophy on the nearest group of islands.

B.C. 374. Timotheus, after repairing his original squadron and manning more vessels from Corcyra, found himself at the head of more than seventy ships. His naval superiority was undisputed, but he was forced to send to Athens for moneys, seeing his fleet was large and his wants not trifling.

465 Or, “it is of my own subject that I must now speak.” For the “peripety,” or sudden reversal of circumstances, on which the plot of the “Hellenica” hinges, see Grote, “H. G.” x. 100-108. Cf. Soph. “Oed. Tyr.” 450; “Antig.” 1066; Thuc. v. 116; “Hellenica Essays,” “Xenophon,” p. 382 foll. This passage is perhaps the key to the historian’s position.

466 Lit. “to Archias and his (polemarchs)”; but the Greek phrase does not, as the English would, imply that there were actually more than two polemarchs, viz. Archias and Philippus. Hypates and Leontiades belonged to the faction, but were neither of them polemarchs.

467 Lit. “Polemarcheion.”

468 Or, “and so, according to the prevalent version of the matter, the polemarchs were slain. But some say that . . .”

469 See plan of Thebes, “Dict. Geog.”; Arrian, “Anab.” i. 8; Aesch. “Sept. c. Theb.” 528.

470 Supply epeboethoun. There is a lacuna in the MSS. at this point.

471 This city had been refounded in B.C. 386 (Isocr. “Plat.” 20, 21). See Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. p. 170: “Its restoration implied not only a loss of Theban supremacy, but the actual loss of that portion of the existing Theban territory which had formerly formed the Plataian district.”

472 And was therefore more than fifty-eight years old at this date. See “Ages.” i. 6.

473 I.e. “Cithaeron.”

474 See Plut. “Pel.” xiv. (Clough, ii. p. 214).

475 See “Cyrop.” I. iv. 12.

476 Lit. “the Philition.” See “Pol. Lac.” iii. 6.

477 Lit. “who, whether as child, boy, or young man”; and for the three stages of growth, see “Pol. Lac.” ii. iii. iv.

478 I.e. both in life and in death.

479 For the new Athenian confederacy of Delos of this year, B.C. 378, see “Pol. Lac.” xiv. 6; “Rev.” v. 6; Diod. xv. 28-30; Plut. “Pelop.” xv.; Hicks, 78, 81; and for an alliance between Athens and Chalcis in Euboea, see Hicks, 79; and for a treaty with Chios, Hicks, 80.

480 See “Ages.” ii. 22.

481 In Arcadia. See Busolt, “Die Lak.” 120 foll.

482 By Cynoscephalae. See “Ages.” ii. 22.

483 Read, after Courier, arti for the vulg. eti; or, better still, adopt Hartman’s emendation (op. cit. p. 379), ton men ede katabebekoton ton de katabainonton, and translate “some — already dismounted, and others dismounting.”

484 Lit. “one of the perioeci.”

485 Reading Thebaion after Dind. for ‘Athenaion.

486 Lit. “their other perioecid cities.” For the significance of this title as applied by the Thebans (and perhaps commonly) to the other cities of Boeotia, see Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. pp. 157, 173 foll.

487 See Grote, “H. G.” x. 174; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 171, 172.

488 See for affairs of Delos, never actually named by Xenophon, between B.C. 377 and 374, the Sandwich Marble in Trinity College, Cambridge; Boeckh, “C. I. G” 158, and “P. E. A.” ii. p. 78 foll.; Hicks, 82.

489 Erythrae (Redlands) stands between Hysiae and Scolus, east of Katzula. — Leake, “N. Gr.” ii. 329. See Herod. ix. 15, 25; Thuc. iii. 24; Paus. IX. ii. 1; Strab. IX. ii.

490 Lit. “Graos Stethos.”

491 Or, “and this move of Agesilaus was regarded as a very pretty one.”

492 For the exploits of Chabrias, who commanded a division of mixed Athenians and mercenaries (see above, S. 14), see Dem. “c. Lept.” 479; Polyaen. ii. 1, 2; Diod. xv. 32, 33, who gives interesting details; Grote, “H. G.” x. 172 foll.

493 See above, “Hell.” V. iii. 26.

494 Or, “under the pretext of furthering Laconian interests there was a desire to put political opponents to death.” For “Menon,” Diod. conj. “Melon.”

495 = 2,437 pounds: 10 shillings.

496 Oreus, formerly called Histiaea, in the north of Euboea. See Thuc. vii. 57, viii. 95; Diod. xv. 30; Grote, “H. G.” ix. 263. For Pagasae at the north extremity of the Pagasaean Gulf, “the cradle of Greek navigation,” see Tozer, “Geog. Gr.” vi. p. 124; Strab. IX. v. 15.

497 Or, “beautiful and brave if ever youth was.”

498 Pausanius (I. xi. 6) mentions a temple of Aphrodite ‘Epistrophoa (Verticordia), on the way up to the Carian Acropolis of Megara.

499 The promontory at the southern extremity of Euboea.

500 Battle of Naxos, B.C. 376. For interesting details, see Diod. xv. 35, 35.

501 Lit. “nor at the date of Timotherus’s periplus.” To the historian writing of the events of this period several years later, the coasting voyage of Timotheus is a single incident (periepleuse), and as Grote (“H. G.” x. 185, note 3) observes, the words may “include not simply the time which Timotheus took in actually circumnavigating Peloponnesos, but the year which he spent afterwards in the Ionian sea, and the time which he occupied in performing his exploits near Korkyra, Leukas, and the neighbourhood generally.” For the character and exploits of Timotheus, son of Conon, see Isocr. “Or.” xv. “On the Antidosis,” SS. 101-139; Jebb, “Att. Or.” ii. p. 140 foll.; Rehdantz, “Vit. Iphicr. Chabr. Timoth. Atheniensium.”

502 Or, “the cities round about their territory,” lit. “the perioecid cities.” For the import of the epithet, see V. iv. 46; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 173, note 1, in reference to Grote, “H. G.” x. 183, note 4. For the battle of Tegyra see Grote, ib. 182; Plut. “Pelop.” 17; Diod. xv. 57 (“evidently this battle,” Grote); Callisthenes, fr. 3, ed. Did. Cf. Steph. Byz., Tegura.

503 The Corcyraeans, Acarnanians, and Cephallenians join the alliance B.C. 375; see Hicks, 83. “This decree dates from the autumn of B.C. 375, immediately after Timotheos’s visit to Korkyra (Xen. ‘Hell.’ V. iv. 64). The result was that the names of Korkyra, Kephallenia, and Akarnania were inscribed upon the list (No. 81), and an alliance was made with them.” See “C. I. A.” ii. p. 399 foll.; Hicks, loc. cit.; “Hell.” VI. v. 23); “C. I. A.” ii. 14. The tablet is in the Asclepeian collection at the entrance of the Acropolis at Athens. See Milchofer, “Die Museum Athens,” 1881, p. 45.


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