Hellenica, by Xenophon



B.C. 374. The Athenians and Lacedaemonians were thus engaged. But to return to the Thebans. After the subjugation of the cities in Boeotia, they extended the area of aggression and marched into Phocis. The Phocians, on their side, sent an embassy to Lacedaemon, and pleaded that without assistance from that power they must inevitably yield to Thebes. The Lacedaemonians in response conveyed by sea into the territory of Phocis their king Cleombrotus, at the head of four regiments and the contingents of the allies.

About the same time Polydamus of Pharsalus arrived from Thessaly to address the general assembly504 of Lacedaemon. He was a man of high repute throughout the whole of Thessaly, while in his native city he was regarded as so true a gentleman that the faction-ridden Pharsalians were content to entrust the citadel to his keeping, and to allow their revenues to pass through his hands. It was his privilege to disburse the money needed for sacred rites or other expenditure, within the limits of their written law and constitution. Out of these moneys this faithful steward of the state was able to garrison and guard in safety for the citizens their capital. Every year he rendered an account of his administration in general. If there was a deficit he made it up out of his own pocket, and when the revenues expanded he paid himself back. For the rest, his hospitality to foreigners and his magnificence were on a true Thessalian scale. Such was the style and character of the man who now arrived in Lacedaemon and spoke as follows:

“Men of Lacedaemon, it is in my capacity as ‘proxenos’ and ‘benefactor’ (titles borne by my ancestry from time immemorial) that I claim, or rather am bound, in case of any difficulty to come to you, and, in case of any complication dangerous to your interests in Thessaly, to give you warning. The name of Jason, I feel sure, is not unknown to Lacedaemonian ears. His power as a prince is sufficiently large, and his fame widespread. It is of Jason I have to speak. Under cover of a treaty of peace he has lately conferred with me, and this is the substance of what he urged: ‘Polydamas,’ he said, ‘if I chose I could lay your city at my feet, even against its will, as the following considerations will prove to you. See,’ he went on, ‘the majority and the most important of the states of Thessaly are my allies. I subdued them in campaigns in which you took their side in opposition to myself. Again, you do not need to be told that I have six thousand mercenaries who are a match in themselves, I take it, for any single state. It is not the mere numbers on which I insist. No doubt as large an army could be raised in other quarters; but these citizen armies have this defect — they include men who are already advanced in years, with others whose beards are scarcely grown. Again, it is only a fraction of the citizens who attend to bodily training in a state, whereas with me no one takes mercenary service who is not as capable of endurance as myself.’

“And here, Lacedaemonians, I must tell you what is the bare truth. This Jason is a man stout of limb and robust of body, with an insatiable appetite for toil. Equally true is it that he tests the mettle of those with him day by day. He is always at their head, whether on a field-day under arms, or in the gymnasium, or on some military expedition. The weak members of the corps he weeds out, but those whom he sees bear themselves stout-heartedly in the face of war, like true lovers of danger and of toil, he honours with double, treble, and quadruple pay, or with other gifts. On the bed of sickness they will not lack attendance, nor honour in their graves. Thus every foreigner in his service knows that his valour in war may obtain for him a livelihood — a life replete at once with honour and abundance.505

“Then with some parade he pointed out to me what I knew before, that the Maracians, and the Dolopians, and Alcetas the hyparch506 in Epirus, were already subject to his sway; ‘so that I may fairly ask you, Polydamas,’ he proceeded, ‘what I have to apprehend that I should not look on your future subjugation as mere child’s play. Perhaps some one who did not know me, and what manner of man I am, might put it to me: “Well! Jason, if all you say be true, why do you hesitate? why do you not march at once against Pharsalia?” For the good reason, I reply, that it suits me better to win you voluntarily than to annex you against your wills. Since, if you are forced, you will always be planning all the mischief you can against me, and I on my side shall be striving to diminish your power; whereas if you throw in your lot with mine trustfully and willingly, it is certain we shall do what we can to help each other. I see and know, Polydamas, that your country fixes her eyes on one man only, and that is yourself: what I guarantee you, therefore, is that, if you will dispose her lovingly to myself, I on my side will raise you up to be the greatest man in Hellas next to me. Listen, while I tell you what it is in which I offer you the second prize. Listen, and accept nothing which does not approve itself as true to your own reasoning. First, is it not plain to us both, that with the adhesion of Pharsalus and the swarm of pettier states dependent on yourselves, I shall with infinite ease become Tagos507 of all the Thessalians; and then the corollary — Thessaly so united — sixteen thousand cavalry and more than ten thousand heavy infantry leap into life. Indeed, when I contemplate the physique and proud carriage of these men, I cannot but persuade myself that, with proper handling, there is not a nation or tribe of men to which Thessalians would deign to yield submission. Look at the broad expanse of Thessaly and consider: when once a Tagos is established here, all the tribes in a circle round will lie stilled in subjection; and almost every member of each of these tribes is an archer born, so that in the light infantry division of the service our power must needs excel. Furthermore, the Boeotians and all the rest of the world in arms against Lacedaemon are my allies; they clamour to follow my banner, if only I will free them from Sparta’s yoke. So again the Athenians, I make sure, will do all they can to gain our alliance; but with them I do not think we will make friends, for my persuasion is that empire by sea will be even easier to acquire than empire by land; and to show you the justice of this reasoning I would have you weigh the following considerations. With Macedonia, which is the timber-yard508 of the Athenian navy, in our hands we shall be able to construct a far larger fleet than theirs. That stands to reason. And as to men, which will be the better able to man vessels, think you — Athens, or ourselves with our stalwart and numerous Penestae?509 Which will better support mariners — a nation which, like our own, out of her abundance exports her corn to foriegn parts, or Athens, which, but for foreign purchases, has not enough to support herself? And so as to wealth in general it is only natural, is it not, that we, who do not look to a string of little islands for supplies, but gather the fruits of continental peoples, should find our resources more copious? As soon as the scattered powers of Thessaly are gathered into a principality, all the tribes around, I repeat, will become our tributaries. I need not tell you that the king of Persia reaps the fruits, not of islands, but of a continent, and he is the wealthiest of men! But the reduction of Persia will be still more practicable, I imagine, than that of Hellas, for there the men, save one, are better versed in slavery than in prowess. Nor have I forgotten, during the advance of Cyrus, and afterwards under Agesilaus, how scant the force was before which the Persian quailed.’

“Such, Lacedaemonians, were the glowing arguments of Jason. In answer I told him that what he urged was well worth weighing, but that we, the friends of Lacedaemon, should so, without a quarrel, desert her and rush into the arms of her opponents, seemed to me sheer madness. Whereat he praised me, and said that now must he needs cling all the closer to me if that were my disposition, and so charged me to come to you and tell you the plain truth, which is, that he is minded to march against Pharsalus if we will not hearken to him. Accordingly he bade me demand assistance from you; ‘and if they suffer you,’510 he added, ‘so to work upon them that they will send you a force sufficient to do battle with me, it is well: we will abide by war’s arbitrament, nor quarrel with the consequence; but if in your eyes that aid is insufficient, look to yourself. How shall you longer be held blameless before that fatherland which honours you and in which you fare so well?’511

“These are the matters,” Polydamas continued, “which have brought me to Lacedaemon. I have told you the whole story; it is based partly on what I see to be the case, and partly on what I have heard from yonder man. My firm belief is, men of Lacedaemon, that if you are likely to despatch a force sufficient, not in my eyes only, but in the eyes of all the rest of Thessaly, to cope with Jason in war, the states will revolt from him, for they are all in alarm as to the future development of the man’s power; but if you think a company of newly-enfranchised slaves and any amateur general will suffice, I advise you to rest in peace. You may take my word for it, you will have a great power to contend against, and a man who is so prudent a general that, in all he essays to do, be it an affair of secrecy, or speed, or force, he is wont to hit the mark of his endeavours: one who is skilled, should occasion serve, to make the night of equal service to him with the day;512 or, if speed be needful, will labour on while breakfasting or taking an evening meal. And as for repose, he thinks that the time for it has come when the goal is reached or the business on hand accomplished. And to this same practice he has habituated those about him. Right well he knows how to reward the expectations of his soldiers, when by the extra toil which makes the difference they have achieved success; so that in his school all have laid to heart that maxim, ‘Pain first and pleasure after.’513 And in regard to pleasure of the senses, of all men I know, he is the most continent; so that these also are powerless to make him idle at the expense of duty. You must consider the matter then and tell me, as befits you, what you can and will do.”

Such were the representations of Polydamas. The Lacedaemonians, for the time being, deferred their answer; but after calculating the next day and the day following how many divisions514 they had on foreign service, and how many ships on the coast of Laconia to deal with the foreign squadron of the Athenians, and taking also into account the war with their neighbours, they gave their answer to Polydamas: “For the present they would not be able to send him sufficient aid: under the circumstances they advised him to go back and make the best settlement he could of his own affairs and those of his city.” He, thanking the Lacedaemonians for their straightforwardness, withdrew.

The citadel of Pharsalus he begged Jason not to force him to give up: his desire was to preserve it for those who had entrusted it to his safe keeping; his own sons Jason was free to take as hostages, and he would do his best to procure for him the voluntary adhesion of his city by persuasion, and in every way to further his appointment as Tagos of Thessaly. Accordingly, after interchange of solemn assurances between the pair, the Pharsalians were let alone and in peace, and ere long Jason was, by general consent, appointed Tagos of all the Thessalians. Once fairly vested with that authority, he drew up a list of the cavalry and heavy infantry which the several states were capable of furnishing as their quota, with the result that his cavalry, inclusive of allies, numbered more than eight thousand, while his infantry force was computed at not less than twenty thousand; and his light troops would have been a match for those of the whole world — the mere enumeration of their cities would be a labour in itself.515 His next act was a summons to all the dwellers round516 to pay tribute exactly the amount imposed in the days of Scopas.517 And here in this state of accomplishment we may leave these matters. I return to the point reached when this digression into the affairs of Jason began.

504 pros to koinon, “h.e. vel ad ad senatum vel ad ephoros vel ad concionem.”— Sturz, “Lex. Xen.” s.v.

505 Or, “a life satisfying at once to soul and body.”

506 Or, “his underlord in Epirus.” By hyparch, I suppose, is implied that Alcetas regarded Jason as his suzerain. Diodorus (xv. 13, 36) speaks of him as “king” of the Molossians.

507 Or, “Prince,” and below, “Thessaly so converted into a Principality.” “The Tagos of Thessaly was not a King, because his office was not hereditary or even permanent; neither was he exactly a Tyrant, because his office had some sort of legal sanction. But he came much nearer to the character either of a King or of a Tyrant than to that of a Federal President like the General of the Achaians. . . . Jason of Pherai acts throughout like a King, and his will seems at least as uncontrolled as that of his brother sovereign beyond the Kambunian hills. Even Jason seems to have been looked upon as a Tyrant (see below, ‘Hell.’ VI. iv. 32); possibly, like the Athenian Demos, he himself did not refuse the name” (cf. Arist. “Pol.” iii. 4, 9). — Freeman, “Hist. Fed. Gov.” “No True Federation in Thessaly,” iv. pp. 152 foll.

508 See above, and Hicks, 74.

509 Or, “peasantry.”

510 Or, reading theoi, after Cobet; translate “if providentially they should send you.”

511 Reading kai e su pratteis, after Cobet. The chief MSS. give ouk ede anegkletos an dikaios eies en te patridi e se tima kai su prattois ta kratista, which might be rendered either, “and how be doing best for yourself?” [lit. “and you would not be doing best for yourself,” ouk an carried on from previous clause], or (taking prattois as pure optative), “may you be guided to adopt the course best for yourself!” “may the best fortune attend you! Farewell.” See Otto Keller, op. cit. ad loc. for various emendations.

512 See “Cyrop.” III. i. 19.

513 For this sentiment, see “Mem.” II. i. 20 et passim.

514 Lit. “morai.”

515 See “Cyrop.” I. i. 5.

516 Lit. perioeci.

517 It is conjectured that the Scopadae ruled at Pherae and Cranusa in the earlier half of the fifth century B.C.; see, for the change of dynasty, what is said of Lycophron of Pherae in “Hell.” II. iii. 4. There was a famous Scopas, son of Creon, to whom Simonides addressed his poem —

Andr’ agathon men alatheos genesthai khalepon khersin te kai posi kai noo tetragonon, aneu psogou tetugmenon.

a sentiment criticised by Plato, “Protag.” 359 A. “Now Simonides says to Scopas, the son of Creon, the Thessalian:

‘Hardly on the one hand can a man become truly good; built four-square in hands and feet and mind, a work without a flaw.’

Do you know the poem?”— Jowett, “Plat.” i. 153. But whether this Scopas is the Scopas of our text and a hero of Jason’s is not clear.


B.C. 374. The Lacedaemonians and their allies were collecting in Phocia, and the Thebans, after retreating into their own territory, were guarding the approaches. At this juncture the Athenians, seeing the Thebans growing strong at their expense without contributing a single penny to the maintenance of the fleet, while they themselves, what with money contributions, and piratical attacks from Aegina, and the garrisoning of their territory, were being pared to the bone, conceived a desire to cease from war. In this mood they sent an embassy to Lacedaemon and concluded peace.518

B.C. 374-373. This done, two of the ambassadors, in obedience to a decree of the state, set sail at once from Laconian territory, bearing orders to Timotheus to sail home, since peace was established. That officer, while obeying his orders, availed himself of the homeward voyage to land certain Zacynthian exiles519 on their native soil, whereupon the Zacynthian city party sent to Lacedaemon and complained of the treatment they had received from Timotheus; and the Lacedaemonians, without further consideration, decided that the Athenians were in the wrong, and proceeded to equip another navy, and at length collected from Laconia itself, from Corinth, Leucas,520 Ambracia, Elis, Zacynthus, Achaia, Epidaurus, Troezen, Hermione, and Halieis, a force amounting to sixty sail. In command of this squadron they appointed Mnasippus admiral, with orders to attack Corcyra, and in general to look after their interests in those seas. They, moreover, sent an embassy to Dionysius, instructing him that his interests would be advanced by the withdrawal of Corcyra from Athenian hands.

B.C. 373. Accordingly Mnasippus set sail, as soon as his squadron was ready, direct to Corcyra; he took with him, besides his troops from Lacedaemon, a body of mercenaries, making a total in all of no less than fifteen hundred men. His disembarked, and soon became master of the island, the country district falling a prey to the spoiler. It was in a high state of cultivation, and rich with fruit-trees, not to speak of magnificent dwelling-houses and wine-cellars fitted up on the farms: so that, it was said, the soldiers reached such a pitch of luxury that they refused to drink wine which had not a fine bouquet. A crowd of slaves, too, and fat beasts were captured on the estates.

The general’s next move was to encamp with his land forces about three-quarters of a mile521 from the city district, so that any Corcyraean who attempted to leave the city to go into the country would certainly be cut off on that side. The fleet he stationed on the other side of the city, at a point where he calculated on detecting and preventing the approach of convoys. Besides which he established a blockade in front of the harbour when the weather permitted. In this way the city was completely invested.

The Corcyraeans, on their side, were in the sorest straits. They could get nothing from their soil owing to the vice in which they were gripped by land, whilst owing to the predominance of the enemy at sea nothing could be imported. Accordingly they sent to the Athenians and begged for their assistance. They urged upon them that it would be a great mistake if they suffered themselves to be robbed of Corcyra. If they did so, they would not only throw away a great advantage to themselves, but add a considerable strength to their enemy; since, with the exception of Athens, no state was capable of furnishing a larger fleet or revenue. Moreover, Corcyra lay favourably522 for commanding the Corinthian gulf and the cities which line its shores; it was splendidly situated for injuring the rural districts of Laconia, and still more splendidly in relation to the opposite shores of the continent of Epirus, and the passage between Peloponnesus and Sicily.

This appeal did not fall on deaf ears. The Athenians were persuaded that the matter demanded their most serious attention, and they at once despatched Stesicles as general,523 with about six hundred peltasts. They also requested Alcetas to help them in getting their troops across. Thus under cover of night the whole body were conveyed across to a point in the open country, and found their way into the city. Nor was that all. The Athenians passed a decree to man sixty ships of war, and elected524 Timotheus admiral. The latter, being unable to man the fleet on the spot, set sail on a cruise to the islands and tried to make up the complements of his crews from those quarters. He evidently looked upon it as no light matter to sail round Peloponnesus as if on a voyage of pleasure, and to attack a fleet in the perfection of training.525 To the Athenians, however, it seemed that he was wasting the precious time seasonable for the coastal voyage, and they were not disposed to condone such an error, but deposed him, appointing Iphicrates in his stead. The new general was no sooner appointed than he set about getting his vessels manned with the utmost activity, putting pressure on the trierarchs. He further procured from the Athenians for his use not only any vessels cruising on the coast of Attica, but the Paralus and Salaminia526 also, remarking that, if things turned out well yonder, he would soon send them back plenty of ships. Thus his numbers grew to something like seventy sail.

Meanwhile the Corcyraeans were sore beset with famine: desertion became every day more frequent, so much so that Mnasippus caused proclamation to be made by herald that all deserters would be sold there and then;527 and when that had no effect in lessening the stream of runaways, he ended by driving them back with the lash. Those within the walls, however, were not disposed to receive these miserable slaves within the lines, and numbers died outside. Mnasippus, not blind to what was happening, soon persuaded himself that he had as good as got the city into his possession: and he began to try experiments on his mercenaries. Some of them he had already paid off;528 others still in his service had as much as two months’ pay owing to them by the general, who, if report spoke true, had no lack of money, since the majority of the states, not caring for a campaign across the seas, sent him hard cash instead of men. But now the beleaguered citizens, who could espy from their towers that the outposts were less carefully guarded than formerly, and the men scattered about the rural districts, made a sortie, capturing some and cutting down others. Mnasippus, perceiving the attack, donned his armour, and, with all the heavy troops he had, rushed to the rescue, giving orders to the captains and brigadiers529 to lead out the mercenaries. Some of the captains answered that it was not so easy to command obedience when the necessaries of life were lacking; whereat the Spartan struck one man with his staff, and another with the butt of his spear. Without spirit and full of resentment against their general, the men mustered — a condition very unfavourable to success in battle. Having drawn up the troops, the general in person repulsed the division of the enemy which was opposite the gates, and pursued them closely; but these, rallying close under their walls, turned right about, and from under cover of the tombs kept up a continuous discharge of darts and other missiles; other detachments, dashing out at other gates, meanwhile fell heavily on the flanks of the enemy. The Lacedaemonians, being drawn up eight deep, and thinking that the wing of their phalanx was of inadeqate strength, essayed to wheel around; but as soon as they began the movement the Corcyraeans attacked them as if they were fleeing, and they were then unable to recover themselves,530 while the troops next in position abandoned themselves to flight. Mnasippus, unable to succour those who were being pressed owing to the attack of the enemy immediately in front, found himself left from moment to moment with decreasing numbers. At last the Corcyraeans collected, and with one united effort made a final rush upon Mnasippus and his men, whose numbers were now considerably reduced. At the same instant the townsmen,531 eagerly noticing the posture of affairs, rushed out to play their part. First Mnasippus was slain, and then the pursuit became general; nor could the pursuers well have failed to capture the camp, barricade and all, had they not caught sight of the mob of traffickers with a long array of attendants and slaves, and thinking that here was a prize indeed, desisted from further chase.

The Corcyraeans were well content for the moment to set up a trophy and to give back the enemy’s dead under a flag of truce; but the after-consequences were even more important to them in the revival of strength and spirits which were sunk in despondency. The rumour spread that Iphicrates would soon be there — he was even at the doors; and in fact the Corcyraeans themselves were manning a fleet. So Hypermenes, who was second in command to Mnasippus and the bearer of his despatches, manned every vessel of the fleet as full as it would hold, and then sailing round to the entrenched camp, filled all the transports with prisoners and valuables and other stock, and sent them off. He himself, with his marines and the survivors of his troops, kept watch over the entrenchments; but at last even this remnant in the excess of panic and confusion got on board the men-of-war and sailed off, leaving behind them vast quantities of corn and wine, with numerous prisoners and invalided soldiers. The fact was, they were sorely afraid of being caught by the Athenians in the island, and so they made safely off to Leucas.

Meanwhile Iphicrates had commenced his voyage of circumnavigation, partly voyaging and partly making every preparation for an engagement. He at once left his large sails behind him, as the voyage was only to be the prelude of a battle; his flying jibs, even if there was a good breeze, were but little used, since by making his progres depend on sheer rowing, he hoped at once to improve the physique of his men and the speed of his attack. Often when the squadron was about to put into shore for the purpose of breakfast or supper, he would seize the moment, and draw back the leading wing of the column from the land off the point in question; and then facing round again with the triremes posted well in line, prow for prow, at a given signal let loose the whole fleet in a stoutly contested race for the shore. Great was the triumph in being the first to take in water or whatever else they might need, or the first to breakfast; just as it was a heavy penalty on the late-comers, not only to come short in all these objects of desire, but to have to put out to sea with the rest as soon as the signal was given; since the first-comers had altogether a quiet time of it, whilst the hindmost must get through the whole business in hot haste. So again, in the matter of outposts, if he chanced to be getting the morning meal on hostile territory, pickets would be posted, as was right and proper, on the land; but, apart from these, he would raise his masts and keep look-out men on the maintops. These commanded of course a far wider prospect from their lofty perches than the outposts on the level ground. So too, when he dined or slept he had no fires burning in the camp at night, but only a beacon kindled in front of the encampment to prevent any unseen approach; and frequently in fine weather he put out to sea immediately after the evening meal, when, if the breeze favoured, they ran along and took their rest simultaneously, or if they depended on oars he gave his mariners repose by turns. During the voyage in daytime he would at one time signal to “sail in column,” and at another signal “abreast in line.” So that whilst they prosecuted the voyage they at the same time became (both as to theory and practice) well versed in all the details of an engagement before they reached the open sea — a sea, as they imagined, occupied by their foes. For the most part they breakfasted and dined on hostile territory; but as he confined himelf to bare necessaries he was always too quick for the enemy. Before the hostile reinforcement would come up he had finished his business and was out to sea again.

At the date of Mnasippus’s death he chanced to be off Sphagiae in Laconian territory. Reaching Elis, and coasting past the mouth of the Alpheus, he came to moorings under Cape Ichthus,532 as it is called. The next day he put out from that port for Cephallenia, so drawing up his line and conducting the voyage that he might be prepared in every detail to engage if necessary. The tale about Mnasippus and his demise had reached him, but he had not heard it from an eye-witness, and suspected that it might have been invented to deceive him and throw him off his guard. He was therefore on the look-out. It was, in fact, only on arrival in Cephallenia that he learned the news in an explicit form, and gave his troops rest.

I am well aware that all these details of practice and manouvring are customary in anticipation of a sea-fight, but what I single out for praise in the case before us is the skill with which the Athenian admiral attained a twofold object. Bearing in mind that it was his duty to reach a certain point at which he expected to fight a naval battle without delay, it was a happy discovery on his part not to allow tactical skill, on the one hand, to be sacrificed to the pace of sailing,533 nor, on the other, the need of training to interfere with the date of arrival.

After reducing the towns of Cephallenia, Iphicrates sailed to Corcyra. There the first news he heard was that the triremes sent by Dionysius were expected to relieve the Lacedaemonians. On receipt of this information he set off in person and surveyed the country, in order to find a spot from which it would be possible to see the vessels approaching and to signal to the city. Here he stationed his look-out men. A code of signals was agreed upon to signify “vessels in sight,” “mooring,” etc.; which done he gave his orders to twenty of his captains of men-of-war who were to follow him at a given word of command. Any one who failed to follow him must not grumble at the penalty; that he warned them. Presently the vessels were signalled approaching; the word of command was given, and then the enthusiasm was a sight to see — every man of the crews told off for the expedition racing to join his ship and embark. Sailing to the point where the enemy’s vessels lay, he had no difficulty in capturing the crews, who had disembarked from all the ships with one exception. The exception was that of Melanippus the Rhodian, who had advised the other captains not to stop at this point, and had then manned his own vessel and sailed off. Thus he encountered the ships of Iphicrates, but contrived to slip through his fingers, while the whole of the Syracusan vessels were captured, crews and all.

Having cut the beaks off the prows, Iphicrates bore down into the harbour of Corcyra with the captured triremes in tow. With the captive crews themselves he came to an agreement that each should pay a fixed sum as ransom, with one exception, that of Crinippus, their commander. Him he kept under guard, with the intention apparently of exacting a handsome sum in his case or else of selling him. The prisoner, however, from vexation of spirit, put an end to his own life. The rest were sent about their business by Iphicrates, who accepted the Corcyraeans as sureties for the money. His own sailors he supported for the most part as labourers on the lands of the Corcyraeans, while at the head of his light infantry and the hoplites of the contingent he crossed over into Acarnania, and there lent his aid to any friendly state that needed his services; besides which he went to war with the Thyrians,534 a sturdy race of warriors in possession of a strong fortress.

B.C. 372. Having attached to his squadron the navy also of Corcyra, with a fleet numbering now about ninety ships he set sail, in the first instance to Cephallenia, where he exacted money — which was in some cases voluntarily paid, in others forcibly extorted. In the next place he began making preparations partly to harass the territory of the Lacedaemonians, and partly to win over voluntarily the other states in that quarter which were hostile to Athens; or in case of refusal to go to war with them.

The whole conduct of the campaign reflects, I think, the highest credit on Iphicrates. If his strategy was admirable, so too was the instinct which led him to advise the association with himself of two such colleagues as Callistratus and Chabrias — the former a popular orator but no great friend of himself politically,535 the other a man of high military reputation. Either he looked upon them as men of unusual sagacity, and wished to profit by their advice, in which case I commend the good sense of the arrangement, or they were, in his belief, antagonists, in which case the determination to approve himself a consummate general, neither indolent nor incautious, was bold, I admit, but indicative of a laudable self-confidence. Here, however, we must part with Iphicrates and his achievements to return to Athens.

518 See Curtius, “H. G.” vol. iv. p. 376 (Eng. trans.)

519 See Hicks, 81, p. 142.

520 Ibid. 81, 86.

521 Lit. “five stades.”

522 See Thuc. i. 36.

523 The name of the general was Ctesicles, according to Diod. xv. 47. Read strategon for tagon, with Breitenbach, Cobet, etc. For Alcetas, see above, “Hell.” VI. i. 7.

524 I.e. by show of hands, ekheirotonoun.

525 See Jowett, note to Thuc. VIII. xcv. 2, ii. p. 525.

526 The two sacred galleys. See Thuc. iii. 33; Aristoph. “Birds,” 147 foll.

527 Or, “he would knock them all down to the hammer.”

528 Or, “cut off from their pay.”

529 Lit. “lochagoi and taxiarchs.”

530 Or, “to retaliate”; or, “to complete the movement.”

531 Reading, after Dindorf, oi politai, or, if with the MSS., oi oplitai; translate “the heavy-armed among the assailants saw their advantage and pressed on.”

532 Cape Fish, mod. Cape Katakolon, protecting harbour of Pyrgos in Elis.

533 Lit. “the voyage.”

534 Thyreum (or Thyrium), in Acarnania, a chief city at the time of the Roman wars in Greece; and according to Polybius (xxxviii. 5), a meeting-place of the League on one occasion. See “Dict. Anct. Geog.” s.v.; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 148; cf. Paus. IV. xxvi. 3, in reference to the Messenians and Naupactus; Grote, “H. G.” x. 212.

535 Reading with the MSS. ou mala epitedeion onta. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 206. Boeckh (“P. E. A.,” trans. Cornewall Lewis, p. 419) wished to read eu mala for ou mala k.t.l., in which case translate “the former a popular orator, and a man of singular capacity”; and for epitedeion in that sense, see “Hipparch.” i. 8; for eu mala, see “Hipparch.” i. 25. For details concerning Callistratus, see Dindorf, op. cit. note ad. loc.; Curtius, “H. G.” iv. 367, 381 foll., v. 90. For Chabrias, Rehdantz, op. cit. In the next sentence I have again adhered to the reading of the MSS., but the pasage is commonly regarded as corrupt; see Otto Keller, op. cit. p. 215 for various emendations.


The Athenians, forced to witness the expatriation from Boeotia of their friends the Plataeans (who had sought an asylum with themselves), forced also to listen to the supplications of the Thespiaeans (who begged them not to suffer them to be robbed of their city), could no longer regard the Thebans with favour;536 though, when it came to a direct declaration of war, they were checked in part by a feeling of shame, and partly by considerations of expediency. Still, to go hand in hand with them, to be a party to their proceedings, this they absolutely refused, now that they saw them marching against time-honoured friends of the city like the Phocians, and blotting out states whose loyalty in the great Persian war was conspicuous no less than their friendship to Athens. Accordingly the People passed a decree to make peace; but in the first instance they sent an embassy to Thebes, inviting that state to join them if it pleased them on an embassy which they proposed to send to Lacedaemon to treat of peace. In the next place they despatched such an embassy on their own account. Among the commissioners appointed were Callias the son of Hipponicus, Autocles the son of Strombichides, Demostratus the son of Aristophon, Aristocles, Cephisodotus,537 Melanopus, and Lycaethus.

B.C. 371. [These were formally introduced to the Deputies of the Lacedaemonians and the allies.538] Nor ought the name of Callistratus to be omitted. That statesman and orator was present. He had obtained furlough from Iphicrates on an undertaking either to send money for the fleet or to arrange a peace. Hence his arrival in Athens and transactions in behalf of peace. After being introduced to the assembly539 of the Lacedaemonians and to the allies, Callias,540 who was the dadouchos (or torch-holder) in the mysteries, made the first speech. He was a man just as well pleased to praise himself as to hear himself praised by others. He opened the proceedings as follows:

“Lacedaemonians, the duty of representing you as proxenos at Athens is a privilege which I am not the first member of my family to enjoy; my father’s father held it as an heirloom of our family and handed it down as a heritage to his descendants. If you will permit me, I should like to show you the disposition of my fatherland towards yourselves. If in times of war she chooses us as her generals, so when her heart is set upon quiet she sends us out as her messengers of peace. I myself have twice already541 stood here to treat for conclusion of war, and on both embassies succeeded in arranging a mutually agreeable peace. Now for the third time I am come, and I flatter myself that today again I shall obtain a reconciliation, and on grounds exceptionally just. My eyes bear witness that our hearts are in accord; you and we alike are pained at the effacement of Plataeae and Thespiae. Is it not then reasonable that out of agreement should spring concord rather than discord? It is never the part, I take it, of wise men to raise the standard of war for the sake of petty differences; but where there is nothing but unanimity they must be marvellous folk who refuse the bond of peace. But I go further. It were just and right on our parts even to refuse to bear arms against each other; since, as the story runs, the first strangers to whom our forefather Triptolemus showed the unspeakable mystic rites of Demeter and Core, the mother and the maiden, were your ancestors; — I speak of Heracles, the first founder of your state, and of your two citizens, the great twin sons of Zeus — and to Peloponnesus first he gave as a gift the seed of Demeter’s corn-fruits. How, then, can it be just or right either that you should come and ravage the corn crops of those from whom you got the sacred seed of corn, or that we should not desire that they to whom the gift was given should share abundantly of this boon? But if, as it would seem, it is a fixed decree of heaven that war shall never cease among men, yet ought we — your people and our people — to be as slow as possible to begin it, and being in it, as swift as possible to bring it to an end.”

After him Autocles542 spoke: he was of repute as a versatile lawyer and orator, and addressed the meeting as follows: “Lacedaemonians, I do not conceal from myself that what I am about to say is not calculated to please you, but it seems to me that, if you wish the friendship which we are cementing to last as long as possible, we are wise to show each other the underlying causes of our wars. Now, you are perpetually saying that the states ought to be independent; but it is you yourselves who most of all stand in the way of independence — your first and last stipulation with the allied states being that they should follow you whithersoever you choose to lead; and yet what has this principle of follow-my-leader got to do with independent action?543 Again, you pick quarrels without consulting your allies, and lead them against those whom you account enemies; so that in many cases, with all their vaunted independence, they are forced to march against their greatest friends; and, what is still more opposed to independence than all else, you are for ever setting up here your decarchies and there your thirty commissioners, and your chief aim in appointing these officers and governors seems to be, not that they should fulfil their office and govern legally, but that they should be able to keep the cities under their heels by sheer force. So that it looks as if you delighted in despotisms rather than free constitutions. Let us go back to the date544 at which the Persian king enjoined the independence of the states. At that time you made no secret of your conviction that the Thebans, if they did not suffer each state to govern itself and to use the laws of its own choice, would be failing to act in the spirit of the king’s rescript. But no sooner had you got hold of Cadmeia than you would not suffer the Thebans themselves to be independent. Now, if the maintenance of friendship be an object, it is no use for people to claim justice from others while they themselves are doing all they can to prove the selfishness of their aims.”

These remarks were received in absolute silence, yet in the hearts of those who were annoyed with Lacedaemon they stirred pleasure. After Autocles spoke Callistratus: “Trespasses, men of Lacedaemon, have been committed on both sides, yours and ours, I am free to confess; but still it is not my view that because a man has done wrong we can never again have dealings with him. Experience tells me that no man can go very far without a slip, and it seems to me that sometimes the transgressor by reason of his transgression becomes more tractable, especially if he be chastened through the error he has committed, as has been the case with us. And so on your own case I see that ungenerous acts have sometimes reaped their own proper reward: blow has been met by counter-blow; and as a specimen I take the seizure of the Cadmeia in Thebes. To-day, at any rate, the very cities whose independence you strove for have, since your unrighteous treatment of Thebes, fallen one and all of them again into her power.545 We are schooled now, both of us, to know that grasping brings not gain. We are prepared, I hope, to be once more moderate under the influence of a mutual friendship. Some, I know, in their desire to render our peace546 abortive accuse us falsely, as though we were come hither, not seeking friendship, but because we dread the arrival of some547 Antalcidas with moneys from the king. But consider, what arrant nonsense they talk! Was it not, pray, the great king who demanded that all the states in Hellas should be independent? and what have we Athenians, who are in full agreement with the king, both in word and deed, to fear from him? Or is it conceivable that he prefers spending money in making others great to finding his favourite projects realised without expense?

“Well! what is it really that has brought us here? No especial need or difficulty in our affairs. That you may discover by a glance at our maritime condition, or, if you prefer, at the present posture of our affairs on land. Well, then, how does the matter stand? It is obvious that some of our allies please us no better than they please you;548 and, possibly, in return for your former preservation of us, we may be credited with a desire to point out to you the soundness of our policy.

“But, to revert once more to the topic of expediency and common interests. It is admitted, I presume, that, looking at the states collectively, half support your views, half ours; and in every single state one party is for Sparta and another for Athens. Suppose, then, we were to shake hands, from what quarter can we reasonably anticipate danger and trouble? To put the case in so many words, so long as you are our friends no one can vex us by land; no one, whilst we are your supports, can injure you by sea. Wars like tempests gather and grow to a head from time to time, and again they are dispelled. That we all know. Some future day, if not today, we shall crave, both of us, for peace. Why, then, need we wait for that moment, holding on until we expire under the multitude of our ills, rather than take time by the forelock and, before some irremediable mischief betide, make peace? I cannot admire the man who, because he has entered the lists and has scored many a victory and obtained to himself renown, is so eaten up with the spirit of rivalry that he must needs go on until he is beaten and all his training is made futile. Nor again do I praise the gambler who, if he makes one good stroke of luck, insists on doubling the stakes. Such conduct in the majority of cases must end in absolute collapse. Let us lay the lesson of these to heart, and forbear to enter into any such lists as theirs for life or death; but, while we are yet in the heyday of our strength and fortune, shake hands in mutual amity. So assuredly shall we through you and you through us attain to an unprecedented pinnacle of glory throughout Hellas.”

The arguments of the speakers were approved, and the Lacedaemonians passed a resolution to accept peace on a threefold basis: the withdrawal of the governors from the cities,549 the disbanding of armaments naval and military, and the guarantee of independence to the states. “If any state transgressed these stipulations, it lay at the option of any power whatsoever to aid the states so injured, while, conversely, to bring such aid was not compulsory on any power against its will.” On these terms the oaths were administered and accepted by the Lacedaemonians on behalf of themselves and their allies, and by the Athenians and their allies separately state by state. The Thebans had entered their individual name among the states which accepted the oaths, but their ambassadors came the next day with instructions to alter the name of the signatories, substituting for Thebans Boeotians.550 But Agesilaus answered to this demand that he would alter nothing of what they had in the first instance sworn to and subscribed. If they did not wish to be included in the treaty, he was willing to erase their name at their bidding. So it came to pass that the rest of the world made peace, the sole point of dispute being confined to the Thebans; and the Athenians came to the conclusion that there was a fair prospect of the Thebans being now literally decimated.551 As to the Thebans themselves, they retired from Sparta in utter despondency.

536 Plataea destroyed in B.C. 373. See Jowett, “Thuc.” ii. 397.

537 See below, “Hell.” VII. i. 12; Hicks, 87.

538 The bracketed words read like an annotator’s comment, or possibly they are a note by the author.

539 See above, “Hell.” II. iv. 38.

540 See above, “Hell.” IV. v. 13; Cobet, “Prosop. Xen.” p. 67 foll.; Xen. “Symp.”; Plat. “Protag.”; Andoc. “de Myst.” If this is one and the same person he must have been an elderly man at this date, 371 B.C.

541 B.C. 387 and 374; see Curtius, “H. G.” vol. iv. p. 376 (Eng. ed.)

542 For the political views of Autocles, see Curtius, “H. G.” iv. 387, v. 94 (Eng. tr.); see also Grote, “H. G.” x. 225.

543 Or, “what consistency is there between these precepts of yours and political independence?”

544 Sixteen years before — B.C. 387. See “Pol. Lac.” xiv. 5.

545 Reading, with Breitenbach and Hartman, as instead of os espoudasate k.t.l.

546 Or, more lit. “to avert the peace” as an ill-omened thing.

547 Without inserting tis, as Hartman proposes (“An. Xen.” p. 387), that, I think, is the sense. Antalcidas is the arch-diplomat — a name to conjure with, like that of Bismarck in modern European politics. But see Grote, “H. G.” x. 213, note 2.

548 See, for this corrupt passage, Otto Keller, op. cit. p. 219; Hartman, op. cit. p. 387; and Breitenbach, n. ad loc. In the next sentence I should like to adopt Hartman’s emendation (ib.) on orthos egnote for the MSS. a orthos egnomen, and translate “we may like to prove to you the soundness of your policy at the time.” For the “preservation” referred to, see below, VI. v. 35, and above, II. ii. 20.

549 Grote (“H. G.” x. 236) thinks that Diod. xv. 38 (exagogeis) belongs to this time, not to the peace between Athens and Sparta in 374 B.C.

550 See, for a clear explanation of the matter, Freeman, “Hist. Red. Gov.” iv. p. 175, note 3, in reference to Grote, ib. x. 231 note, and Paus. IX. xiii. 2; Plut. “Ages.” 28; Thirlwall, “H. G.” v. p 69 note.

551 Or, “as the saying is, taken and tithed.” See below, VI. v. 35, and for the origin of the saying, Herod. vii. 132.


In consequence of the peace the Athenians proceeded to withdraw their garrisons from the different sates, and sent to recall Iphicrates with his fleet; besides which they forced him to restore eveything captured subsequently to the late solemn undertaking at Lacedaemon. The Lacedaemonians acted differently. Although they withdrew their governors and garrisons from the other states, in Phocis they did not do so. Here Cleombrotus was quartered with his army, and had sent to ask directions from the home authorities. A speaker, Prothous, maintained that their business was to disband the army in accordance with their oaths, and then to send round invitations to the states to contribute what each felt individually disposed, and lay such sum in the temple of Apollo; after which, if any attempt to hinder the independence of the states on any side were manifested, it would be time enough then again to invite all who cared to protect the principle of autonomy to march against its opponents. “In this way,” he added, “I think the goodwill of heaven will be secured, and the states will suffer least annoyance.” But the Assembly, on hearing these views, agreed that this man was talking nonsense. Puppets in the hands of fate!552 An unseen power, it would seem, was already driving them onwards; so they sent instructions to Cleombrotus not to disband the army, but to march straight against the Thebans if they refused to recognise the autonomy of the states. [Cleombrotus, it is understood, had, on hearing the news of the establishment of peace, sent to the ephorate to ask for guidance; and then they sent him the above instructions, bidding him under the circumstances named to march upon Thebes.553]

The Spartan king soon perceived that, so far from leaving the Boeotian states their autonomy, the Thebans were not even preparing to disband their army, clearly in view of a general engagement; he therefore felt justified in marching his troops into Boeotia. The point of ingress which he adopted was not that which the Thebans anticipated from Phocis, and where they were keeping guard at a defile; but, marching through Thisbae by a mountainous and unsuspected route, he arrived before Creusis, taking that fortress and capturing twelve Theban war-vessels besides. After this achievement he advanced from the seaboard and encamped in Leuctra on Thespian territory. The Thebans encamped in a rising ground immediately opposite at no great distance, and were supported by no allies except the Boeotians.

At this juncture the friends of Cleombrotus came to him and urged upon him strong reasons for delivering battle. “If you let the Thebans escape without a battle,” they said, “you will run great risks of suffering the extreme penalty at the hands of the state. People will call to mind against you the time when you reached Cynoscephelae and did not ravage a square foot of Theban territory; and again, a subsequent expedition when you were driven back foiled in your attempt to make an entry into the enemy’s country — while Agesilaus on each occasion found his entry by Mount Cithaeron. If then you have any care for yourself, or any attachment to your fatherland, march you against the enemy.” That was what his friends urged. As to his opponents, what they said was, “Now our fine friend will show whether he really is so concerned on behalf of the Thebans as he is said to be.”

Cleombrotus, with these words ringing in his ears, felt driven554 to join battle. On their side the leaders of Thebes calculated that, if they did not fight, their provincial cities555 would hold aloof from them and Thebes itself would be besieged; while, if the commonalty of Thebes failed to get supplies, there was every prospect that the city itself would turn against them; and, seeing that many of them had already tasted the bitterness of exile, they came to the conclusion that it was better for them to die on the field of battle than to renew that experience. Besides this they were somewhat encouraged by the recital of an oracle which predicted that the Lacedaemonians would be defeated on the spot where the monument of the maidens stood, who, as the story goes, being violated by certain Lacedaemonians, had slain themselves.556 This sepulchral monument the Thebans decked with ornaments before the battle. Furthermore, tidings were brought them from the city that all the temples had opened of their own accord; and the priestesses asserted that the gods revealed victory. Again, from the Heracleion men said that the arms had disappeared, as though Heracles himself had sallied forth to battle. It is true that another interpretation557 of these marvels made them out to be one and all the artifices of the leaders of Thebes. However this may be, everything in the battle turned out adverse to the Lacedaemonians; while fortune herself lent aid to the Thebans and crowned their efforts with success. Cleombrotus held his last council “whether to fight or not,” after the morning meal. In the heat of noon a little goes a long way; and the people said that it took a somewhat provocative effect on their spirits.558

Both sides were now arming, and there was the unmistakeable signs of approaching battle, when, as the first incident, there issued from the Boeotian lines a long train bent on departure — these were the furnishers of the market, a detachment of baggage bearers, and in general such people as had no inclination to join in the fight. These were met on their retreat and attacked by the mercenary troops under Hiero, who got round them by a circular movement.559 The mercenaries were supported by the Phocian light infantry and some squadrons of Heracleot and Phliasian cavalry, who fell upon the retiring train and turned them back, pursuing them and driving them into the camp of the Boeotians. The immediate effect was to make the Boeotian portion of the army more numerous and closer packed than before. The next feature of the combat was that in consequence of the flat space of plain560 between the opposing armies, the Lacedaemonians posted their cavalry in front of their squares of infantry, and the Thebans followed suit. Only there was this difference — the Theban cavalry was in a high state of training and efficiency, owing to their war with the Orchomenians and again their war with Thespiae, whilst the cavalry of the Lacedaemonians was at its worst at this period.561 The horses were reared and kept by the wealthiest members of the state; but whenever the ban was called out, an appointed trooper appeared who took the horse with any sort of arms which might be presented to him, and set off on the expedition at a moment’s notice. Moreover, these troopers were the least able-bodied of the men: raw recruits set simply astride their horses, and devoid of soldierly ambition. Such was the cavalry of either antagonist.

The heavy infantry of the Lacedaemonians, it is said, advanced by sections three files abreast,562 allowing a total depth to the whole line of not more than twelve. The Thebans were formed in close order of not less than fifty shields deep, calculating that victory gained over the king’s division of the army implied the easy conquest of the rest.

Cleombrotus had hardly begun to lead his division against the foe when, before in fact the troops with him were aware of his advance, the cavalry had already come into collision, and that of the Lacedaemonians was speedily worsted. In their flight they became involved with their own heavy infantry; and to make matters worse, the Theban regiments were already attacking vigorously. Still strong evidence exists for supposing that Cleombrotus and his division were, in the first instance, victorious in the battle, if we consider the fact that they could never have picked him up and brought him back alive unless his vanguard had been masters of the situation for the moment.

When, however, Deinon the polemarch and Sphodrias, a member of the king’s council, with his son Cleonymus,563 had fallen, then it was that the cavalry and the polemarch’s adjutants,564 as they are called, with the rest, under pressure of the mass against them, began retreating; and the left wing of the Lacedaemonians, seeing the right borne down in this way, also swerved. Still, in spite of the numbers slain, and broken as they were, as soon as they had crossed the trench which protected their camp in front, they grounded arms on the spot565 whence they had rushed to battle. This camp, it must be borne in mind, did not lie at all on the level, but was pitched on a somewhat steep incline. At this juncture there were some of the Lacedaemonians who, looking upon such a disaster as intolerable, maintained that they ought to prevent the enemy from erecting a trophy, and try to recover the dead not under a flag of truce but by another battle. The polemarchs, however, seeing that nearly a thousand men of the total Lacedaemonian troops were slain; seeing also that of the seven hundred Spartans themselves who were on the field something like four hundred lay dead;566 aware, further, of the despondency which reigned among the allies, and the general disinclination on their parts to fight longer (a frame of mind not far removed in some instances from positive satisfaction at what had taken place)— under the circumstances, I say, the polemarchs called a council of the ablest representatives of the shattered army567 and deliberated as to what should be done. Finally the unanimous opinion was to pick up the dead under a flag of truce, and they sent a herald to treat for terms. The Thebans after that set up a trophy and gave back the bodies under a truce.

After these events, a messenger was despatched to Lacedaemon with news of the calamity. He reached his destination on the last day of the gymnopaediae,568 just when the chorus of grown men had entered the theatre. The ephors heard the mournful tidings not without grief and pain, as needs they must, I take it; but for all that they did not dismiss the chorus, but allowed the contest to run out its natural course. What they did was to deliver the names of those who had fallen to their friends and families, with a word of warning to the women not to make any loud lamentations but to bear their sorrow in silence; and the next day it was a striking spectacle to see those who had relations among the slain moving to and fro in public with bright and radiant looks, whilst of those whose friends were reported to be living barely a man was to be seen, and these flitted by with lowered heads and scowling brows, as if in humiliation.

After this the ephors proceeded to call out the ban, including the forty-years-service men of the two remaining regiments;569 and they proceeded further to despatch the reservces of the same age belonging to the six regiments already on foreign service. Hitherto the Phocian campaign had only drawn upon the thirty-five-years-service list. Besides these they now ordered out on active service the troops retained at the beginning of the campaign in attendance on the magistrates at the government offices. Agesilaus being still disabled by his infirmity, the city imposed the duty of command upon his son Archidamus. The new general found eager co-operators in the men of Tegea. The friends of Stasippus at this date were still living,570 and they were stanch in their Lacedaemonian proclivities, and wielded considerable power in their state. Not less stoutly did the Mantineans from their villages under their aristocratic form of government flock to the Spartan standard. Besides Tegea and Mantinea, the Corinthians and Sicyonians, the Phliasians and Achaeans were equally enthusiastic to joining the campaign, whilst other states sent out soldiers. Then came the fitting out and manning of ships of war on the part of the Lacedaemonians themselves and of the Corinthians, whilst the Sicyonians were requested to furnish a supply of vessels on board of which it was proposed to transport the army across the gulf. And so, finally, Archidamus was able to offer the sacrifices usual at the moment of crossing the frontier. But to return to Thebes.

Imediately after the battle the Thebans sent a messenger to Athens wearing a chaplet. Whilst insisting on the magnitude of the victory they at the same time called upon the Athenians to send them aid, for now the opportunity had come to wreak vengeance on the Lacedaemonians for all the evil they had done to Athens. As it chanced, the senate of the Athenians was holding a session on the Acropolis. As soon as the news was reported, the annoyance caused by its announcement was unmistakeable. They neither invited the herald to accept of hospitality nor sent back one word in reply to the request for assistance. And so the herald turned his back on Athens and departed.

But there was Jason still to look to, and he was their ally. To him then the Thebans sent, and earnestly besought his aid, their thoughts running on the possible turn which events might take. Jason on his side at once proceeded to man a fleet, with the apparent intention of sending assistance by sea, besides which he got together his foreign brigade and his own cavalry; and although the Phocians and he were implacable enemies,571 he marched through their territory to Boeotia. Appearing like a vision to many of the states before his approach was even announced — at any rate before levies could be mustered from a dozen different points — he had stolen a march upon them and was a long way ahead, giving proof that expedition is sometimes a better tool to work with than sheer force.

When he arrived in Boeotia the Thebans urged upon him that now was the right moment to attack the Lacedaemonians: he with his foreign brigade from the upper ground, they face to face in front; but Jason dissuaded them from their intention. He reminded them that after a noble achievement won it was not worth their while to play for so high a stake, involving a still greater achievement or else the loss of victory already gained. “Do you not see,” he urged, “that your success followed close on the heels of necessity? You ought then to reflect that the Lacedaemonians in their distress, with a choice between life and death, will fight it out with reckless desperation. Providence, as it seems, ofttimes delights to make the little ones great and the great ones small.”572

By such arguments he diverted the Thebans from the desperate adventure. But for the Lacedaemonians also he had words of advice, insisting on the difference between an army defeated and an army flushed with victory. “If you are minded,” he said, “to forget this disaster, my advice to you is to take time to recover breath and recruit your energies. When you have grown stronger then give battle to these unconquered veterans.573 At present,” he continued, “you know without my telling you that among your own allies there are some who are already discussing terms of friendship with your foes. My advice is this: by all means endeavour to obtain a truce. This,” he added, “is my own ambition: I want to save you, on the ground of my father’s friendship with yourselves, and as being myself your representative.”574 Such was the tenor of his speech, but the secret of action was perhaps to be found in a desire to make these mutual antagonists put their dependence on himself alone. Whatever his motive, the Lacedaemonians took his advice, and commissioned him to procure a truce.

As soon as the news arrived that the terms were arranged, the polemarchs passed an order round: the troops were to take their evening meal, get their kit together, and be ready to set off that night, so as to scale the passes of Cithaeron by next morning. After supper, before the hour of sleep, the order to march was given, and with the generals at their head the troops advanced as the shades of evening fell, along the road to Creusis, trusting rather to the chance of their escaping notice, than to the truce itself. It was weary marching in the dead of night, making their retreat in fear, and along a difficult road, until they fell in with Archidamus’s army of relief. At this point, then, Archidamus waited till all the allies had arrived, and so led the whole of the united armies back to Corinth, from which point he dismissed the allies and led his fellow-citizens home.

Jason took his departure from Boeotia through Phocis, where he captured the suburbs of Hyampolis575 and ravaged the country districts, putting many to the sword. Content with this, he traversed the rest of Phocis without meddling or making. Arrived at Heraclea,576 he knocked down the fortress of the Heracleots, showing that he was not troubled by any apprehension lest when the pass was thrown open somebody or other might march against his own power at some future date. Rather was he haunted by the notion that some one or other might one day seize Heraclea, which commanded the pass, and bar his passage into Hellas — should Hellas ever be his goal.577 At the moment of his return to Thessaly he had reached the zenith of his greatness. He was the lawfully constituted Prince578 of Thessaly, and he had under him a large mercenary force of infantry and cavalry, and all in the highest perfection of training. For this twofold reason he might claim the title great. But he was still greater as the head of a vast alliance. Those who were prepared to fight his battles were numerous, and he might still count upon the help of many more eager to do so; but I call Jason greatest among his contemporaries, because not one among them could afford to look down upon him.579

B.C. 370. The Pythian games were now approaching, and an order went round the cities from Jason to make preparation for the solemn sacrifice of oxen, sheep and goats, and swine. It was reported that although the requisitions upon the several cities were moderate, the number of beeves did not fall short of a thousand, while the rest of the sacrificial beasts exceeded ten times that number. He issued a proclamation also to this effect: a golden wreath of victory should be given to whichever city could produce the best-bred bull to head the procession in honour of the god. And lastly there was an order issued to all the Thessalians to be ready for a campaign at the date of the Pythian games. His intention, as people said, was to act as manager of the solemn assembly and games in person. What the thought was that passed through his mind with reference to the sacred money, remains to this day uncertain; only, a tale is rife to the effect that in answer to the inquiry of the Delphians, “What ought we to do, if he takes any of the treasures of the god?” the god made answer, “He would see to that himself.” This great man, his brain teeming with vast designs of this high sort, came now to his end. He had ordered a military inspection. The cavalry of the Pheraeans were to pass muster before him. He was already seated, delivering answers to all petitioners, when seven striplings approached, quarrelling, as it seemed, about some matter. Suddenly by these seven the Prince was despatched; his throat gashed, his body gored with wounds. Stoutly his guard rushed to the rescue with their long spears, and one of the seven, while still in the act of aiming a blow at Jason, was thrust through with a lance and died; a second, in the act of mounting his horse, was caught, and dropped dead, the recipient of many wounds. The rest leaped on the horses which they had ready waiting and escaped. To whatever city of Hellas they came honours were almost universally accorded them. The whole incident proves clearly that the Hellenes stood in much alarm of Jason. They looked upon him as a tyrant in embryo.

So Jason was dead; and his brothers Polydorus and Polyphron were appointed princes580 in his place. But of these twain, as they journeyed together to Larissa, Polydorus was slain in the night, as he slept, by his brother Polyphron, it was thought; since a death so sudden, without obvious cause, could hardly be otherwise accounted for.

Polyphron governed for a year, and by the year’s end he had refashioned his princedom into the likeness of a tyranny. In Pharsalus he put to death Polydamas581 and eight other of the best citizens; and from Larissa he drove many into exile. But while he was thus employed, he, in his turn, was done to death by Alexander, who slew him to avenge Polydorus and to destroy the tyranny. This man now assumed the reins of office, and had no sooner done so than he showed himself a harsh prince to the Thessalians: harsh too and hostile to the Thebans and Athenians,582 and an unprincipled freebooter everywhere by land and by sea. But if that was his character, he too was doomed to perish shortly. The perpetrators of the deed were his wife’s brothers.583 The counsellor of it and the inspiring soul was the wife herself. She it was who reported to them that Alexander had designs against them; who hid them within the house a whole day; who welcomed home her husband deep in his cups and laid him to rest, and then while the lamp still burned brought out the prince’s sword. It was she also who, perceiving her brothers shrank bank, fearing to go in and attack Alexander, said to them, “If you do not be quick and do the deed, I will wake him up!” After they had gone in, she, too, it was who caught and pulled to the door, clinging fast to the knocker till the breath was out of her husband’s body.584 Her fierce hatred against the man is variously explained. By some it was said to date from the day when Alexander, having imprisoned his own favourite — who was a fair young stripling — when his wife supplicated him to release the boy, brought him forth and stabbed him in the throat. Others say it originated through his sending to Thebes and seeking the hand of the wife of Jason in marriage, because his own wife bore him no children. These are the various causes assigned to explain the treason of his wife against him. Of the brothers who executed it, the eldest, Tisiphonus, in virtue of his seniority accepted, and up to the date of this history585 succeeded in holding, the government.

552 See Grote, “H. G.” x. 237: “The miso-Theban impulse now drove them on with a fury which overcame all other thoughts . . . a misguiding inspiration sent by the gods — like that of the Homeric Ate.”

553 This passage reads like an earlier version for which the above was substituted by the author.

554 Or, “was provoked.”

555 Lit. “perioecid.” See Thuc. iv. 76, Arnold’s note, and “Hell.” V. iv. 46, 63.

556 See Diod. xv. 54; Paus. IX. xiii. 3; Plut. “Pelop.” xx.

557 Or, “it is true that some people made out these marvels.”

558 Or, “they were somewhat excited by it.”

559 Or, “surrounded them.”

560 See Rustow and Kochly, op. cit. p. 173.

561 See “Hipparch.” ix. 4; also “Cyrop.” VIII. viii.

562 It would appear that the “enomoty” (section) numbered thirty-six files. See “Pol. Lac.” xi. 4; xiii. 4. For further details as to the tactical order of the Thebans, see Diod. xv. 55; Plut. “Pelop.” xxiii.

563 See above, V. iv. 33.

564 sumphoreis. For the readings of this corrupt passage see Otto Keller.

565 Or, “in orderly way.” See Curt. “H. G.” iv. 400.

566 See “Ages.” ii. 24.

567 tous epikairiotatous. See above, III. iii. 10; “Cyrop.” VII. iv. 4; VIII. iv. 32, vi. 2.

568 The festival was celebrated annually about midsummer. See Herod. vi. 67; Thuc. v. 82, and Arnold’s note; Pollux. iv. 105; Athen. xiv. 30, xv. 22; Muller, “Dorians,” ii. 389.

569 I.e. every one up to fifty-eight years of age.

570 See below, VI. v. 9.

571 Or, “though the Phocians maintained a war ‘a outrance’ with him.”

572 Cf. “Anab.” III. ii. 10.

573 Or, “the invincibles.”

574 Lit. “your proxenos.”

575 An ancient town in Phocis (see Hom. “Il.” ii. 521) on the road leading from Orchomenus to Opus, and commanding a pass from Locris into Phocis and Boeotia. See Herod. viii. 28; Paus. ix. 35, S. 5; Strab. ix. 424; “Dict. of Geog.” s.v.

576 Or, “Heracleia Trachinia,” a fortress city founded (as a colony) by the Lacedaemonians in B.C. 426, to command the approach to Thermopylae from Thessaly, and to protect the Trachinians and the neighbouring Dorians from the Oetean mountaineers. See “Dict. of Geog.” “Trachis”; Thuc. iii. 92, 93, v. 51, 52; Diod. xii. 59.

577 B.C. 370. The following sections 28-37 form an episode concerning Thessalian affairs between B.C. 370 and B.C. 359.

578 Lit. “Tagos.”

579 For a similar verbal climax see below, VI. v. 47.

580 Lit. “Tagoi.”

581 See above, VI. i. 2 foll.

582 See Dem. “c. Aristocr.” 120; Diod. xv. 60 foll.

583 B.C. 359 or 358.

584 The woman’s name was Thebe. See Diod. xvi. 14; Cicero, “de Inven.” II. xlix. 144; “de Div.” I. xxv. 52; “de Off.” II. vii. 25; Ovid, “Ibis,” iii. 21 foll.

585 Or, “portion of my work;” lit. “argument,” logos. See Kuprianos, Peri ton ‘Ell: p. 111.


The above is a sketch of Thessalian affairs, including the incidents connected with Jason, and those subsequent to his death, down to the government of Tisiphonus. I now return to the point at which we digressed.

B.C. 371. Archidamus, after the relief of the army defeated at Leuctra, had led back the united forces. When he was gone, the Athenians, impressed by the fact that the Peloponessians still felt under an obligation to follow the Lacedaemonians to the field, whilst Sparta herself was by no means as yet reduced to a condition resembling that to which she had reduced Athens, sent invitations to those states which cared to participate in the peace authorised by the great king.586 A congress met, and they passed a resolution in conjunction with those who wished to make common cause with them to bind themselves by oath as follows: “I will abide by the treaty terms as conveyed in the king’s rescript, as also by the decrees of the Athenians and the allies. If any one marches against any city among those which have accepted this oath, I will render assistance to that city with all my strength.” The oath gave general satisfaction, the Eleians alone gainsaying its terms and protesting that it was not right to make either the Marganians or the Scilluntians or the Triphylians independent, since these cities belonged to them, and were a part of Elis.587 The Athenians, however, and the others passed the decree in the precise language of the king’s rescript: that all states — great and small alike — were to be independent; and they sent out administrators of the oath, and enjoined upon them to administer it to the highest authorities in each state. This oath they all, with the exception of the Eleians, swore to.

B.C. 371-370. As an immediate consequence of this agreement, the Mantineans, on the assumption that they were now absolutely independent, met in a body and passed a decree to make Mantinea into a single state and to fortify the town.588 The proceeding was not overlooked by the Lacedaemonians, who thought it would be hard if this were done without their consent. Accordingly they despatched Agesilaus as ambassador to the Mantineans, choosing him as the recognised ancestral friend of that people. When the ambassador arrived, however, the chief magistrates had no inclination to summon a meeting of the commons to listen to him, but urged him to make a statement of his wishes to themselves. He, on his side, was ready to undertake for himself and in their interests that, if they would at present desist from their fortification work, he would bring it about that the defensive walls should be built with the sanction of Lacedaemon and without cost. Their answer was, that it was impossible to hold back, since a decree had been passed by the whole state of Mantinea to build at once. Whereupon Agesilaus went off in high dudgeon; though as to sending troops to stop them,589 the idea seemed impracticable, as the peace was based upon the principle of autonomy. Meanwhile the Mantineans received help from several of the Arcadian states in the building of their walls; and the Eleians contributed actually three talents590 of silver to cover the expense of their construction. And here leaving the Mantineans thus engaged, we will turn to the men of Tegea.

There were in Tegea two political parties. The one was the party of Callibius and Proxenus, who were for drawing together the whole Arcadian population in a confederacy,591 in which all measures carried in the common assembly should be held valid for the individual component states. The programme of the other (Stasippus’s) party was to leave Tegea undisturbed and in the enjoyment of the old national laws. Perpetually defeated in the Sacred College,592 the party of Callibius and Proxenus were persuaded that if only the commons met they would gain an easy victory by an appeal to the multitude; and in this faith they proceeded to march out the citizen soldiers.593 At sight of this Stasippus and his friends on their side armed in opposition, and proved not inferior in numbers. The result was a collision and battle, in which Proxenus and some few others with him were slain and the rest put to flight; though the conquerors did not pursue, for Stasippus was a man who did not care to stain his hands with the blood of his fellow-citizens.594

Callibius and his friends had retired under the fortification walls and gates facing Mantinea; but, as their opponents made no further attempts against them, they here collected together and remained quiet. Some while ago they had sent messages to the Mantineans demanding assistance, but now they were ready to discuss terms of reconciliation with the party of Stasippus. Presently they saw the Mantineans advancing; whereupon some of them sprang to the walls, and began calling to them to bring succour with all speed. With shouts they urged upon them to make haste, whilst others threw open wide the gates to them. Stasippus and his party, perceiving what was happening, poured out by the gates leading to Pallantium,595 and, outspeeding their pursuers, succeeded in reaching the temple of Artemis, where they found shelter, and, shutting to the doors, kept quiet. Following close upon their heels, however, their foes scaled the temple, tore off the roof, and began striking them down with the tiles. They, recognising that there was no choice, called upon their assailants to desist, and undertook to come forth. Then their opponents, capturing them like birds in a fowler’s hand, bound them with chains, threw them on to the prisoner’s van,596 and led them off to Tegea. Here with the Mantineans they sentenced and put them to death.

The outcome of these proceedings was the banishment to Lacedaemon of the Tegeans who formed the party of Stasippus, numbering eight hundred; but as a sequel to what had taken place, the Lacedaemonians determined that they were bound by their oaths to aid the banished Tegeans and to avenge the slain. With this purpose they marched against the Mantineans, on the ground that they had violated their oaths in marching against Tegea with an armed force. The ephors called out the ban and the state commanded Agesilaus to head the expedition.

Meanwhile most of the Arcadian contingents were mustering at Asea.597 The Orchomenians not only refused to take part in the Arcadian league, on account of their personal hatred to Mantinea, but had actually welcomed within their city a mercenary force under Polytropus, which had been collected at Corinth. The Mantineans themselves were forced to stay at home to keep an eye on these. The men of Heraea and Lepreum made common cause with the Lacedaemonians in a campaign against Mantinea.

Finding the frontier sacrifices favourable, Agesilaus began his march at once upon Arcadia. He began by occupying the border city of Eutaea, where he found the old men, women, and children dwelling in their houses, while the rest of the population of a military age were off to join the Arcadian league. In spite of this he did not stir a finger unjustly against the city, but suffered the inhabitants to continue in their homes undisturbed. The troops took all they needed, and paid for it in return; if any pillage had occurred on his first entrance into the town, the property was hunted up and restored by the Spartan king. Whilst awaiting the arrival of Polytropus’s mercenaries, he amused himself by repairing such portions of their walls as necessity demanded.

Meanwhile the Mantineans had taken the field against Orchomenus; but from the walls of that city the invaders had some difficulty in retiring, and lost some of their men. On their retreat they found themselves in Elymia;598 here the heavy infantry of the Orchomenians ceased to follow them; but Polytropus and his troops continued to assail their rear with much audacity. At this conjuncture, seeing at a glance that either they must beat back the foe or suffer their own men to be shot down, the Mantineans turned right about and met the assailant in a hand-to-hand encounter. Polytropus fell fighting on that battlefield; and of the rest who took to flight, many would have shared his fate, but for the opportune arrival of the Phliasian cavalry, who swooped round to the conqueror’s rear and checked him in his pursuit.599

Content with this achievement, the Mantineans retired homewards; while Agesilaus, to whom the news was brought, no longer expecting that the Orchomenian mercenaries could effect a junction with himself, determined to advance without further delay.600 On the first day he encamped for the evening meal in the open country of Tegea, and the day following crossed into Mantinean territory. Here he encamped under the westward-facing601 mountains of Mantinea, and employed himself in ravaging the country district and sacking the farmsteads; while the troops of the Arcadians who were mustered in Asea stole by night into Tegea. The next day Agesilaus shifted his position, encamping about two miles’602 distance from Mantinea; and the Arcadians, issuing from Tegea and clinging to the mountains between Mantinea and that city, appeared with large bodies of heavy infantry, wishing to effect a junction with the Mantineans. The Argives, it is true, supported them, but they were not in full force. And here counsellors were to be found who urged on Agesilaus to attack these troops separately; but fearing lest, in proportion as he pressed on to engage them, the Mantineans might issue from the city behind and attack him on flank and rear, he decided it was best to let the two bodies coalesce, and then, if they would accept battle, to engage them on an open and fair field.

And so ere long the Arcadians had effected their object and were united with the Mantineans. The next incident was the sudden apparition at break of day, as Agesilaus was sacrificing in front of the camp, of a body of troops. These proved to be the light infantry from Orchomenus, who in company with the Phliasian cavalry had during the night made their way across past the town of Mantinea; and so caused the mass of the army to rush to their ranks, and Agesilaus himself to retire within the lines. Presently, however, the newcomers were recognised as friends; and as the sacrifices were favourable, Agesilaus led his army forward a stage farther after breakfast. As the shades of evening descended he encamped unobserved within the fold of the hills behind the Mantinean territory, with mountains in close proximity all round.603

On the next morning, as day broke, he sacrificed in front of the army; and observing a mustering of men from the city of Mantinea on the hills which overhung the rear of his army, he decided that he must lead his troops out of the hollow by the quickest route. But he feared lest, if he himself led off, the enemy might fall upon his rear. In this dilemma he kept quiet; presenting a hostile front to the enemy, he sent orders to his rear to face about to the right,604 and so getting into line behind his main body, to move forward upon him; and in this way he at once extricated his troops from their cramped position and kept continually adding to the weight and solidity of his line. As soon as the phalanx was doubled in depth he emerged upon the level ground, with his heavy infantry battalions in this order, and then again extended his line until his troops were once more nine or ten shields deep. But the Mantineans were no longer so ready to come out. The arguments of the Eleians who had lent them their co-operation had prevailed: that it was better not to engage until the arrival of the Thebans. The Thebans, it was certain, would soon be with them; for had they not borrowed ten talents605 from Elis in order to be able to send aid? The Arcadians with this information before them kept quiet inside Mantinea. On his side Agesilaus was anxious to lead off his troops, seeing it was midwinter; but, to avoid seeming to hurry his departure out of fear, he preferred to remain three days longer and no great distance from Mantinea. On the fourth day, after an early morning meal, the retreat commenced. His intention was to encamp on the same ground which he had made his starting-point on leaving Eutaea. But as none of the Arcadians appeared, he marched with all speed and reached Eutaea itself, although very late, that day; being anxious to lead off his troops without catching a glimpse of the enemy’s watch-fires, so as to silence the tongues of any one pretending that he withdrew in flight. His main object was in fact achieved. To some extent he had recovered the state from its late despondency, since he had invaded Arcadia and ravaged the country without any one caring to offer him battle. But, once arrived on Laconian soil, he dismissed the Spartan troops to their homes and disbanded the provincials606 to their several cities.

B.C. 370-369. The Arcadians, now that Agesilaus had retired, realising that he had disbanded his troops, while they themselves were fully mustered, marched upon Heraea, the citizens of which town had not only refused to join the Arcadian league, but had joined the Lacedaemonians in their invasion of Arcadia. For this reason they entered the country, burning the homesteads and cutting down the fruit-trees.

Meanwhile news came of the arrival of the Theban reinforcements at Mantinea, on the strength of which they left Heraea and hastened to fraternise607 with their Theban friends. When they were met together, the Thebans, on their side, were well content with the posture of affairs: they had duly brought their succour, and no enemy was any longer to be discovered in the country; so they made preparations to return home. But the Arcadians, Argives and Eleians were eager in urging them to lead the united forces forthwith into Laconia: they dwelt proudly on their own numbers, extolling above measure the armament of Thebes. And, indeed, the Boeotians one and all were resolute in their military manouvres and devotion to arms,608 exulting in the victory of Leuctra. In the wake of Thebes followed the Phocians, who were now their subjects, Euboeans from all the townships of the island, both sections of the Locrians, the Acarnanians,609 and the men of Heraclea and of Melis; while their force was further swelled by Thessalian cavalry and light infantry. With the full consciousness of facts like these, and further justifying their appeal by dwelling on the desolate condition of Lacedaemon, deserted by her troops, they entreated them not to turn back without invading the territory of Laconia. But the Thebans, albeit they listened to their prayers, urged arguments on the other side. In the first place, Laconia was by all accounts most difficult to invade; and their belief was that garrisons were posted at all the points most easily approached. (As a matter of fact, Ischolaus was posted at Oeum in the Sciritid, with a garrison of neodamodes and about four hundred of the youngest of the Tegean exiles; and there was a second outpost on Leuctrum above the Maleatid.610) Again it occurred to the Thebans that the Lacedaemonian forces, though disbanded, would not take long to muster, and once collected they would fight nowhere better than on their own native soil. Putting all these considerations together, they were not by any means impatient to march upon Lacedaemon. A strong counter-impulse, however, was presently given by the arrival of messengers from Caryae, giving positive information as to the defenceless condition of the country, and offering to act as guides themselves; they were ready to lose their lives if they were convicted of perfidy. A further impulse in the same direction was given by the presence of some of the provincials,611 with invitations and promises of revolt, if only they would appear in the country. These people further stated that even at the present moment, on a summons of the Spartans proper, the provincials did not care to render them assistance. With all these arguments and persuasions echoing from all sides, the Thebans at last yielded, and invaded. They chose the Caryan route themselves, while the Arcadians entered by Oeum in the Sciritid.612

By all accounts Ischolaus made a mistake in not advancing to meet them on the difficult ground above Oeum. Had he done so, not a man, it is believed, would have scaled the passes there. But for the present, wishing to turn the help of the men of Oeum to good account, he waited down in the village; and so the invading Arcadians scaled the heights in a body. At this crisis Ischolaus and his men, as long as they fought face to face with their foes, held the superiority; but, presently, when the enemy, from rear and flank, and even from the dwelling-houses up which they scaled, rained blows and missiles upon them, then and there Ischolaus met his end, and every man besides, save only one or two who, failing to be recognised, effected their escape.

After these achievements the Arcadians marched to join the Thebans at Caryae, and the Thebans, hearing what wonders the Arcadians had performed, commenced their descent with far greater confidence. Their first exploit was to burn and ravage the district of Sellasia, but finding themselves ere long in the flat land within the sacred enclosure of Apollo, they encamped for the night, and the next day continued their march along the Eurotas. When they came to the bridge they made no attempt to cross it to attack the city, for they caught sight of the heavy infantry in the temple of Alea613 ready to meet them. So, keeping the Eurotas on their right, they tramped along, burning and pillaging homesteads stocked with numerous stores. The feelings of the citizens may well be imagined. The women who had never set eyes upon a foe614 could scarcely contain themselves as they beheld the cloud of smoke. The Spartan warriors, inhabiting a city without fortifications, posted at intervals, here one and there another, were in truth what they appeared to be — the veriest handful. And these kept watch and ward. The authorities passed a resolution to announce to the helots that whosoever among them chose to take arms and join a regiment should have his freedom guaranteed to him by solemn pledges in return for assistance in the common war.615 More than six thousand helots, it is said, enrolled themselves, so that a new terror was excited by the very incorporation of these men, whose numbers seemed to be excessive. But when it was found that the mercenaries from Orchomenus remained faithful, and reinforcements came to Lacedaemon from Phlius, Corinth, Epidaurus, and Pellene, and some other states, the dread of these new levies was speedily diminished.

The enemy in his advance came to Amyclae.616 Here he crossed the Eurotas. The Thebans wherever they encamped at once formed a stockade of the fruit-trees they had felled, as thickly piled as possible, and so kept ever on their guard. The Arcadians did nothing of the sort. They left their camping-ground and took themselves off to attack the homesteads and loot. On the third or fourth day after their arrival the cavalry advanced, squadron by squadron, as far as the racecourse,617 within the sacred enclosure of Gaiaochos. These consisted of the entire Theban cavalry and the Eleians, with as many of the Phocian or Thessalian or Locrian cavalry as were present. The cavalry of the Lacedaemonians, looking a mere handful, were drawn up to meet them. They had posted an ambuscade chosen from their heavy infantry, the younger men, about three hundred in number, in the house of the Tyndarids618; and while the cavalry charged, out rushed the three hundred at the same instant at full pace. The enemy did not wait to receive the double charge, but swerved, and at sight of that many also of the infantry took to headlong flight. But the pursuers presently paused; the Theban army remained motionless; and both parties returned to their camps. And now the hope, the confidence strengthened that an attack upon the city itself would never come; nor did it. The invading army broke up from their ground, and marched off on the road to Helos and Gytheum.619 The unwalled cities were consigned to the flames, but Gytheum, where the Lacedaemonians had their naval arsenal, was subjected to assault for three days. Certain of the provincials620 also joined in this attack, and shared the campaign with the Thebans and their friends.

The news of these proceedings set the Athenians deeply pondering what they ought to do concerning the Lacedaemonians, and they held an assembly in accordance with a resolution of the senate. It chanced that the ambassadors of the Lacedaemonians and the allies still faithful to Lacedaemon were present. The Lacedaemonian ambassadors were Aracus, Ocyllus, Pharax, Etymocles, and Olontheus, and from the nature of the case they all used, roughly speaking, similar arguments. They reminded the Athenians how they had often in old days stood happily together, shoulder to shoulder, in more than one great crisis. They (the Lacedaemonians), on their side, had helped to expel the tyrant from Athens, and the Athenians, when Lacedaemon was besieged by the Messenians, had heartly leant her a helping hand.621 Then they fell to enumerating all the blessings that marked the season when the two states shared a common policy, hinting how in common they had warred against the barbarians, and more boldly recalling how the Athenians with the full consent and advice of the Lacedaemonians were chosen by united Hellas leaders of the common navy622 and guardians of all the common treasure, while they themselves were selected by all the Hellenes as confessedly the rightful leaders on land; and this also not without the full consent and concurrence of the Athenians.

One of the speakers ventured on a remark somewhat to this strain: “If you and we, sirs, can only agree, there is hope today that the old saying may be fulfilled, and Thebes be ‘taken and tithed.’"623 The Athenians, however, were not in the humour to listen to that style of argument. A sort of suppressed murmur ran through the assembly which seemed to say, “That language may be well enough now; but when they were well off they pressed hard enough on us.” But of all the pleas put forward by the Lacedaemonians, the weightiest appeared to be this: that when they had reduced the Athenians by war, and the Thebans wished to wipe Athens off the face of the earth, they (the Lacedaemonians) themselves had opposed the measure.624 If that was the argument of most weight, the reasoning which was the most commonly urged was to the effect that “the solemn oaths necessitated the aid demanded. Sparta had done no wrong to justify this invasion on the part of the Arcadians and their allies. All she had done was to assist the men of Tegea when625 the Mantineans had marched against that township contrary to their solemn oaths.” Again, for the second time, at these expressions a confused din ran through the assembly, half the audience maintaining that the Mantineans were justified in supporting Proxenus and his friends, who were put to death by the party with Stasippus; the other half that they were wrong in bringing an armed force against the men of Tegea.

Whilst these distinctions were being drawn by the assembly itself, Cleiteles the Corinthian got up and spoke as follows: “I daresay, men of Athens, there is a double answer to the question, Who began the wrongdoing? But take the case of ourselves. Since peace began, no one can accuse us either of wantonly attacking any city, or of seizing the wealth of any, or of ravaging a foreign territory. In spite of which the Thebans have come into our country and cut down our fruit-treees, burnt to the ground our houses, filched and torn to pieces our cattle and our goods. How then, I put it to you, will you not be acting contrary to your solemn oaths if you refuse your aid to us, who are so manifestly the victims of wrongdoings? Yes; and when I say solemn oaths, I speak of oaths and undertakings which you yourselves took great pains to exact from all of us.” At that point a murmur of applause greeted Cleiteles, the Athenians feeling the truth and justice of the speaker’s language.

He sat down, and then Procles of Phlius got up and spoke as follows: “What would happen, men of Athens, if the Lacedaemonians were well out of the way? The answer to that question is obvious. You would be the first object of Theban invasion. Clearly; for they must feel that you and you alone stand in the path between them and empire over Hellas. If this be so, I do not consider that you are more supporting Lacedaemon by a campaign in her behalf than you are helping yourselves. For imagine the Thebans, your own sworn foes and next-door neighbours, masters of Hellas! You will find it a painful and onerous exchange indeed for the distant antagonism of Sparta. As a mere matter of self-interest, now is the time to help yourselves, while you may still reckon upon allies, instead of waiting until they are lost, and you are forced to fight a life-and-death battle with the Thebans single-handed. But the fear suggests itself, that should the Lacedaemonians escape now, they will live to cause you trouble at some future date. Lay this maxim to heart, then, that it is not the potential greatness of those we benefit, but of those we injure, which causes apprehension. And this other also, that it behoves individuals and states alike so to better their position626 while yet in the zenith of their strength that, in the day of weakness, when it comes, they may find some succour and support in what their former labours have achieved.627 To you now, at this time, a heaven-sent opportunity is presented. In return for assistance to the Lacedaemonians in their need, you may win their sincere, unhesitating friendship for all time. Yes, I say it deliberately, for the acceptance of these benefits at your hands will not be in the presence of one or two chance witnesses. The all-seeing gods, in whose sight tomorrow is even as today, will be cognisant of these things. The knowledge of them will be jointly attested by allies and enemies; nay, by Hellenes and barbarians alike, since to not one of them is what we are doing a matter of unconcern. If, then, in the presence of these witnesses, the Lacedaemonians should prove base towards you, no one will ever again be eager in their cause. But our hope, our expectation should rather be that they will prove themselves good men and not base; since they beyond all others would seem persistently to have cherished a high endeavour, reaching forth after true praise, and holding aloof from ugly deeds.

“But there are further considerations which it were well you should lay to heart. If danger were ever again to visit Hellas from the barbarian world outside, in whom would you place your confidence if not in the Lacedaemonians? Whom would you choose to stand at your right hand in battle if not these, whose soldiers at Thermopylae to a man preferred to fall at their posts rather than save their lives by giving the barbarian free passage into Hellas? Is it not right, then, considering for what thing’s sake they dislayed that bravery in your companionship, considering also the good hope there is that they will prove the like again — is it not just that you and we should lend them all countenance and goodwill? Nay, even for us their allies’ sake, who are present, it would be worth your while to manifest this goodwill. Need you be assured that precisely those who continue faithful to them in their misfortunes would in like manner be ashamed not to requite you with gratitude? And if we seem to be but small states, who are willing to share their dangers with them, lay to heart that there is a speedy cure for this defect: with the accession of your city the reproach that, in spite of all our assistance, we are but small cities, will cease to be.

“For my part, men of Athens, I have hitherto on hearsay admired and envied this great state, whither, I was told, every one who was wronged or stood in terror of aught needed only to betake himself and he would obtain assistance. To-day I no longer hear, I am present myself and see these famous citizens of Lacedaemon here, and by their side their trustiest friends, who have come to you, and ask you in their day of need to give them help. I see Thebans also, the same who in days bygone failed to persuade the Lacedaemonians to reduce you to absolute slavery,628 today asking you to suffer those who saved you to be destroyed.

“That was a great deed and of fair renown, attributed in old story to your ancestors, that they did not suffer those Argives who died on the Cadmeia629 to lie unburied; but a fairer wreath of glory would you weave for your own brows if you suffer not these still living Lacedaemonians to be trampled under the heel of insolence and destroyed. Fair, also, was that achievement when you stayed the insolence of Eurystheus and saved the sons of Heracles;630 but fairer still than that will your deed be if you rescue from destruction, not the primal authors631 merely, but the whole city which they founded; fairest of all, if because yesterday the Lacedaemonians won you your preservation by a vote which cost them nothing, you today shall bring them help with arms, and at the price of peril. It is a proud day for some of us to stand here and give what aid we can in pleading for asistance to brave men. What, then, must you feel, who in very deed are able to render that assistance! How generous on your parts, who have been so often the friends and foes of Lacedaemon, to forget the injury and remember only the good they have done! How noble of you to repay, not for yourelves only, but for the sake of Hellas, the debt due to those who proved themselves good men and true in her behalf!”

After these speeches the Athenians deliberated, and though there was opposition, the arguments of gainsayers632 fell upon deaf ears. The assembly finally passed a decree to send assistance to Lacedaemon in force, and they chose Iphicrates general. Then followed the preliminary sacrifices, and then the general’s order to his troops to take the evening meal in the grove of the Academy.633 But the general himself, it is said, was in no hurry to leave the city; many were found at their posts before him. Presently, however, he put himself at the head of his troops, and the men followed cheerily, in firm persuasion that he was about to lead them to some noble exploit. On arrival at Corinth he frittered away some days, and there was a momentary outburst of discontent at so much waste of precious time; but as soon as he led the troops out of Corinth there was an obvious rebound. The men responded to all orders with enthusiasm, heartily following their general’s lead, and attacking whatever fortified place he might confront them with.

And now reverting to the hostile forces on Laconian territory, we find that the Arcadians, Argives, and Eleians had retired in large numbers. They had every inducement so to do since their homes bordered on Laconia; and off they went, driving or carrying whatever they had looted. The Thebans and the rest were no less anxious to get out of the country, though for other reasons, partly because the army was melting away under their eyes day by day, partly because the necessities of life were growing daily scantier, so much had been either fairly eaten up and pillaged or else recklessly squandered and reduced to ashes. Besides this, it was winter; so that on every ground there was a general desire by this time to get away home.

As son as the enemy began his retreat from Laconian soil, Iphicrates imitated his movement, and began leading back his troops out of Arcadia into Corinthia. Iphicrates exhibited much good generalship, no doubt, with which I have no sort of fault to find. But it is not so with that final feature of the campaign to which we are now come. Here I find his strategy either meaningless in intent or inadequate in execution. He made an attempt to keep guard at Oneion, in order to prevent the Boeotians making their way out homewards; but left meanwhile far the best passage through Cenchreae unguarded. Again, when he wished to discover whether or not the Thebans had passed Oneion, he sent out on a reconnaissance the whole of the Athenian and Corinthian cavalry; whereas, for the object in view, the eyes of a small detachment would have been as useful as a whole regiment;634 and when it came to falling back, clearly the smaller number had a better chance of hitting on a traversable road, and so effecting the desired movement quietly. But the height of folly seems to have been reached when he threw into the path of the enemy a large body of troops which were still too weak to cope with him. As a matter of fact, this body of cavalry, owing to their very numbers, could not help covering a large space of ground; and when it became necessary to retire, had to cling to a series of difficult positions in succession, so that they lost not fewer than twenty horsemen.635 It was thus the Thebans effected their object and retired from Peloponnese.

586 I.e. in B.C. 387, the peace “of” Antalcidas. See Grote, “H. G.” x. 274.

587 See Busolt, op. cit. p. 186.

588 For the restoration of Mantinea, see Freeman, “Fed. Gov.” iv. p. 198; Grote, “H. G.” x. 283 foll.

589 See above, V. ii. 1, sub anno B.C. 386.

590 = 731 pounds: 5 shillings. See Busolt, op. cit. p. 199.

591 Although the historian does not recount the foundation of Megalopolis (see Pausanias and Diodorus), the mention of the common assembly of the League en to koino in this passage and, still more, of the Ten Thousand (below, “Hell.” VII. i. 38), implies it. See Freeman, op. cit. iv. 197 foll.; Grote, “H. G.” x. 306 foll., ii. 599; “Dict. of Geog.” “Megalopolis.” As to the date of its foundation Pausanias (VIII. xxvii. 8) says “a few months after the battle of Leuctra,” before midsummer B.C. 370; Diodorus (xv. 72) says B.C. 368. The great city was not built in a day. Messene, according to Paus. IV. xxvii. 5, was founded between the midsummers of B.C. 370 and B.C. 369.

592 Lit. “in the Thearoi.” For the Theari, see Thuc. v. 47, Arnold’s note; and “C. I. G.” 1756 foll.; and for the revolution at Tegea here recounted, see Grote, “H. G.” x. 285 foll.

593 Or, “they mustered under arms.”

594 Or, “opposed to a wholesale slaughter of the citizens.”

595 Pallantium, one of the most ancient towns of Arcadia, in the Maenalia (Paus. VIII. xliv. 5; Livy, i. 5), situated somewhat south of the modern Tripolitza (see “Dict. of Anc. Geog.”); like Asea and Eutaea it helped to found Megalopolis (Paus. VIII. xxvii. 3, where for ‘Iasaia read ‘Asea); below, VII. v. 5; Busolt, op. cit. p. 125.

596 For the sequel of the matter, see above, “Hell.” VI. iv. 18; Busolt, op. cit. p. 134.

597 Asea is placed by Leake (“Travels in Morea,” i. 84; iii. 34) near Frangovrysi, a little south of Pallantium.

Heraea, the most important town of Arcadia in the Cynuria, near Elis, on the high road to Olympia, and commanding other main roads. See Leake, “Peloponnesiaca,” p. 1 foll.; “Morea,” ii. 91.

Lepreum, chief town of the Triphylia (Herod. iv. 148, ix. 28; Thuc. v. 31; above, III. ii. 25; Paus. V. v. 3; Polyb. iv. 77 foll.; Strab. viii. 345), near modern Strovitzi; Leake, “Morea,” i. 56; Dodwell, “Tour,” ii. 347.

Eutaea is placed by Leake between Asea and Pallantium at Barbitza (“Morea,” iii. 31); but see Grote, “H. G.” x. 288.

598 Elymia, mentioned only by Xenophon, must have been on the confines of the Mantinice and Orchomenus, probably at Levidhi. — Leake, “Morea,” iii. 75; “Peloponn.” p. 229.

599 See “Cyrop.” VII. i. 36.

600 See “Ages.” ii. 23.

601 See Leake, “Morea,” iii. 73.

602 Lit. “twenty stades.”

603 Lit. “within the hindmost bosom of the Mantinice.” In reference to the position, Leake (“Morea,” iii. 75) says: “The northern bay [of the Mantinic plain between Mantinea and the Argon] corresponds better by its proximity to Mantinea; by Mount Alesium it was equally hidden from the city, while its small dimensions, and the nearness of the encumbent mountains, rendered it a more hazardous position to an army under the circumstances of that of Agesilaus” [than had he encamped in the Argon itself]. For the Argon (or Inert Plain), see Leake, ib. 54 foll.

604 See “Anab.” IV. iii. 29; “Pol. Lac.” xi. 10.

605 2,437 pounds: 10 shillings. See Busult, op. cit. p. 199.

606 Lit. “perioeci”; and below, SS. 25, 32.

607 Or, “effect a junction with.”

608 Or, “in practising gymnastics about the place of arms.” See “Pol. Lac.” xii. 5.

609 See “Hell.” IV. vii. 1; “Ages.” ii. 20. For a sketch of the relations of Acarnania to Athens and Sparta, see Hicks, No. 83, p. 150; and above, “Hell.” V. iv. 64.

610 Leuctrum, a fortress of the district Aegytis on the confines of Arcadia and Laconia (“in the direction of Mount Lycaeum,” Thuc. v. 54). See Leake, “Morea,” ii. 322; also “Peloponn.” p. 248, in which place he corrects his former view as to the situation of Leuctrum and the Maleatid.

Oeum or Ium, the chief town of the Sciritis, probably stood in the Klisura or series of narrow passes through the watershed of the mountains forming the natural boundary between Laconia and Arcadia (in the direct line north from Sparta to Tegea), “Dict. of Anc. Geog.” s.v. Leake says (“Morea,” iii. 19, 30 foll.) near the modern village of Kolina; Baedeker (“Greece,” p. 269) says perhaps at Palaeogoulas.

Caryae. This frontier town was apparently (near Arachova) on the road from Thyrea (in the direction of the Argolid) to Sparta (Thuc. v. 55; Paus. III. x. 7; Livy, xxxiv. 26, but see Leake, “Morea,” iii. 30; “Peloponn.” p. 342).

Sellasia, probably rightly placed “half an hour above Vourlia” (Baedeker, “Greece,” p. 269). The famous battle of Sellasia, in the spring of B.C. 221, in which the united Macedonians under Antigonus and the Achaeans finally broke the power of Sparta, was fought in the little valley where the stream Gorgylus joins the river Oenus and the Khan of Krevatas now stands. For a plan, see “Dict. of Anc. Geog.” s.v.

611 “Perioeci.”

612 Diodorus (xv. 64) gives more details; he makes the invaders converge upon Sellasia by four separate routes. See Leake, “Morea,” iii. 29 foll.

613 See Pausanias, III. xix. 7.

614 See Plutarch, “Ages.” xxxi. 3 (Clough, vol. iv. p. 38); Aristot. “Pol.” ii. 9-10.

615 See below, VII. ii. 2.

616 For this ancient (Achaean) town, see Paus. III. ii. 6; Polyb. v. 19. It lay only twenty stades (a little more than two miles) from the city of Sparta.

617 Or, “hippodrome.” See Paus. III. ii. 6.

618 Paus. III. xvi. 2.

619 See Baedeker’s “Greece,” p. 279. Was Gytheum taken? See Grote, “H. G.” x. 305; Curt. “H. G.” Eng. trans. iv. 431.

620 “Perioeci.” See above, III. iii. 6; VI. v. 25; below, VII. ii. 2; Grote, “H. G.” x. 301. It is a pity that the historian should hurry us off to Athens just at this point. The style here is suggestive of notes (upomnemata) unexpanded.

621 In reference (1) to the expulsion of the Peisistratidae (Herod. v. 64); (2) the “third” Messenian war (Thuc. i. 102).

622 See “Revenues,” v. 6.

623 Or, “the Thebans be decimated”; for the phrase see above, “Hell.” VI. iii. 20.

624 See “Hell.” II. ii. 19; and “Hell.” III. v. 8.

625 Lit. “because,” oti.

626 Lit. “to acquire some good.”

627 Or, “for what,” etc.

628 See “Hell.” II. ii. 19; III. v. 8, in reference to B.C. 405.

629 In reference to the Seven against Thebes, see Herod. IX. xxvii. 4; Isoc. “Paneg.” 55.

630 Herod. IX. xxvii. 3; see Isoc. “Paneg.” 56. “The greatness of Sparta was founded by the succour which Athens lent to the Heraklid invaders of the Peloponnese — a recollection which ought to restrain Sparta from injuring or claiming to rule Athens. Argos, Thebes, Sparta were in early times, as they are now, the foremost cities of Hellas; but Athens was the greatest of them all — the avenger of Argos, the chastiser of Thebes, the patron of those who founded Sparta.”— Jebb, “Att. Or.” ii. 154.

631 Plut. “Lyc.” vi.

632 As to the anti-Laconian or Boeotian party at Athens, see Curtius, “H. G.” vol. v. ch. ii. (Eng. tr.)

633 See Baedeker, “Greece,” p. 103.

634 See “Hipparch.” viii. 10 foll.

635 See Diod. xv. 63; Plut. “Pelop.” 24.


Last updated Sunday, March 27, 2016 at 12:02