Hellenica (Xenophon)/Book 5/Chapter 1

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Hellenica (Xenophon) by Xenophon, translated by H. G. Dakyns
Book 5, Chapter 1

B.C. 388. 1Such was the state of affairs in the Hellespont, so far at least as Athens and Sparta are concerned. Eteonicus was once more in Aegina; and notwithstanding that the Aeginetans and Athenians had up to this time held commercial intercourse, yet now that the war was plainly to be fought out on the sea, that officer, with the concurrence of the ephorate, gave permission to any one who liked to plunder Attica.[1] 2The Athenians retaliated by despatching a body of hoplites under their general Pamphilus, who constructed a fort against the Aeginetans,[2] and proceeded to blockade them by land and sea with ten warships. Teleutias, however, while threading his way among the islands in question of contributions, had chanced to reach a point where he received information of the turn in affairs with regard to the construction of the fortress, whereupon he came to the rescue of the beleaguered Aeginetans, and so far succeeded that he drove off the enemy's blockading squadron. But Pamphilus kept a firm hold on the offensive fortress, and was not to be dislodged.

3After this the new admiral Hierax arrived from Lacedaemon. The naval force was transferred into his successor's hands, and under the happiest auspices Teleutias set sail for home. As he descended to the seashore to start on his homeward voyage there was not one among his soldiers who had not a warm shake of the hand for their old admiral. Here one presented him with a crown, and there another with a victor's wreath; and those who arrived too late, still, as the ship weighed anchor, threw garlands into the sea and wafted him many a blessing with prayerful lips. 4I am well aware that in the above incident I have no memorable story of munificence, peril, or invention to narrate, but in all sincerity I protest that a man may find food for reflection in the inquiry what Teleutias had done to create such a disposition in his subordinates. Here we are brought face to face with a true man's work more worthy of account than multitudes of riches or adventure.[3]

5The new admiral Hierax, taking with him the larger portion of the fleet, set sail once more for Rhodes. He left behind him twelve vessels in Aegina under his vice-admiral Gorgopas, who was now installed as governor of that island. In consequence of this chance the Athenian troops inside the fortres were more blockaded than the Aeginetans themselves, so much so that a vote was passed by the Athenian assembly, in obedience to which a large fleet was manned, and the garrison, after four months' sojourn in Aegina, were brought back. But this was no sooner done than they began to be harassed by Gorgopas and the privateers again. To operate aganst these they fitted out thirteen vessels, choosing Eunomus as admiral in command. 6Hierax was still in Rhodes when the Lacedaemonians sent out a new admiral, Antalcidas; they believed that they could not find a better mode of gratifying Tiribazus. Accordingly Antalcidas, after visiting Aegina in order to pick up the vessels under Gorgopas, set sail for Ephesus. At this point he sent back Gorgopas with his twelve ships to Aegina, and appointed his vice-admiral Nicolochus to command the remainder of the fleet.

Nicolochus was to relieve Abydos, and thither set sail; but in the course of the voyage turned aside to Tenedos, where he ravaged the territory, and, with the money so secured, sailed on to Abydos. 7The Athenian generals[4] on their side, collecting from Samothrace, Thasos, and the fortresses in that quarter, hastened to the relief of Tenedos; but, finding that Nicolochus had continued his voyage to Abydos, they selected the Chersonese as their base, and proceeded to blockade him and his fleet of five-and-twenty vessels with the two- and-thirty vessels under their joint command.

Meanwhile Gorgopas, returning from Ephesus, fell in with the Athenian admiral Eunomus, and, shunning an encounter at the moment, sought shelter in Aegina, which he reached a little before sunset; and at once disembarking his men, set them down to their evening meal; 8whilst Eunomus on his side, after hanging back for a little while, sailed away. Night fell, and the Athenian, showing the customary signal light to prevent his squadron straggling, led the way in the darkness. Gorgopas instantly got his men on board again, and, taking the lantern for his guide, followed the Athenians, craftily lagging behind a little space, so as not to show himself or raise any suspicion of his presence. In place of the usual cry the boatswains timed the rowers by a clink of stones, and silently the oars slid, feathering through the waves[5]; 9and just when the squadron of Eunomus was touching the coast, off Cape Zoster[6] in Attica, the Spartan sounded the bugle-note for the charge. Some of Eunomus's vessels were in the act of discharging their crews, others were still getting to their moorings, whilst others were as yet only bearing down to land. The engagement was fought by the light of the moon, and Gorgopas captured four triremes, which he tied astern, and so set sail with his prizes in tow towards Aegina. The rest of the Athenian squadron made their escape into the harbour of Piraeus.

10It was after these events that Chabrias[7] commenced his voyage to Cyprus, bringing relief to Evagoras. His force consisted at first of eight hundred light troops and ten triremes, but was further increased by other vessels from Athens and a body of heavy infantry. Thus reinforced, the admiral chose a night and landed in Aegina; and secreted himself in ambuscade with his light troops in hollow ground some way beyond the temple of Heracles. At break of day, as prearranged, the Athenian hoplites made their appearance under command of Demaenetus, and began mounting up between two and three miles[8] beyond the Kerakleion at Tripurgia, as it is called. 11The news soon reached Gorgopas, who sallied out to the rescue with the Aeginetans and the marines of his vessels, being further accompanied by eight Spartans who happened to be with him. Not content with these he issued orders inviting any of the ships' crews, who were free men, to join the relief party. A large number of these sailors responded. They armed themselves as best they could, and the advance commenced. 12When the vanguard were well past the ambuscade, Chabrias and his men sprang up from their hiding-place, and poured a volley of javelins and stones upon the enemy. At the same moment the hoplites, who had disembarked,[9] were advancing, so that the Spartan vanguard, in the absence of anything like collective action, were speedily cut down, and among them fell Gorgopas with the Lacedaemonians. At their fall the rest of course turned and fled. One hundred and fifty Aeginetans were numbered among the slain, while the loss incurred by the foreigners, metics, and sailors who had joined the relief party, reached a total of two hundred. 13After this the Athenians sailed the sea as freely as in the times of actual peace. Nor would anything induce the sailors to row a single stroke for Eteonicus--even under pressure--since he had no pay to give.

Subsequently the Lacedaemonians despatched Teleutias once again to take command of the squadron, and when the sailors saw it was he who had come, they were overjoyed. He summoned a meeting and addressed them thus: 14"Soldiers, I am back again, but I bring with me no money. Yet if God be willing, and your zeal flag not, I will endeavour to supply you with provisions without stint. Be well assured, as often as I find myself in command of you, I have but one prayer--that your lives may be spared no less than mine; and as for the necessaries of existence, perhaps it would astonish you if I said I would rather you should have them than I. Yet by the gods I swear I would welcome two days' starvation in order to spare you one. Was not my door open in old days to every comer? 15Open again it shall stand now; and so it shall be; where your own board overflows, you shall look in and mark the luxury of your general; but if at other times you see him bearing up against cold and heat and sleepless nights, you must apply the lesson to yourselves and study to endure those evils. I do not bid you do aught of this for self-mortification's sake, but that you may derive some after-blessing from it. 16Soldiers, let Lacedaemon, our own mother-city, be to you an example. Her good fortune is reputed to stand high. That you know; and you know too, that she purchased her glory and her greatness not by faint-heartedness, but by choosing to suffer pain and incur dangers in the day of need. 'Like city,' I say, 'like citizens.' You, too, as I can bear you witness, have been in times past brave; but to-day must we strive to be better than ourselves. So shall we share our pains without repining, and when fortune smiles, mingle our joys; 17for indeed the sweetest thing of all surely is to flatter no man, Hellene or Barbarian, for the sake of hire; we will suffice to ourselves, and from a source to which honour pre-eminently invites us; since, I need not remind you, abundance won from the enemy in war furnishes forth not bodily nutrition only, but a feast of glory the wide world over."

18So he spoke, and with one voice they all shouted to him to issue what orders he thought fit; they would not fail him in willing service. The general's sacrifice was just concluded, and he answered: "Good, then, my men; go now, as doubtless you were minded, and take your evening meal, and next provide yourselves, please, with one day's food. After that repair to your ships without delay, for we have a voyage on hand, whither God wills, and must arrive in time." 19So then, when the men returned, he embarked them on their ships, and sailed under cover of night for the great harbour of Piraeus: at one time he gave the rowers rest, passing the order to take a snatch of sleep; at another he pushed forward towards his goal with rise and fall of oars. If any one supposes that there was a touch of madness in such an expedition--with but twelve triremes to attack an enemy possessed of a large fleet--he should consider the calculations of Teleutias. 20He was under the firm persuasion that the Athenians were more careless than ever about their navy in the harbour since the death of Gorgopas; and in case of finding warships riding at anchor--even so, there was less danger, he conjectured, in attacking twenty ships in the port of Athens than ten elsewhere; for, whereas, anywhere outside the harbour the sailors would certainly be quartered on board, at Athens it was easy to divine that the captains and officers would be sleeping at their homes, and the crews located here and there in different quarters.

21This minded he set sail, and when he was five or six furlongs[10] distant from the harbour he lay on his oars and rested. But with the first streak of dawn he led the way, the rest following. The admiral's orders to the crews were explicit. They were on no account to sink any merchant vessel; they were equally to avoid damaging[11] their own vessels, but if at any point they espied a warship at her moorings they must try and cripple her. The trading vessels, provided they had got their cargoes on board, they must seize and tow out of the harbour; those of larger tonnage they were to board wherever they could and capture the crews. Some of his men actually jumped on to the Deigma quay,[12] where they seized hold of various traders and pilots and deposited them bodily on board ship. 22So the Spartan admiral carried out his programme.

As to the Athenians, meanwhile, some of them who got wind of what was happening rushed from indoors outside to see what the commotion meant, others from the streets home to get their arms, and others again were off to the city with the news. The whole of Athens rallied to the rescue at that instant, heavy infantry and cavalry alike, the apprehension being that Piraeus was taken. 23But the Spartan sent off the captured vessels to Aegina, telling off three or four of his triremes to convoy them thither; with the rest he followed along the coast of Attica, and emerging in seemingly innocent fashion from the harbour, captured a number of fishing smacks, and passage boats laden with passengers crossing to Piraeus from the islands; and finally, on reaching Sunium he captured some merchantmen laden with corn or other merchandise. 24After these performances he sailed back to Aegina, where he sold his prizes, and with the proceeds was able to provide his troops with a month's pay, and for the future was free to cruise about and make what reprisals chance cast in his way. By such a procedure he was able to support a full quota of mariners on board his squadron, and procured to himself the prompt and enthusiastic service of his troops.

B.C. 388-387. 25Antalcidas had now returned from the Persian court with Tiribazus. The negotiations had been successful. He had secured the alliance of the Persian king and his military co-operation in case the Athenians and their allies refused to abide by the peace which the king dictated. But learning that his second in command, Nicolochus, was being blockaded with his fleet by Iphicrates and Diotimus[13] in Abydos, he set off at once by land for that city. Being come thither he took the fleet one night and put out to sea, having first spread a story that he had invitations from a party in Calchedon; but as a matter of fact he came to anchorage in Percote and there kept quiet. 26Meanwhile the Athenian forces under Demaenetus and Dionysius and Leontichus and Phanias had got wind of his movement, and were in hot pursuit towards Proconnesus. As soon as they were well past, the Spartan veered round and returned to Abydos, trusting to information brought him of the approach of Polyxenus with the Syracusan[14] and Italian squadron of twenty ships, which he wished to pick up and incorporate with his own.

A little later the Athenian Thrasybulus[15] (of Collytus) was making his way up with eight ships from Thrace, his object being to effect a junction with the main Athenian squadron. 27The scouts signalled the approach of eight triremes, whereupon Antalcidas, embarking his marines on board twelve of the fastest sailers of his fleet, ordered them to make up their full complements, where defective, from the remaining vessels; and so lay to, skulking in his lair with all possible secrecy. As soon as the enemy's vessels came sailing past he gave chase; and they catching sight of him took to flight. With his swiftest sailors he speedily overhauled their laggards, and ordering his vanguard to let these alone, he followed hard on those ahead. But when the foremost had fallen into his clutches, the enemy's hinder vessels, seeing their leaders taken one by one, out of sheer despondency fell an easy prey to the slower sailors of the foe, so that not one of the eight vessels escaped.

28Presently the Syracusan squadron of twenty vessels joined him, and again another squadron from Ionia, or rather so much of that district as lay under the control of Tiribazus. The full quota of the contingent was further made up from the territory of Ariobarzanes (which whom Antalcidas kept up a friendship of long standing), in the absence of Pharnabazus, who by this date had already been summoned up country on the occasion of his marriage with the king's daughter. With this fleet, which, from whatever sources derived, amounted to more than eighty sail, Antalcidas ruled the seas, and was in a position not only to cut off the passage of vessels bound to Athens from the Euxine, but to convoy them into the harbours of Sparta's allies.

29The Athenians could not but watch with alarm the growth of the enemy's fleet, and began to fear a repetition of their former discomfiture. To be trampled under foot by the hostile power seemed indeed no remote possibility, now that the Lacedaemonians had procured an ally in the person of the Persian monarch, and they were in little less than a state of siege themselves, pestered as they were by privateers from Aegina. On all these grounds the Athenians became passionately desirous of peace.[16] The Lacedaemonians were equally out of humour with the war for various reasons--what with their garrison duties, one mora at Lechaeum and another at Orchomenus, and the necessity of keeping watch and ward on the states, if loyal not to lose them, if disaffected to prevent their revolt; not to mention that reciprocity of annoyance[17] of which Corinth was the centre. So again the Argives had a strong appetite for peace; they knew that the ban had been called out against them, and, it was plain, that no fictitious alteration of the calendar would any longer stand them in good stead. 30Hence, when Tiribazus issued a summons calling on all who were willing to listen to the terms of peace sent down by the king[18] to present themselves, the invitation was promptly accepted. At the opening of the conclave[19] Tiribazus pointed to the king's seal attached to the document, and proceeded to read the contents, which ran as follows:

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

32After listening to the above declaration the ambassadors from the several states proceeded to report the same to their respective governments. One and all of these took the oaths[20] to ratify and confirm the terms unreservedly, with the exception of the Thebans, who claimed to take the oaths in behalf of all Boeotians. This claim Agesilaus repudiated: unless they chose to take the oaths in precise conformity with the words of the king's edict, which insisted on "the future autonomy of each state, small or great," he would not admit them. To this the Theban ambassadors made no other reply, except that the instructions they had received were different. "Pray go, then," Agesilaus retorted, "and ask the question; and you may inform your countrymen that if they will not comply, they will be excluded from the treaty." 33The Theban ambassadors departed, but Agesilaus, out of hatred to the Thebans, took active measures at once. Having got the consent of the ephors he forthwith offered sacrifice. The offerings for crossing the frontier were propitious, and he pushed on to Tegea. From Tegea he despatched some of the knights right and left to vist the perioeci and hasten their mobilisation, and at the same time sent commanders of foreign brigades to the allied cities on a similar errand. But before he had started from Tegea the answer from Thebes arrived; the point was yielded, they would suffer the states to be independent. Under these circumstances the Lacedaemonians returned home, and the Thebans were forced to accept the truce unconditionally, and to recognise the autonomy of the Boeotian cities.[21] 34But now the Corinthians were by no means disposed to part with the garrison of the Argives. Accordingly Agesilaus had a word of warning for both. To the former he said, "if they did not forthwith dismiss the Argives," and to the latter, "if they did not instantly quit Corinth," he would march an army into their territories. The terror of both was so great that the Argives marched out of Corinth, and Corinth was once again left to herself;[22] whereupon the "butchers"[23] and their accomplices in the deed of blood determined to retire from Corinth, and the rest of the citizens welcomed back their late exiles voluntarily.

35Now that the transactions were complete, and the states were bound by their oaths to abide by the peace sent down to them by the king, the immediate result was a general disarmament, military and naval forces being alike disbanded; and so it was that the Lacedaemonians and Athenians, with their allies, found themselves in the enjoyment of peace for the first time since the period of hostilities subsequent to the demolition of the walls of Athens. 36From a condition which, during the war, can only be described as a sort of even balance with their antagonists, the Lacedaemonians now emerged; and reached a pinnacle of glory consequent upon the Peace of Antalcidas,[24] so called. As guarantors of the peace presented by Hellas to the king, and as administrators personally of the autonomy of the states, they had added Corinth to their alliance; they had obtained the independence of the states of Boeotia at the expense of Thebes,[25] which meant the gratification of an old ambition; and lastly, by calling out the ban in case the Argives refused to evacuate Corinth, they had put a stop to the appopriation of that city by the Argives.

  1. Or, "determined to let slip the hounds of war;" or, more prosaically, "issued letters of marque." See Grote, "H. G." ix. 517.
  2. I.e. in Aegina as an {epiteikhisma}.
  3. See Grote, "H. G." ix. 518: "The ideal of government as it presented itself to Xenophon was the paternal despotism or something like it," {to ethelonton arkhein}. Cf. "Cyrop." passim, "Heiro," and his various other compositions.
  4. And among the rest Iphicrates and Diotimus. See below, S. 25; above, IV. viii. 39.
  5. Lit. "the boatswains employing a clink of stones and a sliding motion of the oars."
  6. I.e. "Cape Girdle," mod. Cape Karvura. See Tozer, "Geog. of Greece," pp. 78, 372.
  7. According to Diod. xiv. 92, Chabrias had been for some time in Corinth. See also above, IV. viii. 24.
  8. Lit. "about sixteen stades."
  9. Or, reading {oi anabebekotes}, "who had scaled the height." See Hartman, "Anal. Xen." p. 364.
  10. Lit. "five or six stades."
  11. See Hartman, "Anal. Xen." pp. 365, 366.
  12. See Grote ("H. G." ix. 523): cf. Thuc. ii. 94, the attempt of Brasidas on the port of Megara. For the wealth of Piraeus, Grote "H. G." ix. 351. See below, "Pol. Ath." i. 17; "Rev." iii. 13.
  13. See above; Lysias, "de bon. Arist." (Jebb, "Att. Or." i. p. 327).
  14. See below, VI. ii. 4 foll; Hicks, 71, 84, 88.
  15. His name occurs on the famous stele of the new Athenian confederacy, B.C. 378. See Hicks, 81; Kohler, "C. I. A." ii. 17; Demos. "de. Cor." p. 301; Arist. "Rhet." ii. 23; Demos. "c. Timocr." 742.
  16. See, at this point, Grote on the financial condition of Athens and the "Theorikon," "H. G." ix. 525.
  17. Or, "that give-and-take of hard knocks."
  18. See Hicks, 76.
  19. At Sardis, doubtless.
  20. At Sparta, doubtless.
  21. See Freeman, op. cit. pp. 168, 169.
  22. See "Ages." ii. 21; Grote, "H. G." ix. 537.
  23. {oi sphageis}, a party catchword (in reference to the incidents narrated above, "Hell." IV. iv. 2). See below, {ton bareon demagogon}, "Hell." V. ii. 7; {oi kedomenoi tes Peloponnesou}, "Hell." VII. v. 1; above, {oi sphageis}, "Hell." III. ii. 27, of the philo-Laconian oligarchs in Elis. See Dem. "c. Lept." 473.
  24. Or, more correctly, the peace "under," or "at the date of," {ep 'Antalkidou}. See Grote, "H. G." x. 1, note 1.
  25. Or, "they had made the states of Boeotia independent of Thebes." See Grote, "H. G." x. 44.