Hellenica (Xenophon)/Book 5/Chapter 4

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1Abundant examples might be found, alike in Hellenic and in foreign history, to prove that the Divine powers mark what is done amiss, winking neither at impiety nor at the commission of unhallowed acts; but at present I confine myself to the facts before me.[1] The Lacedaemonians, who had pledged themselves by oath to leave the states independent, had laid violent hands on the acropolis of Thebes, and were eventually punished by the victims of that iniquity single-handed --the Lacedaemonians, be it noted, who had never before been mastered by living man; and not they alone, but those citizens of Thebes who introduced them to their acropolis, and who wished to enslave their city to Lacedaemon, that they might play the tyrant themselves--how fared it with them? A bare score of the fugitives were sufficient to destroy their government. How this happened I will now narrate in detail.

2There was a man named Phyllidas--he was secretary to Archias, that is, to the polemarchs.[2] Beyond his official duties, he had rendered his chief other services, and all apparently in an exemplary fashion. A visit to Athens in pursuance of some business brought this man into contact with a former acquaintance of his, Melon, one of the exiles who had fled for safety to Athens. Melon had various questions to ask touching the sort of tyranny practised by Archias in the exercise of the polemarchy, and by Philip. He soon discovered that affairs at home were still more detestable to Phyllidas than to himself. It only remained to exchange pledges, and to arrange the details of what was to be done. 3After a certain interval Melon, accompanied by six of the trustiest comrades he could find among his fellow-exiles, set off for Thebes. They were armed with nothing but daggers, and first of all crept into the neighbourhood under cover of night. The whole of the next day they lay concealed in a desert place, and drew near to the city gates in the guise of labourers returning home with the latest comers from the fields. Having got safely within the city, they spent the whole of that night at the house of a man named Charon, and again the next day in the same fashion. 4Phyllidas meanwhile was busily taken up with the concerns of the polemarchs, who were to celebrate a feast of Aphrodite on going out of office. Amongst other things, the secretary was to take this opportunity of fulfilling an old undertaking, which was the introduction of certain women to the polemarchs. They were to be the most majestic and the most beautiful to be found in Thebes. The polemarchs, on their side (and the character of the men is sufficiently marked), were looking forward to the pleasures of the night with joyful anticipation. 5Supper was over, and thanks to the zeal with which the master of the ceremonies responded to their mood, they were speedily intoxicated. To their oft- repeated orders to introduce their mistresses, he went out and fetched Melon and the rest, three of them dressed up as ladies and the rest as their attendant maidens. 6Having brought them into the treasury of the polemarchs' residence,[3] he returned himself and announced to Archias and his friends that the women would not present themselves as long as any of the attendants remained in the room; whereupon they promptly bade all withdraw, and Phyllidas, furnishing the servants with a stoup of wine, sent them off to the house of one of them. And now at last he introduced the mistresses, and led them to their seats beside their respective lords. It was preconcerted that as soon as they were seated they were to throw aside their veils and strike home. 7That is one version of the death of the polemarchs.[4] According to another, Melon and his friends came in as revellers, and so despatched their victims.

That over, Phyllidas, with three of the band, set off to the house of Leontiades. Arrived there, he knocked on the door, and sent in word that he had a message from the polemarchs. Leontiades, as chance befell, was still reclining in privacy after dinner, and his wife was seated beside him working wools. The fidelity of Phyllidas was well known to him, and he gave orders to admit him at once. They entered, slew Leontiades, and with threats silenced his wife. As they went out they ordered the door to be shut, threatening that if they found it open they would kill every one in the house. 8And now that this deed was done, Phyllidas, with two of the band, presented himself at the prison, telling the gaoler he had brought a man from the polemarchs to be locked up. The gaoler opened the door, and was at once despatched, and the prisoners were released. These they speedily supplied with arms taken from the armoury in the stoa, and then led them to the Ampheion,[5] and bade them take up a position there, 9after which they at once made a proclamation calling on all Thebans to come out, horse and foot, seeing that the tyrants were dead. The citizens, indeed, as long as it was night, not knowing whom or what to trust, kept quiet, but when day dawned and revealed what had occurred, the summons was responded to with alacrity, heavy infantry and cavalry under arms alike sallying forth. Horsemen were also despatched by the now restored exiles to the two Athenian generals on the frontier; and they, being aware of the object of the message [promptly responded].[6]

10On the other hand, the Lacedaemonian governor in the citadel, as soon as that night's proclamation reached his ears, was not slow to send to Plataeae[7] and Thespiae for reinforcements. The approach of the Plataeans was perceived by the Theban cavalry, who met them and killed a score of them and more, and after that achievement returned to the city, to find the Athenians from the frontier already arrived. Then they assaulted the acropolis. 11The troops within recognised the paucity of their own numbers, whilst the zeal of their opponents (one and all advancing to the attack) was plainly visible, and loud were the proclamations, promising rewards to those who should be first to scale the walls. All this so worked upon their fears that they agreed to evacuate the place if the citizens would allow them a safe-conduct to retire with their arms. To this request the others gladly yielded, and they made a truce. Oaths were taken on the terms aforesaid, and the citizens dismissed their adversaries. 12For all that, as the garrison retired, those of them who were recognised as personal foes were seized and put to death. Some were rescued through the good offices of the Athenian reinforcements from the frontier, who smuggled them across and saved them. The Thebans were not content with putting the men to death; if any of them had children, these also were sacrificed to their vengeance.

B.C. 378. 13When the news of these proceedings reached Sparta the first thing the Lacedaemonians did was to put to death the governor, who had abandoned the Cadmeia instead of awaiting reinforcements, and the next was to call out the ban against Thebes. Agesilaus had little taste to head the expedition; he pointed out that he had seen more than forty years' service,[8] and that the exemption from foreign duty applicable to others at that age was applicable on the same principle to the king. Such were the ostensible grounds on which he excused himself from the present expedition, but his real objections lay deeper. He felt certain that if he led the expedition his fellow-citizens would say: "Agesilaus caused all this trouble to the state in order to aid and abet tyrants." Therefore he preferred to leave his countrymen to settle the matter themselves as they liked. 14Accordingly the ephors, instructed by the Theban exiles who had escaped the late massacres, despatched Cleombrotus. He had not commanded before, and it was the depth of winter.

Now while Chabrias, with a body of Athenian peltasts, kept watch and ward over the road through Eleutherae, Cleombrotus made his way up by the direct route to Plataeae. His column of light infantry, pushing forward in advance, fell upon the men who had been released from the Theban prison, guarding the summit, to the number of about one hundred and fifty. These, with the exception of one or two who escaped, were cut down by the peltasts, and Cleombrotus descended in person upon Plataeae, which was still friendly to Sparta. 15Presently he reached Thespiae, and that was the base for an advance upon Cynoscephalae, where he encamped on Theban territory. Here he halted sixteen days, and then again fell back upon Thespiae. At this latter place he now left Sphodrias as governor, with a third portion of each of the contingents of the allies, handing over to him all the moneys he had brought with him from home, with directions to supplement his force with a contingent of mercenaries.

16While Sphodrias was so employed, Cleombrotus himself commenced his homeward march, following the road through Creusis at the head of his own moiety of the troops, who indeed were in considerable perplexity to discover whether they were at war with the Thebans or at peace, seeing that the general had led his army into Theban territory, had inflicted the minimum of mischief, and again retired. 17No sooner, however, was his back turned than a violent wind storm assailed him in his rear, which some construed as an omen clearly significant of what was about to take place. Many a blow this assailant dealt them, and as the general and his army, crossing from Creusis, scaled that face of the mountain[9] which stretches seaward, the blast hurled headlong from the precipices a string of asses, baggage and all: countless arms were wrested from the bearers' grasp and whirled into the sea; 18finally, numbers of the men, unable to march with their arms, deposited them at different points of the pass, first filling the hollow of their shields with stones. For the moment, then, they halted at Aegosthena, on Megarian soil, and supped as best they could. Next day they returned and recovered their arms. After this adventure the contingents lost no time in returning to their several homes, as Cleombrotus disbanded them.

19Meanwhile at Athens and Thebes alike fear reigned. To the Athenians the strength of the Lacedaemonians was unmistakable: the war was plainly no longer confined to Corinth; on the contrary, the Lacedaemonians had ventured to skirt Athenian territory and to invade Thebes. They were so worked upon by their alarm that the two generals who had been privy to the insurrection of Melon against Leontiades and his party had to suffer: the one was formally tried and put to death; the other, refusing to abide his trial, was banished.

20The apprehensions of the Thebans were of a different sort: their fear was rather lest they should find themselves in single-handed war with Lacedaemon. To prevent this they hit upon the following expedient. They worked upon Sphodrias,[10] the Spartan governor left in Thespiae, by offering him, as at least was suspected, a substantial sum, in return for which he was to make an incursion into Attica; their great object being to involve Athens and Lacedaemon in hostilities. Sphodrias lent a willing ear, and, pretending that he could easily capture Piraeus in its present gateless condition, gave his troops an early evening meal and marched out of Thespiae, saying that he would reach Piraeus before daybreak. 21As a matter of fact day overtook him at Thria, nor did he take any pains even to draw a veil over his intentions; on the contrary, being forced to turn aside, he amused himself by recklessly lifting cattle and sacking houses. Meanwhile some who chanced upon him in the night had fled to the city and brought news to the men of Athens that a large body of troops was approaching. It needs no saying with what speed the cavalry and heavy infantry armed themselves and stood on guard to protect the city. 22As chance befell, there were some Lacedaemonian ambassadors in Athens at the moment, at the house of Callias their proxenos; their names were Etymocles, Aristolochus, and Ocyllus. Immediately on receipt of the news the Athenians seized these three and imprisoned them, as not improbably concerned in the plot. Utterly taken aback by the affair themselves, the ambassadors pleaded that, had they been aware of an attempt to seize Piraeus, they would hardly have been so foolish as to put themselves into the power of the Athenians, or have selected the house of their proxenos for protection, where they were so easily to be found. 23It would, they further urged, soon be plain to the Athenians themselves that the state of Lacedaemon was quite as little cognisant of these proceedings as they. "You will hear before long"--such was their confident prediction--"that Sphodrias has paid for his behaviour by his life." 24On this wise the ambassadors were acquitted of all concern in the matter and dismissed. Sphodrias himself was recalled and indicted by the ephors on the capital charge, and, in spite of his refusal to face the trial, he was acquitted. This miscarriage of justice, as it seemed to many, who described it as unprecedented in Lacedaemon, has an explanation.

25Sphodrias had a son named Cleonymus. He was just at the age when youth emerges from boyhood, very handsome and of high repute among his fellows. To this youth Archidamus, the son of Agesilaus, was passionately attached. Now the friends of Cleombrotus, as comrades of Sphodrias, were disposed to acquit him; but they feared Agesilaus and his friends, not to mention the intermediate party, for the enormity of his proceeding was clear. 26So when Sphodrias addressed his son Cleonymus: "You have it in your power, my son, to save your father, if you will, by begging Archidamus to dispose Agesilaus favourably to me at my trial." Thus instructed, the youth did not shrink from visiting Archidamus, and implored him for his sake to save his father. 27Now when Archidamus saw how Cleonymus wept, he too was melted to tears as he stood beside him, but to his petition he made answer thus: "Nay, Cleonymus, it is the bare truth I tell you, I cannot so much as look my father in the face;[11] if I wished anything transacted for me in the city I would beg assistance from the whole world sooner than from my father. Still, since it is you who bid me, rest assured I will do my best to bring this about for you as you desire." 28He then left the common hall[12] and retired home to rest, but with dawn he arose and kept watch that his father might not go out without his knowledge. Presently, when he saw him ready to go forth, first some citizen was present, and then another and another; and in each case he stepped aside, while they held his father in conversation. By and by a stranger would come, and then another; and so it went on until he even found himself making way for a string of petitioning attendants. At last, when his father had turned his back on the Eurotas, and was entering his house again, he was fain to turn his back also and be gone without so much as accosting him. The next day he fared no better: all happened as on the previous day. 29Now Agesilaus, although he had his suspicions why his son went to and fro in this way, asked no questions, but left him to take his own course. Archidamus, on his side, was longing, as was natural, to see his friend Cleonymus; but how he was to visit him, without having held the desired conversation with his father, he knew not. The friends of Sphodrias, observing that he who was once so frequent a visitor had ceased coming, were in agony; he must surely have been deterred by the reproaches of his father. 30At last, however, Archidamus dared to go to his father, and said, "Father, Cleonymus bids me ask you to save his father; grant me this boon, if possible, I beg you." He answered: "For yourself, my son, I can make excuse, but how shall my city make excuse for me if I fail to condemn that man who, for his own base purpose, traffics to the injury of the state?" 31For the moment the other made no reply, but retired crestfallen before the verdict of justice. Afterwards, whether the thought was his own or that he was prompted by some other, he came and said, "Father, if Sphodrias had done no wrong you would have released him, that I know; but now, if he has done something wrong, may he not be excused by you for our sakes?" And the father answered: "If it can be done without loss of honour on our parts, so shall it be." At that word the young man, in deep despondency, turned and went. 32Now one of the friends of Sphodrias, conversing with Etymocles, remarked to him: "You are all bent on putting Sphodrias to death, I take it, you friends of Agesilaus?" And Etymocles replied: "If that be so, we all are bent on one thing, and Agesilaus on another, since in all his conversations he still harps upon one string: that Sphodrias has done a wrong there is no denying, yet Sphodrias is a man who, from boyhood to ripe manhood,[13] was ever constant to the call of honour. To put such a man as that to death is hard; nay, Sparta needs such soldiers." 33The other accordingly went off and reported what he had just heard to Cleonymus; and he in the joy of his heart went straightway to Archidamus and said: "Now we know that you care for us; rest assured, Archidamus, that we in turn will take great pains that you shall never have cause to blush for our friendship." Nor did his acts belie his words; but so long as he lived he was ever faithful to the code of Spartan chivalry; and at Leuctra, fighting in front of the king side by side with Deinon the polemarch, thrice fell or ever he yielded up his breath--foremost of the citizens amidst the foe. And so, albeit he caused his friend the bitterest sorrow, yet to that which he had promised he was faithful, seeing he wrought Archidamus no shame, but contrariwise shed lustre on him.[14] In this way Sphodrias obtained his acquittal.

34At Athens the friends of Boeotia were not slow to instruct the people that his countrymen, so far from punishing Sphodrias, had even applauded him for his designs on Athens; and in consequence of this the Athenians not only furnished Piraeus with gates, but set to work to build a fleet, and displayed great zeal in sending aid to the Boeotians.[15] 35The Lacedaemonians, on their side, called out the ban against the Thebans; and being persuaded that in Agesilaus they would find a more prudent general than Cleombrotus had proved, they begged the former to undertake the expedition.[16] He, replying that the wish of the state was for him law, began making preparations to take the field.

36Now he had come to the conclusion that without the occupation of Mount Cithaeron any attack on Thebes would be difficult. Learning then that the men of Cleitor were just now at war with the men of Orchomenus,[17] and were maintaing a foreign brigade, he came to an understanding with the Cleitorians that in the event of his needing it, this force would be at his service; 37and as soon as the sacrifices for crossing the frontier proved favourable, he sent to the commander of the Cleitorian mercenaries, and handing him a month's pay, ordered him to occupy Cithaeron with his men. This was before he himself reached Tegea. Meanwhile he sent a message to the men of Orchomenus that so long as the campaign lasted they must cease from war. If any city during his campaign abroad took on itself to march against another city, his first duty, he declared, would be to march against such offending city in accordance with a decree of the allies.

38Thus crossing Cithaeron he reached Thespiae,[18] and from that base made the territory of Thebes his objective. Finding the great plain fenced round with ditch and palisade, as also the most valuable portions of the country, he adopted the plan of shifting his encampment from one place to another. Regularly each day, after the morning meal, he marched out his troops and ravaged the territory, confining himself to his own side of the palisadings and trench. The appearance of Agesilaus at any point whatever was a signal to the enemy, who within the circuit of his entrenchment kept moving in parallel line to the invader, and was ever ready to defend the threatened point. 39On one occasion, the Spartan king having retired and being well on the road back to camp, the Theban cavalry, hitherto invisible, suddenly dashed out, following one of the regularly constructed roads out of the entrenchment. Taking advantage of the enemy's position--his light troops breaking off to supper or busily preparing the meal, and the cavalry, some of them on their legs just[19] dismounted, and others in the act of mounting--on they rode, pressing the charge home. Man after man of the light troops was cut down; and three cavalry troopers besides--two Spartans, Cleas and Epicydidas by name, and the third a provincial[20] named Eudicus, who had not had time to mount their horses, and whose fate was shared by some Theban[21] exiles. 40But presently Agesilaus wheeled about and advanced with his heavy infantry to the succour; his cavalry dashed at the enemy's cavalry, and the flower of the heavy infantry, the ten- years-service men, charged by their side. The Theban cavalry at that instant looked like men who had been imbibing too freely in the noontide heat--that is to say, they awaited the charge long enough to hurl their spears; but the volley sped without effect, and wheeling about within that distance they left twelve of their number dead upon the field.

41Agesilaus had not failed to note with what regularity the enemy presented himself after the morning meal. Turning the observation to account, he offered sacrifice with day's dawn, and marched with all possible speed, and so crossed within the palisadings, through what might have been a desert, as far as defence or sign of living being went. Once well inside, he proceeded to cut down and set on fire everything up to the city gates. After this exploit he beat a retreat, retiring into Thespiae, where he fortified their citadel for them. Here he left Phoebidas as governor, while he himself crossed the passes back into Megara. Arrived here he disbanded the allies, and led the city troops homewards.

42After the departure of Agesilaus, Phoebidas devoted himself to harrying the Thebans by sending out robber bands, and laid waste their land by a system of regular incursions. The Thebans, on their side, desiring to retaliate, marched out with their whole force into the territory of Thespiae. But once well inside the district they found themselves closely beset by Phoebidas and his light troops, who would not give them the slightest chance to scatter from their main body, so that the Thebans, heartily vexed at the turn their foray had taken, beat a retreat quicker than they had come. The muleteers threw away with their own hands the fruits they had captured, in their anxiety to get home as quickly as possible; so dire a dread had fallen upon the invading army. 43This was the chance for the Spartan to press home his attack boldly, keeping his light division in close attendance on himself, and leaving the heavy infantry under orders to follow him in battle order. He was in hopes even that he might put the enemy to complete rout, so valiantly did he lead the advance, encouraging the light troops to "come to a close grip with the invadors," or summoning the heavy infantry of the Thespiaeans to "bring up their supports." 44Presently the Theban cavalry as they retired found themselves face to face with an impassable glen or ravine, where in the first instance they collected in a mob, and next wheeled right-about-face in sheer resourcelessness where to cross. The handful of light troops who formed the Spartan vanguard took fright at the Thebans and fled, and the Theban horsemen seeing this put in practice the lesson of attack which the fugitives taught them. 45As for Phoebidas himself, he and two or three with him fell sword in hand, whereupon his mercenary troops all took to their heels.

When the stream of fugitives reached the Thespiaean heavy infantry reserves, they too, in spite of much boasting beforehand that they would never yield to Thebans, took to flight, though there was now absolutely no pursuit whatever, for it was now late. The number slain was not large, but, for all that, the men of Thespiae did not come to a standstill until they found themselves safe inside their walls. 46As a sequel, the hopes and spirits of the Thebans were again kindled into new life, and they made campaigns against Thespiae and the other provincial cities of Boeotia.[22] It must be admitted that in each case the democratical party retired from these cities to Thebes; since absolute governments had been established in all of them on the pattern previously adopted at Thebes; and the result was that the friends of Lacedaemon in these cities also needed her assistance.[23] After the death of Phoebidas the Lacedaemonians despatched a polemarch with a division by sea to form the garrison of Thespiae.

B.C. 377. 47With the advent of spring[24] the ephors again called out the ban against Thebes, and requested Agesilaus to lead the expedition, as on the former campaign. He, holding to his former theory with regard to the invasion, even before sacrificing the customary frontier sacrifice, sent a despatch to the polemarch at Thespiae, with orders to seize the pass which commands the road over Cithaeron, and to guard it against his arrival. 48Then, having once more crossed the pass and reached Plataeae, he again made a feint of marching first into Thespiae, and so sent a despatch ordering supplies to be in readiness, and all embassies to be waiting his arrival there; so that the Thebans concentrated their attention on the approaches from Thespiae, which they strongly guarded. 49Next morning, however, Agesilaus sacrificed at daybreak and set out on the road to Erythrae,[25] and completing in one day what was a good two days' march for an army, gave the Thebans the slip, and crossed their palisade-work at Scolus before the enemy had arrived from the closely- guarded point at which he had effected his entrance formerly. This done he proceeded to ravage the eastward-facing districts of the city of Thebes as far as the territory of Tanagra, for at that date Tanagra was still in the hands of Hypatodorus and his party, who were friends of the Lacedaemonians. After that he turned to retire, keeping the walls of Thebes on his left. 50But the Thebans, who had stolen, as it were, upon the scene, drew up at the spot called "The Old Wife's Breast,"[26] keeping the trench and palisading in their rear: they were persuaded that here, if anywhere, lay their chance to risk a decisive engagement, the ground at this point being somewhat narrow and difficult to traverse. Agesilaus, however, in view of the situation, refused to accept the challenge. Instead of marching upon them he turned sharp off in the direction of the city; 51and the Thebans, in alarm for the city in its undefended state, abandoned the favourable ground on which they were drawn up in battle line, and retired at the double towards the city along the road to Potniae, which seemed the safer route. This last move of Agesilaus may be described as a stroke of genius:[27] while it allowed him to retire to a distance, it forced the enemy themselves to retreat at the double. In spite of this, however, one or two of the polemarchs, with their divisions, charged the foe as he raced past. 52But again the Thebans, from the vantage-ground of their heights, sent volleys of spears upon the assailants, which cost one of the polemarchs, Alypetus, his life. He fell pierced by a spear. But again from this particular crest the Thebans on their side were forced to turn in flight; so much so that the Sciritae, with some of the cavalry, scaled up and speedily cut down the rearmost ranks of the Thebans as they galloped past into the city. 53When, however, they were close under cover of their walls the Thebans turned, and the Sciritae seeing them retreated at more than a steady walking pace. No one, it is true, was slain; but the Thebans all the same set up a trophy in record of the incident at the point where the scaling party had been forced to retreat.

54And now, since the hour was come, Agesilaus fell back and encamped on the very site on which he had seen the enemy drawn up in battle array. Next day he retired by the road to Thespiae. The light troops, who formed a free corps in the pay of the Thebans, hung audaciously at his heels. Their shouts could be heard calling out to Chabrias[28] for not bringing up his supports; when the cavalry of the Olynthians (who now contributed a contingent in accordance with their oaths)[29] wheeled round on them, caught the pursuers in the heat of their pursuit, and drove them uphill, putting large numbers of them to the sword--so quickly are infantry overhauled by cavalry on steep ground which can be ridden over. 55Being arrived within the walls of Thespiae, Agesilaus found the citizens in a state of party feud, the men of Lacedaemonian proclivities desiring to put their political opponents, one of whom was Menon, to death[30]--a proceeding which Agesilaus would not sanction. After having healed their differences and bound them over by solemn oath to keep the peace with one another, he at once retired, taking his old route across Cithaeron to Megara. Here once more he disbanded the allies, and at the head of the city troops himself marched back to Sparta.

56The Thebans had not gathered in the fruits of their soil for two years now, and began to be sorely pinched for want of corn; they therefore sent a body of men on board a couple of triremes to Pagasae, with ten talents[31] in hand for the purchase of corn. But while these commissioners were engaged in effecting their purchases, Alcetas, the Lacedaemonian who was garrisoning Oreus,[32] fitted out three triremes, taking precautions that no rumour of his proceedings should leak out. As soon as the corn was shipped and the vessels under weigh, he captured not only the corn but the triremes, escort and all, numbering no less than three hundred men. This done he locked up his prisoners in the citadel, where he himself was also quartered. 57Now there was a youth, the son of a native of Oreus, fair of mien and of gentle breeding,[33] who danced attendance on the commandant: and the latter must needs leave the citadel and go down to busy himself with this youth. This was a piece of carelessness which the prisoners did not fail to observe, and turned to good account by seizing the citadel, whereupon the town revolted, and the Thebans experienced no further difficulty in obtaining corn supplies.

B.C. 376. 58At the return of spring Agesilaus lay sick--a bedridden invalid. The history of the case is this: During the withdrawal of his army from Thebes the year before, when at Megara, while mounting from the Aphrodision[34] to the Government house he ruptured a vein or other vessel of the body. This was followed by a rush of blood to his sound leg. The knee was much swelled, and the pain intolerable, until a Syracusan surgeon made an incision in the vein near the ankle. The blood thus let flowed night and day; do what they could to stop the discharge, all failed, till the patient fainted away; then it ceased. In this plight Agesilaus was conveyed home on a litter to Lacedaemon, and remained an invalid the rest of that summer and throughout the winter.

59But to resume: at the first burst of spring the Lacedaemonians again called out the ban, and gave orders to Cleombrotus to lead the expedition. The king found himself presently with his troops at the foot of Cithaeron, and his light infantry advanced to occupy the pass which commands the road. But here they found a detachment of Thebans and Athenians already in occupation of the desired height, who for a while suffered them to approach; but when they were close upon them, sprang from their position and charged, putting about forty to the sword. This incident was sufficient to convince Cleombrotus that to invade Thebes by this mountain passage was out of the question, and in this faith he led back and disbanded his troops.

60The allies met in Lacedaemon, and arguments were adduced on the part of the allies to show that faintheartedness would very soon lead to their being absolutely worn out by the war. They had got it in their power, it was urged, to fit out a fleet far outnumbering that of Athens, and to reduce that city by starvation; it was open to them, in the self-same ships, to carry an army across into Theban territory, and they had a choice of routes--the road into Phocis, or, if they preferred, by Creusis. 61After thus carefully considering the matter they manned a fleet of sixty triremes, and Pollis was appointed admiral in command. Nor indeed were their expectations altogether belied. The Athenians were soon so closely blockaded that their corn vessels could get no farther than Geraestus;[35] there was no inducing them to coast down father south, with a Lacedaemonian navy hovering about Aegina and Ceos and Andros. The Athenians, making a virtue of necessity, manned their ships in person, gave battle to Pollis under the leadership of Chabrias, and came out of the sea-fight[36] victorious.

B.C. 375. Then the corn supplies flowed freely into Athens. 62The Lacedaemonians, on their side, were preparing to transport an army across the water into Boeotia, when the Thebans sent a request to the Athenians urging them to despatch an armament round Peloponnesus, under the persuasion that if this were done the Lacedaemonians would find it impossible at once to guard their own or the allied territory in that part of the world, and at the same time to convery an army of any size to operate against Thebes. 63The proposals fell in with the present temper of the Athenians, irritated with Lacedaemon on account of the exploit of Sphodrias. Accordingly they eagerly manned a fleet of sixty vessels, appointing Timotheus as admiral in command, and despatched it on a cruise round Peloponnesus.

The Thebans, seeing that there had been no hostile invasion of their territory for so long (neither during the campaign of Cleombrotus nor now,[37] whilst Timotheus prosecuted his coasting voyage), felt emboldened to carry out a campaign on their own account against the provincial cities;[38] and one by one they again recovered them.

64Timotheus in his cruise reached Corcyra, and reduced it at a blow. That done, he neither enslaved the inhabitants nor drove them into exile, nor changed their laws. And of this conduct he reaped the benefit of the increased cordiality[39] of all the cities of those parts. 65The Lacedaemonians thereupon fitted out and despatched a counter fleet, with Nicolochus in command, an officer of consummate boldness. This admiral no sooner caught sight of Timotheus's fleet than without hesitation, and in spite of the absence of six Ambraciot vessels which formed part of his squadron, he gave battle, with fifty-five ships to the enemy's sixty. The result was a defeat at the moment, and Timotheus set up a trophy at Alyzia. But as soon as the six missing Ambraciot vessels had reinforced him--the ships of Timotheus meanwhile being docked and undergoing repairs--he bore down upon Alyzia in search of the Athenian, and as Timotheus refused to put out to meet him, the Lacedaemonian in turn set up a trophy on the nearest group of islands.

B.C. 374. 66Timotheus, after repairing his original squadron and manning more vessels from Corcyra, found himself at the head of more than seventy ships. His naval superiority was undisputed, but he was forced to send to Athens for moneys, seeing his fleet was large and his wants not trifling.

  1. Or, "it is of my own subject that I must now speak." For the "peripety," or sudden reversal of circumstances, on which the plot of the "Hellenica" hinges, see Grote, "H. G." x. 100-108. Cf. Soph. "Oed. Tyr." 450; "Antig." 1066; Thuc. v. 116; "Hellenica Essays," "Xenophon," p. 382 foll. This passage is perhaps the key to the historian's position.
  2. Lit. "to Archias and his (polemarchs)"; but the Greek phrase does not, as the English would, imply that there were actually more than two polemarchs, viz. Archias and Philippus. Hypates and Leontiades belonged to the faction, but were neither of them polemarchs.
  3. Lit. "Polemarcheion."
  4. Or, "and so, according to the prevalent version of the matter, the polemarchs were slain. But some say that . . ."
  5. See plan of Thebes, "Dict. Geog."; Arrian, "Anab." i. 8; Aesch. "Sept. c. Theb." 528.
  6. Supply {epeboethoun}. There is a lacuna in the MSS. at this point.
  7. This city had been refounded in B.C. 386 (Isocr. "Plat." 20, 21). See Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. p. 170: "Its restoration implied not only a loss of Theban supremacy, but the actual loss of that portion of the existing Theban territory which had formerly formed the Plataian district."
  8. And was therefore more than fifty-eight years old at this date. See "Ages." i. 6.
  9. I.e. "Cithaeron."
  10. See Plut. "Pel." xiv. (Clough, ii. p. 214).
  11. See "Cyrop." I. iv. 12.
  12. Lit. "the Philition." See "Pol. Lac." iii. 6.
  13. Lit. "who, whether as child, boy, or young man"; and for the three stages of growth, see "Pol. Lac." ii. iii. iv.
  14. I.e. both in life and in death.
  15. For the new Athenian confederacy of Delos of this year, B.C. 378, see "Pol. Lac." xiv. 6; "Rev." v. 6; Diod. xv. 28-30; Plut. "Pelop." xv.; Hicks, 78, 81; and for an alliance between Athens and Chalcis in Euboea, see Hicks, 79; and for a treaty with Chios, Hicks, 80.
  16. See "Ages." ii. 22.
  17. In Arcadia. See Busolt, "Die Lak." 120 foll.
  18. By Cynoscephalae. See "Ages." ii. 22.
  19. Read, after Courier, {arti} for the vulg. {eti}; or, better still, adopt Hartman's emendation (op. cit. p. 379), {ton men ede katabebekoton ton de katabainonton}, and translate "some--already dismounted, and others dismounting."
  20. Lit. "one of the perioeci."
  21. Reading {Thebaion} after Dind. for {'Athenaion}.
  22. Lit. "their other perioecid cities." For the significance of this title as applied by the Thebans (and perhaps commonly) to the other cities of Boeotia, see Freeman, op. cit. ch. iv. pp. 157, 173 foll.
  23. See Grote, "H. G." x. 174; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 171, 172.
  24. See for affairs of Delos, never actually named by Xenophon, between B.C. 377 and 374, the Sandwich Marble in Trinity College, Cambridge; Boeckh, "C. I. G" 158, and "P. E. A." ii. p. 78 foll.; Hicks, 82.
  25. Erythrae (Redlands) stands between Hysiae and Scolus, east of Katzula.--Leake, "N. Gr." ii. 329. See Herod. ix. 15, 25; Thuc. iii. 24; Paus. IX. ii. 1; Strab. IX. ii.
  26. Lit. "Graos Stethos."
  27. Or, "and this move of Agesilaus was regarded as a very pretty one."
  28. For the exploits of Chabrias, who commanded a division of mixed Athenians and mercenaries (see above, S. 14), see Dem. "c. Lept." 479; Polyaen. ii. 1, 2; Diod. xv. 32, 33, who gives interesting details; Grote, "H. G." x. 172 foll.
  29. See above, "Hell." V. iii. 26.
  30. Or, "under the pretext of furthering Laconian interests there was a desire to put political opponents to death." For "Menon," Diod. conj. "Melon."
  31. = 2,437 pounds: 10 shillings.
  32. Oreus, formerly called Histiaea, in the north of Euboea. See Thuc. vii. 57, viii. 95; Diod. xv. 30; Grote, "H. G." ix. 263. For Pagasae at the north extremity of the Pagasaean Gulf, "the cradle of Greek navigation," see Tozer, "Geog. Gr." vi. p. 124; Strab. IX. v. 15.
  33. Or, "beautiful and brave if ever youth was."
  34. Pausanius (I. xi. 6) mentions a temple of Aphrodite {'Epistrophoa} (Verticordia), on the way up to the Carian Acropolis of Megara.
  35. The promontory at the southern extremity of Euboea.
  36. Battle of Naxos, B.C. 376. For interesting details, see Diod. xv. 35, 35.
  37. Lit. "nor at the date of Timotherus's periplus." To the historian writing of the events of this period several years later, the coasting voyage of Timotheus is a single incident ({periepleuse}), and as Grote ("H. G." x. 185, note 3) observes, the words may "include not simply the time which Timotheus took in actually circumnavigating Peloponnesos, but the year which he spent afterwards in the Ionian sea, and the time which he occupied in performing his exploits near Korkyra, Leukas, and the neighbourhood generally." For the character and exploits of Timotheus, son of Conon, see Isocr. "Or." xv. "On the Antidosis," SS. 101-139; Jebb, "Att. Or." ii. p. 140 foll.; Rehdantz, "Vit. Iphicr. Chabr. Timoth. Atheniensium."
  38. Or, "the cities round about their territory," lit. "the perioecid cities." For the import of the epithet, see V. iv. 46; Freeman, op. cit. iv. 173, note 1, in reference to Grote, "H. G." x. 183, note 4. For the battle of Tegyra see Grote, ib. 182; Plut. "Pelop." 17; Diod. xv. 57 ("evidently this battle," Grote); Callisthenes, fr. 3, ed. Did. Cf. Steph. Byz., {Tegura}.
  39. The Corcyraeans, Acarnanians, and Cephallenians join the alliance B.C. 375; see Hicks, 83. "This decree dates from the autumn of B.C. 375, immediately after Timotheos's visit to Korkyra (Xen. 'Hell.' V. iv. 64). The result was that the names of Korkyra, Kephallenia, and Akarnania were inscribed upon the list (No. 81), and an alliance was made with them." See "C. I. A." ii. p. 399 foll.; Hicks, loc. cit.; "Hell." VI. v. 23); "C. I. A." ii. 14. The tablet is in the Asclepeian collection at the entrance of the Acropolis at Athens. See Milchofer, "Die Museum Athens," 1881, p. 45.